The last two volumes in this series have looked at the confrontation between Christian and Moor in Medieval Spain exclusively from the Christian side.This book attemps to redress the balance by looking at many of the same incidents from the Moslem point of view. Apart from military encounters, some attention is paid to diplomacy, and also to lawsuits, legal judgements and regulations governing the co-existance of the rival communities. The 112 texts, many available in English for the first time, are also given in Arabic.
THE history of Spain offers us a melancholy contrast. Twelve hundred years ago, Tarik the Moor added the land of the Visigoths to the long catalogue of kingdoms subdued by the Moslems. For nearly eight centuries, under her Mohammedan rulers, Spain set to all Europe a shining example of a civilized and enlightened State. Her fertile provinces, rendered doubly prolific by the industry and engineering skill of her conquerors, bore fruit an hundredfold. Cities innumerable sprang up in the rich valleys of the Guadalquivir and the Guadiana, whose names, and names only, still commemorate the vanished glories of their past. Art, literature, and science prospered, as they then prospered nowhere else in Europe. Students flocked from France and Germany and England to drink from the fountain of learning which flowed only in the cities of the Moors. The surgeons and doctors of Andalusia were in the van of science: women were encouraged to devote themselves to serious study, and the lady doctor was not unknown among the people of Cordova. Mathematics, astronomy and botany, history, philosophy and jurisprudence were to be mastered in Spain, and Spain alone. The practical work of the field, the scientific methods of irrigation, the arts of fortification and shipbuilding, the highest and most elaborate products of the loom, the graver and the hammer, the potter's wheel and the mason's trowel, were brought to perfection by the Spanish Moors. In the practice of war no less than in the arts of peace they long stood supreme. Their fleets disputed the command of the Mediterranean with the Fatimites, while their armies carried fire and sword through the Christian marches. The Cid himself, the national hero, long fought on the Moorish side, and in all save education was more than half a Moor. Whatsoever makes a kingdom great and prosperous, whatsoever tends to refinement and civilization, was found in Moslem Spain.
"This volume is a reprint of newspaper reports of a series of lectures delivered by the author from the pulpit of Congregation B'nai Jehudah, Kansas City, Mo., during the Fall and Winter of 1885-1886. The lectures were prepared to fulfill the requirements of popular discourses, and designed to convey information upon a highly important epoch of the world's history, that is almost neglected in English literature. The thought of publishing these lectures in book form was utterly foreign to the author throughout their preparation, until an urgent solicitation from very many persons, both Jews and Gentiles, in all parts of this country, whose interest in these lectures was aroused by their wide-spread republication by the Press, made it a duty."--Goodreads.com.