Spain and Morocco

Arab & Jewish Influence in Spain and Morocco

Spain has been a melting pot of people and cultures throughout its history, but no two groups have influenced Spain more than the Arabs and the Jews. The first evidence of Jewish settlements in Spain started in the third century. They had control over the Mediterranean trade on the eastern and southern coasts of Spain. They also were the bankers and businessmen who dominated the early Spanish economy. The Arabs arrived in 711 and pushed north from North Africa and were a dominant force until their final defeat at Granada in 1492. These Muslims, later called Moors, opened Spain to Eastern civilization and even introduced Greek philosophy to the Iberian Peninsula. Córdoba and Toledo were considered the new Athens of Europe. We will focus our studies in five cities that most reflect the Arab and Jewish influence. They include Valencia, Toledo, Córdoba, Granada and Sevilla. Before exploring Spain, we will follow the steps of the Arab invasion through Morocco to the shores of Algeciras, Spain. Madrid will be our ending point for this course, which will give time to explore this beautiful capital. Every aspect of Spain that was affected by the Jews and Arabs will be explored, which includes the language, art, literature, music, dance, food, customs, holidays, architecture and religion. We must include the study of the Spanish Inquisition in order to fully appreciate the Jewish and Arab cultures in Spain. This course will give the student a better understanding of the elements that shape present day religious and world conflicts. This course is lead by Professor Sam Ogdie.

Photos from Previous Years