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As'hdb (companions)— Tdbi's (followers)— Al-mun eydhir— Han sh— lb n Rabah— 'Abdullah Ibn 
Yczid— Hayyan— Al-mugheyrah— Hayat Ibn Reja— 'Iyadh Ibn 'Okbah— Spoils found at the time 
of the conquest— Misappropriated by the conquerors— Zoreyk— Zeyd Ibn Kassed— Abu Zor'ah— 
Mohammed Ibn Aus— 'Abdu-r-rahman Ibn Shamasah— Bekr Ibn Saw adah— 'Abdullah Ibnu-1- 
mugheyrah — Mansur Ibn Khozamah — Abu-1-hasan Ibn 'Othman 


Tarik— The sons of Wittiza— Mugheyth Ar-n'imi— His adventure with a Gothic princess— Goes 
to the East— Returns to Andalus, and settles therein— Ayiib Ibn Habib— 'Abdu-1-jabbar Ibn Abi 
Salmah— 'Abdullah Ibn Sa'fd— Habib Ibn Abi 'Obeydah— Haywah Ibn Mulabis— 'Othman Ibn 
Abi 'Abdah— 'Abu-s-sabah Al-yahssobi— Abii Zor'ah Ash - sham i—ZeyM Ibn An-nabigbah . 13 

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CHAP. III. : -v ' ; : 

Arabian tribes settling in Andalus— 'A dna'n— Beni Hashim— Beni Umeyyah— Makhzum— Fehr 

— Kenanah— Hudheyl— Teym— Dhobbah— Kays Aylan— Thakif— Rabi'ah— Ayad— Kahtta'n— 

Arabs of Yemen— Hostile to the Beni Modhar— Azd— Ansar— Khazrej—Aus — Ghafek— Hamdan— 

Mad' haj — Tayy— M orad— * Ans — Bar rah— ' A'milah — Khauldn— Ma'afer —Lakhm— Jodham— Kin- 

dah— Toiib— Khatha'm— The sons of Himyar— Dhu-ro'ayn— Dhu-assbah— Yahssob— Hawazen— 
Kodha'ah — Huse^n — Kelb — Hadhra-maut — Salman • • 

_ v . ^i 

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'Abdu-l-'aziz left as governor of Andalus— Marries Roderic's widow—Is put to death— Succeeded ._:._ 
by Ayub— Al-horr— As-samh appointed— Is killed in battle— Succeeded by 'Abdu-r-rahman ^A|-r.C 
ghafeki— Appointment of 'Anbasah— Rising of Pelayo— Death of Anbasah— 'Odro-ah is a^pbWtld- : 
by the army— Replaced by Yahya Ibn S aim ah— Arrival of Hodheyfah— 'Okbah appointed by the 
Wali of Africa— Invades the country of the Franks— Is succeeded by 'Abdu4-malek . 

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General rising of the Berbers in Africa— Kolthum is sent against them— Is defeated and replaced :„..: ■ ~. : ; "__j; 
by Hondhalah-^The Berbers of Andalus rise against the Arabs— They defeat 'Abdu^-malek-^The ; -.._:■ ■.- ..[-^ -^ ^ 

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Syrians under Balj come to his assistance— They revolt against him— They take him prisoner— Put 
him to death— The sons of 'Abdu-1-malek march against Balj— Balj is killed in the engagement— 
The Syrians appoint Tha'lebah— Their wars with the Berbers —Arrival of Abu-1-khattar-Is defeated, 
and taken prisoner-Makes his escape— Tbuab ah' s nomination confirmed by the Willi of Africa- 
Battle of Shekundah— Death of Abu- 1-kh attar— The grandsons of Wittiza—Yusuf Al-fehri is 
appointed by the army— Several chiefs resist his authority— He defeats them in succession— Chro- 
nology of the governors of Andalus 










Overthrow of the dynasty of Umeyyah— Death of Merwan, their last Khalif— 'Abdu-r-rahman 
Ibn Wawiyah takes to flight— Is pursued by the emissaries of As -seffah— Arrives in Eastern 
Africa— Evades the search of the governor— "Wanders through the country— Sends his freedman 
Bedr to Andalus— A party is formed in his favour— The conspirators communicate their plans to 
As-samit— Answer made by that chieftain— The tribes of Modbar and Rabi'ah refuse to join them— 
'Abdu-r-rahman's. party is daily strengthened— He embarks for Andalus— Lands at Almunecar— 
Preparations of Yusuf— Desertions in his camp— 'Abdu-r-rahman marches to Cordova— Gains the 
battle of Musarah— Enters the capital— Starts in pursuit of Yusuf— Obliges him to capitulate 




* - 


'Abdu-r-rahman invites the Beni Umeyyah to settle in Andalus— Names of those who left the 
East— Rebellion of Yusuf— His defeat and death— As- samil poisoned by 'Abdu-r-rahman's order— 
Ibn Mughith invades, Andalus— Is defeated and put to death— Rebellion of the Yemenites— Heroic 
act oe&du-i-niaiefc^nspiracy against 'Abdu-r-rahman discovered— Execution of his nephew 
Al-mugheyrah— 'Abdu-r-rahman prepares to invade Syria— Rebellion of the Fatemi— of Hayyat 
Ibn Mulabis— of Al-huseyn Ibn Yahya, governor of Saragossa— of Hasan Ibn 'Abdi-l-'aziz— 
'Abdu-r-rahman takes Berbers into his pay-Success of the Christians— Charlemagne asks for 
peace-Building of the Rissafah-of the great mosque -Character of 'Abdu-r-rahman-His liberality 
—His wit and eloquence-His ingratitude towards Bedr, Abu 'Othman, Khaled, and Temam— 
Hajibs of 'Abdu-r-rahman— Councillors— Katibs— Kadis— Death of 'Abdu-r-rahman . 



ii._ _■-_-_ 

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Accession of Hisham— His interview with an astrologer—His justice— Liberality— Wise adminis- 
tration—Rebellion of Suley man— Taking of Narbonne— Wars with the infidels— Expedition to 
Galieia-^-To Alava— Rebuilding of the bridge of Cordova— Several Theologians leave Spain for the 
Eait^They meet Malik Ibn Ans— Death of Hisham— Al-hakem ascends the throne— His uncles 
'rebei r a|ain^> him— Taking of Barcelona by the Franks— Wars with tbe Galicians— Revolt at 
CordoV^Exemplkry chastisement of the rebels— Death of Suleyman— Wars with the Christians 
^Defeat dfth&Frahk^of tb.e Galicians —Dreadful famine— Death of Al-hakem— His government 
— RespecHor the learned .: ... - 




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Accession of 'Abdu-r-rahman II.— Invasion of Galicia-of Alava-Defeat of Alfonso -'Abdur- 
rahman marches against the G alici an S -Invasion of Cerdagne -Death of Garcia of Navarre- 
Taking and destruction of Leon-Greek ambassadors arrive in Cordova- Account of Yahya Al- 
ghazzal-Piratical expeditions of the Northmen-Arrivals from the East-Account of Zaryab the 
singer-His reception-He becomes a favourite of 'Abdu-r-rahman- Improves the lute-Death of 
Yahya Ibn Yahya Al-leythi-of 'Abdu-1-malek Ibn Habib-Their labours in introducing the- sect 
of Malik-Death of 'Abdu-r-rahman-Revenues of Andalus under his reign-H.s passion for 
women-His adventure with Tarub -Accession of Mohammed I.-His ws with the Christmns- 
with the rebels of Toledo -Earthquake in Cordova-Death of Mohammed-His son Al-mundhir 
ascends the throne-h killed in battle with 'Omar Ibn Hafs sun-Succeeded by his brother Abdullah 
—Death of 'Abdullah ' 




Accession of 'Abdu-r-rahman-Invasion of Galicia-of Navarre-of Alava-Theuda, Queen of 
Navarre-Battle of Al-handik-Defeat of the Moslems -Ample revenge taken by 'Abdu-r-rahman 
-Christian nations court his friendship- Greek ambassadors arrive in Cordova-Other embassies 
-Reception of the Greek embassy-Conspiracy against 'Abdu-r-rahmans life detected-Execufaon 
of his son 'Abdullah-Conquests in Africa-Death of 'Abdu-r-rahman— Revenue, of Andalus under 
his reign-Buildings erected by him-Assumes the title of Khali f- Character of 'Abdu-r- rah man- 
Anecdote of his justice— Account of Mundhir Al-bolutti-of Kasim Ibn Asbagh— His H&jib and 
Wizirs — Present made to An-nasir * .-.--- 

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Accession of Al-hakem II.— Ceremonies attending his proclamation— Appointment of a Hajib— 
Al-hakem's wars with the Christians— Piratical incursions of the Northmen— Ordono IV; visits 

Cordova— Preparations made by the Khalif for his reception— Ordono introduced to the royal 
presence— His address to Al-hakem— The Khalif s answer— Arrival of ambassadors from Catalonia 
—and from Navarre— The Countess of Castile arrives at court— Transactions in Africa— Settlers in 
Andalus under his reign— Al-hakem's love of science— His passion for books— Library founded by 
him— Notice of literary men living at his court— Character of Al-hakem— His death . . . 



Accession of Hisham II.— Conspiracy in favour of his uncle Al-mugheyrah detected— Execution 
of Al-mugheyrah— Origin of Al- m an sur— Administration of Ja'far Al -m us' hafi— Intrigues of Al- 
mansur— His alliance with Ghalib— who is appointed Hajib— Al-mus'hafi ialls into disgrace— Is 
imprisoned and put to death— Al-mansi'ir's disagreement with Ghalib— Death of that : chief-- 
Al-mansi'ir seizes the treasures of Hisham— Takes Berbers into his pay— Builds himself a castle- 
Usurps the royal power— Campaigns of Al-mansiir against the Christians of Andalus— Destruction 
of Leon— Transactions in Africa— Taking of Barcelona— Zeyri Ibn Mendd sends an embassy to 
Cordova— Visits that capital— Returns to Africa— Quarrels with Al-mansur— Is forcibly dis- 
possessed of his government— Dies in exile— Campaigns in Andalus— Invasion of Galicia— March 
of the Mohammedan army— Taking and destruction of Santiago— Death of AUmansur . ; . 

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State of literature under Hisham II.— Arrivals in Cordova— Notice of Sa'id Al-laghuwi— 
Anecdotes respecting Al-mansur— His love of justice— His attention to business— His wisdom 
and sagacity— His experience in military affairs— Other anecdotes of Al-mansur— Buildings erected 
by him 








•Abdu-1-raalek succeeds to the post of Hajib— His death— His brother 'Abdu-r-rahman is pro- 
claimed—He prevails upon Hisham to choose him for his successor— A conspiracy is formed against 
'Abdu-r-rahman— who is assassinated— Mohammed Ibn 'Abdi-1-jabbar is proclaimed under the 
name of Al-muhdi— The Berbers revolt against him— They are expelled from Cordova— They 
proclaim Suleyman— Defeat Al-muhdi— Take possession of the capital— Suleyman is defeated by 
Al-muhdi— Restoration of Hisham— Cordova taken by the Berbers-Massacre of its inhabitants— 
Origin of the Beni Hammdd— 'All Ibn Hammud revolts against Suley man— Defeats him, and puts 
him to death— 'All is proclaimed at Cordova— His exemplary justice— He becomes a tyrant— Assas- 
sination of 'All— His brother Al-kasim is elected by the army— Takes possession of the government 
—Proclamation of Al-murtadhi, of the house of Umeyyah— He is betrayed and put to death . 



Yahya, the son of 'AH, revolts against his uncle— Marches to Cordova— Takes possession of that 
capital— The Berbers desert his cause— Al-kasim regains possession of Cordova— The people rise 
against him, and expel him from the city— Al-kasim goes to Seville— The inhabitants declare 
against him, and shut their gates— He takes refuge in Xerez— Falls into the hands of his nephew 
—Is sent prisoner to Malaga— Al-mustadh'her, of the house of Umeyyah, is proclaimed at Cordova- 
He is put to death, and succeeded by Al-mustakfi [Mohammed III.]— Yahya marches to Cordova, 
and takes it— The citizens proclaim Hisham Al-mu'tadd, of the house of Umeyyah— They depose 
him— Death of Yahya ' * . ' 



Ahdalus divided into petty kingdoms—Kings of Malaga, of the family of Idris— Kings of 
Algesiras— of Granada— Cordova— Seville— Toledo— Saragossa— Badajoz— Valencia— Murcia— 
Almeria — The Balearic Islands , 


- iS 

' r CHAP. V. 

*****■■ Orighjofthe Asturian kingdom— Progress of the Christian arms— Taking of Toledo by Alfonso 
VL--Cori(ruei of Sancho I. of Aragon— Battle. of Paterna— Taking of Barbastro— Massacre of 
■ the inhabitarit^Exeesses committed by the Christians— Barbastro retaken by the Moslems- 
Ambitious projects of Alfonso—His insolent request— Al-mu'tamed puts to death his ambassador— 
'',:■ Alfonso prepares to revenge the outrage— Marches against Seville, and besieges it— Al- mu'tamed 

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decides on calling Yusuf to his aid— Sends him an embassy— Account of Yi'isuf Ibn Tashef in— His 
negotiation with the rulers of Andalus— His answer to the ambassadors of Al-mu'tamed 




Yi'isuf crosses the Strait— Marches to Seville— Preparations of Alfonso— His dream— His 
message to Yiisuf— March of the Mohammedan army— Arrival at Badajoz— Ytisuf's letter to 
Alfonso— The Christian king tries to deceive the Moslems— His plans known and disconcerted— 
His attack upon Al-mu'tamed's camp— Perilous situation of that monarch— Yusuf marches to his 
aid— Extricates him from his danger— Takes and plunders the Christian camp— Alfonso is wounded 
in the thigh— Flees the field of battle— Dies of sorrow and disappointment— Yiisuf visits Seville- 
Is magnificently entertained by the king of that city— The Almoravides evince a disposition to 
remain in Andalus — Advice given to Al-mu'tamed — Yusuf's departure for Africa 


_* - 




Yiisuf again crosses over to Andalus— Lays siege to Toledo— Deprives 'Abdullah Ibn Balkin of 
his dominions— His generals subdue the rest of Andalus— Seyr, the Almoravide, attacks the King 
of Saragossa— Takes the castle of Roda— Dethrones the Kings of Murcia and Almeria — Puts, to 
death Ibn Al-afttas, King of Badajoz— Preparations against Al-mu'tamed— Al-mu'tamed besieged 
in Seville— Implores the aid of Alfonso— Taking of Seville by the Almoravides— Al-mu'tamed is 
conveyed a prisoner to Africa— His son 'Abdu-1-jabbar revolts in Andalus— Is killed in the attempt 
—Death of Al-mu'tamed— Death of Yusuf Ibn Tashef Jn— Accession of 'All— His campaigns -with 
the Christians of Andalus— Taking of Saragossa by the Aragonese— 'Ali returns to Andalus— 
Alfonso I. invades Andalusia— Arrives before Granada— The Christians of Granada transported to 
Africa — 'Ali goes to Andalus the fourth time — His death 

■_■ __ 

- A" 


_ j 



Accession of Tashefin Ibn 'Ali— His wars with the Almohades— His death— Conquests of the K 
Christians— Formation of small kingdoms— The Almohades invade Andalus— Almeria taken by 
Alfonso II. of Castile— Cordova besieged by Alfonso— The Almohades retake Almeria— Account of 
the rebel Ibn Mardanish— 'Abdu-1-miimen crosses over to Andalus— Builds the castle of Gibraltar 
—Ibn Humushk takes by surprise the city of Granada— Is besieged by the Almohades— Makes his 
submission — Death of /Abdu-1-mtimen ■ ; 




- - .■- r. - 

Accession of Yusuf I.— Conquests of Alfonso Enriquez— Death of Ibn Mardanish— Yusuf lays 
siege to Toledo— Dies before Santarem— Is succeeded by Ya'kub Atmansur— who attacks and 
defeats the Christians— Battle of Al^rcos— Death of Ya'kub-He is succeeded by Mohammed 
An-nasir— The Moslems lose the battle of Al-'akab or Las Navas— Its fatal results— Accession of 
Yi'isuf II.— 'Abdu-1-wahed— Al-'adil— Idris Al-raamun— As-sa'id— Al-murtadhi— Al-wathik; ,~ , . 

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Account of Ibn Hud-Prophecy in his favour-Rises in the province of Murcia-Subdues the 
greater part of Andalus -Proclaims the Khalif of Baghdad-Some chiefs dispute his authonty- 
The Christians take Merida and Badajoz— Attack and conquer the island of Mallorca— The 
governor of Minorca capitulates with them-Siege and taking of Valencia by the Aragonese- 
Ferdinand III. takes Cordova 



CHAP. v. 
Origin of the Beni Nasr— Account of Mohammed Ibnu-1-ahmar— His revolt at Arjona— His 
wars with Ibn Hud-He takes possession of Granada— Attacks and defeats the Christians— Dies- 
is succeeded by Mohammed II.-His campaigns against the Christians -Death of Don Nuno de 
Lara— The Infante Don Sancho is defeated and slain-Taking ofQuesada and Alcaudete— Death of 
Mohammed II.-His son Mohammed III. succeeds him— His brother Nasr revolts against him— 
Compels him to abdicate -Ferdinand of Castile takes Gibraltar— The Aragonese besiege Almena— 
Revolt of Abvi Sa'id and his son Abu-1-walid Isma'il— The latter defeats Nasr-Forces him to 
abdicate-Battle of Elvira-Death of Don Pedro -Taking of Christian fortresses— Assassination of 




Accession of Mohammed IV.— Gibraltar recovered from the Christians— Its fortifications re- 
paired by Ami-l-hasan-The Africans put to death the King of Granada-His brother Yusuf 
succeeds him— Battle of Tar if a— Assassination of Yusuf— Accession of Mohammed V.— His half- 
brother Isma'il revolts against him-Mohammed takes refuge in Guadix-Crosses over to Africa— 
Ibnu-1-khatt'uVs account of these transactions -Isma'il is dethroned and put to death-Is suc- 
ceeded by Mohammed VI. -Assassination of the latter by Pedro, King of Castile -Mohammed V. 
recovers his kingdom— Lamentable fate of his Wizir, Ibnu-1-khattib 




Accession of Yusuf IL-Fatal predictions -Reign of Abu-1-hasan-His brother Az-zaghal pro- 
claimed at Malaga-Troubles in Castile— Rival factions in Granada -Discontent of the people— The 
Christians take Alhama— The Moslems try to retake it— Fail in the attempt— Siege of Loxa by the 
Castilians— The Granadians attack and defeat them— Revolution at Granada— The Castihans are 
defeated near Malaga— Abu 'Abdillah usurps the throne-Is defeated and taken prisoner by the 
Castilians-His uncle Az-zaghal succeeds him-Conquests of the Christians -Policy of Ferdinand 
-He besieges and takes Loxa-Abu 'Abdillah is proclaimed in the Alb ay zin-R evolution at 
Granada— Taking of Velez -Malaga— Malaga besieged and taken-Siege and taking of Baza- 
Surrender of Almeria-The Sultan Az-zaghal makes his sub mission- AM 'Abdillah summoned to 
sWender his capital-Makes preparations to defend himself-War between Abu 'Abdulah and 
& Z aghal-^Abu •Abdillah reduces some fortresses-Az-zaghal crosses over to Africa— Granada 
besieged-Surrenders to the Castilians -Terms of the capitulation -The King of Castile makes his 
entrance into the Alhambra-Ultiraate fate of Abu 'Abdillah-The capitulations are violated-The 
Moslems compelled to embrace the Christian religion -Their revolt in the Alpuxarras—Therr 
feigned conversion—Their ultimate expulsion . . - 



Notes and Illustrations 

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Appendix A. 

Extracts from the historical work entitled "Traditions of Commandment and Government," re- 
lating to the murder of 'Abdu-l-'aziz. See vol. i. App. E. p. 1, et seq. 

How 'Abdu-l-'aziz, son of Musa Ibn Nosseyr, was put to death in Andalus by order of the 

Khalif Suleyman . ' 

How the head of 'Abdu-l-'aziz was brought to Suleyman 

An account of the governors of Andalus after Musa and his son 'Abdu-l-'aziz . 
How the massacre of the Beni Umeyyah came to pass . . ■ ■ 



Appendix B. 

Extracts from the Jadtiwatu-hrnuMaMs ft Tdrikhi rejalU-andalus (a sparkle of fire from the steel 
on the history of the illustrious men of Andalus), by Abu 'Abdillah Mohammed Ibn Abi Nasr 
Fatuh Ibn 'Abdillah Al-azdi Al-homaydi, of Cordova. (Bibl. Bodl. Hunt. 464.) 

Reign of Mohammed, son of Hisham, surnamed Al-muhdi 

Reign of Suleyman Ibn Al-hakem Al-musta'in 

Reign of 'Ali Ibn Hammiid, surnamed An-nasir 

Reign of Al-kasim Ibn Haromud, surnamed Al-mamun 

Reign of Yahya Ibn 'Ali, surnamed Al-mu'tali 

Reign of 'Abdu-r-rahmmi Ibn Hisham Al-mustadh'her 

Reign of Mohammed Ibn 'Abdi-r-rahman, surnamed Al-mustakfi 

Reign of Hisham Ibn Mohammed, surnamed Al-mu'tadd 

Sultans of the family of Idris 

W * ■ 







Appendix C. 
Extracts from the historical work entitled Kitdbu-Uktifd ft akhhdri-Ukholafd (the book of suf - 
ciency on the history of the Khalifs), containing a concise account of the history of Moham- 
medan Spain, from the death of Al-hakem Al-mustanser-billah, the ninth Sultan of Cordova, 
till the arrival of the Almohades 

Appendix D. 

Extracts from the history of the Berbers by Abu Zeyd 'Abdu-r-rahman Ibn Khaldun (Brit. Mus. 
No. 9575), respecting the conquests and settlements of the Al-muwahhedun (or Almohades) 

in Spain. 

An account of the conquest of Andalus by the Almohades, and the events attending thereon 

The Almohades subdue the rest of Andalus • • -"■ ' 

Account of Ibn Mardanish, who revolted [against the Almohades] in the eastern province 
of Andalus . . ■ • • • ' * -..-■• 

Reign of the Khalif Yiisuf, son of 'Abdu-1-raumen 

Civil war in [the mountains of] Gomarah 

Events in Andalus 

i * 


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of Al 


Abu Ya'kub's assiduity in the prosecution of the holy war 
Reign of his son, Ya'kub Al-mansur 
Account of the origin and rising of Ibn Ghaniyyah . 
His adventures in the holy war .... 
Reign of An-nasir, son of Al-mansur 

Conquest of Mallorca 

An-nasir's high deeds in the prosecution of the holy war 

Revolt of Ibnu-1-faras ....•• 

Reign of Al-mustanser, son of An-nasir 

Reign of 'Abdu-1-wahed Al-makhlu', the deposed brother 

Reign of Al-'adil, son of Al-mansur 

Reign of Al-mamun, son of Al-mansur . 

The people of Valencia, Murcia, and the eastern provinces of Andalus, proclaim the Sultan 

Abu Zakariyya Ibn Abi Hafss, and send an embassy to him 
The inhabitants of Andalus come under the rule of the Beni Abi Hafss. Arrival at Tunis of 

messengers bringing the allegiance of the people of Seville and other great cities 

Chronological and Genealogical Tables 

tax-List of Arabic Works cited- of Spanish Words, of Arabic derivation, which occur in the 
Translation, or are explained in the Notes —Additions and Corrections . 

















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,,, Hansh-Ibn Rabat*-' Abdullah Ibn Yezid- 

MW (con.p-.Um.>-**'. (fc^T^-T^ WOUbah-Spolls found at the tune of the con 
Havvan-Al- m ugheyrah-Haya t Ita Ueja- ^" K4ss ed-Abu Zor'ah-Mohannned 

^^appropriated by the —ors-Z ^ Saw ^_, AMallah ^u-Lmugheyrah-Mau.ur 
Ibn Aus-'Abdu-r-ratavan Ibn Shamasah-Bela 
Ibn Khoztaah-Abu-1-hasan Ita 'Othman. : 

,« * - precede Boo, S w r = — »c = - - ^ 

the Modems, we P^^Tof mZ Ibn Nosseyr, aud by whose undaunted 
Moslems who came in the suite of Musa Ibn y ^ ^ ^ gp ^ 

MoslemS - , , m the as'hdh (companions) of our holy Prophet were 

It is doubtful whether any of the as hdt, lco P ^ ^ deny 

ever in Andalus. Indeed, there are not — g E**er ^ ^^ 

that any of the atW. ever set foot m tha t con y ^ ^ ^ 

the contrary, positively assert ^^^J^ the MWs entered with Musa. 
among them, and also that a constable numb ? 

I bn Nosseyr at the time of the conques , -^kd ^ q{ &e y^^m, 
Ibn Habib,* for instance, assures us that _ Al -mun ^ , ^ ^^ fa 

resided in Andalus. The same writer, who counts Mus ^_ 

dumber of the **., **- the names of*- oh, ^ ^^ ^ rf 
bthmi, Hayat Ibn Reja ^~ ^^ Musa Ibn Nosseyr, when he went 
wh om are said ^^Z^ZL Africa, and to have followed that 
to take possession ot ms goveuu B 


As'hab (CO 


.■■ r. 


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*"»■* -. . 


- * 

■. -** x 

H. .- 



[book v. 

Tdbi's (fol- 

general to the conquest of Andalus. Other writers substitute for Musa a theologian 
named AM 'Abdi-r-rahman 'Abdullah Ibn Yezid Al-jobeli 3 Al-ansari. Others again 
make their number amount to five by adding Hayyan Ibn Abi Hoblah, 4 a mauli 
(member by incorporation) of the Beni 'Abdi-d~dar, 5 who, they say, was originally 
attached to the settling army of Misr, and was afterwards dispatched to Africa by 
the Khalif 'Omar Ibn 'Abdi-l-'aziz, together with other learned theologians, that 
tney might instruct the natives of that country in the duties of the Mohammedan 
religion, which they had embraced. 

Besides the before -mentioned tdbi's, the historian Ibnu Sa'icl gives the names of 
'Abdu-r-rahman Ibn 'Abdillah Al-ghafeki, a mauli of the tribe of Koraysh, who 
was governor of Andalus from the year 110 to 115; Mohammed Ibn Aus Ibn 
Thakib 6 Al-ansari ; Zeyd Ibn Kassed As-sekseki ; Al-mugheyrah Ibn Abi Burdah 
Al-Kenani ; 'Abdullah Ibn Al-mugheyrah Al-Kenani ; 'Abdu-1-jabbar Ibn Abi 
Salmah Ibn 'Abdi-r-rahman Ibn 'Auf j Manstir Ibn Abi Khozaymah, and 'Ala Ibn 
'Othman Ibn Khattab. 

Ibnu Bashkuwal, as well as Al-hijari in his Mas' hob, makes their number amount 
to eighteen ; other writers to twenty. As to the particular place of their residence 
whilst they inhabited Andalus, very little is known with certainty ; as those writers 
who have preserved us their names and patronymics content themselves with telling 
us that they entered Andalus at the time of the invasion, and resided for some time 
in that country ; but of this more will be said when we come to treat separately of 
each of these holy men. 
Ai-muneydtur. The first in rank among the illustrious Moslems who were present at the conquest 

of Andalus was undoubtedly Al-muneydhir, who is reported to have been both the 
companion and the counsellor of the Prophet (God favour and preserve him !) . 
Ibnu-1-abbar in his Tekmilah 7 speaks of this Al-muneydhir, whom he calls Al-ifriki 
(the African), and whom he counts in the number of the as'hdb or companions of our 
holy Prophet. He says, also, that Al-muneydhir inhabited Africa proper until the 
time of the conquest of Andalus, when he entered that country in the suite of Musa 
Ibn Nosseyr. This latter fact he asserts on the authority of Mohammed Ar-rushatti 
(from Rosetta), who held it from the illustrious theologian and traditionist 'Abdu-1- 
malek Ibn Habib ; but it must also be stated that he (Ibnu-1-abbar) could adduce no 
other proof in favour of his proposition than the accounts of the two authors above 
mentioned. He adds, that Abu" 'Abdi-r-rahman Al-jobeli delivered traditions which 
he held from the mouth of this Al-muneydhir. Great obscurity hangs, likewise, 
over the places of birth and residence of this illustrious individual. Ibnu-1-abbar 
thinks that he was either born in Eastern Africa, or had resided most of his life in 
that country. Of the same opinion is Ibn 'Abdi-1-barr, 8 who in his Isti'db, or 



£ : 

_■!■ _ 
V- _ 



F- 1 



. f. 

k - 


t= - 

CHAP. I.] 


biography of the companions of the Prophet, calls him Al-muneydhir Al-ifrik, 
O h s ntertain a contrary opinion, and make him a native of Yemen ; whether from 
Mad'ha or some other district, is not stated. Of this opinion „ the historian , Al- 
^ who likewise asserts the fact of his having entered Andata.the suite 
SL Ibn Nosseyr. Ibnu Bashkuwal, quoting the histonan Ar-raz., says that he 
^ named Al-muneydhir, that is, the little ^1?^*™Z£?1 
youngest companions of the Prophet, and that Ibn Abdi-1-barr ha . P™^ 
traditional saying (which we hope is a true one) coming in a * re * ^J* 
Al-muneydhir, who held it from the very mouth of the Prophet. The ame ^ fact is 
recorded* Abu 'All Ibn As-saken in his work on the company, a weU a, by 
Ibn NatV in his biographical dictionary of the companion*, and by Al-bokhari m 
Ms larger historical work. We shall quote the words of the last-mentioned wnfcr. 
"AM Al-muneydhir, the companion of the Messenger of God (may He favour and 
« p "alert Mm 0, livid in Africa proper. He delivered many tra uional sayings 
« which he held from the Prophet himself, and of winch the following is one 
« • Whoever is content to have Allah for his master, Islam for a religion, and 
<■ Mohammed for a prophet, I will be a warrant to him that I will ^ **£. " 
■■ the hand into Paradise.' " Such are the words of Al-bokhan, who, it must be, 
remarked, calls him AU Al-muneydhir instead of Al-muneydhir. The person , how, 
Z from whom Al-bokhari held this tradition could quote no other preserved by 
that'illustrious individual, Lastly, Abu Ja'far Ibn Rashid, who not only pressed 
this tradition, but has mentioned its author in his work entitl ^^* 
(traditional sayings preserved by the companions of the Proph et), calls him A 
Lndhir, and gives him the patronymic Al-yemeni; although he does not state of 
what Dart of Yemen he was a native or a resident. 

Si:L- S «-«,-Ibnu Bashkuwal, quoting Ibn Wadhdhah * says *atJW « H-. 
only a by-name, and that the real name of this tdW was Huseyn Ibn Abddlah .and 
h^appellative "Abu 'All;" others say "Abu Rashideym" « Hansh ' c— 
Ibnu Bashkuwal, " was born in Syria, and, according to Abu Sa id Ibn Yunas m 
•■ his biography of eminent Moslems natives of Africa, Egypt, or Anda his, at a town 
•• called San'a; he followed the fortunes of 'All Ibn Abi Talib, to whose par y he 
" was addicted; fought in Africa under Ruwayki' Ibn ^'^^Jj^ 
« Andalus with Mtisa Ibn Nosseyr." He is likewise counted m the number ot 
those Arabs who assisted the son of Zubeyr in his rebellion against the Khali* 
Wu.llalek Ibn Merwan ; for, after the murder of 'All, whose friend an partisan 
he was, he retired into Egypt and joined the insurgents ; thence he went to Arabia 
and fought under the banners of Ibn Zubeyr, until he was taken prrcmer and 
brought before that Sultan, who caused him to be cast into a dungeon and loaded 


J ... 

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with irons : he at last obtained his pardon and was set at liberty. Hansh passes 
likewise for the first man who ever filled the office of tax-collector in Africa. He 
died in that country, or, according to others, at Saragossa, in the year 100. Ibn 
Habib, who mentions this tdbi' in the number of those who entered Andalus with 
Musa Ibn Nosseyr, asserts that he was the same man who, on the discovery of 
Cordova from the top of the mountain-pass called Feju-l-meydah n (the pass of the 
table), began to call the soldiers to prayer, although it was not then prayer-time : 
being asked by his companions why he summoned them at so unseasonable an hour, 
he answered, " Because prayers to the Almighty shall be heard in yonder plain until 
" the hour of the last judgment has arrived." Time, however, has shown that this 
good man's prophecy was not to be fulfilled, although this tradition has been handed 
down by a considerable number of writers. God only knows whether it rests on 
a solid foundation or not. It is mentioned by Ibn 'Asakir, who, in his history of 
the companions of the Prophet, has treated extensively of this Hansh. The same 
writer (Ibn 'Asakir) agrees in making Hansh a native of San'a, a small town of Syria, 
which, he observes, is not to be confounded with the large city of that name in 
Yemen. Ibnu-1-faradhi says that he inhabited Saragossa, where he laid the founda- 
tions 12 of the great mosque ; that he died in that city and was buried close to 
the gate of the Jews in the western part of the city ; 13 and that the people of 
Saragossa were in the habit of saying that " the honour of preserving among them 
"■the mortal remains of Hansh was sufficient for them:" to which may be added 
what Ibnu Bashkuwal says of this individual, namely, that he arranged the kiblah 
of the mosque of Elvira, and took also the level of that of the great mosque 
at Cordova, which we have fully described elsewhere as one of the wonders of the 

Others pretend that as Hansh is not quoted by Syrian traditionists, but only by 
people who inhabited Cairo, this would imply that he lived in Egypt, not in the for- 
mer country. Be this as it may, it appears certain that Hansh preserved traditions 
from the mouth of 'Abdullah son of 'Abbas, the uncle of the Prophet : the following 
is one. Hansh had a sword with a gold hilt to it : he happened once to meet 
'Abdullah, who, seeing him with it, said to him, " If thou wishest to be acceptable 
il to thy Lord, let the hilt of thy sword be made of iron, and of no other material ;" 
which advice Hansh instantly followed. They say that when 'Abdu-1-malek Ibn 
Merwan invaded Africa with Mu'awiyah Ibn Khodeyj in the year 50, he lodged 
at the house of Hansh, who repeated to him the above words of 'Abdullah Ibn 
'Abbas, and that 'Abdu-1-malek was so pleased, that when after the rebellion of Ibn 
Zubeyr, Hansh fell into his hands, as we have elsewhere related, he remembered 
him and granted his complete pardon. Ibn 'Asakir calls him simply Hansh, 

> _ 

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without stating, like Ibn Wadhdhah and the rest of the authors we have quoted, that 
his name was Huseyn, and that Hansh was a by-name. He may be right for aught 
we know, but God only is all-knowing ! 

Ibn Yunas has preserved us some account of the habits and mode of life of this 
illustrious tdbi\ which he held in a straight line from him : he says that " Whenever 
" Hansh, after partaking of his evening meal and finishing his daily occupation, 
" wished to say his nightly prayers, he used to light his lamp, and place a Koran 
by the side of his couch, and a tub of water to perform his ablutions. He would 
then rise to say his prayers in the middle of the night ; and if he felt himself 
overcome by sleep, he would sniff up water in order to rouse himself.. If in 
reciting from his Koran he made any mistake, he would take up the book, and 
refer to the passage: lastly, if a beggar came up to him and asked him for food, 
he would not cease calling to his servants to give him what he wanted until he 

saw r that he was satisfied." 

Abu Abdillah ['Alt] Ibn Rabdh AUakhmi.—Of this tdU\ Ibn Yunas in his history ibn Babtt. 
of Egypt says that he was born in the year 15 of the Hijra (beginning Feb. 20, a.d. 
733), better known as the year of Yarmuk; 14 that he was blind of one eye, 
which he lost at the naval battle of Dhatu-s-sawari, 15 wherein he fought under 
the orders of 'Abdullah Ibn Sa'id in the year 34 of the Hijra, and that at a subse- 
quent period he joined in the insurrection of the tribes of Yemen, who had settled in 
Egypt, against the Khalif 'Abdu-1-malek Ibn Merwan. After this, Ibn Rabdh became 
a great favourite with 'Abdu-l-'aziz Ibn Merwan, so that when Ummu-1-baneyn, 
daughter of that prince, was to be married to 'Abdu-1-malek Ibn Merwan, it was he 
who was charged by the father to conduct the bride to the bridegroom's dwelling. 16 
However, 'Abdu-l-'aziz being in the sequel displeased with him, he was banished the 
capital and ordered to join the army of Africa, where he remained until the time of 
the invasion of Andalus, when Musa took him into his suite. It is generally admitted 
that Ibn Rabah died in the first-mentioned country in the year 114 (beginning 
March 2, a. d. 732), or thereabouts. Ibnu Bashkuwal, citing Ibn Mu'ayn, says that 
the Egyptians used to pronounce the name of this tdbi' 'Ala or 'All, with afataba 
on the "'ayn; whilst the people of 'Irak always called him 'Oh, making his name a 
noun of the form fo'la; and that in confirmation of the above opinion they (the 
Egyptians) were in the habit of quoting the following words of his son Musa : 'Mf 
" any one call me Musa, son of 'Ola, making this word a diminutive of 'Ala, 
" I shall not consider that he alludes to me." 

Abu 'Abdi-r-rahmdn 'Abdullah Ibn Yezid Al-ma'dferf -Al-j obeli— ttmu. Bashkiiwal, .™«iiah il 
treating of this tdbi', says that he held traditions from Abu Ayub Al-ansari and ' [ 
'Abdullah Ibn 'Amru, both companions of the Prophet, and that he himself was 



^ . i-i-^-cW^-- :--^:r 

- ** - ^ 


- — J^ 

_^- ", 





[book V. 

mentioned by several eminent traditionists, who cited him as their authority. Ibn 
Yunas says that he died in Eastern Africa close upon the year 100 of the Hijra 
(beginning August 2, a.d. 718), and that he was a virtuous and benevolent man. 
There are, however, some Andalusian writers, chiefly those who were natives of 
Cordova, who assert that Abu 'Abdi-r-rahman Al-jobeli died and was buried in that 
city, and that his tomb, which might be seen in the western quarter of Cordova, was 
very much visited, and held in great veneration by the people. "Which of these 
two accounts is the true one, God only knows ! 
Hayy&t. Hayydn Ibn Abi HoUah. — Of this tdb%\ Ibnu Bashkuwal says that he was a 

mauli (member by incorporation) of the illustrious tribe of Koraysh ; and that his 
surname was Abii-n-nadhar. Of the same opinion is Abu-l-'arab Mohammed Ibn 
Temim, 17 who, in his history of Eastern Africa, states that he had heard Farat Ibn 
Mohammed say that when the Khalif 'Omar Ibn 'Abdi-l-'aziz decided upon sending 
to Africa some men of known piety and learning to instruct the Berbers in the 
duties of the Mohammedan religion, Hayyan was one of the ten theologians chosen 
for that mission. Hayyan used to record traditions handed down to him by 
'Amru Ibnu-l-'ass, 'Abdullah Ibn 'Abbas, and Ibn 'Omar, (may God he pro- 
pitious to them all !). According to some writers, Hayyan died in Africa in the 
year 122 (beginning 6th Dec. a. d. 739) ; according to others, in 125 (beginning 
3rd Nov. a. d. 740). Not one of the above-mentioned writers says a word 
about the residence of this tdbi' in Andalus ; but Ibnu-1-faradhi relates that 
Hayyan went to that country with Musa Ibn Nosseyr, whom he accompanied in 
all his expeditions until he arrived at a fortress called Karkashunah (Carcassonne), 
where he died. " I was told," continues that historian, " by Abu Mohammed Ath- 
*' theghri, that Carcassonne is a city distant five-and-twenty miles 18 from Barcelona, 
" and that when the Moslems conquered it, they found a magnificent church, called 
" by the Christians Santa Maria, wherein were seven pillars of massive silver ; so 
" beautifully wrought, that no human eye ever saw the like of them ; so huge were 
" their dimensions, that a man could hardly encompass one within his arms 

" extended." 
Ai-mughcyrah. Al-mugheyrah Ibn Abi Burdah Nashitt Ibn Kendnah Al-'adhH.—We have no other 

account of this tdbi' than that preserved by Al-hijari in his great historical work, 
namely, that he held traditions from the mouth of Abu Horeyrah (may God be 
favourable to him!), and that he himself was cited by Malik Ibn Ans in his great 
collection of traditions entitled Mowattd. Al-mugheyrah is likewise slightly men- 
tioned by Al-bokhari in his larger work. 19 Ibnu Bashkuwal says that he invaded 
Andalus with Musa Ibn Nosseyr, although it would appear that that general 
dismissed him from his army. 

_ -/ 



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JW* Iftft figrf At-temimi.-Accov&mz to Ibn Habib, this tdbC entered Andalus in g£ n- 
the suite of Musa Ibn Nosseyr. The statement is corroborated by Ibnu Bashkuwal 
in a compilation of his entitled " Admonition and explanation respecting those 
amons the tdbi's who entered Andalus,"- as well as by Ibnu-1-abbar, who professes 
to derive his information from one Abu-1-khattab Ibn Wajib, who held it from the 
mouth of that tdbV himself. It must, however, be observed, that be (Ibnu-1-abbar) 
calls him Reja Ibn Hayat, a name totally different from that given him by Ibn 
Habib. Which of the two was his true name, God only knows ! ^ 

'Iytih Ibn 'Okbah AUfehri^-^ was one of the tdbi's most renowned for virtue $£» 
and sanctity of life. He is counted by Ibn Habib among those pious and honest 
Moslems, four in number, who in the partition of the spoil made at the time of the 
conquest of Andalus were righteous with the men, and took no more than their own 
legitimate share of the plunder. As the above tradition, which Ibn Habib held from 
Ibn Rabi'ah, has been preserved by the historian Ibnu Bashkuwal, we shall transcribe 
it at length. « I was told," says Ibn Habib, « by Ibn Rabi'ah, < All the people who 
« came to the conquest of this country (Andalus) were guilty of rapine and m- 
» justice towards their comrades, by abstracting some portion of the spoil, and not 
« sharing it with them. Four men only, who belonged to the illustrious class of 
« the tdbi's, are exempt from this charge: Hansh As-san'ani, Abu 'Abdi-r-rahman 
< ( Al-iobeli, Ibn Shamasah, and 'lyadh Ibn 'Okbah.' " 

We have treated elsewhere of the immense spoil found by the Moslems in some of %>£* 
the cities of Andalus, but chiefly in Toledo, Cordova, Seville, and Merida, which, as «■** 
before mentioned, had been at different epochs the places of residence of the Gothic 
kings ; but, since we have touched upon this subject, we cannot pass over in silence 
the accounts of some trustworthy men who were present at the conquest, or who lived 
very near the time, and whose words have been preserved and handed down to pos- 
terity through a continuous chain of doctors. Al-leyth Ibn Sa'id, 22 after enume- 
rating the rich spoil of every description, and the large masses of gold and silver, 
which fell to the lot of some of the Arabs who accompanied Tank and Musa to 
Andalus, says that it was a common thing for the lowest men in the army to find 
at the plunder of a city splendid robes embroidered with gold flowers, magnificent 
gold chains of exquisite workmanship, and long strings of matchless pearls, rubies, 
and emeralds. We have also read in an historical work that the plunder found by 
Tarik at the taking of Toledo, whether in money or jewels, was beyond calculation, 
and baffled all description. It is asserted that there were found among other 
precious objects one hundred and seventy diadems of the purest red gold, set in 
pearls, rubies, and every other sort of precious stone, one thousand swords for the 
king's own use, several measures 23 full of pearls, rubies, and other gems, besides 

_.>: -.-. -- 

'-£*■?'&:■* >-;-> .<--"■" "-*-.., .-- ,-. 


an immense number of massive gold and silver vases. So great were in many 

instances the eagerness for plunder and the ignorance of some of the conquerors, 

especially the Berbers, that whenever two or more warriors of this latter nation fell 

at the same time upon an article of plunder which they could not conveniently 

divide, they hesitated not to cut it in pieces and share it among themselves, whatever 

its materials or workmanship might be. In illustration of this, it is related that at 

the taking of Toledo, two Berbers found a most splendid carpet ; it was interwoven 

with gold worked in stripes, and was, besides, ornamented with chain-work of the 

purest gold. The ground of the carpet, moreover, was sprinkled with pearls, rubies, 

emeralds, and every description of costly gem. They at first carried it for a while 

between them ; but, finding it too heavy, they soon put it down, when one of them 

went to fetch a hatchet, and cut the carpet in two, one taking away the one half, 

and the other the remainder. All this, moreover, they effected quite unperceived, 

as their comrades, who were very numerous upon that occasion, were busy in 

plundering another quarter of the city. 

The same author before mentioned, and another named Yahya Ibn Sa'd, say some- 
thing about the extortions and rapine of some of the officers and soldiers engaged in 
the conquest of Andalus. They relate that a party of men, having collected together 
several valuable objects which they had concealed from their comrades, seized on 
some vessels, and set sail, to return to their homes. Scarcely however had they lost 
sight of the land, when they were assailed by a most terrific storm of wind, and they 
heard a voice which said, " my God, drown them all !" The culprits then took 
to their Korans and began to pray, but it proved of no avail to them j for the storm 
continuing with unabated fury, the ships were dashed one against another, and every 
soul on board drowned. It is not ascertained who the sufferers on this occasion 
were ; for the people of Egypt, on whom the calamity is said to have fallen, deny the 
fact altogether; and as to the Andalusians, they say that it was the conquerors 
of Sardinia who met with so signal a chastisement from the Almighty. God only 
is all-knowing ! 

Zoreyk Ibn Hakim. — This is another of the tdbi's who entered Andalus in the suite 
Df Mtisa Ibn Nosseyr. It is so related by Abu-1-hasan Ibn An-na'mah, on the 
iuthority of the Abu-1-motref 'Abdu-r-rahman [Ibn] Yusuf Ibn Ar-rafa Al-kortobi, 
n whose handwriting he read the statement. According, however, to the Hafedh 
AM-'Abdillah Al-kodha'i, Zoreyk is not mentioned either by Ibnu-1-faradhi, or by 
)ther ; writers who have given the names of the tdbi's who entered Andalus at the 
;ime, of the conquest. 

Zeyd Ibn Kdssed As-sekseki 2 * is likewise counted by Ibnu-1-abbar among the 
)dbi*s who invaded Atlaalus, and were present at the conquest. He was originally 



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from Misr, and preserved traditions delivered by 'Amra Ibnu-l-'ass. He himself 
has been cited by several doctors, in the number of whom are 'Abdu-r-rahman Ibn 
Zeyyiul Ibn An'am Al-ifnki and Ya'kub Ibn Sufyan : the latter attributes to him 
one of the traditional stories contained in the collection formed by Al-homaydi. 

Abu Zor'ah Ibn Rufi Ash-shdml— This individual is also counted by the Kadi Abu Zor-ah. 
Muhajir Ibn Thcofil in the number of the tdbi's. He left a son, named Moslemah 
Ibn Zor'ah, who cited him as his authority in several traditional sayings which he 


Mohammed Ibn Am Ibn Thdbit Al-ansdrl -According to Ibnu-1-abbar, who read jammed 

it in the handwriting of Ibn Hobeysh, this individual was also a tdti, and held 
traditions from the mouth of Abu Horeyrah, one of the companions of the Prophet. 
Abhomavdi speaks of him in these terms: "Mohammed Ibn Aus was an honest 
" and religious man, remarkable for his talents and his theological learning. He 
" commanded the Moslem fleet in the year 93 (beginning Oct. 18th, a.d. 711), 
" and was present at the conquest of Western Africa and Andalus by Musa Ibn 
" Nosseyr." Abu Said Ibn Yunas, in his history of Egypt, corroborates the above 
statement, and gives besides the names of all those doctors who held traditions from 
him ; as Al-harith Ibn Yezid and Mohammed Ibn 'Abdi-r-rahman Ibn Thauban. 
Another writer, 'Abdu-r-rahman Ibn 'Abdillah Ibn 'Abdi-l-hakem, who is also 
the author of a history of Egypt, says that Mohammed Ibn Aus was on the sea 
of Tunis in the year 102 (beginning July 11th, a. d. 720), and that when Yezid 
Ibn Abi Moslem, governor of Eastern Africa, was put to death, he was appointed by 
the army to succeed him. This happened during the Khalifate of Yezid Ibn 'Abdi-1- 
malek Ibn Merwan. Mohammed Ibn Aus is moreover reported to have held the 
government of that country until the arrival of Besher Ibn Sefwan Al-kelbi, who, 
leaving his brother Handhalah to govern Egypt in his absence, took into his own 
handsale government of the Mohammedan provinces of Eastern Africa. 

Abu 'Amru 'Abdu-r-rahmdn Ibn Shamdsah Ibn DMb M-fihrL-Ttis tdbi> held 'g**^ 
traditions from Abu Dharr, or, according to other accounts, from AM Nadhrah, a.**, 
who held them from Abu Dharr : he held them also from 'Ayeshah, the widow 
of the Prophet, from 'Amru Ibnu-l-'ass, his son 'Abdullah, Zeyd Ibn Thdbit, Abu 
Nadhrah Al-ghaffari, 'Okbah Ibn 'A'mir Al-johani, 'Auf Ibn Malik Al-ashja'i, 
Mu'awiyah Ibn Khodeyj, Moslemah Ibn Mokhlid, and Abu Raham. The above in- 
formation is borrowed from Ibn Yunas in his history of Egypt, as well as from Ibnu 
Bashkuwal, who, quoting Al-homaydi and Ibnu-1-abbar, counts him in the number 
of the tdbi's who entered Andalus. Ibn Yunas adds, that the last doctor who, m 
Egypt, received traditions from this tdbi\ was Harmalah Ibn 'Amran. < " 

Behr Ibn Sawddah Ibn Themdmah Al-jodhdml-He was surnamed Abd-th, *£»* a ; 





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themamah, and was the grandson of a companion, of the Prophet. He himself was 
a tdbi' and an eminent theologian. He preserved traditions delivered by several of 
the companions of the Prophet ; as 'Abdullah Ibn 'Amru Ibni-l-'ass, Kays Ibn Sa'd, 
Ibn 'Obadah, Sahl Ibn Sa'd As-sa'di, Sufyan Ibn Wahb Al-khaulanl, Hossan Ibn 
Samh As-sadayi, and Hiyyan. However, the name of the last-mentioned individual, 
who is said to have been one of the companions of the Prophet (may God favour and 
preserve him !), and to have been present at the taking of Misr, is differently given by 
Ad-darkattani, who writes it Hiyyan ; while Ibn Yunas is of opinion that it should 
be written Hibdn or Habdn. Be this as it may, certain it is that this Bekr pre- 
served traditions from several of the ashdb (companions of the Prophet), as Abu 
Nur Al-fahemi, Abu 'Omeyrah Al-mazeni ; and, among the tdbi's (followers), 
As-sa'id Ihnu-1-musib, 'Orwah Ibnu-z-zubeyr, Rabi'ah Ibn Kays Al-hameli, Abu 
'Abdi-r-rahman Al-jobeli, Zeyd Ibn Na'im Al-hadhrami, Sufyan Ibn Hani AI- 
jeyshani, Sa'id Ibn Semar As-sebayi, &c. 

There are various opinions respecting the country where this tdbi' lived and died. 
Ibn Yiinas is of opinion that he died in Eastern Africa during the Khalifate of 
Hisham Ibn 'Abdi-1-malek. Other writers assert that he was drowned in the 
straits, in crossing over to Andalus, in the year 128 of the Hijra (beginning Oct. 2, 
a. d. 745). Abu Bekr 'Abdullah Ibn Mohammed Al-kayrwani Al-maleki, in his 
history entitled Riyddhu-n-nofus (the bowers of the mind), says, that Abu-th- 
themamah was one of the ten theologians sent to Africa by the Khalif 'Omar Ibn 
'Abdi-l-'aziz, for the purpose of teaching the Berbers the duties of the Mohammedan 
religion. Al-homaydi counts him in the number of the tdbi's who entered An- 
dalus ; Ibnu-1-faradhi, however, does not. 

'Abdullah Ibnu-Umugheyrah AUhendni — This individual, who was bound by oath 
Hugheyrah. to the tribe of 'Abdu-d-dar, is mentioned by Abu Mohammed Al-assili (from 

Arsilla) among the tdbi's who entered Andalus at the time of its conquest by the 
Moslems; at least, such is the statement given by Ibnu Bashkiiwal in his work 
entitled ' Admonition and Explanation,' &c, as derived from the above-mentioned 
author. Ibnu-1-abbar, however, declares that he never met with his name among 
those of the tdbi's who settled in Andalus ; and Abu Sa'id Ibn Yunas counts him 
in the number of those who visited Eastern Africa, not Andalus. He adds, that he 
held traditions from Sufyan Ibn Wahb Al-khaulani. 

Besides the above-mentioned individuals, the historians of Andalus have preserved 
to us the names of three persons who lived in more modern times, but who, having 
lived to an extraordinary age, are supposed to have been on intimate terms with the 
tdbi's, and to have conversed with them. But in this, as in many other things, we 
are inclined to think that the writers of that country have been led away by their 




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CHAP. I.] 



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patriotism. Ibnu-1-abbar, for instance, does not hesitate to count among the 
Andalusian tdbi's one 'Abdullah, who showed himself in Andalus in very late 
times, and who is said to have lived to a most unusual age, since he pretended 
to have conversed with some of the tdbi's. Ibnu-1-abbar adds, that according to a 
written statement of Al-kaysi, which he had in his possession, the pretended tdbi' 
communicated traditions to Abu Mohammed Ased Al-johani. 

The same observation may be applied to Ibnu Bashkiiwal, who counts in the 
number of the tdbi's a black man named Mansur Ibn Khozamah, 25 who lived inMajj&iim 
Cordova towards the year 330 (beginning Sept. 25, a. d. 941). That writer 
pretends to have read in a collection of allegations formed by the Sheikh Ahd 
'Abdillah Mohammed Ibn 'Abdillah Ibn 'A'yed the following statement of facts : 
Among the men remarkable for their longevity who are known to have resided in 
this country (Andalus), I may count Mansur Ibn Khozamah, who arrived among - 
us in the year 330 ; so I find it asserted by Al-hakem Al-mustanser-billah, son 
" of 'Abdu-r-rahman An-nasir, Sultan of Cordova, who in one of his works, which, 
written in his own hand, is preserved in the library (of this city), has the following 
words, — ' I received instruction from a black man from Sudan, who came to 
Cordova in the year 329 (beginning 5th Oct. a. d. 740), and who styled himself 
Mansur, son of Khozamah, the freedman of Mohammed, the Lord's messenger. 
" He himself told me that he had lived in the time of the Khalif 'Othman Ibn 
" 'AfFan, had been with 'Ayeshah on the * day of the camel;' 26 hall also 
been present at the battle of Sefayn ; and, lastly, that his father Khozamah had 
been a liberated slave of the Prophet- Mansur left Andalus the ensuing year, 
330, and returned to Africa.' " 
But all this statement has no foundation whatever, as the illustrious tradi- 
tionist Ibn Hajar clearly proves in one of his works : (may God forgive him for 
writing upon this subject what I am going to transcribe !). " All this account 
" of Ibn Khozamah is an absurdity, and a tissue of lies from beginning to end. Of 
" the same stamp seems to be a tradition which I find recorded in the writings of 
" Andalusian authors, purporting that Abii-1-hasan Ibn 'Othman Ibn Khattab^;^^ 
" better known by the surname of Abu-d-donya, had lived to an extraordinary age, 
" so as to have been a friend of 'Alt Ibn Abi Talib, as likewise of the most illustrious 
" among the companions of the Prophet, of all of whom he used to converse 
"with the people, describing their figure, manners, and countenance; that he 
" also saw 'Ayeshah, the widow of the Prophet; and, lastly, that he arrived in 
" Cordova under the Khalifate of An-nasir, and conversed with Al-hakem Al- 
" mustanser-billah, then the appointed heir to the throne, which he occupied after 
" the death of his father; that in one of these conversations he met with Abu Bekr 





(< Ibnu-1-kuttiyyah, who questioned him about the battles of 'All, and wrote down 
" the information given by him on the subject." 

This ridiculous and wholly unauthorized tradition may be read in the writings of 
Ibnu Bashktiwal and other Andalusian writers ; some of whom, as Temim Ibn 
Mohammed At-temimi, have gone so far as to declare that when they met him 
he was three hundred and fifty years of age, and that they were informed that his 
death took place in his native city in the year 320 (beginning Jan. 12, a. d. 932). 

But other writers deserving of greater credit, and endowed with more sound 
criticism, have not hesitated to assert that the pretended tdbV was nothing else 
than a liar and an impostor. The same judgment, we apprehend, is to be passed 
upon the black man who forms the subject of the preceding article : he was 
decidedly an impostor ; and if we have done so much as to put his name among 
those of the honourable and illustrious followers of the companions of the Prophet, 
it has been merely in order to shed greater light upon this interesting subject, and to 
show our readers how cautious they must be in the perusal of those works by Eastern 
or Western writers which treat exclusively of this matter, as they are well known to 
abound with involuntary errors and inaccuracies like the above-mentioned. May 
the Almighty God keep us from listening to untruths respecting his revelations or 
the history of our Prophet Mohammed and his honourable companions ! 







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Tarik-The sons of Wittiza-Mugheyth Ar-n'ran-His adventure with a Gothic princess-Goes to the 
East-Return, to Andalus, and settles therein-Ayub Ilm Habib-'Abdu-l-jabbar Ibn Abi Salmah- 
•Abdullah Dm Sa'id-Habib Ibn Abi 'Obeydah-Haywab. Ibn Mulabis-Othman Ibn Abi 'Abdah- 
'Abii-s-sabah Al-yahsaobi— Abu Zor'ah Ash- shami— Zeyad Ibn An-nabighah. 


Besides the illustrious individuals named in the preceding chapter, who, the Writ 
Andalusian writers assert, entered their country at the time of Musa's invasion, hut 
with regard to most of whom strong doubts and objections have been raised by the 
writers of this country (the East) , there were many others who, though not belonging 
to either of the two above distinguished classes, the as'hdbs (companions) and the 
tdbi's (followers) , were, nevertheless, illustrious by their birth, renowned for their 
exploits against the infidels, or remarkable for their piety and learnings and who 
became the fathers of a numerous progeny, the heirs of their virtues and talents. 
Enough has been said elsewhere respecting Mtisa Ibn Nosseyr and his freedman 
Tarik, who were the two principal instruments by which God Almighty was 
pleased to achieve the conquest of so mighty a kingdom as that of Andalus, 
to make it unnecessary that we should here return to the subject. But before we 
proceed to mention some of the chiefs who assisted in the conquest, we must 
here transcribe some verses which the author of the Mas' hob, and Ibn Alyasa' in 
his Mu'arrib, 1 quote as having been spoken extempore by Tarik when addressing 
his followers, soon after his landing on the coast of Andalus. Ibnu Sa'id, who 
transcribes them also in his great historical compilation, observes that he /in- 
troduces them not on account of their elegance or the wit they containy but on 
account of their appropriateness, and as coming from so eminent a man, who 
was the chief instrument of the conquest of Andalus. They are as follows : 

" We rode a caulked ship (prepared) for our crossing; yet Allah had well 
" nigh bought 

" Our lives, property, and families at the price of a Paradise. 





" It is true there was nothing we so ardently desired ; 

" As it was of no importance to us how we lost our lives, when we were to 
" obtain (by it) so desirable a prize." 2 

As to the sons of Ghittishah (Wittiza), whose treason, as before mentioned, was one 

of the principal causes of the conquest, we are told that, wishing to have the treaty 

entered into with Tank confirmed, they appeared before this general and addressed 

him thus : " Art thou, O Tarik ! an independent prince, or dost thou acknowledge 

"a lord?" To which Tank answered, " I am subject to an Amir, who himself 

" obeys the orders of a supreme commander." Hearing which, the Barbarians 

asked Tarik's permission to repair to Africa, and have an interview with Musa 

Ibn Nosseyr, that he might confirm the treaty made with them ; to which effect 

they begged from him a letter explaining the whole of the affair, as well as 

the conditions agreed upon at the time of the invasion. Tarik did as he was 

desired, and the princes accordingly crossed over to Africa. They found Musa 

in "Western Barbary, preparing for his expedition into Andalus. Having been 

made acquainted with the nature of their request, Musa examined and weighed 

each of the propositions made to them- by Tarik, as well as the services they 

had rendered to the cause of the Moslems j but, unwilling to take upon himself to 

decide in their case, he sent them to the Khalif Al-walid Ibn 'Abdi-1-malek, 

then the Commander of the Faithful, holding his court at Damascus in Syria, with 

a letter informing him of the purport of Tarik's message, and of the illustrious birth 

and good services of the petitioners. Al-walid received the Gothic princes with 

great kindness, and granted them many favours. He began by ratifying the treaty 

entered into with Tarik, and gave each of them a deed under his own signature, 

\ _ 

whereby he secured to them, their sons and posterity, the possession of all the 
lands specified in their agreement with Tarik. The same document provided 
against any spoliation on the part of the Arabian settlers. This being obtained, 
the Barbarian princes returned to Andalus, where, immediately after their arrival, 
they were put in possession of all the estates of their father, which they divided 
equally among themselves. Almand, who was the eldest, had for his share one 
thousand farms in the west of Andalus, and, in order to superintend them, took 
up his abode in Seville. Al-artebash, who was the second, had an equal number 
of estates in the centre of Andalus, for which reason he took up his residence at 
Cordova; while the third and youngest of all 3 had his thousand farms in the 
efetertl ;parts of Andalus, and the districts of the Thagher, 4 for which reason he 
established ^himself at Toledo. In this manner the three brothers enjoyed the 
undisturbed possession of their respective estates in the very heart of the Moham- 
medan dominions, until the eldest, Almand, died, leaving behind him one daughter 


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named Sarah, but who is better known "under the appellation of Al-Httiyyah (the 
Gothic princess), and two sons in tender age. But, to return to the subject we have 

in hand : 

Mugheyth Ar-rumi, the conqueror of Cordova.— Al-hijari and Ibnu Hayyan call Mugheyth. 

him Mugheyth 5 Ar-rumi (the Greek) ; but the former writer adds, that he was 
not, properly speaking, a Greek, and that his genealogy was as follows : Mugheyth, 
son of AUuirith, son of Al-howayrith, son of Jeblah Al-ghosani, son of Al-ayham. 
When still a boy, he was taken prisoner in an inroad which the Moslems made 
into the country of Rum (Greece), and, at the partition of the spoil, fell to the 
lot of 'Abdu-1-malek Ibn Merwan, who had him educated together with Ms own son 
Al-wahd, and, when arrived at the age of manhood, liberated him and gave him 
a command in the armies of Africa. Thence he crossed over to Andalus at the 
orders of Tarik, who sent him forward against Cordova, which city he took in 
the manner related in the fourth book of this work. After this, Mugheyth 
quarrelled with Tarik, and also with Musa, Tank's master. He then accom- 
panied them in their journey to Damascus, and returned victorious to Cor- 
dova, where he settled and became the head and founder of the noble family well 
known in Andalus as the sons of Mugheyth, one of whom was 'Abdu-r-rahman 
Ibn Mugheyth, who afterwards filled the office of Hajib to 'Abdu-r-rahman Ibn 

Mu'awiyah, first Sultan of Andalus. 

The author of the Mas'hab places the taking of Cordova in the month of Shawwal 
of the year 92 (Aug. a. d. 71 1). He says also that the church, whither the governor 
and the garrison betook themselves after the taking of the city, held out for three 
months, and was not taken till Moharram of the year 93 (Oct. or Nov. a.d. 711). 
No account is there given of the year of Mugheyth's birth, or that of his death. 
Al-hijari says that he was brought up and educated with the sons of 'Abdu-1-malek 
Ibn Merwan at Damascus ; that he was taught the Arabic language, in which he 
soon became so accomplished a scholar, says Al-hijari, that " he composed both in 
" prose and in verse as much as would fill this work, were I to attempt to transcribe 
« it." He was likewise trained to horsemanship and all manner of military- 
exercises, and acquired so great a reputation by his courage and skill, that he 
was appointed to command the army destined against Cordova, and became ever 
after celebrated by his prudence and deep acquaintance with all the stratagems 
of war We have related elsewhere how Mugheyth gained possession of that city, 
and made the prince who commanded in it his prisoner, this being the only Anda- 
lusian prince who fell at the time into the hands of the Moslems ; some having 
made their peace by becoming the subjects of the Arabs, whilst others insured 
their safety by fleeing to Galicia, 6 

■ "■jf . " 



The historian Al-hijari tells a very curious anecdote of a daughter of this captive 
prince. He says that when the Christian, with all his family, was brought 
to the presence of Mugheyth, this general saw amidst the women of his harem one 
who shone among them like the full moon among the stars. She was the 
daughter of the Christian; and Mugheyth at first sight became so deeply enamoured 
of her charms, that he instantly made advances to his fair captive. These she 
most obstinately refused; upon which Mugheyth gave her in charge to one of 
his followers, instructing him to threaten her with immediate punishment unless she 
complied with his wishes within a given time. At last the damsel feigned to give 
way, and, having prepared a poisoned robe, 7 granted Mugheyth the desired appoint- 
ment. God, however, permitted that Mugheyth should in time be informed of her 
determination by one of her servants, and he therefore declined the meeting. 
They say that when Mugheyth was thus warned of the impending danger, he praised 
God for his providential escape, and exclaimed, " By Allah ! had this maiden's 
" soul been within the body of her father, Cordova would not have been taken 
" by night." 

It is likewise related, that when the Khalif Suleyman, son of 'Abdu-1-malek, had 
summoned to his presence Musa Ibn Nosseyr and Tarik Ibn Zeyad, and heard the 
answer of the latter to the charges brought against him by his master, he punished 
the former by depriving him of all his riches, and resolved upon restoring Tarik to 
the command of the Andalusian army. Before, however, carrying into effect this 
determination, Suleyman consulted Mugheyth, and ashed him what he thought of 
Tarik's administration whilst in Andalus. " His administration was such," answered 
Mugheyth, "that had he ordered the Moslems to turn themselves to any other point 
" than the kiblah in their prayers, I really think that they would have obeyed his 
" commands without considering that they were infringing the laws of our holy 
" Prophet, and committing an impious act." Such was the impression which these 
crafty words produced upon the mind of Suleyman, that he instantly changed his 
purpose, and refused to give Tarik the promised government. 8 They say that 
as Tarik met Mugheyth some days after this occurrence, he said to him, " I wish, 
O Mugheyth ! thou hadst described me to the Khalif as a man whose authority 
was resisted, instead of saying that the people of Andalus were so obedient 
to me." — " I wish," replied Mugheyth, " thou hadst left me my captive; I 
should then have left Andalus to thee;" alluding to Tarik's attempt to seize on 
Mugheyth's royal captive, the governor of Cordova, as elsewhere related. 

According to some writers Mugheyth settled at Damascus, and remained there 
till he died. According to other authorities he returned to Andalus, and fixed 
his residence in Cordova, taking for his dwelling a magnificent building, which was 


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ever after known as Bahitt Mugheyth 9 (the palace of Mugheyth). The authors who 
follow the former opinion allude, no doubt, to his first journey to Damascus, whither 
he is known to have repaired soon after his taking Cordova. But it is an ascer- 
tained fact that he afterwards returned to Andalus, with a message from Al-walid to JJJjJJJ.* 
Musa, whom he had orders to bring back, and whom he accompanied to Damascus. 
Nor can there be any doubt that he visited Andalus a third time, 10 since he or a son 
of Ins became, as we have observed elsewhere, the stock of that noble and dis- 
tinguished family the Beni Mugheyth, who multiplied themselves in Cordova, and 
who became the centre of wealth, dignities, and power in that city, their importance 
and consideration reaching the highest pitch. One of his descendants, named 
'Abdu-r-rahnufn Ibn Mugheyth, was appointed Hajib by 'Abdu-r-rahman, first 

Sultan of Cordova. But to return. 

We have already stated that Al-hijari, in his Mas hub, says that Mugheyth was a 
witty poet, and that a whole volume might be filled with his verses; in proof of 
which he quotes one which he is reported to have uttered extempore, addressing 
himself to Miisa and Tarik, when they took away his captive from him : 

" I served you both with zeal, and yet you behaved ungratefully to me ; 
" The East and the West shall henceforth see me your bitterest enemy." " 
As a further proof of Mugheyth's eloquence and readiness of speech, Al-hijari cites 
the following answer which he once made to Musa. This general, after reprimanding 
him before a crowd of people, said to him, " Hold thy tongue, Mugheyth! "— 
" I shall," replied he, " for my tongue is full of joints, and I can easily fold it 
" until I come to the presence of our master, Al-walid, son of 'Abdu-1-malek." 

Ayub Ibn Habib.— Another of the illustrious individuals who entered Andalus Ay^ibn 
with Musa Ibn Nosseyr was (Abu) Ayub Ibn Habib Al-lakhmi. He was a nephew 
of that conqueror, being born of one of his sisters. He was present at all the 
principal engagements, and distinguished himself very much by his courage and 
skill. He was governor of Andalus for some time after the murder of 'Abdu-l-'aziz, 
son of Musa, whom he succeeded in his office. But, as it is our intention to treat 
of him when we come to speak of the governors of Andalus, we shall proceed 

with our narrative, 

'Abdu-l-jabbdr Ibn AM Salmah AUtoraski Az-zahri.—TXm individual entered ^fst 
Andalus with Musa Ibn Nosseyr, who gave him the command of the left wing mah - 
of his army. He settled first at Beja, and afterwards at Badajoz. He was the 
father of a numerous progeny, known as the Beni Zahrah, who inhabited Seville, 
whither they removed soon after the conquest. To this family belonged the Kadi 
Abu-1-hasan Az-zahri, Abu Bekr Ibn Kheyr, and others. 

'Abdullah Ibn Sa'R-We cannot pass over in silence 'Abdullah, the ancestor of ™™* *™ 



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the Beni Sa'id, who, like the above-mentioned individuals, arrived in Andalus 
with Musa Ibn Nosseyr. His entire name was Abu Mohammed 'Abdullah Al-'ansi ; 
he was the son of Sa'id, son of 'Ammar, son of Yasir, 12 (may God be favourable to 
him !) one of the companions of the Prophet. Ibnu Hayyan, in his Muktabis, says 
that 'Abdullah was the general of the Yemeni Arabs of the Damascus division, 
under Yusuf Al-fehri, and that when 'Abdu-r-rahman Ibn Mu'awiyah landed in 
Andalus, this 'Abdullah was sent by him to oppose his progress. This commission 
'Abdullah gladly accepted ; for there existed a mortal feud between his own family 
and that of Umeyyah, owing to his father 'Ammar, who had been a partisan 
of 'All, having been killed at the battle of Sefayn, whilst fighting under the banners 
of 'Ali Ibn Abi Talib, against the troops of Mu'awiyah. This 'Abdullah Ibn Sa'id 
was the ancestor of the Bern Sa'id, Lords of Kal'ah Yahssob (Alcala la Real), many 
princes, governors, generals, poets, and writers, such as the author of the Mugh'rib, 
and many others, of whom we shall treat at length in the course of this narrative, 
ibn am HaMb Ibn Abi 'Obeydah Ibn 'Okbah Ibn Ndfi' Al-fehri. 13 — This individual entered 
Andalus in the suite of Musa Ibn Nosseyr, whom he assisted in his conquests. 
He was the grandson of 'Okbah Ibn Nan', and one of the officers to whom the 
execution of 'Abdu-l-'aziz Ibn Musa was intrusted by the Khalif Suleyman. His 
son, 'Abdu-r-rahman, whom he brought w r ith him to Andalus, was the father of 
Yusuf Al-fehri, who governed that country for a considerable length of time, until 
'Abdu-r-rahman Ad-dakhel, the first of the Beni Umeyyah, deprived him of power 

and life. 

h Ibn Haywah Ibn Muldbis Al-hadhrami. — According to Ibnu Bashkuwal this individual 
entered Andalus in the suite of Musa. Ibnu Hayyan, however, postpones his 
arrival 14 to the year 123 (beginning Nov. 25, a. d. 740), when a considerable 
number of Syrians, under the command of Balj Ibn Beshr, crossed over from Africa 
and settled in Andalus, as we shall relate hereafter. He appears to have been 
the chief of the Arabian tribes of the division of Hems (Einessa), who took up 
their abode at Seville. He rose in arms against 'Abdu-r-rahman Ibn Mu'awiyah, 
but was defeated. 

Snibn 'Othrndn Ibn Abi 'Abdah Al-horashi is another of the illustrious Moslems who 


accompanied Musa Ibn Nosseyr to the conquest of Andalus. He was present at 
the taking of Orihuela from Theodomir the Goth, who, as above related, defended 
his states valiantly, and obtained favourable terms by means of an ingenious 
stratagem which he devised. 15 'Othman, afterwards governor of Andalus, was 
killed in the. year 112 (beginning March 25, a.d. 730). 
Sow Abu-s-sabdh Ibn Yahya Al-yahssobi. — He came to Andalus either in Musa's 
suite, or with Balj Ibn Beshr. Some writers follow the former opinion; the 


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greater number, however, hold the latter. Be this as it may, it is certain that 
Abu-s-sabah was the chief of the Yemeni Arabs in Andalus when 'Abdu-r-rahman 
Ibn Mu'awiyah invaded that country. He revolted against that Sultan, who took 
him prisoner and had him executed in the year 139 (beginning Jan. 4, a. d. 756). 

Abu Zor'ah Ibn Rich Ask-shdmi l6 is counted likewise by Ibnu-1-abbar in the number ^JJJJ 
of the illustrious Arabs who invaded Andalus with Musa Ibn Nosseyr. He was 
an eminent theologian, and preserved many traditional sayings respecting the life 
of the Prophet Mohammed, which he held from his as'hdb (companions), and which 
were afterwards collected into a body by his son Moslemah Ibn Zor'ah. 

Zeydd Ibn An-ndbighah At-temimi.—Ue was one of the principal Arabian officers gSwJjU 
who witnessed the conquest of Andalus, having crossed the straits in the suite 
of Musa Ibn Nosseyr. He was at the head of the conspiracy by which 'Abdu-1- 
'aziz, son of Musa, lost his life at Seville, and was likewise one of those who 
repaired to Damascus with the head of the unfortunate governor. After this he 
appears never to have revisited Spain. 

. -r-" - 

H t ■. * 






Arabian tribes settling in Andalus— 'A dna'n— Beni Hashim— Beni Umeyyah— Makhziim— Fehr— Ke- 
nan ah— Hudheyl — Teym— Dhobbah— Kays 'Aylan— Thakif— Rabi'ah— Ayad— Kahtta'n— Arabs of 
Yemen — Hostile to the Beni Modhar — Azd— Ansar— Khazrej— Aus— Ghafek — Hamdan— -Mad' haj — 
Tay y— Morad— ' Ans— Barrah—' A'milah— -Khaulan— Ma* afer — Lakhm — Jodham — Kindah— Tojib— 
Khatha'm—The sons of Himyar — DhiS-ro'ayn—Dhu-assbah— Yabssob— Hawazen— Kodha'ali— Huseyn 

— Kelb — Hadhra-maut — Salman. 

Arabian tribes Know, O reader ! that when the island of Andalus had been finally subdued by the 
settling in An- Mog j em ^ and ^ wno le of its provinces reduced under the laws of Islam,— when 

the news of the mighty conquest had spread over the countries inhabited by the 
Moslems,— great numbers of the population of Syria and other distant regions felt a 
strong desire to visit Andalus, and take up their abode in it. Accordingly, many 
individuals of the best and most illustrious among the Arabian tribes left the tents 
of their fathers and settled in Andalus, thereby becoming the stock of the many 
noble families whose luminous traces are visible throughout the annals of that 


As several Andalusian writers have left works wherein the names and genealogy 

of all those Arabian tribes, branches of which settled in Andalus, are given in detail, 
we might be spared the trouble of repeating here any portion of their writings ; 
but this being an interesting topic, and one which, if well treated, may prove of 
some assistance to the readers of this our work, we have deemed it opportune to 
record the names of the principal Arabian tribes which sent settlers to Andalus, 
either at the time of the conquest, or at a subsequent period ; for which end we have 
borrowed our information from the most approved sources. 

The great stock of 'Adnan, from which issued the Beni Khandaf, and from 
these the Beni Koraysh, and from these latter the Beni Hashim, sent numerous 
families to Andalus, where they might be found under various denominations. 
Ibn Ghalib, 1 in his Forjatu-l-anfas, tells us that families descended from the noble 
stock of Hashim, of the tribe of Koraysh, were very numerous in Andalus. He 
adds, that they all descended from Idris, son of 'Abdullah, son of Hasan, son of 

Beni H&shim. 

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Huseyn, son of 'AH Ibn Abi Talib, from whom sprung also the Beni Hamtid, who 
ruled for a while over Andalus after the overthrow of the Beni Umeyyah dynasty. 

As to the last -mentioned family (Bern Umeyyah), we need scarcely say that it BeniUmeyyak 
gave several Khalifs to Andalus, whither they went to settle in great numbers. 
According to Ibnu Sa'id, they were still known in his days under the patronymic of 
Korashi ; for, although they at first called themselves Umawi, from their progenitor 
Umeyyah, they afterwards changed their patronymic into that of Korashi, from 
Koraysh, the lateral branch of their parent stock. And this they did because they 
saw that the people had taken a dislike to them, and would never forget the conduct 
of their ancestors towards Huseyn, the son of 'Ali Ibn Abi Talib. 2 (May God show 

his favours to both !) . 

There was another family in Andalus who pretended to draw their origin from 
Umeyyah, son of 'Abdu-sh-shems : we mean the Beni Zohrah, 3 who settled at 
Seville, where they rose to power and distinction. 

As to the Beni Makhzum, they might be found in large numbers all over Andalus. Makhzto. 
To this tribe belonged the poet Al-makhzumi, the blind, who obtained so great a 
celebrity by his writings. He was a native of Hisn Al-mudowwar (Almodovar). 
Members of the same tribe were the illustrious "Wizir and elegant writer in prose as 
well as in verse, Abu Bekr Ibn Zeydiin (Al-makhzumi), and his son, Abu-1-walid 
Ibn Zeydtin (Al-makhzumi) , who gained still greater renown by his writings, ; and 
filled the post of Wizir to Al-mu'tadhedh Ibn 'Abbad, Sultan of Seville. 

Ibn Ghalib informs us that there were individuals in Andalus who took the 
patronymic Jamahi, from Jamah ; and many also who took that of DM from 'Abdu- 
d-dar. He adds, that there were likewise several families with the patronymic Fehri, mr. 
from MoMrib, son of Fehr; all of whom belonged to that branch of the tribe of 
Koraysh which genealogists have designated under the appellative Beni Koraysh 
Adh-dhawdhir* To this tribe (Fehr) belonged 'Abdu-1-malek Ibn Rattan, governor 
of Andalus, from whom descended the Beni Al-kasim, 5 princes renowned in history, 
and the Beni Al-jadd, a familv of eminent doctors and theologians. From the same 
stock (MoMrib, son of Fehr,) issued Yusuf Ibn 'Abdi-r-rahmau Al-fehri, governor 
of Andalus, in whose time 'Abdu-r-rahman Ad-dakhel took possession of that 
country and founded therein a powerful and extensive empire for the race of 
Umeyyah This Yusuf was of the posterity of 'Okbah Ibn Nafi' Al-fehri, the cele- 
brated conqueror of Africa. Ibn Hazm • adds, that individuals of the tribe of Fehr 
might be found in great numbers in various districts of Andalus, in possession of 

wealth and importance. 

As to families taking their patronymics from the uncles (collateral branches) of Ken^ah. 

Kenanah, the same writer (Ibn Ghalib) informs us that they were very numerous in 


■■_ J 


-. -T- 



[book V. 

Andalus, chiefly about Toledo and the districts adjoining that city. In their number 
were the Beni Al-waksh, of the tribe of Kenanah, a family which produced in all 
ages men of the greatest merit and eminence, as the Kadi Abii-1-walid (Al-wakshi) , 
the Wizir Abii Ja'far (Al-wakshi), and the learned theologian Huseyn Ibn Jobeyr 
(Al-wakshi) , the author of the travels known by his name, and of whom mention 
has been made under the head of his native place. 7 

The sons of Hudheyl, son of Mid'rakah, 8 son of Elyas, son of An-nadhr, fixed 
their domicile in the vicinity of Orihuela, in the country of Tudmir (Theodomir) , 
and took the patronymic Hudheli. Ibn Ghalib informs us that the sons of Teym, 
son of Morrah, son of Odd, son of Tabikhah, son of Elyas, son of Modhar, were 
very numerous in Andalus, and that Abu-t-tahir, the author of the Makamdt 
Al-lazumiyyah, 9 was one of them. 

< As to the sons of Dhobbah, son of Odd, son of Tabikhah, who were a branch of 
the Beni Khandaf, and were issued from the great stock of the Beni 'Adnan, they 
were not very numerous in Andalus. Not so the sons of Kays 'Aylan, son of 
EtyaV, son of Modhar, of the great stock of the Beni 'Adnan ; for, according to Ibn 
.Ghalib, they might be found in considerable numbers all over Andalus, being 
known under patronymic surnames taken from the collateral branches of their 
parent stock. Some, for instance, took the patronymic Solami, from Solaym, son 
of Mansur, son of 'Ikrimah, son of Hafssah, son of Kays 'Aylan. One of them was 
the celebrated theologian 'Abdu-1-malek Ibn Habib (As-solami), the companion and 
disciple of Malik Ibn Ans. (May God be favourable to him !) Another was the 
Kadi Abu Hafss Ibn 'Omar (As-solami), who held the office of Kadi-1-koda at 
Gordoya. Others might be found under the patronymic Hawdzeni, which they 
took from. Hawazen, son of Mansur, son of 'Ikrimah, son of Hafssah, son of Kays. 
These, Ibn Ghalib informs us, were chiefly to be met with in the neighbourhood 
of- Seville and the adjoining districts. Others, again, took their patronymic sur- 
name from Bekr, son of Hawazen, &c. They were mostly domiciled in a town 
three miles from the city of Valencia, in the eastern part of Andalus, although they 
might. also be found in considerable numbers about Seville and other principal 


" Originally from the same stock (Kays 'Aylan) were the Beni Hazm, who must 
not be confounded with another family of the same name, to which the celebrated 
traditionist Abu Mohammed Ibn Hazm Adh-dhaheri belonged, for these were 

:6rigmauy from Persia. 

: Others took the patronymic Sa'di from Sa'd, son of Bekr, son of Hawazen. 
In this -number were the Beni Juda, 10 who fixed themselves chiefly about Granada, 
where; Ibn . -Ghalih says, they obtained the command (of their tribe). Others took 

_- * 


that of Keldbi, from Kelab, son of Rabi'ah, son of 'A'mir, son of Sa'ssa'h, son of 
Mu'awiyah, son of Bekr, son of Hawazen, &c. ; others that of Kusheyri, from 
Kusheyr, son of ICa'b, son of Rabi'ah, son of 'A'mir, son of Sa'ssa'h, &c. 
Individuals of this family, to which belonged Balj Ibn Beshr (Al-kusheyri), 
governor of Andalus under the Khalifate, might be found in great numbers about 


The Beni Rashik are another family issued from the stock of Kays 'Aylan, 
which settled in Andalus, where they were known under various patronymics ; 
some talcing that of Fezdri, from Fezarah, son of Dhobiyan, son of Yaghidh, 11 
son of Reyth, son of Ghattfan, son of Sa'd, son of Kays 'Aylan. Others took the 
patronymic AshjaH from Ashja', son of Reyth, son of Ghattfan, &c. Mohammed 
Ibn 'Abdillah (Al-ashja'i), governor of Andams, was one of their number. 

Several families might also be found, which took the patronymic Thakefi, fromTbakff. 
Thakif; but this is a point much contested among writers on genealogy; some 
making them a branch of the tribe of Kays, and therefore the sons of Thakif, 
son of Kays, son of Munabbih, son of Bekr, son of Hawdzen; whilst others assert 
that all those individuals living in Andalus, who used the patronymic Ath-thakefi, 
took it from Al-horr Ibn 'Abdi-r-rahman Ath-thakefi, governor of Andalus, who 
belonged to a tribe from the remnants of Thamud. 12 The above-mentioned are- 
the families issued from the tribe of Kays 'Aylan, and other branches of the great- 
tribe of Modhar, which settled in Andalus. 

As to the sons of Rabi'ah, son of Nezar, some called themselves Asedl, after teal.. 
Ased son of Rabi'ah, son of Nezar; others Mohdribi, from Moharib, son of 
•Amru, son of Wadigah, son of Bukeyr, son of Kossay, son of Du'mma, son of 
Jedilah son of Ased, son of Rabi'ah. Ibn Ghalib tells us that the former settled 
in the neighbourhood of Guadix, and peopled a district to the north of that city 
to which they gave their name ; the latter settled at Granada, where they became 
the stock of the Beni 'Attiyah, one of the principal families of that city. Among 
the descendants of Ased, however, those are considered most noble who draw their 
origin from Jozaymah, 13 son of Mid'rakah, son of Elyas, son of Modhar. 

Some again took the patronymic An-namari, from An-namar, son of -K&ett,-. 
son of Hinb, son of Akssa, son of Du'mma, son of Jedilah, son of Ased, Of 
this number were the Beni 'Abdi-1-barr, one of whom was the celebrated tradi-^ 
tionist Abu 'Omar Ibn 'Abdi-1-barr (An-namari). Others, like the Beni Hamdin, 
a distinguished family of Cordova, took that of Tagh'loU, from Tagh'lob, son of 

Wavil, son of Kasett, son of Hinb. . _ 

There were also many families in Andalus who assumed the patronymic W 
from Bekr, son of Wayil. Of these number was the family of the Beknun 

w&f&pm?*****-'--' - v/ 

■ ■■ ■■>" 



(Bekrites), Lords of Onoba and the island of Saltis, one of whom was the famous 
historian and geographer, Abu 'Obeyd (Al-bekri). The preceding are, to our 
knowledge, the branches of the tribe of Rabi'ah which settled in Andalus. 

Respecting the tribe of Ayad, 14 son of Nezar, whom others make the son of 
Ma'dd, — although the former opinion is the most correct, — many were the families 
residing in Andalus who drew their origin from it and took the patronymic 'Ay&di. 
In their number were the Beni Zohr, distinguished citizens of Seville, 15 and many 
other families which we do not mention for fear of protracting the present narrative 

to too great a length. 

The above are the tribes of the great family or stock of 'Adnan, which had 
branches or families in various parts of Andalus, all being the descendants in a 
straight line, and without admixture of any other lineage, from Isma'il, (on whom 

be peace !) . 

As to the other great stock, the sons of Kahttan, genealogists are divided as 
to their origin. Some make them also the sons of Isma'il ; others the sons of 
Hud. Al-bokhari inclines to the former opinion; other writers hold the latter. 
Be this as it may, it is evident that the sons of Kahttan, also called Yemeniun 
(Arabs of Yemen), settled in great numbers in Andalus, whither they carried 
the sa~me hereditary hatred, and the same animosity, towards the sons of Modhar, 
and the other tribes of the line of 'Adnan, which characterized them so well in 
>e the East. Indeed, though inhabiting a country but partially subdued, and where 
the unrelenting enemy of God was continually attacking them, the tribes descended 
from the two rival stocks prosecuted as fiercely as ever their own private and 
inveterate feuds, by which the state was shaken to its foundations, and placed 
more than once upon the very brink of perdition, 16 as we shall presently see 

in the. course of this narrative. 

The Beni Kahttan, however, were more numerous in Andalus than their adver- 
saries, and always obtained a greater share of power and influence in the country. 
They would undoubtedly in the end have gained possession of Andalus, had not 
the race of Umeyyah held so long the supreme power in the. East, and had not 
the Korayshites at a subsequent period agreed to give the command over the 
two parties to a member of that house ('Abdu-r-rahman Ad-dakhel). Even after 
this monarch had subjected the whole of Andalus to his sway, the western provinces 
of the empire were still cut up and divided into districts, inhabited by tribes, clans, 
" afefamUies, 17 who, in case of need, clung to each other for protection, and who, in 
trmes^orVreoellion or civil discords, were sure to stand one by another. This state 
of things lasted until the days of Ahmansur Ibn Abi 'Amir, who, as is well known, 
usurped the supreme power. Being a shrewed politician, his first care after his 


/ .- 



accession was to remedy this evil by appointing to the command of the troops 
generals from various countries and tribes. So, for instance, the general of an 
army would have under his orders a portion of each tribe, and a captain would 
seldom command soldiers of his own tribe : by these means the wound was 
cauterized, civil dissensions were somewhat allayed, and peace, if not friendship, 
way established between the Arabian tribes inhabiting the western districts, although 
they not unfrequently broke out in other parts of Andalus where the same precau- 
tions had not been taken. 

According to Ibn Hazm the whole of the tribes of Yemen are descended from 
Jodham, son of Kahlan, or of Himyar, son of Yashjab, son of Ya'rob, son of 
Kahttan, son of 'A'bir, son of Shalekh, son of Arfakhshad, son of Sam, son of 
Nuh. According to other authorities they are the sons of Kahttan, son of Al- 
hemeysa', son of Yoktan, son of Thabit, 18 son of Isma'il. Others again make them 
the sons of Kahttan, son of Hud, son of 'Abdullah, (son of Hud, son of 'Abdullah,) 
son of Rabah, son of Htiru, son of 'A'd, son of 'Amuss, son of Arem, son of Sam ; 
but, as the various disputes and controversies to which the genealogy of these tribes 
has given rise among writers on that science are well known, we need not mention 

them here. 

Some of the tribes issued from this great stock (Kahttan), and domiciled in 
Andalus, drew their origin from Kahlan, son of Seba, son of Yashjab, son of 
Ya'rob, son of Kahttan, and took the patronymic KaUdni after his name. Others 
took it from Azd, son of Al-ghauth, son of Thabit, son of Malik, son of- Zeyd, Azd. 
son of Kahlan. The members of this tribe were very numerous in Andalus, as 
Mohammed Ibn Hani Al-albiri (Al-azdi), the famous poet, who belonged to the 
Beni Muhlib, 19 and Ahmed Ibn Ahmed (Al-azdi), an eminent historian. Others, 
like the Beni Mazin, son of Azd, took the patronymic Ghosdni, from Ghosan, 
the name of a watering-place close to their habitation. To the latter-mentioned 
family belonged the Beni Al-kali'ai, who, according to Ibn Ghalib, were dis- 
tinguished citizens of Granada, the greater part of whom, however, fixed their 
quarters at Salehah, a tow on the road between Malaga and that city. 

Others, again, took the patronymic Ansdri™ which they derived from the 
lateral branches of those two tribes which assisted the Prophet when he took, refuge 
in Medina. These were to be found in great numbers all over Andalus, a fact 
which suggested to Ibnu Sa'id the following observation: " It is really wonderful 
« that no traces of this lineage should be found now-a-days in Medina, when 
"it is notorious that they abound in most great cities in Andalus. I was told 
" once by a man who, while at Medina, made every inquiry about individuals 
" belonging to those families, that he was only referred to one old man of the 

VOL. II. E - 

- ■* 






" lineage of Khazrej, and to one old woman of Aus." Ibn Ghalib likewise 
bears testimony to the great number of individuals of these two tribes who settled 
in Andalus, where they became the progenitors of as many families scattered 
over the eastern and western districts of that extensive country ; and, above all, 
at Toledo and in the neighbourhood. 

The patronymic Khazreji, therefore, was taken by various of these families. In 
their number were the sons of Sa'ad, son of 'Obadah, one of whom was Abu 
Bekr 'Obadah Ibn 'Abdillah Ibn Mai-s-sama (Al-khazreji). The Beni Al-ahmar, 
Sultans of Granada, in whose days the whole of Andalus became the prey of 
the enemy of God, (as we shall hereafter relate,) belonged also to that family, 
and took the patronymic Khazreji. To one of the sovereigns of this dynasty 
Lisanu-d-din Ibnu-1-khattib was "Wizir. 

Others were the descendants of Aus, brother of Khazrej, and formed their 
patronymic And after his name ; others took it from Ghafek, son of Ma'dd, son 
of 'Adnan, son of Hazzan, son of Al-azd. However, instead of Ma'dd, some say 
his brother, 'Akk, 21 son of 'Admin, although the genealogists following the latter 
opinion are decidedly in the wrong. Ibn Ghalib informs us that most of the 
districts about Segura were denominated after the tribe of Ghafek, which settled in 
that country, and that to this family belonged 'Abdu-r-rahman Al-ghafeki, the 
governor of Andalus, as well as the famous poet Abu 'Abdillah Ibn Abi-1-khissal 

Ash-shekuri (Al-ghafeki) . 

Among the descendants of Kahlan, some took the patronymic Hamddni, from 
Hamdan, who was the son of Malik, son of Zeyd, son of Aushalah, son of Al- 
khiyar, son of Mtflik, son of Zeyd, son of Kahlan. Their domicile was at a town 
still known "by their name, seven miles from Granada (Hamdan). 22 The Beni 
Dhaha, governors of Granada, belonged to this family. 

Another branch of the descendants of Kahlan took their patronymics from 
Mad'haj, the name of a hill of a reddish colour in Yemen, or, according to others, 
that of the mother of Malik, son of Watta, son of Odad, son of Zeyd, son of 
Kahlan. Of this number were the Beni Serraj, 23 distinguished citizens of Cordova ; 
and the Beni Tayy, who had their domicile to the south of Murcia, and took the 

patronymic Tdyi. 

Others, again, took the patronymic of Morddi, from Morad, son of Malik, son of 
Odad; 24 to them belonged the castle of Morad (Morente?), which stood on the 
matt between Cordova and Seville, and which, according to Ibn Ghalib, took its 
name from them. Many were the individuals of this family who took the above- 

mentioned patronymic. 

Others were the descendants of 'Ans, son of Malik, son of Odad, and denominated 






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themselves Mns/, after him. We may count among them the Beni Sa'id, authors 
of the historical work entitled Al-mugk'iib, and lords of a certain castle in the 
province of Granada, known by their name Kala'h Beni Sa'id (the castle of the 
Beni Sa'id). Some of the Mad'hajis, however, might be found, who took the patro- 
nymic Zeydl, from Zeyd, who, according to Ibn Ghalib, was better known under 
the name of Ibn Sa'd, son of Al-'ashirah, son of Malik, son of Odad. 

There is still another branch of the tribe of Kahlan, who took the patronymic 
Barri, after Barrah, son of Odad, son of Zeyd, son of Kahlan. Of this number Barrah. 
were the Beni Al-muntaser, learned theologians of Granada. It is thus stated by 
Ibn Ghalib, who adds, that a portion of them took the. patronymic 'A'miH, from 
'A milah, a woman of the tribe of Kodha'ah, who was the mother of Harith, son of 
'Oda, son of Al-harith, son of Morrah, son of Odad ; such were the Beni As-sammak, 
Kadis of Granada. This point, however, is far from being settled, since there are 
not wanting genealogists who make 'A'milah a man, and the son of Seba, son of 'A'miUh. 
Yashjab, son of Ya'rob, son of Kahttan ; while others, who make 'A'milah also 
a man, say that he was the son of Kodha'ah. 

Many were also the families sprung from the above stock who assumed the 
patronvmic Khaul&ni, from Khaulan, son of 'Amrn, son of Al-harith, son of Morrah. ***» 
The castle of Khaulan, between Seville and Algesiras, 25 took its name from them : 
to this number belonged the Beni 'Abdi-s-salam, principal citizens of Granada. 
Others took the patronymic Ma'dferi* from Ma'afer, son of Ya'afer, son of Mahk, Ma «r. 
son of Al-harith, son of Morrah, like Al-maasdr Ibn Abi 'A'mir Al-ma'aferi, ruler 
of Andalus, and many more that we might mention. Others, again, took that of 
Lakhni (Al-lakhmi), from Lakbm, son of 'Amru, son of 'Oda, son of Al-harith son l^„ 
of Morrah like Miisa Ibn Nosseyr, the conqueror of Andalus, andKabah Al-lakhmi, 
and the Beni ' Abbad, Sultans of Seville, and many more, who were all the descendants 
in a straight line from An-no'man, son of Al-mundhir, King of Hi rah. The Bern 
Al-baji, who shone at Seville, and the Beni Waiid, also powerful Wizens of that 
place, may likewise be counted among the families which used m Andalus the 

patronymic Lakhmi JodMm _ 

Others took it from Jodham ; as, for instance, inuw /• 

iodhami), governor of Andalus ; the Beni Hud, who were kings^ofEasern Andalus 

Z the ncestors of Al-mutawakkel Ibn Hud, who became he absolute rulers f 

hat country after the Al-muwahhedun (Ahnohades) ; and las % the Beni Mr 

d nish, who were also lords of certain districts in the east .f Andalus Ibn Ghalib 

lerts that a portion of the Beni Jodham settled about Kala'h Rabah (Calatrava), 
asserts, that a poition oi m ^ 

and that the name of Jodham was 'Amir, and the name o 
both were the sons of 'Oda. 

- -^ 


Others among the descendants of Kahlan took the patronymic Kindi, from 
Kindah, who is better known by the name of Thaur, son of 'Afir, son of 'Oda, son 
of Morrah, son of Odad ; to this number belonged Yusuf Ibn Harun Ar-ramadi 
(Al-kindi) the poet : others, again, took that of Tojibi, from Tojeyb, the wife of 
Ashras, son of As-sektin, son of Ashras, son of Kindah ; and lastly, there were not 
wanting in Andalus families issued from that principal stock (Kahlan) that derived 
their patronymic Khatha'mi from Khatha'm, son of Anmar, son of Arash, son of 
'Amru, son of Al-ghauth, son of Thabit, son of Malik, son of Zeyd, son of Kahlan. 
We might quote, among others, the family from which 'Othman Ibn Abi Nesa'h 
(Al-khatha'mi), the governor of Andalus, was issued; however, on this point 
genealogists do not generally agree, for some make Anmar the son of Nadhr, son of 

Ma'dd, son of 'Adnan. 

The preceding are all the branches of the principal stock of Kahlan which 
settled at various times in Andalus. We shall now proceed to enumerate those of 

Himyar was the son of Seba, son of Yashjab, son of Ya'rob, son of Kahttan. 
Among his descendants some took the patronymic of Ro'ayni, from Dhu-ro'ayn, 
who, according to Ibn Ghalib, was the son of 'Amru, son of Himyar ; but whom 
others make the son of Sahl, son of 'Amru, son of Kays, son of Mu'awiyah, son of 
Josham, son of 'Abdu-sh-shems, son of Wayil, son of Al-ghauth, son of Kattan, son 
of 'Oreyb, son of Zohayr, son of Aymen, son of Ahhemeysa', son of Himyar. 
Al-hazemi, 27 in his genealogical treatise, pretends that Dhu-ro'ayn was the appel- 
lative of 'Ozeym, son of Zeyd, son of Sahl, &c. Be this as it may, there can be no 
doubt that there were many Arabs in Andalus who took the patronymic Ro'ayni; 
of this number was Abu 'Abdillah Ibnu-1-khayyatt (Ar-ro'ayni), the blind man, who 

was a celebrated poet. 

Others took the patronymic AssbaH, from Dhu-assbah or Assbah, who, according 
to Ibn Hazm, was the son of Malik, son of Zeyd, one of the sons of Seba the 
younger, son of Zeyd, son of Sahl, son of 'Amru, son of Kays, &c. ; but who, in 
the opinion of Al-hazemi, was the son of Kahlan. To this family is supposed to 
have belonged the famous Imam Malik Ibn Ans. However, there can be no doubt 
that the Assbahiun are descended from Himyar. Numbers of them were established 
at Cordova, where they enjoyed great consideration, and held high situations. 

Others took the patronymic Yalissobi, from Yahssob, who, in the opinion of Ibn 
ftizra, was the brother of Dhu-assbah. They might be found in great numbers 
about the castle of the Beni Sa'id, which is well known in the history of Andalus as 
the castle of Yasshob. Others, that of Hawdzeni, from Hawazen, son of 'Auf, 
son of 'Abdu-sh-shems, son of Wayii, son of Al-ghauth : their domicile, according 

■- "* -\- 


to lbn GMlib, was to the east of Seville, and in that city, where they held high 


Others, Kodhd'i, from Kodha'ah, son of Malik, son of Himyar, whom some make Sodhtth. 
the son of Ma'dd, son of 'Adnan, although the genealogists who follow the latter 
opinion are very few. Some of the Bern Kodha'ah took also the patronymic of 
Mahri t from Mahrah ; such as the Wizir Abu Bekr lbn 'Ammar (Al-mahri), who 
usurped the kingdom of Murcia. Mahrah was the son of Jeydan, son of 'Amru, 

son of Al-haf, son of Kodha'ah. 

Others took that of Huseyni, from Huseyn, son of Namar, son of Wabrah, son of Huseyn. 
Tha'leb, son of Halwan, son of 'Amran, son of Al-haf, son of Kodhd'ah. Others, 
Tentkhi, from Tenukh, who, according to lbn Malik, was the son of Malik, son of 
Fehr, son of Namar, son of Wabrah, son of Tha'leb, who, as Al-hazemi says, was the 
same' as Malik, son of Fehr, son of Fahm, son of Kaymullah, son of Ased, son of 
Wabrah. Others, Belawi, from Bell, son of 'Amru, son of Al-haf, son of Kodha'ah ; 
as for instance, the Bclayun of Seville. Others, Joheni, from Joheynah, son of 
Aswad, son of Aslam, son of. 'Amru, son of Al-htf, son of Kodha'ah. These might 
be found in great numbers about Cordova. 

From Kelb, son of Wabrah, son of Tha'leb, son of Halwan, many families in Mb. 
Andalus took the patronymic Kelbl We might point out the Beni 'Obadah, of 
whom the Beni Jehwar, Wizirs and Kings of Cordova, formed part. Others, 'Odhrt, 
from 'Odhrah, the wife of Sa'id, son of Aswad, son of Aslam, son of 'Amru, son of 
Al-haf son of Kodha'ah ; as, for example, the Beni 'Odhrah, who were chief men of 
Al-esiras. There were, again, in Andalus families with the patronymic Hadkrami, Hadhr«t. 
from Hadhra-maut; these abounded most in Murcia, Granada, Seville, Badajoz, 
and Cordova. lbn Ghalib asserts also that they were in great numbers m 
Andalus, and observes that great difference of opinion existed in his time among 
genealogists as to the ancestors of Hadhra-maut, whom some made the son of 
Kahttan and others the son of Kays, son of Mu'awiyah, son of Josham, son of 
'Abdu-sh-shems, son of Wayil, son of Al-ghauth, son of Jeydan, son of Kattan, son 
of Al-'oreyb, son of Al-'araz, son of the daughter of the son of Aymen, son of 
Al-hemeysa', son of Himyar. Of the latter opinion is the celebrated genealogist 

TheTe^re also individuals in Andalus who took the patronymic Balmdni. Of aim*,, 
this number was the Wizir Lisanu-d-din Ibnu-1-khattib, as we shall have further 
occasion to show in the course of the present work. 



jp 11 ..' 






'Abdu-l-'aziz left as governor of Andalus — Marries Roderic's widow — Is put to death — Succeeded by 
Ayub — Al-horr— As-samh appointed — Is killed in battle — Succeeded by 'Abdu-r-rahman Al-ghafeki — 
Appointment of 'Anbasah — Rising- of Pelayo — Death of 'Anbasah — 'Odhrah is appointed by the army — 
Replaced by Yahya Ibn Salmah — Arrival of Hodheyfah — 'Okbah appointed by the "Wali of Africa — 
Invades the country of the Franks — Is succeeded by 'Abdu-1-malek. 

'Abdu-i-'aziz In the absence of Musa, who, as before related, left Andalus in the month of Dhi-1- 
ntrSKSus. hajjah of the year 95 (Aug. or Sept. a.d. 714), his son, 'Abdu-l-'aziz, remained as 

governor of the country. 'Abdu-l-'aziz collected together the scattered forces of 
the Moslems, fortified the frontiers, and greatly contributed to the consolidation 


of the Mohammedan power, and to the extension of the limits of the conquest, by 
subduing several important fortresses and cities which had hitherto escaped the eyes 
of his father and Tarik. 1 His administration was in every respect that of an upright 
and wise prince. It was unfortunately of very short duration, the army having 
revolted against him, and put him to death towards the close of the year 97 of the 
Hijra 2 (beginning Sept. 4, a. d. 715), in the second year of his administration. 

It is generally believed that the assassins of 'Abdu4-'aziz had received instructions 
to that effect from the Khalif Suleyman, the same Sultan who, as has been related 
elsewhere, had behaved so unjustly towards his father, Musa. They say that Suley- 
man was instigated to this act of cruelty by some of his courtiers representing 
'Abdu-l-'aziz as a bad Moslem and a rebellious subject. Among the various charges 
brought against him, one was his having married the widow of King Roderic, who 
was called by the Arabs Umm -'A'ssem. 3 This woman had at the time of the conquest 
obtained from the Moslems security both in her person and property on condition 
of paying a certain tribute; she was, therefore, living unmolested in the free use of 
her j-eligion, and enjoying a considerable fortune, of which she was possessed, when 
Marries Rode- 'Abdu-h-'aziz became deeply enamoured of her charms, and married her. 'Abdu-1- 

rie's widow." ■ . r J 

'aziz always showed the greatest attachment to this woman; he went, they say, so 
far as to reside with her in a church at Seville, 4 an act by which he raised the 


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indignation of every true believer. One day his wife said to him, "Why do not 
" thy subjects bow down in thy presence, as the Goths used to do before my late 
« husband, King Roderic ? "— ■' c Because," replied 'Abdu-l-'aziz, " such practices 
" are contrary to our religion." Umm-'A'ssem, not being satisfied with this answer, 
renewed her entreaties, and 'Abdu-l-'aziz, who doted upon her, fearing lest the 
want of such ceremony, and the apparent want of respect on the part of his people, 
should diminish her attachment to him, caused a small door to be opened in front 
of the room where he generally sat to give audience, so that any Moslem entering 
his presence was compelled to bend himself in order to pass through it. He then 
made his wife believe that this was a mark of deference to him, and she seemed 
satisfied. This circumstance being rumoured abroad, and talked of among the 
soldiers, became, together with the suggestions of the agents of Suleyman, the cause 
of the death of 'Abdu-l-'aziz (may God forgive him !) . 'Abdu-l-'aziz was a brave and 
experienced officer ; he displayed great abilities as a general, and during his govern- 
ment many important cities were subdued by the Moslems. He was murdered, as isput to death. 
above stated, in the last days of Dhi-1-hajjah of the year 97, after a government of 
two years. 5 They say that when the head of 'Abdu-l-'aziz was brought to 
Damascus, the Khalif Suleyman summoned to his presence Musa Ibn Nosseyr, and 
showed it to him. " Dost thou know whose head that is?" said Suleyman to the 
wretched father. " Yes, I do," answered Musa, " it is the head of a man who fasted 
" and said his prayers. May the curses of Allah fall on it if his assassin was a 

" better man than he !" 6 

'Abdu-l-'aziz was succeeded in the government of the country by Ayub Ibn Habib f y s ^ c , e b eded 
Al-lakhmi, the son of Mtisa's sister. Ibnu Hayyan says that Aytib was chosen by 
the army to command in Andalus, and that he was the first governor who resolved 
upon transferring the seat of the government from Seville to Cordova, and who held 
his court at the latter city, although other historians attribute this decision to his 
successor, Al-horr. Aytib's administration lasted six months, 7 when he was suc- 
ceeded by Al-horr. " From this moment," says Ibnu Khaldtin, "Andalus was 
" governed by a succession of Amirs, sometimes appointed by the Khalifs of the 
" East, and sometimes by the viceroys of Africa, who held their court at Cairwan, 
' ' Under their rule the Arabs made incessant war upon the Kdjirs (infidels) j they 
" took the city of Barcelona in the eastern part of Andalus, as well as the fortresses 
" of Kashtilah* (Castile) and those of Narbonne, subduing all the intermediate flat 
" country towards the north-west. The Gothic nations were nearly exterminated ; 
" the Galicians, and such among the Barbarians as had escaped destruction on 
" former occasions, were compelled to fly for refuge to the mountains of Castile and 
" Narbonne, and to strengthen themselves in the gorges and other spots strong by 

■ * \lttr ■&****+. 




"r4- *■£■ ^ 

%_„ _. j ,-^= 



[book V. 


