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VOL. I. 





The following little work was written to supply 
the want of a popular History of Spain, such as 
might be pat into the hands of young persons. 

It was at first intended to model it after Mrs. 

"^*nil^l;^t^v^-llt1^llHii^-lr <«f istm^A; 

but some objections presented themselves of suf- 
ficient weight in the author's estimation to induce 
her to change that plan for another which has been 

The principal authorities consulted for that part 
of the history which precedes the union of the 
crowns of Castile and Arragon are Mariana's Hi- 
story of Spain, and Conde's curious translations 
and compilations from the Arabic historians ; but 
the several chronicles of the kings, as well as the 
Cofonica de los Moros and ^Cardonne, with various . 
mothers, have been consulted. 

It would not be difficult to multiply the names 
of books referred to ; but these were the most used 
for the period in question. 




After that time, Robertson, Watson, and Coxe 
have been the guides chiefly followed; yet Schil- 
ler's fragment of the War in Flanders, Strada, 
Geddes's admirable tracts, the Memoirs of San 
Phelipe, and, above all, for all periods, the Art de 
Verifier lee Dates, have been made use of as un- 
questionable authorities. 

For the notices of the progress of literature, a 
little book of no recent date, ^^ Letters on the 
Origin of Spanish Poetry," has been followed im- 
plicitly. The preface to Sanchez'* collection of 
ancient Spanish poems has been freely used. 

Mr. Southey's Cid, the. Civil Wars of Grenada, 
various collections of romances, the pre&ce to Flo- 
rian^s Gonsalve de Cordone, have furnished much 
additional information on manners. The state of 
agriculture in Moorish Spain is taken from the 
Arab book of agriculture, of which an account will 
be found at the end of one of the chapters. 

The little that is said on the progress of the fine 
arts is on the authority of Bermudez, whose Die- 
tionario Historico de los mas ilustres prqfessores de 
h& Bellas Artes en Espana is more full and exact 
than any other work on the subject. 

But it is scarcely necessary to say more. The 
nature of a book of history, however short, abso- 


lately requires diligent search and reading; and 
as Spanish books are not always easy to procure, 
the author was indebted for very many to the 
liberal kindness of several friends whose libraries 
were open to her. 

The last chapter is nothing more than a chrono- 
logical table of events from 1788 to 1823. To 
have attempted even the shortest history of that 
period within the limits prescribed for this little 
work would have been impossible ; yet to have 
omitted it entirely would have left the history of 
Spain very incomplete. 




Chap. I. ... .1 

11, From the establishment of the Goths in 
Spain to the oyerthrov of their king- 
dom, in the battle of the Goadalete 33 

III. From the battle of the Guadalete to the 

establishment of the caliphfr of the west 

at Cordova . • . .81 

IV. From the reign of Abdnlrahman I. to the 

accession of Abdnlrahman IL . 122 

V. From the accession of Abdnlrahman II. 

to that of Abdnlrahman III. . .155 

VI. From the accession of Abdnlrahman HI. 

to his death . . . 194 

VII. From the death of Abdnlrahman III. to 

the extinction of the Omeiad family . 243 

VIII. From the death of Sancho III., king of 
Navarre, to that of Alonzo VI., snr- 
named the Brave, king of Castile and 
Leon . . . . 273 

IX. From the death of Don Alonzo VI. to 

that of the emperor Don Alonzo VII. 32C^ 


Chap. X. From the death of Alonzo VII. to the 
death of Alonzo VIII., snrnamed the 
Noble . . .355 

XI. Prom the accession of Henry I. to the 

death of St. Ferdinand . 390 

X(I. From the accession of Alonzo X., sur- 
naqaed the Wise, or the Learned, to the 
death of Ferdinand IV. . 430 


Ch A p. I . Medal from Addison. This represents Spain as 
allegorically figured on Roman coins. It is 
copied from Addison*8 Dialogue on Medals. 

Coins of Cadiz and Carthagena. These are an- 
tique, and were copied from a Spanish work on 
the more rare coins of Spain. 

Roman trophy. Tliis is part of an antique bas- 
relief dug up at Merida. 
II. Roman bas-relief, found also at Merida. 

Ancient Carmelite. This order was established 
at a very early period at Zaragoza, according 
to the authors of the history of the religious 

Jewish and Arab coins, from the rare coins of 

III. Cralley. These were the gallep used from very 

early times in the Mediterranean, 
Helmets^ arms, &c. These are copied from an 
illuminated manuscript, representing Arab 
. Moor on foot, from the same manuscript 

IV. Mosque at Cordova, from a Spanish print. 
Moorish capitals, Moorish architecture, also from 

Spanish prints. 

V. Tower of Segovia. This fine Moorish tower is 

taken from a Spanish print. 
The Arab capitals, and 
The gate of the mosque of Cordova, are also from 

Spanish prints. 

VI. Lady and harp, from an illuminated manuscript- 
Arab baths at Gerona, from a Spanish print. 
Donna Elvira, from Florez' queens of Spain. 

xii Explanation of the cuts. 

Chap. VII. Moorish warrior on horseback, from an illu- 
minated manuscript 
Moorish character, from a Spanish print. 
Moorish prince and princess in payilion, from 
an illuminated manuscript 
VIII. Two Spanish Roman coins, from the rare coins 
of Spain. 
Biscayan and Gallician costume, from TiUan's 
book of wood cuts of the dresses of his time. 
Arms of Seville, from the wood cuts of Maxi- 
milian's arch. 
IX. Costume of Navarre. 

Woman and child on a mule, from an old Spa- 
nish print of the country near Grenada, by 
Mr. Stothard. 
Spanish ox-cart, from a print. 
X. Eleanor of England, queen of Castile, from 
Cross of bishop Roderic, from one of the Cas- 

tilian chronicles. 

Two Roman coins^ from the rare coins of Spain. 

XI. Elevation of San Fernando, or St. Ferdinand. 

The ancient mode of acknowledging the kings 

of Spain, by raising them on a shield on the 

shoulders of the grandees, while the people 

saluted them. 

Coins of Arragon, called Jaquete eoins^ fiiom a 

work on the subject, with curious plates. 
Tomb of the kings of Arragon, from a Spanish 
XII. Oroupe from an old Spanish print, selected by- 
Mr. IStothard. 
Women on a mule, from a Spanish print 
Fountain of lions in the lion court of the 



Bmblem ofSpaintfrom a Baman medal. 

The Spanish Peninsula, called by the ancients 
Iberia and Hispania, and containing the two very 
unequal kingdoms of Spain and Portugal, has always 
preserved the same limits. It is bounded on the 
west by the Atlantic Ocean; on the 9outh and east 
by the Mediterranean Sea; and to the north the 
Pyrenean mountains separate it from France. 

VOL. I. B 


Watered by many fine rivers, the soil of Spain 
produces corn and fruit in abundance. Its cattle 
and sheep are of excellent quality, and it abounds 
in mines. Gold and silver, iron, copper, lead, and 
cinnabar, are dug from its mountains; fine rock 
salt, as clear as crystal, and many of the precious 
stones, are found there. These riches very soon 
attracted the attention of the Phoenicians, whose 
ships were the earliest of which mention is made 
in history to venture on long voyages for the 
purposes of commerce. That enterprising people 
founded several cities on the coast, particularly 
Gades, now Cadiz, Medina Sidonia,. which they 
named after Sidon, and Malaga. 

The poets, whose fables have generally truth for 
their foundation, talk of a monstrous kihg of Spain, 
with three bodies, named Gerion, a great tyrants 
who was slain by Hercules. Now, in reality, the 
word Gerion means stranger^ and there were three 
strangers, who, invading Spain, tyrannized over the 
.people, and were probably pirates who robbed the 
ships trading to the coast. These tyrants were 
killed by Hercules, who thereby opened the straits 
of Gibraltar for the vessels of the merchants ; atid 
hence he is feigned to have dug a way for the 
waters themselves to pass between Caipe, now Gib- 
raltar, and Abyla, on the opposite shore of Africa. 

These events took place a little before the war 
of Troy. After that time, some of the Grreeks 

B. C. 1180.] HISTORY OF aPAIN. 3 

returning from that expedition, not being well re- 
ceived in their own country, sailed to other lands 
and formed colonies there. Some settled in Spain, 
where several towns on the eastern shore were 
founded by them, and by the people of the islands 
of the Levant; such as Roses by the people of 
Rhodes, and Saguntum by those of Zante. 

Meanwhile the interior of the country was in- 
habited by various tribes of barbarians, very much 
resembling the Celts of Gaul and Britain, speaking 
a dialect of the same language, and living in caves, 
or in huts made of the bark of the cork tree. Each 
of these tribes had its separate chief, and it is pro- 
bable that, in case of any great danger, they all 
united un4er one common leader. The accounts 
we have of them are, however, very unsatisfactory. 
We learn that Milico, one of their kings, taught 
them how to collect the honey with which their 
woods abounded; and that Gorgaris, another of 
their chiefs, with his son Abides, first induced them 
to assemble in towns for their defence against wild 
beasts, and probably, also, against invaders from 
foreign countries. 

The most remarkable among their kings, and he 
who appears to have ccmferred the greatest benefits 
on the people, was Argantonio : he was probably 
a foreigner; for he taught the Spaniards the use 
of alphabetical characters, an invention ascribed to 
the Phoenicians, who, if not the in venters of letters, 



taught their use to the various nations with whom 
they had intercourse. 

Upwards of twenty towns are mentioned as having 
been built by the Phoenicians, and nearly as many 
by the Greeks, when the Carthaginians, sending a 
fleet commanded l>y M aharbal under pretence of 
assisting the native tribes to drive out their foreign 
oppressors, conquered the greater part of Spain, 
and took it to themselves. The mountainous dis-, 
tricts of Biscay and Asturias, however^ were never 
reduced, and the hardy inhabitants were always on 
the watch for occasions to fall on their enemies. 

Before the Carthaginians had quite possessed 
themselves of Spain, the war between them and 
the Romans, called the first Punic war, broke out, 
and it was so unfavourable to them, that they were 
obliged to leave the country, almost to itself, for a 
time ; and in the meanwhile, the Romans becoming 
acquainted with Spain, entered into alliance with 
some of the towns, especially Saguntum and Am- 
])urias, and promised to protect them from the 
future attacks of the Carthaginians. 

As soon as Carthage was sufficiently recovered 
from the war, the Carthaginian senate sent an army, 
under Hamilcar Barca, to recover what had been 
lost in Spain. He landed near Cadiz, and not only 
took possession of those provinces that had before 
acknowledged the authority of Carthage, but ex- 
tended, his conquests to the frontiers of Lusitania 

B. C. 237 — ^225.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 5 

(now called Portugal), where, in the ninth year of 
his command, he was wounded in battle by one of 
the natives, and, falling from his horse, was drowned 
in the Guadiana. ^ 

The Spanish chief of most renown at that time 
was Orison ; he fought very valiantly in defence of 
his country, but Asdrubal, the son-in-law of Ha- ' 
milcar, overcame him, and took twelve towns within 
a very short time. After the fall of Orison, little 
opposition was made in the south and west of 
Spain to Asdrubal, whose very amiable character 
attracted the love of the people, he conquered. But 
the Greek colonies on the east coast became alarmed, 
expecting he would next attack them, and two of 
the principal cities, Ampurita and Saguntum, sent 
deputies to their great ally, Rome, to procure the 
interference of the Roman senate in their favour. 
An ambassador was accordingly despatched to Car- 
thage, to request that the Carthaginian senate would 
order their general to respect the allies of the Ro- 
mans, but without effect ; for though Asdrubal was 
peaceably disposed, his death left his successor at 
liberty to follow his less pacific inclinations. As- 
drubal was murdered by a slave whose lord he had 
put to death, and whose attachment to his master 
a native Spaniard, induced him to revenge, though 
he could not prevent, his fate. 

Hannibal was the general who succeeded Aisdru- 
bal, his brother-in-law. The hatred of that young 
chief for the Roman name prompted him, careless 


of the consequences, to attack Saguntum instantly. 
Born in one of the islands of Spain, he had accom- 
panied his father, Hamilcar, in his campaigns, and 
at nine years old had been made to swear on the 
altars of his gods eternal enmity to Rome. 

Here was now an opportunity of attacking an 
ally of the people he detested, although the peace 
existing between Rome and Carthage prevented 
his carrying tis arms into Italy. Hannibal had de- 
feated several of the Spanish chiefs who had risen 
against the Carthaginians on the d^ath of Asdrubal. 
He overran the country now called New Castile, 
seized the principal towns, and, being master of 
the mines as well as of the corn countries, he felt 
sure of supplies, and marched towards Saguntum 
with a hundred and fifty thousand men. The people 
of that town once more applied to Rome for assist- 
ance, but instead of despatching an army, the senate 
only sent a messenger to remonstrate with Han- 
nibal. This step was unavailing; he refused to lay 
down his arms, and proceeded to invest the city. 
Its inhabitants defended it long and bravely, till, 
at length, worn out by famine, and having no hope 
of mercy from the well-known cruelty of Hannibal, 
they erected an enormous funeral pile, where they 
placed all their richest goods, and embracing their 
wives and children, sallied out against the Cartha- 
ginians, and died by the hands of their enemies ; 
while the women, as soon as they saw, from the 
walls, the fate of their husbands, lighted the pile, 

B. C. 217.] HISTORY OP SPAIN. 7 

and ascending it with their children, perished after 
eight months' siege by a voluntary death. 

After this event the second Punic war b^an ; 
and Hannibal, marching into Italy with, a hundred 
thousand men, left his brother, a younger Asdru-^ 
bal, to command in Spain. 

The Romans, thinking to arrest the pr(^es8 of 
Hannibal, sent an army into the Peninsula under 
the command of the proconsul Publius Cornelius 
Scipio and his broliher Cneius Scipio, who, sailing 
along the coast of Catalonia and landing their 
legions at Ampurias, proceeded to examine the 
towns in the neighbourhood; and by promising 
liberty to all who had been oppressed by the Car- 
thaginians, induced a number of the Spaniards to 
join them, and by their assistance gained an im- 
portant victory over Hanno, the Carthaginian 
general commanding in that part of the country. 

The seat of the African government in Spain 
was at Carthagena, a colony founded by the elder 
Asdrubal. The young Asdrubal was then within 
that city; but as soon as he heard of the defeat of 
Hanno, he set out with 11,000 men, whom he had 
with him, passed the Ebro, and found the sailors 
and marine forces of Scipio's fleet scattered about 
the neighbourhood of Tarragona, exulting in fan-^ 
cied security at their late victory. He surprised 
them and cut the greater number to pieces, driving 
the rest to their ships and vessels for refuge. 
This success was, however, but temporary ; for 


taught their use to the various nations with whom 
they had intercourse. 

Upwards of twenty towns are mentioned as having 
been built by the Phoenicians, and nearly as many 
by the Greeks, when the Carthaginians, sending a 
fleet commanded liy Maharbal under pretence of 
assisting the native tribes to drive out their foreign 
oppressors, conquered the greater part of Spain, 
and took it to themselves. The mountainous dis-, 
tricts of Biscay and Asturias, however^ were never 
reduced,. and the hardy inhabitants were always on 
the watch for occasions to &11 on their enemies. 

Before the Carthaginians had quite possessed 
themselves of Spain, the war between them and 
the Romans, called the first Punic war, broke out, 
and it was so unfavourable to them, that they were 
obliged to leave the country, almost to itself, for a 
time ; and in the meanwhile, the Romans becoming 
acquainted with Spain, entered into alliance with 
some of the towns, especially Saguntum and Am- 
]>urias, and promised to protect them from the 
future attacks of the Carthaginians. 

As soon as Carthage was sufficiently recovered 
from the war, the Carthaginian senate sent an army, 
under Hamilcar Barca, to recover what had been 
lost in Spain. He landed near Cadiz, and not only 
took possession of those provinces that had before 
acknowledged the authority of Carthage, but ex- 
tended, his conquests to the irohtiers of Lusitania 

B. C. 237 — ^225.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 5 

(now called Portugal), where, in the ninth year of 
his command, he was wounded in battle by one of 
the natives, and, falling from his horse, was drowned 
in the Guadiana. ^ 

The Spanish chief of most renown at that time 
was Orison ; he fought very valiantly in defence of 
his country, but Asdrubal, the son-in-law of Ha- ' 
milcar, overcame him, and took twelve towns within 
a very short time. After the fall of Orison, little 
opposition vras made in the south and west of 
Spain to Asdrubal, whose very amiable character 
attracted the love of the people, he conquered. But 
the Greek colonies on the east coast became alarmed, 
expecting he would next attack them, and two of 
the principal cities, Ampurita and Saguntum, sent 
deputies to their great ally, Rome, to procure the 
interference of the Roman senate in their favour. 
An ambassador was accordingly despatched to Car- 
thage, to request that the Carthaginian senate would 
order their general to respect the allies of the Ro- 
mans, but without effect ; for though Asdrubal was 
peaceably disposed, his death left his successor at 
liberty to follow his less pacific inclinations. As- 
drubal was murdered by a slave whose lord he had 
put to death, and whose attachment to his master 
a native Spaniard^ induced him to revenge, though 
he could not prevent, his fate. 

Hannibal was the general who succeeded Aisdru- 
bal, his brother-in-law. The hatred of that young 
chief for the Roman name prompted him, careless 


taught their use to the various nations with whom 
they had intercourse. 

Upwards of twenty towns are mentioned as having 
been built by the Phoenicians, and nearly as many 
by the Greeks, when the Carthaginians, sending a 
fleet commanded liy Maharbal under pretence of 
assisting the native tribes to drive out their foreign 
oppressors, conquered the greater part of Spain, 
and took it to themselves. The mountainous dis-, 
tricts of Biscay and Asturias, however^ were never 
reduced,. and the hardy inhabitants were always on 
the watch for occasions to fall on their enemies. 

Before the Carthaginians had quite possessed 
themselves of Spsdn, the war between them and 
the Romans, called the first Punic war, broke out, 
and it was so un&vourable to them, that they were 
obliged to leave the country, almost to itself, for a 
time ; and in the meanwhile, the Romans becoming 
acquainted with Spain, entered into alliance with 
some, of the towns, especially Saguntum and Am- 
])urias,.and promised to protect them from the 
future attacks of the Carthaginians. 

As soon as Carthage was sufficiently recovered 
from the war, the Carthaginian senate sent an army, 
under Hamilcar Barca, to recover what had been 
h>st in Spain. He landed near Cadiz, and not only 
took possession of those provinces that had before 
acknowledged the authority of Carthage, but ex- 
tended, his conquests to the frontiers of Lusitania 

B. C. 237 — ^225.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 5 

(now called Portugal), where, in the ninth year of 
his command, he was wounded in battle by one of 
the natives, and, falling from his horse, was drowned 
m the Guadiana. ^ 

The Spanish chief of most renown at that time 
was Orison ; he fought very valiantly in defence of 
his country, but Asdrubal, the son-in-law of Ha- ' 
milcar, overcame him, and took twelve towns within 
a very short time. After the fall of Orison, little 
opposition was made in the south and west of 
Spain to Asdrubal, whose very amiable character 
attracted the love of the people, he conquered. But 
the Greek colonies on the east coast became alarmed, 
expecting he would next attack them, and two of 
the principal cities, Ampurita and Saguntum, sent 
deputies to their great ally, Rome, to procure the 
interference of the Roman senate in their fevour. 
An ambassador was accordingly despatched to Car- 
thagej to request that the Carthaginian senate would 
order their general to respect the allies of the Ro- 
mans, but without effect ; for though Asdrubal was 
peaceably disposed, his death left his successor at 
liberty to follow his less pacific inclinations. As- 
drubal was murdered by a slave whose lord he had 
put to death, and whose attachment to his master 
a native Spaniard^ induced him to revenge, though 
he could not prevent, his fate. 

Hannibal was the general who succeeded Aisidru- 
bal, his brother-in-law. The hatred of that young 
chief for the Roman name prompted him, careless 


fications resisted all his efforts, though defended 
only by a thousand soldiers and an equal number 
of armed citizens. A second attempt was equally 
unsuccessful; but on the third, having observed 
that where the ramparts were lowest and weakest 
the sea at low water left a dry passage to the foot 
of the wall, he ventured to prophesy to the soldiers 
that at, a particular hour the gods would cause the 
water to recede, and that they might then take the 
hitherto impregnable city., 

Accordingly, at the appointed time, five hun- 
dred picked men having prepared their scaling 
ladders, followed the unusual, and, as it appeared 
to tliem, miraculous path, they gained the wall, 
mounted with success, and obtained possession of 
the city. The booty was immense. Gold, and 
purple and rich furniture, and magnificent apparel, 
were in such profusion as to astonish the con- 
querors. But the vanquished were more surprised 
at the clemency of the victor. Instead of putting 
the defenders of the city to the sword, as was the 
practice of that barbarous age, he spared their 
lives, set all the inhabitants at liberty, and calling 
for such Spanish hostages as were in the place, he 
spoke to them with benignity, and dismissed them 
to their homes with dispositions highly favourable 
to the Romans. 

One of the most justly celebrated of Scipio's ac- 
tions during the war, however, was the restoring a 
beautiful Spanish captive to her lover, the young 

B. C. 211.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 13 

Celdberian AUutius, and giving her as a dowry 
the sum that her parents had brought as a ransom 
for her. The wife of the Spanish general Man- 
donio, and the daughters of his brother Andobal, 
were treated with equal generosity. 

The private virtues of the young general were 
of great benefit to his country. The brave Man- 
dohio and Andobal immediately j^oined the Romans 
with all their followers. AUutius going to his own 
country, and making known the generosity of 
Scipio, soon returned to join his standard with 
1400 chosen horsemen, and accompanied him in 
pursuit of Asdrubal, who with his Carthaginians 
was near Becula, a town of Andalusia. There a 
furious battle was fought, in which Asdrubal was 
completely worsted. After the victory, particular 
attention was paid in the distribution of the booty, 
to gratify the Spanish allies ; and as to the pri- 
soners, while the Africafis were sold by public 
auction for slaves^ the Spaniards were set free 
without the smallest ransom. 

It happened that among those destined for sale, 
a young Numidian of superior air and manner was 
observed by the quaestor : on questioning him, it 
appeared that he was nephew to Massinissa, and 
grandson to king Gala, in whose court he had been 
brought up. His grandfather had forbidden him, 
on account of his early youth, to enter the Car- 
thaginian army ; but unable to resist his military 
ardour, he had seized a horse and fled secretly from 


court to join the troops. Scipio, pleased with the 
spirit of the boy, and happy to have occasion to 
confer a personal favour on Massinissa, immediately 
sent the youth to his uncle's camp, loaded with 
presents, and attended by an honourable escort 

Meantime Asdrubal, notwithstanding his defeat 
at Becula, persisted in his intention of joining Han- 
nibal in Italy, and having collected a considerable 
body of recruits, he left Spain ere Scipio could 
prevent him, and crossing the Pyrenees and the 
Alps, reinforced his brother with 150,000 men, 
leaving Hanno to command in his stead ; but that 
general was shortly afterwards surprised and taken 
prisoner 'near Segovia by Marcus Silanus, Scipio's 
lieutenant, and the Roman arms were successful in 
all parts of the Peninsula. 

The conquest of Spain being now considered as 
complete, Scipio was recalled to Rome. His suc- 
cessors were not equally sensible with himself of 
the importance of ruling a brave and generous 
people by kind and humane means, and the Spa- 
niards began too late to discover that they had 
only changed masters in throwing off the Cartha^ 
ginian yoke; and while they groaned under the 
military despotism of the Romans, might reflect 
with some regret on the loss of those mutual ad- 
vantages which the government of the commercial 
people of Africa brought with it. 

Not long after the departure of Scipio, the two 
Spanish chiefs Mandonio and Andobal, provoked 

B. C. 160.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 15 

by tke ill usage of the Roman governors, raised the 
standard of independence, and assembling an army 
of 34,000 men, marched towards Valencia. There 
they were met by the Romans and totally defeated ; 
Andobal was slain, and the vanquished Spaniards 
purchased an inglorious peace by sending the head 
of Mandonio to the Roman general. 

From this time Spain was looked upon as a pro- 
yince of Rome, and was divided into two govern- 
ments, Hispania Citerior and Ulterior ; ten com- 
missioners administered the affairs of the province 
under the proconsuls, and the usual policy of 
founding colonies in ancient towns, or building 
new cities, so as to distribute the Roman soldiers 
over the &ce of the country, was practised. Still, 
however, the mountains afforded refuge to multi- 
tudes of the natives, who disdained to submit to 
foreign dominion, and a series of petty insurrections 
kept the Roman generals constantly on the alert. 

The treacherous massacre of 25,000 Spaniards 
by the propraetor Lucullus at Panca, after they had 
capitulated, at length raised up a daring and vir- 
tuous defender of his country. Viriatus was a shep- 
herd of the mountains on the frontiers of Lusi- 
tania. He was present at the council held by the 
chiefe of his tribe after the massacre. He rose, 
and called on them not to deliberate but revenge, 
and leading them with ten thousand followers to 
the spot under the walls of Panca, where their 
murdered countrymen lay unburied, he pointed 


court to join the troops. Scipio, pleased with the 
spirit of the boy, and happy to have occasion to 
confer a personal favour on Massinissa, immediately 
sent the youth to his uncle's camp, loaded with 
presents, and attended by an honourable escort. 

Meantime Asdrubal, notwithstanding his defeat 
at Becula, persisted in his intention of joining Han- 
nibal in Italy, and having collected a considerable 
body of recruits, he left Spain ere Scipio could 
prevent him, and crossing the Pyrenees and the 
Alps, reinforced his brother with 150,000 men, 
leaving Hanno to command in his stead; but that 
general was shortly afterwards surprised and taken 
prisoner 'near Segovia by Marcus Silanus, Scipio's 
lieutenant, and the Roman arms were successful in 
all parts of the Peninsula. 

The conquest of Spain being now considered as 
complete, Scipio was recalled to Rome. His suc- 
cessors were not equally sensible with himself of 
the importance of ruling a brave and generous 
people by kind and humane means, and the Spa- 
niards began too late to discover that they had 
only changed masters in throwing oflF the Cartha^ 
ginian yoke; and while they groaned under the 
military despotism of the Jlomans, might reflect 
with some regret on the loss of those mutual ad- 
vantages which the government of the commercial 
people of Africa brought with it. 

Not long after the departure of Scipio, the two 
Spanish chiefs Mandonio and Andobal, provoked 

B. C. 160.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 15 

by tke ill usage of the Roman governors, raised the 
standard of independence, and assembling an army 
of 34,000 men, marched towards Valencia. There 
they were met by the Romans and totally defeated ; 
Andobal was slain, and the vanquished Spaniards 
purchased an inglorious peace by sending the head 
of Mandonio to the Roman general. 

From this time Spain was looked upon as a pro- 
vince of Rome, and was divided into two govern- 
ments, Hispania Citerior and Ulterior; ten com- 
missioners administered the affairs of the province 
under the proconsuls, and the usual policy of 
founding colonies in ancient towns, or building 
new cities, so as to distribute the Roman soldiers 
over the &ce of the country, was practised. Still, 
however, the mountains afforded refuge to multi- 
tudes of the natives, who disdained to submit to 
foreign dominion, and a series of petty insurrections 
kept the Roman generals constantly on the alert. 

The treacherous massacre of 25,000 Spaniards 
by the propraetor Lucullus at Panca, after they had 
capitulated, at length raised up a daring and vir- 
tuous defender of his country. Viriatus was a shep- 
herd of the mountains on the frontiers of Lusi- 
tania. He was present at the council held by the 
chiefe of his tribe after the massacre. He rose, 
and called on them not to deliberate but revenge, 
and leading them with ten thousand followers to 
the spot under the walls of Panca, where their 
murdered countrymen lay unburied, he pointed 


court to join the troops. Scipio, pleased with the 
spirit of the boy, and happy to have occasion to 
confer a personal favour on Massinissa, immediately 
sent the youth to his uncle's camp, loaded with 
presents, and attended by an honourable escort 

Meantime Asdrubal, notwithstanding his defeat 
at Becula, persisted in his intention of joining Han- 
nibal in Italy, and having collected a considerable 
body of recruits, he left Spain ere Scipio could 
prevent him, and crossing the Pyrenees and the 
Alps, reinforced his brother with 150,000 men, 
leaving Hanno to command in his stead; but that 
general was shortly afterwards surprised and taken 
prisoner 'near Segovia by Marcus Silanus, Scipio's 
lieutenant, and the Roman arms were successful in 
all parts of the Peninsula. 

The conquest of Spain being now considered as 
complete, Scipio was recalled to Rome. His suc- 
cessors were not equally sensible with himself of 
the importance of ruling a brave and generous 
people by kind and humane means, and the Spa- 
niards began too late to discover that they had 
only changed masters in throwing off the Cartha^ 
ginian yoke; and while they groaned under the 
military despotism of the Jlomans, might reflect 
with some regret on the loss of those mutual ad- 
vantages which the government of the commercial 
people of Africa brought with it. 

Not long after the departure of Scipio, the two 
Spanish chiefs Mandonio and Andobal, provoked 

B. C. 160.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 15 

by tke ill usage of the Roman governors, raised the 
standard of independence, and assembling an army 
of 34,000 men, marched towards Valencia. There 
they were met by the Romans and totally defeated; 
Andobal was slain, and the vanquished Spaniards 
purchased an inglorious peace by sending the head 
of Mandonio to the Roman general. 

From this time Spain was looked upon as a pro- 
vince of Rome, and was divided into two govern- 
ments, Hispania Citerior and Ulterior; ten com- 
missioners administered the affairs of the province 
under the proconsuls, and the usual policy of 
founding colonies in ancient towns, or building 
new cities, so as to distribute the Roman soldiers 
over the &ce of the country, was practised. Still, 
however, the mountains afforded refuge to multi- 
tudes of the natives, who disdained to submit to 
foreign dominion, and a series of petty insurrections 
kept the Roman generals constantly on the alert. 

The treacherous massacre of 25,000 Spaniards 
by the proprietor LucuUus at Panca, after they had 
capitulated, at length raised up a daring and vir- 
tuous defender of his country. Viriatus was a shep- 
herd of the mountains on the frontiers of Lusi- 
tania. He was present at the council held by the 
chie& of his tribe after the massacre. He rose, 
and called on them not to deliberate but revenge, 
and leading them with ten thousand followers to 
the spot under the walls of Panca, where their 
murdered countrymen lay unburied, he pointed 


out to one a son, to another a parent slain, and 
taking up fr6m among them the mangled remains 
of his own youngest daughter, a girl of tender age, 
swore before his gods a dreadful oath of hatred and 
revenge. — A fearful circumstance was added. A 
prisoner, a Roman knight, was sacrificed, and each 
Lusitanian dipping his hand in the blood, repeated 
the oath of the chief. 

For fourteen years Viriatus led the Lusitanian 
and Spanish tribes successfully against the Roman 
armies. More than one officer of pretorian rank 
was defeated and slain in the contest, trophies 
composed of the eagles and the armour of the Ro- 
mans were to be seen on tlie mountain tops, and 
at length^e proconsul Servilianus, reduced to the 
utmost extremity, accepted terms, by which it was 
agreed, that the Romans and Lusitanians should 
respect the actual boundaries between them, and 
should make a strict alliance of peace and war : 
the conditions were ratified by the senate at Rome. 

Quintus Servilius Caepio, however, the successor 
of Servilianus, conceiving such a treaty toi^ be de- 
rogatory to the dignity of Rome, took upon himself 
to break it, and invaded the Lusitanian territory ; 
whereupon Viriatus sent to remonstrate with him. 
Caepio made use of the opportunity afforded by 
the arrival of the messengers, who were some of 
Viriatus' principal officers, in his camp, to persuade 
them to embrace the Roman interest, and by pro- 
mises and bribes induced them to betray Viriatus, 

B. C. 150.] HISTORY OP SPAIN. 17 

whom they murdered on their return to the Lusi- 
tanian bead-quarters. The fury of the soldiers at 
this treacherous act was ungovernable ; but having 
no leader of sufficient weight among them to direct 
their operations, they were soon disarmed, and many 
of them accepted of settlements in the southern 
pju-ts of Spain, where they became cultivators, and 
thus Hispania Ulterior was finally subdued. 

But some of the Lusitanian army disdained to 
accept of such settlements, and took refuge in 
Numantia, a city not far from the scite of the mo- 
dern Soria. That place had been in alliance with 
Rome, but during the Celtiberian and Lusitanian 
wars, its citizens had refused to shut their gates on 
their fugitive countrymen, for which reason Quintus 
Fulvius Nobilior invested it with a strong army : 
the Numantines defended themselves heroically, 
and neither he nor any of the succeeding Roman 
generals could make any impression on them, until 
Pompeius Rufus having appeared before Numantia 
with thirty thousand men, the citizens, who were 
only eight thousand in number, accepted the ho- 
nourable terms which that general offered them. 

To save the pride of Rome, however, the Nu- 
mantines consented that an ostensible treaty, which 
might be published at Rome, should be made, 
while the real terms, advantageous to the city, 
and which were to be acted upon, should be kep 
secret. But the Spaniards had no sooner laid down 
their arms than Rufus refused to acknowledge the 


second treaty, and the consequence of his perfi- 
dious conduct was the renewal of the war with re- 
doubled fury. 

The consul Popilius next took the command 
against Numantia ; but he was so unfortunate in 
every attack, that the superstitious Romans began 
to imagine that the city w^ guarded by a peculiar 
fate, and to look upon it as the scourge of Rome. 
Pretended evil omens three times alarmed the con- 
sul, Caius Hostilius Mancinus, as he was embark-- 
ing to take the command in Spain, and indeed he 
was most unfortunate. Baffled in every attempt 
to take the city, he was forced to make an ignomi- 
nious peace, and the Roman senate, to punish his 
cowardice or weakness, ordered him to be stripped 
naked, and driven to the gates of Numantia ; there 
to suffer whatever the inhabitants might choose to 
inflict. But they, disdaining so ignoble a foe, left: 
him there; and the wretched general passed a whole 
day between his own camp and the city of the 
enemy, an object of derision to both, until the 
next day, when he was permitted to return to the 

An anecdote is related illustrative of the spirit of 
the Numantians while Mancinus had the command. 
It was the season when it was customary for mar- 
riages to take place in Numantia. A beautiful girl 
had been wooed by two young warriors of equal 
merit, and her fether being called upon to choose 
his son-in-law, pronoui^ced in Detvour of lum who 


should bring from the enemy's camp the right hand 
of a Roman. The lovers instantly set out for the 
camp, but, with surprise, they found it deserted. 
The consul had fled : the young men immedi- 
ately gave notice to the citizens, who instantly 
sallied out in pursuit of them ; and though they 
were but four thousand in number, and the Roman 
army reckoned forty thousand men, they fell upon 
the rear-guard with such fury, that they left twenty 
thousand dead on the field, and drove the rest into 
a defile, whence they had no means of escape but 
by a shameful oapitulation. 

These events were highly mortifying to the Ro- 
mans> Numantia was never named in the senate 
but as a terror to the empire ; and now, like Car- 
thage, it was devoted, and a vast army, under Sci- 
pio iBmilianus, was sent against it 

He soon appeared before it with sixty thousand 
men, the garrison consisting only of eight thou- 

He began by laying waste the whole country 
around, and then intercepted the provisions from a 
distance by vigilant guards on all the roads and 
passes. In vain did the Numantines sally out, in 
hopes of provoking him to battle ; his caution was 
not to be overcome, and be patiently waited till 
famine had done its work within the walls, hoping 
that the people would yield. But this they dis- 
dained, and either slew one another in a kind of 
desperate duel, or, making funeral piles of theif 


own houses, perished there with their wives and 
children, rather than be led captives to Rome. 

The fall of Numantia decided the fate of Spain. 
From that time the provinces groaned under the 
oppressive government of successive proconsuls, 
whose avarice soon drained them of all their riches, 
and whose tyrannical government repressed every 
manly and generous feeling. Yet forty years of 
public tranquillity were calculated in some degree 
to repair the evils occasioned by the long struggle 
for independence ; and when Sertorius took refuge 
in Spain during the civil wars of Home, the pro- 
vince had recovered much of its ancient fertility, 
and he found there resources which enabled him to 
make head for a long period against the best gene- 
rals of Rome. 

Born of a respectable family at Nursia, in the 
Sabine territory, Sertorius was brought up with 
the greatest care by his mother Rhea, and through- 
out all his adventurous life he retained for her the 
most tender affection.^ He had been designed for 
the bar, and had considerable talents for that pro- 
fession ; but his superior military abilities induced 
him to join the army, and in his first campaigns in 
Gaul and Spain, he gave an earnest of that courage 
<md promptitude in resource which distinguished 
him as a general in after life. 

In the civil wars he took part against Sylla, 
though his dislike of the cruelty of Marius often 
made him oppose tliat commander ; and indeed he 

B. C. 81.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 21 

attached himself more to Cinna than any of the 
other leaders at that time, on account of his disin- 
terested and humane character. 

After the death of Marius and the assassination 
of Cinna, finding that his efforts to produce unani- 
mity in the party opposed to Sylla were unavail- 
ing, he retired to Spain, hoping that he might 
there form a 'government which should prove an 
asylum for such as were driven from Italy by the 
atrocious tyranny of the dictator. 

On his arrival in the Peninsula he found the 
country very populous, and abounding in youth 
fit for war; but the people, oppressed by the rapa- 
city of former rulers, were indisposed towards any 
Roman governor whatever. 

To remove their prejudices be mixed freely 
with the better sort of natives, paying them great 
attention. He lowered the taxes that chiefly op- 
pressed the poor, and he excused them from pro- 
viding quarters for the soldiers, whom he caused 
to encamp without the walls of their towns. He 
incorporated the sons of the Romans who had set- 
tled in Spain with his troops, and he built so many 
ships, and constructed so many warlike machines, 
that he kept the cities in awe at the same time that 
he used every art of conciliation to attach the in- 
habitants of the country to him. 

As soon as Sylla had made himself absolute 
master in Rome, a power£ul army was sent to 
Spain under Caius Annius ; and the o£Scer deputed 


by Sertorius to guard the passes of the Pyrenees 
having been treacherously assassinated, Annius 
entered the country, and the troops of Sertorius 
not being yet in 9, condition to give him battle, 
that general retired first to Carthagena and after- 
wards to Africa. There he recruited his army, 
and having engaged the commanders of some Cili- 
cian vessels, then employed in the service of one of 
the African kings, to assist him, he returned to the 
European coast, and effected a landing in Pithyusa 
(now Iviza). Shortly afterwards he ventured with 
his small light squadron to attack the powerful fleet 
of Annius; but a violent storm separated them, 
and Sertorius narrowly escaped shipwreck. His 
vessels were driven through the straits of Gades 
(now Gibraltar) to the mouth of the river Betis 
(Guadalquiver), where he met with some mariners 
just returned from the Fortunate Islands (now tlie 
Canaries), and was so charmed with their descrip- 
tion of the delights of the climate and beauty of 
the country, that he formed a project of retiring 
thither and spending the remainder of his life in 
peace. But his Cilician allies prevented his de- 
sign. They were engaged to assist in restoring 
the rightful heir of Mauritania to his throne, and 
persuaded Sertorius to accompany them, and by 
the African war to exercise his soldiers and fit 
th^n for another campaign in Spain. Sylla had 
taken part against the young prince whom Ser- 
torius supported, and had sent a considerable body 

B. C. 79.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 23 

of troops into Africa to oppose his claims to the 
crown ; but the soldiers, as soon as they saw Ser* 
torius, went over to him at once, and as he had 
received a pressing invitation from the Lusitanians 
and other Spanish nations to put himself at their 
head, he once more sailed for Spain, where, being 
invested with full authority to act as general, he 
levied forces sufficient to overawe or conquer the 
timid or refractory provinces^ and his character for 
clemency as well as firmness drew over many others 
to his side. He even condescended to practise on 
the supersitition of the people, in order to give 
himself importance, and teach them to believe that 
he was a peculiar fiivourite of the gods. 

One Spanus, a countryman, having found a 
milk-whit^ hind, brought, it to Sertorius, whose 
camp was near the place, and the little animal soon 
6ecame so fond of her master that she would come 
when she was called, caress and follow him through 
the camp, and when near him seemed regardless 
of the confusion and danger of such a place. By 
degrees Sertorius insinuated that there was some- 
thing preternatural in the creature ; that she was a 
gift from Diana, and discovered to him the secrets 
of fete : so when his spies brought him any secret 
intelligence, he would conceal it for a time, and 
then bring out the hind crowned with flowers, if 
the intelligence was favourable, and declare that 
she had conveyed it to him. 

But Sertorius was of a character to gain the 


esteem as well as the love of the Spaniards. Sober 
and active in his own habits, he was indulgent and 
careful for them. On one occasion, when Metellus 
had nearly cut off all the springs and wells from a 
town of the Langobritse, he got two tliousand skins 
filled with water, and having promised a consider- 
able reward for the delivery of every skin, a suf- 
ficient number of Spanij^rds and Moors offered 
their services, and choosing the strongest and 
swiftest, he despatched them over the mountains 
with the water, ordering liiem, on delivering it, to 
bring away with them all the infirm and useless 
persons. The townsmen, by these precautions, 
had sufficient water to hold out until Metellus was 
obliged to retire from it. with disgrace. This suc- 
cess increased the devotion of the Spaniards to their 
general ; but they were still more pleased at his 
arming and disciplining them in the Roman man- 
ner, and forming them into regular troops. He 
furnished them with abundant gold and silver to 
gild their helmets and enrich their shields, and 
taught them to wear embr(»dered vests and rich 

He collected from the various nations the children 
of the nobility into the great city of Osca, and gave 
them masters in the Greek and Roman literature. 
He took the whole expense on himself, and often 
attended the schools in person to examine the pro- 
gress of the children, distributing rewards to the 
most meritorious; and particularly gratified the 

B. C. 77.] HISTORY OF SPAIK, 23 

Spaniards by giving amoiig diose Uie golden orna- 
ment for the neck called bulla, which was peculiar 
to the Roman nobles* 

It was the custom in Spain for the band of at- 
tendants who fought near their general's person to 
die with him if he fell, and this was called a liba- 
turn. Now whereas other generals had but a small 
number of these devoted followers, Sertorius had 
numerous volunteers, who, upon occasion^ had 
saved his life at the risk of their own. 

In short, he was so beloved in Spain that there 
was every hope that his good laws and wise regu- 
lations might have made it a great and happy coun- 
try. He had instituted a senate, and in all things 
tried to model the government according to the best 
principles of the Roman polity. 

By these means he had obtained so absolute a 
power over the Lusitanians and the other Spanish 
tribes, that with less than eight thousand soldiers 
of all nations he was able to make bead against 
four Roman generals, who had a hundred and 
twenty thousand horse, six thousand foot, and two 
thousand archers and slingers, besides cities with-* 
out number at their command. 

His plans were so wisely kdd and ably conducted 
that he beat every body of troops opposed to him, 
and obliged even M^t^lus, one of the greatest of the 
Romans, to apply to Rome for assistance. Pompey 
the Great was consequently sent into Spain ; but 
he met with no b^jtlter success than Metellus, until 

VOL. I* c 


the treachery of Sertorius's lieutenant, Perpenna, 
by the murder of his general, laid the country once 
more at the mercy of the Roman senate. 

Perpenna was one of those Romans* who had 
taken refuge with Sertorius, and who, seeing how 
he was honoured and beloved, conceived such a 
jealousy against him that he resolved to destroy 
him, in hopes of succeeding to the command. One 
day he pretended to have received letter^ contain- 
ing accounts of a great advantage gained over the 
enemy, and invited Sertorius, with the other chiefs, 
to supper, in order to celebrate the supposed vic- 
tory. Sertorius, though little addicted to the plea- 
sures of the table, went thither at the appointed 
time, when, after some time passed in eating, Per- 
penna gave the signal, and Sertorius was despatched 
with the daggers of the guests. 

Most of the Spaniards instantly abandoned the 
camp, and the conquest of their country immediately 
followed. Pompey's arms were every where vic- 
torious ; he destroyed the towns of Osnia and Ca- 
lahorra, the last which adhered to the Sertorian 
cause; and the reduction of the Lusitanians and 
GalUcians shortly afterwards by Julius Caesar, 
brought the whole country into a state of tranquil 

When the war between Pompey and Caesar 
brok^ out, Pompey, who governed Spain by his 
lieutenants Afranius, Yarro, and Petreius, endea^^ 
voured to maintain himself there; but Caesar haiv- 

B.C. 46.] 



ing brought over the inhabitants of Catalonia and 
Arragon to his side, Pompey's army was beaten 
between Lerida and Mequinenza, and the fugitives 
taking refuge in Munda (now Malaga), defended 
that town to the last extremity. 

The sons of Pompey had taken refuge among 
the Cantabrians : being joined by the Asturians 
and Gallicians, they made one more effort for their 
own freedom and that of Spain; but the fortune 
of Caesar prevailed, and from that time Spain, after 
a struggle of upwards of two hundred years, be- 
came a tranquil and a prosperous dependancy of 

Coitu 0/ Cadiz and Carthagma, 



We have now taken a rapid view of the history of 
Spain during the first period of its existence, and 
it may be useful to pause before we go on to the 
next, to remark a few things which may assist us 
to form a clearer idea of the country at that time* 
The Romans are the people through whose histo- 
rians our knowledge of Spain in early ages is de- 
rived ; but as they were not very curious in ob- 
taining information about nations or events not 
immediately connected with tliemselves, our ac- 
quaintance with Spain before the time of Hannibal, 
or about 217 years before the birth of our Saviour, 
is very imperfect. 

We learn, however, that there were a great 
many different tribes living in Spain before even 
the Phenicians found their way thither, and that 
they much resembled the people of Britain and 
Gaul. They lived in caves, or in huts built of the 
bark of the cork-tree, and subsisted chiefly on ches- 
nuts, sweet acorns, and such other fruits as grew 
spontaneously. They were clothed in skins or in 
woollen cloths, which they knew how to dye with 
the juice of plants. They had acquired the art 
of working metals. When the Phenicians came, 
they learnt how to dig mines and refine ore. It is 
probable also that the same people taught them to 
sow corn and to make bread ; to weave finer cloth,, 
and to dye it with more beautiful colours. They 
also began to build towns and to plant orchards. 
The vine was very soon introduced, and many of 

B.C.45« — A.D.409*] HISTORY 01* SPAIN. 29 

the inhabitants of the coast became seamen. All 
the Spaniards, but especially those of the islands 
Iviza, Mallorca, and Menorca, were expert in the 
use of missUe weapons, and were particularly 
dexterous stingers ; but they had little or no de- 
fensive armour. 

The Carthaginians, who succeeded the Pheni- 
cians, added to the natural riches of Spain by the 
introduction of the olive ; and improved its agri- 
culture by teaching the use of artificial grasses, 
especially of lucerne, which in that hot climate 
supplies a wholesome and juicy food for cattle 
when the ordinary herbage is burned up. Two 
annual crops of barley rewarded the pains of the 
Spanish husbandman ; and though the wars carried 
on by the Romans within the Peninsula for a time 
checked its prosperity, yet after the final reduction 
of Pompey's party, four centuries of peace encou- 
raged the labourer^ the artisan, and the merchant, 
and Spain was, on the invasion of the Goths, one 
of the most flourishing of the Roman provinces. 

The language used in Spain seemis to have been 
a dialect of the Celtic, not unlike that spoken in 
Biscay at present. The Phenician, probably akin 
to the Syriac, succeeded it on the sea coasts : the 
Punic tongue, not very different from the Pheni- 
cian, was pretty generally spread over the country 
at the period of the Roman invasion ; but by the 
time of Caesar, the Latin had nearly superseded it, 
and now forms the basis of the modern Spanish. 


On the accession of Augustus to the empire^ 
Spain was divided into three governments : — Lu- 
sitania, comprehending nearly the kingdom of 
Portugal; Betica, which contained Grenada and 
Andalusia; and Tarragona, which was equal to 
the rest of Spain. In a later reign it was still &r- 
ther subdivided, in order to provide for a greater 
number of officers, to whom the governments were 

As to the reUgion of the people of Spain, it may 
be conjectured that, like the other Celts, they were 
under the guidance of the Druids, at least till the 
time of the Phenicians. The Romans found them 
addicted to the Carthaginian superstitions, and 
guilty of human sacrifice. They introduced the 
milder gods of Italy, who gradually gave way 
before the doctrines of Christianity, which were 
preached in Spain in the first century, it is said, 
even in the time of the Apostles. 

St. Denis, called the Areopagite, the apostle of 
France, sent one of his disciples, Eugenius, into 
Spain to convert the people ; and his success was 
such, that he founded a church in Toledo, of 
which he was the first bishop. He suffered mar- 
tyrdom on his return to France, and his body was 
many centuries afterwards sought for and restored 
to Spain. The Christians appear to have gained 
ground slowly, but surely, in Spain, where they do 
not seem to have suffered so much from persecu- 
tion as in other parts of tlie empire. 

B.C.4d. — A.D.409.] HISTORY OP SPAIN. 31 

The taste for Roman and Grecian letters which 
Sertorius introduced, rapidly increased in the Pe- 
ninsula. The numerous Roman colonies which 
were planted throughout the country fostered and 
encouraged the cultivation of art and science. The 
cities were adorned with the painting and sculp- 
ture of Greece. In the schools the laws and the 
history of Greece and Rome were studied: and 
Cordova could boast among its citizens of poets 
and philosophers, in Lucan and the Senecas. Ita- 
lica, near Seville, gave birth to the emperor Tra- 
jan, whose partiality for his native country adorned 
it with public buildings, with aqueducts and bridges, 
planted new towns, and advanced his countrymen 
to honours and rank. Hadrian was his fellow citi- 
zen ; and two other emperors, Maximius and the 
second Theodosius, were likewise born in Spain. 
The first triumph that was ever granted to a 
stranger was enjoyed by Cornelius Balbo, a native 
of Cadiz, for his victories over the Garamantas; 
and in every thing the province seemed to enjoy 
an equality with Italy itsel£ In the time of the 
emperor Vespasian there were not less than three 
hundred and sixty cities in Spain, and the villages 
and farms were proportionably numerous. We 
have an excellent account by Columella of the ad- 
vanced state of Spanish agriculture in the reign of 
Tiberius; and the mines and fisheries furnished 
an inexhaustible fund of wealth. Flax had been 
early introduced from Egypt, and there is reason 



[CH. I, 

to think that hemp is indigenous in the country. 
Besides these, the fibres of the genista, or broom, 
from very early times, served the Spaniards for 
cordage ; and . the wool from their mountains^ has 
at all times been celebrated. Honey and wax were 
procured in great quantities in their woods, besides 
the supply furnished by the cultivators of bees, fet 
the luxury of the capital. 

Such were the advantages enjoyed by Spain t 
yet it was only a province, governed by procon- 
suls, whose limited periods of rule rendered them 
more anxious to amass great fortunes during the 
period of their authority, than to improve the conh 
dition of their subjects. Hence the unstable na-» 
ture of the government, which rendered the coun- 
try an easy prey to those strangers whom we shall 
find invading it in the next chapter. 

Roman trophif,from a ba$-reUeffound at Mtrida. 



[I^rom A, IS. 409 to a. d. 710.] 

From a Roman bas-relief found at Merida. 

Spain was later than most of the other provinces 
in partaking of the ruin brought on the Roman 
empire by the invasion of those various northern 
nations, generally designated as " the Goths." 

After Constantine had removed the seat of go- 
vernment from Rome to Constantinople, the remote- 



ness of Spain from the capital secured it for a time 
from partaking in those factions which generally 
opened the way for a foreign conqueror. But on 
the division of the empire under the sons of the 
emperor Theodosius, Spain began to feel its full 
share of the common evil, and the reign of Hono- 
rius, the first emperor of the West, was as disastrous 
to the Spanish peninsula as to Italy itself. 

As long as the militia of the country defended 
the passes of the Pyrenees the attempts of the bar- 
barians to invade the province were vain ; but the 
usurper Constantine having compelled the national 
troops to resign their post to his soldiers, the frontier 
was betrayed, and about ten months before the sack 
of Rome by the Goths under Alaric, the barbarous 
Suevi, Vandals, and Alani had entered Spain, and 
overrun it from the frontiers of Gaul to the Straits 
of Gibraltar. 

Pestilence and famine followed the cruel track 
of the conquerors; cities and provinces were de- 
populated; till at length the barbarians, weary of 
slaughter, began to form settlements in the country 
they had ruined. Antient Gallicia, or as we now 
call it, old Castille, was divided between the Suevi 
and Vandals ; the Alani possessing Carthagena and 
the whole of Lusitania, spread from sea to sea; and 
the Selingi, another of the Vandal tribcjs, took pos- 
session of Betica. 

Meantime the emperor Honorius had entered 
into an alliance with the Visigothic king Atualph, or 

A. D. 409.] HISTORY OF SPAI1»» 3& 

Adolpliusy the successor of Alaric, who reigned at 
Thoulouse over a considerable portion of Nar- 
bones^ Gaul. Among the captives taken by Alaric, 
at the sacking of Rome, was Placidia, sister to the 
emperor. She was treated with respect in the 
Gothic camp, and Adolphus, the brother-in-law of 
Alaric, solicited and obtained her hand in mar^ 
riage. After the death of Alaric, Placidia was able 
to unite her brother and her husband in the bands 
of peace, and Adolphus undertook to drive the bar- 
barians out of Spain, and to restore that province 
to the empire. He accordingly crossed the Py- 
renees, and surprised Barcelona, but was not long 
afterwards assassinated in his palace by one of the 
followers of Sarus, a barbarian leader, whom he had 
put to death. 

Sigeric, the brother of Sarus, seized the govern- 
ment; he cruelly and wantonly 'insulted Placidia, 
whom he forced to march on foot before his horse, 
and he put to death the six children of Adolphus 
by a former marriage ; but the indignant people 
rose on the seventh day of his reign and killed 
him, electing the noble Gotli, Wallia, as a fit suc- 
cessor to Adolphus. 

This prince was of a warlike temper, and at the 
beginning of his reign was more disposed to make 
conquests for himself than to fulfil the engage- 
ments of Adolphus with Honorius : he marched 
rapidly from Barcelona to the Atlantic Ocean, and 


when he reached the promontory of Calpe, he re- 
sumed tiiose plans for the conquest of Africa which 
the death of Alaric had suspended, and embarked 
for that coast, but a violent storm drove him back 
into Spain. On landing he found an ambassadof 
from Rome, whose proposals of friendslnp were 
backed by a powerful army under the brave ge- 
neral Constantius; and a solemn treaty was con^ 
eluded, by which Wallia engaged to restore Spain 
to the empire. Placidia, who had been detained in 
captivity, was delivered up to Constantius, to whoin 
the emperor had promised her in marriage, and the 
Romans supplied Wallia with six hundred mea- 
sures of wheat to distribute among his followers. 

A fierce war among the barbarians was now 
kindled in Spain : it continued with various suc- 
cess for three campaigns. Waljia, however, de- 
feated the Selingi, who had ravaged Betica, slew 
the king of the Alani, drove the Vandals and Suevi 
into the mountains, and having reduced Spain to a 
state of tranquilKty, yielded it up to the emperor, 
and returning to his capital of Thoulouse, died there 
the following year. 

But the oppression of the Roman governors was 
still more grievous to the people of Spain than the 
tyranny of the barbarians. Still the authority of 
Honorius continued to be acknowledged, excepting* 
only in the mountains of Gallicia, where the Van-* 
dais and Suevi had fortified their camps, and con- 


tinued in mutual discord and independence. The 
Vandals prevailed; and they were besieging the 
strongholds of their enemies between Leon and 
Oviedo, when a Roman army under Asterias com- 
pelled them to remore the seat of war to the plains 
of Betica. 

Meantime two. ambitious soldiers, Jovinus and 
Maximus, taking advantage of the disordered state 
of the country, assumed the imperial title in Spain ; 
they were, however, soon' defeated by Castenus, 
the master general of the empire, who was sent 
from Italy to oppose them, and who, having sup-* 
pressed their factions, turned his arms against the 
Vandals. He was less fortunate with them; for, 
being defeated by an inferior army under Gon- 
deric, the Vandal king, he fled with disgrace, and 
l^e enemy made himself master of Seville and Car- 
ijiagena, and passing over to the islands of Mallorca 
and Menorca, laid them waste, and then returned 
to the main land and continued his conquests^ until 
his death, which happetied shortly afterwards. 

The successor of Gonderic was the famous Gen- 
seric, who shortly after his accession to the crown 
of the Vandals was invited into Africa by count 
Boniface, the Roman governor, and whose ravages, 
both in Mauritania and Italy, amply revenged the 
injuries Spain had suffered from its successive 
African and Roman invaders. 

Honorius being dead, his infant nephew Valen- 
tinian, the son of Constantius and Placidia, was 


acknowledged as emperor, under the guardianship 
of his mother, now for the second time a widow. 
She was entirely guided by the counsels of count 
JEtius, a man whose virtues merited the name of 
the last of the Romans. His influence was regarded 
with jealousy by Boniface, who in an evil hour 
called Genseric to his aid. That barbarian col- 
lected fifty thousand Vandals and Alani, with their 
&milies, and marched to the coast where the passage 
to Africa was narrowest. The Spaniards jo)rfully 
furnished the vessels which were to carry away their 
formidable oppressors, and Genseric fixed himself 
in Africa, whence his incursions to Sicily and Italy 
were more destructive than the invasions of Alaric 
himself: but, as he never returned to Spain, we 
will not farther pursue his history. 

On the departure of the Vandals, the Selingi 
became masters of Andalusia % and the Suevi, 
under their kings Hermanric and Rechiarius, gra- 
dually acquired the dominion over the greater part 
of Spain ; while the Visigoths, the successors of 
Adolphus, possessed only the province of Catalonia, 
subordinate to their kingdom in Gaul, where the 
court of Thoulouse had become famous under the 
wise and virtuous Theodoric. 

The districts of Spain that still acknowledged 

* Some writers have supposed that Andalusia derived its name 
from the Vandals. — Others that the Arab appellation Handalus ap- 
plied to the whole Peninsula, and, signifying the western land, is the 
origin of the name of the province. 

A. D* 456.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 39 

the Roman authority, were harassed by the daily 
encroachments of the Suevi, and, unable to defend 
themselves, they applied to Avitus, the reigning 
emperor, for assistance. Avitus, virhose virtues had 
adorned a private station in Gaul, had been encou- 
raged to assume the empire by Theodoric after the 
death of Maximus, the successor of Valentinian. 
The Roman senators submitted with reluctance to 
their Gallic sovereign, and the only assistance he 
had the power to render his provinces in Spain, 
was to engage Theodoric to mediate between them 
and the Vandal Rechiarius, who had married The- 
odoric's sister. 

A messenger was accordingly despatched from 
Thoulouse, threatening that if the Vandals did not 
retire from the Roman territory, Theodoric himself 
would arm in the cause. ^^ Tell him," said Re- 
chiarius in reply, ^^ that I despise his friendship 
and his arms, but that I shall soon try if he will 
dare to expect me under the walls of Thoulouse." 

To prevent the designs of the Suevic king, 
Theodoric immediately crossed the Pyrenees at 
the head of a numerous body of Visigoths, Franks, 
and Burgundians, professing himself the servant of 
the empire, but having privately stipulated for the 
real dominion of his Spanish conquests for himself 
and his successors. Rechiarius advanced to oppose 
the invader, and the two armies met on the banks 
of the Urbicus, about twelve miles from Astorga, 
in Gallicia, when a decisive victory obtained by 


the Goths deprived the Suevi of their dominion m 

Rechiarius, wounded, was obliged to fly, and 
embarked at Braga, in hopes of reaching Africa ; 
but a tempest drove his vessel into the mouth of 
the Douro, where he was seized and put to death 
by order of his brother-in-law, who after pillaging 
Braga, the capital of the Suevi, and advancing into 
Lusitania as far as Merida, left his new conquest 
under the care of his lieutenant Aclilulphus, and 
returned to Thoulouse. 

The state of the Roman empire was now de- 
plorable. Avitus had been deposed, and Majorian, 
of whom it was said that he excelled in ^i^^ry virtue 
aU his predecessors who had reigned over the Ro- 
mans, had been placed in his stead by count Re-* 
cimer, the son of a daughter of the Visigoth Wallia 
by a Suevic father. Recimer had performed great 
services to Rome, and was general of its armies 
at the death of Maximus ; he had regarded Avitus 
with jealousy as the creature of Theodoric, and had 
accordingly caused him to be first exilied and after- 
wards murdered. To revenge his death Theodoric 
took up arms against Majorian, but being defeated 
near Lyons, he purchased the friendship of the 
emperor by an acknowledgment of the superiority 
of Rome both in Gaul and Spain. 

Meantime the Peninsula suffered all the evils 
that petty internal warfare can inflict on a country : 
the coasts were plundered by the vessels of Gen- 

A. D. 4610 HISTORY OF SPAIK. 41 

seric, who annually fitted out a piratical fleet in 
the ports of Carthage^ with which his captains ra*« 
vaged the shores of the Mediterranean. 

The death of Majorian left Theodoric at liberty 
to resume the sovereignty of Spain. Of three 
Suevic kings, Frauta, Frumarius, and Remismond, 
one had died just before Majorian, and the other 
two, apprehensive of the designs of Theodoric, sent 
an embassy to Thoulouse, offering peace and their 
assistance against the Romans^ 

Their offers were accepted, and a daughter of 
Theodoric, bestowed in marriage on Remismond, 
became the pledge of their alliance. But the peace 
was of short duration. The nobles who had ac- 
companied the princess into Spain^ found on their 
return that Theodoric had been murdered, in the 
thirteenth year of his reign, by his brother Euric, 
a man of greater ferocity of character, but also of 
much greater talents both for peace and war. 

On his accession to the throne of the Visigoths, 
he found Gallicia and Lusitania in the hands of the 
Suevi, Betica and Catalonia were annexed to his 
own crown, while the rest of the Peninsula was 
under the nominal dominion of the Romans. Euric 
early determined on making himself master of the 
whole of Spain ; at the head of a powerful army 
he speedily reduced the Vandals to the limits of 
Gallicia, and despatching a body of troops from 
the borders of Lusitania to Pamplona and Zaragoza, 
those two important places surrendered, and their 


conquerors joined Euric before Tarragona, which 
he took after a long siege, and thus gave the final 
blow to the Roman empure in Spain, 

Unlike the other Gothic invaders, Euric did not 
content himself with the simple conquest of the 
country. He endeavoured to regulate its internal 
polity, and though the laws of the Visigoths had 
been gradually undermining the Roman jurispru- 
dence, he was the first of their kings who reduced 
them to writing, and prohibited the use of the Ro- 
man code. The other Gothic nations allowed every 
man to choose the law by which he would be judged ; 
but this privilege was contrary to the custom of his 
tribe, and although many of the Roman laws were 
adopted, the administratipn was required to be ac* 
cording to the national forms. 

Having settled his new conquests in peace, Euric 
turned his attention towards his Gallic kingdom. 
Odoacer had assumed the dominion of Italy, and, 
in the name of the empire, resigned to Euric all 
the Roman conquests beyond the Alps, as far as 
the Rhine and the ocean. Aries and Marseilles 
soon submitted to his arms; he possessed Auvergne; 
and at his courts of Bourdeaux and of Aries, to 
which latter place he had removed the seat of go- 
vernment, he received ambassadors from the He- 
ruli, the Saxons, the Burgundians, the Vandals of 
Africa, the Huns of Pannonia, and even from the 
Persian king. His premature death in the seven- 
teenth year of his reign, just at the time when 

A. D. 483.] HISTORY OP SPAIK. 43 

Clevis became king of the Franks, probably pre- 
vented the Visigoths from establishing their do- 
minion permanently over the whole of GauL 

By the Roman catholic priests, the principal 
historians of this period, the character of Euric has 
been represented as harsh and cruel, and his reign 
a period of persecution against the church. But 
Euric, like all his predecessors, was an Arian, and 
the extent of his persecution seems to have been 
the placing Arian bishops in those sees where or- 
thodox prelates had been accustomed to rule. 

Euric was succeeded by his son Alaric II. at the 
moment when Theodoric the Great became king 
of Italy. The policy of that wise monarch always 
tended to peace, and in order to secure tranquillity 
in the western world, he allied himself by marriage 
with the powerful princes of the Vis%oths, Franks, 
and Burgundians. He married Adalfleda, the sister 
of Clovis, king of the Franks. To Gundebald, 
king of the Burgundians, he gave one of his own 
daughters, and bestowed another on the young 
Alaric, who had soon occasion to feel the benefit of 
his powerful alliance ; for though, during his reign, 
Spain continued in tranquillity, his Gallic domi- 
nions were attacked by Clovis, whose ambition 
could not be satisfied with the narrow limits within 
which Euric had confined his nation. 

Having overcome the Burgundians, Clovis 
availed hiniself of the spperstidons attachment of 
his subjects to the orthodox faith of Rome to jus- 


tify a war, which he was resolved to undertake 
against the Visigoths. Before he openly deekred 
his intentions, however, he proposed a personal in-* 
terview with Alaric, to settle some difference* that 
had arisen between their subjects on their respec- 
tive frontiers. Clovis and Alaric accordingly met 
on a small island in the Loire, near Amboise; they 
embraced, conversed familiarly, and feasted toge- 
ther; and separated with the warmest profession* 
of peace. But their apparent confidence concealed 
the most treacherous designs# At a meeting of the 
Frankish nobles, which Clovis called together at 
Paris, already become the royal seat of the French, 
monarchs, he declared that it grieved him to see 
the Arians possess the fairest part of Gaul, that he 
would march against them, with the aid of God; 
and, having vanquished the heretics, he would di- 
vide their lands among his faithful followers. 

Clovis had already tampered with the orthodox 
subjects of Alaric, especially with their bishops, 
and had consequently undermined the authority of 
their Arian king ; nevertheless Alaric was able to 
collect a force more numerous than the united 
Franks and Burgundians, which Clovis was leading 
against him. Theodoric in vain endeavoured to 
negociate between his kinsmen. Nothing less than 
the destruction of the Arians could satisfy the zeal 
of Clovis and his new Christians, and at every step 
he pretended that he was attended by miraculous 
assistance. The little river Vigenna or Viennc, 

A. D. 510.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 45 

«wolleii by rains beyond its usual limits, seemed 
to impede bis progress, when a white ,hart of ex- 
traordinary size and beauty appeared to him, and 
taught him where to find the ford, which to this 
day bears the name of the Ford of the Hart The 
Franks, confident of divine aid after so signal a 
favour, met the Visigoths on the banks of the 
Claine, about ten miles from Poitiers ; and after an 
obstinate contest Clovis and Alaric met in singly 
combat, when Alaric fell by the hand of his enemy, 
who narrowly escaped by the fleetness of his horse 
from the fury of two Goths, who rode desperately 
against him to revenge the death of their prince. 
This battle decided the fate <^Aquitaine, .which 
was thenceforward united to France. Besides the 
territory gained, the spoil taken was immense. It 
consisted principally of the booty taken by Alaric 
the First, at the sack of Rome, among which were 
thie vases, the candlesticks, and other precious 
things which the Romans had brought from Jeru- 
salem, when they destroyed that holy city. But 
the fiairther progress of Clovis was checked by 
Theodoric, whose remonstrances, backed by a 
powerful army, compelled the Franks to raise the 
siege of Aries, and preserved to the Visigoths in 
Gaul ike province of Septimania, a narrow tract 
of coast from the Rhone to the Pyrenees. 

On the death of Alaric, his only child by his wife 
Theudicoda, the daughter of Theodoric, was Amal*^ 
idCf an in/Gaint not yet of age to goveri^ i therefore, 


according to the usage of their nation, the Visi- 
goths elected Gesalic the natural son of Alaric for 
their king. But Theodoric, offended at the indig- 
nity offered to his grandson, sent eighty thousand 
men into Spain under Ilba, whose successes in 
Gaul had merited the confidence of his master; 
and after three years of contest Gesalic was slain 
in battle near Barcelona. The young Amalric was 
instantly proclaimed king under the guardianship 
of Theudis, a noble Goth, who during the mino- 
rity of his pupil governed with the greatest pru- 
dence as wfeU as vigour ; so that it was with regret 
that the Visigoths saw him retire, when the king 
was of age to take the government upon himself. 

Amabic married Clotilda, the daughter of Clovis. 
iTie orthodox faith of the princess drew on her the 
hatred or contempt of her Arian subjects, and 
whenever she appeared in public she was exposed 
to the insults of the rabble, who, not content with 
assailing her with opprobrious language, threw 
stones at her, and she often returned home covered 
with blood. She bore this treatment for some 
years with the patience of a martyr ; but at length 
wearied out, she sent a scarf stained with her blood 
to her brother Childebert, accompanying it with a 
piteous letter, in which she invited him into Spaing 
to revenge her wrongs and those of the church. 

Childebert accordingly invaded the dominions of 
his brother-in-law Mdth fifty thousand men, and 
ravaged the country as &r as Barcelona, near which 

A. D. 542.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 47 

plac6 Amalric was killed in a pitched battle, and 
in him ended the race of kings descended from the 
first Alaric. 

Theudis, the tutor of Amalric and an Ostrogoth, 
was unanimously elected by the Visigoths to suc- 
ceed. His talents and his prudence justified the 
election. He had married a noble Spanish lady, 
whose estates could furnish him with both men and 
money, so that he easily drove the Franks back to 
their own limits, and then applied himself to the 
internal regulation of the kingdom. In this, how- 
ever, he was disturbed in the eleventh year of his 
reign by a new invasion of the Franks, who, under 
Childebert and Clotharius, crossed the Pyrenees, 
and besieged Zaragoza. It was believed that the 
city was miraculously delivered by St. Vincent, 
whose surplice was exposed on the walls, and the 
superstitious Franks respectfully retired, leaving 
the inhabitants at peace on condition of receiving 
as a gift the wonderful garment, whose power they 
had just felt On their retreat they were attacked 
and defeated in the passes of the Pyrenees by 
Theudis, and accepted such conditions of peace as 
he pleased to impose. 

Having thus repulsed his enemies to the north, 
and established tranquillity within the Peninsula, 
Theudis turned his attention towards Africa, where 
tbe victories of Belisarius over the descendants of 
Genseric, excited considerable alarm lest he should 
extend the vexpr beyond the Straits. The expedi- 


tion of Tlieudis was, however, unsuccessful : he 
was defeated before the walls of Ceuta, and, hastily 
retreating to his ships, he saved them and himself 
by a speedy flight to Spain. His alarm for the 
Peninsula was needless; the Roman general found 
full occupation in the other provinces ; and Theudis 
had leisure to prosecute his plans for the restora- 
tion of Spain, which the long civil wars between 
the Visigoths and Suevi had reduced in many places 
to great wretchedness. His efforts were partially 
successful; but still the whole country suffered from 
famine, and a consequent pestilence, for two full 
years in his reign. 

Although this king was an Arian, he allowed a 
most entire toleration to every sect and religion, 
and acted on all occasions with great mildness. 
He was assassinated in the seventeenth year of his 
reign ; and as he was dying he pardoned his mur- 
derer, and caused him to be set at liberty. 

Theodesil, nephew of Totila, king of the Os- 
trogoths, who had distinguished himself in the 
Prankish wars, was elected in the room of Theudis. 
His short reign was chiefly spent in opposing the 
progress of the orthodox bishops, whose influence 
in the cortes, or national councils, held generally 
at Toledo, gave them great weight in temporal as 
well as spiritual matters. The orthodox writers 
represent him accordingly as guilty of tyranny and 
every vice ; yet the chief accusation brought against 
him is^ that, incredulous conqermng the annual 

i; n. 567.] history of spain. 49 

miracle by which the baptismal fonts at Osset were 
spontaneously filled with water at Easter, he caused 
trenches to be dug round the church, in order that 
if, as he imi^ined, concealed pipes were laid to 
convey the water, the contrivers might be exposed, 
and the conversion of his people stopped. Th^ 
dexterity of the priests baffled his sagacity, how* 
ever : the fonts filled as usual, the people flocked 
to be baptized, and the murder of the king, which 
followed shortly afterwards, was justified as the 
putting to death of a persecutor of the true church. 
• Agila, who succeeded Theodesil, passed the five 
years of his reign in a continual series of petty 
feuds; and being defeated in battle, he was mur- 
dered at Merida, and. his rival Anathagild placed 
on the throne. The beginning of this reign was 
stormy, but the issue more prosperous and tran- 
quil. The event most remarkable in its conse-^ 
quences was the marriage of Anathagild's two 
daughters by his wife Goisuinda to two of the 
princes of the Franks. Sigebert, king of Austra-^ 
sia, espoused the famous Brunechilda or Brunei 
haut» while Chilperic, king of Soissons, received 
the hand of Galsuinda. ; Both these princesses ab-^ 
jured the Arian heresy, and it is even said that 
they had prevailed. on their father to embrace pri« 
vately the orthodox creed. 

Anathagild died a natural death at Toledo, and 
an interregnum succeeded; during which it apt 
pears prpb^b]^ .that his widow, Qoisuinda, exer* 

TOL. !• D 


cised considerable authority. Meantime the people 
of Narbonne had elected Liuva, a noble Goth, of 
great prudence and experience, as king. He fixed 
his own residence at Narbonne, and sent his bro- 
ther Leuvigild to take on him the government of 
the peninsula. That prince shortly married Goi- 
siiinda, the widow of his predecessor, and imme- 
diately turned his attention to the recovery of 
those cities and provinces which had either fallen 
into the hands of other masters, or had assumed 
their independence during the interregnum. He 
deserved the respect of his enemies and the love 
of his subjects. The Catholics enjoyed a free 
toleration, and the death of his elder brother Liuva 
only extended his dominion without altering his 
conduct. The Franks, who had attacked the 
frontier of the Gallic possessions of the Visigoths, 
were repulsed by him, and a peace was concluded ; 
one? of the conditions of which was the marriage 
of his eldest son, Hermenegild, with Ingundis, 
daughter of Sigibert, king of Austrasia and of Brim- 
ehilda, and consequently grand-daughter of his wife 
Goisuinda. Anxious to avoid the evils of a contested 
succession to the crown, Leovigild had bestowed 
the regal title on both his sons, and Hermenegild 
enjoyed the principality of Seville, where he usu^ 
ally held his court. Ingundis, at the period of her 
marriage, was no more than thirteen years of age. 
She was exquisitely beautiful, and was beheld with 
admiration and love by the whole court of Toledo, 

A. D. 572.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 51 

excepting her grandmother. That bigoted prin- 
cess persecuted the young queen on account of her 
orthodox faith, and, incensed by her resistance of 
the Arian doctrines, she dashed her oA the ground, 
kicked her till she was covered with blood, and 
then dragged her by her beautiful hair to a fish- 
pond, into which she threw her. The sufferings 
of Ingundis naturally disgusted her husband with 
the faith of those who had so cruelly abused her. 
Her complaints, supported by the arguments of 
Lieander, archbishop of Seville, converted the prince 
to the orthodox faith, and, forgetting his duties as a 
son and a subject, he raised a civil war in tlie king- 
dom. Hermenegild's cause was embraced by several 
of the principal cities in Spain, and he invited the 
Suevi and the Franks to take part with the church 
and invade his native land. He placed his wife 
and infant son in the hands of the Romans, from 
whom he solicited aid, and sent Leander to obtain 
assistance from tlie emperor of Constantinople. 

But the activity and experience of Leovigild 
prevented the evil which the imprudent zeal of his 
son was about to bring on the kingdom. Merida, 
Cordova, and Seville, which had endured long 
sieges, were at length subdued; and with the latter 
town Hermenegild feU into the hands of his father. 
The king, however, pardoned him, and, despoiling 
him of his titles, permitted him in decent exile 
the exercise of his new faith. But the prince could 
not be satisfied with a private station. His re- 



peated attempts to renew rebellious war, though 
praised by the orthodox historians as proofs of un- 
extinguishable zeal for the right cause of religion, 
were at length reluctantly punished by his father ; 
whose latter days were embittered by the sentence 
of death he was forced to pronounce on his son, 
and which was executed privately in the tower of 

The last year of Leovigild's life is remarkable 
for the annexation of GalUcia to the kingdom of 
Spain. Hitherto the Suevic princes had governed 
in regular succession their almost independent sub- 
jects ; but the last of them being overcome by the 
arms of Leovigild, their existence ceased as a sepa- 
rate nation in Spain. 

' Recared I., the second son of Leovigild, suc- 
ceeded his father. He, like his brother, had em- 
braced the orthodox faith, but exercised it with 
more prudence. His first act sufficiently pro- 
claimed his intentions with regard to religionr 
Having espoused Clodosintha, sister of Childebert 
of Lorraine and of the beautiful Ingundis, he re- 
called all the bishops who had been exiled by his 
father for participating in the rebellion of Her- 
menegild. In a public assembly of the state he 
invited all his nobles to embrace the doctrines of 
Rome, and from his accession may be dated the 
ruin of the Arians in Spain. In his reign Biscay 
and Navarre were added to the crown. 

Recared was succeeded by Bada, who was young, 


beaatifiil, and much beloved by the people. He 
vms the son of Recared, by his first wife Badona, 
whom the fabulous chronicles make out to be a 
daughter of Arthur, kijtig of Britain. He reigned 
but two years, when he was assassinated by Wi- 
teric, who seized the throne, and whose warlike 
temper suited the people, and made them forget 
the crime by which he acquired his power. He, 
however, gave great offence to the orthodox bishops, 
by the disposition he showed to recall their Arian 
rivals : to prevent so great a calamity, Gondomar, 
a noble, caused him to be murdered as he was 
sitting down to dinner, and received the crown as 
the reward of this base action. 

For two years Gondomar struggled incessantly 
with domestic faction, and died a natural death in 
Toledo in 612. 

The choice of Sisebert to fill the throne was 
creditable to the electors. He was a man of con* 
summate prudence, a skilful warrior, and what was 
more uncommon in his time and country, fond of 
letters. His orthodox &ith has merited the praise 
of the Spanish historians, but we cannot look with;- 
out horror on his persecution of the Arians and the 

From the time of the emperor Hadrian Spain 
Jiad been full of numerous colonies of Jews. They 
even pretended to have been introduced there in 
the time of Solomon, when his ships sought the 
^old and tin of the country. The forty thousand 


families of the tribe of Judah, and the ten thou- 
sand of the tribe of Benjamin, said to have been 
transported thither by Hadrian, had multipKed. 
They possessed numerous synagogues throughout 
tlie country; and whatever learning and art they had 
brought from the East had been preserved among 
them by those peculiarities which have made them 
in every other country, as it were, a nation within 
a nation. Possessed of knowledge, while their 
neighbours were barbarously ignorant, they were 
the merchants, the handicraftsmen, and the phy- 
sicians of the countries where they had settled: 
they had, consequently, amassed great riches, and 
possessed an influence that gradually excited the 
envy of their Christian countrymen. The Chris- 
tians, from being a persecuted sect, had become 
triumphant in the civilized world, and, in their 
turn, persecuted unbelievers. Hence the Jews 
began very generally to feel the evils to which 
their sins had rendered them liable. In Spain the 
zeal of Sisebert for the Catholic church, which led 
him to persecute the Arians, was easily turned 
against the Jews. Their fortunes were confis- 
cated, their persons tortured — they were forbidden 
to leave the country and preserve their faith, even 
by voluntary exile. Baptism was forced upon them, 
and it is related that ninety thousand were in one 
day received into the church by the holy rite. At 
length the clergy, ashamed of this profanation of 
the sign of peace, interfered with the king to pre- 

A. D. 621.] HISTORY OP SPAIN. 55 

vent forced conversion ; but by a strange contradic- 
tion decreed that those who had already received 
that forced admission into the church should be 
compelled to continue in it. 

Other and worthier cares, however, chiefly oc- 
cupied Sisebert. He encouraged commerce ; him- 
self cultivated letters ; and it appears that he paid 
attention to increasing the number of his ships^ 
whether for improving his trade or protecting his 
coasts from the pirates which infested the Medi- 
terranean, and which even then found their retreats 
in the ports of Africa. 

Sisebert, who on many accounts deserved the love 
of his subjects, died in the year 621 ; his son, au 
infant, was placed on the throne, under the name 
of Recared II., but his reign only lasted three 
months. Suintila, who had married Theodora, the 
daughter of Sisebert, and was himself the son of 
Recared I., succeeded his brother-in-law. He had 
greatly distinguished himself by his military talents 
during the reign of Sisebert, and the people loved 
him for his amiable qualities. Finding the laws in 
his time very defective, he endeavoured to reform 
them, and added several new regulations to the 
ancient code. Anxious that his posterity should 
succeed to his throne, he caused his son, the young 
Recimer, to be crowned and acknowledged by the 
nobles. But this measure, by cutting off the hopes 
which each man of power or riches might entertain 


in an elective monarchy, excited the jealousy of 
Sisenand, a solciier of great reputation, who se* 
cretly negotiated with Dagobert, king of France, 
and prevailed on him, at the price of ten pounds of 
gold, to invade his country, where, being joined 
by Sisenand and his friends, they drove Suintila, 
with his wife and son, into exile, in the tenth year 
of his reign. 

