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. . . beatis none Arabum invides 

Gazis, et acrem militiam paras 

Non ante devictis Sabeeie 

Begibus. | 

HoRAT. Carm, Lib. i. xxiz. i 

" This book contains an account fo the Conquest of Andalus by the 
Moslems . . . and how that countr}*' became the arena wherein their 
noble steeds raced, and the halting-place wherein their camels laid down 
their burdens and grazed; . . . drawn from various sources, and the 
accounts of historians compared together." 

Al Makkabi, Hitt. Mohamm. Dyn., 

Vol. I., Book IV., Ch. I. 







THE ARAB-MOORS, i^^i^^^ 






VOL. 11. 



Copyright, 1B61, 
Bt Hbkst Corptm. 








Thedasric fields of Toaraine, 1. — Fonteyranlt and Maupertais, 2. 
— The country between Toura and Poitiers, 2. — Ck>njecture8 as 
to the place of the battle, 8. — The defence of St. Martin, 4. — 
The Arabians make ready for battle, 5. — The reconnoitring 
party, 5. — Partial conflicts, 6. — The real battle begins, 7> — 
Charges of the Moslem cavalry, 8. — Rumors of an attack in the 
rear, 8. — Charles moyes upon their line, 9. — Abdu-r-rahm&u is 
alain, 9. — The Moslem army in full retreat, 10. — The Franks 
occupy their camp, 11. — Exaggeration of the chronicles, 12. — 
The centenary of Mohammed's death, 14. — Charles moves north- 
ward, 15. — The true greatness of Charles Martel, 16. — His 
iaults and fancied punishment, 17. 



Gibbon's errors, 20. — Repeated by later historians, 20. — Henri 
Martin, 21. — Reasons for dissenting from these views, 22. — 
The case stated. A struggle for territory, 23. — The military ar- 
gument, 24. — The ethnic argument against Gibbon's hypothe- 
sis, 25. — The religious argument in theory and practice, 26. — 
A thousand miles in Europe and in Asia, 27. — A circumcised 
people, 28. — "The Arabian fleet," 29. — Summary of the argu- 
ments, 80. — The " sick man " grows weaker, 81. — Guizot's es- 
timate of the struggle, 82. 




Al Fehii appointed Amir by the Wali of Africa, 88. — Is deposed 
and succeeded by Okbah, 35. — Okbah crosses the Pyrenees and 
strengthens Narbonne, 86. — Goes to Africa, leaving Abdu-1- 
malek again in coromandf 37. — Tumults in Spain and Africa, 
88. — Abdu-l-malek sends for the Syrian troops, 40. — The Amir- 
ate contended for by rival chieftains, 41. — Tha'lebah elected 
Amir by the troops, 42. — The coming of Al Kelbi, 44. — He 
makes a new assignment of territory, 45. — Tribal disputes. The 
humiliation of As-samil, 47. — The Amir is released from his 
prison, 48. — The election of Yiisuf al Fehri, 50. — His ambitious 
schemes, 51. — The rebellion of Az-zahrf, 53. — Yusufs divisions 
of territory, 54. — Unsuspected dangers, 55. — A youth named 
Abdu-r-rahmdn, 56. — First appointment of Amirs, 58. — Phi- 
losophy of the separation of Spain from the East, 59. 



Back to Damascus, 60. — Degeneracy of the Beni-Ummeyah at Da- 
mascus, 61. — Meruan falls into disfavor, 62. — The appearance 
of Abdullah the Blood -shedder, 64. — The death of the loyal 
Nasr Ibn Eyer, 66. — The Blood-shedder proclaimed Khalif, 67. 
—The battle at Turab, 68. —Meruan killed, 70. — Abdullah's 
cruelty, 72. — The rationale of the change, 78. — Abdu-r-rah- 
min escapes, 74. — The banquet of blood, 75. — The table of 
quiyering bodies, 76. 



Abdu-r-rahman is warned and escapes, 78. — Swims across the Eu- 
phrates in sight of his pursuers, 79. — Takes shelter in Barca, 
80. — His pursuers on a false scent, 82. — Journeys westward, 
82. — Arrives at Tahart, 88. — Makes secret preparations to en- 
ter Spain, 85. — Sends his mauli, Bedr, into Spain, 85.— 
Tidings of his coming reach Spain, 87. — The double-dealing 
of As-samil, 87. —The council of eighty, 89. — The propositions 


of Tem&m and Ayub, 90. — The deputation to the prince, 91. — 
His reception of the embassji 92. — The Berbers oppose his de- 
parture, 94. — Landfl in Andalus, 95. — And advances rapidly, 





The effect on Yiiisuf al Fehri, 98. — Ydsuf and As-samil join forces, 
99. — The banner of the turban, 100. — Critical condition of both 
armies, 102. — Festival of the Victims, 103. — Abdu-r-rahman's 
prudence, 104. — The battle, 106. — Treacherous purposes of Abu- 
8-sabdh, 107. — The prince enters Cordova, and then marches to 
Elvira, 108. — Treaty with Yiisuf, 109. -- It is broken by Yiisuf, 
109. — The death of As-samil, 111. — The seat of the Khalif re- 
moved from Damascus to Baghdad, 112. — Ibn Mughith sent to 
attack Abdu-r-rahman in Spain, 112. — Abdu-r-rahmdn's ven- 
geance, 113. — He prepares to invade the East, 114. — New re- 
volts, 116. 



Vast projects of Charlemagne, 118. — The treachery of the WaU of 
Saragossa, 119. — The Champ de Mai, 120. — At Paderbom, 
121. — The true policy of Charlemagne, 122. — A Spanish march, 
125. — The pass of Roncesvalles, 126. — Charlemagne goes 
through it into Spain, 127. — Reaches Pampeluna and Sara- 
gossa, 128. — The city of Saragossa, 130. — Charlemagne's dis- 
appointment, 131. 



The romantic legend, 133. — The return through Roncevalles, 134. 
— Who opposed it, 135. — The second division, 186. — An un- 



seen foe, 187. — Utter destruction of the second corps, 188. — 
Life of Charlemagne by Tarpin, 189. — Roland, or Orlando, 
140. — Real remains of this event, 142. — *' Altabizaren Gan- 
tua," 148. — The Spanish marches established, 146. 



Revolts in the empire, 149. — Abdn-r-rahmin creates a standing 
army, 152. — The sons of Yiisnf, 152. — The clemency of the 
prince, 156. — His labors of peace, 157. — A memento of his old 
home, 158. — He approaches his end, 160. — Begins the con- 
struction of the Mezquita or Mosque, 161. — His personality, 
162. — His ingratitude to early friends, 168. — Arranges the 
succession, 165. — And dies at Merida in 788, 167. — Com- 
parison with Charlemagne, 167. 





The true date of the conquest, 170. — Considerations to which it 
gives rise, 172. — Distinct periods in the history, 172. — Hi- 
sham I., 174. — Is succeeded by his son, Al-hakem, 175. — 
Abdu-r-rahmdn II., 175. — The halcyon days of Abdu-r-rahmnn 
III., 177. — He calls himself ** Commander of the Faithful," 
178.— Al-hakem II., 179. —His splendid library, 180.— Hi- 
sham II. a "sluggard king," 181. — Al-mansur, "the Victori- 
ous," 181. — He usurps the power and uses it with vigor, 183. — 
The death of the great minister, 184. — Who shall be hdjib T 185. 
— The heir-apparent is destroyed, 186. — Inroads of the Berbers^ 
188. — The end of the dynasty of the Ommeyades, 189. 



"the men DBYOTED to god," — AL-MOKABITH. 

Spain dissevered into petty kingdoms, 190.)— The Al-moravidea, 
191. — Ydsuf Ibn Tashefin and Abdullah Ibn Yasim, 192. — 
Character and appearance of Yiisuf, 193. — He is called into 
Spain, 194. — Alfonso's embassy to Seville, 195. — And is re- 
ceived by the Moorish king of Seville, 196. — The battle of Za- 
lacca, 198. — Yusuf returns to Africa, but not to remain, 199. — 
Betums and besieges Toledo, 200. — The dominion of the Al- 
moravides comes to on end, 202. 



The Cid of the legends, 203. — " Cronica del Cid," 204. — " Poema 
del Cid," 204. — Accepted as a historic personage, 205. — The 
Cid's family, 206. — The divisions of Spanish territoiy, 206. — 
His growing reputation, 207. — The Christian empire of Fer- 
nando I. divided, 208. — The division and its results, 208. — 
Whispers that Alfonso was privy to Sancho's death, 210. — The 
theatre of the Cid's exploits, 211. — The unhappy marriages of 
the Cid's daughters, 211. — Rodrigo succors Castile, and is ban- 
ished for his pains, 213. — His noble opportunity, 218. — He 
marches to Saragossa, and is recalled by Alfonso, 215. — But 
again suspected, 216. — They march to Granada, 217. — The 
importance of Valencia, 217. — Ibn Jehaf calls the Almoravides, 
218. — The Cid enters the city in triumph, 219. — His address 
to the patricians, 220. — Another address of a different tenor, 
221. — The manifesto of a ruler, 222. — The vengeance of Ibn 
Jehaf, 228. — The death of the Cid, 224. — His remains, 225. — 
A peerless hiero in history, 226. 




The new rising in Africa, 228. — Abd Abdillah Mohammed goes to 
Baghdad, 229. — He becomes El Mahdi, the guide, 230. — El 
Hahdi and Abdu-l-miunem at Morocco, 231. — His people called 


Elroehedis or Almohades, 232. — Vain attempts to take Morocco, 
232. — El Mahdi'fl death, 232. — Abdu-l-mumen Emperor, 233. 

— Fez and Morocco taken, 233. — The Christians advance^ 23^1^ 

— Death t)f Abdu-l-muroen, 235. — J[he fieroe conflict of creeds, 

236. — A strange scene at Rome, 236. -^ The crusade preached, 

237. — Rendezvous at Toledo, 238. — The Algibed, or Holy 
War, 238. — The Christian forces, 239. — Calatrava is taken, 
239. — Capture of Castro Ferral, 240. — Las Navas, 240. — 
Christians led by a shepherd around the pass, 241. — The forti- 
fied tent of Mohammed An-Naasir, 242. — The battle begins, 
244. — The intrepid valor of the king and archbbhop, 244. — 
The Moorish king's camp pierced, 245. — Losses on both sides, 
246. — Mohammed dies within the year, 248. — The death of 
Alfonso, 248. — Chronicles of the event, 249, 




The decline and destruction of the Almohadcs, 250. — The kingdom 
of Granada, 252. — The Christians take the Balearic Islands, 252. 

— Ibnu-1-ahmar makes his entry into Granada, 258. — His alli- 
ance with the Christians, 254. — His death, 254. — The story of 
Alfonso de Guzman, 256. — Mohammed I If. and Nasr, 256. — 
Mohammed IV., 257> — Mohammed YI. is assassinated by Pedro 
the Cruel, 258. — A century of struggles, 258. — The strength 
and importance of Alhama, 259. — The capture of Alhama, 261. 

— The Christians receive succor, 262. — Mohammed XII. called 
Boabdil el Chico, 263. — Capture of Velez Malaga, and of Malaga, 
1487, 264. — The disorders in Granada, 265. ~ The Spanish forces 
in the Vega, 1491, 266. — Boabdil's council of war, 267. —The 
Christian camp is destroyed by fire, 268. — Is replaced by the 
city of Santa F^, 268. —The terms of capitulation, 269. — The 
grants to Boabtlil, 270. — He gives the keys to Ferdinand, 271. 

— The final entrance on January 6, 272. — The last sigh of the 
C Hbor, '272. >r- The inexorable logic of history, 273. • 






Moral and mental development, 275. — Back to the East, 277. — 
The remoTal from Damascus to Baghdad, 278. — Islam a great 
step^ 279. — Popular desire for greater knowledge, 279. — Schools 
attached to mosques, 281. — Damascus peopled by warriors, 281. 
— Al-mansnr makes Baghdad a centre of learning, 282. — Progress 
in medicine, 288. — Haroun al Raschid, 285. — " The Arabian 
Nights," 285. — Haroun's Correspondence with Charlemagne, 
287. — The curious clock, 288. — The holy places in Palestine, 
289. — Thrown open to Christiana, 290. — Haroun's treatment 
of the Barmecides, 291. — Al-mimun succeeds, 298. — Measures 
a degree of latitude and the angle of the ecliptic, 294. 



The spirit of emulation, 298. — A moral conquest, 297. — The 
glories of Cordova, 298. — Its estimation by the Spanish Arabs, 

800. — The palaces ; Rissafah, 801. — The splendors of Az-zahr^ 

801. — Az-zihirah, 808. — Al-mansur's display, 804. — Numer- 
ous buildings, 806. — The sweet-scented air of Cordova, 807. — 
A typical mansion, 808. — Baths and gardens, 309, 810. — Eat- 
ing and drinking, 810. — Costumes of the men, 811. — The 
Spanish aip<i, talaynn, and anda, 818. — The clothing of women, 
814. — Arms and armor, 815. — Peculiar claims of other cities, 



Power of ihe Khalif, 819. —The Ehalif Supreme, 820. —At first 
elective, 821.— The Wizfrs, 821. — Nayib and hagib, 822.-^ 
Katibsi or Secretaries^ 828. — Eadia^ the scope of their powers, 



824. — Night watchmen in the city, 826. — The anny and the 
throne, 826. — The treatment of Jews and ChristianSyC^^ — 
The Mozarabes, 828. — Estimate of women, 328. — Polygamy 
and profligacy, 880. — Dirorce, 880. — Spanish prejudice, 881. 
— Women better treated in Spain, 882. — The power of the 
Kor4n, 882. 





/ The Arabic language, 885. —Of the Shemitie<.family, 886. r^^rly 
^ poetry, 887. — The hingnage in Spaiii, 839. — Writing, 839. — 
Changes in the spoken language, 840. -^ The origin of the Span- 
ish lan^age, 841. — What it oweTto the Arabu^, 842,^ In 
words, 343. — ^ Honor to poets and men of leamiug, 344. — 
Spanuh Arsi^ian poetry, 845^ — The poet is the teacher, 846. — 
Illustrations, 347. — The defect of Arabian poetry, 348. — The 
Ghazele, 348.— The Kassldah, 349. —The Divan, 849. — The 
praise of friendship, 350. — Of love, 860. — Of wine, 850. — Of 
home, 351. — The earlier poetiy the best, 852. — Influence on 
European literature, 858. — Story-telling, 854. — Memory, 855. 
-. Music, 856. 



Arabian metaphysics, 857. — Avicenna, 858. — Al-Ghazali, 859. — 
His doctrine of *' divine assistance "or " occasional causes," 859. 

— Averroes, 360. — His philosophy, 361. — His so-called heresy, 
861. — "Emanation" develops into Pantheism, 862. — Avem- 
pace, 364. — Moses Maimonides, 364. — Historical writings, 365. 

— The Book of Solidity, 366. — Local and special histories, 367. 

— The work of Miguel Casiri, 867. — Arithmetic and matbe- 
matica, 368. — The Arabian numerals, 869. — When introduced 


into Europe, ^70)— Algebra, 871. — Tartaglia and Cardana, 371. ^ 
— Thebit Ibn Korrah, 872. —Chinese claims, 878. — Adelard's 
translation of Euclid, 874. — The introduction of the sine, 874. — 
Al Magest, 875. — Instruments, 876. — The Arabians knew that 
the earth was a spheroid, 876. — They measure a degree of lati- 
tude, 877. — Astrology, 878. — Modem belief in astrology, 879. 



(Geography, 881« — Their attainments in chemistry, 882. — Lapis 
philoBophorum and elixir viUe, 888. — Metallurgy and mining, 
885. — In the earlier times, 886. — Arabian medicine, 887. — 
Simples and tnedioamefUa, 889. — Ayicenna, 890. — Averroes, 
890. ~ In danger of being called Zindik, 891. — Optics, 892. 


imrEKTioNs Ain> dibooybries. 

Gunpowder, 898. — Movable type8^96^ — Paper, 895. — The mag- - 
net and the mariner's compass, 896. — Seeds and plants, 897. — 
Leather, 898. — Knives and swords, 898. — Silk, 898. — ' Gksa, 
899. — Jewelry, 400. 



Arabian architecture, 401. — The Escurial, 404. — The remains in 
Toledo, 406. — Cordova, 406. — Art periods in Spain, 407. — 
Arabian art distinct, 408. — Schools of Saracenic architecture, 
408. — Principal features of Arabian architecture, 410. — The 
horse-shoe arch, 410. — A living geometry, 411. — The Mezquita 
of Cordova, 412. — Begun by Abdu-r-rahmin I., 418. — Pro- 
portions and detaOs, 414. — A forest of columns, 415. — The 
mihrab, 415. — Arches, 417. — Alterations in the days of Charles 
v., 418. — The Moor not the only ''thief of antiquity," 419. 
— Uigust criticisms, 420. 




Thp moorish palace of the Alhambra, 422. — Gardens planted bj 
the Duke of Wellington, 423. —The palace of Charles V., 424. 

— Court of Myrtles or Blessing, 424. — The Court of the Lions, 
425. — Hall of the Ambassadors, 426. — Stories of its iKindowa, 
427. — The great cistern, 427. — " Tocador de la Reina," 428. — 

' The erection of the buildings, 429. — The philosophic teachings 
of the Alhambra, 430. — The consolidation of knowledge, 433. — 


The library of Al-hakem, 434. — Academies and colleges, 436. 

— The destruction of books by Al-mansur, 436. — Contrast be- 
tween Moslem Spain and Christian Europe, 487. — Cardinal 
Ximenes, 438. — A retrospective glance, 440. — Effect of culture 
upon the Arab-Moors, 441. — The Arabian relegated to Arabia, 
443. — The perennial power of Isldm, 443. — The empire of the 
Ottoman Turks, 444. —The Old World and the New, 444. — 
Christopher Columbus, 445. — The moral unity of mankind, 446. 

— Historic justice to ** my neighbor," 447. — Religious fanati- 
cism, 448. — The Inquisition, 448. — The bsleful effects on 
Spain, 448. — Hopes for the future, 449. 


I. Of the Mohammedan Era 451 

II. The Surrender of Granada 453 

I. Capitulation for the Surrender of Granada . . • 464 

II. Secret Capitulation 466 







OCT. 3, 732. 


the student of history, and especially to the 
military student, the province of Touraine, with 
the circumjacent temtories of Orleannois, TheciMsio 
Anjou, and Poitou, is at once classic and ro- Tounune. 
mantic ground. It comprises principally the valley 
of the Loire, and has been called the "Garden of 
France." Within that territory have been enacted 
many of the most interesting and some of the most 
tragic scenes in the wonderful melodrama of French 
history. Here, in the year 507, took place the terri- 
ble conflict between Clovis and the Visigothic king, 
Alarik II., which tried the mettle of Goths and 
Franks, and which arrayed the Catholic and Arian 
creeds in hostile ranks of armed men. At Blois, the 
traveller has a realizing sense of the cold-blooded 
assassination of the Guises, at the instance and 
within the hearing of Henry III. Plessis-les- Tours 

VOL. II. 1 


still savors of the coward cruelties of Louis XI,, 
which sheltered themselves behind man-traps and 
bristling port-holes, Tlie great deeds of Joan of Arc 
were conceived at Ohinon, and her reputed miracles 
were wrought at Orleans. The last burial-place of 
Eichard Coeur de Lion, as also that of his father, is at 
Fontevrauit Fonte\Tault. Maupcrtuis, five miles east of 
tuu. Poitiers, is distinguished as the spot where 

the famous Black Prince routed the French and cap- 
tured their King John in 1356.* 

In La Vendue some of the most fearful scenes of 
the French Revolution were enacted.* But, interest- 
ing as are these events, not one of them surpasses in 
importance and in romantic interest the great battle 
between the Moslems and the Franks, which is now 
to be considered. 

The city of Tours stands on the southern bank of 
the Loire, near its junction with the Cher. The coun- 
Thc country ^^y ^J^^^g between it and Poitiers rises and 
T^unTnd ^^^^ ^^ gcutlc uudulatious, and was then 
Poitiers. dotted with forests. It is watered and fer- 
tilized by numerous small streams, among which are 
the Cher, the Creuse, the Indre, the Vienne, and the 
Claire, which, however, offer no impediments to the 
movements of armies. Most of the ground is rich 
pasture-land ; and here and there a slight eminence 
would be of good service as head-quarters from 

^ The French call the battle MauperiuU^ the English, Poitiers. 
It was fought at the former place, — five miles from the latter. 

^ Rendered still more horrible by the gloating pen of Victor 
Hugo, in that most fearful of historic romances, ** Quatre-yingt- 


which to diTect and discern the progress of a battle. 
The nature of the terrain has caused it to be often 
selected by armed hosts seeking the ordeal of battle. 
As to the more exact and limited ground upon which 
the great battle between Charles and Abdu-r-rahman 
was fought, we are left somewhat, if not entirely, to 
conjecture. Conde says, "The battle was co^jecturw 
fought on the fields of Poitiers and on the JuJSs of\he 
banks of one of the streams that faU into **''**• 
the Loire." ^ There is no record in French annals 
that bones or relics of arms and armor have ever been 
found in that locality. 

The Moslem host was so large that their encamp- 
ment covered a very extensive ground : the divisions 
were somewhat scattered, until the very time of the 
battle, for convenience of space and water, and to 
separate the envious tribes from each other. I am 
inclined to believe that the conflict began on, or very 
near, the banks of the Cher, which would offer a 
national entrenchment to the Franks, and that it 
moved forward on the part of the Franks, during the 
progress of the action, so that, when it ended, the 
Moslems had been thrust back to their camps, on 
or near the banks of the Vienne at Chatellerault, on 
the present high-road between Tours and Poitiers. 
The Moslem army had pushed forward rapidly from 
Poitiers, after burning the church of St. Hilaire. 
Cond^ says, "The Moslemah had now approached 
Medina Towers [the city of Tours."] Charles Martel 

^ Historia de la Dominacion (I. Pt I. ch. xxr.). Kginhard snys 
(Vita Carol! Magni, ch. ii. ) ''in Aquitaiiia apud Pictayium cItI- 


must have felt^ whatever his confidence in an untried 
army, a proper solicitude for guarding the national 
entrenchments of the Cher and the Loire, and protect- 
ing Tours. Abdu-r-rahman had boasted and vowed 
that, as he had pillaged and burned the church of St 
The defence Hilairc at Poitiers, he would pillage and 
tin. " burn that of St. Martin, the guardian of 
Tours. Whatever he may have felt for the defence 
of Christendom at large, the first duty of Charles was 
the defence of St. Martin.^ 

A moi'e exact determination of the locality is of 
but little importance. So, too, the details of the bat- 
tle have been left to the imagination of the chroni- 
clers : the real annals do not supply them ; the 
chronicles exaggerate and distort them. But the 
great features may be readily discerned ; and, even 
beyond these, the imagination, when properly curbed 
by the judgment, may be considered a safe and com* 
fortable guide. 

The Arab chieftain had now collected all his scat- 
tered detachments, and their encampments, by tribes, 
upon the undulating terrain, extending far and wide, 
appeared to the anxious Franks like a large city.* 
And in this extemporized city, which was full of 
booty, each quarter had its special guard, not against 
the Franks, but, because of the suspicions of the 
tribes, against each other. The enthusiasm of the 

^ The second continuator of Fr^^gaire tells us, " Aprhs avoir 
Uvr^ aux flammes, la basilisque do Saint Hilaire, chose doaloureuae 
4 rapportcr, ils so pr^par^rent k marcher pour d^truire ceUe de 
Saint Martin de Tours." 

s " Qui ressemblaient de loin k une grande cit^." — H. Mabtik, 
Histoire dt France^ II. 205. 


Moslem troops bad now become so greatly dimin- 
ished that many of them, we are informed by the 
Arabian chronicles, would have been glad to abandon 
the further scheme of conquest, and to return to 
Narbonne with their rich spoils. This waa no longer 
possible : the eventful day had arrived ; a ^he A»bi- 
terrible battle was inevitable, and they JSSiy ?» 
nerved themselves for the conflict. From ^ 
their former experience, they had little reason to fear 
the event. Issuing from their camps at the com- 
mand of the Amir, the swarm of troops which came 
into line in front, seemed to the Christian host innu- 
merable. Far the greater part were cavalry, — that 
cavalry which had so often displayed its powers, in 
ready attack and rapid retreat, in pouncing suddenly 
on weak points, and, by the celerity of its movements, 
in seeming to be in many places at once.^ 

When they were formed in battle array, a select 
party, easily depicted to the fancy, advanced from 
the front : their brown faces set off by white turbans 
and striped bumus, or light, flowing sayas, covering 
chain mail, — already adopted by the Moslem ofiScers, 
— their small round shields, slender lances, The recon- 
and curved cimeters, their incomparable p2rt7.°* 
horses, all astonished the Frankish soldiers, as they 
galloped swiftly along the front to survey the line of 
battle now opposed to them. Great, too, in turn was 
the amazement of the Moslemah. They had seen no 
such enemy in Africa or in Spain. Here were northern 
giants with streaming light hair beneath brilliant hel- 

^ Cond^ HUtoria de la Dominacion, I. xxv. 


mets, clothed in leather and in steel, protected by large 
bucklers, mounted on colossal horses, armed with 
swords of great length and with ponderous battle-axes ; 
here were equal giants, clothed in skins like wild men 
of the woods, more rudely equipped, but more ferocious 
in appearance. The Moslemah saw at once that the 
contest was to be between weight and strength on 
tlie one hand, and dexterity and dash on the other. 

The generally received account again is, that the 
battle lasted seven days. While there is nothing to 
disprove this, it will be remembered that this ap- 
pears to be the stereotyped duration for battles- of 
that early period. Some of the chroniclers say that 
it culminated on the Sabbath or seventh day, which 
might explain the matter ; but we may be content to 
think that the early days were spent in manoeuvring 
and skirmishing.^ 

The field was extended, and the forces unusually 
large. There were numerous partial conflicts, which 
were not intended to bring on at once a general 
Partial con- battle. After such skirmishes or conflicts, 
^^^^ the troops on both sides seem to have re- 

tired at nightfall to their encampments, with little 
fear of being disturbed until the morning. But at 
last everything was in readiness for the crisis. On the 
morning of the seventh day, the dawn disclosed the 
Moslem and the Christian hosts formed in ranks and 
columns, both with determined purpose to end the 
conflict. 4t a given signal, in all the dusky squad- 

^ Guizot SRys, " Les deux armies pass^rent nne semaine Pane 
en face d'autre, tant6t renfenn^i>8 dans leurs camps, tantdt ae deploy- 
ant sans s'attaquer." — Hiatoire de France, I. 178. 


Tons the men dismounted, and, kneeling beside their 
hoises, invoked the aid of Allah in prayer. This rev- 
erent duty performed, the battle began with ^^ ^j ^^ 
a cloud of arrows from the Moorish arch- *^® *****"•• 
era, under cover of which the flower of their cavalry 
swept like a hurricane upon the Frankish line. The 
field resounded with their favorite battle-cry, " Allah 
acbar," Ood is victorious ; but the Christian wall of 
steel remained unbroken, and scattered them back like 
spray. Isidonis Pacensis tells us that he heard from 
the lips of an eye-witness, a companion of the Amir, 
in Arabian metaphor, that the Frankish Cavalry were 
chained or frozen together, — glacialiter manerU ad- 
stridi} The tall stature, the powerful arms, and, 
above all, the menacing immobility of the enemy, 
appalled and confounded them. Against the ruder 
Frankish infantry their charges had some success ; 
and the Christian losses were principally in that con- 

1 laidoros wrote twenty-two years after the battle, and his ac- 
count must contain yalnable tmtfa, especially when he quotes, as in 
this instance, from an eye-witness. Bat parts of his work are not 
ao trustworthy ; they are in rhyme, or rather in assonant verses, 
imd ^vith the poetic form there is always danger of the poetic license* 
These are his words, " Ubi dum per septem dies utrique de pugna 
conflictu excraciant, sese postremo in aciem parant, absque dam 
acriter dimlcant gentes septentrionales in ictn oculi ut paries immo- 
biles, permanentes, sicut et zona rigoris glacialiter manent adstricta 
Arabes, gladio enercant." — Espafla Sagrada^ VIII. trat. 27, app. 
iL Notas sobre la chronologia del Pacense. With regard to the 
metaphor, H. Martin corroborates its oriental character by stating 
the enriona fact that at the battle of the Pyramids, in 1798, the fiery 
Mamelukes, when they could not break the French squares, ejacu- 
lated, " lis ont enchain^ lea una aux autres.*' — Histoire de France, 
II. 204, note. 


Again and again, the Moslem cayalry rallied, re- 
formed their ranks, and charged more furiously than 
before; but with no better result. Their swift and 
skilful attacks were too light: they were received 
charees of and retumed by those gigantic horsemen, 
cavalry. mouuted ou equally gigantic steeds, of 
Norman breed, the like of which still astonish the 
traveller in the north of France. The long two-edged 
swords beat down their light guard, and caught them 
with terrible cut and thrust, cleaving to the saddle, 
or shearing the head, or passing a hand-breadth out 
through the body ; the battle-axes crushed their 
heads or mutilated their bodies. 

The Arab- Moors still had, however, the prestige of 
the attacking party, and they might venture to hope 
that even northern proportions and northern endur- 
ance would eventually give way before their stormy 
and repeated attacks ; that the line might be broken 
by successive and concerted blows ; that perhaps, too, 
the panic on the plains of Sidonia might be repeated 
in Touraine. Whatever may have been the chance 
of such success, had they continued their energetic 
RumoTBof eflTorts, just then a rumor came swelling 

an attack in. .-i-r^i-r^i .-i 

the rear. from rear to front, that Duke Eudes, with 
a strong force of Aquitanians and Gascons, was at- 
tacking their camp, thus at once compromising their 
retreat, and endangering their fondly cherished spoils.^ 

^ This attack of Eudes is not found in the French Chronicles. 
It 18 an Arabian account ; and, although it might haye been devised 
to give a pla«:sible cause for their defeat, in a military point of view 
it seems natural and probable. It may have been nothing more 
than a feint to disconcert the Moslem army. 


There was no panic, in the ordinary acceptation of 
the word ; but, with a jealous eye to their darling 
treasures, and to rally around their encampment, the 
Moslemah left their ranks in large numbers, and 
galloped to the rear, notwithstanding the energetic 
remonstrances of the Amir and his staff. Thus the 
martial order was disturbed, and the line of battle 
suddenly depleted. It was evident that Abdu-r- 
rahman could not again assume the offensive ; it was 
soon as evident that the Franks were preparing to 
move down upon his line. The entire aspect of 
affairs was changed. The opportune but unexpected 
moment for Charles Martel had now arrived. The 
Moslem attacks were to have their terrible riposte. 

He ordered a charge along his whole front. The 
remaining troops of Abdu-r-rahman were soon in 
confusion : the Franks were upon them. They were 
overthrown, cut to pieces, or forced to flight, charies 
Pell-meD they left the field, and fell back their line. 
upon the encampment in panic and despair. The 
unfortunate Amir, who had been always foremost in 
the fight, in this decisive moment did all in his 
power, with word and sword, to retrieve the fatal 
mistake ; but nothing could now withstand the heavy 
moving mass. He was killed, with most Abdn-r- 

nhm&D is 

of his staflf and body-guard, and their bodies «i*in- 
were trampled under the iron hoofs of the northern 

With his fall the day was irretrievably lost. In 
truth, it had been a fatal mistake. The attack or the 
feint of Duke Eudes upon the encampment had been 
easily repulsed by the camp guards. A little forecast, 


and the detachment of a small force to strengthen 
these guards, would have sufficed to show the exact 
state of the ease, and have saved the Moslem army 
from the greatest disaster it had ever experienced. But 
even this disaster was not irreparable, if they would 
reorganize and again prepare for battle on the morrow. 
Their losses had been great, but they were still su- 
perior in numbers to the Frankish host 

The sun had just set. With a prudence as com- 
mendable as his valor, Charles ordered tlie pursuit to 
cease, and awaited, with renewed confidence, what 
the morning should disclose. He did not for a 
moment doubt, however, that the enemy would still 
present a bold front, and that a fiercer battle was 
yet to be fought. His troops, not well satisfied at 
being restrained, rested on their arms, and nothing 
was done to disturb the Moslem repose. But the 
Moslem army had no thought of rest; they had 
already received the coup-de^dce-. When they 
reached the camp, the tribes began to criminate 
each other, and some of them even came to blows. 
Their leader could not be found ; they did not yet 
know that he had fallen, but the day was lost ; a curse 
like that of Korah was upon theni. The sense of 
The Moslem imminent peril caused them to stop their 
retreat. quarrel, and united them in the determina- 
tion to save themselves by immediate flight 

With the earliest streaks of the morning lights 
the Frankish army commenced to move forward. 
Pickets stole cautiously in advance, watching for the 
first signs of motion in the Moslem army. The tents 
were still there, but unbroken stillness and solitude 


leigned «Still they advanced There was neither sight 
nor sound of living thing ; still at every moment the 
Franks expected to see the reinvigorated army of 
the Arab-Moors issue forth to repeat with desperate 
fury the charges of yesterday. They expected in 
vain: At last, to settle the question, the army of 
Charles moved across the plain, covered with ghastly 
corpses and ghastlier figures of wounded men. The 
advancing troops shouted to the silent camp ; a flight 
of arrows followed the unanswered cry ; the nearest 
tents were entered; they were empty. Then the 
truth broke upon the Franks that the Moslem army 
had, at the last, outwitted them, — that they had 
absconded. They had indeed been marching all 
night, only intent upon saving themselves behind 
the walls of Narbonne. They had abandoned tents, 
baggage, and most of their treasures which would 
have impeded their flight, and, with scarcely more 
than their horses and arms, were already far distant 
from the fatal field. 

Once in the charmed camp, the soldiers of Charles 
revelled in the treasures which had ruined the 
Moslemah, and became, like them, infected The FnmiM 

mi, occupy their 

With the greed of gold. The booty was camp. 
enormous ; hard-money, ingots of the precious metals, 
melted from jewels and shrines ; precious vases, rich 
stuffs, subsistence stores, flocks and herds gathered 
and parked in the camp. Most of this booty had 
been taken by the Moslemah from the Aquitanians, 
who now had the sorrow of seeing it greedily divided 
among the Franks, — "the spoils of Bordeaux and 
of so many other cities passing from the hands of 


their first spoilers into those of their ferocious aux- 
iliaries."^ The number of the killed and wounded 
on the side of the Arab-Moors was enormous, but no 
veritable record has been left. We do not even know 
accurately the force of their army before the battle. 
Cardonne says, with commendable qualification, " If 
we may believe the contemporary historians, three 
hundred and seventy-five thousand Arabs moistened 
with their blood the fields of Touraine." * But this 
exaggeration is too gross to need comment. In 
the words of Michelet, "The imagination of the 
Bxaggem- chroniclcrs of the period was excited by 

tlonofthe • , 5 , 

chronicles, this solcmu trial of prowess between the 
men of the north and those of the south." Nor was 
it only an excited imagination that saw falsely: it 
was national vanity, combined with ecclesiastical 
prejudice, — the desire of the monkish chroniclers 
to magnify in every manner the victory of the Chris- 
tian. It was grand, at one stroke of the pen, to 
consign so many enemies of the faith to everlasting 

One of the monkish historians declares that the 
Moslems had their wives and children and all their 
substance with them, as if to remain and occupy.^ 
The Arabs claimed to have eighty thousand men in all 
upon the field. Mezerai says the Saracen army was 
only eighty to one hundred thousand in all ; and Valois, 
that no women or children crossed the Pyrenees.* 

^ Henri Martin's Histoire de France, II. 206. 
' Histoire de TAfrique, I. 127. 

* Lenr fames et leurs enfants et toute lenr sa'betanoe 9xan 
comme si ils dussent touq'ours les habitpr en Fiunce. 

« The Marqnis de St. Aubin-snr-Loire, in his « Traits de TOpi- 


The exaggeration is the more absurd, because so 
unnecessary ; the defeat of the Arab-Moors was entire 
and ruinous without it ; it could not magnify the true 
glory of the Christian triumph thus to multiply the 
numbers of the' slain. 

As might be expected, the Arabian historians say 
little about the battle. Condi's authority concedes 
the defeat, and gives the reason already mentioned 
for the disorder which preceded it.^ Ibnu Khaldun 
accosts and dismisses the whole matter in these 
words : " He [Abdu-r-rahmdu] arrived in Andalus in 
the year 113, A.H., and made war upon the Franks, 
with whom he had several encounters; but in the 
month of Ramadhan of the year 114 (October, a.d. 
732), his army was cut to pieces at a spot called 
Balattu-sh-shohada [the pavement of the martyrs], he 
himself being in the number of the slain. This dis- 
astrous battle is well known among the people of 
Andalus as the battle of Balatt." * 

The statement is far more credible, and yet deserv- 
ing of some scrutiny, that Charles Martel lost only 
fifteen hundred men in the battle. The Moslemah 

nion" (Paris, 1735), cites this story among numerous examples 
(to which modern history could largely add) of "batailles qui pa- 
Toissent incroiables," Vol. I. p. 210. It is worth mentioning that 
three hundred and seventy-fiye thousand Is a stereotyped number of 
dead Moslemah after a battle. They lost that number, the reader 
will remember, at the battle of Toulouse. The chroniclers on whose 
faith the statement was made are, Paul the Deacon, and Anasta- 
sius the Librarian. 

1 Dominacion de los Arabes, T. xxv. 

* The same name (see ante) was given to the battle of Toulouse, 
and is applied to many other fields on which the Moslemah were 
defeated : they were always martyrs for the faith. 


were slain principally in the space between the origi- 
nal battle-field and their camp. Leaving the field of 
conjecture, the great historic fact remains : the prob- 
The cento- ^®°^ ^^ heen solvcd ; the trial of arms and 
hlmmidi**' of purposes had been decided in a single 
death. ^y rjxy^Q great centenary of the prophet's 

death ^ had been celebrated by the greatest defeat of 
his creed and his policy. 

The Moslem had boasted that he would conquer 
Gaul as he had conquered Spain; that he would 
march from Gaul to Italy ; that he would return to 
the east by way of Constantinople ; and that Allah 
should be worshipped and his prophet revered by all 
the nations of the European world.^ 

After a careful study of the history, I find nothing 
which leads me to think it possible that he could have 
realized his boast. But the assertion had been made, 
and his vaunted purpose had been defeated by the 
army of Charles Martel. 

Much more might have been done to increase the 
disaster of Tours, if Charles had made a vigorous pur- 
suit. Some writers assert that he did so, and was 

1 In June, 682. 

^ There is a tradition that when an army was sent from Eairwan 
to the conquest of Andalus, the Khalif had written to its commander 
that the conquest of Constantinople was to be made, passing first 
through Andalus. — Al Makkari, I. 80. It has been seen that Miisa 
is said to haye conceiyed the project of returning to the east by way 
of Constantinople. — Ib. I. 289. The Moslems of that day had little 
knowledge of the geography of £urope, of the distance to be jMissed 
oyer, and the great obstacles to such a progress. The first abortive 
crusade to Palestine, three hundred years later, shows how little had 
been learned of these difficulties, even after so great a lapse of time. 


repulsed with great loss from the siege of Narbonne.^ 
There are many reasons for doubting this statement 
He was quite willing to throw the burden of the sub- 
sequent defence upon Eudes and the Aquitenians, who 
had submitted to pay him tribute. His motley army, 
hastily collected to repel the invasion, could not be 
long kept in hand. They had found their pay in the 
Arab spoils, and soon separated into little bands, 
seeking their homes in the north, and leaving him 
only his usual and regular contingent of troops. And, 
besides, he was now far more concerned with the 
aspect of afiairs on his northern frontier, and cbaries 
was ready to pass at once from an averted northward, 
danger to one which still threatened. " On the one 
side," says Kanke, " Mohammedanism threatened to 
overspread Gaul and Italy; and, on the other, the 
ancient idolatry of Saxony and Friesland once more 
forced its way across the Rhine." * He passed rapidly 
with his hammer from the broken south to the still 
threatening north. The treaty of peace with Eudes 
gave the Aquitanians a breathing spell, and enabled 
them to confront the Moors.* Thus the relations of 


^ Isadoras Pacensis makes such an assertion, bat it is not sup- 
ported by other historians ; and he wrote when the viva voce ac- 
counts were confused and contradictoTj. He may refer to the 
misfortunes of the Aquitanians. 

^ History of the Reformation, SSI. 

' La Fuente, following the authority of laidoras, says : "£1 fa- 
moflo Carlos, Uamado despues Martell, pone cerco i Narbona, pero 
los Ismaelitas la defienden." — Historia de Espafia, III. 55, 56. I 
think it most probable that this refers to Eudes and the Aquitanians, 
as Charles could, at that time, have had little inclination to pursue 
the victory. The presence of the Arab-Moors was rather an advantage 
to Charles, as it kppt Eudes in a proper condition of humility. 


the Franks and Aquitanians were much changed by 
the battle in Touraine. 

We cannot let the valiant Charles disappear from 
this humble record, as he must now do, without a 
word as to his brilliant exploits recorded by his- 
tory and embalmed in stirring legends. And this is 
especially important, because they throw additional 
light upon the determined character of his victory 
near Tours. That triumph, so far from exhausting 
his resources, left him a large surplus of moral and 
physical power. For the time he mastered Saxony, 
and left there the prestige of his arms for the later 
achievements of his grandson Charlemagne. He pro- 
ceeded to subdue Burgundy entirely : he destroyed the 
Duke of Frisia ; he returned again at a later day to 
the conquest of Aquitania; when its duke became 
again rebellious, he occupied Bordeaux, took Aries and 
Marseilles ; he made head against new invasions of 
the Saracens in Septiraania, and gave them another 
overwhelming defeat near Narbonne, on the borders 
of the Berre. He was a great king in all but title, — 
the master and the tensor of western Europe. To 
Tiie true epitomize, his greatness consists in this : He 
Krie^" ®' created permanent and powerful order out of 
Martei. chaos ; from the combination of a few German 
conquerors and a Romanized people of Gaulish race he 
produced the French nation. Thus, great and gifted as 
an individual, he was besides an exponential man, — 
the leader of a race, the initial figure of a new dynasty, 
the founder of a throne upon which his greater grand- 
son was to sit; and, above all, as far as this history is 
concerned, the champion of Christendom against the 


temerity of Islam. I do not give him credit for great 
virtues. He seems to have done all for himself and the 
aggrandizement of his family. Hi3 victory at Tours 
has caused him to be lauded as the savior of the 
Christian faith. But his terrible cruelties, his policy 
towards the church in Gaul, his rigor towards the 
monks, his pillage of churches and monasteries in the 
dominion of Eudes, in order to supply his armies, 
deserve the reprobation of history, even if we accept 
the moral standard of the age. They were, in the 
eyes of the ecclesiastics, deadly sins, and HisfaaitH 

« , . • • xT_ i. X and fancied 

one of them saw in a vision the greatest punuhment. 
hero of Christendom enduring his punishment in 
eternal flames.^ Charles died in the year 741 at the 
age of fifty. He had ruled for a quarter of a century 
without the name of king, but he received the burial 
of a king, with great pomp, in the Abbey of St. 
Denis. "The substitution of the second race of 
Franks for the first," says Dumas, " begins with an 
aristocratic corpse which slides into a royal tomb." * 

We need not follow the fortunes of the Moslem 
invaders at this time. Narbonne remained their 
principal stronghold and point cCappui in Gaul, from 
which they made incursions no longer in Aquitania, 
but upon the Bhone. In 755, Narbonne was recov- 

^ There is something more palpable, if not truer, '' than the 
monk's vision. On the opening of his tomb," says Gibbon (Decline 
amd Fallf V. 189) '*the spectators were a£frighted with a smell of 
fire and the aspect of a horrid dragon." But, as the letter contain- 
ing this statement was addressed by a GaUic synod to Louis le Ger- 
mannique, the grandson of Charlemagne, we may suppose the miracle 
was invented for a purpose. 

* A. Dumas, Gaule et Fitmce, 57. 

VOL. II. 2 


ered by Pepin le Bref. Thirty-seven years after- 
ward, it was again captured and pillaged by the 
Spanish Arabs, and the Christian captives taken at 
that time were carried to Cordova, to build, at hard 
labor, that wonderful mosque, which stUl delights the 
eye and satisfies the taste of the contemplative trav- 
eller. One of these unfortunate Christian prisoners 
has left a rude cross with an inscription scratched 
upon one of its thousand pillars ; ^ a memory of the 
last Moslem success at Narbonne. The refluent wave, 
hurled back at Tours, moved slowly into Spain, and, 
settling in its long river-valleys, was fain to be con- 
tent, without further hope of a northern progress. 
Once driven beyond the Pyrenees, the Arab-Moors 
could never fully forget nor recover from the terrible 
lesson they had received in Touraine. 

^ "The marvel, however, of the verger is a rude cross scratched 
upon a pUlar, and, according to an inscription, by a Christian cap- 
tive with his nail [a nail], — * Hizo el cautivo con la ufia.* '* — Fcrd^s 
Handbook, I. 229. The mosque was commenced in 786. 




THE story might stop here : it is complete ; the 
statistics are simple and few; the philosophy 
is, in the main, manifest. There remains, however, a 
question to be considered, — a question of historic 
judgment, upon which I express myself with some 
diffidence, as the opinion I have formed is not in 
accordance with that of most modem historians. It 
will be most simply stated by quoting a well-known 
and often repeated paragraph from the great work of 
Gibbon. In speaking of the battle in Touraine, he 
says: *'A victorious line of march had been pro- 
longed above a thousand miles from the Kock of 
Gibraltar to the banks of the Loire ; the repetition of 
an equal space would have carried the Saracens to 
the confines of Poland and the Highlands of Scot- 
land ; the Shine is not more impassable than the 
Nile or Euphrates, and the Arabian fleet might have 
sailed without a naval combat into the mouth of the 
Thames. Perhaps the interpretation of the Koran 
would now be taught in the schools of Oxford, and 
her pulpits might demonstrate to a circumcised peo- 
ple the sanctity and truth of the revelation of Mo- 


hammeA From such calamities was Christendom 
delivered by the genius and fortune of one man." ^ 

The rhetorical point and elegant wit of these sen- 
tences are certainly unsurpassed. They attract the 
eye, the ear, and the fancy ; but the hypothesis they 
suggest will not bear, in my judgment, the ordeal of 
Gibbon's historfc philosophy or even the scrutiny of 
errors commou intelligence. I think it necessary 
to point out the errors they contain, because they 
give a false idea at once of the power and resources 
of the Arab-Moors and the condition of western 
Europe, and thus bear directly upon the subject of 
this history. The opinion thus sententiously an- 
nounced by Gibbon, and based upon the grand exag- 
geration of the monkish chroniclers, has been generally 
accepted by the later historians,' and not critically 
questioned by any one. 

Sir Edward Creasy, who collates some of these 
opinions in his sketch of the battle of Tours,® says ; 
" The great victoiy won by Charles Martel . . . res- 
cued Christendom from Islam, preserved the relics of 
Repeated by aucieut and the germs of modern civiliza- 
wia. tion, and re-established the old superiority of 

the Indo-European over the Semitic family of man- 
kind/* Schlegel, in his philosophy of history, declares 
that the arm of Charles Martel delivered the Christian 

^ Decline and Fall, ch. lit 

3 Eginhard, the contemporery and biographer of Charlemagne, 
simply says : " Charles, qui ^crasa les tyrans dont Tambition mena^U 
toute la France ; qui, au moment oh les Sarasins envahissalent toute 
la Gaule, les vainquit compUtement dans deux grandes battaillea, 
Tune en Aqnitaine, aupr^ de la viUe de Poitiers," etc. — Vitu, ch. ii. 

» The Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World. 


nations of the west from the deadly grasp of all- 
destroying Islam." Southey, the most historical of the 
modern poets, in his " Poet's Pilgrimage," ^ says, — 

" The world hath seen the work of war's debate 
Consummated in one momentous day 
Tiovce in the course of time. 

" The second day wa/i that when Martel broke 
The Mussulmen, delirering France, oppressed, * 
And, in one mighty conflict, from the yoke 
Of misbelieving Mecca saved the West" 


Dr. Arnold * considers this victory as " among the 
signal deliverances which for centuries have aflfected 
the happiness of mankind." The opinion of Henri 
Martin is expressed with so much rhetori- 3^^^ Mar- 
cal elegance and energy that I will not spoil ^^ 
it hy translation : '' Ce fut un des moments les plus 
solennels des fastes du genre humain. L'Islamisme 
se trouvait en face du dernier boulevard de la Chr^ti- 
ent^. Aprfes les Visigoths, les Gallo-Wascons ; aprfes 
les Gallo-Wascon, — les Franks ; aprh les Frank plvs 
Hen ! ce n'^taient pas les Anglo-Saxons, isoMs au fond 
de leur isle ; ce n'^taient pas les Langobards, faibles 
dominateurs de Tltalie ^puis^e ; ce n*^taient mfime les 
Gr^co-Bomains de I'empire de Torient, qui pouvaient 
sauver I'Europe! Constantinople avait assez de 
peine k se sauver elle-m6me. Le chroniqueur con- 
temporain, Isidor de B^j^, ne s*y trompe pas. II 
appelle I'arm^e Franke, Tannic des Europ^ens. Cette 
arm^e d^truite, la terre ^tait k Mahomet. . . . Le 

1 Parti. "The Journey." 

' History of the Later Roman Commonwealth, 11. 817. 


sort du monde allait se jouer entre lea Franks et les 
Arabes." ^ Only Sismondi and Michelet are disposed 
to question the general judgment. The latter espe- 
cially is inclined to belittle the great battle. He 
considers the danger to the Franks from the north 
greater than from the south, and speaks of the Arab- 
Moors as a set of "brigands, whose astonishing ce- 
lerity seemed to multiply them." The opinions of 
historians might be multiplied ; but in citing these, 
whose authority must always be respected, we have 
B^j^^go„ fo, sufficient upon which to base oUt inquiry.' 
ftjj^ufow I venture to dissent from these concurrent 
▼lews. judgments, and shall seek to give valid 
reasons for so doing. I assert that this was princi- 

^ Histoire de France, II. 208. Withont breaking the conti- 
nuity of the citation, I wish to^contrast with the opinion of Martin 
that of Freeman, the distinguished historian of the Norman con- 
quest : '* Let me not for a moment depreciate the fame of so glori- 
ous an exploit. The first total defeat of the Saracens by the 
Christians, in a great pitched battle, was indeed an illustrious 
event, and it may be that Charles Martel saved Gaul from the fate 
of Spain. But let honor be given where honor is due, and honor 
is not fairly assigned when Charles is magnified as the one savior 
of Christendom, while Leo, the Isaurian, is forgotten. . . . The 
Isaurian emperor rescued the head of Christendom ; the mayors of 
the palace rescued only one of its extremities. One bora the on- 
slaught of the whole force of the caliphate ; the other only over- 
threw the power of its most distant and recent province." — Xeo- 
iures on the Conquest of the Saracens, Lect v. 

* Alexandre Dumas, p^e, in his "Gaule et France,'* a work in 
which he invests history with the charm of romance, makes the fol- 
lowing parallel between their first invasion of Spain and their crown- 
ing defeat : " Ainsi TEurope fut envahie parce qu'un petit roi, 
West-Goth, avait vioU je ne salt quelle Lueriee ; et, le monde 
entier ^tait Mahometan, si le fils d'une concubine ne fut vena en 
aide k la religion Chr^tienne." 


pally not a contest of creeds, but one for territorial 
possession. The soil which Borne had conquered, 
reclaimed, and been forced to abandon, was the true 
ground of contention. The northern man, — large 
and strong, and capable of bearing winter ^hecMe 
rigors, — Vandals, Alans, Burgundians, and Jt?i^ietor 
Goths, the first three Pagans and the last territory. 
Arians, had pounced down upon it. The Franks, 
Catholics only in name, had come, and from their 
hardy hive were still coming. The southern man of 
Semitic race, light, hardy, active, unhurt by tropical 
suns, had come up to secure his share in the great 
partition. The contest was between northern barba^ 
rians and southern fanatics, both eager for land and 
spoils. The former had a world of rude but powerful 
fighting men behind him, already occupying the con- 
quered lands; the latter, with a handful of Arabs 
and a crowd of turbulent Africans, had just secured a 
foothold in the Peninsula. The causes which were 
soon to lead to the independence of the Spanish 
Khalifate were already at work, and display how 
little of power remained beyond the Arab dominion 
in Spain, to the south and east. The insurrection of 
the Berbers immediately afterwards shows how little 
the Spanish Amirs could depend upon Africa for 

With these prefatory remarks, and keeping the 
great battle in mind, — the inadequacy of the Moslem 
strength, the surplus of massy resistance and colossal 
strength in the army of Martel, — we may proceed to 
a more detailed examination. 

Tho Arab-Moors had conquered and subjected in 


Spain a dynasty and a people, enervated by indo- 
lence, licentiousness, and irreligion. From the date 
The military ^^ ^^® battle in the plains of Sidonia, large 
ailment ^j^^ constant reinforcements, under the first 
enthusiasm, — proportionally small from Arabia and 
Syria, and numerous from northern Africa, — had 
kept open their communications with Africa and the 
east, and had constituted the Peninsula, with its 
grand wall of the Pyrenees, a Saracen citadel, a mag- 
azine of supplies, and a new and strong base of opera- 
tions. There was nothing behind them to alarm or 
endanger ; but every day's march beyond the moun- 
tains into Gaul converted their army into a movable 
column, more and more isolated from its base, exposed 
to failui*e of supplies, and hostile attacks in front, 
flank, and rear. The men of (xaul, Gallo-Eomai^s, 
Aquitanians, Goths, and Franks, were of a different 
temper from that of the Spanish Goths; they had 
been for a long time constantly engaged in war, and 
were quite as practised in the military art as the 
Moslemah themselves.^ N"or must we fail to remem- 
ber that the Arab-Moors, when they moved into Gaul, 
left behind them and on their left flank a small but 
vigorous Christian state in the Asturias, which, after 
the battle of Covadonga, was spreading and increasing 
daily in coherence and power. Such are suggestions 

* This is confessed by the Arabian writers. Al-kardwf, after 
speaking of the Andalnsians as a "brave and warlike people," and 
the Galicians as "brave, strong, handsome, and well-made," goes 
on to say of the Franks that " they are a people still more formidable 
than the Galicians on account of the deadly wars in which they are 
continually engaged among themselves, their numbers, the extent 
and fertility of their territory, and their great resources." 


oi the military argument against Gibbon's hypoth- 
esis, which may be confidently commended to the 
military student. In the comparison of numbers, 
strength, and strategy, the odds were greatly in favor 
of the Franks. 

Again, Charles Martel was but the representative of 
the superior mental and physical vigor of the Franks. 
He was at the head of the new incursions of Germans 
into GauL His race, known in history as The efchnio 
the Garlovingian, had, as has been already !^?n^t Gib- 
seen, conquered the sluggish kings of the pothesis. 
Merovingian dynasty ; and in their flush of victory 
and pride of power, they stood like a wall of granite 
against any southern invaders. The uncorrupted 
warlike German faced the Arab-Moor, who, however 
warlike, was not the physical equal of the Teuton. 
The Frank was a powerful man ; his horse was colos- 
sal ; his arms ponderous and crushing ; he was inured 
to winter rigors ; he was too phlegmatic to be fright- 
ened by the dash or routed by the lelies of the Mos- 
lemah. The Goths had been softened by inaction ; 
the Franks were hardened by constant action. The 
races that conquered Eome were by no means extinct 
at the north. There were new hordes of the same 
Frankish type, ready to pour down and crush the 
lithe and active, but weaker, sons of the south. In 
everything the disparity was too great. Had the 
Saracens won the battle between Tours and Poitiers, 
northern and central Europe would have united to 
destroy them ; and northern and central Europe were 
far stronger in numbers and in physical type, and in 
the means and appliances of war, than any force 


which the Arab*Moors could array against them. 
These considerations present the ethnic reason against 
Gibbon's conjecture; and all history proclaims its 
cogency, especially the more modem history and 
condition of Europe. 

Once more ; :while we may concur in the truth of the 
maxim — certainly valuable in war — that "Provi- 
dence is on the side of the heavy battalions," we must 
also recognize the solemn truth in Christian ethics, — 
a truth so wonderfully manifested in history, — that 
God will protect the holy religion He has revealed to 
man, and that in the end " no weapon formed against 
it shall prosper." We have seen that the Christianity 
which the Moors subjected in Spain was not worthy of 
the name. Even that they could not destroy. It existed 
ThereiigiouB ^ide by side with IsMul Tlie faith of Gaul 
thSo^Tnd ° was comparatively purer and more practical ; 
practfce. ^ j^. ^-^ ^^^^ ^^ ^j^^^^ turbulcut age, control 

the actions, it sat in calm judgment upon the sins of 
chiefs and people ; it drew strength from the alliance 
of the Carlovingian house with Gregory III. It was 
already a power in Europe. All the energies of the 
church were exerted to resist the progress of Moslem 
infidelity. The absurd claims of the Koran gave, by 
contrast, new point and force to the divine assertions 
of the Bible. The pretensions of Isldm seemed, 
indeed, the very thing needed, and providentially de- 
vised, to unite Christian Europe: these pretensions 
consolidated a power more irresistible than the force 
of arms, and which could most enthusiastically sub- 
sidize arms to attain its purpose; the churchman 
inspired the soldier, and the soldier's weapon became 
the sword of the Lord. 


Gibbon speaks of the thousand miles already trav- 
ersed " from the rock of Gibraltar to the banks of 
the Loire," as an earnest of equally easy progress over 
another thousand, which would have taken ^ thousand 
them to *' the confines of Poland and the JjJ^alSi to" 
Highlands of Scotland." The falseness of ^**' 
this assertion has already been exposed in speaking 
of the military difficulties of the problem. When, 
with no clear logical connection, he goes on to say 
that the fihine is ''not more impassable than the 
Nile or the Euphrates," he relegates the comparison 
to an earlier period of the Mohammedan conquest, 
without giving it additional force. The great barrier 
of consolidated Christendom lay between the 'Arab- 
Moor and the Bhine ; and even if they could have 
reached that stream, the fierce and hardy tribes dwell- 
ing upon its banks were a very different people from 
the oppressed and enervate races upon the Nile or the 
Euphrates, who had been conquered again and again, 
and who had scarcely raised a finger to resist their 
repeated conquerors. But another element must here 
be considered. To the Oriental people the religion 
of Mohammed presented a noble faith and a better 
destiny than any yet foreshadowed to them. The 
conquest of the east was easy, because it gave prom- 
ise of good. Isldm was a step upward, and an 
accessible step. It destroyed caste ; it restored man- 
hood ; it bestowed wealth. It was the harbinger of 
civilization. To the Christian of the west it was an 
abomination ; a descent from the spiritual and divine 
to the sensuous and human. The suggestion of 
Gibbon is hardly more sensible than it would be to 


compare a thousand miles of modem European travel 
on well-constructed railways with an equal distance 
of painful exploration with Livingstone or Stanley in 
the heart of Africa. And so, too, when he speaks of 
interpreting the Koran in the schools of Oxford to a 
Acircum- circumcisod people, he is greatly and pur- 
cised people, posely in crror. A perusal of the Kordn, 
and a glance at its fortunes in history, will show that 
it is in the main an inter-tropical plant, which has 
never flourished, save as a sickly exotic, in temperate 
and northern climes. Circumcision, although en- 
joined upon the Israelites as a sacred rite, had long 
been practised in southeastern lands on grounds of 
physiology and hygiene. It would be a monstrosity 
and an abuse in the climates of Christian Europe.^ 

His mention of the schools of Oxford contains a 
sarcasm at once against the University and against 
Christianity, which loses its point when we refer 
to the contemptuous opinion of the former, expressed 
in his autobiography,^ and to his undisguised scorn of 
the latter, which is so fully displayed in his history. 
Thus he found a malicious pleasure in subjecting a 
conquered Christianity, in what had been the strong- 
est seat of its power, to the demonstration of " the 
sanctity and truth of the revelation of Mohammed." 

1 When Napoleon was in ^gypt he convinced the Imanms that 
a man ahould be permitted to embrace IsUm without l)eing circum- 
cised, or abandoning the use of wine. As to circumcision, he 
told them, " God has made us unfit for that ; with respect to drink- 
ing wine, we are poor, cold people, inhabitants of the north, who 
could not exist without it." The doctore issued d^fetham^ removing 
both restrictions. 

* Miscellaneous Works, I. 82, et supra. 


The historic truth is, that Mohammedanisin, although 
it has made a few individual converts here and there 
among nominal Christians ; although it has some- 
times overrun Christian territory with the soldiers of 
Islam, who have occupied the land, and oppressed or 
driven out the inhabitants, — has never caused the 
apostasy of a Christian nation. I have attempted 
thus to give the theological or religious answer to , 
Gibbon's epigrammatic "perhaps." The weight of 
my argument will be estimated according to the re- 
ligious views of the reader. 

In bringing this chapter to a close, let us gather 
up the ravelled ends of the tissue. We turn again 
to the sonorously uttered opinion of Henri Martin, 
and at the outset we find him unconsciously opposing 
Gibbon's introduction of the Koran into Oxford. In 
asking who could stop the progress of the Arab- 
Moors, he says, — " Not the Anglo-Saxons, isolated 
in the depths of their island." He evidently thinks 
that they would have taken no part in the contest. 
Of this, had the contest been possible, we can by no 
••The means be sure. " The Arabian fleet " in the 

fleet" English Channel was but a rhetorical fancy 

of the great historian. In the Mediterranean, it 
served principally to convey troops in small bodies. 
They were smooth-water sailors, who had never ven- 
tured with warlike purpose beyond the Pillars of 
Hercules. If we may for a moment suppose Gaul 
to have been conquered by them, and a squadron of 
ships fitted out in the harbors of Picardy and Nor- 
mandy, what would have been the result ? The Saxon 
English were still in the flower of their strength; 


they were constantly engaged in wars, their ships 
were swarming upon their coasts, and their sailors 
were adventurous and bold. At the north they made 
voyages of traflSc and discovery; they followed the 
whale for the teeth. As early as the seventh century 
London was frequented by ships. Saxon vessels sailed 
even to Rome. They had already displayed that 
fondness for the sea which in later times has led to 
the maritime supremacy of England. In Saxon per- 
iphrasis they called it the "whale's path," and the 
" long snake's leap." They would have scattered the 
fancied ** Arabian fleet " like the foam on the crest of 
the wave. 

We pass to the Lombards. If they were, in the 
words of Martin, "feeble dominators of exhausted 
Italy," they would have roused in self-defence, united 
themselves to the Franks, supported the Pope in such 
a crisis, and struck boldly for the common salvation. 
Indeed, the combination of European people against 
the Mohammedans would have been unanimous. 

I bring these conjectures to a close. The groimd of 
what may have been, that is sometimes under other cir- 
cumstances available, is here neither clear nor safe for 
the historian. I have endeavored to maintain, and, as 
far as possible, to demonstrate, that although Charles 
Martel did paralyze the Saracens, and drive them away 
in the most formidable invasion they had ever made, 
the field of Touraine was by no means the " last 
Summary boulevard " of Christendom. It is juster to 

of the arsQ* 

ments. assert that, north of the Pyrenees, it was 
\h%f/rst I have shown that the material for a larger 
conquest was lacking; that the concourse collected 


by Abdu-T-rahman for this invasion was the last levy 
en masse that Spain and Africa could then afford; 
that many myriads of northern warriors, stouter men, 
and equally inured to war, could have been gathered 
among many people, in a very short time, to oppose 
them ; that Christianity insured union and subsidized 
force to beat them back ; and iSnally, that, if they 
had been allowed to make some progress, they would 
have frozen or starved, or been eventually surrounded 
and caught in an angry vortex, of which many were 
waiting to engulf them. We have seen, in the later 
history, that Islam has been nowhere able, except 
temporarily in Spain, and thus far in Turkey, on the 
former seats of the Eastern Empire, to establish its 
faith and power on the domains of Christianity. I 
have endeavored to display the philosophy of its 
abnormal successes in the Peninsula. In Turkey, for 
a long time past, have been heard those retchings of 
weakness which betoken ** the sick man," and are not 
the paroxysms of an intermittent disease. The "sick 

inan " grows 

but the unmistakable signs of decline and weaker. 
death. Belying its etymology, the crescent wanes, 
and sheds a dimmer and dimmer light I venture no 
explicit prophecy. Isldm wounded Christendom at 
the extremities: it could advance no farther; the 
serpent has bitten the heel. The bruise of his head 
will complete the scriptural prediction, and, from recent 
manifestations, will not tarry. Fear of the ambition 
of Russia has been for some time the only obstacle to 
a European coalition to bring about this result. 

I have dwelt somewhat at length upon the defeat 
of the Arab-Moors in Touraine, because I think its 


philosophy has been misconceived by many former 
historians, and because a clear understanding of it is 
necessary to a just and complete estimate of the 
Arabian conquest of Spain. Thus, what I have said 
is no digression from my proper theme. If I have 
not settled the historic question, I hope it has been 
opened to a new and fair discussion. I please myself, 
and shall please my reader, by closing with a quo- 
tation, without comment, from the charming history 
of Guizot, — the last work of his venerable and 
skilful hand, — which seems to me to place the sub- 
ject in a clear light : — " Most, certainly, neither the 
Franks nor the Arabs, neither Charles nor Abdu-r- 
Guiaot'8 es- rahmdu themselves, fully understood, as we 

timateofthe , , , . « i i • 

Btniggie. do to-day, the gravity of the struggle in 
which they were about to engage. It was the 
struggle of the east and the west, of the south and 
the north, of Asia and Europe, of the Gospel and 
the Koran ; and we sajr now, in considering all that 
has happened among the nations and in the ages^ 
that the civilization of the world depended upon it. 
The generations which follow each other upon the 
earth do not see from so far and from such an elevation 
the chances and the consequences of their own actions. 
The Franks and the Arabs, chiefs and soldiers, did 
not look upon each other, twelve centuries ago, as 
called upon to decide near Poitiers such a future prob- 
lem : but they had a vague instinct of the grandeur 
of the part they were playing ; and they scrutinized 
each other with that serious curiosity which precedes 
a redoubtable encounter between valiant warriors/' ^ 

^ Histoire de France racont^e k mes petits Enfants, I. 178. 




T NOW proceed, in the chronological order, to con- 
"^ aider the succession and the deeds of the remain- 
ing Amirs who held temporary and partial sway 
under the Walis of Africa, and with the sanction of 
the Khalifs, until the downfall of the dynasty of the 
Ommyades, and the accession of the Abbasides at 
Damascus. We shall see that this change of dynasty, 
with the troubles which preceded it, was all that was 
wanting to enable the Spanish Arabs to throw off the 
yoke of Damascus, and establish an independent state 
in the Peninsula; loyal, indeed, to IsUm and the 
Prophet, but rejecting the secular claims which had 
thus far been successfully asserted by the imperial 
vicars at the single seat of power, to the injury of good 
government and firm rule in this the most remote 
province of their theocratic empire. 

Upon the death of Abdu-r-rahmdn Al-Ghafeki in 
the great, battle of Tours, his troops were greatly de- 
pressed, and they sent a courier to Obeida, the Wali 
of Africa, with an urgent request that he AiFehn 
would appoint a proper commander with- SSS-by 
out delay. In answer to their solicitation, AWca. 
he sent 'Abdu-1-malek Ibn Eattan Al Fehri, with 

VOL. II. 8 


a small contingent of troops, to take command of 
the army in Spain, and to act as provisional governor 
until the will of the Khalif shoold be known. 
Whether he was ever confirmed by the supreme 
authority is doubtful,^ but, as provisional Amir, he 
seems to have entered at once and with great spirit 
upon the arduous task he had undertaken. He was 
past the prime of life, but, under hair whitened by 
age, he preserved the vigorous heart of youth * 

For two years — from November, 732, to October, 
734 — his chief concern was to repair the disasters of 
the invasion of France, and to establish the Moslem 
power north of the Pyrenees. He rekindled the ardor 
of the troops by his fiery words and by his brave ex- 
ample. He told them " that even the ambassador of 
God himself had taken his greatest pride in the fact 
that he was ' a son of the sword,' and had ever found 
his most welcome repose beneath the standards that 
waved over his head on the field of battle." " War,'* 
he said, " was the ladder of Paradise." • 

He led them again and again into Aquitania, but 
without the hoped-for success ; the Christians recov- 
ered many of the places they had lost ; and at last, in 
an attempted invasion, in 734, through the defiles of 
Oascony, he encountered those rude mountaineers, 
who fought at great advantage ; they blocked him in 

^ Ck)nd^ says (Dominacion de los Arabes, I. ch. zxvi.), that he 
was oonfinned by the Ehalif Hishem Ibn Abdu-l-malek, and that 
the Ehalif ** wrote himself to Abdu-l-malek Al Fehri, exhorting him 
to avenge the sacrificed lives of his Moslemah." 

^ ** Bigo una cabellera emblanquecida por los alios oonservaha el 
vigoroso corazon de nn joven." — La Fuente, Eittoria Oefural d« 
Espaila, III. 71. 

* Ia Fuente, Historia de Espa&a, III. 71. 


the passes, hurled him from the heights, and threw him 
back in confusion on the line of the Eforo. The ambi- 
tion of northern advance was greatly cooled by such 

Disorders in Africa prevented the sending, in due 
time and in adequate numbers, of reinforcements, 
which were indispensable to his further efforts ; his 
plans were checked by th6 jealousy of factions in 
Spain ; reports of his ill-success went to Africa and 
Damascus, accompanied by the statement that he was 
a man of cruel propensities and great rigor ; ^ and that 
he had been bom under an evil star. 

For these combined reasons, he was ignominiously 
deposed from the Amirate, at the instance of his 
troops, by the Khalif Hisham, and the is deposed 
authority was conferred upon Okbah Ibnu- S^55*by 
1-hejij AB-seWH, by 'ObeyduUah, the Wali ^^^ 
of Africa, with the sanction of the Khalif, in 735. 

Tlie difficulties which had surrounded the deposed 
Amir still remained to confront his successor, but Ok- 
bah was better able to meet them. He was the brother 
of the Wali of Africa, and might count upon a support 
which had been refused to Abdu-1-malek. After his 
appointment, he was for some time detained in Africa 
in quelling the constant insurrections of the Berbers 
and Jews against the Arabs of pure blood ; but when 
partial quiet had been restored there, he crossed over 
into Spain, and set to work with vigor in his new 

^ The anthoritj used by Cond^ allows that the task was almost 
impossible of ezecution, and brings the Moslem fatalism to bear 
with Bonotous effect " He does but labor in yain who is struggling 
against the eternal deciees of God." — Dominacum de los Arabes, I. 
ch. xxvL 


administratioa He showed himself at once eminently 
and inflexibly just He deposed nnwoithy governors ; 
he imprisoned those who had extorted tribute im- 
jostly from Moslem or Christian; he equalized the 
tributes among the towns and provinces, abolishing 
all odious distinctions which had grown up since the 
conquest. In every city and considerable town he 
placed kadis, or judges, to hear causes and to arbitrate 
in honest disagreements. He sent mounted guards 
in all directions to pursue the numerous bands of 
robbers which infested the country. He built mosques 
and appointed preachers; he established schools 
for children^ and endowed them from the public 

Kor did these numerous and important concerns 
delay for a moment the cherished plan of every true 
Moslem heart, — the invasion of France, and aveng- 
ing the martyrs of Islim who had fallen beneath the 
Christian sword After a careful inquiry into the 
charges brought against Abdu-1-malek, he was con- 
vinced of his general innocence, and he appointed him 
to a cavalry command on the northern frontier. 

He crossed the Pyrenees with a large force, and 
okuh strengthened Narbonne, making it a cita- 
^^IJJ^* del and a stronghold, from which the Mos- 
JSJngiheM lemah might sally forth and devastate the 
Ntrbonne. gurroimding country. 

There is no reason to doubt that had he not been 
annoyed by the quarrels both in Spain and Africa 
between the Berbers and the Arabs, and by the 

^ Condi, Dominacion de los Anbes, I. ch. xxvii. Cardonne, 
Histoire de TAfriqae, etc, 1. 182. 


factions of the Arabian tribes against each other, he 
would have rendered his name and rule illustrious in 
the annals of the period. Kever had the Spanish 
Arabs seen such vigor, system, and justice in the 
administration. But in the year 734, while he was 
organizing for an invasion into Aquitania, he received 
despatches from the new Wali of Africa, announcing 
a new rising of the Berbers in Mauritania,^ and or- 
dering him at once to leave Spain in the most com- 
petent hands and repair to the scene of this disorder. 
This was exceedingly unfortunate for his ooesto 
government, but he obeyed at once, leaving jngAhdu-i- 

^ 1 All"! 1111T niftlek again 

the command to Abdu-1-malek, the lately- in command. 
deposed governor, who thus appears a second time in 
the list of Amirs. 

The ^meute in Africa was soon communicated to 
Spain, and Abdu-1-malek found himself again called 
upon to deal with insurrection at home. He acted 
with vigor, and crushed the rising at the North of the 
factious mountaineers, easily stirred into revolt and 
ready to fight on any quarrel But in the South he 
was not so successful. 

At this juncture, Okbah, who was beginning to 
deal vigorously with the problem in Africa, received 
orders to repair to Spain with his forces. 

Upon his arrival there, he found reason to blame 
many of the insubordinate governors, and new cause 
to praise the labors and self-devotion of Abdu-1- 
malek. He wrote letters to the ELhalif in his favor, and 
furnished him with money and additional troops for 

^ This rising was due to the deposition of the Wali of Africa, 
Abdn-r-rahmdn al FahemL 


the defence of the northern frontier. Then, falling 
sick at Cordova, his mind overwhelmed with a sea of 
troubles, Okbah died in the same year, just when his 
judgment and valor were most needed in the Penin- 
sula.* Nothing could have been so unfortunate. 

The condition of Spain at this period may be not 
inappositely compared to a seething caldron, filled 
Tumuitein ^^^^ hcterogeueous elements, in a violent 
^^=*^' state of ebullition, surrounded with fire and 
reeking with smoka Another noxious ingredieQt 
was now to be added. It came in the likeness of 
assistance : it was but a new force of destruction. 

The Barbary people were determined to resist the 
Arabian sway, and had already, under their chosen 
leader, defeated the Arabian army on the plains of 
Tunis, in the year 743. 

The governor of Africa, Kolthum Al-Kusheyrf, at 
once marched with all his available troops to the 
And In scene of action to reverse this defeat, and 
^^^ to compel them to submit. Then came the 
most portentous rising that had been seen in that 
region since the days of Musa Ibn Nosseyr. Every 
tribe sent a strong contingent ; and, at the meeting- 

1 In these statistics of the actions of Okbah, I haye foUowed the 
Arabian authorities of Cond^, whose account is clear and connected. 
Ibn Khaldun, quoted by Al Makkari, giyes a verj different state- 
ment. He says: "In the year 121, Abdu-l-ma1ek rose against 
Okbah, deposed him from his government, and put him to death, 
or, according to others, ezpeUed him from the country/' This is 
repeated by Ibn Bashkdwal. Gayangos is inclined to accept these 
statements ; but the relationship of Okbah with the Wali of Africa, 
and the general turbulence in Africa and Spain, make his comings 
and goings extremely probable. Al-hobhi says his death was occa- 
sioned by poison, given at the instance of A1)du-l-malek. 


place on the sandy banks of the river Masfa, " these 
innumerable hordes looked not unlike immense flights 
of locusts." ^ Mauritania was swarming with indige- 
nous people. 

The adverse army, composed chiefly of troops from 
Arabia and Syria, from Egypt and Barca, with a 
contingent, however, of loyal Berbers, made haste to 
give them battle. The Arabian and Syrian forces 
were commanded by a general named Tha'lebah Al- 
Ameli ; those of Egypt and Barca, by a nephew of 
Kolthum, — Balj Ibn Beshr Al-Kusheyri Their com- 
bined forces are called in the history "the Syrian 

The battle is portrayed in lurid colors by the 
Arabian chronicler.* The encounter was so fierce 
that "those who fought there did scarcely seem te 
be men who were joined in battle, but rather re- 
sembled fierce lions and tigers, who were furiously 
tearing each other to pieces." Fate was against the 
Arabian general. His men were put to flight, he was 
himself wounded, and he and his nephew Balj only 
contrived to escape and shut themselves up in the 
castle of Ceuta.' There they were for some time, 
with the remnant of their army, closely besieged by 
the Berbers, and were only saved from starvation 
by stores and provisions smuggled into the port from 
Spain, through individual liberality. 

1 Cond^, Dominacion do los Anbes, I. ch. zxix. 

a lb. 

* Al Makkaii, II. 40. Abdn-I-malek refused to assist in extri- 
cating them, for fear they would come to Spain and conspire against 
him. • 


This success o( the Berbers in Africa was now to 
play a double part in Spain, to the great injury of 
the Arabians. For, as soon as their brethren in the 
Peninsula heard of the victory, they were inflamed 
with the desire, like them, to cast off the Arabian 
yoke. They elected a leader, and, rallying under his 
standard, were soon ready to advance against Abdu- 
l*malek. In many partial conflicts, they were suc- 
cessful, until at length he discerned their purpose to 
besiege him in Cordova, and take possession of the 

Thus threatened, without hope of succor in Spain, 
Abdu-1-malek had recourse to the very men whom 
AMu-i- ^® ^^^ feared. In the new emergency, he 
Sr^the syr^ wroto, uot without reluctauco, to Balj Ibn 
ian troops. Bcshr and the remnant of his Syrian troops 
to come over and aid him, " thinking that they would 
gladly embrace any opportunity to revenge their past 
defeats on the Berbers of Andalus." ^ 

Balj was but too ready to coma His uncle, Kol- 
thum, had died at Geuta, and, escaping from his 
unfortunate situation, Balj crossed the strait and 
joined his brethren in Spain. The combined forces 
of the Amir, divided into two corps, commanded by 
the sons of Abdu-1-malek, marched against the Ber- 
bers and defeated them with great slaughter. Ac- 
cording to an agreement made beforehand, when the 
assistance had been rendered, and Balj and his men 
should be rewarded from the spoils, they were to 
return to Africa, and leave Abdu-1-malek in sole and 

1 Al Makkuri, II. 41. • 


undisputed possession.^ Such agreements are always 

They had now found a more promising field for 
their ambition. It was evident that the Amirate was 
a prize within reach of any adventurous leader. No 
interference was to be feared from Damascus. Even 
the power of the Wali of Africa seemed to be de- 
spised. The most popular military leader TheAmimte 
in Spain found the government of Spain fo^S^ri^ai 
within his grasp; not indeed to be held <^*«''»^n* 
by a certain and permanent tenure, since the strong 
man armed was sure to be dispossessed when a 
stronger than he should rise against him and take 
his spoils.^ Balj was ambitious ; his men elated with 
success, and spoiled by booty. The agreement was 
broken ; and a party, comprising all who had cause 
of complaint against the ruUng Amir, placed them- 
selves under the command of Balj, and declared the 
deposition of Abdu-1-malek. The revolt gained 
strength rapidly ; the adherents of the unfortunate 
Amir fell off, until, at length, those who ostensibly 
remained delivered him up to his enemies. 

Nothing could be more clearly illustrative of the 
chaos into which public affairs had fallen than the 

* Cardoime, Histpire de I'Afrique, etc., I. 136. 

^ The relaxation of the Ehalifs authority was in this waj : At 
first the generals commanding in Al Magreb or Western Africa were 
either appointed by the Khalif or immediately sanctioned by him. 
Then the appointment lay in the Wali of Egypt, with the sanction 
of the Khalif. When the Moslemah had penetrated into Spain, a 
Wali of Africa was appointed besides the Wali of Egypt ; and thua 
we have of men in power the Amir of Spain, the Wali of Africa, 
the Wali of Egypt, and the Khalif. The chain was too long, the 
linlu too numerous, for strength. See lb. 


fate, and the manner of the fate, of the Amir. He 
was ninety years old, tall and muscular, " resembling 
a young ostrich." His enemies, maddened with suc- 
cess, raged and howled around him, charging him 
with his misdemeanors, and the Syrian troops, es- 
pecially, taunted him with his refusal to supply their 
wants when besieged at Ceuta. They were^ inventive 
in the ignominy and cruelty with which they led him 
to execution. He was crucified, With a hog on his 
right hand and a dog on his left. 

But retribution was swift. The sons of the mur- 
dered Amir soon succeeded in raising a force among 
a people with some remnants of loyalty, and disgusted 
with the ingenious cruelty of the Syrian leader. They 
marched against him ; and, although they were de- 
feated in a hard*-fought battle, Balj fell, mortdQy 
wounded. This took place in the year 742. 

Upon the spot where Abdu-1-malek Ibu Kattan was 
crucified (Mosslab Ibn Khattan — the place of cru- 
cifixion of Khattan), his son, Umeyyah, afterwards 
caused a mosque to be erected (Mesjed Ummeyah), 
and it remained during the Moslem sway in Spain, — 
a monument of filial affection, of faction, and of 

The victory of the Syrians, notwithstanding the 
death of their leader, placed the power in their hands, 
Tha'iebah ^^^ ^^^7 ^* °^^® clectcd as Amir Tha'lebah, 
by«w ^°^*' called Al-jodhami, who had come over with 
^'^^ Balj. For ten months he ruled without re- 
ceiving the Khalif's sanction; and, when that was 
reluctantly given, he retained the power for fourteen 
months longer. But the same causes were at work 


to overthrow his administration. Being himself of 
the tribe of Yemen, he exhibited a partiality for his 
own tribe, which soon led the first settlers to conspire 
with the Berbers against him. So vigorous were their 
movements, that he was obliged to fly before them, 
and to shut himself up in Merida. There, thinking 
him in their hands, and depending on their numbers 
and prestige, they lay, without order or discipline, in 
the plains around that city, expecting to starve him 
into capitulation. 

On the eve of a great festival, and while they were 
making preparations for keeping it in the usual man- 
ner,^ Tha'lebah, taking advantage of their want of 
vigilance, sallied out from the city at the head of his 
army, defeated and routed them, killing great num- 
bers ; and then, joined by other detachments, which 
had been awaiting his signal, he marched to Cordova 
unimpeded, and taking with him the almost incredible 
number of ten thousand prisoners, captured by himself 
and the different divisions of the army in all parts 
of the country. 

It ipwis on Thursday that he encamped outside the 
walls of Cordova and besieged the place; and the 
next day — "the day of assembly" — it was his 
purpose to crown his thanksgiving with the execu- 
tion of all his captives; but, just as this fearful 
purpose was about to be carried out, banners of an 
unexpected cavalcade were descried fluttering in the 

1 Gflyangoe gathers, from the expression in the Arabic, that this 
was a pagan festivity, — a thing not improbable, as most of the 
Berbers adhered still to their pagan rites. — Al Makkart, II. 412, 
note 17. 


distance. It proved to be Abti-1-Khattir Al Kelbi, 
the new Amir appointed by the Wall of Africa^ who, 
The coming ^^^ ^ thousand hotse, had pushed forward 
of Al KeibL jj^ gclvance of his main body, and had arrived 
just in time to save ten thousand lives, and win favor 
by doing so. 

He had been nominated as a competent person " to 
re-establish public order," and especially to reconcile 
the differences between the several Arabian tribes, 
and between the men of Eastern origin and the 

Tha'lebah at once swore allegiance to him, and 
turned ,the prisoners over to his mercy. Abii-1- 
Khattar released them immediately, permitting them 
the option of returning to their homes or of going 
over to Barbaiy. The troops of Thalebah joined the 
force of the new Amir, while their general was con- 
tent to fall back upon a military command under him. 
All parties, for the moment weary of the confusion and 
conflict, were ready to lay down their arms, and listen 
to his gracious words of conciliation. He seemed the 
very man for the emergency. He treated all with 
kindness ; and in his actions, both as governor and 
general, he showed himself to be brave, judicious, and 

From the time of the first occupation of Spain by 
the Arab-Moors, Cordova had been the most favorite 
spot in the whole territory, and the city a'hd its 
comarca had now become so crowded that they no 
longer presented sufficient space, especially for the 
fierce and jealous tribes which, originally collected 

1 Al Makkaii, II. 45. 


there with haimony of purpose, had become domiciled 
tiiere, and were each claiming as against the others. 
In order to remedy this evil, Abii-1-Khattdr proceeded 
te spread them more evenly over the Moslem domain ; 
and this was an excellent expedient. 

Portions of the people from Arabia and Syria, 
selected according to their affinities, he sent to Elbira, 
— the Soman lUiberis, — near the site of the pres- 
ent city of Granada ; and they, in memory of their 
old home, and from a resemblance in the He makes* 
beauties of nature at the West and the East, Sln"?**^' 
called it Sham, the Arabic name of Damas- ♦^^^^'y. 
ens. The men of Emesa he quartered at Seville, 
which thus received the name Hems. The people of 
Kenesrin (Quinsarina) were placed around Jaen, those 
of Alurdan at MaiagSL. The Philistines, or settlers 
from Palestine, he fixed in the country around Xeres 
and Medina Sidonia ; those from Palmyra were sent to 
occupy Murcia, and the Egyptians were domiciled in 
the farther land on the eastern coast, called the land 
of Tadmir.^ This seemed at the moment a happy 
expedient It gave to all in equal division large and 
rich lands, and it removed the contending tribes from 
the immediate temptation to quarrel. Thus he left 

1 " The Berbers cozLtinned for some time to lead anomadic lifei 
shifting their quarters from one end of the peninsula to the other, 
and taking their wives and children with them, even when engaged 
in military expeditions." — Gayakoos (Al Makkari, II. 412, note 
is). "This occupation of the la^d of Tadmir was in contrayention 
of the treaty between Theodomir and Abdu-l-'aziz, which was meant 
to be of perpetual force. Abii l-Ehattdr declared, however, that 
gach treaties did not bind the successors of that Amir." — CoKD^ 
Dominaeion de lo» Anibes, I., part 2, ch. zxziiL 


the earlier settlers and their descendants undisturbed ; 
and, to supply the needed revenue to these newly 
quartered people, he granted them one-third of the 
income from the lands cultivated by the slaves of 
the Goths.i 

At first it seemed that order was fully and per- 
manently restored; but the miserable condition of 
affairs was not to be healed, even by such wise rem- 
edies. The feebleness of the Khalif s authority ex- 
tended to that of his Amir. The generals were 
impatient of a restraint that had little sanction. 
Faction was loud around- the very palace of the ruler. 
The tribes nearest together still conspired against 
each other, and the tribe of Yemen intrigued for favor 
with the Amir, because he was of that tribe. An 
incident occurred, which, in the dramatic recital of 
the historian, is vividly descriptive of the condition 
of affairs and the manners of the people. 

The chief of the tribe of Eenanah was a man named 
As-samil, whose history was associated with one of 
the striking events in the rise of Mohammedanism. 
He was the grandson of Xami, one of the assassins 
of Hosein, the sou of Ali. When that murderous 
deed was done, Xami had fled to Africa, and his 
family had gone with the progress of conquest into 
Spaia As-samil was ignorant, but jealous and vin- 
dictive, and had a precedent in his family for ven- 
geance in high places; but he possessed the art of 

^ Cond^ thus translates the "Agemiea." There can be little 
doubt that what had been the semle class during the Gothic do- 
minion continued as tillers of the soU and menial laborers. These 
were indigenous tribes and the Hispano-Romana. 


leading the multitude, and was an important person- 
age in the events now about to be related. 

On one occasion, a dispute arose between one of 
the Yemenis, a cousin of the Amir, and a man of 
the tribe of Kenanah; and, although the xri^^i^,^ 
latter proved his case clearly, Abii-l-Khattar, fSiJniatSf 
influenced by his relationship, decided in o'^«™"- 
favor of his cousin. The injured man appealed to 
his chief, As-samil, who, espousing his quarrel with 
great warmth, went without delay to see the Amir 
and reproached him with intemperate language for 
his injustica The Amir retorted ; and, when violently 
answered by As-samil, he directed the guards to put 
him out of the palace. This led to a scuffle. As-samil 
received several blows on his neck. In the effort to 
expel him from the palace, his turban was thrown on 
one side of his head ; and, as he left the door in that 
disordered condition, he was asked by a by-stander, 
" What is the matter with thy turban ? By Allah, it 
is all on one side!" "Thou art right, man," he 
answered ; " but I trust my people will soon put it 
right for me." ^ 

That night he assembled his adherents at his house, 
and, telling them, in inflamed language, the insult he 
had received, he swore by Allah that his revenge 
would not be complete until he should drive Abii- 
1-Khattar from the government. He lost no time in 
the pursuit of his vengeance. The same night he left 
Cordova, and, proceeding to Ecija, he sought aid of 

1 Al Makkari, II. 46. '* By AUali 1 " said As-samil, " my yen- 
geance shall not be satisfied with anything short of taking the com- 
mand from the hands of this Arab." — Ih, 47* 


le newlj 
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Abii Att&, the most influential Arabian there. Thence 
he marched with an increased force to Moron, to join 
hands with Thudbah Al-jodhamt who, though a 
Yemeni, had received some affront at the hands of 
the Amir, and was quite ready to conspire against 
him. Thus, as the issue of a private quarrel, the 
Beni Modhar were arrayed against the Yemenis, and 
a powerful revolt was made against the constituted 

Abii-1-Khattdr was already in the field, and the 
two armies met in the plain of Sidonia, near the bcuik 
of the Guadalete. The rebellion was successful : the 
Amir was beaten and taken prisoner. The first 
counsel of the victorious generals was to put him 
to death ; but they at last concluded to take him in 
irons to Cordova, and confine him in one of its strong 
towers. This was in April or May of the year 746. 
Once more, legal authority seemed at an end ; and the 
Amir could only prepare himself for that death which 
had only been for a brief season delayed. 

But his friends, the friends of order, the men of 
Yemen, and the tribes jealous of the Beni Modhar, 
The Amir ^^^ "^^^ sIq^ ^ ™®- O^^G night a Small 
from hta^ hody of picked troops, cavalry ai^ infantry, 
^'^^^ stormed the tower, massacred the guards, 
and, liberating the distinguished captive, marched 
rapidly with him to the west. 

Preparations were now rapidly made on both sides 
to renew the conflict, and put an end to the contro- 
versy. As-samil, with a wise judgment, made good 
use of the fact that Thudbah was of the tribe of Yemen, 
although fighting on the side of the Modharites. 


Again the two armies met, when, in the silence of 
the night, a loud voice was heard coming from the 
ranks of the Beni Modhar, and addressed to the 
opposing force. The substance of the words uttered 
was, that there was no cause for further fighting ; that 
Abii-1-Khattdr had been spared when he was in their 
hands; that, if they wanted a Yemeni for Amir, 
Thudbah was one^ who would protect their interests 
and the interests of all ; and that the proclamation 
was made, not for fear of the result, but in the inter- 
ests of peace, and to stay the flow of noble blood. 
'* By Allah," said many of the listening Yemenis, " the 
man is right ! " and, when the morning dawned, it 
was discovered that large numbers, who had no in- 
clination for the fight, had left the army of the un- 
fortunate Amir, and were already many miles away 
from the field. 

The triumphant Modharites at once gave the chief 
authority to Thuabah, and wrote to the Wali of 
Africa to confirm the election, which was done ; and 
thus for a brief space quiet seemed restored. 

The fate of Abii-1-Khattar is left in obscurity; 
but all agree that he met a violent death in 746, lest 
his claims should again disturb the realm. 

The victory and elevation of Thudbah might have 
settled the vexed question, but, after a short rule of 
less than two years, he died, and then the election 
of a new chief caused new turbulence.^ 

In an assembly of the principal generals, represent- 

1 " II p^rit, quelqnes moU apr^ ayeir pris possession da goayeme- 
ment, par la main des rebeUes." — Cabdonios, ffittoire de VAfriqiu^ 
4tc.^ I. 145. 

VOL. n. 4 


ing the army and both parties, it was agreed that the 
most equitable plan would be that one of the great 
tribes should elect a man who should rule for one 
year, and that the other should then choose an Amir 
for the same period. The Modharites gained the first 
Thedection choicc, and they elected Ydsuf al Fehri, — 

of Ytiauf al ^ « t 

Fehri. a man of prominence and power^ astute and 

skilful, and knowing how to manage men. He was, 
further, a man who, by lineage, by natural gifts, and 
by cunning, was better qualified to take the govern- 
ment than any other contestants. Of the Kabilah 
of the Koreish and of the pure Arabian blood of the 
Beni Modhar, he was a native of Kairwan, which gave 
him influence with the Africans. He was, moreover, 
the inheritor of renown, for he was the descendant^ 
of that Okbah who had founded Kairwan, and who 
had made his fame terrible in the regions watered 
by the Sus. Perhaps the ease with which he was 
elected was chiefly due to the influence of As-samil, 
who seemed desirous of figuring as a king-maker 
rather than as a king, with the hope of retaining 
power. But king- makers first or last come to grief. 
For a brief period all the conflicting parties seemed 
satisfied; discontented governors of provinces, who 
had been intriguing for power with the various tribes, 
ceased their machinations; the partial claims of 
Arabians, Syrians, and Egyptians were set at rest; 
and, when the good efiects of this temporary appoint- 
ment reached the ears of the Khalif Meruan, his con- 

^ The great-grandson of that Okbah, whose fiery words, as he 
rode to his saddle-girths in the Atlantic, were remembered and re* 
peated by the Moslemah. 


fipination was not delayed.* This sanction of the 
Khalif of the house of Ummeyah, however, was not 
much more than an idle form. The dynasty of the Beni 
Ummeyah at Damascus was tottering to its fall ; the 
black banner of the Abbasides was already flaunting 
defiance, and the Khalif only ratified an appointment 
which he was powerless to reverse, and which de- 
pended little upon his sanction. 

Yiisuf was fifty-seven years old when he became 
governor for one year ; but he was full of vigor and 
ambition ; and, when the year came to a close, he and 
his party broke the agreement, which was to give the 
new choice to the Yemenis, and refused to abandon 
the authority. Cordova became a stronghold, and 
when the men of Yemen congregated at Shekundah, 
near that city, rather to take counsel in the emer- 
gency than to attack the town, the party of Yiisuf 
made a night attack, and killed the greater part 
of them. 

There seemed now no obstacle to the permanent 
authority of the Amir ; if the sky was dark in any 
quarter, it was in the direction of Damascus. Hinam- 
The bond between Amir and Khalif was scbemea. 
veiy weak ; it seemed best to break it entirely. Up 
to this time there had been something more than the 
shadow of authority ; and, besides the Amir proper, 
there had been an Amir of the Sea, whose duty it was 

^ This is the statement of Cond^, and seems prohable. Ibnn 
Hayyan, qnoted by Al Makkari (II. 54), says : "He ruled as mas- 
ter of Andalus, without acknowledging any superior, since his 
nomination did not in any way emanate from the Khalif, but merely 
from the troops." The Khalif may, notwithstanding, have con- 
firmed him. See the note of Gayangos, Al Makkari, ii. 416. 


to see that the line of communication was kept open 
between Spain, Africa, and Syria ; and the post had 
been held by Ibn Amiru, the great-grandson of the 
man who had carried the standard of the Prophet in 
the battle of Bedr. Yiisuf suppressed the office, and 
gave to Ibn Amru instead the government of Seville -} 
thus the connection thus far maintained with the 
Khalifs in Spain was broken; for good or evil, the 
Peninsula was independent of the Khalifate, in real- 
ity, if not yet in name. 

The armistice of the factions was, however, for all 
this only a temporary truce ; the fires were burning 
in too many places at once to be easily trodden out 
Yiisuf, the last of the Amirs, who held sway for nine 
years and nine months, was during the whole period 
engaged in queUing insurrections, in which service 
indeed he displayed so much skill and vigor as con- 
stantly to demand our praise. 

His power was resisted by the Moslem governor of 
Narbonne, that Abdu-r-rahman Ibn Alkamah who 
had given to Balj his mortal wound, and who was 
so renowned for his personal valor, great physical 
strength, and feats of arms, that he was called by pre- 
eminence the knight champion of Andalus. 

He had made all his preparations to attack the 
Amir, when he was put to death by his own men, and 
his head sent to Yiisuf, as the most acceptable 

Then a portentous revolt rose in and around Beja, 
under the auspices of 'Orwah Ibnu-l-walid ; in this the 
Christians took part with the Moslem insurgents. 

^ Cond^ Dominacion de loe Arabes^ I. ch« 


Numbers from all parts of the territory flocked to 
this new standard : they advanced upon Seville and 
stormed it ; but the Amir advanced to meet them, de- 
feated and routed them, and killed their leader. 

A similar rising took place under Amir Al 'Abdarf 
at Algesiras ; but it was soon crushed by Tiisuf, and 
its chief was compelled to reside under the eye of the 
Amir at Cordova.^ 

The rumors which were now constantly reaching 
Spain of the impotence of the reigning dynasty at 
Damascus, and the successes of the Benf Abbas, led to 
an insurrection of a different nature. An Arabian 
chief named Al-habab Az-zahrf, gathering There- 
around him a number of troops, declared in Az-sahit 
favor of the Abbasides, and at once marched to be- 
siege Saragossa, which was held for Yiisuf by As-samil. 
The besieged governor applied to the Amir for aid ; 
but Yiisuf, who had been offended by As-samil, 
refused the assistance ; and had it not been for the 
tribe of Kays, who marched without orders, As-samil 
would have been at once overpowered. As it was, he 
was only relieved sufficiently to be able to retreat 
without loss; and Al-habab afterwards entered the 
city ; but he had not been long in possession when, 
as we shall see hereafter, Yiisuf marched against him, 
recaptured the town, and put the insurgent leader to 

Besides these exhibitions of judgment and valor, 
the administrative labors of Yiisuf give us a clue at 

^ Tie was afterwards beheaded in 755. Al Makkari, II. 54. 
' Al Hakkari, II. 55. For all the insorrectioiis the reader is 
referred to Al Makkari. 


once to his character and his success. He visited all 
parts of his Amirate, administering justice and pun- 
ishing extortion, and obtaining the necessary knowl- 
edge fbr a striot and vigorous government. He 
restored the military roads leading in all directions 
from Cordova ; he built and repaired bridges at the 
public expense. He had surveys of the townships 
Tiisuf '8 made, and, for facility of government, he di- 

divisions of J o ' 

territory. vidcd the wholc territory by marked geo- 
graphical lines into five great provinces, which formed 
the basis of later political divisions^ and displayed his 
right to rule : * — 

I. Andalusia, corresponding to the ancient Boetica, 
and comprising, besides the valley of the Guadal- 
quiver, the territory between it and the Guadiana ; 
and on the east extending to a line touching the Med- 
iterranean between Almeria and ' Garthagena. The 
chief cities were Cordova, Seville, Malaga, Carmona, 
Ecija, Medina Sidonia, Jaen, Assuna, and Granada. 

