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ancient dependency of the Norman kings of Sicily, whose
sultans had always continued to pay tribute to the Hohen-
staufen, though they had refused it to their Angevin sup-
planter. Accordingly St Louis disembarked at Tunis, and
took up his quarters amidst the ruins of Carthage. He had
hoped that the presence of his army would frighten the enemy

462 European History, 918-1273

into yielding and accepting Christianity, but he soon found
its Failure, himself blockaded in his camp. Plague followed
Death of the heats of summer, and on 25th August St.

Louis died The new king, Philip the Bold,
who was in the camp, was almost forced by his barons to
conclude a truce by which the ancient tribute to the King
of Sicily was promised henceforth in double measure. The
remnants of the host then went sadly home, reverently con-
veying with them the remains of their dead monarch.

Edward of England appeared off Tunis after the truce had
been signed. He indignantly refused to be bound by the

disgraceful accommodation, and sailed with his

Crusade of . ,

Edward of little fleet of thirteen ships to Acre, where his
England, energy infused a little life into the resistance of

the Latins. .Even there the subtle influence of
Charles of Anjou made itself felt. He offered his mediation
with Bibars, and the dispirited Syrian Franks could not refuse
the chance of enjoying a short period of rest As at Carthage,
Edward contemptuously held aloof, but the truce was signed,
and the Sultan sought to assassinate the last champion of
resistance. The attempt failed, and as soon as his wounds
were cured, Edward went home to claim his kingdom. A
companion of his pilgrimage to Acre, Theobald of Lie"ge, now
became Pope Gregory x., and strove once more to preach a

great Crusade. At the Council of Lyons of 1274,

The Second

Council of which saw the temporary union of the Greek and
Lyonsand \jzfa Churches, the whole Western Church was

the failure

to revive the called upon to contribute a tenth of its revenues
Crusadet, f or s j x y^^ to equip the new Crusade. The
Holy War was preached all over Christendom,
but the appeal fell on deaf ears. Gregory soon died, and his
successors allowed the kings of Europe to lay hands on the
sacred treasure, a power which Edward I. himself did not
scruple to exercise. The hopes of a new rising of Christen-
dom became fainter and fainter as years rolled on and nothing
was done. The hollow union of Orthodox and Catholic soon

The Last Crusades and the East 463

came to an end. The death of Bibars rather than the arms
of the Westerns still kept alive the remnants of the Latin East.
At last Islam descended upon its prey. In 1289 Endoft he
Tripoli fell, and in 1291 Acre itself surrendered. Latin King-
Henceforth the Latin East was only represented
by the power of the Lusignans in Cyprus, and by the Hos-
pitallers' stronghold of Rhodes. The crusading impulse still
survived among a few enthusiasts : hut_with its decay as a
real force over the minds of men the noblest period of the
Middle Ages was at an end. Ye_t the Crusaders had not died
in vain. With all their violence and fanaticism, they had
afforded Europe the most striking embodiment of the uni-
versal monarchy of the Church. They .had made a long and
valiant effort to stem the tide of Eastern fury, and their long
resistance lessened and lightened the shock of its impact.
Had they succeeded permanently the Eastern Mediterranean
would have been saved from the horrors of Turkish rule, and
the Cross might never have yielded to the Crescent on the
shores of the Bosporus.



Characteristics of Spanish History The Caliphate of Cordova and its decline
The Christian States Navarre under Sancho the Great Beginning of
the Christian advance Alfonso VI. and the Conquest of Toledo The
Cid The Almoravides and the Battle of Zallaca The Divisions of
Islam Rivalry of Almoravides and Almohades Alfonso I. and the Rise
of Aragon Affonso Henriquez and the Capture of Lisbon Triumph of
the Almohades Innocent HI. and the Spanish Crusades Las Navas de
Tolosa James I. of Aragon and St. Ferdinand of Castile Completion of
the Reconquest Organisation of Christian Spain Peter of Aragon and
Alfonso the Wise of Castile.

THE period covered by this volume is marked by the gradual
re-entry of the Spanish peninsula into the Christian Common-
wealth. At the beginning of the tenth century
istioTof" tne Christian states of Spain were still confined to
Spanish the extreme north, while nearly all the land worth
)Iy ' having was subject to the sway of the Caliphs
of Cordova. Before the end of the thirteenth century Islam
had been driven back into the hills of southern Andalusia.
Four strong Christian kingdoms ruled the greater part of the
peninsula, and acquired, as a result of the continued Crusade
that gave them existence, a character intensely warlike, turbu-
lent, religious, and enthusiastic. On the ruins of the civilisa-
tion of Islam arose one of the most characteristic types of
mediaeval Christianity.

