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The Moorish rule in Medieval Spain/How the Moors brought civilization to Spain
posté le 13/05/17 par Astrid Essed Mots-clés  histoire / archive 

THE MOORISH RULE IN MEDIEVAL SPAIN/HOW THE MOORS BROUGHT
CIVILIZATION TO EUROPE

SEE ALSO

https://www.astridessed.nl/the-moorish-rule-in-medieval-spainhow-the-moors-brought-civilization-to-europe/

FOLLOWING :
THE HISTORY OF MEDIEVAL SPAIN/AL-ANDALUS

Dear Readers,

A silly remark of author and historian
Kathryn Warner [EdwardthesecondBlogspot]
gives me the opportunity to take
you on a travel to the past.
I have done it before.
To the Medieval English period of dynastic struggle,
the Wars of the Roses [1455-1485], as some remarks about the Medieval
King Edward II, whose tragic and strong friendship for men, eventually
led to his downfall [1284-1327, ruled England from 1307 until 1327]

https://www.astridessed.nl/kin g-edward-ii-the-tragic-king/

But this time I travel with you to Moorish ruled Spain in the Middle Ages.
Come with me..........

About Kathryn Warner :

As I wrote above :
Direct cause for my travel to the Moorish rule in
al-Andalus [Medieval Spain] :
My comments on an article of Kathryn Warner,
historian and author
of ’’Edward II, the Unconventional King’’ and [Edward II’s wife]
Isabella of France, the Rebel Queen.
[She is also known as blogger of
’’EdwardthesecondBlogspot.com, where intersting facts about the
life and reign of King Edward II are to be found.]

Now Warner is a tough scientific investigator and has a great factual
knowledge about the first half of the fourtheenth century English history,
but much weaker in her interpretations and some assumptions.

Therefore I’ve criticized her recently on her blog, which she deleted.
See my earlier comment :

https://www.astridessed.nl/the -she-wolf-of-france-by-maurice -druonreaction-on-the-comments -of-kathryn-warneredwardthesec ondblogspot/

Of course she has the liberty to delete my reaction, or not
place it at all, eventhough it is a bit silly,in those Internet times.

Moreover I expect from a scholar, not to be afraid for well argumented
critics.
But that’s her business.

I wonder, whether she publishes my new [underlying] comment on her blog
or not, but that’s not important.
More important is to enrich my readers, you, with a very interesting
aspect of history, which is often neglected :

The great influence of the Moorish rule in Europe, especially
on Spain and the development of the Renaissance.
Recommended :
The documentary of Bettany Hughes
’’When the Moors ruled in Europe’’ [1]

See by the way my comment on Warner’s remarks right under this article.

A

THE ETHNIC/DNA MOORISH INFLUENCE ON SPAIN

WARNERS COMMENTS/
HER BLOG :
’’EDWARD II : BOOK REVIEW : ISABELLA AND THE STRANGE DEATH
OF EDWARD II

SEE

http://edwardthesecond.blogspo t.nl/2013/06/book-review-isabe lla-and-strange-death.html

In this post on her blog, Warner gives a book review of Paul
Dogerty’s book [ Dogerty is a famous historian and writer] [2]
’’Isabella and the strange death of Edward II’’ [3]

I didn’t read the book, so I can’t judge all the comments Warner made,
although some [which I can judje without reading the book, due to
my historical knowlegde] certainly make sense.

But she made one silly remark, which was serious enough to be
criticized !

She wrote :

’The chroniclers attest to her loveliness, to her beautiful blonde hair, which she inherited from her father, Philip le Bel, and her slightly arabic [sic] features from her mother Johanna of Navarre’’
......

3) The colour of Isabella’s hair is not stated anywhere ; neither are her ’slightly arabic’, written with a small ’a’ for some weird reason, features, whatever ’slightly Arabic features’ may be and how they came to exist in a woman, Joan of Navarre, who was of mostly French and northern European, partly Spanish, origin. ’’ [4]

’’

So the mother of Isabella of France [Isabella of France was the daughter of the French King
Philip IV, wife of the English King Edward II and mother of King Edward III] [5], called Joan of Navarre [6], was partly of Spanish origin and could not have had
Arabic features ?
In the 14th century ?

COMPLETE NONSENSE !

Because as you may know, the Moors [Berbers/Arabs] ruled in
Spain from 711 untill 1492.
Over nearly the whole of Spain in 720 [7].
Then little by little they were droven back, first under leadership of
the one surviving [later there were more to come]
christian Kingdom of Asturias. [8]
But still controlling the major part of Spain [9], during
the dynasty of the Umayyad, which ruled nearly 300 years in Al Andalus
[name for Moorish-muslim Spain], from 756 untill 1031,
bringing al Andalus a great civilization, wealth and intellectual knowledge. [10]
To be explained :
The Umayyad dynasty was divided in the period of the Emirate of Cordoba,
from 756-929, and the Caliphate of Cordoba, 929-1031, but yet the
same dynasty [11]
After which the Moorish Kingdom fragmented in little Kingdoms [also called
’’Taifa Kingdoms’’] , which fought

against each other and the northern christian forces [12], untill the defeat of Granada, in 1492 , which completed the reconquista. [13]

SO :

The Moors ruled over Spain LONGER THAN 700 YEARS and there would
not have been any mixture between them and the original Visigothic
population ?