" nature. This, however, proved of no avail to them ; for the Moslems, crossing 
" those natural barriers which, on the side of Barcelona, separate Andalus from 
" the continent, descended into the plains beyond them, and made incursions into 
" the land of the Franks, the Kdfirs becoming every where the prey of the impetuous 
" waves of Islam. Unluckily discord and civil war broke out at times among the 
" conquerors themselves : the consequence was that eighty years had scarcely 
" elapsed since the conquest, when the Franks, profiting by the dissensions of the 
" Moslems, snatched from their hands Barcelona and several other cities belonging 
" to those distant regions. God is great ! He gives the empire to whomsoever He 
" pleases ! " 

But to return to our narrative. When Mohammed Ibn Yezid, who governed 
Africa in Suleyman's name, heard of the death of 'Abdu-l-'aziz, son of Miisa, he 
immediately sent to Andalus Al-horr Ibn 'Abdi-r-rahman Ibn 'Othman Ath-thakefi, 
who divested Ayub of the command, and administered the affairs of the Moslems 
for two years and eight months, until he himself was replaced by As-samh Ibn 
Malik Al-khaulani, who was appointed by the Khalif 'Omar, son of 'Abdu-l-'aziz. 
According to the historian Ar-razi, Al-horr arrived in Andalus in the month of 
Dhi-1-hajjah of the year 98 (July or August, a. d. 717), bringing in his suite four 
hundred men of the principal Arabian families of Africa, who became in after-time 
the stock of all the nobility of Andalus. Ibnu Bashkuwal says also that the dura- 
tion of his government was two years and eight months, 9 and that it came imme- 
diately after the insurrection of Ayub Ibn Habib Al-lakhmi. 

Al-horr was succeeded in the government of Andalus by As-samh Ibn Malik 

pointed by the ° J 

Khalif. Al-khaulani, who, according to Ibnu Hayyan and Ibnu Khaldun, was nominated to 

that post by the Khalif 'Omar Ibn 'Abdi-l-'aziz. The first-mentioned writer says 
that the appointment of As-samh took place in the month of Ramadhan, a. h. 100, 10 
(April or May, a. d. 718) ; the latter says only that he came at the commencement 
of the second century of the Hijra. However, it was he who caused the bridge at 
Cordova to he rebuilt, after obtaining permission of the Khalif to that effect, as we 
have related elsewhere. 11 He also brought instructions from the Khalif to collect 
for him the fifth of the spoil taken from those Christian provinces which had not 
yet acknowledged the authority of Islam, 12 and to write a description of the cities, 
mountains, rivers, and seas in that country; and this 'Omar caused to be done and 
sent to him, that he might the better gain a knowledge of the countries conquered 
by the Moslems, and estimate their resources, for he intended to make them 
evacuate Andalus, dreading the dangers to which they might be exposed in a distant 
country, away from their brethren in religion, and from the people speaking their 
language. "Would to God/* exclaims Ibnu Hayyan, "that As-samh had lived 

-As-samh ap- 


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" long enough to complete the task intrusted to his care ; for, in their transactions 
" with the infidels, the Moslems of this country are fast working their own per- 
" dition, unless God Almighty, hy his infinite mercy, be pleased to rescue them." 13 

After an administration of two years and eight months, As-samh died a martyr for jjkjj* » 
the faith in the country of the Franks. Ibnu Hayyan relates, that, having invaded 
the land of the infidels, he was surrounded by their forces, who poured on him on 
all sides, and that not one Moslem escaped that disastrous affair, which was well 
known in Andalus as « the battle of Balatt,' u and the spot itself as Baldttu-sh- 
shohadd (' the pavement of the martyrs'). He says also, that it was a common 
opinion in his days, that on the very spot where so many Moslems fell, the voice of 
an invisible muezzin was daily heard announcing the hours of prayer. According 
to Ibnu Bashkuwal and Ibnu Khaldiin, As-samh was slain on the day of Taru- 

wiyah, a.h. 102. 15 

After the massacre of As-samh and his army, the Moslems of Andalus chose for ^£ d r e _ d 
their commander Abdu-r-rahman Ibn 'Abdillah Al-ghafeki, who is counted by Ibnu gtag & 
Bashkuwal in the number of those tdbi's who entered Andalus with Mtisa Ibn 
Nosseyr. 'Abdu-r-rahman is further said to have preserved traditions from 'Ab- 
dullah, son of 'Omar Ibnu-1-khattab, 

Ibnu Khaldun tells us that this 'Abdu-r-rahman governed Andalus until the 
arrival of 'Anbasah Ibn Sohaym Al-kelbi, whom Yezid Ibn Abi Moslem, then 
Wali of Eastern Africa, appointed to be his successor. Ibnu Bashkuwal states 
that this took place in the year 1 10 (beginning April 15, a.d. 728), that 'Abdu- 
r-rahman owed his nomination to 'Obeydah Ibn 'Abdi-r-rahman Alkaysi, Wali of 
Eastern Africa, and that he fell a martyr in an encounter with the Christians of 
Andalus in the year 115. So far Ibnu Bashkuwal, whose statement is in contradic- 
tion with what we have related elsewhere ; namely, that immediately after the death 
of As-samh in 102, 'Abdu-r-rahman succeeded him: for how could this be, when 
Ibnu Bashkuwal asserts that he was appointed in the year 1 10 ? "Which of these two 
accounts is the correct one, God only knows. This difficulty, however, may easily 
be surmounted by supposing 'Abdu-r-rahman to have been governor of Andalus 
on two different occasions, as we find it stated by Al-hijari. The following words, - 
which we read in Ibnu Hayyan, may also be of use in clearing the obscurity :— 

When 'Abdu-r-rahman came to Andalus, in Safar, 113 (April or May, a.d. 

731), for the second time, he was appointed by Ibnu-1-hajab, Wali of Eastern 
" Africa. He immediately made war upon the Franks, with whom he had some 
" sharp encounters, until his army was destroyed and he himself fell a martyr; for 
» the faith in the month of Ramadhan, 114 (October, a. d. 732), at the spot known 
(( as the pavement of the martyrs {Baldttu-sh-sKohadd) ." 








*3F^h -Wr"-:->v - - - 

r, ; — ■ V 

*?.-' \^^SF^^~^^Kfcss?r 



[book V. 

of 'Anbasah 
Ibn Sohaym 


Rising of Pe- 

Be this as it may, 'Abdu-r-rahman Al-ghafeki is described by Al-homaydi as 
a man of great courage and considerable abilities, honest in his proceedings, and 
impartial in his judgments : he attended in person to the distribution of the spoils 
taken from the enemy, which he caused always to be made with the greatest equality 
and fairness in his own presence. On this occasion 'Abdu-r-rahman J s administra- 
tion did not last long ; since he was soon after replaced by 'Anbasah Ibn Sohaym 
Al-kelbi, who was appointed by the governor of Africa, Yezid Ibn Abi Moslem. 
According to Ibnu Hayyan, 'Anbasah was appointed to the government of Andalus 
in Safar, a.h. 103 (August, a.d. 721), by Yezid Ibn Abi Moslem, the secretary 
of Al-hejaj, then governor of Eastern Africa. Ibnu Bashkuwal says that he 
introduced order into the administration, and made war on the Franks in person, 
and that he died in the month of Sha'ban, a.h. 107 (December, a.d. 725, or 
Jan. 726), after a government of four years and four months, — others say eight 
months. Ibnu Khaldun, who makes his government last four years and four 
months, says that he died a martyr in an expedition into the land of the Franks. 

" During 'Anbasah's administration," says Ibnu Hayyan, " a despicable bar- 
" barian, whose name was Belay (Pelayo), rose in the land of Galicia, and, having 
" reproached his 'countrymen for their ignominious dependence and their cowardly 
" flight, began to stir them up to revenge the past injuries, and to expel the 
" Moslems from the land of their fathers. From that moment the Christians 
" of Andalus began to resist the attacks of the Moslems on such districts as had 
(( remained in their possession, and to defend their wives and daughters ; for 
" until then they had not shown the least inclination to do either. The corn- 
" mencement of. the rebellion happened thus: there remained no city, town, or 
"village in Galicia but what was in the hands of the Moslems, with the exception 
' ( of a steep mountain on which this Pelayo took refuge with a handful of 
" men.: there his followers went on dying through hunger until he saw their 
" numbers reduced to about thirty men and ten women, having no other food 
" for support than the honey which they gathered in the crevices of the rock which 
" they themselves inhabited, like so many bees. However, Pelayo and his men 
■" fortified themselves by degrees in the passes of the mountain until the Moslems 
" were made acquainted with their preparations ; but, perceiving how few they 
";were, they heeded not the advice conveyed to them, and allowed them to gather 
.'^strength, saying, 'What are thirty 16 barbarians, perched upon a rock? — they 
<c Msfeineyitably die.' " Would to God that the Moslems had then extinguished at 
once the sparkles of a fire that was destined to consume the whole dominions of 
Islam in those ;parts ; for, as Ibnu Sa'id has judiciously observed, " the contempt in 
M which the Moslems of those days held that mountain and the few wretched beings 


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" who took refuge upon it, proved in after-time the chief cause of the numerous con- 
" quests which the posterity of that same Pelayo were enabled to make in the 
" territory of the Moslems—conquests," adds that excellent historian, "which 
" have so much increased of late years, that the enemy of God has reduced many 
(( populous cities ; and, that at the moment I write, the magnificent city of Cordova, 
" the splendid capital of the Mohammedan empire of Andalus, the court of the 
" Khalifs of the illustrious house of Umeyyah, has fallen into the hands of the 
i( infidels. May God annihilate them ! " 

Ibnu Sa'id was right ; the forces of Pelayo went on increasing until he openly 
raised the standard of revolt : he was succeeded by Alfonso, the progenitor of all 
the Christian kings known by his name. This Alfonso resisted likewise the 
authority of the Moslems, against whom he carried on incessant war ; his power 
and importance, as well as his states, increasing soon in such a ratio as not to be 
easily obscured. But of this more will be said in the course of our narrative. 

Some writers have asserted that 'Anbasah died a natural death as he was .marching jjjj* of >An " 
to attack the Franks, whilst others pretend that he was killed 17 in an engagement 
with them. Be this as it may, Ibnu Hayyan and Al-hijari say that after the death of Igjg* ^ 
this governor, which, as before stated, happened in Sha'ban, 107 (Dec. a. d. 725 or g^g* 
Jan. 726), the people of Andalus elected 'Odhrah 18 Ibn 'Abdillah Al-fehrf. 'Odhrah 
is not counted by Ibnu Bashkuw&l among the governors of Andalus ; but both 
Al-hijan and Ibnu Hayyan, who include him in their number, describe him as one of 
the most distinguished Arabs who attended the conquest of Andalus,— a man of 
great probity and courage, and whose posterity might still be met with in their 
days at Guadix, in the kingdom of Granada. A son of this 'Odhrah, whose name 
was Hisham, made himself at a subsequent period the master of Toledo, the citadel 
of Andalus. 19 Ibnu Sa'id includes him likewise in the number of the governors 
of Andalus, and says that he held his court in Cordova. 

However, 'Odhrah seems only to have administered the government of the^wftj 1 * 
country until the arrival of Yahya Ibn Salmah Al-kelbi, who, according to Ibnu Saimah. 
Bashkuwal, and the above-mentioned writers, was appointed by Beshr Ibn Sefwan 
Al-kelbi, Wali of Africa, at the solicitation of the Andalusians, who, on the death 
of 'Anbasah, sent to ask him for a new governor. Yahya landed in Andalus 
towards the end of the year 107; some authors add in the month of Shawwal. 
He ruled Andalus for a period of eighteen months, some say two years and a 
half, during which time he led no army in person against the infidels. Ibnu 
Hayyan's narrative agrees on this point with that of Ibnu Bashkuwal. Cordova 
seems to have been the place of residence of Yahya. Ibnu Khaldun, who includes 
him in his list of Andalusian governors, repeats this statement, and adds that 


—- x£tt*&prtzp* _-y 


,,-r ^j-- 



Yahya was the first governor of Andalus appointed by the Walis of Africa, who, 
from that time, always provided the governors of that country. The same writer 
[Ibnu Khaldun] agrees in making the duration of Yahya's rule two years and a 

half. 20 

'Othman Ibn Abi Nesah Al-khath'ami, 21 whom others call Al-lakhmi, was the 
next governor of Andalus. According to Ibnu Bashkuwal and Ibnu Khaldun, 
'Othman was appointed to that post by 'Obeydah Ibn 'Abdi-r-rahman As-solami, 
Wali of Eastern Africa, in the month of Sha'ban, a. h. 110 (Nov. or Dec. a. d. 
728). The new governor fixed his residence at Cordova. He was, however, deposed 
five months afterwards, and replaced by Hodheyfah Ibn Al-ahwass Al-kaysi, who, 
according to Ibnu Bashkuwal, was also nominated by the same "Wali of Africa, 

Arrival of Hodheyfah arrived in Andalus in the month of Rabi'-l-awal, a.h. 110 (June or 

July, a.d. 728) ; he was almost immediately removed, some authors making the 
duration of his government only one year. However, historians do not agree as to 
the period of his administration ; some supposing that it preceded that of 'Othman, 
others that it came afterwards. 22 

Hodheyfah was succeeded by Al-haytham Ibn 'Obeyd Ahkelabi, 23 who, according 
to Ibnu Bashkuwal, was appointed by 'Obeydah Ibn 'Abdi-r-rahman, the Wali 
of Africa, and arrived in Andalus in the month of Moharram, a.h. Ill (April, a.d. 
729). Ibnu Khaldun says that he invaded the country of Makunshah, 24 and 
reduced it to the sway of Islam. Al-haytham died in the year 113 (beginning 
14th March, a.d. 731), after a government of two years and some days, which 
other historians make two years and four months. 25 This governor also held 

his court at Cordova. 

He was succeeded by Mohammed Ibn 'Abdillah Al-ashja'i, whom the people 

of Andalus appointed to command them. 29 Ibnu Bashkuwal, from whom the 
preceding statement is borrowed, describes him as a virtuous and upright man. He 
administered the affairs of the Moslems and presided over their prayers for the short 
period of two months, after which time he appointed to the government of the 
country 'Abdu-r-rahman Ibn 'Abdillah Al-ghafeki, the same Amir who had 
performed those duties on a former occasion, and whose administration has already 
been noticed by us. This time 'Abdu-r-rahman was appointed by 'Obeydullah 
Ibnu-1-hajab, Wali of Africa, of which country Andalus was a dependency. 'Abdu- 
r-rahman remained in the government until he was slain in battle with the Franks, 
as before related, in the year 116, or, according to other authorities, in the year 
115, 27 after an administration of one year and eight months, though there is a , 
tradition making it two years and six months. Ibnu Bashkuwal says that the 


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expedition in which 'Abdu-r-rahman fell was known in Andalus as Ghazwatu-l- 
baldtt (the expedition of Baldtt) ; but the same has been said elsewhere of As-samh. 
'Abdu-r-rahman held his court at Cordova. 

According to Ibnu Khaldun, who puts the death of 'Abdu-r-rahman in the year 
1 14, this governor must have been absent from Andalus when he was nominated ; 
for the words of that historian run as follow: "After this, 'Abdu-r-rahman Ibn 
" 'Abdillah Al-ghafeki was appointed to the government of Andalus by 'Obeydullah 
" Ibnu-1-hajab, Wali of Eastern Africa. He arrived in Andalus in the year 113, 
" and made war upon the Franks, with whom he had several encounters ; but in the 
" month of Ramadhan of the year 114 (Oct. a.d. 732), his army was cut to pieces 
" at a spot called Baldttu-sh-shohadd (the pavement of the martyrs), he himself 
" being in the number of the slain. This disastrous battle is well known among 
" the people of Andalus as the battle of Baldtt. 'Abdu-r-rahman bad governed 
" the country one year and eight months." But to return. 

After 'Abdu-r-raliman's death, 'Abdu-1-malek Ibn Kattan Al-fehri, whom Al- 
hijari includes in his list of Andalusian governors, obtained the command. 'Abdu-1- 
malek is considered by the said author (Al-hijari) as the stock whence the family of 
the Beni Al-kasim, Lords of Al-bont (Puente), and the Beni Al-jadd, one of the 
principal families of Seville, are issued. 'Abdu-1-malek is likewise mentioned by 
Ibnu Bashkuwal, who says that he was appointed to the government of Andalus in 
the month of Ramadhan, a. h. 1 14 (Oct. or Nov. a. d. 732), and that his adminisr ' 
tration lasted two years, 28 although there are not wanting authors, as Al-wakedij 
who make four years the duration of his government ; but those who do so have, 
no doubt, been led into error by the circumstance of 'Abdu-1-malek's governing 
the country twice ; since, as we shall presently show, he ruled over Andalus before 
and after 'Okbah. He conducted various expeditions into the territory of the Basques, 
one especially in 1 1 5, from which he returned victorious, and loaded with spoil. 
He is, however, described by several writers as a man of cruel propensities, and 
excessive rigour in his judgments ; owing to which he was ignominiously deposed in 
the month of Ramadhan, 116 (Oct. or Nov. a.d. 734), and replaced by 'Okbah 
Ibnu-1-hejaj As-seluli, who came to Andalus by the appointment of 'ObeyduJIah^J-ij^ 
Ibnu-1-hajab, the Wali of Africa. The new governor was a man of great justice and wai on uw» 
irreproachable conduct, virtues which made him the idol of the Moslems. During the 
five vears of his administration he made many successful inroads into the country of invades the 
the Franks, and hunted down the infidels in every direction, taking their cities and franks, 
castles by force of arms, until the Moslem settlements reached as far as Narbonne, ■ 
and their advanced posts 29 and military stations were established on the banks of the 
Rodanoh (Rhone). He had previously, in the year 111 (beginning April 4, a.d. 729), 



[book V. 

Is succeeded 
by 'Abdu-1- 

converted the city of Narbonne into a sort of citadel, from which the Moslems 
might sally out and scour the neighbouring country, for which purpose he stored it 
with arms and provisions ; and many were the expeditions which he himself led into 
the country of the Franks. But whilst intent upon extending his conquests, 'Okbah 
lost no opportunity of spreading the religion of Islam; for, whenever he took 
prisoners, he never would order their execution without previously inviting them to 
embrace the only true religion, and setting before their eyes the gross errors and 
impositions of their creed ; and this plan answered so well, that thousands of infidels 

were converted at his hands. 

'Okbah arrived in Andalus in the year 117, others say in the year before. He 
was succeeded by 'Abdu-1-malek Ibn Kattan, for the second time, although the 
manner in which this was effected is differently stated. Ibnu Khaldun says, " In 
" the year 121 'Abdu-1-malek rose against 'Okbah, deposed him from his govern- 
" ment, and put him to death, or, according to others, expelled him from the 
" country." Ibnu Bashkuwal's statement is, that 'Abdu~l-malek revolted against 
'Okbah, seized his person, and deprived him of the command of Andalus ; hut he 
says that it was not clear whether he had him secretly put to death, or whether he 
merely banished him the country. 30 Both authors, however, agree in saying that 
this happened in the year 121 (beginning Dec. 17, a. d. 738), and that the usurper 
retained the command during the remainder of that year and the two following, 
122 and 123, until Balj came from Africa with the Syrian troops, and, having 
subdued Andalus, made 'Abdu-1-malek his prisoner, and had him crucified in the 
month of Dhi-1-ka'dah of the year 123. 'Okbah held his court at Cordova. 

Ar-razi's account differs considerably from the preceding. He says, " In the 
" month Of Safar of the year 123 (Dec. a. d. 740, or Jan. 741), during the Khalifate 
" of Hisham, son of 'Abdu-1-malek, the people of Andalus revolted against 'Okbah, 
" and appointed in his stead 'Abdu-1-malek Ibn Kattan, for the second time. 
" 'Okbah had governed Andalus for a period of six years and four months ; he 
" died at Carcasonne 31 in the same month (Safar, a. h. 123)." However, we find 
that both Ibnu Khaldun and Ibnu Bashkuwal give him only five years' government. 
Be this as it may, certain it is that 'Abdu-1-malek Ibn Kattan usurped the power in 
Andalus, and ruled as master over that country until the arrival of Balj Ibn Beshr, 
who, escaping from the defeat of the Syrian army by the Berbers, at a place in 
Africa called Mulwiyah, took refuge in Andalus with the remainder of the Syrian 
troops ■; some say in the year 123, others in 124. Balj made war upon 'Abdu-1- 
malek, whom he defeated and took prisoner, putting him to death in the month of 
Dhl-1-ka'dah, 123 (Sept. or Oct. a. d. 741), ten months after his usurpation of the 
power. They say that Balj caused his adversary, Ibn Kattan, to be crucified in a 


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field outside of Cordova, on the opposite bank of the river, and close to the head of 
the bridge, after causing a hog to be placed at his right hand, and a dog at his left. 
In that state did the body of the unfortunate 'Abdu-1-malek remain for a considerable 
time, until some of his friends and clients stole his mangled remains one night, and 
buried them. The spot where this lamentable execution took place was long 
after known as Masslab Ibn Kattan, ( the place of crucifixion of Ibn Rattan.' 
A few years after this event, the government of Andalus having devolved on his 
cousin, Ytisuf Ibn 'Abdi-r-rahman Al-fehri, Umeyyah, the son of the executed 
governor, applied to him for permission to build a mosque on the spot ; and, having 
obtained it, he erected a handsome temple, which was called Mesjid Umeyyah (the 
mosque of Umeyyah) , after the name of its founder ; and thus did the spot lose 
its former name. They say that when 'Abdu-1-malek was executed he was nearly 
ninety years old ; but of this more will be said when we come to treat about Balj. 




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[book V 


General rising of the Berbers in Africa — Kolthum is sent against them — Is defeated and replaced by 
Hondhalah — The Berbers of Andalus rise against the Arabs — They defeat 'Abdu-1-malek — The Syrians 
under Balj come to his assistance — They revolt against him — They take him prisoner — Put him to 
death — The sons of 'Abdu-1-malek march against Balj — Balj is killed in the engagement — The Syrians 
appoint Tha'lebah — Their wars with, the Berbers — Arrival of Abu-1-khattar — Is defeated, and taken 
prisoner— Makes his escape — Thuabah's nomination confirmed by the Wali of Africa — Battle of She- 
kundah — Death of Abu-1-khattar — The grandsons of "Wittiza — Yusuf Al-fehri is appointed by the 
army — Several chiefs resist his authority— He defeats them in succession — Chronology of the governors 
of Andalus. 

in Africa. 

General rising yy E have alluded elsewhere to the rising of the Berbers, both in Andalus * and 

of the Berbers ° 

in Africa, where they had frequently cut to pieces the forces dispatched against 
them. About this time, especially, elated at their past success, they aimed at taking 
the empire from the hands of the Arabs. Thus it occurred : when the Khalif 
Hisham Ibn 'Abdi-1-malek, who succeeded his brother Yezid Ibn 'Abdi-1-malek in 
the year 105 of the Hijra (beginning June 9, a. d. 723), received intelligence 
of the revolt of the Berbers in Maghrebu-l-akssd ("Western Africa) and in Andalus, 
and how they had shaken off the yoke of the Arabs, and denied all obedience to 
him, resisting the authority of his officers, and committing all sorts of excesses and 
depredations throughout the country, he was greatly displeased, and decreed the 
immediate removal of 'Obeydullah Ibnu-1-hajab, then governor of Africa. This 
done, he appointed to succeed him Kolthum Ibn 'Iyadh Al-kusheyri, who left Syria 
with a considerable army to make war upon the rebels. 

With these forces, which, added to the African garrisons, amounted to no less 
than seventy thousand men, Kolthum took the field, and marched against the chief 
of the insurrection, named Meysarah, a Berber, who had assumed the name and 
authority of the Khalif in Africa. When the two armies met, the Moslems were 
defeated with great loss ; and their general, Kolthum, being wounded, was on the 
point of falling into the hands of his enemies. He, however, contrived to make 
his escape, 2 and shut himself up in the castle of Ceuta. Among the Arabs who 


is sent 
against them. 

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CHAP. V.] 



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took refuge in that fortress was a nephew of Kolthum, named Balj Ibn Beshr 


When the news of this disaster reached Syria, Hisham was mightily displeased. J^^Stf 
Wishing to wash out the injury which the Moslems had sustained, he dis- by Hondhaiah. 
patched another army under the command of Hondhalah Ibn Sefwan Al-kelbi, 
who, immediately after his arrival, attacked the Berbers, and defeated them in 
several bloody encounters. But in the interval between the defeat of the Arabs 
and the arrival of Hondhalah, Balj and his uncle Kolthum, with the relics of the 
Syrian army, 3 were closely besieged in Ceuta by the Berbers. So effectually was 
the city surrounded, and so vigorous were the attacks of the enemy, that the besieged 
began to feel the scarcity of provisions, and were reduced to the greatest extremity. 
In this conflict they sent to implore the assistance of their brethren, the Moslems 
of Andalus; but 'Abdu-1-malek Ibn Kattan, who was then governor of that 
country, fearing lest, if he extricated them from their dangerous position, they 
might afterwards disturb him, refused to grant them any assistance. However, 
the news of their danger having become known throughout Andalus, there were 
not wanting some generous and pious men who flew to their relief, or who sent 
them stores and provisions. Zeyyad Ibn 'Amru Al-lakhmi,* among others, freighted 
two vessels loaded with provisions, by means of which he actually saved them from 
starvation. But no sooner was 'Abdu-1-malek Ibn Kattan apprised of this act of 
disobedience to his orders, than he caused Zeyyad to be immediately arrested and 
brought to his presence, when, after reproaching him with his disobedience, he had 
him punished with seven hundred lashes. Nor did Ibn Kattan's vengeance end 
here : some time after, under the pretence that he was trying to form in the army 
a party against him, he ordered Zeyyad to be first deprived of his sight, and then 
beheaded and crucified, having at his left hand a dog. 

It so happened about this time that the Berbers of Andalus, having heard of the The Berbers of 

11 Andalus rise 

victories which their brethren of Africa had gained over the Arabs, shook off all against the 
allegiance to the Moslems of Andalus, 5 and imitated in every respect the example 
of their countrymen. Having elected a chief of their own, they fought several 
battles with the troops of 'Abdu-1-malek, whom they defeated on more than one They defeat 
occasion. When Ibn Kattan saw this, he began to fear lest the Berbers should 
entirely overpower his forces, and get possession of the country. Perceiving 
therefore that the rebels, proud of the victories gained over his arms, intended to 
march against him and besiege his capital, Cordova, he bethought himself of 
calling to his aid Balj Ibn Beshr and the Syrian adventurers who followed his 
banners ; thinking that they would gladly embrace any opportunity to revenge 
their past defeats on the Berbers of Andalus. He accordingly wrote to Balj, 




£ -- 




The Syrians 
under Balj 
come to his 


inviting him to come over, and promising great rewards to him and his troops in 
case they should succeed in reducing the Berbers. When Balj received lbn 
Kattan's letters, his uncle Kolthum was just dead ; so that, seeing no hope of pro- 
motion or advantage in Africa, and being moreover unable to extricate himself from 
his perilous position, that chief readily accepted the offer made to him, and crossed 
over to Andalus. On the arrival of his Syrian auxiliaries, lbn Kattan failed not to 
receive them with the greatest courtesy, making them extensive grants of land, and 
conferring on them many other favours. It was, however, previously agreed 
between the two parties, that as soon as their united forces had exterminated the 
Berbers, Balj and his Syrians should return to Africa ; in security for which they 
were to give 'Abdu-1-malek a certain number of hostages. These conditions being 
mutually agreed upon, the Syrians were divided into two corps, the command of 
which was given by 'Abdu-1-malek to his two sons, Kattan and Umeyyah, who 
marched immediately against the Berbers, who by that time had collected together 
considerable forces. The two armies met soon afterwards, when, after a most 
desperate and well contested battle, the wheel of fortune turned against the Berbers, 
and they were defeated, notwithstanding their forces were so numerous as to render it 
impossible for any but Allah, their Creator, to estimate their amount. The Arabs 
pursued them with great slaughter through the provinces of Andalus, until their 
fugitive remains reached the extreme frontiers of the Mussulman empire, or 
succeeded in hiding themselves from the eyes of the Syrian hawks. 

In the mean while Balj and his followers were elated with success ; their nostrils 
swelled with pride; their hands were filled with spoils; their strength and im- 
portance waxed greater ; their ambition was kindled ; they broke the agreements 
they had entered into, and forgot the conditions they had signed ; and when lbn 
Kattan, agreeably to their engagements, requested them to leave Andalus, they 
refused to do so, making all sorts of excuses to put off their departure. At last, 
throwing off the mask of dissimulation, they began to complain bitterly of the 
injuries received at the hands of lbn Kattan, when, being besieged in Ceuta, he not 
only would not give them any assistance, but had besides sentenced and put to 
death, as related elsewhere, an Arab, who, in violation of his orders, had sent them 
provisions and stores : they declared themselves in open rebellion, deposed lbn 
Kattan, and appointed in his stead their general, Balj lbn Beshr. The new governor 
was therefore acknowledged throughout the country ; the troops, even those of lbn 
Kattan, having declared in his favour. After this, Balj was advised by his followers to 
They take him put lbn Kattan to death ; 6 but this he would not do, in consequence of which the 

people of Yemen showed their discontent, and said to him : ' ' Thou wishest to spare 
" lbn Kattan because he belongs to the tribe of Modhar, and is therefore one of thy 

Thev revolt 
against him. 


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CHAP. V.] 



" kindred. By Allah ! unless thou deliver him immediately into our hands, we 
" swear not to obey thy commands." Hearing which, and seeing his men de- 
termined to have their revenge, Balj ordered the deposed governor into his presence, 
and delivered him into the hands of the infuriated soldiery. The author whose 
narrative we transcribe says, that 'Abdu-1-malek was a tall and muscular old man, 
resembling a young ostrich ; he was then ninety years of age. 7 When young, he 
had been present at the famous battle of Al-harrah, 8 fought between the Syrians 
and the people of Medinah. While the executioners were binding his hands, 
one of them addressed him thus : " We have thee at last ; thou didst once 
" escape from our swords at the battle of Al-harrah ; after which thou doomedst . 
" us to eat dogs and the skins of animals, and didst refuse us all supplies, that we 
" might all die in Ceuta from hunger and thirst ; but thou art now in our hands, 
" and revenge must have its course." 'Abdu-1-malek was instantly beheaded, and™Jj imt0 
crucified in the manner above described. 

Bv the death of 'Abdu-1-malek. the government of Andalus devolved on Bali The sons of 
the Syrian, as above mentioned ; but he had soon to contend against Kattan and march against 
Umeyyah, the two sons of the deceased, who, assisted by the tribe of Fehr, and 
by all the discontented, and many others who took offence at the execution of the 
late governor, advanced towards Cordova at the head of a considerable army. 
Balj went out to meet them, and gave them battle; but although fortune proved 
favourable to his arms, and the Fehrites were defeated, he himself was mortally 
wounded, and died soon after the action, in the year 124, one year or so after his 
usurpation of the power. The particulars of this engagement are thus described by 
a trustworthy historian :— IC When Kattan and Umeyyah, the two sons of 'Abdu-1- 
" malek, heard of their father's execution, they fled from Cordova, and, having 
" collected together some forces, swore to revenge their father's blood. They 
" were soon joined not only by all the Arabian tribes which had settled 9 in Andalus 
" previous to the arrival of the Syrians, and who were envious at their success, 
" but by the Berbers themselves, who from all parts of the country now flocked 
" under their standard. Among the former was 'Abd-u-r-rahman Ibn Habib Ibn 
" Abi 'Obeydah Ibn 'Okbah Ibn Nafi' Al-fehri, 10 one of the generals of the army, 
" who had hitherto followed the party of Balj ; but who, seeing the barbarous 
retaliation committed on his cousin 'Abdu-1- malek, deserted the banners of that 
chief, and passed over to the enemy with a considerable body of troops. Their 
" ranks were further increased by the arrival of 'Abdu-r-rahman Ibn 'Alkamali 
" Al-lakhmi, governor of Narbonne, the bravest knight in Andalus, who likewise 
tc embraced their party: the combined forces of the rebels, amounting to upwards 
" of one hundred thousand men, then marched to besiege Balj in Cordova. The . 

t f 



" Syrian general, being an experienced and valiant warrior, was not taken un- 
£C awares : he "went out to meet them at the head of twelve thousand cavalry, 
" without including in this number a large body of his own slaves, which he had 
"formed into a division, and various tribes of the Beladi 11 Arabs, who were 
" ranged under his banners. When the two armies met, the Syrians fought with 
" desperate valour, performing feats of arms the like of which never before were 
" witnessed. In the midst of the engagement, however, Ibn 'Alkamah thus 
" addressed his followers: ' Show me where Balj is, that I may look for him, 
" transfix Kim with this ray spear, or, by Allah ! die at his hands.' Upon which one 
" of his borderers 12 pointed out to him the spot where Balj was, and Ibn 'Alkamah 
" made a desperate charge at the head of his own men. The Syrian knights, 
" unable to withstand the shock, gave way, and a passage was thus opened which 
" enabled Ibn 'Alkamah to penetrate into the middle of their ranks. Having 


jngage- " reached the spot where Balj fought, he wounded him twice with his spear, and 
" threw him off his saddle. Notwithstanding this mishap the Syrians fought so 
" well, that after some time the Beladi Arabs were completely routed and took to 
" flight, being closely pursued by the Syrians, who made great slaughter among 
" them, and took many prisoners ; victory thus remaining to those who had lost 
" their general in the action." 13 This battle, and the death of Balj, who, as we have 
already observed, died of his wounds two days after, 14 happened in the month of 
Shawwal, a.h. 124 (Sept. a.d. 742), eleven months 15 after his coming into power. 
Like his predecessors, Balj held his court at Cordova. 

rians After the death of their general, the Syrians appointed to succeed him Tha'lebah 

ah. Ibn Salamah Al-'ameli, by others called Al-jodhami ; 16 but before we proceed any 
further, we think it important to observe that the Arabs who entered Andalus with 
Balj were known by the name of Shdmiun (people of Sham or Syria), to distinguish 
them from those who were already in that country, and came at the time of the 
conquest or soon after it: these were called Beladiun. But to return; after 
the death of Balj, as related, Tha'lebah Ibn Salamah Al-'ameli was appointed by the 
Syrians to govern the country, in virtue of a provision received from the Khalif 
Hisham to that effect. Tha'lebah ruled the country with great moderation and 
justice. Ibnu Khaldun says " that he governed it for a period of two years, 
"although his authority was not acknowledged for more than ten months;" his 
partiality for the Yemeni Arabs having become the cause of the desertion of the 
tribe bfiFehr, and of the civil wars which ensued. It happened thus: soon 
after the appointment of Tha'lebah, the first Andalusian settlers from among the 
Arabs and the Berbers resolved upon revenging the outrages they had received at 

f- the hands of the Syrians, and accordingly made war upon Tha'lebah, whom they 


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besieged in Merida, where he had taken refuge. When the rebels saw Tha'lebah 
shut up within the walls of that city, they were greatly rejoiced, and doubted not of 
the victory : they thought that their enemy could not escape them, and would ere 
long be obliged to give himself up for want of provisions. In this security, and 
trusting in their numbers, the besiegers were scattered over the plain before Merida, 
without the least order or vigilance. They even began to make preparations for 
the solemnization of an approaching festival ; 17 which being observed by Tha'lebah, 
he chose the moment when they were most careless, and at sunrise of the day 
in which they were to celebrate their festival, he made a sally at the head of his 
arrison, and succeeded in routing them completely, killing great numbers of them ; 
besides taking one thousand prisoners, with all their families 18 and children. He 
then returned to Cordova, where no less than ten thousand captives, or perhaps 
more, taken by the different divisions of his army after the defeat before the walls 
of Merida, were brought to him from various parts of the country. Tha'lebah 
then encamped outside of Cordova with his troops. It was on a Thursday ; and on 
the following day, after prayers, it was his intention to put the whole of his ten 
thousand prisoners to the sword. Friday came on, and every one present expected 
to see the massacre of the prisoners commence ; when, lo ! the Khalif s banner 
fluttered in the distance, and, soon after, Abti-l-khattar Husam Ibn Dhirar Al-kelMy '; \ 
who came to take possession of the government, made his appearance. 

Ibnu Khaldun says that this Abii-I-khattar came to Andalus by the appointment AiJu-khattfe. 
of Hondhalah Ibn Sefwan, Wali of Africa, with instructions to re-establish public 
order, and appease the troubles excited by the contending parties. He sailed from 
the port of Tunis in the month of Moharram of the year 125 (Nov. a.d. 742). 
Ibnu Hayyan has words to the same effect, and adds that the reigning Khalif at the 
time was Al-walid Ibn Yezid Ibn 'Abdi-1-malek Ibn Merwan : he places the arrival 
of AbuM-khattar in Cordova in Rejeb, 125 (May, 743), after Tha'lebah had 
governed the country for ten months. 

" No sooner," continues Ibnu Khaldun, " did Abu-1-khattar land in Andalus 
than all parties hastened to put down their arms. Tha'lebah himself, Ibn Abi 
Nes'ah, 19 and the two sons of 'Abdu-l-malek, went out to meet him, and --swore 
allegiance. Abii-I-khattar treated: them all kindly; and Tha'lebah, the late 
governor, returned to the East, where he attached himself to Merwan Ibn 
" Mohammed, whom he followed in most of his campaigns." 20 

Abii-I-khattar is generally described as a brave and generous man, and en- 
dowed with much prudence and great talents for administration. Finding that the 
settlers from Syria were very numerous in Andalus, and that Cordova could no 
longer hold them, he scattered them over the country, and gave them lands to 




1 t 


settle in. He gave Elvira and the surrounding country to the people of Damascus, 
who, finding it resemble their native country, called it Shdm (Damascus) : the 
people of Hems (Kmessa) he caused to settle at Seville, which received also the 
name of Hems. Jayyen (Jaen) was given up to the people of Kenesrin, and called 
also by that name, Kenesrin ; the people of Al-urdan had as their share Rayah and 
Malaga, both of which they named Al-urddn; Shldhunah, or by others named 
Sherish (Xerez), fell to the lot of the people of Palestine, and was therefore called 
Filistin. The Egyptians had Tudmir, which, in imitation of the other settlers, they 
called Misr ; 21 and lastly, the people of AVasit received Cabra and the neighbouring 

districts as their share. 

According to Ibnu Hayy&n, Abu-1-khattar was an excellent poet : he also evinced 

great talents far administration, and his government at first was just and mild, though 
he afterwards showed some inclination to favour the Yemeni Arabs in their feuds 
against the Modharites, and affronted the tribe of Kays, which is a branch of the 
latter ; the consequence of which was that civil war 2a broke out afresh, and raged 
with more violence than ever. The cause of the war is thus related by the histo- 
rians: Abu-1-khattar had always shown himself partial to the Arabs of Yemen. 
One day a man belonging to his own tribe had an altercation with a man of the 
tribe of Kenanah, and although the case was clearly proved against the Yemeni, 
who was a cousin of Abi-l-khattar, the governor, swayed by love for his own 
people, 23 decided in favour of his cousin. The Kenani then went to see As-samil 
Ibn Hatim Ibn Shamr Al-kelahi, surnamed Abu-1-jaushan, and told him of Abu-1- 
khattar's injustice. Now this As-samil was one of the principal chiefs 24 of the 
BeniModhar; he hated tyranny and oppression, and could not suppress his in- 
dignation when he heard of the outrage inflicted on one of his own people, whose 
rights he was always the first to defend and support. He goes immediately to see 
Abu-1-khattar, and reproaches him with his conduct in language not very moderate ; 
upon which Abu-1-khattar answers with abuse : As-samil replies, and things go so 
far that Abu-1-khattar orders his guards to seize him, raise him from his seat, and 
put him out of the room. 25 They relate that in the scuffle As-samil received some 
blows in the nape of his neck, by which his turban was thrown on one side ; and 
that as he was going out of the Amir's palace a man who was standing at the door 
said to him, " O AlriUl-jaushan, what is the matter with thy turban? By Allah l 
■« it is all on one side."— " Thou art right, man," said As-samil, " but I trust 
-my people will soon put it right for me." Saying which, he immediately 
retired 4o Iris dwelling, and sent for his friends and clients, who came to him m 
haste as soon as they heard of the occurrence. When they were all assembled, 
As-samil begged them to stay with him ; and when the shades of night had 

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covered the earth, he addressed them in the following words : (( What do you 
" think, friends, has happened to me? I have been injured and ill-treated by the 
" Amir; but the affront is not one that falls only on me, it comprises you all as 
" my friends and relatives." He then told them his adventure with Abii-1-khattar ; 
upon which his friends replied, " If thou declare unto us what kind of revenge 
" it is thy intention to take, we will see whether we can participate in thy designs, 
" or not."—" By Allah! " said As-samil, " my vengeance shall not be satisfied 
with any thing short of taking the command from the hands of this Arab : in 
order to accomplish which, I intend to quit Cordova secretly this very night, 
and betake myself where I can expect help and security ; for I see at present . 
no other way of carrying my plans into execution. "Whither do ye think I had 
better go? To whom shall I apply for aid?" — " Go wherever thou likest," 
said Ids friends, " provided it be not to the dwelling of Abu. 'Atta* Al-kaysi ; for he 
" is incapable of lending thee any assistance, and will never do any thing that 
" may turn to thy advantage." This Abu 'Atta was an Arabian chief, who enjoyed 
great authority and power in the city of Ezija, the place of his residence : he was 
a great enemy of As-samil, and his rival in every thing. All those present at this 
interview assented to this advice, except Abu Bekr Ibn Tofayl Al-'abadi, who, 
although still a youth, enjoyed great consideration and respect in the tribe : he 
alone refused to give his opinion, and kept silence; which being observed by = : 
As-samil, he addressed him thus: — " Why dost thou not speak, O Ibn Tofayl? 
" What is thy advice?" — " I have only one thing to say," replied the youth, 
" which is, that if thou do not go to see Abu 'Atta, and persist in thy enmity to 
" him, this our conspiracy will certainly not succeed, and we shall all of us meet 
" with our death. If, on the contrary, thou go to see him, I am sure he will 
" forget what has passed between you; he will be moved by love to thee and 
" his tribe, and he will do any thing thou wishest him to do." — " Well said!" 
replied As-samil; " thine is the best advice, and I will certainly act upon it." 
He accordingly left Cordova that very night, and repaired to Ezija, where he 
visited Abu 'Atta, who, being a generous and forgiving man, immediately tendered: 
him such aid to his cause as he could bestow. From Ezija As-samil went to 
Munir (Moror), 26 the place of residence of Thuabah [Ibn Salamah] Ibn Yezid 27 
Al-jodhami, one of the principal chiefs of the Yemeni Arabs, who, having also 
received certain injuries at the hands of Abii-1-kh attar, readily consented to assist 
As-samil in his undertaking, and agreed, when called upon, to take the field with 
the Beni Modhar. Having therefore fixed upon Shidhtinah (Sidonia) as the place 
of their meeting, the rebels mustered their forces, and marched against Abti-I- is defeated 
khattar, whom they defeated with great slaughter on the banks of the Wada-Leke, 28 aB . d takcn 

7 J " ° _ ' prisoner. 

- 1 


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taking him prisoner. They say that when As-samil and Thuabah saw that governor 
in their power, their first intention was to put him to death ; but they delayed 
his execution, and took him in irons to Cordova, where he was confined to a strong 
tower in the walls. All this happened in the month of Rejeb of the year 127 
(April or May, a.d. 745), two years after Abii-1-kh attar had taken possession of 

the government of Andalus. 
h y Abu-1-khattar, however, did not remain long in confinement, having soon after 
succeeded in making his escape, with the assistance of his friends. Abii-1-khattar's 
liberation happened thus : A friend of his, named 'Abdu-r-rahman Ibn Hossan 
Al-kelbi, 29 came to Cordova one night, accompanied by thirty horsemen and a 
small body of infantry, all men of tried courage, and in whose experience and. 
fidelity he could trust. Having made a sudden attack upon the tower where 
AM-1-khattar was detained, they massacred the guards, and liberated the deposed 
governor, who retired with them to the western provinces. 

No sooner did the news of Abu-1-khattar's liberation, and his readiness to assert 
his rights, spread over the country, than he was joined by the Yemeni Arabs, who 
from all sides nocked under his banners ; and he w T as thus enabled to resume the 
offensive, and march upon Cordova. Thuabah in the mean time was not inactive. 
Having assembled his forces, he went out to meet him in company with As-samiL 
The two hosts were in presence of each other, and ready to commence the engage- 
ment, when an Arab of the tribe of Modhar rose by night (and placing himself within 
hearing of Abu-1-khattar's followers), began crying out at the top of his voice,— " O 
" Arabs of Yemen ! why expose yourselves to the fortunes of war ? and why try 
t( to avert the fate which awaits Abu-1-khattar ? Has he not been already in our 
" power, and at our discretion? Nay, had we chosen to put him to death, we 
'.' might easily have accomplished it ; but we had pity on him, and we spared his 
" life. The governor appointed by us belongs also to your tribe. Why do you 
" not think of your situation? If Thuabah belonged to any other tribe but your 
" own, you might have an excuse in your rising ; but as it is, you have none. And 
" do not imagine that these sentiments are uttered through a wish on our part to 
" conciliate you, or through fear of your spears ; it is only our love of peace, and 
" our anxiety to stop the effusion of blood, and to promote the welfare of the people 
« of this country in general, which dictate them." These words had the desired 
: effect. They were listened to with attention by the followers of Abii-1-khattar, 
who saidi ; " By Allah ! that man is right." And accordingly they marched away 
that very night, and on the morning of the next day they were some miles from the 

field of battle. 30 

Ibnu. Bashkuwal says that when the Modharites and their chiefs had agreed upon 



.■ _ _l X - 

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dvine; the command to Thuabah, they wrote to 'Abdu-r-rahman Ibn Habib, Wali Thufl>ab*< 

~ ~ 'j ^ nomination 

of Cainvan, apprising him of their choice, and requesting him to confirm the confirmed by 
election ; which lie did immediately. This happened towards the end of the month Africa, 
of Rejeb of the year 127 (April, a.d. 745), when the country was in some 
manner pacified, all the power being concentrated in the hands of Thuabah, or 
rather of As-samiJ, who was his second in command. Thuabah governed Andalus 
for a year or so, after which time he died. 31 In the work of Ibnu-1-faradhi, how- 
ever, the government of Thuabah is said to have lasted two years. 

The same writer (Abu-1-walid Ibnu-1-faradhi) describes Abu-hkhattar as a noble 
and high-minded man ; only that, being descended from a tribe of Yemen, he 
showed too great a partiality to the people of his kindred, and was ill-disposed 
towards the Beni Modhar. He affronted the tribe of Kays : this being the cause of 
the rising of their chief, As-samil, who deposed him, and appointed in his room 
Thuabah Ibn Salamah, as elsewhere related. Ibnu-1-faradhi adds, that the two 
factions continued after this to wage war against one another ; that Abu-1-khattar 
was deposed four years and nine months 32 after his taking possession of the 
government, in the year 128 (beginning Oct. 2, a. d. 745), and that he was at last 
put to death by As-samil, and replaced by Thuabah Ibn Salamah in the government 
of Andalus. But to return. 

Ibnu Khaldun says, " About this time civil war raged in Africa, and the empire 
of the Beni Umeyyah began to decay in the East. The Khalifs of that dynasty 
were assailed by rebels in every distant province, and the power and importance 
of the wearers of the black colours ('Abbasides) waxed every day greater. In 
the mean time the people of Andalus were left to themselves, and without a 
ruler. At first the administration was carried on in the name of 'Abdu-r-rahman 
" Ibn Kethir; 33 but afterwards the army decided upon dividing the empire between 
the two rival factions, the Beni Modhar and the Arabs of Yemen, in such a 
manner that each party should govern the country for one year, when they 
would resign the command into the hands of the other. The Beni Modhar, 
who were to be the first, appointed, in the year 129, as their commander, Ytisuf 
Ibn 'Abdi-r-rahman Al-fehri, who accordingly governed the country for one year, 
taking up his residence at Cordova. But when, after the expiration of that 
year, the Yemenis sought to be put in possession of the government, according 
to the agreement entered into with the opposite party, Yusnf, accompanied by 
As-samil Ibn Hatim and the tribe of Kays, and all the other tribes issued 
from the stock of Modhar, made one night a sudden attack upon Shekundah,' 
a village close to Cordova, 34 where the Yemenis had taken up their abode, and 
massacred the greater part of them. Abu-1-khattar then, took the field, but he 


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" was met by As-samil, who routed him and put him to death in the year 129 
" (beginning Sept. 21, a. d. 746)." So far Ibmi Khaldun. 

" Ibnu Hayyan relates these events differently: he says, " When Abii-Ukhattar 
" heard of his [Yusuf's] appointment, he put his Yemenis into requisition; and all 
" answered his call, this being the cause of the celebrated battle of Shekundah, 
" fought between the Beni Modhar and the Arabs of Yemen. They say that 
" there never was, either in the East or the West, a more bloody and contested 
fi battle than that of Shekundah, nor one in which greater feats of arms were 
" performed by the warriors on both sides, who fought until the edges of their 
" swords were softened by the blows, when each man seized his adversary by the 
" hair, and fought with his hands until they fell down exhausted and tired of 
" dealing and receiving blows. However, it appears that As-samil, having upon 
(t a certain day received intelligence that his enemies were not upon their guard, 
" called together all the tradespeople and shopkeepers 35 of Cordova, and, putting 
" himself at their head, resolved to make a sudden attack upon the Yemenis. 
" Having selected four hundred of the most determined and bravest among them, 
" armed with knives, sticks, and such other weapons as they could procure, — a 
" few only being provided with either spears or swords, — he led them against the 
" Yemenis, who, being unprepared for the attack, were seized with a sudden panic, 

" and fled in every direction before the people of Cordova, without returning their ; : 

" blows, or attempting even to parry those dealt to them. 36 They were hotly 
" pursued by the enemy, who made great slaughter in their ranks. So great was 
" the loss which the Yemenis sustained on this memorable occasion, that but few 
" of their number outlived the bloody encounter. Abu -hkh attar, among others, 
" fled the field of battle, and took refuge in a neighbouring mill, where he remained 
"for some time concealed under the mill-stone: 37 he was, however, detected 
" and brought to the presence of As-samil, who had him immediately beheaded." 
The above is borrowed from the work of Ibnu Hayyan. 

1 The historians of Andahis have recounted at length some transactions in which 
the grandsons of King Wittiza were concerned, during the administration of Abu-1- 
khattar. After the death of Almond, who was the eldest son of that monarch, 
and who, as related, 38 left a daughter called Sarah, and two sons in tender age, 
Artabash seized the states of his nephews, and appropriated them to himself. This 
happened at the beginning of the Khalifate of Hisham Ibn 'Abdi-1-malek. When 

Sarah, the Goth, saw herself and brothers thus deprived of their father's inheritance, <=. 

she laid a complaint before Abu-1-khattar ; but seeing that justice was not speedily 
done to her, she determined upon repairing to the East in person, and getting 
redress from the Khalif. Accordingly, having fitted out a good vessel, and provided 





it with the necessary stores for the voyage, she emharked at Seville with her two 
brothers, and set sail for Syria. Having landed at 'Askalun (Ascalon), a sea-port 
on the shores of that country, Sarah proceeded to Damascus, where the Khalif 
Hisham. Ibn 'Abdi-1-malek held his court. After informing that Sultan of her case, 
she implored justice against her uncle, and begged him to issue orders to Abu-1- 
khattar to re-instate her and her brothers in all the lands belonging to their father, 
as contained in the capitulation entered into with Tarik, and confirmed by his 
predecessor, the Khalif Al-walid. Hisham was much pleased with Sarah, whose 
courage and determination he greatly admired : he treated her kindly, and admitted 
her to his privacy ; and when she expressed her wish to depart, gave her a letter 
for Hondhalah lbn Sefwan Al-kelbi, his governor of Eastern Africa, intrusting him 
with the redress of the injury she had sustained at the hands of her uncle Artabash, 
and bidding him to have restored to her and her brothers all those states which, 
in conformity with the laws of succession, might belong to them as their father's 
inheritance. Hondhalah did as he was commanded : he gave Sarah a letter for his 
lieutenant in Andalus (Abu-1-khattar) , who, on receipt of it, put her and her brothers 
in full possession of all their rights. 

According to other authorities, before Sarah quitted Syria, Hisham gave her 

in marriage to a noble Arab, named Tsa Ibn Ibrahim, who dwelt with her at 
Damascus for some time, but who, on the return of Sarah to Andalus, accompanied 
her to that country, where he soon after recovered from her uncle Artabdsh the 
possession of all her states, through which he was enabled to live in great affluence 
and comfort. 'Isa had by her two sons, one named Ibrahim, the other Is'hak, 
both of whom held offices of trust at Seville, the place of their residence, and were 
verv much esteemed and respected on account of their descent on the mother's side 
from the Gothic kings of Andalus. 

They relate likewise, that whilst Sarah was staying at the court of Hisham, she 
met in one of her visits to that Khalif his grandson 'Abdu-r-rahman Ibn Mu'awiyah, 
the same who in after-time became the master of Andalus, and that to this circum- 
stance she owed the great favour which she always enjoyed with that monarch; 
for when 'Abdu-r-rahman had conquered the whole of Andalus, Sarah hastened to 

-■ i ■- - 

Cordova to compliment him on his good success, and she failed not to recall; herself 
to his memory, and recommend herself to his good graces as a Christian living 
in his dominions. 'Abdu-r-rahman then recollected her, and granted her the 
privilege of entering at all hours the royal palace whenever she went to Cordova. 
In this manner he continued bestowing on her new honours and distinctions, going 
so far as to grant her leave to visit his harem and see his wives and daughters 
without their veils on. After the death of her husband, who died the same year in 







which 'Abdu-r-rahman arrived in Andalus (a.h. 138), Sarah married 'Abdur- 
rahman Ibn 'Omayr Ibn Sa'id. 

ArtaSsh y ° £ Many tr uty royal acts have been recorded of this princess, as well as of her 

father Almond, and of her uncle Artabash, living, as they did, under the Arabian 
Amirs, who at that time governed Andalus. The following anecdote, related by the 
theologian Mohammed Tbn 'Omar Ibn Lebbanah, 39 is one: " Ten of the principal 
Arab chieftains, amongst whom were As-samil, Ibnu-t-tofayl, 40 Abu 'Abdah, and 
other noble Syrians, came once to visit Artabash, who received them with the 
" greatest attention, and caused them to sit down on the cushions surround in jr 
his hall. Soon after, a pious man named Maymiln, 41 the progenitor of the Beni 
Hazm, and who, though a Syrian too, did not associate much with them, on 
" account of his very pious and abstemious habits, entered the room ; and no sooner 
" did Artabash see him than he got up to receive him (this being an honour which 
he had not done to the rest of his guests), and bidding him ascend a gilded couch 
upon which he was reclining, made him a sign to sit in his own place. This 
favour, however, Maymun most obstinately refused, and, notwithstanding the 
entreaties of Artabash, he sat himself on the floor; seeing which, the prince did 
the same, and sat alongside of Maymun, turning his face towards him, and bis 
back to the company. ' O Artabash,' inquired Maymun in amazement, ' what 
makes thee treat one like me in this way ? ' Artabash then said, ' hast thou not 
heard 42 that we came to this country as enemies? and therefore never thought 
that our residence would be a long one ; we were not in any way prepared to 
stay, and had not a large stock of provisions with us. After we are dead, thou 
mayest tell our maulis how we despaired of ever returning to our native places.' 
Maymun then replied, 'God has given thee plenty of fortune's gifts, and I 
wish thee to let me have one of thy farms, that I may cultivate the land with 
my own hands, and make over the produce of it to thee, after deducting the 
sum required for my maintenance.' — 'I will with great pleasure,' answered 
Artabash ; ' but, instead of a farm in which thou wilt have only a small interest, I 
shall give thee the entire possession of it.' He then sent for the chief of his 
household, and addressed him thus : ' Thou shalt deliver into the hands of 
Maymun our farm so and so, on the banks of the river Shiis, 43 with all the 
" slaves, beasts, and cattle appertaining to it; and thou shalt besides put him in 
" possession of our estate in Jaen.' These orders being readily complied w r ith, 
"Maymun became the owner of extensive property, in which he was succeeded by 
his son. To them owes its name a fortress in that territory called Kal'ah- 
Hazm." The authors who have recorded this anecdote add, " that no sooner 
" had Maymun, after returning due thanks for so signal a favour, taken leave of 











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1 1 

" ArtaMsh, and retired, than As-samil, who had witnessed with envy Maymiin's 
" reception, could no longer brook his indignation, and, rising from his seat, 
" addressed him thus : ' I cannot help thinking thou must be out of thy senses ; for 
" when I, who am the chief of the Arabs in this country, and my friends here who : 
" stand next to me in dignity, enter thy house, thou receivest us with no more. 
" distinction than thy common visitors; and when this beggar Maymtin comes 
" into thy presence, thou payest him unwonted honours and attention/ To which; 
" ArtaMsh replied, ' O Abu Jaushan ! we have repeatedly been told by the people 
" of thy faith, that men of learning and virtue ought to be honoured in this world ; 
why then dost thou find fault with me for what I have done? As to thyself, 
(may God Almighty prosper thee !) thou hast already sufficient honour, r since 
men regard thee on account of thy dignity and thy power, whilst this poor man 
has no one else to protect and favour him but God. We have been told of 
a saying of the Messiah, (peace be on Him !) who said once to his people, ( He 
who has been honoured in this world by other men being made subservient to 
him, his honour agrees with his nature, as if he swallowed a stone.' *As-samil was 
an illiterate man, and hence the allusion made by Artabash in his reply. After 
" this, As-samil's friends spoke to him thus: 'Enough of this; let us drop the 
" unprofitable question, and proceed to business by stating the object of our visit.' 
" They then told Artabash, ' We want precisely the same thing thou hast granted 
" this man; and since thou hast been so generous with one so low, we are curious , 
" to see how thou wilt deal with us who are the principal men of the land.'-— * You 
" are right,' answered Artabash ; ' he was only a subject, whilst you all are princes 
" and lords ; you will not therefore like to receive from me but what is great and 
" handsome: I give you one hundred farms, to be equally divided among you, ten 
" to each.' He then sent for the chief of his household, and having issued the 
C( necessary orders in writing, As-samil and his friends were immediately put in 
" possession of their respective estates, which were the best possessed by ArtaMsh." 
But to resume the thread of our narrative. 

Thuabah was succeeded by Ytisuf Ibn 'Abdi-r-rahman Ibn Habib Ibn AM 
'Obeydah Ibn 'Okbah Ibn Nan' Al-fehri, who was the descendant of ['Okbah] 
the governor of Eastern Africa, and the founder of, Cairwan, he of the ;; praise- 
worthy deeds and glorious conquests, whose memory shall for ever live, , the 
stock of a family which obtained no small share of power both in Africa and 
in Andalus. According to the historian Ar-razi, Ytisuf Al-fehri was born in the Yustf Al-fehri 

° is appointed 

city of Cairwan, whence his father, 'Abdu-r-rahman, crossed over to Andalus, by the avmy. 
together with [his grandfather] Habib Ibn Abi 'Obeydah Al-fehri, at the time of 
the conquest of that country. ' Abdu-r-rahman returned to Eastern Africa ; but 



his son Yusuf, having quarrelled with him, fled to Andalus, wherein he settled 
and obtained command. The same writer (Ar-razi) relates, that on the day on 
which Yusuf took possession of the government he was fifty-seven years of age, 
and that he was elected to that office by the army and the people, after the death 
of Thuabah, and when the country had been four months without a ruler. He 
owed his appointment to the suggestions of As-samil, who recommended him on 
account of his being a Korayshite ; which circumstance, that chief thought, might 
lead, if not to the entire reconciliation of the rival tribes, at least to a suspension 
of hostilities. So it happened : both parties put down their arms, and acknow- 
ledged the authority of Yusuf, who was thereby enabled to carry on the government 
for a period of nine years and nine months. 

Ibnu Hayyan relates that Yusuf 's appointment took place in the month of Rabi'-l- 
akhar of the year 129 (Dec. 746, or Jan. 747) ; that he ruled as master in Andalus 
without acknowledging any superior, since his nomination did not in any way 
emanate from the Khalif, but merely from the troops. 

Yusuf s government was by no means a tranquil one, as he had to contend with 
several chiefs, who on various occasions took the field against him, and aimed at 
depriving him both of life and power. He was however successful, and vanquished 
all his enemies, until he himself was overpowered and put to death by 'Abdu-r- 
rahman Ad-dakhel, of the royal family of Umeyyah, as we shall presently relate, 
several chiefs Among the chiefs who disputed with Yusuf the government of Andalus, Ibnu 
thority. ,& au ~ Hayyan counts 'Abdu-r-rahman Ibn 'Alkamah Al-lakhmi, governor of Narbonne, 

a fortress on the frontiers of the land of the Franks, whose undaunted courage, 
great corporal strength, and splendid feats of arms, became proverbial in Andalus, 
and won him the surname of Al-fdrim-l-andalus (the Knight of Andalus) . This 
' Abdu-r-rahman had, on a former occasion, assisted the sons of 'Abdu-l-malek Ibn 
Kattan in their revolt against Balj Ibn Beshr, and it was he who dealt this chief 
the blow from which he died a few days after the battle. However, as 'Abdu-r- 
rahman was preparing to attack Yusuf, he was treacherously put to death by his 
own men, who hastened to convey his head to his enemy. 
He defeats 'Orwah Ibnu-1-walid was the next chieftain who took up arms against Yusuf. 

succession. Assisted by the Christians and others, he raised the standard of revolt in the city of 

Beja, whence he marched upon Seville, which place he also reduced. His forces 
increasing by the arrival of numerous adventurers, who from all parts of the 
country flocked under his banners, Yusuf marched in person against him, and put 
him to death. : 

'A'mir Al-'abdari 45 rose likewise at Algesiras, but without better success. Ytisuf 
marched against him, and made him lay down his arms on condition that he should 


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reside at Cordova. After which, however, he had him beheaded, in the year 138 
(beginning June 15, 755), as will be related hereafter. 

'Amru Ibn Yezid Al-azrak 46 is another of the Arabian chiefs who revolted against 
Yusuf. Some say that he was the first who resisted his authority, and that he rose 
at Seville, but was vanquished and put to death. 

Besides the above rebellions, Yusuf had to quell that of Al-habab 47 Az-zahri, 
an Arabian chieftain, who, on hearing of the victories which the Beni 'Abbas had 
obtained in the East over their enemies of the house of Umeyyah, appeared in arms 
against Yusuf, and proclaimed the Khalifs of the house of 'Abbas as sovereigns of 
Andalus. Having collected a numerous host, he laid siege to Saragossa, where 
As-samil commanded in Yusuf's name. That chief defended himself for a while, 
but, seeing he could not hold much longer, sent to Yusuf for aid. This, however, 
Yiisuf would not grant, as he was angry with As-samil at the time, and wished 
for his destruction. At last the tribe of Kays ran to the assistance of their chief, 
and, having compelled Al-habab to raise the siege, extricated As-samil from his 
dangerous position. Al-habab then returned, and gained possession of Saragossa ; 
but, some time after, Ytisuf marched in person against him and put him to death. 

Yusuf was the last governor of Andalus ; for, in the year 138 (beginning June 1 5, 
755), 'Abdu-r-rahman Ibn Mu'awiyah, a scion of the illustrious house of Umeyyah, 
which had been in possession of the Khalifate for a period of nearly ninety years, 
arrived in Andalus, where, with the assistance of the numerous partisans and 
adherents of his family, he was enabled to contend successfully against him, and 
to found a durable empire for his posterity. But, as it is our intention to relate 
in detail the events which led to this mighty revolution, we need not further allude 
to them here, and will now give the chronology of the Governors of Andalus. 

Tarik was the first governor of Andalus : then came Musa Ibn Nosseyr : neither C!iro,,ol °g 

" J the goven: 

of them, however, fixed his residence in that country. Then came 'Abdu-l-'aziz, of Andaire 
son of Musa, who held his court at Seville, where he was murdered. After him 
Ayub Ibn Habib Al-lakhmi, who transferred the seat of the government to Cordova. 
After him all the Governors or Sultans of Andalus held their court at that city, 
or at Az-zahra, as is well known and we shall hereafter relate, nntil the dynasty 
of the Beni Merwan was finally overthrown. Then came Al-horr Ibn.'Abdi-r- 
rahman Ath-thakefl ; then As-samh Ibn Malik Al-khaulani ; then J Abdu-r-rahman 
Ibn ' Abdillah Al-ghafeki ; then ' Anbasah Ibn Sohaym Al-kelbi ; then 'Ozrah Ibn 
'Abdillah Al-fehrl; then Yahya Ibn Salmah Al-kelbi; then 'Othman Ibn Abi 
Nes'ah Al-khath'ami ; then Mohammed Ibn 'Abdillah Al-ashja'i ; then 'Abdu-1- 
malek Ibn Kattan Al-fehri; then Bali Ibn Beshr Ibn 'Iyadh Al-kushevri: then 
Tha'lebah Ibn Salamah Al-jodhami; then Thuabah Ibn Salamah Al-jodhami; then 



Yusuf Ibn 'Abdi-r-rahman Al-fehri. These are the governors who ruled over 
Andalus without transmitting the command as an inheritance to their posterity, or 
assuming any other title but that of Amir (Governor). They swayed the country 
for a period of forty-six years, two months and six days, counting from the day 
on which Roderic the Goth, King of Andalus, was defeated and killed, that is to 
say, on Sunday, the 5th of Shawwal of the year 92 (July 26, a. d. 711), to that 
on which the Governor Yusuf Ibn 'Abdi-r-rahman was defeated, and his rival, 
'Abdu-r-rahman Ibn Mu'awiyah, of the royal house of Umeyyah, gained possession 
of the empire, and made his triumphant entry into Cordova, namely, on the day of 
'idu-l-adhdhi (festivity of the victims), or the tenth of Dhi-1-hajjah of the year 138 
(May 15, a. p. 756). 

All these Amirs (Governors) were appointed either by the Governors of Africa, 
of which Andalus was then a dependency, or by the Khalifs of the house of Merwan 
(the Beni Umeyyah), who ruled in the East, and were the sole Imams of the 
Moslems, until the civil war was kindled, and their mighty dynasty, which had 
lasted for a period of one thousand months, was overthrown by the Beni 'Abbas, 
who succeeded them in the empire, and scattered them like dust before the wind. 

In course of time, however, Andalus shook off the yoke of the Beni 'Abbas ; for 
'Abdu-r-rahman Ibn Mu'awivah Ibn Hisham Ibn 'Abdi-1-malek Ibn Merwan, after 
surmounting all manner of dangers, wrested that country from them, and made 
it the seat of a powerful empire for himself and his sons, collecting round him the 
relics of his family, and surrounding himself with the freedmen and adherents of 
his ancestors : in short, the whole of Andalus submitted to him, and, after his death, 
to his posterity, who held the supreme power there for a long space of time ; God 
Almighty being pleased to grant him victory over his enemies, the Beni 'Abbas, 
who, wishing to regain possession of Andalus, and to extirpate all the members 
of the rival house, frequently sent armies to invade that country, or instigated the 
chiefs of the Arabian tribes there to take up arms against 'Abdu-r-rahman, and to 
proclaim the supremacy of their own family. But all their attempts proved 
unsuccessful ; for that Sultan defeated one after the other all those who were in arms 
against him, and put numbers of them to the sword, principally during the Khalifate 
of Abu Ja'far Al-mansur, as we shall relate more at large when w r e come to treat of 
the establishment of the house of Umeyyah in Andalus. 

"We have now given in the preceding pages the cream of the information to be 
found in the work of Ibnu Khaldun, as collected or compiled from various historical 
sources. As for ourselves, we have added, when required, such information as we 
deemed sufficient [to illustrate this narrative], or pointed out to the reader the 
contradictions occurring in the works of ancient historians. All this we have done 


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CHAP. V.] 





with the greatest possible brevity ; since, had it been our wish to expatiate at any 
length on the deeds of the conquest, and the exploits of the, Moslems, we might 
have filled a whole volume or more with the subject. We must also inform our 
readers that the above extracts on the history of Andalus, from its conquest by 
Tarik Ibn Zeyad to the arrival of 'Abdu-r-rahman, are chiefly taken from the works 
of Ibnu Hayyan and Ibnu Khaldun, two celebrated historians, who had access to 
the best sources of information : the former author especially, who, in his two 
historical works, the Matin and the Muktabis, preserved almost every tradition 
current in his time on the events here recorded, mentions a long poem, which an 
Andalusian writer, named Yahya Ibn Hakem Al-ghazzal, wrote in the species of 
metre called rejdz, wherein he describes most minutely the causes of the invasion 
of Andalus ; the chief battles therein fought between the Moslems and the Goths ; 
and lastly, the number and the names of the Amirs who administered the affairs 
of that country until the arrival of 'Abdu-r-rahman Ibn Mu'awiyah ; — t( a work,." 
observes Ibnu Hayyan, " exceedingly instructive and useful, and which may be 
" found in the hands of most people." 

We shall now proceed, with the help of God, to relate the events which led to 
the establishment of the family of Merwan or Beni Umeyyah in Andalus. 







Overthrow of the dynasty of Umeyyah— Death of Merwan, their last Khalif— 'Abdu-r-rahman Ibn 
* Mu'awiyah takes to flight— Is pursued by the emissaries of As-seffah— Arrives in Eastern Africa- 
Evades the search of the governor— "Wanders through the country— Sends his freedman Bedr to 
Andalus— A party is formed in his favour— The conspirators communicate their plans to As-samil— 
Answer made by that chieftain— The tribes of Modhar and Rabi'ah refuse to join them— 'Abdur- 
rahman's party is daily strengthened— He embarks for Andalus— Lands at Aim unecar— Preparations of 
Yusuf— Desertions in his camp — 'Abdu-r-rahman marches to Cordova — Gains the battle of Musarah — 
Enters the capital — Starts in pursuit of Yusuf— Obliges him to capitulate. 

Overthrow of During the Khalifate of Merwan Ibn Mohammed Al-ja'di, the last Khalif of the 
SSSSE! 7 * house of Umeyyah in the East, Abu-l-'abbas 'Abdullah, surnamed As-seffdh (the 

shedder of blood), rose in arms against him, and was proclaimed at Ktifah. After 
many sanguinary encounters, in which the armies of Merwan were invariably 
defeated, As-seffah took Damascus, the capital. Having subsequently sent his 
own brother Saleh in pursuit of Merwan, who had taken refuge in Egypt, that 
Death of Sultan was overtaken at Buseyr, and put to death in the month of Jumada-1- 
Menrfn " akhar of the year 132 (February or March, a. d. 750). Thus was the mighty 

dynasty of the Beni Merwan overthrown. There is no power or strength but 

in God! 

Every where the unfortunate members of the proscribed family were seized, and 

put to death without mercy ; and few escaped the search made by the emissaries of 
As-seffah in every province of the empire. A youth named 'Abdu-r-rahman, who 
was the son of Mu'awiyah, and the grandson of the Khalif Hisham Ibn 'Abdi-1- 
malek, was almost the only prince of that house who, after great dangers, succeeded 
in escaping the vengeance of the Beni 'Abbas. His adventures are thus related by 
the historian Ibnu Hayyan in his Muktabis : 

" When the empire of the Beni Umeyyah was overthrown in the East, and the 

CHAP. I.] 



search for the individuals of that family commenced, 'Abdu-r-rahman was one ,Abdu - r - 

rahman Ilm 

of those who fled, to escape the vengeance of the Beni 'Abbas : he never ceased Mu'awiyah 
marching with his family and his son until he halted at a village on the banks, 
of the Euphrates, in the neighbourhood of which was a thick forest, 1 where he 
hoped to conceal himself from the spies of Abu Moslemah 2 until he could find 
an opportunity of passing to Africa. The following account of his adventures 
whilst flying from his enemies has been handed down to us as related by 'Abdu-r- 
rahman himself : ' As I was on a certain day sitting under cover of my tent, to 
shelter myself from the rain, which fell heavily, and watching my eldest son 
Suleyman, then about four years old, who was playing in front of it, I saw him is pursued by 

tci6 croissants 

suddenly enter the door, crying violently ; and, soon after, he ran towards me, and of As-seffiih. 
clung to my bosom for protection. Not knowing what he meant, I pushed him 
away ; but the child clung still more to me, as one seized with violent fear, and 
began uttering such exclamations as children are wont to utter when they are 
frightened. I then left the tent, that I might see what caused his fear ; when lo ! 
I saw the whole village in confusion, and the inhabitants running to and fro 
in great consternation. I went a little further on, and saw the black banners 
[of the 'Abbassides] fluttering in the wind. At sight of these a younger brother 
of mine, who had also rushed out of the tent, and was with me at the time, 
began to fly at the top of his speed, saying, ' Away ! away with thee, O brother ! 
for yonder black banners are the banners of the sons of 'Abbas.' Hearing this, 
I hastily grasped some dinars which I had just at hand, and fled precipitately out 
of the village with my child and my younger brother, taking care to apprise my 
sisters of my departure, and of the road we intended to take ; and bidding them 
join us at a spot, which I named, together with my freedman Bedr, who was the 
bearer of my message. In this manner we escaped from our pursuers, and halted 
at a spot some distance from the village. Scarcely had we left our tent when it 
was surrounded by a body of cavalry, who scrupulously searched every corner 
of it ; but finding no one inside, they withdrew, and soon after left the village. 
In the mean time Bedr joined us, bringing with him a man well acquainted with 
the course of the Euphrates and its banks, to act as our guide, whom I directed 
to purchase for us horses and the articles requisite for our journey... It 
happened, however, that this man was a spy of our enemies, who wished only 
to entrap us ; for scarcely had we been a few minutes under his guidance, when 
we again saw the horsemen in full pursuit of us. "We then used our greatest 
speed, and God permitted that we should reach before them the banks of the 
Euphrates, into which we threw ourselves, the horsemen arriving almost im- 
mediately after. When our pursuers saw this, they began to cry out to us, 




" ' Return hither, no harm shall be done unto you;' but I, without listening to 
" their treacherous words, dashed into the midst of the current, and my companions 
" did the same. I being an excellent swimmer, took charge of my son, whilst my 
" servant Bedr helped my younger brother. "When in the middle of the stream, 
" my brother felt his strength fail him, and he was seized with the fear of death. 
" Seeing his danger, I returned to him to give him courage, and induce him to 
" exert himself; but, as I approached, I saw him make for the bank, no doubt 
" deceived by the treacherous words of our enemies, and believing that his life 
" would be spared. I then cried to him, ' O brother ! come to me, come to me ! ' 
" but he would not listen to my advice; for the promise that his life would be 
" spared, and the fear of being drowned, made him hasten to the shore. I, more- 
" over, succeeded in crossing the Euphrates. One of my pursuers seemed at one 
" time inclined to leap into the river, and swim across in pursuit of me ; but his 
" comrades dissuaded him from the undertaking, and he left me alone. No sooner 
" had I set my feet on shore, than I began anxiously to look about for my brother, 
" whom I saw in the hands of the soldiers, and whom I expected every moment to 
" see put to death. I was not mistaken ; for the traitors, having dragged their 
" victim to a spot not far from the river, beheaded him immediately, and leaving 
" the trunk on the spot, marched triumphantly away with the head. My brother 
" was then thirteen years old. 

" * The sight of this catastrophe struck me with horror : I was seized with violent 
" fears for my life, and began to run with all my speed ; my feet scarcely touched 
" the ground; I flew rather than ran. In this way I took refuge in a thick forest, 
"and hid myself amongst the trees, until the pursuit ceased ; I then left my place 
"of concealment, and fled the country, taking the route to the west, until I reached 
" Eastern Africa/ " &c. 
Arrives in Ibnu Havv&n continues. " After the above adventure, 'Abdu-r-ralrman fled the 

Eastern Africa. J J 

" country with the utmost speed he could use, and marched until he arrived in 
" Eastern Africa, whither his own sister, Ummu-1-asbagh, and his two freedmen, 
" Bedr and Salim, had preceded him, provided with money for their sustenance, 
" and jewels. Other relatives or partisans of the proscribed family of Umeyyah 
" had likewise taken refuge in the same province, where Abdu-r-rahman Ibn 
" Habib Al-fehri 3 was then governing in the Khalif's name. It happened, however, 
". that this governor was on terms of intimacy with a Jewish astrologer and sooth- 
"" sayer, who had once been a servant of Moslemah Ibn 'Abdi-1-malek, one of the 
(( Beni Umeyyah, but was now attached to the Beni 'Abbas. This man having upon 
" a certain occasion found Ibn Habib alone, spoke to him thus: ' A Korayshite 
" youth, of the family of Merwan, descended from kings, shall in time become 

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"a great conqueror; he shall found in Andalus an empire for him and his 
« posterity; his name is Abdu-r-rahman, and he wears two long curls.' When 
the governor heard this, he procured two locks of hair answering exactly 
the description of those which the Jew meant, and sent them to his officers, 
trusting that they would thereby be enabled to discover the object of his 
" search. So it happened; for soon after 'Abdu-r-rah man's arrival in Eastern 
Africa, he was recognised by one of the officers, and brought to the presence 
of lbn Habib, who, seeing the two locks of hair on his head, sent for the Jew, 
and spoke to him thus : ' By thy life ! this is the very youth mentioned in thy 
prophecy; he must die.' The Jew then said, ' If thou kill him, he is not the 
person intended; if, on the contrary, thou spare his life, he must conquer and 
reign:' upon which he let him go. However, several of the Beni Umeyyah 
had taken refuge in Eastern Africa, trusting that the governor lbn Habib, who 
" was an adherent of their family, would allow them to live in peace in those 
" remote regions ; but, contrary to their expectations, he persecuted them, and 
" obliged them to leave the country. Two sons of Al-walld lbn Yezid, who had 
" taken refuge in his territory, he caused to be seized under some false pretence, 
" and put to death. He also confiscated the property of Isma'il lbn Aban lbn 
" Abdi-l-'aziz lbn Merwan, another of the Beni Umeyyah, and married a sister of 
" his against his will and express injunctions. After this he tried to seize the -J ™^ s ® ^ 
" person of Abdu-r-rahman; but having received timely intelligence, this prince governor. 
" hid himself, and succeeded in reaching a place of safety." So far Ibnu Hayyan. 

Other accounts state, that when Abdu-r-rahman left Palestine for Africa, he had 
with him besides Bedr, who had been a freed slave of his father, three other 
servants whose names were Abu Shafa', 'Amru, and Yezid; that he stopped at Wanders 
Maghilah, where he was hospitably entertained by a Berber chief named Abu country. 
Korrah Wanesus, who secreted him some time at his house. Here it was that his 
freedman Bedr overtook him, bringing with him the jewels and gold sent by his 
sister Ummu-1-asbagh. One day, as 'Abdu-r-rahman was in the tent of this chief, 
the emissaries of lbn Habib, the governor, suddenly made their appearance, and 
searched all the corners of it ; but the Berber's wife, named Tekfah, hid him under 
her clothes, and by this means concealed 'Abdu-r-rahman from the eyes of his 
pursuers. It is further related, that 'Abdu-r-rahman never forgot the signal service 
he received on this occasion ; for, when he became King of Aridalus, he invited 
Wanesus and his wife to Cordova, and treated them kindly, admitting them to his 
privacy, and conferring on them all sorts of honours and distinctions. He gave 
Tekfah leave to visit his palace at all hours, and enter his harem whenever she 



chose ; and more than one anecdote has been handed down to us to show the great 
favour she always enjoyed with the prince. 4 

The historian Ibn 'Abdi-1-hakem relates that 'Abdu-r-rahman passed five years in 
concealment in the town of Barkah ; at the end of which time he quitted that place, 
and travelled through the country until he arrived at Tihart, a city of Central 
Maghreb, where he placed himself under the protection of a tribe called the 
Beni Rustam, who were then the lords of that country. Thence he visited the 
encampments of various Berber tribes, and at last fixed his quarters not far from 
the sea, in the territory of a tribe called Zenatah. It was from this place that 
sends his 'Abdu-r-rahman first cast a wistful eye upon Andalus, and dispatched his freedman 
to Andaius. Bedr with messages to the numerous clients and adherents of his family who were 

in that country. 

At that time the number of maulis or adherents to the family of Merwan, 

inscribed on the rolls of the Andalusian army, was very considerable, amounting to 

a party is between four and five hundred, all men of tried courage, and who had many followers 

fa™ur! mh ' S devoted to them. Their chiefs on this occasion were Abu 'Othman 'Obeydullah 

Ibn 'Othman and 'Abdullah Ihn Khaled, both of whom had formerly been maulis 
of the Khalif 'Othman, and had on their arrival in Andalus been intrusted with 
the keeping of the banners of the Beni' Umeyyah, and had also been invested with 
the command of the Syrian Arabs who had settled in the territory of Elvira. To 
this Abii 'Othman, Bedr the freedman brought letters from his master, in which 
'Abdu-r-rahman enumerated the benefits conferred by his ancestors of the house of 
Umeyyah on Abu 'Othman, and reminded him of the obligation under which the 
latter now lay to serve their cause : he further acquainted him with his own legi- 
timate rights to the empire, which he said it was his intention to assert, as the only 
surviving heir by true lineal descent from his grandfather Hisham, in whose hands 
the Khalifate had been vested. He concluded by asking him to rise in his support, 
with such among the adherents of the house of Umeyyah and others as he could 
trust ; stating, that if he could only procure him the means of entering Andalus, he 
was sure of success ; after which he would not fail to reward him and his friends as 
they deserved, and bestow on them all manner of honours and distinctions. He then 
gave him directions as to the best means to be employed to gain their object. He 
was to seek the assistance of those among his friends in whom he could trust, and 
who might aid him in his revolt : he was to take advantage of the mortal feuds and 
dissensions then existing between the Arabian tribes of Yemen and the sons of 
Modhar, who, from long-existing hereditary wrongs, hated each other most heartily, 
and were sure readily to embrace any cause in opposition to that of their adversaries. 



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Abu 'Othman immediately agreed to what was requested of him, stimulated, no 
doubt, bv the prospect of his own personal advantage. When Bedr arrived with 
this message, 'Othman was preparing to march to Saragossa, in the Thagher, to the 
relief of the governor As-samil Ibn Hatim, who had been besieged there by a 
rebellious chieftain named Az-zohri ; for Yiisuf Ibn 'Abdi-r-rahman, then supreme 
governor of Andalus, having received intelligence of As-sarmTs dangerous station, 
had directed him to hasten to his aid with the disposable forces of his district ; and 
in compliance with this order 'Othman was about to march to Saragossa, when 
'Abdu-r-rahman's secret message was delivered to him : he nevertheless undertook 
his march. Whilst therefore 'Othman was going to Saragossa with his troops, he 
one day sent for his son-in-law 'Abdullah Ibn Khaled, who accompanied the 
expedition, and addressed him thus: " Methinks, O Ibn Khaled! that were we 
" to apprise As-samil of the news brought us by Bedr, we might learn what he 
" thinks about it, and ascertain at the same time whether we can reckon upon him 
or not : should he not agree to take part with us, As-samil, I am persuaded, will 
never divulge our secret, as I know him to be a man of honour and principle." 
That may be," answered 'Abdullah; " but were we to do as thou proposest, 
we could not be sure of success : for although on the one hand his envy of the 
Sultan Yiisuf, and the high post he occupies, might perhaps induce As-samil to 
embrace the cause of 'Abdu-r-rahman, it is likely on the other hand that the fear 
of losing under the new sovereign all the power and influence he now enjoys, 
(( will prevent him from joining in the undertaking." To which Abu 'Othman 
replied, " "We may easily remove that obstacle by flattering his ambition, and 
' ' deceiving him with promises of riches and advancement. We will tell him that 
" 'Abdu-r-rahman, in coming to this country, has no other object in view than 
" to obtain security for his person, and claim the fifth of the spoil due to his 
(( grandfather Hisham, and live on its produce." To this proposal 'Abdullah Jhe conspira- 

© tors coixinni" 

agreed ■ and accordingly the two chieftains, before taking leave of As-samil to nicate their 

o » ° J t plans to As- 

return to their respective districts, took him into a private room, and there disclosed samii. 

all their plans to him. 

It happened as Abu 'Othman had foretold. No sooner had he explained his 
views to As-samil than that chieftain began to utter complaints against the governor 
Yiisuf for not hastening to his relief when he was attacked by Ahhobab Az-zohri in 
the neighbourhood of Saragossa, and leaving him to fight single-handed against 
the superior forces of his enemy. At last he said to them, {C You may rely on me An8wer raade 
" for the furtherance of your plans ; write to the youth, and tell him to cross over chieftain. 

to us : when I have heard of his landing, I will go to Yiisuf and advise him 
" to do him honour, admit him to his intimacy, and give him one of his daughters 

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" in marriage. If he follow my advice, your object is gained ; if he refuse, we shall 
"" strike his bald head with our swords, and take the command of this country from 
" him, to give it to your friend." This being agreed upon, the two chieftains 
heartily thanked As-samil for his proffered assistance, and after kissing his hand 
they separated, and retired, each to his destination ; As-samil to Toledo, of which 
city he had been made governor by Yusuf, who no longer wished to retain him 
in the command of the Thagher (Aragon) ; Abii 'Othman and his son-in-law 
'Abdullah Ibn Khaled, to their abode in the town of Elvira. At this place many 
were already in the secret ; for [before starting for Saragossa] Abu 'Othman and 
'Abdullah had spoken to the officers of the Syrian army quartered in that town, 
as well as to other Arabs of distinction, and to all those friends in whom they 
could trust, and communicated to them their plans respecting the son of Mu'awiyah 
( ? Abdu-r-rahman) . The affair was soon divulged, and talked of among the inhabitants 
of the neighbouring towns, spreading like fire among brush-wood; the conspirators 
being not a little assisted in their plans by the circumstance that the year in which 
this came to pass was one of great scarcity, as the whole of Andalus had been 
visited by a most dreadful famine, which lasted for a long time. 

However, there are not wanting authors who relate this affair differently. They 
certainly say that As-samil, at first, agreed to the propositions of the conspirators, 
and consented to assist them in their undertaking to give the empire to 'Abdu-r- 
rahman, but that after they had left him he thought more seriously on the subject, 
and repented of what he had promised ; that he accordingly went to them, and said, 
" I have weighed attentively all the chances of the undertaking which yon wish me 
".to share with you, and I find that the youth you recommend belongs to a family, 
l< one individual of which is enough to set all this island on fire, and that perchance 
" you and I may perish in the conflagration. 5 Besides, our present ruler [Yusuf] 
" is a man over whose mind I exercise great influence, and on whom I lean 
" for support; and I do not intend to have him changed for any other. By Allah ! 
u I say more; if on reaching your tents you still persevere in your plans, and 
" continue gaining over partisans to the cause of that youth, I shall be compelled 
" to oppose you for my own sake. I therefore give you to understand that my 
" sword shall he the first unsheathed against 'Abdu-r-rahman. I wish you success." 
The conspirators then said to him, " Thy advice is our own, and we think as thou 
dost." After which they left him, the better to persuade him that 'Abdu-r-rahmaVs 
object in coming to Andalus was not to make himself master of the country. 
The tribes of They returned to Elvira, where they laboured, though in vain, to gain over 
Wah refuse t their cause the chiefs of the Arabian tribes of Modhar and Rabi'ah. After 

this they applied a second time to the Yemenis, and began adroitly to feed their 

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animosity and hatred to the Beni Modhar. They found them a set of men in 
whose breasts raged the most violent passions, and who, in order to revenge the 
injuries received, were ready to embrace any cause, however desperate. Having ™££ party 
easily persuaded them to join in the undertaking, they concerted together the means *^ hgnC(L 
of carrying their project into execution. Profiting by the absence of the Sultan 
Yusuf, 6 who was then in the Thagher (Aragon), and by that of As-samil, who was, 
likewise, far off, they commenced their operations. Their first care was to procure 
a vessel to send back Bedr : having bought one, they dispatched in her eleven 
of their men, with instructions to land near 'Abdu-r-rahman's residence, and 
acquaint him with their readiness to uphold his pretensions, and declare for him 
the moment he should land in Andalus. In the mean time Abu 'Othman and his 
friends, with whom Bedr had left his master's signet-ring, made ample use of it, 
sealing the numerous letters and proclamations which they addressed to their 
friends and the people of Andalus in 'Abdu-r-rahman's name. In this manner 
the partisans of that prince increased, and the conspiracy spread wide through the 
country. However, the emissaries, in whose number was a distinguished officer 
named Temam Ibn 'Alkamah, arrived safely at their destination, and landed near 
Maghilah, in the country of the Berbers. They found 'Abdu-r-rahman, who, since 
the departure of his freedman Bedr, had been in a state of great anxiety, and who 
was now expecting him every, moment, praying fervently on the sea shore. Bedr 
was the first man to leap on shore, and to announce to his master the success of his 
expedition : he was quickly followed by Temam Ibn 'Alkamah, who, in the name 
of his friends, confirmed the good news brought by Bedr. " What is thy name ? " 
said 'Abdu-r-rahman to him. « Temam."— " And what thy surname? "— " Abu 
Ghalib" (the father of the victorious).— " God is great!" exclaimed 'Abdu-r- 
rahman ; " may his name be exalted ! for, if that be the case, we shall, through 
" the power and interposition of the Almighty, conquer that land of yours, and 
(( reign over it." 'Abdu-r-rahman could never forget that Temam had been the 
first man to bring him the good tidings ; for when he had vanquished all his 
enemies, and was firmly seated on the throne of Andalus, he appointed him his 
Hajib, which office he held until the death of his sovereign. But to return, 

'Abdu-r-rahman hastened on board ; but whilst he was doing so, there: came to He embarks 

' ° _ , for Andalus. 

the shore a troop of Berbers, who made demonstrations of opposing his embarka* 
tion. 'Abdu-r-rahman then took up some dinars, 7 which Temam had brought with 
him for the purpose, and gave them to be divided among them ; upon which they 
all seemed satisfied, and he was allowed to embark : but before the vessel could 
quit the shore, there came another party of Berbers, who, not having shared in the 
former gift, were determined to oppose his departure. One of them clung to the 

VOL. II. k 

-=, - 

a - 



_ c *_ 



[book VI 

Lands at 

Preparations of 

cable of camel's hair which still retained the vessel to the shore; but one of 
the party, whose name was Shakir, laying hands on his sword, struck off the hand 
of the Berber, which fell instantly, severed from his body. Soon after, a favourable 
wind sprung up, which impelled the vessel on her course, and they landed safely on 
the coast of Elvira, near a sea-port town called Al-mune'kab (Almunecar), in the 
month of Rabi'-l-akhar of the year 138, according to Ibnu Hayyan, or in the three 
first days of Rabi'4-awal, according to other authorities. Immediately on his 
landing, 'Abdu~r-rahman was met on the shore by the two chiefs of the conspiracy, 
Abu 'Othman and his son-in-law Abu Khaled, who conducted him to a town 
called Torosh (Torrox), where Abu 'Othman was residing at the time. 

According to other accounts, 'Abdu-r-rahman landed at the hour of 'asr [shortly 
before sunset] ; and the news of his disembarkation being speedily divulged among 
his partisans, 'Abdullah and Abu 'Othman met him on the shore with great show 
of consideration and respect. He then said his afternoon prayers with them, and 
rode on to Torrox, where he made some stay : he was here met by the principal 
maulis of his family and some Arabs, who took the oath of allegiance to him. How- 
ever, no sooner was the news of 'Abdu-r-rah man's disembarkation made known 
through the country, than the people who were in the secret nocked to him from 
all parts. The first man who arrived was Yusuf Ibn Bokht, who was the chief of 
the Beni Umeyyah: next came Jodaran Ibn 'Amru Al-mad'haji, who inhabited 
Malaga, and who, in after- time, was appointed Kadi to the army ; and Abu Abdah 
Hossan Ibn Malik Al-kelbi, whom 'Abdu-r-rahman named to the office of Wizir, 
In this way the party waxed stronger day by day, and even moment by moment ; 
and people nocked to his banners from every part of the country ; God being 
pleased to grant all His support to 'Abdu-r-rahman's cause, until that prince was 
enabled to gain possession of the capital, Cordova, within seven months, counting 
from the day of his landing on the coast of Almunecar. 

Whilst these events were passing, Yusuf Al-fehri, the governor of Andalus, was 
in the Thagher (Aragon), 8 carrying on war against some chiefs who refused to 
acknowledge his authority. He was, however, completely successful, defeating and 
taking prisoners the leaders of the insurrection. These were Al-hobab Az-zohri, 
who, as related, had risen in the neighbourhood of Saragossa, and 'A'mir Ai-'abdari, 
another chieftain who had likewise risen in arms against him. Having got rid of 
his enemies in that quarter, Yusuf hastened towards Toledo. Whilst he was 
encamped at Wada-r-ramal (Guadarrama), near that city, he ordered the execution 
of his prisoners, though he had solemnly promised to spare their lives, and caused 
'A'mir Al-'abdari and his son to be beheaded. Yusuf is said to have done this 
at the instigation of As-samil. 


They relate that as Yusuf was entering his tent, after witnessing the execution of 
his prisoners, a messenger arrived at full speed from his son 'Abdu-r-rahman, whom 
he had left in command of Cordova during his absence, bearing news « how a 
» vouth, named 'Abdu-r-rahman Ibn Mu'awiyah, had lately landed on the shores 

occupied by the Syrian settlers, and had been immediately proclaimed by the 

adherents and partisans of the family of Merwan, who had nocked to him from 
" all parts." When the news spread through Yusuf's camp, his men, who had 
already disapproved the execution of 'A'mir and his son,— who belonged to the 
illustrious tribe of Koraysh, and who, as above related, had been put to death, 
notwithstanding his solemn promise to the contrary,— began openly to murmur, 
and many decided upon deserting his banners that very night, and joining the 
troops of the invader. Accordingly, in the depth of night, the chiefs having called 
together their men, left the camp unperceived, the Almighty sending down a heavy g«j™. in 
rain, as if to cover the sound of their footsteps, and thereby disconcert the plans of 
Yusuf. When morning dawned, Yusuf found himself deserted by all except his 
own personal friends and slaves, and the tribe of Kays, who remained faithful 
to As-samil and his followers : seeing which, Yusuf marched immediately to 
Toledo. Arrived there, he asked As-samil for his advice in their perilous situation. 
" My advice," said As-samil to him, <( is that we march immediately upon 'Abdu-r- 
« rahman, so as not to give him time to strengthen himself; for I strongly suspect 
" that the Yemeni Arabs will go over to him, owing to the hatred they openly 
" bear to us, the Beni Modhar." Yiisuf then answered, " I agree with thee, O 
" As-samil! as to the expediency of what thou proposest; but thou seemest to 
" have forgotten that we have been deserted by most of our own followers, and 
" have at present no forces to march against the invader. We are, besides, without 
" either money or provisions ; we have to march through a sterile and deserted 
" country, in which hunger must be our lot. I propose going first to Cordova, 

where we may get re-inforcements, and wait there for further news; perhaps the 
danger is not so great, nor the rising so formidable, as it has been represented." 
To which As-samil replied, " Believe me, O Yusuf, mine is the best, advice upon 
" this occasion: thou mayest act contrary to it; but, if thou dost, thou wilt in 
« time discover thy error, and suffer from it." Yusuf, however, would not listen 
to As-samil, and marched to Cordova. 

'Abdu-r-rahman in the mean while was not inactive. After passing some time r ; hn JJ- 
at Elvira, where he soon found himself at the head of seven hundred horsemen, »g«jj to 
of the best Arabian tribes, or of the maulis of his family, he left that city, and ., 

repaired to the district of Rayyah, where his forces were considerably increased, 
both the governor ('Isa Ibn Musawid) and the inhabitants hastening to take the- 


':*-EP- ">= 


oath of allegiance, and proclaim him their sovereign. Thence he went to Shidunah, 
where the governor, Ttab Ibn 'Alkamah Al-lakhmi, did the same ; then to 
Modnir; 9 and from the latter place to Seville, where he was met by the chief of 
the Yemeni Arabs, Abu-s-sabah Ibn Yahya Ai-yahssobi. 'Abdu-r-rahman then 
summoned his friends to a council ; and having heard their advice, it was unani- 
mously resolved to march upon Cordova, the seat of the government. They say 
that as they were halting at Toshinah (Tocina) on their way to that capital, it 
occurred to them that they had neither banner nor colours by which they might be 
guided on the field of battle. A long spear was immediately produced, and it was 
proposed that a turban should be placed on the top of it ; but as in order to effect 
this it was necessary to incline the head of the spear, which was supposed by some 
to be of extremely bad omen, the following expedient was devised : the spear 
was placed erect between two olive-trees standing close together; a man was 
then directed to ascend one of the trees, from the top of which he was enabled to 
fasten the turban to the spear, without lowering it in the least. They relate also 
that some time previous to this event, a learned man named Forkad, who was 
gifted with the science of divination, happening to pass by the spot where the two 
olive-trees stood, said, pointing to them, " Between yonder two trees a banner 
" shall be erected for a prince, before whom no other banner shall ever wave 
" victorious." ' The prophecy was fulfilled ; for with this same banner did 'Abdu-r- 
rahman and his son Hisham vanquish their enemies wherever they met them, as 
we shall have more than one opportunity to relate hereafter. They say that this 
banner was held in such veneration and respect by the first sovereigns of that family 
[Beni Umeyyah], that whenever the turban by long use decayed, it was not re- 
moved, but a new one was placed over it. In this manner was the banner of the 
Beni Umeyyah preserved until the days of the Sultan 'Abdu-r-rahman, son of 
Al-hakem, son of Hisham, son of 'Abdu-r-rahman Ad-d£khel,— others say till 
the days of his son Mohammed, — when the turban upon the spear being decayed, 
the Wizirs of that monarch met together in council to deliberate upon its renewal. 
Seeing nothing else under the decayed turban but a few rags twisted round the 
spear, and not knowing that these had been long an object of veneration, they 
issued orders for their removal. The whole was consequently removed, and thrown 
away, and a fresh turban placed in its stead. It happened that Jehwar Ibn 
Ytisuf Ibn Bokht, then the chief Wizir, and president of the council, but who 
was absent during the deliberation, arrived in Cordova the day after the mischief 
was done- Having inquired into the case, he gave his brother "Wizirs a most severe 
reprimand for their ignorance and their hasty decision: he said to them, " Since 
" you have through your imprudence caused the loss of the good omen attached to 

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■" > ^ ^ r r_^_i_-Ar j/i> .■"■ 

,* ,-■;£;..■ tar^ 


that banner, it is but just that you should consult with the elders of our nation 
as to the best means of repairing the mischief done : go, and tell them your case." 
The Wizirs went, and the rags were carefully looked for ; but they could nowhere 
be found. "When the Sultan was made acquainted with the loss, he was much 
grieved; and as his armies, always victorious, met after that event with severe 
defeats, it was thought at the time that these disasters were chiefly to be attri- 
buted to the loss of the banner. " From that time," remarks the judicious 
historian Ibnu Hayyan, " the empire of the Beni Umeyyah began visibly to 
decline." It is generally asserted that the man who ascended the olive-tree for the 
purpose of crowning the spear was 'Abdullah Ibn Khaled, one of the maulis of the 
Beni Umeyyah established in Andalus, whose father, Khaled, had likewise crowned 
the banner of Merwan Ibn Al-hakem, the grandfather of 'Abdu-r-rahman I., when, 
after the overthrow of the dynasty of the Beni Harb, he was joined by the Beni 
Umeyyah and the Beni Kelb, to make war against Adh-dhahhak Ibn Kays Al-fehri, 
who was afterwards defeated and put to death at the battle of Merj-Rahitt. They 
say also that the keeping of this banner was first intrusted to Abu Suleyman Daud 
Al-ansari, in whose posterity the charge remained until the days of the Amir 
Mohammed, son of 'Abdu-r-rahman II., when, as related, it was irretrievably. 


But to resume the thread of our interrupted narrative. On the approach of 

'Abdu-r-rahman to Cordova, Yusuf went out to meet him, There had been a 
famine in Andalus for six consecutive years, so that the people were greatly 
debilitated from want of food. Since their departure from Seville, the common 
soldiers in 'Abdu-r-rahman's host had subsisted merely upon the herbs and plants 
which they found on the road, the officers and rich men not faring much better. 
It was then spring-time, and the year in which this happened was ever after- 
wards called ' ' dmu-l-khalaf \ l ° I e. ' the year after the famine.' The Guadalquivir 
too was considerably swollen, and in some districts had overflowed its banks. 
Yusuf then marched from Cordova, and 'Abdu-r-rahman came down from Seville, 
until they met each other at a place where the Guadalquivir separated the two 
hosts. Thence 'Abdu-r-rahman continued his march up to Cordova, following 
the right bank of the river, which being perceived by Yusuf, : this governor re- 
traced his steps, and returned to his capital by the opposite bank, watching at 
the same time all the movements of his adversary. In this manner both armies 
proceeded until Yusuf pitched his tents in the plain of Musarah, 11 west of Cordova, 
where 'Abdu-r-rahman also encamped in front of him. Negotiations then com- 
menced, and messengers crossed from one camp to the other, with a view to 

__■..■■_ _ J-Jr 

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Gains the 
battle of 

adjust a peace between the belligerents. Yiisuf had given orders to slaughter 
some sheep, and make a display of their flesh, meaning it, no doubt, as an insult 
to the son of Mu'awiyah, whose followers, as we have already observed, were almost 
starved for want of food. 'Abdu-r-rahman, however, made every preparation for 
the coming contest : he caused his men to keep in readiness with their arms, 
and he himself passed all night awake, to see that his orders were punctually 


They relate that Yusuf was the first who made proposals of peace to 'Abdu-r- 
rahman, who feigned to accept of them, and thus gained two days, the last of 
which was the day of 'Arefah of the year 138 (May 14, a. d. 756). Under this 
belief, 'Abdu-r-rahman's men passed the night preceding the ' festival of the 
victims ;' but Abdu-r-rahman thought differently in his heart from what he affected 
in public, and he consequently took every measure to ensure the success of the 
approaching contest : he also gave orders that Khaled Ibn Zeyd, Yusuf s secretary, 
who was at the time in his camp, whither he had been sent with a message from 
his master, should be kept a prisoner. " If we are defeated," he added, " let him 
'* be put to death; if we vanquish, spare his life." So that Khaled kept saying 
the night before the battle, " There is nothing I wish for more ardently at this 
" moment than to see the troops of my master put to flight by those of 'Abdu-r- 

" rahmanAd-dakhel." 

When the morning of the day of the victims dawned, 'Abdu-r-rahman, at the 
head of his cavalry, made a sudden attack upon the camp of his rival. They say 
that 'Abdu-r-rahman was that day mounted on a beautiful steed ; upon which some 
of the Yemeni Arabs said to each other, " Look at our youthful general; he is 
" mounted on a swift-footed animal, the better to fly from the field of battle. "Who 
" can assure us that he will not turn back at the first onset, and leave us to right the 
'* battle ourselves ? " 'Abdu-r-rahman having been informed of this by one of his 
maulis, rode up to Abu-s-sabah, the chief of the Yemeni Arabs, who was mounted 
on a grey mule called Kaukab (lightning), and addressed him thus: " O Abii-s- 
" sabah ! this horse of mine is in the habit of rearing under me, so that it is 
" very difficult for me to keep my saddle. I wish to make an exchange with 
iC thee; give me that excellent and quiet mule of thine, and take my spirited 
" horse." Abu-s-sabah did as he was desired by 'Abdu-r-rahman, who by this act 
dissipated the suspicions of his followers. They relate likewise that some time 
previous to the general engagement Abdu-r-rahman rode before the ranks, and 
asked hitmen, " "What day is this ? " — (< Thursday, the day of 'Arefah," answered 
they. ** Well, then, mark my words," replied 'Abdu-r-rahman, " To-morrow is 


,B _VT^ 

^o ■■ -. ^-j _-*. x>^ z^**^> t^flW- .rKijp" 

CHAP. I.] 



" Friday, and the 'festival of the victims' [May 15, a. d. 756]; the contending 
" parties are the Beni Umeyyah on one side, the Beni Fehr on the other; opposed 
" to each other are the sons of Kays and the tribes of Yemen; let this day be a 
" brother of that of Merj-Rahitt, 12 which it so much resembles in every respect." 
These words failed not to inspire courage into the followers of 'Abdu-r-rahman ; for 
it brought to their mind the battle of Merj-Rahitt, between Merwan Ibn Al-hakem, 
'Abdu-r-rahman's grandfather, and Adh-dhahhak Ibn Kays Al-fehn, which, as is 
well known, was likewise fought on a Friday, and on the ' day of the victims ;' the 
victory remaining to Merwan, who put to death Adh-dhahhak and seventy thousand 
men of the tribe of Kays, and others allied to it. It is even said that there was a 
still closer coincidence. At the battle of Merj-Rahitt there were only three men 
of the tribe of Kays serving under the orders of Merwan ; namely, 'Abdullah Ibn 
Masadah Ahfezan, Ibn Hobeyrah Al-moharibi, and Saleh Al-ghinawwi : at the battle 
of Musarah there were likewise only three men of the tribe of Kays serving under 
Abdu-r-rahman j namely, Jabir Ibnu-l-'ala Ibn Shehab and Al-hossayn Ibnu-d- 
dajen, both belonging to the tribe of 'Okayl, and Helal Ibnu-t-tofayl Al-'abdari. 13 
After some hard fighting on both sides, victory declared for 'Abdu-r-rahman. Yusuf 
was the first to give way ; As-samil and his followers valiantly kept their ground 
until all hopes of recovering the day were gone. They say that when As-samil saw 
that his men were losing courage, he spurred on a grey mule which he rode, and 
plunged into the middle of the enemy's ranks, with a view of coming, if possible, to; 
close combat with 'Abdu-r-rahman. As he was approaching the spot where that 
prince fought, Abu 'Atta came up to him and said, " O Abu Jaushan ! thou hadst 
" better spare thyself for another occasion ; this is an ominous day, and every thing 
" must needs go wrong for us. Mark the coincidence : to-day is Friday, and so was 
!( the day of Merj-Rahitt ; the warriors on both sides are the same ; Umeyyah and 
" the sons of Yemen against the tribes of Fehr, Kays, and Kelb. By Allah ! I 
" believe in truth that this day will turn out as unlucky for us as the day of 
"Merj-Rahitt." — " O Abu 'Atta!" answered As-samil, "thou art an eminent 
" man, and thy learning is, no doubt, great ; but on this occasion despondency; 
C( preys on thy mind, and thy reason is clouded by fear : " saying which he rushed 
forward, whilst Abu 'Attd turned bridle and fled. As-samil, however, was defeated, 
and his followers put to flight. -.";.. 

Such is the account of this memorable battle as it has been handed down by histo- 
rians. 'Abdu-r-rahman Ad-dakhel obtained a most complete victory, and the field 
was strewn with the bodies of the enemy. Among the prisoners of the day was 
'Abdu-r-rahman, one of Yusuf's sons, and other distinguished individuals. As-samll 

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and Yusuf contrived to escape : the former retired to a village called Shoudliar 
(Xodar) , in the district of Jaen ; the latter, to Merida. They relate that immediately 
after this defeat AM-s-sabah, the chief of the Arabs of Yemen, addressed his 
followers in these words : " O men, let our victory this day be complete ; we have 
" annihilated the party of Yusuf and As-samil; let us put to death this beardless 
" youth, I mean the son of Mu'awiyah, our present commander. If we do, the 
" empire is ours, and we may then appoint one of ourselves to the command of this 
" country, and be for ever rid of the Beni Modhar." Thus spoke Abu-s-sabah, 
but not one of those who heard him made reply ; on the contrary, his words were 
reported to 'Abdu-r-rahman, who kept them in his heart, until a year afterwards, 
seeing a favourable opportunity, he seized him, and had him executed. 
Enters the After Yusuf s defeat, 'Abdu-r-rahman marched his victorious army to Cordova, 

Cap!taI " which city he entered after remaining for three days encamped outside, that he 

might allow the family of Yusuf time to quit the palace. 14 He also showed his 
generosity and clemency by pardoning all those who had taken up arms against 
him. After spending a few days in the capital, 'Abdu-r-rahman received intel- 
ligence how the partisans of Yusuf and As-samil, after collecting the relics of their 
army in the neighbourhood of Granada, were again preparing to attack him, and he 
therefore resolved to go out in pursuit of them. Before his departure, however, he 
appointed Abu 'Othman, who, as before related, was the principal instrument of 
his success, to be governor of Cordova in his absence, and gave him Umeyyah Ibn 
Zeyyad to act as his secretary. This Umeyyah had formerly held the same office 
under Ytisuf; but, being a mauli of the Beni Umeyyah, 'Abdu-r-rahman granted 
him his pardon, and confirmed him in his appointment. These arrangements being 
taken, 'Abdu-r-rahman started in pursuit of the enemy, though not without leaving 
behind him a considerable body of troops to guard the capital in his absence. 
It happened, however, that as he was marching to overtake Ytisuf, that general 
starts in jw- manoeuvred so well as to place himself between 'Abdu-r-rahman and Cordova, 
suit * Yfotf. whence) by dmt f f orce d marches, be suddenly appeared before that capital, which 

he entered without resistance, as well as the palace of the governor, Abu 'Othman, 
who, with the garrison, threw himself hastily into the tower of the great mosque. 
He was there besieged by Yusuf, who offered him security for himself and his 
followers, if he would surrender. Abu 'Othman refused, and maintained himself 
until a peace was concluded between his master and Yusuf in the month of Safar of 
Obhges Mm to th&year 139 (July, a. d. 756). The treaty, which included also Yusuf's late Wizir, 
capitulate. Ag _ gar ^ stipulated that the two chieftains should be left in the undisturbed 

possession of whatever property they might have at the time ; that Yusuf should 

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reside in Cordova, where the palace of Al-horr was assigned to him as a dwelling ; 
but that he should be obliged to present himself before 'Abdu-r-rahman once 
every day. To insure the fulfilment of these conditions, Yusuf was to give as 
hostages his sons Abu-1-aswad Mohammed and 'Abdu-r-rahman, the latter of 
whom, as before related, was made prisoner at the battle of Musarah, This treaty 
being ratified and peace concluded, both armies returned to Cordova. 


l - 




'Abdu-r-rahman invites the Beni Umeyyah to settle in Andalus — Names of those who left the East — 
Rehellion of Yusuf — His defeat and death — As-samil poisoned by 'Abdu-r-rahman' s order — Itm 
Mughith invades Andalus — Is defeated and put to death — Rebellion, of the Yemenites — Heroic act of 
'Abdu-1-malek — Conspiracy against 'Abdu-r-rahman discovered — Execution of his nephew Al-mu- 
gheyrah — 'Abdu-r-rahman prepares to invade Syria — Rebellion of the Fatemi — of Hayyat Ibn Mulabis 
-^-a£ Al-huseyn Ibn Yahya, governor of Saragossa — of Hasan Ibn 'Abdi-l-'aziz — 'Abdu-r-rahman 
taltes Berbers into his pay — Success of the Christians — Charlemagne asks for peace — Building of the 
Rissaiah — of the great mosque — Character of 'Abdu-r-rahman — His liberality — His wit and eloquence 
— His ingratitude towards Bedr, Abu" 'Othman, Khaled, and Temam — Hajibs of 'Abdu-r-rahman — 
Councillors — Katibs — Kadis — Death of 'Abdu-r-rahman. 

