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.


The Umayyad Abd al-Rahman I crossed to Spain, defeated Yusuf al-Fihri, and became independent emir of Spain (Collins, 1983).


Franks conquered Muslim Nabonne (Collins, 1983).


Abd al-Rahman I suppressed an Abbasid inspired revolt (Collins, 1983).


Abd al-Rahman I took Toledo from Hisham ibn Urwa (Collins, 1983).


Said al-Matari rebelled in Seville (Collins, 1983).


A Berber reformer rebelled in central Spain and occupied Merida and other towns to the north of the Tagus (Livermore, 1966). The rebellion was suppressed after nine years.

771 or 774

Syrians under Abd al-Ghaffar rebelled against the Emir (Collins, 1983). Abd al-Rahman I defeated the Syrians on the river Bembezar in either 771 or 774.


Abd al-Rahman I suppressed an Abbasid inspired revolt (Collins, 1983).

778 Roncesvalles

The Franks (Charlemagne) attacked Zaragoza but were forced to withdraw (Collins, 1983; Heath, 1980; Livermore, 1966). Basques ambushed Charlemagne’s army as it crossed the Pyrenees out of Spain. The Basques mauled the Frankish rearguard, killing many of the commanders (including the Breton Markgraf Hruotland, aka Roland), and loot the baggage train.


Alfonso II became King of Asturias in Oviedo.

A Muslim force raided into Galicia (Livermore, 1966).


Asturians defeated Muslims at Lutos (Collins, 1983).


A Umayyad force occupied Astorga (Livermore, 1966).


In a raid on Muslim lands Alfonso II entered Lisbon but could not occupy it (Livermore, 1966).

800 – 810

Rebellion broke out in the fringes of Al-Andalus (Lisbon, Merida, Toledo) (Livermore, 1966). Each rebellion was bloodily suppressed by the central authorities.


Louis the Pious of France conquered Barcelona (Collins, 1983). This was the beginning of Spanish March.


Revolt of Banu Qasi in Tudela was suppressed (Collins, 1983).


Frankish conquered Pamplona (Collins, 1983).


Franks failed to take Tortosa (Collins, 1983).


A Umayyad prince defeated and executed Tumlus – a Muslim rebel who had seized power in Lisbon some years before (Livermore, 1966).


Franks suppressed a revolt in Pamplona (Collins, 1983).


Pamplona rebelled again and Basques destroyed a Frankish army at the second Battle of Roncesvalles (Collins, 1983). Kingdom of Pamplona was established.


Muslims attempted to invade Christian territory from Coimbra and Viseu but were driven back (Livermore, 1966).


Bernard of Septimania held Barcelona against Gothic rebels (who have Umayyad assistance) (Collins, 1983).


First mention of the tomb of St. James in Compostela.


Muslims attempted to invade Christian territory from Coimbra and Viseu but were driven back (Livermore, 1966).


Vikings raided the Galician estuaries, were defeated by Ramiro I, attacked Lisbon, and sacked Seville (Collins, 1983; but Livermore,1966, says 840).

Battle of Clavijo. Legendary battle between Christians (commanded by Ramiro I) and Moslems, where St. James helped the Christian Army.


William, son of Bernard of Septimania, seized Barcelona (Collins, 1983).


Ordoño I became King of Asturias in Oviedo. Beginning of repopulation. Rise of the county of Castile.


Vikings raided Andalucian coast (Collins, 1983). They captured and ransomed King Garcia of Pamplona.

Ordoño I of Asturias defeated Musa ibn Musa at Albelda (Collins, 1983).


Alfonso III the Great became King of Asturias.


Vimara Peres rebuilt Portucale thus establishing a Christian presence on the Duero and effectively starting the county of Portugal (Livermore,1966).

870 or 888

Battle of Padura/Arrigorriaga between the Basques (Lope Fortún, first lord of Biscay and Sancho de Estigiz, lord of Durango) and Leónese (prince Ordoño, son of the king Alfonso the great, and the future king Ordoño II).


Many revolts occurred in Al-Andalus (Collins, 1983).


Alfonso III disposed by his sons yet also proclaimed Emperor.


Battle of S. Esteban de Gormaz. León (Ordoño II) defeated a Muslim army (Emir Abd el-Rahman III).


Battle of Talavera where Muslims (Abd el-Rahman III) defeated the Leónese.