NONSENSE !

Because that’s what Warner is impying.
What a nearly stupid remark for a medieval historian !
See my comments on Warner’s remarks under my piece, before
the Notes

B

THE ETHNIC/DNA MOORISH INFLUENCE ON SPAIN

INTERMARRIAGE BETWEEN MUSLIM AND CHRISTIAN
DYNASTIES, AND OTHER SOCIAL CLASSES

There are proofs of the silliness of Warner’s remarks :

See what scientists say :

The Spanish population may harbor some African-related admixture representing a fourth wave of migration into Europe, but affecting Spain much more than the other groups. The Spanish population shows an African admixture of 14.8% (12.6% Mozabite and 2.2% Mbuti/Yoruba), confirming that gene flow from Sub-Saharan or North African populations has occurred in the Spanish sample.[56]’’
[14]

AND

’’In terms of paternal Y-Chromosome DNA, recent studies coincide in that Iberia has the greatest presence of the typically Northwest African Y-chromosome haplotype marker E-M81 in Europe.[26][27] as well as Haplotype Va.[36][37] Estimates of Y-Chromosome ancestry vary, with a 2008 study published in the American Journal of Human Genetics using 1140 samples from throughout the Iberian peninsula, giving a proportion of 10.6% North African ancestry.[29][29][30][31] A similar 2009 study of Y-chromosome with 659 samples from Portugal, 680 from Northern Spain, 37 samples from Andalusia, 915 samples from mainland Italy, and 93 samples from Sicily found significally higher levels of North African male ancestry in Spain, Sicily and Portugal (7.7%, 7.1% and 7.5% respectively) than in Italy (1.7%).[38]’’
[15]

Another proof is the Arab origins of some of the Spanish Kings :

For example, the second wife of the Spanish King Fruela II of Asturias,
was Urraca bint [daughter of] Abd Allah.
She was the daughter of the governor of Tuleda, member of the
Banu Qasi, a Mullawad [mixture of Berber, Arab and Iberian origin] Hispano dynasty. [16]
Two centuries later, there was a Queen Uracca of Leon, appartenly from dark
complexion, mother of King Alphonso VII, who showed
a slightly coloured compexion, inherited of his mother of course. [17]

AND CREME ON THE CAKE !

This coloured Uracca of Leon [and Castile] was a far ancestor of Queen Isabella
I of Castile, who would defeat thelast Moorish Kingdom,
the Kingdom of Granada in 1492........ [18]
See the list of Castilian momarchs. [19]
I have checked, whether the line of descent, from Uracca to Isabella,
was valid !
Control for yourself ! [20]

So coming to women of Spanish origin and Moorish [Arab]
descent.
See the foolishness of the remark of Kathryn Warner about Isabella of
France
I will repeat it, again for you to catch up with the direct cause I wrote this piece :
’’The colour of Isabella’s hair is not stated anywhere ; neither are her ’slightly arabic’, written with a small ’a’ for some weird reason, features, whatever ’slightly Arabic features’ may be and how they came to exist in a woman, Joan of Navarre, who was of mostly French and northern European, partly Spanish, origin. ’’ [21]

SO :

There WAS admixture and intermarriage between Muslim
and Christian dynasties, as well there was admixture and intermarriage
between nobility and commoners.
Also Berber [and Arab] military commanders married christian
Spanish women.

Mostly it were Berber-Arab men, who married christian-Spanish
women.
But it happened also, that christian-Spanish men married
Arab[Berber] women. [22]
This intermarriage was between kings [emirs], nobility and commoners. [23]

An example of the marriage of a Moorish woman in a christian royal
dynasty I already mentioned :

Uracca [NOT of course Queen Uracca of Castile of Leon],
the wife of the Spanish King Fruela II of Asturias.
She was the daughter of the governor of Tuleda, member of the
Banu Qasi, a Mullawad [mixture of Berber, Arab and Iberian origin] Hispano dynasty. [24]

However, an example of Spanish descent in the Moorish royal dynasty was
King Abd-al Rahman III, a king from
the dynasty of the Ummayad [25], who proclaimed himself
as Caliph of Cordoba [26].
He was the grandson of Emir Abdullah ibn [son of] Muhammad al Umawi [27].
The father of Abd-al-Rahman III [who was no Emir, Abd-al-Rahman was the
successor of his grandfather] was Muhammad, and his mother a christian
slave girl and concubine, Muzna or Muzayna. [28, Wikipedia]
His paternal grandmother was also a Christian, but of roytal
blood, the royal infanta [princess] Onneca Fortunez, daughter
of king Fortun Garces of Pamplona, who was made captive.
[29]
Abd-al-Rahman III was described as:having

’’.. white skin, blue eyes and attractive face ; good looking, although somewhat sturdy and stout’’
[30]

I think this is enough proof for the admicture of African DNA in the
Spanish-Iberian [Iberian, a term used for Spanish in the Middle Ages],
as the follishness of the remarks of Kathryn Warner.
As a historian, she should know better.

