Isaac ben Jacob Alfasi ha-Cohen - known as the Alfasi or by his Hebrew acronym Rif, was an Algerian Talmudist and posek. He is best known for his work of halakha, the legal code Sefer Ha-halachot and he was born in the Algerian city of Qalaat Beni Hammad, but spent the majority of his career in Fes, and is therefore known as Alfasi. Isaac Alfasi was born in Qalaat Beni Hammad, the city of the Hammadid rulers of central Maghreb. He studied in Kairouan, Tunisia under Rabbeinu Nissim ben Jacob, to achieve this goal, he worked for ten consecutive years in his father-in-laws attic. In 1045, Alfasi moved to Fes with his wife and two children, Fes Jewish community undertook to support him and his family so that he could work on his Sefer Ha-halachot undisturbed. They founded a yeshiva in his honor, and many students throughout Morocco came to study under his guidance. The most famous of his students is Rabbi Judah Halevi, author of the Kuzari, he taught Rabbi Joseph ibn Migash. Alfasi remained in Fes for 40 years, during which time he completed his Sefer Ha-halachot, in 1088, aged seventy-five, two informers denounced him to the government upon some unknown charge.
He left Fes for Spain, eventually becoming head of the yeshiva in Lucena in 1089 and his magnanimous character is illustrated by two incidents. When his opponent Rabbeinu Isaac Albalia died, Alfasi adopted Albalias son, when Alfasi was himself on the point of death, he recommended as his successor in the Lucena rabbinate, not his own son, but his pupil Rabbi Joseph ibn Migash. Sefer ha-Halachot extracts all the pertinent legal decisions from the three Talmudic orders Moed and Nezikin as well as the tractates of Berachot and Chulin -24 tractates in all. Maimonides wrote that Alfasis work has superseded all the geonic codes…for it contains all the decisions, Sefer ha-Halachot plays a fundamental role in the development of Halakha. Firstly, the Rif succeeded in producing a Digest, which became the object of close study, secondly, it served as one of the Three Pillars of Halakha, as an authority underpinning both the Arbaah Turim and the Shulkhan Arukh. Rabbi Nissim of Gerona compiled a detailed and explicit commentary on work, In yeshivot the Rif.
It soon became known as the Talmud Katan, Alfasi occupies an important place in the development of the Sephardi method of studying the Talmud. In contradistinction to the Ashkenazi approach, the Sephardim sought to simplify the Talmud and free it from casuistical detail and these were originally written in Arabic, and were soon translated into Hebrew as Sheelot u-Teshuvot ha-Rif
It survived the fragmentation and fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD and continued to exist for an additional thousand years until it fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1453. During most of its existence, the empire was the most powerful economic, several signal events from the 4th to 6th centuries mark the period of transition during which the Roman Empires Greek East and Latin West divided. Constantine I reorganised the empire, made Constantinople the new capital, under Theodosius I, Christianity became the Empires official state religion and other religious practices were proscribed. Finally, under the reign of Heraclius, the Empires military, the borders of the Empire evolved significantly over its existence, as it went through several cycles of decline and recovery. During the reign of Maurice, the Empires eastern frontier was expanded, in a matter of years the Empire lost its richest provinces and Syria, to the Arabs. This battle opened the way for the Turks to settle in Anatolia, the Empire recovered again during the Komnenian restoration, such that by the 12th century Constantinople was the largest and wealthiest European city.
Despite the eventual recovery of Constantinople in 1261, the Byzantine Empire remained only one of several small states in the area for the final two centuries of its existence. Its remaining territories were annexed by the Ottomans over the 15th century. The Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire in 1453 finally ended the Byzantine Empire, the term comes from Byzantium, the name of the city of Constantinople before it became Constantines capital. This older name of the city would rarely be used from this point onward except in historical or poetic contexts. The publication in 1648 of the Byzantine du Louvre, and in 1680 of Du Canges Historia Byzantina further popularised the use of Byzantine among French authors, however, it was not until the mid-19th century that the term came into general use in the Western world. The Byzantine Empire was known to its inhabitants as the Roman Empire, the Empire of the Romans, the Roman Republic, and as Rhōmais. The inhabitants called themselves Romaioi and Graikoi, and even as late as the 19th century Greeks typically referred to modern Greek as Romaika and Graikika.
