Page:EB1911 - Volume 25.djvu/564

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HISTORY]
543
SPAIN


conflicts between Leon and Castile, rendered the only formidable Christian kingdom powerless. Even on Hakam's death the power of the caliphate was exercised for some thirty years with great vigour. In his old age, one of his wives Sobh (the Day- break), a Basque, bore him the first son born in his harem. To this son Hisham II. (976- ?) he left the crown. The rule went to the sultana, and her trusted agent Ibn Abi 'Amir Mahommed ben Abdallah — an Arab of noble descent, who in his early life was a scribe, and who rose by making himself useful first to the ministers and to the favourite wife. By them he was promoted, and in time he brought their ruin. By her he was made hajib — lord chamberlain, prime minister, great domestic, alter ego, in short, of the puppet caliph — for Hisham II. in Admiais- all his long life was nothing else — and in due time tratioaot he reduced the sultana to insignificance. The Maasur. administration of Mahommed ben Abdallah, who took the royal name al-Mansur Billah (" the victorious through God ") and is generally known as Mansur (q.v.), is also counted among the glories of the caliphate of Cordova. It was the rule of a strong man who made, and kept under his own control, a janissary army of slaves from all nations, Christian mercenaries from the north, Berbers and negroes from Africa. With that host he made fifty invasions into the Christian territory. A more statesmanlike conqueror leading a people capable of real civilization would have made five, and his work would have lasted. Mansur made raids, and left his enemies in a position to regain all they had lost. It mattered little that he desolated the shrine of St James at Compostella, the monastery of Cardeiia in Castile, took Leon, Pamplona and Barcelona, if at the end he left the roots of the Christian states firm in the soil, and to his son and successor as hajib only a mercenary army without patriotism or loyalty. In later times Christian ecclesiastical writers, finding it difficult to justify the unbroken prosperity of the wicked to an age which believed in the judgment of God and trial by combat, invented a final defeat for Mansur at Calatafiaxor. He died in 1002 undefeated, but racked by anxiety for the permanence of the prosperity of his house. His son Mozaffar, kept the authority as hajib, always in the name of Hisham II., who was hidden away in a second palace suburb of Cordova, Zahira. But Mozaffar lasted for a short time, and then died, poisoned, as it was said, by his brother Abdurrahman, called Sanchol, the son of Mansur by one of the Christian ladies whom he extorted for his harem from the fears of the Christian princes. Abdurrahman Sanchol was vain and feather-headed. He extorted from the feeble caliph the Abdur- title of successor, thereby deeply offending the rahmaa princes of the Omayyad house and the populace Sanchol. of Cordova. He lost his hold on his slaves and mer- Eadotthe cenaries, whose chiefs had begun to think it would Empire of be more to their interest to divide the country among rahmaa in. themselves. A palace revolution, headed by Mahom- med, of the Omayyad family, who called himself Al Mahdi Billah (guided by God), and a street riot, upset the power of the hajib at Cordova while he was absent on a raid against Castile. His soldiers deserted him, and he was speedily slaughtered. Then in the twinkling of an eye the whole edifice went into ruin. The end of Hisham II. is unknown, and the other princes perished in a frantic scramble for the throne in which they were the puppets of military adventurers. A score of shifting principalities, each ready to help the Christians to destroy the others, took the place of the caliphate. The fundamental difference between the Moslem, who know only the despot and the Koran, and a Christian people who have Development^^ Church, a bod) r of law and a Latin speech, was of the well seen in the contrast between the end of the

christian greatness of Mansur, and the end of the weakness ingdoma. Q £ ^jg Christian contemporaries. The first left no trace. The second attained, after much fratricidal strife, to the foundation of a kingdom and of institutions. The interval between the death of Ramiro II. in 950 and the establishment of the kingdom of Castile by Fernando I. in 1037 is on the sur- face as anarchical as the Mahommedan confusion of any time.


