The Arabs, under the Ummayad dynasty, continued their rapid westward expansion with the conquest of the Iberian Peninsula early in the 8th century. Following the Abbasid rise to power in the middle of the same century, the Ummayads saved their base in Spain establishing an emirate. France was able to withstand the coming of the Muslim power and establish its strongholds and dynasties, among the most famous the Carolingians.
|648|| In the first reference of Muslims in Spain, Abdullah ibn Nafe ibn Haseen lands on the shores of the future al-Andalus. |
|710|| As one account relates, after the dishonoring (rape) of his daughter Florinda in Toledo, Ceuta's Byzantine governor Julian appeals for aid to Umayyad official Musa ibn Nusayr against the Visigothic usurper, Roderick, in Spain. Musa dispatches a reconnaissance force under Tarif ibn Malluk to Spain's southern coast. |
|711|| Muslims (largely Berber), under Tariq ibn Ziyad, land on Gibraltar (the name Gibraltar is a corruption of Jabal Tariq, Arabic for Mountain of Tariq) and begin the conquest of Spain. Tariq's force of 12,000 defeats the 25,000 strong force of Roderick at the Battle of Guadalete; large contingents of the Visigothic army led by Bishop Oppas, the uncle of the ruler dethroned by Rodrick, break away contributing to the Muslim victory. Musa ibn Nusayr comes to complete Spain's conquest and becomes the first Muslim governor of al-Andalus (the Arabic's name for southern Spain).|
Mughith Rumi is appointed governor of Cordova (Qurtubah).
|712|| Muslims first begin to raid north of the Pyrenees.|
|714|| Musa, believed to have been conceiving plans for an eventual crossing into Italy, and Tariq are recalled to Damascus by Caliph al-Waleed. This move by the Caliph hurts the progress of the Islamic armies; the lands immediately bordering the newly conquered Spain are left vulnerable to attack and it gives Pelayo of Asturias the opportunity to recover and consolidate his holdings for later use against the Muslims.|
Musa appoints his son Abd al-Aziz ibn Musa to the governorship of al-Andalus. Abd al-Aziz forms a council for introducing Islamic law from the settlers coming from Hijaz, in southern Arabia. He promotes the intermarriage of the native peoples and the Muslims; the governor himself wedded Roderick's widow, Egilona (Umm Aasim to the Muslims). Muslim rule is very much accepted by the non-Muslim subjects of Spain: taxes are light or nonexistent, freedom of religion is granted to all, and former serfs and slaves are given lands. Arabs from all over the Arabian peninsula and Egypt as well as Persians have settled throughout the newly gained territory.
|715|| Umayyad Caliph Suleiman begins what seemed to be a prosperous reign, but falls to suspicions of intrigue; his reign sees the execution of the conqueror of northern India Muhammad ibn Qasim, the banishment of Musa ibn Nusayr and Tariq ibn Ziyad, the assassination of Central Asia's conqueror Qutayba ibn Muslim, and the murder of Abd al-Aziz ibn Musa.|
|716|| Ayyub al-Lakhmi governs al-Andalus before being deposed this same year.|
Musa ibn Nusayr dies performing the Hajj.
|717|| Al-Hurr al-Thaqafi attains the governorship of al-Andalus. He transfers the capital from Seville to Cordova. |
|717-719|| Muslim armies penetrate into Aquitaine and the south of France.|
|718|| Visigothic Prince Pelayo, ruler of the Asturias, defeats Muslims at the Battle of Covadonga. This victory endures through the ages more for its symbolism as a nationalistic victory rather than a military one, considered by some to be the beginning of the Reconquista.|
Mughith Rumi dies.
|719|| Al-Samah al Khaulani becomes governor of al-Andalus. Al-Samah brings order back to Spain and defeats many rebel forces in Septimania. |
|720|| Tariq ibn Ziyad dies. |
|721|| Duke Eudo of Aquitaine defeats the forces of Samah, who dies from wounds, at the Battle of Toulouse, also known as the Plateau of the Martyrs. The Muslim army is driven back. Abd al-Rahman al-Ghafiqi marches the remnants back to Narbonne and governs Muslim Spain until the arrival of Anbasah. This battle is considered of high significance in halting the expansion of Muslim power further into Europe.|
|725|| Under the leadership of Anbasah, Muslims invade southern France and subjugate Carcasonne and all Septimania reaching up the Rhone Valley as far as the Vosges. Following the death of Anbasah at the hands of an ambush up until the reappointment of Abd al-Rahman as governor, affairs in Spain will be in disorder during the reign of the next five governors.|
|726|| Adhrah al-Fihri reigns as governor of al-Andalus. |
|727|| Reign of Uthman ibn Abi Nasah as al-Andalus governor begins. |
|728|| Hudhaifah al-Qaisi governs al-Andalus. |
|729|| Haithem al-Kalbi ascends to the seat as governor of al-Andalus. Lyons, Macon, and Chalons-on-the-Saone are captured by Muslims. |
|731|| Muhammad al-Ashja? becomes al-Andalus's governor. Abd al-Rahman al-Ghafiqi soon returns to the governorship. The citizens and soldiers like Abd al-Rahman, who is considered the best and most patriotic ruler of this Umayyad dominion at the time. He makes the leadership in Spain a meritocracy, revises the economy, and has mosques unjustly taken from the Christians reconverted into churches; he holds al-Andalus together.|
The Muslim governor of Cerdagne, Uthman ibn Abu Nessa (Munuza to the Christians) weds Duke Eudo's daughter Lampegie and is now in alliance with Aquitaine. Abd al-Rahman crushes Uthman's attempted insurrection at al-Bab, near Puycerda west of Mount Louis.
