Abd-al-Rahman

Abd-al-Rahman

 

Umayyad rulers of the Cordoban Emirate (after 929, the CÓrdoban Caliphate).

Abd-al-Rahman I (circa 734–88). Became emir in 756. He founded the dynasty of the CÓrdoban Umayyads and the emirate on the Iberian Peninsula. Called al-Dakhil (The Stranger).

To escape persecution by the Abbasids, Abd-al-Rahman fled Syria in 750, crossed North Africa, and reached Spain, where he captured Córdoba and was proclaimed emir of Andalusia. Pursuing a policy of centralization, he subdued the Berber Arab tribal aristocracy. He repulsed attacks by the Christian rulers of northern Spain and the Franks, led by Charlemagne.

Abd-al-Rahman II (792–852). Great-grandson of Abd-al-Rahman I. Became emir in 822. He was known for his patronage of the arts and sciences and religious tolerance. The wide-scale construction undertaken during his reign intensified the fiscal burden.

Abd-al-Rahman III (891–961). Called al-Nasir (The Victorious). Became emir in 912, caliph in 929. He restored the emirate, which had disintegrated during the reign of his predecessors. He seized Ceuta in 931 and Toledo in 932; in 955, León and Navarre began paying tribute to him. He maintained diplomatic relations with Byzantium and with Otto I, emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. Attempting to maintain an army that was independent of both the feudal lords and the population, he formed a guard corps of European slaves (Saqalibah). His fleet was the most powerful in the Mediterranean. He encouraged the growth of construction; during his reign the country residence al-Zahra was built and work begun on the Mosque of Córdoba. Abd-al-Rahman III’s administration represented the height of CÓrdobán Umayyad power.

REFERENCES

Kudriavtsev, A. E. Ispaniia ν srednie veka. Leningrad, 1937.
Dozy, R. Histoire des musulmans d’Espagne . . ., new ed., vols. 1–3. Leiden, 1932.
Lévi-Provençal, E. Histoire d’Espagne musulmane, 2nd ed., vols. 1–3. Paris, 1950–53.

E. A. BELIAEV

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