JurjiZ
About Jurji Zaidan

Introductory Summary

The Conquest of Andalusia | The Battle of Poitiers | The Caliph's Sister

The Caliph's Heirs | Saladin and the Assassins


About the Novel | The Historical Context | The Translator | Afterword | Study Guide


About the Novel

It is Christmas Day in the year 710 AD in Toledo, capital of Visigoth Spain. King Wittiza has been dethroned, and the impulsive and tyrannical Roderic has been installed as monarch of Spain with the help of the Catholic clergy. Even so, Bishop Oppas, the deposed king’s brother, is to remain as the senior ecclesiastical figure in Spain during King Roderic’s reign.

The beautiful Florinda is the daughter of Count Julian, the governor of Sabta, a Christian enclave in Muslim North Africa. She is madly in love and engaged to the charismatic and courageous Alfonso, son of the deposed king. But she has been moved into King Roderic's palace where she is the target of the new king’s lustful desires, even though he  is married. And Alfonso has been kept as a retainer in the palace so that his comings and goings can be monitored.

Will Florinda manage to thwart the lascivious advances of the depraved king? Will Alfonso be able to foil the king's designs? And how will Florinda's father, Count Julian, react when he learns of Roderic's evil plans towards his daughter? What role will Bishop Oppas play -- torn as he is between loyalty to Visigoth Spain and faithfulness to his values and his family?

The fast-paced story, full of twists and turns, unfolds as the Muslim armies in North Africa are poised to cross the Straits of Gibraltar and gain their first European foothold in what came to be called the land of al-Andalus. The Conquest of Andalusia is also the story of the battle for Florinda’s virtue and happiness ....

The Conquest of Andalusia

 

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Opera on the Life of Jurji Zaidan
(in Arabic) attended by the
President of Egypt

Prelude with Speeches of Literary Figures

Libretto





Jurji Zaidan and his Family

Centennial Celebrations
of Dar-al-Hilal