1. Who led the conquest of the
Iberian Peninsula? Explain it.
Arab and Berber forces crossed the
Strait of Gibraltar under the command
of Tariq and Muza to the Iberian
Peninsula in 711. This Muslim army
defeated the Visigoth King Don Rodrigo
at the Battle of Guadalete in 711. They
took the Visigoth capital Toledo in the
year 712.
2. How did they rename the Iberian
Peninsula? Was all the territory
conquered? Why? Under what
authority were they? Where was
its capital?
It was renamed as Al-Andalus. No, it was
not because certain groups of Christian
resistance emerged in the Northern
mountainous and it was initially under
the authority of the Caliph of Damascus.
Its capital was Córdoba.
3. Explain the causes of the little
resistance from Christians.
They were Muslim superiority, internal
conflicts between Visigoths and the
support offered to the invaders by Jews
and some nobles in exchange for
keeping their properties.
4. Who was the first Christian noble
to defeat the Muslims? Explain this
He was D. Pelagious in the Battle of
Covadonga (Asturias) in the year 722
and became the first Christian kingdom
on the Iberian Peninsula. This event
marks the beginning of eight centuries
of struggles between Christians and
Muslims, of advances and retreats
called, as a whole, "The Reconquest".

5. What was the purpose of the
Muslims in relation to Europe?
What happened?
The Muslims wanted to invade the rest
of Europe. But when they crossed  France, they met the Franks, under the leadership of Charles Martel, defeated
the Islamic army in the Battle of Poitiers (732) and forced them back south. From this event, Islamic control was mostly
limited to the Iberian Peninsula south of the Pyrenees Mountains.
6. What are the two main periods of
Al-Andalus? Write the dates.
TAIFAS (929 – 1031).
7. How and when did Al-Andalus
become an independent emirate?
What was its relationship with
In 756, the Umayyad prince Abd al- Rahman I reached the Peninsula, fleeing
the Abbasids took the control. He proclaimed himself the independent emir
in 756. This meant his politically Independence from the Abbasid caliphs
of Baghdad, but he still recognizes their religious authority.
8. *Describe the three main events
that marked the independent
It was a period of conflicts and loss of territory: the Christians reconquered
Zamora and the Franks took Barcelona and Girona with Charlemagne who created the Hispanic Mark. Muladis or
Christians converted to Islam rebelled against discrimination by Arabs. In 926, the Umayyads had regained control of
Al-Andalus and named themselves the
Caliphate of Cordoba.

9. Who proclaimed the Caliphate of
Cordoba? When did he do? Why
was he one of Al-Andalus's most
important caliphs?
He was Abd al-Rahman III in the year 929. He reorganized the army, ended the
internal revolts, and conducted punitive expeditions against the peninsular Christian Kingdoms, who were obliged
to pay him taxes. It was a period of great political and cultural splendour in

10. What happened with the Caliphate
in the beginning of the 11 th
century? How did it disappear?
In the beginning of the 11th century the caliph Hisham II delegated government
of Almanzor, a military leader who conquered and looted Barcelona and
Santiago. He died in 1002 and the caliphate sank into a serious political
crisis. Until 1031 the different provinces of the Caliphate of Cordoba became
independent, and the caliphate was disintegrated in 28 small independent
kingdoms called "taifas" that lasted until 1086.
11. What are the “taifas”? Name some
of the most important of them.
What happened during their
reigns? What was the last taifa?
How was it disappearing?
They are 28 small independent kingdoms
of Al-Andalus from 1031 to 1086. They
are Zaragoza, Toledo, Badajoz, and
Seville. These kingdoms were really
weak: They fought against each other to
conquer others’ territories. Some of
them asked for Christian kings’ help and
they had to pay tributes (parias) in
exchange. The last taifa was the Nasrid
kingdom of Granada, regained by the
Catholic Monarchs in 1492.

16. Explain the agriculture
development in Al- Andalus.
Food and crops such as rice, sugar cane,
sweet oranges and hard wheat for
bread and pasta were introduced into
Spain from farther east, along with the
migration of farmers and transfer of
irrigation technologies. Cotton was an
essential non-food crop that made the
textile industry possible. They stored
reservoir and rainwater was used.
17. Why do we say that Al-Andalus
society was so cultured?
They were many fields such as poetry,
music, travel books, geography, history,
and philosophy and they also created
great libraries as in Baghdad, Cordova,
and El Cairo.

18. Explain the development of Science
in Al- Andalus.

The Muslims brought the compass and
the astrolabe from India and China.
They made catalogues of stars, they
started to use zero, they invented
algebra and improved arithmetic and
trigonometry. In medicine, they
developed surgery and anesthesia
techniques thanks to the works of
Avicena and Averroes. They introduced
some discoveries in agriculture such as
the waterwheel, irrigation techniques
and new crops such as rice, oranges
and saffron.
19. Explain the development of
Medicine in Al- Andalus.
They were important doctors: Rhazes
who described to the main symptoms
of the smallpox and the measles and
Avicena who wrote the Canon of the
medicine. Based on the work of Greek
Galen, it was translated to the Latin by the doctors of the West. Herbalist
became rich with numerous plants and Eastern spices (saffron).

20. In what period did Al-Andalus
reach its peak in cultural
In the independent emirate, under the
Umayyad caliphate in the 8 th century.
21. What do you know about
The mosque is one of the most
important buildings in the Muslim
world. In the biggest cities there were
several mosques but the main one was
known as Aljama mosque, it was where
Friday for the oration of the noon was
concentrated the men. The mosque
was also a school to teach the Koran,
the cadi residence and sometimes
judgements were celebrated there.
22. What materials and motifs did
Muslims use in architecture?
•They use cheap and simple materials
to their constructions: Brick, wood,
plaster, tiles…
• The Koran prohibited the depiction of
human figures, so it was used  ornamental decoration to cover the
walls (stucco, paints or mosaics).
23. Name the most outstanding
buildings of Al-Andalus. In which
period was each one built?
Mosque of Córdoba: Independent
Emirate and Caliphate of Cordova.
Medina Azahara: Caliphate.
Aljafería (Zaragoza): Taifa Kingdoms.
Torre del Oro and Giralde (Seville):
Almohads period.
Alhambra (Granada): Nasrid Kingdom.

12. Make a scheme with the different
social groups of Al-Andalus.
were small group formed by family
members of the caliph and Arab
conquerors. High position and
extensive properties.
AMMA: Made up the rest of the society
including peasants and craftsmen. The
old Hispanic population of the Visigoth
period, and we can find people that
maintained the Christian religion and
they were called Mozarabs and
Christians converted to the Muslim

religion (Muladis).
MINORITY GROUPS: Berber (bereberes)
conquerors from the North of Africa.
The Jews (judíos). The slaves, who were
pagans or converted to Islam.
13. Who was running the government
in Al-Andalus?
The Muslims could take part of the
government, but the highest positions
were mainly reserved for men who had
arrived from Arabia. It was governed by
the caliph.
14. How was the territory divided?
List, in order of the greatest to
least power, the main government
leaders. What other major officials
were there?
It was divided into 21 provinces or
coras. The caliph, the hachib the viziers
and the valis or governors. Other
officials were the quaids, the cadis and
the almotacén.
15. What are the main economic
activities in Al-Andalus?
The agriculture, the livestock farming,
Mining, Crafts, Trade: domestic (souks in
cities) and foreign trade (with East,
North Africa, and Europe).