As this second and last part of When the Moors Ruled in Europe opens Bettany Hughes takes us to Medina Azahara, the ruins of a vast, fortified Arab Muslim medieval palace-city built by Abd-ar-Rahman III, Umayyad Caliph of Córdoba, in order to give credence to an Andalusian caliphate. Located on the western outskirts of Córdoba, construction on the complex began in 936 a.d., and by 1010 it was conquered and razed during a civil war waged against the caliph by traitorous mercenaries, never to rise again. But its legacy endures in archeological remains, legend and poetry, considered the highest expression of Arab culture. This poetry was to influence the rest of European literature through French troubadours who took Arab notions of courtly love–expressed by the singing slave girls of al-Andalus–to France, England and beyond.
During the 12th and 13th centuries Al-Andalus was also the seedbed for the Renaissance about to occur in Europe, thanks to the translations of Roman and Greek scientific and philosophical treatises done in Toledo by teams of Moorish, Christian and Jewish translators working together. Toward the end of this period, under King Alfonso X of Castile , these multi-racial, multi-lingual teams began translating the manuscripts into a revised version of Castilian, thus establishing the foundations of the modern Spanish language. Scarcely two centuries later the Iberian Christians reconquered the peninsula from the Moors, banned all the public baths, expelled all the Moors and Jews who refused to convert to Christianity and imposed a theocratic regime that substituted dogma for learning.
Follow this link to the second and last part of the video, When the Moors Ruled in Europe – History of Islam in Spain: .http://youtu.be/McYHEz_7cDY