Semblante the Al Hakem II (910 / 29 September 976)

Majlisse Chi'ir in the court of Al-Hakem II

Fué Al-Hakem II, Prince most learned and passionate about science, literature and the arts, whose most precious books eagerly collected, making at all costs bring the Persia, Syria, Arabia, Egypt and Africa. So he came to be in his palace Merwan a library consisting of approximately Four Hundred Thousand Volumes, distributed by exquisite materials shelves. The catalog of these books are composed, according to Ibn-Haiyan, forty volumes, whose leaves contained only the header of each work. It was therefore, Al-Hakem, because of their special knowledge in all branches of human knowledge, one of the most learned and educated men of his time, as biographer, historian and genealogist; and carried to such an extent his love of books kept in his palace hosted the best pendolistas, illuminators and bookbinders, coming to form by this means the largest, rich and valuable collection of manuscript that had never been in Muslim domains, even Baghdad, where Harun-elRaschid and their descendants had gathered great treasures of intellectual culture.

This is with this, the new impetus that science and letters receive a prince as illustrated, so linking all their desires to gather at his court the most learned men of his century, and its colossal library choicest works of human knowledge, for some of which, como to from Kitab-el-Aghany,e most famous books of the wise Abu-I-Faraje, author gave a thousand pieces of gold gained more value, equivalent to a thousand ounces of currency in Spain (Al-Makkari.)

So Al-Hakem spent the first two years of his reign splitting his time between books Merwana Library, delight the Alcázar de Medina Azahara and conversation with the wise without neglecting serious affairs of state, began to unravel when least expected given the general peace enjoyed in Spain. One of the first acts of the new caliph is referred Al-Makkari, name was hajib, the primer minister Djafar, powerful man and warrior accredited; who thanked as marked distinction, presented a gift in this way: 100 European Mamluks, mounted and armed with sword, spear and shield; 320 chainmail; 500 almetes; 300 throwing spears; 10 chainmail silver-gilt; 100 serving buffalo horns trumpet, and other rare and precious objects.

♦ The conflict on the peninsula
But this first act of Al Hakem, was also his first political mistake since added new fuel to the fire that came from ancient burning, and which should die burned his son and successor Hisham. Indeed; Djafar era eslavo, and by virtue his rise to the highest since the government of the country, must necessarily produce between general and Arab wasires, namely, among the Muslim aristocracy, the same irritation that the trust placed by Abderrahman III Nadjda of Hira and other slaves of the same species. This indicated that the child intended to follow the same policy as his father as to overcome the ancient nobility eunuchs and Slavs Andalusian palace, strangers all humblest origin but not as wretched, thus aviváronse resentments of the most illustrious families, convinced that the left Umayyad ascendancy take in court eunuchs and Slavs, and numerous rich and sick, I had no other object than to use them to humiliate the Arab nobles.

Fortunately came to distract the general concern one of those events that were privileged to converge the eyes of all Muslims to a point of interest, at least for the Andalusians, if were sometimes rebel against the authority of the Caliphs, never were traitors to the religious principle that represented, case for being the most distant from Leon Ramiros.

Hé event here. The chronicles Christian Castilian an earl called Vela, he was expelled from Castile by Fernan Gonzalez, had taken refuge with their partial, per year 962 in Cordoba, where he was well received and entertained by the Caliph, who continually urged, for purposes of revenge and ambition, to war did brothers from across the Douro. A traitor's pleas, uniéronse to decide the mood of Al-Hakem, the specifications that often came to Córdoba sent by the governors of the border, realizing that the repeated raids of Castile Christians in Muslim lands were, plundering the villages, snatching the fruits and cattle, in terms that the country toward uninhabitable and its inhabitants.

The Caliph of Cordoba lived in peace with the king of León, whom the most powerful motives of gratitude vedaban the break it; but the powerful Count of Castile, that fact had emancipated sovereignty of king, those having no grounds, hastily broke, and was due to be renewed war, that seemed forgotten since 955, between Christians and Muslims. Stung, for, Al-Hakem on one side by the excitations of Count Vela, and the other by the need to put an end to raids by the Spaniards in their domains, executively decided to open the campaign in the United Count of Castile; and in order to activate and eager to show his subjects who had not left on the shelves of the Library Merwana the value warrior of his race, moved to Toledo, to enable their presence and authority military preparations.

