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In the years prior to and somewhat after this confusing conflict al Mutawakkil (Umar al Aftas), taifa King of Badajoz, established a most brilliant and educated court. Poets and people of science were the benefactors of al Mutawakkil. Although Cordova was the initial center of the arts and sciences, Badajoz under al Mutawakkil soon became equal to, if not superior to, Cordova.

 

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Of course the anti-free thinker of Cordova, Ibn Abi Amir, had already done severe damage to Cordova with his sacking of its libraries.

Poets in Badajoz, as in other Islamic courts, were revered and often forged ahead as they became educated in various areas of administration. One such poet was Ibn Abdun, the writer of the elegy “The Abduniyyah”, who was also famous for his skill at memorization. Ibn Abdun has also been documented for his work in the administration of the marketplace. His treatises included the placement of vendors with relation to each other and the quality/specifications required of leather strapped/cork soled shoes that were to be sold in the marketplace.

Al Mutawakill also saw to it that a great library was built in Badajoz and the best encyclopedia of Islamic Spain was also assembled there. However, the threat of Alfonso VI continued.

 

Tomorrow: Yusuf ibn Tashufin

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