B

I

WHEN THE MOORS RULED IN EUROPE/[SPAIN]/
HISTORY/THE CIVILIZATION THEY BROUGHT TO
EUROPE

HISTORY/CONQUEST/CONSOLIDATION OF POWER

First :
For the period of the Moorish rule, I refer to Spain as [post]Visigothic Spain.
But in historical literature, Spain is often called
’’The Iberian peninsula’’ also.

Second :
Readers, realize, that when I write about Spain, conquered
by the Moors, it also consists Portugal !

Third :
The Moorish conquest of Spain was not just an action of
Berber troops, but ordered and orchestrated by the great Muslim
Arab Caliphate, under the ruling Umayyad dynasty, which stretched,
at the time of the conquest of Spain, from Asia [the Indus
river in India], Persia, the Middle East [the former Byzantine Empire,
Syria, Jordan, Libanon], till the whole of North Africa. [31]

Further Readers, it is important for you to realize, that through the
whole period of the Moorish rule, christians lived in Moorish
Kingdoms, as Moors lived in christian kingdoms.[32]
That happened generally in relative peace.
Many christians took over the Arab language and culture
and converted to Islam and there are no signs, that
there was any pressure in such conversion. [33]

CORDOBA, CAPITAL CITY OF AL ANDALUS

The intermarriage and admixture with the Spanish [Iberian, postVisigoths]
is interesting [34], but predictable, because of their 700 years rule.
Far more interesting is the civilization, the intellectual knowledge,
the art they brought to Europe.

First a brief history

Moorish-muslim Spain was called by the Moors [Berbers and Arabs]
’’Al Andalus’’, which means ’’the land of the
Vandals’’ [Vandals were referred to the Visigoths, the population of Spain,
conquered by the Berber military forces] [35]
Capital city of al-Andalus was Cordoba [since 717] [36], that was to become a center of great intellectual knowledge,

with a famous University and 70 libraries, visited by scholars accross
whole Europe. [37]

The Moorish rulers of Andalus were granted the rank of Emir by the
Umayyad Caliph Al-Walid I in Damascus [38], on whose orders Tariq ibn
Zayid conquered Spain [al-Andalus] with 7000 Berber military forces. [39]
Later more about the relationship with Damascus.

So Berber forces beat the last Visigoth king [40]

Later, commander Tariq was joined by Musa bin Nusayr, general and governor under
Emir Walid I, who landed in Spain with an army of 18,000 Berbers and Arabs
[41]
It took the Moors only four years to conquer Spain, probably due to the
fact, that the Visigothic realm was already desintegrating. [42]

INTERESTING FACT :
Gibraltar is called after commander Tariq, because it is the
Spanish derivation of the Arabic name ’’Jabal Tariq’’ [mountain of
Tariq] [43]

BATTLE OF TOURS [POITIERS]/TURNING POINT OF THE
MOORISH EMPIRE IN EUROPE

But the Moors advanced !
They marched through Francia [the pre Carolingian France] [44]
and occupying half of France [45], were defeated by Charles Martel,
major domus [46] of the Merovingian king [47] and the de facto ruler
[48], as the father of the first Carolingian king Pepin the Short [49]
and grandfather of Charlemagne [50]

That decisive battle was the Battle of Tours [51] [formerly called
the Battle of Poitiers].

It is often seen as a turning point of history and it was commonly assumed,
that were the Moorish troops succesful, they could have easily crossed
over the channel and conquered and converse England. [52]

II

WHEN THE MOORS RULED IN EUROPE/STRIKING FACTS

THE CONVERSION OF JOHN LACKLAND, KING OF ENGLAND,
TO THE ISLAM ?

About 370 years after the battle of Tours, there was a certain moment,
that England could have turned in an Islamic State !

Yes, at first it seemed unbelievable to me, but according to some
sources, the English King John Lackland [53], brother and successor
to Crusade King Richard I [Lion Heart] [54], should have considered conversion
to the Islam. [55]

Background was a serious conflict with Pope Innocvent III, which ended
in an interdict of England [56], as the excommunication of John Lackland. [57]
To save himself from this dangerous situation [an interdict and excommunication
would eventually lead to chaos in the country and isolation from the other
European christian countries], in desperation, King John sent envoys to
al-Nasir, asking for help.
In return, John offered to convert to Islam and turn England into a Muslim
State.
Caliph Nasir was said to be disgusted by John ;s ’’groveling plea’’ and
sent the envoys away. [58]

Is it historically true or not ?
That’s not certain, but it is interesting to speculate :
What if..........

