Umayyad Spain
755-1031
Granada
1248-1492






Disintegration of the Caliphate : the Taifa Kingdoms



AL MANSUR died in 1002, and soon after his death the Caliphate disintegrated, the authority of the Caliph hardly extending beyond the city walls of Cordoba. The various emirates are mostly referred to as the TAIFA KINGDOMS, of which there were up to 21 at a time, the more important being TOLEDO, ZARAGOZA, BADAJOZ, SEVILLA, GRANADA, DENIA.
The disintegration placed the christian kingdoms of the north at an advantage, and the Taifa kingdoms soon found themselves in difficulties. TOLEDO was lost to Castile in 1085. In order to halt the christian advance, the ALMORAVIDS were called in from Morocco, Muslim zealots who quickly established their rule over most of Muslim Spain (except Zaragoza), 1086/1090-1147.
The Almoravids unified Muslim Spain - by 1100, the number of Taifa kingdoms was reduced to 5. The Almoravids stopped the christian advance, at least for the moment (although much of the frontier fighting was carried out by the Taifa kingdoms of Zaragoza and Badajoz). Yet they were busy fighting elsewhere, in North Africa and beyond. Their harsh hand made their rule unpopular, as they were less tolerant toward the Jewish and Christian community living within their Caliphate. Toward the middle of the 12th century, Almoravid Spain was on the decline, quickly disintegrating; in 1145/47, 20 Taifa emirates emerged; Portugal - assisted by crusaders on their way to Egypt - took LISBON in 1147. Again, a call for help went out to North Africa. This time it was the ALMOHADS who came to the rescue.



List of Taifa Emirates
1010
1031


1100
1145/47

1200
1226
1230
1240
1260
7
21


5
20

1
2
5
5
4
Almeria, Alpuente, Badajoz, Denia, Toledo, Tortosa, Valencia
Albarracin, Almeria, Alpuente, Arcos, Badajoz, Carmona, Cordoba (Rep.), Denia, Granada, Malaga, Mallorca, Moron, Niebla, Salta, Sta Maria del Algarbe, Sevilla, Toledo, Tortosa, Valencia, Zaragoza
Albarracin, Alpuente, Badajoz, Mallorca, Molina, Zaragoza
Almeria, Arcos, Badajoz, Carmona, Constantina, Cordoba, Granada, Guadix, Jaen, Jerez, Malaga, Mallorca, Mertola, Murcia, Niebla, Purchena, Santera, Segura, Tavira, Valencia
Mallorca
Baeza, Denia
Lorca, Malaga, Menorca, Murcia, Valencia
Granada, Lorca, Menorca, Murcia, Niebla
Granada, Menorca, Murcia, Niebla


The Almohads reunified Muslim Spain (of the 20 Taifa Emirates, only Mallorca remained independent) and they regained ground from the christian kingdoms. Yet, early in the 13th century they were on the defensive, losing city after city to the allied christian kings of Aragon, Castile, Leon and Portugal. At the same time, Almohad Spain disintegrated into 5 Taifa emirates. Cordoba fell in 1236, Valencia in 1238, Sevilla in 1248, Cadiz in 1262, Murcia in 1266. Of the once mighty Caliphate of Cordoba, only the EMIRATE OF GRANADA, lasting until 1492, and the EMIRATE OF MENORCA, holding out until 1283, remained.





List of Emirs of Morocco-Spain,
Links lead to Biographies from Encyclopaedia Britannica
1090-1106
1106-1143
1143-1147
1145-1147
1146-1147
1147-1163
1163-1184
1184-1199
1199-1213
1214-1224
1224
1224-1227
1227-1232
1232-1242
1242-1248
1248-1266
Yusuf
Ali
Tashfin
Ibrahim
Ishaq
Abs al-Mumin
Abu Yaqub Yusuf
Abu Yusuf Yaqub al-Mansur
Muhammad al-Nasir
Yusuf al_Mustansir
Abd al-Wahid
al-Adil
al-Mamun
al-Rashid
al-Said
al-Murtada
Almoravid
Almoravid
Almoravid
Almoravid
Almoravid
Almohad
Almohad
Almohad
Almohad
Almohad
Almohad
Almohad
Almohad
Almohad
Almohad
Almohad


EXTERNAL
FILES
Lists of Taifa Kings, from obsidian
Andalucia, article from the Encyclopedia of the Orient
Muslim Spain, from SiSpain
Andalusia, from Muslims Online, many subfiles
Islamic and Christian Spain in the Early Middle Ages, by Thomas F. Glick, from LIBRO
DOCUMENTS Maps of Taifa and Almoravid Spain, from upenn (Muir's historical Atlas, 1911)
REFERENCE



This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2000, last revised on November 9th 2004

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