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Mertola

(156 words)

Author(s): Lévi-Provençal, E.
, Ar. Martūla and Mirtūla, a little town in the south of Portugal on the Guadiana, 35 miles above and north of the mouth of this river, at its junction with the Oeira. This place, the Myrtilis of the Romans, was of some importance in the Muslim period. It was in the district of Beja and according to Yāḳūt was the best defended stronghold in the whole of the west of the Peninsula. At the end of the ninth century it was the headquarters of an independent chief, ʿAbd al-Malik b. Abi ’l-Ḏj̲awād, who was in alliance with the lords of Badajoz and Ocsonoba and held his own against the Cordovan emīr ʿAbd Allāh. (E.…

al-Mad̲j̲ūs

(875 words)

Author(s): Lévi-Provençal, E.
The historians of the Mag̲h̲rib and of Muslim Spain give the generic name of Mad̲j̲ūs “pagans, fire-worshippers” to the Scandinavian pirates known in England as Northmen (Norsemen) and also to the Normans of France who on several occasions in the middle ages attempted landings on the coasts and expeditions against the frontiers of the Muslim west. The first invasion of Spain by Northmen was in 230 (844). In the month of Ḏh̲u’l-Ḥid̲j̲d̲j̲a 229 (Aug./Sept. 844), a fleet of 54 large vessels and as many small barks anchored before Lisbon [q. v.] and the …

Tudela

(230 words)

Author(s): Lévi-Provençal, E.
, Ar. Tuṭīla, a little town in Spain, with about 9,500 inhabitants, 860 feet above sea-level and 50 miles N. W. of Saragossa, on the right bank of the Ebro and the left bank of a tributary of the latter, the Queues (Ar. Kālas̲h̲). According to the Arab geographers, it was founded by the Umaiyads in the reign of the emīr al-Ḥakam I (180—206 = 796—822). In this period and on several other occasions, it was the headquarters of rebel Muslim leaders: for example in 229 (843—844) the emīr ʿAbd al-Raḥmān laid siege to it and in 264 (877—878) al…

al-Manṣūr

(2,858 words)

Author(s): Lévi-Provençal, E.
Ibn Abī ʿĀmir, a famous ḥād̲j̲ib of al-Andalus in the tenth century a. h., the Al-manzor of the Christian chroniclers of mediaeval Spain; his full name was Abū ʿAmīr Muḥammad b. ʿAbd Allāh b. Muḥammad Ibn Abī Amīr. He belonged to an Arab family which had settled in the Iberian peninsula at an early date: one of his ancestors, ʿAbd al-Mālik al-Maʿāfirī, had landed there with Ṭāriḳ [q. v.] and settled at Torrox in the province of Algeciras where he had founded a family. Al-Manṣūr’s father, Abū Ḥafṣ ʿAbd Allāh,…

Morón

(299 words)

Author(s): Lévi-Provençal, E.
, Arab. Mawzūr, a little town in the south of Spain, on the right bank of the Guadaira and at the foot of the Sierra de Moron to the S. W. of Cordova and S. E. of Seville. It was in the Muslim period the capital of a kūra ¶ or district and an agricultural centre with numerous olive-groves. At the beginning of the tenth century, it was one of the centres of resistance of the famous rebel ʿUmar b. Ḥafṣūn; its citadel was taken by the troops of ʿAbd al-Raḥmān III in 311 (923). In the next century during the period of the petty kingdoms of the reyes taifas, Moron was the capital of a little Berber dynasty,…

Silves

(608 words)

Author(s): Lévi-Provençal, E.
, in Arabie s̲h̲ilb (ethnie: S̲h̲ilbī), a small town in southern Portugal, the former capital of the province of Algarve (Ar. al-g̲h̲arb) and important metropolis of the G̲h̲arb al-Andalus under Arab rule. It was part of the district of al-S̲h̲ins̲h̲īn, in the time of al-Idrīsī. It was surrounded by gardens and orchards, and ¶ there were many water-mills. It had a harbour on the river, with timber-yards, where the wood of the forests of the region was prepared for exportation. Its figs were renowned. Its population, which claimed to be of Yaman or…

Simancas

(200 words)

Author(s): Lévi-Provençal, E.
, a small town in Northern Spain, situated eight miles south-east of Valladolid and now famous for its castle where are preserved the archives of the kingdom of Spain. The name is transcribed in Arabic S̲h̲ant Mānkas in the Kitāb al-ʿIbar of Ibn Ḵh̲aldūn. It was near Simancas that in 327 (939) the armies of the Umaiyad Caliph ʿAbd al-Raḥmān III were severely defeated by the Christian King Ramiro II. This battle itself was only the prelude to a still more bloody encounter, the “battle of the ditch” ( waḳʿat al-k̲h̲andaḳ), or battle of Alhandega, which took place soon after to the sout…

al-Maʾmūn

(713 words)