|732|| Arles capitulates and the Muslims, under Abd al-Rahman, take Bordeaux. Duke Eudo is defeated at the Battle of Dordogne. Muslims entered Burgundy, Lyons, Besancon, and Sens. The victory over Eudo may have had adverse results, as now the Muslims force him to ally with his rival Charles Martel; effectively, this forges a Christian unification against a Muslim army that had been exhausted by battles by the time it reaches Tours. |
|733|| Battle of Tours, known by the Muslims as the Pavement of the Martyrs, takes place. The Franks, under Charles Martel, defeat the Muslim army under Abd al-Rahman. Abd al-Rahman dies while attempting to restore order after his troops became occupied with protecting the loot gained in previous battles instead of fighting. Lacking a leader to maintain control, the Muslim army retreats.|
Abd al-Malik al Fihri becomes al-Andalus governor.
|734|| Deputy governor of Narbonne, Yusuf, allies with Maurontius, Duke of Marseilles, and captures St. Remi and Avignon.|
Uqbah al-Saluli replaces the deposed Abd al-Malik as al-Andalus governor. He enters France many times with attacks on Dauphiny and capturing St. Paul, Trois Chateaux, Donzère, Valence, and New Lyons. Narbonne is made into a large citadel and Languedoc is fortified. Muslims invade Burgundy.
|737-739|| Charles Martel repulses Muslim attacks in France. Martel's forces take the fortified city of Avignon and rout the Muslims at the Battle of Berre near Narbonne. Martel cannot finish consolidating his victories as he has to quell disturbances in his northern lands. Before he leaves, he destroys Nimes, Maguelone, and other towns, some Christian that may have been sympathetic to the Muslims. On his trip back, Martel takes not just Muslim prisoners, but Christian ones as well. |
|740|| Dissension between Arabs and Berbers in Spain allows Christian kingdoms to mount some recovery.|
Visigothic Princess Sara, granddaughter of penultimate king of Visigoths Witiza, travels to Damascus to plead her case to the Caliph for restitution of estates in Spain that had been confiscated by her uncle. Islamic law confirmed her right of inheritance. Later, she marries Isa ibn Muzahim at the Caliph's court.
Abd al-Malik seizes power in Spain. His rebels kill Uqbah.
|741|| Balj al-Qushairi, escaping the wars in Northern Africa, takes the governorship in Spain by killing Abd al-Malik. Balj soon dies from wounds sustained in fighting Abd al-Malik's son.|
|742|| Thalaba ibn Sallamah becomes governor of al-Andalus. Between the Syrians (who support Balj and Thalaba), the supporters of Abd al-Malik's sons, and the Berbers, Muslim Spain is wrought with disunity.|
|743-759|| Pepin the Short drives Muslims from France.|
|745|| Abul Khattar Husam ibn Zarar Kalbi attains governorship of al-Andalus.|
A civil war between the Mundhar and Yemeni tribes in Spain breaks out. The Yemenis support the rising Abbasid movement of the east.