Reunited flags, the Caliph took over army, came to him in the land of Christians (Earl, c. 89), and besieged the fortress of San Felices. The Spaniards came to the aid of the square; more were completely defeated, after Muslims whose victory took by assault the fortress, went to the edge of the sword his garrison and leveled its walls. The same fate quota to Simancas, Coca, Osma and Coruña del Conde, Zamora y finally, (which we question, as the square belonged to the king of Leon). After the campaign, the Caliph returns to Córdoba where he had prepared a triumphal entry, and was acclaimed Billah Al-Mostansir (which relies on the help of God.)

The most unique event of this campaign, was, according to the testimony of the chroniclers bishops, Rodrigo of Toledo and Lucas de Tuy, that she not only took an active part with the Earl partial Candle, but in every game he was cruelly, very cruel to Christians, ruthlessly killing those who fell into their hands. As seen, betrayal of Wali of Santarem Omaiya-ibn-Ishac, that 937, sought support in the court of Leon for the purposes of his revenge, and conduct in the battle of Simancas, was slavishly copied in the years of 962 and 63 by Christian Earl. This is a clear sign of the influence of Muslim customs exercised in Christians as the political and social friction to more frequent between the two races; and so is the increase of power of the kingdom located north of the Duero.

The campaign of the year 964 was no less adventurous for weapons than the previous Caliph. Castile, Navarre, whose king, Garcia Temblón, seems that he had violated the terms of a treaty with Al-Hakem, and the County of Barcelona suffered the devastations alternatively Muslims, and were in need of call for peace.

Sancho I of León, aghast, says an historian of our day, -Why? Should not the throne to Abderrahman III? Was not there lived three years in Cordoba, probably intimate with the same Al-Hakem? Had not watched religiously until then the treaty of friendship and alliance with the glorious Caliph held!-Sent messengers to Cordoba with Al-Hakem entablasen peace negotiations (read to renew the old treaties). The Caliph was pleased to receive the embassy; gave lavishly to the envoys of Leon in his palace of Medina Azahara, and completed his diplomatic mission, was accompanied to the Lion for your advice Wazir had asked to present on their behalf, a Sancho I, two beautiful purebred Arabian horses, two beautiful swords of Toledo and Cordoba factory and two hawks from among the most generous and haughty (Earl, c. 89). Leonés encouraged with the success of his first embassy, in the following year asked the Caliph Al-Hakem and translation return to capital, the body of the holy martyr Pelayo, to which he agreed the ruler of Cordoba (Sampiro. Annal. Compost.)

♦ The Barbarian Invasions
The year 966, Al-Hakem meeting, at peace with all Christian kings and princes of the Peninsula, It could comfortably delivered his ruling passion for science and literature, and to the care of the government and administration of his empire. Of these I came to distract attention a letter from the wali of Cazr abi-Danis (Alcacer do Sal, in Lusitania) that heralded the emergence of a Norman fleet in those costs.

Boats Norman
Boats Norman

Here are the terms in which the historian refers IbnAdhari the success of the third Norman Invasion of Pirates, on the shores of Muslim Spain (Dozy, Research, t. 2.° p. 302).

«The Redjeb 1 year 355 (23 June 966), the news that a Norman fleet had appeared in the West Sea was received in Córdoba; all the inhabitants of the coast were very startled, knowing they used to do landings in Spain, and, last, the fleet consisted of twenty ships. Very soon other communications came from the same point, in which news stories from the pirates gave, who had plundered the coast and reached near Lisbon. Muslims came to meet them and gave them a battle in which many of our people were martyred, and not a few infidels were passed to the sword. The Muslim army set sail from Seville, and sighted the Madjiojes in the river Silves. Ours got several enemies out of combat vessels, freedom were Muslim prisoners who were in them, dispersed killed many infidels and others. Since then often came to Córdoba news Madjiojes movements for the west side, until God away.»

