María Jesús Camposlearningfromhistory.wikispaces.com
The Dependent Emirate (711-mid 8thcentury) The Independent Emirate (2nd half 8th century- 1st half 10th century) The Caliphate of Cordoba (1st half 10th century- 1st half 11th century) The 1st Taifas (11th century) The Almoravids (end of 11th century-beginning 12th century) The 2nd Taifas (1st half 12th century) The Almohads (mid 12th century- 1212) The Nasrid Kingdom of Granada (1212-1492)
At the beginning of the 8th century a civil war broke out on the Visigoth Kingdom of Toledo. On one side there were the followers of Don Rodrigo. On the other side, the family of the former king Witiza. Witiza’s side asked the Islamic Empire, on the North of Africa, for help.
The Islamic Empire, by the beginning of the 8th century, was governed by the Umayyad family. The Umayyad Caliphate has extended its territories from Persia to the North of Africa. Its capital was located in Damascus.
The Muslim governor of the North of Africa was Musa, who sent his soldiers, commanded by general Tariq, to the Iberian Peninsula to help Witiza’s family side. The Muslims entered the Iberian Peninsula in the year 711, but after defeating the Visigoths in the battle of Guadalete, they did not leave. They decided to settle and conquer the Visigoth Kingdom.
The Visigoth Kingdom of Toledo disappeared as the Muslims invaded the Iberian Peninsula. Some Visigoths took shelter on the northern ranges of Asturias and Cantabria. Muslims conquered almost the entire Iberian Peninsula and called it Al- Andalus.
Al-Andalus was part of the Umayyad Caliphate but, as the caliph lived so far away, an emir was named to govern Al-Andalus. The emir depended on the caliph’s orders (religion, politics, army…) so this period is called the Dependent Emirate.
On the second half of the 8th century, the Abbasid family obtained the power in the Islamic Empire after killing all the members of the Umayyad family. Only one Umayyad survived, Ab-al-Rahman. He escaped to the Iberian Peninsula where he found refuge.
Some time later, Abd-al- Rahman declared himself emir of Al- Andalus as Abd-al- Rahman I. This period is called the Independent Emirate as Abd-al-Rahman declared he would follow the Abbasid Caliph in religious matters but he would be independent on politics.
On the 10th century, Abd- al-Rahman III inherited the emirate and decided not to obey the Abbasid Caliph anymore. He named himself caliph, thus creating the Caliphate of Cordoba . Al-Andalus caliph would not obey the Abbasid caliph neither in politics not in religion anymore.
The capital city was Cordoba. The Caliphate of Cordoba was the most important, luxurious and powerful period of Al-Andalus. By the end of the 10th century, Hisham II inherited the caliphate. He was only 7 years old so he was helped by general Al-Mansur, who was the real power behind the caliph.
Al-Mansur led several raids against the Christian Kingdoms in the north, to obtain money and prisioners.
When general Al-Mansur died, an internal struggle took place in the caliphate. Finally, the Caliphate was divided into taifas or small kingdoms. The Taifas were constantly fighting, they were either attacked by other taifas’ kings or by the Christian Kingdoms. Some taifas paid parias or taxes to the Christian Kings to avoid the attacks.
Finally, some taifas’ kings asked for help from the Almoravids, a muslim kingdom located in the North of Africa which was also independent from the Abbasid Caliphate.
The Almoravids went to the Iberian Peninsula to help the taifas’ kings and stop the Christian advance. Finally, they decided to conquer the taifas and reunite Al-Andalus under its rule.
In the first half of the 11th century, the Almoravid kingdom suffered internal struggles and a civil war. It was divided into taifas again who also had to resist the Christian advance.
In mid 12th century, the Almohads, a Muslim group from the North of Africa, invaded the Iberian Peninsula and conquered the taifas. They tried to resist the Christian kingoms’ advance but were finally defeated at the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa (1212). The Almohad kingdom disappeared and Christians conquered almost all of Al- Andalus.
After the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa (1212), the only Muslim kingdom that survived on the Iberian Peninsula was the Nasrid Kingdom of Granada. It comprised Granada, Malaga, Almería and the eastern part of Cadiz.
It was governed by the Nasrd family. It was very weak so its king became the vassal of the Crown of Castile’s King, to receive its protection. In exchange for protection, the Nasrid king paid parias to the Castilian king. Finally, the Nasrid kingdom of Granada was conquered by the Catholic Monarchs in 1492. It was included in the Crown of Castile as a new territory.
Society was shaped by religion. The most powerful social groups practiced Islam. Muslims had privileges such as not to have to pay taxes.
Muslim groups: Non-Muslim Arabs: were born in groups: the Arabian Peninsula. The had the best lands Mozarabs: were and hold political Christians. They had to power. They did not pay taxes. pay taxes. During the Berbers: were born in 9th century many the north of Africa. migrated to the They did not pay taxes Christian kingodms. but could not hold political power. Jews: practiced Muladíes: former Judaism. They had to Christians that had pay taxes. They were converted into Islam. The had few privilleges usually merchants or but they did not pay money lenders. taxes.
Muslim economy focused on agriculture, trade and crafts. Cities were very important: in the 10th century Cordoba had 100.000 inhabitants while London had less than 15.000.
Cities had walls to protect them. The main area of the city was the medina in which the important buildings such as the alcazar (castle), the aljama (main mosque) or the souk (market) were located. Usually they had separated neighbourhoods for mozarabs and jews.
Art flourished. Despite the poor materials they used (bricks, plaster) architecture was impressive thanks to its abundant decoration. They had beautiful geometric or vegetable designs as well as a beautiful calligraphy which they used to decorate walls and objects. Crafts had a high quality.
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