III

WHEN THE MOORS RULED IN EUROPE/
THE MOORISH CONSOLIDATION OF POWER
IN SPAIN
THE COMING OF THE UMAYYAD DYNASTY OF CORDOBA

I wrote it before :
The invasion of Spain, Medieval Hispania [or Iberia] [59] and Francia [60] was led by
the Umayyad dynasty (Arabic : بنو أمية banū umayya / الأمويون al-umawiyyūn‎‎ also "Umawi") [61], the first dynasty of caliphs [civil and religious rulers]
after the reign of the Rashidun caliphs [62] ended.
The Umayyad Caliphate, at the time of the Battle of Tours, was perhaps the world’s foremost military power. Great expansion of the Caliphate occurred under the reign of the Umayyads.

Muslim armies pushed east across Persia and west across North Africa
through the late 7th century. [63]

From 711 untill 762, with the beginning of the Umayyad dynasty with
Abd-al-rahman as the first Emir, it was a time of conquest [of Spain]
military expansion in France and fighting for power. [64]

THE UMMAYAD EMIRATE/THE COMING
OF ABD-AL-RAHMAN/A SUCCES STORY

And then came Abd-al-Rahman, who became Abd-al-Rahman I :

He had come a long way, from Syria, via North Africa and was a member of the
Damascus royal dynasty, the Umayyad. [65]

His story is fascinating, but I can’t tell it without a little
explanation of the political situation, as the relations between
Al-Andalus and the Umayyad.

BACKGROUND OF ABD-AL-RAHMAN/THE DAMASCUS UMAYYAD
CALIPHATE

To understand the story of Abd-al-Rahman I is to understand
the close ties between al-Andalus and the great muslim Empire,
then ruled by the Umayyad dynasty, to which Abd-al-Rahman
belonged.
As told before, The Umayyad stretched from the territories in the east untill Persia, in
the Middle East, the greatest part of the Byzantine Empire
and North Africa, from which al-Andalus was conquered [66], under the order of
the Umayyad Caliph Al-Walid I in Damascus. [67]

SO IN FACT, AL-ANDALUS WAS PART OF THE UMAYYAD CALIPHATE,
and the al-Andalus rulers were bound to pay respect to the Ummayad caliphs.

The populations of the conquered territories, as well by the predecessing Rashidun Caliphate
see below], as the Umayyads, stretching from Persia untill North Africa, were conversed to Islam.

CALIPHATES

There were a number of Arab Caliphates [better said ’’Muslim’’, because
later Caliphates were not Arab],
[68], with the Rashidun Caliphate to begin with [69]
The Rashidun Caliphate, which started after the death of the Prophet
Muhammad, founder of the Islam, [70] was the first Caliphate, an impressive Empire [to use
that word for a while], which stretched untill Persia [Iran],
in the North, Byzantine Syria, Anatolia [later Turkey], the other
Middle Eastern countries and in the West,
a great part of North Africa. [71]

The period we are interested in, however, is the second Caliphate,
the Umayyad Caliphate [72], the original royal dynasty of Abd-al-Rahman..[73]
The main power base of the Ummayad Caliphate was in Syria, its
capital was Damascus, but shortly, from 744 untill the fall of the
Umayyads in 750, the capital city was Harran, a city in Upper
Mesopotamia [northwestern of Iraq and the southeastern Turkey] [74]
Under the Ummayyad Caliphate whole North Africa was
conquered and now it was really an Empire. [75]

SO :
The Umayyad Caliphate, at the time of the Battle of Tours [732,
when the Moors were beaten by Charles Martel, grandfather of Charlemagne], was perhaps the world’s foremost military power ! [76]

ABD-AL-RAHMAN AND THE FALL OF THE DAMASCUS UMAYYAD
CALIPHATE
ABD-AL-RAHMAN I/FLIGHT FROM DAMASCUS AND EXILE YEARS IN
NORTH-AFRICA

After the succesful uprising of the Abbasids against the Ummayad
Caliphs, nearly the whole Ummayad royal family was massacred.
[77]
Needless to say, that the Abbasides became the new ruling dynasty,
the Abassid Caliphate [78]

But Abd-al-Rahman, [grandson of Caliph HISHAM IBN ABD AL-MALIK
[passed on in 743] [79], who was on the death list too, managed to escape.
Maybe because his mother was a Berber woman [concubine of
his father], he fled to North-Africa, together with his brother, son and
some other relatives. [80]
After nearly escaping an assissination from an Abbasid death squad,
by which he lost his brother [81], Abd-al-Rahman and his Greek freedman,
Bedr, reached modern-day Morocco, not after many adventures [82] [before, he had put his son into safety]
[83]
From Marocco he went to al-Andalus, to establish the Umayyad dynasty, from

which he became the first Emir. [84]

BEFORE BECOMING ABD-AL-RAHMAN I/
IN AL-ANDALUS/FIGHTING FOR POWER

He landed in al-Andalus in 755, probably in Malaga,
where the conquering Moors
were involved in a power struggle between Berbers and Arabs.
Upon landing, Abd al-Rahman was greeted by old Umayyad clients Abu Uthman and Ibn Khalid and an escort of 300 cavalry.[10] During his brief time in Malaga, he was able to amass local support quickly. Waves of people made their way to Málaga to pay respect to the prince they thought was dead. [85]

Interesting reception indeed !
To make a long story short.
After a fight for power, during which he won growing supporters
over, he succeeded, won the battles, and proclaimed himself Emir [and
was reunited with his son]. [86]

ABD-AL-RAHMAN I
THE ABBASSIDS/AGAIN

But some things never change.
After their assassination attempts, again, the Abbassids were in action !
Now to send an army to al-Andalus, which they considered as a part
of their bloody founded Caliphate.
But Abd-Al-Rahman I beat them in 763. [87]

ABBASID-CAROLINGIAN ALLIANCE

But the Abbasids believed in the formula :
KEEP TRYING......

