Reconquista and Conviviencia - The Remarkable Story of the Christian Reconquest of Muslim Spain 732-1492

For more than seven centuries, Christians and Muslims fought for control of Spain. This is the extraordinary story of that conflict, and the myths which developed to explain the complex interaction. We will explore the notion of the Christian reconquista (reconquest) of Muslim Spain, and the conviviencia, (coexistence) in which Christians, Muslims and Jews were said to have lived peacefully together. We will also examine the remarkable contribution to Western science and civilization by Islamic scholars and their Christian counterparts. Along the way, we’ll encounter characters such as El Cid and the remarkable Alfonso X.


COURSE OUTLINE

  • Overview of the Christian reconquest of Muslim Spain 732-1492 – major events and the Christian and Muslim groups involved.
  • Myths of medieval Spain: Reconquista or reconquest. The development of the myth that the Christian reconquest was a united and sustained Christian holy war against Islam. The roots of the myth among nineteenth-century Spanish historians and the use of the myth by Franco in the twentieth century.
  • Myths of medieval Spain: Conviviencia or coexistence. The development of the myth that Christians, Muslims and Jews lived peacefully side-by-side and co-operated together to create a golden age. The development of the myth by nineteenth-century Spanish historians, and its romanticization by modern Western historians.
  • The contribution of Arab science to the West: the transmission of major works of Greek science and philosophy from Arabs to the West. These works, including Aristotle and Hippocrates, had been lost to the West after the fall of the Roman Empire, but were preserved and translated into Arabic by Arab scholars.
  • Characters of medieval Spain: Abd al-Rahman, the Muslim leader who established al-Andalus as an independent state and built the grand Mosque of Cordoba. The Christian warrior El Cid, who fought for both Christians and Muslims. The learned Alfonso X, king of Castile who attracted a glittering court of scholars and poets.
  • “The last sigh of the Moor”: the final ejection of Muslims from Spain in 1492 and subsequent disasters.


PLANNED LEARNING OUTCOMES
By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Describe the major events of the reconquest of Muslim Spain from 732 to 1492.
  2. Understand the development of myths about the reconquest, and their use in modern politics.
  3. Understand the contribution of Arab science to Western civilization, and how much modern science owes to Muslim scholars.
  4. Enjoy the adventures of some of the characters of medieval Spain, particularly El Cid.
  5. Understand the lasting impact of the ejection of the last Muslims from Spain.
$92 Limited / $83

<p>For more than seven centuries, Christians and Muslims fought for control of Spain. This is the extraordinary story of that conflict, and the myths which developed to explain the complex interaction

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01 Oct

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