Biography of Ibn Mardanis (1124-1172)

Ruler of the Arab Spain, born in Peñíscola in 1124 and died in Murcia in 1172, better known by the nickname of "The Wolf King", who was to become King of all the eastern part of al - Andalus.

Was member of an aristocratic family of muladis (Christians who converted to Islam in the 8th century), whose original last name could be derived from Martínez or Mardonius, from the taifa of Zaragoza, who were forced to emigrate to the East, due to the increasing pressure, practising the Christian weapons.

Mundane, liberal and tastes a both Libertines, Ibn Mardanis was a controversial figure in his time, since their attempts to maintain political independence against the Almohads and the Christian armies, become you representative of Andalusian nationalism that was constant during the second and third taifa, coincident with the final periods of the Almoravid and Almohad Empires respectively. However, he/she had no qualms about using the Christians, with alliances or paying mercenaries, even to the detriment of the coffers of his own realm, which caused quite a few upsets among his contemporaries.

He was a skilled strategist, intelligent and generous, whose political activity began in 1146, when he/she succeeded his uncle in the Government of Valencia - who had shared with Ibn Iyad-. As proclaimed King independent from Murcia, took advantage of the frequent upheavals that occurred in neighboring territories to weave a protective shield that isolate his Kingdom of direct contact with the Almohads. To consolidate his Kingdom it was unthinkable to have only the Andalusian population, so he/she sought to gain the services of mercenaries Christians, who became the body of elite of their armies.

When in 1165, Ibn Mardanis besieged Cordoba, the response of the Almohads was swift; They penetrated from Granada to the very heart of the Kingdom of Mardanis in a series of raids that devastated its territory. This circumstance was joined by the discontent of a population exhausted by war and taxes, so the Almohads were gaining ground. When his brother, Yusuf Ibn Mardanis, gave the plaza of Valencia, understanding the inevitable end that awaited him, Ibn Mardanis sought to ensure respect for their lives and property in Exchange for his submission to his descendants to the Almohads. Served its purpose, it came to die March 27, 1172 in Murcia.