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“Ajbar Machmuâ: Anonymous chronicle of the conquest of Al-Andalus, the Walid era and the Umayyad Emirate.”

April 19, 20237:00 p.m.
Casa Árabe Auditorium (at Calle Samuel de los Santos Gener, 9). 7:00 p.m. Free entry until the event’s capacity is reached.
In Spanish.

On Wednesday, April 19, Casa Árabe will be presenting this publication by Emilio Lafuente Alcántara, the most comprehensive Moorish chronicle about the exciting period that would see the birth of Al-Andalus, from its conquest to the founding of the Umayyad emirate.

Barely a handful of documentary sources record the historical events from 711 to 756 which would end up leading to the birth of the Umayyad emirate of Al-Andalus: the defeat of King Rodrigo’s army at the hands of Tariq’s forces, rule by the Walids, the Berber uprising and the arrival of Abd al-Rahman “the Emigré,” a descendant from the lineage of the Damascus caliphs, on the Iberian Peninsula.

The manuscript titled Ajbar Machmuâ ”collection of traditions,” better transcribed as “Akhbar Majmuâa” in English) is a chronicle dating back to the eleventh century which provides an in-depth history of the formation of Al-Andalus as a country. It is an essential piece of source material for researchers, and an exciting testimonial for anyone who wants to learn more about this period of history.

The valuable translation of this document produced by Arabist Emilio Lafuente Alcántara in 1867 will coming to light once again, in a new edition revised by the source researcher Daniel Valdivieso Ramos.

The book will be presented by Daniel Valdivieso Ramos, along with Carmen González Gutiérrez, holder of a PhD in Archeology. The event will be moderated by Javier Rosón, Casa Árabe’s coordinator in Cordoba.

 An Arabist and historian born in Archidona (Malaga) in 1825, Lafuente earned a degree in Jurisprudence at the University of Granada in 1853. He belonged to the corps of Archivists and Librarians, eventually being assigned to the Central University Library, and later being appointed director of the Library of San Isidro. His main work, however, was in the research, translation and interpretation of Arabic texts. In 1860, he was sent to Tetouan as a scientific attaché during the War of Africa, where he began searching for manuscripts which he would review in 1862 in the Catalogue of the Arabic Codices acquired by His Majesty’s Government in Tetouan. In 1863, he was elected a member of the Royal Academy of History, where he would play a role in work on the recently created Collection of Arabian History and Geography Works promoted by Pascual de Gayangos, Amador de los Ríos, Cánovas del Castillo, and others, with a translation of the Akhbar Machmuâ in 1867. He died in 1867, at the age of thirty-seven, leaving behind a considerable literary and scientific opus, most notably including Inscripciones árabes de Granada (Arabic Inscriptions of Granada, 1859-1860), Cancionero popular. Colección escogida de seguidillas y coplas (Folk Song Book: A selection of ‘seguidillas’ and ‘coplas,’ 1865), Colección de tradiciones —Ajbar Machmuâ— (Collection of Traditions: Akhbar Majmuâa, 1867), Relaciones de algunos sucesos de los últimos tiempos del reino de Granada (Stories of Certain Event in the Later Times of the Kingdom of Granada, 1868) and the unpublished works Book on Birds of Prey and History of the Spanish Middle Ages.

Holder of a degree in Psychology, Valdivieso is professionally devoted to historical documentation and publishing. He is a contributor at the publishing firms Utopía Libros and Almuzara. His main work consists of studying medieval sources from Al-Andalus—above all from the Umayyad period—, which has led him to become a consultant for Sexto Mario Patrimonio y Educación, a heritage interpretation entity that holds many official activities for the Madinat al-Zahra Archeological Ensemble and is a regular contributor at Casa Árabe. Out of his interest in increasing awareness on these topics came his first book, "La Córdoba de Ibn Hazm" ("Ibn Hazm’s Cordoba", Utopía Libros, 2016), a bestseller described by critics as “The best historical recreation of this ancient capital of the caliphs to have been written so far in the twenty-first century.” He is now debuting this prose work with a tale as thrilling as that of the first Umayyad emir of Al-Andalus: “Abd al-Rahman al-Dahil: The Émigré Prince.
“Ajbar Machmuâ: Anonymous chronicle of the conquest of Al-Andalus, the Walid era and the Umayyad Emirate.”
Book cover.