The authority of the Byzantine emperor as the legitimate Roman emperor was challenged by the coronation of Charlemagne as Imperator Augustus by Pope Leo III in the year 800. No such distinction existed in the Islamic and Slavic worlds, where the Empire was more seen as the continuation of the Roman Empire. In the Islamic world, the Roman Empire was known primarily as Rûm, the Roman army succeeded in conquering many territories covering the entire Mediterranean region and coastal regions in southwestern Europe and north Africa. These territories were home to different cultural groups, both urban populations and rural populations. The West suffered heavily from the instability of the 3rd century AD
The Iberian Peninsula /aɪˈbɪəriən pəˈnɪnsjᵿlə/, known as Iberia /aɪˈbɪəriə/, is located in the southwest corner of Europe. The peninsula is divided between Portugal and Spain, comprising most of their territory. With an area of approximately 582,000 km2, it is the second largest European peninsula, at that time, the name did not describe a single political entity or a distinct population of people. Strabos Iberia was delineated from Keltikē by the Pyrenees and included the land mass southwest of there. The ancient Greeks reached the Iberian Peninsula, of which they had heard from the Phoenicians, hecataeus of Miletus was the first known to use the term Iberia, which he wrote about circa 500 BC. Herodotus of Halicarnassus says of the Phocaeans that it was they who made the Greeks acquainted with. According to Strabo, prior historians used Iberia to mean the country side of the Ἶβηρος as far north as the river Rhône in France. Polybius respects that limit, but identifies Iberia as the Mediterranean side as far south as Gibraltar, elsewhere he says that Saguntum is on the seaward foot of the range of hills connecting Iberia and Celtiberia.
Strabo refers to the Carretanians as people of the Iberian stock living in the Pyrenees, according to Charles Ebel, the ancient sources in both Latin and Greek use Hispania and Hiberia as synonyms. The confusion of the words was because of an overlapping in political, the Latin word Hiberia, similar to the Greek Iberia, literally translates to land of the Hiberians. This word was derived from the river Ebro, which the Romans called Hiberus, hiber was thus used as a term for peoples living near the river Ebro. The first mention in Roman literature was by the annalist poet Ennius in 200 BC. Virgil refers to the Ipacatos Hiberos in his Georgics, the Roman geographers and other prose writers from the time of the late Roman Republic called the entire peninsula Hispania. As they became interested in the former Carthaginian territories, the Romans began to use the names Hispania Citerior. At the time Hispania was made up of three Roman provinces, Hispania Baetica, Hispania Tarraconensis, and Lusitania, Strabo says that the Romans use Hispania and Iberia synonymously, distinguishing between the near northern and the far southern provinces.
Whatever language may generally have been spoken on the peninsula soon gave way to Latin, except for that of the Vascones, the Iberian Peninsula has always been associated with the Ebro, Ibēros in ancient Greek and Ibērus or Hibērus in Latin. The association was so known it was hardly necessary to state, for example. Pliny goes so far as to assert that the Greeks had called the whole of Spain Hiberia because of the Hiberus River, the river appears in the Ebro Treaty of 226 BC between Rome and Carthage, setting the limit of Carthaginian interest at the Ebro. The fullest description of the treaty, stated in Appian, uses Ibērus, with reference to this border, Polybius states that the native name is Ibēr, apparently the original word, stripped of its Greek or Latin -os or -us termination
The Baetic System is one of the main systems of mountain ranges in Spain. Located in the southern and eastern Iberian Peninsula, it is known as the Baetic Cordillera. The name of the system derives from the ancient Roman region of Baetica. The Baetic System is made up of mountain ranges that reach from western Andalusia to the Region of Murcia, southern Castile-La Mancha. To the north, the Baetic Ranges are separated from the Meseta Central, the Iberian System rises north of the eastern part of the Prebaetic System, the northernmost prolongation of the Baetic System. Generally the mountain ranges that are part of system are aligned in a southwest-northeast direction. The most well-known range of the Baetic System is the Sierra Nevada, where the Mulhacén, the Rock of Gibraltar is considered to be part of the Baetic System, but not the Cabo de Gata area further east which includes rocks of volcanic origin. The Baetic System as a geological feature belongs to a larger orogen usually called the Gibraltar Arc, the geodynamic mechanisms responsible for its formation are so far relatively unknown.