No sooner was Sisenand on the throne, than, 
sensible of the evils attendant on the irregular 8uc<r 
cession, he assembled the cortes, or great national 
council of the kingdom at Toledo. At these councils 
the king usually presided, and the dignified clergy 
and the nobles and magnates of the kingdom as- 
sisted. On this occasion the proceedings were very 
remarkable. Having regard first to the affairs of 
the church, the famous St. Isidore was commis* 
sioned to frame a missal and breviary for the 
Spanish church, which should remedy the wants 
and irregularities of those in common use. This 
compilation, which formed the ritual of the Gothic 
church until the 15th century, is commonly called 
the Musarabic liturgy. The forcible baptism of 
Jews was formally prohibited ; but several severe 
laws against them were either enacted or renewed^ 
particularly those which excluded them and their 
posterity from all offices and trusts. 

A law was made against all such as should assume 
the government without the election of the nobles 

A. D. 653.] HISTORY OF SPAIN; 57 

and prelates ; and the clause that kings who are in- 
trusted with power to do good to the community, 
may not abuse that power, seems to acknowledge 
a right in those who confer the crown to take it 
away, if the condition be broken on which it is 
given. Some authors say that the first collective 
body of Spanish laws, called Fuera Juzgo, was 
framed at this council. 

Sisenand dying in 636, the cortes assembled after 
his death, and pkced Chintila on the throne. His 
short reign of three years appears to have been 
entirely occupied by the regulation of the internal 
afl^urs of the kingdom. 

Tulca succeeded by the choice of the cortes, but 
he died in two years ; and the law, requiring the 
consent of the people to the occupation of tlie 
throne, was broken in upon by a fortunate soldier. 

Chindasuinto, who was at the head of the armies, 
seized the crown on the death of Tulca, wore it 
eleven years, and s^pears to have deserved it. By 
his wife, Reciberga, who was of a noble Gothic 
family, he had three children, the eldest of whom, 
Eecisuinto, was crowned by his father about three 
jears before his own death, which happened in 653, 

The reign of Recisuinto was fortunate for Spain, 
The country enjoyed tranquillity within, and the 
state of its agriculture and commerce daily im- 
proved The king paid great attention to his 
ships, and the strengtiiening the towns on the coast 
of the Mediterraneaji, and in that part. of Africa 



which was still annexed to the Gothic crown. He 
was induced to this caution by the rapid pr<^ess the 
Mahometans had made during his reign. From 
Egypt, where they had established an empire, they 
liad spread over Mauritania, and had seized the 
greater part of the conquests of the Visigoths. Their 
spirit of enterprise seemed to know no bounds, and 
Recisuinto naturally feared that the narrow sea that 
divides Spain from Africa would prove but a feeble 
obstacle to their ambition. 

Recisuinto died however, before the Maho- 
metans could extend their conquests so £etr, and 
was replaced by Wamba, a man advanced in years, 
but prudent, warlike, and active. He had been the 
intimate friend and adviser of the two last kings ; 
and when the prelates and nobles came to offer him 
the crown, he refused it on account of his age, and 
his desire to spend the remainder of his life in 
tranquillity. " What !" said one of the electors, 
** do you dare to refuse to serve the public, and to 
take upon you the burthen of watching for the good 
of the people ? If you hesitate longer, this sword 
shall cut off the few days whose tranquillity you 
prefer to the interest of your country." Wamba,' 
thus pressed,^ yielded, and proceeded to Toledo, 
where the ceremony of anointing and crowning 
him was performed by the archbishop. At the 
moment when the holy oil was poured upon his 
head, it was said that a yapour was seen to ascend 
from it, whence a bee came out, which, after ho- 

A. B. 672.] HISTOftT 01? S^AlN. 5d 

vering over the new monarch, flew upwards, and 
was no more seen. This prodigy was looked on as 
a good omen, and Wamba proceeded to swear to 
govern according to the laws, and to act in all 
things for the good of his people. 

But the elevation of Wamba was regarded with^ 
envy by some of the relations of the last king* 
An insurrection was raised in Biscay, and while 
Wamba was occupied in quelling it, Paul, a kins- 
man of Recisuinto, joining with count Renosindo, 
governor of Tarrs^ona, seized Girona, Barcelona, 
and several neighbouring towns, and Paul assumed 
the regal dignity. Meanwhile Hilperic, coimt of 
Nismes, and the abbot Remigius, who assumed the 
mitre in that see, driving the bishop who remained 
faithful to Wamba into exile, excited a revolt in 
the Gallic provinces, and joined the party of Paul. 

Wamba, sensible of the importance of time to 
the rebels, resolved to attack them instantly, before 
they could assemble or discipline any very formi- 
dable body of troops. On his march into Catalonia 
he punished severely any of his soldiers who either 
oppressed the people, or failed to pay a just price 
for the provisions they required, and thus gained 
the affection of the inhabitants. He soon obtained 
possession (^Girona, whose bishop was friendly 
to him. Colibre, Vulturonia, and Castrolibia also 
yielded ; while a detachment from his army, sent by 
a mountain path, took Clausura, within which Ra- 


nosind and some others of the rebellious chiefs had 
fortified themselves. 

Before Paul, who occupied Narbonne, had time 
to despatch troops to defend the passes of the Py- 
renees, Wamba had already crossed those mount 
tains, and formed his camp on the plain, which 
extends from their base to the gates of the dty, on 
which Paul retired to Nismes, leaving his general 
Withimir to defend Narbonne. The place waS 
attacked at once by four divisions of the army of 
Wamba, protected by a fleet, which he had caused 
to accompany his progress along the coast, and 
after an assault of three hours it fell into his hands» 
Withimir, the bishop, and all the considerable men 
of the place were made prisoners, but the inha- 
bitants were not molested. 

Magalona, Agatha, and Beziers soon met wit|^ 
the, same fate, the rebellious chiefs flying fjtom 
these towns, as soon as Wamba approached, to 
Nismes, which, at that time, for the strength of its 
walls, the number of its inhabitants, the beauty of 
its buildings, and its monuments of war, was the 
chief city of Narbonese Gaul. 

It was soon : invested by thirty thousand meni 
under four of Wamba's chosen captains ; but they 
were destitute of the proper machined for battering 
the walls, and one whole day was spient in combat 
with the besieged, each party claiming the advan- 
tage in the evening. It so happened thlit, during 

A* Di. 6T2.] »i8TOKy OP sPAiir* 61 

the fight, one of Paul's soldiers who wa6 engaged 
hand to hand with a man of the king's, said in his 
rage, " Do your worst to-day, for to-morrow you 
will be beaten ; by that time our French and Ger- 
man allies will join us."^ This threat was imme- 
diately made known to the king, whose camp was 
only four miles firom the town ; and he accordingly 
despatched a reinforcement of ten thousand men, 
who marching in the night, joined their friends 
before the renewal of the battle next day. 

Paul, though almost in despair at this reinforce* 
ment of his enemy, and at the tardiness of his allies^ 
led his troops to the combat, and maintained an 
,ahnost equal fortune for two-thirds of the day, 
when some of Wamba's people having set fire to 
the gates, both parties entered promiscuously, one 
to attack their foes, the other to save their friends, 
and the confusion became dreadful. The inha* 
bitants, imagining that they had been betrayed by 
the Spaniards in Paul's service, fell upon them and 
killed them wherever they could find them, and 
the unfortunate usurper saw his people destroyed 
by both parties, without the power to help them. 

The shouts of victory from the king's troops soon 
told him that his reign was at an end, and he fled 
from the palace through the dead and the dying to 
sanctuary, afiter tearing off his regal ornaments, and 
confessing the folly of his enterprise, and the weak-v 
ness of his conduct in the war. "We confess,? 
jswd he, '" thM we have erred — ^but was it once or 


twice ?-i-No, rather in all to which we have put 
our hand, we have governed ourselves without 
either prudence or resolution/' 

After the fall of the city, Archibald, bishop of 
Narbonne, who had been forced to join Paul's 
party, was chosen to intercede with the king for a 
general pardon ; which was granted to all but the 
principal heads of the rebellion. The Frank and 
German captives were released and dismissed with 
presents ; all that had been taken from the church 
was restored, the dead were buried, and the rebel 
chiefs, whose lives had been spared, were now 
brought before the king and his council for judg- 
ment. Sentence of death was pronounced on Paul, 
but the king contented himself with causing his 
head to be sliaved, long hair being a mark of no- 
bility, and condemning him to perpetual imprison- 

Meantime Chilperic, king of France, had ad- 
vanced almost to the frontier with the succours 
promised to Paul, but, learning the fate of Nismes, 
he returned without committing any act of hosti- 
lity; audit does not appear that the peace between 
France and Spain was ever afterwards disturbed 
during Wamba's reign. 

At Canaba, a little town near Narbonne, the sol- 
diers received permission to return to their homes, 
and Wamba re-entered Spain with only a small 
body of troops. 

His return to Toledo, his capital, only six months 

A. D. 672.] HISTbRY OF SPAIN. 68 

after his departure for the war, had the air of a tri« 
umph ; all the people came out to meet and con- 
gratulate him. He was preceded by his prisoners, 
mounted on camels, shaven, barefooted, and meanly 
' dressed, Paul having the distinction of a black 
leather crown. Then followed the soldiers, decked 
out with plumes and rich coloured liveries. The 
king was surrounded by his warriors ; his white 
Mairs, and the memory of his great actions, en- 
hancing the majesty of his appearance. 

Spain now enjoyed the benefit of a wise admi- 
nistration during a long peace ; the king took pride 
in beautifying his cities, especially Toledo, which 
he very much enlarged, and continued to attend to 
the internal regulations of his kingdom until near 
the end of his reign, when the Arabs from Africa, 
invited, it is said, by Ervigio, a kinsman of Red- 
suinto, appeared off the eastern coast of Spain with 
a formidable fleet. Wamba was, however, ready : 
his ships, to which he had always directed a great 
portion of his cares, irere fully prepared, and he 
gained a complete victory, taking a hundred and 
fifty of the enemy's vessels, and for this time saving 
his country from the yoke of the Mahometans. 

But though £rvigio was disappointed in the bad 
success of his first enterprise, he resolved to gain 
the crown by any means. Accordingly, having 
administered a powerful drug to Wamba, which 
appears to have produced a temporary loss of rea- 
son, his attendants caused him to be wrapped in a 


ihonk's cowl) according to the superstitious custom 
of the timeS) that he might die secure of passing to 
heaven from this mortal life, and ere he recovered 
his senses forced him to sign a will, appointing 
Ervigio his successor. 

Sotrcely had the paper been withdrawn from his 
hand, when his recollection returned ; but though 
fully aware of the deceit that had been practised, 
he retired to a monastery, determined not to in- 
fringe the law which forbade any ecclesiastic to 
wear the crown. He lived six years after his ab- 
dication in that tranquillity which he had so reluc« 
tantly given up, when the choice of the nation had 
placed him on the throne. 

The reign of Ervigio was remarkable for the con* 
cessions he made to the church, in order to cover 
the iniquity of the transaction by which he ob- 
tained the crown. The principal ch^ge he made 
in the government, was the placing in the hands 
of the archbishop of Toledo the privilege of nomi- 
nating the bishops throughout the country, which 
had been hitherto exercised by the Gothic kings* 
Having no son by his wife Liubigotona, he was 
desirous of securing the throne for' his daughter 
Caxilona, and therefore married her to Egica, or 
Egiza, a relation of Wamba, whose influence h^ 
thought might secure the succession. Ervigio died 
with the reputation of a tyrant, ^. D. 687. 

Egica was no sooner seated on the throne, thai| 
he divorced Caxilona, on account of the resent* 

A; D. 687.] HISTORY OP SPAIN. 65 

ment he felt against her &ther for his treatment of 
Wamba. This reigpn was frequently disturbed by 
domestic feuds, chiefly excited by Sisberto, arch- 
bishop of Toledo, who was consequently ezcom^ 
municated and banished. 

Willing to draw over so considerable a part of 
the people as was formed by the Jewish congre- 
gations, Egica conferred nobility on such of that 
nation as should voluntarily embrace Christianity, 
while those who resisted the invitation of the church 
to become members were subjected to more severe 
oppressions than ever. To justify these proceed*^ 
ings it was alleged, that the Israelites in Spain 
caballed with their brethren in Africa and with the 
Moors, who had pretty generally become Maho- 
metans, intending to deliver up Spain into the 
hands of the latter. 

The active movements of die Moors, who seemed 
not to find room for their conquests, probably sug- 
gested the fears that such an accusation against a 
considerable body of his subjects imply; and to 
secure, if possible, the kingdom against the dangers 
impending from that people, especially in the in-^ 
terval between the death of one elective monarch 
and the elevation of another, I^ca made his son 
Witiza his associate on the throne ; and to render 
the royal office still more sacred in the eyes of his 
subjects, he caused the king and his family to be 
prayed for in tlie ordinary service of the church, 
and forbade the widow of a king to enter into a 


second marriage, enjoining all widowed queens to 
take the veil. 

Egica died at Toledo, A.D. 698, after a reign of 
eleven years. 

The early part of Witiza's reign was filled with 
the most praiseworthy actions. He recalled the 
banished Jews, restored their estates, and caused 
all records of offences against the crown to be burnt, 
in order that no person might be punished for by- 
past crimes. However, he gave great offence to die 
orthodox clergy by promulgating a law permitting 
the priests to marry, and he is said to have recom- 
mended, both by precept and example, the practice 
of polygamy. The two sons of Chindasuinto, Theo- 
dofred, duke of Cordova, and Favila, were too young 
on the death of either their father or their brother 
Recisuind, to be then competitors for the crown; 
but Theodofred had not failed to urge his claim, 
when the throne had afterwards become vacant, and 
Witiza, fearing his popular qualities, caused hini 
to be seized and his eyes put out, and stripped him 
of his dukedom; and, finding Favila a more active 
rival than Theodofred, he caused him to be put to 
death. When Theodofred was seized at Cordova, 
his only son, don Roderic, fled to the Romans ; 
whence, however, he speedily returned to Spain, 
where being joined by his cousin Pelayo, the son of 
Favila, he raised an insurrection in Andalusia, and 
having taken Witiza prisoner, he put out his eyes 
in retaliation of the injury done to his father, and 

A. D. 708.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 67 

imprisoned him in Cordova, where he died shortly 

It is believed that the crimes of Witiza, which 
cost him so dear, had been committed partly at the 
suggestion of his brother Oppas, archbishop of Se- 
ville, partly at that of count Julian, who had married 
his sister. However that may be, the femily feuds 
that arose at this time were the immediate cause of 
the loss of the Gothic kingdom in Spain, and the 
conquest of the country by the Moors. Witiza left 
two sons, Witiza and Sisebut On his accession to 
the throne he had found that the nobles had become 
more like independent princes than vassals subject 
to their superior lord, and that they owed this in* 
dependence partly to the strong castles they had 
fortified for themselves in different parts of the 
kingdom. To remedy this evil and at the same time 
rescue the common people from the petty tyranny 
of these chiefs, he caused a great number of these 
castles to be rased, and very much reduced the 
authority of the princes. This was probably one of 
the causes of his destruction ; for the nobles joined 
the prelates, already incensed against him: and 
Roderic, the son of Theodofred, was placed on the 

Don Roderic before his accession had distin* 
guished himself in arms, was inured to cold, hun- 
ger, and fatigue, and in all things distinguished for 
the qualities becoming a prince. But the pos- 
session of unlimited power soon changed his cha- 


lucter; and he is said to have surpassed all his 
predecessors in the indulgence of his passions. He 
imprudently persecuted the sons of Witiza, who at 
first sought refuge with their uncle, count Julian, 
who possessed large estates in different parts of 
Spain, and was besides governor of Andalusia, an4 
of that part of Mauritania which still belongs to 
Spain. But Julian, after entertaining them a short 
time, procured an apparent accommodation between 
them and the king, and they returned to Toledo. 
At that time it was the custom for the sons and 
daughters of the nobility and gentry to be placed in 
families of higher rank than their own, that they 
might by their residence in the houses of persons 
of distinction acquire the knowledge and manners 
which were nowhere else to be learned. The 
daughter of count Julian was one of the many noble 
damsels who attended on the young queen Egiloua, 
and might be considered as a hostage for the fidelity 
of her father. But the passions of don Roderic con- 
verted what might have been a safeguard into a 
source of ruin. Seduced or betrayed, Florinda, 
better known by the name of La Cava, fell a victim 
to his vices; and she failed not instantly tb^ive her 
father notice of the insult offered through her to her 
family. Julian, under pretence of business, left his 
wife at Ceuta, and repairing to Spain, withdrew 
Florinda from Toledo ; and, taking her with him to 
Africa, instantly entered into a negotiation with the 
Mahometan general, Muza Ben Noseir, whom he 

Ai D. 7 10.] HISTORY OF SPAIN* 6ff 

had just before beaten back from the walls of Ceata« 
which he had attacked, and entreated his assistance 
to punish the crime of Roderic Muza immediately 
despatched messengers to the caliph Walid, to ob« 
tain permission to undertake the new conquest, and 
meantime took care to inform himself from the 
Spaniards and Jewish exiles settled in Ceuta and in 
Tangiers, which he had lately conquered, of the 
state of Spain, and learned that the king was most 
unpopular, and the people, enervated by a long 
peace, were farther weakened by a recent &mine, 
whicb had been followed by a pestilence. For the 
country itself, he learned that it was, to use the 
words of the Arabic historian, ^^ Syria, in soil and- 
snr ; Yemen, in climate ; India, in spice and flowers ; 
Hedjaz, in fruits and grain ; Cathay, in mines ; and 
Aden, for its useful coasts ; full of cities and mag- 
nificent monuments of its ancient kings, and of the 
Greeks — that wise people." The caliph's consent 
to the enterprise being obtained, Muza deputed 
Tarif Ben Zeyad to examine the country with 
15,000 men, which he sent over in four ships, in the - 
month of July, 710. He landed at Tarifa, the an-^ 
cient Tartesum, and thence marched to the castle 
of count Julian, at Algezira Alhadia, or the green 
island, which to this day bears the name of Al- 

Tarif, satisfied with his reception and pleased with • 
the country, returned to Muza, and made so &-<: 
voumble a report that in the ensuing spring he vw^ 


again sent into Spain with five thousand veteran 
troops, the means of transport being furnished by 
Julian and his associates. His landing was opposed 
by 1,700 Christians, under Edeco, one of the lieu- 
tenants of Roderie ; but he was speedily put to 
flighty and Tarif fortified himself in the mountain 
now called, by a slight corruption from the name 
Gebal Tariff given it by him, Gibraltar. The 
neighbouring governors immediately gave notice to 
the court of Toledo of the descent of the Arabs. 
The dukes and counts, bishops and nobles, of the 
Gothic nation, were immediately summoned by don 
Roderie, and an army of ninety or a hundred thou- 
sand men was quickly assembled. 

Meantime the troops of Tarif had increased, by 
repeated reinforcements, to twelve thousand fight- 
ing men. He had overrun the lands in the neigh- 
bourhood of Algezira and Medina Sidonia, as far 
as the banks of tlie Guadiana. In the plains of 
Xeres, on the banks of the Guadalete, he met the 
army of don Roderie. The king of the Goths, in 
a splendid litter, placed on an ivory car, drawn by 
two white mules, and habited in a vest of cloth of 
gold and embroidery, harangued his soldiers as if 
he were leading them to certain victory. They ad- 
vanced to the sound of trumpets ; while the Arabs 
rushed on amid the braying of their kettle drums 
and cymbals. Arrows and javelins darkened the 
air, and the first day's fight ended without advan- 
tage on either side. Both armies lay on the field of 


battle : at day-break the combat was renewed ; a 
second evening saw the action still undecided. On 
the third day Tarif perceived that his weary men 
were beginning to sink before the overwhelming 
superiority of the Christian numbers. He raised 
himself in his stirrups, and cried to them, " Oh, 
Moslem ! conquerors of Almagreb ! whither would 
you turn, and what the object of flight ? The sea 
is behind you, and before you is the enemy. You 
have only your valour, and the help of God for 
you. Knights, do as you see me do !" So saying, 
he plunged into the thickest of the battle, and re- 
trieved the fortune of the day. Meantime the arch- 
bishop Oppas, with his nephews, the sons of Witiza, 
who had each the command of a considerable body 
of troops, deserted the Christian army ; and Roderic, 
seeing no chance of remedying the disorder of his 
troops, descended from his car, and, mounting his 
favourite horse, Orelia, is said to have fled from the 
field of battle. From that day he was never seen. 
The Christian writers are divided as to his fate. 
One attributes his death to the hand of Julian ; an- 
other to the waters of the Guadalete, or a conti- 
guous pool, where many of the Spanish soldiers 
were drowned; and a third reports that, having 
changed garments with a shepherd, he escaped to 
the borders of Lusitania, where in an obscure her- 
mitage he wore out his days in bewailing his crimes, 
and lamenting the £ate of Spain. 

The Arab chroniclers say that he perished more 
nobly^ by the hand of Tarif : s^nd that bis head, 



[CH. 11.^ 

being sent to the caliph, was exposed in triumph at 
the palace gates at Damascus. — Thus fell don Ro- 
deric, who has been called the last of the Goths. 

The Arabs speedily overran all Spain ; but before 
we proceed to the history of the conquest, we will 
pause, to consider the state of the country during 
the 300 years which had passed from the first to the 
last of the Gothic kings. 

Ancient Carmelite in Spain, 

The early times of the Gothic conquest were of 
course disastrous. Much that the civil polity of 
the Romans had built up was destroyed by the ne^ 
,cessary consequences of a foreign war carried on 
within the territory ; in which the invaders, resolved 

A. D. 710.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 73 

on settling in the land, either destroyed or drove 
out the natives, and then disputed with each other 
for the possession of the desert they had made. 

The repeated famines that occurred during this 
period prove how low the state of agriculture had 
sunk ; nor was commerce in a state sufficiently 
prosperous to compensate for the scarcity of na- 
tural produce. 

However, as the country became peaceably set- 
tled under the conquerors, and the natives began to 
associate, its circumstances improved. The Goths 
did not find it difficult to adopt the habits of luxury 
which a fine climate suggested, and a cultivated na- 
tion had established, in Spain. The palaces of the 
Roman governors and provincial nobles were soon 
preferred to the low cottages or narrow tents of a 
wandering and barbarous people, and it was not 
long before, in personal luxury at least, the Goths 
vied with their delicate predecessors. 

The civil government of the Romans was, of 
course, disturbed by the invasion ; but it was the 
custom of the Gothic tribes to allow every free 
man to choose the law by which he would be 
judged; so that the domestic evils of conquest were 
much softened. As early as the time of Euric, 
the inconvenience of so uncertain a system of in- 
ternal government was felt; and that king, while 
he denied the claim to be judged by particular 
Jaws, adopted largely from the Roman code, regu- 
lations suited to the stat^ of his kingdom, and 

VOL- I. £ 


added to them a variety of laws founded upon the 
customs and usages of the Visigoths. From the 
reign of Recared, the first catholic king, to that 
of Witiz, sixteen national councils were held. 
During the first three days of these meetings the 
proceedings were strictly ecclesiastical, and were 
presided over by the six metropolitans, Toledo, 
Seville, Merida, Braga, Tarragona, and Nar- 
bonne. On the morning of the fourth day the 
council became the cortes or parliament of the 
kingdom, and the nobles of every class joined the 
meeting. Annual assemblies were held in like 
manner in the provinces, and on the whole the 
best purposes of law were answered by the se- 
curity of property and personal safety. The 
king, when he ascended the throne, bound himself 
by an oath to God and his people to execute his 
important trust faithfully ; and the ancient Gothic 
principle, that no free man could be taxed without 
his own consent, was enforced by several regula- 
tions, especially by one in the reign of Resismund, 
that the king should not in any way raise money 
without the consent of the cortes. In the reig^ 
of Egica the different laws enacted by the suc- 
cessive kings, from the time of Euric, were col- 
lected into what is called the Liber JtidkiufHy 
divided into twelve books. This code bears tlie 
marks of a much more civilised and enlightened 
state of society than is denoted by any ootemporary 
laws of the surrounding nations. 

A. D. 710.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 75 

The form of goveminent introduced by the Visi- 
goths was a limited hereditary monarchy; for though 
the son did not always succeed his father, yet the 
choice of a king was restricted to the royal family, 
and the passing over the direct heir was always 
either on account of infancy or imbecility. In 
Spain, as in the other Gothic conquests, lands 
were held by feudal tenures ; and ecclesiastical as 
well as lay estates were subject to military service. 
The serfe or labourers were attached to the soil; 
but they were considered as a class much superior 
to the household slaves, and were admitted to bear 
witness in all cases in courts of justice. 

Trade and commerce, though disturbed, if not 
ruined for a time by the Goths, began to revive as 
soon as their kingdom had become settled under 
the successors of Leovigild, if not before ; and as n, 
proof that the commercial marine was in a flourish- 
ing state, it is expressly mentioned that the ships 
furnished by count Julian for the transport of the 
Moors were merchant ships. Most probably the 
fleet employed by Wamba to defend the coast 
were also merchant vessels; for at that period 
commerce could scarcely have been safely carried 
on in unarmed vessels, and the trade that was pur- 
sued by sea was considered so honourable, that 
kings and nobles engaged in it 

The ships in use at that time were of various 
kinds. Some, like the ancient Roman galleys, 
without decks, and with many banks of cowers : 
others of a long shape, with a short mast, and a 

£ 2 


sail of considerable width, such as are still used 
in the Mediterranean; and doubtless there were 
some also whose construction was borrowed from 
the northern Goths, fitted better for rough seas, 
having a deck, though as yet only provided with 
a single mast, and one small strong sail. 

The civil architecture continued to be, during 
this period, what the Romans had left it, or per- 
haps declining into that mean and poor imitation 
which we see in the few monuments which have 
elsewhere survived the Roman empire. 

The Gothic kings adopted without hesitation 
all the luxuries of the Romans; their splendid 
cars, their delicate tables, and their trains of at- 
tendant youths and damsels; and in the soft cli- 
mate of Spain the native hardiness of the Goths 
was soon soothed into indolent indulgence ; and as 
their luxury was not yet refined by arts, letters, or 
philosophy, the excesses of which the last kings 
are accused, are to be considered only as the na- 
tural result of such a state of society. 

The peace of Spain was disturbed under its 
iGothic kings by the struggles between the pro- 
■fessors of the orthodox Roman catholic feith and 
those of the Arian heresy. We have seen that the 
contest ended in the reign of Recared; yet the evil 
spirit of persecution survived the triumph of the 
Romish bishops, as the persecution of the Arians 
and the violent proceedings against the Jews too 
fully prove. 

Yet though the Gothic kings acknowledged the 

A. D. 7 10.] HISTORY OF SPAIIT. 77 

Roman church as the true one, they maintained 
the independence of their own clergy; and the 
king, or the archbishop of his own creation, nomi- 
nated to the vacant sees and other ecclesiastical 
benefices. The Spanish church had a liturgy of 
its own, and the superiority acknowledged in the 
pope was purely spiritual. 

The introduction of the monastic orders into 
Spain took place very early after their first insti- 
tution: and in times of general ignorance they 
served as guardians over those embers of science 
and literature which were at a more fevourable 
period to kindle into a steady and wholesome light. 
Among them the ancient Spanish taste for litera- 
ture began to re-appear. They preserved, in 
rhyming chronicles, the taste for which the Goths 
had brought into the country, the history of their 
nation; and these rhyming annals probably gave 
much of its form to the peculiar literature of Spain 
at a future period: 

Besides these annalists, we meet with the names 
of several men who distinguished themselves in 
letters during the three centuries of the Gothic 
kingdom. Marobaudes, in the reign of Theodoric, 
was distinguished as an orator and man of letters ; 
and nearly about the same time flourished Dra- 
oontius, the author of a Latin poem on the creation, 
and Ciponius, who wrote on the fall of the angels. 
In the sixth century lived Ossentius, whose poem 
CommUorium has been twice published ; and to- 
wards the latter period of the Gothic monarchy the 


names of St. Isidore of Seville, and St Ildefonse 
and St. Eugenius of Toledo, are honourably distin- 
guished among the writers of that time. 

It is not improbable that the residence of so 
great a number of Jews in Spain may have in 
some degree formed the early literature of that 
country, and have given the people themselves a 
taste for the oriental style and fictions, which was 
afterwards still farther fostered by the Moorish 
conquerors. The Goths themselves brought with 
them songs and legends full of magic and enchant- 
ment; and though these have perished, there is one 
remarkable tale which has survived in the histories 
both of the Moors and the Christians, and which 
has fully as much the character of a story of the 
oriental genii as of the Scandinavian wizards. 

As this tale is interwoven with the history of the 
fall of Don Roderic, it will not be amiss to relate 
it here. 

About a mile from the city of Toledo, in a deep 
valley between two rocks, there was an antique 
tower of sumptuous architecture, though much de- 
faced by time. Beneath this tower there was a 
cave with a narrow vaulted entrance, and a door- 
way hewn out of the living rock. This was closed 
with a gate of adamant, on which there were many 
locks, and it was covered with an inscription in 
ciphers and Greek letters, of doubtful sense, im- 
porting that he who should open the cave should 
find both good and evil. Many kings, hoping to 
discover a treasure, had attempted to force the 

A. D. 710.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 79 

entrance to the cave; but the instant that tools 
were applied to the locks, so dreadful a noise was 
heard, tliat it seemed as if the hills themselves 
would crumble and bury the intruders. Hence 
every man had fled; and the later kings, compre- 
hending that the fated monarch was not yet bom, 
caused other gates to be erected without the pass- 
age, so as to prevent the vulgar from approaching 
the talisman. At length, in evil hour, came Ro- 
deric, who, hearing of the second landing of Tarif 
in Spain, resolved to penetrate the mysterious 
cavern, and see if there he could find a remedy . 
against the intruding strangers. He approached, 
the doors gave way, but a mighty blast at once 
extinguished the torches, and his companions fled 
in astonishment and fear, saying they had seen 
enough. Roderic seized a fresh torch and ntshed 
into the cavern. All around it was painted in 
the likeness of a fair edifice, on whose walls were 
written prophecies and threats, and before which 
stood dark figures, whose horses and whose armour 
were not those of Spain. In the centre there 
stood a pedestal seven feet high, and on it there 
was a grim statue, which ever and anon beat the 
ground with a tremendous war-club, causing the 
earth to shake with a sound as if of thunder and 
the beating of the ocean waves. On his breast was 
written, " I do my work." At the bidding of Ro- 
deric the statue rested on his mace, and the noise, 
all but that as of the waves on the sea shore, ceased, 
and Roderic read, " By a stranger nation thou 



[CH. II. 

shalt be disinherited, and thy people oppressed ;" 
and on the shoulders of the statue were written the 
words, " I invoke the Arabs." No sooner had the 
king read these fittal sentences than the statue re- 
sumed his work. The mace again beat the ground, 
and the cave was filled with louder noise. Rode- 
ric retired dispirited; the magic gates shut spon- 
taneously, and the king, having sworn all his com- 
panions to secrecy as to the terrible vision of the 
cavern, caused the entrance to it to be filled up, 
that none might look upon a prodigy of such evil 
augury to Spain. 

Arab win. 



Spanish galleys 

As soon as the battle of the Guadalete had de- 
cided the fate of Spain, Tarif sent a messenger to 
Africa to apprise Muza of his success, and to pre- 
sent him with the head of Don Roderic as a trophy* 
Muza despatched the head to Damascus, where it 
was exposed at the palace gate, according to the 
barbarous customs of the time. 



In Writing to give an account of the success of 
the Moslem arms in Spain, however, moved by 
jealousy, he depreciated as much as possible the 
services of Tarif, and claimed the merit of tlie ex- 
pedition for himself, requesting permission from 
Walid to continue the warfare. Meantime Muza 
collected forces from every part of Mauritania, 
called by the Arabs Almagreb, to lead into the 
Peninsula, where he flattered himself tliat he should 
surpass the conquests of Tarif, and probably open 
a way to the spreading the Maliometan faith into 
Gaul, and thence into the rest of the Roman pro- 
vinces in the West. 

To further his project he wrote to Tarif, for- 
bidding him to proceed farther into Spain before 
he should join him, and upbraiding him with his 
imprudence in advancing so far as he had already 
done with so small a force. 

But Tarif, aware of the importance of following 
up his victory while the Goths were still panic- 
struck at their late defeat, called the chiefs of his 
forces together, and laid the letter of Muza before 
them. They all with one voice insisted on the 
necessity of proceeding immediately, and espe- 
cially count Julian advised Tarif to lose no time 
in securing Toledo and the other towns, whose 
principal citizens having been with Don Roderic 
at the battle of the Guadalete, had either fallen in 
that disastrous fight or had fled to the mountains of 


On this occasion Julian and the archbishop Op- 
pas probably acted on the conviction that Tarif 
meant to place the sons of Witiza on the throne of 
Spain, or they could hardly have given counsel so 
destructive to their country. 

Tarif accordingly went on. He divided his 
small army into three bodies. The first, destined 
for Cordova, he placed under the guidance of 
Muguez, a Roman renegado, who, having been 
a prisoner of war, was freed and converted to the 
faith of Mahomet by the caliph himself, llie 
second division was intrusted to the guidance of 
Zayd ben Kesadi, who mard^ed towards Malaga ; 
and the third he led himself by Jaen towards To> 
ledo. Before he xeached that capital Zayd joined 
him, having met with lio resistance any where but 
at Ezija, near which place a sofkall body of Chris- 
tians had endeavoured to stop him ; but they were 
easily dispersed, and Ezija, Malaga, and Elvira 
opened their gates, and gave hostages for the safety 
of a few Arabs left as guards in each. Meantime 
Muguez had sat down before Cordova. He sum- 
moned the inhabitants, offering them the most fa- 
vourable conditions ; but they, unwilling to trust 
him, and encouraged by the presence of soihe of 
the troops which had escaped from the battle of 
the Guadalete, resolved to defend their town. Mu- 
guez, however, learned from a peasant the slender 
state of the garrison, and also that there was an 


easy entrance by the river. He determined to 
avail himself of the latter circumstance during the 
night, and marching at sunset, his troops being 
concealed by a thick drizzling rain, he sent a thou- 
sand horsemen, each of whom carried a foot soldier 
behind him, across the river : these easily entered 
the town, and opening the gates to tlie rest of the 
troops, the place was soon occupied, excepting the 
churchy where a small body of Christians held out 
until not one remained alive. Muguez levied a 
very moderate contribution on the people, and 
taking with him hostages, he left a governor with 
a small body of trpops to occupy the place, and 
marched to join Tarif before Toledo. 

The Gothic capital was prepared to receive the 
Moorish general without opposition. The knighta 
and lords, who had so short a time before assent- 
bled there at the call of Don Roderic, were all 
either killed or exiles; and the principal citizens 
had fled with their wives and children from before 
the dreaded Arabs, so that the city was without 
defenders; therefore, although its situation on a 
high rock, surrounded by a great river, might have 
been deemed impregnable, a deputation of the in- 
habitants came out to meet Tarif, and to throw 
themselves on his mercy. The general received 
them with kindness, and granted them the follow- 
ing terms : — 

They were to deliver up their horses and arms. 

A. D. 7 1 1 .] HISTORY OF SPAIN; 85 

Those who chose to leave the city were not to be 
impeded; but they were not allowed to remove 
their property. 

The citizens who chose to remain were to have 
their property secured to them. 

The citizens were permitted to enjoy the free 
exercise of their religion, and the* use of their 
churches, on payment of a moderate tax : they . 
were not, however, to build new churches without 
the express permission of the established govern- 
ment : tbey were not to make public processions. 

The Christians were to be judged by their own 
magistrates, who were, however, to be restrained 
from punishing such as became converts to Ma- 

The citizens accordingly delivered up their arms 
and the required hostages, and the Arab chiefs 
with a few troops entered Toledo. Tarif occu- 
pied the king's palace, which was built on a height 
overlooking the river. It wasv of great extent, of 
excellent architecture, and full of treasure belong- 
ing to the Gothic kings. In a secret chamber 
were twenty-five golden crowns, adorned with ja- 
cinths and other precious stones ; for it had been 
the custom on the death of each king to lay up his 
crown in the royal treasury, and there had been 
twenty-five Gothic kings. 

Tarif found many Jews established in Toledo, 
and lie showed them peculiar favour, because of 


In Writing to give an account of ike success of 
the Moslem arms in Spain, however, moved by- 
jealousy, he depreciated as much as possible the 
services of Tarif, and claimed the merit of die ex- 
pedition for himself, requesting permission from 
Walid to continue the warfare. Meantime Muza 
collected forces from every part of Mauritania, 
called by the Arabs Almagreb, to lead into the 
Peninsula, where he flattered himself tliat he should 
surpass the conquests of Tarif, and probably open 
a way to the spreading the Mahometan feith into 
Gaul, and thence into the rest of the Roman pro- 
vinces in the West. 

To further his project he wrote to Tarif, for- 
bidding him to proceed farther into Spain before 
he should join him, and upbraiding him with his 
imprudence in advancing so far as he had already 
done with so small a force. 

But Tarif, aware of the importance of following 
up his victory while the Goths were still panic- 
struck at their late defeat, called the chiefs of his 
forces together, and laid the letter of Muza before 
them. They all with one voice insisted on the 
necessity of proceeding immediately, and espe- 
cially count Julian advised Tarif to lose no time 
in securing Toledo and the other towns, whose 
principal citizens having been with Don Roderic 
at the battle of the Guadalete, had either fiJlen in 
that disastrous fight or had fled to the mountains of 

A. B. 71 1.] HISTORY OF SPAIN* ^ 83 

On this occasion Julian and the archbishop Op- 
pas probably acted on the conviction that Tarif 
meant to place the sons of Witiza on the throne of 
Spain, or they could hardly have given counsel so 
destructive to their country. 

Tarif accordingly went on. He divided his 
small army into three bodies. The first, destined 
for Cordova, he placed under the guidance of 
Muguez, a Roman renegado, who, having been 
a prisoner of war, was freed and converted to the 
faith of Mahomet by the caliph himself, llie 
second division was intrusted to the guidance of 
Zayd ben Kesadi, who marched towards Malaga ; 
and the third he led himself by Jaen towards To- 
ledo. Before he reached that capital Zayd joined 
him, having met with lio resistance any where but 
at Ezija, near which place a squall body of Chris- 
tians had endeavoured to stop him ; but they were 
easily dispersed, and Ezija, Malaga, and Elvira 
opened their gates, and gave hostages for the safety 
of a few Arabs left as guards in each. Meantime 
Muguez had sat down before Cordova. He sum- 
moned the inhabitants, offering them the most fa- 
vourable conditions ; but they, unwilling to trust 
him, and encouraged by the presence of some of 
the troops which had escaped from the battle of 
the Guadalete, resolved to defend their town. Mu- 
guez, however, learned from a peasant the slender 
state of the garrison, and also that there was an 


In Writing to give an account of the success of 
the Moslem arms in Spain, however, moved by- 
jealousy, he depreciated as much as possible the 
services of Tarif, and claimed the merit of die ex- 
pedition for himself, requesting permission from 
Walid to continue the warfare. Meantime Muza 
collected forces from every part of Mauritania, 
called by the Arabs Almagreb, to lead into the 
Peninsula, where he flattered himself tliat he should 
surpass the conquests of Tarif, and probably open 
a way to the spreading the Mahometan feith into 
Gaul, and thence into the rest of the Roman pro- 
vinces in the West. 

To further his project he wrote to Tarif, for- 
bidding him to proceed farther into Spain before 
he should join him, and upbraiding him with his 
imprudence in advancing so far as he had already 
done with so small a force. 

But Tarif, aware of the importance of following 
up his victory while the Goths were still panic- 
struck at their late defeat, called the chiefs of his 
forces together, and laid the letter of Muza before 
them. They all with one voice insisted on the 
necessity of proceeding immediately, and espe- 
cially count Julian advised Tarif to lose no time 
in securing Toledo and the other towns, whose 
principal citizens having been with Don Roderic 
at the battle of the Guadalete, had either fidlen in 
that disastrous fight or had fled to the mountains of 

A. D. 711.] HISTORY OF SPAIN, > 83 

On this occasion Julian and the archbishop Op- 
pas probably acted on the conviction that Tarif 
meant to place the sons of Witiza on the throne of 
Spain, or they could hardly have given counsel so 
destructive to their country. 

Tarif accordingly went on. He divided his 
small army into three bodies. The first, destined 
for Cordova, he placed under the guidance of 
Muguez, a Roman renegade, who, having been 
a prisoner of war, was freed and converted to the 
faith of Mahomet by the caliph himself. The 
second division was intrusted to the guidance of 
Zayd ben Kesadi, who mard^ed towards Malaga ; 
and the third he led himself by Jaen towards To- 
ledo. Before he reached that capital Zayd joined 
him, having met with lio resistance any where but 
at Ezija, near which place a si^all body of Chris- 
tians had endeavoured to stop him ; but they were 
easily dispersed, and Ezija, Malaga, and Elvira 
opened their gates, and gave hostages for the safety 
of a few Arabs left as guards in each. Meantime 
Muguez had sat down before Cordova. He sum- 
moned the inhabitants, offering them the most fa- 
vourable conditions ; but they, unwilling to trust 
him, and encouraged by the presence of some of 
the troops which had escaped from the battle of 
the Gnadalete, resolved to defend their town. Mu- 
guez, however, learned from a peasant the slender 
state of the garrison, and also that there was an 


tion of the highways, and at the grandeur of the 
bridges and the towers that the Romans had left 
in the country, and bewailed the destruction that 
the Gothic times had brought on many towns and 
villages, whose ruins he passed by. 

At Talavera he met Tarif, who had come out 
from Toledo to meet him, and brought with [him 
such a portion of the spoil, taken in Spain by his 
troops, as was appointed for the commander in 
chief of a Mussulman army. Muza appeared satis* 
fied at the moment, but when they reached Toledo 
he demanded the table of Solomon, and all the 
other precious things which Tarif had reserved as 
presents to the caliph. The table was accordingly 
given up, but with only three hundred and fifty- 
nine legs, the three hundred and sixtieth being 
missing. The moment Muza was possessed of the 
treasures, he upbraided Tarif for disobedience of 
orders, sentenced him, in the name of the caliph, 
to degradation and imprisonment, and then thanked 
the other chiefs for their services. All remained 
silent but Tarif, who replied, ^^ My lord, what I 
did was for the service of God and the caliph : my 
conscience acquits me of evil, and I trust my sove- 
reign will do the same ; to his justice I appeal." 
Notwithstanding this appeal, Muza persisted in 
degrading him, and appointed Muguez to fill his 
place. That general, however, expressed his re- 
luctance to supersede so great a commander, and 
one too who was his friend ; but the unfortunate 

-A. D. 711.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 91 

Tarif was thrown into a loathsome dangeon, where 
he endured great hardships, and where Muza had 
resolved he should perish. 

Meantime Abdidasis had reached Murda; be 
was accompanied by four noble Arabs, his own and 
his fitther's friends, and followed by a gallant body 
of the bravest of the Arab tribes. They were op- 
posed by Theodomir, a noble Goth, whom the 
Moorish writers call Tadmir, whose prudence and 
valour long protracted the campaign. In Orihuela, 
where his men had almost all perished in defending 
the walls, he caused the women to dress in their 
dead husbands' clothes, and to appear in their 
places, and then sent to Abdulasis to propose terms 
of submission. Theodomir himself went to the 
AraVs tent disguised among the messengers. The 
following is a copy of the original treaty between 
them : 

^^ Writing and covenant of peace between Abdukuis 
ben Muza ben Noseir, and Tlieodomir of the 
Goths^ king of the Land of Tadmir *. 

^^ In the name of the most merciful God.-— Ab- 
dulasis and Tadmir make this covenant of peace, 
which may God confirm and protect ; that Theo- 
domir, and no other Christian, shall have the com- 
mand of his principality; that there shall not be 
war between them, nor shall they take captive each 

* Murcia and Caithagena. 


other's wives or children ;' that the Christians shall 
not be molested in their religion, nor shall their 
churches be destroyed, nor shall other services or 
obligations be imposed beyond those herein con- 
tained. That this covenant shall likewise extend 
to the seven towns of Orihuela, Valentola, Alicant, 
Mala, Bosara, Ota, and Lorca ; that he shall not 
receive our enemies, nor £Eiil in his fidelity, nor 
conceal any hostile design which he may learn; 
that he and each of his nobles shall pay every year 
one piece of gold, four measures of wheat, four of 
barley, four of wine, four of vinegar, four of honey, 
and four of oil ; and that the vassals shall pay one 
half of the like tax. Written on the 4th of Regib, 
in the year of the Hegira ninety-four. 

"(Witnesses) othman ben abi abda, 


Satisfied with the conditions, and pleased witli 
the behaviour of Abdulasis, Theodomir now threw 
off his disguise, and the Arab, charmed in his turn 
with the confidence of the Christian prince, treated 
him with great honour, and they ate together as if 
they had been friends from their childhood. Then 
Theodomir returned to the city, and disposed every 
thing to receive his new friend the next day. At 
dawn the gates of the city were thrown open, and 
Theodomir with his choicest followers, both horse 

A. D. 713.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 93 

and foot, went out to meet Abdulasis and his iriends. 
When tliey entered the city and saw how few men 
it contained, they marvelled, and inquired of Theo- 
domir where those soldiers were whom they had 
seen on the walls. The prince then explained his 
stratagem, which pleased the Arabs well, and they 
remained feasting with the Christian prince three 
days, without permitting the soldiers to enter the 
town, or commit any damage in the fields. Ab« 
dulasis then took leave, and marched towards the 
, Sierra Seguro. Bazta, Aexi, Jaen, Elvira, Anti- 
cania, Malaga, and Garnata immediately submitted ; 
the latter town belonged to the Jews, and was one 
of the most flourishing in that part of Spain. 

While Abdulasis was thus engaged, his father 
had sent messengers to Damascus to inform the 
caliph of the progress he had made in the conquest 
of the Peninsula, and of the great riches he had 
found ther6. His letters were full of accusations 
against Tarif, on account of insubordination and 
want of reverence for orders issued in the name of 
the caliph. These might have been fetal to Tarif, 
but for the friendship of a relation of the caliph, 
who happened to be at Toledo at the time of Tarif 's 
imprisonment, and who wrote letters favourable to 
the injured general. The caliph in consequence 
wrote into Sjpain, commending both chie& for their 
exertions in the cause of the faith, and giving or- 
ders that Tarif should be reinstated in the full com- 
mand of that portion of the army he had so success- 


fully led into the Peninsula. Accordingly, on the 
very day the caliph's letters reached Toledo, Tarif 
was taken out of his dungeon, publicly reinstated 
in his command, and the two chiefs ate together in 
public, in sign of their restored friendship. After 
the feast, however, they wisely separated: Tarif 
proceeding to the conquest of the eastern pro* 
vinces, and Muza passing through the mountains 
to Sentica and Saknantica, where he found no re- 
sistance, hurried through the country as far as As* 
torga, and then followed the course of tlie Duero 
upwards towards its source, and joined Tarif, who 
was engaged in the siege of 2^ragoza. 

Most of the nobles of Catalonia had taken refuge 
in that city, and had conveyed their families and 
property thither, as to a place of safety. The de- 
fence of the place was consequently obstinate ; and 
on its reduction it was more heavily taxed than any 
other town had been ; indeed, in order to pay the 
contribution required by Muza, the women were ob- 
liged to give up their jewels, many of the churches 
were stripped of their ornaments, and the noblest 
of the youth were taken as hostages. 

Hanax ben Abdalla Assemanni, a noble Arab of 
the tribe of Koreish, was appointed governor, and 
he applied himself to promote the interest of the 
people, and to repair the damages caused by the 
siege. He built a splendid palace and a magni- 
iicent mosque, besides fountains and baths for the 
convenience oi the townspeople ; and, like most of 

1. D. 1^14.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 96 

the Arab chiefs of that age, he was a great encou- 
rager of learning. 

After the fall of Zeuragoza, Gerona, Barcelona, 
Tarragona, Ampurias, and the lesser towns were 
easily reduced, and M uza led his Moors across the 
Pyrenees and into Septimania, where he took 
Narbonne, and conceived hopes of realizing his 
favourite project of carrying Mahometanism over 
the whole Western Empire. The riches he 
amassed in his progress were immense; in the 
church of Santa Maria in Narbonne he found seven 
silver equestrian statues, and the other towns were 
proportionably rich: but the soldiers complained 
that Muza, unlike the generous Tarif, retained the 
largest portion of the spoil ; and these complaints 
were quickly and secretly conveyed to the court at 

Meanwhile Tarif had followed the course of the 
Ebro, secured Valencia and the other towns in the 
neighbourhood, and, after reserving a fifth of all 
the plunder for the caliph, divided the rest equally 
with his companions in arms. This generosity was 
considered by Muza as a reproach to him, and he 
wrote to the caliph, again complaining that Tarif, 
by his condescension to the soldiers, subverted the 
discipline of the army. , 

The consequence of these repeated complaints 
was, that the caliph summoned both chiefs to an*- 
swer the charges brought against them at Damas- 
cus^; but Muza wa3 permitted to leave his son, 


Abdulasis, as commander-in-chief in . Spain, and 
his other son, Abdalla, was confirmed in the govern- 
ment of Mauritania. 

Tarif immediately obeyed the caliph's orders, 
and repaired to court ; but Muza awaited a second 
message, and arrived but just in time to see Walid 
before his death, and to present him with the trea- 
sures he had accumulated. The famous emerald 
table was among these, and Walid, inquiring where 
the missing leg was, Muza answered that it was 
lost before he took it from the Christians; but 
Tarif, who was present, produced the golden leg, 
and the duplicity of Muza was exposed, while the 
services of Tarif were acknowledged by his dying 
sovereign. Suleiman, the successor of Walid, 
however, suffered both these chiefs, whose valour 
had added to his dominions a province richer 
than all belonging to his crown before, to live in 
utter oblivion ; and their deaths would have been 
^ liftle noticed as the latter part of their lives, but 
for one tragic event which hastened that of Muza. 
But before we relate that sad story, we must return 
to the affairs of Spain. 

, After the departure of his father, Abdulasis 
continued the conquest of the Peninsula ; but his 
mild temper and humane conduct reconciled all 
classes of people, and the steadiness with which 
equal justice was administered in the early times 
of the Arab conquests made many converts to the 
Mahometan faith. On the young chief's return 

A7D. 714.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 97 

from his expedition to the south, he inspected the 
prisoners and slaves of the commander-in-chief's 
household, and then for the first time saw the queen 
I^ona or Ayela. She sat apart from the rest 
weeping. He approached her and said, " O fidr 
woman, why do you weep? who are you?" — 
" Ah !" she replied, " I have cause to weep. I 
was once the queen of all the land and all the cities 
of Spain. All around me obeyed me. And now 
lam a captive and a slave :" and then she began 
to weep anew. " Lady," said the prince, " you 
are still a queen and mistress of every thing in this 
palace and of me. Command, and you -will find 
yourself obeyed.'' — " It is that which grieves me 
most," said Ayela. ^^ I am in the power of one 
who is an enemy to my faith, and who mocks me 
with the name of queen and mistress, when he may 
soon teach me that I am but a miserable slave. But 
know, sir, that I will die before I will suffer any 
indignity unbecoming the Christian queen of the 
Goths." Abdulasiz assured her anew of his re- 
spect, and offered her his hand in marriage ; pro- 
mising that he would have no other wife, though 
allowed others by his religion, and assuring her, 
for herself and people, of the free exercise of her 
religion. On these terms Egilona consented to 
marry the young Arab, and their nuptials were cele- 
brated with great splendour at Seville. Abdulasiz 
scrupulously observed all his promises to the queen^ 
he was, however, permitted to enjoy his happiness 

VOL. I. F 


but for a short period* His first expedition after 
his marriage was into Lusitania, where he collected 
a considerable treasure, and commissioned ten of 
his officers to convey it to Damascus. 

On their arrival they found the new caliph Sulie- 
man exceedingly indisposed towards the family of 
Muza, notwithstanding their great services. He 
therefore chose eight of the officers sent by Abdu- 
lasiz with the treasure to carry back a commission 
for the death of all Muza's sons, and they were 
but too obedient to his commands. 

Abdulasiz was absent from Seville when the 
order for his death arrived : and when it was com- 
municated to the chiefs, they were so sensible of 
the love borne him by the soldiers and the common 
people, that thej^ dared not attack him openly at 
once. They therefore began to spread reports in- 
jurious to him ; they whispered that his love for his 
Christian wife was likely to make him abandon Ma- 
hometanism ; they asserted that she had persuaded 
him to wear a crown like the Gothic mouarchs. 
and to take on him the title of king ; and these 
stories, that were only inventions to serve a pur- 
pose at the time, have been repeated in grave hi- 
stories, and the unhappy Egilona has been accused 
as the cause of her husband's death. When the 
conspirators (for the ministers who planned and 
carried on such a scheme deserve no better name) 
found that these reports had produced the intended 
effect, and had excited distrust and jealousy of the 

A. D. 718.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 99 

cUef among the troops, they followed him to a pri- 
vate mosque, where he was in the habit of praying 
daily, at his country house, a few miles from Se- 
ville, and there fell upon him ; and having stabbed 
him as he knelt, they cut off his head, displayed it 
in the market-place, and read the caliph's order for 
his execution. 

The head was then prepared with salt and cam- 
phor^ and sent to Damascus. Muza was present 
when it was delivered to Sulieman, who, uncovering 
it, showed it to the imhappy father, and asked him 
if he knew it. " Well do I know it,'* said he, turn- 
ing aside his head, ^^ and may the curses of Hea- 
ven light on him who has slain a better man than 
himself !" So saying, he went out, and retired to 
Mecca, where he died of a broken heart for the 
death of his son. 

On the death of Abdulasiz, his imcle or his cou- 
sin, Ayoub, succeeded to the title of amir and 
the government of Spain. Neglecting the Chris- 
tians who had taken refuge in the mountains of 
GalKcia, he followed up the plans of Muza, and led 
his troops into the south of France, where they 
found richer spoils than they could hope for in the 
bare mountains of the north and west of Spain. 

Meantime the Gothic nobles began to recover 
from the stupor which seems to have possessed 
them after the battle of the Guadalete.. In the year 
718 they assembled in the valley of Cangas or 
Canica, and choosing Don Pelayo, the cousin of 
Don Roderic, as their king, they raised an army 



for the defence of Cliristiaiiity, and, taking ad- 
vantage of the absence of the Mussulman amir^ 
inarched towards the settlements of the Moors, 
which they continually harassed, and in some in- 
stances entirely broke up. The head-quarters of 
Pelayo was a great cavern in the mountain Au- 
sena, called Covadonga ; there he laid up stores of 
provisions and arms, and thence he made several 
attacks on the enemy so successfully, that at length 
the amir sent a considerable body of troops, under 
a chief called Alcama, ^ endeavour to dispossess 
him of Covadonga. The policy of the Mussul- 
mans in Spain, however, was to destroy as few of 
the natives as possible, and, above all, to win over 
as many of the nobles as they could. For this 
purpose they forced the archbishop Oppas to ac- 
company Alcama to the mountains, in hopes that 
by his intercession terms might be entered into 
with Pelayo as well as with Theodomir. But the 
king resolutely refused to listen to any proposals 
from the enemies of his faith and the invaders of 
his country, and a bloody battle was fought, in 
which Alcama was killed, and Oppas was taken 
prisoner. No sooner was the traitor prelate in the 
power of his offended countrymah than he was put 
to death, and his name condemned to that disgrace 
which ought always to follow the man who betrays 
his native land. As to his nephews, the sons of 
Witiza, disappointed in not receiving the kingdom 
from the hands of the Arabs, they had repaired to 
Damascus, where they entreated the caliph to settle 

A. D. 719.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 101 

upon them at least the patrimonial estates of their 
father. Walid, who then reigned, granted their 
petition, and bestowed equal favour on count Ju- 
lian. The loss of the battle of Covadonga was 
unjustly attributed to these noblemen, who were 
suspected by the Arabs of a second treason, and 
great part of their estates were accordingly taken 
from them by the amir. Little more is recorded 
of them in history except that the daughter of one 
of Witiza's sons, going to Damascus to claim resti- 
tution of her father's property, which her uncle had 
unjustly seized, married an Arab chief. 

While the Christians were beginning to rise 
from the state of utter ruin into which they had 
fallen, the caliph Suleiman died in the flower of 
his youth and beauty, and was succeeded by Omar 
ben Abdulasiz, grandson of the great Omar. He 
was beloved by his subjects, but died too soon to 
do all the good they had expected from his mer'- 
dful and generous temper. His successor was 
Jezid ben Abdelmalic, by whom Ayoub, who had 
governed the affairs of Spain irreproachably, was 
considered as too nearly allied to the housel of 
Muza; he was therefore displaced, and Alhaur 
put in his stead. Alhaur, though a brave leader 
in the field, was yet detested by his own people as 
well as by the enemy, for his harshness and cruelty : 
therefore, as there was a quick communication with 
the caliph's court, by means of several light ships, 
under the command of Ajax ben Xerahil, the peo« 


pie of Spain speedily sent a petition to Jezid^ com- 
plaining of the oppression of Alhaur, who was 
instantly removed^ and Alsama, a favourite chief, 
appointed in his place. 

Alsama found the greater part of the Moslem 
troops in the south of France, which Alhaur had 
ravaged as far as the banks of ;tbe Garonne^ and 
immediately undertook the siege of Thoulouse, 
which was defended by Eudes, duke of Aquitaine. 
Alsama was killed in a desperate battle before the 
city, and the soldiers instantly chose Abderaman, 
the companion of Alsama, for their chief. He was 
a man of extraordinary bravery and almost extra- 
vagant liberality. Under his short government he 
kept in awe the whole of the south of France, made 
incursions beyond the Rhone, repressed several 
risings of the Christians in Navarre, and won the 
affections of the soldiers by dividing all that was 
gained in his expeditions equally with them, after 
reserving the fifth part, allotted by law to the 

But this liberality was considered by the elder 
and more severe Mussulmans as tending to corrupt 
the simple manners of the Arab soldiers. Accord- 
ingly a graver chief was appointed; and when the 
virtuous Ambisa was named, Abderaman was the 
first to do him honour, and to set the example of 
subordination by returning without a murmur to 
the duties of a simple captain. 

In the same year died the caliph Jescid of a 

A. D. 723.] HISTORY OF SPAIN* 103 

broken heart, caused by the death of a favourite 
^lave, and was succeeded by his brother Hachem. 

While these changes were taking place among 
the Moslem, Don Pelayo had gradually increased 
the boundaries of his small kingdom, which at 
first contained little more than the territory round 
Oviedo. Leon was now added, but Oviedo con- 
tinued to be the capital, as more safe from the 
incursions of the Arabs. It is not quite certain 
whether he was at this time ^led king of Oviedo 
or of Leon, though the foundation of the kingdom 
of Leon is dated from this period* 

The Mahometan part of Spain had fidlen into 
considerable disorder at this time, owing to the 
absence of the amirs in Gaul, or, as the Arabs 
called it, Afranc* Ambisa's first care was to re-* 
form the abuses that had crept into the administra- 
' tion of justice. He forbade any distinction in mat- 
ters referred to the judges, between Mahometan, 
Jew, and Christian. He distributed lands to the 
Arabs and other new settlers from Mauritania, 
without giving offence to the Christians ; for, as he 
observed, the wars and the pestilence had left too 
many estates without masters, and he had besides 
a great deal of land to dispose of which had been 
abandoned by the Jews. Just as he was called to 
the government, an impostor named Zonarus arose 
in Syria, pretending to be the Messiah, whom the 
Jews still expect. Multitudes therefore from Spain 
and Narbonne flocked to the East, abandoning their 


estates, in full confidence that their kingdom was 
now come. These estates, therefore, Ambisa be- 
stowed on his followers without offence. He equa- 
lised the taxes on the Christians all over Spain, 
demanding a fifth from the conquered people, and 
only a tenth from such as yielded voluntarily. He 
rebuilt the Roman bridge of Cordova, and visited 
every city to establish divans or seats of justice, and 
to see that there were fit places of worship for all. 

To the great grief of the people, Ambisa was 
killed in a battle fought on the banks of the Rhone 
against the Christians, in the year 724. Witli his 
dying breath he left the government to his friend 
Hodeira, who might have carried on his benevolent 
plans, but he was almost immediately superseded 
by Yahya, a man so severe that the soldiers soon 
put Othman in his place, on condition of his lead- 
ing them against the troops of France. 

The caliphs had delegated the protection of Spain 
to the governors of Egypt : the severe discipline 
of the first followers of Mahomet had been relaxed 
in that country by luxury and indolence, and the 
venality of tlie chiefs was such that the highest 
bidder might now purchase the amirship of Spain. 
Accordingly, Coltum ben Aam, Hodaifa, and Oth<^ 
^an ben Neza, succeeded each other so rapidly, 
that not one had time to distinguish himself. The 
caliph, hearing of these disorders, tliought to re- 
medy them by sending the Syrian Alheitam ben 
Obeid as amir to Cordova, now the capital of the 

A. D, 727.] HISTOHY OF SPAIN: 105 

peninsula. IBs tyranny was, however, so great, 
that the caliph sent Muhammad, a grave and vir- 
tuous prince, from Damascus, to inquire into his 
conduct, which was found to have been so scan- 
dalous, that he was deprived of his command, and 
exposed to the derision of the people of Cordova 
riding on an ass. He was then sent under a suf- 
ficient guard to Africa, and his goods were confis- 
cated, and employed as far as possible in making 
restitution to those he had injured* 

Muhammad remained two months in Spain, and 
ehose Abderaman, the favourite of the people, for 
the new amir. His coming and going were at-« 
tended with blessings : such are the rewards of good 

The only man who murmured at the elevation 
of Abderarnan was Othman ben Abi Neza, called 
in the Christian chronicles Munuza. This man 
was brave and hardy, and had assembled a small 
body of Arabs like himself, with whom he lived in 
a sort of independence among the mountains on 
the frontiers of France. In one of his inroads into 
that <x>untry he had taken prisoner a daughter of 
Eudes duke of Aquitaine, and becoming desperately 
enamoured of her, married her, and purchased the 
consent of her father by engaging not to invade 
his dominions, and to assist him against all ene-^ 
mies. Hie consequently rebelled against Abdera- 
man, who marched from Cordova, and surprised him 
at a town in tlie Pyrenees so- unexpectedly, that li^ 

■ f5 


had scarcely time to escape from it with his &mily 
at one gatCy before the soldiers of the amir entered 
at another* He was traced from the walls to a 
narrow valley surrounded by sharp rocks, which 
shaded it from the sun* There, by the side of a 
clear fountain, stretched on the soft grass, lay the 
daughter of Eudes, overcome with fatigue, and 
Munuza, who prized her more than life, was ten-» 
derly waiting on her* His people heard the sound 
of the coming soldiers, and escaped^ but he was 
surrounded and taken as he was bearing his be- 
loved captive to some place of concealment, and 
died endeavouring to defend her. 

The young princess was respectfully conveyed 
to Abderaman, w^o sent her to the caliph at Da- 
mascus* It is believed that she became his wife, 
and was the mother of some of the princes of the 
house of Omeya. 

Abderaman then proceeded to the banks of the 
Rhone. He took Aries, passed the Garonne and 
the Dordogne, defeated Eudes, took Perigord» 
Saintonge, Poitou, and Sens, also Lyons and Be- 
san9on, and was about to attack Tours when he 
heard of the mighty army that Charles M or Uj , 
mayor of the palace to the king of France, was 
leading against him, to arrest, if possible, the pro^ 
gress of the Mahometan arms, which seemed about 
to overspread the whole empire of the West. The 
country had been wasted &x and wide, and the 
memory of the invasion of the Moors was long pre- 

A. D, 738.] HISTORY OF SPAIN, 107 

served by traditions which have been the ground- 
work of many of the romances of chivalry, and 
of some of the most delightful of the Italian and 
Spanish poems. 

The Arab writers say, tiiat the troops of Abde-^ 
raman, flushed with their past successes, had be- 
come careless and lax in their discipline ; and that 
he^ too late aware of the evil, trusted to the for- 
tune of the Mahometans and the terrors of the 

The armi^ met between Tours and Poitiers. 
For six days the battle was carried on with equal 
obstinacy on both sides. At length Abderaman> 
pierced by the lances of the enemy, fell, and his 
people instantly gave way. Favoured by night, 
they retired from the field of battle, and retreated, 
harassed by the continued attacks of the Franks, to 
Narbonne. There they* were besieged by Charles> 
who was, however, forced to retreat, having saVed 
France^ and earned the surname of Martel, or the 
Hammer, from the irresistible blows he is said to; 
have given the Moors on the day of the fight near 
Poitiers, A. D. 733. 

After the death df Abderaman, Abdelmelic ben 
Cotan was appointed amir of Spain. His govern-- 
ment was so unfortunate that the superstitious 
people imagined an evil genius presided over him, 
and accordingly he made way for Ocba^ whos^ 
whole attention was occupied in framing such in- 
ternal regulations aa should insure the prosperity 


of the country. His first act was to establish a 
vigorous police, whose officers, called kashefs, were 
to be accountable for any disorders that should 
take place in their districts. He founded schools 
for the Mahometans, and encouraged those of the 
Christians and Jews. He built several mosques^ 
and settled annual salaries upon learned men to 
teach the law and preach to the people. Having 
thus spent nearly four years, he restored the go- 
vernment to Abdelmelic and returned to his former 
government in Africa, where his presence was 
required, in the year 737. 

In the same year died Don Pelayo, who, like 
Ocba, had been endeavouring to establish the in- 
ternal government of his small kingdom. He was 
succeedejd by his son Favila, a hardy knight, but 
not much beloved by his people. He was fond of 
the chase, and having one day pursued a bear into 
a defile, the animal turned upon him and killed 
him, in the second year of his reign. His wife 
was Donna Froiluba, of whom we know nothing, 
but that her daughter by Favila was grandmother 
to one of the wives of Charlemagne. Ermisenda, 
the sister of Favila, had married her cousin, Don 
Alonzo the Goth, and the assembled nobles chose 
Alonzo to succeed his brother-in-law, as being a 
man capable of protecting the kingdom firom foreign 
attacks, and whose wisdom might be relied on in 
the domestic government. 

The activity of Charles Martel required all the 

A. D. 742.] HISTORY OF SPAIN; 109 

vigilance of the amir of Spain on the frontier; and 
the bad fortune of Abdelmelic had seemed to re- 
vive, when Oeba returned from Africa and fixed his 
abode at Cordova. His presence preserved the 
public tranquillity for a time ; but his death, in 742, 
gave room for the introduction of many abuses, and 
the rise of many parties. 

The caliphs of Damascus had been declining in 
power and influence. The death of Hachem made 
way for Waled ben Jezd ; and he, in his turn, was 
followed by Jezd ben Waled, to whom his bro- 
ther Ibrahim succeeded in the same year : he re- 
tained the caliphat but a few months, and made way 
for his cousin Meruan, in whose defence he was 
shortly afterwards killed in Syria by the rival party 
of the Abbassides, the descendants of Abbas, one of 
the companions of Mahomet; and Meruan himself 
fell shortly afterwards in Egypt in defence of his 
throne. Thus ended the reign of the Om^iad ca- 
liphs in the East. They were succeeded by the 
Abassides ; but from this period Spain ceased to be 
dependent on the throne of the Oriental caliphs. 
One of the princes of the bouse of Omeiah, how- 
ever^ escaped from the general massacre of his rela- 
tions, and founded a kingdom at Cordova, which 
rivaled the thrones of the East in splendour : but 
before we relate his« history, we must return to 
that of Spain under Abdelmelic. 

The disturbances in the East had been die signal 
for a revolt atoiong the Berbers, and other African 


tribes, 6ach of which, when overcome, retreated to 
Spain as to a ground where there was room for all, 
and where each chief might hope to gain the go- 
vernment of the whole. Baleg and Thalaba led 
the way, and a civil war succeeded, which con- 
tinued for two years ; and in the course of which 
the amir Abdelmelic was murdered, and Baleg 
killed in battle. A fresh invasion of fifteen hun- 
dred Mogrebin, and other Arabs, now arrived to 
harass the country ; but, fortunately, the character 
of their amir Husam was of a kind to tranquillise 
the people and to establish peace. With this view, 
he settled each of the Arab tribes, which had ac- 
companied him, in situations as nearly resembling 
those of their native provinces as possible : the na- 
tives of Damascus he placed at Elvira, and gave 
the lands of Medina-Sidonia and Algeziras to those 
of Palestine, and so of the rest; dmt they might 
have homes, and not wander over ike country ad 
robbers and oppressors. 

These measures, however, gave discontent to 
many, and principally to Samail, the chief of the 
Egyptian Moors in Spain. At the head of these 
he marched against the amir and his Arabs, or Ye^ 
menees, and, after sustaining an obstinate siege, 
Husam was slain in a sally he made from Cordova* 
Various other ^^ptains now arose to assert the in-f 
dependence of the different cities, and the whole 
country was one scene of confusion. At length 
the Arab sheiks, taking compassion on the people, 

^ D. 742.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. Ill 

resolved td elect a single ddef^ whom they should 
all obey. One of the conditions of their choice was, 
that he should never have been at the head of any 

The election fell on Yusuf of Fehri, of the tribe 
of Koreish, and of the family of one of the original 
conquerors of Spain. He was a mild and virtuous 
man, esteemed by both Mahometans and Christians^ 
^d the choice gave universal satisfaction. But the 
evils of the civil war were too deeply rooted to be 
ended by the exertions of any chief, however meri- 
torious, as long as the seat of government was at a 
distance, and his rivals could hope to remove him 
by appealing to a superior. Hence Yusuf, however 
deservedly popular, was soon opposed. Amer ben 
Amru rose against him — cities were taken and lost 
— the common people oppressed — and every evil 
seemed to increase with time. 

The el^ler Arab chie& now met again to consult 
on the steps it might be possible to take, to remedy 
the growing ills. Without consulting either of the 
rival governors, they agreed, as they could not 
be ignorant of what bad passed in the East and 
in Egypt, that as governments independent of the 
caliphat had been formed, it would be most con- 
ducive to the general tranquillity if they could esta- 
blish an independent kingdom in l^ain, and place 
at its head some chief whose birth should claim 
respect, but who had never taken part in any of 
the disputes which had agitated the country. On 


this Wabib ben Zahir arose, and said, that such a 
chief was now to be found on the borders of the^ 
desert, in the tents of the 2fenetes. Abdulrahman 
ben Moavia had escaped from the banks of the 
Euphrates, where his infant son and his brother 
were murdered by the emissaries of Abdallah Abul- 
abas. He was of the &mily of the Omeiahs, the' 
true caliphs, and his character and qualities pro- 
mised every thing they could wish as a sovereign. 
The assembly agreed to send messengers to Africa 
to invite him. They Were instructed to pass, dis- 
guised as merchants, through the dominions of the 
amir of Tangier, who had declared in favour of the 
Abassides. They performed their journey in safety, 
and found Abdulrahman with the sheiks of Zenete, 
at Tahart. 

Temam ben Alcama, one of the messengers, ad- 
dressed the prince, offering him, in the name of all 
the Moslem in Spain, and especially in that of the 
sheiks of the tribes of Arabia, Syria, and Egypt, not 
an asylum, fdr'that they knew he had already in 
the tents of the noble Zenetes', but the empire 
of Spain. The hearts of the people, said the mefs- 
senger, were already his ; and they were ready to 
combat, nay, if requisite, to die, in order to place 
him on the throne, and maintain him there. 

Abdubahman considered a few minutes, and then 
replied, ^' Illustrious captains I ambassadors of the 
Moslem of Spain ! For your good, and to comply 
with your desires, I will go with you ; I will fight 

A. D. 756.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 113 

in your cause ; and if the Lord assists tne, and 
approves of the obedience you tender to me, you 
shall find in me a brother and companion, in peril 
as in prosperity. Neither labour nor adversity 
alarms me, nor do I dread battle or death; for 
few as have been my years, inconstant Fortune has 
taught me many times to despise life, and has 
placed every horrid image of death before me ; and 
since such, as you say, is the wish of the honourable 
Moslem of Spain, I am content, God willing, to be 
your leader and defender." 

The envoys were well pleased with this answer, 
and took occasion to represent to the prince the 
consequence of keeping his determination secret. 
Abdulrahman answered, that he must, at any rate, 
communicate his affairs to his benefactors, the 
sheiks of tlie Zenetes ;. and that, in so doing, there 
was no hazard : he accordingly communicated the 
matter to his host. The old sheik bade him go on 
in God's name, and gave him five hundred horse to 
accompany him. The tribe of Mecnasa gave him 
two hundred, the sheik of Tahart fifty, and a hun- 
dred lances. All the youth of the tribe would will- 
ingly have gone with him, and when he departed, 
there were friendly tears shed in the tents of the 

With his arrival in Spain a new period of the 
Moorish history of the country begins ; and before 
we go on to it, we must return to the affairs of the 


Alonzo I., surnamed the Catholic, had succeeded 
Favila, ike son of Pelayo : very few authentic re- 
cords of his reign remain ; but it is certain that the 
boundaries of his kingdom were enlarged during 
the civil wars of his enemies. He received the sur- 
name of the Catholic, in consequence of his dili- 
gence in repairing the churches injured or defiled 
by the Mahometans, and his zeal in re-converting 
and re-baptizing such of his subjects as had been 
forced or persuaded to embrace tiie feith of the con- 
querors. He died at Cangas, in the 75th year of 
his age and the 19th of his reign, a. d. 757, and 
was buried, with his wife Emesinda, in the mo- 
nastery of Santa Maria, with great pomp. He left 
four children by his wife ; Froila, who succeeded 
him, Bimanaro, Aurelius, and Adosinda: and by a 
Moorish woman one son, Mauregat, who came, in 
the sequel, to the throne of Leon. 

After the death of the great Eudes, or Eudon, 
duke of Aquitaine, his three sons divided his do- 
minions. Aynar had that part of Spain bordering 
on Navarre, and added to it Jaca^ whence he ex- 
pelled the Moors, and thus prepared the foundation 
of the kingdom of Arragon. 

The other two sons of Eudes, who had divided 
his estates in France, were deprived of them by 
Charles Martel. To revenge this injury, they in- 
vited some of the Moorish chiefs from Spain to take 
part with them, and by their assistance ravaged 
the country as &r as Avignon ; but the conduct of 



Charles Maxtel soon remedied the evil, and, taking 
advantage of their internal disturbances, he drove 
the Arabs back beyond the Pyrenees, and apnexed 
the provinces of Septimania to France. 

Helmets, Arms, ^c. 

Nothing could be more wretched than the state 
of Spain during this period. The pe<^le, wasted 
by pestilence and &mine during the latter part of 
the reign of Roderic, were now farther oppressed 
by foreign conquerors, whose habits, languc^e, and 
faith differed from their own. The nobles were 
either killed with their king, or wretched exiles 
among the savage mountains of Gallicia and the 
Asturias, and the country was so wasted, that the 
conquerors themselves, as they marched through it, 


lamented over the unpeopled villages and ruined 

To remedy the latter ill, the amirs called over 
from Mauritania colonies of the agricultural Arabs, 
and of the Jews, in whose hands was most of the 
commerce of that part of the world. These settlers 
very much improved the state of Spain, but still 
the civil wars retarded the benefit that might have 
arisen from the judicious measures of the new go- 

The Arabs brought with them into Spain great 
simplicity and sobriety of manners ; but at the same 
time a taste for magnificence and elegance in their 
buildings and gardens. Their women seldom went 
abroad, and when they did so they were closely 
veiled ; but they were not then so secluded as the 
Mahometan women are at present, nor were they 
by any means illiterate. They were uniformly 
treated with great respect, and even on the taking 
of a city, the Arab chie& always protected the 
women from wrong or insult. 

They considered skill in poetry not only as a 
mark of a liberal education, but as an accomplish- 
ment necessary to complete the character of a 
knight: and the amir Husam owed the govern- 
ment of Spain to some ingenious verses which had 
pleased the caliph. Music was a favourite amuse- 
ment among the young Arabs, though the elder 
sheiks were jealous of its approach to sensual plea- 
sure. The guitar was brought by them* into the 

A. D. 755.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. Ii7 

Peninsula, and it is believed that the national 
Spanish airs^ as well as the rhymes and measures 
of their beautiful ballads, are derived from the 
Arab conquerors. 

The painting and sculpture which represent 
animated beings were considered by them as trans- 
gressions against the commands of the Decalogue ; 
but nothing can exceed the beauty of their fanciful 
architectural decorations, or the delicacy of their 
sculpture when employed on tracery and folis^e. 

Hey were great lovers of the chase, and be- 
stowed much pains on improving their horses and 
dogs. The horses, indeed, were so honoured, that 
their genealogy was preserved as carefully aa those 
of the chiefs themselves. And Casiri mentions an 
Arabic manuscript in the Escurial, containing an 
account of the most celebrated horses in the world. 

Dogs were abhorred, excepting those for the 
chase and watch-dogs; and of other animals the 
swine was not only disliked, but his flesh was pro- 
hibited, and in general all quadrupeds with claws, 
such as the hare, are rejected as food by the Ma- 

The dress of the Arabs of that day was nearly 
the same as it is now. They wore wide trousers, 
and a loose coat, with a thick sash round the waist, 
and a turban. In war they nsed both chain and 
scale armour, and lined their turbans with steel 
caps, and sometimes used helmets. Their arms 
consisted usually of a long lance, a scymitar, a 


crooked sword, a dagger, and a round shield, made 
of hide, the best of which were manu£Eu;tiired in 
Africa; and until they established the manufiEictory 
of swords at Toledo, the best scymitars were pro« 
cured from Mauritania. Some of the tribes used 
a straight sword instead of the scjrmitar, and others 
continued the use of the bow and arrow. 

The different tribes were distinguished in the 
field by pennons of different colours. The tribe of 
Ali used green, the Omeiades white, and the house 
of Abbas black flags ; other families were distin- 
guished by other colours, or mixture of colours, or 
sometimes devices of various kinds, either borne on 
their flags or painted on their shields. 

Among the Christians little refinement can be 
expected in an age of ^uch extreme misery; a(>- 
cordingly we find the Arab writers reproaching 
them with filthiness in all their habits. They are 
called rough and rude men, who do not wash them- 
selves, and who think not of changing their clothes 
till they are so ragged that they drop o^ them- 
selves. The French are praised by the sajne writers 
for trimming^ their hair and beards, and washing 
their hands at least. The Arabs themselves were 
accustomed to indulge in luxurious baths ; besides 
their religion enjoined them to perform various- 
ablutions every day : hence they were particularly 
offended by a want of cleanliness. 

As to the geographical division of Spain during 
this period, the Christians were confined to a very 

A. D. 755.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 119 

small portion in the north-west The rest of the 
country was divided by the last amir, Yusuf el Fahri, 
into five provinces, as follows : the Arab names are 
retained here. 

Andalncia; Tolaitola (or Toledo) ; Merida; Sa- 
racosta (Zaragoza); and Narbona. 

The principal cities in Andalucia are set down 
as Cordoba, Esbilia, Carmona, Egija, Talica, M. 
Sidonia^ Arcos, Libia, Malaga, Elbira, Jayen, Ar- 
jona, Castolona, Alturja, Cabra, Bulcona, Astaba, 
Ossona, and other smaller places. 

The chief towns of Tolaitola were, Tolaitola, 
Ubeda, Bayeza, Monteya, Wadiacix, Basta, Mur- 
cia, Bocastra, Mula, Lorca, Auriola, Elixe, Xatiba, 
Denia, Lucante, Cartagena, Valencia, Valeria, Se- 
govia, Segobrica, Ercabica, Guadilaxara, Secunda, 
Ocxima, Colonnia, Cauca, Balancia, and others. 

Merida comprehended the west country beyond 
the Guadiana. Its chief places were, Merida, Beja, 
Baracara, Dumio, Alisbona, Portocale, Jude, Auria, 
Luco, Astorica, Samora, Iria, Vetica, Ossobona, 
Egitania, Colimbiria, Beseo, Lamico, Caliabria, 
Sdamantica, Abela, Elbora, Jabora, and Cauria. 

The province of Saracosta, formerly Celtiberia, 
contained Saracusta, Tarracona, Gerunda, Barce- 
lona, Egara, Ampurias, Ansona, Urgelo, Lerida, 
Tortusa, Huesca, Tutila, Anca, Calahorra, Bam- 
bolona, Taragona, Barbastar, Acoscante, Amaya, 
Jacca, Segia, and others. 

The fifth province, which lies in France, con- 


tains Narbona, NBmanso, Carcasona, Caucoliberi, 
Betieras, Agada, Macalpna, Lotuba, Elena, and 

Yusuf caused the people to be numbered, and 
each village so connected with some principal town 
as to be under the inspection of magistrates. He 
allotted a third part of the taxes to the maintenance 
of the mosques, council-houses, prisons, roads, and 
bridges, and increased the number of kaschefis, or 
police-men, throughout the kingdom. 

Names ofCalipht of the Eatty to whom Spain was subject- 

Walid ben Abddmelic ben Meruan. 

