When the Moors Ruled in Europe (2005)
with Bettany Hughes
When The Moors Ruled In Europe is a documentary movie presented by the English historian Bettany Hughes. It is a two-part series on the contribution the Muslims made to modern Europe during their 700-year reign in Spain, which ended with the Spanish Inquisition in the 14th century. It was filmed in the Spanish region Andalucía, mostly in the cities Granada and Cordoba.
It seems that all the history about the Moorish and Muslim ascendancy to power in the world has been largely glossed over by individuals, be they historians or leaders of countries that have been affected by the rule. However, “When The Moors Ruled In Europe” is a film, a nearly two-hour documentary, that looks to rectify that problem by going into tremendous detail about how the Moors gained and lost power in the lands that are now considered Portugal and Spain. Bettany Hughes has been quite active in the field of documentaries, producing “Helen of Troy”, “Athens: The Dawn of Democracy”, and “Seven Ages of Britain” in the last few years.
What may be a little contentious during the run-time of this documentary is the discussion that Hughes has about the conversion en masse that the inhabitants of the Iberian population had to the Islamic faith during the time period covered by the documentary. Other discussions, such as the technological, scientific, and agricultural advancements, are much less open for discussion but are just as interesting as the aforementioned conversions. “When The Moors Ruled In Europe” surpasses American documentaries of the same style and subject content in that they presume that individuals viewing the documentary have at least a rudimentary knowledge in the field. Assuming that, Hughes, and the scholars that ey interviews, are able to really give a full focus on the nuances and specific facts associated with the piece of Moorish power in the Iberian peninsula.
While “When The Moors Ruled In Europe” is likely going to be limited in purchase to those college professors and teachers that focus on this period in history, individuals that are interested in history from this period or even history generally will gain a lot from this documentary. I have not had the chance to view or listen to any of Bettany Hughes’ other documentaries, but the informative and intense nature of “When The Moors Ruled In Europe” should show viewers that Hughes is one of the most talented creators of documentaries currently in the field. If you are in a hurry, make it a point to view the section about how mathematics were used to create and maintain the Alhambra Palace over the years since it has been built – it is fascinating and truly a testament to how advanced the Moorish leadership was during this time.