In the preceding Book we gave a rapid sketch of the victories of the Moslems 
and their conquest of Andalus, and of the power which they wielded in that 
country until the arrival of 'Abdu-r-rahman Ad-dakhel, the sovereign under whose 
sway the consolidation of the Mohammedan empire was achieved, and the pre- 
ponderance of the Yemenite faction [over the Beni Modhar] fully established, as 
we shall hereafter relate, if God be pleased. 

Ibn Hazm and others describe the dynasty of the Beni Umeyyah of Andalus as 
the most powerful and glorious of the Mohammedan dynasties ; the most afflicting 
to the enemies of God, and that which gained most renown ; since, as it will be 
shown in the course of this narrative, none other surpassed it in the number and 

importance of its victories. 

We have given elsewhere a detailed account of the adventures of Abdu-r-rahman 
Ibn Mu'awiyah, of his wanderings through Africa, and of the many dangers to 
which he was exposed before he could land in Andalus, and establish therein the 
supremacy of his family; but for the sake of information, and in order to throw 
more -light over this our narrative, we shall here condense the facts already re- 


According to Ibnu Khaldun and other historians, the dynasty of the Beni 

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Umeyyah of Anclalus originated thus : In the year 132 of the Hijra (beginning 
August 10, a. d. 749), the Beni 'Abbas overpowered the Beni Umeyyah, atid 
gained possession of the Khalifate. After 'Abdullah Ibn 'AH, the uncle of As- 
seffah, had put to death Merwan Ibn Mohammed Ibn Merwan Ibn Al-hakem, 
the last Khalif of that dynasty, the sons of Umeyyah were every where pursued 
for slaughter, and both the surface and the bowels of the earth were scrupulously 
searched for them. Among those who fled [to escape from their enemies] was 
'Abdu-r-rahman, son of Mu'awiyah, son of Hisham, son of 'Abdu-1-malek, son of 
Merwan, for whom the partisans and friends of the Beni Umeyyah were preparing 
an empire in the West, as they saw in him certain signs indicative of his success, 
which had been prognosticated by his uncle, Moslemah Ibn 'Abdi-1-malek. 'Abdu-r- 
rahman himself, who had heard from the lips of Moslemah that he would be the 
avenger of his family, having upon one occasion entered the presence of his grand- 
father Hisham, found his uncle, Moslemah Ibn 'Abdi-1-malek, sitting in the room 
with him. 'Abdu-r-rahman being then an infant, Hisham gave orders that he 
should be taken out of the room. But Moslemah interfered, and, pressing the 
child to his bosom, said to his brother, " Let him stay, O Commander of the 
" Faithful! and be kind to him; for he will become in time the avenger of the 
" Beni Umeyyah, 1 and the restorer of their empire."^-" From that time," said 
'Abdu-r-rahman (from whom this anecdote is borrowed), " my grandfather always 
" treated me with the greatest kindness and distinction." Encouraged By thesV 
prognostics, with which he never failed to acquaint his friends, 'Abdu-r-rahtri&ri 
fled to the West, and took up his abode among the Nefezah, a Berber tribe of 
Tripoli, to whom his mother Raha belonged. However, Ibn Habib hearing of 
his being there, he removed to Maghilah ; others say to Mekenesah (Mequinez) ; 
others, to a district inhabited by Berbers of the tribe of Zenatah, who treated him 
kindly, and among whom he was secure. Thence 'Abdu-r-rahman went to Melilah 
(Melilla). It was from this place that he sent over to Andalus his freedman Bedr, 
to stir the adherents of his family to revolt against Ytisuf Al-fehrr, the* governor who 
held the command of that country. 

No sooner was 'Abdu-r-rahman firmly seated on the throne, than he' dispateM 'Abdti-r- 

•> . r - - rah mais mvites 

emissaries to Syria, Egypt, and other Mohammedan countries, with instructions- to aw-Benf 

, . Umeyyah to 

find out the surviving members of his family; and invite them to settle in hrs settle in a>i- 
dominions. Accordingly several individuals, or adherents, of the proscribed race of 
Umeyyah, who had hitherto lain concealed from the spies of At-manstir [Abu 
Ja'far] , hastened to obey his summons, and arrived in Andalus, where 'Abdu-r- 
rahman received them with every mark of attention and respect. As the names 
of all those who entered And'alus on this occasion have been preserved by many 


- >■ . 



diligent historians, we shall extract from their works such passages as are calcu- 
lated to throw light on this interesting subject. 

" During the reign of this Sultan," says one, " numbers of illustrious Moslems 
" quitted the land of their fathers, and settled in Andalus. Several of the Beni 
" Merwan too, encouraged by the success of ' Abdu-r-rahman , nocked to him from 
" the East. A contemporary writer has said, ( When Ad-dakhel saw himself firmly 
" seated on the throne, he bestirred himself to collect around him the relics of his 
" family, and, having dispatched emissaries for that purpose, succeeded in bringing 
" to Cordova several of the relatives and adherents of his family. God Almighty 
" was pleased to assist him in the undertaking, and to permit that he should extend 

" over them the hand of protection.' " 

Alluding to this, the historian Al-hijari has said, " 'Abdu-r-rahman was in the 
" habit of saying to his courtiers, ' Among the many favours bestowed on us by 
" the Almighty, the greatest, after making us the master of this empire, is his 
" allowing us to collect in this country our kindred and relatives, and enabling 
" us to give them a share in this empire, which we hold through his interference. 
" There is no power or strength but in God ! His is the empire ! ' " 
.Name* of those In this manner there came to Andalus a brother of 'Abdu-r-rahman, named 
Sa' s °t. e e Al-walid Ibn Mu'awiyah ; two sons of the Khalif Hisham Ibn 'Abdi-1-malek ; a 

cousin of his named 'Abdu-s-sellam Ibn Yezid Ibn Hisham ; and two nephews, 
Al-mugheyrah Ibn Al-walid and 'Obeydullah 2 Ibn Aban Ibn Mu'awiyah. There 
came, besides, 'Abdu-1-malek Ibn 'Omar, Abu Suleyman Foteys Ibn Suleyman, 
J Abdu-l-malek Ibn Bashar, Habib Ibn 'Abdi-1-malek, and many others, to all of 
whom he gave pensions and lands, as well as command in his, armies, and govern- 
ment in the provinces, by which means his empire was strengthened, and he was 
enabled to subdue all his enemies. 

Among the above-named individuals, 'Abdu-1-malek Ibn 'Omar was the one who 
contributed most powerfully to the consolidation of 'Abdu-r-rahman's power. He 
was the son of 'Omar, and the grandson of the Khalif Merwan Ibn Al-hakem. 
His father 'Omar had, when young, been intrusted to the care of his own brother 
'Abdu-l-'aziz, governor of Egypt, where he resided until his death. When the 
bearers of the black colours ('Abbassides) appeared in Syria, 'Abdu-1-malek, who 
was residing in that country, tied to Egypt ; but not considering himself secure 
there, he took his departure, accompanied by ten men 3 of his own family, and 
arrived in Andalus, where he found his relative 'Abdu-r-rahman already seated on 
the throne. This was in the year 140 (beginning May 24, a. d. 757). 'Abdu-r- 
rahman .honoured and distinguished him greatly : knowing that he had filled offices 
of trust under the Khalifs of his family, he gave him the government of Seville, and 


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appointed also one of his sons, named 'Omar, to that of Mordr. They relate of 
this 'Abdu-l-malek, that when he perceived that notwithstanding the separation of 
Andalus from the Eastern empire, it was still the custom to say the khotbah for 
Abu Ja'far Al-mansur in all the mosques, he advised 'Abdu-r-rahman to have the 
name of that Khalif omitted in the public prayers, and brought to his recollection 
all the injuries which the Beni Umeyyah had sustained from the Beni 'Abbas. 
At first, 'Abdu-r-rahman would not listen to his advice, and the prayers continued 
as before ; but, on 'Abdu-l-malek insisting strongly, he at last gained his object. 
They say that as 'Abdu-r-rahman upon a certain occasion refused to accede to his 
entreaties on the subject, 'Abdu-l-malek said to him, " If thou refuse to comply 
" with my request, Amir! and allow Al-mansur's name to be mentioned in the 
" prayers, I will certainly destroy myself." Upon which, 'Abdu-r-rahman, moved 
by his determination, and not choosing to lose so zealous a servant, granted his 
request ; and from that day the Khalif s name was no longer proclaimed from the 
pulpits, as it had been during the first ten months of his reign. 

This 'Abdu-l-malek Ibn 'Omar was an excellent poet. Seeing, one day at Seville 
a solitary palm-tree, which brought to his recollection the place of his birth in 
Syria, and the friends he had left there, he exclaimed, in a fit of irrepressible 

sorrow, — 

" O palm-tree! like myself, thou art alone in this land; thou also art 
" away from thy kindred. 

" Thou weepest, and closest the calix of thy flowers. Why? dost thou 
" lament the generating seed scattered on the mountain? 

" Yes, I do ; for although they all may take root in a congenial soil [like 
" that] watered by the Euphrates, 

" Yet orphans are they all ; since the Bern 'Abbas have driven me away 

" from my family." 4 

Another of the Beni Umeyyah was Jazi Ibn 'Abdi-l-'aziz, brother of the Khalif 

'Omar Ibn 'Abdi-I-'aziz. He went to Andalus, and settled there. He died before 

'Abdu-r-rahman, and was a virtuous and exemplary man, following in most things 

the steps of his brother the Khalif. 

Among the illustrious individuals wbo settled in Andalus under this reign may be 
counted Abu-1-ash'ath Al-kelbi, who was far advanced in age when he arrived in 
Cordova. This man preserved traditions from his mother, who held them herself 
from 'A'yeshab. (May God's favour be on her !) He became a great favourite 
with 'Abdu-r-rahman, who admitted him to his privacy; and he was generally 
esteemed for his amiable temper and bis virtues : he had, however, one great fault, 
namely, that of being somewhat fond of turning men and things into ridicule, and 


indulging in jests. The following is given as an instance : "When the Sultan 
a Abdu-r-rahman heard of the death of Habib 5 Ibn 'Abdi-1-malek Ibn 'Omar Ibn 
Al-wal!d Ibn 'Abdi-l-malek Ibn Merwtin, who had been his most intimate friend, 
and for whom he always showed more deference than for any other member of his 
family,, he began to weep, and to implore the Almighty to forgive the sins of the 
deceased. Abu-1-ash'ath, who was standing by the side of the Sultan when Habib's 
death was announced, and whose jests 'Abdu-r-rahman was in the habit of bearing 
with extreme patience and good humour, said aloud, and as if he were addressing 
th© deceased, — " O Abu Suleyman ! thou hast descended to the grave, and it 
" was not until thou wast comfortably lodged there that the Khalif began his 
" lamentations." Hearing which, 'Abdu-r-rahman, who could scarcely suppress 
the smile on his lips, turned round, and went away. The preceding anecdote is 
related, by the historian Ihnu Hayyan in his Muhtabis, as well as by the Hafedh 

Ib,mi4-abhdrr who "borrowed it from him. 
lion of "We have said elsewhere that a treaty was concluded between * Abdu-r-rahman 
and Yusuf, in virtue of which the latter was to reside in Cordova. It was not 
long, however, before Yusuf infringed the conditions he had agreed to observe. 
In. the year 141 (beginning May 13, a. d. 758) he left Cordova secretly, and, 
putting himself at the head of his numerous followers, tried to raise the country 
against 'Abdu-r-rahman. According to the historian Ibnu Hayyan, this happened 
thus : It appears that Yusuf was possessed of considerable property in land in 
the neighbourhood of Cordova, which he was enabled to retain by one of the 
articles in the above-mentioned treaty. Some people, however, having disputed 
with him th& title by which he held some of his estates, they went before the 
magistrates, who decided in favour of the claimants and against Ytisuf. When the 
sentence was communicated to that chief, he complained bitterly of the injustice, 
and uttered some strong expressions against the son of Mu'awiyah ; which being 
speedily reported to that monarch by the enemies of Yusuf, led to a misunder- 
standing between them. At last Yusuf, fearing for his life, secretly left Cordova, 
and. retired to Merida, 6 where he had numerous partisans, and was soon sur- 
rounded by twenty thousand adventurers from all parts of the country. His 
power having gradually increased, Ytisuf flattered himself that he could success- 
fully contend: against the arms of Ibn Mu'awiyah ; who was no sooner acquainted 
with: Yusuf's movements, than he gave orders to his generals to attack the rebels, 
wMst ha himself went out of Cordova with a powerful army, and took up his 
qna^t^ateHisnu-l-mudowwar (Almodovar), a town: at some distance from that 
capitals ^Ib the mean while, 'Abdu-1-malek Ibn 'Omar Ibn Merwan, who was 
governor o£ Seville, had! gone in; pursuit of the rebels, with all the forces he could 



muster. lie met Yusuf, with whom he had several sharp encounters, until at His defeat and 
last lie completely defeated him, killing most of his men, and putting the remainder 
to flight. Yusuf, however, contrived to make his escape, and reached the neigh- 
bourhood of Toledo ; but, whilst he was in one of the villages of that district, 
he was met by a man named 'Abdullah Ibn 'Amru Al-ansari, who, having recog- 
nised him, said to those who were with him, " This is no doubt the Fehrite [Ytifluf], 
" who has taken refuge among us because the country is against him. To kill 
" him would be a service to him and to this country ;" saying which, he dealt him 
a blow with his sword, and stretched him dead at his feet : after this he cut 
off his head, which he carried to Abdu-r-rahman, who, on his return to Cordova, 
ordered that the event should be announced to the inhabitants by the public crier, 
and that the head of Yiisuf should be nailed under the central arch of the bridge. 
He then ordered 'Abdu-r-rahman, the son of Ytisuf, to be beheaded, and his head 
to be placed beside that of his father ; which order was punctually obeyed, the heads 
of the father and son being placed on two spears under the gate of the royal palace-. 
Thus the governor Yiisuf ended his days, after having been in command of Andalus 
for a period of upwards of nine years. He was the son of 'Abdu-r-rahman, son of 
Habib, son of Abu 'Obeydah, and the great-grandson of 'Okbah Ibn Nali' Ah 
fehri, the founder of Cairwan, who, during the Khalifate of Mu'awiyah Ibn AM 
Sufyan, had been governor of the Mohammedan conquests in Eastern and Western 


As to his Wizir, As-samil, he soon shared a similar fate. No sooner was the 
flight of Yusuf discovered, than he was arrested and thrown into a dungeon. He 
was afterwards summoned to the presence of 'Abdu-r-rahman, who interrogated 
him as to the place whither Yusuf had gone. " I do not know," answered As- 
samil. "Well, then," replied Abdu-r-rahman, "thou shalt remain in prison 
" until thou dost know. Thy son was seen in his company before he was missed, 
" and I make thee responsible for his re-appearance." — " Thou mayest do thy 
" worst," retorted As-samil, "but, were Yiisuf here under my foot, 1 would not 
ct raise it to give thee the opportunity of seizing on him." Hearing this, 'Ab<$u-r- 
rahman caused him to be cast into a dungeon, together with the two Sons of 
Abu-1-aswad Mohammed, afterwards called At-* ami (the blind), and 'Abdur- 
rahman. These latter, however, succeeded some time afterwards m- bribing some 
of their guards, who procured them the means of escaping from prison. Abu-I- 
aswad fled to the provinces, where he excited a rebellion against his sovereign, 
and maintained himself until he died of a natural death in 169 (beginning July 13, 
a.d. 785. Abdu-r-rahman was not so successful : being a very corpulent man, 

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his own weight overcame him, and he fell: he was discovered, brought hack to 
prison, and put to death as we have elsewhere related. 

They say that As-samil, who was in prison with them, obtained intelligence 
of their plans of escape, but would not follow them, and remained However 
after the death of Yusuf, 'Abdu-r-rahman sent some people, who strangled As-samil 
_ in prison, and he was found dead on the following morning. Others say that he was 
5SS by poisoned, and that one day as the Sheikhs of the Beni Modhar went to sec him in 
" his prison, they found him a corpse, having close by his side a cup/ as if he 
had been drinking; upon which one of the beholders exclaimed, "By Allah! 
« O Abil-1-jaushan, we need not be told that thou drankest the potion ; but there 
» can be no doubt either as to the hand that administered it." As-samil was the son 
of Hatim, son of Shimr, son of Dmi-jaushan ; others make him the son of Hatim, 
son of 'Amru, son of Junda', son of Ash-shimr, son of Dmi-jaushan. His ancestor, 
Ash-shimr, had been one of the most illustrious citizens of Kufali, and one of the 
murderers 8 of Huseyn Ibn Abi Talib (may God be favourable to him!). As to 
As-samil, he entered Andalus in the suite of Balj Ibn Bestir, with other noble 
Syrians and Arabians. He had previously fought in the Maghreb (Western Africa) 
against the Berbers, at the orders of Kolthum Ibn lyadh, then governor of the 
Mohammedan settlements in Africa. He distinguished himself by his bravery and 
his experience in military affairs. To these qualities he owed his rapid promotion 
in the army, and the great favour he always enjoyed with Yusuf, who intrusted 

to him the command of his armies. 

As-samil was a tolerably good poet, but an uneducated man, and could not 
write : he was very fond of intoxicating liquors, and was often inebriated. Notwith- 
standing these faults, he obtained the command of the Arabs in Andalus ; for, 
although Yusuf was nominally their Sultan, he was completely the master of 
that chieftain, over whose mind he exercised the greatest influence. As-samil 
obtained the command at the same time with Yusuf, in the year 129 : he retained 
it until it passed into the hands of the Beni Umeyyah, whose empire ceased not 
to increase in extent and strength until the fourth century of the Hijra, when 
their empire was overthrown, and their power vanished away, as did that of other 
mighty dynasties which preceded it. Thus are the immutable decrees of the 
Almighty irrevocably fulfilled on his creatures. God is great ! God is great ! 
There is no (*od but him, the merciful, the compassionate ! 
ibnMugMth la: the year 146 (beginning March 20, a.d. 763), Al-'ala Ibn Mughith Al- 
mvadesAn- y^^gp^ sailed from Eastern Africa with a view to re-establish the supremacy of 

the Beni 'Abbas, and to plant their black banners in Andalus. He landed with 

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a small force on the western coast, and took possession of Beja, where he fortified 
himself. Having called upon the inhabitants of that city and the surrounding 
districts to aid him in his undertaking, great multitudes answered his call, and 
he soon saw himself surrounded by considerable forces, with which he began to 
molest all those who remained faithful to the cause of the Beni Umeyyah. No 
sooner was 'Abdu-r-rahman informed of his landing, than he hastily collected 
some troops and marched against him: he overtook him in the neighbourhood 
of Seville, whither Ibn Mughith had marched in the hope of reducing that 
wealthy city ; and a battle ensuing, the victory remained on the side of 'Abdu^ 
rahman ; Mughith himself, and most of his officers, falling into his hands. 
Having ordered the execution of all his prisoners, the victorious monarch caused 
their heads to be secretly conveyed to Cairwan and Mekka, and to be cast 
at night into the squares and principal streets of those two cities, together 
with the black banners of the 'Abbassides, and the dispatches and credentials 
which Ibn Mughith had brought with him from Abu Ja'far Al-mansur. Another 
account says that when the unfortunate general was brought into the presence 
of 'Abdu-r-rahman, that monarch ordered first the hands of his enemy to be cut 
off, and then his feet; he then had him beheaded, together with the principal is defeated and 
chiefs of the insurrection. In order the better to strike terror into his enemies; pu 
'Abdu-r-rahman caused labels, inscribed with the names of the deceased, to be 
suspended from their ears ; their heads were then stored in sealed bags, together 
with the black banners of the house of 'Abbas, and the whole given to a trusty 
merchant, who was directed to convey his cargo to Mekka, and deposit it in public 
places at a certain time. The merchant did as he was ordered. It happened 
that Abu Ja'far Al-mansur, the reigning Khalif, by whose orders the expedition 
had been undertaken, was in Mekka at the time, whither he had gone on pil- 
grimage, and the bags were secretly placed at the door of his tent. When the 
guards saw them in the morning, the circumstance was communicated to Air 
mansur, who immediately opened them himself, when lo ! the first thing that 
met his eye was the gory head of his trusty servant Ibn Mughith : he then 
broke out into maledictions against 'Abdu-r-rahman, and exclaimed, "The fate 
" of this unfortunate man (meaning Ibn Mughith) sufficiently discloses to us : the 
" wicked intentions of that demon. God be praised for placing a sea between 
(( us!" '■■■:. 

Owing to this occurrence, Al-mansur always bore 'Abdu-r^rahman great hatred, 
and never failed, as long as he lived, to do him all the harm he could, by causing 
inroads to be made into his dominions, and stirring up the Arabs of Andalus to 

vol. II. m 


rebellion. Yet Al-mansur, though he hated him so intensely, would often speak of 
hirii in the highest terms, extolling his sagacity and his prudence, and doing justice 
to his military talents. He used to call him Sakru -I- koraysh 9 (the hawk of Koraysh) , 
on account of his deeds in Andalus, the many dangers he had escaped on his 
way to that country from the East, and the rapidity with which, though desti- 
tute of resources, and with only a handful of followers, he had snatched so mighty 
an empire out of his hands, and transmitted it as an inheritance to his posterity. 
Upon one occasion he told his courtiers, " Do not wonder at the dimensions 
"and strength of this our empire; what is really wonderful is the enterprise, 
" wisdom, and prudence displayed by the youth of Koraysh ; when, destitute of 
" friends as he was, he hesitated not to thrust himself into the paths of perdition, 
" and to invade a distant island, difficult of access, and defended by a well appointed 
" army. See how, profiting by the feuds and enmities of the rival tribes, he has 
" caused them to rise in arms against one another; how, by prudence and good 
"government he has gradually gained the hearts of his subjects and quelled their 
" rebellious spirit ; how, in short, he has overcome every difficulty, and made 

" himself sole master of the country." 

A very striking resemblance has been pointed out as existing between 'Abdu-r- 
rahman and his contemporary and rival, Abu Ya'ktib Al-mansur, of the house of 
'Abbas. Both were equally distinguished for prudence, vigour, and talents for 
administration; both displayed the same energy in humbling the pride, and the 
same unflinching severity in chastising the rebellions of their subjects. They had 
yet other points of resemblance : both their mothers were natives of Barbary, and 
eachvof them put to death his own nephew; since, as is well known, Al-mansur 
killed the son of his brother As-seffah, and 'Abdu-r-rahman ordered the execution 
of Al-mugheyrah Ibn Al-walid Ibn Mu'awiyah. But to return, 
ibeiiionof In the year 151 (beginning Jan. 26, a. d. 768,) there was another revolt 10 
e Tememtw. ^^ >Abdu-r-rahman. The rebels, having mustered in large numbers, marched 

against the capital. This intelligence being brought to 'Abdu-r-rahman, orders were 
sent to 'AbdU-1-malek Ibn 'Omar, the governor of Seville, immediately to attack 
the enemy. 'Abdu-1-malek, after giving Umeyyah, 11 one of his sons, the command 
of the van, marched against the rebels. In this manner Umeyyah suddenly came 
up with the enemy ; but finding their numbers too great, and not daring to engage 
%&£*■** them, he fell back upon his father's army. When 'Abdu-i-malek saw his son thus 
* lek ' ft^ng; before the rebels, his indignation was roused to the highest pitch, and he 

saia^toShirii, J< How earnest thou, O coward, thus to abandon the post intrusted to 
H thy £areT x The people of Andalus and: Africa know how we came hither to escape 
" from death, but thou meetest it :" saying which, he ordered him to be beheaded ; 


which was done. He then called together his friends and relatives, and said to 
them, (C Are we come from the East to the extreme limits of these regions ; and 
" have we gone through so many dangers and privations, to be now so sparing of 
" the few sparkles of life which still remain in our bodies ? Let us throw away the 
" scabbards of our good swords, and perish rather than be vanquished." Thus 
saying, he placed himself at the head of his troops, and charged the enemy with 
great determination. The people of Seville, 12 and the Arabs of Yemen, were com- 
pletely defeated : so great was their loss on this occasion, that they never afterwards 
recovered the blow. Thirty thousand bodies on both sides remained on the field 
of battle, and 'Abdu-1-malek himself was severely wounded. When 'Abdur- 
rahman, who came up after the battle, heard of the exploits achieved by his 
trusty relative, and saw the blood ooze from bis wounds and drop from his 
sword, the hilt of which actually clave to the palm of his hand, he rewarded 
him most munificently, and said to him, " O cousin! I have ordered my son 
" and heir Hisham to marry one of thy daughters, 13 to whom I will give so much 
" out of my treasury as dowry. I likewise give thee so much, and thy sons so 
" much j I give thee and thy sons such a castle and such a town, and appoint 
" thee besides to the office of Wizir." 

In the year 163 (beginning Sept. 16, a. d. 779), according to Ibnu Hayyan, CowpJ«y 
'Abdu-r-rahman put to death 'Abdu-s-sellam Ibn Yezid Ibn Hisham, 14 better 'AMn* . 
known by his patronymic Al-yezidi. He likewise ordered the execution of -his covered, 
own nephew, 'Obeydullah Ibn Ab&n Ibn Mu'awiyah Ibn Hisham. It: appears 
that these two individuals, with many others, had entered into a conspiracy to 
dethrone 'Abdu-r-rahman. A mauli of 'Obeydullah, who was in the secret, and 
had assisted in their plans, discovered them to 'Abdu-r-rahman, who immediately 
caused the guilty parties to be arrested, and sentenced them to death. Abu 
'Othman, his chief Wizir, was likewise in the conspiracy ; but 'Abdu-r-rahman, 
grateful for his past services, spared his life. 

In the year 167 (beginning Aug. 4, a. d. 783), says Ibn Hazm, another of 
'Abdu-r-rahman's nephews, whose name was Al-mugheyrah Ibn Al-walid Ibn 
Mu'awiyah, was put to death on the charge of having formed a conspiracy. itO Execution of 
dethrone his uncle. The same fate befel Hudheyl Ibn As-samil Ibn Hdtim. ... His mJ#5jXh. 
own brother, Al-walid, Al-mugheyrah V father, he exiled to the opposite coast of 
Africa, though he gave him permission to take with him his sons, family, and 
treasures. It is said in the Mas'hab that on the day in which 'Abdu-r-rahman 
ordered the execution of his nephew, one of the favourite mantis of that monarch 
entered his presence, and found him absorbed in thought, and with signs of deep 
sorrow on his countenance. After some time 'Abdu-r-rahman raised his head, and 

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said to him, — " It is a wonder to us, how, after all our endeavours to place these 
" people in a situation of security and comfort, and after risking our life, until God, 
" whose motives are a mystery, was pleased that we should carry our purpose, they 
" should be so ungrateful as to array themselves in arms against us. They come 
" to this country, flying from the swords of our enemies ; and yet, when we receive 
" them with open arms, and give them a share in the empire which God destined 
" for us alone, — when we grant them security, and surround them with every 
" comfort and luxury, — they stir their arms, inflate their nostrils, fancy them- 
" selves superior to us, and try to resist that power which the Almighty has placed 
" in our hands ! But God has chastised their ingratitude by permitting us to pry 
" into their secrets, and by turning against them the blows which they aimed 
" at us." 
» In this same year (a. h. 167) 'Abdu-r-rahman made known his intention to 

o invade march to Syria at the head of his army, and take the empire from the Beni 
* -Abbas. He accordingly began to make every preparation, and wrote to his 
relatives, maulis, and partisans of his house, apprising them of his determination. 
He was to leave his eldest son, Suleyman, to command in Andalus in his absence, 
whilst he himself, at the head of his troops, was to invade Syria. However, the 
rebellion of Huseyn Al-ansari, who rose about this time at Saragossa, disconcerted 
his plans, and frustrated his purposes, 
on of Besides the above rebels, 'Abdu-r-rahman had to reduce many others of the 
principal Arabian tribes, who, during his reign, rose in various parts of his do- 
minions, although God was pleased to render him victorious over every one of 
them. In their number may be counted a Berber who passed himself off as a 
descendant of Fatimah, 15 the daughter of the Prophet. This man raised the 
standard of revolt at the town of Santa Maria, and the mischief lasted for two 
years, until one of his own followers treacherously slew him. 
ryftibn Hayyat 16 Ibn Mulabis Al-hadhrami, governor of Seville, 'Abdu-1-ghaffar Ibn 
L3 ' Hamid Al-yohssebi, governor of Niebla, and 'Amrii Ibn Talut, governor of Beja, 
are also counted among the Arabian chieftains who opposed the authority of 
'Abdu-r-rahman, and rose in arms against him. After the death of Abii-s-sabah, 
the chief of the Yemeni Arabs, whom 'Abdu-r-rahman, as above related, caused 
to be executed, 17 the three illustrious individuals just named swore to revenge 
the murder of their friend ; and having collected the troops of their respective 
governments, marched upon Cordova. But they were met by the troops of the 
Sultan^: and defeated with awful carnage : all the above-named chieftains remained 
dead om the field of battle, or were overtaken and put to death in their flight; 
though there are not. wanting historians who assert that they contrived to escape 


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from the slaughter, and were some time afterwards pardoned by 'Abdu-r- 

Al-husevn 1!t Ibn Yahya Ibn Sa'id Ibn Sa'd Ibn 'Obadah Al-khazreji rose likewise of Ai-huseyn 

J Ibn Yahya, 

at Saraeossa in the year 157 (beginning Nov. 20, a.d. 773), assisted by Suleyman governor of 
Ibn Yokdhan Al-'arabi Al-kelbi, the principal chief of that insurrection. 19 They 
maintained themselves for some time against the arms of 'Abdu-r-rahman, until at 
last Al-huseyn treacherously killed Suleyman, and Al-huseyn himself fell into the 
hands of 'Abdu-r-rahman, who had him executed, as we have related. 20 

In the year 163 (beginning Sept. 16, a.d. 779), Hasan Ibn 'Abdi-l-'aziz Al- WHasanjb.1 
kenani 21 rose at Algesiras; but on the arrival of the troops sent against him by 
'Abdu-r-rahman, he embarked on board a vessel, and sailed for the East. 

But in order to check in future the rebellious spirit of the Arabian tribes, whom ^ l V" n r " takes 
he found animated with a strong hatred towards him. 22 'Abdu-r-rahman began to Berbers into 

^ his pay. 

cease all communication with their chiefs, and to surround his person with slaves 
and people entirely devoted to him ; for which end he engaged followers and took 
clients from every province of his empire, as well as from Africa. He sent people 
over to enlist Berbers in his service ; and those who came to him he treated so well 
as to make their comrades desirous of following them. In this manner, says the 
historian Ibnu Hayyan, 'Abdu-r-rahman collected an army of slaves and Berbers, 
amounting to upwards of forty thousand men, by means of whom he always remained 
victorious in every contest with the Arabian tribes of Andalus ; his empire was 
strengthened, and raised on solid foundations. 

Whilst the Moslems of Andalus were thus revolting against their sovereign, and ^cess of the 
striving to overthrow his empire, the people of Galicia were gathering strength, 
and their power was greatly increased. Fruela, son of Alfonso, who was their king 
at the time, attacked the fortresses and towns on the Moslem frontiers; and after 
expelling their inhabitants, took possession of them, and peopled them with his 
own subjects. In this manner, he took the cities of Lugo, Portokal (Oporto), 
Zamora, Kashtelah, and Shekubi'ah (Segovia), which remained in the hands of his 
posterity until Al-mansur Ibn Atn 'Amir retook them some time before the over- 
throw of the dynasty of Umeyyah ; although soon after, alas ! they fell a second 
time into the hands of the unbelievers, who, as we shall hereafter relate, reconquered 
the whole of Andalus. May God Almighty be praised ! His is the empire ! 

Karoloh (Charlemagne), King of the Pranks, and one of the most powerful Jjjj^*fj* 
sovereigns of that nation, after warring for a length of time with 'Abdu-r-rahman, 
sent him an embassy, and solicited an alliance with him by marriage; but the 
latter having met with an accident in the loins, which injured his virility, the 



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.■_■.- ■ 





Building of the 

Of -the great 

design was abandoned. Karoloh, however, sought his friendship and alliance, and 
again insisted on the marriage ; 23 but this was declined, although a peace was con- 
eluded between the two sovereigns. 

Whilst the above events were taking place, 'Abdu-r-rahman, — whose passion for 
building equalled, if it did not surpass, that of his predecessors of the house of 
Umeyyah, — was daily adding to the embellishments of his capital by works which 
he superintended himself. One of his first acts was to supply Cordova with water, 
by means of an aqueduct which came from the neighbouring mountains. He 
planted a most delightful garden, to which he gave the name of Mun'yat Ar-rissdfah, 
in remembrance of a splendid villa near Damascus, which his grandfather Hisham 
had built, and where he himself had spent the first years of his life. Finding the 
spot a very charming one, he erected in the middle of it a most magnificent 
palace, which he ornamented with every luxury which could be procured ; and 
moreover made it his residence in preference to the old palace inhabited by the 
governors of Andalus. Being passionately fond of flowers, he commissioned an 
intelligent botanist to procure for him in the East such among the fruits and 
plants of that country as could be naturalized in Andalus ; and in this manner 
he introduced the peach and the pomegranate called Safari. 2 * Ibnu Hayyan has 

preserved us four verses, which he is reported to have spoken extempore at the 
sight of one solitary palm-tree which grew in the middle of his garden. 

" In the centre of the RissaYah grows a palm-tree, born in the West, away 
" from the country of the palm-trees. 

" I once exclaimed, ' Thou art like me ; for thou resembles! me in wan- 
" dering and peregrination, and the long separation from relatives and friends. 

" Thou [also] didst grow in a foreign soil, and, like me, art far away [from 
" the country of thy birth]. 

" May the fertilizing clouds of morning water thee in thy exile ! May 
" the beneficent rains, which the poor implore, never forsake thee 1 '" 25 
But whilst 'Abdu-r-rahmdn expended a portion of his treasures in this and other 
delightful dwellings, he was meditating a work far more meritorious in the eyes of 
the Almighty, and which would insure him a place in Paradise ; we mean the 
erection of a magnificent place of worship, that which existed being in a ruinous 
state, and being, besides, insufficient to hold the great concourse of people who 


flocked to prayers. We quote the words of Ibnu Hayyan. 

"In the year 170 (beginning July 2, a. d. 786), 'Abdu-r-rahman began the 
"ibuilding of the great mosque, which was constructed on the site of the old one. 
"Though he did. not live to see that magnificent edifice completed, he is said to 


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" have expended on it the enormous sum of eighty thousand dinars. He surrounded 
" Cordova with a thick and strong wall, the work beginning in the year 150, and 
" continuing for the greater part of his reign. He also supplied his capital with 
" water, built himself a palace, and erected mosques, baths, bridges, and castles 
" in every province of his dominions." 

'Abdu-r-rahman, says Ibnii Hayyan, was kind-hearted, and well disposed to character of 
mercy. He was eloquent in his speech, and was endowed with a quick perception ; nhmfo. 
he was very slow in his determinations, but constant and persevering in carrying 
them into effect ; he was exempt from all weakness, and prompt in his movements ; 
he was active and stirring; he would never lie in repose or abandon himself 
to indulgence; he never intrusted the affairs of the government to any one, 
but administered them himself, yet he never failed to consult, on such difficult 
cases as occurred, with people of wisdom and experience; he was a brave and 
intrepid warrior, always the first in the field ; he was terrible in his anger, and 
could bear no opposition to his will; he could speak with much fluency and 
elegance ; he was likewise a good poet, and composed verses extempore ; he was, 
in short, a beneficent, generous, and munificent prince. He always dressed in 
white, and wore a turban of the same colour, which he preferred to any other; 
his countenance inspired with awe all those who approached him, whether friends 
or foes. He used to attend funerals, and recite prayers over the dead; he often 
prayed with the people when he attended the mosque on Fridays and other 
festivals, on which occasions he was in the habit of ascending the pulpit, and 
addressing his subjects therefrom. He visited the sick, and mixed with the people, 
attending their rejoicings and recreations. One day, as he was returning from a 
funeral, he was met in the street by an impudent man of the lower orders, who, 
fancying he had been wronged by a sentence lately passed against him, addressed 
him thus : " May God prosper the Amir ! Thy Kadi has wronged me, and I 
<( come to appeal to thee for justice." — " If what thou statest be right, O man ! " 
said 'Abdu-r-rahman, " thy wrong shall be redressed." But the man, extending 
his hand, seized the bridle of 'Abdu-r-rahman's horse, and said, " O Amir! I . - 
" entreat thee for God's sake to grant my request. Move not from -this spot 
"until thou order thy Kadi to do justice unto me: there he is in thy suite." 
Hearing this, 'Abdu-r-rahman's indignation was roused: Jie looked round for his 
followers ; but saw that there were only a few, and those at . some distance behind 
him : he then called the Kadi, and told him to do the man justice. On his return 
to his palace, one of 'Abdu-r-rahman's favourites, who disapproved of his frequent 
ramblings without a sufficient escort, represented to him the great danger to which 
he had voluntarily exposed himself, and said to him, " May God preserve thy life, 

.?*■ -* 



« O Amir i These continual ramblings do not become a powerful Sultan like thee ; 
« for if once the eyes of the vulgar become accustomed to the sight of thee al 
" salutary dread and respect will vanish away." These words had the de S1 red effect 
on 'Abdu-r-rahman ; for not only did he abstain ever afterwards from accompanying 
the funerals, and mixing with the crowds, but he advised his son and successor 

Hisham to do the same. . 

The same historian (Ibnu Hayyan) relates, that when, by the submission of Yu uf 
Al-fehri, 'Abdu-r-rahman was freed from all his enemies, and firmly seated on his 
throne, men hastened to Cordova from every province of Andalus to take the oath 
of allegiance to him. For several days the palace of 'Abdu-r-rahman was crowded 
with governors and chiefs, who came to swear fealty to him ; and Abdu-r- 
rahman would receive them with great affability on appointed days, and after 
confirming them in their respective offices and land tenures, he would converse 
with them, and address them in words which delighted them, and attached them 
to him He would also distribute among them dresses, food, and sundry presents. 
In this way they all returned to their homes, highly pleased and satisfied, repeating 
to each other the kind words they had listened to, expatiating in praises of then- 
sovereign, and invoking the favours of God for him. There happened to come 
before 'Abdu-r-rahman on one of these occasions a man who belonged to the 
division of Kenesrin,» who, after humiliating himself in his presence, audressed 
him thus • " descendant of the righteous Khalifs and honourable Lords ! to 
" thee I fly and under thy shelter I take refuge from calamitous times and the 
« injustice of fate. Money is scanty, and my family is numerous ; my situation 
« becomes every day more precarious, and riches are given to thee that thou mayest 
« distribute them more amply. Thou art the Lord of praise and glory, the imparter 
"■ of gifts and the hope of the destitute.''-'Abdu-r-rahman immediately answered, 
« We have listened to thy words, and remedied thy wants ; we have issued orders 
■< that thou shouldst be helped against fortune, and regret the miserable plight 
<< to which thou hast been reduced. Let all those who are in the same condition 
« with thyself apply to us for help, and make known to us their poverty 
"fortunes, either personally, or by means of memorials placed m our hands in 
« order that we may alleviate the blows of fate, and, by remedying their poverty, 
« avert the malignant rejoicings of their enemies." He then ordered a large sum 
of money to be given to the Arab, who left the room hrghly rejoiced, and m 
utter amazement at the Amir's eloquence, readiness of wit and unbounded 
liberality. 'Abdu-r-rahman, moreover, issued orders that all those who came to 
him with petitions should be admitted to his audience-room without delay, that 
he might attend to their cases, and listen to their complaints. In this manner, 


■. */? -rfi ^y^Jrf 


says the author above cited [Ibnu Hayyan] , numbers of poor distressed people, who 
had either met with some misfortune or were the victims of iniquitous judgment 
passed upon them, would flock to the Amir's hall on the days of public audience, 
when they invariably obtained the redress of their wrongs, It was 'Abdur- 
rahman's custom to dine in company with such among his courtiers and public 
officers as happened to be with him at the hours of his meals, and whoever came to 
him upon business at those hours was by him invited to sit down and partake 
with him. 

Of 'Abdu-r-rahman's wit and eloquence several traits have been preserved bv HUwitand 

,,,.,. T , TT , , ^ J eloquence. 

the historians. Ibnu Hayyan relates, that having once received a letter from 
Suleyman Ibn Yoktan Al-'arabi, in which that chieftain tried to deceive him, he 
made the following reply: " Let me alone with thy frivolous excuses, whilst thou 
" art quitting the path of duty; extend thy hands towards obedience, and hold 
" by the strings of the multitude ; do not persevere in thy disobedience and rebellion, 
" and let the fate of thy predecessors be a warning to thee, for God is never unjust 
" to his servants." 

After the taking of Saragossa, and the execution of the rebel Huseyn Al-ansari, 
whose head, together with those of the principal inhabitants of the city, was fixed 
on stakes, 'Abdu-r-rahman's courtiers hastened to congratulate him on a victory so 
signal, and which had realized his most ardent hopes. Among those who approached 
him was a man who had not been present at the siege, and who yet complimented 
him like the rest in a tone of voice both loud and rude. Turning sharply towards 
him, 'Abdu-r-rahman said, " By Allah ! were it not that this is a day in which He 
!t who is over me has granted me a most special favour, and in which it is therefore 
" incumbent upon me also to bestow my favours upon those who are under me, 
" I would have thee most severely punished for presuming to address me in that 
" disrespectful manner, as if thou wert accosting thy father, thy brother, or thy 
" wife, and entirely disregarding the respect due to royalty." 

'Abdu-r-rahman has been accused of ingratitude to those to whom he was most 
indebted ; and certainly his treatment of his freedman Bedr, who was the principal 
instrument of his success, who shared his privations and misfortunes, accompanied 
him in his flight as well as in concealment, and sought out an empire for him in 
the East or West, by sea or land, cannot be excused. No sooner had he risen His ingratitude 
to power than he deprived him of all his honours, cast him into prison, and, at last, 
exiled him to the confines of his empire, where he died in great poverty and 
affliction. The author of the Mas'hab [Al-hijari] relates that Bedr once wrote to 
his master from his place of exile as follows : *' I should have thought that, after 
" crossing the sea, and traversing the deserts, in order to procure thee a kingdom, 

VOL. II. n 

to Bedr. 

r^^xr.'jp^.r^"''^' \ •^":^y-.- *~ : - 



" thou wouldst have rewarded me otherwise than by thus humbling me in the eyes 
" of my equals, and giving matter of cause for the malicious joy of my enemies, 

" making me poor and destitute, and no longer useful to my friends, causing those % 

" who honoured and esteemed me to keep aloof, and those who hated me to hate 
" me the more. I verily think that had I fallen into the hands of the Bern 'Abbas, 
" I could not have been worse treated by them than I have been by thee. But 
" God is over all things, and to Him we must all return." What reason 'Abdu-r- 
rahman may have had thus to act towards his faithful servant Bedr is only known 
to God, who looks into the interior of men's hearts, and unravels their secrets : 
perhaps 'Abdu-r-rahman had reasons for thus acting towards his faithful servant ; 
or perhaps the latter was calumniated, as often happens, by people who knew his 
low origin, and saw with envy his rapid rise in honours and fortune. 27 

ToAbd'Oth- Nor was 'Abdu-r-rahman more grateful to 'Abu Othman, the Arabian chieftain 

who was the first to raise the standard in his favour ; for when 'Abdu-r-rahman saw 
his power firmly established, he would no longer attend to him, nor to those who, 
like him, had most contributed to his success. At last, Abu 'Othman, seeing 
himself ill-treated, and his applications disregarded, caused a nephew of his, on 
the female side, to revolt in one of the castles in the district of Elvira. 'Abdu-r- 
rahman dispatched some troops against him, and the rebel was taken and beheaded. 
After this, Abu 'Othman seduced one of 'Abdu-r-rahman's own nephews, to whom 
he painted in bright colours how easy it would be to revolt against his uncle and 
deprive him both of his life and throne ; but 'Abdu-r-rahman, having received 
intelligence of the conspiracy in time, seized on the persons of his nephew and 
the principal conspirators, and had them all beheaded, with the exception of Abu 
•'Othman ; for, although he was repeatedly told that he was one of their number, 
and that it was he who had instigated his nephew to. revolt and had assured 
him of success, he would always answer, "Let Abu 'Othman alone; for he is 
" the Abu Salmah 38 of this dynasty, and I would on no account give the people 
" cause to say that I treated him as the Beni 'Abbas treated Abu Salmah ; I intend, 
" however, to inflict on him a chastisement worse than death itself." He then sent 
for him,, and, after charging him with his treacherous conduct, deprived him of 
all his honours and emoluments, though some time afterwards he re-instated him 
in his office, and took him again into favour. 

ToKMiea. . ;The next person who was most instrumental in 'Abdu-r-rahman's elevation to 

power; was Abu 'Othman's son-in-law, 'Abdullah Ibn Khaled, who shared with him 
the! duties of the Wizirate. It appears that when Abu-s-sabah, the chief of the 
Yemeni Arabs, revolted, he gave out as a reason that certain terms agreed to 
between himself and ^Abdullah, in his master's name, had been violated by 'Abdu-r- 



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rahman. After the capture and execution of that chieftain, 'Abdu-r-rahman 

removed Ibn Khaled from his 'office, and swore never to employ him as long as 

he lived. 'Abdullah, accordingly, passed out of memory at the court, and remained 

without taking any part whatever in the affairs of the government. Another man 

who most strenuously contributed to 'Abdu-r-rah man's accession, and at first shared 

his intimacy, was Temam Ibn 'Alkamah, who, as already mentioned, crossed the sea 

to him, and was the first to announce to him the good tidings of the rising in his 

favour. 'Abdu-r-rahman, however, soon forgot his past services, and his son and 

successor, Hisham, put to death a son of Temam, 29 as well as a son of Abu 'Othman. 

Alluding to this event, Ibnu Hayyan says, " The execution of the two youths, ^ d .J^J h 

" ordered as it was by the son of the man to whom their lives ought to have been 

" most precious, well convinced their disconsolate fathers of the truth, that no one 

" has a right to expect praiseworthy deeds from his own kindred. 30 Indeed, if we 

" compare the fate of those who were the principal instruments of 'Abdu-r-rahman 's 

" success, and who gave him the empire, with that of those who resisted his 

" authority and were subdued, we shall find that the fate of the former was the 

" more lamentable and severe of the two," 

The first who rilled the office of Hajib to 'Abdu-r-rahman was his mauli Temam "fjj, s r ° f 
Ibn 'Alkamah : he lived to a great age. He was succeeded in that office by ratman. 
Yiisuf Ibn Bokht Al-faresi, a freedman of 'Abdu-1-malek Ibn Merwan, who left 
a numerous posterity in Cordova. The next was 'Abdu-1-kerim Ibn Mahran, of 
the posterity of Al-Mrith Ibn Abi Shamr Al-ghosani, who was succeeded by 
'Abdu-r-rahman Ibn Mugheyth Ibn Al-harith Ibn Huwirath Ibn Jabalah Ibni-1- 
ayham, whose father had been the conqueror of Cordova, as before related ; after 
this, Manstir the eunuch, the first of his class who obtained that office under the 
Beni Umeyyah : he retained his office until the death of 'Abdu-r-rahman . 

Ad-dakhel had not Wizirs, properly speaking, who administered the government Councillors, 
in his name; but he had a certain number of Sheikhs who sat in council and 
assisted him with their experience and advice. The first in rank among these 
was the aforesaid Abu 'Othman ; then came his son-in-law 'Abdullah Ibn Khaled ; 
then Abu 'Abdah, governor of Seville ; then Shoheyd, son of 'Isa, son of Shoheyd.. 
This last-named individual was the descendant of a Berber, others say a Greek, who 
was made a prisoner in the first wars of Islam, and became a slave -of Mu'awiyah 
Ibn Merwan Ibn Al-hakem: from him are descended the Beni Shoheyd, an 
illustrious family of Cordova. The next were, 'Abdu-s-sellam Ibn Basil, also a 
Greek, and a freedman of 'Abdullah Ibn Mu'awiyah, whose posterity obtained 
great renown in the Wizirate and in other offices ; Tha'lebah Ibn 'Obeyd 
Ibn An-nadhdham Al-jodhami, governor of Saragossaj and 'A'ssem Ibn Moslem 

■■S"JJS M 







Ath-thakefi. This latter, who was one of 'Abdu-r-rahman's most zealous partisans, 
was a very brave man. It was he who at the battle of Cordova (Musarah) set the 
example to the troops, by swimming across the river. His posterity afterwards 
attained great renown as public functionaries under various reigns. 

The first Katibs or secretaries appointed by 'Abdu-r-rahman when he assumed the 
supreme power, and took possession of Cordova, were Abu 'Othman and 'Abdullah 
Ibn Khaled. He then named to that office Umeyyah Ibn Yezid, a mauli of 
Mu'awiyah Ibn Merwan, who, as before stated, had also been secretary to Yusuf 
Al-fehri. This Umeyyah had likewise a seat in the council-room, where he was 
much esteemed for his experience and his talents. It is said that he was implicated 
in the conspiracy of Al-yezidi against 'Abdu-r-rahman, but that he died before that 
monarch was apprised of it, when Al-yezidi was in consequence put to death. 

Ibn Zeydun relates, that when 'Abdu-r-rahman took possession of Cordova he 
confirmed Yahya Ibn Yezid Al-yahssobi in the charge of Kddi-l-jamd'h (supreme 
judge), which he. was then filling. After him he appointed Abu 'Amru Mu'awiyah 
Ibn Saleh Al-hemsi ; 31 after him 'Omar Ibn Sharahil ; 32 then 'Abdu-r-rahman Ibn 
Tarif. Jodran Ibn 'Amru was judge 33 to the army. 

'Abdu-r-rahman died in the year 172 (beginning June 10, a. d. 788), after a reign 
of thirty-three years and four months, counted from the day of his landing on the 
coast of Almuiiecar to that of his death. Others say that he died in 171, during 
the Khalifate of Harun Ar-rashid. He was buried within the palace of Cordova, 
his son 'Abdullah reciting the funeral service over his body. He was born in 
the year 113 (beginning March 14, a.d. 731), at Deyr-hinna, in the territory of 
Damascus, or, according to other authorities, at Al-'aliya, a town of the jurisdic- 
tion of Tadmor. His mother was a native of Barbary ; her name was Uaha. His 
father, Mu'awiyah, died in the year 118 (beginning January 19, a.d. 736), at the 
age of twenty-one, and during the lifetime of his own father, the Commander 
of the Faithful. Hisham intended him as his successor in the Khalifate, and 
had him educated accordingly. Mu'awiyah having upon his death-bed intrusted 
the guardianship of his sons to their grandfather Hisham, the Khalif took care 
of them, and especially of this 'Abdu-r-rahman, to whom he allotted, for his 
maintenance, his own share in the revenue of Andalus, the prince sending thither 
a man named Sa'id Ibn Abi Leyla M to collect it in his name. 

--The dates given by Ibnu Hayyan differ slightly from the above. We here 
transcribe .his words: " 'Abdu-r-rahman Ad-dakhel was born in the year 113, 
"or, According to other writers, in the year before, at 'Aliya, in the district of 
V. Tadmor; others say at Deyr-hinna, in the territory of Damascus, where his 
" father Mu'awiyah died in the lifetime of the Commander of the Faithful, Hisham 


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" Ibn 'Abdi-1-malek, who was his father, and destined him for his successor in the 
" Khalifate. It was this Mu'awiyah who interceded for Al-kamet, the poet, when 
" Hisham had unjustly decreed his death. 

" Ad-dakhel died on the 24th day of Rabi'-l-akhar of the year 171 (Sept. 30, 
" a. d. 787), being then fifty-seven years old: some writers make him sixty-two 
" years of age at the time of his death. He was buried within the royal palace 
" of Cordova, his eldest son 'Abdullah reading the funeral service over his body. 
" He was fortunate and successful in all that he undertook, and conquered all 
" his enemies, as we have sufficiently demonstrated in our account of his battles. 
(( As a further proof of his good fortune, we might add what an historian relates 
' ( of him ; namely, that the banner which he assumed on his first landing in Andalus 
" was never defeated, and that it was not until that banner was lost that the 
" empire of the Beni Umeyyah gave signs of decay." Such is the narrative of 
the trustworthy historian Ibnu Hayyan, from whose works we have already tran- 
scribed enough to render any information on this last topic superfluous . 

One of the historians of the West, after copying the above passage from Ibnu 
Hayyan, draws the following picture of 'Abdu-r-rahman : " The Imam 'Abdu-r- 
" rahman Ad-dakhel was a man of very sound judgment and quick perception ; 
" he was deeply learned, and could express himself with facility and elegance; 
" he was slow and prudent in his determinations, but firm in carrying them into 
" effect. Not once did he unfurl his banners against his enemies that he did 
" not return victorious from the field of battle. He was exceedingly liberal, and 
([ well versed in the science of government : he always dressed in white, and 
" wore a turban of the same colour. 35 He used to visit the sick and attend 
funerals, saying his prayers at the mosque in common with the people on 
Fridays and other festivals ; he harangued his troops himself, and raised the 
' ( banners with his own hand ; he appointed Hajibs and Katibs : his army 

"amounted to 100,000 men." 

'Abdu-r-rahman was surnamed Ad-dakhel, (I e. the enterer, 36 ) because he was 
the first of his family who entered Andalus, and Sakr Koraysh (the hawk of 
Koraysh), owing to the rapidity with which he subjected that country to his 
rule. As elsewhere related, he abolished the rule of the Beni 'Abbas in Andalus, 
and founded in that country a powerful empire for his posterity, restoring to his 
race in the West that supremacy which they had lost in the East, and preparing 
for them the way to the Khalifate. Although, at the beginning of his reign, 
he was troubled by frequent rebellions in the provinces, and by the invasions 
of the generals sent by As-seffah, 37 he, nevertheless, vanquished and subdued 
all those who opposed him, and ultimately abolished the spiritual rule of the 



..„ J#. -r-^- ti 




Beni 'Abbas by forbidding the mentioning of the Khalif's name at prayers from 
the pulpits of the mosques. Yet, neither 'Abdu-r-rahman nor his immediate 
successors assumed any other title than that of Amiru-l-moslemin (Commander 
of the Moslems of Andalus), out of respect for the seat of the Khalifate, which 
was still the abode of Islam, and the meeting-place of the Arabian tribes. How- 
ever, after the year 300 of the Hijra, his namesake, 'Abdu-r-rahman An-nasir, 
the eighth Sultan of his family, seeing the state of affairs in the East,— where 
the Beni 'Abbas had been overpowered by foreigners, who left only a shadow of 
power in their hands,— and yielding to the entreaties of his subjects and the 
advice of his most eminent theologians, took the titles of Amiru-Umimenin 
(Commander of the Faithful), Imam 38 and Khalif, which his successors also 

assumed, as we shall relate hereafter. 

Ibn Zeydun says that 'Abdu-r-rahman had a clear complexion and reddish 
hair; he had high cheek-bones, with a mole on his face: he was tall and slender 
in body, wore his hair parted in two ringlets, could only see out of one eye, and was 
destitute of the sense of smelling. He left twenty children, eleven of whom were 
sons, the remainder daughters. 



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Accession of Hisham— His interview with an astrologer — His justice— Liberality — "Wise administration 
—Rebellion of Suley man —Taking of Narbonne — Wars with the infidels— Expedition to Galicia— To 
Alava— Rebuilding of the bridge of Cordova — Several Theologians leave Spain for the East — They 
meet Malik Ibn Ans— Death of Hish&m— Al-hakem ascends the throne— His uncles rebel against him 
— Taking of Barcelona by the Franks— "Wars with the Gal iciana —Revolt at Cordova — Exemplary 
chastisement of the rebels— Death of Suleyman — "Wars with the Christians— Defeat of the Franks — 
of the Galicians — Dreadful famine —Death of Al-hakem— His government— Respect for the learned. 

On the death of 'Abdu-r-rahman, his son Hisham, surnamed Abii-1-walid, who A ?<*ssion of 
had been previously appointed his successor, ascended the throne. His mother's 
name was Halal. 1 He was born on the 4th of Shawwal, a.h. 139 (Feb. 28, 
a.d. 757), that is, one year after his father's arrival in Andalus. When the 
empire devolved on him he was absent at Merida, of which city he was governor* 
as his father, with a view to train him in the duties of administration, had, from 
his earliest youth, given him several offices to discharge: he was, accordingly, 
proclaimed at Merida in 172 (a. d. 788). 

Hisham was not 'Abdu-r- rah man's eldest son; but that monarch, who always 
showed a great predilection for him, and knew his excellent qualities, preferred him 
to his other sons, and named him his successor. They say that whenever 'Abdu-r- 
rahman inquired how his two sons, Suleyman and Hisham, spent their time, the 
answer he received was invariably this : "If thy son Hisham receives company, 
" his hall is thronged with learned men, poets, or historians, who discuss the 
" exploits of the brave, and converse about military affairs, and so forth; whereas 
<( the hall of thy son Suleyman is always filled with sycophants, fools, and cowards." 
By means of this and other similar reports, Hisham rose high in his father's esteem, 
in proportion as his brother Suleyman descended, until that monarch decided upon 
naming him his successor to the empire, to the prejudice of his elder brother. 

One day, as 'Abdu-r-rahman was sitting in his hall, surrounded by his courtiers, 
he repeated the following verses, and asked Hisham whether he knew where they 
were to be found : 

" If thou consider his brilliant qualities, thou wilt easily find out who his 
" father was, and who his ancestors, — who is Yezid and who is Hair. 

Jt r- " ■*■ 




His interview 
with an astro- 

" Observe his generosity, his piety, his good faith, his logical acuteness, 
(( whether he is sober or intoxicated [after a banquet]." 2 

No sooner had he uttered them, than Hisham exclaimed, "Omy Lord! those 
''verses are the composition of 'Amru-1-kays, King of Kindah, and it seems as 
" if they had been written on thy account." So pleased was his father with 
this answer, that he ordered many bounteous gifts to Hisham, who from that 
moment rose high in his estimation. They relate that as Suleyman, who was 
also present at this interview, went out of the audience-room, he asked some one 
whose verses they were, and repeated them until he knew them by heart; he 
then said, " To gain my father's affection I have nothing more to do than learn 
by heart some of the sayings of the Arabs ;" and that when these words were 
reported to 'Abdu-r-rahman he was struck with astonishment, and became more 
convinced than ever of the great disparity between his two sons. 

Soon after his accession to power, Hisham sent for a celebrated astrologer who 
resided at Algesiras, and whose name was Adh-dhobi. He was a man of great 
reputation for his knowledge of astrology, and of the influence of the stars upon 
mundane affairs, which he had studied in the writings of Ptolemy. In com- 
pliance with Hisham's orders the astrologer repaired to Cordova, where, imme- 
diately on his arrival, that monarch closeted himself up with him and addressed 
him thus : " I doubt not thou hast already divined the reason of thy being 
"sent for; I need not, therefore, give thee any further explanation. Tell me 
" now, with God's permission, what thy science discloses to thee respecting my 
" future destiny." The astrologer hesitated to give answer, and said, " Pardon 
{ ' me, O Amir ! I am but a novice in that science ; and it is beyond my power 
" to. execute thy commands, as 1 am not at all deserving of the honour of observing 
" a subject so superior to myself in rank and dignity." — " Heed not that," replied 
Hisham, " I raise thee to my own station, and thou wilt thereby become competent 
to the task." 

Some days after this interview, the astrologer was again summoned to the 
presence of Hisham, who said to him, " What I asked thee the other day has kept 
' ' me since in a state of great agitation, although God knows I place no confidence 
" in things which are amongst His impenetrable secrets, and the knowledge of 
" which he has reserved to Himself. Yet I ardently desire to hear what thou hast 
"to predict to me : man is naturally fond of inquiry, and he is bound by the hope 
( *^pf -reward, as well as by the fear of punishment." Adh-dhobi then said, " Thy 
" reign, 0. Amir. I will be glorious and fortunate: it will be marked by victories 
" over thy enemies : its duration, however, if my calculations be right, will only 
"be eight years ©^thereabout," After a moment's reflection, Hisham lifted up 

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his head, and said, " Adh-dhobi ! I am not in the least alarmed at thy pre- 
" diction, though it may be the unerring admonisher who informs me by thy 
" tongue; for if the time of life allotted to me be spent in adoration of the 
" Almighty, when the hour comes I will say with resignation, 'May His will be 
" done ! ' " Hisham then dismissed the astrologer, after rewarding him munificently, 
and from that day abstained from the pleasures of this world, and made justice and 
benevolence the sole guide of his actions. 

Among the anecdotes related of Hisham, and which show his love of justice His justice, 
and his liberality, the following is one : As he was once, in his father's lifetime, 
journeying out of Cordova, he halted on an eminence close to the banks of the river 
(Guadalquivir), whence he saw a man from Jaen, whom he well knew — having on 
a previous occasion rendered him some service — running in great haste and trepi- 
dation towards the spot where his tent was pitched. Hisham immediately guessed 
the cause of the man's fear and hasty flight : he had perhaps experienced some 
ill-treatment from his brother Suleyman, then governor of Jaen ; he had escaped 
his vengeance, and was now hastening to implore his help. He therefore gave 
orders to his attendants, that on the arrival of the man he should be immediately 
introduced to his presence. This being done as he desired, and the fugitive being 
conducted to his tent, he addressed him thus : " O Kenani ! I know not what has 
brought thee here ; hut I should say that thou art fleeing from some calamity."- — 
Thou sayest right, O my Lord ! " replied the man ; "I am trying to avert 
misfortune from my head. Listen to my tale : A member of my tribe [Kenanah] 
has put to death a man belonging to another tribe : according to custom I have 
handed over to the tribe of the deceased the usual expiation-money, that they 
may distribute it among his family and relatives ; yet thy brother Suleyman, 
knowing how much I am favoured and distinguished by thee, is not satisfied, 
and wishes to proceed further in this affair." Hearing this, Hisham lifted up a 
curtain leading to the interior of his tent, and stretching his hand towards one 
of his slave girls, who happened to be sitting behind, cut off a beautiful pearl 
necklace which she wore, and presented it to him, saying, " Take this, O Kenani ! Liberality. 
" and sell it; it is worth three thousand dinars : do not part with it for less ; keep 
" the money to redeem thyself and thy people, and no one shall injure. thee."-— 
" O my Lord," replied the man, " I came not hither to ask for thy gifts, nor do 
" I want money ; the expiation price being already paid down. I came to complain 
" of the crying injustice done unto me, and to implore thy powerful assistance; for 


" if thou protect me in this matter, and thy intercession for me is made public, 
" I shall grow in importance among those who hate me, merely because thou 
" befriendest me." — " How is that to be accomplished? n said Hisham. (i Thou 
vol. a. o 





(< must write to thy brother," answered the man, " and let him know that thou 
claimest my person, and that I must henceforth be under thy protection."—" Very 

well, I will do so ; but keep the necklace nevertheless." Hisham immediately \ 

rode off to Cordova, and, entering the royal palace, begged leave to see his father. 
He happened to arrive at a time when 'Abdu-r-rahman had retired into the interior 
apartments, and did not wish to be disturbed by applications. He said, notwith- 
standing, on hearing of his son's arrival, " Nothing can bring my son Abu-1-walid 
[Hisham] hither at this time of the day save business of the most pressing nature ; 
" let him come in." Hisham entered the apartment, and, after giving his father the 
saldm, stood in a respectful attitude before him. 'Abdu-r-rahman motioned him 
to sit down, and state his business. " May God prosper the Amir, my lord and 
" father ! " exclaimed Hisham. " How can I sit down when those [who claim my 
" interference] stand injured and oppressed? It behoves those of my rank and 
" station not to sit down unless they be content and satisfied, and I cannot be 
" so unless the Amir puts me at my ease by granting my request. Otherwise 
" I shall go back to my people."—' Abdu-r-rahman then said to him, " God forbid 
il that thou shouldst leave my presence discontented and disappointed. Sit down, 
" were it only that we may accede to the prayers of one who intercedes : speak out, 
" and tell us thy business." Hisham then sat down, as commanded, and related 
to his father the whole of the case : upon which 'Abdu-r-rahman gave orders that 
the expiatory sum paid to the tribe of the deceased should be taken out of his 
treasury, and that Suleyman should be instructed not to proceed further in the 
matter, and to suspend all proceedings against the Kenani. Upon which Hisham 
left the palace, highly pleased and gratified, and expatiating in praise of his father's 
generosity and justice. "When the Kenani came to take leave of Hisham, to return 
to Jaen, he said to him, " This certainly exceeds my expectations, and thy favours 
come down upon me more profusely even than I could have wished. Here is 
the necklace thou gavest me ;-I do not want it, let it be restored to its owner. 
I shall not be the less grateful for the singular service I have received at thy 
" hands." Hisham, however, refused to take it back, saying, " We never take 

" back what we have once given." 
wiseaiimmis- jjfe t t fc e Khalif 'Omar Ibn 'Ahdi-l-'aziz, Hisham followed the maxim of sending 

men of probity and virtue, and on whom he could rely, to the various pro- 
vinces of his empire, to inquire into the condition of his subjects, and ascertain 

the opinions of the inhabitants respecting the conduct of their governors and magis- } 

trates ; and if in this manner any one of his public officers was convicted of having 
committed injustice, he would deprive him of his situation, oblige him to make due 
amends, and for ever afterwards exclude him from his service. So eminent were 


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the virtues, so upright the conduct of this sovereign, that when the celebrated 
theologian, Zeyad lbn 'Abdi-r-rahman, better known by the surname of Shabattun, 
left Andalus for the East in search of learning, the Imam Malik lbn Ans, to whom 
he related some of Hisham's most praiseworthy acts, is said to have exclaimed, 
" May the Almighty preserve his life, and make him one. of our select [disciples]." 3 
At the onset of his reign, Hisham was compelled to make war on members of his Rebellion of 

i -Suleyman. 

own family and other rebels, who resisted his authority, or raised the standard of 
revolt in various corners of his empire. His eldest brother Suleyman especially, to 
whom he had been preferred by his father, shook off his allegiance, and appeared 
in arms against him, assisted by another brother, called 'Abdullah. After many . 
sanguinary encounters between the royal troops and those commanded by his two 
brothers, Hisham repaired in person to the seat of war ; and the wheel of fortune 
turning in his favour, he defeated the rebels, and compelled them to have recourse 
to his clemency. Thus rid of his internal enemies, Hisham turned his arms against 

the infidels. 

In the days of Hisham, the celebrated city of Narbonne 4 was again wrested from Taking of 

■J ' •* Narbonne. 

the Christians. His Galician vassals having sued for peace, Hisham only granted 
it to them on very hard conditions ; one of which was their having to carry a 
certain number of loads of earth 5 out of the demolished walls of the conquered 
city, Narbonne, to the gate of his own palace in Cordova, to be used there in the 
construction of a mosque, opposite to the Babu-1-jenan (gate of the gardens) ; and 
not only was the mosque built of those materials, but a large quantity still remained 
piled up in front of the royal palace. 

In the spring of the year 175 (beginning May 9, a.d. 791), having put himself w«s with the 
at the head of a powerful army, he reached the districts of Alava and the Castles, 6 
met the unbelievers, and defeated them completely. In the same year (175) God 
again sent down victory to his arms ; for, having dispatched one of his generals, 
named Yusuf lbn Bokht 7 Al-faresi, against the Galicians, that chief penetrated gg*>n to 
into their country at the head of considerable forces, and met their king, Bere- 
mundoh (Bermudo), whom he defeated, making great slaughter among his followers', 
and reducing a considerable portion of his states. 

In the ensuing year, a.h. 176 (beginning April 27, a.d. 792), Hisham sentToAiava. 
forward his Wizir 'Abdu-1-malek lbn A.bdi-1- waned lbn Mugheyth on a similar J 
service ; and this general reached the districts of Alava and the Castles, wherein he 
committed all manner of depredations. 

After this, in the year 177 (beginning April 17, a.d. 793), Hisham sent the 
same general in another direction. This time 'Abdu-1-malek marched to Ariunah 
(Narbonne) and Jerundah (Gerona), laid waste the territories adjoining those two 

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cities, and subdued the whole country of Seritanyah (Cerdagne). 8 'Abdu-1-malek, 
moreover, having penetrated far into the country of the infidels, put their armies to 

flight wherever he met with them. > 

Another invasion was made by the command of Hisham in the year 178 (be- 
ginning April 6, a. d. 794). 'Abdu-1-malek Ibn 'Abdi-1-wahed penetrated far into 
Galicia, and reached Ashtorkah (Astorga), where the King of the Galicians, assisted 
by the King of the Basques, seemed disposed to make a stand ; but not daring to 
come to close quarters with the Moslems, the two kings retreated into their states, 
whither they were hotly pursued by 'Abdu-1-malek. Hisham, moreover, had 
previously sent by another route some forces, 9 which joined 'Abdu-1-malek in the 
enemy's country, and laid it waste. They were opposed by the troops of the 
Franks, who at first obtained some trifling advantage over them, though the 
Moslems at last returned safe and victorious. 
thtSgfof Among the praiseworthy actions of this Sultan, one is the restoration of the 
Cordova. famous bridge of Cordova, 10 which, as before related, had been erected by As-samh 

Al-khaulani, governor of Andalus, during the Khalifate of 'Omar Ibn 'Abdi-l-'aziz, 
and was proverbial for its beauty and dimensions. Hisham designed it himself, and 
inspected the work till its completion. Happening on a certain day to ask one of 
his "Wizirs what the people of Cordova said about it, the Wizir replied, " They say 
" that the Amir's only motive in rebuilding this bridge is, that he may pass over 
" it when he goes out hunting." Hearing which, Hisham bound himself by a most 
solemn oath never to pass it again ; a vow which he is known to have kept most 

scrupulously as long as he lived. 
Several theo- During the reign of this Sultan several eminent doctors left Cordova and other 

logians leave ° ° 

Cordova for cities in Andalus to make their pilgrimage to Mekka. Among their number were, 

the i&sst-i 

Fara'un Ibnu-l-'abbas, Tsa Ibn Dinar, Sa'id Ibn Abi Hind, and others, who, on 
their return to Andalus, failed not to diffuse the rays of theological science which 
they had diligently gathered in the East. Some, moreover, who had there become 

SikTbnAns ac{ l uamtet 5 with Malik Ibn Ans, and had adopted his religious opinions, began to 

describe him as a man eminent by his talents and virtues, and to speak of the 
extent of his learning, and the great honour and estimation in which he was held 
all over the East ; by which means the fame of that celebrated theologian spread 
throughout Andalus, his doctrines were publicly taught, and his religious opinions 
satisfactorily explained. This prepared the way for the rejection of the rite of Al- 

auza'i, and the adoption of that of Malik Ibn Ans, which happened soon after, under J. 

the reign of his successor [Al-hakem L, the son of Hisham]. They say that Abu 
'Abdillah Zey&d Ibn 'Abdi-r-rahman Ibn Zeyad Al-lakhmi, better known by the by- 
name of Shabattiln, whom Andalusian writers designate more generally under the 

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honourable surname of ' the theologian of Andalus,' was the first who contributed by 
his writings to spread the knowledge of the religious opinions entertained by that 
illustrious Imam. This Shabattun was as virtuous and modest as he was learned. 
They relate of him, that the Sultan Hisham wished once to appoint him to the charge 
of Kadi of Cordova ; but this Zeyad obstinately refused, under the plea that he was 
unworthy of that office. Hisham wished to compel him to accept it, but he fled ; 
when the people said to the Sultan, " O Hisham, if all men were like Shabattun, 
there would be peace in this world." Hisham then sent for him, and pardoned him; 
when, having previously received a safe conduct, he returned to his house. They 
relate of him, that whilst he was thus contending with his sovereign, Hisham offering 
him that high office, and Shabattun refusing to accept of it, some of the "Wizirs 
called upon him, and declared to him the Sultan's determination that he should accept 
the appointment offered to him ; upon which he said to them, " Do not importune 
" me ; for if you make me once take a dislike to the office, I shall behave in such 
" a manner that you shall soon wish to see me out of it again. For instance, were 
" my wife such a one, thrice divorced [by some of you], to come to me, laying 
" claim to any thing remaining in your hands, I would most certainly issue orders 
" for its restoration, and make you besides answer for keeping it." "When the 
Wizirs heard Shabattun express himself in this way, they saw that he was in earnest, 
and they went and reported the conversation to the Amir, who no longer insisted 
upon Zeyad accepting the office of Kadi. But to return : This Zeyad, having 
become acquainted with Malik Ibn Ans, read the Mowattd under his direction ; 
he also learned under Mu'awiyah Ibn Saleh, whose daughter afterwards received 
lessons from him. Zeyad 11 died, according to some writers, in the year 204 
(beginning June 27, a. d. 819); others advance his death eleven years [193]; 
others place it in 194; others in 199: the first date, however, is the most com- 
monly received : but God only knows the truth of the case ! 

Suwwar Ibn Tarik Al-kortobi, a freedman of 'Abdu-r-rahman I., was another of 
the eminent men who left Cordova under this reign, to travel in the East. He 
visited the city of Basrah, where he met with Al-asma'i and other distinguished 
characters of the time. He then returned to Andalus, where he was appointed 
preceptor to Al-hakem. He left several sons ; among whom the most distinguished 
was Mohammed Ibn 'Abdillah Ibn Suwwar, who also made a pilgrimage to Mekka. 

After a prosperous reign of seven years and nine months, some historians say Death of 
eight [months], Hisham died in the year 180 (a. d. 796). 12 He is counted among 
the good and virtuous monarchs, full of military ardour, and zeal for the promotion 
of the faith. Among the commendable acts of his administration one was his 
continuing and completing the construction of the great mosque of Cordova, which 

wj^.-M IMlI,». 






ascends the 

His uncles 
rebel against 


Taking of 
Barcelona by 
the Franks. 

Wars with the 

Revolt at 

his father 'Abdu-r-rahman had begun, and left intrusted to his care. He had also 
the merit of not exacting from his Moslem subjects more taxes than the zeka'h or 
tithe prescribed hy the Koran and the Sunna (traditionary law). May God have 
mercy on him ! His age, when he died, was forty years and four months, having been 
born, as above stated, in the month of Shawwal of the year 139. His mild temper, 
his generosity, and his love of justice, were such that his subjects gave him 
the surnames of Ar-rodha, (the amiable), and Al-ddil (the just). Among the 
laudable practices introduced by him, the historian Saken 13 Ibn Ibrahim records 
the following: He instituted a night-watch, composed of honest citizens, who 
went their rounds ; and if any disturher of the public peace was apprehended, he 
was fined according to his offence : the produce of the fines was then sent to such 
poor people as were found in the mosques in dark and rainy nights. 

On the death of Hisham, his son Al-hakem, whom he had previously designated 
as his successor, ascended the throne. 14 Soon after his accession, Al-hakem 
increased the number of his mamelukes and guards, formed a body of cavalry, 
which he kept in constant readiness for action, infused vigour into every branch of 
the administration, and took into his own hands the direction of affairs. In con- 
sequence, however, of the civil wars which broke out between him and his two 
uncles, 15 the infidels seized the opportunity to invade the territory of the Moslems. 
Having made an incursion into the districts of Barcelona, 16 they reduced that city in 
the year- 185 (a. d. 801), the Moslem garrison withdrawing to such other fortresses 
as acknowledged their sway in those parts. 

Al-hakem dispatched an army to Galicia, under the command of his Hajib, 

'Abdu-1-kerim Ibn ['Abdi-1-wahed Ibn] Mugheyth, who penetrated far into that 

country, and wasted it. As he was returning from this expedition, he found the 

enemy posted on the heights, and occupying the passes by which he had to cross ; 

but he defeated them with great slaughter, and succeeded in reaching the dominions 
of Islam in safety. 

Al-hakem had also internal enemies to contend with ; and, among other rebellions 
which he had to put down, the most serious and formidable was that of the 
inhabitants of one of the suburbs of Cordova. It originated thus : Al-hakem 
having since the commencement of his reign shown great propensity to worldly 
pleasures, some of the most eminent theologians of Cordova, and other men dis- 
tinguished by their piety and learning, as Yahya Ibn Yahya Al-leythi, the disciple 
ofM^lik Ibn Ans, and one of those who delivered traditions from the mouth of that 
ImamiTalut the theologian, and others, revolted against him, and proclaimed in 
his stead one ;of his: relatives. 17 The scene of this commotion was the western 18 
suburb of Cordova: Al-hakem, who had a body of troops encamped close to his 

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palace, marched against the rebels, whom he defeated and dispersed. He then Exemplary 

r chastisement 

entered the suburb, which he razed to the ground, not sparing even the mosques, o{ tlie rebels - 

and expelled the inhabitants. Some of them fled to Africa, and settled at Fez, 

where they peopled a quarter of the city called after them Medinatu-l-andaksiin 

{the town of the Andalusians) ; others went to Alexandria. Those who fled to the 

latter city, being in considerable number, created some disturbances there, and 

subsequently revolted against the authorities of the place ; upon which 'Abdullah 

Ibn Tahir, 19 who was governor of Egypt for the Khalif Al-mamun, son of Hardn 

Ar-rashid, attacked and defeated them, and transported the remainder to the island 

of Akritis (Crete), which they conquered, and held until, after a considerable length 

of time, the Franks 20 dispossessed them of it. During their occupation of Crete- 

the Andalusians were governed by kings of the posterity of Abu Hafss 21 'Omar 

Ibn Sho'ayb, surnamed Ibnu-1-ghalith, a native of Betruh (Pedroches), who was 

their leader at the time of their attack on the island. The last of them was 


Yahya Ibn Yahya, one of the principal conspirators, fled to Toledo ; but having 
some time after obtained a safe conduct from Al-hakem, he returned to Cordova, 
and was pardoned. The same happened with Talut, who not only obtained 
forgiveness, but rose afterwards to the favour of his sovereign. 

Taliit was the son of 'Abdi-1-jabbar Al-ma'aferi. 22 He had made a pilgrimage to 
Mekka, and visited Misr (Cairo), where he met the Imam Malik Ibn Ans, and 
profited by his lessons : he then returned to Cordova. After the taking of the 
suburb where the rebels had fortified themselves, Talut at first took refuge at the 
house of a Jew ; but after some time he went to one of his friends, Abu Bessam, 
the Katib, who, he trusted, would intercede for him, and obtain his pardon 
from Al-hakem. Far from this, Abu Bessam denounced him, and Talut was 
accordingly summoned to the presence of his sovereign. Being admitted to the 
hall of audience, Al-hakem reproached him in the harshest terms, and charged him 
with his crime; saying, " How earnest thou to rebel against me? thou, a disciple 
" of the Imam Malik, from whom thou must have heard, that the long rule of 
" a bad king is preferable to civil war for one hour? By Allah! thou must have 
" heard thy master say so." — " I did," answered Talut, humbly. "Well, then," " 
said Al-hakem, " return to thy dwelling; thou art forgiven." He then asked him 
where he had been concealed ; and Talut informed him that he had remained for a 
whole year at the house of a Jew, whom he named, and had afterwards gone to his 
friend the Katib, Abu Bessam, who, instead of sheltering and interceding for him, 
as he had expected, had been treacherous, and denounced him. Hearing this, 
Al-hakem grew very angry, and not only deprived Abu Bessam of his office, but 

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Death of 

Wars with the 

issued an order in writing that he . should never again be employed in the public 
service. Ever after this, Abu Bessam, who followed the profession of the law, 
became an object of ridicule to his comrades, who used to say to him, " Thou 
" earnest here, no doubt, to proclaim the doctrines of thy friend Tahit." 

After the defeat of his two uncles, who disputed the empire with him, and 
the eldest of whom, named Suleyman Abu Ayilb, fell in an encounter with his 
troops in 183 (a. d. 799) , 23 Al-hakem turned his attention towards repelling the 
attacks of the Christians on his territory. During the civil wars in which Al-hakem 
had been engaged, the Christians, profiting by the separation of the Moslem troops 
from their frontiers, had often assailed the defenceless points of the Mohammedan 
territory, reduced the castles, led the inhabitants into captivity, and committed all 
manner of ravages and depredations. But, in order to check their progress and 
chastise their insolence, Al-hakem determined upon sending yearly expeditions 
against them, and dispatched army after army, under the command of his best 
generals, to waste their territory, and put every thing before them to fire and 
sword. "We shall here mention a few only of the memorable wars undertaken 
during his reign. 

In the year 192 (beginning Nov. 5, a. d, 807), Ludhwik, son of Carl, King of 
the Franks, collected his forces, and marched to Turiasonah (Tarazona) , 24 which 
he besieged. Al-hakem sent against him his eldest son 'Abdu-r-rahman, who 
defeated him, God Almighty being pleased that the Moslems should vanquish 
their enemies. But, as the Franks became every day bolder on account of the 
wars which Al-hakem had to sustain against the rebels of Toledo, 25 and were 
Defeat of the assailing his frontiers, it was thought expedient to chastise their insolence. Ac- 
• cordhlgly, in the year 196 (beginning Sept. 22, a. d. 811), the Amir marched 
against them in person, and, having invaded their country, took many of their 
towns and fortresses, laid their lands waste, and followed them every where with 
slaughter, captivity, and plunder ; returning afterwards to Cordova with the trophies 
of his victory. 

Four years after this, in the year 200 (beginning August 10, a. d. 815), Al-hakem 
dispatched his Wizir, 'Abdu-1-kerim Ibn ['Abdi-1-wahed Ibn] Mugheyth, against 
the Franks. The Moslems plundered the country, and razed several fortresses ; 
but they were met by the King of the Galicians at the head of considerable forces. 
Both armies then encamped on the banks of a river, 26 and skirmished for several 
days, the advantage remaining at first with the Moslems. At last, after thirteen 
days of incessant fighting, the river, swollen by the heavy rains, overflowed its 
banks, and the Moslems, though victorious, were compelled to retreat from the 
field of battle; 

Of the Gali- 



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In the year 197 (beginning Sept. II, a. d. 812,) a most dreadful famine prevailed Dreadful 

* famine. 

in Andalus, which so much affected the lower classes of people that they died by 
thousands. In allusion to this calamity, a poet of the court of Al-hakem, named 
'Abbas Ibn Nasih 27 Al-jezayri (from Algeziras), composed these two verses : 

" Time has brought on sterility and famine, but the calamity itself has 
" proved a benefit to Al-hakem : 

" It has insured his rule, and delivered him of many a rebellious sub- 
" ject." 28 
Of this poet ['Abbas] historians relate a very curious anecdote. They say that as 
he was once travelling in the Thagher (the province of Toledo), he met at 
Guadalajara with a woman who was crying out at the top of her voice, "Come 
" to our help, O Al-hakem ! for thou hast so neglected us of late, that the enemy 
" of God has fallen upon us, and deprived us both of husband and father." Having 
inquired of her the particulars of her sad loss, the woman acquainted Abti-l-'abbas 
how she and her family, as they were returning from the fields [to Guadalajara] , fell 
in with a party of Christians on horseback, who killed or took prisoners all those 
who went with her. This furnished Al-'abbas with a theme for that elegant 
kassidah of his which begins thus : 

" I was passing through Guadalajara in all haste, when I heard a plaintive 
" sound issue from a house. 

" I listened, and heard a woman say, ' O Abii-l-'assi ! towards thee I guide 
" my exhausted camel, to thee I run for assistance and protection.' " 
On his return to court, 'Abbas entered the presence of Al-hakem, and recited 
the above poem, in which he admirably described the fear and consternation of 
the inhabitants of the districts through which he had passed, and the words uttered 
by the wretched woman whilst imploring his help. No sooner had Al-hakem 
heard it, than he issued immediate orders to prepare for war, and three days 
after he marched to Guadalajara, taking with him the poet 'Abbas. Arrived there, 
he inquired from what part of the enemy's country the marauding party had come ; 
and being informed of it, he invaded that district, laid waste the land, took many 
fortresses, destroyed the fields, burnt the houses of the inhabitants, and committed 
all kinds of ravages, inflicting death on a great number of infidels. After this he 
returned to Guadalajara, where he summoned the widow to his presence, and, 
causing the captives taken in his expedition to be brought before him, he had them 
all beheaded before her eyes. This done, Al-hakem turned towards 'Abbas, 
and said to him, " Ask the widow now whether Al-hakem's help is effectual, or 
not." She, being a well-bred woman, replied, " No doubt of that; the Amir. has 
alleviated our sorrow, he has afflicted our enemies, and bestowed his assistance 

VOL. II. p 



[book VI. 

DeatTi of 


His govern- 

on the weak and oppressed. May God reward him for it, and make him happy ! " 
Hearing this, Al-hakem could not refrain from showing all the gratification and joy 
which he felt at the compliment, and said to the poet, " See, O Al- 'abbas ! how we 
" have run, though we were distant, to this woman's call ; and how, collecting our 
'" victorious forces, we have by our appearance soothed the grief and satisfied the 
" revenge of the injured, alleviated the sorrow of the afflicted, and relieved those 
" who were in difficulties." — "True, Amir!" replied 'Abbas ; "may the Al- 
" mighty reward thee for all the good thou hast done to the Moslems ! " After 
which he kissed the hand of his sovereign, and retired. 

Al-hakem had five Wizirs, who were also the generals of his armies : their 
names were, Is'hak Ibn Al-mundhir, Al-'abbas Ibn 'Abdillah, 'Abdu-1-kerim Ibn 
'Abdi-1-wahed Ibn Mugheyth, who was also his Hajib, Foteys Ibn Suleyman, and 
Sa'id Ibn Hossan. When he ascended the throne the office of Kadi of Cordova 
was held by Mos'ab Ibn Tmran, after whose death he appointed 'Omar Ibn 
Busheyr* Then came Al-farej Ibn Katanah, then Besher Ibn Katten, 'Abdullah 
Ibn Musa, Mohammed Ibn Telid, Hamid Ibn Mohammed Ibn Yahya. His Katibs 
were, Foteys Ibn Suleyman, 'Ittaf Ibn Zeyd, Hejaj Ibn Al-'okayli. 

Al-hakem died about the end of the year 206 (May, a. d. 822), after a reign 
of six-and-twenty years. He was then fifty-two years old, having been born in 154 
(beginning Dec. 23, a. d. 771) of a concubine of Hisham, named Khazraf. The 
impression of his seal was " In God Al-hakem trusts, and is secure." He was tall 
and thin, of a very dark complexion, and had an aquiline nose. He left twenty 
male children, and twenty female. 

More than one historian has recorded the fact that Al-hakem was the first 
monarch of his family who surrounded his throne with a certain splendour and 
magnificence. He increased the number of mamelukes until they amounted to 
five thousand horse and one thousand foot. Ibnu Khaldun and others say that 
he was also the first who introduced the practice of issuing a regular pay to the 
troops ; that he formed magazines of arms and provisions ; increased the number of 
his slaves, eunuchs, and servants ; had a body-guard of cavalry always stationed 
at the gate of his palace, and surrounded his person with a guard of mamelukes, 
the number of which has already been stated. These mamelukes were called 
Al-haras (the guard), owing to their being all Christians, or foreigners. They 
occupied two large barracks, with stables for their horses ; and one thousand of their 
number were continually mounting guard on both banks of the river, close to 
his palace. Al-hakem kept, moreover, several spies, who acquainted him with the 
state of public opinion, while he himself conducted the affairs of his government, 
surrounding himself with theologians, doctors, and other learned and honest 


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individuals. In this way he was enabled to transmit to his posterity a powerful 

and well organized empire. 

There are not wanting authors, like Ibn Hazm, who assert that Al-hakem was a 
tyrant and a shedder of blood ; for which reason all the learned and pious men 
in his dominions set their faces against him. He put to death the pious and 
learned theologian Abu Bekr Zakariyya Ibn Yahya Ibn Mattar Al-ghossanl, who, 
during his residence in the East, had attended the lectures of Sufyan At-thuri 29 and 
Malik Ibn Ans, the latter of whom, quoted him in his writings. This worthy man, 
with many other doctors and learned men, was put to death by Al-hakem. He 
is by others accused of having seized male children, and caused them to be 
castrated. But whether the charge be true, or not, God only knows. He is said, 
however, to have shown repentance of this and other acts towards the. close of 
his reign, and to have thenceforth desisted from all violence or oppression. May 
God have mercy on him ! 

Al-hakem had a favourite whom he much loved ; his name was Zeyad Ibn 
'Abdi-r-rahman. 30 Being one day in company with him, Al-hakem flew into a 
violent passion with one of his eunuchs for presenting to him a petition which 
he did not like to see, and ordered that the slave should immediately have his hand 
cut off. No sooner had Al-hakem issued the order, than Zeyad, who happened to 
be present at the time, said to him, " May God prosper the Amir. I was told by 
(( Malik Ibn Ans, who held it from Rifa'h Ibn Katham, that ' whoever will refrain 
" from anger, and moderate his passions, shall be secure against the wrath of God 
" on the day of judgment.' " This in some measure appeased the anger of Al- 
hakem, who said, " Did Malik Ibn Ans really say so? " — " Yes, he did," answered 
Zeyad ; upon which Al-hakem remitted the sentence, and pardoned the offence 

of his slave. 

That he honoured the learned, and always showed the greatest respect for the JJJ^JJjJjJJ 
laws, which he never infringed, choosing for the office of Kadi those people only 
who enjoyed the reputation of being honest and worthy of their trust, may easily, 
be proved by extracts from the historians of the time. " In this year," says 
one, (< Al-hakem appointed to the charge of Kddi-l-jam'ah (supreme judge), 
" vacant by the death of Mos'ab Ibn 'Imran, a learned and virtuous, theologian 
" of the name of Mohammed Ibn Bashir. He was the son of Said, son of Bashir, 
" son of Sharahil Al-ma'aferi, an excellent and highly esteemed man, who had 
" likewise been supreme judge of Andalus during the reign of 'Abdu-r-rahman I., 
u and had shown such impartiality and zeal in the discharge of that responsible 
<( office that his justice had become proverbial." 31 Being at Beja, of which city he 
was a native, when Al-hakem was advised to appoint him to the vacant office, Ibn 

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Bashir was summoned to the capital. In obedience to the commands of the Sultan, 
Ibn Bashir repaired to Cordova. As he was journeying thither, he happened to 
halt for the night at the house of a friend of his, who was a very pious and devout 
man. Not knowing why he had been sent for, the conversation naturally turned 
upon that topic, when Ibn Bashir expressed Ms opinion that it was the intention of 
Al-hakem to appoint him Katib; 32 but his friend said to him, " Better than that ; 
" I think he destines thee for the office of Kddi-l-jam'ah, now vacant by the 
" death of the person who held it." — " Should such be the case," replied Ibn 
Bashir, (l I will choose thee for my consul." — " Willingly," said his friend ; " but 
" before I accept thy offer, let me hear how thou wilt answer the three questions 
" which I am now going to ask thee : first, How dost thou like to live well, to 
" dress handsomely, and to be well mounted?" — " By Allah! I care not for 
" eating, except to appease my hunger ; nor for dress, as long as my nudity is 
" covered : as to carriage, I want no other than my feet," was Ibn Bashir 's reply. 
'" So far," continued his friend, " my first question is answered. Now to the 
" second : How dost thou like to see a handsome face, or to gaze at a heaving 
■' bosom, or at any other of the charms of the fair, 33 and to indulge thyself in their 
" company ?" — " Those are pleasures which I have never tasted, and therefore 
" I shall nowise be disappointed if I am to be deprived of them." — " That is 
" the second. Now, how dost thou like to be praised and extolled by thy fellow- 
" citizens, and how dost thou like to be appointed to the office, and to be superseded 
"afterwards?"' — "By Allah!" answered Ibn Bashir, "it is very indifferent to 
" me' whether people praise me or vilify me, and I will neither rejoice at my 
" appointment, nor exhibit sorrow at my removal." — " Well said ! " exclaimed his 
friend; Cl my three questions are answered to my satisfaction, and I accept thy 
" offer : hasten now to Cordova, where the office of Kadi awaits thee." Ibn Bashir 
accordingly arrived in the capital, and was appointed to the vacant office, as his 
friend had foretold. 

Ibn Wadhah says, " I was told by a man who saw the Kadi, Ibn Bashir, enter 
" the great mosque on the first Friday after his nomination, that he was dressed in 
" a cloak dyed of a deep yellow, 3 * and wore sandals 35 on his feet: his loose hair 
" fell profusely on his shoulders. In this garb he preached and prayed [with 
"the people], and afterwards sat to administer justice; and yet if any one 
" neglected to pay him proper respect, or forgot any of the formalities due to 
" his office, he invariably found him (in haughtiness of manner) more distant 
" than the Pleiades. 36 Upon one occasion a man came up to him, and seeing him 
" dressed like a gay youth, his hair scattered and uncombed, his deep-yellow cloak, 
" perceiving traces of kohol and tooth-powder 37 on his face, and of hinna on his 

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" hands, stopped and said, ' Point out to me who is the Kadi.' ( Here he is,' said 
one of the audience, pointing to Ibn Bashir : but the man would not believe it, 
and said, ( I see that you are amusing yourselves at my expense ; I am a 
stranger to this city. I ask you who is the Kadi, and you point out to me 
a flute-player.' 38 However, as all assured him that such was the truth, the man 
came forward, and made his excuses, and approaching nearer to Ibn Bashir, 
explained to him his case, and found him more just and impartial than he .could 
ever have imagined. The business for which he had come being at an end, the 
" man began to upbraid the Kadi in an amicable way for wearing his hair so long 
" and untidy, and dressing in coarse raw silk, of a deep-yellow colour. Ibn Bashir 
" answered in the following words : ' I was told by Malik Ibn Ans, that Mohammed 
<( Ibn Munkadir wore his hair as I do ; and that Hisham Ibn 'Orwah, a theologian 
" of Medina, used a deep-yellow cloak, like mine ; and, lastly, that Al-kasim Ibn 
" Mohammed always dressed in coarse silken cloth, like this.' " 

The same author (Ibn Wadhah) further relates that Yahya Ibn Yahya [the 
traditionist] , being once asked what he thought of the turban, answered, "That 
the turban was the usual head-dress for men in the East, and that in ancient times 
great importance was attached to it." They then said to him, " If thou use one, 
" people will not follow thy fashion." To which he replied, " Mohammed Ibn 
" Bashir dressed in silken cloth, and people did not imitate him ; and yet, was Ibn 
" Bashir deserving that men should oppose him ? Were I to put on a turban, people 
" would desert me as they did Ibn Bashir, and I should be without followers." 

One of the first acts of Ibn Bashir, after his appointment to the office of Kadi, 
was to issue sentence against the Amir Al-hakem in a law-suit pending between 
him and a citizen of Cordova, respecting the possession of a mill close to the bridge. 
The suitor having fully proved his right, Ibn Bashir decided that Al-hakem was 
not entitled to the property ; upon which the Sultan summoned the party to his 
presence, and, having asked him to name his price for it, gave him an order upon 
his treasury. One of Al-hakem's courtiers, named Musa Ibn Sema'h, 39 once came 
up to him, to complain of Ibn Bashir, who, he said, had exceeded his authority, and 
shown partiality against him. Al-hakem said to him, " I shall soon ascertain 
" whether what thou tellest me be true or not. Go to him immediately, and ask 
" to be admitted to his presence. If he grant thy request, I believe thee, and he 
" shall be punished, and deprived of his office : if he does not, notwithstanding thy 
" importunities, my esteem for him shall increase tenfold ; for I am sure he is not 
" tyrannical, and truth is his only pursuit." Musa did as he was commanded, 
and repaired to Ibn Bashir's residence. Al-hakem, however, ordered some of his 
Sclavonian guards to follow Musa thither, and report to him what should take place 

- _ ■. r 




'SW 'IP 

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between the two. Shortly after, one of them returned, and told Al-hakem how, 
on the arrival of Musa at the house of Ibn Bashir, he had been received by a 
porter ; who, after acquainting the Kadi with his presence, returned with a message 
from him thus conceived: " The Kadi begs me to say, that if thou hast any legal 
" business with him, thou hadst better go to court at the hours he administers 
" justice." Hearing this, Al-hakem smiled and said, " I well knew Ibn Bashir 
" to be an upright judge, having no partiality towards any one." 

Ibn Bashir held twice the office of Kadi, having been once deposed by Al-hakem, 
who, however, soon after re-instated him in his office. After his removal, Ibn Bashir 
quitted Cordova, and repaired to his native city. They relate that some time before 
this took place, one of his comrades wrote, upbraiding him for his excessive 
severity, and saying, " If thou follow thy present course, I greatly fear thy re- 
" moval;" and that Ibn Bashir answered him in these words: "Would to God 
" that I saw myself with my mule Ash-shakra on the road to Beja ! " Shortly 
after this, the Amir Al-hakem being greatly offended with him for calling witnesses 
in a case in which one of his favourites was concerned, he was deprived of his 
office, 40 and accordingly took the road to Beja, his native city. Ibn Bashir had 
not proceeded long on his journey before one of the raklcds (runners) of the Amir 
overtook him, and bade him return to Cordova. The word rakkds, used in the 
West, is synonymous with As-sa'i. Al-hakem again intrusted that office to Ibn 
Bashir, who, at first, would not accept it ; but he was at last prevailed upon by 
Al-hakem to resume his old functions. That Sultan, moreover, assigned him a 
pension on his treasury, and gave him one of his slave girls. 

Among the remarkable acts of justice of this Ibn Bashir, the following is one. 
$a'id Al-khayr, son of the Amir 'Abdu-r-rahman Ad-dakhel, having a law-suit 
pending with another party, appointed a person to appear in his name at court, 
and to represent him in all ways. The agent accordingly produced a deed signed 
by several witnesses, all of whom were already dead, with the single exception 
of the Amir Al-hakem, and another person living in Cordova. The latter witness 
appeared in court, and gave his testimony in favour of Sa'id Al-khayr; but the 
adverse party having insisted upon the appearance of another witness, Ibn Bashir 
declared his application just, and complied with the request. Sa'id accordingly 
repaired to the royal palace, and, presenting the deed to Al-hakem, showed him his 
own testimony attached to it. The deed had been drawn before Al-hakem succeeded 
:to the throne and during his father's lifetime; and therefore Sa'id, fearing that 
its validity might otherwise be brought into question, requested him to affix a 
note to it, stating it to have been signed with his own hand. Al-hakem had 
the greatest esteem, for his uncle, Sa'id Al-khayr, and wished justice to be done 


* _ 


unto him; he therefore said to him, "0 uncle! we are not by our station called 
" upon to appear as a witness ; for certainly we have been invested in this world 
" with a power and glory which no one can deny: we fear, moreover, that if 
" we comply with the Kadi's request, and appear at his court, perchance we shall 
" sustain such an injury in our character and station as can only be followed by 
" the loss of our kingdom. Go therefore to court, and try to persuade the Kadi 
" of thy right. If thou do not succeed, and he should decide against thee, appeal 
" to me from his sentence, and I will instantly give thee redress." Sa'id Al- 
khayr refused, and said, " God be praised ! What right has the Kadi to dispute 
" thy testimony, he being a creature of thine, and appointed to this office by thee? 
" No, I adjure thee by our religion to put thy signature on that paper, and to state, 
" besides, what thou well knowest to be the truth, without concealing any thing." 
" Willingly," replied Al-hakem, " for thou hast addressed me in a way that leaves 
"me no alternative but to comply with thy request: we would rather choose to 
" be freed from the obligation; but if thou insist upon it we must needs grant 
" thy request, and write down such corroborating testimony as will leave no doubt 
" whatever, and will induce the Kadi to decide in thy favour." Having then 
summoned to his presence two of the most eminent lawyers of his capital, he wrote 
down on a piece of paper his testimony, sealed it with his seal, and presented it to 
them, saying, " Here is my testimony under my own signature and seal ; go with it 
" to court, and show it to the Kadi when he is about to examine the witnesses." 
The lawyers did as they were commanded, and delivered the paper to the Kadi, 
who said to them, <f I have heard of you, you are both men of integrity and justice." 
Shortly after, Sa'id's agent made his appearance, and presented to him a new 
affidavit, 41 saying, " O Kadi ! I hear thou hast received the Amir's testimony ; 
" what sayest thou to it ?" Ibn Bashir took the paper, and, after perusing its con- 
tents attentively, said to the agent, "This is the testimony; but I want to see the 
" attestant himself." On hearing this, the agent's amazement was complete; he 
repaired immediately to his master Sa'id Al-khayr, and acquainted him with the 
circumstance. Sa'id rode to the royal palace, and entering the presence of Al- 
hakem, addressed him in these words : " Our empire has disappeared, and our 
" glory is vanished, since thou alio west this Kadi of thine to hold thy testimony 
" in contempt. God has intrusted to thee the government of his servants, and 
" made thee the arbiter of their lives and property; and an insult of this kind 
" should not be borne by one like thee." He then began to abuse the Kadi, 
and tried to persuade Al-hakem to have him seized and put to death. But Al- 
hakem said to Mm, "Why am I to consider myself injured by such a proceeding? 
" O uncle ! the Kadi is a pious and honest man, who does that which he con- 

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« siders to be his duty, and for which no chastisement will be inflicted on him 
« hereafter -. may God remunerate him amply for his good deeds." By these worf 
Sa'id's indignation was raised to the highest pitch, and he exclarmed, Is this 
"the regard thou entertainest for me ?"-« Certainly," replied Al-hakem ; I have 
« one a!l that was in my power; for it was not for me to o^**** 
the Kadi had decreed ; neither would I act so tyranmcaUy against the Moslems 
[of this country] as to seize on the person of Ibn Bashir for that winch is not an 
" offence in the eyes of God." . . 

Mohammed Ibn Bashir died at Cordova in the year 198 (beginning Aug. 31, 
A ffll that is to say, six years before the Imam Ash-shafe'i. He was originally 
from Beja then the abode of the Egyptian Arabs. Ibn Harith, citing an autiior 
nled Ahmed Ibn Khaled, says that he made his first studies m Cordova; he then 
Tame secretary to one of the sons of ■ Abdu-1-malek Ibn Merwan, of he royal 
Sly of Umeyyah. Having quitted his service, he left Andalus on a pdgnmage, 
L met Malik ibn Ans, from whom he received instruction. After spendmg some 
time at Cairo, wholly intent upon the acquisition of learning, he returned to his 
native city (Beja), and devoted himself to the cultivation of an estate he had 
inherited from his father. Of his virtues and praiseworthy deeds the historians 
of his time make ample mention; and a detailed account of his life and writings 
may be found in the biographical work of Ibn 'Ayadh, entitled Al-mudank, to 
which we refer our readers, as the copy of it which we possess is in Africa among 
our books. 



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Accession of 'Abdu-r-rahman II.— Invasion of Galicia— of Alava— Defeat of Alfonso— 'Abdu-r-rahman 
marches against the Galicians— Invasion of C ev dag ne— Death of Garcia of Navarre— Taking and 
destruction of Leon— Greek ambassadors arrive in Cordova— Account of Yahya Al-ghazzal— Piratical 
expeditions of the Northmen— Arrivals from the East— Account of Zaryab the singer— His reception- 
He becomes a favourite of *Abdu-r-rahmam — Improves the lute — Death of Yahya Ibn Yahya Al-leythi 
—of 'Abdu-1-malck Ibn Habib— Their labours in introducing the sect of Malik — Death of 'Abdu- 
rahman — Revenues of Andalus under his reign — His passion for women — His adventure with Tariib — 
Accession of Mohammed I .—-His wars with the Christians— with the rebels of Toledo— Earthquake in 
Cordova— Death of Mohammed — His son Al-mundhir ascends the throne — Is killed in battle with 
'Omar Ibn Haf sun— Succeeded bv his brother 'Abdullah— Death of 'Abdullah. " 

In conformity with Al-hakem's will, 'Abdu-r-rahman succeeded him. Some Aemsion of 
time before his death, Al-hakem, having summoned to his presence his "Wizirs, rahman n. 
his courtiers, the generals of his armies, and the chiefs of the Arabian tribes, 
exacted from them the oath of allegiance to his eldest son 'Abdu-r-rahman, whom 
he appointed his successor. In case of death, he was to be succeeded by another of 
his sons, called Al-mugheyrah. 'Abdu-r-rahman was then thirty years old. 

Soon after his accession to the throne, 'Abdu-r-rahman invaded Galicia, where he invasion of 

• • Galicia. 

remained for a considerable time, wasting the country, and annihilating its Christian 
inhabitants. Owing to these and other victories which 'Abdu-r-rahman had 
gained over the Christians and others during his father's lifetime, his subjects 
bestowed upon him the surname of Al-modhaffer {the victorious). 

In the year 208 (beginning May 15, a. d. 823) he dispatched an expedition Of Alava. 
against the country of Alava and the Castles, under the command of his Hajib, 
'Abdu-1-kerim Ibn 'Abdi-1-wahed. This general ravaged the country, and destroyed 
many towns that lay in his way ; he likewise reduced by force of arms several of 
the enemy's fortresses, the inhabitants of some of which obtained security and 
peace on condition of releasing all their Moslem captives and paying the customary 
annual tribute. After this achievement 'Abdu-I-kerim returned victorious [to 


Asrain in the vear 224 (beginning November 22, a.d. 838), 'Abdu-r-rahman Defeat- of 

b > ■> ° u f Alfonso. / 

sent his own relative, 'Obeydullah Ibnu-1-balensi, 1 with an army to the same 


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against the 

Invasion of 

Death of 
Garcia of 

Taking and 


quarter (Alava and the Castles). 'Obeydullah marched thither, and met the enemy, 
in whose ranks he made great slaughter. After this, Ludheric, King of the 
Galicians, (Alfonso II. of Leon,) having made an incursion into the district of 
Medinah-Salim (Medinaceli) in the Thagher, Fortun Ibn Musa 2 marched against 
him, gave him battle, and defeated him with a severe loss in slain and prisoners. 
After this, Fortun proceeded to a fortress which the people of Alava had constructed 
on that frontier for the purpose of annoying the Moslems, and, having laid siege to 

it, took it and razed it to the ground. 

After this, 3 'Abdu-r-rahman in person led his army against the Galicians, whom 
he defeated, subjugating their country, and taking a number of their castles. After 
a long campaign, and several incursions made into the enemy's territory, he 
returned [to Cordova] with captives and plunder. 

In the year 226 (beginning Oct. 30, a. d. 840) 'Abdu-r-rahman sent his army to 
the country of the Franks, under the command of Musa Ibn Musa, governor of 
Tuteylah (Tudela). Having penetrated into the country of Seritaniyah (Cerdagne), 
Musa was met by the enemy, and a battle ensued, in which the Moslems fought 
with desperation, until it pleased the Almighty to put their foes to flight. On 
this occasion Musa's conduct was worthy of great praise. 

In the year 229 (beginning Sept. 29, a. d. 843) he sent his son Mohammed to 
Pamplona in command of his army. Near that city Mohammed engaged the 
infidels, and put to death their Lord, Garcia, 4 one of the greatest princes of the 


In the year 231 (beginning Sept. 6, a.d. 845) an army was dispatched to 
Galicia. On this occasion, after subduing the country through which they pro- 
ceeded, the Moslems arrived before the city of Leon, which they besieged, battering 
its walls with war-engines, until the inhabitants deserted the city ; upon which the 
Moslems entered it, plundered whatever they found, and set fire to it. They then 
attempted to demolish the walls, but could not accomplish their purpose, owing to 
their solidity and strength, they being seventeen cubits in thickness : the Moslems, 
however, succeeded in opening a great breach, and then departed. Some time 
afterwards 'Abdu-r-rahman sent his forces to the country round Barcelona. His 
Hajib, 'Abdu-1-kerim, who went in command of the expedition, after ravaging the 
districts in the neighbourhood of that city, passed the defiles known by the name of 
Al-bort (Porte), and penetrated into the country of the Franks, which he scoured 
in every direction, slaying the inhabitants or taking them prisoners. He also 
besieged Jerundah (Gerona), the great city [of those parts], and, after wasting the 
neighbouring districts, returned [to Cordova]. 

