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Al Andalus – Spain April 6, 2016

Posted by anagasto in history, Spain.
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Location Spain
with permission fromGoogle locations ? Company ? Google https://www.google.com/about/company/.../locations.

with permission from “Google locations”
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Córdoba– the Roman bridge and the Mezquita by James (Jim) Gordon under CC Attribution 2.0 Generic license en http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Roman_Bridge,_C%C3%B3rdoba,_Espana.jpg

Cordoba was the capital of a fabled empire where three great religions, various languages,  the sciences, technology and the arts all lived together.

It was called Al Andalus.

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The Year 711 : Al Andalus

The Arabs invaded Spain and soon controled a large part of it. They made Cordoba the capital of their new empire.

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Map by Gabagool published under the CC Attribution 3.0 Unported license at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Almohad1200.png.

The writings of the Greek philosophers  had been translated into Arabic in the ninth century.
The Arabs brought the books to Al Andalus and the Jews translated them, and together they introduced the philosophy of Plato and Aristotle to Catholic Europe.

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There was a revival of Greek culture at a time when the rest of Europe was still poor.

The great Mosque still stands and now receives tourists from all over the world.

mezquita

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The  Mosque is so huge that the Spanish Christians later built a cathedral inside it. Now the cathedral, large as it is, looks small  like a chapel.


Air photograph by “Salvatorecoco” under CC Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mezquita-Catedral_de_C%C3%B3rdoba.jpg.

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Granada: the famous Alhambra

see alhambra

Its name is Arab and means “the red house”. It made the news when US President Bill Clinton said that its sundown was the greatest in the world.

The photo by Bernjan is under a CC Attribution license at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Vista_de_la_Alhambra.jpg.

See recent and more detailed photos at http://lanomademoderne.wordpress.com/2011/02/20/the-alhambra-pt-1/

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This is its courtyard:


Patio of the Lions, Alhambra of Granada. Photo by “comakut” under CC Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:80525560_0eb2c1d54a_o.jpg

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black gloves on old script
Ismael Diadié saved 7.000 Kati documentos before leaving Mali as a refugee.
http://cultura.elpais.com/cultura/2013/02/21/actualidad/1361481642_900424.html.

Maimonides

According to legend, there was once a certain harmony between the great religions.

maimonides2

Maimonides lived in Spain and Egypt in the 12th century. He is one of the great  philosophers and a doctor. His most famous work is called “The Guide for the Perplexed”: Did the universe have a beginning? Will it ever end?  Do the structures of nature suggest there is a rational design?

He was Jewish, but wrote in Arabic which had become an international language because of the advance of Islam and the Koran:
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5Age of Caliphs wiki year 750

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Muslim Technology and Agriculture

Industrial mills using wind or water as a driving force were built in Al Andalus between the 11th and 13th centuries.

The Arabs built advanced water supply and irrigation  systems and installed  street lamps and waste containers.

They invented and tried out a parachute, and some historians think that they designed the first hang glider, though there were earlier instances of manned kites being used in ancient China.
From the Muslim invaders Spain received novel agricultural and fruit-growing processes, together with many new plants, fruits and vegetables including sugar cane, rice, citrus fruit, apricots, cotton, artichokes, aubergines, and saffron.

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The Year 1236: The End of a World

Christian kings finally took Córdoba away from the Caliphs in 1236, but there are souvenirs in Spain’s language and in many of its customs, its architecture, its music, as  Arabs ruled large parts of Spain until 1492:

Photo by Holycharly under the CC Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 France license at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:GRX_Generalife_7661_41.JPG .

And the pretty, narrow streets of the Old Jewish Quarter, where you would still hear this copla from another time:

¿Adónde vas, bella judía
Sola y a deshora?
Voy en busca de Rebeco
Que está en la sinogoga.

Where are you going, beautiful daughter of Israel
All alone and so late?
I’m going to the synogogue
To see Rebecco.

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Words of Arab origin in English

There are very many. Below is a small selection taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Arabic_loanwords_in_English.

candy
alcohol
apricot
orange
sugar
lemon
coffee

admiral
chemistry
magazine
caliber
arsenal
check
assassin

algebra
cipher
average
chess
tariff
zero

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Arab life is governed by the Coran, their sacred book.

It contains some of the most famous Bible stories re-written according to the  revelations received by Mohammed.

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(A page from a manuscript from Al-Andalus, 12th century. Sura 15 : Al-Hijr, in public domain  according to http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:AndalusQuran.JPG
It is the story of Joseph and begins like this:

We do relate unto thee the most beautiful of stories,

Behold! Joseph said to his father: “O my father! I did see eleven stars and the sun and the moon: I saw them prostrate themselves to me!”
Said the father: “My dear little son! relate not thy vision to thy brothers, lest they concoct a plot against thee: for Satan is to man an avowed enemy!”

(The complete text in English and Arabic is at http://www.muslimaccess.com/quraan/arabic/012.asp….!!!! today, July 6, 2015 this “muslimaccess” site is  not available, but I have just found it quoted as Verse 12 at http://jahtruth.net/kofk-free/Bible/s012.htm.)

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Comments»

1. kardasian - August 25, 2011

Dear Cantueso, thanks a lot for your inspiring blog. For the first time I have found a big mistake that don’t correspond with your ussual accuracy.
The patio de los leones courtyard belongs to the Alhambra de Granada
Best regards

2. cantueso - August 25, 2011

And thank you very much for telling me!

In fact, however, I already suspected it because the original name of the photo included the term “Generalife” which I had heard before but could not place, so that, while you wrote here, I was out there looking for its meaning.

It is a strange word.

3. Spanish Muslim architecture. Al-Andalus architecture | Yareah Magazine. Arts and writing - December 15, 2012

[…] Al Andalus – Spain […]

4. cantueso - March 18, 2014

Dear Reader:

In case you know about Al Andalus:

As you can see above, I am thankful and receptive for corrections.
Andalusia is the happiest, most beautiful of places, but its history is complex, and I never even heard about it until 2011 thanks to Heinrich Heine’s Romanzero.
..

!!
As to history teachers and their history books:

non ragioniam di lor, ma guarda e passa.


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