Author(s): Lévi-Provençal, E.
, honorific laḳab of the principal sovereign of the dynasty of Berber origin of the Banū Ḏh̲i ’l-Nūn, who founded a kingdom with Toledo as its capital on the fall of the Umaiyad caliphate of Cordova in the first quarter of the eleventh century [cf. the article d̲h̲u ’l-nūn]. Al-Maʾmūn, whose full name was Yaḥyā b. Ismāʿīl b. ʿAbd al-Raḥmān b. ʿĀmir b. Muṭarrif b. Ḏh̲i ’l-Nūn, succeeded his father, Ismāʿīl al-Ẓāfir, on the latter’s death in 429 (1037) and spent his long reign in incessant warfare with all his Muslim neighbours, the dynasties of…

Tortosa

(825 words)

Author(s): Lévi-Provençal, E.
, Arabic Ṭurṭūs̲h̲a (nisba: Ṭurṭūs̲h̲ī), a town in Spain on the left bank of the Ebro, a few miles above the beginning of the delta of this river, 115 miles from Valencia, 105 from Barcelona and 60 from Tarragona. Tortosa which now has 28,000 inhabitants, is the chief town of a partido of the province of Tarragona and the see of a bishop. The town is built on the site of the old Iberian town of Dertosa which was succeeded by the Roman colony of Julia Augusta. Its geographical position has always given it considerable commercial importance. It passed early under Muslim rule and mo…

S̲h̲arīs̲h̲

(521 words)

Author(s): Lévi-Provençal, E.
(adjective: S̲h̲arīs̲h̲ī) was the Arabic name for the modern Jerez de la Frontera, an important town in Spain, in the province of Cadiz, a little north of this town. It has to be distinguished from Jerez de les Caballeros, the S̲h̲arīs̲h̲a, of the Muslim period (cf. al-Idrīsī, Descr. de l’Esp., pp. 175, 186, 211, 226), a little town in the province of Badajoz, south of this capital and west of Zafra. Jerez de la Frontera, from its position in a country blessed with remarkable fertility, was while under Muslim rule as at the present day a rich …

al-Wans̲h̲arīsī

(590 words)

Author(s): Lévi-Provençal, E.
, nisba from the land of Wans̲h̲arīs, a mountainous area in western Algeria to the south of the Wādī S̲h̲alaf (Chélif) known to modern geographers in the corrupt transcription Ouarsenis. 1. Abu ’l-ʿabbās aḥmad b. yaḥyā b. Muḥammad b. ʿabd al-wāḥid b. ʿalī al-tilimsānī al-wans̲h̲arīsī, a famous Mālikī jurist of the Mag̲h̲rib, born at Tlemsen, studied under celebrated teachers, like Ibn Marzūḳ al-Kafīf and Abu ’l-Faḍl ¶ Ḳāsim al-ʿUḳbānī. In 874 (1469) after some trouble with the government of Tlemsen of which we do not know the details, he left his native town t…

Lorca

(139 words)

Author(s): Lévi-Provençal, E.
(a., Lūraḳa), a town in Eastern Spain between Granada and Murcia, with 26,700 inhabitants. It is the ancient Iluro or Heliocroca of the Romans. In the Muslim period it formed part of the kūra of Tudmīr [q. v.] and was famous for the richness of its soil and subsoil and for its strategic position. Its ḥiṣn was one of the most substantial in Andalusia. It is 1,200 feet above sea-level on the southern slope of the Sierra del Cano, and dominates the course of the river Guadalesitin. Under Arab rule it usually shared the fortunes of Murcia and became Christian again in 1266. (E. Lévi-Provençal) Bibliogr…

Ronda

(527 words)

Author(s): Lévi-Provençal, E.
(Ar. Runda), ethn. al-Rundī, a town in the south of Spain to the north of Algeciras and west of Malaga, 2,400 feet above sea-level in the centre of a vast mountainous amphitheatre at the edge of a rocky plateau which ends in precipitous walls on the western side and is cut in two by the great natural cleft of the Tajo 500 feet in depth, at the bottom of which runs the torrent here known as Guadalevín ( Wādī al-Laban) and later known as Guadiaro ( Wādī Aro). Its peculiar position makes it an almost impregnable natural fortress. At the present day the town is the capital of a partido judicial of the provi…

al-Maʾmūn

(588 words)

Author(s): Lévi-Provençal, E.
, Abu ’l-ʿAlāʾ Idrīs b. Yaʿḳūb al-Manṣūr b. Yūsuf b.ʿAbd al-Muʾmin b. ʿAlī, ninth sovereign of the Almohad dynasty, born in 581 (1185—1186) in Malaga, of the marriage of his father with the Spanish princess Ṣafīya, daughter of the amīr Abū ʿAbd Allāh b. Mardanīs̲h̲ (Martinez). The Arab historians pay high tributes to the good qualities of this prince who was very well read, equally well versed in profane and religious learning. At a time when the Almohad dynasty was much troubled by the strife stirred up by pretenders, he was able by his energy to postpone for several years its final collapse. At…

