The Muslim Occupation of al-Andalus is one of the most misunderstood periods of Spanish history. It is a history that had been presented to the world by various groups or individuals, all with different agendas. For instance, the 700-year period from 711 AD to 1492 is usually referred to as the Moorish occupation. It was not a Moorish occupation; the Moors comprised a very small minority amongst the occupiers. This book looks at why the occupation happened, why it lasted as long as it did and why it ultimately failed. It is not a chronological list of battles won and lost but it does look at the alliances that formed and reformed that made those battle possible and in some cases inevitable. It answers questions such as why did the Arab leaders of al-Andalus actually invite 'allies' to their cause, only to find within a few months that those allies became mortal enemies? Not once but twice. Why is one Arab emir not mentioned at all in Arab historical texts of the time? How was it that on many occasions, Muslims were allied to Christians fighting Christians and Muslims? How did conflict amongst the Christian allies prolong the reconquest? The misconceptions of 'Convivencia' - the concept that Jews, Christians and Muslims lived in harmony for 700 years is examined, and largely debunked. The book also looks at the positive side of the occupation, the advances in medicine, agriculture and the sciences. The Muslim Occupation is not a comprehensive history of the period, nor was it designed to be so. What it does do is raise many questions about the period, offer tentative answers and, through an extensive 'further reading' section allows those with sufficient curiosity to make their own enquiries and reach their own conclusions.
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