Maribel Fierro, “Violence against women in Andalusi historical sources (third/ninth-seventh/thirteenth centuries)”, in Robert Gleave and Istvan Kristo-Nagy (eds.), Violence in Islamic Thought from the Qur’an to the Mongols, Edinburgh Unive

Maribel Fierro, “Violence against women in Andalusi historical sources (third/ninth-seventh/thirteenth centuries)”, in Robert Gleave and Istvan Kristo-Nagy (eds.), Violence in Islamic Thought from the Qur’an to the Mongols, Edinburgh University

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  155 CHAPTER  10 Violence Against Women IN ANDALUSI HISTORICAL SOURCES (THIRD/NINTH-SEVENTH/THIRTEENTH CENTURIES)  Maribel Fierro* Episodes of violence in historical writings may re ß ect the use of topoi  – an area of study that has considerably advanced our understanding of both Islamic his-toriography and history. 1  For example, the attribution of unusually cruel behav-iour to a particular ruler – notwithstanding the possibility that such behaviour may have a historical basis – is used to justify his deposition, especially when it coincides with dynastic change. 2  Narratives of violence against women in medieval writings 3  – still a much unexplored topic, especially as regards the * CCHS–CSIC, Madrid. Data for this paper were initially collected within the project ‘Violence and punishment in pre-modern Islamic societies (al-Andalus and the Maghreb)’, Spanish Ministry of Education, BFF2002-00075 (2002–6). It has been completed within the project ‘Knowledge, heresy and political culture in the Islamic West (second/eighth-ninth/  Þ fteenth centuries) = KOHEPOCU’, F03049 Advanced Research Grant, European Research Council (2009–14). I wish to thank Manuela Marín, Luis Molina and Amina Naciri for their help.   1. Albrecht Noth (with L. Conrad), The Early Arabic Historical Tradition: A Source-Critical Study , trans. M. Bonner (Princeton, 1994); Eduardo Manzano-Moreno, ‘Oriental “ topoi ” in Andalusian historical sources’,  Arabica  39.1 (1992), pp. 42–58.   2. Maribel Fierro, ‘Emulating Abraham: the Fatimid al-Qa ʿ im and the Umayyad ʿ Abd al-Ra ḥ m ā n III’, in Public Violence in Islamic Societies: Power, Discipline and the Construction of the Public Sphere, 7th–19th Centuries CE  ,   eds Christian Lange and Maribel Fierro (Edinburgh, 2009), pp. 130–55.3. For Christendom, see Ann Roberts (ed.), Violence against Women in Medieval Texts  (Gainesville, 1998) and some of the contributions included in Guy Halsall (ed.), Violence and Society in the Early Medieval West   (Woodbridge/Rochester, 1998). More generally, Nancy Armstrong and Leonard Tennenhouse (eds), The Violence of Representation:  Literature and the History of Violence  (London/New York, 1989), and Shani d’Cruze GLEAVE 9780748694235 PRINT indd 155 GLEAVE 9780748694235 PRINT.indd 155 18/11/2014 13:08 18/11/2014 13:08   156 Violence in Islamic Thought  Islamic world 4  – appear, as indicated by Manuela Marín, in contexts dealing with the relationships linking women in a hierarchy of power to their husbands or masters, 5  and also in those of social disorder (wars and armed con ß icts). These last narratives may serve a function similar to that of other cases of violence in such contexts, the de-legitimisation of those who perpetrated it. But their signi Þ -cance is wider, as demonstrated by studies dealing with the non-Muslim world, since these narratives – apart from foremost re ß ecting concrete and widespread war practices 6  – also involve metaphors of power and domination affecting both physical bodies and the body politic, the creation of identities and the establishment of the social order. 