Today in European history: the (third) Siege of Algeciras ends (1344)

They say the three rules of real estate are “location, location, location,” and I suppose that’s as true when you’re looking for a city to conquer as it is when you’re looking to buy a house. One of the signs that a city is sitting on some prime real estate is its age, or more … Continue reading Today in European history: the (third) Siege of Algeciras ends (1344)

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Today in European history: the Battle of Alarcos (1195)

It’s a strange coincidence that the 1195 Battle of Alarcos and the 1212 Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa wound up so close together on the calendar. I mean, I suppose it’s not that strange a coincidence, since there were only so many months out of the year that you could go on campaign back in the 12th and … Continue reading Today in European history: the Battle of Alarcos (1195)

Today in European history: the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa (1212)

For a relatively small confrontation—probably fewer than 50,000 soldiers combined—Las Navas de Tolosa had some far-reaching ramifications for the history of both Iberia and North Africa. The Almohad Caliphate, at or near the height of its territorial growth, suffered a defeat that helped send it into a decades-long spiral eventually ending with its demise. On … Continue reading Today in European history: the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa (1212)

Today in European history: the (third) Siege of Algeciras ends (1344)

Modern Algeciras is the main city on the Bay of Gibraltar and one of the busiest commercial ports in Europe. It's pretty old, too, since it was founded by early Berber-Arab invaders all the way back in 711--"Algeciras" is a European corruption of the city's original name, al-Jazirah al-Khudra ("the green island"). And, if we're … Continue reading Today in European history: the (third) Siege of Algeciras ends (1344)

Today in European history: the Battle of Río Salado (1340)

By 1340, the Muslim presence in Iberia was down to one Muslim kingdom: the Emirate of Granada. This emirate was founded in 1238, after the final Muslim empire to control all of al-Andalus, the Almohad Caliphate ("Caliphate" at this point is being used pretty loosely) lost its hold on Iberia in the Battle of Las Navas … Continue reading Today in European history: the Battle of Río Salado (1340)