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Extra info for Christianity and Islam in Spain, A.D. 756-1031

Example text

4] This is too sweeping a statement, though it must be allowed that the haughty exclusiveness of the Gothic nobles rendered their yoke peculiarly galling, while the position of their slaves was wretched beyond all example. However, it is not to their civil administration that we wish now to draw attention, but rather to the relations of Church and State under a Gothic administration which was at first Arian and subsequently orthodox. [1] See Milman, "Latin Christianity," vol. iii. p. 60. [2] Dozy, ii.

To the down-trodden slaves, who were very numerous all through Spain, the Moslems came in the character of deliverers. A slave had only to pronounce the simple formula: "There is no God but God, and Mohammed is his Prophet": and he was immediately free. To the Jews the Moslems brought toleration, nay, even influence and power. C. the Jews had never enjoyed such independence and influence as in Spain during the domination of the Arabs. Their genius being thus allowed free scope, they disputed the supremacy in literature and the arts with the Arabs themselves.

3] Cardonne, i. p. 37; Gibbon, vi. 348, note. In 688, that is, in a little more than a generation from the death of Mohammed, the Moslems undertook the siege of Constantinople. Fortunately for the cause of civilisation and of Christendom, this long siege of several years proved unsuccessful, as well as a second attack in 717. But by the latter date the footing in Europe, which the valour of the Byzantines denied them, had already been gained by the expedition into Spain under Tarik in 711. The same year that witnessed the crossing of the Straits of Gibraltar in the West saw also in the East the passage of the Oxus by the eager warriors of Islam.

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