Al-Andalusian (Islamic Spain) Natural Philosopher Chronology

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Starting in the early eighth century, the Arabs referred to their nascent Iberian domain as al-Andalus, thought to be a corruption of "Vandalicia", a name derived from Vandal invaders in the country. As the Christian Reconquista progressed, the geographical area to which the name was applied contracted. In modern usage Andalusia referes to that region of south-eastern Spain where the Moors had their last foothold in the thirteenth to fifteenth centuries (Watt and Cachia 1965, p. 12). This page is divided into the triad, Visigothic rule c. 414-710; al-Andalus (Islamic Spain) 711-1491; and completion of the Reconquista since 1492. Fine-scale adjustment is best found at WHKMLA: History of al-Andalus: 711-1266, and WHKMLA: History of Spain. Please consult on GLPS2 two additional pages for comprehensive lists of World of Islam natural philosophers by subject or chronology. A detailed chronology of al-Andalus is maintained on Wikipedia: Timeline of the Muslim presence in the Iberian Peninsula. Euratlas maps by century are thus. 400, 500, 600, 700, 800, 900, 1000, 1100, 1200, 1300, 1400, 1500, 1600.

While Iberian Christians toiled in damp, dark castles, Muslim culture in Al-Andalus flourished to such a degree that in the ninth century, the library and monastery of St. Gall was the largest in Europe, boasting 36 volumes. At the same time, that of Muslim Qurtubah (Cordoba) contained 500,000. Al-Andalus reached its maximum extent at the turn of the eleventh century before running its slow decline to completion several hundreds years later. The region produced the following accomplished natural philosophers (Westernized names appears in parentheses).

  Contemporary event in al-Andalus Natural philosopher
400 c. 414 Visigoths ("West Goths") occupy Roman province of Tarraconensis.

429 Vandals, led by King Geiseric, cross into North Africa from Iberian peninsula, take Carthago ten years later.
550 554 Byzantines invade Iberian peninsula and assume Granada from the Visigoths.

584 Visigoths conquer kingdom of the Suevi (in Galicia).

589 Visigothic king abandons Arianism for Catholicism.
600 624 Visigoths complete reconquest of the Iberian peninsula, held since 554 by the Byzantines.  
650 654 Visigoths codify law.

693 Council decree virtually bans Jews from continuing in commerce.

694 Decree enslaves those who do not accept baptism.
700 710 Party of 400 Muslims land at southernmost tip of Iberian peninsula (west of present-day Tarifa); following year mount full-scale expedition of 7,0000 mostly of Berbers, led by Tariq ibn-Ziyad, Berber client of Musa ibn-Nusayr (Arab governor of north-west Africa). Gibraltar is corruption of "Jabal Tariq" or "Tariq's mountain".

711-716 Tariq ibn-Ziyad defeats King Roderick on the Rio Barbate and Visigothic fugitives at Ecija; later occupies Toledo, Sevilla, Merida, Saragossa, León, Astorga, and Fortun.

c. 713-715 Pamplona, Tarragona, Gerona, Malaga, Elvira fall to the Muslims.

716 Musa ibn-Nusayr's son, 'Abd-al'Aziz, is assassinated.

717 Provincial capital transfers to Qurtubah (Cordoba).

719 Governor Samh occupies Narbonne. Eudo, duke of Aquitano, repulses and kills Samh in 721 at Toulouse.

c. 720s - c. 1200s Arab agricultural revolution transforms crop yield and farming practice across southern Spain. (Notion challenged by Decker (2009)).

725 Carcassonne and Nimes are occupied.

732 'Abd-ar-Rahman al-Ghafiqi defeats Eudo of Aquitane and subdues Bordeaux.

732 Charles Martel, prince of the Franks, defeats a al-Ghafiqi and his Muslim army at the battle of Tours/Poitiers.

734 Arles and Avignon falls to the Muslims; Charles Martel drives them back four years later.

739-757 Alfonso I reconquers the Iberian peninsula's northwest.

741 Berbers revolt against their Arab overlords in northwest Spain following a Berber revolt in North Africa; lay siege to Balj and his Syrian reinforcements, in Ceuta.

