Did the Crusades accelerate the downfall of Al-Andalus?

Nov 2013
705
Texas
#1
I suppose the short answer is yes, but I would like to know the extent.

The Crusaders helped King Alfonso take Lisbon during the 12th century.

Grenada was not a typical Islamic taifa (not even relative to Cordoba, which Grenada helped Castille take in 1236.) I think Grenada did have some capacity to resist Castillian momentum, but allowed itself to be vassalised as early as early as 1248, because Grenada was wary of western or Crusader momentum, or even of the Papacy; not just Castille. Were Grenada simply unable to resist Castillian momentum, it would not have taken Castille until 1492 to annex it (considering the many disputes that Castilla and Grenada had despite that Grenada was nominally as vassal of Castille as early as 1248).

Thoughts?
 
Likes: Futurist
Sep 2015
1,762
England
#2
I suppose the short answer is yes, but I would like to know the extent.

The Crusaders helped King Alfonso take Lisbon during the 12th century.

Grenada was not a typical Islamic taifa (not even relative to Cordoba, which Grenada helped Castille take in 1236.) I think Grenada did have some capacity to resist Castillian momentum, but allowed itself to be vassalised as early as early as 1248, because Grenada was wary of western or Crusader momentum, or even of the Papacy; not just Castille. Were Grenada simply unable to resist Castillian momentum, it would not have taken Castille until 1492 to annex it (considering the many disputes that Castilla and Grenada had despite that Grenada was nominally as vassal of Castille as early as 1248).

Thoughts?
Just one minor point, should it not be al-Andalus?

Otherwise the unity of the Spaniards may have been a key issue for any would be Crusader group. This was not a given, in any period necessarily as far as i can see.
 
Likes: Futurist

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
5,453
Portugal
#3
I suppose the short answer is yes, but I would like to know the extent.

The Crusaders helped King Alfonso take Lisbon during the 12th century.

Grenada was not a typical Islamic taifa (not even relative to Cordoba, which Grenada helped Castille take in 1236.) I think Grenada did have some capacity to resist Castillian momentum, but allowed itself to be vassalised as early as early as 1248, because Grenada was wary of western or Crusader momentum, or even of the Papacy; not just Castille. Were Grenada simply unable to resist Castillian momentum, it would not have taken Castille until 1492 to annex it (considering the many disputes that Castilla and Grenada had despite that Grenada was nominally as vassal of Castille as early as 1248).

Thoughts?
Undoubtedly the answer is yes.

In several ways.

The spirit of crusade that existed in the Western Christianly led many knights with their man to travel to the Iberian Peninsula to fill the armies of the Iberian Christian kings.

As an example, Count D. Henrique of Portugal was one of this men. He came from Burgundy. He was the father of D. Afonso Henriques, the first Portuguese king, and married with D. Teresa, the daughter of D. Alfonso VI of Castile and Leon.

This influence was completed with the influence of the peregrination to Santiago de Compostela, and with the influence of the order of Cluny, and then of Cister, and of the International Military orders of the Hospital and of the Templars, created in the Palestine, and indirectly led to the creation of Peninsular Military Orders. In all the military orders the spirit of crusade was permanent.

The papal bulls of crusade were issued many times in the Iberian Peninsula and allowed the kings to raise funds to continue the war.

And finally, and more directly, the major victory of the second crusade, in 1147, was the mentioned conquest of Lisbon (and many crusaders stayed in the kingdom). The city of Silves was also conquered in 1189 with the help of Crusaders.

On the other hand it also led to a more extremist view of the enemy, in the opposite way of the Berber invasions.
 
