Biography of Hisham II (965-1013)

Third Umayyad Caliph of al - Andalus (976-1009, 1010-1013), son and successor of al-Hakam II (961-976), who was born in the year 965 in Cordoba and died May 18, 1013, allegedly killed by supporters of Sulayman, one of the many pretenders to the throne of Cordoba. His reign was disastrous at all levels, as it began the gradual decline of the cordoban Caliphate state until its total disintegration in the year 1031.

The Council of Regency: the rise of Abu Amir Muhammad

Son of the previous Caliph al - Hakam II, and a favorite of Navarrese origin Subh, two days after the death of his father was enthroned with the honorific title or laqab of al - Muayyad bi-llah (' the one who receives the victorious wing help'), when he was only eleven years old. The saqalibah (Slavic loyal to the Umayyad dynasty palace guard), tried to place on the throne to a brother of the late Caliph, al - Mugirah, but the powerful Chamberlain, al - Mushafi, and was then head of the mercenary troops of Cordoba, Abu Amir Muhammad (future al - Mansur, Almanzor), avoided such purpose to give death to the suitor and by placing on the throne the child Hisham II with the full acquiescence of the religious scholars and the rest of personalities of the Caliphate, which included the Queen Mother Subh, decision clearly harmful for the institution itself Caliphate Cordoba, that from that moment would be private of all power.

Immediately after, both characters formed the Council of Regency, confabulation with the Queen mother who, apparently, was the lover of Abu Amir Muhammad. The young Caliph was placed under direct supervision of the latter, who immediately assumed all the powers of the Caliphate by Hisham II only as a symbolic figure. To hide such blatant maneuver, Abu Amir Muhammad and al - Mushafi proceeded to present the new Caliph in Cordoba village, while the real power was wielded by both characters. Hisham II was retired from public and political scene magnificently held inside the Palace, where he spent all the time occupied in playing with the children of his age. It was only required to stamp his signature on the decrees that Abu Amir Muhammad was happening, including on her own appointment as vizier and administrator of the State, together with Abu al - Hasan, and the appointment of hachib al - Mushafi.

The "captivity" of Hisham II: al - Mansur Caliph of fact

With similar all-in-one on the throne and the Queen Mother on his part, was not Abu Amir Muhammad very difficult to gain absolute control of the Caliphate. But this should rid before any possible opponent, as he did so, and earn the affection and respect of the people. As for the latter, one of the first decrees that ordered the sign the new vizier to the Caliph was the abolition of the burdensome taxes on olives, what filled the people of joy and at the same time greatly increased its estimates for the Vizier.

To get rid of competitors, Abu Amir Muhammad cared very much not to introduce radical changes that fetch him the animosity of the General figures of the Court. Through a series of perfectly contrived intrigues, Abu Amir indisposed to the two most important characters of the Caliphate with him, to the general Galib, who was the most prestigious military of the Caliphate from the glorious times of the Caliph Abd al - Rahman III (912-961), and al - Mushafi Chamberlain. ABI Amir, in a coup, was married to the daughter of the general Galib and both began to conspire against Chamberlain until in 977 they were accused of treason and, immediately, they were imprisoned and executed, road which left free so that the ambitious vizier stayed with the titles of the defenestrated and the prerogatives of the Prime Minister.

From that moment, Abu Amir Muhammad began to print a fierce military dictatorship throughout Al - Andalus. He decided to move the Court to a new instructed Palace build by it for this purpose, the Palace of Medina al - Zahira, while Hisham II remained inside the Palace oblivious to all that was going to his around, guarded by the Berber mercenary troops loyal to the amiri, dedicated to the pleasures and delights himself Al - Mansur he provided, to the extent that Hisham II became a pusillanimous beingcocky, easy to handle and prisoner of his desires of fun like never before had been so no Amir or Caliph of al - Andalus.

