The Sanhaja were once one of the largest North African tribal confederations, along with the Iznaten and Imesmuden confederations. Many tribes in Morocco and Mauritania bore and still carry this ethnonym in its Berber form. Other names for the population include Zenaga, Sanhája, Sanhâdja and Senhaja. After the arrival of Islam, the Sanhaja spread out to the borders of the Sudan as far as the Senegal River and the Niger; some Saharan Sanhaja claim that they traced their lineage back to the Himyar who are people of Southern Arabia. Sanhaja Berbers were a large part of the Berber population. From the 9th century, Sanhaja tribes were established in the Middle Atlas range, in the Rif Mountains and on the Atlantic coast of Morocco as well as large parts of the Sanhaja, such as the Kutâma, were settled in central and eastern parts Algeria and in northern Niger, they played an important part in the rise of the Fatimids. The Sanhaja dynasties of the Zirids and Hammâdids controlled Ifriqiya until the 12th century.
In the mid-11th century, a group of Sanhaja chieftains returning from the Hajj invited the theologian Ibn Yasin to preach among their tribes. Ibn Yasin united the tribes in the alliance of the Almoravids in the middle of the 11th century; this confederacy subsequently established Morocco, conquered western Algeria and Al-Andalus. The Znaga or Zenaga tribes would remain in roles as either exploited semi-sedentary agriculturalists and fishermen, or, higher up on the social ladder, as religious tribes. Though Arabized in culture and language, they are believed to be descended from the Zenata or Sanhaja Berber population present in the area before the arrival of the Arab Maqil tribes in the 12th century, subjected to domination by Arab-descended warrior castes in the 17th century Char Bouba war according to Mercer, the word "znaga" is thought to be a distortion of "Zeneta and Sanhaja"; the descendants of the Sanhaja and their languages are still found today in the Middle Atlas mountains, eastern Morocco, Northern Morocco, Western Algeria and Kabyle territories.
The Zenaga, a group believed to be of Gudala origin, inhabit southwestern Mauritania and parts of northern Senegal. However, they are a small population. Masmuda Zenaga language Tekna Reguibat John O. Hunwick, West Africa and the Arab World: Studies in Honor of Basil Davidson Paperback John Mercer, Spanish Sahara, George Allen & Unwin Ltd Anthony G. Pazzanita, Historical Dictionary of Western Sahara, Scarecrow Press Virginia Thompson and Richard Adloff, The Western Saharans. Background to Conflict, Barnes & Noble Books
Berbers, or Amazighs are an ethnic group of several nations indigenous to North Africa and in some northern parts of Western Africa. Berbers constitute the populations of Morocco, Tunisia, Mauritania, northern Mali, northern Niger, a small part of western Egypt. Berber nations are distributed over an area stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Siwa Oasis in Egypt and from the Mediterranean Sea to the Niger River in West Africa. Berber nations spoke the Berber language, a branch of the Afroasiatic language family. There are about 100 million Berbers in North Africa, but only some 25–30 million of them still speak the Berber language; the number of ethnic Berbers is far greater than the speakers of the Berber language, as a large part of the Berbers have lost their ancestral language and switched to other languages over the course of many decades or centuries. The majority of North Africa's population west of Egypt is believed to be Berber in ethnic origin, although due to Arabization and Islamization some ethnic Berbers identify as Arabized Berbers.
