Page:EB1911 - Volume 25.djvu/565

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544
[HISTORY
SPAIN


ritual of Saint Isidore has been lamented, but it marked the assumption by Castile of a place in the community of the western European kingdoms. The Frenchmen, both monks and knights, who accompanied Constance brought to bear on Spain the ecclesiastical, architectural, literary and military influence of France, then the intellectual centre of Europe, as fully as it ever was exercised in later times. Castile ceased to be an isolated kingdom, and became an advance guard of Europe in not the least vital part of the crusades. Alphonso, who during his exile owed some good services to the Mahom- medan king of Toledo, spared that city while his friend lived. Alphonso But he carried the war forward elsewhere. He overruns extorted tribute, and double and treble tribute Mahomme-f rom the princes of Andalusia. In 1082 he swept dan Spain. all through the valley of t he Guadalquivir to Tarifa, where he rode his horse into the sea and claimed possession of the " last land in Spain." In 1084, his friend being dead, he made himself master of Toledo. The fall of the city resounded throughout Islam, and shocked the Mahommedan princes of Andalusia into gravity and a sense of their position. Their peoples began to look to Africa, where Yusuf ben Techufin was ruling the newly founded empire of the Almoravides. The princes had cause to dread him; for Yusuf, the leader of a religious movement still in its first zeal, was known to have no friendly feeling for their religious indifference and elegant, dissipated habits. It was likely that, if he came as ally, he invasion of would remain as master. But the case was ex- theAUnori- cellently put by al-Motamid, amir of Seville, a vides. brilliant cavalier, an accomplished Arab poet, and

one of the most amiably spendthrift of princes. When the peril of appealing to Yusuf was put before him at durbar by his son, he acknowledged the danger, but added that he did not wish to be cursed throughout Islam as the cause of the loss of Spain and that, if choose he must, he thought it better to lead camels in Africa than to tend pigs in Castile. Yusuf came, and in 1086 inflicted a terrible defeat on Alphonso VI. at Zalaca near Badajoz. The immediate results of the stricken field were, however, but small. Yusuf was called back to Africa, and in his absence the Christians resumed the advance. When he returned he was chiefly employed in suppressing the Mahommedan princes. Alphonso was compelled to withdraw a garrison he had placed in Murcia, and Valencia was, by his decision, given up by the widow of the Cid (q.v.). But he kept his hold on Toledo, and though his last days were darkened by the death of his only son in the lost battle of Ucles (1108), he died in 1 109 with the security that his work would last.

The Almoravides went round the fatal circle of Asiatic and

African monarchy with exceptional rapidity. One generation

of military efficiency and of comparative honesty

theMahom- m administration was followed by sloth and cor-

medan ruption as bad as that of the Arabs. To this the

Power under Almoravides, who were Berbers and were largely

Wrfes'" 10 â„¢" mm g le d witn P ure negroes, added a dull bigotry

and a hatred of thought and knowledge from

which the Arab, anarchical and politically incapable as he

was, was free. In Aragon the successors of Ramiro Sanchez

had begun to press close on Saragossa when the Almoravide

invasion took place. The battle of Zalaca gave pause to the

Aragonese, as it did for a short space to the Castilians. The

interval of advance in the reconquest would have been shorter

than it was but for the results of a most unfortunate attempt

on the part of Alphonso VI. to unite the crowns of Aragon and

Castile by the marriage of Alphonso I. (1104-1134) of Aragon with

his daughter Urraca. Urraca (the name is a form of Maria)

was dissolute and Alphonso was arbitrary. There

e'fAra'" IO n was nothing in the manners of the 12th century

U04-U34.' to make a husband hesitate to beat his wife, and

Urraca was beaten, and in the presence of witnesses.

The marriage, too, was declared null by the pope, as the

parties were within the prohibited degrees. Alphonso and

Urraca came to open war, in which he claimed to be king of

Castile by right of his marriage and his election by the nobles.