In the year 225 (beginning Nov. 11, a.d. 839), Tufilus (Theophil), King of 




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Constantinople, a city situated beyond the country of the Franks, sent presents to Greek am,,as 

x j j j i sadors arrive 

'Abdu-r-rahman, at the same time soliciting his friendship. The Greek, who had in Cordova, 
of Jate been greatly harassed by the armies of Al-mamun and Al-mu'tassem, asked 
'Abdu-r-rahman to join forces with him against their common enemies of the house 
of 'Abbas. To this end he tempted 'Abdu-r-rahman with the conquest of the 
empire which his ancestors [of the house of Umeyyah] had possessed in the East ; 
and in a letter which he addressed to him he entered more fully on the subject, and 
explained his views and intentions. 'Abdu-r-rahman sent him a valuable present 
in return by one of the most distinguished men of his court, named Yahya 
Al-ghazzal, who was renowned for his wisdom and his talents for poetry, and who 
succeeded in forming an alliance between the two sovereigns. Thus did 'Abdu-r- 
rahman's renown grow even above that of the Beni Abbas. 

Ibnu Hayyan relates, that, on his arrival at Constantinople, the King of the Rum 
(the Emperor of Greece) showed great astonishment at his youthful appearance, 
and was very much pleased with him : he invited him to partake of a repast with 
him, but this Al-ghazzal refused on the plea that his religion forbade him to drink 
spirituous liquors. As he was, upon a certain day, sitting in company with the 
king, the wife of the latter came out [from the royal apartments] dressed in all her 
finery, — a rising sun in beauty. Al-ghazzal was so surprised that he could not 
take his eyes from her ; and although the king was talking to him at the time, 
Al-ghazzal paid no attention to what he said. The king, finding Al-ghazzaTs 
behaviour very rude, directed his interpreter to ask him what he was about. 
Al-ghazzal said to him, " Tell thy master that I am so captivated by the charms 
" of this queen, that I am prevented from listening to his conversation. Say to 
" him that I never saw in all the course of my life a handsomer woman than she 
" is." He then began to describe one by one all her charms, and to paint his 
amazement at her incomparable beauty, and concluded by saying that she had 
captivated him with her black eyes. "When the interpreter repeated his words to 
the king, Yahya rose still higher in his favour, and the queen was delighted with 
his words. 

The above is not the only service on which Al-ghazzal Was employed by his 
master, 'Abdu-r-rahman. Abu-1-khattab Ibn Dih yah relates, in his work entitled 
Al-muttrib, that he was also sent [on an embassy] to the land of the Majlis. 5 
Al-ghazzal was then very near his fiftieth year ; but, though his hair was gray, he 
had still all the appearance of youth and strength. The queen, whose name was 
Tuda, having asked him one day what his age was, he answered in jest, " Twenty." 
— "And how does it happen," replied the queen, "that thou hast gray hair?" 
Al-ghazzal then said, "There is nothing extraordinary in that. Hast thou not 


" heard it said that the Mehriyyah 6 hreeds though the colour of her hair is gray ? " 

This answer surprised the queen. 
Account of This Yahya Al-ghazzal was the son of Hakem ; he belonged to the tribe of Bekr 

ghazza. " Ibn Wayil, and was a native of Jaen : he was surnamed Al-ghazzal (the gazelle) , 

from his great beauty. 7 Ibnu Hayyan, in his Muktabis, calls him the physician, 
the poet, and the 'A'lim, or learned man, of Andalus. He was witty, and much 
inclined to satire. Having upon one occasion indulged his satirical propensities 
against Ibn Nafi', surnamed Zaryab, a favourite of 'Abdu-r-rahman, of whom 
mention will occur hereafter, he was banished the kingdom. He then visited 'Irak, 
where he arrived shortly after the death of Abu Nowas. He lived to the age 
of ninety-four, and died in the year 250 (beginning Feb. 12, a. d. 864), under 
the reign of Mohammed, the son and successor of 'Abdu-r-rahman, having known 
five sovereigns of the house of Merwan ; namely, 'Abdu-r-rahman Ad-dakhel, 
Hisham, Al-hakem, 'Abdu-r-rahman II., and his son Mohammed. 
Piratical ex. In the days of 'Abdu-r-rahman the Majus (Northmen) made their appearance 
SSwShien. upon the coasts of Andalus, and took possession of Seville. 'Abdu-r-rahman 

having sent an army from Cordova against them, they left their ships, and engaged 
the Moslem forces, which they defeated after a severe contest; but on the arrival of 
new re-inforcements from Cordova, the Moslems again attacked them, put them to 
flight, and plundered and burnt some of their vessels. After this the Majus 
proceeded to Shidhunah (Sidonia), where they stayed for two days, collecting 
plunder in the neighbourhood ; but when they heard of the arrival of 'Abdur- 
rahman's fleet at Seville, they again took to their ships, and sailed towards the 
coast of Liblah [Niebla], which they overran, carrying some of the inhabitants 
into captivity. Thence they went [by land] to Beja, and lastly to Lisbon, whence 
they put to sea, nothing more being afterwards known of them. This -event 8 took 
place in the year 230 (beginning Sept. 17, a. d. 844), and Andalus was delivered 
from their ravages. 'Abdu-r-rahman visited the places which they had entered, 
repaired the devastations they had committed, and, by increasing the garrisons, 
secured the country against any future invasion of those barbarians. 
Arrivals from During the reign of this Sultan several illustrious men left the East to settle in 

Andalus. Among the rest was 'AM Ibn Nafi', surnamed Zaryab, 9 a celebrated 
musician and singer, who had been a mauli of the Khalif Mahdi, and a pupil of 
Ibrahim Al-maussili. He came from 'Irak in the year 206 (beginning June 5, 
a. d. 821), and was so well received by the Amir 'Abdu-r-rahman, that, according 
to Ibnu Khaldun, that Sultan rode out to meet him on the day of his entrance into 
Cordova, and honoured him extremely, distinguishing him above all his courtiers, 
and granting him several favours. Zaryab settled in Andalus, and taught vocal 

the East. 

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music to the people of that country, founding a school of his own. He left several 
children, the eldest of whom, named 'Abdu-r-rahman, inherited his talents, and 
diffused his science among the people of Andalus. 

We have already I0 stated that owing to his master's jealousy Zaryab was obliged z^b ti?e 
to quit Baghdad. He then repaired to Western Africa, where his talents soon 6hl s er - 
acquired him as great a reputation as he had enjoyed in the East. Having there 
heard of the magnificence displayed at the court of Al-hakem, and of the great 
favours which that Sultan conferred on all those whom he took under his pro- 
tection, he resolved upon writing to him a letter, in which he related to him his 
adventure and dispute with Is'hak, and how that musician had given him his choice 
[between exile and bitter enmity] . He likewise acquainted him with his inventions 
in the art which be said his master had unduly appropriated to himself, and 
concluded by asking his leave to come to Cordova and devote himself to his service. 
Al-hakem was delighted at the offer, and sent a messenger to apprise Zary&b that 
he might come whenever he pleased ; that he wished very much for his arrival, and 
that he would not fail to reward his services as they deserved. The hearer of the 
message was a Jewish musician, of the name of Mansur, who was attached in that 
capacity to the Sultan's household. Upon the receipt of this message, Zaryab 
embarked with his family and children, and, sailing across the Bahru-z-zokdk (the 
Straits of Gibraltar), landed at Algesiras. But when he had spent a few days 
only at that port, the news came of the death of Al-hakem ; and Zaryab decided 
upon returning to Africa: but the Jewish musician, Mansur, who was with 
him at the time, dissuaded him from his undertaking, and prevailed upon him to 
offer his services to Al-hakem's son and successor, 'Abdu-r-rahman . The Jew 
therefore addressed a letter to the Amir, acquainting him with Zaryab's case ; and 
'Abdu-r-rahman was so pleased, that he immediately answered, expressing his 
satisfaction at his arrival, and requesting him not to delay his departure. He 
then wrote to the governors of the districts and towns on his way to Cordova, . 
to treat him with every honour and respect, and furnish him with an escort and 
provisions for his journey. When Zaryab approached the capital, the Sultan sent 
one of his chief eunuchs to meet him with mules and provisions for himself His reception. 
and family. On his arrival at Cordova, which happened at night, owing to the 
women who came with him, Zaryab was lodged in a splendid mansion, where he 
received every day whatever provisions he wanted for his maintenance and that 
of his family, besides a khil'ah or dress of honour, which the Amir sent him. 

Three days after this, Zaryab was summoned to the royal presence ; and 'Abdu-r- 
rahman was so pleased at the interview, that he immediately assigned him a pension 
of two hundred dinars per month on his treasury, and to each of his four sons, 


'Abdu-r-rahman, Ja'far, 'Obeydullah, and Yahya, twenty dinars per month. He 
ordered besides that three thousand dinars yearly should be paid to him by way of 
gratuity n at certain festivals : namely, one thousand dinars at each of the two 
'Ids, 12 five hundred at nauruz (new year's day), and five hundred at mahrajdn 
(midsummer), and that he should be provided annually with three hundred mudd of 
grain ; namely, two-thirds of barley, and another third of corn : and lastly, he gave 
him several houses, as well as part of the produce of certain duties raised in 
Cordova and the neighbouring gardens, besides lands ; all which united brought 
him in a clear revenue of forty thousand dinars. 
favou e -t° nie f a When all Zaryab's requests had been granted according to the Amir's promise, 
'Aixiu-r- and the latter saw that he had captivated the heart of the musician by his excessive 

rah man. t l J 

liberality, he began to admit him to his privacy, and to invite him to evening 
parties, to drink palm-wine and sing to music. So delighted was 'Abdu-r-rahman 
with Zaryab's performance [on the first occasion] , that he would listen to no other 
singer of the many who attended his court, and that he conceived an unbounded 
affection for him, going so far as to closet himself with him, and make him sit by 
his side, as if he were his equal, and allowing him to treat him with the greatest 
freedom, On such occasions, after listening to his songs for some time, 'Abdu-r- 
rahman would ask him to tell him stories ; and Zaryab, who was deeply read and well 
informed, and who was, moreover, gifted w r ith a prodigious memory, would entertain 
him with anecdotes of Kings and Khalifs, and the remarkable sayings of the wise, 
of which he possessed an inexhaustible store, only to be compared in extent with a 
boundless sea. Every day the Amir became more attached to him, and more 
astonished at what he related, until he would have him at his meals, and honoured 
him by allowing him to dine with him and with those among his sons who were 
then grown up. He then ordered his Katib or secretary to draw up a deed, [which 
he signed,] by which he granted him all the pensions and gifts above mentioned ; 
and when in the course of time his attachment for him became still stronger, 
he caused a private door to be made, by which Zaryab might enter his apartment 
[unperceived] . 

They relate that Zaryab used to say that the Jinn taught him music every night, 
and that, whenever he was thus awakened, he called his two slave girls, Ghazzalan 
and Hindah, made them take their lutes, whilst he also took his, and that they 
passed the night conversing, playing music, and writing verses, after which they 
hastily retired to rest. In like manner it is related of Ibr&him Al-maussili, in his 
admirable Work on melody entitled AUnakhuri,™ that the Jinn held conversations 
with him; but God only is all-knowing, 
improves the Before Zaryab's time the lute was, according to the old fashion, composed of 

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four strings only, which answered to the four elementary principles of the body, 
and expressed the four natural sounds. Zaryab, however, added to it another 
red string, which he placed in the middle, by which addition the instrument 
was considerably improved, and a more harmonious sound than before pro- 
duced. The arrangement stood thus : the treble or first string, which, was dyed 
of a bright yellow, supplied in the lute the place of the bile in the human 
body : the next string to it, which was red, supplied the place of the blood ; it 
was twice as thick as the treble, on which account he called it muthanna } i. e. 
double : the third was left undyed, and was consequently white, being intended as a 
representative of the phlegm in the human body; in size it was double the 
muthanna or second string, for which reason it was called muthallath or triple: 
the fourth, which was black, was intended to occupy in the instrument the same 
place as the black humours in the body of man ; it was also called lam, and was 
the largest of all; in thickness it was double the third string. These four strings 
answered completely to the four natural sounds, harmony resulting from the balance 
of their opposite properties. The bam, being hot and dry, was opposed to the 
muthanna, which was hot and damp, and thus a balance was produced ; the zeyr, 
being hot and dry, matched the muthallath, which was hot and damp; so that 
every nature met with its opposite property, until it was balanced, and the equili- 
brium was established, as in the body of man, by the counteraction of the contrary 
elements of which it is composed. One thing, however, was wanting, --. which was 
the soul, which co-exists with the blood; wherefore Zaryab added by the side of 
the string representing the blood a fifth one, which he placed in the middle, that is 
to say, under the muthallath and above the muthanna, thus supplying the place of 
the soul in the human body, and improving the four notes of the lute. 

The above was not the only improvement devised by Zaryab in this department 
of music : he also introduced the use of eagles' talons instead of the wooden 
plectra which were formerly in use, and this he did on account of the soft down 
which covers the claw of that bird, its cleanness and lightness applied to the 
fingers, and the greater durability of the strings when touched by this method, — 
a consideration not to be neglected by a man who, like Zaryab, made so frequent a 
use of his instrument. 

Music, however, was not the only accomplishment of Zaryab. He was likewise 
learned in astronomy, in geography or the division of the earth into seven climates, 
the various productions peculiar to each of them, their temperature, their inter- 
vening seas, the order and population of the several countries. He was deeply 
versed in every branch of art connected with music ; and was, moreover, gifted with 
such a prodigious memory that he knew by heart upwards of one thousand songs 




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• , • n ^.pntPi- number even than that recorded by Batlomius 

MmoLl, was gifted with so much penetration and w,t ; he had so deep an 
StaTce with the various hranehes of polite literature ; he possessed in so 
acquaintance w^m conversation> and the talents requisite to entertam 

eminent a degree <^»™ mber of entertaining stories ; he was so 

I*" S^gSi * the wants of his royal master.-that there never 
Ts eith r Tefo or L him a man of his profession who was more generally 
TLeL admired. Kings and great people too. Mm for a pattern of mann i 
and education, and his name became for ever celebrated among he -»" 
rfAmMns We shall here give an instance of his immense popularity. At the 

Lfz^b cut d Andalus it was the fashion among the people of that .untry, 
both men and women, to wear the hair over the upper pa t of tfie for head 
and hanging down between the temples and the eye ; but when they observed 

hat zTS and his sons, and his wives, all wore their hair parted m the middle 
Ind not ctelg the forehead, the extremities being placed behind the ears and 

17 over L emples, just in the manner used now by eunuchs and concubines, 

tev all lehnouished the old fashion, and adopted that which he had introduced 
1 tault the people of Andalus to extract the murtak from the murddsang or 

H^Lke fajthe fetid ^£^^^£E= 

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secmence of which was that they never looked quite elean. He taught them 
KV-t [mixed with the above] , through which the hnen was made >*~ 
and white. When the experiment had been tried, every one approved of it, and 
p" Zaryab for the invention. He was the first who gathered and ate the 
edible ^ed «*». and by the people of Andalus asfaraj (asparagus, which 
was unknown to the inhabitants of that country before his arrival. A d sh called 
7.X -de of force-meat balls and small triangular pieces of paste, fned in oil 
co3 nder-seed, was also of his invention; and to this day (^e* 
from whom this account is borrowed) a fried dish, greatly resembl mg he one 
Ze described, bears still in Andalus the name of takalUyah Zaryab (the fried 
dth of Zaryab . He likewise taught the people of Andalus to use vessels o 
7stal instead of gold and silver ; to sleep on a soft couch of prepared leather 
. SZoe to cotton blankets ; to dine from small leathern trays rather than 
from wooden tables,owing to the greater cleanliness of the former it being easier 
to rub out the dirt from leather than from wood. Change of clothing according 
to the different seasons of the year was another of the improvements mtro- 



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duced by Zaryab. Before his time the inhabitants of Andalus began to leave off 
coloured or winter clothes, and to put on white or summer ones, on the day of 
mahrajdn (midsummer) , which the people of that country call 'ansarah, 15 and which 
falls on the 24th day of the solar month called Junoh (June) by the Christians. 
They kept on white or summer clothing until the first day of the solar month of 
Oktubir (October), that is to say, for a little more than three months ; the remainder 
of the year they wore coloured or winter clothing. Zary&b, however, was of opinion 
that in the season intervening between summer and winter, and which they called 
rabi' (spring), they should wear jubbas 16 of coloured silk, or made of the stuffs 
called mulham and muharr ; and waistcoats of light materials without any lining, 
owing to their proximity to white or summer clothes, which the people used on 


account of their lightness and their similarity to the mihshah, or usual cloak of 
the lower classes. In the same manner he imagined that it would be convenient 
towards the end of summer and the beginning of autumn to put on a mihshah, like 
those of Meru [in Persia] , and clothes of only one colour, and other similar articles 
of light- coloured dress, thickly lined and wadded, to be worn chiefly in the morning 
when the cold began to he sharp. On the approach of winter, however, people 
were to leave off the above articles of dress, to put on warmer clothing of different 
colours, lined, whenever the weather required it, with various kinds of fur. 

The method which he employed with his disciples was this: whenever a youth 
came to him for the purpose of taking lessons in vocal music, he made him sit 
down on the round cushion called masurah, and bade him exert the full power of 
his voice. If his voice was weak, he made him tie a turban round his waist, — 
a practice which is well known to increase the voice, as it thus meets with no 
impediment on its passage from the chest to the mouth. If the youth stammered, 
or could not well open his mouth, or if he had the habit of clenching his teeth 
whenever he spoke, he bade him put inside his mouth a small piece of wood three 
inches in width, which he was to keep there day and night until his jaws were 
well expanded. This being done, he made him cry out at the top of his voice, 
Yd hassdm or Ah ! telling him to protract the sound as much as possible : . if he 
found that he uttered those words in a clear, powerful, and sonorous voice, he 
admitted him into the number of his pupils, and spared no trouble or fatigue to 
make him an accomplished singer ; if the contrary, he took no further pains with 
him. But to return to 'Abdu-r-rahman. 


In Kejeb, 234 (March, a.d. 849), died the distinguished lawyer and traditionist ]Death of Ya- 
Yahya Ibn Yahya Al-leythi, who, as before related, was most instrumental in Ai-ieythi. ' 
introducing into Andalus the rite of Malik Ibn Ans. After reading the works of 
that Imam, under the tuition of Shabattun at Cordova, he was persuaded by his 




master to leave his native country and visit the East, where he might take lessons 
from M&lik Ibn Ans. Yahya, therefore, quitted Andalus at the age of twenty- 
eight, and arrived at Medina, then the residence of that illustrious divine, under 
whose guidance he immediately placed himself. They relate that whilst he was 
one day attending his lessons together with other pupils, an elephant happened 
to pass before the door of the house in which they were, and there was a cry, 
" Here is the elephant ! " when all those present rushed out to see it, with the 
exception of Yahya, who kept his seat. When Malik saw this, he said to him, 
" Why dost thou not go out like the rest? surely there are no elephants in thy 
" country ! " — " I came not from Andalus to the East," replied Yahya, " to look at 
" elephants ; I came to see thee, who hast not thy like in my native country, and 
" to profit by thy learning and thy experience." Malik was very much struck by 
this answer, and is reported to have exclaimed, ei This man is the wise man of 
Andalus ! " an expression which is said to have given rise to that saying so common 
among the people of that country, " Yahya is the 'A'lim (learned man) of Andalus ; 
'Isa Ibn Dinar is its Faquih (theologian) ; and 'Abdu-1-malek Ibn Habib, its Ulema 
(doctor)." Others give this differently, and call Yahya the Muhadith 17 (traditionist) 
of Andalus. 

Ibn Abi-1-fayadh relates a very curious anecdote of this Yahya. He says, the 
Amir J Abdu-r-rahman II., having once assembled the chief theologians of Cordova 
in the hall of his palace with a view to consult them upon a case of conscience, 
stated that he had been guilty of entering his harem on one of the nights of 
Ramadhan, but that he had since most sincerely repented of what he had done, and 
wished to know how he could atone for his guilt, or what penance they would 
impose upon him. Yahya, who was one of those convoked, said, " Let two 
,( consecutive months of fasting be thy penance, O Amir ! " When the other 
theologians heard Yahya utter this decision, they made no observation whatever ; 
but as they were going out of the palace one of them said to him, " Does not the 
" sect of Malik leave an option in similar cases? " — " Certainly it does," replied 
Yahya, " but had we left the Amir that gate to escape through, we should have 
" shown him the way to sin every day by infringing the law one day and repenting 
" the next; and therefore we have thought it best at once to impose on him the 
" severest chastisement, that he may not wilfully sin again." Accordingly he would 
remit nothing of his penance, which 'Abdu-r-rahman kept most scrupulously, 
all the time as he was prescribed. As we have stated elsewhere, Yahya 
took part in the revolt of the western suburb of Cordova against the Amir Al- 
hakem; he contrived, however, to escape the vengeance of the Sultan, and fled to 
Toledo, where lie lived for some time in concealment, until Al-hakem, hearing 


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of his retreat, sent him a safe conduct, and he returned to Cordova. He left a son 
named Tsa, who imitated him in learning and virtues, and who was the father 
of a numerous progeny well known in Cordova as the Beni Yahya. To this number 
belonged Mohammed Ibn 'Abdillah Ibn Yahya Al-leythi, who left Cordova for 
the East in 313 (beginning March 28, a. d. 925), and after passing many years at 
Cairo and Mekka, at both which places he met with many eminent divines, returned 
to his native city, where he enjoyed great reputation. The Sultan 'Abdu-r-rahman 
An-nasir appointed him to be Kadi of Elvira and Bejennah; after which he named 
him to the office of KadU-koda, or supreme judge at Cordova, in 326 (beginning 

Nov. 7, a.d. 937). 
In the month of Ramadhan of the year 238 (a.d. 853) died, at Cordova, the ^^^ 

celebrated theologian Abu Merwan 'Abdu-1-malek Ibn Habib, the author f IbnHaM1) - 
numerous works on all branches of science, but chiefly on traditional sayings, 
jurisprudence, and the ritual of Malik Ibn Ans, whose disciple he had been. The 
principal of these is his AUvddhehatu fi madtikebi Mdlik (clear demonstrations 
on the sect of Malik) , a book which has always been, and must continue to be, 
in the hands of every true believer. He wrote also on rhetoric, grammar, and 
history ; and some say that although he was only fifty-three years old when he 
died, he left nearly one thousand works on different subjects. 

We have elsewhere alluded to the introduction of the rite of Malik Ibn Ans and in introd „ ciuf 
the rejection of that of Al-auza'i in Andalus, upon which event various opinions are Jjj^ of 
entertained by the authors who have treated on the subject ; but we shall here 
transcribe the words of the Hafedh Ibn Hazm relative to that occurrence. " There 
" are two religious sects, which, from the very period of their onset, were sur- 
rounded with power and splendour, and spread rapidly among the people,— we 
" mean the sect of Abu Hanifah and the sect of Malik Ibn Ans ; the former, because 
" when Abu Yusuf was appointed Kadi, he was intrusted with full powers to name 
" all the Kadis in the countries subject to the rule of Islam, from the most remote 
" provinces in the East to the frontiers of Eastern Africa, and therefore he only 
" appointed those among his friends and disciples who professed his doctrines. 
" The same happened with Yahya Al-leythi among us ; for that eminent theologian 
" having gained the favour of the Sultan, who approved of his doctrines, he was 
" consulted upon every occasion; and no Kadi was appointed without his consent, 
" with this singularity, that Yahya himself would never accept office ; so that 
" in a very short time the administration of justice was completely in the hands 
" of the friends and disciples of Yahya, or those who, like him, professed the sect 
" of Malik. Man being naturally inclined to improve his position in this world, 
« when the students at law perceived that there was no other way of obtaining 

a i 


" place than conforming with the doctrines of Yahya, they unanimously adopted his 
" innovations, and in this manner was the rite of Al-auza'i rejected, and that of 
" Malik Ibn Ans introduced into this country/' Such are the words of Ibn Hazm, 
but we have already alluded in other parts of the work 18 to other causes for the 
propagation of that sect. God only knows the truth of the case ! 
Death of 'Ab. 'Abdu-r-rahman died in the month of Rabi-1-akhar of the year 238 (June 22, 


a. r>. 852), after a reign of thirty-one years. 19 He was born at Toledo in the month 
of Sha'ban of the year 176 (Nov. or Dec. a. d. 792); his mother's name was 
Halawah. He is commonly designated under the surname of Al-ausatt (the middle 
one), to distinguish him from his great-grandfather, 'Abdu-r-rahman Ad-dakhel 
[the first], as well as from his great-grandson 'Abdu-r-rahman An-nasir lidini- 
llah [the third]. Owing to bis success in war and his numerous victories over 
the infidels, he was called by his subjects Abu-l-motref, (the victorious). 20 He 
was well versed on all points of Mohammedan law, and learned in the philo- 
sophical sciences. 21 His reign was one of peace and splendour. Under his wise 
Revenues of administration the revenue of Andalus was considerably increased. Ibnu Sa'id 

Andalus under i i • i_ j i 

his reign. sa ys, that before his time the amount of taxes had never exceeded six hundred 

thousand dinars, but that, soon after his accession, they were increased to one 
million. However, there are various and contradictory opinions as to the amount 
of the revenue possessed by the Sultans of Andalus, and we ourselves have else- 
where given a different statement. 22 

'Abdu-r-rahman expended large sums in building palaces, 23 and laying out 
pleasure-gardens, which he supplied with water from the distant mountains, 
collecting what remained [after irrigation] in large cisterns. 24 He constructed 
every where bridges, and caused mosques to be erected in the principal towns 
of his dominions; his subjects imitating every where his passion for building. 
He likewise added two porches to the great mosque of Cordova, but died without 
completing the work, which was finished by his son Mohammed. Alluding to 
this, a poet of his court, named Abu-1-mothanna, once said, — 

" Thou hast built to God the best of houses, one whose description no 

" mortal can attempt : 

" To it the pilgrims resort from all parts of the world, as if it were the 

" sacred temple of Mekka. 

..." Indeed its mihrdb, when examined all round, will be found to contain 
)* rohn (angles) as well as makdm (standing place). 
Another poet has said, with still greater elegance, — 

" The mosque which he has consecrated to God is without equal in the 

" world. 

" 25 

■^-■.ni-iK."* K ~ " "^^^^t:"-^- 


" Neither the mosque of 'Abdu-r-rahman, nor that erected at Mekka by the 
" best of messengers, Mohammed, [can be compared to it.] 

" Indeed, its red and green columns shine like so many blocks of ruby and 

" emerald. 

" O thou, the firm believer in God, mayest thou live and prosper! may 

" power and success for ever be thy lot!" 26 

'Abdu-r-rahman is reported to have introduced some new regulations respecting 

royalty, one of which was, that he always veiled himself whenever he appeared 

in public. 27 He left two hundred children, one hundred and fifty of which were 

males, and the rest females. 28 He used a seal on which was engraved the following 

pious motto : " The servant of the merciful ('Abdu-r-rahman) rests contented on 

the decrees of God." This gave afterwards occasion to the two following verses of 

a poet : 

( ' The seal of the Amir shows him to be superior in wisdom to any of his 

" predecessors, since the inscription on it is — 

" The servant of the merciful awaits in conformity and satisfaction the 

" decrees of his master." 29 

'Abdu-r-rahman was the first who invented this motto, which the Sultans, of 

his posterity preserved : he was endowed with great penetration and wit. Among 

his remarkable sayings the following is one : " Authority and honour are eagerly 

" sought by people who know not their worth ; hence the first thing they meet 

" with is disappointment." 

He was very fond of women, and especially of a mistress of his named Tartib, 30 to "j^ 011 for 
whom he was passionately attached. She it was, who being angry with him, owing 
to some offence she had received at his hands, was never appeased until he caused 
the door of her apartment to be blocked up with bags of money. On another 
occasion he made her a present of a dress worth one hundred thousand dinars ; 
and, on his being remonstrated with, and told that such a jewel ought never to 
have been taken out of the royal treasure, he replied with this verse,— 

"She who wears it is still of a higher value and greater estimation, more 
" adorned by jewels, and of a nobler origin." 

The following two verses were also composed by 'Abdu-r-rahman in honour of 

this mistress : 

" When the sun rises every day to give us light, it reminds me of Tarub. 

" I am the happiest of mortals, since I am successful in love and prosperous 

" in war." 31 
Having once departed on an expedition to Galicia, and being a long time absent, 

he wrote to her the following lines : 


- - *-\ _v - 


" The enemy called me away from thy side, and I flew to the battle like the 

" arrow shot from the bow. 

" How many deserts did I cross ! and yet one obstacle after another came 

" to obstruct my path. 

" "Wherever I go I am tormented by the poison of absence ; the stones even 

" are melted through compassion [at my grief]. 

" God is working [through me] the triumph of the true faith, which I am 
" spreading in spite of the worshippers of the crucified. 

" Against the infidels I now march, and my invincible host covers the 
" mountains and the plains." 32 
iiis adventure ^he storv of the money-bags, as related by a contemporary historian, runs thus : 

with Tarub. J j o » -, -, * ■? 1 i ir 

" Tarub, fancying that she had been slighted by 'Abdu-r-rahman, confined herself 
" to her room, and refused to come out to the Amir, who, being desperately in 
'-' love with her, was very much grieved at her resolution, and made all possible 
" endeavours to make up the quarrel. Seeing, however, that all his entreaties 
"were in vain, 'Abdu-r-rahman dispatched one of his chief eunuchs with orders 
" to compel her to appear before him ; but this attack she also resisted by shutting 
" the door of her outer apartment in the face of the eunuch, and declaring that 
" she would not stir out of her room, though it were to avoid death. The eunuch 
" then returned, and having informed 'Abdu-r-rahman of the occurrence, as well as 
" of the girl's determination, asked his permission to break the door open ; but, 
" instead of adopting such a violent measure, the Amir caused the door of her 
" apartment to be blocked up with bags of dirhems, after which he repaired thither 
" in person, and tried by kind words to soothe her anger, promising, if she would 
" come to a reconciliation, to present her with all the treasure heaped up before 
" her door. To this Tarub consented, and opened her door accordingly, causing 
" the money-bags to be carried into her room: she then threw herself down on 
" her knees, and kissed 'Abdu-r-rahman's feet. The money she kept ; and although 
" it amounted to such a sum as it would have been wearisome to count, no 
" portion of it ever returned to the royal treasure." 

'Abdu-r-rahman also loved tenderly two concubines of his, whose names were 
Mudathirah and Ashifa, both of whom he had liberated and married. As to his 
mistress Kalam, she was an excellent scholar, who wrote a very good hand, recited 
poetry, knew many historical facts by heart, and had considerable learning in 
various branches of literature. She was likewise a proficient in music and singing, 
which 'Abdu-r-rahman loved above all other recreations, as would appear from the 
manner in which he treated the musician Zaryab. The histories of the time abound 
with anecdotes concerning this prince, which we omit here for the sake of brevity. 



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After the death of 'Abdu-r-rahrmin, his son Mohammed succeeded him. The first Accession of 

„ . . . Mohammed I. 

act ot his reign was to send forth an army under the command of Musa Ibn Musa, 
governor of Tudela, which ravaged the territory of Alava and the Castles, and 
took some fortresses. He also dispatched another army to the districts of Bar- 
celona and more remote regions beyond that city, which wasted the land, took 
some of the fortresses belonging to the former district, and then returned. 33 In ™s **h with 

00 ' the Christians. 

the mean while the rebels of Toledo, having sought and obtained the assistance of 

the Kings of Galicia and Biscay, Mohammed went out in person against them, and, 

having met them near the Wada-salit (Guadacelete) 34 made them fall into an "With the rebels 

of Toledo. 

ambush which he had prepared, and slew twenty thousand Toledans and twenty 
thousand infidels. 

In the year 245 (beginning April 7, a. d. 859) the ships of the Majus appeared 
again on the coast of Andalus, where they were met by Mohammed's fleet, which 
took from them two ships and sank some others, although in this encounter a 
great many Moslems fell martyrs for the faith. 35 

In the year 247 (beginning March 16, a. d. 861) Mohammed caused, an invasion 
to be made into the territory of Banbitunah (Pamplona) , which country was then 
governed by a chieftain named Garsiah Ibn Unekoh, 36 (Garcia, son of Inigo,) who 
had for an ally Ordhiin Ibn Adefunsh (Ordono I). After, ravaging the districts 
round Pamplona, taking several fortresses, and subduing the whole : country, . the; 


Moslems returned, bringing Fortun, one of the sons of Garcia, a prisoner to. I 
Cordova, where he remained twenty years in captivity. 

In the year 251 (beginning Feb. 2, a. d. 865) Mohammed dispatched his son 
Al-mundhir with an army to the territory of Alava and the Castles, which he 
wasted, committing all manner of ravages and depredations. The Christian king, 
Ludherik 37 (Alfonso III.), having attempted to stop the progress of the Moslems, 
was defeated with great loss in killed and prisoners ; indeed, the victory gained on 
this occasion was most splendid. 

In the same year (a. h. 251) Mohammed in person led an army against the 
inhabitants of Galicia, whose country he traversed and wasted in every direction ; 
and two years after, in 253 (beginning Jan. 10, a. d. 867), he also, caused an 
incursion to be made into the territory of the infidels. 38 

In the year 254 (beginning Dec. 31, a. d. 867) the city, of Merida was destroyed 
and deserted by its inhabitants; no vestige whatever remaining of that once opulent 
city. The cause of its destruction was the repeated insurrections of which the 
inhabitants had been guilty during the reign of this Sultan, as well as that of 
his father and predecessor. 39 A certain writer pretends to have heard in the East 
the following verses, predicting the fate of Merida, many years before that wealthy 





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city was destroyed and its inhabitants scattered over the rest of Andalus. The 

author of the verses is not known. 

" "Woe to Merida ! the rebellious city which rears its presumptuous head 

" against the lords of the age! 

" Though its inhabitants [now] enjoy every luxury and comfort, it will soon 

" be as dreary as a desert. 

" Woe, woe to Merida ! the day that the Sultan shall appear with his forces 

" before her walls!" 40 
In the year 263 (beginning Sept. 23, a.d. 876) Mohammed again sent his son, 
Al-mundhir, to the theatre of war, and in the ensuing year (a. h. 264) to the 
territory of Pamplona, which he wasted. In 268 (beginning July 31, a.d. 881), 
having ordered him to attack the enemy, Al-mundhir invaded the Christian 
territory, and returned [to Cordova] victorious, after taking several castles, and 

collecting considerable spoil. 41 
Earthquake in In the same year (a. h. 268) a dreadful earthquake was felt in Cordova, accom- 
cordova. panied by vio i ent g Usts f wind, which threw down houses, towers, and minarets. 

It began at the hour of aUmaghreb (setting sun) , and when the people were at 

prayers. It was attended with thunder and lightning, and, to complete the awful 

scene, large dense clouds overhung the city, and enveloped it in darkness. So 

i loud and terrific were the claps of thunder, and so often repeated, that the people 

f collected in the great mosque were seized with irrepressible fear ; six of them dying 

j on the spot, whilst the rest of the assembly began to fly in all directions, leaving 

their prayers unfinished. The Imam alone, and a few devout men, remained at 

• their post, intent upon their devotions as before. Mean while the mountains were 

rent asunder, the castles and palaces were levelled with the dust ; the birds left their 

nests in the branches of the trees, and the wild beasts forsook their dens; the 

inhabitants, fearing they might be buried under the crumbling roofs, fled to the 

open country, and there knelt down to invoke the mercy of the Almighty. It 

was a scene of unparalleled confusion and heart-rending calamity. 

Death of Mo- After a re ig n f thirty-five years, the Amir Mohammed died in the month of 

Safar 43 of the year 273 (July or August, a. d. 886). He was born in 207 (beginning 
May 26, a. d. 822). His mother's name was Kahtaz. 

Mohammed was a lover of science, which he himself cultivated with success. 
When Baki Ibn Mokhlid returned to Cordova with the work of Ibn Abi Sheybah, 43 
and began to expound the doctrines of that theologian, a great number of doctors 
raised their voices against him, condemned his opinions as dangerous and contrary 
to the spirit of the established religion, and went so far as to create such dis- 
turbances whenever he offered to lecture on the subject, that Baki could not be 




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heard in public. When the Amir Mohammed was informed of this he summoned 
Bak! as well as his adversaries to his presence, and had the book entirely read to 
him, part by part, from beginning to end, that he might -estimate its contents and 
decide upon its merits. No sooner was the reading completed than he sent for his 
chief librarian, and said to him, » Take that book, and have it transcribed for our 
" own use; its merits are such that we will not be deprived of it for a single 
" moment." He then addressed Baki in these words: "I see thy learning, and 
" approve of thy doctrines; " after which he issued orders that Baki should not 
be molested or opposed in the free delivery of his opinions. The histories of 
Andalus abound with anecdotes relating to this Baki, whose name has gone down to 
posterity as that of a man of matchless piety and immense learning. We shall 
here transcribe the words of an author. 

Baki Ibn Mokhlid Ibn Yezid, surnamed AM 'Abdi-r-rahman Al-kortobi, the 
author of the TefHr" and Mesnad, was one of the most eminent traditionists of his 
time. When still young he left Andalus for the East, and visited the principal 
cities of Asia and Africa in search of learning. He went to Mekka, Medina, Cairo 
Damascus, Baghdad, Kufah, Basrah, &c, where he failed not to see and converse 
with the most eminent theologians, putting down in writing whatever he heard 
until the number of his masters is said to have amounted to two hundred and 
thirty-four. He was exceedingly austere in his living, and exemplary m his 
conduct. Al-kusheyri relates of him the following anecdote. « A woman came once 
" to Baki to say how her son had been taken prisoner by the Franks, and that she 
" could not sleep at night for love of him. < I possess a small house/ said she 
which it is my intention to sell, and with its produce to proceed to the country 
" where he is kept a prisoner, to obtain, if possible, his liberation; for my rest 
" is disturbed, and my joy is embittered for the love of him. I want thy advice on 
" this emergency.'-' Willingly,' said Baki; 'leave me for a moment, and I will 
" reflect upon what is to be done.' The woman retired, and Baki began to pray 
" fervently for the accomplishment of the mother's wish and the speedy liberation 
" of her son. Some time after this the woman made her appearance together with 
" her son, and spoke thus to Baki : < May God have mercy on thee ! thy pious 
" interference has been the means of liberating my son.' She then bade her son 
" tell him how he had obtained his liberty, upon which the youth said, < I was the 
" king's slave, and used to go out daily with my brother slaves to certain works on 
" which we were employed. One day as -we were proceeding all together to that 
" spot, I felt all of a sudden as if my fetters were being knocked off; I looked down 
"to my feet, when lo ! I saw the heavy irons fall down broken on each side. 

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ascends the 


" Seeing this, the inspector who was with us came up to me, and charged me with 
" knocking off my irons, and trying to escape; but I assured him upon my oath 
" that I had entertained no such design, and that my fetters had fallen off suddenly 
" without my being aware of it, or knowing how it could be accomplished. He 
" then sent for the smith, and commanded him again to rivet the irons on my 
"feet, and to strengthen them with additional nails, which was done; but no 
" sooner did I rise on my feet than the fetters fell again. The Christians then 
" consulted their priests on the miraculous occurrence, and one of them came to 
" me and inquired whether I had a father. I said, [ I have no father, but I have 
" a mother.'— 'Well, then,' said the priest to the Christians, ' God, no doubt, has 
" listened to her prayers ; set him at liberty : ' which they immediately did.' " 

Some time before his death, Mohammed had appointed his son Al-mundhir, 

surnamed Abu-1-hakem, to be his successor in the empire. Accordingly, no sooner 

had the Amir breathed his last than messengers were dispatched to his son, who 

was then absent with the army, apprising him of his father's death, and requesting 

him to repair to Cordova. Al-mundhir did so, and was publicly sworn on Sunday 

the third of Rabi'-l-awal (August 7, a. d. 886.) at the hour of noon. 45 The reign of 

Al-mundhir, however, was of short duration, and mostly spent in war with the 

rebel 'Omar Ibn Hafsun, a man of Christian origin, who rose during the lifetime of 

his father, and whose craftiness and perfidy are sufficiently demonstrated in the 

histories of that time. Upon one occasion Al-mundhir besieged him in one of his 

strongholds, and so pressed him on all sides, that the rebel could not escape. 

Seeing himself completely surrounded, and having no hope of deliverance, 'Omar 

had recourse to the following stratagem. He sent a messenger to Al-mundhir, 

offering to surrender, and to reside at Cordova, on condition that his life should be 

spared, and that the Sultan would pledge his word not to molest him or deprive him 

of his property. Al-mundhir granted his request ; and causing the necessary letters 

of forgiveness and safe conduct to be issued to him and to his followers, received 

them in his tent, and treated them with the greatest kindness. 'Omar then humbly 

asked for a certain number of beasts of burden to carry his baggage to Cordova ; 

which was also granted, one hundred mules being put at his disposal, besides 

ten companies of cavalry to escort his family to that capital. Mean while several 

■ Kadis and theologians, who had attended the expedition, seeing the war at an end, 

took advantage of the convoy, and returned to Cordova ; but 'Omar, who meditated 

treason, followed them at some distance with a band of desperate outlaws, like 

the hawk hovering over his prey; and when he saw the opportunity, he pounced 

upon the convoy,: slew the guards, released his family and treasures, and again 



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^ . ^ 


fled to the mountains. With this man Al-mundhir had to fight many a pitched 
battle ; but, after defeating him in several partial encounters, Al-mundhir fell a 
victim to his intrepidity, and was killed in a skirmish near Yobaster towards Jskiiiedm 

1 J battle with 

the middle of Safar of the year 275 (July, a. d. 888) , 46 after a reign of two years 'o«;ar ibn 
all but fifteen days. He was then forty-six years old, having been born in 229 
(beginning Sept. 29, a. d. 843). His mother's name was Athl. 

Al-mundhir was a wise and enlightened sovereign : it was a common saying in 
his time, — " Al-mundhir has rendered Andalus a country of abundance and peace." 
Such were his ardour and abilities in the field, that he came off victorious' in almost 
every encounter. The people of Toledo having sent him the customary tribute 
at the commencement of his reign, he returned it, saying, " You may keep it for the 
expenses of the war, for I shall soon be upon you, if God be pleased." 

Al-mundhir was succeeded by his brother. 'Abdullah Ibn Mohammed. According: speeded h r 

' o his brother 

to Ibnu Khaldiin, the revenue of Andalus, before the time of 'Abdullah, amounted 'Abdullah, 
to three hundred thousand dinars ; one-third of which went to pay the army, one 
hundred thousand to the salaries of governors and public officers, the remainder 
to the coffers of the Khalif. During the reign of 'Abdullah the above sum was 
considerably increased, and the overplus was spent by him in the civil wars, 
and rebellions with which his reign was troubled, as he had to contend with 
enemies 47 in every corner of his empire. 

'Abdullah was a very pious man ; he regularly attended the mosque, and never 
made use of wine or other intoxicating liquors : he was eloquent and witty. Ibnu 
Hayyan has preserved us several of his verses composed extempore ; among which 
are the following. 

It was the custom of 'Abdullah's Wizirs, whenever they were consulted upon the 
affairs of the state, to present to him their written answer in a wooden case. 48 One 
of his Wizirs, named An-nadhr 49 Ibn Salamah, having once been consulted upon 
certain business, sent up his written opinion in the manner above described. 
Having perused it with attention, 'Abdullah did not approve of the advice, and 
wrote the following verses : 

" Thou art, O Nadhr ! always the same : no good whatever can be expected 
" from thee ; 

" Yet I always knew thee ready to sit in the shade, and partake of a good 
" dinner." 50 

The following [addressed to one of his women] are particularly praised : 

" O Mohjah, my beloved ! what gives thee pain? O throne of love ! what 
" preys upon thy mind ? 

- a-^k^ i^*^* 4 -; ". 


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Heath of 

'Abdul lali. 

" O messenger of the eye ! who has looked upon thee with an evil eye? 
" Thou hast run away with my happiness, and taken it to the hall, there to 
" produce it before thy company." 
After a reign of nearly five-and -twenty years, 'Abdullah died in the year 300 
(a. d. 912). His mother's name was 'Ishar, and she lived to a great age, for. she 
died only one year before her son. 

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CHAP. V.] 




Accession of 'Abdu-r-rahmdn — Invasion of GaUcia— of Navarre — of Alava — Theuda, Queen of Navarre 
— Battle of Al-handik — Defeat of the Moslems — Ample revenge taken by 'Abdu-r-rahm&n — Christian 
nations court his friendship — Greek ambassadors arrive in Cordova — Other embassies — Reception of 
the Greek embassy— Conspiracy against 'Abdu-r-rahman's life detected — Execution of his son 'Abdullah 
— Conquests in Africa — Death of 'Abdu-r-rahm6n — Revenues of Andalus under his reign — Buildings 
erected by him — His Hajib and Wizlrs — Present made to An-nasir, 


On the death of 'Abdullah, his grandson 'Abdu-r-rahman, son of Mohammed, Accession of 


wno was put to death by his brother Al-mutref, 1 succeeded him in the empire, r&hmin. 
Although Abdu-r-rahman was then young in years, and his uncles and grand- 
uncles 2 were still alive, yet not one of his relatives opposed his accession but 
forwarded it strenuously [though to their prejudice] rather than disturb the public 
tranquillity. On his assuming the command, ' Abdu-r-rahman found the country 
disturbed by numerous rebels, and distracted by the civil wars and private feuds of 
its powerful lords. He, however, succeeded in extinguishing the fire of discord, 
putting down rebellion, and subjecting the whole of Andalus to his authority. He 
had reigned five-and-twenty years when this was accomplished, and yet he reigned 
[afterwards] twenty-five years more, during which time the empire of the Beni 
Umeyyah in Andalus reached the highest degree of power and splendour. He was 
the first sovereign of his family who assumed the titles of Khalif and Amiru-l- 
mumenin (commander of the faithful), and who surrounded his court with -..-a" 
magnificence and splendour which equalled, if it did not exceed, all the pomp and 
state displayed by the powerful sovereigns of the house of 'Abbas. /Abdu-r-rahman 
waged incessant war with the Christians : at first, he himself led his armies to the 
field, but having in the year 323 (beginning Dec. 10, a. d. 934) lost the battle 
of Al-handik, on which occasion God was pleased to afflict the Moslems with a 
most severe defeat, he abstained thenceforward from commanding his armies in 
person, although he invariably sent his troops every season 3 to invade the Christian 
territory. In this manner the Moslems subdued the country of the Franks much 


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beyond the utmost limits ever reached under the reign of any of his predecessors. 
The Christian nations beyond the Pyrenees extended to him the hand of submission, 
and their kings sent him valuable presents, to conciliate his favour. Even the 
Kings of Rome, Constantinople, and other distant parts, sent him ambassadors 
asking for peace and suspension of hostilities, and offering to subscribe to any 
conditions that he should dictate. The Kings of Galicia, Kashtalah (Castile), 
Pamplona, and other northern nations bordering on 'Abdu-r-rahman's territory, 
repaired to his court, 4 kissed his hand in token of obedience, and solicited his 

friendship and good-will. 

According to Ibn 'Abdi-r-rabbihi [Abu 'Amru Ahmed] the accession of 'Abdur- 
rahman took place at the beginning of Rabi'-l-awal of the year 300 (Oct. or Nov. 
a. d. 912) ; for in a work which that author wrote, entitled AViH (the necklace), 
he commemorates the above event in the following verses : 

A new moon has begun ; and the empire has received fresh strength and 


" O thou [who rulest] by the grace of God, tell me, if I am deficient 

" [in praise], who can pretend to surpass thee? 

" For if the month of fasting (Ramadhan) be followed by itsfitr, this day 

" is like a festival to the whole age." 5 

By the first of the above verses the poet means that 'Abdu-r-rahman ascended 
the throne at the beginning of the moon of Rabi'-l-awal. 

'Abdu-r-rahman assumed the surname of An-nasir lidin-illah (the defender of the 
religion of God), by which he is generally mentioned by the historians of his age. 

One of the first acts of his administration was to ameliorate the condition of 
his subjects by suppressing many illegal taxes which had been imposed under the 
preceding reign. The fact is recorded by Ibnu Khaldiin, who tells us that no 
sooner had 'Abdu-r-rahman ascended the throne, than he abolished all taxes 
contrary to the spirit of the Sunnah or body of traditional law, and by causing 
justice to be equally and fairly administered, by encouraging agriculture and trade, 

laid the foundations of national prosperity, 
invasion of 'Abdu-r-rahman was indefatigable in his exertions to humble the pride of the 

Christians, whom he defeated and slaughtered on several occasions. In the year 
308 (beginning May 22, a. d. 920), for instance, he invaded Galicia at the head of 
a : considerable army, and ravaged that country. The King Ordhun Ibn Adefunsh 
/(Ordoho II., son of Alfonso), assisted by the King of the Franks and the King 
of the Basques, 6 advanced to defend his dominions, but in vain: 'Abdu-r-rahman 
defeated them both, wasted their territories, reduced their strongholds, and demo- 
lished several of their fortresses. 


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CHAP. V.] 



Of Alava. 

Again, in the year 312 (beginning April 8, a. d. 924), he invaded the land bf invasion of 
Banbihinah (Navarre), penetrated far into the theatre of war, wasted the country,^™" 6 ' 
took and razed many fortresses, set fire to the towns, and put the inhabitants to 
the sword ■ and although the enemy fled to the mountains, and occupied the passes 
with a view to attack him on his retreat, they were unable to make the least 
impression upon him. 

After this, 'Abdu-r-rahman had to contend with some of his own subjects, 7 who 
had revolted against him and sought the assistance of the Christians. After 
defeating the rebels in several encounters, An-nasir turned his victorious arms 
against the people of Alava, who had favoured the revolt, and took thirty of their 


In the year 322 (Dec. 21, a. d. 933), An-nasir made an incursion into the 
mountainous districts [of Navarre], whence he marched on Pamplona. Queen 
Tutah (Theuda?), 8 dreading his vengeance, came out to meet him, and put herself 
under his power ; upon which An-nasir invested her son Garcia with the sovereignty 
of the land. This being done, An-nasir turned towards Alava, and, scouring. the 
plains, subdued and razed its fortresses. 

Some time after this, 9 'Abdu-r-rahman invaded Galicia, where Ordhun Ibn 
Adefunsh (Ordofio III.) reigned at the time. Not daring to meet him in the field, 
the Christian king shut himself up within the walls of Oshmah (Osma) ; but 
An-nasir besieged him in that fortress, took and demolished Burghosh (Burgos) and 
several other strong places, and defeated the Christian forces in many encounters ; 
after which he returned victorious to Cordova. 

In the year 325 (beginning Nov. 18, a. d. 936), hearing that Tutah (Theuda) , T^a, Queen 
Queen of Banbilunah (Pamplona), had infringed the treaty which subsisted between ° *"*"*' 
the two, An-nasir invaded her kingdom, subdued the greater part of it, and com- 
pelled her to ask for peace ; after which he returned triumphant to Cordova. 

In the year 327 (beginning Oct. 28, a. d. 938), 'Abdu-r-rahman undertook an ?■*?«£ 
expedition against the Galicians, which ended in the disastrous battle of Al-handik, 
in which the Moslems were defeated, numbers of them falling under the swords 
of their enemies. Since the reign of his grandfather 'Abdullah, 10 the Christians 
of Galicia had held possession of the city of Samurah (Zamora), on the northern 
side of the river Duroh (Duero), which they had fortified with the utmost care, 
and in which they had placed a numerous and well-appointed garrison. From 
this place the Christians were making continual incursions into the Moslem terri- 
tory, leading the defenceless inhabitants of the opposite banks into captivity, and 
committing all manner of excesses and depredations. There was still another 
cause for the expedition. A rebellious chieftain, named Umeyyah Ibn Is'hak, 


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had taken refuge at the court of the Christian king ; and being a shrewd and 
intelligent man, well versed in military affairs, he gave the enemy the best advice, 
and often conducted their armies into the very heart of the Moslem territory. 
This Umeyyah was the brother of Ahmed Ibn Is'hak, one of 'Abdu-r-rahman's 
Wizirs, whom that Sultan caused to be put to death for some civil offence of 
which he had been guilty. At the time of his brother's execution, Umeyyah was 
governor of a frontier fortress called Shantareyn (Santarem). No sooner did 
he receive intelligence of his brother's fate, than he fled with a handful of followers 
to the court of Ramiro, King of the Galicians, whose service he entered, guiding 
bis armies to the defenceless points of the Mohammedan frontier, or to the passes 
and fords at which he could best assail the territories of Islam. However, whilst 
Umeyyah, who had all the time retained possession of Santarem, was one day 
enjoying the amusements of the chase, one of his own slaves, who had remained 
in charge of the fortress, rose and took command of the place, shut the gates 
against Umeyyah, and sent a messenger to 'Abdu-r-rahman, apprising him of 
what had occurred. Umeyyah, in the mean while, fled to the court of his ally, 
the King of Galicia, who received him with the greatest kindness, and appointed 
him his Wizir. This was the motive of 'Abdu-r-rahman's expedition. 

As the historian Al-mes'udi has preserved us an account of this war, we shall 
here abridge his narrative. " 'Abdu-r-rahman," says he, " having led his army 
" against Zamora, the capital of Galicia, 11 which he besieged, Radmir (Ramiro II.), 
" King of the Galicians, hastened to its relief, and encamped in the neighbourhood. 

'Abdu-r-rahman's forces amounted to one hundred thousand men ; other authors 
"make their number still more considerable. A contest soon ensued between 
" the two armies, in which the Moslems came off victorious, this being in the 
" month of Shawwal, 327 (July or August, a. d. 939), three days after the eclipse 
" of the sun which happened in the same month. 12 The garrison of Zamora, 
" having made a sally, were repulsed by the besiegers, who pursued them sword 
" in hand beyond the moat within the walls of the city. But, as the Moslems 
" were preparing to follow up the advantage, the Christians fell suddenly upon 
" them, and killed fifty thousand of their number." 

SSLs! lhe The same writer sa y s > in another part of his work, "The city of Zamora was 

" enclosed by seven walls of wonderful structure, the work of one of the early 
" hings [of Galicia]. The space between the walls was occupied by ditches 13 and 
"wide moats filled with water. The Moslems succeeded in forcing their way 
"through the first two enclosures, but when they came to the third, they were 
" furiously assailed on all sides by the Christians, who put to death every Moslem 
" they could overtake. Upwards of forty thousand men, others say fifty thousand, 

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CHAP. V.] 



" were drowned in the moats. This was doubtless one of the most signal defeats 
" ever inflicted upon our brethren of Andalus, either by the Galicians or by the 
" Basques ; and the victory would have been still more complete, had King Ramiro 
" pursued the remnant of 'Abdu-r-rahman 's army, which, ' panic-struck as it was, 
" he would have had no difficulty in annihilating. But by alarming Ramiro with 
(< the fear of an ambush, and alluring him with the rich spoil left by the Moslems 
" in their camp, Umeyyah Ibn Is'hak prevented him from following up the victory. 
" Some time after, Umeyyah applied to 'Abdu-r-rahman for a safe conduct, and, 
" having obtained it, fled the court of Ramiro, and arrived at Cordova, where he 
" was graciously received by the Khalif." " 

"Burning to revenge this disaster, An-nasir continued to send yearly expe- ^\ rev ™f 
" ditions under the command of his generals, who invariably came off victorious, du-r-rahmib. 
" gaining many battles, in which the Galicians lost twice as many men as those 
" who had fallen on the side of the Moslems at the battle of Ai-handik. In short, 
" at the moment we write (a. h. 330) the Moslems have regained their superiority 
" over Ramiro, the King of the Galicians." 

Thus far Al-mes'udi. Other writers have preserved details of this battle, the 
year in which it was fought being well known among the people of Andalus as 
'A'mu-l-handik (the year [of the battle] of Al-handik) . We have already said, that 
ever after this defeat An-nasir abstained from leading his armies in person, but that 
he persevered in the laudable purpose of waging war with the infidels, by directing 
the governors of the districts on the frontiers of his empire to make incursions into 
the Christian territory. 

On the death of Garcia, son of Sancho, King of the Basques, his mother Tutah 
(Theuda) succeeded him as regent and guardian of his son. Having shortly after 
infringed the treaty subsisting between her and the Khalif, it was decided to chastise 
her for her bad faith. Accordingly, in the year 325 (beginning Nov. 18, a. d. 936) 
An-nasir invaded her dominions, wasted all the territory round Pamplona, and 
compelled the faithless queen to implore peace. 

When the Christian nations saw 'Abdu-r-rahman's repeated successes, they were JJj^JJt 1 
filled with terror ; and all hastened to send ambassadors to him, with a view to his friendsl »p- 


obtain his friendship and propitiate his good-will. Accordingly, in the year 336 
(beginning July 22, a. d. 947) an embassy arrived in Cordova with presents from 
Constantine, the Emperor of Constantinople. The day in which the ambassadors 
made their entrance into the capital was a day of festival, and great crowds of 
people collected by order of 'Abdu-r-rahman to meet them. 

Ibnu Khaldun says that the Khalif 's troops received new arms for the occasion, 
and were completely equipped ; the royal apartments were decorated with the 

VOL. II. t 


, ^_ >j — ■ - 

V. ' " --^ 'i"r." " ?*>1 




utmost profusion and magnificence, the great hall of the palace was hung with the 
richest curtains and draperies, and spread with the most costly carpets, while 
the throne was surrounded on all sides by the sons, brothers, uncles, and other 
relatives of the Khalif. The Wizirs, and the officers attending on the royal person, 
were all drawn out, keeping their proper places in the utmost order. The ambas- 
SSoTin sadors were then introduced to the presence of the Khalif, and were struck with 

astonishment at the splendour and magnificence displayed before them. They 
approached the throne, and delivered their credentials into the hands of the Khalif, 
who commanded the learned of his court to address the assembly in speeches in 
which they should commemorate the superiority of Islam [over every other religion] 
and the power of the Khalifate, and return thanks to God for the mercies he had 
dispensed [to the true believers], through the manifestation and support of the true 
religion, and the humiliation and discomfiture of its enemies. But when the 
learned men who were present prepared to execute his commands, all failed in their 
attempt ; and they were so overpowered by dread of the august assembly, that they 
fixed their eyes on the ground, and kept silence. If any speaker rose to address 
the assembly, he stammered, and was soon reduced to silence by the terror that this 
most imposing scene produced in his mind. Seeing this, An-nasir intrusted the task 
to Abu 'AH Al-kali, a learned man lately come from 'Irak, 15 and one of the literary 
characters attached to the suite of his son Al-hakem, the heir-apparent to the 
throne. Knowing his high literary reputation, An-nasir chose him in preference 
to any other; but he likewise failed, through want of the necessary resolution. 
Then rose Mundhir Ibn Sa'id, a native of Fahsu-1-balutt, who, though not ac- 
customed to speak extempore, and not in the least prepared for the occasion, made 
a most able speech, wherein he developed and explained admirably the subject 
given to him, and delivered extempore on the same subject a long poem, with 
which the assembly was extremely delighted: the astonishment he produced by 
such an extraordinary performance was so great, that a murmur of approbation 
ran through the assembly, notwithstanding the solemnity of the occasion; and 
An-nasir appointed him on the spot to the office of Kddi-l-jam'dh (chief justice) , 
in which he greatly distinguished himself by his profound knowledge and eloquence. 
As the harangue which Mundhir delivered on this solemn occasion is given at large 
by Ibnu Hayyan and other historians, we need not quote it here. 

On the departure of the Greek ambassadors, Hisham Ibn Hudheyl accompanied 

., with a magnificent present, and with instructions to conclude an alliance, and 

strengthen the friendship between the two monarchs. At the expiration of two 

years Hishato returned to Cordova, having faithfully executed the commission 

intrusted to him. Hisham came attended by ambassadors from Constantine. 


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After this arrived another embassy from a King of the Sclavonians, whose name other 
was Dhtiku, 16 as well as from the King of the Alaman (the Emperor of Germany), embassies ' 
and from a King of the Franks beyond the Jebal Al-bort (Pyrenees), named Ukoh 
(Hugo), besides a similar one from another King of the eastern confines of France, 
called Kaldoh. 17 These ambassadors were received by An-nasir in great pomp and 
state, and he ordered that the officers of his household and others should go out 
to meet them. On the return home of the Sclavonian ambassadors, 'Abdur- 
rahman sent along with them Rabi', the Bishop, 18 who reached the court of 
Hoto (Otho), and returned after an absence of two years. 

In the year 344 (beginning April 26, a.d. 955) Ordhiin (Ordofio II.) also sent 
an embassy to ask for a continuation of the peace ; which was granted to him : and 
in 345 19 (beginning April 14, a.d. 956) he again sent to request that Ferdeland, 
Count of Castile (Ferran Gonzalez) , should also be comprised in the treaty ; to 
which An-nasir also consented. 

Garcia, son of Sancho, 20 had succeeded to the kingdom of Galicia after the death 
of his father Sancho, son of Fruela ; but the Galicians having risen against him, 
under the command of the above Ferdeland, Count of Castile, this chief, who was 
one of the greatest men in the country, declined that dignity in favour of Ordofio, 
son of Ramiro 21 (Ordofio IV.), who was accordingly placed on the throne in his 
stead. But as Garcia, son of Sancho, was the grandson 22 of Theuda, Queen of 
Navarre, this princess took his part, and presented herself to An-nasir in. the year 
347 (beginning March 24, a.d. 958), imploring the continuance of peace with herself 
and her son Sancho, son of King Ramiro ; 23 and requesting at the same time that 
he would assist her grandson Sancho, son of Garcia, to reconquer his kingdom, 
and to take the field against his enemies. For this purpose, Theuda and the two 
princes 24 repaired to the court of An-nasir, by whom they were received in state ; 
and not only did the Khalif grant the queen and her son the peace which they 
asked, but he also sent an army to replace Garcia 25 on the throne of Galicia; which 
was speedily accomplished, after depriving Ordofio of it, and causing the Galicians 
to swear allegiance to him. Seeing this, Theuda dispatched an embassy to thank 
An-nasir, and likewise sent her letters to all the provinces [inhabited by. the 
Christians], acquainting the people with that event, and with the treacherous 
conduct of Ferdeland, the Count of Castile. The inhabitants believed her state- 
ment, and reprobated the conduct of that chieftain; and An-nasir, moreover, 
ceased not to protect and assist him [Sancho] till he died. 

With the ambassador of Kaldoh, 26 King of the eastern part of France, who, as 
related, arrived at the court of 'Abdu-r-rahman, there came also an ambassador from 
the King of Barcelona and Tarragona, 27 to solicit peace ; which was granted. After 

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this another embassy arrived, sent by the King of Rumah (Rome), also soliciting 
An-nasir's friendship. The above narrative is borrowed from Ibnu Khaldun, some- 
what abridged: we shall now proceed to extract passages from other writers. 

Ibnu Hayyan and others state that the empire of An-nasir arrived at the 
highest summit of glory and splendour ; that the Greeks and Christians came to 
him from all parts, courting his friendship, soliciting peace, and sending him 
immense treasures. " No nation," continues Ibnu Hayyan, " heard of him that 
" did not send him ambassadors. The Kings of the Greeks, those of the Franks, 
" and Majiis (Northmen), all sent ambassadors to his court, who invariably returned 
" satisfied and contented. Among the embassies dispatched by infidel kings to 
" 'Abdu-r-rahman, the most celebrated was that of the ruler of Constantinah the 
" Great (Constantinople), who made him a most splendid present, and courted his 
" friendship." "We have already stated, on the authority of Ibnu Khaldun, that 
the ambassadors of the Greek monarch arrived in the year 336 (beginning July 22, 
a..d. 947) ; Ibnu Hayyan places their arrival in the month of Safar of the year 
338 (August, a. d. 949) : which of the two dates is the right one, God only knows. 
"We shall here transcribe the passage of Ibnu Hayyan relating to the arrival and 
reception of the Greek ambassadors in Cordova. 
Reception of " No sooner," says that diligent historian, " was the Khalif An-nasir informed 
ambassadors. " of the landing of the ambassadors sent by the Emperor of Greece at Bejennah 28 

" (Pechina), than he began to make preparations for their reception, intending 
" to receive them with due honour and attention, and with the greatest possible 
"display. Accordingly he issued orders that Yahya Ibn Mohammed Ibn Leyth 29 
"and other distinguished people of his court should immediately proceed to that 
" place (Pechina), and should wait upon the ambassadors, taking care that they 
" should be provided with every necessary for their journey to the capital. When 
" they approached Cordova, several generals, followed by their respective bodies 
" of troops fully armed and equipped as in time of war, went out to meet them ; and 
" when they came still nearer, two of 'Abdu-r-rahman's chief eunuchs went out 
" to them, with orders from their master to treat them with the utmost attention 
" and respect, thereby intimating how much he desired to honour them ; for the 
" eunuchs of those days were amongst the highest functionaries at court, being 
" exclusively employed in the service of the Khalif or in that of his harem, and 
"being, moreover, intrusted with the custody of the royal palace. The ambassadors 
"and their suite were lodged in a country-house called Munyah Nasr, which 
" belonged to the Amir Al-hakem, the presumptive heir to the throne, and was 
" situated in . the suburb on the opposite (eastern) bank of the Guadalquivir. 
" Here no one, whether noble or plebeian, was allowed to visit them or hold any 




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CHAP, V.] 



communication with them, a certain number of Hajibs or chamberlains being 
selected from among the maulis and chief servants of the Khalif 's household to 
keep off all intruders. A guard of sixteen men was moreover stationed at the 
gate of the palace, who relieved each other four by four, day and night. 'Abdu-r- 
rahman then left the palace of Az-zahra, where he was living at the time, and 
removed to his palace in Cordova, previous to the reception of the Greek 
ambassadors. Having appointed Saturday, the eleventh of the month of Rabi'-l- 
awal of the above-mentioned year (338), and fixed upon the vaulted hall in his 
palace of Az-zahra as the place where he would receive their credentials, orders 
were issued to the high functionaries of the state and to the commanders of the 
forces to prepare for the forthcoming ceremony. The hall was beautifully deco- 
rated for the occasion, and a throne glittering with gold and sparkling with gems 
was raised in the middle of it. To the right of the throne stood five of the 
Khalif 's sons in the following order : next to him his eldest son Al-hakem, the 
presumptive heir to the empire; next to Al-hakem, 'Abdullah; 30 then 'Abdu-1- 
'aziz Al-asbagh ; and lastly, Merwan. To the left of the Khalif stood his sons 
Al-mundhir, 'Abdu-1-jabbar, and Suleyman; 'Abdu-1-malek, being ill at the time, 
was not present at the ceremony. Next to them were the Wizirs, each at his post 
to the right or left of the throne. Then came the Hajibs or chamberlains, the 
sons of the Wizirs, the freed slaves of the Khalif, and the Wakils or officers of his 
household. The court of the palace had been previously strewn with the richest 
carpets and most costly rugs ; silk awnings of the most gorgeous description had 
every where been thrown over the doors and arches. Presently the ambassadors 
entered the hall, and were struck with astonishment and awe at sight of the 
magnificence displayed before them, and the power of the Sultan before whom 
they stood. They then advanced a few steps, and presented the letter of their 
master, Constantine, son of Leo, Lord of Constantinah the Great (Constan- 
tinople). The letter was written in Greek upon sky-blue paper, 31 and the 
" characters were of gold : within the letter was an enclosure, the ground of which 
" was also sky-blue, like the first- mentioned, but the characters were of silver; it 
" was likewise written in Greek, and contained a list and description of the presents 
" which the Lord of Constantinah sent to the Khalif. Upon the letter was a seal 
" of gold, of the weight of four mithkals, on one side of which was a likeness of the 
" Messiah, and, on the other, those of the King Constantine and his son. The letter 
" was enclosed in a bag of silver cloth, over which was a case of gold with a 
" portrait of King Constantine admirably executed on stained glass. All this was 
" enclosed in a case 32 covered with a cloth of silk and gold tissue. On the first 
" line of the 'Inwdn or introduction was written, c Constantine and Komanin 





























t< c 


(Romanus), believers in the Messiah, Kings of the Greeks,' and in the next, 
To the great and exalted in dignity and power, as he most deserves, the noble 
in descent, 'Abdu-r-rahman the Khalif, who rules over the Arabs of Andalus. 
" May God prolong his life ! ' 

" "Wishing to render this solemn ceremony as imposing as possible, 'Abdu-r- 
" rahman ordered that all his Khattibs (preachers) and poets should attend, that 
" they might [in the presence of the Greek ambassadors] address the assembly 
" concerning the power and splendour of his empire, and the consolidation of the 
" Khalifate under his reign. For this purpose he instructed his son and heir 
" Al-hakem to select from among the poets of his court, accustomed to extempore 
" speaking, those who could best accomplish that difficult task. 

" Accordingly, Al-hakem commanded a dependent of his, named the Faquih 
" Mohammed Ibn 'Abdi-1-barr Al-kasiniam, to prepare for the occasion, and to 
" compose an eloquent harangue to be pronounced before the Khalif on that 
" day. Ibn 'AbdU-barr was perhaps the person best qualified for the task, being 
"a man of immense rhetorical learning and taste, and deeply learned in the Arabic 
" language ; he therefore prepared to execute the commands of Al-hakem, and 
"on the appointed day repaired to the hall of audience. Scarcely, however, had 
" he begun to address the assembly, when the sight of the imposing ceremony, 
" the dead silence kept by all present, the splendour and magnificence which 
" surrounded the throne of the Khalif, made such impression on him, that his 
" voice faltered, his tongue clove to his mouth, and he could not articulate a 
" single word, and fell senseless on the ground. The task of addressing the 
"assembly was next intrusted to AM 'Alt Isma'il Ibnu-1-kasim Al-kali Al- 
" baghdadi, the author of the Amdli (dictations) and An-nuwddir (novelties), 
"then a guest of the Khalif, having lately arrived from 'Irak, who was reputed 
" to be a prince in the science of rhetoric, and an ocean of language. ' Get up/ 
" said one of the assembly to him, ' and raise the fallen man.' Abu-1-kali rose, 
" and began addressing the assembly in a clear and intelligible voice : he thanked 
" and praised God as he deserves, invoked his blessing on the Prophet Mohammed, 
" but, all of a sudden, he stopped for want of a word which did not occur to 
" him, and thus put an end to his peroration." 

Such is the account which Ibnu Hayyan gives of this occurrence. Ibnu Khaldun 
says that it was Abu 'All who received in the first instance instructions to address 
the ^assembly, and who went to the palace prepared with an harangue : this assertion 
Is corroborated by the author of the Mattmah [Ibn Khakan] ; but, as Ibnu Hayyan 
derived his information from men who were present at the ceremony, we hesitate 
not to give the preference to his version. Be this as it may, it appears certain 

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CHAP. V.] 



that when Mundhir Ibn Sa'id perceived the failure of Abu 'All Al-kali, he got up, 
and, taking up the subject where the unsuccessful speaker had left it,' delivered a 
peroration, composed of both prose and verse, which to this day stands unequalled 
as a literary composition ; and that 'Abdu-r-rahman was so pleased with the per- 
formance, that he appointed him preacher and Imam to the great mosque ; and 
some time after, the office of Kadi-l~jam'ah or supreme judge of Andalus being 
vacant by the death of Mohammed Ibn 'Isa, he named him to that high post, and 
made him besides Mokri (reader of the Koran) to the mosque of Az-zahra. 

In the year 339 (beginning June 19, a. d. 950) a conspiracy was discovered Conspiracy 
at Cordova, the object of which was to put to death the Khalif An-nasir and XKaa £ 
his son Al-hakem, the presumptive heir to the empire. At the head of it was*^' 
'Abdullah, one of the Khalif s sons, who, from his ascetic habits and secluded life 
had received the epithet of Az-zahid [the austere] . Intelligence of his wicked designs 
having been conveyed to his father in time, he ordered him into his presence, and 
had him executed, together with the principal conspirators, on the day of 'Idu-I- Execution of 
adhahi (festival of the victims) of the year 339 (May 13, a. d. 951). It is said that wE '^ 
a celebrated theologian, named Ibn 'Abdi-1-barr, 3 * had instigated this unfortunate 
youth to the attempt on his father's life, and that when that individual heard 
that the conspiracy had been discovered, he destroyed himself. Others say that 
Ibn 'Abdi-1-barr was innocent of the crime imputed to him; but God only knows : 
the fact is, that he ended his days in prison on the same day in which 'Abdullah 
was executed. 

Andalus was not the only country where the arms of 'Abdu-r-rahman were <***"*** in 
successful; his armies subdued also a considerable portion of Africa, and established ^ 
in that country the rule of the Beni Umeyyah. The causes which led to that 
glorious event are variously stated by the historians ; but the appearance of the 
Fatimites in that country, the inveterate hatred which the race of Umeyyah enter- 
tained against them, and the mighty consideration of not allowing countries 
bordering upon Andalus to fall into the hands of those conquerors, are given as 
the real motives which induced the Khalif 'Abdu-r-rahman to send his fleets and 
armies to the assistance of the Beni Idris, the Beni Saleh, and other - princes 
attacked, and which led ultimately to the establishment of his^ rule over (he greater 
portion of Eastern and Western Africa, 

In a. h. 305 (beginning June 23, a. d. 917), 'Abdullah, the Shiite, after reducing 
the whole of Eastern Africa under his sway, sent his general Mossalah Ibn 
Habus Al-meknasi against Yahya Ibn Idris, Sultan of Fez, whom he defeated, 
and afterwards besieged in his capital. Although Mossalah was then unable to 
reduce Fez, he returned to Maghreb [Western Africa] in a. h. 309 (beginning 

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May 11, a. d. 921), took that city, and put Yahya Ibn Idris to death. 34 A relative 
of the deceased, named Al-hasan, but who was better known under the surname 
of Al-hojjam, 35 succeeded some time after in expelling from Fez the governor 
appointed by Mossalah, and seating himself on the throne of his ancestors. His 
reign, however, was not of long duration : Musa Ibn Abi-l-'afiyyah, who was 
governor of Western Africa for the Fatimites, attacked him in 311 (April 20, a. d. 
923), took his capital from him, and put him to death. Again, in 341 (May 28, 
a. d. 952), the dynasty of the Bent Idris regained possession of a great portion 
of their former dominions, with the exception of Fez, which remained in the hands 
of a general named Maysur the Shiite. 

Subsequently to this, Abu-l-'aysh Ahmed, a prince of the family of Idris, seeing 
his dominions invaded by the Fatimites, swore vassalage to An-nasir, and sent 
to implore his assistance. An-nasir, however, would not send him any troops 
unless the Idrisite gave, him as hostages the ports of Tangiers and Ceuta. Abu-l- 
'aysh having refused to comply with his demand, An-nasir dispatched a fleet, which 
ravaged the coast, and compelled that sovereign to accept the terms offered to 
him. Once master of those two important fortresses, An-nasir extended his sway 
over the surrounding country, until his power was firmly established in "Western 
Africa, and his rule was obeyed from Tihart to Sijilmesah. From every part 
of that wide-spread region princes and lords came to the court of An-nasir to 
kiss his hand, in token of obedience and vassalage, and to implore his powerful 
aid and protection. The princes of the Zenatah and other Berber tribes, the Beni 
Idris, and other powerful families which held sway in Western Africa, hastened to 
court his friendship, and offered to hold their respective dominions in his name. 

" In the year 305 (beginning June 23, a. d. 917)," says the historian whose 
words we transcribe, tc several members of the royal family of Said Ibn Saleh, 
" King of Nokur, who had been put to death by the Shiites of Africa, took refuge 
" in Malaga, Bejennah, and other sea-ports in the south of Andalus. No sooner 
" w r as the Khalif 'Abdu-r-rahman informed of their arrival, than he sent them 
." splendid robes and costly presents, and issued orders that they should every 
" where be treated with the respect due to their rank, giving them their choice 
" between going to Cordova or any other part of his dominions, or remaining 
" where they were. With the exception, however, of one or two who accepted 
"the Khalif's invitation, and visited him in. his capital, the remainder preferred 
' ' fixing their residence in Malaga, owing to the proximity of that port to their 
" lost dominions, in which they hoped to be re-instated. 'Abdu-r-rahman promised 
" to aid them against the Shiites of Africa whenever the opportunity should 
<( arrive. Accordingly, in the year 306 (beginning June 13, a. d. 918), an 

t^f^ft: -*™ 1 "- 


CHAP. V.] 



" expedition was fitted out in Malaga, and after a short contest Saleh Ibn Sa'id 
" was seated on the throne of his father. When the letters announcing this 
" victory arrived at Cordova, 'Abdu-r-rahman caused tliem to be publicly read 
" in all the mosques of Andalus ; and he immediately sent re-inforcements, 
" as well as provisions, military stores, and money, to maintain the new king 
" in his conquest." 

In the year 332 (beginning Sept. 3, a. d. 943), Mohammed Ibn 'Abdillah Ibn 
Abi Tsa, the Idrisite, Kadi-1-jam'ah or supreme judge of Fez, arrived in Andalus 
for the purpose of joining in the war against the infidels. We have already alluded, 
in another part of this work, to the hospitable manner in which he was entertained 
by the Khalif. 36 There came also to Cordova during this reign two other members 
of the royal family of Idns, whose names were Hasan, son of Al-kasim, better 
known under the surname of Janun (Kaniin?), and 'Isa Ibn Hanun Ibn Mohammed 
Ibn Al-kasim. They made their entry into Cordova on Monday the 12th of 
Shawwal of the year 333 37 (May 27, a. d. 945). They were kindly received and 
hospitably entertained by 'Abdu-r-rahman until the month of Safar of the ensuing 
year (Sept. or Oct. a. d. 945), when both returned loaded with presents to their 
native country. 

" On Saturday the 9th of Rejeb of the year 341 (Nov. 28, a. d. 952)," says 
the historian Ibnu Hayyan, "Hasan, son of Ahmed Al-ftdhel, son of Ibraliim, 
" son of Mohammed, and Mohammed, son of Tsa, son of Ahmed, son of Ibrahim, 
(( both descendants of 'Ali Ibn Abi Talib, arrived in Cordova; and on Wednesday, 
' the 26th of Rabi'-l-akhar of the ensuing year (Sept. 7, a. d. 953), 'Isa, Abu-1- 
aysh, 38 Yahya Ibn Hasan, and Hasan Ibn Mohammed, also belonging to the 
" royal family of Idris. They fixed their dwelling in Cordova, and left a numerous 
£( posterity. Yahya died in 349 (beginning March 2, a. d. 960), and Hasan in 
" the following year: both were buried in the cemetery called Makbaru-r-rabadh 
11 (of the suburb) at Cordova ; the chief Kadi of that capital, Mundhir Ibn 
" Sa'id Al-bolutti, reading the funeral service over their bodies, by the command 
" of 'Abdu-r-rahman. As to Abu-l-'aysh, it is well known that he met with his 
11 death in an encounter with the Christians of the north." 

'Abdu-r-rahman died at Az-zahra on the second or third day of the month of Death of Ab 
Ramadhan 39 of the year 350 (October, a.d. 961), of a paralytic fit, at the age dtt " r ' rahm5n - 
of seventy-three. He was born in the year 277 (beginning April 24, a. d. 890), 
and was only twenty years old when his father Mohammed was put to death. 
His mother's name w T as Moznah. In addition to the honourable appellation of 
An-nasir lidin-illah (the defender of the true faith), 'Abdu-r-rahman received from 
his subjects the surname of Abu-l -mo tref {the victorious). Never was the Moham- 

<t ' 





medan empire more prosperous, or the true religion more triumphant, than under 
his reign. The infidels of Andalus were driven back to the mountainous districts 
of the north, where they insured their safety only by paying tribute to the 
Commander of the Faithful. Commerce and agriculture nourished ; the sciences 
and arts received a new impulse, and the revenue was increased ten-fold. Not- 
withstanding the costly magnificence with which Abdu-r-rahman surrounded his 
person, — the unusual number of troops which he constantly kept in his pay,— the 
multitude of eunuchs, Sclavonians, and other servants employed about his palace ,— 
the bounteous gifts which he distributed to the learned, and the splendid buildings 
which he caused to be erected in various parts of his extensive dominions, in Africa 
as well as in Andalus,— it is said, that when he died he left in the coffers of the 
treasury the enormous sum of five millions of dinars. 

SnSuLr The amount of the revenue under this reign has been estimated by several 
^ reign. contemporary writers at six millions two hundred and forty-five thousand dinars; 

namely, five millions four hundred and eighty thousand arising from the land-tax 
levied in the towns and districts, and seven hundred and sixty-five thousand being 
the amount of indirect taxation, and duties imposed upon goods. As to the sums 
which entered the royal coffers, being the fifth of the spoil taken from the infidels, 
they were beyond calculation, and cannot be estimated, as no precise account of 
them was kept in the treasury books. 

Of this immense sum one-third went to pay the troops and the public officers • 
Briidin another i third was des ^ed for the Khalif's own use, and the remainder was spent 

iedfyhim.^ P ublic buildings. Many, indeed, were the works of public utility which this 

just and enlightened monarch caused to be erected in various parts of his extensive 
dominions. As to his capital, Cordova, he is well known to have embellished 
it and widened its precincts, so that it equalled, if it did not surpass, in size and 
splendour the proud metropolis of the Beni 'Abbas. His addition to the great 
mosque of Cordova, and the construction of the palace of Az-zahra in the vicinity of 
that capital, are two splendid erections, which will transmit the name of 'Abdu-r 
rahman to posterity. Of both those buildings we have elsewhere given as accurate 
a description as it was in our power; and therefore we need not now return to 
the subject. 

It is said that after the death of 'Abdu-r-rahman a paper was found ia his 

.^and-wntrng in whieh those days which he had spent in happiness and 

■—"W^-awse of sorrow were earefally noted down, and on numbering them 

m , .. ^^ t0 a™™t only to fourteen. O man of understanding ! wonder 

^obse^the : S malI portion of real happiness the world affords, even in the 

most envrable posmou ! The Khalif An-nasir, whose prosperity in mundane affairs 


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CHAP. V.] 



and whose widely-spread empire became proverbial, had only fourteen days of 
undisturbed enjoyment during a reign of fifty years, seven months, and three 
days. Praise be given to him, the Lord of eternal glory and everlasting empire ! 
There is no God but He ! the Almighty, the giver of empire to whomsoever he 

pleases ! 

As above stated, 'Abdu-r-rahman was the first sovereign of the house of 
Umeyyah in Andalus who assumed the title of Amiru-l-mumenin (commander 
of the faithful). The authors of the time say that when 'Abdu-r-rahman saw the 
state of weakness and abjectness to which the Khalifate had been reduced, and 
perceived that the Turkish freedmen in the service of the Beni 'Abbas had usurped 
all authority and power in the state, — when he heard that the Khalif Al-muktadir 
had been put to death, in the year 317 (beginning Feb. 13, a.d. 929), by one 
of his maulis, called Munis Al-modhaffer, 40 he no longer hesitated to assume the ^T/khaUf 
insignia of the Khalifate, and call himself Amiru-l-mumenin. 

'Abdu-r-rahman has been described by the historians of the age as the mildest Character of 

J ° 'Abdu-r-rali- 

and most enlightened sovereign that ever ruled a country. His meekness, msmdn. 
generosity, and his love of justice became proverbial : none of his ancestors ever 
surpassed him in courage in the field, zeal for religion, and other virtues which 
constitute an able and beloved monarch : he was fond of science, and the patron 
of the learned, with whom he loved to converse, spending those hours which he stole 
from the arduous labours of the administration in literary meetings, to which all 
the eminent poets and learned men of his court were admitted. The histories of 
the time are filled with anecdotes, which show his love of justice, and his respect 
for the learned ; but we shall only transcribe the following as a proof of what 
has been said of this good Khalif. 

"Wishing once to buy a house in Cordova for one of his concubines named Anecdote of 

° J ■ 1 1 • i his justice. 

Hadhiyyah, whom he loved passionately, he fixed upon a very suitable residence 
belonging to the children of Zakariyya, the brother of Najdah. The house was 
situated close to [the street of] the sawyers, in the eastern suburb, and separate 
from every other building except a bagnio, with a very extensive reservoir of prater, 
which adjoined it on one side. It happened, however, that the children of Zaka- 
riyya, the brother of Najdah, were at that time orphans under the tutorship of the 
Kadi Mundhir. Having previously sent people to value the house, and the price 
suiting him, An-nasir dispatched a man to the executor of the father's will, with 
orders to treat in his own name, and purchase the house for him. Upon appli- 
cation, the executor stated that he could not proceed further in the matter without 
consulting the Kadi himself as tutor of the children, without whose authority the 
sale, he was well aware, could not be effected. Accor4ingly the Khalif sent to the 

? V 






Kadi Mundhir to treat about the purchase of the house, hut Mundhir answered 
thus to the messenger: "Tell the Commander of the Faithful, thy master and 
mine, that the property of an orphan cannot be sold except for three reasons ; 
necessity, impending ruin, or the offer of more advantageous terms than those on 
" which it was at first obtained. As to the first, my wards are not in want, and 
therefore they need not sell their property ; neither is ruin to be apprehended 
at present, the house being in good condition, and wanting no repair ; as to an 
advantageous sale, that is the very thing I and my wards desire : and if the 
Commander of the Faithful chooses to give them such a sum as may make 
their advantage quite manifest, I have no objection whatever to authorize the 
" executors to sell the property ; if not, I shall never give my consent to the 
" transaction." On the receipt of this answer, the Khalif immediately perceived 
that the refusal to sell the house was merely intended to make him more anxious 
for its acquisition, and he therefore desisted from any further negotiation. Mundhir, 
on the other hand, feared lest the Khalif should take a resolution that might be 
prejudicial to his wards : he ordered the executor to pull down the house, which 
was done according to his instructions, and made him sell the ground and materials 
to the agent of the Khalif, for a price higher even than the valuation made by the 
officers of the Sultan. Abdu-r-rahman, however, having been informed of the 
transaction, and how the house had been pulled down previous to the sale, sum- 
moned the executor to his presence, and asked him whether the charge brought 
against him was true, and what reasons he had for acting thus. The executor 
acknowledged the fact ; but gave as an excuse that he had been instructed to do so 
by the Kadi Mundhir. Upon this, 'Abdu-r-rahman sent for the Kadi, and, when 
he "was introduced to his presence, spoke to him thus : " Is it true that thou 
" orderedst the house of the brother of Najdah to be pulled down?" — " I did," 
w T as Mundhir's answer. " And what was thy reason for doing so?" — " I was 
" guided by those words of the Almighty, (may his name be exalted !) ' As to 
" the vessel, [it belonged] to certain poor men who did their business on the sea; 
" and I was minded to render it unserviceable, because there was a king behind 
" them who took every sound ship by force. '" 4i 'Abdu-r-rahman said nothing 
further, and from that moment treated Mundhir, if possible, with greater deference 
and respect than before. 

This Mundhir Al-boliitti was the most learned theologian of his day. He was 
deeply versed in all branches of law and literature, and was besides renowned 
for hie probity and his justice. He was born, as before said, at a small town close 
to Cordova, called Fahssu-1-bolxitt (the field of the oak-trees), in the year 265 
(beginning Sept. 2, a. d. 878). He filled the office of Kadi-1-jam'ah (supreme 


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judge) of Anclalus during the whole of An-nasir's reign, after whose death he was 
confirmed in it by his son and successor Al-hakem. He died in 355 (beginning 
Dec. 27, a. n. 965), and left many splendid works on the Sunnah, or hody of 
traditional law, on religious duties, and against the opinions of philosophers. He 
was likewise an excellent poet ; and the works of Al-fath, 42 Ibnu Sa'id, Ibnu 
Hawaii, and others, are filled with extracts from his poems. 

Many other illustrious characters graced the court of An-ndsir, or flourished 
under this reign, whose names only would fill a whole volume; as Ahmed Ibn 
'Abdi-r-rabbihi, the author of the 'Ikd (necklaces) ; Khalaf Ibn 'Abbas Az-zahrawi, 
the celebrated physician ; 'Abdullah Ibn Yunas Al-more'di ; Abu Bekr Az-zubeydi ; 
Mohammed Al-khoshani ; Ibrahim Ibn Ahmed Ash-sheybani : 43 but, brevity being 
the chief object of our narrative, we shall pass them over in silence, keeping for 
sonic other time the mention which they so justly deserve. We cannot, however, 
refrain from mentioning here one of the most distinguished, namely, Kasim Ibn°j^simlbn 
Asba-di ibn Mohammed Ibn Yiisuf Abu Mohammed; he was a native of Baena, 
a town belonging to the jurisdiction of Cordova. One of his ancestors had been 
a freedman of the Khalif Al-walid, son of 'Abdu-1-malek. After taking lessons 
at Cordova from Baki Ibn Mokhlid, Mohammed Ibn Wadhdhah, Mutref Ibn Kays, 
Asbagh Ibn Khali!, Ibn Meysarah, and others, Kasim departed for the East in 
company with Mohammed Ibn 'Abdi-1-malek Ibn Aymen, 44 and with Mohammed 
Ibn Zakariyya Ibn 'Abdi-l-'ala. This was in the year 274 (beginning May 27, 
a. d. 887). In the course of his travels Kasim visited Mekka, Kufah, and Basrah, 
where he attended the lectures of the most eminent professors and theologians 
of the time, such as Al-mubarrad, Ibn Koteybah, and others. He afterwards 
went to Cairwan, and returned to Andalus, leaving behind him his two travelling 
companions. Kasim was deeply versed in the science of traditions, as well as in 
history; he shone above alt in grammar, poetry, and law, being often consulted 
upon difficult points. He made a collection of all the traditional stories contained 
in the Sunan of Abu Daud. The cause of his writing that work was as follows : 
" Having arrived in 'Irak with his friend Mohammed Ibn Aymen in the year 276 
" (beginning May 5, a.d. 889), they found that Abu Daud, in search of whom 
" they had come, had died shortly before their arrival in that country. Hearing 
this, both friends conceived at the same time the idea of writing a work on the 
Sunan, following the chapters of the book of Abu Daud, in which they might 
" introduce such traditional sayings of the Prophet and his companions as each 
" of them had learned from his different masters. This idea being carried into 
" execution, each produced an excellent work, which is well known now, and 
" very much esteemed by students." Subsequently to this, Kasim Ibn Asbagh 



'vf'"'5y-f"' J '^» "i^ ' v - ^ "" *-• \ ■» ■■ 


published an abridgment of his own work, which he entitled Al-mujtani bi-s-sunan 
(a selection from the Sunan). He began it in the month of Moharram, 324 
(Dec. a. d. 935), and dedicated it to the Amir Al-hakem, the son and successor 
of An-nasir, whose preceptor he was. It is divided into four parts, and contains 
two thousand four hundred and seventy traditional allegations. 

Kasim Ibn Asbagh was born on Monday the twelfth day of the month of Dhi-I- 
hajjah, 247 (Feb. a. d. 862). 

A?zir?' ib and Musa Ibn Mohammed Ibn Jodeyr was An-nasir's Hajib : his Wizirs were 

'Abdu-1-malek Ibn JehVar, 'Abdullah Ibn Ya'la, and Ahmed Ibn 'Abdi-1-malek 
Ibn Shoheyd. The latter made his sovereign a present so remarkable for the 
invaluable articles, costly rarities, &c, of which it was composed, that it became 
proverbial ; it being a common saying among the people of Andalus, when they 
wished to extol the beauty and value of an object, Ahsan min hadyati-bn- Shoheyd 
(handsomer even than the present of Ibn Shoheyd). As Ibnu Hayyan, Ibnu Khal- 
dtin, and other historians have preserved a list of the articles, &c., composing this 
present, we shall here transcribe their narrative, and will begin with Ibnu Khaldun, 
who introduces it in his account of the Beni Umeyyah, as a proof of the great 
power and unmatched splendour and riches of that dynasty when they ruled over 
Andalus. That diligent historian has also noted the date of the day in which 
the present was made, namely, on the twenty-second day of Jumada-1-awal of the 
year 327 (March 16, a. d. 939). Here follow his words : 

-resent made « s magnificent was the present which Ibn Shoheyd made on this occasion to 

<( the Khalif An-nasir that it became famous for its magnitude all over the Mo- 
"; hammedan world ; and that even now the memory of it subsists among the people 
" of this country. No Sultan of Andalus, it is generally agreed, ever received 
" a similar one; and it is added, that An-n&sir and his courtiers were so struck 
" by its magnificence, that they unanimously declared that such a trait of generosity 
" stood unparalleled in history. Together with the present, Ibn Shoheyd sent an 
" elegant epistle or dedication, in which he expressed his gratitude for the honours 
■" conferred on him by An-nasir, and thanked that Khalif for his favours. The 
" epistle itself was a model of eloquence, and people eagerly transcribed it or 
" procured copies of it. An-nasir was so much pleased both with the letter and 
"■the present, that he exalted Ibn Shoheyd in honour and dignity over his fellow 
"Wizirs, and doubled his salary, which he raised to forty thousand dinars of 

r" Andalus, besides one hundred thousand dinars as a gratuity in the great festivals r 

•** of the^year. 

"-" He also' doubled his functions as well as his salary, for which reason he was 
} l . called Dhu-l-wizdrateyn (the holder of the double Wizirate) ; Ibn Shoheyd being 



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CHAP. V.] 



" the first functionary of Andalus on whom that title was conferred, in imitation, 
" no doubt, of Sa'id Ibn Mokhlid, Wizir of the Beni 'Abbas at Baghdad, [who 
" was so called]. To all these honours An-ntfsir added another distinction, namely, 
" that his seat in the council-room should be raised higher than those of the 
" other Wizirs, and that his name should be the first in the list of the government 
" pensioners : in short, his authority and influence at court became immense. The 
" following is the list of the articles, &c, of which the present was composed : 

" Five hundred thousand mithkals of coined gold; 45 four hundred pounds of 
" virgin gold, worth, in exchange, forty-five thousand dinars; and silver bullion to 
" the amount of two hundred bidr.* 6 (Ibnu-1-faradhi mentions only five hundred 

thousand dinars.) 

" Twelve pounds of Indian aloes, capable of bearing an impression like wax ; one 
" hundred and eighty pounds of aloe-wood, of the best quality ; 47 and one hundred 
" of another sort, resembling the muntaki"™ (However, Ibnu-1-faradhl, who 
refers to the letter, and to the list of the articles, &c, sent by Ibn Shoheyd, says 
four hundred pounds of the best aloe, 49 in which there was a piece weighing 
one hundred and twenty pounds.) 

" One hundred ounces of pure musk, 50 of the best quality." * (Ibnu-1-faradhi, 
quoting the above document, says two hundred and twelve.) 

" Five hundred ounces of pale amber, of the species which preserves its quality 
" without previous preparation. Of this, one piece was to be seen of wonderful 
"dimensions, perfect in shape, and weighing one hundred ounces." (Ibnu-1- 
faradhi says one hundred ounces in all, and one piece of the weight of forty 


"Three hundred ounces of the purest camphor, of the best quality; thirty 
" pieces of silk cloth, of various colours and patterns, printed and embroidered 
"with gold, and suitable only for the Khalif's dress; ten pelisses, lined with 
" the most costly martens' 51 fur, from Khorassan." 

Ibnu-1-faradhi's account differs materially from this. He says, « Of robes, of 
" various colours, intended for the Khalif s own use, partly white, and partly .of 
" other colours, thirty ; five cloaks or outer garments, of the same kind and shape as 
" those used by the Faquirs of the Sha'ybi sect, 52 and destined also for the Khalif s 
" own use; ten pelisses of the best martens' fur, sevenof which were.white, and 
" came from Khorassan, and the remainder of various colours [came from other 

countries]; six square Trakian dresses, also fit for the Khalif; forty-eight 

milhdf (cloaks) 53 worked in flowers, for daily use ; and one hundred more, of 

the same manufacture, to sleep in at night." 

The reader must have observed that with the exception of the thirty pieces of 





silk cloth, not one of the above articles of dress is mentioned by Ibnu Khaldun ; 
but we do not hesitate to adopt the account of Ibnu-l-faradhi f which, from the 
fact of that author having derived his information from the list itself as well as 
from the keeper of the presents, is unquestionably entitled to more credit. 

"Ten heavy chests containing one hundred sable skins." (In this statement 
both authors agree.) 

" Six 'Irakian tents, 54 and forty-eight horse-cloths made of silk worked with 
" gold, manufactured at Baghdad; four thousand pounds weight of spun silk; 
" and one thousand more of raw silk, of various colours, for spinning; thirty pieces 
" of the stuff called kaziun 55 for saddles/' (Ibnu-1-faradhi agrees with the above 
account; but he observes that the manufactured silk did not make part of the 
present, but went directly into the hands of the Sdhibu-t-tirdz, or master of the 
royal robes, who received it from Ibn Shoheyd, and entered it in the books of 
the wardrobe.) 

•"- Thirty woollen carpets of different colours and patterns, each measuring twenty 
" cubits in length ; one hundred rugs, 56 intended for kneeling on at prayer time, 
" of the finest texture and choicest patterns." (Ibnu-1-faradhi adds, ' made in the 
same way as the carpets.') 

" Fifteen silk cushions of the stuff called nukka, having the face of it shorn." 
(This, Ibnu-1-faradhi observes, was also a stuff for carpets of the finest quality, 
and such as was only used by very rich people.) 

" Of arms and weapons there were, eight hundred suits of armour for horses, 
" to adorn them in processions and public exhibitions." (Ibnu-1-faradhi says only 
one hundred ; but he adds that they were of the most extraordinary workman- 
ship, and highly finished.) 

"One thousand shields manufactured at Sultaniyyah ; one hundred thousand 
" arrows of the best kind. 

" Fifteen select Arabian steeds of the choicest qualities, and destined for the 
" Khalif's own riding." (Ibnu-1-faradhi says one hundred more, fit for military 
incursions, and trained for war.) " Twenty mules for the Khalif's own riding, 
" fully caparisoned and bridled, and having the seats of the saddles covered with 
" a species of 'Irakian velvet, called ghafdri." (Ibnu-1-faradhi says one hundred 
steeds, namely, fifteen barbs for the Khalif's own riding ; five more of the same 
class, but chosen among the rest for their superior qualities, most splendidly 
harnessed and bridled, and having the seats of the saddles covered with 'Irakian 
velvet/. also for the Khalif's own riding; the remaining eighty were suitable for 
servants and attendants. Besides the mules above mentioned, Ibnu-1-faradhi 

_ .■ . 

counts five ambling mules remarkable for their swiftness and easy pace.) 




! . 






i£ The slaves were as follows : Forty choice male slaves, and twenty females, with 
" their clothing and apparel all complete. The latter were provided, besides, with 
" all their jewels, ornaments, and musical instruments." (In this both authors 


" Ten kintars (hundred weights) of lump sugar, of dazzling whiteness, and 

" without a speck in it." 

" And lastly," says Ihnu Khaidun, " he presented his sovereign with a valuable 
" villa, and the lands attached to it, in the sowing of which many thousands of 
11 mudd of grain had been expended by the giver. The stone only for the several 
" buildings erected on the estate had cost eighty thousand dinars in one year. 
" There were besides twenty thousand trees of the finest and most durable wood, 
<( very straight, and in the best condition, the actual value of which was fifty 

" thousand dinars." 

So far lbnu Khaidun; but Ibnu-1-faradhi, who, as we have stated elsewhere, saw 
and transcribed the epistle which Ibn Shoheyd sent along with the present, has 
preserved some details which we think worthy of insertion in our present narrative. 
He says, after mentioning the male and female slaves,—" For a long time before, 
" Ibn Shoheyd, who accompanied or commanded almost every expedition sent 
" against the Christians, had destined a certain portion of his share in the spoil to 
" purchase handsome captives of both sexes, as he himself informs us in his epistle, 
" where he says that he bought them with the produce of victory, and through the 
" favour dispensed to him by the Amir." 

The epistle ended thus, according to Ibnu-1-faradhi : " And when I heard that my 
" illustrious master (may God grant him his help!) had deigned to cast his eye 
over the estate in the Kanbaniyyah, 57 I immediately directed the Sultan's agent, 
Ibn Bakiyyah, to purchase it from the owner; and I did not rest until I heard 
« that he had completely succeeded, and that the deeds were already drawn in the 
« Khalifs name. The same thing was done with respect to another estate in the 
« vicinity of Jaen, called Sheyrah. 68 When I heard that it had been described to 
" the Khalif, who was pleased to inquire about it, I never ceased importuning 
the owner of it until he sold it to me, with all its buildings, plantations, fields; 
woods, and waters; the whole being duly transferred to Ibn Bakiyyah, who, 
I hope, will reap the next harvest thousands of mudd, of every; kind of grain. 
When, moreover, I ascertained that it was the Khalifs wish to build upon the 
latter estate, I immediately gave all my attention to forestall his wishes, and 
thought of the many spots which his gracious majesty had been pleased to visit, 
in order to perpetuate his memory in their buildings. (May God prolong his 
life and reward him [afterwards] even beyond his expectations !) Knowing 




1 1 

■. . -^- - - 

_ ■. 



^^^£*-'^~j7-z$7ttyxr~'~r m 77 




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" that the foundations, the pillars, and the greater portion of the house were 
" built of free-stone, I conceived and fixed upon a plan of improvement, which I 
" caused immediately to be executed ; having spent in one year only what I 
" received from his servant, Ibn 'A'ssim, for twenty consecutive years [as the 
amount of my salary] , since the total expense incurred in the building amounted 
to about eighty thousand dinars, without counting the produce of the estate 
during that time, which was likewise spent in the object, nor the sale of timber, 
" which is so abundant that when his servant Ibn Khalil wanted upwards of three 
" hundred and twenty thousand trees [for the purpose of building], and could only 
procure about two thousand every year, I undertook to furnish him the remainder 
out of this estate, which I did; the value of the timber which I then delivered 
" into his hands being, at the lowest estimate, between fifty and sixty thousand 

" dinars." 

The donor of the above present, Abu 'A'mir Ahmed 59 Ibn 'Abdi-1-malek Ibn 
'Omar Al-'adi, belonged to one of the most illustrious families of Andalus. His 
ancestor Shoheyd had been present at the conquest of that country by Tank Ibn 
Zeyad. His father 'Abdu-1-malek had served in the armies of 'Abdullah, and 
gained great reputation by his courage and his talents ; and by him Ahmed was 
early trained to arms, and acquired that superiority in military affairs which made 

him the scourge of the infidels and the idol of the Moslems. He was so successful r 

in his expeditions against the Galicians and Franks, that he amassed considerable 
riches, and was enabled to present the Khalif An-nasir with a gift such as no 
subject ever before presented to his master. 

Ibn Bessam relates of him, that he had once a Christian page so exquisitely 
handsome that no human eyes ever saw the like of him before. This page he once 
introduced to An-nasir, who no sooner cast his eyes on him than he said to Ibn 
Shoheyd, "Where and how didst thou acquire such an inestimable jewel?" " It 
came to me," answered Ibn Shoheyd, " by the blessing of God." " By the Lord !" 
replied An-nasir, '" were any one to make me a present of the stars, or let me 
choose between the moon and this page, I should not hesitate for an instant:" 
upon which, Ibn Shoheyd, having prepared a suitable present, sent it to 'Abdu-r- 
rahman along with his page, to whom he said on parting, " Go, my son; thou 
" must form part of the present I destine for the Commander of the Faithful. 
■*■* Were it not for the love I bear him, I would sooner have parted with my soul 


<( than with thee." 

" iFhe same author [Ibn Bessam] relates another curious anecdote respecting 

Ah'-mfiafr, which he pretends to have received from a man who held it from another, 

who had it from -the Khalif s own lips. Wishing on a certain day to be bled, 


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CHAP. V.] 



An-nasir sat himself down under a pavilion in the palace of Az-zahra, which 
overlooked the whole city, and sent for his chief physician, who, having come 
immediately, took out his lancet, and bound the hand of the Khalif, preparatory 
to his bleeding him. He was going to operate, when lo ! there came a starling, 60 
which perched itself on a beautiful golden vase in the room, and uttered the fol- 
lowing two verses, which it continued to repeat all the time the operation lasted. 

" O bleeder ! take care how thou treatest the Commander of the Faithful ; 

" For wert thou to open one of his arteries, the life of the world might 

" escape through it." 61 

An-nasir was exceedingly pleased at these verses, and he much admired the wit 
contained in them. Having then inquired who had taught the starling, and dis- 
patched him on such an errand, he was informed that the bird belonged to his wife 
Marjanah, the mother of Al-hakem Al-mustanser-billah, the presumptive heir to the 
throne, who, having previously trained the bird to repeat the verses, had sent him 
on at the time when An-nasir was going to be bled ; upon which the Khalif made 
Marjanah a present of upwards of thirty thousand dinars. 

We should never finish, were we to transcribe here the innumerable anecdotes 
respecting this Khalif, which are scattered like so many loose pearls over the 
writings of the Andalusian poets and historians, and will therefore proceed to give 
a notice of his son and successor, Al-hakem. 

i: ■HJ3 ^E ^>fl f^fSJxS ^T^TtSF 







Accession of Al-hakem II .—Ceremonies attending his proclamation— Appointment of a Hajib— Al-hakem' s 
wars with the Christians— Piratical incursions of the Northmen— Ordono IV. visits Cordova— Prepa- 
rations made by the Khalif for his reception— Ordono introduced to the royal presence — His address to 
Al-hakem — The Khalif's answer — Arrival of ambassadors from Catalonia — and from Navarre—The 
Countess of Castile arrives at court — Transactions in Africa — Settlers in Andahw under his reign — 
Al-hakem's love of science — His passion for books — Library founded by him — Notice of literary men 
living at his court — Character of Al-hakem — His death. 

On the day after the death of 'Abdu-r-rahman, his son Al-hakem, surnamed Abii-1- 
Accessionof >£ ssm anc [ Al-mustanser -billah (he who implores the help of God), ascended the 

Al-hakem II. -,,.,/... * t i i 

throne. It was on a Thursday. 1 Immediately after his accession, Al-hakem sur- 
rounded his person with all the pomp and magnificence of the empire, and sent 

down his letters to the provinces, apprising the people of his elevation, and calling f 

upon them to swear allegiance to him. On the same day he began to give his 
attention to the regulation of his empire and the strengthening of his power, to 
the inspection of the royal palaces, and the review and equipment of the troops. 
The Sclavonians of the palace were the first to take the oath of allegiance to 
him: first came the eunuchs of the palace, as Ja'far, the master of the horse and 
of the royal robes, and other superior officers generally employed in the household 
of the greatest Khalifs, who were ordered to proceed immediately to swear in all the 
Sclavonians under their orders ; then followed the remaining officers of the royal 
household, who were inferior in rank to the above-mentioned, whether katibs, 

servants, mukaddams (captains), or 'arifs (officers), all of whom tendered their [ 

respective oaths, 
ceremony at- The people of the palace having been all sworn in, Al-hakem commanded his 
prociamaS. chief Wizir, Ja'far Ibn 'Othman, to proceed immediately to the residence of his 

own brother, Abu Merwan 'Obeydullah, 2 who kept aloof [from the ceremony], 

and bring him, without accepting of any excuse, to his presence, for the purpose ^ 

of exacting from him the customary oath of allegiance. He dispatched in like 
manner Mtisa Ibn Ahmed Ibn Jodeyr on a similar errand to his second brother, 
Abu-1-asbagh 'Abdu4-'aziz. The two messengers, having taken with them a body 


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of troops, repaired to the house of the two princes, and escorted them to the palace 
of Az-zahra, where every thing was prepared for the approaching ceremony, and 
where a great concourse of courtiers and nobles had already assembled from every 
part of the city, to pay their respects to the new sovereign. All the brothers of 
Al-hakem, who were then eight in number, arrived at the palace at night, and were 
lodged [according to their rank] in the two wings 3 of the palace. The ensuing 
morning they took their station in the eastern and western halls, whilst the Khalif 
sat on his throne under the central gilded pavilion, one of those in the southern 
part of the palace opening upon the marble terrace. The ceremony having 
commenced, the royal brothers came first: they approached the throne, and 
inaugurated Al-hakem, reading the formula of inauguration, and taking the cus- 
tomary oath, with all its sanctions and restrictions. Then came the turn of the 
Wizirs, and of the sons of the Wizirs, and of their brothers, who were quickly 
followed by the Shortah or body-guard, and by the servants of the palace. This 
done, the brothers of the Khalif, the Wizirs, and the nobles, took their respective 
seats to the right and left of the throne, with the single exception of Tsa Ibn 
Foteys, who stood in one corner of the hall, that he might swear in the people 
as they entered. The neighbouring apartments were as usual filled with public 
functionaries and courtiers who had a right to be present at such ceremonies. 

