|Faction Overview||Moors in Rise of Chivalry||Moors in Renovatio Europam|
|Faction Type: Muslim|
Suggestions and spoilers
- Strengths: Excellent cultural bonuses involving extra wonders and enhanced food production; enhanced raiding abilities.
- Weaknesses: UUs have little or no armour, no Imperial Era infantry or cavalry.
The Moors have access to several different unique units: the zanji archer, and a Murabit swordsman line. These units like those of the Saracens have poor armour stats, but make it up for being faster on foot and able to resist attrition, making them good as support units to your javelin cavalry. Use the unique Muslim technologies available to you at your house of worship and you Nobles' Court to improve your civilisation further, so you can use your faction's unique units — particularly infantry — better.The Moors' bonuses and lineup of unique units make for Dark Age rushing and raiding. The fast moving and ranged attacks of Iberian skirmishers make for an ideal rushing unit. These units are not only good in a rush, but also as a defensive or countering force, as they will beat all other likely rush units, such as shield bearers and cavalry. They also are adept at sea warfare in the Imperial Era. The multicultural heritage of the Moors comes to be a boon again, as you can create the "corsair" line, consisting of the Fusta and the Baghlah. At sea, Fustas and Baghalat are cheaper than the War Galleys and Brigantines of your western foes, and are also faster and deal more damage. Moreover, since your late-game light ship line have no requirement for politics, the Moors may research Absolutism from the Senate in order to create a well-rounded Imperial navy, consisting of their powerful light ship lines and Lantern Galleys, the latter being the best warship to use for amphibious assaults.
The Moors' inherent cultural advantage is in their ability to build Wonders, and build more farms. They will need to take advantage of these in order to collect the bonuses afforded by these structures and the earlier the better, as the Moors do not possess any inherent economic bonuses. The Moorish player would do well to corner these wonders for its own use (as once a wonder is built they can't be built by another civilisation). They should be helped in accomplishing this task by their ability to build Wonders cheaper. However they will need to be careful to defend their cities so an enemy won't be able to capture those important Wonders. Their farming bonus amounts to a bonus of 40%, which is a huge bonus that should give them plenty of food to age up, and build plenty of troops. The surplus can also be a great asset to trade for other needed resources. Generally, you are advised to build a bigger army to overwhelm opponents as other than your current bonuses, you do not have any inherent military bonuses. However a larger army size and military wonders should be used to offset this — consider obtaining the Magnum Horologium and the Alhambra Complex before any other faction can do so.
- Versatile faction with the ability to select either early rushing or Imperial Era booming.
- Power House — Use your early units like jinetes or zanji bowmen in a rush if possible, but if it looks risky, attempting to build and boom instead may be better.
- Those Who Liveth By The Sword... — In later ages, you can use the Hasham infantry and Jundis to supplement your raiding parties further. They have less armour, but thankfully are faster and cheap enough to be used against infidels who foolishly rely on archery, such as England or Venice, or attrition fields such as Russia.
- It's The Economy, Stupid — Playing defensively, you should accumulate enough of an economic base to create an army that can withstand an invading army through sheer numbers.
- Finding Religion — Like all non-Christian factions, the Moors cannot train advanced barracks and stable units, and must rely on religion to save the day. Research the Muslim unique technologies from your house of worship and (later on) your Nobles' Court to strengthen your productive capabilities and power of your units. The ability to build an extra city is always useful, as is an attrition field or the ability to afford more mercenaries.
Settlements: Cordoba; Granada; Saraqustzah; Melila; Oran; Algiers; Valencia; Rabat; Sammurah; Tunis; Ceuta; Granada; Wadi al Kabir; Wadi al Hijara; Al Qantara; Kerouane; Fez; Ubadah al Arab; Uhsunubah; Arnitz; Alsh; Al Basitz; Batalyaws; Bourmedes; Tzirwal; Jarundah; Danniyah; Balad al Walid; Saris; Saqaban; Annaba; Aghmat; Azilal; Qadis; Mahdia; Qalat Ayub; Majritz; Rundah
Leaders: Muhammad; Tariq ibn Ziyad; Yusuf; Mansur; Hakam; Yaacob; Hisham; Ibn Ahmar; Ali; Yahya; Abdullah; Abbad; Mutamid
Best age(s): All
Even to this day, the history of Andalus remains one of the most fascinating chapters of history. To many Muslims, the mention of Andalus - and many other Moorish cities in Spain - particularly Cordoboa and Granada - still evoke images of the splendour, glory and gracefulness characterised with the so-called "Golden Age of Islam". This romantic view of Islam in Spain doesn't just appeal to Muslims worldwide, but to some Spaniards as well.
Rise of the MuslimsIn 711, a Muslim army under Jabal Tariq ibn Ziyad (whose name Gibraltar was derived from) crossed into Spain, and killed the king of the Visigoths, who until that time had been ruling Iberia since the day they first arrived there.
