Abd al-Rahman (Makers of the Muslim World) by Maribel Fierro

By Maribel Fierro

Covers the 10th-century founding father of the nice Cordova Caliphate.

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Another slave, Mushtaq, became the favourite during the last years of the caliph's life. ----82 'ABO AL-RAHMAN III in order to eliminate a possible rival to their candidate to the throne, 'Abd al-Rahman's III grandson Hisham II. Sexual intimacy with 'Abd aI-Rahman III could bring lavish reward to his slave concubines, but also death. An anonymous slave with whom the caliph was enjoying himself in the gardens of Madinat al-Zahra' dared to show her displeasure at being kissed by him. Enraged, he called his eunuchs and ordered them to burn her face-with a candle.

But their execution seems to have been a token gesture, because the rest of the participants went unpunished, an indication that the caliph was unable or unwilling to extend his reprisals beyond them. Until then, he had pursued a determined policy of extending his direct control over the frontier area, although he had to content himself momentarily with indirect control. The battle of Simancas revealed that the autonomy of the local lineages was there to last. In fact, from 939 onwards, military activity in the Upper Frontier was left in the hands of the local lords, who, as recorded by the chronicler Ibn Hayyan, CALIPHATE AND CONSOLIDATION 67 [' !

If the existing settlements have left few traces in the historical records this is because they were not part of any visible polity. The so-called repopulation of the Duero valley was partly the process by which existing populations increased their numbers by the arrival of emigrants from the north and the south (the Mozarabs), but mostly it reflects the emergence of new political and military frameworks of the activities of those populations. In 921 , the Muslim troops who took part in the campaign against Osma remarked the presence in the area around Clunia of well-kept villages and extensive cultivated fields.

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