In the hall where the Khalif sat, stood the great eunuchs of the palace, in 
lines beginning at the right and left sides of the throne, and extending to the end 
of the apartment, each man keeping his own place according to his rank or dignity; 
They were all dressed in white tunics, the inner garments 4 being of mourning ; 
and they were armed with swords. Next to them were the servant eunuchs, 
covered with mail, and having glittering swords in their hands ; these were drawn 
up in two lines over the terrace. On the adjoining parapets were the eunuchs of 
the guard, with spears in their hands, and the Sclavonian eunuchs, dressed in white, 
and armed with swords. These were followed by other Sclavonian eunuchs of 
inferior rank; and after these latter came the archers of the guard, with their bows 
and quivers. Next to the Sclavonian eunuchs were the black slaves, splendidly 
arraved, and covered with glittering arms ; they wore white tunics, Sicilian helmets 
on their heads, and held in their hands shields of various colours ; their weapons, 
moreover, were ornamented with gold. They were drawn up in two lines [from 
the terrace] to the last parapet. At the gate of As-suddah (Bdbu-s-suddah) were 
the chief door-keepers, and outside of it the horse-guard of black slaves, ex- 
tending in lines to the gate of the domes (Bdbu-l-akbd) . Next to them was the 
body-guard, composed of the Khalif s own maulis or freed slaves, also on horseback ; 
and after them the rest of the army, and of the slaves, and the archers, succeeding 


each other until the lines reached without interruption to the gate of the city 
leading to the country. The ceremony being over, the Khalif granted the people 
leave to retire, with the exception of his brothers, the Wizirs, and the officers of the 
household, who were directed to stay at the palace of Az-zahra until the body of 
An-nasir should be carried to the palace of Cordova, there to be interred in the 
cemetery of the Khalifs. 
ofTiiijib!" 1 Al-hakem made no alteration in the administration as left by his father An-nasir. 

He confirmed every one of the "Wizirs named by his father, and appointed for his 
Hajib Ja'far Al-asklabi (the Sclavonian), who is said to have presented him on the 
day of his nomination with sundry precious objects, a list of which is given by Ibnu 
Hayyan in his Muktabis. The present consisted of one hundred Frank mamelukes, 
mounted on swift horses, and armed and equipped for war with swords, spears, 
shields, targets, and Indian caps; upwards of three hundred and twenty coats of 
mail, of different kinds ; three hundred steel helmets ; fifty Indian helmets of wood ; 
some European helmets not of wood, called At-teshtanah ; three hundred European 
javelins ; one hundred shields of Sultaniyyah ; ten suits of armour, of solid silver, 
inlaid with gold; and twenty buffaloes' horns, gilt. 

the ChSsSS. " No sooner was the death of An-nasir divulged," says the historian Ibnu 

Khaldun, " than the Galicians began to make attacks upon the Moslem frontiers. 
" In order to check their progress, Al-hakem put himself at the head of his army, 
"and invaded the dominions of Ferdeland Ibn Ghondisalb [Ferran Gonzalez], 
" besieged Shant Eshtiban (San Estevan de Gormaz), which he took by force of 
" arms, and afterwards destroyed, returning victorious [to Cordova] ; upon which 
" the Galicians desisted from their projects, and sought to make their peace with 
" the Moslems." 

After this, Al-hakem dispatched his mauli Ghalib to make war on the Galicians. 
Having arrived at Medinah Selim (Medinaceli) , which was the focus of the war, 
Ghalib was opposed by a considerable army of the Christians ; but he fought with 
them, putting them to flight, and causing them great loss. After which the 
Moslems penetrated into the dominions of Ferdeland, which they overran and 

Sancho, the son of Ramiro, King of the Basques (Navarre), having broken the 
treaties by which he was bound [to preserve peace], Al-hakem sent against him 
At-tojibi [Yahya Ibn Mohammed], 5 the governor of Saragossa, with a large body of 
troops. Seeing this, the King of the Basques implored the help of his neighbour, 
the. King of the Galicians, who hastened to his assistance; but At-tojibi, having 
met and defeated their united forces near Kuriah (Coria), ravaged the districts 
round that city, and returned home victorious. 



— i u- .■ i r- ■ _-.■ v sj s 

- -. ■.- :■ .■ -■ _ 

.-- ./ L -— 


After this, Al-hakem directed his generals Ahmed Ibn Ya'la and Yahya Ihn 
Mohammed At-tojibi to make an incursion into the territory of Barcelona, which 
was accomplished ; the districts round that city being overrun and wasted by the 
Moslems. He likewise sent Hudheyl Ibn Hisham and his mauli Ghalib into the 
dominions of the Koines (Count) of Castile, which they ravaged. 

Great indeed were the victories gained over the Christians during the reign of 
Al-hakem, and repeated the incursions made by the generals of his frontiers into 
the enemy's territory. "We may give as an example the conquest by Ghalib of the 
town of Kalherah, in the country of Al-bashkans (Basques), which place Al-hakem 
caused to be peopled by Moslems, as well as the taking of Kottubiah 6 by the 
Kayid (governor) of Oshkah (Huesca) ; on which occasion the Moslems gained 
considerable spoil in money, arms, provisions, and military stores, exclusive of the 
sheep, cattle, and mares which they caught in the adjoining plains, of the grain and 
fruits of all kinds which they reaped, and of the innumerable captives, of both sexes, 

which they made. 

In the year 354 (beginning Jan. 6, a. d. 965) Ghalib made an incursion into 
Alabah (Alava), accompanied by Yahya Ibn Mohammed At-tojibi and Kasim Ibn 
Motref Ibn Dhi-n-nun. The three generals scoured the country, and rebuilt Hisn- 
Ghormaj 7 (San Estevan de Gormaz), which had been destroyed on a former occasion 
by the Christians. 

In the same year (a. h. 354) the ships of the Majiis (Northmen) appeared on 2o™ of'the 
the coast of the ocean. Having landed close to Lisbon, they overran and ravaged Northmen, 
the neighbouring country ; but the inhabitants, having risen to arms, fought with 
them, and drove them to their ships. No sooner was the intelligence of their 
disembarkation brought to Cordova, than Al-hakem in person repaired to the 
districts invaded, and provided for the defence of the coast, ordering his Kdyidu-l- 
bahr (admiral of the sea), named 'Abdu-r-rahman [Ibn] Romahis, 8 to fit out the 
fleet and attack them : but it was not necessary ; for news soon arrived of their 
having been defeated every where by the inhabitants of that coast, and their having 
put to sea in great haste and confusion. 

After this, happened the arrival in Cordova of Ordhiin Ibn Adefonsh (Ordofip IVY), 2",^;^ 
King of the Galicians. As before related, An-nasir had supported his cousin 
Sancho, son of Ramiro, and assisted him in reconquering his kingdom, w T hich 
Ordofio had usurped, compelling the Christians to return under his sway; upon 
which Ordofio had sought and obtained the assistance of his father-in-law 7 Ferdeland 
(Ferran Gonzalez), Count of Castile. Finding, however, that this chieftain was 
unable to reseat him on the throne, and that Al-hakem continued to bestow on 

:-■ ---^l' 



Sancho the same protection which his father An-nasir had so graciously granted 
to him, he resolved upon appearing at court, and placing himself under Al-hakem 's 
protection. The Rhalif received him with all the pomp and state before exhibited 
on similar occasions, ordering his troops out on the day of his arrival, and com- 
manding the officers of his household to go out to meet him some distance from the 
capital, as may be read in the work of Ibnu Hayyan, who has preserved an 
account of this and the preceding arrivals, and of the interview which the Christian 
king had with Al-hakem. That historian says, that the Khalif bade him sit down 
promised him his assistance against his enemies, put on him a khiVah or dress of 
honour, and wrote a deed with his own hand, by which he engaged to aid him 
against his cousin Sancho, on. condition that he should acknowledge himself the 
vassal of Islam, and forsake the alliance of the Count of Castile. Ordofio swore to 
fulfil the stipulated conditions by placing his right hand on the deed, and gave his 
son Garcia as an hostage. He was then dismissed with presents and horses for 
himself and followers, being escorted by the principal Christians who lived in 
Cordova under the protection of the Khalif, that they might the better establish his 
authority over his subjects, and reseat him on his throne. His son Garcia remained 
in Cordova according to the stipulation. The following particulars are borrowed 
from Ibnu Hayyan. 

Towards the end of Safar of the year 351 (March, a. d. 962), the Khalif 
Al-hakem sent out two of his maulis, named Mohammed and Zeyad, sons of 
Aflah An-nasiri, with a portion of his guard, to meet Ghalib An-nasiri, governor 
of Medinah Selim (Medinaceli) , who was then escorting to Cordova King Ordhun 
Ibn Adefonsh (Ordofio IV.) This Ordhun, assisted by some small bands of 
Galicians, who followed his banners, had been trying for some time to excite 
dissension in the state, and had disputed the throne with a cousin of his, son of 
his uncle, Sancho Ibn Radmir (Sancho the Fat), who had reigned before him. 
Seeing that every attempt to seize on the throne had failed, the accursed Christian 
bethought him of repairing to the court of Al-hakem, without either previously 
asking his leave, or making any stipulation. The cause of that sudden resolution 
was his having heard that Al-hakem was preparing an expedition to march that 
very year against him; 9 and not being in a condition to resist him, he decided 
upon parrying, if possible, the blow aimed against him, and throwing himself upon 
.%- .mercy of the Khalif, hoping to be able to incline him to his favour. 
j^M$ n g lv > although he had no safe conduct or security whatever from the 
W& ^placed himself at the head of twenty of his followers, and crossed the 

'frontier. Ghalib An-nasiri, 10 a mauli of Al-hakem, who was then 


1 ^ "■ _ .■ '.- -jli ■ ■_■ =j-x -j-.hj^.-. h 

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J . - L X ■_ 


governor of Medinaceli, having on the arrival of the Christian at that city inquired 
the object of his journey, Ordhun told him that he wished to go to Cordova for 
the purpose of" swearing vassalage to the Khaiif; upon which Ghalib offered to 
escort him thither at the head of a hody of cavalry. 

No sooner was Al-hakem informed of their arrival than he sent forward the two Preparations 

r\ j -> ■ made by the 

sons of Aflah with an armv to meet them. Having come Tip with Ordono s retinue, Khaiif for his 
tiie generals of the Khaiif encamped for a whole day, after which they struck their 
tents and proceeded to Cordova. At their approach Al-hakem sent out Hisham 
Al-mus'hafi with a numerous army completely armed and equipped [as for war]. 
They advanced straight to the gate of Cordova, and passed close by the gate of the 
palace. On his arrival at that piece of ground between the Bdbu-s-suddah and the 
Bdbu-l-jentin (the gate of the gardens), Ordhun inquired of one of his escort 
where the tomb of An-nasir lidin-illah ('Abdu-r-rahrmm III.) was ; and this being 
pointed out to him opposite the place where he stood within the raudhah or 
cemetery attached to the royal palace, he immediately dismounted, took off his 
cap,' 1 and having approached the spot pointed out to him, he went upon his, knees 
and prayed fervently for a length of time. After this he put on his cap, and 
continued his march towards the dwelling assigned to him by the Khaiif, which 
was the palace called An-nd'urah (of the water-wheel). Preparatory to the reception 
of his guest the Khaiif had caused the palace to be strewn with every variety 
of carpet and cushion, and provided with every description of furniture : his com- 
mands were fulfilled in a manner that left nothing to wish for, the Christian king 
and his suite being treated with the greatest attention and respect. In this manner 
Ordono spent the whole of Thursday and Friday. "When Saturday came, Al-hakem 
signified his wish to see the Christian, and accordingly every necessary preparation 
was made for the forthcoming ceremony. The troops were fully equipped and 
armed as in time of war; the Sclavonian guard was splendidly attired for the, 
occasion; the Ulemas, theologians, Katibs, and poets were ordered to appear 
in the audience-hall, whilst the Wizirs and other high functionaries of the state 
received orders to be each at his post at the appointed hour. 

"When the day came, Al-hakem appeared seated on the royal throne in the eastern He is mtro- 

J ' L r . , duced into the 

hall of his palace of Az-zahra, which opened into the terrace, having on each ro ya i presence. 

side his brothers, nephews, and other relatives, as well as the Wizirs, Kadis, civil 

magistrates, and distinguished theologians, and other high functionaries, all sitting 

in rows according to their rank or station. Among them was the supreme judge 

of Andalus, Mundhir Ibn Sa'id Al-bolutti Presently Ordono made his appearance 

in the hall, being introduced by Mohammed Ibnu-1-kasim Ibn Tamis. 12 The upper 

part of his dress consisted of a tunic of white brocade, of Christian manufacture, 

VOL. II. y 



and a surtout ,3 of the same quality and colour. He wore on bis head a Christian 
cap ornamented with costly jewels. Ordoho came from his dwelling [in Cordova] 
to the city of Az-zahra attended by a select party of the chief Christian residents 
in Cordova, as Walid Ibn Khayrun, 14 who was the judge of the Christians in 
Cordova, 'Obeydullah, son of Kasim Ahmatran (bishop) 15 of Toledo, and others. 
When close to the palace, Ordono and his suite entered into a passage formed on 
each side by bodies of infantry placed in such admirable order that the eyes 
were dazzled at their uniformity, and so thickly set that the mind was bewildered 
at their numbers. Such was, moreover, the brightness of their armour and 
weapons, and the variety and richness of their uniforms, that the Christians were 
actually stupified at what they saw, and repeatedly crossed themselves in utter 
amazement at the imposing scene; they looked on with their heads down, their 
eyelids contracted, and their eyes half-closed [through astonishment] until they 
arrived at the outer gate of the palace of Az-zahra, called Bdbu-1-akabd or * the 
gate of the domes,' where all those who had gone out to meet Ordono dismounted. 
The Christian king and the counts of his suite continued on horseback until they 
came to the interior gate called Bdbu-s-suddah, when all received orders to 
dismount, and to proceed on foot, with the exception of Ordono and Mohammed 
Ibn Tamis, who passed mounted under the gateway. These two alighted at the 
gate of the central southern pavilion l6 in the building called Ddru-l-jandal (the 
house of the stones) upon a raised platform, the steps of which were covered with 
silver cloth. In that very spot Ordoho's rival and enemy, Sancho, the son of 
Ramiro, had alighted when he came to visit 'Abdu-r-rahman An-nasir lidin-illah. 
Ordono sat himself on the platform, and his suite sat before him [waiting for 
Al-hakem's pleasure]. Presently one of the Khalif 's officers made his appearance, 
bringing the permission for Ordono to proceed ; which he did on foot, followed 
by his suite. In this way he advanced towards the terrace. Arrived in front 
of the eastern hall, where Al-hakem was, Ordono stopped, uncovered his head, 
took off his bornus, 17 and remained for some time in an attitude of astonishment 
and respect, under the impression that he was now approaching the radiant throne 
of the Khalif. Being motioned to proceed, he moved on slowly between the two 
lines [of soldiers] drawn up along the length of the terrace, which he traversed, 
until he came to the door of the pavilion where Al-hakem sat. When he had 
arrived before the throne, he threw himself on the floor, and remained for some 
time;ln the most humble position ; he then stood up, advanced a few paces, again 
prostrated himself, and repeated this ceremony several times, until he arrived at 
a proper distance from the Khalif, when he stretched out his hand, and Al-hakem 
gave him his. : After this he went backwards, without turning away his face, to a 


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seat covered with gold cloth, which had been prepared for him at about ten cubits' 
distance from the royal throne, being all the time awe-struck at the imposing 
scene. Such among his counts and followers, moreover, as had been allowed to 
enter the royal presence, advanced from behind him with repeated prostrations, 
and approached the throne of the Khalif, who gave them his hand to kiss ; after 
which they all walked backwards, and placed themselves at each side of their king. 
Amomr them came Walid Ibn Khavrun, who, as before stated, was the Kadi or 
judge of the Christians living in Cordova, and who acted as interpreter for King 
Ordoiio on the occasion. 

Al-hakem kept silence for a while in order to allow Ordoiio time to sit down 
and compose himself; and when he perceived that the Christian had somewhat 
recovered [from his fright] he broke silence and said, " Welcome to our court, 
" O Ordoiio! may thy hopes be realized and thy wishes fulfilled! Thou wilt 
" find in us the best advice and the most cordial reception, much beyond thy 
11 expectations." When these words were translated to Ordoiio by his interpreter, 
his countenance expanded and brightened up with joy ; he came down from the 
raised couch on which he sat, and humbly kissing the earth before the Khalif, 
exclaimed, "I am the slave of the Commander of the Faithful, my lord andjj^* 

" master; and I am come to implore his favour, to witness his majesty, and to 
" place myself and my people under his protection. May he be pleased to grant 
" me his powerful patronage, and consent to receive me into the number of his 
" slaves ! I hope that I come to him with a just demand and with a pure inten- 
" tion." The Khalif answered, "We look upon thee as one most deserving of 
" our consideration and esteem, and we are ready to grant thee that preference 
" and advantage over the people of thy sect which may render thee happy and 
" content. Let us therefore hear the true cause that brought thee to our court, 
" that we may place thee within the pale of our authority." No sooner was 
the Khalif 's answer made known to King Ordoiio than he again prostrated himself, 
and remained for some time deeply absorbed in prayer. He then proceeded to 
state his case thus: (t I need not remind thee, O Khalif, that my cousin Sancho, 
" son of my uncle Ordofio, came once to this city to implore against me the 
" help of thy glorious father and predecessor, the Khalif An-nasir, who hesitated 
" not to grant him the assistance he sought, as the most powerful Kings and 
" greatest Khalifs are wont to do to all those who seek them and rely on them. 
Yet the appearance of Sancho at this court was a compulsory act ; his subjects 
detested his rule, and so offensive was his behaviour towards them that they 
» chose me for their king, although, God knows, I had not the least wish to 
« become such, and had taken no steps whatever to arrive at the throne. How- 



.- o- 


<c ever, I did so at the solicitation of my subjects ; upon which my cousin was 
"obliged to fly the country, and take refuge in this city. It then pleased thy pre- 
" decessor (may God have mercy on him !) to restore Sancho to his lost kingdom, 
" and to grant him his powerful aid, without paying regard either to the offers of 
" vassalage I made to him or the rich presents which from time to time I sent to 
" him. This I bore with resignation, for truly the Commander of the Faithful was 
" then, as thou art now, my liege lord. Such was the manner in which my cousin 
" came to Cordova; whereas I am come of my own free will, without having been 
" compelled to do so by my subjects, or having been expelled from my kingdom 
<( by them, as he was. I am come confidently to place myself, my people, my 
" castles, and such among my subjects as obey my rule, under the command of 
" the Khalif, that he may decide between us two in his great wisdom." The 
answer halifS Kh'alif replied, — " We have listened to thy words and understood their meaning, and 

" certainly we will soon show thee greater favour, and our benefits shall come down 
" on thee more profusely even than those of my father ever did on thy enemy. 
" True, thy cousin Sancho came to our court first, and put himself under the 
" protection of this our empire ; but that is no reason why we should neglect 
" thee on his account. We will therefore diminish none of our favours, and thou 
" shalt return to thy country happy and content ; we will collect together for thee 
" the scattered portions of thy kingdom ; we will make thee Lord of all the districts 
" which once acknowledged thy sway and are now in the hands of thy cousin ; 
(( we will give thee our letters patent declaring our decision upon thy right [to 
" the throne] and that of thy cousin ; we will, in short, deprive him of his usurped 
" dominions, and favour and protect thee greatly beyond thy most sanguine 
" expectations. We take God to witness of the truth of our words." Again did 
Ordofio prostrate himself before the Khalif, expatiating in praise of his kindness 
and generosity. He then rose to retire, walking backwards so as not to turn 
his face from the Khalif. Having thus arrived where the eunuchs were waiting 
for him, Ordofio was conducted to the western hall opening upon the terrace, where 
he plainly exhibited on his countenance the reverential awe with which he had 
been struck, and his utter astonishment at the magnificence and splendour dis- 
played before him, as indicative of the power and strength of the Khalifate. In 
passing through the hall, the eyes of Ordono fell on the vacant throne of the 
Commander of the Faithful : unable to repress his feelings, he advanced slowly 
towards it, and, having prostrated himself before it, remained for some time in 
the most humble position, as if the Khalif were sitting on it. He was next 
conducted by the eunuchs to a pavilion in the northern extremity of the [western] 
hall, where he was told to sit down on a raised cushion covered with gold brocade. 

■ -' - ATfcT ■ 

^-HT"-.> — -- --w -^ \-_ J 



- - *. 




Whilst there, the Hajib Ja'far Al-mus'hafi approached him from another part of 
the palace; seeing which, Ordofio rose from his seat, went up to him, made him 
a most profound bow, and attempted to kiss his hand, but Ja'far withdrew it, and, 
addressing him in the most friendly terms, embraced him, and then sat down 
by his side, and began to converse with him, promising him good success in his 
enterprise, and assuring him that the Khalif would most certainly fulfil his promise ; 
hearing which, Ordono's joy was doubled. 

After this, at a signal made by Ja'far, a dress of honour, which the Khalif had 
destined for Ordono, was produced. It consisted of a tunic 18 of gold tissue, and a 
bormls of the same material, with a belt 19 of the purest gold, set with pearls 
and rubies of such magnitude and beauty that the eyes of the barbarian rested 
complacently on them; and whilst Ja'far was dressing him, he fell down on his 
knees and prayed aloud [for the Khalif 's preservation]. This being done, Ja'far 
sent for every one of the Christians who came in Ordono's suite, and gave each 
a dress according to his rank ; after which they all left the room with the greatest 
humility, returning thanks for the signal favour they had just received. After 
traversing the same halls and the open terrace through which he had come, 
Ordono, followed by the Christians of his suite, arrived at the central pavilion 
where he had alighted, and where by the KhaliPs order a generous steed richly 
caparisoned, and having the saddle and bridle ornamented with pure - gold, was 
prepared for him. Ordono mounted, and, accompanied by Ibn Tamis, returned 
to his dwelling in the palace of the Rissafah, 20 which had been provided with every 
article suitable to one of his rank,— furniture, beds, earthenware, &c. In this 
palace Ordono and the Christians of his suite stayed until the moment of their 
departure, receiving daily the choicest provisions for their consumption, and being 
otherwise provided with every comfort or luxury. For a long time after, the 
people of Cordova talked of nothing else than the rejoicings of that day, and the 
glorious manifestation of Islam. The orators and poets, who were present at 
the ceremony, failed not, as was the custom on such occasions, to deliver extempore 
speeches or poems allusive to the scene they had witnessed; but as it would take 
us far from our subject to quote any of those compositions here, we shall omit 

them for brevity sake. 21 

In the mean while his cousin Sancho, the son of Ramiro, seeing the tempest 
gather over his head, sent a message to the Khalif, in his own name as well as 
in that of the counts and bishops of Galicia and Zamora, offering his submission, 
and imploring him to accept of it, and to continue to him the favours and protection 
which his father, An-nasir, had dispensed to them. Upon which Al-hakem 
consented to grant his request, on condition that he would demolish all the fortresses 

,3ITSi. ■*•* - -^- — - - "• IN 

.. r_- -J ^_ 

..r;-'- -„? 

. ■. _L 


and castles on the frontiers of his dominions and close upon the Moslem territory ; 
[which was done.] 

; iSdoSf from ^ ome ^ me a ^ ter tlliSj ^e kings 82 of Barcelona, Tarragona, and other cities, 
Catalonia; solicited a renewal of the treaty of peace, as it existed before, sending as presents 

twenty Sclavonian eunuchs, 23 twenty kintars of sable-skins, five kintars of martens' 
fur, ten suits of Sclavonian armour, one hundred Frankish swords, and other 
articles, which the Khalif accepted, granting their request on condition of their 
dismantling all the fortresses in the vicinity of the Moslem frontier, from which 
marauding parties usually started, — of their lending no assistance to the people 
of their faith in their wars with the Mohammedans,— and lastly, of their en- 
deavouring to deter other Christian nations from joining their forces against the 

NavarT ^ en came amDassa dors from Garcia, the son of Sancho, King of the Basques 

(Garcia of Navarre), with a number of bishops and counts of that country, to 
solicit peace ; which was likewise granted, notwithstanding the procrastination and 
deceit which that monarch had lately manifested ; upon which they all returned 
to their country rejoiced and satisfied. 


oTcaSfaT The motner of Count Ludherik Ibn Belashk (Rodrigo Velasquez) went also 
rives at court, to the court of Al-hakem. This Ludherik was a powerful chieftain, whose states 

bordered 24 upon Galicia. Having first dispatched the great officers of his court 
to meet the Christian princess, the Khalif received her in state, granted the peace 
she requested on behalf of her son, and gave her a large sum of money to be 
distributed among her attendants, besides a rich present for herself. The day 
of her entrance into Cordova was a day of festival, great crowds of people flocking 
to witness the imposing sight. She came mounted on a swift mule, the saddle 
and bit of which were richly ornamented with gold, and the covering made of silk 
cloth, also embroidered with gold. The audience being over, the princess bade 
farewell to return to her country ; but before her departure [for Castile] she had 
another audience of the Khalif, who received her as graciously as before, and 
made her suitable presents for her journey. 
Transact^ After the death of Abd-l-'aysh, the Idrisite, who, as before related, was killed 

in an encounter with the Christians of Andalus, his brother, Al-hasan Ibn Kanun, 
whom he had appointed to govern during his absence, succeeded him in the 
kingdom. 25 Al-hasan persevered in his allegiance to the Beni Umeyyah, and 
:Cayse<kthe khotbah to be said in their name in all the mosques of his dominions. 
Subsequently to this, Balkin Ibn Zeyri Ibn Menad As-sanhaji, a Berber chieftain 
residing -in Eastern Africa, who had embraced the religious opinions of the 
'Obeydites, invaded also Western Africa, and completed the work begun by Jauhar, 



by putting an end in that country to the rule of the Beni Umeyyah. This state of 
things continued until Mu'izz Ibn Isma'il, the Fatimite, 26 having heard that the 
power of the Cordovan Khalifate was daily waxing stronger, decided upon sending 
into Western Africa his general, Jauhar, to stop the progress of their arms. Ya'la 
Ibn Mohammed Al-yefereni, chief of the tribe of Yeferen, whom An-nasir had 
put in command of Tangiers, went out to meet the Shiite general, but was defeated 
and slain. Jauhar then laid siege to Fez, which he reduced, putting to death 
the governor appointed by An-nasir, after which he returned to Eastern Africa. 
"When this disastrous news reached Cordova, all good Moslems were greatly 
afflicted; for the appearance in the neighbouring country of a power so hostile 
to the principles of the Sunnah or traditional law could not but deeply concern 
all those who wished for the glorious manifestation of Islam in its fall purity. 
Accordingly, in the year 3C2 (Oct. 11, a.d. 972), Al-hakem sent his mauli, 
Ghalib, to Africa, at the head of considerable forces, with instructions not to 
return to Andalus until he had completely exterminated all his enemies. Ghalib's 
first step was to invest the impregnable fortress of Hajaru-n-nasr, 27 wherein AU 
hasan Ibn Kanun had shut himself up with his women and his treasures. Having 
reduced it, and taken Al-hasan prisoner, Ghalib proceeded to Fez, which Jhe 
entered without opposition, re-establishing in that capital, as well as in all Western.; 
Africa, the supremacy of the Beni Umeyyah. After this, Ghalib prepared to return, 
with his royal captive to Cordova. Having left Fez about the end of Ramadh&n, 
363 (June, a.d. 974), he proceeded to Ceuta, where he embarked with all his 
suite. On his landing at Algesiras he dispatched a messenger to Al-hakem, 
informing him of the victories he had gained, and of the princes of the house 
of 'Ali who came [like so many prisoners] with him. Al-hakem had no sooner 
heard the message than he issued orders that all the civil functionaries of his court, 
all the Kadis and theologians, accompanied by their respective tabakdt (classes of 
students), and strong detachments from every division of the army, should go 
out to receive and greet the victor. The Khalif himself went out some distance 
from the capital, attended by his courtiers, the principal officers of his household, 
and his Sclavonian guard, mounted on milk-white steeds richly caparisoned and 
covered with glittering mail. " The spectacle was truly grand and imposing," 
says that most judicious and entertaining of all historians, Ibnu Hayy£n; " Ghalib 
" rode a beautiful chestnut horse ; he was armed cap-a-pie in a suit of steel armour 
" inlaid with pure gold. At his right was Al-hasan Ibn Kanun, who had no 
" sooner perceived Al-hakem in the distance, than he dismounted and proceeded 
" on foot to kiss the hand of the Khalif, who received him most graciously, and 
" pardoned him his offences, as well as those of the other [prisoners] who came 


- ^- - ^r^-- '"—i -^rf" ^" ■"-* ^ 

_> n-- 

j i * >-■ 



" with him, whose number was very considerable, and distributed suitable presents 

" among them." 
Settlers in An. We have already mentioned the arrival, under his father's reign, of Abu 'AH 
this reign, Al-kali, the author of the Kitdbu-l-amdli (the book of dictations), who came from 

Baghdad, and who, being welcomed and distinguished by An-misir, settled in 
Cordova, and imparted his immense learning to the people of Andalus. He became 
also a favourite of Al-hakem, who failed not to profit by his instruction. Al-kali, 
however, was not the only person of eminence who left the East to settle in the 
dominions of Al-hakem ; for the fame of his repeated successes both in Africa and 
in Andalus, of his liberality to the learned, and of the tranquillity which prevailed 
in the territories subject to Islam owing to his wise measures and to his zeal 
for the administration of justice, induced numbers of illustrious Moslems to repair 
to Andalus. "We shall here mention a few. 

Abu. Bekr Al-azrak, a descendant of Moslemah, son of the Khalif 'Abdu-1-malek 
Ibn Merwan : having left Cairo, his native city, for Africa in the year 343 
(beginning May 4, a.d. 954), he arrived at Cairwan, where the Shiites were then 
all-powerful ; but as he refused to embrace the cause of those sectarians, he was 
persecuted and confined in a dungeon at Mehediyyah. He was afterwards released, 
and crossed over to Andalus in 349 (March 2, 960), and arrived in Cordova, 
where he settled, and was [afterwards] 2tJ kindly treated by Al-hakem. Abii Bekr 
was a learned and virtuous man. He was born in 329 at Cairo ; he died at 
Cordova in the month of Dhi-l-k'adah of the year 385 (Dec. a.d. 995). 

Thafar Al-baghdadi, the chief of the scribes of his time, came from Baghdad, 
and settled in Cordova. He was one of the many excellent scribes who lived in 
that capital about the same time, and whom Al-hakem kept in his pay, as 
Al-'abbas Ibn 'Omar As-sikili (from Sicily), Yusuf Al-bolutti, 29 and their disciples. 
Being one of the best for correctness and beauty of hand-writing, soon after his 
arrival in Cordova the Khalif took him into his service, and employed him in 
transcribing books, of which duty he acquitted himself in a most admirable 

Isma'il Ibn 'Abdi-r-rahman Ibn 'Ah Al-korayshi, a descendant of 'Abd Ibn 
Zam'ah, the brother of Sawadah, the mother of the believers and wife of the 
Prophet. (May the favours of God be on her !) On the occupation of Egypt by 
the 'Obeydites, he left Cairo, his native city, and went to Western Africa, whence 
he crossed over to Andalus, and settled at Seville. He became celebrated for his 
works on various subjects. 
Ai.hakem's The Khalif Al-hakem surpassed every one of his predecessors in love of literature 

love of science. x - 1 - 1 

and the sciences, which he himself cultivated with success and fostered in his 

' B, K?P, H W^" 


.■> x j - rj 

^. "f. 


.■-.■J. _ 
7^- i_ 


dominions ; indeed he is well known to have converted Andalus into a great market 
whereto the literary productions of every clime were immediately brought for sale. 
He would besides employ merchants and agents to collect books for him in distant His passion for 
countries ; to which end he would remit to them large sums of money from his 
treasury, until the number of books thus conveyed to Andalus exceeded all 
calculation. He would likewise send presents of money to celebrated authors in 
the East, with a view to encourage the publication of works, or to obtain the first 
copies of them. In this manner, knowing that Abti-1-faraj, of Ispahan, who 
belonged to the [royal] family of Umeyyah, had written a work entitled Kitdhu-U 
agh&nl (the book of songs), he sent him one thousand dinars of pure gold; upon 
which the author forwarded him a copy of his work, even before it had appeared 
in 'Irak. 30 He did the same thing with Abu Bekr Al-abhari Al-maleki, who 
published a commentary on the Mokhtassar 31 of Ibn 'Abdi-1-hakem ; and with 
other illustrious authors of his days. Al-hakem, moreover, collected round him 
and employed in his own palace the most skilful men of his time in the art of 
transcribing, binding, or illuminating books ; and such literary treasures were 
amassed in Andalus as no sovereign ever possessed before or after him, if we except 
the library which is said to have been collected by [the Sultan] An-nasir, son of 
Al-mustadhi-billah, 32 of the house of 'Abbas. This immense collection of books 
remained in the palace of Cordova, until, during the siege of that capital by the 
Berbers, the Hajib Wadheh, who was a freedman of Al-mansur Ibn Abi 'A'mir, 
ordered them to be sold, the remainder being shortly after plundered and destroyed 
on the taking of that city by the Berbers. So far Ibnu Khaldun, whose narrative 
we have abridged ; but in order to give an idea of the number of books collected 
by Al-hakem we shall here transcribe the words of Ibnu-1-abbar in his Tekmilah 
(complement) : " Abu Mohammed Ibn Hazm says, I was told by Talid, the eunuch, 
" who was the keeper of the library and repository of the sciences in the palace of 
" the Beni Merwan, that the catalogue only of the books consisted of forty-four 

volumes, each volume having twenty sheets of paper, which contained nothing 

else but the titles and descriptions of the books." 33 

Another historian, after transcribing the above passage, says, " Al-hakem was Lftrary foimd- 
" the most virtuous and liberal of men; and he treated all those who came to 
" his court with the utmost kindness. He amassed such a collection of books 
" that it is impossible to estimate even approximatively either their value or their 
" number, some writers stating that they amounted to four hundred thousand 
' ' volumes ; and that when they were removed [from the palace] six months were 
(< expended in the operation. Al-hakem was a man of irreproachable conduct; 
" he was learned, and had a quick understanding : his tutors in the various sciences 

VOL. II. z 


p - '" 


" were, Kasim Ibn Asbagh, Ahmed Ibn Dahim, 34 Mohammed Ibn 'Abdi-s-selhim 
" Al-khoshani, Zakariyya Ibn Khattab, and Thabit Ibn Kasim. The latter gave 
<( him permission to cite him [in his writings] ; and Al-hakcm did so, as well 
" as a great number [of other doctors]. He caused works on all subjects to be 
" conveyed to Cordova from every country, however remote, lavishing his treasures 
" in the acquisition of them, until the number of books thus collected was such 
" that they could no longer be contained in his libraries. He was, moreover, so 
" fond of reading, that he preferred the pleasure of perusing his books to all the 
" enjoyments which royalty can afford; by which means he considerably increased 
" his learning, doubled his information, and improved his taste. In the knowledge 
" of history, biography, and genealogy, he was surpassed by no living author of 
" his days. He wrote a voluminous history of Andalus, filled with precious 
' ' information ; and so sound was the criticism which lie displayed in it, that 
" whatever he related [as borrowed from more ancient sources] might be con- 

" fidently believed to be a fact." 

" To give an idea of Al-hakem's immense erudition," says the historian Ibmi-1- 
abbar, " it will only be necessary to record here a well-ascertained fact— though, 
" strange to say, neither Ibnu-1-faradhi nor Ibn Bashkuwal have mentioned it in 
" their works — namely: that not one book was to be found in Al-hakem's library, 
" whatever might be its contents, which the Khalif had not perused, writing on 
" the fly-leaf, the name, surname, and patronymic of the author ; that of the 
" tribe or family to which he belonged ; the year of his birth and death ; after 
" which followed such interesting anecdotes about the author or his work as 
" through his immense reading he had derived from other writers." 
Notice of lite- We shall conclude our account of Al-hakem by mentioning a few only of the 
Srcou™ 8 most eminent authors who nourished under this reign, and who contributed by 

their works to diffuse the rays of science throughout Andalus. 

Abu" 'Abdillah Mohammed Ibn 'Abdun Al-'odhri, the celebrated physician, 
was one of the most eminent men of Al-hakem's court. In order to improve 
his learning in medicine and botany, in both of which sciences he was already 
very proficient, 35 he travelled to Egypt, where he obtained for some time the 
direction of an hospital. He then returned to Andalus, and was greatly dis- 
tinguished by Al-hakem, who appointed him his chief physician. 

Ibn Mufarraj [Abu 'Abdillah Mohammed]. This was a learned theologian, 
Who wrote for the use of the Khalif several treatises on the legal decisions of 
Az-zahri [Mohammed Ibn Moslem] and on those of Al-basri [Abu Sa'id Al-hasan 
Ibn Yesar]. The poet Ibn Mughith 36 made likewise for the Khalif s own library 

"• ""i 

a collection of the verses of the Beni Umeyyah, similar in size and design to that 

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which As-suli had previously made of those of the Beni 'Abbas. Mohammed Ibn 
Yusuf At-tnrikln, better known by his surname of Al-warrak (the paper-merchant), 
wrote by the command of Al-hakem several works on the history and topography 
of Africa. 17 'Isa Ibn Mohammed Abii-1-asbagh became celebrated for his excellent 
history of Elvira and the lives of eminent men, natives thereof. Abu 'Amru 
Ahmed Ibn Faraj, 38 a native of Jaen, compiled from the most authentic sources 
a voluminous history of Andalus, dwelling principally on the commendable deeds 
of the Sultans of the house of Merwan (the Beni Umeyyah) ; and lastly, Ya'ish 
Ibn Said Ibn Mohammed Abu 'Othman, 39 who had been a disciple of the celebrated 
Kasim Ibn Asbagh, of Baena, was also the author of a general history of Andalus. 
Ahmed Ibn 'Abdi-1-malik Ibn Hisham Al-makuwi, Yusuf Ibn Harun Ar-famedr, 
Abu-1-walid Yunas Al-bathaliosi, Ahmed Ibn Sa'id Ibn Ibrahim Al-hamdani, Were 
all distinguished poets of Al-hakem's court, and enjoyed the favour of that Khalif. 
Mohammed Az-zubeydi, the author of the celebrated Kitdbu-U'ayn, one of the 
best Arabic dictionaries that exist, whom Al-hakem appointed preceptor to his 
son Hisham ; Ibnu-s-sid, who wrote a valuable treatise on the language, besides 
another work on the same subject in the form of a dialogue, consisting of upwards 
of one hundred volumes ; Ahmed Ibn 'Abdi-r-rabbihi, who, besides his historical 
cyclopaedia, entitled AL'ikd (the necklace), composed many excellent works 
which are to this day the delight of the lovers of literature ; and several other 
authors of note, whose names we omit for the sake of brevity, flourished tinder 

this reign. 

Al-hakem was a just and enlightened ruler; he attended public worship every gggjj * 

Friday, and distributed alms to the poor. Being himself very strict in the observance 
of religious duties, he caused all the precepts of the Sunnah to be enforced through- 
out his dominions. Perceiving that the use of wine and other spirituous liquors 
forbidden by law had become quite common in Andalus, owing to the tolerance 
or negligence of former Sultans, he ordered that all the vines in his dominions 
should be rooted up ; but upon being told by one of his wisest counsellors that 
many poor people would be ruined in consequence of the measure; and : that, 
moreover, if the people were inclined to sin they might import wine : from the 
Christian countries, or make it themselves with figs and other fruits possessing 
inebriating qualities, he recalled the order, although he directed the Kadis • and 
other public officers to inflict summary punishment on all those who' were convicted 
of dealing in spirituous liquors, or of having used them at weddings and other 
festivities. In taste for building he was surpassed by none of his predecessors, 
if we except perhaps his father An-n^sir. His addition to the great mosque of 
Cordova—in which he is reported to have spent no less than one hundred and 

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sixty-one thousand dinars out of his own share in the spoil taken from the infidels 
of Andalus — would of itself be a deed highly meritorious in the eyes of his God and 
Creator. He lavished, besides, countless treasures in the construction of mosques, 
houses of reception for the poor, hospitals for the sick, and colleges for the youth ; 
and he ornamented his capital, as well as other large cities in his dominions, with 
baths, inns, markets, fountains, and other works of public utility. 

His forbearance in the exercise of power, and his extreme attention towards 
learned or pious people, has become proverbial, and we shall give a remarkable 
instance of it in the w r ords of an author named Abu-1-kasim Ibn Mufarraj. " I was 
" of a contrary opinion to that followed by the Faquih Abu Ibrahim on several 
" points of law and traditions, and yet I was in the habit of attending the lectures 
" which he delivered on those sciences at a mosque close to his house, of which 
" he was Imam. The mosque was called the mosque of Abu 'Othman, and it 
" stood to the north-west of the royal palace; the hour was between the two 
" prayers of noon and sun-set, and the concourse of Talbes [students] and others 
■ { on that day happened to be greater than usual. We were all listening in silence 
" to what Abu Ibrahim had to say, when behold ! in came one of the eunuchs 
" of the palace belonging to the class of the letter-bearers, who brought a message 
" from the Khalif Al-hakem. On entering the mosque the eunuch stooped, saluted 
" Abu Ibrahim, and addressed him thus : ' O Faquih ! the Commander of the 
" Faithful (may God prolong his life !) wishes to see thee, and he is waiting for 
" thee; so make haste: make haste; quick, quick!' — ' I hear the Sultan's order,' 
" said Abu Ibrahim, ' and would willingly obey it, were it not that I am prevented 
" and cannot [at present] use speed. Go back to thy master and mine, (may 
" God pour his favours on him!) and tell him how thou hast found me in one 
" of the houses of God, (may his name be exalted !) surrounded by a number of 
" students, to whom I am recounting traditions respecting his uncle (the Prophet). 
" Tell him that these students are attentively listening to my words and profiting 
" by my lesson, and that it behoves me not to interrupt the subject upon which 
" I am lecturing to them until the sitting be at an end and the hour come for 
" my dismissing them. Tell him that this consideration only prevents me from 
" repairing immediately to his presence, and that the very moment that I feel 
" free from this assembly of people who are here retained by the bonds of the 
" Almighty and are trying to obtain his grace, I will go to him in person, if God be 

' Having spoken thus, Abu Ibrahim resumed his lecture, and the eunuch 
"went away not a little astonished at the answer he had received, and greatly 
"concerned about the time he had spent in the delivery of his message. Having, 
" however, communicated to Al-hakem the answer made by Abu Ibrahim, the 


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" eunuch returned shortly after to the mosque in all haste, and said, ' O Faquih! 
" I have faithfully reported thy answer to the Commander of the Faithful, and 
" he has directed me to say that he hopes God will reward thee for the good 
" thou art doing to religion, and to the Moslems who are profiting by thy lessons; 
" and that when thou hast put an end to thy lecture, thou art to go to him straight. 
" I have been commanded to stay here until thou hast done, in order to conduct 
" thee to his presence.' Abu Ibrahim replied, 'Very well— only that I am too 
Cl weak and too old to walk to the Bdbu-s-suddah, and moreover it is very painful 
" for me to ride, owing to my advanced age, which has considerably weakened 
" all my limbs. Bdbu-s-sand'ah (the gate of the fabric), which is the nearest 
" gate of the royal palace from here, is shut. If the Commander of the Faithful 
" will condescend to have it opened, in that case I may easily walk to his palace 
" without any injury to my person. I therefore desire thee to return to the Sultan 
" and acquaint him with this my determination, in order that I may hear his 
" pleasure and act accordingly. Go ! I see thou art a steady, well-meaning youth, 
" and I wish thee all sorts of prosperity.' The eunuch took his departure, and 
« returned some time after, saying, f O Faquih! the Commander of the Faithful 
" has granted thy request, and ordered the Bdbu-s-sand'ah to be opened for thy 
" reception; he himself is waiting for thee close to it, and through it I left the 
" palace to come here. My instructions this time are to remain by thee, until 
" thou hast finished thy present occupation, and to remind thee of the object of 
" my visit. '— ' I will do so shortly,' was Abu Ibrahim's reply. The eunuch then sat 
" down, and waited until Abu Ibrahim had finished his lecture, and had expounded 
<£ according to his daily practice without suppressing one sentence. The lecture 
" being over, AM Ibrahim got up and went to his dwelling, where he washed and 
" dressed ; after which he repaired to the presence of Al-hakem, entered the palace 
" by the gate of Sana'ah, dispatched the business for which he had been called, 
" and went out by the same gate, which was immediately locked after his 

" departure." 

Abti-l-kasim Ibn Mufarraj continues : " I happened that very evening, after 
" quitting the mosque in which Abu Ibrahim had been lecturing, to pass by the 
" gate of Sana'ah, which by the order of the Khalif was continually kept shut, 
" and, to my great astonishment, I found it wide open, as the eunuch had stated, 
" and filled with servants and porters bustling and moving to and fro under 
" the gate-way, and expecting the arrival of Abu Ibr&him. Great was my surprise 
" when I witnessed such a scene, and for a long time after I spoke of nothing 
" else [to my friends] than of what I had seen." So far Ibn Mufarraj, whose 
anecdote we have introduced here to show the reader how the Sultans and the 

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learned of those times behaved towards each other. (May God bless their 
souls !) 
Sem ° f Al " Al-hakem died on the second day of Safar, a.h. 366 (Sept. 29, a.d. 976), at the 

age of sixty- three, 40 and after a reign of upwards of fifteen years. He was born 
in the year 303 (beginning July 16, a.d. 915); his mother's name was Mar-jan. 
He left no other male children except Hisham, whom he designated for his 
successor some time before he died. We have already stated that he used the 
appellative Abu-l-'assin, and that on his accession to the throne he assumed the 
pious surname of Al-mustanser-billah (he who implores the assistance of God) . 

_ _ _ _ vv _ 
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Accession of Hishiim II.— Conspiracy in favour of his uncle Al-mugheyrah detected — Execution of 
AI-mughcvrah — Origin of AS-mansi'tr — Administration of Ja'far Al-mus'hafi — Intrigues of Al-mansiir 
— His alliance with Ghalib— who is appointed Hajib — Al-mus'hafi falls into disgrace— Is imprisoned 
and put to death — Al-mausvir's disagreement with Ghalib — Death of that chief — Al-raansur seizes the 
treasures of Hishiim — Takes Berbers into his pay — Builds himself a castle — Usurps the royal power — 
Campaigns of Al-mansur against the Christians of Andalus — Destruction of Leon — Transactions in 
Africa — Taking of Barcelona — Zeyri Ibn Menad sends an embassy to Cordova — Visits that capital — 
Returns to Africa— Quarrels with Al-mansitr — Is forcibly dispossessed of his government — Dies in 
exile— Campaigns in Andalus — Invasion of Galicia— March of the Mohammedan army— Taking and 
destruction of Santiago—Death of Al-mansur. 

On the death of Al-hakem, his son Hishiim, surnamed Al-muyyed-billah (tbs&SKn?* 
assisted by God), who was only nine years old at the time, 1 succeeded to the 
throne. A man, however, named Mohammed Ibn Abi 'A'mir, whom Al-hakem 
had promoted from the rank of Kadi to that of Wizir to his son, 2 succeeded by 
his intrigues in usurping all the authority of the state, and reigning, as it were, 

in his name. 

According to Ibnu Khaldun, Mohammed Ibn Abi 'A'mir rose in favour with 
Al-hakem. When that Khalif died and was succeeded, by his youthful son 
Hisham, it was Mohammed who accepted and fulfilled the commission of putting ■ 
to death Al-mugheyrah, the brother of Al-hakem, who aspired to the throne. 
This Al-mugheyrah, who was the son of the Khalif An-nasir, was at the head 
of a considerable party in Cordova, who preferred him to his nephew Hisham on 
account of his more mature age and greater experience in affairs of government ; 
but with the assistance of Ja'far Ibn 'Othman Al-mus'hafi, who had been Al- 
hakem's Hajib (chamberlain), of Ghalib, the governor of Medinaceli, and of the 
Sclavonian eunuchs of the palace, whose chiefs at the time were Fayik and Judhar, 3 
Mohammed Ibn Abi 'A'imr surprised Al-mugheyrah in his dwelling and put him 
to death two days after the death of Al-hakem, when Hisham was proclaimed 
without opposition. This being done, Ibn Abi 'A'mir formed the design of seizing 

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the person of Hisham and usurping his authority. To this end he began to plot 
against the great officers of the state, and to raise dissensions among them, setting 
them against each other, and employing one to kill the other. As he himself 
belonged to one of the tribes of Yemen, that of Ma'afer, being the descendant 
of one 'Abdu-1-malek, who entered Andalus with Tarik and took a prominent 
part in the conquest of that country, he had no difficulty at all in attaching to 
his interests the chiefs of the Yemenite faction, which was then all-powerful. 
Through their means he rose gradually into importance and became completely 
the master of Hisham; he forbade the Wizirs to approach the person of their 
sovereign except on particular days, when they were allowed merely to salute 
him and then depart. He moreover lavished his gifts on the army, honoured 
and exalted the learned, and destroyed all those who opposed him. He was 
wise, provident, brave, had great military talents, and unparalleled zeal for religion. 
All those functionaries of the state who opposed him and resisted his authority, 
he destroyed one by one, either by depriving them of the offices they held, or 
by making them slay each other. All this he did under Hisham's own signature 
and by his orders ; and he contrived so well, that within a short time after his 
elevation he rid himself in some way or other of all those who stood in his way. 
His first attacks were directed against the Sclavonian eunuchs of the palace, 
who formed part of the Khalif's body-guard. Having instigated the Hajib Al- 
mus'hafi against them, this functionary expelled them all from the palace, although 
their number exceeded eight hundred. He then contracted an alliance with Ghalib, 
the mauli of the Khalif Al-hakem, whose daughter he married, and by courting 
his friendship and showing great obsequiousness towards him, he succeeded in 
obtaining his assistance against Al-mus'hafi, whose influence in the state he 
ultimately destroyed. Against Ghalib he employed Ja'far Ibn Ali Ibn Hamdiin, 
Lord of Masilah, and general of the Shiites [of Africa] , who had a considerable 
body of Berbers and Zenatah at his command, the same individual who had 
opposed the authority of Al-hakem at the beginning of that Khalif s reign. 4 Ja'far 
he slew with the assistance of 'Abdu-1-wadud Ibn Jeh'war Ibn Dhi-n-niin, and 
other grandees of the state, who were the chiefs of the Arabian party. 

Ibn Bessam, copying Ibnu Hayyan, says, " When the Khalifate of the Beni 
conspiracy in « Merwan in Andalus came to Al-hakem, the ninth Imam of that family, an event 

favour of his 

uncle Ai-mu- "took place which produced the most serious consequences. Among other virtues 
tected. e ' " Al-hakem possessed that of paternal love in such a degree that it blinded his 

"prudence and induced him to appoint a son of his, who was then a child, to 
"be his; successor, in preference to any of his brothers or nephews, all men of 
" mature age, well versed in the management of affairs and in the command of 

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the armies, capable of making their mandates obeyed, and of maintaining 

themselves in power. 

" It has been observed," continues Ibn Bessam, " that the empire of the Beni 
Umeyyah was never so prosperous nor so durable as when the sons succeeded 
the fathers ; for when it descended to the brothers, 5 and they inherited it one 
from another, it declined and showed visible symptoms of decay. Perhaps Al- 
hakem foresaw this, and wished to avoid the troubles that might arise, and he 
accordingly designated his son Hisham for his successor. However this may be, 
no sooner had Al-hakem breathed his last, than two of his Sclavonian eunuchs, 
named Fayik and Jiidhar, foreseeing the troubles and calamities that might arise 
from such a measure, conceived the idea of having his brother, Al-mugheyrah, 
raised to the throne instead of the youthful Hisham. c Methinks,' said Fayik 
one day to Jiidhar, ' we shall never be able to carry our plans into execution 
as long as Ja'far Al-mus'hafi lives ; he must die.' — ' And are we to begin our 
undertaking,' answered Judhar, ' by assassinating an old man, who is our master 
and our protector?' — 'By Allah! I see no other way,' replied Fayik. They 
then sent a message to Ja'far, to announce to him the death of Al-hakem, and 
at the same time to communicate to him their plans respecting Al-mugheyrah, 
requesting him to give his opinion and advice on the subject. Al-mus'hafi ? s. 
answer was thus conceived : ' It is for you two to act, and for me to follow ; your 
offices as master of the household and governor of the palaces give you : respec- 
tively great authority.' Upon which the two eunuchs agreed to carry their project 
into execution. Al-mus'hafi, however, left the palace, and, having assembled the 
troops and their officers, announced to them the death of Al-hakem, and informed 
them of the plans of Fayik and Judhar to place Al-mugheyrah on the vacant 
throne, to the prejudice of Hisham, the appointed heir. ' If we remain faithful to 
our master's son,' said Al-mus'hafi to them, ' the empire is in our hands ; if, on 
the contrary, we consent to have another sovereign, we shall lose all power and 
authority in the state.' The soldiers answered unanimously, ' Thy opinion is also 
ours.' Al-mus'hafi then hastened to dispatch Mohammed Ibn Abi 'Amir with 
a body of troops to the residence of Al-mugheyrah, with instructions to put 
him to death. Ibn Abi 'A'mir found Al-mugheyrah in complete ignorance of aSSA. 
what had occurred; he told him of his brother's death, and how, his nephew, 
Hisham, had been seated on the vacant throne. At the. receipt of this intel- 
ligence, Al-mugheyrah was thunderstruck ; but soon after recovering, he said, 
' I hear and obey the orders [of my new master] . ' Not knowing how to act, 
Ibn Abi 'A'mir sent a written message to Al-mus'hafi, acquainting him with 
what had occurred, and asking for further instructions. The answer was, 
vol. ii. 2 a 

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Origin of Al- 

Seize him, and put him to death ; if thou do not like the commission, I will 
" send another to execute it.' Al-mugheyrah was accordingly strangled." 

The man who executed this sentence, and who was destined to render Islam 
triumphant, was the son of 'Abdullah, son of 'A'mir, son of Atm 'A'mir, son 
of Al-walid, son of Yezid, son of 'Abdu-1-malek Al-ma'aferi ; 6 that is to say, of 
the tribe of Ma'afer, a branch of Himyar. Mohammed was bom in a. h. 327, 
(a.d. 939). His mother's name was Boreyhah, and she was the daughter of 
Yahya Ibn Zakariyya Ibn Bartal At-temimi. All those writers who have treated 
of him, such as Ibnu Hayyan, in the history he wrote of the 'A'mirite dynasty, 7 — 
Al-fath, in his Mattmak, — Al-hijan, in his Mas'hab, — and Ash-shekundi, in his 
At-taraf, — agree that Al-mansur was originally from a town called Toresh [Torres ?] , 
in the neighbourhood of Algesiras. His ancestor, 'Abdu-1-malek, was one of those 
noble Arabs who entered Andalus at the same time with Tarik Ibn Zeyad. His 
father, 'Abdullah, surnamed Abu Hafss, was bom at Algesiras, but removed when 
young to Cordova, where he learned [sacred] traditions from Mohammed Ibn 
'Omar Ibn Lubabah, Ahmed Ibn Khaled, Mohammed Ibn Foteys, 8 and other 
eminent theologians of his time ; composing also various works on the subject. 
'Abdullah left Andalus for the East, where he fulfilled all the duties of a pilgrim. 
He was an honest and virtuous man, very religious, and he led a very austere life, 
keeping aloof from kings and great men. He died in Africa as he was returning 
from his pilgrimage ; some say at Tripoli, others at a place called Arkadah. 9 The 
year of his death is not stated, but it is generally believed that he died towards 

the close of An-nasir's reign. 

When still young, AUmansur travelled to Cordova, where he studied and settled. 
Having established a shop or office close to the gate of the royal palace, he for 
some time earned his livelihood by writing letters or petitions for such among 
the servants of the royal household as stood in need of them. At last, one of 
the Sultan's wives, named Sobha, 10 who was the mother of Hisham, happening to 
want a confidential secretary, one of the eunuchs of the palace, who was an intimate 
friend of Al-mansur, recommended him to that princess, who at first employed 
him in writing several things she wanted, and afterwards appointed him her 
secretary. Being a shrewd and intelligent man, Al-mansur had no difficulty in 
gaining the favour of the princess, who introduced him to her husband, the Sultan 
Al-hakem, requesting him to confer on her protege some lucrative appointment. 
AUrakem then made him Kadi of a town ; and as Al-mansur distinguished himself 
in that capacity, he was shortly after promoted to the office of collector of tithes 
and duties; upon inheritances at Seville. He then returned to Cordova, where 
he so contrived to gain the heart of Sobha, by the rich presents he made her, and 


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his attention to her service, that no man in Cordova enjoyed so much favour. 
His next office was that of master of the mint, which he filled for some time. An 
interesting anecdote has been preserved, showing his kindness and his excessive 
liberality even towards strangers, which happened at the time he was at the head of 
that establishment. Mohammed Ibn Aflah, one of Al-hakem's pages, had once 
occasion to go to the mint for the purpose of selling some silver ornaments which 
he possessed. " I had spent at my daughter's wedding," said the page to the 
author who preserved the anecdote, " more money than I could well afford, so 
" that I was actually reduced to poverty, and had nothing left save a bit and bridle 
" ornamented [with silver], 11 which I took to the mint, in order to obtain its value 
" in money. Being introduced to Mohammed Ibn Abi 'A'mir, who was at that 
" time master of the mint, and whom I found sitting behind piles of coined 
" dirhems, I made known to him my errand, and told him how I had been reduced 
" to poverty by my daughter's wedding. Having listened attentively to my 
account, he seemed greatly rejoiced ; and having weighed bridle, iron, leather, 
and all, he gave me the weight in dirhems, with which he filled my cap. I 
" could hardly believe my senses : such a trait of generosity on the part of 
Mohammed towards a stranger, whom he had never seen, so far captivated 
my heart, that had he then asked me to enter into a conspiracy to deprive 
my master Al-hakem of the throne, by Allah ! I really think I should: have 
" accepted his proposition. I need not add, that, upon counting down the money, 
" I found there was enough to pay my daughter's dowry; which I did, and had 
" besides a large sum left for my own private use." 

It was also during his occupation of that office that Al-mansur caused a palace of 
silver to be wrought, which he presented to Sobha. It was carried to the dwelling 
of that princess on the heads of several men ; and she was so pleased with the 
present that from that day forward she became his patron, and that she again 
introduced him to the presence of her lord and master, Al-hakem, who spoke 
to his courtiers about it, and exclaimed, " By Allah 1 this youth (meaning Al- 
" mansur) has won the hearts and affections of our women with his presents." It if 
also related that Al-hakem, who was greatly addicted to astrology and the science: 
of divination, fancied that Ibn Abi 'A'mir (Al-mansur) was the man mentioned 
in [the book of the] prophecies. He used to say to those among his courtiers 
who followed the same pursuits, "" Do you not observe the tawny colour of his 
" hands ? " On another occasion he said, " If he has a sabre-cut on the head, he 
" is doubtless the man announced." And so it was; for God Almighty decreed 
that some time after the death of Al-hakem, Al-mansur should receive some such, 
wound in a scuffle with Ghalib, the governor of Medinaceli, as we shall hereafter 


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relate. This conversation passed in Al-hakem's lifetime, and before Mohammed Ibn 
Abi 'A'mir had reached the summit of eminence at which he afterwards arrived. 
Al-manstir in the mean time did not neglect to make himself agreeable to the Hajib 
Ja'far Ibn 'Othman Al-mus'hafi, whose protection and good-will he also secured. 

On the death of Al-hakem, his son Hisham Al-muyyed, who was then twelve 
years old, succeeded him. The Rum (Christians) having collected their forces, 
and made some hostile demonstration upon the frontiers, Al-mus'hafi, who still 
retained the post of Hajib, sent Al-mansur with an army against them. God 
Almighty permitted that the Christians should be defeated, and that Al-manstir 
should return victorious from the expedition. This circumstance gained him the 
affections of the people ; and as he was a shrewd and intelligent man, and very 
liberal [to those who seemed disposed to serve him], he began gradually to open for 
himself a path to power. To rid himself of the Sclavonian guard, he united himself 
with Al-mus'hafi, against whom he afterwards employed Ghalib, the governor of 
Medinaceli, whose daughter Asma he married ; the nuptial festivity being celebrated 
with a pomp that surpassed any thing of the sort in Andalus. He next destroyed 
Ghalib, by raising up against him an enemy in Ja'far, the African, the same prince 
in whose praise the celebrated poet, Ibn Hani, 12 composed one of his best kassidas. 
In like manner he employed against Ja'far another chieftain named 'Abdu-r-rahman 
Ibn Mohammed Ibn Hisham At-tojibi. 13 In short, such were his craftiness, fore- 
sight, and courage, that the historian Ibnu Hayyan has filled one volume with nothing 
but the enumeration of the well-planned expedients he put into practice, in order 
to obtain the supreme power. Such is the abstract of Al-mansur's origin and the 
principal incidents of his life, as derived from the works of Ibnu Sa'id and other 
historians ; but what follows will, perhaps, throw greater light on the career of 

that celebrated usurper. 
Administration By the murder of his uncle, who was dispatched in the manner above related, 
muS AI " Hisham saw himself firmly seated on the throne of his ancestors, and [Ja'far] 

Al-mus'hafi had the entire control of affairs. Ja'far began his administration 
by showing great zeal for the welfare of the people, as well as great humility 
and forbearance in the exercise of his functions. He laid aside all unnecessary 
pomp, and sat along with the Wizirs and other members of the council on a 
. seat similar to theirs. These, however, may be called his only good acts ; for 
soon after he began to distribute the offices of the state [among his friends and 
r^i^ves], and to retain the public treasures for himself. Mohammed Ibn Abi 
; 'AMrtwho was in character the very reverse of Al-mus'hafi, observed a different 
conduct^ /Fb .the avarice and exclusiveness of that Hajib he opposed the most 
unbounded liberality, and to his reserve and haughtiness of temper the most 

■ ■_ _ _■ 

- I- - \ 


agreeable and prepossessing manners, by which means he so captivated the affections 
of the people, that Al-mus'hafi bethought him of taking him for his partner in the 
administration, and appointing him to the post of "Wizir. The zeal and talents 
with which Mohammed fulfilled the duties of his office, and his renewed attention 
to Sobha, the mother of Hisham, soon procured him the favour of that princess, 
and he accordingly rose in power and influence. By his courtly demeanour and 
fascinating manners, he so gained the affections of Sobha, that he became the 
most esteemed officer of the royal household ; and an order from the Khalif 
Hisham came down enjoining his Hajib Al-mus'hafi to consult him upon the. 
most arduous affairs of the government, and not to do any thing without his 
previous consent. In obedience to that command, Al-mus'hafi admitted Mo- 
hammed Ibn Abi 'A'mir to his privacy, and treated him as a kind father would 
his own son, concealing nothing from him, and consulting him upon all business 
submitted to his consideration. But whilst Al-mus'hafi acted thus towards Mo- 
hammed, and relied confidently on him, the latter was secretly betraying him, 
and trying to destroy him in the princess's favour, 14 by always following a contrary- 
advice, and charging him with the result of such measures as were not agreeable 

to the people. 

Mohammed persevered in this path [of intrigue and deception] until he sue- 2mS?. f 
ceeded in working the ruin of Al-mus'hafi, and opening for himself the way to 
exclusive power, as we shall presently relate. Certain of Al-hakem's officers 15 
being an obstacle to his ambitious views, he exiled some, and put others to 
death, until he had scattered and dispersed them all, intrusting their offices to 
creatures of his own, or to people in whom he could confide. He did the same 
with the Sclavonian guard, which he dissolved and scattered through the country, 
putting to death the most influential among them, or those who appeared most 
obnoxious to his views. But as the events which we have just rapidly sketched 
have been fully related by many diligent historians of those times, we will proceed 
to give a few particulars from the most authentic and approved writers. 

According to Ibnu Hayyan, there existed between the Hajib Al-mus'hafi and "^^ 
Ghalib, the governor of Medinaceli, the Sheikh of the maulis, and the champion 
of Andalus, 16 a bitter enmity and great rivalship, which caused them. always to 
be at variance with each other. Ghalib being a very influential man, Al-mus'hafi 
saw his power gradually diminish and his orders continually disobeyed [by Ghalib] , 
until having complained of him to his fellow "Wjzirs, he was advised to try 
every means of conciliation and to make his peace with him. No sooner was 
Al-mansur informed of Al-mus'hafi's determination, than, fearing his reconciliation 
with Ghalib, he applied himself to court the friendship of the latter, with a view 

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to accomplish the ruin of Al-mus'hafi through his means. It happened soon 
after, that Ghalib went out of Cordova to take the command of the army on 
the frontiers, whilst Al-mansur also left that capital upon his second expedition 
against the infidels. Having met together on their return from then- respective 
campaigns, the two generals held a conference together, and pledged themselves 
to effect in common the ruin of Al-mus'hafi. Al-mansur returned to Cordova 
victorious and laden with spoil, by which his fame spread far and wide, and 
his reputation as a general increased. An order then came down from the Khali! 
Hisham removing Al-mus'hafi from the office of Wali-1-medinah," which he 
held at the time, and giving it to Al-mansur, who was also invested with a khl'ah 
or dress of honour by his sovereign's hands ; all this being done without Al-mus hat i 
being previously made aware of it. By obtaining the command of the shortah, 
or police force, Al-mansur opened for himself the gate [to power] . His next 
care was to put in practice all manner of stratagems against Al-mus'hafi, to isolate 
him [from his friends], and to curtail his influence, until he succeeded in leaving 
but a small share of real power in his hands. All this he accomplished with 
the help of Ghalib, who, as before related, had agreed to connive with him at 

the destruction of Al-mus'hafi. . 

Meanwhile Al-mansur filled the functions of his office (Wali-1-medinah) in so 
satisfactory a manner that the citizens of Cordova had no reason to regret the loss 
of their former governors and magistrates. The greatest tranquillity and order pre- 
vailed [through the city] , and justice was speedily administered to the delinquent. 
He continued, moreover, to court the friendship of Ghalib, and to conciliate his 
favour by every means in his power. Al-mus'hafi, on the other hand, being made 
aware of the plans which Al-mansur was forming for his destruction, wrote a 
letter to Ghalib, asking for a reconciliation, and applying, at the same time for 
the hand of his daughter Asma for his son 'Othman. Ghalib consented and the 
proposed marriage was about to be celebrated, when Al-mansur who happened 
to hear of it, stirred himself and wrote to Ghalib, cautioning him agamst Al- 
mus'hafi, reviving his envy and hatred of that personage, and telling him to guard 
against some treacherous act of his. He did more : he persuaded the relatives 
and clansmen of Ghalib to write to him on the subject, until that chieftain, yielding 
to their solicitations, broke off all negotiations with Al-mus'hafi, and gave Al- 
ttahslir the hand of the very daughter [Asma] whom he had prormsed tc 'Othman. 
: -dalliance was concluded in the month of Moharram of the year 367 on the 
:■ "agfefc^s (new year's day), August, a. n. 977/the marriage being celebrated 
MMxhmm pomp and magnificence, the bride was first conducted to the royal 
: pate, ^ where -the Khalif Hisham received her in state, accompanying her after- 

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wards to the bridegroom's dwelling. These marks of distinction increased the 
power and influence of Al-mansur, and doubled the number of his followers and 
adherents, until, compared with him, Ja'far became a mere cipher. 

After this the Sultan [Hisham] appointed Ghalib to the office of Haiib (chain- Ghalib is ap. 

, ,.. r , pointed H&jib. 

berlain), conjointly with Ja'far Almushafi, who, despairing of ever being able 
to supplant his rival, gave up all resistance, and ceased to oppose him in the 
affairs of the administration. Al-mansur, on the contrary, opposed him secretly, 
as well as in public, detaching all his partisans, and gaining them over to his party, 
until Ja'far was actually deserted by all his friends, and had to go alone morning 
and evening to the palace, enjoying none of the prerogatives and power of his 
office, which was merely nominal ; a deserved punishment for the murder of 
Al-mugheyrah and his help to Hisham's accession ! 

Subsequently to this, Al-mansur [Mohammed Ibn Abi 'A'mir] instigated his ^j 1 ^ 1 ®/? 
sovereign Hisham against Al-mus'hafi, his children, relatives, friends, and every g«ce. 
thing appertaining to them. A close account was demanded from them of all sums 
[belonging to the state] which had passed through their hands ; and on the 
slightest pretext they were fined heavy sums, and reduced to poverty. By this 
means Al-mansur succeeded in ruining and destroying that powerful family. A 
nephew of Al-mus'hafi, named Hisham, was the first to feel all the weight of 
his vengeance. This youth had accompanied Al-manstir in his third expedition 
against the Christians ; and as that general was returning to Cordova with a great 
number of heads stored in bags, as trophies of his victory, he stole one of the 
bags, and rode off to the capital, where he bethought him of presenting them to 
his sovereign before the arrival of his general. No sooner was Alrmansur made 
aware of the fact, than he had the youth seized and confined in a dungeon, where 
he was afterwards put to death. As to Ja'far, he soon shared the fate of his 
nephew; for when Al-mansur had ruined him and reduced him to poverty, so 
much so that he was compelled to sell him his house in the Rissafah, which was 
one of the most magnificent residences in Cordova, he persecuted him for two 
consecutive years, keeping him sometimes in prison, and sometimes out of prison,:— 
sometimes residing at court, at other times exiled, — always fined in heavy, sums 
of money, until he annihilated him entirely and broke his spirit, when jhe was 
cast into one of the dungeons of Az-zahra, where he ended his days, according is imprisoned 

and put to 

to some authorities, from the effects of poison administered to him ; arid, according death, 
to others, from grief and disappointment. 

Treating of this unfortunate "Wizir, the author of the historical work entitled 
Raudhatu-l-azhdr wa bahjatu-n-nafus wa nozhatu-l-abssdr (the flower-garden, the 
delight of the mind, and the recreation of the eye), 18 says, " "When, in pursuance.of 

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" Al-mansuYs orders, Al-mus'hafi was arrested and confined in one of the dungeons 
of Az-zahra, those among his friends and relatives, who had accompanied him 
thither, took an affectionate leave of him, and, with tears in their eyes, gave 
"him the embrace of separation. 'Friends!' said Al-mus'hafi to them, 'this 
" is the last time that you will see me alive; for the moment is come when 
" a prayer must needs be fulfilled, which I have been expecting for upwards of 
" forty years/ His friends having expressed a wish to know what the prayer was, 
Al-mus'hafi informed them how, during the reign of An-nasir, he had been 
instrumental in committing to prison a man, who remained long in confinement. 
" < One night,' said Al-mus'hafi, 'I dreamed that I heard a voice saying to me, 
"Take such a one out of prison, and whatever prayer he may happen to make in 
" thy behalf will be attended to. I did as I was commanded, and liberated the 
" man. Having then made him come to my house, I acquainted him with my 
" dream, and asked him to form a prayer; upon which he said, I ask God that 
" whoever was concerned in my committal to prison may himself perish in the 
"narrowest dungeon! After this, friends!' added Al-mus'hafi, 'there can be 
" no doubt that the man's prayer is about to be fulfilled, since I was one of 
" those who put him in prison, although I afterwards repented of the deed when 

" it was too late.' " 

However, Al-mus'hafi, as before related, died in prison, when his body was 

given up to his friends for interment ; for the following anecdote has been preserved 

by one of the Katibs of Al-mansur, named Mohammed Ibn Isma'il. " I once 

" accompanied Mohammed Ibn Moslemah to Az-zahra for the purpose of delivering 

" the body of Ja'far Ibn 'Othman Al-mus'hafi to his friends and relatives, according 

"to the instructions given us by Al-mansur. "We proceeded to the apartment 

" of the deceased, whom we found stretched on his bed, and covered with an 

" old tattered cloak which one of the gaolers had thrown over him. The body 

" was then washed upon the back of a door, which had been torn from its hinges 

" from one of the rooms ; after which it was carried to the burial-place, followed 

" by none save the Imam of the mosque, who had been engaged to recite the 

" funeral prayer over him, and by such among his sons as happened to be in 

" Cordova at the time. The sight of such a scene made me reflect upon the 

"inconstancy of fortune; I recollected having once seen Ja'far ride from his 

^;,Own dwelling to the royal palace, followed by a numerous suite of relatives and 

^Mtierents. The streets and markets through which he passed were thronged 

^ithiipepple of every description, who were desirous to see him or had some 

"petition=;to present to him. I myself having a memorial to place in his hands, 

"made my way through the crowd, and delivered it to one of the Katibs or 

----,^"" — ~ r - -- V 

■ **.- . i . _ 



i. i 



secretaries who rode by his side. Shortly after this, Al-mansur became the 
enemy of Ja'far, had him imprisoned, and made him follow him in all his 
campaigns, treating him with the greatest contempt. I happened, in one of 
our expeditions to Galicia, to pitch my tent close to that of Ja'far. I recollect 
very well that Al-mansur had issued orders that no fires should be lighted 
that night in the camp, for fear the enemy should discover our position, and 
defeat his plans of attack ; and, by Allah ! I saw Ja'far with a little brazier 
of charcoal, which he dexterously concealed under his clothes, blowing now 
and then into it, lest the fire should go out. I saw more; I saw 'Othman, 
the son of Ja'far, carrying to his tent, and actually bending under the weight 
of it, a large trough full of flour kneeded with water, the only food which he 
and his father had to keep themselves from starvation. I then heard 'Othman 
repeat the following verses : 

' I strove in vain for a change of my fortune ; I saw it return as often 
' and faithfully as the free maiden to the appointed meeting. 

' By Allah ! the days roll on, but I cease not to be tormented by the 
' agonizing thought of my evil fate. 

' Days [these are] which invariably bring round a succession of calamities, 
' and from which all happiness and joy have taken their departure : 

' Nights, the wearisome hours of which no pastime beguiles ; and in which 
' my misfortune itself sees nothing [pleasant] to be angry at. 

1 But what are days but clouds, which pour down their contents sometimes 
c to benefit and sometimes to injure the earth?' " 19 
Thus died Ja'far Ibn 'Othman Al-mus'hafi : as to Ghalib An-nasiri, 20 he soon 
shared a similar fate. Having accompanied Al-mansur in one of his campaigns, 
both generals happened to ascend to the top of a castle for the purpose of recon- 
noitring the neighbouring country. A dispute having arisen between Al-mansur Ai-mansur's 
and Ghalib [as to the best plan to be adopted], the latter grew exceedingly angry, with gmhi>. 
and said to Al-mansur, " Thou dog ! it was thou who spoiledst the monarchy 
" and dismantledst the fortresses [on the enemy's frontier], with a view to the 
" usurpation of the royal power." He then drew his sword and attacked Al- 
mansur, whom he wounded on the head ; and he would undoubtedly have killed 
him, had not some officers, who were present, prevented him by seizing his arm. 
Fearing lest he might renew the attack upon his person, Ibn Abi 'A'mir preci- 
pitated himself from the top of the ramparts ; but God permitted that he should 
find something in the air which broke his fall, and prevented his destruction. 
His followers then took him up and conveyed him to his tent, where they took 
care of him until he was entirely recovered. Ghalib, moreover, went over to 
vol. n. 2 B 

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the Christians, and made common cause with them ; upon which Ibn AM 'Amir, 

at the head of the Moslem forces, attacked and routed him, until destiny permitted 

Deatu of that t \ iSit Ghalib should die, and that Ibn Abi 'Amir should obtain by his death that 

for which he had been toiling. Thus did Ai-mansur rid himself of all those who 

proved an obstacle to his ambition. 

Some time after these events, some coolness was visible in the relations between 
Hisham and Al-mansur, owing to the calumnies of ill-intentioned people. Being 
aware that the mischief could proceed from no other than the servants of the 
palace, Al-mansur directed his attacks to that quarter, and he scattered them, 
or ruined them, leaving none in place except those in whom he could trust, or 
those from whom he had nothing to fear. He then learned that some of the 
women of the harem had secretly laid their hands on the treasures of the Khalif, 
which were always kept within the palace ; he ascertained that Sidah (the queen 
mother) Sobha, the sister of Rayik, 21 whose feelings towards him were changed, 
had taken large sums of money out of the royal coffers, having upon one single 
occasion abstracted no less than one hundred sealed jars containing gold and 
silver, which by her commands had been removed on the shoulders of the Scla- 
vonian servants, after substituting in their room one hundred others, filled with 
drugs and other things, taken from the palace of the Khalifs, causing labels to 
be fixed to them similar to those on the jars which had been removed : she then 
managed to deceive the city governor, so that she was enabled to take the greater 
part of her plunder out of Cordova unobserved. The amount of money in gold 
and silver thus taken out of the royal treasury is said to have been eighty thousand 
dinars. Ibn Abi 'A'mir having become informed of all these particulars, summoned 
to his presence a number of the household, and informed them how the Khalif 
Hisham, by his natural disposition, was averse to the hoarding of treasures, and 
that he was besides very much given to devotion, and that should the coffers 
of the state be drained [through his want of care], great detriment to the public 
Seizes the cause wou ld ensue : he therefore advised them to transfer the said treasures to a 
hZT ° pi ace f sa fety where they might be kept ; and they were accordingly removed to 

a strong castle, called Az-zahirah, which Ibn Abi 'A'mir had caused to be built 
at some distance from Cordova. Five millions and seven hundred thousand dinars 
in specie is said to have been the amount of treasure which was taken from the 
royal palace on this occasion. Sobha, too, was obliged to restore all the sums which 
shehad taken from the treasury and had not yet removed from the palace. Ibn Abi 
'A^rmrHjecame as intimate as ever with the Khalif Hisham, and made himself known 
to him lor his virtue and his zeal in upholding the foundations of the state; the 
tongue of envy hecame dumb, and the plans of the malevolent were defeated. 

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Having in this manner rid himself of all those who stood near the throne or 
from whom he might apprehend opposition in the government, Al~mans\ir turned 
his attention towards the army, which he hegan to remodel so as to place it entirely 
at his own disposal. For this end he sent people to Africa, to enlist a number - 
of Berbers and Zenatah, whom he divided into companies, the command of which i^*^" 1 *™ 
he gave to African chiefs of the tribes of Senhajah, Maghrawah, Beni Yeferen, Beni 
Birzal, Meknesah, and others. This being done, he seized the person of Hisham 
and concealed him from the sight [of his subjects]: he then usurped all the 
authority in the state, and from his private dwelling in Cordova he filled the 
world with the greatness of the Khalifate and the reverential awe which it inspires, 
having his absolute will in all things; declaring and carrying on war against 
the infidels and others, and enjoying all those prerogatives which appertain only 
to royalty. In order the better to strengthen himself in the position which he 
had taken, he removed the Arabs from all posts of honour and distinction, and 
advanced the Berbers, the Zenatah, and others, whom he had invited from Africa. 
In this manner he accomplished his purpose, usurping the sovereignty, and ruling 
with absolute sway. He moreover built himself a strong castle and a palace to Builds himself 
reside in, which he named Medinat Az-zahirah, 22 into which he conveyed all " the * w * fle ' 
treasures and military stores [of the state], and where he sat, as above related, on 
the throne of the kings, and caused himself to be addressed in royal style, assuming 
the titles of Al-hajib and Al-mansiir (the chamberlain, the victorious). All letters, 
proclamations, and commands, were moreover issued in his own name : he ordered 
that a prayer should be offered up for him from the pulpit after the usual one 
for the Khalif Hisham. The rights and insignia of the Khalifate were entirely 
obliterated, and nothing remained to Hisham Al-muyyed except the putting of his 
name on the coins and on the skirt of the royal robes called tirdz, two prerogatives 
which Al-mansur also enjoyed at the same time ; for he caused his own name to be 
struck on the silver and gold coins, 23 and to be woven into the stuff called tirdz. 
All other rights and prerogatives were dexterously, and by degrees, snatched Vs ^ s the 
from the helpless monarch, who preserved only such a share of authority as nis™** ^^ 
powerful Hajib was pleased to allow him. Al-mansur moreover formed into^an 
army the Berbers and Mamelukes, and surrounded his person with a multitude 
of slaves and foreigners, by the help of whom he maintained himself in the position 
[which he had usurped], and was enabled to overwhelm all those who offered 
him any opposition, or who attempted to compete with him; and through whose 
means he accomplished whatever he undertook. He led his armies to the theatre 
of war, and fought during his administration fifty-six pitched battles, in which 
he invariably came off victorious ; since upon no occasion was the army he 


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commanded, or even a detachment of it, defeated by the enemy ; and never did 
his banner vanish before them. He sent over his forces to Africa, where he excited 
dissension among the native tribes and the princes [ruling over them] until they 
destroyed each other and he became the absolute ruler of "Western Africa, the 
chiefs of the tribe of Zenatah submitting to him and acknowledging his sway. 
He sent over to Africa his son, 'Abdu-1-malek, against the Beni Khazr and their 
chief Zeyri Ibn 'Atiyah, at that time Lord of the Maghrawah and ruler of Fez. 
Having heard that the Berber chieftain, who had formerly been on very good terms 
with him, had spoken disrespectfully of him on several occasions, and had often 
alluded to the state of confinement and seclusion in which he kept his sovereign 
Hisham, Al-manstir determined upon chastising him : for which end he prepared 
a large expedition, the command of which he intrusted to his eldest son, 'Abdu-1- 
malek, who defeated the rebel and deprived him of his states, as will be related 


But to proceed with our narrative. " Soon after the death of Al-hakem," says 

Ibnu Hayyan, " the Christians collected their forces and attacked the Moslems 

" on the frontiers, extending their incursions till within sight of Cordova ; owing 

"chiefly to their not having found in Al-mus'hafi either the resources or the vigour 

" which ought to have been opposed to them. They say that upon one occasion 

" the people of Kal'ah Rabbah (Calatrava) having complained to him of the frequent 

" inroads which the Christians were making into their territory, he ordered them to 

" destroy the bridge 24 upon their river (the Tagus), under the impression that he 

<( would thereby prevent the incursions of the enemy. But this measure was far 

" from producing the desired effect ; and, although the army was then numerous, 

" and the coffers of the state were well filled, [yet the Christians continued their 

<( incursions.] This was one of Al-mus'haffs errors. Mohammed Ibn Abi 'A'mir, 

" on the other hand, having received intelligence from Calatrava, advised Ja'far 

" to collect his army and march against the enemy, reminding him at the same 

" time of the eternal chastisements reserved for those who do not wage war against 

" the infidels. Moved by his arguments, the Hajib summoned the Wizirs to a 

" council of war, and having taken their advice, decided upon making an incursion 

campaigns of " into the enemy's territory ; the command of the army being intrusted to Mo- 

agdnstthe (( hammed [Al-manstir], who received the sum of one hundred thousand gold dinars 

AnaLS!? 80 " [for the payment of the forces]. Mohammed departed at the head of the army, 

' "andi having reached the Thager Al-jaufi (the north-western part of the province 

" of Toledo), laid siege to a fortified town called Al-hammah, entered and plundered 

"its suburb,- and, after an absence of fifty-two days, returned to the capital 

" triumphant,, bringing with him a number of captives and considerable spoil. 

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" The news of this success filled the inhabitants of Cordova with joy, and gained 
" Mohammed the hearts of the soldiers, who, perceiving his virtues and his talents, 
" were eager to die in his service." 

In the year 372, (beginning June 25, a. d. 982,) Al-mansur made an incursion into 
the land of the Galicians, with a view to the destruction of Ashtorikah (Astorga) 
and Liiinish (Leon), two populous cities of those districts. The Christians, however, 
having received timely intelligence of the immense preparations made by Al-mansur, 
deserted those cities, and fled to the mountains with such valuables as they could 
remove ; upon which Al-mansur gave up his undertaking;, and, after laying waste 
the country, returned to Cordova. In the spring of the ensuing year (April — June, 
a. d. 984,) Al-mansur made a sudden irruption into Galicia (Asturias) and marched 
without opposition to Liunish (Leon), which he invested and took, putting the Destruction 
inhabitants to the sword. He next ordered the demolition of the fortifications ; ° 
but finding that, owing to the strength and thickness of the walls, the operation 
was likely to last some time, he gave up his purpose, and proceeded to Ashtorikah 
(Astorga), which he also took. 

" In the year 375," (beginning May 23, a.d. 985,) says one of the historians Transactions 
of Africa, " Al-mansur sent over his cousin Abu-1-hakem 'Omar with a powerful 
" army against Al-hasan Ibn Kamin, the Idrisite, who had taken possession of 
{C the city of Basrah in Maghreb (Western Africa). After besieging him for some 
" time, Abu-1-hakem compelled his enemy to surrender at discretion and throw 
" himself upon the mercy of Al-mansur- who was accordingly consulted as to * 

" Al-hasan's future destiny. But Al-mansur, tutored by experience, 25 would not 
" listen to the voice of mercy, and sent orders for the execution of the unfortunate 
i( prince, whose head was accordingly forwarded to Cordova." 

In the month of Dhi-1-hajjah of the year 374 (May, a.d. 985,) Al-mansur left 
Cordova on a campaign to Catalonia, this being his twenty-third 26 expedition 
to the land of the infidels. He had previously made immense preparations, and 
great levies of troops, causing the jihdd or holy war to be proclaimed throughout 
the dominions of Islam. In order to provision his army, he directed his march 
through the eastern provinces : he thus passed through Jaen, Elvira, Bastah 
(Baza), and Tudmir. From the latter place he went to Valencia, and, after allowing 
some rest to his troops, he entered the dominions of Boreyl (Borel), King of the 
Franks, whom he defeated in a pitched battle, pursuing him till in sight of his 
capital (Barcelona), which he besieged and took by the sword on Monday the Taking of Bar. 
15th of Safar, a.h. 375 (May, a.d. 985). As usual, Al-mansur took with him Cel ° na ' 
to this expedition a number of poets and authors, that they might record his 
high deeds during the campaign. As their names have been preserved by a 

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diligent historian of that age, who also attended the expedition, we shall repeat 
them here, in order that our readers may form an idea of the pomp and splendour 
with which Al-mansur generally marched, and the cultivation of letters during 
his administration. They were as follow : Abu 'Abdillah Mohammed Ibn Hasan 
At-tabi; 27 Abu-1-kasim Huseyn Ibn Al-walid, better known by the surname of 
Ibnu-l-'arif; 28 Al-wadhdhah Ibn Shahid; 'Abdu-r-rahman Ibn Ahmed; Abii-l-'ala 
Sa'id Ibn Al-hasan Al-laghuyi (the rhetorician) , the author of the Fossitss (gems) 
and other works ; Abu Bekr Ziyadatullah Ibn 'Ali Ibn Hasan Al-yemeni (a native 
of Yemen); 'Omar Ibn An-najm 29 Al-baghdadi (from Baghdad); Abit-1-hasan 
'Ali Ibn Mohammed Al-korayshi Al-'abbassi; 'Abdu-1-aziz Ibnu-1-khattib [sur- 
named] Al-mahduid; 30 Abu 'Omar Yusuf Ibn Harun [Al-kindi] Ar-ramedi ; 31 
Musa Ibn Talib ; Merwan Ibn 'Abdi-r-rahman ; 32 Yahya Ibn Hudheyl Ibn 
'Abdi-1-malek Ibn Hudheyl, [surnamed] Al-makfuf (the blind?); Sa'd Ibn Mo- 
hammed ; the Kadi Ibn 'Amrtin Al-korayshi Al-merwani ; 'Ali An-nakkas M 
Al-baghdadi (from Baghdad); Abu Bekr Yahya Ibn Umeyyah Ibn Wahb; Mo- 
hammed Ibn Isma'il Az-zubeydi, 34 the author of the Mokhtassar fi-l-loghah, or 
compendious dictionary of the Arabic language, and many other excellent works 
on rhetoric, grammar, and history ; Ahmed Ibn [Mohammed Ibn] Darraj Al-kastali 
(from Cazalla), surnamed the Mutennabi of Andalus ; Abu-1-faraj Maneyl Ibn 
Maneyl 35 Al-estiji (from Ezija) ; Mohammed Ibn 'Abdi-1-bassir ; the Wizir Ahmed 
Ibn 'Abdi-1-malek Ibn Shoheyd, the author of the Hdnutu-l-' 'attdr ; Mohammed Ibn 
'Abdi-1-malek Ibn Hajur; Mohammed Ibn Al-hasan Al-korayshi, originally from 
the East; Abu 'Obeydah Hossan Ibn Malek Ibn Hani; 36 Tahir Ibn Mohammed, 
better known by the surname of Al-muhandas (the geometrician) ; Mohammed 
Ibn Motref Ibn Shakhis ; 37 Said Ibn 'Abdillah Ash-shantareyni (from Santarem) ; 
Walid Ibn Moslemah Al-more'di ; Ghalib Ibn Umeyyah Ibn Ghalib ; Aghlab Ibn 
Sho'ayb 38 Abu-1-fadhl; Ahmed Ibn 'Abdi-1-wahhab ; Ahmed Ibn Abi Ghalib 
Ar-russafi ; Mohammed Ibn Mas'iid Al-balehi ; 39 'Obadah Ibn Mohammed Ibn 
Mai-s-sema; 'Abdu-r-rahman Ibn Abi-1-fehr Al-albiri (from Elvira); Abu-1-hasan 
Ibn Al-madhi Al-bajeli ; the Katib 'Abdu-l~malek Ibn Sahl ; the Wizir 'Abdu-1- 
malek Ibn Idris Al-jeziri (from Algesiras), surnamed Abu. Merwan; Kasim Ibn 
Mohammed Al-jayyeni (from Jaen) ; the Wizir Hasan Ibn Malek Ibn Abi 

zeyrfibnMe- -.« Xn the year 381," (beginning March 19, a.d. 991,) says the diligent historian 
embassy to IbntuHavyan — who, as is well known, has dwelt longer on the events of that 

time -than on any other comprised in his voluminous work — "there arrived in 
" Cordova an embassy from Zeyri Ibn 'Atiyah Al-maghrawi, Lord of the Zenatah, 
" with a valuable present consisting of various rarities and productions of Africa; 

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" among which were two hundred generous steeds ; fifty camels of the species called 
" mehriyyah, which are renowned for their fleetness ; one thousand shields covered 
" with the skin of the lamt or hippopotamus; several loads of bows and arrows 
" made in the country of Zab, 40 many civet-cats, 41 giraffes, and other quadrupeds of 
"the desert, as rhinoceroses, elephants, lions, tigers, leopards, and so forth; 42 
" one thousand loads of the best dates; one hundred and fifty ostrich-feathers; 
" eight thousand pounds weight of the purest ivory, 43 and other curiosities of that 
" country. There were besides several loads of bornuses and other articles of 
" woollen cloth manufactured in Africa." The object of the ambassadors was 
to announce to Al-mansur the extensive conquests which their master, Zeyri, had 
just made in Western Africa, the greater portion of which he had reduced, causing 
the Khalif Hisham to be proclaimed in all the mosques thereof. The news of 
this success filled the inhabitants of Cordova with delight, and Al-mansur dismissed 
the ambassadors with suitable presents and a letter for the Lord of the Zenatah, 
wherein he granted him in Hisham's name the investiture of all those dominions 
which he had wrested from the enemies of the house of Umeyyah. 

The ensuing year (a.h. 382, beginning March 8, a.d. 992) Zeyri Ibn 'Atiyah 
in person visited Al-mansur in Cordova. This time he brought with him a present Vis | ts that 
still more valuable than the former, containing, among other inestimable objects, CaPltal " 
a bird that could speak both Arabic and Berber, a musk bull, a wild ox, in 
shape resembling a horse (the gnu?), and several other extraordinary quadrupeds; 
two immense lions in iron cages, many loads of dates of the best quality and 
unusual size. Zeyri came attended by three hundred black slaves, all mounted 
on horseback, and three hundred more on foot, besides a large retinue of followers 
from his own tribe. He was received in state and with due pomp by Al-mansur, 
who lodged him in the palace which had belonged to Ja'far Al-mus'hafi, honoured 
and distinguished him greatly during his stay in Cordova, conferred on him the 
title of Wizir, made him a valuable return for his present, and confirmed him 
in the possession of his African states. But whilst Zeyri was in Cordova news 
came that the chief of the Bern Yefenin, 44 named Yadu Ibn Ya'la, taking advantage 
of his absence, had suddenly marched to Fez and entered the ' Idwatu-l-Andalus , 
(or that part of the city peopled by the Andalusians,) where he fortified himself. 
Zeyri returned in all haste to Africa, and, having put himself at the head of his Returns to 
forces, marched against his adversary, with whom he had many sharp encounters, 
until at last he defeated and slew him, and regained possession of the capital in 
the year 383 (beginning February 25, a.d. 993). 

In the course of time, however, Zeyri Ibn 'Atiyah betrayed the cause which 
he had espoused, and became the bitterest enemy of Al-mansur. "What induced 



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" among which were two hundred generous steeds ; fifty camels of the species called 
" mehriyyah, which are renowned for their fleetness ; one thousand shields covered 
" with the skin of the lamt or hippopotamus; several loads of bows and arrows 
" made in the country of Zab, 40 many civet-cats, 41 giraffes, and other quadrupeds of 
"the desert, as rhinoceroses, elephants, lions, tigers, leopards, and so forth; 42 
" one thousand loads of the best dates; one hundred and fifty ostrich-feathers; 
" eight thousand pounds weight of the purest ivory, 43 and other curiosities of that 
" country. There were besides several loads of bornuses and other articles of 
" woollen cloth manufactured in Africa." The object of the ambassadors was 
to announce to Al-mansur the extensive conquests which their master, Zeyri, had 
just made in Western Africa, the greater portion of which he had reduced, causing 
the Khalif Hisham to be proclaimed in all the mosques thereof. The news of 
this success filled the inhabitants of Cordova with delight, and Al-mansur dismissed 
the ambassadors with suitable presents and a letter for the Lord of the Zenatah, 
wherein he granted him in Hisham's name the investiture of all those dominions 
which he had wrested from the enemies of the house of Umeyyah. 

The ensuing year (a.h. 382, beginning March 8, a.d. 992) Zeyri Ibn 'Atiyah 
in person visited Al-mansur in Cordova. This time he brought with him a present Vis | ts that 
still more valuable than the former, containing, among other inestimable objects, CaPltal " 
a bird that could speak both Arabic and Berber, a musk bull, a wild ox, in 
shape resembling a horse (the gnu?), and several other extraordinary quadrupeds; 
two immense lions in iron cages, many loads of dates of the best quality and 
unusual size. Zeyri came attended by three hundred black slaves, all mounted 
on horseback, and three hundred more on foot, besides a large retinue of followers 
from his own tribe. He was received in state and with due pomp by Al-mansur, 
who lodged him in the palace which had belonged to Ja'far Al-mus'hafi, honoured 
and distinguished him greatly during his stay in Cordova, conferred on him the 
title of Wizir, made him a valuable return for his present, and confirmed him 
in the possession of his African states. But whilst Zeyri was in Cordova news 
came that the chief of the Bern Yefenin, 44 named Yadu Ibn Ya'la, taking advantage 
of his absence, had suddenly marched to Fez and entered the ' Idwatu-l-Andalus , 
(or that part of the city peopled by the Andalusians,) where he fortified himself. 
Zeyri returned in all haste to Africa, and, having put himself at the head of his Returns to 
forces, marched against his adversary, with whom he had many sharp encounters, 
until at last he defeated and slew him, and regained possession of the capital in 
the year 383 (beginning February 25, a.d. 993). 

In the course of time, however, Zeyri Ibn 'Atiyah betrayed the cause which 
he had espoused, and became the bitterest enemy of Al-mansur. "What induced 



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never have done, were we to enumerate all the expeditions undertaken by Al- 
mansur to chastise the rebellious Christians of Andalus, and to establish among 
them the supremacy of Islam. Suffice it to say, that during the long period 
of his administration, he never failed to conduct his army twice every year, either 
against the Franks or against the Galicians; and that in all his campaigns, which 
appear to have been fifty-two in number, God Almighty was pleased to grant victory 
to his arms, and to send down confusion and disappointment on the obdurate 
unbelievers. We cannot, however, dismiss this interesting subject without transcribing 
from the work of Ibnu Hayyan his account of Al-mansur's fiftieth 47 expedition 
into the land of the infidels, which ended in the taking and destruction of their 
capital, as it will afford our readers an idea of the march and arrangements of 
Al-mansur's armies, and the prosperous issue of all his military undertakings. 

" Shant Yakoh (Santiago) is a city in the most remote part of Galicia, and invasion of 


one of the sanctuaries most frequented, not only by the Christians of Andalus, 



but by the inhabitants of the neighbouring continent, who regard its church 
with veneration equal to that which the Moslems entertain for the Ka'bah at 
Mekkah ; for their Ka'bah is a colossal idol (statue) which they have in the 
centre of the church. They swear by it, and repair to it in pilgrimage from 
the most distant parts, from Rome as well as from other countries beyond [that 
city] ; pretending that the tomb, which is to be seen within the church, is that 
" of Yakob 48 (James), one of the twelve apostles, and the most beloved by Tsa 
(Jesus) . May the blessing of God and salutation be on him and on our Prophet ! 
The Christians call this Yakob (a word which in their language means Ya'kub) 
the brother of Jesus, because, while he lived, he was always with him. They say 
that he was Bishop of Jerusalem s and that he wandered over the earth preaching 
the religion [of Christ], and calling upon the inhabitants to embrace it, until 
he came to that remote corner of Andalus ; that he then returned to Syria, where 
" he died at the age of one hundred and twenty solar years. They pretend, likewise 
<( that after the death of Yakob his disciples carried his body and buried it in that 
" church, as the most remote part where he had left traces [of his preaching]. 
None of the Moslem sovereigns [who preceded Al-mansiir] had ever thought 
of penetrating as far as that city, or reducing it under the sway of Islam, owing 
to its inaccessible position, the strength of the spot on which it is situated, and 
the many dangers to be encountered on the road to it. The undertaking was 
" reserved for Al-mansur. 

" That general left Cordova in the summer of the year 387, on Saturday, the March of the 
"23rd of Jumada-1-akhar (July 3, a.d. 997), this being his forty-eighth 49 ex- ai4y amme an 
" pedition against the unbelievers. Al-mansur entered the enemy's territory by 
vol. ii. 2 c 

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" the city of Kuriah (Coria). On his arrival at the city [capital] of Galicia 50 he 
" was met by a considerable number of the Christian counts, who acknowledged 
" his authority, with their respective forces, all mounted and equipped [for war]. 
" Having joined the Moslem troops, all together crossed the Christian frontier. 

" Ahmansur had previously given orders that a considerable fleet, well manned 
" with experienced mariners, and having a body of infantry on board, should 
" be fitted out at a port of the western coast of Andalus, called Kasr Abi Danis. 51 
"He had also caused provisions, arms, and every kind of military stores [for 
" the use of his army] to be put on board as evidence of his foresight in military 
"affairs. Following his instructions, the fleet sailed along the coast to a port 
"called Bortokal (Oporto) at the mouth of the river Duroh (Duero), which it 
" ascended to the spot where Ahmansur intended to cross over to the opposite 
" bank. There the fleet cast anchor, opposite to a fortress situated [on the right 
" bank]. A bridge was then constructed with the vessels, by means of which 
" the troops crossed over [to the other bank]; and having been plentifully supplied 
" with the provisions on board the fleet, they prosecuted their march into the 
" enemy's country. Thence the army directed its course to Santiago, traversing 
" extensive districts, and crossing large rivers and deep estuaries, into which the 
"green sea [Atlantic Ocean] pours its tides. The army then spread itself over 
" the rich plains and well- cultivated districts of Fortarish 52 and the neighbouring 
" country. They then came to a high inaccessible mountain to which there 
" was no approach or path, and the sides of which were so precipitous that the 
" guides [confessed] they had never seen the like of it; but by the command 
" of Al-mansur the pickaxe was employed upon the rock, and after much exertion 
" and labour a passage was opened sufficiently large to allow the army to pass 
"through it. The Moslems, however, were amply rewarded for their fatigues 
" on this occasion; for no sooner had they passed that range of mountains and 
« crossed a river called Wfida-Minoh (Mino) than they found themselves among 
" wide-spread plains and well- cultivated lands, through which- they arrived at a 
" monastery called Deyr Kasan, 53 then at the valley of Balanbu 54 upon the shores 
" of the ocean, and next at the fortress of Shant Belay (Sanpayo), which last 
" was taken and plundered of every valuable. From this place the army crossed 
"over to a neighbouring island on the ocean, where a great number of the 
'\ papulation of the districts attacked had taken refuge ; but the Moslems took 
<*j all; those who were on the island prisoners. Thence the army went to the 
'^ mduritain of Morasiah, which is surrounded on most sides by the ocean, and 
« having- traversed it in all directions, expelled all those who were on it, and 
" collected considerable spoil. After this the Moslems crossed two estuaries of 



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" the sea by certain fords which their guides pointed out to them; and having 
" also crossed the river Ulah (Ulla), found themselves in the midst of rich 
" extensive plains, well cultivated and filled with inhabitants. Thence the army 
" went to a place where there was a church dedicated to St. James. This 
" sanctuary is held in great estimation by pious Christians, who look upon it 
" as second only in sanctity to the church where the tomb is kept, and repair 
" to it from the most remote parts [of Christendom], from Nubia, from the land 
" of the Kobts, and other distant countries. This place the Moslems completely 
" destroyed. 

" The next march brought the army to Santiago, the doomed city. This was Taking and 
" taken on Wednesday, the second day of the month of Sha'ban (Aug. 10, a.d. ofslSgo. 
" 997). The Moslems found the city deserted ; they took all the spoil which could 
" be found, destroyed the public buildings and fortifications, and razed its church 
" to the ground: the tomb only of St. James was preserved, Al-mansur having 
" appointed people to take care of it, and prevent any profanation. All the public 
"buildings [of Santiago] were very solid and of wonderful structure; yet they 
" were so completely destroyed, that nobody could have imagined [to see the flat 
"surface] that they had stood there only the day before. 

" After wasting the neighbouring country the army arrived at the island 
" (peninsula) of Shant Manikas (San Cosme de Mayanca), where that region 
" terminates abruptly upon the ocean, a spot which no Moslem had ever reached 
" before, and which no human foot had trodden except that of its native inhabitants. 
" There being no land to be seen beyond that island where the horses could move, 
" Al-mansur ordered a retreat, after having penetrated where no Moslem had 
" ever been before him. Passing again by Santiago he directed his march to 
" the country occupied by Beremund Ibn Ordrnin (Bermudo, son of Ordofio,) with 
" a view to the destruction and wasting of his territory. Having in this way 
" arrived at the districts of the allied counts who were in his army, he ordered 
" his soldiers to desist from further ravages, and passing rapidly through their 
" territory, arrived at a castle called Beliko, 55 which he had reduced [on a former 
"occasion]. Having there assembled the Christian counts who had assisted 
in the enterprise, he rewarded each man according to his rank, distributing 
dresses of honour among them and their followers; after which he dismissed 
' them to their respective countries- In this campaign Al-mansur gave away 
to the Christian princes and others who had shown themselves the friends of 
the Moslems, two thousand two hundred and eighty-five pieces of the silken 
" stuff called tirdzi, of various colours and patterns; twenty -one dresses of seal- 
" skin; 56 two dresses of the stuff called anbar; 5>7 eleven of scarlet cloth; fifteen 


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" marishdt; seven horse-cloths made of hrocade; two dresses of the same stuff 
" manufactured in Greece ; and two others lined 58 with weasel-skin. 

" From Beliko Al-mansur dispatched messengers to Cordova with letters, in 
" which he informed [the people] of the conquests he had achieved, the victories 
" he had gained, and the immense spoil which the Moslems under his orders had 
" taken from the infidels. The whole of the army then reached Cordova loaded 
" with plunder, after experiencing [during the whole campaign] the favours and 
" protection of the Almighty. They say that the Moslems found no living soul 
" at Santiago except an old monk who was sitting on the tomb of St. James. 
" Being interrogated by Al-mansur as to himself and what he was doing in that 
"spot, he answered, 'lama familiar of St. James;' upon which Al-mansur 
" ordered that no harm should be done unto him. It is also related that Al-mansur 
" ordered the bells of the church to he removed to Cordova on the shoulders 
" of Christian captives, to be suspended [as lamps] from the ceiling of the great 
" mosque, to which a considerable addition was then being built by his orders." 
But we have already recorded the fact in our description of that capital. 

We have elsewhere slightly alluded to the state of confinement and seclusion 
in which Al-mansur kept his sovereign Hisham. Indeed all contemporary historians 
relate that his person was so carefully concealed from the sight of the public, 
that many of his subjects never saw him once during their lives. It is true 
that now and then Hisham would ride out with some of his women to some 
garden or pleasure-house [in the neighbourhood of Cordova] ; but on such occasions 
he and his women were covered with bornuses, which concealed their figures and 
prevented their being recognised by the people passing : a numerous escort, 
moreover, cleared the road by which they had to pass. In this manner Hisham 
reached the place of his destination, and, after spending some hours there, was 
conducted back to his palace with equal care and secrecy. If Al-mansilr was 
absent from Cordova on some military expedition, he took care to appoint 
confidential people, who saw his orders executed and kept a vigilant eye over 
Hisham, taking care that none of his subjects should see him or approach him 
on any consideration. However, towards the close of his administration, Al- 
mansur relaxed a little in his conduct ; for, hearing that the people of Cordova, 
most of whom had never seen Hisham, murmured at his confinement, and even 
gave out that he had put him to death, he produced him in public, and rode 
that , celebrated cavalcade, to witness which an innumerable concourse of people 
left their dwellings. Hisham rode out ornamented with all the insignia of the 
Khalifate, whilst Al-mansur walked before him with a rod in his hand, leading his 
master's steed by the bridle. In this manner they paraded the principal streets 

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of Cordova, and the eyes of the people feasted on what had so long been concealed 

from them. 

By this and other contrivances Al-mansur managed to concentrate in himself 
all the power of the state, and to usurp the inheritance of the Beni Umeyyah. 
Fearing lest the members of that royal family should revolt against him or oppose 
the execution of his ambitious designs, he secretly dispatched, under various 
pretences, all those who stood nearest to the throne, or who seemed more 
dangerous to him, and the remainder he exiled to the provinces, obliging them 
to hide themselves in obscure and retired cells, and to exchange the splendour and 
magnificence of their convivial halls for a life of misery and privation in lonely 
woods and dreary deserts. Alluding to this rapid change of fortune, a poet 
has said—- 

" sons of Umeyyah ! where are now your [princes shining like] full 
" moons in the dark night? where are your constellations? where your stars? 
" Your lions were absent from their native forests when this usurper seized 
" on your empire." 59 

In the month of Safar, a.h. 392 (Jan. a. d. 1002), Al-mansur prepared to 
invade for the fifty-second time the country of the infidels, intending to direct 
his attacks on the side of Kashtelah (Castile). Having summoned from Africa 
a considerable body of troops, which met him at Toledo, he reached the banks 
of the Duron (Duero) , in the neighbourhood of which he committed great ravages 
and depredations. Having thence ascended the river, he penetrated into the 
dominions of the Count of Castile (Sancho Garcez), whom he found encamped 
near a castle called Kal'at An-nosor (the castle of the eagles), with innumerable 
troops collected from the neighbouring Christian "kingdoms. Al-mansur attacked 
and defeated him with great loss. 60 

On his return from this expedition Al-mansur was seized by an acute disorder, Death of 
which caused his death. He, nevertheless, continued to wage war against the 
infidels, and to waste their territory, until, his disease increasing, he was placed in a 
wooden litter, on soft cushions, and covered with an awning and curtains. In 
this manner he was carried on the shoulders of his men, surrounded by his troops, 
until he arrived at Medmah Selim (Medinaceli) . His physicians being greatly- 
divided as to the nature of his complaint, it naturally aggravated until his life 
was despaired of. He used to say, "I leave behind me twenty thousand clients, 
' ( all of whom are happy and contented; may they to-morrow have no worse 
"master than myself!" Perhaps he meant that twenty thousand warriors 
attended him on that expedition ; but, according to all accounts, the armies of 
Andalus in his time amounted to a much greater number, since he is said to have 

?•&* ,3 S; --PS*™*****" m^-t-***-^ i^^- 




once passed in review on the plain of Cordova upwards of six hundred thousand 
men; and a contemporary historian relates that at the time of the expedition 
into Galicia, which terminated in the taking of Astorga and Leon, the invading army 
consisted of twelve thousand mounted Africans, five thousand Andalusians, and 
forty thousand infantry, besides an immense number of volunteers, who joined 
the expedition, and flocked under the banners of Al-mansur for the purpose of 
participating in the rewards awaiting the Moslems who fight for the extension 
of the true religion. But to return. 

In his last moments Al-mansur showed great solicitude for the future destinies 
of Cordova, and it is added that he began to weep, and expressed himself as if 
he feared the immediate dissolution of the empire he had so powerfully extended 
and strengthened. Some time before his death he sent for his son 'Abdu-1-malek 
and some of his most confidential friends, and instructed them respectively [as to 
the management of the government after his death]. He then desired to be left 
alone with his son, to -whom he repeated such instructions as he had already given 
him in the presence of the others. Whenever 'Abdu-1-malek offered, with tears 
in his eyes, to quit the room, that his father might take some rest, Al-mansur 
retained him, and insisted upon his remaining. Then observing tears on his 
countenance, Al-mansur reproached him with his want of courage, saying, " This is 
" to me the first signal of the approaching decay [of this empire].'* He ordered 
him to give the command of the troops to his brother 'Abdu-r-rahman, and expired 
on Monday, the 25th of Ramadhan of the year 392 (Aug. 7, a. d. 1002), 61 at 
the age of sixty-five, as he was born in the year 327 (Oct. 28, a. d. 938), or 
the year of Al-handik (' Atnu-l-handik) , as it was called by the people of Andalus, 
owing to the disastrous battle of that name fought under the walls of Zamora 
between the Christians and the Moslems. 

r -V- 

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_ ■■■■.-.! ." XJ— ■>_ 

CHAP, r.] 