741 Balj defeats three columns of Berbers and marches on Qurtubah (Cordoba) to expel the governor who pleaded for intervention; Balj dies the following year.

747 Last al-Andalusian governor, Yusuf ibn-'Abd-ar-Rahman al-Fihri, is appointed by Governor of Ifriqiya (Tunisia).
750 750 Substantial number of al-Andalusian Berbers immigrate to Africa due to a serious famine.

750 'Abd-ar-Rahman (b. 730) of the Umayyad family, dispatches an emissary to al-Andalus.

751-759 Franks recapture Narbonne.

756 'Abd-ar-Rahman defeats Qaysite group and is made emir of al-Andalus in Qurtubah (Cordoba), establishing the Umayyad Emirate.

778 Charlemagne (771-814) campaigns against Saraqusta (Zaragoza).

785-986 Building of the Great Mosque of Qurtubah on the grounds of a Visigothic church.

788 'Abd-ar-Rahman I (r. 756-788), founder of the Qurtubah (Cordoba) Emiratee, dies.

796 Hisham I (r. 788-796), emir, dies.

797 Governor of Tulaytulah (Toledo) beheads Spanish Muslims for showing signs of dissafection; becomes "day of the Foss".
c. 789-857 Abu l-Hasan 'Ali Ibn Nafi' (Ziryab), fl. Qurtubah (Spanish: Cordoba)
800 800 Ten-year rebellion against the Muslims breaks out in the fringes of al-Andalus (Toledo, Merida, Lisbon); Moorish central authorities suppress each.

801 Charlemagne launches incursion into Barshiluna (Barcelona).

809 An Umayyad prince defeats and executes Tumlus, a Muslim rebel who had seized power in Lisbon some years before.

813 Grave of James the Apostle is "discovered" near Santiago de Compostela, in Galicia, beginning the cult of St. James that would unite Iberian Christians of many different petty kingdoms.

818 Emir puts down a rising south of al-Wādi al-Kabīr (Guadalquivir); executes 300 survivors, expells 20,000 families, and ploughs-up town.

819 The Franks suppress revolt in Pamplona.

822 al-Hakam I (r. 796-822), emir, dies.

844 Ramiro I defeats Vikings who raid the Galician estuaries, attack Lisbon, and sack Sevilla, but are shortly afterwards wiped out by a Córdoban relief army
810-887 Abbas Ibn Firnas (Armen Firman), b. Izn-Rand Onda (Spanish: Ronda)
850 850-859 Perfectus, a Christian priest in Muslim-ruled Qurtubah (Cordoba), is beheaded after he refuses to retract numerous insults he made about Muhammad. Numerous other priests, monks, and laity would follow as Christians became caught up in a zest for martyrdom. Forty-eight Christians men and women are decapitated for refusing to convert or blaspheming Muhammad. They will be known as the Martyrs of Córdoba.

852 'Abd-ar-Rahman II (r. 822-852), emir, dies.

875 Spanish Muslim Ibn-al-Jilliqi maintains partial independence in the region of Merida until submitting to central government in 930.

880 Spanish Muslim Ibn-Hafsun revolts in the south at Bobastro. Holds resistance until 917, thereafter, via his sons, against the central government until 927.

884 Sole surviving heir of Musa ibn-Musa ibn-al-Qasi, governor of Tudela, sells Saraqusta (Zaragoza) to Emir Muhammad I.

886 Muhammad I (r. 852-886), emir, dies.

888 al-Mundhir (r. 886-888), emir, dies.
900 905 Sancho I of Pamplona usurps the Basque kingdom of Pamplona with the help of Alfonso III of León, Raymond I, Count of Pallars and Ribagorza and the Banu Qasi.

909 Fatimids establish dynasty in Ifriqiya (Tunisia), 969 in Egypt.

912 'Abd-Allah (r. 888-912), emir, dies; replaced by 'Abd-ar-Rahman III, who launches raiding campaigns each spring against the Christian frontier.

913 Ordoño II of León subdues Évora (Talavera) from the Muslims.

917 Ordoño II defeats an army under Emir Abd-ar-Rahman III at the battle of San Esteban de Gormaz.

918 'Abd-ar-Rahman III defeats the Christians at the battle of Évora (Talavera).

