|Muslim Conquest of Spain|
700 CE, with famine in the Toledo, strife among the aristocracy and chaos
throughout the peninsula, the Visigothic kingdom was falling apart. This paved
the way for the Muslim invasion of 711, which set Spainís destiny quite apart
from the rest of Europe.
the death of the Prophet (saaw) in 632 CE, the Arabs had spread through the
Middle East and North Africa, bringing Islam with them. According to myth, they
were ushered onto the Iberian Peninsula by the sexual exploits of the last
Visigoth king, Roderick. Ballads and chronicles relate how he had seduced the
young Florinda, daughter of Julian, Visigothic governor of Ceuta in north
Africa: and how Julian sought revenge by approaching the Muslims with a plan to
invade Spain. In dull fact, Julian probably just wanted help in a struggle for
the Visigoth throne.
711 CE Tariq ibn Ziyad, the governor of Tangiers, landed in Gibraltar with
around 10,000 men, mostly Berbers (indigenous North Africans). He had some of
Roderickís Visigoth rivals as allies. In the same or following year in the
Cadiz province, Roderickís army was decimated and he is thought to have
drowned as he fled. The Visigothic survivors fled to the north of Spain, and
within a few years, the Muslims had taken over the rest of the Iberian Peninsula
bar a few areas in the Asturian Mountains bordering France.