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numbers of Sclavonian Christians served in the king's bodyguard, of whom
under Hakem I. (796-822) there were 2000.[4]

[1] Al Makk., i. p. 103; and De Gayangos' note, p. 398.

[2] _E.g._. Servandus. Cp. also Cyprianus.

[3] See above, p. 49.

[4] Conde, i. p. 260.

All things considered, it is a matter for surprise that these two
peoples, so unlike in race, habits, prejudices, and religion, lived so
comparatively quietly side by side in spite of a perpetual state of
warfare between the Arabs and the Christians in the North, which tended
to keep alive the animosities of the two races in that part of Spain
which was under Mohammedan rule.[1] Moreover, the pride of race was very
strong in the pure-blooded Arabs. Thus the poet Said ibn Djoud, in a
poem called the "battle of the town" (Polei), boasts that the conquerors
are of the pure race of Adnan and Kahtan, without any foreign admixture;
while he calls the defeated Spaniards miscreants, followers of a false
faith,[2] sons of the pale-faces. The haughty Arabs, in fact, were too
prone to look upon all the Spaniards, both renegades and Christians, as
mere canaille.[3]

But, in spite of this, the races to a certain extent amalgamated; and
Eulogius endeavours to prove that, but for the outbreak of fanaticism in
the middle of the ninth century, this amalgamation would have had
serious results for Christianity in Spain.[4]

The Arabs did not disdain to seek the alliance of the free Christian
States, nor were the latter averse from doing the same, when political
occasion demanded it. As early as 798 the Walis of the frontier cities
sought to make themselves independent by what the Arab writer describes
as "vile policy and unworthy acts," _i.e._, by seeking the friendship of
the Christian kings;[5] and there are many instances of these kings
asking aid, even servilely, from Arab princes.[6]

[1] Dozy, ii. 108, puts the distinction between the races very
forcibly: - "Ce peuple qui joignait à une gaité franche et vive
une sensualité raffinée devait inspirer aux prêtres, qui
aimaient les retraites éternelles et profondes, les grands
renoncéments et les terribles expiations, une répugnance
extrême et invincible."

[2] Dozy, ii. 223.

[3] "C'était leur terme consacrée." Dozy, ii. 211.

[4] "Heu pro dolor! quia esse sub Gentibus delicias computamus,
iugumque cum infidelibus ducere non renitimur. Et inde ex
cotidiano usu illorum sacrilegiis plerumque utimur et magis
ipsorum contubernia affectamus." - Eul., "Doc. Martyr," sec. 18.

[5] Conde, i. 244: "Chron. Alb.," vi. sec. 58: "Chron. Lib.,"
sec. 30.

[6] Al Makkari, ii. 161, Ordono the Bad and Hakem II.

Again, as was inevitable from the nature of the case, intermarriages
were common between the two races. The example was early set by the
widow of Roderic, the last Gothic king, marrying Abdulaziz, son of Musa.
The sons of Witiza also married Arab women, and Sarah, the daughter of
one of these princes, was the progenetrix of a noble family of Arabs,
one of her descendants being the historian, Ibn al Kuttiya, which means
son of the Gothic princess.[1] Abdurrahman Anassir, the greatest of all
the Spanish Sultans, was the son of a Christian slave, named Maria,[2]
and the mighty Almanzor had for grandmother the daughter of a renegade
Christian.[3] These are some instances, but it is not necessary to dwell
on what was so common an occurrence as intermarriage between the
peoples, and is forbidden neither by the Koran,[4] nor by the Bible.

However, there is one point in this connection which deserves a more
particular notice. The intermingling of the races has been supposed to
have been facilitated in part by the yearly tribute of 100 maidens paid
by the northern kings to the earlier Arab Sultans. Modern historians
mostly throw doubt upon the story, saying that of the early historians
none mention it, and that the Arabs do not even allude to it.[5] But if
Conde is to be trusted, an Arab writer does speak of it, as of a thing
well known. In a letter of Omar[6] ibn Alaftas Almudafar, King of
Algarve, to Alfonso VI., in 1086, occur the words: - "Do thou remember
the time of Mohammed Almanzor, and bring to thy mind those treaties
wherein thy forefathers offered him the homage even of their own
daughters, and sent him those damsels in tribute even to the land of our

[1] Al Makkari, ii. 15, 22, and De Gayangos' note, p. 454.

[2] Conde, i. 364.

[3] Dozy, iii. 124.

[4] Koran, v. 5: - "Ye are allowed to marry free women of those
that have received the Scriptures before you."

[5] Dunham, ii. 131: Romey's "Histoire d'Espagne," iii. 276.