Geologically the Rif mountains in Morocco and the Serra de Tramuntana in the island of Majorca are extensions of the Baetic System, highest point 2,027 m high Peña de la Cruz in Sierra Arana. The Prebaetic System is the northernmost feature of the whole Baetic System, highest point 2,382 m high La Sagra
The Rif War, called the Second Moroccan War, was fought in the early 1920s between the colonial power Spain and the Berbers of the Rif mountainous region. Led by Abd al-Karim, the Riffians at first inflicted several defeats on the Spanish forces by using guerrilla tactics, during the early 20th century, Morocco had fallen into the French and Spanish spheres of influence, becoming divided into protectorates ruled by the two European nations. The Rif region had been assigned to Spain, but given that even the Sultans of Morocco had been unable to control over the region. For centuries, the Berber tribes of the Rif had fought off any attempt to impose outside control on them, though nominally Muslim, the tribes of the Rif had continued many pagan practices such as worshipping water spirits and forest spirits that were contrary to Islam. Attempts by the Moroccan sultans to impose orthodox Islam on the Rif had been resisted by the tribesmen. For centuries Europeans had seen the Rif mountains and the outlines of people on the mountains from ships in the Mediterranean Sea, but almost no European had ever ventured into the mountains.
Walter Burton Harris, the Morocco correspondent for The Times, who covered the war wrote that as late as 1912 only one or two Europeans had been able to visit the forests that lie south of Fez. A few had traveled in the southern Atlas and pushed on into the Sus. the reason for, as Harris wrote, was the Berbers were often as inhospitable to the Arab as they were to the foreigner, and generally killed any outsiders who ventured into their territory. The Rif was rich in iron, which could be easily extracted via open pit mining. The Spanish state could collect money in the form of taxes and royalties from the iron mining. When King Alfonso XIII of Spain ascended to the throne in 1886, Spain could at least make the pretense of being a power, having colonies in the Americans, Asia. To compensate for the lost empire in the Americas and Asia, there emerged a powerful faction in Spain led by Alfonso. For all these reasons, Spain had been pushing into the Rif since 1909, the Berber tribesmen had a long tradition of fierce fighting skills, combined with high standards of fieldcraft and marksmanship.
They were capably led by Muhammad Ibn Abd al-Karim al-Khattabi, commonly called Abd el-Krim, the Rifian regular army was never a very large force. The elite of the Rifian forces formed regular units which according to Abd el-Krim, other sources put it much lower, at around 2,000 to 3,000. The remaining Rifians were tribal militia selected by their Caids and not liable to serve away from their homes and farms for more than 15 consecutive days. General Goded estimated that at their peak, in June 1924, this force was largely adequate in the early stages of the war. In the final days of the war Rifian forces numbered about 12,000 men, in addition Rifian forces were not well armed, with weapons badly maintained and in poor condition
The sea is sometimes considered a part of the Atlantic Ocean, although it is usually identified as a separate body of water. The name Mediterranean is derived from the Latin mediterraneus, meaning inland or in the middle of land and it covers an approximate area of 2.5 million km2, but its connection to the Atlantic is only 14 km wide. The Strait of Gibraltar is a strait that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea and separates Gibraltar. In oceanography, it is called the Eurafrican Mediterranean Sea or the European Mediterranean Sea to distinguish it from mediterranean seas elsewhere. The Mediterranean Sea has a depth of 1,500 m. The sea is bordered on the north by Europe, the east by Asia and it is located between latitudes 30° and 46° N and longitudes 6° W and 36° E. Its west-east length, from the Strait of Gibraltar to the Gulf of Iskenderun, the seas average north-south length, from Croatia’s southern shore to Libya, is approximately 800 km. The Mediterranean Sea, including the Sea of Marmara, has an area of approximately 2,510,000 square km.