State of literature under Hisham II.— Arrivals in Cordova— Notice of S&'id Al-laghuwi— Anecdotes 
respecting Al-mansur— His love of justice— His attention to business— His wisdom and sagacity— His 
experience in military affairs— Other anecdotes of Al - man siir— Buildings erected by him. 

It has been remarked, that after the death of Al-mansur the Mohammedan empire 
in Andalus began to give visible signs of decay : the Christians, who during the 
administration of that victorious Hajib had been almost reduced to the condition 
of slaves, put aside all their former fears, and, assailing the Moslem territory 
on all sides with the greatest fury, aimed many mortal blows against the sinking 
body of Islam. Although the valiant Almoravides, and the still more brave Al- 
mohades, stayed for some time the ruin of the common cause, yet their splendid 
victories were of no avail ; and scarcely two centuries had elapsed since the death of 
Al-mansur, when Toledo, Saragossa, Valencia, Cordova, Seville, and other im- 
portant cities, which had once proved so many impregnable bulwarks, fell one by 
one into the hands of the enemy of God, and prepared the way for the final subju- 
gation of the peninsula by the insolent and accursed Christians. (May the 
Almighty destroy them all!) 

Before we proceed to give an account of the heart-rending calamities by which 
the Moslems of Andalus were afflicted ; of the interminable feuds and sanguinary 
civil wars in which the petty rulers of that country became constantly engaged 
one against another ; of their frequent revolts against their rulers ; of the dastardly 
cowardice of some, and the overweening ambition of others; of their contempt 
of all divine and civil laws ; of their enormous sins, which accelerated the ruin 
of our empire in Andalus ;~~we think it opportune to bring before our readers a 
few more extracts respecting the reign of Hisham and the administration of his 
enlightened and never-vanquished Hajib, Mohammed Ibn Abi 'Amir Al-manstir. 

"^> ^j l ■ y ^ 1 *k-» - 

■- : - -_" 




State of litera- 
ture under 
Hish6m II. 

During the reign of Hisham II., and under the administration of Al-mansur, 
literature and the sciences flourished in Cordova. Even the Sclavonian eunuchs 
of the palace cultivated it with the greatest success ; and Ibmi Hayyan has pre- 
served the names of several who distinguished themselves by their productions 
in various Kinds of literature. One of them was Fatin, who had not his equal 
in the knowledge of the Arabic language, and at whose death in 420 (a. d. 1029), 
a splendid collection of valuable books was sold. A Sclavonian named Habib is 
said also to have written a work entitled " clear proofs and victorious arguments 
[in favour] of the excellences of the Sclavonic race/' 1 in which he introduced 
all manner of entertaining anecdotes, history, and verses of the Sclavonians. Ibn 
Joljol wrote his history of the Andalusian physicians, and 'Obadah Ibn Mai-s-sema 
that of the Andalusian poets. Abu-1-mugheyrah Ibn Hazm, who was a Wizir of 
Al-mansur, Abu-1-walid Ibnu-1-faradhi, Ibn Sahnin, Ibnu-d-dabbagh, Ibn Jesur, 
Abu 'Abdah Hasan Al-laghuwi, and Yusuf Ibn 'Abdi-1-barr, wrote each a history 
of his own times. Az-zubeydi wrote the lives of celebrated grammarians who 
were natives of Andams, as well as those of eminent lawyers and theologians ; 
and Ahmed At-talamanki those of all the historians, with the titles of their works, 
&c. We forbear mentioning the poets, theologians, orators, and rhetoricians who 
flourished under this reign, for they were as numerous as the sands of the ocean. 

Many men, too, distinguished by their talents or renowned for their proficiency 
in some department of science or literature, visited Andalus under this reign, 
and were induced, through the liberality of Al-mansur, to fix their residence in 
Cordova. In their number were Ahmed Ibn 'Ali, a native of Baghdad, 'Abdullah 
Ibn Ibrahim, Abu Bekr Al-azrak, Mohammed Ibn 'Abdi-1-wahed Az-zubeyri, sur- 
named- Abu-1-barakat, a native of Mekka, Ahmed Ibn Fadhl Ad-dinawari, and 
others, who settled in the capital and became celebrated by their writings. 2 
Notice of s>'id Among the most celebrated was Abu 'Ali 3 Sa'id Ibnu-1-huseyn Ibn 'Isa Ar-raba'i, 
Ai-iaghuwh gurname( j Al-laghuwi (the philologist), who was a native of Baghdad, but originally 

from Maussal. Ibn Bessam says that Al-mansur, having heard of his talents 
for poetry, sent for him and invited him to Cordova, imagining that he would 
eclipse the fame of the celebrated poet Abu 'Ali Al-kali, who, as before related, 
came from Baghdad during the reign of 'Abdu-r-rahman An-nasir. " But Al- 
(< mansur," continues Ibn Bessam, " found nothing in Sa'id to justify the high 
"opinion which he had formed of him; and, moreover, the learned men of 
'■' ; -'" Cordova became his enemies, and spoke in the worst possible terms of him, 
" of nis learning, understanding, and religion. They called him a liar and an 
"impostor, and. they would neither receive traditional information of any sort 
" from him, nor give credit to his words. When he composed his Fossuss (the 

Arrivals in 



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CHAP. I.] 




" book of gems), they criticised the work, and threw it, out of contempt, into the 
" river." It is true that, if we are to believe the authors of that time, Sa'id 
was more remarkable for his quickness at repartee, and his facility in composing 
verses extempore, than either for his learning or his veracity, as the following 
anecdote will show. One day as Al-mansur was sitting in his hall surrounded 
by the highest functionaries of his court and empire, and by all the men of his 
court eminent for their learning, as Az-zubeydi (Abu Bekr Mohammed), Al-'assemi, 
Ibnu-l-'arif, and others, he said to them, "Here is a man lately come among us 
" who pretends to be better informed [than any man in Cordova] in these sciences, 
" and I wish to put him to the test." He accordingly sent for him, and Abu - 
'Ali came and prostrated himself before him, and was struck with awe and astonish- 
ment at the numerous assembly. Al-mansur then rose from his couch, and 
advancing towards him, asked him about Abu Sa'id As-sirafi, a learned man whom 
Abu 'Ali pretended to have met in his travels, and to have read under his direction 
the book of Sibauyeh. Agreeably to the instructions of Al-manstir, Al-'assemi 
began to interrogate Sa'id about that work, and to put to him several questions 
respecting the science of grammar; but Sa'id answered not a single one, alleging 
as an excuse that grammar was not his favourite study : upon which Az-zubeydi 
said to him, " Will the Sheikh let us know that in which he is most versed, 
" that we may try his powers?"—" Philology," 4 answered Sd'id._ " Very well," 
replied Az-zubeydi; " tell us then what is the measure of aulak)' Upon which 
Sa'id burst out laughing and said, "Is it to one like me that thou puttest 
"such a question? Thou hadst better ask a school-boy."—" That may be," 
said Az-zubeydi, " but, such as it is, I am sure thou canst not answer it." Sa'id's 
countenance suddenly changed, and he remained for some time silent; at last 
he said, " The measure of aulak is afal" 5 — " It is not," said Az-zubeydi ; " and 
" if thy master told thee that, he told thee a most egregious lie."— " How is that? 
"does the Sheikh find fault with ray derivation ?"—" Yes, I do/' replied Az- 
zubeydi. " Well then," said Sa'id, « it is not to be wondered at, for my principal 
(( strength lies in knowing verses and history by heart, in explaining enigmatic 
" sentences, and in the science of music." Sa'id was next attacked by Ibnu-l- 
'arif, who disputed some time with him: but the former came off victorious ; for 
scarcely was there a word uttered in the assembly * but Sa'id immediately replied 
with a quotation in verse, or with some anecdote in illustration of it, — a performance 
which struck Al-mansur with amazement. He then showed him the Kitdbu-n- 
nawddir, which Abu 'Ali Al-kali wrote in praise of the Beni Umeyyah, which 
being examined by Sa'id, he said to Al-mansur, " If thou givest me permission, 
" I will compose a book in thy praise that shall be more valuable than this; I 




" say more, I will not touch upon any of the subjects treated by Abu 'All." 
The permission being granted, Sa'id retired to the jdmi' or principal mosque in 
the city of Az-zahirah, and wrote his work entitled Al-fossuss (the gems). No 
sooner had he completed it and presented it to Al-mansur, than the learned 
men of Cordova, who were all anxious to see how Said had treated the subject, 
immediately procured copies of it. What was their astonishment to find upon 
perusal that not one word or quotation in the book was true, and that no story 
[of those mentioned] could be traced to a source known to them ! They therefore 
agreed unanimously to expose Sa'id's impudence, and make his ignorance public 
to the world. They requested Al-mansur to have some quires of white paper 
bound together, so as to present the appearance of a written volume, with the 
following title, Kitdhu-n-nekat (the book of lies) ; its author Abu-1-ghauth, of San'a. 
The book was then placed in a spot where Sa'id might see it when he entered 
the hall. The stratagem succeeded completely: no sooner had Sa'id cast his 
eyes on the volume than he exclaimed, " I know this work well; I read it in such 
" a country, under the direction of such a Sheikh." Al-mansur then took the 
volume into his hands, for fear that Sa'id should open it and find out the 
stratagem, and said to him, " Well, then, since thou hast read it, tell us of its 
" contents." — (( It is so long since I perused it, that I am afraid I do not recollect 
" any portion of it, however small ; but this I can say, that it is composed of 
" detached pieces without either poetry or anecdotes."—" Leave my presence 
" immediately/' said Al-mansur; " I never saw a greater liar than thou. May 
" God free me from men of thy stamp !" He then commanded that Sa'id should 
be sent out of the room, and his book thrown into the river, as was done. 

It was in allusion to this occurrence that one of the poets of Cordova said— 

" The book of the gems is now engulphed in the river; may all bad books 
" meet with a similar fate !" 

To which Sa'id replied in the following verse : 

" The gems have returned to their mines, for in the bottom of the sea the 

" gems are found." 6 
Ibn Khallekan relates that Al-mansur had given Sa'id five thousand dinars 7 for 

the composition of that work. 

With all Sa'id's impudence, and his utter disregard of those qualities which 
aught to ornament a good poet, he nevertheless was at times extremely happy in 
to ideas, and no other poet of his time surpassed him in facility of extempore 
composition. The author of the Beddya? -l-beddyat (admirable beginnings) 8 relates 
that Sa'id once attended a drinking-party at the house of one of his friends. When 
it came to his turn to drink, the page who poured out the wine filled Sa'id's cup 
out of a jar. which he held in his hand. One of the company observing at the 


_^i> _ y : - :+ r_ ■ ■'_ l. < 


mouth of the jar a drop of wine, which remained fixed to it, begged Sa'id to 
describe it in verse ; and he said, without the least hesitation, — 

' ( When the fragrancy of the garden reaches us, it puts us in mind of the 
" sweet-smelling musk : 

" So does this jar of ours, with the wine in its mouth; it reminds us of a 

" hird carrying a ruby in its bill." 9 

Among the extraordinary anecdotes related of Sa'id, the following is one. Upon 

one occasion, as Al-mansur was sitting in his hall, a man came in and presented 

him with a beautiful rose-bud out of season ; upon which Sa'id, who was in the 

room at the time, said extempore these two verses : 

<( O Abu 'A'mir ! the rose just presented to thee will put thee in mind of 
" sweet-smelling musk. 

" See how it hides its head within its calyx, as the timid virgin [hides her 
" face behind her veil] to avoid the look of a stranger." 10 
Al-mansur was delighted with these verses ; but Ibnu-l-'arif, who was also in 
the room, and hated Sa'id most intensely, and was always endeavouring to do him 
all the harm possible, went up to Al-mansur and said to him, " Those two verses 
" are not the composition of Sa'id. I have seen them attributed to a poet of 
" Baghdad who resided in Cairo ; and, what is more, I have them at home on 
" the fly-leaf of a book, and in the handwriting of the author himself 4 ." Al- 
mansur having expressed a wish to see them, Ibnu-l-'arif 11 left the room, mounted 
a horse, and hastened to the dwelling of a poet named Ibn Bedr, one of the quickest 
men of his time in composing poetry. Having told him his adventure, he requested 
him to write a poem in which he might intercalate the two verses delivered by 
Sa'id. Ibn Bedr, who, like most of the Cordovan poets, was exceedingly envious 
of Sa'id, immediately complied with his request, and gave him the following lines, 
which he hastened to produce before Al-mansur : 

" I went one night to the palace of 'Abbasah, when sleep had overpowered 
" her guards. * 

" I found her reclining on her nuptial couch, her energies prostrated by the 
" intoxicating liquor. 

" She said, ' Art thou come to me at the first sleep ?'■ I answered,-' Nay,' 
" and she threw down her cup. 

" And she stretched her hand to a rose, the, odour of which thou mightest 
" compare to sweet-smelling musk ; 

'* A rose hiding its head within its calyx, as the timid virgin [hides her 
' ' face behind her veil] to avoid the look of a stranger. 

" She then said, ( Fear God, and do not insult thy cousin 'Abbasah/ 




" And, turning away from her, I retired carelessly, leaving her disappointed 
" and myself too." 12 
Ibnu-l-'arif took the verses and pasted them on the back of a book written in 
the Egyptian hand, with the capitals and heads of chapters in red ink ; he 
hastened with it to the presence of Al-mansur, who was waiting with the greatest 
impatience. No sooner had he perused the verses than his indignation was roused 
to the highest pitch, and he exclaimed, " To-morrow we will summon Sa'id to 
" our presence ; and, unless he gives us a satisfactory answer to this charge, he 
" shall be banished the country." On the ensuing morning Al-mansur sent for 
Sa'id, who, in obedience to his summons, hastened to the palace. He found 
Al-mansur's hall thronged with courtiers and other persons who had been ex- 
pressly invited for the occasion. In the middle of the hall a large tray, 13 con- 
taining compartments ornamented with every variety of elegant design, had been 
placed by order of Al-mansur. On the roof of the compartments were toys of 
jasmine made in imitation of females, and under the roof a reservoir of transparent 
water, the bottom of which was paved with pearls instead of common pebbles ; 
in the water was a snake swimming. When Sa'id entered the hall and had 
seen all these curiosities, Al-mansur said to him, " This day thou must either 
" rejoice and be happy with us, or else thou must be miserable whilst we are 
" rejoicing. There are people in this room who pretend that none of the verses 
" thou recitest are thy own composition, and certainly we have a proof that 
" this is true with regard to some. Look at that tray, the like of which, I 
"assert, was never placed before any other king but me." He then proceeded 
to enumerate everyone of the curiosities that were on it, and continued: "If the 
" charge brought against thee be false, prove it by describing to me in verse both 
" the tray and its contents." Sa'id immediately said — 

" O Abu 'A'mir! are not thy benefits always flowing, and thy enemies on 
" earth always fearing? 

" [And why should they not] when tjie age brings thee every novelty, and 
" presents thee with more wonders than can [easily] be described ? 

" Here are the flowers which a fertilizing shower engendered, and the stocks 
' ' of which are covered with fringes of yellow and bright green ; 

" Which, to complete their beauty, have female slaves standing opposite 
: " [to them] with a variety of musical instruments in their hands : 
: S 1 Seeking shelter under the roofs of jasmine, as the gazelle looks for a 
J l"M a 4°wy spot [among the trees]. 

" But that most to be wondered at is, that the maids are looking over a 
lake enfolding every beauty ; 


.■ ■. _■. -.-j .■ ■. 

■ > 


" At the bottom of which are pearls instead of pebbles, and in the waters of 
" which sports a poisonous, painted snake. 

" Cast thy eyes around ; thou wilt see its shores filled with animals, among 
" which the turtle is one." H 
Such a composition, and in such a spot, at once established Sa'id's reputation as 
an extempore poet. Al-mansur was exceedingly pleased with the verses, which he 
immediately wrote down himself, for fear he should forget them. There was, 
however, among the curiosities ia the tray, one which Sa'id had not noticed; it 
was a ship, in which was a maiden rowing herself with oars of gold. Al-mansur 
therefore said to him, " Very well, Sa'id; I am pleased with thy verses, only thou 
" hast forgotten to mention the ship with the maid inside." Upon which Sa'id 
said immediately — 

" But what is most to be admired is the crowned maiden in the vessel, 
" whose beauty no tongue can describe. 

" If the waves rock her vessel, she fears for her anchor, and dreads the high 
" winds, precursors [of the storm], 

" Beauty itself is the pilot of this vessel ; holding in her right hand the oar 
" to direct her with. 

" Certainly we never saw before this a palm-grove despoil itself of its trees 
" to place them in the hands of maidens. 

" No wonder if the upper regions [of thy throne] surpass a garden [in 
" verdure], and are spread with glittering gold and myriads of flowers. 

" For thou art a man who has no sooner formed a wish than the necks 
" are stretched out [to accomplish it] ; and benevolence itself trembles for 
" fear of thy displeasure. 

" If I utter a sentence or pronounce an extempore speech, what else is 
" it for, but to sing thy praises ? " 15 
So pleased was Al-mansur with the above two compositions, that he ordered 
to be given to Sa'id one thousand dinars and one hundred dresses ; he assigned 
him, besides, a pension of thirty gold dinars per month on hts treasury, and made 
him one of his common guests. We have already said that Sa'id was celebrated 
above all things for his quickness and facility for inventing lies. Al-mansur having 
once asked him what the hhanboshdr was, he answered immediately, "The khan- 
" boshdr is a plant which the Arabs of the desert use for thickening their milk. 
" In allusion to it an ancient poet has said — 

( The love of her lies as heavily on my heart, as the hhanboshdr adheres 
' to the new milk.' " l6 
We might multiply the examples of the astonishing facility with which Sa'id 


extricated himself from any difficulty, whenever he was asked what he did not 
know, but we will abstain for the sake of brevity, and will only cite the following 
instance of extraordinary coincidence. 

Having upon one occasion presented Al-mansiir with a live stag, he wrote by 
the bearer an elegant kassidah, of which the following detached verses are an 

extract : 

" O refuge of the terrified, asylum of the persecuted, comfort to the 

" vilified ! 

" O string of virtues, and repository of every brilliant quality ! thou art the 
" refuge of the needy. 

" A slave [of thine], whom thou didst take by the hand, and didst raise 

<( from his station, presents thee with a stag. 

" I named it Garsiah, and I send it to thee [with a rope round its neck], 

" that the same may happen with its namesake [the Christian king]. 

" Shouldst thou accept [this my present] , I would consider it as the greatest 

" favour that a generous man can bestow." 17 
Now it happened, in conformity with the decrees of the Almighty, that on the 
very day in which Sa'id presented the stag to Al-mansur and named it Garsiah 
(Garcia), as a good omen, the Christian king of that name (Garci-Fernandez, Count 
of Castile) was taken prisoner by the Moslems. As Garsiah was one day hunting, 
he fell in with a party of Al-mansur's cavalry, who surrounded him, made him 
prisoner with all his suite, and conveyed him to Cordova. Al-mansur was so 
much struck by that coincidence of fate, and moreover was so much pleased with 
Sa'id's verses, that he granted him a greater share of his favour than he had ever 
possessed before, and from that day always defended him against the accusations of 
his enemies. As a proof of the great favour which Sa'id enjoyed with Al-mansur, 
we shall here transcribe an anecdote borrowed from a history of that Hajib, entitled 
Al~azhdru4-manthurahfl-l-akhbdri-l-mdthurah (scattered flowers, or the memorable 
deeds of Ibn Abi 'A'mir). At the twenty-eighth flower (or chapter) of that work 
we read as follows: " One day Sa'id collected together all the rags and tatters 
" of the dresses which Al-mansur had at different times given him, and having 
"sent for his black slave Kafur, he directed him to have a shirt made of them, 
"as if it were patch-work. 18 When the shirt was made to fit him, says Sa'id, 
"" I ; batle Kafur accompany me one morning to the palace of Al-mansur at an early 
t( *hour, Having been introduced to his presence, I remained with him some time, 
<( until, seeing him in good humour, I said to him, ' My Lord ! thy slave has a 


s -. -. — ■. r" - r">^"-\V^H>- "-!-/ 







" request to make/ — * State it/ answered Al-mansur. c I wish for permission 
to introduce here my slave Kafur.' — ' Is it to be now immediately?' replied 
Al-mansur, and he added, ( hast thou nothing more to ask for? ' — * No, I have 
no other request to make, except that he be admitted to thy presence/ — ( Well, 
let it be so/ said Al-mansur; and he accordingly ordered his guards to introduce 
the black slave into the room. Soon after Kafur made his appearance, accoutred, 
as before stated, in a shirt made of patch-work. He being as tall and supple as 
a young palm-tree, the sight was exceedingly ludicrous. Seeing him enter the 
room, Al-mansur said, ( Here comes the master of beauty and the king of rags. 
" Pray what is the meaning of all this ? ' Upon which I answered, * Let the sight 
" of my slave be my answer, and know, O my Lord, that thou gavest me this day 
"the skin of Kafur full of money.' Al-mansur smiled, and said, 'May God 
" prosper those [who like thee] plunge into the depths of enigmatic speech to 
" return thanks for a favour ! ' After which he ordered me a considerable sum 
" of money and a handsome dress, and gave also a very fine dress to Kafur." 

But since we have touched upon the history of Al-mansur, we will not proceed 
any further without transcribing for the use of our readers the most remarkable 
anecdotes of his generosity, worldly wisdom, courage, and justice. 
The story of Mohammed, the bleeder of Al-mansur ; — 
Al-mansur, desiring once to be bled, sent for his bleeder, Mohammed, who was at Anecdotes , 

respecting Al- 

the same time his servant and his confidant. The messenger repaired immediately mansdr— His 
to the dwelling of Mohammed ; but not finding him at home, he ascertained upon 
inquiry that he had just been confined in prison, on a sentence of the Kadi 
Mohammed Ibn Rub, before whom he had been convicted of ill-using his wife ; 
as he thought that his favour with Al-mansur would save him from the punishment 
he deserved. The messenger then returned, and apprised Al-mansur of the cir- 
cumstance, who ordered that the bleeder should be released and brought to his 
presence, under the custody of one of the guards of the prison, and that, after 
performing the operation, he should again return to prison. His orders were 
punctually executed. Mohammed was brought to his presence, and after bleeding 
his master, as desired, was again marched out to prison. They say that as he was 
going out of the room, the bleeder began fo expostulate; but Al-mansur stopping 
him short, said to him, "No, Mohammed! he is the judge, and, if he be right 
"in his judgment, it is not in our power to resist his authority or oppose his 
" sentence : thou art now entirely in his power." Mohammed returned accordingly 
to his prison ; but, soon after, the Kadi, hearing of the circumstance, managed a 
reconciliation between him and his wife, and he was set at liberty in consequence. 
The following anecdote has been preserved on the authority of Sho'alah. I said His attention 

to business. 

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one night to Al-mansur, perceiving that he was watching, il I am afraid that 
"our lord sits up too much at night, and that his body wants more sleep and rest 
" than is allowed to it; and yet no one is better acquainted than he is with the 
" ill effects produced by want of proper rest upon the nerves." He replied, 
" O Sho'alah, kings should never sleep whilst their subjects are at rest ; for if 
" I were to have my full sleep, there would be in the whole of this metropolis 

" nothing but sleepers." 

In illustration of this, an Andalusian writer has preserved the following anecdote. 
Al-mansur was one night sitting [in his audience-room] ; it was a dreadful night, 
the rain came down in torrents, the wind was high, and it was piercing cold 
besides. All of a sudden, Al-mansur sent for one of the horsemen of his guard, 
and said to him, " Go down to Fej-Talyaresh (Tallares) and stop there until 
" thou seest a person pass; seize him, whoever he may be, and bring him hither 
" instantly." The horseman did as he was commanded; he rode to the spot 
which had been pointed out to him, and waited there nearly all night on his horse 
in the midst of the cold, rain, and wind, without seeing a single creature whom he 
might seize and convey to his master, as he had been directed. At last, a little 
before the dawn of day, and just as the horseman was thinking whether he should 
not return to the palace and report the non-success of his expedition, a very old 
man, bent by age, made his appearance, mounted on an ass, and having an axe 
by his side. " Where art thou going to, my good old man?" said the soldier 
to him. " I am going to the forest to cut some wood." Surely, thought the 
soldier to himself, this cannot be the man whom Al-mansur wishes to see ; he 
is only a wood-cutter going to cut some wood, I shall let him go. He therefore 
allowed him to pass on; but scarcely had the old man gone a little way, than 
the soldier recollected Al-mansur's order, and dreading his vengeance, rode up 
to him, and desired him to turn round, and go with him to the presence of Al- 
mansur. " And what can Al-mansur want with a poor old man like myself? 
" Pray let me go, and do not hinder me from earning my livelihood. I entreat 
« thee, in the name of Allah, not to detain me."—" I cannot grant thy request," 
replied the soldier; " my master's orders must needs be obeyed; thou must come 
" along with me." The soldier and his prisoner then proceeded together to the 
palace, and were immediately introduced to the presence of Al-mansur, whom they 
found sitting in his hall, where he had been waiting all night, without retiring to 
rest., No sooner had he cast his eyes on the old man, than he said to the Sclavonians 
of his=:guard, " Search him ! " The person of the old man was accordingly searched, 
but nothing was found on him. " Search then the pack-saddle 19 of his ass," 
said Al-mansur impatiently. This was done as he commanded ; when, behold ! 

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there was found concealed in the lining a letter from certain Christians, who 
were then employed in his service, to their friends, engaging them to make an 
incursion into the Moslem territory, and attack certain districts that were not 
well defended. The ensuing day an order came down from Al-mansur for the 
arrest of the guilty parties, who, together with the bearer of their message, were 
by his orders taken outside the gate of Az-zahirah, and there beheaded. 

An eastern merchant, who traded in jewels, once came to Cordova from 'Aden, 
a city in Arabia. Having repaired to Az-zahirah, where Al-mansur was residing 
at the time, he asked leave to see him, and, being admitted to his presence, he 
forthwith proceeded to display before him all sorts of precious stones, of great 
value, which he had with him. Al-mansur having taken those which he liked 
the most, caused the price of the jewels to be paid to the merchant, who, leaving 
his presence, returned by the same road he had come, taking with him the money 
which he had just received and which he stored in a bag made of a certain stuff 
manufactured in Yemen for fine carpets. The road which the merchant had to 
traverse was a sandy plain, stretching along the banks of the river : the day was 
a hot one, and the sun was high, so that, after travelling some distance, he felt 
an inclination to bathe in the river. He accordingly took off his clothes, and, 
having placed his bag of money upon them, jumped into the water. Scarcely., 
however, had he been in a few minutes, when a kite alighted on the clothes, and 
taking the bag for a piece of meat, seized it in its bill and flew away with its prey. 
For some time the merchant eagerly followed the thieving bird with his eyes ; 
but, at last, it disappeared entirely, leaving him in the greatest possible agony 
of mind. Seeing, however, that his misfortune had no remedy, he put on his 
clothes and went to his dwelling, where the loss which he had just sustained 
so much preyed upon his mind as to occasion him a severe illness, through which 
he well-nigh lost his life. Upon his recovery the merchant went to see Al-mansur 
a second time for the purpose of showing him other jewels ; but he was so altered 
in his appearance, and the gloom and sorrow upon his countenance were such, 
that the Hajib could not but be struck by it, and he accordingly inquired what 
had happened to him; upon which the merchant related to him his adventure. 
"Why didst thou not come to us before? we might perchance have told thee 
" of a plan to recover thy money or find out the thief. Which way did the kite 
"fly?" The merchant answered, "It flew eastwards in the direction of this 
" mountain, close to thy palace," meaning the sandy plain. Immediately upon 
learning this, Al-mansur sent for one of his body-guard, and said to him, "Let 
" all the old men who live in yonder plain repair immediately hither." His orders 
being punctually executed, there soon came before him .several respectable old 

VOL. II. 2 E 



men, who were the heads of so many families. He then directed them to make 
inquiries whether any of the people of the neighbourhood had been observed 
suddenly to pass from poverty to affluence, without any well-known cause. The 
old men did as they were ordered, and, after investigating the case, returned to 
Al-mansur, and said to him, " "We only know of one man in our neighbourhood 
" who was exceedingly poor some time since [and whose condition is now changed]. 
" He used to support himself and family entirely by the work of his hands, and 
" he and his sons always went on foot [or carried their own loads] for want 
" of a beast. We hear that this very day he has bought a nag for himself, besides 
" a complete suit of the best materials for each of his sons." Upon this, Al-mansur 
gave orders that the man alluded to should be brought into his presence the next 
morning, bidding the merchant to be also ready to appear before him at the 
appointed hour. When morning came, the man presented himself to Al-mansur, 
who, upon his entering the room, went straight to him, and in the merchant's 


presence addressed him thus : "If any thing which we have lost should have 


"fallen into thy hands, what wouldst thou do with it?" Upon which the 
man replied instantly, " Here it is, my Lord," and putting his hand into his 
trowsers' pocket, he took out the very bag which the merchant had lost. At 
sight of his lost treasure the merchant shouted with delight, and his joy was so 
great that he actually jumped. Al-mansur then ordered the man to explain 
how the circumstance had happened, and he said, "As I was working in my 
" orchard under a palm-tree, I saw something drop down a few yards before me. 
" I picked it up, and to my great surprise and delight found it to be a handsome 
"bag full of money. When I saw it, I thought to myself, I would swear this 
■". money belongs to our master, Al-mansiir, and that some bird has stolen it from 
" his castle and dropped it in his flight in this neighbourhood. I then opened 
" the bag, and examined its contents ; when my extreme poverty tempted me 
" to take ten gold dinars out of the many which it contained, all the time 
" saying to myself, I have no doubt that when my lord Al-mansur, who is so 
" generous, hears of the circumstance, he will not hesitate to give them to me." 
Great was Al-mansur's surprise when he heard the poor man's story. Having 
taken the bag from him, he handed it over to the merchant, saying, " Take thy bag 
"and count the money; whatever is wanting, thou wilt charge to my account." 
€*he merchant did as he was desired, and, having counted his money, said, " By 
^'-the merits of thy head ! there is nothing wanting but the few dinars he has told 
" us of* and those I willingly give up to him from this moment." "No," replied 
Al-mansur, "the priority in this case belongs by right to us, and it is for us 
"to reward the man [as he deserves]; we will take nothing from thy joy, it 

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" must be complete." Saying this, he caused ten dinars to be given to the 
merchant instead of the ten wanting, and rewarded the gardener with ten more for 
his having had the virtue not to appropriate to himself the whole of the sum that 
fell into his hands. He then said, " Had he confessed [his guilt] before we came 
" to inquire into it, his reward would have been complete." The merchant then 
began to praise Al-mansiir, and finding his spirits returned, he exclaimed, " By 
" Allah ! the fame of this deed of thine shall travel the regions of the world ; it shall 
" be said of thee that thou exercisest over the birds of the air the same power 
" which thou hast over the inhabitants of the land in these thy dominions ; there 
" is no escaping thy will or avoiding thy power." Al-mansiir smiled, and said, 
" Be moderate in thy expressions, and may God pardon thee!" The assembly 
then withdrew in utter amazement of Al-mansur's sagacity in discovering the 
lost treasure, his readiness to allay the merchant's grief, and the benevolence and 
forbearance he displayed in the midst of his power. 

It is related by Abu Bekr At-tortushi (from Tortosa), 20 who held it from Abu-1- 
walid Al-baji, that as Al-mansur was once about to cross the frontier and penetrate 
into the enemy's territory, he ascended to the summit of a hill for the purpose 
of reconnoitring the neighbouring country. Once at the top, he looked down 
and saw his troops encamped in the middle of an extensive plain stretching both 
right and left. Having for a while considered the imposing sight in silence, he 
turned towards the Mukaddam 21 (leader of the van) of his army, whose name was 
Ibnu-l-mus'hafi, and said to him, " What is thy opinion of an army like that?" 
— "My opinion is," answered Ibnu-l-mus'hafi, " that it is a well-disciplined and 
" numerous army." — " I should not be astonished," replied Al-mansur, " if there 
" were in an army of that sort one thousand warriors of undaunted courage, and 
" matchless dexterity in the handling of weapons, capable, in short, of meeting 
" hand to hand the stoutest champion of the Christians." Ibnu-1-mus'hafi made 
no reply to the above observation, and kept silence. " Why answerest thou not?" 
said Al-mansur to him. " Is there not in my army the number and description 
"of warriors that I have just named ?" — "Certainly there is not," was the 
officer's reply. Al-manstir was greatly startled by the answer ; yet he said almost 
immediately, " If there be not that number, at least thou wilt grant that there 
" are five hundred." — " Not even that number," replied Ibnu-1-miisliafl. Hearing 
this, Al-manstir could hardly suppress his anger. "Wilt thou not grant me one 
"hundred?" — "Not even fifty," answered Ibnu-l-mus'hafi, with the greatest 
coolness. — Al-mansur's indignation could no longer be controlled; he foamed at 
the mouth with rage, he abused Ibnu-l-mus'hafi, called him an infidel, a traitor, 
and a coward, and bade him leave his presence immediately, if he valued his head- 

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Some time after this occurrence a Christian army made its appearance on the 
plain where the Moslems were encamped, and as Al-mansur never refused battle 
whenever it was offered to him by the enemy, he marshalled his troops, and made 
every preparation for the forthcoming engagement. The Christians, on the other 
hand, did the same; and the two hosts, having well chosen their ground, divided 
the extensive plain between them. The two armies were already drawn in line 
of battle, and the warriors of both nations were waiting only for the signal of 
their respective commanders to rush upon each other, when, behold ! a Christian 
knight, cased in bright steel, came out from the ranks, and, advancing between 
the two hosts, began to prance his horse and to brandish his spear, challenging 
the Moslem warriors to single combat. " Is there any of you," said he, with a 
terrific voice which resounded through the plain, "who dares to come out?" 
Presently a Moslem champion sallied out; but, after a few blows were exchanged, he 
was unhorsed and slain. Great was the joy of the infidel dogs when they saw 
the Christian knight slay his adversary ; their deafening shouts resounded through 
the air like claps of terrific thunder, whilst the Moslems were dejected and afflicted 
at the death of their comrade. Elated with success, the Christian knight again 
rode his steed between the two hosts, and said, " Is there no one to come out 
" and fight me? If your brave men dare not come alone, let two of them, three 
" more come out, — I will fight them all." Hearing this taunting bravado, another 
Moslem left the ranks ; but alas ! he shared the same fate with his companion. 
" Let three to one come out," cried the Christian with exultation, " one is not 
" enough for me." A Moslem warrior then presented himself, but he was 
immediately dispatched like the two preceding ones. Again the infidels rent 
the air with their exclamations of joy, whilst the Moslems were afflicted and in 
dismay: a sort of panic fear ran throughout the whole army, which, there can 
be no doubt, would have heen easily defeated, had the Christians then commenced 
the attack. Meanwhile Al-mansur was mad with rage, pacing the ground with 
the greatest inquietude, and not knowing what to do to inspire courage into his 
dispirited troops. At last he sent for Ibnu-I-mus'hafi, and said to him, " Hast 
"■thou seen the feats of arms performed by yonder Christian dog?" — " I have," 
answered Ibnu-I-mus'hafi, " I watched attentively all his movements." — " And 
"what is thy advice on this occasion?"— " Explain thy wishes to me," said 
Al-mus'hafi, " and I will counsel thee to the best of my understanding."—" I wish 
"-to; humble the pride of the Christian, and put a stop to his insulting bravadoes." 
" That; can only be attained," said Ibnu-1-mus'hafi, "by finding a Moslem who 
" will be his superior in courage, strength, and dexterity; but I will see to that." 
Without : loss of time Ibnu-I-mus'hafi galloped off to a division of the army where 

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he knew of some warriors renowned for their former exploits, and, having communi- 
cated to them the wishes of their general, a young man belonging to the troops 
of the Thagher came forwards mounted on a lean, sorry nag, extremely weak about 
its hind-quarters, having before his saddle a water-skin; the rest of his apparel 
was equally poor and ludicrous. " Well, my brave youth," said Ibnu-1-mus'hafi to 
him, " didst thou see the Christian slay thy comrades?"— " I did," replied the 
young soldier, " and what are thy wishes?" — " I want thee to bring me his head." 
The youth departed with his water-skin and his sorry nag, and arrived before 
the Christian, whom he attacked immediately. Scarcely a few minutes had elapsed, 
when the Moslem soldier was observed galloping back to his ranks with some- 
thing in his hand, which, at his approach, proved to be the gory head of the 
Christian knight. Having laid his trophy at the feet of Al-mansur, he was 
immediately promoted, and rewarded besides with a very large sum of money. 
Ibnu-1-mus'hafi then observed to Al-mansur, "Was I not right when I told thee 
" that there were not one thousand warriors, nor five hundred, nor one hundred, 
(< nor fifty, nor twenty, nor ten even? The event has proved it. This youth is 
" one of the very few who can pass under that denomination." Al-mansur 
restored Ibnu-1-raus'hafi to his favour, and from that day listened more attentively 

to his advice. 

One of Al-mansur's soldiers once left his banner [fixed in the earth] on a 
mountain close to a Christian town. After the retreat of the Moslem army, the 
Christians of the town, seeing the banner fluttering before the wind on the top 
of the mountain, felt desirous to get possession of it; but not knowing what troops 
there might be behind it, they dared not for several days quit the town. Let 
this be an example of the awe in which the worshippers of the Trinity stood 
in those glorious times of the servants of the only God; for it is a fact that 
whenever the proudest kings of the Christians met [in the field] Al-mansur's 
invincible host, fear lodged in their hearts ; and being convinced that resistance 
in the open field was of no avail, they invariably took to flight and sought refuge 
behind the walls of their towns and castles, from which they never moved, but 
watched from the top the movements of their enemies. 

In one of his campaigns to the land of the Franks, Al-mansur happened to 
pass between two lofty mountains by a narrow road or defile which led into the 
heart of the enemy's territory. No sooner had he crossed the pass, than he began, 
as usual, to make incursions into the neighbouring districts, wasting and burning 
every thing that lay in his • way, and making prisoners right and left. As the 
Franks made no resistance, Al-mansur pushed his ravages further into their country 
for several consecutive days, until, being satisfied with the plunder which he had 

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collected, he thought of returning by the same road he had come. On his 
arrival at the narrow pass he found it strongly guarded by the Christians, who 
had assembled in great numbers to oppose his passage. When Al-mansur saw the 
Christians in possession of the pass, he was not the least disconcerted ; he returned 
with his host to the country which he had lately traversed, and having chosen 
a suitable encampment for his army, set about constructing houses and dwellings for 
his soldiers, as it was then winter-time. This being done, he ordered his men to 
provide themselves with agricultural implements, and directed them to plough 
and sow the neighbouring fields. At the same time he sent marauding parties 
to plunder the country around, and make prisoners, who, when brought to the 
camp, were immediately beheaded, with the exception of the children, who were 
preserved [to be brought up in the Mohammedan faith]. The carcasses of the slain 
were then, by his orders, thrown at the mouth of the pass ; their number being 
so great that the pass was actually blocked up with them, and that for several 
miles round the country became a complete desert. In the mean while the 
Christians sent a message to Al-mansur, offering to let him pass unmolested 
with his army, if he would give up all his plunder and captives ; but this Al-man- 
Stir most indignantly refused : upon which the infidels sent him a second message, 
offering to let him pass with both plunder and captives ; but Al-mansur answered, 
" My men are no longer desirous to cross, but wish to remain where they are. 
" Were they to cross the pass and return [to Cordova], they would soon have to 
" recross it for the ensuing spring campaign. We are therefore determined to 
" stop here till next year, and when we have gone through our campaign then 
". will we cross the pass, and not before." However, the Franks kept importuning 
him until he granted them the peace they implored, on condition that they would 
furnish him with mules to carry his plunder and his captives, and would besides 
supply him with provisions for his army up to the time of his arrival in his 
own territory ; and, moreover, that they should themselves remove the carcasses 
of their countrymen heaped up before the mouth of the pass ; all which conditions 
the Christians faithfully fulfilled, Al-mansur and his army passing unmolested 
through the pass. " By my life," observes the historian from whom the above 
narrative is borrowed, " there never was recorded a more splendid deed than this, 
V or a case in which divine assistance was made more manifest ; for causing 
" the proud enemies of Islam to remove the putrid carcasses of their slaughtered 
*■ countrymen is an exploit unprecedented in the annals of warfare." 

Among the remarkable acts recorded of Al-mansur, and which are not told of 
any other prince, one is, that his army was chiefly composed of [Christian] captives 
taken in his wars with the infidels. It is a well-authenticated fact, corroborated 


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by the testimony of contemporary historians. That with such troops Al-mansur 
should have been enabled to accomplish what he did, and to defeat, wherever he 
met them, the best-appointed armies of the Christians, is only one proof more of 
the favours and assistance which the Almighty was pleased to dispense to him. 

The above extracts are from the work of Ibnu Hayyan ; we shall now transcribe 
from the Azhdru-l-manthurah f(-l-aklibdri-l-mdthurah before mentioned. It is there 
said, in the twenty-ninth flower or chapter, that "As Al-manstir was one day 
" sitting under a tent in the plain outside of Cordova to pass in review his infantry 
£< and cavalry, and see them manoeuvre, 22 the reviewing field being filled with 
" spectators, a soldier belonging to the African corps, and whose name was Watir- 
" mar Ibn Abi Bekr Al-birzali, 23 came up before him, and addressed him in 
" language ludicrous enough to provoke to laughter a man who has just lost his 
" friend or his son. ' O my Lord !' said he, ' neither I nor you have a dwelling, 
and I am actually in the street.' — 'What then is become of thy spacious and 
comfortable dwelling, O Watirmiir ! ' replied Al-mansur to him. * Thou hast 
expelled me from it. May God show thee his favours ! Thou gavest me fields 
and lands yielding enough produce to fill my house ; but then thou didst expel 
me from it, and I am now but an hungry Berber, untrained to adversity. Dost 
thou not see that I am like the thirsty camel who is brought to a spring, 
and whose head is yet held up so that he cannot drink?' Hearing this 
incoherent speech, Al-mansilr burst out laughing and said, ' May God preserve 
thee from the shafts of calamity ! Thy manner of returning thanks for a benefit 
is more pleasing to our ears and more gratifying to our hearts than the eloquent 
and learned perorations of other men.' Then turning round to the Andalusian 
officers who were close to him, he said, ' Friends, if you ever have to thank 
for a benefit, or to ask for the continuance of a favour, do it in this poor man's 
style, with the simplicity of nature, and without either strain or affectation.' 2 * 
He then gave orders that among the houses then unoccupied the best should 
" be put at the disposal of the Berber, which was done in compliance with his 
" commands." 

In the ensuing flower, which is the thirtieth, " Al-mansur got up - one Sunday 
" morning, when the weather was boisterous, the wind very high, and the rain 
" fell in torrents. It must be observed that Sunday 25 was a day of rest for the 
" servants [of Al-mansur's household], who were always allowed on that day 
"some relaxation from their duties; so that both circumstances united made 
" Al-manstir think that he would have no applications made to him, and he 
Cl exclaimed, ' I should think that this day we shall be free from importuners and 
" pretenders! By my life, were one of them to make his appearance in spite 





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" of the raging elements, I swear that he will carry off the first prize.' Thus 
"saying, he left his room, and went to meet his Hajib (chamberlain), to whom 
" he imparted his determination. Scarcely, however, had Al-mansur retired to 
" his inner apartments, when the chamberlain appeared before him, and with 
" a smile on his countenance said, 'My Lord! three Berbers, Abu-n-nass Ibn 
" Saleh and two more with him, are now at thy door [asking for admission]. 
" They are dripping wet, and desirous to see thee.' — 'Bring them in to me,' 
" was Al-mansur's answer. The chamberlain hastened to execute his master's 
" orders, and after a little time returned with the three Berbers, who were as 
" wet as a piece of melting salt. Al-mansur laughed to see them in that plight, 
" and, bidding them to sit down, he inquired from them what had brought them 
" to his palace in such weather, when all men of sense remained quiet at home, 
"and even the birds of the air took refuge within their nests. Abti-n-nass then, 
" answering for his friends, said, ' O our Lord ! it is not every tradesman who sits 
" [waiting' for customers] in his shop ; there are many who, tempted by gain, 
" come after us and try to deceive us, and take our money from us ; but we 
" disappoint them by drawing tighter the strings of our purses. Nevertheless they 
"persevere in their attempt, and wander through the streets, markets, and squares, 
" actually wearing out their shoes and garments for the sake of gain. In a like 
" manner do we wear out thy clothes upon the backs of our horses in an attempt 
" to deserve thy favours. "We therefore thought of coming to sit down in 
" this market [to see what we might get]/ Hearing this, Al-mansur laughed 
" most heartily, and, having sent for robes and other presents, he distributed 
" them among the Berbers, who returned to their dwelling highly rejoiced and 
" content with their morning's work." 

In the forty-fourth flower we read as follows : ' ' There was in Cordova during 
"the administration of the Hajib Al-mansur (Mohammed Ibn Abi 'A'mir) a youth 
" who followed the pursuits of literature, in which he had attained considerable 
" eminence. He occupied his time in reading books on the science of govern- 
(t ment, and frequented the libraries for that purpose, until he obtained an appoint- 
" ment under government, in the exercise of which he embezzled a considerable 
" sum of money. Being called to account, he was found to be a debtor to the 
" state in three thousand dinars. Al-mansur, having been informed of the cir- 
" cumstance, summoned the delinquent to his presence, and charged him with 
"embezzling the public money. The youth then made a profound bow and con- 
" fessed his guilts ' "What induced thee, young rascal, to appropriate to thyself 
" the Sultan's money?' The youth replied, ' My reason was overpowered, and the 
" temptation to breach of faith seized upon me.' — ' By Allah ! we intend to make 







" an example of thee. Here! a pair of shackles and a smith for this youth, and 
" away with him to prison.' He then gave particular orders to the jailer to have 
" him well flogged, and to treat him with the greatest rigour. When the youth 
" was ahout to be marched out of the room, he repeated the two following verses j 

' Alas ! alas ! the punishment which awaits me is still greater than I 
' should have imagined. 

' There is no escaping my miserable fate ; power and strength only belong 

'to God.' 26 

" When Al-mansur heard these verses, he said to his guards, ' Stay ;' and then, 

" addressing himself to the youth, < Hast thou any thing to say in thy defence, 

"or dost thou conform thyself to thy sentence?'—' I have,' was the youth's 

Ci answer. The shackles were then knocked off his feet; and this being done, he 

" said extempore — 

' Seest thou not that Al-mansuYs forgiveness must needs be followed by a 

' favour? 

' Like Allah, who, after forgiving his servants, admits them into Paradise.' 27 

" He was right : not only did Al-manstir set him at liberty, but he pardoned 

" him the sums which he had embezzled, and exempted him from all further 

" prosecution on that account." 

From the forty-fifth flower: " Al-mansur, feeling one day indisposed, wanted 
" to have a cautery applied to his leg. The surgeon was sent for, and, although 
" when he arrived, Al-mansur was sitting on a raised throne, surrounded by his 
" courtiers and administering justice to his subjects, he nevertheless directed the 
,f surgeon to apply the cautery to his leg; which was done, the assembly perceiving 
" nothing until they actually smelt the burnt flesh and skin, which caused no 

" little astonishment among them." 

From the forty-sixth flower : ' ' Such was the awe in which Al-mansur was 
" held by all those who surrounded his person, so rigorous the discipline which 
" he caused to be observed by the troops, and so great his care in upholding 
" the royal dignity, that no preceding sovereign ever met with such submissive 
" obedience to his commands. It is said, that whenever he passed his cavalry in 
< ' review, the most profound silence was kept by the soldiers, and that the horses 
" even were so trained as not to break it by their neighings. One day, as. he 
" was reviewing his troops in a plain in the vicinity of Cordova, he happened 
" to see something glitter amidst a troop of men. Having inquired what it was 
" that attracted his eyes, he was answered, that one of the soldiers had unsheathed 
t( his sword, thinking he could do so unperceived. ' Bring the man to me,' 
"said Al-mansur to one of his oflicers. The soldier accordingly came out of 

vol. ii. 2f 

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t( the ranks and saluted his general. ' What made thee unsheath thy sword at 
" a time and in a spot where thou well knowest it is strictly forbidden to do so 
" without previous leave from the general ? ' The soldier confessed his guilt, 
" but alleged as an excuse, that whilst he was in the act of pointing to a comrade 
" with his sword, the scabbard, which was loose, fell off and left the blade 
" uncovered. ' Crimes of this kind no excuse can palliate/ replied Al-mansur, 
" and he ordered the soldier to be immediately beheaded with his own sword. 
" He then caused his gory head to be fixed on a spear and to be paraded in 
" front of the ranks, whilst a proclamation was read to the troops, stating the 
" crime just committed, and the manner in which it had been punished." 
Buildings But what shall we say of the stupendous buildines erected both in Africa 

erected by , 

Ai-mansur. and in Andalus during the administration of Al-mansur ! What of his addition 

to the great mosque of Cordova, which we have described elsewhere, a work so 
highly meritorious in the eyes of God that it would, of itself, have procured 
him a place in Paradise ! What of the magnificent palaces and gilded pavilions 
erected at his command, and which equalled, if they did not surpass, those con- 
structed by the Sultans of the family of Umeyyah ! We have alluded elsewhere 
to his having built on the banks of the Guadalquivir, at some distance from 
Cordova, a strong castle, called Az-zahirah, 28 whither he conveyed all the treasures 
of the state. In the course of time a beautiful palace was erected in the neigh- 
bourhood, extensive gardens 29 were planted ; houses, too, were built for the officers 
of his household, as well as barracks for the troops of his body-guard, and Az- 
zahirah became, in a very short time, a large and populous city. Ibn Khakan, 
who alludes to it in the Mattmah, says that Al-mansur completed the building 
in a. h. 387, and that in the same year, having made, as usual, an incursion 
into the enemy's territory, he caused more havoc than he had ever done, pene- 
trating into the most distant and retired districts of Galicia, and collecting more 
plunder than on any other former occasion. 

Az-zahirah was not the only place built by Al-mansur. We are told by Al- 
homaydi that he erected also, at a short distance from Cordova, and in the vicinity 
of Medinatu-z-zahra, a magnificent country-residence, called Munyat Al-'amiriyyah, 
surrounded by fields and plantations, in which one thousand mudd of barley were 
yearly sowed, to supply food for a stud of horses which Al-mansur kept in it. 
It is related that Al-mansur was so fond of the horses reared at this place, that 
on his return from a military expedition he never took any rest until he had 
summoned to his presence the master of the stud, and had ascertained from 
him how many colts had died during his absence, and how many were born. 
In a similar manner he never failed to inquire from his chief architect whether 



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any portion of the building required repair. At this place Al-mansur had a 
manufacture of shields and weapons, of which no less than twelve thousand were 
made every year ; and they say that the number of workmen employed in the 
manufactory, as well as those of the stud, and other servants, was so considerable, 
that no less than twelve thousand pounds of meat, exclusive of game and poultry, 
were distributed to them in the course of the year. Al-mansur erected also a 
bridge on the river of Cordova (Guadalquivir) , which was begun in the year 378 
(beginning April 20, a.d. 988), and finished about the middle of 379 (beginning 
April 10, a. d. 989), at the expense of one hundred and forty thousand dinars. It 
was a very useful work, and one that will perpetuate the memory of Al-mansur. On 
the subject of the building of this bridge we recollect having read somewhere a very 
interesting anecdote. Among the lands which were appropriated for the building 
of the bridge, there was a patch of ground belonging to an old man of the lower 
classes. Al-mansur ordered the inspectors of works to purchase it from him. 
Accordingly, having called upon the man, the inspectors spoke to him about his 
land, explained to him the necessity under which they were of appropriating it, 
as the bridge could not be erected on any other spot, and declared to him that they 
had received instructions to indemnify liim fully for the loss of his property. Not 
wishing to part with his land, the old man asked what he considered a most 
exorbitant price, imagining that when the inspectors had heard his unreasonable 
demand, they would desist from their purpose ; but to his great astonishment, 
no sooner had he mentioned the sum, ten dinars of gold, and declared that he 
would not make over his property for a lesser consideration, than the inspectors 
caught him at his word, paid him the money down, and drew up a deed for the 
sale. When Al-mansur w r as informed of the transaction, he could not help laughing 
at the old man's ignorance and imbecility ; but he ordered his treasurer to pay 
him ten times the money he had asked, which was done agreeably to his commands. 
"When the old man saw himself in possession of one hundred dinars, his joy was 
extreme, and he had well-nigh lost his senses in the excess of his rejoicing. He 
presented himself to Al-mansur, whom he thanked for the signal favour thus 
conferred on him; and the anecdote being circulated among the people, became 
the subject of history. 

The above were not the only public works erected under the administration of 
Al-mansur. A bridge was thrown over the river Shenil (Xenil) at Ezija, by means 
of which a communication was established between that city and the neighbouring 
country, the roads leading to the city were more frequented, and provisions became 
more abundant. Granada, Seville, and other cities of Andalus, Ceuta and Fez in 
Africa, partook alike of the benefits of Al-mansur's administration in this respect. 

_^.- *«» .^T^-W-'Wfiw, . .-■_. ; .. -. --. 



Among the meritorious actions of Al-mansur, the following are particularly 
recorded. He wrote with his own hand a Koran, which he always carried with 
him on his military expeditions, and in which he used constantly to read. He 
collected and kept all the dust which adhered to his garments during his marches 
to the country of the infidels, or in his battles with them. Accordingly, whenever 
he halted at a place, his servants came up to him, and carefully collected the 
dust in kerchiefs, until a good-sized bag was filled, which he always carried with 
him, intending to have it mixed with the perfumes for the embalming of his body. 
He also took with him his grave-clothes, thus being always prepared to meet 
death whenever it should assail him. The winding-sheet was made of linen grown j 

in the lands inherited from his father, and spun and woven by his own daughters. j 

He used continually to ask God to permit him to die in his service and in war j 

against the infidels, and this desire was granted. He became celebrated for the j 

purity of his intentions, the knowledge of his own sins, his fear of his Creator, 
his numerous campaigns against the infidels, and many other virtues and accom- 
plishments, which it would take us too long to enumerate. Whenever the name 
of God was mentioned in his presence, he never failed to mention it also ; and if 
ever he was tempted to do an act which might deserve the chastisement of his 
Lord, he invariably resisted the temptation. Notwithstanding this he enjoyed all 

the pleasures of this world, which make the delight of kings, with the exception J" 

only of wine, the use of which he left off entirely two years before he died. We j 

might fill whole volumes with extracts taken from those works which have been I 

exclusively consecrated to the history of that remarkable man ; but, however strong j 

the temptation, we will resist it, and will resume the thread of our long-interrupted [ 

^narrative, by recounting what happened in Cordova after the death of Al-mansur. 

_ ■. 

•*V T 

* _ lr - - x' ■ ^ ^ ,fl- - , t^-^V- -*- 

-■ - J ■■- r ■■-> -.--r: ■■ 

-~ JT - _ J J<- Sj J- - l" 

- -. x f t sj- 'ji t. S 

— - r-r^.a 





'Abdu-l-malek succeeds to the post of Hajib— His death— His brother J Abdu-r-rahman is proclaimed 
— He prevails upon Hisham to choose him for his successor — A conspiracy is formed against 'Abdu-r- 
rahman — who is assassinated — Mohammed Ibn 'Abdi-1-jabbar is proclaimed under the name of AI- 
muhdi — The Berbers revolt against him — They are expelled from Cordova — They proclaim Suleyman 
— Defeat Al-muhdi — Take possession of the capital— Suleyman is defeated by Al-muhdi — Restoration 
of Hisham — Cordova taken by the Berbers — Massacre of its inhabitants — Origin of the Beni Hamud — 
'Ali Ibn Hamud revolts against Suleyman — Defeats him, and puts him to death — 'All is proclaimed at 
Cordova — His exemplary justice — He becomes a tyrant — Assassination, of 'Ali — His brother Al-k&sim 
is elected by the army — Takes possession of the government — Proclamation of Al-murtadhi, of the 
house of Umeyyah — He is betrayed and put to death. 

About two hours before Al-manstir died, his son, 'Abdu-l-malek, rode in all haste 'AMu-i-maiek 

' succeeds to 

to Cordova, where he arrived at the beginning of Shawwal (Aug. a. d. 1 002) , the post of 
accompanied only by the Kadi Ibn Dhakwan, "When the sad news was divulged 
[in Cordova], and the Khalif Hisham ascertained the state in which Al-manstir lay, 
he summoned to his presence a number [of civil functionaries], in order to 
announce to them the fatal news ; but such was the excess of his grief, that he 
could not utter a single word, and he stood speechless as a ghost, endeavouring 
to explain by signs to the assembly the fatal occurrence which he had to com- 
municate. 'Abdu-l-malek then returned to the camp, and found that his father 
was dead, and that according to his last instructions he had been interred in the 
spot where he died, namely, in his palace at Medinah SeTim (Medinaceli) . The 
army then broke up, the greater part going towards Hisham [in Cordova] ; upon 
which 'Abdu-l-malek, after remaining some days at Medinaceli, returned to 
Cordova, accompanied by those who remained by him ; and the singing women 
of his father's harem put on hair-cloth sacks and coarse blankets instead of the 
silk and brocade to which they had been used. 

Hisham treated the son as he had treated the father; he himself clothed him 
with a khil'ah or dress of honour, and signed his appointment to the office of 
Hajib. This, however, was not accomplished without some alteration 1 among the 
eunuchs [of the palace] ; but, at last, those who leaned were put straight, and 
the ill-disposed became loyal ; things took their right course, the breasts [of the 

fcs g ^nHrni fc.***?**. 

■ > — 




Moslems] were expanded, and their hearts were rejoiced, when they heard of 
'Abdu-1-malek's victories, and of the extensive districts which he daily conquered 
from the unbelievers ; and the birth of a son [of 'Abdu-1-malek] was hailed as 

the greatest blessing which Andalus could receive. ' 

In the year 393 (beginning Nov. 9, a.d. 1003) letters came from Al-mu'izz, = 

chief of the tribe of Maghrawah, who, at the death of his father, Zeyri Ibn Attiyah, I 

had become ruler of Fez and Western Africa, [acknowledging Hisham as his liege I 


lord.] 'Abdu-1-malek granted Al-mu'izz the investiture of Western Africa, on \ 

condition that he would cause Hisham's name and his own to be proclaimed from j 

the pulpits [of all the mosques] in his dominions, and that he would send every 

year to Cordova one horse and one shield, besides a certain sum of money, in token \ 

of vassalage; all which conditions Al-mu'izz promised to fulfil, sending his son Al- I 

mu'anser as an hostage to Cordova. 
His death. 'Abdu-1-malek followed in the steps of his celebrated father, as regards the [wise] 

administration of public affairs and the [yearly] expeditions against the Christians, 
of which he is said to have made no less than eight, always causing great loss 
to the unbelievers, as for instance that of 394 (a. d. 1004), when he is well known 
to have defeated the King of the Galicains, and to have taken and destroyed his 
capital, the city of Liun (Leon). 2 In commemoration of that exploit, 'Abdu-1- 


malek received the titles of Seyfu-d-daulah (sword of the state) and Al-modhaffer \ 


(the conqueror, or victorious). He died on his return from the country of the \ 

Christians, in the month of Moharram, a. h. 399 (Sept. a.d. 1008), or, according 
to other authorities, in the year before (a. h. 398), although the former date is the 
most probable. His administration lasted seven years, which were to the Moslems 
like a succession of festivals, owing to which the period of his rule was called 
As-sdW or ALosbu' (the week), comparing it with the first week after marriage. 
His brother After the death of 'Abdu-1-malek, his brother 'Abdu-r-rahman succeeded him 
rahmanis pro- in the charge of Hajib (chamberlain). 'Abdu-r-rahman assumed on the occasion 

the surname of An-ndsir lidin-illdh (the defender of the faith) ; others say that 
he took that of AUmdmun (the trusted by the grace of God). He followed in the 
steps of his brother and father as regards the seclusion of the Khalif Hisham, of 
whose person he was the complete master, and the assumption into his hands of 
all the powers of the state. 
He prevails In the course of time, however, he undertook to usurp even the insignia of 
to choose him the Khalifate as he had usurped the power, and to this end he asked Hisham 

for liis sue- ^ 

ccssor. to appoint him his successor to the throne, — a request with which that weak 

monarch complied, after assembling the counsellors of the state and the notaries 
to witness the ceremony, and to authorize it by their presence. " It was," says 
an author of those days, " a very solemn ceremony." The deed [of nomination] 




■* -■ 


was drawn by Abu Hafss Ibn Burd, and copied in the Khalif's own hand. We 
here subjoin it : 

" This is what the Khalif Hisham Al-muyyed-billah, Commander of the Faithful, 
" stipulates with the people [of this country] in general, and what he himself 
" promises to observe and swears to fulfil, by placing his right hand upon the 
" deed as upon a true and valid contract. 

" After mature consideration and long deliberation, after reflecting upon the 
" heavy duties which God has imposed upon him as Imam and Commander 
" of the Faithful, the Khalif Hisham, son of the Khalif Al-hakem Al-mustanser- 
" billah, and grandson of the Khalif 'Abdu-r-rahman An-nasir lidin-illah,- — fearing 
" lest fate should strike him that blow against which no mortal stands secure, 
" and which no living creature has the power to avert ; fearing lest death should 
" assail him suddenly, and take him by surprise; fearing, in short, that if he 
" were to die thus, the people of this country would have no banner left under 
" which they might flock, and no place of refuge to which they might run [in 
" case of need] ; knowing that w 7 ere he to present himself to his Creator after 
" so flagrant a dereliction of his duty, he would certainly incur his anger for 
" having neglected the charge intrusted to him, and having gone astray from the 
" path of righteousness and truth, — has determined to select among the Arabs of 
" the tribe of Koraysh, and others having their domicile in this country, one 
"worthy of having this empire transmitted to him [as an inheritance], and of 
" being intrusted with the prosperity and welfare of this nation, — one whose 
" piety, religion, honesty, and good faith shall be notorious, one who shall be 
" known to resist the temptations of sin, and to follow the path of righteousness 
" by practising those duties which are acceptable to his God. 

" After searching, therefore, high ranks as w 7 ell as low, the Khalif Hisham 
" has found none more deserving to be appointed his. successor, or to become 
" the heir to the Khalifate after his death, than the trustworthy, honest, and 
''■ beloved Abti-1-motref 'Abdu-r-rahman, son of Al-mansur Ibn Abi 'A'mir Mo- 
" hammed, son of Ibn Abi 'A'mir. (May God prosper him!) And the Khalif 
" has been induced to make this choice owing to the brilliant qualities which grace 
" the said individual, — the generosity of his soul, the greatness of his origin, and 
" the nobility of his descent; his piety, his prudence, his wisdom, his talents, 
" all of which he knows him to possess, as he has watched him, and put him 
" more than once to the trial, and has upon every occasion found him ready to 
" do a good act, and to be the first in the path of righteousness, or to surmount 
" any obstacles however great [in the prosecution of good purposes] ; since, 
" in short, he knows him to unite in his own person every good quality. But 

:■ ■ -<- - - - \* " 


" are we to wonder that a man who had Al-mansur for a father and Al-modhafTer 
" for a brother should surpass every one in virtue, and exceed all in generosity? 

" Another no less weighty consideration has moved the Commander of the Faithful 
" to take this step, namely, that whilst perusing works on the occult sciences 
" and turning over the inestimable treasures contained in them, he has discovered 
11 that he was to be succeeded [in the command of this country] by an Arab of 
" the race of Kahttan, respecting whom there exists a well-authenticated tradition 
" preserved by 'Abdullah Ibn 'Amru Ibnu-l-'ass and Abu Horeyrah, both of whom 
" ascribe the following words to our Prophet : ' The time shall come when a man 
" of the stock of Kahttan will drive men before him with a stick/ Finding, 
(< therefore, no person to whom those words can be better applied; knowing that 
" every thing that is good is centered in the person of the above-named, and 
" that he is, moreover, ornamented with every brilliant quality ; that he has no 
■" rivals and opponents, but, on the contrary, every one [in this country] looks 
" up to him for direction, the Khalif intrusts to him the administration of affairs 
" during his lifetime, and bequeaths to him the empire after his death. And this 
" the Commander of the Faithful does spontaneously, of his own free will, and 
" in the presence of witnesses [called for that purpose], and, as such, orders it 
" to be transmitted and communicated to his subjects without any second thought 
" or restriction, pledging himself in public as well as in private, by word and deed, 
" by the stipulation of God, and by his promises, by the protection of his messenger 
" Mohammed, and that of the four legitimate Khalifs who were his ancestors, 
" and his own share in the intercession, to fulfil it in all its parts, and not swerve, 
"change, wander, or fall aside in any part of it; taking God and his angels to 
" witness of the truth of his words, and that he bequeaths his empire and transfers 
" his sayings and doings to the here present Al-mamun Abu-1-motref 'Abdu-r- 
" rahman, son of Al-mansur, (may God prosper him !) who accepts what is given 
" to him, and binds himself to fulfil the duties imposed upon him." 

This took place in the month of Rabi' the first, a. h. 399 (Nov. a. d. 1008). 

The Wizirs, the Kadis, and other people present, witnessed the act by affixing 

their signatures to the deed; and from that day 'Abdu-r-rahman was called 

Wali-l-ahd (presumptive heir to the empire). 

a conspiracy is I n this manner were the wishes of ' Abdu-r-rahman accomplished, and his name 

formed against . . 

MMu-r-rah- proclaimed from the pulpit of the great mosque; but the courtiers and the high 

functionaries of the state were averse to the measure ; and it became in time the 
cause ;pf his own ruin, and of the overthrow of his power and that of his family. 
The Bent Umeyyah and the Korayshites were the most opposed to it; they detested 
the rule of 'Abdu-r-rahm&n, and, moreover they were much afflicted at seeing the 




■-■ -■_-. i__i _ ,,i 



power of the Korayshites and the rest of the Beni Modhar in the hands of their 
enemies the Yemenites. They therefore united their counsels, visited each other, 
and entered into a conspiracy to rid themselves of 'Abdu-r-rahman. Accordingly, 
in the year 399 (a.d. 1009), whilst 'Abdu-r-rahman was absent from Cordova on 
one of his expeditions to the country of the Galicians, they rushed upon his 
Sdhibu-sh-shorttah (captain of the guard), and slew him 3 at his post, at the gate of 
the royal palace in Cordova : they then deposed Hisham Al-muyyed, and appointed 
in his room a prince of the posterity of the Cordovan Khalifs, whose name was 
Mohammed, son of Hisham, son of 'Abdi-1-jabbar, son of the Commander of the 
Faithful, 'Abdu-r-rahman An-nasir lidin-illah, on whom they conferred the honorary 
appellation of Al-muhdi-billah (the directed by the grace of God). 

The news [of this revolution] having reached the point of the frontier where the 
Hajib 'Abdu-r-rahman was then [at war with the Christians], he collected the 
scattered divisions of Ms army, and returned hastily to Cordova, burning to take 
vengeance on his enemies. However, when he approached the capital, he was deserted 
by a great portion of the army and the principal Berber officers, who immediately 
entered Cordova, and having sworn allegiance to the usurper Al-muhdi, instigated 
him against the Hajib 'Abdu-r-rahm&n, whom they represented as a madman, and 
incapable of governing the people well. Some of them next went out of Cordova, 
returned to the camp, and seized on 'Abdu-r-rahman, 4 whom they beheaded, taking Wh^as- 
his head to Al-muhdi and to the people of Cordova. Thus was the power of the 
'A'mirites overthrown. There is no God but God, He is the only survivor of empires ! 

On his accession to power, Mohammed assumed the surname of Al-muhdi (the jammed 
directed). Instead, however, of being contented with the title of Hajib, and jj^^j^ 
reigning in Hisham's name, as Al-manstir and his two sons had done, he confined power, 
that unhappy monarch to an apartment of his palace, gave out that he was dead, 
and took for himself the titles of Khalif and Imam. One of the first acts of his 
government was to seize as many as he could of the chiefs attached to the party 

of the 'A'mirites, and put them to death. 

It has been stated above, that the chiefs of the Berbers and of the Zenatah, JJ^™ 
seeing the bad rule of 'Abdu-r-rahman, and the subsequent overthrow of his tim. 
empire, had without difficulty embraced the party of the usurper Al-muhdi. The 
Beni Umeyyah, however, could not forget the assistance which the Berbers had 
formerly lent to the 'A'mirites, as they ascribed entirely to them the usurpation 
of the royal power by Al-mansur and his two sons. They therefore hated them 
most cordially, and could not bear the sight of them ; and had it not been that 
the Berbers were numerous, and united together by a sense of the necessity of 
self-preservation, they would undoubtedly have been all destroyed to a man. As 



s^jjw.1 r-^ -nc^ryz-it r>n_ ■■ -i_-\ — trv \ - -"^ j_ 


it was, the rabble of Cordova insulted and hooted at them [whenever they met 
them in the streets], and by their clamours and complaints prevailed upon Al- 
muhdi to issue orders that no Berber should be allowed to ride or bear arms 
within the precincts of Cordova. Moreover, as some of the Berber chiefs were 
once returning from the palace, their houses were in the mean while attacked by 
the populace and gutted of their contents. The offended immediately laid a 
complaint before Al-muhdi, who, not daring to disregard their claims altogether, 
had the guilty parties put to death. Yet with all this, Al-muhdi hated the Berbers, 
and let no opportunity pass without showing them all the ill-will he bore them ; 
upon which the Berbers, having received intelligence of his ill designs, as well 
as of his intention to make a general slaughter among them, called upon their 
officers to advise them how to act upon the emergency. Having held a secret 
council, they came to the resolution of dethroning Al-muhdi and of proclaiming 
a prince of the race of Umeyyah, whose name was Hisham, son of Suleyman, 
son of the Commander of the Faithful, An-nasir lidin-illah. Their meetings, 
however, could not be held so secretly as not to reach the ears of a few [in- 
fluential citizens], who decided upon thwarting their plans. They, accordingly, 

They are ex- instigated against them the populace of Cordova, who took up arms, attacked them 

Cordova ™ in their cantonments, and expelled them from the city. This being done, Hisham 

and his brother Abu Bekr were arrested and conveyed to the presence of Al-muhdi, 
who beheaded them [with his own hand] . 

A nephew of the murdered princes, named Suleyman, who was the son of 
their brother Al-hakem, succeeded in leaving Cordova in disguise, and repaired 
to the camp of the Berbers, who, after their expulsion from the capital, had pitched 
their tents at a short distance from it, swearing not to raise them until they had 

They proclaim taken ample vengeance on the citizens of Cordova. Suleyman was received with 

open arms by the Berbers, who hastened to swear allegiance to him, and proclaimed 
him Khalif under the appellation of Al~musta , (n-'billah (he who implores the 
assistance of God), on condition that he would immediately lead them against their 
enemies. Suleyman, however, thinking that the time was not yet come to make an 
attack upon Cordova, dissuaded them from their undertaking, and retired with 
them to the Thagher (frontiers of Toledo), where he applied for, and obtained, 
from the son of Alfonso, 5 a strong body of troops to aid him in his war with 

Defeat Ai- Al-muhdi. Thus re-inforced, Suleyman advanced by forced marches against Cor- 
dova ; upon which Al-muhdi, hearing of his approach, went out to meet him at 
the head of the citizens and of the troops of that capital. Having come to close 
battle, fortune turned against the Cordovans, upwards of twenty thousand of whom 
fell by the sword of the enemy. On that disastrous occasion the learned and 

-■r % A ^ * £.S .. lt 

i-: l 



the virtuous, the theologians, Imams, Muezzins, and others, were involved in the 
same common ruin. 6 

Sulevman advanced upon Cordova, of which he took possession, without Take pos- 

J x session of the 

resistance, about the end of the fourth century [of the Hijra] . Al-muhdi fled to capital. 
Toledo, whence he implored and obtained the assistance of the son of Alfonso 
for the second time. 7 That prince gave him the help he desired, and accompanied 
him to Cordova. After defeating his enemy at 'Akbatu-1-bakar, near Cordova, ^^ u 
Al-muhdi regained possession of his capital, which he entered without opposition. Ai-mnhdi. 
After this, Suleyman and his Berbers left Cordova, and scattered themselves over 
the plains, plundering the inhabitants, and committing all manner of depredations, 
until they retired to Jeziratu-1-khadhra (Algesiras). Thither they were followed by 
Al-muhdi with his Christian auxiliary, the son of Alfonso ; but this time the 
Berbers were victorious : Al-muhdi and the Christians were completely defeated, 
and were obliged to fall back upon Cordova, whither they * were immediately 
pursued by the victor. 

On his arrival at Cordova, Al-muhdi took Hisham Al-muyyed-billah out of J^jf 011 of 
confinement, showed him to the people, and made them swear allegiance to him, 
laying down all the power he had usurped, and reserving nothing for himself except 
the office of Hajib [chamberlain]. This, however, was of no avail to him: Suleymin 
and his Berbers soon appeared before the walls of Cordova ; and the citizens, 
fearing his vengeance, instigated the servants of the palace and the eunuchs of 
Hisham against Al-muhdi, whom they represented as the only cause of their 
troubles and dissensions. Upon this, one of the eunuchs of the palace, named 
Wadheh Al-'amiri, having with the assistance of his friends surprised Al-muhdi, 
put him to death, and restored his master Hisham to his liberty, assuming for 
himself the charge of Hajib. 

Thus perished Mohammed Al-muhdi at the end of the year 400 (August, a. d. 
1010), and after a reign of about ten months. He is represented by the historians 
of the time, as a man of depraved morals, a tyrannical ruler, and a blood-shedder. 
Ibn Bessam says that he had a garden in which the heads of his enemies were 
fixed on stakes sunk in the ground. The following verses were composed by a 
poet of those times: 

" Our Mahdi (director) has appeared, but [instead of peace and justice] he 

" brings us vice and folly. 

" He has made the wives of the Moslems common to every one ; and what 

" was sacred before, is no longer so under his rule. 

" Indeed, those who were hornless yesterday, will to-day see their heads 

"ornamented with horns." 8 



During the reign of this Sultan, and that of his rival Suleyman, the city of 
Cordova was often exposed to the ravages of an undisciplined soldiery ; and the 
palaces of Az-zahra and Az-zahirah were completely destroyed. " It is a fact well 
" worthy of remark," says the historian Ibnu-r-rakik, " that [in the course of 
" twenty-four hours] from Tuesday the 15th of Jumada-1-akhar (a. h. 399), at the 
" hour of noon, to the following Wednesday, Cordova was taken, Az-zahra 9 
" destroyed, a Khalif [Al-muyyed Hisham] deposed, and another Khalif [Al- 
" muhdi] appointed in his stead ; the power of the Beni 'A'mir was overthrown, 
"and their Wizir, Mohammed Ibn 'Askalejah, slain; armies of citizens were 
" raised, the succession of the Wizirs was destroyed, and others occupied their 
" places : but the most remarkable fact is, that all this was accomplished by ten 
" men, who were either sellers of charcoal, or butchers, or dung-carriers, and who 
" served in Al-muhdi's army." 

Al-muhdi was a man of very dissolute morals, of little or no talent [for the 
administration], but exceedingly cruel and revengeful. When Al-mansiir usurped 
the power of the Beni Umeyyah, and, as above related, slew or exiled all the 
members of that family who stood in his way to the throne, he spared this Al- 
muhdi, 10 owing to his imbecility and the little consideration which he enjoyed 
among the people ; and yet this very man, whom Al-mansur had not thought 
worthy of his notice, was destined to overthrow his well-consolidated power, to 
destroy all that he had founded, and, in short, to become the heir of his riches and 
his power. No human wisdom or prudence can prevent the fulfilment of fate ; 
no mortal creature can resist the immutable decrees of the Almighty, whose will 
must needs be obeyed. 

Al-muhdi was a tolerable poet. One night, as he was drinking with some of his 
guests, a page of his presented to him a branch of myrtle ; upon which Al-muhdi 
uttered extempore the following verses : 

" I am presented with a tender branch of sweet-smelling myrtle, whose soft 
" undulations may be compared to thy lion-like gait ; 

" Which resembles thee in gracefulness of step, as thou resemblest it 
" in fragrancy." " 
Cordova taken The siege of Cordova continued with unabated vigour, the inhabitants not being 

by the Berbers. - o o > t> 

able to gain any advantage over the troops of Suleyman, until at last, the fields, 
the farm-houses, and the lands round Cordova having been either wasted or set 
fire to by the besiegers, the scarcity of provisions began to be felt in the capital, 
and the besieged began to despair. 

In the mean time Al-musta'in pressed the siege more closely than ever. In order 
the sooner to accomplish his purpose, he sent to the people 13 of Alfonso, inviting 

- T- - _h. 

> _ n r 


them to come to his assistance with their troops. Hisham, on the other hand, dis- 
patched his Hajib, Wadheh, to the same quarter, to persuade the Christians not to 
grant this request, promising, if they would withdraw their forces from his enemy, 
to put them in possession of the fortresses which Al-mansur had reduced on the 
frontiers of Kashtellah (Castilla) . Upon these conditions Alfonso refused to send 
the auxiliary troops which Suleyman requested : that chief, however, persevered in 
his undertaking; and, after a protracted siege, during which the poor people of 
Cordova were exposed to all the horrors of a famine, he became at last master of 
the capital on Monday the 6th of Shawwal of the year 403 (April 20, a. d. 1013). 
A general massacre ensued; the Khalif Hisham was secretly put to death [by the Ma«ac« of its 
command of the victor], 13 the houses of the inhabitants were sacked and profaned, mhabltaQts - 
their women and daughters insulted, wealthy families reduced to poverty, mag- 
nificent buildings razed to the ground. There was, in short, no excess of which 
the infuriated Africans were not guilty on this occasion. Doctors, theologians, 
Imams, Kadis, men distinguished by their virtues, or eminent for their piety and 
their learning, were involved in the general massacre. Among the victims of 
that disastrous day, the celebrated traditionist and learned divine, Abu-1-walid (Abu 
Mohammed) 'Abdullah Ibn Mohammed Ibn Yusuf Ibn Nasr Al-azdi Al-kortobi, 
better known under the surname of Ibnu-1-faradhi, was one. This eminent man was 
versed in various sciences, such as traditions, biographical history, and chronology. 
He was well acquainted with literature, as appears from the numerous works which 
he wrote, such as " the lives of Andalusian divines and other men of science," which 
we ourselves saw and read in Western Africa— a work admirable for its arrange- 
ment and unique in its kind, the same to which an appendix was written by Ibnu 
Bashlmwal, under the title of Kitdbu-s-silah (the book of the joining). 14 He also 
left a very fine work on that branch of the science [of genealogy] called Al-mokhtalef 
wa4-mutalef, or, what is different and alike in the patronymics of men; an 
excellent history of the Andalusian poets, and several other productions of equal 
merit. Ibnu-l-faradlri was bom on Tuesday, the 21st of Dhi-1-ka'dah, of the year 
351 (December, a. d. 962). At the age of twenty-one, he quitted Andalus for the 
East, made his pilgrimage, and visited most of the large cities in Syria and Egypt, 
where he met the most eminent professors of the time, and studied under them. 
He then returned to his native country, where he obtained offices of trust, and was 
at last appointed Kadi of Valencia. Happening to be at Cordova on the day that 
Suleyman took that capital by storm, his house was attacked by a party of Berbers, 
who put him to death. They say that his body lay for three whole days in the 
court of his house, and was at last privately interred without any ceremony, and 
without having the funeral service said over it. 

_. _ _ -j 


Having rid himself of all his enemies, Suleyman imagined that his empire was 
consolidated and his power strengthened. But he was mistaken ; new competitors 
started up, and he had soon to contend against the very Berber chiefs who had 
contributed every where to his accession. The Berbers and the African slaves 
possessed themselves of large towns and populous districts ; as Badis Ibn Habus i5 
of Granada, Al-birzali of Carmona, Al-yeferani of Ronda, and Harzun 16 of Sherish 
(Xerez). Andalus was in course of time cut up into fragments and small prin- 
cipalities, the command of which devolved upon men of the lowest rank in the 
state, as Ibnu 'Abbad, who rose at Seville ; Ibnu-1-afttas, at Badajoz ; Ibnu Dhi-n- 
nun, at Toledo ; Ibn Abi 'A'mir, at Valencia ; Ibn Hud, at Saragossa ; and Mujahid 
Al-'amiri, at Denia and the [Balearic] islands. But we are rather anticipating 
the narrative of events. 
Ben?Hamfid Among the Berber chiefs who followed the party of Suleyman Al-musta'in-billah, 

there were two men of the posterity of 'Omar Ibn Idris ; their names were Al-kasim 
and 'All. They were the sons of Hamtid, son of Maymun, son of Ahmed, son 
of 'All, son of 'Obeydullah, son of 'Omar, son of Idris, [son of Idris,] son of 
'Abdullah, son of Hasan, son of Huseyn, son of 'Ali Ibn Abi Talib. (May God 
dispense his favours to them all !) Their ancestor was that same Idris who, in 
order to escape the vengeance of Hariin Ar-rashid, the 'Abbasside, had fled from 
the East and taken refuge among the Berbers of Africa ; in which country he 
founded a powerful and extensive empire, making war against that Khalif, as did 
also his son [Idris], who inherited his empire and built the city of Fez. 

'All and his brother Al-kasim arrived in Andalus, as before related, during the 
administration of the Hajib Al-mansur, who employed them in his armies. Having 
distinguished themselves in several encounters with the Christians, they were 
gradually promoted, until each obtained the command of a considerable body of 
troops of their nation. When the civil war, which the judicious historian Ibnu 
Khaldun has justly designated under the epithet of (( Berberiyyah," (that of the 
Berbers), broke out at Cordova, 'All and his brother Al-kasim played an active 
part in all the transactions of the time, helping with the troops under their 
command to overthrow the power of the Beni 'A'mir, and to place Suleyman, 
of the race of Umeyyah, on the throne. With a view to reward the services 
of his partisans, and the more to strengthen his power, Suleyman divided among 
the Africans the command of his armies and the government of the provinces 
of his empire. Thus he gave to 'All Ibn Hamiid the government of Tangiers, 
Ghomarah, and other places in Africa, where that chieftain ruled as master, 
although he acknowledged himself the vassal of Suleyman. 

In the course of time, however, finding that the governors of the provinces had 


every where revolted against Suleyman, 'AH also shook off his allegiance to that ' A iy r bn v ^ t a s " 

Sultan, and began to entertain projects of personal aggrandisement. It is related aga™st su- 

that the Khalif Al-muyyed Hisham was very much addicted to astrology and the 

science of divination. One day as he was employed in his favourite pursuits with 

one of his courtiers, he discovered that the dynasty of the Beni Umeyyah would 

soon become extinct in Andalus, and would be replaced by another dynasty, of 

which a man of the posterity of 'Ali Ibn Abi Talib, and whose name began with 

the letter 'ayn ('A), was to be the founder. Accordingly, when in a. h. 403 

(a. d. 1013) Suleyman took Cordova for the second time, and, as before related, 

confined Hisham to a dungeon, the latter having heard that there was among the 

Berbers an officer named 'AH, who was said to be the descendant of 'AH Ibn 

Abi Talib, he dispatched him a secret message thus conceived: (< Thou shalt 

" certainly become king of this land ; for my heart tells me that I shall soon die 

" by the hands of this man (meaning Suleyman) : should such be my fate, I intrust 

" my revenge to thee." To the above circumstance, it is said, was owing 'All's 

determination to rise in arms against Suleyman, and to dispute the empire with 

him ; others attribute to him different motives. Be this as it may, after appointing 

his son Yahya to command in Africa during his absence, 'AH crossed over to 

Andalus, where, being soon after joined by Khayran, the Sclavonian [governor, 

of Almeria] , he gave out that he was come to revenge the murder of his lawful 

sovereign Hisham. No sooner, however, was Suleyman informed of his landing, 

than he hastened against him at the head of his best troops ; but after several sharp 

encounters with the troops |~of 'AH and Khayran] , he was at last completely defeated Defeats him, 

A "- v and puts mm 

in the plain of Talikah (Italica), close to Seville, himself and his brother 'Abdu-r^ to death, 
rahman falling into the hands of the victor ; who, on his arrival in Cordova, which 
made no resistance, caused them both to be beheaded together with their aged 
father, Al-hakem. Thus died Suleyman Al-musta'in-billah, after a reign of upwards 
of three years, counting from his first entrance into Cordova. 17 

On his obtaining possession of the throne, 'Ali took the surname of An-ndsir 'Aif is pro- 

01 , claimed at 

lidin-illah (defender of the faith) . One of the first acts of his administration was to Cordova, 
check the licentiousness of the African soldiers, who, under the preceding reigns, 
had been suffered to commit all manner of ravages, and to indulge their wicked 
propensities on the peaceable inhabitants of Cordova. He succeeded by his salutary His exempUrj- 
rigour in re-establishing discipline among the Berbers, and justice shone as bright 
as ever. He used on given days to sit at the gate of his palace to administer 
justice and redress the wrongs of those who complained to him. On such occasions, 
numbers of Berbers would be brought before him accused of various offences, 
and, if convicted, he would have them instantly beheaded before his own eyes, 


--*-■ jr\V.-:&J-.-. -:^:---^y 


and in the presence of their tribes, their relatives or friends. The following 
anecdote, which we transcribe -from the work of a trustworthy writer who was, an 
eye-witness, will give an idea of the exemplary justice which 'AH dealt among the 
Berbers. " As 'AH was once riding out of one of the gates of Cordova, called 
" Bdb 'A'mir [the gate of 'Amir], he met a Berber on horseback, who carried 
" on the saddle before him a load of grapes. Having made him stop, 'All inquired 
" where and how he had procured the grapes. ' I seized them like a man,' 
" was the Berber's answer. Upon which, 'Ali caused him to be immediately 
(( beheaded, and directed that the head of the delinquent should be placed over 
" the grapes on the horse's back, and then paraded through the streets of the 
" capital, as a warning to the other soldiers of his nation." 

For eighteen consecutive months did this Sultan persevere in the right path, 
administering justice with an even hand, and governing his subjects with modera- 
tion and wisdom, until, having learned that the Andalusians, who could not 
tolerate his rule, had raised up Al-murtadhi Al-merwani in the eastern provinces, 
He becomes a with the design of re-establishing the sovereignty of the house of Umeyyah, he 
iyrant " changed his conduct entirely, and laboured to depopulate Cordova and to exter- 

minate its inhabitants. Accordingly, he relaxed in his severity towards the Berbers, 
and things soon resumed their ancient course. The chief inhabitants of the place 
were every where insulted, and their houses plundered ; the magnificent buildings 
erected by the Beni Umeyyah were either entirely demolished or gutted of all 
their valuables, and the ruin of the city proceeded with as much rapidity as it 
had before done in the worst times: the rich citizens were forcibly dispossessed 
of their wealth, and men remarkable for their piety or their learning subjected 
to all manner of indignities. The tyrant went so far as to impose heavy tributes 
and other illegal taxes, and, in order to raise money, he seized on the persons 
of several wealthy inhabitants, and confined them to prison, until they should 
pay the exorbitant sums he demanded as their ransom : he did more ; when, after 
paying the required money into his treasury, the friends and relatives of the 
prisoners appeared in front of the gaol with led horses to convey them to their 
respective dwellings, he issued orders for the confiscation of those, and the 
prisoners were compelled to walk home. Among those who suffered on this 
occasion was Abii-1-hazm [Jehwar] , who became in after-time King of Cordova, 
was succeeded by his son [Abu-1-walid] , and was the founder of a dynasty which 
has -JDeen included by the historians in the number of the petty dynasties of 

Revolt of These and other excesses, of which 'Ali was guilty, alienated from him the 

I ° ,ayrib ' good-will of the people, and revolt succeeded revolt in the provinces. At last 

- — >v" 

-^- ; 


* -. - 



Khayran, the Sclavonian governor of Almeria, who was one of the staunchest 
partisans of the Beni Umeyyah, seeing the people of Cordova disposed to shake off 
the oppressive yoke of 'Ali Ibn Hamiid and his Berbers, raised the standard of 
revolt at Almeria, and caused 'Abdu-r-rahman Ibn Mohammed [Al-murtadhi] , a 
prince of that family, to be proclaimed throughout the districts of his government. 
Having then sent his letters to all those governors and chiefs who were known 
to be secretly attached to the cause of the Beni Umeyyah, He prevailed upon 
some of them to join his banners, and, having collected considerable forces, marched 

against the capital. 

No sooner was 'Ali apprised of that formidable insurrection, than he hastened £ a ^f ation 
to take every measure to crush it in its birth ; but whilst he was preparing to 
march against his enemies, he became the victim of treason. He was assassinated 
whilst in the bath by some of the Sclavonian pages who had formerly belonged 
to the household of the Beni Merwan. This event took place about the beginning 
of Dhi-1-ka'dah of the year 408 (a. d. 1017). The Sclavonians who perpetrated 
the deed were three in number : when they saw that 'Ali was dead, they hastened 
to a place of safety within the palace, which was known only to them, and hid 
themselves in it. When his death became public, the people of Cordova were 
highly rejoiced. The duration of "All's reign is generally computed at two years, 
but, according to the statement of an historian who verified the fact, he only 
reigned twenty-one months and six days. 18 Notwithstanding his foreign origin, 
and his possessing none of those brilliant qualities which draw forth the admiration 
and praise of the people, 'Ali had many accomplishments which revealed his noble 
descent and the hereditary virtues of the race of Hashhn. 

Among the poets attached to his court, the most celebrated were Ibnu-1- 
khayyat Al-kortobi, 'Obadah Ibn Mai-s-sama, and Ibn Derraj Al-kastali (from 
Cazalla). 'Obadah, who was well known to profess the doctrines of the Shiites, 
composed a very fine ode in praise of 'AH, from which the following two verses 

are taken : 

(( Your ancestor 'Ali began in the East what another 'AK has accomplished 

< r in the West. 

(( Let then all invoke the favours of God on him, and salute him ; for his is 

" the empire by right divine." 19 
The two following are the composition of Ibn Derraj : 

" O Sun on the decline ! the deep sorrow [on thy countenance] is, no doubt, 
" caused by the thought of thy sad [approaching] fate. 

" Intercede for me with the son of the intercessor; hear my message to the 
" son of the messenger [of the Almighty]." 20 , . . 

VOL. II. 2 H 

Ti2MttE" ■ ^^>.o \\>*+n -.---. * - s "^'-^ --_" 

■>.- .■ ■- 


His brother After the death of 'All, his brother Al-kasim Ibn Hamud, who was governor 

Al If frfilJYI IS it 

elected by the f Seville, was raised to the supreme power. This Al-kasim was ten years older 
army * than his brother ; both were the sons of Hamud, by the same wife, a descendant 

also of the house of 'Ali Ibn Abi Talib. 'All had left two sons : one, named 
Yahya, whom, as before stated, he appointed governor of Tangiers, Ceuta, and 
other districts in Africa; the other, called Idris, who was governor of Malaga 
at the time of his father's death. The eldest, Yahya, was undoubtedly entitled 
to the throne; his father 'Ali having, besides, designated him for his successor: 
but the affections of the Berbers were greatly divided ; some inclining to the son, 
some to the brother, of their late sovereign. However, the greater number leaned 
towards Al-kasim, owing in the first place to his being older than his brother 'Ali 
when the latter took possession of the throne, and, secondly, to his being near 
Cordova at the time of 'All's death, whilst between them and Yahya there was 
an intervening sea. They therefore sent messengers to him, to offer him the throne. 
When the messengers arrived in Seville, they hastened to the palace, and com- 
municated to Al-kasim the news of 'All's death, and the wish of the troops that he 
should succeed him. At first, Al-kasim showed no joy whatever at the intelligence ; 
he feared, no doubt, that the whole might be a stratagem of his brother to ascertain 
his feelings towards him ; he therefore hesitated to accept the throne offered to 
him, and retained the messengers near his person until he verified the truth of 
Takes pos- the matter. He then marched without delay to Cordova, where he was proclaimed 
govemm°ent! e [by the troops] six days after the death of his brother. 21 

Al-kasim's administration was mild and just ; only that, knowing that some of 
the Berbers were secretly inclined to favour the claims of his nephew Yahya, 
the governor of Ceuta, to the throne, he intrusted the defence of his person to 
the African black slaves, of whom he bought a large number, forming them into 
a body-guard, and intrusting to them the government of the provinces and the 
command of his armies. The Berbers, however, took offence at this, and in 
course of time forsook his cause entirely. 

Meanwhile the people of Andalus, who detested the rule of the Beni Hamud, 
the descendants of 'Ali [Ibn Abi Talib,] owing to their deriving their chief support 
from the Berbers, in whose hands the country actually was, were nocking from 
all parts to swell the army of 'Abdu-r-rahman Al-merwani, who, as related, had 
Proclamation been proclaimed in the eastern provinces. 'Abdu-r-rahman was the son of 
Sfft™se d S Mohammed, son of 'Abdu-1-malek, son of the great 'Abdu-r-rahman An-nasir 
umeyyah. lidln _ illah) ninth Su i tan of the race of Umeyyah. On the day of his procla- 
mation he had assumed the honorary surname of Al-murtadhi (the accepted). 
When, the people of Cordova and other principal cities heard of this rising, their 


- *\ r 

.^ ■_ S- -. ■. -J- J- ■"" n ■■ ■- ■■ ■. J^ ^%^ ± _^ ■_-_ 
**" _^L^-._T -> 

.■ — v .■ .■ .■ _ -.■ ■. ai>_ T \^';- ' 
y- '-i^^V ■■ 




rejoicing was extreme ; for all were anxious to see the rule of the Beni Merwan 
re-established in Andalus. Being joined by the forces of several petty kings, 
who hastened to acknowledge him as their sovereign, Al-murtadhi marched upon ' 
Cordova. Among his allies on this occasion were Mundhir At-tojibi, Lord of 
Saragossa, and Khayran Al-'amiri, the Sclavonian, Lord of Almeria. There came 
also with him some auxiliary troops which the King of the Franks 22 had sent 
him. Hearing of the approach of Al-murtadhi to his capital, Al-kasim went 
out to meet him with his Berbers. It happened, however, by some strange 
coincidence, that Mundhir and Khayran, though still following the party of Al- 
murtadhi, were not on very good terms with him at the time, and by no means 
so well disposed in his favour as they had been at first. " Methinks," said one 
of them to the other, " that Al-murtadhi does not put on the same face now 
" that he sees himself at the head of a powerful army, as when he was weak 
" and needed our assistance. Be sure this wily man is meditating some treason 
11 against us." Upon this, Khayran wrote to Zawi Ibn Zeyri, of Senhajah, one 
of the most brave and enterprising Berber chiefs in Andalus, who, during the 
late civil commotions, had made himself master of Granada and the surrounding 
districts, where he ruled independently, offering, if he would attack Al-murtadhi 
on his road to Cordova, that he himself, and Mundhir, with the troops of the 
Thagher (Aragon) , and the freedmen and adherents of the Beni "A'mir, who were 
always hostile to the Beni Merwan, would immediately desert his cause, leaving 
him to fight his own battle with the partisans of his family. To this proposition 
Zawi readily assented, and the plan was concerted between them. 

However, on his arrival before the walls of Granada, Al-murtadhi wrote a letter H * is strayed 

and put to 

to Zawi, calling upon him to take the oath of allegiance, and promising him great deatl1 - 
rewards if he would join him with his forces. The letter having been read to Zawi, 
who, being a Berber, was not well versed in the Arabic language, he directed his 
secretary to write on the back of it that chapter [of the Koran which begins thus] : 
" la ayyoha-1-kafiruna." 23 (O ye, the unbelievers !) On the receipt of the letter, 
Al-murtadhi wrote him another, thus conceived : " Beware ! for I am marching 
" against thee with a host of the bravest warriors of this country, and assisted 
" by the Franks." And he closed his letter with the following verse : 

" If thou be one of us, I can announce to thee prosperity and success; if 

" the contrary, thou wilt soon experience every calamity." 

When the letter was read to Zawi, he ordered his secretary to turn it over and to 

write upon the back of it the whole of that chapter [of the Koran] which begins 

thus : ' ' The emulous desire of multiplying riches and children employeth you 

" until ye visit the grave." On the receipt of this message the indignation of 



■ ^v-t- 

. f 


Al-nrurtadhi was roused to the highest pitch : so great was his desire of revenge, 
that he instantly abandoned the expedition he had concerted, and, instead of 
marching upon Cordova, the seat of the empire, as he had intended, he deviated 
from the road, and went to attack Zawi in Granada, believing that he could 
annihilate him in one hour. The hostilities, however, continued for some days, 
until Zawi wrote to Khayran to remind him of his promise, and to say that the 
time was come for him to accomplish his treason and forsake the cause of AI- 
murtadhi. Khayran's answer was thus conceived : " I have delayed [the execution 
" of my plans] in order that thou mightest appreciate the extent of our courage, 
" and the irresistible fury of our attacks ; but when thou next seest us encamped 
" close to him, charge him with thy cavalry, and we shall then take to flight 
" and desert him." It was done as agreed on between them, and on the morning 
of the next day Z&wi made a desperate charge, at the head of all his cavalry, on 
the troops of his adversary. Al-murtadhi withstood the attack with his wonted 
bravery ; but no sooner had the engagement commenced, than he saw the banners 
of Khayr&n, Mundhir, and the other chieftains of the Thagher, turn away from 
the field, and he was left to fight single-handed against the troops of Zawi. The 
contest could not last long; after the slaughter of the greater part of his devoted 
followers, Al-murtadhi was compelled to take to flight, and it was with the greatest 
difficulty that he escaped from the field of battle. 24 The unfortunate prince remained 
for some time in concealment ; but Khayran having sent spies after him, he was 
discovered and put to death at a place in the neighbourhood of Guadix, whither 
he had gone for the purpose of crossing over to Africa, and being secure. 35 His 
head was brought to Almeria and presented to Khayran and Mundhir, who had by 
that time reached that city. 




. ■-.■ 






Yahya, the son of 'Ali, revolts against his uncle-Marches to Cordova— Takes possession of that capital 
-The Berbers desert his cause-Al-kasim regains possession of Cordova— The people rise agamst 
him, and expel him from the city-Al-kasim goes to Seville- The inhabitants declare agamst him, and 
shut their gates-He takes refuge in Xerez-Falls into the hands of his nephew-Is sent prisoner to 
Malaga-Al-mustadh'her, of the house of Umeyyah, is proclaimed at Cordova-He is put to death, 
and succeeded by Al-mustakfi [Mohammed III.]— Yahya marches to Cordova, and takes it— The 
citizens proclaim Hisham Al-mu'tadd, of the house of Umeyyah— They depose him-Death of Yahya. 

After the battle in which Al-murtadhi was defeated, the whole of Andalus sub- 
mitted to the Berbers, and their rule was firmly established throughout the country. 
Al-kasim caused the tent of Al-murtadhi, which, together with other spoils, had 
fallen into the hands of the victor [Zawi], to be pitched on the bank of the 
Guadalquivir at Cordova, as a sign of the victory he had jnst gained over his 
enemy. Thousands of people went out of Cordova to see it, and manifested their 
sorrow by deep sighs escaping from their bosoms. 

It was on this occasion that the poet 'Obadah Ibn Mai-s-sama, who, as before 
stated, was a partisan of the house of 'AH, recited before Al-kasim that ode of 

his which begins thus : 

" Thine is the victory; Khayran has gone his way; and God has secured 

" the empire to the descendant of his messenger." l 
The affairs of Al-kdsim went on their course; he appointed and removed Yajg J*™ 
[governors], spoke and acted, until his nephew Yahya, the son of 'Ali, threw off against Ms 
the mask of obedience, and aimed at depriving him of the empire. It happened 
thus: Yahya, who, on the death of his father 'Ali, was governor of Ceuta, wrote 
from that town to the principal Berher chiefs in Cordova, saying, " My uncle has 
deprived me of my father's inheritance : not satisfied with this, he has also 
deprived you of the governments and offices won by your good swords, and 
" given them to his black slaves. I am coming among you to claim the throne 
" of my father. Once in possession of it, I will reinstate you in the full enjoyment 









Marches to 

Enters that 


The Berbers 
desert his 

" of all your rights and privileges, and will reduce the black slaves to their former 
" condition." The Berbers having agreed to espouse his cause on these con- 
ditions, Yahya collected all the vessels he could find in the ports of his dominions, 
besides those sent him by his brother Idris, Lord of Malaga, and, having crossed 
the sea, landed at that port at the head of considerable forces. Whilst there, he 
received letters from Khayran, Lord of Almeria, reminding him of the alliance which 
had once existed between the writer and the father of Yahya, to whose elevation he 
had contributed, and asking for his alliance and friendship. But his brother Idris 
said to him, "Place no confidence in Khayran; he is an artful man and a traitor." 
— " Well, if it be so," replied Yahya, " we must manage him so as to make his arts 
" and his treasons useful to ourselves." However, Yahya, relying on the promises 
of the Berbers, determined upon attacking his uncle in Cordova. Having sent 
his brother Idris to Africa, to govern there in his absence, he placed himself at 
the head of whatever forces he could collect, and proceeded by forced marches 
to the capital. Al-kasim did not wait for the arrival of his nephew. Knowing 
that he could place no reliance on his men, he left his capital secretly and at night, 
accompanied only by five trusty servants, and arrived in Seville, where he was well 
received by the Kadi Ibnu 'Abbad. The departure of Al-kasim took place on 
Saturday, the 28th of Rabi'-l-akhar of the year 410 (Sept. 1, a.d. 1019). Soon 
after, his nephew Yahya entered Cordova, and was proclaimed by the Berbers, the 
black slaves, and the inhabitants of the place, on Saturday, the first of Jumada-1- 
akhar (Oct. 3, a.d. 1019) of the same year. 2 

On his taking possession of the throne, Yahya assumed the surname of Al- 
mu'tali (the exalted) . Being proud of his noble origin, since he was descended 
on his father's side from 'All [Ibn Abi Talib] , and his mother also was a descendant 
of Fatimah, the daughter of the Prophet, Yahya began to treat the great men of 
his court with utter disregard, never admitting them to his presence, and passing 
his time in the society of low and contemptible men. This made the chiefs of the 
Berbers averse to Yahya ; they complained loudly of his ingratitude, and clamoured 
for the fulfilment of those conditions on which they had consented to support 
his claim to the throne, one of which was that he should immediately recall the 
immunities and privileges granted to the guard of black slaves [during the preceding 
reigns]. This Yahya immediately granted; but the disaffected, not being satisfied 
with the above concession, now made such exorbitant demands, that the treasury 
would have been drained and the royal power seriously impaired, [had Yahya 
acceded to their wishes.] The black slaves, moreover, not considering themselves 
safe in Cordova, fled to his uncle Al-kasim in Seville ; their example being soon 
followed by all those among the Berbers and Andalusian officers who were offended 


-^ T 

■^ 7 r" ■■ ■_ 


at his behaviour, or who had in any measure been wronged by him. In addition to 
this, it must be said, that not one of the petty kings of Andalus followed the party 
of Yahya j the greater part still continued to have the Jchothah said in his uncle's 
name, and a few remained faithful to the Beni Umeyyah, for whom and in whose 
name they pretended to hold their governments. So that, in point of fact, the 
power of Yahya did not extend beyond the walls of Cordova, and he soon came 
to the conviction that should his uncle march against him, he could not defend 
his capital, and he would inevitably fall into his hands. About the same time 
Yahya received the intelligence that the city of Malaga, where his brother Idris 
commanded in his name, was on the point of renouncing his rule; for, whilst Idris 
was at Ceuta, of which city he was also governor, the inhabitants of the former 
place, profiting by his absence, had sent a secret message to Khayran, inviting 
him to take possession of the city ; which that chieftain was preparing to accomplish. 
All these considerations induced Yahya to abandon his capital : he accordingly left 
Cordova at night, and fled to Malaga with a few trusty followers. 

No sooner had Al-kasim heard of his nephew's abandoning Cordova, than he Ai-^sim re- 

(£Hins posses- 

marched to that place from Seville. He re-entered his capital without opposition, sionof cor- 
and the khotbah was again recited in his name on Tuesday, thirteen 3 days before 
the end of Dhi-1-ka'dah of the year 413 (Feb. 10, a. d. 1023). Al-kasim, however,- 
did not long enjoy peace after his restoration ; new discords and civil wars breaking 
out throughout Andalus. The black slaves, it is true, were, to a man, ranged under 
his banners ; but the greater number of the Berbers were attached to his nephew ; 
whilst a third party was formed at Cordova wjio wished for the restoration of the 
dynasty of Umeyyah, and expected anxiously the rising of some member of that 
family. The plans of the latter, however, did not then meet with success ; and the 
consequence was, that fresh dissensions and deplorable calamities ensued. Al-kasim 
ordered a most scrupulous search to be made throughout his dominions for all 
the surviving members of the family of Umeyyah, who, in order to avoid the 
persecution, were compelled to fly to the provinces, and take refuge in farms and 
country-houses under various disguises. 

In the mean while his nephew Yahya was not inactive. Having fitted out an 
expedition in Malaga, he besieged and took Algesiras, which still held out for 
Al-kasim. His brother, Idris, likewise took possession of Tangiers, a city which 
Al-mamtm [Al-kasim] had fortified with the utmost care, and wherein he kept his 
treasures. Some time after this, dissension having broken out between the Berbers 
and the citizens of Cordova, they came to blows in the streets. The latter being in ^Sffffif* 
greater number, Al-kasim and his Berbers were compelled to evacuate the place, g^^ 1 ^ 
and to pitch their tents in a field to the west of the city. From that place the 

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Al-kasim goes 
to Seville. 

Berbers made most desperate assaults on the city for a period of fifty consecutive 
days ; but the Cordovans built up with masonry the gates of their city } and made a 
most vigorous defence from the top of the walls. At last, seeing the siege pro- 
tracted, and provisions growing every day more and more scarce, the Cordovans 
decided to make a last effort to drive the enemy from their walls. Having opened 
one of the gates, they made a simultaneous and determined attack upon the 
besiegers, who were utterly defeated, God Almighty being pleased to grant the 
citizens of Cordova a very signal victory over their enemies. This took place 
on Thursday, twelve days before the end of Sha'ban of the year 414 (November 2, 
a.d. 1023). 4 After this defeat, Al-kasim's army dispersed. The black troops 
followed him to Seville, but the Berbers joined his nephew Yahya in Malaga. 

On his departure for Cordova, Al-kasim had left a son of his named Mohammed 
to command in Seville, assisted by the counsels of two Wizirs whom he appointed. 
One of these was Mohammed Ibn Zeyri, one of the principal Berber chiefs ; 
the other, Mohammed Ibn 'Abbad, then Judge and afterwards Sultan of Seville, 
and the grandfather of Al-mu'tamed Ibn 'Abbad, so celebrated in the annals 
of Andalus. Ibn Zeyri being an influential man among his countrymen, the 
Berbers, and being besides very ambitious, aspired to the supreme power; so 
The inhabitants $$ j\ )nn 'Abbad. Accordingly, when Al-kasim with the relics of his army 

declare against ° J 

wm, and shut appeared in sight of Seville, the two chieftains shut the gates of the city in his 

their gatsSi i i i i 

face. 5 Al-kasim then tried to force the entrance ; but he was repulsed, and several 
skirmishes ensued, in which both blacks and Berbers fell in great numbers, Ibnu 
'Abbad smiling internally and rejoicing all the time to see the two parties destroy 
each other. At last Al-kasim, despairing of gaining possession of the city, sent 
in messengers to propose that if his son Mohammed and his family were safely 
delivered into his hands, he would immediately raise the siege and retire elsewhere. 
These terms being accepted by Ibn Zeyri, his son and family were suffered to 
quit the city, and Al-kasim marched to Sherish (Xerez). Scarcely, however, had 
Al-kasim had time to establish himself in that fortress, when his nephew Yahya 
left Malaga at the head of considerable forces and besieged him in it. Al-kasim 
defended himself with great courage for twenty consecutive days, during which time 
a great number of warriors fell on both sides. At last the contest ended in favour 
of Yahya ; for the citizens of Xerez, unwilling to bear any longer the hardships of 
the siege, surrendered their city to him; upon which the blacks fled in every direc- 
tion, and Al-kasim and his son Mohammed fell into the hands of their incensed 
relative. This happened in the year 415 (beginning March 14, a. d. 1024). 6 

They ; say that Yahya had upon a former occasion taken his most solemn oath 
that, were his uncle to fall a prisoner into his hands, he would immediately put him 

He takes re- 
fuge in Xerez. 

