NEW VANTAGE POINTS (8TH-10TH CENTURIES)
Andalusian Records on Frankish-Umayyad Relations
Although Ibn Habib failed to mention relations between the Umayyads of al-Andalus and the Carolingians in the middle of the ninth century, records must have been available during his lifetime. Andalusian historiographers from the eleventh century drew on texts from the tenth century that report on Frankish- Umayyad relations of the late eighth and ninth centuries. Ibn Hayyan (d. 469/1076) bases great parts of his history of al-Andalus, including several of the passages cited below, on historiographical works produced in the environs of the tenth-century Umayyad court by such scholars as Ahmad b. Muhammad al-Razi    
(d. 344/955) and his son 'Isa. The work of Ibn al-Qutiyya (d. 367/977) and the chronicle akhbar majmua procure further details.
Ibn H ayyan asserts that strife between the three sons of 'Abd al-Rahman I provoked the flight of 'Abd Allah and his two sons to the court of Charlemagne (Qarluh malik al-Faranj) at the end of the eighth century.22 The chronicle akhbar majmua mentions that the governor of Barcelona, Sulayman al-A'rabi, captured the Muslim commander Tha'laba b. 'Abd and sent him to Charlemagne (Qarla) who then laid siege to Zaragoza.23 Ibn H ayyan curses the Franks, ‘may God destroy them’, involved in the conquest of Barcelona in 185/800-0124 and describes how Charlemagne concluded a peace treaty with the amir al-Hakam six years later:
In this year, a peace treaty was concluded between the amir al-Hakam and Charles, the son of Pepin (Qarluh b. Bibin), the king of the Franks (malik al-Firanja), after the repeated exchange of ambassadors between them since the beginning of al-Hakam’s reign and after various complications. The reason for its conclusion at this time was the appearance of Idris b. 'Abd Allah al-Hasani on the North African coast and the Franks’ terror because of this. However, the peace between them did not last long, only until the tyrant (al-taghiya) Charles died at the end of the year 191/806. In his place ruled his son Louis, the son of Charles (Ludhwiq b. Qarluh), who broke the above-mentioned peace, thus rekindling Frankish military activity^3
Ibn H ayyan also reports that Muslims, led by the future 'Abd al-Rahman II, confronted the troops of Louis the Pious advancing, among other places, on Tortosa, in 192-93/807-808.26 They failed to reconquer Frankish territories on the Iberian Peninsula, particularly Barcelona, in 197/812 and 212/827.27 Ibn al-Qutiyya records that 'Abd al-Rahman II (ruled 206-38/822-52) sent an embassy to Charles the Bald (Qarla, malik Ifranja)      who responded with an embassy to Muhammad
I (ruled 238-73/852-86). According to Ibn Hayyan, citing al-Razi (d. 344/955), this amir
was surrounded by tyrannical rulers (muluk al-tawaghit) on the Iberian Peninsula (bi-ard al-Andalus) who were extreme in their admiration and their respect for him, solemnly requesting peace on most occasions in the nicest and most obliging terms. The one who spent most energy on this was their greatest tyrant (taghutuhum al-a‘zam) Charles, the son of Louis (Qarlush b. Ludhwiq), the vigorous and ingenious master of the Franks adhering to the Melkite religion who, among the Frankish kings, held sway over the largest kingdom, wielded the greatest power of command and had the most far-reaching reputation. He is the one who produced an image of the Messiah, the son of Mary — God’s blessings upon them both — according to what he believed to be true about the latter’s qualities. He created his image from 300 ratl of pure gold, adorning it with rubies and emeralds, seating it on a throne enchased with the most precious adornments. All the inhabitants of his kingdom bowed before it. Then he sent it to the master of the golden church so that he may safeguard it for him. When he returned to his castle, God struck him with a headache that stayed and did not stop until he emitted his last breath. His rule lasted thirty-nine years and six months, and the realm of the Franks after him slackened for a while. He is the one who made peace with the amir Muhammad and who gave him presents.
Although he clearly satisfied the Umayyad claim to righteousness in matters of political grandeur and faith in this passage, Ibn H ayyan may have understood that Charles’ (ruled 823-77) complaisance could have been connected to the fact that his realm was a victim of Norman attacks such as the one suffered in 245/859. 
