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Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / Volume III: The fourteenth and fifteenth centuries

XII: The Spanish and Portuguese reconquest, 1095-1492,   pp. 396-456 PDF (13.3 MB)

Page 451

although the supreme commander was king Ferdinand of Aragon, and small numbers
of Aragonese nobles, foreign volunteers, and Swiss and other mercenaries
from abroad participated. 
With all the frontier from Jimena de la Frontera to Lorca seething with forays
and skirmishes, in July 1482 Ferdinand invested Loja with an army of some
eighteen thousand horse and foot, but after suffering heavy casualties inflicted
by Moorish sallies from the be sieged city, he had to abandon this poorly
planned affair. The next year, with the king in the north, the marquis (as
he now was) of Cadiz, Rodrigo Ponce de Leon, and the master of Santiago,
Alfonso de Cárdenas, moved south to attack Malaga, but as their army
was making its way without due caution through the Ajarquia or rugged sierra
country north of that city, it was surprised by king abu-l-Hasan and az-Zaghall,
and routed with heavy loss. Boabdil, in rebellion against his father, had
seized the Aihambra and, to strengthen his claim to the royal title, in this
same year assaulted the Andalusian border town of Lucena, with the help of
his father-in-law ' Ali-Atar (' All al-'Attär), but a strong Castilian
relief column drove off the Granadans and forced them into a battle near
Lucena in which ' Ali-Atar was killed and Boabdil himself taken prisoner.
Abu-l-Hasan took advantage of his son's misfortune to regain Granada, while
Boabdil, in order to secure his freedom, had to submit to an agreement with
the Catholic Kings. In the pact of Cordova, signed on August 24, 1483, he
promised, in exchange for his release and a two-year truce, to become a vassal
of Castile, pay an annual tribute of 12,000 doblas, release Christian captives,
provide on demand seven hundred lanzas (mounted nobles with attendant warriors)
to the Castilian army, and allow Spanish troops to cross his dominions in
order to make war on abu-l-Hasan. The latter clause meant little, since Boabdil,
having lost Granada city, controlled only the eastern section of the kingdom,
which he ruled from Guadix; and even here, in 1485, he lost Almeria to his
uncle az-Zaghall. Mean while, in 1483 the marquis of Cadiz recovered Zahara;
and Ferdinand himself in 1484, using lombards and other ox-drawn guns to
breach the walls, secured the surrender of Alora (June 18) and Setenil (September
After the death of abu-l-Hasan in 1485, king Ferdinand launched a major campaign,
ostensibly to take Malaga and cut off the western third of the Granadan state.
The big royal army, after gaining Coin and Cártama on its march south,
reached the port city but then swung back westward to attack Ronda. After
an artillery barrage had breached its walls and set houses afire, Ronda capitulated,

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