Construir un reino en la periferia de Al-Ándalus: Pamplona y el Pirineo occidental en los siglos VIII y IX

Larrea, Juan José (2009) Construir un reino en la periferia de Al-Ándalus: Pamplona y el Pirineo occidental en los siglos VIII y IX. Territorio, sociedad y poder, 2. pp. 279-308. ISSN 2341-1163

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ESPAÑOL: Presentamos una revisión del problema de la génesis del reino de Pamplona. Frente a la idea de un cápsula hispanovisigótica destinada a hacer eclosión tras la crisis del emirato, proponemos comprender la historia de este periodo en términos dialécticos. Por un lado, las estructuras políticas del Pirineo occidental se articulan como un sistema periférico del emirato, lo que genera procesos de jerarquización interna y regional. Por otro, un sector de la sociedad enarbola el estandarte de un cristianismo de combate opuesto a las estrechas vinculaciones de los dirigentes de Pamplona con AlÁndalus, lo que acelera la destilación de un discurso de monarquía cristiana. Este juego de tensiones se salva con una legitimidad doble: los Íñigo son emires dependientes de Córdoba hacia el exterior y príncipes cristianos hacia el interior. Al tiempo, instrumentos como la justicia o el dominio del yermo son utilizados por los dirigentes para convertir el poder político en formas de control social y territorial de la población rural. / ENGLISH: Constructing a kingdom on the edge of al-Andalus: Pamplona and the Western Pyrenees in the eighth and ninth centuries. The traditional vision of Navarrese society during the two centuries after the Muslim conquest is of an hispanovisigothic island, protected from direct Islamic influence by the initial pact of rendition to Cordoba and the payment of the corresponding tributes, that only would develop into a true Christian monarchy with the emergence of the Jimena dynasty at the start of the tenth century. However, there are various reasons to re-address the question of the origins of the kingdom of Pamplona. Some are quite recent: the work done in the last ten years on the funeral archaeology of the period after the Islamic conquest; and a recent and important reappraisal of the neighbouring Banu Qasi, alternately allies and enemies of Pamplona. More generally, and going further back, previous explanations of the process by which fragmented local powers turned into a kingdom have hardly been satisfactory. In the area around Pamplona we know of the existence of three eighth century necropoleis. One of them is a Muslim cemetery, which suggests the pacific presence of an Islamic community during several generations, but it is the two Christian cemeteries which contain the most striking finds. Shortly after the arrival of the Muslims, in the higher ranking tombs artefacts have appeared which suggest links with the new masters of the land, above all signet rings bearing cufic inscriptions. That this should happen in a context so sensitive to representations of social order suggests that the links between the ruling families and the Muslims were closely than had previously been thought. During the ninth century the political structures of the Western Pyrenees function as a peripheric part of the Emirate, with each individual or group’s position determined by their role in the different alliances, conflicts or processes of wealth redistribution that connected them with al- Andalus. The rulers of Pamplona appear as the principal regional interlocutors with Muslim power, both when it came to organising military coalitions or when tributes (jizya) had to be paid. This last point is particularly eloquent: the people of the Western Pyrenees paid the jizya the same as all other Christians in al-Andalus. As J. Lorenzo has recently shown in his doctoral thesis, the Navarrese were not regarded as foreigners, but rather were protected by Islam. The governor of Pamplona was not a sovereign, but rather a dependent of the Emir of Cordoba. That, however, is but one side of the coin. The eventual emergence of the kingdom is best understood as the resolution of a series of tensions, and in contrast to the rulers of Pamplona who paid the jizya, fought alongside the Banu Qasi, married their daughters to Muslims and were in general seduced by al-Andalus, with a power base in the Pyrenean monasteries there was a section of society that embraced militant Christianity. The clearest manifestation of which is the earliest anti-Muslim pamphlet in Western Europe, the Life of Mohammed that Eulogius of Cordoba came across in the Navarrese monastery of Leire in 848, although there would also be links forged with the voluntary martyrs of Cordoba. Such tensions never reach breaking-point because the two tendencies needed each other. The rulers of Pamplona had to respect the rules in operation in al-Andalus, but they also needed a legitimising discourse for internal consumption that only the Church could provide. For their part, the abbots, bishops and related families were dependent upon their Christian ruler while no suitable alternative was available. What’s more, the divergent tendencies actually made the emergence of a Christian monarchy possible: with the concentration of power in Pamplona on the one hand, and by way of reaction sections of the Church coming to favour a Christian monarchy. To all this we can add the use by the rulers of Pamplona of instruments such as justice and control of uncultivated land as means of exercising social and territorial control over the rural population. The paradox of the situation, then, is that it would be the influence of al-Andalus on Navarrese society that enabled the emergence of a monarchy which, after the crisis of the Emirate, would unite with the Leonese against al-Andalus itself.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: "Symposium Internacional: Poder y simbología en la Europa altomedieval", a cura di F.J. Fernández Conde e C. García de Castro Valdés Oviedo.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Pamplona, Al-Ándalus, Arqueología funeraria, Historia política, Polémica antimusulmana, Al-Andalus, Funeral archaeology, Political history, Anti-Mohammadan polemic
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D111 Medieval History
Depositing User: dr Vincenzo De Luise
Date Deposited: 03 Apr 2015 19:57
Last Modified: 03 Apr 2015 20:00


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