The Marinids - Medieval African History
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The Marinids


Shirij Madrasa, Fez, Morocco, about 1350 AD

In 1217 AD, as the Almohad dynasty was collapsing, Sultan Abu Yusuf took over control of Morocco and founded the Marinid dynasty. The Marinid rulers were army men, cavalry riders.


A tour of Fez

The Marinids made their capital city at Fez, and tried over and over to reunite the old Almohad empire by conquering their neighbors, the 'Abd al-Wazids and the Hafsids. But they couldn't do it. When the Marinids tried to attack Spain, they failed there too. But they did manage to keep control of Morocco and the trade through the Straits of Gibraltar.

Another important city of the Marinid kingdom was Tangier, which was the home of the geographer and traveler Ibn Battuta. The Marinids ruled Morocco until 1465 AD, when the Ottomans conquered them. So the first Portuguese explorations down the coast of West Africa to kidnap slaves stopped to visit the Marinid kingdom.

Learn by doing: eat couscous at a Moroccan restaurant
More about the Ottoman Empire

Bibliography and further reading:

To the north: Spain
To the south: West Africa
To the east: Hafsids and Mamluks
More about the Islamic Empire
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Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram or Twitter, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.
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