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How Accurate Is It To Describe Christian Spain In The Period C.1050 C.1250 As A 'society Organized For War'?

3505 words - 14 pages

The muslins invaded the Iberian Peninsula in 711 and conquered it in seven years. The Visigoths were mercilessly overpowered and defeated, their remnants pushed back into the north of Spain. These remnants of Christian Spain lay hidden deep in the barren and inhospitable mountains of Asturias and the Umayyad Emirate left them there since this land was neither desirable nor easy to conquer. However, a collapse of united Islamic rule at the start of our period split the peninsula into five kingdoms, with only Granada under direct Muslin control. This signalled the start of the 'Reconquest' as the Christians descended from the mountains and began to push the frontier deeper and deeper south at both the edge of the blade and through cunning political manoeuvres. The re-conquest culminated in the eventual capture of Granada by Ferdinand and Isabella in 1492 and what was lost in seven years was finally retaken after over seven centuries.BibliographySecondary SourcesBarber, M. The Two Cities, (London, 1993).Bisson, T.N. The Medieval Crown of Aragon, (Oxford, 1986).Fletcher, R. Moorish Spain, (London, 1992).Glick, T.F. From Muslim Fortress to Christian castle: Social and cultural change in medieval Spain, (Manchester, 1995).Kennedy, H. Muslim Spain and Portugal, a Political History of al-Andalus, (New York, 1996).Lomax, D.W. The Reconquest of Spain, (London, 1978).Lourie, E. 'A society organized for war: medieval Spain', Past and Present, 35 (1980).MacKay, A. Spain in the Middle Ages: From Frontier to Empire, 1000 - 1500, (Basingstoke, 1977).O'Callaghan, J.F. A History of Medieval Spain, (London, 1975).Reilly, B.F. The Contest of Christian and Muslim Spain 1031-1157, (Oxford, 1992).Primary SourcesSmith, C. (ed) Christians and Moors in Spain: Volume 1, 711-1150, (Warminster, 1988).Such, P. & Hodgkinson, J. (eds) The Poem of my Cid, (Warminster, 1987).Barton, S. & Fletcher, R. (eds) The World of El Cid, Chronicles of the Spanish Reconquest, (Manchester, 2000).The period between 1050 and 1250 saw the Christians make huge thrusts southwards into Spain. In 1040 the frontier lay to the north of the Duero, yet by 1150 half of the peninsula was Christian with the borer running just south of Toledo (captured in 1085 by Alfonso VI) and the Tagus. By 1212 incursions had been made deeper, as far as Navas de Tolosa and in 1264 the frontier lay on the border of Granada, almost the entire peninsula re-conquered. The frontier was forever moving in this period, and not always south or even under the control of the Kings of Spain. For instance the mighty warrior Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar - after being exiled for the second time by Alfonso VI - managed to capture the city of Valencia deep inside the Muslin territory towards the end of his life and he held it until his death in 1099. This city was abandoned up by Alfonso shortly after El Cid's death for it was too far from his own kingdom to protect, and was not recaptured until 1238. The Christians were by no means a...

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