FROM THE BARBARIANS TO THE CATHOLIC KINGS
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After the fall of the Roman Empire, the Visigodes ended up imposing over the Andalusian territory. But the confrontations between the rivals favoured the Byzantines entrance on helping one of the parties in the conflict, and achieving a special intervention in Malaga in the year 552. In the Suintila era (621-631), the Visigodes recovered the control of the province after expelling the Byzantines.
The internal confrontations between the Visigodes continued, and like the Byzantines, the request of help to the Muslims by one part of the conflicting parties favoured their entrance into the peninsular.
After the defeat of the Visigodes in the Guadalete battle, Abdalaziz, son Muza, with an army composed of Berbers, Jews, freed slaves and renegade Visigodes, conquered Malaga and penetrated the interior of the province, taking nuclei such as Nescania. The present province of Malaga was included in the Cora division of Rayya, establishing the capital in Medina Arxiduna (Archidona). This was precisely the chosen city for Abderraman to proclaim his independent emirate of Damasco in the year 756. Later, this emirate chose the city of Cordoba as the Al-andalus capital.
Of all the internal rebellions between the new owners of the territory, there was one which almost ruined the Cordoba state and which had a special significance in these lands. It was the revolt of the Ronda Muladi, Omar Ben Hafsun.
The Muladi-Hispanigodes converted to Islam, made a stronghold in the abrupt territory of the Ronda highland, and established their headquarters in Bobastro, to the north-east of Ardales. The rebellion extended over other towns such as Teba, Alora and Comares, and was finally stifled by Abderraman III, who established the caliphate of Cordoba in the year 929.
The city of Malaga, which already had an important commercial port, had a citadel in the mid 9th century for detaining the frequent invasions of the Norman pirates.
During the time the Caliphate of Cordoba lasted, the Malaga countryside was favoured by the introduction of new agricultural techniques, especially irrigation, and new crops (bananas, pomegranates, dates, sugar cane, etc. ). Cities such as Ronda, Antequera, Velez-Malaga, Alora, Coin, Archidona, and many others, were enriched with monuments by the large local families, and generally, the whole province, as the rest of Andalusia, enjoyed an ample period of peace and prosperity.
With the fall of the Caliphate, the Taifas kingdoms emerged, and two important and influential ones appeared in our province: Ronda and Malaga which was later incorporated into the Granada kingdom.
From the 10th century onwards, two communities were found in the province: the Arab-Berber (in which Christians converted to Islam-Muladi were incorporated, as well as those who wanted to live with them), and the Mozarabic. The former occupied the mountainous areas, especially the Ronda highland, whereas the latter either lived in the outskirts of the cities or in the countryside. The Mozarabs were numerous in the Axarquia, although they also extended over other areas. The significant nuclei of this era are the Jotron and Santo Pitar in Malaga, Masmullar in Comares and Bobastro in Ardales. There seem to be important enclaves in the Ronda highland in Cortes de la Frontera, Alpandeire, and Jubrique. There were also Christian hermits in Coin, Ronda, Archidona, and Bobastro.
With the fortification of the Granada kingdom, Malaga was converted into the most important commercial city in the Muslim Spain. The city was enlarged and fortified and new suburbs were built to hold the large influx of emigrants and refugees coming from the areas conquered by the Christians.
In the mid 14th century, the Christians began to conquer Malagas lands with the fall of El Burgo, Cañete la Real, Arcales and other places, but the first important conquest was the taking of Antequera in the beginning of the 15th century, 1.410, by the ruling Don Fernando, known as Fernando from Antequera. The still repeated phrase is attributed to him: "Let the sun come out in Antequera and let it be what God wants", this was pronounced before the definite assault on the city.
Some years after the conquest of Archidona, in the mid 15th century, an important Muslim reaction was produced which reached its culmination with the "Axarquia disaster", when in 1.418 the troops of El Zagals, who was the governor of Malaga, infringed a serious defeat on the Christian army. The next year, the definite offence over the province began.