Queen Isabel of Castile united Castile and Aragon to create modern Spain. She also inspired the Queen piece in the modern game of Chess.
A Muslim army from Morocco defeated the Visigothic King of Spain in 711 AD and over the next few years imposed Islamic rule over much of the Iberian Peninsular. But a rump Christian state remained and over many centuries managed to reconquer Spain and Portugal.
Reconquista Timeline: Christian Resurgence 1250 – 1492
By 1250 the Reconquista was in full swing and in 1492 the Christians captured Granda, the last of the Muslim enclaves.
Reconquista Timeline: Fanatic Berbers 1086 – 1250
“Better to pasture camels than be a swine-herd” (Al-Mutamid of Seville)
With the Christians putting increasing pressure on the Muslims of the south, the Taifa kings were forced to call upon their Moroccan brethren for assistance. This wasn’t an easy decision but in the end each decided it was better than subjugation by the Christians.
Reconquista Timeline: Taifa Kingdoms 1008 – 1086
When Al-Muzaffar – Al-Mansur’s son – died in 1008 the power in Al-Andalus was divided between three factions or parties (Taifas): the old nobility of either Arab or Berber origin, recent Berber mercenaries, and the “Slavs” (slaves, often European, with Military of Civil roles). The factions started taking over long before the last of the Umayyad Caliphs, Hisham III, disappeared in 1031. The period closes when the Taifa kings call upon the Moroccan Al-Murabitun to protect them from the encroaching Christians.
Reconquista Timeline: Umayyad Dynasty 755 – 1002
A sub-branch of the Umayyad family ruled Spain from 755 until 1030. These were the glory years for the Muslims in Spain. Although puppet Caliphs lingered on until 1031, the power of the Umayyad’s was broken by 1002 when the vizier Al-Mansur died.
List of Taifa Kingdoms 1009-1571
This is a list of most of the Taifa Kingdoms (Collins, 1983; Fletcher, 1992; Menéndez, 1934; Kennedy, 1996; Wikipedia: Taifa). I can’t guarantee if it is complete. I’ve taken the Arabic names for the Tailfas from the excellent, but seemingly defunct, Al-Andalus site.
Reconquista Timeline: Arab Conquest 711 – 754
Although raiders had crossed from Morocco for several years it was Tariq ibn Ziyad, in 711, that led the first major invasion force.
Muslim Rulers of Al-Andalus
A chronological list of Muslim rulers in Al-Andalus.
Samuel Ha-Nagid: Jewish General in Al-Andalus
Samuel Ha-Nagid interests me because he was both a poet and a military leader. He is also unusual by being one of only two Jews to command Medieval Muslim armies (his son, Joseph, was the other).
Painting Guide for Muslims of Al-Andalus
Arab fashions came and went, but there were certain patterns which applied across all Muslim lands: I give a general description then some specifics from certain regions.
Reconquista Wargaming Project
I’m rather fond of the Reconquista so have a bunch of armies. I don’t play so much now, mostly for the lack of a large scale set of rules that I like.
Military Equipment of the Reconquista and Hundred Years War
A quick look at key bits of kit.
Order of Battle for Specific Battles of the Reconquista
Orders of Battle for various battles within the Reconquista.
Orders of Battle in the Reconquista
Some notes on the composition of the various armies.