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[文化博览] 【整理】2012-11-19 风情南西班牙 The Moorish South —13

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[Homework]【整理】2012-11-19 风情南西班牙 The Moorish South —13

What you really notice about this space is the way in which every square inch has been decorated. Now that's unique and it would become one of the hallmarks of Spanish-Islamic art. It's almost as if they developed a terror of empty space.
But the glory of Madinat al-Zahara was to be shortlived. Less than 100 years after work on the palace began, it lay in ruins. In the 11th century civil war engulfed Al Andalus. The Dynasty of Abd al-Rahman, rulers for nearly 300 years, was overthrown. Madinat al-Zahara was sacked and looted. The Golden Age was over.
So why did this golden moment come to an end? Well, some blame fierce political rivalry between the various Islamic tribes that made up Muslim Spain from the start. Others say it was due to corruption within the caliphate itself. But my own favorite explanation was given by the greatest Spanish-Arab historian of the time. It's wonderful as the orange grove theory of history. He said that any society is doomed once it becomes wealthy enough, and therefore sedentary enough to plant orange trees. Maybe in the end they were just undone by their own success.
In 1031, Al Andalus split into dozens of self-governing city states, fighting amongst each other for territory and power. But things were to get far worse. I've come to the city of Seville, two hours' drive to the west of Cordoba. In the 11th century, this became the most important city in Spain, home to a new set of Arab rulers.


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