In another place he says: «In the same year, Ibn-Al-Hakem's order Fotais, to enter the fleet in the river in Cordoba (Guadalquivir) and commanded build ships similar to those of the Madjiojes (God extermínelos) in order that these, believing them of theirs they approached to them

Ibn-Kaldun says this about the same event: «In this year appeared in the Ocean Madjiojes, and looted around Lisbon. After a battle engaged with Muslims, volviéronse sus ships. Al-Hakem ordered his generals guarding the coast, and his admiral Abderram ibn-Romahis that was done immediately to sea. After the news was received that the Muslim troops had defeated the enemy at all points

I, Dozy dice, have found Dudo of St. Quentin, the relationship of the battle that took place near Lisbon, and the leading Arabic news chroniclers. It has been believed until now, the narrative to which I refer relates to a battle that took place in Galicia; but the words do not support such an assumption Dudo. Dice, that having been beheaded peasants in many places, a Spanish army was sent against the Normans who defeated, and having turned pirates after three days on the battlefield to strip dead, were surprised that the bodies of blacks have some white parts while others had retained its original color. «I wish I knew, adds Dudo, I explain how this dialectical phenomenon that ensure, the black color is inherent in the skin of the Ethiopians, and that never changes,"It seems to me that this paragraph relates to the Moros and not to Gallegos. In the sagas (historical songs) North, is called the Saracens Blamenn, black men, Scandinavians believed that the Saracens were all this color. So by stripping the dead on the battlefield, the Normans had to do with surprise that the Moors were as white as they tan despite your face, neck and hands.

Dudo, As seen, testifies that the Muslims were defeated in the battle, which in vain tries to hide Ibn-Adhari. However, the Normans eventually be overcome; more brave because they were could not possibly resist the excellent troops and to the powerful navy of Al-Hakem II.

A few years after, moving away from the coast of Spain Muslim those fierce and bloodthirsty pirates,-Which soon appeared on Galicia, in whose province were killed after, after having plundered the district of Compostela and extended its ravages to the mountains of Cebrero,Córdoba-news reached very serious issues relating to Africa, where the audacity of the Fatimids and the betrayal of Edrisita El-EIasan, had returned to turn the war against the Andalusian.

♦ Problems with territories in Africa
It seems, for, Fatimid Caliph of the Kairwan sent, in 968, an army to subdue the Maghreb Zenetas tribes who refused to obey him. The Hasan edrisita, who ruled that region on behalf of the Caliphs of Cordoba, abandoned the cause of their sovereign and joined the Fatimids, making proclaim in every mosque in the name of his government Caliph of that dynasty, Moez Ledin Alá. The war that followed this betrayal was long and miserable for the Andalusians, from defeat to defeat that they were at last (972) locked in Tangier and Ceuta, the only places remaining, then, in Africa under the control of the Caliph of the West. Alarmed by Al-Hakem transcedentales those setbacks, sent considerable forces to the theater of war; and fired the commander of the expeditionary army in these words: "Do not come back to Cordova but dead or winner. The aim is to overcome; so do not be greedy or stingy in rewarding the brave, also not forget that gold you win battles. "Caliph's intention was understood and executed their orders at the foot of the letter. The tribes resisted so gallantly to Andalusian swords let soften for gold, and in one night they abandoned El-Hasan, with some gentlemen who fled to take refuge in an impregnable fortress called the rock of the Eagles, where he had his harem and treasures.

Bloqueáronla so closely Andalusian troops to cut off the water reached its defenders. El-Hasan finally reduced to the last extremity, asked capitulation, that was granted, under the condition of coming to Spain to personally make his concerts with the Caliph of Cordoba. Careers Andalusians in one campaign (973 the 974) of all the peoples of the Maghreb and strengths, reestablished the authority of his sovereign in Féz, insured left the country and returned to Spain in Ceuta embarking.

Magnánimo y generoso Al-Hakem, Cordoba received with marked honor and distinction to the defeated and taken prisoner edrisita El-Hasan; read ceded to him abode palace Mogueiz, where unfair stayed with his family and treasures, and pointed salary sheikhs and riders of Beni-Esdrises, that the number of 700 had accompanied the former emir of the Maghreb, and asked permission to settle in the capital.

Remained the Edrisitas in Cordoba until 975, on the grounds that a rift occurred between the Caliph and Hasan El-, former emir and his were expelled from Andalusia and banished to East, trasportaron where the ships departed the port of Almeria, at the end of that year.