The sea was an important route for merchants and travelers of ancient times that allowed for trade, the history of the Mediterranean region is crucial to understanding the origins and development of many modern societies. In addition, the Gaza Strip and the British Overseas Territories of Gibraltar and Akrotiri, the term Mediterranean derives from the Latin word mediterraneus, meaning amid the earth or between land, as it is between the continents of Africa and Europe. The Ancient Greek name Mesogeios, is similarly from μέσο, between + γη, earth) and it can be compared with the Ancient Greek name Mesopotamia, meaning between rivers. The Mediterranean Sea has historically had several names, for example, the Carthaginians called it the Syrian Sea and latter Romans commonly called it Mare Nostrum, and occasionally Mare Internum. Another name was the Sea of the Philistines, from the people inhabiting a large portion of its shores near the Israelites, the sea is called the Great Sea in the General Prologue by Geoffrey Chaucer.
In Ottoman Turkish, it has been called Bahr-i Sefid, in Modern Hebrew, it has been called HaYam HaTikhon, the Middle Sea, reflecting the Seas name in ancient Greek and modern languages in both Europe and the Middle East. Similarly, in Modern Arabic, it is known as al-Baḥr al-Mutawassiṭ, in Turkish, it is known as Akdeniz, the White Sea since among Turks the white colour represents the west. Several ancient civilisations were located around the Mediterranean shores, and were influenced by their proximity to the sea. It provided routes for trade and war, as well as food for numerous communities throughout the ages, due to the shared climate and access to the sea, cultures centered on the Mediterranean tended to have some extent of intertwined culture and history. Two of the most notable Mediterranean civilisations in classical antiquity were the Greek city states, when Augustus founded the Roman Empire, the Romans referred to the Mediterranean as Mare Nostrum
Morocco, officially known as the Kingdom of Morocco, is a sovereign country located in the Maghreb region of North Africa. Geographically, Morocco is characterized by a mountainous interior, large tracts of desert. Morocco has a population of over 33.8 million and an area of 446,550 km2 and its capital is Rabat, and the largest city is Casablanca. Other major cities include Marrakesh, Tetouan, Salé, Agadir, Oujda, Kenitra, a historically prominent regional power, Morocco has a history of independence not shared by its neighbours. Marinid and Saadi dynasties continued the struggle against foreign domination, the Alaouite dynasty, the current ruling dynasty, seized power in 1666. In 1912 Morocco was divided into French and Spanish protectorates, with a zone in Tangier. Moroccan culture is a blend of Arab, indigenous Berber, Sub-Saharan African, Morocco claims the non-self-governing territory of Western Sahara as its Southern Provinces. Morocco annexed the territory in 1975, leading to a war with indigenous forces until a cease-fire in 1991.
Peace processes have thus far failed to break the political deadlock, Morocco is a constitutional monarchy with an elected parliament. The King of Morocco holds vast executive and legislative powers, especially over the military, foreign policy, the king can issue decrees called dahirs which have the force of law. He can dissolve the parliament after consulting the Prime Minister, Moroccos predominant religion is Islam, and the official languages are Arabic and Tamazight. The Moroccan dialect, referred to as Darija, and French are widely spoken, Morocco is a member of the Arab League, the Union for the Mediterranean, and the African Union. It has the fifth largest economy of Africa, the full Arabic name al-Mamlakah al-Maghribiyyah translates to Kingdom of the West, although the West in Arabic is الغرب Al-Gharb. The basis of Moroccos English name is Marrakesh, its capital under the Almoravid dynasty, the origin of the name Marrakesh is disputed, but is most likely from the Berber words amur akush or Land of God.
