Tarik ibn Ziyad
Tarik ibn Ziyad (täˈrĭk) [key], fl. 711, Berber leader of the Muslim invaders of Spain. When the heirs of the Visigothic king, Witiza, requested help from the Moors of N Africa against the usurper Roderick, Tarik, with his Moorish army, crossed (711) from Africa to Gibraltar (originally named for him, in Arabic, Jebel-al-Tarik; i.e., Tarik's mountain). Tarik defeated Roderick in the same year in the battle of Guadalete, but he did not restore Witiza's heirs. Instead, he sent for African reinforcements and conquered most of the Iberian Peninsula within a few years. Thus began the Moorish domination of Spain, which was not fully ended until 1492.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
More on Tarik ibn Ziyad from Infoplease:
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Spanish and Portuguese History: Biographies