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Iron sharpens Iron!
The Rock of Gibraltar is named for the Moor, Tarik ibn Zeyad. In 711 AD, Musa-ibn-Nusair commanded his leading Moorish general, Tarik ibn Zeyad to assemble an army of seven thousand men and ordered them to conquer Spain in the name of Islam. In that same year, General Tarik ibn Zeyad and his men, most of whom were Moors and Berbers, landed at the edge of an escarpment known then as “Mons Calpe.” Since King Roderick and most of his military forces were engaged in a battle with the Basques in the north of Spain, Tarik ibn Zeyad and his army had little opposition as they conquered all the small towns in close proximity to Mons Calpe. When King Roderick heard of the invasion of Spain by the Moors, he amassed an army six times that of Tarik ibn Zeyad’s and moved south to defend his kingdom. The two forces met in a fierce battle that lasted for an entire week. Greatly outnumbered, the Moors began to lose faith, but their leader, Tarik ibn Zeyad, was resolute and ordered them forward. King Roderick and his forces were routed and Roderick was killed in the fierce fighting. J. C. deGraft-Johnson describes the fight in his work, “African Glory:”
“The conflict was a bloody one, but Tarik was victorious and soon became master of Spain.... Tarik left a garrison at the foot of Mons Calpe, which the Africans renamed in a compliment to their general, Gebel Tarik — the Hill of Tarik — a name that was subsequently corrupted by the Spaniards into Gibraltar. ”
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