Today in European history: the Siege of Lisbon ends (1147)

There’s plenty of irony to go around when you’re talking about the Crusades, but it is especially apparent on those occasions when our intrepid armed pilgrims to the Holy Land wound up making their mark somewhere else. Obviously the best example here is the Fourth Crusade, when instead of marching off to once again “liberate” … Continue reading Today in European history: the Siege of Lisbon ends (1147)

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

For a relatively small confrontation—probably fewer than 50,000 soldiers combined—the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa had 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 … 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, having been founded by Berber-Arab invaders all the way back in 711. "Algeciras" is a European corruption of the city's original name, al-Jazirah al-Khadra ("the green island"). And, if we're being … Continue reading Today in European history: the (third) Siege of Algeciras ends (1344)

Today in European history: the “Reconquista” ends (1492)

January 2, 1492, was the official end-date of the cleverly-named Reconquista, as it is the date upon which the last Muslim hold-out in Iberia, the city of Granada, was formally surrendered to Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile. While this obviously is a date of significant historical import, it's also a little anti-climactic. All … Continue reading Today in European history: the “Reconquista” ends (1492)

Today in European history: the Treaty of Granada (1491)

The end of the "Reconquista" came on January 2, 1492, when the last Muslim ruler of Granada, the Nasirid Sultan Abu Abdullah Muhammad XII ("Boabdil" to the Spaniards, for whom "Abu Abdullah" was apparently too hard to pronounce), went into exile in Morocco. But by that point his departure was a formality. Boabdil was obliged … Continue reading Today in European history: the Treaty of Granada (1491)

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)