Thus, relations between the Carolingians and the Umayyads of al-Andalus provided Arabic-Islamic scholars with various details about the Franks and the Frankish realm. According to al-Mas'udl (d. 345/956), the bishop Godemar of Gerona presented a book on the Franks to the future caliph al-Hakam II in 328/939-40.31 This book provided al-Mas'udi with most of the data on the Franks that is included in his muruj al-dhahab. Here he claims that the Franks originally hailed from Rhodes (jazirat Rudus) and had temporarily ruled Crete, North Africa, and Sicily.2 Moreover, he provides a list of kings that begins with Clovis’ baptism and ends in the tenth century.33 As Magali Coumert has pointed out, this list, transmitted via a bishopric in frontier Catalonia, completely ignores the Carolin- gians’ early status as mayors of the palace and their deposition of the last Merovingian king in 751, thus suggesting dynastic continuity between the Merovingian Clovis and the Carolingians.3 It seems certain that, rather than fabricating this Carolingian claim to continuity and political legitimacy, al-Mas‘udi accepted this claim without really understanding it:
In a book that fell into my hands in al-Fustat in Egypt in the year 336/947 and that was presented by Godemar, the bishop of Gerona, one of the cities of the Franks, to al-Hakam . . . in 328/940, I found that the first king of the Franks was Quluduwih who was a heathen (majusiyyan). His wife, whose name was Ghurutild, converted him to Christianity, however. After him, his son Ludhrlq ruled. Then, after Ludhrlq, his son Daqubart ruled. Then his son Ludhrlq ruled. Then, after him, his brother Qarluman ruled. Then his son Qarluh ruled after him. Then his son Babin ruled after him. Then his son Qarluh, whose reign lasted 26 years, ruled after him. This was in the days when al-Hakam [I., ruled 180-206/796-822] was the master of al-Andalus. After him, his sons fought, and dissension arose to such a point that the Franks were destroying themselves because of them. Ludhwiq, the son of Qarluh, then became the master of their realm and ruled for 28 years and 6 months. He is the one who advanced on Tortosa and laid siege to it. Then, after him, Qarluh b. Ludhwiq ruled. He is the one who sent gifts to Muhammad b. ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn al-Hakam b. Hisham b. ‘Abd al-Rahman b. Muawiya b. Hisham b. ‘Abd al-Malik b. Marwan [ruled 238-73/852-86]. This Muhammad used to be addressed as ‘Imam’. He ruled for 39 years and 6 months, to be followed by his son Ludhwiq for 6 years. Then a leader of the Franks called Qumis rebelled against him. He ruled the Franks and stayed in power for 8 years. He is the one who bought off the Normans from his country for 7 years at the cost of700 ratl of gold and 600 ratl of silver, to be paid to them by the master of the Franks. After him, Qarluh b. Taqwira ruled for 4 years. Then after him another Qarluh ruled who stayed for 31 years and 3 months. Then ruled Ludhwiq b. Qarluh, who is the king of the Franks to this day, i.e. the year 336/947. He has governed the realm for ten years up to this date according to the information that has reached us about him7s
The chronicle of Ibn al-Qutiyya proves that knowledge about Carolingian- Umayyad relations was not only available among ruling elites and scholars, but also diffused among groups not directly involved in foreign relations with the Franks. He recounts that the death of an ambassador sent by the amir Muhammad to Charles the Bald obliged the responsible qadi of Cordoba to order the financial affairs of the deceased.36
Some sources provide insight into how information from the eastern Frankish realm arrived in al-Andalus. In 330/942, members of marauding Hungarian troops strayed as far as the Upper Marches of al-Andalus after having traversed the Frankish realm. According to a letter from the local Muslim commander to the Umayyad caliph Abd al-Rahman III, cited by Ibn Hayyan, the Muslim authorities captured and interrogated some of them. The latter then informed these authorities about the Hungarians’ starting point north of Rome (Ruma) and east of the Saxons (al-Shakhshunsh) and Franks (al-Ifranja). Five captives were sent to the caliph for further interrogation and took up service at his court. In addition, the caliph was briefed by the Muslim governor of Barbastro, who had been held captive by the Hungarians for thirty-three days, as well as by the Muslim governor of Tortosa who reported on a later Frankish victory against the Hungarians, probably the Battle of Augsburg of 955.37 In view of this, it is not surprising that the caliph should have had at his disposal detailed knowledge about the Hungarian menace to the Ottonian realm, as the Latin Life of John of Gorze, an Ottonian envoy to Cordoba, purports. Describing John’s mission to the Umayyad court in 953_56,3® the Vita Iohannis claims that the caliph was not only briefed by John’s official travel companion, who