Most Berber people who speak Berber today live in Morocco, Libya, northern Mali, northern Niger. Smaller Berber-speaking populations are found in Mauritania, Burkina Faso and Egypt's Siwa town. There are large immigrant Berber communities living in France, Canada, the Netherlands, Germany and other countries of Europe; the majority of Berbers are Sunni Muslim. Although, since some Berbers have converted to Shia Islam and atheism; the Berber identity is wider than language and ethnicity and encompasses the entire history and geography of North Africa. Berbers are not an homogeneous ethnicity, they encompass a range of societies and lifestyles; the unifying forces for the Berber people may be their shared language or a collective identification with Berber heritage and history. Berbers call themselves some variant of the word i-Mazigh-en meaning "free people" or "noble men"; the name had its ancient parallel in the Roman and Greek names for Berbers such as Mazices. Some of the best known of the ancient Berbers are the Numidian king Masensen, king Yugerten, the Berber-Roman author Apuleius, Saint Augustine of Hippo, the Berber-Roman general Lusius Quietus, instrumental in defeating the major wave of Jewish revolts of 115–117 in ancient Israel.
The Berber queen Dihya, or Kahina, was a religious and political leader who led a military Berber resistance against the Arab-Muslim expansion in Northwest Africa. Kusaila was a 7th-century leader of the Berber Awerba tribe and King of the Iẓnagen confederation and resisted the Arab-Muslim invasion. Yusef U Tashfin was a Muslim king of the Berber Almoravid dynasty. Abbas Ibn Firnas was a Berber-Andalusian prolific inventor and early pioneer in aviation. Ben Bettota was a medieval Berber explorer who departed from Tanja and traveled the longest known distances of his time and chronicled his impressions of hundreds of nations and cultures; the name Berber derives from an ancient Egyptian language term meaning "outlander" or variations thereof. The exonym was adopted by the Greeks, with a similar connotation. Among its oldest written attestations, Berber appears as an ethnonym in the 1st century AD Periplus of the Erythraean Sea. Despite these early manuscripts, certain modern scholars have argued that the term only emerged around 900 AD in the writings of Arab genealogists, with Maurice Lenoir positing an 8th or 9th century date of appearance.
The English term was introduced in the 19th century. The Berbers are the Mauri cited by the Chronicle of 754 during the Umayyad conquest of Hispania, to become since the 11th century the catch-all term Moros on the charters and chronicles of the expanding Christian Iberian kingdoms to refer to the Andalusi, the north Africans, the Muslims overall. For the historian Abraham Isaac Laredo the name Amazigh could be derived from the name of the ancestor Mezeg, the translation of biblical ancestor Dedan son of Sheba in the Targum. According to Leo Africanus, Amazigh meant "free man", though this has been disputed, because there is no root of M-Z-Gh meaning "free" in modern Berber languages; this dispute, however, is based on a lack of understanding of the Berber language as "Am-" is a prefix meaning "a man, one, " Therefore, the root required to verify this endonym would be zigh, "free", which however is missing from Tamazight's lexicon, but may be related to the well attested aze "strong", Tizzit "bravery", or jeghegh "to be brave, to be courageous".
Further, it has a cognate in the Tuareg word Amajegh, meaning "noble". This term is common in Morocco among Central Atlas and Shilah speakers in 1980, but elsewhere within the Berber homeland sometimes a local, more particular term, such as Kabyle or Chaoui, is more used instead in Algeria; the Egyptians, Greeks and Byzantines mentioned various tribes with similar names living in Greater "Libya" in the areas where Berbers were found. Tribal names differ from the classical sources, but are still related to the modern Amazigh; the Meshwesh tribe among them represents the first thus identified from the field. Scholars believe it would be the same tribe called a few centuries afterwards in Greek as Mazyes by Hektaios and as Maxyes by Herodotus, while it was called after that Mazaces and Mazax in Latin sources, related to the Massylii and Masaesyli. All those names are similar and foreign renditions of the
Sijilmasa was a medieval Moroccan city and trade entrepôt at the northern edge of the Sahara in Morocco. The ruins of the town extend for five miles along the River Ziz in the Tafilalt oasis near the town of Rissani; the town's history was marked by several successive invasions by Berber dynasties. Up until the 14th century, as the northern terminus for the western trans-Sahara trade route, it was one of the most important trade centres in the Maghreb during the Middle Ages. According to al-Bakri's Book of Routes and Places, Sufrite Kharijites first settled the town in the wake of the Berber revolts against the Umayyads. Al-Bakri recounts that others joined these early settlers there, until they numbered around four thousand, at which point they laid the groundwork for the city, they elected a leader, ‘Isa bin Mazid al-Aswad, to handle their affairs during the earliest first few years after the town’s establishment. However, after ruling for 14 years, he was executed. Abu al-Qasim Samgu bin Wasul al-Miknasi, chief of a branch of the Miknasa tribe, became the leader of the town.
