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Abu Yusuf Ya'qub al-Mansur ( ) (c. 1160 – January 23, 1199) (also known as Moulay Yacoub), was the third Almohad Amir

Succeeding his father, Abu Ya'qub Yusuf, Yakub al-Mansur reigned from 1184 to 1199 with distinction. During his tenure, trade, architecture, philosophy and the sciences flourished, to say nothing of military conquests. In 1191 Yaqub al-Mansur repelled the occupation of Paderne Castlemarker and the surrounding territory near Albufeira, in the Algarve which had been controlled by the Portuguese army of King Sancho I since 1182.

In the Battle of Alarcosmarker, on July 18, 1195, he defeated the Castilian King Alfonso VIII. After victory, he took the title al-Mansur Billah ("Made Victorious by God"). The battle is recounted by the historian Abou Mohammed Salah ben Abd el-Halim of Granadamarker in his Roudh el-Kartas (History of the Rulers of Morocco, French translation by A. Beaumier, 1860) in 1326.

He died in Marrakechmarker, Moroccomarker. During his reign, he undertook several major projects. He built the Koutoubia Mosquemarker and the El Mansouria mosque in Marrakechmarker and a kasbahmarker, accessed by Bab Agnaou and Bab Ksiba in the southern part of its medinamarker. He attempted to build what would have been the world's largest mosque in Rabatmarker. However, construction on the mosque stopped after al-Mansur died. Only the beginnings of the mosque had been completed, including the Hassan Towermarker. Al-Mansur protected the philosopher Averroes and kept him as a favorite at court.

Al-Mansur, came to the throne after his father was killed in Portugalmarker in 1184. He promised revenge for his father's death, but fighting with the Almohads, who were ousted from the throne, delayed him in Africa. After defeating the Almohads again, he sent out for Iberian Peninsulamarker to avenge his father's death. Landing in Iberia, defeating and capturing all major cities, Al-Mansur, returned to Morocco with three thousand Christian captives, young women and children.

When the Christians in Iberian Peninsulamarker heard of Al-Mansur's absence to Africa, revolted, capturing many of the Moorish cities, including Silves, Vera, and Beja. When Al-Mansur heard this news, he returned to the Iberian Peninsulamarker, and defeated the Christians again. This time, many were taken in chained groups of fifty each, and later sold in Africa as slaves.

While Al-Mansur was away in Africa, the Christians mounted the largest army of that time period of over 300,000 men to defeat Al- Mansur. Immediately upon hearing this, Mansur returned to Iberiamarker and defeated Alfonso's army, killing 150,000, taking money, valuables and other goods beyond calculation.

The town of Moulay Yacoub, outside of Fez, Morocco, is named after Al-Mansur, and is best known for its therapeutic hot springs.


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