920 Abd al-Rahman III defeats the armies of the Kingdom of León at the battle of Valdejunquera.

920 Muslim forces take the city of San Esteban de Gormaz, cross the Pyrenees into Gascony, and reach the gates of Toulouse; Muez garrison is killed.

923 Muslim forces destroy Pamplona.

929 'Abd-ar-Rahman III, faced with the threat of invasion by the Fatimids, proclaims himself as caliph, breaking all ties with the Abbasid Caliphate in Baghdad, and rules over Muslims in Spain and North Africa.

930 Batlabus (Badajoz) submits to 'Abd-ar-Rahman III.

930-950 Ramiro II of León defeats Abd al-Rahman III at Simancas, Osma, and Évora (Talavera).

937 Lord of Saraqusta's (Zaragoza) allegience transfer to the King of León fails after a siege restores control to Rahman III.

939 Ramiro of León defeats 'Abd-ar-Rahman III at Simancas, near Valladolid. Madrid recaptured by the Christians, Ramiro II's routing of Muslim forces is severe, nearly kills Rahman III. Following defeat, Rahman III vows to never personally lead another expedition. Muslims recapture Madrid the following year
c. 900-960 Muhammed ibn Umail al-Tamimi (Zadith Senior or Hamuelis), fl. North Africa and al-Andalus

936-1013 Abu al-Qasim al-Zahrawi (Albucasis); b. Medina Azahara (English: Zahra), near Qurtubah (Spanish: Cordoba)

c. 944-c.994 Ibn Juljul, b. Qurtubah (Spanish: Cordoba)
950 951 King Ramiro II of León dies; internal disputes weaken Iberian Christian states.

955 Ordoño III of León attacks Lisbon.

960-c. 1000 Muslim control of Iberian peninsula reaches its maximum extent.

961 'Abd-ar-Rahman III (r. 912-961), emir, dies.

974 A Cordoban expedition under Ibn Tumlus crushes a rebellion in Isbiliya (Sevilla).

976 al-Hakam II (r. 961-976), emir, dies. Al-Mansur takes over in the name of his protégé Hisham II, becoming a military dictator usurping caliphal powers. The Christians take advantage of the resulting confusion and commence raids into Muslim territory.

977 Al-Mansur successfully leads an army against the Christians.

978 Leonese forces under Garci Fernández and Ramiro III of León suffer the worst in a string of defeats at San Esteban de Gormaz (also defeated at Rueda and Torrevicente), eventually leading to the revolt of the Galacian nobles and the abdication of Ramiro in favor of Bermudo II of León.

981 Al-Mansur defeats Ramiro III of León at the battle of Rueda and collects tribute.

985 Al-Mansur sacks Barshiluna (Barcelona).

987 Al-Mansur razes Christian Coimbra.
994-1064 Ibn Hazm, b. Qurtubah (English: Cordoba).

997-1074 Ibn al-Wafid (Abenguefit), fl. Tulaytulah (Latin: Toletum; Spanish, English: Toledo)

1008 Maslamah Ibn Ahmad al-Majriti, fl. al-Andalus (Spanish: Andalucia; English: Andalusia) dies
1000 1010 North African Berber armies raze Medinat al-Zahra.

1010 Muhammad II (d. 1010) appeals to a Christian Castilian army and routs the Berbers.

1010 Suleiman and his Berber armies besiege Qurtubah (Cordoba).

1028-1031 Moorish caliphate of Qurtubah (Cordoba) falls

1031 Hisham III, last of the Umayyad caliphs, deappears into obscurity

1033 Moorish kingdom Taifa of Mertola gains independence.

1035 King Ferdinand I of León assumes throne.

1040 Taifa of Silves gains independence

1043 Rodrigo Diaz Vivar, whom the Muslims would name "El Cid Campeador" (Lord Winner of Battles) is born in Burgos.
1029-1070 Said al-Andalusi, b. al-Mariyyah (Spanish: Almeria)

1029-1087 Al-Zarqali (Arzachel), fl. Tulaytulah (Latin: Toletum; Spanish, English: Toledo)
1050 1053 Al-Mutadid, emir of Isbiliya (Spanish: Sevilla), drives Berbers from Arcos, Morón and Ronda.

