When the Moors Ruled in Europe – History of Islam in Spain. Part 2 1

medina-azaharaAs 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. More…

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When the Moors Ruled in Europe – History of Islam in Spain. Part 1 1

Moors in SpainThis is a British Channel 4 two-part documentary from 2005. In two one-hour sections. It presents in a well-documented and accesible way the story of the Muslim conquest of the Iberian peninsula and their nearly 800-year domination here. The name al-Andalus generally describes parts of the Iberian Peninsula and Septimania governed by Muslims or “Moors” at various times between 711 and 1492, though the boundaries changed constantly in wars with Christian kingdoms. The Channel 4 team, headed by presenter, Bettany Hughes, goes beyond the mythical treacherous and bloodthirsty Moor with a curved scimitar to delve into the society and daily life of Muslim society in medieval Iberia, a civilization which enjoyed advanced knowledge of science, medicine and literature, as well as a high degree of tolerance among the three religions of the book: Islam, Christianity and Judaeism. (Photo credit: Wikipedia, Spain in 750 a.d.) More…