Segments in this Video

Exploration of Southern Spain (03:01)


Spain's proximity to Africa and peninsular geography has facilitated Roman, Jewish, Muslim and Christian influences. In this film, historian and traveler Simon Sebag Montefiore will visit Cadiz, Seville, Gibraltar, Cordoba, and Granada.

Ancient Cadiz (02:17)

The Spanish city was once a colony of the Phoenician city of Carthage. From there, Hannibal and Hamilcar conquered most of Spain, coming into conflict with the Roman Empire. Montefiore examines a Melqart statue that Hannibal once paid homage to.

Castle of Sancti Petri (02:06)

In 218 BC, Hannibal traveled to Melqart's temple on an island near Cadiz. Melqart was the god of Tyre; Montefiore relates his virility legend. Hannibal vowed to destroy Rome, the enemy of the Carthaginian Empire.

Hannibal's Italy Campaign (02:21)

Hannibal assembled an army of 60,000 warriors in Cadiz and marched across Spain, Southern France, and the Alps. He nearly defeated Rome, but the Romans rallied and would bring the war to Carthaginian Spain.

Battle of Ilipa (03:07)

In 206 BC, Carthaginians and Romans met in Andalucia. Vowing to destroy Carthage, Scipio invaded poorly defended Spain. Military historian Saul David outlines his strategy that resulted in Spain becoming a Roman colony.

Italica (02:29)

Scipio built a city from which to attack North Africa; a mosaic illustrates his campaigns. He defeated Hannibal at Carthage, making Spain a Roman colony. Italica locals Trajan and Hadrian would become emperors; Marcus Aurelius was also from Roman Spain.

Sephardic Jewish Community (02:28)

Bull fighting originated in Italica's amphitheater. After Hadrian's persecution of Jews in Jerusalem, an exile community was established in Spain.

Seville's Patron Saints (02:49)

Christian sisters and potters Justa and Refina refused to allow their pottery to be used in a Venus festival. Diogenes tortured and executed them, making them martyrs.

Saint Isidore (03:04)

When the Roman Empire disintegrated, Barbarian tribes invaded Spain. Seville's Archbishop, a Visigoth scholar, adapted Roman law to Christian Spain—the prototype for Catholic monarchy. Later, Julian recruited Islamic allies to kill the last Visigoth king for raping his daughter.

Muslim Conquest (02:42)

The Umayyad Caliphate stretched from Damascus to Morocco. Tangiers governor Tariq ibn Ziyad assembled an army to aid Julian in defeating the Visigoths; they landed at Gibraltar. Visigoths converted to Islam or fled north.

Rahman's Victory (02:49)

Muslim conquerors wanted to keep Spain, yet owed allegiance to Umayyad Caliphs. In 750 AD, the Abbasids overthrew the dynasty; Prince Abd al-Rahman escaped to Spain. With 300 followers, he traveled to Cordoba to defeat the Abbasids at the Guadalquivir River.

Building Moorish Spain (03:08)

Rahman designed Cordoba to remind him of Damascus. Montefiore explores the Mezquita, Rahman's architectural masterpiece that incorporated Visigoth elements.

Al-Andalus Culture (02:23)

Under Abd-al Rahman III, Cordoba rivaled Constantinople in population, wealth, science, and multiculturalism. Muslim rulers taxed Jews and Christians; hear about radical Christian Eulogious’ martyrdom.

Madinat al-Zahra (05:30)

Ruins of a palace complex outside Cordoba illustrate Abd-al Rahman III's ambition. In 929, he declared himself a caliph; learn about his cruelty and paranoia. Simon Barton discusses the Umayyad practice of taking concubines that avoided involving a wife's family in politics.

Almanzor (03:28)

In 976, Caliph Hisham II's mother Subh appointed her lover as Grand Vizier. He waged holy war against the Christian north and founded a dynasty. Under his weak heirs, Al-Andalus disintegrated into city-states, but the Mezquita symbolizes its former strength.

Granada (02:35)

The Emirate emerged as a smaller principality after the Cordoba Caliphate. The Alhambra stands where 11th century Jewish leader Samuel ibn Naghrillah's palace once stood. He became an advisor to Berber rulers, and was a warrior and a poet.

Granada Pogrom (02:39)

In 1056, Samuel ibn Naghrillah's son Joseph became Grand Vizier of Granada. A decade later, a mob killed him and massacred 4,000 Jews—signaling the end of religious pluralism in Muslim Spain.

Credits: The Making of Spain: Conquest (00:43)

Credits: The Making of Spain: Conquest

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The Making of Spain: Conquest

Part of the Series : The Making of Spain
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $300.00
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3-Year Streaming Price: $300.00



This episode spans the early years when Iberia was a minor province of Carthage, through to the glories of Spain's Moslem age and the Cordoba Caliphate. Simon Sebag Montefiore travels to Cadiz with Spain's first invaders and visits a sacred island where the Carthaginian warrior Hannibal received the blessing of the Gods. We learn how early Spain was a battleground for empires, and visit Italica - a perfectly preserved Roman city with one of the finest amphitheatres outside Rome. From there this episode covers the early, brazen Christian Martyrs, the Visigoths and the Moslem conquest.

Length: 50 minutes

Item#: BVL128907

ISBN: 978-1-64023-473-4

Copyright date: ©2015

Closed Captioned

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Not available to Home Video and Publisher customers.