My rating: 3 of 5 stars
“History of the Moors of Spain” by M Florian
A Review by Robert Bovington
I have read a number of books relating to the Moors’ occupation of Spain including Washington Irving’s excellent “Chronicles of the Conquest of Granada” and “Tales of the Alhambra. “History of the Moors of Spain” by M.Florian is an even more comprehensive account, at times too much so. It sometimes reads like the Book of Genesis with its frequent mention of who beget whom. Despite the occasional tedium, the book is a well-constructed history. It also contains a great deal that I find interesting, particularly the description of the Alhambra and Generalife.
The book has four main sections corresponding to four distinct epochs. The first covers the period 711-750, starting from when Tariq-Ibn-Zeyad and his army crossed the Straits of Gibraltar, which marked the beginning of the Muslim domination in Spain. This period ends with the Umayyad Caliphs of Damascus being relocated in Córdoba. This first section of the book also includes events in Asia and Africa during the 6th & 7th centuries that led to the spread of Islamism prior to the occupation of Iberia.
The second section of the book includes the reigns of the Caliphs in the west: the third relates to the various small Taifa kingdoms erected from the ruins of the Caliphate of Córdoba. The fourth part covers the prominent events in the lives of the rulers of the Kingdom of Granada. It culminates with the final expulsion of the Moors from Spain and, of course, includes the fall of Granada in 1492.
French author M.Florian wrote the book in the 18th century but my Kindle version was published in 1910 and translated into English by an American lady whose name I haven’t been able to ascertain. Anyway, she did a good job and, all in all, this book is comprehensive history of the Moors in Spain.
Roquetas de Mar June 2011
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