English, Department of



Louis Crompton

Date of this Version



Published in ISLAMIC HOMOSEXUALITIES: CULTURE: HISTORY, AND LITERATURE Ed. Stephen O. Murray and Will Roscoe (New York: NYU Press, 1997). Copyright 1997 New York University. Used by permission.


A unique flowering of homoerotic poetry took place in Iberia after the Arab conquest in 71 L The efflorescence there repeated a phenomenon of the Islamic world generally, paralleling the erotic lyrics of Iraq, Persia, Afghanistan, Mughal India, Turkey, and the North African states of Egypt, Tunis, and Morocco. The anthologies of medieval Islamic poetry, whether compiled in Baghdad, Damascus, Isfahan, Delhi, Kabul, Istanbul, Cairo, Kairouan, or Fez reveal, with astonishing consistency over a period of a millennium, the same strain of passionate homoeroticism we find in love poems from Cordoba, Seville, and Granada.