chapter  V
13 Pages

The Almoravids

ByE. W. Bovill

The Almoravids were organized by Ibn Yacin into an army 30,000 strong all fired with the religious fervour of their leader. Many Andalusians thought that the only hope of salvation for their country lay in union with the Almoravid Empire. Although Ibn Yacin could command the allegiance of most of the tribes of the western desert the people of Audoghast, who had fallen under the tutelage of the hated Soninke of Ghana, held aloof. Ibn Yacin set out for the north with the loyal Lemtuna only, but he succeeded in re-establishing control in Dra'a and Sijilmasa. The great movement which he had fathered and directed had, by the time of his death, united into one kingdom practically the whole of the Western Sahara besides the fertile northern districts of Sus, Aghmat, and Sijilmasa and its dependencies. In North Africa a new Berber sect, the Almohads or Traditionists, drove them out.