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Beginning in the year 711 and continuing for nearly a thousand years, the Islamic presence survived in Spain, at times flourishing, and at other times dwindling into warring fiefdoms. But the culture and science thereby brought to Spain, including long-buried knowledge from Greece, largely forgotten during Europe’s Dark Ages, was to have an enduring impact on the country as it emerged into the modern era.
In this gracefully written history, Richard Fletcher reveals the Moorish culture in all its fascinating disparity and gives us history at its best: here is vivid storytelling by a renowned scholar.
|List of Illustrations and Maps|
|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|
|9||An August Pomegranate||171|
|Notes on Further Reading||177|
Posted April 20, 2010
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.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.