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Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / Volume III: The fourteenth and fifteenth centuries
(1975)

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


Page 409

Ch. XII SPANISH AND PORTUGUESE RECONQUEST 409 
cessor of modern Despeñaperros, and with this principal gateway between
southern Castile and Andalusia in his hands, he conquered Baeza, Ubeda, and
other places in upper Andalusia. In 1146, when Alfonso was besieging Cordova,
Genoese envoys arrived in the Leonese-Castilian camp and plans were concerted
for an early joint land and naval attack upon Almeria. Then in January 1147
the king-emperor took the invaluable castle of Old Calatrava north of Muradal
in La Mancha, commanding the point where the trunk highway south from Toledo
to Andalusia crossed the Guadiana river. Simultaneously in the east, where
Raymond Berenguer IV (1137— 1162) as ruler of the newly federated Crown
of Aragon had inherited the active reconquest plans of both Alfonso the Warrior
and the Barcelonese counts, the Murãbit war was also being pressed.
By 1141 the last few remaining Moorish outposts north of the Ebro in the
Cinca and Alcanadre valleys had been wiped out, and Catalan fron tier fighters
were penetrating across the Francoli below Tarragona. Raymond himself was
negotiating with Genoa for an invasion of the Baleares when, in 1147, he
was persuaded instead to collaborate in the international attack upon Almeria
and hastened south with his army to join Alfonso VII on Moorish soil. 
 In the fifth decade of the century, therefore, the reconquest was advancing
vigorously in all three sectors when Eugenius III's sum mons to the Second
Crusade (December 1145) accelerated the Iber ian offensive by bringing into
the Murãbit war sizable contingents of foreign crusaders whose ultimate
destination was the Holy Land.7 The contribution of these warriors to the
success of the sieges of Lisbon and Almeria (1147) and Tortosa (1148) has
already been described in an earlier volume of this work, but now it needs
to be considered in its reconquest context as auxiliary to the already successful
Iberian exploitation of the crumbling Murabit power. How much in 1145—1148
the pope may have been inspired to call for the Second Crusade by the good
news from Spain (as well, of course, as by the shock of Edessa's fall), and
how far correspondence with peninsular monarchs may have prepared the way
for foreign interven tion in the three sieges, is not altogether clear. In
May 1145 Eugenius granted partial remission of penance to those giving aid
to the Templars fighting in Spain; his crusading bull Divina dispositione
in its revised version of April 6, 1147, recognized Spain as a crusade 
7. See volume I of this work, chapter XV; G. Constable, "The Second Crusade
as Seen by Contemporaries," Traditio, IX (1953), 213—279; David, De
expugnatione Lyxbonensi, pp. 
3—26. 


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