So, some small pro Abbasid rulers in Northern Spain closed
a military alliance with the Carolingian King Charlemagne to defeat
Abd-al-Rahman I.
Which came to nothing. [88]
This alliance would last untill the first half of the 9th century...
[89]

Complicated world......

ABD-AL-RAHMAN I
RELATION WITH THE ABBASID DYNASTY

It’s not hard to imagine, how the relation between Emir Abd-al-Rahman
I and the Abbasid Caliphate was.
Bad of course, in so far there WAS a relationship !
After all, they massacred nearly his whole family, the Umayyads,
they tried to kill him on his flight and sent an army to defeat
him, when establishing his power in al-Andalus !

A Muslim ruler, Abd-al-Raham Ibn Habib al-Fihri [90], who ruled
before the coming of Abd-al-Rahman I and later was in conflict with
him, banished the name of the Abbasid caliph from the Friday prayers. [91]
I can imagine, that Abd-al-Rahman I maintained that banishment !
After all, praying for a ruler means acknowledgment of his authority.

You can also ask the question, why he didn’t denounce
the Abbadid Caliphate by proclaiming himself caliph

[being the family survivor of the former, overthrown Caliphate], as
his descendant, Abd-al-Rahman III, eventually did [92]
Likely Abd-Al-Rahman I didn’t, because he had to consolidate his power in al-Andalus,
where he faced several uprisings. [93]
Probably, we’ll never know.....

But what we DO know is that he planned to wage war on
the Abbasid Caliphate, very likely also to revenge
the massacre of his family. [94]
But due to domestic problems and the unrest with which he had to deal,
it never took place.

IV

WHEN THE MOORS RULED IN EUROPE
THE CIVILIZATION THEY BROUGHT TO EUROPE
THE WORLD ABD-AL-RAHMAN I BUILD

AND THEN NOW, WHAT’S HIGLY UNDERESTIMATED IN
EUROPEAN HISTORY, BUT NOT IN MEDIEVAL SOURCES :
The civilization the Moors brought to Europe :

READERS !

Did you know :
That you would probably still write with the complicated
Roman ciphers [95],
when the Moors didn’t invade Visigothic Spain ?
That likely the Renaissance didn’t take place in Europe, or far later ? [96]

I deal with that later.

First the propsperity and civilization Abd-al-Rahman I brought to Spain :

He rebuilt the city of Cordoba, turning it to a wealthy, highly
cultured city.
At the time of his reign, there were 100 000 inhabitants, there was
street lighting [unique in Europe], houses with running
water, there were 70 libraries
and 300 public baths !
Cordoba was the largest settlement in Europe ! [97]

Because of his royal position [prince of the massacred Umayyad dynasty]
And-al-Rahman had extensive trade contacts and relations, which made al-Andalus
[Spain] a prosperous country.
He sponsored elaborate building programs, promoted agriculture
and imported fuit trees, oranges, lemons, palmtrees, pomgranades, avocado’s and
other plants.
Irrigation systems were developed. [98]

He built the Great Mosque of Cordoba,
to be extended under his successors. [99]

During his reign [and that of his successors], there was a great religious tolerance, althoug a special tribute tax
had to be paid by Christians and Jews. [100]

From a ruling point of view also was ’’clever’’, that he founded a
standing army, consisted of mainly Berbers from North Africa, who
probably would be more loyal than the local populace..... [101]

So Abd-al-Rahman I introduced a propsperous trade, street-lighting,
libraries, built started the Great Mosque of Cordoba..

And then to realize, that at the same time, the Anglo-Saxon
[pre-English] Kings lived in wooden castles..... [102]

V

EUROPE SHOULD SAY TO THE MOORS :
’’THANK YOU’’

THE CIVILIZATION THE MOORS BROUGHT TO EUROPE
THE TRANSMISSION OF THE GREEK CLASSICS/
INTRODUCTION TO THE RENAISSANCE

TWO CULTURE BOOSTS

THE FALL OF ALEXANDRIA
THE FALL OF TOLEDO

Without the Moorish conquest of al-Andalus [Spain]
the Renaissance [103] would not be possible, or far, far later ! [104]
I state that boldly, because there is apparent proof for.

To say it shortly :

There were two boosts of civilization, which both were of the
highest importance to Europe.

