Bettany Hughes visits Spain and explores a time when the Moors ruled Europe. 1492, Isabella and Ferdinand celebrate the reconquest of Spain from the Moors. Columbus sets off for the New World once the celebrations are finished. It ended centuries of rule by the Moors in Spain.
They build the Alhambra Palace, one of the most complete Medieval Palaces in the world. It was build according to a mathematical formula. It was based on the laws of proportion. It was one of the most beautiful palaces in Spain when it was occupied.
Sea travel was the way the ancient people got around, and it wasn't as much of a barrier as much as it was a highway. The Berbers invaded Europe from Morrocco and swept up the Iberian peninsula but was turned away in Portieres, France. Hughes demonstrates that the Moorish invasion of Spain isn't as straight forward as it seems. Archeology is demonstrating that history isn't as it seems. The Visigoths and Moors made deals during the invasion. The Visigoths gave their land in exchange for protection.
Hughes, hints at life in the palaces the Moors built. Walls covered with tapestries. Mechanical thrones, mechanical birds. Pools and spacious courtyards. Bowls of mercury that when the light hit them, reflected light through the palace. The European idea of courtly love perhaps found its roots in the culture.
The Moorish rule started to collapse in the 11th Century. Pope Urban called for Holy War and the Catholics in Northern Spain started banding together in order to reconquer Spain. At this point, the Moorish kingdom had broken up into city-states and were no longer united under one king. Now, the Catholics started to conquer each city and expand Spanish control over Iberia.
If you want to find out more about this forgotten chapter of European History, then continue to watch the documentary.
This is a fantastic documentary from Bettany about when Moors ruled the Spanish peninsula. It would be good for documentary for a sub to show in the classroom or for a teacher to do research for a lecture.
For use in the classroom, just highlight, copy and paste into a word or google document. You can format it anyway you want to. All questions can fit onto one page.
You can access the YouTube video here.
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