Suleiman ben Abddmelic. 

Omar ben Abdulasiz. 

Jezid ben Abdelmelic. 

Hachem ben Abdelmelic 

Walid ben Jezid. 

Jezid ben Walid. 

Ibrahim ben Walid. 

Meruan ben Muhammad ben Meruan. 

Amirs ofSpain^from the Conquest to Yusuf (it Fahri, 

Taric ben Zeyad el Sadfi. 
Muza ben Noseir el Becri 
Abdulasiz ben Muza. 
Ayub ben Habib. 
Alhaftr ben Abderaman. 
Alsama ben Malic. 
Ambisa ben Johim. 
Hodeira ben Abdala. 
. Yahye ben Salema. 

A. 0. 755.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 


floddfii ben AlhaCks. 

Otman ben Abi NezA. 

Alhaitam ben Obeid. 

Muhammad ben AbdaUa. 

Abderaman ben AbdaUa el OafekL 

Abdelmelic ben Cotan* 

Ocba ben Alhagag. 

Abdelmdic ben Cotan, a seeond time* 

Baleg ben Baxir. 

Thalaba ben Sakma. 

Hu8&m ben Dhirar el KelebL 

Thueba ben Salema. 

Yufluf ben Abderaman d Fehri* 

JliM>r<|[|k uforriot on /bot. 

VOL. I. 



[From A. D. 756 to a. d. 820.] 

Mosque of Cordova. 

From the general slaughter of the Omeiad 
princes of Damascus by the first Abasside caliph, 
one youth escaped. This was Abdulrahman ben 
Moavia ben Hachem ben Abdiibnelic ben Meroan. 
He was in his twenty-first year, and was rarely 
endowed with qualities both of mind and body. 
He, with his brother and son, were living on the 
banks of the Euphrates, when the emissaries of 

A. D. 755.] HISTORY OF S^AIN. 123 

Alabas were sent to put them to death, at the time 
of the murder of their fifty cousins. Abdulrahman 
happened to be absent on a visit to Zeituno, and 
so escaped the £Ette of his child and brother. His 
friends provided him with horses, and with jewels 
for his expenses, and he fled from the country by 
hye-paths, knowing that there was no safety for 
him in cities and walled towns, to the deserts of 
, Egypt; and there did he, a prince accustomed to 
tive delicately, dwell widi the Beduins and shep* 
herdb of the tents, and learn to live like them. 
Insecure even there, he went into Barca, where 
the governor, Abefn Habib, owed every thing to 
his family; but he found that Habib had set a price 
upon his head, as the best means of obtaining the 
favour of the new caliph. He, however, traversed 
the country unhurt. His youth, his gentleness, a 
certain majesty which shone out in his eyes, and 
his affability gained all hearts. One night the 
Arabs of a village where he had taken shelter were 
awakened by the troops of Habib, who were in 
search of Abdulrahman. By the description of the 
man they sought, the Arabs knew it must be their 
guest ; for the rules of hospitality among them re- 
quired that they should not ask a stranger's name 
until he had rested, and they, therefore, knew not 
till then whom they had received; but they an- 
swered, that they had indeed seen him, that he wa» 
with their young men hunting the lion, and that 
his path was in a certain valley. The troops rode 



off in pursuit, and his. hosts instantly awoke him, 
and sent him with six of their stoutest youths across^ 
the desert towards a place of safety. . .They rode 
on over plains of sand, often listening to the roar 
of the desert lion, and after some days arrived at 
Tahart, where they were generously received. 

Here Abdulrahman neither concealed his birth 
nor his misfortunes. His mother Raha was de- 
scended from the tribe of the Zanetes at Tahart, 
and the eldest sheik was her kinsman. Into his 
tent, therefore, wa9 Abdulrahman received, and all. 
the people of Tahart assembled to do him honour, 
and to show hospitality to the youths his con- 

Here it was that the messengers from Spain 
found him, and here, before his departure, he en- 
tered into that alliance with the Zanetes which, 
lasted while there were any princes of his race to 
occupy the throne of Spain. On taking leave, the 
ancient sheik said to him, " My son ! since God 
calls thee to this work, doubt not to follow it with 
valour, and rely on us to help thee; for, in truth,, 
the honour of thy house and family cannot be up- 
held without the horseman and the spear." 

Under these auspices, and with- this blessing,. 
Abdulrahman went to Spain, and about the middle 
of August, 755, he landed at Almunecar with six 
thousand Arab horsemen, mostly of the Zanetes. 
The principal chiefis of Andalusia were assembled 
to meet mm, arid as soon as he landed, took his^ 

A. D. 755,] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 125 

hands, and swore to be obedient to him. The 
people had assembled in crowds, and cried out, 
" God favour Abdulrahman ben Moavia, king of 
Spain !'* The noise of his coming soon spread 
abroad, and in a very few days all the principal 
Mahometans, especially the youth, declared for 

The beauty of his person, heightened by the 
pleasure of the cordial reception he met with, pre- 
possessed the people in his favour. He was tall, 
and of a noble and beautiful aspect, fair and ruddy ; 
he had large and very animated blue eyes, and his 
manners were very gentle arid graceful In a few 
days he was at the head of twenty thousand men, 
mostly from Elvira, Almeria, Malaga, Arcos, and 
Medina Sidonia. As he approached Seville, the 
whole of the inhabitants, headed by their magi- 
strates, came out to meet him. He was proclaimed 
there with every demonstration of joy, and received 
the deputies from the other cities, who had come 
thither to make their submission. 

Nothing could exceed the dismay of the amir 
Yusuf on learning the arrival of Abdulrahman. He 
had declared himself in favour of the Abasside, and 
the presence of the last of the Omeiads in Spain 
under such circumstances assured him he had little 
to hope but from the chance of war; and' accord- . 
ingly he made every disposition that prudence 
could suggest to arrest tlie progress of the young 
caliph. But his army w^s soon driven out of Cor- 


dova, and Abdulrahman marched towards Merida; 
but, trusting to bis good fortune^ he left Cordova 
without a sufficient garrison, so that Yusuf retook 
it by surprise. This misfortune was soon repaired ; 
Merida surrendered] Yusuf, hopeless of success, 
submitted to the conqueror, who permitted him to 
keep his fortune, and to reside in Toledo at his 
favourite house, with his family, in a private station. 

Thus within a year were all the civil disturbances 
quieted, and the various chiefs of Syria^ Arabia, 
and Egypt amicably settled under a caliph of their 
choice, whose high descent admitted of no rivalry 
or competition for the supreme power. 

The year 756 was a happy one for the caliph* 
No enepiy, foreign or domestic, arose to disturb 
tlie tranquillity of the country; and in the spring, 
his wife Howara, whom be loved extrepa^ly, bftre 
him a son in Cordova. The birth of the young 
prince, who was named Hachem, was celebrated 
with feasting of all ranks, and distribution of alms 
in all the cities in the kingdom. 

Abdulrahman visited the principal cities, and 
gave orders for the building and repairing mosques 
and^ other public works. In Cordova he built a 
fine alhama, or place where the divan or council 
should meet, and the cadis administer justice, pro- 
vided with prisons for ordinary culprits. He re- 
paired the ancient Roman roads, and built a palace 
and a garden called the Rusafo, near the city» 
on the banks of the river. In the garden he col- 

A. 0. 756.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 127 

lected many beautiful flowers and trees, and among 
the rest a palm tree, the first that was seen in 
Spain ; and one of his great pleasures was to sit in 
the great tower in the midst of the garden, and 
contemplate the palm, which reminded him of his 
native land. It was to this palm that he addressed 
the verses, which were soon in the mouths of the 

Thou too art here, my noble palm, 

In stranger singleness ; 
The kisses of the weatem wind 

Thy eastern pride caress. 

Thy root is in a fruitful soil. 

Thy head thou rear'st to heav*n. 
But bitter tears like me thou 'dst weep. 

Were feeling to tliee giv*n. 

But no ! thou canst not feel, as I, 

The adverse Fates* control. 
Ah me ! unceasing floods of grief 

0*erwhelm my troubled souL 

I watered with my te^rs the palms 

That by Euphrates rose ;-^ ^ 
The palms and restless streams are now 

Forgetful of my woes, 

When driT*n by unrelenting Fate, 

And Alabas I left. 
All this torn bosom held most dear, , 

Of my souVs treasures reft I 

To tJiee of my lov'd native land 

No fond remembrance clings, 
/ cannot cease to think, and stiU 

The te«r unbidden springs. 


Early in the following year, Moavia ben Salilii, 
the friend of Abduhrahman, returned from a mis- 
sion to Syria, where he had collected many friends 
of the house of Omeya, who had fled from the 
severities of Akbas into Irac and Egypt. This 
virtuous and learned man was placed by Abdulrah- 
man at the head of the law in Spain, .by the title 
of the Cadi of Cadies of Cordova, and the seat of 
government was finally established in that city. 

The fourth year of Abdulrahman^s reign was 
disturbed by the rebellion of the late amir Yusuf 
el Fehri, who, unable to bear a private station, re- 
solved on making at least one struggle to regain 
the government. He was speedily defeated at 
Lorca, and died of his wounds. One of his sons 
and his friend Samail shared his &te. 

In tlie beginning of the next year a slight dis- 
turbance in Seville forced the caliph to take the 
field ; but the chiefs being given up by the towns- 
people, he passed on towards Beja in Portugal, 
then in the hands of the Christians. 

At this time Froila I., son of Alonzo the Catho- 
lic, reigned in Gallicia. He had enlarged and for- 
tified Oviedo, and erected it into a bishop'^s see ; 
he strengthened the walls of the frontier towns, 
and lost no occasion of securing and extending the 
limits of his little kingdom. One of the first acts 
of his reign was to hold a council of bishops, to 
purge the Gallician church from heresy and the 
contamination of Mahometanism, and at that council 

iL D. 759.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 129 

strictly forbade the marriage of priests, which a 
law of Witiza had permitted. These precautions 
were very necessary, as the Mahometans were in- 
defatigably zealous in endeavouring to draw over 
the Christians to their &ith, and intermarriages 
between the sects had become common. 

Froila had no sooner heard of Abdulrahman's 
approach to Beja than he marched to its relief; 
and as the caliph had received notice that Toledo 
was in a state of insurrection under Hachem el 
Fehri, the near relation of Yusuf, he left the 
Christians in peace, and went towards Toledo. At 
his approach Hachem submitted, and was forgiven ; 
but no sooner had Abdulrahman returned to Cor- 
dova than he rebelled anew, and being driven from 
Toledo, was taken in Seville, with the rest of the 
principal conspirators. 

The caliph remained some time at Seville ; and 
to conciliate the inhabitants, he built a garden pa- 
lace and tower, and made public walks, and, above 
all, planted palm-trees, as he had done at Cordova. 

On the caliph's return to his capital, he received 
letters from llie Zanete chiefs of Tahart, warning 
him that the Abasside caliph, Abu Giaffitr Alman- 
zor, was about to send an army into Spain to expel 
him, and to reduce the country once more to the 
obedience of the eastern caliphs. 
' Abdulrahman was not therefore quite unpre- 
pared when Alia ben Mogueis, the lieutenant of 
Almanior, landed on the coast of Algarve with bis 



Syrian troops* The &te of the invader wa» soon 
decided. His army, disgusted at his severity^ 
diminished hourly, and in a few days his hesdj 
preserved in salt and camphor, was sent to Mecca 
by a trusty Cordovan, who nailed it on the palace- 
gates during tlie night ; and when Almanzor saw 
it in the morning, as he passed out to the mosque, 
he blessed himself that the sea was between him 
and so formidable a foe, 

A momentary insurrection in Seville was all that 
disturbed the tranquillity of Mahometan Spain for 
some years after this event ; but the Christian por* 
tion of the country was &r from enjoying equal 

Aznar, the son of the great Eudes of Aquitaine, 
was at continual war with king Froila. On one 
occasion Froila had captured the daughter of Az- 
nar, named Nuna Menina, whose beauty induced 
him to make peace with her father on condition of 
receiving, her hand in marriage. The wedding was 
scarcely celebrated and peace confirmed, before 
Froila, suspecting his brother Bimaharo of con- 
spiring against him, murdered him with his gwb 
hand, and his death was revenged by their other 
brothers, who put Froila to death in the eleventii 
yiear of his reign. His brother Orelio or Aurelius 
succeeded, and did nothing either in peace jor war 
worthy of record during the six years he sat on the 

Ten years alter the invasion of Spain by AI- 

A.D.768.] HISTOET OI! SPAIN. 131 

manzor'g troops, Abdul Gafir Meknesi^ a pretended 
descendant of Fatima» the dai^hter of Mahomet, 
collected a great body of Moors and Arabs, and 
sailed from Africa with a considerable force to in- 
vade Spain. Some of his vessels were met near 
the coast by the governor of Tarragona and Tor- 
tosa, wUh the ships belonging to those ports, and 
taken or sunk; but Meknesi himself effected a 
landing, and was immediately joined by a band of 
outlaws who had long infested the mountains. Ased 
el Xebeni opposed his advance into the country, but 
was unfortunately so severely wounded in the first 
battle that he died. His loss was greatly lamented 
by Abdulrahman, as he was the best engineer 
belonging to his army. He was director of the 
public works, and had planned the new £Drtifica'» 
tions of Granada. His place was, however, sup- 
plied by Abdul Salem, ^e Syrian, who, with his 
twelve sons, had accompanied the caliph in his- 
exile and subsequent successes. 

Some reinforcements arrived from Africa. To- 
ledo, always disposed to change, took the part of 
the stranger ; and by the assistance of liie mountain 
robbers Meknesi had gained Seville. The siege 
of that place was distinguished by a tragical event. 
The commander-in-chief of the army before it was 
Abdelmelic, the caliph's cousin. On one occasion, 
when Abdelmelic had been wounded in battle, the 
caliph, seeing an enemy about to kill him, had 
interposed, and at his own risk saved his kin$man. 


On this account Abdelmelic was(. more than com- 
monly devoted to bis sovereign and zealous in his 
cause. Of his many sons Cassiin was the youngest 
able to bear arms,, and was exceedingly beautiful. 
He had placed this youth at the head of a body of 
horsemen, and sent them to observe the enemy. 
They were suddenly surprised by a very superior 
force, and the youth, panic-struck, turned his 
horse, and galloped back to his father's camp. Ab- 
delmelic, seized with sliame and rage, cried to him, 
" Die, coward ! thou art no Meruan — ^no son of 
mine !" So saying, he hurled his lance at him, 
and transfixed the youth, who fell dead at once 
among the horror-struck soldiers; and the father, 
ordering them to rejnove the body from his sight, 
led them into action and to victory. But though 
severely wounded, he survived to mourn for his 
child ; nor could all the affectionate soothings of 
the caliph, who loved him, nor all the honours he 
could bestow on him, console him. 

Meknesi was killed about this time on the banks 
of the Xenil near Egija, where the Zanete cavalry 
routed his people ; and the governor of Elvira, cut- 
ting off his head, sent it to Cordova. 

The caliph immediately repaired to Seville to 
visit Abdelmelic, wliose wounds, though dangerous, 
were nothing compared to his grief: he brought 
him back with him to Cordova, where he assembled . 
all the chiefs who had been engaged in the wiar, 
and distributed honaurs and rewards to all. Some 


he made governors of provinces, and to some he 
gave valuable horses, jewels, or splendid robes. 
He appointed Abdelmelic governor of Zaragoza, 
and of all the eastern part of Spain. To his prime 
minister, or Hagib, Temam ben Alcama, he gave 
tfaie charge of visiting the sea-ports, and causing 
vessels to be built at Tortosa, Tarragona, Okso- 
noba, Carthi^ena, Almeria, Almunecar, Algesiras, 
Cadiz, and Huelba, and appointed him admiral of 
the kingdom. 

However successful Abdulrahman's government 
had been within Spain, he had lost, with Narbonne, 
the last hold the Mahometans had oi Septemania; 
and one of his motives for placing Abdelmelic at 
Zai:ag6za was, that being near the French frontier, 
he might be ready to resist any incursions of the 
Franks, the fame of whose emperor, Charlemagne, 
was now beginning to fill the western world. 

To Charlemagne the Christians of Spain had 
turned their hopes of liberation from the Maho- 
metan dominion; and king Silo, the brother-in-law 
of Don Orelio, is said to have proposed to do ho- 
mage to France for the crown of Spain, provided 
the emperor would assist him to drive out the 
Moors. The discontented Moors also had recourse 
to Charlemagne, and at a meeting of the nobles at 
Paderborn, Husam el Abdari, the late wali, or go- 
vernor of Zaragoza, complained to him of the in- 
justice of Abdulrahman in superseding him. 

Charlemagne was^ happy to. find an occasion to 


invade the territoiies of Spain. He crossed the 
Pyrenees, ravaged the country of the Moors as fai 
as the gates of Zaragoza, and sent some troops to 
the westward ; but instead of assisting Silo, they 
sqppear to have robbed him, and to have committed 
such disorders in the territory of the king of Na- 
varre, that he, in resentment, armed against them ; 
and when the emperor retreated across the Py« 
renees, without reinstating the Wall of Zaragoza, 
and in dread of the Mussuhnan army that was 
pursuing him, the Navarrese fell upon the rear of 
his army in that valley of Roncesvalles, which was 
then rendered &mous by the defeat of Charier* 
magne, and the death of his nephew Orlando, the 
hero of many a romantic song and tale. It is said^ 
that having the pQst of hcmour, in a retreat, the 
care of the rear of the army, Orlando had agreed 
that in case of any great emergency he sho^uld blow 
his horn, and that at the sound Charlemagne should 
return to his assistance. The knight, unwilling to 
give such a sign of weakness, delayed the signal, 
till it was useless, and the emperor only arrived in 
time to see his &vourite nephew and bravest cham- 
pion expire, and to reproach him for having blown . 
the ^^ horn too late in Roncesvalles." 

The Franks returned from their disastrous ex<- 
pedition, without even the spoil which they had 
seized in the towns of Catalonia; the king of Na- 
varre plundering them of all their baggage after 
the Arabs had dispersed their army. 

A.D.778.] HISTORY OI SPAIN. 185 

In the mean time Abdulmhmaa h»A been attend- 
ing to the internal regulation of the country, and, 
what was of especial importance to it, to the edu- 
cation of his sons. To exercise them in the science 
of government, he sent the ddest, Suleiman, as 
govenuH*, to Toledo, under the conduct of the coun- 
sellor Muza ben Hodeira, in whom he placed great 
confidence. His secopd son, Abdalla, was intrusted 
with the care of Merida, under his governor, Ab* 
delgiaffir^ whose father had been brought up with 
the caliph. 

Abdulrahman visited all the towns to the south 
and westward himself, and finding them all esta* 
blished acc<»rding to his wishes, he resolved to 
build, in Cordova, a mosque, which might surpass 
not only that of Damascus, but the newly erected 
one of Bagdad, a dty built by <^e Abasside caliphs, 
who would not reside where the Omeiads had held 
their court, and which might equal in sanctity the 
Alaksa, or holy house of Mecca, and the sacred 
place at Jerusalem. 

His next care was to provide for the pro^erity 
of the country after his deatii ; and as he was satis-^ 
fied that the qualities of his son Hachem surpassed 
those of all his eight brothers, he declared him his 
successor, and caused all his nobles to swear alle- 
giance to him. After this ceremony he set out 
with the prince to visit the principal places of the 
kingdom ; but at Meiida he was taken ill, and died 


in the year 788, to the grief of his subjects of all 
classes, having reigned thirty-three years. 

Abdulrahman was brave, skUful, and successful 
in war; but he preferred peace. The laws of the 
Mahometans being contained in their sacred book, 
the Koran, and its commentaries, he was not per- 
mitted to make new laws. But the careful admi- 
nistration of the old, and the private regulations he 
made for the various cities of Spain, deserve praise. 
He eneouraged letters, and honoured learned men ; 
and when the great cadi Moavia died, Abdulrab* 
man himself pronounced his funeral oration. The 
caliph was an orator and poet, he was fond of 
assembling men of learning and wit in his palace, 
and early taught his children to admire and respect 
them. He is believed to have studied architec- 
ture, and to have planned the great mosque at Cor- 
dova himself. He was fond of the chase, especially 
of fowling, and was very careful in the training Qf 
his hawks. He was of a cheerful and affectionate 
temper, and seldom moved to anger. At times he 
19 siaid to have withdrawn to the solitude of his 
gardens, and wept over the remembrance of his 
country and the lost friends of hb youth* He was 
buried with great pomp at Merida, and his son 
Hacbem pronounced his funeral oration ; but, says 
his historian, he was, more honoured by the tears 
of bis people. 

We must now attend, for a while, to the. a&irs 

A. D. 788.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 187 

of the Christian kings of Leon and Gallicia, where 
a disputed succession kept the country in a state of 
civil war. The aged Silo had been elected king in 
right of his wife Adosenda, the sister of Froila, but 
feeling himself incapable of contending at once 
against the incursions of the Moors and the en- 
croachment of the kings of Navarre and the counts 
of Castile, he had sought the protection of Charle* 
magne ; but the emperor's disaster at Roncesvalles 
had taught Silo that foreign aid is often most dan* 
gerous. The French troops had levied contribu- 
tions and afforded no protection ; and no one but 
the common enemy profited by the coming in of 
the strangers. Silo next caused Alonzo, the son of 
Froila, to be crowned as his associate in the king- 
dom ; and at Silo's death the people were disposed 
to confirm his choice, and acknowledge Alonzo 
as their king; but Meturegat, the natural son of 
Alonzo I., having secured a strong party in the 
kingdom, seized the crown, and reigned for five 
years, during which he endeavoured to preserve 
peace with the Moors. This conduct has drawn on 
him the censures of most of the Christian histo- 
rians, who have added to the tribute in money and 
goods, and the fifty horses, which he consented to 
pay to Abdulrahman, a tax of fifty noble damsels 
yearly, to be sent as wives or slaves to the Mus- 
sulman court; but the Arab chronicles take no 
notice of this unnatural convention. 
On the death of Mauregat in 788, the nobles, 


whose business it was to elect the king, Would have 
desired to choose Alonzo the colleague of Silo, but he 
was still in concealment in Cantabria ; and Don Ber* 
mudo, his uncle, commonly called the Deacon, be- 
cause in early life he had taken orders, was called 
from his convent to the throne. He married Ozenda 
Nunilona, a noble Spanish lady, but soon divorced 
her, on its being represented to him, thatha\dng 
once taken orders, it was unlawful tq marry. He 
was fond of letters, and preferred the peace of his 
conventual retreat to the. court; therefore, after 
little more than two years* reign, he resigned in 
favour of Alphonso II,, surnamed the Chaste^ and 
the Victarioua. He was 9 man of prudence and 
vigour, tod, partly by treating with the neighbour- 
ing kings, partly. by action in the field, maint^ed 
his kingdom entire, at a time when the Mahometans 
were united under abl^ kings, and eager for con- 
quest We shall find him engaged with the Moors 
both in peace and war, and will therefore return to 
the successor of Abdulrahman. 

Hachem was 33 years old at the time of his 
fether's death. His person was handsome, his mind 
highly accomplishec^ his deportment grave, and his 
character may be judged of by the epithets his sub* 
jects bestowed on him— the just, the merciful. 

As soon as he had performed the last duty to 
Abdulrahman, by pronouncing his funeral oration in 
the principal mosque in Merida, the nobler rode 
through the town, proclaiming him caliph, and the 

A. D. 788,] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 139 

khotba or prayer appointed to be said for the com- 
mander of the fiuthfiil, for so the Mussulmans style 
themselves, was read in all the mosques. Hachem 
then proceeded to Cordova, where he found that his 
two elder brothers had been disputing their father's 
will, and claiming the caliphat. He, however, dis^ 
sembled, and treated them as if he had never heard 
of their proceedings, trusting that by forbearance 
and kindness he should reconcile them to his au- 
thority. However, they shortly rose in arips against 
him, each claiming a right to reign independently, 
at least in the separate governments to which their 
father had appointed them. Their forces were 
speedily overcome, and Hachem, anxious for con- 
ciliation, seized the first instant when it was possible 
to gain Abdalla, who was nearest to himself in age 
and character. On his submission he assigned him 
a royal residence near Toledo, revenueis to support 
the state of a prince, and treated him in all things as 
a brother. Suleiman held out longer, and his par- 
tisans were of a more obstinate or dangerous cha- 
racter ; therefore Hachem made conditions with him 
that he should settle in Africa, and receive an 
equivalent for the estates he should give up in 
Spain. The price settled on was seventy thousand 
mitcales or pesantes of gold. 

These things settled, Hachem caused the algiheb 
or sacred war against the enemies of the Mahome- 
tan faith to be proclaimed throughout the kingdom, 
and preached in all the mosques. The Moors and 


Arabs immediately flocked to the frontiers. Gerona, 
which was in the hands of the counts of Barcelona, 
was taken, Narbonne shared the same fate ; the 
slaughter was horrible. The north of Spain was 
overrun, many prisoners were made, and an im* 
mense booty taken^ The various passes of the 
Pyrenees were forced, and incursions were made 
into France, such as had not been since the time of 
Charles MarteL 

His duty as a Mussulman thus performed, 
Hachem returned to die peaceful employment he 
best loved. He finished the great mosque begun 
by his fitther, and built a new bridge at Ck)rdova. 
The architect Parked ben Aun el Aduani, a native 
of Cordova, built at the caliph's command the beau- 
liful fountain called Ain Parked. He erected and 
endowed several schools for Arabic, and patronised 
the men of learning and physicians among the Jews ; 
but discouraged the use of Latin. He was fond of 
^»tronomy ; and nothing can better show the eleva- 
tion of his mind, in an age and among a nation of 
superstition, than his utter contempt for astrology. 
He was fond of gardens, and cultivated flowers with 
his own hands. We owe to him the introduction of 
many shrubs and flowers from the East, and he 
caused the choicest kinds of fruit-trees to be im- 
ported and planted, in all parts of his dominions. 
-He loved poetry, and even composed some verses 
for music, which the minstrels long after his time 
recommended for their delicacy. 

A, D. 796.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 141 

His reigni^^as short Early in the sixth year afiter 
hb accession, feeling himself indisposed, he assem- 
bled the chief men of the state, caused them to 
swear fidelity to his son Alhakem, and died shortly 
afterwards, in the year 796, when AloAzo the Se- 
cond was king of Leon. 

On his death-bed he called for Alhakem, who wa» 
only twenty-two years of age, very comely, and 
possessed of good talents ; but subject to more 
violent starts of temper than the Mahometans think 
consistent with dignity, and addressed him as fol- 
lows : << My son, lay up in thy heart the counsels 
that my love for thee now dictates ; consider that 
kingdoms are of God, who can take them away 
wh^n he pleases. Since, then, God has given us 
regal power and authorityof his divine bounty, let 
us pay him thanks for the gift, and do his holy will, 
which is no other than that we should do good to all 
men, and especially to those intrusted to our pro« 
tection. Do equal justice to rich and poor, and 
never permit oppression, for it b the road to per« 
dition. At the same time, be gracious to such as 
depend on thee, for we are all the creatures of God* 
Trust the government of thy provinces and cities 
only to men of approved virtue. Chastise, without 
mercy, such ministers as shall oppress thy people 
with useless and arbitrary taxes. Govern thy troops 
with gentleness and firmness, when thou art obliged 
to take up arms, and let them be the defenders^ not 
the spoilers of thy state ; and for this end see that 


they be punctually paid, and thy promises to them 
kept. Never neglect to cultivate the good will of 
thy people, for in their love consists the security of 
the state ; their fear is dangerous ; their hatred cer- 
tain ruin. Watch over the labourers who till the 
soil, and procure us necessary sustenance ; permit 
not their eom-fieids or orchards to be trodden down. 
In short, conduct thyself sK) as that thy people may 
bless thee, and live content under the shadow of 
thy protection, and enjoy in quiet the sweets of 
life. In this consists good government, and if thou 
doest thus, thou shalt be happy, and earn the re- 
putation of the most glorious prince on earth," 

Having said this, the caliph expired, in the 
fortieth year of his age. He was followed to the 
grave by an immense concourse of people, and 
Alhakem pronounced his funeral oration; after 
which he was proclaimed caliph, and the khotba 
was read for him in all the mosques. 

He chose for his liagib or confidential minister 
Abdulkerim, with whom he had been educated, 
and who was the son of his father's friend. He 
had been his librarian from his youth, and this 
choice of a minister confirmed the hopes the peo- 
ple entertained from the careful education and 
happy dispositions of the young caliph. 

No sooner was the death of Hachem known, 
tlian his brothers, Suleiman and Abdalla, claimed 
the throne ; and Suleiman, coming over from Africa, 
joined Abdalla at Toledo, which they made their 

A. D. 798.] HISTORY OP SPAIN. 143 

head quarters, and collected all the discontented, 
and all who were fond of novelty, around them. 
Alhakem immediately marched from Cordova to 
besiege the place, but was obliged to divide his 
force on account of an inroad of the French on the 
northern frontier,' leaving the siege to be carried 
on by one of his officers, and marched himself to- 
wards the borders, whence he soon drove the 
French, and followed them even to Narbonne. 
He then returned to Toledo. In an obstinate bat- 
tle near the place, Suleiman was killed ; and when 
the dead body was brought to the young caliph, 
its likeness to his father aJected him even to tears,, 
and he caused it to be honourably buried. Ab- 
dalla soon after submitted, and his nephew re- 
ceived him with kindness and respect, requiring 
only that two of his sons should be sent to his 
court as hostages. The day the youths arrived 
he adopted them as brothers, bestowed places of 
honour and trust upon them, and gave his sister 
Alkinzah in marriage to Esfah, the eldest. 

This whole reign was occupied in a kind of 
partisan warfare on the frontiers of France, and 
with the kings of Leon and counts of Castile, ex- 
cepting a short peace with Alfonso II., king of 

The hasty temper of the caliph often involved 
him in disputes with the governors of his provinces, 
with his people, and even with individuals. Of 
the latter kind was that with a poor widow, who 


being required to sell her patrimony, that the ca^-* 
liph might erect a pavilion on the site of the cot-, 
tage of her fathers, refused. The place was taken 
by force, and the pavilion erected. The poor 
woman complained to the cadi, who told her to 
have patience, and he would try to obtain justioe4 
He accordingly went to the caliph on the first 
day when he was enjoying the garden and pa- 
vilion, driving an ass before him with an empty 
sack. On approaching Alhakem, he begged per-> 
mission to fill the sack with earth at that spot; , 
leave being granted, he requested the caliph to 
help him to*place the sack on the ass. Alhakem, 
willing to humour the cadi, tried, but found the 
load too heavy j ^^ Oh, caliph!" then said the 
judge, ^^ if thou canst not bear lihis load, how wilt 
thou endure the weight of the whole field at the 
day of judgment, when the poor widow thou hast 
robbed shall reclaim it of thee ?" The caliph in-^ 
stantly restored the land, and the widow was en- 
riched by the magnificent pavilion and furniture 
which were given to her. 

On another occasion, Alhakem had listened too 
easily to a false accusation against his cousin Es-^ 
fah, governor of Merida, and had thereby nearly 
caused a civil war ; but his sister Alkinza, whom 
he loved tenderly, and who was the wife of Esfah, 
went out of the city on horseback, attended only 
by her personal servants, and traversing the camp 
of Alhakein, threw herself at his feet, and having 

A. D. 815.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 145 

prevailed on him to listen to the truth, he imme* 
diately became reconciled to her husbcmd, and en«> 
deavoured by new favours to compenstate for his 

Happy would it' have been for him had he always 
had so discreet a friend as Alkinza; but being en-* 
raged on some occasion with the inhabitants of To- 
ledo, he expressed a hasty wish for vengeance before 
Amru, the wali or governor of that place. That 
bad man waited his time ; and on occasion of a 
public rejoicing, when the prince Abdulrahman, 
who was much beloved, passed through the city, 
be invited all the nobles to a feast,, and then seized 
and threw them into a dungeon, where they were 
murdered to the number of four hundred, and the 
whole city was struck witli horror at the sight of 
the heads, which were exposed next morning at the 
palace gates. 

In a conspiracy in Cordova, real or suspected, 
on account of new and exorbitant taxes, an equal 
number were sacrificed ; but the liast of Alhakem's 
excesses was fatal to himself. 

He had for some time, to avoid irritation, with-< 
drawn from public cares, and the charge of govern- 
ment had devolved on his son Abdulrahman, whose 
amiable qualities hadiWon the affections of the peo- 
ple. In the year 815 Alhakem assembled his no- 
bles, and caused them to' swear fidelity to Abdul- 
rahman, as wali alhodi, or heir apparent The 
two first sheiks that took the oath were EsfiSdi and 

VOL. I. H 


Casim, his cousins; afterwards the hadjib; then 
the cadi of cadies; after whom came the other 
persons of note in their order. 

A* few days after this ceremony there was a mob 
collected in one of the public squares in opposi- 
tion to some new duty on the importation of mer- 
chandise, for the purpose of maintaining the ex- 
traordinary palace guard, which the caliph had 
raised to 3000 Andalusian Musarabs, and 2000 
Sclavonians, besides others of the household. Ten 
of the ringleaders were taken, and Alhakem him- 
self condemned them to be impaled. 

On the day of execution, when a crowd was col- 
lected, as usual on such occasions, it happened that 
a soldier wounded a citizen accidentally. The 
people instantly fell' upon him; he fled to the 
palace, where the first guard attempted in vain to 
protect him. The caliph instantly rode out at the 
head of the whole body of guards, and trampled 
down the populace. They fled to the arrabal, or 
suburb.' He followed^ and gave the soldiers un- 
limited license to plunder and massacre for three 
days, then banished the survivors, and burned the 

The fugitives, in number twenty thousand, fled 
to the coast of Africa. Eight thousand found a 
home in the new city of Fez, which Edris ben 
Edris was building on a field two miles from the 
Zebu, which he had bought for 6000 adarhames 
from the Zuaga and Yasgo tribes, among whom were 


A. D. 820.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 147 

Christians, Jews, and fire- worshippers, but very few 
Mussulmans. The other twelve thousand made 
their way along the coast to Alexandria, which they 
forcibly entered ; but receiving a considerable sum 
from the people, they retired and saUed for Crete, 
where, having burned their ships, they founded the 
town of Candax ; and their memory is preserved in 
the name of Candia, which has superseded its clas- 
sical appellation. 

After the day of the destruction of the arrabal, 
Alhakem never enjoyed an hour's repose. Neither 
the delights of his garden, nor the poetry and music 
which used to charm him, could now soothe his 
mind. Afflicted with a calenture, he continually 
fancied he saw men fighting around him, and would 
call his servants to stop the slaughter. At length, 
full of horror, he expired, in the year 820, leaving 
nineteen sons and twenty-one daughters. 

Alhakem came to the crown with the happiest 
prospects. With every talent and every quality 
that might have secured his own glory and the 
happiness of his people, his want of a proper con- 
trol over his temper rendered them miser$ible, and 
degraded hims^lft 




[CH. IV. 

Moorish ornamental capitals. 

The establishment of the Omeiad caliphs in 
Spain changed and softened the manners of the 
inhabitants. The remains of Roman civilization 
that had survived the Gothic conquest, and the 
civil wars of the various Gothic kings, had quite 
disappeared under the latter amirs. The personal 
character of Abdulasiz was gentle and conciliatory ; 
and the first years of the new dominion had not 
been so oppressive to the people, or so destructive 
of tlieir comforts, as it became under his successors. 
With the Omeiads came a taste for letters and 
the arts. Magnificence was no longer confined to 
the mosques and the courts of justice. Palaces, 
and private houses as luxurious as palaces, arose 
with their fountains and gardens, and libraries 

A. D. 820.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 149 

formed at vast expense ; the feasts of the great 
were no longer merely for the grosser purposes of 
refection, but were accompanied by poetry and 
music, and the conversation of the learned and the 
witty. Young men were sent from different cities 
in Spain to study in the schools of the East, and 
on their return opened academies in their native 
towns, where the youth were instructed in Arabic, 
law, poetry, astronomy, and medicine. Saxato ben 
Salema, born in Andalusia, was at the head of the 
public schools in the reign of Hachem. He ex- 
plained the doctrine and laws of the Koran ac- 
cording to the opinions of the famous doctor Auzei 
of Damascus, who lived before the Mahometan 
divines had formed the four independent sects into 
which they are now divided. 

The public schools were attached to the mosques, 
and those of Cordova, founded by Abdub-ahman, 
were long £Eunous for the liberality of their endow- 
ment, the learning of their professors, and the num- 
ber and quality of the students. Besides schools, 
tliere were houses of hospitality belonging to each 
mosque, where travellers and pilgrims were enter- 
tained a certain number of days, and alms distri- 
buted to such as needed them. 

The hall of justice was generally attached to the 
mosque, or built very near it. There the heads or 
elders of the congregation used to meet and deli- 
berate on whatever concerned the internal regula- 


tion of their city or parish. As the only body of 
law acknowledged was the Koran, tlie preachers of 
the faith were also the administrators of the laws, 
and the office of judge and priest was united. From 
a very early age the youths of distinguished faniilies 
were accustomed to attend the^daily tribunal of 
cadies of reputation, and, with the caliph's permis- 
sion, as they advanced in years, die council of the 

The caliphs and the nobles often held assemblies 
in the evenings, where prizes were given for the 
best commentary on a text of law, the best poem 
on a moral subject, or even the best song or tale. 
At these assemblies the young men learned to 
speak fluently and precisely, an accomplishment 
highly valued in all ages by the Arabs. 

If we attend to the history of the Mahometans, 
we shall always see, that on the personal qualities 
of their chiefs the prosperity of the government 
and country depended : and such must ever be the 
case when the form of government is purely de- 
spotic, and where there is no class of people with 
hereditary rights to defend, and laws to secure 
those rights, to give them power and interest to 
withstand the will of their sovereign, and to be a 
barrier between him and the bulk of the people. 
The noblest of the Arabs only reckoned nobility 
of birth, but he had no law to defend his property 
or to secure its transmission to his children. The 

A. D. 820.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 151 

caliph was the uniyersal heir ; and though the pre- 
cept of the Koran recommends him not to despoil 
the orphan or oppress the widow, it remained at 
the will of the caliph to take or not what portion 
of the inheritance he pleased, or even during the 
life of a man to seize his lands and his goods. 

^ence a Mahometan government must depend 
on the personal qualities of the sovereign and his 
delegates for its happiness, and on the army for 
its security. The power being absolute, there is 
greater temptation to rebel in order to seize it; 
and the law being in the hand of one man, unre- 
strained by the rights of any class of people, per- 
sonal security being impossible, disturbances in the 
state must be accompanied with bloodshed. 

We are shocked with the number of executions 
in the reign of Alhakem. Three hundred heads 
exposed at a palace gate, happily for us, must ap- 
pear a wicked fiction ; but let us remember, that 
where equal laws do not bind the prince and peo- 
ple, mercy to conspirators must often involve the 
ruin of the state, and tliat a despotic government 
must be a cruel one, whatever the feelings or qua- 
lities of individual sovereigns may be. 

The excellent qualities of Abdulrahman and Ha- 
chem conceal the deformities of the system from 
us ; but the temper of Alhakem, in spite of his 
many virtues, places it in its true light. 

Alhakem was' the first to set a guard on his 
palace gates, and to employ slaves and paid sol- 


diers in peace. He had a body of trained Sclavo- 
nians, who were found faithful and excellent guards, 
besides the Africans Abdulrahman had brou^t with 
him, and whose numbers had been kept up by con- 
stant recruits. 

Abdulrahman had brought from the East a taste 
for magnificence and elegance in architecture ; and 
he himself was not only skilful in making plans, 
but a good workman, and is said to have employed 
his own hands on the great mosque at Cordova, 
begun by him and finished by his son. He spent 
on it more than a hundred thousand double pieces 
of gold. It was six hundred feet long, and two 
hundred and fifty wide. It had nineteen aisles 
from north to south, traversed by thirty-eight from 
east to west, supported on a thousand and ninety- 
three columns of marble, beautifully wrought. 
Nineteen gates of wrought bronze opened to the 
south, and the middle one was covered with plates 
of gold. There were nine doors to the east and 
nine to the west. Its great minaret was too hun- 
dred and forty feet in height, surmounted by three 
gilt balls and a pomegranate of gold. For the 
evening prayer there were always four thousand 
six hundred lamps, which consumed twenty-four 
thousand pounds of oil in the year, and a hundred 
and twenty pounds of amber and aloes for perfume. 
The lamp of the mihrab, or secret oratory, was of 
gold of exquisite workmanship. 

Such at its building was the great mosque of 

A. D. 820,] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 153 

Cordova, which I liave described particularly, to 
' give an idea of its greatness, and of the taste and 
magnificence of its builders. 

Military architecture was not neglected. The 
new fortifications of Grenada, the long lines of 
walls carried over rocks and mountains that still 
remain, prove how well the Moors understood 
what was necessary in that department before the 
invention of gunpowder. Ship-building is said to 
have been improved by Temam, to whom Abdul- 
rahman gave the charge of the dock-yards of Spain, 
though we do not know in what the improvements 

All the ports of the Greek empire were opened 
to the ships of the Spanish Moors, and they carried 
on a considerable trade with Africa, Egypt, and 
Syria, exporting the metals and wool of Spain, and 
importing manufactured goods. 

Agriculture was ajttended to. Several learned 
Arabs employed themselves in collecting the pre- 
cepts of experienced farmers in different parts of 
the world, and in translating the books of the 
Greeks and Romans on the subject. To that they 
joined an account of the management of sheep and 
cattle, of keeping bees, of pruning and grafting 
firuit trees, and of raising vegetables and flowers ; 
so that for some centuries Spain was the country 
in Europe where these useful arts were best un- 

Such was the state of Mahometan Spain under 




[CH. IV. 

the three first Omeiad caliphs. It was prepared 
for the splendid reigns of the succeeding monarchs, 
but it contained within itself the seeds of destruc- 

Moorish architecture. 



Tower of Segovia, 

On the day of Alhakem's burial, his son Abdul- 
rahman IL, called Almodafar for his conquests, was 
proclaimed in Cordova, and the khotba was read 
for him, to the great joy of the people. He was 
tliirty-one years old, tall, comely, and of a sallow 
complexion; his beard grew handsomely, and he 
was accustomed to dye it black. He was as fier^ce 
and intrepid in war as he was benignant and hu- 
mane in peac^ ; he was the &ther of the poor and 
unhappy ; he possessed excellent talents and un-> 


common learning; and wrote elegant verses ac- 
cording to every rule of metrical science. He com- 
pleted the glory of Spain, eclipsed his predecessors 
in state and magnificence, and augmented his guard 
by a thousand Africans ; but took care to choose 
them intelligent and humane, and to see that their 
horses were generous, and their arms of the best 

The death of Alhakem was no sooner known, 
than his uncle Abdalla, the son of Abdulrahman the 
First, hurried from Tangiers to claim the throne, 
hoping that his sons would support him. Abdul-- 
rahman found him in Valencia, where he laid siege 
to him, and the sons of Abdalla, so far from joining 
him, went to entreat him to desist from his ruinous 
pretensions. They succeeded, and Abdulrahman 
pardoned the aged rebel; and when he came to 
him on horseback, led by his two sons, he went 
out to meet him with the respect due to so aged a 
relation, and bestowed on him the government of 
Murcia, where he died two years afterwards, pos- 
sessed of great wealth, which Abdulrahman granted 
to his children. 

On this occasion, the caliph established as a 
rule, that children should inherit their father's pro- 
perty, and widows receive a due proportion, with 
power to dispose of one-third of their goods by 

Two years after his accession, the new caliph 
resolved to fulfil his duty, by performing an algi- 

A. 0. 824.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 157 

heb, or war against the unbelievers ; he accordingly 
besieged and took Barcelona, and returned full of 
glory to Cordova to receive the ambassadors from 
the emperor Michael the Stammerer, who came 
from Constantinople to make alliance with the ca- 
liph of Spain, offensive and defensive, against the 
abasside caliph of the East. They brought with 
them horses of their country, with rich caparisons, 
such as had never been seen in Spain, as presents. 
Abdulrahman received them graciously, and when 
they departed he sent with them the wall, Yahye 
ben Hakem, a naval officer of great merit and a good 
poet, to salute the Greek emperor, and present him 
with some Andalusian horses, and swords forged in 
Spain, where artificers from Africa had begun to 
make those blades, which are &mous even in our 

The beginning of the year 824 was spent in a 
border warfare with the French ; the latter part was 
occupied by a more dangerous enemy. 

Mohamad, who during the reign of Alhakem had 
been receiver of the king*s rents in'Merida, had 
been recently deprived of that office. Irritated at 
the loss of so honourable and profitable a post, he 
had gone about among the common people of that 
town, and listened to murmurs which he had pro- 
bably suggested, against the new collectors^ and • 
the general burden of the taxes. He had dis- 
tributed arms to many in the city, and suddenly 
surprised the governor, drove him and his guards 


out of the town, shut the gates, and patting himself 
at the head of the mob fell on the richer citizens, 
and plundered them without mercy. Forty thou- 
sand lawleiss armed men ran about the place, 
committing all manner of excesses, until at length 
the better sort, and among them some who had at 
first favoured Mohamad, resolved to deliver the 
town to the caliph's general Abdulruf, who now lay 
encamped before the walls. Six youths escaped 
secretly by night to the caliph's camp, and agreed 
upon an hour for opening the gates to a party 
of Abdulrurs soldiers. That general accordingly 
marched at the appointed time, and in order that as 
little harm might be done as possible by the en- 
trance of his troops, he commanded, under heavy 
penalties, that the cavalry who were to scour the 
streets should touch no one but the armed mob, and 
that the in&ntry, whose duty it was to man the 
walls, should not leave their colours till the word.of 
command was given. 

Mohamad escaped to Oviedo, where don Alonzo 
IL gladly received him, happy to foment the civil 
disturbances of the Mahometans, and to gain so 
powerful an ally in the attack he meditated on 

Abdulruf was made governor of Merida. Besides 
the evils it had suffered during the rebellion, a cruel 
&mine had laid the country waste for two years, 
and had forced many families to go into Africa, 
where there was com. Abdulruf 's first care was to 

A. D. 824.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 169 

relieve the miseries of the people, and for that end 
he employed them in public works, and such as 
would not labour he punished. In a short time 
the towers and fortifications were repaired and 
strengthened. Fountains were constructed, water- 
courses for irrigating the gardens and neighbouring 
fields were made; and the town might once more 
be deemed the capital of the west of Spain. 

Meantime one of the partisans of Mohamad had 
entered Toledo, and made himself master of it in 
defiance of the caliph ; but Abdulruf inarching from 
Merida at the head of a considerable body of troops 
easily subdued him. Mohamad, ever on the watch, 
hastily collected a force on the frontier, and with 
some Gallicians, furnished by Alfonso, forcibly en- 
tered Merida during the absence of the governor. 
Abdulrahman himself nowmarched to drive him out, 
and as he was anxious to save the town, he caused 
several arrows to be shot into it, with letters tied to 
them, promising pardon and rewards to whoever 
should deliver up the chief rebels. The place con- 
sequently soon capitulated, and Mohamad returned 
to Alfonso, but only to be as ungrateful to that 
monarch as he had been treacherous to his own. 

Having assembled round him a great number of 
outlaws and other men of bad reputation and habits, 
principally from Andalusia, he fortified himself in 
the castle of Santa Cristina, near Lugo, where he 
had found an asylum, and made predatory excursions 
in the neighbourhood, robbing the subjects of his 


benefactor, and wasting his lands. Alonzo's troops 
soon overcame him, and it was probably one of the 
exploits of the famous Bernardo de Carpio, to over- 
come Mohamad, and send his head to Oviedo, as 
a trophy. 

The story of Bernardo de Carpio is characteristic 
of the manners of the times. 

His mother, Ximena, was the sister of king 
Alonzo, and she had privately married don Sancho 
IKaz, count of Saldanha, who was not, it seems, of 
sufficiently high birth to match with the Grothic 
princess. As soon as the king discovered their mar- 
riage he caused the count's eyes to be put out, con- 
fined him in a lonely tower, and immured donna 
Ximena in a convent. Their son he caused to be 
brought up carefully, under the name of Bernardo 
Carpio, and as he had no children of his own it was 
expected he would adopt him as heir to the king- 
dom, in right of his mother Ximena. The stories 
related of the prowess of this young knight are only 
inferior in the marvellous to those of the Cid him- 
self. In every action with the Moors he was vic- 
torious, and served don Alonzo with fidelity and 
zeal. In re<;urn for his services, however, he be- 
sought the king to liberate his father, now old, and 
who, being blind, could do no ill in the kingdom. 
In this reasonable petition he was supported by 
queen Bertha, but in vain. Alonzo remained in- 
flexible ; and Bernardo del Carpio, retiring to the 
castle of Saldanha, levied war upon the king's sub- 

A. D, 84S.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 161 

jects. The king, offended, named don Ramiro, son 
of don Bermudo, for his heir, and died at Oviedo in 
the eighty-fifth year of his' age, and the fifty-third 
of his reign, which had been fortunate : he had 
extended the limits of his kingdom, and had been 
enabled by some intervals of peace to turn his 
attention to the regulation of its internal affairs and 
the restoring and beautifying his cities. But neither 
letters nor arts adorned his court, and a degrading 
superstition bound the king to some of the severest 
practices of a monk. His memory, however, was 
honoured ; and the choice of his successor was ad- 
vantageous to his country. 

To employ the restless spirit of his subjects, 
which had been too much incited to domestic re- 
bellion during the latter part of Alhakem's reign to 
be easily subdued, Abdulrahman had renewed the 
sacred war about five years before the death of 
Alonzo. Leon, Gallicia, and Castile, were attacked 
with very various success: but the inroads into 
France were almost always successful ; and the 
fleets of the caliph, joined with some ships from 
Africa, took and plundered Marseilles and its . 

While these wars were going on between the 
Christians and Moors, a new enemy attacked the 
coasts of Spain. 

More than five centuries before the Goths entered 
Spain, another branch of the same people had made 


its way to the north of Europe, and driving before 
it the naked Finns and Celts, had founded new 
kingdoms in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. But 
the lands were poor, and incapable of feeding the 
multitude of men that belonged to them. Many 
therefore had embarked with their followers, and 
sought other lands, \diich they plundered or co- 
lonised as circumstances required. The coasts of 
Britain were the first to suffer from their depreda- 
tions. The Orkneys and Hebrides, Iceland, and 
part of Greenland, had been peopled by them ; and 
half a century later the king of France purchased 
the safety of lus capital by ceding to their prince 
Rollo, Neustria, one of his fairest provinces, since 
called iNormandy. 

But those men of the North, who either could not 
obtain settlements, or who were too much attached 
to their homes to wish it, often made regular sum- 
mer cruises in search of plunder, and returned at 
the beginning of winter to their havens with the 
spoil of richer lands, to spend the short dark days 
in luxurious indolence. The wines, the perfumes, 
tlie grain, the silks, and the fine linens of the South, 
furnished the magnificence o£ the Scandinavian 
winter feasts. 

The leaders of these marine robbers called them- 
selves sio kififfSy or sea kings, and their occupation 
sio rqfari. They were called by the rest of Europe 
Normans and Danes ; but the Moorish writers di- 

A, D. 843.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 163 

stinguish them by the name of Magioge, as coming 
from the lands of Gog and Magog, or the north of 
Europe and Asia. 

These sea robbers, then, about the year 843, ap* 
peared first upon the coast of Gallicia, and having 
effected a landing at Corunna, wasted the country 
around, and seemed disposed to make a settlement 
there. Don Ramirez marched against them in 
person, and speedily repulsed them, taking several 
of their ships, and burning many more. At that 
time the vessels were so small that they lay dry at 
low water, or were drawn up on the beach after 
the troops in them had landed. 

The next year the Normans appeared in the 
Tagus with fifty-four ships, robbed Lisbon, wasted 
the country for thirteen days, and are said by the 
Arabs to have spared neither women nor children, 
nor even domestic animals. Driven from thence 
by the Moorish troops, who assembled from every 
quarter, they next wasted the coast of Algarve, 
passed over to Africa, where they ravaged the 
lands near Ceuta, returned to Cadiz, and Medina 
Sidonia, which they plundered, and next sailed up 
the Guadalquiver, and landed near Seville, burning 
all the villages in the neighbourhood. They were 
met by such troops as the governor could collect in 
haste, and after an obstinate and bloody fight of 
three days they were able to entrench themselves 
not far from the city, on a height called the Tablada. 
• By this time Abdulrahman had sent a great force to 


Seville, and had hastily equipped a powerful fleet, 
which was commanded by his son Jacob Abu Cosa, 
on which the Normans, without waiting to be at- 
tacked, retired to their ships, and sailed once more 
for Algarve, 

The caliph sent immediate assistance to the coast 
of Lusitania to defend it from the pirates ; he him- 
self went into Andalusia for the purpose of repair- 
ing the damage done ; he rebuilt the walls and 
strengthened the fortifications of Seville, from which 
town many of the people had fled to Carmona, in 
terror of the strangers. 

Abdulrahman next increased the number of his 
ships, and gave the command as before to his son 
Jacub Abu Cosa, who was already an approved sea- 
man. On this occasion regular couriers for con- 
veying intelligence throughout the kingdom were 
established, and a post-master appointed, under 
whose charge were placed the necessary messengers 
and horses, and to whom it belonged to fix their 
stations and receive their reports. 

The destructive inroad of the Normans was fol- 
lowed by a plague of locusts from Africa, and so 
great a drought throughout Spain, that men and 
animals died, and many thousand families emi- 

On this occasion Abdulrahman excused the taxes 
of the Jews and Christians, and diminished the 
general imposts. He employed the poor of efvery 
nation in public works, especially in the con- 

A. D. 852.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 165 

struction of aqueducts and reservoirs to diminish 
the evils of future droughts, and it was under his 
inspection that water in leaden pipes was first con- 
veyed to Cordova in such abundance, that every 
square, every mosque, and every garden was sup- 
plied with its fountains. He also first tiled or 
paved the streets with broad stones, and made a 
public garden on the banks of the river for the 
citizens. Nor was Cordova the only city which he 
thus embellished; wherever there were poor he 
caused them to be employed. Mosques, public 
halls, schools, hospitals, and baths, were built, 
roads and bridges rep^red, and the natural cala- 
mity, which so prevailed as to prevent the Chris- 
tians and Moors from war during several years, 
was changed by the wise and benevolent caliph 
into a blessing. 

In the spring of 850 he assembled all the mag- 
nates of his kingdom, and caused them to swear fide-' 
lity to his son Muhammad as Ids future successor. 
On this occasion all the governors of provinces 
were feasted sumptuously by the caliph ; armour 
and valuable horses were presented to the chiefs, and 
the guards were all clothed in splendid raiment. The 
poor received a large alms, not only in the towns, 
but in the most remote villages, and all partook of 
the bounty and shared the pleasures of their caliph. 

Two years after this ceremony, Abdulrahman 
was seized with a mortal and painful illness, but 
his mind remained tranquil, and even when his 


Strength fiailed him he showed the same serenity 
and composure, the same affection and kindness to- 
wards his friends and family, and the same love for 
his people, which had distinguished him during his 
long reign. At length the measure of his days 
being full, he died in 852, leaving forty-five sons 
and forty-one daughters, at sixty-three years of age, 
having reigned thirty-one years. 

Abdulrahman II. was a wise and politic prince, 
and a great captain. His people were rich and 
prosperous during his .reign, notwithstanding the 
rebellions that disturbed the early part of it. He 
loved letters, and, above all, works of philosophy 
and poetry. Every moment that he could spare 
from affairs of state he devoted to conversation 
with learned men or poets. He was passionately 
fond of music, and having heard of the talents of 
Ali Zeriab, the master of the famous Ishac Mous- 
soli, the favourite musician of the caliph Haroun 
Alraschid, he sent into Irac, where Ali Zeriab 
dwelt, and prevailed on him to fix his abode at Cor- 
dova. There, loaded with riches and honours, he 
formed several scholars, who equalled the greatest 
masters of the East. 

The sweetness and generosity of Abdulrahman's 
temper was proved, when one of his female slaves, 
of great beauty, took offence at him, and shuttii^g 
herself up in her apartment, refused to admit him, 
and when he sent for her by the governor of the 
women, she reviled him bitterly, and said she 

A. D. 862.] HISTORY OP SPAIN. 16T 

would rather starve than obey. The governor re- 
ported the slave's violence, and proposed, as a pu- 
nishment, to wall up her doors, and allow her to 
perish for having thus insulted the commander of 
the faithful. «« Do so," said the caliph, « but let 
the bricks be of silver, and tell her that when she 
likes, to pull down the wall, and take possession of 
the rubbish, I shall be glad to see her." The silver 
wall was built, but that very day the pretty slave 
had removed it, and waited on her master. 

Meantime the Christian king of Spain, don Ra- 
mirez II., after having beaten back the Normans 
from his coasts, had been engaged in a series of 
civil wars. First, count Nepocian, taking advan- 
tage of the absence of Ramirez, who was on a short 
visit to Castile, attempted to seize the crown, but 
was overcome in battle by Ramirez, and soon after- 
wards betrayed into the king's hands by two of his 
own people. A few months afterwards two of the 
followers of Nepocian raised commotions in other 
provinces, where, however, they were soon subdued. 

The most remarkable event in the reign of Ra- 
mirez was the battle of Alvelda. The troops of 
Abdulrahman had invaded Riona, and had met 
tliose of Ramirez, near Alvelda, and for several days 
the advantage had been on the side of the Moors. 
At length the king, oppressed with grief and fa- 
tigue, fell asleep, when he dreamt that the apostle, 
St. James, appeared to him in superhuman ma- 
jesty, dnd directed him to renew the combat. The 


king awakening, revealed his vision, gave the signal 
for the battle, and shouted Sant logo! which has 
been the war-cry of Spain ever since. The sol- 
diers rushed furiously on the enemy, and believed 
they saw Sant lago in front, leading them on, 
mounted on a white horse, and holding a white 
banner, with a red cross in his hand. 

It is needless to say that the Christians were 
victorious; they recovered the towns of Alvelda, 
Clavija, and Calahora. 

On this occasion was founded the monastery of 
Santiago, and to it in perpetuity, from that day, 
a horseman's share of whatever prizes should be 
taken from the enemy was assigned, and from every 
acre of land in Spain a certain portion of corn and 
wine for its maintenance.' The queen Urraca, who 
was Ramirez's second wife, greatly endowed that 
monastery; and indeed the people complained that 
St. James's protection had been more expensive 
to them than the inroads of the Moors. 

Don Ramirez survived this battle six years, and 
died at Oviedo, 850, leaving, by his first wife, Pa- 
terna, a son, Ordonio, who succeeded him, and by his 
second wife, Urraca, don Garcia, and some others. 

Don Ramirez was a great captain, and the temper 
of the times is more chargeable with certain acts of 
cruelty committed by him than his individual dis- 
position. On the capture of count Nepocian he. 
caused his eyes to be put out, and condemned hini 
to perpetual imprisonment ; and not content with 

A, D. 852.] H1ST9RY OF SPAIN. 169 

putting the rebel Piniolo to death, he caused his 
seven innocent children to share the same fate. 
He is a great favourite with the Spanish historians 
for his victories over the Moors, and on account of 
the number of churches he built and the monasteries 
he endowed. But his constant refusal to set at liberty 
the old blind count of Saldania, notwithstanding the 
entreaties of the noble knight Bernardo del Carpio, 
and the services performed by him to the crown of 
Leon whenever the Moors took the field, is an 
instance of savage obstinacy for which there can 
be no apology, as he could claim no near relation- 
ship with donna Ximena to account for his cruel 
perseverance in punishing Saldania for daring to 
ally himself to the royal house. 

Ramirez I. was succeeded by his son Ordonio, 
of gentle and peaceable dispositions, and a lover 
of justice, but inclined to superstition. Like his 
father, he was engaged in continual warfere with 
the Mahometans ; but the history of Muhammad, 
son of Abdulrahman II., to which we must now 
return, will best explain the circumstances which 
attended tlie new conflicts of the Moors and Chris- 

Muhammad Abu Abdalla succeeded his father 
Abdulrahman, and the khotba was read for him in 
the year 852. He was thirty years of age, and 
much beloved by the people for his humanity, 
justice, and valour. 

The first cause that was pleaded before him 

VOL. I. I 


is too curious and too indicative of the progress 
learning had made, under the Omeiads in Spain, 
to be omitted. It arose from a literary quarrel. 
The hafit* Abu Abderaman Baqui ben Machalad 
was a native of Andalusia ; he had studied under 
the most celebrated masters of the East in that 
age, the disciples of Amed ben Muhammad ben 
Hanbal; he taught in Cordova by the books of 
Abu Bekir and Abu Hoaiba, his countrymen. Now 
the congregation of Cordova opposed this doctrine, 
and petitioned the caliph against the hafit Baqui, 
representing that the authority of the old books 
taught in the mosque at Cordova was supported 
by nearly thirteen hundred doctors, while the ex- 
position of the hafit had only two hundred and 
eighty-four supporters, among whom there were 
not more than ten of undoubted authority. Mu- 
hammad replied, that he would hear the reasons 
on each side himself; accordingly the hafit Ba- 
qui, and all the elders of the congriegation, as- 
sembled in the great hall of the palace, and the 
ealiph examined the work of Abu Hoaiba, listened 
to the exposition of the hafit, and pronounced that 
it appeared* to him that the difference between the 
two sects only concerned slight and subtil matters, 
that had nothing to do with the substantial part of 
the law, nor with .the force of respectable tradition ; 

• Hafit is the title of those sages who preserve in their memory 
the traditions of the people. 


that the doctrine of Baqiii was sound, and his pre- 
cepts wholesome. He declared it unjust to inter- 
fere with, the lectures of the hafit, which were 
calculated to enlighten the people, who might be- 
sides profit, by his virtuous example. This judg- 
ment had in it the good sense for which Muham- 
mad was remarkable ; but had it been otherwise, it 
would hare been decisive ; for the caliph, as the 
representative of Mahomet, is infallible in matters 
of doctrine. 

The first care of Muhammad was to recover those 
parts of his frontier that the Christians had from 
time to time gained from his father : he therefore 
preached the^ algiheb. The captain Muza ben 
Zeyad had been so peculiarly unfortunate, that he 
was suspected of having received bribes from the 
Christians. He was consequently superseded in 
the government of 2iaragoza, and his son Lobia 
removed from that of Toledo. These chiefs, irri- 
tated at this unjust treatment, committed the trea- 
son of which they had been suspected ; and having 
secretly obtained a body of Gallicians from Ordonio, 
king of Leon, they seized and fortified Toledo, 
which the caliph and his son Almondhir were un- 
able to reduce' until the year 859. On its sub- 
mission he pardoned the inhabitants, but removed 
all the officers and magistrates, whether Moslem 
or Christian, charging their successors strictly to 
maintain a vigorous police. The next year, the 
Normans with seventy shipis paid another visit to 



the coasts of Spain and Africa, scarcely less de- 
structive than the first. They wintered on the coast 
of Spain ; and having loaded their ships with every 
kind of plunder, they sailed into the Western 
Ocean, after ravaging Mallorca and Menorca with 
fire and sword. As soon as these marauders had 
left the coast, Muhammad marched for Gallicia, 
and penetrated as far as Santiago. He was, how- ' 
ever, repulsed and driven back within his own 
bounds principally by Bernardo del Carpio, who 
led a body of his own independent followers into 
the field in defence of the crown of Leon whenever 
the Moors invaded their land; but at other times 
he lived in sullen and dangerous independence. 

Shortly after this event, Ordonio I. died of the 
gout in 862, leaving by his wife Nunia, or Munia, 
five sons, Alonzo, Bermudo, Nunio, Odoario, and 
Froila. On the accession of Alonzo, Bernardo del 
Carpio once more endeavoured to obtained his fa- 
ther's freedom ; but being again refused, retired to 
his castle, and thence levied war upon the king, and 
wasted the land to a great extent. At length he 
capitulated; but instead of the generous treatment 
his former services to the state had deserved, he 
was deprived of every thing, he possessed, and died 
in some foreign country a miserable outcast. 

The epithet of Great has been bestowed on the 
third king of Leon, of the name of Alonzo. Yet 
the first part of his reign is disgraced by acts of 
atrocious cruelty. 

A, D. 862.] HISTORY OF SPAIK. 173 

On the death of dan Ordonio, don Froila, the son 
of don Bermudo, was count of Gallicia, and being 
possessed of great riches, and of the royal house, he 
took upon him the name of king of Gallicia, and 
forced Alonzo to take refuge in that part of Biscay 
called Alava, which was then subject to the kings 
of Oviedo, the rest being under its own chiefs, 
descendants of Eudes duke of Aquitaine. Froila 
was however soon murdered in an insurrection, 
and Alonzo returned to Oviedo, where he was well 
received by the people. The usual war between 
the Moors and Christians next occupied him for a 
time ; until after a more destructive combat than 
usual on either side, by which, however, no per- 
manent advantage was gained, he concluded a 
truce with Muhammad for three years. 

During this interval of rest from foreign ene- 
mies, don Froila, the brother of Alorizo, conspired 
against him, but being taken, the king caused his 
eyes to be put out, and condemned him to perpetual 
imprisonment. Not satisfied with this revenge, 
Alonzo caused his other three brothers to be seized 
and deprived of their sight. One, don Bermudo, 
escaped, and raised a force in Astorga against his 
cruel brother, but was ^ overcome, and fled to the 
Moors, under whose protection he lived some years. 
Meantime a renegado by birth, Omar ben Hafs, 
known by tlie name of Hafsun, collected a body of 
desperate outlaws, of all nations, on the borders of 
the Pyrenees, and committed great devastation on 


the lands both of the Moors and Christians ; and 
the truce having expired between Alonzo and Mu- 
hammad, the caliph sent his fleets to ravage the 
coasts of Gallicia, while he marched against Haf- 
sun. Tlie king of Leon now entered into a treaty 
with the kings of Navarre and France for their 
mutual defence against the Moors, when Alonzo 
received in marriage Amelina, afterwards called 
Ximene, the cousin of the French king, and niece 
of Sancho king of Navarre. 

But now, in addition to the Moorish wars and 
civil discords of both Moor and Christian, a more 
severe calamity visited Spain ; an extreme drought, 
which extended all over the south of Europe and 
the western part of Asia, began. For ten years the 
heavens scarcely poured down rain enough to main- 
tain life, a dreadful famine and mortality followed, 
so that one year the temple of the Caaba at 
Mecca was shut, for there were no pilgrims. A 
dreadful earthquake, with fierce storms of thunder 
and lightning, occurred during the time. A thunder- 
bolt fell at Cordova on the carpet whereon the 
caliph was kneeling at prayers. These things in- 
duced Alonzo to send an embassy to the Moorish 
court, at the head of which was the bishop Dulcidio, 
to* treat for peace, which was easily obtained, and 
there was no war for two years. 

At the «nd of that period the king of Navarre, 
with some of the French counts of the south, joined 
with the rebel Hafsun, collected one of the largest 

A. D,882.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 175 

armies that had for some years entered the do- 
minions of the caliphs, and advanced as far as the 
Ebro. Muhammad immediately marched to meet 
them. The advanced guard was led by the caliph's 
eldest son Almondhir, the main body by Muham- 
mad himself, the two wings by those great captains 
Abdulruf and Rustam, and the reserve by Abu 
Seid, a younger son of the caliph. This manner of 
dividing the army into five is called alchamis, from 
its fancied resemblance to the five fingers of the 
hand. The French would have retired on learning 
the strength of the army that was marching against 
them, but Muhammad overtook them at Aybar, 
and there ensued a most sanguinary battle. Haf- 
sun was wounded mortally. The king of Navarre, 
Garcia Iniguez, was killed, with many of his 
bravest knights ; and the booty taken on the field 
was considerable, for it was the custom for the 
knights to adorn their armour with gold and silver, 
and sometimes even with jewels. The prince Al- 
mondhir remained on the frontier till late in the 
winter, and th^ caliph returned to Cordova in 
triumph. The citizens came out to meet and con- 
gratulate him, and he made the day of his entrance 
an occasion to distribute presents and rewards to 
the chiefs and otliers who had accofnpanied him in 
the campaign. 

On the return of his son Almondhir from the 
neighbourhood of the Pyrenees, as his gallant acts 
had obtained for him the name of the pillar of the 
state, the caliph declared him his heir, and caused 


the oath of fidelity to be taken to him. This cere* 
mony over, the prince returned to the frontier, 
where Caleb ben Hafsun, having taken on him 
the title of king, in concert with the French, was 
creating new disturbances. His general, Abdul- 
hamet, had been unfortunate, and lost a battle at 
the pass of Hisna Xaris ; but happily for himself^ 
being desperately wounded, he fell into the hands 
of some Chr^tian knights, who, knowing and 
prizing his valour, paid him every attention and 
treated him honourably. Almondhir ransomed him 
at a very high price, and abo bought the freedom 
of his other knights, few: he loved them. " But," 
says the Arab historian, " the greatest events as 
well as the least, the crumbling of a mountain and 
the fall of a willow leaf, depend on the divine will. 
And as it was written on the table of the eternal 
decrees, in the manner and time that it pleased the 
Lord, was the death of the caliph Muhammad with- 
out any suffering. Amusing himself in the garden 
of his palace with his nobles and friends, the Lord 
of Jaen said to him, ^ How happy is the condition of 
monarchs ! For them only is life delicious ; for other 
men the world has fewer charms. What pleasant 
gardens ! what magnificent palaces I what pleasures 
and amusements ! But death draws the cord pre- 
scribed by the hand of fate and disturbs it all, and 
the powerful prince falls like the rustic labourer P 
^ Yes,', answered Muhammad, ^in appearance the 
path of kings lies only through aromatic flowers ; 
but the roses have sharp thorns. The death of the 

A. D. 882.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 177 

creature is the work of the Creator, and the be- 
ginning of ineffable happiness to the good. With- 
out death I should not now have been caliph in 
Spain!' So saying he retired to his apartment 
and lay down to rest, and the eternal sleep of 
death fell on him." Almondhir was at the baths of 
Almeria when his father expired, but he hastened 
to Cordova in time to perform the funeral service, 
and then took upon him the government. 

Muhammad was by no means inferior in talents 
and qualities to the other Omeiad princes of Spain. 
A hardy warrior, and a prudent and indulgent go- 
vernor, he was both feared and loved. Among his 
numerous family, for he had a hundred children, 
thirty-three of whom survived him, he found trusty 
friends, faithful ministers, and brave generals ; yet. 
he does not seem to have given to them more than 
their acknowledged merits claimed, or to have neg- 
lected any man of any rank or family who deserved 
distinction. His private secretary was his son Ab- 
dulmelic, who, as well as his father, possessed the 
, talent of writing elegantly both in prose and verse. 
He reigned nearly thirty- five years. 

The warlike caliph Almondhir reigned but two 
years, being killed in a skirmish with some of the 
parties of Caleb, who had kept the kingdom in a 
ferment from the death of Muhammad. He was 
beloved by his subjects, who could reproach him 
but with one injustice, the death of the veteran 
Hachem, and the imprisonment of his sons, on a 



suspicion of their having conspired against him in 
favour of the usurper Caleb ben Hafsun. But he 
was generally humane, frugal, and warlike, and so 
little ostentatious that his banner was neither larger 
nor more adorned than those of other knights in 
the field. 

As soon as the news of his death reached Cor- 
dova, the divan met to deliberate on the choice of 
a successor, when the prince Abdalla arriving from 
the army, the electors rose, and with one voice 
proclaimed him caliph. This was in the year 888. 

The first act of Abdalla was most agreeable to 
the people. He released Omar and Hamet, the 
sons of the unfortunate Hachem put to death by 
his brother ; and not only restored their patrimony, 
but gave them offices of honour and trust. 

The caliph at the time of his accession was very 
handsome ; he was fair, with large blue eyes, an 
agreeable countenance, of middle stature, well pro- 
portioned, lively, and prudent; of good under- 
standing, and considerable learning. He loved and 
respected his mother Athara beyond all things, and 
sought his friends in his own family. Even the 
Christians praised his beneficence and humanity ; 
and indeed he was impartially just to all. 

The reign of Abdalla was one of continual war- 
fare. King Alonzo of Leon, wisely conscious of 
the advantages of quiet, and unhappily occupied 
by family dissensions, did not disturb the frontier 
on that side by any inroad of consequence ; but 

A. D- 895.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 179 

the party of 'Caleb ben Hafsun, reinforced as it 
was by the assistance of the kings of Navarre and 
<K>unts of Barcelona, kept the other parts of the 
kingdom in a ferment. In a battle in Jaen they 
overcame one of the Moorish generals, and took 
possession of a considerable territory. 

But a deeper affliction came upon Abdalla about 
the year 890 : his eldest and favourite son Mu- 
hammad rebelled against him, incited by his bro- 
tiiers, who were jealous of his advancement to the 
erown, and who all appeared to resent his having 
given liberty to the sheiks Omar and Hamet, the 
sons of Hachem. 

The conduct of the war against Muhammad was 
intrusted to his other son Abderaman Mudafar; 
but it was not till 895 that the rebellious prince, 
covered with wounds, was taken prisoner along with 
his uncle Alcassim. He died shortly afterwards, to 
the great grief of liis father, who took his little 
grandson, the child of Muhammad, then only four 
years old, and brought it up as his heir. 

Meantime the party of Caleb, reinforced by 
every outlaw and robber in Spain, whether Chris- 
tian or Mahometan, and sevel^l companies from 
Barbary, invaded the territory of Gallicia. The 
chief of the frontier sent to warn Alonzo of their 
approach, assuring him that none of his people, nor 
those of the caliph, then at peace with the king, 
were among the invaders who advanced, wasting 
all before them, to the neighbourhood of Zamora. 
The Christian forces met them there and totally 


routed them, killing their chief, Ahmed, and many 
other principal men. This battle, one of the most 
glorious for don Alonzo and the Christians, was 
fought in the year 900. Some of the fanatic Ma- 
hometans would have had the caliph march instantly 
against the Christian king, to revenge the death of 
so many of the faithful ; but ddspising the clamours 
of the multitude, Muhammad sent an embassy to 
Leon to renew his alliance with the Christian king, 
glad to see his battles fought by his enemies. 

But the matter did not end here. Many of the 
severe Mahometans, thinking that all interest should 
be subservient to that of the Faith, and that the 
Moslem blood shed at Zamora required vengeance, 
agreed with the cadies to withhold the tithes from 
the caliph, and to omit his name in the khotba, 
substituting that of Moctesid Billah, caliph of Bag- 
dad; these things were done in Seville at the in- 
stigation of prince Alcassim, whose former rebellion 
the caliph had pardoned. 

Alcassim was in consequence privately put to 
death ; but his memory survived in his own poems, 
which are quoted under his surname of Gurlan. 
Many celebrated doctors were exiled for this of- 
fence, and among the rest the famous Al&ki Zac- 
chariah of Tudela, who spread the fame of his 
country all over the East. Among others who 
blamed the caliph's indifference to the fate of the 
Moslem at Zamora was the noble sheik Suleiman 
ben Albaga. In his youth he had rebelled against 
Abdalla, and had been generously pardoned ; but 

A. D. 900.] HISTORY OF SI'AIN. 181 

on this occasion he wrote a very ingenious and 
cutting satire against the caliph, designating him 
as a mule, and severely vituperated the ministers 
under the name of the Muleteer. Abdalla sent for 
the author, and said to him : " By Alia! Suleiman, 
my favours have fallen on ill ground, and scarcely 
demanded from thee this abuse, or, if thou wilt, 
this praise, for in thy mouth they are one. I ought 
now to make thee feel the weight of my wrath, as 
thou hast profited so little by my former mercy ; 
thou mightest, in truth, in former times praise me 
as too mild, and now thou mightest have occasion to 
blame me as cruel ; but I. will not have it so. Live, 
and when I command thee thou shalt repeat me 
thy verses ; and as I admire them much, thou shalt 
have a thousand pieces of money for each ; and if 
thou hadst charged the mule a little more, the cargo 
had been still more precious." The poet, full of 
confusion, threw himself at the caliph's feet, and 
entreated pardon. It was granted, and Suleiman 
remained faithful. 

The prince Almodafar now prosecuted the war 
against the descendants of Hafsun with greater 
vigour, since their secret partisans had been dis- 
covered, and for the most part banished or won 
over to the caliph's party by kindness ; while others, 
weary of the insecure state and caprices of the 
rebel, submitted to the prince and strengthened his 

Abdalla meantime was fully occupied with the 
internal administration of the kingdom, by the re- 


gulation of his council, where there were for some 
time violent disputes for precedency, and by the 
education of his grandson, of whom he was pas- 
sionately fond. The boy's beauty, sense, and apti- 
tude to learning, charmed him, and he would sit 
for hours admiring him at his youthful exercises, 
his studies, or his amusements. 

In 911 died the mother of Abdalla, the sultana 
Athara, whom he had honoured and respected in 
life, and whose loss he bittei'ly wept. He built a 
magnificent sepulchre for her in the palace of the 
Rusafa, and another close by it for himself, and fell 
into a profound melancholy after her death. In 
the first weeks of his grief he wrote some verses 
which show the state of his mind. They were 
much admired among the Arabic writers, who p^ise 
their elegance. We can only judge of the moral 
sentiment contained in them. This, then, nine 
centuries ago, was the melancholy feeling of the 
caliph Abdalla : 

" Hearest thou no sound ? Rapidly beat the 
wings of the fatal messenger who comes to mock 
thy hopes ! Seest thou not that the world itself 
marches rapidly to its final goal, and that nothing 
lasts, nothing is fixed? He gives no warnings of 
his sudden captures, but bends all to his purpose, 
and leaves no trace of his steps." 

From this time his melancholy increased: he 
lost his sleep and his appetite, and felt that his 
death approached. He odled together his mini- 
sters and his nobles, and declared AbduLrahman, 

A. D. 913.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 183 

the son of his eldest*born Muhammad, his heir, 
charging his son Almodafar to protect and support 
the young man as if he were his own child. Having 
performed this last duty, he died in the twenty- 
sixth year of his reign, and the seventy-second of 
his age, in the year 913. 

We must now return to the afiairs of Alonzo 
the Great, king of Leon, whose long reign had 
been on the ivhole glorious to himself and to the 
Christian name. The battles of Orbigo, Cillorico, 
Pancorvo, and Zamora, had taught the Moors to 
respect him, and the perseverance of Abdalla in 
the peace with Alonzo had left the latter at leisure 
to oppose the invasion of the Hafsuns and their 
allies of Thoulouse, and often of Navarre. He re- 
paired the walls of several towns that the Moorish 
wars had injured, and built and endowed churches 
and monasteries, till the royal treasury no longer 
sufficed for the expense, and new taxes were levied 
on the people. This furnished a pretence for his 
eldest son, don Grarcia, to rise in arms against him. 
The queen, Ximena, abetted her son in this un- 
natural warfare ; but his chief supporter was his 
father-in-law, don Garcia Nunio Hernandez, count 
of Castile. Don Garcia was taken prisoner ; but 
his mother, brothers, and father-in-law kept up the 
war for two years. At the end of that time don 
Alonzo convoked the cortes of the kingdom; and 
when all the nobles, and among them his rebellious 
sons, were assembled, he addressed tliem as follows : 



QCH. V. 

" The happiness of my people has been the only 
object of the' labours and exertions of my long 
reign. My conduct shj^ll continue the same to the 
last; and since you choose don Garcia for your 
king, I resign the crown to him, and give the lord- 
ship of GalUcia to don Ordonio, and that of Oviedo 
to don Froila.'* No one expected such a conclu- 
sion ; and his sons, with an impulse of compunc- 
tion, threw themselves at his feet, and entreated 
him to resume the crovm; but in vain. Don 
Alonzo retired to a private station, and spent the 
last year of his life in a pilgrimage to Santiago, 
and an inroad into the Mussulman territory, by 
his son's permission. He died in 911, leaving 
don Garcia on the throne. 


A. D. 913.] HISTORY OP SPAIN. 185 

The state of Christian Spain was nearly the 
same during the last century as it had been in that 
immediately preceding it. The chief wealth of 
the country people consisted in cattle. They had 
no manufactures beyond such domestic ones as 
were absolutely necessary, and swffcely any com- 
merce. The monasteries continued to preserve 
some knowledge of letters and civilization; and 
the warriors, by their frequent intercourse with 
the Moors, had acquired much of the urbanity and 
generous courtesy which was at that time the cha- 
racteristic of the Mahometans. Still, however, their 
manners were harsh and savage. The constant 
practice of depriving state prisoners of their eyes, 
used by the Christians, is scarcely less shocking 
than the beheading so common among the Moors ; 
and both nations used those prisoners of war, who 
were too poor to ransom themselves, as slaves. 
Women appear to have been treated with kindness 
and respect. According to the Visigothic practice 
they might succeed to the throne, and the right of 
a near female relation was often preferred before 
a more remote male ; as in the instances of Ernii- 
senda, whose right of inheritance placed her hus- 
band Alonso I. on the throne, after her brother 
Fafila ; and Adosinda, who conveyed the crown to 
/Silo after the death of her brother Froila I. 

