The Moors of Andalusia: The History of the Muslims in the Iberian Peninsula during the Middle Ages

The Moors of Andalusia: The History of the Muslims in the Iberian Peninsula during the Middle Ages

Narrated by:
Kc Wayman
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Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
February 2023
2 hours 11 minutes
The history of the Spanish Peninsula is closely bound to that of the Moors. The term “Spain” was not in wide use until the region was united by the monarchs of Aragon and Castile, and the Moors called the lands they ruled in the Iberian Peninsula Al-Andalus, traditionally thought to be an Arabic transliteration of Vandal, the Germanic tribe which briefly ruled the region in the early fifth century. The English name Andalusia derives from the Spanish Andalucia, which is still used by Spain to name its southern region.

Not surprisingly, three religions attempting to coexist during medieval times resulted in nearly incessant conflicts, marked by high taxation, disparate societies, rigid cultural controls, and systemic violence. Despite the odds, these three religions managed to live in a state of quasi-acceptance and peace in most of the major cities in the Iberian Peninsula like Cordoba and Toledo, with sporadic warfare occurring on the borders between Al-Andalus and the Christian kingdoms near the Pyrenees Mountains. Muslims, Christians, and Jews would attempt to reorganize their societies several times over the centuries through warfare, always with Jews on the lower rungs and Christians and Muslims fighting it out above them.

Though it’s often forgotten today, the fighting that took place during the Reconquista was not originally driven by religion. Instead, the majority of the battles were fought by ambitious rulers who sought territorial expansion, like many other civilizations during the Middle Ages. In fact, the Reconquista would not gain its unique religious flavor until the 13th century, when the territories that would become Castile and Aragon drummed up religious fervor to achieve its aims and gained papal support from Rome.
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