Abu Amir Muhammad got rid of the last obstacle or important enemy that he had on the Court, his father-in-law Galib, who eliminated in 981 thanks to the collaboration of the important Berber general crush ibn Hamdun. That same year, Abu Amir Muhammad took the nickname or laqab of al - Mansur ('the victorious', Almanzor of the Christian Chronicles), and ordered will mention your name in prayer on Friday, behind the Caliph, as well as which appear in the Caliphate correspondence, currencies and real embroideries, etc. The last thing ordered was that all the viziers and courtiers kissed her hand as they did with the Caliph.

The successors of al-Mansur

In the year 991, the Almighty Al - Mansur appointed his son of eighteen years, Abd al-Malik, Chamberlain of the Caliphate, which amounted to appoint him as his successor at the head of the designs of al - Andalus. With all the power springs well tied, the reaction of the Queen Mother Subh to restore the power of his son came too late, as Hisham II had become a puppet at the mercy of the amiries.

As expected, when al - Mansur died in Medinaceli in the year 1002, Abd al - Malik took over the Affairs of the Caliphate, aided by Hisham II, who was then already had twenty-six years of age. Hisham II ratified Abd al - Malik in his position as Chamberlain and followed paragraph in regard to political matters in his Golden Palace prison, every day more cancelled by material passions. Abd al - Malik was revealed as a great statesman and soldier, at the height of his father, as demonstrated to abort the new attempt of the saqalibah to overthrow the Caliph and put on the throne to another competent Umayyad, after which virtually annihilated as dangerous faction and of the Mozarabs and muladíes.

Died prematurely Abd al - Malik in 1008, was succeeded by his brother Abd al - Rahman Sanchuelo, who acted contrary to his father and half-brother - but always respected the person and the dignity of the Caliph to not hurt the village religious susceptibility andalusi-, and behaved from the outset with delusions of grandeur and a so eccentric and awkward, which cost him his life and that of the own amiri dynasty. Sanchuelo convinced Hisham II to this being named him Chamberlain with the triple title of al - Mamum Al - Nasir to the Hachib to the-a-la (the loyal, the victorious and the Supreme Chamberlain'). But, not content with that, went further to pretend the footballer Caliphate, forcing the indolent Hisham II to appoint him as his successor by a triple letter signed by the Caliph in his own handwriting.

Such breach of legitimacy and the fact that Hisham II became the most regular Sanchuelo companion in all the orgies and waste that were carried out in the Palace, produced a deep and growing uneasiness throughout the territory of al - Andalus, which immediately took a member of the Umayyad dynasty, Muhammad al - Mahdi, who rebelled at the beginning of 1009 in command of a large army that occupied the caliphal Palace of Córdoba and Hisham II forced to abdicate and eliminating the cocky and incompetent Sanchuelo.

Muhammad's Caliphate lasted hardly a scarce year, since June 23, 1010, it succumbed to the attacks of the Slavic Wadih, which again, said Hisham II on the throne. Hisham II continued to play the role that better knew to do, puppet and comparsa; first with Wadih and, once this was removed, with Abu Wada, until in the year 1013, other Umayyad in struggle for the throne, Sulayman al - Hustain, seized Cordoba after a grueling site that lasted for three years.

With Sulayman in the cordovan throne, Hisham II figure disappeared completely from the political scene of al - Andalus, to the point that no chronicler of the time realizes this fact, nor how he ended his days the notorious Hisham II. One version explains that Hisham II ended his days in the East in a way that is dark, but the most reliable is that says that he was killed in a dark cordovan prison by direct order of the own Sulayman, tired of a Caliph, as grim as it was Hisham II.

Without a doubt, the reign of Hisham II was the worst of all that happened in the history of al - Andalus, because with his passivity and limited political and moral capacity he contributed significantly to the breakup and final death of the once powerful Cordoba State. Just fifteen years later, the political reality of al - Andalus would give a dramatic turnaround with the demise of the Caliphate and the emergence of the so-called Kings of taifa (muluk at tawwif).

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Carlos Herraiz García.