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Keyword Occurrence Density. In this Andalusia some important places, such as Seville and Cordoba, without forgetting Granada and Toledo, were the centres of the cultural exchanges with Christianity. Thoby Huff, Two testimonies appear very significant and deserve to be quoted, in order to highlight this exceptional conjuncture in the historical relations of Christianity and Muslim world in the Middle Age. El principio de la libertad religiosa, eterno cimiento de las grandes nacionalidades, iba con ellos. This testimony on the Muslim-Christian coexistence is corroborated by another statement on the Judaic-Arab convergences in Andalusia.
Raising again the Andalusian dream, which consecrated the values of tolerance and coexistence among Muslims, Jews and Christians, should be today and tomorrow a platform for overcoming the irreducible divisions, the deficit of understanding from which the Mediterranean region suffers. Real cultural bridge, al-andalus, with its ethnic mixture, its multilingualism, its Judaic-Arab and Islamic-Christian convergences, multiplied real contacts among its three civilizations. Hence the necessity to make today al-andalus a metaphor of the Mediterranean harmony, allowing the climate of peace to live again in the minds of men.
Conclusions In this hard time, marked by the uncertainty of the political and economic international conjuncture, but also by the rebirth of religious and theocratic factors, the dialogue among cultures and civilizations is more than ever an essential force of the Euro-Mediterranean project in its totality. Hence: clash of civilizations or dialogue among civilizations?
In truth, these are two leitmotivs, two terms of the difficult equation on which the future of Euro-Mediterranean relations will depend, as well as of those of Europe and Arab-Islamic world.
The reconciliation and the cooperation of these two geopolitical entities will be a guarantee of peace and security in the Mediterranean and in the world. Hence the necessity of a renewed reflection on the best strategies to create a global Mediterranean society for the XXI century. References Asin Palacios, M.
Paris: La Maisne. Balta, P. Paris: La Decouverte. La civilisation arabo-islamique et ses apports au monde. Paris: Publisud.
Valencia: Sempere. Fabre, T. Hadhri, M. Le Choc de civilisations. Paris: Flammarion.
Maqbul, A. Cartography of al-sharif al-idrisi. In The History of Cartography, Vol. Edited by J. Harley and David Woodward. Chicago: Chicago University press. Tunis: Mediacom. Maalouf, A. Matvejevic, P. Mostar, un pont entre deux mondes. Montpellier, mai Paris: Anthropos. Miquel, A. L Islam et sa civilisation. Colin: Paris. Pelletier, P. Paris: Seuil. Thoby Huff, E.
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Cambridge University Press. Weissbach, M. Andalusia, Gateway to the Golden Renaissance. Dialogue of Civilizations. Fidelio Magazine, 10 3. Zafrani, H.
Courrier de l Unesco, pp. CLAUDIO AZZARA During the papacy of Gregory the Great the general framework of the Christian oecumene, with whom the holy siege had to contend in its complex pastoral and diplomatic activity, appeared extremely fragmented, causing a number of problems and challenges to Rome and requiring careful interventions and articulated responses.
Inserted in the Roman and Christian empire of the New Rome Constantinople, with a sense of full cultural and institutional belonging, that did not disappear on the occasion of sporadic conflicts, the pontificate, in the passage between VI and VII century, should counter a Western world definitively fractioned in a plurality of kingdoms with very different features, after the attempt of Justinian to restore the imperial unity of the Mediterranean Basin through the wars against Ostrogoths, Visigoths and Vandals.
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To mention only the major entities, there was a kingdom of the Francs, friend but weakened by the internal fights among different members of the Merovingian dynasty; a Visigoth monarchy in the Iberian peninsula, recently converted to Catholicism but cold toward the holy siege, seen as the expression of the empire that a short time before had assaulted the Goth kingdom and was continuing to occupy the Southern region of Betica; finally, the far and almost unknown kingdoms of the Anglo-Saxons beyond the English Channel, one of which, that of Kent, by initiative of Gregory the Great had received the Christian preaching, opening itself to the values of Roman Catholicism.
The ability of dialogue of the pope with all these interlocutors had a different intensity, due to specific situations, showing the main interest of spreading and strengthening the Catholic religion and of protecting the institutions of the Church within the different kingdoms. A situation of greater and more dramatic emergence was represented by the consolidation of the Lombards in Italy, hostile to the Roman population and predatory toward the goods of the Church. Although being located in the Northern part of the peninsula, the king Agilulf had dangerously approached the city of Rome, also threatened by the raids of the Lombard dukes of Benevento and Spoleto.