1 UlickR. Burke's History of Spain, 2 vols. (1895), S. Lane-Poole's
Moors in Spain, Watts' Spain, and Professor Morse Stephens' Portugal
(these three in ' The Story of the Nations ') ; Southey's Chronicle of the
Cid, H. B. Clarke's The Cid(* Heroes of the Nations '). Fuller accounts
in Dozy, Histoire des Mussulmans d'Esfagne, and Schafer and Schirr-
macher's Geschichte von Spanien,

The Growth of Christian Spain 465

It is impossible to follow in detail either the unending
revolutions of the Spanish Mohammedans, or the constant
fluctuations of victory and defeat between them and their
Christian rivals, or the intricate domestic history and per-
petual unions and divisions of the Spanish states themselves.
Yet the history of Europe, and of the great contest of Christi-
anity and Islam round which so much of our history turns,
would be very incompletely narrated were all reference to
the Spanish struggle omitted. In the present chapter this
can only be told in the baldest and briefest outline.

Among the first signs of the dissolution of Islam had been
the establishment by a branch of the Ommiades of a schis-
matic Caliphate at Cordova. Yet so long as TheC
the divisions of the Mohammedan world were not phate of
too inveterate, the followers of the Prophet, if no Cordov a.
longer active or aggressive, still upheld great and flourishing
states. Nowhere did Mohammedan civilisation attain a
greater glory than under the Caliphs Of Cordova, rne weaitnT
the luxury, the trade, the science and the arts of the East
never shone more brilliantly than in the days when Cordova
rivalled in splendour, luxury, and culture both the Fatimite
Court at Cairo and the orthodox Abbaside Caliphs of Bagdad.
Both the Jews and Christians enjoyed tolerable prosperity
under the Ommiad yoke, and the schools of Cordova pre-
served a tradition of Greek culture which made them famous
even in the Christian world. v The Caliphs ruled over all
Spain south of the lower Dourb and the mountains of the
Guadarrama, restricting the kings of Leon and Navarre and
the counts of Castile within the rugged region of the north,
while a series of half-independent Moorish states ran like a
wedge from the Ebro to the Pyrenees, and utterly separated
the kingdom of Navarre from the county of Barcelona or
Catalonia, which in its weakness remained dependent upon
the West-Frankish kings, as it had been since Charlemagne
first organised the Spanish March between Pyrenees and
Ebro. Wars of aggression seemed over ; religious wars even


466 European History, 918-1273

were almost dead. The Christian warriors ofthe north held
frequent intercourse with their infidel neighbours, an3 did
not^sewpteTcfavail themselves of their aid in their ceaseless
feuds with uut anotner.

The decline of the Caliphate of Cordova destroyed these fair
prospects. The dismemberment of Moorish Spain amongst
The Decline a series of rival Ameers increased the opportu-
of Cordova, nities of Christian aggression, while it destroyed
the peace and prosperity of Islam. In 1002 the death of the
great minister Almansor ended the prosperity of the Caliphate.
In 1028 the fall of the Ommiades was completed. Yet
Moorish culture died very slowly, and it was not until the
next century was nearly .over that the glory of Arab science
attained its culmination in the career of Averroes (1126-
1198), the greatest of the Cordovan doctors, and the teacher
of the schoolmen of Christendom. But political supremacy
had long passed away from the Moors. The disunion of
Islam was the opportunity of the Christians,~~ahd7 despite
Several Mohammedan revivals, Ih6 fortunes of Christian
Spain were now assured, though for a long time the advance
was fitful and exceedingly slow. The divided Moors fell
back upon the support of their brethren in Africa, without
whose help their decline would have been much more rapid.
/ At the time of the fall of the Calipate there were four
Christian states in Spain, the kingdoms of Leon and Navarre,
and the counties of Barcelona and Castile.

I tie

Christian Under the rule of Sancho the Great (970-1035)
the little upland kingdom of Navarre held for the
moment the first place among them. But Sancho turned his
main energies towards conquering his Christian neighbours,
Supremacy and before his death he dominated, with the title
of Navarre o f Emperor, all Christian Spain, save the Spanish
Sancho March. On his death his dominions were

the Great divided among his children. Among these was
Castile, already erected into a kingdom in favour of his
second son Ferdinand. Another son, Ramiro, had received