[6] Conde, ii. 238: Al Makkari, ii. 256, calls him Omar ibn
Mohammed etc ibn Alafthas Almutawakkel, King of Badajos.

The maiden tribute is the subject of several ancient
ballads by the Christian Spaniards. The following are
two verses from one of these: -

"For he who gives the Moorish king a hundred maids of Spain
Each year when in the season the day comes round again;
If he be not a heathen he swells the heathen's train -
'Twere better burn a kingdom than suffer such disdain!

"If the Moslems must have tribute, make men your tribute-money,
Send idle drones to tease them within their hives of honey;
For, when 'tis paid with maidens, from every maid there spring
Some five or six strong soldiers to serve the Moorish king."[1]

Southey also says that the only old Portuguese ballad known to him was
on this subject. The evidence, then, of the ballads is strong for a fact
of this kind, telling, too, as it does, so much against the writers of
the ballads.[2]

As to the Christian chroniclers, it is quite true that we find no
mention of this tribute in the history of Sebastian of Salamanca and the
Chronicle of Albeldum, but there is a direct allusion to it in a
document included in the collection of Florez.[3] "Our ancestors," says
Ramiro, "the kings of the land - we blush to record it - to free
themselves from the raids of the Saracens, consented to pay them yearly
a shameful tribute of a hundred maidens distinguished for their beauty,
fifty of noble birth, and fifty from the people." It was to put an end
to this nefarious tribute that Ramiro now ordered a levy _en masse_.
This, if the document is genuine (and Florez gives no hint to the
contrary), is good evidence for the fact. Many succeeding writers
mention it. Lucas of Tuy[4] says that Ramiro was asked for the tribute
in 842. Johannes Vasaeus[5] speaks of it, as also Alfonso, Bishop of
Burgos;[6] and lastly, Rodrigo of Toledo[7] says that Mauregatus
(783-788), having obtained the throne of Leon by Saracen help, agreed to
send this tribute yearly.

On the whole, then, the evidence is in favour of the maiden tribute
being no myth, but of its having been regularly paid for more than fifty
years. Most of these Christian maidens probably embraced the religion of
their husbands, but in some cases they no doubt converted them to their
own faith.

From different causes, some of which will be mentioned elsewhere,
conversions were frequent from one religion to the other. Motives of
worldly interest naturally caused the balance in these to fall very much
against the Christians, but as the Mohammedan power declined the
opposite was the case. Though voluntary apostasy was, and is,
unpardonable, Mohammed seems to have made allowances for those who
apostatized under compulsion; for when one of his followers, Ammar ibn
Yaser, being tortured by the Koreish, renounced his belief in God and in
Mohammed's mission, but afterwards came weeping to the Prophet, Mohammed
received him kindly, and, wiping his eyes, said: "What fault was it of
thine, if they forced thee?"[8]

[1] Lockhart.

[2] Unless the ballads were written later than 1250 - _i.e._,
after Rodrigo of Toledo had made the story known by his

[3] "Espana Sagrada," xix. 329 - "Privilegiam quod dicitur
votoram, anno 844 a rege Ranemiro I., ecclesiae B. Jacobi

[4] Lucas Tudensis, "Chronicon Mundi," bk. iv.

[5] "Hispaniae Chronicon," 783 A.D.

[6] "Anacephalaiosis," sec. 51.

[7] III. c. 7.

[8] Koran, xvi. ver. 109, Sale's note.



That the conversions from Christianity to Islam were very numerous at
first we can sufficiently gather from the fact that the new converts
formed a large and important party in the State, and almost succeeded in
wresting the government of Spain from the Arabs. The disorder and civil
war which may almost be said to have been chronic in Spain during the
Arab dominion were due to the fact that three distinct races settled in
that country were striving for the mastery, each of these races being
itself divided into two bitterly hostile factions. The Arabs were split
up into the two factions of Yemenite or Beladi Arabs, the descendants of
Kahtan, and Modharites, the Arabs of Mecca and Medina, who claimed
descent from Adnan.[1] To the latter section belonged the reigning
family of Umeyyades. The Berbers, who looked upon themselves as the real
conquerors of Spain, and whose numbers were subsequently reinforced by
fresh immigrations, were composed of two hostile tribes of Botar and
Beranis. Thirdly, there were the Spaniards, part Christian, part
Mohammedan; the latter being either renegades themselves or the
descendants of renegades. These apostates were called by the Arabs
Mosalimah, or New Moslems,[2] and their descendants Muwallads,[3] or
those not of Arabic origin. The Christians were either tribute-paying
Christians, called Ahlu dh dhimmah; or free Christians, under Moslem
supremacy, called Ajemi;[4] or apostates from Islam,[5] called
Muraddin. The Muwallads, in spite of the Mohammedan doctrine of the
equality and brotherhood of Moslems, were looked down upon with the
utmost contempt by the pure-blooded Arabs.[6] Their condition was even
worse than that of the Christians, for they were, generally speaking,
excluded from lucrative posts, and from all administration of affairs - a
dangerous policy, considering that they formed a majority of the
population.[7] Stronger and more humane than the Berbers, they were
friends of order and civilization. Intellectually they were even
superior to the conquering Arabs.[8]

