Main content

The Almoravid Empire

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the Berber people who dominated the western Maghreb and the south of the Iberian Peninsula from C11th, defending Al-Andalus from Christian attack.

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the Berber people who grew to dominate the western Maghreb, founded Marrakesh and took control of Al-Andalus. They were desert people, wearing veils over their faces to keep out the sand, and they wanted a simpler form of Islam. They called themselves the Murabitun, the people who gathered together to fight the holy war, and they were tough fighters; the Spanish knight El Cid fought them and lost, and the legend that built around him said the Almoravids were terrible and had to be resisted. They kept back the Christians of northern Spain, so helping extend Muslim rule in the Iberian Peninsula, before they themselves were destroyed and replaced by their rivals, the Almohads, from the Atlas Mountains.

The image above shows the interior of the cupola, Almoravid Koubba, Marrakesh (C11th)

With

Amira K Bennison
Professor in the History and Culture of the Maghreb at the University of Cambridge

Nicola Clarke
Lecturer in the History of the Islamic World at Newcastle University

And

Hugh Kennedy
Professor of Arabic at SOAS, University of London

Producer: Simon Tillotson.

Available now

43 minutes

Last on

Thu 3 May 2018 21:30

LINKS AND FURTHER READING

Amira K Bennison at the University of Cambridge

Nicola Clarke at Newcastle University

Hugh Kennedy at SOAS, University of London

Almoravid dynasty – Wikipedia

 

READING LIST:

Amira K. Bennison, The Almoravid and Almohad Empires (Edinburgh University Press, 2016)

Hugh Kennedy, Muslim Spain and Portugal: A Political History of al-Andalus (Longman, 1996)

Ronald Messier, The Almoravids and the Meanings of Jihad (Praeger, 2010)

Credits

Role Contributor
Presenter Melvyn Bragg
Interviewed Guest Amira K Bennison
Interviewed Guest Hugh Kennedy
Interviewed Guest Nicola Clarke
Producer Simon Tillotson

Broadcasts

Featured in...

The In Our Time Quiz of the Year

The In Our Time Quiz of the Year

How much do you remember from our programmes of 2018?

The In Our Time Listeners' Top 10

The In Our Time Listeners' Top 10

If you’re new to In Our Time, this is a good place to start.

In Our Time podcasts

In Our Time podcasts

Every episode of In Our Time is available to download.

Arts and Ideas podcast

Arts and Ideas podcast

Download the best of Radio 3's Free Thinking programme.

Podcast