• AE Learning Blog Team

The Moors and the Conquest of Spain (Part 1)

In 711 AD, an African Berber named Tariq Ibn Ziyad who was the governor of the north-western state of Mauritania led an army of 7000 African soldiers and 300 Arabs into southern Spain in Gibraltar and launched a full-scale invasion and constructed a fortress within Spain itself. Spain was named by the Muslims as Al-Andalus which translates as ‘the land of the vandals’.

The Vandals were the previous rulers of Spain who were from Germany and Scandinavia. The Africans

then increased the army to a total of 14,000 troops with reinforcements from Africa. The ruler of Spain at this time was King Roderic who led a Spanish army of 60,000 soldiers again the Muslim Africans. The African and Arab Islamic force after taking Gibraltar took Cordoba, then moved into central Spain and overtook Toledo, then spread west into Lisdon and east into Valencia. The Muslim army then overran northern Spain and took Zaragoza and by 713 AD the Spanish were defeated and King Roderic was dead. The Africans and the Arabs then divided up the territory amongst themselves with the Africans controlling the northern and central Spanish territory and the Arabs taking the southern regions which was more fertile.