Biography of rey de la taifa de Zaragoza Ahmed I al-Muqtadir (ca. 1020-ca. 1082)

Taifa King of Zaragoza born about 1020 and died to 1082. His reign was the longest among the Kings of Zaragoza and his Kingdom, the largest of the Muslim Spain of his time, had more than half of its frontiers bordering the different Christian States. During the first years of his reign Ahmed went on to unify the country and subsequently Zaragoza became an expansive power that conquered the kingdoms of Tortosa and Denia.

Belonging to the family of the Banu Hud, originally from Arabia and whose first representative in Al - Andalus was Hud, Ahmed was the son of Sulayman Ibn Hud al-Mustasin, who had ruled Zaragoza with the title of al - Haajib between 1039 and 1046 and which had divided his States between his five children; Ahmed received Zaragoza to his father's death in 1046 and took the title of al - Haajib, Imad ad-Dawla and more later Al - Muqtadir Billah.

Ahmed brothers, Lubb, that ruled Huesca, was the only one that remained dependent on Zaragoza; Mundiren Tudela, Calatayud Muhammad and Yusuf al-Muzaffar in Lérida, attempted to govern their heritage in an autonomous way, but the centralist policy of the ruler of Zaragoza through the reunification of the paternal States. Ahmed, according to the chroniclers, used deceit to snatch their kingdoms to his brothers. Before 1051 submitted Tudela and Calatayud, but al - Muzaffar of Lleida was not compliant with relinquishing power to his brother, which caused a long confrontation between the two.

At the beginning of the reign of Ahmed, a fact that illustrates the methods used by the King of Zaragoza in the civil wars against their brethren and the enmity that existed between it and Yusuf al - Muzaffar occurred: the inhabitants of Tudela, who depended on the Governor of Lleida, you asked for help because of the great food shortages faced by. Yusuf met foodstuffs claiming the Tudela and offered to the King of Aragon, Ramiro I, an amount of money for it allowed the convoy with food through their lands from road to Tudela. When Ahmed learned of the agreement the Aragonese monarch offered double the money that her brother had offered so it allowed him to confront al - Muzaffar and Ramiro accepted. According to the Chronicle to al - Bayan confrontation between both armies - Yusuf had sent food accompanied by a large escort of horsemen - occurred in the center of the territories of Ramiro, and the result of the skirmish was the victory of Ahmed, which helped the Aragonese take the loot and took as prisoners the survivors. As a result of this confrontation, the prestige of Ahmed grew enormously. Although the Chronicle does not indicate the date of the event, it seems that this occurred before November 1058, date in which the brothers held an interview to put an end to the wars between the two. Ibn Khaldun also speaks in his Chronicles Alliance that in the year 443 of the Hegira (1051/52) Yusuf with Catalonia and Navarre to attack Zaragoza, but the news is vague and does not give additional information in this regard.

Ahmed Ibn Hud, to ensure the integrity of their territories or to buy the Christian intervention in their clashes, paid outcasts to the different Christian princes between the years 1048 and 1063: put to Ramón Berenguer I of Barcelona, Ramiro I of Aragon, Armengol III of Urgel and Pamplona García; from 1061 also became tributary of Fernando I of Castile.

In November 1058 Ahmed and Yusuf met to negotiate peace, but in the interview, conducted in the territories of Ahmed, King Lleida was attacked by people of Ahmed and he only saved his life through the chainmail he carried under his clothes. According to Ibn Hayyan, Ahmed denied any involvement in the fact and punished the attackers with the death, which avoided all-out war between the brothers, but the enmity between the two continued as before the interview.

Unable to extend his Kingdom at the expense of the fiefdom of Yusuf, Ahmed began an expansive policy to lift. It captured Tortosa after a revolt of its population against the ruling Nabil al-Fatah and the power was delivered to him by the notables of the city. The incorporation of this small Kingdom the taifa of Zaragoza was the annexation of a territory known for its wealth and an important port for trade and the construction and repair of boats. Arab sources disagree on the date of this addition, but in any case, this should occur between 1060 and 1061.

In may 1063 Zaragoza Hudi realm was attacked by Ramiro I of Aragon by his main stronghold: Graus, which along with Barbastro was the outpost of Al - Andalus. Graus had already suffered attacks without success of the Aragonese monarch in the spring of 1055 and returned to be besieged by the King himself in the spring of 1063. Ahmed went to the defense of the city, with the help of the infante Sancho, son of Ramiro I. a young Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar was also part of the hosts of the Zaragoza. In the battle the Aragonese King was killed and victory was Muslim and Castilian allies.

The death of Ramiro I caused a great commotion in Christian Europe, so the Pope Alejandro II preached the crusade against the Muslims of Spain and granted the remission of sins to those who combatiesen against them. The preaching of 1063 Christian mobilization happened the following year, international, attended by mostly French and which were joined by Italian and Catalan. The Christian army was led by Guillermo de Montreuil, gonfaloniero of the Pope; the Catalan faction was headed by Armengol III of Urgel; the French were commanded by Guillermo VIII, count of Poitiers and Duke of Aquitaine; next to them was the adventurer Robert Crespin, baron of lower Normandy, leading to the Normans. The royalists gathered in Graus and departed towards Barbastro in late June of 1064. The city, which was under the influence zone of Yusuf Al - Muzaffar, Lord of Lleida, was abandoned to its fate by his ruling and ended capitulated due to lack of supplies and water.

