Christianity and Islam in Spain (756-1031) eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 176 pages of information about Christianity and Islam in Spain (756-1031).

    [3] Presc., “Ferd.,” p. 15.

    [4] Mohammed also imagined celestial aid in battle, see Kor.
    iii., ad init.

    [5] “Rodrigo of Toledo,” iii. p. 4.  Johannes Vasaeus says they
    were the bishops of Tuy and Salamanca.

    [6] Mariana, viii. 5.  See also Ibid., c. 6.

    [7] “Chronicle of Cid” (Southey), p. 371.

Yet, in spite of all this, in spite of the fanaticism which engendered and accompanied it, chivalry proved to be the only common ground on which Christian and Moslem, Arab and European, could meet.  It was in fact a sort of compromise between two incompatible religions mutually accepted by two different races.  Though perhaps not a spiritual religion, it was a social one, and served in some measure to mitigate the horrors of a war of races and creeds.  Chivalry culminated in the Crusades, and Richard I. of England and Saladin were the Achilles and the Hector of a new Iliad.

With this short discussion of the origin and value of chivalry as a compromise between Christianity and Mohammedanism, we will now conclude.  In discussing the relations between Christianity and Mohammedanism, we have been naturally led to compare not only the religions but their adherents, for it is difficult to distinguish between those who profess a creed, and the creed which they profess; but at least we may have thus been enabled to avoid missing any point essential to the proper elucidation of the mutual relations which existed between the two greatest religions of the world, and the influence they had upon each other.

APPENDIX.

A.

THE JEWS IN SPAIN.

The persecution of the Jews by the Gothic Spaniards naturally made them the implacable enemies of the Christians.  Being a very numerous colony in Spain—­for Hadrian had transported thither many thousand families—­the Jews gave the Arabs very effective help in conquering the country, both by betraying places to them, and garrisoning captured towns while the Arabs went on to fresh conquests.  Consequently the relations between the Jews and Moslems were for a long time very cordial, though this cordiality wore off in the course of time.  Their numbers seem to have been considerable under the Moslem occupation, and whole towns were set apart as Jewries.[1]

In France the prejudice against the Jews shewed itself very strongly among the clergy, though Louis I. and his wife Judith favoured them.  They were generally ill-treated, and their slaves were induced by the clergy to be baptized.  Thereupon they became free, as Jews were not allowed to have Christian slaves.[2] But it must be admitted that the Franks had reason for disliking the Jews, as it was well known that they sold Christian children as slaves to the Moslems of Spain.[3]

    [1] Al Makkari, ii. 452.

    [2] Fleury, v. 408.

    [3] Ibid.

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