♦ The pacification brings culture
With the pacification, or rather say, conquest of North Africa by the Andalusian weapons, was firmly established in the general peace all dependent domains of the Caliphate of Córdoba. Peace since 964, remained unchanged between Christians and Muslims; but unfortunately did not enjoy the first, delivered a thousand rivalries and internecine discord, that weakened and when most needed enflaquecían of union and concord had to face the common enemy robust consolidation; while not materially wanted to take advantage of their unpatriotic morally divisions used them, offering to the world the contrast between culture, order and prosperity in living sectarian Muhammad, and rudeness and anarchy that lay faithful of Christ.

This is as it would progress with all the moral and material interests of Andalusia under the influence of so bonancible situation; and the enthusiasm with which the learned Caliph be devoted almost exclusively to stimulate your favorite science occupations, literature and the arts, and illustrated providenciar everything his zeal conceived it necessary to the proper administration of the state and the promotion of their interests well understood.

By then it was already feeling its near death, and please his favorite wife (he says Count) Sultana Sohbeya, mother of his only son Hisham, did celebrate with magnificent device recognition and proclamation of the prince who left heir of one of the most respected and admired world Thrones. Summoned al effect, in Cordoba, the provinces walies, los wazires, khatibes, sheikhs major Cora and all the dignitaries of the court and government of the Caliphate, and large parties and public rejoicings in the capital were enacted and all the peoples of the empire. The writers and poets as the class contributed more, the splendor of those parties, holding in his writings the writer and poet also Califa, honoring them and protected. On this occasion, (Earl, c. 93) they presented the sovereign elegant compositions in verse, many famous mills of Spain. Compositions were astonished and aplaudiéronse Brothers Abdala Ahmedy ben-Ferah, Jaen; Jonas the ben-Abdala, Cadi of Badajoz; elegant description of the county of Elvira, geographer by Granada Aben-Isak the Gasani; the writings of the eminent scholars of Guadalajara Ahmed ben-Fortun the Madjuni, y Ahmed benYanki: encomiáronse sweets concepts Sevillian poet, famous for his descriptive poems, Ibrahim Ben-Chaira Abes-Ishac; last, were very celebrated for his wit ben Suleiman Chalaf, Cadi who had been Ecija; I'm Yahya Hixe; the learned Cordovan poet, Hye ben-Hudeil; Jonas Mesaud ben-ben-y Yaix Said de Baena.

No less shone on that occasion for their elegance and wit fruitful, the selected compositions of Lobna, Maiden held beauty, and very learned in grammar, poetry, arithmetic and other subjects; Falima daughter of a domestic house Caliph; de Ayja, Cordovan; of Cadija; two Maryens, giving lessons in learning poetry and the maidens of the leading families of Seville, and whose school left such distinguished women in the know, who were the enchantment of the princes and nobles, and finally, of Radhia, Happy Star Call, frees the Caliph Abderrahman Nasir, which was the admiration of his century, for its elegant lines and scholarly histories, and that after the death of Al-Hakem traveled the East where it caused admiration for the learned.

After this quick and extracted list of poets and writers who celebrated in his writings the prince swears Hixem, What can we say it was not dull, in praise of civilization in Andalusia at the century , and culture and customs such as misjudged and maligned race across the centuries that preceded our, from the satellite, not only by Spanish chroniclers and Latin historians but also foreign? These youth of singular beauty that make an occupation or profession of the cultivation of letters; alternating in schools, gatherings and events with the learned, writers and poets; and these ladies who are dedicated to the study of humane letters and are then the charm of the palaces of the magnates would not reveal who formed their society where intelligence, Striped at a height of literary greatness, namely, civilization, you can almost give jealousy to our? Ah! if it was a great misfortune for Spain was conquered by the Arabs, and a frightful cataclysm for Muslim-Andalusian culture of vicious Almoravids the, who opened the doors of the Peninsula to the Almohads barbarians, races from the Atlas, who went to the Arabs of Spain in the eleventh century, what the Barbarians Septentrion to the Romans in the V, it is equally unfortunate that the political and religious passion of our grandparents, You no longer lose, (not destroyed, as discussed below) those priceless manuscripts, containing true literary treasures, or where they should be collected, elegant works of those poets and inspired poets, in the century they rose so high Arabo-Spanish poetry: that classical poetry in that it was inspired by old models; that poetry, you called Dozy Daughter of palaces, not led the people, but learned men, the great and the princes.