Loss of Barbastro became the most important issue of the talks throughout Al - Andalus and some writers like Ibn Hayyan blamed Ahmed Ibn Hud. The King of Zaragoza, to get back at these charges, prepared an army to reconquer the city and counted for them with the support of the powerful King of Seville, Abbad Ibn Muhammad al-Mu'tadid and appealed to various Kings taifas of al - Andalus to start the holy war against the conquerors of Barbastro. Army, imbued with a great thirst for revenge for the humiliations that the inhabitants of the city, had suffered before the Christians left Zaragoza at the beginning of April 1065; a month later Barbastro had been recovered for Islam and as a result I Ibn Hud Ahmed was seen throughout Al - Andalus champion and the saviour of Islam and the Zaragoza Hudi Kingdom became stronger and more powerful. From this moment, Ahmed took the honorific title of al - Muqtadir.

1069 Ahmed al - Muqtadir signed an alliance with Sancho García of Navarre with a view to avoid a navarro-aragones attack to the Navarrese King joined with Sancho Ramírez of Aragon. Following the reconquest of Barbastro al - Muqtadir began to extend its authority and to enlarge his Kingdom, gradually incorporating new domains, what did the top mark a new and powerful Kingdom. Coinciding with the lawlessness that broke out in Castile after the defeat of Barbastro, the borders of the Kingdom of Zaragoza were closed against the tentative conquered his enemies, with the exception of some places that were attacked by the Aragonese without results. The danger posed by the strengthening of the Kingdom Hudi Pope Alejandro II took to preaching a new crusade against the domains of al - Muqtadir. After the death of the pontiff in 1073 the crusade was taken up by his successor, Gregory VII. Because of the Alliance between Zaragoza and Pamplona, Sancho Ramírez of Aragon sought support abroad for confront the Kingdom Hudi and found them in France and the Holy See, but the crusade project taken up by Gregorio VII, did not obtain the same foster care that the prior of 1063 and attacks by the Aragonese King against the territories of al - Muqtadir - probably about Huesca - were of low magnitude and with only foreign aid than that He gave his brother-in-law Ebles, baron of champagnes.

In 1076, a series of circumstances made that Ahmed al - Muqtadir were to become ruler of the taifa of Denia: the King of Zaragoza began expeditions against the Kingdom of Denia, governed by Alí Iqbal ad-Dawla, in order to conquer certain strengths and deliver them to his son al - Mundhir; When the Prince deniense heard about the plans of the Zaragoza sent order to the Governors that they handed the squares, but then gave the order to counter and asked to help their allies in Seville and Almeria resist Ahmed; This went to Denia and met with Prince Muizz ad-Dawla, intervening in the negotiations a Minister deniense Ahmed, Ibn Ar-Royolo, which, according to the Chronicles, who was convinced his master to you seize the city, something that happened in March 1076, when the dignitaries of Denia handed power to al - Muqtadir. The new monarch of Denia remained a time in the city to fix certain administrative aspects and then went to Zaragoza bringing Alí Iqbal ad-Dawla, who awarded a small fiefdom that it lived until his death in 1081.

After the annexation of Denia al - Muqtadir he became interested in joining their domains of the Kingdom of Valencia, which at the time was under the orbit of the Kingdom of Toledo, every day more harassed by Alfonso VI of Castile. According to the chronicler Ibn Bassam, nationals of al - Muqtadir accused you of having conquered Denia before Valencia, more important and rich. In not antagonizing the King of Castile, King Hudí gave a sum of money to Alfonso VI to this allowed to annex the Kingdom of Valencia. The Regulus of Valencia, Abu Bakr Ibn Abd al-Aziz had good political recognize the sovereignty of al - Muqtadir over the city (1076), theoretically that prevented ready army to conquer it to enter therein.

During his last years of life, al - Muqtadir got finally annexing the Kingdom of Lleida to possessions, to beat his brother mayor al - Muzaffar and imprisoned him in the castle of Rueda. The Chronicles have not stopped the fact data and is not known the date of the incorporation of Lleida, which should happen between 1078 and 1081; for these years al - Muqtadir also seized Molina de Aragón and Santaver.

Before dying, the King of Zaragoza hosted in your domains to Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar that being expelled from Castile had offered its services to Ramón II of Barcelona and had been rejected, so it traveled to Zaragoza where he offered his sword to his former master in the battle of Graus. In 1081, al - Muqtadir seriously ill and the Government of its States joined their children: Yusuf al-Mutamin was responsible for the Government of Zaragoza, Calatayud, Tudela and Huesca; Al-Mundhir began to reign in Denia, Lleida, Tortosa and monsoon. In this way they became at odds States that al - Muqtadir he had accumulated during his long reign. Ahmed Ibn Hud al - Muqtadir Billah remained theoretical power until 1082, year in which still appears on coins and that was probably that of his death. Arab sources are not in agreement on the date or the cause of his death: Ibn al - Khatib and Ibn Idhari mentioned the year 475 of the Hegira (1082 / 1083); Ibn Abi Zar and Ibn Khaldun say it was in Jumada I of the 474 of the Hegira (October 1081). Moreover, Ibn al - Jatib indicates that the Lord of Zaragoza died from a dog attack, while Ibn Idhari tells that he was the victim of a disease that made him lose the reason.

During his prosperous reign Ahmed al - Muqtadir only coined dirhemes. It was a sovereign lover of culture, which was surrounded in his Court of philosophers and men of letters. It passed to posterity by the construction of the Palace of the Aljafería and beautification of Zaragoza

Bibliography

DOZY, R. Histoire des Muslim d'Espagne juste la conquête de l' Cordoba pas les Almoravides. Paris, 1932.

JOVER ZAMORA, J. M. (dir). "The Taifa kingdoms. Al - Andalus in the 11th century,"in history of Spain Menéndez Pidal, vol. VIII-I. Madrid, Espasa Calpe, 1994.

TÜRK, TO. The Kingdom of Zaragoza in the 11th century of Christ (V of the Hegira). Madrid, 1978