Who is Al-Mansur/”the Victorious”(938-1002), better known as Almanzor?
He was the real ruler of Muslim Al-Andalus in the late 10th to early 11th centuries. His rule marked the peak of power for Muslim Iberia.Under him Muslim Spain reached its greatest power.
He was born Muhammad Ibn Abi Amir, into a noble Arab family He arrived at the Court of Córdoba as a student studying law and literature and later became manager of the estates of Prince Hisham II.
Caliph Al-Hakim II,who was a practicing homosexual, died in 976 and young Hisham II, aged twelve,came to the throne. Almanzor had a great influence over Subh/Sobeya,the mother of Hisham II,who ruled as regent.It was rumored that he was the lover of Subh,who had been a Christian slave of Basque origin.
The Omeyyad caliphate in Spain began in 929 with Abd ar-Rahman III (889-961) ,its greatest ruler, and ended in 1031.Abd ar-Rahman III is known mostly for building an astonishingly beautiful palace near Cordoba,the capital,called the Medina al-Zarah,where he had 6,000 Christian sex slaves.
Almazor becomes Hajib-Grand Vizier
Two years later in 978 he became Hajib (a title similar to that of Grand Vizier), or Chancellor. During the following three years he consolidated his power with the building of his new palace on the outskirts of Córdoba, Medina al-Zahira, while at the same time completely isolating the young Caliph, who became a virtual prisoner in the the palace called Medina al-Zarah,outside of Cordoba.
The Destruction of the much of the 400,000 Book Library of Caliph Al-Hakim II
Following Al-Hakim II’s death, Al-Mansur had Al-Hakim’s library of “ancient science” books destroyed.In order to please religious fanatics in the kingdom he ordered all the philosophical and scientific books to be burned or destroyed in another way.They were considered anti-Islam.Read:
Read about Al-Hakim II here:
“Caliph Al-Hakim of Muslim Spain,who created a Library of 400,000 Books,was Not a Muslim since he was an Openly Practicing Homosexual”
The military campaigns of Almanzor
Almazor held absolute power by 978 till his death in 1002 as the real ruler,making Subh/Sobeya and Hisham II mere puppets,and he dedicated himself to military campaigns against the Christian states of the peninsula. Hisham II technically ruled from 976 till 1013 but he had no power,he was a puppet.
He organized and took part in 57 campaigns against the Christians from 978-1002, and was victorious in all of them.The 57 wars were for 2 purposes:
1.To get riches from the Christians
2.To get slaves,and the women were to become sex-slaves.
A list of the Christian cities and towns he pillaged and often also destroyed,enslaving its inhabitants
Zamora in 981
Barcelona in 985
Coimbra,Portugal in 987
Sahagun y Eslonza,and Leon in 988
Braga(Portugal) and Santiago de Compostela in 997 (where he destroyed the church believed to contain the bones of James,brother of John the Evangelist,disciple of Jesus, and a martyr killed in 44 AD.He did not destroy the tomb but only the church).
Pamplona in 999
San Millán de la Cogolla in 1002.
After his death,the End of the Caliphate
1.Almanzor was succeeded by his son Abd al-Malik al-Muzaffar, who continued to rule as Hajib until his death in 1008.
2.From 1008 till 1031,the year of the end of the Caliphate,there was civil war and in 1009 a mob utterly destroyed the palace built by Almanzor,the Medina al-Zahira.In 1031 Muslim Spain divided into about 20 little kingdoms called taifas.
3.In 1013 during the civil war a group of Muslims destroyed most of the 400,000 book library created by caliph Al-Hakim II.They also entirely destroyed the Medina al-Zahra,the magnificent palace built by the first caliph.
Almanzor in literature
Almanzor is a major character in the historical novel “The Long Ships” by Swedish author Frans Gunnar Bengtsson. Three chapters of the book take place in Muslim Iberia under Almanzor’s rule, depicted from the point of view of Vikings who are captured by Muslims while on a raid into Spain, serving as galley slaves. Later they become mercenaries in Almanzor’s bodyguard and finally manage to escape back to Denmark after participating in the conquest and sacking of Santiago de Compostella.