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Documentary videos chroncling the Islamic influence on modern Europe
March 3, 2007 2:54 PM   Subscribe

An Islamic History of Europe: (90 minute BBC documentary on Google video.) Rageh Omaar uncovers the hidden story of Europe's Islamic past and looks back to a golden age when European civilisation was enriched by Islamic learning. When the Moors Ruled in Europe:(102 minute BBC documentary on Google video.) A look at the Islamic past of Spain and the influence it has on the present.
posted by Burhanistan (15 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite

 
Looks great, i'm looking forward to watching them both.
posted by empath at 3:16 PM on March 3, 2007


I watched "When the Moors Ruled in Europe" a while back on the telee. It was quite good.
posted by bhouston at 3:21 PM on March 3, 2007


Oh, Noooo, I'm so sorry. It's the MOOPS. The correct answer is, The MOOPS.
posted by pruner at 3:31 PM on March 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


pruner, no it was Doris.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:34 PM on March 3, 2007


The Moors had a good run, but an intrepid Iago's treachery put an end to that.
posted by psmealey at 3:49 PM on March 3, 2007


Oh man, you missed the best opportunity ever for a [moor inside]!
posted by Rhomboid at 4:05 PM on March 3, 2007 [2 favorites]


Thanks, Burhanistan! I'm compiling a pop quiz.

Q: One of these is not like the others —
a. Al-Andalus
b. Alhambra
c. Algebra
d. Albundi

posted by rob511 at 5:43 PM on March 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


Oh, I know that one rob511. The answer is D.

He's a shoe salesman.
posted by oddman at 8:50 PM on March 3, 2007


This show is excellent. I saw this a couple of years back and it motivated me to go to Catalunya and Andalusia to see some of the amazing buildings shown here. Highly recommended.

I downloaded it thanks to UKNova - it's usually a little bit ahead of Google Vid.
posted by meehawl at 8:56 PM on March 3, 2007


enjoyed the doco though I would question how 'hidden' this history is... as the guy in Torledo noted, a lot of this stuff has been known and acknowledged for decades. Still, I liked that this was available to watch online and put names to places.
posted by gnomesb at 10:45 PM on March 3, 2007


As gnomesb points out, despite the somewhat breathless take of the "When the Moors ruled Europe", all of this isn't exactly breaking news to the average Spaniard. That the Moors were a civilising influence in Spain has long been acknowledged (how could it be otherwise, looking at the monuments they left behind?) and they haven't been stereotyped as unfairly as the documents would let you believe. The role of "Moor" in those traditional festive reenactments is just as popular, if not even more (flashier clothes, you see) than that of "Christian". That the Cid was pretty ecumenical in his friendships and loyalties is also evident to anyone who reads the medieval epic poem (that is, every Spanish kid, it's compulsory), and his fame came from his loyalty to king, friend and kin, not from "defending the faith", which he never did. Even the '60s film starring Charlton Heston made that very clear (Spain's best historian of its time advised the filmmakers, and it shows: its accuracy puts many far more recent Hollywood efforts to shame).

Spain's most negative stereotypes about Moors are in fact quite recent and go back to a really bloody colonial war in Morocco in the 1920s and to the behaviour of Franco's Moroccan troops during the Spanish Civil War (who didn't anything but to apply in Spain the methods that they had been taught by their Spanish officers to apply to their own insurgent compatriots).

Also, the documentary is rather unfair in suggesting that it was the Northern Christian kingdoms who introduced the practice of exacting tribute from weaker neighbours as a protection racket. The Muslim kingdoms had been doing it before them, when they were the ones in a position of strength (how would you think the Medina Al-Zahara was built?), and the Visigoths and Romans before.

Finally, the documentary has a big howler when it suggests that Al-Andalus was called after the Vandals "who were the Visigoths". In fact Vandals and Visigoths were different tribes, but the Muslims had encountered the Vandals (who had reached as far South as Tunisia) first and incorrectly assumed that Iberia was where they came from.
posted by Skeptic at 4:04 AM on March 4, 2007


As gnomesb points out, despite the somewhat breathless take of the "When the Moors ruled Europe", all of this isn't exactly breaking news to the average Spaniard. That the Moors were a civilising influence in Spain has long been acknowledged (how could it be otherwise, looking at the monuments they left behind?) and they haven't been stereotyped as unfairly as the documents would let you believe. The role of "Moor" in those traditional festive reenactments is just as popular, if not even more (flashier clothes, you see) than that of "Christian". That the Cid was pretty ecumenical in his friendships and loyalties is also evident to anyone who reads the medieval epic poem (that is, every Spanish kid, it's compulsory), and his fame came from his loyalty to king, friend and kin, not from "defending the faith", which he never did. Even the '60s film starring Charlton Heston made that very clear (Spain's best historian of its time advised the filmmakers, and it shows: its accuracy puts many far more recent Hollywood efforts to shame).

Spain's most negative stereotypes about Moors are in fact quite recent and go back to a really bloody colonial war in Morocco in the 1920s and to the behaviour of Franco's Moroccan troops during the Spanish Civil War (who didn't anything but to apply in Spain the methods that they had been taught by their Spanish officers to apply to their own insurgent compatriots).

Also, the documentary is rather unfair in suggesting that it was the Northern Christian kingdoms who introduced the practice of exacting tribute from weaker neighbours as a protection racket. The Muslim kingdoms had been doing it before them, when they were the ones in a position of strength (how would you think the Medina Al-Zahara was built?), and the Visigoths and Romans before.

Finally, the documentary has a big howler when it suggests that Al-Andalus was called after the Vandals "who were the Visigoths". In fact Vandals and Visigoths were different tribes, but the Muslims had encountered the Vandals (who had reached as far South as Tunisia) first and incorrectly assumed that Iberia was where they came from.
posted by Skeptic at 4:08 AM on March 4, 2007


Will the show blow up if I don't agree with it?
posted by four panels at 6:18 AM on March 4, 2007


As gnomesb points out, despite the somewhat breathless take of the "When the Moors ruled Europe", all of this isn't exactly breaking news to the average Spaniard person who knows anything at all about history.

While Europe was wallowing in the Dark Ages, with intellectual life reduced to little more than isolated monasteries studiously copying whatever Greek manuscripts had managed to survive, it was the Islamic world that carried the flame, not only preserving numerous works that would otherwise have been lost, but also making significant intellectual advances, in fields like medicine, astronomy, al-jabr, and so on.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:12 PM on March 4, 2007


Funny, and here we are now with the whole shebang reversed. It's almost as if both civilisations have had good and bad periods over their hundreds of years of history! Whodathunkit?
posted by Pseudoephedrine at 10:44 PM on March 4, 2007


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