The state of the Christian church in Spain was 
such as might be expected in a time of great igno- 
rance, where every means was resorted to by the 


king and clergy to keep up the zeal of the people, 
and where every one whose death could be imputed 
to the Mussulmans, the great enemies of the faith, 
received the honours df martyrdom at least, if not 
of canonization. The enthusiastic state of excite- 
ment thus produced, led many of the Christians, 
who lived in the Mahometan part of Spain, pur- 
posely to insult the religion of the government in 
order to obtain the honours of martyrdom ; hence 
a whole chapter of names in^ Mariana, sainted on 
account of the persecution of Abdulrahman II., 
who appears only to have let justice take its course 
against such as wantonly transgressed the common 
laws. The confirmation of this view of the matter 
is found in the council held in the year 852 at Cor- 
dova, and called Cordubense^ to which Abdulrah- 
man had called the bishops of Spain, and where 
they pronounced that it was unlawful to seek mar- 
tyrdom wilfully, or to honour those as saints who 
should for that purpose provoke death by trans- 
gressing the laws, because nothing but the violence 
of persecution could justify a man's throwing away 
his life. 

The taste for architecture, which the Moors 
brought with them, spread into the other parts of 
Spain : that style which we call Gothic began to 
be used in the new churches and monasteries built 
by the kings of Le6n. It has sufficient resemblance 
to the Moorish buildings to show that the archi- 
tects must have been familiar with their structures ; 

A. D. 913.] HISTORY OF SPAIN* 187 

and there is sufficient difference to prove that some 
other principle guided them in their construction. 
On the other hand, the great mosque at Cordova 
gives the idea, that though the architect adhered 
to his oriental horse-shoe and pointed arches, he 
adopted the Roman columns and capitals he found 
in the country, at least as models ; for in most of 
the other Moorish buildings the pillars are thin, 
and bear very different proportions to the struc- 
tures raised above them. 

The poetry of the Arabs had in it something so 
pleasing and popular, from its measure and rhythm, 
which was nearly that of our ballad stanza, that it 
spread all over the country; and Alvaro of Cor- 
dova, a Christian Latin poet of this century, com- 
plains that the people composed and wrote in 
Arabic, to the utter neglect of their own and the 
Latin tongue. He himself, his friend, St. Eula- 
gius, whose relics Abdalla allowed the Christians 
to remove from Cordova to Leon, and Ciprian, 
archpriest of Cordova, wrote Latin verses, in which 
Gothic words and ornaments are introduced, and 
which have been printed by the great antiquary 
father Florez. 

The Moors, as we have seen, were fond of almost 
every branch of literature. The numerous texts of 
the Koran, which might be turned to suit every 
theory and every purpose, furnished topics for dis- 
sertations, moral, theological, and philosophical, be- 
sides the legal discussions to which they naturally 


led, as they were to direct the practice of the 
courts. Hence the literary quarrels of some of 
their most celebrated teachers. The good sense of 
the caliph Muhammad had put an end to the dispute 
between the hafit Baqui and the congregation at 
Cordova ; but in other countries these disputes led 
to dissensions and war ; as of late years we have 
seen the Wahebies attempting to force, by fire and 
sword, a new interpretation of the Koran on the 
Mahometans of Arabia and Egypt. 

-Sermons were a favourite mode of instruction 
among the Moors. The most elegant alchateb, or 
preacher, of this age, was Abbas ben Firnas, sur- 
named Abulcassim, to whom the caliph Abdala and 
his family delighted to listen. Bihar, the son of 
Abdulrahman IL, was celebrated for his funeral 
orations, and to him his father gave the charge of 
performing the burial service for persons of the 
royal family. 

As among the ten qualities of a knight, good- 
ness, valour, horsemanship, grace, poetry, eloquence, 
strength, dexterity with the lance, with the sword, 
and archery, poetry ranks high, it is not wonderful 
that it should have been so generally cultivated. 
Most of the princes of the house of Omeia, in 
Spain, were poets, and some of their works are 
preserved to this time. The faculty of sponta- 
neous versification was much prized, and a happy 
impromptu was frequently rewarded with the most 
precious gifts. " Why is it good to be with chil* 

A. D. 913.J HISTORY OF SPAIN. 189 

dren, when it thunders?" said the caliph Muhammad 
to his private secretary, Abdalla, who came to him 
on business^ the day that the thunderbolt fell on 
his carpet as he prayed in the mosque, and who 
foupd him playing with his children, and fondling 
one, who was extremely beautiful, on his knee. 
Abdalla answered by some elegant verses on the 
occasion, expressive of the sentiment, that inno*- 
cence might protect from danger, and the sight of 
beauty render man unconscious of the fury of the 
elements. The caliph applauded the verses, and 
gave Abdalla a purse of gold. 

Of sentimental poetry one of the best specimens 
of this age is from the collection called the Gar* 
dens. It is addressed by the caliph Muhammad to 
his favourite sultana, on leaving her for an expedi- 
tion against the enemy, and is at once tender and 

Several of the Moorish knights who distinguished 
themselves in battle were able to describe their own 
acts and those of their companions in verse. The 
minister, Temam ben Amri, wrote in verse the con- 
quest of Spain, with the actions of the amirs and 
caliphs, from the landing of Tarif to the death of 
Abdulrahman the Second ; and as he died at ninety- 
six years of age, he must have witnessed much of 
what he described. Seid ben Suleiman described 
the valiant actions of the rebels of the house of 
Hafsun, being himself one of their amirs, in verses 
which have been often quoted ; and his brother also 
obtained the reputation of an excellent historian 


and poet The descriptive poetry of Zahye ben Al- 
hakem, commonly called Algazali, has been praised. 
He had been a distinguished seaman, and had like- 
wise filled the office of ambassador at Constantinople 
and other Christian courts, where he was highly 
esteemed. His finest poem is a description of a 
storm, in which he had nearly perished on his 
voyage to Greece. We have seen that satirical 
poetry was cultivated by sheik Suleiman, of Merida^ 
whose libel the caliph Abdalla took with such good 
humour. Another satirist was less fortunate : Seid 
ben Suleiman, already mentioned, had, upon some 
disgust, quitted the party of Caleb ben Hafsun, 
and joined the caliph, who gave him an honourable 
post at Elvira. There he was assassinated, as it is 
believed, for a satire, beginning, — 

O SODS of Meruan ! famous in retreats f 

If your horses are not very active in battle, 

They show in flight, at least, that they are not spavined. 

The poetical epitaph on the Seid, by Asedi of 
Elvira, does him honour ; it is in sense as follows : 

Here lies one who fed the needy and wretched, — 

Who was their shade in summer and shelter in winter. 

The turf now covers him — but it is a turf of flowers : 

May the roses always hide him, and the jasmine bend over him ! 

Since the earth has produced flowers, the woods green leaves, and 

the rivers water. 
Since the sun has g^ven light, neither men nor genii 
Have seen one more noble than the Seid, who lies here ; — 
Oh ! may tears water the myrtle that grows over him ! 

The passion of Abdulrahman II. for music in- 

A. B. 913.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 191 

duced him, as we have seen, to send into the East 
for the most celebrated musician of his time. We 
know not what the music of the Arabs was, but it is 
probable that the school founded at Cordova by Ali 
Zeriab may have left its character in Spain, and be 
the origin of the national airs of that country. A 
tale told of the effect of the singing of one of Ali's 
favourite scholars would induce the belief that the 
music was little more than a melodious recitation of 
poetry, so as to allow the words to declare the sen- 
timent Haroun Alraschid, having quarrelled with 
his favourite sultana, Meriah, sunk into deep de- 
spondency ; the vizier Giaffir, having perceived it, 
ordered the poet Anaf to compose some verses, 
alluding to the subject of the caliph's grief. The 
verses being written, he took them to the musician 
Ishak Moussouli, to set to music, and then caused 
Ishak to sing them in the caliph's presence. The 
verses were so touching, and the voice of Ishak so 
persuasive, that Haroun instantly sought the sul- 
tana, and they exchanged forgiveness. She, de- 
lighted at the circumstance, learned from the caliph 
to whom she was obliged for the return of his favour ; 
and, to show her gratitude, sent the poet and musi- 
cian each a purse of gold. The caliph, not to be 
behind her in liberality, sent them double the sum ; 
so that- they each received about 12,000/. sterling. 
The domestic manners of the Moors of Cordova 
in this age very much resemble those of France and 
Italy, three and four centuries later, excepting that 
the Moors spent much more time in literature. But 


they were fond of horsemanship, of the chase, par- 
ticularly of falconry, and all ranks delighted in play- 
ing chess. Their quarrels were often decided by 
single combat, and sometimes revenged by private 
assassination. In 895 two young Moorish knights 
fought a duel in a fair field ; but as Almutaraf, the 
caliph's son, thought that his friend, who was killed 
in the duel, had been unfairly dealt by, he met his 
antagonist in the road as he was returning to Seville, 
challenged him, and killed him on the spot. Some 
time afterwards Almutaraf himself was waylaid and 
killed in the street. Several duels between the 
leaders of hostile troops are also recorded in this 
age, which seems to have furnished the model 
whence Ariosto and other romantic poets have 
drawn their pictures of knightly manners* 

In the arts of life we have already seen how much 
Spain owed to her Arab conquerors. Abdubrahman 
11. begsin to convey water by pipes through the 
cities; the same caliph also encouraged the manu- 
factures of steel, which had been imported from 
Damascus, and which soon came to such perfection 
as that the sword-blades of Toledo and Cordova 
soon rivalled those of Damascus itself: the appear- 
ance of the steel, called damasking, used, to a late 
date, to distinguish these sword-blades from all 

The peculiar mode of dressing leather long used 
on the African coast, and which to this time is known 
as Morocco leather, was also brought to Cordova, 
where it was improved in one respect — that of soft- 



ness, which rendered it preferable for boots; and 
from the Cordovan leather, of which boots and shoes 
were long made, we have the English word, now 
disused, cordwainer, for a shoemaker. 

The hides produced in Spain were found less 
adapted for making shields than those of Africa, 
where the tough coat of the bu£falo was applied to 
that purpose. Yet some light shields were manu- 
factured, and probably those of the Sclavonian 
guard, whose armour consisted of a shield, a two- 
handed sword, and a mace or club. 

The coin of the caliph^ of Spain was hitherto ex- 
actly the same as that of the caliphs of Damascus, in 
weight and superscription, excepting that the name 
of the place where the mint was established and 
the date were added. Some alteration afterwards 
took place, as will be seen in the following chapter. 

Arabian CapUali. 

VOL. 1. 


913, TO HIS DEATH, A. D. 961. 

Lac^ and harp. 

Before I proceed with the history of the caliphs 
of Cordova, and, the kings of Leon, it will be use- 
ful to go back to the foundation of the states of 
Navarre, Arragon, and Castile, which began to vie 
with Leon in importance by the end of the period 
we are now entering upon. The Asturians, having 
chos^i don Pekyo for their king, had begun to 
free themselves from the dominion of the Arabs, 
and amidst their mountainous retreats to form an 

A. D. 9 13.] HI&TORT OW' SPAIN. 195 

independent stote. Encouraged l>y dieir example, 
about six hundred noble Groths, who had retired 
into the solitudes of Uruela, near Jaca, calling to- 
gether the inhabitants of the neighbourhood^ pro- 
posed to them to elect a king or leader, under whose 
authority they might enjoy a fixed government, 
and under whose c6mmand they might hope to resist 
the farther conquests of the enemy. The choice 
fell upon Garcia Ximenez, who was not of Gothic 
race, but one of the most noble of the ancient Spa- 
niards, and whose wife, dona Iniga, was of a family 
equally illustrious. It is not quite certain whether 
the new chief took the title of king of Sobrarve or 
Navgure, at that time. His shield was of plain red, 
without any device whatever. The chapel of the 
hermitage of St. John the Baptist, where the king 
had been chosen, was soon enlarged by the gifts of 
the monarchs who were buried there for some ge- 
nerations. Some small towns and villages were gra- 
dually regained from the Moors, and the capital of 
the new state was fixed at Insa. This first king 
died in 758, and was succeeded by his son Garci 
Inigues, who continued to enlarge his territory at 
the expense of the Moors on one hand, and of the 
Franks on the other, and who took possession of 
that part of Biscay called Alava. In his time the 
country of Arragon had its origin. Aznar, son of 
Eudes, duke of Aquitaine, having gained some vic- 
tories over the Moors on the banks of the rivers 
Arragon and Subordan, took the title of count of 



Arragon by permission of don Garcia, who at that 
period claimed a superiority over the province. 
In the year 801, ^Barcelona was erected into a 
county by Charlemagne, under whom it was re- 
covered firom the Moors and bestowed on Bernardo, 
a Frenchman, whose descendants continued to use 
the title, though the city was fully as often in the 
hands of the enemy as in theirs. After three ge- 
nerations the house of the first kings of Navarre 
and Arragon became extinct, and there appears to 
have been an interregnum for four years, during 
which time the laws and constitutions of Arragon, 
commonly called the Fueros de Sobrarve, were 

The cortes of Arragon were, no doubt, imitated 
from the national meetings or parliaments of their 
Gothic ancestors : they consisted of the nobility of 
the first rank, that of the second rank, the repre- 
sentatives of towns and the clergy. These were 
called the four Brazos, or arms of the cortes of Ar- 
ragon. Over these the king, whose power was 
very limited, presided. But there was a magi- 
strate called a justiza, or supreme judge, who had 
a right to control the king's actions. This magi- 
strate was chosen from the second class of nobles ; 
because the first class had a privilege which would 
have rendered it improper for him to belong to it, 
namely, that of forming a union to examine the 
king's acts and judge them, and, if necessary, to 
dethrone him : and in this case the justiza, had he 

A. D. 913.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 197 

belonged to that body, might have added too great 
a weight against the king. But by belonging to 
the second, he might protect him from cabal and 
intrigue. In the early period of the monarchy the 
oortes were held every year and sat forty days, 
and to the cortes only was the justiza responsible. 
These constitutions jGxed, the cortes proceeded to 
elect a new king; and Inigo Sanches, count of 
Bigorro, was chosen. The justiza took the oath 
of allegiance in the name of the nobles. " We," 
said he, <^ who are each of us as good, and who 
are altogether more powerful than you, promise 
obedience to your government if you maintain our 
rights and liberties : if not, not" 

It is said that on accepting the crown, Inigo not 
only acceded to that condition, but farther offered 
his subjects the privilege, in case of his malversa- 
tion, to call in any king, Christian or Moor, to 
punish him ; but that his subjects rejected as im- 
pious the proposal to appeal to a M^ometan. 

The ceremony of the coronation of Iniguez, 
surnamed Arista, from his swiftness of foot, was 
performed in the church of Pamplona; hence he 
is sometimes called king of Pamplona, sometimes 
king of Navarre, and sometimes king, but oftener 
count, of Arragon ; which title is, however, at the 
same time, continued to Garci Aynar, the son of 
Eudes, whose sons, Ximeno Garcia and Fortun 
Ximenez, succeeded him, and whose daughter, 
Urraca, married Iniguez Arista. Of their child- 


ren, Sanctimet became the third wife of Ordonio, 
king of Leon, as we shall notice ; and Fortun and 
Sancho distinguished themselves in the wars with 
the Moors. 

Not long after the elevation of don Pelayo 
to the government of the Christians in Gallioia, 
several of the noble Goths united in the county 
formeriy called Vaceo, but now Old Castile, and 
choosing a leader, or count, resolved to assert their 
independence; and taking advant^e of ike im- 
prudent absence of the Moorish leaders, who were 
occupied in the invasion of France, they wrested 
several towns and villages from their governors, 
and founded the independent county of Castile. 
Some superiority of the kings of Leon and Asturias 
was adknowledged ; but it was of no very defined 
nature, and seems to have consisted chiefly in tbe 
obligation to assist them in war against the Moors : 
yet we find the counts of Castile and the kings 
of Leon making separate truces with the caliphs. 
The first count that is mentioned is Roderick, co- 
temporary with Alonzo the Chaste (^ Leon. His 
son, don Diego Porcelos, lived to the time of 
Alonzo III. He with his son-in-law, Balchides, 
a German knight, who had come into Spain on a 
pilgrimage to St. James, built the city of Burgos 
as a place of strength for the country pec^le to 
retire to from the incursions of the Moors. Por- 
celos does not appear to have been the only count 
of Castile at this time, for many others are named ; 

A. D. 913.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 199 

the greatest of whom in wealth and power was 
Niinio Fernandez, fether-in-law of Garciti, king 
of Leon, whom he assisted to dethrone his father, 
Alonzo III. 

It is now time to return to the affairs of the 
Mahometans. The Abassides had established 
the seat of their empire at Bagdad. They had 
made it not only the abode of magnificence and 
pleasure, but of science and literature. The vo^ 
lumes of Grecian science were collected, and the 
caliph exhorted his subjects to study them, for **he 
was not ignorant that they are the elect of God, 
his best and most useful servants, whose lives 
are devoted to the improvement of their rational 

The Fatimite caliphs of Egypt were not behind 
the Abassides in their love of literature : their library 
consisted of a hundred thousand volumes, elegantly 
transcribed and splendidly bound, which were libe- 
rally lent to the students of Cairo. 

Yet the Omeiads of Cordova surpassed even 
these in their encouragement of letters, as we shall 
hav6 occasion to see in the reigns of Abdulrah- 
man III. and his son Alhakem. 

On the day on which Abdalla was buried, his 
grandson, Abdulrahman III., was proclaimed ca- 
liph. He received many names indicative of the 
admiration or affection of his people, but that 
which is usually added to his own is, Anastr Ledi- 
fuda^ De/inder of the laws of God. His mother 


was Maria, of Christian parentage. His temper 
was excellent, his learning great, and his prudence 
beyond his age; for he had hardly reached his 
two-and-twentieth year when he began to reign. 
He was graceful and dignified in manner, agreeable 
in person, feir, with lively blue eyes, of sweet and 
affable conversation, gentle and kind-hearted. 

These qualities so endeared him to the people, 
that the day of his accession was a day of rejoicing 
throughout the kingdom. His uncle, prince Al- 
mudafar, was the first to swear fidelity to him ; and 
the young caliph received his oath with such af- 
fectionate emotion as to draw tears from those 

The first act of his reign was to quiet the re- 
bellion which had disturbed the latter part of his 
grandfather's life. To this end his gentle per- 
suasive manners greatly contributed. Much of the 
evil had been caused by jealousies and quarrels be- 
tween the great families of the Arabs and Africans 
settled in Spain ; and these he found means to re- 
concile, partly by persuasion, partly by such grants 
from himself as might remove all causes of jealousy. 
The good effect of these measures was such as 
that, when he caused proclamation to be made that 
he was about to take the field against the remainder 
of Hafsun's party, so many warriors assembled that 
it became necessary to make a selection from them, 
and forty thousand alone were allowed on this oc- 
casion to follow his banner. His uncle Almudafar, 

A. U. 913.] HISTORY OF SPAtN« 201 

as he had done in the preceding reign, took all the 
direction of the army, and led the van ; the caliph 
commanded the main body of the army ; the wings 
and reserve were led by veteran warriors; and 
they were met by chiefe accustomed to battle, and 
brought up to hardship and danger. 

The aimy of Abdulrahman, though inferior in 
number, was superior in cavalry and arms, and 
after a long day's obstinate combat, Hafsun re- 
tired, leaving seven thousand dead on the field. 
The victory cost the caliph three thousand of his 
best soldiers. He looked with horror on the field 
of battle, where the blood of the faithful had been 
shed by their brethren, as if there were no common 
enemy to oppose; and ordered the wounded on 
both sides to be equally attended to. 

After this action, Abdulrahman left the prose- 
cution of the war mth Hafsun to his uncle Almu« 
dafar, and returned to Cordova, whence in the fol- 
lowing year he made an expedition to the south, 
where tiie Arab chiefs of the hills about Elvira, 
having made themselves independent, wasted the 
country, and levied contributions on the farmers 
and husbandmen. The appearance of the caliph 
with a powerful army induced them to submit to 
him, and his manner of receiving them attached 
them so entirely to his person, that thenceforward 
they were his constant followers, and his most eager 
defenders in peace and war. Many of the nobles 
who had followed the fortunes of Hafsun also sub- 



mitted to the young caliph, whose generous trust 
in them secured them to his interest for ever. 

In the year 917 Abdubahman's ships, on return- 
ing from some of the ports in the Mediterranean, 
brought reports to Cordova which alarmed the 
caliph for the safety of the coast of Spain. 

It appeared that the Moors, or Saracens, as they 
began to be called, of Barca and other African 
states, had invaded Sicily, and had plundered the 
towns of Calabria, and threatened the coast of 
France. He immediately gave orde^ to the wali 
Ocaili to scour the coasts of Spain with a strong 
naval force, and sent Giafsu: ben Othman of Seville, 
a man of great experience in naval affairs, to Mai* 
lorca to take the command there. 

The naval arsenals were diligently employed in 
the construction of large vessels proper to meet 
those of the Africans. Abdulrahman now visited 
Murcia, and remained a few days in its capital to 
conciliate the people; thence he went to Auriolo, 
Lorca, and Vientida, where the principal men came 
out to meet him, and to entreat permission to follow 
in his suite. He then went on to Denia and Xa- 
tiva; and being much pleased with the site of Va- 
lentia, remained there several days before he pro- 
ceeded to Morviedro, .Noles, and Tortosa, in all 
which places he was received with the loudest ac- 
clamations of joy. He then next followed the up- 
ward course of the Ebro to Alcanit, where he was 
detained for some time receiving the submissions ei 

A. D. 917.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 205 

various towns and icasUes which had joined Hafsnn; 
and thence marched to Zaragoza, wherein were 
many of Cdeb ben Hafsun's followers. However, 
the people were favourable to the caliph, and some 
of the young men burst open the gates, and came 
to his camp to offer their services, and soon after- 
wards the magistrates brought the keys of the city ; 
whereupon Abdulrahman granted a general pardon 
to all who should be within it, on condition of pre- 
senting themselves within a certain time; only 
from Caleb and his sons he required securities; 
The caliph made his entry next day, and lodged 
in the palace, where he staid some time, de-r 
lighted with its agreeable situation and pleasant 

While there, an embassy from the Hafsuns came 
to propose terms to the caliph ; but they were such 
as were inadmissible, and he once more left Almo>- 
dafar to carry on the war against those rebels, and 
their allies of Navarre and the Pyrenees, and re^ 
turned to Cordova. He was called thence by a 
slight insurrection in the Alpuxarras, which, how- 
ever, he speedily overcame for a time ; but the 
fierce and warlike Arabs, who had taken possession 
of the fastnesses, continued in a turbulent state for 
nearly three years^ 

Toledo had now held out for many years against 
the caliph's forceii ; but the vigorous measures of 
Abdulrahman had at length reduced it to the ex- 


tremity of famine. Gia&r ben Hafsun, who com- 
manded it, therefore made a sudden sally in the 
night, broke through the caliph's camp, where it 
was weakest, and escaped. Next day the town 
capitulated, the citizens received a general pardon, 
and the caliph entered A. D. 927, and remained 
there the whole of that year. From this time the 
party of Hafsun declined. Sdme of the chiefs fled 
to Gallicia, where by a feigned conversion they 
obtained favour of the king, and assisted and di- 
rected the inroads of the Christians in the Maho- 
metan territories ; but they never made any serious 
impression again on the government of Cordova. 

Meantime don Garcia, the son of Alonzo the 
Great, died after three years' reign, and was suc- 
ceeded by his brother don Ordonio II. in the year 
of Abdulrahman's accession to the throne of Cor- 
dova : thus Gallicia and- Leon, which had been 
separated by the disposition of don Alonzo, were 
reunited. In the year 918, while Abdulrahman 
was occupied with the rebellion in the Alpuxarras 
and the siege of Toledo, Ordonio, at the suggestion 
of some of the party of Hafsun, marched into the 
caliph's territories by Zamora and Salamanca, and 
took and sacked Talavera, sparing n^her women 
nor children, and burned the town, having no 
hope of keeping it, surrounded as it was by Maho- 
metan settlements. Abdalla ben Jali, governor 
of Toledo, marched out to drive the Christians 

A. D. 918.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 205 

from the plains, which they were ravaging, and 
soon forced them to retire beyond the Douro, laden 
with spoil and slares. 

As soon as the prince Almodafar heard of the 
inroad of Ordonio's troops, he left the frontier, and 
repaired instantly to Cordova, to concert with his 
nephew the means of revenge. They entered Gal- 
lida with a considerable army, and wasted it as far 
as Mindonia ; but when on the banks of the Douro, 
being encumbered by their prisoners, they put them 
to death, and then fought the Christians until night 
separated the two armies. Not long afterwards 
another sanguinary battle was fought in the valley 
of Junguera, in Navarre. The Moors were com- 
pletely victorious, don Garcia Aznar, or Aynar, 
count of Arragon, was slain, the bishops of Tours 
and Salamanca were taken prisoners, and that part 
of Navarre called Alava remained in the hands of the 
conquerors. Had the Moors now followed up their 
conquest, the Christian kingdoms of the north of 
Spain might have fallen into their hands ; but the 
old passion for invading France seemed to revive 
with the sight of the Pyrenees, and the troops of 
Abdulrahman, instead of pursuing the king of Leon, 
marched to the siege of Thoulouse. 

Ordonio, on his return to his own territories, 
learned at Zamora the death of his queen, by whom 
he had four sons; Sancho, Alonzo, Ramiro, and 
Garda, and one daughter, Ximena; he soon after 
married Argonta, a Gallician lady of high birth, 


but put her away to make room for donna Sanc- 
tiva, daughter of Garcia Iniguez, king of Navarre, 
when, in concert with her brother, don Sancho, he 
made an irruption into the Mussulman province of 
Riojas, and took several towns and castles. 

In the intervals between don Ordonio's warlike 
expeditions, he had been occupied in improving 
and strengthening his border towns. He removed 
the seat of government from Oviedo to Leon, and 
henceforward he and his successors, who had for- 
merly been called indifferently kings of Oviedo, 
of Leon, of Gallicia, and of Asturias, were desig- 
nated as kings of Leon and Asturias. He fortified 
Leon with new walls and towers, and chose for his 
palace the baths which had been built by the Arabs, 
and which were a useless luxury to the unwashed 
Christians of the time. 

Another of Ordonio's cares was the revision of 
the liturgy used in the Spanish churches. In a 
former chapter we have seen that the mass book 
liad been regulated and approved at a council of 
Toledo; and to this form the Gothic Spaniards 
were the more enthusiastically attached, as, toge^ 
ther with their Gothic laws and institutions, it 
seemed to form the palladium whose inviolate pre^ 
servation was the great object of their continual 
war&re with the Moors. Rome, however, kept a 
watchful eye on Spain. Fearful that the church 
might assert an independence in form, that might 
lead to independeace in &ct, John X. sent a legate 

A. p. 920.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 207 

into Galliciato examine the books of the churches^ 
with a view to obtaining an exact conformity with 
those of Rome. But it was found that the attach- 
ment of the Spaniards to their liturgy was too 
great to attempt an alteration. The legate, there* 
fore, contented himself with a solemn examination 
of the liturgy, and pronounced the doctrines to be 
sound, and the words unobjectionable, except those 
of consecration. It does not appear, however, that 
even these were altered, and Rome only obtained 
by this mission, what indeed was the pincipal ob- 
ject, an acknowledgment of the right to control 
the doctrines of the Spanish church. 

The end of Ordonio's reign was stained by an 
act of treachery uncommon even in those times of 
war and confusion. He had never forgiven Nunio 
Fernandez, count of Castile, for the part he had 
borne in the deposition of his father ; not that he 
resented the insult to his parent ; but the insolence 
of the count, who presumed on his power to un- 
crown the kings of Leon, irritated him, and he re- 
solved on vengeance. Feigning to hold a council 
on afiairs of the greatest importance to the state, 
he called on the five counts to assist him with their 
advice. They, fearing no treachery, advanced to 
the confines of Castile and Arragon without suf- 
ficient guards, and were seized at a place called 
Regular, and thence conducted to Leon, where, 
after a short confinement, they were all murdered. 

Ordoniadid not long survive this atrocious act; 


his last days were spent in providing against the 
effects of the resentment of the Castilians, who 
were extremely attached to their counts, and 
threatened to revenge their death. He died in 
Zamora, and was buried at Leon, in the year 92B. 
He was succeeded by his brother Froila H., 
surnamed the Cruel, who reigned only fourteen 
months. He left three sons, Alonzo, Ordonio, and 
Ramiro, by his wife Munia, and by another wo- 
man, a son named Froila. 

The Castilians, exasperated at the death of their 
counts, and oppressed by the harsh measures which 
Ordonio and Froila had taken to subdue them en- 
tirely to the kingdom of Leon, resolved on assert- 
ing their independence. Assembling, therefore, 
in their cortes, they attempted to frame a freer 
government than they had hitherto enjoyed. For 
this end they elected among the nobles two judges, 
one of whom should attend to the internal regu- 
lation of the state, and the other lead its armies, 
which were supposed to be in a state of continual 
warfare against the Moors. A tradition of the 
country points out a village, named Bijudico, near 
Pomar, which was long distinguished by particular 
privileges, as the seat of these judges, whence they 
promulgated their laws, and gave judgment to 
the people. Lain Calvo was the first military 
judge : he was married to the daughter of his col- 
league, Nunio Rasura, whose son had married 
donna Ximena, the daughter of the count Nunio 

A. D. 931.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 209 

Fernandez, whom Ordonio had so treacherously 
killed; their son was the famous count Feman 
Gonzalez, whose great actions, and especially his 
successful battles with the Moors, rendered him 
one of the most celebrated princes of his time. 

Froila II. was succeeded by his nephew, Alonzo 
IV. commonly called the Monk, because, having 
reigned but six years, he either grew weary of the 
crown, or his subjects being tired of his tyranny, 
forced him to resign it, and he retired to the mo- 
nastery of Sahagun. His brother, don Ramiro II. 
a man of v.ery different character, succeeded. He 
married donna Teresa, sister of donna Urraca, the 
wife of the Monk, and daughter of Sancho Aborca, 
king of Navarre, who had been killed by the count 
Fernau Gonzalez in an inroad Sancho had made 
into Castile. Ramiro's first care was to arm his 
vassals against the Moors ; and while he was en- 
gaged in doing so, Alonzo, becoming weary of his 
cell, left Sahagun, and suddenly appeared in Leon, 
where he fortified himself against his brother. Ra- 
miro surrounded the place, and soon starved Alonzo 
out, and put him in prison. Other enemies, in the 
persons of the children of don Froila, called him 
into the Asturias. The princes had taken offence 
at not being called to the cortes in which don 
Alonzo had resigned his. crown, and revenged the 
slight put on them by raising a civil war ; and the 
people, in those times of disorder, were easily led 
to follow any chief who would lead them into action 


With the hopes of plunder. Ramiro was, however, 
8tr<mg in his army and in the name of king ; the 
young princes were soon taken, and thrown into 
the same dungeon with don Alonzo, whose eyes, as 
well as those of the young men, were put out. This 
cruel spedes of punishment continued in use for 
many centuries, and indeed in some of the despotic 
kingdoms of the East is still practised. The un- 
happy princes were some time afterwards removed 
from Leon to a monastery in the neighbourhood, 
where they wore out their miserable existeuce. 

Meantime the arms of the caliph Abdulrahman 
'III. had been employed in Africa. His protection 
had been claimed by the descendants of those Za- 
netes who had assisted the first Abdulrsdiman in 
his expedition to Spain, and who had aflForded him 
an asylum in his misfortunes. The various petty 
states along the coast of Africa had belonged either 
to the Fatimites of Egypt or to the Edrissites of 
Fez. But, as occasion offered, each of the amirs 
endeavoured to form an independent state, and, of 
course, to extend his territory at the expense of 
his neighbours. About the year 917, Abi Alafia, 
amir of Mequeneza, had driven out Yahye ben 
Edris, king of Fez, and had taken possession of 
most of the towns on the coast of Almagreb. Ya- 
hye took refuge among the Zanetes, whose settle- 
ments near the desert afforded them a protection 
which few armies could violate. The chiefs wrote 
to Abdubrahman in favour of their guest, and the 

A. D. 932.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 211 

caliph immediately took measures to expel Abi 
Alafin. He oidered Oeaili, the amir ef his fleets 
ill the Mediterranean, and Giaffar, the naval com- 
mander at Mallorca, to land some troops in Africa 
to act in concert with the Zanetes, and at the same 
time desired them to engage the successful rebel 
to repair the evil he had done by turning his arms 
against the invasion of a hostile sect, which was 
threatened from the East, This negotiation does 
not appear to have been successful; for in 931 
the caliph found it necessary to send over troops 
to garrison his towns of Ceuta and Tanja, on the 
coast of Africa, and caused their walls to be raised 
and strongly fortified, that they might afford a 
place of retreat and security for the troops which 
he now resolved to send over to occupy the eastern 
frontiers of Fez. 

The capital was taken and retaken by several 
parties. The Edrissites, the Fatimites, and Alafia, 
possessed it by turns ; but towards the end of the 
year 932 the troops of Abdulrahman entered it. 
The khotba was read in his name in the mosques, 
and his allies remained in quiet possession of their 

But the pleasure caused by this success was soon 
troubled. Aben Ishac ben Omeya, governor of 
Santerem, had conspired with Ramiro, called by 
the Moors Rodmir, king of Leon, to invade Lusi- 
tania; and they had accordingly advanced as fer 
as Badajos, and plundered Lisbon. Prince Almu* 


daiar marched against them, and drove them back 
beyond the Douro, carrying every thing before 
him with his Andalusian cavalry, at the head of 
which he made an inroad into Gallicia, and re- 
turned loaded with plunder. 

A year of peace on the frontiers followed ; for 
the Christians were too much engaged in their do- 
mestic disputes to have leisure to attack the com- 
mon enemy. Navarre, Castile, and Leon, were in 
a state of constant warfare, and the history of the 
times is so confused, that it is impossible to form 
any clear idea of the events. But as they led to 
no change of importance, we cannot regret that 
we know so little of them. 

The peaceful labours and enjoyments of the 
caliph are dwelt upon minutely in the Moorish 
chronicles, and the descriptions of his palaces and 
gardens, wherein he enjoyed not only the delights 
of sense, but the more refined and intellectual plea- 
sures of philosophy and poetry, form a singular 
picture at a time when the now-polished nations of 
Europe were sunk in the grossest barbarism. 

In the year 936 Abdulrahman finished the palace 
of Azahra, which he had built on a beautiful spot, 
where he was accustomed to pass the spring and 
autumn, on the banks of the Guadalquiver, five 
miles below Cordova. It was surrounded by plea- 
sant meadows, enclosed by a thick wood, close to 
which the palace was erected. His friendly inter- 
course with the Greek emperors enabled him to 

A. D. 936.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 213 

command the marbles and the workmen of the 
East, and the architects of Cordova had long been 
&mou8 for their taste and ingenuity. There were 
in the new building four thousand three hundred 
columns of precious marble, beautifully wrought ; 
the pavements were of the same material, and the 
walls within were incrusted with it. The wood- 
work was of carved cedar. In the larger rooms 
there were fountains, where the water played in 
basons and shells of porphyry or marble ; and in 
the hall called the caliph's there was a jasper foun- 
tain, in the midst of which a golden swan of ex- 
quisite workmanship spouted the water from its 
mouth ; and from the marble dome of the canopy 
above it, was suspended the extraordinary pearl 
which the Greek emperor had presented to the 
caliph. Contiguous to the palace were the gardens, 
where the fruit trees were divided by thickets of 
laurels, myrtles, and bays, with winding pools that 
reflected in their clear waters the beauties of the 
place. In the midst of the gardens, on a knoll, 
whence they might all be seen, was the caliph's 
pavilion, where, in a porphyry bason, a fountain 
of quicksilver played, and reflected the sunbeams 
in a surprising manner. In various parts of the 
garden there were baths of marble of great beauty, 
and all the curtains and screens were of tissue of 
gold and silk, wrought in natural figures of animals, 
fruits, and flowers. " In short, within and with- 
out the palace there were compressed all the riches 


and worldly delights which could flatter a powerful 
monarch." The place was named Azahra, after a 
beautiful slave whom the caliph loved, and for 
whose sake he broke the e;q)ress command of the 
Koran, which forbids the making of any statue, 
lest it should lead the people to idolatry. 

He caused her statue in white marble to be 
placed over the gateway leading into the garden ; 
and soon taking more delight in Azahra than in 
any other residence, he built around it a city, 
whose mosque, in beauty and workmanship, if not 
in extent, rivalled that of Cordova. There he also 
placed his new mint, in which, for the first time, a 
coin peculiar to the caliphs of Cordova was struck; 
and the court and army soon followed the example 
of the sovereign, and built their houses and palaces 
in the new city. 

The body of troops called the guard of Abdul- 
rahman, and who received regular pay, consisted of 
twelve thousand men. Four thousand were Scla- 
vonians from the coasts of Dalmatia and the neigh- 
bourhood. These wore a livery and peculiar arms, 
among which the fantastic and ornamented war- 
clubs and maces were conspicuous. They served 
on foot, and formed the interior guard of the palace, 
and besides these there were slaves and servants. 
The other guards were of a more honourable class : 
four thousand Zanete Arabs, and four thousand 
Andalusians, commanded by the principal sheiks 
of Spain and of Tahart, attended the palace in 

A. D. 939.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 215 

turn by companies; and it was only when tbe 
caliph took the field that they all accompanied him. 
In the half yearly journeys he made to visit the 
cities of his kingdom, besides his household and a 
company of guards, he was attended by some of 
his council, and had always some philosophers and 
poets, besides one with books, to amuse his hours 
of rest; and for more active sport, his falcons and 
dogs were in the train. 

But from the delights of Azahra and the cultiva- 
tion of the arts of peace, Abdubrahman was called, 
in the year 939, by the incursions of the Christians 
into the Moorish territory. Ramirez II. having 
succeeded in reducing some domestic rebels, and 
in establishing peace with the Navarrese and Cas- 
tillians, had wasted all the country on the south 
of the Douro, and had taken and burnt Madrid, 
then first beginning to rise into importance. Prince 
Almodafar undertook to drive Ramiro's army back, 
and revenge the burning of Madrid by seizing Za- 
mora. He accordingly marched to besiege that 
city with an army of nearly a hundred thousand 
men. The caliph accompanied him ; and the whole 
country north of the Dbiiro was scoured by the 
horsemen of Algarve and Andalusia. Ramiro no 
sooner heard of this formidable invasion, than he 
sent to Fernan Gonzales of Castile, and to the 
captains of Biscay, to bring all their forces together 
against the common enemy : and they accoitfngly 
assembled a host as numerous as that of the Moors. 


The caliph heard of their approach under the walls 
of Zamora, and he and Almodafar immediately 
marched to meet the king, leaving a sufficient force 
before the city to maintain the siege. The two 
armies met at a place called Simancas, on the 
banks of the Pisuerga, a little above its junction 
with the Douro. It appears that a remarkable 
eclipse of the sun that took place the day after 
they came in sight of each other, that is on the 
19th July, delayed the battle for two or three days, 
the superstitious soldiers on both sides fearing that 
the eclipse portended bad success. 

The Christian host had the advantage of the 
ground. On each side they met with equal fury. 
Almodafar brandishing his stout lance, and spurring 
his fierce war-horse, rode from post to post, animat- 
ing his officers, and bearing down the enemy. The 
Christians stood the shock of the Arab cavalry with 
admirable constancy : Ramiro with his horse armed 
like himself with iron mail, trod down the infantry 
of the Moors ; these had begun to give way before 
the hardy Gallicians, who imagined that they were 
led on by two angels on white horses. Then Abdul- 
rahman, seeing his right in disorder, bore down on 
the enemy with the horsemen of Cordova. Many 
chiefs were killed on both sides. The cadi of Va- 
lencia fell close to the caliph, the noble Ibrahim of 
Cordova was severely wounded and taken prisoner ; 
on that day none spared himself. Night at length 
put an end to the battle : both parties have claimed 

A. D, 940.] filSTOHY OP SPAIN. 217 

the victory. The Christians boast of the battle of 
Simancas as one of the most glorious ever gained 
in Spain. The Moors claim the advantage, because 
they remained that night on the field of battle, 
the living soldier resting by his dead comrade, and 
because they were ready to renew the fight next 
day. But they acknowledge that they lost forty 
thousand men ; nor was the slaughter of the Chris-« 
tians much less. 

Abdulrahman returned to the siege of Zamora: 
the place was surrounded by seven ancient and 
strong walls, with ditches full of water, and de- 
fended by a brave garrison. Nevertheless it was 
carried, but every step was gained by hard fight- 
ing ; and the Moors confess that the taking that 
city cost them some thousand soldiers. The last 
ditch was passed over the dead bodies of their com- 
panions. Their vengeance was terrible, for they 
spared none but the women and children ; and this 
day of Alhandic they consider as superior to the 
day of Simancas. 

The following year, however, Ramiro led his 
troops to the south of the Douro, and ravaged part of 
Lusitania ; he also retook Zamora, but was speedily , 
dispossessed, and the Moors resumed the country 
as far as their old frontiers on the Douro. 

Both parties being now weary of the war, and 
Ramiro requiring a breathing time to attend to the 
domestic state of his kingdom, he sent ambassadors 
to Cordova to treat of peace. Abdulrahmau re- 

VOL. I. L 


ceived them magnificently, and accepted the con- 
ditions offered him. He also sent the minister 
Ahmed ben Said to accompany them back to Leon, 
with a suitable retinue, to compliment the brave 
Ramiro in his name, and to conclude a truce for five 
years ; which truce was religiously observed. 

One of Ramiro's' first works of peace was to 
build a nunnery at Leon, dedicated to saint Sa- 
viour, and to endow it with the spoils taken at 
Simancas from the Moors. His daughter donna 
Elvira was the first abbess; and the unmarried 
daughters of the kings of Leon had always a right 
of maintenance from the lands of that house. An 
insurrection in part of Asturias and Biscay, where 
one of the nobles attempted to render himself in«- 
dependent, next called Ramiro's attention. It was 
speedily quelled, and the heads of it, after a short 
imprisonment at Leon, were pardoned. Sensible 
of the importance of the friendship of the count 
of Castile, Ramiro entered into alliance with Fer- 
nan Gonzalez, and asked his daughter Urraca in 
marriage for his son Ordonio. And now the truce 
with the caliph being at an end, the forces of Castile 
and Leon made an incursion into his territories; 
when, as usual, after plundering the people, they 
retired within their own territories, followed by 
the Moors, who retaliated on their subjects the in- 
juries they had received. 

After this expedition, Ramiro made a journey to 
the northern coast of his kingdom, for the purpose 

A. D. 945.] HISTORY OF SPAIN, 219 

of inspecting the repairs of the cities there; but 
having caught a fever at Oviedo, he returned hastily 
to Leon, where he died in the year 950, leaving 
the crown to his son, don Ordonio III. 

Meantime a domestic tragedy had embittered 
the days of Abdulrahman. He had declared the 
{Mrince Alhakem his successor, and on the occasion 
had held a festival of great magnificence. Alhakem 
might deserve the distinction made by his father, 
and his after life displayed abilities and virtues of 
no common stamp. Yet Us brotlier Abdalla, who 
appeared only his equal in affection for letters, in 
knighthood, and in generosity, was more popular ; 
and there were not wanting persons about the court 
to persuade him that an undue affection had guided 
the caliph in the choice of his successor. The prin- 
cipal companion of Abdalla was Aben Abdildar, an 
ambitious man, who flattered himself that if Abdalla 
came to the throne, he himself might, as his hagib, 
enjoy the power, if not the name, of royalty ; and 
he had been recently disappointed in not obtaining 
the office of cadi of cadies. H^ accordingly fomented 
whatever little jealousy Abdalla might have felt, 
and set before him in so dazzling a light the splen- 
dours and sweets of power, and so flattered him 
with the representation of the great love of the 
people for him, that in an evil hour the young prince 
entered into a conspiracy to deprive his father of 
the sovereignty, and to murder Alhakem. A fsdth- 
ful cadi discovered the conspiracy to Abdulrahman, 



who, unwilling to believe, yet fearing the tnitb^ 
consulted his uncle Almodafar. He, under cover 
of night, at the very hour when the conspiracy 
should have been carried into effect, sent a trusty 
officer with a sufficient guard to Cordova, where, 
entering the royal palace of Meruan in the caliph's 
name, Abdalla, together withAben Abdildar, and one 
of their principal companions, was taken and con* 
veyed to Azahra. When the prince was brought into 
his father's presence, the caliph said, " What! art 
thou offended that thou dost not reign ?" and the 
prince burst into tears, and gave no answer. Then 
he and his adviser were taken out, and confined in 
separate chambers. Aben Abdildar destroyed him- 
self that night in his apartment But the council 
of state was assembled, and Abdalla was examined 
before it. The guilt of the prince was too clear, and 
he was condemned. Alhakem in vain interceded 
for his brother, whom he loved tenderly. This was 
Abdulrahman's answer: " Intercession and en- 
treaties on thy part are right ; and if I were so happy 
as to be a private jnan, I should do as thou wouldest, 
and as my heart prompts. But, as a sovereign, I 
must consider posterity, and give my people an 
exampleof justice, and this, bitterly lamenting my 
child, whom I shall deplore while I have life. For 
neither thy tears, nor my desolation, nor that of our 
whole house, may deliver my unhappy son from the 
pain of his too certain crime." 

That very night Abdalla was put to death in Idsk 

A. D. 949.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 221 

chamber. N«xt day his brothers bore him to the 
grave, in the family burial-place, in the Rusafa« 

Shortly afterwards died the prince Almodafar, 
uncle to the caliph. He was a man of singular 
wisdom in council, and prowess in war. He had 
been the main support of his father Abdalla's 
throne in all the wars and rebellions that troubled 
his feign. He had acted the part of a father to 
Abdulrahman in his youth, and a faithful general 
in advanced life. 

In the same year, 949, an ambassador arrived from 
Constantinople with letters from the emperor Con- 
stantino Porphyrogenitus. He was received with 
great pomp in the pavilion of the garden of Azahra, 
which was lined, for the occasion, with hangings of 
green silk and gold. The caliph was attended by his 
hagib and principal officers, and a brilliant guard 
of Sclavonians. He received the letters graciously ; 
they were written on vellum, illuminated with azure 
and gold, and enclosed in a case, whereon were 
engraved the figures of the blessed Jesus, and of 
Constaiitine I. They reminded him of the alliance 
of his ancestors with the court of Constantinople 
against the caliphs of Bagdad, and besought him 
to renew it. Having read the letters, Abdulrah- 
man recommended the ambassador and his com- 
panions to the hospitality of his hagib ; and after 
they had remained some time in Cordova, they 
were accompanied on their return by a relation of 
iJie caliph, who was to renew the treaty of alliance^ 


and who carried with him a present of Andalusian 
horses, and precious sword-blades, and caparisons 
for the horses from Toledo and Cordova. 

Some time after this, a very large ship, which 
the caliph had built in Seville to trade with Egypt 
and Syria, met, off the coast of Sicily, an African 
vessel, on board of which there was a messenger 
from the soldan of Egypt to his lieutenant in that 
island. The Andalusian captain attacked and took 
the African vessel, continued his voyage, and sold 
his goods in Alexandria. When the soldan heard 
of this event he ordered his ships from the coasts 
of Africa and Sicily to join and plunder those of 
Spain ; they accordingly entered the port of Al- 
meria, where they took possession of the great 
Vessel, which had not even time to discharge her 
cargo, burned several smaller ones that were in the 
port, and retired well pleased with their reprisal. 

Abdulrahman regretted this the more, because 
there were on board a number of beautiful damsels 
and sweet singers from Greece and the west of 
Asia. His hagib, Ahmed ben Said, promised to 
retaliate on the Africans; and having collected a 
considerable fleet, with a body of warriors, he passed 
over to Wahran (Oran), where he called together 
the Spanish soldiers of Almagreb, and entered the 
Egyptian territory, and drove eveiry thing before 
him, even to the gates of Tunis. That city was 
inhabited by many rich merchants and Jews, and 
h|^ become exceedingly rich by its trade. The 

A. D. 955.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 223 

Andalosians and Zanetes, animated by the hopes of 
plunder, attacked it furiously both by sea and land. 
At length the affluent inhabitants proposed to ran- 
S(»ii their city, and offered an immense sum in 
gold ; but Ahmed ben Said insisted on receiving, 
besides the gold, rich stuffs, precious spices, jewels, 
robes, and a certain number of male and female 
slaves, arms, smd horses, and with these he and his 
men returned, well satisfied, to Seville. The riches 
gained in this expedition were such, that ^ter 
paying the fifth part reserved for the caliph, and 
the compensation for the great ship ; the hagib, the 
naval officers, and, in short, every man engaged in 
the affair remained content with their prizes. The 
caliph, as a mark of his favour and approbation, 
gave the hagib a pension of a hundred thousand 
doblcts of gold a year *. Part of the booty was con- 
secrated to the enlargement and decoration of the 
fountains of Cordova, especially those of the great 
mosque ; and the inscription over these works pre- 
serves the name of the architect, Said ben Ayub, as 
well as that of the caliph. The garden of that 
mosque was now become delightful ; the palm-trees 
and oranges that adorned it had grown up, and 
gave a pleasant shade to the green alleys and foun- 

* As the caliphs of Cordova used the same money as those of Da- 
mascus, and as Gibbon reckons the gold piece of Damascus at 8«., 
these doblas were worth 16t., and the pension was 80,000/. sterling 
a year. 


tains and flowers below, " so as to put those who 
came to pray in mind of paradise." 

Meanwhile, don Ordonio III. had been engaged 
in civil war. His brother, don Sancho, was much 
beloved by the people, who, desiring him for their 
king, took up arms in his cause : the king of Na- 
varre and count of Castile did the same ; on which 
Ordonio divorced Urraca, the count's daughter, and 
married Elvira, daughter of don Gonzalez, count 
of Asturias. 

Ordonio soon put down the rebellion, and turned 
the arms both of his own and brother's parties 
against the Moors, making an incursion into Lu- 
sitania as far as the gates of Lisbon. The count 
of Castile also made some successful inroads in the 
neighbourhood of Salamanca. It is said, that pur- 
suing a wild beast in the mountains, it t6ok refuge 
in a hermit's cell, and that he, respecting the 
sanctity of tlie place, would not wound it there. 
The hermit appeared to the count, and, as the 
legend says, made his bow to him, and gave him 
food and lodging for the night; and in the morning 
bade him now go and fight the infidels, and that a 
prodigy should appear as a sign of victory. Ac- 
cordingly the count rejoined his people, and en- 
couraged them by relating his conversation with 
the hermit. At that moment the earth opened and 
swallowed an impatient cavalier with his horse. 
The count justly thought this was the promised 

A. D. 955.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 223 

prodigy, and led his troops to battle. Fighting 
confident of success, they gained .some advantage, 
and the Moors, who opposed them, were driven 
off the field.* I have related this story as a specimen 
of the tales invented to. encourage the Christian 
soldiers against the Moors at the time, or added 
afterwards to give an air of sacredness to the cause 
in behalf of which miracles were thus wrought. 
Don Ordonio did not live long : as he was prer 
paring to make war a second time on the Moors, 
he died in the year 955, and was buried at Leon, 
at St. Saviour's. 

Don Saiicho, surnamed the Fat, succeeded his 
brother; but the early part of his reign was dis- 
turbed by the pretensions of a son of Alonzo the 
Monk, named Ordonio the Bad, who had married 
donna Urraca, the divorced wife of his cousin 
Ordonio III. Sancho was obliged to take refuge 
with his uncle, the king of Navarre. His great 
corpulency, which appears to have been, in fact, 
dropsy, rendering him unwieldy and incapable of 
taking an active part against his cousin, he was 
advised by the king of Navarre to go to Cordova, 
and there consult the Moorish physicians on his 
disorder. Sancho accordingly went thither, and 
was honourably received, and hospitably treated by 
Abdulrahman, who ordered his own physicians to 
attend him ; and his cure being perfected, he granted 
him a considerable body of troops to assist in re- 
covering his kingdom from Ordonio the Bad ; and 



a truce was made between Sancho and the caliph, 
which lasted daring their respective lives. 

The usurper fled before Sancho, and left his wife 
to return to her father : he himself took refuge 
among the Moors, and died miserably near Cor- 
dova. The affairs of Castile were also disturbed 
at this time by civil war, so that don Sancho had 
time to seat himself firmly on the throne, notwith- 
standing the enmity of the powerful counts of that 

About the same period, when don Sancho was a 
visitor, on account of his health, at Cordova, Ab- 
dulrahman received another prince on a very dif- 
ferent occasion. Abu Alaxi, one of the princes of 
the house of Edris, hearing of the power and riches 
of the caliphs of Cordova, and that they maintained 
their wealth, and insured an entrance to paradise, 
by constant wars with the Christians rf the North, 
wrote letters, entreating permission to come to 
Spain to make his algiheb, or holy campaign. Ab- 
dulrahman willingly consented to hiJs proposal, and 
sent some of the officers of his household to meet 
him on his landing at Algeziras ; and besides the 
current expenses, which were so provided, that at 
each resting-place there was every convenience of 
a royal palace, about two hundred pounds sterling 
a day were allowed for extraordinary occurrences. 
The Edresi remained some days in the palace at 
Cordova, and then set out for the frontiers of Cas- 
tile, where he attacked the Christians so furiously^ 


A. D. 955.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 227 

that the count Fernan Gonzalez was obliged to 
make most extraordinary efforts to withstand him ; 
but at length he encountered him at Pedrahita, and 
gained a complete victory. 

The cities and towns of Castile and Navarre, 
and indeed of all the Christian part of Spain, sent 
messengers to Fernan Gonzalez, to congratulate 
him on his success : and Sancho, although at peace 
himself with the caliph, could not do otherwise ; 
but prompted by his own jealousy, and urged by 
his mother, donna Teresa, sister to the king of 
Navarre, who hated the count, he was desirous 
of getting him into his power. He accordingly 
sent to entreat him not to be absent at the ensuing 
assembly of the cortes of Leon, where affairs of the 
greatest importance to the Christians were to be 
discussed, and in which his presence and advice 
would be of material consequence. 

The count accordingly went thither, but so^ 
well accompanied, that it appeared unsafe to attack 
him. Donna Teresa, however, resolved to carry her 
point, and Fernan Gonzalez being then a widower, 
proposed that he should marry her sister, donna 
Saneha, and for that purpose repair to Navarre, 
where Teresa depended on her brother for the 
execution of her projects. Meantime, a beautiful 
horse and a well-trained hawk, that the count had 
brought with him, attracted the attentidn of Sancho, 
who desired to buy them. Fernan Gonzalez offered 


them as a free gift; but, as the king would not 
accept them, the price was fixed, and it was agreed, 
that if it were not paid by a certain day, it should 
be doubled for every succeeding day. The count 
then proceeded to Navarre, where the king, Garci 
Sanchez, seized him and threw him into prison. 
He had, however, made himself so agreeable, in 
the mean time, to donna Sancha, that she con- 
trived to qlude the vigilance of the guards, to free 
him and escape with him to Castile. Their mar- 
riage was celebrated with great magnificence at 
Burgos, and shortly afterwards the king of Navarre 
was taken prisoner by the count, and detained thir- 
teen months in the castle of Burgos, when he was 
set at liberty by the intercession of his sister. 

^Donna Teresa, disappointed at not succeding in 
her designs against Fernan Gonzalez, once more 
urged her son to summon him to the cortes, which 
he did; and, on the count's complying, he had him 
seized and thrown into a dungeon, from whence he 
was again set free by the ingenuity of his wife. She 
feigned a pilgrimage to Santiago, and accordingly 
arrived at Leon, whicklay on the road, and where 
her husband was confined. She sought and obtained 
leave to pass a day with him in his cell. At nightfall^ 
taking advantage of the darkness, she exchanged 
clothes with him, and having provided horses at a 
little distance, he reached his own frontier before 
his escape was discovered. The rage of Sancho, 

A« D. 955.] HISTORY OF SP^IN, 229 

at finding that his prisoner had escaped, was at 
first unbounded ; but better thoughts soon possessed 
him, and he caused donna Sanclia to be honourably 
escorted to her husband. The count, now willing 
to distress the king, demanded payment for his 
horse and hawk ; but the time had gone so far by, 
that it would have exhausted his royal treasury to 
liquidate the debt; therefore the king offered, and 
the count accepted, the entire freedom and inde- 
pendence of Castile, which was henceforth con- 
sidered as a separate state. 

Meantime a bold adventurer had arisen in Africa, 
and, bursting unexpectedly into the territory of Fez, 
had seized all the principal places, excepting those 
on the coast, whiqh the caliph had caused to be too 
strongly fortified to be surprised, and had razed the 
walls of the capital. 

The spirit of Abdulrahman, wounded as it was 
by the death of his uncle and a promising child, 
and which had never recovered its tone since the 
condemnation of his beloved son Abdalla, now sunk 
into a settled melancholy. His son Alhakem was 
deputed to provide for the recovery of the African 
towns, which was soon effected, and for the safety 
of the northern frontier ; but Abdulrahman himself 
retired to the privacy of his gardens, and spent his 
time among his family, and with the sages and 
poets, whose counsels or whose songs might soothe 
his mind. One of his principal companions was 
Abu Ayub, a man of learning and piety, who had 


been a soldier, but now lived a retired and ascetic 
life, wearing nothing but coarse woollen, and going 
about doing good. By his hands the caliph distri- 
buted alms to many poor families* It was in con- 
versation with this excellent Mussulman that Ab- 
dulrahman first pronounced that memorable sum- 
mary of the days of happiness he had enjoyed, 
which 'was afterwards found more solemnly re- 
gistered among his papers. 

", I have now reigned above fifty years in vic- 
tory or peace ; beloved by my subjects, dreaded by 
my enemies, and respected by my allies; riches 
and honours, power and pleasures, have waited on 
my call, nor does any earthly blessing appear to 
have been wanting to my felicity. In this situation 
I have diligently numbered the days of pure and 
genuine happiness which have fallen to my lot : 
they amount to fourteen : — Oh, man ! place not 
thy confidence in this present world." 

Towards the end of his life, one of his greatest 
pleasures was to listen to the songs of Mojma, his 
female secretary, and of Ayesha, a lady of Cordova, 
one of the most chaste, beautiful, and learned per- 
sons of the age. Without any apparent illness he • 
grew weaker and weaker ; but, though melancholy, 
he was still gentle and affectionate to those around 
him, and died quietly among them in the seventy- 
third year of his age, and the fifty-first of his reign, 
in 96]. 

Sanchoy king of Leon, only survived the caliph 

A. D. 961.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 231 

six years ; it is said he was poisoned, with an apple, 
by Gonzalez, count of the Lusitanian frontier, in 
the year 967, and left an infant of five years old, 
don Ramiro III., on the throne. 

The queen donna Teresa, and her sister donna 
Elrira or Gelo}Ta, were, however, women of mas* 
culine understandings. Their first care was to con- 
clude a peace with the caliph Alhakem, the snc^ 
cessor of Abdulrahman III., who, as a proof of his 
good will, presented the young king with the relics 
of the martyr Pelagius, whose remains had been 
asked for in rain by don Sancbo. But the nobles 
and the priests of Leon seemed equally indignant 
at the government of a female ; and the minority 
of don Ramiro was a continual scene of dissension 
Nor did the king's marriage improve his affairs^ 
Urraca or Sancha, a person of uncertain parentage, 
offended the nobles by her haughtiness, and her 
family by her folly. Hence a powerful party con- 
^ired to place Bermudo, son of Ordonio III., on 
the throne ; but before they had gained half the 
kingdom, Ramiro died, and left Bermudo peaceable 
possessor of the crown in the year 982. 

Meantime the Moorish part of Spain had en- 
joyed unusual tranquillity. The character of Al- 
hakem was steady and tranquil; he had come late 
to the crown, and his father Abdulrahman used 
often to say to him that his own long reign robbed 
him of half his rights. ^ But the father and son were 
die truest friends, and when the people surrounded 


Abdulrahman's bier, crying out, " Our father is 
gone ! alas, for the sword of Islam, the refuge of the 
poor and needy, and the terror of the proud !" the 
tears of his son and successor were the most sincere. 

Arab Baths at Gerona* 

The reign of Abdubahman III. is perhaps the 
most brilliant period of the Moorish history of 
Spain as to arts, manufactures, and literature. Ar- 
chitecture, which had flourished under the pre- 
ceding caliphs, was carried to a still higher degree 
of beauty and ornament in this reign. The palace 
of Azahra is a proof of it. There and in the mosque 
at Cordova, built by Abdulrahman I., the arches 
rested on single columns, whose proportions ap- 
proached to those of the Corinthian order. But 
several edifices were now raised wherein tower& 

A. D. 961.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 23* 

were supported on clustered columns, which, while 
they possessed the strength of solid pillars, ap- 
peared more light and beautiful. * The spires and 
turrets of the mosques and palaces were carried to 
a bolder height The aqueducts, and, above all, the 
canals of irrigation, were planned and constructed 
with greater skill; and the fortifications were built 
with greater solidity. The little sculpture that 
was permitted, or used in defiance of the law, was 
foreign. The curious golden swan of Azahra was 
from Constantinople ; and it b most probable that 
it was a Greek artist who executed the statue of 
the beautiful Zehra. 

Painting was chiefly used in illuminating books, 
and for other domestic ornamental purposes. Cal- 
ligraphy, where printing is unknown, is a most 
important art, and was cultivated as an accomplish- 
ment by both men and women : it is recorded of 
the virtuous and learned Ayesha, that her hand- 
writing, both on paper and vellum, was most beau- 
tiful ; and that she had a great collection of books 
of her own copying, besides those she had copied 
for the caliph, on various branches of literature and 

Nor were the Moors of Africa behind their bre- 
thren of Spain in the love of letters and arts. A 
learned man of Bomou of this period is mentioned 
as one of the best historians of his time. 

But perhaps there is nothing in the whole reign 
of Abdulrahman more remarkable than the literary 


societies which assembled in the different palaces 
of Cordova. Every evening some of the noblemen 
or princes opened their gates to the learned of every 
class and nation. Obeidalla ben Yahye ben Edris 
loved philosophy and poetry ; it was from his house 
that the counsellor Ismaelben Bedr addressed those 
delicate yet complimentary verses to the caliph^ re- 
monstrating against his melancholy, which drew 
from him an answer in the same metre, as fall of 
thought, and of cimviction of the imperfect nature 
of human enjoyment, as the remarkable writing 
which I have quoted in another part of this chapter. 

In the houses of the physicians, Isa ben Ishac 
and Chalaf ben Abes, both remarkable for their 
works on medicine, the lovers of astronomy, cal- 
culation, and other branches of physical science, 
frequently met to converse, or to communicate 
their various writings to each other. Isa and Chalaf 
w^re both physicians to the caliph. They were 
benevolent and virtuous men, whose houses were 
always open to the poor, who flocked to them for 
their advice as well as their alms. They were, I 
believe, Jews, as that nation was more eminent in 
medicine, and the sciences belonging to it, than 
any other at that time. 

The assembly of the celebrated Ahmed ben 
Said, the particular friend of Abdulrahman, was 
considered as a school of literature for the young 
men who desired to cultivate poetry, eloquence, or 
law. One of his most fiunous guests was Yahye 

A. D. 961.] HISTORT OF SPAIN. 235 

ben Hudfaeil, whose call to poetry be himself re« 
lates as follows. The day when the great poet 
Ahmed Abdrabehi was buried, he was passing 
through the street, and seeing a great concourse of 
people following in the funeral procession^ he in* 
quired the name of tibe defunct " What !" said 
the people, ^< know you not that the poet of Cor- 
dova is dead?" and he joined the train, and ob- 
served the general feeling that animated all who 
were there ; and his mind was turned to the fame 
(d a poet, and he returned quite melancholy to his 
house. In the night he dreamt he saw the old 
man looking on him with a very kindly and benign 
countenance, and taking this for a good omen, he 
thenceforward applied himself to poetry. 

The men of law and ministers of state often met 
at the house of the cadi Aben Zarb ; but it was at 
the Meruan palace that the most brilliant literary 
assemblies were held. The prince Alhakem, while 
<mly his father's general and counsellor, devoted 
most of his time to literature ; but when he took 
on him the whole weight of government, he made 
his brother Abdulasiz his librarian, and gave to 
his brother Almondhir the agreeable office of re- 
ceiving and protecting the learned men whom he 
had invited to the palace of Meruan. There the 
famous travellers, Ahmed ben Chalaf and Ahmed 
ben Muza, of Guadalara, and Aben Isa, of Gre- 
nada, were received ; and the book of geography 
of the latter, with the latitudes of the places he had 


visited carefully noted, was presented to his pa- 
tron ; and Aba Rihan, commonly called Albiruni, 
after forty years' travel, brought thither that com- 
plete geography which afterwards served Abulfedii 
to fix the latitudes and longitudes of many towns. 

Alhakem's sultana Redhiya, whom he called 
Star of Bliss, was celebrated for her learning, and 
they equally encouraged letters. They collected 
the most precious books on art and science, and 
the most elegant collections of poetry and elo-^ 
quence ; but they loved best the treatises on history 
and geography. Alhakem spared neither pains 
nor expense in his library ; he kept persons well 
qualified in all the cities of Egypt, Africa, Sjrria, 
Irac, and Persia, constantly employed in collecting 
for the Meruan librar}^ He possessed the gene- 
alogies of all the Arab tribes, with their, various 
emigrations and colonies, and had copies or trans- 
lations of the books written by the sages of every 
country. He himself wrote to the celebrated Abul- 
faragius to ask for copies of his various works. In 
Bagdad he maintained a copyist constantly en- 
gaged, with clerks under him, in enriching his col- 

His library was arranged according to the sub- 
jects treated of in the books, and each division had 
an elegant inscription explanatory of its use. The 
indexes not only named the author, but his coun- 
try, his family, and the dates of his birth and death ; 
and the great catalogue, drawn up by the prince 

A. D. 961.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 237 

and his secretary and friend, Ghalib ben Muhamad 
ben Abdulwahib, commonly called Abdelselim, con- 
sisted of forty-four volumes, each of fifty folios* 

To this magnificent collection the learned had 
free access ; there they read or recited their various 
works, related their travels, or pronounced those 
panegyrics on departed men of talent which seems 
to have been the usual mode of honouring them at 
that time. 

Among the Christians in this century books 
were so scarce, that one and the same Bible, with 
St. Jerome's Epistles, served different monasteries, 
and there does not appear to have been one man of 
letters born among them. The people had become 
fond of the Arabic verses and songs, and the higher 
classes were too much engaged in politics and war 
to have leisure for the cultivation of letters. 

As to the domestic habits of the Moors, they 
may be collected from the histories and anecdotes 
of the time. They rose so early as to perform 
their morning prayer and ablutions soon after sun- 
rise, and ate some light refreshing food, such as 
fruit and bread, soon afterwards. They then at- 
tended to business, or performed military exercise, 
till noon, when the principal meal was taken. It 
had been the custom from the time of their coming 
into Spain to indulge themselves in the use of 
red wine, and besides this, white wine, invented, 
as the Moors say, for the express purpose of eluding 
the command, and various strong liquors obtained 


from dates, figs, and other sweet fruits. In the reign 
of Abdukahman, one of the four chief cadies of 
Cordova, who acted under the cadi of cadies, named 
Sohaib ben Munia, was much addicted to wine. 
On his seal were engraved some Arabic characters, 
signifying, ^^ O thou who knowest what is hidden, 
be propitious to Sohaib." One day, when he had 
fallen asleep after drinking freely at the house of 
the minister Muza ben Rodeira, his companions 
stole the seal, and altered the points so as to diange 
the meaning to ^' O thou who knowest the blessing 
of wine, be propitious to Sohaib,^ and then replaced 
it. The cadi, suspecting nothing, went home ; and 
on the first occasion sealed his reports as^usual, and 
transmitted them to the caliph. Abdulrahman read 
the motto on the seal, and sent for the cadi, and 
said to him, " Sohaib, thou art a wine-bibber ; thy 
very seal confesses it." The poor magistrate, look- 
ing on the seal, changed colour, and said, " My 
lord, I know not how this may be ; but I hope God 
will forgive my fault, and that thou wilt also par* 
don me." The caliph, learning how the matter 
)3tood, forgave the cadi, and applauded the inge- 
nuity of the jest. 

After noon, during the sultry hours, all ranks 
appear usually to have lain down to rest. The 
rich retired to the pavilions in their cool gardens 
for the purpose ; and on awaking, if no business in- 
terfered, heard music, or retired to study in their 
libraries : but it was a common hour for the caliph 

A. D. 961.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 239 

or ministers to receive petitions, and transact what 
may be called the private business of government ; 
after which, riding or attending the open courts, 
where the young men exercised themselves in 
manly games, filled the time till sunset, when the 
evening prayer and ablution preceded the supper ; 
and this was the sociable meal of the Moors* There 
tile learned or the gay met their favourite compa- 
nions, and conversed, or played chess or backgam* 
mon, or drank or listened to music, or were enter- 
tained by dancers, according to their dispositions. 

Women were seldom seen on these occasions; 
yet it appears that free ladies were not restricted 
from going out when they pleased, visiting markets 
and shops, or going to the mosques, where a place 
was set apart for them, and they even rode, and at- 
tended their husbands and fathers to fowling parties; 
but they were not allowed to invite strangers to 
visit them. Their apartments at home were se- 
cluded ; and though sometimes the intimate friends 
or relations of their husbands might be admitted, 
it was rarely, and with great caution, that such 
liberty was allowed. On great occasions, indeed, 
such as a mock fight, or those entertainments which 
were the origin of the Christian tournaments, the 
ladies were present, and bestowed the rewards on 
the successful j ouster. 

Far from being illiterate, as the Mahometan 
ladies are accused of being now, their minds were 
highly cultivated ; and the school for young women 


at Seville, opened by the accomplished Miriaiq^ 
the daughter of Abu Jacub, produced, as the Arab 
historian says, ^^ many daughters eminent in those 
graces that formed the delight of the palaces of the 

In the winter time the evening parties were 
more frequent and more regular than in summer. 
A learned alfaqui of Toledo was accustomed in 
the months of December and January to assemble 
thirty or forty men of letters every evening. In 
the centre of his hall there was a great vase of the 
height of a man, full of burning charcoal, and all 
around were spread carpets and cushions of silk 
and wool, and the walls were lined with figured 
stuffs. Each sat at the distance he best liked from 
the fire, and a hisbe or verse from the Koran, or 
some new or favourite poem, was read and dis- 
cussed. Meantime perfumes were handed round, 
and rose-water sprinkled on the guests ; after which 
a table was brought in, on which were various 
dishes of mutton or. kid, and stews, with oil : then 
followed different preparations of milk boiled or 
frothed, butter, sweetmeats, and fruit. The drink 
of such as did not transgress the Koran was sherbet 
of various kind. The most usual was that like our 
lemonade; but it was often flavoured with other 
fruits, besides lemons, and even flowers. 

The manly exercises of hawking, hunting, and 
jousting were not less favourites among the Chris- 
tians than among the Moors ; and the mountainous 

A. D.961.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 241 

districts they inhabited led them to a bolder chase. 
The bear and wolf, the wild boar and the larger 
deer, were their prey; and the dressed bear-skins 
from Gallicia vied with the lion-skins from Africa 
in beauty and value. Commerce flourished under 
Abdulrahman. His ships visited all the eastern 
parts of the Mediterranean, and he had so encou- 
raged manufactures, that those of leather at Cor- 
dova, and of steel both at Cordova and Toledo, 
now excelled those of the countries whence he had 
imported them. A list of the presents offered by 
the two brothers, Ahmed and Abdulmelic ben Said, 
on the appointment of the latter to the post of 
privy councillor, will give an idea of the riches of 
the Moors at that time. 

Four hundred pounds of pure gold of Tibar. 

Silver in bars to the amount of four hundred and 
twenty thousand sequins. 

Four hundred pounds of lign-aloes. 

Five hundred ounces of amber. 

Three hundred ounces of precious camphor. 

ITiirty pieces of stuff of silk and gold interwoven. 

A hundred and ten cloaks of fine ermine from 

Forty-eight horse caparisons of cloth of silk and 
gold, woven at Bagdad. 

Four hundred pounds of spun silk^ 

Thirty Persian carpets. 

Eight hundred chamfrons for war-horses, of bur- 
nished steel. 

VOL. I. »j 


One thousand skields. 

One hundred thousand arrows. 

Fifteen Arab hordes, of noble race, with rich 
liousings embroidered with gold. 

One hundred horses of Spain and Africa, well 

Twenty sumpter mules, with packnsaddles and 

Forty male and twenty female slaves, well 

The whole accompanied by an elegant poem in 
praise of the caliph, by Ahmed ben Said himself. 


MILY, A. D. 1031. 

Moorish chief on horseback. 

The ceremony of the proclamation of Alhakem's 
succession to the throne of Cordova was most mag- 
nificent. His brothers and cousins surrounded his 
throne ; next stood the officers of his guards, An- 
dalusians, Sclavonians, and Africans. The hagib 
and counsellors were in front, and the Sclavonian 
guard, in double files, stood round the great hall, 


244 HISTORY or spain. [ch. VI r. 

with their naked swords in one hand and their large 
shields in the other. The black slaves, clothed in 
white, with battle-axes on their shoulders, formed 
two other lines. The outer court was full of 
the Andalusian and African guards, magnificenttjr 
clothed and armed, and the white slaves with their 
swords in their hands. The whole then took the 
oath of fidelity, beginning with the princes of the 
royal house. 

In the year 963 Alhakem made his algehib or 
holy war, and advanced into the kingdom of Leon 
as far as Zamora, which he took. On this occa- 
sion he republished the rules which the military 
were too apt to forget, for such as should engage 
in war. " All enemies are to be offered their choice 
of embracing the faith of Mahomet or paying tri- 
bute. Unless the enemy be double the number, it 
is infamous to fly. In entering an enemy's land, 
the lives of women, children, and solitary hermits 
are to be respected. If an assurance of safety has 
once been given, it shall be religiously kept; and 
the protection granted by one chief shall be re- 
spected by all. All booty, after the royal fifth is 
set apart, shall be divided on the field of battle, or 
in the camp. The officers shall observe the strictest 
impartiality in sharing prizes, whatever be the re- 
ligion of the soldier ; and extra services to be in 
like manner equally rewarded. No man, who has 
father and mother living, shall go to battle without 
the permission of both," 

A. D. 965.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 245 

Very shortly after Alhakem's expedition to Za- 
mora, he received ambassadors from Leon, offering 
peace j and as he was fond of tranquillity, he readily 
came to terms with them, and entertained them 
for some time magnificently in Cordova : on their 
return he sent a nobleman of his council with them, 
to bear his letters to the king of Leon, with a pre- 
sent consisting of two beautiful horses, richly capa- 
risoned, excellent swords of Toledo and Cordova, 
and two of the best bred and trained hawks in 

The same year, 965, was remarkable because the 
ancient and noble tribe Chazarag emigrated from 
Medina, and came to settle in Spain in the neigh- 
bourhood of Cordova. 

At tJiis period the court of Alhakem was crowded 
with Christian knights from various parts of Spain 
and France, attracted by the £ame of the caliph, 
his rich and beautiful capita, and the noble and 
chivalrous young warriora that were brought up 
in the various parts of his dominions. 

Some of the. Christian knights also came to seek 
assistance in the wars they were waging against 
each other: but Alhakem always answered them 
in the words of the Koran, <^ Be faithful to keep 
your own stations, for God will require an account 
of them;" and would not engage in warfare that 
was not for the good of his own kingdom or his 

But Africa was far from enjoying the tranquil- 


lity of Spain. The disturbances which began in 
the reign of Abdulrahman continued to agitate it. 
If one adventurer drove another out of I^pt, he 
in turn came westward, and pushed his neighbour 
onward till the ocean stopped their progress. Hence 
Almagreb, which seems to have extended from 
Melilla, on the shore of the Mediterranean, to that 
part of the ocean opposite to the Canary Islands, 
and to have comprehended at least the countries of 
Morocco and Fez, was continually disturbed ; and 
its riches rendered it an object of plunder as well 
as of importance to the caliphs of Spain. 

The country is fruitful in corn and cattle, and 
particularly famous for its horses ; the soUiers war- 
like and faithful, and the people industrious. The 
Jews long settled there had carried on commerce 
to a great extent : the neighbourhood of the desert 
secured to them valuable skins, and ivory, and 
plumes ; the rivers on the coast almost all roll over 
golden sands, and coral and amber are among the 
riches of the adjacent seas. 

Fez was at this time its capital. It had been 
built by the Edrisites about a century and a half 
before, and now their internal distresses, and the 
invasions they had suffered from the eastward, had 
placed it in the hands of the caliphs of Cordova. 

About the year 1>73, Alhassan, the viceroy of 
Fez, attempted to throw off ike government of 
Spain, and to render himself independent in Air 
magr^b. He had twice defeated the troops sent 


by Alhakem to reduce him to obedience : the third 
commander, Ghaleb, was ordered to conquer or 
die. He accordingly proceeded at once so vigor- 
ously with the war, that Alhassan was glad to capi- 
tulate, and the whole province immediately sub- 
mitted to the caliph's lieutenant. 

Ghalib then wrote to Alhakem to beg leave to 
present Alhassan at Cordova, and that he would 
confirm the assurance of safety he had granted to 
him and his family. On receiving permission to 
bring Alhassan to Spain, he embarked with that 
chief and all his family, and landed at Algeziras. 
Thence they proceeded to Cordova, and when they 
arrived near the place, the caliph ordered his nephew 
Abdulasiz, who was captain of the Andalusian 
guard, to ride out to receive them; he himself 
mounted shortly afterwards, and with the principal 
noblemen of his court met them at a certain distance 
from the city. Alhassan dismounted as. soon as 
Alhakem approached, and humbled himself with 
his attendants ; but the caliph gave him his hand, 
and be^ed him to mount again, and they rode to- 
gether to the city. When they approached the 
gates, Ghalib, by the caliph's desire, placed him- 
self by his side, and thus they rode even to the 
palace. The concourse of people to witness the 
scene was prodigious. The caliph assured Alhas- 
san and his attendant shieks of higf protection, and 
assigned each his lodging with some friendly family. 


The Africans were so charmed with the liberality, 
of the Spanish monarch, that many of Uiem re- 
solved to settle in Cordova, and attach themselves 
to him. Alhassan, however, soon entreated per* 
mission to return to Africa, and this, though un- 
willingly, Alhakem permitted him to do, only de- 
siring that he should not go to Almagreb, but 
offering him ships and safe conduct to Tunis, if he 
should please. These were thankfully accepted, 
and with his family and all his great riches he de- 
parted ; and on taking leave, presented the caliph 
with a piece of amber of extraordinary bigness, 
which was found in the Western Ocean. 

Shortly after the departure of Alhassan, in order 
to please the sultana Sobeiha, the caliph declared 
their son Hachem his successor with great magni- 
ficence. There were feasts and mock fights, and 
competitions in prose and verse by the most cele- 
brated writers in Spain, and prizes in chivabry and 
in literature were distributed by the caliph and the 
sultana on this occasion. 

One of the last public acts of Alhakem was a 
survey of the kingdom and a numbering of the 
people. There were six large cities, the capitals 
of provinces ; eighty exceedingly populous ; three 
hundred of the third class ; and the villages, ham- 
lets, towers, and farms, were innumerable. The 
lands watered by the Guadalquiver alone contained 
twelve thousand. It was reporited'that Cordova 

A. D. 976.] HISTORY OF SPAIN, 249 

€oiitained two hundred thousand houses, six hun- 
dred mosques, fifty hospitals, eighty public schools, 
and ninety public baths. 

The yearly revenues of the state were twelve 
millions of mitcales of gold, besides the taxes on 
produce paid in kind. The gold mines belonging 
to the king or to private persons produced great 
sums. Those of Jaen, Bulache, Aroche, and of the 
mountains near the Tag^ in the west of Spain, 
were very productive. Rubies were found at Beja 
and at MaJaga: coral was fished on the coast of 
Andalusia, and. pearl on that of Tarragona. 

Agriculture flourished in the peaceful time of 
Alhakem; canals of irrigation were constructed 
throughout the lands of Granada, Murcia, Valen- 
cia, and Arragon ; reservoirs for the same purposes 
were formed in many places; and plantations of 
every kind, suited to the soil and climate, were 
made in different parts of the kingdom. 

The most illustrious knights now took pleasure 
in cultivating their gardens with their own hands, 
and all remained, during some portion of the year, 
in the coimtry. Several tribes, following their na- 
tural inclination, and preserving their ancient cus- 
toms, gave themselves up to a pastoral life, and 
lived as the Bedouins, changing from province to 
province, as the pasture might suit their flocks and 

This excellent caliph died too soon, although he 

M 5 


had reached the age of seventy-three years. A 
slight illness carried him off at Azahra, in the six- 
teenth year of his reign, A. D. 976, leaving his 
throne to a child of ten years of age. 