II. Toledo, extending from the eastern slope of the 
mountains of Cordova northward to the upper Duero, 
including Segovia, and eastward to the sea, to include 
Carthagena and Valencia. The other chief cities were 
Toledo, Murcia, Lorca, Orihuela, Denia, Alicante, 
and Guadalajara. 

III. Merida included all the territory north and 
west of Toledo and Andalusia, with whaJb is now 
known as Portugal and Galicia. The chief towns 
were Merida, Beja (Badajos), Lisbon, Astorga^ and 

1 Under the Goths there had been dx. 



rV. Saragossa, the ancient Celtiberia, spread east- 
ward from the sources of the Tagus, including the valley 
of the Ebro to the Mediterranean ; it was bounded on 
the north by the Pyrenees, and on the west by the 
Basque Mountains. It numbered among its cities 
Saragossa, Huesca, Lerida, Tarragona, Tortosa, and 

It will be remembered that the Christian kingdom 
in the northwest comprised the country of the 
Asturias and a portion of Galicia, and was already 
encroaching upon the territory placed by Yusuf in 
the province of Merida. 

V, Narbonne, the fifth and last province, in- 
cluded the country in and around Narbonne; its 
northern boundary fluctuated with the successes or 
disasters of the Moslemah, and had to be laboriously 
maintained against the people of Afranj. 

This division of Yiisuf gave to each province navi- 
gable rivers and a long line of sea-coast, and seems at 
once judicious and equitable. Over each he placed 
a competent governor in his own interests. 

But the real danger to Yiisuf 's administration was 
to come from an unsuspected direction ; it was neither 
the ambition of generals or governors, the tur- ^jn^^u^^t- 
bulence of a disaffected people, nor the power ^ <i*»8««« 
of the Beni Abbas, which was to overthrow him; he 
was to be struck by the last arrow from the quiver of 
the exhausted Ommeyades. Overthrown at Damascus, 
they were sending a vigorous shoot to be planted in 

In the year 756, he had gone to Arragon to put 
down the insurrection, already referred to, of Al-habab 


Az-zahri, and had been as usual successful He 
had taketi numerous prisoners, whose lives he had 
solemnly promised to spare; but, either from ne- 
cessity or cruelty, he had broken his promise. He 
was just entering his tent, encamped at Guadarrama, 
and was resting after witnessing their execution, 
when a courier arrived, at full speed of his horse, 
bearing a letter from his son, Abdu-r-rahman, whom 
he had left in command at Cordova. It contained 
A youtii astonishing and perplexing intelligence : " A 
AwSi- youth named Abdu-r-rahman Ibn Mu- 
'•*^°**°- 'dwiyah, had lately landed on the shores 
occupied by the Syrian settlers [the shores south of 
Granada], and had been immediately proclaimed Amir 
of Spain by the adherents and partisans of Meruan, 
who had flocked to him from all parts." ^ " He rose 
trembling with rage, and writhing like a trampled 
snake." ^ 

This despatch sounded the knell of Tiisuf 's hopes. 
The veiy atmosphere was full of disaffection : as the 
news spread, the Amir*s men began to desert their 
ranks ; and by the next morning his army had dwindled 
down to his personal friends and mavlis, and the 
single tribe of Kays. He hurried back to Toledo, to 
take counsel of As-samiL What should be done; 
temporize, fight, or submit at once to the new rule ? 
The advice of As-samil was that they should march 

I Ai Makkari, II. 67. Conde says tho bearer of a first despatch 
was As-saroil himself, who said, when he handed it to Yi&suf, 
'* Thine empire is at end, my lord 1 " It was while they were con- 
ferring npon this intelligence that the courier from Cordova ap- 
peared. — DomincLcioii de losArabeSf etc, I. part iL ch- iv. 

> Al Makkari, II. 67. 


without a moment's halt with their combined forces 
to attack the invader before he could gather new 
strength. This was especially important, because, as 
the newcomer was a Yemenite, the people of that 
tribe would rally round him, owing to the hatred they 
bore to the Beni Modhar, to whom both Yiisuf and 
As-samil belonged The Amir was dazed by the pros- 
pect, and could decide at once upon neither of these 
plans ; and, when still vacillating in purpose, he reached 
Cordova from the north, " the youth named Abdu-r- 
rahmdn" was approaching with a constantly increas- 
ing force from Granada. The days of the provisional 
Amirate were at an end : the cable that bound Spain to 
Damascus had been cut. It should be said that, sus- 
picious of trouble from the East, Yiisuf had acknowl- 
edged the authority of the Abbasides, but entirely for 
the moral eflfect of union with those in power. 

I have greatly abridged this account of the actions 
of the later Amirs, for many reasons. If we attempt 
to give details, we are confronted with conflicting 
statements, — the great outlines being, indeed, the 
same, but the minutice very different. To trace the 
numerous causes which kept the Peninsula in a tur- 
moil during this period would be of little interest, 
were it possible ; but it is not possible. We have a 
confused noise of fighting in many quarters at the 
same time ; blows and counter-blows, rebellions put 
down, renewed, again and again ; Moslem faith, falser 
than Punic faith ; cruel executions, heads cut ofT and 
embalmed ; the victor of to-day crucified to-morrow ; 
nothing gained to the cause of order and progress, but 
always a steady loss. 


At first, the appointment of the Amirs by the Kha- 
pirat ftp- lifs was of a military character, — they were 

polntment . ,. , . , 

of Ami». invading generals occupying a conquered 
territory. Then, when the struggle was ended, the 
Amirs combined with the military government that 
of civil administration.- Later still, they were virtu- 
ally viceroys, surrounded by the pomp and circum- 
stance of a monarch's court, but still ruling for the 
Khalif, who could only sanction their appointment, and 
receive what revenues they chose to send him. The 
turbulence of the times made the sway of any Amir 
of short duration ; and, that authority might not be 
wanting, what we may call dnim-head elections were 
made by the army, which received little additional 
force by the confirmation of the Khalif. Usurpers 
soon began to use either form of sanction as it might 
be most convenient. When the authority of the 
Khalif became a nullity, many claims were set forth 
and arrayed against each other. The first settlers — 
the conquerors and their families — advanced a pre- 
scriptive right to power ; the Arabian tribes set up 
their hostile banners ; the Berbers claimed the right 
of propinquity ; the Syrians asserted the prestige of 
Damascus ; composition was tried in vain ; then, as 
in the case of the last Amir, the government degener- 
ated into a cruel autocracy. 

And even when the downfall of the Ommeyades at 
Damascus was announced, no one for a moment looked 
to the new dynasty of the Abbasides with either 
loyalty or fear. If ever in a nation's history a new 
order was demanded ; a monarch who should rule by 
right and without foreign control ; it was now in the 


histoiy of the Moslems in Spain. And the monarch 
had come* 

It was the stoiy so often repeated in history, and 
repeating itself to-day, of a province,, removed by dis- 
tance from moral or military control, the 
inhabitants of which had acquired new hab- otti^^jJ 
its and lost old traditions which had served Spain from 

the Bast 

to maintain loyalty, and which, by the in- 
exorable logic of events, could not continue to form 
part of a dissolving empira The philosophy of the 
independence of Moslem Spain is repeated in the 
establishment of the United States of America, which 
''had become a great nation in the forests they were 
sent to inhabit," while yet nominally belonging to 
Great Britain ; in the South American republics and 
Mexico, and in the efforts of the Cuban insurgents to 
wrest the Queen of the Antilles from the Spanish 
grasp. Would that parent nations would learn the 
historic lesson, and spare treasure and blood in fight- 
ing against the inevitable decree I 




T^HE clue of our history leads us back for a brief 
''- space to the East, to consider the condition of 
jj^^j^ affairs at Damascus, culminating, as they 
^^•"■^^ were about to do, in a historic event which 
is of surpassing importance, and giving record to a 
story which, in its clear historic connections, contains 
more of romance and more of pathos than all others 
which cluster around the always romantic and ofteu 
pathetic history of the Arabians in Spain. The change 
of dynasty at Damascus resulted in the establishment 
of an independent Mohammedan empire in Europe : 
an empire which, while it acknowledged the Khalif 
as the religious successor of the Prophet, discarded 
his civil supremacy ; an empire which, apparently a 
violent and impertinent assault upon Christian civili- 
zation, took deep root and flourished for centuries, and 
educated Christian Europe in all that was known of 
literature and science during the period justly Icnown 
as the Dark Ages in the modern history of Europe, — 
dark throughout all the continent except in the Pen- 
insula.^ And it presents, besides, the curious coun- 

^ The wonderful gifts of the Arabians to European civilization 
will be enumerated in the closing chapters of this history, when, in 
the "dialectic" language, the brilliance of Moslem culture " burnt 


terbalance in the great scale of heavenly justice, — of 
a dynasty utterly annihilated in the East, appearing, in 
the very day of that destruction, halcyon-like, in the 
West, and developing with astonishing vigor from the 
tender shoot of the torn and uprooted vine which had 
been so rudely transplanted from Syria into Spain. 

Amid the luxuries and splendors of Damascus, the 
Khalifs of the house of Ummeyah had become degen- 
erate, and less able from year to year to Degenenusy 
govern even the people by whom they were u'„Sle^iit 
immediately surrounded, and among whom ^°**~^°* 
were jealous rival factions as old as the first contest 
of claims between Abu Bekr and Ali. The distant 
provinces, which in the marvellous spread of the faith 
had become numerous, held still more lightly to their 
allegiance. Such, we have seen, was the case with 
Spain. There were, indeed, still living, men whose 
fathers had entered Andalus with Tarik and Musa ; 
but a generation of Moslemah had grown up since 
the conquest, to whom Spain, not Syria nor Arabia, 
was fatherland. All alike looked indeed with venera- 
tion to the cities of Mohammed as holy shrines for 
the pilgrim, and to Damascus as the seat of Grod's 
vicegerent in the custody of the faith. But in matters 
of government and administration they felt the thrills 
of a new nationality, which had little or nothing in 
common with the East ; which felt its life in every 
limb, and would not be controlled. 

And this feeling was greaUy encouraged and 
strengthened by the weakness of that distant gov- 

a hole in the night ** which enshrouded the West and seemed to be 
withoot promise of a dawn. 


emment ; in view of this, the right to indepeudenoe 
implied the duty to achieve it. 

From the vigor and renown of the first Muawiyah, 
the founder of the dynasty, and of the first Walid, 
Heruan folia uudor whoso banners the Moslemah had 
fiivor. occupied Spain, the Khalifate had reached 

a state of imbecility under the last representative of 
the house, Meruan, who was a sensualist, an infidel,' 
and a scoffer. He was called Al jadi because he 
held the doctrine of the Aljadites, who declared that 
the Koran and Destiny were the inventions of men, 
— sad heresy for the Prince of Believers and the 
successor of the Prophet^ He was nicknamed 
Hemar al Gjazirah, the Mesopotamian ass.^ He 
appears but a little less abject when brought into 
the company of his immediate predecessors, and 
into the light of that wretched period. Walid II., 
who became Khalif in 743, ruled less than a year, 
and his assassination was but the fearful recompense 
of his loose, drunken, and dishonest life.^ 

His successor, Yezid III., is called, in the Latin 
translation of Abulfeda, decurtcUoTy or the curtaUer, 
He alienated the troops and the people by an ill- 
advised reduction of pay and emoluments,^ which led 
to rebellion, from the results of whidh he escaped by 

^ Cond6, Dominacion de los Arabes, L ch. zxzviii. 
' Abulfeda, Annales Mosleraici, I. 139. 

* "Caossa exitii erat vita scurriUbus nugis foada, et Tolaptatlbas 
diffiuens inhoneatn yini compotationes." — Abulfeda, AnnaUi 
Moslemidt I. 132. 

* *' Quod copiis decimus ab iuterceasore indnltas ademit et sti- 
pendia yeterem ad modulTim, qui Heachamo principe obtinebat^ 
redujdt." — /&. I. 188. 


happily djing of the plague, after a reign of five 
months and ten days. 

He was succeeded by his brother Ibrahim, whose 
tenure was from the first so doubtful that the annalist 
does not know whether to admit his name .into the 
list of Khalifs. He has, indeed, the benefit of the 
doubt^ and is counted as the thirteenth and penulti- 
mate sovereign of that dynasty ; ^ but he was generally 
called the Amir of Damascus, and not Ehalif; and 
enjoyed the precarious authority of his dubious posi- 
tion, according to some writers, for four months, and ac- 
cording to others for but seventy days, in the year 744 

Meruan Ibn Mohammed Al-jadi, the second of that 
name, had for some time aspired to the supreme 
power, and now, collecting without difficulty a large 
force, he marched against the army of Ibrahim. A 
battle was fought between Meruan and Suleyman, 
the son of Hisham and the general of Ibrahim, in 
which the former was entirely successful : he proceeded 
without opposition to Damascus, and was saluted as 
Khalif, Ibrahim himself, and Suleyman Ibn Hisham, 
with his brothers and all his people, swearing alle- 
giance to him without protest or demur.^ 

^ " At Uli dignitas adeo vacillabat ut per yicea modo Amir ol 
mumenine, modo mero nomine amiri [L e. of Damascusji salutaretor. " 
— Abulfeda, Annates Moslemidj I. 134. 

* This is noteworthy, for, with the doubtful exception of Hasan, 
who offered to Muawiyah the throne upon which he never sat, no 
Khalif had been deposed. Abulfeda says : *'Illuc ad eum missis 
primum legatis Ibrahim, jam privatus et latitans, et ejus quondam 
dux, Solaiman Heschami filius veniam commissorum spiritusque secu- 
ritatem deprecantur, promissaque sui copiam ipsi ambo faciunt et 
dominom agnoscnnt : Solaiman quoque, cum fratribus et tota gente 
sua, qui omnes Marwano sacramentum dixerunt." — lb, L 135. 


But this state of things could not last very long. 
The house of Ummeyah had now numbered fourteen 
Khalifs, from Muawiyah I. in 661 to this Meruan 
in 744, and had occupied the seat of power for nearly 
ninety yeara They had long found patient but con- 
stant rivals in the family of the Beni Alabas, who de- 
scended from Abbas, the uncle of Mohammed and of 
Ali, and who, if lineage were any claim, were more 
entitled to the Khalifate than the reigning house, be- 
cause Abbas was the second son of Abdu-l-MotaUeb, 
the grandfather of both. 

At the time of the violent accession of Meruan, 
and the deposition of Ibrahim, the chief of this house 
The appear, was Abdu'-l-'abbas Abdullah, whose after 
dauah the Career was to win for him the title of As- 
Bhedder. seffohy — the sheddcr of blood.^ But if he 
was cruel, he was crafty and clever. For six years 
he laid his plans and mieide his preparations, not 
around Damascus, but in the distant regions of 
Khorassan. Bumors of rebellion in that quarter 
reached the court of Meruan, but he closed his 
ears and eyes to the danger, and thus failed in the 
promptitude and energy which alone could have 
enabled him to withstand the rising flood.^ Mean- 
while the fame and ambition of the Abbasides were 
becoming patent, while the name of the Ommeyades 
was steadily sinlcing into a contempt which found 

1 " Sen cradelis, yel sasgainariuB." — Abui^eda, AnnaUt Mos- 
lemici, I. 139. 

s « Ann. CXXIX. (qui coepit A. C. 746, die 21 Septem.), palam 
inceperant Al Abbasidas, qnod ad earn diem clam fecerant per snos 
pararios ambire Chorasanicoa, et ad afferendom sua genti debitnm 
chalifatam inyitare." — lb, I. 186. 


vent in execrations and portentous menaces ^ all over 
the empire of the Khalif. 

But Meruan's governor in Khorassan, Nasr Ibn 
Eyer, was loyal to his trust He did all in his power 
to quiet, and then to thwart, the insurgents ; and, at 
last, finding that they increased daily in strength, he 
sent to Meruan a poetical epistle, informing him of 
the increasing numbers and treasures of his enemies, 
and warning him to strike before the opposition should 
become too formidable to be overthrown. Among the 
memorable and well-known verses preserved by tra- 
dition * are those in which, in the form of parable, the 
writer sees beneath the ashes bright sparks, ready to 
burst into flame, unless at once extinguished by pru- 
dent hands ; and the fuel should be dead bodies and 
severed heads. " Would that I could discern," says 
the writer, " whether the Ommeyades will be vigilant 
or will sleep ! " * 

The greatest hope of Meruan was in this loyal gen- 
eral, and he did now rouse himself to meet the issue. 
Just as the rebellion was about to burst forth, Nasr 

^ "Ubiqne igitar celebrari per Chorasanam nomen al Abbaai- 

dorum, at Omajjadarum horrori et exsecrstione esse." — As^lfeda, 

Annales MosUmici, I. 137. 

' Abulfeda says : ** PoetsB nescio ctgns versus, et notns in tuI- 

gam et memorabiles." — lb. I. 137. 

* "Video sub cineribus micantes igniculos carbonum, qui parum 

abest quin luculentas in flammas erumpant* 

Quos, nisi prudentes ezstinguant, habebnnt pabulum trnncos 

obtruncatorum et amputata sparaaque capita. 

Halo huic celeriter et mature non succurri cemens stupeo, et 

ipse penes medico : utinam scirem, yigilentne OmmajjadflB 

an dormiant ! ** 

lb. 1. 187. 
VOL. n. 5 


Ibn Ejer most unfortunately died, and left the fated 
The death of J^h^lif helpless, by thus placing an insur- 
N^iTta 8®°^ province in the hands of the Abba- 
cy"- sides, who had only been kept in check by 
the loyal skill of the Khalif 's general 

Nor was this all Doubtful of the allegiance or of 
the skill of the Wali of Egypt, Ibn Sali, Meruan had 
deposed him, and replaced him by one of his most 
gifted generals and loyal friends, — Abdullah Ibn 
Magbara, — who would watch and defeat the intrigues 
of the Abbasides in that province. To accumulate 
disasters, it was just at this juncture that Abdullah 
also died and left Egypt to the machinations of the 
children of Abbas. 

Nor was the Ehalif better represented in the gov- 
ernment of Africa. There the authority had been 
assumed, without his sanction, by Abdu-r-rahm&n 
Ibn Habib ; ^ and, unable to oppose him, Meruan was 
fain to confirm him in that government. 

As we have already seen, the condition of things 
in Spain was similar, or even worse, and the irr^ular 
appointment of Yiisuf al Fehri had been sanctioned 
by the Khalif, probably because he was powerless to 
reverse it.^ It is true that the condition of things in 
Spain had less to do than that of affairs in the East 
with the impending danger to the Ehalifate. 

The truth is, that in a day, as it were, in many 

^ Cond6, Dominacion de Iob Arabes, I. ch. zzzYiiL 
^ lb. He says : '* The Ehalif also appointed and confirmed the 
election of Yiisuf al Fehri as Amir of Spain, but whether because he 
really had confidence in that governor, or that he dissembled his 
displeasure because he had not power to prevent what had been 
done, hath not appeared." 


parts of the empire disaffection was rife ; in some, re- 
bellion was active. The Mohammedan world, stretch- 
ing its vast claims from the Atlantic to India, cared 
little for the name, personality, or family of the man 
who sat in the Khalif 's seat at Damascus. It was 
declared and believed throughout its borders, that the 
government had been badly administered, and that 
the dynasty had lost its prestige. All were ready for 
a change. Even those provincial governors who, 
under ordinary circumstances, would have been loyal 
to the Beni Ummeyah, now felt themselves powerless 
to check the torrent of revolution ; and by the instinct 
of seK-preservation, they sided with the rebellion, 
and gave up their towns to the victorious rebel 
"before he had found time to demand their sur- 

The time had now come. Abdu'-l-' Abbas Abdullah, 
the chief of the Abbasides, was proclaimed Ehalif at 
Kufah, by his wizir and chief adviser, Abu .j.^^^ ^^^^^ 
Salmah ; ^ and, collecting his adherents into JJ^falLed 
an army which soon grew large, he confided ^^'^^^ 
the command to his uncle and namesake, Abdullah. 

Filled with powerful forebodings, the ill-fated 
Meruan marched to meet the swelling host ; and the 
white .standard of the Ommeyades was for the first 
time confronted by the black banner of the children of 

^ Oftyangofl says (Al Makkari, II. 417, note 2), that the name of 
the wizir was Hafss Ibn Suleyman al Hallal, and that his kunyd 
was Aba Salmah, and not Aba Moslemah, as given by Cond^. He 
was also called Wazira-diu Mohammed (the support of the religion 
of Mohammed), and seems to have been the Veus ex machina of the 


Abbas, — colors, says the Spanish historian, signify- 
ing the irreconcilable enmity of the two factions.^ 

The assumption of the Khalifate by AbduUah was, 
as has been said, at Kufah, — then an important town 
on one of the small tributaries of the Euphrates : the 
short campaign which was to decide the question was 
to begin in the valley of that famous stream. 

After several partial actions, the two armies met at 
Turab, near Musul, in the last days of January, in the 

The battle V^^^ "^^^'^ "^^^ contest was fierce in the 
atTnrtb. eKtrcmc ;* but it resulted in the retreat of 
Meruan, although his army was superior in numbers. 
The retreat became a rout ; thirty thousand men — 
probably an exaggeration — are said to have fallen in 
the battle and the pursuit ; and they were so rapidly 
followed by the Abbasides to the Euphrates, that large 
numbers are said to have been drowned in their at- 
tempts to cross that sti*eam. Among these died Ibra- 
him, the deposed Ehalif, who, true to his oath, had 
joined the army of Meruan. The Arabian chronicler 
ejaculates : " mystery of the eternal decrees of 

1 " En cuyos colores se significaba la irreconciliable enemistad de 
lo8 doe bandos.*' — La Fuente, Eistoria de Espafia, III. 92. 

^ For the detailed morements, see Abnlfeda, Annales Hos- 

• "Initio atrox fuit ibi commissum prtelium." — Ih, I. liO. 
The conflict took place on the banks of the Znb, a tributary stream 
which empties into the Tigris, twenty-five mUes south of Husul. 
The army of Meruan was encamped on one bank of the rirer, one 
hundred and twenty thousand strong ; that of the Abbasides, one 
hundred thousand, or less, on the other. Meruan built a bridge and 
crossed to give battle. He was beaten, and driven across : many 
were lost in the rapid crossing, among whom was Ibrahim. For 
these and other details, see Abulfeda, I. 140. 


heaven ! Ibrahim dies fighting to preserve the empire 
to him by whom he had himself been deposed ! " ^ 

The flight of Meruan with the remnant of his army, 
after twenty days or more, took him through towns 
mentioned by the annalist, but which have now faded 
from the map, until he reached Emesa.^ Here he 
found a few adherents ; but the mass of people, when 
they discovered the signals of the approaching con- 
querors, displayed a great eagerness for his departure. 
From Emesa he hastened to Damascus, but such was 
the confusion of opinions in that capital, that he 
could not feel safe, especially as the victorious army 
of Abdullah was marching thither. With constantly 
diminishing forces, he wandered southward into Pal- 
estine. There he was overtaken by the usurping 
Khalif, at a place called Alardania,* or by a detach- 
ment, — perhaps the vanguard. He turned at bay, and, 
with the courage of despair, he repulsed the enemy, and 
broke away from his toils. ^ This so angered the new 
Khalif that he suddenly relieved his uncle, Abdullah, 
from the command, and confided it to an active and 
tireless general named Saleh. The pursuit was not 
for a moment discontinued by this change of com- 
manders; the hounded Meruan pressed southward 

1 Cond^ Dominacion de los Arabes, I. ch. xzxviii. '' Qui chali- 
fata oUm Marwano cesserat ooactus, et tunc sub ejus signis pug- 
nabat." — Abtjlfeda, Annales MatUmiei, I. 140. 

? " Post viginti et aliquot mom dies, cum gente sua et equitatu 
omni Tirinm suarum reliquiia, Emessam trepidus aufTugiebat. . . . 
Emesa porro Damascum properabat, et Damasco tandem in Pales- 
tinam." — lb. Emesa is the modem Hems or Homs of the Arabic. 

* So says Cond^ (I>ominacion de los Arabes, I. ch. zxxviii.). I 
have been unable to find such a place. 


into Egypt, with the few adherents who were willing 
to follow his ruined fortunes. He had reached a 
country palace near Saida called Busyr, or Busyr 
Koridas, where he was overtaken by his relentless 
foe. In despair he took refuge in a Christian church, 
after his remaining troops had been defeated in a 
Mernan ^"^^ action, and there he was killed with a 
^^^' spear thrust by an unknown hand.^ Soon 
after, a servile creature, who had been in former days 
a vender of pomegranates at Kufah, ran in and cut off 
his head/^ and sent it to Saleh for the EiiaUf. 

The triumph of Saleh was complete : he had accom- 
plished what his predecessor had failed\to do. He 
ordered the head, which was to be the ghastly mes- 
senger of its own disaster, to be embalmed that it 
might be sent to the Khalif In the process of em- 
balming, the tongue had been taken out, and as it lay 
upon the ground, it was snatched up and carried away 
by a cat,* which had been watching the operation, 
and was speedily devoured. 

When Saleh sent the embalmed head to Abdullah 
As-seffah, he varied his despatch with verses, in which 
he declares this incident as marking the retribution 
visited by Allah upon the impieties so often uttered by 
the tongue of Meruan : " God has subdued Egypt, O 

^ ** Bnsir dictum, nescio qais in eccleda, qun ibi loci Christianis 
erat, hasta confodit." — Abulfeda, Annates Moslemiei, I. 140. 

^ '' AUns aateni aliquis vilis homo, qui olim al Cufs malis granatia 
vendendis queestum fecerat accurreus, . . . caput amputat." — Tb. 

* Abulfeda (Annales MoBlemici, 1. 141) recounts it thus : " Con- 
tigit, ut exsectam ejus lingnam felis furto ablatam devoraret." 
Cond^ says it was a ferret or weasel. 


cIiildTen of Abbas, to your conquering arms, and has 
destroyed the vile Al-jadi. A cat has worried his 
tongue. Behold God's justice; thus he takes ven- 
geance upon those who corrupt the'faith." ^ 

Thus ended a dynasty which had hardly in any 
reign deserved its prosperity, but which had obsti- 
nately and diligently at the last earned its destruction. 
With the simpler logic of fatalism, the Arabian his- 
torian exclaims : " The unfortunate can never be 
secure, even though he climb to the nests of eagles, 
and conceal himself on the summits of inaccessible 
rocks ; neither shall he avoid the arrow of the power- 
ful destiny, although he should rise to the stars." ' 
Meinian was, however, the best of the later Khalifs of 
the Beni tJmmeyah, and htw received the encomiums 
of Abulfeda, who likewise attributes his downfall to 
destiny. He was, in the opinion of that historian, 
prudent and brave, and, in another period than that 
in which " the eternal law of fate " had decreed the 
extinction of the Ommeyades, would have been num- 
bered among the noblest and most illustrious of the 
princes of his people. '^ But, against fate, prudence 
and fortitude contend in vain." ^ 

^ " Sabegit Dens, Abbasidte, victricibos restris annis .^gyptum 
et Bcelestnm Gjaditam perdidit. 
linguam ejos vexavit felia. En jostum Dei judicium. Sic 
ille fidei corruptores ulciscitur." 
^ Conde, Dominacion de los Arabes, I. ch. zxxyiii. 
* " Vir erat fortls et prndeus, quern si contigissct alio tempore 
dominaii non illo, quo lex etema fati stirpem et potestatem Omaj- 
jadarnm exscindere decrererat, fuisset profecto suss gentis inter 
optimos illustriasimosque principes. At contra fatum frustra pug- 
nat fortitudo juxta et prudentia." — Annates Moslemicit I. 141. 


When the head of his rival was brought into the 
presence of Abdullah As-seffah at Kufah, where he 
still was, he did not dissemble his joy ; he felt that 
he was Khalif ' indeed, and his family after him. In 
a fervor of devotion, he fell prostrate upon the earth, 
and gave heartfelt thanks to Allah for his sanguinary 

His thirst for blood might have been satiated by 
the rivers which had thus been flowing at the touch 
Abdaiiah'8 ^^ ^^^ sword, but his fcars rose as he thought 
cruelty. ^.j^j^^j there remained those who would thence- 
forth live but for revenge. If the former dynasty 
could not revive in its strength, it could punish. He 
at first proscribed, and then soon got rid of the sons 
of Meruan. The elder, Obeydullah, fled to Ethiopia, 
and was there killed by the natives.* The other son, 
Abdullah, was captured and delivered to the governor 
of Palestine, who sent him, as the most welcome 
gift, to the Khalif He was soon afterwards put to 

The wives and daughters of Meruan found their 
place of exile in a distant province, where, with un- 
ceasing tears and constant lamentations, they bewailed 
a fate rendered far more poignant by the remembrance 
of former joys and vanished splendor.' 

^ ** Ad hujus capitis conspectam procidebat humi, Deamquo 
gratus adorabat, os Saffah, turn al Cuf» agens.'* — Abulfeda, 
Annates Moshmicif I. 141. 

^ *' At ibi quoque armis infestis excepti fuerunt, ut ObaidoUah 
qaidem caderat; alter autem fratrom, Abdollah, egre cum saoram 
aliquibos evaderet." — lb. 

s "In uberes lacrymas acatasqae lamentationes erupemnt^ 
procul splendore gaudiisqae pristiniB." — 76. L 141. 


The downfall of the Ommeyades and the succession 
of the Abbasides present a historic philosophy in 
many respects similar to the rise of the The ratio. 
Carolingians and the deposition of the change. 
Merovingian dynasty in the Frankish history; and 
the reign of the sons of Abbas, like that of Charle- 
magne, was soon to shed great lustre upon the world by 
their wonderful accomplishments in arts, science, and 
letters. The change from the Benf Ummeyah to the 
Benl Abbas, however bloody, was to be greatly to the 
benefit of the Moslem world. Bloody indeed it was to 
be : not content with the death of the sons of Meruan, 
the new Khalif began to feel that he was not secure 
in his seat of power; as long as a drop of the blood of 
Ummeyah flowed in living veins, and so he deter- 
mined to destroy every one around whom the adher- 
ents of the Ommeyades could rally. There were at 
hifl court two young men of rank and talents, held in 
high repute by all, and up to this time by the Khalif 
himself. They were cousins, and both grandsons of 
the Khalif Hishem, the tenth sovereign of the line 
of Ummeyah. One of them, Suleyman, had com- 
manded the army of Ibrahim against the usurpation 
of Meruan. The other was Abdu-r-rahmdn Ibn Mu- 
awiyah. They were of gentle manners and un- 
blemished character ; they had even taken sides with 
Abdullah As-seSah against Meruan, whom they had 
regarded as a usurper. But they had the blood of 
Ummeyah in their veins, and, through their grand- 
father Hishem, might have claims to the Khalifate. 
They must die.^ Entirely unsuspicious of the Khalif 's 

1 He is said to haye been specially incited to this by the poetical 


purpose, Suleyman was arrested and killed, althougli 
he had been promised security and protection ; but 
Abdu-r- Abdu-r-rahmdn happened to be fortunately 
cApefl. absent when the edict was issued, and, being 

warned by his friends, succeeded in making his escape : 

''AttolenB humero famamque, et fata nepotom." ^ 

For, in the words of the Arabian historian, " on the 
tablets reserved for the eternal decrees it was written 
that all the desire of the Beni-Alabas, and all their 
zeal for the destruction of the Beni-Ommeyas, should 
be proved in vain. Despite their utmost endeavors 
to destroy and uproot the family which they had de- 
spoiled of the Khalifate, and driven from the sover- 
eignty of the Mosleman empire, a fruitful branch of 
that illustrious trunk had nevertheless been preserved, 
and, fixed in the West, was there to take new root and 

Before, however, proceeding to follow the fortunes 
of Abdu-r-rahman Ibn Mu'awiyah, we have yet to 
record the further cruelties of the Ehalif, which con- 
firmed his title of the Blood-ahedder, 

His guilty suspicions were not yet allayed by 
the murder of the sons of Meruan and the removal 
of Suleyman. He next proceeded against all the 

instigationB of a malicious courtier named Sadif, the last verse of 
whose poem is this : — 

" Tu eigo pone jam gladium, et sums scuticam, eamque tamdia 
exerce, donee huic solo, quod omnes calcamus, Ommajjadanun 
nemo inambulet." — Abulfeda, Annales Modemid, I. 192. 

1 Virgilii iEneidos, Lib. VIII. 781. 

' Cond^, Dominacion de los Arabes, I., part ii., ch. i. 


principal adherents of the Ommeyan line, and^ in 
order to accomplish his purpose, he had The banquet 
recourse to a barbarous stratagem. Ninety ^'"*^***^ 
of these cavaliers had given in their adherence, and 
taken refuge with his uncle Abdullah, who seems to 
have been the governor of Damascus. They regarded 
all danger at an end, and were loyal to the new 
dynasty. On the receipt of secret orders from the 
Khalif, Abdullah invited these gentlemen to a ban- 
quet, which they might regard as the sign and seal 
of their being taken into favor. They came in all 
security and full of hope.^ The feast was spread, 
and they were about to partake of it ; when, as was 
not unusual at the banquets of the great, a poet 
entered to sing salutatory versea It was Schabil, a 
mauli, of the family of Hisham.^ As he chanted, 
the festive mood of the guests was suddenly clouded 
with misgivings, which soon changed to a terrible 
fear. He began by vaunting the power and the 
success of the new dynasty of Abbas; he placed 
then in strong contrast the ever-accursed brood of 
false TTmmeyah, the sons of Abdu-1-Xamsi '* Let 
every branch perish ; and, if any live who would 
uphold the line, let them, too, perish. God has 
abased them; why, then, should not man join in 
God's work and destroy them?" In the peroration 
of his poetical harangue, he presents to Abdullah the 

1 ''Nonagmta fere higus gentis yiros ad se Yocayerat, et venerant 
omnes secori pleniqiie bonse spei" — Abulfxda, Annales Mo9' 
lemiei, I. 142. 

' ** Positis jam dapibos, Schabl accedit, Abdellahi filius, libertoa 
Hascbemidaram.*' — lb. 


argumentum ad vindictam. He tells him to remember 
the cruelties of the Ommeyades, — the fate of Huseyn, 
ancestor of As-seffah, who had been put to death hj 
Yezid, the second Kbalif of that line ; of Zeyd, 
whose body had been fastened to a stake by the 
Elhalif Hisham, and left exposed during his reign; 
of As-seffah's brother, who had been killed by the 

Although the scenes in this bloody drama had all 
been arranged beforehand, Abdullah acted skilfully the 
part of a man who was wrought to fury by the fren- 
zied appeal He quivered with well-dissembled anger, 
and gave a signal. At this, the guards who surrounded 
the apartment rushed in upon the guests and beat them 
to death with clubs or tent-poles.^ The last act of 
the tragedy was more fiendish still. The tables were 
removed, leathern mats or carpets were spread upon 
The table of the dead and the writhing bodies of the 

quivering , 

bodies. victims, and the viands placed upon these. 
The remaining guests then ate their dinner with a 
greedy appetite upon these imdulating tables of quiv- 
ering humanity. The groans of those who were long 
in dying furnished pleasant music for their repast* 
But this climax of cruelty seemed yet to need a 

^ '* Memento cnideliter occisorum el Hosaini, et Zaidi et confes- 
aoris ad latus el Mehraai sepulti, 
Onsique, qui in Harran leteraum considet, peregrino solo, 
perpetuaqae oblivione damnatus." 

Abulfeda, AnnaUs Moelemid, I. 142. 

* " Quibus in rabiem actus AbdoUah jubet Omajjadas longis fus- 
tibus aut contis (qualibus effulciri tentoria sclent) contundi." — lb, 

• " Prostratis instrati tapetea scortei, quibus imposit® dapes et 
continuatum convivium inter iflebiles gemitua et suspiriis miztos sin- 
gnltos miserorum sub ipsia lancibua lent© expirantium." — lb. 


capping. From the living it passed to the deai The 
tomhs of the Ommeyan Khalifs at Damascus were 
broken open. The bones of Mu'awiyah, Yezid, and 
Abdu4-malek were thrown out. The body of Hisham, 
which yet retained a human semblance^^ was first 
crucified, that it might be derided by the multitude. 
Then all the remains were burned, and the ashes 
scattered to the wind. 

Scenes of similar violence were enacted at Bosrah 
by Suleyman, the brother of Abdullah in blood and 
in sin. Wherever the slightest consanguinity or 
adherence to the Ommeyades could be traced, those 
who bore it were hunted down and destroyed, and 
their bodies left to fatten the dogs of the settlements 
or the jackals of the open country. It seemed that 
no precaution had been neglected to insure the 
extinction of the race. 

But the fury and the purpose of the Khalif were to 
be defeated by the escape of one man. Fate or Allah 
had decreed that the noblest and most dangerous rep- 
resentative of the Beni Ummeyah should evade the 
destroyer,* and carry the dynasty into Spain, then 
ready for independence. 

' *' Quod integer inyeniretar." — Abttlfeda, Annales Modemid, 
I. 142. 

s There is a story (Al Makkari, II. 75) that, at the birth of 
Ahda-r-rahmdn, it had been predicted that he would be the avenger 
of his family, and that his grandfather, Hisham, was at first troubled 
by the prophecy. But his uncle, Moslemah, allayed the jealousy, 
and "from that time/' said Abdu-r-rahmdn, "my grandfather 
always treated me with the greatest kindness and distinction." The 
existence of such a prophecy, if known to the usurping Ehalif, 
would partially account for his relentless pursuit of the fugitive 




nr^HE only scion of the fated line of the Om- 
•^ meyades, as we have seen, was absent from 
Damascus when the order for his assassination had 
Abdn-r- ^©en issued* As soon as he received friendly 
wSSliiMd warning of the Khalif s purpose, he secreted 
*"**^^' a few jewels and a little money, and, taking 
some of his immediate family and two faithful ser- 
vants, Bedr and SaHm, he fled for his life. Well 
mounted, the little party travelled by rude and unfre- 
quented pathways, shunning all towns which he knew 
or feared to be in the possession of the Abbasides, 
and not deeming himself even temporarily secure 
until he had reached a distant hamlet, situated near a 
dense forest on the bank of the Euphrates. 

As soon as it was known that he had escaped, the 
spies of the grand wizir, Abu Salmah, were every- 
where sent upon his track, and the acknowledged 
supremacy of the new Khalif throughout most of the 
Mohammedan world rendered it almost impossible 

1 <<What rendered AB-eeffah particularly implacable against 
Abdu-r-rahmin waa, that bis father, Ma'awiyah, on hia death'bed, 
had intrusted him to his grandfather, the Khalif Hisham, who de- 
signed him as his successor, and who allotted him the reyenaes of 
Andalas for hia maintenance." — Al Maxkart, II. 92. 


that he should escape. A minute description of his 
person was sent to the governors of even the most 
distant provinces, with instructions that he should 
be searched for and apprehended ; and his appearance 
was such that it was difficult for him to evade even 
a cursory inspection. He was just twenty years old, 
and, unlike his Arabian brethren, he had a fair com- 
plexion and a beaming blue eye. 

Ibnu Hayyan relates a portion of his story in his 
own words. One day, while he was sitting in his tent, 
sheltered from the rain, his little son, four years of age, 
came running in, crying so violently that he could 
not for a time tell him the cause of his tears. Abdu- 
T-rahmdn rushed out to discover it, and found the 
whole village in commotion, for the black banner of 
the Abbasides had been descried marching upon it 
with a considerable force.* Collecting his remaining 
money and jewels, he started off on foot with his 
child and his younger brother, a lad of thirteen, and 
ran rapidly to place the river between himself and his 
pursuers. He had hardly left the village before his tent 
was surrounded, and the village thoroughly searched. 
This done, his pursuers were soon upon swimt 

^ , Bcroes the 

his traces : and the detective force arrived Euphrates in 

' sight of hlB 

at the Euphrates when the fugitives had puwuei* 
half crossed it by swimming ; Abdu-r-rahman himself 
supporting his son, and Bedr aiding his brother. 

The pursuers shouted to them from the river bank 
to come back, and promised that if they did so they 
should receive no harm. The unfortunate brother, 

1 Al Makkari, II. 59. 


whose strength was giving way, believing them, 
turned back in spite of the remonstrances of Abdu- 
r-rahmdn, and succeeded in reaching the shore ; and, 
when Abdu-r-rahman reached the opposite bank, he 
saw that he was immediately killed and his head 
carried off.^ This lent wings to his flight. 

He determined to make his way into Egypt, where 
he expected to meet his sisters; and, to effect this 
without discovery, he wandered westward through 
desert tracts. He was the companion of wandering 
Bedouins and roving shepherds, partaking of chance 
and scanty fare, sleeping lightly for fear of surprise, 
and, with the early morning, bridling his horse and 
summoning his few attendants, that they might seek 
some new and safer spot. Thus he reached Egypt, 
and wandered through it, still westward, for he remem- 
bered that the governor of Barca, Abdu-r-rahman 
Ibn Habib al Fehri, had owed his fortunes and his 
position to the special favor of the house of Ummeyah. 
There, then, he might hope for protection. He en- 
tered the province of Barca full of hope ; but he found 
himself sadly mistaken, for Ibn Habib, like the other 
officials, moved by self-interest, had given a ready 
allegiance to the new dynasty, and now not only sent 
out emissaries to apprehend him, but had warned all 
the authorities in his province to be on the watch 
for him. 

The stories of his hair-breadth escapes in Barca 
Takes shei- ^^'^ numcTOus, and at the least suggestive, 
terinBwm ^f ^^ ^^^ doubt their particulars. Accord- 
ing to one of these, he was once actually in the hands 

> Al Makkari, IL 60. 


of Ibn Habib, and could expect nothing but immedi- 
ate execution. Before proceeding to this extremity, 
however, the superstitious governor consulted a Jewish 
astrologer, who had prophesied that Abdu-r-rahmdn 
should reign in Andalus, as to the identity and 
the future fortunes of the disguised youth who had 
been brought before him. He answered the descrip- 
tion indeed ; and the governor, feeling sure that he 
was the man, had said, " By thy life, this is the very 
youth mentioned in thy prophecy : he must die." The 
answer of the Jew saved his life, as it placed Ibn 
Habib in a dilemma. " If thou kill him, he is not 
the person intended ; if, on the contrary, thou spare 
his life, he must conquer and reign.*' The question 
was settled by the release of Abdu-r-rahmdn.* 

Another and more likely story is that, while living 
in disguise at one of the tent- villages of Barca, where 
he was hospitably sheltered by one of the chiefs, Abu 
Korrah Wdnesus, suddenly a band of the Abbasides 
surrounded the tent, and were about to search it, when 
the wife of the chief, Tekfah, concealed him under 
her clothes, and thus deceived his pursuers.^ 

He remained in the province of Barca for about 
five years, but he did not anywhere disclose himself. 
He went by the name of Giafar Almansur ; but, exUe 

1 Al Makkari, II. 61. 

* " Abdu-r-Tahm&n never foigot the signal service lie received on 
this occasion ; for, when he became king of Andalus, he invited 
W^nesos and his wife to Cordova, and treated them kindly, ad- 
mitting them to his privacy, and conferring on them all sorts of 
honors and distinctions. He gave Tekfah leave to visit his palace 
at all hours, and enter his harem whenever she chose." — Al Hak- 
KABI, II. 62. 

VOL. II. 6 


and fagitive as he was^ he won upon all men by his 
engaging appearance and gentle manners, and caused 
them to speculate, and shrewdly suspect/ that they 
were entertaining a prince in disguise. On one 
occasion, the Aduar, or viUage of tents, in whioh he 
was sojourning, was thrown into confusion by the 
appearance of a body of horse in the service of Ibn 
Habib, who had tracked him to this hiding-place, 
after so protracted a delay. 

The hospitable tribe at once knew that he was 
probably the fugitive for whom they were seeking ; 
and, hastily concealing him, they contrived to put 
Hispnnn* the pursucrs on a false scent. Such a per- 
:^r'^ Bon, they said, was among their tribe, bat 
was unfortunately absent at that moment He had 
gone with several other young men to a certain 
mountain valley on a lion hunt, and the party would 
not return until the following night.* The eager 
pursuers set out for the valley they had named The 
hostile force being thus misdirected, Abdu-r-rahmdn, 
with six devoted adherents, pushed rapidly westward, 
away from immediate pursuit, to encounter new hard- 
ships and dangers and to fulfil his brilliant destiny. 

Between Barca and Western Africa, the Great Desert 
sends out a promontory of sand to the Mediterranean. 
Through tracts peopled only by beasts of prey, across 
jouraeyi thcsc Unsheltered plains of scorching ground, 
westward, uublesscd by a sprig of living verdure, the 
little band journeyed, until at length, rising to the 
table-lands of the Atlas, after many a weary day and 
night of vigil, they reached Tahart, the principal 

^ Cond^ Dominftcion de los Arabes, I., part ii., ch. i. 


settlement in the Algarve Media^and about four days' 
journey southeast from Telemsen.^ 

At Tahart, which was the chief seat of the Beni 
Bustam, his reception was all that he could desire, 
aud far more than he could have expected. The 
principal sheik entertained him at his house ; and, 
as soon as the intelligence of this distinguished and 
mysterious arrival was spread abroad, the other sheiks 
came to offer him service. 

In that locality, he remembered, there had settled 
an Arabian tribe, the Nefezah, now known as one of 
the Zenetes, to which his mother, Saha, had belonged;' 
and he might reasonably hope that the tie of con- 
sanguinity would insure the kind assistance which 
he so much needed. His most ardent desires were 
fully realized. Making his headquarters at ^^^^ ^^ 
Tahart, he spent his time in visiting among Tahart. 
the Berber encampments, and everywhere he received 
assurances of a generous and full protection. 

The time had come when he felt authorized to 
disclose his name and rank to his mother's relatives, 
and to inform them of his schemes for the future. 
Immediately they paid him homage, and promised him 
such assistance as they were in condition to afford. 

What had seemed before visionary in the extreme, 

1 The modern town on or near the site of Tahart is Toogoort, 
within the soathem limit of Algeria. La Fuente says (Historia de 
Espalia, III. 95) that Tarik, the first conqueror of Spain, was bom 
at Tahart. This is donbtful. It is certain, however, that it was 
the birthplace, in our day, of the famous Abdel-Kader. 

' His wanderings and sojourns become rather confused, probably 
by reason of his so constantly changing his quarters, and keeping 
nothing but an oral record. 


now appeared feasible and foreordained. They all 
knew by constant reports the condition of things in 
Spain. The power of the Khalifs was gone forever. 
Bival tribes had exhausted and fatigued the people 
with their wars. Ambitious generals were using 
every sort of stratagem to climb into power. The 
people were forced to take sides in quarrels which 
could give them no benefit in return. Towns lay in 
smoking ruins ; everywhere were violence and exac* 
tions ; and, to cap the climax of miseiy, a famine had 
been lately ravaging the country, already so devas- 
tated by war. 

Even to the Berber tribes, so far removed from 
this theatre of commotion, the questions were signifi- 
cant, — " Why not establish an independent empice 
in Andalus? Who should be its sovereign but 
Abdu-r-rahmdn, the illustrious heir of the Ommeyan 
house, persecuted by the Abbasides, and miraculously 
preserved, and now ready to claim his own ? " These 
questions were soon to be asked in Spain, and to 
receive immediate and satisfactory answers. 

Had there been equitable and orderly government 
there, Abdu-r-rahman would have waited in vain at 
Tahart for the chance of succession to the govern- 
ment ; but the anarchy which had usurped the place 
of order, and the utter hopelessness of a better state 
of things, caused the intelligence of his coming to 
rise like a great light upon this dismal darkness, 
Yiisuf indeed held nominal sway; but he had only 
the sanction of a dead Khalif, whose living successor 
was at hand.^ And besides, the conspirators against 

^ Upon the death of Heraan, Ti&Bof al Fehri had at once ae- 


his power had conquered a strong vantage-ground in 
aU the North, and his authority was not stable beyond 

It was of this condition of things that Abdu-r- 
rahmdn was now determined to avail himself; but, 
even before he took an initial step, the news ^^^ 
of his residence at Tahart began to work JJSJnf to*" 
among the special adherents of the Om- ^^^'Spaiu. 
meyades in Spain. From the account of Cond4, the 
reader is led to think indeed that, as soon as this 
party in Spain heard of his coming, they concerted 
measures, of which he was in ignorance, to place him 
on the throne, while the prince himself had hoped for 
nothing more than protection, and a share of the 
revenues befitting his rank. Nothing can be farther 
from the truth. How long he had cherished the pur- 
pose to reign in Spain cannot be known ; but it is 
certain that he had fully formed it during his resi- 
dence at Tahart, and that he took the initial step 
towards its accomplishment 

From Tahart, journeying along the table-land, he 
crossed the great coast range of the Atlas Mountains, 
and took up his headquarters ^t Melilla, nearer the 
sea. Thence he despatched his mauli and ggndghia 
chief oflScer, Bedr, across the sea to recon- gJS^into 
noitre, and cautiously to prepare the way ®p**^ 
for his own coming. Knowing that the family of the 
Ommeyades had a larger number of adherents in Spain 
than elsewhere, he had obtained the names of a few 

knowledged the authority of As-seffah ; but most of the other ^b- 
ordinate governors held out for the former house, and now afifected 
to consider him as a usurper. 


of their chief men, and to these he gave Bedr letters, 
and oral messages to be reinforced by Bedr's elo^ 
quence; and he also committed to him his signet- 
ring, to give validity to orders and proclamations which 
circumstances should render necessary or proper. 

He told Bedr to find out these chiefs, and to inform 
them that it was his purpose to assert his claims to 
the Khalifate of Spain as the surviving heir, by 
lineal descent, from Hisham. He had aright, he said, 
to the supreme power at Damascus, the rulership 
of the whole Mohammedan world : he would begin 
by ruling in the most distant province, the Peninsula. 
He further directed Bedr to work upon the feelings 
and hopes of the discordant tribes of Yemen and 
Modhar ; to play them off against each other, in order 
to keep them from rallying around Yiisuf. 

Thus instructed, Bedr secretly entered Spain, and 
began to conduct the negotiations, with judgment 
and due caution, by sounding the leaders and men of 

Chief among those who were loyal to the house of 
Ummeyah and adherents of the former Ehalif Meruan, 
were Abu Othraan ObeyduUah and his son-in-law, 
Abdullah Ibn Khaled, former maulis of th6 family of 
the Khalif Othman; and there were beside, among 
the principal officers and soldiers in the Andalusian 
army, between four and five hundred good men and 
true, who, in the tragical turn of affairs, had retained 
their allegiance to the former house. This was a 
most important miHtary nucleus. 

It happened that, just before the arrival of Bedr in 
Spain, Abu Othman ObeyduUah had received orders 


from Yiisuf to lepair with his forces to Saragossa, 
where, as has been ah*ead7 seen, As-samil had been 
for a time besieged by the rebellious chief, Az-zohri. 
It was while on this expedition, in which he was 
successful, that Abu Othman received Tidings of 
from his son, who also bore the name of reach spoL. 
Abdu-r-rahman, the secret message concerning the 
proposed landing of the prince. This intelligence 
he at once confided to Abdullah Ibn Khaled ; and, 
as soon as he had relieved As-samil from the siege 
of Saragossa, he imparted it also, not without mis- 
givings, to As-samiL This general liad been the 
chief supporter of Yiisuf; and it might well be 
doubted what view he would take of a project to 
supplant 'the governor, to subvert the existing order 
of government, and perhaps, in so doing, to endanger 
his own authority. As-samil, therefore, rendered 
cautious by the dictates of self-interest, determined to 
weigh the matter carefully, and to await the coui*se 
of events before deciding which party he would join.^ 
Yiisuf was in possession, and Abdu-r-rahman was as 
yet an adventurer, with good claims, indeed, but 
without men or money. But the power of Yiisuf was 
already greatly resisted and trammelled ; and, on the 
other hand, the manifesto of the coming prince was 
timely and attractive. All that he needed was a 
strong party to receive him at his landing, and the 
report was that he had already gained that. In order 
to gain time, As-samil at first said that he The douNe- 
was ready to receive the prince, and he A»-iwuniL 
would do everything in his power to influence Yiisuf 

1 AI Makkari, II. 64. 


to submit without an effort at resistance, by flattering 
his lust of power and catering to his avarice. "Write 
to the youth/' he said, " and tell him to cross over to 
us : when I have heard of his landing I will go to 
Yiisuf and advise him to do him honor, admit him 
to his intimacy, and give him one of his daughters 
in marriage. If he (Yiisuf) follow my advice, your 
object is gained : if he refuse^ we shall strike his bald 
head with our swords, and take the command of this 
country from him to give it to your friend." ^ 

But he soon changed his mind, or at least held 
very different language.^ His honor, he said, required 
him to unsheathe his sword at the first against Abdu- 
r-rahmdn ; he mtist make a decent show of resistance 
in behalf of the ruling Amir ; but he let 'them see 
that he was not unalterable, and even went so far as 
to wish them success. It was a bid for position in 
the new dynasty. 

All this was before the landing of the prince ; but^ 
while in southern Andalus, the news of his intention 
was " spreading like fire among brushwood ; " and 
while as yet Yiisuf, in the North, was in profound 
ignoi*ance of his danger. 

This absence of Yiisuf from Cordova gave a most 

1 Al Makkari, II. 63, 64. 

' Al Makkari says (lb.): "However, there are not wanting 
aathore who relate this affair differently. " I have ventured to think 
that the different statements of Aa-aamU's views are reconciled by 
believing that he gave expression to these different views at differ^ 
ent times. It agrees with his character and the dilemma in which 
he found himself, that he should thus temporize, and evade opposi- 
tion at first by consenting, until he could jsonfer with Ydsuf as to 
modes of resistance. 


fortunate opportunity to the rapidly increasing party 
of Abdu-r-rabmdn. It had already begun to take 
shape, and was now further strengthened by system- 
atic action. Had Yiisuf been at home, it might have 
been delayed or entirely frustrated. 

Eighty of the older Moslems of rank, chiefly offi- 
cers of the Syrian party ; men, says the chronicle, of 
flowing white beards, who had, as by a Thecouncu 
miracle, escaped death in so many civil <*'«*«*^*y- 
wars,^ met together in council at Cordova, to deliber- 
ate on the condition of affairs, and to consylt with 
regard to the election of a new Amir, who should 
bring new skill and energy to repair, if possible, the 
disorders of the country. 

Fearing the return and the vengeance of Yiisuf, 
they lost little time in debate. It was manifest to all 
men that something mast be speedily done. The 
troubles, before great, had been largely fed and ex- 
panded by the usurpation of the Abbasides at Damas- 
cus. The Spanish Moslemah had long since ceased 
to feel any interest in these rivalries at the seat of 
the Khalifate, and yet the shadow of the name re- 
mained to add one to the many arguments of faction. 
There were reasons for their adhering to the traditions 
of the house of Ummeyah, which had sent them to 
conquer Andalus : there were none that could excite 
a fervor of loyalty for the family of Al Abbas unless 
they could see a strong rally in their favor. 

^ Cond^, I., part iL, cb. ii. " CoDgregaron hastaochentaveneTa- 
biles Manalmanes con sus largas 7 blancas barbos, como por milagro 
escapados de la inuerte en tantas gueiras civiles." — La Fuentb, 
Bistorta de EspaHa, III. 96. 


Besides, it was said in council, the distance between 
Spain and Syria was so great that the justest Eiialif 
that had sat upon the throne — even Abu Bekr or Omar 
— could not gain full intelligence of the condition of 
the people, — the rights to be sustained, the wrongs to 
be redressed. The accounts which reached Damascus 
were partial from necessity, and were often colored 
by prejudice or distorted by malevolence. More than 
that, where the truth became really known, the 
opportunity had already passed by in the lapse of 
time f6{ prompt and effective action.^ Such, in sum- 
mary, were the views presented in the council ; and 
they were true and just 

Therefore, they said, let us at once take the matter 
into our own hands. Let us expect nothing more 
from Syria ; and let us no longer consider as data of 
the problem the importunate demands of the factions 
now contending against each other in Spain. We 
want a flew departure, a new government, a new man. 
Where can the man be found ? 

" Even so," said Temdm Ibn 'Alkamah. " Spain is 
Thepropoii- in itsclf spacious, populous, and rich enough 
Twn4m. to bc au independent kingdom, and, ruled by 
a good prince, would be the most fortunate country of 
the world."* His words were echoed by others in 
the council 

Then Ayub of Emesa again took up the word, and 
^^ ^^ said : " I propose the establishment of an in- 
Ayub. dependent Khalifate, which will free us at 
once of the nominal sovereignty of Damascus, and 

1 Cond^, Dominacion de los Arabes, I., part ii., ch. il. This is the 
substance of the remarks in the council of eighty, of Ayub of Emesa. 
« lb. 


put an end forever to the intrigues of contending 

At this conjuncture, the skilful preparations of Bedr 
came into play. To the question, *' Where shall we find 
a proper prince to rule over such a kingdom ? " Wahib 
Ibnu-1- asfar arose and said, " Do not marvel if I pro- 
pose to you a young descendant of our ancient ELhalifs, 
and one of the same race with our Ariahi Mohammed, 
now wandering in Africa among barbarous tribes : 
though persecuted and a fugitive, he is yet respected 
and served by those right-thinking people for the true 
worth of his nature and the nobleness of his condition. 
I speak to you of Abdu-r-rahman, son of Muawiyah, 
who was the son of Khalif Hisham Ibn Abdu-1- 
malek ! " ^ 

Thus public expression was given to what were the 
sentiments of large numbers already. The proposal 
was adopted with acclamations. A deputa- Thedepa- 
tion of eleven among the pnncipal men piince. 
was appointed, including Temam and Wahib, who 
were to return to Africa with Bedr, to find the exiled 
prince, and, in the name of the Spanish elders and 
chiefs, to offer him the throne of Spain, in entire inde- 
pendence of the Ehalifs, and in subversion of the 
claims and power of the incumbent Amir and all his 
provincial governors. They purchased a vessel, and 
the deputation sailed on their important errand, while 
good use was mtule by Abu Othman of the signet of 
Abdu-r-rahman to issue letters and proclamations in 

1 Cond^, Dominadon de los Arabes, I., part ii., ch. ii. He is 
caUed the son of Uiaham, as meaning a descendant. He was really 
the grandson of that Ehalif. 


all diiections, in order to prepare the people for his 

The chief of the deputation was Tem&m Ibn 'Al- 
kamah, and with him was Wahib Ibnu>l-'Asfar, who 
htul already spoken and labored so ardently in behalf of 
the prince. There was no time to lose : in secrecy and 
celerity lay their strength. In the mean time, Abdu- 
r-rahmdn, impatient for news, had, as we have seen, 
crossed the coast range, and encamped, near the sea, 
in the neighborhood of a place then called Maghilah, 
in the present province of Algeria.^ There, with his 
few attendants, he watched the white sails which 
approached the shore, " in a state of great anxiety," 
and from time to time " fervently prayed " for the 
return of Bedr.^ 

At last, a felucca was seen rapidly speeding to the 
shore ; it grounded upon the beach near Maghilah ; 
and the first person who leaped on shore was Bedr, 
who, running to his master, announced iri4ew words 
the success of his expedition. He was soon followed 
by Temam, who advanced to confirm the tidings tJhat 
the Spanish Atabs offered him " the empire and sov- 
ereignty of Spain/' 

Although fondly hoping for such intelligence, 
Abdu-r-rahman was so overpowered by it when it 
came that for some time he could not find words with 
which to express his feelings. As soon as he could 
Hi8i«eep- recover himself, he addressed Temdm: "What 
embaaty. is thy name ? " he said. " Temdm," was the 
answer. "And what thy surname?" "Abu Ghi- 

^ Modem HeliUa. 
^ Al Makhaii, II. 65. 


lib*' (the father of the victorious). "Allah akbar!" 
(God is great) he replied ; " may his name bo exalted 1 
for if that be the case, we shall, through the power 
and interposition of the Almighty, conquer that land 
of yours and reign over it." ^ 

He then went on to address the assembled envoys, 
promising them to be true to their cause, and to be a 
faithful brother and a sharer of their perils or their 
prosperity. He told them that he feared neither labor 
nor danger ; for that, though young, " the inconstancy 
of his fortunes had rendered him familiar with many 
forms of death, and taught him to count his life as 
precarious and insecure." ^ 

In turn, they assured him of the fidelity of the 
principal Moslemah ; they told him of the weakness 
of Tt!isuf, and promised that he should find on his 
landing a powerful party, commanded by skilful 
leaders, and a throne which awaited him, and would 
hardly cosIP a struggle to secure it They enjoined 
upon him the importance of secrecy ; but the great 
kindnesses which he had received from the Berber 
sheiks caused him to stipulate that they should be in- 
formed of the whole business, feeling sure of their 
good wishes and assistance. He was right They all 
entered with ardor into his plans. The sheik of the 
Zenetes offered him at once five hundred horse. The 
chiefs of Mecnasa promised two hundred. The sheik 
of Tahart gave him a select body-guard of fifty horse- 
men, with a following of one hundred spearmen. 
This force was to be in readiness as soon as transpor- 

1 Al Makkari, II. 65. 

' Cond^, DominAcion do lo8 Arabes, I., part ii., ch. iii. 


tation could be provided for them.^ But the embassy 
was urgent that Abdu-r-rahmdn should embark at 
once. There was but small preparation to make, and 
he was soon ready to return in the vessel which had 
brought them over ; a king by promise, but with every- 
thing to provide and conquer. 

When he was ready to step on board, a troop of 
Berbers came flocking around him, and made demon- 
The Berbers strations to oppose hls departure. Scatter- 
SS^^' ing among them some diDars which the 
embassy had brought over, and making great haste 
lest an increase of numbers should really prevent the 
embarkation, he got on board. It was not a moment 
too soon: another rapacious band eager for gold 
rushed down, waded out, and clung to the sides of the 
boat and the cameFs-hair cable by which it was 
anchored. The cable was cut, the crew and passen- 
gers could only relax their hold by giving them blows 
instead of dinars ; and one, more tenacious tlian the 
rest, lost his hand by one blow of an attendant's 
sword.* The wind was favorable, the sail was spread, 
and the lone exile of the house of Ummeyah sped to 
the opposite shore, — the verge of a new and splendid 
empire in the near future.' 

^ Cond^, Dominacion de loa Arabes, T., part iL, cb. iii. 

s These details, which may strike the reader as singularly cir- 
cumstantial, may be found in Al Makkari, II. 65. 

* In the *' Annales Moslemici " of Abulfeda, the only notice of thia 
important event, and of ita sequence, is found in the foUowing 
words : "Annus, 139 (a. h.), novo dedit imperio natales Omnuj- 
jadarum illi in Andalusia. Communis strages Ommi^adanim da 
qua paulo ante pluribus exposuimus at ceteros ejus gentis qui saM 
evaserunt, abdere sese qua poterant et tempestatem devitare cogebat ; 



A rapid passage took over the new Caesar and his 
fortunes from the coast of Mauritania to the beach of 
Almu&ecar,^ near Malaga, where he found Abu 
Othman and his son-in-law, Ibn Khaled, waiting to 
receive him with the homage due to a monarch. 

It was evening when h^ landed. They first knelt 
upon the sand in prayer. Then the principal chiefs 
took the oath of allegiance; after which they mounted 
and rode to Torrox, — a small town near the shore, a 
few miles to the west. It was in the early spring of 
the year 756, when the beauty of Nature is most 
charming in Southern Spain. Abdu-r-rahman was in 
Andalus : for good or for evil ? who could tell ? He 
might hope that Bedr and the friendly leaders had 
judged justly of the chances of success, and yet he 
could not shake off the fear that their wish had been 
father to the thought.^ 

But every hour brought proofs that dispelled his 
fears and increased his confidence. Men flocked 
singly and in companies to his standard. At ^^^, ^ 
Torrox he was joined by the maulis of his ^^^^ 
house, headed by their chief, and numbers of the 
better class of Arabiems. Soon a representation from 
Malaga appeared. The adjacent towns sent loyal 

ita haic quoqne Alxlar Eahmano ut Hispaniam adiret suaserat, ubi 
cum gaudio 'et gratulatione a Moslemis exceptus fait." — I. 145. 
We are led to think that if Spain was well rid of Damascus, 
Damascus thought little of the Peninsula, and let it go without 
much reluctance. 

^ " De las coatas de Argel a las playgas de Almufiecar." — La 

' The landing was in May, 750. Cond^ says 10th of first Bebie, 
A. B. 138. 


embassies, and opened their gates. The enthusiasm 
was unbounded. The tribes of Syria and Egypt col- 
lected under their patriarchal banners^ and came forth 
to meet him. 

Following the vessel in which he had crossed, a 
thousand warriors of the friendly Berber tribes were 
traversing the narrow sea as fast as boats could be 
procured, according to their promise to swell his 
numbers. Young men were particularly attracted to 
him by his youth, his adventures, and his noble pres- 
ence. He was their leau-ideal of a prince, worthy to 
be a supreme ruler. His slender, yet active and 
manly form, his bright blue eye, his sweet smile and his 
gracious manner, contributed to the general satisfac- 
tion, and prepossessed even those who had before been 
unwilling to acknowledge his claims. It was evident 
that the lustre of the Ommeyades had not been extin- 
guished, but was now shining more brightly than 

In a few days he found himself at the head of large 
and constantly increasing forces. Crossing the range 
of the Alpujarras, he proceeded to Elvira,^ where the 
work of organization was begun. New adherents 
joined him on his march, which was a continued 
ovation. At Elvira and in its neighborhood, the 
Syrians had been quartered, and the district was 
commanded and controlled by Abu Othman and Ibn 

^ Elvira was the Roman Illibeiis ; its site is near Granada. The 
latter town was small and unimportant until the year 1012. Before 
that time, it was considered a dependency of Elvira ; but* little by 
little, the people of Elvira migrated to it, and as it grew Elvira 
dwindled into insignificance. — Al Makkari, I. 860, note 77. 


Khaled. He was soon in condition to march. Through 
Sidonia and Moron he proceeded to Seville, And ad- 
where his partisans had preceded him and rapidly, 
prepared his way. That city flung open its gates, 
amid wild shouts of: "God exalt Abdu-r-i*ahmdn Ibn 
Mu'awiyah!" It was while he was at Elvira, and 
ready to march to Seville, that Yiisuf received the 
despatch, already referred to, that " a youth named 
Abdu-r-rahman Ibn Mu'awiyah had lately landed, 
. . . and had been immediately proclaimed by the 
adherents and partisans of Meruan, who had flocked 
to him from all parts." 

I have been thus minute in describing the change 
of dynasty at Damascus, and the singular fortunes of 
Abdu-r-rahman, not because I was tempted by the 
interesting and very romantic story, but that the 
reader might know the sequence of causes and events 
resulting in the establishment of an independent 
Khalifate in Spain, which alone could render the con- 
quest complete, and lay the broad and deep founda- 
tions of an empire greater in dignity and influence 
than any which existed in Europe during the Middle 
Ages. History abounds in epics far more strange 
and picturesque than those which shape themselves 
in the minds of great poets. There is none stranger 
or more picturesque than that which we have just 
narrated. Wonderful as it is, it manifests the logic 
and philosophy of truth ; while without the details 
presented it would appear like a legend full of fabu- 
lous miracles. 

VOL, n. 7 







TN a former chapter I anticipated the effect pro- 
-*• duced upon the Amir, Yiisuf al Fehri, by the 
successful landing of Abdu-r-rahman Ibn Mu'awiyah 
on the shores of Spain. He foresaw the speedy ter- 
The effect on miuatiou of his authority. For nine years 
al Fehri. he had administered the government of Spain 
with energy and skill unrivalled in the history of the 
Amirate; and this unusually long tenure of power 
was a proof that he had rare administrative gifts. 
He had indeed, all things considered, ruled with 
remarkable judgment and vigor. He was by no means 
disposed to abandon his authority without an effort 
to retain it ; but he now saw that the struggle was 
imminent and would be severe. And yet his position 
was worth a struggle like this, 

^ Cond^ finds in thU wotd an opprobrious sense. He calls him 
"the intruder." I have foUowed Gayangos, who translates Ad- 
dikhel, " the enterer," ** the conqueror." It will bear the construc- 
tion, that he opened his own way to power. "Abdu-r-rahman was 
sumamed Ad-dikhel [i. e., the enUrer\ because he was the fitst of 


He was in actual possession, and still retained the 
strong support of the Modharites, which nine years 
before had elevated him to power, against the intrigues 
of the men of Yemen. He was seconded by As-samil 
as wizir, a brave and wary, chieftain; and the im- 
mediate instruments of his will were his own warlike 
sons, who were worthy to be the supporting pillars of 
his government. 

One of these sons, by name Abdu-r-rahmdn, had 
been left in command at Cordova, while Ydsuf was 
endeavoring to re-establish his authority at the Noi-th, 
imperilled by the factions which were uniting against 
hioL As soon as the governor of Cordova heard of 
the landing of the Ommeyan prince, he sent, as has 
been seen, to inform his father; and, without a 
moment's delay, he set to work to place the city in 
a condition of defence, for he knew it would at once 
be the objective point of attack by the new aspirant. 
As-samil, who had also determined to test his mettle, 
collected hastily all the men he could from among 
the tribes settled principally in Merida, Toledo, Va- 
lencia, and Murcia. 

We return to Yiisuf. When he found his army 
growing rapidly smaller by desertions, he hastened 
to Toledo, where he was before long joined by As-samil 
and his forces. With characteristic ardor, As-samil 
unred him to march at once with the troops Td«uf and 
now in hand to attack the adventurer, be- i<>^ fo"**- 
fore he could be largely recruited in numbers, and 

his family who entered Acdalus, and SaJcr Koraysh [the hawk of 
Koraysh], owing to the rapidity with which he subjected that coun- 
try to hia rule." — Al Makkari, II. 93. 


have time to organize. But Yiisuf was more cautious. 
They had not men enough, and the question of the 
commissariat was a serious one. He decided that it 
was the wisest course to march to Cordova, where 
they would find a strong garrison and provisions. 
This plan was adopted. By the time they reached 
Cordova, Abdu-r-rahman, the prince, had entered 
Seville, and was proceeding to Cordova, for the same 
reasons that took Tiisuf there, — it was the great 
magazine of supplies in Andalus. 

The prince had men, and their number was daily 
increasing ; but their very increase made his want of 
supplies more obvious and more painful He must 
conquer these supplies in the capital ; and, between 
him and Cordova, there loomed up the gaunt visage 
of famine, and the vision of a desperate battla By 
his own gallant bearing, and by sharing their hard- 
ships, he kept up the spirits of his men, and he prom- 
ised them rewards as soon as he should have con- 
quered the means of rewarding. 

And under what new banner should they march 
to certain victory, — a banner which should be their 
rallying-point in battle, and their symbol of success ? 

It was happily suggested that the simplest, if not 
the most novel, — for I fancy the expedient was not 
The banner a ucw ouc, — would be a tuxban, unrolled 

or tbe ' 

turban. and suspcuded from the head of a lance. 
By many superstitious minds in the council, it was 
considered of evil omen that the head of the lance 
should be lowered to receive the turban; but the 
difBculty was removed by the sudden and opportune 
appearance of a prophecy. Two olive-trees grew 


veiy near each other, and it had been predicted, so 
says the legend, that between them " a banner should 
be erected for a prince before whom no other banner 
should ever wave victorions." ^ So a man climbed 
one of the olive-trees ; the lance was held erect be- 
tween them, and the turban fastened to it, " without 
lowering it in the least." 

We may state its fortunes in a word. It was held 
80 sacred that, when the turban became ragged, it 
was not removed, but simply covered over with a 
new one ; until, at a later period in the history of the 
new dynasty, the old rags were removed by an ig- 
norant or a sacrilegious hand, and ''from that time 
the empire of the Beni Ummeyah began visibly to 
decline." ' 

Under this fluttering streamer, Abdu-r-rahmdn 
marched from Seville, and moved cautiously towards 
Cordova; while Tiisuf, with equal caution, was ad- 
vancing from another direction to meet him there. 
The sufiTerings of his troops were already great ; but 
they inspired an advance far more than they coun- 
selled retreat. To conquer was to revel in plenty. 
The long-continued famine — for six consecutive 
years* — had so completely exhausted the country, 
that both men and officers subsisted mainly upon the 

1 Al Makkari, 11. 68. The name of one of J;lie men who as- 
cended the tree is even presexred in the detailed account. It was 
'Abdullah Ibn Eh^ed. 

' This singular story of Arabian saperstition is related by Ibnu 
Hayyan, whom Al Makkari caUs '*the judicions historian." — lb. 
II. 69. 

* This year was afterwards known as 'Amu-l-JduUaf, the year after 


herbs aud plants which they found on their line of 

Advancing by the right bank of the river, which 
he had crossed at Seville, he at last reached the 
extensive plain of Musdrah, which he found already 
selected as the field of battle by Yiisuf, who had 
marched to meet him, and then had slowly retired 
to this position. It is a tract of level country, a short 
distance west of Cordova, and seems formed by nature 
as a place of concourse and conflict. 

The situation of the two leaders, although difTering 
in many points, was almost equally critical If 
Critical con- Yiisuf should be beaten, it would be a 
both armieg. scverc shock to an already declining caus& 
It would lend strength to the insurgents against his 
authority in the North. If Abdu-r-rahmdn should be 
defeated, it might be utter annihilation; or, if less 
fatal, he would be thrown back, without supplies, and 
in the most adverse circumstances, to begin his career 
anew, and with a terrible damper thrown upon the 
enthusiasm of his adherents. For both, then, the 
issue of the war was critical in the extreme; for 
the fortunes of each, victory was a necessity. 

It will not be wondered, then, that there was great 
caution on both sides, and that the first efforts of both 
took the form of negotiation covering the reality of a 
temporiafing policy. There was a trial of wits before 
there was a trial of prowess. 

In one respect, Yiisuf had a decided advantage. 
His army had been fully supplied vrith provisions 
at Cordova, and he could even make a show of a 
great slaughter of sheep, and display their flesh to his 


famished foe ; less, as the historian suggests, to insult 
the starving than to impress them with his superior 
condition in point of the chief munitions of war.^ 
But, as in the' ancient vision, the lean kine were to 
eat up those that were fat and well liking. The troops 
of the prince slept upon their arms, while he passed 
the night without sleep, seeing that all was in readi- 
ness for the battle. 

In this condition of things, the first propositions 
for peace came from Yusuf ; and, although tendered 
with apparent frankness, it was manifest that they 
were only an expedient to gain time, and put his 
adversary off his guard. Abdu-r-rahmdn received 
them with a gravity which feigned to believe them 
honest, but in truth neither was deceived. 

It was now the middle of May, in the year 756, 
and a great day in the Mohammedan calendar was at 
hand. It was the Festival of the Victims, pegtivai of 
considered by the Faithful the greatest feast "^^^ ^^°^ 
of their ritual year.^ It commemorated that sacrifice 
of animals, made during three days, on the arrival of 
a train of pilgrims at Mecca, in the valley of Mina. 

On the eve of the eventful day, he had secured the 
person of Khdled, Yiisuf 's secretary, who had come as 
a herald, and had fathomed the purpose and the strat- 
agem of Yiisuf ; and he determined to find some relig- 
ious sanction by making the day of the festival the 

1 Al Makkari, II. 70. 

• May 15, 766. — Al Makkari, II. 71. The pnnce gave orders 
that, if he should he defeated, the secretary should he put to death ; 
to the Ehaled kept saying there was nothing he wished for mors 
aidently than that his master should be defeated. — 2b. XL 70. 


daj of battle. It was not far to seek : the slaughter 
of the enemy should be the most acceptable sacrifice 
to Allah. 

The morning dawned with auspicious brightness ; 
and the gallant young prince, mounted upon a swift and 
beautiful steed, rode among his admiring troops, and 
prepared to lead them to the attack. The men of 
Yemen, the hereditary foes of the Modharites, were 
in his ranks, but were, as the sequel shows, fighting 
more for their own hand than for him and his for- 
tunes. To some of them he was yet a doubtful char- 
acter, whose claims could be only vindicated by a 
notable success. He was indeed to many already an 
object of suspicion ; and, when they saw his splendid 
horse, they affected to see in it preparation rather for 
flight in case of necessity than for vigor in attack. 
" He will turn back," they said, " at the first onset, 
and leave us to our fate." ^ The quick-witted prince 
Abda-r- was informed of their suspicions : and, with 


pradenoei a prudcnce and dissimulation beyond his 
years ; and, far more, with a moral courage which gives 
us a valuable glimpse of his character, he feigned to be 
unable to manage his fiery charger. Turning to Abii-s- 
sabah, the chief of the Yemenis, the head and front of 
the offeuce, he begged him to let him have his mule 
in exchange. Thus the suspicions were allayed, and 
those who had been infected by them reassured or 
silenced. Then, on the gray mule of Abii-s-sabah, 
called KavJcab, or lightning, he rode in front of his 
troops and harangued them. He reminded them of 
the great festival, and of the reeking victims, so 

1 Al Makkari, H. 70. 


acceptable to Allah. But there was something much 
more carious and significant stilL ''What day is 
this ? " he asked his men. They answered him, 
" Thursday, the day of 'Arefah." He then called their 
attention to the fact that it was also the anniversary 
of a former great battle in the history of the Beni 
Ummeyah, and in the annals of Islam. In Syria, 
years before, at Merj-Sdhitt, the Beni Ummeyah and 
the Arabs of Yemen, under Meruan, had fought 
against the Beni Fehr (Modharites), and the tribe of 
Kays, and a great victory had been achieved. 

Similar were the conditions now. "The Beni 
Ummeyah," he went on to say, " are on the one side, 
and the Beni Fehr on the other; opposed to each 
other are the sons of Kays, and the tribes of Yemen : 
let this day be a brother of that of Merj-Bahitt, which 
it so much resembles in every respect."^ Whatever 
of fallacy there may be in such an argument will be 
ranged under the idola tribus;^ but, if the logic is 
faulty, the inciting effect has always been powerful 
It is not logic, but magnetism, that moves men m 
such contingencies. 

His fiery and persuasive words being finished, he 
led his troops to the attack. 

The struggle was fierce in the extreme, — the pres- 
tige of advance for conquest and lineal right against 
the tenacity of unsanctioned possession. Of the two 

1 Al Hakkari, II. 71. 

' The reader will find more modem illustrations in Cromwell's 
liftttle of Danbar, his "crowning mercy" fought on his birthday ; 
and Kapoleon's "soleil d'Austerlitz," which shone upon later rio* 



oontingents, Yiisuf 's force was the first to give way 
before the desperate chaise of Abdu-r-rahman. 

The veteran As-samil could not accept the thought 
of defeat. He spurred his gray mule into the thick- 
est ranks of the enemy, seeking for the 

The batUe. '' ° 

young chieftain, who was conspicuous on 
another gray mule. In vain was As-samil reminded 
that he was fighting against tradition, that an unlucky 
coincidence had made the result a foregone conclu- 
sion. The fears and misgivings of his followers could 
not infect his stout heart He was, although defeated 
and routed, the individual hero of the unfortunate 
day, borne backward in the tide of retreat which he 
was powerless to stem. At last, the forces of Yiisuf 
gave way at aU points, and the victory of Musdrah 
was complete; the genius of the new conquest had 
achieved its first triumph. The field was crowded 
with the dead ; and many illustrious prisoners were 
taken, among whom was Abdu-r-rahman, the son of 
Yiisuf al Fehri. The army of Yiisuf melted into thin 
air; the defeated generals fled, with small, detached 
remnants of their troops, in difierent directions, — 
As-samil to the district of Jaen, and Yiisuf towards 

But, just as the victory promised the first element 
of stability to the new government, an event had 
nearly happened which would have put an end to 
the new order at the moment of its beginning, and 
have thrown the Peninsula into a worse confusion 
than ever before. The chiefs of the Yemenis, osten- 
sibly on the side of the prince, were fighting for power 
for themselves ; in field phrase, they had been wait- 


ing for their innings as against the Beni Modhar. 
They had, indeed, gratified their revenge, but the de- 
feat of Yiisuf and As-samil promised them little more, 
if Abdu-r-rahmdn was to reap the chief glory, and 
rule them and the Beni Modhar alike with a regal 
and an iron sceptre. Indeed, as he was a Modharite, 
he might, even when all were reduced to submission, 
be more kindly disposed to his own kinsmen than to 
the Yemenis.^ 

The battle was hardly over, when Abu-s-sab&h 
turned to the men of Yemen and said : '' men ! let 
our victory this day be complete. We have Treacherous 
annihilated the party of Yiisuf and As^amil : ^^^^ °' 
let us put. to death this beardless youth, — I **'**^- 
mean the son of Mu'awiyah, our present commander. 
If we do, the empire is ours; and we may then 
appoint one of ourselves to the command of this 
country, and be forever rid of the Beni Modhar." ^ 

But the bearing and the promises of " the beardless 
youth'* had won too strongly upon all the troops. 
The treacherous proposal of the chief found no answer- 
ing echo from his men : it came, however, to the ears 
of the prince, who cherished it in silence, and after- 
wards made use of it to compass the death of Abii-s- 

There was nothing now to impede the entrance of 
Abdu-r-rahmdn into Cordova. Again he compelled 

^ Kothing more powerfully illustrates the deplorable and factious 
coDdition of things in the Peninsula than this sudden purpose of 
victorious troops to destroy their leader, and reap at once the fruits 
of victory for themselves. It also foreshadows the difficulties which 
were to beset the administration of the prince. 

« Al Makkari, II. 72. 


the applause even of his enemies. For three days he 
The prince encamped outside the city, that the family 
dova. of Yiisuf might have time to leave it, without 

" harm of body or goods." There is a story that this 
was at the intercession of the wives and daughters of 
Tiisuf, one of whom, speaking for the rest, approached 
him, saying, " Be generous, cousin, after thy vic- 
tory." ^ Be this as it may, the generosity is note- 
worthy, and had its reward. He further declared 
a general amnesty to all who, having taken up arms 
against him, would now lay them down. 

Then, his men being recruited, he appointed Abii 
Othman governor of Cordova, and started to beat up 
the quarters of Yiisuf and As-samil. Upon them his 
clemency was lost : they had too much at stake, and 
were too deeply involved to recognize any alternative 
except success or ruin. Indeed, their resources were 
by no means exhausted, but were te tempt them many 
a trial before the end should come. 

The principal gathering of the party of Yiisuf seems 
to have been in the neighborhood of Elvira, and 
And then thither Abdu-r-rahmdu marched. But he 
Elvira. had hardly left the capital before Yiisuf, by 
forced marches, contrived to place himself between 
him and Cordova ; and so inadequate was the power 
of the small garrison to resist him, that Yiisuf entered 
the city. But Abii Othman, the governor, taking 
refuge with his garrison in the tower of the mosque, 
defied his efforts, refused compliance with his demand 
for surrender, and bravely waited for succor. 

1 Al Hakkari, II. 418, note 14 of Gayangos, quoting Mohammed 


That succor came in the form of a treaty of peace, 
made in July, 756, on terms of compromise which it 
was manifest could not last long. Each Treaty with 
party was to keep that of which he was in ^^"'' 
actual possession at the time. Yiisuf was to reside in 
Cordova as a distinguished detenu, A palace was 
assigned as his residence, but he was to report in per- 
son to Abdu-r-rahmdn once a day; and two of his 
sons were also to remain as hostages for the honorable 
fulfilment of the conditions. Thus there was a tem- 
porary peace, and the armies so lately arrayed against 
each other joined hands at Cordova.^ How long could 
this last ? 

It was not in the nature of things for Yiisuf to con- 
tent himself with the terms imposed. If nothing 
in the way of a grievance should aiise, he would devise 
means to rupture the treaty. But in the narrative of 
Ibn Hayyan we find that something tangible at least 
soon presented itself to a mind constantly seeking for 
an expedient. 

The treaty was made in July, 756, and it left both 
Tnsuf and As-samil in possession of large estates in 
land. Two years had not elapsed before the cctsua 
faderis arose in the following manner. The title to a 
certain part of Ydsuf 's land was disputed ; and, when 
the case was brought before the Kadi, judgment was 
given against him. For this he blamed the it u, broken 
prince, and then, fearing his displeasure, he ^^ ^^"'• 
secretly left Cordova, and set up a new standard of 

1 I have followed the account of Al Makkari, which is dear and 
connected. There is great confosion in that of Cond^, and the two 
cannot be made to agree. 


revolt at Merida. He was soon at the head of twenty 
thousand men, and proclaimed himself the only Amir 
with authority from Damascus. The question of 
possession was to be fought all over again. 

Abdu-r-rahman marched out of Cordova as far as 
Almodovar, with an army of observation, but imposed 
the task of crushing the rebellion upon Abdu-1- 
malek Ibn Omar,^ the governor of Seville. After sev- 
eral encounters, the son of Omar brought him to bay, 
defeated him, and dispersed his army. Tiisuf escaped 
and fled for his life towards Toledo, but, being recog- 
nized in one of the hamlets near that city, he was put 
to death, and his head carried to the camp of Abdu-r- 
rahman. The prince at once ordered that the eldest 
son of Yiisuf, Abdu-r-rahman, who had been first a 
prisoner, and then a hostage since the battle of 
Musarah, should be beheaded. The public crier an- 
nounced the event in the streets of Cordova, and the 
two heads, fi.xed upon lances, were placed in the gate- 
way of the palace, as bloody tokens of the termination 
of the dependent Amirate, and the establishment of 
the new dynasty. 

When Ydsuf had made his secret flight from Cor- 
dova, the person of As-samil had been at once secured. 
He was asked whither Yiisuf had gone. If he knew 
he would not tell, but hastened his fate by the decla- 
ration : '* Were Yiisuf here under my foot, I would 

I The name of this governor appears in the Latin chnmidea as 
Omaria filius, and was contracted or corrupted into MarsUius or 
Marailio. ** Contraccion sin duda de Omaria JUitu, como Uamaron 
loB ChristianoB i Ben Omar, y despnes por coimpcion Marsilins." — 
La Fuente, in. 104. 


not raise it, to give thee the opportunity of seizing on 

He was cast into a dungeon with the two sons of 
Tiisuf, Abii-1-Aswad and Abdu-r-rahman. By brib- 
ing the guards, one of the young men succeeded in 
escaping to keep up the family vendetta for seven 
years longer; but the old chieftain As-samil either 
could not, or certainly did not, leave his prison. The 
other son of Yusuf failed to escape, and was, as has 
just been narrated, beheaded as soon as his father^s 
head was presented to the princa 

As-samil's death was not long delayed. According 
to one account, he was strangled in his dungeon ; 
according to another, he drank a poisoned The death 
cup.^ Cond^ is quite as circumstantial in *>'^"»™^ 
saying that he was arrested, taken to Toledo, and ex- 
ecuted there. Thus, thrice slain by the historians, 
he was certainly dead ; in what manner it little con- 
cerns us to know. 

There might be revolts, but the two men who could 
give them efficiency were gone, and the greatest 
obstacle to the new dynasty forever removed. 
"Thus," says Al Makkari, "are the immutable de- 
crees of the Almighty irrevocably fulfilled on his 
creatures. God is great I God is great ! There is no 
God but Him ! the Merciful, the Compassionate I " ^ 

While the fortunate prince was thus experiencing 
the mercy and assistance of Allah, in the downfall 
of his enemies in Andalus, what was the effect of 
these marvellous successes upon the Eastern Khalif, 
whose authority he had so completely set at defiance ? 

1 Al Makkari, II. 80. ' lb. 


The accession of the house of Abbas had induced 
The Beat of iDaportaut chauges. The seat of empire 
remJrod^ had been removed from Damascus to Bagh- 
SSSS^to ^*d> ^^d ^^® contemporary Khalif, Abd Ja'far 
^^^ Al-mansur (754-775), had conceived plans 
for making the new capital the magnificent metropolis 
of the world. It was more central : it was in the gar- 
den land of Mesopotamia. It should have no rival 

He could ill brook the defiant pretensions and the 
splendid successes of a hated rival in the West. He 
had misgivings lest the glories of Cordova might dis- 
pute the palm with the wonders of Baghdad ; and he 
determined to make a vigorous effort to destroy the 
prince. Too far from the scene to deal personally 
with the question, he despatched orders to the Wali 
of Eastern Africa, Al-*ala Ibn Mughlth Al Tahssobf , to 
fit out a fleet, and, with a force sufficient to be a 
rallying-point for insurgents who still cherished the 
memory of Yiisuf and As-samil and clung to the sons 
of Yiisuf, to land on the western coast, to summon 
the inhabitants to their former allegiance, to ravage 
the land, and to declare that there was but one 
Elhalif who reigned supreme on earth. In a word, 
the adventurous Wali was to reconquer Spain to its 
former allegiance and dependence. 

Ibn Mughith lost no time in carrying out his in- 
structions. Probably he took with him to the sea a 
Ibn Mug- large force, but he crossed with small num- 
Jttac?'***" hers, and, marching rapidly inland, advanced 
^u-r-r»h- 1^ BejeL He was not disappointed. Large 
Spain, numbers of the inhabitants joined him: 
there was influence in the Ehalif 's commission ; there 


was prestige in this gallant advance of the black ban- 
ners of the Abbasides. For a brief space, it seemed 
as if the greatest, the most portentous peril had con- 
fronted the heir of the Ommey ades. He had conquered 
Spain from the Amir to give it back to the Khalif. 
The forces of the invaders and insurgents, growing 
daily in numbers, were encamped between Badajos 
and Seville, on the borders of Estremadura. But 
they were not prepared for the fury of Abdu-r- 
rahmsin's attack. With his accustomed impetuosity 
he fell upon them, threw them into disorder, and 
routed them« The carnage was terrible : seven thou- 
sand of their number were killed ; among them were 
most of the officers and the Wali himself. 

Then Abdu-r-rahmdn published his revenge. The 
conqueror of the West proclaimed his conquests in 
the East. The head and some of the mem- Abda-r-rah- 
bers of the Wali, and the heads of many of geanoe. 
the officers, who were well known, were placed in 
sealed bags with the black banners that had been 
captured^ Papers giving their names and titles were 
fastened to the ears, and the bags were sent by trusty 
merchants, as if carrying their stores, to Mecca. It 
was known or believed that the Ehalif, Al-mansur, 
was then on a pilgrimage in Mecca. This proved to 
be true ; and the secret agent deposited these bags, 
with the address of the Khalif upon them, and a 
caution as to the value of the treasures they contained, 
at the door of his tent during the darkness of the 
night In the morning, the guards informed him of 
the circumstance ; he ordered the bags to be brought 

in, and opened them with his own hand. The first 
TOL. n. S 


thing he found was an inscription : " In this manner 
does Abdn-r-rahmdn, the son of Mu'awijah, the son 
of Ummeyah, chastise rash men like Al-'ala Ibn 
Mughith, Wali of Kairwan." Then came from the 
bloody sack the head of the envoy of Al-mansur.^ 
The Khalif is reported to have exclaimed when he 
saw it : *' This man is Eblis in human form. Praised 
be God, who has placed a sea between him and me ! " 
He also called the prince Sakru-l-Koraysh (the hawk 
of the Eoraysh); and ever afterwards honored him 
with an especial hatred, and took every opportunity 
to sow the seeds of rebellion in Andalus. 

But the vengeance of Abdu-r-rahm&n was not yet 
satisfied. In the ardor of its pursuit, he determined 
to retaliate by leading in person an expedition to in- 
vade Syria, and to restore the throne of the Ommey- 
ades at Damascus. To this end, he directed his trusty 
general, Temdm Ibn Alkdmah, who commanded on 
He prepuw the coast, to fit out a large navy in several 
th« sif^t! seaport towns. He began to depress the 
chiefs of tribes, and to appeal directly to the people ; 

^ La Faente, Hiatoria de Espafia, III. 107. The account glTen 
above is taken from Al Makkari, who also says, the mutilated bodies 
were taken " to Kainoan and Mekka, to be cast at night into the 
squares and principal streets of those two cities." Cond£ says they 
were conveyed to Kairwan, and the inscription was nailed to a column 
in the most public spot. The scene at Mecca is described in detail 
by Al Makkari ; but the duplication and consequent confusion in the 
accounts seem at least to verify the bloody vengeance, without 
certifying the exact mode and place. La Fuente expresses his 
astonishment that so clement a prince should have committed' so 
ferocious an act. Terror-striking as it was, it is entirely in accord* 
ance with the moral strategy of the age and people ; and nothing 
could have been more effective. 


he took Berbers into his pay, and elevated them in the 
social scale. Thus he had a standing army of forty 
thousand men ; and he might hope, by this consolidat- 
ing process, to be able to pacify Spain, and keep it in 
subjection, and yet to be able to leave it in person 
for a reconquest in the East^ 

Sut notwithstanding his skill and invincibility, he 
found this scheme impossible, and reluctantly aban- 
doned it. Bebellions were so constantly renewed 
that he was obliged to give his imdivided attention to 
the home affairs of his kingdom, and never carried 
out his project of assaulting the Ehalifate of the 

It would not repay us to inquire into the circum- 
stances of all these revolts. Many of them were 
pointless and absurd, but others were not without a 
spice of philosophy. "God was pleased "to render 
him victorious over every one of them/' 

A Berber of the tribe of Meknasah (Mequinez), 
whose mother's name was Fdtimah, considering that 
fact as an auspicious omen, gave out that he was 
a descendant of Fatimah, the daughter of the Prophet. 
Under this delusion, he gained such a following when 
he set up his standard at Santa Maria, across the 
bay from Cadiz, that he withstood the power of the 
prince for two years, at the end of which he was 
slain by one of his own men, and his forces were 

It will be remembered that Abii-s-sabdh, the chief 

^ He sent people over to enlist the Berbers in his service ; and 
fhoee who came to him he treated so well as to make their comrades 
desiroos of following them. 


of the Yemenis, had counselled the assassination of the 
prince, immediately after the victory of Mu- 
sarah. Years had elapsed, and the treason 
seemed forgotten ; but, in the year 766, Abdu-r-rahmin, 
" hearing that the Arabian chief was aiming at revolt, 
he laid a snare for him and put him to death." Then 
Hayydt Ibn Mulabis Al-hadhrami, the governor of 
Seville, conspired with two other nobles of the tribe 
of Yemen, and took up arms against Abdu-r-rahm&n. 
Sut they could not stand against the fiery attack of 
the prince. Their forces were routed, and they were 
either slain in battle or put to death afterwards.^ 

But the rising which, more than all others com- 
bined, interfered with his scheme for leading his troops 
into Syria, was the news of a formidable insurrection 
in Saragossa, and rumors that it was to be assisted 
by an army from France. Of this and its conse- 
quences I shall treat in the next chapter. 

The career of Abdu-r-rahmdn was encompassed 
with troubles and embarrassments. As the heir of 
the Ommeyades, he was constantly opposed by what 
many considered the legitimate, or at least the es- 
tablished, authority of the Abbasides in the Eastern 
Khalifate. The various tribes, careless of this grand 
distinction, were always fighting for their own tribal 
interests. The personal adherents of Yiisuf were 
not all dead ; and there were a few men whose 
individual ambition caused disafiection to the prince. 

1 There is a sort of inconsequence in the statement : " There an 
not wanting historians who assert that they oontriyed to escape firoia 
the slaughter, and were some time afterwards pardoned by Abda-r- 
rahmdo." — Al Makkari, II. Si. 


On the other hand, besides the personal and attrao* 
tive gifts of the prince, it is evident that his great 
strength lay in the fact that his enemies \¥ere 
opposing, and his friends vigorously supporting, an 
original and independent power, and not a dele- 
gated power. If he ruled as of the house of Um- 
meyah^ it was by the claim of lineal right; if he was 
a successful revolutionist, he had won his kingdom, 
and rescued it from anarchy and chaos. He was 
strong on either ground. 

The disaffection to the government was incited by 
various causes. That in the northeast of Spain grew 
nominally out of the intrigues of the adherents of 
the Abbasides, who made Saragossa the fertile land 
of treason, and could, in that distant city, plot their 
treachery with greater impunity than in any other 
part of the Peninsula. But the scheme was long in 
plotting, and Abdu-r-rahman watched it warily, while 
it made no offensive movement.^ 

^ It is said that the first Mohammedan conqaerors and settlers of 
Saragossa were chiefly Berbers, who were jealous of the Arabians, 
and who assumed the goise of loyalty to the house of Abbas to re- 
strict the authority of the Arabian prince who ruled as the heir of 
the Ommeyades, but was distasteful to them in that he was an Arab 
at all. Arabia might claim the great motive and original under- 
taking of the conquest of Spain ; but Africa, with its greater_num- 
bera, was eager for the power and possession. 





TN the contiguous kingdom of France, the Garlo- 
•*• vingian power had been fully established, by a 
movement so powerful, and yet so gradual, that the 
nation had acquiesced without a shadow of regret; 
and a mighty potentate had now arisen, worthy not 

ciulr?e- wielded by his father, Peppin, but to eclipse 
"■*^ the mighty deeds of his grandfather, Charles 
Martel. After ages, perhaps misconceiving the name 
Karloman,^ called him in Latin Garolus Magnm. If 
thus the name great has really been connected with 
his appellative, he is the only historical character who 
can claim this distinction ; and he is not unworthy of 
it. He appears, indeed, as superhuman in legend and 
ballad, and is almost so in veritable history. His 
power ably seconded his ambition, and his ambition 
was only limited to the restoration under his own 
sceptre of the Roman empire of the West. He aimed 
to make Italy a part of his imperial dominions. He 

^ See Thieny, who uses Garolingiana instead of OarlcvingiamB^ 
and who makes Charlemagne the corraption of Earloman. The 
French Charlemagne is not adopted by the Germans, who speak of 
him as Karl der Qron. 


had already^ between 769 and 778, made one cam- 
paign to the banks of the Dordogne, to compel the 
Aquitani to submission; three against the Saxons, 
beyond the Weser ; and three against the Lombards^ 
to Pavia, to Verona, to Treviso ; and a journey in 774 
to Some. 

While thus warring with the Grerman tribes at the 
North, and the Lombards in Italy, ho was casting 
covetous glances upon the Mohammedan empire in 
Spain. The Prankish dominions which had recog- 
nized the authority of Charles Martel had been 
further extended and reorganized by his son, Peppin 
le Bref, from the Loire to the mountains of Gascony ; 
and now Charlemagne was ready to seize the earliest 
opportunity to cross the great mountain barrier of 
the Pyrenees, to march upon the Saracens in their 
Spanish strongholds, and to go as far as his fortunes 
would cany him. The factious condition and the 
unsettled state of the northeast of Spain presented 
the coveted opportunity. 

