Parents: Abu Ya'qub Yusuf, emir of Morocco
Date of Birth: c. 1160
Royal House: Almohad
Reign: 1184 – 1199
Predecessor: Abu Ya'qub Yusuf
Summary: Al-Manṣūr led a short life of continuous warfare. From the time that he ascended the throne in 1184, he vowed vengeance against the Christian crusaders who killed his father. But he first had to deal with the recently-ousted rival dynasty, the Almoravids. He finally defeated them and invaded the Iberian Peninsula. He had a great military conquest but returned home with many slaves. A full Christian uprising happened in his wake. Al-Manṣūr returned and defeated the Christians again, taking many more slaves than the first time and selling them to sub-Saharan traders.
Morocco and the Almohad territories thrived during al-Manṣūr's reign. Architecture, science, and philosophy reached new heights in continental Europe, but it was to be short-lived. In July 1195, al-Manṣūr defeated the Castilian king Alfonso VIII at the Battle of Alarcos and sent the Castilians into a hard retreat to Toledo. Al-Manṣūr took up residence in Seville and continued to raid southern Iberia for the next four years. He took the title "al-Manṣūr Billah" which means "Made victorious by God". In 1198, al-Manṣūr finally lost interest in Iberia since he had reconquered most of the original Umayyad lands of four hundred years previous. He returned to Morocco and died a few months later. His empire crumbled under the reign of his son in 1212 at the Battle of Las Nevas de Tolosa, and the Muslim presence in Iberia began a permanent decline.
Date of Death: 23 January 1199
Successor: Muhammad an-Nasir, amir of Morocco
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