Abd-ar-Rahman III

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Abd-ar-Rahman III (Abd al-Rahmān ibn Muhammad ibn Abd Allāh; Arabic: عبد الرحمن الثالث‎; 11 January 889/91[14] – 15 October 961) was the Emir and Caliph of Córdoba (912–961) of the Ummayad dynasty in al-Andalus. Called al-Nasir ("the Defender of the Faith"), he ascended the throne when he was twenty-two years of age and reigned for half a century as the most powerful prince of Iberia.[15] Although under his rule, people of all creeds enjoyed tolerance and freedom of religion, he repelled the Fatimids, partly by supporting their enemies in Ifriqiya, and partly by claiming the title Caliph (ruler of the Islamic world) for himself.



Early years

Abd ar-Rahman was born in Córdoba, the grandson of Abdullah, seventh independent Umayyad emir of Al-Andalus, and the son of Muhammad and Muzna or Muzayna, a Christian concubine.[16] His paternal grandmother was also a Christian, the royal infanta Onneca Fortúnez, daughter of captive king Fortún Garcés of Pamplona, and he was thus nephew in the half-blood of queen Toda of Navarre. He is described as having:

.. white skin, blue eyes and attractive face; good looking, although somewhat sturdy and stout. His legs were short, at the point that the stirrups of his saddle were mounted just one palm under it. When mounting, he looked tall, but once at feet he was quite short. He dyed his beard black.[17]

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