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Alliances between Islamic Spain and North Africa

The divided and ambiguous allegiances of the numerous Islamic dynasties in Spain enabled the Christian forces from the north to overtake many Muslim territories. However, with military assistance from the North African Almoravid dynasty (1062–1147), which was also Muslim, al-Andalus was able to successfully drive out the Christian forces temporarily. This victory prompted a period of cultural, political, and artistic unity in North Africa and southern Spain that is evident in the shared visual vocabulary of the architecture and decorative arts. The Almohads (1130–1269), also a North African Berber dynasty, replaced the Almoravids by 1150 and came to control much of al-Andalus, establishing capitals at both Marrakesh in Morocco and Seville in Spain. After the Castilian and Aragonese armies of the North defeated the Almohads, Southern Spain again entered a period of warring principalities.


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Textile fragment

The lesson plan related to Court Arts of Islamic Spain features a fourteenth-century silk textile fragment.