Parution : Eduardo Manzano Moreno, The Court of the Caliphate of al-Andalus. Four Years in Umayyad Córdoba, Endinburgh University Press, 2023


The Court of the Caliphate of al-Andalus
Four Years in Umayyad Córdoba

Eduardo Manzano Moreno
Translated by Jeremy Roe





Offers an in-depth study of the Umayyad Caliphate of al-Andalus in its prime

Provides a comprehensive study of the caliphate of Cordoba based on the ‘annals’ by ‘Īsà b. Aḥmad al-Rāzī and other Arab sources relating to the period
Brings together textual evidence with the archaeological record to produce a vivid description of the social formation of al-Andalus in this period
Analyses the structure and operation of a centralised ‘state’ in the High Middle Ages
Examines the legitimisation of power and authority in an Islamicate social formation
Offers a rigorous study of the Caliphate of Cordoba, which is usually the subject of idealised views with little historical base
Makes accessible to English-speaking audiences the huge advance of recent historical studies on the Umayyad caliphate

During the second half of the 10th/4th century, the Umayyad caliphate of al-Andalus became a powerful political formation in Western Europe. Described by the contemporary German nun Hrotsvitha as the ‘ornament of the world’, Cordoba was the destiny of embassies and traders coming from places as far away as Constantinople, the Ottoman empire and Italy. The zenith of this political supremacy coincided with the rule of al-Ḥakam II (961-976 CE), whose name is associated with the enlargement of the mosque of Cordoba, the magnificent palatine city of Madīnat al-Zahrāʼ and the rich caliphal library which housed Arab, Latin and Hebrew manuscripts.

This book is based on an extraordinary source that had never been the subject of a comprehensive study: the annals written by an official and chronicler of the caliph’s court, ‘Īsà b. Aḥmad al-Rāzī, who carefully annotated the big and small events of the court. Used by Ibn Ḥayyān to compose one of the volumes of his celebrated Muqtabis, these ‘annals’ have come to us in a substantial fragment of more than 135 folia that cover the period from June 971 to July 975 CE. This source provides an eye-witness account of the caliphate, which describes with stunning detail all the events, characters, places and narratives of the Umayyad caliphate, and is a fundamental work in helping us to understand the configuration of the Mediterranean in the 10th century CE.


List of Illustrations
Foreword to the English Edition
 1 The Caliphate and the Natural and Human Cycles
 2 The Caliphate’s Resources and Wealth
 3 The Caliph and the Sulṭān
 4 The Armies of the Caliph
 5 The Struggle against the Fāṭimid Caliphate: (I) The Background
 6 The Struggle against the Fāṭimid Caliphate: (II) The Conflict
 7 Defending the Muslims
 8 The Authority of the Caliph
 9 The Representation of Power
10 Córdoba and Madīnat al-Zahrā’: Topography of Power
and Urban Space
Sources and Bibliography

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Chargé de diffusion scientifique (2023, 1 août). Parution : Eduardo Manzano Moreno, The Court of the Caliphate of al-Andalus. Four Years in Umayyad Córdoba, Endinburgh University Press, 2023. IISMM. Consulté le 15 avril 2024, à l’adresse

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