Medieval Arabic Accounts of the Conquest of Cordoba
Like most early Islamic history writing, the tradition surrounding the Muslim conquest of the Iberian Peninsula in 711 is the product of later debates and priorities rather than a true reflection of eighth-century circumstances. Rather than seek to reconstruct what is lost, this article explores what the sources have to tell us about these later priorities: that is, what the authors, their patrons and their wider environment valued in the history that they retold. Its focus is the conquest of Cordoba, narratives about which entered the tradition in the tenth century, as a result of the patronage of history writing by the Umayyad caliphs Abd al-Ra man III (r. 912–61) and al- akam II (r. 961–76). These tenth-century narratives are expressions of both caliphal ideology and the writers' own status in their society.