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Al-Mansur Ibn Abi Aamir

From Academic Kids

This article is about the Spanish Muslim general and statesman Al-Mansur. There is also an article on the Abbasid Caliph Al Mansur of Baghdad Al Mansur. They were both known as Almanzor in the West

Abu Aamir Muhammad Ibn Abdullah Ibn Abi Aamir, Al-Hajib Al-Mansur أبو عامر محمد بن عبد الله بن أبي عامر الحاجب المنصور (c. 938-August 8, 1002) was the de facto ruler of Al-Andalus in late 10th - early 11th centuries. His rule marked the peak of power for the Muslim Spain.

He was born Muhammad Ibn Abi Aamir into a noble Arab family in the area of Algeciras. First appearing at the court of Cordoba as a student of law and literature, he became manager of the estates of Prince Hisham.

In a few years he schemed his way from this humble position to considerable heights of influence, eliminating his political rivals in the process. Caliph Al-Hakam died in 976 and Ibn Abi Amir was instrumental in securing the succession of the young Hisham II, aged 12, to the throne. Two years later he became hajib (title similar to that of Grand Vizier in the Muslim East), or Prime Minister. During the following three years he consolidated his power, at the same time completely isolating the young Caliph from the outside world in his new palace of al-Madina az-Zahira.

In 981, upon his return to Cordoba from the battle in which he crushed his last remaining rival (and father-in-law, Uthman al-Mushafi), he assumed the title of Al-Mansur bi-llah, Victorious by Grace of God. In Christian Europe this was referred to as Almanzor.

His grip to power within Al-Andalus was now absolute and he dedicated himself to military campaigns against the Christian states of the peninsula. He organized and attended 57 campaigns, and was victorious in all of them.

Although he mainly fought against Len and Castile, in 985 he sacked Barcelona and in 997, Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, although sparing the tomb of St. James the Apostle. He also battled against Navarra.

He married Abda, daughter of Sancho Garcs king of Navarra, who bore him a son by the name of Abd al-Rahman. He was commonly known as Sanchuelo (Little Sancho, in Arabic: Shanjoul).

His victories in the north prompted the Christian rulers of the Peninsula into an alliance against him (ca. 1000). It is fighting this alliance that he spent his last years, until his death, in 1002, on his way back to Cordoba after an attack on the monastery of San Milln de la Cogolla. Almanzor died in the village of Salem, close to Medinaceli in the actual Spanish province of Soria, where his tomb lies.

He was succeeded by his son Abd al-Malik, who continued to rule Al-Andalus as hajib until his death in 1008.

After Abd al-Malik, his ambitious half brother Sanchuelo took over, who tried to take the Caliphate for himself from Hisham, thus plunging the country into a civil war and disintegrating it into rival taifa kingdoms the Christians had no trouble conquering one at a time.

External links

de:Almansor es:Almanzor pl:Al-Mansur Ibn Abi Aamir pt:Almanor

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