The aim of this paper is to examine the interest of Frederick II. in the Islamic education heritage, and the role of this interest in the Western enlightenment. Frederick II, who was known as stupor mundi (the wonder of the world), with his extraordinary character and life was a ruler whose activities were the subject of discussions after his death too. One of these discussions relates to his relations with the Islamic world. He grew up on the island of Sicily, the homeland of his mother, which was also the home to a significant number of Muslim population. Frederick II had the opportunity to experience Islamic culture and developed attachment with Muslims, which persisted for all of his life. Despite the violent reactions of the Pope and the Christian World, he not only pursued a tolerant policy towards Muslims, but he also became friends with them. Actually his most important characteristic, that distinguished him from the other medieval European rulers, was his intense interest in the Islamic education heritage. The emperor translated several Arabic works created by the enrichment of the ancient Greek sciences, into Latin, furthermore, he asked some Muslim scholars various scientific questions. In this way, he made sure that knowledge of the East flowed to the West. Therefore, Frederick II is considered one of the pioneers of the Western enlightenment.
Keywords: Frederick II., Western enlightenment, Islamic education heritage, Muslims of Sicily
DOI Number: 10.9737/hist.2017.519