History of the Moorish Empire in Europe by S.P. Scott


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History of the Moorish Empire in Europe by S.P. Scott

It may seem a work of supererogation to traverse once more a portion of the ground covered by Irving and Prescott. The final episode in the fall of a great empire could not, however, with propriety be omitted. Moreover, the accounts of these two famous writers swarm with errors, as any one can readily discover who will consult the chronicles of Pulgar and Bernaldez, eye-witnesses, and consequently the most re liable authorities concerning what they relate. The quotations of Irving, it may be added, indicate a surprising want of familiarity with the Castilian language.

That writer best fulfils the office of an historian who passes before the mind of the reader, as in a panorama, not merely the more striking events of war and diplomacy, but circumstances often regarded as unimportant, yet which illustrate, as no others can do, the condition of the masses as well as the policy of the prince; which indicate the condition of public and private morals; which exhibit the effects of domestic manners, of ingenious inventions, of literary progress and artistic development; which reveal the unfolding of national taste - which present, in short, the portraiture of every material and intellectual feature necessary to the elucidation of the character, the aspirations, and the foibles of a people. With this end in view, sources of information usually regarded as beneath the dignity of an historical work have been drawn on for material in the following pages.