The Wali of Saragossa was Al-huseyn Ibn Yahya ; 
but the power behind him — the chief in- Thetwach- 
citer of resistance to the authority of Abdu- ^auof ^* 
r-rahmdn — was Suleyman Ibn Tokdhan^ saMgoM*. 
Al Arabi. The latter had been the former Wali, and 
retained much influence. These men considered Sar- 

^ Al Makkari (II. 85) makes the date of this rebellioii A. H. 157, 
A. D. 773 ; but Gayaogos, in a note, quotes An-nuwayri as fixing it 
in 779. The reader will obseire that the deputation from Saragossa 
waited upon Charlemagne in 777, and that monarch undertook the 
inyasion in 778. These performances were secret, or intended to be 
80. The insurrection proper was after the affair of Roncesvalles, 
in 779, and it was crushed by Abdn-r-iahmdn in that year. 


agossa and the valley of the Ebro rich, spacious, and 
important enough, and, i^ithal, sufficiently marked by 
geographical lines to become an independent kingdom. 
They knew the temper of Abdu-r-rahmdn, and that he 
would never consent to the dismemberment They 
veiled their purpose under the show of loyalty to the 
reigning dynasty of the house of Abbas, and they 
thought — simple men — that they might obtain the 
right measure of support from the Frankish king, and 
perhaps no great opposition from Abdu-r-rahmin. 

I am by no means clear as to the details of the 
chronicle ; but the great facts are patent, even if the 
details of the story be suppressed. If the chronicle 
may be trusted, a deputation from Saragossa waited 
upon Charlemagne to ask his support in this ambitious 
scheme of Al ArabL 

The power of the Frankish monarch was virtually 
absolute ; ^ but there was more than a show of popu- 
lar concurrence in the two councils held annually to 
receive the king's capittUa, and to sanction his edicts. 
In fine weather, they assembled in the open air ; the 
lords, lay and ecclesiastical, met without other lay 
representation. If they always expected to accede to 
the wishes of the monarch, he convened them for 
advice and information upon which to base his plans. 
These were semi-religious, semi-military assemblies. 
The Champ ^^^ brought the king and his people into 
deiiAL intimate relations. The spring meetings 
were held in the month of May, and therefore are 
known in French history as Champs de Mai^ 

^ Guizot, Histoire de la Civilization, II. ch. xx. 

^ " Nombre que daban los franceses a las asambleas temi-xeli* 


Only the most important meetings are mentioned 
hj the contemporaiy chroniclers. In 770, one was held 
at Worms ; another the next year at Valenciennes ; the 
succeeding year again at Worms. In 773, the meet- 
ing was at Geneva. Kone is noticed in 774. In 
775, it was at Duren ; the next year at Worms. 

In the year 776, Charlemagne had, with wonder- 
ful celerity^ conducted two campaigns in person, — 
one against the Lombards as far as Treviso, and the 
other to punish the Saxons, which took him as far as 
the sources of the Lippe. To exhibit the results of 
this double campaign, and to coimsel upon the best 
way of utilizing them, he convened his as- AtPader- 
sembly, in the year 777, at Paderbom, and ^™- 
thither the Mohammedan ambassadors from Saragossa 
repaired to his court 

There the North and South seemed to hold rendez- 
vous. For the first time Arab sheiks stood beside Saxon 
sethelings in the train of the great Charles.^ Among 
the northern warriors, with long fair hair uncovered by 
morion or cap, blue eyes, and robust persons, the small 
deputation of Arabs were distinguished by their dark 
skins and sinewy forms covered with white turbans 
and striped burnous, or Oriental mantles ; and it was 

giosas, semi-militares de la Germania, por haber Pepino trasladado al 
mes de Mayo los antiguos campos de Marte" — La Fuente, III. 
184. Lt champ d$ Mars ia nsually a field of martial display, but it 
originally meant a military meeting held in Marcb. Acting upon 
the similarity of names, a temple consecrated to Mars was built on 
the Campus Martins at Rome. 

^ " Le nord et le midi semblaient s'^tre donn^ rendezvous, et les 
cheiks arabes figuraient k cot4 des ethlings saxons dans le cort^ 
da grand Karle." — H. Martin, Histoire de France, II. 269. 


bruited about that they had come to offer Charles one 
of the fairest provinces of Spain, contiguous with his 
own dominions, to be at least a tributary domain. It 
gave to the Frankish pageant the air of a cosmopolitan 
triumph. It seemed the best presage of a restored 
empire of the West. 

It is asserted that in this Arabian embassy were 
Ibn Al Arabi, the envoy of the Wali of Saragossa, and 
the representative of the Abbasides, and Kasim, the 
surviving son of Tiisuf Al Fehri, who had joined the 
deputation that he might find the means of avenging 
his father's wrongs and death. The presence of other 
Arabians of high rank gave token of the dignity of 
their cause, and the reality of the proposals they were 
about to make.^ 

It may well be conceived that the great Frankish 
monarch was delighted with the appearance of such 
an embassy : it formed an important element in the 
great plan which he was carrying out And yet it 
would be, indeed, a very superficial view of the purpose 
The true ^^ Charlemagne, — a view which, however, 
Sttii?' has been taken by many historians, — that 
"^•^ he was simply engaged in a war of conquest 
and self-aggrandizement, and that he used Chris- 
tianity as a pretext ; that, like Napoleon, he wished 
to bring all of western Europe under his sceptre, 
to gratify bis own ambition and give power to his 

^ ** Qnum enim per xzziii. annos, bellum cum Sazonibus pro- 
traheret, yenit ad eum [Carolum] qnidam Maurus Domine Hibbui 
nazalabi, qnem Cesar Augustano Regno, Abderrahman, Magnus 
Rex Maurorum pnefecerat, spondens sese et omnem provinciam sua 
ditioni subditnrum." — Chronicon SiUnse, in Espa/Ra Sagrada, 17, 


family. The truth is far different : it vas a struggle 
for Ufe in which he was engaged. The new empire 
which had been established by the Carlovingians, and 
which has been called that of the Boman-Germans, — 
the Franks being the strongest and most central 
element, — was really menaced from the northeast by 
new and powerful German and Slavonian tribes, — 
the Saxons, the Huns, the Avars, and the Slavonians 
of Sohemia. They were all as ambitious of power and 
territory as the Franks themselves. And now he con- 
sidered himself as threatened by an invasion from the 
south, as in the days of his grandfather ; an invasion 
to be prevented rather than met ; one which might 
otherwise grow into larger proportions than the former, 
along the coast of the Mediterranean ; while to the east 
he must hold in check the Lombards in Italy. "Thus," 
in the words of Guizot, " did the various causes of war 
variously combine ; but, whatever might be the com- 
binations, it was always the German Christians and 
Eomans who defended their nationality, their terri- 
tory, and their religion, against nations of another 
origin or creed, who sought a soil to conquer. . . . 
Charlemagne had in no way reduced this necessity 
into a general idea or theory : but he understood and 
faced it; great men rarely do otherwise. He faced 
it by conquest: defensive war took the offensive 
form; he carried the struggle into the territory of 
nations who wished to invade his own," ^ 

1 Histoire de la Cirilization, etc., 11. lect. xx. I am glad to quote 
also a timilar expression of opinion from Thiers : "II r^mut sons 
sa main TAnstrasie, la Neustrie, I'Aquitaine, c'est-ii-dire la 
France^ puis refoalant les Saxons an nord, les poursniyant jusqu'li 


This view is corroborated, and his greatness set 
forth in enviable contrast, by the sudden dismember- 
ment, the aTmost explosive dissolution of the empire 
at his death. 

But to return to the Arabian embassy. He saw in 
their proposals an opportunity to protect the Pyrenean 
frontier by the interposition of an ally of the ene- 
my's blood. He could hold the passes on the south 
side ; and if invasion should be necessary or desirable, 
the advance would be easy and the return safe, 
through a territory extending from the mountains to 
the Ebro, which should be held by his Moslem friends 
and tributaries.^ From the opulent cities of the North, 
he might hope for rich tribute ; and, above all, if his 
proselyting fervor did not expect to accomplish much 
with the children of Isldm; if he could not restore 
the true faith to a region in which it had been all but 
rooted out, he might in some degree respond to the 
prayers of the few oppressed and suffering Christians, 
who looked to him, as the champion of Christendom, 
for relief.^ Thus, if he could accomplish no more, he 

ce qu'il les eUt faits Chretiens, senle mani^re alors de les ciTiliaer 
et de desarmer leur firocit^ ; refoulant au Snd les Sarrazins sana 
pretention de les soumettre, car il aurait fallu pousser jnsqu'en 
Afrique ; s'arrdtant sagement k TEbre, il fonda, soutint, gottvema an 
empire immense, sans qu'on put raoouser d'ambition d^sordonn^" 
— Sistoire du Contulal et de VEmpire, XX. 787. 

^ " Le roi des Franks voolut saisir I'occasion de recoler sa fion* 
ti^ meridionale des Pyi-^n^es jusqu'k I'Ebre, et d'abriter ainsi d^ 
finitiyement T Aquitaine et la Septimanie contre les invasions Mosol* 
manes." — H. Martin, Histoire de France, II. 270. 

^ '* Les pri&res et les plaintes des Chretiens qni ^talent sous !• 
joug des Sarrazins, et qui ne cessaient d'implorer les armes dea 
Franks." — /&. 


could convert portions of Navarre, Catalonia, and 
Arfagon, as far as the Ebro, into a Spanish ASpanUh 
marchf or neutral ground, occupied by his "*'^ 
own Arabian allies, who should be between him and 
the aspirations of the new E^halif, Abdu-r-rahman, 
and whom he would protect in their loyalty to him 
and their disloyalty to their prince. Such is the phi- 
losophy which may be now evolved from the actions 
of this sagacious ruler. 

The Champ de Mai at Paderbom was held in 777. 
The exact terms of his contract with the Arab sheiks 
are not known : they were of such a nature, however, 
as to warrant his preparations to march into Spain 
early in the spring of the next year, — 778. 

The gigantic barrier of the Pyrenees is highest in 
the centre, and descends unevenly towards the Med* 
iterranean, on the one side, and the Bay of Biscay on 
the other. Some of the central peaks, crowned most of 
the year with snow, are more than eleven thousand 
feet in height. Towards France and towards Spais, 
spurs and offsets of unequal height, enclosing valleys 
of every imaginable shape, are like crooked ribs from 
a dorsal column. On the French side, the descent is 
comparatively gentle : towards the Peninsula it is 
more precipitous.^ The easiest routes from France to 
Spain are by the sea-coast at either end, through 
Irun, at the west, and Figueras at the east; but a 
few passes along the range are practicable for the 

1 It 18 also to be obeeired that as the French have been the rayagen 
of Spain in all periods, the French commnnications are kept in good 
order, while on the Spanish side obstacles rather than facHitiea 
have been the rule. 


movement, but not in any sense for the manoeuvres, 
of armies. These are called in French ports, and in 
Spanish puertos, or gates. 

Chief among the western passes is that of Ronces- 
valles, so called from its Latin name, Soscidavallis, — 
The pus of the moist or dewy valley. It is in the 
vaues. ancient Yasconia (a name now corrupted 
into Grascony), a part of which even then began to be 
called Navfure.^ The adjacent mountains and valleys 
were occupied by a fierce, composite people, of whom 
the predominating element was the Basques, who, 
sheltered by their topography, acknowledged neither 
the sway of Frank, Asturian, Spaniard, nor Arab- 
Moor, but made temporary alliances, prompted by 
their own interest^ and easily broken with a Punic 

The pass of Boncesvalles has been a favorite one 
for advancing or retreating armies in modem history. 
In the parish church there hung, until the French 
Bevolution, the barrier chains which guarded the tent 
of the Emperor of the Almohades, in the famous 
battle of Las Navas de Tolosa. Through it the JBlack 
Prince marched in 1367 to the victory of Navarete. 
It was the route taken by Joseph Bonaparte, when 
the French troops under his command were defeated 
at Vittoria by Wellington in 1813. It was in this 
valley that Don Carlos was proclaimed king of Spain 
by Erase in October, 1833.^ The approach to it from 
France, which Charlemagne had determined upon, was 
not difficult. 

^ H. Martin, Histoire de France, IT. 270. 
s Ford's Handbook for Spain, IL 962. 


Leaving the Landes and the Basses Pyr^n^es, he 
marched by the valley of the river Adour. A prac- 
ticable mountain road leads through St. Jean Pied-de- 
Port into Valcarlos (the valley of Charles), in the 
centre of which " charming pastoral platform " is the 
hamlet of Boncesvalles. The pass lies at the foot of 
Mount Altabiscar and the Col de Ibaneta. Thence 
the road, descending into Spain, strikes the valley 
of the little riyer Chariagne, and stretches on to the 
city of Pampelona. The distance from St Jean 
Pied-de-Port to the hamlet of Boncesvalles is about 
seventeen miles. 

Leaving the other portions of his army to follow, 
Charlemagne had marched with one division to Chasse- 
neuil, or Casseneuil, a small town on the river Lot, 
in the present department of Charente. The place is 
notable in the domestic story of the monarch, because 
he took with him in a litter his wife, Hildegarde, 
who was enceinte, and who was to await her confine- 
ment thera At Chasseneuil, he celebrated the Feast 
of the Besurrection, and remained until he was 
joined by the other contingents from Neustria and 

There he organized his army, and,, having made 
careful provision for the comfort of his wife, with his 
accumulated forces he proceeded to cross c^^„^^ 
the Pyrenees by the pass of Boncesvalles. JSSSg^ 
Other small contingents crossed by the *°*<> Spain. 
Eastern ports, principally as a precaution against 
treachery and counter-invasion, and joined the main 
body on the Spanish sida 

To Abdu-r-rahnidn, who received partial reports of 


thi? network of treacheiy on the part of his own 
subjects of Saragossa, and of invasion by the greatest 
monarch of the age, the trouble from the Korth must 
have seemed of portentous character. The whole 
North was thus strengthened in opposition. The king- 
dom of Pelayo was extending its borders : inspired by 
their success at Covadonga, the Christians were moving 
cautiously down> and had succeeded in capturing sev- 
eral cities, among which were Lugo, Oporto (Porto hal), 
Zamora, Castille, and Segovia. Saragossa was in insur- 
rection, and there was reason to fear that the Moslem 
conquest, not to speak of his own power, might be 
speedily reversed ; and that Isldm, so lately adven- 
turous of establishment in Gaul, was destined to be 
driven back into Africa by the powerful Franks, or at 
least held to tribute in the seats of its latest gloiy 
and strength. As yet, however, he made no movement, 
but only awaited the turn of events. Knowing his 
sagacity, we suspect a good reason for this inaction. 

It is difficult to disentangle the true narrative from 
the medley of legends and fancy. As far as it may 
Beaches ^® douc, wc find that Charlemagne reached 
pampeiuna. Pampcluna without hindrance. Although 
in the hands of the Saracens, it was probably by pre- 
arrangement that it opened its gates, and promised 
allegiance or alliance to the Frankish monarch. 

Marching thence to the southeast, he had not far 
And ^ S^ before, unimpeded, he struck the val- 

®*'****^ ley of the Ebro, everywhere claiming alle- 
giance and tribute from the towns on his route, and 
thus he approached Saragossa.^ 

^ La Fuente says : ** Talendo j deTHstando sob campoB," bnt I 
see no reason for snch devastation, unless it refers to the nsnal coarse 


Having been joined by all bis contingents, he de- 
ployed bis forces on botb banks of the river, around 
the city, and made known his readiness to receive the 
capitulation of the Wali.^ So far from having any 
fear of resistance, he expected to be received with 
cheerful alacrity; but he found himself grievously 
mistaken. Between the visit of Ibn Al Arabi to 
Paderbom and the arrival of the Franks, many things 
had conspired to neutralize the promises and nullify the 
overtures which had been made. That chieftain him- 
self seems to have repented of his mission when he 
saw the Franks approaching. The magnitude of the 
expedition, the ferocious appearance of the Franks, — 
perhaps their conduct at Pampeluna and the inter- 
vening towns, — and, above aU, the fear lest, in es- 
caping fiom the power of Abdu-r-rahman, they might 
become the slaves of the Christians, had changed the 
views of the insurgents : the people called on their 
leaders to resist, and not to permit any portion of the 
realm conquered by IsUm to fall again into Christian 
hands. The Walis of Huesca, Lerida, and other cities 
which had not given hostages, roused the inhabitants 
to repel the Franks ; and, when Charlemagne arrived 
at Saragossa, the people of that city, joining in the 

•f nv anny in that day, whether friendly or hostile. Erecy reader 
of military histoiy knows what deyastation is made, even by friendly 
armies, in any territory through which they pass. The Franks 
were actuated by a spirit of plunder and craelty, and were not likely 
long to want anything that fell in their way. 

^ Henri Hartin, Histoire de France, II. 271. He also says : 
"Salon plasieurs ehroniqnes frankes, le corps entr^ par lee ports 
orientaux ayait reyu, ehemin faisant, les dtages et les sounissions 
des Walis de Oironne et de Baroelonne." 

VOL. II. 9 


general dissatisfaction at the presence of a powerful 
alien army, closed the gates^ and resolutely refused to 
admit any of the Frankish troops. 

The city of Saragossa,^ with its fertile valley of the 
Ebro, might well asser^ claims in that chaotic period 
The city of ^o a Separate independence. It was the 
®*'^"***^ centre where many important roads met. 
It was not indeed then so great as it was soon to 
become ; but it already had the control of more cities, 
towns, hamlets, and castles, than any other city of 
the Peninsula.^ Its waters were plentiful and sweet 
It had rich mines of pure, transparent salt; and, 
passing by the Arabian story that no scorpion could 
exist in its territory, we may believe that its grains 
were secure from mildew, and its wood from rot Its 
capabilities at that time may be inferred from what 
it became afterwards in the hands of the Moors, when 
it was called UmmvrUhdr, the mother of provinces, 
and included in its dominion Lerida (the Soman 
Ilerda), Huesca, Calatrava, Tudela, Medina Celi, and 
many other circumjacent towns. For this rich domain, 
at the time of which I am writing, three parties were 
contending. Abdu-r-rahman claimed it as a part of 
his Ehalifate ; Ibn Al Arabi and his party desired to 
make it an independent Mohammedan kingdom, with 
some hope, doubtless, of afterwards reducing the 
whole South in the interest of the Berbers, if suc- 
cessful; Charlemagne desired to constitute it a 
tributary province, in a neutral land, which should 

^ The site was that of Salaba of the Celtiberians. It waa called 
C€$arM, Augfusta, after Auguatua^ who rebuilt it 
s Al Makkari, I. 64, 65. 


Birengthen his frontier^ and enable him to develop 
his plans in Gaul, Germany^ and Italy. 

The change of sentiment which I have mentioned, 
and which was entirely unexpected, now rendered 
the situation of the Franks embarrassing in the ex- 
treme. Their number, manhood, and fierce valor 
were indeed equal to the emergency, but it was an 
emergency which they had not foreseen. 

Expecting, on the contrary, a cordial reception, 
with ample supplies, cheerfully fumiBhed to his army, 
he was in danger of being without provisions-; and, 
however large his force, he was surrounded by more 
numerous enemies, some of them between him and 
his base of operations ; and a mountain barrier, too, 
lay between. Manifestly, the best thing was to get 
back to France as soon as possible. 

He did not desire war; he could not afford to lose 
his troops ; it was humiliating to his pride to think 
of retiring as he came, without any arrange- ^^j^j^ 
ment. The three alternatives were, — to ^iSi^^ 
retire, to fight, or to compel a negotiation. ™*^'- 
He attempted the last, and the most that he could 
obtain was a subsidy, and an acknowledgment of 
nominal protection, which meant nothing as soon as 
he should cross the Pyrenees again. The Arab-Moors 
were not desirous to fight or crush him, but only 
desirous to lay the fierce spirit they had invoked, and 
still retain something of his protection when needed. 
Thus, receiving their tribute, such as it was, keeping 
tip a bold front in this dangerous emergency, and 
even demanding and taking some hostages for the 
performance of their promises, he began his retrograde 


march, which was further hastened hy the intelligence 
of new and portentous risings among the Saxons. 
The dangers at the North were far more serious than 
any menaces which might foUow him from Saiagossa.* 
His tireless arm must deal at once with these Saxon 

Disappointed in his hopes, he returned to Pampe- 
luna^ and, either to vent his spleen upon the un- 
resisting city, or to take away all power from a 
stronghold nearest to his dominions which might 
give him trouble, he razed its walls to the ground. 
It has been asserted that he had not been admitted 
into Fampeluna without a struggle when he entered 
Spain ; and there is extant a medal, with the motto, 
Capta exeisaqtie Pampelatia, This was struck in the 
same year, after his return to France ; and I prefer to 
think that it refers to the extinction of the defences 
of Fampeluna on his return march, for which the 
reason has been already given, and which would 
comport more causally with his mental irritation. 

It may be supposed that he sent some detachments 
back into France by other passes ; it is certain, however, 
that the main body set out under his own command 
to cross the Pyrenees by the pass of Boncesvalles. 

^ He made a campai^ aj^aiiist the SaxoDB in that same year, 778. 




TN accosting the event which we have now reached 
'^ in the narrative, the historical student finds 
himself suddenly entering a region of ro- Theroman- 
mance, so filled with miraculous stories, **«J«8«'<*- 
enchanted personages, confusing sounds, and impos- 
sible performances, that he starts back, in doubt 
whether it contains any history at alL If he pursue 
his way, he is in great danger of sharing, if not 
the madness of Don Quixote, at least the poetic 
frenzies of the Morgante, the Orlando Innamorato, 
and the Orlando Furioso. Angelica, Agramont, and 
Ganelon contest the field with Boland, Binaldo, and 
fiemardo del Carpio ; and, if he thinks he achieves 
a victory in espousing the cause of the latter group, 
he soon finds to his sorrow that they are all mythic, 
or at the least legendary, alike. Indeed, in one sense 
las tagrimas de Angelica^ which could move the good 
curate in Don Quixote to tears, have a more veritable 
power than the Jiazailas and ?iecJio8 of the invincible 
Bernardo. She is at least true to nature in her 
weeping: he is the hero of magic, which has not 
even a foundation in nature.^ And unfortunately 

\ There is no more fictitious personage, even in Spanish fiction. 
See '' Historia de las hazafias y hechos del inyencible cayallero> 


Bolaud, the nominal hero of Boncesvalles, is scarcely 
less xinreal. The truth is, that the real personages have 
been given over by history to legend, and have again 
been blindly received into history ; so that to go back 
beyond the false story and the wild fable to find what 
still exists of truth with regard to them is an almost 
hopeless task. The real men have been spirited away, 
and may not be reclaimed ; but the principal events, 
at least, have left a simple and une£faceable record, 
which may easUy be found I shall present an out- 
line of the historic features, and gather what I can 
from the fables, fearing at every step lest I may fall 
into the power of the sirens, as hundreds of those 
who have gone before me have done. 

With due precaution, not to burden the pass 
with numbers, Charlemagne, on returning to it, hod 
Thewtum divided his main body into two corps. 
^^ The first, which he commanded in person, 
▼aUm. marched without impedimenta; but the 
second, a rear-guard, smaller in numbers, under the 
direction of the paladin Boland, followed at a con* 
siderable distance, — as the sequel proved, too great 
an interval, — and guarded the baggage and the treas* 
ures, — "a great weight of gold,"^ the tribute not 
only of Saragossa, but of Pampeluna and many, other 
towns, besides the irregular booty of a fierce alien 

Bernardo del Carpio ; par Agnstin Alonzo. Toledo, 1685. I should 
perhaps except the episode of Bernardo's snhniission that he might 
release his imprisoned father, and his hopeless grief when he received 
his dead hody. This certainly is a glimpse of nature amid the lurid 
gleams of martial fiction. 

1 La Fuente, Historia de Espa&a, III. 186, 


army, whose training in that respect had been in the 
often devastated fields of Aquitania, and whose role 
was to plunder friend and foe alike. 

The first division defiled slowly and without the 
shadow of hinderance through the port of Ibafieta^ and 
descended 'into the valley of the Nive. The second 
was to bear the brunt of a terrible disaster, but at 
the hands of what enemy ? 

Upon this point there has been much contention ; 
and, after it all, we must rest more upon inference 
than statistics. In<some of the legends we find that 
the attacking party was "the king 'of Saragossa and 
his men." We may readily believe that a party to 
the ambush was composed of the inhabitants of Pam* 
peluna, the city eapta exdsaquty who were taking their 
revenga It cannot be positively known, but there 
was probably a contingent from the new Hispano- 
Oothic kingdom, which Pelayo had established in the 
Northeast^ who had heard stories of an alliance be- 
tween the king of the Franks and the Moslems ; but 
the strongest element in the combination, if combina*- 
lion there were, was that of the Gascons of France 
and Spain, who were constantly nursing their wrath 
against the Franks, and who now found an oppor- 
tunity for vengeance.* They were fierce, vain, and 
independent^ and had constantly suffered from Frank- 
ish incursions. They all claimed nobility: ^^loop- 
every man was a hidalgo. It does not ap- ^***^ *^ 
pear that there was any great concert of action among 

1 H. Martin says (Histoiro de France, II. 272) : <*C'^taient lea 
Gaacona de VEapagne et de Ganle. Toutes les haines amass^ea dans 
le 00907 des Eadaldunac a'^taient reveill^ea arec fnreur,'* etc. 


these dissimilar elements and interests ; but the great 
fact of Charlemagne's march was known to them all, 
and each party had time to digest its own scheme for 
harassing the common enemy. Such seems to me 
the truth of the matter, which has been so curiously 
contested in later times, when the question of to 
whom the glory should belong arose in history. 
National vanity cares little for truth: if the facts 
interfere, so much the worse for the facts. The 
Spaniards, as a nation, have appropriated to them* 
selves the honor of defeating the great king at 
Honcesvalles ; the Moors have always claimed it; 
and a French writer, rudely setting both claims aside, 
asserts that ** the French of the Seine were conquered 
by the French of the Adour and the Graronne ! " 

But whatever forces foUowed and gathered upon 
the rear of the second division, there is little doubt 
as to the men who prepared the ambuscade. Quietly, 
and entirely without the knowledge of the advancing 
hosts, the Gascons had agreed to rendezvous upon the 
top and sides of Mont Altabiscar and the adjacent 
heights, concealing themselves from tho enemy. The 
first corps, which was lightly equipped, they per- 
mitted to pass ; but the second corps, larger and in- 
cumbered with the baggage, was a more desirable as 
well as an easier prey, and the treasures which they 
guarded awoke the cupidity of the Gascons. This 
Tbe second ^^^^^^ corps had entered the pass, and was 
divMion. winding slowly through along the narrow 
defile which skirts the foot of Mont Altabiscar, in the 
most careless security, entirely ignorant of the prox- 
imity of a single enemy. It was composed of the 


flower of the Fiankisli chivalry, and officered by the 
noblest of the Uudea, and those to whom their station 
in the palace near the king had given the name of 
paladins, men of family pride and warlike renown. 
We may safely say that they were the stoutest soldiers 
and the best-appointed men of war of that age, and 
have presented a typical chivalry to the later ages. 

Suddenly a thousand horns ring out their blatant 
peals from the mountain slopes ; the train halts with- 
out command ; the knights grasp lance and ^„^^ 
Bword to encounter a living foe ; but instead '^ 
of men they see an avalanche pouring down upon 
them, — huge rocks, torn from the earth-grasp of 
ages, trunks and branches of trees, — and clouds . 
of arrows, literally filling the intervening spaces. 
Those who are not at once crushed or pierced fly 
back to the rear, and choke the narrow pass; but 
they can And no place of safety or shelter. A few 
escape to the rear to find themselves fiercely attacked, 
but the men in the great mass tread each other down. 
Still the terrible shower pours upon them from above ; 
the unrelenting storm comes furiously down, utterly 
defying human strength and lordly prowess. Even 
their armor, which would insure victory in the open 
field, is here only an element of destructioa The 
heavy, iron-plated Northern horses cannot manoeuvre ; 
helmets, hauberks, heavy axes, long lances, are but a 
hinderance and embarrassment; strength in fetters, 
activity without scope.* 

^ "Embarrasses par lenrs heamnes, leura bauberts, leurs pe- 
•antes baches et leurs longaea lances." — H. Maetin, Hidwn de 
France, IL 272. 



Wheu the consternation and destruction have made 
them helpless, upon the bleeding and jumbled mass 
the Gascon mountaineers leap lightly down, and 
pierce the falling and the fallen with their sharp boar- 
spears and javelins. All fear of resistance being thus 
removed, they pounce greedily upon the baggage* 
train, possess themselves of the treasure, and fly back, 
laden with the coveted spoils, to the mountain fieist- 

Their work has been thoroughly done. It needs 
no inventive fancy to portray the sights and sounds 
of the gloomy night which is now settling upon the 
utter de- S^^* ^^^ aTrHre garde of the Frankish 
S™MMnd' arnay lias l>een destroyed ; if we may trust 
«»^- the chronicle, they have perished to a man.> 
The silence of the fatal field is only broken by the 
doleful music of the dying groana (xentle and simple 
lie mingled without distinctioiL It has been called 
the " dolorous rout " of Boncesvalles, but the routed 
were rescued from flight by death. 

The only contemporary account is that of Eginhard, 
the biographer of Charlemagne, and author of the 
"Annales des Francs." In his very brief reference 
to the disaster, he enumerates, as among the many 
distinguished men who fell, Eggihard, major-domo of 
the king ; Anselmo, count of the palace, and Boland, 
prefect of the marches of Brittany.* 

1 "TJsqne ad anum omnes interficiant." — OvronUon Silenae 
JEspafla SagrcuUi, 17, 272. 

s Vita Caroli Magni, ch. iz. '* In quo pitBlio I^haitiui Begis 
menss prspoaitiis, Anshelmos comes Palatii, et Batlandufi Britanni- 
ci limitis pnefectus, cum aliis compluribus, interficituitar. Koqae 


The suddeimess of the attack, and the rapidity of 
the caiuage, made it impossible for Charlemagne to 
succor them. The Spanish poems upbraid him for 
not doing so : but, before he could have returned, the 
whole mischief had been wrought ; the rear-guard was 
annihilated ; and the Gktscons had escaped with their 
spoils, and were hidden from all hope of discovery in 
their mountain retreats. He waited only long enough 
to verify the sad intelligence, and then turned with a 
heavy heart northward to check the insurgent Saxons. 
At Chasseneuil he stopped for a few days, where we 
may suppose that he found a slight solace in the fact 
that his queen had been safely delivered of a son, 
who was to figure in the later history as Louis le 

Such is a sketch of the simple history ; we may 
turn to consider very briefly the legendary aspect of 
the story. The chief source of these legends ^f^ ^f 
in modem times is a work entitled "De ^lll^^fiiy 
Vita Caroli Magni et Eolandi," the author- '^^*'^ 
ship of which has been erroneously attributed to 
Turpin, Archbishop of Bheims, and is supposed to have 
been written during the life of Charlemagne. It is, 
however, manifestly of a later day, — probably of the 

hoc factum ad pnesens vindicari poterat, quia bostis, re perpetiata, 
ita dispersua est ut no fama quidem remaneret ubinam gentium 
quteri potuisset." The Vita of Eginhard is a bright spot in the ob- 
scure legends of the period. He was a real character, as the abbot 
of Seligstadt, but there is no proof whatever that he was the son-in- 
law of Charlemagne. The passage referred to is the only one found 
in any historian which mentions the celebrated Roland, who plays 
so dominant a part in the Carlovingian epics. Roland 1: •upposed to 
hare been the son of Hilo, Count of Angiers, and Bertha, the sister 
of Charlemagne. 


eleventh century, — and it contains marvels so pro- 
digious and disconnected, that they lose their force 
even as allegories.^ From the legend sprang numer* 
ous ballads sung in court and camp and village, tales 
of romance, ponderous heroic poems. The real plot 
was striking enough, and the warrior of greatest name 
became the hero. Everything centres around Boland. 
Roland, or ^® kuights of the Bound Table of Arthur 
oriMida ^gpg eclipsed by the twelve peers of Charle- 
magne, of whom Boland was the knightliest: an 
astounding career was created for him. His love* 
passages were, in a later day, celebrated by Bojardo 
in his " Orlando Innamorato ;" his madness, brought 
on by unrequited affection, is the burden of Ariosto'a 
^ Orlando Furioso," with an invention so original, in 
the poet's opinion, that nothing like it had appeared 
in prose or rhyme before.* 

His name and fame are perpetuated in places and 
in flowers. From his helmet, a flower of the locality is 

1 *< De Vita Carol! Magni et Rolandi Hifitoria, Joaiini Turpin, 
ArcUepiscopo Bimensi, vulgo tribata." The real archlnabop died 
in the year 800, — fourteen years before Charlemagne. Literary 
criticism has established the probable date of the book as between 
1090 and 1120. This work was first transkted from Latin into 
French in 1206, at the instance of Benaud, C'Oont of Bonlcigne. It 
is short, containing only eighty pages. 

' " Dird d' Orlando, in on medesmo tratto 
Cosa non detta in prosa mai n^ in rima." 

Orlando Furio$a, L 8. 
Fanriel says (Histoire de la Po^sie Proyenfale, English Abridge 
ment, p. 275) : " I cannot but regard the pretended chronicle ol 
Turpin as a sort of interpolation and monkiah amplification ia bad 
Latin of certain popular ballads, in the Tulgar idiom, on Charle* 
magne's descent on Spain." 


called la casque de Boland. The notes of his wonder- 
ful ivoiy horn reverberate powerfuHy through more 
than a cycle, and the faint echoes may yet be heard 
in the Basque country. Dante alludes to its fabled 
power, and at the same time to the crusade-like char- 
acter of Charlemagne's march against the infidel, 
when, speaking of the terrible sound in his '' Inferno," 
he uses it as the most forcible illustration t — 

"Dopo la dolorosa rotta, quando 
Carlo Magno perd^ la aaiiUa gesta 
Hon 8oii5 A terribUmente Orlando." ^ 

One story is that he sounded so loud a note that he 
burst the veins of his neck. Another account tells how, 
with his famous sword, Durandart, or Durandal, at 
one blow he severed a mountain in two, without 
marring the edge, and then he broke his sword that it 
might never again be wielded by human hand. Ac- 
cording to still another version, he threw Durandart 
with superhuman strength, and cleft the rock in 
twain.^ Shepherds still show the ineffaceable mark 
of his horse's iron shoes where a horse could only 
climb in romantic legend. 

It has been justly said that Charlemagne is not 
more truly the greatest personage in the history of 
the age, than is Boland the greatest hero of its ro- 
mance : it may be added that in a certain way the 
renown of the great monarch has been somewhat 

1 BWina Commedia, Inferno, 81, 6. I believe this to be the 
origin of the phrase "dolorous rout" 

' I prefer the causality of the latter account, for the Br&che de 
Roldan is more than fifty miles from Roncesvalles. It lies near the 
foot of Mount Perdu, and is reached in direct route from Tarbes by 
the Gave de Pau and Gayames. 


eclipsed by the popularity of his legendary nephew. 
The vivaic^ious Mediterranean nature, from that day 
to this, has been fired again and again to deeds of 
valor by the contemplation of his unearthly prowes& 
The wonderful story spread from south to north all 
over France. It was a part of the Norman training. 
It was to the song of Boland, written by Theroulde 
in the eleventh century,^ that the jongleur Taillefer 
advanced to certain death on the field of Senlac, in 
the van of William the Conqueror * 

The question naturally arises, whether nothing 
more real than these legends remains in that locality 
Real n». to mark the spot and scene of the curious 
thuewnt battle, and thus to bear historic witness to 
its reality. In the Collegiata of Our Lady of Bon- 
cesvalles, founded by Sancho Sanchez, of Navarre 
(d Fuerte, the Strong), about the year 1200, there 
were said to be great sepulchres of stone, containing 
human bones, maces, lance-beads, and other remains, 

' Published among the "Chansons de Roland," by Frandsqne 
Michel, to whom we are also indebted for the *' Chronica Rimada de 
las Cosas de Espa&a ; " covering the space from the death of Pelayo to 
Ferdinand the Great. See Ticknor's History of Spanish literature, 
I. 23. There are many Spanish " Orlandoe," — some original, and 
others versions of the Italian, — " Orlando el Amante^" " Orlando 
Deteiminado,*' etc. — Ih, II. 477, note. 

* The fact is vouched for by Wace, WilUam of Malmesboiy, and, 
indeed, most of the historians. Guy of Amiens calls him ** inoitof 
ferri ;" and in the Roman de Ron we have the lines : — 

*' Devant li Dus alout cantant 
De Earlemanie h de Rolant 
£ d*01Iver & des vassals 
Ei moururent en Renchevak.** 


which tradition, not without a decent show of logical 
consistency, assigns to this fatal field.^ 

The great historic event, however, needs no such 
corroboration : it is sufficiently substantiated by un- 
deniable authorities, — French, Christian, Spanish, and 
Arabian. But, amid the confusion of the legends, it 
is very satisfactory and pleasing to find, among the 
Basque songs commemorative of the battle, one which, 
for simple naturalness, for fidelity to the spirit of the 
age, and to the character and aniwAu of the contend- 
ing parties^ is very striking and very refreshing. 
Beyond the middle realm of fable upon which rest 
the shadows of heavy clouds, we are taken back into 
a region clearly disclosed by the sunlight of truth. 
If, as is probable, it was written in 4;he Basque lan- 
guage in the ninth century, it seems certain that it 
was a spontaneous utterance, at the very time of the 
" dolorous rout ; " and had been sung, like the classical 
poems, and transmitted from mouth to mouth, until 
it came into its present written form. It is called 
the ''Altabizaren Gantua," and stands distin- "Aitau- 
guished from all the other ballads and songs cantoA." 
by its lack of miracle and its eminent air of truth.^ 

^ Tiaditioii, however, should be rigorously scrutinized. In 1794, 
E pillar which had long stood to mark the spot of Charlemagne's 
defeat, was pulled down by commissioners of the French Republic, 
and the parish church was pillaged, "where long had hung the 
identical chains which guarded the Moorish chief's tent at Las 
Kavas de Tolosa, and through which Sancho el Fuerte broke." — 
FordC$ Eand'jBookt IL 961. The military history of Ronoesyalles 
is so foil of recurrences, that it would be difficult to identify the 
exact period of any remains found there. 

* La Fnente gires the original Basque, and a prose translation in 
Spanish ;. and Henri Martin publishes, in the " Eclaiicissements " of 
his second Tolume, Montglave's translation in French. 


It fully vindicates the assertion of La Fuente that, 
among the war-songs which have immortalized that 
famous combat, it As notable for its energetic sim- 
plicity, its air of primitive rudeness, its spirit of 
impassioned patriotism, and of rustic and fiery in- 
dependence.^ The reader can hardly judge of its full 
value^by the following English translation, which 
cannot exhibit the singular verbal power of the Basque 
chant, with its very effective diphthongal utterances ; 
but the dramatic force is easily preserved. Indeed, 
no translation could affect that It is essentially a 
drama, in spirit and in form. 




A cry has gone forth 
From the midst of the moantainB of the EscaldmiaoB, 
And the Etcheco-Jaona,^ standing before his door, 
Opens his ear and says, " Who goes there f What do yott wantt" 
And the dog who was sleeping at the feet of hiB master, 
Springs np and makes the enrirons of Altabizar resound with bis 


From the hill Ibafieta a noise resonnds ; 

It approaches rambling along the rocks from the right and from the 

1 ** Entre loe cantos de guerra que han inmortalisado aqnel fkmoeo 
combate, es notable por sn eneigica senciUez, por sa aire de primi- 
tiva rudeza, por su espiritu de apaaionado patriotismo, de agreste y 
fogosa independencia . . . el de ' Altabizaren Oantaa.' " — Bittoria 
deJStpatla, III. 189. 

' Monntain-husbandman, or independent fkimer. Tiotor Hugo 
uses the term in "L'Homme qni Bit:" '* Etcbeoo-Jaona signifie 
lalouretir de la montagne" 


It is the dull hum of an army which is coming ; 

Our men have heard it from the summit of the mountain ; 

They have sounded their horns, 

And the Etcheoo- Jaona sharpens his arrows. 


They are coming, they are coming, what a hedge of lances I 

How the parti-colored banners are dancing in their midst 1 

What flai^es are glinting from their arms ! 

How many are they f Boy, count them well ; 

One^ two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine. 

Ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen. 

Sixteen, seventeen, eighteen, nineteen, twenty. 


Ttoenty, and still there are thousands behind : 

It is but lost time to count them, 

Let us unite our strong arms, let us root up the rocka^ 

Let us hurl them from the mountain-top 

Upon their heads 1 

Let us crush them t let us slay them 1 


And what business have they in our mountains, those men in the 

Why have they come to disturb our peace ? 
When God made mountains, they were not for men to cross. 
But the rocks roll and fall ; they crush whole battalions ; 
Blood is spurting, flesh is quivering ; 
Oh ! how many pounded bones 1 what a sea of blood 1 


Fly, fly, all ye who have strength and a horse 1 
Fly, King Karloman, with thy black plumes and red cape 1 
Thy nephew, thy bravest, thy beloved, Roland, lies dead below; 
His valor could not serve him. 
And now, Escaldunac, leave the rocks. 

Let us descend quickly, pouring our arrows into those who flee. 
VOL. II. 10 



They fly I they fly 1 where is now the hedge of lances ? 
Where are the party-colored banners dancing in their midst ? 
Light flashes no longer from their arrows soiled with blood. 
How many are they f boy, count them well 1 
Twenty, nineteen, eighteen, seventeen, sixteen, 
Fifteen, fourteen, thirteen, twelve, eleven, ten. 
Nine, eight, seven, six, Ave, four, three, two, one. 


One ! There is not even one ! 

It is done 1 Etcheco-Jaona, you may go in with your dog, 

And embrace your wife and children : 

Clean your arrows, lock them up with your horn, and then go to 

bed and sleep. 
To-night the eagles will come and eat the broken flesh, . 
And all these bones shall be whitening forever. 

Although the battle in the pass of Soncesvalles 
was chiefly between the Franks and the Gascons, it 
has been here described, because, as his been said, 
it is very probable that a contingent of Saracens was 
engaged in it ; but principally because of its imme- 
diate connection with the fortunes of the Moslemah 
in the north of Spain. It was conceived in rebellion 
and ended in treachery. 

It had, however, foV indirect issue, the establishment 
of the Spanish march, which was to put a stop to 
The Spanish the northern progress of the Arab-Moors, 

marches -i i • i 

established, and cvcu curtail their dominion ; and it was 
a subject of continual concern to Abdu-r-rahman and 
his successors, by giving both direct and indirect aid 
to the Christians in the Northwest. The name 
" Spanish march " was given by Charlemagne to the 
country he had under his partial control on both sides 


of the Pyrenees. It was divided into two parts, — on 
the west, the march of Gascony, with Pampeluna as ita 
capital ; and on the east, the march of Gothia or Sep- 
timania, upon which were impressed the " precepts " of 
Charlemagne and Louis the Pious, and which has thus 
heen more French than Spanish in its character ever 
since.^ While it secured the Franks from incursions 
through the mountain passes, it left that region a 
theatre for the intrigues and quarrels of Moslems 
and Gascons, and thus indirectly protected his south- 
ern frontier,^ which was, after all, his chief concern. 

We cannot attach much importance to the brief 
and general statement of Al Makkari, that Charles 
sent an embassy to Abdu-r-rahman, offering him 
peace, and soliciting his alliance by marriage, which 
the Amir's bodily ailment rendered impossible. One 
thing seems certain. The lesson of Roncesvalles was 
so severe, that the Frankish monarch did not venture, 
if he had intended, another expedition into Spain, 
until the year 796, eight years after the death of 

^ " Nataralmente los que con mayores fnerzas y mas poder con« 
cxuiian & lanzar de aqnella parte del suelo espa&ol y i libertar sus po- 
blaciones del dominio musulman, babian de imprimir al nuevo estado 
franoo-hispano el sello de sqs costumbres, de sus leyes, de su organ!- 
zacion y de sa nomenclatara. Los preceptos de Carlo Magno y de 
Luis el Pio, si bien generoso y protectores de los Espafioles, comu- 
nicaban 4 aquella marca 6 estado todo el tinto gallo-franco de su 
origen/* — La Fuente, Higtoria de Espafla, IlL 233. 

^ " Le roi des Franks voulut saisir Toccasion de reculer sa fron- 
ti^ meridionale des Pyr^n^es ju8qu*2i TEbre, et d'abriter ainsi 
d^finitiyement TAquitaine et la Septimanie, contre les invasions 
musulmaneSk" — Henri Martin, JEfistoire de France, II. 270. 

' I append, in the original Basque, the third and eighth stanzas 


of the CdjUua, as a specimen of the rhetorical power and oral 
effects of the language : — 


Herdarida 1 herdurida ! | Cerlantzazco sasia 

I Nola cemahi colorezco banderas hoi en erdian agertcendiren t 

I Cerainuitac at herat oendircn hoi en armetaric 1 

I Ceubat dira f Haarza, condait9ac ongi ! 

Bat, biia, hiror, lau, bortz, sei, zatpi, sortzi, bederatzi, hamar, 

hameca, hamabi, 
Hamahirur, hamalaii, hamabort, hamasei, hamazazpi, heme9ortziy 

hemeretsi hogoL 


I Bat 1 Ezta bihiric ageri gihiiago, 

I Akhaboda I Etcheco-jaona, inaiten ahaltcia fure Macarrarekin. 

Znre emaztiaren, eta ^ure haarren bezarcat cerat, 

ZuT^arden garbitcerat eta alchatcerat fare tuntekin etagero heiien 

gunian et fat^at eta lociteat, 
Gabaz arrchanoac ienendira haragi pusca leherta horien latent 
Eta hezur horiec oro znritu codira etemitatean. 

By reading this aloud, the strength of the CarUua will be fonnd 
greatly increased. 




"ITinrE may now return to the events that. were 
^ ^ occurring among Abdu-r-rahmdn's own peo- 
ple ; which kept him in continual activity, and gave 
him constant concern. No sooner was one revolt put 
down than another burst forth, taxing his judgment 
and power to the utmost. There are few of them of 
special importance, and most of them need only a 
bare mention, as testifying to his greatness in putting 
them down. 

Not a year had elapsed since the battle at Eonces- 
valles,^ when Suleyman Ibn Al Arabi, with Al 
Huseyn Ibn Tahya, — both claiming for Rcvoiti 
their own purposes to be of the faction empire. 
of the Abbasides, — rose in arms against Abdu-r- 
rahmdn, and declared Saragossa and its Comarca 
independent. In a quarrel between them, however, 
Ibn Al Arabi was assassinated, and Huseyn remained 
the sole defiant traitor. 

The Ehalif lost no time in marching to find Huseyn 
in his stronghold. He first sent his lieutenant Ghdlib 

1 Al Makkari makes the mistake of placing this erent in the 
year 157 (a. d. 778). It was in 779. See notes 19 and 20, Vol. 
II. pp. 420, 421. Many of these events are related in the manner 
of a rtioonUur, and, as to dates, are almost as vague as the "once 
upon a time *' of modem story-tellers. 


to besiege him in Saragossa, but the insurgents were 
80 vigorous that the war was carried on for a consid- 
erable period without decided results. When Huseyn 
sent a large detachment to attack the Amir himself, 
the measure of his impertinence was full. Abdu-r- 
rahman marched against him in person, taking in 
his train thirty-six manjanik, or war-engines, with 
which to batter the place. 

He was animated by a relentless and fiery spirit. 
This rebellion had frustrated his favorite and long- 
cherished plan of carrying the war into Syria, and 
avenging the wrongs of his race on the soil where 
they had been received. He would drag the Abba^ 
sides from the throne they had so cruelly usurped, 
and restore the single Khalifate, whose rule should be 
over the world, in his own person. 

The defeat of this plan he would visit on the head 
of Huseyn, whose rebellion had made it, at least for 
the time, impracticable. The aspect of the war was 
suddenly changed by the vigor of his movements. He 
took Saragossa by storm, and put the archrebel to 
death. As he marched, in his anger he had taken an 
oath that he would also expel all the inhabitants from 
the city. He kept his vow, and for a space none but 
his own soldiers occupied it A considerable time 
afterwards he permitted the people to return.^ 

From the storm of Saragossa, he marched to Pam- 
peluna, and thence, with curious steps, to the scene 
of the rout of Eoncesvalles. He did not pass the 
mountains, but rested there for a brief space, as if in 
defiance of all his northern neighbors. He then pro- 

1 An-nuwayri, quoted by GayaDgos, II. 421, note 20. 


ceeded to restore, or confirm, his authority in Gerona, 
Barcelona, and Tortosa; and thus impressing and 
pacifying the people and towns in the valley of the 
Ebro, he returned to Cordovft in triumph, but only 
to meet a new emergency. This northern expedition 
did not effect, however, a reconquest of the debatable 
land : he never afterwards could claim the Spanish 
march as indisputably under his government. It was 
at best btkt a march or neutiul frontier, for both 
France and Spain, the philosophy of which we have 
already considered. 

The new emergency to which I have just referred 
was a rising in AlgcQiras, the exact date of which 
cannot be fixed, but which was instigated by Hasan 
Ibn Abdu-1-aziz, and threatened the southern com- 
munications of the Khalif. It was, however, speedily 
put down ; and its ringleader, fearing the vengeance 
of the monarch, took ship and sailed for the East. 

The confusion of the factions was at its height. 
Besides the still existing, but ever-waning conflict be- 
tween the parties of the white and black banners, the 
Ohimeyades and Abbasides, there remained, among 
the men of station, the strife for supremacy between 
the Modharites, to whom Abdu-r-rahmdn belonged, and 
the men of Yemen, — tribes, each of which had its 
traditions, both Arabian and Spanish, and its aspira- 
tions for supreme power. The men of Yemen still 
cherished the memory of YiSsuf Al Fehrl, and looked 
with hope to his sons, who were still living.^ But 

^ For the principal rebellions of the Yemenites, from the begin- 
ning, see Al Makkari, II. 421, note 22. They were that of Zoreyk 
Al-ghos&ni, at Alge9iras, involving Sidonia and Seville, in 760 ; 


the strongest element of disorder was found in the 
rival claims of the Ambians and Syrians on the one 
hand, and the Berbers on the other, — the former hav- 
ing the prestige of the original conquest, and being 
boastful of their lineage ; the latter excelling in num- 
bers and in energy. 

The policy of the chief was admirable. He would 
merge and neutralize these differences by collecting 
and maintaining a large army, which, secure 
imhmAn of his favor and pay, would be in readiness 
standing to make head against any faction, and rally 
around his throne. To this end he gradually 
ceased his commimications with the Arabian chiefs, 
and surrounded himself with slaves and clients from 
among the common people, whom he attached to his 
person by kind treatment and gifts. He sent officers 
over into Africa to enlist Berbers there, who could 
have little interest in the traditional quarrels, and so 
well did he treat them that others were always ready 
to follow. Thus he had an effective force of forty 
thousand men always in hand to crush revolts, or to 
be the standing nucleus of larger armies, for any con- 
siderable expedition, or in case of foreign war. This 
force he was able later to increase to one hundred 

And here we must pause for a moment to present 
The BODS ^®^ briefly the fortunes of the sons of Yiisuf 
of TtBuL ^ Fehri, who displayed a constancy in the 
cause of their family which is among the most strik- 

that of Hisham, a consin of Yiiauf, in 761, at Toledo, which lasted 
several years ; that of Sahid AI Yahssobi, in 765, at Niebla, which 
was continued after the death of Sahid. 


ing and interesting considerations of these troublous 
times and exceedingly confused history. The eldest 
son, we have seen, fell in battle, after his father's 
death, fighting valiantly against Temam Ibn Al 
Kdmah, in the Comarca of Toledo.^ The second 
son, Mohammed Abul Aswad, was left behind when 
his partisans escaped from the after siege of Toledo, 
and was made prisoner by B^dr, the mauli of Abdu- 
r-rahmdn, in the year 763. Through the clemency 
of the monarch, his life was spared, but he was con- 
fined for many years in one of the towers of Cordova. 
Here his story is so decked in Arabian romance that its 
details must be received with the usual allowance.* 
By his cheerful and harmless deportment, he so gained 
the good-will of his keepers, that they relaxed their 
caution, and trusted him even to leave his prison, on 
the promise of return. Further to deceive his guar- 
dians, he feigned blindness. It seems hardly credible 
that for eighteen years, as is asserted, he maintained 
this delusion ; and that, in the year 781, when he had 
concerted with the still active adherents of his father, 
he escaped from his prison and placed himself at 
their head. The monarch seems to have had mis- 
givings of this evasion, and expressed his fears as to 
the result^ The b^nd man escaped, swam across the 
river, and raised the standard of Al Fehii, around 

1 Coxid^ I., part ii. ch. xi. 

* I have token this account from La Fnente, who does not give 
his authority for its details. 

' '* Ciumdo el emir supo la evasion del creido ciego, exclamo : 
' Temo macho que la faga de este ciego nos haya de causar no poca 
inqnietud j efusion de sangre.' " — La Fuentb, Historiade EspafU^ 
IIL H6. 


which at once rallied six thousand warriors. With 
this army he took possession of the sierras of Segura 
and Cazorla.^ 

Synchronous with this movement, and in concert 
with it, Kasim, the third son, who had escaped from 
Toledo, had appeared as if by magic, and was recruit- 
ing a force to aid his brother in the Comarca of Sonda. 

But the energy and dash of Abdu-r-rahmdn were 
more than equal to this new emergency. Directing 
his Walis to gather their contingents in haste, he put 
himself without delay at the head of his cavalry, and 
marched upon Abul Aswad. But that chief had so 
entrenched himself in the fastnesses of the Sierras, that 
he could not be reached or drawn out He was. thus 
able to weary the troops of the Amir during three years 
of desultory warfare, until famine began to pinch, 
while a levy en masse of the king^s troops shut them 
up in their mountain retreat without hope of escape. 
In a council of his leaders, their fortunes were dis- 
cussed. Many deserters had gone into the king's 
camp, and been kindly received ; and so some of the 
chiefs proposed that they should surrender to his 
clemency. The alternative was to leave their position 
and accept battle. 

It was now the year 784 ; the undisciplined bands 
came down from the mountains, and eagerly rushed 
upon the enemy, but they were soon cut to pieces, or 
put to flight in every direction : more than four thou- 
sand lay dead upon the plain. 

Abul Aswad again escaped ; and we have, from an 

^ In the present proyince of Jaen, and about forty mileB east of 
the city of Jaen. 


Arabian writer, a touching narrative of his lonely 
wanderings; his adherents had almost all deserted 
him ; and he moved about in the Sierra Morena by 
day and night, in thickets and in caves ; into Coria, 
thence to Alarcon, "like a famished wolf."^ Thus 
leading a concealed remnant of life, he died, soon after, 
an obscure death. 

The flight of Abul Aswad, and the destruction of 
bis army, left the task of filial vengeance to Kasim, 
the third son of Yiisuf, who had fallen back to the 
Serrania de Bonda, and still made head against Abdu- 
r-rahman. Not to dwell upon the details, nor to 
estimate his chances of success, it is sufficient to 
know that he was suddenly captured, with Hafila, — 
a bold rebel who had escaped with the remnant of 
Cazorla, — by Abdullah, the son of Marsilius, who, if 
the account be true, had, many years before, been 
the chief instrument in the capture and execution of 
his father Yiisuf. Hafila was at once put to death 
by his captor, but the more illustrious prisoner was 
brought in chains to Abdu-r-rahman at Denia, where 
the welcome news of his arrest found him. 

Two years had elapsed since the overthrow of his 
brother, and the cause in which they had strug- 
gled so long was now dead. With no remains of his 
former boldness, he threw himself at the feet of 
his conqueror, kissing the ground in token of final 
submission. It might have been thought that, with 
the last representative and the last hope of the 
Fehrites in his power, the long-injured monarch would 

1 " Corao hambriento lobo, dice un autor arabigo. " — La Fuemtb» 
HisUn-ia de Espaila, III. US, 


have destroyed the faction forever by ordering the 
immediate execution of Kasim ; but the historian is 
called upon to eulogize an act of clemency more 
praiseworthy than the valor or the patience he had so 
long displayed. Little known as .it is, it deserves 
to be ranked among the great magnanimities of 

He ordered his chains to be removed, and gave him 
lands and a pension at Seville commensurate with his 
Theciem- former station. It is pleasant to record that, 
the^prince. ou this occasiou at least, the clemency was 
not misplaced. The last remaining son of Yiisuf be- 
came the faithfuL friend and adherent of his generous 

During the five years of this war against the sons 
of Tiisuf, Abdu-r-rahman had been almost constantly 
in the field.. He had made tours of inspection through 
Estremadura and Lusitania. In all the principal 
cities, he had established mosques and public schools. 
He had visited Zamora, Astorga, and Avila, — towns 
on the border-land which had been seized and then 
abandoned by the rising Christian kingdom in the 
Northwest, — and had passed some time at Toledo, 
where his eldest son Abdullah had been installed as 

But when, at the close of the war, he entered Cor- 
dova with Kdsim as his prisoner, the enthusiasm of 
the people knew no bounds: he seemed to have a 
second time conquered his kingdom. The thirty 
years* war against the faction of Yiisuf was at end, 
and he might hope for a peaceful time in which he 
could embellish his domain and cultivate the humaner 


studies which would give lustre to his reign. For 
this, however, he was to have but little remaining 
time before he should be summoned to his grave. 
Brief as it was, however, it was extremely busy 
and fruitful of results to the later history of his 

We have seen that immediately upon his accession 
to power, he had, like his predecessors, chosen Cor- 
dova as his capital There he established his simple 
court ; and, in the year 767, he began to build, or re- 
build, the walls of his capital.^ 

It contained some relics of Boman art; and the 
stately buildings of the Gothic monarchs had not yet 
disappeared. The Bcdatt Zvdheric, or palace ^^^ ^y^^ 
of Eoderik, suggested their luxurious living ; ^'p***^ 
and the powerful prince, still sensitive to the memo- 
ries of a happy and splendid youth in Syria before 
his proscription and exile, determined to make his 
capital, the seat of his new dynasty, — in oriental 
splendor, in its mosques, palaces, and gardens, — 
not only the equal, but the successful rival of Da- 

He had thus early begun to build the Bissafah, a 
splendid palace to the north of Cordova, in imitation 
of that built by his grandfather Hisham, at Damas- 
cus. He enclosed it with magnificent gardens, in 
which he planted exotics from every clime; he 

1 " Anno CL. qni coepit, Annales Chronicon, 767, Feb. 5, struxit 
Abdor Bahni&n, Omiyjades, Moslemorum in Andalusia princeps 
mcenia Corihobe." — Abulfeda, Annales AfosUmxci, I. 149. The 
bailding of these walls continued for the greater part of his reign. 
— Al Maxkari, II. 87. 


brought water to it from a distant mountain, and 
made it an enchanted spot, MunycUu-T-rissd/ah (the 
pleasure gardens of the Kissafah). He introduced 
for the first time the peach and the pomegranate into 
Spain, the latter of which has curiously identified 
itself with southern Spain, as if of indigenous growth, 
by figuring chiefly in the canting arms of Gi-anada, 
to which some persons think it has given the name.* 

Among his importations of foreign plants and flow- 
ers was a single palm-tree from Syria, which he planted 
with his own hands in the garden of the palace : it is 
said to have called forth some touching and beautiful 
verses, which we may fear, in passing through many 
hands, have not come to us as he uttered them. 
The palm-tree, not indigenous in Spain, was the 
glory and comfort of the East I 

" Seeing, one day," says Al Makkari, " at Seville, a 
solitary palm-tree, which brought to his recollection 
A memento the placc. of his birth in Syria, and the 
hom^ ^ friends he had left there, he exclaimed, in 
a fit of irrepressible sorrow, — 

1. " ' palm-tree, like myself, thou art alone in this land ; thou 

also art away from thy kindred. 

2. Thou weepest, and closest the calix of thy flowers. 

"Why ? dost thou lament the generating seed 

Scattered on the mountains f ' 

3. ' Tes, I do ; for, although they all take root in a congenial 

soil like that Tt'atered by the Euphrates, 

4. Yet orphans aie they all ; since the Beni Abb4s hare driven me 

away from my family.' " 

^ The city arms are : a pomegranate stalked and proper, Oranada. 
Mr. Marsh refers it to the ffranun, or grain-like insect which give^ a 
crimson color. 1 find in the Arabic forms Oamatha and KdmeiUah 
a more probable oriental origin for the name. 


The four verses preserved by Ibnu Hajryan are 
quite dififerent : — 

1. "In the centre of the Rissifah grows a palm-tree, bom in the 

West, away from the country of the pahn-trees. 

2. I once exclaimed : * Thou art like mc, for thou resemblest me 

in wandering and peregrination, and the long separation 

from i-elatives and friends. 
8. Thou (also) didst grow in a foreign soil, and like me art far away 

(from the country of thy birth). 
4. Hay the fertilizing clouds of morning water thee in thy exile ! 

May the beneficent rains, which the poor implore, never 

forsake thee ! ' " 

The later historians, combining these traditional 
poems, have composed a more finished poem, true 
in sentiment, but undoubtedly factitious in its ren- 
dering, and yet so ancient in its exact form, that the 
Arab-Moors have repeated it from generation to gen- 
eration, as a revelation of the character and senti- 
ments of the Ommeyan prince, whose overflowing cup 
of prosperity still contained one bitter drop from the 
cup of exile.^ But the lament of the palm-tree was 

1 Abderrahman era guerrero y poeta, y el mismo compuso & su 
pfilma aquella celebre y tiema balada que los Arabes repetian de 
raemoria, y que revela toda la dulzura de sentimientos del joven 
prindpe Ommiada. — La Fuente, Historiade Espatla, III. 103. 
The following is Conde's Spanish version of the poem : — 

" In tambien insigne palma ores oqui forastera ; 
De Algarbe las dulces auras tu pompa halagan y besan ; 
ISn fecundo suelo arraigas, y al cielo tu cima elevas, 
Trifltes lagrimas Uoraras, si cual yo sentir pudieras. 
Tu no sientes contra-tiempos — como yo de suerto aviesa; 
A mi de pena y dolor — continuas Ihivias me anegan : 
Con mis lagrimas regue — las palmas que £1 Forat riega ; 
Pero las palmas y el rio — se olndaron de mis penas, 


but a contemplative sigh in the midst of a giand and 
successful activity. 

We have reached at 'last the close of this singular 
and eventful career, — truly adventurous and truly 
He ap- great. So little has Christian literature 
his end. kuown of this Arabian hero, and so per- 
sistent has been the hatred of the Spanish historians, 
that one of the greatest governors and generals of 
early modem history has been treated as a legendary 
character, or stands at least in that nebulous light 
which destroys all definition of form and feature. 
We have presented authentic facts upon which to 
base a clearer judgment If these be true, it would 
appear that for thirty years he had been a conquering 
sovereign; the founder of a Spanish djmasty upon 
the ruins of a former one ; a monarch who ruled for 
himself without confiding the labors of administration 
to others. 

When he came, a penniless wanderer, to the narrow 
sea, he was sure of no party, but rather of almost 
universal opposition. Arabian Spain had as yet few 
elements out of which to form a new nation. There 
was no bond of patriotism; there were no national 
manners and customs, but rather a conglomerate of 
the manners and customs of the nations still repre- 
sented there, — the remnants of the old order, more 
influential than their numbers would indicate, and 
the peoples who had joined in or followed the 

Caando mis infaustos hados — y de alabas la fiereza 
Me forzaron a dejar, del alma las dulces prendas 
A ti de mi patria amada ningun recuerdo te queda ; 
Pero yo triste no puedo — dejar de llorar por ello." 


Arabian conquest There were Ai^bians. Syrians. 
Numidians, Bomanized Berbers, mountain Berbers, 
Hispano-Bomans, and Goths. These he was to 
fashion in a national mould ; and to this end not 
only did he conciliate and combine the peoples 
m the Peninsula, but he invited, from every part 
of the Mohammedan empire, his relatives and 
friends, the proscribed or secret adherents of the 
Ommeyades. They came flocking from their con- 
cealments in Syria, Sg7pt> and Africa, and, circling 
round his throne, received his protection, while they 
gave coherence and strength to his government.^ 
This was a truly herculean labor, and yet Abdu-r- 
rahmdn achieved it. 

Religion, too, had greatly languished in the midst 
of revolutions and wars. It was one of the chief 
concerns of the Amir to restore it to its ^^j^ 
rightful authority and its splendor of wor- rtraction 
ship. The Mosque at Cordova was in a Me^Siu. 
ruinous condition, and he set to work to re- <^'^<^^«- 
buQd it on the old site, and to make it rank in gran- 
deur and sanctity with Al Aksa of Jerusalem and the 
temple of Mecca ; nay, to exceed them both. 

Upon this splendid structure, which will be re- 
ferred to hereafter in speaking of Arabian art in 
Spain, he worked with his own hands an hour, and 
often more, daily, and spent large sums of money. 
He doubtless hoped to see its completion, but was 
denied that pleasure, leaving the pious task, at his 
death, to his son and successor, Hisham. He founded 

1 Al Makkari, II. 87. 

VOL. II. 11 


the schools^ and hospitals which surrounded the 
mosques ; and with him commenced that vital prog- 
ress in arts, in science, in general literature, and in 
social life, which constituted Mohammedan Spain, 
from the ninth to the eleventh century, the world- 
centre of human culture, and the arbiter of national 

His personality was as well known, and has been 
as curiously preserved as that of the false prophet 
g^ himself. " He had," says Ibn Zeydun, " a 

penonauty. q\qqj> complcxion and reddish hair, high 
cheek-bones, with a mole on his face; he was tall 
and slender in body, wore his hair parted in two 
ringlets, could only see out of one eye, and was 
destitute of the sense of smelling. He left twenty 
children, — eleven of whom were sons, the remainder 
daughters." " He always dressed in white," says Ibnu 
Hayyan, " and wore a turban of the same color, which 
he preferred to any other ; his countenance inspired 
with awe all those who approached him, whether 
friends or foes." 

He was brave to a fault, always seeking the van of 
battle, and in his anger he was terribla Never self- 
indulgent, he spent much time in visiting the sick, 
in attending funerals, and in reciting prayers for the 
dead. He preached in the Minbar on Fridays. He 
mingled with the people with great affability : hearing 
their complaints ; redressing their grievances ; denying 
himself to no one, however humble, until his coun- 
sellors found him exposed to danger thereby. " May 

^ In these schools, besides theology and law, there were tau^t 
mathematics, physics, medicine, and rhetoric. 


God preserve thy life, Amir!" was the remon- 
strance of one of his favorites: "these continual 
ramblings do not become a powerful sultan like thee ; 
for, if once the eyes of the vulgar become accustomed 
to the sight of thee, all salutary dread and respect 
M'ill vanish away." The advice was taken in good 
part, and he thenceforth abstained from crowds. 

His liberality has been greatly eulogized, and was 
principally displayed at the frequent gatherings of 
the people in Cordova on great days of assembly, 
or when they came to renew their allegiance to him. 
He distributed money, presents, and dresses with his 
own hand, and there were heard from his gracious 
lips such words as these, addressed to one needy ap- 
plicant, whose wants he supplied : " Let all who are 
in the same condition with thyself apply to us for 
help, and make known to us their poverty and mis- 
fortunes, — either personally, or by means of memo- 
rials placed in our hands, — in order that we may 
alleviate the blows of fate, and, by remedying their 
poverty, avert the malignant rejoicings of their ene- 
mies." ^ We jnay be sure the number of applications 
to such a philanthropist was very great 

Itendered suspicious by the numerous revolts and 
conspiracies against him, he cannot be exculpated 
from the charge of cruel ingratitude to the ^^ 
men who aided him in attaining to sov- Jj^jjlj!*^ 
ereignty. To Bedr, the trusty mauli, who '"•°*^' 
bad followed him in his painful wanderings, and 
borne his secret message into the Peninsula, he was 

1 Al Makkari, IL 88. 


unkind and cruel; on what ground the historian 
does not inform us. He stripped him of his honors 
and emoluments ; first cast him into prison, and then 
sent him into exile, where he languished in poverty, 
writing to his relentless master reproaches for his 
ingratitude. ** I verily think," he said, " that> had I 
fallen into the hands of the Beni Abbas, 1 could not 
have been worse treated by them than I have been 
by thee." ^ The fact is given, but the provocation is 
not known. 

To Temam Ibn Al-Eamah, who had proposed his ac- 
cession, his conduct was similar. Forgetting Temam's 
resolution in the council, which offered him the mon- 
archy, and his mission to the African shore to bring 
him over, the prince treated him likewise with cruel 
n^lect, and put his family in such disfavor that 
Hisham, the succeeding monarchy caused one of 
Temam's sons to be, executed, as if carr3ring out 
his father's purpose. 

There were two other men to whom, as we have 
seen, Abdu-r-rahmdn owed much of his original suc- 
cess. They were Abu Othman and Abdullah Ibn 
Khaled. He neglected them both, and thus excited the 
former to rebellion, which resulted in the death of his 
nephew, and that of the prince's own nephew, who 
took part in the revolt ; and he deposed the latter from 
his place as sheik or councillor. Each case may have 
its specific palliation, but that all his early and zealous 
adherents should fare badly at his hands is cumula- 
tive evidence of his ingratitude. " Indeed," says Ibnu 
Hayydn, " if we compare the fate of those who were 

1 Al Makkari, II. 89, 90. 


the principal instruments of Abdu-r-rahman'a sue- 
cess^ and who gave him the empire, with that of those 
who resisted his authority and were subdued, we shsJl 
find that the fate of the -former was the more lament- 
able and severe of the two." 

Perhaps it is a platitude to say, but it should be 
remembered, that king-makers feel their consequence, 
and distastefully proclaim their services, urging as 
an obligation what should be only loyal duty, and 
thus render themselves discordant and painful ele- 
ments in an administration. Monarchs, as nearly 
absolute as Abdu-r-rahman, have in all ages resisted 
such claims, and then lapsed into absolute ingrati- 
tude. Claimants for 'gratitude are living witnesses 
to lasting obligation. 

When the great prince found himself approaching 
the term of his life, he made calm and serious prepa- 
ration for a fitting end. He summoned his Arranges 
hagib, or prime minister, his provincial walisy Booceflsion. 
the governors of the six capUanias, or principal cit- 
ies with their comarcas, and his twenty-four sheiks, 
who acted as privy councillors,^ and, in their pres- 
ence, he declared his son Hisham his Wali al hadi 
(successor to the throne). They all renewed their 
allegiance to the Amir during his life, and to Hisham 
as his successor. This was the act of a monarch, and 
an arbitrary one : for Hisham was his third son; and 
he thus excluded from the succession the two elder 

1 "He had not Wizirs, properly speaking, who administered the 
goTernment in his name ; but he had a certain number of sheiks, 
who sat in council and assisted him with their experience and 
adrioe."— Al Makkari, II. 91. 


sons, Suleyman and Abdullah : but, if arbitrary, it 
was eminently judicious; for Hisham was far the 
ablest of the three. Thus, too, he acted, in his new 
dynasty, with no other precedent than thq^t of suc- 
cession by general lineage. The first Khalifs had 
been elected. At a later period, the succession had 
been established in a family, but not always accord- 
ing to primogeniture. As the founder of a dynasty, 
and anxious for its perpetuation, he assumed the 
right to select, as his successor, the son in whose 
powers and judgment he had the greatest confidence.^ 

That, however, the elder brothers felt themselves 
aggrieved by this preference is abundantly proved by 
their conduct during the reign *of Hisham and that of 
his successor. His brother Suleyman took up arms 
against him, and was defeated ; both brothers after- 
wards revolted against their nephew, Al-hakem, the 
son of Hisham, and Suleyman was slain in an en- 
counter. But, until the death of Abdu-r-rahman, 
they gave no sign of their dissatisfaction. They also 
took the oath of allegiance to Hisham. 

With his little remaining vitality, the Amir set out 
in a litter to Merida, accompanied by his favorite son 
and successor, leaving Abdullah in command at Cor- 
dova, and appointing Suleyman to the government of 
Toledo. His faint hopes of returning strength were 
speedily destroyed. • 

^ " When Abdu-r-rahmdn inquired of hU courtiers how his sona 
spent their time, the answer was : ' If thy son Hisham receives 
company, his hall is thronged with learned men, poets, or histo- 
rians, who discuss the exploits of the brave, and converse about 
military affairs, etc., whereas the hall of thy son Suleyman is always 
filled with sycophants, fools, and cowards.' '* — Al Makkari, II. 95. 


At Merida lie lingered for a few months, and at 
last died on the 30th of September, 788, at the age of 
fifty-nine years, two months, and four days.^ And dies at 
Nothing seems to be known of the reason 788. 
which led him to Merida, and caused him to linger 
and die there. Perhaps it was that nervous desire to 
move, which dying men often display. We are, how- 
ever, told that his body was removed to Cordova, and 
buried with great pomp within the palace, where his 
eldest son Abdullah recited the funeral services at 
his grave ;' and the people mourned the loss of a just 
king and a friend of the poor. 

The first and greatest monarch of the new dynasty, 
— perhaps through a lingering respect for the ancient 
seat of the Khalifate, or perhaps because he had not 
conquered his rights in the East, — he did not at any 
time call himself Khalif, or Aminir-l'Moslemin (Com- 
mander of the Moslemah), or Ami'Hiir'Umufnenin, but 
was known as Amir^ Imdm ; ^ but always indepen- 
dent raler of the Moslemah in Spain. 

There are not wanting historians who have com- 
pared Abdu-r-rahman with his great contemporary 
Charlemagne, to the advantage of the former, comparison 
Careful historical comparisons should never magne. 
be odious, but it is very difficult to conduct them 
without prejudice. Charlemagne is a character well 
known to all. If /able has endeavored to shroud him 

^ This is Cond6'8 account. Al Makkari makes Mm fifty-seven 
at the time of his death, but adds, "some writeis make him sixty- 

' His example was followed by his snecessors nntil the eighth 
monarch of his dynasty (Abda-r-rdhman An nassir), who was led to 
adopt the supreme title by the decline of the Abbasides in the East. 


in romance, history has stripped off the false trap- 
pings, and presented him and his reign \vrith a statis- 
tical accuracy, leaving little to be desired by the 
historical student We read his capitularies; we 
have tables of his councils and his expeditions ; his 
literary projects are clearly defined ; and we know, as 
well as any modern biography, that of the men of 
letters, science, and philosophy, with whom he liter- 
ally filled his court. Guizot has given us a review 
of his correspondence with Alcuin and others.^ His 
greatness is manifest and acknowledged. 

If I have been successful in my portraiture of 
Abdu-r-rahmdn, surely his claims to historic greatness, 
if less known and less influential in Western Europe, 
fairly rival those of the great Charles. His conquest 
of Spain seems almost a miracle. His after admin- 
istration was a marvel of judgment and skill. The 
revolts and conspiracies which he put down equal, 
in labor and in immediate results, the expeditions of 
the Frankish monarch; the schools he established 
about the mosques bear comparison with the scho- 
lastic system of Charlemagne, begun in the cathedral 
schools. His army was larger and better appointed ; 
his wealth greater. He was feared by the Eastern 
Khalifs : he consoMated his own people into a more 
compact utility than the Franks could boast. 

The king of the Franks was the heir of a magnifi- 
cent empire. If he achieved greatness, it was also first 
thrust upon him. The Amir was a homeless wan- 
derer, who built his throne out of nothing. 

^ Histoire de la Civilization en France, lect. zzii. 


He was great in both activities, as a soldier and a 
civilizer : the Christians of his own time called him 
*' the great king of the Moors." * Eoderik of Toledo 
styles him el Adahid (the Just) ; and a sagacious 
contemporary writer, stating the case strongly, says : 
" Charlemagne, the colossal figure of that age, is be- 
littled by comparison with Abdu-r-rahmdn." ^ 

^ It seems to me to savor of Teutonic prejudice that Friedrich 
Schlegol, in speaking of the cloisters and brotherhoods of Charle- 
magne, should write : " It is to the after extension of these spir- 
itual corporations, by whose exertions lands were rendered fruitful, 
and peoples civilized, and sciences useful, and states secure, that 
Western Europe is indebted for the superiority which she attained 
over the Byzantines, on the one hand, who were possessed of more 
hereditary knowledge, and the Arabs, on the other, who had every 
advantage that external power and proselytizing enthusiasm could 
afford them." — Lectures on the History qf LiUralure^ lect. vii 

^ "Carolo Magno, dice un escritor contemporaneo, la figure 
colossal en aquel siglo, queda rebajado en comparacion de Abder- 
Tahman." — Alcantara, Historia de Granaia, torn. I. The com- 
parison is drawn in the interests of historic justice ; and whether 
the reader accepts this conclusion or not, I hope I have succeeded 
in showing that it ib not im worthy of impartial consideration. 


BOOK vin. 




npHE earlier writers on international law were 
-*• puzzled as to the exact period when, in mari- 
time warfare, the change of title to a prize may be 
considered as complete: whether when the capture 
is originally effected and the flag hauled down; 
whether after twenty-four hours of unmolested pos- 
session; whether when brought irrevocably infra 
promdia; or whether only when a prize court, legally 
constituted, has adjudicated the matter, and declared 
the new title a fixed fact 

This discussion may be properly applied to the 
capture of a realm, and the title of sovereignty in 
Thetnie the couqucror. When, soon after his land- 
conqueat. iug in Spain, Abdu-r-rahman had put his 
opponents to flight, and, gathering a large number of 
adherents, had marched in the first flush of victory 
to Cordova, the conquest was virtually concluded. 
Firm possession from day to day, and from year to 
year, strengthened, without absolutely establishing, 
his claims. The collection and organization of his 


large army placed his administratioii infra proBsidia ; 
but it was not until he died that the high court of 
European history sat upon his claims, and declared 
£he Khalifate of Cordova as firmly established as the 
Saxon power in England or the empire of Charlemagne 
in France. Then, and not till then, may we assert 
that the Conquest of Spain was completed, and 
assured against any existing opposition. New ene- 
mies might arise, and new elements be educed to 
attack it, but they were not to be discerned or an- 
ticipated at that time. With the death and testa- 
mentary transfer of the kingdom, the Conquest of 
Spain by the Arab-Moors was an accomplished fact. 

Until then, everything had been provisional The 
rapid occupancy of the territory by Musa and Tank 
had been the furious surge of a tidal wave, which was 
at any time liable to a retrogression. The adminis- 
tration of tlie early Amirs constituted Spain a distant 
colonial appanage of Damascus, liable to be strength- 
ened or weakened by numerous causes, such as the 
strength or weakness of the Eastern throne, the claims 
and counter-claims of the invading tribes — Arabs 
and Berbers — and the strifes of factions, kindled 
for personal advantage by ambitious and unprin- 
cipled adventurers. 

But when the allegiance to the Eastern Khalif was 
thrown ofiT, and the Abbaside Khalif openly defied 
by one who bore the best blood of an older lineage ; 
when the Ommeyan prince had been sustained in fact, 
if not in name, as Al-mumenin, a new and supreme 
Commander of the Faithful, — a new and natioual 
loyalty was created, and the world saw the Conquest 


of Spain rendered complete by its independence of 
the very power under which it had grown to such 
self-asserting strength and proportions. 

Here, then, indeed, the history which I have under- 
taken to narrate finds its term. Spain has been con- 
considcra- ^.^^^red by the Arab-Moors and placed under 
whKt permanent and systematic government. But 
gtves rise, ^.j^g conqucst thus achieved has been prin- 
cipally one of physical force, and there are certain 
corollaries growing out of the main proposition thus 
established, without a consideration of which this 
would be too literal and abrupt a termination of the 
history. What were they as a nation in their new 
home ? What influence did they exert upon the 
history of Europe, then and afterwards ? What did 
they contribute to the civilization of mankind ? In 
a word, what was the value of the conquest ? 

In order to answer these questions correctly, it is 
necessary to present, albeit in the merest outline, 
the remaining history of the Mohammedans as long 
as they remained masters of any portion of the 
Peninsula; the culmination of their power; the great 
causes which were at work to undermine and destroy 
it ; its decadence, and final extinction. 

The dynasties or distinct governmental systems of 
Distinet the Arab-Moors, during their nearly eight 

periods in . • r • i.i 

the history, ccnturies of occupaucy, are convemently 
divided into four : — 

I. From 711, the year of the invasion by Tarik 
under Musa's orders, to the sdvent of Abdu-r-rahman 
Ad-diikhel in 756. During this period, Spain was 


governed by the Amirs of the Khalifs, twenty- two 
in number, beginning with Tarik and Mosa, and 
ending with Tiisuf al Fehrl 

II. From Abdu-r-rahmdn I., who established the 
independent Khalifate, to the disruption of that 
dynasty, — including seventeen Spanish Khalifs of 
the Ommeyades, — from 756 to 1031, and ending 
with the reign of Hisham III. 

III. From 1031 to 1235, during which the Khalifate 
was divided into many petty kingdoms, acknowledging 
no common head, and displaying a weak front to the 
reconquering Christian hosts. It was in this period 
that, under the guise of allies, new peoples who had 
become consolidated in Africa came over, and, while 
usurping the power, made some attempts at union, 
which might stay the progress of the Christians. 
These new invaders from the South were first the 
Almoravides and then the Almohades. 

IV. From 1238 to 1492. During this time, the 
dominion of the Moslems surely and steadily dwin- 
dled away until it was limited to the little kingdom 
of Granada, long tributary to the Christians, which 
was overthrown in 1492 by Ferdinand and Isabella. 

The first of these divisions I have thus far endeav- 
ored to present in detail. I have also given an account 
of the reign of Abdu-r-rahman I. somewhat at length. 
In proceeding to give a brief account of what was 
done in the succeeding periods, I must omit much 
that is of interest, but I shall endeavor to present all 
that is essential to the plan proposed in this history. 
Such is the checkered and often confused 'current of 


events, that it would tax the pen of a more capable 
writer to keep up the interest of the story. It may be 
hoped that, keeping the purpose in view, the reader 
will be willing to lose no link in the chain of destiny 
here so clearly to be discerned. The slow decadence 
of the Moslem power forms really a part of the history 
of the reconquest of Spain by the Christians, as it 
was due to their vigorous, constant, and unrelenting 

It has been seen that, in prospect of death, Abdu-r- 
rahmdn I. had declared his third son, Hisham, his 
successor, to the exclusion of the two elder 
brothers, and that they considered them- 
selves aggrieved at being thus set aside. Basham 
soon vindicated the sagacity of his father by bis 
wisdom, generosity, and justice. He restored the old 
Boman bridge at Cordova, and sedulously furthered 
the interests of all parts of his dominions ; but his 
chief labors still remain to astonish and gratify the 
traveller, in the great mosque at Cordova, begun by 
his illustrious father, but completed by him towards 
the end of his reign, in the year 796. Additions 
were made to the building, and new cotirts enclosed, 
by his successors ; but the main structure, even as it 
is seen to-day, owes its existence to the zealous 
thought of the father, and the pious and arduous 
labors of the son. 

It was also during the reign of Hisham that the 
first steps were taken towards a change in religious 
decisions. I have already spoken of the four Orthodox 
sects among the Mohammedans. Just as the Arabians 
were about to invade Spain, there was bom in Balbek 


a religious philosopher named Al auza'ei, who became 
profoundly versed in the traditions of the faith, and 
whose doctrines, after becoming established at Da- 
mascus, naturally made their way with the Amirs 
into Spain. There they remained in full vigor until 
this reign, when the learned doctors of Andalusia 
began to utter legal decisions according to the opin- 
ions of Malik Ibn Ans, of Medina, the most re- 
nowned of their Imdms. In the succeeding reign, 
the change had been fully made. The rites of Al 
auza'ei were abandoned, and those of Malik substi- 
tuted, the more readily that this change constituted 
another element in their declaration of independence. 
Hisham was succeeded by his son, Al-hakem L, 
against whom his uncles, still contesting the throne, 
revolted, but without success. His reign is is succeeded 

by his aon, 

marked by his wars with Louis, the son of Ai-hokem, 
Charlemagne, upon the line of the Spanish march; 
and he appears as the first of the new dynasty to 
surround himself with oriental splendors, and a nu- 
merous retinue of guards and courtiers, — mamelukes, 
eunuchs, and men renowned for science and lit- 

The history of Al Makkari abounds with illustrative 
anecdotes of all these reigns, which- I reluctantly 
omit. Al-hakem died in 822, and was worthily suc- 
ceeded by his eldest son, Abdu-r-rahman II. ^i^^.^ 
Under his banners, the bitter contest with ^^^^ ^^ 
the North went on, and he conducted it with resolute 
vigor. He invaded Castile and Galicia ; defeated the 
Christian king, Alfonso II. of Leon, capturing and 
destroying his chief city, Leon. So important was 


his power considered, that he received an embassy 
from Theophilus, Emperor of the East, in 839, re- 
questing him to join with his forces to check the 
aggression of the Abbaside Khalifs ; but, while thus 
called upon for a distant eastern movement, he found 
a new and essential use for his troops at home. The 
Northmen (Majus), who, as Danes, had invaded Eng- 
land, and as Northmen had already given cause of 
grief to Charlemagne in France, now appeared with 
unwonted hardihood upon the coast and rivers of 
Spain. They entered and ravaged SeviHe, and were 
away before the Khalif could come up with them. 

According to Al Makkari, this Khalif added two 
porches to the great mosque at Cordova. The death 
of Abdu-r-rahmdn II. occurred in 852. The succeed- 
ing reigns of Mohammed, Al-mundhir, and Abdullah 
until 912, are marked by no important events, except 
the partial destruction, during the reign of Mohammed, 
of the city of Cordova by an earthquake, accompanied 
by a severe storm of thunder and lightning. " The 
mountains were rent asunder ; the castles and palaces 
were levelled with the dust ; the birds left their nests 
in the branches of the trees, and the wild beasts for- 
sook their dens; the inhabitants, fearing that they 
might be buried under the crumbling roofs, fled to 
the open country."^ This is specially worthy of 
notice, because, allowing for exaggerations, it may 
account for the disappearance of some of those splen- 
did palaces, so glowingly described, of which not a 
trace now remains. Left in too ruinous a condition 

1 Al MakkAri, II. 12S. 


to be rebuilt^ they crumbled away, and their materials 
were used for other purposes. 

We come, in the year 912, to the accession of 
Abdu-r-rahmioi III., the grandson of Abdullah. 
During this reign, we can still observe at The halcyon 
the first glance the increasing power and Ibda-r- 
splendor of the Spanish KhaUfate : while a '^^"^ "^• 
second and more penetrating one shows the increase 
of enemies which compassed it on all sides, requiring 
vigilance and constant effort to repel them ; for here 
we are reaching the culminating point in the Moslem 
fortunes in Spain. With what energy and success 
this monarch conducted the affairs of the kingdom is 
manifested in the titles history has accorded him. 
He was called Art^ndsir Hdin-illah (the Defender of 
the true faith), and AMxr-Umotref (the Victorious.) 
He dealt promptly with rebellions among his people, 
and carried on the war against the encroaching Chris- 
tians, whom he defeated at Zamora, so completely as 
to awaken their fears and extort their respect.^ The 
prestige of his name and the reputed splendors of 
his court led distant nations to seek his alliance. . He 
received an embassy from the Slavonians, and another, 
of greater significance, from Constantinople. 

The magnificence with which he received the latter 
is given in detail by Al Makkari, in a quotation from 
Ibnu Hayyan. The scene was the throne-room in the 
palace of Az-zahr4. The throne was " glittering with 
gold and sparkling with gems ; " the entrance court 
was " strewn with the richest carpets and most costly 

^ During his zeign, the Christian Spaniards made little or no 
progress. See Al Makkari, I. 395, note 7. 
VOL. II. 12 


rug3 ; silk awnings of the most gorgeous description 
had everywhere been thrown over the doors and arches." 
The epistle of the emperor^ written in letters of gold 
on sky-blue vellum, sealed with heavy gold, and 
enclosed in a bag of silver cloth, itself encased in 
gold, was presented. Two poets had been selected to 
address the assembly upon the grandeur of the Span- 
ish Kh£difate, and of this reign in particular ; but both 
were struck dumb by the awe of the presence. The 
first fell, fainting to the ground, and the second, ''all 
of a sudden, stopped for want of a word which did 
not occur to him, and thus put an end to his per- 

It was in this reign, too, that there began such a 
new concentration of power in Africa as foreshadowed 
danger to the Khalifate from that quarter, and re- 
quired the Khalif to show himself there with an 
armed force. Like the elder Bnitus and like Con- 
stantine, but with better reason than either, he exe- 
cuted his son, Abdullah, who had conspired against 
him. He was the first of the Spanish Ommeyades 
He eaiu ^^^ assumcd the insignia and title of Khalif. 
"S!m' T^® Eastern Abbasides had become im- 
St^pSth- potent ; their Khalif, Al-Muktadir, had been 
^^" put to death in 929, and then Abdu-r- 

rahmdn allowed himself to be called Amirur-l-Tnu^ 
menin (Commander of the Faithful). 

But all this grandeur did not bring him content- 
ment. After his death, in 961, it was found that he 
had left a paper in the elegiac vein, in which he 
declared that, in all his long life, he only remembered 
to have passed fourteen happy days. 


This notable reign of Abdu-r-rahmdn III. has not 
received the credit which is justly its due, because of 
its position in the current history. It commenced 
nothing, and ended nothing ; but, in truth, it marks 
the most briUiant point in the career of the Spanish 
Moslems, as it contained the vivifying influence 
which gave superior popularity among historians to 
the reign of his son, Al-hakem II. 

The accession of this monarch was celebrated with 
great pomp. AU his subjects were required to take 
the oath of allegiance to the first prince ^.hnkem 
who could adopt by inheritance the title of '^ 
Commander of the Faithful The kingdom of Spain 
had indeed, from the accession of the first Abdu-r- 
rahmdn, been independent, but it had now acquired 
additional prestige by title ; and thenceforth'he who 
considered himself the representative of the prophet 
resided, not in Baghdad, but in Spain. He retained 
the ministers of his father, and continued his policy, 
which had worked so well that, after a prosecution of 
the war in the North, he received a visit from the 
Christian king Ordono IV., of Galicia, that prince 
being at war with his cousin Sancho, sought the aid of 
Al-hakem, which was granted. The Christian monarch 
was awed by the guards and dazzled by the splendors 
of the Moslem court, and abjectly declared himself 
"the slave of the Commander of the Faithful," who 
was ''his lord and master;" and, he added, "I am 
come to implore his favor, to witness his majesty, and 
to place myself and my people under his protection." ^ 

^ The addreases of Al-hakem and Ordoiio may be read in Al 
Hakkaii, IL 168. 


Again the Northmen came, landing at Lisbon, but 
were driven away by the inhabitants before Al-hakem 
could arrive. Again, too, signs of trouble were man- 
ifested in Africa^ and the ELhalif sent an army. to 
reduce the people on the coast to submission. But 
the chief gloiy of Al-hakem's reign was not in the 
splendor of his court, or the importance of his politi- 
cal achievements. From Cairo and Baghdad came 
learned men and skilful scribes to aid him in the 
chief purpose of his life, — the collection of books, 
as material for the, pursuit of science and letters, and 
for the establishment of " the golden age of literature 
in Spain." He had numerous agents in the East em- 
HiB splendid pl^ycd lu purchasing rare and curious books, 
libraiy. ffj^^ merchants found it a profitable busi- 
ness. The Khalif was lavish in his presents to 
authors and collectors. He surrounded himself with 
the best bookbinders, the most careful transcribers 
and those skilful in illuminating the manuscripts. 
The library was in his palace at Cordova; and, ac- 
cording to the chronicler, had no rival in the world, 
except that of An-nasfr, the thirty-fourth Ehalif of the 
house of Abbas, which was destroyed by the Moguls 
when they took Baghdad in 1258. I have reserved 
a further reference to Al-hakem's collection for a later 

The political power bequeathed to him by his father 
had been maintained, and he had added to this, great 
progress in science and literature. If, when he died 
in 976, a successor had appeared worthy to inherit 
these great legacies, — a man active, valiant, and pru- 
dent, a lover of learning, and a patron of authors. 


living and dead^ — instead of being called upon sadly 
to relate the decadence of this splendid empire, the 
historian might have dwelt with pleasure upon a 
firmer government, acquisitions from the enemy, de- 
cisive victories, and a more brilliant civilization. The 
dynasty of the Ommeyades would have lengthened out 
into a shining procession, each monarch striving to 
impallid the splendors of his predecessor by the 
dazzling rays of his own glory ; but unfortunately 
this was not to be. 

When Al-hakem died, in 976, his son and heir, 
Hisham II., was but nine years old. The minority of 
a king, history shows us by many examples, mshamiLt 
is a misfortune to the nation. The am- kki^?^*'*^ 
bitious nobles use a power which they do not nomi- 
nally usurp, and yet it is the worst sort of usurpation, 
because most diflBcult to define and denounce. Con- 
spiracy was rife. A rebellious uncle, Al-Mugheyrah, 
was taken and strangled. The air was full of ques- 
tions and doubts. Who should exercise the power 
which the young king could not wield ? 

There was a young Spanish Arab, bom near Al- 
ge^iras, drawing his lineage from an ancestor who had 
entered Andalus with the invading force of Tarik. 
His name was Mohammed Ibn Abdullah; but as 
afterwards, in his eventful career, he assumed the 
title Al-maTmi/r (the Victorious), the Ara- Aimiui>iir, 


bian historians have called him thus in torioot." 
relating the story of his life. There is, indeed, but 
one Al-mansur in Spanish history. It was he who 
commanded the guards by whom the uncle of Hisham 
was strangled. When a youth he had travelled to 


Cordova, and established himself in a little shop near 
the palace-gate. A skilful scribe, his chief business 
was to write letters for those who could not write, 
and petitions for those who entered the palace seeking 
boons from the monarch. He was soon remarked, 
and recommended by one of the eunuchs of the 
palace to the queen Sobha, the mother of the 
young king Hisham. By his gentle manners and 
generosity he won her heart and her favor, and used 
them to carry out plans which his ambition had from 
the first been secretly devising. 

He pleased the queen greatly by the present of a 
miniature palace wrought in silver, and she introduced 
him into the presence of Al-hakem. The stars were 
propitious to his ambition ; for the Khalif, who was 
addicted to astrology, had found, among the prophecies 
concerning his reign, one referring to a rising man, 
whose hands were of a tawny color, and who had a 
sabre cut on his head. Al-mansur had the tawny 
hands, and was later to have the description completed 
after the death of Al-hakem by receiving a wound on 
the head. 

The story of his intrigues for power is curious and 
interesting. He curried favor with the hijib, Al- 
mus'hdf^. Then he conspired with Ghalib to unseat 
him ; when in turn Ghalib was made hdjib, he turned 
against him with a like success. The weak young 
Khalif at first was suspicious of this powerful in- 
triguer, but soon folded his hands and permitted him 
to take the chaige of the treasures, and at last to 
wield the entire power. Al-mansur then assumed great 
state, took a grand guard of Berbers into his pay, and 


built a powerful castle, rivalling even that of royalty, 
which he called " Medinat Az-zdhirah." He arrayed 
himself in royal robes, issued gold and silver coin bear- 
ing his name, and required the priest to read a prayer 
for him in the great mosque, immediately after the 
Khotbah, or prayer for the Ebalif. It was after 
reaching this climax of arrogance that he assumed 
the titles Al-hdjib (the Supreme Minister), and Al- 
mansur (the Victorious). 

And what substantial reasons could he present for 
such unblushing impertinence ? The very strongest 
or he could not have sustained himself. The „. „.„^. 

116 Tuturps 

king was a recluse and a dreamer, unfit to ^J wi^t 
rule ; Al-mansur was a man of the greatest ^^^ ^^^'' 
gifts. His government was just and rigorous ; the 
people respected, if they did not love him. He was 
a distinguished warrior, happiest when in the field. 
He fought fifty-six pitched battles without losing a 
single one. He forced the Christians back at all points. 
He destroyed Leon. He flew southward to defeat 
the Idrisites in Africa; for he. foresaw that out of 
Africa a new destroyer was to come, unless his power 
should be nipped in the bud. He formed an alliance 
with the Zenetes, and crushed them when they in 
turn became treacherous. He captured Barcelona, the 
chief city of the Spanish march ; invaded Galicia, and 
destroyed Santiago, its chief city. 

Here was a hero to whom the people would grant 
almost anything : a man to trust, a rock to lean 
against; one who might have usurped the title of 
Elhalif with the power, and did not. All this time, 
while Al-mansur was acting, Hisham lay concealed in 


the palace ; and when Al-mansur was on his cam- 
paigns, the king was carefully watched bj others; 
not with a view to his injury, but because Al-mansur 
could not afford to lose him. He was not a man, but 
a name, and that name was respected by the people. 

Occasionally, to convince the multitude that the 
king still lived, the great minister brought him out^ 
arrayed in his royal robes, and mounted on horse- 
beu^k ; he held a sceptre in his hand, and Al-mansur, 
on foot, led his horse by the bridle. 

Al-mansur died on the 7th of August, 1002, leav- 
The death of ius the kingdom in an unfortunate condi- 
xninbiter. tiou. It was no lougcr an important 
question, who should be king, but who should be 
h&jib ; and the more unanswerable inquiry was, who 
could succeed Al-mansur. His hand had been felt 
in every department; he had made additions to the 
mosque at Cordova; he had built many structures 
besides his own castle ; he had constructed a bridge 
across the Xenil at Ecija. He had written the com- 
plete text of the Kor&n with his own hand, and car- 
ried it with him in all his campaigns. His servants 
were directed to collect all the dust which gathered 
in his garments during his marches against the in- 
fidels, and preserve it in a bag, to be mixed, when he 
should die, with the spices used in embalming him. 
He bore, as another memento Toori, his grave-clothes 
always with him ; and the winding-sheet was made 
of linen grown on the land he had inherited from his 
father, and spun and woven by his own daughters. 
His constant prayer was that he might die while 
making war against the Christians, and this was 


granted him. Thus he is represented as very devout 
and very moral He had, it is said, enjoyed wine in 
moderation until two years before his death, when he 
abandoned its use. Whatever his faults, here was a 
real hero whose valiant exploits conquered a popu- 
larity which he did not stoop to seek. 