The natural result of their being Spaniards by race, and Arabs by
religion, was that they sided now with one faction and now with another,
and at one time, under the weak Abdallah (888-912), were the mainstay of
the Sultan against his rebellious subjects. After breaking with the
Sultan they almost succeeded in gaining possession of the whole kingdom,
and carried fire and desolation to the very gates of Cordova.[9]

[1] See above, p. 23, note 3.

[2] Cp. "New Christians."

[3] Pronounced Mulads, hence Mulatto. The word means "adopted."

[4] Al Makkari, ii. 446. De Gayangos' note.

[5] Al Makkari, ii. 458.

[6] Cp. "Gordon in Central Africa," p. 300. "... the only
regret is that I am a Christian. Yet they would be the first to
despise me if I recanted and became a Mussulman." An Arab poet
calls them "sons of slaves," Dozy, ii. 258.

[7] So Dozy, ii. p. 52. But perhaps he meant "of the Arab

[8] Dozy, ii. 261.

[9] Al Makkari, ii. p. 458. De Gayangos' note.

As early as 805 the Muwallads of Cordova, incited by certain
theologians, revolted under Hakem I., but the rising was suppressed. In
814, however, they again rose, and the rebellion being put down with
great severity by the help of the Berbers, the Cordovan Muwallads were
exiled, 1500 going to Alexandria, and 8000 to Fez.[1] But though
exterminated in Cordova, the renegades still mustered strong in Spain.
At Elvira they rose in Abdallah's reign, under a chief named Nabil, and
threw off the Arab yoke;[2] and, previously to this, Abdurrahman ibn
Merwan ibn Yunas and Sadoun had headed similar revolts at Badajos and
Merida.[3] At Seville the Muwallad element was specially strong, as we
see from the many family names, such as Beni Angelino, Beni Sabarico,
which betray a Spanish origin. The majority of the inhabitants embraced
Islam early, and had their mosque by the middle of the ninth century,
but they retained many Spanish customs and characteristics. When the
Arabs of Seville revolted against the Sultan, the renegade party joined
the latter. At Saragoza, the Beni Kasi, descendants of a noble Gothic
family, set up an independent kindgom, waging war indifferently with all
their neighbours.

[1] Dozy, App. B to vol. ii. Hakem was called Al rabadhi (=he
of the suburb) from this.

[2] Ihn Hayyan, apud Al Makkari, ii. 446, ff.

[3] In 875. "Chron Albel.," sec. 62. Dozy, ii. 184.

It does not come within the scope of this inquiry to trace out the
history of all the revolts made by the Arabs or Berbers against the
Sultan's authority, but the policy and position of the Muwallads and
Christians are a necessary part of our subject. The latter, though well
treated on the whole, naturally looked back with regret to the days of
their own supremacy, and were ready to intrigue with anyone able to
assist them against their Arab rulers. Accordingly we find them
communicating with the kings of France; and there is still extant a
letter from Louis the Debonnaire to the people of Merida, written in
826, which is as follows: - "We have heard of your tribulation, which you
suffer from the cruelty of your king Abdurrahman, who has tried to take
away your goods, and has oppressed you just as his father Abulaz did.
He, making you pay unjust taxes, which you were not bound to pay, turned
you from friends into enemies, and from obedient to disobedient
vassels, inasmuch as he infringed your liberties. But you, like brave
men, we hear, are resisting the tyrant, and we write now to condole with
you, and to exhort you to continue your resistance, and since your king
is our enemy as well as yours, let us join in opposing him.

"We purpose to send an army to the frontier next summer to wait there
till you give us the signal for action. Know then that, if you will
desert him and join us, your ancient liberties shall be secured to you,
and you shall be free of all taxes and tributes, and shall live under
your own laws."[1]

The army promised was sent under the king's son, but seems to have
effected nothing.