This Abu al-Qasim and his descendants are known as the Midrar dynasty. The Arab geographer Ibn Hawqal visited Spain and the Maghreb between 947 and 951 A. D. According to the account in his Kitab Surat al-Ard completed in around 988 AD, Sijilmasa grew in economic power due to shifting trade routes. At one time trade between Egypt and the Ghana Empire took a direct route across the desert, but because of the harsh conditions, this route was abandoned. Instead caravans passed through the Maghreb to Sijilmasa and headed south across the Sahara. Sijilmassa's economic wealth is evidenced by Ibn Hawqal's story about a bill issued to a trader in Awdaghust for forty-two thousand dinars from another merchant based out of Sijilmassa. Ibn Hawqal explains. Not only was Ibn Hawqal impressed with the volume of trade with the Maghrib and Egypt, Al-Masudi noted gold from Sudan was minted here. On account of its wealth, the city was able to assert its independence under the Midrarid dynasty, freeing itself from the Abbasid Caliphate as early as 771.
Shifting alliances with the Caliphate of Córdoba and the Fatimids of Ifriqiya destabilized the city during the 10th century, beginning with Ubayd Allah al-Mahdi Billah's visit to the city, the man, known as the founder of the Fatamid dynasty.'Ubayed Allah, accompanied by his son al-Qasim, arrived in the Maghreb in 905.'Ubayed Allah and his son made their way to Sijilmassa, fleeing persecution by the Abbasids, who not only belonged to the Isma'ili Shi'ite interpretations, but threatening to the status quo of Abbasi caliphate. According to legend, ‘Ubayed Allah and his son were fulfilling a prophecy that the madhi would come from Mesopotamia to Sijilmassa, they hid among the population of Sijilmassa for four years under the countenance of the Midrar rulers one Prince Yasa'. Al-Qasim, the son of the mahdi, had miraculous powers and caused a spring to gush forth outside of the city. A Jewish resident of the city witnessed this, spread the word throughout Sijilmassa that'Ubayed Allah was going to attempt to take over the city.
At or around the same time, Prince Yasa', the Midrarid ruler, received a letter from the Abbasids in Baghdad, warning him to close his frontiers and be wary of ‘Ubayed Allah. Yasa' was forced to imprison the men he had patronized.'Ubayed Allah's servant escaped to Kairouan, which at the time was a stronghold for Isma’ilis. The leader of the Isma’ilis in Ifriqiya was Abu ‘Abdallah. On his way to Sijilmassa, he subdued Tahert, the nearby Ibadi Kharijite stronghold under the Rustamid dynasty; the army arrived in the Tafilalt in the latter half of 909, laid siege to the city. After Yasa' was killed in that year or the next, the Midrar dynasty began a long process of fragmentation that resulted in a hostile takeover by the Maghrawa Berbers, former clients of the Cordoban caliphate. Under the Maghrawa, who declared independence from the Cordoban caliphate, the city retained its role as a trade centre, it became a center for Maghrawan government and its campaign against other tribes in Morocco proper.
