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Sunday 13 January 2013

Al-Hakem II (Spain ) Cordoba Caliph

b. January 13, 915
d. October 16, 976
ruled 961 - October 1, 976

Contrary to the modern perception that Islam is implacably opposed to homosexuality, the history of Islam, like that of Christianity, exposes factual evidence to the contrary. Numerous important men in Islamic history, especially the rulers and poets, are known to have had male lovers, or celebrated male love in their poetry. Al-Hakem II, Caliph of Cordoba in Spain, is an example - just like his father before him.

In his youth his loves seem to have been entirely homosexual. He was known to have openly kept a male harem.This exclusivity was a problem, since it was essential to produce an heir. A resolution was reached by his taking a concubine who dressed in boys' clothes and was give the masculine name of Jafar.

Successor of Abd-al-Rahman III, who had kept both male and female harems, Caliph Al-Hakem II in year 965 built the largest castle in Europe (446 m long, 89 m wide and 1,200 m in perimeter) at Gormaz (close to the road that goes from Aranda de Duero to Medinaceli). His rule assured a long period of peace to Andalusia. He was devoted to books and learning, and  the Muslim library reached up to 400,000 volumes. (this was sacked in the Berber siege of Cordoba in 1100). He even sent his agents to purchase 'first edition' books from the Muslim east, such as Kitab al-Aghani (Book of Songs) by Abu al-Faraj al.-Isfahani.
During his reign, a massive translation effort was undertaken, and many books were translated from Latin and Greek into Arabic. He formed a joint committee of Arab Muslims and Iberian Mozarab Christians for this task.  By mid tenth century most of existing Greek and Hellenic works were translated into Arabic. He enlarged and beautifully decorated Cordoba's Mosque.


Crompton, Louis:  Homosexuality and Civilization

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