756 - 788 ABD AL-RAHMAN I (Abd Ur-Rahman I) (Spain)
An Umayyad caliph, he made Spain independent of Baghdad. His court was open to poets, scientists, and philosophers. At the same time that the influence of Babylon was waning, Spain was becoming the center of Jewish thought. The Umayyad rule in Spain was to last 250 years and provide peace and stability for its inhabitants.