Saturday, January 19, 8492
Spain - Muslim Expulsion (1492) - Good Friday
Spain (Spanish: España) or the Kingdom of Spain (Reino de España), is a country located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. The Spanish mainland is bordered to the south and east almost entirely by the Mediterranean Sea (except for a tiny land boundary with Gibraltar); to the north by France, Andorra, and the Bay of Biscay; and to the west by the Atlantic Ocean and Portugal. Spanish territory also includes the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean, the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean off the African coast, and two autonomous cities in North Africa, Ceuta and Melilla, that border Morocco. With an area of 504,030 km², Spain is the second largest country in Western Europe (behind France) and with an average altitude of 650 m, the second highest country in Europe (behind Switzerland).
Spain is a key site when it comes to studying both the arrival of the first hominids recorded in Europe and the prehistoric stage of this continent. Under the Roman Empire, Hispania flourished and became one of the empire's most important regions. During the early Middle Age it came under Germanic rule. Later, nearly the entire peninsula came under Muslim rulers. Through a long process Christian kingdoms in the north gradually rolled back Muslim rule which was finally extinguished in 1492 as well as expelling or killing the Jews or forcing many to convert. That year Columbus reached the Americas, the beginnings of a global empire.
Archeological research at Atapuerca indicates that the Iberian Peninsula was peopled more than a million years ago.
Modern humans in the form of Cro-Magnons began arriving in the Iberian Peninsula through the Pyrenees some 35,000 years ago. The best known artifacts of these prehistoric human settlements are the famous paintings in the Altamira cave of Cantabria in northern Spain, which were created about 15,000 BC. Furthermore, archeological evidence in places like Los Millares in Almería and in El Argar in Murcia suggests that developed cultures existed in the eastern part of the Iberian Peninsula during the late Neolithic and the Bronze Age.
The two main historical peoples of the peninsula were the Iberians and the Celts, the former inhabiting the Mediterranean side from the northeast to the southwest, the latter inhabiting the Atlantic side, in the north and northwest part of the peninsula. In the inner part of the peninsula, where both groups were in contact, a mixed, distinctive, culture was present, known as Celtiberian. In addition, Basques occupied the western area of the Pyrenees mountains. Other ethnic groups existed along the southern coastal areas of present day Andalusia. Among these southern groups there grew the earliest urban culture in the Iberian Peninsula, that of the semi-mythical southern city of Tartessos (perhaps pre-1100 BC) near the location of present-day Cádiz. The flourishing trade in gold and silver between the people of Tartessos and Phoenicians and Greeks is documented in the history of Strabo and in the biblical book of king Solomon. Between about 500 BC and 300 BC, the seafaring Phoenicians and Greeks founded trading colonies all along the Spanish Mediterranean coast. Carthaginians briefly took control of much of the Mediterranean coast in the course of the Punic Wars, until they were eventually defeated and replaced by the Romans.
During the Second Punic War, an expanding Roman Empire captured Carthaginian trading colonies along the Mediterranean coast (from roughly 210 BC to 205 BC), leading to eventual Roman control of nearly the entire Iberian Peninsula -- a control which lasted over 500 years, bound together by law, language, and the Roman road.
The base Celt and Iberian population remained in various stages of Romanisation, and local leaders were admitted into the Roman aristocratic class.
The Romans improved existing cities, such as Lisbon (Olissis bona or 'good for Ulysses') and Tarragona (Tarraco), and established Zaragoza (Caesaraugusta), Mérida (Augusta Emerita), Valencia (Valentia), León ("Legio Septima"), Badajoz ("Pax Augusta"), and Palencia ("Pallas Ateneia").
The peninsula's economy expanded under Roman tutelage. Hispania served as a granary for the Roman market, and its harbors exported gold, wool, olive oil, and wine. Agricultural production increased with the introduction of irrigation projects, some of which remain in use. Emperors Trajan, Theodosius I, and the philosopher Seneca were born in Hispania.
Christianity was introduced into Hispania in the first century CE and it became popular in the cities in the second century CE.
Most of Spain's present languages and religion, and the basis of its laws, originate from this period.
The first Germanic tribes to invade Hispania arrived in the 5th century, as the Roman Empire decayed.
The Visigoths, Suebi, Vandals and Alans arrived in Spain by crossing the Pyrenees mountain range.