Except Abdu-r-rahman L, whose career has so 
many salient and romantic points, the greatest name 
in the annals of Moslem Spain is that of Al-mansur. 
In the words of the risdleh of Ash-shakandi : '' I know 
no other Moslem who, in his conquests of the Chris- 
tian territory, reached, sword in hand, to the very 
shores washed by the Green Sea [Bay of Biscay] ; 
who did not leave in the infidel country a single 
Moslem captive ; who surpassed Herkal [Heraclius] 
in the number of his armies, Ishkander [Alexander] 
in prudence and mUitery talents ; and upon whose 
tomb, when his doom was decreed, the following 
verses were engraved: — 

" * The traces he left behind will tell who he was, as if thou saw- 
est him with thine own eyes. 
By Allah 1 the succeeding generations will nerer prodnce his 
equal, nor one who knows better how to defend our fron- 
tiers.' " * 

Upon his death, which, notwithstanding his ap- 
parent usurpation of power, caused the greatest 
sorrow to King Hisham, Abdu-1-malek, the ^^^ ,j,^ 
son of Al-mansur, succeeded without ques- ^^**>' 
tion to the post of hdjib, being endued with the khU *ah 
or robe of honor, and having his commission signed 
by the king himself. Thus the precedent was made 

I Quoted by Al Makkari, I. 84. 


of a lineal succession of hdjibs, parallel with the 
lineal succession of kings. After following in the 
footsteps of his father for seven years, he died in 
1008, and his place was occupied by his brother, 
Abdu-r-rahman, who felt himself so strong in his 
office that he extorted from the Khalif, Hisham, who 
was still kept in seclusion, the nomination as suc- 
cessor to the throne. Like causes produce similar 
results : this was the re-enactment in Spain of the 
maires du palais usurping the throne of the sluggish 
kings in France ; with singular exactitude of persons 
and order, — Al-mansur,the Peppin of Heristal; Abdu- 
1-malek, a weaker Martel ; and Abdu-r-rahman a less 
successful, but equally ambitious, Peppin le Bref. 
There the parallel ends : the Carlovingians in France 
were on the flood-tide to fortune; the hajibs of Hisham 
were struggling against a fearful ebb. At this juncture 
there was no Moorish Charlemagne. 

Not only was the Khalif s promise given, but in a 
wordy and humiliating proclamation, and with solemn 
investiture, the inheritance was bestowed upon the 
hdjib for "the generosity of his soul, the greatness 
of his origin, the nobility of his descent ; his piety, 
his prudence, his wisdom, his talents ; . . . since, in 
short, he [the Khalif] knows him to unite in his own 
person every good quality." ^ 

But although centuries had elapsed since the Ara- 
The hefr bi*^^ tribes came into Spain, their old jeal- 
jpjarcnt Qusics wcrc uot yet laid to rest. The family 
Btroyed. ^£ ^j^^ ambitious hajib were Yemenites; 
the Beni Ummeyah and the proud Koreishites, who 

1 Al Makkari, II. 228. 


caied litde who was king, would not brook such 
rivalry. They revolted against Abdu-r-rahmdn, 
seized him, and cut off his head The active chief 
of the conspirators, Mohammed, great-grandson of 
Abdu-r-rahmdn III, then confined the unfortunate 
king, Hisham, more closely, gave out that he was 
dead, and declared himself Khalif by the immediate 
grace of Ood, AUmvJidirhUlah (directed by the grace 
of God). 

But this usurpation of the offices of hdjib and khalif 
was a dangerous business. This time it was not the 
pure Arabian blood alone that conspired. The Berbers 
and Zenetes rose in revolt, while the people of Cor- 
dova sided with the usurper. It was at the instance 
of the citizens that Al-muhdi issued an edict expel- 
ling these African tribes from the city. This was 
the beginning of a new and most serious complica- 
tion. After their ejectment, these tribes proclaimed 
Suleyman, Al-musta '{n-bUlah (the implorer of God's 
assistance) ; and under his banner they marched against 
Al-muhdl There was varying success until, after 
being once driven from Cordova to Toledo, Al-muhdi 
returned, and was compelled to resort to a humiliat- 
ing means of saving his life and his office as hajib. 
He announced that Hisham was not dead; he fol- 
lowed the announcement immediately by presenting 
him to the people, demanding anew their oath of alle- 
giance to him; and then, divesting himself of his false 
royalty (as one may say, newly directed by the Lord), 
he reserved only his office of high chamberlain until, 
perchance, he might again use it as a stepping-stone 
to the higher dignity. But in those days it seemed 



that for eveiy Mjib Allah had foreordained an assas- 
sin. Mohammed Al-muhdi met such a fate, and then 
the confusion became worse confounded. Arabian 
Spain became a prey not to foreign enemies, but to 
eveiy bold miscreant within her own borders who 
wore a sword, and who could inspire a party. 

Under Suleyman, the Berbers captured Cordova, 
plundered it, and massacred its inhabitants, and 
Inroads of thcnceforth they renounced all authority; 
the Berben. ^.j^^y gppg^d like a plaguc over Andalusia, 

taking towns and districts, and preparing for that 
fatal segregation which was, after a little space, to 
give up the entire country to the successful inroads 
and occupation of the victorious Christians of the 
north. It was in this desperate conjuncture that the 
Beni Hammvd arose. In the time of Al-mansur this 
Hammud had appeared and asserted himself as a de- 
scendant at ten removes from Ali, the cousin and son- 
in-law of the prophet By prudence and cunning he 
had gained power and adherents, and now his sons, 
Al-kasim and Ali, were strong enough to shake off 
the usurping yoke of Suleyman and to cause his 
assassination after a stormy rule of three years. 

Both Ali and Al-kasim, in turn, were placed upon 
the throne, but only to perish by the hand of the 
assassin; and thus, while figuring as khalifs in the 
dynasty of the Ommeyades, they were in reality only 
the founders of the djmasty of the Beni Hammud, 
who were never more in reality than kings of Cor- 
dova. Al-kasim was captured and strangled in the 
year 1035. 

We need not follow the confused, and in many 


respects siiDilar, history of the remaining khalifs of 
the united empire, Abda-r-rahmdn Y., Mohammed 
III., Yahja Ibn Ali, and Hisham III. 

The last of these, a man of noble but mild dis- 
position, was king most of the time in name rather 
than in reality; he disputed the right to Theendof 
rule with Tahya, and died in retirement in S\^JoS^ 
the year 1036. In the words of Al Mak- '"•^ades. 
kari^ ''he was the last member of that illustrious 
dynasty, which had ruled over Andalus and a great 
portion of Africa for a period of two hundred and 
eighty-four years, counting from the accession of 
Abdu-r-rahman I., surnamed Ad-dakhel, in 756."^ In 
conventional phrase, not without a sigh of resignation 
he adds : " There is no God but Him I He is the 
Almighty ! " 

Thus the second period in the Moro-Arabian occu- 
pancy of Spain came to its end, and with its dose 
there were only gloomy forebodings for the future ; — 

** Moz datnroB 
Progeniem vitiosiorem.'' 

I Al ICakkaii, IL 244. 




TT is no part of the task which I have assumed to 
•^ enter into the details of the later history, so fall 
of historic interest and poetical romance. The dy- 
nasty of the undivided Ehalifate having come to an 
Spain ®^^» Arabian Spain fell literally to pieces, 

tato pet^ the remaining history being that of petty 
kingdoms, kingdoms. Each city was a royal residence, 
and every successful chief became by courtesy a 
monarch and the founder of a short-lived dynasty. 
Thus we ha»ve in Malaga the Beni Idris, — from Idris, 
the son of Yahya Ibn Ali, — from 1036 to 1055 ; the 
kings of AlgeQiras, likewise Beni Idris, — from Moham- 
med, the grandson of Hamud, — from 1040 to 1058 ; 
the Zeyrites, in Granada, from 1013 to 1090; the 
Beni Jehwar, of Cordova, from 1030 to 1058 ; the 
Beni 'Abba'd of Seville, from 1023 to 1091; 
the Beni Dhf-n-niin, of Toledo, from 1012 to 1086 ; 
the Beni Tojib and Beni Hud, in Saragossa, from 
1012 to 1146 ; the Beni Al-afbas, in Badajos, from 
1009 to 1094; the Beni Abl 'Amir, in Valencia, 
from 1021 to 1092 ; the Beni Tahir, in Murcia. from 
1038 to 1091 ; and, no further to specify, the little 


kingdoms of Almeria, Denia, the Balearic Islands, 
and As-sahlah (a small district between Murcia and 

These petty kings were sometimes fighting against 
each other, and sometimes joining hands to oppose 
the down-coming Christians, until they were startled 
by a new incursion from Africa, from which they 
hoped little and feared much. It was, indeed, a new 
Mohammedan incursion, which might be efifectual to 
stay the Christians indeed for a time, but which, in 
consolidating Isldm, threatened destruction to the 
existing kingdoms by the absorption of every one of 
them in this African vortex. I refer to the coming 
of the Almoravides. 

These Hew hosts from Mauritania were soon to 
march into Spain ; and, while they were to trample, 
without compunction, upon the Moslem TheAi- 
rights, and to usurp the power of the kings, ^o^^^^ei. 
all that could be predicted in their favor was that 
they would stay for a brief period the progress of the 
banner of the cross. The philosophy of their rise 
and progress in Africa is easy to explain. With the 
contraction and consolidation of power at the seat of 
the Eastern Elhalifate, with far more important in- 
terests in Asia than in Africa; and with a like con- 
traction and consolidation in Spain, — which ended 
in the final disruption of the Ommeyan dynasty, — 
Africa had been left as an intermediate ground, where, 
neither power being felt, the field was clear for new 
men to devise new and ambitious schemes. The 
Fatimite Elhalifs, founded by Al-mahdi in the ninth 
century, conquered Egypt and held sway in Eastern 


Africa until they were finally destroyed by Saladin 
in the twelfth century. But, always looked upon by 
the Abbasides with disfavor as Shiites or heretics, 
they were too weak, too much concerned for their 
own safety, to interfere in these new schemes which 
were taking form in the centre and west of northern 

In this condition of affairs, it happened that, on the 
other side of the Atlas chain, there arose, in the deserts 
Yiiaaf ibn ^^ aucicut G^tuUa, a Berber of the family of 
TMhefln. Lamtuna, named Yiisuf Ibn Tashefin. The 
Lamtunas were a part of the great tribe of the Zanaga, 
who — not in the direct march of the conquest, or of 
later communications — were roused from their long 
AndAiH lethargy by anew religious revival Abdullah 
Taaim. Ibu Yssim, a Moromte, or man of God, of 
great sanctity, beginning with the Lamtunas, preached 
a new crusade, not against the Infidel, but with pur- 
pose to reform the degenerate Moslemah. Such, at 
least, was the inception of what was soon to prove 
a formidable invasion of Spain. Abdullah was the 
preacher and Tiisuf the warrior. At the call of Abdul- 
lah, eighty thousand of the tribe of Zanaga flocked to 
the standard of Yiisuf. Their religious enthusiasm 
made them monks — " wearers of the veil " — ^as well 
as warriors ; and, at the bidding of the preacher, they 
assumed the name of Al-morahith (men devoted to 
God), which has taken the form of Almoravides in 
the languages of Europe. 

This large and constantly increasing force, occupy- 
ing fertile spots on the edge of the desert, wandered 
hither and thither, gaining momentum and mobility^ 


and at last, as if at a bound, they crossed the Atlaa 
Mountains, and came like an inundation upon the 
West. Thus growing in numbers and in wealth, 
under the prudent but stem rule of Yiisuf, they be- 
came disciplined, and, from a desultory horde, were 
changed into a mighty host, marshalled for conquest 
and empire. It became a dominion and a dynasty : 
the political conditions rose superior to the religious 
purpose. Yiisuf founded the city of Morocco, and 
the new Telemsan. Nothing in northern Africli could 
resist the extension of his sway. 

He was already looking beyond Africa for fields 
worthy of his powers, and was prudently devising 
the best mode of invading Spain. He was already 
called by his people Amir of the Modemah and D&* 
femder of the Faith ; he would wait for a more ex- 
tended conquest before assuming the title of Khali£ 
It was in this conjuncture of affairs that he was called 
upon to enter Spain, where the segregated Moslemah 
were waging the never-ending battle with the ad- 
vancing Christians, and losing ground at every shock. 

The Arabian chroniclers have given us the details 
of his personality ; and, as he was the most prominent 
figure in the events soon to follow, we may charactw 
dwell for a moment upon their portraiture. SmoP**^ 
Not noble by birth, nor honored by fortui- ^^"'• 
tons station, he had the gift, so rare in history, of 
inciting, marshalling, and governing vast numbers of 
men, and leading them to great achievements. His 
description by eye-witnesses of his exploits helps us 
to understand the history. He was a tall, thin man, 
of clear brown complexion (daro moreno)^ with piero- 

YOL. II. 13 


ing black eyes, under arched brows ; an aquiline nose ; 
thick black hair; very little beard; his voice was 
clear and ringing. He was valiant in war» prudent 
in government, austere and grave, but very liberal; 
modest and decent in dress, never wearing any but 
woollen garments ; moderate in pleasures, affable in 
manners^ and very sparing in diet, living upon camel's 
milk and flesh, and barley bread.^ Thus he was at 
once a leader and an example to his followers. 

Such was the man who was called into Spain at 
the moment when, of all things, he desired to go there; 
He i8 called ^* happened in this wise. Alfonso VI. had 
intospaia already captured Toledo on the 10th of 
June, 1081, and had set about the task most odious 
in the eyes of the Moslemah of " converting them to 
polytheism."' With an insolence that grew with 
success, he had invaded the Moorish territories of 
Badajos and Seville, and compelled their kings to 
compound for his withdrawal by paying tribute. Al- 
mu'tamed, king of Seville, being engaged in war 
against the king of Almerid, — a fact significant of the 
internecine troubles among the Moslemah, — did not 
pay the tribute when due, but let the time pass, by 
only a few days. When the tardy tribute arrived, 
Alfonso would not receive it, but imposed certain 
new conditions. One was that the king of Seville 
should cede to him certain fortresses ; and another, 
of the most extraordinary nature, was that Al- 
fonso's queen Constanza, who was then enceinte, 
should be allowed to reside during her retirement^ 

1 atad by La Fuente, Historia de Espafla, lY. 865. 

^ The trinitarian doctrine as opposed to the monotbeism of IsUnu 




'with a proper retinue, and biing forth her ohild in 
the great mosque of Cordova, or in the palaoe of Az- 
zahia» on account of the sacredness secured to that 
spot, in his eyes, by the fact that a venerable Christian 
ohuroh had stood to the west of the great mosque. 

The bearer of this insolent request was a Jew, one 
of Alfonso's ministers, who added to the insult of 
this demand by the arrogance and pertinacity ^ifonao's 
with which he preferred it The anger of 8^ui&^ 
the Moslem king got the better' of his prudenca He 
seized an inkstand, and threw it with such force 
^ that it lodged in the skull of the Jew, whose brain 
feU down his throat," and then, as if to restore the 
unfortunate brain, and certainly to put the greatest 
scorn upon the Christian king, he executed the Jew- 
ish ambassador by nailing him to a post with his 
head downward.^ 

The rage of Alfonso when he received these tidings 
knew no bounds, and his measures for revenge were 
prompt and powerfuL He at~once raised two armies : 
one under the command of an enterprising general, 
who, after laying waste the territory of Beja, was to 
proceed to Sevilla Taking command of the other in 
person, he marched directly to Seville ; and when the 
armies met on the bank of the Guadalquiver, he be» 
sieged the town. 

It was in this critical emergency that the Moorish 
king of Seville determined to ask the aid of Yiisuf 

1 Al Makkari, 11. 271. This is followed by another and slightly 
different account, that the escort of the Jew^ fire hundred in num- 
ber, were put to death, all but three ; and that the king seized the 
ambassador by the throat, and '* shook him and beat him until the 
eyes came out of his head." — lb. 272. 


and his Almoravides. He reasoned with himself and 
with his counsellors thus : '' If I treat with Alfonso, 
the infidel, I may bu; him off; but this will not be 
agreeable to Allah : if I lean for support on Yiisuf, I 
do an act agreeable to Him ; and, as for consequences, 
it is better to be a camel-<lriver [as Yiisuf 's prisoner] 
than a keeper of pigs [for Alfonso in Castile]." 

Armed with tins logic, and not shrinking from the 
singular result in the near future that he should be 
Yiisuf 's prisoner in Africa, he announced his intention 
to introduce the Almoravides. This announcement 
gave pleasure to most of the Moslem people : it was 
only the petty kings who were concerned at it ; they 
could easily be swallowed up ; in their opinion, there 
was no room for such a host in Spain. But Al- 
mu'tamed lost no time in carrying out his project. 
He wrote to the kings of Badajos and Granada to send 
him their chief kadis ; he sent for the supreme judge 
of Cordova. To these ministers when they arrived he 
added his own wizir ; and the embassy of four thus 
formed he sent across the strait to Yi^uf. 

Meantime, that far-seeing leader had been busy in 
preparation for the very task to which he was now 
summoned. Berbers were constantly flocking to his 
standard, and already, in a vague correspondence with 
some of the chief men of Andalus, he had intimated 
his purpose to be their ally and good friend. 

The arrival of the embassy from Seville presented 
ab4 Is re- the coveted opportunity. He gave orders for 
tfaeMooriih the immediate crossing of his army from 

king of ^ " 

sevTua. Ceuta, and was met by a fleet of boats fitted 
out by the Sevillians, and supplied with provisions in 


laige quantity. When all his troops were landed, he 
marched without delay to Seville, ''army after army, 
general after general, and tribe after tribe/' Alfonao 
hastened to meet him, with the purpose, according to 
a letter written to Al-mu'tamed, "to give him occupa- 
tion for the rest of his days 1 " Upon his arrival, Yiisuf 
had marched to Badajos ; and the Christian king, in- 
stead of beating up his quarters, thought to crush the 
king of Seville before he could receive succor. The 
battle between Al-mu'tamed and Alfonso was long and 
bloody. The great number of African camels fright^ 
ened the Sevillian cavalry and threw them into dis- 
order. The Moorish king was severely wounded, and 
his troops had lost heart ; but the sorely pressed mon- 
arch, thinking of a pet child at home, held on hoping 
against hope.^ 

It was then that he received intelligence of the 
arrival of Yiisuf Ibn Tdshefin, who had been delayed 
by the stratagem of Alfonso. He had sent,, on Thurs- 
day morning, to Al-mu'tamed this message : ** To- 
morrow is Friday and a holiday for the people of thy 
creed ; so is Sunday for those of ours. Let the battle 
take place on the intermediate day, which is Satur- 
day." This ruse de guerre, although suspected by the 
king of Seville, and communicated, with the suspicion, 
to YiiBuf, came near being fatal to the Moslemah. 
Making his preparations, and employing his scouts on 

1 The itoiy is toaching: '<0 Abii Hifihlmr ha exclaimed, 
«< the evord has fractured my bones, but God gaye me courage and 
endurance during the bloody conflict. Amidst the clouds of dust I 
think of thy pleasant person, and the pleasant thought induces me 
not to flee." -- Al Hakkabi, II. 285. 


Thursday night, Alfonso fell upon the Sevillian camp 
the next morning, and, as we have seen, nearly anni- 
hilated that force before Yiisuf could come to their 
assistance. When he did come in the extreme mo- 
ment, by the fiercest fighting he not only extricated 
Al-mu'tamed from his peril, but achieved a complete 
victory over the Christians. Alfonso, wounded in 
the thigh, was borne away in the flight ; his camp was 
taken and plundered ; and thousands of his bravest 
were killed or taken prisoners. 

Of this battle of Zalacca, fought on the 23d of 
October, 1086, in the plains not tea from Badajos, 
The battle Coud^ says, it " was the most fortunate and 
ofzakccft. eventful of any fought since that of Tar- 
muz and the day of Cadesia ; seeing that the battle, or 
rather the infidel downfall of Zalacca, caused the seat 
of Islam to be made firm in Andalusia ; and, whereas 
before that time the foot of the believer had become 
feeble, and was slipping away from the path traced 
out for him by the hand at Grod, it now became ooih 
finned in strength, and the Faithful returned to their 
pristine constancy in the law." * 

To strike terror into the Christian hearty Yiisuf, 
who now assumed the title Amir Al-mumenin, or 
'* Commander of the Faithful," — equivalent to Efaalif 
or Sultan, — cut ofiP the heads of the Christian dead 
and the prisoners, and distributed them through An- 
dalusia. He sent to each of the cities, — Seville, Cor- 
dova, Valencia, Saragossa, and Murcia, — ten thousand 
of these ghastly trophies of victory ; and ^ad besides 

^ Cond^ Dominacion de los Arabes, II. part uL ch. XTiiL 


forty thousand to despatch to Africa, in order to show 
the people'What a famous victory Allah had conferred 
upon the Moslem arms.^ If anything further was 
needed to crown the Moslem success, it was the 
death of Alfonso of the wound he had received in 

After being magnificently entertained at Seville, 
Y^uf made preparations to return to Africa ; but it 
soon became evident that the mighty host Ttkanf m- 
he had brought over liked Andalus better AfHc*. but 
than Africa, and had no disposition to go main. 
back. His movements were quickened when, in the 
height of the general rejoicing, he received inteUi* 
genoe of the death of his son, Abu Bekr, at Morocco. 
This gave him an excuse for hurrying over in person, 
and leaving for the time his army in Spain, to pursue 
their victory over the Christian, by vigorous advance 
and the recapture of the towns on the frontiers of 
Gralicia. Thus history repeated itself, and the Al- 
moravides became masters of Moslem Spain. 

The narrative of the exploits and successes of the 
Almoravides in Spain is long and interesting, but the 
details would be out of place in this history. They 
form a part of the reconquest, and present another 
illustration that " a house divided against itself cannot 
stand." A few more words will complete our ab- 
' stract 

When, after travelling through his dominions in 
Africa, Ttisuf returned to join his army in Spain, it 
was with the full purpose to occupy the country and 

^ Cond^, Dominacion de Iob Arabes, II. part ill. ch. ztL 


exercise supreme control there. He would resist the 
Christian advance by uniting and commanding the 
Moslemah : if the Moslemah resisted, he would chas- 
tise them into submission. Meantime his armies had 
been making conquests in Galicia. 

In the year 1090, he laid a vigorous siege to Toledo, 
the newly-conquered capital and court of the Chris- 
tian king ; but his efforts were unequal to its Betaraiand 
capture. He had sent word to Abdullah tokSS^ 
Ibn Balkan, the Zeyrite king of Granada, to join him 
with his forces ; and, on his neglect to do so, Yiisuf 
penetrated to his capital, made him prisoner, and, seiz- 
ing his treasures, sent him in irons to Agmdt. Then 
the decree went forth, and his generals set out to 
conquer the whole of Andalus. Valencia, Bad%jos, 
and Cordova fell one by one into his hands ; and at 
last he turned against Seville, his former ally, and 
besieged Al-mu'tamed in his capital It is signifi- 
cant of the situation that the king of Seville was now 
reduced to ask the aid of the Christian king against 
Yiisuf. In spite of a diversion in his favor by 
Alfonso, which was checked by a detachment sent 
for that purpose, Seville was captured, and Al-mu- 
'tamed made prisoner. He was sent to Africa, where 
he died in captivity four years afterwards:^ and 

^ There are many anecdotes of Al-mn'tamed, as indeed of every 
Andalusian monarch of note. One, which is not germane to the 
history indeed, gives a glimpse of the condition of woman, and the 
seraglio life in Spain. His favorite wife Romeykiyyih "hap- 
pened to meet, not far from her palace in Seville, some country- 
women selling milk in skins and walking up to their ankles in mad. 
On her return to the palace, she said to her royal spouse, ' I wish I 
and my slaves could do what those women are doing.' Upon which 


when on the Mohammedan Easter some of his 
friends penetrated into his prison, they found him 
dressed in worn-out clothing; while his daughters 
were reduced to wander about barefooted, gaining a 
miserable pittance by spinning.^ 

The downfall of the petty but independent king- 
dom of Seville was the seal of the Almoravide su- 
premacy in Spain. But the power thus gained was 
to be enjoyed by others. Old age, with its infirmi- 
ties, had come upon Yiisuf. For some time, he lived 
in retirement at Ceuta ; and, when he felt the pre- 
monitions of death, he caused himself to be conveyed 
to Morocco, where he died,' in September, 1106, at 
the age of a hundred years, after reigning forty years 
in Africa and seventeen in Spain. A notable hero 
this, whose exploits, had he lived in northwestern 
Europe, would have eclipsed the fame of the contem- 
porary English kings of Norman race, and the rising 
family of Capet in France. In that historic mist, 
which has so long enshrouded the Peninsula and 
northern Africa, heroes are hidden or dimly revealed, 
and it is for the future historian to clear away 
the fog and disclose them in their colossal pro- 

With Ytisuf the power of the Almoravides was 

Al-ma'tamed iraaed orders that the whole of his palace shoald be 
strewn with a thick paste, made of ambergris, musk, and camphor, 
mixed together and dissolved in rose-water. He then commanded 
that a number of vessels, slung from ropes of the finest spuq silk, 
should be procured, and, thus arrayed, the Udy and her maids 
went out of the harem and splashed in that mud." — Al Max- 
KABI, II. 299. 

1 Cond^ II. part iii ch. 


perfected and then culminated. During the thirty-six 
years of the reign of his son, Ali, and the two The domia- 
years of Alf s son and successor, Tdshefin, Aimon- 
troubles accumulated. The Christians still toa&e&d. 
continued their victorious advance ; the Moslemah in 
Spain revolted; again the petty kingdoms declared 
their independence: but the great peril to the Al- 
moravides was not from these combined causes. It 
was brewing at the South. Africans were to conquer 
Africans, and struggle with each other for the occu^ 
pancy of Moslem Spain. From the coming of Yiisuf 
Ibn T^he£(n, in 1092, there had been four eommandera 
of the Almoravides in Spain ; and their dominion ex* 
tended to 1147> a period of fifty-five years.^ 

^ I. Ydsuf Ibn Tdahefin, from 1092 to 1106. II. 'All, to 1143. 
III. T^hefin, to 1145. IV. Is'hiik, to 1147. 




TT is neoessaiy to the completeness of ttiis otitline 
•L to tarn aside from the cuirent of events for a 
brief space, in order to present a slight biographical 
notice of a hero whose wonderful and daring exploits 
are curiously intermingled with those events. His 
personality presents itself vaguely indeed, but none 
the less really, as an exponent of the history and as 
the embodied genius of the reconquest. In the words 
of Schlegel : *' He is worth a whole library ^he cw of 
for understanding the spirit of the age of *">«W«>^ 
which he was the personification/' His history is 
full of romance, which is exaggerated and disfigured 
in chronicles, epic poems, and canciones; but even 
this legendary romance is full of the historic spirit 
I speak of Bodrigo Diaz, the Cid Campeadcr, His 
real exploits, as &r as they can be ascertained, are a 
golden clue to the ever-changing labyrinth ; his poetic 
hazaiUis and hechoa, exaggerated as they are, serve to 
display the estimation in which the noblest prowess 
and the highest magnanimity were held by friends and 
enemies alika Christian kings and Moslem amirs sink 
into insignificance beside the supereminent glory of el 
mio Cid,—^''mj Cid." His splendid mailed figure on 


the matchless horse Bavieca, and wielding the trench- 
ant sword Tiaanay attracts aU eyes on- eveiy field : his 
glory illumines the age. The envy of his fame by the 
Christian kings, fostered by jealous nobles, marks a 
period of disorder in which the Christian monarchs 
forgot that they were fighting for Christianity and 
Spain, and were really contending for personal power 
,^nd aggrandizement His frequent banishments and 
recalls show that any instrument would be used by 
these kings to effect their purpose, and flung aside 
when no longer needed. He beckoned, and men flew 
^ his standard ; he fought for the Christians against 
the Moslemah ; he fought for Moors against Moors ; 
he fought for his own hand, and became a king of 
men without the name. 

It is unfortunate that the historian is limited for 
material to works based upon truth, but enveloped in 
«« craniM fiction. Chief among these is the "Chronicle 
^^" of the Cid," — " Cronica del famoso Ca- 
vallero Cid Buy Diez," which was used in the compi- 
lation of the ''Cronica Greneral" ascribed to Alonzo X. 

Of equal value is the " Poema del Cid,** an epic idyl 
of three thousand lines, of which the date cannot be 
"Poenutdd ^^T^iolj fixed, but which cannot be later 
<^" than the early part of the thirteenth century, 

and was therefore written very soon after the death 
of the Cid. Based upon history, although without 
dramatic form, it is essentially dramatic in char- 
acter, and presents to us the events in the twelfth 

^ It was first paUiahfid at Boigoa in 1508. 


and thirteenth centuries with the rarest local coloring. 
By aid of these documents, we discern the colossal 
fignre of a warrior and a statesman who, although 
noble by birth, like thousands of others, owed his 
promotion and his fame to his own good sword, 
wielded mostly against the infidel, as a champion of 
the Spanish king and of Christian Spedn ; sometimes 
as the ally of one Moorish chief against the en- 
croachments of another ; sometimes as an exile from 
royal envy and injustice: striking out "for his own 
hand " and carving a realm for himself. 

There are, in this changing history, so many dis- 
solving views that baffled historians have held high 
controversy, not only as to the deeds ascribed to him, 
but as to his very existence. The many indeed ac- 
cept the hero of the chronicle and the poem with 
large abatement of detail. A few like Masdeu,^ and ■ 
minor writers like Galieno, deny that any such hero / 
ever existed as a historic character. The final and 
logical acknowledgment of the Cid is prob- Aoe«pted as 
ably due to the decision of the learned penonage. 
Niebnhr. The reader will see in what a cloud'-land 
the historian is obliged to work. 

A bare historic outline of the man and the part he 
played in this eventful stoiy is all that I am called 
upon to giva This the reader may fill in by a care- 
ful study of the chronicle and the poem,, which may 
be divested of the romantic fiction by deeper re- 

^ He WM in ignorance of the contents of a mannscript Chronicle 
of tike Cid of the thirteenth century, cited by Rieoo, which, stolen 
daring the internal disorders of Spain, was by chance bought in Lis- 
bon of a French pedler in 1846. 


searches in the works of Sandoval, Riaco, Qaititana> 
and later controversial writers.^ 

A few details will suffice ns. The father of the 
Cid was Diego Lainez, a man of good family; his 
Thecid*! inother was Teresa Bodriguez, daughter of 
**°^y- the governor of the Asturias : the hero was 
bom about the year 1040 ^ — the exact date cannot 
be determined — at a little village near Burgos named 
Vibar, from which he is often called Bodrigo de Yibar. 
His birth occurred just after the empire of the Om* 
meyades had fallen to pieces, and Moslem Spain, now 
divided into petty kingdoms of unequal strength, had 
lost power by disunion, and presented a tempting a&d 
easy conquest to the Christian Spaniards. Christian 
Spain, long in a state of division, was oonsolidattng 
its power just as Moslem Spain was breaking into 

Look for a moment at the state df these opposing 
dominions. Barcelona, as a separate province, waa 
governed by Bamon Berenguer L, who ruled ttom. 
1035 to 1076. Bamiro I. was king of Aragon (1035- 
Thedi- 1063). Garcia Sanchez II. ruled in Navarre 
sSiSuih*' (1035-1054). But the greater portions of 
tenitoty. Christian Spain, including Castile, Leon, and 
GaUcia, were in the hands of a powerful monarchy 
Fernando L, who, having united these provinces by 
his own skill, had been the first to tip the balance of 

1 The work of Pnidencio Sannoval is, '' Hiatoria de los reyes da 
Gaatilk y Leon ;" that of Manuel Riaco u, " HUtoria del OOebra 
CasteUano Rodngo Diaz, " kc. The opiniona of Marden are set forth 
in hia " Hiatoria Critica de Espa&a y de la oultora espa&oUu" 
* Some writera make it earlier, even aa early aa 1025. 


power and give a great Christian preponderance in 
the Peninsula. Fernando, nnfortiinately for this pre- 
ponderance, died in 1065, and made, besides, a sad 
mistake in his will, to which I shall presently refer. 
' At the time of Femando's death Bodrigo Lainez was, 
if the date of his birth be accepted, about fifteen years 
old. Of good birth and station, of acute intellect, 
great activity, and unrivalled dexterity in arms ; and 
above all a loyal Castilian, Castdlano d las derichas, 
the youth was ready to avail himself of every oppor- 
tunity to display his powers and gain a warrior's fame ; 
to become a hero in the sight of all Christian and 
Moslem Spain. Gentle and magnanimous, he had the 
highest estimate of honor. The chronicle tells us how, 
when his aged father was insulted and stanck in the 
iiEice by Count Gomez, and brooded alone without 
sleep or appetite upon the great humiliation, Bodrigo 
avenged the wrong by slaying the count and bringing 
his dripping head to his disconsolate father : '' and the 
old man arose and embraced his son, and placed him 
above him at the table, saying that he who had 
brought home that head should be the head of the 
house of Layn Calvo." His reputation con- ^j, growiiig 
stantly increased; and when, according to wp«»»*^on« 
the chronicle, he had captured five Moorish kings 
who had invaded Castile, Ximena, the daughter of 
Count Gromez, whom he had slain, foreseeing that he 
would be the greatest man in Spain, sought and ob- 
tained his hand in marriage, and was ever after his 
laving and only wife.^ 

^ Chzonide of the Cid, L ch. iii. 


The story of his sleeping with the leper who was 
shunned by his knights, and thereby gaining the good 
will of St Lazarus and of the holy Viigin, is but a 
strong illustration of his Christian philanthropy, with 
the moral that ''with such sacrifices God is well 

The Christian preponderance in the peninsula, es« 
tablished by Fernando L, was greatly imperilled when 
TheChTi*. it appeared by his last testament that he 
^i^Smdo ^^ made a partition of his kingdom be- 
I. divided, tween his three sons and his two daughters. 
It was not only that this divided and weakened the 
Christian power, but that it was the cause of conflict 
between the inheritors. To Sancho II. he bequeathed 
Castile ; ^ to Alfonso, called the Sixth, he gave Leon ; 
to Garcia he left Galicia ; and he provided for his 
daughters by giving Dona Urraca the city of Toro, 
and to her sister Elvira the city of Zamora. 

Fernando was hardly buried before war broke out 
Sancho, the eldest and the strongest, considering him- 
The diTiiioD self aggrieved by this partition, determined 
results. to invalidate the will, via facta, by seizing 
aU the dominions which he claimed by birthright 
In looking around him for fitting instruments to 
carry out this purpose, he was forcibly struck with 
the martial bearing and initial exploits of the young 
and gallant Bodrigo de Yibar. 

He was already called the Cid ; for when the king 
was restoring and repeopling Zamora, which had been 
in ruins and desolation since its destruction by Al- 
mansur, Eodrigo, who had accompanied him, received 

^ Sancho Garcia was Sancho I. 


messengers from the five Moorish vassal kings, bear- 
ing tribute. They approached him with great respect, 
hailing him as Seidy or Cid, which signifies Lord ; and 
the king, to whom Bodrigo offered a fifth of the tribute, 
then ordered that Buy Diaz should be called thence- 
forth the Cid. To this the title Gampmdor, or champion^ 
was added for his exploits in the field as the cham- 
pion of Christianity. This sounding and significant 
title, so well bestowed and so splendidly vindicated, 
has come down in the history as marking his person- 
ality far better than his family name. King Sancho 
at once took him into his counsels ; knighted him 
with his own hand,^ and soon after appointed him 
Al/erez, or commander of his troops. By his aid 
Sancho drove his brother Alfonso away from his 
kingdom of Leon, and sent him flying in. exile and 
humiliation to the Moorish city of Toledo, where he 
at least acquired that knowledge which helped him 
to capture this city at a later day. Without un- 
necessary delay, Sancho, having occupied Leon, turned 
his arms against Garcia, and ejected him from Galicia. 
With equal and rapid fortune, he despoiled his sisters, 
first of Toro, and then of the newly-restored Zamora. 
Once again the Christian power was consolidated, and 
the unfortunate testament of Fernando nullified. 

But the death of Sancho, in 1072, put an end to the 
usurpation, without destroying the consolidation of 
power. As soon as the tidings reached Alfonso, he has- 
tened froih his exile in Toledo, to recover his own king- 
dom of Leon ; while Garcia, with equal speed, resumed 

1 The "Cionica"em in flaying that he was knighted by Fer* 

VOL. n. 14 


the royal sway in Galicia. But the spirit of Sancho, 
as to the rights of primogeniture, had entered into the 
heart of Alfonso. As soon as the affairs of his king- 
dom were set in order, he marched against Garcia, 
took away his kingdom, and held him as a prisoner. 
Then he was ready to turn against Castile, and it was 
to the Cid that he desired to confide this new enter- 
prise. But with regard to the death of Sancho there 
were suspicions of assassination or secret homicide, 
and rumors had come to the ears of the Cid that 
Alfonso was implicated in the crime, Sancho had been 
slain by Vellido Dolfos, at the instance of his sister 
wbiapere Urraca, while hunting : but, as it was whis- 

that AlfoMO o * » 

WM privy pered that the king, Alfonso, was in this 
death. ^ conspiracy, the high-minded Cid determined 
to take no part with him in any enterprise until he 
should exonerate himself from the charge of fratricide 
by taking an oath that "he neither slew him, nor 
took counsel for his death." " And my Cid repeated 
the oath to him a third time, and the king and the 
knights said Amen, But the wrath of the king was 
exceeding great ; and he said to the Cid, ' Ruy Diaz, 
why dost thou press me so, man?'"^ The king had no 
option but to swear; but, in the words of the chronicle, 
" from that day forward there was no love towards 
my Cid in the heart of the king." Thus exonerated, 
with the assistance of Rodrigo the king effected the 
conquest of Castile ; and uniting it to Leon, Galicia, 
and Portugal, Alfonso VI. took the style and title of 
Emperor of all Spain, like his father Fernando. As 

^ Cronica del Cid, lib. iL 


he reigned until 1109, his sway continued during 
the entire Ufe of the Cid, who in the events and 
incidents of that reign played the most prominent 

Such were the historic circumstances which called 
forth the rare martial prowess of " my Cid." He was 
the Adelantado, the Lord of the Marches, The theatre 
the military guardian of the frontier, where exploits, 
the war ever raged most fiercely. He collected the 
king's tribute at SevUle, and other cities, the centres 
of the little Moslem kingdoms. He aided, in the 
interests of justice, one petty king against another. 
Thus, when the kings of Seville and Cordova were at 
war,- the army of the latter, with some allies from 
Granada, and with the assistance of certain Christian 
condottieri, were about to overcome the former. Eo- 
drigo came to the rescue ; he commanded the Cordo- 
vans to desist from harassing an ally of his king. 
When they refused, he put himself and his men at 
the head of the Sevillian army, and completely dis- 
comfited the enemy. So grateful was the king of 
Seville that, when he next paid his tribute to Alfonso, 
he overburdened his deliverer with rare gifts and 
much treasure, not without awakening the envy of 
the suspicious monarch. 

The story of the marriage of the Cid's daughters, 
Elvira and Sol, with the two Infants, or Counts, of 
Carrion, which, with the consequences, occupies so 
important a space in both the "Poema'' and The 
the "Cronica," is not without historic signifi- marSSgL ^ 
cance. The reluctance of the Cid is a touch daughten. 
of nature ; but the arbitrary requirement of the king 


displays a condition of royal wardship, like that in 
the Anglo-Norman constitution of England, against 
which there was no refusal^ These noble girls were 
shamefully treated by their husbands,' as were many 
others in that time whose story is not told. The 
law gave no redress ; but when the Cid claimed from 
the king that his brutal •sons-in-law should be com- 
pelled to appear in the lists, to meet his champions, 
they could not, in that wild military period, refuse 
without being disgraced. They did appear, and were 
beaten, and thus disgraced ; and the Cid's daughters 
were set free to marry better husbands, as they soon 
afterwards did. 

The story of the Cid, even so far as it may appear 
in the light of history, is of rare and romantic inter- 
est I cannot spare the space to present even a tabu- 
lar list of his valiant exploits, but can only give 
enough to enable the reader to discern his personality, 
that we may have grounds for a philosophic consider- 
ation of the real part he played in the great and 
stormy drama. 

Once, when Alfonso went to lend assistance to cer- 
tain of his Moorish allies, the hero was ill and unable 
to accompany him. It was under these circumstances 
that, taking advantage of the king's absence and the 

^ The words of the chronicle are simple and nataral, and display 
a loyalty which never faltered, in evil or in good report: '* Then the 
Cid said [to the king] : 'Sir, I begat them, and yon gave them in 
marriage. Both I and they are yonrs ; give them to whom yoia 
please, and I am pleased therewith.' " — Oroniea del CSd, lib. tiL 
ch. 29. 

* lb. lib. viii. chj 14. — They were stripped and beaten nearly 
to death — left for dead — on their marriage journey. 


Oid's illness, a party of Moors, occupying a portion 
of Arragon, entered the province of Castile, Bodrigo 
and, by a cowp de main, overpowered the outue. 
fortress of Gomaz. Eodrigo, weak and almost help- 
less as he was, rose from his sick-bed, pursued them 
with great celerity, routed and scattered them in the 
territories of Toledo, relieved Gomaz, took away their 
spoils, and captured seven thousand prisoners. ''0 
my Cid ! " But he was to suffer for his exploit. The 
Moorish king of Toledo, affecting to resent this inva- 
sion of his neutral territory by making it a seat of 
war, complained of it to his suzerain and ally, Al- 
fonso. The Spanish monarch, always secretly nourish- 
ing his envy and ill-will towards the Cid, made it 
the pretext for banishing him, as a breaker, of the 
laws of war. "Alas, my Cid!" Sad as it AndisiMii- 
seemed at the time, it gave the Cid his pains. "^^ 
golden opportunity. It sent him forth a knight- 
errant with a great name, and a few adherents, con- 
stantly, however, increasing in numbers, to seek his 
fortunes. This was in 1076. Never had knight- 
errantry a nobler champion or a grander field. 

A valiant man, of great forecast and cool head, 
invincible in action, of magnetic influence over men, 
and a large knowledge of existing conditions, he found 
in this banishment a roving commission to fight for 
Christianity and a new Spain, untrammelled ^^ ^^^^ 
even by royal instructions. The once power- opportunity. 
ful sceptre of the Arab-Moors in Spain was falling 
from their paralyzed hand. The dynasty of the Beni 
Ummeyah had expired, beyond hope of resuscitation. 
The whole territory had been dissevered into prov- 


inces, cities, and even isolated castles, occupied as 
strongholds and safe retreats by many ambitious and 
crafty chieftains. They had become debilitated by 
climate and by inaction, and their faith had lost its 
first fervor and incitement. This was the specious 
argument of the Almoravides, whose crusade was 
against irreligion among the Moslemah, — a protestant 
reformation. They were declared to be effeminate 
and unbelieving descendants of the ardent and pious 
warriors who had, in one generation jfrom their origin, 
invaded Spain more than three centuries before. 

And while they were invaded from the south by 
the locust-like hordes of the Almoravides claiming 
to be of their own regenerated faith, the Christian 
Spaniards, ever marching down from the north, were 
becoming daily stronger and improving the prestige 
of advance : the reconquest was in full and inundat- 
ing tide. To the wonder of Don Manuel Quintana, 
that the Peninsula was not sooner wrested from the 
Moslems, it can only be answered that the Christian 
progress was delayed by the fatal buttress of the 
African invaders. 

In this condition of things, it will readily be seen 
what " ample room and verge " there was for irregular 
soldiers, led by brilliant condottieri, to achieve great 
conquests, in the name of Spain, but for their own 
behoof. ** Such," says Quintana, " was probably the 
Cid in his time, but with more glory, and perhaps 
with greater virtues." ^ 

Thus, for a period expatriated, the Cid looked 
around him for hazalias and fortune. He had not 

^ Vidas de Espafioles c^lebres, p. 6. 


loBg or far to look After his expulsion from Cas* 
tile, he marched to Barcelona, and thence g^ marohet 
to Saragossa, in search of adventures. The *os*w6o»»*- 
Moorish king of the latter city, Ahmed I., received 
him with pleasure, and employed his arms against 
his enemies until his death in 1082, giving the Gid 
great authority in the little realm. 

In the year 1081, Alfonso VI. had succeeded in 
capturing Toledo, and making it his couit and cap- 
ital The sordid monarch once more put aside his 
envy when he found that he needed the ig,ec*ued 
services of the Cid against the Almoravides ; ^^ Alfonso. 
and so a truce was patched up between them, which 
would last as long as royal self-interest prompted. 
But the Cid was no longer available as a simple 
subordinate. The best terms which the king could 
make were to continue to the champion the roving 
commission he had already taken in his time of 
exile, and to permit him to attack the Moslemah, 
petty kings, and invaders alike ; to capture their 
cities, and rule them with an authority which they 
at least could not dispute. The Cid made haste 
to avail himself to the utmost of such latitude. 
Hearing that Bamon Berenguer, not content with 
his domain of Barcelona, had laid siege to Valencia, 
he sped thither with a rapidly-recruited army of 
seven thousand men, relieved the siege, and entered 
Valencia, which he made the seat of his government, 
tributary only' to King Alfonso. 

Alfonso had married the daughter of the Moorish 
king of Seville, who, as has been seen, had invited 
the Almoravides to come over into Spain. These, with 


their first successes, had turned against their Moorish 
ally, who was soon obliged to apply to his Christian 
son-in-law for assistance. When the Spanish monarch, 
espousing this quarrel, marched against Yiisuf, he 
sent letters to the Cid to join him. Affecting to be 
angry at the Cid*s delay, he once more put him under 
But again scntcnce of banishment; confiscating his es- 
•uBpected. tatcs again, and even going so far as to seize 
and imprison his wife and children. Eodrigo ex- 
plained his tardiness, but could gain nothing more 
from the monarch than the release of his family. 
The anger of .Alfonso emboldened his other rivals 
and enemies. Again Count Ramon took the field 
against him; but the energetic Cid marched at once 
to meet him, and defeated him after a furious battle, 
taking all his spoils and making the Count prisoner. 
In this action, the Cid was severely wounded, and lay 
in his tent. The captured Count was brought to him; 
but, when he might have expected in his own person 
the rigor of war, he was surprised by the magnanimity 
of the wounded hero, who generously released him 
without conditions. 

Still once more is repeated the sordid selfishness 
of Alfonso and the grand importance of the Cid« 
It was now in the year 1092. The Almoravides had 
spread themselves all over Andalusia, and so great 
was their power that they seemed to threaten the 
Christian dominions. The Cid received a letter from 
Queen Constanta, the daughter of the king of Seville 
and wife of Alfonso, directing him to join the Span- 
ish monarch with all speed. This time there was no 
delay. The Cid was just laying siege to liria with 


an assurance of an easy capture ; he raised the siege 
in obedience to the order, and was received by the 
king with great honor. Everything promised well 
for the permanence of this new alliance. Joining 
their forces, they marched to Granada; and, They march 
upon their arrival before that town, all un- *** 0™°*^*- 
conscious of evil, the Cid encamped his troops in the 
vega, or plain, while those of Alfonso occupied a less 
comfortable position on the hillsida Envious cour- 
tiers pointed this out to the king as an intended dis- 
courtesy, and the jealous monarch echoed their words : 
''See how Bodrigo affronts us: yesterday he lagged 
behind us as if fatigued ; to-day he goes ahead of us as 
if he claimed precedence." ^ " Was it," says the Span- 
ish biographer, — ** was it envy or prejudice or revenge ? 
The obscurity of the times does not permit an answer; 
but the circumstances with which this aversion comes 
to us mark it as unjust, and it is an indelible stain 
upon the fame of that monarch." 

Considering himself in danger, the Cid withdrew 
from the royal host secretly at night, leaving some of 
his troops behind him. 

Meantime Valencia had exchanged masters more 
than once. This fine city, situated near the mouth 
of the Guadalaviar, was founded by Junius The {mpor- 

.-^ 1 <» tance of Vft- 

Brutus as a settlement of veterans, on an lencia. 
old Phoenician site, in the year 136 B.c. Its name is the 
Latin synonym for the Greek 'Pwfirj : it was destined 
to be a Spanish Eome. Destroyed by Pompey, in his 

1 « Ved oomo nos afrenta Rodrigo : ayer iba detras do nosotros, 
eomo si estUTieae cansado, y ahora se pone delante como si se le de- 
biese la preferencia." — Qciktana, Espafloles OUebres^ p. 10. 


Spanish campaign, it was rebuilt and occupied by the 
Goths early in the fifth century. It became a favorite 
city of the Arab-Moors from the date of its capture 
by Abdu-l-'aziz in 712, and for a long time was 
included in the province of Cordova. When the 
Ommeyan dynasty fell to pieces, or was about to 
break up, Valencia became an independent kingdom 
under the dynasty of the Benf Abl 'Amir,^ and remained 
80 until its final occupancy by the Cid. When Al- 
fonso YI. had taken Toledo from its Moorish king 
in 1085, he had compromised by placing the de- 
throned monarch, Al-kadir Yahya, upon the tributary 
throne of Valencia, and surrounded him with Spanish 

But treason soon reared its head in Valencia, — 
treason against the Christian king by scorning the au- 
nmJehaf thorfty of Ms tributary. A certain Ibn Jehaf, 
^^ trusting the prestige of the Almoravides, 
^^^ called them to Valencia, and, to aid their 

entrance, raised a revolt in the city, which was suc- 
cessful Yahya sought to escape through the tumult 
in the dress of a woman, but was discovered by Ibn 
Jehaf, who without pity cut off his head. Here was 
work for el mio Oidf — work for Christian Spain, to 
avenge cruel injustice, and which offered a kingdom for 
himself. For the space of twenty months he besieged 
Valencia, which Ibn Jehaf defended with the energy of 
despair. But the result could not be resisted. The 
besieged were starving. The Almoravides did not 
come to succor them; the elements conspired; the 

1 Gayangos, Al Makkari, Chronological Tables at the end of yoL 
ii.. Table XIL 


rains descended and the floods came ; men did not 
remember such a down-pour; the roads were de- 
stroyed; the bridges swept away : it was announced 
that the Almoravides had retreated, and even gone 
back to Africa; and so the city surrendered while 
a Yalencian poet was chanting its dirge.^ 

On the fifteenth of June, 1094, the Cid made his 
entry into the captured place, and, ascending the 
highest tower, he surveyed with new joy the The cid en- 
possession which was to be his during his in triumph. 
life, and which he owed neither to Spanish kindness 
nor Moorish alliance; his by his own good sword. 
He received the hoipage of the principal men ; but 
refused the large treasure offered him by the insur- 
gent, Ibn Jehaf, because with him he was to have 
sterner dealings. I dwell for a moment on the details, 
because they mark both the man and the condition of 

By the voice of a herald the Cid issued an invitation 
to all the patricians to meet him in the garden of Yil- 
lanueva. In a hall covered with mats and hung with 
tapestry he caused them to sit before him, and ad- 
dressed them in words which the chroniclers have 
ventured to reproduce. As presenting a portraiture 
of the man, and his motives and purposes, the address 
given in the " Cronica General " is thus valuable to the 
historian. Perhaps it gives us, at this crowning mo- 
ment, a juster judgment of his personality and his 
place in the confused movements of the day than all 

^ Preseryed in the "Cronica Genera}," and the Spanish yeraion 
giTen by La Fuente, Historia de Espa&a, lY. 409. Qaintana, Espa- 
Aoles C^lebres, 18. 


the legends, full as they are of philosophy. " I am a 
Hiaaddrew man/' he began, ''who never possessed a 
cians. ki'ugdom, although I am of royal lineage.^ 

When I first saw this city, it pleased me, and I de- 
sired it ; and I besought the Lord to make me master 
of it See how great is the power of the Lord ] On 
the day when I reached Cebolla I had no more than 
four loaves, and now Grod has been so merciful as to 
give me Valencia, and I am lord of the city. If I 
act justly in it, God will retain me in possession ; if 
I do injustice, he will turn me out. So, let every one 
recover his estates and enjoy them as before ; he who 
finds his lands ploughed, let him take possession; 
let him who finds them sowed and cultivated pay for 
the seed and the labor. I desire, likewise, that the 
collectors of imposts shall demand only a tenth, ac- 
cording to your custom. I have determined to hear 
you in judgment two days in every week, — Mon- 
days and Thursdays : but, if you have any ui^nt 
business, come when you please, and I will hear you ; 
as I am not a man to shut myself up with women, to 
eat and drink, like your nobles, who can rarely be 
seen: I shall attend to your business myself, as 
your companion, and protect you as a friend and 

Then he added: "Much has been told me con- 
cerning the evil deeds of Ibn Jehaf towards some of 
you ; that he has seized your goods to present them 

1 This " royal lineage " may be found in Qnintana, Appendices i 
la yida del Cid, p. 16. " Diaz Lamez (the Cid's father), priao per 
mnlier filU de Roy Alvarez de Astuiias, . . . ^hohoeneUaaBodrio 


to me. T have refused to receive them ; for, if I de- 
sired your possessions, I could take them without 
asking any one: but God preserve me from doing 
violence to any person to secure what does not belong 
to me ; . . . what Ibn Jeliaf has taken shall be re- 
stored without delay. I require you to swear that 
you will comply with my instructions without reser- 
vation. Obey me, and do not break the compact we 
are making. . . . Finally, you are now tranquil and 
safe ; for I have forbidden my people to enter your 
city for traffic. I have designated as a market the 
Alcudia, out of consideration for you. I have ordered 
that nothing shall be taken from any one within the 
city. If any one contravenes this order, slay him 
without fear. I do not wish to enter Valencia my- 
self, nor to live in it. I desire to establish on the 
bridge of Alcantara a residence {cam de reerS), a 
place to which I shall sometimes resort for repose 
{un logar en que vaya dfolgar d las veces)" 

These gracious words were received by the con- 
qnered people with great relief and pleasure ; but the 
Gid soon found reason to change his plans. He first 
proceeded against Ibn Jehaf, and, after putting him 
in close confinement, he discovered, by the revelation 
of a slave, his immense concealed treasures of gold 
and precious stones. Contrary to the prom- Another 
ise made in his address, he took up his quar- Jj^^t^' * 
ters in the palace of Valencia, and again **^'- 
summoning the principal men of the city, he ad- 
dressed tiiem in this wise: "You well know, chief 
men of the Alhama of Valencia, how I served and 
aided your king, and what toil I underwent before 


gaining this cify. Now that God has made me its 
master, I desire it for myself and those who have 
aided me in taking it, saving only the sovereignty of 
my lord, King Alfonso. You are here to execute my 
pleasure. I could seize all that you possess in the 
world, — yourselves, your children, your wives; but I 
will not do it. It pleases me and I ordain that the 
honorable men among you, those who have always 
been loyal, shall live in Valencia in their houses with 
their families ; but not one of you shall have a mule 
or a servant, not one shall use or keep arms, except 
in cases of necessity, and with my permission. The 
remainder of the people shall leave the city, and live 
in the Alcudia, where I was before. You shall have 
mosques in Valencia and in the Alcudia ; . . . you 
shall live, under your own law, with your alcaldes 
and algiumls, whom I shall appoint ; you shall pos- 
sess your heritages^ but shall give me lordship over 
all your rents. I will administer justice and coin my 
own money. Let those remain who choose to live 
under my government Those who do not, let them 
go freely, but their persons alone: they may take 
nothing with them. I will give them safe conducts." 

"This discourse," says the historian, "left the 
Moors as sad as the former had made them glad." 
Th« mani- It was the manifesto, not of the conqueror 
ruler. on the morrow of his conquest, but of a ruler 

who had come into his kingdom. He at once pro- 
ceeded to execute judgment upon Ibn Jehaf, for his 
murder of Yahya, and his usurpation of power. 

The Arabian authority of Cond4 displays the con- 
duct of the Cid in this transaction as cruel and false 


in the extreme ; to the Moslem he was the tyrant 
" Cambitur," ^ the accursed Cambitur, who violated all 
compacts and was without humanity. He had prom- 
ised to Ibn Jehaf not only safety for himself, his 
family, and the citizens of Valencia, but even that he 
should be retained in the ^government ; and now he 
broke his word, and prepared to execute the unfortu- 
nate wali with most terrible tortures. On one of the 
last days of May, 1095, a vast pile was kindled in the 
great square of the city ; and the flames were so fierce 
that, like the furnace of " the three children,*' it 
destroyed even the nearest spectators. Into this the 
children and wives of the fallen governor were to be 
cast ; but at the universal cry for mercy the Cid re- 
lented concerning them at the last moment But for 
Ibn Jehaf there was no reprieve. Within The ven- 
a short distance of this great fire a pit was ^ Jehaf. 
dug, and he was placed in it, " even to the girdle." 
Then he was surrounded with a wall of dry wood 
which, soon taking fire from the surging flame, con- 
sumed him even as he was ejaculating, '* In the name 
of Allah, the Pitying, the Merciful ! " « 

Notwithstanding the famous efforts of the Almora- 
vides to recover Valencia, it remained in the hands 
of the Cid until his death, and was the strong base 
of his operations against the enemy's posts on the 
Mediterranean. With impaired health, his own ener- 

1 Their corrnption of Campeador, 

* Cond^ Dommadon de lo8 Arabes, Yol. IL part iii. ch. zzii. 
I see no Decessity to attempt the exoneration of the Cid. Such ac- 
tions as this were part of the fe&rful system of vengeance practised on 
both and on all sides at this period in the history of the Peninsula. 


gies were somewhat relaxed, bat it is hard to believe 
that when his colleague, Alvar Fanez, was routed near 
The death of ^^^ira, in 1099, he was so affected that he 
the Old. ^jgj Qf gpj^f (depesary Whatever the cause, 

his noble and valiant career came to an end in July 
of that year. His heroic wife, Ximena, continued to 
hold the city against the attacks of the Almoravides 
for two years, until 1101. In that year King Alfonso 
entered it, aud finding that he could not retain it, 
burned the principal buildings, and left it to be again 
occupied by the forces of the Almoravides. A word 
more will conclude its story. It remained in Moor- 
ish hands till the year 1228, when it was recaptured 
by King Jaime of Aragon, and held by that kingdom 
until, by the union of Ferdinand and Isabella, it 
became part of the Spanish dominion. 

Upon its evacuation by Alfonso, the body of the 
dead Cid was mounted upon his st^ed, Babieca, — a 
usual custom in the removal of warriors for burial, — 
and by slow journeys was taken to the cloister of 
the monastery of Cardena. There, placed upon a 
throne with Tisona in his hand, the story is told 
that a coward Jew plucked the dead hero by the 
beard : the insult lent momentary vigor to the corpse, 
which, with one blow, felled him to the earth. The 
miracle may be explained by considering how the 
majesty of death enhanced the majesty of the hero, 
and caused the offender to fall back in a panic of 

His 'faithful Ximena followed him to the tomb 
in 1104, and her remains were placed with his to 
share their changing fortune. First moved to a 


chapel, near the high altar in the monastery, they were 
taken to the sacristy in 1447 ; thence back to the 
chapel : whence, in 1736, they were removed 
to the chapel of San Sisebuto. In July, 
1826, they were carried back to the monastery of 
Cardefia, but, soon after, they were taken to Burgos, 
and placed as a final resting-place, let us hope, in the 
Casas Consistoriales.^ In the Sala Capitular of the 
Cathedral may be seen d cofre del Cid, that chest 
which he filled with sand, simulating treasure, upon 
the weight of which he raised a loan from the Jews. 
But the dissimulation went no farther: he paid it 
back ! 

In the cathedral at Salamanca is his well-authenti- 
cated crucifix which was borne in the van of his bat- 
ties, — el crudfijo de las batallas. It was brought to 
Salamanca by his own bishop, Geronimo; who built 
the old cathedral in 1102. In the Calle Alta, or high 
street of Burgos, is pointed out the site of his house, 
which was cleared away and the spot marked by 
pillars in 1771. 

These are authentic remains: La Colada, which 
the visitor may see in the Armeria at Madrid, is 
doubtful ; it is ascribed also to Hernan Cortez. The 
true one and Tisoua were both taken from the 
Moors, — Damascus blades of rarest temper, which he 
called his queridas prendaSy dearest of all things after 
his wife and children ; petted and talked to like the 

1 In the " Apeodices i la Yida del Cid,'* Qnintana, p. 17, will be 
found : " Proyision del Emperador, Carlos Y., al Monasterio de Car- 
defia, oon motivo de la traslacion, que se habia hecho de Iob cuerpoa 
del Cid y Dofia Ximena." 

YOU II. 15 


" brain^biter " of Saxon Here ward, — bread-winner as 

I declare that, in my judgment, tliere is no finer 
hero of romantic history than the Cid Campeador. 
A peerless Well may the Spaniard be proud of him! 

hero in his- ai^i t I'l i- 

tory. A devoted son, he avenges the insult to his 

father's gray hairs ; a model husband, he presents his 
faithful ^rnena to history as the partner of his fame ; 
and she, more loyal than Aithur's Guinever, finds no 
Lancelot du Lac to seduce her from her hero. He pro- 
tects his daughters and redresses their wrongs. In spite 
of royal ingratitude and injustice, whether at court 
or in exile, he is true to his king and country, — Cos- 
tellano d las der4chas ; bearing always in the front of 
his host the symbol of our redemption, he was a 
crusader and a Christian. 

And so, in that lurid picture of the embattled Pen- 
insula at this period, we discern as distinct elements, 
— Alonzo and Christian Spain; the petty Moorish 
kings struggling in the grasp of the serpents of Lao- 
coon ; the Almoravide host glooming in the south, and 
one man, '' solo un Eodrigo,*' distinct from all, mounted 
on Babieca, with Tisona in hand, — a truer Arthur, 

" From spur to plume a star of tournament,'* 

and crying with magnificent egotism, " Soy el Cid,honra 
de Espana ;"2 and the people respond, " El mio Cid, 

^ Swords spoke in their inscriptions, which were epigrammatic. 
On one of these was the instruction, "No me saqnes sin razon ; no 
me envaines sin honor" (Do not draw me without good cause ; do 
not sheathe me without honor). 

3 The opposite delineation is found in the Arabian writers who 
call him " cruel, rapacious, fierce, perfidious, merciless." 


nacio en buena hora." On the still-existing tomb, 
erected by Alfonso el Sabio in 1272, at San Pedro de 
Gardena, over the gate of whose convent may be 
seen a mutilated figure of the Cid on horseback 
riding over prostrate Moors, is the epitaph, — 

" Belliger inyictiis, famoaas Marte triumphisy 
Clauditur hoc tamalo magnus Didaci Bodericos."^ 

^ AroTUid him are the effigies of Ximena, of Do&a Elylra, Queen 
of Kayarre, and Do&a Sol, Queen of Aragon. Beneath a mound, 
buried deep, lie the remains of Babieca, his matchless steed. The 
Gid's only son, Rodrigo, was killed at Consuena. The marriage of 
his daughter with the King of Navarre sent his blood through many 
alliances into the present royal house of Bourbon. 





WE reach, in tbe current of the bistoiy, what is 
called by the Mohammedan writers the 
"second civil war," which grew out of the sudden 
rise and rapid spread of a new party or people in 
Africa, announcing new views in religion, and in- 
tending hj their dissemination to prepare the way 
for military conquest. Similar causes to those which 
had produced the dynasty and dominion of the 
The new Almoravidcs in Africa and Spain gave spirit 
AiH^ and form to the rising of the Almohades* 
It was a war of Africans against Africans ; and the 
new-comers proclaimed themselves as enemies at 
once to the Christian infidels, and to the perverted 
doctrine and evil lives of the Moslemah who pre- 
ceded them. In the seething hive of Africa a new 
swarm had been bom, and were ready to seek the 
brightest and richest land in which to build their 

It was now the beginning of the twelfth century, 
and Ali Ibn Yiisuf was emperor of Morocco and king 
of the Spanish Almoravides. His empire had all the 
promise and token of permanent prosperity, even 


when the child had been bom who was to overthrow it 
There was, in Cordova, an obscure youth named Abd 
Abdillah Mohammed, of the lineage of the Berber tribe 
of Mac Mouda, whose father was a lamplighter, or 
burner of tapers at the shrines of saints in the great 
Aljama. In that famous seat of religion and learn- 
ing, this youth had made the study of the Koran 
his favorite occupation, and had been taught much, 
and had speculated much, concerning the diversities 
of Mohammedan doctrine, and the condition of the 
Moslem world. He travelled to the East in search 
of further knowledge, and at last reached Baghdad 
while the first crusade was in progress, which resulted 
in placing Godfrey de Bouillon on the throne of 

Baghdad, thus severed from the West, had lost 
much of that loyalty to the faith which had char- 
acterized its Moslem founders. The youth found, 
teaching in the academies, and in high repute, a 
philosopher named Abii Hamed Algazali, am 
and well knew the doctrines he taught Mohammed 
were heresies in the eyes of the Spanish &«hdAd. 
Moslems. " Who are you, and whence come you ? " 
asked the teacher. ** From Al Aksa," was the reply. 
"Have you been to Cordova?" "I have." "Do 
they know my work, ' On the Regeneration of the 
Sciences and the Law'?"* "Yes, they know it; 
and have burned it, with your other writings, by 
direction of the academies, in Cordova^ in Fez, Mo- 
rocco, and elsewhere I " 

1 " £1 Benadmieiito de Us ScienciM j del Ley." 


I have recited this colloquy between an itinerant 
youth from the West and a heretic teacher at Bagh- 
dad, because out of it grew a great dynasty, and a 
powerful element in the Mohammedan dominion of 
Spain. It was the seed of which the Almohades 
were the full and baleful growth ; and this growth 
was marvellously rapid. 

The philosopher became pale with rage, and sug- 
gested to Abd Abdillah, what had already entered 
into his thought, to undertake a new revolution among 
the teeming peoples of Africa; to overthrow the 
fools who could think thus ill of his doctrine; to 
reform the Almoravide reformation; and — such was 
the conclusion — to wrest the empire of Morocco and 
Spain from the unworthy hands of the Almoravides, 
to whom, for their sins, God would not permit further 
conquests for the faith. 

Abii^ Abdillah lost no time. He took upon him- 
self the title and office of M Mahdi, the conductor 
And be- ^^ guidc. The next thing was to find a 
mSS,^6 Bailitary leader with whom he could work, 
*"**^*" and whom he could controL He selected 

a good, earnest, and handsome youth, whom he called 
Abdu-1-mumen (servant of God). He instructed him 
in the faith, and as to his own designs, and then took 
him, preaching as he went, to Bougie, where the 
inhabitants drove them away ; to Tlemsen, where El 
Mahdi was honored as a saint ; and at last, to Morocco. 

There he preached fearlessly against the corrup- 
tions of the court and the people. One Friday, at 
the time of assembly, he went into the mosque, and 
took the king's seat. When, on the king^s entrance, 


he was directed to vacate it, lie replied, "This temple 
belongs to God alone." Then, reciting some verses 
of the Koran, he addressed a vehement EiMa^di 
admonition to the Prince of the Faithful.^ i-mum^'" 
The first wonder of the congregation in- •* Morocco, 
creased as they saw that the monarch was abashed, and 
did not resent this presumption. He proceeded to 
ruder actions. A few days later, the king's sister, 
Soura, was riding in the street without a veil, — a 
common and not improper practice in the West * He 
rebuked her, and so rudely struck her mule that she 
was thrown to the ground. Even her tearful recital 
of this insult could not move the " pious and feeble 
Ali" to punish the reformer. 

To gain th« odor of sanctity, El Mahdi established 
himself in a hut built in the cemetery; and, to the im- 
mense crowds who came to this hermitage, he preached 
from the tombs against the impiety and corruptions of 
the Almoravides. But theiffe was a grain of worldly 
wisdom left. When at last the anger of Ali was fully 
awakened, the new prophet absconded to Tinmal, 
bearing in his train numerous proselytes, and leaving 
a great fame behind him. Tinmal he took for his 
temporary capital. From its rocky site, defended by 
precipices, he proclaimed himself the new Messiah, 
the evangelist of peace and good- will ; and he declared 
Abdu-1-mumen his Amir and general. 

The gathering tribes and people he divided into 

^ La Fiieute, Historia de EspaAa. Dozy, Hiittoire de rialamiBme^ 
trenslated into French by Victor Chauvin (1879), p. S71. 

* ** L'nsage de se Toiler n'arait pas ^t^ adopts par lea femmea 
Almoravides.'* — Dozt, Histoire de rislamisnu. 

232 cx)NQnEST of spain by thb abab-moors. 

nine classes, and strengthened his authority by cre- 
HiB people *ting two advisory councils, — one of fifty, 
hSdil?or *" ^^^ ^^® other of seventy, men. The new 
Aimoiuuies. y^^^^ q^ nation took its title from that of his 

office, el-mehedi or d-Toahdi. They were thenceforth 
to be known in history as Elnuhedis or Almohades, 

In the year 1121, when Ali was returning to 
Morocco, from a visit to his Spanish dominions, the 
prophet and Amir of the Almoravides had collected 
.ten thousand cavalry, and had marched to Agmat. 
With this begins their career of military conquest 
We cannot enter into details. They encountered Ali 
and defeated him in three battles ; and then, return- 
ing to the stronghold of Tinmal, they made it a base 
from which they could rush down and «devastate the 

Four years were occupied in enlarging their num- 
bers, and gathering wealth and the sinews of war. 
In 1125, £1 Mahdi thought himself strong enough to 
attack the capital of the Almoravide dominions. With 
thirty thousand men, his general marched to Morocco ; 
Vain at- ^ ^^^ ^^ ^^^ couutcd without his host. The 
temputo emperor, in a successful sortie, drove him 
Moroeoo. away in entire discomfiture. Again and 
again this attempt was renewed without success ; but 
in the meantime, £1 Mahdi, tempted by the condition 
of affairs in Spain, was preparing to invade the 
El Mfthdi's Almoravides there. His projects were frus- 
death. tratcd by his death, which occurred in 

December, 1129;^ but he left the grand scheme in 
energetic and skilful hands, which carried it to an 

^ Dozy aayi 1128. 


early completion. His Amir, Abdu-1-mumen, at once 
declared himself emperor of the Almohades. He 
assembled the principal chiefs of the people, and 
proclaimed his elevation as the last will of El Mahdi. 
The religious principle had been established : there 
was only needed now a conqueror. To give a bizarre 
character to his accession, he had instructed a bird 
to say in Arabic and in the Berber dialects Abdn-i- 
the words, " Abdu-l*mumen is the defender Emperor. 
and bulwark of the state." After his harangue, these 
words came upon the silence of the assembly like a 
voice from heaven ; and, at the same moment, from 
a secret door, bounded a young lion, which, to the 
astonishment of the terrified multitude, crouched at 
the feet of the new emperor, and licked his hands.^ 

With unremitted warfare for the space of three 
years, he reduced the limits of the Almoravides in 
Africa, and so occupied the attention of their emperor 
Ali and his son Tdsheffn that they were obliged to 
leave their Spanish dominions in a state of great cen- 
fusion. Their principal treasures were at Oran, and 
when Tasheffn in his flight had been killed h^ a fall 
over a precipice, Abdu-1-mumen entered Oran and 
made himself master of these rich resources in 1145. 

But Fez and Morocco were still strong, and these 
he must gain before it would be safe to venture into 
Spain. The former city fell before an engi- re«and 
neering stratagem : he dammed the waters uken. 
of a river which traversed the place, and turned it, in 
an inundation, against the walls ; they fell, and his 

1 This story, on the authority of the Ehitab el Moluk, is giyen 
by La Fuente, Historia de Espa&a, Vol. Y., note to page 98. 


army entered and occupied the town with great 

Morocco alone remained. Taking its reduction for 
his own task, Abdu-1-mumen despatched his general, 
Ibn-Kusai, into Spain with ten thousand cavalry and 
twenty thousand infantry, fresh from the edge of the 
desert and the table-la^ids. His white banner was 
borne forward with uninterrupted success, overrunning 
Alge^iras, Gibraltar, Seville, Cordova, and Malaga. 

The task of the emperor at Morocco was rendered 
easy by a grievous famine in the city. When sum- 
moned it could not refuse to surrender, but opened its 
gates after a feeble show of resistance. It is to the 
disgrace of the conqueror that when the starving garri- 
son were at his mercy he murdered its chief; and this 
act was a signal for indiscriminate slaughter. 

Established in Morocco, the African empire of the 
Almoravides was at an end ; they were to have but a 
short and precarious tenure in Spain. Abdu-l-mumeu 
anticipated their final destruction by taking the full 
title of universal dominion, — Amir Al Mumenin, 
(Commander of the Faithful). 

Meanwhile this internecine war was of great aid to 
the advancing Christians in Spain; they captured 
The Chris, citv after city, while the despairing Almo- 
VRQco. ravides, sometimes resisting, sometimes im- 
ploring their aid, found themselves between two fires, 
and were soon destroyed root and branch. 

Thus, in the year 1157, when Alfonso VIL, king 
of the united realms of Leon and Castile, died, the 
Almohades were masters of Moslem Spain and prom- 
ised trouble to the Christian conquerors. 


It is not within the scope of this history to follow 
their fortunes in detail.^ For the original Arabian 
settlers and their principles of government this was 
the worst of all the invasions. There was no longer 
place for the Arabians in the title of the Arab- 
Moors ; it was a Moorish dominion^ pure and simple. 
With the Almoravides, although stem conquerors, 
there had been something in common. At first their 
allies against the Christians, they never forgot that 
their ancestors had sprung from Yemen; but the 
Almohades, pure Africans, so far from sympathizing 
with the Arabians, made of the very name a title of 

While preparing for his greatest invasion, the em- 
peror Abdu-1-mumen was called by Allah Death of Ab- 

to his account in 1163. du-l-mumen. 

With varying fortunes, their power lasted in the 
Peninsula seventy years longer, to the reign of Idris 
Al-mamiin in 1232, but was to receive its greatest 
shock in 1213, in the famous battle called Las Navas 
de Tolosa, which remains to be briefly described. 
After the death of Idris the remaining kings of the 
Almohades ruled only in Africa, the last of these 
being Idris II. 

I propose to describe the battle of Las Navas de 
Tolosa, because it was the greatest event in the phi- 

^ These may be foand in most desultory fashion in the pages of 
Cond^, part iii, from the 26th to the 44th chapter. 

s <<Lo8 Almoravides no habian podido olvidar que bus mayores 
eran originarios de Yemen, y aun conserrahan con los Arabes algu- 
nas atenciones, bien que los tratasen como & un pueblo vencido. Los 
Almohades, Africanos pnros, hacfan del orfgen arabe un titulo de 
pposcripcion." — La Fuente, Historia de Eapafia^ V. 101. 


losophy of the period ; it was the mortal blow to the 
Almohades^ and with them to the Moslem dominion. 
It gave new and wonderful momentum to the Chris- 
tian reconquest. The fieiy ^an of the Almohades and 
their astonishing successes had alarmed not only the 
Spanish Christians but the whole Christian worid. 
A united effort must be made to check their momen- 
The fierce tum : Spain was again considered the bul- 
creadB. wark of European Christianity. Alfonso 
VIII. was on the throne of Castile, which had again 
been separated from Leon, but was before long to be 
reunited to it. His long, reign of fifty-six years was 
drawing to a close. The splendid contumacy of the 
Albigenses in France h£ul awakened a spirit of hot 
religious intolerance;^ the bitter contests of creeds 
caused the sovereign to call the church to his aid in 
punishing infidelity and heresy; and thus, in this 
reign, the comer-stones of the Inquisition were laid, 
upon which the fearful structure was to rise rapidly 
and continue long, and enact within its walls the 
most terrible scenes of cruelty and injustice ; to con- 
stitute free Spain — as its charters decreed it to be 
— a devil's den of despotism a thousand times worse 
than the worst autocracies of the East. 

With this preface, let us turn aside to consider a 
most unusual and exciting scene at Borne. Pope 
A etrange Innoccut III. has decreed a three days' fast 

•cene at 

Borne. for men, women, and children to begin on the 
Wednesday after Trinity, May 23, 1213. A doleful 

^ Immediately after his accession, Innocent III. sent l^tes to 
Tonlouae to suppress them. The crosade against them was in 
1208-9, only five years hefore the hatUe of Las Naras de Tolosa. 


procession of women, habited in mourning and headed 
by orders of nuns, are wending their way to the church 
of Santa Maria la Mayor. Thence, after fervent 
prayers and beatiDg of breasts, they proceed to the 
piazza of St John Lateran. In another part of the 
city have assembled the monks, regular canons, and 
parish priests; they form and proceed through the 
Arch of Constantine to the same rendezvous. Follow- 
ing the holy cross of St Peter, the multitude of the 
faithful come to swell the numbers, and in the great 
square they find the Holy Father, with the college of 
cardinals, the bishops, and archbishops, and all the 
dignitaries of the pontifical court With great solem- 
nity the Pope takes from the church of St John — 
its ancient repository — the wood of the true cross 
(lignum cruds). Then he goes, the multitude follow- 
ing, to the palace of the Cardinal Alberani, from the 
balcony of which he addresses the throng in impas- 
sioned and fervent words.^ 

What has given rise to this display of grief, solem- 
nity, and devotion ? An embassy from Alfonso ex- 
hibiting the condition of things in Spain and the 
imminent danger to Christendom. It had been re- 
ceived with great favor, and these exciting scenes 
were the result The Pope earnestly entreated the 
alliance and aid of all Christian people ; ,j^^ cnwade 
he issued a plenary indulgence to all who p"^*»<^ 
should take up arms in this holy cause : many high 
masses were said for the court and for the people, and 
a great crusade was preached against the infidel in 

^ La Fnente, Historia de EspalLa, Vol. T. p. 202. 


The city of Toledo, the capital of Alfonso, was 
announced as the rendezvous of the crusaders, and 
Rendezvous thither in corps, in bands, and as individuals, 
at Toledo. |^jjgy g^^ began to present themselves. In 
token of humiliation, and to guaid against extrava- 
gance, orders were issued that there should be no lux- 
ury in dress, equipment, or living. As the numbers 
increased, it became a difficult problem to feed them, 
but Alfonso was able to meet it ; he distributed the 
allies as they came in the rich fields within easy dis- 
tance of Toledo, and thus too prevented the contro- 
versies which might have arisen between the different 

To make head against this crusade was the task of 
Mohammed An-Nassir, the son of Yakub Al-mansur» 
now chief or emperor of the Almohades. There was 
special significance in his title, An-ndsir lidini-Uah 
(Defender of the Faith). His father, Al-mansur, 
had already done much to strengthen the army, but 
the emergency demanded much mora Mohammed 
ieft Morocco in June, 1212, and repaired at once to 
Seville.^ Before his departure he had proclaimed the 
TheAigihed, Algthed, or Holy War, which called on every 
War. Moslem to take the field ; he ordered a mas- 

sacre of the Christians who were found in Morocco, 
in the Zahara, in Ethiopia and elsewhere in his domin- 
ions, who might form a nidus for revolution ; and then 
hosts of the faithful, fresh from this slaughter, set out 
to swell his numbers in Andalusia. Thus the war 
was, on both sides, a holy war, and the conflict of 
creeds was the motive of the two hosts. 

1 Al Makkari, Mohammedan Dynasties, II. app. Izviii. 


King Alfonso lost not a moment in delay. His army, 
in splendid array, was put in motion on the twenty-first 
of June to meet the African swarms : it was headed by 
archbishops and bishops. Seventy thousand wagons 
carried his supplies. The van was led by Don Diego 
Lopez de Haro, and consisted of ten thou- .j,^^ ^^^ 
sand cavalry and forty thousand infantry, t^^^'o^c^' 
Then followed the troops of the kings of Aragon and 
Castile, forming distinct camps ; and with the con- 
tingent of Castile rode Eodrigo Ximenes, the arch- 
bishop of Toledo, who was to be the historian of the 
war. Next in the train came the religious orders of 
kniglithood of the temple of St. John, of Calatrava, 
and of Santiago, headed by their grand-masters ; after 
which followed many other contingents, — nobles and 
simple gentlemen, with troops from Italy and Ger- 
many. Besides these forces, a sufl&cient number of 
troops had been left to guard the frontiers. 

The third day after they were put in motion, that 
is, on the twenty-third of June, they had advanced 
to Calatrava, moving cautiously to avoid the caltrops 
with which the enemy had sown their pathway. 
The town wa9 taken by assault, and the Moorish 
garrison, only a handful of men, taking refuge in the 
citadel, sent an earnest request to Mohammed for aid. 
This he did not or could not heed ; and so the cai^tj^va u 
Christians scored their first success in the ***'®°" 
capitulation of this town. The Moorish garrison was 
allowed to go out free ; and when the foreigners wished 
to break the compact and slay them, the Christian 
Eang refused and kept his faith. 

The first check to the hopes of the Christians was 


found in the waning ardor of these foreigners (pmes 
de uUra puertos) whQ began to complain of the 
heat. Many deserted, but when in their retreat 
the deserters came to Toledo, the city refused to 
open its gates; and, as they marched by, the gar- 
rison reviled them from the walls as traitors and 

But the fervor of the Spanish troops, although 
this made a great break in their ranks, was not 
at all abated ; and the gaps were soon filled by the 
unexpected arrival of the king of Navarre with an 
army. The joy thus occasioned was great, for they 
had given over all hope of his joining in the contest. 
Thus reinforced, the van of the Christians moved 
to the pass of Muradal, which they forced, notwith- 
standing the stem resistance of the> enemy ; thence 
Capture of they advauccd to the capture of Ceistro 
rai FeiTal,, which is situated near the eastern 

extremity of Las Navas de Tolosa. It was now the 
twelfth of July. 

' We must pause for a moment to glance at the 
ground upon which the great battle was to be 
fought. The word navas means plains. On a 
sloping spur of the Sierra Morena, about 
seventy miles east of Cordova, and forty-five 
north of Jaen, in the upper valley of the Guadal- 
quiver, there is an extended and somewhat sloping 
table-land. It lies, more exactly, about five miles 
to the right of the little modem hamlet called 
La Carolina. In order to reach this magnificent 
plateau, where simple battle-tactics would take the 
place of strategic movements, it seemed necessary 


that the Christians should force their way through 
the pass of Losa, which was strong by nature, and 
was defended by great numbers of the Moslem troops. 
What should be done ? They must either force the 
pass, — a most difficult undertaking; or retire, — 
which would inspirit the enemy and discourage their 
own men; or find some way to avoid the pass, — 
of which they had no knowledge. From thia serious 
quandary they were rescued by aid, which in the 
belief of the contemporary writers, was due to mir- 
aculous interposition. A shepherd, whose name 
has been preserved, — Martin Halaja, — was brought 
to the kipg, who, from having grazed his flocks for 
many years in that locality, knew- the ground thor- 
oughly. He told Alfonso of another pass, unknown 
to the enemy, by which the army might move unper- 
ceived to occupy the table-land. The ad- chrintiAns 
venturous chief, Diego Lopez de Haro, with shepherd 
one companion, followed the shepherd to pass. 
test the truth of his story, and found it true. No 
time was lost in taking the army through this un- 
})erceived path ; and on the fourteenth of July the 
entire Christian host found themselves on the im- 
mense plateau, ten miles in extent, and risuig gently 
to its hill borders like an amphitheatre, thenceforth 
to be immortalized as Las Kavas de Tolosa. Every 
soldier was ready to believe that the shepherd was 
an angel, sent by the Almighty to minister to his 
chosen people ; and thus faith nerved every man with 
xmwonted strength. ' 

The army of Mohammed, on the first breaking up 
of the Christian encampment, rejoiced to think that 

VOL. II. 16 


the host of Alfonso was retreating ; when to their great 
astonishment they saw the Christian troops defile 
corps after corps upon the plain, and range them- 
selves imder their various banners in order of battle. 
But what were these few Christians in comparison 
with the Moorish forces who occupied the plain and 
hill-sideS| like '' countless swarms of locusts " ? ^ 

The Spanish king resisted the first efforts of Mo- 
hammed to bring on the conflict Still regarding 
them as trembling for the result, the Moslem troops 
riding up to their ranks taunted them as cowards ; 
and Mohammed wrote letters to Baeza and Jaen, 
declaring that the Christians would not fight 

The array of the Moslem chief was of unusual 
splendor. The imperial tent, which was pitched upon 
an eminence commanding the entire field, was of three- 
Thefortifled P^y crimsou vclvct (teTciopelo, carvMsi con 
SSim^**' fi^^^ ^ ^^^) flecked with gold; and its 
An-Naasir. purpje fringes were ornamented with rows 

of pearls. To guard it there were towards the enemy 
rows of iron chains, and a line of three thousand 
camels; in front of which, with lances planted up- 
right in the sand, was a living wall of ten thousand 
hideous negroes, in African costumes. 

In the centre of this strange fortress stood the 
Moslem leader, with his horse and shield beside him, 
wearing the green dress and turban of his ancestor 
Abdu-1-mumen, the founder of his dominion, which 
gave him, in the Christian ranks, the name d rey 
verde. In one hand he held his scimitar, and in the 

1 Cond4, Dominacion do los Arabes, III. ch. iv. 


other the Eoiin, from which he read in a sonorous 
voice those passages which promised the rewards of 
Paradise to those who should fall in battle for the 
defence of Islam, and the pains of Hell to those who 
should shun their duty.^ 

On Sunday, June the fifteenth, the Moslem host 
was in line, impatient to join battle ; but again the 
Christians refused to accept the Moslem defiance. 
Slowly the different corps took up their position 
during the day, and night came on without even a 
skirmish. It was impossible to pass another day in 
such close proximity without a battle. At midnight 
the voices of heralds were heard in the Christian 
camps, bidding the soldiers to confession, prayer, and 
mass ; priests were busy in every commani Thus 
came Monday morning, the sixteenth ; and as the 
sun was just beginning to gild the highest points of 
the Sierra Morena, it disclosed both hosts ready for 
the fray. The Moorish army, consisting of three 
hundred thousand regular levies and seventy thou- 
sand irregulars, was disposed in the form of a crescent 
in front of Mohammed's fortified tent : the Almobades 
in the centre; the desert tribes on the wings, and 
as light-armed troops in front 

The Christian force was arranged in four legions ; 
in the centre vbeing King Alfonso, with a banner 
bearing an eflSgy of the Virgin. With him rode the 
Archbishop Rodrigo, with many other prelates. The 
entire Christian army was less than one hundred 
thousand, or one fourth the number of the enemy. 

^ Cond^, Dominacion de los Arabes, III. ch. ir. 


Zeal and prowess were needed to conquer this dis- 

When the sound of a thousand cUabals and answer- 
ing clarions gave signal for onset, the centres of the two 
Thebftttto forces met in mid-career; backward and 
begin*. forward surged the battle; until, at last. 
King Alfonso, turning to the Archbishop Bodrigo, ex- 
claimed, "Archbishop, you and I must die here." 
" Not so," was the intrepid answer of the churchman ; 
" we must triumph here over our enemies.*' " Then," 
said the king, '' let us fly to the van, where we are 
sorely needed and most eagerly expected," ^ for the 
foremost Moslemah were jeering the king and the 

The immediate action corresponding to these words 
turned the tide and saved the day. In vain one of his 
Theintnpid cavalicrs, Fcman Garcia, tried to stop the 
wnlg' and ^^^g* urging him to wait for succor. Becom- 
archbuhop. mending themselves to God and the Vii^n, 
the king and the archbishop — the latter wearii^ his 
chasuble, and cross in hand — put spurs to their 
horses, and plunged into the thickest of the fight; the 
inspirited troops followed them with new ardor ; the 
Moors, who had been jeering at the retreating king 
and the cross-bearing prelate, were driven back in wild 
confusion ; and the battle became general 

Just then, too, treason began to work in the Moor- 
ish ranks. Some of the contingents' who had brooded 
over Mohammed's cruelty on a former occasion, " in 

^ La Faente, Historia de Espa&a, Y. 219. " Que asfse burlaban 
de sa pnsilanimidad como denostaban al sagrado signo que en su 
mano traia, y le apedreaban/' etc. 


the unjustly inflicted death of that brave and noble 
captain, Ibn Kadis/' turned their bridles and fled the 

But the great centre — the chief's tent with its liv- 
ing wall — was as yet untouched. Upon this the 
Christians now directed all their strength ; the cavalry 
could not break it ; they even turned their horses and 
tried to back them in, but without results. What 
the mass could not, however, do, was possible to in- 
dividual effort A single cavalier, Alvar Nunez de 
Lara, stol^ through, winding between ne- TheMooriah 
groes and camels, and either broke or passed piensed. 
under the chains ; and, as he waved his banner, a loud 
shout announced to the Christian advance that an 
entrance had been effected ; another was soon in, and 
a third ; the gaps widened ; many rushed to join their 
adventurous comrades ; and thus the charmed circle 
was broken. The camels were dispersed, and the negro 
guard put to the sword or to flight. 

Mohammed's reading of the Kordn was interrupted: 
he was like one dazed, repeating, *' God alone is true, 
and Satan is a betrayer." An Arab, on a swift mare, 
came up. " Mounts" he exclaimed, " and flee ! not 
thy steed, king, but my mare of a noble race, who 
knoweth not how to fail her rider in hh need." ^ It 
was not a moment too soon : the king mounted and 
set off at a gallop, followed by his panic-stricken 
troops ; and succeeded in reaching Jaen, to contradict 
in person his vainglorious letters of two days before. 
The rout was complete ; the pursuit lasted till night- 

^ Cond^ Dominacion de lOe Arabea, III. ch. Ixr. ^ lb. 


fall, and was only impeded by the Moslem corpses, 
which lay so thick that the pursuing force could not 
find room to pass. 

On the field, just in front of the tent of the fugitive 
Moslem chief, the Archbishop Eodrigo, first enjoin- 
ing the king to give thanks to God and to his gallant 
army, intoned, in a loud voice, the Tt Deum Zatida- 
mtts, the soldiers reverently and joyfully uniting in 
the holy chant of victory. 

Again the historian doubts as he endeavors to 
estimate the losses in the two armies. With a nat- 
ural exaggeration, the archbishop would increase the 
glory of the triumph by claiming '* bis centum milia 
interfecta," — two hundred thousand Moslem slain. 
We are morally sure of the over-estimate, but can 
ijo^^oj^ make no certain abatement Twenty-five 
bothsidoa. Christians are said to have fallen.^ For 
those who remained, the spoils were rich and splen- 
did, — gold, silver, vases, wagons, camels, horses, and 
beasts of burden ; immense quantities of commis- 
sary stores, arms of all kinds. The number of lances 
was so great that the conquering army burned no 
wood but these while in that locality, and did not 
consume the half of them. 

Strict orders, with the threat of excommunication 
by the church, were issued against pillage; and as 
soon as a proper inventory and systematic division 

1 In the letter of Alfonso to the Pope, the nmnher of ChristiAns 
is stated through miraculous intervention to have heen only twenty- 
five or thirty. The Archbishop of Narbonne says — not fifty. The 
fancy of La Fuente that the words of Rodrigo, " Do nostris antem 
viz defuere viginti quinque," imply milia, and that the Christiana 
lost twenty-five thousand, is scarcely tenable. 


could be made, the king distributed the captured 
property among his troops and allies; leaving for 
himself only the great glory of the victory. The 
splendid marquee of Mohammed was sent to Borne to 
adorn the Basilica of St Peter; and the captured 
banners were forwarded to Burgos, Toledo, and other 
cities, as waving proofs of the great conquest. The 
creeds had met, and the Cross was triumphant ; and, 
ever since, the sixteenth of July has been kept as a 
holy festival to celebrate "el triunfo de la Cruz," 
when the captured banners are displayed in a grand 

The king preserved an emerald from among the 
spoils, and placed it in the centre of his shield. 

It was to be expected, in that credulous age, that 
the victory of the Christians would be ascribed to 
miraculous agency. During the battle, it was said 
that a red cross like that of Calatrava was seen in the 
sky, to the joy of the Christians and the confusion of 
the Moslems ; that the latter were struck with torpor 
at the sight of the Virgin banner ; that the shepherd 
guide was an angel of the Loixl: all which things 
were readily believed both by Christians and Moors. 

The Christian army marched forward, taking and 
destroying towns, as far as Baeza and Ubeda ; but, 
being then struck with general debility, and affected 
by a camp malady, owing to the heat and the malaria 
which it engendered, they retired from Andalusia, 
leaving behind them chiefly the moral effect of the 
great, victory, from which the Moors never recovered. 
The Moslem emperor, rendered cruel and sullen by 
his defeat, stopped only long enough in Seville to ex- 


ecute the principal traitors who had contributed to 
his defeat by deserting his ranks ; and then, leaving 
Mohammed his son in Command in Spain, hastened to 
the year. Morocco, where he shut himself up with his 
own gloomy thoughts ; he died, it was thought by 
poison, in the same year. 

His royal rival, Alfonso, while prosecuting his war 
against the king of Portugal, was seized with fever at 
The death *^® hamlet of Gutierro Munoz; and, after 
ofAifoMa receiving the last sacraments from the 
hands of the faithful Archbishop Bodrigo, died on the 
sixth of October, 1214, being fifty-sevenyears old, and 
having nominally reigned fifty-five years. " As, when 
Alfonso VI. is named, it is added, 'el que gano 
Toledo,' so the name of Alfonso VIII. is always ac- 
companied with the phrase, ' el de Las Navas,' — the 
two great triumphs which decided the fate of Spain, 
and laid the foundations of its liberty." ^ 

Doubtless, this truly important victory has been 
exaggerated by Christian writers; but the Arabian 
chroniclers concede a great defeat. There was still 
very much for the Spaniards to do in the work of eject- 
ing the Moslems ; a work which was still to go on with 
checkered fortunes for two hundred and eighty years ; 
but which, however slow in execution, was certain 
of final accomplishment, for "from that day com- 
menced the decay of the Moslemah power in Spain." 
The son of Mohammed and his immediate successors 
" raised the minarets once again, and, to a certain ex- 
tent, succeeded in subjugating the Christian infidel, 

^ La Fuente, Histoiia de Espafia, Y. 235 ; Cond^, Dominacion dt 
Io8 Arabes, III. ch. Iv, 


of whose territories he occupied a considerable por- 
tion, which he had conquered by might of arms.*'^ 
But the Christian kings, unhurt by the curse of 
Allah, pursued their conquests in Andalusia " until it 
pleased Allah to place it in the hands of the Beni 
Merine sovereigns, — to whom," prays the chronicler, 
" may he grant prosperity ! " * 

The principal events in the battle of Las Navas — 
called by the Moors AVdkdh, or the Ai'fl-«ide— were 
recited by Alfonso VIII., in his letter to chroniciae 
Pope Innocent III., announcing the vie- of the event 
tory. They are also related by the Archbishop 
Eodrigo, in his history, and by the Archbishop of 
Narbonne. These two prelates were eye-witnesses 
and actors in the great event; it is likewise told 
in various chronicles, chiefly in that of Alfonso el 
Sabio ("Cr6nica General' de EspaM**). Condi's 
Arabian authorities give a full account, with interest- 
ing details; Al Makkari is very short, — less than 
half a page ; but I have dwelt upon this battle, be- 
cause it was one of the few great decisive events in the 
decline of Moslem power, and because in the midst of 
the darkness and confusion it shines forth in the clear 
light of historic truth; it is described in detail by 
several eye-witnesses, by the collation of whose nar- 
ratives a well-defined picture may be obtained. 

^ La Faente, Historia de Espafiay Y. 286 ; Cond^ Damioaoioii 
de loe Aiabee, III. ch. Iv. 




'T^O complete the sketch of the Moslem dominion 
-*- in Spain, I shall only present, in an almost 
tabulated form, and with small citation of authorities, 
the principal well-known events in the remaining 
history, from the decline of the Almohades in the 
thirteenth century, to the extinction of the kingdom 
of Granada, in the last years of the fifteenth. It is 
a period of disorder and confusion, full of cross lights, 
burning brightly or dimly, and disclosing jostling 
figures, which remain upon the scene too short a time 
to be clearly discerned, if it were our purpose to in- 
dividualize them, which it is not. All this forms a most 
interesting part of the history of the reconquest 

The battle of Las Navas de Tolosa, which was 
fought in 1213, gave true token of the end. Idris 
The decline (Al-mamiiu) was their last emperor of the 
Sraoft^^' Almohades in the peninsula. The people 
Aimohadei. p^g^ agaiust him,^ and drove him into Africa 
in 1232, and from that time their dominion was 
limited to Africa, where four Khalifs — one, Abdu-1- 
wahed II. being twice upon the throne — made head 

^ Al Makkari, Mohammedaii Dynasties, II. 336. 


against the Beni Merines ; and then the Almohades 
succumbed to the decree of AllaL 

Both invading hosts — the Almoravides and Almo- 
hades — had conquered the petty kings and held the 
South in subjection ; but, as soon' as the Almohades 
disappeared, one of these little kingdoms sprang again 
into new life and consequence, and upon its fortunes 
the entire interest of the remaining history is concen- 
trated. It was the kingdom of Granada, whose strug- 
gles and fate are vividly ahd romantically described 
in the chronicle of Washington Irving,^ and more 
exactly and seriously in the excellent history of 

When Idris and the gloiy of the Almohades de- 
parted in 1232, it was to resist the assaults of the 
Beni Merines in Africa, and the ambition of Ibn 
Hiid, setting forth to occupy the abandoned seats in 
Andalusia. There the latter proclaimed Al-Mostasem 
the Khalif of Baghdad, at this time the shadow of a 
name, for that khalif was then besieged in his capi- 
tal, and within a few years Baghdad was to be 
destroyed, and with it the great dynasty of the Abba- 
sides in the East ^ was to come to an end. But Ibn 
Hiid lost his power and was assassinated. 

A new element of strength now presented itself in 

^ La Fnente, Historia de Espafia, IX. 405. Nothing could be 
joster than the criticisin of "an illustrious writer," — " pero como 
dice un ilustrado escritor — estrangero tambien, haciendo justicia i 
la brillantez de bus descripciones y i su habilidad diamdtica, no so 
•abe en qui dase 6 categoria colocar su libro, pues para romance 
hay en el demasiada realidad, y para cronica no hay bastante !" 

* Ockley's History of the Saracens, p. 505. 


the rise of the Beni 'Saav, a family of station and 
The king- powcT, wMch occupied, in the person of 
nada. Mohammed I., Ibnu-1-hamar^ the throne 

of Granada, and this family was to reign with varied 
fortunes for two. hundred and sixty years. 

During the usurpation, if so it may be called, of 
Ibn Hiid, the Christians had advanced to Merida and 
Badajos ; and had sent an expedition in 1230, which 
was successful in capturing Majorca from a certain 
captain, Ibn Musa, who, protected by its insular 
position, had held it for the Almohades against aU 
TheChrii- comcrs since the year 1209. The other 
Jjj^^jjjjj^g Balearic Islands soon fell into the Christian 
lauodi. hands. Valencia, which, as we have seen, 
was the stronghold of the Cid, and was reoccupied 
after his death by the Almoravides, remained in 
Moslem hands, the Almohades succeeding, until 
1238, when it was captured by King Jaime of 

Step by step the relentless Christians advanced. 
The capture of Cordova by Ferdinand IIL of Castile 
was a terrible blow to the Moslemah. Al Makkari, 
writing long after the event, says : "After a siege of 
several months he reduced Cordova, and on Sunday, 
the twenty-third of Shawwdl of the year 636 (May 
29, 1239), that seat of the Western Khalifate, the re- 
pository of the theological sciences and abode of Islfim, 
passed into the hands of the accursed Christians ! "' 
Almerfa next capitulated, and W£ts united to the 
territories of Cordova, and so the reconquest marched 

1 Dominacion de los Arabea, III. ch. ir. 
* Mohammedan DynastiMi II. 880. 


on, — a long march, but with the goal and prize 
always distinctly in view. 

