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57 | 2023

Few of the world’s rivers have aroused as much curiosity and questioning as the Nile river. This was certainly true in antiquity, but it was also true in the Middle Ages, not only in Egypt itself and the rest of the Arab-Muslim world, but also in the Latin Western world, where fascination with the Nile was no less intense. A biblical river said to have originated in paradise, a marvel of nature whose annual floods defy the order of the seasons, the Nile is both the object of admiration and of scholarly speculation, especially as its mysterious sources are concerned. By studying the different ways in which the river was represented and the place it occupied in scholarly and popular culture in the Middle Ages, the contributions in this issue, which bring together medievalists from a variety of backgrounds, aim to bring together Eastern and Western perspectives on this common object of curiosity.

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