had been part of the initial Umayyad delegation to the court of Otto I in 950,39 but also that he received John in 956, commenting on Otto’s rule as follows: al-Andalus wa-tadafa a awladuhu badahu wa-waqaa al-ikhtilaf baynahum hatta tafanat al-Ifranja bi-sababihim wa-sara Ludhwiq b. Qarluh sahib mulkihim; fa-malaka thamaniyan wa-ashrin sana wa-sittat ashhur wa-huwa alladhi aqbala ila Turtusha fa-hasaraha. thumma malaka badahu Qarluh b. Ludhwiq wa-huwa alladhi yuhadi Muhammad b. Abd al-Rahman ibn al-Hakam b. Hisham b. Abd al-Rahman b. Muawiya b. Hisham b. Abd al-Malik b. Marwan, wa-kana Muhammad yukhatab bi-l-imam, wa-kanat wilayatuhu tisan wa-thalathin sana wa-sittat ashhur, thumma wal- iya badahu ibnuhu Ludhwiq sittat awam, thumma qama alayhi qaid li-l-Ifranja yusamma qumis fa-malaka al-Ifranja wa-aqama fi mulkihim thamani sinin wa-huwa alladhi salaha al-Majus an baladihi saba sinnin bi-sittamia ratl dhahab wa-sittamia ratl fidda yuaddiha sahib al-Ifranja ilayhim, thumma waliya badahu Qarluh b. Taqwira arbaa sinin, thumma waliya badahu Qarluh akhar fa-makatha ihda wa-thalathin sana wa-thalathat ashhur, thumma waliya badahu Ludhwiq b. Qarluh wa-huwa malik al-Ifranja ila hadha al-waqt wa-huwa sanat sitt wa-thalathin wa-thalathamia wa-qad istawafa fi mamlakatihi ashr sinin ila hadha al-tarikh ala hasb ma nama ilayna min khabar- ihi’. Translation adapted from Lewis, ‘al-Mas'udl’ (I960), pp. 8—10. Cf. Schilling, ‘Karl’ (2004), pp. 203-4.
There is one issue, in which it has been proven that he [i.e. Otto] is not prudent
enough____This is that he does not guard power for himself but rather accepts freely
that some of those belonging to him use their own authority, to the effect that he divides the parts of the kingdom among them as if this would make them more loyal and more subject to him. Without avail, however. For since then haughtiness and rebellion have been fostered against him as has now been done by his son-in-law, who has used his son as a tool against him in an act of treason and public tyranny to the effect that he has led the external people of the Hungarians pillaging into the heart of their realms.40
It is possible that the author of the Vita Iohannis used the caliph to pronounce his own views on problems in the Ottonian realm.41 However, in view of the many sources of information available to the caliph, there is no reason why 'Abd al-Rahman III should have been ignorant about the affairs of the Ottonian realm, the more so as other sources of information were also available to Andalusian Muslims of the tenth century. Among these is the account of the travels of the Andalusian Jew Ibrahim b. Ya'qub al-Isra’lll. Based on the author’s travels in the sixties or seventies of the tenth century, it provided later Arabic-Islamic historiographers with further details on the Frankish realm and central Europe under Ottonian rule.42
The geo- and ethnographic work of the Andalusian scholar al-Bakri (d. 487/1094) contains the most detailed description of the Frankish sphere before the crusading era.43 Thanks to his use of the Arabic version of Orosius’ Historiae adversus paganos, the author is acquainted with the toponym ‘Gaul’ (Ghalish)44 and provides data on the Roman and Visigothic presence in Gaul.45 He proffers an abridged version of the list of Frankish kings used by al-Mas'udi and comments laconically that the names Charles (Qarluh) and Louis (Ludhwiq) ‘are repeatedly borne by their kings’.46       
However, the list also contains a complementary, albeit incorrectly dated report about the conflict between Robert of Neustria and Charles the Simple:
Their realm (mamlakatuhum) remained united and their efforts combined until a count with a proper domain called Robert (Rudbirt) rebelled against a man among their rulers (rajulmin mulukihim) named Charles (Qarluh) in the period of the Imam Abd Allah [ruled 275-300/888-912]. Charles set out against him with troops and both advanced towards each other. Then Charles killed him while Robert’s allies captured Charles [in 922] who remained a prisoner for four years. Then he died while in their hands, so that their kingdom broke apart and split up.47
Al-Bakri’s work also features a geophysical and ethnographical description of the Frankish realm, which is based largely on the travel account of Ibrahim b. Ya‘qub/8 It evaluates the realm’s landscape and agriculture/9 but also addresses the Franks’ mores and customs, i.e. their pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela and to Carcassonne/0 their handling of adultery and treason, and their relations to the Bretons as well their practice of separating noble children from their parents for the purpose of education. Al-Bakri writes:
they educate the sons of their nobles far away from them, to the effect that a son does not know his parents until he reaches maturity. Then, when he has reached maturity, he returns to them and looks upon them as his lords whereas he is like a servant to them.51