In the mean time, as has been told, Mohammed 
Ibnu-l-ahmar had prepared to restore the kingdom 
of Granada, and began to fortify its chief city. He 
was at once resisted by the son of Ibn Hiid, Ytisof, 
who in the eastern provinces again proclaimed the 
Abbaside Eiialif, while Mohammed declared himself 
Sultan of Andalusia, with tributary allegiance to the 
Sultan^ of eastern Africa,. in the hope of obtaining 
his assistance He did not satisfy himself with proc- 
lamations He felt himself to be the founder of a 
great dynasty, and he determined to achieve his 
greatness. Marching to Jaen, from his native town, 
Arjona, he sent before him secret emissaries, through 
whose intrigues he was proclaimed king at Granada. 
It was in May, 1238, that he arrived at that ibQa-i-«h- 
city in the evening and encamped without hn entry 
the walls. At dawn of the next day, he luuift. 
made his entry, remaining in the town until even- 
ing. As at sunset he was about to proceed to the 
castle, and had reached the gate of the kassdbah, or 
palace, he heard the voice of the muezzin calling the 
people to evening prayer ; upon which, without going 
any farther, Ibnu-l-ahmar entered the mihrdb of the 
mosque, and recited the first chapter of the Kordn, 
and then proceeded to the Castle of Bddis, preceded 
by men bearing wax tapers.^ Thus the great Gra- 

1 The title Sultdn was first taken \sj Mohammed Ibn Saboh 
Ikeen in the eleventh century ; and was thenceforth used in Spain. 
— Lank, Arahian NighUy L. 274. 

^ Al Makkari, Mohammedan Dynasties, II. 844. 


nadine dynasty was inaugurated with prayer and self- 

At first, with the purpose to extort the respect of the 
Christians, he made furious sorties, and defeated them 
in several encounters ; and then, that he might have 
time, and relief from a constant necessity of defence, 
he made a treaty with them ; by which he became 
their ally, and gave them vigorous aid in their ezpe- 
His auiance ditious agaiust Carmoua, Seville, and other 
chrutianB. towns, held by men of his own faith. He 
thus participated in the two years' siege of Seville, 
and when, on its capture, he was congratulated upon 
^ his share in the success, and saluted as ghalih (con- 
queror), he sadly replied, " Le ghalib ilia Allah," (" There 
is no conqueror but God!**) — a sentence which is 
on his coat of arms, and may be found incorporated 
with many of the arabesques of the Alhambra, of 
which the main structures are by his hand. 

But his alliance with the Christians did not pre- 
vent him from cultivating friendly relations with the 
Beni Merines of Africa, who could help him to make 
head against their later encroachments. Very soon 
the Christian bond was loosened, and he began to 
invade their territory, Ibnu-1-ahmar was a truly 
great man, and the Moslems in Spain suffered a great 
loss when he died, on the tenth of Septem- 

^ His death. 

ber, 1272. He was on an expedition to 
drive back a foraging party of Christians, when he 
stumbled and felL The injury seemed slight, but 
was mortal ; and he had only time to enjoin upon 
his son and successor, Abii Abdillah, to keep up the 
war and carry out his plans, when death overtook him. 


The energy of Ibnu-1-ahmar was displayed in 
many activities. Valiant and skilful in war, he built 
a palace on the Alhambra, and surrounded it with 
hospitals^ mosques, and colleges; he laid out its 
beautiful gardens, erected aqueducts, and filled the 
city with fountains. The waters of the Darro and 
Xenil were tapped near their source, and to-day 
Granada enjoys the great luxury in that climate of 
an inexhaustible water-supply.^ 

But we may not stop upon these details. The way 
is long, and must be rapidly traversed. Ibnu-1-ahmar 
was succeeded by his son, Abii Abdillah, known as 
Mohammed II. Obeying his father's injunctions, he 
called upon Yahiib, the Sultdn of the Beni Merines, 
at Fez, to come to his aid, and captured Algeqiras, to 
serve as a receptacle and magazine for these African 
allies. He also presented Tarifa to Yahdb. The two 
allied forces then went out to meet NuiLo de Lara with 
the Christian frontier troops, and routed him. But 
Mohammed was sooti prevailed upon by his fears to 
renew the Christian alliance ; and the Christian troops, 
thus freed from one enemy, soon wrested Alge9iras, 
Tarifa, Ronda, and other towns frorb the Beni Merines, 
who were, all but a small remnant, driven back into 
Africa. The detailed history of these adventures is 
full of romance, with here and there a touch of true 
pathos. After the successful siege of Tarifa in 12*91 
by King Sancho of Castile, a noble knight, Don 
Alfonso de Guzman,^ was appointed governor of the 


^ Ford's Handbook for Spain, original edition, I. 801. 
* The name is a cormption of the German Out Mann; and, tis- 
gnlarly enough, the Spanish chroniclers add to it «2 BtiffM, 


place. The recreant Don Juan, brother of the Cas- 
tilian king, joined with him troops from Morocco to 
The fltory retake it In the service of Bon Juan, or, 

of Alfonso ^ .^ 111 

daGaiman. as some wnters say, held as a prisoner, was 
a son — probably illegitimate — of Alfonso de Guz- 
man. Him the besieger loaded with chains, and, 
displaying him under the wall, cried out to the gov- 
ernor that, if he did not surrender, his son should be 
put to death before his eyes. " He [the governor] 
silently unbound the sword from his girdle, threw it 
down to the prince for the fulfilment of his threat, 
and retired from the walL Then the Moslemah, ren- 
dered furious by the contempt expressed in this reply, 
struck ofif the head of the youth, and, placing it on 
one of their machines, they cast it over the walls, 
that the father might not be able to doubt of his 
loss." ^ With stoic fortitude, when de Guzman heard 
the cry of horror which followed the tragic deed, and 
was told its meaning, he replied, "I thought the 
enemy had succeeded in entering our works." 

We pass rapidly over the succeeding events. Mo- 
hammed II. died in 1302, and was succeeded by a 
Mohammed greater king, — Mohammed III., another 
Nasr. Abii Abdillah. In a brief period from 

1309, he was dethroned by a revolt of his brother, 
Nasr ; but when, in 1312, Nasr in turn was forced to 
abdicate, he was succeeded by Isma'fl AbA-l- Waled, 
after whom came Mohammed IV., in 1315. 

Meantime the Christian monarchs were always 
pressing the Moorish frontier. In 1309, Ferdinand 

^ Cond^, Dominacion de los Arabea, part iy. ch. IS. Another 
Tcrsion is that Don Jaan plunged his poniaid into the yonth's heart. 


rV. of Castile succeeded in taking Gibraltar, while 
the troops of Aragon besieged Almeria, and thus the 
ciide was ever narrowing, but not without bloody 
dispute. When Don Pedro, Infante of Castile, made 
his great effort against Granada in 1319, he was 
wofully defeated in the battle of Elvira, and his rich 
camp despoiled by the Moors. 

Mohammed lY. succeeded in retaking Gibraltar 
from the Christians, and was again enabled to secure 
the assistance of the Beni Merines of Mo- Mohammed 
rocco. But he thus brought about his own '^* 
destruction; for he was assassinated by his African 
allies, and succeeded by his brother Yiisuf in 1333. 
Prompted purely by self-interest, Abu-1-has, another 
leader, with sizty thousand men, beside the contingent 
from Granada, encountered the Christians near Tarifa 
in the year 1340, and was defeated with immense 

Yiisuf was assassinated by a madman in 1354, and 
was succeeded by Mohammed Y., who bore the title 
of Al-ghani-billah (the man contented with God). But 
with men he had no reason to be contented. Driven 
from his throne by a revolt of his half-brother, 
Isma'fl, he first fied for his life to Guadix, and then 
to Africa, in the year 1359. And all these intestine 
quarrels were playing into the Christians' hands. 
Isma'fl, the usurper, held the nominal power less 
than a year, when he was dethroned and put to 

^ Al Makkari, Mohammedan Dynasties, LI. 356. Ck>n<l^, Do- 
minacion de loe Arabes, part iv. ch. xxii He calls it the battle of 
tiie Gnadacelito, a small stream running between the two comps. 
It is the Salade of the Christians. 
VOL. n. 17 


death. His successor, Mohammed VI., surrounded 
by difficulties, came to the strange detenninatiou to 
place himself and his kingdom under the protection 
Mohammed of that Elius: Pcdro of Castilo whom history 

VI. is assas* 

sin'ated by has named d crud, but whom his adherents 

Pedro the 

cmeL called el Jtcstidero, the doer of justice. The 

Castilian king vindicated his claim to the historic 
title by putting Mohammed to death, and seizing 
*' the countless treasures which he and the chiefs who 
composed his suite brought with them." 

To the throne, thus once more vacant by as- 
sassination, Mohammed Y. returned, and ruled a 
second time, from 1362 to 1391. The length of this 
reign is due in part to the skill of the king, but 
chiefly to the truces made with the kings of Castile. 
Then came the reigns of Yiisuf II. and Mohammed 
. VII., uneventful, except that, in the words of the 
Arabian chronicler, ''the Mohammedan empire still 
went on decaying, until it became an easy prey to 
the infidels, who surrounded it on every side, like a 
pack of hungry wolves."^ Many portents of ruin 
were displayed, and the public mind was already 
contemplating the entire success of the Christians. 

I pass over a long period in which this disintegra- 
tion was going on, accompanied by great confusion. 
Conde, depending but little for this later period upon 
Arabian authorities, has given a long, doubtful, and 
A century of somcwhat dcsultory account of men and 
struggles, events, so like each other, from year to year, 
that the student imagines the later pictures but repro- 

^ Al Makkari, Mohammedan Dynasties, II. 868. Oond^ Domi- 
naclon de los Arabes, part ir. ch. zztxL 


ductions of the earlier. It was a century of struggles, in 
which the. Moors were being more and more restricted 
to their little kingdom of Granada, and the Christians 
were strengthening to dislodge and expel them. And 
thus, for all the purposes of this history, we may 
pass at one long step from the death of Ydsuf II., in 
1395, to the spring of 1478, when one Abu-1-hasan, 
a man of great and famous valor, then reigning at 
Granada, reviewed his troops for an entire month 
from the Alhambra ; and, as they defiled before him, 
gloried in what seemed an impregnable defence. 

We have now reached literally the beginning of 
the end. Failing to make an advantageous treaty 
with the Christians, the Moorish king surprised and 
occupied Zahara, and destroyed its houses and walls to 
such an extent, that a Moorish santon oracularly de- 
clared that the ruins would fall on their own heads. 
The fulfilment was not long wanting, for the Moslems 
were to receive a blow more ruinous than any yet 
struck. Looking about him for the best method of 
vengeance, Ferdinand of Aragon, who, by his mar- 
riage with Isabella of Castile, had united the two 
crowns, was informed that the impoilant strategic 
town of Alhama, — "the land -key to Gra- The strength 
nada, " — in the very heart of the territory, Snce ofAi- 
depending upon its natural defences, was, ^"*^ 
in one part, carelessly guarded, and might be taken by 
surprise. Nothing but the fall of Granada itself 
could be more destructive to the Moslem ^cause. 
" The town is perched on the edge of a deep rent 
in the hills, round which the river Marchan sweeps, 
and backed by its own sierra, in which the Tezdda 


rises eight thousand feet above the sea."^ Besides 
its natural strength, Alhama was important to Gra- 
nada in many other respects. Situated only twenty 
miles away from the capital, it had valuable cloth- 
factories and other industries, but was chiefly noted 
for the warm baths, which gave it its name, Al-ham- 
mam,^ which were a great resort of the court and 
gentry of the capital. To reach it the Christians 
must cross the Xenil and the mountain range, through 
a country thickly peopled with the most enthusiastic 
of all the Moslemah in Spain. 

The Marquis of Cadiz undertook the task of cap- 
turing Alhama with three thousand cavalry and four 
thousand foot ; marching around Loja, still strongly 
occupied by the Moors, through Archidona and Ante- 
quera; concealing his forces as much as possible by 
day, and proceeding by night, on the third day he 
debouched into the valley below the town. Up to that 
time the troops even were ignorant of their destination. 
It was now divulged, and excited a great enthusiasm. 

With scaling ladders they mounted the walls; 
killing the sentinels, and before the inhabitants were 
aware, three hundred men were within the place, and, 
announcing the fact by the sound of trumpets, they 
opened a gate through which the Christians rushed to 
take possession. There was much hand-to-hand fight- 
ing in the streets,^ but the capture was soon complete. 

Great, indeed, was the consternation in Granada 

^ FoTd*6 Handbook for Spain, I. 290. 

* lb. The name is also found in the Hbammam of Cairo ; 
and in the corruption, the Hammums of Covent Garden in London. 

' " Palmo a palmo iban estos forzando y ganando las trincheru y 
empal^zadas," etc — La Fuents, ffiatoria de EspaHa^ IX. 252. 


when the tidings were received. Ay ! de mi Alhama ! 
("Alas for my Alhama!") was on every Thecaptuw 
tongue ; and echoes in our ears to-day in the o'^***™^ 
sad chant — patetico romance — of a Granadine poet, 
who describes the king's grief and rago when a mes- 
senger arrived with the news.^ The bearer of the ill- 
tidings, if we may trust the ballad, was at once put to 
death. But the king acted as well : a force was at 
once despatched from Granada to recapture the place ; 
on their arrival they were shocked by the spectacle 
of dogs eating the Moorish bodies which had been 
thrown from the walls. They were infuriated beyond 

1 ** Pafieavase el Key moro 
For la ciudad de Granada, 
Desde las puertas de Elvira 
Hasta las de Yiya RambUu 
Ay 1 de mi Alhama I 

" Cartas les fueron Yenidas, 
Que Alhama eran ganada. 
Las cartas ech6 en el fnego 
T a mensangero matava. 

Ay ! de mi Alhama I 

" Hombres, nifios y mugeres 
'Lloran tan grande perdida. 

Lloravan todas las damas 

Quantas en Granada avia. 

Ay ! de mi Alhama ! 

" For las calles y ventanas 
Mucho luto Parecia ; 
Llora el Key oomo fembra, 
Qu'es mucho lo que perdia. 

Ay I de mi Alhama 1 " 

In his excellent yerslon of these stanzas, Lord Bjrron fell into the 
error of translating " Ay ! de mi Alhama ! " by ** Wo is me, Al- 
hama ! " whereas it means, " Wo to my Alhama I " or, " Alas for 
my Alhama ! " 


measiire, and inspired with a determination to avenge 
their slaughtered brethren. They were, however, 
without artillery ; and so, with unsuccessful attempts 
to undermine the natural wall, they resorted to the 
plan of cutting off the water, by placing troops under 
shelter to shoot down every one who should attempt 
to procure water from the river. The Christians 
were in great straits. Messenger after messenger was 
dropped from the wall, under cover of night, and sped 
away to bring succor. At last it came. The despair- 
ing Christians observed an unusual motion in the 
The Chris- besieffiuff army, and soon saw that a reliev- 

tians receive ^ ^ '" 

Buccor. mg force, under the Duke of Medina 
Sidonia, had arrived and raised the siege. Between 
this nobleman and the Marquis of Cadiz there had 
been a deadly feud, but the happy occasion brought 
them together. They embraced in sight of the whole 
army, and the new compact of friendship was the 
crown of the permanent possession of Alhama on 
the 29th of March, 1482. The doubts as to its main- 
tenance were set at rest by the queen, Isabel, and it 
was put in a condition of impregnable defence. 

The capture of Alhama may be regarded as the sure 
promise of the conquest of Granada. It was, indeed, 
the key with which, ten years later, the gates of the 
capital were opened. Not many words are now 
needed to complete the story of the expulsion of the 
Moors from Andalusia, called by La Fuente " la tienti 
clasica del Christianismo," in which, with the desire of 
possession, the Spaniards were fighting for the Faith. 

The first attempt to take Loja was unsuccessful. 
Strong in natural position, encircled by hills, and 


circumscribed by the Xenil, as a natural fosse, forti- 
fied by art, and, standing at the entrance of the 
magnificent Vega ^ of Granada, it was defended by 
Ali 'Atar, a valiant and veteran chief, whose deeds 
have been material for romance, but who appears with 
historic truth as the heroic defender of this town : 
when the attack of the Christians led by the king 
was repulsed, and his intended retreat was mistaken 
by his troops for flight, Ali 'Atar made a sortie which 
drove them away in rapid rout. 

This success of the veteran Ali 'Atar was followed 
by a greater and more influential triumph. Alfonso 
de Cardenas, the Grand Master of Santiago, led by 
personal ambition, made a descent upon Malaga, 
through the defiles of the wild sierra known as the 
Axarguia. Waiting until the Christian force was 
entangled in the passes, Abii-1-hasan, aided by his 
younger brother, suniamed El zagul, the valiant, 
hemmed them in, cut them up, and rolled missiles 
upon them from the heights, slaying eight hundred 
and taking sixteen hundred prisoners.^ 

In the year 1482, the throne of Abii-1-hasan had 
been usurped by his eldest son, Abii Abdillah, whose 
name is corrupted in the Christian annals ^,,,_,, 
into Boabdil, called d chico, the little or i^tdulf 
younger, to distinguish him from the elder ^^**^**' 
king of the same name; and who was to have tlie 
evil fortune to surrender the entire Moorish power in 
Spain to the Christians. In the list of Moorish sov- 

1 Arabic^ Bek£h, — a watered valley between hills. — ForcCs 
Handbook for Spain, p. 291. 

* See Prescott's Ferdinand and Isabella, I. cb. x. 


ereigns he appears as Mohammed XII. The discord 
in Granada gave greater facility to the projects of 
Ferdinand. The wives of the old king were jealous 
of each other, and factions were thereby formed. 
The tribes and families fought against each other; 
and feuds like those mentioned in the romantic storj 
of the Abencerrages and the Zegris, divested of 
their romantic character, were really taking place 
within the walls of Granada. Nor was the contro- 
versy confined to the^ nobility : the illegal power of 
Boabdil was contested by his uncle Az-Zagal (El 
Zagal), who held a precarious sway for four years, 
until 1487, when Boabdil again came to the throna 
This was rendered more easy by the fact that, in a 
battle between the Moors and Christians in the ter- 
ritory of Lucena, not long after his accession, Boabdil 
was taken prisoner by the Christian forces. By a 
stroke of policy, the Christian king released his 
royal prisoner, in the hope that through him he might 
make a treaty. Boabdil went to Loja, which was at 
once besieged by Ferdinand, and this time captured, 
and with it the Moorish king again fell into the 
Christian hands. Again released, after many di£B- 
culties, he came into power. 

The Christian conquests were not stayed by these 
circumstances. In 1487, they captured Velez Malaga, 
Capture of ou the coast a short distance east of Malaga, 

Velex Mala- 

gi^of and received the submission of many neigh- 
1487. ' boring towns. In the same year Malaga 
was besieged and taken. In 1489, Baeza followed; 
then the important city of Almeria, and at last the 
city of Granada stood alone to represent the Moham- 
medan dominion in the Peninsula. 


The strife between Boabdil and El Zagal now 
came to an end; and the latter, perhaps foreseeing the 
fatal issae, embarked for Africa, leaving the nominal 
rule and the inevitable surrender to his rival. Only 
ten years had passed since the fall of Alhama. That 
important fortress, Loja^ Yelez Malaga, Baeza, Alme- 
ria, Guadix, were in Christian hands; the circle of 
fire was complete. The army of Ferdinand and Isa- 
bella was in splendid condition, and reinforcements 
were arriving from day to day. System and order 
prevailed, and the troops, elated with victory, ac- 
knowledged no possibility of failure. 

Very different was the condition of things and very 
depressed the spirit of the people in Granada. Besides 
its own disordered population, it was crowded with 
disheartened fugitives, anxious for peace on any terms. 
The more warlike and ambitious representatives of the 
tribes were still quarrelling in the face of The disor. 
common ruin, but all parties joined in bitter Gnmada. 
denunciations of their king. When he had been 
released by Ferdinand after the capture of Loja, he 
had promised that when Guadix should be taken and 
the power of El Zagal destroyed, he would surrender 
Granada to the Christian king, and retire to some 
seignory, as duke or marquis. But now that the 
eastis had arrived, he found not only that the people 
would not permit him to keep his promise, but that the 
very fact of his having made it constituted him an im- 
pious traitor, — " Llamaba impio, traidor y rebelde." 

So far from being troubled at his refusal to per- 
form his promise, Ferdinand was rejoiced at it. He 
indeed denounced El Chico as perfidious; but he 


preferred to signalize by force of arms a conquest 
which would have lost historic value if only the result 
of submission. Nay, more, he was to have a new claim 
to right on his side. The only way in which Boabdil 
could appease the people was by an immediate dec- 
laration of war against the Christians. This was in 
the year 1490. When this was made known, Ferdi- 
nand and Isabella were at Seville, celebrating the 
marriage of the Infanta Isabel with Alfonso, crown 
prince of Portugal. The omen was a happy one. 
The armies of Spain and Portugal were immediately 
joined to put an end to the crusade. With five 
thousand cavalry and twenty thousand foot, the 
Spanish king advanced to the Sierra Elvira, overlook- 
ing the original site of the Granadine capital 

The epic and romantic details of the conquest may 
be read elsewhere. Within sight of the Moors, who 
lined the wcdls and looked from the towers of Gra- 
nada, Eling Ferdinand made a grand display in con- 
ferring the honor of knighthood upon his son Juan, 
who was then but twelve years of age. There were 
sorties on the part of the Moors, and chivalrous duels 
between individuals, until the coming of winter, 
when, leaving proper guards and garrisons, the princi- 
ped Christian force retired to Cordova, to make ready 
for the spring. El Zagal had returned from Africa 
and was now fighting in the Christian ranks. 

It was an imposing array which was reviewed by 
Ferdinand on the twenty-sixth of April, 1491, in the 
The Spanish beautiful Ycga, about six miles from the 
Vega. H91. city of Granada ; the force consisted of ten 
thousand horse and forty thousand foot, ready to take 


position in the final siege. If more should be needed 
more were ready to come. 

As they manoeuvred in full view of the walls, Boab- 
dil called a council of war in his palace, and stated 
the case. What should be done? There BoabdU's 
were in the city two hundred thousand souls, war. 
and of these at least twenty thousand men capable 
of bearing arms ; a fair proportion as against the be- 
siegers. The provisions were ample for a long siege ; 
there was plenty of water from the rivers Darro and 
Xenil ; to the south at least were the mountain bar- 
riers and passes of the Sierra Nevada ; the citadel of 
the Alhambra was almost impregnable with its contin- 
uous wall and numerous towers. The entire city was 
nearly nine miles in circuit, with twelve secure gates. 
It did seem as if they might make a successful re- 
sistance, and hope for African aid to give them a 
new lease of life. But these hopes were soon blasted. 
It was no part of the Spanish king's purpose to as- 
sault the place. The capture of the lower town of 
Granada would expose him to the artillery of the 
Alhambra. And so he laid his siege in the Vega, 
but used his troops in devastating the surrounding 
country, taking prisoners, and capturing cattle, so as 
to leave the besiegers no hope of supply when their 
ample provision should begin to fail. 

Meantime the Christian camp grew like a city, and 
when Queen Isabella came with her train of beauty 
and grace, it was also a court city in miniature. Her 
splendid silken teut became the palace, in front of 
which f^tes champetres were intermingled with bloody 
tournaments, which were the delight of the period. 


Ouce, in inspecting some fortification, she was nearly 
taken prisoner ; blood was spilt, and the more adven- 
turous of her defenders made a momentary entrance 
within one of the gates, but, not being supported, 
retired again to the camp. Another circumstance 
which at first seemed injurious and ominous to the 
Spanish fortunes was turned into positive advantage. 
The Chris- ^^ *'^® fourteenth of July one of the maidens 
isdeSroyed ^^ ^^^ quccu's houschold carclcssly placed 
by fire. ^ lighted taper near a curtain, which was 
blown by the wind against it, and a conflagration took 
place which destroyed the entire encampment The 
Vega and the towers of the Alhambra were lighted up 
by the flames, and for a short time the Moors might 
rejoice in a disaster which seemed to paralyze the 
Christian labors. Not so; no one had been hurt; all 
set to work, noble commanders and private soldiers 
alike, with equal ardor, and soon in the place of the 
camp, rose a quadrangular city of wood, with two main 
streets crossing in the centre, where a lofty cross was 
erected : it was surrounded with palisades and had four 
i« replaced gatcs. The army, devoted to their queen, 

bv the citv 

of Santa P6. would havc Called it Isabel; but she, with a 
piety which was also excellent policy, disclaimed the 
honor, and named it SanUa F4, — the holy faithy for 
which more than all else they were now in arms. The 
momentary elation of the Moors gave way to profound 
depression, and this induced them to capitulate. The 
last hour had indeed struck on the great horologe of 
history; and on the twenty-fifth of November the 
armistice was announced for making a treaty of 
peace and occupancy. Inevitable as it was, the 


people were still further enraged against Boabdil for 
this compliance with fate. A crazy santon rushed 
about the streets denouncing him as a mean coward 
and impious traitor, and he was obliged to shut him- 
self up to escape the public fury. 

A tinice was made and terms of surrender agreed 
upon. There were two instruments, — one public, 
in which all matters affecting the surrender Theteniuiof 
were arranged, and the other private, which ^ap^*"^**®'*- 
contained the special terms made with Boabdil and 
his family.^ An examination of both leads us to 
consider the concessions of the Christians as more 
liberal than might under the circumstances have 
been expected According to the firat, the city was 
to be surrendered within seventy-five days from the 
promulgation of the treaty. The people were to be 
secured in all their rights, under the authority of 
their own laws and judges ; their religion and their 
schools were to be respected. There should be no 
tribute demanded for three years, and after that it 
should not be excessive. The party of El Zagal only 
was excluded, and, if the terms should be respected, 
Granada in Christian hands might be even more 

^ The origiDals of these docnmcnts are preserved in the archives 
of Simancas. Exact translations in modem Spanish may be found in 
thd Appendix to the ninth volume of La Fuente (Historia de Espafia) : 
a summary is also given in the text of La Fuente. I have not 
thought it necessary for the purposes of this history to dwell in this 
place upon the details of the capitulation : there are forty-seven articles 
or items in the first treaty, and sixteen in the second. The first is en- 
titled, " Capitulacion para la entrega de Granada, fecha en el real 
de la Yega de Granada A 25 dias del mes de Noviembre de 1491 
afioB." The second is called " Capitulacion S^eta." An English 
translation will be found in the appendix. 


peaceful and prosperous than it liad been under the 
Moorish dominion. There should be an exchange of 
Moorish and Christian captives on equal terms, and 
five hundred hostages, who were demanded until the 
capitulation should be completed, were to be returned 
when the Christian troops should occupy the fortress 
of the Alhambra. The secret capitulation secured to 
ThegnwtB Boabdil, his family, heirs and assigns, aU 
toBoabdii. ^j^^jp patrimonial possessions; it ceded to 
him, in seignory and heredity, a certain territory in 
the Alpujarras, with a dozen towns (una docena de 
pueblos)y which were specially mentioned, excepting 
the fortress of Adra ; and there was to be given him 
on the day of the royal entrance into the citadel 
thirty thousand pieces'of gold,^ for which the discon- 
tented people thought he had sold his honor. 

The entrance into Granada had been fixed for the 
second of January, 1492, but was postponed to the 
sixth. On the second, however, as the morning sun 
began to gild the towers of the Alhambra, the troops 
were in line and awaiting the signaL Three cannon- 
shots from a Moorish battery burst upon the ears of 
the expectant besiegers. A select party headed by 
Mendoza, the Grand Cardinal of Spain, marched slowly 
up the cuesta de las molinaa to the right of the Al- 

^ Item IV. ''Eb ascntado que hagun bus Altezas merced al 
dicho rey Mulej Baaudili de treinta mil Castellanos de cro en que 
montan 14 caentos i 550,000 maravedis." — La Fusnte, Histcria 
de EspafUt, Vol. IX App. p. 559. The cuento is a milium. The 
modern marcwed% a word which shows its Almoravide origin, is less 
than a third of a cent, which would make the sum less than fifty 
thousand dollars of our money, representing of course a far greater 
value at that time. 


bambra, until they reached the esplanade of Ababut, 
while Boabdil, issuing through the gate of the Siete 
SueloSj with fifty Moorish nobles, went to meet him. 
With respectful salutations, the king said in a loud 
voice and sad accents, " Go, sir, in a fortunate hour, 
go and occupy my palaces in the name of the puis-sant 
king to whom God, to whom all things are possible, 
has given them, on account of their great merits, and 
for the sins of the Moslemah." ^ 

He then proceeded to the bank of the Xenil, near 
a small mosque, where the royal party awaited him. 
Ferdinand gracefully declined the hand- HegiyMtiie 
kissing in sign of homage, and Boabdil, dinaiui. 
presenting the keys of the city, exclaimed : " We are 
thine, powerful and exalted king; these are the 
keys of that paradise. We deliver into thy hands 
this city and kingdom, for such is the will of Allah ; 
and we trust that thou wilt use thy triumph with 
generosity and clemency." ^ 

Ferdinand embraced him, and claimed his friend- 
ship. Boabdil then drew from his finger a seal ring, 
and offered it to the Count of TendiUa, who had 
been named governor of the conquered city, with the 
words : "With this seal Granada has been governed; 
tak^it for your government, and God give you better 
fortune than mine." * 

Thus the great and final expulsion of the Moslems 
was accomplished, as the consummation of the re- 
conquest Boabdil with his family was conducted 

1 La Fuento, Historia de Espafia, IX. 896. 

s lb. 897. Cond^ Dominadon de los Arabes, part iy. ch. zliii 



with due honor, and with a view to his present 
safety, to the cardinal's tent at Santa F4 to which 
improvised city the sovereigns returned, to await the 
grand entrance on the sixth. As soon as they got 
back to Santa ¥&, Isabella, when she saw the sil- 
ver cross which Ferdinand carried in his campaigns 
shining from that turret which has since been called 
La Torre de la Yela, could not restrain her pious 
enthusiasm. She threw herself upon her knees ; her 
example was followed by the whole army, while the 
prelates and priests and chanters of the Chapel royal 
intoned the '* Te Deum Laudamus," " which," says the 
historian, " was never sung with more devotion and 
fervor, nor on a grander or more solenm occasion.^ ^ 

The formal entrance of the king and queen took 
place on the sixth of January.' We need not linger 
Theflnaien- upou a thricc-told talc. Boabdil retired to 
jftnoaryd his sciguiory lu the Alpujarras; tummg at 
the point where a hill began to shut out the view of 
his beloved Granada, — " his paradise," — with sighs 
and tears he ejaculated, ''Allah Hu Akhar" ("God 
alone is great "), and again, in answer to the consola- 
tions of his wizir, " Where then shall be found a mis- 
fortune to be compared with mine ! " The spot, which 
The last is Still poi&tcd out to the traveller,«was 
Moor. called by the Moors Fey Allah Hu Akbar, 

but by the Spaniards Za cuesta de las lagrimas, 
the place of tears, where was given forth d uUimo 
svspiro del Moro. 

^ La Faente, Histoiia de Espafis, IS. 898. 

* I foUow La Fuente, who cites autores eonUmpordMOS, He 
says in a note (IX. 400), that Prescott is unwilling to believe thii^ 
notwithstanding the attestation of contemporaiy authors. 


The epigrammatic rebuke of his mother Ayesha — 
"Thou dost well, my son, to weep like a woman, 
since thou hadst not the valor to defend thyself like a 
man '* * — has done more than the events themselves to 
stamp Boabdil el Chico — el ZogoyMy the unlucky — 
with impotence and dishonor. They would make us 
think that he might, with proper vigor and manly 
purpose, have driven back the monarchs of Castile 
and Aragon, and transmitted the garden of Andalus 
to a long line of powerful successors. The story has 
been told to little purpose if the reader is ready to 
share this delusion. 

Slowly, step by step, we have seen the Christians, 
who, at the time of the conquest, had fled into the 
Asturias, making there a feeble stand, rout- The inexom- 

, , , . 1 . 1 blelogicof 

mg those who came thinking to destroy ^latory. 
them root and branch, conquering province after 
province, and gathering strength with their progress. 
By the year 850, they had advanced to the Douro 
and the Ebro, and buUt those castles along the banks 
of the former stream which gave the name to Old 
Castile, Costilla la Vieja. By the year 1100, they 
had seen the famous dynasty of the Beni Ummeyah 
broken into fragments, and had followed the person 
and the shadow of the Cid from the Tagus to Valencia. 
African adventurers and usurpers had fared no better 
than the first Khalifs. The Christians had snatched a 
decisive victory from the Almohades at Las Navas de 
Tolosa. They had risen in civilization and in military 
skill, slowly but steadily, while the Moors had been 

^ La Fuente, Historia de Espafia, IX. 402. Cond^ Dominacion 
de los Arabea, part iv. ch. zliii. 



steadily falling from their first estate, exchanging 
Moorish virtues for Spanish vices, and Moorish activ- 
ity for Spanish indolence. Thus the momentum in- 
creased, until it was written in the hook of Fate, that 
the Moorish dominion must come to an end ; and when 
the inevitable day arrived, Boabdil " the Unlucky " 
happened to occupy the throne of Granada. Thus the 
Moslem might find consolation and the Christian a 
call to thanksgiving, in the closing words of Cond4 : 
" Praised be Grod ! who exalteth kings and who cast- 
eth them low; who giveth power and greatness at 
his pleasure ; who inflicteth poverty and humiliation 
according to his holy will; — the fulfilment of that 
will is Eternal Justice, which regulates all human 
events." ^ 

^ The concluding sentence in Condi's Dominadon de los Ara1)es. 






TTAVING thus presented, for the earlier portion 
"*■ •*■ more fully and for the later in brief statis- 
tics, an outline of the Hispano- Arabian history from 
the establishment of the independent Khalifate of 
Abdu-r-rahman Ad-d&khel in 756, to the expulsion 
of Abu Abdillah, or Boabdil el Chico, from the last 
halting-place in Granada, in January, 1492, we may 
now turn to the second portion of our inquiries ; a 
consideration of the civilization which they achieved 
during this checkered occupancy of the Peninsula for 
nearly eight hundred years, and which as a great 
boon they imparted to western Europe.. 

This inquiry will give us a glimpse of their social 
system, including their domestic life ; the develop- 
ment of administration and laws; their Xonaand 
intellectual progress as displayed in the Teiopment. 
works of their great writers; their inventions and 
discoveries in science, their military organization, and 
their achievements in art- 
Such questions as these involve that real historic 
philosophy, which alone gives value to history, 


and if they could be fully answered, would throw 
a brilliant light upon Spanish annals, and clear 
away mists tliat have huug over them, thick and 
malarious, from the earliest day even to our own. 
* Difficult as is this task, it appears at first sight more 
difficult than it really is. Their progress was not with 
uniform velocity during this extended period. It 
was magically rapid at the first, and soon reached its 
culminating point in the reign of Al-hakem II., in the 
first half of the tenth century, — known as "the 
golden age of Arabian literature in Spaiit" ^ From 
that time their progress was slackened, then soon 
stopped, and their power began to decline. And 
even of that brilliant reign it must be said that its 
chief glory was that in it there were collected and 
subsidized the splendid works of the earlier time, 
which form the renown of Haroun Al Saschid and his 
immediate successors. In the great library of Al- 
hakem is to be found the record of their earlier 
achievements. The most that can be attempted in 
a work like this is to present, in a synoptical view, 
the principal facts and events which elucidate these 
topics, each of which is worthy of a history for itself. 
No subject excels them in interest to the student of 
European history, for they contain the best elements 
of European civilization, and lie at the foundation of 
philosophic history. 

As a necessary preliminary to our study of the 
civilization achieved by the Arab-Moors in Spain, we 
must now leave, for a brief space, the soil of the 
Peninsula, and retrace our steps to the new seat of 

1 Al ^lakkari, Mohanunedan Dynasties, I. il8, note 1. 


the Eastern Khalifate. It is important to inquire 
what the Khalifs of Damascus and Baghdad had 
been doing for humane culture. We shall Back to the 
find, in seeking for the answer to this ques- ^^^ 
tion, that the Spanish Arabs received both impetus 
and material from their oriental brethren, who had 
themselves received these in greater part from de- 
generate Greece and from the countries they had 
conquered in the farther East They at first aspired 
to be only the receivers and collectors of the existing 
treasures of literature, science, and art, which lay in 
torpid hands or were buried in dead letter. These they 
classified and edited and combined, and sent them 
on a new mission of instruction to the world. Some 
were intelligently transmitted ; others were sent with 
little knowledge of their value. 

The Spanish Arabs eagerly grasped the golden 
talent ; and they were not the men to tie it up in 
a napkin; they determined to make it pay usury. 
They were of the same race, language, and creed ; 
they had the same traditions and aspirations ; and, 
by reason of their independent nationality, they were 
stirred by a spirit of emulation. Subsidizing the 
new knowledge of the East, they would make Cor- 
dova, Toledo, and Seville more brilliant than the 
glorious seats of the Oriental Khalifs. And with the 
national ambition we may believe they were not en- 
tirely without a philanthropic purpose. They would 
gamer for Europe and the world these treasures in 
the Spanish capitals, and all should be welcome to 
come and profit by them. 

When in the eighth century the family of Al Abbas 


had overthrown and usurped the power of the Om- 
meyades, they had wisely sought, as we have seen, a 
new locality, where, shaking oflF uncomfortable tradi- 
tions, they might centralize their power, and render 
ThewrooTU ^^^ dynasty illustrious. Such was their 
cSto^SaSJl purpose in moving from Damascus to Bagh- 
^^ dad. With a true Asiatic instinct they 

moved eastward, into the midst of their most perma- 
nent conquests. Abu eJa'far Al-mansur, the brother 
and successor of Abdullah As-seffah, ^the blood- 
shedder," and thus the second Khalif of the Abba* 
sides, fixed upon Baghdad as the new seat of the 
Khalifate in the year 762, and began to build on a 
magnificent scale, finding considerable material for 
his structures in the ruins of Ctesiphon and Seleu- 
cia.^ One of the mosques which he built is still 
standing, in part at least, a venerable relic of his pro- 
ject and its success; as is also the octagonal brick 
tomb of Zobeide, the Sultana of Haroun Al Baschid.' 
With this removal from Damascus came the be- 
ginnings of a new era in Mohammedan history, — the 
beginnings of intellectual activity and of humane 
culture. Scarcely anything had been accomplished in 
this direction before that time. 

^ Of thU change Abulfeda says : " Idem annus (a. d. 762) nas 
centem vidit Bagdadum, al Manaari aofipiciis." The next year (763) 
** Transferebat al Mansur lares en urbe Ibn Hobairuh Bagdadam, 
quo prsesens ipse nrbi recent! colophonem imponeret. Cui conquirens 
ornamenta arcessebat Wasetha portaa, pariterqae meditabatur totaia 
Cosrois lllud album dictum palatiam, ex al Modayna in alumnam 
Buam transferre : ea de re cum oonsiliariis deUberabat." — AnnaU$ 
Moslemici, 1. 147, 148. 

* The discovery of Sir H. Rawlinson, of a brick wall with inscrip- 
tions below low- water mark, makes Baghdad the nU of a city of the 
time of Kebachadnezzar. — Encyclopedia Britannica, voce Baghdad. 


The first short step in Arabian development had 
indeed been taken by Mohammed, and this was one 
of the brightest elements of his glory. From the 
" Age of Ignorance," which was also the age of super- 
stition and idolatry, he had opened* to the people an 
age of faith and of partial knowledge. The ^u^ a 
work of the Ommeyades seems to have been ***** ■**^* 
to systematize and extend this partial knowledge. It 
was found in the Kordn, which served them then, and 
until the present day, not only as gospel but as law.^ 
They made it their chief duty to assert and impose its 
claims. They lived by it, and governed by it ; it was 
their chief incentive to deeds of valor and conquest 
Nothing beyond it was needed or desired. And yet, 
paradoxical as it appears, it was the Kordn itself, so 
far in advance of all their former knowledge, which, in 
arousing the Arabian mind, was soon to lead them to 
desire more. It was a means, and not an end ; and, 
while nominally sacred, it was to be virtually set aside 
by scientific discoveries. 

The accession of the Abbasides, cruel and bloody 
though it was, was the beginning of a new p^p^^ 
era of intellectual development. The pop- SjiS/°^ 
ular longing for knowledge, which had been "»°^*«^- 
repressed by the sovereigns of the Ommeyades and 

^ It seems astonishing that the Kordn should hare been retained 
as a practical code of civil law into the nineteenth centniy. A de- 
cree of the Khedive of 'Rgypt in November, 1875, set it aside as a 
juridical code, and with it the host of kadis who have administered 
it, each according to his own priyate interpretation, and substituted 
for it a municipal system founded upon the Code Napoleon. This was 
the grandest of the many steps taken by that enlightened potentate 
during his power. Recent events (1880) wiU lead through trouble 
to a more rational and liberal goyemment still. 


by the limitations of the Koran, was in direct accord 
with the ambition of the new dynasty. They would 
be patrons of learning ; they would train the quick 
and receptive Arabian mind, thus far only incited by 
the hope of conquest ; and they would achieve their 
greatest glory by leading the movement which they 
saw was inevitable. 

We may estimate their ardor, when we find the 
change so rapidly produced that little more than a 
century intervenes between the ruthless and ignorant 
destruction of the Alexandrian Library by Amru and 
the eager cultivation by the Arabians of all branches 
of human knowledge. Physical strength and animal 
courage had been the chief virtues of the Arabian 
chiefs ; a blind adherence to the new faith had been 
at once their incentive and their reward. But^ in the 
marvellous and rapid change, the scholar's pen soon 
took rank with the soldier's prowess ; and the learn- 
ing of the sage was esteemed of equal value with the 
prayers of the good and the valor of the brave.^ We 
shall see that the glory of the sword was to be in 
time endangered by the power of the pea 

The steps in this progress, although at a first glance 
astonishing, are in reality simple and logical. From 
the outset, victorious generals were enjoined, as the 
first duty after conquest, to build mosques, in which 
Allah might be adored and his prophet revered, and 
to which the conquered people might be attracted. 
Attached to every mosque was a school, in which, 

^ They found or fabricated a tradition that Mohammed had said : 
"The ink of the doctor and the blood of the martyr are of equal 
price." — D'Herbelot, Bibliographia Orientalis, L 630. 


indeed, the first duty was to teach the Kordn; the 
pupils were taught to read it, to commit it sciioois 
to memory, and to copy it ; but when they moaquea. 
had learned to read and write, they were in posses- 
sion of a powerful instrument, which could not be 
content to expend its power upon the study of the 
Koran. It sought exercise in literature, science, and 
art, with an eagerness that could not be restrained, — 
an appetite that grew by what it fed on. In these 
applications it found a healthful pleasure, which the 
solemnity of the Koran failed to afford. 

Thus, naturally, came the desire to collect all the 
existing treasures of thought; and, after a careful 
study of the best models, attempts to imitate and to 
create. In the first they were to be eminently suc- 

It has been seen that^ as long as the seat of the 
Khalifate was at Damascus, the Moslemah had been 
chiefly employed in conquest. Every man was a 
warrior, who had little time for study. The DamMcus 

jieopled by 

diverging lines of victory constituted the wairiom. 
capital a grand citadel, or centre of armies ; and many 
were valiant soldiers who in more peaceful times 
would have become learned doctors and profound 
scientists. But at last the spirit of conquest began 
to slacken. The notion of unlimited extension be- 
came distasteful from the increasing obstacles in its 
way. Spain had asserted, and it was manifest that 
she could maintain, her Moslem independence. The 
nations of the farther East had bowed supinely before 
the victorious banners of Islam, and their people 
had been Islamized. Europe was intrenched and 


fortified on all her frontiers, to bar all further Moslem 
progress. It was in this condition of things that 
Baghdad rose in beauty and splendor, — 

'* After the fashion of the time, 
And humor of the golden prime 

Of good Haroan Al Raschid." ^ 

Then men of all classes tnmed with enthusiasm to 
culture, — to history, to poetry, to natural and experi- 
mental science ; to all that they could hope to acquire 
of human learning. Then they had becomje aware 
that there was a new and beautiful world inviting 
them to nobler conquests even than those for the 
propagation of the Faith. 

The " blood-shedder " had gone to his own place ; 
and his successor, Abu Ja'far Al-mansur, the founder 
of Baghdad, stands in history as the usher of this 
auspicious era, this great second period in the history 
of Isldm. Upon his accession to the Khalifate, in 
754, among his first acts was to invite learned men to 
his court, without regard to nation or creed, and to 
treat them with special distinction. Indeed he found 
Ai-mansar this ncccssary, as his people were ignorant, 


Baghdad a and the wealth of human knowledge lay in 
learning. heretical hands. Chief among these were 
the Jews and Nestorian Christians, the latter of whom 
had a shadow of claim to his sympathy, in that they 
were under the condemnation of the Church for their 
heresy. By their aid he began assiduously to collect 
the works of the standard 'Greek writers, and caused 
several of them to be translated into the Arabic of 

1 Tennyson, ReooUeetions of the Arabian Nights. 


the Kor&n. He made little of the orators, poets, and 
historians,^ for he valued little what they taught, as 
compared with what he could himself achieve in 
these departments of study. If he failed to cultivate 
other languages, and especially the Greek, I am in- 
clined to think it was because he set a greater value 
upon his own. I shall speak more at length upon 
this subject hereafter. But here let me say that 
he recognized the study of practical science as sup- 
plying the chief need of his people ; and he was 
right. ^ 

Thus the famous medical treatises of the Greek 
physicians and those of the Lower Empire were 
brought into the Arabian schools, in the skil- progress in 
ful versions of George Backtischwah ; and ™«iic»°«- 
the art of healing among the Saracens, already prac- 
tised with enthusiasm, was based upon the best and 
surest foundations, if they did not equal the Greeks 
in this art He established a medical college, to 
which he attached hospitals, that the clinical in- 
struction might be full and varied; and he erected 
laboratories for the study of chemistry, in which 
iatro-chemistry — the most useful of that day — was 
especially considered. It is recorded that at one time 
there were six thousand students of chemistry and 
medicine assembled at Baghdad. / 

The personal example of the Khalif was even more 

1 Oibbon's assertion that they made no translation of any Greek 
orator, historian, or poet, is a mistake. According to Reinesins, 
Homer and Pindar were translated into Arabic, in the eighth cen- 
tury ; and, although we know of no others, we may fairly belieye 
that they did not limit themselves to these. 


influential than his liberality. He was an eager 
student and an apt scholar, working daily in many 
branches of science and art with his learned men in 
their investigations. His zeal for Islam, indeed, be- 
came so far secondary to his enthusiasm for science, 
that he was looked upon with suspicion by many of 
the Faithful, who feared for the waning authority of 
the Koran. Perhaps he may have, in such eyes, 
atoned for his error by dying on a pilgrimage, in 
September, 775.^ 

The two succeeding reigns, if they did not retard, 
do not seem to have accomplished much in this sci- 
entific progress. During that of Al Mahdi, which 
lasted for ten years, — from 775 to 785, — the chief 
event worthy of note was the appearance of Haroun 
Al Baschid, as an energetic and successful general 
of the Khalif, who gave an earnest of his future 
greatness by carrying the Moslem banners into Nic- 
omedia, and to the Sea of Marmora, and compelling 
the Empress Irene of the Byzantine dominion to 
pay an annual tribute of seventy thousand gold 

Upon the death of Al Mahdi, in 785, his son, Musa 
Al Hadi, reigned for a single year, and was succeeded 
in 786 by his cousin,^ the already famous Haroun, 
who applied himself with equal ardor and eneigy to 
the noble work wliich had been inaugurated and im- 
pelled by his grandfather Al-mansur. 

1 ''Sacro in itinere." — Abxtlfeda, Annalea Moalemici, I, 152. 
It must be obsenred that those who were saspicious of the encroach^ 
ments of science upon the Eordn were tlie intentionaUy ignorant. 

2 "Gennanusfrater." — /&. 169. 


This illustrious man, known to all languages by his 
Arabian name, Haroun Al Baschid (Haroon er-Ka- 
sheed), well deserves his name, which means HaroanAi 
Aaron the Wise. He was bom in the year ^''"chid. 
765, — only half a century after the first irruption of 
the Arab-Moors into Spain ; and his accession to the 
Eastern Khalifate was only one or two years before 
the death of Abdu-r-rahman I., the founder of the 
Ommeyan dynasty in Spain. Thus the brightest 
days of Eastern progress were synchronous with the 
firm establishment of the Moslem power in the Pen- 
insula, which prepared them to receive whatever 
good things might come from the East It is Haroun 
who, with his favorite wife Zobeide, and his faithful 
servant the eunuch Mezrour, figures so largely in that 
marvellous chain-work of stories, nominally occupy- 
ing a thousand and one nightSy called "The "TheAra. 
Arabian Nights' Entertainments:" stories Nighta." 
which display the supremacy of mind over brute-force 
and passion, — of the brilliant Sultana over a brutal 
Sultan ; stories which make the old young again, and 
the learned child-like ; stories which give illustrations 
to-day to the rostrum, the sanctum, and the household 
circle, and which remain the only real popular record 
— in spite of their fable — of the Mohammedan life 
in the East at that period.^ There is real justice 
in making Haroun the grand personage of their plan ; 
because, notwithstanding the romantic fiction of the 

^ No one who lias read them in the original language can doubt 
their purely Arabian character. They do not describe the people, 
dresses, buildings, etc., of Persia, Turkey, or India, but those of the 
Arabs as seen in Egypt. — Lane, Arabian Nights, Preface, z. 


enshrinement, he was in reality one of the grandest 
men of his epoch, the worthy companion of Charle- 
magne and 'Abdu-r-rahman Ad-dakhel, the new Ehalif 
of Spain. Great in his administration, he completed 
the glory of his capital, making Baghdad, in the words 
of Ibnu Said, " the capital of the world and the mine 
of every excellence." He was great, too, as a gen- 
eral and a conqueror, — bold in conception, and like 
lightning in his attacks. To the Byzantine Nicepho- 
rus, who refused the tribute^ and wrote him an in- 
solent letter, he answered : " I have read your letter, 
son of an infidel mother I to which the answer is 
what you shall see, not hear." 

But he warmly espoused the cause of science and 
general culture : there was no part of the great field 
too large or too little, too diJQQcult or too modest, for 
his interest and support. llis favorite ministers and 
councillors in the powerful family of the Barmecides 
were the ready agents of his power, and the emulous 
rivals of his zeal in this cause, and aided largely in 
rendering his reign illustrious. Mathematics and 
astronomy, chemistry and medicine, jurisprudence. 
history, and poetry, the natural sciences, — all found 
favor, assistance, and reward. ^ 

It was the custom, of Haroun to take on his numer- 
ous journeys and expeditions, whether on a pilgrim- 
age, a campaign, or a royal progress through the 
different parts of his empire, a hundred men, of 
various learning, in his^ train, who profited by all 
that they saw, collected all they could, and re- 
ceived at his hands the treatment of distinguished 


Eveiywhere he caused mosques to be built; but 
eveiywhere, also, it was his chief concern to establish 
academies and colleges. Thus to all seeming, re- 
ligion and science went hand-in-hand, but in reality 
science was outstripping religion. It was the noiseless 
conflict of the true and the developing with the false 
and unprogressive, which was still, however, envel- 
oped in the mysterious atmosphere of superstitious 

His fame was not confined, even at that period, to 
the East His correspondence with the West in- 
ci*eased it greatly ; and, more than any other ^^^ 
sovereign, he divided the admiration of SJJS^JJSo- 
Europe with his great western contempo- "*^*' 
rary Charlemagne. The "Annals of the Franks ** call 
him " king of Persia." 

To his imperial brother in the West he sent a 
splendid embassy, with presents which astonished the 
western world by their value, their rarity, and the 
ingenuity displayed in their construction. We may 
allow something for the tendency to exaggeration of 
the early records, and yet the principal details re- 
main as historic facts. Among the gifts was an 
elephant,^ said to have been the first ever seen in 
France ; and a linen tent, of such fineness of texture 
that it could be folded into a very small compass, 
and yet when pitched it rose so high in air that 

1 The name of the elephant has been preseired : it was Abi\-1- 
abbas. It was landed near Spezzia, in October, 801 ; bat as it coold 
not cross the Alps for the snow, it wintered at Yercelli, and was pre- 
sented to the Emperor at Aiz the following year. — Eginhard, 
AnnaUs dea Francs, Charles, ann. 801. 

• • ^*^ < < • 

• » . - • 


an arrow shot by the strongest arm could not pass 
over its summit : it was adorned with a variety of 
colors, and " the interior was of such magnitude that 
few palaces could present a greater number of apart- 
ments." ^ There were, with this, numerous silk vest- 
ures, perfumes, balms, and aromatic herbs peculiar to 
the East. 

The third gift was more curious and valuable still, 
and indicated the great progress already made at the 

The curious ^^^ ^° dclicate and complicated mechan- 
clock. jgjjj j|. ^Q^ ^ clepsydra, or water-clock of 

metal, of singular construction. It had twelve gates, 
corresponding to the twelve hours. " When the hour 
was striking on the clock, one of the gates opened 
itself, from which proceeded a regular number of small 
brass balls ; and these, by falling in turn on a brazen 
vessel, marked the hour by the noise which they 
thus caused : the eye perceived the hour by the num- 
ber of opened gates, and the ear by the number of 
falling balls. At the twelfth hour, twelve small 
horsemen issued out, each through its gate, and closed 
them all by their momentum in their course round 
the dial" * The terms of admiration in which con- 
temporary writers speak of this clock would lead us 
to infer that the construction of the Eoman clepsydra, 
borrowed from the Chaldseans and Greeks, was a lost 
art to the western people, or that the peculiar mech- 
anism of this one, displaying the time to eye and ear 
in so pleasant a manner, rendered the machine an 

1 Card's Charlemagne, 60. 

' lb. 61 ; Eginhard, Annales des Francs, Charles, ann. 807. 


individual curiosity;^ as, in the older models, the 
flow of water alone had marked the time.^ 

But if the record of the event I am ahout to relate 
could be fully substantiated, the character of Haroun 
is presented to us in a still more pleasing light by a 
gift more thoughtful, more deUcate, and far more 
magnanimous; a gift denoting a great mind and 
worthy of a powerful prince, unshackled by religious 

Within his extensive dominions lay Palestine, the 
scene of momentous struggles and a marvellous his- 
tory, a Holy Land, — to Jew, to Saracen, Theboiy 
and to Christian. Its central point, sacred Hiesune. 
to all, was Jerusalem, the urbs mncta of the Jewish 
past ; the earthly type of the urbs ccsUstis of Chris- 
tian vision; to the Mohammedans alike the throne 
of David Ibn Suleyman, and the tomb of Jesus, 
son of Mary, the greatest of the prophets except 

1 Al Makkari quotes Ibna Sa'id in mention of two water^clocks 
constructed by the astronomer Az-Zark41 in Toledo, as late as tlie 
fifth century of the Hgra. They consisted of two basins, which 
filled with water or emptied, according to the waxing and waning 
of the moon. "These clocks," he adds, "were undoubtedly a 
greater work of science than the Indian talisman (at Ann); for this 
latter is placed in a country under the equinoctial line, where the 
days and nights are of the same length, while in Andalas, which is 
in the temperate zone, it does not happen thus." This ruder con- 
struction, at a so much later period in Spain, illustrates the value 
of Haroun's gift. 

* The name dqfaydra means waier-siecUer {Kkirretp and 0^p). 
The Romans used it to limit time in courts — as aquam dare and 
eiquam perdere. That of Ctesilaus of Alexandria, B. c. 185, had a 
little figure which rose with the water and pointed out the hours. 

VOL. IK 19 


To the Christians, it had a peculiar importance, 
because it contained the rock sepulchre, in which for 
three days the human body of Christ- had lain, and 
the ten other " holy places." 

It was well known to Haroun Al Saschid that the 
Patriarch of Jerusalem, knowing the intimate rela- 
tions subsisting between Charlemagne and himself, 
had implored the Frankish monarch to interpose for 
the protection of the churches of the East, and for the 
security of pilgrims to the Holy Sepulchre. To this 
end the patriarch had sent to Charlemagne a monk 
named Zachary, with a piece of the true cross, the 
holiest of all the relics in the eyes of Christians of 
that day. It can never be known to what extent 
Haroun granted the favors thus requested ; but, if 
contemporary historians may be believed, it is to the 
great honor of the Eastern Ehalif, that hearing of 
the mission he anticipated the request, and sent un- 
Thrown Solicited the keys of the holy sepulchre and 
SErtrtUM. of Calvary, and the standard of the city of 
Jerusalem. Whether the grant was in thia form, and 
gave uncontrolled authority in the Holy City or not, 
it seems certain that, in all matters concerning the 
security of the Christian Church, the safety of pil- 
grims, and free access to the venerated monuments 
of Jerusalem, there was a decided improvement* 

In the rapid changes of dynasty, of kingdoms, and 
of foreign polity, this sunny spot in the history was 
soon clouded over; and it may be said that after 
this intercourse between Charlemagne and Haroun, 

1 Card's Charlemagne, 68. 


friendly communication between the Christian west 
and the Moslem east came to an end, and was not 
resumed until a much later period. 

The splendid reign of Haroun was stained with 
acts of cruelty : it could hardly have been otherwise. 
The Mohammedan Khalif had become an Oriental 
despot ; and with autocratic power always comes the 
strong temptation to abuse it He de- Haroun't 
stroyed the Barmecides to whom he had Sft^Sr. 
owed so much, and who had cordially joined ™«^^<*««- 
him in fostering literature and science. History fails 
to give us clearly the causes of this cruel procedure.^ 
Among those that have been suggested are the fol- 
lowing: Ja'far, the chief representative of that ill- 
fated family, had married the sister of the Khalif, and 
she had borne him a son. When this new scion of 
the royal house appeared, Haroun took his sister 
away, that mother and son might be always under 
his eye and control This angered Ja'far, and caused 
him to become disaffected. Others say that the 
Khalif had confided to his care Yahya, the remaining 
descendant of Ali, the fourth Khalif, and he had per- 
mitted him to escape. Others still ascribe the cruelty 
of Haroun to a general jealousy of so powerful a 
family. This is, after all, the most cogent reason. 

^ In speaking of the Barmecides, Abdulfeda says : "... qnsein 
aula Bagdadica maximis gestis dignitatibus summa potentia et fama 
clam, de repente deleta fiiit. Cigos rei cansss mults sunt preditse, 
omnes pariter obscoro atque dubiad." — I. 165. The fact that the 
Banneeide family were accustomed to keep open house during meals, 
every one having access to their table, presents a better meaning of 
the " Barmecide feast," than the purely visionary one given to the 


The Barmecides had \)ecome too great Be the cause 
what it may, Ja'far was killed, by order of Haroun, at 
Amhara in the year 802, and this was the signal for 
a general proscription of the Barmecides.^ 

The fate of this family has apparently little to do 
with the current of this history, but I wish to present 
the reader with a portrait of the Great Khalif, whose 
reign had so powerful and lasting an influence on 
Arabian civilization in Spain; and this oudine would 
be incomplete without the mention of his faults, 
which no doubt were great.^ Despite his ill-doings, his 
reign must be always held in high estimation, for the 
great progress made under his auspices, for the unex- 
ampled splendors of the court of Baghdad, for his 
liberality to the learned of all creeds, and especially 
for his benefactions to the Christian Church, what- 
ever their motive may have been. 

The death of Haroun, in the year 809, threatened 
for a time to produce great trouble in the Eastern 
Khalifate: the never-settled question of a successor 
was the immediate cause. 

Al-mamiin, the eldest son, and the worthiest, was 
the offspring of an obscure concubine; while Al- 
amin, the younger and the weaker, was the son of the 
favorite sultana Zobeide, the heroine of the Arabian 
Nights, made famous for all time by that enchanting 
work. Haroun was too just to change the succession. 

1 Alnilfeda, Ann. Mod. I. 1C5. 

* Emil Qossweller, the Arabic scholar of Basle, in a recent lect- 
ure, mokes him oat a rery bad character. He was an Oriental 
despot, and no doabt somewhat of an Asiatic barbarian in temper ; 
bnt he at least did the good things that have been recorded. 


The result may be anticipated. He bequeathed the 
Khalifate to Al-amin, and left to the elder brother, 
as an appanage, the province of Eliorassan. There 
were jealousy and hatred between the half-brothers 
for four years, when, after an attempt on the part of 
Al-amin to wrest Khorassan from Al-mdmiin, a civil 
war broke out, which ended in the deposition ^.m^^in 
of the Khalif,and the accession of Al-mamiin, »»*<^'^®®<^- 
in the year 813. The successful competitor, who had 
been set aside by the assertion of lawful primogen- 
iture, soon vindicated his superior claims to the 

I have brought the Eastern history thus far, because 
it was necessary to add another and a last name to 
the list of those Eastern Khalifs who, in this dark 
age of European civilization, and in the formative 
period of oriental culture, still fuHher advanced the 
progress of science, and transmitted treasures of 
learning and of art to the West. It is the name of 
this Al-m&miin, the son of Haroun, and the seventh 
Khalif of the house of Abbas. 

Thoroughly educated in his youth by the learned 
professors and scholars at his father's court, it was his 
chief pleasure, when he became monarch, to surround 
his throne with the concurrent wisdom of the world, 
irrespective of race and creed. The royalty which he 
had conquered, he would render illustrious. Among 
his most distinguished savans were Jews. A Nes- 
torian Christian was his superintendent of public 
instruction, bequeathed to him by his father. 

He issued an edict to his government officials in 
all parts of his extensive dominions to collect every- 


thing pertaining to literature, science, and art; and 
thus, during his entire reign of twenty years, caravans 
of solid learning — books, pictures, maps, specimens 
in the field of natural history — were seen converging 
to. the great repository at Baghdad, where hundreds 
of skilful hands were busy in analyzing, classifying, 
and arranging them. 

From a single but important instance, it would 
seem that he was particularly interested in mathemat- 
Measnresa ^^ ^"^ astrouomical studics. He placed 
kStSde' *'^o parties in the field to measure a degree 
S'eVf'ti»r of latitude on the shore of the Red Sea, and 
ecuptia thus, assuming the spheroidal form of the 
earth, to determine its circumference approximately. 
Incident to this, his astronomers also calculated the 
angle of the ecliptic, making it with tolerable accu- 
racy 23** 35' 52". Under his auspices, Al-fagami 
wrote a work called the Elements of Astronomy, and 
Al-merwasi produced an invaluable set of astronom- 
ical tables. 

We shall hold the labors of Al-mamiin in greater 
esteem from the fact that his liberality to learning, 
and his zeal in the cause of science, caused him to be 
suspected by his people of infidelity to the Koran. 
The truth is that in this Augustan age the astounding 
developments of science did indeed begin to expose 
the bald absurdities of the revelation of Mohammed ; 
and progress in science rendered a man liable to the 
charge of heresy for the best of reasons, — it made 
him a heretic. And here it is sad to observe that the 
safety of the Kor&n, so greatly imperilled at this 
epoch, was principally due to the gradual but steady 


decline of learning in the East, which with the de- 
cline of the Khalifate began in the next reign, that 
of Al-motassem, a third son of Haroun. Twenty 
years later, a degenerate successor, Al-motawakkel 
was persecuting the Christians and Jews in the inter- 
ests of Islam. Here we must leave the Eastern Kha- 
lifs and their achievements and return to Spain, 
which was already receiving in full tide the grateful 
and irrigating current, and which under the earlier 
Ommeyades was worthy to receive and able to uti- 
lize it 




A S in the phenomenon of the tide wave, the high 
•^^' water does not occur until hours after die 
moon has passed the meridian, so we shall see, in the 
Western flow of scientific progress, it was high tide 
at Baghdad when the great motor had for some time 
passed by, and had already been at its powerful work 
in Spain. And when letters were already declining 
in the East, the succeeding century was the most 
brilliant period among the Spanish Arabs, who could 
indeed give some return to the East for its splendid 

They could not have been in a. more fortunate 
condition to receive the gracious boon ; for the firm 
establishment of the independent Khalifate under 
Abdu-r-rahman I. had created such a unity of sen- 
timent and such a community of interest in the 
Peninsula, that systematic culture was for the first 
The spirit of *"^® ^ practicable thing ; and, besides, a po- 
emuiauon. ^j^^ spirit of emulation had arisen, which 
impelled them to rival and to exceed their Eastern 
brethren, f Thus it was that the enthusiasm for 
polite and useful learning exhibited at B3ghdad 
spread lupidly along the western line of original 


conquest Incident to the great rupture between the 
East and West^ independent governments had also 
sprung up in Africa, especially that of the Aglabites 
at Kairwan and Tunis, around the ruins of Carthage, 
and that of the Edrisites at Fez. In these, too, the 
impulsion was felt : schools and libraries were soon 
established at Fez, and were to quicken the establish- 
ment and growth of Morocco ; ^ and, if these regions 
did not profit to the full extent from the Eastern tide, 
they formed, as it were, the necessary conduit through 
which the pellucid waters might flow to the Pen- 

To leave the figure, a new band of moreU con- 
querors now followed in the track so thoroughly 
established and so constantly beaten by the achievers 
of the physical conquest ; intent to show that, if the 
direct conquest of all Europe by force of arms had been 
impossible, these Arabian adventurers were to achieve 
a moral triumph far nobler, — to make an a mona 
intellectual incursion, which was to be <^®°*i"**** 
acknowledged with gratitude in the schools of Ox- 
ford, and to be permanently felt "as far as the 
confines of Poland and the Highlands of Scotland."^ 

^ Morocco was foanded by Ydsuf Ibn T^e£(n, the leader of tke 
Almoravides, in 1092. 

' Most Christian writers have been inclined to deny, ignore, or 
yery grudgingly admit onr obligations to the Arabians. In a very 
interesting chapter of his " Intellectaal Development of Europei" 
Dr. Draper not only acknowledges, but demonstrates, the truth, and 
adds : " I have to deplore the systematic manner in which the liter- 
ature of Europe has contrived to put out of sight our scientific 
obligations to the Mohammedans. Surely they cannot be much 
longer hidden. Injustice, founded on religious rancor and national 
conceit^ cannot be perpetuated forever." — p. 856. 



They were now to throw a flood of light upon the 
darkness of western Europe; and while, directly, 
they were imparting secular knowledge, they were, 
as has been already shown, indirectly to rouse Chris- 
tendom, and bind all its components together in a 
grand rally for the Christian faith, — positively to 
instruct, and thus negatively to strengthen. Such 
are the chief factors in the civilization which the 
Arab-Moors were now ready to impart to western 
Europe, and which western Europe had made but 
poor preparation to receive. The first step in this 
movement had already been taken when Abdu-r- 
rahman Ad-dakhel had chosen Cordova as his capital, 
and had determined to make it in all respects the 
rival of Baghdad. 

In situation and topography, it was equal, if not 
superior, to the Eastern capital. Upon the gentle 
Guadalquivir, in the midst of an extensive plain 
The glories suTTounded by mountains filled with water- 
ofCoPdoT*. springs, which irrigate and fertilize the 
neighboring fields and farms, and containing the best 
building materials, it had been a settlement of the 
most ancient inhabitants. It had been occupied by 
Rome, first as a garrison, and then as a strong city. 
Caesar found it worth sacking after his quarrel with 
Fompey, and it had been one of the royal residences 
of the Gothic monarchs. During the dependent 
Amirate of the Arab-Moors, little had been done to 
improve it; but, when it was chosen by the first 
Spanish Khalif as his seat of empire, its glory fairly 
began. It became in that early period the lai^gest 


and most splendid city in the world.^ For three 
centuries, from the ninth to the twelfth, it gloried in 
this distinction. It witnessed the truly magnificent 
reigns of the three Abdu-r-rahmans and of Al- 
hakem II. 

Its numerous long and winding streets, wider than 
those of the Eastern cities, were brilliantly lighted at 
night, and swarming with people, who were protected 
by the friendly glare, at a time when the profound 
darkness of London rendered the night-walker in- 
secure in his steps and uncertain of his safety ; and 
it was completely paved and scrupulously clean, when 
Paris richly deserved its name, — LtUetia, or the 

In the words of an Arabian author, " Cordova, 
under the sultans of the family of Umeyyah, became 
the tent of Islam ; the place of refuge for the learned ; 
the foundation of the throne of the Benl Meruan ; the 
place of resort of the noblest families among the tribes 
of Ma'd and Yemen. To it came, from all parts of 
the world, students anxious to cultivate poetry, to 
study the sciences, or to be instructed in divinity or 
the law ; so that it became the meeting-place of the 
eminent in all matters, the abode of the learned, and 
the place of resort for the studious ; its interior was 
always filled with the eminent and the noble of all 
countries ; its literary men and soldiers were contin- 
ually vying with each other to gain distinction, and 

1 Sanken, as it now is, into a little, dead, white city, with a 
population in 1860 of less than forty-two thousand, it contains bat 
few relics of the day when it was the splendor of the world. Among 
these is the Mezquita, or Mosque, now a Christian cathedral. 


ita precincts never ceased to be the arena of the dis- 
its mUdm- tinguished, the hippodrome of the foremost, 
sJLiteh^* the halting-place of the noble, and the re- 
^"*** pository of the true and virtuous. Cordova 
was to Andalus what the head is to the body, or what 
the breast is to the lion." 

And a poet of a later time, not content to limit its 
claims to the Peninsula, regales us with the following 
couplet : — 

« Do not talk of the Court of Baghdad and its glittering magnifi- 
cence ; do not praise Persia and China and their manifold 
advantages ; 
For there is no spot on earth like Cordova, nor in the whole world 
men like the Beni Hamdin." ^ 

Cordova had its Kassdbah, or palace citadel, rendered 
very strong by a wall and moat. The exterior walls 
of the city extended in periphery twenty-four miles ;* 
and beyond these there were twenty-one suburbs, 
each provided with its mosques, market-places, and 
public baths, and surrounded by a moat^ A splendid 
aqueduct from a neighboring mountain supplied pure 
water to all this vast extent of habitations. It was 
built by Abdu-r-rahmdn III. 

The city had seven gates, named from other cities 

^ This was written of a later period, during the war between the 
Almonivides and the Almohades, when the chief of the Beni Ham- 
din ruled in Cordova as Al-mansiir Billah ; but it is even more true 
of the earlier time. 

« Al Makkari, I. 207. 

s Al Makkari gives the picturesque names of the moeques, mar- 
kets, and baths, such as *'The Garden of Wonders," ''The Shops 
of the SeUers of Sweet Basil,*' ''The Mosque of R^oicings,'* etc 
I. 206. 


towards which they opened, — as the gate of Toledo, 
of Saragossa, etc.; or from their locality, — the gate 
of the bridge, and the gate of the river. 

Of the palaces, I have already mentioned the 
Rissdfah} which took its name from its magnificent 
garden, built by Abdu-r-rahm4n L On the The palaces; 
site of this garden is at the present time a ^■»^*» 
convent which partially retains the name, — San 
Fraricisco de la Arriaafa. 

But around the city were other royal residences or 
villa retreats, famous either for the elegance of their 
construction or for the picturesqueness of their situ- 
ation. They bore such romantic names as "the 
palace of the garden," "of lovers," "of contentment," 
"of the diadem," "of flowers," "of the fortunate," 
" of novelties." Distinct mention, however, must be 
made of two which seemed to excel all others in 
extent and magnificence, — that of Az-zahrd, and that 
of Az-zd-hirah, 

The former grew out of the reversion of a fund 
which had been set apart for the redemption of 
Moslems captive in France. When it was found 
that there were none, the monarch, Abdu-r-rahmdn 
III. (An-ndsir) listened to the solicitation of a favorite 
mistress, who said : " Build with that money a city 
that may take my name and be mine." The enamoured 
monarch complied with her request. No expense 
was spared in its erection ; the original fund was but 
a drop in the ocean. Of the vast revenue The apien- 

don of 

obtained from all sources, one-third was ap- A«-»hrA. 
propriated annually to the continued erection of this 

^ Bifls&fah means a spot paved with flags, or made leveL 


palace and city.^ Its beauties are described with 
great enthusiasm; among them were its splendid 
fountains, one with human figures of gilt-bronze, 
brought from Constantinople, — the other of green 
marble, /rom Syria, surmounted by statues of gold 
set with precious stones;* the hall of the E[halifs, 
with its walls of marble, and its roof of* tranqnirent 
marble and gold. The mosque was worthy the rest 
of the buildings. If these are exaggerations, they 
cannot be disproved, for every trace of the structure 
has disappeared. 

We have not space, nor is it proper in this history, 
to go into the details of these astonishing construc- 
tions, and we may, for that reason, avoid those which 
are probably couched in the language of hyperbole, 
for when the Arabian chroniclers enter upon such a 
subject they seem to vie with each other to produce 
the most marvellous recital. We may believe that 
in the day of its builder and his immediate succes- 
sors, the palace of Az-zahm was the chief royal resi- 
dence, judging from the multitude of persons who 
were on duty there. The number of male servants 
was nearly four thousand; the women, including 
those of the harem and their attendants, numbered 
six thousand three hundred and fourteen ; the Scla- 
vonian pages and eunuchs were over three thousand. 
The garden terraces were of polished marble. There 
were a golden hall and a circular pavilion in front of 

^ The details of expenditure, labor, and materialfi, are given in 
Al Makkari, and are principally of value because of the truthful air 
they impart to the story, which is otherwise redundant, and seems 
exaggerated. ~ I. 288, 234. 

« lb. 286. 


which were splendid fountains, to which the greater 
liberality of a later period permitted the ornaments 
of human and animal figures.^ The numerous cylin- 
drical columns, amounting in all to four thousand, 
says the chronicler, were so smooth and symmetrical, 
that they appeared to have been fashioned in a turning- 
machine. Many of them came from Eome, Constan- 
tinople, Gaul, Italy, and Africa. This splendid palace 
was situated about four miles from Cordova, and was 
the favorite retreat of the Khalif from the cares and 
distractions of the capital. 

The Arabian writers dwell with great fondness of 
expression, and doubtless with the hyperbole of affec- 
tion, upon another magnificent structure, erected by 
the imbecile Hisham II., at the instance of his hajib, 
Al-mansur, who seems to have been possessed of a pas- 
sion for buildin<^. He called it Az-zdhirah, 
and exhausted as much wealth and ingenu- 
ity upon it, as he had upon that of Az-zahrd. It was 
begun in 978, two years after the accession of Hisham, 
and was for some time the residence of the great 
minister, Al-mansur, who surpassed royalty in power 
and authority. The details of the construction and 
the beauties of both these structures are so minutely 
given, by writers not far removed from the period of 
their splendor, that we cannot doubt the reality of 
their existence, but the traveller of to-day seeks in 
vain for the slightest vestige' of them. However 

1 AI Makkari, I. 239. He giy«s a glowing description of the 
two fountains, with their twelve figures of red gold, surrounded by 
curious animals ornamented with jewels, and the splendid hall of 
the Khalifs, with its large basin of quicksUrer. 


superficial the search for their site and remainiDg 
fragments, it can hardly be hoped that a greater 
scrutiny would have had better success. Al-mansur 
is said to have predicted the ruin of Az-zihirah with 
tears.^ Nor was the portent without reason, for the 
decline of the Ehalifate was already rapid, and before 
the short reign of one year of Suleyman, the dynasty 
of Idris, already marshalling the Berbers to form the 
independent sovereignties of Malaga and AlgeQiras, 
had captured and repeatedly plundered the city of 
Cordova, and begun the destruction of its suburban 

One circumstantial story of Al-mansur's life at Az- 
zahirah I abridge from the chronicle, because it gives 
a slight glimpse of the manners and sentiments of 
the Arabian magnates, — a love of splendor, a vanity 
which pleased itself with dramatic effects, and a 
shrewdness in giving a lesson in diplomacy to foreign 

In a lake within the palace grounds, Al-mansur had 
caused water-lilies to be planted. When an embassy 
Ai-maniur'i from the "Christian kings of Andalus," who, 
^P^y- rising from their weakness, had now gained 
great power and much territory, came to his palace, it 
was manifest to him that they had been sent to spy 
out the strength and system of the Moslems. To 
convince them at least that he had plenty of money, 

^ See the note of Gayangos, Al Makkari, L 244. 

* rb. 506, note 8. 

' This story is given on the anthority of an anonymons woik, or, 
rather, a work the author of which is not now known, called " The 
Flowers and the Lights." Al Makkari says he saw it in the lihraiy 
of Fez. 


he had a gold or silver coin placed in the cup of each 
lily, and then gave the ambassadors a reception at 
day-dawn in the splendid hall, the balcony of which 
hung over the lake. Eichly attired slaves — one thou- 
sand Sclavonians — appeared, five hundred bearing 
golden, and five hundred silver trays, and as the first 
rays of the sun beamed upon the lake, at a given signal, 
they marched out and plucked the water-lilies, in view 
of the astonished Christians. The flowers bearing gold 
pieces were placed in the silver trays, and those bear- 
ing silver in the golden trays ; and the coins were 
then deposited at the feet of Al-mansur, " raising a 
mountain of silver and gold before his throne." 
There was thus no question as to his resources ; and 
the embassy, asking for a truce, went back to say to 
their sovereigns, — "Do not make war upon these 
people; for, by Allah, we have seen the earth yielding 
them its hidden treasures." 

Were there unanimity of statement as to the 
buildings of Cordova, we should still with reason 
accuse the chroniclers of exaggeration ; but Al Mak- 
kari acknowledges " great historical discrepancy" in 
the number of mosques in Cordova. It ranges, ac- 
cording to different authorities, from three hundred 
to more than eight hundred. I shall reserve a con- 
sideration of the principal one to a later chapter. 
There were also numerous Christian churches, toler- 
ated by the Moslems, — one of which was a great 
resort for pilgrims from abroad. It was called Santa 
Maria; and a Moorish poet, describing one of the 
festivals, when the church was ** strewed with green 
branches of myrtle, and planted with cypress-trees," 

VOL. II. 20 


tells US : " It was to a girl (the Virgin Mary) that 
their prayers were addressed; it was for her that they 
put on their gay tunics, instead of humiliating them- 
selves before the Almighty." 

We are told, what it is hard to believe, that there 
were in Cordova, six hundred inns,^ five thousand 
Numerous '^^^t ^ud highly Cultivated plantations, 
buudingt. gardens and orchards, lying for a long dis- 
tance on the river banks. The reader will hardly be 
more inclined to accept the account of "a trustworthy 
writer,'* that there were two hundred thousand sev- 
enty-seven common houses, sixty thousand three 
hundred public buildings, — palaces, hospitals, col- 
leges, barracks, etc.; eighty thousand four hundred 
and fifty-five shops, and four thousand three hundred 

But, however large the abatement we may be in- 
clined to make, we must still admire that magnificent' 
concourse of buildings and people collected in the 
city of Cordova, and the suburban palaces of Az-zahra 
and Az-zahirah, which "together covered, at one time, 
a piece of ground measuring ten miles in length, 
which distance might be traversed at night by the 
light of lamps, placed close to each other." 

1 It may be sappoeed that every com de hueapedes, or private 
lodging-house, was counted an inn, and yet the number is incred- 
ible. Of real taverns or hotels there are juno but two in Ck)rdova ' 
of any note, and lodging-houses are not in demand. 

* Gayangos (Al Makkari,-!. 492, note 59) is disposed to accept 
the count of houses, because the houses were small, and eveiy hut 
and every booth was counted. He regards sixty thousand as the entire 
number of houses built of masonry. The dowan, or encampments 
of tribes, drawn from Africa by Al-mansur, were aU counted. But I 
have purposely avoided any critical inquiry, as the result seemed 


What this favored place was to its native children 
when absent from it, its present jolaims will not inform 
the tourist I have already indicated the praises of 
its poets; but a single anecdote is more significant, for 
it has the air of simple truth : A certain Abu-Bekr 
journeyed from Cordova to Toledo, where he encoun- 
tered his friend, Almak-h-zu-mi " Whence comest 
thou?" asked the latter. " From Cordova." "When?" 
"Just now." "Then," said the Sheik, "come nearer 
to me, that I may smell the air of Cordova The swmu 
on thy garments." With that, he began to of Cordova, 
smell the traveller's head, and to kiss it all over, and 
hen he broke out in tearful, impromptu verses in 
praise of his native city: — 

** O my beloved Cordova, when shaU I see thee again f 
Thon art like an enchanted spot ; 
Thy fielda are laxuriant gardens ; 

Thy earth of yarioiu colors resembles a block of rose-colored 

The Arabian muse is not always content with such 
simple and beautiful pathos, because not so often in- 
spired by natural sentiment. 

I have spoken of the numerous palaces : it remains 
for me to describe a typical mansion such as those in- 
habited by the rich and noble of the most prosperous 
period of the Arab-Moors in Spain. They were of 
great luxury in interior construction and furniture. 
For exterior appearance they cared little. Except 
from axotea or mirador — house-top or extended pi- 
azza — they shut nature out ; but they made amends 
hy constituting each mansion a temple of taste and 
pleasure, where luxurious rest should follow even 


moderate toil, and where, in courts and gardens, na- 
ture should be embellished by the hand of art For- 
tunately for our ideal picture, a few of the palaces of 
the later period of Moslem dominion still remain as 
representatives of the thousands of that halcyon day, 
and greatly aid the traveller to form some conception 
of the time when the chronicler claimed sixty thou- 
sand similar edifices. Instead of attempting to de- 
scribe any one of them, or to draw upon the special 
eulogiums of the chroniclers, I shall endeavor to 
present to the reader the common features which 
marked them, and which may be still seen' in many 
modem houses, especially in Seville. Climate and 
traditional custom have retained these to a greater or 
less degree.^ 

Let the reader fancy a massive porte-cochire, 
opening into a well-paved court-yard, in the centre 
Atypical ^^ which riscs the never-failing fountain-jet, 
miuiBion. diffusing coolness, and making a pleasant 
patter of the falling drops into the basin. The peri- 
style of the galleiy running around this court is sup- 
ported by slender columns, sometimes grouped, of 
alabaster or polished marble, from which spring num- 
bers of graceful horse-shoe arches ; above these are 
the latticed or grated windows which light the se- 
raglio, or apartments of the women. These columns 

^ I might add that there is also a modem sesthetio element to 
he taken into consideration. I saw, a few years ago, in Seville, a 
splendid mansion hnilt and finished in the Moorish style, as ex- 
hibited in the halls of the Al-cazar and the courts of the Alhambra. 
The projector and owner was a wealthy Spaniard, long resident in 
Cuba. It is a striking anachronism, and transports the trayeller 
to the twelfth century. It stands in the Plaza del Duque. 

80aAL LIFE. 309 

are partly or wholly gilded, and the interspaces 
above the arches filled with arabesques, iiiterwreath- 
ing striking texts from the Koran, are radiant with 
rainbow effect of red and blue and gold. The flat or 
terraced roof — sotah — now called in Spanish azotea, 
is used as a cool lounging-place and look-out in the 
evening. Over the entire court is drawn, to shut out 
the mid-day heat, a costly awning, the modern veto, 
and here the members of the household gather for 
that charming siestay — still retained as one of the 
cosas de Sspafia, — lulled rather than disturbed by 
the patter and plash of the fountain waters. Luxuri- 
ant tropical plants, in huge jardinieres of wood and 
earthenware, containing tropical fruits as well as 
flowers, lend a grace of sylvan nature to the scene. 

There were many such fairy dwellings in the 
rich towns and beautiful vegas of Andalusia. But 
the picture is not yet completed. Let us pass from 
the centre of this luxurious court, through a double 
archway, into another patio similar in proportions and 
surroundings, and usually lying at right angles to 
the first, in the centre of which is a ^eat estanque, or 
oblong basin, seventy-five feet long by thirty in 
width, and six feet in depth in its deepest part, sup- 
plied with limpid waters, raised to a pleasant tem- 
perature by heated metallic pipes. Here the 
indolent, the warm, the weary, may bathe in 
luxurious languor. Here the women meet to disport 
themselves, while the entrances are guarded by 
eunuchs against intrusion. 

The contented bather may then leave the court by 
a postern in the gallery, which opens into a beauti- 


ful garden^ with mazy walks and blooming parterres, 
redolent with roses, violets, and the faghiijeh, or 
Egyptian privet,^ and fountains and aitificial grot- 
^^ tos, and kiosks of stained glass. The garden 

9^^^*^' terraces are of polished marble and the bal- 
ustrades are supported by gilded columns. There are 
ponds filled with gold and silver fishes. Water is every- 
where; one garden-house is ingeniously walled in 
with fountain columns, meant to bid defiance to the 
fiercest heats and droughts of summer. 

With the Arab-Moor water was less a luxury than 
a necessary of life ; ablution was not more a religious 
ceremony than a domestic enactment. Kor was this 
confined to the higher classes ; we are informed that 
among the poor many spent their last dirhem- for soap^ 
preferring rather to be dinnerless than dirty.» 

As everywhere, eating and drinking formed an im- 
portant element in their social economy, but the special 
customs of the Spanish Arabs in this matter are not 
easy to find. It may be supposed that they continued 
£atingaiid ^ foUow the Eastom customs which they 
drinking, brought with them. After the morning 
prayer, they had a light breakfast, chiefly of eggs and 
fruit ; after the noonday devotion, a light dinner or 
luncheon. The chief meal was just after their vespers, 

^ The ro0e is the chief favorite of the orientals, and came with 
them to Spain. Of it one of the EhaUfs said : " I am the king of 
sult&ns, and the rose is the king of sweet-scented floweis ; therefore, 
each of ns is most worthy of the other for a companion." 

' For a description of the pubUc baths, with their tessellated 
pavements of black and white marble, their domed apartments, 
their hot and cold water, etc., see Lane's ''Arabian Nights " (Poole), 
note to ch. ii. 


at sunset The man of the house ate alone^ and the 
women and children after he had finished his meaL 
An embroidered cloth or rug was spread upon the 
floor; and upon it was placed a low tray, set with 
silver and fine earthenware, and provided with bread 
and limes. The diner sat on his low cushion with 
legs crossed. A servant ^poured water on his hands 
before eating from a basin and ewer, which formed a 
necessary part of the table-furniture. The meal then 
began with Bismillah, for grace ; — "In the name of 
the most merciful God : " ^ the right hand only was 
used in eating, and with it the host, if he had guests, 
transferred choice pieces from his own plate to theirs ; 
and sometimes, as a mark of greater favor, to their 
very mouths. Ordinarily there were soups, boiled 
meats, stufTed lambs, and all meats not forbidden. 
Very little water was taken during the meal : in it$ 
place, and especially after the meal, sherbets were 
drunk, those flavored with violet and made very 
sweet being preferred. 

It is easy to givd> these details of domestic archi- 
tecture and modes of life; for, as I have said, such 
residences remain, and modem houses are built upon 
the ancient models : but it is not so easy to coDJure 
up in exact costume the figures of those who occu- 
pied these houses, lounged in the courts, and sauntered 
in the gardens. In the early times of Is- co^tnineB of 
lam, the art of the tailor was almost un- *^«™°- 
known : the costumes changed somewhat in the lapse 

1 When they killed an animal for food, Biamillah was said first 
"by way of consecration, and as a spell against idolatry. 


of centuries, and by contact with the people who 
were conquered in Asia, Africa, and Europe;^ but^ 
as it was forbidden to the devout Mohammedan to 
depict the human figure, pictorial art has left us little 
of real value in this regard. In their Western move- 
ments, the Arabs adopted forms of clothing from the 
Moots and Berbers, and later in Spain from the Chris- 
tians. The general eflFect was that of many folds of 
cloth gathered loosely about the person. On one of 
the ceilings in the Alhambra is a rude picture, prob- 
ably drawn by a Christian prisoner, of an Arabian 
council or divan. There are three principal figures : 
the central one is covered by a turban, formed by 
making the long cloth into a roll, and then twisting 
it, and putting it in layers around the head, upon an 
under cloth, with bands falling at the sides, which 
might be fastened under the chin. Over a long, straight 
robe of light cloth, is a shorter tunic, and upon that 
a cape is worn ; there are fringes upon the tunic in 
several rows, and one row at the bottom of the cape. 
A baldric and short sword complete the official dress ; 
boots without heels cover the feet ; and the figures sit 
upon fringed cushions placed upon a low elevation 
running around the room. 

For the common people, the ordinary dress was 
a gown or long sack, gathered with a belt at the waist ; 
beneath were loose drawers gathered at the ankle; 
and the over-dress was a large-sleeved mantle open 
in front. For the street or the field, sandals were 
usually worn ; but these were replaced in the house by 

^ See Dozy*8 " Dictionnaire des Noma daa YStements chez les 
Arabes," Introduction. 

SOCIAL LIFE. ' 31Sr<^H!q:m 

heelless slippers, such as are still found in the bazaars 
of Tangiers and Morocco. Upon the cloth covering, 
falling upon the back and sides of the head at the time 
of the conquest, the turban was adjusted, — white 
for the common people, green for the nobles, — and 
continued to be used, as we have seen, for an official 
costume ; but, for the people at large, no long time 
elapsed before the turban fell into disuse in Spain, 
and a woollen cap of cylindrical form was adopted in 
its place : this was called the tarboosh or fez, from the 
place of its origin; tlie favorite colors were red or 
green for the Moslemah, with blue tassel ; white was 
prescribed for the Muzarabs, and the Jews were only 
permitted to wear yellow. So essentially had the 
turban disappeared from Spain in the lapse of a cen- 
tury, that, we are informed by Ibnu Sa'id, " when an 
Eastern Arab happens to come among them, wearing 
a turban in the Syrian or Hejazi fashion, . . . they 
will burst out laughing and jest at the expense of 
the wearer." ^ 

The famous Spanish capa, or cloak of the present 
day, owes its origin to no single .people. Something 
like it was worn in the East : the Spanish ,^^ Spanish 
Goths had it beffare the Conquest. The ^^^^^ 
Boman toga, semicircular in form, and flung *^^ ^'^^ 
over the left shoulder, was one of its types; the 
Arab-Moors called it avda, and used it, not only for 
comfort, but they made it, like the modern Spaniards, 
a concealment of disordered under dress, and of arms.^ 

1 AlMakkari, L 116. 

' As worn in the sixteenth and seventeenth centariea, it was called 
tataynUf a short doak, which was expanded into the capa of the 


According to Abii Zeyd Ibn Khaldun^ persons of 
royal families were accustomed to interweave their 
names and surnames in the skirts of their robes; 
while the rich and noble ornamented theirs with pray- 
ers and passages from the Koran, and were thus 
enveloped in sanctity. Unlike the Franks, who were 
proud of their long hair, the people of Andalus wore 
their hair short, with the exception of the Kadis and 
Ulemahs, whose official dignity was proclaimed by 
their long locks gathered over the left ear. 

The costume of the women was simple, and similar 
to that of the men. They wore their hair braided, 
and a light cap or coronet adorned with gems formed 
The clothing ^^® covcring foT the head. The hair was 
of women, ^om long on the sides and with a bang in 
front. The side-locks were entwined with coral 
beads and pearls, hung loosely to chink with every 
movement. There was a curse against those " who 
joined another's hair to their own." To send a person 
hair or the silken strings that bound it, was a token of 
submission. They wore two long robes, — an inner and 
an outer one, — the former only confined at the waist ; 
the inner robe close-fitting, with sleeves, and the outer 
a saya, or mantle ; they had, ^side, full drawers and 
heelless slippers. These robes were frequently striped, 
and embroidered with gold and silver. The long 
oblong shawl, or outer veil, called izdr, — a covering 

present time, the roost distinctive featare of modern Spanish costnme, 
BO dear to the native that '* he would rather part with his skin than 
his cloak." Its form and dimensions are rigorously prescribed ; a 
full circle measuring awen yards all but three inches and a half. It 
is of sober color, and is lined on the front edges with black or green 
Telret The hood of the talaysin has been generally dropped. 


for concealment, now knoMm and generally used in 
Spain as the mantilla, — ^^was probably adopted from 
the Goths and Hispano-Romans ; it was fastened at 
the back of the head, and easily drawn over the face 
and bosom, like the Eastern veil. It is the perfection 
of the graceful in woman's costume ; under this they 
wore the kinda, or face veil, which only left the eyes 
visible.^ Their ornaments were chiefly necklaces and 
braceleta The handkerchief was of fine stuff, — a long 
oblong, embroidered at the ends with silk and gold. 

Of the costumes and weapons of the army, it must 
be observed that they differed much at different 
periods of the Moslem dominion in Spain, j^^^ ^^ 
In the earlier times, and during their wars •™*"' 
with the Franks, they adopted the dress and accoutre- 
ments of their enemies, — complete mail, steel hel- 
mets, and huge spears:' but later, much of this 
cumbrous armor was thrown off; and in their civil 
strifes, and their wars with the Africans, they wore 
slender breastplates, light head-pieces, slim lances, 
and leather bucklers. They had the long-bow and 
the mace ; the long and slender spear they managed 
with great dexterity, using it as a lance in rest, or 
casting it as a javelin. 

Once again, when the Gothic Christians, gathering 
strength and courage, began that movement which 
was to end in the entire reconquest, the Moslemah 

1 Lane's Arabian Nights (Poole's edition), I. 191. But this 
concealment was soon abandoned among the Spanish Arabs, whose 
treatment of women greatly abated the rigors of the East, still 
observed in Egypt. 

' Ibna-1-Ehat{b, History of Granada ; quoted by Qayangos, I. 


imitated them for a while by the adoption of heavier 
armor, but threw it off at last as impeding their 
celerity of movement. On the ceiling of the recess 
at the extremity of the Patio de los Leones in the 
Alhambra, is a picture^ of a Moorish battle-piece, 
painted by captive Christians, probably of the twelfth 
century, in which a knight is represented in half- 
costume. In his hand is a spear seven feet long ; the 
shield is double, — two ovals joined longitudinally ; 
the stirrup is broad and flat, to rest the foot ; the bit, 
a curb with a single rein ; the saddle only a tree 
covered with cloths ; the housings of a checked pat- 
tern ; the half-armor consists of a corselet, and gorget 
running round the shoulders, and the head-covering 
is only a turban, but with doubtless an iron lining, 
making it really a helmet. Their swords were of 
various patterns, — the short Roman gladivs, for 
hacking ; the long cut-and-thrust ; and the sharp 
curved, flexible cimeter. These were all of excellent 
workmanship: the secret, no doubt, was brought 
from Damascus ; but those manufactured at Bordeaux, 
Seville, and Toledo, were soon as highly prized as the 
Eastern blades.' The light bucklers were made of 
antelope's skin, which is noted for its toughness and 
durability. In their later warfare, the cross-bow 
largely supplanted the long-bow. But their armor, 
offensive and defensive, was never equal in strength 
and protection to that of the Christians. The intro- 

^ Plates 42 and 43 of Murphy's Arabian Antiquities of Spain. 
London, 1818. 

a Al Makkari, I. 94. 

''It is a sword of Spain ; the ice-brook's temper." 

— Othello, V. 2. 


duction of gunpowder made little modification of 
their arms and armor, as it had not begun to play a 
very important part before they were expelled from 
the Peninsula. 

I have chosen to speak more at length of Cordova, 
because its customs and manners were eminently repre- 
sentative : it was the Moslem capital, and held highest 
in the estimation of the Faithful in Spain. But each 
of the other cities had its peculiar claims to Peoniiar 

'' claims of 

consideration. Toledo was renowned for other cities, 
its Boman remains and the twilight of Gothic splen- 
dors, and for the strength of the Muzarabic element 
In Granada the Jewish remnant was strong. Cadiz 
contained the oldest relics of ante-Boman times. 
Jaen and the comarca of Ubeda were famed for their 
dancing-girls; and Seville was known everywhere 
for its excellence in music, as Cordova was for its 
libraries. Abu-1-Walid Ibn Boschd, the famous 
Averroes, once said, and doubtless he spoke of a 
notoriety of long standing : " If a learned man dies 
at Seville, and his heirs wish to sell his library, 
they generally send it to Cordova to be disposed of; 
and when, on the contrary, a musician dies at Cor- 
dova, and his instruments are to be sold, the custom 
is to send them to Seville."^ 

The local literature of these cities is very rich, but 
the details concern rather the enthusiastic traveller 
than the philosophic historian. 

Note. — Dozy has given, in his '* Dictionnaire des Noms des Y^te- 
;v ments chez les Arabea," the Arabic names, with some descriptions 

of the Arabian costumes: the work is full of the desultory information 

1 Al Makkari, I. 42. 


which a lexicon affords. In it he says that the Arabians in their 
mov^ements, having little care for the tailor's art, adopted to some 
extent the clothing of the peoples whom they conquered. Thus 
from the Persians, and the court of Baghdad, they learned splendor 
and luxury in dress. In the West, on the contrary, they adopted the 
simple and coarser dress of the Moolrs and Berbers. " En Espagne, 
surtout pendant la demi&re ^poque de leur Empire ils tir^rent un 
tr^ grand parti du costume des chevaliers Chretiens." (Intro- 
duction, p. 2. ) In the twelfth century, they adopted " the fashion 
of the Christians for their clothing, arms, bridles, and saddles." 
(lb. 8.) '* When Philip IL forbade the Spanish Moors ~ Moriscoes 
— to wear their national costume, a Moor . . . expressed himself 
thus : ' The costume of our women is not Moorish : it is provincial, 
as in Castile. In other countries, the Moslem people differ in head- 
dress, in clothes, in shoes ; ... for that of Fez is not like that of 
Tlemoen, nor that of Tunis like that of Morocco ; it lb not the same 
for Turkey and other empires.'" (lb. 8, 4.) Silk was permitted 
to women, but forbidden to men, except a slight border of it to 
their robes. The approved colors were white and black. "God," 
said the prophet, "loves white clothing, and created Paradise 

The first dress consisted of shirt and drawers, then came a 
woollen robe (djobbah), which was varied afterwards in shape and 
size. This is called in the East a Jba/lan, Black was at first the 
sign of mourning ; but the Ehalifs of the Ommeyades in Spain 
adopted white instead ; red in the East and yellow in Morocco were 
called angry or vengeance clothing ("Thabillement de la colore"). 
Albomoz, or humous^ was a cloak with hood, used chiefly in Africa, 
of various colors : it corresponds to the Egyptian kaftan. It was 
somewhat used in Spain as a vnUer-proof, As a coyering for the 
feet, the avarca^^ or fial boatSf were wide sandals of untanned 
leather, used in rain and snow. As in Bible narratives, presents of 
clothing, changes of garments, were received with special favor, not 
only for their intrinsic value, but becanse they had been worn by 
the lord or lady bountiful who presented thenu 




npHE Khalif (Khaleffeh) was, by the meaning of 
-*■ the word, the successor or vicar of the Prophet ; 
but this acceptation was soon extended to imply that 
he was also the vicar of God or God's vicegerent on 
the earth. In the palmiest days of the Mohammedan 
dominion, the government was carefully administered, 
and with good results. Of the earlier times, the times 
of conquest and invasion, there is little political record : 
the Khalif appointed viceroys in Egypt and Africa ; 
and the viceroys appointed Amirs in the po^^rofthe 
western provinces, subject to the Khalif's ^^^^ 
sanction. When Spain became a distinct Ehalifate, 
throwing off the Eastern yoke of the Abbasides, and 
becoming independent under Abdu-r-rahmdn, the new 
monarch and his immediate successors, while main- 
taining the same general system, called themselves, 
until the accession of Abdu-r-rahman III., Amirs, sons 
of the Khalif (Benu-1-khalayif). That sovereign was 
the first of the new dynasty in Spain who assumed 
the title. Prince of the Believers and Vicar of Allah. 