After 60 years of Maghrawa rule, the elders of Sijilmassa appealed to the Sanhaja Berber confederation, just beginning its transformation into the Almoravid dynasty. According to al-Bakri, in 1055, Abdallah ibn Yasin, the spiritual leader of the Almoravid movement, responded by bringing his new army to Sijilmassa and killed the leader of the Maghrawa, Mas'ud ibn Wanudin al-Maghrawi; the Almoravid imposed an strict interpretation of Islam, smashing music instruments and closing down wine shops throughout the city. While the city would rebel against the Almoravid garrison on more than one occasion, Sijilmassa became the Almoravid's first conquest, it remained under their control until 1146. During the Almoravid's rule, the city shared in the centralized governing structure of the Almoravid Empire; when the Almohad took the city in the mid-12th century, they took advantage of the wealth of trade going through Sijilmassa. However, the strict philosophy imposed by the Almoravid at the beginning of their reign of Sijilmassa was overshadowed by the violent practices of the Almohad.
This culminated in the massacre of many of the Jews living in Sijilmassa. Amid the fall of the Almohad dynasty to the Zenata Berber confederation under the Marinid, Sijilmassa once again played host to the latest Berber dynasty; the Moroccan traveller Ibn Battuta stayed in S
Córdoba spelled Cordova in English, is a city in Andalusia, southern Spain, the capital of the province of Córdoba. It was a Roman settlement, taken over by the Visigoths, followed by the Umayyad Caliphate in the eighth century, it became the capital of a Muslim emirate, the Caliphate of Córdoba, which encompassed most of the Iberian Peninsula. During this period, it became a centre of education and learning, by the 10th century had grown to be the largest city in Europe, it was recaptured by Christian forces during the so-called Reconquista. Today, Córdoba is still home to many notable pieces of Moorish architecture such as the Mezquita, named as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984, is in use as a Cathedral; the UNESCO status has since been expanded to encompass the whole historic centre of Córdoba. Much of this architecture, such as the Alcázar and the Roman bridge has been reworked or reconstructed by the city's successive inhabitants. Córdoba has the highest summer temperatures in Spain and Europe, with average high temperatures around 37 °C in July and August.
The first traces of human presence in the area are remains of a Neanderthal Man, dating to c. 42,000 to 35,000 BC. Pre-urban settlements around the mouth of the Guadalquivir river are known to have existed from the 8th century BC; the population learned copper and silver metallurgy. The first historical mention of a settlement dates to the Carthaginian expansion across the Guadalquivir, when general Hamilcar Barca renamed it Kartuba, from Kart-Juba, meaning "the City of Juba", a Numidian commander who had died in a battle nearby. Córdoba was named as Corduba. In 169 Roman consul M. Claudius Marcellus, grandson of Marcus Claudius Marcellus, who had governed both Further and Hither Spain, founded a Latin colony alongside the pre-existing Iberian settlement. Between 143 and 141 BC. A Roman forum is known to have existed in the city in 113 BC; the famous Cordoba Treasure, with mixed local and Roman artistic traditions, was buried in the city at this time. It became a colonia with the title Patricia, between 46 and 45 BC.
It was sacked by Caesar in 45 due to its Pompeian allegiance, settled with veterans by Augustus. It had a colonial and provincial forum and many temples, it was the chief center of Roman intellectual life in Hispania Ulterior. Its republican poets were succeeded by Lucan. At the time of Julius Caesar, Córdoba was the capital of the Roman province of Hispania Baetica; the great Roman philosopher Seneca the Younger, his father, the orator Seneca the Elder, his nephew, the poet Lucan came from Roman Cordoba. In the late Roman period, its bishop Hosius was the dominant figure of the western Church throughout the earlier 4th cent, it occupied an important place in the Provincia Hispaniae of the Byzantine Empire and under the Visigoths, who conquered it in the late 6th century. Córdoba was captured in 711 by the Umayyad army. Unlike other Iberian towns, no capitulation was signed and the position was taken by storm. Córdoba was in turn governed by direct Umayyad rule; the new Umayyad commanders established themselves within the city and in 716 it became a provincial capital, subordinate to the Caliphate of Damascus.
