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 Fall of Muslim rule and unification

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PostSubject: Fall of Muslim rule and unification   Fall of Muslim rule and unification Icon_minitimeSat Oct 02, 2010 3:53 pm

The Reconquista ("Reconquest") is the centuries-long period of expansion of Iberia's Christian kingdoms. The Reconquista is viewed as beginning with the Battle of Covadonga in 722, and was concurrent with the period of Muslim rule on the Iberian peninsula. The Christian army's victory over Muslim forces led to the creation of the Christian Kingdom of Asturias along the northwestern coastal mountains. Muslim armies had also moved north of the Pyrenees, but they were defeated by Frankish forces at the Battle of Poitiers, Frankia.

Subsequently, they retreated to more secure positions south of the Pyrenees with a frontier marked by the Ebro and Duero valleys. In 739 Muslim forces were driven from Galicia, which was to host one of medieval Europe's holiest sites, Santiago de Compostela. A little later, Frankish forces established Christian counties on the southern side of the Pyrenees; these areas were to grow into kingdoms. These territories included Navarre, Aragon and Catalonia.[20]

The breakup of Al-Andalus into the competing Taifa kingdoms helped the Christian kingdoms. The capture of the strategically central city of Toledo in 1085 marked a significant shift in the balance of power in favour of the Christian kingdoms of Iberia. After a great Muslim resurgence in the 12th century, the great Moorish strongholds in the south fell to Christian Spain in the 13th centuryŚCˇrdoba in 1236 and Seville in 1248Śleaving only the Muslim enclave of Granada as a tributary state in the south.[21]

In the 13th and 14th centuries the Marinids Muslim sect based in North Africa invaded and established some enclaves on the southern coast but failed in their attempt to re-establish Muslim rule in Iberia and were soon driven out. The 13th century also witnessed the Crown of Aragon, centred in Spain's north east, expand its reach across islands in the Mediterranean, to Sicily and even Athens.[22] Around this time the universities of Palencia (1212/1263) and Salamanca (1218/1254) were established. The Black Death of 1348 and 1349 devastated Spain.

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