The first boost of civilization, from which Europe benefited,
was the fall of Alexandria in 641, when the muslim conquerors
were confronted with the riches of the Greek classics, to
which they added their own knowledge.
They translated
the Greek texts in Arabic, brought them via Northern African
conquests through North Africa, eventually,
to Spain. [105]
Especially Cordoba and Toledo were great centres of culture, visited
by many European scholars. [106]
Don’t wipe out the transmission of Greek learning
via the University of Fez [oldest University in the world] [107]

The second boost of civilization was the fall of Toledo, conquered
by the christian King Alfonso VI of Castile. [108]

The rich knowledge of the Greek claasics and the added Arab knowledge
came out in the open for a great number of European scholars,
muslims, Jews and christians worked together [Yeah, it was real
teamwork !] to translate texts, there was a great mutual exchange,
a great reliigious tolerance and a great boost of knowledge.[109]

THANKS TO THE MOORISH INVADERS
Who brought Greek classics, enlarged with rich Arabic knowledge,
from North-Africa to al-Andalus, sponsored this knowlegde
into flourishing culture cities like Cordoba and Toledo,
giving European scholars the opportunity to renew their
knowledge of the Greek classics. [110]

And eventually, this great knowledge was brought to Italy,
and from Italy on, the Renaissancew began to flow, some
centuries later. [111]
Readers, look at the Renaissance not as a new European based
birth, but as a continuation of an intellectual movement,
which had been nourished centuries eralier, by muslims !

I point vehemently on this, because it is often negllected in
history !

VI

EUROPE SHOULD SAY TO THE MOORS :
’’THANK YOU’’

THE CIVILIZATION THE MOORS BROUGHT TO EUROPE
MUSLIM SCIENCE AND OTHER INVENTIONS

I have written about the muslim transmission
of the Greek classics to Europe, by the Moorish
conquest of Spain, with added muslim-Arab knowledge.

But not to be overlooked and highly important is the
SCIENCE which was brought to and giiven to Europe.

The Moors brought to Spain sciences like medical science, astromony, Chemistry,
Mathematics, Geography as Philosophy [Greek-muslim influence]
[112]
It was a transmission from ancient Eastern [Persian etc] civilizations, to
Greek, to Arabic, with Arabic additions.
Because the Arabs were not mere transmittors of Greek texts and knowledge,
but built forth on Greek knowledge, with their own views.
Algebra, a subdivision of Mathematics, is
an Arabic word, like many Spanish words, beginning with al
[the]. [113]
The numerals 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 en o are
Arabic numerals [ciphers] [114]
The word ’’cipher’’ is an Arabic word. [115]
Paper [originally from China] was introduced and the Moorish
rulers built paperfactories.
As was mentioned before :
At its height, Córdoba, the heart of Moorish territory in Spain, was the most modern city in Europe. The streets were well-paved, with raised sidewalks for pedestrians. During the night, ten miles of streets were well illuminated by lamps. (This was hundreds of years before there was a paved street in Paris or a street lamp in London.) Cordoba had 900 public baths. [116]

Education was universal in Moorish Spain, available to all, while in Christian Europe ninety-nine percent of the population were illiterate, and even kings could neither read nor write.

Only the clergy could. [117]

And of course the Moorish-muslim-Arab civilization had been
influenced by older cultures and civilizations, as always is the case.
In this case, old civilizations from China, India and even the
Bablylonians !

But it is also to be remembered, that the Greek civilization,
which brought forth the Greek classics, also had strong
influence from Egypt, Phoeninians and so on.

VII

EUROPE SHOULD SAY TO THE MOORS :
’’THANK YOU’’

THE CIVILIZATION THE MOORS BROUGHT TO EUROPE
THE TROUBADOURS/A ROMANTIC STORY

At the cradle of the Western concept of romantic love,
the Troubadour culture, lay the Moorish culture !

It is a fantastic and thrilling story about transmission
of the Moorish culture to Europe !

LISTEN TO THE STORY.....

At the Moorish Court, there were siniging slave girls
[a less pretty side of Moorish rule....], who were trained
in singing, intellectual conversation and more skills.
When William VIII, Duke of Acquitaine [118] sieged the city
Barbastro [119], to help the christian King Ramiro I of Aragon [120]
in his war against the Moors and they succeeded, he took
as prisoners and war conquest, 100 singing slave girls
to France.....[121]
When he died, his son and heir, William IX ’’inherited’’
those girls and became the first troubadour ! [122]

VII

WHEN THE MOORS RULED IN EUROPE
THE MOORISH RULE/DECLINE AND FALL

But nothing lasts forever !

After the flourishing period of Abd-al-Rahman III [123]
[a descendant from Abd-al-Rahman I, the royal
fugitive from Damascus, who founded the Umayyad
dynasty in al-Andalus/Spain], who built a magnificent
palace called Medinat Azahara [124] and who proclaimed himself as
caliph [125] [thus officially cutting all ties with the Abassid
Caliphate, which came into power by massacring
nearly all ancestors of abd-al-Rahman III, except his ancestor
Abd-al-Rahman I !], the rule of Abdal-Rahman and descendants was called
’’the Caliphate of Cordoba ] [126], the Moorish rule deteriorated.

