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â– Hiftory of
The king¬
dom of
Ah. Sco.
of Charles
the Great.
An. 921
Exploits of
a Saracen
An, 979.
die 'capital of his dominions, in order to be in a better
condition to defend the flat country, which he now de¬
termined to people.
In the year 850, the power of the Saracens received
smother blow by the rife, of the kingdom of Navarre.
This kingdom, we are told, took its origin from an ac¬
cidental meeting of gentlemen, to the number of 600,
at the tomb of an hermit named Jo/in, who had died
among the Pyrenees. At this place, where they had
met on account of the fuppofed fan&ity of the decea-
fed, they took occaflon to converfeon the cruelty of the
Moors, the miferies to which the country was expofed,
and the glory that would refult from throwing off their
yoke ; which, they fuppofed, might eafily be done, by
reafon of the ftrength of their country. On mature
deliberation, the project was approved ^ one Don Garcias
Ximenes was appointed king, as being of illuftrious
birth, and looked upon as a perfon of great abilities.
He recovered Ainfa, one of the principal towns of the
country, out of the hands of the infidels, and his fuc-
cefifor Don Garcias Inigas extended his territories as far
as Bifcay j however, the Moors ftill pofleffed Portugal,
Murcia, Andalufia, Valencia, Granada, Tortofa, with
the interior part of the country as far as the mountains
of Caftile and Zaragoza. Their internal dilfenfions,
which revived after the death of Abdoulrabman, con¬
tributed greatly to reduce the power of the infidels in
general. In 778, Charles the Great being invited by
fome difcontented Moorilh governors, entered Spain
with two great armies } one palling through Catalonia,
and the other through Navarre, where he pufhed his
conquefts as far as the Ebro. On his return he was
attacked and defeated by the Moors; though this did
not hinder him from keeping pofleflion of all thofe
places he had already reduced. At this time he feems
to have been mafier of Navarre: however, in 831 Count
Azner, revolting from Ptpin fon to the emperor Louis,
aflerted the independency of Navarre } but the fovereigns
did not affume the title of kings till the time of Don
Garcias, who began to reign in 857.
In the mean time, the kingdom founded by Don
Pelagio, now called the kingdom of Leon and Oviedo,
continued to increafe rapidly in ftrength, and many
advantages were gained over the Moors, who having-
two enemies to contend with, loft ground every day.
In 921, however, they gained a great vidlory over the
united forces of Navarre and Leon, by which the whole
force of the Chriftians in Spain muft have been entirely
broken, had not the viftors conducted their affairs fo
wretchedly, that they fuffered themfelves to be almoft
entirely cut in pieces by the remains of the Chriftian
army. In fhort, the Chriftians became at length fo ter¬
rible to the Moors, that it is probable they could not
long have kept their footing in Spain, had not a great
general, named Mohammed Eb?i Amir Almattzor, ap¬
peared, in 979, to fupport their finking caufe. This
man was vifir to the king of Cordova, and being ex¬
ceedingly provoked againft the Chriftians on account of
what his countrymen had fuffered from them, made war
with the molt implacable fury. He took the city of
Leon, murdered the inhabitants, and reduced the houfes
to allies. Barcelona fliared the fame fate ; Caftile was
reduced to a defert j Gallicia and Portugal ravaged;
and he is faid to have overcome the Chriftians in fifty
different engagements. At laft, having taken and
An ic
demoliflied the city of Compuftella, and carried off in
triumph the gates of the church of St James, a flux
happened to break out among his troops, which the fu-
perftitious Chriftians fuppoied to be a divine judgment
on account of his laciilege. Taking it for granted,
therefore, that the Moors were now entirely deftitute of
all heavenly aid, they fell upon them with fuch fury in
the next engagement, that all the valour and conduft of He is d* I
Aimanzor could not prevent a defeat. Overcome withfeated, J
ftiame and defpair at this misfortune, he defired his fol- ftarveskil
lowers to ftiift for themfelves, while he himfelf retired^10
to Medina Coeli, and put an end to his life by abftinence
in the year 998. 61
During this period a new Chriftian principality ap- Rife of
peared in Spain, namely that of Caftile, which is now
divided into the Old and New Caftile. The Old*
Caftile was recovered long before that called the New.
It was feparated from the kingdom of Leon on one fide
by fome little rivers; on the other, it was bounded by
the Afturias, Bifcay, and the province of Rioja. On
the fijuth it had the mountains of Segovia and Avila;
thus lying in the middle between the Chriftian king¬
dom of Leon and Oviedo, and the Moorilh kingdom of
Cordova. Hence this diftrift foon became an objeft of
contention between the kings of Leon and thofe of
Cordova ; and as the former were generally victorious,
fome of the principal Caftilian nobility retained their
independence under the proteftion of the Chriftian
kings, even when the power oi the Moors was at its
greateft height. In 884, wre firft hear of Don Rodri¬
guez affuming the title of count of Cafile, though it
does not appear that either his territory or title were
given him by the king of Leon. Neverthelefs, this
monarch having taken upon him to punilh fome of the
Caftilian lords as rebels, the inhabitants made a formal
renunciation of their allegiance, and let up a new kind
of government. The fupreme power was now veiled
in two perfons of quality ftyled judges ; however, this
method did not long continue to give, latisfadflion, and
the fovereignty was once more veiled in a fingle perfon.
By degrees Caftile fell entirely under the power of the
kings of Leon and Oviedo; and, in 1037, Don San-
cho bellowed it on his eldeft fon Don Ferdinand, with
the title of king; and thus the territories of Caiiile
were firft firmly united to thofe of Leon and Oviedo,
and the fovereigns -were thenceforth ftyled kings of Leon
and Cafile.
Befides all thefe, another Chriftian kingdom was fetg;feof
up in Spain about the beginning of the nth century. Aragon,
This was the kingdom of .Aragon. The inhabitants Al1, If
were very brave, and lovers of liberty, fo that it is pro¬
bable they had in fome degree maintained their inde¬
pendence, even when the power of the Moors was
greateft. The hiflory of Aragon, however, during
its infancy, is much lefs known than that of any of 63
the others hitherto mentioned. We are only affured,State
that about the year 1035, Don Sancho, furnamed the
Great, king of Navarre, ere61ed Aragon into a king-ning 0| t
dom in favour of his fon Don Ramiro, and afterwards nth cm
it became very powerful. At this time, then, we maytury.
imagine the continent of Spain divided into two unequal
parts by a ftraight line drawn from call to weft, from
the coafts of Valencia to a little below the mouth of the
Douro. The country north of this belonged to the
Chriftians, who, as yet, had the fmalleft and leaft valu¬

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