Mar 2016
1,106
Australia
#4
On the other hand it also led to a more extremist view of the enemy, in the opposite way of the Berber invasions.
It certainly added the concept of a specific 'holy war' to the Reconquista rather than solely conquering land for political purposes as before (but motivations were still diverse and complicated), although until the late 15th century there weren't many large-scale attempts to expel or forcefully convert Muslims. I believe Iberia was one of the last places in Europe to adopt the Inquisition. In some cities conquered by the Christian kingdoms Muslims were even allowed to continue to live and pray openly (there's anecdotes of the Muslim call to prayer sounding through some cities), much to the horror of the Papacy and other European countries. It wasn't until Ferdinand and Isabella, and the conquest of Grenada and the mass expulsions that religious and ethnic hatred became more overt and dominant.
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
5,453
Portugal
#5
It certainly added the concept of a specific 'holy war' to the Reconquista rather than solely conquering land for political purposes as before (but motivations were still diverse and complicated), although until the late 15th century there weren't many large-scale attempts to expel or forcefully convert Muslims. I believe Iberia was one of the last places in Europe to adopt the Inquisition. In some cities conquered by the Christian kingdoms Muslims were even allowed to continue to live and pray openly (there's anecdotes of the Muslim call to prayer sounding through some cities), much to the horror of the Papacy and other European countries. It wasn't until Ferdinand and Isabella, and the conquest of Grenada and the mass expulsions that religious and ethnic hatred became more overt and dominant.
The concept of the “loss of Hispania”, and the will to recover it, predates the Crusades. It is a concept of conquering land, but a bit more than that. Quite soon the Christian kings wanted to see themselves as the heirs of the Visigoths.

The Iberian kingdoms were not the last ones to adopt the Medieval Inquisition. In some places (like Castile) it was never adopted.

The Spanish Inquisition and the later Portuguese one were different organizations of the Medieval one. They were political instruments of the kingdom. And the rule of the Inquisition, any, was not officially to convert the Muslims, but to pursue the heretics, and the false converts, cripto-Jews and cripto-Muslims. But the Spanish Inquisition was only established almost at the end of the Reconquista. The hatred predated that. After the fall of Lisbon, in 1147, the Crusaders made a massacre among its inhabitants, even killing Christians (they couldn’t differentiate them from the Muslims), to the horror (read here, “economic” horror) of the Portuguese king that tried to avoid it, since he didn’t want a desert city. We saw similar situations in the Holy Land. So the hate didn’t begun with Fernando and Isabel. For the Muslim side the religious perspective of the Almoravids and then the Almohads also led to the increasing of the religious intolerance, which we saw in several periods, in the Muslim taifas or with kings that protected their subjects of the three religions, such as Alfonso X, king of Castile and Leon.
 
Mar 2016
1,106
Australia
#6
The Iberian kingdoms were not the last ones to adopt the Medieval Inquisition.
I did not say they were the last. I said they were one of the last.

The hatred predated that. After the fall of Lisbon, in 1147, the Crusaders made a massacre among its inhabitants, even killing Christians (they couldn’t differentiate them from the Muslims), to the horror (read here, “economic” horror) of the Portuguese king that tried to avoid it, since he didn’t want a desert city. We saw similar situations in the Holy Land. So the hate didn’t begun with Fernando and Isabel.
Massacring the population of a city that resisted during a siege was a basic convention of warfare, and had been for thousands of years. While a dislike of people of other religions was certainly a factor for some of the soldiers, it wasn't the only one, or even the primary one. Spending weeks or even months sitting outside a city in bleak, miserable and uncomfortable conditions because the people inside the city refused to surrender would naturally make the soldiers angry and violent. Massacring populations that resisted during sieges occurred between everyone, regardless of religion.
 
Likes: sparky
Nov 2013
705
Texas
#7
And finally, and more directly, the major victory of the second crusade, in 1147, was the mentioned conquest of Lisbon (and many crusaders stayed in the kingdom). The city of Silves was also conquered in 1189 with the help of Crusaders.

On the other hand it also led to a more extremist view of the enemy, in the opposite way of the Berber invasions.
Correct me if I am mistaken; but isn't Silves in the Portuguese Algarve? I thought that didn't fall until 1249?