The personages are not anywise heroic, even when like

Alphonso V. (999-1027) they were loyal to their duty. Sancho

the Fat, and Bermudo II. the Gouty, with their shameless feuds

in the presence of the common enemy, and their appeals to the

caliph, were miserable enough. But the emancipation of the

serfs made progress. Charters began to be given to the towns,

and a class of burghers, endowed with rights and armed to

defend them, was formed; while the council of the magnates

was beginning to develop into a Cortes. The council over

which Alphonso V. of Leon and his wife Geloria {i.e. Elvira)

presided in 1020, conferred the great model charter of Leon,

and passed laws for the whole kingdom. The monarchy became

thoroughly hereditary, and one main source of anarchy was

closed. By the beginning of the nth century the leading place

among the Christian kings had been taken by sancho ihe

Sancho El Mayor (the Great) of Navarre. He was Great of

married to a sister of Garcia, the last count of Navarre -

Castile. Garcia was murdered by the sons of Count Vela of

Alava whom he had despoiled, and Sancho took possession of

Castile, giving the government of it to his son Fernando,

(Ferdinand I.), with the title of king, and taking the name

of " king of the Spains " for himself. It was the beginning

of attempts, which continued to be made till far _ ., ., , \ ... r , Ferdinand!.

into the 1 2th century, to obtain the unity of the ofCastiie,

Christians by setting up an emperor, or king of "Emperor

kings, to whom the lesser crowns should be subject. °f the „

Fernando was married to a daughter of Alphonso V.

of Leon. Her brother Bermudo, the last of his line, could

not live in peace with the new king, and lost his life in the

battle of Tamaron, in a war which he had himself provoked.

Fernando now united all the north-west of Spain into the

kingdom of Castile and Leon with Gallicia. Navarre was left by

Sancho to another son, Garcia, while the small Christian states

of the central Pyrenees, Aragon and Sobrarbe with the Ribagorza

went to his other sons, Ramiro Sanchez and Gonzalo.

Fernando, as the elder, called himself emperor, and asserted a

general superiority over his brothers. That he took his position

of king of kings seriously would seem to be proved by the fact

that when his brother Garcia attacked him in 1054, and was

defeated and slain at Atapucrca, he did not annex Navarre, but

left his nephew, Garcia's son, on the throne as vassal. The Council

of Coyanza, now Valencia de Don Juan (1050), at council of

which he confirmed the charters of Alphonso V., Coyanza,

is a leading date in the constitutional history of ,oso '

Spain. When he had united his kingdom, he took the

field against the Mahommedans; and the period of the great

reconquest began. So far the Christians had not gone much

beyond the limits of the territory left to them at the end of the

8th century. They had only developed and organized Beginning

within it. Under Fernando, they advanced to of the

the banks of theTagus in the south, and into Valencia Christian

on the south-east. They began to close round ecf """ jesi -

Toledo, the shield of Andalusia. The feeble Andalusian princes

were terrified into paying tribute, and Fernando advanced

to the very gates of Seville without finding an enemy to meet

him in the field. His death in 1065 brought about a pause for

a time. He left his three kingdoms to his three sons Sancho,

Alphonso and Garcia. Alphonso, to whom Leon had fallen as his share, remained master after the murder of Sancho at Zamora, which he was endeavouring to take from his sister, and the imprisonment of Garcia of Gallicia. The reign, of Alphonso VI., which lasted till 1109, is one of the fullest in the Alphonso annals of Spain. He took up the work of his v/., father, with less of the crusading spirit than was in 106S ' n09 - Fernando, but with conspicuous ability. His marriage with Constance, daughter of Robert, duke of Burgundy, brought a powerful foreign influence into play in Castile. Constance favoured the monks of Cluny, and obtained her husband's favour for them. Under their leadership measures were taken to reform the Church, from which hitherto little influence had been expected save that it should be zealous and martial. The adoption of the Roman instead of the Gothic