The Romanized Visigoths entered Hispania in 415. After the conversion of their monarchy to Roman Catholicism, the Visigothic Kingdom eventually encompassed a great part of the Iberian Peninsula after conquering the disordered Suebic territories in the northwest and Byzantine territories in the southeast.
he Iberian Peninsula was conquered (711-718) by mainly Berber Muslims (see Moors) from North Africa. These conquests were part of the expansion of the Umayyad Islamic Empire.
Only a number of areas in the mountains to the north of the Iberian Peninsula managed to cling to their independence, occupying the areas roughly corresponding to modern Asturias, Navarre and Aragon.
Under Islam, Christians and Jews were recognised as "peoples of the book", and were free to practice their religion, but faced a number of mandatory discriminations and penalties as dhimmis. Conversion to Islam proceeded at a steadily increasing pace. Following the mass conversions in the 10th and 11th centuries it is believed that Muslims came to outnumber Christians in the remaining Muslim controlled areas.
The Muslim community in the Iberian peninsula was itself diverse and beset by social tensions. The Berber people of North Africa, who had provided the bulk of the invading armies, clashed with the Arab leadership from the Middle East.
Over time, large Moorish populations became established, especially in the Guadalquivir River valley, the coastal plain of Valencia, and (towards the end of this period) in the mountainous region of Granada.
Córdoba, the capital of the caliphate, was the largest, richest and most sophisticated city of medieval western Europe.
Mediterranean trade and cultural exchange flourished. Muslims imported a rich intellectual tradition from the Middle East and North Africa. Muslim and Jewish scholars played a great part in reviving and expanding classical Greek learning in Western Europe. The Romanized cultures of the Iberian peninsula interacted with Muslim and Jewish cultures in complex ways, thus giving the region a distinctive culture.
Outside the cities, where the vast majority lived, the land ownership system from Roman times remained largely intact as Muslim leaders rarely dispossessed landowners, and the introduction of new crops and techniques led to a remarkable expansion of agriculture.
However, by the 11th century, Muslim holdings had fractured into rival Taifa kingdoms, allowing the small Christian states the opportunity to greatly enlarge their territories and consolidate their positions.
The arrival of the North African Muslim ruling sects of the Almoravids and the Almohads restored unity upon Muslim holdings, with a stricter, less tolerant application of Islam, but ultimately, after some successes in invading the north, proved unable to resist the increasing military strength of the Christian states.
The term Reconquista ("Reconquest") is used to describe the centuries-long period of expansion of Spain's Christian kingdoms; the Reconquista is viewed as beginning after the battle of Covadonga in 722. The Christian army victory over the Muslim forces lead to the creation of the Christian Kingdom of Asturias. Muslim armies had also moved north of the Pyrenees, but they were defeated at the Battle of Poitiers in France. Subsequently, they retreated to more secure positions south of the Pyrenees with a frontier marked by the Ebro and Duero rivers in Spain. As early as 739 Muslim forces were driven from Galicia, which was to host one of medieval Europe's holiest sites, Santiago de Compostela. A little later Frankish forces established Christian counties south of the Pyrenees; these areas were to grow into kingdoms, in the north-east and the western part of the Pyrenees. These territories included Navarre, Aragon and Catalonia.
The breakup of Al-Andalus into the competing Taifa kingdoms helped the expanding Christian kingdoms. The capture of the central city of Toledo in 1085 largely completed the reconquest of the northern half of Spain.
After a Muslim resurgence in the 12th century, the great Moorish strongholds in the south fell to Christian Spain in the 13th century -- Córdoba in 1236 and Seville in 1248 -- leaving only the Muslim enclave of Granada as a tributary state in the south.
Marinid invasions from north Africa in the 13th and 14th centuries failed to re-establish Muslim rule. Also in the 13th century, the kingdom of Aragon, still ruled by the Catalan count of Barcelona, expanded its reach across the Mediterranean to Sicily.
Around this time the universities of Palencia (1212/1263) and Salamanca (1218/1254) were established; among the earliest in Europe.
In 1469, the crowns of the Christian kingdoms of Castile and Aragon were united (even though both kingdoms kept a high degree of political and economical independence) by the marriage of Isabella and Ferdinand. In 1478 began the final stage of the conquest of Canary Islands and in 1492, these united kingdoms captured Granada, ending the last remnant of a 781-year presence of Islamic rule in the Iberian Peninsula.
The year 1492 also marked the arrival in the New World of Christopher Columbus, during a voyage funded by Isabella. That same year, Spain's Jews were ordered to convert into the Catholicism or face expulsion from Spanish territories during the Spanish Inquisition.
