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

XIII: Moslem North Africa, 1049-1394,   pp. 457-485 PDF (25.3 MB)

Page 470

rivalries. Between 1224 and 1236 there were six major claimants to the Muwahhid
caliphate, and, while they scrambled for power and executed one another,
the empire fell apart. Andalusia was detached by Ibn-Hud and Ibn-Nasr, who
established dynasties at Murcia (in 1228) and Granada (in 1232). Thenceforth,
except for a brief rever sion about 1237, Muwahhid power did not extend into
Spain. Likewise the governor of Tunisia, Yahyâ, son of the general
and governor abu-Muhammad ibn-abi-Hafs, in 1230 seized the occasion to disown
the contending factions in Morocco and set up an inde pendent state, ostensibly
predicated on a return to the original Muwahhid doctrines promulgated by
the Mahdi. As the first Hafsid monarch Yahyã made good his revolt,
but his neighbor on the west was less fortunate. Western Algeria was under
the governorship of Yaghmurãsan ibn-Ziyãn, of the Zanatah Berber
Banu-'Abd-al-Wad. He set himself up as an independent sovereign at Tlemsen
in 1236, but lost his capital to the Hafsid emir in 1242/3 and had to accept
a subservient status, the first but not the last Ziyänid to do so. Even
within Morocco the Muwahhid dominance was severely challenged. Ceuta in the
far north broke away in 1232, while in the vicinity of Fez the Zanãtah
Berber Banu-Marin were becoming menacingly ag gressive. 
The survivor of the Muwahhid free-for-all, ' Abd-al-Wahid ibn-Idris, ar-Rashid,
strove to rebuild his shattered heritage, but the difficulties proved insuperable.
Seville and Granada in Spain, Ceuta (which had been taken in 1235 by a Genoese
fleet and ransomed for 400,000 dinars) and Sijilmasa in Morocco recognized
his suzerainty for brief periods, but only Fez and Marrakesh remained in
his possession at his death in 1242. His brother ' All, as-Sa'id, spent six
hectic years in subduing the Marinids, and was killed attacking the Ziyanids
in Tlemsen in 1248. A distant cousin, ' Umar ibn-Ishaq, al-Murtadâ,
took up the losing battle and for eighteen years fought Ziyãnids,
Marinids, and local rivals. He was executed by another distant cousin, Idris
II ibn-Mubammad, known as Abu-Dabbus, who won the throne with Marinid aid,
refused to share the spoils, and was killed by the fifth Marinid, Ya'qub
ibn-'Abd-al-Haqq, in 1269. With him ended the only dynasty to rule North
Africa as a whole for any extensive period of time, and the last to exert
any great influence in Spain. 
Thus at the very moment when Louis IX of France was planning his crusade
against North Africa, the last vestige of a power which might have coordinated
African opposition to him was eliminated. For the balance of the crusading
period, and until the Turkish 

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