The dominion of the Khalif was eminently theo- 
cratic, and this was what preserved it from being en- 
tirely autocratic. Of civil and municipal law there 


were no special codes ; and, without a code, there can 
be, in the proper sense of the term, no nationality and 
no patriotism. The Khalif ruled by the precepts, 
sometimes vague and often contradictory, of the Koran, 
which served in all Mohammedan countries for law 
and for gospel botL The Arabian annalists take great 
pleasure in recording brilliant acts of justice, gener- 
osity, and forgiveness in the administration of various 
Khalifs ; but these shine as the voluntary actions of an 
autocrat, who, had he chosen, might have left them 
undone, or might have been guilty of injustice with 

He was indeed supreme in practice ; as fixed 
groilkids of administration were wanting, the opinions 
TheKhAiif ^^^ caprices of one man took the place of 
•upreme. ^^w, uutil his intolerable oppression, rousing 
the people to fury, caused them to depose the tyrant, 
and rally under the revolutionary banner of some 
adventurer who became a tyrant in his turn. And 
yet, under the great expounders of the Koran, a sys- 
tem of political ethics was attempted : and that can 
hardly be called an absolute dominion which in prac- 
tice must govern itself by religious laws read in 
every mosque ; expounded by the Friday preachers ; 
taught in the schools ; and, by divine authority, made 
quite as binding upon the governors as upon the 
governed. If the monarch governed within the limits 
set by the Kordn and the Sunneh, loyalty was implic- 
itly demanded by these ; if he overstepped these limits, 
he forfeited his throne. 

^ See the stories of Al-mansdr and Al-mn'ataBsem : Al Makkari, 
I. 188. 


After the death of the Prophet, and until the ac- 
cession of Mu'awiyah, the Khalif was elected by the 
people, or by their representatives. Mu'dwiyah made 
it hereditary; and without distinct enactment, the 
custom obtained that the Khalif chose his AtiiMteieo- 
successor, from among his own sons, not **^*- 
necessarily by primogeniture, but by a consideration 
of fitness. These sons were carefully educated to make 
the choice easy and just This is exactly analogous 
to the growth of English monarchy before the Con- 
quest The kings were elected by the Witenagemot, 
but the choice, at first entirely free, was soon limited 
to the royal family, and by custom the eldest son : by 
tradition it has remained so ever since. 

Starting with this supremacy of the Elhalif as 
absolute monarch and high pontiff, — "the vicar of 
God," "the shadow of God," — we find the system 
of government taking form in the appointment of 
Dlemas,^ or wise men, — the Moslem Witenagemot, 
— a body which in later days contained three classes, 
— the Imdms, who were the chief ministers of re- 
ligion ; the Muftis, who expounded the law ; and the 
Khadia, or dispensers of justice. 

From a work by Ibnu Sa'id, written in the thirteenth 
century, entitled " Shining Stars in the Just and Par- 
tial Descriptions of the Eastern and Western Govern- 
ments," we may gather the special offices and methods 
of administration. "The title of WizCr," 
says Ibnu Khaldun, under the Sultans of 
Cordova, was given to certain functionaries, in whose 

^ Vlemah ia a noun of multitnde, or plural form, from Alim^ 
wiae, like the mUna of the Anglo-Saxons. 
VOL. II. 21 


hands rested the management of public affairs and 
each of whom had under his care one branch of the ad- 
ministration : thus there were Wizks at the heads of the 
financial department, the foreign relations, the adminis- 
tration of justice and redress of injuries : lastly, the care 
of the frontiers, and the provision and equipment of 
the troops, would each constitute a separate and inde- 
pendent office under the special care of a wizlr.^ These 
were generally chosen from noble families, and after a 
time the title became more or less hereditary, like that 
of the Khalif ; and at last included all those who were 
admitted to the monarch's privacy, or sat in his council 
Thus the title became honorary.^ The general charge 
of affairs was confided to a Grand Wizir, or prime 
minister (often created viceroy), known as the nayib, 
Nayib and ^ ^^^^® borrowcd from Egypt j and some of 
^^^' the other ministers, wizirs at the head of 
departments, were called hagibs, — men who screened 
or curtained the Khalif, shutting or opening his door at 
appointed times, and standing with him when he gave 
audiences.* The appointment or the family succession 
in the wizlrate was of course always subject to the 
approval of the Khalif. The nayib and hagibs were of 
his own appointment ; but it will be readily seen that> 

^ The word vnzdrah means the act of supporting a weight ; i. e., 
easing the Ehalifs burden. Other deriyations have been proposed 
from wezer, a refuge, uzr, back or strength. The general meaning is 
the same. 

^ From the Arabic AUwaziVf the Spaniards have made Alguazil» 
^ Gayangos, I. app. xzix. The titles hagib and wizir became 
somewhat interchangeable ; but originally the hagib had the more 
important functions, and stood as an intermediary between the Kha- 
lif and all others, including the ¥dziT8. 


as in other countries, weak monaichs would be con* 
trolled by their ministers ; and in later reigns, more 
than once, the hagib became a maire du palais, as in 
the Merovingian times in France, and, deposing the 
monarch, seated himself upon the throne. It is re- 
corded of Abdu-r-rahman III. that he was so pleased 
with one of his ministers, Ibn Shoheyd, that he doubled 
his functions and salary, making him Dkiirl-nnzarateyn 
(holder of the double wizirate), the first functionary 
of Andalus upon whom that title was conferred.^ 

In considering the authority of the monarch and the 
strength of his administration, we must not fail to 
give due weight to the popular element in the politi- 
cal problem. During the rule of the Ommeyades in 
Spain, it was not of infrequent occurrence that gov- 
ernors and judges were pelted and itisulted when the 
people thought their decisions unjust ; and so jealous 
was the mob for the faith of Islam, that if the Khalif 
or any of his favorites had displayed heretical ten- 
dencies, the populace would have stormed the palace 
in spite of the body-guard, and torn the guilty person 
to pieces.* 

Thus autocracy and democracy met on the common 
ground of a creed which made the Khalif and the 
meanest of his people equal in the eyes of Allah and 
in their own estimation. 

Under the hagibs, the official correspondence was 
conducted by hatibs^ or under-secretaries ; j^^xm or 
and, as much of this was of a secret nature, secretaries 
— especially that of a diplomatic character, that con- 

^ Al Makkari, Moliammedan Dynasties, II. 150. 
2 lb. I. 112. 


ceming the residence and protection of Christians 
and Jews, and that with the provincial governors, — 
the katibs were important and confidential servants 
of the government. 

The whole subject of the assessment and collection 
of the revenues was placed, under the ministers, in 
the hands of the sdhUm-l-ashgal (master of the occu- 
pations), who ranked among the wizirs, and con- 
ducted this department with great exactitude^ His 
financial importance was from the first a develop- 
ment, as originally the duty was confided to clever, 
liberated slaves. It rose with the Almohades, and 
again sank, under the growing power of the Aagibs.^ 
The revenues from taxes were all included under the 
generic nvkme sazakah, ''that which every true believer 
offers to God/'^ The remaining revenues included 
special tributes, and the lai^e sums paid by Christians 
and Jews in exchange for permission to live and 
retain their religions. 

The executive cabinet being thus formed, we turn 
next to the department of justice, which was confided 
Kddii,ui« wilder the special wizlr, to numerous judges, or 
thSP **' kddis, who were possessed of extraordinary 
powers. powers. Law courts and juries, as we now 
know them, did not exist ; but there were two tribu- 
nals, the great and the small shartah, the head of each 
being called sdhHyii, and the sdhibu of the great shortah 
could investigate and punish offences committed by 

^ Gayangos, I. App. XXXII. 

' Thisinclnded a tenth of the products of land ; one out of forty 
cattle, sheep, etc. ; a tax of two and one half per cent on imports 
and exports. Ornaments and books were not taxed. 


people of the highest degree, including princes of the 
blood. The head of the small shortah only had cog- 
nizance of crimes and misdemeanors committed by the 
lower classes. Thus justice was administered "in the 
gates," upon an elevated seat, surrounded by guards. 
Each party to any suit could plead his own cause 
before the kddi or sahib, but the head of the house- 
hold was supreme in cases affecting wives and children. 
The power of the judges grew to be fixed and irrever- 
sible, and Ibnii Sa'id tells us that '' whenever a judge 
summoned the Khalif, his son, or any of his beloved 
favorites, to appear in his presence as a witness in a 
judicial case, whoever was the individual summoned 
would attend in person, — if the Khalif, out of respect 
for the law ; and if a subject, for fear of incurring his 
master's displeasure." ^ 

The authority of the kddis took cognizance of all 
offences against morality, and they could punish any 
offender with death. Among the Eastern Arabs, 
and probably in Spain, a first theft was punished by 
the loss of the left hand, and plunging the stump 
into boiling tar or oil ; a second, by cutting off the 
left foot ; a third, the right hand ; a fourth, the right 
foot ; at last by death I 

Among these officers of justice was one in each 
town called the mohtesib, whose duty it was, like 
a similar functionary in Turkey at the present day 
(mohtesib ago), to ride through the shops and markets 
daily, with an attendant carrying a pair of scales ; 
he fixed weights, measures, and prices, and punished 

1 Eit4bii-l-mugh'rab, "Shining Stars," etc., quoted by Al 


false weights aud measures^ and attempts at extor- 
tion, with great severity. 

•To guard against the entrance of robbers, who in- 
fested the environs of cities, at each gate were watch- 
Night men with dark lanterns, who patrolled 

watchmen In .. , i .,i . j 

the city. Within and without, and were m easy 
communication with a main guard. To proclaim their 
vigilance, they cried from time to time, "Allah-il- 
Allah," or varied this with sentences from the Koran, 
or called upon the Faithful to " attest the Unity " (of 

The provinces, generally seven in number, were 
intrusted to the care of walis, or governors, who re- 
ported at stated times to the central government, but 
who often, like the Boman proconsuls, aspired to 
independent authority, and thus gave a momentum 
to the decline of Arabian power in the Peninsula. 

In order to give greater importance to the autocratic 
Khalif in the eyes of the people, he was enthroned in 
great and costly splendor, and surrounded by a very 
numerous body-guard, chosen from the laige armies 
which were kept on foot for foreign wars, and to 
guard against invasions. In this the Spanish Khalifa 
The army vicd with the orientals. In the palmy days 
throne. of the Spanish Khalifate, when a review of 
six hundred thousand foot and three hundred thou- 
sand horse is said to have taken place in the plains 
of Cordova, this guard of picked soldiers, splendidly 
equipped, numbered twelve thousand men, one third 
Christians : they were oflScered by members of the royal 
family, and were in that day what the garde imp4riaU 
was to the first Napoleon. To keep up such a force 


and such a court, it was " necessary for the Khalifs to 
impose new tributes on their Moslem subjects, although 
every exaction of the kind is expressly forbidden by 
the text of the law."^ In the days of Abdu-r- 
rahman I. this sum was about seven millions of 
dollars (300,000 dinars) ; it had increased in the days 
of Abdu-r-rahman III. to more than fifteen millions of 
dollars. The stories of the luxurious splendor in 
which the Spanish Khalifs indulged read like those 
in the Arabian Nights. 

I have already referred, somewhat at length, to the 
treatment of the Jews and Christians. Abstractly 
considered, the problem was not a difficult j,,^ ^^^^ 
one, but practically it was rendered troub- Jiwsand 
lesome by religious rancor and prejudice, christians. 
Eigorous in obeying the requirements of their own 
creed, and believing all others to be imperfect and 
false, it is still to be observed that the Moslemah 
were far more tolerant to unbelievers of every relig- 
ion, than Christian sects have been in later periods 
to each other, and than Christians have been in all 
ages to the Jews. This partial toleration has been 
one strong reason for the comparative ease with which 
they have fastened their yoke upon conquered na- 
tions. Apostates only were punished with death. 
Those who paid the required tribute were free in the 
exercise of their religion. And this toleration was a 
generous thought, as well as a politic enactment of 
their Prophet ; for it would seem that the very genius 
of their faith gave them the abstract right to destroy 
all unbelievers. 

» Al Makkari, I. 110. 



. All the Christians in Cordova, Seville, Toledo, and 
other large cities under Moslem dominion, adopted 
the language and manners of their conquerors, and 
The Mo*. ^^^ therefore called Mozarabes, or Mus- 
*"*^ arabs, or " such as imitated the Arabs." To 
meet their religious needs, the Scriptures and the 
Visigothic liturgy of the church were translated into 
Arabic. This service, long sung in the land of their 
captivity, became greatly endeared to them; and 
when, in the ever-progfessing march of the Spanish 
monarchs, the Christians of Toledo were redeemed 
from their bondage by Alfonso VI., they were un- 
willing to give up their liturgy for the newer form 
of the Spanish Gregorian ; it was translated into the 
modem tongue, and long kept as el oficio muzarahe} 
The reciprocal eflfect of these translations was seen 
in the growing familiarity of both Christians and 
Arabians with the literature and language of each 

I have already referred briefly to the treatment of 
women by the Mohammedans : it was an immense 
Btumatoof i™provement upon what the Prophet found 
women. whcu he was excogitating his system ; but 
the more benign inculcations of the Koran could not 
avert the petty tyranny of their lords and the strong 
prejudice against them. It was asserted by tradition 
that the Prophet had declared, '' I stood at the gate 

^ The attempt to deriye Momrah^ from Jfuaa-Arab, as if they 
owed their priyileges to Muza Ibn Nossejr, fails; for the city suiren- 
dered not to Musa, but to Tarik, and if it had surrendered to Musa, 
the word should be, not J^usa-Ardb, but Musa-Gothi. — Al Mak- 
KARi, I. 420. El oficio Muzarabe may be found in full, in "Espa&a 
Sagrada," vol. ill., Appendix. 


of Paradise, and lo ! most of its inmates were the 
poor; and I stood at the gate of Hell, and lo ! most of 
its 'inmates were women." So cunning and wicked 
were they esteemed that it had passed into a proverb : 
" Consult a woman, and then do just the opposite of 
what she tells thee." The Arabian gave them no place 
in the moral and spiritual world. They were only of 
value from their physical and animal points, which 
were tabulated in a standard of fours, A woman 
should have four things hlaclc, namely, hair, eyebrows, 
eyelashes, and the dark part of the eyes ; four things 
vihiJU^ namely, the skin, the white of the eyes, the 
teeth, and the legs ; four red, namely, the tongue, the 
lips, the middle of the cheek, and the gams ; four 
Townd^ namely, the head, the neck, the fore-arm, and 
the ankle ; four l(nvg, — the back, the fingers, the arms, 
and the legs ; four wOe, — the forehead, the eyes, 
the bosom, and the hips ; four (hicky — the lower 
part of the back, the thighs, the calves, and the 
knees ; four dmall^ — the ears, the breast, the hands, 
and the 'feet. 

Intelligence she could only need to amuse her mas- 
ter. Her chastity, concealed by a veil in public, was 
shut up in a seraglio and guarded by eunuchs.^ For 
the pleasure of their masters slaves were taught to 
sing and play upon the lute — d 'ood — and to dance 
lasciviously. Thus woman was at once the slave of 
man's power and the goddess of his lust 

. ^ These eunuchs were Northern giants, taken prisoners by the 
Franks, mutilate^, and sold at the frontier to Andalusian mer- 
chants ; but, Al Makkari adds (I. 76), some of the Moslems "have 
already learnt that art from the Franks, and now exercise it quite as 
well as they do." 


Such was the vicious, underlying principle from 
which no scheme of real advancement for women 
i^jiyg^ could spring : but although the uncommon 
gacy. passions of the Prophet caused him to 

amend the Kordn by direct revelation, allowing him 
any number of wives,^ it should be borne in mind that 
his system, bad as it was, was better than the pro- 
miscuous concubinage which it superseded ; it rather 
restrained an existing polygamy than established it 
as a new custom for his people. The number of 
wivQS permitted to a Moslem by the Koran was four, 
— whereas before most of them had eight or nine, — 
and they might be of his own faith, or Christians or 
Jewesses ; but no Mohammedan woman might many 
any one but a Mohammedan. While most men con- 
sidered themselves at liberty to have as many concu- 
bines and slaves as they pleased besides their wives, 
the more strictly religious were of the opinion that 
they were limited to four women, whether wives or 

A wife might be twice divorced and twice taken back 
with or without consulting her wishes; but if divorced 
a third time she could not be taken again without 
her consent. Thus, a man having four wives might 
divorce one every month, and give great va- 
^^^^ riety to his household. The Koran and the 
Sunneh prescribe a table of kindred and affinity with- 
in which a man may not marry, not unlike that pre- 
scribed by the Church of England ; it was, however, 

1 " No crime is to be charged on the Prophet as to what God hath 
allowed him." — Kordn, ch. xzxiii. 

^ Laho's Arabian Nights, notes to ch. ir. 


common to choose as a wife a cousin, the daughter 
of a paternal uncle, because there was already a tie 
of blood, and, in many cases, an affection conbeived in 
early life. As girls arrive at maturity in the East at 
an early age, they were often married at ten or twelve 
years, — the Prophet's wife, Ayesha, was only nine, 
— a custom somewhat modified by climate in Spain. 
The marriage contract might be only verbal ; but the 
better classes confirmed it before the Kddi, and for 
them the ceremonies of betrothal and espousal were 
elaborate and splendid. The Mohammedans claim 
that their system of polygamy does away with the 
profligacy so rife among Christian people : in point 
of fact it only legalizes a profligacy which is acknowl- 
edged to be criminal among Christians. 

The permission granted to the believers to marry 
Christian women led to much admixture of blood in 
southern Spain ; and thus, while statistics are entirely 
wanting for determining the contingent of Moorish 
blood at the present day, and while the pride spaninh 
of the Spanish nation vaunts th§ mngre azvl p"^"^^®** 
of the Goths, and despises the Moor, who taught him 
so much, it cannot be doubted that Moorish polyg- 
amy has left its permanent impression, as every trav- 
eller who sees the dark-eyed beauties of Cadiz, with 
their raven hair adorned with a single flower, and 
their swimming gait — an Arabian fashion, and a very 
pretty one — will be ready to admit. The reaction 
against this false pride has already begun in Seville ; 
and the more the wonders of their Mohammedan 
period are studied, the sooner will it entirely disap- 
pear. I am disposed to think that the system of 


polygamy^ repulsive as it always is, is less so as 
exhibited among the Arab-Moors in Spain than else- 
where. The intuitive warmth and poetic imagina- 
tion of the ardent Arabian nature were moulded and 
tempered by their contact with the Christians. Ro- 
mantic love adventures, in which Christian knights 
wooed Moorish maidens, or valiant sheyks fascinated 
Christian damsels, displayed a spirit less sensuous 
than that of the Eastern harem, and an atmosphere 
more favorable to real conjugal attachment than was 
to be found among the degraded races of the East 
womim be!r In Spain, the condition of woman was con- 

ter treated ^ 

in Spain. stautly improving, while the counter process 
of degradation has been constantly going on in the 
first seats of Mohammedan power. The poets among 
Spanish Arabs sang the charms of woman's loveliness 
in as witching and tender strains as Moore, in ** The 
light of the Harem ; " while from the seraglio itself 
have come forth from woman's lips notes of true 
poetry, showing her culture and the elevation of her 
mind, and claiming loyal respect and affection as her 

With this brief summary of the system of govern- 
ment and of social and domestic life among the 
Spanish Arabs, I wish to call attention once more to 
the important fact that the practical administration 
of such a system, political and social, was founded 
The power upou the iuculcatious of the Kor&n, which 

of the * ' 

KorAn. controlled alike the governor and the gov- 
erned in all the circumstances of life. The Khalif 
was amenable to its decrees, and his every act was 
scrutinized by the people, who could judge, if they 


could not punish. His appointments to ofBice were 
not the result of favoritism, but of a desire to secure 
the best men, suited to their several positions hj 
their learning, energy, and probity. As they received 
neither salary nor fees, the selections were made among 
the rich, or the appointees were made rich, so that 
there might be no temptation to dishonesty, *'lest 
their poverty should induce them to covet the prop- 
erty of others, and sell justice to the pleaders." ^ Thus 
the great desire of all public officers was to gain 
an extended reputation for wisdom, dignity, and 

1 Al liakkari, 1. 108. 







T PROPOSE now to consider very briefly the intel- 
-*• lectual culture and development of the Arabians 
in Spain, which, finding their source in the East, and 
fostered by emulation and national ambition, were 
to be felt and imitated by western Europe, which, 
while Cordova was the shining seat of science and 
learning, was yet lying in comparative darkness and 
bartarism. Nothing further can be attempted in the 
limits of this work than a slight synoptical sketch of 
their progress in literature, in art, in the mathemati- 
cal and physical sciences, and in philosophy, with 
such references to authorities as will enable the 
reader to enter upon a more extended study for him- 
self. Instead of giving details, I can only mention 
the principal steps and the great results of their 
intelligence and industry. For this extended study, 
the achievements of the Mohammedans at the East, 
the glorious civilization of Baghdad, to which I have 
already referred, must be passed in review. I can 


only mention in brief what was achieved in the 

The foremost topic in this inquiry is the Arabic 
language. It was a full, powerful, and flexible in- 
strument, singularly distinct from those of the sur- 
rounding nations. As early as the middle j^^ j^^^^ j 
of the sixth century of our era, only eighteen ^»°p»«««' 
years after the death of the Prophet, it had a com- 
plete grammar. Of the Shemitic or oriental family 
of languages, it is known as the sovihem branch, the 
Aramaic being the northern, and the Hebrew the 
middle ; such were its relationships. It has no al- 
liance, yet discovered, with the Indo-European lan- 
guages, which are all of the Aryan family. The 
chief feature in it to be observed is what may be 
called its concerUrcUion. In a country kept singularly 
distinct from its neighbors, patriarchal and primitive, 
free from foreign incursions, it remained almost the 
same in the lapse of time, and suffered less than most 
other languages from dialectic differences. 

The Aramaic, itself a corrupted speech, owing its 
origin to the Hebrew, was formerly spoken in the 
countries lying between the Mediterranean and Per- 
sia on the one side, and bounded by Asia Minor 
or Armenia on the other. Divided into the East 
Aramaic, improperly called Chaldaic, and the West 
Aramaic or Syriac, it partook in the former of the 
Hebrew and Babylonian, and in the latter branch it 
became tinctured with Greek, Latin, Persian, and 

The Hebrew, the vehicle of the ancient Scriptures, 

^ Herzog's Ecclesiastical Encyclopeedia : Aramaic. 


long but erroneously considered the original language 
of mankind, though scattered in the numerous dis- 
persions and final conquest^ has retained its identity 
by reason of its sacred character, and has been^ al- 
though called a dead language, a half-living language 
in all parts of the world. 

The Arabic, indigenous in Arabia, }^B3, by reason of 
the concentration of which I have spoken, a very 
Of the marked and powerful individuality; its 
fiimuy. structure is strong and its vocabulary full 
Among its older documents, and before its adoption 
of the present alphabet, it is found in the Himyaritic 
inscriptions, which tell us of a legendary king of 
Yemen named Himyar, and of a dynasty, steadily 
emerging into the light of true history, from about a 
century and a half before Christ until several centu- 
ries after. It was early divided into two principal 
dialects, the northern and southern, of which the 
former is the purer, — the language of the Koran. 
With the adoption of an alphabet it became fixed 
before the days of Mohammed, and was kept in its 
purity by the Koreish, whose central residence was 
at Mecca, and who had the charge of the Kaaba. 
The fiwt set of characters used in writing was the 
Kufic, which was soon superseded by those at present 
in use, called the Neskhi, Like the other Shemitic 
languages it is read from right to left, and each letter 
of the alphabet has four forms, — the iBolated, the 
initial, the medial, and the finaL^ There are seven 

^ The change made in European languages, reading from left to 
right, was a progressive improvement of the Greeks ; they read the 
first line from right to left, and the second from left to right, and 


styles of writing, but we have as many, — the Anglo- 
Saxon, Old English, Boman capitals and small letters, 
Italics, etc. We have already seen that before the 
advent of Mohammed they were not without literary 
enterprise. like the Greeks at the Olympic and 
Isthmian games, and perhaps in imitation of them, 
they recited poems on the occasion of great public 
festivities, the most successful of which won prizes 
and were carefully preserved among the national 
treasures. Seven of the most celebrated of these, 
called the Arabian Pleiades, were engrossed in letters 
of gold, on cloth of a fine texture made of flax 
or silk, called bt/ss^is, and hung upon the j.^^,y 
walls of the holy house at Mecca : hence p<^*^- 
they were called MoaUakfit, the suspended, and Mod- 
hahabat, the golden verses. These poems, presented to 
English readers in the accurate translations of Sir 
William Jones, and standing as the earliest models 
of Arabian verse, describe the nomadic life of the 
primitive Bedouins ; the praise of woman, — with a 
neck like the gazelle, with long black locks, waving 
like the fronded palm, with a figure slender and 
flexible; the joys, pains, and rhapsodies of love, 
intermingled with mythological romances and heroic 
adventures, and with pictures of the chase and the 
splendor of festivals. Fresnel, in his "Lettres sur 
THistoire des Arabes avant Tlslamisme," says : " It was 
in this congress of Arabian poets (and almost every 
warrior was a poet in the age I am considering) that 
the dialects of Arabia became fused into a magic 

80 on ; they called this pownpo<prii6iif, or turning like ploughing 
oxen, in alternate furrows. 

VOL. II. 22 



language, the language of Hejaz, which Mohammed 
made use of to subvert the world ; for the triumph 
of Mohammedanism is nothing else than the triumph 
of speech."^ 

Such was the feeble dawn of Arabian literature ; 
the trial of callow wings which were soon to essay a 
higher flight ; the entrance from the age of ignorance 
to its fird great period, at the threshold of which 
stands Mohammed holding aloft the Koran, as the 
universal teacher. As the vehicle of this new scrip- 
ture, the language has from that time to this retained 
its vitality. Its sisters, the Hebrew and the Ara- 
maic, are for all oral purposes dead: it remains a 
living language. Ali, the cousin and son-in-law of 
Mohammed, was the first to cherish letters, writing 
much himself especially in the way of proverbial phi- 
losophy; while to Mu'awiyah, the first of the Om- 
meyades in the East, is due the introduction of Greek 
literature and the liberal protection of men of letters. 

Wherever the conquerors marched and subdued, 
they presented their language to the conquered, either 
supplanting or greatly modifying other tongues. The 
Koran was everywhere the great teacher both of re- 
ligion and grammar. Commentaries were written; 
traditions collected in works like the Sunneh ; doc- 
trinal expositions and schemes of civil law were ex- 
cogitated ; schools sprang up around the mosques ; 
Arabic versions of works existing in other languages 
were made; and soon original Arabian authorship 
was encouraged, in history, science, and poetry; so 
that we find bibliographers at work^ making lists and 

^ Lane's Arabian Nigbts, cb. i. note 18. 


giving sketches of authors in the chief cities,— 
divided according to special subjects of study. 

When the Arabic language came into Spain, it 
soon reigne d, almost supreme, too nervous and self- 
reliant, too strongly imbued with the spirit of~'the 
co nguesL to re-ceive much from its contact with the 
Yascongada of the Basque provinces, the Theun- 
jargon of the Celtibenan tribes, the Latin of ipSS. 
their first conquerors, or the German Creole of the 

The written language was not essentially altered 
in its transit from east to west,^ either in its char- 
acters or the spelling of words ; huLpenmanship jegms 
to have bee BLAP_i™portant art, as the peculiar form 
andjunctipn of letters, and the somewhat arbitrary use 
of points, gave rinn tn niimnroui nn ijous error s. The 
proverbial penman of the Arabians in Spain was Ibn 
Moklah,^ who served three dynasties as wizir, and 
thrice copied the Koran in so beautiful a hand that 
all good writing was eulogized as " Ibn Mok- 
lah's hand." The^Spanish^Arabs. however, 
ad opted a peculiar mode of forming the letters, which, 

1 Ibna Sa*id, referring to the looseness of the Arabic in conver- 
sation, -says : " What I have stated about the language used in 
Andalus must be applied only to the Arabic as used in conversation, 
and by no means to their writings, for they are the most strict and 
rigid of men in observing the grammatical rules in their writings." 
— Al Makkari, I. 143. 

* Al Makkari, Vol. I. note 5 to book ii. ch. iv. At the time, 
probably a protracted period, when the Eufic characters were -being 
superseded by the Neskhi, the penman was obliged often to use his 
judgment, and became an important instrument in the gradual 
change ; but, the new alphabet once established, he became only a 



to judge from existing manuscripts, was quite equal, 
if not superior, in clearness and beauty to the writing 
of the East. 

But it will readily be seen that the spoken language 
would undergo great changes in its wide diffusion~in 
Asia, Africa, and Europe. To show how early this 
was the case, it is said that the Blhalif Al Walid, son 
of Abdu-1-malek, spoke so badly that he could not 
be understood by the Bedouins. New words and 
modes of expression would be introduced, corrup- 
tions would creep in, inflections would be lost, and 
thus the Arabic spoken at Cordova would differ ma- 
terially from that of Baghdad, while yet the literary 
language would remain substantially the same. Such 
was indeed the case ; and it is pithily expressed by 
Changes In Ibuu Sa'id : " Should an Eastern Ai-ab hear 

the spoken 

language. evcn the prince of Andalusian grammarians, 
Shalubin,^ conversing with another man, he would 
burst out laughing to hear the blunders he made in 
speaking." The period referred to is at the close of 

' the. twelfth century; but the process of change and 
corruption had been going on in the spoken language 
from the beginning. In process of time, this laxity 

/ of speech reacted upon the written language. 

The Koran indeed went everywhere with the con- 
querors, but it became an archaic volume ; and, so 
far have the Arabians of to-day departed from the 
language in which it was written, that it is now 
taught in their colleges almost as a dead language, 

» " Shalubin (Abu *Ali Ash-shaliibinf) was born in 1166, and died 
in 1247. He is chiefly known as a lecturer on Grammar." — Ai 
Makkari, I. 142, 479. 


while the Arabic of Algiers is quite a different 
tongue, for which the French conquerors have pro- 
vided grammar, dictionary, and phrase-books. In 
the introduction to one of these,^ the author says : 
"When the interpreters of the expedition axrived in 
Africa, although they had zealously pursued at Paris 
the lessons of the niost learned professors of Oriental 
languages, they found, to their great disappointment, 
that they could not make themselves intelligible to 
the Arabs, and succeeded no better in understanding 

Wliile such changes were going on in the Arabic 
ofSpain, the Spanish language was being gradually 
formed among the Christians of the North. The basis 
of this was the corrupted_Latin which, before the 
Visigothic invasion, had been spoken throughout 
Spain, and had been largely adopted by these con- 
querors. First, a Roman Rustic, like that of Southern 
France, was formed. It owed little to the The origin 
original dialects, somewhat to the German liVj^.®^^" 
of the Goths, not much to the Basque, but *"***' 
received words from the numerous peoples who had at 
any time dwelt in Spain." The little band of Pelayo 
had taken with it into the Asturias their religion, laws, 
customs, and modified Latin. There are no literary 

^ C!ouT8 de la Langae Arabe, ou les Dialectea Yulgaire d'Algers, 
de Maroc, de Tunis etd'Egypte. Par J. F. Bled de Braine, ex-Direc- 
teur des Ecoles Arabes d* Alger. 

^ "Al Latin raiz principal y elemento dominanto siempre se 
agreiarian voces c^lticaa, euskaras, fenicias, pilnicas, griegas y 
hebreas, y que alterando su sintaids, y modificandole en sus casos, 
desinenciaa i inflexioues dieron nacimiento & la lengua mixta, que 
perfeccionada y enriquecida babia de scr la que despues habl&ron lo6 
Espafioles." — La Fuente, Uistoria de ExpaflUf III. 394. 


remains of the Hispano-Gk)thic speech. The ch ron- 
icles are in Latin ; and this, by the loss o f inflections 
and the aboundiug corruption s, becam e thej panish. 
The first fair specimen of the new language is found 
in the " Poema del Cid," which was probably written 
in the middle of the twelfth century, about fifty years 
after the death of its hero ; and this has been char- 
acterized as very barbarous in description and in 

The question has often been asked. To what extent 
has the Spanish, in its formation and development, 
been influenced by the Arabic ? The data of this 
problem are so numerous and diversified, that its 
solution is extremely diflBcult under the best con- 
ditions; butthe^atred of the Christian Spaniards 
J towards their Arabian conquerors, and_ theirjealousy 
of Moorish merit in every direction,, have rendered 
such an investigation so unpalatable to Spanish schol- 
ars, that it remains for future and foreign hands. 
CflJid^* who was disposed to do the invaders more 
What it justice, and who was coldly regarded for his 
Arabia liberal opinions, says : " Our rich lanjgusge 
owes much to the Ara bian, not in i solated w o rds only , 
but even in idioms, terms of expression,jnetaphoric 
y forms and phrases, all of which serve to justify the 
remark that the Spanish is in so far^ but a c or- 
rupted dialect of the Arabian." ^ This is strong lan- 
guage; and with it, as in the strongest contrast, I 
cite the opinion of Ticknor, who, speaking of the 

^ The " Poema del Cid** may be fouDd in the collection of andent 
Castilian poets, by D. Tomas Antonio Sanchez, 1779. 
3 Preface to '* Dominacion de loe Arabes," etc 




charter of Avil^s in the Asturias, bearing date of 
1155, and thus of the same period as the "Poem of 
the Cid," remarks, " that the ne w dial ect just emerg- . 
ing from the corrupted Latin is little^r nofat'all v \ 
affected by the Arabic infused into if in the Southexn y' 
provinces." We may believe that, as the Arab-Moors 
retained their foothold in Spain for three hundred 
years later, the infusion spread, and the Noiihern 
speech became more and more affected by the Arabic. 
To the Arabic the Spanish language certainly owes 
its syllabic accent. 

The Arabians have left ^few) names of places, and 
these generally are called after men, — as, Tarifa, 
Gibraltar, perhaps Granada. They adopted 
and corrupted the existing names, as Ish- 
bilia, Kortuba, Andalus, etc. But a great many words 
of Arabian origin have been received into the Span- 
ish, and some of them, such as camisa, azucar, ar- 
senal, escarlata, sierra (from Sahra, a desert mountain), 
have been adopted by many European languages. 
D. Pascual de Gayangos has given, at the close of his 
second volume,^ a list of Spanish words of Arabic 
derivation, which are used in his translation of Al 
Makkari, to the number of about two hundred, which 
could of course be greatly enlarged. Among them 

^ Marina, in his Memoir on the Origin and Progress of the Span- 
ish Language (Academia de la Historia, YoL lY.), giyes great influ- 
ence to the Arabic ; and Joseph Scaliger says that there are so many 
Arabic words in the language, that they would form a lexicon by 
themselves. Quoted by La Fuente, IIL 395. Among the names of 
articles of clothing, Dozy gives, burnous (albomos), babouche (Gr. 
TdirovTffi), jupe and jupon (djobba, chupa), sash (sch^h), toque^ 
zapato and zapatero. (Dictiomudre, List at end.) 

L *' 



the majority begin with the article al, which in 
almost every case denotes an Arabian ori^n: such 
are algebra, alchemy, alembic, alcalde, alcantara_(the 
bridge), alcazar, alhamra, alameda^^ alfaqui r , and a 
thousand others. How much the provincial and 
local dialects of the Moors and Berbers contributed, 
by indigenous or coiTupted words, is a distinct and 
difficult question. But besides these lexical tributes 
we must include the forms of thought and modes of 
proverbial expression of which the Spanish is full, 
and which_are the vehicle of the ** wit and wisdom" 
of Don Quixote. The traveller in^Spaii^ as h<;». listen^ 
to the proverbs in the mouth of every peasant^ seems 
transported to the land and period of the Arabian 

Endowed with such a noble language, the Spanish 
Arabs in the great centres were ardent lovers of knowl- 
edge, and displayed a general enthusiasm for study. 
Foolish and ignorant men were everywhere regarded 
with contempt, while the learned, whether noble or 
plebeian, were consulted and honored by all. AbA 
Honor to Hayyau, a celebrated grammarian who lived 
meiM)?" in the thirteenth century, relates the fol- 
earnmg. Jowiug auccdote of Ibu Bajch of Granada, 
who, on entering the great mosque, found a teacher 
of grammar and rhetoric surrounded by his pupils. 
They rose on his entrance, and asked him what he 
would do for science, and what he carried under his 
arm ? "I carry," he answered, " twelve thousand 
dinars in the form of twelve splendid rubies, each 
worth a thousand, but they are of less value than 
twelve ardent youths studying our language." He 


tlien drew lots among them, and gave them the best 
of his rubies.* 

It may be added, in speaking of the best period of 
Spanish- Arabian culture, that while they had shown 
themselves equal ^^ the Christians in adventurous 
valor, they far elHIeded them in civilization, in 
science, and in literature.^ 

We come now to consider briefly the nature of 
their achievements in the special departments of 
literature and science, and are attracted first to their 

This was a branch of literary effort for the culti- 
vation of which they had, by instinct and language, 
peculiar facilities : and, in consequence, they Spanish 
displayed in it great enthusiasm and assi- poetry, 
duity ; especitdly at Baghdad in the reigns of Haroun 
and Al Mamun. The Arabic language gives great 
ease in passing from prose to poetry. By nature, 
like all Eastern peoples, they delighted in metaphor 
and apologue : they were as euphuistic as Lyly ; from 
title to colophon they strained after hf^py illustra- 
tions ; plain speech was water, metaphor and allegory 
were the wine of Shiraz. Thus the epic was beyond 
their flight; their poems are languishing idyls or 
passionate lyrics, very easily distinguished from the 
romaunts of Christian chivalry. With such tastes it 
may be readily understood that they could not sym- 
pathize with the cold stateliness of the Greek poetry. 

X Al Makkari, I. 139, 146. 

* On this subject the reader is referred to the learned • work of 
Ton Hammer Purgstall, ** Litteraturgeschichte der Araber," Vols. I. 


Poetiy with them was an art which every man might 
attempt, and there were many children who, like 
Pope, "lisped in numbers," to the great delight of 
their parents. We have, according to Al Makkari, a 
biographical account of poets bom iu Andalus. The 
works referred to in it bear fiJRitive titles, rather 
confusing than suggestive, not perhaps without in- 
tention. Thus, a collection of verses by Ibn Faraj is 
called kitdbu-Uhadayciky ''the book of the enclosed 
gardens." Of another book of poems by Ali Ibn 
Musa Abd-1-Hasan Al-jayy^ni, who lived in the 
tenth century, Ibnu Sa'id says : " Had the Andalu- 
sians no other work to boast of . than that entitled 
Shodh'^/ru-l-dhahai (gold particles), this alone would 
be sufficient to prove their eloquence and establish 
their fame as poets." ^ 

The latter contains a poem on Alchemy, which 
was so highly esteemed, that it was commonly said 
of the author, " If Abii-l-Hasan's poem cannot teach 
thee how to make gold, it wiU at least teach thee 
how to write verses ; " and again, " Abii-1-Hasan's gold 
may be surpassed, but his science cannot." Poetic 
eloquence was considered " lawful magic." 

As the Arabian nature was of quick perception, 
fertile fancy, and remarkable command of language, 
there were many more poets than among the colder 
and more prosaic nations of the North; and those 
who were not ready writers were ardent and appre- 
The poet It ciativc hcarcrs. The poet became thus the 
the teacher, ^jivcrsal tcachcr, — from the singer on the 
highway to the bard who chanted before kings. An 

1 Al Makkari, L 185. 


honored guest among the greats his versatile art at 
the same time touched the sensibilities, and con- 
veyed instmction to the mind By it he taught 
grammar, rhetoric, biography, history,^ theology, medi- 
cine, chemistry, — all the training of the schools. 

This was in part due, as I have said, to the peculiar 
conditions of the language, — it is eminently poetic, — 
and although every scholar knows in a general way 
the great inadequacy of translations, I am inclined 
to think that no poetry suffers more in the tran- 
scription than the Arabia 

The following will serve as an illustration of the 
impossibility of judging of their rhythmic j^ivstn- 
effects. Ibnu-1-monkhol and his little son ^^^ 
in an afternoon walk came up to a pool in their road, 
and began to cap verses thus: "Go on," said the 
father, — 

'* The frogs are croaking in that pod," 
" Tee, and with no sweet melody, troth." 
" Their language was hoisteroos — 
When they caUed the Beni Al-MaUah." 

As they approached the frogs became silent, and 
the father said, — 

" Thou hast become mute like these frogs," 
" When they collected for scandaL" 
" There is no help for the oppressed," 
''And no rain for those who want it." 

Of this singular verse- making, doubtless not with- 
out rhetorical harmony in the original, the historian 

^ There is an entertaining " History of Andalus," in Terse, by Al 
Qhazal, the philosopher and poet. 


says : " Certainly no one can doubt that this finish- 
ing of hemistichs is highly deserving of praise : had 
it been executed by a learned man advanced in life, 
it would have commanded the greatest attention ; but 
being, as it was, the work of a mere boy, it was a 
wonderful performance, and well worthy of remark." * 
Thoroughly satisfied as I am of the superior gen- 
eral culture of the Arabians, I am inclined to think 
that the excellence of their poetry, as tried either by 
classical canons or modern taste, has been greatly 
Tbedefecte Overrated. It is sweet, but turgid: from 

of Arabian . . . 

po«try. its almost universal application its afflatus 
is lost ; it gilds commonplaces. It reacts upon and 
injures prose, and is itself injured in the contact. It 
labors to find conceits, and thus is forced in senti- 
ment and superlative in expression. And yet doubt- 
less there is a great charm in the variety of its 
cadenced sounds, a rhetorical harmony which is to- 
tally lost in translation ; a melange of the hum of 
bees, the twitter of swallows, and the note of the 
whippoorwill ; a charm of nature's chorus in changing 
melodies, constantly returning to the key-note; for 
the Arabian poetry was always in recitative; they 
chanted their verses in rhythmic divisions. 

The most favorite forms of poetry were, — the 
Ghazele, the Kassidah, and the Divan. 

The Ghazele was a love-song or short ode, some- 
thing like what we call a canzonet or sonnet, con- 
The Gh». taining from fourteen to twenty-six lines, 
'*^*- alternately rhyming. The Kassidah is a 

longer and more pretentious piece, at once descrip- 

1 Al Makkari, I. 157. 


live and epic ; sometimes a scrap of history poetically 
treated, sometimes a tale in verse. It gener- ^^ g^^^. 
ally contains from forty to two hundred lines. ***^* 
The Divan is a collection of the smaller poems, gen- 
erally Ghazeles, compiled and connected 
according to arbitrary rules. Among these 
rules or rather poetical customs was the use of asso- 
nances or imperfect rhymes, a feature adopted and 
permanently embodied in Spanish poetry. In much 
of the Arabian verse the second line of each couplet 
ends with the same word. It was considered a great 
feat to have all the letters of the alphabet system- 
atically recognized in a poem, somewhat like our 
writing of acrostics. 

But the poetic tendencies of the Arabians are not 
best displayed in these more important forms : some 
of the sweetest and most effective lines are found in 
impromptu verses, — a couplet or two, — and in happy 
repartees, often, we may suppose, carefully prepared, 
but having an extemporaneous appearance, which 
won from the rich and great large rewards to the 
happy poet. The Arabian Nights are full of such 
detached jewels of poetry, which add greatly to their 
charms. Sultan and slave, priest and merchant, 
traveller and soldier, vie with each other in poetic 
conceits which bear largely upon the fortunes of 

Extended specimens of Arabian poetry in English 
translation would be out of place in such a digest as 
this. A few examples from the works of the Spanish 
Arabians will illustrate the genre. 

Thus, in praise of friendship, Ibn Zeydun, in the 


eleventh century, sings : " We passed the night 
The praise alone with no other companion but friend* 
ship. ship and union ; and, while happiness and 

slumber fled from the eyelids of our detractors, the 
shadows of night retained us in the secret bonds of 
pleasure, until the tongue of morning began to herald 
our names." ^ 

"* Name to me," says an Andalusian, speaking of the 
Sherlf At-talik, " one of your poets who has described 
the color which a draught of pure wine imparts to 
the cheek of the drinker in verses equal to these : — 

*' The wine has colored his cheeks like a rising sun shining npon h\a 
face : the west is his mouth, and the east is the lively cup- 
bearer's hand. 
When the sun has set behind his month, it leayes upon his cheeks 
a rosy twilight" 

In praise of love, the flowers are pressed 
into the service : — 

'*The gardens shine with anemones, and the light fresh gales are 

perfumed with their scent. 
When I visited them, the clouds had just been beating the flowers, 

and making them as deeply tinged as the best wine. 
What is their crime, said I ; and I was told in answer, they stole 

from the cheeks of the fair their beauty." 

Ibnu-1-Faraj writes to a friend for a gift of 
some old wine, and his letter is in verse : — 

'* Send me some of that wine, sweet as thy lore and more transparent 
than the tears which faU down thy cheeks. Send me, my 
son ! some of that liquor, the soul's own sister, that I may 
comfort my debilitated stomach." 

An amusing anti-climax. 

1 Al Kakkari, I. $9. 


The love of local homes is constantly set forth in 
poetic hyberbole. Cordova, Seville, Granada, Toledo, 
Cadiz, is each in turn the fairest and dearest 

, , . , • , Of home. 

spot on elfirth ; each a nuracle of nature and 
art. I select in illustration a few lines of Abii-1-hasan 
Ibn Nasr, a poet of Granada in the twelfth century, 
in praise of Guadix and its river : — 

**0 WAdin-l-eshitl my soul falls into ecstasies whenever I think of 
the favora the Almighty has lavished upon thee. 

" By Allah, thy shade at noon, when the rays of the sun are the 
hottest, is so fresh that those who walk on thy banks cannot 
stop to converse together. 

" The sun itself, seeking a remedy for its own ardor, directs its 
course through thy shadowy bed. 

"Thy current smiles through the prismatic bubbles of the waters 
like the skin of a variegated snake. The trees that hang 
over thy soft inclined banks are so many steps to descend to 
thy bed, while their boughs covered with blossoms, and 
devoured by burning thirst, are perpetually drinking of thy 

The story is told of an African poet, Bekr Ibn 
Hamad El Taharti, that when the Sultan Ibrahim 
had shut himself up in his seraglio, in luxurious ease, 
with his female slaves, and forbidden any one to 
approach him, the poet having a petition to present 
wrote on the flowers which were to be taken in, the 
following verses : — 

** The fair, the enchanting fair t 
Who, even though slaves, 
Do rule their Lord, and render him their slave ; 
They work the bane of man; seek we for roses 
When neither fields nor gardens furnish them f 
The lovely flower 1 on their bright cheeks we find them. 
Sweeter and thomless too. This then, my plaint. 


Being on roses written, I do look 
To hare received with favor since 't is formed 
Of that which is the image of their cheeks, — 
The fair, the enchanting fair 1 " ^ 

The poet's supplication was granted, and he re- 
ceived an additional bounty of one hundred dinars. 

It would exhaust the i-eader's patience, without, as 
these specimens will suffice to show, affording a 
compensating instruction, were I to offer numerous 
extracts, which, after all, can give no fair notion of 
Arabian poetry. Whatever estimate we may now 
form of its taste and power, its influence upon the peo- 
ple who heard the verses chanted can hardly be exag- 
gerated. When a popular poet appeared, and intoned 
his love-songs to the multitude, it was a common 
saying that " all men's ears grew to his tunes, as if 
they had eaten ballads." 

As might be expected, in the long period of the 
Arabian dominion in Spain, there were great changes 
in the spirit and language of their poetry, which in a 
more extended inquiry would claim some detail of 
illustration; but what they called poetic progress 
The earlier was uot improvement. At first their utter- 
W. ances were simple and natural: they at- 

tempted in their new and beautiful seats to photograph 
what they saw, and just as they saw it ; afterwards 
their descriptions became turgid and cloying, and 
created a false taste among the hearers ; they resorted 
to stratagems to excite a satiated fancy ; and the at- 
tempts of women in verse still further lowered the 

^ Yefrslon from English translation of Cond^ 


poetic standard. Many of these women became fa* 
mous : they were representatives of all social classes, 
— nobles, freed slaves, wives and concubines. Chris- 
tians and Jewesses.^ 

I must not leave this subject without calling at- 
tention to the singular and potent influence which 
Arabian poetry exercised over the literature of south- 
em and western Europe. It can be traced in the 
reproduction of many of the stories as well as in the 
structure of the YTench fdblictttx and chanscms de geste 
of the jongleurs and trouvires of the Nortb ; and is more 
particularly to be observed in h gai saber influence on 
of the Provencal troubadours. It extended utentux«. 
into Italy, and is found in the charming stanzas of 
Ariosto, both as to matter and manner, and in the 
"twice-told tales" of Boccaccio's- Decameron. In a 
word, the entire southern literature of Europe, up to 
the Eenaissance, owes as much to the Spanish Ara- 
bians for matter and form as it does to the Latin for 
language.* And more than this, when we remem- 
ber that our English Chaucer borrowed the scheme 

^ Al Makkari, I. 166. The Dames and writings of some of these 
poetesses are given. 

* Fanriel, in speaking of the legend of Raimond of Bosqnet, 
says : " I do not hesitate to cite this fiction as a new proof of the 
influence which the Andalnsian Arahs exercised directly or indi- 
rectly on the imagination of the French." — Histoire de la Poisie 
Proven^le, ch. xiii. 

Sismondi (Histoire de la litt^ratare dn Midi, etc.), oses these 
words: ** Les r^its euz-mdmes ont p^n^tr^ dans notre po^sie long- 
temps avant la traduction des ' Mille et une Nuits.' On en retrouve 
plusienrs dans nos Tieuz fabliaux, dans Boccace, dans TArioste . . . 
et se tronvent li^ k present a tous les souyenirs, et k toutes les 
jooissances des habitants de la moiti^ du globe." 
VOL. II. 23 


of his Canterbury Tales, and several of the stories 
from Boccaccio, we may well claim that the Arabian 
idea has penetrated into the North, and left its pro- 
found impression in the plastic English literature of 
the fourteenth century.^ 

Closely connected with their taste in poetry and 
their use of it was their fondness for story-telling, 
which marks the social life of the oriental people. 
With them it took the place of theatrical repre- 
story. sentations; frqm the munshid, or poet who 
tolling. recited his compositions at the courts of 
princes, to the humble improvisoUore, who gathered 
his little crowd around him, and satisfied their won- 
der with his grotesque legends of genii and the super- 

The men frequented the bazaars to hear such tales; 
the women gathered at the baths to exchange or 
repeat them, and there were improvisatrices of the 
seraglio. " Physicians often ordered story-telling as 
a prescription for their patients, to mitigate their 
sufferings, to calm their agitation, to give sleep after 
protracted insomnia, and these raconteurs, accustomed 
to deal with sickness, knew how to modulate their 
voices, to soften the tone, and to give way by still 
gentler utterances to the approach of sleep." ' This 
kind of eloquence with them was classed as "lawful 
magic," and was not considered beneath the cultiva- 
tion of men who prided themselves upon their lit- 
erary eminence. They boasted of the number of 

^ Not to mention others, the ''Knight's Tale," and the "TroUus'* 
are versions of the *' Theseida'* and ** Filostrato " of Boccaccio. 
' Sismondi, Histoire de la Litt^rature, etc. 


entertaining tales they had learned or invented^ and 
the ready language and dramatic skill they displayed 
in telling them. Such men were eagerly sought out 
by the Khalifs and the grandees to beguile their 
ennui, or to recreate them after their fatigues. Such 
is the simple philosophy of the "Arabian Nights* 
Entertainments/' stories about stories, told by all 
sorts of people to Haroun Al Easchid and his vizier, 
who wandered in disguise to find them. The trav- 
eller in the East to-day may find the original type little 
changed, except in the necessaiy accompaniments of 
coffee and tobacco, which seem so very oriental that 
we can scarcely believe that the former was^ not 
used tiU the sixteenth, nor the latter till the seven- 
teenth century. 

Naturally gifted with memory, of which Al Mak- 
kari says : " Memory is among the gifts which the 
Almighty poured most profusely upon the 
Andalusians," these story-tellers did not *"**^* 
rely implicitly upon it ; they not only heightened 
the interest of their stories by mimetic and histrionic 
effects; but they often improvised, while in the very 
fervor of narration, charming plots of episodical ad- 
venture, like those in the "Thousand and one Nights." 
Once improvised, they became part of the chanter's 
future stores, a broader foundation for new successes. 
These were sometimes collected into volumes, and 
one of these Andalusian collections would, if we may 
accept the eulogium of bibliographers, were it trans- 
lated, divide our interest with the "Arabian Nights." 
Its author was a very facetious man who knew by heart 
a prodigious number of stories, and gave them to the 


Spanish Arabs as " The Book of Eoutes and Stations 
in the Adventures of Abu-1-halyi" ^ They had one 
great advantage to which I have already referred; 
they were not limited to the truth, but would have 
been tame had they not been full of h3q>erbole in 
their descriptions. 

Their musical powers are vaunted by the historian, 
but little is known of their attainments in this art 
They sang to the lute (el-'ood), as the modern Span- 
iards do to the guitar, with the same gestic- 
ulation, using the instrument as a fan, and as 
if it were alive, and joining the ballad with personal 
movements, — se cantan iailando;^ sometimes exe- 
cuting a pas sevi to the rhythm they were producing, 
and subsiding again into a state of quiescenca 

We pass to a more serious topic. 

1 Al Makkaii, L 143. Abu-l-hal}d died in 1015. 
s Ford's Handbook, I. 139. 




IT would be of great interest to consider at length 
the achievements of the Spanish Arabs in the do- 
main of psychology, and materials are not wanting for 
a thorough investigation of this subject; but Arabian 
the scope of this work will not permit me ica. 
to do more than indicate to the reader the great 
names which have adorned this department of human 
science, and to give a bare statement of the conclu- 
sions or theories which they propounded. 

As in other branches of learning, the Arabians 
began by accepting the tenets or proposita of the 
Greek philosophy, so that Arabian psychology has 
been justly called an advanced chapter in the modem 
progress of Aristotelianism. It was this, but not 
this only. In the eleventh and twelfth centuries, 
armed with the philosophy of Aristotle, they en- 
deavored, if I may so speak, to cultivate originality: 
but in this endeavor the Semitic mind was too quiet 
and receptive to accomplish much ; most of them could 
only borrow from others, and closely imitate ;^ a few 

^ " La philoflophie, chez les Semites, n'a jamais M qa*iin empnint 
parement ezUrieur et sans grande f^condit^ ; une imitation de la 
philoaophie grecqae." — K Kenan, Averroea el Averroisme, TriStuoe, 


of their philosophers, however, accompKshed some- 
thing more. As we have seen, the tenth century in 
Spain was the golden age of letters, but it was not 
the halcyon day of philosophy. Whatever fell under 
the suspicion of invalidating the Kordn, in any de- 
gree or manner, was placed under the ban of the 
orthodox government; and thus metaphysics could 
only enjoy favor and receive incitements at spas- 
modic intervals, when orthodoxy seemed to sleep. 
Cordova was sacked, and large numbers of books were 
destroyed, in the eleventh century. What at first, 
however, seemed fatal to the philosophers of Spain 
was providentially advantageous : they were driven 
away from their inhospitable homes, but carried their 
doctrines with them to larger fields and more eager 
and scholarly hearers. "Avempace, Abubacer, and 
Averroes are," says R^nan, " of no renown in Islam- 
ism:" their real fame is due to the acceptance of 
their doctrines by Christian Europe.^ 

First among the "giants of those days," but belong- 
ing to the Eastern school, was Avicenna (Ibn Sina), 
who was born in the district of Bokhara 


about the year 980. Much more famous as 
a physician than as a metaphysician, he had read the 
philosophy of Aristotle forty times before he was 
seventeen years old, and before he received any light 
to guide him in understanding it. This light came 
at last from the little commentary of Alfarabius ; and 
his joy was so great for this boon that he made a 
special thanksgiving to God, and bestowed alms upon 
the poor. He was the first to enunciate to the Mos- 

1 Ayerroes et rAyerroisme, 87. 


lem world that the subjects of human knowledge 
{intdHgibUia) are to be regarded, — Tnetaphysi^ly, in 
themselves; physically, as embodied in sense; logi- 
colly, as expressing the process of thought; and that 
the active intellect is the universal establisher of 
forms in the world — (Jntellectus informis agit univer- 
sitatem). God is the moral governor, and theology — 
the Kordn — is a corollary from belief in God ; but 
" God, being absolute unity, cannot have immediate 
action upon the world." ^ 

The next name claiming mention is that of Al- 
Ghazali, who was born in 1058, and who appeared 
very early in life among the ardent students 
of philosophy. At the age of thirty-three, 
he became a professor of metaphysics at Baghdad, 
where, by his enthusiasm and eloquence, he attracted 
large crowds to hear him, among whom were the 
most distinguished men. Disturbed in his own 
mind by the fierce conflict between creed and science, 
and under the pretext of making the pilgrimage to 
Mecca, he visited the principal cities, lecturing to 
interested audiences at Damascus, Jerusalem, and 
Alexandria. The chief conflict was in his own soul. 
Sensation and perception were uncertain, reason could 
not be depended on, and so he fell back upon a 
destructive dilemma. The intellectual sys- ^^ doctrine 
tem of Aristotle, which had been accepted JJa'iatoncT- 
by the Arabian philosophers, he attacked rionai*^' 
in a work since famous, entitled "Destructio "'***•" 
Philosophorum," aimed especially against the teach- 

^ In Avicenna, according to R^nan, is found the most complete 
expression of Arabian philoeophy. — Averroe^ et fAverroisme, p. 95. 


ings of Avicenna. He denied what we call eau- 
sality, but admitted the reality of causation, and 
asserted that '' God is the onlj efficient cause in nat- 
ure, and that second causes are not properly causes, 
but only occasions, of the eflfect." ^ Thus he is con- 
sidered as having first propounded the doctrine of 
"divine assistance or of occasional causes," which 
made its way afterwards into the schools of the west 
His fame was so great that he was called 'Hhe 
Imaum of the world." In the opinion of the his- 
torian, his fame is eclipsed by the renown, as his 
opinions were successfully attacked by the philoso* 
pher now to be mentioned. 

Like the other sciences, metaphysics had received 
its first culture in Arabian schools at the East ; but 
the great names thus mentioned produced at once an 
enthusiastic spirit of inquiry in the western 
khalifate ; and this brings us to the consid- 
eration of a writer, who stands facile princeps as a 
metaphysician of his own time, and as the founder 
of a school in Christian Europe which advocated and 
mutilated his doctrines long after he had passed away. 
I speak of the honored name of Averroes. He was a 
Spanish Arab, and with him Arabian metaphysics 
reached its culminating point. This man of many 
characters and many vocations was born at Cordova 
in the year 1126 ; and when he died at Morocco in 
1198, Arabian philosophy lost its last and greatest 
representative, and the triumph of the Korin over 

^ Sir William Hamilton, Lectures on Metaphysics, Lect. 


free thought was assured for at least six hundred 

The political reaction upon this "free thought" 
was vexing and discouraging : Averroes lived in the 
dark days just after the fall of the Oiumeyan g,g ^^^ 
dynasty ; a period which was succeeded by **^^^- 
the tumult of petty kings, in constant strife, until 
there was a temporary consolidation of power in the 
hands of the Almoravides. His full name was Abii- 
1-walid Mohammed Ibn Ahmed Ibn Mohammed 
Ibn Boschd, The latter part of this name, or patro- 
nymic, has been corrupted in Spanish into Averroes.* 
He studied theology (according to the doctrines of 
the Malekites), logic, medicine, jurisprudence, and 
philosophy; and became early known as a distin- 
guished canonist. He turned his attention to educa- 
tion, and first gave instruction by lectures in the 
schools attached to the mosques: he was sent to 
Morocco, where he aided in founding colleges. He 
devoted himself to astronomy, and wrote a work sug- 
gested by the Almagest, which was entitled ** De 
Substantia Orbis," or "De Compositione Corporis 
Coelestis." He made also an abridgment of the 
Alma^^est. Averroes was the instructor of hisbo- 
kings; but his so-called heresies were too htnaj. 
daring to be protected even by royal authority : he 
denounced a prophecy which had gained large credit, 

^ "Qu&nd Averroes moamt en 1198, la philosophie arabe perdit 
en Ini son dernier repr^ntant et le triomphe du Coran snr la libre 
pens^ fat aaswri poor au nioins six cents aus.'* — R]£nan, Averroes, 
etc, 2. 

* It appears also as Aben Haasad, Ben HotU, and Aben Hoes, 


that a hurricane would come at a specified time and 
destroy the human race ; and when it was called to 
his attention that there was in the Koran the record 
of such a tempest which destroyed the rebellious 
tribe of Ad,^ he declared that to be also a fabia 
Quoting in one of his commentaries from a classic 
author the words, " The planet Venus is a divinity," 
his enemies took them as an extract from his work, 
and showed them to Al-mansur, who was made thus 
to believe the philosopher a polytheist^ The result 
was that he was banished, and orders were given in 
the provinces of the empire to burn his writings, ex- 
cept . those on medicine, arithmetic, and elementary 
astronomy, — "as far as those were necessary to know 
how to calculate the length of days and nights and 
to determine the direction of the Kiblah" It seemed 
that he had fallen a victim to his learning and wis- 
dom ; but his fame had become so great that he was 
soon restored to favor. He asserted the eternal and 
imiversal nature of true intellectual life, and with his 
fellow-workers, especially Avicenna, set forth that 
"BmanA- doctriuc of emanation, the master principle 
opTinto*^*^" ^f ^^ school; a theory of cosmogony, ac- 
Pantheism. (jQjding to which the matter and form of 
the world spring from God, and flow out of Him : 
this theory is in some respects the equivalent or at 
least the half-thought of pantheism.' It was a vigor- 
ous resistance against the cast-iron system of Moslem 

^ Eor&n, ch. yii., xxiii. Allusions are made to this deatnictioii 
in other chapters. 

' R^nan, Averroes et rAyerroisme, p. 22. 

' Lecky (Rationalism in Europe, II. 284) refers to the influence 


theology; it still sought, but sought in vain, to keep 
creed and science apart ; it could do no more than put 
a fortress round the Deity, and while it conceded that 
intelligence asserts itself from the opposite direction, 
it claimed that in all things God is the only real 
agent, whether he uses a medium or acts immediately, 
— "Est Deus gloriosus mediantibus angelis, aut im- 

Averroes died in 11 98, not long after his restoration 
to favor, and was buried at Morocco ; but his country- 
men petitioned to have his remains, which were re- 
moved and reburied at Cordova. His tenets, however, 
did not die with him. Adopted by the Jews, who made 
Hebrew translations of his works ; rendered into Latin 
by the schoolmen, who fought vigorously over his 
doctrines ; studied in the University of Paris, and de- 
clared to be the representative of scepticism, — Aver- 
roism found its more abiding home in the school of 
Padua, where it had the honor of being denounced by 
Petrarch ; and at last it took its place in the history 
among systems which have played their part, and are 
. now, in form at least, things of the past. He was 
the first of the Arabian philosophers to deny that 
virtue is only a means of arriving at happiness, — a 
common and selfish view, which seems the practical 
basis of many popular religions.^ 
I can only refer very briefly to the distinguished 

of "those pantheistic speculations about the aU-pervasiFe soul of 
the Uniyerse '* upon " some of the most eminent Christian writings 
long after the dawn of the Reformation." 

^ I qnote his words from B^nan ("Averroes," etc., p. 156): 
'* Parmi lea fictions dangereoses, il faut compter celles qui tendent 
2k ne faire enyisager la vertn que comme un moyen d'arriver au bon* 


name of Ibn B&dja, known to the Western world as 
Avempace, who was bom at Saragossa in 
the year 1138. His views, which were 
something more than a modification of existing sys- 
tems, are to be found in his " Eepublic of the Soli- 
tary" {Regime du Solvtaire). The Solitary is the 
philosopher who would seek to rise above his mere 
animal nature, his a&fia -^xr/LKov, and above sur- 
rounding nature, to the realms of pure intellectuality. 
Thus intellect gains a certain supremacy in a philo- 
sophical heaven, where it, in the person of the Deity, 
controls everything. Among the critical treatises of 
Averroes is one on Avempace's letter concerning the 
\mion of the intellect with man,^ which accepted 
much, but also questioned much, in that work. 

The intimate association between the Arabians and 
the Jews gave rise to many speculations of the latter 
Moses Mai- upou philosopMcal qucstious. Among these 
monidea. ^^^ ^^^^ famous thinker was Moses Mai- 

monides (Ben Maimon), who was the immediate con- 
tinuator of the philosophy of Averroes. He was bom 
in Cordova, in 1135, of a distinguished family, and 
was an adept in many sciences. He wrote upon many 
subjects, and his works were greatly esteemed ; but, 
when he entered upon metaphysical speculations, 
partly for his opinions and partly because he was a 

heur. D^ lors la vertu n'est plus rien, puisqu'on ne s'alietient de 
la volupt^ qae dans Tespoir d'en 6tre d^ommag^ avec usurs. Le 
brave n'ira clieicher la mort qae pour ^yiter nil plus grand mal. Le 
juste ne respectera le bien d*autrui que pour acqu^rir le double." 
The reader will find a complete list of the worka of Ayerroes in 
E^nan, p. 65 et seq. 

^ R^nan, Averroes et rAverroisme, p. 67. 


Jew, he fell under the ban of intolerant orthodoxy 
and was accused of making his brethren atheists. 
He fled to northern Africa, and died at Cairo, in 
1204. His real opinions were vindicated by his 
gifted son, Abraham Ben Moses. 

In this brief and somewhat desultory reference to 
Arabian philosophy, I have been obliged to omit 
many names, which in a larger treatment would find 
honorable place. Here, as in presenting the other 
elements of Moslem culture, I have only space to 
indicate to the reader men and opinions whose sys- 
tems demand careful study by all those who are 
interested in the important but perplexing study of 

Under the head of History we enter upon the 
most important and voluminous labors of the Spanish 
Arabians. It was almost entirely chronicle Hutoricia 
history. Indeed, with their essential doc- ^^*'^8s. 
trine of fatalism, there was little place for pliilosophy. 
All things moved in an iron-bound order. And the 
chronicle was concerned about the deeds of Khalifs 
and Amirs, and so generally abounds in fulsome 

But they were industrious in collecting facts; 
indeed, they were statistical before all. They en- 
wreathed these statistics, which otherwise would have 
been dry detail, with allegory and imagery, and dis- 
played great accuracy and elegance in composition. 
They were accomplished grammarians, and were bound 
to correct rules by numerous and famous treatises on 
grammar. - 

Among many elaborate historical works, we have 


mention of a royal history of his times by Ibn 
Al-aftlas, king of Badajos^ which has not survived 
the civil wars of the eleventh century and later 

Al Krazraji of Cordova wrote " The Book of Suf- 
ficiency on the History of the Khalifs," beginning 
with the establishment of the Khalifate, and ending 
with the reign of Abdu-1-mdmen, the first of the 
Almohades. This is a general history, giving both 
the events in the East and those in Spain. 

Not to dwell upon works which are of little interest 
to the general scholar, as they have not been trans- 
lated, I must mention one of these reproductions of 
the past by Ibnu Hayyan, of Cordova, which has 
been more particularly consulted by Arabic scholars, 
and is frequently referred to in these pages. It is in 
The Book of ^ixty volumcs, and bears the appropriate 
Solidity. title, Kitdbu'l-matin (the " Book of Solid- 
ity " ). This, with another work by the same author, 
called Kitdbu-l-muktabis (the *' Book of those desir- 
ous of Information "), gives to the reader the details of 
historical events which occurred in the author's time, 
and of some of which he was an eye-witness. Another 
work is named " The Embroidery of the Bride on the 
History of the Khalifs who reigned in Andalus ; * 
and there is a supplement, entitled " The Book of the 
Sphere," divided into two parts, — one entitled "The 
Light of the Rising Sun on the Beauties of the East," 
and the other, " The Eloquent Speaker on the Beauties 
of the West." 

There are histories of cities, and elaborate biog- 
raphies of eminent men; biographical dictionaries 


like that of Abu-1-kasim Ibn Bash Kiirvdl, from the 
conquest to his own days. There are his- Local and 


tories in verse, like that of Andalus, by Al hutoriei. 
Ghazz&l. There is a history of horses by Abii-l- 
Monder of Valencia, and a Historical Dictionary of the 
Sciences by Mohammed-Abu- Abdillah, of Granada 

A few of these works are still within the reach 
of Arabic scholars; but this is not the place for a 
bibliographical list Most of them are beyond our 
reach and use, both on account of the language in 
which they are still concealed from the general reader, 
and the rareness of the copies ; and because of the 
almost impossibility of consulting with any degree 
of system those which are in the library of the 
EscuriaL There are in that gloomy retreat six thou- 
sand Arabic manuscripts lying boxed in the basement, 
which are not generally, if ever, consulted.* These 
form but a small portion of those treasures, thousands 
of which were destroyed by an accidental fire in the 
Escurial in 1671, constituting three-fourths of the 
entire collection. 

The task of cataloguing the remainder was as- 
signed to a learned Syrian, Miguel Casiri, a Maronite 
of Mount Lebanon, in the middle of the The work of 
eighteenth century, who was industrious and caairt 
devoted, but whose work, by reason of his nationality, 
'Contains many errors. It is entitled "Bit)liotheca 
Arabico-Hispana Escurialensis,'* and is the foundation 

^ Cardinal Ximenes thought to do the church good serrioe by 
destroying eighty thousand Arabic MSS. at a literary auio da fi in 
the public squares of Granada, in the year 1500. He made some 
amends by founding the University of Alcala. 


of the "Historia Critica" of Masden, the first really 
critical history of Spain. The number of works cat- 
alogued was eighteen hundred and fifty, and the task 
was accomplished between 1760 and 1770. 

I may be permitted to say, after reading the ex- 
perience of Don Pascual de Grayangos, of obstacles 
and cold treatment which he met from the Spanish 
authorities in his attempts to consult these ^orks,^ 
that, when Spanish scholars cast off their sloth and 
their false pride of blood; when they are ready to 
do simple justice to the Arab-Moors, whom they have 
tried In vain to ignore, — such books as these will shed 
rare light upon the Mohammedan dominion, and give 
the historian of the Conquest what thus far he has 
not had, — adequate materials with which to work. 

In considering the knowledge, and the extension 
of that knowledge, which the Arab-Moors contrib- 
uted to exact science we must go back to the East 
to find those numeral symbols, called Arabic, which 
we use in Arithmetic, the simple but magical cpen 
sesame to the treasure-house of calculation. Simple 
Arithmotie as thesc figUTCs are, and easy as it may 

and mathe- •^ ^ 

maucB. now Seem to have invented them, they 
are not of Arabian invention, nor did the Arabians 
claim that they were. They are of Hin4u device, 
and were thus called Mash'heb Sind Hind (the school 

^ He petitioned the goyemment for permission to visit the col- 
lection in the Escnrial ; "but," he says, "notwithstanding repeated 
applications on mj part, and the interference of peTsons high both 
in rank and infldence ; notwithstanding the ntility, not to say 
necessity, of the work I contemplated, — my request was, as often as 
made, positively denied." — Translator's Pre/ace to Al Ifakkari, 
I. xix. 


of Sind Hind). They were probably brought from 
-India to Baghdad, among the spoils of conquest, in 
the days of Al-mansur or Haroun Al Raschid.^ The 
Arabians may have improved; they certainly named 
them, and at once employed them in new calcula- 
tions. To them we owe our name for the cipher, 
.that potent genius of the decimal system, — that 
nothing which disproves the rule. Ex nikilo nihil fit. 
They called it Tsaphara, the hlarik or void. 

Woepcke proposes two sources for these figures as 
used in Maghreb and Spain, — the Gobar, or " dust " 
introduced to the West before the coming of the 
Arabs, by the neo-Pythagoreans and Boethius ; * and 
the other brought to the Khalif Al-mamiin of Bagh- 
dad in the ninth century, and soon afterwards into 
Spain. The former vehicle is very doubt- ^^ AmbUn 
ful; for, though some of the initiated might ^^^^'^^^ 
have heard of them, there is no record of their use by 
the Arabs on their arrival in Spain. Both systems, 
however, seem to have been of Indian origin. 

" It would be curious," says Max Miiller, " to find 
out at what time the naught occurs for the first time 
in the Indian inscriptions: . . . from it would date in 
reality the beginning of true mathematical science, — 
impossible without the naught, — nay, the beginning 
of all exact sciences, to which we owe the discovery 

1 Their Indian origin is doubted by Sedillot (Des Connaissances 
Scientifiques des Orientanx), — quoted by Hoefer, Histoire des Math^« 
matiques, pp. 304, 305. Paris, 1874. 

' In the ingenious article on " Our Figures,'* in the second yol- 
nme of Max Mul1er*s " Chips from a German Work-shop," the reader 
is referred to Woepcke's '* M6moire snr la Propagation des Chiifres 
Indiens," in the "Journal Asiatique." 
VOL. II. 24 



of telescopes, steam-engines and electric telegraphs: 
The mode of forming the numerals is very simple ; 
and one is inclined, by finding them among the Ara- 
besques in the Alhambra, constructed in circles, by 
using diameters and chords, to believe that such was 
their original construction. What an immense im- 
provement in calculation they introduced may be 
seen by comparing their decimal system with the 
cumbrous sexagesimal arithmetic of the Greeks,^ the 
mode of computing by sixties ; or with the Eoman 
system of numeral letters. 

The Arabic figures were introduced into Spain 
about the beginning of the ninth century. It has 
been asserted — and the assertion, if not exact, is sig- 
nificant — that Pope Sylvester II., who was the first 
to present a knowledge of these symbols to Christian 
Europe in the same century, had le^irned them while 
When Intro- Studying, as the priest Gerbert, among many 
Europe. other Christian students, at the University 
of Cordova.^ When we remember that these Arabic 
numerals from 1 to 10, including the naughty were 
not in general use in Germany until the beginning of 
the fifteenth century, nor in England until some time 
later, we are ready to give most thankful praise to 
those to whom Europe owes so magnificent a boon. 

1 They formed their system by dividing the circle into three hun- 
dred and sixty degrees ; each side of the inscribed hexagon sub- 
tended an arc of 60% each degree contained 60', and each minute 60*. 
They applied this also to rectilinear measurements. 

^ Sylvester composed works on arithmetic and geometry, and 
made some mathematical instruments with his own hand. It was 
chiefly due to his new arithmetic that he was considered by many 
as a necromancer. He died in 1003. 


Their introduction was the starting-point of a new 
progress ; by their use the Arabians led the world in 
mathematics, analytical mechanics, and astronomy. 

To algebra, the science of numbers and quantity, 
they gave its modem name, from 'jabara^ to hind 
parts together. Of its antiquity they had no knowl- 
edge, although one of their writers ascribes 

^ ' ° Algebra. 

a treatise on the science to Adam. The un- 
known quantity x they called s*di, the thing (to be 
discovered) ; and this name has been adopted by the 
Italians, who call it scienza della cosa, — translated by 
the earlier French authors into L'art de coss. As far 
as we know the Arabians derived their knowledge 
from the Greeks ; and there is in the Bodleian library 
at Oxford a manuscript copy of a treatise on Algebra 
by Mohammed Ibn Musa, of the ninth century.^ 

Diophantus, the Alexandrian, had written upon 
algebra in the sixth century; and, although the sciema 
della com, was a favorite study with the Italians, little 
was known of it by general scholars, until the famous 
tournament and bitter quarrel between their cham- 
pion Tartaglia and Cardan. This grew out of the 
enthusiasm of Scipion Ferro (1490-1525) and An- 
tonio Fiore; the latter of whom, while the Arabians 
were engaged in the same inquiries, had found the 
methods for solvin^r equations of the third de- TarUgiu 

and Car- 

gree. Fiore challenged Tartaglia to a general dana. 
mathematical tournament, in 1535, and propounded 

1 Hoefer, Histoire dee Math^matiqaes, pp. 296, 297. The work 
was written during the reign of the Ehalif Al-m&nidn, but the copy 
referred to bears date of 1342. The Arabians also presented the 
word gidTf which has been adopted in aU hinguages, — root, racine, 
iourzel, etc. 


thirty questions on cubic equations. These Tartaglia 
immediately answered ; and Cardan, himself an Ital- 
ian, but whose residence in France and England has 
given a French form to his name, wrote to the suc- 
cessful champion for his methods, with the promise 
of secrecy. Tartaglia was very reluctant to impart 
liis knowledge, but eventually did so, requiring Car- 
dan to swear on the Holy Evangelists and his honor 
as a gentleman, that he would not disclose them;^ 
and that he would commit them to cipher, so that 
they might not be read after his death. By develop- 
ing and modifying them. Cardan seemed to think 
himself absolved from his oath, and he published 
them to the world, greatly to the anger of Tartaglia^ 
in his "Ars Magna," in 1545. 

In the mean time, and quite outside of this Euro- 
pean quarrel, the Arabians were at work on the 
Thebitn)n s^^ieucc. They were also solving cubic 
Korrah. equatious, and Thebit Ibn Korrah, who died 
in the year 900, has the great credit of having first 
applied Algebra to Geometry,' and thus laid the 
foundations of Analytical Geometry. 

Geometry, the science of measurements, they found 
already in an advanced stage of cultivation. From 
the earliest time, when men began to measure the 
surface of the earth and the contents of bodies^ on 

^ Tartaglia made a poetic Bummary of his method, of which the 
following are the closing lines: — 

'* £1 residue poi tno generale 
Delli lor lati cubi ben soltrato 
Yerra la tua cosa principale." 

See Hoefer, Histoire des Mathematiqnes, p. 844. 
^ Hoefer, Histoire des Math^matiques, p. 297. 


the principle of personal possession and self-interest, 
geometiy was a practical art; and thus the inventions 
of Pythagoras and the system of Euclid, the latter 
being still used in academies and colleges, must find 
their origin in an earlier period In a Chinese work 
of mathematical detail, we are presented with a dia- 
logue between the Emperor Tchan-kong, who lived 
about eleven hundred years before Christ, — if we 
may credit their chronology, — and a learned man of the 
time named Schang-kaow. If, says the philosopher, 
we andyze a right angle, the line which joins the ex- 
tremities of the base and altitude is equal to five^ when 
the one equals three and the other four. The square 
of five is equal to the sum of the squares of three and 
four. And thus the little mandarins puz- ^,^^ 
zled over the proposition which we know ®^*""" 
as the 47th of Euclid, nearly six hundred years 
before Pythagoras is said to have enunciated it, and 
eight hundred before it found its place in the system 
of Euclid. This may be the boast of a " celestial " 
fancy ; but there can be no doubt that the Arabians 
received geometry in a very advanced condition, and 
presented to the western world, in translation from 
the Greek, the treatises of Euclid on the properties 
of plane figures, on the theory of ratios, and on the 
elements of solid figures. If they added little that 
was new, they collected and annotated all that was 
known. The works of Euclid, let it be remembered, 
were not translated into the modern languages of 
Europe until the sixteenth century, after the influx 
of Greek learning, incident to the fall of Constanti- 
nople. The first Latin dress in which 'they appeared 


in the West was in a translation made by Adelard, 
Adeiard't of Bath, from an Arabic version which he 


of Euclid, found in common use in Spain in the twelfth 
century. So, too, the famous work of Appolonius of 
Perga, — " the great geometer," on conic sections, 
written in the early part of the third century of our era, 
was translated by the Arabians, and thus presented to 
the west. To be more exact, there were eight books ; 
the first seven were translated into Arabic; the first 
four were afterwards recovered in the Greek; the 
eighth is lost.^ 

Towards the end of the ninth century, Ibn Musa Ibn 
Geber Al Batani greatly facilitated the applications 
of trigonometry by the use of the sine, or half-chord 
The intpo- of the doublc arc, instead of the arc itselE 

auction of 

the tine. It was immediately applied in geodetical 
and astronomical calculations* And Abu-1-Wefah 
presented to the world the formulae of tangents and 
cotangents, and also of secants and co-secants, and 
made tables of the former set, of all which the 
scientific historian says, " Fersonne n'avait encore 
parl6." 8 

1 Michel Cbasles, Aperpu Hifltorique des M6thodes en G^om^trie, 
p. 21. Paris, 1876. 

2 The words of Al Batanf, as given by Delambre (Histoire de 
VAstronomie du Moyen Age), are : ** C*est de ces demichordes, que 
nous entendons nous servlr dans nos calculs, oh il est bien intilo 
de doubler lea arcs." — pp. 11, 12. 

* M. Michel Chasles, speaking of the great change which had 
come over them since they burned the Alexandrian Library, 
says : " Cependant, ces memes Arabes, apr^ un ou deux si^leSt 
reconnurent leur ignorance, et entreprirent euz-m£mes la restaura* 
tion des sciences. Ce sont eux qui nous transmirent soit le texte^ 
soit la traduction dans leur langue, — les manuscrits qui avaient 
^chapp^ k leur fureur fanatique. Mais c'es$t 1& a peu pr^ la seule 


These improvements found their way into Spain, 
and from Spain passed into Italy, the growing centre 
of a commerce and an extending navigation, which 
were ready to subsidize all mathematical learning. 

Thus it would seem that, in the palmy days of the 
Arabian dominion in Spain, the young student in their 
colleges had almost as complete a course in elementary 
mathematicsas is taught in our colleges to-day. 

If we pass from pure mathematics to astronomy, 
we shall find the Arabians industriously studying and 
systematizing what was known before, and adding 
greatly to the former knowledge by observation and 
computation. They used the Egyptian calendar of 
days in the year, and the tables of the Greeks; 
they translated the works of Ptolemy, containing his 
digest of ancient astronomy, his theory of the plan- 
etary system, the moon's evection, — an inequality 
depending upon the position of the sun with ref- 
erence to the major axis of the moon's orbit, — and 
his treatise on the phenomena of the fixed stars. His 
great work, which he called MeydXrj SvpTa^i<: t^9 
^Aa-Tpopofiiaf; (the great syntaxis) they called fieylarrf 
(the greatest), to distinguish it from his other works ; 
and it has become, with the article prefixed, 

* Al'inagQst. 

the Al-magest. Great observatories were 

erected in the eastern cities, and at Seville and Cor- 

obligation qne nous lear ayons. Car la g^om^trie entre leun mains, 
k Texception toutefois du calcul des triangles sph^riqnes resta 
stationaire entre leurs mains ; leurs travaux se bomant k admirer et 
k commenter les oavrages grecs ; comma s'ils marquaient le tenne 
le plus ^lev^ et le plus sublime de cett« science." — Aper^ His^ 
tarique, p. 50. I find the praise rather scanty, after eiren a cursory 
examination of their labors. 


dova, always emulous of Baghdad. They computed 
time by the oscillations of the pendulum ; they took 
the altitudes of the heavenly bodies by means of the 
astrolabe, — a circular plate with a graduated rim, 
within which fit several thinner plates, and a limb 
instru- moving on a central pivot with two sights, 
ment* They used armillary spheres, made not with 
a spherical, continuous surface, but with rings. Thus 
they calculated the conditions of Aldebaran, Eigel 
Algol, and other stars. There are in our lists four 
hundred stars with Arabic names. To them we owe 
our common word, azimuth, — the arc of the horizon 
included between the meridian and a vertical circle 
passing through the centre of a star. The point 
where a normal to the surface pierces upper space, 
they called semt, a place, whence we have our zenith ; 
the similar point beneath was Tuidir (the opposite.) ^ 
To the Spanish Arabs we owe the name and form 
of the calendar which we call Almanac (mandh, 

According to Al Kazwinf, they not only knew the 
spheroidal form of the earth, but approximately its 
The Am- diameter and circumference, computed from 

bian« knew o rwn • i • • 

that the eclipscs of the moon.' The inclination of 

earth was a ^ 

spheroid, the ccliptic was computed by Geber Al 
Batanf following the Greek method. By means of 
a colossal gnomon, he measured the length of the 
shadow, at the summer and at the winter solstice, 
the angular difierence being twice the quantity sought. 

^ Montuda, Histoire des Math^matiques, vol. I. p. 371. Paris. 
An. viiL 

'^ Lane, Arabian Nights, note 2 to the Introdnction. 


This was done, both at Damascus and at Baghdad, 
during the reign of Al-mamiin. At the former place 
it was made 23** 33', and at the latter 23** 33' 52'. 
Our methods make it at that time 23° 35' 56".^ 

To them is due the discovery of the motion of the 
sun's apogee ; and that of the third inequality of the 
moon is ascribed by Sedillot to Abu-1-Wefah, but this 
is doubted by Biot 

Mention has already been made of the measure- 
ment of a degree of latitude on the earth's surface in 
the ninth century. To go a little more into detail : 
On an extended plain in Mesopotamia, called Singiar, 
two parties were organized, of which, starting from 
the same point, one moved north and the other 
south, and each measured a degree. Their They meas- 

, , . « , ^'^ * degree 

unit of measure was the cubit, of the exact of latitude, 
length of which we are not certain. SuflBce it to say 
that, while modern science has fixed the degree at 
about sixty-nine and a half statute miles for that 
locality, they made it nearly seventy-seven.^ 

Az-zharkal, a famous Spanish astronomer of the 
twelfth century, proposed an hypothesis to account 
for the diminution of the sun's eccentricity since the 
days of Ptolemy ; * and Alfonso X. (el sabio), whose 
astronomical tables — known as the Alphonsine tables 
— were of great value, composed them, with the 
assistance of Arabian astronomers. He was indeed 
wise in his own conceit ; for he said, " that, if God had 

^ Moedler, Geschichte der Himmelskaiide, p. 89. Branswick, 

* See Montacla, Histoire des Math^matiques, I. 858. 
' Al Makkari, Mohammedan Dynasties, I. 888, note 18. 


called him into His councils when He created the 
universe, things would have been in a better and 
simpler order." ^ 

It is hardly necessary to remind the reader that all 
their tables and computations were based upon the 
views of Ptolemy as to the correlations of the solar 
system, which used apparent instead of real motions, 
and which did not disappear until the time of Co- 
pernicus. The metaphysician, Averroes, wrote an 
abridgment of the Al-niagest, a treatise on the mo- 
tion of the celestial sphere, and announced his in- 
tention, if God should permit, to compose a work on 
astronomy as it was in the time of Aiistotle, — "to 
destroy the theory of epicycles and eccentrics, and 
to make a harmony between the Astronomy and the 
Physics of Aristotla" ^ 

It should not be forgotten that, from the beginning, 
with the progress of astronomy, or exact star-science, 
astrology, the science of star influences and 
star prophecies, kept pace in Spain, as well 
as in the East. Dividing magic, or the supernatural, 
into spiritual and natural, they made astrology a 
branch of the latter. Thus, to give a striking illus- 
tration, they arranged marriage by these star predic- 
tions. They not only calculated the character and 
conditions of each of the parties by the signs of the 
zodiac, but the effect to be produced by their combi- 
nation on their future lives. The twelve signs cor- 
responded to the elements of fire, earth, air, water, 
etc. : and if for the man and woman the signs agreed, 

^ Montucla, Histoire des Math^matiqnes, I. 511. 

2 R^nan's Averroes et rAverroismo, p. 76. Paris, 1867. 


there would be concord ; but, if the element of the 
woman was water, and that of the man was fire, she 
would put him out! — he would be subject to her 
rule. The Spanish Arabs seem to have been less 
under the sway of this natural magic than their 
Eastern brethren. As they lived in a credulous age, 
they were, however, not free from it ; but always, in 
their superstitions even, they were groping for light, 
they were working for science. Thus, great Khalifs 
undesignedly did good service to astronomy by col- 
lecting and reproducing astronomical tables mainly 
designed for the purpose of astrological consultation. 
To a very recent period, and even among great piinds, 
there have been honest believers in astrology. Napo- 
leon believed in his star and in lucky days. Joseph 
de Maistre, a nobleman, a statesman, and a Modem 

Ik. 12 ^ J 

distinguished philosophic writer, declared astrology, 
that "divination by astrology is not an absolutely 
chimerical science." Such, too, was the opinion of 
Groethe, who begins his egotistical biography with a 
serious statement of the planetary influences under 
which he was born, and which he believed to have 
influenced his life.^ But there have also been in all 

^ As illnstrating this curious subject I am tempted to give the 
passage : " Am 2S August, 1749, Mittags mit dem Glockenschlage 
zwblf kam ich in Frankfort am Main auf die Welt. Die Constella- 
tion war gliicklich ; die Sonne stand in Zeichen der Jungfrau, und 
culminirte fur den Tag ; Jupiter und Venus blickten sie freundlich 
an, Mercur nicht widerwartig ; Saturn und Mars verhielten sich 
gleichgiiltig ; nur der Mon^, der so eben vol! ward, iibte die Kraft 
seines Gegenscheins um so mehr als zugleich seine Planetenstunde 
eingetreten war. £r widersetzte sich daher, meiner Geburt, die 
nicht eher erfolgen konnte, als bis diese yoriibergegangen. Diese 
guten Aspecten, welche mir die Astrologen in der Folgezeit sehr hoch 


times, and are at present, charlatans, who ^ tell for- 
tunes/' and construct schemes of nativity and prophe- 
cies of destiny, far more absurd than those of the 
Arabians in the middle ages. Ibnu Ghalib spoke the 
common belief when he attributed the lively imagi- 
nation, the elegance, and the taste of the Andalusians 
to the influence of Venus ; their judgment, intellec- 
tuality, and fondness for learning, and social economy, 
to that of Mercury.^ 

anzurechnen wuasten, mogen die^Unache an meiner Erhaltong 
gewesen sein." — Wakrheit und Dichiung ; odor, Aui vieintm Leben^ 
ch. L 

^ Al Makkari, I. 121. 

Note. — The best connected account of Arabian metaphysics is 
to be found in the work to which I have frequently referred in the 
foregoing sketch, — "Averroes et rAyerroisme," essai historique, 
par Ernest R^nan. Third edition. Paris : 1867. Important refer- 
ences to the subject will be found in many more general worka. 
Among these are HegeFs " Geschichte der Philosophie," III. 110- 
120 ; Tennemann's "Geschichte," 1810, VIII. 1. 862 ; Tiedemann'a 
" Geist der Speculatinschen Philosophie," IV. 108, et 9upm; Ucbe- 
weg's " Geschichte (in heo). Among English works, consult Blakey, 
" History of the Philosophy of Mind," I. ch. xxxii.. xxxiiL 

A clear, separate work in English on this subject Vi a great 




T^HE Arabians were also accurate and practical 
-*• geographers; but upon their labors and studies in 
this department of knowledge it is not my purpose to 
dwell. In connection with their geographi- ^^ 
cal explorations and compilations they made 
good use of their mathematical and astronomical 
knowledge. Their original momentum had made 
them great travellers. I need not dwell upon their 
vague and absurd opinions and statements in their 
earlier cosmography, which were sanctioned by the 
Kordn, and which speak of seven heavens and seven 
earths, with their impossible supports and the Hell 
below.^ Their location and collocation of the coun- 
tries known at that time are marked by great ignor- 
ance ; but I refer now to that new knowledge which 
came with their travels for conquest. Thus they 
explored eastern Asia and northern Africa, and soon 
learned, from contiguity, the true character of Euro- 
pean geography. Their writings on this subject were 
commensurate with their knowledge. They con- 
structed globes for the use of schools, and wrote text- 

^ See note 2 to Introduction Lane's Arabian Nights, in which 
the Arabian system of cosmography is given at length. 


books. There is one very voluminous work of Alon6bf 
entitled "The Book of Eoutes and Kingdoms," a 
geographical dictionary, containing the names of all 
the existing kingdoms and principal cities of the 
world. The Mas'hdb of Al Higdrl specially treats of 
the geography of Spain, and the topography of its 
chief cities. To these Ibnu Sa'id adds his own history, 
a history of the races of men, which contains much 
valuable geographical information. It was at a later 
day, in the beginning of the sixteenth century, that 
Al Hasan of Granada, known as Leo Afiicanus, made 
those remarkable travels in Africa, Turkey, Egypt, 
and Persia, which still astonish and instruct the 
modem reader. 

"The geographer," by pre-eminence, is Ahun^ahdillah 
Edrid called al Sfiarif, who wrote in the latter part 
of the twelfth century an Arabic work, which has 
been translated into Spanish and annotated by Cond^, 
— as " Descripcion de Espana." This book gives the 
best information to be obtained at that day on the 
subject of Spanish geography. 

When we come to consider the attainments of the 
Arabiahs in the science of chemistry,^ we must bear in 
mind that, as we know it to-day, chemistry is a very 
Their at- modcm scicncc, differing even in essential 

tainments in ^ 

chemistry, points from what it was a hundred years 
ago. At the home and grave of Priestley in Northum- 
berland, Pennsylvania, the centenary of his discovery 
of oxygen was celebrated in 1874, and every day 
since marks new progress and new discoveries. But 

' The statistics here given are chiefly derired from Prof. Thomas 
Thomson's History of Chemistry, 1880. Two vols. 


the analytical study of elements and agents was 
ardently pursued by the Arabians, and to them are 
due many important and progressive improvements. 
The name chemistry (Al-kimi&) is probably derived 
from Cham or Chemia, one of the names for Egypt, 
and with the Arabic prefix would mean the Egyp- 
tian science, from its having been eagerly studied 
there ; but it was introduced in its most advanced 
state to western Europe by the Arabians, and was 
cultivated and taught by them in Spain. They were, 
like all the chemists of their day, alchemists, who 
were struggling to be chemists. They shared as the 
European chemists of a later date did, the fond 
hopes of those who believed in the philos- ^^^^ ^^^^^ 
opher's stone ; and they gave us the name J^*2Sir 
of that elixiT vitce (El Iksir, the breaker), '^^^ 
which, when found, should break the powers of age 
and pain and death. The most renowned of the 
Arabian chemists, and the one who is best known 
to our time, was Abu Musa Ja'far As-soli of Harran, 
who lived in the eighth century, and who is known to 
ns as Geber : his record has been somewhat confused 
with that of another celebrated philosopher of Seville 
named Geber, who flourished in the eleventh century. 
His original works were first translated into Latin, 
and have since been rendered into English. 

He gives us a clear view of the early search for the 
philosopher's stone. He knew the chemical affinities 
of gold, silver, copper, iron, tin, lead, and quicksilver; 
to each of which he gave or adopted the name of the 
planet which had a special influence over it. Thus, 
gold was named for the Sun, silver for the Moon, 


copper for Venus, iron for Vulcan, tin for Jupiter, 
lead for Saturn, and quicksilver for Mercury. Their 
"precious influences" upon each other were similar 
to those exercised by the heavenly bodies upon men, 
which render a man jovial, or satumiiu, or mercurieU 
accordingly. All these metals, he says, are composed 
of mercury and sulphur in varying proportions ; by 
delicately altering these, one metal may be transformed 
into another; the lapis phUosophorum was such a me- 
dium of transformation, a medicine of metals, called 
by him the medicine of the third doss. Qeber was 
acquainted with the calcining and oxidizing processes, 
and with distillation. He knew the methods of ob- 
taining potash and^oda, and the properties of saltpetre. 
Nitric acid he obtained from nitrate of potassa, and 
called it dissolviriff waier} 

Abdullah Ibn Sina, whose name is corrupted into 
Avicenna, already referred to as a metaphysician, 
has left a valuable treatise on Alchemy, divided into 
ten dictions : four of these he devotes to a consid- 
eration of the philosopher's stone and the elixir vitts, 
— still in their combination the summum bonum for ^ 
humanity. The remaining six dictions contain a 
more sensible investigation of the metals. But it 
should be observed that Avicenna was far more re- 
nowned as a mental philosopher than as a chemist 

Always connected with chemistry as a practical 
application of its powers are metallurgy and mining; 
and we know that in these departments the Spanish 
Arabs made great and useM progress. Spain was and 

^ From the cabalistic words used by Qeber in connection witb 
tbese studies we have the word gibberish. 


is a richly metalliferous country. Her mineral treasures 
had been known from a remote antiquity, netauurgy 
and the mines nearer the sea-coast had been "*** ™in*n«- 
successfully worked by her generations of conquerors, 
Phoenicians, Carthaginians, and Somans. Spain was 
the great metallic treasure-house of the ancient world. 
There were three places, according to Al Makkari,^ 
from T^hich, during the Moslem occupancy, gold was 
extracted in great quantities. "One was the river 
Darro; the other a spot on the western coast close to 
Lisbon and at the mouth of the Tagus, and a third in 
the river of Lerida, that which falls. into the Ebro ;" 
and perhaps it was a longing fancy of Ibnu Sa'id, which 
led him to declare that the precious metals were abun- 
dant in the north and northwest, " in those countries 
which were in the hands of the infidels," — the richest 
gold mine being in Galicia. Of the value of these, 
however, he could know but little. 

Silver lay, in large quantity and extent, in the 
mountains of Alhama, and in the district of Cordova. 
Tin abounded in Portugal, in the Pyrenees, and in 

In Almeria were mines of lead,^ and near Cordova 
was great store of quicksilver. There were also copper 
and iron and alum, red and yellow ochre, and tutty, 
which was used to color copper. 

Precious stones also were in great abundance, — 
the beryl, ruby, golden marcasite, agates^ garnets, 

^ Ifohammedan Dynasties, I. 89. 

' "In the time of Abdu-r-rahm&n II., we are told, litharge was 
used to take away the fetid smell of armpits.*' — Al Makkabi, 
MofMtMMdan, Dynasties^ II. 120. 
VOL. II. 25 


and the " gilding-stone," or blood-stone, of Cordova. 
Pearls were found on the coast near Barcelona ; and 
building-stones, marbles and jaspers of all colors, — 
spotted, red, yellow, the color of wine, as well as 
pure white, — were cheaply quarried in the mountains 
of Cordova and in the Alpuxarras. These mineral 
treasures, I have said, had been long known. The 
In the gold and silver of Solomon's temple came 

earlier ° * 

times. through Hiram of Tyre from Tarshish, which 
was southern Spain. The Phoenician traders found 
them so abundant that, when their ships could cariy 
no more, they made their anchors of silver. 

The Carthaginians continued the mining operations 
with the oriental system, working large gangs of men 
to death, and replacing them by new victims; and 
the Bomans, in their long occupancy of the Peninsula^ 
found great treasures of mineral products, which, 
when the Goths came, lay almost useless upon their 
idle and luxurious hands. And, when the more 
industrious Arab-Moors entered Spain, the ancient 
mines had been either abandoned or were most inad- 
equately worked. 