1055 Al-Mutadid drives Berbers from Algeciras.

1056 Almoravids (al-Murabitun) Dynasty begins its rise to power; Berber dynasty who would rule North Africa and Islamic Iberia until 1147

1057 Al-Mutadid drives Almoravids from Carmona

1060 Almoravids crush Taifa set up in Ceuta by heretic Berghouata.

1062 Ferdinand I of Castile and León invades Muslim Tulaytulah (Toledo) with a large army. Emir Al-Mamun becomes a tributary of Castile. Ferdinand then invades Muslim Badajoz, and extracts tribute from Emir Al-Mutadid of Isbiliya (Sevilla)

1063 Taifa of Isbiliyah (Sevilla) annexes the Taifa of Silves

1064 Hispanic calendar is adopted

1067 Castilian army under Sancho II and the Alferez Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar (El Cid by this time) besiege Saraqusta (Zaragoza). The siege is lifted after Emir Al-Muqtadir pays a large ransom and promises tribute.

1068 Alfonso VI of León leads a campaign against Badajoz, but withdraws when Emir Mamun ibn Dhi-I-Nun of Toledo intercedes. Badajoz becomes tributary to León. Later the Emir of Badajoz dies and his two sons dispute the succession.

1074 Emir Al-Mutamid of Isbiliya (Sevilla) drived the Almoravids from Jaen

1075 Tulaytulah (Toledo) takes Qurtubah (Cordoba) from Isbiliyah (Sevilla) with the help of Castillian troops

1081 El Cid, now a mercenary because he had been exiled by Alfonso IV of Castile, enters the service of the Moorish king of the northeast city of Saraqusta (Zaragosa), al-Mu'tamin, and would remain there for his successor, al-Mu'tamin II.

1083 Almoravids take Ceuta

1085 Alfonso captures Tulaytulah (Toledo), old Visigothic capital of Spain.

1085 Almoravids (from al-murabit, or "religious ascetics") conquer al-Andalus.

1087 Alfonso VI of Leon and Castile, crushed at battle of Zallaqa, recalls El Cid from exile.

1090 Yusuf ibn Tashfin conquers the kingdoms of Granada and Málaga. Leaves nephew Sir ibn Abi Bakr to continue the conquest. Christian troops enter Santarém, Lisbon and Sintra, which were recently ceded by the Al-Mutawwakil of Badajoz in return for protection from the Almoravids.

1091 Yusuf ibn Tashfin, king of the Almoravids, captures Granada.

1095 Almoravids take Santarem.

1097 El Cid defeats Almoravid Ali ibn al-Hajj at the battle of Bairen near Valencia.

1099 Almoravids besiege Valencia, where El Cid dies
c. 1050 Allah Muhammad ibn Ibrahim ibn Bassal, fl. mid 11th century in Tulaytulah (Latin: Toletum; Spanish, English: Toledo)

c. 1068 Abu al-Salt, fl. Deniyya (Latin: Dianum; Spanish: Dénia)

1091-1161 Abu Marwan ibn Zuhr (Avenzoar or Abumeron), fl. al-Andalus (Spanish: Andalucia; English: Andalusia)

1095-1138 Ibn Bajjah (Avempace), b. Saraqusta (Latin: Caesaraugusta; Spanish: Zaragosa)

1099-1165/66 Muhammad al-Idrisi (Dreses), b. Ceuta (Carthaginian: Abyla; Latin: Septa)
1100 1105 The Almohads (from al-muwahhidun or "monotheists"), founded by Ibn Tumart, begin as a religious movement to rid Islam of impurities; opposed to anthropomorphisms. Ibn Tumart's successor, Abd al-Mu'min, turns movement against both non-Muslims and Muslims.

