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sian Empire became a veritable hell upon earth. In this sad plight some of the leading personages in the State invited the Berbers from North Africa to cross the water and quiet the country: so it happened that a body of fanatical Muslims, afterwards known to Spain as the Almoravides (A.D. 1086), commenced measures of "pacification," measures which continued with undiminished success till A.D. 1102, by which date nearly the whole of Muhammadan Spain had passed under their rule. These in turn became demoralised by luxury, and were displaced in A.D. 1145 by the Almohades.

Prominent amidst the many persons who in these troublous times rose to high distinction was Rodrigo Diaz of Bivar, generally known by the appellation of "Cid," which his followers gave him. This doughty warrior, who flourished in the latter half of the eleventh century, is the national hero of Spain, possessing, at any rate in the legends of his day, all the virtues which can ennoble and adorn poor fallen humanity. Whether the apotheosis of the famous warrior was well deserved may perhaps be doubted: but the romance which attaches to his name and reputation is more delightful than the perhaps truer but less attractive narrative which seeks to despoil "My Cid the challenger" of the halo of greatness shining forth in every page of the chronicles of the day. He died in July, A.D. 1099, and they left him in the vault "of San Pedro de Cordena," to quote the language of the Story of the Nations, from which these pages are summarised, "still upright in the ivory chair, still in his princely robes, with the sword Tizona in his hand-still the great Cam

peador whose dinted shield and banner of victory hung desolate over his tomb."

The reign of the fanatical Almohades was brief, owing, in no small measure, to the circumstance that they attempted the impossible task of governing Spain from Africa, by sending deputies from Morocco. The Christians were not backward in seizing their opportunities, but at Badajoz (A.D. 1195), they were signally defeated with heavy loss. However, in A.D. 1212, they had their revenge, and the fatal field of Las Navas, where the Moors are said to have lost something like 600,000 men, was a blow to the Almohades from which they never recovered, and in A.D. 1235 they were finally driven out of the Peninsula.

Little now remained to the Moors in Spain save the kingdom of Granada, where an Arab chieftain known

"Ibn al Ahmar," or the "Son of the Red Man," so called from the fairness of his skin and the colour of his hair, founded a dynasty destined to last for no less than two centuries and a half. Great as was the magnificence of Cordova, its fame was equalled, if not eclipsed, by the glories of its rival, Granada, which has been immortalised by the far famed Red Palace of the "Alhambra," thus named from the colour of the soil which surrounds it. Commenced in the thirteenth century, this wonder of the world was completed in the fourteenth century. Its beauties, its famous Court of the Lions, and little less beautiful Court of the Myrtles, its balconies, its terraced roofs, its lofty battlements are familiar to all readers of Washington Irving's well-known work, which describes his visit to the spot at the commencement of the nineteenth century.



The writing, however, was on the wall. About the year 1481 of the Christian era, the marriage of Ferdinand and Isabella united the provinces of Aragon and Castile, and gave to the Christians of Spain a power of which their dissensions had for a long period of years deprived them. The Moors were keenly alive to the danger to themselves which this alliance was likely to occasion, and resolved to take the initiative by refusing to pay the accustomed tribute. "Tell your sovereigns," such was the fiery language of the Ruler of Granada, "that the kings of Granada who paid tribute are dead; our mint now coins nothing but sword-blades." Thus it happened that once again the dogs of war were let loose on the land. The result was never really in doubt; for though success at first attended the Moorish arms, they were in the end (A.D. 1492) completely vanquished, their king, Boabdil, the "Unlucky (more properly Abu Abdullah), was dethroned, and Granada passed into the possession of the Christian monarchs. "The "The Light of the Alhambra was set for ever.

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From this terrible blow the Moors never recovered, though the end was not yet at hand. For no less a period than a century they resisted all the efforts of the Christians to repress and humiliate them. The fiery fury of the militant Cardinal Ximenes, who had been sent to aid in the work of regeneration, added fuel to the flames. The terrible cruelties of Don John of Austria, who ruthlessly butchered every human being who fell into his clutches, indifferent alike to age and sex, wrought sad havoc among the Moorish insurgents, but it failed to quell the spirit of


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