Hachem, the son of Alhakem and Sobeihay was 
immediately placed by his mother, a woman of great 
beauty and discretion, under the care of her secrie- 
tary, Muhammad, who earned the name of Alman- 
zor, or the Victorious, and who was eminent for his 
valour and consummate prudence. 

The hagib was GiaSar ben Othman, highly 
esteemed by the two last caliphs. He only seemed 
to envy Almanzor's elevation ; for all other classes 
of men, whether Mussulman or Christian, loved and 
respected him. 

Almanzor perceiving that there was some dis- 
position to rebel among the sheiks, who might each 
imagine himself entitled to guard the person and 
dispense the favours of the monarch, resolved to 
avert the evils of a civil war by declariiig an aige- 
hib, which he resolved should be annual. For this 
end he visited the frontiers, disposed the different 
bodies of troops^ most conveniently, and making a 
sudden inroad into Gallicia, wasted the country, 
seized a good many cattle and made some prisoners. 

Almanzor's third algehib was distinguished by a 
chivalrous occurrence. The two armies being en- 
camped over against one another, a Christian knight^ 
armed cap-a-pee, came out into* the spiu^ between 

A. D»976.] HISTOKY OT SPAIN. 251 

the hosts on a beautiful horse, and challenged the 
bravest Moor to break a lance with him. A Moslem 
knight accordingly sallied forth, and, after an hour's 
combat, was slain. A second shared the same fate, 
and then the host set up a shout on the side of 
the conqueror, while the Moors groaned with in* 
dignation. Then said the Christian, " Is lliere 
any other infidel who will come out against me ? 
and if one refuses, come ye two or three." Then 
there went out a stout Moor ; but in one or two 
careers he was unhorsed, and the Christians rent 
the air with their plaudits. And their knight 
returned to the camp and changed his horse, and 
came out with one still more beautiful than the 
first, and his saddle-cloth was the beautiful skin of . 
a wild beast, and the paws were brought round the 
horse's neck, and the claws were of gold. Then 
Almanzor called die chief Musha£sL to him, and 
said, " Seest them bow we are shamed?" " I see 
it with my eyes," said Mushafa, '' and tjbat our 
Moors are cowards." " Rather say {)ani(>*8truck," 
said Almansor ; i^ but there is the Christi^ta once 
more challenging us ; either thou, my son, or I, 
must go ; for I can sufi^r thk no longer." Then 
said Mufidia&9 ^* Soon shalt thou behold at thy feet 
his head, together with the predous shaggy saddle- 
cloth.''* ^' I trust so,"*' said Almanzor ; ^< and I pro-r 
mise thee to yield my right to the spoil, that thou 
mayest ride with pomp. to batde when thy good 
war horse shall wear thy trophy." Then Mnshafa 


went out against the Christian knight, who cried, 
^^ Who art thou ; and how art thou distinguished 
among the noble Moors?'' and Mushafa, brandish- 
ing his lance, exclaimed, ^* In this is my nobility ! 
this my parentage}** Then began a fierce com- 
bat ; knight against knight, and horse against horse. 
At length Mushafa, who was the youngest and 
lightest of the two, and moreover less fatigued, 
turned his horse with great dexterity, and wounded 
the Christian knight mortally, and then spoiling 
the horse of his precious caparison, and taking the 
knight's head, he rode back to the camp, where 
Almanzor received him in his arms, and thanked 
him for the honour of the Moslem. A general 
battle now ensued ; the Christians were defeated, 
and the Moors retired, well pleased, into winter 

In the year d82 Almanzor took Zamora, and se- 
veral neighbouring towns, and levelled their walls 
with the ground; and although a part of his army 
was surprised and destroyed by a body of Galli- 
cians, yet the tc^rror of the Christians was such, 
that many removed their wives and families, and 
their most precious goods, from Leon, and the cities 
in the lower parts of the country, to the mountain 
fastnesses. Almanzor was, indeed, the most cruel 
and active enemy the Christians had ever had since 
Muza. In 983 he advanced to Leon, and for five 
days battered its walls and its brazen gates with 
machinery of every description. For three days 


more the inner walls were assaulted. Almanzor 
himself, witK his banner in his hand, was the first 
who entered, and killing * the commander with his 
own hand, the Moors entered during the conse- 
quent disorder about nightfall, *and lay upon their 
arms. In the- morning the place was sacked ; all 
who offered resistance were put to death, and the 
rest were led away captive. Ai^rga and Sala- 
manca shared the same fate, and the victors' return 
to Cordova was a triumph. 

Almanzor next turned his arms against Barce- 
lona. On his way from the capital he passed through 
Grenada, Baza, Lorca, and Murcia, where he re-^ 
mained with the cavalry of Cordova, to wait for the 
coming up of the people of Algarve, and the ships 
which he had ordered to assemble at that point. 
He was received on that occasion, with all his fol- 
lowers, by the governor of the place, Ahmed, who 
for twenty-three days feasted him and all his fol- 
lowers sumptuously. The officers had delicate baths 
of fresh rose-water every day, and were provided 
with stately beds of silk and gold tissue, and all 
were commodiously lodged. On resuming the 
march, Almanzor said, smilingly, to his host, <^ I 
shall take care not to send my men of war here ; 
they, whose rest ought to be in the battle, not 
on softcushicms: however, it is not right that sa 
splendid a lord should pay tribute like a vulgar 
vassal, and in the name of my lord, the caliph Ha-* 
Aeokf I exempt you from taxes." . 


On approaching the city, Ahnanzor found Borel, 
count of Barcelona, ready to receive him ; but he 
was defeated, and fled in the dark by sea; two days 
afterwards the place capitulated. 

Meantime Abdelmelic, the eldest son of Ahnan- 
zor, had made a successful expedition into Africa, 
and had rebuilt the mosque at Fez, and placed 
two talismans in it, one against rats, and the other 
against scorpions ; so that neither of those noxious 
creatures ever troubled the mosque. 

The year 995 was perhaps the most mortifying 
to the Christians that had yet occurred* Almajizor 
advanced even to the &mous city of Santiago. The 
riches of the church had been carried to some place 
of security ; but he burned the church itself, and 
sent its bells to serve as lamps in one of the courts 
of the palace of Cordova. He took one thousand 
noble youths, and damsels prisoners, besides ordi- 
nary people^ and returned to Cordova widi a greater 
booty than on any preceding occasion. 

In a great battle that followed this inroad, the 
eouiit of Asturias, Garcia Fernandez, wounded, fell 
into Amanzor's hands; and, notwidistanding the 
care of his captor And the skill of the surgeons, he 
died a few days afterwards. Meantime his £EumIy 
deputed some knights with presents, to ransom 
him if aHve, or his body if dead. But Almaozor 
retoed the ransom, and presented them with the 
body, which he had deposited in a beaulifiiUy 
wrought coffin, with aromatics to preserve it, and 

A. D. 1001.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 255 

covered with cloth of scarlet and gold, in order to 
restore it to those to whom it belonged. 

This drcttmstance seemed to open a prospect <^ 
peace, and Bermudo sent accordingly to propose 
terms for a truce at least; but they were not satis^ 
factory to Almanzor, and the state of war continued. 
But the brilliant career of that chief was drawing 
to a close. In a desperate battle fought in the year 
1001, near Medina Celi, he was wounded, and 
dropping off his horse after the battle was over, 
was carried to Walcorari^ where he died. His son, 
Abdelmelic, arrived in time to see him expire, and 
conveyed him to Medina Celi to bury. He was 
interred in his usual clothes, as one who was in the 
execution of his duty; and he was covered in his 
coffin with the precious dust which he had shaken 
off his garment in fifty battles against the Chris- 
tians, and which he had carefully preserved in a box 
which he had always carried with him into every 

His sepulchre was handsome, and on it were en* 
graven verses of the following tenor : 

He ifi no more : but then remain in the world 
So many memorials of his high deeds, 
That thou may*8t, astoniahM, know him 
Sudi u if thou aaWfet him this day pieaent. 
He was such, as that the etemal aucoesiion 
Of ages can never give another equal, 
Who thus, by victorious wars, shall increase 
And protect die people of IshnuieL 


He had goverBed the state with glory twenty- 
five years. The imbecility of the caliph had left 
all power in his hand, yet he never abused it No 
civil war or internal vexation troubled the state ; 
agriculture and commerce flourished ; he protected 
learned men, and himself was reckoned among their 
number. His death spread a general mourning over 
Cordova and the rest of the nation, and it was long 
before the people ceased to lament his loss. 

By the advice of the sultana Sobeiha, her son Ha- 
chem gave to Abdelmelic the post his father had 
so worthily occupied, and his conduct showed that 
he deserved the distinction. His inroads on Galli- 
cia were fortunate for four years. On one occasion 
he took possession of Leon, and that portion of the 
walls that was left standing by his father was de- 
stroyed by him. After this, he made a truce with 
Bermudo for three years, at the request of Ab- 
dalla, governor of Toledo, a cousin of the caliph. 
The governor had, in one of his inroads into Castile,; 
taken prisoner a beautiful girl, to whom he became 
passionately attached ; but discovering that she was 
a sister of the king's, who was anxious to recover 
her, and that she was miserable in her imprison- 
ment, he released her, and a number of young 
ladies, her companions, without any ransom. This 
simple fact has been converted into a miracle by 
the monkish writers. They relate, that the prin- 
cess had been given in marriage, as the price of 

A. D. 1008.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 257 

peace, to Abdalla ; but that, not being able to con- 
vert him, and abhorring a union with an unbeliever, 
she made him understand that, like St. CeciUa, an 
angel stood between herself and him, and the awe- 
struck Moor resigned her and her companions. 
She retired to a convent. — The war was renewed 
OB the expiration of the truce ; but Abdelmelic 
was taken ill shortly afterwards, and died at Cor- 
dova, in the seventh year of his government, in 

Unfortunately for the caliph, he had, in this in- 
terval, lost his mother, whose prudent counsels had 
so well directed the choice of his governors. His 
own will was quite subservient to that of those 
around him, and he accordipgly named to the im- 
portant office of hagib, Abderahman, the brother of 
his last minister, and son of the great Almanzor : 
but he was in nothing but his personal bravery 
worthy of them, being addicted to pleasure, and 
unaccustomed to business. Being cq)tain of the 
guards, he enjoyed the greatest intimacy with Ha- 
chem, and it was hoped that he might possess in- 
fluence to benefit th^ country; but he attempted 
to use it for his personal aggrandisement, ruined 
himself, and laid the foundation of much evil to the 
government. The caliph had no son, and Abde- 
rahman ventured to insinuate that it was one of 
the regal privileges to name a successor, and what 
successor could be so fit as theson of Almanzor, 
the champion and favourite of the people ? . This 


offended the princes of the royal hoose, who all 
thought they had a stronger right to the guardian* 
ship of die person of their relation, especially if it 
were to involve the succession to the throne. 

Mussulman Spain was, accordingly, soon in* 
volved in all the hcnrrors of a civil war. Mahomed 
ben Hachem, of the house of Omeia, was the first 
to take up arms ; he soon obtained possession of 
the person of the caliph, and the unfortunate hagib, 
Abderahman, was taken and crucified. Mahomed 
succeeded to his power, and was declared successor 
to the kingdom. By imprudently banishing the 
Zanete g^uard, the most ancient defenders of the 
Omeiads, he drew on him the enmity of that 
powerful body; and Cordova, attacked by .Sulei- 
man, one of their leaders, was taken and retaken, 
more than once, before Mahomed assumed the title 
of caliph. To make way for himself on the throne, 
he gave out, that Hachem had died in the palace, 
and made a mock funeral for him. But, in truth, the 
feeble prince still lived, but in obscure retirement, 
under the qare of a faithful domestic. Mahomed 
was now prayed for under the name of Mehedi 
Billah^ but his enjoyment of the empire was short 
Perceiving the instability of his situation, he endea- 
voured to engage the assistance of the Christians; 
and, to obtain it, agreed to give up six of the towns 
conquered by Almanzor. Suleiman endeavoured 
to do the same ; so that both Moors and Christums 
were engaged on both sides. A third adventurer 

A. D* 1017.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 259 

arose in the person of Wadh Alameri, to whom the 
caliph Hachem owed the preservation of his life : 
and now that Mehedi and Suleiman were engaged 
in disputing the throne, he drew Hachem out of 
his prison, and proclaimed him anew, to the great 
pleasure of the people of Cordova, who loved him 
for the sake of his ancestors and his own innocent 
character. Shortly after this, Mehedi fell into the 
power of Alameri, who cut off his head and sent it 
to Suleiman. That bad man, however, only made 
use of the additional power he acquired by Me* 
hedi's death to destroy Hachem,. who was never 
heard of after Suleiman's entrance to Cordova, and 
assumption of the title of caliph, and was, there- 
fore, probably murdered. 

For seven years that the civil war had lasted the 
harvests had been destroyed, and the ground lat- 
terly remained untilled. Famine ensued, plague 
followed, and the people loudly murmured against 
their rulers. And now two brothers, descendants 
of the house of Ali, one of whom had been governor 
of Ceuta, and the other of Algeziras, assembled a 
force in western Africa. Ali ben Hamed, the elder 
of these brothers, assisted by the count of Castile, 
got possession of Cordova, and examined every 
building, nay every cellar, in search of the lost 
Hachem, but in vain, and Ali ben Hamed seated 
himself on the throne. The first act of liis T&ga 
was to put to death Suleiman, with all his fiEonily, 
as trmtors to the caliph Hadiem; Ali was, how- 


ever, in a very few months suflFocated in the bath ; 
and the same year, 1017, Abdulrahman IV., great- 
grandson of Abdalrahman III., was called to the 
tlirone by the chief men of the kingdom, who were 
tired of the ceaseless changes and the attendant 
evils of the last eight years. 

This Abdulrahman was surnamed Almortadi, he 
was governor of Jaen, and noted for his virtue and 
liberality. The people conceived great hopes of 
tranquillity from his character, and they loved the 
house of Omeia. Meantime Alcassim ben Hamed 
had been declared in Seville, and some other places, 
successor to his brother All, and Ali'^s son Yahye 
had arrived from Africa to claim the crown as his 
father's heir, displaced his uncle, and was in turn 
driven out by him. The uncle and nephew, how- , 
ever, agreed to unite their arms against Abdulrah- 
man Almortadi, but were beaten, and the victory 
remained with the partisans of the Omeia. But 
he himself, whose character seemed to promise a 
blessing to Spain, was wounded in the battle by an 
arrow, and died at the moment a messenger an- 
nounced to him his victory. 

The council of state had assembled at Cordova 
to welcome Almortadi on his victory; but on hear- 
ing of his death they named another Abdulrahman, 
equally near to the caliph Haohem in blood, and 
the brother of Mehedi. He had all the external 
beauty of the Omeias; he was learned and elo^ 
qtient ; but of a temper too^ austere for the times ; 

A. D. 1081.] UISTOBY OF 8PAIK. 261 

the soldiers exdaimed that he was fitter for a her- 
mits^e than a throne. He was killed in an insur- 
rection of the troops, whose disorders he had at- 
tempted to reform, and who proclaimed his cousin 
Mahomed in his stead. His treaisures, for he was 
immensely rich, were prodigally distributed among 
the people, to purchase their support He gave 
privil^es to the nobles, and immunities to his 
guards ; but he failed of securing popularity, and 
in a very short time he was forced to fly from Cor^ 
dova to the castle of Udes near Toledo, where he 
was very well received by the commander; but 
soon after died, as it was said, poisoned. 

Yahye ben Ali now returned from Africa and 
resumed the government. He was a man whom 
the people loved and depended on, and his death 
in battle, near Cordova, caused a general grief. 

The divan then met, and chose another of the 
Omeiads, Hachem, the elder brother of Abdul- 
rahman Almortadi, whose accession in the year 
1029 gratified the people; and his activity and 
conduct seemed to promise a renovation of the 
glories of the house of Omeia. The spirit of dis- 
affection was, however, too deeply rooted among 
the various shieks and governors; the indulgences 
which each of the late caliphs had granted the 
troops had rendered them insolent, and Hachem 
III. had scarcely reigned two years when he was 
deposed. When the news of his deposition came 
to hhn he calmly said, " Thank Heaven ! they 


have removed from me the burden they themselves 
imposed." He immediately left the city witli his 
&mily, escorted by a strong and £EUth£al guard, and 
accompanied by some men of letters whom he had 
attached to him in the days of his prosperity. He 
went to the fortress of Hasn Abi Xarif, which he 
had built, and passed the six last years of his life 
in tranquillity and honour ; showing by the dig<- 
nity with which he bore the loss of his crown how 
worthy he had been to wear it. 

Far different was the feeling of a youth of the 
same fiunily, who now offered himself as a com- 
petitor for the throne of Cordova, and who said to 
the electors, << Let me reign to-day, though you be- 
head me to-morrow." But the sun of the Qmeias 
was set The Moors believed that their evil de- 
stiny had now the ascendant over their fortunes, 
and refused to confer the government on another 
of the house of Meruan. 

Thus ended the dominion of the £Euni]y of the 
first great Abdulrahman ben Moavia, which had 
reigned two hundred and seventy-six years in Cor* 
dova, and which, at a time when the rest of Europe 
was plunged in the darkest ignorance and bar- 
barism, had made Spain the abode of learning and 

We must now look back a few years to the af- 
fairs of Leon. Don Bermudo IL, surnamed the 
Gouty, had succeeded his cousin Ramiro IIL As 
his reign extended from 982 to 999, he witnessed 

A. D. 1031.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 263 

and suffered most of the destructive campaigns of 
the hagib Almansor. Castile was divided by a 
domestic quarrel, Gonzalo Gustro, lord of Salas 
de Lara, was descended from the ancient counts of 
Castile. He had married donna Sancha, the sister 
of the noble Ruy Velasquez, lord of Villaren, and 
by her had seven sons, who were all knighted in 
one day. They were commonly known as the In-* 
fantes of Lara, and were famous for their prowess 
and accomplishments. Ruy Velasquez married a 
lady of Briviesca, called donna Lambra ; and it hap^ 
pened that at the marriage, which was celebrated 
at Burgos, Gonzalo, the youngest of the infants of 
Lara, had a slight dispute with a relation of the 
lady, called Alvar Sanchez ; but thought nothing of 
it, until at Barbadillo^ to which place the brothers 
had accompanied her, she, resenting the matter, 
ordered one of her slaves to throw a gourd fiill of 
blood at Gonzalo. This, according to the old Spa^ 
nish manners, was the greatest outrage that could 
be committed. The slave was instantly put to 
death, notwithstanding the presence of his mistress. 
Ruy Velasquez, who had been absent at the mo- 
ment, irritated at the double insult offered to his 
bride, resolved from that moment on the destra4>* 
tion of the house of Lara. He caused the father 
to be sent to Cordova on a supposed message from 
the king, but in reality with a request that the 
caliph would put him to death. But the Moor 
disdained to murder an old man who was in hi» 


powerj and let him go. Bis sons were not so 
fortunate ; they were waylaid by the contrivance 
of Ruy Velasquez, and died altogether, defending 
one another. Fifteen years afterwards a youth of 
the same fieunily fell upon the murderer, and re- 
venged their death ; and as for donna Lambra, the 
first cause of all the disorder, she was first stoned 
by the people, and then burnt. 

The chief evcfnts of Bermudo's reign have been 
already mentioned in the history of Almansor. He 
died 999 of the gout, and Itft a daughter by his 
first wife, Velasquita, whom he divorced, two sons 
by his second wife, Elvira, and two daughters and 
a son, born before he became king. 

Bermudo II. was succeeded by his son Alonzo V. : 
his long minority was skilfully guided by his foster 
parents Melendo Gonzalez, count of Gallicia, and 
his wife donna Mayor, whose daughter donna El- 
vira in process of time he married, and by whom 
he had two children, don Bermudo and donna 
Sancba. Towards the end of Alonzo's reign, the 
kingdom began to recover from the miserable effects 
of the inroads of Almansor. Alonzo rebuilt the 
walls of Leon ; and at a general meeting of the. 
cortes at Oviedo, he confirmed the ancient Gothic 
laws, and made some additions adapted to the 
circumstances of the times. He was killed in 
1028, by an arrow from the walls of Visco, which 
city he was laying siege to. His body was con- 
veyed to Leon, and there buried. In the same 



year died don Sancho of Castile, who had governed 
that province twenty-two years. 

Don Berfiiudo III. succeeded his father don 
Alonzo ; he never had any children, a circumstance 
which induced don Sancho el Mayor, king of Na- 
varre, to procure the marriage of donna Sancha, 
the king's sister, with his second son don Fernando. 
Sancho el Mayor was already count of Castile by 
inheritance through a female. Taking advantage 
of the civil dissensions of the Moors, he had en- 
larged the limits of his dominions, both by stra- 
tagem and force; and at his death, in 1035, the 
greater part of Christian Spain was in his hands. 
He left Navarre and Biscay to don Garcia, his 
eldest son. Don Fernando bad Casdle in right of 
his mother, donna Nunia, and changed the title of 
count of Castile for that of king. Don Gonzalo 
occupied Sobrarve and Ribagorza, and don Kamiro 
received the kingdom of Arragon. Such was the 
division of Christian Spain at the moment of the 
extinction of the Omeiad caliphs of Cordova. 


Ornamental Moorish inteription. 

VOL. I. 




Table of the Caliphs of Cordova, 

[CH. VII. 


Years of 


Abdulnthman I. ... 



Hacheml. . ... 



Alhakem I. . . • 



Abdulrahman 11. 



Muhammad I. ... 



Almondhir . . • • 



Abdala . ^ . 



Abdulrahman III. 



Alhakem II. 






Muhammad II., surnamed Mehedi BUa 





Hachem II., a second time 





Abdulrahman IV. 



Alcassim ben Hamud 



Yahye ben Ali ... 



Abdulrahman V. Almostadir BiUali . 



Muhammad III. . 



Yahye ben Ali, a second time 



Hachem III. el Motad BUla 





Prince and princess in pavilion* 

If the reign of Alhakem was not quite so bril- 
liant as that of his father Abduh'ahman, it was at 
least as happy for the people, for it was generally 
passed in peace. We have mentioned the encou- 
ragement given by him to agriculture and the useful 
ordinary arts of life. 

He was no less diligent in the promotion of sci- 
ence and learning ; though after he became caliph 
he bestowed less time on the cultivation of letters, 
that he might devote himself to the weightier a£^irs 



of the state. As a proof of his anxiety for the im- 
provement of his people, it is recorded, that, in the 
year 967, rabbi Moses and rabbi Enoch his son, 
having been taken by pirates, and sold as slaves in 
Cordova, were redeemed by their brethren, who 
established a school in the capital, of which rabbi 
Moses was mad« teacher. He, after some time, 
wishing to return to the East, Alhakem induced 
him to remain, griEinting him every indulgence with 
regard to the worship of his people, and rejoicing 
that his Hebrew subjects had masters of their own 
religion at home, to obviate the necessity of send- 
ing their youth abroad for instruction. They had 
been accustomed to go to Babylon, where there 
were academies supported by subscription, under 
the eldership of the family Gaon ; but about this 
period a persecution of the Jews having taken place 
at Babylon, the sons of Gaon fled to Spain, and 
their college was transferred to Cordova, whence 
a number of Hebrew poets sprung, whose works 
have been noticed by various writers. 

About this period the various translations from 
the books of science of the Greeks, made in the 
East by the school of the learned Honain, were 
brought into Spain : the writings of Aristotle and 
Plato, Euclid, Apollonius, Ptolemy, Hippocrates, 
and Galen, became familiar to the Moorish stu- 
dents; many treatises, now lost in the original, 
were preserved in the Arab versions. The philo- 

A. D. 1035.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 269 

sophy of Aristotle was that taught in the Moorish 
colleges in Spain, and by them transmitted to the 
rest of Europe. Geometry, algebra, and astro- 
nomy were studied with success. The astronomical 
tables constructed in Spain, and founded on careful 
observations, corrected some errors of the ancients, 
though their use was debased by a mixture of the 
vain pretences of astrology. Medicine was culti- 
vated with the greatest diligence. We have noticed 
the visit of Sancho the Fat to Cordova, where he 
was cured of a long standing disease. Al Berthar, 
of Malaga, a learned botanist, had travelled into 
Africa, Persia, and India. Chemistry was prac- 
tised, and alchjrmy was pursued. The Saracens 
first invented the ^embic for distillation, ascer* 
tained the distinctions and affinities of alcalies 
and acids, and from poisonous minerals extracted 
efficient medicines. 

Yet while the books of natural philosophy 
were thus received and prized, the literature of 
Greeice and Rome were neglected. Homer was 
not translated, nor were the delightful histories of 
the Grecian states and heroes known to the Moors, 
literature is in its nature free and inquiring, and 
scarcely bears even the burden of patrons^e. Sci- 
ence more patiently submits to the protection of a 
master, and is more easily made available to the 
purposes of civil government. Hence the jealousy 
with which absolute monarchs have always regarded 


literature, and the encouragement wbich they have 
bestowed on pure science. 

The literature of the Arabs themselves was con- 
fined to the chronicles of the dynasties of Persia 
and Arabia, wild tales of romance and enchant- 
ment, and poems, amatory or mystical. At the com- 
petition of the poets on the accession of Alhakem, 
the prize was carried oflF by Ismael ben Badr, of 
Seville, afterwards tale-teUer or novelist to the 
caliph. His office was to amuse the court with 
" stories of feats of arms, and loves with very 
strange adventures, in an elegant style." 

The Moors always delighted in graceful speak- 
ing; and an elegant delivery, particularly in preach- 
ing, was highly prized; and sometimes in private 
recitations the prose was relieved by verses sung, 
and not unfrequently accompanied by the lute, 
harp, or guitar ; and such amusements were fre- 
quent at weddings and other family festivals. 

We have a short account of the marriage of 
Abdelmelic, the son of Almansor, with his cousin, 
which was celebrated in the gardens of the villa 
Almeria, a royal gift to the bridegroom. " All the 
nobility of Cordova was at the feast; the lovely 
bride was conducted in triumph through the prin- 
cipal streets of the city, accompanied by all the 
damsels who were friends of the family, preceded 
and followed by the cadis and the witnesses, the 
lords, sheiks, and knights of the city. The damsels, 

A. D, 1035.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 271 

armed with rdds of ivory and gold, guarded the 
entrance of the pavilion of the bride all day ; when 
evening came, the bridegroom, accompanied by the 
noble youths of his house, armed with gilt maces, 
won his entrance in spite of the brave defence of 
the damsels. All the gardens were illuminated^ 
and in all the groves, at every fountain, and in the 
boats on the clear lakes, gentle music was heard, 
and the praises of the new-married couple were the 
burdens of the songs. The music and verses lasted 
until the next dawn, and the rejoicings continued 
all the following day. On this occasion Almansor 
gave new clothing and armour to his guards, dis- 
tributed much alms to the hospitals and poorV 
houses, gave dowries to the poor orphan girls of 
his congregation, and rich presents to the poets 
who composed the verses in praise of his children." 

Such were the ceremonies at the nuptials of the 
Moors. They imitated with splendour the usual 
practice of the Arabs, who all pretend to carry oflF 
iheir brides by force, as if the relations were un- 
willing to part with their child. 

The ceremony of naming an infant was more 
simple. On the evening of the seventh day after 
its birth, a fittted lamb, or sheep, or calf, was killed, 
and on the eighth day, the whole family being as- 
sembled, ate of it, and distributed what remained 
to the poor. Before the feast, the father or grand- 
father, if there was one, invoking the name of God, 


whispered into the infant's ear the name it was to 
bear in after life* Rich persons weighed their hair, 
and gave the value of the weight in gold or silver 
to the poor. 



LEON, A. D. 1109. 


About this period ike history of Spain beeomes 
extremely eoniplicated. The great kii^om of 
Cordova being brdcen op, the chie& of the dif- 
ferent Arab tribes made kingdoms for themselves 


in the various provinces of the peninsula. Cor- 
dova still held the principal rank among the divided . 
states; Seville, Toledo, Zaragoza, Huesca, Gra- 
nada, and Malaga, with the African province, were 
the next in importance ; but there were a number 
of petty towns, in which either the chief magistrates 
or the military governors endeavoured to render 
themselves independent. The mutual quarrels in 
which the Moors were necessarily engaged by this 
state of things gave room for the Christians gra- 
dually to extend the limits of their dominions. 
The improvements of Christian Europe, which 
began in the eleventli century, slowly extended to 
Leon and Navarre. The spirit that produced the 
expeditions to the Holy Land led some of the 
crusaders into Spain to aid the Christians of that 
country against the Moors, who professed the same 
jEEuth as the Saracens in Palestine; and if on one 
side the Moslem were never backward in an alge- 
hib or holy war, for the purpose of spreading their ^ 
faith, neither were the Christians, under the sign 
of the cross, indiiFerent to the interests of religion 
in the wars they waged to recover the territory of 
their ancestors. But every knight who won a 
town from the Moors considered it as his own; 
and the kings of Leon and of Arragon were con- 
tent, if he acknowledged them as superior lords, to 
allow him the governnient of the place which he 
had delivered from the common enemy. . Hence 
arose the various Christian kingdoms and counties 

A. D. 1035.] HISTORY OP SPAIN. 2T5 

of Spain, whose internal wars often injured the 
common cause, not only by retarding the recovery 
of the country which the union of all might have 
effected, but by calling in the Mahometan chiefs 
and allowing them to share in the spoil of rival 
Christians. Nor was the custom of dividing a 
kingdom among several children less mischievous 
in its consequences, as it opened the door for dis- 
putes and wars, generally more cruel, as the causes 
which excited them were the nearer home. 

Sancho III. of Navarre committed the great error 
of leaving his estates portioned out among his four 
sons. Don Garcia, the eldest, had Navarre and 
Biscay, with all that lies between the town of Na- 
jara and the mountains of Oca. Don Ferdinand in- 
herited his mother's patrimony of Castile, and was 
the first who assumed the title of king of that pro- 
vince. Don Gonzalo had Sobrarve and Ribagorza ; 
and Ramirez received the mountainous kingdom of 
Arragon. Bermudo III., whose only sister, donna 
Sancha, had married don Ferdinand of Castile, 
reigned in Leon, which kingdom then compre- 
hended part of Old Castile, the provinces of Gal- 
licia, and all that part of Portugal not possessed by 
the Moors. 

Berenger Borrel, with the title of count, reigned 
in Barcelona. He greatly enlarged his territories, 
and rendered several of the petty Moorish princes 
tributary to him. 

On the final fall of the Omeiad princes of Cor- 
dova, the divan assembled to choose a successor. 


a)id the election fell on Gehwar ben Muhammad 
ben Gehwar, a man of high birth and of jpreat pru- 
dence and virtue. He appears, indeed, to have 
possessed singular moderation, and a mind en<* 
lightened beyond the age in which he lived, or the 
sect to which he belonged. 

No sooner had the oath of allegiance to him been 
taken, than he established a new form of govern- 
ment. He called upon all the principal nobles 
and magistrates to form a council or senate, re* 
serving to himself only the presidency of that coun- 
cil. Before he took possession of the regal palaces 
he removed the troops of guards that had been so 
offensive to the people, and ordered every tldng in 
the state with the greatest economy. He banished 
all informers and stirrers up of law-suits, and esta- 
blished a certain number of advocates, who, like 
the judges, were to receive a fixed salary for con- 
ducting the public business. He also banished, to 
the great benefit of the people, the quack doctors 
and ignorant practitioners of medicine, who, with- 
out real science, pretended to cure disorders; and 
established a coUege in Cordova, where all who 
took upon them to practise physic and to attend 
the hospitals were bound to be examined. He 
laboured incessantly to secure abundance of pro- 
visions, especially corn, for the people ; and caused 
all receivers of taxes and customs to account an- 
nually for the sums passing through their hands to 
the senate. In his time a strict police preserved 
peace in the city, and the people blessed a reign 

A. D. 1042.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 277 

during which the merchants and artificers grew 

In Seville, Muhammad ben Ismael ben Abed 
Abul Cassim had rendered himself independent ; 
but being attacked by the neighbouring Maho- 
metan chiefs, he feigned that he had discovered 
the lost Hachem II., the grandson of the great 
Abdulrahman, whose death had never been proved, 
in the person of an old miserable captive in Seville ; 
and lioping to avail himself of the love he trusted 
the people still bore to the memory of the Omeiads, 
he declared Hachem 11. caliph in Seville, and as- 
sumed the title of his viceroy. Finding, however, 
that the well-known imbecility of that monarch had 
rendered the nation totally indifferent to his ex- 
istence, he published some letters, said to have 
been written by that unfortunate prince, in which 
he appointed him his successor. A considerable 
party in the south of Spain, who were attached to 
the race of the caliphs, believed in the reality of 
these letters; and though they had shown little 
eagerness to continue the reign of Hachem himself, 
they willingly adopted Abul Cassim as his lawful 
successor, and he reigned in Seville until the year 
1042, when he was succeeded by his son Aben 
Abed, called Almoabded, who was afterwards deeply 
engaged both in peace and war with the Christiaxis. 

Nearly about the same time died Gehwar of 
Cordova, deeply r^etted by his people. He was 
succeeded by his son Muhammad, in all respects 


worthy of him. He was forced against his consent 
to keep up a war with the king of Toledo; but he 
himself remained in the capital, where his presence, 
as head of the council, was most necessary. 

Suleiman ben Hud, and his son and successor 
Giafer, kings of Zaragoza, were fully employed 
in the meantime in opposing the attacks of their 
Christian neighbours, to whose history we must 
now return. 

No sooner was don Garcia in possession of his 
kingdom of Navarre, than he set out for Rome to 
accomplish a vow lie had made during his father^s 
lifetime. His brother, don Ramirez of Arragon, 
considering the occasion fitvourable for making 
himself master of Navarre, formed an alliance with 
Suleiman, king of Zaragoza, and other Moorish 
chiefs, entered, the lands of Navarre, and besieged 
Tafisdla, a very considerable place. 

Meantime Garcia returned from his pilgrimage, 
and hastily collecting his forces, fell suddenly on 
the besiegers, and forced them to fly with disgrace. 
Ramirez took refuge in the states of Sobrarve, which 
he had, two years before, united to his own by the 
choice of the people, on the death of his brother 

The kingdoms of Castile and Leon were not more 
tranquil. Bermudo III., whose sister had, against 
his consent, been married to Ferdinand of Castile 
by Sancho of Navarre, resented the marriage, and 
at the same time dreaded the power and ambitioa 

A. D. 1042.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 279 

of Ferdinand, who openly* pretended to the suc- 
cession of Leon in right of his wife donna Sancha. 
He therefore assembled all his forces and attacked 
Ferdinand, who marched to oppose him, on the 
banks of the Carrion, near the town of Lemtada. 
An obstinate battle ensued, and only ended by the 
death of Bermudo, who was pierced by a spear in 
the thickest of the fight, and instantly died. In 
him expired the last male descendant of the ancient 
Gothic kings of Spain. Their race in the female 
line may still be traced in the Spanish kings. 

Ferdinand immediately proceeded to Leon, where 
he was crowned by the bishop don Fernando, king 
of Leon, being the first who united the crowns of 
Castile and Leon. His first act was to turn his 
arms against the Moors in the north of Portugal. 
He gained from them, partly by conquest, partly 
by treaty, the important places of Viseo and Co- 
imbra with their dependencies. 

A curious legend, which proves the supersti- 
tion of the times, is related concerning the siege of 
Coimbra. A Greek bishop, who in his own conn- 
try had ridiculed the stories told by Spanish pil- 
grims of the apparitions of Santiago in front of 
their armies engaged against the Moors, was 
visited by the saint in a dream, who reproved him 
for his unbelief, and told him that he was at that 
time interested for his faithful Spaniards at the 
siege of Coimbra, and that at that very hour the 
place would be given up. The bishop, on waking, 


set out for Spain to see if Santiago had really deli- 
vered the place to the Christian army, and finding 
that they took possession of it at the precise hour 
of his dream, he became the most devout of all 
Santiago's votaries. 

Ferdinand then threatened the lands of Toledo ; 
but on the king promising to pay tribute, and pre- 
senting him with, a great sum in gold and silver, 
he concluded a truce with him, and turned his 
attention to his domestic aifairs. 

Proud of his conquests over the Moors, and of 
the extent c^his Christian dominions, he sought 
to distinguish himself by a title higher than that 
of his contemporaries, and took upon him the 
style of emperor. This attracted the attention of 
Henry IL, emperor of Germany, who, as the suc- 
cessor of Honorius, pretended to the supremacy 
over all the provinces of the western empire ; and 
in the council of Florence, held by Pope Victor IL, 
the countryman of Henry, he openly complained 
that the kings of Spain held themselves exempt 
from the jurisdiction of the empire, and that Ferdi- 
nand had even assumed the title of emperor. 

Messengers were consequently sent to Spain to 
demand obedience to tlie empire and to the holy 
see under pain of excommunication. Ferdinand, 
perplexed at the occurrence, assembled the cortes 
of his kingdom. On one hand the nobles depre- 
cated the idea of acknowledging the superiority of 
any foreign monarch ; on the other, surrounded hj 

X. D. 1042.] HISTORY OP 8PAIK. 281 

infidels as they w«re, tbej dreaded the indig^tion 
of the head of the church. The assembly had de- 
bated some days without coming to any determina- 
tion, when the king sent to Rodrigo Diaz de Bivar, 
well known both in history and romance as the 
Cid, to join the council That brave man instantly 
adopted the boldest measure, saying that the Ger- 
mans were surely mocking them in demanding 
submission from a nation which had long ago won 
its entire independence from the Romans — a nation 
whose warriors would rather die as brave men than 
acknowledge a foreign master, now that they had 
freed themselves from the Moorish yoke ; that he 
could not think the ears of their holy father the 
pope would be shut against their just representa- 
tions ; and that, for his part, he would maintain 
with his sword, thait all were traitors who, from 
scruples of conscience, or any other motive, should 
propose submission to any foreign master; and 
that those who stood for freedom should be his 
dearest friends, and those who opposed it his mortal 

An answer, refusing to submit to their demands, 
was accordingly sent to the pope and the emperor ; 
and to maintain it, an army was raised, consisting 
of ten thousand men, besides the tributary Moors. 
Under the Cid and other chiefs it passed the Py- 
renees, and encamped near Thoulouse, which was 
still intimately connected with Spain. There a 
council awaited the return of the envoy from Flo- 


rence ; and after some altercation, Henry II. gave 
up his pretensions ; but the popes took advantage 
of the occurrence to obtain larger contributions 
from the Spanish churches. 

The Cid, Rodrigo Diaz, lord of Bivar, whose 
counsels had such weight in the cortes, was a man 
of such extraordinary prowess in war, and politic 
judgment in matters of government, that his name 
was celebrated in the songs and romances both of 
the Spaniards and Moors for ages; and because of 
that celebrity some historians have doubted of his 
existence. It is, however, certain that such a hero 
lived at that time ; and though the rhyming chro- 
nicles tell many incredible stories of him they 
call the perfect one^ there is enough of inequality 
in his character, as we shall have occasion to see, 
to render his existence probable, even were there 
not the proofs we have of its reality. The first 
mention made of Rodrigo Diaz is strictly in cha- 
racter with the manners of the times. His. father, 
Diego Laynez, descended from the ancient judges 
of Castile, was insulted by Don Gomez, the lord 
of Gormaz, from whom he received a blow. Now 
Diego was old and unable to take the vengeance 
due to his honour, deeply wounded by that blow : 
therefore his son Rodrigo fought with Gomez and 
killed him, and brought his head to his father, 
wlio, from the day he had received the blow, had 
neither eat, nor slept, nor lifted up his eyes for 


shame. Old Diego, when he saw that head, blessed 
Lis son, and set him at table above him, and consi- 
dered the redeemer of his honour from that day as 
the head of his house. 

After this Rodrigo subdued in battle five Moorish 
kings, and caused them to pay tribute* to him, but 
set them at liberty; wherefore they served him 
faithfully, and called him their cid or lord. 

Now it happened that Gomez, whom Rodrigo 
Diaz slew, had one daughter unmarried, named 
Ximena. She was young and beautiful, and 
since the death of her father unprotected. She 
therefore petitioned the ting that he would do her 
justice, and either execute Rodrigo for killing her 
father, or give him to her for a husband. The 
king chose the latter, and Rodrigo received Ximena 
at Fernando's hands, and took her to his mother, 
who kept her as her own child, and they were be- 
trothed ; but Rodrigo promised to gain many battles 
against the Moors before he would claim her as 
his wife. 

The Mahometan kings of Toledo and Cordova 
were still at war. The latter had allied himself 
with the lords of Seville and Badajoz, but their 
troops were all defeated by those of Toledo and 
Valencia near the rio Algodor. On this, prince 
Abdelmelic, son of the king of Cordova, instantly 
rode from that city to Seville, to entreat the per- 
sonal assistance of the king, who accordingly 
marched towards Cordova^ which he found closely 


besieged by Dylnun, king of Toledo. A fierce 
batde was the immediate consequence, in which 
the Toledans and Valencians were put to flight : 
but while the people of Cordova were busy plun- 
dering the enemy's camp, their ally ike king of 
Seville's troops entered the city, and took pos- 
session of it. The king of Cordova, seeing himself 
thus betrayed, died of a broken heart, 'and his son, 
in returning from the pursuit of the enemy, was 
taken and imprisoned in a tower, where he also 
shortly expired. 

In the year 1060 died the king of Valencia, Al- 
manzor, grandson of the great Almanzor. He was 
succeeded by his son Almudafar, who had mar* 
ried a daughter of the king of Toledo : but having 
refused to join his father-in-law against Aben Abed, 
the powerful king of Seville and Cordova, he was 
dispossessed by him, and banished to. Xelba, while 
the kingdom of Valencia was annexed to that of 

Granada and Malaga were added to the crown 
of Seville, but no advantage was gained in the 
south for the general cause of Mahomet. In the 
north it was prosperous under Giaffer of Zaragoza, 
who recovered Balbastro, and several other fort- 
resses ; and by the assistance of the Castilians had 
won a victory over the kings of Navarre and Ar- 
ragon, when the latter was killed, 

Meanwhile the death of don Fernando, king of 
Castile and Leon, had produced a new division of 

A. D. 1065.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 285 

the kiDgtloins. His end was diaracteristid. He 
had undertaken an expedition against the Moors ; 
but before he reached the frontiers he fell ill, and 
believed that St. Isidore appeared to him, and sum- 
Hioned him to death. He therefore returned to 
Leon, and having repaired to the high altar in the 
ehurch of St. Isidore, where he had prepared his 
own tomb, he pulled off his crown and royal robes, 
and laid aside his sceptre, and confessed him- 
self, and said aloud, before all the people, ^^ Thou, 
Lord, art above kings, and all are subject unto 
thee : thine is the power, thine the command : the 
kingdom thou gavest me I restore; and I pray 
thee, of thy clemency, to receive me into the light 
eternal." He then received extreme unction, and 
put on a coarse robe and sprinkled ashes on his 
head, and died on St John's day. He was an able 
man and a good prince, and had much advanced 
the cause of the Christians in Spain, both by arms 
and policy. He was not negligent of learning, and 
caused both his sons and daughters to be carefully 
instructed in the things that were advante^eous for 
them. His wife, donna Sancha, who survived him 
two years, was a woman of spirit and discretion, of 
great piety, a good mother, and much beloved by 
the people. 

The mistaken policy of dividing the kingdom 
among the princes of the royal family was pursued 
by don Fernando, though he had suffered from the 
evils consequent on it in the early part of his own 


reign. He bequeathed Castile, with the conquered 
part of Navarre, to his eldest son, Don Sancho; 
to don Alonzo the kingdom of Leon, with Campos, 
and part of Asturias, besides some towns of Gal- 
licia; and to don Garcia, Gallicia and the con- 
quered part of Portugal. These all assumed the 
title of kings. To his two daughters he left towns 
called infantazgos, or portions for the infantas. 
Donna Urraca, the eldest, received Zamora, and 
donna Elvira the town of Toro. 

Don Sancho, surnamed the Strong, openly ex- 
pressed his discontent at the partition of the king- 
dom, and it was plain that he wanted only an op- 
portunity to seize the estates of his brothers and 
sisters; but ere he had leisure to collect forces for 
that purpose, he himself was attacked by Sancho, 
king of Navarre, and Ramirez, king of Arragon. 
By the assistance of the Moorish king of Zaragoza 
he overcame them both, when Ramirez was killed, 
as has been already mentioned, and was succeeded 
by his son, Sancho Ramirez, whom the Maho- 
metans call ben Rodmir^ and celebrate as a warlike 
prince. In fact, he recovered Balbastro from the 
king of Zaragoza, and removed the episcopal see of 
Roses thither. In the year i076 he anuexed the 
kingdom of Navarre to that of Arragon. He was, 
perhaps, one of the most active and determined 
princes of his time, and was constantly engaged in 
warfare ; generally against the Mahometans, and 
but seldom against Christiiln princes, unless they 


A. D. 1067.] HISTORY OP SPAIN. 287 

were in alliance with the Moors. He married 
FeUcia, daughter of the count of Urgel, by whom 
he had three sons, who all became kings of Ar-» 
ragon. He is said to have discontinued the Gothic 
laws, and to have introduced the Roman code into 
Arragon ; and he and his father laboured to sub-^ 
stitute the Romish for the Gothic ritual in their 

Meanwhile don Sancho of Castile was making 
war with various success against his brothers. The 
first he attacked was don Alonzo, whom he defeated 
at Plantaca, and forced to retire to Leon, where, 
however, he soon raised a fresh army, and renew- 
ing the war, overcame Sancho on the banks of the 
Carrion ; but the Cid coming up to the Assistance 
of the king of Castile, retrieved the fortune of the 
day, ^and Alonzo took refuge in the church of Car« 
rion, whence he was taken and carried to Burgos. 
At the iniercession of his sister, donna Urraca, 
whom he loved as a mother, he was allowed to 
retire to the monastery of Sahagun, where he was 
forced to take on him the monastic habit ; but Ur- 
raca, fearing that his life was not safe even there, 
furnished him with the means of escape, and he 
took refuge with Almamun, the Moorish king of 
Toledo, who had been a firm ally of his father, don 

Almamun received him most hospitably, and 
assigned him a noble dwelling near his own palace ; 
so that he could apply to him on all occasions fami- 


liarly* It was, moreover, near one of the Christian 
diurehes of Toledo. Don Alonzo appears to have 
been of an amiable disposition, and became a fa- 
vourite among the Moorish nobles for his gallant 
bearing in war, and the perfection with which he 
possessed all knightly accomplishments. While 
residing with the king of Toledo, Alonzo enjoyed 
all princely pleasures. He had been joined by 
some noble Christians, retainers of his sister Urraca, 
and his household consisted of those of his own 
nation and belief. They enjoyed the diversions of 
hunting and hawking, and Alonzo often partook with 
his Moorish friends of their more tranquil amuse* 
ments in the royal gardens. It is said, that one day 
that he was lying on a green turf in the shade, king 
Almamun and his courtiers, not perceiving him, 
sat down under a locust-tree, and began to dis* 
course of the strength of the city, and of the pos- 
sibility of taking it, when just as one old captain 
had declared that nothing but cutting off the pro-* 
visions, and laying the country around waste, would 
do, they perceived Alonzo lying asleep. They in- 
stantly proposed to Almamun to put him to death 
lest he should have heard, and at some future time 
should avail himself of his knowledge, and so take 
the place from the Moors. But Almamun dis- 
dained the thought of murdering his guest, and 
Alonzo was saved. Some of the tale-tellers in after 
times, in relating this, have added, that to try whe^ 
ther he was really asleep, the courtiers poured 

A. D. 1067.] .HISTORY OP SPAIN. 289 

boiling lead into his hand, and it ran through it, 
hence he was called, He of the open hand ; but, 
in truth, he received that surname from his libe- 

While don Alonzo was thus enjoying the pro- 
tection of the Moors, his brother, don Garcia, was 
suffering froin the persecution of don Sancho. Too 
weak to make head against the united forces of 
Castile and Leon, the young king of Gallicia had 
sought refuge among the Moors of the south of 
Portugal, but they being unable or unwilling to 
assist him, he was soon taken and Sancho, 
who shut him up in the tower of Lima, and having 
thus appropriated the inheritance of his two bro- 
thers, he next wrested Toro from donna Elvira, 
and besieged donna Urraca in Zamora. 

Desirous of obtaining that strong fortress at any 
price, he sent his vassal, the Cid, who had been 
brought up from his infancy with the princess, to 
^persuade her to exchange it with him for wider 
lands and more agreeable dwellings ; but she re- 
fused, and said, ^' How many evil messages have I 
heard ! TSIy brother, don Garda, he hath shut up 
in a tower, as if he were a thief or a Moor. My 
brother, don Alonzo, he hath forced to go among 
,the Moors, and live like an exile and a traitor ; be 
hath taken her lands from my sister donna Elvira, 
and now would he take Zamora from me also !" 

Her foster-father, don Arias Gonzalo, then came 
vto her and entreated her to moderate her grief, apd 

VOL. I. o 


appeal to the men of Zamora. If they consented 
to hold the castle for her, then to send a refusal to 
her brother; but if not» to give it up, and take 
what he would give her for it. Urraca accordingly 
assembled the knights and good men of the town 
in the church of St Salvador, and laid her case 
before them ; and they thanked her for consulting 
them, and besought her not to give*iip the place, 
and promised not to desert her for trouble, nor for 
danger, even to death. 

And the Cid carried back the princess's message 
to the king, and, moreover, withdrew from the 
army; for he would not fight against his foster- 
sister, and he took with him his knights and esquires, 
in number twelve hundred men. 

After some time, the town was so hard pressed 
that Urraca was on the point of abandoning it, when 
don Sancho was treacherously slain (a. p. 1073) 
by a knight, called Vellido Dolfos, not without 
suspicion that Urraca and the men in Zamora had 
partaken in the treason. Urraca immediately de- 
spatded messengers to don Alonso, at Toledo, 
entreating him to return in all haste, and secretly, 
lest the Moors should think of detaining him, now 
that he was king of their inveterate enemies. But 
Alonzo better understood the nature of Almamun, 
and went instantly to him to announce his brother's 
death, and desire permission to departs and take 
possession of his crown. Almamun, so far from 
seeking to detain him, made no condition but that 

A. D. 1073.] HESTOKY OF SPAIN. 291 

<rf a renewal of friendship with Alonzo, for himself 
and for his son, accompanied him with a brilliant 
train of chiefs to the frontier, and took leave of 
with presents. 

The people of Leon were glad to receive their 
own king back Bgsin ; but the Castilian nobles, 
suspecting don Alonzo of having had some know- 
ledge of, or participation in, the death of his bro- 
ther, refused to swear fealty to him, unless he 
would clear himself by oath of that crime. He 
acco]:dingly repaired to the cathedral of Burgos, 
and th^e, bef(»re the Cid, took a solemn oath that 
lie knew nothing of the manner of his brother's 
death : then die Cid put the oath to him a second 
time, and he did the like ; and then, according to 
the usages of Castile, he required the oath a third 
time, and the king took it. And the banners of 
Castile were raised in the name of king don Alonzo 
the Brave. But the king long resented the manner 
in which the Cid had required the oath. 

The very year after Alonzo^s accession to the 
throne he had occasion to prove his gratitude to 
Almamiin. The king of Cordova had made an 
inroad into the lands of Toledo, and Alonzo^ with- 
out waiting for any message from his friend, assem- 
bled a force, with which he joined the Toledans, 
and drove off the invaders: a great booty was 
found in their camp, which the Christians divided 
with their Moorish allies. About this time Alonzo's 
first wife, Inez, died, and he married Constantia, 



daughter of Robert, duke of Burgundy. The French 
princess, on arriving at Burgos, was shocked at the 
lax state of the Christian church of Spain ; and, 
above all, at the general use of the M usarabic 
liturgy, which still continued in possession of the 
churches, notwithstanding the repeated efforts of 
the popes to put it down. At her entreaty a council 
was held at Burgos, where the cardinal Richort, 
abbot of Marseilles, presided as the pope's legate. 
Many rules of reform were enacted, and the use of 
the Romish ritual enjoined throughout Castile. 

The Moors, meantime, continued their mutual 
wars, and the king of Arragon and count of Bar- 
celona occasionally taking part with them, or 
against them, augmented the ills of war without 
gaining any permanent advantage for the Chris- 
tians. The Cid was the captain, who, upon the 
whole, did most evil to the Moors ; yet he occa- 
sionally joined the Beni Huds of Zaragoza against 
the counts of Barcelona, whom he twice took and 
spoiled. The character of the Cid was formed 
by the circumstances of the times. Brave and po- 
litic, he considered all advancement of the Christian 
cause lawful ; but brought up by his godfather, a 
priest of Burgos, in the belief that with Jews and 
infidels there was no faith to be kept, his conduct 
to them was both cruel and perfidious ; and while 
he is «aid never to have failed in his word to a 
Christian, he raised money from the Jews, pre- 
tending to leave in pawn chests full of plate, to b^ 

A. D. 1077.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 293 

Opened a year after they were delivered, while the 
boxes, in &ct, contained nothing but stones and 
sand; and for his mercy and tenderness to Chris- 
tians he made up by the burnings alive and hew- 
ings in pieces of the Moors, to. extort confessions 
of hidden treasures. 

His loyalty to his sovereign was undoubted, yet 
he broke the truce that both gratitude and policy 
should have rendered sacred, with the king of To- 
ledo. But for this offence Alonzo banished him 
from Castile, and he went with some hundred fol- 
lowers and led a vagabond life, subsisting on the 
spoils of the Moors towards the east of Spain, or, 
if that failed, robbing the Christians. 

In the year 1077 died Almamun, the generous 
friend and protector of Alonzo. His son and suc- 
cessor, Hachem, was worthy of him, and the friend- 
ship between him and the Christian king continued ; 
but his short reign of two years being ended, his 
brother Yahia, a profligate and cruel prince, suc- 
ceeded, whose excesses soon disgusted his subjects : 
and the Christians especially who inhabited To- 
ledo feeling the new grievances he inflicted, ap- 
pealed to Alonzo to rescue them from the odious 
yoke. For some time Alonzo refused to interfere, 
withheld by the memory of Yahia's father ; but at 
length he took the field agaiiist the son of his- bene- 
factor, and began a siege that lasted six years. The 
fame of this enterprise, the greatest that any Chris- 
tian prince had yet undertaken against the Moors 


in Spsin^ soon spread oyer all Europe. The situa- 
tion of Toledo seemed to render it impregnable 
before fire-arms were used. Accessible only on the 
north, every art which the ablest engineers of the 
time could employ contributed to fortify it on that 
side, so that Alonzo could only hope to reduce it 
by fiEunine. Sancho, king of Arragon and Navarre, 
soon joined him. Many princes of France and 
Germany brought their followers to this holy war. 
At length, worn out by famine, the wretched To- 
ledans forced Yahia to yield the dty, which he did 
on condition that the Moors who chose to remain 
in it should enjoy the free exercise of their reli- 
gion, and possess their great mosque, beddes being 
assured of their property : that Yahia himself should 
retire to Valencia with all his riches, and that all 
who chose to accompany him should be at liberty 
to do so. Thus, in the year 1085, Alonzo reco- 
vered the ancient Gothic capital of Spain, after it 
had been in the hands of the Mahometans 372 

The king remained some time in Toledo to su- 
perintend the repairs of the fortifications and the 
settlement of the Christians, whom he induced to 
fix themselves there by great privileges, in order 
that he might have a su£Scient number to keep tlie 
Moorish inhabitants in clieck; and then left the 
town under the care of the queen and Bernard, 
abbot of Sahagun, the new archbishop of Toledo, 
who joyfully entered on the archiepiscopal func- 

A. D. 1085.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 295 

lions in the ancient metropolitan church of the 
kingdom. But the indiscreet zeal of the queen 
and the archbishop had nearly lost the fruit of the 
seven years' siege of Toledo. It seemed to them 
an insult to the Christian name, that while the 
archiepiscopal church was little m<Nre than a mere 
chapel, the infidels should possess the noblest place 
of worship. They therefore inarched at the head 
of a body of soldiers by night into the great mosque, 
cleared it of every thing Moorish, erected altars 
according to the Christian custom, and hoisted a 
bell into the chief minaret. When the Moors 
heard the sound of this bell calling the Christians 
to morning prayer in the very temple which had 
been secured to them by treaty, they rose unani-* 
mously, and it was with great difficulty that their 
most prudent chiefs restrained them from seizing 
arms, and attacking the queen and archbishop. 
The news of this disturbance soon reached the 
king, who instantly set out from Sahagun, where 
he was, and threatened severe chastisement against 
the prelate, and all who should have had any hand 
in the violation of the compact with the Moors, 
and no entreaties of those around him could miti-* 
gate his resentment. As he approached Toledo 
his indignation seemed to increase when he re- 
membered how he had been sheltered there, and 
that now his wife and people were making so ill a 
return to the Toledans ; and he vowed to revenge 
on Constance and Bernard the evils the Moors 


had suffered. They, meanwhile, had prevailed on 
the inhabitants to go out to meet the king, dressed 
in mourning robes, and to implore his clemency : 
but it was in vain, until the Moors also, aware that 
if for their sake the king punished the clergy, they 
should probably suffer more in the end, joined the 
petitioners, and on the 22d January, 1086, obtained 
pardon for their oppressors. 

Three years after this occurrence a curious duel 
took place. The popes had long attempted to sub- 
stitute the Romish ritual for that of the Gothic 
church, called Musarabic; but neither their pre- 
cepts, nor the ordinance of the late council of 
Burgos, had been able to wean the people from 
the form of prayer used by their ancestors ; and 
when the queen and the archbishop endeavoured 
to establish the Roman mass-book at Toledo, the 
people demanded the trial by ordeal and by duel 
for the ancient liturgy. Accordingly the king and 
queen, the nobles, the clergy, and the magistrates 
being assembled, a great fire was kindled in the 
public market-place of Toledo, and the two books 
were cast into the flames. The Romish ritual re- 
mained unconsumed, but the words were obliterated 
by smoke : the Musarabic book came out clear as 
it was cast in. This result of the trial displeasing 
the queen, the duel was demanded, when the cham- 
pion of the ancient ritual was again victorious. 
His name was Juan Ruiz, of the house of Ma- 
tancas. Yet notwithstanding this advantage, the 

A, D. 1088.] HISTORY OP SPAIN. 297 

queen procured an edict from the king pronouncing 
both rituals equally good, and ordaining that tlie 
ancient book should be used only in those chapels 
which had continued in possession of the Christians 
throughout the Moorish times; but that all new 
and all reconsecrated churches should use the Ro=- 
mish liturgj\ In one place in Spain the M usa- 
rabic form was preserved even to our days. A 
small chapel in the cathedral of Toledo continued 
to be served in the manner of the Goths, but had 
fidlen to decay when the great cardinal Ximenes 
repaired it and endowed it for ever, that the me* 
mory of the ancient Gothic Christians might not 
be lost in their country. 

The conquest of Toledo was not the only ad- 
vantage gained by Alonzo's long war. The cities 
on the banks of the Tagus and the neighbouring 
fortresses fell one by one into his hands, till he 
Alarmed Aben Abed, king of Seville, who till now 
had been his firm ally, and he wrote to him re- 
monstrating against the inroads his knights were 
accustomed to make into the territories of Seville, 
in one of which they had disturbed the country 
as far as Medina Sidonia. Alonzo answered this 
complaint by sending his treasurer, a Jew, to de- 
mand tribute from Seville, and moreover to claim 
certain castles and towns which he considered as 
part of the kingdom of Toledo. The Jew found 
Aben Abed at Cordova, and there delivered his 
message. The irritated Moor instantly seized him^^ 

o 5. 

298 HISTORY OF SPAIN. [Ctt. Vllt* 

ordered his eyes to be put out, and the five hundred 
Christian soldiers who accompanied him were put 
to death. Thus all measures between the Chris* 
tians and Moors were broken off. 

Aben Abed now called upon all the Moorish 
princes to meet and consider what was best to be 
done. They each sent a cadi of their supreme 
council to Seville, and there, in the great mosque, 
they deliberated as to what measures might stop 
the progress of the Christians, who harassed them 
on every side, and especially of Alonzo, who, to 
use their own expression, <' Thundered and lights 
, ened^ threatening the ruin of Islam.''* The greater 
number of the envoys advised the calling in of 
Yusuf ben Taxfin, chief of the Almoravides of 
Africa, whose £ame had spread all over the world, 
to aid his Moslem brethren. Only the cadi of Cor- 
dova raised his voice against it. He foresaw diat 
Yusuf would seize the whole of Mahometan Spain 
for himself, and that they should have a foreigner 
to reign over them of a different sect and different 
manners, which would be worse than the rule of 
their Christian countrymen, who had fellow feel- 
ings with them. The cadi's opinion was over- 
ruled, and the aid of Yusuf was solicited. 

As the Almoravides came afterwards to reign over 
a great part of Spain, it is interesting to relate their 
origin. In times beyond the knowledge of history, 
two trQ>es, those of Lamtu and GudaJa, emigrated 
from Arabia-felix, and hi their flocks and herds into 

A. D. 1086.] BISTORT OF SPAIN. 299 

the deserts of Africa. They never mixed with the 
natives, nor adopted their habits. Their ckfthing 
was of camels' hair^ their tents of a coarser mana- 
fiicture of the same : they led their flodcs wherever 
the pasture seemed best, and had at leirf^ reached 
the western desert of Afirica, by the hills of Daren 
and the sea. One of the tribe of Gudala, upon 
some oeeasion, visited the land e£ his forefathers, 
and stopping on the way at Cairoan, was attracted 
by the curiosities of the place, and remainckl some 
time there. What pleased him most were the 
schools, where he perceived young men were in- 
structed, and taught to raise themselves above their 
mere animal nature. He prevailed on a learned 
man to go back with him to his tribe, which was 
gentle and humane and tractable, and wiUii^ to 
learn. Abdala ben Yasun was he who went with 
him, and immediately seventy sheiks of the Gu^ 
dala and Lamtu tribes came to the sage, received 
him as a father, and adopted his faith and learned 
his precepts. The usual course of the believers in 
Mahomet followed; the shepherds became war- 
riors, and at the period when the Lamtunas and 
Gudalas, who had taken on them the name of. 
Almoravides, were called into Spain, they were, 
governed by Yusuf, whose cousin and predecessor,.. 
Abu Bekir, had built the city of Morocco, and 
founded the empire of that name about sixteen, 
years before. 
Yusuf was of the ancient and noble tribe of Ho- 


mair, in Arabia the Happy.' He was beautiful in^ 
person, generous, prudent, and brave, rery ambi- 
tious, and, above all, desirous of propagating the 
faith of Mahomet His dress was always of plain 
woollen cloth, his food barley-bread anA beef, or 
mutton or camel's flesh, but never of any delicacy. 
He never in his life suffered from any illness but 
that preceding his death. He was learned in his 
own laws, and a zealous maintainor of them. Such 
was the man called in by the Spanish Moors to 
their assistance. 

The ambassadors from Spain found Yusuf at 
Morocco, and delivered the letters of Aben Abed 
soliciting his alliance. They explained to him the 
state of Spain: they extolled the country, and 
lamented that it was now threatened with the do- 
minion of the Christians, from which they called 
upon him to free it. Yusuf answered that he would 
assist his Moslem brethren on condition that they 
would put Algeziras into his hands, that he might 
have a port to embark and disembark when he 
pleased. On this demand being made known, 
Rashid, Aben Abed's eldest son, who had before 
dissuaded his father from calling in the strangers, 
again remonstrated, saying, that Algeziras was one 
of the keys of Spain, and that no foreigner ought 
to possess the power of entering and quitting the 
country as he pleased. But the prince's opinion 
was overruled, and Yusuf entered Spain. 

Ten thousand Almoravides accompanied him to 

A. D; 1091.] HISTORY OF SPAIN; 301. 

Seville, and there he was joined by Aberi Abed's 
forces and those of the kings of Granada and Al-< 
garve, the lords of Valencia and Almatgar, and 
many others. They marched to meet Alonzo, who 
had assembled a great army of horse and footy 
Christians and Arabs, for many of those of Spain 
were willing to fight against the Almoravides* 
Near Badajos, at a little place called Xalaca, the 
two armies met Each was divided into two bodies, 
and each believed, in the early part of the day, 
that the victory was itv own. But the Christians 
were defeated. Five noble counts of Castile were 
killed, and Alonzo himself narrowly escaped. ' He 
was wounded by a negro slave with a scimetar, 
and seized by him and his companions, who were 
leading him off by the bridle when his own people 
rescued him. On the other hand, though Yusuf 
was untouched in the battle, Aben Abed received 
several wounds : but as he lay in his teiit he wrote 
a few lines announcing his victory to his son, and 
tying it under the wing of a trained pigeon, he 
despatched it to Seville, where the news was im- 
mediately circulated, and the greatest rejoicings, 
took place. 

The ai&irs of Christian Spain were nevertheless 
in some measure retrieved by the successes of the 
king of Arragon and of the Cid, who, in the east, 
were uniformly successful; and Yusuf having left 
the country, his followers plainly displaying their 
intention of remaining and appropriating it to them- 


selves, Aben Abed courted peace with Alonzo^ and 
gave him his daughter Zaida in marriage^ and with 
her as a dowry the towns of Cuenca, Ucles» and 
Huete. Constance of France had died without 
children, but Zaida, who received the name of 
Maria, or Isabella, possibly both, in baptism, bore 
a son, the only one the king had, and it was ima" 
gined that this alliance would secure the tran* 
q[uillity of both Castile and Seville. This, how- 
ever, was far from being the case. New disputes 
arose between the kings, and a fiercer war than 
ever broke out Yusuf returned from Africa, and 
don Alonzo called in the assistance of the neigh- 
bouring Christian princes. 

To strengthen his alliances with them, he gave 
his elder daughter Urracca in marriage to count 
Rajrmond of Burgundy; to the count don Roderic 
he gave donna Sancha ; to Raimond of Toulouse, 
donna Elvira ; and to Henry of Lorraine, ^onna 
Teresa. On the latter he conferred the title of 
count, with the sovereignty of whatever territory 
he might win from the Moors on the side of Por- 
tugal ; and from him sprung the kings of PortugaL 
Raymond of Burgundy, in case of the death of the 
infimt don Sancho, was to inherit the kingdom; ' 
and the other sons-in-law received with their wives 
great dowries in money and jewels. 

Meanwhile Mussulman Spain was torn by fac- 
tions both foreign and domestic. The Almora- 
vides, originally called in as auxiliaries, became by 

A. D. 1092.] HldrOR^ OF SPAIIf. SOS 

degrees mafiten. Aben Abed was taken pridoner 
by Yusuf, and sent with his family to Africa, where 
he was confined in a narrow prison ; and the allow* 
ance for his maintenance was so small that his 
daughters were obliged to spin for their own sub- 
sistence, and to procure even the decent clothing 
necessary for their father. His wife, Saida Cubra^ 
whom he tenderly loved, died after the first few 
months of their imprisonment; and he saw his 
children drop off one by one of broken hearts. 
He lived four years in his prison, endeavouring to 
console himsetf by the exercises of religion and 
the cultivation of poetry, a talent he had never 
neglected either in the camp or in the leisure of his 
palace. He is praised as an excellent writer, and 
his songs and ballads were long the delight of the 
common people. 

Having taken Seville, Yusuf next attacked Va- 
lencia, where Yahia ben Dylnun, former king of 
Toledo, reigned. Though aided by the Christians, 
Yahia was overcome and killed by one of Yusuf 's 
captains, who entered the city and governed it in 
his master's name. 

The successes of the Almoravides now alarmed 
Giaffiir, king of Zaragoza. That prudent prince 
had taken as little part as possible in the wars of 
Andalusia, as he had himself a wide frontier to de- 
fend, exposed to incursions from Barcelona, Tou- 
louse, Navarre, and Arragon. He was accounted 
die richest king in Spain. His ships carried the 


produce of the peninsula to Alexandria, in Egypt, 
and to the ports of Syria, uid brought back the 
spices and manufactures of the East. He was wise 
and humane, respected by his neighbours, and 
feared by his enemies. He sent ambassadors to 
Yusuf, who had returned to Morocco, representing 
to lum that his kingdom was the bulwark of Moorish 
Spain against the Christians of France, as well as 
the north of the peninsula, and that no king could 
hope to reign peaceably in Andalusia if the state 
of Zaragoza was weakened. The ambassadors were 
the bearers of a magnificent present, and his son 
accompanied them, carrying a letter written by 
Giaffar's own hand, proposing an alliance for mu- 
tual defence against the Christians. The views of 
Yusuf were forwarded not only by this league with 
the most powerful of the Moorish kings, but by the 
superstitious belief of the people that his coming 
into Spain, and conquests there, were foretold in 
an ancient prophecy ; so that many, considering it 
of no avail to oppose him, abandoned their former 
chiefs and joined the standard of the conqueror. 
But while his troops were engaged in the conquest 
of Badajos, or in the service of S^aragoza, the Cid, 
after several months' siege, during which the in-* 
habitants were reduced to the utmost extremity of 
famine, took the city of Valencia, made it his 
dwelling, and maintained it during his life, though 
it was in the midst of his enemies. 

The stratagems he used to induce the greater 

A. D. 1092.] HISTORY OP SPAIN. 305 

part of the Moorish inhabitants to leave the city, 
and reside in the only one of the five suburbs that 
he had spared during the siege, are, perhaps, jus- 
tifiable, on the ground of the necessity of securing 
the lives of the Christians, who were much inferior 
in number ; but nothing can excuse the cruelties 
inflicted on the former governor and his family to 
extort a confession of the concealed treasures of 
Yahia, and the maledictions of the Arab historians 
seem justified even by the Christian chronicles ai 
the Cid's actions. 

He was no sooner settled in Valencia than he 
sent a magnificent present to king Alonzo, under 
so strong an escort, that the king came out of his 
capital to receive it, doubting of the prudence of 
admitting so many knights accustomed to live as 
free-booters. The Cid, at the same time, untreated 
the king to allow his wife and his two daughters to 
join him, as he had never seen them since the day 
when he was banished from Castile. This reason- 
able request was of course granted, and the ladies 
arrived safely at Valencia, where they were re- 
ceived with great rejoicings. The fame of the Cid 
Ruy Diaz had long filled all Spain; but now the 
report of his great power and riches induced two 
young men, connected with the royal house, called 
the Infants of Carrion, to seek the Cid's daughters 
in marriage. 

Now although neither Ruy Diaz nor donna Xi- 
mena approved of the match, yet as don Alonzo 


requested it they could not refuse; and the Infants 
came to Valencia, where they remained two years 
with their wives, and exposed themselves to the 
derision of the Cid^s court by their cowardice and 
ungallant bearing. At length, enraged at the 
ridicule with which they were treated, they re- 
solved on revenge. To accomplish this, they beg- 
ged permission to go to Carrion to visit their pa* 
rents, uid to take their wives with them to present 
them to their own people. To this, though re- 
luctantly, the Cid consented ; but, distrusting the 
Infants, he caused them to be observed by a trusty 
relation, and it was fortunate for his daughters that 
he did so, for they had scarcely left the dominions 
of Ruy Diaz, when the Infants, separating the 
ladies from the company they rode with, stripped 
them, and beat and woimded them, and left them 
for dead by a little fountain in an oak copse. There 
they were soon found by their cousin, who con- 
veyed them to a place of safety, and then informed 
Ruy Diaz, the Cidcampeador, of the treason of his 
sons-in-law. He, justly enraged, demanded right 
of the king ; and don Alonzo summoned the cortes 
of the kingdom, and dted the Infants to appear 
before the Cid and his barons, and appointed two 
noble Castilians as judges of the cause. 

On the day of the meeting, the cid sent his 
people into the hall with his ivory chair, which 
he had won in battle from a Moorish king, and he 
sat in it near the king, and his hair, which no man 

A. D. 1092.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 307 

had ever cut, was seeured in a net, and his beard, 
which no man had ever plucked, was tied with a 
cord, and his face was terrible. And when the 
Infants came he demanded of them if, when they 
espoused his daughters, he had not given them the 
best swords of his honour, Colada and Tizona, io 
keep, and if they had not kept those tempered 
blades hungry, neglecting to feed them with the 
blood of the infidels — and they could not deny it ; 
and the court judged that they should restore the 
swords Colada and Tizona. And then he required, 
that as they had abandoned their wives, they should 
restore their dowry ; and that also was adjudged to 
him, and time given the Infants to pay it. And, 
lastly, they and their uncle, who had assisted in 
•their cruel villany, were required to do battle with 
three of the Cid's knights : and they did so, and 
were overcome with shame. 

This judgment occupied nearly two months. The 
Cid's daughters were again sought in marriage by 
the princes of Navarre and Arragon, and this time 
they were happily disposed of. 

Shortly after Ruy Diaz returned to Valencia he 
received an embassy from the sovereign of Persia, 
for his fame had spread even into the East; and as 
the crusaders were now daily flocking to the Holy 
Land, it seemed not unlikely that so famous a cham- 
pion as the Cid would join them. The soldan, there- 
fore, sent a rich present and a complimentary letter, 
desiring bis friendship. These the Cid received, 


and returned courteous answers, and treated the 
ambassador hospitably : indeed the enemies of the 
Christian faith in Spain itself demanded the care 
of the native princes and nobles, and none of note 
but Bernard, archbishop of Toledo, at this time 
joined the crusade to Palestine. 

Meanwhile the Almoravides, enraged that the 
Cid should keep possession of Valencia, resolved to 
attack it with a greater force than tliey had yet 
brought against it, and the Cid prepared to go out 
and give them battle ; but in the midst of his pre- 
parations he was suddenly taken ill, and felt that 
the disease was mortal. Certain that after his death 
his few followers could not maintain the place, he 
gave orders that no wailing should be made when he 
expired, in order that the enemy might not be aware 
that he was dead ; but that he should be set on 
horseback, and at the head of his people march out 
of the town, and go to his burial-place at Cardena. 
This was accordingly done ; the enemy's camp was 
not passed without a skirmish ; but they, who saw 
the Cid with his accustomed countenance, riding on 
his own horse Bavieca, with the sword Colada in 
his hand, fled from before him, and thus, dead as 
he was, he gained his seventy-second victory over 
the Moors ; but they re-entered Valencia, which 
he had kept from them five whole years. King 
Alonzo and the princes of Arragon and Navarre 
attended his funeral. 

But we must return to the general affidrs of 

A.D. 1107.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 309 

Spain. Don Sancho Ramirez, king of Arragon, 
had been indefatigable in his wars against the 
Moors of the East ; but at the siege of Huesca, as 
he was reconnoitring the walls, he wais pierced 
by an arrow, and slain on the spot. His son don 
Peter, who was in the field, was immediately pro- 
claimed king ; and his whole reign, like that of his 
father, was a series of victories over the Moors, 
adding little by little to his territory. His most 
memorable battle was that of Alcoraz, after which 
he finally recovered Huesca or Osca from the 
Moors, and the bishopric was re-established there, 
which had been translated to another place while 
Huesca was in the hands of the infidels. Mean- 
while the Almoravides had obtained possession of 
all the Andalusian provinces, and with the excep- 
tion of Zaragoza, Mahometan Spain was once more 
united into one empire. Yusuf occasionally visited 
it ; but his favourite residence was Morocco, where 
he died in the hundredth year of his age, in the 
year 1107, having reigned forty years in Africa, 
and sixteen in Spain. His last visit to Spain was 
distinguished by a kind of persecution which he 
began against the Jews. That people had con- 
tinued to multiply and prosper in Spain. They 
were the physicians and apothecaries of both Moors 
and Christians; thfey were moreover employed as 
treasurers and mint-masters, their skill in chemistry 
rendering Ihem peculiarly fit for the latter employ- 


ment. They were likewise the usual tax-gatherers, 
which has always been an odious occupation, though 
one of great trust; hence they had become rich, and 
the objects of envy and jealousy to the kings. The 
year 600 of the Hegira occurred during YusuPs 
last visit to Andalusia, and it appeared, by some 
ancient writing found at Cordova, that the Jews 
had promised to believe in Mahomet if their own 
Messiah should not appear in five hundred years. 
Now Yusuf and his chief cadi threatened to compel 
those then in Spain to fulfil this promise of their 
forefathers; but on receiving a considerable sum 
of money, the king and his cadi desisted from this 
harsh measure, and the Jews continued to live 
and prosper, though always in alarm, in the Pen- 

Yusuf was succeeded by his son Ali, a prince of 
great courage and wisdom. He was chiefly occu- 
pied in his African dominions, and therefore de- 
puted his brothers to ocHnmand his forces in Spain. 
Now, although the Spanish Moors agreed with 
their new Mends, the Almoravides, in their hostility 
against the Christians, they were very impatient 
under their government, because they were more 
unlike them than their Christian countrymen them- 
selves. The Spanish Moors had cultivated letters, 
and all the agreeable arts of life ; but the Almoca- 
vides knew little of letters beyond the commenta- 
ries of the Koran, and thought little of any arts that 

A. D. 1108*] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 311 

were not applicable to the purposes o( war. For 
this reason, as long as the Almoravides reigned, 
they were obliged to maintain larger armies, and 
the only chance they had of pleasing their Moorish 
subjects was, keeping up perpetual war against 
the Christians. Taxfin, the brother of Ali, there- 
fore, as soon as he took on him the command in 
Spain, attacked king Alonzo, and, in the battle of 
Ucles, he not only overcame the Christian army, 
but killed don Sancho, the only son of the king, 
don Garcia de Cabra, the greatest captain of CaSi» 
tile after the Cid, having died defending him. 

This was a severe blow to the aged Alonzo. He 
had no ether son, and his grandchild, the son of 
donna Urraca, now a widow, was but an infant 
Grief and age soon overcame his strength; he 
died at Toledo in the year 1109, aged seventy*nine 
years, and was succeeded by his daughter, donna 
Urraca. Don Peter I. of Arragon died five years 
before, A. D. 1104: his brother and successor was 
don Alonzo, who married donna Urraca, queen of 
Castile and Leon, and lady of Gallida; Their history 
will be related in the next chapter. 

There is considerable difficulty and confusion in 
the history of the wives of don Alonzo VI. of I^eon 
and Castile. Inez, his first wife, is supposed to 
have been the daughter of Guy, duke of Aquitaine. 
She was the mother of donna Urraca. Constance 
of France died without children. As to Isabel, 


concerning whom even Florez is uncertain, she 
was, if corresponding dates may guide us, Zaida, 
the daughter of Aben Abed, king of Seville, mo- 
ther of the Infant don Sancho. Bertha and Beatriz 
are both called Tuscan ladies. Beatriz certainly- 
survived the king, and it is not improbable that 
they are one and the same. As to donna Ximena 
Nunez, the mother of donna Elvira and donna Te- 
resa, she was the daughter of a Castilian nobleman, 
and it does not appear that she was married to the 
king. But all church discipline was so loose in 
those, days, that it is difficult to account for the 
various marriages of the kings. 

The wife of Peter I. of.Arragon was Agnes, 
daughter of the count of Poitiers. They bad one 
son and one daughter, who died nearly at the jsame 
time, before their father. 

. Both these kings were men of ability and firm* 
ness, and the reigns of Alonzo the Brave and Peter 
the Victor will ever be celebrated as the dawn of 
the Christian prosperity of modern Spain. Toledo, 
the seat of the ancient Gothic monarchy, was re- 
covered ; several of the ancient episcopal sees were 
re-established ; the foundations of the kingdom of 
Portugal were laid ; and connexions formed with 
the rest of Europe, which opened the. road to the 
future glory and prosperity of the country. 



BUa^an, OaUician, ^. 

We have now seen the eleventh century in Spain> 
passed in a series of petty wars, which furnish little 
interesting to history. Yet the result of the whole 
was favourable to the Christians. Castile had be- 
come a kingdom; Arragon had begun to take a 
considerable rank among the other states; Leon, 
united with Castile, was no longer subject to the 
wasteful incursions of the Moors; and there was a 
form and an union among the Christian provinces 
which had hitherto been wanting. Moorish Spain, 
on the contrary, had sunk low indeed. The glory 
of the Omeiad caliphs was gone ; the petty chiefs, 
who had founded almost as many kingdoms as there 
were towns of note, soon found themselves sinking 
before the rising powers of Castile and Arragon, 

VOL. I. p 

314 Hisgco&Y OF $grAiN, [ch. yiii. 

and, instead of uniting for mutual defence, they 
called in a foreign and barbarous monarch, who 
spoiled them of their riches, mortified them by his 
insolence, and disgusted them by his coarseness 
and want of cultivation. Yet even under Yusuf 
the muses did not forsake Andalusia; and there is 
something affecting in the circumstance of the ho- 
mage paid by the poet Abul Hasen Hasuri to Aben 
Abed, on his way to prison. Aben Abed was him- 
self a poet, and Abul Hasen, regardless of the eon- 
queror, met him on bis road with a poem, in praise 
of his virtues and his talents, and suggesting topics 
of consolation for the changes of fortune. The 
colleges of Cordova and Seville were kept up, and 
the school of medicine seems rather to have im- 
proved during tiiis o^ntury. The great Averroes 
was born, and studied at? Gor<lpva, towards the end. 
of this period. Ke first translated Aristotle inta 
Arabic, and introduced ' his philosophy into the 
schools o[ Spain, whence it spread over the rest of 
Europe. His friend and countryman, Abenzoar, 
introduced many improvements in pharmacy and 
surgery, and we have seen the care with which 
Gehwar of Cordbva provided for the improvement 
of medicine in his dominions. 