Was Algarve/west Andalusia as culturally important to Portugal as Andalusia or Grenada was to Castille?
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
5,453
Portugal
#8
I did not say they were the last. I said they were one of the last.
Castile and Portugal didn’t adopted the Medieval Inquisition. Pardon me if I wasn’t clear.

Massacring the population of a city that resisted during a siege was a basic convention of warfare, and had been for thousands of years. While a dislike of people of other religions was certainly a factor for some of the soldiers, it wasn't the only one, or even the primary one. Spending weeks or even months sitting outside a city in bleak, miserable and uncomfortable conditions because the people inside the city refused to surrender would naturally make the soldiers angry and violent. Massacring populations that resisted during sieges occurred between everyone, regardless of religion.
I gave the sample so we could see the difference of attitude between the locals and the northern crusaders. We saw similar things happening in the holly land between those who were from the Latin states and used to deal with the Muslims and Eastern Christians and the recently arrived crusaders full of faith and hate.

Correct me if I am mistaken; but isn't Silves in the Portuguese Algarve? I thought that didn't fall until 1249?
Yes, Silves in Algarve, Portugal.

Silves was conquered by the kingdom of Portugal to the Muslims in 1189 with the help of Crusaders. So basically by 1189 the Portuguese Reconquista was done. This happened because the new Muslim power, the Almohads were pushing their strength initially mostly against Castile and because the caliph Yûsuf died in 1184 after a failed attempt to conquer Santarem in the river Tejo line.

These factors, in an up and down frontier, allowed Portugal to conquer all the Alentejo (south of the Tejo river, with the efforts of Geraldo sem Pavor – before he changed sides) and a good part of Algarve (the independent Taifa Muslim Kingdom of Silves had fallen to the Almohads in 1155).

But Yûsuf’s son, the caliph al-Mansur, returned to Portugal after dealing in Africa with some remains of Almoravid forces and took the offensive again, recapturing Silves and almost all the recent Portuguese conquered territory until the Tejo line again, laying siege to Tomar (1190), the fortress that was at the time the headquarters of the Portuguese Templars. Like some years before the Almohads failed again on a siege on the Tejo line. Even so Portugal lost a huge part of its territory.

Much later, with the downfall of the Almohads, Algarve with Silves would be reconquered again, in 1242/49, as you say, not directly by royal initiative, but by the Military Order of Santiago, the Portuguese branch.

A good summary of the Period: Spanish and Portugese Reconquest

Was Algarve/west Andalusia as culturally important to Portugal as Andalusia or Grenada was to Castille?
Silves was an important Taifa in the first Taifa period before falling to the Taifa of Seville. It had an intense cultural period, with relevant poets, but I don’t think it can be compared with Granada, since it was more ephemeral.

But the vizir Abenámar was from Silves, and a well known poet: Muhammad ibn Ammar - Wikipedia
 
Nov 2010
7,590
Cornwall
#9
I'm sure it did influence. But it's important not to think of 'the crusaders' as some sort of homogenous unit. Especially in Spain. The Christian kingdoms certainly spent more time at war with each other (easy targets) than with any muslim kingdom or empire. Though some kings had foreign 'crusaders'/adventurers to help them, it was actually quite rare - those 'Portuguese' incidents being slightly exceptional.

Tulius - I was down in Huelva in March and read a hugely informative book mainly on Niebla but also on Huelva, Saltes and the nearby Taifas of Al Garb (Mertola etc). Sort of from 711 until the passing of Niebla to Castilla.

I

Grenada was not a typical Islamic taifa (not even relative to Cordoba, which Grenada helped Castille take in 1236.) I think Grenada did have some capacity to resist Castillian momentum, but allowed itself to be vassalised as early as early as 1248, because Grenada was wary of western or Crusader momentum, or even of the Papacy; not just Castille. Were Grenada simply unable to resist Castillian momentum, it would not have taken Castille until 1492 to annex it (considering the many disputes that Castilla and Grenada had despite that Grenada was nominally as vassal of Castille as early as 1248).