1106 Yusuf ibn Tashfin dies and his son, Ali, assumes the Almoravid empire.

1118 Alfonso I of Aragon takes Saraqusta (Zaragoza) from the Muslims.

1120 Alfonso I of Aragon decisively defeats an Almoravid army including many Andalusian volunteers at Cutanda in summer.

1126 Almoravids deport Christians to Morocco.

1136 Almoravid (Yahya ibn Ali ibn Ghaniya; Sa'd ibn Mardanish) retakes Mequinenza on the lower Ebro.

1137 Prince Alfonso I of Portugal fails to take Lisboa (Lisbon) from the Moors.

1145 Portugal retakes Leiria from the Moors

1147 Lisbon falls to the Reconquista and remains Christian thereafter.

1147 Portuguese take Moorish towns of Almada and Palmela, south of Lisbon.

1147-1173 Almohads (from al-muwahhidun or "monotheists") supplant Almoravids.

1147-1238 Almohads rule most of al-Andalus.

1148 Almohads take Isbiliyah (Sevilla).

1149 Almohads, led by Abd al-Mu'min al-Kumi, take North Africa and soon invade Iberian peninsula
1100-1150 Jabir ibn Aflah, b. Isbiliya (Spanish: Sevilla; English: Seville)

1105-1185 Ibn Tufail (Abubacer), b. Wadi-Aci (Spanish: Guadix)

1126-1198 Ibn Rushd (Averroes), b. Qurtubah (Spanish: Cordoba)

c. 1126 Ibn al-Hafiz (Arthephius, Artefius, Artefii), fl. al-Andalus

1135-1204 Moses ben-Maimon (Maimonides, Mūsā ibn Maymūn, or Rambam), b. Qurtubah (Spanish: Cordoba)

1144 Gerard of Cremona (1114-1187) translates Islamic texts including Kitab al-Tasrif
1150 1150 Almohads take Taifas of Badajoz and of Beja and Evora.

1151 Almohads take Granada from Almoravids.

1157 Almohads take al-Mariyyah (Almeria) from the Genoese.

1160 Maimonides and his family take refuge in Fez (today in Morocco), which is spared by the Almohads.

1161 Moors retake Evora, Beja, and Alcacer do Sal.

1163 Abu Ya'qub Yusuf I succeeds Almohad caliph Abd al-Mu'min al-Kumi, who dies.

1170 Almohads transfer capital to Isbiliyah (Sevilla).

1171 Almohads begin constructing the Alcazar palace.

1172 Almohads capture Murcia, take Valencia.

1179 Castile and Aragon agree on future paritions of al-Andalus

1184 Portuguese defeat the Almohads at Santarem.

1195 Almohads defeat Castile at Alarcos.

1199 Almohad caliph Abu Yusuf Yu'qub al-Mansur dies and is succeeded by Muhammad an-Nasir
1160-1226 Joseph ben Judah of Ceuta, b. Ceuta (Carthaginian: Abyla; Latin: Septa)

1165 Muhammad ibn Aslam Al-Ghafiqi, fl. al-Andalus (Spanish: Andalucia; English: Andalusia) dies

1180 Abu Jafar ibn Harun al-Turjali, b. Turjalah (Latin: Turgalium; Spanish: Trujillo)

1197-1248 Ibn al-Baitar, b. Dimashq (English: Damascus)
1200 1203 Almohads take Majorca from the Almoravids.

1205 Moses ben-Maimon (Maimonides) dies in Egypt.

1212 Combined forces of Castile, Aragon, Portugal, and Navarre defeat emir Muhammad III al-Nasir at the battle of Las Navas de Tolosa.

1213 Abu Yu'qub Yusuf II becomes Almohad caliph.

1227 Christians conquer Deniyya (Latin: Dianum; Spanish: Dénia) and after which it remains in their hands.

1229 James I of Aragon retakes Majorca, jerica and Murviedro-Sagunto, which will remain Christian thereafter.

1232 Ibiza falls to the Reconquista and remains under Christian rule thereafter.

1236 Qurtubah (Cordoba) falls to the Chritians, and remains in their hands thereafter. Ibn Hud forced to sign truce.

1236 Nasrid ruler, Mohammed ibn Alhamar, approaches Ferdinand III of Castile to propose that in return for cooperating in the conquest of Isbiliya (Sevilla), Granada would be granted independence as a subject of Castile. Fernando agrees and takes Isbiliya.