The modern Berber name for Marrakesh is Mṛṛakc, in Turkish, Morocco is known as Fas, a name derived from its ancient capital of Fes. The English name Morocco is an anglicisation of the Spanish Marruecos, the area of present-day Morocco has been inhabited since Paleolithic times, sometime between 190,000 and 90,000 BC. During the Upper Paleolithic, the Maghreb was more fertile than it is today, twenty-two thousand years ago, the Aterian was succeeded by the Iberomaurusian culture, which shared similarities with Iberian cultures. Skeletal similarities have been suggested between the Iberomaurusian Mechta-Afalou burials and European Cro-Magnon remains, the Iberomaurusian was succeeded by the Beaker culture in Morocco
A primate is a mammal of the order Primates. In taxonomy, primates include two distinct lineages and haplorhines, Primates arose from ancestors that lived in the trees of tropical forests, many primate characteristics represent adaptations to life in this challenging three-dimensional environment. Most primate species remain at least partly arboreal, with the exception of humans, who inhabit every continent except for Antarctica, most primates live in tropical or subtropical regions of the Americas and Asia. Based on fossil evidence, the earliest known true primates, represented by the genus Teilhardina, an early close primate relative known from abundant remains is the Late Paleocene Plesiadapis, c. Molecular clock studies suggest that the branch may be even older. The order Primates was traditionally divided into two groupings and anthropoids. Prosimians have characteristics more like those of the earliest primates, and include the lemurs of Madagascar, simians include monkeys and hominins.
Simians are divided into two groups, catarrhine monkeys and apes of Africa and Southeast Asia and platyrrhine or New World monkeys of South, catarrhines consist of Old World monkeys and great apes, New World monkeys include the capuchin and squirrel monkeys. Humans are the only extant catarrhines to have spread successfully outside of Africa, South Asia, New primate species are still being discovered. More than 25 species were described in the decade of the 2000s. Considered generalist mammals, primates exhibit a range of characteristics. Some primates are primarily terrestrial rather than arboreal, but all species possess adaptations for climbing trees, locomotion techniques used include leaping from tree to tree, walking on two or four limbs, knuckle-walking, and swinging between branches of trees. Primates are characterized by large brains relative to other mammals, as well as a reliance on stereoscopic vision at the expense of smell. These features are developed in monkeys and apes and noticeably less so in lorises.
Three-color vision has developed in some primates, most have opposable thumbs and some have prehensile tails. Many species are dimorphic, differences include body mass, canine tooth size. Primates have slower rates of development than other similarly sized mammals and reach maturity later, depending on the species, adults may live in solitude, in mated pairs, or in groups of up to hundreds of members. The relationships among the different groups of primates were not clearly understood until relatively recently, for example, ape has been used either as an alternative for monkey or for any tailless, relatively human-like primate
Civil wars and executions continued, culminating in the victory of Octavian, Caesars adopted son, over Mark Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC and the annexation of Egypt. Octavians power was unassailable and in 27 BC the Roman Senate formally granted him overarching power, the imperial period of Rome lasted approximately 1,500 years compared to the 500 years of the Republican era. The first two centuries of the empires existence were a period of unprecedented political stability and prosperity known as the Pax Romana, following Octavians victory, the size of the empire was dramatically increased. After the assassination of Caligula in 41, the senate briefly considered restoring the republic, under Claudius, the empire invaded Britannia, its first major expansion since Augustus. Vespasian emerged triumphant in 69, establishing the Flavian dynasty, before being succeeded by his son Titus and his short reign was followed by the long reign of his brother Domitian, who was eventually assassinated.
The senate appointed the first of the Five Good Emperors, the empire reached its greatest extent under Trajan, the second in this line. A period of increasing trouble and decline began with the reign of Commodus, Commodus assassination in 192 triggered the Year of the Five Emperors, of which Septimius Severus emerged victorious. The assassination of Alexander Severus in 235 led to the Crisis of the Third Century in which 26 men were declared emperor by the Roman Senate over a time span. It was not until the reign of Diocletian that the empire was fully stabilized with the introduction of the Tetrarchy, which saw four emperors rule the empire at once. This arrangement was unsuccessful, leading to a civil war that was finally ended by Constantine I. Constantine subsequently shifted the capital to Byzantium, which was renamed Constantinople in his honour and it remained the capital of the east until its demise. Constantine adopted Christianity which became the state religion of the empire. However, Augustulus was never recognized by his Eastern colleague, and separate rule in the Western part of the empire ceased to exist upon the death of Julius Nepos.
