The invading Berbers were north African herdsmen who settled in the hills and mountains of the Extremadura. This created conflict with the indigenous and Roman herdsmen who remained in the area. Feudalism in these northern areas appeared to have advantages and was practiced by both Christians and Muslims. Typical were the fiefs of the Berber soldiers (Junds) who, when settled on a fief, were referred to as “jundis.”
The use of fiefdoms may have been the combined result of climate, geography (elevation), and the remoteness from larger population centers. The larger population centers, around Castile and Catalonia for example, had remote hamlet (aldea) populations of 12 to 60 people and 20 to 90 people, respectively. However, the Extremadura aldeas had much smaller populations averaging between 10 and 20 people.
Tomorrow: “Ibn Marwan al Jilliqi“