THE SCHOLA MEDICA SALERNITANA BETWEEN BYZANTINE AND ARAB-ISLAMIC TRADITION IN THE KINGDOM OF SICILY (11TH – 13TH CENTURIES)
Études Balkaniques (Sofia), 2023, N 1
Institute of Balkan Studies & Centre of Thracology
Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
Abstract: The legendary story about the foundation of the Schola Medica Salernitana tells about the collaboration between four men of Greek, Latin, Jewish and Arabic origin. Created sometime in the 9th century under Lombard rule, Salerno became an increasingly famous “Town of Hippocrates” (Hippocratica Civitas) as part of the Kingdom of Sicily. The Norman rulers and, to a lesser extent, their Swabian successors, were significantly influenced by Byzantine and Muslim traditions. They demonstrated predilection for scholars, medics, philosophers, theologians, and translators of different provenance. These intellectuals resided at the Palermitan court and worked for the Sicilian rulers, notwithstanding any political antagonism. This spirit of cooperation, together with the rising wave of the Twelfth-century Renaissance reinforced the creation of a heterogeneous image of the Kingdom. And indeed, this was perfectly mirrored by another valuable achievement, a fruitful heritage in the heart of the Mediterranean, namely, the medical school of Salerno.
Keywords: Salerno, Medicine, Norman Sicily, Byzantium, Arab-Islamic influence, Mediterranean
DEVELOPMENT OF SERICULTURE IN BYZANTINE CITIES 11th – 13th CENTURY
Abstract: As an everlasting craft and phenomenally symbolic material, sericulture and silk have always attracted rulers, peoples and empires for its unchanged value and beauty. Since ancient times the lively manufacture became a strategic aim for traders and states. Owning, producing, selling and control over all of its activities and components were often premises for economic struggles. Byzantium makes no difference and since the fall of the Roman Empire, Constantinople, Asia Minor, Thebes and Corinth had taken the leading role as a silk producers and trade centres in the Mediterranean. An important and vital element of the prestige of the Byzantine Empire, Western societies, aristocracy and rulers were longing for byzantine silk. Gaining considerable influence, many Italian traders were persistently striving to assure the circulation of these goods from the East to West during the 11th to 13th centuries, attaining full domination after the fall of Byzantium.
Keywords: Silk, Sericulture, Mediterranean, Italian Merchants, Byzantium, Constantinople, Thebes, Corinth