By Angus MacKay
Spain within the heart a while. From Frontier to Empire, 1000-1500:
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Additional info for Spain in the Middle Ages: From Frontier to Empire, 1000–1500
For my part, he fixed the annual tribute at 10,ooo mitqals. He spoke to me softly, saying: ' ... I will not subject you to anything else except the payment of the tribute, which you will send to me each year without delay. If you hold back payment, you will receive the visit of my ambassador and his stay will occasion you some expenses! ' I accepted his words since I knew that the payment of 10,ooo mitqals per year protected me from his misdeeds and was better than Muslim losses and the ravaging of the country ....
But these tramontanes ... began to turn round and all of them left - apart from the honourable Archbishop Arnaud [Amalric] ofNarbonne ... and Theobald of Blazon.... n Several reasons have been given by chroniclers and historians for this desertion by the foreign crusaders. They were unused to the climatic conditions south of Toledo and they certainly found the great heat, the lack of water and the resulting outbreaks of disease PROTECTION RACKETS AND CRUSADERS, C. I 000- I 2 I 2 35 almost unbearable.
How did the Christians react to the opportunities which the new situation presented? One frontier area, Castile, had become prominent precisely because its geographical position had exposed the inhabitants to constant attacks. Bearing the brunt of Muslim onslaughts, the country became a land of castles and, by the end of the eighth century, this territorium castelle was already being referred to by Muslim chroniclers as al-Qila (the castles). Even when united with the kingdom of Leon, it was Castile which dominated the task of reconquest, and her epic hero, the Cid (c.