In this series we cover the rise of Islamic Spain or Al-Andalus followed by the gradual reconquest of Spain by the Spanish Christian Kingdoms. 

  1. Episode 1 Introduction

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    We take a look at the Iberian peninsular from Roman rule to the establishment of the Visigoths. 

  2. Episode 2 The final years of the Visigoths

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    We examine the lead up to the battle of 711 and the final years of Visigothic rule.

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    Episode 3 The Battle of 711

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    We discuss the Battle of 711, which brought the Muslim conquerers to the Iberian peninsula.


    Following the Muslim victory, someone hid the treasures of the Visigothic Kings at a place called Guerrazar, near Toledo.  The hiding place was so effective that the treasure remained hidden for over 1000 years.  Thankfully it was rediscovered in 1858 and pieces of the find are now on display in Paris and Madrid.

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    Episode 4 Securing Muslim rule

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    We explore how the Muslim invaders were able to consolidate their hold on the Iberian peninsula.


    One of the reasons why the Muslim invaders were ultimately successful, was the raft of Roman infrastructure already in place across the peninsula.  One stunning example of this is the Alcantara Bridge.  Already over 600 years old at the time of the Muslim invasion, it is still standing today - nearly 2000 years after it was constructed.

  5. Episode 5 Shifting power: 740-750

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    The Muslim rulers of Al-Andalus put down a Berber uprising, only to face some bigger problems caused by some troublesome newcomers.

  6. Episode 6 Abd al-Rahman

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    The last surviving member of the Umayyad dynasty makes his way to al-Andalus.

  7. Episode 7 Hisham

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    Abd al-Rahman died in 788.  Which one of his three sons will succeed him?

  8. Episode 8 al-Hakam

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    We cover the lengthy reign of al-Hakam then journey to the northern coast of the Iberian Peninsula where some independent Christian states are beginning to emerge.

  9. Episode 9 The Kingdom of Asturias

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    We take a look at the creation of the tiny rebel Christian Kingdom of Asturias.

  10. Episode 10 The early 800s: a snapshot

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    We take a look at the Iberian peninsula after 100 or so years of Muslim rule.

  11. Episode 11 Abd al-Rahman II

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    We take up the narrative in the year 822 and welcome a new Emir to the stage, Abd al-Rahman II, who faces a new threat in the form of the Vikings.

  12. Episode 12 Christianity during the rule of Abd al-Rahman II :

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    We take a look at the effect of the colourful reign of Abd al-Rahman II on the Christians of al-Andalus

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    Episode 13 Christianity during the rule of Abd al-Rahman II :

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    We see how Christians who left al-Andalus for the northern Christian regions during the rule of Abd al-Rahman II affected the places they settled in.  We also take a closer look at the Basque region.


    One example of Arabic culture being transferred from al-Andalus to the north, comes in the form of illustrations by Magius, a Christian artist who left Cordoba and settled in the Kingdom of Asturias.  The pictures he drew for a copy of a manuscript by Beatus of Liebana depict clear Arabic influences.

  14. Episode 14 Muhammad I

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    The rule of Abd al-Rahman II comes to an end and we welcome a new Emir to al-Andalus.

  15. Episode 15 King Alfonso III of Asturias

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    While the Emir of al-Andalus Muhammad I is busy trying to control the rebellions breaking out across his territory, a new threat emerges in the form of King Alphonso III of Asturias. 

  16. Episode 16 The rebel of Bobastro

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    While King Alfonso III of Asturias continues his programme of expansion in the north of the Iberian peninsula, a new rebel leader emerges to the south of Cordoba.

  17. Episode 17 Abd-Allah

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    The new Emir Abd-Allah begins his lengthy and disastrous period of rule in al-Andalus.

  18. Episode 18 Abd al-Rahman III

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    We welcome a new Emir to al-Andalus.

  19. Episode 19 The Caliph Part 1

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    Abd al-Rahman III orders construction to commence on an enormous new palace complex near Cordoba.

  20. Episode 20 The Caliph Part 2

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    Abd al-Rahman III continues his wildly successful period of rule.

  21. Episode 21 al-Hakam II

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    We take a look at the influence of the respected Jewish scholar Hasdai ibn Shaprut and see how al-Hakam II fared as the new Caliph of al-Andalus.

  22. Episode 22 Trouble brewing

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    When al-Hakam II suffers a downturn in his health, an ambitious palace official senses an opportunity.

  23. Episode 23 Al-Mansur Part 1

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    With the Caliphate in a vulnerable state, al-Mansur plots his own rise to power.

  24. Episode 24 Al-Mansur Part 2

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    Having taken control of the adminstration of al-Andalus, al-Mansur turns his attention to the Caliphate's military forces, a move which will bring him into direct conflict with his father-in-law Ghalib.

  25. Episode 25 Al-Mansur Part 3

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    Al-Mansur reaches the height of his power and celebrates by launching an attack against the heart of the Christian north - the sacred site of Santiago de Compostela.

  26. Episode 26 After al-Mansur

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    We examine the legacy of the twenty year long period of rule by al-Mansur following his death in 1002.  Will his son and successor Abd al-Malik be able to rule the Caliphate as effectively as his father?

  27. Episode 27 Sanchuelo

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    We take a look at the short but disastrous rule of the latest person to rule al-Andalus on behalf of the Caliph, Sanchuelo.

  28. Episode 28 The end of the Caliphate

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    The Caliphate stumbles from crisis to crisis before collapsing completely, while the Caliph Hisham II makes a surprise return.

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    Episode 29 The Kingdom of Navarre

    We track developments in the Kingdom of Navarre, up until the end of the Caliphate.


    King Sancho III of Navarre (aka Sancho el Major or Sancho the Great) was responible for extending the borders of his tiny Kingdom across the Christian North, over the Pyrenees into modern day France and down to Barcelona on the Mediterranean coast.  His sucesses will pave the way for the establishment of the kingdom of Aragon and the Kingdom of Castile.