Different areas were allocated for services in the Saint Vincent Church shared by Christians and Muslims, until construction of the Córdoba Mosque started on the same spot under Abd-ar-Rahman I. Abd al-Rahman allowed the Christians to rebuild their ruined churches and purchased the Christian half of the church of St Vincent. In May 766 Córdoba was chosen as the capital of the independent Umayyad emirate caliphate, of al-Andalus. By 800 the megacity of Cordoba supported over 200,000 residents, 0.1 per cent of the global population. During the apogee of the caliphate, Córdoba had a population of about 400,000 inhabitants, with estimates ranging from 100,000 to an unlikely 1,000,000. In the 10th and 11th centuries Córdoba was one of the most advanced cities in the world, a great cultural, political and economic centre; the Great Mosque of Córdoba dates back to this time. After a change of rulers the situation changed quickly; the vizier al-Mansur–the unofficial ruler of al-Andalus from 976 to 1002—burned most of the books on philosophy to please the Moorish clergy.
Córdoba had a prosperous economy, with manufactured goods including leather, metal work, glazed tiles and textiles, agricultural produce including a range of fruits, vegetables and spices, materials such as cotton and silk. It was famous as a centre of learning, home to over 80 libraries and institutions of learning, with knowledge of medicine, astronomy, botany far exceeding the rest of Europe at the time. In 1002 Al-Mansur was returning to Córdoba from an expedition in the area of Rioja, his death was the beginning of the end of Córdoba. Abd al-Malik al-Muzaffar, al-Mansur's older son, succeeded to his father’s authority, but he died in 1008 assassinated. Sanchuelo, Abd al-Malik’s younger brother succeeded him. While Sanchuelo was away fighting Alfonso V of Leon, a revolution made Mohammed II al-Mahdi the Caliph. Sanchuelo sued for pardon but he was killed when he returned to Cardova; the slaves revolted against Mahdi, killed him in 1009, replaced him with Hisham II in 1010. Hisham II was forced out of office.
In 1012 the Berbers "sacked Cardova." In 1016 th
Aghmat was an important commercial medieval Berber town in mid-southern Morocco. It is today an archaeological site known as "Joumâa Aghmat"; the city is located 30 km south-east of Marrakesh, on the Ourika road. The initial "A" of the name may be unvocalized, the name may sometimes be spelled Ghmat, Ghmate or French-style Rhmate. According to a Berber legend, Aghmat was populated by Christian Berbers when it was conquered in 683 by the Muslim forces of Uqba ibn Nafi, a general of the Umayyad Caliphate in Syria. However, this story first surfaces 700 years after that date, many historians give it no credibility, it is directly contradicted by one of al-Baladhuri. Who states that Musa bin Nusair conquered the Sous and erected the mosque at Aghmāt. However, the Umayyad Islamic conquest of present-day Morocco is under doubt and some modern historians question whether it took place given the absence of any evidence for it like coins and monuments. After the death of Idris II in 828, Morocco was divided among his sons.
Aghmat became capital of the Sous region under the Idrisid prince Abd Allah. When the Almoravids invaded from the Sahara Desert under Abd Allah ibn Yasin, Aghmāt was defended by Laqūt, leader of the Maghrawa tribe. Laqūt was defeated and the Almoravid army entered the city on 23 Rabi II 450. One of the wealthiest of Aghmāt's citizens was Laqūt's widow, Zaynab an-Nafzawiyyat, who married the Almoravid leader Abu-Bakr Ibn-Umar and placed her considerable wealth at his disposal. After Abu-Bakr returned to the Sahara Desert in 1071, Zaynab married his successor Yusuf ibn Tashfin. By 1068/1069, the population of the city had grown and Abu-Bakr decided to construct a new capital, he founded Marrakech in 1070. The Almoravids continued to use it as a convenient backwater in which to exile people; these noted poet. His tomb remains a place of pilgrimage to this day. Aghmat was the place of exile where Abdallah ibn Buluggin, the former king of Granada, wrote his memoirs. In the years 1126, 1127 and again in 1130, the city saw a number of battles between the Almoravid sultan Ali ibn Yusuf and the Almohad army led by Ibn Tumart and Abd al-Mu'min.