|747|| The governorship of al-Andalus passes to Yusuf al-Fihri following the death of his predecessor.|
|748|| War rages between Mundhar and Yemeni tribes with heavy losses on both sides. |
|755|| The Basques defeat a Muslim army sent against them.|
|756|| The Umayyads, under the fugitive prince Abd al-Rahman I, maintain power as an emirate (after their deposition by the Abbasids) in Spain after Abd al-Rahman defeats Yusuf at the battle of Masarah.|
|758|| At the Battle of Loxa, the forces of Abd al-Rahman I defeat the army of Yusuf al-Fihri, who dies in battle.|
|759|| Muslims lose Narbonne to the Franks.|
|763|| The Abbasids send Ala ibn Mughith Yahsubi against Abd al-Rahman I in Spain. At the Battle of Seville, Abd al-Rahman defeats the Abbasid forces. Abd al-Rahman comes to be known as the Falcon of Andalus. |
|764|| Emir Abd al-Rahman I suppresses a revolt in Toledo.|
|765-768|| Abbasid Caliph Jafar al-Mansur and Pepin the Short exchange ambassadors.|
|774|| Rulers of Barcelona and Saragossa revolt against Abd al-Rahman. |
|776|| Abd al-Rahman founds the Grand Mosque at Cordova. This will be the largest mosque of Western Islam rivaling the sanctuaries in the East. In 1236, Ferdinand III will convert it into a cathedral.|
|777|| Suleiman ibn al-Arabi, a rebel governor, crosses the Pyrennes and implores Charlemagne to fight against Abd al-Rahman. |
|778-801|| Charlemagne leads attacks on Spain during this period.|
|778|| Charlemagne delegates leadership to his nephew Roland while he goes and deals with rebels in the north. Basques ambush Roland and his party in the pass of Roncesvalles. The fallen Roland and his knights will be commemorated in one of best known Old French epics the Chanson de Roland. In this piece, written around 1100, the Muslims of Spain (depicted as idolatrous pagans) play the role of the ambushers. |
|788|| Abd al-Rahman I dies. The reign of the charitable Hisham I (788-796) in Spain commences.|
|792|| In the war against the Franks, Hisham's forces recapture Narbonne, defeat the Count of Toulouse, and gain a victory over the Galician tribesmen. |
|793|| Abdullah ibn Farukh, a prominent jurist of al-Andalus, dies.|
After a victory at the battle of Villedaigne, Muslims advance up to Carcassonne in France.
|795|| A Christian navy from south France invades Alexandria in Egypt, under the Abbasids, in response to Ummayyad victories. |
|796|| This year begins Umayyad Emir al-Hakam's reign. He extends the grand mosque of Cordova and founds Cordova's first university.|
During this period, many Muslims intermarry with Christians; the offspring were known as muwallad. The Spanish version of this Arabic word is mulatto.
Muslim chief of Huesca conspires with Louis of Acquitaine, son of Charlemagne.
|797|| Charlemagne sends an emissary to Harun al-Rashid..|
|798|| Revolts in Spain by the uncles of al-Hakam break out. |
|801|| In the midst of internal rebellions from al-Hakam's uncles and attacks from the Christians in the north, Charlemagne is able to seize Barcelona.|
|802|| Isaac the Hebrew, one of Charlemagne's emissaries to Baghdad, returns to Europe. With him is the elephant Abul Abbas, a gift from the Abbasid Caliph.|
|805|| Al-Hakam suppresses a revolt in Cordova.|
|807|| Abd al-Rahman, son of al-Hakam, relieves Tortosa from the siege of Charlemagne's son Ludwig.|
Charlemagne receives a diplomatic mission from Baghdad.
|809|| Al-Hakam takes Gascony, one of Charlemagne's footholds in Spain.|
|810|| Abul Abbas the elephant dies. Coming from India, he wasn't used to the Rhineland weather. The Frankish monarch mourns his death.|
|811|| Al-Hakam again defeats the Franks. His numerous military victories earned him the title of al-Muzaffarr, or the Victorious.|
|813|| A famine breaks out in northern Andalus. Al-Hakam provides relief. |
|814|| Riots ensue again in Cordova. This time a mob besieges al-Hakam in his palace. The Emir's forces defeat them forcing many to flee. |
|816|| The Umayyads and the Franks agree to a short peace.|
|822|| Abd al-Rahman II of Spain begins his thirty-year reign. Patronage of arts and prosperity mark his reign. |
|827|| A Muslim naval attack occurs at Brittany. |
|837|| A revolt in Toledo is crushed.|
|844|| A Viking fleet sacks Lisbon, Seville, Cadiz, and Algeciras in the Emirate of Cordova and Asilah in Morocco. In retaliation, the forces of the Emir trap the Viking fleet on the River of Guadalquivir destroying 30 ships and killing 1,000 Vikings. Most of the 400 captured Vikings are executed. Vikings would make numerous raids against both Muslim and Christian states in the Iberian peninsula. Eventually, a community of settled Vikings, who converted to Islam in southeast Seville, would be famous for supplying cheese to Cordoba and Seville.|
During the Battle of Clavijo, St. James the Apostle is said to have appeared in beautiful robes upon a white charger to the Christian force. Henceforth, St. James, Santiago, will be known as Moor Slayer, or Matamoros.