Battle of Valdejunquera where Muslims (Abd el-Rahman III) defeated the Leónese (again).


Abd-Al-Rahman III proclaimed caliph in Cordoba (Collins, 1983).


Battle of Osma where Castilian-Leónese troops (count Fernán González) defeated a Muslim army (Abd el-Rahman III).


Battle of Simancas where León (Ramiro II) defeated Muslims (Abd el-Rahman III) (Collins, 1983).

Chrisitians ?? defeated Al-nasir at Alhandega (Kennedy, 1996).


The county of Castile became independent.


Vikings raided Galicia again (Collins, 1983; but Livermore,1966, says 968). They killed the biship of Stantiago in battle, but his successor, St Rudesind, rallied the local forces and killed Gundered the Viking King.


Another minor Viking raid (Collins, 1983).


A Cordoban expedition under Ibn Tumlus crushed a rebellion in Seville (Kennedy, 1996).


Caliph al-Hakan al-Mustansir died on 1 Oct and al-Mansur took over in the name of his protégé Hisham. The Christians took advantage of the resulting confusion and commence raided into Muslim territory.


Al-Mansur volunteers to lead the army against the Christians and was successful (Kennedy, 1996).


Al-Mansur defeated his old friend Ghalib in a confused battle near Atienz (Jul) (Kennedy, 1996). Al-Mansur force included Berbers (at least 600 men under Jafar ibn Ali ibn Hamdun aka Ibn al-Andalusi), Christian mercenaries, and Andalusian troops from Zaragoza under Man ibn Abd al-Aziz al-Tujibi. Ghalib’s force includes Andalusians and a Castilian contingent under their Count (Garcia Fernandez). Ghalib was killed in the battle. Al-Mansur subsequently killd off both Ibn al-Andalusi and Man al-Tujibi.


After failing in a rebellion in the Maghreb the Berber Chief Zawi ibn Ziri, of the Tunisian royal family, brought a formidable force of Sanhaja horsemen to join Al-Mansur. However, they were not allowed to cross the straits for many years (sometime 1002-1008).


Al-Mansur sacked Barcelona (Collins, 1983; Kennedy, 1996; Menéndez, 1934).


Al-Mansur burnt down the monastery of San Cugat de Valles.


Al-Mansur laid waste to the now Christian Coimbra (Livermore,1966).


Al-Mansur razed León to the ground (Collins, 1983). He sacked Leon, Zamora, and Sahagun, and set fire to the great monasteries of Eslonza and Sahagun.


Al-Mansur seized Osma.


Despite stout resistance by the Beni-Gomez – Christian counts of Saldaña, Liebana, Carrion, and Zamora – Al-Mansur destroyed their capital, the city of Santa maria de Carrion.


Al-Mansur seized the castles north of the Duero, and destroyed the Church of Santiago (Collins, 1983; Kennedy, 1996; Livermore, 1966; Menéndez, 1934).


Wadih, a Slav and the best Andalusian commander of the time, took Fez in Morocco with a large force.


Muslimes briefly attempted to establish a garrison at Zamora (Kennedy, 1996).


Sancho Garcia, Count of Castile, inflicted major losses on the Muslims and nearly clinched a remarkable victory (Kennedy, 1996).


Al-Mansur raided into La Rioja, was defeated by a coalition of Christian armies at the Battle of Calatañazor, and died on his return to Cordoba (Menéndez, 1934). Power in Al-Andalus was subsequently divided between the old Arab nobility, the Berber mercenaries, and the “Slavs” (slaves).


Al-Muzaffar (Al-Mansur’s son) conducted the annual raids against the Christians (Kennedy, 1996).


Muslims laid waste to León (Menéndez, 1934).


Collins, R. (1983). Early Medieval Spain: Unity in Diversity, 400-1000 [2nd ed.]. NY: St. Martin’s Press.

Heath, I. (1980). Armies of the Dark Ages 600-1066 (2nd ed.). Wargames Research Group.

Kennedy, H. (1996). Muslim Spain and Portugal: A political history of al-Andalus. London: Longman.

Livermore, H. V. (1966). A New History of Portugal. Cambridge University Press.

Menéndez Pidal, R. (1934). The Cid and his Spain [H. Sutherland Trans.]. Frank Cass.

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