7 As regards the Islamic context, is violence against women in medieval histori-cal writings represented as always illegitimate? Which kinds of representation are more common? In what follows, I shall review four thematic cases involving situ-ations of con ß ict (the early Cordoban Umayyads’ efforts at imposing their rule, the late third/ninth century rebellion of Ibn Ḥ af  ṣū n, the Cordoban  Þ tna  that led to the abolishment of the Umayyad caliphate and the Þ ghts among Berbers and between them and other groups), looking for information about the treatment of women, in order to analyse its characteristics and functions in historical sources.  and Anupama Rao (eds), Violence, Vulnerability and Embodiment: Gender and History  (Malden/Oxford/Canberra, 2005).4. Manuela Marín has dealt with such narratives in  Mujeres en al-Ándalus  (Madrid, 2000), pp. 680–705. See also Stacey L. Parker Aronson,  Sexual violence in las Jarchas , Working Paper 4.1 (Morris, 2009). Available at: fac_work/8/ (accessed 1 June 2014).   5. Marín,  Mujeres en al-Ándalus , p. 696.   6. Kathy L. Gaca, ‘Girls, women, and the signi Þ cance of sexual violence in ancient warfare’, in Sexual Violence in Con  ß  ict Zones: From the Ancient World to the Era of Human  Rights , ed. Elizabeth D. Heineman (Philadelphia, 2011), pp. 86–7 concludes that ‘organ-ized sexual violence against women and girls is fundamental to retributive warfare, just as it is with warfare in the predatory, parasitic, and expansionist modes’ and that ‘the violent subjugation of women and girls through sexual assault and torment has been an integral and important part of Western warfare over the two millennia from the Bronze Age to late antiquity’.   7. Corinne Saunders, ‘Sexual violence in wars: the Middle Ages’, in Transcultural Wars  from the Middle Ages to the 21st Century , ed. Hans-Henning Kortüm (Berlin, 2006), pp. 151–64; Alice Bach, ‘Rereading the body politic: women and violence in judges, 21’, in Women in the Hebrew Bible: A Reader  , ed. A. Bach (New York, 1999), pp. 389–402. Gaca, ‘Girls, women, and the signi Þ cance of sexual violence in ancient warfare’, p. 75; Gaca points to the scarce treatment of the topic in both ancient sources and contemporary studies, with the ensuing lack of register in our historical consciousness; her re ß ections can be of use for the Islamic case. GLEAVE 9780748694235 PRINT indd 156 GLEAVE 9780748694235 PRINT.indd 156 18/11/2014 13:08 18/11/2014 13:08    Violence against Women: Andalus ī   Sources  157 THE TREATMENT OF WOMEN IN SITUATIONS OF CONFLICT IN  ANDALUSI HISTORICAL WRITINGS The early Cordoban Umayyads The Þ rst Umayyad emir of al-Andalus, ʿ Abd al-Ra ḥ m ā n I (r. 138/756–172/788), was the son of a captive woman from the Berber Nafza. 8  He entered the Iberian Peninsula after escaping from the ʿ Abb ā sid massacre of his relatives 9  and found refuge among his Berber relatives in North Africa, accompanied by his loyal mawl ā  Badr, but with no women. Two local Andalusi military leaders – Y ū suf al-Fihr ī  and al-Sumayl – tried to establish links with him by offering Y ū suf’s daughter in marriage. 10  However, armed con ß ict eventually opposed the Umayyad to Y ū suf al-Fi ḥ ri, 11  who was the ruling emir and was defeated in a battle near Cordoba. ʿ Abd al-Ra ḥ m ā n I only entered the palace ( qasr  ) of Cordoba after three days had passed, thus allowing time for Y ū suf’s family to move to their house in the town. 12  However, Y ū suf did not act in the same honourable way. ʿ Abd al-Ra ḥ m ā n I had to leave Cordoba to confront Y ū suf again, and he left behind two slave women, whom he had received as a present. During his absence, Y ū suf attacked Cordoba and seized the two slaves. The  judge Ya ḥ y ā  al-Tuj ī b ī  – who had been named by the Umayyad caliph from Damascus, Umar b. ʿ Abd al- ʿ Az ī z – censured Y ū suf for this action, contrasting it with ʿ Abd al-Ra ḥ m ā n I’s behaviour, but Y ū suf denied having even looked at the two slaves. When he left Cordoba with his family, he did not take them with him. After having re-entered Cordoba, ʿ Abd al-Ra ḥ m ā n I was informed by the  judge of what had happened to the two slaves and, having lost interest in them, he 8.  