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Alfonso I of Aragon had marched on southern Spain in 1125 A.D., Alfonso III of Castile followed with an invasion of the same area in 1133. The populace of al Andalus, unpleased with these invasions, rebelled against their Almoravid leaders in 1144 A.D..

The Almohads, a group of Berbers who practiced herding in the Atlas mountains of northern Africa, invaded al Andalus.

 

Aben Hacham 1144

 

They ruled, almost in absentia, through a second period of Party Kings. This second era of taifas lasted from 1145 – 1170 A.D..

The Almohads were distracted during this period by a series of constant raids by the Normans.

The Almohad Berbers set foot on al Andalus in great numbers (1146 A.D.). Landing in Algeciras they were not opposed in Jerez de la Frontera; then cutting in a northwesterly and clockwise direction they captured western Extremadura which lay mostly in Portugal. Niebla, then Mertola, followed by Silves and lastly Badajoz was taken. By January 1147 A.D. the Almohads had captured Sevilla with an accompanying massacre. By 1157 A.D. the Almohad empire included Alcantra, Evora, Badajoz, Huelva, Sevilla, Cordoba, Baeza, Cadiz, Malaga, Granada and Almeria.

 

Tomorrow: The Cluny

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