Azzara The numerous variables offered by this general framework forced the pope to operate with particular care and complexity, animated by different preoccupations and aims, with a pragmatism imposed by the reality of the situation, in the continuous search for a dialogue with the political leaders of the different gentes, as well as with his own dominus, the emperor. The complexity of the political action of Gregory the Great, of his dialectics with the holders of the royal and imperial power seems to be determined not only by the multiform nature of the issues at stake and by the different rooms for manoeuvre of the individual contexts, but also by the multifaceted aspects of the office of pope, at the same time leader of the Christianity as successor of Peter, primate of the Western Church, in front of the Eastern churches, metropolitan bishop of the suburbicarian Italy and bishop of Rome.
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The different duties coming from these offices contributed to made it impossible to separate political and diplomatic issues from religious and pastoral preoccupations. With both the christianissimus imperator of Constantinople and the reges gentium, the call for conversion or for the defence of religious orthodoxy and respect for the Church went hand in hand with the preoccupation to ensure peace, mainly in the troubled Italy of the Lombards, and to create political, diplomatic and cultural relations between regna and empire, in order to reduce tensions and establish minimum criteria of international order.
The notable complexity of the work carried out by Gregory the Great in the political context of his time has generated in the modern historiography very divergent interpretations about his personality and the value of his initiatives. Indeed, he was depicted, on the one side, as the pope of the rising nations and the Christian master of the European West, somehow pioneer of the European political balance, because worried to build, for the benefit of the papacy, a support basis constituted by the Christianized barbarian kings in opposition to Constantinople, felt more and more politically and emotionally far; on the other side, as the last pope of the late antiquity, loyal to the empire and natural heir of the values of Roman aristocracy, including a certain cultural disdain and a substantial hostility to the barbarae nationes.
As an example for the first case see Delaruelle ; for the second, Vinay , pp. On the contrary, W. Ulmann depicts this pope as the architect of a first, significant, breakthrough of Rome in anti- Constantinopolitan key. Intermediate interpretations, that have not always avoided fluctuations, critical embarrassments and formulas of compromise, are found in the works of some of the most acute scholars, such as Ottavio Bertolini: see his evaluation of the Gregorian policy Ottorini Finally, for the attitude of the pope toward the barbarians, along with the mentioned essay of Vinay, according to whom the pope felt a substantial roman disdain for the gentes, see, about the value assigned by him to the word barbarus, Vitale Brovarone For a more complete synthesis of the figure and the papacy of Gregory the Great see Markus and Boesch Gajano In the evaluation of such phenomena it is opportune considering the action of the institution as a whole and in the long term, rather than the specificity of the individual persons that embodied it from time to time.
To fulfil the numerous and difficult duties of his office, first of all for the interests of the Church and of the Catholic religion, Gregory the Great should necessarily and constantly interact with the emperor and the kings, as well as with officers of several ranks, both in the respublica and in the regna, very different among them for the problems raised and for the opportunities of dialogue. Even in the heterogeneity of the cases it is possible to identify a theoretical model in the thought and in the written works of the pope, an uniform speculum principis, that represented the conceptualization of the figure of the catholic monarch, of his prerogatives and his duties, for a virtuous governance of men and a right working of the whole Christian society.
This model - built on the basis of an ancient Hellenistic-Roman tradition, later re-elaborated by Saint Augustine and identifiable, in its basic lines, in the products of the papal scrinium at least since the V-VI century Reydellet ; Azzara for Gregory the Great was at the same time an example to suggest to the different interlocutors, so that they could be guided by it in their action, and a yardstick for the work of each one, as well as a scheme to ideally rationalize the apparent dystonia between the uniqueness and the universality of the Christian empire and the existence of a plurality of kingdoms, by now spread all over the West.
The figurative place where all Gregorian features of power amalgamate and mix is the word-concept of rector, real synthesis of the superior office, called to govern men within a Christian political community, regardless to the fact that he was a political leader the emperor, a king, a high rank officer or the holder of a religious office a bishop, an abbot Markus ; Batany The semantic versatility of the word-concept of rector, that overcomes and cancel any border between secular and religious institutions and confirm the mixed nature, both religious and political, of the authority of late-antiquity origin, for which the cleric had both religious and political duties, finds its full celebration in one of the most known literary works of Gregory, the Regula pastoralis, work of extraordinary fortune in the Middle Ages and in the later epochs.
Understood as a manual for bishops, the Regula offers precepts valid for anybody is charged of governing men. At the root of the Gregorian speculum of the rector there is the key reason of the conception of the power as a service ministerium : understanding one s own activity of leading as a ministerium means to take as an example the supreme action of Christ, the King of the kings who wanted to be in the service of men, humiliating the power and strengthening the soul with the virtue of the humilitas, in opposition to the danger of the elatio, typical prerogative of the devil Sancti Gregori I Magni, Who governs must always remember the all men are generated equal for nature and only the guilt of sin has differentiated them, creating hierarchies and the slavish dependence itself.