But the citizens answered that the fort should be in the centre, not in an outlying area. They chose the hill, which is known as Jabal Amru¯s [The Hill of Amru¯s] to this very day.9

A palace (qas ˙

r) was built from the rubble excavated from a pit within the walls. Now, when he had gone there and garrisoned it, he informed al-H

˙ akam

of that. Al-H ˙

akam ordered some of his generals (quwwa¯d ) on the Marches to announce an attack by a large force of the enemy, and to call for troops from the military contingents and volunteers.10 Many people of Cordova and elsewhere volunteered. Al-H

˙ akam sent his son Abd

al-Rah ˙ ma¯n, who was only 14 years old, and three of his ministers on the

expedition. Al-H ˙

akam had already written a letter which he gave to one of his palace servants (khalifa) and told him to give it to his ministers when they reached Toledo.11