Segments in this Video

War Against Islam in Europe (01:32)


After the collapse of Abdul Rahman's caliphate in Cordoba in the 11th century, Pope Urban II ordered the military removal of Islam from the Holy Land. Christians in northern Spain joined the effort to rid Spain of Islam.

11th-Century Christian Siege on Islam (03:08)

Invading Christians fight a dirty war in Spain, burning crops, cutting down forests, destroying irrigation systems, and taking bribes. They live on Muslim resources for a century. Muslims bring in troops from Morocco to help defend themselves.

Muslim Fundamentalists vs. Barbaric Christians (01:05)

Arab fundamentalist fighters from the Sahara are shocked at the state of Islam in Al Andalus. They aim to purify the religion by destroying icons and architecture of Islam. Barbaric Christian fighters and fundamentalist Muslims crush Al Andalus.

Spaniards Celebrate Crusades (02:42)

Today, Spaniards choose to remember and celebrate "La Reconquista" as a valiant crusade in which Spain is returned to its rightful Christian owners. But was it?

Spain's Reconquista: Fact or Fiction? (03:43)

Original documents from the 11th century onward prove that the history Spaniards choose to celebrate it is only a fable. Heroes like El Cid were no more than mercenaries fighting for the highest bidder.

Truth About the Spanish Reconquista (01:34)

The romanticized version of the Reconquista distorts the true nature of the conflict. Not a holy war at all, the conflict was really "a dirty grab for land" that lasted over 300 years.

Muslim Design Influences European Architecture (02:29)

When the Christians take over Muslim Spain, they show respect for Muslim culture by rebuilding palaces in their original Arabic design. The architecture of Al Andalus influenced European architecture for centuries.

Toledo: Origins of the Renaissance (03:07)

Even after the Reconquista, Al Andalus was at the center of a shift in thinking grander than Europe had ever seen: the Renaissance. The origins of the Renaissance came from Toledo in Islamic Spain.

Toledo: Intellectual Storehouse (03:34)

The Christian conquest of Toledo passed a storehouse of knowledge of the Greek philosophers on to Europeans who flocked to the city. Translations and original works, including illuminated manuscripts, exist today in Toledo.

Latin and Arabic Translations of Greek Texts (04:04)

Translations of Greek texts contain Greek, Arabic and Latin side-by-side. Words from Arabic eventually crept into English, such as lemon, lime, arsenal, and alcohol. Arabic numerals make their appearance around 1000 AD.

Islamic Knowledge Reaches Europe and England (03:01)

A wealth of knowledge brought from Toledo found its way to the Bishop of Oxford, in a town that soon became a center of intellectualism and knowledge. Europeans learn to apply reason to concepts and to abandon blind faith in God.

Muslim Source of European Renaissance (01:46)

Aristotle was taught in universities, medical treatises of Aracena were used in hospitals, and Arabic numerals were passed on to craftsmen. The European Renaissance was in reality a continuation of the growth of knowledge nourished centuries before by Muslims.

Islamic Granada Falls (03:25)

Over the centuries, Muslim intellectuals have been air-brushed out of history--in what many believe were conscious efforts to eliminate all Muslim influence in Europe. Though Granada remained Islamic for 200 years, Queen Isabella laid siege to the city and it ultimately fell,

Christian Queen Isabella and the Spanish Inquisition (02:01)

Isabella's victory in Granada put an end to an "incredible" 700-year-old society that had built the culture of Al Andalus into a pinnacle of civilized life. The Inquisition aimed to track down and kill anyone who was not an orthodox Catholic.

Inquisition: Muslim Ethnic Cleansing (03:49)

In 1526, the Inquisition came to Granada to "deal with the Muslim problem." Inquisitors went door to door, often gathering all women and children and herding them into churches to await trial. In 1609, all Muslims were forcibly removed from Spain.

Cordoba Mosque: Muslim and Christian (01:55)

In Cordoba, the new Catholic rulers gouged out the center of the Cordoba mosque and built a Christian cathedral.

Franco: Political Use of History (02:01)

Spain's troubled relationship with its Muslim past continues into the 20th century. Franco explained the 700-year Muslim occupation of Al Andalus away, citing that the Muslims were weak and not devout.

History Value of Islamic Influence (02:14)

What the history of Moors shows is that the Christian and Muslim cultures were linked. The West has been inspired by Islam, and Europe's identity solidified while it fought the Muslims.

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The Moors: Prelude to the Renaissance

Part of the Series : When the Moors Ruled Europe
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Over seven centuries of Islamic rule, Spain became the cultural jewel of Europe. This program illustrates that flowering of art and science, placing the rebirth of classical learning in Andalusian rather than Italian cities. Writer Bettany Hughes speaks with Antonia Almagro of the Spanish National Research Council about the intellectual and aesthetic revelations a visitor from Florence or Venice might have experienced in Muslim Granada or Toledo. She also hears from historian Emilio Gonzales Ferrin, who contrasts the initial wave of Islamic settlers with more fundamentalist reinforcements brought up to defend against the Christian reconquest. Questions behind the identity of the Spanish hero Guzmán el Bueno reflect these complexities within Islam. (50 minutes)

Length: 51 minutes

Item#: BVL37636

ISBN: 978-1-4213-8635-5

Copyright date: ©2007

Closed Captioned

Reviews & Awards

“A great introduction for Western audiences to Islamic influences on medieval and Renaissance society. Highly Recommended.”—Educational Media Reviews Online


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