Thoughts?
Granada WAS typical Taifa, but not in the period you speak of. At this time it was the Nazari kingdom of Granada. Al Nasr being the family who picked up the remnants after the fall of the Almohad Empire - allegedly related to the Prophet and the Omeyas, but one never knows! It was certainly a typical taifa in the 1st Taifa period - ruled by the Ziri berbers from Irfriqiya (I posted a thread very recently). Recently from Ifriqiya that is, not 8th century berbers

Any crusader intervention anywhere to do with Granada is merely coincidental, it was passing into the later period. There was the comical fiasco of James Douglas and the heart of Robert the Bruce - were these 'crusaders'? Or just a few knights on a sort of 14th century stag outing?

So dealing with the Kingdom of Granada, not to be confused with muslim kingdoms or empires before it - Once Ferdinand and Isobel had stabilised their kingdoms - no mean feat - one of the big items on the agenda was unitng all Iberia under their dynasty (which eventually came to pass, along with much of Europe.). But one big hole in this was the Kingdom of Granada. Although Los Reyes Catolicos were of course devoutly Catholic, political machinations was always the main purpose - personally I don't think the religion of the Kingdom of Grenada was more important than that it was owned by 'somebody else' - and King Ferdinand wanted it.

We know that the combined armies of Ferdinand and Isobel became among the most powerful around, certainly toward the end of the War of Granada (1482-92). Although the forces of Granada were clearly inferior on paper, anyone who has visited the kingdom of Granada as it is today will have noted the dozens upon dozens of hill fortresses guarding passes and plains, which all had to be taken one by one. Despite having such powerful forces, including huge artillery and also the fact the Granadino garrisons were protecting loved ones in their homes, it tool such a powerful army and administration 10 years to achieve this goal. Despite having further help from the constant political infighting of Granada

Therer were good economic reasons for keeping Granada as a tributary all those years - it had a good economy and was a ready source of income - much like the Caliphate did to the tiny Christian kingdoms 5 centuries before. But Ferdinand preferred to conquer and destroy it - again all this allows you to reward all your solidiers and nobles with oodles of extra land! Good politics.

Military weakness of muslim states -

In my view the development of the Calphate in the 10th century from an all-powerful state forming it's armies from it's own constituents, to the dictatorship of Almanzor in the late Caliphal period, was the root cause of both the later weakness of the muslim states and the feudal strength of the Christian kingdoms as time went on

Part of Almanzor's method was to (his others were reliogion and the economy) discourage individual military blocks within the Caliphate - anyone who potentially might rebel. So he recruited large numbers of Berber (from Africa, not earlier berber immigrants) and slav mercenaries as his army. He paid for this by his constant devasting raids on the Kingdoms of the north - 50-odd successful raids laden with booty. He discouraged/prevented the areas of the Calpiphate from having their own troops - as they always had - consequently when the central army was taken away, the remnant Taifas had few troops and no military or martial incliniation - being more inclined to good living and the economy.

The Christian kingdoms on the other hand, being constantly devastated and under threat, were brought up by the sword and everybody had to fight - with regularity.

So take away the power of the Caliphate and it's easy to see what happened - tempered briefly in the grand scheme of things by the invasion of the fundamentalist Africa Empires
 
Likes: Tulius
Nov 2013
705
Texas
#10
Thanks for the post; though some of those points have been made before; I just can't help but suspect there is more to it; as in, I suspect Grenada feared even overbearing assistance from Morrocco (though Morocco was nevertheless a useful potential ally should Grenada wish to revolt), and that there was more to it's vassalisation than simply being outmatched by Castille.


ALthough you deny (or at least downplay) the existence of a "reconquista", I cannot help but wonder if the Papacy, or someone else might want to put the finishing touch on Grenada by declaring a crusade. Relative to Castille; Grenada was far more powerful in the middle ages than it was during the Renaissance; so I doubt the issue was purely one of martial effectiveness; but perhaps strategic (as in, Grenada must of though itself being a rock and a hard place, that is Castille or even Morrocco.)

