Boabdil Letter Opener


Abu 'abd-Allah, later king Muhammad XII, is known in Spain as Boabdil (a Spanish corruption of his name). He was the 22., and the last, Nasrid ruler of Granada, holding court in the palace of Alhambra. Nasrids had ruled the emirate from 1230 onwards, at the closing centuries of the arab rule of Iberia. That period had started in 711, when Moors, mainly North African Berber soldiers, crossed the Strait of Gibraltar and began their conquest of the Visigothic Kingdom of Hispania. These armies established an arab rule that would last 300 years in much of the Iberian Peninsula and 770 years in Granada.

Al-Andalus eventually suffered from many civil wars, which ended in the division of the califate into smaller kingdoms with no larger-scale vision for the Iberian peninsula. These splits weakened the Moorish presence, and the Christian kingdoms were able to gain territories from the north onwards.
Boabdil was proclaimed king in 1482 but was soon taken prisoner at Lucena. He only obtained his freedom and throne in 1487, after consenting to hold Granada as tribute under Ferdinand and Isabella, the catholic king and queen of Castile and Aragon. He also pledged not to intervene in their further conquests. Soon Granada was the only Muslim city left in Spain. Los Reyes, Ferdinand and Isabella, completed the reconquista with Granada's surrender on January 2, 1492, an event witnessed by Christopher Colombus. Although the end of an era, much of the cultural and historical influence of those arab centuries is still visible on the peninsula.

The gloriously decorated and opulent original sword of Baobdil, the last Moorish king of Spain, is displayed in the Museo del Ejército in Toledo. It is a jineta-type sword, a hispano-arab style with drooping quillions, popular in Granada during the 14th -16th C.

Made by Marto of Toledo. Overall length 26 cm. Silver Finish hilt. Stainless Steel Blade.

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