Biography of Abd al-Rahmán Ibn Sanchul o Sanchuelo (¿-1009)

Military leader of al - Andalus, son of Almanzor born date unknown and died in 1009. He ruled from the death of his half-brother Abd al-Malik Al-Muzaffar in 1008 October until the date of his death just four months later. After his brief reign was the fragmentation of the central power of al - Andalus, initiating the period of civil war or fitna that ended with the demise of the Caliphate of Cordoba and the birth of the first taifa kingdoms.

Son of amiri warlord, Muhammad ibn Abi Ammim al - Mansur, better known with her Christianized name Almanzor, and a daughter of Sancho II Garcés Abarca of Navarre, was known for the Christian chroniclers as Sanchuelo. He came to power under the suspicion of having poisoned his brother, though this theory is not demonstrated, at a time when the situation of the Caliphate of Córdoba was very delicate. The death of Abd al - Malik led to come out to light the deep divisions that exist between Slavs, who were part of the caliphal guard; Arabs, heirs of the tradition; and Berbers, who controlled the army since they were recruited in the Maghreb by Almanzor.

Upon arrival at the Government as a hachib, his powers were absolute, as the legitimate heir of his brother, but his lack of knowledge about the fundamentals that had first his father, then his brother in power was soon demonstrated. Personal friend of Hisham II, shared his fondness for wine and women, behaving sometimes eccentrically and neglecting their duties in the Government with him. One of his first actions was to convince the Caliph to appoint him as his legitimate heir, this was used by his enemies as a weapon, since Arabs and Slavs change of the Umayyad dynasty by the amiri was a serious affront to the established order. Sanchuelo intended to thus unify in his person the spiritual power, theoretically held by the Caliph, and temporary, inherited power from his brother.

His fall was precipitated by the events in the Christian kingdoms in 1008 late. In León, Alfonso V was declared major, following the murder of Mendo González, Regent until this time; and preparing to join Sancho García of Castile, who had defeated in the summer of that same year to Abd al - Malik. Navarre- Sancho III the largest reached the age of majority, since the year 1000 count of Aragon, King of Navarre; and from the year 1018 also would have the power in Sobrarbe and Ribagorza, this was presented as a fierce enemy since he married the eldest daughter of the count of Castile, and was possible to enter part of the anti-Muslim coalition. Faced with dangerous panorama, Sanchuelo decided to prepare for a military campaign in winter, against all the advice he received from his colleagues.

February 15, 1009, taking advantage of the March of Sanchuelo peninsular North, exploded the revolt in Cordoba, instigated primarily by Arabs and Slavs, who had not been able to support the final decision, taken before leaving, amiri leader imposed to all the dignitaries of the Administration the use of the Berber outfit, thus eliminating the traditional Arabic bonnet. This decision in principle irrelevant, supposed an affront very record for Arab dignitaries and Slavs who were in court, since that were of the view that it was intended to remove them from power and that the presence of the Berbers was still greater. The outbreak of violence was led by Muhammad ibn Hisham, whose father had risen against Abd al - Malik in 1006; After taking control of the city and the taking of the Alcázar, Hisham II forced to abdicate and proclaimed himself Caliph under the name of Muhammad II.

Abd al - Rahman ibn Sanchul was in full campaign against Christians, when he learned of the events that occurred in Cordoba, immediately suspended military actions and undertook the return. As he approached with his army to the city it was knowing more details, fear spread among the troops who were leaving him little by little, until it had no choice but to take refuge in a Christian monastery on the banks of the Guadalmellato. The three March 1009, he was found and killed by his enemies. With his death began a period of great instability, since the new Caliph was incapable of controlling social unrest that had been brewing since times of Almanzor. Differences between Berbers and Arabs, Slavs were insurmountable, and their fighting for power caused the division of the central power and the emergence of the kingdoms taifas.


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