Geometry, arithmetic, algebra, and astronomy, 
sciences scarcely known, even by hearsay, in the 
rest of Europe, continued to be taught in the 
Moorish schools ; but widi them there was also the 
vain study of judicial astrology. . A curious example 

A. D. 1108.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 315 

of the prevalence of the belief in this art is in die 
account of king Alonzo's dream. Before the battle 
of Zaiaca he dreamt that he was mounted on an 
elephant, and that he himself was beating an enor- 
mous kettle-drum. On waking, his uneasiness was 
such that he called for the *^ learned Christians, 
such as the bishops and clergy ; and also for the 
rabbies of the Jews, bis vassals, as they were most 
given to divination and interpretation of dreams." 
—-Not satisfied with their exposition, he applied to 
an Arab faquir, who of course prognosticated evil 
and defeat in the approaching battle^ 

The domestic manners of the times present a 
singular mixture of polish and barbarism. When 
the Cid took the count of Barcelona prisoner, a 
table was instantly served for him, and all the rites 
of hospitable entertainment observed ; yet when 
the count seemed loth to eat, the Cid insisted on 
his eating heartily, as the priee of his freedom. 

Again, nothing but exceeding barbarism can ex- 
cuse the Cid's abject posture on hands and knees, 
when he approached the king of Castile the first 
time after having been banished, and his attempting 
to kiss his foot. It has been said unjustly, that 
this sort of servility was adopted from the Moors ; 
but the free-bom Arabs did not prostrate them- 
selves ; the greatest respect paid to a sovereign was 
to stand up on his approach, and none but slaves 
or condemned criminals could be excused for such 
servile prostration. 



The clothing was splendid at this time ; bat all 
did not wear linen. Shirts of linen were, however, 
often used, as were those of light Persian silk, and~ 
these were often embroidered with gold, silver, 
and colours. A sort of wadded coat was used under 
the mail, to prevent the metal from chafing or cut- 
ting the skin. When it was desirable to conceal 
armour, skins with the fur on were laced tightly 
over it, and then the cloak covered all. These 
cloaks were of tissue, silk, rich stuffs, or furs, and 
sometimes even of leather ; probably the red skin 
with gold points, which the Cid always wore, was 
of cordovan or morocco. 

The legs were defended by hose of cloth or lea- 
ther, and shoes of the same materials, sometimes 
curiously wrought ; when armed, the greaves were 
bound over the hose, and there was a knee-piece 
jointed to defend the knee, and above that jointed 
plates of metal formed the cuishes, and defended 
tlie thigh. These dresses were common to the 
Moors and Christians; but the Moors, in their 
houses, used long and full robes, and rolled long 
scarfs round their waists, and wore turbans on their 
heads, while the Christians wore only a cap, if any 
thing, when they had not their helmets. The hel- 
mets of both were adorned with feathers, hair, or 
other ornaments. 

The dress of the cadis was a tunic tied with 
many bands at the breast; that of the Christian 
monastic orders, much what it is now, saving that 

A. D. 1108.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 317 

most of them retain'ed their beards; and the Jews 
had no discriminating mark, but appeared clothed 
Be»:ly like the Moors. The women dressed splen- 
didly ; the Moors with fine shirts of cotton, or thin 
Persian silk, and full trowsers, with long robes of 
the richest stuffs of silk and gold, their hair braided 
iwith flowers and jewels, and on their heads veils of 
beautiful texture, usually white. The Christian 
ladies do not seem to have adopted the trowsers ; 
but the close bodice, buttoned or laced, was soon 
introduced, and over it a flowing robe with full 
sleeves. Those who wished to pass for holy wore 
head-bands and kerchiefs, something like those of 
a modern nun ; and such, indeed, appears to have 
been very generally the ladies' head-dress through- 
jont Europe. 

In this century we now and then find mention 
made of female warriors; among the rest one ne- 
gress archer is named in the chronicle of the Cid; 
and, as the crusades became more popular, the 
number of these amazons increased. 

The duel, which had been long practised both 
fey the descendants of the Goths and the Saracens, 
or Moors, had by* this time assumed a regular form, 
and a knowledge of its rules was often the prin- 
cipal, if not the only, accomplishment of the barons. 
The Gothic nations, indeed, admitted the duel into 
their systems of jurisprudence; it was considered 
as an appeal to the Divine Judge of all things, 
and was permitted between individuals as a trial of 


right. On the death of the king, don Sancho the 
Strong, by treachery, before the walls of Zamora, 
the city was impeached by the Cid, and other 
friends of the deceased king, and lists were ap- 
pointed, and the defenders of the city appeared in 
the lists to prove the innocence of its inhabitants. 
But with the Moors, as the Koran was the only 
law acknowledged, and the cadis were the inter- 
preters of that law, the duel was always an affair of 
honour or revenge, and was fought with or without 
witnesses, and approached more nearly to our mo- 
dern duels. 

With regard to literature, we have seen that that 
of the Moors did not suffer, notwithstanding the 
civil wars. The Castilians had, bo doubt, ere this 
time, framed their mixed language, rude as it wad, 
into songs and ballads and metrical legends. It is 
certain, that about the year 1100, William, duke 
of Aquitaine, wrote verses in the Proven9al dialect, 
and that dialect appears to have spread into the 
north of Spain. 

The Spanish language owes a particular obliga- 
tion to the Jews. The college transferred from 
Babylon to Cordova, in the tenth century, produced 
many able men, but none more celebrated than the 
learned David Kimchi. By him and his fellow- 
students there is every reason to believe that that 
version of tlie Hebrew books of the Old Testament 
was made, which, after the expulsion of the Jews 
from Spain, was printed at Ferrara in 1553. It 



contains many energetic words and peculiar ex- 
presions, not to be found in the dictionary of the 
Spanish academy. 

But the civil wars of Spain took up too much of 
the attention of the Christian clergy, who, with 
few exceptions, were the only writers in their na- 
tions, to allow them time to engage in the study of 
their vernacular tongue. Their letters to foreign 
courts, their records, and all matters of ecclesiastical 
business, were written in Latin : the most popular 
songs and tales continued to be those of the Moors ; 
hence the only authentic monument of the Cas- 
tilian tongue, in the 1 1th century, is a work of the 

ArvM of Seville* 


A. D. 1157. 

Navane costumes* 

After the death of the infant, don Sancho, at 
the battle of Ueles, Alonzo VI., naturally anxious 
for the fate of his kingdom, having no son, and only 
one grandson, and he an infant, had married his 
eldest daughter Urraca, the widow of count Ray- 
mond, and mother of the young Alonzo, to Alonzo, 
king of Arragon, to whom he confidently trusted 

A, D. 1109.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 321 

the defence of Christian Spain from the Moors. On 
Alonzo's death Urraca succeeded to the kingdom 
of Castilcj and her son was brought up in Gallicia, 
among the Gallician nobles, as their future king. 

The queen was in Arragon with her husband, 
when her accession to her father's throne was made 
known to her ; and her foster-father, Peranzueles, 
took upon him the government of Castile, as regent, 
until she should arrive in her own states. Alonzo 
of Arragon immediately sent garrisons into all the 
frontier towns, and in his wife's name removed as 
many Castilian commanders as possible, in order 
to make room for his own dependents. The Cas- 
tilians and Gallicians naturally became jealous of 
this conduct, but as the queen was a woman whose 
behaviour gave them no just hopes of her ruling 
well, and as Alonzo, at first, did not attempt to in- 
terfere with the civil government, being engaged 
in war with the Moors of 2iaragoza) matters re- 
mained quiet for some months. But on her arrival 
at Burgos she caused a tumult in the state. Pe- 
ranzuelas she dismissed and treated with contempt 
and harshness, under pretence that he had offended 
the Castilians by naming, in his public letters, her 
husband, Alonzo of Arragon, king of Castile : but 
his true offence was, the liaving remonstrated against 
her ill conduct, and the open favour she showed to 
don Gomez, count of Candespina, aud don Pedro, 
count of Lara. These nobles were among the fore- 
most to oppose the pretensions of Alonzo to reign 



in right of his wife, in Castile. The Gallieians, 
meanwhile, entered into a confederacy with Henry, 
count of Portugal, the husband of Urraca's sister; 
and, to give importance to their party, they crowned 
the youug Alonzo in the great church of Compo- 
stella; and though the ceremony of anointing kings 
was not usual in the country, it was performed, on 
this occasion, to give more solemnity to the act. 
Don Pedro, count of Trava, and foster-father to the 
prince, was the main leader on all occasions. 

Meantime, the misconduct of Urraca had so in- 
censed her husband, that he had confined her in 
the tower of Soria, whence she had escaped to 
Burgos ; but so little was the respect in which she 
was held, that her subjects sent her back to her 
husband, who confined her anew; but the deter- 
mined opposition of the Castilians and Gallieians 
to all interference, on his part, in the government 
of these states, joined to her disgraceful conduct, 
disgusted him with the alliance, and he gladly con- 
sented to the divorce wished for by the Gallieians, 
and recommended by the bishops, on the ground 
of there being too near a relationship between the 

A war now broke out between Alonzo of Ar- 
ragon and the Castilians, headed by don Gomez 
and don Pedro de haxa. Their armies met in a 
place called la Espina, where a fierce battle was 
fought, most destructive to the Castilian nobles, of 
whom don Gomez was killed early in the day, and 

A. D. 1109.] HISTORY OP Sl»AlN. ' 823 

many fell around him. His standard-bearer, of the 
house of Olea, particularly distinguished himself; 
for when his horse had been killed under him, and 
his two hands had been struck off, he continued 
to support the standard with the sttimps, until he 
feinted, and fell by his chief. As to Lara, he fled 
from the battle, and took refuge with the queen, 
where, however, he did not long remain; for he 
was driven out of Castile by the indignant nobles ; 
and the queen herself is scarcely mentioned after 
this period. 

The king of Arragon advanced after the battle 
of Espinas to Leon, and hoped to get possession of 
the; person of the young king of Castile, and a se- 
cond battle was fought, when he was again vic-^ 
torious, and don Pedro de Trava was killed; but 
the provident care of the bishop Gelmirez conveyed 
the prince out of his reach. 

Several cities fell into the power of the king; 
but as he was without money to pay his mercenary 
troops, he seized the church treasures by the advice 
of count Henry of Portugal, and so offended the 
people, that they roused themselves to drive him 
out of the country, and after a time succeeded ; but 
not until Najara, Burgos, Palencia, and Leon had 
been taken and retaken^ and the country had been 
wasted by a cruel and unnecessary war. On the 
recovery of the capitals of Leon and Castile, the 
nobles resolved to crown the young Alonzo king 
of Castile, as he was already king of Gallicia ; and 

324 HiflrroRT of spain. [ch. ix. 

this step seems to have put an end to the dvil 

While Christkn Spain was thus disturbed, the 
Almoravide caliph, Aly, arriyed from Africa,-and 
taking advanti^e of the unsettled stafte of Castile 
after Alonzo's death, attacked and took Talavera, 
and proceeded to besiege Toledo, the walls of which 
he bettered for some days without sudbess ; but per- 
ceiving, from their structure and situation, that the 
enterprise was hopeless, he desisted and returned 
to Africa. 
; The loss of Talavera was, however, made up to 
the Christians by the success of Alonzo of Arragon 
at Tudela, where Giaffar, king of Zaragoza, was 
killed, and the town secured to Arragon. Giaffiir 
was taken from the field of battle, and buried in 
his war clothes, and with his sword in his hand, 
as became a Moorish warrior. Alonzo was pre- 
vented from following up his victiory by being 
called upon to attend to the state of his afl^rs in 
Castile, where his presence was necessary ; but was 
too Ij^te to secure his own dominion there, or to 
avert the civil war. 

While that war was wasting the strength of the 
Christians, a fresh army of Almoravides, under 
Syr ben Bekir, arrived from Morocco and retook 
Cintra, Badajos, Jabora, Porto, and Lisbon ; and 
Aly, thinking the time favourable, sent 9 consider^ 
able fleet to attack the Balearic islands, which had 
been for some time subject to the counts of Bar- 

v i gn^r^ m 

A. D. 1115.] " HISTORY OF SPAIN. 326 

eelona. The reigning prince was Raymond Be- 
rengfer, who had married donna Dirlce, the heiress 
of Gerbert, count of Provence. Strengthened by 
this alliance, he had 'extended his dominion in Ca- 
talonia, the lords of which had for sdlne years been 
accustomed to expeditions by sea, and bad earned 
some reputation as mariners. They did Hot, how- 
ever, feel themselves strong enough to encounter 
the Almoravides alone, wherefore Raymond went 
in person to Genoa and Pisa to solicit aid. From 
thence he obtained ships and men, and maintained 
for a considerable time an unequal warfare with 
the Moors. He took their principal city in the 
island of Mallorca after an obstinate engagement, 
in which Remon, bishop of Barcelona, was killed ; 
the Almoravides, acquainted with the rocks and 
fastnesses of the isles, harassed the Christians 
with perpetual attacks, and the count was at length 
obliged to leave them in possession, to defend 
his own states, which had been invaded by a 
body of Moors, with a view to relieve the islands. 
This is the first mention of any attempt at obtain- 
ing assistance from the Italian states against the 
Moors or Saracens of Spain. 

But accustomed as the Genoese now were to be 
the carriers of the crusaders to Palestine, an expe- 
dition^so near home, and against those who were 
equally enemies to the Christian faith with the 
subjects of the Soldan, wba too inviting to be re- 


jected; and accordingly we find them afterwards 
not unfrequently engaged in similar undertakings. 
After the death of Giafiar at Tudela, Zaragoza 
had fallen, like the rest of the Moorish provinces, 
into the hands of the Almoravides, although Amad 
Dola, the son of GiaflFar, had succeeded to the title 
of king ; but some disturbance having arisen in the 
province, he sought and obtained the assistance of 
the king of Arragon, who in a pitched battle at 
Cutanda, near Darocca, defeated the Almoravides, 
and Amad Dola entered once more into Zaragoza 
as its nominal king. Many of the lesser towns 
now fell into the hands of the Christians, and in 
order to defend the frontier from the incursions of 
the Valencians, Alonzo built the fort of Monreal, 
near Darocca, which, at the persuasion of the Ber> 
nardines, he gave to the Templars, then a new 
order ; and this was their first possession in Spain, 
where they afterwards arrived at such a pitch of 
wealth and power. The next year Alonzo, regard- 
less of his treaties with Amad Dola, got tc^ether 
a prodigious force from France and Navarre, and a 
multitude of adventurers from all parts, and attacked 
Zaragoza itself. The walls were closely invested, 
so that no provisions cbuld enter, and though the 
clumsy war towers, dragged by oxen to the neigh- 
bourhood, and then pushed on by the soldiers, 
made no impression, the inhabitants, wasted by 
hunger, soon forced Amad Dola to surrender,^ 

A. D. 1120.] HISTOllY OF SPAIN. S27 

and he retired with his family to the castle of 
Rot-Alyehud, where more than one Moorish king 
had survived the loss of his crown. Many X)f the 
Moorish nobles retired to Valencia and Murcia, 
but the greater number remained in their native 
town, where their property, and the free exercise 
of their faith, was secured to them by the conditions 
of the capitulation. 

In 1120, Calatayud, considered as the bulwark 
of eastern Spain, fell into the hands of the king of 
Arragon, and the next year, the tyranny of the Al- 
moravides having caused general discontent among 
the Spanish Moors, their attention was too fully oo* 
cupied to make any inroad on the Christians. Alonzo 
had, meanwhile, undertaken to procure justice for 
Bertram, son of Ramon, coimt of Toulouse, who 
had been spoiled by GuUen of Poitiers of the estates 
of his father, who had died in the holy wars. Ber- 
tram agreed to do homage to the king of Arragon 
for Roxes, Agde, Cahors, Albi, Narbonne, Tou- 
louse, and their dependencies, should he recover his 
estates ; but as Alonzo's forces were chiefly em- 
ployed in Castile and Catalonia, he was unable to 
reinstate Bertram ; but the transaction tended to 
raise his importance among the other princes of 
Europe, and some years afterwards the descendants 
of Bertram enjoyed his patrimony by intermarriage 
with those of Gullen. 

The count of Poitiers next endeavoured to seize 
on Provence; but Raymond Berenger, count of 


Barcelona, insisting on the superior right of his wife,' 
an agreement was made between them, by which 
each was to continue in possession of the provinces 
he already had; but in case of the failure of heirs 
in either of their families, the other should suc- 

Notwithstanding the loss of Calatayud, the Moors 
under Aly gained several advantages over the Chris- 
tians this same year, and harassed the borders of 
Castile and of Portugal ; but they were too much 
divided among themselves to undertake any expe- 
dition of consequence, at a time when the civil dis- 
turbances among the Christians, and the minority 
of the king of Castile, might have afforded an op- 
portunity of doing so with effect. But, in fact, 
since the Almoravides had reigned over Spain, and 
-had only occasionally visited it from Morocco, their 
African capital, the Moorish provinces had only 
held together by the fear inspired by the fresh 
African troops which were stationed as garrisons 
in the towns, and changed too often to acquire any 
habits of real fellowship with the citizens. These 
Africans were particularly obnoxious to the Chris- 
tians, called Musarabs and Muhahidines^ or those 
Avho from the first Arab conquest had accepted of 
terms, and had lived as brethren among their con- 
querors, enjoying the free exercise of their religion, 
and accompanying their friends and masters in war 
and peace. 
. But now a coarse and fanatic race, intolerant 

A. D. 1120.] HISTORY OF SPAIN, 329 

alike of Jews and Christiaiis, enemies of literature 
and refinement, had succeeded, and the Almuha- 
hidines, oppressed by them, and unable to depend, 
as formerly, on the impartial justice of the first race 
of caliphs, naturaUy looked to their Christian bre« 
thren for assistance. They therefore entered into 
private agreements with Castile and Arragon, sent 
them notice of intended incursions, so that they 
might defend the threatened points of attack, and 
secure the inhabitants and their property, and often 
joined them in the field. These proceedings were 
reported to Aly in Morocco, and he instantly gave 
orders that all Christians should be removed from 
the places on the frontiers, and settled in the cen* 
tral parts of the Moorish territory, or carried over 
to the African coast. The wars became of a more 
sanguinary nature. In this age both religions had 
become &natical in their character, and on more 
than one occasion the bishops who were in the field 
voted against giving quarter. Towns were conse«- 
quently given up to the soldiery to piUage, and the 
honourable warfsure of two chivalrous nations was 
exchanged for the brutal and sanguinary fight- 
ing of savages. The more ancient Spanish Moors 
were hardly more satisfied with their new masters 
than the Christians ; taxed highly, they had the 
mortification of seeing the treasures of Spain, in- 
stead of returning to them through the generous 
and sometimes extravagant magnificence of their 
caliphs, transported to Africa, and lavished either 
on the embellishment of its barbarous cities, or in 


making war on the tribes of the desert, or tbe secta- 
ries who rose one after snotlier, and ^Idom en- 
deavoured to enforce a new religions doctrine but 
at the head of an army. 

. One of these sectaries at lengdi overthrew the 
Ahnoravides, and established his dominion over 
Spain ; for which reason we shall distinguish him 
irom the rest, and relate his origin. 

Ali ben Yusuf, the caliph of the Almoravides, 
had proscribed tibe doctrines of Algazali, a cele- 
brated oriental teacher, and had even gone so far 
as to cause his books to be burnt The aged pe- 
dagogue, when he heard of the indignity his works 
had met widi, uttered a malediction on Ali, and 
wished lliat scmie disciple of his might arise, who 
should revenge him on the Almoravide. The wish 
was pronounced aloud in the academy Miiere he 
taught, and awakened the enthusiasm of Abdalla, 
a native of Suz, and scholar of Algazali. He 
immediately returned to Africa, and took on him 
the title of the Mehedi, or apostle of Africa. On 
his way to Fez, where he intended to begin his 
preaching, he stopped at a village near Tremezin, 
and, struck witli Ae appearance of a young boy 
named Abdelmumen, the nephew of a potter, he 
resolved to make him an instrument in his pro- 
jected revolution. From the child's face he might 
easily prophesy the sagacity and bravery which 
afterwards distinguished him ; but the Mehedi re- 
vealed something more to the uncle, in order to 
induce him to part with the boy. He showed him a 

A. D. 1120.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 831 

book of great pretended antiquity, in which Abdel- 
mumen was mentioned as the future light of his 
country, and he engs^ed to provide for him auB hk 
own son. Accordingly he carefully instructed the 
youth in all the text and doctrines of the law, with 
the commentaries of the sages. From Fez, where 
he formed a party, the Mehedi proceeded to Mo- 
rocco, and in a public festival, when the whole 
people were assembled in the mosque, he boldly 
walked to the upper end, and assumed the place 
where only the sovereign of the faithful was ae* 
customed to appear. On being renidnded by a 
bystander of the impropriety he was guilty of, he 
answered with a text of the Koran importing, " it 
is written that the mosque is sacred to God alone.'* 
This boldness and his austere virtue and self-denial, 
his great learning and his eloquence, soon seduced 
a multitude of people. Aly had at first taken him 
for some holy hermit or wandering teacher, who 
had come to Morocco, and therefore not only looked 
on him without fear, but told liim that if he had 
any business in the city, full time and liberty should 
be allowed him to despatch it The fanatic an- 
swered, that his business was not of this world, but . 
much higher, and accordingly proceeded to preach 
against the city and its princes. Aly then com- 
missioned his cadies and other learned men to exa- 
mine into his doctrines and conduct This was 
carefully done, and one of the commissioners ad- 
vised the king to make a cage of iron for the Me- 


hedi, if he did not wish to lose a house of gold ; 
and all said that if the teacher were not put in 
chains, he would soon proclaim his doctrines with 
drums and trumpets. Aly, however, seeing the 
man poor and simple, despised their counsel, and 
he was allowed full liberty to preach. Fez being 
more convenient than Morocco for the promulga- 
tion of his doctrine, as being less under the imme- 
diate inspection of the government, he retired thi- 
ther, and made converts for four years, when he 
again proceeded to the capital; and this time his 
boldness and success were such, that orders were 
given to apprehend him, and bring him to the ca- 
liph alive or dead. He had, however, timely notice, 
and fled to Tinmal, in the land of Suz, where he 
gave full scope to his enthusiasm and imposture. 
He declared himself to be the perfect prophet, 
whom Mahomet himself had foretold should arise 
in the latter days of the world ; that he should reign 
over the whole earth with justice and equity, and 
destroy all tyranny. The assembly at which he 
first announced himself was held under a locust 
tree, and ten of his oldest followers immediately 
swore to live and die with him. The rest of the 
assembly instantly repeated the oath with loud accla- 
mations, and the Mehedi from that time changed 
his character from that of a humble preacher to a 
conquering prophet The boy Abdelmumen had 
grown in knowledge and boldness as well as years, 
and was considered as his lieutenant. The de- 

A. D. 1126.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 333 

Yotees who had followed the preaching became sol- 
diers, and the armies of the new leader, under the 
name of Almohades, soon threatened the empire of 
the Almoravides. While these things were going 
on in Africa, the reign of Aly was not more tran- 
quil in Spain. His army had been beaten at Syrena 
by the king of Arragon ; and though Alonzo had 
been foiled in an attack on Grenada, his troops^ 
among whom the Knights Templars and those of 
St. John of Jerusalem were now to be found, scoured 
the country, and kept it in continual alarm. The 
Moors too were ready to revolt, and such was the 
state of alarm that the Azala, or worship of fear, 
was general in every mosque. This AzcUa of feat 
is, when, on occasion of great public apprehension, 
the prayers, protestations, and ceremonies, are 
abridged, and persons are excused from attending 
the mosques, or allowed to attend them armed, and 
even unpurified and unwashed. 

The next year, however, although the progress 
of the Mehedi in Africa so alarmed the inhabitants 
of Morocco that they fortified their city, yet in 
Spain a victory gained by the grandson of Aly over 
the Castilians and their allies in some measure re- 
trieved his a£Fairs. On this occasion the banners 
of the Almoravides were white, inscribed with the 
le iUe AUdh I and they formed the centre of the 
army ; the Andalusian Moors occupied the wings, 
and their banners were of various colours, chiefly 
red, with elegant devices embroidered on them. 


Their musical instruments were trumpets and 
kettle-drums ; the latter chiefly carried on camels, 
and the whole army shouted as it fell on the Chris- 
tians. The battle lasted all day. The carnage 
was horrible, and the Moors pursued the Christians 
till night hid them from their fury. 

Meanwhile the Christian princes had been en- 
gaged anew in border wars. Donna Teresa, the 
widow of count Henry of Portugal, anxious to 
retain the government after her husband's death, 
sought the assistance of her nephew, the king of 
Castile, who accordingly entered the Portuguese 
territory, but was repulsed with loss by the young 
prince Affonzo, under the guidance of his foster- 
father, count Egas Nunez. But the resources of 
Portugal being as yet feeble, the same nobleman 
made peace with Castile on certain conditions. 
Some years after, the young Affonzo, who had taken 
on him the title of king of Portugal, having broken 
these conditions, Egas Nunez repaired to Toledo, 
where the king of Castile then was ; and present- 
ing himself with a halter round his neck, as one 
whose word had been treacherously broken, showed 
he was ready to suffer the pain incurred by such 
treason. But the king, moved b!y his age, did not 
exact the forfeit. Meanwhile the Moors lost the 
strong place of Calatrava, which was bestowed 
On the Knights Templars, or some other order 
established in imitation of them, and who after- 
wards became the celebrated knights of Calatrava. 

A. D. 1134.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 335 

The beginning of the following year was no less 
favourable to the Ca&tilian arms; for although 
foiled in an attempt on Jaen, they overcame and 
destroyed a considerable army of Moors, led by 
the young chief Taxfin, whose valour had hitherto 
seemed to insure success to every enterprise. Aly 
was detained in Africa, where, though the Mehedi 
was dead, a more active chief had arisen in his fol- 
lower Abdelmumen to direct the enterprises of the 
Almdiades ; and the pressing danger of his capital 
detained the prince in Morocco, while the Christians 
were every where gaining ground in Spain. The 
strong fortress of Rotalyehud was taken by the 
king of Castile ; the territory of Molina was oc- 
cjipied ; the Moors, who Iiad by treaty been allowed . 
to remain in Zaragoza, were deprived of many of 
tli^ir privileges, and most of them forced to re- 
tire. The place of the exiles was chiefly sup- 
plied by colonies from the south of France. The 
laws of Arragon were substituted for those of the 
Koran in a considerable part of Catalonia, and 
the dominion of the Christians thus rendered per- 
manent. . 

Fortunately for their cause these things were 
settled before the year 1134, when Alonzo of Ar- 
ragon was killed in the disastrous battle of Fraga, 
in the thirtieth year of his reign. He was distin- 
guished in the field by the lustre of his arms and 
his white flowing robes. He had fought twenty- 
nine battles, in most of which he had been victo- 


nous. He was wise^ brave, and fortunate, and to 
him the Christians of Spain were accustomed to 
look as their best champion. 

He died without children; but by his will he 
left the whole of Arragon to the Knights Tem- 
plars, excepting some towns and villages which he 
settled on different churches and monasteries. The 
states of Arragon and Navarre, however, justly 
displeased at the assumption of a right to dispose 
of the kingdoms as private property, entirely dis- 
regarding the will, assembled at Borgia, on the 
frontiers of Navarre, and proceeded to elect a new 
king from among the nearest relations of the de- 
ceased. The Navarrese, who hated the Arrago- 
nians, took this opportunity of separating them- 
selves from them, and chose for their sovereign 
don Garcia, descended from their ancient kings; 
for he was the grandson of (Jon Sancho, who was, 
as we have seen, assassinated, and whose brother 
Raymond succeeded him, and annexed the king- 
dom to that of Arragon. 

The cortes of Arragon had retired from Borgia 
to Monzon, where they proceeded to elect don 
Ramirez, the brother of Alonzo, although he had 
taken orders, and was at that time bishop of Roses. 
They also required him to marry, and for that pur- 
pose obtained a dispensation from pope Innocent 
II., in virtue of which he espoused Inez, sister of 
GuUen, lord of Poitiers, and also of Eleanor, who 
was first married to Louis the younger, king of 

A. D. 1139.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 337 

France, and afterwards to Henry II., king of Eng- 

The division of Arragon and Navarre was na- 
turally followed by civil war between these two 
countries, and the strife was increased by the pre- 
tensions of Alonzo of Castile upon Navarre, as de- 
scended from king Sancho Mayor, and those of the 
. Knights Templars on Arragon, in virtue of the late 
king's will. Alonzo attacked the northern parts of 
Arragon, and took several towns, which he agreed 
to make over to Garcia on condition of his doing 
homage for them as a vassal to Castile, and they 
both determined to attack Ramirez, and divide his 
provinces between them. 

In order to give more solemnity to their union, 
and to establish a more plausible claim to supe- 
riority over all Christian Spain, Alonzo assembled 
a general cortes at Leon, where he presided with 
his wife donna Berengucla and his sister donna 
Sancha, on whom he had bestowed the title of 
queen. On his right hand was placed Garcia of 
Navarre, on his left the bishop of Leon. The 
noble Christians who were present all agreed that 
Alonzo should take on him the style and title of 
emperor of Castile, and that Navarre, Arragon, 
Catalonia, and the south of France should be con- 
sidered as feoffs holding of him. He was immedi- 
ately crowned emperor by the aiehbishop of To- 
ledo, and the act was solemnly approved by pope 
Innocent II., who was not sorry to see a power 

VOL. I. 8 


rising which he hoped might serve as a counter- 
poise to that of the emperors of Germany. Alonzo 
then proceeded to Toledo, where he was a second 
time crowned emperor ; but it is uncertain if he 
underwent the ceremony a third time, as was then 
usual : if he did so, it was probably at Compos- 

Meantime Ramirez, finding that he was unfit 
for the cares and office of a king in such turbulent 
times, assemblc^d a cortes at Huesca, and deolared 
his intention of making peace with Castile at any 
price ; and having accomplished that, he contracted 
his infant daughter Petrpnella to Raimond, count 
of Barcelona, to whom he ci»mmitted the care of 
the kingdom. This prince immediately taking 
upon himself to regulate its affairs, sought a per- 
sonal interview with the king of Castile, and ob- 
tained from him the restitution of all those places 
he had seized during the first months of the reign 
of Ramirez, with the condition, however, of doing 
homage for such as lay north of the Ebro. Ra- 
mirez himself retired into a monastery, reserving 
the title of king and the power of interfering if 
necessary in the affairs of the government This 
settlement gave universal satisfaction, and Arragon 
appears afterwards to have enjoyed more tran- 
quillity than most other states during that unquiet 

Meanwhile the young prince Alfonso of For-. 
tugal was distinguishing himself not only as a war- 

A. D. 1 1B9.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 339 

rior, but as a statesman. Sensible of the barbarous 
state of his subjects, his first object was to polish 
and humanise them, for which reason he founded 
schools in different parts of his dominions, espe- 
cially Coimbra, where he endowed a monastery for 
the better protection of letters ; and shortly after- 
wards he built and endowed the superb convent of 

On the 25th July, 1139, assisted by the English 
and French fleets, which stopped at Oporto in their 
way to the Holy Land, he gained a complete victory 
over five Moorish kings or chiefs, on the plain of 
Oiirique, and thenceforward bore on his escutcheon 
five small shields in the form of a cross, which 
superstition has fondly converted into a memorial 
of the five wounds of Christ, since the shields were 
won in battle against the enemies of his holy reli- 
gion. On the field of battle he was proclaimed 
king of Portugal, and thenceforward all depend- 
ence on Castile ceased on the part of that kingdom. 
Shortly afterwards the famous constitution of La- 
mego was drawn up, which excluded strangers for 
ever from the throne of Portugal, and finaUy sepa- 
rated it from Spain. 

The crusades had stirred the spirit of all Chris- 
tians against the Saracens in whatever land they 
might be found, and a number of French and other 
adventurers joined the king of Castile, the regent 
of Arragon, and the other princes of Spain, and 
took Almeria, which, as it lay in the midst of the 



Moorish provinces, and out of the reach of any 
Christian defender, was soon lost ; and such were 
many of the conquests made by the headlong 
bravery of the crusaders, who, in order to win a 
temporary advantage over the infidels, would in- 
cur danger and death without once reflecting on 
the consequences, or even the power of maintain- 
ing a conquest when made ; so that that bravery, 
which well directed would have advanced the ge- 
neral cause of Christendom, was wasted in fruitless 
combats, and sieges that terminated in nothing. 

Seven years after the first siege of Almeria it 
was again taken by the king of Barcelona, assisted 
by the Pisans and the Genoese, the latter of whom 
received as part of their portion of the spoil tho 
'celebrated emerald cup in which tradition says 
Christ had poured the wine at the last supper. 
But this marveUous emerald, like the table of So- 
lomon which Muza took, appears to have been only 
fine green glass. 

In the meantime a threatened war between Cas- 
tile and Navarre had been, averted by the marriage 
of the heir of Alonzo with donna Blanche of Na- 
varre ; and the knights of St. John having claimed 
the kingdom of Arragon as theirs by the will of the 
last king, had been content to waive their claim on 
condition of receiving ample lands for the erection 
and maintenance of their houses, and a right to 
claim the service of a vassal of each of the three 
nations. Christian, Jew, and Moor, from among 

A. D. 1139.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 341 

the citizens of 2iaragoza, Calatayad, Huesca, Bal- 
bastro, Doroca, and whatever place should thence- 
forth be conquered from the Moors. This agree- 
ment took seyeral years to negotiate, but at length 
it received the assent of the grand master, the pa- 
triarch of Jerusalem, and pope Adrian IV. 

The empire of the Almoravides was drawing to 
its close. The troops of Ali, composed of all the 
bravest warriors of Barbary, strengthened by a 
considerable body of Andalusians, both Moors and 
Christians, were defeated in the mountains above 
Telecen. The death of Ali, and soon after that of 
his successor Taxfin, left them without a chief of 
sufficient talent to make head against Abdelmu- 
men. Oran speedily fell into his hands, and Mo- 
rocco soon shared the same fate. Fez was taken 
by an extraordinary expedient. The river which 
passes through it runs along a narrow defile, which 
the Almohades dammed up, and when they had 
thereby collected a vast body of water, which seemed 
to fill the valley, they suddenly destroyed the dam, 
and the city walls were shaken and damaged, many 
houses were quite destroyed, and many of the peo- 
ple were drowned by the impetuosity of the flood. 
The water rushed into the city at dawn, just as 
the governor, a son of Ali, was about to cele- 
brate his marriage with a beautiful maiden, who 
was also beloved by Abdalla of Jaen, whose grief 
and rage at losing her was one cause of the success 
of the Almohades against Fez : for he joined their 


party and opened the gates to them after the 
damage occasioned by the water had been partly 

Africa being thus subdued, Abdelmumen resolved 
to attack the Almoravides in Spain. He had al- 
ready prepared vessels at Tanja and Algez, and 
early in 1145 he despatched his captain, Abu 
Amram Muza ben Said, with ten thousand horse 
and twenty thousand foot to Algeziras, where they 
landed with little opposition. The civil wars of 
the Moors were for a moment suspended by this 
invasion. The Christians of Catalonia joined them 
in their opposition to the strangers ; but in vain. 
New disputes arose among the different parties: 
the old Moors considered the Almohades and Al- 
moravides as equally odious ; and while the former 
were occupied with the siege of Seville, the latter 
attacked Cordova, under Aben Gania, who had 
called in the powerful assistance of the emperor 

The day after Seville yielded to the new invader, 
Aben Gknia and Alonzo entered Cordova, and the 
horses of the Christian host were stablejj in the 
magnificent mosque of the Omeiads, and the sacred 
copy of the Koran of the caliph Othman, which was 
brought from Syria by Abdulrahman L, was pro- 
faned by the touch of the despisers of Mahomet. But 
Alonzo perceived that it would be impossible for 
him to keep a city so far from his own frontier, and 
therefore, after ten days, he retired with his troops 

A. D. 1I46.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 34$ 

to fiaeza, wUch he retained^ as near enough to 
Toledo to be supported from thence in ease of 
attack, and left the count Ahnanrik there as go- 
vernor of the new frontier. 

Meanwhile Abdelmumen had pursued his con- 
quests in Africa till he had overtaken the last of 
the Almoravide kings, Ibrahim, a youth, whose 
age and innocence wrought so on the conqueror 
that he proposed to spare his life, but to keep him 
in perpetuaJ prison. But one of the fanatics who 
accompanied him cried, ^^ What ! wouldst thou rear 
a young lion, that he may one day turn and tear us 
to pieces?" and the unfortunate young man was 
put to death with all his relations, in 1146, and 
thus ended the empire of the Almoravides, which 
had lasted upwards of eighty years. 

The emperor Alonzo, Affonso of Portugal, and 
the count of Barcelona, all profited by the disturb- 
ances among the Moors. Portugal made no less a 
conquest than that of Lisbon ; Lerida and Zaga 
were delivered from the Moors, and the Christian 
frontier daily extended itself. Of the emperor the 
Arab historians say, that the armies he collected 
were so numerous that all the fountains of Spain 
scarcely sufficed to allay their thirst, and that the 
mountains trembled and resounded under their 
feet These armies, however, could not prevent 
the [Successes of the Almohades, who soon took 
possession of Cordova, the capital of their ally 
Aben Gania, whom they slew, to the secret joy of 



the people, who thus saw the death of the last of 
the Almorax^de leaders. Alonzo, as the friend of 
Aben Gania, declared his intention of avenging 
his death, and accordingly besieged Cordova ; but 
the nature of an army in those days scarcely per- 
mitted of a long protracted undertaking. Each 
nobleman brought into the field such followers as 
his estates afforded, or those whom the &sne of a 
particular leader drew to his standard. As regular 
means of supplying an army were seldom resorted 
to, as soon as a country had been pillaged, hunger 
dispersed the soldiers ; and of the few mercenaries 
who were at this time employed, none remained 
beyond the time for which they were hired ; and 
on the failure of their pay they often withdrew 
before the period agreed on, and their secession 
not unfrequently ruined a promising enterprise. 
Hence Alonzo^s great preparation produced little 
effect beyond burning the harvests of the poor and 
ruining the labourers, who were equally useful to 
the Christians and the Moors; or if his attacks 
were much felt, it was in uniting the various parties 
and inducing them all to agree in imploring Ab- 
delmumen to come in person into Spain and defend 
the sinking cause of the Mahometans. 

That chief Was, however, too much engaged in 
Africa to comply with their request until the year 
1160, when he passed over to Algesiras, and going 
thence to Gibraltar, gave orders to have it fortified : 
and, accordingly, some of the worksj^ which 'even 

A. D. 1160.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 345 

now defend that extraordinary place, are attributed 
to this period. In the following year he remained 
two months in that fortress, and received the de- 
puties from all the Moorish cities in Spain ; after 
which he made a successful incursion into the 
neighbourhood of Badajos, and carried off a mul- 
titude of prisoners, who were sold as slaves in 
Africa, and then returned to Morocco, where he 
died four years afterwards, just as he was preparing 
for another expedition into Spain. The character 
of Abdelmumen was infinitely superior, in some 
points, to that of any of the Almoravide caliphs. 
As hardy and successful in war, and as politic in 
peace, he joined to those qualities superior learn- 
ing and a love of elegant literature. Shocked at the 
ignorance of his subjects of Morocco, he founded 
and endowed schools in all the principal towns, 
and instituted rewards for the most distinguished 

The books of romance and tales of chivalry, which 
the harsh Almoravides had forbidden, he recalled 
from the oblivion into which they had fallen, and 
not only permitted, but enjoined their perusal, as a 
means of elevating the character and purifying the 
manners bf youth. He was an encourager of all 
kinds of art and ingenuity, and the accounts of the 
machines constructed under his personal inspec- 
tion, both for amusement and for use in war, seem 
to belong to a much more advanced age. He had 



educated his sons with care, and left his kingdom 
to one erery way worthy to succeed him. 

But we must go back a few years, in order to 
carry on the history of the Christian states in the 
north of Spain. The king of Navarre, the emperor, 
and the count of Barcelona, appeared to be so 
equally prepared for defence, and so sensible of the 
advantages of mutual support, that there seemed 
little chance of hostilities between them, when the 
king of Navarre, don Garcia, was killed by a tail 
from his horse, while hunting in die neighbour- 
hood of Pamplona. He had fully justified the 
choice of the cortes of Borgia ; but his premature 
death leaving a minor on the throne, left the king- 
dom open to the attacks of his ambitious neigh* 
hours. Of his three children, Blanche had married 
don Sancho, the heir of Castile ; Mai^^aret was the 
wife of William the Bad, king of Sicily; and Sancho, 
his only son, succeeded him. 

No sooner i^as the death of Garda known, than 
the emperor Alonzo and count Raimond agreed to 
attack Navarre instantiy, and divide it between 
them, the latter doing homage to the former for the 
part that was to fall to his share. But the young 
king, supported by the whole of the nobles, made so 
vigorous an opposition that they soon desisted from 
their iniquitous attempt. Count Raimond, indeed, 
was called upon to oppose the viscount of Carcas- 
sonne, who was disposed to raise a disturbance in 

A. D. 1150.] HISTORY OP SPAIN. 347 

his estates in the soath of France, bni he soon 
reduced him to obedience, and obliged him to do 
his accustomed homage : and the emperor was bu- 
sied in strengthening his connexions with the other 
powers in Europe. Louis the younger of France, 
insulted by the misconduct of Eleanor of Poitiers, 
had divorced her, and thereby lost his pretensions 
to Guienne, which she carried with her as a^ dowry 
to the king of England, whom she afterwards mar- 
ried. The emperor Alonzo considered this as a 
favourable opportunity for allying himself more 
closely with Louis, and offered his daughter Isabel, 
or Constance, to him in marriage, while he himself 
espoused Ricca, or Rechilda, the daughter of La*- 
dislaus, duke of Poland. 

Shortly after these two marriages had taken 
place, Louis undertook a pilgrimage to Santiago 
de Compostella, and afterwards visited Alonzo at 
Toledo, where the magnificence of the palaces, the 
splendour of the amusements, and the martial ap- 
pearance of the troops, both of Castile and of the 
count of Barcelona, who was present to do honour 
to the French king, were such as to draw from 
Louis an exclamation of thankfulness that he was 
the son-in-law of so great a monarch. But of all 
the treasures of Toledo offered him by Alonzoy he 
would accept nothing but a great carbuncle, which 
he presented, on his return to Paris, to the treasury 
of St. Denis, to ornament the reliquary containing 
the holy thorn. About this time, the queen of 


Arragon, damia PetraniOa, bore a son, named don 
Ramon, so that that kingdom had again a male heir. 
Her hnsband, Raimond, ooont of Barcelona, never 
took on him the title of king, bat under that of 
prince governed in her name with sndi judgment 
and success, that his £ame was spread all over Eu- 
rope. His greatest embarrassment arose from the 
reiterated claims of the Templars, who were con- 
stantly urging the will of Alonzo as a pretence 
for fiirther encroachments on the property of the 
crown of Arragon. He, however, made use of them 
by giving to their charge the frontier towns, winning 
by degrees the Moorish castles on the banks of 
the Segre and the Cinga, and forming a barrier 
against the future invasions of that people. 

The death of the emperor, don Alonzo, once 
more divided the kingdoms of Leon and Castile : 
his eldest son, Sancho, who was married to Con- 
stance of Navarre, the great-grand-daughter of the 
Cid, succeeded to Castile, and Ferdinand to Leon. 
Alonzo was on his way from Toledo to Burgos, 
when he was taken ill in the Sierra Morena, and 
being unable to proceed, a tent was pitched for him 
under an ilex, where he died, in August, 1157, in 
the fifty-second year of his age. He was a prince* 
of great talents and virtue. Politic in peace; active 
and daring in war ; beloved by his subjects; feared 
and respected by his enemies ; and doing justice, 
as much as was possible, in those turbulent times. 



Woman riding on a mule» 

.With regard to the state of letters, which have 
so much influence on that of manners, in this half 
century, it is a curious fact, that the use of the 
Arabic tongue had become so general in the reign 
of Alonzo VIL, that all the public acts were written 
in it. In the church of Toledo above 2000 of these 
acts were found, and in that of Madrid 500 ; and 
even two centuries later, the public notaries signed 
writs in both languages. 

Cordova and Seville, however they might be 
disturbed by war, continued to maintain the high 
character of their colleges. Averroes and Aben- 
zoar, in the former, were introducing the philo- 

350 lilSTORY OF SPAIN. [CH. IX* 

sophy of Greece, and cultivating the science of 
Arabia. In Seville the naturalist, commonly called 
Eben 61 Aw^, produced that curious book which 
the learned Casiri desired to see translated, and 
which is now published in Spanish, together with 
the Arabic original by the diligence of J. A. Ban- 
queri. This work, which is called the " Book of 
Agriculture," treats not only of the sorts of land 
adapted for different productions, manures, and 
changes of crops, but also of orchards and gardens. 
The manner of grafting trees, flowers, and the 
cucurbitaceous plants, is explained at length; and 
the affinities of plants, their medicinal qualities, 
and the length of their lives, are also discussed. 
The treatment of the horse, mule, and ass, that of 
cattle and sheep, and the management of domestic 
poultry, pigeons, and bees, also find a place. The 
choice of ^hn-servants is much insisted on; and. 
tiiere is a curious chapter on the methods of pre- 
serving and pickling fruits and vegetables. No 
less than a hundred and twenty authors, including 
Columella, are quoted ; but those most frequentiy 
referred to are Aben Hajez of Grenada, and the 
agriculture of Nabathea ^. Poetry flourished among 
the Moors, at least as much as ever; and they seemed 
to find, in their songs and ballads, some relief from 

• Nabathea, that country lying west of the Euphrates to the Me- 
diterranean Sea. 

A, D, 1157.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 351 

the oonscioii$ness of tkeir sufferings under the ty- 
ranny of the Almoravides and Almohades. 

As to the domestic government of Spain, the 
cities appear, in most instances, to have been go- 
verned, from a very early period, by a council of 
their own magistrates. However the custom grew 
up, whether it was imitated from the Moorish Al- 
hama, or congregation, where the cadi presided 
over a select number of elders, whose office it was 
to regulate the civil affairs of the town ; or whether 
it was a relic of the practice of the ancient Goths, 
it became now an object of attention to the kings. 

That which habit and the right acquired by long 
usage gave they now confirmed, or conferred by 
charters of corporation, and these charters, while 
they assured the cities and their councils of pro- 
tection, bound them to certain services to the king. 
In a charter granted by Alonzo V. to Leon, 1020, 
he mentions the council of that city in terms that 
show it to have .existed long before. Most cor- 
porate towns were bound to do military service, 
those especially on the frontiers were to assist 
in protecting their own neighbourhood from the 
Moors ; and many were required to furnish certain 
kinds of assistance whenever the king took the 
field. And this was the case also with some of the 
Moorish towns, which, in return for certain pri- 
vileges, performed certain services, or paid certain 
sums. But, indeed, many of the feudal customs 


of Europe seem to have obtained a^p among the 
Moorish nations. 

As to the private manners, we may, perhaps, 
form some judgment respecting them, from the ac- 
count given of the entertainments at Leon on the 
marriage of the king of Navarre with the emperor's 
daughter Urracca. 

There were jousts and tourneys, and bulls were 
chased and fought; and after these more serious 
games were over, a large pig was let loose in an 
enclosed place, and two blind men, armed with 
staves, chased him by his grunting, and whichever 
could knock him down received him as a prize. The 
amusement of the spectators arose chiefly from the 
blows which the competitors inadvertently gave 
each other. 

The funerals, both of the Christians and Moors, 
seem to have been performed with pomp. Coffins, 
finely wrought of cjrpress-wood, adorned with gold, 
and filled with myrrh and camphor, are often men- 
tioned ; and a long train of attendants and mourners 
was considered honourable to the deceased. The 
tombs were ornamented, and in Castile, at least, 
black clothes were worn in sign of mourning, a 
custom that does not appear to have prevailed in 
France or Italy at that period. 

In these warlike times hunting was of course a 
favourite amusement, and the breed of horses, dogs, 
and hawks was diligently attended to ; and among 

A. D. 1157.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 353 

the great it was a fiishion to keep tame lions or 
panthers. About this time also we find mention 
made of birds brought from Africa that spoke either 
Moorish or Castilian, and which were allowed to 
remain in the apartments, and partake of the food 
of their owners ; so that the parrot has long been 
made a domestic favourite. 

The ingenuity of the mechanics of those times 
must have been great, if we credit the description 
of a pulpit and a pew constructed for Abdelmumen 
in his principal mosque. The pulpit of aromatic 
wood was skilf ullyAvrought with scrolls and flowers, 
its clasps and hinges of wrought gold. The pew, 
or station at prayers, was no less costly, and was 
adapted for moving at will without noise ; it had six 
folding pieces, whereby it might be enlarged, and 
the hinges of these were so disposed that, like the 
wheels, they might be used without noise ; and the 
pulpit and pew were so geometrically constructed 
as that they always moved evenly and together as 
soon as any one of the doors by which the king 
entered was unclosed : and as for the pulpit, as 
the preacher ascended the steps its door gradually 
opened, and when he was within, it shut without 
noise with a smooth motion ; and the king and his 
whole family entered the pew in the same manner. 
The maker of these machines was Alhas Yahix 
of Malaga, who was also much employed in the 
construction of mills and of warlike instruments. 



£CH. IX. 

He was the engineer who laid out the works of 
Gibraltar. The works of Alhas Yahix are described 
in some excellent verses by Abu Bekir ben Murber, 
not very unlike some of Darwin's descriptive poetry. 

Common cart, drawn by oxen. 



Wife of don Alonxo the Noble* from her seal. 

On the death of the emperor, don Alonzo VIL 
of Castile, his two sons succeeded him. Sancho 
HI. became king of Castile, Biscay, and Toledo, 
and Ferdinand 11. had Leon and Gallicia. Both 
these princes were well trained in the arts of peace 


and war; but Sancho was the most beloved on ac- 
count of his mild and humane disposition, and for 
that and for his early death he was surnamed the 
Deseado, Desired. 

No sooner was the death of Alonzo known than 
Sancho, surnamed the Wise, king of Navarre, 
broke into Castile, and alarmed the country, even 
to the gates of Burgos, and the Almohades also 
attacked the borders of the territory of Toledo. 
But Sancho the Desired sent a body of troops 
against those of Navarre, who did not wait for their 
coming, but suddenly returned to their own coun- 
try, while he himself remained to quiet the dis- 
turbances in the south. 

His short reign, for 1^ survived his father but 
on^e year and ten days, was distinguished by no- 
thing but the foundation of the military order of 
Calatrava, originally called that of the Knights of 
St Julian. The town of Calatrava, when first taken 
from the Moors, had been given to the Knights 
Templars ; but they, hopeless of being able to 
maintain it, returned it into the king's hands in 
the beginning of Sancho's reign. The Cistertian 
monks, however, offered to make it good against 
the Moors ; and aided by the money of the arch- 
bishop of Toledo, in whose diocese it was, and the 
voluntary assistance of some of the Castilian noble- 
men, the monks kept their word. Sancho, there- 
fore, gave the lordship of Calatrava and its lands 
to the abbot Raymond and the brethren for ever ; 

A. D. 1158.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 357 

and this was the origin of the religious and military- 
order of Calatrava, that became so famous in after 

In the same year died Saiicho III., leaving an 
only child, Alonzo VIII., of three years of age. 
He had placed him under the guardianship of the 
noble family of Castro, one of whose members, 
Guttierez, was the foster-father of the little king. 
Now among the nobles of Castile there was one 
family that vied in pride, riches, and power with 
that of Castro. It was the house of Lara ; the first 
husband of the lady of Lara was the count of Cabra, 
intimately connected with the royal family, and 
their son^ don Garcia Acia, was an additional sup- 
port to their pride and their interest. By his means 
the young king was taken from the hands of Gut- 
tierez de Castro, and placed in those of Manriquez 
de Lara, who, rendered insolent by this advantage, 
demanded of the lords of Castro those towns which 
they held in trust for the young Alonzo. This de- 
mand they of course resisted, alleging the will of 
king Saneho, who left those towns in their hands 
until his son should have attained his fif^^eenth 

Don Fernando, king of Leon, was soon informed 
of the disturbances in Castile, and thought the op- 
portunity favourable for again uniting the two 
kingdoms. Regardless of the ties of nature which 
bound him to the baby king (Rey-peqiieno) as 
Alonzo was then called, he invaded his dominions, 


seized on great part of it, took possession of Burgos, 
and pursued the Laras and the little king to Soria. 
There, as there was no chance of escape, Manri- 
quez gave the child into the keeping of the citi- 
zens, while he and his brothers went out of the 
town to compliment Ferdinand. A meeting of the 
nobles and bishops then took place, and Ferdi- 
nand demanded the custody of his nephew, and an- 
nounced his intention of only permitting him to 
enjoy Castile as a feof of Leon, and of causing him 
and his guardians at that very time to do homage 
for it. The child was accordingly claimed from 
the citizens, who, on giving him up, said, " Free 
we deliver him, free you must keep him." 

Now, on his way to the hall where the humi- 
liating ceremony of doing homage was to take 
place, the child wept, and clung to his guardian, 
who, on pretence of pacifying him and giving him 
food, took him aside to his own house. There they 
found don Pedro Nunez, lord of Fuente Almeger, 
one of the Ricos hombres of Castile ; he instantly 
seized the king, and, wrapping him in his cloak, 
leaped on his horse, which was in waiting, and 
galloped off with his precious charge to Santesti- 
van ; but that place not being safe, don Nunio de 
Lara, who, under pretence of recovering the king, 
and delivering him to his uncle, had ridden after 
him, removed him to the fortress of Atienza, and 
afterwards to Avila, a strong place, the citizens 
of which defended him bravely, and kept him 

A. D. ] 169.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 359 

securely until his eleventh year, when he began to 
assume the royal functions. Hence the men of 
Avila were long distinguished by the name of the 
faithful, and enjoyed especial privileges. 

Fernando, enraged at the Laras, sent to chal- 
lenge them to combaty on account of their having 
broken faith with him ; but, resolving not to em- 
broil the kingdom more, they contented themselves 
with saying, " that it might be that they had bro- 
ken faith with him by not delivering up his ne- 
phew ; but they had kept their honour and their 
duty by not suffering the disgrace of their king, to 
whom their natural faith was due." 

Ferdinand now, not content with ravaging Cas- 
tile himself, and taking possession of its most im- 
portant places, engaged the king of Navarre in a 
new war against it ; and the Castros, incited by their 
enmity to the house of Lara, had also taken part 
with Leon. These disturbances between the two 
principal Christian states of Spain gave a respite 
to the Moors, and allowed the Almohades time to 
fix themselves permanently in Andulasia. 

On the side of Portugal, indeed, they lost 
ground, and Lope, the Moorish king of Murcia, 
had been reduced to pay tribute to the prince of 

Meantime the civil wars of Castile had compelled 
Rica, or Richilda, the widow of Alonzo VIIjE to 
take refuge with Raimond, count of Barcelona and 
prince of Arragon. She took with her her daughter 


Sancha, who had been betrothed to the young heir 
of Arragon ; and the protection afforded these prin- 
cesses gave rise to the story of count Raymond's 
doing Imttle for the honour of a widowed queen in 
Germany. At the request of the emperor Fre- 
deric Barbarossa, whose relation she was, Richilda 
married Raymond Berenger, count of Provence; 
and it was stipulated that the counts both of Pro- 
vence and Barcelona should do homage, for the 
lands they held in the south of France, to Ger- 
many. To complete the treaty to this effect, the 
two Raymonds set out to visit the emperor at 
Turin. They had only reached San Dalmacio on 
their way, however, when Raymond, prince of Ar- 
ragon, was taken ill, and died in a few days. He 
left three sons and one daughter, by his wife 
Petronilla, queen of Arragon in her own right. 
His eldest s^n, Raymond, who changed his name 
to Alonso, inherited the throne, of Arragon; his 
second son was, by his father's will, to have the 
feofs held of the empire ; and the third was to 
succeed the second, if he died without heirs. The 
daughter Dulce was afterwards married to the king 
of Portugal. 

Queen Petronilla found herself unable to main- 
tain the government of Arragon, where several 
pretenders to the crown arose; she therefore ob- 
tained the assistance of Raymond Berenger, who 
managed the kingdom for two years, when, being 
recalled to his own states by the attacks of his 

A* D. 1170.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 361 

powerful neighbours, he died in 1166r; and Petro- 
nilla gave up the crown to her son, then thirteen 
years of age, who afterwards assumed the titles of 
count of Barcelona and Rousillon, and marquis of 

In the year 1 170 Alonzo of Castile, being now 
of age, assembled the cortes of the kingdom at 
Buigos. That city Mid many others had thrown off 
the yoke of Leon the moment the king began to 
govern in his own person, and Ferdinand, unable 
to maintain himself in Castile, had wisely with- 
drawn his troops, and was now in strict alliance 
with his nephew. Toledo had given the first ex. 
ample of setting up. the standard of Alonzo the 
Noble. Estevan de Ulan, one of the chief men of 
the place, had built a tower, and dedicated a church, 
to Saint Roman, where he had hoisted the flag of 
independence, and proclaimed his lawful king; and 
thence the spirit spread all over the country, so 
that in less than two years Alonzo was possessed 
of his whole patrimony. The chief matters treated 
of in the cortes at Burgos were the acknowledg- 
ment of the king and his marriage with Eleanor, 
daughter of Henry II. of England, a beautiful and 
virtuous princess, of the same age with the king, 
who was to bring, as a dowry, the right to Gas- 
cony, lying contiguous to Guipuscoa, an apanage 
of Castile. 

Meantime the king of Arragon, for some reason, 
had conceived doubts as to the propriety of fulfilling 

VOL. I. R 


liis msUnmiMiial ei^;ageiiientB Widi donoa Sencha 
of Castiley tbe aiint of Alonso the Noble, and coiv- 
seqnently sent an embaBsy to Constomtinople to 
ask tbe hand of Endocia, daogfater of the emperor 
Manuel Comnenos ; but by the time that lady ar* 
rived at Montpelier, all impedimaits to the fiiMl- 
ment of his first engagement being removed, h^ 
had married Sancha, and the Gvreek piincess, with 
her guardians and companions, applied for pro- 
tectbn to William VIII. lord of Montpelier. He 
consulted the town-council of that place, and by 
their advice forcibly married the lady, by whom he 
had a daughter, who became the mother of don 
Jayme, one of the greatest of the Spanish kings. 
But William afterwards brutally ahmdoned Eu- 
docia, and contracted a marriage with another lady ; 
a proof, if any need be, of the barbarous manners 
of the times. 

These various connexions with foreign nations, 
and the gradual increase of their dominions, en- 
couraged the Christian kings of Spain to form 
more decided plans than they had hitherto done 
for the final reduction of the Moors. Accwdingly, 
at a conference held for that purpose in 1179, they 
laid out the whole of the Moorish territory into 
partitions, and to each of the Christian kings one 
of these partitions was to belong ; and although 
another should make war and overcome the Moors 
within its limits, still the conquest should belong 
to the state to whom the portion was originally 

A. D. 1179.] HISTOKY OF SPAIN. 363 

assigned. But the wais tiiat contmually arose 
among the Cliristians themselves saved the Moors 
from the immediate eiF^ct of this partition. Affonso 
of Portugal and Ferdinand of Leon had quarrelled 
as to the limits o£ their frontiers, and Affonso had 
been taken prisoner, but was afterwards liberated. 
Sancho the Wise of Navarre had invaded Castile, 
and wasted the lands in the neighbourhood of Car- 
dena: but the priest of San Pedro of that place, 
having gone out to meet him with the banner of 
Ruy Diaz de Bivar the Cid Compeador, Sancho 
not only spared those lands from farther injury, 
but restored such things as had been taken from 
the vassals. 

The character of the Almohad prince, who at 
this time ruled in Spain, was also a great barrier 
against the Christians. Yusuf Amumenin had 
succeeded his father Abdelmamun. To the war- 
like qualities of his family he joined a magnificent 
spirit and a great love of letters. He built a mag- 
nificent alhama, or court-house, in Seville, part of 
which still exists as it was in his time, to attest his 
taste and grandeur; and he encouraged learning 
and industry. 

His two first expeditions against the Christians 
were successful. He drove in from the borders 
of Portugal numerous cattle, and took many pri- 
soners. Nor was his lieutenant, Cid Abu Bekir, less 
fortunate in the neighbourhood of Toledo, under 
whose walls he routed a body of troops commanded 



by don Sancho^ whom the Moors call Abulbarda, 
on account of a magnificent halbert with which he 
went to battle. In the east Tarragona was taken 
from the king of Arragon. 

In order to win the affections of his Andalusian 
subjects, he married the sister of the chief of Denia 
and Xelba ; and to do her due honour, he built 
for her a house of most exquisite beauty both in 
design and execution, and adorned it with every 
thing that was precious. 

But Yusuf s third algehed was fatal to him. He 
had resolved to recover Santerem from Portugid, 
and assembled a great force before that place. Day 
and night he battered the walls with the prodigious 
engines he had brought with him, till having shaken 
them considerably, he removed his camp to the 
north of the city, whence he trusted to renew the 
attack with complete success. Having resolved, 
during the siege, on making a predatory excursion 
towards Lisbon, he sent orders for that purpose to 
his son Isaac, who was in a different part of the 
camp ; but, by some mistake, the prince, instead of 
waiting till the morning afterwards, and taking 
only a select body of troops with him, set off that 
night, and all the army, save the king's own guard, 
followed him. The Christians within the city, 
seeing in the morning that the king's own tent was 
almost the only one that remained, sallied out to 
attack it, and notwithstanding the most obstinate 
resistance of the guard, Yusuf was wounded so 

A, D. 1188.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 365 

severely that he expired on the road to Seville* 
His body was carried to Africa, but his son and 
successor, Yacub, caused his death to be concealed 
until his arrival at Sallee. 

Affonso of Portugal only survived him a few 
months, and his death was followed, three years 
afterwards, by that of Ferdinand king of Leon. 

This king married, first, Urraca, . daughter of 
don Affonso of Portugal, by whom he had a son, 
Alonzo, who succeeded him; but being divorced 
from her at the instigation of the bishops, on ac- 
count of her near relationship, he married donna 
Teresa, of the house of Lara, and, after her death, 
donna Urraca Lopez, 

A little before this time the kings of Navarre and 
Castile, weary of the protracted frontier war, which 
wasted their subjects, and procured no essential 
advantage to any party, agreed to refer their dif- 
ferences to Henry IL, king of England, the most 
renowned prince of his time. The instructions 
given to the ambassadors are curious. They are 
desired not to take advantage of the arrival of one 
party before the other, but to wait and plead their 
cause, face to face, before the king of England, by 
a certain day ; but if either party delayed his ap- 
pearance beyond that . day, the king, whose party 
failed, was to lose his cause. Each ambassador, 
besides his usual train, was accompanied by some 
knights, who were to do battle in the presence of 
Henry, in their master'&r cause, and so decide his 


daims, ia case Henry himself should deeline to 
arbitrate between his son-in-law and the king of 

The ambassadors found Henry at Windsor, and' 
lliere the bishep of Palencia, (m tlie part of Castile, 
and the bishop of Pamplona, on that of Navarre, 
explained to Henry the nature o£ the quarrel be- 
tween their masters* The king of England laid 
the matter before his lords, prelates, and barons, 
and pronounced sentence according to their advice, 
and the sentence was agreeable to both the con- 
tending parties; for Castile obtained the frontier 
towns he needed, and Navarre received a sum for 
them, extremely necessary in the then state of the 
afiairs of that kingdom. It is remarkable, that two 
of the four fortresses, given by Castile as securities 
at the beginning of the negotiation, and one of the 
four given by Navarre, are expressly called towns 
of the Jews, which proves that that people were 
still very numerous and wealthy in Spain. 

But it would be endless to relate all the treaties 
that were entered into and broken by the five 
Christian kings of Navarre, Arragon, Castile, Leon, 
and Portugal, who divided Spain. Among siuch 
near neighbours disputes about bounfiaries were 
continually occurring, and it was only when they 
made common cause against the Moors, the ene- 
mies of all alike, that they deserve to be considered 
as a nation. ' 

The confederation of Leon, Arragon, and Na- 

A. D. 1192.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 367 

vaire, against Castile, in 1189, was taken advantage 
of by Yacub, the son and successor of Yusuf Amu- 
menin, who made an inroad into the Christian terri- 
tory, and is said to have carried off thirteen thousand 
women and children captives to Africa, and shortly 
afterwards to have sent as many prisoners of all 
kinds, in strings of fifties, from the Christian bor- 
ders to Grenada. 

This state of things, however, roused Alona^o the 
Noble, and be resolved to undertake a war against 
Yacub, and to invite all Christian knights to join 
him. For this purpose he assembled a cortes in 
Carrion in the year 1192, the second he had held 
in that town, but it was not till two years after- 
wards, that^ accomplishing a truce with Sancho 
VIII., called the Strong, who had lately succeeded 
his father, Sancho the Wise, king of Navarre, and 
widi Alonzo of Arragon, he was able to collect a 
sufficient force to take the field against the Moslem. 

Meantime, Yacub had visited Africa to regulate 
his affairs in that quarter, which was often disturbed 
by the turbulent tribes, both of Barbary and the 
confines of Negroland. He was detained there by 
sickness, till the king of Castile, becoming impa- 
tient to mefasure forces with him, wrote him an 
arrogant challenge, inviting him, if he did not 
choose to come to Spain to fight, to send ships to 
fetch his Christian adversaries to combat on his 
own native land. No sooner had Yacub Almanzor 


read the challenge than his tage was kindled, and 
he sent for his son, Cid Mahommed, and put it inta 
his hands to answer. The young man wrote this 
verse of the Koran, ^< Allah the omnipotent hath said, 
I will turn upon them, and they shall be trampled 
into dust by armies that they have not seen, and 
there shall be no way to escape, and I will throw 
them into the deep, and I will undo them/' Then 
his &ther approved the answer, and sent it by the 
young man who brought the challenge. 

And Yacub caused the red flag and the great 
sword to be brought out, and assembled all the 
Almohades, and Arabs, and Zanetes, and Massa- 
mudes, and published a holy war, and passed over 
into Spain with all his troops and machinery and 
provisions, and arrived at Alarcos in July, 1195. 
On the nineteenth of that month the Christian 
Host met him, and there ensued one of the most 
bloody and disastrous battles that had been fought 
since that in which don Roderic first lost Spain to 
the Moors. The night before the battle was passed 
by Yacub, on his knees, upon the carpet of prayer, 
entreating for his people; and a little before dawn 
his eyes became heavy, and he slumbered and 
dreamed that he saw the gates of heaven open, and 
a. warrior on a white horse appeared, and in hi$ 
hand was a green banner, which he unrolled, and 
covered the whole earth. On which he awoke, 
and conceived great hopes of success, for green was 

A. D. 1195.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 369 

the colour of the banner of the prophet, and he 
considered his dream as a vision granted to assure 
bim of the success of the Mahometans. 

In the morning he ordered his line of battle, and 
placed the machines for discharging arrows and 
javelins in front. But it would be too long to 
relate the names which have been preserved of the 
chiefs of all the tribes, and of their banners, and of 
their cries of battle. 

Alonzo the Noble, on his side, fought with de- 
sperate valour; but nothing could save his army. 
Some of his nobles seeing him almost surrounded, 
and that the white banner of Yacub, on which was 
embroidered the first verse of the Koran, was waving 
nearly over his head, laid hands on him, and dragged 
him by violence from the field, and fled with him 
to Alarcos, and thence to Toledo. The Moors 
shortly afterwards entered Alarcos, and took Cala^ 
trava, Guadalajara, and some small places, with 
which Yacub ended the campaign, and entered Se- 
ville in triumph. 

The loss of the Christians was severe; many 
nobles and knights were slain, and among the rest 
Martinez, the third grand master of the order of 

It appears singular, that Yacub should not have 
followed up his victory ; but the terms on which a 
holy war, or algihed, against the Christians were 
preached, promising only the distant rewards of 
paradise, and the chance of plunder, to those wh^ 



daims, ia' case Henry himself should decline to 
Kirbitiaiie between hb son-in-kw and the king of 

The ambassadors found Heary at Windsor^ and' 
lliere the bisbop of Palencia, on tlie part of Castile, 
and the bishc^ of Pamplona, on that of Navarre, 
explained to Henry llie nature of the quarrel be- 
tween their masters. The king of England laid 
the matter before his lords, prelates, and barons, 
and pronounced sentence according to their advice, 
and the sentence was agreeable to both the con- 
tending parties; for Castile obtained the frontier 
towns he needed, and Navarre received a sum for 
them, extremely necessary in the then state of the 
affairs of that kingdom. It is remarkable, that two 
of the four fortresses, given by Castile as securities 
at the beginning of the negotiation, and one of the 
four given by Navarre, are expressly called towns 
of the Jews, which proves that that people were 
still very numerous and wealthy in Spain. 

But it would be endless to relate all the treaties 
that were entered into and broken by the five 
Christian kings of Navarre, Arragon, Castile, Leon, 
and Portugal, who divided Spain. Among such 
near neighbours disputes about bounfiaries were 
continually occurring, and it was only when they 
made common cause against the Moors, the ene- 
mies of all aUke, that they deserve to be considered 
as a nation. ' 

The confederation of Leon, Arragon, and Na* 

A- D. 1192.] HISTORY OP SPAIN. 367 

vaire, against Castile, in 1189, was tsken advantage 
of by Yacub, the son and successor of Yusuf Amu- 
menin, who made an inroad into the Christian terri- 
tory, and is said to have carried off thirteen thousand 
women and children captives to Africa, and shortly 
afterwards to have sent as many prisoners of all 
kinds, in strings of fifties, from the Christian bor- 
ders to Grenada. 

This state of things^ however, roused Alonzo the 
Noble, and lie resolved to undertake a war against 
Yacub, and to invite all Christian knights to join 
him. For this purpose he assembled a cortes in 
Carrion in the year 1192, the second he had held 
in that town, but it was not till two years after- 
wards, that^ accomplishing a truce with Sancho 
VIIL, called the Strong, who had lately succeeded 
his father, Sancho the Wise, king of Navarre, and 
with Alonzo of Arragon, he was able to collect a 
sufficient force to take the field against the Moslem. 

Meantime, Yacub had visited Africa to regulate 
his affairs in that quarter, which was often disturbed 
by the turbulent tribes^ both of Barbary and the 
confines of Negroland. He was detained there by 
sickness, till the king of Castile, becoming impa- 
tient to measure forces with him, wrote him an 
arrogant challenge, inviting him, if he did not 
choose to come to Spain to fight, to send ships to 
fetch his Christian adversaries to combat on his 
own native land. No sooner had Yacub Almanzor 


claims, in' case Henry Mmself ' should decline to 
arbitiste between his son'-in-law and the king of 

The ambassadors found Henry at WindscKT, and* 
liiere the bish<^ of Palencia, on the part of Castile, 
and the bishop of Pamplona, on that of Navarre, 
explained to Henry the nature of the quarrel be- 
tween their masters. The king of England laid 
the matter before his lords, prelates^ and barons, 
and pronounced sentence according to their advice, 
and the sentence was agreeable to both the con- 
tending parties; for Castile obtained the frontier 
towns he needed, and Navarre received a sum for 
them, extremely necessary in the then state of the 
affairs of that kingdom. It is remarkable, that two 
of the four fortresses, given by Castile as securities 
at the beginning of the negotiation, and one of the 
four given by Navarre, are expressly called towns 
of the Jews, which proves that that people were 
still very numerous and wealthy in Spain. 

But it would be endless to relate all the treaties 
that were entered into and broken by the five 
Christian kings of Navarre, Arragon, Castile, Leon, 
and Portugal, who divided Spain. Among such 
near neighbours disputes about bounflaries were 
continually occurring, and it was only when they 
made common cause against the Moors, the ene- 
mies of all alike, that they deserve to be considered 
as a nation. ' 

The confederation of Leon, Arragon, and Na- 

A. D. 1192.] HISTORY OP SPAIN. 367 

yarre, against Castile, in 1189, was token advantage 
of by Yacub, the son and successor of Yusuf Amu- 
menin, who made an inroad into the Christian terri- 
tory, and is said to have carried off thirteen thousand 
women and children captives to Africa, and shortly 
afterwards to have sent as many prisoners of all 
kinds, in strings of fifties, from the Christian bor- 
ders to Grenada. 

This state of things, however, roused Alonsco the 
Noble, and lie resolved to undertake a war against 
Yacub, and to invite all Christian knights to join 
him. For this purpose he assembled a cortes in 
Carrion in the year 1192, the second he had held 
in that town, but it was not till two years after- 
wards, that^ accomplishing a truce with Sancho 
VIIL, called the Strong, who had lately succeeded 
his father, Sancho the Wise, king of Navarre, and 
with Alonzo of Arragon, he was able to collect a 
sufficient force to take the field against the Moslem. 

Meantime, Yacub had visited Africa to regulate 
his affairs in that quarter, which was often disturbed 
by the turbulent tribes^ both of Barbary and the 
confines of Negroland. He was detained there by 
sickness, till the king of Castile, becoming impa- 
tient to measure forces with him, wrote him an 
arrogant challenge, inviting him, if he did not 
choose to come to Spain to fight, to send ships to 
fetch his Christian adversaries to combat on his 
own native land. No sooner had Yacub Almanzor 


by the kings of Navarre, though claimed by Cas- 
tile; and being now secure on all sides from other 
enemies, he invaded and seized that province, which 
has c(mtinued ever since to belong to Castile. He 
next resolved to repair and strengthen the walls of 
all the searports in Biscay. St. Sebastian's^ Font- 
Arabia, Santander, and several others were put in a 
state of defence, and the whole country felt the ad- 
vantages of an interval of peace. 

Pedro IL, king of Arragon, had liad violent dis^ 
putes with his mother, Sancha of Castile, an ambi-^ 
tious woman, who, discontent at losing the power 
she had enjoyed during the minority of her son, 
had attempted to retain some of the strongest castles 
of the kingdom in her own hands ; but the powerfut 
mediation of Alonzo the Noble procured peace, and 
left don Pedro at liberty to undertake a voyage he 
had much at heart; namely, to go to solicit the* 
assistance of the Genoese and Pisans against the 
Moors, who were again in possession of the whole 
of the Balearic islands. But he continued his 
voyage to the Tiber, and having proceeded to 
Rome, pope Innocent III. received him honour-* 
ably, and unwilling to lose an opportunity of arro- 
gating to himself the superiority^ over all temporal 
princes, he caused him to be anointed in the church 
of St. Pancras; and whereas the princes of Arrg^on 
were not wont to assume the regal insignia until 
they were either married or were dubbed knights^ 
Innocent from this time granted them the tiUe of 

A. D. 1204.] HISTORY OP SPAIN. 875 

king fipom the hour of the death of their prede- 
cessors, and Pedro did homage for his kingdom 'in 
retarn for that grant, besides agreeing to pay a 
yearly pension to the holy see. 

These things, however, were very unwelcome to 
the states of Arragon, who were naturally jealous 
of the absolute independence of their country; and 
Pedro, to content them, refused a marriage of- 
fered by the pope, with Mary, daughter of Isabel, 
queen of Jerusalem, and contracted one with Mary, 
daughter of William VIII., count of Montpelier, 
and of Eudocia, daughter of the Greek emperor 
Manuel Comnenus, whose marriage has been al- 
ready mentioned. 

The ten years* truce with Mohammed, the Al- 
mc^de caliph, was now about to expire^ and the 
Christians longed to wipe out the disgrace of the 
battle of Alaxoos. Affonzo, the young king of Por- 
tugal, treading in his father-s steps, harassed the 
Moors of Algarve. Pedro II. of Arragon had al- 
ready prepared to attack the maritime places of the 
Mahometan dominions, and the lords of Castile and 
Leon begun to renew their incursions in Andalusia. 
Mohammed, who had been fully engaged in Africa, 
heard of these hostilities widi pleasure. When he 
could lead the various tribes of Barbary, Morocco, 
and the Desert, against the Christians, his own 
power was safe^ He accordingly called upon them 
all to join him in a hdy war, and, crossing over to 
Algeziras^ advanced into the country in the' usual 

mm — I 


direction, and took Salvatierra. He then went to 
Seville, where the Almohades had fixed their ca- 
pital, and received the envojrs of several princes 
and nobles, both Christians and Mahometans, who, 
either from ftar or from jealousy of their neigh- 
bours, sought his friendship. 

On the other hand, the king of Castile sent the 
bishop of Segovia to Italy to solicit the indulgence 
of the pope, and leave to preach a crusade against 
the Mahometans of Spain, while the archbishop of 
Toledo went to France to obtain succours, there. To- 
ledo was the appointed place for all who would join 
the cause to meet, and there the cortes of the king, 
dom was assembled to concert the best means for op- 
posing the Saracens or Moors ; and there also was 
the head-quarters for all the knights who chose to 
show their prowess against the infidels in the mean 
time. At the head of these was the infant don Fer- 
dinand, the eldest son of Alonzo and Eleanor the 
Noble. His character and actions had proved him 
worthy of his parents, and the love and hopes of 
the people were fixed on him. But in the course 
of the next year, having oyer-fatigued himself in 
an expedition against the common enemy, he died 
of a malignant fever at Madrid, where most of his 
family were assembled, leaving his father without 
an heir, and the nation bereft of its dearest hope. . 
But now the host assembled at Toledo was ready 
to take the field. It was composed of a mixed 
multitude from various countries. Thieir numbers 

A. D. 1212.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 377 

are stated variously, at from fifty thousand to double 
that number. Like the crusaders who marched to 
Syria, their zeal was inflamed against every man 
who did not profess the orthodox Christian faith 
according to the church of Rome ; hence they had 
nearly produced a civil war in Toledo by &lling on 
the Jews and M usarabic Christians, whose external 
conformity to the Moorish faith rendered them as 
odious as the Mahometans themselves. Alonzo 
soon sent these from the city to attack the different 
castles of the enemy, while he received and mar- 
shalled the more tractable Spanish and Portuguese 
troops. To the foot soldiers he agreed to pay five- 
pence, and to the horsemen twenty-pence a-day. 
The store of provisions that had been collected was 
so great, that seventy thousand beasts of burden 
were employed in transporting it. The van, con- 
sisting of the foreign volunters, was headed by don 
Diego de Haro, a man who had lived much among 
the Moors, and knew their manner of war&re. 

The main body was led by the king of Arragon, 
and the reserve of 14,000 horse was headed by 
Alonzo the Noble, and thus they marched from 
Toledo and entered the mountains of La Mancba. 
A shepherd accustomed to the hills led them by 
paths, only known to such as had passed their lives 
on the spot, to a plain near the Moorish castle of 
Tolosa, called by the Moors Alacab, and by the 
Christians the Navas, or plains of Tolosa. After 
the battle the gratitude of the Castilians converted 
the shepherd into an angel, and the certainty with 


which he guided them is com^dered as one of the 
miracles which the superstitioii of the times attri- 
buted to the Navas of Tolosa. 

Mohammed came to the place with his army 
shortly after the Christian kings had pitched their 
tents. He caused his red pavilion to be erected 
on a knoll, and he seated himself upon his shield 
in die midst of it, and placed his horse before him; 
a circle of his guards surrounded him, in front of 
whom were placed the troops with their banners 
and their drums, headed by the vizir. The fight 
was fierce. The African volunteers perished to a 
man : the Andalusian chiefs, who just before the 
battle had been insulted by the vizir in the person 
of one of their companions, retreated from the field; 
the Almohades and Arabs fought bravely, but the 
day was lost, and the Christians had ample com- 
pensation for the loss of Alarcos. Alonzo's troops 
now reached the circle of negro guards that sur- 
rounded Mohammed, but they were as an impene* 
trable shield, till wearied with the impetuous and 
repeated attacks of the Castilian horse, they began 
to give way, and just as the knigjits had reached 
the red tent, an Arab entered, and said, " What 
art thou about, O commander ! already the will 
of God is done, and the Moslem are conquered." 
Then Mohammed, who had sat still till then on 
his shield, repeating a verse of the Koran, rose, 
and would have mounted his horse ; but the Arab 
forced him to take a fleet mare he had brought with 
him, and mounting the horse himself, they escaped 

A. D. 1212.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. S79 

from the field with die miserable remains of an 
army that in the morning had seemed fit for the 
conquest of empires. The Christians in this battle 
gave no quarter : the slaughter was horrible, and 
much of it was committed on those who could not 
defend themselves. Seven prelates were in the 
field, promising eternal rewards to the conquerors 
of the infidels ; and religious enthusiasm, added to 
the brutal excitement of the battle, made the sol- 
diers forget that they were men and professed 
Christians. The iron cross with which one of the 
prelates broke several times through the Moorish 
ranks still exists, and was long looked on as a holy 
relic. The loss of the Christians was small. Some 
of the chronicles say only twenty-five men ; but 
that is as untrue as the account of miraculous 
figures seen in the air, which was also added to the 
history of the battle. 

