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A Vanished World - Essay Example

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Summary
Lowney’s book “A Vanished World: Medieval Spain” is a classical real life-example of how religions deeply affected the livelihood of people for no fault of theirs. This essay is understanding of chapters 2,4,5,8 and 11 which are representative of what one can benefit from reading the book as stated above…
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A Vanished World
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A Vanished World

Download file to see previous pages... Visigoths had swept over the old Roman Hispania in the fifth century and similarly Islamic Arabs led by Tarriq stormed over Iberian Peninsula just as Carthaginians conquered centuries earlier. The Christian kingdom of Visigoth’s fall was dramatic, swift and complete that it appeared no reversal could be brought about for several centuries later. Conquest of Spain by Muslims started in July 710 when Tariq ibn Ziyad, the governor of Tangier was deputed by the Governor of the whole Maghrib (presently Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia) to invade the Christianized Visigoth kingdom ruled by the Visigoth king Rodrigo (Roderic) whose forces were defeated at the Battle of Barbate (Wadi Lago) on 19 July 1971. Visigoth lost to Tariq forces because of their loosely administered kingdom. King Rodrigo who had clashed with Basques rushed to Cordoba where he kept his army in the waiting to oppose Tariq’s forces. Tariq chose to wait at Algeciras instead and by then strength of his army increased to 12,000 men. While the war was on, Witza’s sons Sisbert and Oppa who had been commanding Visigoth’s army abandoned the king owing to some secret arrangement with the enemy and allowed themselves to be routed. King Rodrigo disappeared and only his white horse and a golden saddle were found by the victors. Tariq’s original intention was only to reconnoiter but he could easily take over the kingdom. Surviving Christians attributed the fall of Visigothic kingdom due to the vices of Witiza or Rodrigo. Still others felt that the fall of Spain to Muslim rulers was a divine punishment for the sins committed by Visigoths. The last thirty years of Visigothic Empire had been characterized by warring factions. As there was no hereditary monarchy, the kingdom had been subjected to constant conspiracy and civil war. At the time of Tariq’s invasions, Visigoth king had not cared to settle the consequences of rivalries within the kingdom at the time of Tariq’s invasion. Visigoths had not cared to secure control of ports and adjacent regions. It emerges therefore that minority Muslims could take over majority Visigoths (Christians) dominated Spain by their sheer brilliance and because of the inefficient administration and preoccupation in worldly pleasures by the Christians (O'Callaghan),(Lowney 29-42). Christian Martyrdoms Christian martyrdom began with the beheading of Euologius who was a martyr activist. He denounced Islam and harbored a Muslim apostate in 859. Islamic culture flourished in Cordoba and some Cordoban Christians violently reacted to the situation. Eulogius and his co-activists wanted to awaken the conscience of their fellow Christians who were attracted to Islam. Lowney draws a parallel to the present situation of Muslims embracing martyrdom against Christians. Isaac, a Christian scholar who was mediating between majority Christians and minority Muslims and in a prestigious Government job for tax collections suddenly resigned for unknown reasons and pursued Christianity more vigorously. In that connection, in 851 he deliberately blasphemed ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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