Talk:List of Umayyad governors of al-Andalus

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Maybe list of Umayyad rulers of al-Andalus?[edit]

Because it doesn't only cover the governors, but also the independent emirs and later caliphs. HaEr48 (talk) 23:50, 9 January 2017 (UTC)

Yes - that or split the page. The Caliphs were fully independent and the most powerful monarchs on the peninsula and it minimizes this role to simply call them governors. 50.37.117.209 (talk) 03:33, 3 March 2017 (UTC)

OK. Tried to fix the ambiguity between dependent governors and independent governors. Better now? Or does it still need tweaking? Walrasiad (talk) 17:28, 3 March 2017 (UTC)

No. While a 'Governor' is technically 'one who governs', in standard usage it has the connotation of a regional administrator. The Wali of the Upper, Middle and Lower March were governors. The closest thing to Emir and Caliph would be King and Emperor, and you would not normally produce a 'List of governors of England' or 'List of governors of the Byzantine Empire'. One of two things needs to be done - either the page needs to be renamed to 'rulers' or something similarly broad, or it needs to be split in order to separate the true Governors from the Emirs and Caliphs. 50.37.117.209 (talk) 19:32, 3 March 2017 (UTC)

But the first half are regional administrators. That was the point of constructing this list page to begin with. We needed a list of the regional administrators. The problem is once you have a page that lists the "Umayyad governors of al-Andalus", then it is likely to be confused by readers with the later independent Umayyad rulers. I really would prefer not to have the last half at all, but I included them in to clarify they were different period & different people. Anyone who looks up "Umayyad al-Andalus" and comes here might not be able to tell the difference and be misled. "Rulers" will definitely not do for the list page as a whole, as the first half were not rulers, but governors properly speaking. Problem of splitting it into two pages is that it runs into the original problem I faced - how to avoid confusing people who look up "Umayyad Al-Andalus" or something like that? Listing both dependent governors and independent rulers of the same piece of territory on the same page seemed the best solution, as it covers both types of inquiries. As long as the distinction is clear, it is not too scandalous. I did a similar thing with Ifriqiya. If you have a better solution, I'm all ears. (P.S. "Emir" is not king, it means "Commander" or "Leader"; its closest equivalent in English usage is probably "Lord"; it is generically used at many levels - anyone from a local chieftain to a two-bit army commander to a great independent ruler is called "Emir". "Malik" is king.) Walrasiad (talk) 02:19, 4 March 2017 (UTC)

The best way to deal with this is to put a hatnote at the top of the governors page saying that if the reader is interested in the Emirs and Caliphs of Cordoba, rulers of Al-Andalus, then they should go to List of rulers of al-Andalus, which would then contain the Emirs and Caliphs. It is a bad idea to put a list under an inappropriate or misleading namespace, just because someone might use the wrong search terms or go to the wrong place by mistake. It is better to put them under more appropriately named pages and use redirects and hatnotes to get the confused searchers to the right place.
(And for your P.S. I wasn't trying to give a precise translation of the word - I was trying to put it into context, giving the closest thing in status. The Emirs of Cordoba were the premier monarchs of the peninsula, above the 'walis' (governors), just as the Kings of Great Britain were (and in some cases still are) above the Governors of Canada, the American Colonies, Australia, etc., so calling an Emir a Governor is like calling a King a Governor. The Emirs of Cordoba considered themselves superior in status to the Maliks of Pamplona, but you translate the terms precisely into English with Commander or Lord vs King and you give the opposite impression. Using 'Lord' is particularly problematic, as is also used to translate sahib (and sayyed as well): in the early 9th century, the 'sahibs' of the Basques occupied a status below that of the 'maliks' of Asturias, who were in turn below that of the 'emirs', meaning Lords would confusingly apply to the levels both above and below Kings. Sometimes it is worth abandoning word-for-word precision in favor of giving flavor of things.) 50.37.115.224 (talk) 05:23, 4 March 2017 (UTC)

I hear you. I want to agree. I really do. But I am not convinced that is the best solution. You assume too much of our readers. The distinction between "governor" and "ruler" is subtle and not clear - "to rule" and "to govern" are synonyms, and they often translate to the same word in other languages, and not all readers are native English speakers. You're expecting 14-year-olds writing a book report to be able to grasp the distinction, or asking them to go through multiple clicks and multiple pages to sort it all out. Is it not easier to just sort it out for them, neatly and succinctly, on a single page?

(To say nothing of the actual de jure status of the "Emir of Cordoba" is itself ambiguous - it can be argued he was legally just a "governor", even if de facto independent. What about Ibn al-Fihri and others who were just as de facto independent - a "governor" or a "ruler"?)

Another functional concern is linking from other pages. I might carelessly write in another article "Umayyad governor" when meaning an independent ruler, or "Umayyad ruler" in reference to a dependent governor, or even just "Umayyad lord" or "Umayyad emir" which can go either way, and end up linking to the wrong page. So we will likely have to have a myriad of redirects and a disambiguation page regardless. Why not just disambiguate here?

This is really what this is after all. A disambiguation list for anyone who links or searches the terms "Umayyad al-Andalus", not a comprehensive list of rulers of al-Andalus, Umayyad or otherwise. I think a "List of rulers of al-Andalus" should probably exist - and that would include not only Umayyads but also others, like Almoravids, Almohads, etc. This list is just for disambiguation. It is not the happiest page, but it is a necessary page.

I would prefer to change the title - if you find it too misleading - than to split it into multiple articles. Walrasiad (talk) 18:47, 4 March 2017 (UTC)