Presentation on theme: "Spain: Geography and Religion. 1492. Christopher Columbus had just paid a visit to the court of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain. Columbus was."— Presentation transcript:
1492. Christopher Columbus had just paid a visit to the court of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain. Columbus was wearing new clothes and riding a fine horse, but there was little joy in his heart. The Spanish monarchs had once again refused to support his plan to sail westward across the Atlantic Ocean to Asia. Columbus knew his chances of getting support elsewhere were slim. Already, the kings of Portugal, England and France had turned him down. He was 40 years old and he had run out of options. His dreams of fame and fortune were in tatters. Maybe he would just return to his hometown in Italy and live out his life as a map-maker. A few kilometres out of town, Columbus heard hoof beats behind him. It was a royal messenger who had come to order him back to court at once. The King and Queen had changed their minds. Columbus turned his horse sharply and galloped back from where he had come. Luck was on his side at last! He would now have the opportunity to set out on the adventure of his life. Q: What made Columbus want to embark on this voyage? Q: Why might monarchs be reluctant to support him?
Introduction Do you think that some countries “look” in different directions? Italy is in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, but it looks like it is being pulled to the east Italy's trading relationship with the east reflects this orientation Spain, though, looks like it is being pushed into the Atlantic Ocean “La geographia manda” = Geography controls everything – Is a Spanish saying Spain's position between Europe and Africa had a large influence on its religious history
Muslim Spain Just like in the rest of Europe, everyone in Spain was Christian at the beginning of the Middle Ages Spain was ruled by the Visigoths They had invaded from the North at the end of the Roman Empire Spain was weak, however, and in 711 a Muslim force landed in the Strait of Gibraltar led by Tariq ibn- Ziyad In a few years, almost all of Spain and Portugal had been conquered To create a national identity, the new rulers created a large mosque in Cordoba Over time, many did convert to Islam, but some remained Christian
Life and Society For the next 500 years, Spain was part of a large empire; it was called al- Andalus The Arab-Islamic Empire was part of the largest trade zone in the world It had people from many cultures Goods and ideas were exchanged between places as far as Spain, Egypt, Syria, Zanzibar and Indonesia Muslim rulers and wealthy merchants supported the arts, like in Italy These often reflected Islamic values Islam discourages representing humans and animals realistically -> lead to idolatry Art was often in designs and written script
Centres of Learning Education was greatly valued in Muslim society Way of understanding the universe Helped to live an ethical life One of the world's first universities was established in Cairo in 971 Spanish cities of Cordoba, Seville, and Granada became great centres of learning Scholars discussed medicine and science Along with Jewish scholars they translated books and essays of the Greeks They knew much more about natural science than Europeans Maimonides Jewish Scholar (Medicine, Religion and Philosophy) Ibn Rushd (Averroes) Muslim Philosopher (Classical Greek Philosphers)
Religious Tolerance It is generally agreed that Muslim Spain was tolerant of religious minorities I instruct you [the next Caliph] on behalf of the people who have been given protection in the name of Allah and His Prophet... Our covenant to them must be fulfilled, we must fight to protect them, and they must not be burdened beyond their capabilities. - Sayyid, Second Caliph Remember that the citizens of the state are of two categories. They are either your brethren in religion or your brethren in kind... - Hazrat Ali, Caliph and first Shia Imam to ruler of Egypt In Germany, the Nazis first came for the Communists, and I did not speak up, for I was not a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak up, for I was not a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak up, for I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I did not speak up, for I was a Protestant. And then they came for me, and by that time, no one was left to speak up. - Martin Niemoller, U-Boat Commander in WWI Trouble no one about his religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours. - Tecumseh, Shawnee Leader
Decline of the Caliphate By the early 1000s, the power of the Islamic Empire (or the Caliphate) was in decline There had been a series of ineffective rules which had led to civil unrest Spain had been divided into independent principalities (states) This led to much fighting and bickering among local leaders When the Muslims had first come to Spain, they had left a small strip on the northern coast Christian The rulers here took the opportunity of disunity and began expanding their rule south This was called the reconquista or re-conquering
The Reconquista The Reconquista began as a way for the Christian kingdoms to expand their power and influence It also became a war based on religious differences Christian Spain developed a very effective fighting technique during the war They would group soldiers close together who used the same weapon They became very hard to defeat and the deadliest fighting force in Europe After approximately 300 years, Spain was almost all Christian
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