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The Nature Of War In The 8th Century: A Comparative Analysis Of The Song Of Roland And History Of The Conquest Of Spain

1411 words - 6 pages

During the 8th century, the Muslims were expanding their empire, and in the 7th century, they managed to strategize the best way to take over Northern Africa and southern Europe. According to Western Society: A Brief History, “In 711 a Muslim force crossed the Strait of Gibraltar and easily defeated the weak visgothic king.” The Muslim ended up taking over most of Spain, and for a short time, Muslims and Christians lived together peacefully. Then some animosity arose between the Muslims and Christians. The Muslims felt superior to European countries and felt that Europe had little to offer by showing their lack of interest in their culture, language, and customs. Christians felt threatened by the Muslims because of their expansion, and they felt that the Muslim culture would contaminate the Christian ways and teachings. This animosity grew into bitter gall, and eventually led to war. By comparing The Song of Roland to History of the Conquest of Spain, this paper focuses on the Muslim invasion of Spain in 711 CE with a particular emphasis on the nature of warfare.
In the book, The Song of Roland, translated by Glyn Burgess, it discusses the Franks fighting the Muslims in Spain in the city of Saragossa. The Franks are offered gold and the promise of converting to Christianity if they go back to France, and Charlemagne’s army accepts the offer. Roland then picks Ganelon, who is also his step father to go be the messenger to go back to Marsilla’s court to tell him of the arrangement. While he travels with the Saracens, he discovers a plan of revenge against Roland because he has always envied and hated him. He tells the Saracens on how they can ambush and attack Charlemagne’s army, which would be led by Roland and the Frank head out of Spain through the mountain passes.
In the book, History of the Conquest of Spain by Ibn Abd-El-Hakem, translated by John Harris Jones, Musa sent Bashir to the city of Cairwan, which he took people and children prisoner and plundered treasure. Musa then retired him and made Tarik the new governor and he remained there for awhile, and waged a holy war. Ilyan, the lord of Septa became governor and made peace with Roderick. Ilyan sent one of his daughters to Roderick in hopes to help her as far as education and culture went, but instead he got her pregnant. Ilyan became outraged and wanted to end Roderick for his treachery. Ilyan goes to Tarik for help and they make peace, but since Tarik did not trust Ilyan, he had Ilyan send him his two daughters to take prisoner as a form of collateral. The battle was very fierce but they eventually defeat Roderick and take a lot of plunder and when Tarik returns, Musa gets to keep all plunder Tarik gained.
The book, The Song of Roland, is one of the oldest surviving French poems that was written between 1098 to 1100. It was written in a Christian point of view, and according to Western Society: A Brief History, Christian literature shows Muslims as dreadful people,...

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