Baldwin, M. W. (ed.) / The first hundred years
II: Conflict in the Mediterranean Before the First Crusade, pp. - PDF (19.6 MB)
Ch. II THE RECONQUEST OF SPAIN 39 this expedition or to a second, abortive one being organized in 1073 by Ebles II, count of Roucy, remains unclear. In any case, the crossing of the Pyrenees by French knights (a movement the chroniclers Raoul Glaber and Adhémar of Chabannes carry back to the time of Sancho the Great) and the intervention in the reconquest of the reform papacy (leading Gregory VII in 1073 and 1077 to claim suzerainty over all territories recovered from the infidel, and indeed all Spain) demonstrate how these extra-Iberian forces now viewed the peninsular struggle against Islam as a Christian holy war. At the same time Ferdinand I and Alfonso VI, in alliance with Cluny, and as self-proclaimed emperors of Hispania (i. e., all Iberia, Christian and Moslem), moved vigorously to reduce the Taifa kingdoms to vassalage or outright annexation through imposition of economically ruinous annual tributary exactions (parias). After the reunion of Castile, Leon, and Galicia, Alfonso in tensified the raids against the weak emirs. The tribute collected supplied his war chest, and on May 25, 1085, he occupied Toledo, bringing the frontier of Castile well to the south of the Tagus. By raids and seizures his forces made themselves felt against the Moslem borders in all directions, penetrating south ward to the vicinity of Granada. Threatened with subjection or destruction, the Moslems reluctantly sought outside help. Al Mu'tamid, the 'Abbadid ruler of Seville and chief survivor of the internecine warfare among the petty kingdoms, sought help from Morocco. The Murãbit (hispanized Almoravid) sect of veiled Touaregs from the Sahara2 had unified Morocco under Yüsuf ibn-Tãshfin, who now acceded to al-Mu'tamid's request for aid, crossed to Andalusia in 1086, and annihilated Alfonso's army near Badajoz on October 23. His mission accomplished, he withdrew to Africa but returned with his Murãbits in 1090 and quickly conquered all Moslem-held Spain except Saragossa, an exposed outpost ruled by the Banü-Hüd. He also re conquered many of the border towns taken by the Christians. Alfonso was able to retain Toledo while Rodrigo Diaz of Vivar, called the Cid, established himself in Valencia and was able for a time to oppose the advance of the Moslems into northeastern Spain. In 1095 the territory of the peninsula was fairly evenly divided between the Spanish Christians in the north and the African and Andalusian Moslems in the south. Military power was in precarious and sensitive balance. 2 For detailed consideration of the Murãbits of Morocco and Andalusia and their rise to power, see the chapter on Moslem North Africa in volume III (in preparation).
Copyright 1969 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System. All rights reserved. Use of this material falling outside the purview of "fair use" requires the permission of the University of Wisconsin Press. To buy the paperback book, see: http://www.wisc.edu/wisconsinpress/books/1732.htm