Fat  ḥ  al-Andalus , ed. Luis Molina (Madrid, 1994);  La conquista de al-Andalus , trans. M. Penelas (Madrid, 2002), p. 70/60, paragraph 64. The treatment of Berber women at the hands of the Arab conquerors was a major source of con ß ict between the Berbers and the Muslim army and has left its imprint in the historical sources. See Pedro Chalmeta,  Invasión e islamización: la sumisión de Hispania y la formación de al-Andalus  (Madrid, 1994), p. 300 (quoting al- Ṭ abar ī  and Ibn al-Ath ī r on the reasons for the Berber rebellion of 122/739, among which the enslavement of Muslim Berber women is emphasised); Elizabeth Savage,  A Gateway to Hell, a Gateway to Paradise: The North African  Response to the Arab Conquest (Princeton, 1997), pp. 68, 70, 76.   9. The killing and raping of women is reported during the ʿ Abb ā sid takeover: C. F. Robinson, ‘The violence of the Abbasid Revolution’, in  Living Islamic History: Studies in Honour of Professor Carole Hillenbrand  , ed. Y. Suleiman (Edinburgh, 2010), p. 241.10. Marín,  Mujeres en al-Ándalus , p. 552.11. Évariste Lévi-Provençal,  Histoire de l’Espagne musulmane  (3 vols) (Paris/Leiden, 1950–3), pp. 51–3, 101–8.12. Fat  ḥ  al-Andalus , p. 90/76, paragraph 17. GLEAVE 9780748694235 PRINT indd 157 GLEAVE 9780748694235 PRINT.indd 157 18/11/2014 13:08 18/11/2014 13:08   158 Violence in Islamic Thought  passed them on to two of his men. 13  Because they had been used by his enemy, they were no longer Þ t for the next ruler of al-Andalus. 14 Another rendition of the same story has been used by Dolores Oliver as a precedent for the ‘Afrenta de Corpes’ episode in the Poem of Mio Cid  . 15  In this version – found in another historical compilation, the  Akhb ā r Majm ūʿ a 16  – when ʿ Abd al-Ra ḥ m ā n I entered Cordoba, he found that some of his soldiers had started pillaging and robbing Y ū suf’s family ( ʿ iy ā l ). He stopped them, gave clothes to those who were naked and returned as much as he could ( ṭ  arada al-n ā s wa-kas ā  man ʿ ar  ā  minhum wa-radd m ā  qadara ʿ al ā  raddihi ). This behaviour was not well received by his Yemeni allies. Later on, Y ū suf al-Fihr ī ’s son – having entered Cordoba during ʿ Abd al-Ra ḥ m ā n I’s absence – took possession of two slave girls that the Umayyad had been given as a present: this action was censured by those of his companions who were intelligent, saying that it had no precedent, and reminding him that ʿ Abd al-Ra ḥ m ā n I had treated his sisters and his father’s wives respectfully, covering those who were naked (  fa-q ā la lahu ahl al- ʿ uq ū l min a ṣḥā bihi ṣ ana ʿ ta m ā  lam tusbaq ilayhi  ẓ af  ī  ra bi-akhaw ā tika wa-ummah ā tika fa-satara ʿ awratihinna wa-kas ā   ʿ arihinna . . .). Because of what Y ū suf’s son had done to his slave girls, ʿ Abd al-Ra ḥ m ā n I rejected them and passed them on to his freedmen, without seeing them again. 17  The nakedness mentioned in the passages of the  Akhb ā r Majm ūʿ a  seems to be a reference to the fact that Y ū suf al-Fihr ī ’s women were unprotected, perhaps that the soldiers had attacked them. In any case, the situation is very different from the action of El Cid’s sons-in-law, as narrated in the Poem of Mio Cid  . 18 Under the third Umayyad Cordoban emir, al- Ḥ akam I (r. 180/796–206/822), the Toledans resented the presence of his troops in the town, complaining of 13.  Fat  ḥ  al-Andalus , pp. 92–3/78–9, paragraph 22.14. Of Baldwin, it is said that he put away his wife, because she had been raped by pirates on the voyage south: Bernard Hamilton, ‘Women in the Crusader states: the Queens of Jerusalem (1100–1190)’, in  Medieval Women , ed. Derek Baker   (Oxford, 1978), pp. 144–5 and Yvonne Friedman, ‘Captivity and ransom: the experience of women’, in Gendering the Crusades , eds Susan B. Edgington and Sarah Lambert (Cardiff, 2001), pp. 133–4.15. Dolores Oliver Pérez, El Cantar de Mío Cid: génesis y autoría árabe  (Almería, 2008), pp. 34–7.16.  