During the period of religious disturbance at Cordova, when the
voluntary martyrdoms became so frequent, and just at the time of
Mohammed's accession, the Christians of Toledo, encouraged, we may
suppose, by their proximity to the free Christians, revolted in favour
of their coreligionists at Cordova. No wonder then that Mohammed
imagined that the outbreak of fanaticism in Cordova was but the signal
for a general mutiny of his Christian subjects. As we have already seen,
the king set out with an army against the Toledans, who appealed to
Ordono I. of Leon for help. Glad enough to get such an opportunity for
weakening the Arab government, Ordono sent a large auxiliary force, but
the Toledans and Leonnese were defeated with great slaughter by the
Sultan's troops.[2] Within twenty years, however, Toledo became
practically independent, except for the payment of tribute.[3]

[1] Apud Florez, "Españo Sagrada."

[2] Dozy, ii. 162.

[3] _Ibid_, p. 182.

From all this it will be clear that the Spanish part of the population,
whether Moslem or Christian, was opposed to the exclusiveness of the old
Arabs, and ready to make common cause against them. The unity of race
prevailed over the difference of creed, as it did in the case of the
English Roman Catholics in the war with Spain, and as it usually will
under such circumstances. The national party were fortunate enough to
find an able leader in the person of the celebrated rebel, Omar ibn
Hafsun, who came near to wresting the sovereignty of Spain from the
hands of the Umeyyades. Omar was descended from a Count Alfonso,[1] and
his family had been Christians till the apostasy of his grandfather
Djaffar. Omar, being a wild unmanageable youth, took up the lucrative
and honourable profession of bandit, his headquarters being at Bobastro
or Bishter, a stronghold somewhere between Archidona and Ronda, in the
sierra stretching from Granada to Gibraltar.[2] After a brief sojourn in
Africa, where his ambition was inflamed by a prophecy announcing a great
future, he returned to Spain, and at once began business again as
brigand at Bobastro with nearly 6000 men.[3] Being captured, he was
brought to Cordova, but spared on condition of enlisting in the king's
forces. But he soon escaped from Cordova, and became chief of all the
Spaniards in the South, Moslem and Christian,[4] whose ardour he aroused
by such words as these: "Too long have you borne the yoke of the Sultan,
who spoils you of your goods, and taxes you beyond your means. Will you
let yourselves be trampled on by the Arabs, who look upon you as their
slaves? It is not ambition that prompts me to rebel, but a desire to
avenge you and myself." To strengthen his cause he made alliances at
different times with the Muwallads in Elvira, Seville, and Saragoza,
and with the successful rebel, Abdurrahman ibn Merwan, in Badajos.

[1] Dozy, ii. 190.

[2] Al Makkari, ii. 437. De Gayangos' note.

[3] In 880 or 881.

[4] See a description of him quoted by Stanley Lane-Poole
("Moors in Spain," p. 107) from an Arab writer: "Woe unto thee,
Cordova! when the captain with the great nose and ugly face - he
who is guarded before by Moslems, and behind by idolaters - when
Ibn Hafsun comes before thy gates. Then will thine awful fate
be accomplished."

Openly defying the Sultan's forces, he was only kept in check by
Almundhir, the king's son, who succeeded his father in 886. Omar was
further strengthened by the accession to his side of Sherbil, the Count
of Cordova.[1] The death of Almundhir in 888 removed from Omar's path
his only able enemy, and, during Abdallah's weak reign, the rebel leader
was virtual king of the south and east of Spain. The district of
Regio[2] was made over to him by the king, and Omar's lieutenant, Ibn
Mastarna, was made chief of Priejo.

This protracted war, which was really one for national independence, was
carried on year after year with varying success. At one time Omar
conceived the intention of proclaiming the Abasside Khalifs,[3] at
another he grasped at the royal power himself; and Abdallah's empire was
only saved by a seasonable victory in 891 at Hisn Belay (or Espiel).[4]
The battle was fought on the eve of the Passover, and the Moslems
taunted their enemies with having such a joyful feast, and so many
victims to commemorate it with. This shows that a large, perhaps the
largest, part of Omar's army was Christian. Another indication of this
is found in a poem of Tarikh ibn Habib,[5] where, speaking of the coming
destruction of Cordova, he says: "The safest place will then be the hill
of Abu Abdu, where once stood a church," meaning that Omar's Christian
soldiers would respect that sanctuary, and no other. Indeed, it is
certain that Omar himself became a Christian some time before this
battle,[6] as his father had done before him. He took the name of
Samuel, and his daughter Argentea, as we have seen, suffered martyrdom.
This change of creed on Omar's part changed the character of the war,
and gave it more of a religious,[7] and perhaps less of a national,
character, for the Spanish Moslems fell off from him, when he became
Christian and built churches.