The height of Muslim civilization in Spain was attained by the Caliphate of Cordoba that lasted from 929 to 1031. The first founder of the Caliphate was Abdurrahman III of the Umayyad Empire, a member of the Umayyads, whose position in Damascus had been usurped by the Abassids. Abdurrahman III united several smaller Iberian emirates and then declared independence from the Caliph in Baghdad.
Abdurrahman and the majority of his successors would prove to be enlightened rulers. A vast library was also assembled during the time of Al-Hakam II's rule (961–976), while Muslim scholars in Spain would translate many works of Greek philosophy and science into Arabic. Spanish Muslims also made many important discoveries in mathematics, science and philosophy in their own right, adding to the knowledge of mankind, and thus would merit credit for preserving this knowledge which was crucial for the European Renaissance. Tolerance for non-Muslims, in particular those of the Jewish and Christian faith, was also prevalent at this time, although the fortunes of the latter two in Muslim Spain and North Africa would eventually vary on the whims of whichever ruler took sway over the following centuries.
This cultured way of life, in stark contrast to the violent and brutal lives lived by their Christian counterparts to the north and the rest of Europe, would survive even the Umayyad rulers of Cordoba: great thinkers such as Ibn Rushdi, known to the west as Averroes; and Maimonides, an important contributor to Jewish theology and modern philosophy; were all born in Muslim Spain.
Almoravids and Almohads: Imperii ex Africa
Increasing disunity in Islamic Spain would eventually turn the tide on the Muslims, and the Caliphate eventually would fall victim to neglect and civil war. By the end of the 11th century, the Caliphate would cease to exist, having fallen into several kingdoms or "Taifas" at war with one another, while in Africa a new power would emerge: the Murabiteen, or the Almoravids. Originally a sect of fundamentalist Islam that started in Mauritania in the early 11th century, the Almoravids would eventually create an empire that stretched from Granada all the way to Guinea.
Meanwhile, Islam in Spain faced troubled times. Faced with the prospect of having to pay tribute to Christians for their own protection, and the new politics of religious intolerance spread by French clergy in Spanish lands, the kings of Seville (Al-Mutamid) and Badajoz (Al-Mutawakkil) asked the Almoravids for help. It was on this pretext that the Almoravids under Yusuf ibn Tashfin marched north into Muslim Spain and eventually annexed it all as a province of their empire. Almoravid rule was a disaster for most non-Muslims, and for some Muslims too. Under the Umayyad caliphs unconverted Christians and a significant Jewish population enjoyed extensive civil rights and religious tolerance, but as they lost control, pogroms against Jews and Christians alike became more frequent, and the treatment of Muslims particularly by French-influenced elements of the Catholic regimes to the north resulted in retaliation from Muslims too. Nonetheless Almoravid rule was relatively ephemeral, and a new empire, the Muwahhideen, or the Almohads, would rule Islamic Spain from their bases in North Africa well until the early 13th century. Despite the continuation of Islamic Spain's cultural life under the Almoravids and their successors, relations between Muslim authorities and their dhimmisubjects had entered a darker chapter of history. More and more of the Christian population started also to flee into the Christian kingdoms, while Jews would leave Iberia to seek better lives elsewhere such as in Fatimid Egypt, as did Maimonides.
Reconquista: End of the Islamic Era
Meanwhile, Islamic power in Spain was on the wane since after the fall of the Umayyads. While power shifted from one ruling dynasty to another and local Spanish Muslims quarrelled with their Berber rivals, the Christians were making headway. The sacrifice of the Cid helped Toledo to fall the Castillians in 1085; the Almohads were defeated by Christians in 1212 at Navas de Tolosas; Portugal was lost in 1249, and by the beginning of the 15th century all of Spain was back in Christian hands, except for the emirate of Granada.
The final blow came with the marriage between Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragon in 1469, uniting the two most powerful Spanish Christian Kingdoms. They would take the last Muslim hold out of Granada in 1492. after a long 10 year siege. The last sultan, Abu Abdullah Mohammed XII, or known as Boabdil to the Spanish, surrendered the keys of Granada to Ferdinand and Isabella, and went into exile in North Africa. As he wept over the loss of his realm, he was chided by his own mother:
- You weep like a woman for what you could not keep like a man.
All was not lost, however. While the culture of the Moors would eventually inspire other Muslim civilisations of succeeding centuries of what was possible, their culture would filter into Catholic Spain through the Mozarabs, creating the unique culture which is the heritage of all Hispanic peoples worldwide.
- Wells HG et al; A short history of the world (1967 rev ed); Penguin Books
- Nicolle D & McBride A; The Moors: The Islamic West 7th–15th Centuries AD; (2001), Osprey Publishing
- One Dead Angel; Spain — A Guide; Rise of Nations Heaven
- Arte Preromanico; Spanish Pre-Romanesque Art Guide, Phase III: Mozarabic Art