YOU read in the chapter before the last that, after the battle in which King Roderick lost
his life, Tarik swiftly moved forward and captured city after city. Malaga made no
resistance, Granada was stormed; against Cordova Tarik sent seven hundred cavalry, who
found a breach in the walls, and broke into the place. The Jews, who were numerous, sided
with the Moors, and the Christians made but a feeble resistance. So the city fell, the
governor and bishop fled for refuge to a convent, where they stood a three months' siege,
and the Jewish rabbi was set in their place.
At only one town was any semblance of resistance. This was Orihuela. The Christian
commander was one Theodemir. He sallied forth, gave battle to the Moors, and lost his
whole army. Returning to the town with a single page, he closed the gates and bade every
woman in the place dress in the attire of a man. He placed sticks in their hands to
resemble lances, and had each draw her long hair under her chin so that as the Moors
approached in the dusk of the evening it resembled a beard. Then he paraded his female
army in a long line on the parapet. Surprised at the appearance of troops they had not
expected, the Moors halted and camped for the night.
Before they slept Theodemir entered the camp under a flag of truce. Stating that he came
on behalf of the commander of the city, he offered to evacuate it next morning, provided
the army and the inhabitants were allowed to go out with all their property. If this were
 would fight till the last man fell. The Moors accepted the offer.
THE ENTRANCE TO TOLEDO.
Next morning they were surprised to observe Theodemir, followed by a single page and a
crowd of women, emerge from the gate. They asked him where was his army that was going to
fight to the death.
"There," replied Theodemir, patting his page on the head, "is my army."
The Moors admired his stratagem so much that they made him Moorish Governor of Murcia.
On from Orihuela the Moors pushed to Toledo, the Gothic capital. There they expected
resistance. But the Jews, who had been so cruelly persecuted there, took up arms and
opened the gates; the Christian nobles and churchmen fled to the mountains, and Tarik
 in possession of the most splendid and the strongest city of Spain without striking a
blow. It was there that Musa, who bad stopped on his way to capture Seville, rejoined his
disobedient lieutenant and disgraced him, as you read in the third chapter of this Child's
From that time all Southern Spain, from the Guadarrama Mountains to the Cape of Gibraltar,
fell under Moorish control. Here and there a band of Christians, under a darČing leader,
would rise against the invaders, but after a few skirmishes the uprising would be quelled.
The Moors held all of Andalusia, with the fertile valleys of the Guadalquivir and the
Guadiana, and the fine cities of Cadiz, Malaga, Granada, Seville, and Cordova; all the
country afterwards known as New Castile, with the valley of the Tagus and the cities of
Toledo and Madrid; all of Murcia, Aragon, and Catalonia, with the valley of the Ebro, and
the towns of Carthagena, Valencia, and Barcelona. The Christians were driven back into the
northern provinces of Galicia, the Asturias, Leon, Old Castile, and Navarre—a region
which was cold, bleak, and broken. All of Spain that was worth having belonged to the
I must say that in the beginning they governed it well. They laid a poll-tax on Christians
and Jews, but afterwards both were placed on the same footing as Moslems. The Christians
had their own churches. Their priests and their bishops, their magistrates and their
judges were of their own choosing. The land-tax was the same for Moslem, Christian, and
Jew. Every man, whatever his religion, could own his land and sell it. Under the Gothic
rule the Christians had owned large numbers of slaves, some of whom were sold with the
farms on which they worked, and could not be separated from them. The Moslem faith did not
approve of slavery. Any Spanish slave could obtain his freedom by going before a
magistrate and saying, with his right hand uplifted,
"There is no God but God, and Mahomet is his prophet."
 I am not surprised to learn that conversions among the slaves were frequent.
But the splendid victory of the Moors did not benefit those who had planned it and carried
it out. Tarik, with the sting of Musa's whip still tingling on his cheek, sent trusty
messengers to the Caliph at Damascus to complain of tithe treatment he had endured. The
Caliph ordered Musa to repair to Damascus forthwith, to justify himself, if he could. He
went, laden with treasures. Scores of wagons, filled with gold and silver ornaments; four
hundred Gothic nobles forming his body guard, and several thousand male and female slaves
of matchless beauty followed him to the city of the Caliph. He fancied that he could buy
his grace; but the Caliph saw in the conqueror of Spain a dangerous rival.
