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The resilience of this Christian settler society was put to serious test at the end of the eleventh century. Events after the capture of Toledo in J085 by the forces of Alfonso VI of Castile (1065-11°9) reveal a fundamental change in the, attitudes of the victors to the conquered Muslims. At the iri’stiga:tion (it was said) of his queen, the chief mosque of Toledo was converted into a cathedral and the pleas of the Mozarabs for the toleratio’n of the faith of their Muslim fellow townsmen went unheard.


Now all land’north of the Tagus was in Christian hands but the forces from beyond the Pyrenees which had helped to make the conquests possible brought their own attitudes and prejudices with them. Under Cluniac encouragement, the native Mozarabic liturgy was condemned in favour of the Roman rite and the Spanish kings were encouraged to consider themselves loyal vassals of the pope and thus ready both to eradicate religious practices which were deemed to be improper, but also to do their duty as leaders in wars which were now fought not merely for territory, but for the Faith.


It was in this heady spiritual atmosphere that, according to the later Arab chronicler alMaqqari, Alfonso I ‘the Battler’ (1104-34), king of Aragon and Navarre ‘sent messengers.