1237 Mohammed ibn Alhamar enters Granada, soon to become new capital of his dominion.

1238 Emirate of Granada is founded.

1238 James I of Aragon retakes Valencia, Albarracin, Alpuente, Tortosa, and the prized manufacturing center at Xativa, all of which would remain under Christian rule thereafter.

1246 Carmona falls to the Reconquista and will remain in Christian hands thereafter.

1248 Isbiliya (Sevilla) falls to the Christians in a 16 month of siege.

1249 King Afonso III of Portugal take Faro (in the Algarve) from the Moors, thus removing the last Muslim state from the Portuguese Reconquista.
c. 1200s Abu al-Abbas al-Nabati flourishes

1204 Nur ad-Din al-Bitruji (Al-Bitruji or Alpetragius), fl. al-Andalus (Spanish: Andalucia; English: Andalusia) dies
1250 1257 Muslims use some form of incendiary weapon at Niebla, Cordoba (1280), and Gibraltar (1306).

1262 Niebla and Cadiz fall to the Reconquista and remain in Christian hands thereafter.

1264 Muslims revolt in al-Andalus and Valencia (1276).

1266 Reconquista takes Lorca, Murcia, Purchena, and Segura from the Spanish Muslims.

1280 Muslim Granadian forces under the command of Muhammad II defeat invading Christian forces of Gonzalo Ruiz Giron at the battle of Moclin.

1287 Menorca falls to the Reconquista and will remain in Christian hands thereafter.

1292 Castile captures Tarifa from Marinids.
1300 1309-1310 Castile captures Gibraltar (1310-1333).

1312-1350 War between Alfonso XI and Granada.

1319 Granada defeats a Castilian invasion.

1324 Catalonia occupies Sardinia.

1325 Alfonso XI, avenging his loss six years before, attacks Granada and defeats Muhammad IV.

1331 Granada uses iron balls propelled by fire or containing fire against Alicante and Orihuela.

1333 Granada retakes Gibraltar from the Castilians (1333-1462).

1340 Combined armies of King Afonso IV or Portugal and King Alfonso XI of Castile defeat a Moorish army at the battle of Rio Salado.

1343 Granadines use cannon in the unsuccessful defence of Algeciras.
1313-1374 Ibn al-Khatib; b. Medina Lawsa (Spanish: Loja)
1350 1394 Granadine tropps become the first on the Iberian peninsula to use handguns, at the battle of Egea. 1363 French surgeon Guy de Chauliac (1300-1368) quotes Kitab al-Tasrif over 200 times in his book, Chirurgia Magna.
1400 1410 Ferdinand of Aragon leads an attack against Granada. Fails to take the city but occupies Antequera.

1415 Portugal takes Ceuta.
1450 1462 Castile retakes Gibraltar.

1469 Marriage of Ferdinand II of Aragon (1452-1516) and Isabella of Castile (1451-1504) unite the two largest Christian Spanish kingdoms.

1483 Castilian force raids into the mountains of Axarquia and captures Emir Muhammad XII of Granada, the first king of Granada to be captured by the Christians.

1492 Combined Spanish forces defeat Granada, last Moorish state.

1492-1507 Remaining Muslims in Castile are forcibly converted to Christianity. Compelled Muslims become known as moriscos, Jews marranos.

1496 Portugal expels Muslims.

1499 Queen Isabella I decrees all Spanish Muslims to convert or exile.
1471 Kitab al-Tasrif, printed in Venice, becomes standard medical text.
1500 1516 King Charles I ascends throne of Castile and Aragon, forms modern nation of Spain. Muslims forced to convert in kingdom of Navarre.

1525 Muslims forced to convert in kingdom of Aragon by King Charles V.
1550 1567 Phillip II issues decree to ban Arabic and Berber languages in Spain.

1568 Moriscos revolt under leadership of Aben Humeya after King Philip II introduces laws that prohibit Moorish culture. The rebellion is suppressed in 1571 by John of Austria, and rebels are deported to different parts of the northern half of the Iberian peninsula.
1570 Jacques Daléchamps extensively quotes Kitab al-Tasrif

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