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The Last Almohads: Universal Sovereignty between North Africa and the Crown of Aragon

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Chapter Summary

This chapter traces the journey of the last Almohad princes into the realms of the Crown of Aragon and back to North Africa again. The strength of Almohad power in al-Andalus had derived from the fact that members of the royal family, men who accepted the divine-like authority of the caliph, ruled its empire. In this "dream of conversion", Christendom sought to confront Islam not only militarily but also doctrinally, in the hope of convincing Muslims of the truth of Christianity. The Aragonese kings recruited and employed thousands of foreign Muslim cavalry, known as jenets. The connection between the Almohad princes and the imperial ambitions of the Aragonese kings in the Mediterranean was rendered most explicit in the terms of an extraordinary bilingual charter. The Aragonese kings asserted their aspirations to imperial authority not against but rather over and through the legacy of Almohads.

Keywords: Aragonese kings; Crown of Aragon; dream of conversion; last Almohads; North Africa; universal sovereignty



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