Historical Personalities & Issues

Compiled & Edited by Phillip True, Jr.

Chapter Twelve

YAKUB AL-MANSUR (1149-1199)

Yakub Ibn Yusuk, better known as Al-Mansur, was the most powerful of the Moorish rulers who dominated Spain for five hundred years. His surname, Al-Mansur, means "The Invincible." He defeated all of his enemies, never having lost a battle.

Al-Mansur's father was Black and Arab, but his mother was a pure African slave, believed to have been from Timbuctoo or Senegal.

Al-Mansur, came to the throne after his father was killed in Portugal in 1184. He promised revenge for his father's death, but fighting with the Almohads, who were ousted from the throne, delayed him in Africa. After defeating the Almohads again, he sent out for Spain to avenge his father's death. Landing in Spain, defeating and capturing all major cities, Al-Mansur, returned to Africa with three thousand Christian captives, young women and children.

When the Christians in Spain, most of whom were white, and of German descent, heard of Al-Mansur's absence to Africa, revolted, capturing many of the Moorish cities, including Silves, Vera, and Beja. When Al-Mansur heard this news, he returned to Spain, and defeated the Christians again. This time, many were taken in chained groups of fifty each, and later sold in Africa as slaves.

Again, while Al-Mansur was away in Africa, the Christians mounted the largest army of that time period of over 300,000 men to defeat Al- Mansur. Immediately upon hearing this, Mansur returned to Spain and defeated Alphonso's army, killing 150,000, taking money, valuables and other goods beyond calculation.

In addition to being one of the greatest military leaders in history. Al-Mansur was a lover of the arts. His reign is responsible for the building of the famous Mosque at Granada and Cordova, which still stands today.

Contents | Previous Chapter | Next Chapter
John Henrik Clarke Virtual Museum | FRONTal View
NBUF Homepage | DuBois Learning Center Homepage