Abd ar-Rahman I, d. 788, first Umayyad emir of Córdoba (756–88). The only survivor of the Abbasid massacre (750) of his family in Damascus, he fled from Syria and eventually went to Spain. There he defeated (756) the emir of Córdoba at Alameda and seized power. Despite the jealousy of the Arab aristocracy and the turbulence of the Berbers, he reorganized and consolidated the state and tried to unite the various Muslim groups. The great mosque at Córdoba, which Abd ar-Rahman started, was continued by his son and successor, Hisham I.
See R. Collins, Early Medieval Spain: Unity in Diversity (2 vol., 1983–87); S. Lane-Poole, The Moors in Spain (1984); D. Taha Abdulwahid, Muslim Conquest and Settlement of North Africa and Spain (1988).
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