In the seventh and eighth centuries, the Muslim Arabs conquered large areas of North Africa and then, with the help of their former adversaries in North Africa, the Berbers, gained a decisive victory over the Visigoths in Spain. This book, first published in 1989 and based on Arabic and other sources, describes the process of conquest and settlement, first depicting the lack of unity in North Africa and the corruption and insolvency in Spain that made the advance possible. It provides an invaluable classification of the Arab and Berber settlers in Spain by tribal origin, area of settlement and time of entry. The book emphasises throughout the importance of the economic and administrative relationship between North Africa and Spain. It charts the growing resentment of the early settlers in Spain with the restrictions on their autonomy imposed by the Governor-General of North Africa and the caliphate. It describes the rising tensions between old and new settlers and between the different tribal groups, finally leading to the Berber revolt and Abdulrahman’s consolidation of power towards the end of the Umayyad caliphate.
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Table of Contents
1. The Political Geography of North Africa and Spain 2. The Conquest and Establishment of Arab Rule in North Africa 3. The Muslim Conquest of Spain 4. Early Muslim Settlement in Spain: the Arab Tribes in Al-Andalus 5. Early Muslim Settlement in Spain: the Berber Tribes in Al-Andalus 6. The Governor’s Period and the Internal Tensions in Spain (I) 7. The Governor’s Period and the Internal Tensions in Spain (II) 8. The Entry of Abdulrahman I and the Establishment of the Umayyad Emirate in Spain