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A History of Spain by Charles E. Chapman

That of Almohades unitarians


Rise of the Almohades.]

The Almoravide rule rested very lightly on the Moslem population, but only for a short time. The emperors lost their religious enthusiasm, and not only did they fail to advance the conquest but they also gave themselves up to a life of luxury and dissipation. Public security declined, with the result that the people now wished to rid themselves of the sovereigns whom formerly they had desired so much. At this time there came a tremendous uprising in Africa in 1125 of the Moors of the Moroccan Atlas, an uncivilized branch of the Berber family. They had become fanatical Mohammedans, and like their Almoravide predecessors had taken a name springing from their religious faith, that of "Almohades" (unitarians). Uncultivated as they were, they were able to master the military art of that day sufficiently to overwhelm the Almoravide power in Africa, though only after a long war.

[Sidenote: The Almohades in Spain.]

[Sidenote: The Christian reconquest.]

Meanwhile, a second era of _taifa_ states had sprung up in Spain, but in 1146 the Almohades entered the peninsula, and proceeded to reduce the _taifa_ princes. By 1172 all Moslem Spain was under their sway. Spain was now formed into a province of the Almohade empire, the capital of which was in Africa. The new conquerors did more than merely garrison the peninsula,--they pursued

the hated Arabs so zealously that the latter were either destroyed or absorbed. The Berbers were for many years virtually the only Mohammedan element in the peninsula except for the Renegados. The wars with the Christians were also renewed. In 1194 Alfonso VIII of Castile challenged the emperor Yacub to a battle. Yacub accepted, and the battle was fought at Alarcos (Badajoz) in 1195, ending in the rout of the Christians. The war continued, however, and in 1212 the united forces of Le?n, Castile, Navarre, and Aragon gained a great victory at Navas de Tolosa in Andalusia. This was the turning-point in the Christian reconquest. The Almohade state soon fell to pieces, and by 1228 the _taifas_ began to reappear, but one after another they were conquered by the Christian kings. A single Moslem state escaped; in 1230 it had been founded at Arjona, and presently took shape as the kingdom of Granada, establishing its capital in 1238 at the city of the same name. This tiny realm, extending at its greatest from Almer?a to Gibraltar, was able to maintain itself for over two centuries and a half.

_Le?n and Castile_

[Sidenote: Castilian conquests.]

[Sidenote: Alfonso VI.]

By the will of Sancho the Great of Navarre, Castile had become legally a kingdom in 1035. Ferdinand I (1035-1065) soon overwhelmed the king of Le?n, uniting all northwestern Spain under his rule. Wars with Navarre followed until 1054, after which Ferdinand devoted himself with great religious zeal to campaigns against the Moslem _taifas_, making numerous conquests, and subjecting many states to the payment of tribute. Despite the lesson of his own experience he divided his realm, at death, into the three kingdoms of Castile, Le?n, and Galicia, besides two lesser principalities. A long civil war followed, out of which there emerged Alfonso VI (1065-1109) as sole ruler of the domain of his father. Alfonso VI took up the wars against the Moslems with great success, and on one occasion, in 1082, was able to ride his horse into the sea in the extreme south of

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