Falls into the 
hands of his 


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to death, and thus deprive him of all chance of getting possession of Cordova a third 

time. He nevertheless postponed the execution of Al-kasim until he should take the 

advice of his counsellors to that effect. Having done so, he was recommended 

to spare the life of Al-kasim, but to confine him in a dungeon within his own is sent prisoner 

castle at Malaga, that he might in future be safe against his attacks. They say that to Malaga ' 

whenever Yahya was intoxicated, which was of frequent occurrence, he being 

very much addicted to drinking spirituous liquors, he always showed an inclination 

to order his uncle's execution; but that his guests never failed to implore his 

mercy, and to remind him that his enemy was now under his power and could 

nowise escape. They say also that Yahya saw frequently in dreams his own 

father, 'Ali, who forbade him to put him to death, saying, " Al-kasim was my 

" elder brother ; he used to be very fond of me when I was a child, and whilst 

" I commanded in this country I always found him obedient to my rule. By 

" Allah! have mercy on him!" Yahya therefore refrained for some time; but 

having afterwards received information that Al-kasim was tampering with the 

guards of his prison, with a view to effect his escape and take up arms against 

him, he had him strangled in his prison, thirteen years, or thereabouts, after 

his falling into his hands, that is to say, in the year 427 (beginning November 4, 

a. d. 1035), 7 although there are not wanting historians who assert that he died a 

natural death. But to return. 

After the retreat of Al-kasim and his Berbers from before the walls of 
Cordova, the inhabitants of that capital remained for nearly two months without 
a leader, deliberating among themselves whom they would choose for their sove- 
reign. At last, on Tuesday, the 15th 8 of the month of Ramadhan of the year 
414 (Dec. 1, a. d. 1023), three princes of the race of Umeyyah presented them- 
selves as candidates; namely, 'Abdu-r-rahman, son of Hisham, 'and brother 
of Mohammed Al-muhdi, formerly Khalif of Cordova ; Suleyman, son of Al- 
murtadhi, and another one. At first, Suleyman counted the most votes, and it is 
even stated that the deed of inauguration was drawn in his name, as was cus- 
tomary on such occasions, and that he was publicly proclaimed through the streets 
of Cordova ; but the party of 'Abdu-r-rahman having prevailed, Suleyman and Ai-mustadh'hcr 
the other candidate kissed his hand in token of obedience, and he was pro- tJmeyyan is 
claimed under the name of Al-mustadh'her (he who implores the assistance of Cordova. 
God). Immediately after this, Al-mustadh'her ['Abdu-r-rahman IV.] rode to the 
royal palace, taking with him his two cousins above named, 9 whom he caused to 
be imprisoned. 

Al-mustadh'her had, on his accession to power, raised several of his partisans 
to the highest rank in the state, admitting them to his privacy and treating them 

VOL. II. 2 I 

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with a familiarity and friendship quite unprecedented. In the number were, 
Abu 'A'mir Ibn Shoheyd, 10 celebrated for his courage and military virtues ; Abu 
Mohammed Ibn Hazm, well known for his satirical and controversial writings 
against the Ulemas of various religious schools ; and his cousin 'Abdu-1-wahhab Ibn 
Hazm Al-ghazzal, a youth of very loose morals. This gave offence to the Sheikhs, 
the Wizirs, and other influential citizens : upon which, Al-mustadh'her threw himself 
for protection into the arms of the Berbers, to whom he granted new immunities 
and privileges. But whilst Al-mustadh'her passed his time with Ibn Shoheyd and the 
two Ibn Hazm, engaged in literary pursuits and in writing poetry, the discontented 
took advantage of the state of things, and began to excite the lower classes of 
Cordova against him, by representing him as a frivolous man who spent his time 
with poets and sycophants. This they failed not to accomplish, the people of 
Cordova being then in a state of the grossest ignorance. 

There, were at the time in the prisons of Cordova several criminals whose 

detention was deemed necessary [to the welfare of the state]. Among the rest 

was one named Abu 'Imran, whom Al-mustadh'her caused to be set at liberty 

against the advice of one of his Wizirs, who urged him strongly to keep him 

in prison. Al-mustadh'her, however, disregarding all warning, caused the prisoner 

to be liberated. This Abu Tmran was the cause of Al-mustadh'her 's ruin ; for 

he, and all those who came out from prison, began to plan his destruction, and 

to substitute perdition for his joy, taking as a pretence to make partizans among 

the people, that Al-mustadh'her neglected the affairs of government and passed 

his time with literary men and poets, as his low inclinations prompted him. A 

conspiracy was accordingly formed, with the assistance of the Berbers, the object of 

is put to death, which, was to deprive him of the throne, and to appoint a relative of his, named 

by Ai-mustakfi Mohammed, -in his stead. He was assassinated in the month of Dhi-1-ka'dah 

in.j. amme of the same year in which he had been raised to the Khalifate, after a reign of 

forty-seven days, 11 he being then in the twenty-third year of his age. When God 
Almighty has decreed that an event shall happen, there is no mortal who can 
prevent its fulfilment! 

Mohammed was the son of 'Abdu-r-rahman Ibn 'Obeydillah, 12 whom Al-mansur 
Ibn Abi 'A'mir caused to be put to death, because he was planning a revolt against 
. . . the Khalif Hisham. On his accession to the throne Mohammed took the sur- 
name of Al-mustakfi-hillah (he who is contented with God). His reign, however, 
was not of long duration; for, sixteen months after his elevation to power, in the 
year 416 (a. d. 1025), Yahya Al-mu'tali, who, since the defeat and capture of his 
Yahya marches uncle Al-kasim at Xerez, had ruled undisturbed over Malaga and Algesiras, 
takes it. marched his army to Cordova, and entered that city without opposition, the Khalif 



- : _■_" -- : ^ -""^ -r' 


Al-mustakfi being compelled to fly to the Thagher, where he died soon after. 13 
This Al-mustakE was the father of the celebrated poetess Waladah, to whom Abti-U 
walid Ibn Zeydiin dedicated his risdleh. Ibmi Bashkuwal says, that she was the 
most eloquent woman of her age, and that in point of learning and taste she 
rivalled the best poets of her father's court. The histories of the time are filled 
with entertaining anecdotes respecting this princess ; but as we intend to treat 
of her elsewhere, 14 and to transcribe largely from the works of Al-fat'h, Ibnu Said, 
and Ibnu-1-abbar, who have all written her life, we need not relate them in this 
place. She lived to a great age, and died on the second day of Safar of the 
year 480 (May 8, a. d. 1087), although there are not wanting authors who place 
her death in 484, (a. d. 1091). She was equally celebrated for her chastity as for 

her beauty, and she never married. 

But to return to our account of the Sultans of the house of 'All. No sooner 

had Yahya entered Cordova, than, leaving a general of his named Ibn Tttaf, to 

govern in his name, he quitted that capital and retired to Malaga, where he began 

to make preparations for the ensuing campaign against Abu-1-kasim Ibn 'Abb&d, 

Lord of Seville. Soon after, however, in 417, (beginning Feb. 21, a. d. 1026, 15 ) 

the inhabitants of Cordova rose against their governor and his Berber troops, 

fought with them in the streets, and ultimately expelled them from the capital ; pro e c] ^ 

after which they appointed a prince of the race of Umeyyah, named Hisham, %$*&* 

brother of the deceased Al-murtadhi, to administer their affairs. This was done *j£|£J5£ 

by the advice of the Wizir Abu Mohammed Jehwar Ibn Mohammed, at that time 

the most influential person in Cordova, and one in whom the people of all classes 

placed their confidence. As Hisham was then at Lerida, in the Thagher (Aragon), 

with Ibn Hud, a message was sent to him, offering him the crown, and inviting 

him to repair to Cordova. Hisham accepted the invitation, and assumed on the 

occasion the surname of Al-muHadd-billah (he who is prepared in God). This 

happened in the year 418 (beginning Feb. 10, a. d. 1027). Hisham at first did not 

proceed to Cordova, but remained for three years in the Thagher (Aragon) , going 

from one place to another. 16 At last, civil war having broken out among the 

petty chieftains, who about that time began every where to show symptoms of 

independence, it was agreed among them that Cordova should [notwithstanding 

their pretensions] continue to be the capital of the Mohammedan empire in 

Andalus. Hearing of that determination, Ibn Jehwar and the citizens of Cordova 

entreated Hisham to come among them; which he did, about the close of the 

year 420 (Dec. a. d. 1029). Hisham was a mild and enlightened ruler, and 

possessed many brilliant qualities ; but notwithstanding all that, some time after 

his entrance into the capital, the volatile and degenerate citizens of Cordova 

The citiaen 

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They depose g rew discontented with his rule, and he was deposed by the army in 422 

(a.d. 1031). Hishara left the capital and retired to Lerida, where he died in 
428 (a.d. 1036). He was the last member of that illustrious dynasty which 
had ruled over Andalus and a great portion of Africa for a period of two hundred f 

and eighty-four years, counting from the accession of Abdu-r-rahman L, surnamed 
Ad-dakhel, in 138 (a. d. 756). There is no God but him ! He is the Almighty ! 

Death of Meantime Yahya had not given up all hopes of regaining possession of his 

capital, or chastising the rebellion of Abu-1-kasim Ibn 'Abbad, who, as before 
related, had declared himself independent in Seville. He therefore kept his army 
continually in motion, besieging either the one or the other of those cities, until 
the people of Cordova agreed to submit to him, and give him possession of their 
castles and cities. In this manner Yahya's power increased ; but having, in the 
year 427 (beginning Nov. 4, a. d. 1035), marched against Abu-1-kasim Ibn 'Abbad, 
Lord of Seville, he was assassinated 17 near Carmona by some of his own men, at 
the instigation of that chieftain. 

V, - 






Andalus divided into petty kingdoms-Kings of Malaga, of the family of Idlings of Algesiras- 

Balearic Islands, 

We have already alluded in several chapters of this work to the deplorable ££-*- 
revolution and disastrous events by which the mighty power of the Beni Merwan jw 
was overthrown, and their extensive dominions in Africa, as well as in Andalus, 
became the prey of ambitious chieftains, thus affording an opportunity to the , 
cruel enemy of God to attack in detail the divided Moslems, and to expel them 
at last from those countries which they had so long held in their power. We 
shall now proceed to give a rapid sketch of each of those dynasties which built 
their power on the ruins of the Khalifate. 

And first the Beni Hamud. After the death of Yahya Al-mu'tali, who, as**-*** 
related! was assassinated, in the year 427 (beginning Nov. 4, a. n. 1035), by 
of his own followers, the army sent for his brother, Idris Ibn 'Ali, who was at that 
time in Ceuta, and proclaimed him Amiru-l-mimenin (Commander of the Faithful) 
and Sultan of Andalus, with the surname of Al-mutdyyed-Ullah (the confirmed by 
the grace of God). 1 Idris was immediately proclaimed in Ronda and its depen- 
dencies, in Almeria and Algesiras, as well as in his own family dominions of Ceuta 
and Tangiers, which he intrusted to the care of his own nephew, Hasan, appointing 
a eunuch named Naja to administer his counsels. Idris' first care was to revenge 
his brother's death. Having 2 sent an army to make war against AM-1-kasim 
Isma'il Ibn 'Abbad, the father of Al-mu'tadhed Ibn 'Abbad [who. reigned afterwards 
in Seville] after some sharp encounters the head of his enemy was brought to 
him in the year 431 (beginning Sept. 22, a.d. 1039). Idris, however, did not 
long enjoy his victory ; he died two days after the head of his enemy was laid at 

his feet. 

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After the death of Idris, the army proclaimed his son Yahya, who did not, 
however, assume the command ; for another party having inaugurated Hasan, son 
of Al-mu'tali, he [Yahya] took refuge in the fortress of Komaresh (Comares), 
where he died in the year 434 (beginning Aug. 20, a. d. 1042) ; some say that 
he was secretly put to death by the eunuch Naja. According to the historian 
Ibnu Khaldtin, it happened thus : " On the death of Idris, Ibn Bokennah, 
" who was one of his Wizirs, contrived to have himself proclaimed at Malaga; 
(t but no sooner did Naja, the eunuch, who was then at Ceuta, hear of it, than 
" he crossed over to Malaga, bringing with him Hasan, the son of Yahya Al- 
" muta'li, whom he caused to be immediately proclaimed by the citizens and the 
" army under the name of Al-mustanser-billah. "When Naja saw his master's 
" authority fully established in Malaga, he returned to Ceuta, of which city Hasan 
" had granted him the investiture, as well as of all his other possessions in the 
" country of Ghomarah. Hasan died in the year 434 (beginning Aug. 20, a. d. 
" 1042), from the effects of poison ministered to him by a daughter of his uncle 
" Idris, in revenge for the death of her brother [Yahya Ibn Idris], whom that 
" monarch caused to be put to death on his accession to the throne." 

(( On the death of Hasan," says Ibnu Khaldun, " Naja again crossed over to 
" Malaga, with the intention of having himself proclaimed by the troops. During 
" his absence he trusted the government of Ceuta and Tangiers in the hands of 
" a Sclavonian eunuch, in whom he placed all his confidence. He set sail and 
" landed in Malaga, where he so far succeeded in his ambitious designs as to usurp 
" all the authority in the state. He was, however, soon after assassinated by the 
" Berbers, who appointed to the vacant throne another son of Yahya Al-mu'tali, 
" named Idris. Ever since the death of his brother Hasan, Idris Ibn Yahya had 
" been confined in a dungeon at Malaga." 

No sooner had the Berbers put to death Naja, than they took Idris out of prison, 
and, after some previous negotiations, they proclaimed him under the name of 
AVdli-billah (the exalted by the grace of God) on Thursday, six days before the 
end of Jumada n. of the year 434 (Feb. 6, a. d. 1043). His authority was 
immediately acknowledged at Granada and Carmona, the khotbah being said in his 
name in the mosques of those places. This monarch is the one alluded to and 
praised in a kassidah, composed by Abu Zeyd 'Abdu-r-rahman Ibn Mokena" 
Al-fondaki, a native of Lisbon, and one of the poets mentioned in the DhakMrah 
(the hoarded treasure) by Ibn Bessam. This poem, of which we gave some extracts 
in the first book (vol. i. p. 100), is well known throughout the West, and begins 
thus : 

" lightning flashes in the ethereal regions, and thy eyes are bathed in tears. 



1 /I h--._ .-_>- 



Its naked swords sport about as freely as the twisted snake in the hands 

" of the players. 

" If the voice of thunder at times speaks a lover's complaint, mine heart 

" too has its sighs and its lamentations." 3 

Idris was dethroned in the year 438 (beginning July 7, a. d. 1046),- and suc- 
ceeded by his cousin Mohammed, the son of Idris Ibn 'All, who took the surname 
oiAl-muhdi (the directed), and died in the year 444 (beginning May 2, a.d. 1052). 

He was succeeded by his nephew Idris, son of Yahya Ibn Idris, who, upon his 
accession, assumed the title of Al-muwaffek-Ullah (he who prospers by the grace of 
God) ; but he was not proclaimed Khalif in the mosques. After a reign of a few 
months, his cousin Idris Al-'ali, the same prince alluded to in the above poem, who^, 
since his dethronement, had lived in the castle of Comares, marched to the capital, 
Malaga, and, having taken possession of it, gave it to his slaves to plunder, in. 
revenge for the injuries he had received at the hands of the inhabitants, most of 
whom quitted that place and went to settle elsewhere. Al-'ali died in the year 446 

or 447 (a. d. 1054-6). 4 

After him reigned Mohammed, son of Idris, 5 who, on his accession to the throne, 
assumed the surname of Al-musf ali-billak (the exalted by the grace of God). This- 
monarch was dethroned by Badis Ibn Habus, King of Granada, who, in the year 
449 (beginning March 9, a. d. 1057), marched against him and took possession 
of his capital, Malaga. After the loss of his kingdom, Mohammed- retired to 
Alraeria, where he led a private life, until, in the year 456 (beginning Dec. 24, 
a.d. 1063), 6 the citizens of Melilla invited him to come among them; this he did, 
when they elected him for their sovereign, and he ruled over them until the year 
460 (Nov. 10, A.n. 1067), when he died. 7 

During these events the city of Algesiras and the neighbouring districts were of Algesic 
under the sway of princes descended also from the family of Hamud. When Al- 
kasim, as before related, fell into the hands of his nephew Yahya, and was by him 
confined to a dungeon in Malaga, a son of his, named Mohammed, was made to 
share his captivity. This Mohammed, having some time after succeeded in making 
his escape, fled to Algesiras, of which city, as well as the surrounding districts^ 
he made himself master, assuming the surname of Al-mu' tassem-Ullah (he who 
looks to God for protection from sin). Mohammed maintained himself in pos- 
session of his states, until he died in the year 440 (beginning June 15, a. d. 1048). 
He was succeeded by his son Al-kasim, who took the surname of Al-wdthih-billah, 
(he who trusts in God), and reigned until the time of his death, which happened in 
the year 450 (beginning Feb. 27, a. d. 1058), when the city of Algesiras fell into 
the hands of Al-mu'tadhed Ibn 'Abbad, King of Seville; and Malaga into those 

iTss&^j ;~'.T- r. : -" 





of Habus, who was the enemy and the rival of Al-mu'tadhed. In this manner 
was the dynasty of the Sherifs, sons of Hamud, overthrown in Andalus, after 
some of them had assumed the title of Khalif, as before related. 
The Zeyrites of About the same time that the Beni Hamud established themselves in Malaga, 

a Berber chief, named Zawi, was founding a kingdom in Granada. This Zawi 
was the son of Zeyri, son of Munad, of the tribe of Senhajah. His kunya or 
surname was Abii Mothna. He went to Cordova during the administration of 
Al-mansur 8 with three of his nephews, named Habus, Makesen, and Habasah, 
and a body of Zenatah, whom Al-mansur took into his service. Zawi having 
distinguished himself in war against the Christians, Al-manstir gave him the 
command of a body of African troops, and appointed him one of his Hajibs, or 
chamberlains. When Mohammed Al-muhdi, after the assassination of 'Abdu-r- 
rahman Ibn Al-mansur, usurped the royal power, Zawi, with the rest of the Berber 
troops, embraced the cause of Suleyman, and assisted him in getting possession 
of Cordova, which was taken by storm on Monday, the 6th of Shawwal, a. h. 403 
(April 20, a.d. 1013), and its unhappy inhabitants subjected to all manner of 
cruelties practised upon them by a brutal and ferocious soldiery. It is related, 
that on this occasion Zawi found in one of the palaces at Cordova, called Al-jodrat, 
the head of his father, Zeyri Ibn Munad, who had been put to death during the 
Khalifate of Al-hakem Al-mustanser-billah, 9 and that he gave it to his soldiers 

to have it properly buried. 

During the civil wars which broke out in Andalus after the death of Suleyman, 
Zawi retired to Granada, of which city and its districts he had been appointed 
governor by that Sultan, and strengthened himself in it. We have related elsewhere 
(p. 235) how when Al-murtadhi, of the house of Umeyyah, requested Zawi to make 
common cause with him against 'All Ibn Hamud, the Berber chief refused his 
application, attacked him on his road to Cordova, and put him to death. In the 
year 410 (beginning May 3, a.d. 1019) Zawi crossed over to Africa, 10 leaving 
in command of Granada a nephew 11 of his, named Habus Ibn Makesen Ibn Zeyri, 
who took possession of Cabra, Jaen, and other places, and became in time one 
of the most powerful monarchs of Andalus. 

Habus died in the year 429 (beginning Oct. 13, a. d. 1037), 12 and was succeeded 
by his son Badis [Ibn Habus], surnamed Al-mpdhaffer (the victorious), who 
acknowledged himself the vassal of the Bern Hamud of Malaga, and said the 
khotbah in their name. Shortlv after his accession, Badis had to defend himself 
against Zohayr, the Sclavonian King of Almeria, who invaded his dominions at the 
head of considerable forces ; but Badis marched against him, defeated him, and put 
him to death. This happened in Shawwal of the year 429 (July, a. d. 1038). Mo- 


^W 1 

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■. ■■ -.■ ^ 

94 Q 


hammed Al-birzali, Lord of Carmona, having been attacked by the King of Seville, 
solicited the aid of Badis, who, joining his forces to those of Malaga, com- 
manded by Ibn Bokennah, defeated and slew Ismail, the son of that monarch, 
and sent his head to Idris [Al-mutayyed]. Badis likewise made war on Al-kadir 
Ibn Dhi-n-nun, King of Toledo ; and in the year 449 (beginning March 9 ad 
1057) perceiving the weak state into which his neighbours, the Beni Hamud, had 
fallen,' he took possession of Malaga, which he added to his own dominions 
According to Ibnu-l-'askar, Badis died on the twentieth of Shawwal, a. h. 469 
(May 16 a. d. 1077), 13 after a long and prosperous reign. Ibnu-1-khattib says that 
Badis was the first [king of his race] who surrounded Granada with walls, and built 
its kassdbah and a palace for his own residence. 

He was succeeded by his grandson 'Abdullah, son of Balking surnamed AU Cordova. 
modhafer (the victorious), who intrusted the government of Malaga to his brother 
Temim 'Abdullah reigned undisturbed over Granada and the neighbouring districts 
until the year 483 (beginning March 5, a. d. 1090), when he was deprived of his 
kin-dom by Yusuf Ibn Tashefin, the Almoravide, as we shall describe hereafter. 

It has been related above (p. 243) how the inhabitants of Cordova, after shaking 
off the yoke of the Beni Hamud, appointed a prince of the race of Umeyyah, 
named Abu Bekr Hisham, son of Mohammed, son of 'Abdu-1-malek, son of 
'Abdu-r-rahman An-nasir, to rule over them ; and how, after administering the 
affairs of the state for nearly three years with great justice and moderation, the 
inconstant citizens of Cordova deprived the monarch of their choice of his power, 
and expelled him from their city. As there remained no other member of the 
house of Umevvah to whom they could offer the throne, the people of Cordova met 
together, and "determined upon giving the command to Abu-1-hazm Jehwar Ibn 
Mohammed, a man of much wisdom and experience, who had once been Wizir 
of the Beni Umeyyah under the administration of the Beni AM 'AW. Jehwar at 
first assumed no other title than that of Wizir of the Beni Umeyyah. It appears, 
even that with a view to reduce to obedience the petty rulers of Andalus, he pre- 
tended that Hisham Al-muyyed-billah was still living; and, having caused prayers 
to be said in his name, he wrote to the Kadi Ibnu 'Abbad [Mohammed], Kmg of 
Seville, to Al-mundhir, King of Saragossa, and to Ibn Dhi-n-nun, King of Toledo, 
inviting them to send in their allegiance to Hisham, and to acknowledge Cordova 
as the capital of Andalus. None, however, listened to. his words; upon which, 
Jehwar perceiving that his stratagem produced not the desired effect, published 
that Hisham was dead, and usurped the royal power. He governed, however, with 
great moderation and justice, although his rule was scarcely obeyed beyond the 
walls of Cordova. At his death, which happened in the month of Safar, 435 

2 K 


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_I_V .- 1- 

1 vT^T 

J- ■"■- J 1 






(Sept. or Oct. a. d. 1043), Jehwar was succeeded by his son, Abu-1-walid Moham- 
med, who followed in the steps of his father, until, broken down by infirmities and 
old age, he abdicated in favour of his son, 'Abdu-1-malek. This latter did not 
long enjoy his power ; for soon after his accession he lost his life and his throne, 
as we shall relate hereafter. 15 

Among the most celebrated petty dynasties of Andalus was that of the Beni 
* Abbad, Kings of Seville and Al-gharb (Algarve), one of whom was Al-mu'tamed 
Ibn 'Abbad, whose fame spread widely both in the East and West, and whose deeds 
are recorded in the Kaldyid and the Dhakhirah, in a manner that leaves nothing to 
desire. The historian, Ibnu-1-Iebbanah, 16 has said that there never was a dynasty 
which more resembled the powerful one of the Beni 'Abbas of Baghdad in extent of 
generosity and the number of their virtues ; and under that impression he composed 
that celebrated work of his, entitled AWitimdd fi akhbdr Beni 'Abbdd (the support : 
on the history of the Beni 'Abbad). We have already quoted (vol. i. p. 395) two 
verses composed by an African poet in derision of the dynasty of 'Abbad : 

" Among the things which make me dislike Andalus are the names Al- 
" mu'tadhed and Al-mu'tamed [assumed by its rulers] ; 

" Names of kings whose dominions are not in that country. It is, indeed, 
" like the cat, in the tale, trying to swell himself into a lion." 

But there can be no doubt that the poet who wrote these verses entertained 
a bad feeling towards Andalus in general, or that dynasty in particular ; for the 
works of poets and historians abound with anecdotes indicative of the splendour 
and magnificence with which the kings of Seville surrounded their courts, the 
boundless prodigality with which they rewarded authors and poets, and the love 
and enthusiasm which they themselves showed for the sciences. 

The founder of this dynasty was Mohammed Abii-1-kasim, Kadi-1-jam'ah 
(supreme judge) of Seville. He was the son of Isma'il, son of Karis (or Koraysh), 17 
son of 'Abbad, son of 'Amru, son of Aslam, son of 'Amru, son of 'Ittaf, son of 
Na'im, of the tribe of Lakhm, of the posterity of An-no'man, son of Al-mundhir 
Ibn Mai-s-samd, the last King of Hirah. The first member of that illustrious 
family, who settled in Andalus, was 'Ittaf, who entered that country in the suite 
of Balj Ibn Beshr, the Syrian, in the year 123 (a.d. 741). 'Ittaf was originally 
from a pretty town called Al-'arish, situated on the skirts of the desert which 
separates Syria from Egypt. He settled at Yaumeyn, a town in the district of 
Tosh&mh [Tocina], belonging to the jurisdiction of Seville. The first individual 
of the family who attained any celebrity was Isma'il, son of Koraysh, surnamed 
AbuM-walid, who became Sdhibu-sh-shorttah to Hisham Al-muyyed-billah, and 
filled for some time the functions of Imam at Seville. 18 At his death, his son 




- - ;^;iv,i;--ir 

-■ .- -. < -, 5, 


Mohammed, suraamed Abu-hkasim, succeeded him in some of his offices, and 
became at last Kadi and Wizir of Seville. We have elsewhere related (p. 240) how, 
when in the year 414 (a. d. 1023) Al-kasim Ibn Harmid appeared before the walls 
of Seville, flying before his nephew Yahya, the inhabitants of that city determined 
upon shutting their gates in the face of that Sultan, and administering their affairs 
by themselves independently of the Beni Idris ; for which end they appointed a 
council composed of three individuals. The Kadi Ibnu 'Abbad was one of them; 
but being an ambitious and shrewd man, and possessing great influence in Seville, 
he succeeded in getting rid of his colleagues and usurping all the power to 
himself. After slaying Yahya Ibn J Ali, who was besieging him in Seville, the Kadi 
Ibnu 'Abbad imagined that he could not effectually consolidate his empire and 
expel the Idrisites from Andalus, unless he succeeded in uniting under one common 
standard all the partisans of the house of Umeyyah. For this end he procured 
a man resembling in age and appearance the Khalif Hisham, (murdered during 
the civil wars of Cordova,) and, causing the khotbah to be said for him in all 
the mosques of his dominions, assumed the title of Hajib (chamberlain), and 
professed to reign in his name. 19 After this, the KM Ibnu 'Abbad sent his son 
Ismail against Mohammed Ibn 'Abdillah Al-birzali, Lord of Carmona and chief 
of the Berber party in those parts ; but Mohammed, having called to his assistance 
the Berbers of Granada and the Beni Idris of Malaga, Ismail was defeated: and put 
to death in a. h. 431 (beginning Sept. 22, a. d. 1039). 

The Kadi Ibnu 'Abbad died on Sunday, ,one day before the end of Jumada, 
the first, of the year 433 (January 23, a. d. 1042). 20 He was succeeded by his 
son Abu 'Amru 'Abbad Fakhru-d-daulah (glory of the state), who, upon his 
accession to the throne, assumed the surname of Al-muHadhed-billah (he who 
implores the assistance of God) . This 'Abbad was a powerful prince, who reduced 
under his sway the greater part of Andalus. He took Cordova 21 from the Beni 
Jehwar, and also made extensive conquests in Al-gharb (the western districts). 
The poet Ibnu-1-lebbanah describes Al-mu'tadhed in the following words; <( Al- 
" mu'tadhed Abu 'Amru 'Abbad was a prince whose life was to his enemies what 
" fetters are to the feet of the prisoner ; whose sword never ceased spilling blood 
" and taking away souls. Such, indeed, was the number of his victims, that he 
" actually had before the door of his house an enclosure filled with the skulls 
" of the slain, the spoils of prince and subject. 22 There was nothing Al-mu'tadhed 
" liked so much as to look at this enclosure, and he used to spend the greater part 
" of his time gazing at it ; he would often weep and feel compassion for his victims. 
" Such anecdotes are related of his cruelty, that it is better that they should be 
" kept away from human ears and not brought to light. 

>r.LftT . r - --Ijy^ r-. i - -_" — 

_ .-_ . - ^ ^ 



" Al-mu'tadhed was a good poet. The two following verses, which he composed 
" when the city of Ronda fell into his power, are remarkable : 

' Thou shalt be strengthened, O Ronda, and made a bulwark to our 
' empire. 

( We will soon provide thee with spears and sharp-edged swords. 5 " 2S 
Al-mu'tadhed Ibn 'Abbad died in Jumada, the second, of the year 461 (May, 
a.d. 1069), after a prosperous reign of about twenty-eight years. He was succeeded 
by his son Abu-1-kasim Mohammed, surnamed Al-mu'tamed 'ala-illah (he who 
relies on God), who was then twenty-nine years of age, having been born at Beja, in 
Al-gharb (Estremadura) , in 432 (beginning Sept. 10, a.d. 1040). 

The Kadi and learned theologian Abu Bekr Ibn Khamis ['Abdu-1-jabbar As- 
sikili], when he comes to treat of the Beni 'Abbad, says as follows : " Such were 
" the brilliant qualities of Al-mu'tamed, that, although his praises are in every 
" body's mouth, yet enough cannot be said of him to do him justice. I will now 
" relate some of his adventures, to which I will add some of the poetical com- 

" positions which I have read of as attributed to him ; for he was as well versed j 

" in literature as he was excellent in poetry. His name was Mohammed, and his 
" hunya or surname Abu-1-kasim, like his grandfather the Kadi [Abu-1-kasim]. 
" He assumed the supreme power after the death of his father, Al-mu'tadhed. 
" Alluding to this event, a poet, named Al-hosri, has said, — 

' 'Abbad is dead, and yet a noble shoot remains [of the parent tree]. 
' The dead therefore is alive, only that the dhdd [of Al-mu'tadhed] is 
4 turned into a mini [Al-mu'tamed].' " 24 

" Al-mu'tamed," says the historian Ibnu-1-lebbanah, " continued to reign in pro- 
" sperity until the year 475 (beginning May 31, a. d. 1082). In that year the Jew, 
" Ibn Shalib, came to Seville with a number of Christian knights, for the purpose 
" of receiving the yearly tribute which Al-mu'tamed was in the habit of paying to 
" Alfonso. The Jew and his suite alighted at one of the gates of the city, whither, 
" after they had made known the object of their visit, the Sultan immediately sent 
" them the money required, by one of the high officers of his court. The Jew, how- 
" ever, refused to receive it, saying, ' I will not take this money ; I will take nothing 
" but pure gold, and next year we will not be satisfied with any thing short of the 
" whole wealth of the country : K return it to him.' The money was accordingly 
" returned to Al-mu'tamed, who was no sooner acquainted with the Jew's insolent 
"■speech, than he ordered some of his guards to drag the Jew and his suite to his 
" presence, and to cut the strings of the tent wherein they were. His commands 
"being executed, and the Christians brought before him, Al-mu'tamed ordered 
" that the Jew should be nailed to a stake, and his companions sent to prison. 




« When the accursed Jew heard his sentence pronounced, he said to Al-mu'tamed, 
' Thou wilt not do this, for I will redeem myself with my weight in gold ; ' 
to which Al-mu'tamed replied, < By Allah ! wert thou to give me possession 
of Africa and Andalus, I would not take it [as a ransom for thy life].' The Jew 
was accordingly nailed to a stake, [and the Christians of his suite sent to prison]. 
« The news of this occurrence soon reached the ears of the Christian [king], 
" who wrote immediately to Al-mu'tamed, demanding the release of his prisoners j 

" a request which was readily granted. 

" However, the Christian [king] swore to assemble an army as numerous as the 
« hairs upon his head, and such as would enable him to penetrate to the Straits 
" of Gibraltar. This was about the time when the commander of the Moslems, 
Yusuf Ibn Tashefin, was occupied in the siege of Ceuta ; upon which Al-mu'tamed 
[fearing lest Alfonso should put his threat into execution] crossed over to Africa, 
« and had an interview with the Amir of the Almoravides, who promised him 
his help. Al-mu'tamed then returned to Andalus, and stimulated the Moslem 
rulers of that country to make war against the infidels. Then came the landing 
« of Yusuf [with his army], and the celebrated campaign of Zalakah, in which 
the unbelievers were most completely defeated ; after which, Yusuf returned 
[to his African dominions] . He came a second time, when Al-mu'tamed began to 
suspect that his intention in taking possession of the country was to seize on the 
» nut and leave the shell; and he was not mistaken; for Yusuf had formed the 
« design of depriving the rulers of Andalus of their states, for which end he began 
« to plan all manner of stratagems. He sent from Ceuta to ask Al-mu'tamed to 
« give up to him the city and port of Jeziratu-1-khadhra (Algesiras) ; a request which 
» Al-mu'tamed refused to grant him under various pretences. However, in the 
twinkling of an eye, one hundred sail made their appearance before Algesiras ; 
upon which Yezid, son of Al-mu'tamed, who commanded there, let loose some 
" pigeons to apprize his father of the occurrence. Al-mu'tamed then ordered him 
" to give up the island; which he did, Yusuf soon after taking possession of it. 
" This was not the first time that Yusuf had done so; for it is asserted that, 
whenever he crossed over to Andalus, he insisted upon being made the master 
of that place, and that even when he crossed for the first time, he would not 
" embark until Al-mu'tamed had agreed to put him in possession of that port, 
» as a security to himself. It is also asserted that Yusuf did this at the instiga- 
" tion and by the advice of some Andalusians. 

" After this, Yusuf determined upon making war against the rulers of Andalus, 
" and dispossessing them one by one of their states. To this end he sent from 
" Africa bodies of troops under the command of officers of his court, with instruc- 



- - r.- 



" tions to besiege them [in their capitals]. In this manner he sent [an army] to 
" besiege Al-mu'tamed in Seville. It must be observed that the inhabitants of 
" that city were tired of that prince's rule, and that the love which they had 
" always professed for the Beni 'Abbad had been changed into hatred and contempt, 
" owing to several reasons, but chiefly because Al-mu'tamed was well known to 
" indulge in many reprehensible excesses, such as the drinking of spirituous 
" liquors, and listening to music and the singing of female slaves. About this 
" time, therefore, the generality of the people of Seville wished to get rid of 
" Al-mu'tamed as soon as possible. When Al-mu'tamed saw himself reduced 
" to the last extremity, he sent to implore the assistance of the Christians ; but 
" [the general of] Yusuf having detached a division of his army to attack them 
" on the road to Seville, they were defeated and their designs frustrated. After 
" this, Yiisuf equipped a fleet in Africa, and sent it to blockade Seville, the siege 
" of which was pressed with more vigour than ever. All this time Al-mu'tamed 
" was plunged in pleasure, and had intrusted the government [of his kingdom] 
"to his son Ar-rashid; the consequence was, that, when he least expected, 
" the Almoravides were within Seville. At last, hearing that the enemy were 
" already in possession of part of the city, Al-mu'tamed awoke from his dream, 
" and roused himself up from his intoxication. He mounted a horse, armed 
" himself with a scimitar, and, dressed as he was, without any defensive armour, 
" he rushed, followed by a few slaves, upon the Almoravides, who had just pene- 
trated into Seville by the gate of Al-faraj (Babu-1-faraj). Advancing upon a 
" drum which they had with them, he cut it in twain with his scimitar, and then 
" [sword in hand] he attacked the enemy, who fled before him in great confusion, 
" throwing themselves down from the top of the ramparts. Al-mu'tamed remained 
" on the spot until the gate was built up ; alluding to which, these two verses 
" were composed, which begin thus : 

' If the people have plundered the enemy. ' 26 
" "When the breach had been repaired and the gate stopped, Al-mu'tamed went 
" to inspect the rest of the fortifications. When he arrived at the gate of the 
" dyers (Babu-s-sabbaghin), he found his son Malek stretched dead upon the 
" ground; and having implored the mercy of God upon him, he retired to his 
" castle. Affairs soon grew worse, and the enemy entered the city on every 
" side ; upon which, Al-mu'tamed, having previously asked security for himself 
"and those who were with him, surrendered himself to the general of the Al- 
" mbravides, who furnished him with vessels to cross over to Tangiers. Al-mu'tamed 
-" was there met by a poet named Al-hosri, who had some time previous written 
" and dedicated to him a work containing selections from the best poets. Al-hosri 





> !_■ 

-■" "l - \ *l ^S 

-. - \- 






" was very far from imagining that he would ever see Al-mu'tamed in such a spot 
" and in such a plight, and presented the book to him. Al-mu'tamed took it into 
" his hands, and said to the poet, ' Lift up that rug, and take whatever thou 
" mayst find under it; by Allah ! I have nothing else to give thee.' Al-hosri did 

as he was directed, and found a quantity of gold. After this, Al-mu'tamed was 

conveyed to Aghmat, where he was kept prisoner for the rest of his days. He 
" died in 488 (a. d. 1095). Al-mu'tamed had several sons, four of whom held 
" empire, namely, Al-mamun, Ar-rashid, Ar-radhi, and Al-mu'tamed." 

One of the most powerful among the petty dynasties which rose out of the ruins Toledo, 
of the Khalifate was that of the Bern Dhi-n-nun, kings of Toledo, in the northern 
Thagher. This family were at one time in possession of a powerful empire, and 
their ostentation and luxurious habits reached an extreme point. From them 
were named the nuptial feasts known in the West as the I 'dhdru-dh-dhununi (the 
wedding-feasts of the Beni Dhi-n-nun), and which, owing to their magnificence 
and the profusion and splendour with which they were attended, have become as 
proverbial among the people of the West as the nuptials of Buran are among the 
Eastern people. The first sovereign of this family, who reigned in Toledo, was 
Isma'il, son of 'Abdu-r-rahman Ibn 'Omar Ibn Dhi-n-nun, the descendant in a 
right line from As-samh Ibn Dhi-n-min, a Berber of the tribe of Howarah/ who 
was present at the conquest [of Andalus]. 27 

He was succeeded by his son Yahya, surnamed Al-mamun, he who gave the en- 
tertainments above alluded to, and became in time one of the most powerful among 
the petty kings of Andalus. This Al-mamun had some communication and dealings 
with the tyrant Alfonso, which are well known. 28 He took Cordova from the 
hands of Al-mu'tamed Ibn 'Abbad, and killed Abu 'Amru, the son of that monarch, 
as we shall hereafter relate. He also gained possession of Valencia, and deprived 
Ibn Abi 'A'mir of the sovereignty of that place. During the reign of a grandson 29 
of this Al-mamun, by name Al-kadir Ibn Dhi-n-nun, the tyrant Alfonso took 
the city of Toledo from the Moslems ; for, finding his own power increased through 
the extinction of the Khalifate, and perceiving the weak and helpless state to which 
the Arabs had been reduced by their sins, he overran and plundered the flat 
country, and so pressed Al-kadir that he obliged him to surrender his capital, 
Toledo, in the year 478 (a. d. 1085), on condition, however, that he should assist 
him in gaining possession of Valencia; which he did. There is no power or strength 
but in God, the Great ! the High ! 

At the time that the power of the Bern 'A'mir was overthrown in Cordova, Saiagosaa. 
and the usurper Al-muhdi was reigning in their room, Al-mundhir Ibn Yahya 
At-tojibi, a descendant of the Tojibites, who played so distinguished a part during 


^Bf-'^iWy.* m f* ■* .* - *i*^-ck* 

^-■^ Lf - ^-_ 



[book VII. 


the reign of 'Abdullah Ibn Mohammed, 30 was governor of Saragossa. At his death 
he was succeeded by his son Yahya, who was soon after 31 dethroned by Suleyman 
Ibn Ahmed Ibn Mohammed Ibn Hud Al-jodhami, who took the surname of Al- 
musta'in-billah (he who expects the assistance of God). 

The most renowned princes of this dynasty were Abu Ja'far Ahmed Ibn Hud, sur- 
named Al-muldadir-Ullah (the powerful by the grace of God), son of the preceding, 
who died in a.h. 474 (beginning June 10, a. d. 1081), and his son, Abu. 'A'mir Yusuf 
Al-mutamen (the trusty). The latter was so much addicted to the study of mathe- 
matics, that he composed, among other works on that science, one entitled Kitdbu-l- 
istikmdl wa-l-manddhir (perfection and observatories). 32 He died the same year 
that Toledo was taken (a.h. 478, a. d. 1085), and was succeeded by his son 
Al-musta'in 33 Ahmed, who lost the battle of Huesca in 489 (a.d. 1096). After 
the death of this prince, who fell a martyr for the faith in an engagement with the 
Christians in sight of Saragossa, in 503 (a.d. 1110), his son 'Abdu-Lmalek, sur- 
named Imddu-d-daulah (the column of the state), succeeded to the kingdom of 
Saragossa. The Christian king [Ramiro] having taken from him his capital 
in 512 (a.d. 1118), he was compelled to retire to a strong fortress 34 in his 
dominions, where he maintained himself until he died. He was succeeded by his 
son Seyfu-d-daulah (the sword of the state), who fought many a hard battle with 
the Christian tyrant, until he made an agreement with him, and removed with 
his family to Toledo, where he died. 

Among the verses of Al-muktadir some have been preserved in which he praises 
two palaces which he had erected in his capital ; one called Kasru-s-sorur (the abode 
of joy), and the other Mejless adh-dhahab (the gilded hall). During the sway of 
the Almohades, a prince of this family, named Mohammed Ibn Yiisuf Ibn Hud 
Al-jodhami, raised the standard of revolt, and made himself master of the greater 
part of Andalus ; but enough will be said of him in another part of this 

The city of Badajoz and its district fell likewise to the share of a powerful 
family, who maintained themselves in possession of their usurped dominions 
until the arrival of the Almoravides. It was formerly in the hands of Shabur, 
a eunuch of the Beni 'A'mir, who, immediately upon the assassination of 
'Abdu-r-rahman and the dethronement of Hisham [by Mohammed Al-muhdi], 
declared himself independent, assuming the title of Hajib (chamberlain) and 
the. surname of Al-mansur. At his death the government of Badajoz and its 
districts passed into the hands of Al-mudhaffer 35 [Mohammed Ibn Al-afttas], 
the author of the work entitled Al-mudhafferi, in fifty volumes. He was suc- 
ceeded by his son 'Omar, surnamed Al-mutawakkel-billah (he who relies on 


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God), who was put to death, together with his two sons, by the general of 
Yiisuf Ibn Tashefm, the Almoravide. In commemoration of that unfortunate 
event, Ibn 'Abdun wrote his celebrated elegiac poem, the beginning of which we 
have given elsewhere (vol. i. p. 62) : it is one of the finest poems that ever 
was written. • 

Valencia and the surrounding districts were in the hands of Abti-1-hasan 'Abdu-1- Valencia, 
'aziz Al-ma'aferi, son of 'Abdu-r-rahman, and grandson of Abu 'A'mir Al-mansur. 
He was succeeded by his son 'Abdu-1-malek, surnamed Al-mudhaffer, 36 who was 
deprived of his kingdom by his father-in-law; Yahya Al-mamtin, Kingof Toledo. 

Murcia was in the mean while under the sway of a family called the Beni Tahir, Murcia, 
who ruled undisturbed over that city and the neighbouring districts for a period 
of several years, until they were finally dispossessed of their dominions: by Al- 
mu'tamed Ibn Abbad, King of Seville. 

Almeria was governed in succession by a great number of princes. The first Aimeria. 
was the Sclavonian eunuch Khayran, who, as before stated, had been governor of 
the province during the administration of the Hajib Abu 'Amir Al-mansur, and 
who, at the overthrow of the dynasty of Umeyyah, raised the standard of revolt 
against the sovereigns of the house of Hamud. At his death, which happened in 
419 (beginning Jan. 30, a. d. 1028), Khayran was succeeded by another Sclavonian 
eunuch, named Zohayr, 37 who added to his dominions the city of Xatiba and ; other 
populous districts. This Zohayr was slain in 429 (beginning Oct. 13, a.'D; 1037), 
in a battle fought under the walls of Granada with the troops of Badis, King of 
that city. At his death, the kingdom of Almeria passed into the hands of Dhu-1- 
wizarateyn Abu-1-ahwass Ma'n Ibn Samadeh, who bequeathed it to his son Mo- 
hammed Abu Yahya. This was an enlightened and excellent monarch; he 
governed his states with great wisdom and justice, until the arrival of the wearers 
of the veil (Almoravides) , who, having laid siege to his capital, took it from his 
son Ahmed, he himself dying during the siege. 

The [Balearic] islands were governed by Mujahid Ibn 'Abdillah Al-'amiri, sur- 
named Abti4-jiy4sh (the father of the army) and Al-muwaffelt (he who prospers - 
by the grace of God), a mduli of 'Abdu-r-rahman, son of Al-manstir. At the 
death of his master, Mujahid kept possession of Denia [of which city he was 
governor], and became in time King of the Balearic 38 islands. He was an un- 
daunted warrior and an experienced sailor. He used to keep a considerable fleet 
always ready for sea, with which he made descents on the coast of Afrahj (France), 
and Antaliah (Italy). As long as he lived, no Christian vessel dared furrow the" 
waters of the sea of Sham (Mediterranean) . 

Al-homaydi says that Mujahid was born at Cordova, where he filled offices 

VOL. II. 2 L 

K i -. ■l^ - ■ -J <£ s i 


-hi .n 


of trust. " After the assassination of his patron 'Abdu-r-rahman, when the civil 
" war broke out in Andalus, and the armies of the contending parties disputed 
".with each other the possession of the provinces, Mujahid, with a number of 
"his followers, repaired to the islands to the east of Andalus, which are fertile 
" and extensive. These he subdued, keeping the inhabitants under his obedience. 
" From thence, having equipped a fleet, Mujahid sailed to Sardinia, a large island 
" of the Rum, which he almost entirely conquered. This happened in the year 
"406 or 407 (a. d. 1015-17). Soon after, however, discord broke out among 
" his men ; upon which the Rum, having received re-inforcements, attacked Mujahid 
" and sank some of his ships. In order to save the remainder, Mujahid set sail 
" against the advice of experienced mariners, and the consequence was that the 
" greater part of his vessels were either dashed against the rocks or lost at sea." — 
" I was told," says Al-homaydi, " by Abu* Mohammed 'All Ibn Ahmed [Ibn 
."Hazm], who held it from Abu-1-fotuh Thabit Ibn Mohammed Al-jorjani, who 
" accompanied Mujahid to the conquest of Sardinia, that the latter entered with 
" his fleet a port against the advice of Abu Khariif, the chief of the sailors, 
" who warned him not to go in. Scarcely, however, had the fleet entered the 
" bay, when a storm arose, which scattered and separated the vessels of the 
" Moslems, and cast them on shore, where the Christians were lying in wait ; 
" so that they had nothing to do but to slay and make captives [of the Moslems] 
" at their pleasure." 

Mujahid returned to the Andalusian [or Balearic] islands, and some time after 
took possession of the city of Denia, 39 wherein he fixed his residence until he died 
in 436. After the death of Mujahid, his son 'Alt succeeded him in his dominions ; 
but soon after a freed slave of his father, named Mubashsher, 40 took possession 
of the [Balearic] islands and reigned over them under the name of Nasiru-d- 
daulah. It was in the days of the latter that the Christians made a descent on 
the island of Mallorca, and subjected it to their rule, although it was recovered 
not long after by the Moslems. 'Ali, however, continued to rule 41 over Denia 
and the neighbouring districts until he was expelled by the Almoravides. 

Besides the above-mentioned chieftains, who divided among themselves the 
inheritance of the Beni Umeyyah, there were many other governors who assumed 
the sovereignty in the small districts and towns over which they ruled. Such 

were Habib, a Sclavonian eunuch, brother of Shabur, King of Badajoz, who ruled | 

for some time over Tortosa and the adjacent districts. 

That portion of Andalus known under the name of As-sahlah was erected into 
a kingdom by Dhu-r-riyasateyn 'Abud 42 Ibn Razin, a Berber chief attached to the 
party of the Beni 'A'mir. There was also a King of Liblah (Niebla) and the 


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Island of Saltis in the western part of Andalus ['Abdu-l-'aziz Al-bekri] , 43 and a 
King of Carmona [Al-birzali], and Kings of Ronda, Huesca, Xatiba, and other 
cities ; but as all these petty sovereigns were generally more or less dependent 
on the more powerful states of Andalus, with which their own dominions became 
in time incorporated, we shall not stop to give an account of them. 





Origin of the Asturian kingdom — Progress of the Christian arms — Taking of Toledo by Alfonso VI. — 
Conquests of Sancho I. of Aragon — Battle of Paterna — Taking of Barbastro — Massacre of the in- 
habitants — Excesses committed by the Christians — Barbastro retaken by the Moslems — Ambitious 
. projects of Alfonso — His insolent request — Al-mu'tamed puts to death his ambassador — Alfonso pre- 
pares to revenge the outrage — Marches against Seville, and besieges it — Al-mu'tamed decides on 
calling Yusuf to his aid— Sends him an embassy — Account of Yusuf Ibn Tashefin — His negotiation 
with the rulers of Andalus — His answer to the ambassadors of Al-mu'tamed. 

\Sa« f ]dnV We have a * read y stated, on the authority of several historians, (p. 34,) that the 

first Christian who, after the conquest of Andalus by the Arabs, collected his 
countrymen round him and showed symptoms of resistance, was a barbarian named 
Belay (Pelayo), from among the people of Ashturish (Asturias) in Galicia, who, 
during the administration of Al-horr Ibn 'Abdi-r-rahman Ath-thakefi, the second 
governor of Andalus, fled from Cordova, where he was retained as an hostage 
for the security of his countrymen, and repaired to his native mountains. This 
event took place six years after the conquest of Andalus, that is to say, in the 
year 98 of the Hijra. The Christians [of those parts], having taken up arms 
with him against the lieutenant of Al-horr, expelled him from the country and 
**-*» became masters of it. The historian 'Isa Ibn Ahmed Ar-razi 1 relates this dif- 
ferently. He says : " In the days of 'Anbasah Ibn Sohaym Al-kelM, [governor 
" of Andalus,] there rose in the land of Galicia a contemptible barbarian whose 
" name was Belay (Pelayo), and who was the first among the Christians to show 
" signs of resistance. This man began to stir up the Franks to keep the Moslems 
" out of those districts which remained still in their hands, 2 a thing for which they 
" had never yet shown any inclination. The Moslems at that time were the 
''masters of [almost] all Andalus, and they had expelled the Christians [from 
" those districts formerly occupied by them]. They had pushed their conquests as 
" far as Arhinah (Narbonne), which they took, and they had also reduced the city 
'■ of Banbihinah [Pamplona] in Galicia; so that there remained nothing [in the 
"hands of the Christians] but a ridge of mountains, to which they had fled. Here 
" a prince, named Belay (Pelayo) , also took refuge with three hundred followers, 
"whom the Moslems ceased not to pursue and to attack, until the greater part 

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CHAP. V.] 




" of them died of hunger, and Pelayo remained with only thirty men and ten 
" women, whose sole food consisted of honey which they gathered in the crevices 
" of the rock. In this manner they supported themselves, until information [of 
" their existence] was brought to the Moslems, who despised them and said, 
" 'What are thirty barbarians? They cannot but be destroyed, and we shall 
" be rid of them;' and yet their strength and numbers have since increased in 
" such a ratio that it can no longer be concealed. This Pelayo died in the year 
" 133, (beginning August 8, a. d. 750,) after a reign of nineteen years, and was 
" succeeded by his son Fafilah (Favila), who reigned two years. Fafilah was 
" succeeded by Adefonsh, son of Beytro or Pedro (Alfonso el Catolico), the 
" progenitor of the [royal] family of the Alfonsos, 3 who are now reigning, and 
" who have retaken what the Moslems had conquered of their country." 

So far Ar-razi, whose narrative we have somewhat abridged. Other historians 
state that the number of Christian kings who reigned in Andalus [since the rising 
of Pelayo], to the end of An-nasir's reign in 350 (a.d. 961), was twenty-two. 

The historian Al-mes'udi, after relating the disastrous battle of Samurah (Zamofa), ^^SstL 
which, as is well known, was fought in the days of An-nasir, says as follows : arms - 
*' This victory gave to the Galicians and Basques the superiority over the Moslems, 
" as they took from them many towns on the frontiers of Afranjah (France), such 
" as the city of Tarkiinah (Tarragona), 4 which was lost to the Moslems in the year 
" 330, (beginning Sept. 25, a. d. 941,) and other important towns and castles, which 
" had been in their hands [since the conquest] ; so that at the moment we write, 
" in a. h. 336, (beginning July 22, a.d. 947,) the Moslem frontier on the eastern 
" side of Andalus is the city of Tortushah (Tortosa), and on that part of the 
" coast of the Mediterranean which is in the vicinity of Tortosa going towards 
"the north, the cities of Afraghah (Fraga), on the great river [Ebro], Leridah 
" (Lerida), and, lastly, Balaghi (Balaguer)." 

Most of the conquests made by the Christians were, however, recovered under 
the administration of the Hajib Al-mansur, who not only defeated the infidels 
wherever he met them, but took also Barcelona in the East, and Santiago, iti 
the West, both courts of their proudest kings. But alas ! during the civil wars 
into which Cordova was plunged soon after the death of Al-mansur,— when the 
parties contending for power scrupled not to implore the assistance of the 
Christians, and to admit them into the capital,— the cruel enemy of God again 
raised his head with pride and exultation, and began to attack the Moslems, whose 
weakness and folly he had witnessed. The division, too, of Andalus into several 
petty kingdoms, which followed immediately after the overthrow of the house of 
Umeyyah, afforded the Christians considerable facilities to execute their wicked 

Alfonso VI. 



designs ; for, whilst they united their forces, and even invited the people of distant 
nations to share in the attack, the Moslem rulers [of Andalus] saw with perfect 
unconcern, perhaps with secret joy, the dominions of their neighbours or rivals 
exposed to all the devastations of the Christian foe. 

About the year 467, (a.d. 1074,) Adefunsh (Alfonso VI.), son of Ferdeland 
(Fernando), united under his rule almost the whole of Christian Andalus. Being 
a man of great resolution, and well acquainted with the pitiful state of Mohammedan 
affairs, he formed the design of subjecting the whole country to his detestable 
rule ; and for that purpose began to attack all those among the rulers [of Andalus] 
tSES by who refused t0 P a y hlm tf ftute. Accordingly, he invaded the dominions of the 

Kin g of Toledo, and, after seven years' siege, made himself master of that capital 
in the year 474 (beginning June 10, a.d. 1081). There are, however, various 
dates given for the loss of that city ; some authors saying that it happened in 
474 (a.d. 1081), as above stated; whilst others assert that it surrendered to the 
Christians on the 15th day of Moharram of the year 478 (May 12, a.d. 1085). 
Ibn Khallekan, [in the life of Yusuf Ibn Tashefin,] says, in the new moon of 
Safar of the same year [478] (May 28, a.d. 1085,) after a long siege; Ibn 
'Alkamah, on Wednesday the 20th of Moharram, a. h. 478 (May 17, a. d. 1085) ; 
and he adds that the battle of Zalakah was fought the year after. Be this as it 
may, certain it is that the King of Toledo at the time was Al-kadir-billah [grand-] 
son of Al-raamun Yahya Ibn Dhi-n-nun, who, in return for the capital of his 
dominions which he gave up to Alfonso, received from that monarch the promise 
that he would help him to get possession of Valencia ; which he did. 

"Toledo," says one of the historians [of Andalus], "was a very ancient and 
"strongly fortified city, full of primeval buildings of the time of the 'Amalekites 
" (Phoenicians or Carthaginians), who were its founders. It is situated on the 
" banks of a large river called Tajoh (Tagus), has a kassdbah or citadel of mar- 
" vellous strength, and a bridge of wonderful structure, consisting of only one 
" arch, through which the stream passes with great rapidity and force. Close 
" to the banks of the river is a nd'urah or water-wheel, rising to the height of 
" ninety cubits, by means of which the water of the river is made to ascend to 
" the bridge, and is from thence conveyed, by means of subterraneous pipes, to 
" the city, for the use of the inhabitants. " In times of old, Toledo was the court 
and residence of the ancient monarchs of Andalus ; it was there that the enchanted 
palace was, which the Gothic kings warned each other not to open, until Roderic 

opened it and found inside the picture of the Arabs, as we have related elsewhere 
(vol. i. p,262). 

After the overthrow of the dynasty of Umeyyah, and when the governors, chiefs, 



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CHAP. V.] 



and other influential men of Andalus divided among themselves its provinces, 
Toledo and the neighbouring districts were occupied by the family of Dhi-n-min, 
one of whom was Yahya Ibn Isma'il, surnamed Al-mamun, who became in his 
time one of the most powerful kings of Andalus. He not only took Cordova from 
the Beni 'Abbad, but made himself formidable to the other kings of Andalus by his 
power and his resources. 

Ibn Bedrun, in his commentary upon the 'Abduniyyah, speaks of a palace built 
at Toledo by this Al-mamun [Yahya] Ibn Dhi-n-nttn, in the construction of which 
that monarch is reported to have lavished his treasures. He made a lake, and 
in the middle of the lake a kiosk [of crystal], to the top of which the water of 
the lake was made to ascend by geometrical art, and then fall down on all sides to 
mix itself with the water underneath. The pavilion was therefore enclosed within a 
shower of limpid water, which, being constantly renewed, was kept always cool, 
and Al-mamun would sit inside the pavilion without the water touching him ; 
he could, moreover, have wax-tapers lighted within, if he chose. One day, as he 
was sitting in this pavilion, he heard a voice, saying, 

" Thou hast erected everlasting palaces ; but thy dwelling in them will be of 
" short duration. 

" The ardk affords sufficient shade to the traveller who is daily exposed to 
" the rays of a scorching sun." 5 

Some time after this adventure Al-mamun feJl ill and died. 

Al-mamun was succeeded by his [grand-]son, Yahya Al-kadir, under whose reign, 
as above stated, Toledo was reduced by Alfonso. It is generally related, that the 
Christian king remained for seven consecutive years encamped before the city, 
destroying the fields and plantations, cutting down the trees, and intercepting the 
supplies sent by other Moslem princes, until Al-kadir consented to surrender the 
city to him upon certain conditions which Alfonso swore to fulfil. 

Thus fell the city of Toledo. Ibn Dhi-n-min [Al-kadir] left his capital in the 
most wretched and ignominious plight possible. He carried an astrolabe in his 
hand, with which he intended to take the auspicious hour for setting out [for 
Valencia] . At the sight of such behaviour the Moslems were dumb with as- 
tonishment, and the unbelievers laughed with contempt. 

About the taking of Toledo we find the following in Ibn Bessam : " At the 
" time that civil wars were succeeding each other in Toledo, and that dire calamities 
" were daily being heaped on the inhabitants of that place, when the Franks were 
" striving to convert their happiness and their joy into misfortune and exile, there 
" happened in Toledo a most marvellous circumstance, which was looked upon 
" by every one as the harbinger of its approaching ruin. Corn had remained 



" stored in the subterranean magazines of that city for upwards of fifty years, 
" without showing the least sign of corruption ; and was, moreover, in such 
" abundance, that, as long as the siege lasted, no restriction whatever was imposed 
" upon the people, who could use it in any quantity they liked. Yet when it 
" came to the year in which the enemy of God took possession of Toledo, the 
" corn began gradually to grow damaged, and corruption at last seized the whole 
" of it. This miraculous occurrence warned the citizens of Toledo that it was 
" the will of God to visit them with the gales of affliction and adversity ; and 
"so it was j for, shortly after, the enemy of God took Toledo, and reduced the 
" inhabitants of that wealthy city to his obedience." 

" Alfonso," continues Ibn Bessam, " began to govern the people with justice 
" and moderation, hoping to gain them over to polytheism, and make them 
"embrace his abominable religion; but, seeing that he could not accomplish 
"this, he set about polluting the principal mosque and turning it into a church 
"for, the celebration of his detestable rites. The very day in which Alfonso 
" issued his orders to that effect, which was one day of the month of Rabi' 
"the first,, a. h. 496, (Oct. 14, a. d. 1102,) 6 the Sheikh Al-moghami (may God 
" show him mercy !) happened to go into the mosque and to say his prayers, 
" bidding all those who were present to do the same, and to read a certain chapter 
" of the Koran. Presently the Franks (may God Almighty exterminate them all !) 
" make their appearance in the mosque and begin to pull down the Hblah. Not 
"■one of them, however, dared interrupt the Sheikh in his devotions, or expel 
"him from the mosque; God protecting him and the pious Moslems who were 
".with him ^ .until he had finished reading his prayers, and had performed a 

"prostration,. when he raised his head and wept profusely before he quitted the 
" mosque." 

One day, a traitor Moslem said to the Christian king, " Thou shouldst put 
"on a crown like those of thy ancestors, who preceded thee in this kingdom;" 
and he answered, "Not until we have taken your city, Cordova, and taken the 
"bells which hang there as lamps, that I may ornament my royal diadem with 
".them." God, however, was pleased to give Alfonso the lie, sending against him 
the commander of the Moslems and defender of the faith, Ydsuf Ibn Tdshefin, 
to prop up the tottering edifice of Islam, and to humble the pride of the insolent 

saStol ?"*%* whilst the Galicians were assailing the Moslems on their northern frontier, 
\ragon. thfiiFranks^Aragonese) were not inactive. In the year 456 (beginning Dec. 24, 

a. p. 1063) they collected in large numbers and laid siege to Valencia, whose 
inhabitants were 4hen untrained to war, and as little used to the hard life of a 





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camp, as to the handling of the spear and the sword. They were, on the contrary, 
plunged in pleasure and sloth, and thought of nothing but eating and drinking. 
At this juncture the Franks appeared in sight of the city, showing an inclination 
to become the guests of the Moslems, to join their convivial parties, and to 
take up their abode in the city. In this hope, however, they were completely 
disappointed, and, although they tried to deceive the inhabitants, they were 
themselves deceived. At last they retired from before the walls of Valencia; 
upon which the citizens, thinking that they were frying before them, went out 
in large numbers to attack the enemy, commanded by their king, 'Abdu-l-'aziz Ibn 
Abi 'A'mir, and arrayed in all their finery. The Franks, however, had only retreated 
to a short distance from Valencia, to a place called Paterna, where they lay mp 5 *^* 
ambush. No sooner had 'Abdu-l-'aziz and his host made their appearance than 
they rushed upon them, threw their ranks into confusion, and, following up the 
pursuit, slew or took prisoners all the Moslems, with the exception of a few. In 
allusion to this, a poet of that time composed two verses, which we have given 
elsewhere (vol. i. p. 68), and need not repeat here. 7 

The same thing, observes Ibn Bessam, happened afterwards to the people of 
Toledo ; for when the enemies of God, after slaying numbers of the Moslems in 
a battle, showed themselves before their city, the citizens came out to them dressed 
in all their finery, and were defeated. Among the spoils made by the Christians 
on this occasion were no less than one thousand ghifdrah, 8 besides other [useless] 
articles of dress. 

In the year 456 (a.d. 1064), the Christians took the city of Barbashter T « ki «s **«- 
(Barbastro), one of the strongest places in all the Thagher (Aragon). Ibnu 
Hayyan calls it the kassdbak (citadel) of the country of Birtanieh, 9 and says that 
it was close to Saragossa. Its capture is thus related by the above historian : 
" The army of Al-ardemelis 10 encamped before Barbastro and besieged it. Ytisuf 
" Ibn Suleyman Ibn Hud [at that time King of Saragossa], instead of hastening, 
"as he ought to have done, to the relief of the city, left the inhabitants to defend : , 

"themselves as they best could; and the consequence was that the enemy got 
"possession of it, as we will presently relate. The Christians besieged it for 
" forty consecutive days without gaining any advantage, until, having received 
" intelligence that the garrison were divided and had quarrelled among themselves, 
" owing to the scarcity of provisions, they pressed their attacks with increased 
" vigour, and succeeded in introducing five thousand of their best men at arms 
" into the suburbs. The Moslems were astounded, and betook themselves to 
" the inner city, where they fortified themselves. Great battles then ensued 
" between the two hosts, in which no less than five hundred Franks fell. At last 


2 M 



" it happened that the subterraneous aqueduct, by means of which the city was 
" supplied with water from the river, got out of repair; several large stones having 
" fallen into and choked the course, the progress of the water was arrested, and 
" the supply cut off from the river. Upon which the inhabitants of Barbastro, 
" despairing of their lives, hastened to the camp of the enemy, and bought security 
" for their persons and property at the price of certain sums of money, and a 
" number of slaves, which they immediately delivered into the conqueror's hands. 
" No sooner, however, had the Christian king received the money and other articles 
"stipulated in the convention, than he violated it; and, falling on the poor 
" inhabitants, slaughtered the whole of them, with the exception of the Kayed 
" Ibnu-t-tawil, and the Kadi Ibn 'Isa, who, with a few more of the principal 
" inhabitants of the place, contrived to escape from the general massacre. The 
" spoil made by the Christians on this occasion, whether in money, furniture, 
" or apparel, exceeds all computation ; since we are assured that the share of 
" one of their chiefs only, who was the general of the cavalry, 11 amounted to 
" about fifteen hundred young maidens, besides five hundred loads of merchandise, 
" dresses, ornaments, and every description of property, the whole of which he 
"carried to his stronghold. The number of Moslems who perished or were 
"made captives on this occasion amounted to one hundred thousand souls; 
"although others reduce that number to about one-half. 

" Among the extraordinary occurrences of this siege, the following is one. At 
" the time when the aqueduct got out of repair, and the supply of water was 
" cut off from the city, there was a woman standing on the ramparts, who entreated 
" all those who came near to give her a sip of water for herself or her son. 
" Presently a Christian soldier made his appearance, and told her that if she would 
"give him every thing she had on, — -dress, jewels, &c, — -he would bring her some 
' ' water wherewithal to quench her thirst ; and the woman did not hesitate one 
" moment to accept the bargain. 
' Massacre of the " The reason which induced the Christian king to order the massacre of the 

inhabitants. . , 

inhabitants was this. They say that when he entered Barbastro and saw the 
" numbers of the population, fear lodged in his heart, and he became apprehensive 
" lest the Moslems of the neighbouring districts should come to their assistance, 
" and aid them to regain possession of their city. He therefore decided on 
"exterminating them all, if he could, and ordered a general slaughter ; which lasted 
".until upwards of six thousand Moslems fell by the swords of the Christians. 
" At.lastthe king ordered the massacre to cease, and commanded that such of the 
" inhabitants as remained should be spared, and allowed to quit the city. When the 
" order was made public, the rush of the people to the gate [of the city] was such 



a-^-pf JA-rf^"*^ "?& 

- - - . -■■ vL^. 


CHAP. V.] 



" that a considerable number of them lost their lives by suffocation ; others were 
" wiser, they let themselves down from the walls by means of ropes; all, however, 
" ran to the river in order to quench their thirst. About seven hundred of the 
" principal inhabitants of the place, fearing for their lives, waited until their fate 
" should be known. When the massacre had ceased, and the Christians had 
" taken as many captives as they wanted, and the remainder had either fled through 
" the gates, or let themselves down from the walls, or perished in the pressure, 
." it was announced by the public crier that the slaughter had ended, and that 
" every citizen might return in safety to his dwelling; then they left their place of 
" concealment and hastened home to their families. No sooner, however, had they 
" arrived there, than, by the command of their king, the Franks (may the curses 
" of God fall on their heads !) summoned them out of their houses, and led them 
" all into captivity with their wives and children. May the Almighty save us from 
" a similar calamity ! 

" Another portion of the inhabitants fled to the top of the neighbouring 
" mountains, and fortified themselves there ; but, being destitute of water, they 
" were on the point of dying of thirst, when messengers arrived from the king 
" to grant them security and pardon. They then came down from the mountains 
" more dead than alive, owing to the raging thirst to which they had long been 
"exposed, and were allowed to proceed unmolested wherever they pleased; but 
" having fallen in with a party of the enemy's cavalry, who were not aware of 
" the truce entered into with them, they were all put to death with the exception of 
u a few who contrived to escape." 

The same writer adds, "It was an invariable custom with the Christians, Excesses com- 
" whenever they took a town by force of arms, to ravish the daughters in theSSSSL.** 
" presence of their fathers, and the women before the eyes of their husbands and 
" families. But on the taking of Barbastro the excesses of this kind committed 
" by them pass all belief; 12 the Moslems had never before experienced any thing 
" like it. In short, such were the crimes and excesses committed by the Christians 
" on this occasion, that there is no pen eloquent enough to describe them. 

" When the Christian king had made up his mind to return to his own country, 
" he selected from among the sons and daughters of the Moslems the most beau- 
" tiful maidens and the handsomest boys ; and having also selected from among 
" the married women those who were the youngest and prettiest, he sent them 
" onwards to his capital, intending to present them to his superiors in rank and 
(t dignity. He himself, after leaving in Barbastro a garrison of fifteen hundred 
" horse and two thousand foot, returned to his dominions. 
" We will put an end to this afflicting and heart-rending narrative," continues 



Ibnu Hayyan, " by recording an anecdote which will of itself convey a sufficient 
" idea of the manifold sufferings of the Moslems on this occasion. Some time after 
" this catastrophe, a Jewish merchant went to Barbastro for the purpose of 
" redeeming the daughter of one of the principal inhabitants, who had escaped 
" from the massacre. At the division of the spoil, the maiden had fallen to the 
" lot of a count, whom the Jew well knew, one of those left in charge of the city 
" [after the king's departure]. The Jew went to the count's residence, and, 
" causing himself to be announced by the servants, was admitted into his presence. 
" He there found the Christian occupying the part of the house where its late 
" Moslem proprietor usually sat ; reclining on his very couch, and clothed in his 
" most valuable robes. The room, however, with its carpets, cushions, and 
" hangings, was in the same state as when its owner left it on the fatal day ; and 
" nothing had been changed or touched of its [arabesque] paintings and ornaments. 
" His female slaves, with their hair tied, were all standing by his bed-side, ready to 
" obey his will. 

" The count," said the Jew, " welcomed me, and inquired the object of my visit; 
" which I told him plainly and without disguise, pointing to the many maidens 
" who were in the room, and in whose number was the one I came to redeem. 
" The count smiled, and said to me, in the language of his nation, ' Be quick, then, 
" and if the girl thou seekest be among these, point her out to me ; if not, thou 
" mayst go to my castle, where thou wilt find many more among my prisoners 
" and captives; look for the person thou meanest, — we will then come to terms.' 
" I replied, ' I need not repair to thy castle, the person in search of whom I am 
" come is among yonder maidens ; if thou consentest to part with her, I am ready 
" to meet thy demands.' — ' And what hast thou brought to tempt me? ' said the 
" count. M have brought thee fine gold in quantity, and costly and new mer- 
" chandise,' was my answer. ' And thou, no doubt, flatterest thyself that thou 
" hast brought things to tempt me, and which I do not possess already. O 
" Bahjah ! ' said he, addressing one of his female slaves, ' take some of thy fellow- 
" servants with thee, and bring here the large chest, that we may show him some 
" of our own property.' The chest was brought into the room, and Bahjah 
" proceeded to take out, first, a bag containing ten thousand gold dinars ; next, 
" several bags full of dirhems ; lastly, many trays covered with gold ornaments, and 
" jewels in such profusion, that, when displayed before the Christian, there were 
"enough to cover him withal, and conceal him [from my view]. The count then 
"said to Bahjah, ( Bring yonder wardrobe closer ; ' which she did, taking out such 
" a profusion of costly silken and cotton robes, as well as gold and silver brocades, 
" of every colour and pattern, that I was actually bewildered, and saw plainly that I 


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" had brought nothing with me to be compared with the least valuable of the articles 
" exhibited before me. But what was my astonishment when the Christian told 
" me that what I saw was but a small portion of the treasures which he possessed, 
" and that he had so many other precious articles of all sorts, that nothing could 
" be produced which was either new or desirable to him. He then swore by his 
" God, that had he possessed none of the valuable objects [exhibited] before me, 
" and had I come for the express purpose of offering them to him as a ransom 
" for the fair captive, he would still not part with her; and he added, 'This 
" maiden is the daughter of the late owner of this house, who, if I am rightly 
"informed, was a man of rank and influence among his fellow-citizens ; and 
" for this reason I intend to keep her in my service, as the people of her nation 
" were wont to do with our women, whenever they fell into their hands, at 
" the time that they were all-powerful in this country. Now that the scales are 
" turned, and that we have the superiority. over them, we do as they did; nay, 
" we do still more. Seest thou yonder youthful and delicate maiden (pointing 
" to one who stood in a corner of the room with a lute in her hand), she is 
" actually trembling from fear of my anger.'—* Take thy lute/ said he to her in 
" his barbarous jargon, ' and sing to this our visitor in thy plaintive strain.' The 
" maid took the lute, as she was commanded, and sat down to tune it ; and I saw 
" the tears rolling down her fair cheeks ; but, the Christian darting upon her a 
" look of anger, she attempted to sing some verses which I did not understand 
" any more than her Christian master; although, strange to say, he kept drinking 
" draughts of the liquor he had before him, and giving signs of mirth [as if he 
"understood the meaning of them]. At last, seeing that I could not gain my 
" object, I took leave of the count, and went elsewhere [about the city] to dispose 
" of my goods, when I saw in the hands of the commonest Christians such amount 
" of plunder and captives as left me completely bewildered. 

" About the end of Jumada, the first, of the ensuing year (a. h. 457)/' continues Barbastro re 
Ibnu Hayyan, " the news came to Cordova that Barbastro had been retaken by the Moslems.* 1 " 5 
" Moslems. This happened thus: Ahmed Al-muktadir Ibn Hud, 13 through whose 
" criminal negligence that city had been lost, (since, in order to revenge himself 
" upon the inhabitants who had gone over to his brother, he had suffered them 
" to become the prey of the Christians,) wishing to silence those who spoke ill 
" of him, to wash out the indelible spot cast upon his character, and to atone 
" for a sin which nothing short of the immense forgiveness of God can obliterate, 
" marched to Barbastro at the head of his own troops and the re -infor cements 
" which his ally 'Abbad [Al-mu'tadhed] had sent him. Having there attacked 
" the unbelievers, Ahmed displayed so much courage and performed such feats 




projects of 


His insolent 

<f of arms, that even the cowards [in his army] hesitated, and felt an inclination 
" to hehave well. (May God pour his favour on the brave ! ) The Moslems and 
" the unbelievers fought with renewed fury, until, at last, God was pleased to grant 
" the victory to the former, and to disperse their enemies, who turned their backs 
" in confusion, and ran tumultuously towards the city gates, followed by the 
" Moslems, who entered along with them, and slaughtered the whole of the 
" garrison with the exception of a few, who fled the field of battle [in another 
" direction], of a few children whom compassion saved from death, or those 
" among their principal men who redeemed themselves by the payment of heavy 
" ransoms. All the rest were either put to death or made slaves, together with 
" their wives and children. 

" In this manner was the city of Barbastro restored to the Moslems by the 
" will of the Creator of all things, with the loss of about fifty of the bravest 
" Moslems only, who fell martyrs to the faith, and whose names God immediately 
" wrote down, to give them entrance into Paradise. The loss of the unbelievers 
" was very considerable, since it amounted to one thousand horsemen and five 
" hundred foot. The city was purified from the filth of idolatry, and cleansed 
" from the stains of infidelity and polytheism." 

But to return. No sooner did the tyrant Alfonso see himself master of Toledo, 
and of all those towns which had formerly acknowledged the rule of Al-kadir Ibn 
Dhirn-nun, than he began to entertain the project of reducing the whole of Andalus 
under his sway. He accordingly made successive incursions into the territory of 
Ibn Al-afttas, King of Badajoz, as well as into that of Al-mu'tamed Ibn 'Abbad, at 
that time King of Seville, taking so many of their towns and castles, and causing 
such havoc and ruin, that those monarchs, together with many other petty princes, 
consented to pay an annual tribute to Alfonso, rather than have their dominions 
continually exposed to his devastating fury. 

What follows is extracted from the Raudhu-l-mu' attar fi dhikri-m-modon wa-l- 
akttdr, by the Faquih Abu 'Abdillah Ibn 'Abdillah Ibn 'Abdi-1-mu'anem Al-himyari. 
" Whilst Al-mu'tamed was occupied in making war against Ibn Samadeh, King of 
" Almeria, he let pass the time at which he used to pay his annual tribute to Al- 
" fonso. However, he sent it to him as usual; but the Christian king was so highly 
" displeased and incensed [at the delay], that he would not receive it, and required 
"that Al-mu'tamed should, in addition [to the tribute], give up to him certain 
"fortresses which he named. He went still further; he asked that his wife, 
" Alkomjittah (Constanza ?) , who was then with child, should be allowed to 
" reside in the great mosque of Cordova, that she might be delivered [in that 
" sacred spot]. Alfonso was induced to make this extraordinary request at the 


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- - ^ * x - "^- L - ---**- v 4 >^ ■*■_> *_ 

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CHAP. V.] 






" instigation of his bishops and priests, who recommended the measure to him 
" on account of a church of great veneration among the Christians, which stood 
" once westward of the great mosque, and was pulled down by the Moslems, in 
" order to build on its site the present magnificent structure. He asked, therefore, 
(< that his wife should be allowed to reside at Medinah Az-zahra, a city west of 
" Cordova, built by An-nasir lidin-illah, who expended much time and treasure 
" in its construction, ornamenting it with the most costly rarities, with coloured 
jaspers and transparent marbles, as well as with the far-famed [marble] fountain 
resting on a single pillar, which he caused to be brought to Cordova from distant 
" lands, and in the acquisition of which he is said to have spent immense sums, 
" without counting those spent in the transport [to Cordova], and the salary of 
"the men employed [in the operation]. 'Abdu-r-rahman, moreover, laboured 
" himself in the building, watching its progress, and encouraging the workmen; 
" the pleasure which he derived from that occupation being so great, that he 
" once left off going to the mosque for three consecutive Fridays; and' when he 
" appeared on the fourth, the austere theologian, Mundhir Ibn Sa'id Al-bolutti, 
" who was then the Khattib (preacher), alluded to him in his sermon, and, in the 
" presence of the assembled multitude, threatened him [with the fire of hell], as is 
" well known. The palace of Az-zahra was one of the most magnificent residences 
t( ever built by a king in the dominions of Islam. Those who wish for further 
" information may consult the work of Ibnu Hayyan. 

" But, to return to Alfonso. His physicians and priests advised him to procure Aiwtamed 
" a residence for his wife at Az-zahra, in order that she might visit the mosque of S?«S,S«r 
" Cordova every day until the time of her delivery should come, thus combining the of Alfonso - 
" salubrity and amenity of the spot with the sanctity and virtues of the place where 
" she was expected to be confined. The bearer of the message was a Jew, who was 
" one of Alfonso's ministers. As may be presumed, Al-mu'tamed indignantly 
" refused to grant his indecent request. The Jew insisted, but the King of Seville 
" replied that he would never consent to it. Again the Jew repeated his demand 
" a third time, treating Al-mu'tamed in a very indecorous manner, and using 
" language which that spirited monarch could not well brook; upon which, being 
" unable to bear his impudence any longer, he seized an inkstand, which was close 
" by him, and hurled it at the head of the Jew. The missile was aimed with 
" such dexterity, and directed with such force, that it lodged in the skuU of the 
" Jew, whose brain fell down his throat. After this, Al-mu'tamed ordered that 
" the Jew should be nailed to a post, with his head downwards, at the entrance 
" of the bridge of Cordova ; which was done as he commanded. 
" When Al-mu'tamed's anger was cooled, he sent for his theologians, in order to 

r -*--: 


" consult them as to the justice of what he had done with the Jew ; upon which, 
" one of them, whose name was Mohammed Ibnu-t-tallah, told him that he was 
(( perfectly justified in doing so, since the ambassador had outstripped the hounds 
" of his embassy, and uttered words which deserved death. Mohammed then told 
" his comrades, ' I have hastened to give him my advice, from fear he should not 
" persevere in his laudable purpose of opposing the enemy, and not permitting 
" Alfonso to inflict such an affront upon the Moslems.' " H 

The above is differently related by Ibnu-1-lebbanah, in his history of the Beni 

'Abbad, as well as by Ibnu-1-khattib 15 in the article ' Al-mu'tamed.' We here 

subjoin a third version, borrowed from the historian Ibnu-1-athir, in his Kdmil 

(complete history). " Al-mu'tamed Ibn 'Abbad was the most powerful king in 

" Andalus, and the one who possessed most dominions, being master of Cordova, 

" Seville, and other cities ; yet with all this he paid tribute to Alfonso every 

" year. On the taking of Toledo by Alfonso, Al-mu'tamed, as usual, sent him 

" the tribute ; but the Christian would not receive it, and wrote to him a threat- 

" ening letter, saying, that unless he surrendered to him all his fortresses, and 

" kept only the plains and the open towns for the Moslems, he would march 

" his army to Cordova and take that city [from him] . The ambassador intrusted 

" with this message proceeded with a numerous suite, amounting to five hundred 

" horsemen. Al-mu'tamed lodged him, and divided his followers among the 

" officers of his army, to whom he afterwards gave instructions to put every one 

" of their infidel guests to death ; which was executed according to his orders. He 

" then sent for the ambassador, and, seizing him by the throat, he shook him and 

" beat him until the eyes came out of his head. Three men only [out of the five 

" hundred] escaped the general massacre ; they returned to Alfonso, and told him 

" what had happened. Alfonso was then on the road to Cordova, which he was 

" going to besiege; but when he heard the news brought to him, he returned 

" immediately to Toledo, to provide himself with battering machines and stores 

" for a siege, and to increase his army. 

Who prepares " When Alfonso heard what had been done with .the Jew, he swore by his God 

outrage. " that he would march upon Seville, and besiege Al-mu'tamed in his palace. To 

" that end he collected two armies ; giving the command of one to a Christian dog, 
" Who was one of his most enterprising generals, with instructions to march to 
" the province of Beja, in the western part of Andalus, and, after laying waste its 
" lands and districts, to proceed by the road of Liblah (Niebla) to Seville, where he 
"promised to meet him on a certain day in sight of the suburb called Taryanah 
" (Triana). Accordingly, Alfonso put himself at the head of numberless troops, 
" and, following a different road from that taken by his general [in command of 


ft«p ^ i m 

-: r.-_ ■_ . _ , . t^m^J.^^ 

-i — h -- 

CHAP. V.] 



" the other army], arrived, according to his promise, in sight of Seville, after 

" laying waste and destroying every thing on his way to that city. His general 

" did the same, and both armies encamped on the bank of the Guadalquivir, 

" opposite to the palace of Ibnu 'Abbad. One day, during his stay there, Alfonso Alfonso 

" wrote an abusive letter to Al-mu 'tamed, in which he said to him, 'My stay at ^Sseviiie, 

(< this place has already been too long. The heat is great and the flies intolerable; mA besieges St ' 

" make me a present of thy palace, that I may solace myself in its shadowy gardens 

" and keep away the flies from my face.' On the receipt of this letter Al-mu'tamed 

" wrote on the back of it— ' We have perused thy letter, and understood its arrogant 

" and taunting contents ; we intend to procure thee shortly such a shadowy spot, 

" made of the hide of the lamt (hippopotamus), as thou wilt comfortably lie under, 

" if God be pleased ' [meaning the shields of the Almoravides] . 

" When Al-mu'tamed's letter was brought to Alfonso, and he had its contents Al-mu'tamed 
" read over to him, he understood the meaning [of those expressions], and became criH^Ytaf 
" suddenly thoughtful and silent, as a man who is taken by surprise. Being, t0 his &id ' 
" however, a very shrewd and treacherous man, he began to circulate through 
" Andalus the rumour of Al-mu'tamed's intentions, and how he was planning 
" to call to his help Yusuf Ibn Tashefin, the Almoravide, and give him the 
" entrance into Andalus. The generality of the Moslems were delighted at this 
< ( news, as it opened to them the gates of hope. Not so the petty kings of 
" Andalus, who had no sooner ascertained Al-mu'tamed's real designs, and the 
" step he had taken without consulting them, than they began seriously to occupy 
" themselves in that business. Some wrote to him; others had interviews with 
" him; all warned him against the determination he had taken, and made him fear 
" its consequences, saying to him—' A kingdom without heirs and one long sword 
J do not find room in the same scabbard.' * 6 To this Al-mu'tamed replied with that 
"saying which became afterwards a proverb [among the people of Andalus], 
Better be a camel driver than a driver of pigs,' meaning that he would rather 
" be Ytisuf's prisoner, and guard his camels in the Desert, than become the captive 
" of Alfonso, and keep his swine in Castile. He then said to those who upbraided 
" him for his resolution — < My present position is of two sorts, one of doubt, and 
" one of certainty, and I must needs choose between the two. ' As to the one of 
" doubt, it is whether I am to apply to Ydsuf Ibn T&heffn or to Alfonso, since 
" it is equally possible that either of the two with whom I treat may either keep 
" his promise faithfully or not keep it at all. This is the position of doubt; 
" as to that of certainty, it is, that if I lean for support on Ytisuf Ibn Tashefin! 
"I do an act agreeable to God; whereas if, on the contrary, I lean on Al- 
" fonso, I am certain of incurring the wrath of God; and, therefore, the position 



■- *"rVri"^ 


■_ _ "■_? 

- -'^_ ^- 


" of doubt being in the present instance clear and evident, why should I leave 
" what is agreeable to God to take that which is offensive to him V These reasons 
" allayed in some measure the fears of the petty kings of Andalus, and they 

" desisted from their reproaches. 
sends him an « Al-mu'tamed having made up his mind [to implore the assistance of Yiisuf], 

" wrote to Al-mutawakkel 'Omar Ibn Mohammed [Ibn Al-afttas 1 , King of Badajoz, 
" and to 'Abdullah Ibn Habiis As-senhaji, King of Granada, commanding 17 them 
" to send their chief Kadis [to Seville], which they did. Hi* himself summoned 
" to his presence the Kadi-1-jam'ah (supreme judge) of Cordova, whose name 
" was Abu Bekr 'Obeydullah Ibn Ad'ham, and who was one of the wisest men 
" of his time. When the three Kadis had been assembled in Seville, Al-mu'tamed 
" added to them his own Wiztr, Abu Bekr Ibn Zeydun, and having signified to 
" them his intention to send them all four to Africa, ;ls ambassadors to Yiisuf 
" Ibn T&shefin, he gave them the necessary instructions, and provided them with 
" the means to cross over to Africa, leaving entirely to their discretion the eom- 
" position of the address to be made to that sovereign, and recommending par- 
" ticularly to his own Wizir, Ibn Zeydun, to uphold his master's royal dignity." 

The historian Ibnu-1-athir, after relating what Al-mu'tamed did with the am- 
bassadors [of Alfonso], and his putting them to deatlt, and the fears of the kings 
of Andalus when they heard of his rash act, says, " That a number of chiefs 
"collected together [in Cordova], and went to the dwelling of the Kadi Abu 

Abdillah Ibn Mohammed, whom they addressed in the following words: 'Dost 
" thou not perceive the humble and abject condition to which the Moslems [of 
"this country] have been reduced, paying tribute [to the infidels], after being 
"so long in the habit of receiving it [from them]. The Franks have subdued 
" the greater part of Andalus, a small portion of which only remains in the 
" hands of the Moslems. If the present state of things continue for any length 
" of time, we may be sure that the Christians will soon retrain in this country 
" the position they held [before the conquest]. We have thought of an expedient 
"to save ourselves from the impending ruin.'—' And what is that? 1 said Abu 
"Mohammed to them. 'To write to the Arabs of Africa [to come to us], and 
" to lavish upon them on their arrival half our riches. We will then go out 
" with them to fight for the cause of God.' To this Abu 'Abdillah replied— 
" 'T only fear that if they once come among us they will not leave this country, 
" and will settle in it, as they have done in Eastern Africa; they will leave the 
^Franks alone, and they will set about [destroying] us; and yet, with all that, 
"the Almoravides are better [than the Christians], and more" closely connected 
" with us [by religion].' The assembly then requested Abu 'Abdillah to write 

ii > 






*?y- *, - h . -■ ^ ^-.^ -- 

O -^-, _ . V - ... ^__^— l^_ 


" to the commander of the Moslems [Yusuf Ibn Tashefm], asking him to cross over 
" to Andalus, or to send an army to their assistance. While they were occupied 
" in these transactions, Al-mu'tamed Ibn 'Abbad went to Cordova. Immediately 
" upon his arrival, the Kadi Ibn Ad'ham went up to him and informed him of 
" what had been determined upon in the assembly. That monarch approved of 
" the plan, and told Ibn Ad'ham that he should be his ambassador to the African 
" king; but Ibn Ad'ham refused to accept the charge offered to him, as he wished 
" to keep clear of all the consequences. Al-mu'tamed, however, insisted, and 
" he went." 

The reader must have observed some slight discrepancy between the account 
of Ibn 'Abdi-1-mu'anem (Abu 'Abdillah Ibn 'Abdillah), and that of Ibnu-1-athir ; 
but as both authors are well known to have borrowed their information from 
the most authentic sources, we have preferred, in pursuance of the plan which 
we traced out to ourselves in the composition of the present work, to afford our 
readers several versions, however contradictory and opposite, of the same event, 
rather than deprive them of the least particle of useful information. 

1 ' During the course of these events Yusuf Ibn Tashefm Al-lamtuni was estab- Account of 
" Kshing his power in Africa, and extending the sway of the Almoravides. When tSS" 
" he had conquered the whole of Western Africa, and founded the cities of Morocco 
" and Telemsan, the new ; 18 when all the Berber tribes, dreading his vengeance, had 
" submitted to his rule and obeyed his commands ; when, in short, he had reduced 
" large districts and extensive provinces under his sway, he conceived the design of 
" crossing over to the island of Andalus, and, after turning it over in his own 
" mind, began to prepare the ships and other things necessary for the undertaking. 
" When the petty kings of Andalus were informed of Yusuf s project, they 
" disapproved of his intended passage to their island, and made every warlike 
" preparation to resist it. Yet they were all unwilling to incur his enmity, as 
"by doing so they would have been placed between two enemies, the. Franks 
" on the north, and the Moslems on the south. At that time the Franks were 
" more successful than ever they had been against the Moslems; and they plun- 
" dered and laid waste everything before them. Now and then, only a peace would 
" be concluded between the contending parties, in .consideration of a certain tribute 
"which the Moslems agreed to pay . annually .to thejr enemies. Yet with- all, this 
"the Franks were in no less awe of Yusuf Ibn Tashefm, : the ;ruler of the West, 
" whose fame and military exploits had already, reached their ears. They knew of the 
" reach of his authority, the extent of his empire, and the rapidity of .his conquests; 
" they were well aware of the intrepidity of his followers, the wearers of the veil, 
" and of the Sheikhs of the tribes of Senhajah ; and they dreaded their, dexterity in 

-^ -. 






" wielding all the weapons of war, from the sharp-edged sword, — which, handled 
" by them, cuts a horseman in twain, — to the ponderous lance, which goes through 
" both horse and rider. 

" These reasons rendered Yusuf formidable to all those who sought to attack 
" him ; so that at the same time that the kings of Andalus were anxious to take 
" shelter under the shade of his power, they feared for their dominions, lest Yusuf 
" should cross over in person, should inspect [and like] their country, and keep it 
" for himself. No sooner, therefore, w^ere the rulers of Andalus apprised of 
Yusuf's determination to cross the Straits, than they sent to acquaint one 
another of that circumstance, and to ask each other's advice as to how they 
" should act in the emergency. Al-mu'tamed Ibn 'Abbad, King of Seville, being 
" the most powerful among them, as well as the one who enjoyed the greatest reputa- 
" tion for his courage and his abilities, the rulers of Andalus naturally clung to him 
" for advice. After much deliberation it was unanimously agreed among them, 
" to ascertain whether Yusuf really intended to cross over to Andalus, and if so, to 
" write to him, asking him to desist from his undertaking, and to say that they 
were under his obedience. The letter, which was written in the name of all by a 
Katib of Andalus, ran thus : — ' If thou desist from thy undertaking, and do 
" not attack us, thou wilt act generously, and thy name will not be coupled 
" with an unjust or dishonourable deed. On the other hand, if we answer thy call 
" and acknowledge thee for our master, we shall do that which is wise and prudent, 
" and our names will not be coupled with a foolish and inconsiderate act ; we have 


" therefore chosen for thee and for ourselves that which is generous and wise j 
"we will acknowledge thee as our lord and sovereign, and thou wilt remain where 
" thou now art, and allow these poor dwellers in tents to continue as they 
"are ; for upon their preservation depends, in a certain measure, the duration and 
"strength of thy empire.' 

ion with " Ytisuf Ibn Tashefin, although endowed with a clear understanding and much 

raiersof " wit, did not understand the Arabic language; so when he received the above 

" letter with the presents from the kings of Andalus, he handed it over to his 

" secretary, who was equally well versed in the language of the Arabs as in that of 


" the Almoravides, and asked him what it meant. ' O King ! ' said the secretary to 
" Yusuf, ' this letter is from the kings of Andalus, who exalt and honour thee, and 
" acknowledge thee as their master, and place themselves under thy obedience ; 
" they beseech thee not to treat them as enemies, since they are also Moslems 
" and dwellers in tents, and not to attack them, since they have already enough 
" to do to fight the infidels beyond their settlements. They tell thee that their 
" territories are narrow and exhausted, and will not bear armies [like thine], 



* r _ ■. ■" "■ --L ""^O 

----- l .- -* .- 


CHAP. V.] 



" They conclude by entreating thee not to withdraw from them that generous protec- 

" tion which thou hast dispensed to all those who have submitted to thy rule in 

<l the West.' Yusuf then said to his secretary, 'What thinkest thou of all this?' 

" — ' O King ! ' answered the secretary, ( thou must know that the splendour of a 

crown is such that it must be owned by those even who are unwilling to [own it] ; 

" that it is therefore incumbent upon a king, who has power and riches, to forgive, 

" whenever his forgiveness is implored, and to give away whenever he is asked : the 

<c more largely and profusely he bestows his gifts, the more his fame spreads 

"and the more his power increases, and his dominions extend; for if once it 

" becomes an honour to be the vassal of such a king, people will flock to him 

" on all sides without difficulty, and he will become the heir of an extensive empire 

" without waiting for the death of others. Know that one of the great kings of 

" yore, weil versed in the means [to be employed] to arrive at empire, said, 

e ' —The generous man becomes a lord [among his own people] ; the lord rises to be 

ct a chief; the chief is the ruler of the country.' 

" When Yusuf heard his secretary utter the above sentiments, he was at once 
<( convinced of the soundness of the advice and the truth of his words, and he 
<( accordingly directed him to write an answer to that effect in his name, and read it 
" over to him before he sent it to Andalus. The secretary then wrote as follows : 
" 'In the name of God the merciful! the compassionate' [This letter is] from 
" Yusuf Ibn Tashefin, who salutes you all, and invokes upon you the mercy and 
" the blessings of God. (May they descend at once on the saluter and the saluted !) 
" Know ye that whatever you possess of empire, in the broadest acceptation [of 
" this word], is perfectly secure in your hands, and that you are welcome to its 
" possession ; that we entertain for you all the greatest regard and esteem, and that 
" therefore we are anxious to see good faith and amity exist between us, and hope 
" that you will treat us as brothers. God is the imparter of help both to you 
" and to me.' 

" The letter being written, the secretary read it in his native tongue to Yusuf, 
" who approved of its contents. Having then prepared some suitable presents 
" for the Andalusian rulers, among which were many valuable shields covered with 
the skins of the lamt, and which could not be procured elsewhere than in his own 
dominions, Yusuf gave his reply to the messenger and dismissed him. 
" When the kings of Andalus received Yusuf's letter, and had perused it, they 
were extremely satisfied, and they praised and extolled above all things the 
modesty and moderation of that Sultan. Rejoiced at the idea of having him 
for an ally, their souls were inflamed, and their courage rekindled to oppose 
the Franks ; and when, in the course of time, they saw that all their efforts to 







rti ^i^fto-? - -*m 

■^- ' f -. ' "J -i. ' l,l .- 

*""-"- -***-. 




humble the pride of the infidels proved useless, they no longer hesitated to send 
another embassy to Yusuf Ibn Tashefin, requesting him to cross over to Andalus, 
or to send an army to their assistance. 
iiisanswto « Such was the state of affairs when the ambassadors of Al-mu'tamed arrived 

ill & fliTihfi^ 

sadorsof Ai- « at his court. Yusuf Ibn Tashefin had [for some time past] seen at the capital of 

"his dominions numbers of men from the frontier towns [reduced by Alfonso], 
" who came with tears in their eyes and sorrow in their hearts, calling to God 
"and their brothers in Islam [for protection], and imploring the Kadis and 
" theologians of his court and the Wizirs of his government to intercede for them. 
" Yusuf had listened to their prayers, and sympathised with their sufferings ; 
" his heart had melted at the narrative of their misfortunes. Just as the ambas- 
" sadors of Al-mu'tamed were crossing the Straits, Yusuf was sending emissaries 
" over to Andalus [to ascertain the real state of the country]. The ambassadors 
" arrived [at Morocco], and Yusuf received them with every show of attention and 
" honour, and promised to give the help required, which being reported to Al- 
" mu'tamed, he fitted out a fleet at Seville to communicate with the governor 
" of Ceuta, 19 and to keep him well informed of the movements of Yusuf. After 
" various negotiations between the ambassadors of Al-mu'tamed and Yusuf, the 
" Kadis returned to Seville, and the Almoravide Sultan crossed the Strait, and 
" landed without the least difficulty at Al-jeziratu-1-khadhra (Algesiras), the 
" inhabitants of which opened their gates, and went out to him with all sorts 
" of provisions, and erected a market-place, to which abundance of provisions was 
' ' taken [from the neighbouring districts] . It having been announced by the public 
" crier that Yusuf had arrived in the country [for the purpose of waging war 
"against Alfonso], numbers of volunteers flocked from all parts to his banner, 
" until the public squares and the mosques [of the place] would no longer hold 
" them." -So far the author of the Raudhu~Umu' attar . 

Ibn Ad'ham and the rest of the ambassadors found Yusuf Ibn Tashefin at 
Ceuta, and, having delivered to him the credentials [of Al-mu'tamed], proceeded 
to describe to him the state of Andalus, and the constant fear in which the Moslems 
were of Alfonso's power. 


^■U'J ' -^.1 

• ■- , L ^m*m$m 

■^ - ." 





Yusuf crosses the Strait — Marches to Seville — Preparations of Alfonso — His dream — His message to 
Yusuf — March of the Mohammedan army — Arrival at Badajoz — Yrisuf's letter to Alfonso — The 

Christian king tries to deceive the Moslems — His plans known and disconcerted — His attack upon 
Al-mu'tamed's camp — Perilous situation of that monarch — Yiisuf marches to his aid — Extricates him 
from his danger — Takes and plunders the Christian camp — Alfonso is wounded in the thigh — Flees 
the field of hattle — Dies of sorrow and disappointment — Yiisuf visits Seville — Is magnificently enter- 
tained by the king of that city — The Almoravides evince a disposition to remain in Andalus — Advice 
given to Al-mu'tamed — Yiisuf 's departure for Africa, 

Yusuf Ibn Tashefin had no sooner heard the report of the ambassadors [of Al- Y ^ u f mosses 

, ._ , , ... „ r L the Strait. 

imi tamed] , than he gave immediate orders for the crossing of his army, which 
came [to Ceuta] one division after the other. When all had arrived, Yusuf crossed 
the Strait and joined Al-mu'tamed in Seville. This monarch had also made 
immense preparations, since, besides the troops of Seville and a considerable force 
sent him by the people of Cordova, he was joined by numbers of volunteers from 
the different provinces of Andalus. Ibn Khallekan says, that Yusuf Ibn Tashefin 
had camels transported to Andalus in such numbers that the country was actually 
filled with them, and that their cries reached the sky. The people of Andalus had 
never seen camels, and their horses were greatly frightened at them. The sight of 
one of those animals, or his cry, was enough to make a horse rear and throw 
his rider. It was a good idea of Yusuf's to take camels to Andalus, and to train 
them to war, and surround his camp with them, for they were afterwards of great 
assistance to him by throwing into disorder the Christian cavalry. 

But let us again see what the author of the Raudhu-Umu' attar says on this Marches to 
topic, who not only has dwelt at full length on the history of Andalus, but was 
a native of that country, although I am unable to say to what tribe he belonged, 
or in what city he had his dwelling. " When Ytisuf, with all his army, had 
"crossed [the Strait] and landed at Jeziratu-1-khadhra [Algesiras], he marched 
" to Seville in the finest order, army after army, general after general, and tribe 
" after tribe. Al-mu'tamed sent his own son to meet him, and issued orders 
' ' to the governors of the districts [through which Yusuf had to pass] to furnish 


" him and his army with provisions, and whatever else they might want. Every 
« where Yusuf met with a reception that pleased him exceedingly, and he was 
" highly rejoiced. In this manner the several divisions of his army marched under 
" their respective commanders until they arrived in sight of Seville. At the 
" approach of Yusuf, Al-mu'tamed went out to receive him, escorted by one 
" hundred cavaliers and the principal officers [of his court]. At a short distance 
" from the spot where Yusuf had encamped, Al-mu'tamed put his horse to a 
" gallop, which being perceived by the people of the camp, they also went out 
" towards him. Yusuf then left his tent and met Al-mu'tamed alone, when both 
" princes shook hands and embraced each other, and showed friendship and sin- 
" cerity, thanking God for his favours, and recommending to each other courage 
" [in the field] and compassion [towards the Moslems]. They congratulated each 
" other upon their determination to wage war against the infidel, and praj^ed to 
" God Almighty that he would render their act pure and acceptable to him. 
" They then separated; Yiisuf returned to his camp, Al-mu'tamed to his own 
" quarters, where, having collected together the presents, gifts, and provisions 
" which he had brought for Yiisuf, he sent them to the tent [of that monarch]. 
" Al-mu'tamed and Yusuf passed that night under their tents; but on the ensuing 
" morning, after the prayer of sunrise, all mounted on horseback, and the former 
(( having proposed to ride on to Seville, Yusuf accepted the proposition, and 
" gave orders to that effect. Once in the capital of Al-mu'tamed, the Africans 
" witnessed enough of the splendour of royalty to make them glad. There was 
" no king of Andalus but who either hastened to Seville in person, or sent some 
" one to represent him, appearing there at the head of his own army, or sending 
" it under the command of an experienced general. [It is true] the people of 
" the Desert had done the same with respect to Yusuf, every one of the tribes 
" or districts [of Western Africa] sending down their contingent of men to assist 

" in the undertaking. 
Preparations " On the other hand, when Alfonso had ascertained that Yusuf was marching 

of Alfonso. 

" in hostile array against him, he summoned to arms all the men of his own and 
" the neighbouring kingdom, as well as those of the countries beyond them; 
" his priests, bishops, and monks raising every where their crosses and displaying 
" their gospels [in order to engage the people in the contest]. By these means, 
"he collected round him an innumerable host of Franks and Galicians, and 
" established couriers to inform him of the movements of each army. 
■-." These preparations being complete, Alfonso wrote a letter to Al-mu'tamed, 
"in which he said to him, — ' Your friend Yusuf is no doubt tired of his native 
' ' country* and has crossed the seas [in order to fix himself here] ; but I am likely 

■^ _■ - h \_- > ^J^^^-uLj^. 

* ■■ ^ - T ^ --. ^ j * -L_-yG. 

"■ .■- ' ■" _■ ■" - .■ -'-f - - OjX; 


" to give him occupation for the rest [of his days]. He was evidently so much 
" taken with you, and wished so much to see you, that he spared you the trouble 
" [of going over to him], and he came here to meet you in your country, and to 
" show you all the friendship and regard which he has for you.' Having then 
" assembled his favourites and the members of his council, he addressed them 
" in the following words: 'Methinks that were I to allow the enemy to cross 
<( the passes [leading] to this my kingdom, and to engage my army on this side 
" of the mountain barriers [which encompass this country], if the fortune of war 
" decides against me, the Africans will doubtless take possession of this country, 
" and mow down its inhabitants at one stroke; whereas if, on the contrary, I 
(( try my forces with theirs on the skirts of their country, and the fortune of 
" the day were to turn against us, they will be satisfied with the advantages 
" [gained] and will not follow us beyond the mountains, for fear of leaving the 
" passes at their back; or if they do follow us, it will not be before they have 
iC made fresh preparations, and some time has been spent [in them]. This plan, 
" I imagine, will prove a preservative to our country, and a sort of palliative to our 
(( defeat. If, on the contrary, the enemy should be beaten and we prove victorious, 
" I shall have over them, and in their country, that very advantage which I 
" fear they may reap in ours. I am, therefore, determined to fight them in the 
" very heart of their country.' In conformity with this resolution, Alfonso, having 
" taken with him the elite of his army and his choicest troops, advanced towards 
<( the passes which lead into the Moslem territory, leaving the rest of his forces 
" behind. It is related that when Alfonso saw the flower of his troops formed 
" in line of battle, he could not help exclaiming in raptures, ' With such men 
" as these I engage to fight the genii, the demons, and the angels of heaven.' 
(( According to the lowest computation the army which Alfonso chose to accompany 
" him on that expedition consisted of forty thousand men, clad in coats of bright 
(( mail, without counting their [mounted] followers ; but the Christians stared 
,( with amazement at those who made such low reckoning, and declared that 
" their numbers were still greater. AH agree, however, that the Moslems were 
<( on this occasion less numerous than the unbelievers. 

"Whilst these events were passing, Alfonso dreamt one night that he was His dream. 
" riding on a huge elephant, which was all the time beating a drum with his 
" trunk. Being greatly terrified by this vision, he consulted his priests and 
" monks about it, but he found no one who could explain its meaning to him. 
" At last he bribed a Jew to go over to the Moslem territory, and try to ascertain 
11 its meaning from some learned man well versed in the interpretation of dreams. 
<{ Having found a Moslem who professed to explain dreams, the Jew related to 
vol. ii. 2 o 

-->!■■ -. p-'^-J 





to Yusuf* 


■u - 

« him Alfonso's vision as if he had seen it himself , and requested him to explain 

it for him ; but the Moslem, discovering the imposture, said immediately, ' Thou 

liest ; thou never hadst such a dream, and unless thou tell me who dreamt it, 

I will give thee no explanation.' The Jew, seeing the imposture discovered, 

( told him the truth, but entreated him to keep it a secret. ' Thou tellest the 

truth now,' said the interpreter of dreams ; ' it was Alfonso, and he only, who 

dreamt the dream, and the meaning of it is that a great calamity is about to 

" befall him and his army. The dream may be explained in those words of the 

" Koran, — ' Seest thou not how thy Lord has dealt with the people of the elephant ? * 

" As to the elephant beating [the drum] with his trunk, the meaning of it is that 

" Alfonso will receive a wound in his face, which will also happen on the same 

" ominous day.' The Jew returned to Alfonso, to whom he related the interview 

" he had held with the interpreter ; but, instead of imparting to him the explanation 

" which the astrologer had given him, he offered him a satisfactory one, more 

" suitable to his position and views. 

His message " They relate that Alfonso wrote a letter to Yusuf, which a traitor Moslem 

" composed for him, wherein he used very abusive language, and endeavoured to 
" intimidate that Sultan, by greatly exaggerating the forces, military stores, and 
" provisions which he had at his disposal. When the letter arrived and was 
" read to Yusuf, he ordered his secretary Abu Bekr Ibnu-1-kossayrah 1 to answer it. 
" Abu Bekr, who was a learned and elegant writer, retired and soon returned 
" with a long epistle full of rhetorical beauties, which being read to Yusuf, he 
" said to him, ' That answer is too long; bring me Alfonso's letter.' Abu Bekr 
" did as he was commanded, and Yusuf wrote these words upon the back of it, — 
" ' He who shall live will see.' 2 When Alfonso read these words he trembled 
" with fear, and soon became convinced that he had to deal with a man against 
" whom all his power would be useless. 
March of the " However, after spending some time on the passes, Alfonso marched with his 

Mohammedan ■ ' /■ * -i i tt it 

army. " army towards the western provinces ot Andalus. He was there met by the 

" Sultan Yiisuf, who advanced against him. Al-mu'tamed had remained behind, 
" occupied in some pressing business ; but when he had dispatched it, he followed 
" his track with an army composed of warriors trained to border warfare, and 
" the chiefs of Andalus. His son 'Abdullah led the van, and as he was marching 
"he recited extempore the following verses, which have since become cele- 
." heated: 

-_■ — H 


\ \ 

v ; . * Joy is near at hand; it shall come to thee [coupled] with wonderful 
': events. 

