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

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Abstract Grounded in Romance, Latin, and Arabic archival sources, this article traces the journey of the last Almohad princes, the sons of the caliph Abū Dabbūs, from North Africa into the realms of the Crown of Aragon and back to North Africa again. It aims not only to repair two halves of a curious and little known history but also argues that the disciplinary boundaries that have divided the study of Iberia and North Africa have had enduring consequences on the interpretation of the relationship between these regions. From the Crown of Aragon’s alliance with Abū Zayd, the last Almohad governor of Valencia, to its attempt to restore the sons of Abū Dabbūs to the throne in North Africa, this essay argues that the Aragonese kings asserted their aspirations to imperial authority not against but rather over and through the legacy of Almohads. An appendix includes a new edition of an extraordinary bilingual charter from the Archives of the Crown of Aragon (ACA) in Barcelona.

Affiliations: 1: Department of History, University of Michigan 435 South State Street, 1029 Tisch Hall, Ann Arbor MI 48109-1003 USA


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