Ṣaḳāliba

(1,003 words)

Author(s): Lévi-Provençal, E.
, Slavs. The name Ṣaḳāliba (the singular forms are ṣaḳlab, ṣaḳlabī and ṣiḳlābī, also with initial s instead of ) is usually applied by the Arab geographers of the Middle Ages to the peoples of various origins who lived in the lands adjoining the territory of the Ḵh̲azars, between Constantinople and the land of the Bulg̲h̲ārs. See the articles bulg̲h̲ār, k̲h̲azar, slavs. The Slavs of al-Andalus. In Muslim Spain the word in its plural form is found very early as the generic name of the foreign private bodyguard of the Umaiyad Caliphs of Cordova. Originally,…

Tangier

(2,433 words)

Author(s): Lévi-Provençal, E.
, the ancient Tingis, Arabic Ṭand̲j̲a (old ethnic: Ṭand̲j̲i; modern ethnic: Ṭand̲j̲āwī), a town in Morocco, situated on the Strait of Gibraltar, 7 miles to the east of Cape Spartel [q. v.] at the point where the Atlantic coast begins. The town dominates a magnificent bay terminated on the East by Cape Malabata (Rās al-Manār) and on the West by the citadel ( ḳaṣba) and it slopes, at times fairly steeply, towards the sea. The town is divided into a number of quarters within the walls and others without. The former, fourteen in number, form the town properly speaking ( Madīna, popularly Mdīna). Amo…

al-Ṣumail

(755 words)

Author(s): Lévi-Provençal, E.
b. Ḥātim Abū Ḏj̲aws̲h̲an al-Kilābī, a famous Arab chief in Spain. (The vocalisation of the name al-Ṣumail is confirmed by the transcription Zumahel used by pseudo-Isodorus of Beja). He was the grandson of S̲h̲amir b. Ḏh̲ī Ḏj̲aws̲h̲an of Kūfa who killed al-Ḥusain at Kerbelāʾ (cf. above, ii., p. 339). The family of S̲h̲amir had left Kūfa, because of reprisals made on them by the S̲h̲īʿīs, and settled in the district of Ḳinnasrīn (cf. above, ii., p. 1021) and this is how it came about that al-Ṣumail came to be one of the d̲j̲und of Ḳinnasrīn in the Syrian army sent to North Africa by the …

al-Maḳḳarī

(972 words)

Author(s): Lévi-Provençal, E.
, Abu ’l-ʿAbbās Aḥmad b. Muḥammad b. Aḥmad b. Yaḥyā al-Tilimsānī al-Mālikī S̲h̲ihāb al-Dīn, a Mag̲h̲ribī man of letters and biographer, born at Tilimsān (Tlemcen, q. v.) c. 1000 (1591—92) d. at Cairo in Ḏj̲umādā II 1041 (Jan. 1632). He belonged to a family of scholars, natives of Maḳḳara (about 12 miles S. E. of Msīla, in the present province of Constantine in Algeria). One of his paternal ancestors, Muḥammad b. Muḥammad al-Maḳḳarī, had been chief ḳāḍī of Fās and one of the teachers of the famous Lisān al-Dī…

al-Muʿtaḍid

(1,149 words)

Author(s): Lévi-Provençal, E.
bi ‘llāh, Abū ʿAmr ʿAbbād b. Muḥammad b. ʿAbbād, the most important and most powerful sovereign of the ʿAbbādid dynasty [q. v.] who reigned over the little kingdom formed by his father Abu ’l-Ḳāsim Muḥammad b. ʿAbbād, with Seville [q. v.] as his capital, at the time of the break up of the Umaiyad caliphate of Spain and the rise of the reyes de taifas (mulūk al-ṭawāʾif); in the course of a reign of nearly 30 years (433—460 a.h. = 1042—1069 a.d.), he very considerably increased his territory by making himself the champion of the Spanish Arabs against the Berbers in Spain whose…

al-Nāṣir

(322 words)

Author(s): Lévi-Provençal, E.
, honorific of the fourth sovereign of the Mag̲h̲ribī dynasty of the Muʾminids or Almohads [q. v.], Abū ʿAbd Allāh Muḥammad b. Yaʿḳūb al-Manṣūr b. Yūsuf b. ʿAbd al-Muʾmin. He was proclaimed on the death of his father on the 22nd Rabīʿ I 595 (Jan. 25, 1199). The beginning of his reign was marked by the suppression of a rising led by an agitator in the mountainous country of the G̲h̲umāra and a long stay at Fās during which he rebuilt a part of the wall of the ḳaṣaba of this city. Hearing of the rising of Yaḥyā b. Isḥāḳ Ibn G̲h̲āniya in Ifrīḳiya, he set out for the eastern part of hi…
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