The confusion was increased by the fact that Alphonso, Urraca's son by her first marriage with Raymond of Burgundy, was recognized as king in Gallicia, was bred up there by the able bishop Diego Gelmirez, and took an active part in the feuds of his mother and step-father. The death of Urraca in n 26 allowed her son to reunite the dominions of his grandfather. In the meantime his quarrels with Urraca had not deterred Alphonso, who is surnamed the Battler in Aragonese history, from taking Saragossa in 11 18, and from defeating the Almora- vides at the decisive battle of Cutanda in n 20. In n 25 he carried out a great raid through Mahommedan Spain, camping in its midst for months, and returning with many thousands of the Christian rayahs, who, under the name of Mozarabes, had hitherto continued to live under Moslem rule. They now fled from the bigotry and negro brutality of the Almoravides. The failure of Alphonso's attempt to take Braga in 1134 was Speedily followed by his death. He left his kingdom by will to the Knights of the Temple and the Hospital, but the barons of Aragon paid no attention to his wish, and drew his brother Ramiro, a monk, from his cell to continue the royal line. Ramiro, having been first ex-claustrated by the pope, married Agnes of Aquitaine, and on the birth of his daughter Petronilla affianced her to Ramon Berenguer (Raymond Berenger), count of Barcelona, and then retired to his cell at Narbonne. 1 union of This marriage united Aragon and Catalonia for ever, Aragon and and marks a great step forward in the constitution CataIoBla - of a national unity in Spain. Navarre, indeed, which had been united with Aragon since the fratricidal murder of its king Sancho in 1076, preferred to remain independent under a new ruler of its choice. It was henceforth ^"y ar °™ ° a small state lying across the Pyrenees, dependent on France, and doomed inevitably to be partitioned between its great neighbours to north and south.

Alphonso VII., the son of Urraca, was, during the twenty years between his mother's death and his own in n 57, the dominating sovereign of Spain. In 1135 he was Aj pnoaso crowned at Leon, in the presence of the new king vn., of Navarre, of the counts of Barcelona and Toulouse, "Emperor and of other princes, Christian and Mahommedan, laS P am -" " Emperor in Spain, and king of the men of the two religions." In his character of emperor and king of the men of the two religions Alphonso VII. seems to have aimed not at expelling, but at reducing the Moors to subjection as vassal communities. He took Cordova and conquered as far as Almeria, but left vassal Moslem princes in possession. His n Empire >> death was followed by another and, happily, a last division of Castile and Leon. Sancho, his eldest son, took the first and Fernando the second. The dream of the empire was speedily dissipated by the death of Sancho of Castile a year after his father; Portugal had already become a semi-independent state.

The complicated story of the Christian kingdoms of Spain during the next two generations can be best made intelligible by taking the king of Castile as the centre of the Alfonso viil. turmoil. His boyhood was filled by all the miseries of Castile, which rarely failed to descend in the middle a,ges l,S8 ~ 1214 ' on the people whose king was a child. Alphonso VIIL married Leonora, daughter of Henry II. of England, who, as duke of Aquitaine, by right of his marriage with the duchess Eleanor, had a strong direct interest in Spanish politics. Castile, by its geo- graphical position as the centre of Spain from Cantabria to the Sierra Morena, was the forefront of the struggle with the Moors. In Andalusia the downfall of the Almoravides had war with opened the way to the Almohades, or followers of the Almo- the Mahdi, an even more bigoted religious sect than * a<,es - the other. Alphonso had conquered Cuenca, in the hill country between Castile and Valencia, in 11 77, with the help of the king of Aragon, also an Alphonso, the son of Petronilla and of Ramon Berenguer of Barcelona. With eminent good sense he rewarded his ally by resigning all claim to feudal superiority over Aragon.

1 Raymond du Puy, grand master of the Hospitallers, came to terms with Count Raymond in the matter of the bequest. (See Saint John of Jerusalem, Knights of.)