The Golden Age of Islam 3


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The Golden Age of Islam 3

  1. 1. Cordova The Jewel of the World Introduction to Arab and Islamic Civilization LIU Abir Chaaban
  2. 2. This Presentation is a Summary from <ul><li>“ Cordova The Jewel of the World” in Philip Hitti The Arabs: A Short History , ( Princeton University Press: 1949). </li></ul><ul><li>The Art of the Umayyad Period in Spain (711–1031), </li></ul>
  3. 3. The Umayyad in Spain <ul><li>On July 19, 711, an army of Arabs and Berbers unified under the aegis of the Islamic Umayyad caliphate landed on the Iberian Peninsula. Over the next seven years, through diplomacy and warfare, they brought the entire peninsula except for Galicia and Asturias in the far north under Islamic control. </li></ul><ul><li>The new Islamic territories, referred to as al-Andalus by Muslims, were administered by a provincial government established in the name of the Umayyad caliphate in Damascus and centered in Cordova. </li></ul>
  4. 4.
  5. 5. Cordova <ul><li>The Umayyad caliphate of Damascus was overthrown by the Abbasids in 750. </li></ul><ul><li>The last surviving member of the Umayyad Abdul-Rahman established himself as Emir Abd al-Rahman I and thus initiating the Umayyad emirate in Spain(756–929). </li></ul><ul><li>Abd al-Rahman I (r. 756–88) made Cirdova his capital. He unified al-Andalus under his rule with a firm handnestablishing diplomatic ties with the northern Christian kingdoms, North Africa, and the Byzantine empire and maintaining cultural contact with the Abbasids in Baghdad. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Cordova <ul><li>The Umayyads reclaimed their right to the caliphate during the reign of Abd al-Rahman III (r. 912–61), who became the first Spanish Umayyad to declare himself caliph (929). </li></ul><ul><li>Under the Umayyad caliphate (929–1031), Cordova became the greatest intellectual center of Europe, with celebrated libraries and schools. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Cordova <ul><li>Two years before his death in 788 Abd Al Rahman founded the Great Mosque of Cordova as a rival to the two sanctuaries of Islam Jerusalem and Mecca. </li></ul><ul><li>The Mosque was transferred into a Christian Cathedral in 1236, and survived until the present day under the popular name “ La Mezquita.” </li></ul><ul><li>The Umayyads in Spain like their counterpart the Abbasids administered a multicultural society. </li></ul><ul><li>Abdul Rahman strove to fashion into one nation Arabians, Syrians, Berbers, Numidians, Hispano Arabs and Goths. </li></ul><ul><li>He initiated the intellectual movement which made Islamic Spain from the ninth to the eleventh centuries one of the two centers of the world culture, Cordova and Baghdad. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Cordova <ul><li>The government maintained a regular postal service. It modeled its coinage on Eastern patterns, with the dinar as the gold unit and the dirhams as the silver unit. </li></ul><ul><li>Arab money was in use in the Christian kingdoms of the north, which for four hundred years had no coinage except Arabic or French. </li></ul><ul><li>The real glory however lies in the scholarship of the Arabs. Al Hakam, Abdul Rahman successor was a scholar and patronised learning. He granted magnificent bounties to scholars and established twenty seven free schools in the capital. </li></ul><ul><li>Under Al Hakam the University of Cordova founded in the principal mosque by Abdul Rahman III, rose to a place of preeminence among the educational institutions of the world. It precede both al-Azhar of Cairo and the Nizamiyah of Baghdad and attracted students, Christians and Muslims, not only from Spain but from other parts of Europe, Africa and Asia. </li></ul><ul><li>In adition to the University the Mosque housed a library. Al Hakam was abibliophile, his agents ransacked the bookshops of Alexandria, Damascus and Baghdad, with a view to buying or copying manuscripts. It is said that he gathered 400,000 books filling forty four volumes of library catalogues. Twenty sheets were devoted to political works. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Cordova <ul><li>Abdul Rahman’s Court was one of the most glamorous in all Europe. Its seat was Cordova, with half a million inhabitants, seven hundred mosques and three public baths. </li></ul><ul><li>The Royal Palace has four hundred rooms and apartments housing of slaves and guards. Abdul Rahman started its construction in 936. He named his palace Al-Zahra after his concubine’s name meaning “she with the bright face”. </li></ul><ul><li>In al-Zahra the Chaliph surrounded himself with bodyguards of “Slavs” </li></ul>
  10. 10. The Ummayads in Cordova <ul><li>From Spain the Art of tanning and embossing leather was carried to Morocco and from these two lands it was brought to France and England. </li></ul><ul><li>The raising of silk worms originally a monopoly of the Chinese, was introduced by Muslims into Spain. </li></ul><ul><li>The Spanish Arabs introduced agricultural methods practiced in Western Asia ( Lebanon, Syria, Palestine). They dug canals, cultivated grapes and introduced among other plants and fruits, rice, apricots, peaches, pomegranates, oranges, sugar cane, cotton and saffron. </li></ul>
  11. 11. The Arts of Cordova <ul><li>Hispano-Umayyad art reached its apogee during the lengthy reign of Abd al-Rahman III and his son al-Hakam II (r. 961–76) and the regency of the powerful Amirids, particularly al-Mansur (978–1002). </li></ul><ul><li>Despite their open rejection of Abbasid political authority, the Umayyads of Cordova emulated the opulent palatial arts of the centers of Abbasid power, Baghdad and Samarra’. </li></ul><ul><li>The Ummayads Arts in Cordova was also influence by the Fatimid rulers, who had established an independent Shi’a caliphate in North Africa in 909 and occupied Egypt in 969. </li></ul>
  12. 12. The Arts of Cordova <ul><li>Art patronage as a sign of kingship and authority is a theme that emerged from these creative appropriations from abroad and the past. </li></ul><ul><li>Luxurious objects such as boxes of carved ivory and gilt silver, bronze animal statuary, and richly figured silks were commissioned for palaces decorated with ornate marble capitals, stucco wall panels, and marble fountains. </li></ul>