Following a general rout of Almoravid forces throughout Morocco and Algeria, Abd al-Mu'min entered Aghmāt without a fight on the middle day of Muharram 541. Beaumier, writing in 1860, stated. Al Bakri, writing in the 11th century on the eve of the Almoravid rise to power, described Aghmāt as a flourishing city where 100 cattle and 1000 sheep were slaughtered for sale in the Sunday souk; the inhabitants elected their own leader. Speaking there were two Aghmāts: the commercial and political center was known as "Aghmāt Wurīka", 8 miles distant from, "Aghmāt Aylan", closed to outsiders; the town was served by the seaport of Qūz on the Atlantic coast three days journey west. On 18 November 1950, during the French occupation of Morocco, a group of Moroccan nationalists associated with the Istiqlal party held a demonstration at the tomb of Al-Mutamid; this was brutally suppressed by police acting under orders from Boujane, the caïd of the local Mesfioua tribe. Subsequent actions became one of the major irritants between Boujane's superior, the powerful Pasha of Marrakech T'hami El Glaoui, the King of Morocco Mohammed V, which led to the king's brief overthrow.
The archaeological ruins visible today consist of part of the city walls, parts of some houses and qanats, some hundred metres or so of the city ramparts. The tomb of Al-Mutamid is marked by a contemporary mausoleum, it has a cupola in the Almoravid style. A modern pilgrimage to the tomb of Al-Mutamid
Yusuf ibn Tashfin
Yusuf ibn Tashfin Tashafin, Teshufin. He led the Muslim forces in the Battle of Zallaqa/Sagrajas. Ibn Tashfin came to al-Andalus from Africa to help the Muslims fight against Alfonso VI achieving victory and promoting an Islamic system in the region, he was married to Zainab al-Nafzawiyya, whom he trusted politically. Yusuf ibn Tashfin was a Berber from the Ayt Turgut, a branch of the Ilemtunen, a tribe belonging to the Iẓnagen supertribe. Abu Bakr ibn Umar, a natural leader of Lamtuna extraction, a branch of the Branès, one of the original disciples of ibn Yasin who served as a spiritual liaison for followers of the Maliki school of Islamic jurisprudence, was appointed general after the death of his brother Yahya ibn Ibrahim, his brother oversaw the military for ibn Yasin but was killed in a Saharan revolt in 1056. Ibn Yasin, would die in battle against the Barghawata three years later. Abu-Bakr was an able general, taking the fertile Sūs and its capital Aghmāt a year after his brother's death, would go on to suppress numerous revolts in the Sahara, on one such occasion entrusting his pious cousin Yusuf with the stewardship of Sūs and thus the whole of his northern provinces.
He appears to have handed him this authority in the interim but went as far as to give Yusuf his wife, Zaynab an-Nafzawiyyat, purportedly the richest woman of Aghmāt. This sort of trust and favor on part of a seasoned veteran and savvy politician reflected the general esteem in which Yusuf was held, not to mention the power he attained as a military figure in his absence. Daunted by Yusuf's new-found power, Abu Bakr saw any attempts at recapturing his post politically unfeasible and returned to the fringes of the Sahara to settle the unrest of the southern frontier. In the year 1091, the last sovereign king of al-Andalus, al-Mu'tamid, saw his Abbadid-inherited taifa of Seville, controlled since 1069, in jeopardy of being taken by the stronger king of Castile-León, Alfonso VI; the Taifa period followed the demise of the Umayyad Caliphate. The emir had launched a series of aggressive attacks on neighboring kingdoms, so as to amass more territory for himself, but his military aspirations and capabilities paled in comparison to those of the Castilian king, who in the name of Christendom, in 1085, captured Toledo and exacted parias, or tribute, from Muslim princes in places such as Granada, al-Mu'tamid of Seville being no exception.