Ajbar machmuâ = Colección de tradiciones: crónica anónima del s. XI  , ed. and trans. Emilio Lafuente y Alcántara (Madrid, 1867), pp. 90–1/87, 93/89, 100/94.17. A third one that he had bought from an Arab family managed to escape and later gave birth to a girl.18. The inadequacy of the comparison is highlighted in Maribel Fierro, ‘La Afrenta de Corpes y la autoría árabe del Cantar de Mio Cid  ’,  Al-Qan ṭ  ara  33.2 (julio-septiembre 2012), pp. 547–51. GLEAVE 9780748694235 PRINT indd 158 GLEAVE 9780748694235 PRINT.indd 158 18/11/2014 13:08 18/11/2014 13:08    Violence against Women: Andalus ī   Sources  159their treatment of women and children. 19  The emir then built a castle-fortress for the Umayyad army in an area of the town where soldiers would be isolated from the Toledan population, although the trend towards rebellion continued. A massacre of Toledan notables temporarily halted such trends. 20  The revolt of the Arrabal in Cordoba that took place shortly after, in the year 202/817, was another episode featuring the emir’s violence against his opponents. The most complete information is found in Ibn Ḥ ayy ā n’s  Muqtabis , 21  from which the fol-lowing reports are taken. The rebellion of the population living in the suburb of Secunda on the bank of the Guadalquivir opposite the palace was repressed by the troops of the emir, who not only killed the rebels, but also persecuted them in their houses, so that the rebels feared for the safety of their families ( wa-ashfaqu ʿ al ā  buy ū tihim wa- ʿ iy ā lihim ), as the soldiers sacked their proper-ties and dishonoured their womenfolk ( wa-h ū tikat sut  ū ruhum ). 22  These reports suggest that the entrance of the emir’s troops in the houses of the rebels was accompanied not only by pillage, but also by rape and murder. The way the suppression of the revolt was conducted by the emir was obviously a cause of concern for the historians of the dynasty and, in fact – together with the Toledan massacre – gave rise to the representation of al- Ḥ akam I as the most cruel and violent Umayyad ruler of al-Andalus. In some passages, there is an insistence on noting that when the emir’s slave guards entered the rebels’ houses and pillaged them, the women were left undisturbed, because the emir had given speci Þ c orders to respect them ( wa- ʿ affa ʿ an ḥ urumihim ), and the minors were also protected. 23  Thus, in the of  Þ cial document of victory sent to the different districts of al-Andalus, it is said that God himself made the rebels perish for their sin, and that out of his gratitude to Him, the emir decided to abstain from plundering their properties and taking captive their children and women. 24  Also, 19. Ibn Ḥ ayy ā n, al-Sifr al-th ā n ī   min Kit  ā b al-Muqtabis , ed. Ma ḥ m ū d ʿ Al ī  Makk ī  (Riyad, 1424/2003); Spanish trans. Ma ḥ m ū d ʿ Al ī  Makk ī  and Federico Corriente, Crónica de los emires Alhakam I y Abdarrahman II entre los años 796 y 847 [Almuqtabis II–I]  (Zaragoza, 2001), 93r/31.20. Eduardo Manzano Moreno,  La frontera de al-Andalus en época de los omeyas  (Madrid, 1991), pp. 274–84; María Crego, Toledo en época omeya (ss. VIII–X)  (Toledo, 2007).21. See note 19.22. Ibn Ḥ ayy ā n,  Muqtabis II–1 , 103v/56–7, 105v/62, 109r/72, 109v/73, 111v/79. In this last passage, it is speci Þ cally stated that the emir authorised his men to attack the women of the rebels, as well as to pillage, burn properties and take lives: wa-istab āḥ a al-am ī  r al-  Ḥ  akam ḥ ar  ī  m ahl al-raba ḍ   wa-man mala ʾ ahum min arb āḍ   Qur  ṭ  uba thal ā tha ayy ā m bil-qatl wa-l-nahb wa-l-istib ā ha wa-l-i ḥ r  ā q . The source is A ḥ mad b. Mu ḥ ammad b. Khalaf al-Warr ā q.23. Ibn Ḥ ayy ā n,  Muqtabis II  – 1 , 103v/56.24. Ibn Ḥ ayy ā n,  Muqtabis II–1 , 104r/58. GLEAVE 9780748694235 PRINT indd 159 GLEAVE 9780748694235 PRINT.indd 159 18/11/2014 13:08 18/11/2014 13:08
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