Moorish Spain

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In the year 711, a small Berber army under Arab leadership crossed the Straits of Gibraltar from Morocco and, in the following year, defeated the army of Spain, slaying its king. Within a matter of a few years only, the whole of the Iberian peninsula was theirs and the course of Western civilization was transformed. For nearly a thousand years, the Islamic presence they planted in Spain survived - at times flourishing, at others dwindling into warring, fratricidal fiefdoms. But the culture and science they ...
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1993 Paperback Good Connecting readers with great books since 1972. Used books may not include companion materials, some shelf wear, may contain highlighting/notes, and may not ... include cd-rom or access codes. Customer service is our top priority! Read more Show Less

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Overview

In the year 711, a small Berber army under Arab leadership crossed the Straits of Gibraltar from Morocco and, in the following year, defeated the army of Spain, slaying its king. Within a matter of a few years only, the whole of the Iberian peninsula was theirs and the course of Western civilization was transformed. For nearly a thousand years, the Islamic presence they planted in Spain survived - at times flourishing, at others dwindling into warring, fratricidal fiefdoms. But the culture and science they brought with them - including long-buried knowledge from Greece, forgotten in Europe's Dark Ages - was to have an even more enduring impact. Now, in a book as gracefully written as it is compellingly narrated, Richard Fletcher reveals that culture in all its fascinating disparity, telling as much about the differing waves of Islamic conquest and immigration (and, thereby, about a thousand years of Islamic history in North Africa and the Middle East) as about the culture and history of Spain itself. In the tradition of Steven Runciman's elegant histories of the Crusades and John Julius Norwich's engrossing accounts of Venice and Byzantium, Richard Fletcher's Moorish Spain entertains even as it enlightens. It is history at its best: wonderful storytelling by a true and recognized scholar writing with wit and style.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Fletcher, author of the well-received The Quest for El Cid ( LJ 3/1/90), intends his new work to be an introduction to the culture and history of Moorish Spain. He has written for the traveler who wants more background than the average guidebook provides or for anyone who wants a thoroughgoing overview of the subject. Fletcher uses translations from Moorish poetry and historical anecdotes to illuminate a significant period in European history, arguing that Moorish Spain acted as a channel through which the philosophical and scientific works of the Islamic world passed to European Christendom. One example given by Fletcher is the development of Thomist philosophy, which sought to reconcile revelation and reason. The Moorish philosopher Averroes, whose treatises on Aristotle had attempted such a reconciliation of philosophy and religion in an Islamic context, was cited by St. Thomas Aquinas 503 times. This is recommended for public and academic libraries.-- Robert Andrews, Duluth P.L., Minn.
Booknews
Originally published in Great Britain in 1992 by George Weidenfeld & Nicolson. Historian Fletcher writes in his preface that this historical survey is "for the inquisitive traveller in Spain who might want to know something more than a guidebook can tell him about the people who built the mosque of Cordoba or the Alhambra at Granada." Scholarly, yet readable. Includes some b&w photos. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520084964
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 12/29/1993
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Pages: 189
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Fletcher was Professor of History at the University of York. He was the author of The Barbarian Conversion: From Paganism to Christianity (California, 1999)

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations and Maps
Preface
1 Romance and Reality 1
2 The Secret of the Tower 15
3 The Curve of Conversion 35
4 The Caliphate of Cordoba 53
5 The Party Kings 79
6 The Moroccan Fundamentalists 105
7 Convivencia 131
8 Nasrid Granada 157
9 An August Pomegranate 171
Notes on Further Reading 177
Index 179
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Customer Reviews

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  • Posted April 20, 2010

    great resource for learning about Moorish influence in medieval Spain

    When our older son Mark was a high school sophomore he wanted to study Medieval European history that year, and this is the last of three books on the subject recommended to us by Scott Woodruff of HSLDA. It begins in the year 711 when a small Berber army under Arab leadership crossed the Strait of Gibraltar from Morocco, defeated the army of Spain, slew its king, and conquered the Iberian peninsula, and continues until 1492 when King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella finally succeeded in driving out the Moors from Spain. One of the contributions of the Moors to European history was that much of the learning of ancient Greece and Rome, lost to Europe after the fall of Rome, preserved by the Byzantine Empire, and absorbed by the Arabs and Turks who conquered Constantinople, was returned by the Moslems who ruled Spain. This is a fascinating look at an often-neglected facet of Medieval European history. Fletcher is Professor of History at the University of York. His other books include the prize-winning The Quest for El Cid, and the more recent The Barbarian Conversion: From Paganism to Christianity.

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