Cordova an ancient city of Spain (called by the Romans Corduba), seat of a Roman Catholic bishop, and noted for its cathedral church, which is the most beautiful of all Spain.
1. A celebrated Synod of Cordova was held on occasion of the persecution of Spanish Christians from 850 to 859, during the caliphate of Abderrahman II († 852) and of Mohammed. The synod was called at the wish of Abderrahman, in order to enjoin moderation upon monks and others who craved martyrdom by provoking the Mohammedans. In accordance with this wish, the council, of which the metropolitan Hostegis of Malaga seems to have been the leading spirit, forbade self-sought martyrdom. This action met at once with a determined opposition on the part of the rigorists, who called the synod impium conciliabulum. The acts of the council are lost, as it soon came to be generally disowned by the Spanish Church.
2. The School of Cordova was one of the most celebrated literary institutions of the Arabs it Spain. It was founded about 980 by caliph Hakem II, and had the largest Arabic library in Spain, which, according to one, undoubtedly exaggerated, account, numbered as many as 600,000 volumes. The school of Cordova became in particular celebrated for the impulse which it gave to the study of the Aristotelian philosophy. One of the most celebrated professors of Cordova was Averrhoes (q.,v.). The conquest of Cordova by the Christians put an end to this school, as also to the flourishing Talmudic school of the same city. — Herzog, Real- Encyklopadie, s.v.