- Jul 31, 2016
Chapter 8: Duke Tamim II "The Cruel" (1184-1217)
After inheriting the Duchy of Granada from his elder brother on November 7, 1184, Tamim had almost no levy and a realm full for Muslims to convert since he was a Catholic. The Almoravids, no doubt outraged that Tamim had found his way to ruling Granada declared their own holy war. Tamim didn't have the armies to fight them off, but then Castille & Navarra had almost immediately come to Granada's defense. These northern armies had successfully fended off the biggest threat to a recovering Granada, and Tamim's first decade was essentially devoted to rebuilding and peacefully converting Granada to Catholicism. Tamim II had arranged a marriage with Teresa de Bourbon, who was the daughter of King Archambout II of Aquitaine. Tamim had briefly considered swearing fealty to another lord, but Aquitaine was out of range and Tamim decided that independent Granada was best for his realm.
Finally in the mid-1190s, Granada had regenerated itself, and Duke Tamim II saw a prime oppertunity to expand his realm. The King of Aragon, Ramon-Berenguer IV, had become a Waldesian heretic and Tamim(like his grandfather the Emir Ali I) had long had his eyes on Murcia. Tamim had declared a holy war while other Iberian kingdoms were declaring their holy war for Barcelona. He had hired a holy order to help him take Murcia, and to contemporary chronicilers, it seemed like divine providence that Tamim took the Duchy of Murcia just months before Ramon-Berenguer IV had expired(which would have made Tamim's war invalid since his son was a just Catholic).
In some ways, Tamim II was very much in the mold of his conquering grandfather Ali I(of course the difference in religion would have likely appalled old Ali I). Not content to sit on his laurels, Tamim would declare another holy war when an Aragonese vassal who was a heretic was in revolt. It wasn't much of a contest, and the County of Cordoba would fall into Tamim's hands on October 18, 1196. Aragon's ability to stifle Granada had been diminished. Of course Tamim, who was also the Duke of Mallorca but didn't possess any land on the islands, saw what his next goal had to be.
Plans on additional conquest had to be put on hold however when the Pope declared the Crusade for Germany against the Holy Roman Emperor. Tamim II, as a faithful Catholic, had decided to join the Crusade, and had joined his fellow Catholics to liberate Germans from the foul yoke of the heretic Kaiser. Since Granada was not by any means among the more powerful of the Crusading realms, Tamim II had focused on assisting the Pope in battles against the Kaiser. His military prowess and ability to set up ambushes had helped turn the tide of war, and on December 28, 1203, there would be a new King of the Germans....the King of Scotland, Matad II. Catholics around Europe celebrated as Matad had liberated German lands from foul heresy. Deus Vult! was the cry of the lands.
After a successful Crusade, Tamim II finally mourned the loss of his son Barrel who was murdered on the orders of a lowborn wife of a Baron. He had other children so succession was not going to be a problem. He would have 3 daughters, who were married to the King of Croatia, the Duke of Benevento, and the Count of Surrey respectively. His surviving son, Tamim, had grown to be a decent lad of 10 by then(born November 25, 1193). Granada was also slowly becoming Catholic although they stuck with their native Andalusian culture. It would be around this time that Tamim II had begun hearing of a new way to improve his military, through having retinues. Tamim liked the idea of having a small band of knights loyal to him, and improving his military prowess(since Knights were the cultural warriors of Occitans). As the first decade of the 13th Century ended, Tamim finally saw a chance to press a claim against his cousin, King Boson(who was described by chroniclers as a drooling imbecile), and so Tamim became the owner of the County of Mallorca on November 4, 1211, and at least for the next 100 years, a Zirid would always own that island.
By the time that Duke Tamim II had drew his last breath on October 11, 1217, the Duchy of Granada was in the best shape it had been in about 75 years. His older brother, Frederi, had died only a few years before. His son, Tamim, was ready to rule. The duchy's priests would welcome the ascension of the newest Duke, Tamim III.