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Qur’an at the Council. Manuscripts and Use of the Ketton Translation of the Qur’an at the Council of Basel (1431–1449)

Jacob Langeloh

Abstract

Aside from all its other ambitions, the Council of Basel (1431-1449) certainly served as an intellectual melting pot. This article investigates how Islam and the Qur’an could also become a topic of intellectual exchange. First, I describe how John of Ragusa became interested in Islam during his diplomatic mission at Constantinople, how this affected the council through the letters he sent back to it, and in what way and works Ragusa used his newly acquired knowledge. Second, I name a new potential source for an oddity of Ragusa’s letters, namely that he claims to have heard that Islam will end after 800 years. Finally, I gather the available evidence on manuscripts of the Qur’an that can be traced to the council and I present thoughts on how they are connected. I argue that indirect sources can sometimes play an important role in establishing these connections.

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