中古时代的西班牙是一个对比鲜明的世界。它由一个 多种族的社会构成，融合了拉丁人 犹太人，基督徒，阿拉伯人和穆斯林影响成了一个唯一的而且是富裕的文化。同时，然而，很多这些文化力量是暴力地冲突。当两个文化冲突，其结果经常是糟糕的。再次征服拖延
[外文]The Spanish (712 On)
The history of Spain in the Middle Ages is written in three principal chapters: the creation
of Visigothic Spain, then Muslim Spain, and then Reconquista, the reconquest of Spain by
The Iberian peninsula was an appendage of the Roman Empire that was discarded as the empire
disintegrated because it could not be defended in the face of barbarian invasions that
brought devastation to the streets of Rome itself. The peninsula was occupied in large part
by one of the migrating barbarian groups, the Visigoths, who had come most recently from the
southwestern plains of modern Russia, displaced by the Huns. The Visigoths became Christian
and occupied the center of the peninsula for several centuries.
When one of the Visigoth lords appealed to Muslims in North Africa in the 8th century for
aid against the king, the door was opened for Muslim expansion across the Straits of
Gibraltar. Within 50 years the Muslims had taken most of the peninsula, leaving only small
areas in the mountains and to the north outside their control. Muslim, or Moorish, Spain
quickly developed into one of the most advanced European civilizations of the Middle Ages.
It prospered in relative peace thanks to good agriculture, trade, coinage, and industry. It
benefited from the spread of learning throughout the Muslim world. Cordoba became the
largest and most sophisticated city in Europe after Constantinople, featuring a population
of over 500,000, wonderful architecture, great works of art, a fabulous library, and
important centers of learning.
Peace and prosperity were disrupted by internal disruption, however, as important local
rulers competed for overall power, and by external attack, both from the Christian north and
Muslim North Africa. By the middle of the 13th century, Muslim Spain was reduced to a single
kingdom centered on Granada. The Christian kingdoms of the north gradually ate away at
Muslim power, though their effort was often dispersed when they fought with each other.
Portugal split off and created a separate kingdom. Muslim Granada survived for several
centuries thanks to liberal tribute paid to the Christians to its north and to clever
diplomacy that played their enemies against each other. In 1469, however, Isabel I of
Castile married Fernando II of Aragon, uniting the two competing Christian kingdoms and
foreshadowing the end of Muslim Spain.
Spain of the Middle Ages was a world of contrasts. It featured the great advantages of a
multi-ethnic society, merging Latin, Jewish, Christian, Arab, and Muslim influences into a
unique and rich culture. At the same time, however, many of these same cultural forces
clashed violently. When two different cultures clash, the result is often grim. The
reconquest dragged on for eight centuries, mirroring the Crusades in the holy land and
creating an atmosphere that became increasingly pitiless and intolerant. The Christian
warriors who eventually expelled the Muslims earned a reputation for being among the best
fighters in Europe.
Granada fell to the forces of Aragon and Castile at the start of 1492, a momentous year, as
under the patronage of Queen Isabel, Christopher Columbus subsequently discovered for
Europeans the great continents of the New World and their native populations.[/外文]