Spain 711 to 1485 AD, Archaeology, Architecture and History with Simon Tomson

Ref: C2345436

What did the Arabs do for the Iberian Peninsula? What happened to the minorities in the newly conquered communities? Why is it a Catholic country today? This course will look at the history and archaeology of Spain's Arabic past. Major Arabic buildings remain from the four dynastic periods of Arabic rule as do important works of art. The 750 years of Arabic influence have also left enduring linguistic, cultural and genetic footprints in Spain's population and landscape. We shall explore these themes through the existing cultural remains of a once vibrant yet 'foreign' society within medieval Europe.

Course aim

This repeated five week course is designed to introduce students to the history, architecture, art and archaeology of Islamic or Arabic in the period 711 to 1485. Spain is the only western European country to have had an Arabic past.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Show how Spain's medieval history has influenced the country we see today.
  • Describe the major monuments remaining today in terms of the four Arabic dynastic periods.
  • Explain how and why Spain became an Arabic Caliphate.
  • List some of the portable works of art created in Arabic Spain.
  • Locate where the major Arabic dynasties originated.

How will I be taught?

What kind of feedback can I expect?

What else do I need to know?

This is an online course. A bibliography and list of digital resources is available on the relevant Canvas course pages.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

What can I do next?

View full course information sheet

Spain 711 to 1485 AD, Archaeology, Architecture and History with Simon Tomson


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
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  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2021
  • You declare that the address you provide is correct and that you will provide evidence of this and your eligibility to live and work in the UK
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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