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Taifa Kingdoms

Historical Overview Section

The taifas were the independent Muslim principalities of the Iberian Peninsula (modern Portugal and Spain), referred to by Muslims as al-Andalus, that emerged from the decline and fall of the Umayyad Caliphate of Cordoba between 1009 and 1031. They were a recurring feature of al-Andalus history. Conquered by the Almoravids in the late 11th century, on its collapse many taifas re-appeared only to be subsumed by the Almohads. The fall of the latter resulted in a final flourishing of the taifas, but by the end of the 13th century only one remained, Granada, the rest being incorporated into the Christian states of the north.

The origins of the taifas lie in the administrative division of the Umayyad Caliphate of Córdoba, divided among Arabs, Berbers, Iberian Muslims and the Eastern European former slaves. During the late 11th century the Christian rulers of the northern Iberian peninsula set out to retake the Christian lands that had been conquered by Muslims. The caliphate of Cordoba, at this time among the richest and most powerful states in Europe, underwent civil war, known as fitna. As a result, it broke into taifas, small rival emirates fighting among themselves.

There was a second period when taifas grew in power toward the middle of the 12th century, when the Almoravid rulers were in decline. During the heyday of the taifas, in the 11th century and again in the mid 12th century, their emirs (rulers) competed among themselves, not only militarily but also for cultural prestige.

Due to their military weakness, taifa princes appealed for North African warriors to come fight Christian kings on two occasions. The Almoravid dynasty was invited after the fall of Toledo (1085), and the Almohad Caliphate after the fall of Lisbon (1147). These warriors did not in fact help the taifa emirs but rather annexed their lands to their own North African empires.

Taifas often hired Christian mercenaries to fight neighbouring realms (both Christian and Muslim). The most dynamic taifa, which conquered most of its neighbours before the Almoravid invasion, was Seville. Zaragoza was also very powerful and expansive, but inhibited by the neighbouring Christian states of the Pyrenees. Zaragoza, Toledo, and Badajoz had previously been the border military districts of the Caliphate. El Cid led the armies of Zaragoza and other Taifas.

Using the army in ADLG

  • El Cid or the Almughavars - both interesting choices!
  • Plenty of cheap Arab lancers can give this punch, but the Knights are even better

User-contributed links about this army. Add links in this format:

as an example

Army Lists

Sample army lists for this army
V4 - Richards List
Ordinary Included Unreliable
1 Christian knights escorting general Medium knight impact Elite
3 Christian knights Medium knight impact Elite
1 Berber horsemen Light cavalry javelin ------
==
Competent
1 Berber horsemen Light cavalry javelin
2 Arab Horsemen Medium cavalry impact
2 African spearmen Medium spearmen
1 Berbers Javelinmen
1 Christian crossbowmen Crossbowmen
1 Andalusian archers Bowmen
1 Andalusian archers Light infantry bow
==
El Cid
3 Berber horsemen Medium cavalry javelin ----
4 Berber & Andalusian spearmen Heavy spearmen missile support Mediocre
1 Christian crossbowmen Crossbowmen ----
1 Andalusian archers Bowmen ----
2 Andalusian archers Light infantry bow ----

Daves List V4
Competent
4 knights medium knight impetuous
2 berber horsemen medium cavalry javelin
2 Berber horsemen Light cavalry javelin
==
Brilliant
2 knights medium knight impetuous elite
2 almughavars medium spearmen impact elite
2 javelinmen Javelinmen ------
1 crossbowmen Crossbowmen ------
1 bowmen bowmen mediocre
2 light foot bow Light infantry bow ----
==
Ordinary Unreliable
2 Berber & Andalusian spearmen Heavy spearmen mediocre
2 replaced christian spearmen Heavy spearmen ------
1 crossbowmen Crossbowmen ----
1 bowmen Bowmen mediocre
2 Andalusian archers Light infantry bow ----

Tims List V4
El Cid
4 Christian Knights Medium Knight Impact Elite
1 Light Infantry Bow Light Infantry Bow ------
2 Heavy Spearmen Heavy Spearmen Support Mediocre
1 Arab Horsemen Medium Cavalry Impact ----
1 Berber Horsemen light cavalry javelin ----
==
Competent
2 Berber Horsmen Light Cavalry Javelin ------
2 Berber Horsemen Medium Cavalry Javelin ------
2 African Spearmen Medium Spearmen ------
2 Berbers Light Infantry Javelin ------
2 Berber Spearmen Heavy Spearmen Support Mediocre
1 Christian Crossbowmen Crossbowmen ------
1 Bowmen Bowmen Mediocre
==
Ordinary Included
1 Arab Horsemen Heavy Cavalry Impact
1 Arab Horsemen Medium Cavalry Impact
2 Berber Horsemen light cavalry javelin

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