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HIST351: Islam, The Middle East, and The West

Unit 4: The Expansion of Islam into Europe   When a Shi’a leader—Abu al-Abbas—usurped power from the reigning Sunni caliph in 750 C.E., the Umayyad era officially came to a close.  While al-Abbas tried to execute all members of the Sunni Umayyads, one leader escaped to the Iberian Peninsula, where he established a new Umayyad kingdom.  However, Abd ar-Rahman I was not the first Muslim to invade Spain; Muslim Berbers had overthrown the Visigoths and established the kingdom of Al-Andalus in the early eighth century.  Still, the Umayyads in Spain—known as the Caliphate of Cordoba—retained power until the 1000s.  With the decline of the Caliphate, several smaller kingdoms, called “taifas,” claimed control over southern Spain.  It was not until 1492, when the Christian monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella declared a holy war against the Spanish Muslims did Muslim control of the region come to an end.
           
In this unit, we will study the emergence of a new Umayyad imperium in southern Spain in the 700s. We will also examine the decline of the Umayyad caliphate and the rise of independent Berber kingdoms that became locked in conflict with Christian Spain.

Unit 4 Time Advisory
This unit will take you approximately 7 hours to complete.

☐    Introduction: 3 hours

☐    Subunits 4.1 – 4.2: 2 hours

☐    Subunit 4.3: 2 hours¨

Unit4 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  • Identify and describe the emergence of the Umayyad dynasty in Spain.
  • Analyze the conflicts between Muslims and Christians on the Iberian Peninsula.

  • Reading: Unity Productions Foundation/Gardner Films: Cities of Light: The Rise and Fall of Islamic Spain: “The Other 1492,” “Diversity Abounds Under Muslim Rule,” “ The Transfer of Knowledge From Islamic Spain to Europe,” “Sumptuous Living.” Link: Unity Productions Foundation/Gardner Films: Cities of Light: The Rise and Fall of Islamic Spain: Greg Noakes' “The Other 1492,” “Diversity Abounds Under Muslim Rule,” “The Transfer of Knowledge from Islamic Spain to Europe,” “Sumptuous Living.”
     
    Note:  All websites are in HTML format.
     
    Instructions: The readings consist of the four links below the heading "Islamic Spain". Please read the entirety of these webpages as they present transcripts of an excellent documentary on Islamic Spain.  These pages contain information addressing subsections 4.1 through 4.3.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

4.1 The Iberian Peninsula   - Reading: Wikipedia: “Islam in Spain” Link: Wikipedia:Islam in Spain” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Please read the entirety of this entry to get a broad overview of Muslim Spain, 711-1492.
 
Terms of Use: The Wikipedia article above is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0 (HTML).  You can find the original version of this article here (HTML).

  • Reading: Wikipedia: “Al-Andaulus” Link: WikipediaAl-Andalus” (PDF)

    Also available in:

    iBook
     
    Instructions: Please read the entirety of this entry in order to get a sense of Muslim Spain, 711-1492.
     
    Terms of Use: The Wikipedia article above is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0 (HTML).  You can find the original version of this article here (HTML).

4.1.1 Conquest of Southern Spain   4.1.2 Visigoths in Hispania   4.1.3 Al-Andalus   4.1.4 Muslim Incursions in France and Sicily   4.2 Caliphate of Cordoba   4.2.1 Divisions within the Umayyads in Arabia   4.2.2 Establishment of the Caliphate   4.2.3 Trade and Prosperity   4.2.4 Conflict and Division   4.3 The Berber Dynasty   - Reading: The Saylor Foundation's "The Berber Dynasty" Link: The Saylor Foundation's "The Berber Dynasty" (PDF)

 Instructions: Please read the linked material.

4.3.1 Decline of the Caliphate   4.3.2 Taifas   - Reading: Fordham University: Paul Halsall’s The Medieval Sourcebook: “Poetry of the Spanish Moors, Selections” Link: Fordham University: Paul Halsall’s The Medieval Sourcebook:Poetry of the Spanish Moors, Selections” (PDF)
 
Also available in:

[iBook](http://www.saylor.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/HIST351-4.3.2-Poetry-of-the-Spanish-Moor-Author.epub)  

 Instructions: Please read the entirety of this webpage, which
offers a few examples of medieval Spanish Muslim poetry.   
    
 Terms of Use: This material is part of the public domain.