As Renaissance New Monarchs, Isabella and Ferdinand centralized royal power at the expense of local nobility, and the word España - whose root is the ancient name "Hispania" -- began to be used to designate the whole of the two kingdoms.
With their wide-ranging political, legal, religious and military reforms, Spain emerged as the first world power.
In Spain, several very different cultural streams came together in the first centuries of the Christian era: the Roman culture, which was dominant for several hundred years, and which brought with it the music and ideas of Ancient Greece; early Christians, who had their own version of the Roman Rite; the Visigoths, an East Germanic tribe who overran the Iberian peninsula in the fifth century; Jews of the diaspora; and eventually the Arabs, or the Moors as the group was sometimes known. Determining exactly which spices flavored the stew, and in what proportion, is difficult after almost two thousand years, but the result was a number of musical styles and traditions, some of them considerably different from what developed in the rest of Europe.
Isidore of Seville wrote about music in the sixth century. His influences were predominantly Greek, and yet he was an original thinker, and recorded some of the first information about the early music of the Christian church. He perhaps is most famous in music history for declaring that it was not possible to notate sounds—an assertion which reveals his ignorance of the notational system of ancient Greece, so that knowledge had to have been lost by the time he was writing.
Under the Moors, who were usually tolerant of other religions during the seven hundred years of their influence, both Christianity and Judaism, with their associated music and ritual, flourished. Music notation developed in Spain as early as the eighth century (the so-called Visigothic neumes) to notate the chant and other sacred music of the Christian church, but this obscure notation has not yet been deciphered by scholars, and exists only in small fragments. The music of the Christian church in Spain is known as Mozarabic Chant, and developed in isolation, not subject to the enforced codification of Gregorian chant under the guidance of Rome around the time of Charlemagne. At the time of the reconquista, this music was almost entirely extirpated: once Rome had control over the Christians of the Iberian peninsula, the regular Roman rite was imposed, and locally developed sacred music was banned, burned, or otherwise eliminated. The style of Spanish popular songs of the time is presumed to be closely related to the style of Moorish music. Music of the King Alfonso X Cantigas de Santa Maria is considered likely to show influence from Islamic sources. Other important medieval sources include the Codex Calixtinus collection from Santiago de Compostela and the Codex Las Huelgas. The so-called Llibre Vermell de Montserrat (red book) is an important devotional collection from the fourteenth century.
In the early Renaissance, Mateo Flecha el viejo and the Castillian dramatist Juan del Encina rank among the main composers in the post-Ars Nova period. Some renaissance songbooks are the Cancionero de Palacio, the Cancionero de Medinaceli, the Cancionero de Uppsala (it is kept in Carolina Rediviva library), the Cancionero de la Colombina, and the later Cancionero de la Sablonara. The organist Antonio de Cabezón stands out for his keyboard compostions and mastery.
Spain - Andalusian Good Friday
Spain's autonomous regions have their own distinctive folk traditions. A handful of ritual religious musics can be dated back to the Middle Ages and Renaissance.
Andalusia is an autonomous community of Spain. It is the most populous and the second largest, in terms of its land area, of the seventeen autonomous communities of the Kingdom of Spain. The capital and largest city is Seville. The region is divided into eight provinces: Huelva, Sevilla, Cádiz, Córdoba, Málaga, Jaén, Granada and Almería.
Andalusia is located south of the autonomous communities of Extremadura and Castilla-La Mancha; west of the autonomous community of Murcia and the Mediterranean Sea; east of Portugal and the Atlantic Ocean; and north of the Mediterranean Sea, the Strait of Gibraltar, which separates Spain from Morocco, and the Atlantic Ocean. The small British overseas territory of Gibraltar shares a three-quarter-mile land border with the Andalusian province of Cádiz at the eastern end of the Strait of Gibraltar.
Though Andalusia is best known for flamenco music, folk music features a strong musical tradition for gaita rociera (tabor pipe) in Western Andalusia and a distinct violin and plucked-strings band known as panda de verdiales in Málaga.
Good Friday, also called Holy Friday or Great Friday, is the Friday preceding Easter Sunday ("Pascha"). It commemorates the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Golgotha.
Based on the scriptural details of the Sanhedrin Trial of Jesus, and scientific analysis, the Crucifixion of Jesus was most probably on a Friday.
[8495 Sachs / 8492 Spain - Muslim Expulsion / 8491 Henry VIII]