The Growth of Christian Spain 467

the little knot of mountain land which subsequently grew
into the kingdom of Aragon, and which under Alfonso I.
extended its territories towards the Ebro valley, Union of
at the expense of the Ameers of Saragossa. Mean- castiie and
while the preponderance formerly enjoyed by ^^nnTngof
Sancho the Great was transferred to central Spain the Christian
by the union of the ancient kingdom of Leon with advance -
the great monarchy of Castile, under Ferdinand I. Before
this prince's death in 1065 the conquest of the valley of the
Douro began the period of definitive expansion. In the
lower Douro valley Ferdinand set up the vassal county of
Oporto, and, between that stream and the Mondego, another
tributary county of Coimbra. Under Alfonso vi. the time
of the great conquests began. The Castilians crossed the
high mountains of Guadarrama, and penetrated into the valley
of the Tagus. For a long time Alfonso feared to break
openly with the Ameer of Toledo, the lord of that region,
but he found an ally in the rival Ameer of Seville, whose
daughter he now took as his concubine. While the .,, WT


Moors of Toledo fought against their co-religionists conquer*
at Seville, Alfonso conquered the upper valley of Toledo -
the Tagus, and became lord of Madrid, the modern capital
of Spain. In vain the Ameer offered to become the vassal
of the triumphant Castilian for the rest of his dominions.
Alfonso swept steadily down the course of the great river. In
1085 he entered in triumph into Toledo itself.

The history of Alfonso's alliances shows how little of
religious fanaticism entered into the wars of the two races.
Even his crowning conquest of Toledo was due not so much
to his prowess as to a treacherous league with some of its
disloyal defenders. Alfonso's famous subject.
Ruy Diaz, the Cid Campeador, the most famous
legendary hero of early Spain, though figuring in romance
as a Christian hero, was in history a brave and self-seeking
condottiere^ who sold his sword to the Moors, or took
the pay of the rival King of Aragon almost as

468 European History, 918-1273

as he fought for his native Castile. But the fall of the
ancient Gothic capital created a terrible panic in the Moham-
medan world, and something like a Crusade was started by
Islam to win back the ground that it had lost The
frightened Ameers of Spain met together, and agreed to
seek foreign help against the overbearing foe. A sect of
The AI- Mohammedan enthusiasts, called the Almoravides,
moravides. an( j ma i n ly composed of the Berbers of the Sahara,
had recently overrun all northern Africa, displacing the ancient
Arab dynasts, and rekindling the ancient zeal of the followers
of the Prophet. The Spanish Moors now turned to Yussuf,
the Almoravides' leader, and begged him to come to their
assistance. After some hesitation Yussuf accepted the chal-
lenge. In 1086 he crossed the Straits of Gibraltar. His
army of fierce and barbarous nomads of the desert soon
wrought infinitely greater havoc on the Christians than the
lax and effeminate Arabs of the Peninsula had been wont
to do. Alfonso vi., who was besieging Saragossa when he
heard of Yussufs arrival, turned south to resist the new foe,
and the kings of Aragon and Navarre sent reinforcements to
the strongest representative of the Christian cause. But on
Battle of 2 3 f d October 1086 the host of Alfonso was
Zaiiaca. utterly destroyed at the battle of Zallaca, near
Badajoz, and the victorious African was proclaimed Ameer
of Andalous or Moorish Spain.

Spanish Christianity was now saved by the dissensions that
broke out between the Spanish Arabs and their African cham-
Divisions of pion. The petty Ameers of Spain were disgusted
Islam. at Yussuf remaining behind in the Peninsula and

striving to be its effective ruler. Hostilities soon broke out
between them and Yussuf, who, finding allies in the fanatic
party in Andalous itself, diverted his arms from the Christians
against the subordinate lords of Islam. Within the next few
years he had conquered every Ameer save the ruler of Sara-
gossa, who was suffered to hold his northern marchland against
the aggressive Aragonese. During this period Alfonso vi.

The Growth of Christian Spain 469

resumed his conquests. He devastated the lower valley of the
Tagus from Toledo to the sea, and for the time Alfonso vi.
made himself master of Lisbon. Meanwhile the takes Lisbon.
Cid profited by the dissensions of Islam to pursue a bolder
career. He deserted his paymaster, the Ameer of Saragossa,
and at the head of his trusty mercenaries sought to carve a
state for himself out of the ruins of the power of Islam
in eastern Spain. In 1094 he made himself conquest of
master of Valencia, after performing prodigies Valencia by
of valour. But a disastrous failure cost him the
lives of the best of his troops, and in 1099 the Cid died
of grief at the loss of his faithful followers. His widow strove
in vain to hold Valencia against the Moors, but her only
possible helper was the king of Castile, and he was too far
off to give effective assistance. Three years later she aban-
doned the smoking ruins of Valencia to the Moorish hosts,
and retired with the bones of her husband to a safe refuge in
Castile. Before this Yussuf had become master of Moham-
medan Spain. He again turned his arms against Alfonso,
and easily drove the Castilians from Lisbon and their other
recent conquests. It was all that Alfonso could do to
maintain himself in Toledo. His death in 1108 saved him
from further disasters.