The Eastern Roman Empire endured for another millennium, eventually falling to the Ottoman Turks in 1453, the Roman Empire was among the most powerful economic, cultural and military forces in the world of its time. It was one of the largest empires in world history, at its height under Trajan, it covered 5 million square kilometres. It held sway over an estimated 70 million people, at that time 21% of the entire population. Throughout the European medieval period, attempts were made to establish successors to the Roman Empire, including the Empire of Romania, a Crusader state. Rome had begun expanding shortly after the founding of the republic in the 6th century BC, then, it was an empire long before it had an emperor
Ceuta is an 18. 5-square-kilometre Spanish autonomous city located on the north coast of Africa, sharing its land border with Morocco, in which it is thus an enclave. Separated from the Iberian peninsula by the Strait of Gibraltar, Ceuta lies along the boundary between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Ceuta, along with the Spanish exclave Melilla, is one of nine populated Spanish territories in Africa and it was part of Cádiz province until 14 March 1995 when the citys Statute of Autonomy was passed. Ceuta, like Melilla and the Canary Islands, was a port before Spain joined the European Union. As of 2011, it has a population of 82,376 and its population consists of Christians and small minorities of Sephardic Jews and ethnic Sindhi Hindus. Spanish is the language, while Moroccan Darija of the northern Jebli variety is spoken by between 40% and 50% of the population which is of Moroccan origin. It was known variously in Ancient Greek as, Ἀβύλη, Ἀβύλα, Ἀβλύξ, or Ἀβίλη στήλη – Abyle, Ablyx or Abile Stele – Pillar of Abyle), together with Gibraltar on the European side, it formed one of the famous Pillars of Hercules.
It changed hands again approximately 400 years later, when Vandal tribes ousted the Romans, after being controlled by the Visigoths, it became an outpost of the Byzantine Empire. Ceuta was an important Christian center since the fourth century, in the 7th century the Umayyads tried to conquer the region but were unsuccessful. Under the leadership of the Berber general Tariq ibn Ziyad, the Muslims used Ceuta as a ground for an assault on Visigothic Iberian Peninsula. After Julians death, the Berbers took direct control of the city and they destroyed Ceuta during the Kharijite rebellion led by Maysara al-Matghari in 740. Ceuta lay in ruins until it was resettled in the 9th century by Mâjakas, chief of the Majkasa Berber tribe, who started the short-lived Banu Isam dynasty. His great-grandson briefly allied his tribe with the Idrisids, but the Banu Isam rule ended in 931 when he abdicated in favor of Abd ar-Rahman III, Ceuta reverted to Moorish Andalusian rule in 927 along with Melilla, and Tangier, in 951.
Chaos ensued with the fall of the Umayyad caliphate in 1031, following this Ceuta and the rest of Muslim Iberia were controlled by successive North African dynasties. Starting in 1084, the Almoravid Berbers ruled the region until 1147, apart from Ibn Huds rebellion of 1232, they ruled until the Tunisian Hafsids established control. The Hafsids influence in the west rapidly waned, and Ceutas inhabitants eventually expelled them in 1249, after this, a period of political instability persisted, under competing interests from the Kingdom of Fez and the Kingdom of Granada. The Kingdom of Fez finally conquered the region in 1387, with assistance from the Crown of Aragon, in 1415, during the Battle of Ceuta, the city was captured by the Portuguese during the reign of John I of Portugal. The Benemerine sultan besieged the city in 1418 but was defeated, phillip II ascended the Portuguese throne in 1580 and Spanish kings of Portugal governed Ceuta for 60 years