Hisham I of Córdoba

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Hisham I
2nd Emir of Córdoba
Reign788– 12 June 796
PredecessorAbd al-Rahman I
Successoral-Hakam I
BornApril 26, 757
DiedJune 12, 796(796-06-12) (aged 39)
IssueAl-Hakam I
FatherAbd ar-Rahman I

Hisham I or Hisham Al-Reda (Arabic: هشام بن عبد الرحمن الداخل‎) was the second Umayyad Emir of Cordoba, ruling from 788 to 796 in al-Andalus.[1]

Hisham was born April, 26 757 in Cordoba. He was the first son of Abd al-Rahman I and his wife, Halul, and the younger half brother of Suleiman.

Domestic rebellions[edit]

At the beginning of his reign, in 788, he faced rebellions from his brothers, Suleiman and 'Abd Allah.[2]

Expedition to Septimania[edit]

Faced with Carolingian penetration south across the western and eastern Pyrenees, in 793 he called a jihad against the Christian Franks, sent over troops over Girona and Narbonne, but those strongholds stood firm. The Umayyad general Abd al-Malik ibn Abd al-Wahid ibn Mughith was more fortunate on his approach to Carcassonne, where he defeated Louis the Pious' Carolingian mentor William of Orange. However, surprisingly the expedition did not advance deeper into Carolingian territory, but resulted in a hefty loot and numerous slaves, which in turn provided the funds to expand the Great Mosque of Cordoba[3] and build many mosques.

Expeditions against Asturians and Basques[edit]

As of 794, his generals, the above-mentioned Abd al-Malik and his brother Abd al-Karim ibn Abd al-Wahid ibn Mughith, campaigned every year of his reign against the northern principalities, namely Álava, Old Castile, and Asturias, deep into the latter's newly established capital city of Oviedo (794). The city in turn was sacked. Alfonso II of Asturias fled, and initiated contacts with Charlemagne. These expeditions didn't mean to destroy the northern Christian principalities, but seem to have been a goal in themselves, raids aiming to get a good loot and re-assert Cordovan military superiority over both restive local Andalusian garrisons and lords prone to detachment, and the Kingdom of Asturias, as well as the Basques.

Death and assessment[edit]

Hisham died in 796 C.E. after rule of eight years.[4] He was only forty years old at the time of his death. He was a prototype of Umar II, and strove to establish the Islamic way of life. He lived a simple life and avoided regal show and ostentation. He was a God-fearing man and was known for his impartial justice and sound administration. After his death, 'Abd Allah returned from exile and claimed Valencia and Suleiman claimed Tangiers against Hisham's son, al-Hakam I.[4]


  1. ^ Roger Collins, Caliphs and Kings: Spain 796-1031, (Blackwell Publishing, 2012), 23.
  2. ^ Roger Collins, Caliphs and Kings: Spain 796-1031, 29.
  3. ^ Hisham I, D.M. Dunlop, The Encyclopaedia of Islam, Vol.III,ed. B. Lewis, V.L. Menage, C. Pellat and J. Schacht, (E.J. Brill, 1986), 495.
  4. ^ a b Roger Collins, Caliphs and Kings: Spain 796-1031, 30.
Hisham I of Córdoba
Cadet branch of the Banu Quraish
Preceded by
Abd al-Rahman I
Emir of Córdoba
Succeeded by
al-Hakam I