Yussuf had already died in 1106, but the dissensions of
Castile and Leon that followed the death of Alfonso vi.
made it easy for his successors to hold their own.
Before long, however, the short term of activity of Aimora^
of an Oriental dynasty had ended; and the videsand
Almoravides saw their African possessions taken
away from them by the newer and fiercer power of the Almo-
hades, the Berbers of the Atlas, who had long resented the rule
of their brethren of the desert. Meanwhile the Almoravides'
hold over Spain was becoming weakened. The Berber
soldiers still ruled over the Moslem as conquered subjects,
and their fanatic zeal still more disgusted the Mozarabic
Christians (i.e. the Christians subject to the Arab yoke) who

470 European History, 918-1273

had borne with equanimity the tolerant yoke of the Spanish
Alfonso i Arabs. A new saviour of the Christians now
and the Rise arose in Alfonso i. of Aragon, the true founder
o Aragon. o ^. t ^ e Aragonese power. In in8 he had won
for Aragon its natural capital in Saragossa. He led de-
structive forays into the heart of Andalusia, and brought
home with him numerous Mozarabic families, to whom he
afforded a new home in the north. By the time of his death
before the walls of Valencia, Aragon had become second only
to Castile among the kingdoms of Christian Spain. Nor
were the successes of the Cross only in Aragon. Count Ray-
mond Berengar iv. of Barcelona united for a time his county
with Aragon and conquered Tortosa in 1148. In the extreme
west the little counties of Oporto and Coimbra had long been
united to form the county of Portugal, now ruled by Affonso
Affonso Henriquez, the founder of Portuguese greatness.
Henrique* j n u^g Affonso penetrated far into the heart of
Capture of the Moorish country beyond the Tagus and won
Lisbon. t ne f am ous battle of Ourique. Next year he as-
sumed the title of King of Portugal. In 1147, with the help
of a fleet of English and German warriors on their way
to join the Second Crusade, Affonso drove the Moors out
of Lisbon, which now became the capital of the infant
kingdom. The Crusaders to the East now joined hands
with the Crusaders of the West. While the Northern
pilgrims helped to conquer Lisbon, French Crusaders fought
for Raymond Berengar of Barcelona and Provence, and the
Knights of the Temple and the Hospital stationed them-
selves in the valley of the Ebro as well as in Syria. Spain
soon had Military Orders of her own. In 1149 Sancho ix.
of Castile captured Calatrava, on the upper Guadiana,
The Spanish ^ rom tne Moors, and made it over to the
Military Cistercians, who, inspired by St. Bernard, were
already establishing themselves in Spain and
proclaiming the Crusade against the infidel. In 1158
the knightly order of Calatrava was set up to defend the

The Growth of Christian Spain 471

Cistercian possession. The order was the 'holy soldiery
of Citeaux,' a sort of martial section of the White Monks,
and in close dependence upon them. In an equally close
relation to the Cistercians stood the order of St. Julian,
founded even earlier, in 1152, by the king of Leon, which
became, in 1218, the order of Alcantara, when that strong-
hold on the lower Tagus was won from the Moors and
handed over to the knights to defend it. Both orders took
the full monastic vows, but a less ascetic regimen prevailed
with the order of Evora in Portugal, set up in 1162 as a sort
of ' conversi ' or lay brethren of the Cistercians, and allowed
marriage and the enjoyment of property. On the same lines
was formed, under the patronage of Alexander in. and Inno-
centui^the most famous of the Spanish orders, that of Santiago,
which, alone of its class, was quite independent of Citeaux.
Under the Cistercian guidance the Spanish struggle The
took more and more the character of a religious Crusades
war. Instead of local wars between neighbouring "
chieftains, the contest now became part of the general struggle
between the two civilisations and religions that had so long
divided the world.

The deepening feud of the Almoravides and Almohades
allowed the Christians, despite their own divisions, to win fresh
ground. In 1146 Morocco was captured by the Triumph
Almohades, who immediately afterwards crossed of the
the Straits to extend their rule from Africa to Alniohades -
Andalous. The fierce sectarian conflict of the rival Moham-
medans had for its natural result the almost simultaneous cap-
tures of Tortosa, Lisbon, and Calatrava. But the Almohades
soon made themselves masters of infidel Spain, and turned
fiercely against the Christians. In 1185 they won the battle ot
Alarcos over Alfonso vm. of Castile. Their victory stayed for
the time the progress of the Cross, and restored Calatrava
to the rule of the Crescent. For the rest of the century
the constant wars between Leon, Castile, Navarre, and
Aragon played the game of the infidel.

