Early medieval Spain, 800–1100
The Christian kingdoms and al-Andalus
in Debating medieval Europe
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This double-length chapter considers both the Christian and Muslim kingdoms in the early medieval Iberian peninsula, starting with a presentation of the ideologically charged debates over reconquista and despoblación that have characterized the historiography of this region. A concise synopsis of the historical narrative, unique to this chapter, aids orientation given the unfamiliar and fragmented geopolitical framework. The chapter then examines in what Christian kingship in the polities of northern Spain may have consisted of, a study undertaken in comparison with the very different nature of Andalusian rule focused on the city of Córdoba. Identity and religiosity are discussed together. The contentious paradigm of convivencia, defined as the coexistence of peoples of different faiths, and the considerable scholarly debates – in recent times extremely heated – are discussed.

Debating medieval Europe

The early Middle Ages, c. 450 –c. 1050

Editor: Stephen Mossman

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