The tribute of the emirs bolstered the economy of the Christian kingdom, harmed the Muslim economy. These are the circumstances that led to the Almoravid conquest and the famous quote, rebuffing his son, who advised him not to call on Yusuf ibn Tashfin, where al-Mu'tamid said I have no desire to be branded by my descendants as the man who delivered al-Andalus as prey to the infidels. I am loath to have my name cursed in every Muslim pulpit. And, for my part, I would rather be a camel-driver in Africa than a swineherd in Castile. Yusuf was an effective general and administrator, as evidenced by his ability to organize and maintain the loyalty of the hardened desert warriors and the territory of Abu Bakr, as well as his ability to expand the empire, crossing the Atlas Mountains onto the plains of Morocco, reaching the Mediterranean and capturing Fez in 1075, Tangier in 1079, Tlemcen in 1080, Ceuta in 1083, as well as Algiers, Ténès and Oran in 1082-83, he is regarded as the co-founder of the famous Moroccan city Marrakech.
The site had been chosen and work started by Abu Bakr in 1070. The work was completed by Yusef, who made it the capital of his empire, in place of the former capital Aghmāt. By the time Abu Bakr died in 1087, after a skirmish in the Sahara as result of a poison arrow, Yusef had crossed over into al-Andalus and achieved victory at the Battle of az-Zallaqah known as the Battle of Sagrajas in the west, he came to al-Andalus with a force of 15,000 men, armed with javelins and daggers, most of his soldiers carrying two swords, cuirass of the finest leather and animal hide, accompanied by drummers for psychological effect. Yusef's cavalry was said to have included 6,000 shock troops from Senegal mounted on white Arabian horses. Camels were put to use. On October 23, 1086, the Almoravid forces, accompanied by 10,000 Andalusian fighters from local Muslim provinces, decisively checked the Reconquista outnumbering and defeating the largest Christian army assembled up to that point; the death of Yusef's heir, prompted his speedy return to Africa.
When Yusuf returned to al-Andalus in 1090, he saw the lax behavior of the taifa kings, both spiritually and militarily, as a breach of Islamic law and principles, left Africa with the express purpose of usurping the power of all the Muslim principalities, under the auspices of the Abbasid caliph of Baghdad, with whom he had shared correspondence, under the slogan "The spreading of righteousness, the correction of injustice and the abolition of unlawful taxes." The emirs in such cities as Seville, Badajoz and Granada had grown accustomed to the extravagant ways of the west. On top of doling out tribute to the Christians and giving Andalusian Jews unprecedented freedoms and authority, they had levied burdensome taxes on the populace to maintain this lifestyle. After a series of fatwas and careful deliberation, Yusef saw the implementation of orthodoxy as long overdue; that year he exiled the emirs'Abdallah and his brother Tamim from Granada and Málaga to Aghmāt
Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar was a Castilian nobleman and military leader in medieval Spain. The Moors called him El Cid, which meant the Lord, the Christians, El Campeador, which stood for "Outstanding Warrior" or "The one who stands out in the battlefield", he was born in a town near the city of Burgos. After his death, he became Castile's celebrated national hero and the protagonist of the most significant medieval Spanish epic poem, El Cantar de Mio Cid. Born a member of the minor nobility, El Cid was brought up at the court of King Ferdinand the Great and served Ferdinand's son, Sancho II of León and Castile, he rose to become the commander and royal standard-bearer of Castile upon Sancho's ascension in 1065. Rodrigo went on to lead the Castilian military campaigns against Sancho's brothers, Alfonso VI of León and García II of Galicia, as well as in the Muslim kingdoms in Al-Andalus, he became renowned for his military prowess in these campaigns, which helped expand Castilian territory at the expense of the Muslims and Sancho's brothers' kingdoms.