47 2 European History, 918-1273

Innocent HI. revived the Crusading ardour of Spain, and
inspired great bands of Northern warriors to cross the Pyrenees
innocent HI an< ^ J om * n ^ struggle against Islam. Alfonso
and the viii. sought to atone for the disasters of his youth

Crasade ^ v i ctor i es m his old age. A vast Crusading host
collected at Toledo, and showed its ardour by
mercilessly butchering the Jews of that city. The threats
and entreaties of the great Pope inspired King Peter of
Aragon and the king of Navarre to join the army of Alfonso
Of Castile. Thg lnra\ mi'litary orders werft well tq thp fore,

and only the ...king..Qf_ Leon held aloof from the greatest
Battle of Las c o mDm ed effort that had as yet ever been made
Navas de against Spanigfc -Islam. The crusading host
Toiosa. crossed the mountains of Toledo and restored the

rule of Castile in the upper valley of the Guadiana, where
Calatrava was now restored to its Cistercian lords. It was
with much difficulty that the Christians could be persuaded to
advance farther south, but a shepherd showed them a path
which enabled them to avoid the Moorish host that was
waiting for them in the denies of the Sierra Morena, and
they successfully crossed the mountains to Las Navas de
Toiosa, an upland valley watered by a tributary of the Guadal-
quivir. There, on i6th July 1212, was fought the famous
battle of Las Navas de Toiosa, which secured for ever the
preponderance of Christian ftjr~fn- Spain. Within fifty years
of the victory the Moors had all they could do to hold their
own in the little kingdom of Granada that alone represented
the ancient Andalous.

James I. (1213-1276) of Aragon and Ferdinand in. (the
Saint) completed the work which Alfonso vin. had thus suc-
jame i. of cessfully begun. The son of that Peter of Aragon
Aragon. w h o h a( j fought so well at Las Navas de Toiosa,
James was called to his kingdom as a child by his father's
death on the fatal field of Muret. He was a true hero of
chivalry, one of the greatest warriors of the Middle Ages,
ardent, pious, merciful, and ignorant of the very name of fear.

The Growth of Christian Spain 473

Though a soldier of the Cross, his matrimonial irregularities
did not escape papal censure. While first of all a warrior,
he did not shun the arts of peace, writing in his native
Catalan tongue an autobiographical chronicle which is one of
the most precious records of the thirteenth century. 1 His first
exploit was the conquest of the Balearic Islands between
1229 and 1232. He then turned against Valencia, anxious
to do over again the work of the Cid. In 1238 Valencia
opened her gates to him, and Aragon thus established her
limits such as they remained so long as she remained an
independent kingdom.

Saint Ferdinand (Ferdinand m.)of Castile reigned from 1214-
1252, and was enabled in 1230 to effect the definitive union
of Leon with his original inheritance. He fought gt Ferdi .
with great brilliancy and courage with the Moors nand of
in the valley of the Guadalquivir, and before his Castlle<
death succeeded in utterly expelling them from the most
famous of their haunts. In 1236 he conquered the ancient
seat of the Caliphs at Cordova, and turned the famous
mosque of many columns into a Christian cathedral, while in
1246 his triumphs in this region were completed by his
capture of Jaen. Before that, in 1244, he had entered Seville,
and in 1250 the capture of Xeres and Cadiz gave him access
to the Atlantic. His successor, Alfonso x., completed the
conquest of Murcia in conjunction with James of Aragon.
Meanwhile Portugal had acquired her modern limits by 1262,
by the conquest of Algarve, Spanish Algarve being also won
by Alfonso x. When Islam was thus nearly overthrown the
tide of conquest was stayed, and for more than two hundred
years longer Granada, but Granada alone, remained in Moorish

After the land had been won back from the Moors,
the Spanish kings had to deal with the organisation and

1 The Chronicle of James I. of Aragon, translated by John Foster, with
an introduction by Pascual de Gayangos.

474 European History^ 918-1273

government of their conquests. The withdrawal of the
The Organi- Mohammedans left great tracts of territory open to
sation and the settlement of the hardy northerners, among

Government . . . . ,. . , . ...

of Christian whom the land was divided out, like a new country
Spain. f or the first time opened up to civilisation.

Online LibraryT. F. (Thomas Frederick) ToutThe empire and the papacy, 918-1273 → online text (page 39 of 45)