Segments in this Video

La Convivencia (02:30)


Christians, Muslims, and Jews shared a society and culture in Spain for nearly 800 years; collaboration and conflict were a regular part of society.

Islamic Revolt (03:41)

In 750 AD, the Abbasid family staged a bloody coup against the Umayyad Caliphate. Prince Abd al-Rahman I and his son escaped. (Credits)

Legitimate Rule (06:16)

Al-Rahman I sought protection with his mother's tribe. He planned to regain the Umayyad Caliphate and traveled to Al-Andalus where he defeated Abbasid forces. Al-Rahman remade the center of Cordoba into a mosque.

Dhimmi Governance (04:19)

The Umayyad made allowances for Christians and Jews in Spain, unlike the Visigoths. Al-Rahman governed non-Muslims according to a code established by Muhammad, marking the beginning of Convivencia.

Al-Andalus Prosperity (03:04)

Cordoba flourished and irrigation improvements transformed the countryside. Al-Rahman built a country estate and cultivated a variety of imported plants.

Growth in Islamic Conversion (05:41)

Al-Rahman died in 788, but Al-Andalus continued to thrive; the Cordoba mosque expanded. A group of Christians, led by Eulogius, began a resistance movement against conversion and Arabic culture.

Cordoba: Center of the Islamic World (04:55)

In January 929, Abd al-Rahman III declared himself caliph. The introduction of water transformed the city and stories of its glamor spread. Abd al-Rahman III built an opulent palace complex as the new seat of government.

Jewish Community (04:28)

Cordoba became a place of learning and housed extensive book collections. Hasdai ibn Shaprut, the highest ranking Jew in Al-Andalus, sought to make Cordoba the center of Jewish life.

Start of the Holy War (04:28)

Al-Rahman III's grandson became caliph, but Al-Mansur held the true power. Al-Mansur led attacks against Christian territories and invoked the ideology of jihad. In 997, he targeted the church of Santiago de Compostela and made mosque lamps from the church bells.

Fracturing Community (02:25)

Al-Mansur hired more Berber mercenaries. Berber conservatism led to opposing political factions and the end of the Umayyad dynasty. Mercenaries sacked the Medina Azahara.

Al-Andalus: 11th Century (06:32)

Political turmoil plagued the city states that had replaced the caliphate but culture flourished. Andalusian music became popular in Spain and southern France.

Medieval Intellectuals (05:26)

Polemicist Ibn Hazm and Samuel ha-Nagid fled Cordoba after the caliphate fell. Hazm wrote about love and loss in "The Ring of the Dove."

Samuel ha-Nagid (08:02)

Ha-Nagid fled to Malaga after the fall of Cordoba. He became a vizier in Granada and introduced innovative poetry. Ha-Nagid's son became his successor, but his arrogance resulted in a deadly uprising.

Christian Kingdoms Increase Power (06:13)

Alfonso VI conquered Toledo, exposing Castilians to a broader culture, before targeting Seville. Taifa King Al-Mu'tamid allied with the Almoravids and defeated Alfonso; the Almoravids later attacked Seville.

Religious Differences (05:51)

Andalusian culture became more religiously austere and many Jews and Christians fled to Toledo. Christian conservative reformers viewed Mozarabs as heretics and pressured Alfonso VI to force conformity. Legend says the king subjected the two versions of Latin mass to trial by fire.

Revival of Learning (05:59)

In the 12th century, Toledo's culture and collection of translated Greek text influenced changes throughout Europe. Europeans followed the writings of Averroes to become reacquainted with Aristotle; Ibn Rushd influenced Christians.

Translation Movement (03:53)

Peter the Venerable visited Toledo and wanted to challenge Saracen heresy. He convinced Robert of Ketton to translate the Quran into Latin. The Roman Church envisioned a polarized war.

Medieval Toledo (06:14)

Cultural life flourished during the reign of Alfonso X, but religious intolerance grew. Archbishop Rodrigo Jiménez de Rada wrote about the Reconquista and supported the rejection of Islamic rule. In 1212, a coalition of Christian armies defeated the Almohads.

Christian Conquest (04:10)

De Rada reconsecrated the Church of San Román. Ferdinand III conquered more Muslim cities, but Granada remained independent. The Alhambra set the architectural style for Castilian kings.

Medieval Architecture (06:09)

The palaces of Muhammad V in Granada and Pedro I in Castile suggest architectural conversations. The Alhambra and Synagogue of El Transito reveal a shared culture; Samuel ha-Levi dedicated the synagogue to Pedro.

Spanish Pogroms (03:39)

Pedro I was criticized for Jewish sympathies; he executed ha-Levi. Pedro's half-brother Henry murdered him and cultivated the massacre of Jews in 1391.

Christian Spain (04:53)

The ideology of Christian kings as purifiers intensified. In 1469, Castile and Aragon united against Granada, marking the end of Muslim rule. Ferdinand II and Isabella I issued the Alhambra Decree and thousands of Jews fled; Muslims were forced to convert or leave in 1492.

Spanish Inquisition (06:07)

Ferdinand II and Isabella I established the tribunal in 1480. Enforcement of Christian orthodoxy intensified and thousands were tortured and killed. Despite the brutal period, the legacy of La Convivencia remains.

Credits: Ornament of the World (00:32)

Credits: Ornament of the World

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Ornament of the World

3-Year Streaming Price: $199.95



This remarkable story from the past is especially timely today. Filmed in Cordoba, Granada, Seville, and Toledo, this film retraces the 800-year period in medieval Spain when Muslims, Christians, and Jews forged a common cultural identity that frequently transcended their religious differences, revealing what made this rare and fruitful collaboration possible, and what ultimately tore it apart.

Length: 116 minutes

Item#: BVL206170

Copyright date: ©2019

Closed Captioned

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