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Chapter 5: Letter from Habbus, King of Granada:

12 Safar, 420 (May, 1030)

I am well aware that the recently departed Abut l-Abbas was your mentor. He spoke highly of your skills and intelligence. As you know I followed l-Abbas’ recommendation and appointed his son Vizier of Finance after the old man’s passing. The young man is intelligent enough but his father was negligent teaching him all he needed to know to be effective.

This morning when he was summoned to me you appeared in his stead and explained he was unavailable due to a sudden and severe illness. You did an outstanding job of presenting the information I required, and you answered all my questions regarding the financial status of the Kingdom with concise and accurate data.

I appreciate your loyalty to your mentor and to his son, but I have learned the young man is dedicated to the pleasures of life. This morning he was still under the influence of too much wine and food taken the previous evening. This is not the first time this has happened and in each case, you have filled in for him while presenting the information you have compiled, as if he had done the work. I am well aware that my Vizier of Finance suffers from a weakness of understanding of the finance ministry and its duties.

I have had you investigated thoroughly. I learned that you are the person responsible for the excellent management of our Finance Ministry.

I have this day given the son of Abu l-Abbas a large estate near Jaen to which he is ordered to repair. I have appointed you, Samuel ibn Nagrela, Vizier of Finance. You will come to the palace tomorrow morning to be invested with your office and recognized by the court.

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