It is enough to say that from this time the power 
of the Moors in Spain declined, and that of the 
Christian princes became permanent. Yet many 
battles were yet to be fought, and much wretched- 
ness suffered, before the believers in Mahomet 
were finally expelled from Spain. 

The kings of Castile are said to have borne the 
golden castle in a red field as their arms only from 
this day. Those of Navarre placed a ch,ain on 
their red shield, in sign that at the battle of the 
Navas of Tolosa they first broke through the chain 
of guards that surrounded the tent of Mohammed. 
On this occasion the kings fought as simple knights* 


The bishops were not less forward, and there were 
on the field the masters of Santiago and Calatrava^ 
and the Templars, besides the flower of the Spanish 
nobles; some of whom, such as Diego de Haro and 
Fernando de Lara, were equal to kings in wealth, 
power, and alliances. 

The inhabitants of Baeza, after the battle, fled 
in alarm to Ubeda, all but a small number who 
took refuge in the principal mosque, hoping for 
mercy, but they were burnt alive. Ubeda was 
next taken, and the king was inclined to spare the 
inhabitants, but the bishops forbade : it is father ^ 
Mariana who tells the story; and the whole of the 
people, without distinction of age or sex, were mur- 
dered ! Had the caliph Yacub been gifted with 
the spirit of prophecy, and could he have foreseen 
this horrible event, we should not wonder that one 
of the things he repented of on his death-bed wq& 
having set free twenty thousand Spanish captives 
after the battle of Alarcos. 

The princes and leaders returned to Toledo after 
the capture of Ubeda. There queen Eleanor and 
her daughters met them, and the court was full of 
rejoicing; but famine and sickness began to waste 
the troops, and they retired, loaded^ indeed, with 
booty, and rich with pay and plunder ; but long 
drought had destroyed the year's produce, and they 
either starved by the way, or died at home of the 
sickness contracted in the camp. The bishop of 
Toledo, Rodrigo Ximenes, distinguished himself 
honourably on this occasion. He distributed his 

A. D. 1212.] HISTORY OF SPAIX. 381 

stores liberally, and by his preaching induced others 
to do the like ; he also brought the people to exert 
themselves to remedy the evil, by raising food of 
every species wherever water was to be found. 
On this account the king bestowed on him and his 
successors the office of high chancellor of Castile. 

The king of Navarre gained fourteen towns by 
this campaign, for Alonzo the Noble restored him 
that number, which had formerly belonged to his 
state, and the joint conquest of the two kings in 
the south were annexed, as was most convenient, to 
the kingdom of Castile. 

After this memorable battle Alonzo turned his 
attention to procuring peace with Leon ; and for 
that end the two kings appointed a meeting, 
when they forced to dismantle two forts which had 
been subjects of dispute ; after which, by permis- 
sion of the king of Castile, several of his nobles 
and their followers joined the army of Leon, in a 
campaign against the Moors, who were now dis- 
tracted by a civil war. On this occasion Alcan- 
tara was taken and given to the knights of Cala^ 
trava, a branch of whose order afterwards assumed 
the name of Alcantara, and at least equalled the 
fame of their original patrons. Tlie death of don 
Pedro of Arragon, at this time, in a foreign war, 
of which I shall have occasion to speak in the next 
chapter, left an infant of four years old on the 
throne ; and that of Alonzo the Noble, on the fifth 
of October, 1214, left his kingdom to an heir only 



[CH. X. 


y f- :* A. 

ten years of age. Eleanor of England, the wife 
of Alonzo, survived him but a few days. All the 
historians who mention this queen praise her wis- 
domf piety, and beauty. She could not survive her 
husband. She had brought up her children dili- 
gently, and was considered as the mother of the 
people. On her death her eldest daughter, Beren- 
guela, became regent of the kingdom, and proved 
herself worthy of her mother. 

The children who survived don Alonzo VIII. 
and Eleanor of England were, 1. donna Beren- 
guela, separated from the king of Leon ; 2. donna 
^tmtnwffitj married to Louis of France; 3. donna Ur- 
raca, married to Affonso II. of Portugal ; 4. Henry, 
who succeeded his father ; 5. donna Eleanor, who 
afterwards married the king of Arragon. 

CSrM« of Archbishop RodeHek. 

A. D. 1157— 1214.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. S83 

Towards the end of the twelfth century, the light » 
of literature and science began to appear in Chris- 
tendom after the long night in ^hich it had been 
wrapt. The minstrels and troubadours had begun 
to cultivate the vernacular tongues half a century 
before: these tongues now came to be used in 
histories and chronicles. Roderic Ximenes, arch- 
bishop of Toledo, wrote his account of the battle of 
the Navas of Tolosa, in Castilian prose, which had 
already assumed a decided form. 

But still learning was at a very low ebb in Cas- 
tile; and don Alonzo, sensible of its deficiency, 
founded schools at Palencia, which place he had 
erected into a bishop's see, and procured masters 
from France and Italy to instruct the youth of his 
kingdom, for there were none to be found among 
his Christian subjects. It is remarkable that one 
of the first students of Palencia was the famous St. 
Dominic, born in 1 170, at Caleruega, in the diocese 
of Osma. A public school had been founded at 
Zaragoza, by Alonzo I., surnamed the BattUr^ 
where the teachers 'were also from France. The 
interference of the popes, on every possible occa^* 
sion, in the affairs of the peninsula, tended to 
establish an intercourse with Italy, which could not 
fail of being favourable to Spain as far as regards 
the progress of letters, however hurtful it may 
haVe been in other matters. 

Nothing can exceed the superstition of these 
times. The wisest and best of the kings were 


obliged to comply with it Hence half the annals 
of the period are filled up with accounts of pre- 
tended miracles, or narratives of the discovery of 
relics, and their translation from one shrine to 
another. Even Eleanor of England, wise and vir- 
tuous as she was, had the weakness to build a shrine 
to Thomas d Becket, whose death was the misfor- 
tune of her great father's reign. She hoped, by 
honouring the dead saint, to expiate, in part, what- 
ever share her father Henry might have had in the 
crime of Becket's death. 

One of the most remarkable men in Spain at 
this time was the Jew, Benjamin of Tudela, who 
travelled over the greatest part of the then known 
world, for the purpose of visiting every synagc^e of 
his people, and observing the manners and customs 
of various nations. The account he wrote of his tra- 
vels has been printed and translated into several lan- 
guages, and is one of the most curious and instruc- 
tive books we possess, as to the geography of the 
world at this period. Benjamin died A. D. 1173. 

The custom, or we may say the right, of private 
war between the nobles within the kingdom, and 
even of waging war with the king himself, which 
obtained at this period, tended to produce a state of 
barbarism. It is true that none but gentlemen had 
the right of private war, and that all disputes be- 
tween persons of inferior rank were decided in the 
couri:s of justice ; but the gentlemen were apt to 
consider the quarrels of their vassals as their own. 

A. !>• 1214«] HISTORY OF SPAIN. , 385 

Even the dignified clergy exercised this dangerous 
right, and either by themselves or by their cham- 
pions decided their disputes^ We have related 
the trial between the Romish and the Musarabic 
liturgies, and have mentioned the knights who ac- 
companied the ambassadors of Castile and Navarre 
to the English court, for the purpose of deciding 
the quarrel between their masters, in case Henry 
II. declined to interfere. All the kindred of the 
persons engaged in private war were obliged to 
take part in it; and this obligation extended as 
fax as the degree within which marriage was pro- 
hibited at this time» namely, the seventh. The 
evils consequent on such a system, which was ge- 
neral ^throughout Europe, may be imagined. In 
Castile and Arragon it was severely felt The 
quarrels of the houses of Lara and Castro involved 
the whole nation in war, and the private feud of 
Pedro de Azagra led that powerful nobleman into 
alliances with the Moors no less disgraceful to him- 
self than dangerous to his country. The great 
Lope de Haro, who contributed so much to the 
victory of the Navos de Tolosa, had not long be- 
fore been a refugee in a Moorish court, and made 
war against the Christians under the banners of 
Mahomet. Sensible of the evils of this practice, 
the king and cortes of Arragon endeavoured, in 
the year 1165, to abolish the right of private war, 
and to punish those who presumed to claim that 

VOL. I. s 


mischievous privilege; but in vain: the practice 
continued, and its prevalence will account for 
much of the wretchedness which naturally harassed 
a country where each baron viewed the dwelling 
of his neighbour as a hostile fortress. 

The soil of Spain, though fertile, requires careful 
cultivation. When the seasons are dry, dearth 
ensues, unless the crops are carefully watered by 
artificial means. The caliphs of the house of Omeia 
had provided for this by building reservoirs, aque- 
ducts, and canals. But the right of private war 
which the extension of the Christian dominion had 
carried with it into the southern provinces, by often 
subjecting the crops to the destruction of contending 
neighbours, and laying the means of irrigation open 
to the ^ame hazards, renewed and increased the 
evils natural to the country. The repeated famine 
which raged towards tlie end of the twelfth cen- 
tury is a proof of the mischievous consequences of 
the state of society which authorises such feuds ; 
nine months of dry weatlier which occurred twice 
during that period might have been repaired by the 
careful watering of the fields ; but the private rather 
than the public contests had prevented the cultiva- 
tion of the land, and proper attention to the water- 
courses ; and those who bad no means of emigrating 
died of hunger in one of the most fruitful pro- 
vinces of Spain, namely, the country round Toledo. 
But the right of private war induced another evil. 

A, D. 1214.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 387 

The followers and retainers of an unfortunate com- 
batant had seldom any mode of regular subsist- 
ence : they betook themselves to the mountains and 
forests^ and levied contributions on Uieir weaker 
neighbours or on travellers, and, like the Cid and 
, his companions when in banishment, fed them- 
selves at the expense of diose who were better 
provided than they were. Hence the country was 
full of banditti, both Christian and Moorish ; and 
travelling, unless in armed bodies, was difficult, 
if not impossible. 

The institution of various religious and military 
orders to protect pilgrims and other travellers was 
therefore useful and natural The order of Sant- 
iago, the most opulent and honourable of Spain, 
was instituted in 1170. Its object was to restrain 
and punish those who disturbed the public peace, 
and to oppose the Moors : hence its great popu- 
larity. The other orders of Calatrava and Alcan- 
tara grew out of that of the Templars, and were 
expressly established to defend certain parts of the 
frontier against the Mahometans. The private 
manners had as yet undergone no great change. 
The wisdom and piety of queen Eleanor doubtless 
had considerable influence on the higher classes, 
yet there are tales belonging to this age that prove 
the morals to have been but lax. 

As to the coarseness and grossness of which the 
middle ages are accused, what better can be ex- 


pccted in a warlike period, unpolished by art or 
literature ? 

. When Henry II. of England convened a plenary 
court at Beaucaire, for the purpose of settling the 
differences between the king of Arragon, as count 
of Provence, and the count of Toulouse, the latter 
gave a hundred thousand pennies, about a thousand 
pounds sterling of our present money, to Raymond 
d'^Ayout, a baron of Provence, who immediately 
distributed them among twenty thousand knights. 
The baron Bertram Raimbaut chose to display his 
opulence in a strange manner: he had the land 
around the castle of Beaucaire ploughed, and sowed 
it with a hundred and twenty thousand farthings. 
William de Martel, who had three hundred knights 
in his train, caused their meat to be cooked over 
wax tapers. The countess of Magel presented a 
crown of immense value to the assembly ; and the 
amusements and feasts in honour of the meeting 
were terminated by burning before the whole court 
tliirty valuable horses, the property of Raymond 
de Rous. Such was the barbarous mode of dis- 
playing wealth at this time. 

Yet amidst all this, the songs and ballads of 
Elias de Barjols, and his brethren the minstrels 
and troubadours, began to be heard ; the ingenious 
feats of ihejongleurs^ who had brought with them 
from the East the amusing arts of sleight of hand, 
that of taming and managing wild beasts, as well 

A. D. 1214.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 389 

as those of tumbling and dancing, began to be 
prized ; and though these aspired at no great ele- 
gance, they were an improvement upon the fiercer 
diversions of that martial age. 

Ttvo coins : Segobrica and Osi. 



Eleoation cfSt. Ferdinand. 

Before we proceed to the history of donna Be- 
renguelaand her brother, it will be necessary to give 
some account of a religious sect, which, during the 
latter part of the twelfth century, had spread widely 
over Germany, England, and France, and now dis- 
turbed the north of Spain. This sect has been 
called by two names, Albigenses and Waldenses, 

A. D. 1214.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 391 

but improperly, because these na^es really indicate 
two very different sects. The Albigenses certainly 
professed doctrines first taught by the ancient Ma- 
nicheans, and afterwards adopted by Christians 
calling themselves Paulicians, and mingled with 
many peculiar ideas concerning Christianity. They 
chiefly differed from the Roman church, in reject-, 
ing the books of the Old Testament, though they 
received the New. They also disbelieved the mi- 
racles said to be wrought by saints and their images^ 
and they would not worship the Virgin Mary. TTiey 
rejected infant baptism, and denied the great power 
and authority of the priests. They had other spi- 
ritual differences, which it is needless to relate here. 
The Waldenses were a more simple people, de- 
riving their name from Waldo, a merchant of Lyons. 
His principal disciples were the shepherds of the 
Alps and of Piedmont. They appear to have re- 
sembled the modern Moravians in their institutions 
and doctrines ; they elected their own clergy, and 
denied the lawfulness of oaths and of capital punish- 
ment. Both these sects increased extremely at this 
period. Their modesty and virtue, their sincerity, 
piety, and devotion distinguished them from their 
fellow-citizensj in an age when the grossest licen- 
tiousness abounded ; and the uprightness and sim- 
plicity of their religious practices formed a strong 
contrast to the superstitious usages enforced by 
the church of Rome. 
Som^ of the telphers of these sects had made 


their way into Leon, and gained proselytes even 
among tlie lower clergy. It appears ^t a nmnber 
of pretended miracles had lately been wrought in 
that city, where the bones of a heretic and a mar* 
derer were dog up, and passed £or those of saints, 
and performed many pretended cures of the blind 
and the halt. The secret of these miracles was 
discovered by the Albigenses, and explained to the 
people ; the priests took the alarm, a popular tumult 
ensued, and, in consequence ci burning the house 
where the pretended miracles* were wrought, great 
part of the city was consumed. The priests, finding 
their hypocritical practices detected, immediately 
declared that the pretended miracles had been 
wrought by the heretics, and then exposed by them, 
for the sake of bringing shame upon the true church; 
and it is certain that the clergy themselves de- 
stroyed the house which had been the scene of 
their scandalous practices. 

But these heresies either never spread very 
widely in Castile and Leon, or were at this time 
overlooked, for the number of Jewish and Maho-< 
metan inhabitants disposed the bishops to consider 
every Christian with indulgence. Navarre and Ar- 
ragon, however, from their situation, and from the 
intimate alliance of their kings with the counts of 
Toulouse and Provence, in whose dominions the 
religious disputes became so fearful, were more 
affected by them. But it was in the country sur- 
rounding the town of Albi, called the Albigeois, 

A, D. 1214.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 393 

that this heresy was most deeply rooted. The 
priests had in vain attempted to extirpate it ; and 
at length they appealed to the pope against a sect 
which, abhorring their usurpations and covetous- 
ness not less than their superstition, threatened not 
only to bring disgrace upon their religious profes- 
sion, but to deprive them of the riches which the 
devotion of their ignorant followers had heaped 
upon them. Alexander accordingly despatched the 
cardinal of St. Chrysogonous, with several prelates 
and a detachment of preachers of the Cistertian 
order, to Toulouse, in the year 1171. But these 
ambassadors, most of whom displayed a luxury in 
equipape, dress, and food, that only confirmed 
the disgust of the heretics, produced little effect, 
and they again applied for fresh preachers. Ac- 
cordingly, in 1203, Ralph and Peter of Castelnau, 
two Cistertian monks, were sent by Innocent III. 
to preach to the Albigenses, and to demand the 
assistance of all princes against them. The counts 
of Toulouse, of Foix, of Beziers, and of Com- 
minges, refused to exile or persecute the most in- 
nocent and industrious of their subjects. The king 
of Arragon joined his brother-in-law, Raymond of 
Toulouse, in resisting the arbitrary commands of the 
pope, who, enraged at their opposition, preached a 
crusade against the Albigenses. This was an oc- 
casion too favourable to be, neglected, for all the 
enemies and rivals of the count of Toulouse to fall 
upon him. The kings of France joined the cru- 



sade, and a series of pen e c utk wis i^ainst the Albi- 
genses and tfaeir oonnt bq;an, oneqmdled in cruelty 
and atrodty. In 1206, the mission for preaching 
against the heretics was fixed in Mcm^Uier, and 
therciit was first joined by two ^Nunards, Di^o 
AcebeSy bishop of Qsma, and Dominic Guzman, 
afterwards the celebrated Saint Dominic, the 
founder and father of the inquisition. 

That bold man first reformed his colleagues, the 
prelates of the mission; he showed them that their 
pomp and luxury were not fitted to wean the Al- 
bigenses from their heresies. He himself appeared 
in all the simplicity of an apostle, his arguments 
were strongly ui^ed, and he called on the secular 
princes to second his zeal, and punish those who 
refused to return to the bosom of the church. He 
found a willing and an able second in Peter of 
Castelnau, who not only invited the count of Tou- 
louse to join in their pious purpose, but threatened 
him with excommunication in case of refusal. Ray- 
mond's impatience at this insolence encouraged 
some of his followers to waylay and murder Peter 
when on one of his missionary expeditions, and this 
crime, in which he had no participation, was im- 
puted to Raymond*. 

In vain, after this event, did Raymond humble 

* Peter was canonized, and more dian three centuries afterwards 
his story furnished the subject of one of the noblest pictures in the 
world, the Peter Martyr of Titian. 

A. D. 1214.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 395 

himself; in vain, like Henry XL of England, did he 
appear barefoot and all but naked before the priests ; 
he could obtain no remission from the inveterate 
prelates. Even though he went to Rome and ob- 
tained the pope's mandate, the inexorable council 
refused him absolution; and after his death, his 
son could never obtain for his bones tlie rites of 
christian burial. 

The crusade against the Albigenses had now 
long been carried on. Simon de Montfoit, a bold 
man, whose son is so well known in English hi- 
story as earl of Leicester, was chosen captain of 
the crusaders. The cross, in this unnatural war, 
was worn on the breast, to distinguish those en- 
gaged in it from the wartiors of the holy land. 

The name of Simon de Montfort had been di- 
stinguished for bravery and all kDightly qualities ; 
but his actions in the crusade against Toulouse 
sullied it for ever. Nature shudders at the recital 
of his cruelties. Neither man, woman, nor child was 
spared, no faith was kept, and the natural conse- 
quence was retaliation almost as cruel. . Meantime, 
Arnold, abbot of the Cistercians, together with Do- 
minic, by permission of the pope, formed a society 
to inquire into the doctrines of the heretics, and 
agreed that all such as persisted in t^eir errors 
should be delivered over to Simon de Montfort, 
who willingly undertook the office of executioner. 
Dominic then chose some monks of the order of 
St. Augustine to be his assistant^ in the office 


of inquiry, or Inquisition, into the faith of the 
people ; and soon after, finding these insufficient, he 
set up an order of laymen under the name otthe third 
order of penance^ and these, being considered as part 
of the family of the inquisitors, were calledyami/iar5. 
Other associations formed on the same model arose ; 
the popes confirmed them ; and from that time the 
inquisition was established in Italy, in the south of 
France, and soon reached Spain. Dominic was 
canonized : he it was who prevailed on the pope 
to appoint a reader through whose hands all books 
must pass before they could be permitted to be 
printed or read by Christians. Dominic himself 
was the first grand inquisitor ; his first regular tri- 
bunal was established in Toulouse, 1216. While 
the spiritual war was thus going on, conducted by 
Dominic, Simon de Montfort was every where 
successful. Although Peter II. of Arragon had, 
in 1211, intrusted his only son Jayme, then a child 
of three years old, to Simon Ae Montfort to be 
brought up as his future son-in-law, yet, on his 
return from the war against the Saracens in 1212, 
finding that that ambitious leader, under the cloak 
of religious zeal, was about to strip the different 
princes of his family and alliance of their domains, 
and that, not content with endeavouring by force 
to drive out the multitudes of common people who 
professed the new doctrines, he was attempting to 
found a sovereignty at the expense of their rulers, 
he joined the count of Toulouse and his allies in 

A. D. 1214.] HISTORY OP SPAIN. 397 

opposition to him ; a;nd his arms were at first tole- 
rably successfal. But in an attack on Muret, 
where Simon de Montfort and his knights were 
shut up, and from which they sallied after refusing 
to surrender at discretion, he was killed together 
with many of the chief nobility of Arragon. The 
Spanish historians have taken great pains to clear 
him from the suspicion of entertaining the opinions 
of the heretics ; but it would* not be unnatural to 
suppose that a highly accomplished prince, such as 
Peter, who could not but feel in every province, nay 
in every town of his kingdom^ the burdensome ex- 
actions of the church of Rome, looked with some 
favour on the professed enemies and opponents of 
that church. Don Pedro II. was in the flower of 
his age at his death. He was brave, handsome, 
liberal, and remarkable, above all, for his truth. 
He was a lover of learning of all kinds, encouraged 
the Proven9al poets, and was himself renowned 
for the elegance of his verses. 

No sooner was the death of the king of Arragon 
known, than two pretenders laid claim to the 
crown. The first was his brother, the abbot of 
Montarragon; the second, his uncle don Sancho 
count of Roussillon. But the states of Arragon 
would not submit to either ; and, at the suggestion 
of Pero Fernandez de Azagra, lord of Albarracin, 
they sent to pope Innocent, to entreat him to in- 
terpose his authority with Simon de Montfort, and- 
make him restore their king, that they might set 


him in tlie place of his father. Yet notwith- 
standing, Simon, who had now assumed the title 
of count of Toulouse, kept him nearly a year 
before he would give him up. But at length Jayme 
or James returned to Spain, and was acknowledged 
king at Lerida, 1214, in the sixth year of his age. 
The little monsffch was accompanied by his first 
cousin, Raymond of Provence, who was to be 
brought up in Arragon, until the troubles of the 
south of France should be appeased. For the first 
time, all the three estates of Arragon took the 
oath of allegiance to the king, and the custom was 
thenceforward observed. Don William of Mon- 
redon, grand master of the Templars, was ap- 
pointed guardian to Jayme, the fortress of 
Monzon was fixed on as his place of residence 
until he should be of age to govern, and the re- 
gency of Arragon was intrusted to the count of 
Roussillon. But the friends of the young count 
of Provence, anxious for his presence among 
them, contrived his escape from the castle of 
Monzon; and the grand master, dreading lest 
Jayme should also recover his independence with- 
out his intervention, resolved, in concert ^vith some 
of the grandees, both ecclesiastic and secular, to 
place him in authority at once, though little more 
than nine years of age. The rage of the count of 
Roussillon was unbounded, on learning this step. 
He had hoped confidently to reign at least during 
a long minority ; but now that hope was cut off, 

A. D. 1217.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 899 

he endeavoured to raise a party against tlie young 
king, but without effect. Jayme was everywhere re- 
ceived with joy, and the Catalans voluntarily paid 
him an unusual tribute, called bovatico, because it 
is paid as a tax on cattle. This was of material 
assistance to the king, who reached Zaragoza in 
safety, and his uncle consented to his assumption 
bf the regal title and dignity, while he himself di- 
rected the government. 

Meantime the state of Castile was distracted by 
civil divisions and private feuds. The arrogant 
house of Lara would not brook the regency of a 
woman, nor could the talents, spirit, or riches of Ben- 
guela preserve it in her hands. Her brother Henry^ 
w:hom she loved as a mother, was taken from her; 
and the state, during the two years of his reign, was 
one scene of confusion and civil war. 

His death, which happened in 1217, was caused 
by the falling of a tile on his head, while at play 
with some young companions. The most remark- 
able event that interested Spain in his, reign was 
the general council, held in St. John's Lateran, 
by pope Innocent III., in which several acts were 
passed for the regulation of the Spanish churches, 
and for confirming the inquisitorial plans of St. 
Dominic. The celebrated Roderick, archbishop 
of Toledo, attended the council as head of the 
Spanish church, and astonished the clergy assem- 
bled there by his great learning and accomplish- 
ments, one of which was, tliat he spoke to every 


one present, whether English or German, French or 
Italian, Greek or African, in his own tongue. 

No sooner was the death of don Henry known 
to Berenguela, than she resolved to send for her 
eldest son Ferdinand of Leon, to place him on the 
throne. But knowing the ambitious nature of his 
father Alonzo IX, she concealed the death of her 
brother, and sent don Lope de Haro and Gonzalo 
Ruiz Giron to request a visit from the young Fer- 
dinand, without any reference to the purpose for 
which she wished for his presence in Castile, but ra- 
ther insinuated that it was to countenance her in her 
opposition to Alvaro Nunez de Lara, the arrogant 
governor of Henry. 

The young prince found his mother at Otello. 
She immediately renounced the crown in his favour, 
and then, such was the simplicity of the age, the 
ceremony of raising him on a shield as an acknow- 
ledgment that they owned him for their king was 
performed under an elm tree, and the banners of 
Castile were raised in his name. 

The young prince and his mother then proceeded 
througli various towns to Palencia, and were every 
where received with great demonstrations of joy. 
Ferdinand was then eighteen years of age, hand- 
some and accomplished, very gracious to the people, 
and of a martial spirit. The miseries to which 
Castile had been exposed during the two yeai'S of 
the young Henry's reign, and which were occa- 
sioned by the disputes between the nobles, prepared 

A. D. 1217.] HISTORY OF SPAIN, 401 

all to receive with joy a prince whose age was 
sufficient to allow him to assume the government 
at once, and whose character and manners promised 
so much. The first object was to soothe the various 
parties, especially the powerful counts of Lara ; and 
this was in great measure accomplished at Pa- 
lencia by the intervention of the bishops: from 
thence the king went to Valladolid, where, in a ge- 
neral cortes of the kingdom, Berenguela, as the 
eldest daughter of Alonzo VI I L, was acknowledged 
as the right heiress to the throne; but she, who 
loved a peaceful life, resigned the kingdom a second 
time in favour of her son, and the ceremony of his 
inauguration was performed anew in an open space 
near that city. Thence he was conducted to the ca- 
thedral, where he swore to observe the customs and 
privileges of the kingdom, and received the accus- 
tomed homage of his vassals. 

But when the king of Leon discovered the pur- 
pose for which his son had been invited to Castile^ 
his resentment was unbounded, and he invaded the 
frontier, burned a number of farms and villages, 
and even threatened an attack on Burgos ; but the 
vigorous measures of the queen and her advisers 
repelled his forces, and he was soon induced to make 
peace. The family of Lara was not so easily 
brought to submission : however, in the course of 
the year, seven considerable towns and castles were 
recovered from don Alvaro de Lara; and his brother 
don Fernando consented to do homage for Orejon 


and Castrozenix, which he had in his keeping. 
Yet that ambitious fsunily disturbed the peace 
again, and quitting Castile took refuge in Leon, 
where they easily persuaded the king to attack 
some of his son's frontier towns. The war how- 
ever lasted but a few weeks, ^hen peace was con- 
cluded; and fortunately for both kingdoms, don 
Alvar Nunez de Lara dying about the same time in 
Spain, and don Fernando in Africa^ where he lived 
at an agreeable place near Marocco, the country 
began to enjoy a tranquillity to which it had long 
been a stranger. 

The next year ambassadors were sent to the 
emperor Frederic IL to negotiate a marriage be- 
tween his cousin donna Beatriz, daughter of the 
emperor Philip of Suabia, and king Ferdinand. 
This alliance was luppy, and as there could be no 
pretence for annulling it by the church on account 
of consanguinity, the king and queen had tlie hap- 
piness of bringing up their children under their 
own eyes. 

Berenguela went to the frontiers of Biscay to 
receive her daughter-in-law, and conducted her to* 
Burgos, where the nuptials were solemnized. 
Maurice, bishop of that city, performed the marriage 
ceremony with the usual solemnities, and the day 
before the nuptials the king armed himself a knight, 
there being no one more noble there to do it for him. 

The same year the young don Jayme, king of 
Arragon, was solemnly contracted to donna Leonor* 

A. D. 1217.] HISTORY OF SPAIN, 403 

the youngest sister of Berenguela. But in this 
marriage the church interfered some years after- 
wards, and separated Jayme and Leonor, after the 
birth of their son Alonzo, on account of consan- 
guinity. Perhaps no king so young ever took upon 
him so much authority or made himself so much re- 
spected as Jayme or James of Arragon. From his 
infancy He had been accustomed to scenes of strife 
and difficulty. Three years he had passed with 
Simon of Montfort, and two in a kind of honourable 
captivity in the castle of Monzon under the grand 
master Monredon. While there, he had felt the 
pains of confinement, and more like a man than 
a child of eight years old, resolved to establish a 
sofciety for the deliverance of captives whenever 
he should have the. power. Not many years after- 
wards he fiilfilled his vow, and formed the religious 
and military order of La Merced, whose business 
it was to redeem captives, chiefly Christians who 
were prisoners to the Moors, and who for that pious 
purpose were authorised to receive contributions 
from the charitable of all classes. Peter Nolasco, a 
Frenchman, was the first master of the order. Its 
insignia were the armss of Arragon, worn on tlie 
white habit, with a cross on a red field above. 

This boy king at eleven years old had, as we have 
seen, asked the hand of the princess Leonor in 
marriage, to cut off the hopes his uncles might 
have formed of succeeding to his crown by securing 
4the powerful support of Castile. He then turned 


his arms against some of his rebellious subjects, and 
in person took the field against Lope Albero, a 
grandee who had presumed to set at nought the 
authority of a child : but that child was a sovereign, 
and soon proved that he knew how to govern both 
in peace and war. 

Having quieted his own subjects, he next pu- 
nished Moncado lord of Beam, for an inroad he 
had made on the lands of Roussillon, and deprived 
him and his allies of one hundred and thirty castles 
and forts, and thus added to the strength of the 
crown by annexing to it the strong pktces of those 
turbulent chiefs whose rebellious acts had conti- 
nually disturbed the peace of the community. 

It is true some fresh attempts were made to dis- 
turb the peace of the state, but Jayme prudently 
turned the attention of the nobles to an expedition 
against the Moors, and began that series of suc- 
cessful attacks on their territory, which gained him 
the title of the conqueror. 

Ferdinand of Castile likewise renewed the war 
against the infidels, although his own kingdom was 
seriously disturbed by the persecution of those 
who professed the doctrines of the Albigenses. 
His title of Saint was hardly earned, if in- 
deed, as his chroniclers boast, he was so earnest in 
his hatred of the heretics, that he not only witnessed 
their sufierings, but threw the logs of fuel on the 
flames in which they were consumed, with his own 
Lands. It is an awfully instructive lesson on human 

A. D. 1217.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 405 

weakness, when we see a characteT, otherwise 
wise and great, so degraded to brutality by super- 
stition ; and not less so when, governed by the 
same pernicious influence, we find learned and 
polished men, professor^ of charity, praising and , 
sanctifying the atrocities committed in tjie name of 
religious zeal. 

Nothing could be more wretched than the state 
of Moorish Spain. After the fatal battle of the 
Navas of Tolosa or Alacab, the African caliph, far 
from attributing merit to the Christians, or blame 
to his own conduct or that of the Africans, accused 
the Spanish Moors as the cause of the loss of that 
day, and accordingly on reaching- Seville be- 
headed a great number of the Andalusian chiefs, 
and deprived others of their offices or their for- 
tunes. He then retired to Marocco, where he 
shut himself up in his palace and wasted the rest of 
his days in sensual pleasures, and thus ended the 
dominion of the Almohades in Spain ; for although 
one of his successors, Almamun, a wise and accom- 
plished prince, attempted to regain it, yet he had 
no sooner returned into Africa, after his first suc- 
cessful battle against the rebel Sheik Yahye ben 
Anesir, than new disturbances arose ; the kingdom 
was dismembered, and that part which was not 
comprehended within the new state of Grenada 
was broken into such small divisions that each in 
its turn became the prey of Castile or Arragon. 

The first independent kingdom set up on the 


tuins of that of the Almohades was Seville. Abu 
Abdalla Mohamed ben Yusaf, aben Hud, descended 
from the Moorish kings of Zaragoza, who were dis- 
possessed by Alonzo of the battles, king of Arragon, 
thinking the occasion favourable to retrieve theaffairs 
of the Andalusian Mahometans, assembled a band 
of brave men, and in a meeting at Escuriante, a 
place strong by nature, in the territory of Axixar, 
he addressed them on the subject of their grievances 
under the Almohades. He dwelt on the vexatious 
taxes of the invaders, their want of learning, their 
contempt for religion ; and entreated his country- 
men to join with him in freeing their native land 
from such evils. 

His eloquence produced the effect he desired: 
the chiefs swore to obey him as their king and 
leader ; the Imams, under pretence that the Almo- 
hades had defiled the mosques by preaching the 
doctrines of their false prophet, purified them anew 
in the name of Aben Hud. The new king and 
his nobles put on mourning, in sign of grief for the 
public sufferings, and every art was used to rouse 
the MussulmaDS against both the African invaders, 
and the Christians who had lately made a truce 
with the caliph Almamun. . That prince shortly 
returned from Africa, and tried his fortune in one 
more battle, but he was defeatedafter a combat of two 
days, in which the loss on both sides was very great 
Almamun lost his best and bravest knights, among 
whom were some of his own family; yet he re- . 

A. D. 1229.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 407 

treated in good order from the field, retired 
unpursued to the coast, and crossed over to Ma- 
rocco, whence he did not return. Aben Hud fol- 
lowed up his success by seizing on Murcia, in which 
enterprise he was aided by some companies of 
christian knights, who, rather than remain at peace, 
joined indifferently, for the sake of glory or plunder, 
with any prince who might be at war with his 
neighbour. Indeed the people of Murcia were suf- 
ficiently willing to obey a king of their own faith, 
rather than the lieutenants of the heretical and per- 
secuting sect of the Almohades. Merida and Seville 
were the next places that submitted, and for a time 
he flattered himself with the hopes of having founded 
a new and permanent sovereignty in Andalusia. 

Meanwhile the sheik Geomail ben Zeyan dis- 
placed the Almohad governor of Valencia, and took 
the title of king of that province, which he how- 
ever kept but eight years, when the city was 
taken by don Jayme, who shortly afterwards obliged 
upwards of fifty thousand Moors to emigrate 
from it, some of whom passed over into Africa, but 
most took refuge in the new kingdom of Grenada, 
where they were welcomed as an accession of 
strength against the common enemy. 

The Balearic Islands had long been rather the 
receptacle of the Moorish pirates of the Mediterra- 
nean than the seat of a regular government, when 
the king of Arragon, incensed at the interruption of 
his trade and the repeated attacks of his towns on the 


coast of Catalonia by their ships, fitted out a fleet at 
Barcelona to attack them ; and this enterprise was so 
popular in Arragon, that the people again offered 
their king the bovatico, a contribution that it was un- 
usual to pay a second time in one reign, to assist 
him in providing men and ships. The expedition 
was successful, and Jayme bestowed the islands in 
feof on don Pedro, in&nt of Portugal, in exchange 
for his claims to part of the sovereignty of Nigel, 
in right of his wife, one of the two daughters of 
Emengard VIIL, the last count of that province; 
but the Moors recovered possession of the islands 
in three years, and on making the conquest anew, 
thirty years afterwards, the king of Arragon be- 
stowed them on his son don Jayme, who took the 
title of king, coined money, and transmitted his 
crown to his children. The year after these suc- 
cesses of don Jayme, an event the most important 
to Spain took place *, namely, the death of Alonzo 
IX. king of Leon, and the consequent final reunion 
of the crowns of Leon and Castile. Alonzo 
died at Villanueva de Sarria on his return from a 
successful expedition against the Moors, in which 
he had taken Badajoz, Merida, and some smaller 
towns. He had reigned forty-two years, and left 
his kingdom in a better state than he found it, not- 
withstanding the troubles that had been caused by 
the propagation of the heresy of the Albigenses. 
He founded the university of Salamanca, being 
fond of learning, and sensible of its importance in 

A. D. 1234.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 409 

the state. Hiis dislike of his children by his second 
marriage with donna Berenguela of Castile was 
displayed in his will, by which he left his dominions 
to his two daughters, donna Dulce and donna 
Sancha, the children of Theresa of Portugal. This 
will was however set aside, the princesses being 
content to waive their claims to the crown on con- 
dition of receiving a sum of money. Their, mother, 
who had retired to a convent in Portugal, left it 
on this occasion, and, for the peace of the king- 
dom, held a. conference with donna Berenguela, 
who, in behalf of her son, agreed upon the settle- 
ment proper to be made on his sisters : thus the 
prudence of these excellent women saved the 
two kingdoms from war, and procured all the be- 
nefit of their united strength Tor the common good 
of christian Spain. 

Soon afterwards, Sancho VII. king of Navarre, 
who had long been shut out from society on account 
of the cancer in his foot, died in the 80tli year of his 
age and 40th of his reign. He was succeeded by 
Theobald the posthumous, count of Champagne, the 
son of donna Blanche, Sancho's sister. But the king 
of Arragon opposed his title, alleging a treaty which 
had been made some years before between Sancho 
and himself, when they agreed dat whichever sur- 
vived should succeed to the crown of the other. 
The opposition produced no other effect than that 
of uniting the nobles of Navarre more firmly to 
Theobald; but his reign was of little avail to 

VOL. I. T 


Nanvre, exciting indeed liiat be joined with the 
king of France, Saint Loois, and his peers, in endea- 
vonring to put astop to die nsuipations of the clergy 
over the secular power. But as the command of 
one of the cmsades had been voted to him, he pre- 
ferred the adventiff e and romance of an expedition 
4nto Syiia to the tranquiliity of his own Ikde king-- 
dom. He was how«yer so unfortonate in the holy 
land, that he speedily returned without doing any 
-thing of consequence, and having lost great part of 
^his army, and many of the boldest of its leaders 
being either killed or prisoners. 

Don Ferdband having by this time settled the 
affiiirs of his new kingdom, now turned his atten- 
tion seriously to the expulsion of the Mahometans ; 
but he had nearly incurred a war with Arragon by 
attacking part of Valencia, which was within the 
conquest, as it was called, of that crown. How- 
ever, after some altercation between Ferdinand and 
James on the subject, Ferdinand withdrew from 
Valencia, and attacked Jaen, where he was de- 
feated ; but shortly recovering, he sent a body of 
troops to Cordova, haring first taken Ubeda, which, 
since the great battle of l^e Navas of Tolosa, had 
been twice won and lost by the Moors. 

A large tow^r in the suburbs of Cordova was 
taken by surprise during the night; at dawn the 
alarm was spread through the city, and every 
effort was made to drive out the Christians, but 
in vain. Intelligence of this disaster was im- 

A. D. 1235.] rilSTORY OF SPAIN 41 1 

mediately^ despatched to Aben Had at Seville^. He 
set put to relieve die city, but hearing midway 
that Ferdinand himself had arrived with a powerful 
army to reinforce t^e besiegers, and that the Chris- 
tians were already in possession of the whole of 
the suburbs, he held a council of war ; when, as 
usual, the most timid advice was adopted; and the 
Moorish king retired, instead of advancing at once 
to fight the Christians. Aben Hud, not liking to 
abandon Cordova tiius to its £Ette, still remained 
a day in his position, and sent one don Suar, a 
renegade Christian, who was in his army, to re- 
connoitre Ferdinand's host. But Suar's love for 
the Christians overcame his gratitude to Aben 
Hud, and he returned witii a &lse account of 
their numbers ; so that the king of Seville finally 
marched back witiiout doing any tiling for the an- 
dent Moorish capital. 

The inhabitants of Cordova made a gallant de- 
fence. When the walls were entered, they fought 
firom street to street, and from house to house, 
always in hopes of relief. But when they heard 
tiiat Aben Hud had abandoned them, tiiey capitu- 
lated. The conditions were hard; nothing but 
life^-and the liberty to retire whither they would, 
were granted: they accordingly took refuge in 
such places of Andalusia as still belonged to their 
nation, but their ridies and lands were divided 
among the conquerors. 

The cross was placed on the great minaret along 



with the banner of Castile, the magnificent mosque 
of the Omeyads was consecrated to Christian woi?-* 
ship, and tbe great bells of Santiago de Compostella^ 
which Almanzor had set up for lamps in the court ei 
the mosque, were borne back to their original pla6& 
.on the shoulders of captive Moors. 

As soon as the reduction of Cordova was known, 
Baeza, Estapa, Ezija, and Almodovar, submitted 
to Ferdinand, who willingly received them into his 
protection, on condition of their paying tribute. 

Nothing could exceed the joy of the Christians^ 
or the dismay of the Moors, on this event. The 
capture of Cordova, so long the capital of the Ma- 
hometans, adorned with the spoils of the Goths, 
and rich with their losses, afforded a legitimate 
cause of triumph to the conquerors ; while rage^ 
shame, and grief, accompanied the exiles, who saw 
their palaces occupied by those on whose former 
ruin they had been raised, their places of worship 
converted to the use of a strange and hated religion^ 
their schools and colleges filled with a barbarous 
soldiery, and their libraries consigned to the hands 
of bigoted ignorance. 

Ferdinand, aware that the Moors of Cordova 
could never willingly submit to his government, 
banished them ; and as the city remained nearly 
a desert, he sought colonists from every part of 
Spain, and most probably from the south of France^ 
to whom he granted extraordinary privileges, and 
divided among them the houses and estates of the 

A. D» 1237.] HJSTORY OF SPAIN* 413 

exiles. By existing diplomas, it appears that, on this 
occasion, he added to his titles that of Idng of Cor^ 
4av^ : 90 important did he consider his new conquest* 
The death of Aben Hud shortly followed. He 
was at Almeria, which had again fallen into the 
bands of the Moors, preparing to embark to assist 
those of Murcia and Valencia against don Jaym^» 
when he was found one morning dead in his bed. 
His physicians declared that hehad diedof apoplexy^ 
His enemies spread a report that he had expired 
during a drunken fit, but his friends insinuated that 
be had been smothered. He was a man of rare 
qualities and endowments, but hardly equal to 
cope with the turbulent times in which he lived r 
bis deadi increased the distresses of the Moors, 
who had not that confidence in his brother and suc- 
cessor, Abid Dowlah, which they had justly reposed 
in him ; and Abid Dowlah was murdered before the 
end of the same year. In short, nothing saved even 
the remnant of the Moorish empire in Spain but 
the talents and fortune of Muhammed ben Nazir 
Aben Alahmar, lord of Arjona and Jaen, who had 
made himself king of Grenada, and whose wisdom 
and prudence had gained the confidence of his un- 
happy countrymen. 

Meanwhile the king of Arragon was every where 
fiuccessful in his operations against the towns and 
castles subject to Valencia. He had with him an 
auxiliary force of chosen men at arms from France, 
under the conduct of the bishop of Narbonne, and 
tJiese were joined by many English^ who came to 


make their cnuade against the Moors in Spain, 
under die. renowned don Jayme. The better to 
carry his designs on diat city into execution, he 
had espoused die cause of its exiled king, and under 
pretence of d<nng justice to Seid, he gained over 
several of the Moors diemselves to his party : but 
am getting possession of die capital, it soon ap- 
peared that nothing was less in lus thoughts than 
maintaining a Moorish king there. This first step 
was to banish the greater number of the Moorish 
inhabitants, lest they should endeavour to reoorer 
the dty. They were allowed to carry with them 
their fiEunilies, their goods, and their treasures. 
Jayme himself was present during the five days 
which it took the multitude to cross the bridge on 
their way to Grenada, he suflFered no indignity to 
be oflFered by his soldiers to the exiles^ nor a rob- 
bery of any kind to be committed. Slowly and 
wearily they passed along from the pleasant Va- 
lencia, which their songs long described as the ter- 
restrial paradise, fall of the delights of earth and 
air, and watered by the purest of rivers, the beauti- 
ful Guadalaviar. 

But don Jayme, called by pressing occurrences 
into the south of France, now granted a tn^ce to 
the Moors, and that wretched people might have 
had a breathing time, but for tlieir own internal 

Both the Christian kings had nearly exhausted 
their means in the past war, and Jayme at Mont- 
pelier, and Ferdinwd at Burgos, whither he had 

A, D. 1245.] HISTORY OP SPAIN4 415 

^one after the takings of Coi^dova^ endeavoured to 
raise mooey and troops to carry on the crusade, as 
it inight be truly called. The south of Spain suf- 
fered from fkmine, the natural consequence of the 
war, and the new settlers ci Cordova were in such 
extreme distress, that whatever could be spared 
from the royal treasury of Burgos was sent to them 
to purchase food at any price. 

The next event of consequence in the Moreaco 
war was die reduction of Murda, which consented 
to pay tribute to the in&nt don Alonzo. The 
eonventian was signed by the governors of Murda, 
Alicant, Mche, Qrihuela, Alhama, Alido, Aceca, 
and Chinchila. Arjona was taken by force,, se- 
veral smaller towns shared the same fate, and the 
lands round Cai^thagena were wasted, though the 
troops of Alonzo xiould make no impression on the 

Meantime Grenada, by the care of Mohammed 
Alahmar, had become a regular state. The frontier 
towns were well provided with victuals and st^ngly 
garrisoned, the ports were guarded with ships, and 
alliances entered into with the princes of Tunis 
and other kingdoms of Africa, so as to secure the 
resources pf commerce. The capital was embel- 
lished, and the scholars and men of letters of An- 
dalusia were willii^ to behold a new Cordova 
rising within the walls of Grenada, or rather of 
the Alhambra, that magnificent fortified palace, 
which to this day attests the grandeur of the second 


Mooriah empire in l^niii. The name bad been 
given to that parti<mof tbedtjafewyeaisbefove, 
when the inhabitants of a small fortress, named At- 
hambra, being driven out by the Christians, took 
refiige in Grenada, and had that part of the city 
assigned to them as a residence. 

Ferdinand, meantime, had collected a sufficient 
force to attach Jaen, where he had been repulsed 
with great loss a few years before, and now having 
sat down before it, he made a vow not to leave it 
until it surrendered. In vain did the violent rains 
and storms to which that mountainous district is 
subject threaten destruction to the host; the king 
continued the siege tiU Alahmar, who had be«i 
disappointed of a convoy of provisions, took the ex- 
traordinary resolution of going alone into Fer^- 
dinand's camp to propose terms of surrender and 
peace. The Christian king resolved not to be be* 
hind the Moor in generosity : he embraced Alahmar, 
entreated his friendship, and solemnly swore alli^ 
ance with him. But Alahmar was constrained to 
consent to pay tribute, to engage to assist Castile 
with troops when called upon,, and to deliver up 
Jaen as a pledge for the performance of the treaty. 
Alahmar's fir^t occupation on his return to Gre- 
nada was to repair and strengthen the old fortifi- 
cations and to construct new ; to review his troops, 
and provide them with stores of armour, for which 
purpose he had established manufactures like those 
of Toledo and Cordova, and to furnish his frontiers 

A, D. 1247.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 417 

with new magazines of eveiy kind ; for he plainly 
perceived that the Christians were in no disposition 
to neglect an occasion of taking possession of any 
weak place, notwithstanding their treaties; 

He had scarcely passed eight months in these 
occupations, when he received letters from Castile 
informing him that Ferdinand was about to invade 
the territory of Seville, and requiring him as an 
ally to furnish a certain number of troops for the 
occasion. Now although Alahmar was at enmity 
with Seville, he could not but be sensible that every 
blow struck on the si<ie of the Christians must 
sopner or later fall with interest on his own king- 
dom ; yet bound by treaty, and weak from situation 
and circumstances, he was obliged to comply, and 
accordingly joined them with five hundred chosen 
horse. Alcala de Guadaira wa^i soon taken, and 
that, as the first fruits of the alliance, was given by 
Ferdinand to Alahmar. Carmona, Costantino, and 
Lora were soon admitted to terms ; but Cantillana 
having resisted too obstinately, was treated with ex- 
traordinary cruelty. On this Alahmar expostulated 
with the king of Castile, who from that time mo- 
derated the excesses of the soldiers, and in every 
instance first tried to persuade the forts andqastles 
to yield on such terms as might save their honour, 
before he suffered them to be attacked by force. 

While the territory of Seville was thus invaded,. 
Ferdinand was prqmxing a powerful naval^arman 
jnent in the ports o£ Biscay, under the superin- 


418 HI8TOBT OF 8PA1K. [CH. XI. 

tendenoe of Bamon Btmifrce, citizen and met" 
diant of Bmgos, a man of niadi experience in 
soch matten. And wliile waiting for the am^al 
of the fleet, in order to b^;in the siege of the car 
pita], some differences whidi had arisen between 
the infimt don Ah>nzo and the king of Arragon, 
on aooonnt of the limite of their conqnests, were 
adjusted at Cordova, where Ferdinand was at that 
time. The duef condition of the accommodation 
was the marriage of the infimt with Violante, the 
eldest and &vonrite daughter of don Jayme by 
Viohmte his second wife. The nuptials were oe- 
lel»ated with great pomp at Valladolid, in No- 
vember of the same year, though Ferdinand could 
not be present, on account of the war against 
Seville, where Ramon BonifiEU^ had now arrived 
with thirteen large vessels. 

An obstinate naval fight took place soon afiter 
Ramon reached the mouth of the Guadalquiver. 
He was attacked not only by the vessels beloi^- 
ing to Seville, but by die galleys and ships of 
Ceuta and Tangier, which had come in aid of the 
Sevillians. The Bisoayners had the advantage in 
the lightness of their ships, and the dexterity of 
their pilots ; the Africans, in the fighting men ac- 
customed to use their weapons by sea; but the 
former gained the victory. Three of the Moorish 
ships were taken, two sunk, and one burnt; the 
rest were glad to take refuge in their own ports. 

The fertility of the country, the riches of the 

A. P, 1247.] ' HISTORY OF SPAIN, 419 

town, the convenience of the port, were all so 
many incentives to Ferdinand to prosecute the 
siege with vigour; yet it lasted eighteen mojoths. 
Both the Christian and Moorish historians dwell 
with delight on the feats of arms performed before 
Seville; don Pelayo Correa, grandmaster of the 
order of Santiago^ and Garci Perez de Vargas, 
are mostiy named among the Spaniards; and of 
the Moslem none was a better knight than Alah- 
mar, king of Grenada. Day after day challenges 
to single combat, between the walls and the camp 
of the besiegers, were given and accepted. The 
warlike ei^ines-and towers, brought against the 
battlements by the Christians, were burnt or over- 
turned by the besieged, who sallied out whenever 
an opportunity occurred. They, on the other 
diand, had their machines which discharged a hun- 
dred javeiins or charges of stones at once on the 
besiegers. At length the king of Grenada, and 
the admiral Boniface, proposed to burn the ships 
and break the bridge over the Guadalqiuver. This 
bridge was of wood, supported on boats strongly 
chained together with iron links, and afforded 
great facility for the SeviQians to communicate by 
the suburbs, with the country, and to giather pro- 
visions. For this end, burning pots full of grease, 
pitch, and other combustible materials, were 
thrown into the vessels^ and two ships were pre- 
pared, sufficient by their weight to break through 
ihe bridge of l)oats ; the first opportunity of favour- 


able wind and tide was taken, the bridge gave 
way, and the Sevillians being straitened for {ntO' 
visions, surrendered shortly afterwards. The con- 
ditions were easy: all that chose to quit Seville 
were at liberty to do so, but those who preferred 
remaining were assured of the free exercise of 
their religion, and the enjoyment of their pro- 
perty, subject only to the moderate tax they were 
accustomed to pay to their own kings. Those 
who chose to depart within one month were to be 
provided by the king of Castile with beasts of 
burden to remove their eflFects by land, or with 
ships if they chose to go to Africa, and the go- 
vernor was invited to live in any part of Spain he 
pleased, and promised a handsome provision ; but 
on the day on which he delivered up the keys of 
the city, he embarked for Africa. 

Terdinand took up his residence in the palace 
of Seville, and the other christian chiefs in the 
towns and villages in the neighbourhood, till the 
month allowed for the removail of such Moors as 
chose to go should have expired. Many of them 
accepted the protection offered by Alahmar, and 
went to Grenada; a few of the Sevillians accom- 
panied the Almohades to Ceuta, and thus ended 
the Moorish dominion in Seville. The towers 
were crowned with crosses, the mosques filled 
with images, and the tombs of the oracles of the 
law were overturned. King Aben Alahmar tod^ 
leave of Ferdinand, unwilling to witness the 

A. D. 1248.3 HISTORY OF SPAIN. 421 

spoiling of the people, and griciying for the slid 
necessity which compelled him to assist their 
enemy, yet never for a moment thinking of 
breaking his faith. 

On reaching Grenada, he* sought to console 
himself by endeavouring to improve his people, 
and guard his country. He particularly encou- 
raged agriculture and gardening. He gave re-% 
wards and granted privileges to the best ^urmers- 
and breeders of cattle, the most skilful armourers, 
weavers, and handicraftsmen ; he encouraged the 
growth and manufacture of silk, so that the stufis 
of Grenada soon rivalled those of Syria* He pro* 
tected the miners, and paid great attention to the 
workers in metal of all kinds. He made several 
excellent regulations for education in the capital, 
and among other great works, such as schools and 
mosques, he began the beautiful buildings of the 
Alhambra. In short, whatever could be done to 
retrieve the state of his nation, he did with pru- 
dence and sagacity ; and perhaps the most useful 
though the most painful duty he performed was 
that of maintaining, at any price, peace for Gre- 
nada with his Christian neighbours. 

While the affairs of Castile and Grenada were 
proceeding thus, those of Arragon were in a sin* 
gular state of disturbance. The first marriage of 
don Jayme with Eleanor of Castile had been dis- 
solved by the interference of the church, after the 
birth of one son, the infant doB Alonzo. By hia 


second wife, donna Violante, he had four sons and 
four daughters, all of whom he loved extremely. 
on account of the extraordinary affection he had 
for their mother, who was beautiful, discreet, and 
spirited. To show his partiality for her sons, he 
resolved to divide his kingdom among them, and 
began by conferring Catalonia on don Pe^ro, the 
eldest, having already bestowed the Balearic islands 
on don Jayme. At this, don Alonzo and many of 
the grandees of Arragon remonstrated, the Cortes 
assembled at Ascanices, judges both ecclesiastical 
and secular were appointed to e^wnine into the 
right by which the king took upon him to dismem^ 
ber the kingdom, and ibe singular spectacle was 
presented of a monarch and his immediate heir 
pleading before their subjects, and acknowledging 
their authority, in a matter which had hitherto in 
practice, at least, been taken as one of the privi- 
leges of the crown. 

This union of the nobles was, however, a lawful 
one ; for we have remarked that the constitution 
permitted their union, in case the king's conduct 
required restraint or admonition* Their power 
was moderated by the justiza, appointed from 
among the second class by the king, and they 
were convened by the heir apparent, who, in Ar- 
T9g<m, had peculiar privileges assigned him. In 
order to avoid a civil war, the Cortes pronounced 
on this occasion simply, that it was the duty of a 
son to submit to his &ther's will : but the decision 

ik. D. 125S.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 42S 

was of little avail, for the whole country was dis'- 
satisfied with Jayme's conduct in the matter, and 
the prince and nobles were at variance with the 
king until Alonzo's death, which happened somcr 
time before that of his father. 

Meanwhile, Ferdinand of Castile, after reposing 
a little while from the fatigues of the siege of Se- 
ville, had renewed the Moorish war. He had taken 
Xeres, Medina Sidonia, and some smaller places, 
and was preparing to pass over into Africa, when 
he died at Seville, in May 1252, having reigned 
nearly thirty-five years in Castile, and twenty-two 
in Leon. This king was wise, brave^ and for- 
tunate. His person was handsome, his maimers 
agreeable, and his morals pure. If we except his 
inveterate persecution of heretics, he was just and 
humane, pious even to superstition, and an en- 
courager of learning and learned men. Sensible 
of the inconveniences to which the various codes 
of law, observed in different parts of the kingdom, 
exposed the people, and desirous of amending the 
defective administration of justice, he reformed 
the courts, and is said to have instituted the Royal 
council^ which was the supreme tribunal of justice 
in Castile, and consisted of twelve judges, to whom 
the inferior magistrates were amenable, and to 
whom the people might at all times appeaL Fer- 
dinand also began the great collection of laws, 
called the Partidas, which was finished in the reign 
of his son and successor, Alonzo the Wise. 


By Us fiistwife, Beatrix of Suabia, he had seven 
SODS, Akmzo, Fadriqae, Fernando, Henrique, 
Philip, Sandio, and ManneL And by his second, 
Joanna of Bethune, a daogfater named Eleanor, 
married to Edward L long of England. Ferdinand 
canonized by pope Clement X. A. D. 1671. 

The beginning of the thirteenth century is re- 
markable in Spain as well as in the rest of Europe 
for a complete change in the state of science. The 
religious questions stirred at that time naturally led 
men to study and research : one branch of knowledge 
conducted to another, and there was a general ad- 
vance in every department of learning. The ac- 
complished Roderick, archbishop of Toledo, whom 
I have already mentioned, studied, it is true, at 
Paris ; but Saint Dominic was brought up wholly 
at the school of Valencia founded so recently. 
Bernard, the commentator on the decretals, was a 
canon of Santiago : and the reputation of the 
Spanish doctors of the church induced Saint 
Francis of Assissi and Saint Anthony of Padua 

A. D. 1252.] HISTORY OF SPAIK* 425 

to visit the coiintry ;'the latter was iiideed a native 
of Lisbon, but had gone early to Italy. But these 
were men of enterprise, who took part in the great 
events of their time. There were not wanting 
others who were more humbly, perhaps more effi- 
caciously improving their countrymen, by culti- 
vating domestic literature and turning their atten- 
tion to their own state. Ambng these, Gonzalo 
Berceo, about A. D. 12^, wrote in Castilian verse 
the lives of several Spanish saints, and a poem on 
the battle of Simancas. His life of Saint Dominie 
has been printed, and in it he says, that not being 
learned enough to write Latin, he uses the com^ 
mon language spoken by the people. To this 
period we must look for the first coplas, andredon* 
dillas, or roundelays, which are different from the^ 
short poems imitated from the lays of the Trou- 
badours ; but there is great uncertainty as to the 
precise period of their first appearance. I am in- 
clined to place it very early. There is scarcely 
any nation, however rude, which has not its songs 
commemorative of wars or expressive of passions; 
and the Castilians, always engaged in a war of 
romantic interest, coilld surely not be without 
their ballads of love and war. Indeed, we know 
they were not; and I doubt not but the same 
songs, possibly altered by the changing nature of 
an uncultivated language, were sung in honour of 
the successive victories of the Christians over the 


Moors, from the days of don Pelayo downwards. 
Now, however, the language began to be fixed. 
Rodrigo archbishop of Toledo, and Lucas bishop 
of Tuy, under the patronage q£ queen fierenguela, 
wrote histories both in Latin and Castilian. The ool* 
lection of laws translated into the Castilian tongue by 
Ferdinand senred much to improve it, while they 
show that it had already acquired a regular form. 

With regard to education, the university of Sala- 
manca was founded by Alonzo IX. of Leon, and 
further endowed by his son don Ferdinand, who 
removed part of the schools of Palencia iMther* 
Most of the younger branches of the noble fanuHea 
studied there for a time, and then went to Paris op 
Rome, or sometimes Toulouse, to finish their 
education and acquire some knowledge of foreign 
states. Roderick of Toledo brought up the king's 
sons, at the request of their grandmother Beren- 
guela, in his own palace, and at a proper age sent 
them to Paris, where don Philip distinguished him- 
self as a pupil of the philosopher and theol<^ian 
Albertus Magnus. Norwere the Arragonese behind 
the Castilians. Their near neighbourhood to and 
connexion with Toulouse, whose university had 
long been established, and the learning and taste 
of their two last kings, liad encouraged the culti- 
vation of letters among the nobles, and the Moors 
could now no longer revile their Christian foes as 
illiterate barbarians, or reproach them with that want 

A. D. 1252.] HISTORY OF SPAIK* 4j27 

of personal cleanliness, which disgusted them in the 
ninth centuly. The chivalrous customs of the time 
precluded the idea of a knight being otherwise than 
delicate in his habits in time of peace. The Cid Ruy 
Diaz's shirt was white as snow* No doubt the im- 
portance that women had acquired tended to soften 
and refine the manners of every class of people ; and . 
they repaid the devotion which the men professedfor 
them by the wisdom and courage which they dis- 
played, whenever called on to act, either for their 
country or their husbands. I need not name again 
the qualities of donna Teresa and donna Beren- 
guela, the admirable wives of Alonzo IX. of Leon. 
But one anecdote of a lady of the house of Castro 
deserves to be rehited. She had been left in the 
castle of Martos by her husband, while he attended 
the king at Toledo. During his absence, Alonzo 
de Menezes, captain of the garrison, sallied out at 
the head of his troops, to make an inroad into 
some part of the Moorish territory ; but before he 
could return, the Moors of Arjona had surrounded 
the place, and confidently hoped to win it, aa its 
garrison was absent. But the wife of Alvaro de 
Castro armed her women and servants, took the 
command herself, directed the warlike engines 
against the enemy, and made the place good, until 
Menezes returned, and forced his way through the 
besiegers into the castle, whence the men of Arjona, 
who were not prepared fora long siege, soon retired. 


Unhappily the lady did not see her husband more : 
he died on his return to her, at Orgaz, between 
Toledo and Martos, to the regret of all Castile, for 
there was not a better knight, a wiser counsellor, 
nor a more hardy warrior. 

There is another anecdote iUustratire of Ae 
manners of the times, which I cannot omit. When. 
Sancho IL king of Portugal was dismissed from his 
kingdom, and his crown given to his brother don Af- 
fonso, Flectio, governor of Coimbra, refused to yield 
the city to the new king, on tiie ground that his tsdih 
had been given ta don Sancho, and could not be 
violated. Sancho had taken refuge in Toledo^ 
where he lived on a pension allowed him by the 
king of Castile, and where he died after three years 
of exile. At the time of his death, Affonso was 
besieging Coimbra, which Flectio still held out for 
his brother; but having heard rumours of the king 
his master's death, he asked safe conduct from Af- 
fonso to go to Toledo, and ascertain the bcL On 
arriving there and finding Sancho really dead, be 
went to his tomb, and causing it to be opened, be 
placed in his hand the keys of the city of Coimbra, 
saying, « Whilst thou wert livings oh king ! I suf- 
fered every hardship, I fed on hides and ofFal^ I 
drank stale water, I incited the citizens who would 
have surrendered to persevere in resistance. All 
thou couldst expect from a loyal and true m W who 
had sworn fidelity to thee, I have done. Now thou 



art dead, I give thee the keys of thy city, the last 
office I can do for thee ; and then, with thy leave, I 
will advise the citizens, that I have performed due 
homage, and that since thou art dead, they no longer 
may resist thy brother don Affonso." 

Ton^ of the kings o/Airagon, 



Men, woman, and ehUd, from an anc^nt print of the road to Grenada. 

The surname of wise, which has been always 
bestowed on this prince, was earned by his learning 
rather than by his conduct in the government of 
his kingdom, which was involved in civil wars and 
commotions, from which a more prudent or a more 
resolute monarch might have preserved it 

A. D. 1255.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 431 

He was proclaimed at Seville, where his father 
died, in May, 1252. The first condolence on the 
death of Ferdinand which was offered to his son 
nfioae from Muhammed Alahmar, king of 'Grenada, 
whose regard for that monarch was shown by a 
yearly deputation of Moorish knights to his tomb 
bearing waxen tapers to burn on the anniversary of 
his death. Alahmar was also the first foreign prince 
to renew his alliance with Castile, and some success- 
ful expeditions against Xeres and other towns were 
made in concert with him ; the success, however, 
was but temporary, as they soon returned to the 
dominion of their Moorish lords. 

One of the first acts of Alonzo's reign was so 
dishonourable, that it conveys no favourable opinion 
of his principles in any case. Being discontented 
with his queen Violante, or Yolanda of Arragon, 
because she had no children, he sent ambassadors 
into Denmark to request the king of that country 
would send him one of his daughters as a bride, 
concealing from him that he was not yet divorced 
from his first wife. The princess Christina ac- 
cordingly set out from her father's court, and 
crossuig Germany and France, arrived nearly worn 
out widi &tigue at Valladolid. But by this time 
the queen had a daughter, the king was reconciled 
to her,and Christina, mortified and disappointed in 
her hopes of an honourable marriage and the state of 
a queen, died in a few months afterwards, although 


lion Philip^ the king^s brother, had offered her his 

It is said that the ill usage of Christina was the 
cause which led prince Edward, son of king Henry 
III. of England, to Spain ; he being her cousin, 
and feeling bound as a knight to take up the cause 
of an injured lady. But however that might be, 
Alonzo found means to soothe him, and Edward 
received at his hands the honour of knighthood; 
the fame of Alonzo as a warrior being such, that 
to receive that distinction at his hands might 
alone, in those days, have been a sufficient induce^ 
ment for the young prince to perform a journey 
from England. But his visit to Castile procured 
him the hand of Eleanor, the sister of Alonzo, a 
princess whose beauty, courage, and virtue distin* 
guished her above all the ladies of her time. To 
her affection Edward owed his life in the Holy 
Land; for when he was stabbed with a poisoned 
dagger by one of the emissaries of that implacable 
enemy of the Christians, the Old Man of the Moun*- 
tain, whose name with little change has given us 
the word assassin, she sucked the poison from the 
wound and saved her husband's life. 

The intercourse of Spain with the rest of Europe 
had now become regular and frequent The ships 
of the crusaders from France, England, Ger« 
many, and even more distant nations, occasionally 
touched at her ports. Intermimriages with foreign 

A. D. 1256.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 433 

nations had produced friendly alliances, and the 
restless martial spirit of the times led many a knight 
to join the banners of the; Christian princes of 
Spain against the Moors; a warfere quite as holy 
as that in the. holy land, much more useful, and 
which, by the indulgence of the popes, gained for 
the soldiers engaged in it every spiritual privilege 
conferred by the more distant crusades. .These 
knights were struck by the power and riches of the 
courts of Castile and Arragon. The characters of 
Jayme the Conqueror and of Saijit Ferdinand had 
heightened the £a.vourable impression; and the 
gresi reputation enjoyed by Alonzo X. for courage, 
wisdom, and learning, disposed ail men to look 
upon him as one of the first princes of the age. 
This reputation recommended him to the electors 
of Germany as a fit prince to call to the head of 
the empire, in hopes that a king of his power would 
be able to calm or subdue the disturbances which 
bad distressed their country from the death of 
Frederic II., and which the short reign of Conrad 
IV., the last of the house of Suabia, had only aug- 
mented. An almost equal number of electors had 
fixed on Richard, duke of Cornwall, as emperor; 
and it was evident, that whichever of the princes 
should arrive first in Germany would succeed at 
the expense of the odier. 

It was imprudent in Alonzo to accept a foreign 
throne while his own country was surrounded with 
enemies, and contained in its very core a race of 

VOL. I. u 


people of a diffierent origin, fidth, hngnage, and 
manners, always on the watch for a faiYOQiable 
oppoitmiity to attack his frontiers and to seduce 
his vassals. But having accepted the offisr of the 
electors, he ought at once to have rqpair^ to their 
diet, and confirmed the election by liis solemn inau- 
guration. This, however, he was unable to do. 
In the midst of his preparations for his journey to 
Frankfort, he was stopped by a commotion which 
broke out in Castile, in consequence of some un- 
popular measures which be had adopted in the very 
beginning of his reign ; and his competitor, Richard 
of Cornwall, reached Aix-la-ChapeUe with his 
family almost before Alonzo^s acceptance of the 
crown could be known, and was crowned there by 
the archbishop of Cologne. His r^;n, however, 
was short. He was recalled to England by private 
affairs, and being soon involved in the civil wars of 
that country, returned no mere to Germany, and 
the empire was left \dthont a head. 

Alonzo indeed assumed the title of emperor, but 
the affairs of the empire demanded a real not a 
nominal monarch; and, after many disputes, Ro- 
dolph of Hapsburgh, a prudent and moderate prince, 
was elected in 1272, who, by his discretion and 
firmness, leaving the foreign possessions of the 
house of Suabia to their new masters, reduced the 
affairs of the empire to such order as that his suc- 
cessor was enabled to recover nearly all the ancient 
influence 6f the empire in Italy. 

A. D. 1256.] HISTdEY OP SPAIN. 435 

In Tain did Alomso protest s^inst this new 
electicm; his pretensions only served to involve 
him in perpjetual disputes with the secular prineea 
of the empire, and with the popes as its spiritual 
sovereigns and feodal superiors, for such was the 
insolent claim they had set up. 

The discontents in Castile which troubled the 
beginning of the reign were in great measure 
owing to title expedients resorted to by Alonzo to 
liaise money. The royal coffers had been nearly 
exhausted by the long wars with the Moors, and 
the excessive contributions demanded by the church, 
which claimed at this time not only a tenth of the 
actual produce of the land, but a tenth of what it 
might produce: and this, in a country so thinly 
peopled as the Christian part of Spain, was a most 
grievous burden. From the time of the invasion 
of the Almoravides and the fall of the Omeyads, 
the war between the Moors and Christians had be- 
come truly destructive. The Christians had been 
removed from the Moorish frontiers, even into 
Africa on one hand, and on the other, in order to 
secure their conquests, the Christian kings exiled 
the Moors from the towns and lands which fell into 
their hands ; hence a frightful depopulation, which 
the governments in vain endeavoured to fill up by 
colonies from the south of France, and adventurers 
of every nation. 

The church felt the defect of tithes^ and regasd- 
less of the proverbial maxim, that ^^ where there is 



nothing the kiiig loses his rights," the church re- 
solved not to lose hers, and accordingly made the 
oppressive claim I have mentioned. 

The king's revenues suffered of course. And 
the extent of his territories did not by any means 
bring a proportionate income: for whatever con- 
quest was made by the great barons, or Ricoshom- 
bres, was claimed by themselves, and the king re- 
ceived from their lands nothing but empty homage. 
Alonzo, therefore, in order to raise money^ altered 
and adulterated the coin; he moreover struck a 
quantity of base money called black money, whereby 
all classes suffered : and in those turbulent times, 
any pretence sufficed the nobles as an excuse to 
take up arms. Don Henrique, the king's brother, 
Lope de Haro, lord of Biscay, and several others^ 
formed a confederacy against him ; and, at the same 
moment, Theobald II., king of Navarre, attacked 
the northern provinces of the kingdom. No sooner 
had Alonzo marched to repulse Theobald than 
don Henrique assembled a for6e in the south, and 
encouraged both the Moors and C)irii$tians to throw 
off their allegiance ; but Juan de Lara, governor of 
Seville, at the head of a body of the king's troops, 
marched to Nebriza, where the infant, don Hen- 
rique, then was. A very short trial of strength 
convinced the prince that he had little chance of 
success against that experienced leader, and he 
fled to Jayme, king of Arragon, for protection. 
But Jayme was not disposed at that time to risk a 

A. D. 1257.] HISTORY OF SPAIN, 437 

quarrel with Castile, and although he received the 
infisuit with courtesy, he soon made him sensible 
that he could not afford him a permanent asylum. 
Henrique, therefore, went over to Africa, and took 
refuge in the court of the king of Tunis, where, be 
remained four years. 

Alonzo, meanwhile, with the assistance of Alah- 
mar, was resolved on reducing the rebellious Almo- 
faad Moors to obedience ; and before the end oi the 
campaign he had reduced, partly by force and partly 
by negotiation, nearly the whole of Algarve. The 
condition on which ten cities were surrendered by 
the governor was, that he should enjoy the estate 
called the King's Garden, at Seville, and the tenth 
of the oil of the olive-yard attached to it, which 
secured to him a considerable revenue; and thus 
at the price of an olive-yard was tlie rich and po- 
pulous province of Algarve lost for ever to the 

But the king of Grenada, who had hitherto re- 
mained strictly faithful to the treaty he had entered 
into with Saint Ferdinand, saw with fear one Ma- 
faomedan state sink after another before the pro- 
gressive power of Castile. " He reflected," says his 
historian, << that it would be difficult much longer to 
persevere in his friendship with the Christians, his 
natural enemies, who would seek but slight occasion 
to attack him; for neither do wormwood nor colo- 
cynth lose their bitterness, nor can you expect to 
gather grapes from briers." He therefore inspected 


all the towns 6f his frontier, increased their forti- 
fications, and, in every point, prepared for the pos- 
sibility of wan He paid particular attention to 
the state of Cadiz, Malaga, Algeziras, and Tarifa, • 
and caused the walls of Gibraltar to be strengthened 
and carefully repaired. 

Alahmar^s neighbours were now so secure of his 
growing disgust to the Christians, that they openly. 
prefJkred for resistance to Alonzo, and even pro- 
fessed themselves the subjects of Grenada, and used 
the name of Muhammad Aben Alahmar as their 
war-cry. The king of Castile jmptly considered 
these proceedings as an infraction of the treaty be- 
tween Castile and Grenada ; war ensued, and the 
first battle of Alcala de Aben Zaide was entirely 
favourable to the Moors. The Zenete horsemen, 
by their dexterity, strength, and swiftness, decided 
the fortune of the day. But the distinctions be- 
stowed on them consequently by Alahmar awakened 
the envy of the three Beni Ascaliolas, who were 
governors of Malaga, Cadiz, and Comares, and they 
resolved to break with Alahmar and set up inde- 
pendent states for themselves. They therefore, on 
some frivolous pretences, excused themselves froim 
joining the troops destined for the assistance of the 
Moors of Murcia; and for the present, Alalimar 
was obliged to dissemble his resentment at their 
disobedience. Aware, however, that the spirit of 
disafiection was already among his nobles, and that 
in case of his death it was but too probable that a 

A. D. 1264.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 439 

<nviL war for die succession would take place, which 
might open a way for the Christians to drive the 
remnant of the Mahometans out of Spain, he 
caused the oath of allegiance to his son to be so- 
lemnly taken at Grrenada, and his name to be 
joined with his own in the khotba in every mosque. 
The three Ascaliolas were the only sheiks not 
present on this solemn occasion ; they had indeed 
written to Alonzo to acknowledge his superiority, 
and to offer their services against the king of Gre- 
nada. Their assistance was most welcome to the 
king of Castile, as their inroads into Grenada al- 
lowed him leisure to pursue his designs on Murcia, 
and to settle the affairs of some of the Moorish 
towns in Andalusia which had shown a strong dis- 
position to throw off his yoke. The inhabitants of 
Xeres he banished, without even allowing them to 
carry away the necessaries of life ; nor did he show 
more mercy to those of Medina Sidonia, Rota, 
Solucar, Nejbriza, or Arcos. Most of these wretched 
people took refuge in the lands of Grenada; so 
that though Alahmar lost some territory he gained 
subjects, and subjects too of a class not likely ever 
to favour a Christian enemy. He divided his army 
into various bodies directed to the different points 
of his frontier, and he himself was surrounded by a 
sort of flying camp composed of the best horsemen 
of Grenada, with which he moved rapidly from 
place to place. 

But a dispute now arose between the Christians. 


The kings of Arragon and Castile each claimed 
Murcia as their own conquest, and were on the 
point of making war for its possession, or rather 
the claim to it, whichever should hereafter conquer 
it But Alonzo, to prevent this untimely division, 
proposed that his brother Manuel should be king 
of Murcia, and that he should receive the hand of 
a younger daughter of Jayme, the sister of Alonzo's 
queen Yolande, Now the Moorish historian al- 
leges, that the young princess was much handsomer 
than her sister, and therefore the object of her 
jealousy; for which reason, in order to prevent her 
from being raised to equal rank with herself, she 
sent privately to Alahmar, with whom she had 
contracted a great friendship during his visits to 
the Castilian court, informing him of the nego- 
tiations concerning Murcia, and requesting him to 
find means to make peace with Castile on suck 
conditions as should prevent the projected marriage; 
promising, at the same time, to use her influence 
to place the three rebel sheiks once more in his 
power. Alahmar, without a moment's delay, com- 
plied with the queen's request, and opened a ne- 
gotiation with Alonzo, who met him at Alcala de 
Aben Zaide. It was there agreed that Alahmar 
and his son should renounce their pretensions to 
Murcia, and that Alonzo should no longer assist or 
protect the Ascaliolas : that Murcia should be sub- 
ject to Castile, but governed by a Mohamedan 
prince according to the law of the Koran ; that no 

A. D. 1264.] HISTORY OP SPAIN, 441 

new taxes should be levied on the Murcians, but' 
that one-third of the old imposts should belong to 
the king. It was also stipulated that all rebels on 
both sides should be freely pardoned, that Aben 
Alahmar should by all means dispose the Murcians 
to accept this treaty, and that, instead of the quota 
of horsemen that had formerly been furnished by 
Granada to Castile in time of war, a fixed sum in 
money should be yearly paid. 

Alonzo and Alahmar then set out together for 
Murcia, where they had lio great difficulty in per- 
suading the sheiks to accept the conditions of the 
treaty of Alcala; and this they did the more easily, 
as the choice made by Alonzo of a prince to govern: 
them was particularly agreeable to all ranks of: 
people. Muhamad Abu Abdila Aben Hud, the. 
brother of the famous king of Seville, Aben Hud, 
was highly esteemed both by Christians and Moors 
for his moderation and prudence; he was, besides, 
a just and virtuous m^« Thus Alonzo satisfied 
his own ambition in having princes for his vassals;, 
queen Yolande was gratified by the success of her. 
schemes ; and Alahmar, in favour with all parties, 
returned to Grenada accompanied by a number of 
noble Moors, who quitted the pla<»s even nominally 
subject to the Christians, to dwell where the pure 
faith of the Koran flourished under the wisest oE 
kings, Alahmar. 

While Alonzo of Castile was thus engaged in 
his wars or negotiations with the Moors, and prc'^ 



vented from asserting fais claim to the crown of 
Germany, the king of Arragon had entered into an 
alliance with the remaining heir of the house of 
Suabia, the consequences of which extended through 
centuries, and gave to the crown of Arragon king- 
doms and provinces in the fairest parts of Italy. 

The disputes which had long existed between 
the popes and the emperors, or^ in other words, 
between the civil and ecclesiastical heads of the 
western empire, had been carried to their highest 
, pitch during the reign of the emperor Frederic II. 
As the kingdoms of Europe began to feel and as- 
sert tiieir independence, the temporal power and 
audiority of the emperors had been gradually dis- 
allowed^ and their real dominion seldom extended 
beyond their family possessions. 

The empire of die popes, .which consisted chiefly 
in that of opinion, had, on the other hi^id, continually 
increased. The clergy were so many emissaries 
&ithM to theix chief, who spread over -every nation, 
and excited in every individual, a religious awe of 
their spiritual ruler. Hence the most powerful 
temporal monarchs trembled at an interdict, and the 
bands of society wereoompletelyGastloose when the 
popes chose: to absolve subjectsirom their allegiance 
to their sovereigns. As the successors of St. Peter^ 
they presumed to interpret literally 'thip vro^ds of 
his divine master, and to assume the power of 
binding and loosing not only dings on earth but 
things in heaven ; and tlie hatred of Gregory IX. 

A. D. 1264.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 443 

and Innocent IV. to Frederic of Suabia was chiefly 
owing to the disposition he had shown to toleration 
of the new religious sects who dared to question 
the rights and in&Ilibility of the bishops of Rome, 
for no higher title would they allow to the occu- 
pants of the holy see. The n^ost audacious act of 
usurpation of the church of Rome was the excom- 
munication of Frederic at the council of Lyons, 
held A. D. 1245, and the subsequent declaration, 
that he had forfeited his crown and the allegiance 
of his people; One hundred and forty prelates 
speared at this council, and they might admire 
the boldness of the pontiff who thus dared to see 
how far he might practise on the credulity of man^ 
kind; but there can be little doubt but that all 
the temporal princes present must have secretly 
trembled for their states, and have departed with 
sentiments much less unfavourable to the heretical 
doctrines, that were by this time silently making 
their way in every country in Europe. 

The death of Frederic in 1250 did not, remove 
the rancour of Innocent agsunst his house. Conrad 
ly. was persecuted with even more inveteracy than 
his £atther had been. He had to contend, not only 
for the imperial crown,, but for every part of his 
patrimony. The kingdoms of Naples and Sicily 
bad devolved to the iiouse of Suabia by the mar- 
riage of Henry, the son of Frederic Barbarossa, 
with Constance, the heiress of the Norman kings, 
who, from their conquest of those states, had -held 


them as feofs of the holy see. The pope now at- 
tempted to resume these feofs, and Conrad had to 
defend them by force of aims. His premature 
death in 1254, leaving only an infant son, seemed 
to expose them an unresisting prey to the pontiff; 
but Manfred, the illegitimate brother of Conrad, a 
brave and politic prince, took on him the govern- 
ment, which he at first administered in the name 
of his infant nephew, Corradin. The pope, indig- 
nant at what he called the usurpation of a feof of 
Rome, called Charles of Anjou, the brother of 
Saint Louis, king of France, to his assistance ; and, 
solemnly investing him with the sovereignty of the 
kingdoms of Naples and Sicily, granted all the 
privileges of crusaders to such as should assist him 
in conquering those kingdoms. 

