Abbadid dynasty

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For the Baghdad dynasty, see Abbasid Caliphate; for the south-west Arabia Muslim sect, see Abādites.

The Abbadid dynasty or Abbadids (Arabic,بنو عباد) was an Arab Muslim Dynasty which arose in Al-Andalus on the downfall of the Caliphate of Cordoba (756–1031). Abbadid rule lasted from about 1023 until 1095,[1] but during the short period of its existence it exhibited singular energy and typified its time.

Abu al-Qasim Muhammad ibn Abbad (ruled 1023–1042)[edit]

Abu al-Qasim Muhammad ibn Abbad (ruled 1023–1042), the qadi of Seville, founded the house in 1023.[1] He functioned as the chief of an Arab family settled in the city from the first days of the conquest. The Beni-abbad had not previously played a major role in history, though they were of noble pedigree, hailing from Bani Lakhm, the historical kings of Al-Hira in south-central Iraq. The family also did have considerable wealth.

Al-Qasim gained the confidence of the townsmen by organizing a successful resistance to the Berber soldiers of fortune who had grasped at the fragments of the caliphate. At first, he professed to rule only with the advice of a council formed of the nobles, but when his power became established, he dispensed with this show of republican government, and then gave himself the appearance of a legitimate title by protecting an impostor who professed to be the caliph Hisham II.

When al-Qasim died in 1042 he had created a state, which, though weak in itself, appeared strong as compared to the little powers about it. He had made his family the recognized leaders of the Andalusian Muslims against the neo-Berber element arrayed under the king of Granada.

Abbad II al-Mu'tadid (ruled 1042–1069)[edit]

Abbad II al-Mu'tadid (1042–1069),[1] the son and successor of al-Qasim, became one of the most remarkable figures in Iberian Muslim history. He had a striking resemblance to the Italian princes of the later Middle Ages and the early Renaissance, of the stamp of Filippo Maria Visconti.

Abbad wrote poetry and loved literature; he also appears as a poisoner, a drinker of wine, a sceptic, and a man treacherous to the utmost degree. Though he waged war all through his reign, he himself very rarely appeared in the field, but directed the generals, whom he never trusted, from his "lair" in the fortified palace, the Alcázar of Seville. He killed with his own hand one of his sons who had rebelled against him. In 1053, he trapped a number of his enemies, the Berber chiefs of southern Al-Andulas, into visiting him, and got rid of them by smothering them in the hot room of a bath. He then seized their kingdoms of Arcos, Moron, and Ronda. He also forcibly annexed the kingdoms of Mertola, Niebla, Huelva and Saltes, Santa Maria do Algarve, and Silves[1]

He habitually preserved the skulls of the enemies he had killed—those of the meaner men to use as flower-pots, while those of the princes he kept in special chests. He devoted his reign mainly to extending his power at the expense of his smaller neighbours, and in conflicts with his chief rival the king of Granada. These incessant wars weakened the Muslims, to the great advantage of the rising power of the Christian kings of León and Castile, but they gave the kingdom of Seville a certain superiority over the other little states. After 1063 Fernando El Magno of Castile and León assailed him, marched to the gates of Seville, and forced him to pay tribute.

Muhammad al-Mu'tamid (ruled 1069–1095)[edit]

Main article: Al-Mu'tamid ibn Abbad
Coin minted during the reign of al-Mutamid

The son of Abbad II, Muhammad al-Mu'tamid (1069-1095) — who reigned by the title of Al-Mu'tamid — was the third and last of the Abbadids.[1] A no less remarkable person than his father, and much more amiable, he also wrote poetry and favoured poets. Al-Mu'tamid went, however, considerably further in patronage of literature than his father, for he chose as his favourite and prime minister the poet Ibn Ammar. In the end, the vanity and feather-headedness of Ibn Ammar drove his master to kill him.

Al-Mu'tamid came even more under the influence of his favourite wife, Romaica (also spelt Rumayqiyya in Seville tradition), even more than that of his vizier. He had met her paddling in the Guadalquivir, purchased her from her master, and made her his wife. The caprices of Romaica, and the lavish extravagance of Abbad III in his efforts to please her, form the subject of many stories, like a brief tale on the queen Rumayqiyya appears on the book 'Libro de los ejemplos del Conde Lucanor y de Patronio (Book of the examples of Count Lucanor and Patronio), as the tale XXX, De lo que aconteció al rey Abenabed de Sevilla con su mujer, Ramaiquía (Of What Happened to King Abenabed of Seville with his Wife, Ramaiquía). On the other side all those stories about Ibn Ammar and Rumaiqiyya appear in much later western sources and probably are product of imagination.

In 1071, he took control of Cordoba. This was a weak period of control as he had to re-assert control in 1078 and then lost it permanently in 1081.[1] During this period his vizier Ibn Ámmar captured Murcia.

When Alfonso VI, from Castile, took Toledo in 1085, Al-Mu'tamid called in Yusuf ibn Tashfin, the Berber Almoravid ruler. He had foreseen probability that Almoravids may overthrow him, nevertheless he choose to ally with them. When his son, Rashid, advised him not to call on Yusuf ibn Tashfin, Al-Mu'tamid rebuffed him and famously said

I have no desire to be branded by my descendants as the man who delivered al-Andalus as prey to the infidels. I am loath to have my name cursed in every Muslim pulpit. And, for my part, I would rather be a camel-driver in Africa than a swineherd in Castile.[2]

During the six years which preceded his deposition in 1095, Abbad behaved with valour on the field, but with much meanness and political folly. At the end what he had foreseen happened to him. In 1095 his kingdom was overthrown by Yusuf ibn Tashfin and Almoravid sympathizers within his city and he was deposed. He was exiled to Morocco[1]

Al-Mu'tamid was the father-in-law, through his son, Fath al-Mamun (d. 1091), of Zaida, mistress, and possibly wife, of Alfonso VI of Castile.[3] She is said by Iberian Muslim sources to have been the daughter-in-law of Al Mutamid, the Muslim King of Seville, wife of his son Abu al Fatah al Ma'Mun, Emir of Cordoba,[4] (d. 1091). Later Iberian Christian chroniclers call her Al Mutamid's daughter, but the Islamic chroniclers are considered more reliable.[5] With the fall of Seville to the Almoravids, she fled to the protection of Alfonso VI of Castile, becoming his mistress, converting to Christianity and taking the baptismal name of Isabel.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Abbadid". Encyclopedia Britannica. I: A-Ak - Bayes (15th ed.). Chicago, IL: Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc. 2010. p. 8. ISBN 978-1-59339-837-8. 
  2. ^ The Poems of Mu'tamid, King of Seville - Dulcie Lawrence Smith - Adobe Reader PDF eBook - eBookMall eBooks
  3. ^ Bernard F. Reilly, The Contest of Christian and Muslim Spain, 1031-1157, (Blackwell, 1995), 92.
  4. ^ Cawley, Medieval Lands; Canal Sánchez-Pagín; Lévi-Provençal; Montaner Frutos; Palencia; Salazar y Acha
  5. ^ a b Canal Sánchez-Pagín; Montaner Frutos; Palencia; Salazar y Acha
Attribution

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Abbadides". Encyclopædia Britannica 1 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 8–9.  Endnotes:

  • Dozy, Histoire des Musulmans d'Espagne, Leiden, 1861;
  • and Historia Abbadidarum (Scriptorum Arabum loci de Abbadidio), Leiden, 1846