There were internal troubles, [within the royal family,with
local muslim rulers]
and the Christian kingdoms in the North of Spain advanced, waging
war on the Moorish rulers. [127]
As one of the reasons of the decline of the
Caliphate of Cordoba [from Abd-al-Rahman III, former it was’the Emirate of Cordoba, founded by Abd-al-Rahman I] [128],
is mentioned in the documentary of historian Bettany
Hughes ’’When the Moors ruled in Europe’’ [129]

Namely, that Abd-al-Rahman III neglected the
military defence and had no standing
army.
Therefore he had to rely on mercenaries [who had their
own ambtions, this is an addition of Astrid Essed] [130]

Be as it may, after internal trouble within the royal
family and with as well muslim rulers, as the Christian
kingdoms in Northern Spain, the Caliphate of
Cordoba fell in 1031 [131] and desintegrated in small
muslim kingdoms, taifa’s [132]

See under note 133 a survey of the rulers of the Emirate
of Cordoba and the Caliphate of Cordoba, from the same
Umayyad family, except for the fact, that Abd-al-Rahman assumed
the title of Caliph [as mentioned above]

Interesting fact

’’According to historians, the emirs and caliphs comprising the Umayyad dynasty in Al-Andalus were the sons of concubine slaves (almost all Iberians from the north of the peninsula). ..... [134]

THE BEGINNING OF THE END/
TAIFA’S/RECONQUISTA/THE KINGDOM OF GRANADA

So after nearly 300 years, the Emirate/Caliphate of Cordoba
came to an end.
Founded in 756 by the fugitive Umayyad prince Abd-al-Rahman
after the massacre of his royal family in Damascus with his
descendant Abd-al-Rahman III proclaiming himself to
caliph [in 929], this impressive reign came to an end in 1031. [135]
The end of an epoch !.

The fall of Moorish civilization in al-Andalus [Moorish Spain] was
about to begin.

TAIFA’S/RECONQUISTA/THE BEGINNING OF THE CRUSADES

The great Reign of Cordoba desintegrated in isolated city States,
the socalled Taifa’s [136] and in the North of al-Andalus [where from
the beginning there were strongholds of Christian kingdoms, which survived
partially thanks to their mountainous strongholds], christian
troops flooded over al-Andalus, waging a war of scorched earth.[137]

Following that, the desintegrated muslim territories became tributary
States to the christian Kingdoms [on the blackmail
principle : ’’I will not destroy your land, if
you pay me’’] [138]
Historians tell us, that for one century [the 11th], due to
this tribute [blackmail] system, the whole christian Spain
lived at the expense of muslim Spain ! [139]

So :
From the 11 untill the 14th century [ultimately ending with
the fall of the Kingdom of Granada in the end of the 15th century],
al-Andalus was under christian attack, the socalled Reconquista [140]
a desasterous war of destruction, but also [in modern terms] a war
of liberation against the Moorish occupation !

Ironically enough :
When the tensions between christians and muslims [keep
in mind, that m,any ethnic Spanish people, former Visigoths,
were conversed to Islam too !] grew nearly unbearable, the great
flow of civilization took place, after the conquest of Toledo !
[141]

THE CRUSADES !/READERS !
It is also very important you keep in mind, that the christian attacks
on al-Andalus, after the crashing of the Kingdom of Cordoba,
coincided with the beginning of the Crusades, in 1095.
From that flow of religious wars on the Holy Land, the Reconquista
derived the justification for the attacks, enjoying the approval
of the Pope. [142]

HELP OF MAROCCO/THE ALMORAVIDS
AL-ANDALUS CRUSHED BETWEEN TO EXTREMES

To fight against the christian invaders [or liberation fighters,
you may choose, readers], the weak desintegrated city states
[after the fall of the Kingdom of Cordoba, you remember ?],
asked help from North-Africa, coming from troops
from Morocco.
They were nomads from the deserts, newly conversed to
the Islam, with a fearful fighting reputation, the socalled
Almoravids. [143]
But except for their fighting spirit, they were religious
fundamentalist, who didn’t like the al-Andalus society at all !

They were suspicious of the scientific collaboration between
christians, Jews and muslims and wanted to ’’purify’’
the Islam, bringing back ’’basic Islamic values’’, as they saw it.

Soon, the remaining rulers of Al-Andalus felt crushed between
the christian invaders of the North and the Almoravid helpers
from the South.
The al-Andalus society desintegrated further in corruption
and confusion.
Christian mercenaries would fight on both sides.

There came a situation of variying alliances, on both sides and
a powerful christian King in the North would give military
aid to a weak muslim King, in exchange for.......tributes again.

Al-Andalus was extorted further......[144]
See under note 145 an overview of the main Christian and
Moorish Kingdoms in al-Andalus.

SWAN SONG/
LAST STRONGHOLD/THE KINGDOM OF GRANADA

Desintegration, desintegration, desintegration......
In 1236 Cordoba, the ancient capital of al-Andalus,
fell, followed by Valencia and Sevilla. [146]
Untill in 1250, only the Kingdom of Granada survived ! [147]
And despite of the fact, that it was a weak Kingdom, with
internal strife and factually a tributary State of the christian
Kingdoms in the North [148], it held its ground untill it was
conquered in 1492 by the reyes catolicos, Ferdinand and Isabella.
[149]

Aftermath.....