To strengthen himself against this formidable 
rival, Manfred sent to Arragon to offer his only 
daughter, Constance, in marriage to don Pedro, 
the eldest surviving son of Jayme, with a dowry 
of a hundred thousand ducats, and the hopes of 
succeeding to the croWns of Naples and Sicily, as 
Manfred had no sons. Before Jayme consented 
to the alliance, he endeavoured to procure a recon- 
ciliation between the pope and Manfred ; and though 
his failure in that attempt kept him some time in 
suspense as to the prudence of the measure, the 
marriage was celebrated in 1262 at Montpellier, 
with great splendour : shortly after the ceremony, 
he divided his kingdom between his two sons. 

A. D. 1266.] kistohy of spain. 445 

Catalonia, Valencia, and Arragon^ were to form 
the inheritance of Pedro ; while Jayme was to have 
the Islands, Rousillon, and some other foreign 

But the success which every where attended 
the arms of Charles of Anjou in Italy, seemed to. 
cut off all hopes of the succession to Sicily and 
Naples from Pedro. Manfred was killed in battle, 
and Charles took possession of the crown. But 
Manfred's nephew Corradin, now seventeen years 
old, attempted to regain the inheritance of his 
fethers. He was, however, soon taken, and, to the 
scandal of Christendom, was publicly executed at 
Naples as a traitor to Charles of Anjou, the mani- 
fest usurper of Corradin's inheritance. While on 
the scaffold the young prince, whose beauty, youth, 
and misfortunes, seemed at that moment to touch 
the people, so as to threaten Charles's dominion, 
bddly proclaimed his right to die crowns for 
which he had contested, and throwing his glove 
among ihe crowd, deured that some brave man 
would carry it to his cousin Peter of Arragon, who 
now, in right of his wife Constance, was his lawful 
heir. Truchses of WaJterg, a German knight, 
tookup theglove spotted with tine blood of its owner, 
and carried it to Peter; and it was not long before 
he had occasion to assert the claims conveyed 
with it. 

Meantime the discontents in Casdle continued 
to disturb Alonzo's reign. He had not the art of 


oondlialing men's minds ; and, with many great 
qualities, he was neither beloyed nor respected in 
his family, nor pbpular among his subjects. Even 
the Laras, who had served him so effectually in 
his former difficulties, were now disgusted. Don 
Nuno Gonzales de Lara < in particular, a man of 
talents, riches, and great connexions, openly ex- 
pressed his discontent, and the kingdom seemed 
threatened with civil war. Alonzo fearing this event, 
resolved to strengthen himself by foreign con- 
nexions, and therefore sent an embassy to France to 
demand donna Blanca, tlie daughter of saint Louis, 
in marriage for the infant don Ferdinand. While 
he was at Victoria awaiting the answer to this em- 
' bassy, he received a visit from prince Edward of 
England, and from the empress Martha, wife of 
Baldwin emperor of Constantinople, who had been 
driven from his throne by Michael Paleologus. 
She had come to the west to raise money to redeem 
her husband, who,. she said, had fallen into the hands, 
of the Saracens. She hoped to procure one third 
of the required ransom from ^e pope, one third 
from the king of France, and the rest from Alonzo. 
The latter, however, without allowing her tos^ply 
to the others, gave her the whole sum, — an ill timed 
liberality in the impoverished state of the treasury, 
and highly resented as such by the grandees of the 
kingdom. Baldwin afterwards returned to Namur, 
his original &mily inheritance, and lived the re- 
mainder of his life as earl of Flanders. 

A. D. 126T.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 447 

Alonzo's policy led him by every art to conciliate 
the king of Arragon, whose son, don Sancho, had 
lately been made archbishop of Toledo. The first 
day the new prelate sung mass in his cathedral, his 
father, who had performed a journey from Zara- 
goza on purpose, together with the king and queen 
of Castile and the infant don Fernando, were pre- 
sent: and no so(mer was the ceremony over, than 
don Jay me took leave of his relations, being re-^ 
solved, <dd as he was, to perform a crusade in the 
holy land. His devotion had bedn> roused by an 
emissary from the great khaa of Tsurtary, who with 
his subjects had recently been converted to Chris- 
tianity by the preaching, of two of the new order of 
Domimcans. The khan's new* bodrn zeal rendered 
him indignant at the ooldness^of the Christian kings 
of Europe^ who did mot at <mce rise in arms and 
drive ihe infidek from the holy places conaecrated 
by the mysteries of their faith. He therefore sent 
to call his- Christian brethren to that, enterprise, 
promisiog to? assist them with his Tartars wbesiever 
they should be ready for him. Jayme therefore 
resolved to yield to this invitation, and accordingly 
embarked at Barcelona, whence he sailed with thirty 
ships and several galleys, on boaid of which there 
were soldiers and wariike stores sufficient, as it was: 
hoped, to produce a considerable effect in Palestine. 
But the season wa» unfavourable ; the king's ship, 
and several others, were driven into the bay of. 
Marseilles, where Jayme suffered himself to be pre- 


vailed on to Abandon his enterprise ; but his son 
Feman Sanchez reached Acre, and joined the ar- 
mies of the cross. 

The king of Arragon returned after this unsuc- 
cessful voyage to Spain, in time to be present at 
the nuptials of Blandie of France with the infisuit 
don Fernando. The feast was held at Burgos, and 
there were present besides the kings of Castile and 
Arragon, Edward of England, Philip the heir of 
France, the king of Grenada, Guillin marquis of 
Montferrat, the brothers and uncles of the king of 
Castile, and many noble barons of France and 
Italy. After the mariage, Jajrme returned to Za- 
ragoza, and soon found reason to rejoice that his 
voyage to Syria had been cut short It was that 
disastrous year when saint Louis king of France, 
Theobald king of Navarre, and so many of the 
best chivalry of France died, rather of pestilence 
than by the swords of the Saracens. Alonzo the 
Wise was at this time intent upon claiming the 
imperial crown, in virtue of the nomination of the 
electors sixteen years before : but the time was gone 
by ; and his constant assumption of a title he could 
not support only drew on him the distrust of foreign 
princes, and the discontent of the Castilians. His 
pride and severity disgusted the grandees ; and, with 
his brother don Felipe at their head, they resolved 
to seek some foreign assistance against him. After 
applying in vain to Navarre, they wrote to invite the 
king of Marocco, and finally w6nt in a body to the 


court of Grenada, where they were honourably 
received and handsomely lodged, each Grenadian 
Tying with the other in showing them honour. In 
this peril don Alonzo aiid his queen went to Va- 
lencia to consult don Jayme on the best measures 
to pursue to reclaim the rebels, but their conference 
ended in nothing; and as the princes in Grenada 
did not seem inclined to prosecute their opposition 
to the king any farther, the kingdom for once en- 
joyed an interval of quiet 

The first use made of this peace by Alonzo was 
to prosecute his pretensions to the empire, and 
on this ground he sought and obtained a personal 
interview at Belcayre with the pope, whom he 
could by no means induce to acknowledge his 
title to the imperial throne, but who granted 
him a third part of all the tithes in Spain, in 
order to defray the expenses of the wars with the 
Moors. Yet on Alonzo's return he persisted in 
assuming the title of king of the Romans, un- 
til, by the pope's command, the archbishop of 
Seville pronounced the public censures of the 
church upon him, and forced him to desist after 
two more years of altercation on this unprofitable 

While this was going on, Muhammad Aben 
Alahmar died, whom even his enemies describe as a 
man of wisdom, courage, and conduct. His death 
appears to have been occasioned by a violent 
emotion of anger. He had received intelligence 


that the Ascalkilas had, in spite of treaties and 
promises, onee more broken in upon his terri* 
tories, on which he fell into a transport of rage 
which his friends found it impossible to calm. He 
instantly called for his horse, and, followed rather 
than accompanied by the Castilian princes and 
the sheiks, rode furiously towards the frontier. 
About the middle of the day he was taken ill, and 
his attendants coming up placed him in a chair, 
and carried him back towards the city : he could 
not bear the motion, and a tent was pitched for 
him in the field, where he died at sunset, in the 
arms of the infant don Philip. 

When his death was known in the city, every 
one wept as if he had lost his own father. He 
was buried with great pomp in his own burial- 
place ; his body was embalmed in a coffin of silver 
enclosed in marble, and a long epitaph engraved 
on it detailing his virtues and qualities, with 
more truth than most monumental inscriptions can 

H^ was succeeded by his son Muhammad H., 
who endeavoured in all things to follow his 
father's steps. He was magnificent, prudent, 
and brave, and his countenance and figure were 
very beautifuL He was an expert horseman, and 
the people delighted to see him at the head of the 
knights of Grenada. He made no changes in the 
ministers or servants of his father, either in the 
departments of peace or war. The courtiers, who 

A. D. 1273.J HISTORY OF SPAIN. 451 

had looked forward to a new reign as a period of 
revenge against the ministers they disliked or 
feared, and of enjoyment to themselves, were dis- 
appointed^ and formed a party with whieh they 
went over to the rebellious ehiefe. As soon, how- 
ever, as Muhammad had set in order the regular 
administration of his affairs, he marched against 
them) and by the aid of the Christian knights who 
accompanied him gained a complete victory over 
them. ' 

On Muhammad's return to Grenada, he rewarded 
the Castilian princes with fine horses, rich accou- 
trements, and splendid armour; and while the 
rejoicing for their success still lasted they were 
joined by don Henrique, who had left the court of 
Ttinis on suspicion that the king had formed a 
design to murder him. This idea arose from his 
finding himself suddenly left alone in a court of 
the palace, where he had been waiting for the 
king's coming to join in a hunting party, and just 
as he was seeking his way out, two large lions 
were let into the court Henrique faced them 
with his drawn sword, and the animals crouched 
before him so that he got safely out, and went to 
the keepers of the beasts to tell them to keep the 
cages better closed in future. But though he ap-* 
peared to think nothing of it, and to accept the 
king's excuses for the acddeut, he considered it 
prudent to leave Tunis, and now came to join his 
noble friends at tlie court of Grenada. 


Henrique brought news from Africa that caused 
great alarm in the palace of his brother, the king 
of Castile, namely, that the powerfd tribe of the 
Beni Merines, would pass shortly over into Spain 
to assist the king of Grenada against the Chris- 
tians. Alonzo was no sooner apprised of this than 
he wrote privately to his brothers and the other 
Castilian knights in Grenada, to entreat them for 
the sake of Christendom to. bring about a truce 
between him and Muhammad, and prevent the 
coming in of the men of Barbary. This request 
they willingly complied with ; nor did they find it 
difficult to persuade Muhammad to a peace with 
Alonzo, whom he agreed to visit at Seville, for 
the purpose of negotiating. He accordingly went 
thither, accompanied by the king's brothers, don 
Henrique and don Philip, besides the other Cas- 
tilian knights. Alonzo came out of the city to 
meet them with great pomp, and lodged Mu- 
hammad in his own palace. Great rejoicings and 
feasting took place. Muhammad interceded 'with 
Alonzo for the princes and nobles, who had been 
so long in his court, and made their peace; after 
which the king of Castile knighted Muhamma4 
after the Christian manner. The court of Seville 
was delighted with the elegance of the young 
Moorish prince, the beauty of his person, the re- 
finement of his manners, and above all the purity 
and grace with which he spoke the Castilian 
tongue. Queen Yolande called him her knight. 

A. D. 1273.] HISTORY OF SPAIN* 458 

and he passed much time with her and herdamselsw 
He had however occasion to regret her favour, 
for one day in her playfulness she begged a boon 
of him, and he as a knight replied he could not 
refuse. She then desired a year's truce for his re- 
bellious subjects the Ascaliolas: and he, though 
indignant at the artific^B by which this concession, 
which he had before strenuously refused, was ob- 
tained, kept his word, but was more upon his 
guard with the ladies of the court from that time. 

Yolande's stratagem, though it succeeded at the 
moment, was the means of accelerating the great 
evil which the convention of Seville was intended 
to prevent, namely the coming in of the Beni 
Merines ; for on Muhammad's return to Grenada, 
exasperated at the persevering protection afforded 
by Castile to his rebellious emirs, he wrote to the 
king, Abu Jusef, entreating his assistance, and 
offering him the ports of Algeziras and Tarifa, to 
land his troops, to shelter his fleets, and lay up 
his stores. Abu Jusef instantly complied with his 
request, and arrived in Spain with seventeen thou- 
sand men, which were soon followed by nearly as 
many more. 

The first effect of this invasion was to force the 
Ascaliola sheiks to submit to Muhammad, who re- 
ceived their submission graciously. Abu Jusef 
then invaded the lands of Seville, while Mu- 
hammad attacked the country round Cordova. 
All Christian Spain was in commotion ; the whole 


population capable of bearing arms was called 
upon; every noble brought what followers he 
could into the field. Don Nunio Gonzalez de 
Lara, who commanded the troops at Egiza, hastily 
marched to meet Abu Jusef. But he was over^ 
powered by numbers, and after an obstinate battle, 
in which eight thousand Christians were killed, 
don Nunio himself was slain. Abu Jusef cut off 
his head and sent it to Muhammad, who, on re- 
ceiving it, turned away his face and said, ^^ Alas ! my 
friend, thou didst not deserve thi^ from me.^' He 
then caused the head to be embalmed and placed 
in a costly silver urn, and sent it to Cordova, that 
it might be honourably buried with the body. 

Shortly after this battle, the troops of Aba 
.Tusef gained a second advantage over the Chris- 
tians of Calatrava and Toledo, hastily collected 
by don Sancho, the archbishop, who was taken, 
and had nearly been the cause of a combat be- 
tween the different tribes of Moslem, on the 
field of victory. Each party wished to send the 
valuable prisoner to their chief: the Africans 
tauntingly exclaimed that he was theirs of right, 
for that, without them, the horses of Grenada 
would never have seen the waters of the Guadal- 
quiver ; and the Grenadians, justly offended, were 
about to revenge the insult, when Aben Nazar of 
the royal house of Grenada spurring his horse, rode 
up to the unfortunate prelate, and drove his lance 
through his heart, saying, ^^ God forbid that for 

A. D. 1276.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 455 

this dog of an unbeliever such brave knights 
should perish." — One party then took his head, 
the other his right hand, and retired i^parently 
satisfied: but the seeds of disunion between the 
Africans and Grenadians were abready sown, and 
soon produced their fruit. 

Alonzo, however, had now collected a sufficient 
force to oppose the united Moors, and marched at 
its head towards Seville, whose territory had been 
robbed and laid waste by Abu Jusef. This prince, 
satisfied with his plunder, had retired to Algeziras, 
where he found the provisions for his troops be- 
ginning to fail, and the passage back to Africa 
eut off by the nutanerous fileet that had been de- 
spatched from the ports of Biscay. He therefore 
thought it better to come to terms wilji Alonzo, 
and without consulting the king of Grenada, or in 
the slightest degree considering his interest, he 
made a treaty, in which the rebel Ascaliolas once 
more disowned the authority of Muhammad, and 
professed themselves vassals of the king of Castile. 
After this event, a longer cessation of active war 
than usual took place, though border skirmishes 
between the Moors and Christians occurred almost 

In this interval died Henry king of Navarre, 
who had succeeded his brother, Theobald IL 
Henry left an only daughter Juanna, of the age of 
three years ; when, as usual on any opening in the 
succession, both Castile and Arragon claimed a 


right to the crown. But her mother Juanna, 
daughter of the count of Artois, preferring her 
French connexions, the young queen was con- 
tracted to Philip, the son of Philip king of France, 
who was afterwards known as Philip the Fair, and 
thus Navarre became united to France. 

About the same period a council was held at 
Lyons by pope Gregory X. ; and thither, notwith- 
standing his great age, Jayme king of Arragon re- 
paired in order to settle some of the ecclesiastical 
affairs of his kingdom, but he returned speedily in 
disgust at the arrogance of the pope, who refused 
to acknowledge him as king of Arragon, unless he 
would pay tribute to the holy see. But Jayme re- 
plied, that it would be an unworthy deed in him to 
pay tribute for the kingdom conquered from the 
Infidels by Um, and by his ancestors. 

The death of the aged monarch soon followed : 
he was in the seventy-fourth year of his age, and 
had won thirty victories over the Moors, which had 
gained him the surname of Conqueror. He was a 
good and brave king ; an upright, almost a severe 
judge, yet not one act of cruelty stained his reign ; 
he was pious, yet firm in resisting the encroach- 
ments of the church, and fond of letters which he 
encouraged by founding schools in various parts of 
his dominions. He was so sensible of the im- 
portance of a navy to his kingdom, that he spared 
no pains to induce experienced seamen to settle in 
his states, and the patronage he bestowed on the 

A. D. 1276.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 457 

famous Lauria, was amply repaid in the services 
he performed to Jayme's successor. Jayme is re- 
proached with having loved his second wife too 
passionately, and with having become equally fond 
of his mistresses after her death. He left several 
children by each, who were the progenitors of 
many of the noble families of Arragon. The 
infant don Pedro, who at the time of his father's 
death was engaged in war with the Moors, would 
not take on him the title of king until he returned 
victorious some months afterwards, when he was 
crowned with his queen at Zaragoza, and at the 
same time the grandees of his kingdom took an 
oath of fidelity to his son Alonzo, as heir of the 
kingdom. Don Jayme,^ his younger brother, re- 
ceived the islands with the title of king of Mal- 
lorca and the county of Roussillon, a division of 
the monarchy that afterwards caused great dis- 
sensions in the kingdom. 

Castile still continued in a state of ferment. 
The successes of Jusef, after the death of Nunio de 
Lara and the archbishop of Toledo, had seemed to 
threaten the whole of Andalusia if not of Castile. 
And the infant don Ferdinand had died of fever, 
as he was upon the point of marching to oppose 
Jusef, leaving by his wife, Blanche of France, two 
very young children, known by the name of the 
infants of La Cerda. Don Sancho, Ferdinand's 
next brother, immediately took the command of the 

VOL. I. X 


army: he nuideereryrdbposition.tliiit prudence 
and braveiy could suggedt for the safety of the 
country, and succeeded in inspiring the people 
with courage/^and in driving the Moors beyond the 
frontiers. From this time he was looked' .upon as 
the saviouv of Castile, the great body^ of the nobles 
and ricos-homhres considered him. as their future 
monarch; and 'Jthe rules of hereditary succession 
were not yet so fixed as to ensure the crown to %. 
grandson, while a son one degree nearer the 
parent-stock survived, especially in case of the in<* 
fancy or imbecility of the grandchild.' Sancho^ 
therefore, and :his party might claim a ri^t, or at 
least the ancient custom of. the Goths, for the re^ 
quest they made^ that in: order to strengthen the 
kingdom Aknzo. would, declare Sancho: heir, to 
the throne. . His mother Yolanda^ Jealous for the 
heirs of her eldest ^son^ fled with them and their 
mother Blanche to the court of Arragon^ where 
they soon discovered that they were only honor- 
able prisoners. . Alonzo endeavoured, to reclaim 
them, but Pedro,.. at the request of his sister Yo- 
landa, refused. to give them up. A scene of dis* 
cord and cruelty followed that, it is disgusting to 
dwell upon* Alonzo seized his brother don Fa- 
drique, and soon afiter beheaded hbn as an abettor 
of the queen's contumacy; Simon Ruiz de Haro, 
a nobletaian of the first rank, was burnt alive for 
the same fault.: and what enraged the people the 

A. D. 1277.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 459 

ihore, lieitlier of the ^nfortcmate gentlemen was 

allowed to defend hiniself against his accusers. 

The discontents in the court and in the different 

cities could now only be appeased, or rather diverted, 

by an attack upon the Moors; accordingly Alonzo 

laid siege to Algeziras, but was shamefully repulsed; 

his fleet was taken by that of Marocco, and Jusef 

caused a new city to be built on the spot where the 

Christian camp liad stood, to perpetuate his triumph. 

The capricious and variable temper of Alonzo X. 

now began to turn against don Sancho, whom he 

had before supported; this was attributed partly 

to the influence of the queen, who had returned 

from Arragon, where she had left her grandchildren 

in the fortress of Xativa under her brother's care. 

Blanche, who had hoped that Pedro would have 

openly espoused their cause, now complained to 

her brother, the king of France, and entreated him 

by force of arms to do right to her children. But 

as it did not suit him to enter into a war at that 

time, his whole exertion for them consisted in a 

fruitless negotiation, first with Castile and afterwards 

with Arragon. These two kingdoms entered into a 

league, offensive and defensive, with each other ; 

a league the more necessary, on account of the near 

approach of the powerftil kings of France to their 

frontier by the possession of Navarre. Besides, the 

two kingdoms were equally harassed by the inroads 

of certain barons, who, renouncing their allegiance, 

exercised the right of private war in both, and the 



number and weight of these had been greatly in- 
creased since the deatlis of the prince don Fadrique 
and Ruiz de Haro, who had left many willing to 
avenge them. 

But now Alonzo's discontent at the great popu- 
larity of his son Sancho surpassed all bounds. He 
sent as ambassador into France, Fredulo, bishop of 
Oviedo, a Frenchman by birth, to treat with Philip 
about getting his grandchildren out of Arragon, and 
promised to leave the crown to them, and should 
they die without heirs, to Philip and to his heirs, 
without regard to San&o or any of his other sons. 
The Castilians were more indignant than ever at 
this disposition of their crown in favour of a stranger. 
Alonzo assembled a cortes at Toledo. Don Sancho 
convoked a meeting at Valladolid ; the latter was 
numerously attended, while Alonzo was nearly 
abandoned. The cortes considered him as de- 
throned, and Sancho was elected king, though he 
did not take the title ; a civil war was the natural 
consequence, which only ended at the death of 
Alonzo at Seville in 1284. 

It is diflScult to describe the character of this 
prince ; his wisdom and policy, which were great, 
were often frustrated by his suspicious nature. His 
love of justice, which was shown in his finishing 
the collection of laws begun in his father^s reign, 
and establishing them in the country, was too often 
forgotten, and his own laws infringed by him in 
the heat of passion. His passionate and capricious 

A. D. 1284.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 461 

temper rendered him the terror of his own family, 
and finally led to his ruin. 

Yet he was brave and active in the field, and 
his renown as a true knight was spread throughout 
the civilized world. To receive knighthood at his 
hand was an honour even to Edward the First of 
England ; many of whose early years were spent 
with Alonzo of Castile, and who seems to have 
profited by his connexion with so accomplished a 

The German confederation offered Alonzo the 
imperial crown ; distant nations appealed to him as 
the umpire of their disputes ; the soldan of Egypt 
sent him a solemn embassy, on account of the fame 
of his learning and his skill in war ; and he ap- 
pears to have wanted nothing but self-control to 
have been a perfect prince. 

His love of letters would have distinguished him 
in any situation ; but as a king, fully occupied as 
his reign was, it was most admirable. The Cas- 
tilian languj^e owes much to him. Assisted by 
some learned Jews, he caused the Scriptures to be 
translated into the vernacular tongue. He ordered 
all public acts and registers to be kept in Spanish, 
and himself wrote many works both in prose and 
verse. His Chronicles of Spain are the most cele- 
brated and the most valuable of these. The body 
of laws called De las Siete Partidas, published by 
bim, was begun, as we have seen, in the reign of 
Saint Ferdinand, but perfected by Alonzo. It is a 


collection of the various laws, written <Mr customary, 
which prevailed before their time, and has Borrowed 
largely from the Roman law, though its chief ordi- 
nances are of .Gothic origin. 

Of Alonzo's . poetical compositions, the most 
touching is his complaint of the ingratitude of his 
sons, after Sancho had dethroned him. 

Sancho, surnamed the Bold, was at Avila when 
his father died. He had just recovered from a 
dangerous illness, but hastened immediately to 
Toledo, where he was crowned ; and the grandees 
of the kingdom swore allegiance also to his daugh- 
ter Isabel, then a child of two years old, so that tlie 
partisans of the infants of La Cerda, Sancho's ne- 
phews, had little hope of placing either of them on 
the throne. His first care was to conciliate the king 
of Arragon, in whose bauds the La Cerdas were 
placed, and who therefore had the power, at any 
time, to disturb the peace of Castile, hy setting 
them at liberty. But he committed a great error 
in treating the ambassadors of the king of Ma- 
rocco, who had sent to congratulate him on his ac- 
cession, with such arrogance, as to exasperate 
Jusef, who in revenge passed the straits once 
more with an army powerful enough to alarm the 
whole of the south of Spain, and this army was 
accompanied and protected by a powerful fleet. 
Sancho immediately applied to the Genoese for 
assistance in this difficulty, and induced one of 
their captains, Benito Zacharias, to engage in his 

A. D* 1283.] HISTORY OF SPAIl^. 463 

service with twetre galleys. Samdha appointed 
him his admiral for afixed period^ and bestowed 
on him the hereditary lordship of the port of Santa 
Maria, on condition of maintaining an armed gal- 
ley for ever for the king's use. 

He next strengthened the frontiers by such dis- 
positions of the army as were necessary for present 
•defence, and then called a meeting of the cortes in 
Seville, 4)0 deliberate on the best means of remedy- 
ing the disorders that the last turbulent part of 
Alonzo's reign had caused. The deliberations were 
scarcely ended, and afewusefulregulationsadopted, 
when Sancho was called into the north of Castile, 
where some of the nobles and ricos-hombres had 
begun to intrigue in favour of the La Cerdas ; his 
presence, however, soon put an end to their pro- 
jects ; most of their partisans changing sides at the 
king's approach, while some few of the leaders paid 
for the rashness of their undertaking vsdth their 

While this passed in Castile, the new king of 
Arragon, don Pedro, had been called on to assert 
his wife Constantia's right to the kingdom of Sicily. 
The dominion of the house of Anjou had become 
intolerable in Italy. Success had rendered Charles 
and his French followers insolent ; they presumed 
to claim a superiority over Rome itself; they of- 
fended and insulted the native nobility, and the 
cruelty displayed by Charles in the execution of 
Conradin of Suabia, was but one example among 


many of injnstioe, yiofence, and tyranny. Hie 
Itailiaam were^ bendes, mortified at Ae dominion of 
strangers, idumi their prejn&es scarcely allowed 
diem to consider as better than barbarians, and a 
deep-settled hatred became the only feeling with 
irfdch they regarded them. One man, a native of 
an island opposite to the beantifnl shores of Naples, 
John of Prodda, resolved on driving these tyrants 
ont of his country : he was rich, and he had been 
the friend of Manfred of Soabia, and saw with in- 
dignation that princess yoongest daughter, Beatrice, 
a wretched prisoner in the hands of Charles of 
Anjou, who had shown by his conduct to Conradin, 
that little reliance was to be placed on his faith, 
and none on his mercy. This John of Prodda had 
been deprived of his estates by Charles of Anjou, 
and had taken refuge in Arragon, where he had 
received lands in Valencia from the king don Jayme, 
and whence he narrowly watched the proceedings of 
the new king of Naples. On the first favourable op- 
portunity, he repaired to the court of Arragon, where 
he laid before Peter the state of the country, and 
assured him that the claims of Constance would 
find almost as many supporters as there were men 
in Sicily; his negociadon was secret, and, as it 
appears, confided to none but the king himself, or 
at most, to him and to Constance. But Peter be- 
gan to assemble a fleet, to collect warlike stores, 
and raise troops with all diligence, under pre- 
tence of an expedition to Tunis to assist the 

A. B. 1283.] HISTORY OF SPAIX. 465 

king of that country in some dispute with his sub- 
jects. John next proceeded to Viterbo, where 
pope Nicholas III. then was, and found it easy to 
engage him in the cause of Constance. Nicholas 
brooked but ill Charles's assumption of authority 
in Rome as perpetual senator. He therefore issued 
a bull limiting the duration of that magistracy, the 
only remnant of the ancient senate, to one year, 
and, in the name of the emperor Rodolph, he also 
deprived Charles of the dignity of vicar, or lieu- 
tenant of the empire. Having thus far succeeded, 
John next passed over into Sicily, where he saw 
privately every one of the ancient nobles, and 
having convinced them of the favour of the pope 
and the support of Arragon, prepared them for a 
general revolt. From Sicily, the indefatigable 
emissary proceeded to Constantinople, where he 
obtained money from Michael Palseologus, who 
was happy to assist, though secretly, the enemies 
of Charles of Anjou, who had married the daughter 
of Baldwin, count of Flanders, whom Michael had 
dispossessed of the eastern empire. 

Meantime, the preparations of the king of Ar- 
ragon were jealously watched by the king of France 
and pope Martin, a Frenchman who had succeeded 
Nidiolas. Peter had^ placed Lauria at the head 
of his navy, and was himself embarked^ on board 
his fleet and cruising in the neighbourhood of 
Sicily, still under pretence of a voyage to Tunis. 
The pope and king Philip each sent an ambassador 



to require him to d^lare the purpose of his large 
armament, when he answered their importunities 
angrily, saying, he would burn his shirt if he 
thought it was privy to his secret intentions, and then 
proceeded to his destined station. So secretly had 
all the negociations concerning Sicily been carried 
on, that Charles had not the slightest suspicion that 
he was on the point of losing his misgoverned king- 
dom, when an accidental circumstance led to one of 
the most horrible events recorded inhistory. During 
a religious procession on Easter eve, a French 
soldier insulted a lady at Palermo ; the people were 
provoked, a part^ riot occurred, numbers soon 
joined the rioters, the nobility appeared to favour 
and protect them, a general rising took place, and 
spread from city to city : every Frenchman, every 
woman, every child of that nation was murdered, 
excepting only one man, William Porcelet, a Pro- 
vencal governor of Calatafimia, whose character 
for mercy and benevolence shielded hkn from the 
fury of the people even in that moment of revenge. 
This massacre, which is known by the name of 
the Sicilian vespers, unpremeditated by the con- 
federacy against Charles, admirably served their 
intentions; and though filled with horror at the 
event, they considered it as proceeding from the 
divine vengeance against the cruel tyranny of 
Charles, and hastened to profit by it. 

Peter's fleet was at hand, he sailed immediately 
for Palermo, where he was crowned by the unani- 

A. D. 1284.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 467 

inous desire of the people, and his forces were in* 
creased by the ships and troops which had been 
collected in that port for an expedition to reinstate 
Baldwin in the empire of Constantinople. Mean- 
while, Charles had arrived from Naples before 
Messina, which was defended only by the citizens, 
but Pedro hastened to relieve it, and Charles was 
obliged to raise the siege and retire to Naples. 
But he sent a challenge to Peter to single combat 
for the kingdom of Sicily, on the plain near Bour- 
deaux, promising to bring no more than a hundred 
knights to keep the lists, and requesting that the 
king of Arragon would bring die same number. 
Peter, tibough brave and knightly as became a king, 
laughed openly at the folly of the challenge, and is 
said to have gone disguised to the place of meeting 
for the pleasure of ridiculing the French prince, 
who, with his hundred knights, kept the field every 
day. till the term of the challenge was expired. 
The spot assigned for the duel then belonged to 
the king of England, and numbers of knights had 
assembled from every nation in Europe to witness 
the extraordinary combat. 

But the king' of Arragon was otherwise em- 
ployed. He sent his. wife Constantia to Sicily, 
with full and sovereign powers for the government 
of that island, while he provided at home for the 
wars with which he was threatened by all the par- 
tisans .of the house of Anjou. The care of the 
seas he . committed to Roger de Lauria. the 


bravest and most skilful seaman, and the most suc- 
cessful naval commander that ever appeared in 
modem times before the age of De Ruyter and 

Peter had, however, a domestic enemy to com- 
bat before he could turn his attention to his foreign 
opponents. One of the Laras had taken possession 
of the town and castle of Albaracin on the frontiers- 
of Castile and Arragon, whence he made most 
destructive inroads on both countries, disturbed the 
public peace, and threatened the security of the 
government. It was necessary to get rid of th^ 
source of disturbance, in order to be at liberty to 
provide for more distant war£su*e. He dierefore 
laid siege to Albaracin, which was garrisoned with 
Navarrese and Frenchmen, and defended itself 
ol>8tinately, until Lara, seeing that its £bi11 was in- 
evitable, fled, and the garrison instantly surrendered. 
Peter set the whole of the soldiers at liberty, and 
bestowed the government of the fortress on his 
natural son, don Hernando. 

Philip in. of France, who haid determined to sup- 
port his uncle Charles of Anjou, having persuaded 
Jayme king of Mallorca, Peter's brother, to allow 
him a free passage through Roussillon, now in- 
vaded Arragon. The pope at the same time ex- 
communicated Peter for his usurpation of a feof of 
the holy see, and in case of his refusing to give up 
Sicily, declared him no longer worthy of the crown 
of Arragon; and therefore dethroned him, to make 

A, D. 1285.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. ^ 469' 

room for Charles of Valois, 9 brother of the king of 
France. But he was not of a nature to be terrified 
by the pope's bulls, and ridiculed them accordingly, 
signing himself only " knight of Arragon, lord of 
the sea, and father of three kings," leaving it 
to Charles of Valois to assume the title of king of 
Arragon if he pleased. He made equally light of 
Philip's request that he would set the La Cerdas at 
liberty, not choosing to involve himself in war with 

The war with France was now becoming serious : 
though no great battle was fought, towns and 
castles were daily attacked, and posts lost and won 
on the frontiers. In Sicily, the eldest son of 
Charles was a prisoner in the hands of Constance, 
whose prudence had saved his life and those of 
seventy of his companions from the fury of the po- 
pulace, by pretending that she could not dispose of 
them untill she received orders from the king her 
husband. The prince had been taken by Lauria 
in a great n^val victory obtained over the ships of 
France and Naples ; and Peter determined not to 
release him unless the crown of Sicily were ac- 
knowledged by the pope to belong to that of Ar- 
ragon. Charles of Anjou himself, worn out with 
anxiety more than infirmity or age, died at Foggia 
in Apulia, and was succeeded in his pretensions l^y 
his son Charles II. Roger de Lauria, after taking 
Tarento, sailed to the assistance of Peter against the 
French naval forces in the bay of Roses. He took 


fifteen of the largest galleys, with their admiral John 
Scot ; and forced eleven more to retreatin a very bad 
state to the ports of France. Nearly at the same time 
the king of Arragon gained a decided victory over 
Philip's troops near Gerona, and the campaign was 
ended by the imexpeoted death of the king of France 
at Perpignan in the middle of October; and before 
the year ended, his enemy Peter the third, surnamed 
the Great,kingof Arragon, alsoexpired. On his death- 
bed, the archbishop of Taragon, from decency, ab- 
solved him from the sentence of excommunication 
which Martin had pronounced against him ; and he 
was buried in the Church of the Holy Cross at Villa 
Franca, where he died at the age of fortynsix, in the 
tenth year of liis reign, leaving the crown of Arragon 
to his eldest son Alonzo, and that of Sicily to Jayme, 
at that time with his mother at Palermo. This 
king was of an agreeable aspect and gentle manners. 
He was generally beloved, excelled in all kinds of 
martial exercises, and was courteous and liberal. 
While the king of Arragon was thus engaged in 
foreign disputes, don Sancho of Castile had re- 
newed the war with- the Moors. Abu Jusef had 
begun his new campaign by ravaging the lands of 
Malaga, and other parts of the king of Grenada's 
dominions ; that prince, therefore, sotight the as- 
sistance and alliance of Sancho of Castile ; their 
united forces obtained some advantage over -^Abu 
Jusef^ and had prepared to besiege him in Alge- 
ziras, when his death for a moment suspended their 

A. D. 1286.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 471 

operations. But as his son and successor Abu 

Jucub showed a disposition equally hostile, the war 

was renewed; and in the following spring, the 

whole of Abu Jucub's fleet was burnt by the ad* 

miral of Castile in the sight of a numerous army, 

which from the shore contemplated with grief and 

rage die destruction of the most effective part of 

the forces of Marocco. This victory was followed 

by the capture of Tari&, whose government Sancho 

entrusted to a noble knight named don Guzman *. 

The feuds that had disturbed and disgraced the 

family of Alonzo the wise, continued to afflict the 

reign of his son. Don John, brother to Sancho, 

having quarrelled with the king, went over to 

Africa, where he induced Abu Jucub to lend him 

forces to attempt the recovery of Tari&. Don 

John had with him in his train a youth, the son of 

Guzman the governor of the place. . By his means 

he trusted, should his first attack by force of arms 

fail, to get possession of the town ; but disappointed 

in that, as well as beaten in the field, he brought 

out the lad before the walls, and threatened that if 

Tarifa was not instantly given up, he would put 

him to death. Guzman came to the battlements, 

looked earnestly at his son, spoke not a word in 

answer, but threw his sword into the midst of the 

enemy. The enraged Moors instantly seized the 

boy, and cutting off his head, threw it to his 

wretched parent. But he kept the post committed 

* Ancestor of the dukes of Medina Sidonia, 


to Iiim, and soon after the besiegers marched away 
to find some easier conquest. 

Tarifa was a place of such importance to the 
Moors of Spain, that Muhamad of Grenada offered 
to purchase it from tlie king of Castile, who, how- 
ever, refused to sell it ; and the dispute occasioned 
by this refusal led to a war, in which Sancho gained 
Quesada and Alcabdat with several other smaller 
places : but he did not long enjoy his victories, for 
he died the same year at Toledo, in the eleventh 
year of his reign. He was prudent, sagacious and 
just : a great warrior, and skilful in council : but 
addicted to cruelty, a vice which alienated the af- 
fections of his people, and filled his reign with dh» 
turbances in which even his own brothers were often 
compelled to take part against him. But the man 
who gave him most uneasiness and caused the 
greatest disorders was Juan de Lara, whose power 
was however, such, that he felt it prudent to ap- 
point him, jointly with his queen, the Great Maria, 
to the guardianship of his son, then a child of ten 
years of age. The queen donna Maria by the 
strength of her character and the gentleness of her 
manners, had contributed much to the security of 
Sancho's reign. His enemies, aware of her im- 
portance, had on one occasion attempted to induce 
him to divorce her, and accept a sister of the king 
of France, under pretence that being his first cousin 
their marriage was not lawful ; but her prudence 
overcame all difficulties, and she continued to the 

A, D. 1285.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 473 

end of his life to be his best and most trusted coun- 

Meantime the young king of Arragon had re- 
solved not to assume the crown until he had con- 
quered Mallorca, which his father had charged him 
to do in revenge for the assistance afforded by 
Jayme to France, by allowing the troops of Philip 
a passage through Roussillon. As soon as this en- 
terprise was achieved, he repaired to Zaragoza, 
where he was solemnly crowned. 

In the year 1290, after many fruitless attempts 
at negotiation, Edward of England having offered 
his mediation, peace was established between the 
new kings of France and Arragon, and the latter 
demanded Eleanor daughter of Edward in marriage. 
By the same treaty the infants of La Cerda were 
released from confinement, on condition that they 
should repair to the court of their cousin Philip of 
France, and not cause any troubles in Spain by 
the assertion of their t;laims. It was also agreed 
that Charles the lame of Naples should be set at 
liberty by Constance, who remained at Palermo. 
The next year the peace was finally concluded : 
Charles of Valois renounced his claim to the title 
of king of Arragon, conferred upon him by pope 
Martin, and Alonzo on the other hand agreed to 
withdraw all his subjects from Sicily. The latter 
article was peculiarly offensive to Constance, and 
her son Jayme ; who complained that they were 


given up by their son and brother, who most ought 
to have supported them. But though Alonzo had 
promised to recall the Arragonese, no measures 
were adopted to enforce their obedience, and 
Jayme continued to reign in Sicily until the next 
year, when he was recalled to Spain by the unex- 
pected death of Peter, just as he was preparing to 
proceed to Bayonne to meet the £ngiish princess 
destined for his wife. Alonzo had displayed great 
talents, virtue, and energy of character, and his 
death was deeply lamented by his subjects. But 
none of his family were deficient in great qualities. 
Jayme, who succeeded him in Arragon, left a 
younger brother Frederic at Palermo, and the Sici- 
lians, although Jayme was inclined to fulfil the 
treaty with the French party for the surrender of 
their island, resolved to support Frederic, whom 
they regarded as their natural defender against the 
tyrannical house of Anjou. 

Jayme II. was no sooner crowned at Zaragoza, 
than the envoys of the La Cerdas and of don Sancho 
of Castile, each sought his friendship and support 
Butthe party of the La Cerdas was contemptible, and 
their pretensions to the crown of Castile appeared 
desperate; especially since, by the queen's manage- 
ment, don Juan Nunez de Lara had abandoned 
their party, and Sancho had contracted his son and 
heir Ferdinand to the infanta Constance of Portugal. 
Jayme, therefore, preferred an alliance with Sancho, 

A. D.. 1295.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 475 

and to draw it the closer, asked the hand of donna 
Isabel, Saacho'sidaaghter, then only ten years old, 
in marriage. 

The nuptial ceremonies were performed at Ca- 
latayud and were followed by feasts and rejoicings, 
witli tournaments and other warlike games, in 
which the great admiral Roger de Lauria particu- 
larly distinguished himself. 

On this occasion the grandees of Arragon, who 
had always shown a jealous regard for freedom, 
and who during the last reign had claimed a 
right to regulate the king's expenses, agpreed to 
desist from some of their harshest demands on their 
sovereign ; and many of them, who had been en- 
gaged in inveterate private war, became reconciled 
to each other and to the king. 

But this marriage with donna Isabel was dis- 
solved three years afterwards, and Jayme married 
Blanche, daughter of Qiarles, king of Naples, who 
brought a dowry of seventy thousand pounds of 
silver* At the same time he renounced the crown 
of Sicily, with that part of Calabria which his fa- 
ther had conquered, and recalled anew the Arra- 
gonese from those countries; by a secret article 
Arragon was to receive the investiture of the dis- 
puted feof of Cerdagne and that of Corsica from 
the pope. But the Sicilians, as we have seen, re- 
fused to submit to Charles; and Frederic, with 
Lauria, John of Procida, and Manfred Lanza, ap- 
pealed to Rome, and in a personal interview with 


the pontiff, obtained his -sanction to the separation 
of Sicily from Naples, and a promise that Frederic 
should receive in marriage the daughter of Philip 
count of Flanders and grand-daughter of the em- 
peror Baldwin. After these negotiations, peace 
was restored to both Arragon and Sicily. But 
Castile was soon involved in internal and external 
war by the death of Sancho, who, as we have seen, 
expired in 1295, 

The accession of don Ferdinand IV. was tlie 
signal for disturbances throughout the kingdom; 
his tender years and the regency of a woman, seemed 
to leave the ambitious nobles widiout a check, and 
accordingly party dissensions arose in every 
quarter. But Maria's first step, by attaching the 
commons to her, preserved the kingdom for her 
son, and provided a firm support in her subsequent 
difficulties. Sancho had rendered himself ex- 
tremely unpopular by the imposition of a tax on all 
the necessaries of life called Sisa ; this duty Maria 
repealed on the coronation of her son, and the ge- 
neral relief was so agreeable to the people, that 
they continued faithful to her cause throughout the 
civil wars. The cortes of the kingdom assembled 
at Valladolid ; when the king's uncle don Henrique, 
who had long been a prisoner in the hands of 
Charles of Anjou who had taken him together 
with the unfortunate Conradin, under pretence 
of protecting the young Ferdinand, assumed the 
charge of the government, and had sufficient influ- 

a; D. 1295.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 477 

ence to persu^jle the nobles to support his pre- 
tension; but tlie care of her son's education was 
committed to Maria. By the will of Sancho, hi^ 
youngest son Henrique was to inherit the lordship 
of Biscay as a conquered country, from whence he 
had expelled the Haros; but no sooner was he 
dead than Diego de Haro, with a body of troops 
from Navarre, seized upon most of the strong places 
of that province, where he was joined by the Laras, 
who bitterly resented the assumption of the govern- 
ment by don Henrique to the exclusion of Juan 
de Lara, whom Sancho had appointed joint regent 
with the queen. 

Besides these contentions for the regency, two 
pretenders to the crown appeared. Don John, 
the brother of don Sancho, aided by Diniz or Dio- 
nysius, king of Portugal, invaded the western 
frontiers, claiming the same right as that by which 
Sancho had succeeded, to the exclusion of the in- 
fants of La Cerda. 

On the eastern frontier don Alonzo de la Cerda, 
styling himself king of Castile and Leon, appeared 
supported by the king of Arragon, to whom the 
young prince resigned his title to the kingdom of 
Murcia as the price of his assistance. His cause 
was likewise espoused by Yolanda, the grand- 
mother both of Ferdinand and Alonzo, and by 
the kings of France, Portugal, and Grenada ; and 
the kingdom was threatened with total dissolution, 
the La Cerdas having consented to its entire dis^ 


membering as the price of the recovery of their 
titles : and the united armies entered the devoted 
country early in the spring of 1296. Alfonso de 
la Cerda was proclaimed king of Castile at Sahagon; 
and nearly at the same moment^ don John at Leon 
assumed the title of king of Leon, Gallicia, and 
Seville. But in the meantime, Maria had con- 
ciliated the noble Haros, ivho, although they had 
seized irregularly their ancient lordship of Biscay, 
saw with regret the dangers that threatened the 
state. The La Cerdas were soon driven into France. 
Don Henry collected a sufficient army to arrest 
the progress of Mahomet, king of Grenada, who 
had invaded Andalusia, and though beaten by the 
Moors in a pitched battle, yet saved time and 
prevented the course of their successes. A small 
fortress near Sahaguii detained the Arragonese till 
August; when the cortes of Castile assembled a 
second time at Valladolid to consider of the state of 
the kingdom. 

It was then that don Henrique, in order to gain 
his own particular objects, proposed to the queen, 
donna Maria the Great, to marry some powerful 
lord or prince, who might aid her cause, and that 
of her orphan son. But she disdained the counsel, 
and told him she would trust to God that the 
widow and the orphan should neither be oppressed 
by open enemies nor circumvented by false friends. 
She then appealed to the people ; they rallied round 
her; a numerous army was raised, the true Cas- 

A. D. 1298.] HisTOUT OF stpain; 479 

tilian gentlemen came forward^ and at the head of 
them the noble Guzman, .who had not hesitated 
before to saerifice his dear son to his country; 
The eflForts of that brave man to guard Andalusia 
were successful; his letters to Arriagoii and Portu- 
gal in behalf' of his^ infant king, though disregarded 
at the moment, failed not to produce their effect. 
And though peace was not made, nor the preten- 
sions of the princes John and Alonzo formally re- 
nounced, the proceedings against Castile were 
suspended, and: after the third cortes held at Val- 
ladolid, 1297, agreeing to supply money and troops,; 
the kingdom assumed a posture of defence that 
saved it in the end*. 

Donna Maria spared no effort to conciliate the 
Portuguese, and as her son was now advancing in 
age, renewed the contract made for him by his 
father with donna Constantia, offering at the same 
time her daughter Beatrice, with the towns of 
Olivenza and Conguella as a dowry, to the son of 
don Diniz. The only equivalent Diniz would 
grant for this dowry was the assistance of three 
hundred chosen men at arms, under don Juan 
Alonzo de Albuquerque, against the enemies of 
Castile; but these were thankfully received, as an 
earnest that the Portuguese frontier would remain 
unmolested. The king of Arragon was occupied 
in an obstinate war with his brother, Frederic of 
Sicily. He had engaged to assist his wife's bro- 
ther, Charles, king of Naples, to recover that island. 


and had brought over Roger de Lauria to his side ; 
probably, indeed, that great commander considered 
Jayme as his rightful sovereign, and therefore 
obeyed him. The success of Arragon and Naples 
was various. The first naval battle was in favour 
of Frederic; in the second he was overcome and 
narrowly escaped with his life ; the Sicilians had 
put to death John, the nephew of Roger de Lauria, 
hence he had a new motive for exertion in the cause 
of Arragon ; but Frederic was too firmly seated in 
Sicily to be easily overthrown, and after some fisdnt 
efforts against him, the king of Arragon was obliged 
to quit the shores of Italy entirely, and to return 
to his Spanish dominions, as some historians say, 
because the pope failed in his promised subsidies, 
while others attribute his secession from Charles to 
the more creditable cause, that he could not bear 
to witness or assist in the ruin of his brother. 
However that may be, Frederic maintained his 
kingdom of Sicily, and afterwards married one of 
the daughters of his competitor, and Jayme returned 
to Zaragoza. 

Donna Maria had, in the meantime, conducted 
the affairs of Castile so prudently, that don John, 
the king's uncle, had renounced his claim to Leon 
and GaUicia, and had taken in lieu the lordships of 
certain towns and forts, obliging himself to do 
service against the other enemies of the kingdom. 
The peace with Portugal continued, and in 1301 
the infanta Constantia was finally conducted to 

A. D. 1302.] HISTORY OP SPAIN. 481 

Valladolid, the permission of the court of Rome 
having been previously bbtained, in order to pre- 
vent any future altercation on account of the re- 
lationship of the parties. 

A circumstance most fortunate for Castile oc- 
curred about the same period. Muhammad Myra, 
the king of Grenada, whose great qualities and 
successes in war had justly alarmed the queen 
mother, died as he was about to besiege Jaen in 
1302. He was succeeded by one of the most 
beautiful of men, the prince Abu Abdala Muham- 
mad, whose mind was as accomplished as his person 
was agreeable. But his love of learning, which 
led him to pass great part of his nights in study, 
affected his health, and principally his eyesight, so 
that his enemies conceived hopes of success from 
his infirmity, and both the Christians and Moors 
attacked him. His first expedition was against the 
town of Almondhar, which he conquered ; and the 
principal prize he took, though the riches were 
great and the precious things of great price, was a 
beautiful damsel. She was led into Grenada in 
triumph, seated on a magnificent car, surrounded 
by the loveliest girls of her native place, and all 
the people admired the good fortune of the king. 
But the feme of her beauty spread even to Africa, 
and so excited the curiosity of the king of Marocco 
that he sent an embassy to Grenada to entreat 
Muhammad, if he would save his life, to send the 
lady to him. The generous Muhammad complied, 

VOL. I. Y 


alfhoiigli he Wed her and would have made her 
his wife; but he preferred hkfijend's happiness to 
his own, and made the sacrifice. The blindness of 
Muhammad, whether complete or only the effect 
of overstrained application, was of less ooosequence 
to his militarjr affidrs than his enemies had hoped; 
his brother-in-law, Feiag ben Nasar, commanded 
his armies, and seldom returned unsoccessful from 
the field. 

But although the Castilians had been obliged by 
him in 1306 to raise the siege of Algeziras, they 
were two years afterwards successful in an attack on 
Gibraltar, idiich they surprised, knowing it to be 
ill-garrisoned. The inhafahants all retired to Africa; 
and one of them, a very aged man, is said to have 
addressed don Ferdinand, who was himself present 
at the siege, as follows : <^ What misery is mine ! 
that I am thus, banished again, even in my old age ! 
Thy great-grandfather Ferdinand drove me out of 
Seville, and I fled to Xeres ; thy grand&ther Alonzo 
banished me from that also to Tari&: there thy 
father Sancho came, and with my people I fled 
from him hither as to a place of certain refuge; 
but thou hast found me, and at the end of life I 
have again to seek a home. I will now try if 
Africa can shelter me, and afford peace to my few 
remaining days." 

The next year a new expedition against the 
Moors was undertaken; and on that occasion, don 
Alonzo de la Cerda, surnamed the Disinherited, 

A. S. 1311.] HISTORY Ol SPAIN. 483 

promised not to disturb Spain by bis pretensions 
during the Moorish wars, but to serve in the armies 
of Ferdinand. 

The eyes of all Europe were now turned to a 
tragedy, of which the scene lay in France. The 
great power and riches g£ the knights templars, 
their pride and their independence, had excited the 
jealousy of most of the sovereigns of Europe, and 
the dislike of the people. Philip the Fair of 
France resolved on their destruction; and two 
wretches were found, one a knight of the order, 
the other a burgess of Beziers, who, when called 
on by the king, accused the whole body of 
the most wicked^ the most foolish, and the most 
incredible crimes. In vain did they attempt to 
exculpate themselves; Philip arrested all those 
in France, and threw them into prison : and at a 
council held at Vienne in 1311, the pope published 
an injunction to all Christian kings to follow the 
example of Philip, to seize their possessions, 
secure their persons, and even to put the knights 
to the torture, or to destroy them, unless they re- 
nounced their vows or abjured their opinions. The 
king of England openly remonstrated in their 
favour. The cortes of Arragon had pronounced 
that torture was unfit to be employed in a Christian 
country, notwitl&standing the recent establishment 
of the inquisition in tliat kingdom ; and as the 
templars were connected throughout Spain with 
the best and noblest families, it appears not im- 



probable that the greater number actually in the 
Country at that time were so speedily incorporated 
with the other three great orders, that they gene- 
rally escaped the fete of their brethren in France. 
There, torture was employed wantonly, or only on 
pretence of discovering crimes, which, if ever com- 
mitted, it would have been better to have veiled 
from all human knowledge; and the victims, if 
driven by agony to false confession, were burnt in 
mock punishment, or if silent were put to death for 
obstinacy. The grand-master, James de Molay, 
and his son, men whose character, rank, and great 
services to the state should have shielded them 
from suspidon, together with Guy, dauphin of 
Auvergne, were tortured till, in the delirium caused 
by agony, the grand-master acknowledged every 
thing laid to their charge, though, on recovery, he 
recanted and asserted their innocence ; but it was 
of no avail. Philip burned to possess the estates 
and riches of the order, and Molay and Guy were 
led to the stake, and died proclaiming their inno- 
cence in the midst of the flames. It is said that as 
Molay was expiring, he adjured pope Clement the 
fifth, who had judged him, to appear before the 
tribunal of Almighty God within forty days, and 
. Philip within tlie year. It is oertain that both 
these princes died at the time specified. 

If the grand-m^ter really adjured them, they 
were no doubt conscience-struck for the false ac- 
cusation, and torture, and murder, of so many in- 

A. P. 1312.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 485 

uocent men. For it is not to be believed that a 
grand-master and so many knights, among whom 
were princes conspicuous for their great qualities, 
and all venerable for age and long services, should 
have been guilty of the absurd and base and useless 
crimes laid to their charge *. 

Before the persecution of the templars was at 
an end, the king of Castile died in a manner no 
less remarkable than Philip the Fair. Two gen- 
tlemen of the name of Carvajales had been ac- 
cused of the murder of a knight, of the lineage of 
Benavides, within the precincts of the royal pa^ 
lace at Valencia. There was no proof that the 
Carvajales had committed this outrage : many 
others were equally accused, and some suffered 
severe punishment for it; but these brothers had 
incurred Ferdinand's anger by the boldness of 
their defence, and he commanded them to be 
thrown headlong from a steep rock near Martos. 
As they were led to execution, they called on 
God, and heaven and earth, to witness their in- 
nocence, and summoned the king to meet them in 
the presence of their supreme Judge, within thirty 
days. The king appeared to make light of the 
summons, but he was taken ill a few days after- 
wards : the words of the gentlemen occurred to 
him, with the possibility of their innocence ; and 
although the agreeable news of some fresh con- 

* The execution of the grand-master did not take place until 
A. D. 1314 


quests orer the Moots arriired, he coaU not re- 
cover, but died near Jaen within the given time, 
oo the Tth of September, 1312. 

Such are sometinies the effects of conscience on 
guilty men. His wife Constance scarcely sur- 
vived him a year. They left two children, Alonzo 
XI., and donna Eleanor who married the king of 

He vras in the twenty-eighth year of his age, 
and the eighteenth of his reign. His early youth 
had heea passed in the continual agitations of fo- 
reign and domestic war, from which the courage 
and conduct of his mother had rescued him. His 
own talents seem to have been but moderate, and 
he is accused of having been too much addicted to 
the pleasures of the table. 

Women on a mule. 

The half century that elapsed from the ac- 
cession of Alonzo the Wise, to the death of his 

A.D. 1312.] HISTORY OF SPAIN* 487 

grandscm Ferdinaiid, is marked by an eztraordi^ 
nary advance in the language and literature of 
Castile ; to which Alcmzo himself was one of the 
greatest benefactors, though, as he was brought up 
in Gallicia, some of hb earliest compositians were 
canticles for the churdi of St. James of Coiiq)o- 
stella, in the Gallician dialect 

The introduction of the national tongue into all 
public writings was of material consequence, as it 
encouraged its more general cultiyation. The 
publication of the laws of the eieie pertidaSf or 
seven parts, ccNrresponding to the letters of his 
name, was anodier great advantage which the 
r4wtilian tongue owes to him, besides the transla- 
tions of several boohs, and those coanpositions both 
in prose and yerse wliich have been mentioned in 
the history of his life. His most smgnlar work is 
the Thesoro^ written in 1272; it is a treatise on 
the }JiilosopherVst(«e, written in cipher and in 
ms^cal diaracters. Gil Gonzales de. Avila, in his 
history of the churdi of Seville, has given the in- 
troduction to this curious work, in whidi the king 
says, that be had invited a famous diemist from 
Alexandria, in Egypt^ to teadi him the art of 
making gold, that they had often practised it 
together, and likat he had afterwaisds made it by 
hiraseE But alas f the king, if he ever learned 
any <^eimcal secrets, certainly did not possess the 
anrt of malddg gold, the want of which reduced him 
to lay those impositions on the people, which led 
to his ruin. The first paper used by the Chris- 


tians of iSpain was in tlie rdgn of Alonzo, who 
wrote several tracts upon paper, wliidi were pre- 
served to oar own times in the cathedral of To- 
ledo. The Arabs had long known and used that 
admirable snbstitate for parchment, the el^ance 
and cheapness of which rendered literature much 
more easy of access. 

Alonzo was not the only sovereign whose lite- 
rary accomplishments served to enlighten the Pen- 
insula at this period; Theobald I. king of Na- 
varre is celebrated fw his knowledge, and encou- 
ragement of the liberal arts and sdences. He was 
particularly skilled in music and poetry, and v^as a 
good performer on the vthudla or xneUe. Diniz, 
king of Portugal, was also a poet; and the kings 
of Arragon seem to have had an hereditary talent 
for that delightful art. 

The astronomical tables of Alonzo prove how 
great a progress science was making, notwith- 
standing the distractions of war; and several 
^learned men disting^shed Spain during this pe- 
riod. Chief among these was the learned Arnold 
de Villanova, a physician of Barcelona, whose 
skill in the different branches of his profession in- 
duced the vulgar to report a thousand incredible 
things of him, and even the learned have attri- 
buted to him experiments of the most daring kind. 

The celebrated Raimond Lulli also belongs to 
this period, concerning whom Mariana seems in 
doubt whether to pronounce his religious rhapso- 
dies as inspired, or as heretical. He wrote up- 

A. D. 1312.] HISTORY OF SPAIN. 489 

wards of twenty books in the Catalan dialect, which 
were highly esteemed at that time, though the 
major part were afterwards condemned by the holy 

The attention paid by San Ferdinand, and by 
Alonzo X. to the collection and revision of the 
laws and usages of Castile, naturally encouraged 
the study of law; and among the jurists of this 
period whose names are preserved, Garcia His- 
pano of Castile, and Guillen Galvan of Arragon, 
are the most conspicuous. 

The Moorish court of Grenada, if it did not 
equal in splendour, and in the number of its lite- 
rary men^ the best times of the Omeyads at Cor- 
dova, was stiU distinguished for polite learning. 
The successors of Alahmar, cultivated literature 
with great success, and assembled around them all 
who were eminent in learning or science. One 
of Muhammad the Second's favourites was the hi- 
storian Abu Abdala Muhammad, a virtuous man, 
who became the companion and minister of his 
successor ; and the poets of Grenada were so nu- 
merous, that it would be difficult to name them. 
Many of the ballads with which the Spanish 
writers have adorned their works, and which are 
confessedly taken from the Arabs, belong to this 
time. They are characterised by great tenderness 
of sentiment, and a chivalrous spirit generally 
runs through the whole of them. 

The taste of the Moors for elegant architecture 
had not abated. The great mosque of Grenada 



wasbuilty 1306; it was lined and inlaid witb jasper, 
porphyry, and other costly stones. Magnificent 
public baths were also oonstmcted in the same 
city, and its suburbs were adorned with public 
gardens and walks. 

But although both Moors and Christians were 
advancing in many points,- there were others in 
which they seem to have stood still, if not to have 
gone back. They had both become more bigoted 
to their own &ith, and less tolerant oi that of 
others. The crusades had produced this, among 
some other evils and some advantages; though 
doubtless the ambition of the pontifis, who had 
determined at any price to subject the faith of the 
whole earth to their authority, was the main 
cause. The dreadful effects of that evil spirit 
had appeared in the persecution of the Albigenses. 
The inquisition, invented by Dominic for the sup- 
pression of that sect, had been found too powerful 
an engine of command to be abandoned. In 1232, 
Gregory IX. addressed a brief recommending it 
to the archbishop of Tarragona, and he in turn 
sent the bull to his suffragaiis ; but the bishop of 
Lerida appears to have been the first to establish 
one of those cruel courts in his diocese. Twenty 
years afterwards ' the rights of inquisitors with the 
extent of their jurisdiction were increased ; and a 
decree was passed declaring the depositions of 
witnesses to be valid, although their names should 
remain unknown. In 1301 it was decreed that 
Spain should be divided into two religious pro- 



vinces : the first, called Spain, was to comprehend 
Castile and Portugal ; and the second, which was to 
be called Arragon, was to contain Catalonia, Va- 
lencia, Roussillon, and the islands adjacent. Grand 
inquisitors were appointed to each province. The 
great use made of the inquisition in the first fifteen 
ye^rs of the fourteenth century was the persecution 
oftheknights templars; and thispurpose, though not 
so completely fulfilled in Spain as in France, was 
yet so far answered as that several of these unfor- 
tunate gentlemen were burned in autos da fe. In 
vain did the cortes of Arragon protest against the 
use of torture ; the inquisitors owned not any tem- 
poral jurisdiction, and Jf they did not publicly in- 
fringe the laws of the country, their secret dun- 
geons became the more horrible. 

Fountain o/Lioru, AOtarnbra. 



Abdalla ben Yasun, 299 
Abdalla, son of Abdulrah- 

man I., 135, 139, 142, 143 
-, son of Abdulrah- 

man III., 219, 220 

, calipb, 178—183 

-Mehedi,33a— 333 

Abdelmelic, 131, 132, 133, 

256, 257 
ben Cotan, lOJ, 

Abdelmamen, 330, 331, 332, 

Abderabman, 256, 257, 258 
Abderaman, 102, 105, 106, 

Abdul Gafir Meknesi, 131 
Abdulasis, or Abdulaziz, 879 

89, 91, 96, 97, 98, 99 
Abdulbamet, 176 
Abdalrahman I., calipb, 112, 

113, 122—128, 129, 130, 

131, 133, 135, 136 
II., 155—169, 

III., 199— 

204, 212—223, 229, 230 

IV., 260 

v., 260, 261 

Abdulruf, 159, 160 
Abelex, 9, 10 

Aben Abed, kin? of Seville, 

277, 297, 298, 301, 302, 
- 303 
Abed Had, king of Seville, 

Abenzoar, 349 
Abid Dowlab, 413 
Abu Mohammad, king of 

Grenada, 481 
Abu Giaffar Almanzor, 129, 

Abu Jacub,kingof Marocco, 

Abu Jusef, king of Marocco, 

453, 459, 460 
Adolpbns, Visigotbic king 

of Narbonese Gaul, 35 
^tius, count, 38 
Affonso, or Alpbonso, king 

of Portugal, 334, 338, 339, 

365, 375 
Agriculture, state of, 153, 

249, 350, 386 
Ahmed ben Said, 222, 223, 

Alaricl., 34,35 

11., 43, 44, 45 

Albigenses, 391—393 

Alcama, 100 

Alhakem I., caliph, 142— 




Alhakem IL, 243-250 
Alhamar I. Moorish kin^of 
Grenada, 415—417, 419, 
420, 421, 438^-440, 449, 

II., 450, 451, 481 

Albambra, palace of, 415, 
416 ; Fountain of Lions in, 
Alhassan, 246, 247, 248 
Alhaur, 101 
Alhaz Yahix, 353, 354 
Alheitam benObeid, 104 
Ali, an Almoravide caliph, 

310, 324, 328, 341 
Alkinza, 145 

Alia ben Mogueis, 129, 130 
Allutias, 13 

Almagreh, country of, 246 
Almamun, Moorish king of 

Toledo, 287—289, 293 

, caliph, 405^-407 

Almanzor, 250—255 
, Moorish king of 

Valencia, 284 
Almeria, siege of, 338 
Almohades, 341 
Almondhir,caU»h, 175, 176, 

Almoravides,298— 300, 303, 

Almudafar, Moorish king of 

Valencia, 284 
Almuhahidines, 329 
Alonzo I., king of Arragon, 

321, 322, 323, 324, 326, 

335, 336, 370 
I. (or tlie Catholic), 

king of Leon, 108, 114 
(or Alphonso) II., 


174, 179, 180, 183, 184 
IV., the Monk, 209 

Alonzo v., 264 

VI., 286—298, 302. 

VII. (king of Castile 

and Leon, and emperor), 

321, 323, 337, 338, 343, 

346, 347, 348 

VIII. (the Noble), 

357, 358, 361, 365, 36/, 
369, 371, 372, 373, 374, 
376,^381. His issue, 382 
IX., 400, 401, 408, 


X. (the Wise), 431, 

433—437, 439, 441, 445, 
446, 447—449, 452, 455, 
458, 459—462, 487, 488 

Alphabetical characters, 3 

Alsama, 102 

Alyelda, battle of, 167 

Ameld Dola, Moorish king 
of Zaragoza, 326 

Amalric, a Gothic king of 
Spain, 46 

Ambiza, 102, 103, 104 

Amirs of Spain, series of, 
120, 121 

Amusements, 352 

Anathagild, king, 49 

Andobal, 9, 13, 15 

Annius (Caius), 21, 22 

Arabs of Spain, manners, &c. 
of, 116—118 

Architecture, Gothic, 76, 
186; Arab, 117; Moorish, 
148, 152, 153, 154, 232, 

Argantonioy 3 

Armies, how levied and sup- 
ported, 344 

Arms, 118 

Arragon, cortes of, 196, 197 

Ascaholas, sheiks, 438,439, 



Atdraba), 5 

' the yonnffer,?! 10, 

13, 14 
Ased el Xebeni, 131 
Athara, saltana, 182 
Aarelius, 130 
Averroes, 349 
Avitus, 39, 40 
Aynar, 114 
Azala, or Worship of Fear, 

Aznar, count of Arragon, 

195, 196 

Basa, 52, 53 

Badona, 53 

Balearic Islands, 407, 408 

Battle, naval, on the Guadal- 

qatvier, 418 
Benjamin of Tudela, 384 
Berenffuela, queen, 400, 401, 

Bermudo II., kiner of Leon, 


III., 265, 278, 279 

Bernardo, don, the deacon, 

de Carpio, 160, 

Bertram count of Toulouse, 

Borrel, Bereng-er, count of 

Barcelona, 2/5 

C^pio^ QuintusServiliu8,16 
Galatrava, knights of, 334, 

356, 357, 387 
Caleb ben Hafsun, 179 
Caliphs of the East, to whom 
Spain was subjected, 120. 
Of Damascus, 109 
Captives, society for tlie de- 
liverance of, 403 
Carthagena, siege of, 11, 12 

Carvajales, brothers, fate of, 

Cassim, 132 

Castenus, 37 

Caxilona, 64 

Cerda, Alonzo de la, 477^ 

Charlemagne, 133, 134 

Charles Martel, 106, 107, 
114, 115 

Charles I. of Anjou, kinff of 
Naples and Sicily, 444, 
445, 464, 465—467 

II. 469 

Childebert, ^ 

Chindasuinto, 57 

Chintila, 57 

Christianity planted in 
Spain, 30 

Christina, princess of Den- 
mark, 431 

Cid: see Rodrigo 

Ciponius, 77 

Clotikia, 46 

Clovis, king of the Franks, 
43, 44, 45 

Coins of Cadiz and Cartha- 

fena, 27 ; Jewish and Am- 
Cordova, mosque of, 122, 

135, 152, 1»7; gate of, 

184; siege and capture of, 

410, 41 1 
Cordavan leather, 193. 
Conrad IV. king of Naples 

and Sicily, 443, 444 
Conradin, prince, 445 
Costumes, Biscayan, &c. 

313; of Navarre, 320 

Damascus, caliphs of, 109 
Domestic manners in the 

twelfth centurv,3l5 
Dominic, St. 394,395,396 



Dracontius, 77 

Dress, Arab, 117; Christian 

and Moorish, in the twelfth 

century, 316 
Duels, 191, 192,317 
, extraordinary one, 

Eben el Awam, 350 
Edward, prince of Wales, 

Egas Nunez, 334 
Egica, or Egiza, 64, 65, 66 
Egilona, queen, 97 
Eleanor of Castile, 432 

of England, 355 

of Poitiers, 347 

Elevation of St. Ferdinand, 

Ervigio, 63 
Eudes, duke of Aquitaine, 

Eudocia, daughter of the 

emperor Manuel Comne* 

nus, 362 
Euric, 41,42,43 

Famines, 386 

Favila, 108 

Female warriors, 317 

Ferdinand, king of Castile 

and Leon, 279, 280, 284, 

285, 348' 
11. 353, 355, 357, 



404, 410, 411, 412, 416, 

Fernan Gonzalez, count, 227 

Fez, extraordinary capture 

of, 341 
Flectio, governor of Coim- 

bra, 428 

Florinda, daughter of coant 

Julian, 68 
Fountain of Lions, 491 
Frederic of Suabia, emperor, 

Frederic of Sicily, 476 
Froila I., king o'f Leon, 128, 

129, 130 

II., 208 

Froiluba, donna, 108 
Funerals of Spaniards and 

Moors, 352 

Gallet, Spanish, 81 

Garcia, don, king of Leon, 

, don, king of Na- 
varre, 336, 337 

Iniquez, king of Na- 
varre, 175 

• Ximenes, king of Na- 
varre, 195 

Gehwar ben Muhammad ben 
Gehwar, kinsf of Cordova, 

Genseric, 37 

Geographical divisions of 
Spain, 119 

Gerion, 2 

GiafTar, king of Zaragoza, 

Gibraltar, siege and capture 
of, 482 

Goisuinda, 49, 50, 51 

Gonderic, 37 

Gondomar, 53 

Gorgaris, 3 

Goths, state of Spain under 
the government of, 72 — 

Greek authors, translations 
of, 268 

Guadalete, battle of, 70, 



Hachem I., caliph, 126, 135, 


11., 250,256, 258, 259 

in., 261 

, king of Toledo, 293 

el Febri, 129 

Hafsun. 173—175 
Hamilcar Barca, 4 
Hanax ben Abdallah Asse- 

manni, 95 
Hannibal, 5, 6, 7 
Hanno, 7, 14 
Henrique, don, 451 
Henry II., king of England, 

365, 366 

of Lorraine, 302 

of Portugal, 323 

, don, king of Castile, 

Hercules, 2 
Hermenegild, 50, 51 
Hodeira, 104 

Infants, Moorish ceremony 

of naming, 271 
In^undis, 51 
I nigo Sanchez, king of Ar- 

ragon, 197 
Innocent 111., pope, 372, 

373, 393, 399 

IV., pope, 443 

Inquisition, 396, 490, 491 
Isidore, St., 56 

JATME L, king of Arragon, 
398, 403, 404, 413, 414, 
423, 424, 444, 447, 448, 

II., 473, 474 

Jews, persecution of, by Sise- 
bert, 54, 55; by Egica, 65 

Jezid ben Abdelmalic, 101 

John of Procida, 464, 465 

Jonfflenrs, 388 
Judicial astrology, 314 
Julian, count, 67, 68, 70, 

Jurisprudence, 149, 150 

KiMCHi, rabbi David, 318 
Knights of Alcantara, 387 

of Calatrava, 334, 

356, 357, 387 

' of St. John of Jeru- 

salem, 333 

-Templars, 333, 336, 

387, 483, 484 

Language, Spanish, 318 
Lara, Gonzalez de, 454 
Lauria, Roger de, 457, 467, 

Laws of Castile, 487 
Laynez, Diego, 282 
Leather, manufacture of, 1 92, 

Library of Alhakem, 236 
Literary Societies, 233—235, 

Literature, state of, 77> 78, 

J48, 149, 199, 267—270, 

314, 315, 318, 319, 349, 

350, 383, 384, 424—426, 

Liuva, 50 
Louis the younger, king of 

France, 347 
Lucullus, 15 
Lulli, Raymund, 488 


Maharbal, 4 ', 
Mahomed ben Hachem, 258 
Majorian, 40 

Mancinus, Caius Hostilius, 



Mandonio, 9, 13, 15 

Manfred, regent of Naples 
a»d Sicily, 444, 445 

Manufactures, 192, 198 

Maria, donna, t)ie Great, 476 

Marobaudes, 77 

Marriare rites of the Moon, 
270, 271 

Martha, empress of Constan- 
tinople, 446 

Massinissa, 11 

Mathematical Seienees, 314 

Mauregat, 137 

Mechanics, 353 

Merida, Roman ttophj and 
has relief, found at, 32,33 

— — , siege and capture of, 
by the Arabs, 87, 88 

Messiah, pretended, 103, 104 

Metellus, 24, 25 

Michael, the Stammerer, em- 
peror, 157 

Ml lice, 3 

Mohamad, 157--160 

Mohammed Abu Abdallab, 

Mohammad, or Mufaammud, 
Alahmar, king of Grenada, 
415—417,419, 420, 421, 
431, 438—440, 449, 450 

II., 450, 451, 481 

Monasteries, 185 

Monastic orders, 77; an- 
cient Carmelite in Spain, 

Moorish warrior, 121 ; and 
chief, 243 

Moors, domestic habits of, 

Mosque of Gordofa, 122, 
135, 152 

Muhabridines, 328 

Muhamad, caliph, 165 

Muhammad Afou Abdallak, 

Sfuhanmiad ben Ismael ben 

Abed Abttl Cassim, king 

Muhamad Abu Abdilah Aben 

Hud, 441 
Muhammad Myia, "king of 

Grenada, 481 
Munuza, 105, 106 
Musarabs, 328 
Musarabic liturgy, 56~ 296 
Music, state of, 116, 191 
Maza ben Noseir, 68, 69, 81, 


95, 96, 99 

NiftBONNE, capture of, ^ 

the Arabs, 95 
Nepocian, count, 167 
Nobilior, Qitintos Foirias,!? 
Normans, incursions of, 162, 

Nnmantia, skge of^ 18, 20 

OcBA, 107, 109 

Omar ben Aldulasiz, 101 

Omeiad caliphs, effects of the 

establishment of, in Spam, 

148, 154 
Oppas, archbishop of SeTille, 

67, 69, 100 
Ordonio 1 .,doB, kingof Leon, 

169, 172 

II., 204, 208 

III., 224, 225 

the Bad, 225, 226 

Orelio, 130 

Orlando, 134 

Ossentius, 77 

Osset, pretended miracle at,. 

Othman ben Abi Neza, 105 
O^enda Numilona, 138 



Paintittg, 233 
Palm-tree, address to, 127 
Paal, 59, 63 
Piwiro. See¥eter 
Pedro de Lara, 322, 323 


Pelayo, don, 99, 100, 103, 

Ferpenna, 26 
Peter, or Pedro J., king of 

Arra^on, 309, 31 1,312 
.II., 370, 372, 373, 396, 

III., 466,^ 467, 468, 


of Castehiau, 393, 394 

Petronilla, qaeeoof Arraffon, 

Philip III., kiDff of France, 

468, 470 
the Fair, king of 

France, 483, 484 
Ptacidia, 35, 36 
Poetry, state of, 116, 187, 

188, 189, 190, 314, 350, 

Pompeius Rufus, 17 
Pompey the Great, 25, 26, 

Pope's ^spiritoal supremacy 
only acknoivledged by the 
Goths, 77; disputes be- 
tween the popes and em- 
perors, 442 

Popilins, 18 

Posts and postmasters insti- 
tuted, 164 

Present, munificent, 241, 242 

Private war, 384, 385 

Ramirez I., king of Leon, 

163, 167, 168 
, or Ramiro II., 209 

Ramirez, don Sahcho, king 

bfArragon,309, 338 
Ramon Boniface, 418 
Raymond Berenger, count of 
Barcelone, 325, 327, 328, 
346, 348, 360 

•count of Provence, 


394, 395 
Recared I., 52 
II., 55 

- count of Toulouse, 

Rechiarius, 38, 39, 40 

Recisninto, 57 

Remismond, 41 

Revenues of the caliphs of 
Cordova, 249 

Rica, or Richilda, 359 

Roderic, the last (Gothic kinj^ 
of Spain, 67^72; romantic 
tale of, 78—80 

Roderick, first count of Cas- 
tile, 198 

' archbishop of To-i 

ledo. See Rodri^ 

Rodrigo Diaz de Bivar, snr- 
named theCid, 281, 283, 
291—293, 304—308, 315 

— — or Roderick Xime- 
nes, bishop and archbishop 
of Toledo, 380, 399, 400; 
cross of, 382 

Ruy Velasquez, 263, 264 

Sa«untom, siege of, 6 
Sal amanca, uni versi ty of^ 426 
Sancho III.,king of Navarre, 

VII., king of Na- 
varre, 409 

1 . don, king of Castile, 

286, 287, 289, 290 
il., 348 




the Bold, 462, 463 


- theFat,king of Leoo, 


' I., king of Portugal, 
372, 37^3 
J I., 428 

archbishop of To- 
ledo, 451 

Santiago monastery, 16S; 

legendary tale of, 279 
Scipio, Publius Cornelias, 


Publius Cornelius, 

the Younger, 11, 12,13,14 

Cneius, 7, 9, 11 

• iEmilianus, 19 

Sea-robbers, 163, 164 

Segovia, tower of, 155 

Sermons, Moorish, 188 

Sertorius, 20—26 

Seville, arms of, 319; Moor- 
ish kingdom of, 406 ; siege 
and capture of, 419, 420 

Ships, structure of, 75, 76 

Sicilian vespers, 466 

Siete Partidas, or laws of 
Castile, 487 

Silo, 133, 134, 137 

Simon de Montfort,395-»398 

Sisebert, 53, 55 

Sisenand, 56 

Sohaib ben Munia, 238 

Spain, emblem of, 1 ; ancient 
names and fertility, 1, 2; 
considered as a Roman 
province, 15 ; state of, be- 
fore the arrival of the Phe- 
nicians and Carthaginians, 
28,29; languages ancient- 
ly spoken there, 29, 30 ; 
state of, under the Roman 

republic and emperors, 31, 
3z; from the establish- 
ment of the Goths, until 
dom, 33^-80; state of, un- 
der the Arabs, 115, 118; 
its geographical divisions, 
119, 120; state of, under 
the Omeiad caliphs, 148 
— 154; state of Christian 
Spain in the tenth century, 
185, 187; and of Moorish 
Spain, 186, 193; state of 
Cnristian Spain in the de- 
cline of the Moorish em- 
pire, 313-^19, 349, 354; 
state of Moorish Spain in 
the thirteenth century^ 

Spanish language, 319 

Spanus, 23 

Suintila, 55, 56 

Suleiman, 135, 139, 142, 143 

caliph, 101 

Superstition of the twelfth 
century, 383, 384 

Syr ben Bekir, 324 

Tarif ben Zbtad, 69 — 71« 

82, 83, 85, 86, 90, 9J, 93, 

94, 95, 96 
Temam beuAlcama, 112, 133 
Teresa, queen of Leon, 231 

aueen of Portuffal,409 

Theobald, king of Navarre, 

Theodesil, 49 
Theodofred, 66 
Theodomir, 91,92, 93 
Theodoric, 38, 39, 40, 41 
Theudis, 46, 47, 48 
Toledo, siege and capture of, 




Tolosa, battle of, 377, 378, 

Tombs of the kings of Ar- 

ragon, 429 
Trade of Spain under tbe 

Gothic government, 7^ 
Tulca, 57 

Urraca, donna, qaeen of 
Castile and Leon, 311,320 

Vandals, 34, 36, 37 
Vincent (St.), miraculous 

surplice of, 47 
Viriatus, 15, 16 
Visigoths, 75 

Waldenses, 391 
Walid, caliph, 96 
Wallia, 35, 36 
Wamba, 58—64 
Women, condition of, among 

the Moors, 239, 240; their 
influence among the Spa- 
niards, 427 
Witiza, 66, 67 

XlMBNA, 283 

Nunez, donna, 312 

Y ACUB A LMANZ0R,367,368, 

Yahya, Moorish king of To- 
ledo, 293, 294, 305 
Yahye ben Ali, 260, 261 

ben Anesir, sheik, 405 

Yusuf Amumemin, 363, 365 

ben Taxfin, 298—303, 

el Fehri, 125, 126, 128 

Zaida, queen consort of 

Zonarus, a pretended Mes- 
siah, 103 








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