Many crusades (albeit less famous ones than the main ones) have been declared before; so a crusade specifically devoted against Grenada would not be something that would necessarily be put past the papacy (they've declared crusades in Eastern Europe for perhaps less....)



I'm sure it did influence. But it's important not to think of 'the crusaders' as some sort of homogenous unit. Especially in Spain. The Christian kingdoms certainly spent more time at war with each other (easy targets) than with any muslim kingdom or empire. Though some kings had foreign 'crusaders'/adventurers to help them, it was actually quite rare - those 'Portuguese' incidents being slightly exceptional.

Tulius - I was down in Huelva in March and read a hugely informative book mainly on Niebla but also on Huelva, Saltes and the nearby Taifas of Al Garb (Mertola etc). Sort of from 711 until the passing of Niebla to Castilla.



Granada WAS typical Taifa, but not in the period you speak of. At this time it was the Nazari kingdom of Granada. Al Nasr being the family who picked up the remnants after the fall of the Almohad Empire - allegedly related to the Prophet and the Omeyas, but one never knows! It was certainly a typical taifa in the 1st Taifa period - ruled by the Ziri berbers from Irfriqiya (I posted a thread very recently). Recently from Ifriqiya that is, not 8th century berbers

Any crusader intervention anywhere to do with Granada is merely coincidental, it was passing into the later period. There was the comical fiasco of James Douglas and the heart of Robert the Bruce - were these 'crusaders'? Or just a few knights on a sort of 14th century stag outing?

So dealing with the Kingdom of Granada, not to be confused with muslim kingdoms or empires before it - Once Ferdinand and Isobel had stabilised their kingdoms - no mean feat - one of the big items on the agenda was unitng all Iberia under their dynasty (which eventually came to pass, along with much of Europe.). But one big hole in this was the Kingdom of Granada. Although Los Reyes Catolicos were of course devoutly Catholic, political machinations was always the main purpose - personally I don't think the religion of the Kingdom of Grenada was more important than that it was owned by 'somebody else' - and King Ferdinand wanted it.

We know that the combined armies of Ferdinand and Isobel became among the most powerful around, certainly toward the end of the War of Granada (1482-92). Although the forces of Granada were clearly inferior on paper, anyone who has visited the kingdom of Granada as it is today will have noted the dozens upon dozens of hill fortresses guarding passes and plains, which all had to be taken one by one. Despite having such powerful forces, including huge artillery and also the fact the Granadino garrisons were protecting loved ones in their homes, it tool such a powerful army and administration 10 years to achieve this goal. Despite having further help from the constant political infighting of Granada

Therer were good economic reasons for keeping Granada as a tributary all those years - it had a good economy and was a ready source of income - much like the Caliphate did to the tiny Christian kingdoms 5 centuries before. But Ferdinand preferred to conquer and destroy it - again all this allows you to reward all your solidiers and nobles with oodles of extra land! Good politics.

Military weakness of muslim states -

In my view the development of the Calphate in the 10th century from an all-powerful state forming it's armies from it's own constituents, to the dictatorship of Almanzor in the late Caliphal period, was the root cause of both the later weakness of the muslim states and the feudal strength of the Christian kingdoms as time went on

Part of Almanzor's method was to (his others were reliogion and the economy) discourage individual military blocks within the Caliphate - anyone who potentially might rebel. So he recruited large numbers of Berber (from Africa, not earlier berber immigrants) and slav mercenaries as his army. He paid for this by his constant devasting raids on the Kingdoms of the north - 50-odd successful raids laden with booty. He discouraged/prevented the areas of the Calpiphate from having their own troops - as they always had - consequently when the central army was taken away, the remnant Taifas had few troops and no military or martial incliniation - being more inclined to good living and the economy.

The Christian kingdoms on the other hand, being constantly devastated and under threat, were brought up by the sword and everybody had to fight - with regularity.

So take away the power of the Caliphate and it's easy to see what happened - tempered briefly in the grand scheme of things by the invasion of the fundamentalist Africa Empires
 

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