When the Moorish invasion occurred, for a time, of 
course, the mining, such as it was, was at an end ; 
and little was probably done during the time of the 
Amirs, or until the completion of the conquest by 
the establishment of the independent khalifate. Then 
the work began; and in Murcia the shafts of the 
Arab-Moors may be distinguished from those of the 
former workers by being square instead of round. 
Five thousand such excavations are to be found in 
the district of Jaen alone. 


To the great deposit of mercury, occurring both in 
virgin form and in an inexhaustible vein of cinnabar 
twenty-five feet thick, they gave the name, Al mculen 
del Azog^ie (the mine of quicksilver}, They worked it 
with great profit, and left it, as they found it, the 
largest deposit in the world : it yields now, by a recent 
estimate, one-half the quicksilver now in use.^ 

The general subject of mineralogy engaged their 
attention ; and one of their philosophers, Al-Biroum, 
travelled, with few intervals of rest, for forty years, 
in the study of this branch of science, at the end of 
which time he published an account of his labors aud 

The progress of the Arabians in medicine was 
limited to the diagnosis of disease and to materia 
medica; but in these they were very successful. 
As in art they were not permitted to depict the 
forms of men and animals, so they could not in 
pathology avail themselves of anatomy ; ^^1,1^11 
and their surgery was therefore nide and °<^»«^«- 
unskilful Dissection, the very alphabet of surgery 
and of phyjsiology, was prohibited ; but in iatro- 
chemistry and the use of simples they were sensible 
and practical, and their physicians became renowned 
throughout the world. They rose superior to their 
fatalism, and did their utmost to assist Providence in 
carrying out the immutable decrees. Their cures, 
Mohammed had said, were " by the order of God,'* 
as their skill and ardor were his gift; their better 
judgment was in conflict with their superstition. 

1 It is now a goYernment monopoly, producing to the revenue a 
million and a quarter of dollars annually. 


Although they consulted the stars, and eagerly sought 
for the elixir of life, and other panaceas, they brought 
to the study of clinical medicine great interest, rare 
learning, and a cool head ; and thus they led the world 
in the healing art Spain abounds in healing plants, 
which they investigated botanically, and numerous 
natural drugs, which they used as medicaments. They 
paid great attention to diet ; and Abii-l-Motref gave 
a lesson to the modern faculty by declaring " that 
diseases could be more eflFectually checked by diet 
than by medicine, and. that, when medicine became 
necessary, simples were far preferable to compound 
medicaments ; and, when these latter were required, 
as few drugs as possible ought to enter into their 
composition." ^ 

In the social order the physician became a power. 
As the science became popular, the practitioners threw 
off the trammels of an earlier day ; the Spanish Arabs 
refused obedience to the silly prohibition to dismem- 
ber the human body, and the dissecting-room came, in 
time, to form an important part of their medical estab- 
lishments. If they still adhered to the elixir vUce, and 
other magical cures, it certainly is not our nineteenth 
century that should ridicule and condemn thent A 
stranger to the earth and its follies would characterize 
this age as eminently superstitious and gullible, if he 
should read in our newspapers columns of advertise- 
ments displaying catholicons, buttressed by the record 
of miraculous cures. There are thousands now who 
would hail, without question, the announcement of 

1 Al Makkari, I. 151. 


some nostrum of which, if a man should take, he 
would never die. Tlie only difTerence between us and 
them is that, while the Arabian philosophers believed 
in the eltxir, the men who concoct the quack medi- 
cines of to-day are charlatans. But they succeed in 
misleading many who should be above their base 

Abu Mohammed, of Malaga, composed a valuable 
treatise on simples and medicaineTUa, which he ar- 
ranged alphabetically, and which thus furnishes an 
excellent index to their general knowledge simuies and 
of these branches. Yahya, a wlzir of menta.' 
Abdu-r-rahman III., who was the son of a Christian, 
was an eminent physician, and composed a work on 
simples in five books, according to the practice of the 
Greek physicians.^ Abu-1-kasim, in the twelfth cen- 
tury, issued a popular work or hand-book, entitled 
"The Substitute for those who cannot procure Works 
on Medicine.*'* 

But perhaps the most valuable medical works to 
be consulted by the student of medical history are 
those of Abdu-1-malek Ibn Zohr, corrupted in Chris- 
tian Europe, and known thus to modern days, as 
Avenzoar. He was remarkable as a physician for 
his diagnosis ; his works embrace a wide scope, and 
treat of many special diseases, such as various fevers, 
leprosy, etc., and he gives distinct medical treatment 
and hygienic rules for diet and conduct^ 

1 M Makkari, I. 464, note 1S2. 
* lb. note 184. 

' There are seven physicians of this name, who are sometimes 
confonnded. See table in Al Makkari, I. 836. 


I have already referred to Ibn Sina, corrupted into 
Avicenna, as an alchemist and a metaphysician ; but 
^_ he was also an eminent student of medi- 
cine from the early age of sixteen ; and his 
work, translated into Latin, and presenting the " Canon 
Medicinse," was regarded for five centuries as distin- 
guished authority in the schools of Europe. 

Of Averroes (Ibn-Eoschid), the great metaphysical 
scholar, we have numerous works on many subjects. 
He wrote upon philosophy, theology, jurisprudence, 
astronomy, grammar, and medicine. Next 
to philosophy, medicine received his enthu- 
siastic attention ; and the list of his medical works 
' surprises us, by the number and curious character of 
the topics he considers.^ 

When Chaucer, writing of English practice in the 
fourteenth century, would make his dodaure of phisike 
learned in medical works, he gives prominence to the 
Arabian physicians, whose treatises, translated from 
Arabic into Latin, were known in every medical 
school and hospital in Western Europe: — 

" Well knew he the old iEsculapius, 
And Dioscorides and eke Bufus : 

• • . • • • 

Seiapion, Basis, and Avicen, 

Averrois, Damascene, and Constantin." ' 

^ The list may be found in R^nan's " Ayerroes et rArerroisme," 
p. 76. Passing from " Generalities/' he makes his comments upon 
the " Ar^juza,** a medical poem of Ayicenna. He has a treatise on 
diarrhoea, one on feyers, one on the causes and symptoms of diseases, 
on diagnosis, on simples, on therapeutics, on laxatiye medicines, on 
intermittent and putrid feyers, and numerous others, 

« Prologue to the "Canterbury Tales," 


I cannot enter more at length upon the studies of 
the Arabians, and their progress in general science. 
The subject is a large one, and of exceeding interest ; 
for, from what has been already so briefly said, it will 
be seen that there were few avenues of human inves- 
tigation which had not been trodden by the eager feet 
of their philosophers. In mental science ardent in- 
quirers, they were also in all departments of physical 
science eager observers, — so devoted, indeed, that 
many of them, who had no reason to fear the attribu- 
tion of dealing in magic, were in danger, in their 
application of the laws of science to the silly stories of 
the Kordn, of being branded as Zindik, or in danger of 
heretic. The seven heavens and seven zindik. 
earths and seven hells melted into thin air. They 
laid the basis of the mechanical system of statics and 
dynamics, as applied to solids, liquids, and gases. 
They determined the weight of the air and the pres- 
sure of the atmosphere. They fixed the height of 
the atmosphere at fifty-eight miles and a half It is 
yet undetermined, but modem science makes it about 
forty-five. They understood capillary attraction and 
the law of specific gravities. They studied the phe- 
nomena of optics, and determined many of ita laws.^ 
They understood the eflTect of refraction in producing 
twilight They enounced the general law of gravita- 
tion as it concerned bodies on the earth's surface, but 
their application of it did not extend to the systems 

^ '' Al Hazen published an original theory of refraction, and showed 
that the diameters of the snn and moon must diminish at the hori- 
xon, with the true reason." — Maedleb, Oeschiehte der ffimmelS" 
InmcUf Brunswick, 1878, p. 89. 


in space. The airy bonds of planets and stars re- 
opucfc mained to them a mystery ; but they were a 
mystery to the whole world of science, until 
Kewton discovered the law of that Being who alone 
can ''bind the sweet influences of the Pleiades, or 
loose the bands of Orion." ^ It has been said that Al 
Hazen anticipated Darwin, in the theory of evolution 
by natural selection and the survival of the fittest, as 
early as the eleventh century. 

In their mechanical applications of the laws of 
physics, they had the Boman remains to aid them. 
They built bridges and aqueducts and causeways 
upon these models. 

^ Job zxzrii. 81. 

KoTS. — I cannot better close this chapter than by giving tbe con- 
clusion arrived at by Maedler (" Qeschichte der Himmelsknnde,*' I. 
91). After considering the progress of the Arabians in science, he says : 
" Das heilige Feuer der Wissenscfaaft war in Erloschen begriSen : 
die Araber haben den schwach glimmenden Funkeu, treu and nn- 
yerdrossen gehiitet, dass er nicht ersterbe. Ihre Fiirsten beschiitz- 
ten nnd pflegten die Wissenschaft, die sonst iibendl vemachliissigt, 
ja geachtet und verfolgt wurde. So haben sie sich nnveigang- 
lichen Ruhm erworben, und alio Zeiten werden es ibnen danken 
dass sie, und sie aUein, die Rettungsbriicke bildeten, velche die alte 
Cultur mit der gegenwartigen verbindet, dass sie das dero Abend- 
lande verloren gegangene Yerstandniss deralten Vermittelten und es 
vieder erschlossen, und dass sie nicht eiferstichtig in Tempeln and 
verborgenen Heiligthumem sich isolirten, sondem in Zahlreichen 
Werken ihr Wissen und Wirken Tor dem Auge der Welt nieder- 

1 am indebted for some of the illustrations, and the references to 
authorities tm the subjects of mathematics and astronomy, to the 
superior knowledge and kind aid of my friends and colleagues in the 
Lehigh University, Professor Charles L. Doolittle, C.E., of the de- 
partment of Mathematics and Astronomy, and Professor William A* 
Lamberton, M.A., of the department of Ancient Langoages. 




•^ I "0 the Arab-Moors belongs the glory of having 
^ brought out of the mysterious treasure-houses 
of the East — from India and China — many of the 
great inventions and discoveries which have had their 
full development and world-wide utility in the West. 
Thus that great leveller of individual distinctions and 
moral regenerator of the science of war, which has 
transformed the classic ten years' siege of a city into 
a modem battle of Sedan, which has liberated moral 
courage from the thraldom of brute force and even of 
manual skill, which has veiled danger in a cloud and 
made homicide impersonal, — Gunpowder, — was their 
gift to Europe. 

The English may pride themselves upon the chance 
discovery of Friar Bacon, in the middle of the thir- 
teenth century, of a mixture salts petrce et 
siUphuris, the restdt of which was tonitrum 
et ccruscaiianemy si sdes artifidum, — a happy qualifi- 
cation. But it was not from this source that gun- 
powder went out to serve in the science of war. 
According to Loloos, who wrote in the latter part of 
the eighteenth century, there was a Chinese claim to 
this discovery three thousand years ago. "We may well 


consider this a Chinese boast; but Gonzales de 
Mendoza, in his " History of China," places it three 
hundred years before Christ Amiot^ a missionary to 
China, declares the history of its origin as two hun- 
dred years before the Christian era, and specifies the 
mixture, and proportions of sulphur, saltpetre, and 
charcoal The Arabs are said to have used it at a 
siege of Mecca, in the year A. D. 690. There is an 
Oriental manuscript, quoted by a writer in the " Jour- 
nal de rinstitut Historique," in which it is declared 
that gunpowder came from China to Persia, and fvora 
Persia to Arabia. Thence it was brought into Spain./ 
The Arabs called it " Indian snow," and the Persians 
" Chinese salt" We may grant that tubes for using 
it to send projectiles were slow in their development 
and improvement ; but they, in their rude condition, 
were brought into Spain by the Oriental invaders. 
There can be no doubt it was used in machines by the 
Arab-Moors in their battles with the Spanish Chris- 
tians as early as 1249, and afterwards by the Moorish 
king of Granada at the sieges of Baeza, in 1312 and 
1325. Its first recorded use by Christians was at the 
battle of Crecy, in 1346. Muratori, in writing of its 
use in 1344, uses the very significant words : Nuper 
rara, nunc communis} Greek fire, which contained 
other ingredients, and carried its ravages afar by 
ignition of the objects aimed at, was also ^ imported 
into Greece and the Byzantine Empire by the com- 

^ See Bardiiif '* Dictionnaire de VArm^ de Terra," 8 vola., PariSp 
voce Poudre k feu. The discovery might well hare been by several 
persons in different localities ; but it had been made in the East, be- 
fore there was any Western civilization at alL 


merce of caravans;" and won its great renown as 
the preserver of Constantinople, in its extreme peril 
when besieged by the Saracens, in the beginning of 
the eighth century. 

Much has been said of the claimants to the gloiy 
of having invented printing by movable types, and 
the invention has indeed revolutionized the ^o^^i^i, 
world; but it has hot been sufficiently *^^*^ 
noticed that what retarded the printing-press, and 
greatly restricted its usefulness when it appeared, was 
the want of paper. It was not so much the stolidity 
of man that kept the art back so long, as the cloth, 
the papyrus leaf, the sheep-skin called pergamina, or 
parchment, and the calf-skin called vellum. And 
this great boon of paper came through the Arabians 
into Spain. The Chinese had early manufactured 
a paper from their universal silk: this idea was 
adopted by the Arabians, who are said to 
have made cotton paper at. Mecca as early 
as the eighth century. The methods of manufacture 
they introduced into Spain. The flax of Valencia 
and Murcia, which was more abundant than cotton, 
and made a stronger paper, was substituted for it. 
Authorities are wanted to tell us of the paper made 
during the earlier occupancy ; but we know that in 
the beginning of the fourteenth century, and probably 
long before that, paper-mills were numerous and lu- 
crative in Spain, and that the paper and the invention 
had travelled with the other beneficent gifts of the 
Arabians into the North; then the printing-press 
came because there was good reason for its coming. 
''There can remain no doubt," says the accurate 


Hallam, " that the Saracens of the Peninsula were 
acquainted with that species of paper made ex 
rasuris veterum pannorum, though perhaps it was 
unknown in any other country."^ These "rags of 
old clothes" were doubtless linen rags. This first 
linen paper was of so excellent a quality, that we 
may assert the great progress to be rather in the 
modes and cheapness of the manufacture, than in 
the excellence of the article itself. Several of the 
manuscripts of 1009, catalogued by Casiri, were on 
cotton paper, and some of 1106 on linen paper. 

It is in part due to patriotism, often another name 
for national vanity, and in part to a pardonable igno- 
rance, that the appearance of a new instrument or 
The magnet i^^veution amoug a people is mistaken for 
^5^"^ its origin. Such has been the case with 
compass, ^y^^ mariner's compass, embodying the mys- 
terious power of the magnet The magnet has been 
longer known than this practical application of it 

The Chinese, who knew how to discover and hoard 
better than how to apply and use, claim a knowledge 
of the loadstone and the magnetizing of iron from a 
remote antiquity. The needle is claimed as the in- 
vention of the Italian Flavio Gioja in the beginning 
of the fourteenth century. The French contest this 
claim, declaring it to have been in their possession in 

1 Introdnction to the literature of Europe (Harpers, 1841, 2 
Yola.), I. 51. He says that down to the seventh century all in- 
fitruments in France were written on papyrus. Parchment, when 
it took the place of this, was so expensive that the bad habit waa 
adopted of erasing one manuscript to use the same material for 
another, — the palimpsest. 


the preceding century. Later investigations have 
established proof that the Arabians, finding it in their 
eastern conquests among the treasures of natural 
magic, brought it into Spain certainly as early as the 
eleventh century, and used it very generally there in 
the twelfth. It was the building of larger ships ca- 
pable of bearing ocean strains, under the impulse of 
an adventurous spirit in the thirteenth century, and 
the prosecution of more perilous voyages, that gave it 
its greater utility. Short voyages in the Mediter- 
ranean, from headland to headland, did not require 
it; and therefore the invention languished, because 
no imperious necessity called for its application. 

In all the practical arts of general utility, the Arab- 
Moors were apt, skilful, and systematic. As we have 
seen, the knowledge, handiwork, commodities, and 
luxuries of the East were brought by caravans from 
the farther East, and came by shipping from the 
Levant to the Mediterranean ports of Spain, g^^^ ^^^ 
Seeds and plants were thus transported; 9^^ 
thus came rice and cotton and the sugar-cane.' 
Thence at a later day they passed over to this new 
world of ours, and have played a very important part 
in our political history. Eice, the great cereal of 
Valencia, and " the pest of the province " from the 
malaria produced by its culture, owes not only its 
entrance to the Moors, but also the hydraulic science 
used in modes of irrigation. 

1 Gayangos quotes " Banqueri Agricultura," I. 892, as to the 
introduction of the sugar-cane, which is cultiyated on the coast of 
Granada. The sugar-cane was known before the cultivation was 
introduced by the Moors. It was sent from Spain to Hispaniola in 
1506. — Ford's Handbook /or Spain, I. 289. 


The best of leather was made by the Arab-Moors in 

Cordova, and hence Spanish leather is called Cordovan, 

which has given to English shoemakers their 


name of cordwairurs. The secret of their tan- 
neries was carried to Morocco, and thus the Spanish 
leather made in that country bears its name, morocco. 
They carried with them to Spain the secret of 
making sword-blades, which they found or originated 
in Damascus : these were of exquisite temper, and 
60 polished that the wearer used his weapon as a 
looking-glass to adjust his turban. Quite as famous 
as these, and better known to western Europe, were 
the swords of Toledo, of the "ice- brook's temi)er." 
The manufacture went northward to Bordeaux, which 
was soon renowned for its rival workmanship. Nor 
has the fabrication left the Peninsula even down 

Kniveeand ^ ^^^ prcscut day I it is a curious connec- 
sworde. ^^^^ ^j^^j^ ^j^^ oldeu time which is found in 

the daggers and knife-blades of Albacete, that they 
bear Arabic inscriptions still, as if to boast their ori- 
gin, and perhaps to secure a talisman ^ for success in 
their deadly use. 

Silk, first made in China, where the worms fed 
upon the leaves of the white-mulberry tree {Moras 
miUticaulis), was carried by the routes of 
commerce to the West, and was for a long 
time a very costly luxury. It remained so until 
Monkish missionaries brought the eggs, concealed in 
a hollow cane, to the Eastern Empire. Until the 

^ Al Makkari, I. 9i and S93. The traveller is beset in Albacete 
witb knife-sellers, whose wares, I am sorry to say, are not " trusty," 
or of ''the ice-brook*s temper," bat catch-penny to the last degree. 


twelfth century the manufacture was not known to 
the Christian countries of the West "But," says 
Gibbon, "the secret had been stolen by the dexterity 
and diligence of the Arabs. The Khalifs of the East 
and West scorned to borrow from the unbelievers 
their furniture and apparel, and two cities of Spain, 
Almeria and Lisbon, were famous for the manufac- 
ture, the use, and perhaps the exportation of silk." ^ 
In the former of these places, silks of a very superior 
quality and of great variety were made ; and the silk 
patterns of the fabric made in Murcia in the sixteenth 
century were those left there by the Moors.* During 
the Middle Ages, raw silk was largely exported from 
Almeria, a town the commerce of which had consid- 
erable connection with the commercisd success of the 
Italian seaports.' 

Ibn Fimas, a physician who died in the year 889, 
made glass out of a silicious clay, and used it for 
fashioning vessels, and also in glazing those 
beautiful tiles called azulyos (pUeichi a var- 
nished tile) which are employed in embellishing 
the floors and wainscoting (dado) of the Moorish in- 
teriors. Valencia is still famous for the manufacture 
of asndefos. The inventive genius of. Ibn Firnas was 
not quite so fortunate in another project He made 
experiments in flying, feathering himself and putting 
oxx wings like a bird: ''but, in alighting again on the 
place whence he had started, his back was very much 
hurt; for, not knowing that birds when they alight 

1 Milmaii'B Gibbon, V. 238. 

* Al Makkari, I. 61 and 377, note 20. 

» lb. 860, note 126. 


come down upon their tails, he forgot to provide 
himself with one." ^ 

The Arab-Moors of Cordova were also very skilful 
in the fabrics of the jeweller and goldsmith, the art 
of which they brought from Damascus, and 
to-day shops differing veiy slightly from 
those of the Moorish period may be seen in that city, 
where curious and delicate patterns of filigree-work 
in gold and silver attract a populace very fond of 
rather glaring ornaments ; among the joyas^ brilliant 
earrings and curiously wrought necklaces always find 
a prominent place.^ 

1 Al Makkari, I. 148. 

* Ford's Handbook for Spain, I. 225. 




TT7E reach now a subject which is worthy of a 
^ ' much larger consideration than can be giveu 
it in these pages; one upon which many volumes 
have been written, and which deserves more attention 
in detail, and especially from the student of history, 
who seeks to identify a people by the works which 
they have produced. I mean Moro- Arabian ^^y^y^^ 
ait. Its chief, almost sole, form is archi- *«^wtcctnw. 
tecture. With this art they have written their annals 
in southern Spain, and told us much of their social 
tastes and customs. 

To the eye of the rapid traveller in Spain, from 
the Pyrenees to Gibraltar, eastward to Lisbon and 
westward to Catalonia, Spain presents a curious con- 
glomerate of architecture, — Eoman remains, Gothic 
ruins, cathedrals of the Benaissance, modern French 
palaces, Tuscan enormities, Arabian alcazars and 
mosques; and he wonders if there be any historic 
clue or system to the intricacies of the labyrinth. As 
he journeys from north to south, he passes from 
modem France over to what we may call modern 
France on Spanish soil — so largely have French 

modes and customs overflowed — without catching 
VOL. II. 26 


a glimpse of Moro-Arabian art, until he approaches 

At Burgos he is delighted with the great Gothic 
cathedral, with its filigree pinnacles, begun by an 
Englishman, Bishop Maurfcio, in 1221, and contain- 
ing the " Cofre del Cid," the worm-eaten chest of that 
famous campeador, Don Rodrigo de Vivar, who won 
his matchless renown by fighting, sometimes against 
the Moors, sometimes against his own king. But 
this cathedral was the work of Christian art, long after 
(he Moors had been driven southward in the progress 
of the reconquest. 

In the church of Miraflores, near Buigos, is that 
remarkable alabaster monument, in the form of a 
star, in honor of Juan II. and his queen Isabella^ 
which marks the incoming of Italian taste and skill 
at the close of the fifteenth centurj, with its exquisite 
details and marble embroideries, of which the Span- 
iards say eyes are wanting to see them, — fcdtan ojos 
para mirarlos. 

At Valladolid and Segovia, where the traveller is 
on the look-out for glimpses of our simple friend Gil 
Bias, and for souvenirs of the Hapsburgs, there is 
nothing to repay the search for oriental art. Little 
more than two leagues from the former city, he may 
revel in the lately opened archives at Simancas, and 
verify the ignorance and falsehood of former history ; 
but the archives, beginning late in the fifteenth 
century, have no relation to the Moorish dominion, 
except in the few years before their expulsion. If 
he « expects to see in Madrid a Spanish city, he 
will be disappointed. He will find it a second-rate 


French city, which, long after Toledo fell into Moslem 
hands, was only a sort of outlying picket to that 
capital. It only became the royal residence of Charles 
V. and the court of his son, Philip II., in the six- 
teenth century. The palace is a vast modem struc- 
ture, built in the middle of the last century. There 
is nothing oriental about Madrid, nor anything that 
takes us back to the days of the conquest, except a 
few doubtful relics in the Armeria, or armory, which 
have at least an air of the antiquity that is claimed for 
them. There one is shown the gold votive crown, 
weighing over forty-six ounces, and adorned with 
precious stones, of Swintillic, a Visigothic king, who 
reigned from 621 to 631 A.D., and which declares its 
authenticity by the inscription, " SvinthUanos offeret*' 
There are fragments of other Gothic crowns. There one 
may believe or not that he sees a bridle-bit of Witiza 
the Wicked. A sword is exhibited, which is said to 
have been worn by Pelayo; and another, perhaps 
more authentic, which belonged to Boabdil el Chico, 
" the last of the Moors ; " but the inscription is illegible. 
Still another sword, formerly believed to have belonged 
to Herman Cortez, the conqueror of Mexico, has been 
more lately transferred to the Cid: it is the one 
known in his romantic history as La Colada} 

All that is Arabian in that gloomy pile, the Es- 
curial, built by Philip IL as a church, convent, and 

i His other sword was Tiaon or TizonA, the brand, — 

"Las espadas taiadores 
Colada y Tizon." —Poema da CHd, 

He had captared both from the Moors, and called them his 
qtieridaa prendoB, — loved better than his wife and daughters. 


palace, is boxed up and concealed from public ejes, 
^0 and even from the perusal of scholars, in 

Escuriai ^^^ {otjh of thousauds of Arabic manu- 
scripts^ containing rare treasures of history if they 
could only be opened to the world of history. 

The traveller journeys on towards Cordova, and, 
when he crosses the frontier of Andalusia, he has 
exchanged the dry, unwholesome, stony, treeless 
country of the higher table-land, scourged by the 
chilly winds from the north which sweep over the 
snows of the Guadarrama,^ for orange-groves, square 
leagues upon leagues of olive-trees, and a laughing 
light of nature upon vegetation and irrigating canal, 
upon man and beast. Then, too, he finds himself for 
the first time unmistakably in the old seats of the 
Arab-Moors, but little changed since the days of their 

But, before proceeding southward, the traveller 
must leave the maiti line at Castillejo, and visit 
Toledo, for there are a few real Moorish remains. 
There is the rock-perched Alcazar, built by Alfonso VI., 

^ Spain, which presents a checker-board surface of moontain 
ranges and valleys, is, on the average, the highest land in Europe. 
Some of the more elevated valleys are between six and seVen thou- 
sand feet above the level of the sea ; and a great central table-land, 
comprising ninety thousand square miles, has an average height of 
between two thousand and three thousand feet. The timber from 
most of this was cut down long ago ; and, what with no forestry 
laws and no replanting, the countr}"^ suffers in many ways for want 
of trees. The sun scorches and the wind scourges its bare back 
continually. I never suffered more from cold than when crosaing 
the Guadarrama range'at night in April ; nor more from heat than 
when travelling in Andalusia. The great heats of Seville are pro- 
verbial, but healthy. 


after Moorish models, when he captured the city from 
the infideL The city itself, a veritable acropolis, 
belted by the Tagus, with its low houses and narrow 
winding streets, is a Moorish city ; and the public 
structures were most of them built, not by the Moors, 
but, soon after their times, in Moorish style. 

Upon or very near the site of the older Gothic 
church of Santa Maria, tlie Arab- Moors had built a 
splendid mosque, in the year 1032 ; and this mosque 
was converted into a Christian cathedral The 

reiDAiiii In 

after the recapture of the city, in 1086. Toledo. 
This gave way in turn to the present splendid Gothic 
structure, the first stone of which was laid in the 
year 1227, when there were yet apprehensions of 
Moorish invasion, and the completion of which was 
delayed until 1493, the year after the Arab-Moors 
had departed from Spanish soil, never to return. 

Among the other objects of peculiar interest are 
the Moorish bridge called Alcantara, a half-ruined 
Moorish castle, and the remains of what was not — 
although long so considered — el bafio de la cava, 
the fatal bath of Florinda, in which the sensual 
Hoderick spied her from behind his lattice-window, 
as she bathed with her lady companions,^ and was 
fired with lust at the sight. 

Coming back to the main road, the traveller is soon 
in Cordova, a city which, in its entire aspect, shows 
the Moorish modes of social life. The remains are 
not numerous ; but there is one which challenges the 

^ " It has heen shown to be a fragment of a bridge house. The 
submerged foundations of the piers of the bridge may be seen." — 
N. A. Wells, Picturesque AntiquUies of Spain, letter viii. 


admiration of the world, as the most unique of all the 
traces of the Arabian in Spain. It is the 
Mezquita, or Mosque ; and it stands alone in 
a striking individuality. In the consideration of 
Arabian art, it demands at least a general descrip- 
tion. More need not be attempted, as the reader 
will know where to find fuller details. 

Before, however, undertaking this, and referring to 
some other remarkable remains, it will be necessary 
to clear the way by laying down a few principles and 
some historic facts, leading to a classification in out- 
line of architectural works in the Peninsula. De- 
barred, as has been said, by the Korin — .which not 
only thundered spiritual terrors, but gave strength to 
the arm of civil law — from representing images of 
animal life, and thus shut out from the attractive 
pursuit of the pictorial and plastic arts, the Arab- 
Moors turned with the greater assiduity to architec- 
ture ; and, with little concern as to the appearance 
of the exteriors of their edifices, they bestowed all 
their taste and care upon the proportions, purposes, 
and ornaments of the interiors. The few rude pictures 
on the ceilings and walls of the palace of the Al- 
hambra — notably those at the extremity of the Court 
of lions, at a later age — are probably not of Moorish 
workmanship, but are the production of Christian 
captives, as the rude, heraldic lions supporting the 
fountain in that court are also supposed to be. It 
must be believed, however, from the fact that this 
work was done for the Moslem masters, that the 
Spanish Arabs were disposed to be less literal in 
adhering to the prohibition of the Koran, especiallj 


as we know that Abdu-r-rahiuan III. placed a statue 
of his favorite wife over the portal of his psdace, and 
human heads in relief on his coins. But these were 
exceptions to a rule which was generally obeyed with 

From what has been said, it is manifest that one 
who would study architecture in Spain encounters so 
many styles and specimens, that he must have some 
system of classification, to enable him to separate 
that which is essentially Moro-Arabian from the 
schools of Roman and of Christian art.^ 

Thus, in endeavoring, first, to set aside that which 
is not connected with the Moslem occu- ^rt periods 
pancy, he will find the following styles and *° ®p**^ 
periods : — 

1. The Boman Architecture, introduced during the 
long dominion of the Western Empire, and extend- 
ing to the fourth century, with some influence be- 
yond it. 

2. The Boinan-Oothic^ from the fourth to the eighth 
century, having a distinct character in the North. 

3. The Asturian-Gothic, which eliminated much of 
the Boman element, from the eighth to the eleventh 

4 Then, over northern routes, there came into the 
growing Christian kingdoms the JRoman-Byzantine, 
under the influence of the Eastei-n Empire, from the 
eleventh to the thirteenth century. This was also 
called the Bomatusque. 

^ Ford, who knew Spain better than any Englishman and than 
most Spaniards, is particularly valuable to the tourist in his criti- 
cisms on Moro-Arabian art. 


5. With the progress of the reconquest^ there sprang 
into being the first native school, which has been 
called the JSupano-Catholie, which flourished till the 
sixteenth century. This was followed by 

6 and 7. The BevivcU or Plateresque, and the Qtobco- 
liaman, until the eighteenth century. 

These are all Christian styles. The division is not, 
of course, quite exact, but sufficiently so to mark 
clearly what was not Arabian. They overlapped and 
grew into each other, and thus the classification might 
be made much more numerous. 

Entirely apart from these, but somewhat affected 
by the Boman Byzantine, is the Arabian architecture 
of the Peninsula. It was oriental in origin ; it bor- 
Arabun art ^owed somcwhat from the Persian ; it was 
distinct affected by its contact with Egyptian forms ; 
and it was decidedly influenced by the tastes and 
needs of thi^^Ioors and Berbers, through whose coun- 
try it passed on its way to Spain. 

Side by side with the Christian schools from the 
eighth to the end of the fifteenth century, it erected 
its palaces and churches, plain without and exquisite 
within ; and had its distinct periods, three in number, 
which are illustrated by splendid and curious re- 

1. Under the sway of the Ommeyades, from the 
eighth to the eleventh century, when the Khalifate 
BchooiB of of Cordova was integral and powerful, the 

Saracenio , 

architecture. Byzantine- AroMc appears. The Byzantine 
element is chiefly due to the fact that Christian 
architects were most frequently employed by the 


Khalifa Of this period^ the best specimen — the 
finest in the world — is the Mosque of Cordova.^ 

2. The next period is from the eleventh to the 
thirteenth century, in which we find a more unmixed 
Arabian character. This is illustrated in exterior by 
a portion of the Giralda, or Moorish belfry of the 
Cathedral at Seville, and, in interior, by the Sala de 
lo8 Enbajadores in the Alcazar of Seville, which many 
regard as the successful rival of the Hall of the 
Ambassadors in the Alhambra at Granada. This 
Sala retains, amid the great modifications of the 
Alcazar at later periods, almost its original character, 
form, and materials. A square chamber, thirty«three 
feet wide, with a "half-orange" {media naranja), 
ceiling, sixty feet high, it has four vestibules, each 
opening into the apartment by porphyry columns, 
supporting, with exquisite, flaring gilded capitals, 
three horse-shoe arches, — three-quarters of a circle ; 
while a great blind arch, surmounting the three, 
is filled with ornaments, — vines, birds, bosses, and 
Arabic inscriptions. The dados are of the finest 

. 3. The third and last period of Mohammedan art 
is more oriental, and less influenced by Christian 
taste. In the former period there was a draw game 
between the conquest* and reconquest The Arab- 
Moors had not yet given up their hopes of retrieving 
all their losses. There were truces, and even high 
courtesies, between the contestants. Not so in the 

^ The minaret was a later de7ice, bat when introduced is not 
known. At first the call to prayer was made from the roof of the 


present ona The tramp of the Christian Spaniards 
grew louder and came nearer; friendly communica- 
tions became rarer, and neither of the hostile nations 
would borrow from the other. This is the philosophy 
of the purely oriental character of Moslem architec- 
ture from the eleventh century to the end of their 
dominion. To this period belong the remaining 
Moorish parts of the Alcazar of Seville; but the 
finest specimens are to be found in the palace of the 
Alhambra and the Generalife at Granada, the principal 
foundations of which were laid by Ibnu-1-ahmar, and 
the principal parts of which were erected after Gra- 
nada became the sole remaining Moorish kingdom, 
and was tributary to the Christiana 

The principal features of Moro-Arabian architec- 
ture are few and simple. It is to their excellent 
PrinciiMd combination that the beautiful results are 
Sibum^' due. There is much open space, arranged 
arowtocture. jj^ pcUios^ QT oourts, with cstanqtiss, or foun- 
tains ; numerous light pillars, with large, square, 
ornamented capitals, forming peristyles, single or 
clustered, and frequently gilded. These support a pro- 
The Lome- ^ ^^siou of Small horsc-shoc arches, — a beauti- 
•hoevch. f^j^ |j^{. j^Q^ powerful peculiarity in Arabian 

architecture. The general rejection of this arch by 
Christian builders is dae no doubt in a great degree 
to its want of supporting power; but in lighter struc- 
tures, where beauty rather than strength is the desire, 
we may believe that the Christian Spaniards refused 
to employ it on account of their jealous hatred of the 
infidel invaders. 

The ceilings were high, and concave or arched, 


sometimes indented by miniature cupolas, sometimes 
bristling with stalactites of stucco-work, and en- 
wreathed with arabesques and inscriptions from the 
Kordn. . In lieu of animal forms, which he was for- 
bidden to depict, the decorator was thrown for his 
resources upon vegetable nature and geometrical 
figures ; and thus we find on ceilings, waUs, arches, 
and capitals traceries of vines and ferns and flowers, 
enwreathed, twisted, disappearing and reappearing, 
which constitute the chief beauty of what has been 
called the Arabesque. I venture to call it Aiiving 
a living geometry, — innumerable polygons ^^°^^^' 
and circles and stars and radiations blossoming out 
of ferns and vines and fronded palms.^ The inter- 
stices are delicately filled in with texts from the 
Kordn, which seem also to grow out of the exquisite 
tangle; and the whole plan is pencilled with the 
primitive colors, red and blue, picked out with gold. 

The dados must not be forgotten. They were 
high wainscots of azulejos, varied in color and device, 
but usually of distinct mathematical patterns, and 
forming a pleasing contrast tp the arabesque traceries 
already described. More than once in the changing 
fietshions of Christian interiors these have been imi- 
tated in wall-papers. 

Among the More- Arabian remains, I shall first 
attempt a general description of the oldest, the best 

^ A study of these traceries leads to the opinion that the fashion- 
ing of objects from nature was an afterthonght of the artist. The 
mathematical figures are the essential part ; the rounding or expand- 
ing these into leayea, flowers, etc., grew out of the figures them- 


preserved, and the most striking, which is found in 
the first period of their art in Spain, — the Mezquita 
(masegad, to worship prostrate), or Mosque a^t Cor* 
The Mec- dova. It was their grand initial manifesto, 
^ova. and the Khalifs who built it had for their 

purpose to detach the Spanish Moslems from moral 
as well as political dependence on the Eastern Kha- 
lifate; and, while they preserved their faith in the 
Koran, and consequently their veneration for Mecca 
as the Holy City of Mohammed, they thus consti- 
tuted Cordova a new and splendid centre of the 
Moslem religion.^ Such rivalry was bold; for the 
mosque at Damascus was, to the Arabian eye, "a 
building uniting in itself more beauties than the most 
fanciful imagination could conceive." * 

The rival mosque of Cordova owes its erection to 
Abdu-r-rahmdn I. (Ad-dakhel), and his son, Hishim I., 
but. it was augmented and embellished by the eight 
succeeding Khalifs of that dynasty. 

During the early Boman occupancy, there had been 
erected in Cordova a temple dedicated to Janus 
Bifrons. Of this, Vandal and Goth had left but little 
except the foundation. The site was well chosen. 
Just below it flowed the Guadalquivir, crossed by a 
Boman bridge, which served as a causeway to the 

^ '' . • . de apartar mas y mas 4 Iob musulmanes espalloles de la 
dependencia moral de Oriente, . . . los conservaba la veneFacion de 
Meca, haciendo i Cordova un nuevo centro de la religion musUmica." 
— La Fuente, Historia de Espafia, III. 152. 

^ Al Makkari, I. 7, 217. Cond^, Dominacion de los Arabes, 
I. 49. It was called Al-amdwi, and was built by Walid, the sixth 
^ Ommeyan Ehalif of Damascus, before the invasion of Spain. 


temple. Upon its ruins, therefore, the Goths erected 
the Christian church dedicated to Saint Vincent 

When the Arab-Moors conquered the city, they 
acted in i^ccordance with a tolerant custom which 
they had instituted, beginning at Damascus. They 
divided this Christian temple, permitting the con- 
quered Christians to retain one-half for their wor- 
ship, while they used the other half as a mosque, 
adding to it sanctuaries and open courts as early as 
the year 745. 

Thus they worshipped side by side, a scandal to 
each other, until the year 784, when Abdu-r-rah- 
man I. purchased the Christian half for what was 
equivalent to two hundred thousand dollars; and, 
rapidly demolishing the entire church, began the 
construction of a mosque, which he deter- Begtm by 
mined should rival, in extent, beauty, and m&n l 
rich adornments, those of Damascus and Baghdad.^ 
His fervor and enthusiasm, and his wish to inspire 
others in the work, caused him to labor in the build- 
ing with his own hands, at least one hour every day ; 
but he did not live to complete it This good fortune 
was reserved for his son, Hishdm I., who died in 796, 
leaving the splendid inheritance to his successors. 
Much of the early work was done by Christians cap- 
tured at Narbonne. The plan was magnificent, and 
covers, with its buildings and courts, more space than 
any other temple in Christendom. Like all Arabian 

^ *' Baghdad was founded by Al-mansur, the second Ehalif of the 
Abhasides, for his residence, and a splendid mosqae was built about 
760. The oldest remains in the modem city are those of a mosque, 
erected in 785, one of the minarets of which is left." — Charles 
Eniqht's English Encydopcedia of Geography^ voce Baghdad. 


ezterioTS, the outward appearance is only noticeable 
for its plain wall, with tiirreted counterforts or but- 
tresses, and its battlements, with flame-shaped ere- 
nates {creriates flamboyarUes), triangular, with steps cut 
from the base to the vertex. In the earlier days, 
thei*e was a tower seventy-two cubits in height, and 
an open dome, surmounted by apples of gold and sil- 
ver, and, above all, a golden pomegranate, "rising 
about a cubit above the top of the dome, which is 
considered one of the wonders of the world." ^ 

A few details only are necessary to give a general 
idea of the structure, as it presented itself in novel 
splendor to the subjects of the first Ommeyan Khalifs 
proportioM ^ ^^® reconstructed capital. It was, when 
and details, completed, six hundred and forty-two feet 
long, and, including the court, four hundred and forty 
in width ; the length of the court was two hundred 
and twenty feet.^ At first, it was laid out in eleven 
aisles, by columns at equal distances. This number 
Hisham II. increased to nineteen. These nineteen 
aisles remain to show us the exact structure, so that 
no eflfort of the fancy is necessary to realize fully 
its ancient glory. They are marked by columns 
of jasper, beryl, verd-antique, and porphyiy, and the 
pleasing effect of the variety in their colors does not 
detract from a unity in the general effect The pres- 
ent number of these pillars, including the pilasters 
in the walls, is eight hundred and fifty. They are of 
nearly uniform dinrensions, — nine feet from base to 
capital, eighteen inches in diameter, — with a resem- 
blance to Corinthian capitals. Besides these, square 

1 Al Makkari, L 224. > lb. 495, note 12. 


pillars support the timber-work of the roof. The en- 
trance to the mosque was by massive bronze doors. 

They thus form a vast grove of stone trees, which, 
seen in a " dim religious light/' give great and novel 
pleasure to the beholder, and induce serious ^ ^^^^ ^^ 
emotions, not unlike those, we may believe, ^^^°^^ 
which the dense living forests excited in the ancient 
Druids. On one of these columns there is now a 
little iron grating, with a lamp, that, like a vestal fire, 
illuminates a rude etching of Christ on the cross, 
which a Christian captive, chained to the pillar, 
scratched on it with a nail, — a dim but tender 
memory of an unknown martyr^s hope. The effect 
of this interior is indescribable. It stands alone in 
the world. The traveller returns to it again and again, 
not to see, but to feel. 

The great court or garden was surrounded on three 
sides by a portico, divided into four equal platen- 
bandes, furnished with three reservoirs, and refreshed 
with six fountains, two for men and two for women, fdr 
their preparatory ablutions. The sexes entered these 
courts by different gates. The wat«r in the reservoirs 
and fountains was brought by an aqueduct from a 
neighboring mountain. Planted with orange-trees, it 
formed a pleasant promenade, between the hours of 
devotion, and remains to-day as one of the most 
charming spots in Cordova. 

Entering at the great gate (Puerta de perdon), and 
walking up the principal aisle, the visitor passes 
through a beautiful portal into the mihrah, 
at the kiUah end of the mosque. This is a 
room of octagonal plan, about fifteen feet in diameter. 


the ceiling of which is fonned like a shell, out of a 
single block of white marble ; it is twenty-seven feet 
high.^ Here, for centuries, was kept one of the origi- 
nal copies of the Kor&n, said to be that which lay 
upon the lap of Othinan, the third E^halif in succes- 
sion from the Prophet, when he was assassinated, and 
stained with his life-blood. We need not scrutinize 
the story ; if it was not that copy, it was certainly 
one of comparatively few made, probably at his direc- 
tion, by an asJidb or companion of the Prophet* and 
therefore of assured sanctity. The box or case con- 
taining this priceless book was oovered with gold- 
tissue, embroidered with pearls and rubies, and was 
placed upon a lectern of aloe-wood, put together with 
golden nails. 

The marble floor of the mihrab was worn in a circle, 
as it may still be seen, by the seven circuits which 
each pQgrim was required to make around it 

Occupying a considerable space in front of the 
door, and serving as a screen to the holy chamber, 
was the maksurah, and connected with it were the 
Khalif 's seat and the pulpit It was inlaid with gold 
and silver and lapis lazuli, and exquisitely carved ; 
the doors in it were of pure gold, and the enclosed 
pavement was of silver. The pulpit, the gift of Al- 
hakem II., was made of costly woods, inlaid vnth. 
ivory and enriched with jewels ; the nails joining its 
parts were of gold and silver. Its cost at that day 
was over a million of dollars. 

^ " The mihrab is now St. Peter's Chapel, called Oapilla del Zan' 
carron (the chapel of the chin-bone), from a belief that Mohammed's 
ohin-bone was preserved there." — Al Maxkabt, I. 496, note IS. 


The height of the ceiling of the mosque seems 
inadequate in proportion to its plan ; it is only thirty- 
live feet But, in point of fact, this does not inter- 
fere with the architectural effect; it only densifies 
the thick growth, coming low upon the forest of 
columns. It was filled with ovals, bearing appro- 
priate inscriptions, "and calling the mind of the 
Faithful to contemplation and devotion." ^ The col- 
umns support in two directions double 
arches, one above the other, — those spring- 
ing from the capitals being horse-shoe arches, very 
little more than semicircular, and the upper ones 
representing small arcs of circles. The voussoirs of 
both were alternately white and red, with gilded 
edges. For a time, Christian barbarism covered them 
with whitewash, but they have, in later times, been 
scraped, and the original effect is restored. 

The wonders of this mosque are given in delightful 
detail by the Arabian chroniclers. Words fail them 
to express their admiration. It ranked in sanctity, 
in the opinion of the Spanish-Arabs, just after Al- 
aJcsa of Jerusalem and the Temple of Mecca. At, 
the seasons of the Passover, the new year, Moham- 
med's birthday, and other high festivals, it presented 
a blaze of light from two hundred and eighty chande- 
liers, constructed from captured Christian bells ; there 
were upwards of ten thousand lights in the building. 
Fifteen hundred tapers lighted the mihrab alone, and 
clouds of illuminated incense from burning ambergris 
and aloe-wood, anticipated for the materialistic Mos- 

^ Al Makkaii, I. 281. These inscriptions were erased by the 
GhristianB. Fortunately, those in the mihrab were permitted to 

VOL. IL 27 


lem the gorgeous sheen and the delicious perfumes of 

West of the mosque was a casa de caridad, espe- 
cially intended for indigent scholars visiting the 
capital for instruction ; and> besides this, poor-houses 
for the paupers of the city. 

Such, in its material features, was the Mezquita of 
Cordova, even when Charles V. came upon the his- 
toric scene. Chapels had been added, and minor 
changes made. Even before it fell permanently into 
Christian hands, it had suffered from their hatred. 
Ibnu-1-Khatl(b relates that, when a general of the 
Almoravides took possession of the city, in 1156, his 
Christian auxiliaries tied their horses to the mak- 
surah, and profaned the sacred Koran of the mihrab. 
which was afterwards carried about in great state by 
Abdu-1-mumen, in his military expeditions,^ to pre* 
serve it from a similar profanation. 

During the reign of Charles V., the archbishop 
applied to him to add lateral chapels, transepts, and 
AiteraUont a choir. Whou the work was completed. 

In the days , , > -rr i 

ofChAriesV. the emperor went to see it He was thor- 
oughly disgusted. The new additions were not in 
keeping with the old structure. The beautiful double 
arches were resplendent with whitewash, and he ex- 
claimed : " T was not aware of this. Had I known 
you intended to touch the ancient portion, I would 
not have permitted it. You have built here what 
can be built anywhere else, but you have destroyed 
what was unique in the world.'' 

^ See Cond^, Dominacion de los Ambes, II. ch. xliv. 


Ford» in his epigrammatic style, calls the Moor 
" the thief of antiquity/' and in the building of the 
Mezquita he certainly stole to some purpose. Some 
of the pillars came from the ruined temples of Rome; 
some from Soman buildings at Narbonne, pillaged 
by Hishdm II.; one hundred and forty, it is said, 
were presented by the Emperor of Constantinople, in 
honor of a western khalifate which weakened while 
it rivalled his nearer neighbors of Damascus and 
Baghdad; a few were found among the ruins of 
Carthage; some came from the quarries of Tarragona; 
and the remainder were quarried in the mountains 
near Cordova.^ It is due to this diversity of supply 
that they were of different lengths ; those that were 
too long were cut off to meet the floor ; to those that 
were too short a slight pedestal was given, or the 
capital was enlarged. It is strange, but true, that this 
disparity does not detract from the picturesqueness 
of the interior; indeed, it may be said that in the 
grandeur of the ensemble it is hardly noticed. 

The Moor was "the thief of antiquity,*' but it must 
be observed that he was no worse than his neighbors ; 
he finds guilty company in the person of ^heMoor 
Charlemagne. When the great emperor "*Sitof*of*^^ 
was about to build the church which was "**^<^*x" 
to give its cognomen to Aix-la-Chapelle, he found 
great difficulty in procuring proper columns and stat- 
uary. Workmen were wanting who could carve a 
capital, and even chisel a monolithic column. So 
completely was he hampered in this respect that he 

1 Al Makkari, I. 284^ 602, note 5. 


had recourse to the most ordinary custom, which was 
to strip ancient temples, in order to decorate the 
modem churches. He caused granite columns to be 
transported from Ravenna, and his architects did not 
know enough to use them to good purpose when they 
came,^ as the reputed remains of the old cathedral 

It is certainly unnecessary, as it is almost impossi- 
ble, to offer any technical criticism upon the Mosque 
Ui^ngt ^f Cordova. Unique as it is, it retires from 
eridcisms. g^^|^ ^ criticism. I must be permitted to 
express my astonishment at those referred to by 
Prescott, who find it "heavy and barbarous," "a park 
rather than a temple," " grotesque and incongruous " 
— "in its parti-colored columns of different lengths 
and its crowded arches of different chords." ^ To my 
mind it evades the rules of technical sesthetics : it is 
superior to them -, it stands forth as a grand and in- 
teresting teacher of history; it is to be judged by the 
majesty and solemnity of its lesson and its mysterious 
sway over the emotions. It goes back to the very 
century of the conquest, and in its antecedents, its 
additions and alterations, it is a compendium of the 
four great periods of Spanish history, — the Eoman, 
the Gothic, the Arabian, and the Restoration.* He 
must indeed be a phlegmatic traveller, of the nil 
admirari school, who does not find himself lulled 

1 Le F&vre, Lea Merveilles de rArcliitectixre. 

> Ferdinand and Isabella, I. 279. 

* " La actual Catedral de Cordoba compendia en si la historia de 
loB quatro grandes x>eriodoa de Espafia, — romana, gotica, arabiga, 
y restaurada." — La Fuektb, Bidoria da JSspafia, IIL 152, note. 


into a serious but pleasing contemplation in tUs 
mysterious forest of stone ; and he must be a super- 
ficial student of history who does not here, learn 
maT>y most valuable lessons of human fortune^ with 
the inevitable moral that if life is brief, art is long, 
and is the best interpreter of history. The Spaniard 
of to-day is an anachronism, entirely out of place in 
the Mosque of Cordova : the fancy of the historian 
who visits it peoples its aisles with its proper deni* 
zens, turbaned and robed, prostrating themselves to 
the Kiblah, and ejaculating, "Bismillah — in the 
name of the most merciful Allah." 





"DUT the most remarkable of the More-Arabian 
-*-^ remains, built in the third and latest period, is 
the Moorish palace of the Alhambra of Granada, with 
its humbler companion, the Generalife.^ It has no 
spice of Christian art, but rather testifies to the more 
complete separation of the contestants — Christians 
and Moors — in this, the last stronghold of the Moor- 
ish dominion in Spain. 

The eminence upon which it stands, the higher of 
two which form the site of the city of Granada, is 
about twenty-three hundred feet long by six hundred 
The Moorish broad, — au irregular, elongated oval, form- 
Aihambnu ing a platcau. Ford says, " it is shaped like 
a grand piano, with the point towards the Torre de la 
Vela." The name Alhambra, which is given to this 
fortified plateau, includes the palace and numerous 
other structures, standing in the open space, and 
necessary to the comfort and completeness of the 

^ A fall description of the Alhambra, with splendid illustrations 
in detail, will be found in the sumptuous work of Owen Jones, two 
volumes, folio, entitled " Illustrations of the Palace of the Alham- 
bra." Also consult, for its fine- drawings, James Cavanah Murphy's 
"Arabian Antiquities of Spain." 


lojal residence. The hill plain is capable of contain- 
ing forty thousand men. 

Separated from these grounds by a slight ravine is 
the Generalife. There are two principal and impressive 
views of the Alhambra, — the one from below, with 
the snowy summits of the Sierra Nevada behind it, 
which presents it geographically; and the other from 
the mirador, or veranda, of the Generalife, from which 
we are impressed with its topographical strength and 
comeliness, as it commands the beautiful and lux- 
uriant vega^ ot extended plain, watered by the Xenil 
and the Darro. Never were strength and comeliness 
more happily combined. The contour of the emi- 
nence is enclosed by a high wall of tapia^ pierced by 
gateways, and buttressed and defended, at irregular 
distances, by strong towers jutting out beyond the 
wall. They stand to-day as they were constructed 
by the Moors. 

The principal entrance at the northwest is by the 
Calle de los Gomeles, over the portal of which is the 
inscription, "There is no conqueror but God."^ It 
opens upon the walks and groves on the 0^^^^, 
southern slope, and at the foot of the hill, [Jj^^keof 
called the Oardens of the AlhaTribra. These ^«»ii»8ton. 
gardens were planted, after the Peninsular War, with 
feathering elms by the Duke of Wellington, — to 
whom the Spanish government had given the estate 
of Soto de Soma, — and they present to the eye 

^ The nnfortnnate Ibna-1-hamar, who was tribataiy to the. 
Christian king, was obliged to go to war, as his ally, against a neigh- 
boring Mohammedan kingdom. When complimented on his sac- 
he exclaimed sadly, " There is no conqueror but God! " 


a beauty of foliage which comports well with the 
curious structures above. At the foot of the north* 
em slope, which is more precipitous, the Darro 
sweeps to the west and south, like a great natural 
fosse to the stronghold, which seems, however, scarcely 
to need this protection. 

The palace rises a little to the west of the centre 
on the northern slope, and thus has a bird's-eye view 
from the Tower of Comares of the river and the plain 

And here is the place to repeat the world-protest 
against the great Tuscan palace, projected and partially 
The palace built by Charlcs V. Its circular court was 

of Charles 

V. intended for a Plaza de Toros, and has never 

been used. Fortunately the structure was never com- 
pleted, but in its unfinished state it blocks and hides 
the palace from the southern approach, and impresses 
the world of visitors with a perennial disgust The 
entrance to the Moorish structure is by a low door, 
around the corner of this new edifice, and is thus en- 
tirely hidden. Admission to the precincts is through 
the Court of JtLstice, 

Plain and unnoteworthy from without, the Moorish 
palace bursts upon the stranger as a revelation of 
Court of Eastern beauty as unexpected as it is unique. 
Blessing. whcn he enters the first court, called by sev- 
eral names, — Patio del Agua, Patio de los Arrayanes 
(of the Myrtles) ; de la Alberca (of the Fish-pond, — 
albeerkahy pond) ; or, according to others, the Court of 
the Blessing (berkdh, blessing). 

This patio, or court, is one hundred and forty feet 
long by seventy-four feet broad, with a long marble 


estanque in the centre, stocked with goldfish, and 
along the borders are rows of square-clipped myrtle 
in hedges.^ Six beautiful columns at each extremity, 
with high and elaborated capitals, support, with the 
walls, seven horse-shoe arches ; and enclose or mark 
out covered galleries. The long side walls are bare, 
save of doors and grated windows, which indicate the 
apartments of the women ; four sentry-boxes at the 
comers were the places of the eunuchs, who guarded 
the privacy of the women of the seraglio when they 
came to bathe in the pond. 

I cannot linger on the details of description. 
From this court, through an unostentatious door, 
one enters the Patio de los Leones (the Court The coartof 
of the Lions), which is far more graceful and *^®^^"' 
expressive than that of the Myi-tles. Beautiful peri- 
styles and galleries, formed by arches and slender 
columns, one hundred and twenty-eight in number, 
enclose it on all sides. At the extremities, these 
open into chambers, with pointed arches supporting 
groined ceilings; while, in the centre of the court, 
twelve rude marble lions, radiating from a centre, — 
the work of Christian captives, — support an alabas- 
ter basin, dodecagon in shape, which receives the 
waters from a fountain jet above. The columns are 
nine feet high, including the capital and base. Some 
stand single, while others are close-clustered, present- 
ing thus a pleasing variety. The upper space between 
the arches is decorated with perforations and indenta- 

^ The name Ckmrt of the Myrtles is probably modem ; as the 
fancy of haviDg a green hedge on the long aidee woold at any time 
have given such an appellation. 


tions, called "the honeycomb," and from these numer- 
ously pierced spaces are pendentives, — a peculiar 
feature in Saracenic architecture, — elongated drops 
of exuberance from the overflowing cells. 

Separated only by rows of columns from the 
Patio de los Zeanes is the delightful hall known as 
Ifa Sola de las dos Hermanas (of the Two Sisters), very 
improbably considered as owing its name to two fine 
marble slabs in the pavement. A Moorish imagina- 
tion ought to have devised a more romantic story for 
such a name. The traveller, inspired by the genius 
loci, is tempted to invent one. 

And for another adjoining sola there is a better 
one. That which is called the Hall of the Aben- 
cerrages is honored by the legend, resting upon little 
authority indeed, that a number, — Murphy says 
eighty -six, — of the warriors of this family, who were 
at feud with the Zegris, were murdered there. As 
they entered it by invitation, totally unwarned of 
their danger, and made their obeisance, their heads 
were struck off. There are spots upon the pavement 
which the cicerone calls blood. They look like iron- 
rust from a flaw in the marble.^ 

But the glory of the Alhambra is the Sala de los 
ETribajadores (the Hall of the Ambassadors), in the 
Hall of the Tower of Comarcs, overlooking the Darro. 


dors. The inhabitants call it the " proud saloon " 

and the "gilded saloon." It is entered by an aiU^- 

^ The trayeller recalls many similar blood-stains in different parts 
of Europe, where men were reaUy murdered. As the murder of the 
Abencerrages is not substantiated, the raiaon dkr* is wanting for 
our belief in these stains. 


eamaray which has a star-bespangled roof, rich dados 
of azulejos, and high and wide recesses on either side, 
supported by beautiful columns. This antechamber 
is a fitting usher to the great hall. 

The hall itself thus thresholded is thirty-seven 
feet square. The ceiling is a dome, media naranja 
(half orange), the centre of which is seventy-five 
feet from the floor. It is inlaid with curious work of 
white, blue, red, and gold, and stucco stalactites de- 
scend from it. 

The seven deep cabinet-windows, with balconies, 
look out upon the Vega. From one of these it is said 
that Boabdil el Zogoybi (the Unlucky) was, when a 
child, let down in a basket, to save him from the 
cruelty of a favorite, who rivalled his mother in in- 
fluence over his father. And the story is stories of lu 
told that Charies V., leaning from another, ''^***'"- 
and alluding to the stipulation of Boabdil at his sur- 
render that he should retain a residence in the Alpu- 
jarras, exclaimed, " I would rather have this place for 
a sepulchre than the Alpujarras for an inheritance." 
But, as has been seen, even that mountain residence 
was not long secured to the unlucky Moorish king, 
who was soon politely requested to remove himself 
and his misfortunes into Africa. 

The supply of water was amply provided for. 
The principal cistern was in the Plaza de los Al^ibes, 
just west of the palace. It furnished water The great 
for the baths and the conduits for drinking. ®*"*®"*- 
It was one hundred and two feet long by fifty-six 
wide. The wall was six feet thick. It was arched 
over, and the centre of the arch was forty-seven feet 


and seven inclies from the bottom. Seventeen feet 
and five inches of this depth was below the surface 
of the ground, and thus the water was kept cool. 

The baths were constructed of variegated marbles, 
with azidejos and mosaic work, and were used for 
purposes of cleanliness, comfort, and religious purifi- 
cation. The water was heated in copper vessels. In 
the great bathing-hall there were seventy-five open- 
ings in the ceiling, serving for light and ventilation. 
These were glazed with green; and a concert-room 
was attached to lull the senses of the royal bathers, 
and thus enhance the pleasure of the bath. 

Connected with the queen's apartments was a little 
room, oidy six feet square, with a balcony attached, 
"Tocadorde Called El TocodoT de la Beina (the Boudoir 
la Reina.- ^f ^j^^ Quecu), which prescuts the siiigular 

contrivance of numerous orifices in the floor, through 
which perfumes and incense from below penetrated 
her robes and skirts, when she was dressed for the 
day. Thus decorated and perfumed, she attended the 

I need not dwell upon the other parts and appli- 
ances of this royal Moorish residence, — the Square 
of the Alcazaba, the Mosque, the House of Justice, 
the Torre de la Vela, or chief watch-tower. These 
have been all fully described, with numerous pictorial 
illustrations, and are within the reach of every reader. 
Descriptions are numerous, but they can only be 
realized by an actual sight.^ 

^ It is fortunate that most of the rooms and contriYanees here 
described remain in such a state of presenration that they may be 
seen now as they were in the earlier day. 


One word must be said concerning the beautiful 
jarron, or two-handled vase, enamelled in blue, white, 
and gold. It was made in 1320, and is particularly 
to be observed, because it marks the first period of 
Moorish porcelain manufacture in such forms and 

Begun by Ibnu-l-'Ahmar, in 1248, upon the mea- 
gre nucleus of a rude building, the Alhambra was 
added to by his immediate successors, and finished 
by his grandson, Mohammed III., Nasr, The erection 
and Isma'il L, in the early part of the four- ings. 
teenth century. Yiisuf I., who began his reign in 
1333, regilded and painted it, and caused it to shine 
forth in its latest splendor. " Time and the dry air 
of Spain," says Ford, " have used it gently ; " ^ but, 
as to the conquerors, it was '^ a Moorish abomination, 
it has received no attention since, save a desecrating 
.coat of whitewash, which a very modem taste is 
attempting to remove."* 

The historic significance of the Alhambra is our 
chief concern. Built by degrees, and developing thus 
from the single " Red Oastle " {KaVat Al-Tiamrd), in 
the middle of the ninth century; very largely in- 
creased in the thirteenth by Ibnu-l-'Ahmar, and com- 
pleted in the fourteenth by Yiisuf I., it suggests many 
things to the student of art and history. First of all, 

1 Ford's Hand-Book for Spain, I. 298. 

* Queen laabella II., who yisited it in 1862, directed the restora- 
tion, which has heen undertaken by Sefior Contr^ras, a native of 
Granada, thoroughly acquainted with Moorish art Many of the 
ptUloa and halls have been restored to their original splendor, as I 
had the pleasure of observing in 1870. 


it presents the perfection of Moro- Arabian art The 
visitor in its courts finds himself not in Europe, but 
in the Orient ; not in Granada, but in Damascus. It 
realizes the fancies awakened by the memory of the 
" Arabian Nights." It is an anachronism, — a bit of 
the period of Haroun Al Baschid thrust into the 
modem age and into a distant country. It links the 
glories of Baghdad to the civilizing conquest of Spain 
by the Arab-Moors. 

It speaks of concentration. As Granada was the 
last kingdom retained by the Moors before their final 
The phQo- cxpulsiou, SO iu its citsdel, the Alhambra» 
teachings of Wealth, tastc, po wer, were contracted in space 
hn. but consolidated in form and substance. All 

the remaining vitality of the conquest, all the progress 
in art, all the glory of the past, all the hopes of the 
future, clustered in strength and beauty within the 
Alhambra of Granada. 

It was a stronghold ; lying between the Darro and 
the Xenil, it was by nature a fortification, and its 
thick walls and strong out-thrusting towers seemed 
to render it impregnable to any assault before the 
days of gunpowder. It defended the city, and it was 
the last bulwark of the kingdom. To fortify it to 
the extreme of possibility was the Moorish duty ; to 
take it, the difficult Christian task. 

It was also a palace of delights: it catered to every 
desire, and gratified every taste. Every foot of room 
was utilized, — in patios, salas, courts, baths, gardens, 
mosques, hospitals, schools, and prisons ; and, when it 
was arranged for winter use, the Generalife was its 
beautiful summer-house. To the women it was a 


pleasure and a retreat, a barem from which they 
could hardly desire to be released. 

I have thus briefly described the Mezquita of Cor- 
dova and the Alhambra at Granada, in order to present 
the beginning and the end of Moorish art in Spain ; 
and it is fortunate that both these structures remain 
very much as they were originally built, — the one the 
first work of their oriental fancy, to enshrine the glory 
of Allah and the manifesto of IsUm ; the other, the 
last labor of their cunning hands to guard their little 
remaining power in Spain. Taken together, they 
enable us to form a critical judgment They are ex- 
ceedingly unlike. The former tells of boldness and 
strength and progress ; the latter, of a lightness, grace, 
and epicurean luxuriousness, which mark the period 
of decline in strength, and abandonment to torpid 
pleasures. The Khalif who sat upon the maksurah 
of the mosque was of a very different type from the 
king who lounged in the lion Court, or languidly 
gazed from the Tower of Comares on the Vega, which 
almost limited his contracted inheritance. 

Not many years passed before Christian architec- 
ture marked the final expulsion from Granada. The 
first architectural work of the Benaissance in Spain 
was the Cathedral at Granada, a building that stands 
in the boldest contrast to the Moorish palace of the 
Alhambra; the contrast is eminently historic. It 
wap begun in 1529, only thirty-seven years after the 
Moorish capital had fallen into the hands of Ferdi- 
nand and Isabella. Their grandson, Charles V. of 
Germany, was on the throne of Spain, the church hero 
at once of the conquest over Islam and of the anti- 


reformation. The cathedral is a noble structure, four 
hundred feet long and two hundred and thirty wide, 
with side chapels, that of the king being of special his- 
torical interest. Poetic justice built it on the site of 
a great mosque, and made this royal chapel, Capilla 
de lo8 Reyes, the burial-place of Ferdinand and Isa- 
bella, of Philip and Joanna The chapel had been 
built before the cathedral, by order of the joint sov- 
ereigns, who, as the inscription informs us, " crushed 
heresy, expelled the Moors and Jews from these 
realms, arid reformed religion^ In it there may be 
seen the splendid Itfdian tombs, with reclining eflSgies 
of the great monarchs, and in a small vault below 
are the rude leaden cof&ns, with simple initial letters, 
containing their remains. As the awe-struck visitor 
lays his hand upon them, he feels nearer to the his- 
tory than ever before, — to the romantic conquest of 
Granada, to Columbus and his great discovery ; and 
the feeling is intensified when, passing from the place 
of tombs, he is shown, in the adjoining sacristy, the 
plain sword which Ferdinand wore in his last cam- 
paign against the Moors, and the box which had once 
contained the jewels pawned by Isabella to fit out 
the expedition of the great admiral. The Cathedral 
of Granada may be thus said to form the architectural 
link between the expulsion of the Arab-Moors by the 
Catholic sovereigns and the momentous voyage of 
Columbus, which " gave a new world to Castile and 

Of the historical statistics of this later period I have 
spoken in a former chapter. The contracted limits 
of the kingdom of Granada, and its peaceful con- 


dition as a tributary to the reconquest, had consolidated 
its municipal power, and given point and xheconsou- 

m it'j^* 'A-i i»j datlon of 

elegance and historic meaning to its architec- knowledge, 
ture ; and what the Arab-Moors achieved had not been 
without a reflex influence upon the Spanish conquerors 
themselves. The learning which they had brought 
from the East had been diffused throughout Spain. 
What had been collected, by the liberality of the ear- 
lier Khalifs of the house of Abbas, had been fostered in 
colleges and collected in libraries; and although there 
was always a party, composed of the ignorantly devout, 
which looked with concern upon the increase of secular 
knowledge, and especially upon the investigations in 
natural philosophy, the humanists, as in a later Chris- 
tian age, carried the day. It was to no purpose 
that the Koran seemed to utter a threatening voice, 
and that a professor in advance of his age was in 
danger of being branded as a Zindii, or dangerous 

Spain swung by long and light cables to her eccle- 
siastical moorings. Her ulemah and muftis were 
soon emancipated from such thraldom, and had no 
abject fear of the conflict of religious truth with the 
science of nature ; they sought for pure truth, even 
when threatened with exile and martyrdom. 

Connected with the free schools, originally attached 
to the mosques wherever the Arabians conquered, 

^ A Yerj general term. " Soob le nom de Zendik se confondaient 
lea fleeted infsUnes et commnnistes ... et lea libres-pensenrs. . . . 
Le people ne fait ga^ de difii^rence entre cenx qui ne croient pas 
oomme Ini. Qnelquefois mime on rattachait lea Zendiks an Sabinne 
et k ridoiatrie." — Renan's Avtrroes, p. 103. 
VOL. II. 28 


and intended primarily to instruct in the faith of the 
Kordn, and of which there were eighty in Cordova, 
were professors of the new arts and sciences, skilled 
and eloquent, who had fixed salaries, and regular lec- 
ture-courses. These acquired power at home, and 
soon achieved a European renown. At Cordova in 
the tenth century, besides these schools, Al-hakem 
founded an academy, which was soon multiplied into 
fifteen, for special sciences, — not confederated into 
what we call a university, but forming in reality, for 
several centuries, the most celebrated educational 
institution in the world.^ The religious tenets upon 
which it was founded were indeed those of Islam, 
but natural and exact sciences are independent of 
creeds, and these did not hinder Christian students 
from flocking in great numbers to this centre of phi- 
losophic inquiry. While the Christian Church was 
becoming intolerant in the extreme, and the Inquisi- 
tion was being established to punish heresy and 
strangle science, the humaner system of the Mos- 
lems — violated sometimes, indeed, by special intol- 
erance — left men to their own religious opinions, 
and science prospered. 

All the other works of Al-ICakem are eclipsed by 
the greatness and excellence of his library, which, 
TheUbniry accordiug to Csisiri, Contained six hundred 
of Al-hakem. tllQ^ga^u^ volumos, and required forty-four 

volumes for its catalogue alone ; each volume contain- 
ing twenty sheets of paper, devoted entirely to the titles 

^ For a coBsideTatioii of the part played by these professors, and 
the opposition in spite of which they accomplished their phiUn- 
tliropic work, see Al Makkari, T. 141. 


and descriptions of the books.^ He sent his agents in 
every direction to purchase books, without regard to 
expense, and his library was the largest and most 
valuable thus far formed in the world. It was not 
only thus a great repertory for scholars, whom it 
attracted from all countries, but it incited others to 
collect I so that, in computing the book-treasures of 
Cordova, we must not fail to take into the account that 
" there were in the capital many other libraries in 
the hands of wealthy individuals, where the studious 
could dive into the fathomless sea of knowledge and 
bring up its inestimable pearls." ^ " To such an extent 
did this rage for collection increase," says Ibnu Said, 
'' that any man in power, or holding a situation under 
the government, considered himself obliged to have a 
library of his own, and would spare no trouble or 
expense in collecting books, merely in order that 
people might say, ' Such a one has a very fine library, 
or he possesses a unique copy of such a book, or he 
has a copy of such a work in the handwriting of such 
a one.* " ^ As an illustration of the Khalif Al-hakem*s 
enthusiasm for books, it is said that he sent a thou- 
sand dinars of pure gold to Abul-faradj-el Isfahani, a 
Persian author, for the first copy of his celebrated 
" Anthology," so that it was read in Andalusia before 
it was read in Persia.* 
Such academies as those of Cordova were imitated 

^ Bibliotheca Escnrialensis, IL 202. Dozy, Notices snr qnelqaefl 
Manuscrits Arabes, p. 103. 

* Al Makkari, 1. 189. 

> Cited by Al Makkari, I. 140. 

* R^nan's AveiToes, p. 3. 


in the other cities of Spain, and thej form the origin 
Academies ^^ those famous Spanish universities, fos- 
andcouegea. ^j^^ jjj^ power and fame by the Saracens, 

at Cordova, Toledo, Seville, Salamanca,^ and Alcala, 
which came into the hands of the reconquering Chris- 
tians with all their forms and appliances. They were 
re-established by the conquerors, but soon began that 
downward career, fedling into a state of torpor, in 
which they may now be said scarcely to exist 

One word more concerning the library of Al-hakem. 
He died in the year 976, and was succeeded by his 
effeminate son, Hisham II. It has been seen thaty 
taking advantage of Hisham's weakness, his wizir, 
Al-mansur, usuiped the royal power, but, in the 
main, used it right royally ; like a true Mohammedan, 
with an ardent faith, and no taste for books, he de- 
termined to undo the great work of Al-hakem. He 
caused to be carefully selected from the great collection 
all the works on philosophy, physics, and astronomy, 
with all others pertaining to science ; and he ordered 
them to be burnt, re-enacting the barbarous destruc- 
tion of the Alexandrian library in the seventh cen- 
Thedcstroc ^^^7' ^^ achicvcd the purpose he had in 
^kJ'by view, for this wholesale destruction of secular 
Ai-manBur. learning was very popular with the ignorant 
multitude. He only spared the works on rhetoric^ 
poetry, history, medicine, law, and theology. This 
left indeed a large number of valuable books, which 
were added to in later reigns ; but, when the Ommeyan 
dynasty was approaching its end, in one of the civil 

^ The Uniyersity of Salamanca was re-established bj Alfonm 
VIII. (El Baeno) of CastUe ; that of Alcald by Caidinal Ximenea. 


commotions which rent the kingdom, Cordova was 
sacked; the library was broken up, scattered, and 
sold; and yet, iu this irregular dissemination, the 
good seed of knowledge was borne to other lands and 
brought forth fruit.^ 

The records are not sufi&ciently exact to enable us 
to mark all the steps of Arabian culture in Spain, 
nor would such a statistical inquiry be of interest to 
the reader. I have preferred to take it at its best. The 
period of progress in which I have found my prin- 
cipal illustrations is, for science and philosophy, the 
palmy day of the Moorish dominion under the Om- 
meyan monarchs, from the eighth to the eleventh 
century, when the whole of southern and central 
Spain was in the hands of the Arab-Moors. It was 
a day of great light and pride and glory within their 
Spanish kingdom ; a day in which the highest knowl- 
edge overflowed the mountain barriers, and contrast 
went on, widely irrigating the arid fields of ^^em 
Europe, — a day of wonderful contrasts be- chJiSuS? 
tween Arabian Spain and the Christian ^"^p*- 
West In Christian Europe, such limited knowl- 
edge as there was was confined to the cloister and 
cathedral; many of the priests and monks recited, 

^ Accepting the nnmber of Tolnmes collected by Al-hakem, we 
are hardly called upon to believe the assertion of Ibnu-l-abbar, that 
not one book was to be found in it which the Khalif had not pe- 
rused, " writing on the fly-leaf the name, sumanie, and patronymic 
of the author ; that of the tribe or family to which he belonged, 
the year of his birth and death; after which followed such interest- 
ing anecdotes about the author or his work as through his immense 
reading he had derived from other writers." This seems a dear 
case of " qui facit per alium facit per se." 


like parrots, a Latin service which they could not 
translate into the vernacular ; kings repudiated book- 
learning as unworthy of the crown, and warlike nobles 
despised it as unworthy of the sword. It was a -rare 
thing, and not considered an accomplishment, to find 
a layman who could read or write. To suppose that 
he could was to insult him, by mistaking him for an 
ecclesiastic. To documents of importance which they 
could not read they " signed their names," as ignorant 
laborers do at the present day, with the sign of the 
cross, or a rude arrow-head, as " their mark." No 
less a personage than Philippe le Bel of France, who 
conducted foreign wars, and exterminated the Tem- 
plars, made "his mark" as late as the thirteenth 
century, nearly three hundred years after Al-hakem 
was reading the books in his great library, and writing 
a digest of each on its fly-leaves. 

It would be interesting to dwell more at length 
upon the contrast, for it is by such comparisons as 
these that we are led to appreciate the true character 
and full value of the culture which the Arab-Moora 
achieved in Spain and imparted by slow degrees to 
Christian Europe. The slowness of this impartation 
was due not to them, but to those to whom they 
offered their treasures. The Christian Spaniards sus- 
pected everything which the Infidel presented, and 
the Christian historians in later periods have done all 
they could to belittle or ignore this Arabian civiliza- 
tion. A typical illustration is found in the super- 
CMdhud stitious and intolerant proceeding of Cardinal 
ximeuef. ximeucs, the bold and sagacious* Eichelieu 
of Spain in the fifteenth century, who bumt^ in the 


plazas of Granada, an immense number of Arabic 
volumes, variously computed at from eighty thousand 
to over a million,^ " on the pretence that they con- 
tained doctrines adverse to the diflfusion of the gospel 
among the vanquished people."^ What an irrepa- 
rable loss to history ! 

Nor is it astonishing that, as most of the later his- 
torians have drawn their facts and opinions from 
these polluted sources, the Arabians have not received 
their due meed of praise, even from those who have 
no bias of blood or of faith, but who simply believe 
what they have been told. 

Their beneficent learning spread in every direction. 
In imitation of Cordova, Morocco became the Baghdad 
of western Africa. Mosques, palaces, gardens, and 
vineyards were designed by Andalusian architects, and 
were mere copies of similar buildings in Spain.* 

Not gifted with great individual genius, but of rare 
receptivity, the Arab-Moors caught upon their mirror- 
like minds the light which was shining with scattered 
and diffused radiance in the East, — the original pro- 
ductions of Chinese and Hindoo ; the uncertain glim- 
mer of the Nabatean culture, the rare adaptations 
and skilful modifications of the Greeks. They had 
drawn all these pencils of light to a focus, and had 
reflected the concentrated radiance into the dark 
and cloudy Northwest To leave the figure, they had 

^ Oayangos considers the laiger number " a monstrons exagger- 
ation' "of Robles, the biographer, "to increase the merits of his 

* Preface to Al Makkari, I. viii. 

s Al Makkari, I. 120. 


thus prepared Christian Europe^ reclaiming it from 
'its besotted ignorance, to receive the overwhelming 
tide of Greek learning which, after the downfall of 
Constantinople, was to come pouring westward by 
the more direct route across Europe. Homer and 
Plato, -^schylus and Sophocles and Aristotle, Euclid 
and ApoUonius, until then read in Latin translations 
of Arabic versions, were for the first time to be 
studied at Oxford in the original Greek; and thus 
the high value of the Arabian work was made 

The termination of the Mohammedan dominion in 
Spain is the point of view from which the historian 
A retiospec- 1^^^ ^^^^ to take in at one glance the full 
tive glance, xneaniug of this extraordinary history. Great 
events stand as landmarks in the receding landscape ; 
great principles are evolved from their combination. 
The East contained in its mysterious treasure-houses 
vast stores of knowledge and wisdom ; the West was 
the abode of ignorance and mental torpor. Attempts 
to transport these stores had been long frustrated by 
the fall of western Rome, the chaos which succeeded, 
and the steady decline of the Eastern Empire. Much 
of this knowledge had been massed and grown motion- 
less in Egypt, concealed in hieroglyphs, owing to the 
esoteric system of the priesthood, the guardians of 
knowledge; Greece was left stationary, the custodian, 
but no longer the producer, of the grandest literature 
in the world. How should all this be roused into a 
new vitality and communicated to western Europe ? 

It was in this condition of things that a false 
prophet, but a mighty man, arose amid the deserts 


of Arabia, among a quick-witted, light-footed, brave- 
hearted people. They had no claims to culture. The 
passage from " the age of ignorance " to that of faith 
was a leap, but it gave momentum. From the dec- 
laration of the faith the progress was steady and 
rapid to higher learning. They seem thus to have 
been chosen by Providence to bear the torch of learn- 
ing, by rugged and bloody pathways, through Moorish 
darknesses, over the African route, — an improvised, 
provisional route, — across the strait into Europe. 

Unconsciously, in the main, the Arab-Moor accom- 
plished his work. He thought he was laboring for 
himself; he meant little more; in reality, he W£is 
working for the progress of humanity. With a com- 
bination of religious zeal and military ardor, he drew 
the sword for the advancement of the faith and for 
the conquest of territory ; ^ but, when the faith was 
established, and the land acquired for settlement, his 
aroused intelligence sought aliment and pleasure in 
the noblest studies, and he became eager for pupils 
and co-workers, who would extend the fame of his 

But in these milder employments he was sowing 
the seed of his own destruction. Like the Goth, he 
became enervated when he became station- j.^^^ ^^ 
ary ; his progress in science and letters the^lraS?**'* 
unfitted him for war, — the never-ending ^*^"- 
war against the reconquest. " These symptoms went 
on increasing until populous cities and extensive dis- 
tricts became the prey of the Christians, and whole 
kingdoms were snatched from the hands of the Mos- 

^ See Goizot, Histoiie de la CiTilization, lect ill. 


lems."^ We have here another curious illustration 
of a national decline, due to learning, luxury, and 
languor, and a powerful plea for "muscular Chris- 
tianity/* In the words of Gibbon, " the sword of the 
Saracens became less formidable when their youth 
were drawn away from the camp to the college ; when 
the armies of the Faithful presumed to read and re- 
flect." The splendors of Cordova were to be the 
mausoleum of Moro- Arabian greatness. For with 
their torpor came many vices, destructive of national 
strength. " Satan resolved to accomplish the ruin of 
truth, and he obtained his purpose, for the Deceiver 
ceased not tempting and inciting the inhabitants 
until he succeeded in implanting in Cordova some of 
the appendages of idolatry, such as lamentations for 
the dead, false pride, arrogance, incredulity, slander, 
vanity, divination, astrology, chiromancy, . . . swear- 
ing of oaths, the telling of lies, and the committing 
every description of sins." * 

And yet, with all this loss of power, the Spanish 
Moslem was not at once shorn of his strength. Ex- 
posed to many furious attacks of the Christians, he 
was obliged to fight constantly; and we must not 
underrate the fierceness of that long struggle to 
retain his hold upon Spain, — eight centuries, foot 
to foot and hand to hand, with a powerful and de- 
termined foe who had sworn his expulsion or ex- 

As long as the Ommeyan dynasty ruled over an 
undivided realm, their hopes were strong; when 

1 Ibnu Sa'id, EiUbu-l-mngh'rab^ cited by Al Hakkari, I. 95. 
* Al Makkari, I. 97. 


Mohammedan Spain was broken into petty kingdoms, 
the decline was rapid. What conduced most to their 
original power was union ; what hastened their down- 
fall was division, dissension, segregation. The task 
and the tenure of the Mohammedan in Spain were 
completed, long before Ferdinand and Isabella drove 
the unlucky Boabdil from his throne at Granada in 
1492. These Christian morarchs only ejected a ten- 
ant whose lease had already expired, but who, with 
impotent insistance, had refused to go, because his 
long tenancy had in his eyes established a right of 
property. With all the consolidation of Mohammedan 
power at the East, and with this paralysis at the 
West, the Arabian has disappeared as an ethnic 
type, or at least has been remanded to his original 
seats, where he has returned at this day to The Arabian 

,, . .. J ' ' 'c r i.1. T relegated to 

the inaction and insignificance of the earlier Arabia. 
times. ITowhere else, among the millions of Mo- 
hammedans, does he any longer represent himself; 
but he may still boast that he is represented in the 
sacred peraon and the scripture of his mighty prophet, 
Mohammed. The triumphs of the Moslem faith were 
not to cease because the dominion of the Theperen. 
Arab-Moors^ in Spain had come to an end. of laUm. 
There was compensation at the East for the losses 
at the West. More than two hundred years before, 
the dynasty of the Abbasides had been destroyed 
with the fall of Baghdad under the assault of Hou- 
lahou, the grandson of Zinghis Khan, with his fierce 
Mogulsj but the faith of Mohammed had inspired 
the Ottoman Turks to conquest ; and in the midst of 
a chaos of wars, Moguls and Turks contested a su- 


premacy, the aim of which was the capture of the 
great Christian capital of the Eastern Empire, Con- 
stantinople. In that stormy period from the thirteenth 
to the fifteenth century are found the great martial 
deeds of Amurath I. ; of Bajazet, sumamed Ilderim^ or 
the Lightning, who was confronted by the wild heroism 
of Tamerlane ; and of Mohammed II., who achieved 
The empire the great purposc. Only forty years before 
manTuriu. Boabdil cl Chico left the Alhambra, wth 
unavailing sighs and tears, the Turkish sultan, after 
the most memorable siege in history, was reigning in 
the capital of the East, and the Te Deums of the 
Spanish conquerors found a discordant echo in the 
muezzins' caU to prayer from the improvised min- 
arets of . St. Sophia. There the successor of the 
Sultan still prays to Allah to avert the inevitable, 
the coming of the day when the last sigh of the Turk, 
as he crosses the Bosphorus to return to his original 
seat in Asia, shall be the historic answer, delayed for 
five hundred years, to el ultimo suspiro del Moro^ as 
he turned the rocky corner which shut out his beloved 
Alhambra, and, after a short delay in the Alpujarras, 
moved on to exile and death in Africa. 

In conclusion, the long wars which resulted in the 
conquest of Granada had given the Spanish Christians 
a momentum which could not be checked ; and the 
ensuing peace gave them leisure to direct it with 
judgment. Thus there is a link of great intei'est 
The Old connecting the expulsion of the Moors with 

World and ^ * 

the New. the discovery and fortunes of this Western 
world. The joint monarchs entered Granada on the 
6th of January, 1492 ; on the 11th of October, in the 


same year, Columbus descried " the moving light '* on 
the shore of Guanahani, and the next day, chrutopher 
in sight of the astonished natives, unrolled ^*>^""^'"- 
the banner, the F and Y upon which proclaimed the 
supremacy of the Spanish monarchs, Ferdinand and 
Ysabel. Here let us observe a moral application of 
mechanical forces in history. The tide of men that 
had poured down to the conquest of Granada, now at 
last unchecked by obstacles within the kingdom, 
rushed across the Atlantic in the wake of Columbus 
to San Salvador and Hispaniola ; with Ponce de Leon 
and Fernando de Soto, to Florida and the Mississippi ; 
with Cortez, to Mexico ; with Pizarro and Almagro to 
Peru ; with Balboa, to the infinite vista of the Pacific. 
It was the reconquest stiU, which could not ajjate its 

Christopher Columbus found in his name the claim 
of his first great duty. Loyal to his sovereigns, 
he was the Christ-bearer and the dove, — the car- 
rier dove of Christianity to the uttermost parts of 
the earth. But from Christian Spain he brought, 
without intending it, only evil to the Aliorigines. It 
was the inquisition of a fierce propaganda; it was 
grinding labor ; it was cruelty, which could only end 
in extermination of the natives. What he dispensed of 
Moorish civilization was only good, — the inventions 
and discoveries they had introduced His vessel was 
fitted out in that little port of Palos, which had lately 
been a Moorish port ; his sailors were many of them 
men with Moorish blood in their veins. It has been 
asserted that, when the Moors were driven out, thou- 
sands took refuge in the south of France, who, after- 


wards abhorring the Roman Catholic persecutiona, 
became Huguenots, and that of these many emigrated 
at a later day to South Carolina. Be that as it may, 
the Spaniards had found for the world a virgin land, 
in which to introduce Spanish errors, and especially 
Spanish bigotry; and the great tide rushed in from 
Protestant Europe to occupy it. 

Here I lay down my pen, leaving to the intelligent 
reader the easy and pleasant task of further tracing 
the philosophy and pointing the moral of this *' strange, 
eventful history." It may indeed seem far removed 
by distance and time from present interests and the 
great social problems of our day and country. But 
it deserves special consideration as a striking illus- 
tration of the important historic principle that hu- 
The moral mauity is the same in all ages ; that the 
mankind. moral uuity of mankind is the first, last, and 
best lesson of human annals, whether we look under 
the homed helmet and cuirass of the Goth, under 
the twisted turban of the Arab, or the fez of the 
Moor and Berber. Whether in the marts of Cor- 
dova, on the 'Change of London, or in Wall Street 
of New York, — in the eighth century or the nine- 
teenth, the feeling heart and busy brain of man 
work from the same causes, by the same data, to 
the same ends. Love and hate, religious fanaticism, 
self-interest, the greed of wealth and the lust of 
power, are springs of action which the moral standard 
of conscience cannot fully control, but never ceases 
to judge. And to the student of history it is most 
interesting to observe that the golden rule applies 


in all ages and to all conditions of humanity. " My 
neighbor" is not alone the living man, any- HiBtoriejiw- 

tice to '• my 

where in the world, with whom I may come neighbor. 


in contact to-day, but the Arab-Moor of this history, 
who requires at my hands a just judgment and a for- 
giving spirit. Thus the spirit of enlightened historic 
criticism must rise superior to the prejudices of race 
and creed and nationality, which the Spaniards have 
not done. In their historic judgment of the Moors, 
they have perpetuated the reconquest ; they thrice 
slay the slain. They have been unjust, unmanly, and 

The last lesson to which I shall refer is taught as 
freshly by this history as though the story was of 
yesterday, — the long-continued influence of human 
action. As from a stone thrown into a lake, the ripples 
would go on forever, were they not limited by the 
shore ; and even then they receive from this restraint 
a resurgence which, while it complicates the problem, 
demands recognition. 

I have, in the course of this work, found occasion 
to present certain remarkable parallels. The careful 
reader of Spanish history will find all the elements 
of the earlier days at work in the later times, and 
still influential in Spain. In the North, the Goth 
still displays his blue blood and white skin, and with 
them his Teutonic independence. The isolated valleys 
of Castile and Aragon are still swayed by the His- 
pano-Eoman and the yet vital Celtiberian. In the 
South, in spite of Spanish disclaimers, the Moorish 
blood still shows itself beneath a swarthy complexion 
and under crisp, curling black hair. 


The long and fierce struggle between the Christians 
and the Moslems had given rise to a bitter fanaticism 
Religions *"^ * blinding bigotry on the part of the 
Tblfia-""*' fornier, first against the Infidel, and then 
quiaiuon. against heresy in all its forms. Then the 
Inquisition sprang into hideous being. Moriscoes, 
Jews, and halting Christians were brought before its 
terrible tribunal The Church would not cany out 
its own sentence, but *' released the condemned to the 
secular arm ; " and thus Spain, which would have been 
free and safe under its secular government, one of 
the most liberal in the world, became, at the bidding 
of the ecclesiastical authorities, a blind and grind- 
ing despotism, where life and property had no guar- 
antee. The Church and the State played into each 
other's hands, — a person who offended the crown 
was dealt with by the Church; a person suspected 
of heresy was burned by the Stata This constant 
peril of life has demoralized the Spanish people. It 
has led to torpor in religious belief, or to hypocrisy as 
a defence against injustice. The world is not made 
up of martyrs. With this torpor and hjrpocrisy 
came weakness, where a nation only can be strong, 
— in its people. With the weakness came intrigues 
The baleful and couspiracics and assassinations. Thus 

effects on *■ 

Spain. shut up withiu themselves, they became sus- 
picious. They hated strangers ; they assumed a 
haughtiness of sentiment and demeanor. They ceased 
to work, because labor brought no security. And so 
the manufactures and public works have fallen into 
foreign hands, which has made them unpopitlar. There 
has never been a nation so abused and injured as the 
Spanish nation. 


The Spanish people present to-day, in all parts of 
the Peninsula, excellent types of manhood and wo- 
manhood, who only require time to unlearn the lessons 
of centuries, and to live a new life under a liberal 
rule, and with incentives to exertion. Even in this- 
generation much has been done. The deposition of 
Isabella, the Second, the provisional regency of Ser- 
rano, the great mistake of crowning Amadeus, the 
rage of the red republicans, have all been steps to a 
constitutional government under a liberal and young 
Spanish monarch, whose happy fortune it Hopes for 
may be to inaugurate the new era, and make **** '^*^^- 
the Spanish cities once more what they were in the 
palmy days of the Moslem dominion, — the centres of 
light, learning, and energy. The great secret is, work 
for the masses ; for the worst thing among the Cosas 
de Espalia is an indolence, so ingrained in the Span- 
ish nature that it has become an organic disease, 
which time and the pressure of a progressive world 
only can cure. One generation may pass without 
effecting this regeneration ; one generation may even 
retard it: but the historian finds in the annals of 
Spain a philosophy which leads him to hope and to 
expect the coming of a brighter day. When that day 
shall dawn, Spanish scholars will review the hidden 
records of their past with conscientious industry and 
honest judgment ; and, while they dwell with proper 
pride and pleasure upon the glories of the reconquest, 
they will not be ashamed to acknowledge the real 
merits of their Moslem conquerors, and the lasting 
benefits which have accrued to Europe from the Con- 
quest OF Spain by the Ara^-Moors. 

VOL, IL 29 




THE Mohammedan year of the Hijra is used in Turkey, 
Arabia, Persia, and other countries which have ac- 
cepted Islim. It is a lunar year, its commencement being 
computed from the nearest new moon. The Mohammedan 
era is divided into cycles of 30 years each ; in every cycle 
there are 19 years of 354 days, and 11 years of 355 days, 
an intercalary day being added ip these years at the end 
of the last month. Thus the mean length of the year is 
35id, Sh. 48m., or 354^^ days. This, divided by 12, 
will give us the moan lunation as 29 Jf^, or 29 <^. 12 h, 
44 m. The difference between this and the astronomical 
mean lunation is only 2.8 seconds, or a difference of 1 
day in 2,400 years. 

To pass from the Mohammedan to the Christian calen- 
dar, neglecting the slight differences of intercalation, be- 
cause it is nearly the same for both, we have the formula 

Mohammedan Year, a. h. _ 354 JJ -aqtaooa 
Christian Year, a. d. " 36572422 "" *^-^7^224. 

The first Mohammedan year b^gan on the 19th of July, 
622 (O. S.), or the 19th of July (N. S.). This latter day is 


the 200th day of the solar year, or, in arithmetical terma, 
0.5476 of the year. Representing the number of years as 
Y - ly and the first year in our era as 622.5476, we shall 
have, as the date of the commencement of the year a. h., 
afl expressed in our calendar, — 

0,970224 (y - 1) + 622.5476, 
or 0.970224 XY + 621.5774. 

Thus, to find the commencement of any year of the Hijra 
in the Gregorian calendar, we multiply .970224 by that 
year, and add 621.5774. 

Take as an example the year 95 a. h. : — 





or the year 92 a. h. corresponds with the year 713 a.d. 
To find the exact date of its commencement, multiply the 
decimal figures by 365. 


. 37430 


Or it began on the 273d day, the last day of September. 
The following are the names of the Mohammedan 
months, with the number of days in each : — 



Moharram 30 

Safar 29 

Rabi, 1 30 

Rabi, II 29 

Jum£da 1 30 

Jum£da II 29 

Sha'b&n 29 

Ramadh&n 30 

Shawwia 29 

Dh«-ka'dah 30 

Dhl-1-hajjah . 29, and in intercalary years 30 

A further calculation will show that the 1st of Mohar- 
ram, 1298, will correspond with the 4th of December, 
1880. I have thought it best in the history to give the 
dates according to the Christian calendar. 



Although the capitulation of Granada is only of sec- 
ondary interest in this history, I have been led to present 
the text of the treaties, for the following reason. La 
Fuente, in the ninth volume of his " Historia de Espana," 
p. 392, note, says : " Mr. William Prescott, who is the 
last historian of the Catholic kings (Ferdinand and Isa- 
bella), seems not to have been acquainted with the text 
of these capitulations, which, moreover, no other historian 
before him hoe given us in the exact words. This has 
prompted us to give in an appendix the text of this impor- 
tant document, copied from the original, which exists in 
the Archives of Simancas.'* 


I believe this to be the first time it has been translated 
into English. It cannot fail to interest the reader, as the 
rude, redundant, but exceedingly clear, manifesto of the 
final defeat and expulsion of the Arab-Moors from Spain, 
and the completion of the reconquest. 

There is an occasional hiatus in the manuscript, where 
words have become dim or illegible by time. In the orig- 
inal the articles are not numbered ; but the enumeration 
in the present copy makes the sense easier to be under- 


Madb ^t TnE Royal Hbaoquartbrs in thb Yeoa of Geakaba, 

ON THB 25th day OF NOVBICBEB, 1491. 

" jEsua 


The terms which, by order of the very high and most 
powerful and most illustrious princes, the King and 
Queen, our lords, have been agreed upon with the Alcaide 
Bulcacin el Muley, in the name of Muley Baaudili, king 
of Granada, and, by virtue of his power, the said king 
having signed with his name and sealed with his signet, 
are the following : — 

1. First, it is agreed upon and settled that the said 
king of Granada and the Alcaldes and Alfaquies, Alcadis, 
Alguaziltf, the learned and sage, old and good men, and 
the community, small and great, of the said city of Gra- 
nada and of the Albaicin and its suburbs, are to deliver 
up and do deliver to their Highnesses, or to their qnalified 
agent, peacefully and with concord, truly and effectively. 


within seventy days, counting from the twenty-fifth day of 
the month of November, which is the day of agreement of 
this capitulation, the fortresses of the Alhambra and the 
Alhaizan, and the gates and towers of the said Alhambra 
and Alhaizan, and the gates of the said city and of the 
Albaicin, and of its suburbs^ and the towers of said 
gates and the other gates of the said city, putting them 
into the power of their Highnesses, or their accredited 
agents, from top to bottom entirely, and at their free, 
entire, and royal wilL And that their Highnesses give 
order to their justices that they do not permit any Chris- 
tian to go up on the wall which lies between the Alcazaba 
and the Albaicin, to discover the houses of the Moors, 
imder penalty of being punished. And also that within 
that boundary they shall give and maintain to their High- 
nesses their obedience of loyalty and fidelity, and shall 
do and fulfil all that good and loyal- vassals owe and are 
obligated to offer their king and queen and native lords ; 
and for the security of said surrender they will receive 
from the said king, Muley Baaudili, and the said Alcaides, 
and other persons to be mentioned by their Highnesses, 
one day before the delivery of the said Alhambra^ at these 
headquarters, to be in the power of their Highnesses, five 
hundred persons, with the Alguazil Yuzaf Aben Oomirga, 
from among the sons and brothers of the chief persons of 
the said city, the Albaicin and its suburbs, that they may 
remain in their Highnesses' power as hostages for ten 
days, while the fortresses of the Alhambra and Alhaizan 
are being repaired and victualled and strengthened. 

And whea these terms shall be complied with, their 
Highnesses are to give up and will give up freely the said 
hostages to the said king of Granada, and to the said 
city and its Albaicin and suburbs. And during the time 
that the said hostages shall be in the power of their High- 


nesses, it shall be ordered that they be well treated, and 
that they shall have all things necessary for their main- 

And when the terms to be mentioned, and each of them 
according to the manner herein contained, shall be com- 
plied with, their Highnesses and the Prince Don Jaan, 
their son, and their descendants, shall take and receive 
from the said king, Muley Baaudili, and from the said 
Alcaides, etc., males and females and denizens of the said 
city of Granada and of the said Albaicin and its suburbs 
and towns and territories, and of the Alpcgarras, and of 
other lands which enter into this agreement and capitular 
tion, of whatever state or condition they may be, as their 
▼assals and subjects and natives (riaturaUs)^ under their 
favor and security and royal defence. And they shall 
leave them, and order to be left in their houses and farms 
goods, furniture, and people, now and in all time forever, 
without any one's receiving evil nor injustice contrary to 
law, without having anything taken from them ; and they 
shall be by their Highnesses and people, honored and 
favored and well entreated, as their servants and vassals. 

