Medieval Christian military campaign / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Reconquista (Ibero-Romance for "reconquest"[lower-alpha 1]) or the fall of Al-Andalus[lower-alpha 2] is a term used to describe the military campaigns that Christian kingdoms waged against the Muslim kingdoms following the Umayyad conquest of Hispania from the 8th century until 1492.[4] The beginning of the Reconquista is traditionally dated to the Battle of Covadonga (circa 718 or 722), in which an Asturian army achieved the first Christian victory over the forces of the Umayyad Caliphate since the beginning of the military invasion.[5] Its culmination came in 1492 with the fall of the Nasrid kingdom of Granada to the Catholic Monarchs.[4]

Detail of the Cantiga #63 (13th century), which deals with a late 10th-century battle in San Esteban de Gormaz involving the troops of Count García and Almanzor.[1]

In the late 10th century, the Umayyad vizier Almanzor waged a series of military campaigns for 30 years in order to subjugate the northern Christian kingdoms. When the Caliphate of Córdoba disintegrated in the early 11th century, a series of petty successor states known as taifas emerged. The northern kingdoms took advantage of this situation and struck deep into al-Andalus; they fostered civil war, intimidated the weakened taifas, and made them pay large tributes (parias) for "protection".[6][7][8][9]

Following a Muslim resurgence under the Almohads in the 12th century, the great Moorish strongholds fell to Christian forces in the 13th century, after the decisive Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa (1212), the Siege of Córdoba (1236) and the Siege of Seville (1248)—leaving only the Muslim enclave of Granada as a tributary state in the south. After the surrender of Granada in January 1492, the entire Iberian peninsula was controlled by Christian rulers. On 30 July 1492, as a result of the Alhambra Decree, the Jewish communities in Castile and Aragon—some 200,000 people—were forcibly expelled. The conquest was followed by a series of edicts (1499–1526) which forced the conversions of Muslims in Castile, Navarre, and Aragon, who were later expelled from the Iberian realms of the Spanish Crown by a series of decrees starting in 1609.[10][11][12] Approximately 3,000,000 Muslims emigrated or were driven out of Spain between 1492 and 1610.[13]

Beginning in the 19th century,[14] traditional historiography has used the term Reconquista for what was earlier thought of as a restoration of the Visigothic Kingdom over conquered territories.[15][16] The concept of Reconquista, consolidated in Spanish historiography in the second half of the 19th century, was associated with the development of a Spanish national identity, emphasizing Spanish nationalist and romantic aspects.[17] It is rememorated in the Moros y Cristianos festival, which was transported to Spanish colonies worldwide. Pursuant to an Islamophobic worldview, the concept is important to the 21st century European far-right.[18][19]