When conspirators murdered Sancho in 1072, Rodrigo found himself in a difficult situation. Since Sancho was childless, the throne passed to his brother Alfonso, the same whom El Cid had helped remove from power. Although Rodrigo continued to serve the Castilian sovereign, he lost his ranking in the new court which treated him at arm's length and suspiciously. In 1081, he was ordered into exile. El Cid found work fighting for the Muslim rulers of Zaragoza, whom he defended from its traditional enemy, Aragon. While in exile, he regained his reputation as formidable military leader, he turned out victorious in battle against the Muslim rulers of Lérida and their Christian allies, as well as against a large Christian army under King Sancho Ramírez of Aragon. In 1086, an expeditionary army of North African Almoravids inflicted a severe defeat to Castile, compelling Alfonso to overcome the resentments he harboured against El Cid; the terms for the return to the Christian service must have been attractive enough since Rodrigo soon found himself fighting for his former Lord.
Over the next several years, however, El Cid set his sights on the kingdom-city of Valencia, operating more or less independently of Alfonso while politically supporting the Banu Hud and other Muslim dynasties opposed to the Almoravids. He increased his control over Valencia; when the Almoravids instigated an uprising that resulted in the death of al-Qadir, El Cid responded by laying siege to the city. Valencia fell in 1094, El Cid established an independent principality on the Mediterranean coast of Spain, he ruled over a pluralistic society with the popular support of Muslims alike. El Cid's final years were spent fighting the Almoravid Berbers, he inflicted upon them their first major defeat in 1094, on the plains of Caurte, outside Valencia, continued resisting them until his death. Although Rodrigo remained undefeated in Valencia, his only son, heir, Diego Rodríguez died fighting against the Almoravids in the service of Alfonso in 1097. After El Cid's death in 1099, his wife, Jimena Díaz, succeeded him as ruler of Valencia, but she was forced to surrender the principality to the Almoravids in 1102.
To this day, El Cid remains a Spanish popular folk-hero and national icon, with his life and deeds remembered in plays, folktales and video games. The name El Cid is a modern Spanish denomination composed of the article el meaning "the" and Cid, which derives from the Old Castilian loan word Çid borrowed from the dialectal Arabic word سيد sîdi or sayyid, which means "Lord" or "Master"; the Mozarabs or the Arabs that served in his ranks may have addressed him in this way, which the Christians may have transliterated and adopted. Historians, have not yet found contemporary records referring to Rodrigo as Cid. Arab sources use instead Ludriq al-Kanbiyatur or al-Qanbiyatur; the cognomen Campeador derives from Latin campi doctor, which means "battlefield master". He gained it during the campaigns of King Sancho II of Castile against his brothers King Alfonso VI of León and King García II of Galicia. While his contemporaries left no historical sources that would have addressed him as Cid, they left plenty of Christian and Arab records, some signed documents with his autograph, addressing him as Campeador, which prove that he used the Christian cognomen himself.
The whole combination Cid Campeador is first documented ca. 1195 in the Navarro-Aragonese Linage de Rodric Díaz included in the Liber Regum under the formula mio Cid el Campeador. El Cid was born Rodrigo Díaz circa AD 1043 in Vivar known as Castillona de Bivar, a small town about six miles north of Burgos, the capital of Castile, his father, Diego Laínez, was a courtier and cavalryman who had fought in several battles. Despite the fact that El Cid's mother's family was aristocratic, in years the peasants would consider him one of their own. However, his relatives were not major court officials; as a young man in 1057, Rodrigo fought against the Moorish stronghold of Zaragoza, making its emir al-Muqtadir a vassal of Sancho. In the spring of 1063, Rodrigo fought in the Battle of Graus, where Ferdinand's half-brother, Ramiro I of Aragon, was laying siege to the Moorish town of Cinca, which w