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History and the Historians of Medieval Spain$
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Peter Linehan

Print publication date: 1993

Print ISBN-13: 9780198219453

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198219453.001.0001

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(p.204) 7 1085–1135
History and the Historians of Medieval Spain

Peter Linehan

Oxford University Press

Fifty years and a day separated the reconquest of Toledo from the imperial coronation of Alfonso VII, and between the two events — one perhaps a misnomer, the other certainly the cynosure of generations of myth-makers — most of Christian Spain was in a state of turmoil. In response to the most spectacular Christian provocation in 370 years, the rulers of Andalucia beckoned new Muslim invaders from across the straits to avenge Alfonso VI's recovery of the old Visigothic capital, and the Almoravids were not slow in responding. Their crushing victory at Sagrajas (Zalaca) in October 1086 might have been one of the Great Battles of History, the prelude to a new epic encounter north of the Pyrenees for which in the late 1080s a Charles Martel-less Europe was singularly unprepared. Why at the very least Christian Spain did not experience a repeat of the events of the early 8th century only what is politely described as the contingency theory of history can explain.

Keywords:   coronation, Christian Spain, Muslim invaders, Alfonso VI, Almoravids, Toledo

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