On the other hand, Arabic, the official language of the administration and also the only literary language existing in the territory following the decline, or rather the almost total extinction, of the use of Latin, imposed itself as such on the Christians themselves, giving rise to the characteristic phenomenon of the liturgy and Mozarabic literature (see Mozarabs).
The fall of the caliphate and the rise of local dynasties (ryes de las taifas) did not interrupt the course of Arab-Spanish civilization, on the contrary in a certain sense it favored it, as the capitals of the various principalities became centers of art and culture. From this time (11th century) the reconquest movement by the kingdoms of León and Navarre began: the complicated phases of this, leading various Muslim principalities to become allies or to become vassals of the Christian kingdoms, alternating, in numerous cities and in entire regions, Muslim and Christian domination contributed to intensify relations between the two lineages and to create a composite civilization, of great richness and variety, in which the dominant element still remains the Arab, both in the field of culture as well as in other manifestations of civilization concerning economic and social life (agriculture, technology, civil administration:
The domination of the Almoravids (XI-XII centuries), with its marked character of pietistic reaction, did not succeed in abolishing the culture of Spain, which flourished under the Almohads (XII-XIII centuries); the fall of these, marking the definitive dominance of Christians in the Iberian Peninsula, is a prelude to the progressive decline and extinction of Arabism, which however in the following two centuries still gave signs of vigorous vitality, above all during the flourishing of the Naṣrid dynasty (v.) of Grenade. But in the same territory which passed forever to the Christians to the supremacy and then to the exclusive dominion of the language and civilization of Latin origin, the continuity of the Arab culture was opposed, which lasted for a long time, alongside the re-flourishing of the national one, without the contrast between the two was felt to be irreconcilable. The same capital of the kingdom of Castile, Toledo, occupied by Alfonso VI until 1085, remained a predominantly Arab city until the end of the century. XIII and became the center of radiation of Eastern civilization towards Europe, especially during the reign of Alfonso Xel Sabio, under whose auspices numerous Arabic scientific works were translated into Latin and disseminated. Through translations carried out in Spain, the Christian Middle Ages became acquainted with Aristotelian philosophy, and together with it, both in the commentaries and in the original works, the philosophy, and in part also the theology and mysticism, of Islam. Medicine, mathematics, astronomy, alchemy and other sciences have been studied in the West almost exclusively on Spanish Arab authors, or, if belonging to the Islamic East, who came to Europe through Spain; of which the Latin transcriptions of the names of the writers and the titles of the books, which follow the pronunciation of the Arabic of Spain: Algazel, Avicena, Avenpace, Avenzoar, Averroes, etc. are proof of this.
If the influence exerted on Europe by the material civilization and scientific culture of the Arabs of Spain is undisputed, their possible influence on artistic forms that arose in the field of romance literature is still disputed. A literary genre characteristic of Arab Spain, muwashsha ḥ ah and a variety of it called zegel, of which the songbook of Ibn Quzmān (see anabi: Literature, III, pp. 856-57), composed in the language of lively and informed use to a lively impressionism, it was considered the model not only of the romancesSpanish, but also of Provençal lyric which was modified above all by Duke William IX of Aquitaine; to the Arab-Spanish music, through the Cantigas of Alfonso el Sabio, all the secular medieval music would go back; from Muslim mystical poetry, in which the beloved woman is taken as a symbol of the knowledge of God, would derive the conception of the “angelic woman” and of love in Provençal and Italian poetry, and even the general design, as well as many particular episodes, of the Divine Comedythey would draw their inspiration from the theosophy of Ibn ‛Arabī (v.), the famous mystic of Murcia. The controversies that gave rise to this thesis, supported in Spain by the aforementioned Ribera, by M. Asín Palacios (v.) And their school and outside Spain by AR Nykl and others, have not so far brought the problem to a satisfactory solution (perhaps also because often polluted, on both sides, by ill-concealed ambitions of national claims). In any case, the materials and evidence that the supporters of the Arab-Spanish thesis have accumulated are such that it cannot be rejected without discussion.
The continuity of Arab culture in Spain even after the completion of the reconquest is attested by the literature of ‘ aljamía (v.; v. Also died), with which the Moriscos, although Hispanicized than the language, kept praise to writing and religion their fathers: this literature continues in Spain until the definitive expulsion of the Moriscos in 1614, and in Tunisia, where the exiles took refuge, even longer.
T he Christian reconquest. – Scarce and moreover very confused are the news that remain to us on the first centuries of life of the Christian states that arose in the north of the peninsula; and reconstructing their origins and initial events is made even more difficult by the existence of a complex of legends accumulated by the “arrogance of nations”, from which it is not always possible to completely clear the ground. It can only be said with certainty that on the whole the rescue movement was the work of Christians who fled before the Muslim advance and sheltered among populations living in a semi-natural state or for centuries dedicated to banditry and intolerant of any extraneous authority, who excited the conquering war the former or ennobled the enterprises of the others; generally renewed the traditions of independence of the previous monarchical regime and heated, in particular, the political passions of the various regions, which had defended their autonomy since the time of the Roman and Visigothic dominations. Left to themselves, in places neglected by the invader because they were poor and impervious, they could give themselves a political constitution and prepare for the fight. Having engaged this, fortunate circumstances intervened to help them, such as the exodus of the Berbers from the regions located north of the Tagus, which allowed them to take possession of vast territories, and the separatist revolutions of the provincial “renegades”, which not only weakened the Muslim monarchy, but they did rise to its northern frontier of states, due to their limited extension, of less resistance, and due to their origin and nature they are not entirely alien to following a policy of approaching the Catholic monarchies in order to break their ties with the central government. Then, to facilitate their task were added: the collaboration of the Mozarabs, who provided large contingents of colonizers for the uninhabited and conquered territories; the systems of struggle followed by the Muslim central government, which gave little weight to the Christian monarchies or could not destroy them due to its weakness in the periphery which always gave its victorious expeditions the character of raids and even in periods of greater power did not permanently submit to its own he dominated the Christian territories, but limited himself to controlling their political life; finally, the civil discords that broke out between the invaders, which compensated for the disputes that soon arose between the Christian states and within each of them: a sad legacy of the Visigothic domination. Thus the Christian and Muslim states ended up using the same weapons: raids were opposed by other raids, interventions in the internal affairs of individual organisms other interventions. And among them there was often no lack of friendly relations, which led to the creation of alliances between Christians and Muslims against Christians or Muslims, or protection treaties against the threat of one or the other; and attenuating the fervor of the struggle against Christianity among the Mohammedans, even defending the autonomy of this or that Catholic state, and, conversely, allowing the Christian monarchies to participate in and profit from the internal disputes of the Muslim world, they gave way to the latter to consolidate their existence and to advance towards the south. Finally, the Frankish state had great influence in the organization of a large part of the territories preserved or conquered by the Christians, which sometimes even directly intervened, because not only did those bonds between Gaul and Spain that the Visigoths had created survive at the end of the Visigothic domination. and then kept even when in their hands there was nothing left beyond the mountains Septimania, however, were renewed by the Carolingian monarchy, when, turning arms against the Muslims, it assumed the inheritance of the Visigoths in their territories located at the water of the Pyrenees; and because this monarchy was led to secure possession of the passes of the border mountain range in order to better contain the aggressive impetus of the Arabs and thus preserve intact the results achieved in the victorious day of Poitiers.