As all ’’aftermaths’’, the aftermath was dramatic, resulting in the
thourough and ultimate expulsion of the whole Muslim
population of al-Andalus.
The whole ’’Moorish’’ population......[150]
Also the Jewish population was expelled....[151]
As you see, I have put Moorish between ’’
You know why
And why it is so ironic ?

Because most of those expelled muslims were ethnic Spanish
people [descended from the old Visigoths etc], who had been
conversed to Islam, ...... [152]

But whoever they were, a human tragedy, the greatest
ethnic cleansing operation in Europe.

So :
This was the end of the 700 Moorish rule in al-Andalus
[Muslim Spain], bringing great civilization to al-Andalus, from the fall
of Alexandria in 641, which opened the Greek classics for
the muslim Arab conquerors, translating them in
Arabic and added Indian/Persian/Arab and other
Eastern knowledge, and ultimately brought those wisdoms
to al-Andalus [Spain]

To the fall of Toledo [in 1085, reconquered by the christian armies],
which opened the Greek-Arab-Eastern wisdom to the
European scholars, laying the foundation for
the Renaissance. [153]

I REPEAT AND REPEAT THIS ARAB TRANSMISSION OF
CIVILIZATION TO EUROPE, BECAUSE IT IS SO OFTEN
NEGLECTED !

END OF THE JOURNEY

Readers !
I have travelled with you to the past again !
This time not to Medieval England of the Wars of the
Roses [154], but to al-Andalus, Medieval Spain, ruled
by the Moors, who brought a high civilization to Europe.

Direct cause :
A silly remark of Kathryn Warner in her [appreciated by
me, make no mistake !] Blog ’’EdwardthesecondBlogspot’’,
about the impossibility of ’’Arabic features’’ in Queen Isabella
of France, wife to King Edward II and mother of King Edward III.
[155]
See for my comment on her remarks, direct below

But that matters not, because it gave me the opportunity to
make this historical trip with you, from 2017 to al-Andalus
[711-1492], from the great Arabic Muslim Caliphate, through
the lands of North Africa, to Spain and the cultural
influence on the rest of Europe, leading to the
Renaissance.

It was my pleasure to share this with you.

I hope you enjoyed it as I did.

I will travel with you to the past another time again.

Thanks for accompanying me.
You were nice companions !

Astrid Essed

MY COMMENT ON KATHRYN WARNER

EDWARDTHESECONDBLOGSPOT
EDWARD II : BOOK REVIEW : ISABELLA AND THE STRANGE
DEATH OF EDWARD II
23 JUNE 2013

http://edwardthesecond.blogspo t.nl/2013/06/book-review- isabella-and-strange-death. html

ISABELLA’S ARABIC FEATURES, NOT UNLIKELY SINCE
HER FATHER’S AND MOTHER’S SPANISH DESCENT

Dear Mrs Warner

You wrote :
’’’The chroniclers attest to her loveliness, to her beautiful blonde hair, which she inherited from her father, Philip le Bel, and her slightly arabic [sic] features from her mother Johanna of Navarre’’
......
’’The colour of Isabella’s hair is not stated anywhere ; neither are her ’slightly arabic’, written with a small ’a’ for some weird reason, features, whatever ’slightly Arabic features’ may be and how they came to exist in a woman, Joan of Navarre, who was of mostly French and northern European, partly Spanish, origin. ’’

I couldn’t disagree with you more :
Because, since Isabella’s mother, Joan of Navarre, is partly of
Spanish descent, it is highly likely, she could have inherited
slightly arabic features.
As a Medieval historian you know, that the Moors ruled Spain
from 711 untill 1492 and it is impossible, that there is no mixture
of [arabic/Berber] DNA between the original [Visigoth]
Spanish populations and the Moors, with such a long a ruling period.
Besides, scientific researchs have confirmed it
See

’’
The Spanish population may harbor some African-related admixture representing a fourth wave of migration into Europe, but affecting Spain much more than the other groups. The Spanish population shows an African admixture of 14.8% (12.6% Mozabite and 2.2% Mbuti/Yoruba), confirming that gene flow from Sub-Saharan or North African populations has occurred in the Spanish sample.[56]’’

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ African_admixture_in_Europe

Besides :
Isabella could have inherited the arabic features also from
her father’s side, since Philip IV of France’s mother was a Spanish princess, Isabella of Aragon.

Kind greetings/Astrid Essed/The Netherlands

SEE FOR NOTES

https://www.astridessed.nl/the-moorish-rule-in-medieval-spainhow-the-moors-brought-civilization-to-europe/

OR

http://community.dewereldmorgen.be/blog/astridessed/2017/05/12/the-moorish-rule-in-medieval-spainhow-the-moors-brought-civilization-to-europe


posté le 13 mai 2017  par Astrid Essed  Alerter le collectif de modération à propos de la publication de cet article. Imprimer l'article
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