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|Abd al-Rahman II |
عبد الرحمن الأوسط
|4th Emir of Córdoba|
|Reign||21 May 822–852|
|Died||852 (aged 59–60)|
Abd ar-Rahman II was born in Toledo, the son of Emir Al-Hakam I. In his youth he took part in the so-called "massacre of the ditch", when from 700 to 5,000 people came to pay homage to the princes who were killed by order of Al-Hakam.
He succeeded his father as Emir of Córdoba in 822 and engaged in nearly continuous warfare against Alfonso II of Asturias, whose southward advance he halted (822–842). In 825, he had a new city, Murcia, built, and proceeded to settle it with Arab loyalists to ensure stability. In 835, he confronted rebellious citizens of Mérida by having a large internal fortress built; again in 837, he suppressed a revolt of Christians and Jews in Toledo via the same measures. He issued a decree by which the Christians were forbidden to seek martyrdom, and he had a Christian synod held to forbid martyrdom.
In 844, Abd ar-Rahman repulsed an assault by Vikings who had disembarked in Cádiz, conquered Seville (with the exception of its citadel) and attacked Córdoba itself. Thereafter he constructed a fleet and naval arsenal at Seville to repel future raids. He may have sent al-Ghazal on a second embassy to the Vikings in Ireland after this.
Abd ar-Rahman was famous for his public building program in Córdoba where he died in 852. He made additions to the Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba. A vigorous and effective frontier warrior, he was also well known as a patron of the arts. He was also involved in the execution of the "Martyrs of Córdoba", and was a Patron of the great composer Ziryab.
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