III. The Postclassical Period, 500–1500 > F. Europe, 461–1500 > 3. Western Europe and the Age of the Cathedrals, 1000–1300 > g. The Iberian Peninsula
  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
(See 1035–65)
g. The Iberian Peninsula
1. Muslim Spain
The Muluk al-Tawa'if (Party Kings). These were petty dynasties founded on the ruins of the Umayyad caliphate: the Hammudids of Malaga (from 1016 onward) and of Algeciras (1039–); the Abbadids of Sevilla (1031–); the Zayrids of Granada (1012–); the Jahwarids of Córdoba (1031–); the Dhul-Nunids of Toledo (1035–); the Amirids of Valencia (1021–); the Tojibids and Hudids of Saragossa (1019– and 1031–). Most of these dynasties were absorbed by the most distinguished of them, the Abbadids, who summoned the Almoravids from Africa to aid them against Alfonso VI of Castile. This lack of Muslim unity encouraged expansion of northern Christian kingdoms southward.  1
The Almoravids, a Puritanical Berber sect founded by the Berber prophet Abdullah ibn Tashfin. They conquered Morocco and part of Algeria and were called into Spain by the Abbadids to help in the defense against the Christians. They defeated Alfonso of Castile at Zallaka (1086) and proceeded to annex Moorish Spain, with the exception of Toledo and Saragossa.  2
The Almohades, a dynasty founded by the Berber prophet Muhammad ibn Tumart. His successor, Abdul-Mu'min, annihilated the Almoravid army (1144), after which Morocco was conquered (1146).  3
The Almohades invaded and conquered Moorish Spain, after which they conquered Algeria (1152) and Tunis (1158).  4
1212, July 16
The Almohades were finally defeated by an alliance of the Christian kings Peter II of Aragon and Alfonso VIII of Castile, in the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa, which was followed by their expulsion from Spain. Thereafter only local Muslim dynasties remained, of which the Nasrids of Granada (1232–1492) alone offered much resistance to the Christians.  5
The height of Muslim learning was reached by Averroës (ibn-Rushd, c. 1126–98), philosopher, physician, and commentator on Plato and Aristotle, master of the Christian schoolmen.  6
In the 10th through the 15th century, Christian kingdoms in the north, propelled by demographic pressure, land hunger, nobles' demands for estates, advances in military technology, and the appetites of transhumant sheep, pushed southward. In the 14th century, clerical propagandists labeled this movement the Reconquista (Reconquest): a sacred crusading struggle to wrest the country from alien Muslim hands and to restore Christian control. This religious myth subsequently became part of Spanish political history and the Spanish “national” psychology.  7
The Nasrid rulers began reconstructing an old fortress, the Alhambra in Granada, a monumental and magnificent complex of buildings combining fortress, palace, and small city. Completed in the 14th century, these buildings and gardens survive as the finest example of Muslim culture in Europe.  8
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.