The emergence of the taifa kingdom of toledo

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Abstract

The period between the fall of the Umayyads of Cordoba and the emergence of the successor states in the Iberian peninsula is shadowy and unclear. In this article, I attempt to offer a micro-study of the process in one place. Using literary and numismatic sources, I attempt a reconstruction of events in and connected with Toledo, and of the list of rulers who were active there, in the first two decades of the fifth Islamic century. This list is much longer (though almost all those mentioned in it ruled very briefly) than was previously suspected. because of the importance of Toledo as a frontier city, it is particularly important to know something of the process of the transfer of authority there at this time. Most of the local leaders seem not to have atributed much importance to the city; the local population, on the other hand, seems to have been willing to accept virtually any ruler who might protect them against the threat of Christian encroachment. The study shows the potential value of micro-studies in illuminating broader issues, such as factional in-fighting in such cities, but it also brings out the metropolitan bias and other limitations of our sources. In three appendices I look at numismatic evidence for two of these newly identified rulers, at a textual crux in the anonymous Fath al-Andalus, and at a difficult passage in the Naqt al- 'Arūs of Ibn Hazm.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-56
Number of pages40
JournalAl-Qantara
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2000

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