Thursday, June 9, 2016

Queen Isabella and the Invasion of Europe

 Surrender of Granada
 The Muslim Surrender of Granada to Fernando and Isabella, 1492

If the Western world ever becomes serious on how to deal with the current, mostly Muslim, invasion of its once sacred soil, all it needs to do is to look to its glorious past.  In particular, it should examine the heroic actions of one of its greatest figures, Isabella of Castile. This is why the historian William Thomas Walsh entitled his magisterial biography of the queen, Isabella of Spain: The Last Crusader.
While the Reconquista was not directed at securing access to the Holy Land and Jerusalem as earlier Crusades had attempted, the ridding of the Spanish peninsula of Muslim power was a definite part of what Jonathan Riley-Smith calls the “paraphernalia of crusading:”
. . . with the union of Aragon and Castile in the
persons of Ferdinand and Isabella in 1479 and
the resurgence of crusading ideas that had followed
the loss of Constantinople the Spanish court, with
Isabella taking the lead, began to seethe with fervour,
nationalistic as well as religious.  The paraphernalia
of crusading – papal letters and crusading privileges –
were in evidence.  [Jonathan Riley-Smith,
The Crusades: A History, p. 312

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