[1] Servandus. Al Makkari, ii. 456. De Gayangos' note.

[2] Where Islam was almost extinct. Dozy, ii. 335.

[3] Al Makkari, ii. p. 456. De Gayangos' note.

[4] Ibn Hayyan, apud Al Makk., ii. p. 452. This seems to be the
same victory as that which Dozy (ii. 284) calls Polei or

[5] See Dozy, ii. p. 275.

[6] Ibn Hayyan, apud Dozy, ii. p. 326.

[7] In 896, on the capture of Cazlona by a renegade named Ibn
as Khalia, all the Christians were massacred. - Dozy, ii. p.

Towards the close of his reign Abdallah was able to assert his
supremacy, though Omar and his followers still held out. Omar himself
did not die till 917, some years after Abdallah's death. The king's
successor, Abdurrahman III., was a different stamp of man from Abdallah,
and the reduction of Omar became only a question of time, though, in
fact, the apostasy of Omar from Islam had made the ultimate success of
the national party very doubtful, if not impossible. After Omar's death,
his son, Djaffar, thought to recover the support of the Spanish Moslems
by embracing Islam; but he thereby lost the confidence of the
Christians, by whom he was murdered. In 928 his brother Hafs
surrendered, with Bobastro, to the Sultan, and the great rebellion was
finally extinguished.

So ended the grand struggle of the national party, first under
the-direction of the Muwallads, and then of the Christians, to shake off
the Arab and Berber yoke. During the remainder of the tenth century the
strong administration of Abdurrahman III., Hakem II., and the great
Almanzor, gave the Christians no chance of raising the cry of "Spain for
the Spanish." The danger of a renewal of the rebellion once removed, the
position of the Christians does not seem to have been made any worse in
consequence of their late disaffection, and Abdurrahman, himself the
son of a Christian mother, treated all parties in the revolt with great
leniency, even against the wishes and advice of the more devout Moslems.
Almanzor, too, made himself respected, and even liked, by his Christian
subjects, and there is no doubt that his victories over the Christian
States in the North[1] were won very largely with the aid of Christian
soldiers. His death was the signal for the disruption of the Spanish
Khalifate, and from 1010-1031, when the khalifate was finally
extinguished, complete anarchy prevailed in Saracen Spain. The Berbers
made a determined effort to regain their ascendency, and their forces,
seconded by the Christians, succeeded in placing Suleiman on the throne
in 1013. A succession of feeble rulers, set up by the different
factions - Arab, Berber, and Slave - followed, until Hischem III. was
forced to abdicate in 1031, and the Umeyyade dynasty came to an end,
after lasting 275 years. By this time the Christians in the North had
gathered themselves together for a combined advance against the Saracen
provinces, never again to retrograde, scarcely even to be checked, till
in 1492 fell Granada, the last stronghold of the Moors in Spain.[2]

[1] Al Makkari, ii. p. 214.

[2] In 1630 there was not a single Moslem left in Spain. - Al
Makk., i. p. 74.



In spite of the close contact into which the Christians and Mohammedans
were brought in Spain, and the numerous conversions and frequent
intermarriages between the two sections, no thorough knowledge seems to
have existed, on either side, of the creed of the other party. Such, at
least, is the conclusion to which we are driven, on reading the only
direct records which remain on the subject among Arab and Christian
writers. These on the Christian side consist chiefly of quotations from
a book on Mohammedanism by the abbot Speraindeo in a work of his
disciple, Eulogius;[1] and some rather incoherent denunciations of
Mohammed and his religion by Alvar,[2] another pupil of the abbot's. In
these, as might be expected, great stress is laid on the sensuality of
Mohammed's paradise,[3] and the lewdness of the Prophet himself. As to
the latter, though many of Gibbon's coarse sarcasms do not rest on good
authority, very little can be said for the Prophet. But among other
blasphemies attributed by Speraindeo to Mohammed is one of which we find
no mention in the Koran - the assertion, namely, that he would in the
next world be wedded to the Virgin Mary. John, Bishop of Seville, is
equally incorrect when, in a letter to Alvar,[4] he alleges a promise on
the part of Mohammed that he would, like Christ, rise again from the
dead; whereas his body, being neglected by his relations, was devoured
by dogs. The Christian bishop does not hesitate to add - sepultus est in
infernum - he was buried in hell.[5]

[1] Eul., "Mem. Sanct.," i. sec. 7.

[2] Alvar, "Ind. Lum.," secs. 21-35.

[3] _Ibid._, secs. 23, 24. Mohammed's paradise was by no means

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