Tag Archives: Cordoba

Ideology takes over the Caliphate

I’ve taken a week off writing about medieval Islam, so I want to review before going on. After about 950, the nature of the Muslim world began to change profoundly. Each region had its own type of change. In Persia, … Continue reading

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End of Cordoban power

In 976, around the same time that Fatimids were building Cairo, the last powerful descendant of Abd al-Rahman died in Cordoba. He left a 12 year old son, Hisham II, with Hisham’s mother as regent. As so often happened, this … Continue reading

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Quicksilver diplomacy

In the years of Ziryab’s influence, the Emirs of Andalusia established so much independence from Baghdad that at last, Abd al-Rahman III called himself a Caliph, not an Emir. Emir means something like Prince; it implies high but subordinate rank. … Continue reading

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The glass of fashion

The court at Baghdad was doubtless much more urbane than upstart Cordoba’s. Baghdad was based in ancient Persian culture: its customs, food, musical instruments, poetry, and textiles. Even Abd al-Rahman, coming from Damascus, wasn’t as steeped in Persian luxuries as … Continue reading

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Cordoba

Cordoba probably became the capital of Muslim administration because during the conquest years, around 711-715, it did not surrender. It was conquered militarily. When cities surrendered, their current officials could work out a deal to send tribute; when they didn’t, … Continue reading

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Europe’s first great mosque

Abd Al-Rahman, the half-Berber Umayyad prince, was firmly in control of the Iberian peninsula by the time Charlemagne became King of the Franks. He ruled until his death at age 58, which was long past the average life-expectancy of the … Continue reading

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