* From this blessed expedition thou canst not fail shortly to return victorious : 


- ■. r , —-S*.-- - '■J- 

-■ >- - - i-V- -.. Jfc^'^^ 11 ^ 

- ■ "■ - ■_ _"■ _^-_-r r 

.■" i_ .■ -. ■■■■ "l x_ 

o - j _- ^ V uiJ ■■_- 


* For God grants thee his help, whilst he sends down destruction upon the 
' worshipper of the crucified. 

' We may, indeed, expect a day as glorious as that of Koleyb.' 3 
(t The [allied] armies arrived at Badhalios (Badajoz), and encamped outside the Arrival at 
" walls. The king of that city, Al-mutawakkel 'Omar Ibn Mohammed Ibn Al- Badai ° 2 ' 
" afttas, went out to meet the Moslems some distance from this capital with 
" refreshments and provisions, and showed them every possible attention and 
" respect. He brought them news of the movements of Alfonso, 4 and told them 
" that he was already in the neighbourhood with all his forces. Upon the receipt 
<( of this intelligence, Yiisuf advanced against the enemy, and the two hosts were 
" soon in sight of each other. Fearing some stratagem of the enemy, Al-mu'tamed 
" sent out experienced people to examine and reconnoitre the camp of the Al- 
" moravides ; 5 he himself, after seeing the sentries placed at the gates [of the 
"camp], as well as detachments of cavalry and infantry [to guard against a 
" surprise], would go out every night and ride outside the camp, so that if a 
" soldier left his tent he was sure to find Al-mu'tamed going his rounds. 

" When the two armies were in presence of each other, Yusuf wrote to Alfonso, Ymufs letter 
" offering him one of the three [conditions] prescribed by the law; namely, Islam, *° AMbM0 * 
(< tribute, or death. The letter was a long one, and elegantly written. Among 
" other things which it contained was the following : ( We understand, O Alfonso ! 
" that thou didst once express the wish of coming over to us [in Africa], and 
" didst regret thou hadst no vessels to allow thee to do so. Thy wishes are now 
" accomplished. Here we are, ready to meet thee wherever thou pleasest, and 
" we shall see how thy prayers have been attended to. It is a thing well known, 
" that infidels never pray except in the path of error/ 

" At the receipt of this letter the unbeliever was highly indignant ; he flew 
" into a most violent passion, and returned an answer indicative of the miserable 
" state [of his mind]. His bishops and monks then raised their crosses in the 
" air > and displayed their gospels, pledging themselves to die [for their religion]. 
" On the other hand, both Yusuf and Al-mu'tamed addressed their respective 
" followers; after which, theologians, and other men distinguished by the sanctity 
" of their lives, assuming the functions of Khattibs or preachers, erected temporary 
" pulpits from which they preached to the soldiers, stimulating them to show 
" courage and resolution in the approaching contest, and warning them against 
" cowardice or flight. 

" On Wednesday morning, at break of day, the scouts came to the camp of Yusuf 
(( and informed him that Alfonso had struck his tents and was close at hand. 
" On the receipt of this intelligence, the Moslems fell into their ranks and prepared 







Hie Christian 
dug tries to 
leceive the 


' for battle ; but Alfonso's courage failed [when he saw the fine order in which 
' they were], and, instead of advancing to the attack, he had recourse to artifice 
£ and deceit, so that the Moslems returned to their encampment and passed that 
' night in their tents. On the following morning, which was Thursday, Alfonso 
' sent a message to Al-mu'tamed, thus conceived : ' To-morrow is Friday, and 
' a holiday for the people of thy creed ; so is Sunday for those of ours ; let the 
' battle, then, take place on the intermediate day, which is Saturday.' Al- 
( mu'tamed hastened to communicate to Yusuf the message he had received ; 
' at the same time intimating to him his conviction that it was merely intended 
' to deceive, and that Alfonso really meant to attack them on Friday. He there- 
' fore advised that Sultan to keep his men in readiness the whole of Friday. 
' This was done as he proposed ; the men received orders to be prepared for 
' battle, and the sentries to be on the alert. 

" In the middle of the night of Thursday, a devout and holy Faquih, named 
' Abu-l-'abb£s Ahmed Ibn Romeylah Al-kortobi, who followed the camp of Al- 
' mu'tamed, awoke in great exultation and delight, saying to all those whom 
' he: happened to meet, how he had that very night seen in a dream the messenger 
1 of God [Mohammed] , who had assured him of the victory, and told him that 
' he himself would fall a martyr for the faith at sunrise of the ensuing day. 
' Accordingly, Abu-1- 'abbas prepared himself; he passed a part of the night in 
( prayer, and anointed and perfumed his head. This circumstance having been 
' reported to Al-mu'tamed, he hastened to communicate it to Yusuf, as one proof 
( more of the treason which the infidel king was meditating. 

"The same night [of Thursday], two horsemen, belonging to the army of 
( Al-mu'tamed, came and informed that prince, that having, according to his 
' instructions, spied Alfonso's camp, they had heard a confused noise as of 

* troops marching to and fro, and soldiers getting their weapons ready. Shortly 
' after other horsemen arrived at full gallop into the camp, bringing positive 
' information of Alfonso's movements. These were quickly followed by some 

* scouts whom Al-mu'tamed had sent into the Christian camp to ascertain, if 
' possible, what were the intentions of the enemy. They returned, saying, < We 
'sharpened our ears and listened; and heard Alfonso say to his people,— Al- 
' mu'tamed is well practised in Andalusian warfare ; the Africans are not ; for, 
'however intelligent and experienced in military affairs the latter may be, they 
yare ^totally unacquainted with this country and its different modes of warfare. 
Mt is clear, therefore, that on the present occasion they are entirely guided by 
| the advice of Al-mu'tamed: against him, then, must your attacks be first 
' directed, and your utmost courage and perseverance be displayed; for, if once 








■.- _ 











" you defeat him, the victory over the Africans will be easily gained. For my 
" part, I do not think that Al-mu'tamed can resist you long, if you attack him with. 
" vigour and determination.' 

" Upon the receipt of this information, Al-mu'tamed dispatched his Katib, Abu His plans 
" Bekr Ibnu-1-kossayrah, to inform the Sultan Yusuf of the approach of Alfonso, dSncSed. 
" and of his plan of attack, and to ask him at the same time to re-inforce his army 
" with some troops. Ibnu-1-kossayrah galloped through the camp, until he reached 
" the tent of Yiisuf Ibn Tashefin, to whom he delivered his master's message. 
( < Yusuf answered, ' Go and tell Al-mu'tamed that I will shortly fasten to his 
' assistance;' saying which, he directed one of his generals to take a body of 
troops, which he named, and to attack and fire Alfonso's camp as soon as he 
saw him engaged with Al-mu'tamed. Ibnu-1-kossayrah then returned to his 
master ; but scarcely had he had time to communicate the answer of which he 
was the bearer, when the troops of the infidel king made their appearance. 
" Al-mu'tamed [and his men] fought with the courage of despair, but the troops His attack 
" of Alfonso being greatly superior in numbers, the Moslems were surrounded Seed's 
" and hemmed in on all sides. The struggle now became fiercer than ever, and the camp ' 
" furnaces of war burned with additional violence ; death exercised its fury among 
" the followers of Al-mu'tamed, who himself performed on that day such feats of 
" arms as no warrior in his army could equal. Meanwhile the King of Seville was 
" anxiously expecting the re-inforcements which Yusuf had promised to him. He Perilous situa- 
" kept looking in the direction of the African camp, but no troops came; theSnic^ 
" Christians, on the other hand, repeated their attacks with increasing fury, until, at 
" last, the Andalusians, disheartened by their own loss, and not seeing the Africans 
" come to their assistance, began to lose courage. Some of them even gave way, 
" and in their number Al-mu'tamed's own son, 'Abdullah. However, that monarch 
" continued fighting until he was thrice wounded; he received a sabre cut on the 
" head, which went through his helmet and lodged in his head, as far as the 
" temples ; he received another sabre cut in the right hand, and a thrust of a spear 
" in his thigh; he had three chargers killed under him, and whenever he was 
" dismounted he was immediately supplied with another steed. Often did he seek 
" death in the ranks of the enemy by rushing into the middle of them and dealing 
" blows right and left. In that situation, and whilst the blood was dripping from 
" his wounds, Al-mu'tamed happened to think of a pet child of his, surnamed 
" Abti Hashim, whom he had left behind [in Seville] owing to a slight indis- 
" position, and he exclaimed — 

' O Abu Hashim ! the sword [of the enemy] has fractured my bones ; 
1 but God gave me courage and endurance throughout the bloody conflict! 

-v «L. n _ .L--p - j-_ -_■._... _■■. _ ■. -j 4 ■- -■. u ■. ^- .■_ 


( [Even now] amidst the clouds of dust [raised by warriors' feet] I think of 
4 thy little person, and yet the pleasant thought induces me not to flee.' 6 
Yusuf marches « At last the expected re-inforcements came, and Al-mu'tamed was extricated 

to his aid. # ± 

" from his perilous situation. The first among the generals of Yusuf who came to 
" the assistance [of the Andalusians] was Dawud Ibn 'A'yeshah, an experienced 
" and brave officer. Next came Yusuf himself with banners displayed and drums 
" beating, the sounds of which resounded loudly through the air. This being 
■' perceived by Alfonso, he sent against the Africans a body of his best troops ; 
" he in person followed them with the greater part of his army. Yiisuf then 
" hastened towards them, and having charged the enemy at the head of all his 
" forces, made them fall back upon their cantonments. The relics of Al-mu'tamed's 
" division gathered round Yusuf 's host; the men began to sniff up the odoriferous 
" gales of victory, and congratulate each other upon their forthcoming success. 
" This done, the Moslems again charged the enemy together and at once ; the 
" earth quaked under the hoofs of their horses ; the sun was obscured by the clouds 
" of dust rising under the feet of the warriors ; the steeds swam through torrents of 
"blood. Both parties, in short, fought with equal animosity and courage. At 
from his " last, Al-mu'tamed and Yusuf met together, and they united in a furious and irre- 

danger. . ° J 

" sistible charge ; upon which the Andalusian fugitives, seeing the Africans closely 
<: engaged with the Christians, returned little by little [to the camp], and joined 
" also in the attack, which was so spirited and so well conducted, that the 
" Christians gave way every where, and took to flight. Alfonso then fled the 
" field of battle, not without having received a wound in one of his knees, which 
(t made him lame for the rest of his life." 
Takes and According to Ibn Khallekan (in the life of Yiisuf Ibn Tashefin), when, as above 

plunders the 

christian related, Alfonso had nearly destroyed Al-mu'tamed's division, Yusuf summoned 
p- round him his best infantry, and the cavalry of Senhdjah and the chiefs of the 

principal [Berber] tribes, and, putting himself at their head, led the attack against 
the camp of Alfonso, which he surprised and entered, putting to the sword all 
the troops left for its defence. The stormy din of drums, the clash of clarion 
and trumpet, filled the air; the earth quaked [under the weight of the warriors], 
and the neighbouring mountains echoed the thousand discordant sounds. The 
Christians [who were closely engaged with Al-mu'tamed] seeing the Moslems in 
possession of their camp, returned to expel them therefrom ; upon which, the Amir, 
Yusuf, went out [to assist them, and having repulsed the assailants,] returned to 
the camp, and expelled the Christians from it. 7 Again the enemy returned to the 
attack, but they were a second time repulsed, and the camp remained in the posses- 
sion of the Moslems. In this manner the attacks succeeded each other, until the 











**-*-* s ; _-> V r 

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J. .- " 

V* -- 

■. v 



Amir of the Moslems 8 summoned his own body-guard, composed of black slaves, 
and, having picked out four thousand of them, armed with sharp Indian swords, short 
spears of Zdb, and shields covered with hippopotamus-hide, he directed them to 
dismount and join the fight, which they did with awful execution, cutting the horses' 
houghs, spearing their riders when on the ground, and throwing confusion into 
the enemy's ranks. In the middle of the conflict Alfonso attacked, sword in hand. Alfonso is 

^ wounded in 

a black slave who had spent all his javelins, and aimed at his head; but the black the thigh, 
avoided the blow, and, creeping under Alfonso's horse, seized the animal by the 
bridle; then taking out a khanjar, 9 which he wore at his girdle, he wounded the 
Christian king in the thigh, the instrument piercing both armour and flesh, and 
pinning Alfonso to his horse's saddle. The rout then became general, the gales of 
victory blew, and God sent down his spirit to the Moslems, rendering the true 
religion triumphant. A charge more desperate than the others at last expelled 
the Christians from their camp, and completed their discomfiture. Every where the 
infidels turned their backs before the Moslems, quietly giving up their throats to 
the caresses of the swords, and their bodies to the thrusting of the spears. Those 
who escaped fled to a small eminence in the vicinity of the camp, where they tried 
to make a stand. They were immediately surrounded by the cavalry of the Mos- 
lems, and would inevitably have been taken had not night come on, under cover of 


which Alfonso and his followers were enabled to come down and escape destruction, 
when they must already have felt the fangs of death upon their throats. The 
Moslems, however, took possession of every thing they found in the Christian 
camp, — stores, weapons, provisions, tents, 10 vases, and so forth. 

But let us hear what the author of the Raudhu-l-mu' attar says on the subject. Flees the field 

of battle. 

!< After the defeat of his army, Alfonso ascended a small eminence close to his 
camp, with five hundred of his knights, every one of whom had been more or less 
wounded in the conflict : from thence they all disappeared in the course of the 
night. All those who did not follow the example of their king were either 
killed or taken prisoners ; the number of those who died in the battle or after it 
being so great that the plain was actually covered with their bodies, and that 
the heads of the slain, piled up in various places, formed several pulpits from 
which the muezzins called the faithful to prayer: indeed, had Alfonso stayed 
to contemplate the field of battle, he would have found it a terrible lesson to 

" him and to his followers, 

" As it was, when he arrived at his city [Toledo], and began to inquire about Dies of sorrow 

and disappoint- 

" his friends and courtiers and the brave warriors of his army, and was told thatment 

; c 



every one of tliem w r as either slain or a captive in the hands of the Moslems, 
— when he perceived that wherever he went there was nothing but wailings and 

___^ _ 


" lamentations, — he fell suddenly into a dejected state of mind, and neither ate nor 
" drank, until he actually died of sorrow and disappointment. He left no male 
" children, and was succeeded by a daughter, who shut herself up in Toledo. 11 

<( Immediately after the battle, Al-mu'tamed went to see Yxisuf, shook hands with 
" him, congratulated him upon the victory he had gained, and thanked and praised 
" him [for the assistance he had lent to the common cause]. Yusuf, on the other 
" hand, thanked Al-mu'tamed for his exertions, and the courage which he had 
" displayed in the contest. Yusuf having, in the course of conversation, asked 
" Al-mu'tamed how he was when his timely aid came to extricate him from his 
" dangerous position, that monarch answered him, ' Thou hadst better ask [the 
" fugitives] ; there they are before thee.' 

" Al-mu'tamed wrote from the field of battle, announcing to his son in Seville 
"the victory which the Moslems had gained. The letter was thus conceived: 
" ' From the camp of victory, this Friday, the 20th of Rejeb, [a. h. 479]. God 
" has exalted the faith, and rendered the Moslems victorious, granting them a 
" manifest victory, routing and putting to flight the idolaters and unbelievers. He 
" has made the latter taste the awful punishments and excruciating tortures which 
" await them [in hell]. Praise [be given] to God for the signal favours he has 
" just granted to us, and the contentment and joy he has this day sent down unto 
" us by breaking down the power and scattering the forces of Alfonso, annihilating 
" the whole of his army, and committing so many of his followers to the raging 
" tires of hell, where they will not fail to be subjected to those everlasting torments 
" which are reserved for the infidels. Our victory was complete : we took and 
" plundered his camp, and put to the sword the whole of his men, his most 
" renowned warriors and stoutest champions ; the slaughter being so great that 
" the Moslems are now piling up the heads of the slain, and raising towers from 
" which to proclaim the hours of public prayer. Praise [be given] to God for all his 
" favours. As to me, I received a few slight wounds, which at first were painful 
" enough, but are now closed. Praise be given to God. Fare thee well.' " 

In this battle numbers of Moslems won the crown of martyrdom, among whom 
were several chiefs and doctors distinguished by their virtues or their talents, such 
as Ibn Romeylah, whose dream we have related above, Abu Merwan 'Abdu-1-malek 
Al-masmudi, Kadi of Morocco, and others. (May God Almighty have mercy 
on their souls !) Yet the loss of the Moslems was trifling when compared with 
that experienced by the Christians. For many years after the field of battle was so 
covered with the carcasses of the slain, that it was impossible to walk through it 
without treading on the withered bones of some infidel. 

The Moslems remained four days encamped on the field of battle, occupied in 






J "^ 1 C s - - ■> . -.x.- v 


collecting the spoils of the enemy. When every thing had been got together, 
Yusuf s pleasure was consulted with regard to the partition ; but Yusuf would 
not touch any portion of the spoil, and gave it to the Andalusian chieftains to 
be divided among them, saying, " I came not to this country for the sake of 
" plunder; I came for no other purpose than that of waging war against the 
(i infidel, and thereby deserving the rewards promised to those who fight for the 
" cause of God." When the Andalusian princes saw Yusuf 's generous conduct 
with regard to the division of the spoil, they praised his liberality, and thanked 
him for it. 

But to return to the principal subject of our narrative. " The battle being over, Yusuf visits 
" Al-mu'tamed invited Yusuf Ibn Tashefin to accompany him to Seville, and. the 
" latter having accepted the invitation, both princes repaired to that capital, ac- 
" companied by a numerous and brilliant escort. When Yusuf Ibn Tashefin saw 
" Seville, which, as is well known, is one of the most splendid and magnificent cities 
" [in the world], he could not remove his eyes from the sight, and his mind was 
" absorbed in the contemplation of its many beauties. Seville is situated on the 
" banks of a large river, into which the tide pours the waters of the sea, and 
" which is navigated by merchant ships trading between Maghreb (Western Africa) 
" and Andalus. To the west of the city lies a fertile district, twenty parasangs hi 
" length, in which are upwards of one thousand hamlets surrounded by orchards 
" and gardens, where the vine, the olive, and fig-tree grow in great luxuriance. 
" The district is called Sharaf (Axarafe), and constitutes one of the greatest 
" beauties of Seville, there being no other city in the West to be compared to 
" it on this account. On one side of the city are the palaces of Al-mu'tamed and 
" of his father, Ai-mu'tadhed, both extremely beautiful [in their proportions], and 
" most splendid in their decorations. In one of these palaces, which was furnished is magnu 
" for the occasion with every requisite article, Yusut Ibn lashetin was lodged tained by the 
" with his suite, Al-mu'tamed taking care that they should be daily provided withc^? \ .*"' 
" food, drink, clothes, beds, &c, and appointing persons to see that all the wishes 
" of his royal guest were fully gratified. Such, indeed, was the attention and 

courtesy which Al-mu'tamed displayed on this occasion, that Yusuf could not 
" forbear showing his gratitude, and thanking him for his hospitality. 

" There were in the suite of Ibn Tashefin [Yusuf] several courtiers who were The Aimora- 
" dexterously calling the attention of that Sultan to the comforts and luxuries disposition w- 
"by which he was surrounded, and to the pleasures and enjoyments which hisJSSiT 
" host was daily procuring for him, as well as instigating him to adopt a similar 
" mode of living. One of them said once to him, ' Among the great advantages 

which power confers upon a king, one is that it enables him to pass his life 

VOL. II. * p 



^!7^ H^T-l^T VyT J^^w-^z\iry--^ = *-".- ■"^c- f *_*z* ^™rv-.»«-B^"vni*-, ■- A ^ * v^m^^v^ -■^■d^-v tf'^'^vi- . l ^ ■.-■"" L'J^F'^SV^.y ^' " I ' J-.ff*" 1-1 * -"'■""■ * - ,-r "" -"^i ojwk* t_ r*x- « - - - ..... .. .. __ .. ..._.._ .^^ "^^""J ""■ "*~* 


" in pleasure and comfort, as this Al-mu'tamed and his colleagues [the petty kings 

" of Andalus] are doing.' Ibn Tashefin [Ytisuf] was a wise and shrewd man; 

" he was neither too prompt in his determinations, nor too slow in carrying them 

" into effect ; and as he had passed the greater part of his life in his native deserts, 

" exposed to hunger and privation, he had no taste for the life of pleasure and 

" enjoyment which was recommended to him, and he accordingly rejected the 

" advice of his counsellor, saying to him, ' It strikes me that this man (meaning 

" Al-mu'tamed) is throwing away the power which has been placed in his hands ; 

" for there can be no doubt that the sums of money which he is daily expending to 

" support all this pomp and vanity were formerly in the hands of his subjects, 

" from whom he cannot have obtained them by legal means, but through unjust 

" proceedings, to spend them in the indulgence of forbidden pleasures and frivolous 

"pastimes; and instead of giving his attention to the good administration and 

" defence of his kingdom, and to the welfare and prosperity of his subjects, he 

" thinks of nothing else than satisfying the cravings of his passions.' And by my 

" life," observes the author from whom we borrow the above narrative, " Yiisuf 

" was right when he said so. 

" After this, Ytisuf Ibn Tashefin inquired how Al-mu'tamed conducted himself 

"in his pleasures; whether he always led the same dissipated life, or whether 

" he sometimes refrained and lived more soberly. The answer was, that Al- 

' ' mu'tamed always led the same life [of dissipation and pleasure] . ' And do 

" Al-mu'tamed's friends, do his allies, and the high functionaries of his court, 

" approve of his conduct and imitate him?' — 'No, they do not.'— ' "Well, then, 

" how are they pleased with him?' — * They are not pleased at all/ was the courtier's 

" answer. Hearing this, Ytisuf kept silence, and remained for some time wrapt 

" up in his thoughts. 
Advice given ' ' In this manner Yiisuf passed some days at Seville. One day, during his 

'famed. * " stay at that city, a man badly dressed presented himself at the gate of Al- 

" mu'tamed's palace, and asked to be admitted into that monarch's presence. 

<: Permission being granted to him, the man, who was one of those endowed 

" with intelligence and foresight in mundane affairs, entered the hall where Al- 

" mu'tamed was, and having previously bowed down to the earth before him, 

" addressed him thus : ' May God prosper thee, O Sultan ! It behoves him who 

<( has received a benefit to show his gratitude for it, and give good advice in 

"■ " return. I am thy subject, and although my condition [in life] is one of the 

" humblest* yet I deem it incumbent on me to bestow on thee such warning 

" and advice as may hereafter insure thy rule in this country. Know, then, that 

" it has reached my ears that one of the Africans who came in the suite of thy 

■ r -- ' ;* 








" guest, Yusuf Ibn Tashefin, has uttered certain expressions, indicating that his 
" countrymen consider themselves and their king more deserving than thyself of 
" the comforts and pleasures [which this thy kingdom affords]. I have been 
" thinking of an expedient, which, if thou art inclined to listen to me, I will 
" proceed to state.' — 'Speak,' said Al-mu'tamed impatiently. 'This man,' con- 
tinued the stranger, * whom thou hast allowed to pry into thy kingdom, is 
well known to have sprung like a lion upon the kings of various countries, 
and to have dispossessed them of all their dominions. Witness the Zen&tah 
of the opposite coast, whose chiefs he attacked in succession, and deprived of 
all their power, and would mercilessly have destroyed, had not the sight of 
the luxuries and comforts by which thou art surrounded suddenly filled him 
with a desire to seize on thy kingdom ; nay, on the whole of this island ; for 
I do not imagine that thy colleagues, the rulers of Andalus, will fare better 
" than thou. Indeed, 1 am told that Yiisuf is constantly being importuned by 
" his sons, relatives, and others, who all wish him to fix his residence in this 
" happy and fertile kingdom of thine. Now that he has humbled the pride of 
" Alfonso, destroyed his army, and delivered thee from him, he will have no 
" difficulty in accomplishing his design; for, in delivering thee from an enemy, 
" he has also deprived thee of the most powerful auxiliary thou couldst have 
against him. I can, however, procure thee a better ally and a warmer friend 
than Alfonso himself could be, if thou wilt only follow my advice and seize 
the favourable opportunity which presents itself to-day, and not let it pass 
" as thou didst that of Alfonso.' — 'And pray what is it?' said Al-mu'tamed. 
" ' That thou seize the person of thy guest, keep him a prisoner in thy palace, 
" and threaten not to release him unless he issues orders for all Africans to leave 
" this island forthwith and cross over to the deserts whence they came. This 
" being done, and when not even a child of his nation remains in this country, 
" thou wilt, in concert with the other rulers of Andalus, adopt such measures 
" as may be required for the protection of this sea and its shores against any 
" vessels of his that should attempt a passage. When all these preparations 
" are made thou wilt release him, but not without having first compelled him 
" to swear a most solemn oath never again to* return to this island, unless there 
" be a previous agreement between thee and him. Thou wilt, moreover, ask 
" him for hostages, to insure the fulfilment of his word ; for I have no doubt 
" he will grant thee any thing thou mayst ask him, his life being more valuable 
" to him than all that is required of him. He will then be satisfied with his 
" own native soil, which none else but him can like, and will not covet other 






" people's countries. Thou wilt be delivered of him, after being delivered of 
Alfonso ; and thou wilt remain in thy present condition, enjoying every pro- 
sperity : thy fame will spread among the kings of this island ; thy power will 
increase, and thy kingdom extend ; and when the people of this country know 
" what thou hast accomplished, they will praise thy act and extol thy wisdom. 
Kings shall dread thee, and thou wilt be enabled to accomplish any thing thou 
pleasest for the extension of thy empire and the protection of thy dominions. 
" Know, therefore, that thou art called by Heaven to do a deed which shall satisfy 
" the nations, and without which oceans of human blood shall flow/ 

" When Al-mu'tamed heard the man's speech, he seemed to approve of it, and 

" began to ponder in his mind whether he should seize the opportunity which 

" presented itself to him or not. Whilst he was absorbed in his thoughts, one 

" of his courtiers, whom, like many others, Al-mu'tamed was in the habit of 

admitting to his parties of pleasure, addressed himself to the counsellor, and said .- 

It is not for princes like Al-mu'tamed, who is the pattern of every virtue, to 

" commit such a treacherous act as to seize the person of his guest.' — ' No 

" matter/ replied the man, ' treason always takes the right from the hands of 

" its possessor, to protect the man who is hard pressed by his enemy.' 12 — 

" 'Injury with good faith,' replied the courtier, 'is preferable to prudence with 

" injustice.' The counsellor would go on defending his opinion, but Al-mu'tamed 

dismissed him, after thanking him for his good advice, and making him a hand- 

a (. 



some present. 

Yiisufsde- " It appears, however, that Yusuf got intelligence of what had passed; for when, 
Africa? ° r " on the morning of the ensuing day, Al-mu'tamed came up to him, as usual, with 

" costly presents and valuable gifts, he took leave of him and departed on the 
" same day. Some historians relate that Yusuf Ibn Tashefin dwelt outside of 
" Seville, and that when he had been there three days news came to him from 
" Maghreb (Western Africa), which required his presence in that country; that 
" [Al-mu'tamed] Ibn 'Abbad accompanied him one day and one night, after which 
" Yusuf, seeing that his wounds were sore, begged and entreated him to return 
" to his capital, which Al-mu'tamed did, not without appointing his own son, 
" 'Abdullah, to accompany his illustrious guest to the sea shore, and to cross 
" over to Africa with him." 

On his return to Seville, Al-mu'tamed sat one day in public, and the people 
were admitted to his presence. He was then congratulated upon his victory, 
the Koran was read [in his presence], and the poets who stood on each side 
of his throne recited poems in his praise. " I was present that day," says 











■ ~ 

• f - -■- v^i-v>'^-. . 
■■ -■■ r W-" -^ 

_i __■■ ; .. 


'Abdu-1-jelil Ibn Wahbiin, 13 " and I recited before Al-mu'tamed a poem which 
" I had composed for the occasion; the reader [of the Koran] read that passage 
" which stands thus: ' If ye do not help him, God will nevertheless render him 
" victorious [against his enemies].' I then recited my own composition, which, 
" by Allah ! turned entirely upon the meaning of that verse." 

r*rm^'^«F^«E* , ^' WT '^" 

T^Tft jr -^v^ ji_i>*^>r j^Tj-^^c f 

*_* ^- j . r V - 

i.n _— .t.t. ■. 






Yusuf again crosses over to Andalus — Lays siege to Toledo — Deprives 'Abdullah Ibn Balkin of his 
dominions — Bis generals subdue the rest of Andalus — Seyr, the Almoravide, attacks the King of 
Saragossa — Takes the castle of Roda — Dethrones the Kings of Murcia and Almeria — Puts to death 
Ibn Al-afttas, King of Badajoz — Preparations against Al-mu'tamed — Al-mu'tamed besieged in Seville 
— Implores the aid of Alfonso — Taking of Seville by the Almoravides — Al-mu'tamed is conveyed a 
prisoner to Africa — His son 'Abdu-1 -jabber revolts in Andalus — Is killed in the attempt — Death of 
Al-mu'tamed — Death of Ytisuf Ibn Tashefin — Accession of 'All — His campaigns with the Christians of 
Andalus — Taking of Saragossa by the Aragonese — 'Ali returns to Andalus — Alfonso I. invades Anda- 
lusia — Arrives before Granada — The Christians of Granada transported to Africa — 'Ali goes to Andalus 
the fourth time — His death. 

Yusuf again Yusuf had no sooner left the shores of Andalus than Alfonso began again to plan 

crosses over 

to Audaius. the destruction of the Moslems. Having put himself at the head of considerable 

forces, he invaded the dominions of 'Abdu-l-'aziz, King of Murcia, and laid siege to 
a strong castle, called Aleyt (Aledo), which he attacked so vigorously that he soon 
after took it by storm. Leaving a large force for the defence of the place, Alfonso 
retired into his own dominions ; but the Christian garrison of Aledo made so many 
incursions into the dominions of Al-mu'tamed, that this Sultan was again 1 compelled 
to cross over to Africa, and implore Yusuf 's assistance. Accordingly, in the month 
of Rabi'-l-awal of 481 (May or June, a. d. 1088), the commander of the Moslems 
again landed at Algesiras at the head of a considerable army, and, having united 
his forces to those of Al-mu'tamed, marched to Aledo, which he besieged. Owing, 
however, to some misunderstanding which arose among the Andalusian chieftains, 2 
Yusuf was unable to reduce the place, and after some slight incursions made into 
the neighbouring districts of the enemy, he crossed over to Africa. 

Iti the year 483 (beginning March 5, a. d. 1090), Yvisuf Ibn Tashefin visited 
Andalus for the third time, in order to wage war against the infidels. Having 


penetrated as far as Toledo, the court and capital of Alfonso, he besieged it; but, 
although he repeatedly attacked the city, laid waste all the country around, 

Lays siege to 





- - ".--■■ "^".-"^ 

- - - ^*^i ■* ■. 


and prevented provisions and stores being conveyed to it, he was in the end 
compelled to raise the siege and return to his dominions across the sea. They say 
that on this occasion not one of the Andalusian chieftains joined the banners of 
Yusuf, although they had been particularly requested to do so, which so incensed 
that Sultan, that he decided to chastise them for their negligence, and to deprive 
them of their dominions. 

Amone; the Andalusian rulers who would not answer the summons of Yusuf was Deprives 

° 'Abdullah Ibn 

'Abdullah Ibn Balkin, who not only did not join that Sultan with his forces, but Baikin of Ms 
had actually concluded a treaty of alliance with Alfonso. Upon him Yusuf first 
wreaked his vengeance. At his approach, 'Abdullah shut the gates of his city, and 
made some show of resistance ; but his mother having advised him to try by his 
submission to quiet Yusuf's anger, he went out to meet him, and gave him the 
saldm. After this he returned to Granada to prepare for the reception of his 
illustrious guest ; but Yusuf had no sooner gained admittance into 'Abdullah's 
palace than he seized the person of his host, and sent him in irons to Aghmat, 
together with his brother Temim, governor of Malaga, after taking possession of 
the immense treasures which that Sultan had amassed during a long and prosperous 
reign. This 'Abdullah was the grandson of Badis, son of Habus, founder of the 
dynasty of the Zeyrites of Granada. 

In the month of Ramadhan of the same year (a. h. 483), Yusuf Ibn Tashefin His generals 

subdue the 

quitted Andalus for Africa, leaving one of his best generals, named Seyr Ibn Am rest of An- 
Bekr, with a body of troops to prosecute the war against the unbelievers. After 
allowing some days' rest to his men, Seyr led them against Alfonso, whose king- 
dom he invaded, plundering and laying waste the land, slaying and making 
captives of the inhabitants, reducing the best fortified towns and the strongest 
and most inaccessible fortresses. In this manner he penetrated far into the 
Christian territory, collecting rich spoils and immense treasures. Having left 
bodies of infantry and cavalry to garrison the places which he had taken from 
the enemy, Seyr sent to apprise Yusuf of his success, and to inform him that 
whilst his own troops were performing a service of danger on the frontiers, waging 
incessant war against the Christians, and leading at the same time a life of hard- 
ship and privation, the kings of Andalus were plunged in pleasure and sloth, 
and their subjects were enjoying a happy and easy life. He therefore requested 
him to send him his instructions respecting the said kings, and to inform him 
how he was to deal with them. Yusuf s answer was thus conceived: " Order 
" them to accompany thee to the enemy's country; if they obey, well and good; 
" if they refuse, lay siege to their cities, attack them one after the other, and 
" destroy them without mercy. Thou shalt begin with those princes whose do- 

U ,-- L J - 

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-^K-^i.-^ -^ett-^ ^E ' 




" minions border on the enemy's frontier, and shalt not attack Al-mu'tamed 

" until thou hast reduced the rest of Mohammedan Spain to thy obedience. To 

" every city or town which may thus fall into thy hands thou shalt appoint a 

" governor from among the officers of thy army." 

seyr, the Ai- Agreeably to his instructions, Seyr first turned his arms against Ibn Hud [King 

ScSlhe King of Saragossa], who was then [residing] at Rottah (Roda), a strong castle * fortified 

ofSaragossa. ^.^ great ^ and gkm ^ naving abundance of fresh water springing up at great 

height, and in which there was, moreover, such a quantity of provisions and stores 
of all kinds collected by the kings his predecessors, that time only could consume 
them. This castle Seyr besieged; but perceiving that he could not reduce it, 
owing to its marvellous strength, he had recourse to the following stratagem. One 
day he raised the siege, struck his tents, and went away some distance from the 
castle : having then selected a division of his army, he dressed them in the Christian 
fashion, and directed them to approach the castle, as if they were friends, and came 
.to sell them provisions ; whilst he himself with the remainder of his forces lay 
Takes the concealed in the neighbourhood. It happened as Seyr had anticipated. No sooner 
castle of soda. had ^ garrigon of Roda perce i ve d the disguised Africans, than, seeing them in 

small number, and not suspecting any treason, they came out of the castle, and 

the governor among them; upon which, Seyr left his place of concealment, and, 

rushing suddenly upon the governor, seized him with his own hand, made him 

prisoner, and obliged him to surrender his castle. 

Dethrones the Seyr next attacked the Beni Tahir in the eastern parts of Andalus. Having 

MuSa 0f and advanced upon Murcia, where ['Abdu-r-rahman] Ibn Tahir 4 was ruling at the time, 

Aimeria. he mvested that c \ ty w ith all his forces, and compelled that chieftain to surrender 

the place to him and cross over to Africa. The taking of Murcia happened in the 

month of Shawwal of the year 484 (a. d. 1091). 

The campaign of Murcia being at an end, Seyr next attacked Al-mu'tassem 
Ibn Samadeh, King of Aimeria. He sent against him a division of his army 
under the command of Abu Zakariyya Ibn Wasinis, or, according to other au- 
thorities, of Mohammed Ibn 'Ayeshah. Having shut himself up in the citadel, 
which was of wonderful strength, Ibn Samadeh at first made a stout resistance ; 
but hearing that the Almoravides were in possession of the city, and were pre- 
paring to invest the citadel, he fell into a low state of mind, and died of sorrow. 
His son Hosamu-d-daulah 5 then surrendered to the Almoravides, and crossed over 
to Africa in a ship which lay at anchor in the bay. 
i-uts to death ; Seyr then marched to Badajoz, where a king of the dynasty of Al-afttas, named 
nmAUafttas, ^.3^^^ >o m ar Ibn Mohammed, of whom previous mention has been made, 
Bada J° z - W as reigning at the time. Seyr besieged him [in Badajoz], made him prisoner, 




and seized on all his dominions and treasures. Some time after he put him to 
death, together with his two sons, Al-fadhl and Al-'abbas. 

Only Al-mu'tamed remained. 6 Seyr wrote to acquaint Yusuf with what he Preparations 

tii • against Al- 

had done, and to ask him tor further instructions respecting the Sultan of Seville, mu'tamed. 
Yusuf's answer was, that he should propose to him to cross over to Africa with 
all his family and household : if he consented, he was to be nowise molested ; 
but if he refused, he was to make war against him and to besiege him in his capital ; 
and, when taken, to transport him to Africa, like the rest of the Andalusian rulers. 
Accordingly, Seyr sent a messenger to Al-mu'tamed, acquainting him with Yusuf's 
pleasure, and begging to be informed what his intentions were ; but Al-mu'tamed 
returned no answer ; upon which Seyr besieged him in his capital, which he took 
by storm, and having made Al-mu'tamed his prisoner, sent him over to Africa 
with his family and children, as we are about to relate in the words of an Anda- 
lusian writer. 

Seyr had no sooner heard of Al-mu'tamed's disobedience to the orders of Yusuf A1_mu ' totoed 

is besieged in 

Ibn Tashefin than he prepared to execute that Sultan's commands. Accordingly, Sevme - 
having detached a portion of his army to Cordova against Al-fat'h Al-mamun, 
one of Al-mu'tamed's sons, he himself, with the remainder of the Almoravides, 
marched to Seville. After taking possession of Carmona, which surrendered to 
him on Saturday the 27th of Rabi' the first, before the hour of sunset, Seyr 
advanced upon that capital, which he invested. Meantime, Abu 'Abdillah Ibnu-1- 
haj, who went in command of the forces sent against Cordova, after reducing on 
his road the cities of Baeza and Ubeda, and the castle of Al-balate, appeared in 
sight of that city, which he soon after took by storm, on Wednesday the 3rd 
day of Safar. 7 Al-mamun was taken prisoner and immediately beheaded. Another 
of Al-mu'tamed's- sons, whose name was Yezid Ar-radhi, shared a similar fate. 
His father had appointed him governor of a strong castle called Ronda, to the 
north of Malaga. Seyr having dispatched against him one of his officers, named 
Jerur Al-hashemi, 8 he was taken and put to death, and his head brought to the 
camp of Seyr, who had it paraded on a spear before the walls of Seville. 
Al-mu'tamed, seeing himself surrounded by enemies, sent to implore the aid l m P^res the 

1 aid of Alfonso. 

of Alfonso, who sent an army to his relief; but Seyr having detached ten thousand 
horse under an experienced officer, named Abu Is'hak Al-lamtum, the Christians 
were kept in check, and did not proceed beyond Almodovar. The siege meanwhile 
was prosecuted with unabated vigour ; Al-mu'tamed defended himself with great 
courage for a whole month, until the Almoravides having fought their way into 
the city, he was compelled to surrender. The poet Ibnu-1-lebbanah has preserved 
some details of this memorable siege, from which we borrow the following passage : 

VOL. II. 2 q " 

jj^SF^&SS^^^^ -rf*-**^"- 


n ■-H^*iq*-i«rf-=*--:-rv-'-q r - - ._p-o*i^- , ^i»w^q 

44r^" a - J-^H," 

ri j ■_ 




TaMng of Se- 
ville by the 

AJ-mu' tamed 
is conveyed a 
prisoner to 

" During the siege of Seville by the Almoravides under Seyr, a party of Al- 
" mu'tamed's men meditated treason against him ; bat that Sultan received intel- 
" ligence of their plans, and was enabled to defeat them. Although their crime 
" was proved, and he was advised to seize their persons, and take away their lives, 
" he was prompted by his magnanimity and his generosity to leave them un- 
" molested, and allow them to fly from the city. 

" One day Al-mu'tamed quitted his palace to inspect the fortifications and 
" encourage the garrison by his example. He was dressed in a wide tunic [over 
" his armour], and in his hand glittered a sharp scimitar, which soon became 
" notched and tarnished through repeated striking. Having arrived at one of the 
" city gates, he found there a warrior renowned for his courage and strength, who 
" had just forced his way into the city. The warrior aimed a blow at him with his 
" spear ; but the weapon buried itself in Al-mu'tamed's tunic without touching his 
" body. Al-mu'tamed let fall his scimitar on the hack of the warrior's neck, and 
" made his head roll on the ground. At sight of this exploit," adds Ibnu-1- 
lebbanah, "several of the Almoravides, who were standing on the top of the 
<( city walls, threw themselves down, the enemy abandoned the gates of which they 
" had taken possession, and directed their steps elsewhere. We all thought that 
" after this [manifestation of fear] the city would be freed from the enemy, and- 
" that the cloak of protection was once more thrown over us ; but we w r ere greatly 
"mistaken: on Sunday, the 21st of Rejeb, affairs grew all of a sudden much 
" worse, and the Almoravides entered the city on the river side." 

Another historian says that the Almoravides took possession of Seville on the 
22nd day of Rejeb ; 9 that they had no sooner entered the city than they began 
to slay the inhabitants and to plunder their houses. Al-mu'tamed then left his 
palace, mounted and armed, taking with him his son Malik, surnamed Fakhru-d- 
daulah (glory of the state) , who was soon after put to death by the Almoravides, 
and trampled under the horses' feet. After performing prodigies of valour, Al- 
mu'tamed returned to his palace, dejected in spirits and torn by affliction. When 
night came on, he sent his eldest son, Ar-rashid, to the tent of Seyr Ibn Abi Bekr ; 
but the Almoravide general would not receive him, and commissioned one of his 
slaves to hear his message. Ar-rashid then returned to his father, and told him 
that there was no hope of mercy ; upon which Al-mu'tamed took an affectionate 
leave of all his family, and, hiding his face in his hands, waited with resignation for 
his fate. Shortly after Seyr entered the palace, and having communicated to 
Al-mu'tamed the orders of which he was the bearer, told him to prepare to go 
to Africa. Accordingly, having embarked with his family and children on board 
a galley prepared for him, he sailed under an escort to Tangiers, where he landed in 




the month of Sha'ban. Soon after there came an order from Ytisuf Ibn Tashefin, 
enjoining him to go to the castle of Aghmat ; and he was accordingly removed to 
that fortress with such among his wives, children, and servants, as consented 
to share his captivity. Al-mu'tamed's eldest son, surnamed Ar-rashid, accompanied 
him thither. His name was 'Obeydullah, and his kunyd or appellative Abu-1-hasan. 
His father, who destined him for his successor, had caused him some time previous 
to be proclaimed as such at Seville. Al-mu'tamed was likewise followed to Aghmdt 
by his wife 'Itimad, who was the mother of most of his children, to whom he 
always was more deeply attached than to any other of his women. Her name 
at first was Romeykiyyah, and she was so named from her master, Romeyk Ibn 
Hejaj, of whom Al-mu'tamed had purchased her. The surname of 'Itimad was 
given to her by Al-mu'tamed. 10 She was a good poetess, and well versed in 
literature. She died at Aghmat some time before her husband. 

Historians have recorded many acts of gallantry of Al-mu'tamed towards his 
wife Romeykiyyah, among which we select the following one. That princess 
happened one day to meet, not far from her palace in Seville, some country women 
selling milk in skins, and walking up to their ankles in mud. On her return to 
the palace, she said to her royal spouse, " I wish I and my slaves could do as those 
iC women are doing." Upon which Al-mu'tamed issued orders that the whole 
of his palace should be strewn with a thick paste made of ambergris, musk, and 
camphor, mixed together and dissolved in rose-water. He then commanded that 
a number of vessels, slung from ropes of the finest spun silk, should be procured ; 
and thus arrayed, Romeykiyyah and her maids [went out of the harem and] 
splashed in that mud. 11 It is likewise related that on the same day in which 
Al-mu'tamed was deprived of his liberty and throne, some angry words passed 
between him and Romeykiyyah, as is often the case between man and wife. In the 
middle of the dispute, Romeykiyyah, whose pride was wounded, said to Al- 
mu'tamed, "By Allah! I never saw any good come from thee." — "Not even 
" the day of the mud ? " inquired Al-mu'tamed, meaning by that the day in which, 
to satisfy a mere whim of her's, he had spent treasures the amount of which no one 
but God can estimate. When Romeykiyyah heard this answer she blushed and 
kept silence. 

Al-mu'tamed remained in confinement till the moment of his death, which 
took place four years, or thereabouts, after the taking of Seville by Seyr Ibn Abi 
Bekr. Some time before his death one of his sons, named Abdu-1-jabbar, 
made an attempt to re-establish the power of his family in Andalus ; but he 
failed, and perished in the undertaking. The event is thus related by a credible 
historian : 

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An influential citizen of Malaga, named Ibn Khalaf, was put under arrest, together 
with other friends and relatives of his, for some misdemeanour of which they were 
accused. One day, however, Ibn Khalaf and his comrades broke out of their 
prison and fled. Having arrived at night before the castle of Montmayur (Monte- 
mayor), Ibn Khalaf and his followers surprised and expelled the governor, but 
ins son 'Abdu- did him no harm. Whilst they were thus engaged, there happened to pass near 
in AndliT* ** the castle a man whom they did not know at first, but who, upon inquiry, turned 

out to be 'Abdu-1-jabbar, son of Al-mu'tamed. Hearing who he was, Ibn Khalaf 
and his friends immediately chose him for their commander, and conducted him 
to the castle, where he remained, the people [of the country] thinking all the time 
that he was Ar-radhi. 12 Some time after a ship, called the ship of Ibn Zaraka, 
arrived from Western Africa, and cast anchor in the port of As-sajrah (Sagra), 
close to the castle ; and the crew, having landed, [entered the castle, and] took 
the banners, the drums, and all the stores and provisions which it contained. 
In this manner the rebellion increased and spread. The mother of 'Abdu-1-jabbar 
then came to the castle ; upon which the prince sent messengers to Algesiras and to 
Arkosh (Los Arcos), and seeing that they were well received, repaired thither 
in person, and made his entry into that fortress in the year 488 (a. d. 1095). 

When Yusuf Ibn Tashefin heard of the rising of 'Abdu-1-jabbar, he sent orders to 
Aghmat to have Al-mu'tamed put in chains. It was in allusion to this that he 

composed these two verses : 

" Chains! do ye not know that I am a Moslem? I will watch at night, 

" until ye are moved to pity. 

" Abu Hashim will gaze on ye, until he melts your iron heart." 13 
is killed in the 'Abdu-1-jabbar, however, did not maintain himself long in his position. No 
attempt. gooner was g eyr Ibn A tf g e ^ r apprised of his rebellion, than he sent against him a 

body of troops, who besieged him for some months in his castle of Arcos, until he 

was killed by an arrow shot by the enemy. After the death of 'Abdu-1-jabbar, 

' his partisans still held out, but they were at last overpowered and slaughtered 

to a man. 
Deathof Al-mu'tamed died at Aghmat in the month of Rabi' the first, of the year 488 

(March or April, a. d. 1095). Ibnu-s-seyrafi says in DM-1-hajjah of the same year 
(Dec. a. d. 1095). u He was born at Beja in the year 431 (beginning Sept. 22, 
a. d. 1039), and had occupied the throne of Seville for a period of twenty-seven 
years, from 461, when he began to reign, to 488 (a.d. 1095), when he was 
dethroned and conveyed to Africa, as above related. 

The histories of Andalus are filled with praises of this monarch. " Al-mu'tamed," 
says Ibnu-1-katta.', in his work entitled Lamahu-Umalh (sallies of wit), 15 being a 

7 i 






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CHAP. I.] 



biography of the Andalusian poets, " was the most liberal, high-minded, and 
" munificent of all the rulers of Andalus, owing to which circumstance his court 
" became the meeting-place of the learned, and his capital the resort of poets and 
" literary men ; so much so that there never was a king at whose court a greater 
" number of eminent men were assembled." 

He was himself an excellent poet, as appears from the many elegant verses which 
Al-fat'h, Ibnu-1-hijari, Ibnu Sa'id, and, above all, Ibnu-1-lebbanah, cite in their 
works. The last-mentioned writer, who was one of Al-mu'tamed's Wizirs, and 
visited that prince in his confinement, made a collection of all his verses, as well 
as of those of his father and grandfather, which he entitled Sakittu-d-doror wa 
lakittu-zohor fi sha'ri-bni 'Abbdd (the falling of the pearls and the spreading of 
the flowers : on the poetry of the Beni \Abbad). 16 Ibn Bessam, in the Dhakhirah, 
gives also many, which he describes as being sweeter than the blooming calyx 
of odoriferous flowers. "No poet," he says, "ever equalled him in tenderness 
" of soul, and in the sentiment which prevailed throughout his verses. Wishing 
" upon one occasion to send the women of his harem from Cordova to Seville, 
" he went out and travelled part of the road with them from night till sunrise 
" of the ensuing day; he then took leave of them, and returned [to Cordova], 
" repeating extempore several verses, of which the following two form part : 

( I accompanied them when night had spread her impervious veil, so as to 
' conceal to the sight the traces of the travellers. 

' I stopped and took leave [of them] ; and the hands of morning stole from 
( me those bright stars.' 17 
" This last idea," observes Ibn Bessam, " is exceedingly beautiful." 

Among the singular and extraordinary circumstances connected with Al-mu'tamed 
one is, that when he was buried at Aghmat and the funeral service was read over 
his tomb, the prayer of the stranger was chanted, as if he had been an adventurer, 
without having regard either to the nobility of his birth, or to the extension of 
his empire, or the splendour and magnificence of his court ; or to his having ruled 
over Seville and its districts, Cordova and its Az-zahrd. Such, however, are; the 
ways of this world. 

We might fill volumes with anecdotes respecting that prince; but as we have 
already given in the seventh chapter of this work several extracts from the 
Kaldyidu-l-'ikiydn and other works where the biography of Al-mu'tamed is given 
at large, we will abstain from dwelling any longer on the subject. Suffice it to say, 
that the memory of that illustrious Sultan is still alive in the West, and that 
his tomb at Aghmat is well known and much frequented by travellers. The "Wizir 
Lisanu-d-din Ibnu-1-khattib once went to that place for the express purpose of 


^Wft-n^b^^l^^ I 




Death of Yusuf 
Itm Tashefin. 

Accession of 

visiting the spot where Al-mu'tamed lay (may God show him mercy !) ; and his 
mind being disposed to reflection by the sight of it, he composed those celebrated 
verses which we intend giving hereafter, when we come to treat of his poetry, — 
sw T eeter than the odoriferous gales of spring, and more beautiful than beauty 

We also visited the tomb of Al-mu'tamed, and that of Romeykiyyah, the mother 
of his children, when we were at Morocco in the year 1010 (a.d. 1601). We 
arrived at Aghmat, and, not knowing where that prince was buried, w T e proceeded 
to inquire from such of the inhabitants as we chanced to meet. For some time our 
inquiries were unsuccessful, but at last an old man, bent with age, showed us 
the place, saying, " Here lies a king of Andalus, and by his side she whom his 
heart loved tenderly." We recognized the spot, such as Ibnu-1-khattib described 
it in his verses, — a gentle eminence. We remained for some time fixed to the 
spot, assailed by fear and thought ; our mind soon carried us aw T ay to the con- 
templation of the impenetrable mysteries of Providence, and we could not help 
exclaiming, " Praise to Him who gives the empire to whomsoever he pleases ! 
" There is no God but Him ! He is the heir of the earth, and of every thing that 

" is on it, and he is the best of heirs!" But to resume the thread of our 

In the year 500, some historians add in the month of Moharram (Sept. a.d. 1106), 
died at Morocco the commander of the Moslems, Yusuf Ibn Tashef in. Some time 
before his death he had appointed his son Abu-1-hasan 'Ali to be his successor, 
and caused him to be recognized as such throughout his African, as well as 
Andalusian dominions. They say that when he felt his end approach, Yusuf sent 
for him, and recommended to him three things. He was not to disturb the African 
tribes inhabiting the gorges of the Atlas or the deserts to the south [of Morocco], 
such as the Masmtidah and others ; he was to conclude a peace with Ibn Hud, 
the Sultan of Saragossa, in order to allow him to carry on war against the infidels ; 
and, lastly, he w 7 as to fix his court at Seville, not at Cordova. 

On the death of Yusuf Ibn Tashefin, which, as above related, happened in 
the year 500 (Sept. a.d. 1106), 18 his son 'Ali, surnamed Abu-1-hasan, succeeded 
him. 'Ali was then twenty-three years old, having been born at Ceuta in the 
year 477 (beginning May 9, a.d. 1084). He followed the steps of his able 
father, although he fell short of him in some things. In Andalus he kept off 
the enemy of God from the dominions of Islam, and made incessant war on 
the Christians. He was equally prosperous in Africa, until God Almighty 
decreed the rising of Mohammed Ibn Tuimarta, surnamed Al-mahdi, the founder 
of the dynasty of the Al-muwahhedun (Almohades) , who ceased not to sap the 


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foundations of the Lamtunite dynasty until he nearly accomplished its ruin ; 
for, although he himself never could reduce Morocco, he conquered extensive 
provinces, and appointed for his lieutenant and successor 'Abdu-1-mumen Ibn 
'Ali, who, in the year 541, took that wealthy capital by storm, and became in 
time the ruler of the West. 

'Ali crossed four times to Andahis; once in the lifetime of his father. He His wars *»* 

^ ■• , -««.,.. *h e Christians 

crossed a second time in the year 503 (beginning July 30, a. d. 1109), when of Andaius. 
he reached as far as Toledo, and besieged it for some time. Although he could 
not reduce that city, owing to the strength of its walls, he nevertheless took 
Talavera, Majoritt (Madrid), Wada-1-hajarah (Guadalaxara), and other fortresses 
and towns of those districts, defeated the Christians whenever they dared show: 
themselves, and collected incredible spoil. Meanwhile his general, Seyr 19 Ibn 
Abi Bekr, was inflicting terrible blows upon the Christians of Al-gharb (Algarve), 
who, profiting by the absence of the Almoravides, had extended their conquests in 
those parts. Seyr retook the cities of Shantireyn (Santarem), Battalios (Badajoz), 
Bortokal (Oporto), Yeborah (Evora), and Alishbunah (Lisbon), 20 and purged the' 
whole of those western provinces from the filth of the infidels. 

Whilst these events were passing, Adefunsh Ibn Radmir (Alfonso I. of Aragon), 
king of a nation of Franks called the Barcelonese, was grievously afflicting the 
Moslems upon their north-eastern frontier. Having defeated and slain Al-musta'in 
Ibn Hud in an encounter near Tudela, 21 in a. h. 503, he thought of nothing less than 
subjecting the whole of the Thagher (Aragon) to his detestable rule. Accordingly, Taking of Sa- 
he kept going backwards and forwards to Saragossa, casting a wistful eye over Aragonese. , 
that city, and hovering in its immediate neighbourhood, as the hungry vulture 
over his prey; but Temim Ibn Yusuf, whom 'Ali had left to govern Andalus 
in his absence, was so much on the alert that the Christian monarch found no 
opportunity to carry his wicked plans into execution. At last, in the year 512 
(beginning April 23, a. d. 1118), thinking that the time was come to strike a 
decisive blow, Alfonso sent [messengers] to the land of Afranjah (France), sum. 
moning all the Christian nations there to assist him in his undertaking; and the 
people of those countries, having answered his call, flocked under his standard 
like swarms of locusts or ants. Alfonso soon found himself at the head of 
innumerable forces, with which he encamped before Saragossa. In order the 
more effectually to attack the city, he came provided with lofty wooden towers 
placed upon wheels, by means of which his men could approach the walls ; he 
also brought thundering machines 22 which he planted against the city, as well 
as twenty manjanik or catapults. The siege lasted until the provisions were 
exhausted, and the greater part of the population had died of hunger, when 


"-->- *_4™W 




Battle of 

those who remained sent a message to Alfonso, asking for a truce, and offering, 
if they were not relieved within a certain time, to surrender the town to him. 
The [grand-] son of Ramiro granted their request; but as no succour came, the 
people of Saragossa were obliged, at the expiration of the truce, to open their 
gates and surrender their city to the enemy. 23 The Christians had not been many 
days in possession of Saragossa when a body of twelve thousand cavalry, which 
the commander of the Moslems, 'Ali Ibn Yusuf, had sent to its relief, appeared 
before the walls ; but finding that the infidels had taken the city, the Almoravides 
went away without attempting even to snatch it from their hands. Saragossa, 
however, was not the only city which that accursed Christian reduced ; he took 
also Kal'at Ayub (Calatayud), and other important towns of those districts, 24 
and soon after he defeated the Almoravides at a place called Kutandah (Cutanda). 
" This city," says a contemporary writer, " the name of which some authors 
" write with a kef, and others with a fro/, is a town of" the district of Dartikah 
" (Daroca), in the province of Saragossa, in the upper Thagher (Aragon). Near 
" it the Moslems (may God restore them to their pristine vigour!) were com- 
" pletely defeated by Alfonso, with the loss of about twenty thousand volunteers, 
" although, strange to say, not one of the regular army perished in the action. 
" The Moslems were commanded on the occasion by the Amir Ibrahim, son of 
" Yusuf Ibn Tashefin, 25 the same prince to whom Al-fat'h dedicated his Kaldyidu-i- 

ikiydn. Among the illustrious Moslems who died martyrs for the faith on that 
" disastrous day, we may count the Sheikh Abu 'Ali As-sadfi, and his equal in 
" virtue and talents, Abu 'Abdillah Ibn Al-fara. Both went out of Valencia to 
"* fight against the enemy of God, but never returned to their friends." 

The Kadi Abu" Bekr Ibnu-l-'arabi was also present at the battle, but he escaped 
alive. It is related by more than one historian that when the discomfited army 
entered Valencia, a man came up to Abii Bekr and asked him how he was, and 
that he answered, " I am like one who has lost both his tent and his cloak," 
thereby meaning that he had lost all that he possessed in this world. The above 
is a proverb well known in the West, and it means that whoever has lost his 
clothes and his tent has lost every thing in this world. 
•am returns to The news of these disasters induced the commander of the Moslems again to 

cross the Strait at the head of his Almoravides. In the year 513 (beginning 
April 13, a. r>. 1119), he landed at Algesiras, and, after staying some time first 
at Seville and then at Cordova, directed his march towards the western provinces 
of Andalus, where he caused the ravages of a storm. His presence, moreover, 
was enough to cast terror into the hearts of the enemy, whose stoutest warriors 
fled for refuge behind the walls of their castles. Having recovered some of the 

it 9* 




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lost fortresses, and provided for the government of Andalus, which he again in- 
trusted to his brother Temim, the commander of the Moslems crossed over to 
his African dominions in the year 515 (beginning March 21, a. d. 1 121). 

'AH Ibn Yiisuf had no sooner quitted the shores of Andalus than the Christians Alfonso i. in- 
of every denomination began to get into motion and to prepare themselves for fresh \LZ 
aggressions on the Moslem territory. Alfonso, the King of Toledo, had, it is true, 
died of sorrow and disappointment when he heard that his only son [Sancho], the 
heir to his crown, had been slain in a battle with the Almoravides ; 26 but there 
remained to the east of the Mohammedan possessions another Alfonso, who proved 
equally destructive to the worshippers of the true God. Elated with his past 
successes, and with the taking of Saragossa, he made an incursion into the south 
of Andalus, and having traversed the greater part of that country in his march, 
arrived before Granada, where he encamped. 

According to the author of a history of the Almoravides, entitled A mvdru-l- Arrives before 
jaliyyah fi tdrikh daulati-l-mordbetiyyah (the rays of dazzling light : on the history Granada * 
of the Almorabite dynasty) , 27 the Mu'dhidin or Christian population of Granada *> 
were the cause of this invasion, for they had frequently written to Ibn Radmir 
(Alfonso), inviting him to come among them, and promising to rise in arms 
the moment he should show himself in those parts. Accordingly, about the 
beginning of Sha'ban of the year 515 (October, a.d. 1121), Alfonso started [from 
his dominions] at the head of a numerous and well-appointed army, without 
acquainting any one with the object of his expedition, and proceeded to Valencia, 
where there was a body of Almoravides under the command of Abu Mohammed 
Ibn Yedersen. 29 After besieging the city in vain for several days, Alfonso raised 
his camp and proceeded to Jezirah-Shukar (Alcira), where he was not more 
fortunate, for the inhabitants made a valiant defence. He then went to Denia 
and to XaCiba, and thence to Murcia, and afterwards to Bey rah (Vera). After * 

this he crossed the valley of Al-mansiirah (Almanzora), descended to Bursenah 
(Purchena), and halted some time at Wada Taghlah. 30 He then went to Bastah 
(Baza), and thence to Wadi-Ash (Guadix), in the neighbourhood of which he 
halted, taking up his quarters at a village close to that city, called Al-kasr 
(Alcazar). Here Alfonso remained for about a month, making attacks upon the 
city of Guadix, which, however, he could not reduce. 31 After this he marched to 
Dejmah 32 (Dierma), close to Granada, and encamped there. It was at day-break of 
the great festival, or 10th of Dhi-1-hajjah, that the tents of Alfonso were first 
seen in the distance in an eastern direction: the inhabitants were thrown into 
the utmost consternation by the sight, and the prayer of fear was said in the 
mosques ; the people flew to arms and prepared for resistance. Alfonso, however, 
vol. n. - 2 a " 

^jJB&ffl^sjy^ - 

*-*t =v 




made no attack upon the city ; and, after remaining for about ten days encamped 
at Dejmah, where the Christians of the neighbourhood brought him provisions 
for his host, he raised his tents on the 25th of Dhi-1-hajjah (March 5, a. d. 1122), 
and went to Marsenah [Marchena] , and thence to Yenish ; 33 and the next morning 
to a town called As-sekah, in the district of Kal'ah Yahssob. After stopping three 
days at that place, Alfonso took the road to Bayenah (Baena), passed by Kabrah 
(Gabra), where he halted some days, and went to Al-lusenah (Lucena). Having 
received intelligence that the Almoravides of Granada, under the command of 
Temim Abu Tahir, were in pursuit of him, he went to Belali, 34 and thence to 
Fahssu-d-danisul, where he was overtaken by the Moslems. A battle ensued, 
in which the Moslems had at first the advantage ; but their general having given 
orders to remove the tents from a low to a high ground, the order was mis- 
understood, a panic struck the troops, and the Christians made themselves masters 

of their camp. 

Alfonso next went towards the sea shore by the road of Shahibaniah (Salobrena) . 
They say that as he crossed the deep and narrow valleys watered by the river 
of that name, he exclaimed in his native language, " What a fine tomb this would 
make, if we had any one to throw the earth over us ! " From Shalubaniah Alfonso 
took a western direction and reached the coast of Belesh (Velez -Malaga) , where 
he caused a small boat to be made, and, sending out people to fish for him, ate 
of the fish which they brought him, as if he had made a vow, or wished to have 
his memory perpetuated by the exploit. From Velez-Malaga the Christian king 
returned once more to Granada, and pitched his tents at a village called Dolar, 
three parasangs south of Granada. After staying two days there he removed to 
the town of Hamadan, 36 in the neighbourhood of which there were some notable 
skirmishes between his host and that of the Moslems. Two days after he marched 
to Al-faraj, and encamped at a place called 'Ayn Atesah? 1 but perceiving that 
the Moslems were surrounding him on every side, he marched in the direction 
of Al-borajelat, 38 thence to Al-laghun, 39 and lastly to Wadi-Ash (Guadix). Here, 
seeing that the cavalry of the Almoravides were close upon him, and that he had 
lost a number of his bravest knights, he determined upon returning to his own 
dominions. Accordingly he took an eastern direction, and passing by Murcia, 
: Xativa, Denia, Valencia, &c, reached the capital of his kingdom, not without having 

lost in the expedition the best part of his warriors". 
The Christians It has been said above that the Al-mu' dhidin or Christians living in the territory 
tfaSpSd W Granada were the principal cause of Alfonso's invasion, since they had not 

only instigated him to penetrate so far into the Mohammedan territory, promising 

r - 

him every aid and assistance in their power, but they had provided his army with 


to Africa. 




- r- -L ■_ 

CHAP. I.] 




every necessary, had guided him, and numbers of them had joined his banners. 
The traitors, however, did not escape the chastisement which they deserved. At 
the solicitation of several respectable citizens of Cordova, Seville, and other places, 
the celebrated Kadi Abu-l-walid Ibn Roshd (Averroes) crossed over to Africa, 
and, having had an interview with 'Ali, explained to that Sultan the dangerous 
situation in which the Moslems of Andalus were, having to fight enemies abroad 
and guard against traitors at home. He besought him to remedy the evil, by 
ordering the transportation of the Christians who lived about Granada, and the 
other districts lately overrun by Alfonso ; and the commander of the Moslems, 
yielding to his solicitations, issued the requisite orders, and thousands of that 
treacherous population were embarked and removed to Mekn&sah, Sale, 40 and 
other towns of Western Africa. 

In the year 515, the commander of the Moslems crossed over again to Andalus, 'ah goes to 
in order to put down some serious disturbances which had arisen in Cordova, whTime! 
and also to wage war against the infidels. He had not been long in that country 
when messengers came to him from Africa, announcing the rising of Mohammed 
Ibn Tiumarta, better known in history by the surname of Al-mahdi (the leader). 
'Ali, therefore, crossed over to Morocco, and never afterwards visited his Anda^ 
lusian dominions, the government of which, as before, he intrusted to his brother 
Abu Tahir Temim, and at his death, which happened in 520 (a. d. 1126), to his 
own son Tashefin. 

'Ali died at Morocco in Rejeb of the year 537 (Jan. or Feb. a. d. 1143). His Death of 'Aii 
death, however, was not made public until three months afterwards. He appointed IbK Y * suf ' 
his son Tashefin to be his successor, and desired to be interred in the public 
cemetery, which was done. He had reigned thirty-six years and seven months. 41 

*$&&&&&* i^^^^^^^cws*«*i=^ 

n'^MXL — ^IA 





Accession of Tashefin Ibn 'All— His wars with the Almohades— His death — Conquests of the Christians 
—Formation of small kingdoms — The Almohades invade An dalus— Aimer ia taken by Alfonso II. of 
Castile— Cordova besieged by Alfonso — The Almohades retake Almeria — Account of the rebel Ibn 
Mardanish— 'Abdu-1-mumen crosses over to Andal us— Builds the castle of Gibraltar— Ibn Humushk 
takes by surprise the city of Granada— Is besieged by the Almohades— Makes his submission— Death 
of 'Abdu-1-mumen. 

Accession of On the death of 'AH Ibn Yusuf, his son Tashefin, surnamed Abu Mohammed, 1 

Taslicfin Ibn 

succeeded him. The whole of his reign —which was of very short duration 

was spent in war with the Al-muwahhedun or Almohades, whose rising under 
his father's reign we have recorded. Although their leader, Abu 'Abdillah 
Mohammed Ibn Tiumarta, had died in 524 (August, a.d. 1130), his successor 
'Abdu-1-mumen had since followed in his track, and was fast overthrowing the 
tottering empire of the Almoravides. Tashefin fought several engagements with 
them, in some of which he came oif victorious; but in 539 (a.d. 1144), having 
left his capital, Morocco, to attack 'Abdu-l-imimen, he was defeated by that general 
near the city of Telemsan, and compelled to take refuge within its walls. Shortly 
after, not deeming himself secure there, he fled to Wahran, whither he was mi- 
nis wars with lowed by the victorious Almohades. For some time Tashefin defended himself 

valiantly ; but at last, seeing that he could not escape the hands of his enemies, 
he determined upon leaving the city at night and retiring to a castle which he 
had built on the sea shore, hoping to be able from thence to cross over to Andalus. 
'Abdu-1-mumen, however, having received intelligence of his plans, ordered that 
the city should be more closely invested, that the sentries should be doubled, 
and fires lighted at certain distances in his camp, to prevent the Sultan's escape. 
On the 27th of Ramadhan, a. h. 539 (March 23, a. d. 1145), Tashefin left Wahran 
under cover of night, accompanied by a few confidential servants. He rode a 
His death. celebrated mare called Rihdnah, a very swift animal, but whilst galloping over 

the Almo- 

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the mountains she fell down a precipice, and the body of Tashefin was found the 
next morning stretched at the bottom of a deep ravine. 

Tashefin was succeeded by his son Abu Is'hak Ibrahim, whom he had left 
to command at Morocco during his absence ; but 'Abdu-1-mumen, after reducing 
Telemsan, in a. 11. 540, and Fez and Sals' in 541, marched against that capital, 
which he besieged and took in Shawwal, a. h. 541 (March, a. d. 1147), putting 
to death the unfortunate Ibrahim, who fell a prisoner into his hands. 

During the wars between the Almoravides and Almohades, the Moslems of conquests of 
Andalus were left a prey to the murderous infidels, who attacked them every the Christians 
where with the greatest fury, took their cities and towns, and led thousands of 
them into captivity. In this manner the Christians of Toledo extended their 
ravages to the very walls of Cordova, 2 and thought of nothing short of establishing 
their abominable rites in the very city which had so long been the citadel of Islam. 
On the other hand, Alfonso, King of the Franks (Catalonian and Aragonese), whose 
conquests we have recorded above, was not inactive; he surprised several fortresses 
bordering upon his dominions, and carried fire and sword into the very heart 
of the Mohammedan territory. God, however, was pleased to deliver the Moslems 
from the demon's mischief; for having laid siege to Fraga, a considerable town 
of the Thagher (Aragon), the general of the Almoravides 3 hastened to the assistance 
of the besieged, defeated the Christians, and put Alfonso to death. This happened 
in the year 528 (a. d. 1134). 

The above period [of civil war in Africa] was also remarkable for the rising Formation of 
of several chieftains, who, seeing the Almoravides engaged with their enemies £J2. king " 
the Almohades, took the opportunity to assume independence and to shake off 
the African yoke. On his departure for Africa, Tashefin had appointed a Lam- 
tiinite chief, named Ibn Ghaniyyah [Yahya Ibn 'AH], to govern Andalus during 
his absence ; but what with the Christians of every denomination who assailed 
his frontiers, and what with the Moslems of Andalus themselves, who showed " 

every where symptoms of disaffection and wished to rid themselves of the Al- 
moravides, that chieftain was unable to stem the torrent of calamity and misfortune 
which broke out more furiously than ever in the fair dominions of Islam. At last, 
when the people of Andalus saw that the empire of the Almoravides was falling 
to pieces ; when they heard that Tashefin had been slain, and that his son, Abu 
Is'hak Ibrahim, was shut up in his capital and surrounded by his enemies, they 
waited no longer, and, casting away the mask of dissimulation, broke out into 
open rebellion against their African rulers. In the same manner as at the overthrow 
of the house of Umeyyah the provinces of their vast empire had been parcelled 
out among their generals and governors, so now every petty governor, chief, or 



man of influence, who could command a few followers and had a castle to retire 
to in case of need, styled himself Sultan, and assumed the other insignia of royalty ; 
and, as the historian Ibnu Khaldtin has judiciously remarked, Andalus afforded the 
singular spectacle of as many kings as there were towns in it. As some writers, 
but especially Ibnu-s-seyrafi, Ibn Sahibi-s-salat, and others, have written in detail 
the events of this period of confusion and anarchy, which they have designated 
by the name of Al-fitnatu-th-thdniyyah (the second civil war), to distinguish 
it from that which followed immediately after the massacre of 'Abdu-r-rahman, 
son of Al-mansur, we will abstain from relating them here, having done it already 
in our work entitled Azhdru-r-riyddh fi akhbdr Kddhi 'Iyddh (the flowers of the 
garden: on the history of the Kadhi 'Iyadh). Suffice it to say, that Ibn Hamdin 
rose at Cordova ; Ibn Maymun ['All Ibn 'Isa] at Cadiz and the neighbouring 
districts ; that Ibn Kasi [Ahmed] and Ibn Wazir [Seddaray] 4 shared among them- 
selves the whole of that country which had once belonged to the Beni Al-afttas ; 
that a chief named Maymun Al-lamtuni rose in command of Granada ; and 
lastly, that Ibn Mardanish Al-jodhami took possession of Valencia and a great 
portion of the east of Andalus. Among these chieftains some were of Andalusian 
origin, and detested alike the rule of the Almoravides and that of the Almohades ; 
others belonged to some of the tribes which Yiisuf Ibn Tashefm led into Anda- 
lus, such as the Lamtunah, Senhajah, Zenatah, &c, and they were naturally 
hostile to the Almohades. All, however, shortly disappeared before the victorious 
banners of 'Abdu-1-mumen, who deprived all and every one of them of their 
usurped dominions, and subjected the whole of Andalus to his rule. The 
last-named chieftain, however [Ibn Mardanish], maintained himself longer than 
any other, and fought successfully against the Almohades, as we shall hereafter 
The Almohades In the month of Dhi-1-haiiah of the year 539 (June, a. d. 1145), an army of 

daius. Almohades, commanded by Abu 'Imran Mtisa Ibn Sa'id, landed at Jezirah Tarif 

(Tarifa), of which place they took possession, as well as of Algesiras and the 
surrounding country. Early in the ensuing year Malaga and Seville shared 
the same fate. Three years after, Yahya Ibn Ghaniyyah surrendered to them 
the city of Cordova, 5 and shortly after Jaen. In the year 546 (beginning April 19, 
a.d. 1151), 'Abdu-1-mumen announced his intention of crossing over to Andalus. 
Having made every ostensible preparation to that effect, he left his capital, 
Morocco, and proceeded to Kasr 'Abdi-1-kerim, where he passed his troops in 
review ;:. but the news which he there received from Eastern Africa induced him 
to relinquish his purpose and repair to that country. Hearing, however, that 
the Moslems Of Andalus were much pressed by the Christians, who had lately 







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taken Almeria, he sent thither one of his sons, named Abu Said, with orders to . 
recover that city. 

Almeriyyah (Almeria) was a fine city situated on the coast of the sea of Sham 
(Mediterranean). It was the port of Andalus, and the resort of merchants from 
Eastern Africa, -Egypt, Syria, and other distant parts. It was the maritime arsenal 
of the Bern Umeyyah, and the port where those fleets were equipped which 
furrowed in all directions the waters of the Mediterranean, spread devastation 
over its shores, and allowed no Christian vessel to sail in it. Almeria was cele- 
brated all over the East and West for its pottery, its glass, its silken robes of 
every colour and pattern, and many other articles of trade, which its merchants 
shipped to all parts of the world. The fertility of the soil, moreover, the abundance 
and cheapness of provisions, the sweetness of its waters, the mildness of the air, 
and the salubrity of its climate, made it a favourite residence for the Moslems, 
who went to settle there from all parts of Andalus, until its population could not 
find room within its precincts. All these advantages, and many others which we 
do not specify, made Almeria a desirable prize to the Christians, who for a long 
time past had cast a wistful eye over its delightful fields and well-filled storehouses. 

At last, in the year 542 (a.d. 1147), As-soleytan (Alfonso II. of Castile) , 6 Almeria taken 
King of Toledo, assisted by a Christian fleet which came from Jenewah (Genoa) , ^ ^ ™° "* 
besieged Almeria by sea and land. Ibn Mardanish, King of Valencia, the only 
Moslem who could effectually have defeated the plans of As-soleytan, entered 
into some secret compact with him and kept away: the consequence was, that, 
after besieging that city for some time, the infidels lodged themselves in one of 
the suburbs, and having from thence attacked the citadel, took it by storm on 
Friday, the 20th of Jumada the first, 542 (October 16, a. d. 1 147). 

It is related by Abu" Zakariyya Al-ja'ydi, on the authority of Abu 'Abdillah 
Ibn Sa'adah Ash-shatibi Al-mo'ammar (the long-lived), that about two years or 
so before the taking of Almeria, a respectable inhabitant of that city, whose name 
was Abu Merwan Ibn Ward, saw in a dream an old man of imposing height, 
who approached him, and, placing his hands suddenly on his sides from behind, 
shook him with great violence until he made him wake all terrified ; after which 
he bade him repeat the following verses : 

" Up, up with thee, thou careless and deceived man ! do not sleep ; 
" For God has some hidden views concerning the people [of this town]. 
" There is no escape, [to his will they must submit,] and yet not abuse 
" what is detrimental to them ; 

" For otherwise they would be guilty of a crime against the Lord of 
" mankind." 7 

i^_#^a»?E^>^^^W^*T.^^- , ^^ .-Sl^'^^^i^i^AjMf^WS^^a-m^ff^ 


This happened in the year 540 (beginning June 23, a.d. 1145). About two 
years after (a.d. 1147) the Rum (Castilians) took possession of Almeria. The 
above anecdote is borrowed from the Hafedh Ibnu-l-'abbar, who relates it in a 
work of his entitled Tekmilah (complement) . 

Among those who gained the crown of martyrdom on this occasion one was 
the celebrated Imam Ar-rushatti, whose entire name was Abu Mohammed Ibn 
J Ali Ibn 'Abdillah Ibn 'Ali Ibn Khalaf Ibn Ahmed Ibn 'Omar Al-lakhmi Ar- 
rushatti Al-meriyi, a man deeply versed in sacred traditions, biography, history, 
and other sciences, the author of an excellent work entitled Iktibdsu-l-anwdr wa 
iltimdsu-l-azhdr fi nasabi-l-sihdbat wa rawati-l-athdr (the borrowing of lights and 
the begging of flowers : on the genealogy of the companions and selected traditions 
of their times), 8 which many a scholar learned under him. It is an excellent 
work, in which Ar-rushatti collected [much that is useful], without failing in 
any part of his arduous task. He wrote it on the model of the celebrated Kitdbu-l- 
ansdb (book of lineages), by the Hafedh Abu Sa'id Ibn As-sam'ani. Ar-rushatti 
was born at a small town of the province of Murcia, called Auriwelah (Orihuela), 
in the year 466 (beginning Sept. 5, a.d. 1073); he died, as above related, at 
the storming of Almeria, on the morning of Friday, the 20th of Jumada the 
first, 542 (October 16, a.d. 1147). The surname of Ar-rushdtti was given to 
one of his ancestors owing to a large mole on his body, which his nurse, who 
was a Christian woman, called in her language rushdttah (roseta), whence he was 
called Ar-rushdtti. The above is borrowed from the Wafiyydtu-l-'dydn (the deaths 
of the illustrious), by Ibn Khallekan. 

Treating of the taking of Almeria [by the Castilians], Ibn Hobeysh, the last 
of the traditionists of Andalus, says as follows : " I was in the castle of Almeria 
" when the Christians took possession of that city, and presented myself to the 
" chief of the Christians, As-soleytan, who was the son of the daughter of Alfonso, 9 
" and I said to him,— ' I know of a tradition which traces thy genealogy to Hirkal 
(Heraclius), the Emperor of Constantinople.' The Christian [king] seemed 
pleased at this, and told me to repeat the tradition, which I did, as I had 
learned it; upon which he said, — 'Thou and all those who are with thee are 
" free ; you may go out [of the castle] without paying any ransom.' " This 
Ibn Hobeysh was the master of Ibn Dihyah, and of Ibn Haut-illah, and of Abti-r- 
rabi' AUkala'i, (may God show them mercy !) His entire name was 'Abdu-r- 
rahman Ibn Mohammed Ibn 'Abdillah Ibn Yiisuf, but he was better known by 
the surname of Ibn Hobeysh. He was the author of several works, and one in 
particular on the first conquests of Islam, 10 which he inscribed to Abu Ya'kiib 
Yiisuf Al-mansur. 





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In the year 545 (beginning April 29, a.d. 1150), Alfonso, King of Toledo Cordova be- 
and Gahcia (Alfonso II. of Castile), marched to Cordova with forty thousand ft? * ^ 
cavalry, and laid siege to that capital. The inhabitants defended themselves 
with great vigour ; but the scarcity of provisions began to be felt, and they were 
m great tribulation. 'Abdu-1-imimen had no sooner heard of their dangerous 
situation, than he sent an army of twelve thousand horse to their assistance. On 
the approach of the African forces, Alfonso raised the siege and retired into his 
dominions, upon which the Kayid Abd-1-ghamr As-sayib, who commanded in 
Cordova, gave up that city to Yahya Ibn Maymun, who was 'Abdu-1-mumen's 
general, and acknowledged the supremacy of the Almohades. On the morning 
of the day following the arrival of Ibn Maymun, the Christians were seen returning 
to their encampment before the city, upon which that general left a portion of his 
forces for the defence of Cordova, and with the remainder crossed over to Africa. 
Some time after, Alfonso, despairing of reducing that capital, raised the siege and 
returned to his kingdom. 

In the ensuing year [a. h. 546] 'Abdu-1-mumen sent to Andalus another army of The Aimo- 
twenty thousand men, under the command of Al-hent^ [Abu Hafss], who had En?* 6 
instructions to retake the city of Almeria, which, as above related, had some time 
previous fallen into the hands of the Christians. When the news of their dis- 
embarkation became known, Maymun, the Lord of Granada, Ibn Hnmushk, and 
other chieftains, hastened to pay their respects ,to the general of 'Abdu-1-imimen, 
and to place themselves under the obedience of that Sultan. They all instigated 
him to make war against Ibn Mardanish, King of the eastern provinces of Andalus ; 
but the latter had no sooner received intelligence of their plans, than, fearing for 
himself, he sent an embassy to the Christian Lord of Barcelona, imploring his help - 
against the Almohades. The Lord of Barcelona granted the request of Ibn Mar- 
danish, and sent him an army of ten thousand men, under a brave and experienced 
general. Meanwhile the Almohades were marching against Ibn Mardanish; but 
when their general [Al-henteti] heard of the arrival of his Frank auxiliaries, he 
retraced his steps and proceeded towards Almeria. Having arrived there, Al- 
hente'ti invested the city on every side; but the want of provisions soon compelled 
him to raise the siege and , to return to Seville, where he remained some time. 
It was not till some months afterwards that the Moslems succeeded in wresting that 
city from the hands of the enemy, after a siege of seven months. 

" In the year 546 (a.d. 1151)," says an African historian, « Sfd Abu Hafss 
" and Sid Abu Said, sons of the Commander of the Faithful, 'Abdu-1-mumen, 
" marched to Almeria, and besieged the Christians, who held its kassdbah. Abii 
" 'Abdillah Ibn Mardanish, King of the eastern parts of Andalus, then hastened 





" to attack the princes, who had thus to defend themselves against the Christians 
" inside and against the Moslems outside. At last, Ibn Mardanish, perceiving 
" all the sharae of his act, in thus attacking his brethren in religion whilst engaged 
" in the extermination of the Christians, desisted from his undertaking and marched 
" off, leaving the execution of his vengeance for another opportunity. When the 
" Christians inside the castle [of Almeria] saw Ibn Mardanish raise his tents and 
" go away, they said [to each other], ' Surely Ibn Mardanish would not decamp, 
" unless he had heard that the Almohades were on the point of receiving re-inforce- 
" ments.' Upon which they offered to capitulate, and surrendered [the city] to 

" the Moslems." 
Account of the This Ibn Mardanish was a man of Christian origin, who, profiting by the 

Snth. b " Maf " confusion which followed the overthrow of the Almoravide dynasty, had made 

himself the master of Valencia, Murcia, and other towns in the east of Andalus. 
According to Ibn Sahibi-s-salat, who, as is well known, wrote a history of the 
Almohades, 11 in which he treats at full length of this and other chieftains who 
resisted their authority in Eastern Africa as well as in Andalus, Ibn Mardanish 
was the son of Sa'd, son of Mohammed, son of Ahmed, son of Mardanish. His 
name was Mohammed, and his kunyd or appellative Abu Abdillah. He was, 
however, better known by the surname of Ibn Mardanish. His father, Sa'd, had 
served under the Almoravides. He was governor of Fraga when Ramiro, King 
of the Franks, besieged that city in the year 528 (a. d. 1134). His uncle, Mo- 
hammed, surnamed Sdhibu-Ubasit (the hero of Albacete), had also been one of the 
most distinguished warriors of his time. Trained to arms under the eyes of his 
father and uncle, Ibn Mardanish soon became a very experienced captain. He 
entered the service of Ibn 'Ayadh, King of Murcia, who, in reward for his eminent 
services, appointed him governor of Valencia, and gave him his daughter in 
marriage. On the death of Ibn Ayadh, Ibn Mardanish retained possession of 
Valencia, and shortly after added Murcia, Jaen, and other cities to his dominions. 
He was a very powerful monarch when the Almohades arrived in Andalus. 12 But 

to return. 
'AMu-i- In the year 555 (a.d. 1160), the Commander of the Faithful, Abdu-1-mtimen 

o"w£ AiT* Ibn 'AH, after subjecting the whole of Eastern Africa to his rule, and retaking 

the city of Mahdiyyah, 13 which the Sicilians had taken in 543 (beginning May 21, 
a. d. 1148), as well as Safaks (Sfax), and other towns of that coast, returned to Fez. 
After making a short stay in that city, 'Abdu-1-mumen marched to Ceuta, 14 where 
he embarked for Andalus. He landed at Jebal-Tarik (Gibraltar), which from 
Builds the that day was called Jebalu-l-fatah (the mountain of the entrance or victory), and 
5fit°£. ordered that a strong fortress should be erected on the top of it. He traced out 


W. U*' 



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the building with his own hands, and when, after remaining for two months there, 15 
and providing for the government of Andalus, "Abdu-1-mumen returned to his 
African dominions, he appointed his son Abu Sa'id, then governor of Granada, to 
superintend the building and report its progress to him. 16 One of the architects 
employed was Haji Ya'ysh, the geometrician. This Ya'ysh, who was an excellent 
engineer, is said to have constructed some wonderful machines during his residence 
at Jebal-Tarik (Gibraltar), and among others a large windmill, which stood on the 
very top of the mountain. 

During 'Abdu-1-miimen's residence at Gibraltar, the Almohades made several 
incursions into the enemy's territory by his express command. A body of eighteen 
thousand horse, having penetrated into the district of Badajoz, defeated Ibn Errink 
(Alfonso Enriquez), reduced Bajah (Beja), Yeborah (Evora), Al-kasr (Alcazar 
do Sal), 17 and other towns which the accursed Christians had taken some time 
before, and returned victorious and laden with plunder to the dominions of 


In the year 556, in the month of Jumada the first (May, a. d. 1161), an Anda- ibuiiumusiik 
lusian chieftain named Ibrahim Ibn Humushk, who was the father-in-law of Ibn prise the city 
Mardanish, and made common cause with that rebel, took by surprise the city of ° 
Granada. According to Ibnu-1-khattib this happened thus : " Sid Abu Sa'id, 
" son of 'Abdu-1-mumen, who was then governor of that city, having crossed 
" over to Africa to assist his father in putting down a rebellion, Ibrahim and 
"his partisans among the Almoravides thought the opportunity a favourable 
" one again to take the field against their enemies, the Almohades. Putting 
" himself at the head of a band of resolute followers, Ibrahim approached Granada 
" secretly and at night, and entered it by a gate which his partisans 18 had left 
" open [for him]. Having then attacked the Almohades who composed the 
" garrison, he killed a great many of them and obliged the remainder to take 
" refuge in the kassubah, which he besieged immediately, battering its walls 
" and throwing inside all sorts of projectiles. When this intelligence reache'd 
" Morocco, Abu" Sa'id hastened to the assistance of the besieged, taking with him 
" his own brother, Sid Abu* Mohammed Abu Hafss, and a considerable body of 
" African troops. Ibn Humushk, however, was not discouraged by the arrival 
" of so powerful an army; he sallied out of Granada, formed his troops in the 
*' spot called Merju-r-rokdd (the field of the sleepers), and engaged the Almohades, 
" whom he defeated, notwithstanding their superior numbers, making great slaughter 
" among them, owing to the trenches and canals into which the plain before that 
" city is cut up' for the purpose of irrigation, and which arrested the flight of 
" the fugitives. Among the slain was Sid Abu Mohammed: his brother, Sid Abu* 

i^« *K£*i£^*- ^-iw^c^ss&^w**-* 



[book VIII. 

" Sa'id, escaped, and reached Malaga with the relics of his army. As to Ibn 

" Humushk, he returned to Granada with his prisoners, whom he caused to he 

" taken near the walls of the kassdbah, and there slaughtered in the presence 

is besieged by " of their friends. Meanwhile the Khalif 'Abdu-hmiimen, who had put down 

hades. (( the insurrection, and was then at Sale, being informed of this disaster, dispatched 

" another large army to Andalus, under the command of another of his sons, 
" named Abu Ya'kiib, assisted by the Sheikh Abu Yusuf Ibn Suleyman, one of 
" the bravest and most experienced warriors of the time. These troops, which 
" were joined by many thousands of volunteers anxious to wage war against the 
" infidels, arrived at Dilar, a hamlet close to Granada, where they encamped. 
"This happened in 557 (a. d. 1162). Meanwhile Ibn Humushk, seeing the 
" tempest gather over his head, had sent to apprise his son-in-law, Ibn Mardanish, 
" of his perilous situation, and to beg him to come to his assistance. No sooner 
" had Ibn Mardanish received the message, than having quickly raised in his 
" dominions an army composed of Christians and Moslems, he hastened to his aid 
" and encamped with his forces on an eminence close to the suburb inhabited by the 
" people of Baeza 19 (Albayzin), which still bears his name, Kudyat Ibn Mardanish 
" (the hillock of Ibn Mardanish). The two armies came soon after to an engage- 
" ment in the Vega of Granada, when, after a bloody and hard-contested battle, 
" fortune decided in favour of the Almohades, and Ibn Mardanish fled to Jaen. 

" Some time after this, Ibn Humushk and his son-in-law having quarrelled, 
" the former made his submission to the Almohades. The cause of their quarrel 
" was this : Ibn Mardanish divorced his wife, the daughter of Ibn Humushk, 
" who, accordingly, returned to her father. Having, some time after, sent for 
(< a son of hers to be educated at her father's house, her late husband refused 
" to comply with her request, and would never deliver up her son. At last, 
" .seeing her application disregarded, the mother said one day,™' After all, what 
t( is the son of a dog but a puppy? Let him keep him; I do not want him; 5 
" which expressions she caused to be circulated among the women of Andalus. 
" From that moment Ibn Mardanish and Ibn Humushk became sworn enemies, 
" and the latter, in order the better to revenge himself, embraced the party of the 
" Almohades in 565 (beginning Sept. 24, 1169), and served under them against 
" Ibn Mardanish. In the year 571 (beginning July 21, a.d. 1175), however, Ibn 
■' Humushk asked for leave to cross over to Africa, and, having obtained it, 
" settled with his family and children at Meknasah, where he died in Rejeb of 
(( 572 (January, a.d. 1177)." 

In the year 558 (a. d. 1163), 'Abdu-1-mumen made public his intention to cross 
over to Andalus^ and summoned the tribes of the Desert to engage in the holy 

Makes his 


Death of 





pyi^L.uiL WJ ij 


. .. 





war. He left Morocco on Thursday the fifth of Rabi' the first of that year (Feb. 11, 
a. d. 1163), and arrived at Rabattu-1-fatah (the station of the victory, now Rabat), 
where he passed in review three hundred thousand men of the Arabian tribes 
of Eastern Africa and of the Zenatah and other [tribes] professing the doctrines 
of the Mahdi, 20 and one hundred and eighty thousand volunteers, who hastened 
also to that town for the purpose of sharing the reward promised to those who 
fight against the infidel. God, however, had decreed that this formidable arma- 
ment should never quit the shores of Western Africa; for whilst the Commander 
of the Faithful, 'Abdu-1-mumen, was making every preparation for the crossing, 
death, whose fierce blows spare neither the great nor the small, surprised him on 
Friday the 6th of Jumada the second of the same year (May 12, a. d. 1163). 


-.■ ^_- --■■ 







Accession of Yiisuf I. — Conquests of Alfonso Enriquez — Death of Ibn Mardanish — Yusuf lays siege to 
Toledo — Dies before Santarem — Is succeeded by Ya'kuh Al-mansur — Who attacks and defeats the 
Christians — Battle of Alarcos — Death of Ya'kiib — He is succeeded by Mohammed An-nfisir — The 
Moslems lose the battle of Al-'akab or Las Navas — Its fatal results — Accession of Yusuf II. — 'Abdu-I- 
wahed — Al-'Sdil — Idris Al-mamun — As-sa'id — Al-murtadhi — Al-wathik. 

Accession of 

Yusuf I. 

Conquests of 
Alfonso En- 

On the death of 'Abdu-1-mumen, his son Yusuf, surnamed Abu Ya'kiib, received 
the oaths [of the Almohades]. When the affairs of the government had been 
settled, and the foundations of the kingdom strengthened, Yusuf crossed over 
to Andalus, in order to exhibit in that country the benefits of his government. 
This happened in 566 (beginning Sept. 13, a.d. 1170). He landed in Andalus, 
accompanied by ten thousand horse of the Almohades and Arabs, and proceeded 

to Seville, where he fixed his court. 

Some time before the landing of Yusuf, a Christian named Ibn Errink (Alfonso 
Enriquez) had been committing great depredations in the western parts of Andalus, 
and had even reduced some considerable towns, 1 as Turjeloh (Truxillo), Yeborah 
(Evora), Kaseresh (Cazeres), and others; but Yusuf had no sooner arrived in 
Seville than the accursed Christian shut himself up in his stronghold, and the 
Moslems were for some time delivered from his mischief. 

Yusuf's arrival had also the effect of checking the progress of Abu 'Abdillah 

Mohammed Ibn Sa'd Ibn Mardanish, who, as before related, ruled undisturbed 

over Murcia and the greater part of Eastern Andalus ; for no sooner did he hear 

Death of ibn of that Sultan's landing than fear lodged in his heart, and he fell dangerously ill and 

died :. some authors say that he was poisoned. 

On the death of Ibn Mardanish, his sons and relatives presented themselves 
to the Commander of the Faithful, Yusuf, then residing at Seville, placed them- 
selves under his rule, and delivered the whole of their dominions into his hands. 

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Yusuf received the princes kindly, married them to his own daughters, and raised 
them to a station higher even than that which they occupied before. 

This being done, the Commander of the Faithful began to give his serious 
consideration to retaking from the Christians those districts and towns which they 
had subdued [under the preceding reigns]. After a successful campaign his 
dominions were considerably enlarged, and his victorious army ravaged the 
Christian territory to the very gates of Toledo, which city he is said to have Yusuf lays 
besieged [for a length of time]. But all the Christian nations of Andalus having ledo. 
collected their forces to attack him, and famine, moreover, having seized on 
his army, he was compelled to raise the siege and to return to Morocco, the 
capital of his [African] dominions. From thence he proceeded to Eastern Africa, 
and having appeased the troubles which agitated that country, returned to Morocco. 

In the year 580 (beginning April 13, a. d. 1184), the Commander of the Faithful ^ s ta ^ re 
again crossed over to Andalus at the head of considerable forces. This time he 
directed his march towards the western provinces, and laid siege to Shantireyn 
(Santarem), one of the greatest cities of the enemy. He remained encamped 
before it for a whole month, until he was attacked by a disease which caused his 
death in the same year [a. h. 580]. He was carried on a litter to Seville. Others 
say that he was killed by an arrow shot by the Christians; 2 hut God only knows 
the truth of the case. It was Yusuf who ordered the building of the great mosque 
of Seville, — which, however, was not completed till the reign of his successor, — 
and who put the maritime arsenal of Ceuta 3 in its present efficient state. 

Yusuf was succeeded by his son Abu Yusuf Ya'kub, surnamed Al-mansur-Ullah } s & ^^ 1 

J by Ya'ktib Al- 

(the victorious by the grace of God), a monarch whose fame travelled far and wide, manstfr. 
who upheld the glory of the Almohade empire, who raised the banners of holy war, 
suspended the balance of justice, and spread the decrees of civil law, — rendered 
Islam triumphant, ordained what is right and forbade what is wrong, and made his 
orders obeyed over near as well as distant [lands], of all which acts history affords 
abundant records. During the reign of this Sultan the Christians of Andalus received 
many a severe blow, for he triumphed over them on several occasions, and prin- 
cipally at Alarcos, where the victory equalled — if it did not surpass in importance 
— the celebrated one of Zalakah. The learned and celebrated poet, AM Isliak 
Ibrahim Ibn Ya'ktib Al-kanemi, a black of Sudan, has said in allusion to this 
Sultan, — 

" Well may his Hajibs conceal him from my view; my reverence [for him] 

" is such that I see his image on the curtain. 

" My knowledge of his virtues prompts me to approach, but fear and 

" respect fix me to my place/' 4 

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who attacks « I n the days of Ya'kub," says an African historian, (< conquests succeeded each 

and ugig fits the ^ 

Christians. " other without interruption. The first thing that he did on his taking possession 

" of the command was to direct his attention towards Andalus and to inquire 
" into the state of that country. Having collected a numerous army, he landed 
" at Algesiras on Thursday the third of Rabi' the first of the year 585 (April 20, 
" a.d. 1189), and started immediately for the west of Andalus, where he com- 
" mitted the ravages of the tempest. He then proceeded to Seville, and after 
" providing for the welfare of the country in general, and steadying the warriors 
" in their ranks, he returned to Morocco, the capital of his dominions." 

Again, in the year 586 (beginning Feb. 7, a.d. 1190), having received intelli- 
gence that the Franks had taken Shilb (Silves), one of the principal cities of 
Al-gharb, Ya'kub marched thither in person at the head of considerable forces, 
and having laid siege to the city, restored it to the rule of Islam. Immediately 
: after he sent forward [into the enemy's country] a large army of Arabs and 
j Almohades, which reduced four other towns of those which had been taken by 
\ the Christians forty years before. The Lord of Toledo [Alfonso II. of Castile] 
feared Ya'kub, and asked him for a truce, which he granted to him, to last for 
■■ five years, after which he returned to Morocco. It was on this occasion that 
the Kayid Abu 'Abdillah Ibn Wazir Ash-shelbi (from Silves), one of the general 
officers of the army stationed at Seville, composed that beautiful ode, in which 
he addresses Al-mansxir, and congratulates him upon his successful campaign 
against the Christians. Abu* 'Abdillah had attended the expedition as commander 
of the van. The ode begins thus : 


" When we met, the spears were crossed, and the blows [followed each 
■ - " other] like the revolutions of the millstone. 

" The sharp Indian swords sported on our necks and on those of our 
" enemies; some [of us] kept their saddles, and some fell; 

" Not a breast but what had an arrow fixed in it; not a jugular vein but 
" what had afforded a lodging to the scimitar. 

" We fought until no refuge was left save the helmet and the spear, and the 
" greatest courage was displayed on both sides. 

" At last we charged and they staggered; [the victory was ours], for the 
" staggerer soon after falls." 5 

This Abu 'Abdillah was a very experienced officer and an excellent poet. An- 
nasir, one of the Sultans of the posterity of 'Abdu-1-rnumen, appointed him 
governor of Kasr Abi Danis ; but when Ibn Hud, who afterwards rose against 
the Almohades, made his entrance into Seville, he caused Abu 'Abdillah, [who was 
residing there,] to be arrested and put to death. 




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But to return to Al-mansur. When the truce made with the Christians was 
over, or nearly so, a large party of them invaded the Moslem territory, and 
began to plunder and lay waste the country, and to commit all manner of ravages 
and depredations, which being reported to Al-mansur, who was then absent in 
Afnca, he resolved upon chastising their insolence. Having, accordingly, collected 
a numerous and well-appointed army, that Sultan crossed the Strait and landed 
at Jezirat Al-khadhra" (Algesiras), in Rejeb of the year 591 (a. d. 1195). The 
Christians of Andalus were no sooner informed of the landing of Ya'kub, than 
they began to collect troops from the most remote parts [of Christendom], which 
being done, they marched against the Almohades. They say that soon after his 
arrival at the port of Sale for the purpose of crossing over to Andalus, Ya'kub 
fell so dangerously ill that his physicians despaired of his life, upon which Alfonso, 
who was aware of the Sultan's indisposition, sent him an embassy, threatening! 
abusing, bragging, and thundering ; asking to be put in possession of some of 
the fortresses bordering upon his dominions. The result, however, is well known ; 
Ya^kub met the infidels at the head of his forces, and gained over them a victory 
which equalled, if it did not surpass in importance, the victory of Zalakah. Indeed, 
some writers assert that it exceeded it in every respect. 

Alfonso with his Christian auxiliaries having encamped at Alark (Alarcos), a spot Battle of 
in the district of Badajoz, 6 Ya'kub marched thither at the head of his forces, and Alarcos - 
the two hosts were soon in presence of each other. Some time before the battle, 
Ya'kub devised the following stratagem. Knowing that the Christians would attack 
in preference that part of the camp where he himself was, he bade his kinsman, 
the Sheikh Yahya Ibn Abi Hafss, change place with him, and to occupy with his 
troops the space round the royal pavilion. This Ibn Abi Hafss was the uncle 
of Abu Zakariyya Al-hafssi, who afterwards became Sultan of Eastern Africa, 
as well as of a portion of Andalus whose inhabitants said the khotbah in his name' 
It happened as Ya'kub had foreseen. The Christians, thinking that the banners 
in the middle of the camp marked the spot where Ya'kub and his body-guard 
were, directed a most furious attack upon that quarter ; but it availed them not; 
for they had exchanged only a few blows with the Moslems, when Ya'kub fell un- 
expectedly upon them and defeated them most completely. 

This memorable battle was fought on Thursday, the 9th of Sha'ban, a. h. 591 
(a. d. 1 195), which year, moreover, is well known all over the West as >A'm.u4-alark 
(the year of the battle of Alarcos) . Never was there a more signal victory gained 
by the Moslems of Andalus. It is said that the loss of the Franks amounted to one 
hundred and forty-six thousand men, besides thirty thousand prisoners. The amount 
of spoils, too, said to have been gained on this occasion is almost incredible : some 



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authors say one hundred and fifty thousand tents, eighty thousand horses, one hundred 
thousand mules, and four hundred thousand asses ; as the infidels, having no camels, 
used those animals to carry their baggage. Another account says sixty thousand 
suits of armour, and that the horses, mules, &c., were innumerable. As to the 
money and jewels, they were beyond calculation. A captive sold for one dirhem, a 
sword for half a dirhem, a horse for five, and an ass for one. All this spoil Ya'kub 
divided among the Moslems agreeably to law. The relics of the Christian army 
fled to Kal'at Rabah (Calatrava), where they fortified themselves; but the Sultan 
Ya'kub followed them thither, and, after besieging them some days, took possession 
of the place. The Christian king, Alfonso, fled to Toledo with a few followers, 
in the worst possible plight. They say that when he arrived in that city, he 
had his head and beard shaved, turned his cross upside down, and swore not to 
sleep in bed, approach a woman, or mount a horse or mule, until he had revenged 
his defeat. He then began to collect troops and warlike stores from distant islands 
and countries; but he was again met by Ya'kub, who, having defeated him, 
pursued him to Toledo, which city he besieged and battered with war engines, 
until he was on the point of taking it. The mother of Alfonso, accompanied by his 
wives and daughters, then came out of the city, and, with tears in her eyes, 
implored the conqueror to spare the city. Being moved to compassion, Ya'kub 
not only granted the request, but, after paying them due honour, he dismissed 
them with splendid presents in jewels and other valuable articles. 7 The Amir then 
returned to Cordova, where he passed a month occupied in the distribution of 
the spoil among his soldiers. Whilst there, ambassadors came to him from King 
Alfonso to sue for peace, which the Amir granted, as he had just heard of the 
rising in Eastern Africa of Al-mayurki, 8 who was assisted in his rebellion by 
Korkush, the mameluke of the Beni Ayiib, Sultans of Syria and Egypt ; so that 
the people of Andalus for some time enjoyed security and rest. 
Death of After a prosperous reign of fourteen years and eleven months, Ya'kub Al-mansdr 

died at Morocco, on Friday, the 22nd of Rabi' the first, a. h. 595 (Feb. a. d. 1199). 
His body was conveyed to Tinmelel, where it was buried by the side of his father 
and grandfather. As to the report that this Sultan abdicated his royal power, and 
travelled to Syria, where he died and was interred in the district called Beka'h, 9 
there is not the least foundation for it, although Ibn Khallekan says something 
to that purpose. No author, however, has so well exposed the unsoundness of 
such a statement as the Sherif Al-gharnatti (Abu-1-kasim Mohammed) in his 
commentary upon the Makssurah of Ibn Hazem, who says, "This is one of the 
" stories of the vulgar, who were in love with that Sultan." Ya'kub completed the 
building of the. great mosque of Seville, 10 and erected several useful or ornamental 



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works in other parts of his dominions. He was a powerful monarch, dreaded by 
his enemies and respected by his equals. In the year 587 the Sultan Salahu-d-dm 
(Saladin), son of Ayub, sent an embassy to solicit his aid against the Franks 
who had attacked him on the coast of Palestine ; but this Ya'kub would not grant, 
because Salahu-d-din had not in his letter addressed him by the title of Amiru-l- 
mumenin (Commander of the Faithful). Such, however, was Ya'kub's benevolent 
disposition that, although highly offended with Salahu-d-din, to whom he returned 
a despicable present, he rewarded munificently the ambassador of that Sultan, 
whose name was Ibn Munkid ; having given him on one occasion, for a poem 
of forty verses, 11 forty thousand dirhems, being at the rate of one thousand for 
each verse, adding, when he gave him that large sum, " This we give thee, not 
" for Salahu-d-din 's sake, but for thy learning and poetry." Ibn Mjinkid left 
Andalus in 588 (a.d. 1192). 

Ya'kiib Al-manstir was succeeded by his son Abu 'Abdillah Mohammed, Accession of 
surnamed An-ndsir lidin-illah (the defender of the faith), whose reign proved soSST* 
fatal to the cause of the Moslems, and principally to those of Andalus ; since, 
having in the year 609 (a. d. 1212) collected an army amounting to six hundred 
thousand warriors, he not only accomplished nothing advantageous to the cause 
of religion, but actually sustained one of the most complete defeats that ever 
disgraced the arms of Islam. The author of the Adh-dhaMratu-s-saniyyah fi 
tdrikhi-d-daulati-l-meriniyyah (the valuable treasure : on the history of the Merinite 
dynasty), 12 says that Mohammed was so astonished and pleased with the number of 
his troops that he thought himself invincible. The Franks, on the other hand, 
made [ample] preparations [to resist him], and they fought the celebrated battle of 
Al-'akab, which the Moslems lost, and the result of which was that the greater The Moslems 
part of Maghreb was deserted and that the Franks conquered the greater part ofKXkX 1 
Andalus. Out of the six hundred thousand men who entered the field of battle Las Nam ' 
only a few escaped; some authors even state that their number did not reach 
one thousand. This battle was like a curse, not only to Andalus, but to the whole 
of Maghreb, and the defeat is to be ascribed to the bad policy of An-nasir.;: for> its fatal re- 
although the Moslems of Andalus were well trained to war and accustomed to 
fight with the Christians, that Sultan and his Wizir entirely disregarded their 
advice, and even offended some of them ; and the consequence was that the minds 
of the Andalusian officers were alienated and the Christians gained an easy 
victory. However this may be, certain it is that this defeat may be regarded as 

the real cause of the subsequent decline of "Western Africa and Andalus, of the 

former country, because the loss sustained in the battle was so great that her 
districts and towns were almost depopulated through it, — of Andalus, because the 




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Accession of 
Yusuf II. 




enemy of God was thereby enabled to extend his conquests ; for, after the death of 
An-nasir, the empire of the Almohades became convulsed, the princes of the royal 
family, who held the government of Andalus, each seized the opportunity of 
extending his own power and authority ; and in the subsequent decline of their 
empire at Morocco, they came at length not only to hire the enemy's troops, 
but to surrender to the Christian kings the fortresses of the Moslems, that they 
might secure their aid against each other. 13 At last the Andalusian chieftains 
and the descendants of the Arabs of the time of the Beni Umeyyah, such as 
Mohammed Ibn Yusuf Ibn Hud Al-jodhami, Ibn Mardanish, and others, united 
together and expelled them from the country, as we shall hereafter relate. 

On the death of An-nasir, which happened at Morocco in Sha'ban of the year 
616 (Oct. or Nov. a. d. 1219), his son Abu Ya'kub Yusuf Al-mustanser (he who 
implores the help of God), succeeded him; but as he was fond of pleasure and 
repose, the affairs of the Andalusian Moslems, far from improving, went on declining 
rapidly, and the empire of his family became still weaker. He died without 
posterity at Morocco on the 12th of Dhi-1-hajjah, 620 (Jan. a. d. 1223), and was 
succeeded by his father's uncle, 'Abdu-1-wahed Ibn Yusuf Ibn 'Abdi-1-miimen, 
whose rule, however, was not more prosperous than that of his predecessors. A 
■relative of his, named Al-'adil Ibn Al-mansur, who was then at Murcia in Andalus, 
considering himself more entitled to the crown than his kinsman, raised the standard 
of revolt, and was proclaimed without opposition in all those towns which acknow- 
ledged the rule of Islam in that country. 

'Abdu-1-wahed's rule was not of long duration ; for no sooner had the news 
of Al-'adil's revolt reached Morocco, than he was