♦ The Library
This was, for, Andalucía, yet when most of Europe lay shrouded in semi-darkness of barbarism. This court was , of that among all the Muslim rulers who had a more love letters and more was revealed by its splendor, if excepted Haarunel-Raschid of Baghdad, and Abderrahman III of Cordoba; Impostor Prince of Andalusian that reads together, (according Casiri) in the last years of his reign, in the famous Palace Library Merwan, Six hundred thousand volumes Manuscripts!, Amazing huge number, for those times, and even for our, in which, notwithstanding the aid of printing, and the fabulous momentum that this great multiplier and propagator of ideas has been the progress of mechanical, few libraries in the world to gather such a large number of volumes Print.

In that immense and select library, with whose foundation, Andalusian Caliph more sañudo descendant of Prophet Tracker, washed the blot on the Arab race that had taken another Caliph, cousin of Muhammad, commanding the famous burning of Alexandria, were excellent translations of the most famous Greek authors, Eúclides, Archimedes, Apolonio, Perjeo and Aristarchus of Samos. This is, the philosophical-Muslim-Andalusian school, was formed with works of Aristotle; with physicians Hippocrates and Galen, and geographers with the writings of Ptolemy. It started and it spread across the Pyrenees knowledge of the works of the philosopher Estajira and tutor of Alexander the Great. It was an Arabic translation of Ptolemy Almajesto that poured into Latin and spread throughout Europe before the text appear; in sum, abounded on their shelves multilingual dictionaries, stories, novels and treaties exact and natural sciences, eagerly studying Spanish Muslims. It is understood that the most numerous collections of poetry would, given the enthusiasm with which the cultivated Arab, and passionate fans who professed Al Hakem. "Teach your children poetry, Muhammad had said, that clears the understanding, graces the wisdom, and records in the soul heroic virtues. "

In the Muslim-Andalusian School of times Al Hakem II formed one of the most remarkable men of his century, astronomer, mathematician and mechanic called Gerbert, and was taken by his contemporaries as necromancer or sorcerer before sticking the Tiara and take the name of Sylvester II. Gerberto, to be included in first line in the history of mathematics sciences, He popularized in France the numbering system allocated to the Arabs; and being bishop of Reims, built the first clock, he had seen in Europe, whose position managed to Polaris, and the movement of regulated with a rocker; having learned the construction and mechanism of the Arabs in Spain. That wise illustrious, even sitting in the chair of St. Peter, never forgot his teachers or Spain where he formed his intelligence and acquired knowledge flow that made him so famous in France, en Italia, in Germany and the Greek Empire.

It is easy to assume, I provided the impetus for the wise Caliph, and following the example of his court where the most learned men sat first State, scientific and literary movement would be felt strongly in all regions of the empire, whose walies and most powerful families in protecting extremarían letters and encourage all moral and material interests of the peoples.

♦ Society of Córdoba Al Hakem II
But it was not only the intellectual culture which reached such enormous height under the scepter of Al Hakem II; material but also received a strong boost to the protection they deserved the Caliph arts, trade, industry and agriculture. That is to, according to the Arabic historians have, in the general census was done in time, counted in Muslim Spain, populosísimas six capital cities walíatos; eighty crowded cities; populations hundred steerage, and castles, villages, places, farmhouses and villas in such a large number, in the regions watered by the Guadalquivir, there were twelve thousand, and the Vega of Granada mills and five hundred eighty-fifth.

Only two hundred thousand homes in Cordoba were counted; six hundred mosques, with their children's schools-for the Arabs of the tenth century Spanish system were Americans of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in population and colonization-eighty schools for higher education, hundred and fifty public baths hospices. Treasury annual revenue amounted to twelve million gold mitkales, without tithing was paid in fruits. Mines were operated, Self Caliph or individuals, Gemstone, gold, silver, Azogue, Copper iron and lead; last, pescábase coral off the coast of Andalusia, and pearls in Tarragona.

