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When you arrive at Cordoba...R03;
In the 10th century, Cordoba, the capital of Umayyad Spain, was unrivalled in both East and the West for its wealth and civilisation. One author wrote about Cordoba:
there were half a million inhabitants, living in 113,000 houses. There were 700 mosques and 300 public baths spread throughout the city and its twenty-one suburbs. The streets were paved and lit...There were bookshops and more than seventy libraries.
Muslim scholars served as a major link in bringing Greek philosophy, of which the Muslims had previously been the main custodians, to Western Europe.
There were interchanges and alliances between Muslim and Christian rulers such as the legendary Spanish warrior El-Cid, who fought both against and alongside Muslims.
Muslim, Jewish and Christian interaction
How did Muslims, Jews and Christians interact in practice? Was this period of apparent tolerance underpinned by a respect for each other's sacred texts? What led to the eventual collapse of Cordoba and Islamic Spain? And are we guilty of over-romanticising this period as a golden age of co-existence?
Three contributors discuss these questions with Melvyn Bragg. They are: Tim Winter, a convert to Islam and lecturer in Islamic Studies at the Faculty of Divinity at Cambridge University; Martin Palmer, an Anglican lay preacher and theologian and author of The Sacred History of Britain; and Mehri Niknam, Executive Director of the Maimonides Foundation, a joint Jewish-Muslim Interfaith Foundation in London.