The Praefatio De Almaria (literally: "The Preface Concerning Almería") forms the final part of the works of an anonymous 12th century CE author documenting the life of Alfonso VII, who bore the title of emperor and waged many battles and wars with both rival Christian rulers in Iberia and also the Muslim forces in the peninsula. This poem specifically concerns his 1147 CE expedition against the Muslim-held city of Almería on the southern coast. As noted in the second book of the prose chronicle, Almería had become a base for Muslim pirates to engage in raiding throughout much of the Mediterranean, and so Alfonso VII agreed on a joint expedition with forces from Spain, France, Genoa and Pisa. The expedition was a success for the Christian forces as the city was taken out of Muslim hands, though the Almohads- the Berber dynasty that overthrew the Almoravids in Iberia and North Africa- regained control of the city in 1157 CE.
It would appear that the poem as it has come down to us was either incomplete when the author wrote it or has been lost in significant part, as the poem ends mid-way through the exhortation of a speech by the bishop of Astorga. Much of the surviving poem outlines and hails the various forces accompanying Alfonso VII, and also mentions some localities in southern Spain that were conquered prior to the assault on Almería. While the poem alludes to the final victory and conquest of Almería on more than one occasion, it says little about the actual battle itself, which would no doubt have been the high point of the poem.
Below is my full translation of the surviving poem with annotations. The edition used is that of Juan Gil contained in Corpus Christianorum.
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