The flourishing agriculture as in previous reigns from the eighth century, acquired with the long-time peace untold Al Haken development in all the provinces of Spain. Abriéronse drains in Grenada, Murcia, Valencia and Aragón; trees were brought, plants, flowers, seed Eastern countries to acclimatise in Spain. Was, in sum, so the prosperity of this first and main source of wealth of nations, that under the provident Caliph Al Hakem, "Swords and spears, as says one of its historians, became hoes and plowshares, and Muslims before turbulent, rebellious and feisty, farmers or ranchers in peaceful. Even the most eminent and exalted nobles liked to cultivate their gardens and orchards with their own hands, so that not a few illustrious warriors and famous sages habíanse transformed into peasants. "

Remarkable thing is, but that is not surprising given that the same causes produce the same effects: character trait that distinguishes today the British aristocracy, feature that enhances both its glorious timbres and which contributes so much to the fabulous prosperity of this great nation, was also unique Andalusian aristocracy in the tenth century.

With the prosperous agriculture, how could it happen under, livestock. Perfeccionose breed of Spanish horses crossed with the benefit of the Arabian. From that time dates the council honored Mesta, recent our, Call today and ranchers General Association, that among the Arab, Even more than in the day, came to form a kind of public institution. Then, as now, trashumaban, by April immense flocks of sheep from the pastures of Extremadura and Andalusia to pasture Molina de Aragon, in October and returned to Andalusia and Extremadura. Rebadanes and won llamábanse, among Arabs, moedinos, Guess and Conde, (c. 94) "Be easy altered this name, it has granted the merinos our cattle. "

I must make detailed references, the particular history of each province of Andalusia, improvements in all branches of government were conducted in each, under the wise and paternal government of the last Umayyad Caliphs, he deserved, much or more than their ancestors, the great and illustrious name, we simply, for the time being, to overview just to make the moral and material prosperity in which he lived and especially Andalucía Spain in the years of his reign.

♦ magnanimous prince died this day 29 September 976.
"They spent their days (Earl, c. 94) and spend pleasant dreams that leave but imperfect memories of his illusions: he became the eternal habitations of the afterlife, where would find, like all men, those dwellings that styled before his death with his good or bad deeds. He died in Medina Azahara the 2 Month of Safar 366 of the Hegira, sixty-six of his age, fifteen, five months and six days of his reign. A huge accompanying gentlemen of the city, and all the people of Cordoba and its region followed the coffin to the cemetery Ruzafa, which send, in life, Styling a pantheon to place his remains. He made the prayer for him his son Hisham, which fell to the tomb and left in tears.

Impostor Llanto justísimo, was, also, a sad premonition of doom that awaited the young prince, because with his father forever sepultose greatness Umayyad, whose dynasty became extinct in the pantheon of Ruzafa, and in the golden prison where the son of Al Hakem II would be kept locked, prince who ironically, They surnamed God protected.

With the death of the wisest and illustrated among all the Caliphs of Cordoba, completely changed the face of the peoples of Christian and Muslim Spain. The reign of letters happened immediately Sword, under the regency administration of an extraordinary genius and colossal, Andalusian aristocracy destroyed and with it the splendor and grandeur of the Western Caliphate, and renewed at the end of the tenth century the desperate situation that Christian Spain was found. Before starting the narration of the extraordinary events that occurred at this time, cumpleños give, for better understanding, a brief news geographic expansion in these times had the Caliphate of Córdoba in Iberian Peninsula.

♦ The territories of Al Hakem II
Its boundaries were: In East, the Mediterranean coast to Tarragona; North, birth or following Segre formation towards the west by Monsoon, Barbastro, Benaverre, Huesca, of the Gallego River and Soria, borders of the kingdom of Navarre, and from the latter city around the lower reaches of the Douro to its mouth in the Atlantic Ocean; to the west and at Noon, this sea and the Mediterranean: finally, included in their domains the Balearic Islands.

The text is a revised and updated to current Castilian transcription book:
General history of Andalusia: from ancient times to 1870

Written by Joaquín Guichot. 1ª Parte. Tomo IV. Year 1870

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