Musa was heard, and bidden to await his sentence. Meanwhile trusty officers were sent to
Spain with a message for Musa's son, Abdelaziz. They found him at the palace at Cordova,
struck him down, cut off his head, embalmed it, and bore it to Damascus. Next day Musa was
sent for, and shown his son's head.
"Dost thou recognize him?"
"I do," said the father. "He was innocent, and I invoke God's curse on his assassin."
He was an old man. His head, which was snow-white, he dyed, after the fashion of his
times, with a red powder. In battle he was as fierce and valiant as he had been in his
youth. But at the sight of the head of his dearly loved son he broke down and buried his
face in his robe. The Caliph was not moved by his grief. He sentenced him to pay a fine
which took everything he had. Then he ordered him to go in exile to Mecca. There he died
of a broken heart.
Nor did his enemy Tarik meet a much better fate. He, too, was ordered to Damascus to give
an account of Iris doings in Spain. He was acquitted of wrong, and as a mark of favor was
allowed to become one of the Caliph's slaves in the palace.
 After Musa several Moorish governors, some appointed by the Caliph, others selected by
their tribes, ruled over Spain. The news of the wealth of the new Moslem province drew to
it Moslems from far and wide. Bodies of fighting men from Syria, from Egypt, from
Damascus, from North Africa poured into Spain and fought with each other for the rich
valleys. In their fights governor after governor was killed. None of them claimed to rule
the whole country; the authority of many did not extend beyond a bowshot from the castle
where they lived.
About the only one who deserves your attention was named Abderrahman. He led an army of
Moors into France in 730, and captured cities and spoil. He had planned the conquest of
the country to the shore of the Baltic, and resolved that he would not rest till there was
not a ChrisČtian left in Western or Southern Europe. Unluckily for him, when he got as far
as the valley of the Loire, in France, in 732, he ran against an army of Franks and Gauls,
under the command of Charles Martel or Charles the Hammer. Where the two armies met is not
now exactly known. It was somewhere near Tours. But wherever it was, Charles the Hammer
hammered the Moors with such tremendous blows, and so many other stalwart Franks and Gauls
hammered after him, that when the sun went down the followers of Mahomet were flying in
all directions, and when the sun rose again nothing was to be seen of them anywhere.
Abderrahman was killed in the battle, and his Moors made the best of their way back again
to Spain, having concluded to postpone the destruction of Christianity till a more
Forty-five years afterwards the grandson of Charles the Hammer, who is known in history as
Charlemagne, undertook to avenge the Moorish invasion of France by a Frank invasion of
Spain. He crossed the Pyrenees in 777, there expecting to find allies among the Moors who
were fighting among themselves. But bitterly as the Moorish chiefs bated each other, they
bated the Christian Franks more
 bitterly, and Charlemagne was disappointed in their aid. He did not stop to give battle
but faced north and recrossed the mountains; there, in the pass of Roncesvalles, his rear
guard fell into an ambuscade, and was cut off to a man. It is, said that thirty thousand
were destroyed by rocks and darts and arrows, which the Spaniards poured upon them from
the mountain heights as they wound through the defile beneath.
The Spaniards who planned this ambuscade and destroyed the Franks were largely from the
province of Leon, and were probably not Moors. They fought simply for their country. They
have an old legend which says:
"With three thousand men of Leon,
From the city Bernard goes,
To protect the Spanish soil
From the spear of Frankish foes;
From the city which is planted
In the midst between the seas,
To preserve the name and glory
Of old Pelayo's victories.
At least King Charles, if God decrees
He must be lord of Spain,
Shall witness that the Leonese
Were not aroused in vain;
He shall bear witness that we died
As lived our sires of old
Not only of Numantian pride
Shall minstrel tale be told."
You will not read of another invasion of Spain by the French till near the close of this
AT THE FOUNTAIN, CORDOVA.