Musa bin Nusair


Musa bin Nusair was the Muslim governor of the province of North Africa at the time of the Moorish invasion of Hispania. In his younger years he had done much to advance the Moslem cause in Northern Africa by bringing all of Morroco and Tangiers under Moslem control, resisting the Byzantines at sea, and taking control of Cyprus and other Mediterranean Islands. In 710 he was approached by Count Julian, Gothic Governor of an island near the Straight of Gibralter, who was an enemy of Roderic, the Visigoth king. He asked for Moorish aid in what was essentially a Visigoth civil war, and Musa immediately saw the opportunity for adding to his dominion. It was he who directed his general Tariq to invade the country, but he did not anticipate the speed at which the Gothic kingdom would fall, and was bitterly jealous of his general's success. Soon after the Moorish victory at the battle of Guadalete, Musa led another army into Hispania for the purpose of claiming his share of the credit and spoils. In this effort he was temporarily succesful, and he established his family and retainers in positions of power in the new realm, most notably his son Abdul-Aziz replaced Tariq as governor of the new province.

Eventually, however, Musa was called to account for his treachery. Both he and Tariq presented themselves to the Caliph in Damascus, and Musa was rebuked for his treachery. He died in disgrace shortly thereafter.

Key events during the life of :

Birth of Musa
Appointed Umayyad governor of Ifriqia.
  Completes conquest of Morroco, Tangiers, Cyprus, and Sicily for the Moslems.
Commissioned Tariq to lead the Moorish invasion of Hispania.
Gothic Spain is defeated at the Battle of Guadalete.
Leads an army into Hispania, in hopes of gaining credit for the invasion.
Musa's sons are appointed governors of conquered Spain.
Appeared before the Caliph, but is rebuked for his treatment of Tariq.
Death of Musa, in disgrace.

Other Resources

Story Links
Book Links
Moorish Invasion  in  The Romance of Spanish History  by  John S.C. Abbott
The Moorish Conquest  in  A Child's History of Spain  by  John Bonner
Beginnings of Spain  in  Story of the Greatest Nations: Spain  by  Charles F. Horne
Table of Solomon  in  Historical Tales: Spanish  by  Charles Morris
Invasion from Africa  in  Spain: A History for Young Readers  by  Frederick A. Ober

Short Biography
Tariq ibn Ziyad Berber general who defeated the Visigoths at the Battle of Gaudalete.
Abdul Aziz Son of Umayyad governor Musa. Ruled in Andalusia until murdered for marrying Exilona.
Count Julian Gothic governor of Cueta, who treacherously delivered his city into the hands of the Moors.
Al Walid I Umayyad Caliph who ruled in Damascus during the Moorish invasion of Hispania.