|845|| Emir Abd al-Rahman II sends the poet al-Ghazal on a diplomatic mission to the Vikings. |
|846-849|| Muslims attack the Southern coast of France, especially the area around Arles.|
|850|| The Christian "martyr" movement begins in Spain. A group of Arabs in Cordova instigate a monk named Perfectus into verbally attacking the Prophet Muhammad. When the monk slanders the Prophet, he is taken to the Qadi for judment. The Qadi decides not to pass the death sentence after deciding that the monk was unfairly provoked; however, Perfectus continues to insult the Prophet leaving the Qadi with no choice but to order his execution. Some see him as a martyr and follow in his footsteps slandering Islam and receiving the death penalty. This "martyrdom" is seen as a response to the gradual Islamization and Arabization of Spanish society. The movement ends when the native Christians of Spain, such as Bishop Reccafred of Seville, denounce the movement as false martyrdom on the grounds that these men and women were purposely looking for death.|
|852|| Muhammad I assumes the throne as Emir of al-Andalus. The Toledans, at the instigation of the chief of Leon, revolt.|
|859|| Hastein and Bjorn Ironside lead another Viking fleet through the Straits of Gibraltar, pillaging the coasts of Spain, Morocco, Provence, and Italy. A Moorish fleet catches the two during their return. Only 20 ships make it back to the Viking base in Loire and significant attacks on Muslim Spain discontinue.|
|861|| The Umayyad forces overrun Navarre and its capital Pamplona. Abbas ibn Fadl dies of illness. His uncle Ahmad ibn Yaqub succeeds him. The army deposes him after a few months for Abbas' son Abdullah. The Aghlabid emir in North Africa appoints Khafaja ibn Sufyan to the governorship.|
|865|| The ruler of Leon sues for peace with the Muslims. |
|879|| Omar ibn Hafsun, a neo-Muslim from a Visigothic line in Spain, leads a rebellion from the stronghold at Bobastro.|
|884|| Numerous rebellions break out all over Spanish Emir Muhammad's realm. In Aragon, the Muslim Musa takes over Saragossa, Tudela, and Huesca. Ibn Merwan of Merida raises a rebellion with the assistance of the ruler of Leon; in Bobastro, Omar ibn Hafsun leads the most formidable resistance. Omar, now openly a Christian, begins negotiating with the Abbasid Caliph and his vassal states in Africa.|
|886|| Mundhir besieges Omar ibn Hafsun at al-Hama when Muhammad dies; Mundhir now comes to power in Spain. |
|888|| Abdullah succeeds the deceased Mundhir as Emir of Cordova. |
|889|| Muslims conquer fortress at Fraxinetum (La Garde-Freinet) in Provence and will remain in control until 983. |
|891|| Abdullah's general Ubaidullah defeats Omar ibn Hafsun (who takes the name Samuel upon apostatizing from Islam), whose sights were set on Cordova. This victory prompts rebels of other provinces in al-Andalus to submit.|
|906|| Muslims occupy Piedmont, Liguria, and parts of Switzerland. Soon Grenoble, Frejus, Marseilles, and Nice will fall to them.|
|912|| The reign of Abd al-Rahman III in Spain begins. This brilliant leader and patron of the arts will become a champion of Islam in his time. |
|913|| Abd al-Rahman offers an ultimatum to the many insurgents that he has inherited upon ascension to power in Spain: submit and receive a pardon or continue to rebel and receive exemplary punishment. Many rebels instantly submit and are given honorable treatment; however, some have to be subdued. |
|914|| King Ordono II of Leon attacks the province of Merida and sacks Alange. Abd al-Rahman, who is busy fighting with the Fatimids of Africa, sends his vizier Ahmad to tend to the problem. Ahmad meets some initial success but is checked near San Estevan.|
|915-918|| Muslims carry campaigns in the areas of Embrun, Maurienne, and Vienne.|
|917|| Omar ibn Hafsun dies.|
Abd al-Rahman becomes increasingly involved with wars in North Africa against the growing Fatimid power.
|918|| Hajib Badr defeats the Leonese army. |
|920|| Abd al-Rahman III takes the field personally and defeats Ordono. Subsequently, Osma, San Estevan, Clunia, and other places fall to the Muslims.|
Muslims attack the Italian Piemonte in the east and upon Marseille in the west.
|921|| Ordono of Leon and Sancho of Navarre resume war with the Muslims of Spain.|
|924|| Abd al-Rahman III captures Pamplona, capital of Navarre.|
|925|| Civil War breaks out in Leon. |
|928|| Abd al-Rahman captures Bobastro.|
|929|| Sunni Islam in the east is at a low point. The Abbasid Caliphs have become puppets to their advisors the Shiite Buwayids and the Fatimids have taken the Holy Cities (Mecca, Medina, and Jersualem). In response, Abd al-Rahman III establishes his capital at Cordova and sees it fitting to revive the Umayyad title of Caliph. |