How were the Umayyads perceived in al-Andalus after their tumultuous history in the East?
D.R.: What happened in brief is this. The Umayyad house ended up becoming the rulers of the Islamic empire very quickly after the death of the Prophet Mohamed. They were from the heartland of the Arabian peninsula, and from that period of time up until 750, the capital was Damascus. The rule was very Arab, truly ethnically and linguistically Arab. Many of the people that had been sent out-the troops, the governors, the various administrators who had been sent to al-Andalus-were also Arabs from the Arabian peninsula. What happened was a change from a regime that was quite purely Arab to a regime, the Abbasid Dynasty, which was from further north and further east, and which had strong associations with Persian language and Persian culture. What happens in 750 when the Abbasids take over from the Umayyads is that we suddenly have a huge influx in music and in poetry and in architecture from the remnants of the Persian Empire. The Umayyads were killed off in a dramatic moment where the Abb