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THE MIDDLE AGES The Middle Ages is a historical period that began with the fall of the Roman empire in the 5th century and ended with the start of the Modern Age in the 15th century The fall of the Roman Empire led to the fragmentation of its territory: ● The Eastern Roman Empire, which became known as the Byzantine Empire, experienced a Golden Age in the 6th century under Emperor Justinian ● The Western Roman Empire was occupied by the Germanic peoples. They established several kingdoms, such as the Visigoths in Hispania
The Early Medieval Civilisations In the 7th century, a new religion called Islam appeared in Arabia. It quickly expanded to the Mediterranean coast and then into Asia and Africa. A new Muslim civilisation developed.
From this moment, the Christians of the West (feudal Europe) and the East (the Byzantine Empire) shared the former territory of the Roman Empire with the Muslims. Together they represented the great civilisations of the Middle Ages.
The Beginning of Islam Islam first appeared on the Arabian Peninsula The Arabs who lived there worked in agriculture and livestock farming, and traded with camel caravans They believed in many gods. Their main religious centre was Mecca, where they made pilgrimages
The Beginning of Islam Muhammad was born in Mecca in 570. He was a very religious man. Legend says that the archangel Gabriel appeared to him and told him that he was the new prophet of Allah (“God” in Arabic). Muhammad began preaching a new religion based on submission to God: Islam. The people of Mecca did not believe Muhammad and he was persecuted.
The Hijra In 622, Muhammad escaped from Mecca. He went to the city of Medina. This is known as the Hijra (“flight” in Arabic). It marks the beginning of the Muslim era and the Islamic calendar. Muhammad converted the people of Medina to Islam. When he died in 632, the majority of Arabs had become Muslims (followers of Islam)
Islam The Koran is the sacred book of Islam. It contains the ideas that Allah revealed to Muhammad. As Islam is a monotheistic religion, Muslims believe that Allah is the only God and that is all-powerful. They believe that Allah sent the Prophet Muhammad to preach the code of conduct that all men should live by.
In Islam, there are preachers (imams), who preach the word of Allah.
The Islamic Code of Conduct The main ideas of Islam are: ● ● ● ●
Allah is all-powerful and the caliphs represented him on Earth. They controlled politics and religion Muslims cannot represent Allah or Muhammad in images Muslims must engage in religious struggles called “jihad” Allah is the owner of all goods and property. Muslims are required to help each other, to give money to to beggars and to lend money without interest. Judges, or qadis, should apply justice as i t is described in the Koran
The Islamic Code of Conduct ● ● ● ● ● ●
Believe in a single God Pray five times in a day Fast during the month of Ramadan Give money to the needy Make pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in a lifetime Islam doesn’t allow drinking alcohol, eating pork, gambling or betting, dressing immodestly Poligamy is allowed
The expansion of Islam The Umayyad Caliphate of Damascus ● ● ● ●
From 661 to 750 The empire was ruled from Damascus (Syria) by caliphs from the Umayyad family The Muslims conquered a vast territory from the Iberian Peninsula to North Africa and the Indus River The caliphs held absolute power but they delegated duties to the vizier (prime minister) and the emir (governor)
The expansion of Islam The Abbasid Caliphate of Bagdad ● ● ●
From 750 to 11th century The Abbasids of Baghdad took control from the Umayyads of Damascus The Abbasids lost control of parts of their territory, such as al-Andalus, which achieved political and religious independence
A mosque Mosques are places of worship and learning. They are a place for believers to meet. Muslims go to mosques to pray under the direction of an imam.
Main parts of a mosque: ● Courtyard: open space surrounded by columns or pillars ● Ablution fountain: for washing and purification ● Minaret: tower used for the call to prayer
● Prayer room ● Mihrab: niche in the qibla wall to show the direction of Mecca ● Mimbar: the pulpit where the imam delivers sermons
•Al-Andalus was the name the Muslims gave to the territories they conquered in the Iberian Peninsula. The conquest of Al-Andalus began in the year 711. •Before the Muslim’s arrival, the visigoths ruled the Iberian Peninsula. •The Muslims conquered all of the Peninsula except for the Asturian kindom.
•The capital was moved from Toledo to Cordoba.
*rule – gobernar
*move - trasladar
The main economic activities in Al-Andalus were: In the countryside, agriculture and stockbreeding.
In the cities, trade and crafting.
•Most people were farmers.
•Irrigated crops became very important and new crops were introduced: cotton, rice, oranges…
Sugar, aubergines and artichokes were some other crops cultivated.
High quality craft products were made by artisans in cities.
Al-Andalus was an active market. They sold all the crafting objects they produced and exchanged them for slaves and gold. As coins they used the dinar and the direm.
•The cities were equipped with public lighting, sewers, public baths, libraries, universities, etc. They were much more advanced than other cities in Northern Europe. •The centre of the cities was the Medina (al-Madinat) that was always characterized by its narrow, windy, streets. •The Medina, known in Spanish as Zoco, housed the main market, public bathes (Hamams), Mosques and in larger cities, the university (Madraza). •The districts tended to be inhabited by people of the same of the trade or the same religion.
•The civil and military authorities, along with their families lived within the Alcazaba – fortress – an independent, walled section that was equipped with its own services. Although near, it was never ‘part’ of the city itself.
*sewers - alcantarillas
A lot of emphasis was played on hygiene and cleanliness. Each district within a town had its own Hamam or public bath. There were over 600 in Cordoba.
The Hamams also played an important part in the social fabric of the society and were used as meeting points and places of relaxation. The mornings were for the men, while the afternoons tended to be for woman and children.
The Moors liked their privacy. They usually lived one family per house and the house was back from the road to avoid noise.The patio was the central part with the bedrooms, barn, kitchen and toilet all having access to it.
We can still see the influence of Arabs on Andalusian houses nowadays.
Courtyard in a house, Cordoba
In the first centuries of Islamic domination there was pacific coexistence between Muslim, Christians and Jews. Around 50% of the local population were Muslims in the 10th century and by the end of the 12th century the figure was closer to 90%.
The domination of the Almoravids and Almohades (11th and 12th centuries) was not good and things began to change, non-Islamics started to be prosecuted and Jews and Christians who refused to convert to Islam were deported. It was a time of religious intolerance.
*figure - cifra
After the battle of las Navas de Tolosa (1212), only a small part of the Al-Andalus survived: the Nasrid kingdom of Granada
The Nasrid Kingdom lasted more than two centuries, but it had to pay tributes to the Castilian kingdom, and to collaborate with it. During that time the “Nasrid Palaces” were built in Granada.
On January 2, 1492, the last Muslim ruler in Iberia, Emir Muhammad XII, known as Boabdil to the Spanish, surrendered to Ferdinand II and Isabella I, Los Reyes Católicos ('The Catholic Monarchs'), after the last battle of the Granada War.
The 1492 surrender of the Islamic Emirate of Granada to the Catholic Monarchs is one of the most important events in Granada's history. It means the completion of the Reconquista of Al-Andalus.
The Surrender of Granada in 1492 by Francisco Pradilla y Ortiz
It was really difficult for Boabdil to leave Granada. The legend says that when he was leaving the city riding his horse, he looked at the Alhambra and the green valley for the last time and he cried. His mother approached him and told him: “Weep like a woman for what you could not defend as a man."