2. Item, It is agreed upon and settled that, when their 
Highnesses give order to receive, and shall receive, the 
said Alhambra, they shall command that their people enter 
through the gates of the Bib Alachar and Bignedi, and 
through the field outside the said city, wherever their 
Highnesses may deem proper, and that there shall not enter 
within the said city the persons who are to go and receive 
the said Alhambra at the time of said surrender. 

3. Item, On the day that there shall be surrendered to 
their Highnesses the said Alhambra and Alhaizan, and the 
gates and towers of the said Alhambra and Albaicin, and 
their suburbs, and the towers of said gates and the other 
gates of the land of said city, it is understood *that their 

APPEin>nL 457 

Highnesses shall command the restoration of the king's 
son, who is in their Highnesses' power at Moclin ; and on 
the said day they will release to full liberty, into the hands 
of the said king, the other Moorish hostages who were 
given with the said king's son (infarUi), and are in the 
power of their Highnesses, and with them the serving-men 
and serving-women who went with them, and who have 
not become Christians. 

4. Item, Their Highnesses and their descendants, for- 
ever, shall permit the said king, Muley Baaudili, and the 
said Alcaides, etc., great and small, to live, and shall not 
require them to leave their residences or estates or plan- 
tations, and the towers of such dwelling-places, so that 
they may gather their fruits ; and they shall order that 
the rents and belongings of said estates shall remain as 
they are held to-day, and that they shall be judged by 
their own Saracenic law, with counsel of their Alcadis, 
according to the custom of the Moors, and that they shall 
be secured in their goods and customs. 

5. litm. They shall retain their arms and horses, and 
all other property, forever, except all fire-arms, great and 
small, which must be surrendered to their Highi^esscs. 

6. Jten^ AH the said persons, men, women, and children 
of the said city, of the said Albaicin and its suburbs, and 
the territory of the said Alpujarras, and of all other ter- 
ritory included in the terms of this capitulation, who may 
desire to go and live elsewhere, wherever they please, may 
sell their plantations and furniture and crops to whom- 
ever they please; and their Highnesses and their de- 
scendants, now and forever, will not prohibit any one 
from buying them; but, if their Highnesses desire to 
purchase, they shall have the prior right to do so. 

7. lUm, To the said persons who thus wish to go and 
live elsewhere, there shall be ordered to be freighted from 


the present date for the next seventy days, ten large ves- 
sels in the ports of their Highnesses, for those who wish 
to depart at once; and they shall be taken freely and 
safely to such foreign ports as those in which merchants 
are in the habit of shipping their goods ; and, for the 
space of three years following, those who desire, during 
that time, to go away, shall have ships provided which 
shall take them from such ports of their Highnesses as 
they may desire ; such persons always giving their High- 
nesses fifty days' notice of their wish to depart. And 
thus also, they shall be taken safely to such ports as the 
merchants are accustomed to visit with their goods; 
and, at the termination of the said three years, their 
Highnesses will not order the freight or passage of such 
ships, in any manner whatever. But if, after the three 
years have been completed, any one at any time should 
desire to go abroad, their Highnesses will permit them 
to do so, and will require payment of only one dobla 
(doubloon) per head. And if such property as may be 
owned by such persons in the said city of Granada, its 
Albaicin, its suburbs, and lands, and in the said Alpujarras, 
and elsewhere, included in the terms of this capitulation, 
cannot be sold, such persons may give it in chai^ to their 
agents, who may collect the just rents, and remit them 
without any hindrance to the principal, wherever he may 

8. Item, Neither now nor at any time shall their High- 
nesses, or the said Lord Prince, or their descendants, use 
any coercion upon the Moors living to-day, or those who 
shall succeed them, to retain or convert them (d que traigan 

9. Item. Their Highnesses, in order to make generous 
and gracious grants (per faeer bien 4 mereed) to the said 
king, Muley Baaudili, and to the people of the said city 


of Oranada, of the Albaicin and its suburbs, shall exempt 
them for the first three years, from the date of this capitu- 
lation, from all taxes which they have been accustomed 
to pay for their houses and possessions, except that they 
shall pay to their Highnesses the tenth of their bread- 
stuffs, and the tenth of their cattle on the dayd of tithing, 
in the months of April and May. 

10. Item, The said king, Muley Baaudili, and the other 
persons to be mentioned, of the said city and Albaicin and 
suburbs, and the lands in the Alpujarras and elsewhere, 
included in this capitulation, shall give up, and do give 
up, to their Highnesses at once, freely, without cost, all 
the Christian captives, male and female, now in their own 
hands, or held by them in other countries. 

11. Item, Their Highnesses will not take from the 
said king, Muley Baaudili, or from the other said per- 
sons, men nor beasts for any service, except such as are 
themselves willing, who shall be paid their just daily 

12. It^m. No Christian shall make bold (sea osado) to 
enter a house of prayer of the said Moors, without per- 
mission of the Alfaquies ; and, if he enter, he shall be 
punished by their Highnesses. 

13. Item. No Jew shall be an agent or receiver, nor 
shall have any command or jurisdiction over them [the 

14. Item, The said king, Muley Baaudili, and the said 
Alcaides, etc., of the said city of Granada, of the Albaicin, 
its suburbs, and lands, and of the said Alpujarras, and 
other portions included in this capitulation, shall be hon- 
ored and respected by their Highnesses and their agents, 
and shall be heard, and their good usages and customs 
protected; and there shall be secured to the Alcaides 
and Alfaquies their salaries and dues and franchises, and 


all other things, and each of them, according to the manner 
in which they enjoy them at the present time. 

15. Item, If controversy or qaestion shall arise among 
the said Moors, they shall be adjudicated according to 
their Saracenic law, and by their Alcaides, according to 
the custom of the Moors. 

16. Item, Their Highnesses shall not have guests turned 
out, nor clothing taken away, nor birds nor beasts, from 
the houses of the said Moors ; nor shall their Highnesses 
or their people take from them against their will, nor as- 
sume possession of their -rooms or guests or provisions, 
or commit any other acts of injustice. 

17. Item. If any Christian shall forcibly enter the 
house of any Moor, their Highnesses shall order him to 
be proceeded against by the judges. 

18. Item^ Concerning inheritance among the Moors, 
the order shall be followed and the cases adjudged acooiti- 
ing to the custom of the said Moors. 

19. Item. All the people and inhabitants of the towns 
and places in the said city and the said Alpujarras, and 
the other territory included in this capitulation, and in all 
other lands which shall come under the control and obedi- 
ence of their Highnesses within thirty days after the said 
surrender, shall profit by this agreement and capitulation, 
except as to the before-mentioned three years of exemption. 

20. Item^ The reyenues of the said possessions or treas- 
ures and other things given for charity, and the revenues 
of the primary schools for boys, shall remain under the 
governments of the Alfaquies, and that they may spend 
and distribute the said charities as the said Alfaquies shall 
see to be proper and convenient; and their Highnesses 
shall not interfere in any manner with the said charities, 
nor place any embargo upon them now or at any time 

APPENDIX. , 461 

21. Item, No judicial action shall take place against 
the person of any Moor for evil done by another; the 
father shall not suffer for the son, nor the son for the 
father, nor brother for brother, nor cousin for cousin, 
but eyery one shall suffer only for his own wrong-doing. 

22. Item, Their Highnesses shall cause to be pardoned 
and shall pardon the Moors bf those places which were 
taken by the Alcaide Hamet Abouli, for the Christians 
and Moors that were slain there, and the things captured 
there shall never be reclaimed at any time. 

23. Item, Their Highnesses shall cause to be pardoned 
to the Moors of Alcabdyl everything they have done and 
committed contrary to the service of their Highnesses, on 
account of the necessities of the men, of whatever char- 

24. Item, If any Moor being a captive shall have fled 
to the said city of Granada, its Abaicin and suburbs, and 
to the other places mentioned in this treaty, he shall be 
free; and neither the justices nor his master may pro- 
ceed agsdnst him, unless he be from the Islands or the 

25. Item, The said Moors shall not be required to 
^ve or pay to their Highnesses more taxes than those 
they were accustomed to give and pay to the Moorish 

26. Item^ If any one of the native-bom people of the 
said city, its Albaicin, its suburbs, the lands of the Alpu- 
jarras, and the other parts included in this treaty, have 
gone abroad, he shall be allowed the limit of the first three 
following years to come and enjoy everything set down 
in this capitulation. 

27. Item^ If any Christian captives shall have been sold, 
or placed beyond their power, they shall not be obliged to 
retake them, nor to return what they received for them. 


28. Item, If the said king Muley Baaudili, or the said 
Alcaides, or any of the natives of the city of Granada, its 
Albaicin, its suburbs, the Alpujarras, and the other-men- 
tioned parts, shall go abroad, they shall not enjoy these 
conditions there, unless they return within the three years 
to carry out the terms of this capitulation. 

29. Item. All the merchants of the said city, eta, may 
go and come, and make their commercial contracts freely 
and safely throughout the lands and seigniories of their ^ 
Highnesses without paying any more taxes, excises, or 
tolls than those paid by the Christians. 

30. Item, If any Moor shall have taken a Christian 
woman to wifb who has turned Moor, she may not be 
forced to become a Christian against her wilL It shall 
be asked, in the presence of Christians and Moors, if she 
wishes to become a Christian. And, in the matter of sons 
and daughters bom to such a union, the existing terms 
of the law shall be obeyed. 

31. Item, If any Christian man or woman shall haye 
become a Moor in past times, no person shall dare to taunt 
or resile them in any way. Those who do so shall be 
punished by their Highnesses. 

32. Item, No Moorish man nor woman shall be coerced 
to become a Christian. 

33. Item, If any Moorish woman, wife, widow, or maid, 
should wish to become Christian on account of affection 
(por amores\ such shall not be received until she is 
questioned and warned as to the terms of the law. If 
any jewels or other things shall have been forcibly taken 
from the house of her father, relations, or other persona, 
they shall be returned and restored to the power of those 
to whom they belong, and the magistrates shall proceed 
against the person who took them according to the law. 

34. Item, Their Highnesses and their descendants for* 


ever shall not ask nor consent that it be asked, nor shall 
they order, that there be taken from or returned, by the 
said king, Muley Baaudili, or by his servants and slaves, or 
by the other persons of the said city, its Albaicin, etc, 
whatever they took in time of the wars, of horses, beasts 
of burden, clothing, cattle, greater or less silver, gold, or 
anything else, whether belonging to Moors or to Christians, 
nor the hereditaments which the said Moors have taken ; 
and if any one recognizes certain things of his that have 
been thus taken, he shall not demand them ; if he demand 
them he shall be punished. 

35. lUin, If, up to this time, any Moor shall have 
robbed or wounded or reviled any Christian captive, man 
or woman, whom he had in his power, he shall not be in- 
quired of concerning it now or at any time hereafter. 

36. Item, The royal lands and estates shall not pay 
more imposts after the completion of the three years of 
the said exemption than what their just value would 
require them to pay as common lands. 

37. Item. This same order shall be observed as to the 
inheritances of the Moorish gentlemen and Alcaides. They 
shall not pay more taxes than those deemed just and right 
for the common lands. 

38. Item. The native-bom Jews of the city of Granada, 
etc., shall profit by this same treaty and these capitulations, 
and the Jews who before were Christians are allowed^ the 
time of one month to leave the country {se pasar aUende), 

39. Item, Governors, Alcaides, and justices whom their 
Highnesses shall order to be placed in the said city, etc., 
shall be such as they are confident will carry out honor- 
ably the terms of this entire capitulation. And if any 
one of them should do what he ought not to do, their 
Highnesses will order him to be punished, and place another 
in his position who will do his duty. 


40. Item, Their Highnesses and their descendants for- 
ever will not ask or demand of the said king, Mulej 
Baaudiliy nor of any of the said Moors, concerning any- 
thing they have done in any manner up to the day of the 
completion of the said treaty of the said surrender of the 
said Alhambra ; that is, during the said time of the said 
seventy days within which the said Alhambra and other 
strongholds are to be delivered up. 

41. Item, No gentleman nor Alcaide nor servant of 
those belonging to the king who was of Guadixy shall have 
any authority or command. 

42.' Item. If there should be any quarrel between a 
Christian man or woman and a Moorish man or woman, 
the said quarrel shall be settled in the presence of a 
Christian Alcaide and a Moorish Alcadi, so that no one 
may complain of want of justice between them. 

43. Item, All that has been herein said, their High- 
nesses will order to be made good to the said king, Muley 
Baaudili, at the said city of Granada, on the day when 
the said city, etc., shall be surrendered to their Highnesses, 
as set forth in their letters of privilege, signed, and sealed 
with their leaden seal attached by silken strings, and con- 
firmed by the Lord Prince, their son, the Very Reverend 
Cardinal of Spain, the Masters of Orders, the prelates, 
archbishops, and bishops, the grandees, dukes, marquises, 
military governors {adelantados)^ and prothonotaries, in 
token that every stipulation herein contained is and shall 
be valid and operative, now and forever. 

44. Item, Their Highnesses, in order to deal £BLirly and 
mercifully with the said king, Muley Baaudili, and tlie 
other said persons, natives and dwellers in the said city 
of Granada^ its Albaicin and suburbs, etc., are pleased to 
release the Moorish captives, men and women of the said 
city, Albaicin, and suburbs, freely, without any cost and 


without their paying duty for the said captives or imposts 
at the gates, or elsewhere. Their Highnesses will order the 
delivery in the following/ manner : The captive Moors, 
men and women, of the said city, etc., in Andalusia, shall 
be surrendered within the following five months ; and the 
captive Moors who are in Castile within the following 
eight months ; and two days after the Christian captives 
have been delivered up, their Highnesses shall give up 
two hundred Moorish captives of both sexes, — - the hun- 
dred who are held as hostages, and another hundred who 
are not. 

45. Item. At th6 time when their Highnesses shall 
order the surrender in the said city and Albaicin of the 
hundred captives and the hundred Moorish hostages, their 
Highnesses shall also order to be delivered up the son of 
Albadramyn, who is in the power of Gonzalo Fernandez ; 
and Hormin, who is in the hands of the Count of Ten- 
dilla ; and Ben Reduan, who is in the power of the Count 
of Cabra ; and the son of El Modim and the son of the 
Alfaqui Hadem, and the five squires (esctuifros) who were 
lost by the Abencerraje Abraen, if they can be found. 

46. Item, Every place in the Alpujarras which shall 
be taken by their Highnesses shall be obliged to deliver 
up all Christian captives, men and women, who may be 
there, without their Highnesses paying anything as ransom 
within fifteen days of such occupancy by their Highnesses ; 
and if any Christian captives are held as hostages, they 
shall be delivered up within that term ; and their High- 
nesses will issue orders that Moorish hostages shall be 
exchanged for these Christians, man for man. 

47. Item. Their Highnesses give security for all the 
foreign ships at present in the seaports of the kingdom of 
Granada, that they may depart in safety, neither taking 
nor sending away, from the present moment, any Chria- 

YOL. II. 80 


tian captive, man or woman. No person shall work them 
ill or offence, nor take anything from them ; and if such 
ships shall take or send any Christian captive, the said 
security shall not be valid. At the time they are abont 
to sail, their Highnesses order that one or two Christians 
shall enter each vessel and find out whether they are car- 
rying away any Christian. 

We, the king and the queen of Castile, Leon, Aragon, 
Sicily, etc., by these presents, secure and promise to hold 
and guard and fulfil all that is contained in this capitula- 
tion, in what touches and is incumbent upon us, royally 
and effectually, as to places, terms, and dates, and ac- 
cording to the manner specified in this capitulation, — 
each part and item of it without any fraud. And as 
security for this, we order the issue of this document, 
signed with our names aud sealed with our seal. Executed 
in our royal camp in the Vega of Granada, the 25th day 

of the month of November, 1491. 

I, THE King. 

I, THE Queen. 

I, Fernando de Zafra, Secretary of the king and queen, 
our sovereigns, have caused it to be written by their 



Granada, the 25th dat of Kovember, 1491. 

The terms which, by order of the very high and most 
powerful and most illustrious princes, the King and Queen, 
our Lords, were agreed upon and settled with the Alcaido 


Bulcacin el Mulej, in the name of Muley Baandili, king 
of Granada, and by virtue of his power signed by the 
said king with his name and sealed with his signet, 
besides iho$e agreed upon and settled by the articles of 
agreement and capitulation of the city of Granada, are the 
following : — 

[The first item is exactly the same as that in the capitulation for 
the surrender.] 

2. Item, It is agreed upon and settled that, on the day 
when the said Alhambra, etc., shall be surrendered to 
their Highnesses, they shall order the delivery to the said 
king, Muley Baaudili, of his son, who is in their High- 
nesses' power, and of his servants, male and female, except 
those who have become Christians. 

3. Item. It is agreed upon and settled that, when the 
said king, Muley Baaudili, shall have complied with the 
above-mentioned terms, their Highnesses shall make over 
to him, in right of inheritance forever, for himself, his 
children, their descendants, heirs, and successors, the 
towns and places in the districts of Verja, Dalia, Marxena, 
Bolloduf and Luchar, Andarax and Subilis, Uxixar, Orgiba, 
£1 Jubeyel, and Poqueyra, with the revenues and rents 
pertaining, in whatever manner, to their Highnesses in the 
said districts, places, etc., and whatever other things be- 
long to them in the said districts, inhabited or uninhabited ; 
so that they shall be the property of the said king, his 
children, descendants, heirs, and successors, in right of 
inheritance forever, to enjoy the said rents and revenues 
and tithes, and the magistracy of the said towns and places 
as their Lord (but always as loyal vassal and subject of 
their Highnesses, now and forever), so that no one may 
take them, but that they shall entirely belong to the said 
king ; and that he may sell, mortgage, improve, or destroy 


them in any way he pleases ; <m the eoThdiiion that, when 
he wishes to sell or alienate them, it shall first be inquired 
of their Highnesses whether they desire to purchase; 
and, if they do, they shall give whatever sum shall be 
agreed upon between their Highnesses and the said king ; 
and if their Highnesses shall not desire to purchase, he 
may sell to whomsoever and on whatsoever terms he 

Their Highnesses shall be at liberty to build and bold 
the fortress of Adra, and whatever other forts on the sea- 
coast wherever they may see fit. If their Highnesses see 
fit to construct the said fortress of Adra, on the sea, in 
the port of Adra, the said fortress of Adra shall belong 
to the said king, Muley Baaudili, after its construction 
and occupancy ; and in the construction and armament 
of said fortress, for the labor and expense of the work, 
and the occupancy and garrison of the plaee, the said king 
shall not be required to pay anything, but the entire 
revenue of the said districts and lands shall remain intact 
with the said king, Muley Baaudili. And if, affecting these 
grants, their Highnesses shall have granted to other per- 
sons similar grants, these latter shall not be valid, but are 
revoked by their Highnesses, as of none effect ; but their 
Highnesses will satisfy at their pleasure such persons as 
hold those grants or claims, which are hereby revoked. 
These grants, made by their Highnesses to the said king, 
shall be valid now and forever, according to the manner 
herein set forth, without embargo or contradiction. 

4. Item, Their Highnesses grant to the said king, 
Muley Baaudili, thirty thousand castellanos of gold, which 
amount to fourteen cuentos, fifty thousand maravedis^ 
which their Highnesses will direct to be paid, as soon as 
the Alhambra and the other ports of the city of Granada 
are surrendered, according to the terms of the treaty. 


5. Item, Their Highnesses grant also to the said king, 
Muley Baaudiliy all the inheritances and oil-mills and 
gardens {huericu) and lands and estates which the said 
king has held in possession from the time of King Muley 
Abulhacen, his father, that he may keep them within the 
limits of the city of Granada, as well as in the Alpuj arras, 
to pertain to him, his sons, descendants, heirs, and suc- 
cessors, by right of inheritance forever, to sell or dispose 
of, provided that they did not belong to the kings of 
Granada as kings, but as private holders. 

6. Item. Their Highnesses make the same grants to 
the queens, his mother and sisters, to the queen, his wife, 
and to the wife of Muley Bulnazar^ of all 'their gardens 
and lands and mills and baths and hereditaments which 
they hold within the limits of the said city of Granada 
and in the A'lpuj arras for them and their heirs and suc- 
cessors, by right of inheritance forever. And they may 
sell and bequeath and enjoy them according to the form 
and number of the hereditaments of the said king. 

7. Item, All the said property of the said king and 
the said queens, and of the wife of Muley Bulnazar, shall 
be free from all taxes and duties, now and forever. 

8. Item, There shall be given to the said kings and 
queens the plantations which they hold in Motril, and also 
there shall be given to Alhaje Komayne the plantation 
which he holds in the said Motril, to be protected forever, 
like the other above-mentioned grants. 

9. Item, From the signing of this instrument, any of 
the said towns and places which shall be given or delivered 
up to their Highnesses before the time of the surrender 
of the said Alhambra, shall be returned freely by their 
Highnesses to the said king, Muley Baaudili, and shall be 
properly treated by the said king. 

10. Item, Their Highnesses and their descendants for- 


ever shall not reqntre the return by the king of Granada 
or his servants of what they have taken in his time, from 
Christians or from Moors, personal property as well aa 
real estate ; and if any such property is already subject 
to any former agreement or capitulation made between 
their Highnesses and other persons, their Highnesses may 
at their pleasure pay the persons holding such claims. 
They order that no one, Christian or Moor, high or low, 
shall have any power over this act, under penalty of being 
punished by their Highnesses. No such question shall be 
adjudged by either Christian or Moorish law. 

11. Item, If the said king, Muley Baaudili, and the 
said queens, and the wife of Bulnazar, their children and 
descendants, their Alcaides, their children and wives, their 
knights, squires, and other persons, small and great, of 
their households, shall desire to leave the country, their 
Highnesses will order them to have passage now and 
hereafter at any time, that the said persons, male and 
female, may go abroad in two Genoese carracks, and shall 
order that these carracks shall be free from all freight and 
export-duties, and to take on board their persons and all 
their goods, clothing, and merchandise, gold, silver, jewels, 
mules, and arms (except fire-arms, great and small). Both 
in embarking and disembarking, their Highnesses will not 
demand duties and freight, but will order them to be taken 
securely and honorably and well treated to any port west 
of Alexandria, — to the city of Tunis or Gran, or to the 
ports of Fez, wheresoever they may desire to disembark. 

12. Item, If, at the time of their departure, the above- 
mentioned persons shall not be able to sell any of their 
property, they may leave it, and leave agents to take care 
of it, — to collect the rents, and to remit them freely to 
the places of their new residence, without any embargo. 

13. Item, If the said king, Muley Baaudili, should wish 


to send any of his servants or Alcaides abroad with mer- 
chandise, he may send them freely, without any scrutiny 
as to their going and returning. 

14. Item, The said king may send to any part of the 
kingdoms of their Highnesses six mule convoys for such 
things as are necessary for his maintenance and subsist- 
ence, which shall be free in all places where they procure 
and buy such provision ; and no duties shall be exacted 
in the said towns, cities, places, and gates. 

15. Item. When the said king, Muley Baaudili, shall 
leave the said city of Granada, he may take up his resi- 
dence wherever he pleases in the said lands granted by 
their Highnesses, and take with him his servants, Alcaides 
and councillors, judges and knights, and whoever may 
wish to go with him, with their horses and mules, and 
arms in their hands, if they wish, and also their wives 
and domestics, great and smalL Nothing shall be taken 
from them except fire-arms, which must be left with their 
Highnesses. Neither now nor at any time may they or 
their descendants place royal marks upon their robes ; but 
they shall profit by all the stipulations contained in tlfe 
capitulation of the said city of Granada. 

16. Item, Everything that has been agreed upon their 
Highnesses will make good to the said king, Muley 
Baaudili, and to the said queens, and to the wife of Muley 
Bulnazar, on the day that the said Alhambra and the forts 
shall be delivered up to their Highnesses, by their letters 
of privilege, signed and sealed with their leaden seal, at- 
tached by silken threads, and confirmed by the said Lord 
Prince Don Juan, their son, by the Most Reverend Cardinal 
of Spain, the Masters of Orders, the prelates, archbishops, 
and bishops, the grandees, marquises, and counts, the 
miUtary governors (addantados), and prothonotaries, as 
to everything herein contained, and also by the {^hiattu] 


king, Mul^ Baaudili, as well as the said queeiusy and 
whoever their Highuesses shall require to add their sig- 
natures and affirmations. 

We, the king and queen of Castile, Leon, Aragon, 
Sioilj, etc., by these presents promise, on our royal faith 
and word, to hold, guard, and fulfil everything contained 
in this capitulation, in what touches and is incumbent 
upon us, as regards places, terms, and dates, and according 
to the manner set forth in this capitulation ■— each thing 
and part without any fraud. And for security we set 
forth^s present ins^meut, signed with our Jaes. and 
sealed with our seal. Executed at our r^yal camp in the 
Vega of Granada, the 23d day of the month of Novem- 
ber, U91. 

I, THE Kmo. 

I, THE Queen. 

I, Fernando de Zafra, Secretary of the king and queen, 
our sovereigns, have caused this to be written by their 





Abbabibbs, EhaliiB of Ba^j^hdad, 
i. 17 ; the patrons of learning, 
ii. 280 ; destiotction of, 448. 

Abd-al Motalleb, paternal grand- 
father of Mohammed, i. 17. 

Abda-l-'ala, fourth son of Musa, 
i. 76 ; accompanies his father 
to Damascus, 850. 

Abdu-l-'aziz, the brother of Khalif 
Abdu-1-roalek, i. 62, 68; vice- 
roy of Africa, 62, 64 ; his death, 

Abdn-l-'aziz, second son of Musa, 
i. 69 ; recruits the besieging 
force at Merida, 814 ; quells 
the revolt at Seville, 819; 
makes Seville his head-cynarters, 
819, 346 ; his ex})edition into 
Mnrcia, 826-832 ; strengthens 
Granada and Malaga, 888 ; made 
Amir of all Spain, 346 ; a wise 
and enterprising military leader, 
867, 868; his equitable j^ov- 
emment, 868 ; charges agamst 
him based upon his marriage 
with Egilona, the widow of 
Roderik, 369, 370; reported 
that through his wife's influ- 
ence he was going over to Chris- 
tianity and aspiring to royalty, 
871, 872 ; envoys sent by the 
Khalif to slay him, 873 ; is 
slain at Eenisa-Rebina, and his 
head sent to the Khalif, 876, 
878 ; the dissatisfaction of the 
Spanish Moslemah at his death 
their first feeble step towards 
independence, 876, 877, 881, 

Abdullah, father of Mohammed, L 

Abdullah, oldest son of Musa, i 
69, 76; successful expedition 
against Sicily, 76. 

Aboullah, viceroy of Arabia proper 
and Africa, i 847. 

Abdullah, eldest son of Abdu-r- 
rahm4n, iL 156. 

Abdullah Athic, known as Aba 
Bekr, father-in-law of Moham- 
med, i. 89. 

Abdnllah-al-Ghafekf, his constan- 
cy to Abdu-l-'aziz, i874; pro- 
claimed Amir of Spain by the 
people, 887. 

Abdullah Ibn Khaled, adherent of 
Abdu-r-rahman, ii. 86. 

Abdullah Ibn Yasim, the colleague 
of Yiisuf Ibn Tashefin in found- 
ing the Almoravides, ii. 192. 

Abdu-1-malek, fourth Khalif of 
the Ommeyades, i 61 ; his 
death, 75. 

Abdu-l-malek placed in command 
of Western Africa, i. 847. 

Abdu-l-'abbas Abdulhih (the 
Blood-shedder), his plans of 
rebellion, ii. 64 ; proclaimed 
Khalif at Knfa, 67. 

Abdullah, brotherof Khalif Abdu- 
l-malek, accedes to the govern- 
ment of Egypt, i. 75. 

Abdullah Ibn Magbara, Wall of 
Egypt, ii. 66. 

Abdullah, commander of Abdn*-1- 
'abbas Abdullah's army, defeats 
Meruan at Turab, ii. 68. 

Abdullah As-sefah resolves on the 
extirpation of the Ommeyades, 
ii 73 ; the banquet of blood. 



75, 76 ; desecration of the tombs 
of the Ommeyan Khalifs, 77. 

Abdu-1-malek, fifth sou of Musa, 
i. 76 and note. 

Abdu-1-malek succeeds his father 
Al-mansur, as hajib, iL 185 ; 
gets the Khalif to nominate him 
as his successor, 185 ; is killed, 

Abdu-l-malek Ibn Omar, governor 
of Seville, defeats Ydsuf-al 
Fehri and disperses his army, 
\L 110. 

Abdu-l-malek Ibn Rattan Al Fehri 
appointed Amir of Spain, ii. 
83 ; discomfited in Gascony, 35 ; 
deposed, 35 ; again leads against 
the insurgents, 37 ; asks Balj 
to come with his Syrian troops 
to his assistance, 40 ; is cru- 
cified, 42. 

Abdu-1-mumen, military associate 
of El-Mahdi, iL 230 ; on the 
death of his colleague, declares 
himself emperor of the Almo- 
hades, 233 ; takes Oran, Fez, 
and Morocco, 233, 234 ; sends 
an anny into Spain, 234 ; as- 
sumes the title of Commander 
of the Faithful, 234 ; while pre- 
paring for his greatest invasion 
IS called by Allah to his ac- 
count, 235. 

Abdu-r-rahman, voungest son of 
Musa, i. 76 and note. 

Abdu-r-rahm4n al-Ghafeki, tem- 
porary Amir, i. 422 ; accedes to 
the Amirate of Spain, 427 ; his 
brilliant antecedents, 428 ; pre- 
pares to invade France, 429 ; 
enters France, 433 ; captures 
Bordeaux, 434 ; routs the army 
of Eudes, 434 ; advances to at- 
tack the Franks, 453 ; his army 
corrupted by the spoils, 454 ; 
defeated and slain at the battle 
of Tours, ii. 9. 

Abdu-r-rahmdn Ibn Habib, gov- 
ernor of Africa, ii. 66. 

Abdu-r-rahmdn Ibn Mu'awiyah 
(Ad-dak hel, or the Opener) pro- 

claimed Amir of Spain by the 
adherents of Meman, iL 56 ; his 
escape, 74 ; grandson of Khalif 
Hisnam, who designed him as 
his successor, 73, 74 and note ; 
swims with his infant son across 
the Euphrates, 79 ; his brother 
beheaded in his sight, 80 ; dan- 
ger in Egypt, 80 ; hairbreadth 
escapes in Barca, 80-82 ; arrives 
at Tahart, 83 ; makes secret 
preparations to enter Spain, 85 ; 
tidings of his cominf reach 
Spain, 87 ; the coupcQ of eighty, 
89-91 ; a deputation sent to 
him, 91, 92 ; his reception of 
the embassy, 92, 93 ; the Berber 
sheiks sympathize with and as- 
sist him, 93 ; lands in Andalua, 
and meets with an enthusiastic 
reception, 95*97 ; his banner 
a turban, 100, 101 ; battle of 
Musarah, 102-107 ; escapes the 
treachery of Abu-s-sabdh, 107 ; 
enters Cordova, 108 ; dread 
consignmoit to Khalif Al-man> 
sur, 113, 114 ; he prenares to in- 
vade the East, 114 ; his project 
thwarted by rebellions, 115 ; his 
troubles, 116, 117 ; his strength, 
116 ; creates a standing army, 
152 ; his labors in peace, 157, 
158 ; affection for his father- 
land, 158, 159 and note ; a^ 
preaches his end, 160 ; his 
success in uniting the hetero- 
geneous races of toe Peninsula, 
161 ; begins the construction of 
the mosque at Cordova, 161 ; 
his personality, 162 ; his kind- 
ness to the needy, 163 ; ingrati- 
tude to early friends, 163-165 ; 
declares his third son Hisbam 
his successor, 165 ; dies at Me- 
rida, 167 ; compared with Char- 
lemagne, 167-169 and notes. 

Abdu-F-i'ahmin, eldest son of 
Yiisuf al Fehri. beheaded, iL 

Abdu-r-rahman II., his successes 
in the Northern war, iL 175 ; 



receives an emlxusy from tbe 
emperor of the East, 176 ; adds 
two porches to the mosque at 
Cordova, 176. 

Abdu-r>rabindn III., the halcyon 
days of, iL 177 ; his magnifi- 
cent receT)tion of embassy from 
Constantmople, 177, 178 ; exe- 
cutes his rebellious son Ab- 
dullah, 178 ; the first of the 
Spanish Ommeyades to assume 
the title and insignia of Khali f, 
178 ; is styled " Commander of 
the Faithful," 178. 

Abu-'abdillah £drisi (al Sharif), 
his " Description of Spain," ii. 

Abo Abdillah Mohammed, his 
origin, ii. 289 ; interview with 
Abu Hamed Algazali at Bagh- 
dad, 229 ; determines to be- 
come the reformer of the Almo- 
ravides, 229 ; assumes the title 
and office of El Mahdit the con- 
ductor or guide, 230 ; takes 
with him Abdu-1-mumen as mil- 
itary leader, 230 ; at Morocco, 

231 ; makes Tinmal his tempo- 
rary capital, 231 ; his people 
called Elmaiudis or Almokcuiesy 
232 ; he and his Amir defeat 
Ali in three battles, 232 ; fails 
in his attempts to take Morocco, 

232 ; his project of invading 
Spain frustrated by death, 232. 

Abu AbdUlah Mohammed II., son 
and successor of Mohammed I., 
ii. 254 ; invokes assistance from 
the B^i Merines, 254 ; with 
their aid, he wrests several 
towns from the Christians, 
which are recaptured, 255 ; his 
death, 246. 

Abd Abdillah (Mohammed III.), 
Moorish king of Orauada, de- 
throned by his brother, ii. 526. 

Abu Bekr, Mohammed's first suc- 
cessor, i. 24, note, 44 ; efforts 
made by him to arrange the Ko- 
r4n, 24, note ; father of Ayesha, 
the favorite ¥rife of Mohammed, 

39 ; undertakes war against 
Syria, 44 ; his instructions to 
the army, 45, 46, 47 and note ; 
his death, 50. 

Abu Bekr, son of Ynsuf Al- 
Tashefin, dies at Morocco, ii. 

Abii Hamed Algazali, a Moslem 
philosopher, ii. 229,. 230. 

Abu Horaira, his admiration of 
Mohammed, i. 19. 

Abii Ja'far Al-mansur, Khalif, 
changes the seat of the Khalifats 
from Damascus to Baghdad, ii. 
112, 278. 

Abii-1-Aswad, son of Yiisuf al 
Fehri, escapes from prison at 
Toledo, u. 111. 

Abu-1-halyi, ii 356. 

Abii-l-hasan, king of Granada, 
takes Zahara, ii. 259 ; his suc- 
cess over the Christians, 263. 

Abu-1-hasdn Ibn Nasr, a poet of 
Granada, iL 351. 

Abii-l-kasim, historian, ii. 867 ; 
medical author, 389. 

Abu-1-Khattir Al Kelbi appointed 
Amir, ii. 44 ; he sets at liberty 
Tha'lebeh's ten thousand pris- 
oners, 44 ; his administration, 

Abii-l-Monder, author, ii. 367. 

Abu-1-Motref, physician, ii. 388. 

Abu-1-Wefah, Arabian mathema- 
tician, ii. 874. 

Abu Mohammed, medical writer, 
ii. 389. 

Abu Othman Obeydallah, adherent 
of Abdu-r-rahmdn, ii. 86. 

Abii-s-sabdh revolts and is put to 
death, ii. 116. 

Abu Sufyan, kinsman of Moham- 
med and his mortal foe, i. 39, 

Abu Taleb, uncle of Mohammed, 
and the most valiant champion 
of his doctrines, i. 17. 

Acre, port of Damascus, L 59. 

Adelard, his translation of Euclid, 
iL 374. 

-fitius, L 97, 101. 



Africa, divisions of northern coast, 
L 61. 

Al Abbas, uncle of Mohammed, 
and progenitor of the Abbasi- 
des, 1. 17 ; his house accedes to 
the Khalifate, 59. 

Al-aftlas, king of Badajos, his- 
torian, iL S66. 

Al-amin, the younger son of Ha- 
roun al Raschid, succeeds to the 
Khalifate, ii. 293 ; is dethroned 
by his elder but illegitimate 
brother, who succeeds him, 293. 

Alans, i. 87, 94, 98. 

Al auztf'ei, a Mohammedan phi- 
losopher, ii. 175. 

Alaric, the Goth, i. 93. 

Alarik II., king of the Goths, i. 
109 ; slain at the battle of Vou- 
lon, 112. 

Albi^enses, ii. 236, and note. 

Al-Biroum, minemlogist, ii. 387. 

Alcaldes, or Alkaides, i. 368. 

Alexandrian Library, destruction 
of, i. 62. 

Alfonso I., king of Astnrias, i. 

Alfonso YL, king of Castile, his 
embassy to the Moorish king of 
Seville, ii. 195, 196, and note ; 
is defeated and mortally wound- 
ed in the battle of Zalacca, 198, 

Alfonso YL, ii. 208 ; whispers 
that he was privy to his brother 
Sancho's murder, 210 ; takes 
the title of £mperor of all Spain, 

Alfonso YIII., king of Castile, ii. 
236 ; the army with which he 
confronts the Moors, 239 ; takes 
Calatrava, 239 ; reinforced by 
the king of Navarre, 240 ; cap- 
tures Castro Ferral, 240 ; his 
forces led by a shepherd round 
the pass of Losa into the Navas 
de Tolosa, 241 ; defeats the 
Moslemah, inflicting upon them 
their death -wound, at the Navas 
de Tolosa, 243-247 ; his death, 

Alfonso X. (el Sabio), his astro* 
nomical tables, iL 377. 

Algarbe, i. 98. 

Algebra and the Arabians, iL 371, 

Algeciras, L 164, and note. 

Al-Ghazali, Arabian metaphysi- 
cian, iL 359, 360. 

Al-habab Az-zahri, the leader of a 
rebellion against Yiisuf al-Fehri, 
u. 53. 

Al-hakem I. succeeds Hisham I., 
ii. 175 ; his uncle's revolt against 
him without sacoess, 175 ; his 
wars with Iiouis, son of Charle> 
magne, 175 ; splendor of his 
court, 175. 

Al'hakem II., pomp of his acces- 
sion, iL 179 ; is visited by the 
Christian king Ordo&o iV. of 
Galicia, 179 ; his splendid libra- 
ry, 180, 435-437 ; an enthusias- 
tic student and annotator, 437 ; 
destruction of books by Al- 
mansur, 436 ; his library broken 
up, scattered, and sold, 437. 

Alhama, description o( ii. 259, 

Alhambra, the description of, iu 
422-429 ; its philosophic teach- 
ings, 430. 

Al Hasan, of Granada (Leo Afri- 
canus), his travels, ii. 382. 

Al Haytham Ibn Obeid Al-EeUU 
appointed Amir, L 426 ; is de- 
posed for cruelty, 427. 

Al Hazen, Arabian physicist, iu 
391, note. 

Al Hy4ri, Arabian geographer, 
u. 882. 

Al Kamah, general of the Moslem 
force at the battle of Covadonga, 
i. 406. 

Al Horr Ibn Abdi-r-rahm&n-Al- 
Thafeki succeeds to the Amirate 
of Spain, L 388 ; his cruelty and 
avarice, 389 ; Ls deposed, 389. 

Al-huseyn Ibn Yahva, Wali of 
Saragossa, his treachery, ii. II99 
120 ; his rebellion quelled b^ 
Abdu-r-rahmdn, iL 151. 



AH, aon-in-law of Mohammed, i. 
17 ; zeal for Mohammed, 87 ; 
personates the prophet^ . 38 ; 
elected Ehallf, 65 ; soldier, 
statesman, and philosopher, 56, 
and note ; assassinated, 56 ; the 
first of a dynasty, 57. 

AH, king of Morocco, ii. 231-283, 

Ali, son and successor of Yusuf al 
Tashefin, u. 202. 

Ali 'Atar, the Taliant defender of 
Loja, ii. 263. 

Al-kadir Yahya placed hy Alfonso 
YI. upon the tributary throne 
of Yalencia, ii 218 ; is slain by 
Ibn Yehaf, 228. 

Al-krazraji, of Cordova, historian, 
ii. 366. 

Al-m&miin, natural son of Ha- 
ronn al Raschid, dethrones his 
brother Al-amin and succeeds 
to the Khalifate, ii. 298 ; en- 
courages every branch of science, 
literature, and art, 293, 294; 
measures a degree of latitude 
and the angle of the ecliptic, 
294 ; suspected of infidelity, 294. 

Al-mdmtin, Idris, last Khalif of 
the Almohades in the Penin- 
sula, ii. 285, 250. 

Al-mausur makes Baghdad a cen- 
tre of leaniing, ii. 282 ; an eager 
student and apt scholar, 284; 
he dies on a pilgrimage, 284 
and note ; story of his display, 
804, 805. 

Almohades, the, ii. 228 ; masters 
of Moslem Spain, 284. 

Al-Montarem, poet and Khalif of 
Andalus, ii. 251, 253. 

Al-moravides, philosophy of their 
rise and progress, li. 191, 192; 
monks, ''wearers of the veil," 
as well as warriors, 192 ; had 
four commanders in Spain, 
whose dominion extended over 
a period of fifty-five years, 192 ; 
destroyed root and branch, 284. 

Al-motassem, third son of Haroun 
al Baschld accedes to the Khalif- 

ate, ii. 295 ; with his reign dates 
the decline of learning in the 
East, 295. 

Al-motawakkel, a degenerate suc- 
cessor of Haroun al Baachid, iL 
295 ; persecutes the Jews and 
Christians in the interests of 
Islim, 295. 

Al-Mugheyrah, uncle of Hisham 
II., put to death for rebellion^ 
ii. 181. 

Al-Muktedir, Khalif, put to death, 
ii 178. 

Al-mu' temed, king of Seville, ii 
194-197 ; dies m Africa, the 
captive of Yiisuf, 200 and note, 

Alon6bl, Arabian geographer, ii. 

Alonzo the Wise, author of "£1 
Llanto de Espafia," i. 893. 

''Altabizaren Cantua," ii 143, 
146, 147, note. 

Al Walid succeeds his father Ab« 
du-1-malek as Khalif, i. 75. 

Al- Walid, Khalif at Damascus, i. 

Amadeus, ii. 449. 

Amalarik, king of the Goths, i 

Amina, mother of Mohammed, i. 

Amiot, missionary to China, ii. 

Amir of Spain, how appointed, i 

Amirs, first appointment of, ii 
58; provisional appointed by 
the Aloslem troops, 416. 

Amru Ibn Al-As, Omar's lieuten- 
ant in command of the Egyptian 
army, i 50. 

Amurath I., 11. 444. 

Anbassah Ibn Sohaym Al-Kelbi 
appointed Amir, i. 422 ; his in- 
ternal administration, 428 ; takes 
Carcassone 1^ storm, 423; his 
successes in Provence, 423 ; his 
death, 424. 

Apollonius, of Per^ ii 374. 

Arabia, ite age of ignorance, i 4 ; 



design of Alexander the Great 
regarding it, 5 ; its geography 
and independence, 5. 

Arabians, their motive in conqnest 
of Spain, i. 1 ; their doable ori- 
gin, 8 ; mingling of the two 
streams, 4 ; how affected by the 
teaching of Mohammed, 4 ; their 
language and poetry, 6 ; division 
into tribes, 6 ; hospitality, 6 ; 
town-people and tent-people, 7 ; 
food and physique, 8 ; skilful in 
use of martial weapons, 8 ; men- 
tal gifts, 8 ; their pallaidium, 
10 ; early religion, 11 ; lapsed 
into idolatry, 11 ; their lares and 
penaUs, 12 ; barbarous treat- 
ment of women, 18 ; their relig- 
ious creed tinctured with Juda- 
ism, 14 ; Christianity not un- 
known or inoperative among 
them, 14 ; how far iniluenced 
by Magiau tenets, 15 ; their 
western movements, 60, 62 ; 
overrun Persia, 60 ; take Cairo, 
50 ; the license allowed by them 
to poets and narrators, 51, note ; 
they reopen in six months the 
canal between the Nile and the 
Bed Sea, 51, 52 ; strifes between 
and Berbers, 425, 426; their 
metaphysics, ii. 357-363. 

Arabic language, the, ii. 884-344 ; 
kindred languages, the Hebrew 
and Aramaic, 335, 836 ; found 
in the Himyaritic inscriptions, 
886 ; written characters, 886 ; 
early poetry, 837 ; written lan- 
guage, 839 and note ; writing, 
889 ; changes in the spoken lan- 
guage, 840, 841 ; the modem 
Arabic of Algiers, 841. 

Arab-Moors, generic name of the 
Mauri or Moors after their com- 
bination with the Arabs, i. 78 ; 
their readiness for the invasion 
of Spain, 79-81 ; prepare £uro|>e 
for the revival of literature, li. 
439-441 ; effect of culture upon, 
441, 442 ; their downfall nas- 
teaed by segi'egation, 443 ; rele- 

gated to Africa, 443 ; lessons of 
their history, 446 ; historic jus- 
tice to "my neighbor," 447. 

Arabs, Spanish, tneir moral and 
mental development, ii 275 ; 
their civilization reached its 
culminating point in the reign 
of Alhakem II., 276 ; their as- 
pirations, 277 ; story-tellings 
354, 355 ; memory, 855 ; musiCy 

Architecture, Spanish Arabian, iL 
401-421 ; art periods, 407-410 ; 
principal features, 410, 411. 

Aristocracy, Gothic and Prankish, 
i. 119, 120. 

Arts and manufactures, Arab, iL 
897-400 ; steds and plants, 397 ; 
leather, 898 ; knives and swords, 
898 ; silk, 398, 899 ; glass, 899 ; 
jewdry, 400. 

Assamah succeeds Al Horr in tbe 
Amirate, i. 417 ; captures Kar- 
bonne, 418 ; defeated and slain 
at the battle of Toulouse, 420 ; 
was a brave soldier and able 
adminbtrator, 422. 

As-samil, leader of a conspiracy 
against Abu-1-Khattar, iL 46- 
48 ; double-dealing of, 87, 88 ; 
arrested and slain at Toledo, 
110, 111. 

Astrology, Arabian, ii. 878-880. 

Astronomy, Arabian knowledge o( 
ii. 875-378. 

Asturias, principality of the, L 

Ataulpho, Gothic chief, i. 94. 

Athalarik, king of lUly, i. 118. 

Athanagild, a chief of the fugitive 
Christians, L 896. 

Athanagild usurps the Gothic 
throne, i. 115 ; his daughters 
and their marriages, 115-118. 

Attila, the Scoui^ of God, i. 101 
and note ; defeated at Chalons, 

Avenzoar, medical author, iL 889. 

Averroes, Spanish Arabian meta- 
physician, ii. 860-863 ; his 
abridgment of the Al-magest^ 




378 ; a volaminous medical au- 
thor, 390. 

AvicenDa, Arabian metaphysician, 
ii. 358, 359 ; his treatise on al- 
chemy, 384 ; a distin^ruished 
medical author, 390. 

Ayesha, a wife of Mohammed, i. 
39 ; raises an army to oppose 
Ali, i. 55. 

Ayub, nephew of Musa, appointed 
lieutenant of Abdu-1-aziz in 
Spain, i 346 ; joins the con- 
spiracy to slay Abdu-l-'aziz, 
374 ; temporary Amir of Spain, 
B87 ; a pnident and success- 
ful governor, 388 ; transfers the 
seat of government from Seville 
to Cordova, 388 ; is superseded 
after ruling six months, 388. 

Ayi\b of Emesa, his proposition in 
the council of eignty, ii. 90. 

Az-zagal (Kl Zagat) contests the 
throne of Granada with his 
nephew, Boabdil, and reigns for 
four years, ii. 264 ; embarks for 
Africa, 265 ; fights in the 
Christian ranks at the siege of 
Granada, 265. 

Az-zharkal, astronomer, ii. 377. 


Backtisghah, George, his Ara- 
bic versions of medical works, 
ii. 283. 

Baghdad, its trade with Damas- 
cus, i. 59. 

Bajazet {Tlderim), ii. 444. 

BalaU Ludheric, the, ii 157. 

Balboa, ii. 445. 

Balearic Islands, taken by the 
Christians, ii. 252. 

Balj Ibn Beshr Al-Kusheyrf, Ara- 
bian general in Africa, iL 39 ; 
chosen Amir bv a party of mal- 
contents, 41 ; slain in liattle, 42. 

Barbary revolts from Obah, i. 61. 

Barmecides, the powerful auxil- 
iaries and rivals of Haroun al 
Baschid in his \forks of social 

VOL. II. 31 

amelioration, ii. 286 ; are pro- 
scribed by Haroun al Baschid, 

Basques, i. 94, note. 

Bedr, mauli of Abdu-r-i-ahmdn 1., 
his negotiations in Spain on ac- 
count of his master, ii. 86. 

Beirut, port of Damascus, i. 59. 

Bekr Ibn Hamad El Taharti, 
African poet, ii. 351. 

Belisarius, i. 98. 

Beni Hammud, Ali and Al-kas- 
sim, Khalifs, ii. .] 88 ; perish by 
the hand of the assassin, 188. 

Beni Merines, ii. 249, 251, 255. 

Beni Nasr, rise of, ii. 252. 

Berbers, theirorigin, i. 70 ; change 
of rulers, 71 ; ready amalgama- 
tion with the Arabs, 71, 72. 

Betica, i. 98. 

Bizacene, division of Northern 
Africa, i. 61. 

Blood, prejudice of, el sangre azul, 
ii. 331. 

Boabdil el Chico. See Mohammed 

Boccaccio, his Decameron, ii. 353 
and note. 

Boniface, Count, i. 97. 

Braga, it« Roman origin, i. 84. 


Cadiz, Marqais of, captures Al- 
hama, ii. 260, 261 and note. 

Cahina, queen of Barbary, i. 61. 

Cairo, the ancient Memphis, i. 50 ; 
taken by Amru, 50 ; the cap- 
ital of the Fatimite Khalifs of 
Egypt, 50 and note. 

Cangas de Onis, the rendezvous of 
the band of Pelayo, i. 403. 

Cardan, Italian algebraist, ii. 871. 

Carrion, Infants or Counts of, 
married to the Cid's daughters, 
ii. 212. 

Carthage, ruins of, i. 60, 61. 

Casiri, collection of, i. 330, note, 
ii. 867. 

Celtiberians, L 94. 



Ceuta, or Septa, stronghold on the 
Moorish side of the Strait of 
Gibraltar, i. 79. 

Champs de Mai, ii. 120. 

Charlemagne, his vast projects, 
ii. 118, 119 ; his policy, 122, 
128 and note ; his inducements 
to invade Spain, 124 and notes, 
125 ; preparations for the in- 
vasion, 125 ; goes through the 
pass of Roncesvalles into Spain, 
li. 127 ; his disappointment on 
reaching Saragossa, 129, 181 ; 
failure of his'expedition, ii. 181. 

Charles Martel, hostile relations 
with Count Eudes, i. 422 ; his 
policy and campaiji^s previous 
to encountering the Moslems, 
447-461 ; the peraonnel of his 
army, 452 ; unites with Eudes, 
452 ; his great victory over the 
Moslemah in Touraine, ii. 1-14 ; 
his brilliant exploits, 16 ; his 
true greatness, 16 ; his deatii, 

Chaucer, ii. 858 ; prominence 
given by to Arabian physicians, 

Chemistry, Arabian, ii. 882-384. 

Childebert, king of Paris, i. 114; 
in conjunction with Clothaire, 
he invades Spain, 114; his 
sieffe of Saragossa, 114, 115. 

Chinuasuinto, king of the Goths, 
i. 139. 

Chlodowig or Clovis, chief of the 
Salian Franks, i. 109 ; natural 
son of Childerik, 110 ; extends 
his territory to the Loire, 110 ; 
his invocation of Christ at the 
battle of Tolbiac, 111, note ; 
embraces Christianity, 111 ; de- 
feats the Gothic army at Youlon, 
112; his death, 112. 

Cid, The. See Kodrigo Diaz. 

Clothilde, wife of Clovis, L 111. 

Columbus, iL 445. 

Compass, mariner's, Arabs first 
inventors of, ii. 896. 

Coud^, his translation of the work 
of Al Sharif, u. 382. 

Conquest of Spain by the Arab- 
Moors, true date of, iL 170, 
171 ; considerations to which it 
^ves rise, 172 ; distinct periods 
in the history, 172, 173 ; causes 
of the, 181. 

Constanta, dauffhter of the Moor^ 
ish king of &ville and wife of 
Alfonso VI., u. 215. 216. 

Copts, the best types of the ancient 
Egyptians, L 52 ; their dislike 
of European hierarchs, 52. 

Cordova, its glories, ii. 298, 300 ; 
how. estimated by the Spanish 
Arabs, 300 ; its palaces, 801 ; 
the splendors of the suburban 
Az-zanrd, 801-808 ; its numer- 
ous buildings, 806, 807 ; sweet- 
scented air, 807. 

Covadonga, the cave of, the head- 
quarters of Pelayo, i 405 ; the 
battle of, 407-409 and notes. 

" Cronica del Cid," iL 204, 205, 


Damascus, the oldest and most 
beautiful city in the world, L 
45 ; scat of the Khalifate, 58 ; 
an earthly paradise, 58, 59 ; its 
antiquity, 58, note ; advantage, 
59 ; peopled by warriors, iL 

Diophantus, the Alexandrian, iL 

Don Pedro, Infante of Castile, 
defeated by the Moors in the 
battle of Elvira, ii. 257. 

Dozy, "Dictionnaire de VStements 

_ et Costumes," u. 317, 318. 


Eastern Empire, decUne of, i. 
487, 438. 

Eggihard, major-domo of Charle- 
magne, slain in the pass of 
Roncesvalles, ii. 138 and note. 




Efiica, king of the Groths, i. 145 ; 

nis casuistiy, 146. 
E^pt, Khedive of, set aside the 

Kordn as a judicud code, ii. 

279, note. 
EHvira, daughter of Fernando I., 

ii. 208. 
Elvira, daughter of the Cid, ii. 

211 212. 
Elvira, hattle of, ii 257. 
England, condition and prospects 

of in the eighth century, L 4S9, 

Ervigio, king of the Goths, his 

stratagem, L 148 ; his policy, 

Euclid, ii 873. 
Eudes conquers the Moslemah at 

the hattle of Toulouse, i 420. 
Eurik, king of the Goths, L 107 ; 

he suhdues Gaul, 107 ; subju- 
gates Spain, 108 ; extent of his 

empire, 108. 
Europe, condition of in the eighth 

century, i. 436-455. 
Exilona, wife of Don Roderik, 

i. 160, 161 and note ; makes 

Cordova the capital, 161. 


Favila, son and successor of Pe- 
layo, i. 412. 

Fehr, ancestor of Mohammed, L 
16 and note. 

Fernando 1. the first to give a 
great Christian preponderance 
in the Peninsula, ii. 206, 207 ; 
his death, 207. 

Ferdinand III., king of Castile, 
captures Cordova and Almeria 
from the Moslemah, ii. 253. 

Ferdinand, king of Aragon, ii. 
259 ; his general, the Marquis 
of Cadiz, captures Alhama, 260, 
261 and note ; captures Mala^ 
Braza, and Almeria, 264 ; be- 
sieges Granada, 266, 268 ; takes 
Granada by capitulation, 268- 

Ferro, Scipion, Italian algebraist, 
u. 371. 

Filioque, a bone of theological 
contention, i. 129, 130. 

Fiore, Antonio, Italian algebra- 
ist, ii. 371. 

Florinda, la Cava, daughter of 
Count Ilyan, i. 182 ; maid of 
honor at court of Roderik, 196 ; 
her ruin, 197 ; appeals to her 
father, 198 ; «^ bafio de la Cava, 
198 ; to pueria de la Cava, 199. 

Fontevrault, ii. 2. 

Ford's **thief of antiquity," ii. 

Frankish dominion, divisions of, 
i. 442, 443. 

Fredegonda, her wiles, i. 118. 

Friday, Yawn Al Joma, i 2 and 


GALiOfA, i. 98. 

Gallo- Romans, ihit people, i. 119, 

Garcia, son of Fernando I., ii. 208. 

Gaudiosa, wife of Pelavo, i. 412. 

Gayangos, Don Pascual de, ii. 368. 

Geber, Arabian chemist, his works, 
ii. 288, 284. 

Genserik, chief of the Yandals, 
i. 97 ; invades Africa, 97 ; pil- 
lages Rome, 102. 

GeoCTsphy, Arabian, ii. 881. 

Ghedhi Ibn Zeyyaii quells the re- 
bellion of Munuza, i. 431, 432. 

Gibbon, his errors regarding the 
battle of Tours, ii. 20-32. 

Gibraltar, geography of strait, 
L 162, 163 ; the Rock, 164. 

Gioja, Flavio, ii. 396. 

Gbthe and astrology, ii. 379 and 

Gomez, Coxmt, slain by the Cid, 
ii. 207. 

Gossweller, Emil, his portraiture 
of Uaroun al Raschid, ii. 292, 

I Gothic Kingdom, degenerate con- 
dition of, prior to the invasion, 



.i. 159 ; chnrcli and state, 168, 

Goths occupy Spain for three cen- 
turies, i. 82; their invasion of 
the Roman £mpire, 90, 91 ; su- 
periority to the other North- 
em nations, 91 ; Arian Chris- 
tians, 92 ; their warriors, 93, 
94 ; make their way into Aqui- 
tania, 94 ; allies of the Roman 
Empire, 95 ; extent of their 
dominion, 96 ; their empire in 
Gaul and Spain, 100 ; their 
civilization, 133-135 and note ; 
their decline, 135 ; connection 
of church with secular affairs, 
169 ; composition of their eccle- 
siastical councils, 170, 171 ; 
codes of civil law, 172-174 ; 
criminal punishments, 175, 176 ; 
their protection of navigation 
and the useful arts, 176 ; feu- 
dalism, 176 ; intellectual devel- 
opment, 177 ; historiaus, 177, 
178 ; medical art, 178, 179 ; art 
and manufactures, 179, 180 ; 
weakness of, in Africa, 189 ; 
children of grandees brought up 
at court, 195, 196. 

Government of the Moslemah, ii. 
319-333 ; the Khalif supreiAe, 
but subject to the Koran and 
Sunneh, 320; the Khalifate at 
first elective, 321 ; Ulemcu, or 
wise men, consisted of I mams. 
Muftis and Ehadis, 321 ; Wizirs, 

321, 322 ; Nayib and Haiib, 

322, 323 ; Eatibs or secretaries, 

323, 324 ; sdhibu-l-ashgal (mas- 
ter of tlie occupations), 324 ; 
Kadis, the scope of their powers, 

324, 325 ; two tribunals, — the 
great and the small skortah, 324, 
325 ; punishments of crime, 

325, 326 ; the army and the 
throne, 326, 327 ; qualifications 
for office, 833. 

Granada, new kingdom of, ii. 250- 

Granada, cathedral of, ii. 431, 432. 
Greek fire, ii. 894, 895. I 

Guadalete, L battle of, 253-280 ; 
Medina Sidonia prohfible site of 
the battle, 250; the Gothic 
army, 253, 254 ; the Moslem 
host, 255 ; the battle in array, 
257-259 ; the Christians have 
the advantage on the first day 
of the battle, 261 ; Roderik's 
address to his troops, 259 ; Ta- 
rik's fiery harangue, 262-264 ; 
rumor of Roderik's death, 265 ; 
the shock of battle and the rout 
of the Christians, 266 ; esti- 
mated loss on both sides, 267- 
269 ; Tarik's* despatch to Musa, 
269 ; the philosophy of the sit- 
uation, 275-277 ; the prestige 
of the Moslems, 277 ; parallel 
between the conquest of Eng- 
land and that of Spain, 278-280 
and note. 

Guizot, his estimate of the strug- 
gle between the Franks and 
Arabs at Tours, ii. 32. 

Gunpowder, its discovery, ii. 393, 
394 ; early use of, in war by the 
Arabs, 394. 

Guzman, Don Alfonso de, governor 
of Tarifa, ii. 255, 256. 


Habib Ibn Abi Obbtdah Al- 
Fehri, a Moslem general, i. 
368 and note ; succeeds to the 
command of Tank's army, 346 ; 
commissioned by Suleyman to 
slay Abdu-l-'aziz, 373. 

Hafila, a rebel against Abdu-r- 
rahman, capturra and slain, n. 

Hafsa, one of the wives of Mo- 
hammed, left in charge of the 
Kordn, i. 24, note. 

Halaja, Martin, shepherd who led 
the Christian army into the 
Naves de Tolosa, ii. 241. 

Hallam on the primitive manufac- 
ture of paper, ii. 396 and note. 

Haro, Lopez de, led the van of 



Alfonso*8 army in the battle of 
Navas de Tolosa, ii. 239. 

Haroun al Raschid, general of Al- 
Mahdi, U. 284 ; Eis successes, 
284 ; succeeds bis cousin in the 
Khalifate, 284 ; the hero of 
"The Arabian Nights," 284; 
made Baghdad the capital of 
the world, 286 ; bold in concep- 
tion, like lightning in execu- 
tion, 286 ; warmly espoused 
the cause of science and general 
culture, 286 ; everywhere es- 
tablished mosques, academies, 
and colleges, 287 ; correspond- 
ence with his contemporary 
Charlemagne, 287 ; presents 
to Charlemagne, 287-289 and 
notes ; gives to the Christians 
free access to the ** holy places," 
290 ; his cruelty towards the 
Barmecides, 291, 292 and notes. 

Harran, place of Arab pilgrimage 
and sacrifice, i. 13. 

Hashem, one of the principal fami- 
lies of the Koreish, from whom 
Mohammed was descended, i. 

Hassan, son of All, and sixth 
Khalif, i. 57 and note ; Moslem 
governor in Africa, 61 ; deposed, 
62, 64. 

Hayyit Ibn Mulabis Al-hadhrami 
reoels against Abdu-r-rahrodn 
and is slain, ii. 116. 

Heraclius, Eastern emperor, his 
superstition, i. 137. 

Hennanrik, king of the Suevi, i. 

Hermengild, his martyrdom, i. 

Hyra, el, i. 2 ; its momentous con- 
sequences, 3 ; significance, 38. 

Hildegarde, wife of Charlemagne, 
iL 127, 189. 

Hilperik and Galesuinda, i. 117. 

Hisham I. succeeds his father 
Abdn-r-rahman I., ii. 174 ; justi- 
fies his father's choice, 174. 

Hisham II., a "sluggish king," 
ii. 181. 

Hispano- Romans, L 94. 
Historical writings of the Spanish 

Arabians, ii. 365-368. 
Hodheyfah Al Kaysi, Amir of 

Spain, i. 426. 
Honorius, Roman Emperor, i. 95, 

Horse, Arabian, i. 36, 37 and note. 
Hosein, youngest son of AH, i. 57. 
Houlahou captures Baghdad, ii. 

Huns, their peculiar mission, i. 87. 


Ibk Al-Akabi, at Paderbom, ii. 
122 and note. 

Ibn Amru, Amir of the Sea, ii. 
52 ; ' the office suppressed, 62 ; 
he receives the government of 
Seville, 52. 

Ibn Fimas, physician and invent- 
or, ii. 399, 400. 

Ibn Kadis, ii. 245. 

Ibn Moklah, his kalligraphy, ii. 

Ibn Mughith, Wall of East Africa, 
invades Spain with a large force, 
at the command of the Khalif, 
ii. 112 ; is defeated and slain by 
Abdu-r-rahmin I., 113. 

Ibn Masa Ibn Geber Al Batani, 
Arabian mathematician, ii. 374. 

Ibn Hud, his ambition and assas- 
sination, ii. 251. 

Ibn Sali. Wali of Egypt, iL 66. 

Ibuu Ghalib, iL 380. 

Ibnu-1-ahniar (Mohammed I.), iL 
252 ; declares himself Snltan of 
Andalus, 253 ; makes his entry 
into Granada, 253 ; his alliance 
with the Christians, 254 ; dis- 
solves the alliance, 254 ; his 
additions to the Alhambra and 
other works, 255 ; his death, 

Ibrahim, his doubtful tenure of 
the Khalifate, iL 63 ; defeated 
and deposed by Meruan, 63 ; 
dies in the battle of Turab, 68. 



Ibrahim, grandson of Khalif Hi- 
sham, skiin by Abdullah As^sef- 
fah, ii. 7S. 

Ilyan, governor of Ceuta, i. 182 ; 
the mail of a party, 184 ; his mo- 
tives for favoring the invasion, 
185, 192, 193, 1% ; personality, 
185, 186 ; how noticed by the 
chroniclers, 186 ; by Arabian 
historians, 187 ; uncertain na- 
tionality, 187 ; indignation on 
receiving Florinda's letter dis- 
closing ner ruin, 199 ; his un- 
expected appearance at Toledo, 
199, 200 ; liis insidious advice 
to Roderik, 209, 210 ; his secret 
alliance with Musa, 210, 211 ; 
further consideration of his con- 
duct, 222-226 and note ; his re- 
connoissance, 231. 

Innocent III., Pope, preaches a 
crusade against the Moslemah 
in the Peninsula, ii. 236, 287. 

Irving, Washington, his "Con- 
quest of Granada," iL 251 and 

Inquisition, origin of, ii. 236 ; 
baleful effects, 448. 

Isabella of Castile, her marriage 
with Ferdinand, king of Ara- 
gon, ii. 259 ; celebrates the 
marriage of the Infanta Isabel 
with the crown prince of Portu- 
gal, 266 ; at the siege of Gra- 
nada, 267, 268. ^ 

Isabella II., ii. 449. 

IslAm, the creed of Mohammed, i. 
22 ; set forth in the Kordn, 22, 
28 ; combined the systems of 
religion already existing in Ara- 
bia in a harmonious and logical 
system, 23 ; great and perme- 
ating doctrine, the unity and 
personality of God, 23, 25 ; not 
the work of a scholar, but a 
thinker, 24 ; how taught by its 
founder, 24 ; word IsUim means 
"self-devotion" or "resigna- 
tion to God," 24, 25 ; antiquity 
claimed for it by Mohammed, 
25 ; consists of two parts, 25 ; 

six articles of faith, 25; de- 
nounces idolatry, 26 ; opposed 
the Christian doctrine of the 
Trinity, 26 ; belief in angels, 
27 ; kblis, the devil, whose 
name means "despair,'* 27 and 
note ; genii, 27 ; predestination, 
27, 28 ; Allah himself subject 
to fate, 30 and note ; rewards 
and punishments in a future 
state, 30, 31 ; prayer (Es-saleh), 
81, 32 and note ; alms-giving, 

32, 33 ; fasting (Es-siy&m), 33 ; 
pilgrimage (El-hajjj) ; promo- 
tion of commerce by pilgrimage, 
33 and note ; things forbidden, 

33, 34 ; circumcision, 34 ; pros- 

Eects at the inception of Mo- 
ammedanismof its success, 35 ; 
its transforming effects on the 
Arabs, 35, 36, 37 ; religions ob- 
servances, 73, 74; perennial 
power of, ii. 443. 

Is'mail usurps the throne of Gra- 
nada, is deposed and put to 
death, ii 257, 258. 

Isma'il Abii-1- Waled, king of Gra- 
nada, ii. 256. 

Italy, condition of, in the eighth 
century, i. 438, 439. 

Iberians, i. 94. 


Jafar, chief of the Barmecides, 
killed by order of the Khalif, iL 

Jaime, king of Aragon, captures 
Valencia, ii. 252. 

Jews, their attitude in regard to 
the invasion of the Peninsula, 
i. 203, 204 ; how and when 
they came to Spain, 204 ; their 
persecution in Spain, 205 and 
note ; how oppressed by ecclesi- 
astical decrees, 205, 206 ; how 
regarded by tlie Arab-Moors, 
207, 208 ; their importance in 
the struggle between the Mos- 
lems and Christians, 208. 

Justinian, the policy of, 1. 437. 




Kaabah, the, i. 10. 

Kadijah, a w^e of Mohammed, i 

Kaled Ibn Al Walid gains the 
title of •* The Sword of God," i. 

Kasim (third son of Ydsuf al 
Fehri), present at the assembly 
at Paderborn, ii. 122 ; joins in 
his brother Mohammed's re- 
bellion against Abdu-r-rahm&n 
I., 154 ; he is captured, par- 
doned, and taken into favor by 
Abdn-r-rahman, 155, 156. 

Eelab, ancestor of Mohammed, i. 

Kenisa-Rebina, site of a mosque 
built by Abdu-l-'asiz, where he 
was slain, i. 375, 376. 

Ehalifate, rival claimants for on 
the death of Mohammed, i 43, 
44 ; etfect of this rivalry on the 
Moslem world, 44 ; Khalif ap- 
pointed by six electors, 43 ; 
power of the Khalif, ii. 819, 

Khattar, Abd-l-, taken prisoner 
by the rebels under As-samil, 
IL 48 ; is released, 48 ; deposed, 
49 ; fate uncertain, 49. 

Eolthum, Al-Kusheyri, governor 
of Africa, ii 38-40. 

Korin, its contents, 1. 22-84, and 
not4» ; opening formula of every 
chapter save one, — Bismillah, 
24 and note ; how left by Mo- 
hammed, 24, note ; augmented 
and reduced to system by his 
successors, 24 and note ; word 
Kordn defined, 28 ; affirmations 
concerning Christ, 22 and note ; 
a means of intellectual develop- 
ment, iL 279 ; retained as a 
practical code of civil law into 
the nineteenth century, 279, 
note ; its safety due to the de- 
cline of learning in the East, 
294, 295 ; law and gospel in all 
Mohammedan countries, 820 ; 

Khalif amenahle to its decrees^ 
832, 883. 
Koreish, the most elevated of the 
Arab tribes, i. 10 ; guardians of 
the Kaaba, 10 ; the tribe of Mo- 
hammed, 16 ; the chief oppo- 
nents of the prophet on nis 
announcing his religion, 38. 


Lainrz, Diroo, father of the Cid, 
ii. 206. 

Lampegia, the Fair, also called 
Menina and Numerancia, the 
daughter of Count Eudes, and 
wife of Munuza, i. 430 and 
note ; sent to the Khalif, 433. 

Lara, Alvar Nu&ez, Spanish cava- 
lier, first to break into the 
Moorish king's camp at the 
Navas de Tolosa, ii. 245. 

Lara, Nufio de, routed by the 
Moslemah, ii. 256. 

La Vendee, ii. 2 and note. 

Legends, their importance, i. 212 ; 
that of the Grecian king and 
his wise daughter, 212-216 ; 
that of Don l^lerick and the 
enchanted cavern, 216-221. 

Leon, Ponce de, ii. 445. 

Leovigild, king of the Goths, i. 
121 ; imperial aspirations, 122 ; 
convenes the Council of Toledo, 
128 ; embraces Catholicism, 125. 

Litorius, i. 101. 

Liuva I., king of the Goths, i. 121. 

Liuva II., L 136 ; his persecution 
of the Jews, 137. 

Louis le Debonnaire, birth of, ii. 

Lusitania, i 98. 


Maires du PALAIS, their parallel 

in Spain, ii. 185. 
M&lik, Ibn Ans, of Medina, ii. 




Maupertais, ii. 2. 

Mayors of the palace, i. 445 aud 
note, 446. 

Mecca (Mekkeb), its oriein, L 9 ; 
place of concourse, 9 ; uie birth- 
place of Mohammed, 17 ; taken 
by Mohammed, 40. 

Medicine, Arabian, ii. 387-890. 

Medina, t?ie cUy^ i. 2 ; Yathreb 
before el Hijra, 2 ; successfully 
defended by Mohammed, 40 ; 
the prophet dies there, 40. 

Meknasah (Mequinez), his re- 
bellion, death, and dispersion 
of his forces, ii. 115. 

Merida, its Roman origin, i. 84 ; 
its first inhabitants the £meriti 
of the fifth and tenth legions, 
811, note ; as it was when it 
surrendered to Musa, 311. 

Merovingian dynasty, i. 444, 445. 

Meruan, third son of Musa, L 76 ; 
accompanies his father to Da- 
mascus, 350. 

Meruan, Khalif, his infidelity, ii. 
62 ; flight, 69 ; is killed, 70 ; 
his sons killed, 72. 

Metallurgy and mining, Arabian, 
ii. 884-387. 

Metaphysicians, Arabian, ii. 380, 

Mezquita of Cordova, description 
of, ii. 412-421. 

Mineral riches of Spain, ii. 385, 

Mohammed, name means '* greatly 
praised," i. 17; stories of mir- 
acles accompanying his birth 
and infancy, 17 and note ; the 
only son of his father, 17 and 
note ; left an orphan at an early 
age, '17 ; his personality, 18 ; 
private habits, 18 ; denounced 
caste, 18 ; the friend of the poor 
and needy, 18 and note ; "pro- 
phetic light," 19 ; amorous, 19 ; 
opposed to idolatiy, but idolized 
by his followers, 19, 20 ; his 
inspiration, 20 and note ; not a 
prophet in the Christian sense 
of Uie word, 20, 21 ; magnitude 

of his designs, 21 ; and miracles, 
29 and note ; his marriage, 87 ; 
flees from Mecca, 2 ; ivceived 
at Medina, 2 ; at the age of 
forty announces his religion, 
88 ; how it was received, 38 ; 
marries Ayesha, 89 ; permitted 
to use the sword, 39 ; number of 
his engagements, 40, note ; his 
defence of the weaker sex, 14 ; 
comprehends thoroughly the 
condition of his countiymen, 
16 ; repels the attack on Me- 
dina in the fifth year of the 
Hgra, 40 ; takes Mecca, which 
becomes the Kiblah of the Mos- 
lemah, 40 ; dies at Medina, 
40-42 ; first step in Arabian 
development taken by, iL 279. 

Mohammed Abul Aswad (Yiisuf 
al Fehri's second son), made 
prisoner by Bedr, iL 153 ; feigns 
blindness, 158 ; escapes and 
places himself at the head of 
his father's adherents, 154 ; de- 
struction of his army by Abdu- 
r-rahmdn, 154; he wanders in 
thickets and caves like a "fam- 
ished wolf " and dies in obscu- 
rity, 155. 

Mohammed Ibn Abdillah, envoj 
plenipotentiary of Khalif Ui- 
sham,'i. 427. 

Mohammed an-Nassir (Defender 
of the Faith), emperor of the 
Almohades, ii. 238 ; proclaims 
the AJgihed, or Holy War, 
238 ; orders a massacre of the 
Christians found in his domin- 
ions, 238 ; sots out for Seville 
to fight the Christians, 238; 
totally defeated at the Navas 
de Tolosa, 243-247 ; his death, 

Mohammed, Khalif, in his reign 
Cordova destroyed by an earw- 
quake^ ii. 176. 

Mohammed Ibn Abdullah assumes 
the title of Al-manswr^ the Vic- 
torious, ii. 181 ; through his 
intrigues for jrawer he obtaina 



the office of hijib, 182 ; his 
government just and rigorous, 
182 ; was a successful warrior, 
182 ; his conquests of Christian 
territory, 185 ; except that of 
Abdu-r-rahmin I., his name the 
greatest in the annals of Mos^' 
lem Spain, 185 ; his death, 

Mohammed, great-grandson of Ab- 
du-r-rahman III., usurps the 
Khalifate, and declares himself 
directed by the grace of God, 
Al'mahdi-hUlaK, ii. 187 ; revolt 
against him and his humiliating 
expedient to save his life, 187 ; 
his assassination, 188. 

Mohammed II., son and successor 
3f Mohammed Ibnu-1-ahmar, 
ii. 255 ; invokes assistance from 
the Beni Merines, 254 ; with 
their aid, he wrests several 
towns from the Christians, 
which are recaptured, 255 ; his 
death, 256. 

Mohammed IV., king of Granada, 
ii. 256 ; recaptures Gibraltar 
from the Christians, 257 ; assas- 
sinated, 257. 

Mohammed Y., king of Granada, 
dethroned, iL 257 ; returns to 
his kingdom, 258. 

Mohammed VI., king of Granada, 
places himself under the protec- 
tion of the king of Castile, who 
puts him to death, ii. 258. 

Mohammed VII., king of Gra- 
nada, ii. 258. 

Mohammed XII. (Boabdil el 
Chico), usurps the throne of 
GranadA, ii. 263 ; dethroned 
by his uncle, but recovers the 
kingdom, 264 ; taken prisoner 
by the Christians and released, 
264 ; obliged by his people to 
decUre war against the Chris- 
tians, 265, 266 ; besieged by 
Ferdinand of Aragon, 266, 268 ; 
he capitulates, 268 ; terms of 
the capitulation, 269, 270 ; re- 
tires to his seignory, 272; el 

ultimo sospiro del Mora, 272 ; 
exiled to Africa, 427. 

Mohammed II., capture of Con- 
stantinople by, ii. 444. 

Mohammeoan civil law compiled 

■ from the Kordn and Sunna, L 

Morocco, a city of Mauritania Tin- 
gitania, i. 61 ; the Baghdad of 
Western Africa, iL 439. 

Moses Maimonides, Jewish meta- 
physician, ii. 364, 365. 

Moslems and Franks, philosophy 
of the contest between, i. 441 . 

Moslem Spain, contest between 
and Christian Europe, ii. 437, 

Mozarabes, or Musarabs, ii. 828 ; 
their liturgy endeared to them, 
328 ; their service translated 
into the modem tongue, el oficio 
muzarabef 328. 

Muawiyah, son of Abu Sufyan, 
the first to advance the hered- 
itary claim to the Khalifate, 1. 
44, ii. 321 ; seventh Khalif, 
i. 57 ; founds the dynasty of 
Umnieyah, or the Ommeyades, 
44, 57; removes the Khalifate 
to Damascus, 58. 

Muller Max, on the origin of the 
cipher, ii. 369. 

Mugheyth supersedes Tarik, i. 

Mugheyth Ar-rumf accompanies 
Musa to Damascus, i. 350 ; his 
opposition to Musa, 360 and 
note ; his uncertain end, 384. 

Munuza, temporary Amir, i. 425, 
426 ; intrigues, 429, 430 ; trea- 
son, 431 ; slain in one of the 
Pyrenean passes, 432. 

Muratori, on the use of gunpow- 
der, ii. 894. 

Musa Ibn Nosseyr, the Moslem 
general who first invaded Spain, 
1. 63 ; his origin, 63 ; Wizir 
of Besher, 64 ; suspected of de- 
falcation, 64 ; flees to Damas- 
cus, and puts himself under 
the protection of Abdu-I-'aziz, 



64 ; appointed military com- 
mander in Northern Africa, 
65 ; his command, 65 ; procla- 
mation to his army, 66 and 
note ; his personality, 66 and 
note ; his enthusiasm, 66, 67 ; 
his effectual prayer, 67 ; other 
omens of his success, 68 ; he 
I'eaches the Atlantic, 69 ; his 
diplomacy, 69 ; skill in concili- 
ating conquered tribes, 70 ; his 
successful propagandism, 72 ; 
his piety, 73 ; appointed su- 
preme Commander of the Mos- 
lemah in the West, and Amir 
of Africa, 75 ; his sons, 76 ; 
his reception of Ilyan, 228 ; ob- 
tains from the Khalif permission 
to invade Spain, 229 ; nis prayers 
on the embarkation of the in- 
Taders, 235 ; arrogates to him- 
self the honor of Tarik's suc- 
cesses, 284 ; preparations for 
crossing 4he strait, 806 ; lauds 
with his army at Algeciras, 
807 ; his jealousy of Tank, 808, 
309 ; after taking various cities, 
he besieges Merida, 811-317 ; 
valor of its inhabitants, 313 ; 
they are forced to capitulate, 
814-317 ; did Musa cross the 
Pyrenees ? 339 ; his meeting 
with Tarik at Toledo, 322; 
treats Tarik with indignity, 
822-325 ; limit of his advance, 
341 ; recalled by the KKalif, 
842, 343 ; procrastinates, 844 ; 
obeys a second order, 345 ; 
leaves the conduct of affairs in 
the hands of his sons, 346 ; 
embarks at Gibraltar, 347 ; 
journeys with a great train, 
847, 351 ; disreganis the de- 
spatch of Suleyman, 853; ap- 
pears before Al-Walid, 355 ; his 
reception, 356 ; interviews .with 
Sule}inan, 857-859 ; charges 
a^inst him, 860 ; confronted 
with Tarik, 860 ; convicted of 
falsehood by the table of Solo- 
mon, 861y 362 ; his exposure 

and humiliation, 868 ; his enor- 
mous fine, 864, 865 ; ruin, 366 ; 
obtains the head of Abdu-l-'aziz 
from Suleyman, 878-380 ; his 
death, 380. 


Nahtb Ibnu-l-*asfar, his prop- 
osition in the council of eighty, 
iL 91 ; one of the deputation 
to Abdu-r-rahmdn I., 91. 

Napoleon and astrology, ii. 879. 

Narbonne, Moslem point dappui 
in Gaul, iL 17 ; recovered by 
Peppin le Bref, 18 ; again cap- 
tured and pillaged by the Span- 
ish Araba, 18 ; its strategic 
importance, 418. 

Nasr, Moorish king of Granada, 
forced to abdicate, ii. 256. 

Nasr Ibn Eyer, governor of Kho- 
rassan, his loyalty to Meruan, 
ii. 65 and note, 66. 

Noah, his preaching, L 12. 

Northern Barbarians, their incur- 
sions into the Roman Empire, i. 

Northmen enter and ravage Se- 
ville, ii. 176 ; are driven from 
Lisbon, 180. 

Numerals, Arabic, iL 368-871t 
and notes. 

Numidia, division of Northern 
Africa, L 61. 


Odoacbr, king of the Hemli, L 
108 ; subverts Rome, 108, and 
becomes king of Italy, 109. 

Odrah Ibn Abdillah al Fehri tem- 
porary Amir, i. 424. 

Ok bah, Moslem governor in Af- 
rica, i. 60 ; his conquests, 60. 

Okbah-Ibnu-1-hej^' As-seliili ap- 
pointed Amir of Spain, iL 85— 



Old Castile (Castilla la Yieja), ii. 

Olphiles, Gothic bishop of Moesia 
and Thrace, i 91. 

Omar, the second Khalif, 1. 50 ; 
his decision concerning the 
Alexandrian Library, i. 52 ; 
stabbed, 53 and note. 

Omar, Khalif, his generous pity 
of Musa, i. 863 and note ; views 
of regarding the conquests in 
Spain, 421, 422 ; death by poi- 
son, 417. 

Ommeyades, degeneracy of, ii. 61 ; 
the end of the dynasty of the, 
189 ; their work in civilization, 

Oppas, archbishop, prepared the 
way for treason m Spain, L 

Ordo&o IV., king of Oalicia, ab- 
ject behavior of, ii. 179. 

Oriental Arabs, their progress in 
medicine, ii. 283. 

Oriental Khalifs and civilization, 
ii. 277 ; with the removal of the 
seat of the Khalifate began their 
intellectual activity and hu- 
mane culture, 278 ; their esti- 
mate of scholarship, 280. 

Ostro-Goths, the eastern Goths, L 

Othman succeeds Omar in the 
Khalifate, i. 58 ; in his reign, 
Alexandria falls affain for a brief 
space into the hands of the 
Greek emperors, 58 ; promul- 
gates the only authentic version 
of the Korin, 24, note, 54 and 
note ; assassinated, 54 and note. 

Othman Ibn Abu Neza (Munuza), 
ffovemor of the coast region, 
L 394 ; his duplicity, 400 ; am- 
bition, 400 ; seat of govern- 
ment, 400, 401 and note ; alli- 
ance with the Christians, 401. 

Othman Ibn Abi Nesah, Amir, i. 

Ottoman Turks, empire of, ii. 


Padebbobx, the assembly at, iL 
121, 122. 

Pampeluna ravaged by Charle- 
magne, ii. 132. 

Pedro, the Cruel, king of Castile, 
assassinates the Moorish kins 
of Granada, who had placed 
himself under Pedro's protec- 
tion, ii. 258. 

Pelayo, i. 158 ; his little band in- 
creases, but is despised by the 
Moslemah, 398 ; his name and 
character a rallying point, 402 ; 
question as to the personality of, 
396-399 ; annihilates the Mos- 
lem force at Covadonga, 407- 
409 and notes ; king in reality 
as well as in name, 411 ; his 
death and establishment of the 
succession, 412 ; his burial- 
place, 412; relics of, 414 and 

Feppin of Ijsnden, mayor of the 
palace to Dasobert, and ancestor 
of Charles Martel, i. 446. 

Peppin, sumamed Heristal, father 
of Charles Martel, i. 446. 

Peppin, son of Charles Martel, 
1. 448. 

Pharpar, one of the Scripture 
rivers of Damascus, the modem 
Phege, i. 58. 

Philippe le Bel, ii 438. 

Philoponus, John, intercedes for 
the Alexandrian Library, i. 52. 

Placidia, sister of the mnperor 
Honorius, i. 97. 

•* Poema del Cid," ii. 204. 

Poetry, Spanish Arabian, ii. 845, 
846 ; illustrations of, 347, 850 ; 
its defects, 348 ; favorite forms 
of, — the Ghazele, the Eas- 
sidah, and the Divan, 848, 
849 ; impromptu verses, 849 ; 
of home, 351 ; the earlier poe- 
try the best, 852 ; influence on 
European literature, 853 and 

Poets and men of learning highly 



esteemed by the Spanish ^rabs, 
iL 844. 

Prescott, his history of Spain, ii. 
251 ; unjust critics of Moslem 
architecture referred to by, 

Priestley, ii. 882. 

Ptolemy, Arabian translations of 
his works, iL 875 ; the astron- 
omy of the Arabs based upon 
his system, 878. 

Pyrenees, descrilied, ii. 125, 126. 

Pythagoras, iL 878. 


Raha, mother of Abdu-r-rahm&n, 
ii. 83. 

Recaredo, king of the Ooths, L 125 ; 
defeats the Franks, 126 ; con- 
vokes the third Council of To- 
ledo, 127 and note ; embraces 
the Catholic faith, and becomes 
the first Catholic monarch of 
S{>ain, 127,128 and note; his 
letter to the Pope and the pon- 
tiffs reply, 131 ; his great work, 
132 ; his pen-portmit by Isidor, 

Recciario, king of the Suevi, i. 

Recesuinto, king of the Goths, 
annuls the law prohibiting in- 
termarriages, L 140. 

Rising of the Christians in the 
Asturias, i. 889 ; condition of the 
Christian fugitives, 392, 898; 
el pensamiento grande, 394 and 
note ; nebulous account of, i. 
895 ; effects of the combination, 
410 ; the Christians advance 
slowly but surely, 41 2. 

Roderik, Bon, usurps the Gothic 
throne, i. 154 ; doubtful lineage, 
155 and notes ; circumstances 
of his accession, 156 ; his per- 
sonality and character, 157, 158 
and note ; his torpor, 158 ; his 
plans and views regarding the 

impending invasion, 209 ; un- 
prepared to meet the invaders^ 
245 ; his active measures for de- 
fence, 246, 248 ; his army vari- 
ously estimated, 246, 247 and 
notes ; his uncertain fate, 270- 
275 and notes. 

Rodrigo Diaz, the Cid Campeador, 
legends concerning, iL 203, 204 ; 
accepted as a historic person- 
age, 205 ; his {larentage, 206 ; 
avenges the insult done to his 
father, 207 ; his growing repu- 
tation, 207 ; receives the title 
of Cid at Zamora, 208, 209 ; as- 
sists Sancho in consolidating 
the Christian power, 209 ; puts 
king Alfonso upon his oath, 
210 ; the theatre of his exploits, 
211, 212 and note ; succors Cas- 
tile, and is banished for his pains, 
218 ; his golden opportunity, 
218, 214 ; marches to Saragos- 
sa, 215 ; recalled by Alfonso, 
215 ; is again sus{)ected, 215 ; 
his generous treatment of Connt 
Ramon, 215 ; incurs the jeal- 
ousy of Alfonso, 217 and note; 
captures Valencia, 219 ; his 
treatment of the inhabitants, 
219-222 ; his vengeance on the 
rebel Ibn Jehaf; 223 ; his death, 
224 ; his remains, 225 ; a peer- 
less hero in history, 226 ; oojre 
del Cid, 402. 

Bois fainiantSy L 446 and note. 

Roland, slain in the pass of Ron- 
cesvalles, iL 188 and note; 
legends concerning^ 140-142 
and notes. 

Roman names, L 108. 

Romulus Augustulus, last Roman 
emperor, i. 109. 

Roncesvalles, the pass of, iL 126^ 
127; the "dolorous rout" of, 
188-138 and notes ; the roman- 
tic legend, 133, 134 ; r^ re- 
mains of the event, 142, 143 
and note ; its results, 146, 

Riim (Romanos), i. 98. 




Sahra, a district of Western 
Africa, i. 69. 

Saleh, Moslem general, captures 
Meruan, i. 70. 

Saliau Franks, L 109 ; they occu- 
py Burgundy, 114. 

SuLcho II. , eldest son of Fernando 
I., despite his father's testa- 
ment succeeds in consolidating 
the Christian empire, ii. 208, 
209 ; murdered at the instance 
of his sister Urraca, 210. 

Sangiar, plain of, ii. 377. 

Santa Fe, the city of, ii. 268. 

Saragossa, its Koman origin, i. 84 ; 
siege and capture hy Musa and 
Tank, 337, 338 ; ii 130. 

Schang-kaow, Chinese mathema- 
tician, ii. 373. 

Schools attached to mosques, ii. 

Science successfully cultivated in 
every de^mrtmeut by the Arabs, 
ii. 391, 392 and notes. 

Separation of Moslem Spain from 
the £ast» philosophy of, ii. 

Serrano, ii. 449. 

Seville, its revolt and fate, i. 319. 

Shalubin, Andalusian grammarian, 
iL 340. 

Shiites (Shiy a ^es), general ap- 
pellation of Moslem heretical 
seots, i. 48 and note ; 55. 

Sidonius ApoUinaris, L 103 and 

Sigerico, a Gothic chief, i. 94. 

Sighebert and Brunehilda, i. 116. 

Sinderedo, Archbishop of Toledo, 
1. 150, 151 and notes. 

Social customs of the Spanish 
Arabs, ii. 296-318 ; a typical 
mansion, 308-31 ; eating and 
drinking, 310 ; costumes of the 
men, 311-314; the clothing 
of women, 314, 315; arms and 
armor, 315-317; peculiar claims 
of some of their cities, 317 ; 
their treatment of Jews and 

Christians, ii. 327 ; estimate of 
women, 328. 

Sol, daughter of the Cid, ii. 212. 

Sonnites, the generic name of the 
orthodox sects of Mohamme- 
dans, i. 48, 55. 

Soto, Fernando de, ii. 445. 

Spain as a Koman province, i. 88 ; 
condition of, under Moslem rule, 
385, 386 ; colonists pour into, 
from Arabia and Syria, 387 ; dis- 
severed into petty kingdoms, ii. 
190, 191. 

Spain, Christian, divisions of in the 
eleventh century, ii. 206 ; di- 
vided and weakened by the tes- 
tament of Fernando 1., 208; 
hopes for the future of, 449. 

Spanish Arab schools and profes- 
sorships, ii. 433, 434. 

Spanish Arabs, spirit of emulation 
which impelled them to rival if 
not excel the East, ii. 296 ; the 
moral conquest they achieved in 
Europe, 297 and note. 

Spanish language, its origin, i. 410, 
ii. 341, 342 ; indebted to the 
Arabic, 842-344. 

Suevi, i. 88, 94 ; in Portugal, 98 ; 
embrace Christianity, 99. 

Suleyman succeeds Al-Walid in 
the Ehalifate, i. 357 ; his jeal- 
ousy of Musa and revenge, 359, 
360 ; his death, 382, 383. 

Suleyman, leader of the revolt 
against Al-muhdi, ii. 187 ; un- 
der him the Berbers capture 
Cordova, plunder it, and mas- 
sacre the inhabitants, 188 ; he 
is assassinated, 188, 

Suleyman Ibn al Arabi, his revolt 
and assassination, ii. 149. 

Suleyman, second son of Abdu-r- 
rahmdn I., ii. 166 and note ; re- 
bels against Al-hakem and is 
slain, 166. 

Suleyman Ibn Yokdhan Al Arabi 
conspires against Abdu-r-rah- 
nian L, ii. 119, 120. 

Sus al-Adani, eastern portion of 
Western Africa, i. 68. 



Sua al-Aksa, western portion of 

Western Africa, i. 68. 
Swintila elected king of the Gotha, 

i, 138. 
Sylvester II., Pope, and the Ara- 

bic numerals, ii. 370 and note. 


Tamerlane, ii. iH. 

Tangiers, threatened by Okbah, i. 
61 ; captured by Meruan, 77 ; 
described, 77. 

Tarif, his expedition, i. 232. «, 

Tank el Tuerto, his personality, 
i. 78 and note ; appointed to 
the command of Tttngiers, 78 ; 
first attack on Ceuta repulsed, 
79 ; appointed to command the 
invading army, 234 ; his omi- 
nous dream, 235 ; spot of his 
landing, 236 ^, the old woman's 
prophecy, 238 ; the embarca- 
tion and landing of his troops 
described, 238-241 ; lands his 
army at Dschebel-Tarik, 242 ; 
after the victory at Medina Si- 
donia, occupies the adjacent 
towns, 281, 282 ; Muaa orders 
him to remain where he is, 282, 
283 ; he ventures to disobey, 
285, 286 ; his generals concur, 
286 ; movements of the three di- 
visions of his army, 288, 299 ; 
captures Toledo, 293 ; resolves 
to leave a garrison at Toledo, 
801 ; finds the table of Solo- 
mon, 301 ; stratagem to guard 
his claim as finder, 304 ; makes 
Toledo his head-quarters, 305 ; 
is ignominiously treated by Mu- 
sa, 322--325 ; is superseded and 
placed in arrest, 324, 325 ; re- 
stored by the Khalif to his com- 
mand, 326 ; recalled by the 
Khalif, 342, 343; arrives be- 
fore Musa at Damascus, and is 
kindly received by the Khalif^ 
348 ; his address and acquittal, 
349 ; hia popularity with the 

Moslems, 361 and note ; 
into obscuritv, 384. 

Tarraconensia, i. 94. 

Tartaglia, Italian algebraist, iL 

Tashefin II., ii 202. 

Tishefin, son of the king of Mo- 
rocco, iL 233. 

Tchan-kong, Chinese emperor, ii. 

Temam Ibn Alkamah, his propo- 
sition in the council of eighty, 
ii. 90 ; chief of the deputation 
to Abdu-r-rahmdn, 91. 

Tendilla, Count of, GoFemor of 
Granada, iL 271. 

Tha'lebah elected Amir, ii. 42 ; 
Berber conspiracy against him, 
43; he captures ten thousand 
of the insurgents, 43. 

Thebit Ibn Korr&h, Arabian alge- 
braist, laid the foundations of 
Analjrtical Geometry, ii. 872. 

Theodomir opposes the landing of 
tiie Moslem invaders, i. 244, 
245 ; his despatch to Roderik, 
245 ; a chief of the fugitive 
Christians, 396. 

Theodoredo, king of the Visigoths, 
i. 102, 103. 

Theodorik, king of the Goths, L 
103 ; hia pen-portrait, 104 ; di- 
vision of time, 104 ; habits of 
life, 105, 106 ; death, 107. 

Theodoaia, L 123. 

Thuabah, Amir of Spain, iL 

Tha'lebah AliAmeli, Arabian gen- 
eral in Africa, iL 39. 

Toledo, third Council of, ita pro- 
ceedinffs, L 129 ; as itwaswneu 
taken by Tarik, 299, 300 ; the 
rendezvous of the crusaders 
against the Moslemah in Spain, 
iL 288. 

Tolosa, Navas de, battle of, iL 
243-247 ; chronicles of the 
event, 249. 

Torismund, king of the Groths, L 
103 ; habits of life, 105. 

Toulouse, battle o^ L 420. 



Touraine, the classic fields of, ii. 

Tribes, contendine, ii. 151, 152. 
Turpin, life of Charlemagne by, 

iL 139, 140andDote. 


Ummetah, ancestor of the dy- 
nasty named from him, i. 44, 

Urraca, daughter of Fernando I. 
u. 208, 210. 


Yalenoia, its importance, ii. 
217 ; strongholdof the Cid, 223, 
252 ; reoccupied after his death 
by the Almoravides, 252 ;' cap- 
tared by King Jaime of Aragon, 

Vandols, i. 89, 90, 94 ; their 
origin, 90 and note; denai't 
from Spain into Africa, 96 ; tneir 
dominion in Africa, 98 ; cross 
the sea from Africa, under Gen- 
serik, and pillage Rome, i. 102. 

Yibar, birthplace of the Cid, ii. 

Yisigoths, the Western Goths, i. 
91, 94. 


Waltd, Gothic chief, L 94, 95. 

Walid II. , Khalif, his immorality 
and assassination, ii. 62. 

Wamba (the Good), king of the 
Goths, i. 140 ; his election to 
the throne, 141, 142 and note ; 
his visor and clemency, 142, 
143 ; his retirement, 144. 

Witiza, king of the Goths, L 147, 
148 ; his licentiousness, 150 
recalls the Jews, 150 and note 
defies the pope, 150 and note 
his impious edicty 151 and note 

attempts to extirpate the family 
of Chindasuinto, 152 ; disman- 
tles the fortresses, 153 and 
note ; mysteriously disappears, 
154 ; duplicity of his sons, 161, 
162; his defence, 165-167. 

Women, Mohammedan estimate 
of, ii. 828, 829 ; polygamy and 
profligacy, 330 ; divorce, 330 ; 
women better treated in Moslem 
Spain than in other Moham- 
medan countries, 332. 

World, the Old, and the New, ii. 
444, 445. 


XiM£NA, wife of the Cid, iL 207 ; 
her heroism, 224. 

Ximenes, Rodrigo, Archbishop of 
Toledo, historian of the Holy 
War, ii. 239 ; valor at the battle 
of the Navas de Tolosa, 244. 

Ximenes, Cardinal, iL 367) note ; 
his destruction of Arabic books, 
iL 438, 439. 


YahFyah Ibn Salmam Al-Zelbi 
succeeds Anbassah in the Amir- 
ate, i. 424 ; after a rule of six 
months, is dejposed, 424. 

Ydhub, sultan of the Beni Merines, 
ii. 255. 

Yahya (wizir of Abdu-r-rahm&n 
III.), medical author, iL 389. 

Yezid, a son of Abu Sufyan, ap- 
pointed to lead the Moslemah 
a^inst Damascus, i. 45. 

Yezid, son of Mumerayah, be- 
sieges Constantinople, i. 60. 

Yezid, Khalif, L 417. 

Yezid III. (the Curtailer), Khalif, 
alienates the troops and people, 
iL 62 ; dies of the plagne, 63. 

Yusuf al-Fehri chosen Amir for 
one year, ii. 60 ; refuses to re- 
sign the authority, 51 ; his