Tāriq ibn-Ziyād (Magill’s Guide to Military History)
Article abstract: Military significance: On July 19, 711, near the Guadalete River, Ziyād led an army of 9,000 Berbers to a decisive victory over Visigothic forces, thus ensuring the Muslim conquest of Spain.
In 710, the governor of North Africa, Mūsā ibn Nusayr, ordered a reconnaissance of southern Spain. Based on the reports and booty from this expedition, Nusayr had his lieutenant, Tāriq ibn-Ziyād, carry out further conquests in the area. In 711, Tāriq took Gibraltar, where he burned his boats. At the Battle of Guadalete (also called the Barbate) in 711, Tāriq’s combined forces of cavalry and infantry decisively defeated Visigothic forces under King Roderick, whose army was depleted by desertions and weak leadership. As Tāriq moved north, his forces grew to about 12,000, including dissident Christians. He met his stiffest resistance at Ecija (711), then proceeded to the Visigothic capital at Toleds, which fell to him in early 712.
There Tāriq was joined by Nusayr, with a mostly Arab army of 18,000. Together they conquered lands to the north and east. In 713, they conquered Barcelona and part of Septimania in southern France. Meeting heavy resistance, both leaders conquered areas of the northwest. By 714, most of the peninsula was under Muslim control.
Responding to a summons from Damascus, both Tāriq and Nusayr left Spain in 714. Arriving in Damascus in February of 715, they found a new caliph in...
(The entire section is 307 words.)
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