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15 - The reconquest and the Spanish monarchies

from Part III - Nations and Formations, c.1300–1500 ce

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  25 September 2020

David A. Graff
Affiliation:
Kansas State University
Anne Curry
Affiliation:
University of Southampton
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Summary

Although a battle zone from early in its history, the Roman province of Hispania began to undergo external military pressure in the fifth century ce with the invasions of the Visigoths, Suevi, and Vandals.1 Within a century, the Visigoths had come to dominate the Peninsula, establishing their capital at Toledo and exchanging their Arian brand of Christianity for Roman Catholicism.2 Like its Roman imperial predecessor, the Visigothic kingdom was structurally weak and revealed this instability each time a sovereign died. Rulers were seldom replaced without a civil war in which members of the royal family and their supporters fought for the throne. In the last of these struggles, Roderick (710–11) was opposed by the heirs of his predecessor, Watiza (701–10), led by Count Julian of Ceuta on the African litoral. Gathering a small army of Berber tribesmen, many of who had recently converted to Islam, Julian led an assault against Roderick in the late spring of 711. He was eventually disposed by Tarik ibn Zīyad, an agent of the Muslim governor of Tangier.3

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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