The term "Moors" refers primarily to the
Muslim inhabitants of the
Maghreb, the Iberian Peninsula, Sicily, and
Malta during the Middle
Moors initially were the Berber autochthones of the
Maghreb. The name was later also applied to Arabs.
Moors are not a distinct or self-defined people, and the 1911
Encyclopædia Britannica observed that "The term 'Moors' has no real
Medieval and early modern
applied the name to Arabs, North African Berbers, and Muslim
The term has also been used in Europe in a broader, somewhat
derogatory sense to refer to Muslims in general, especially those
of Arab or Berber descent, whether living in
Spain or North Africa.
During the colonial era, the Portuguese introduced the names "Ceylon
Moors" and "Indian Moors" in Sri Lanka, and the
Bengali Muslims were
also called Moors.
In 711, troops mostly formed by
Moors from northern Africa led the
Umayyad conquest of Hispania. The Iberian peninsula then came to be
known in classical
Arabic as Al-Andalus, which at its peak included
Septimania and modern-day
Spain and Portugal.
In 827, the
Moors occupied Mazara on Sicily, developing it as a
port. They eventually consolidated the rest of the island and some
of southern Italy. Differences in religion and culture led to a
centuries-long conflict with the
Christian kingdoms of Europe, which
tried to reclaim control of
Muslim areas; this conflict was referred
to as the Reconquista. In 1224 the Muslims were expelled from Sicily
to the settlement of Lucera, which was destroyed by European
Christians in 1300.
The fall of
Granada in 1492 marked the end of
Muslim rule in Iberia,
Muslim minority persisted until their expulsion in
1.2 Modern meanings
Moors of the Maghreb
Moors of Iberia
Moors of Sicily
6 In heraldry
8 In popular culture
9 Notable Moors
11 See also
15 External links
Mauri people and Mauretania
During the classical period, the Romans interacted with, and later
conquered, parts of Mauretania, a state that covered modern northern
Morocco, western Algeria, and the Spanish cities
Melilla. The Berber tribes of the region were noted in Classical
literature as Mauri, which was subsequently rendered as "Moors" in
English and in related variations in other European languages.
Mauri (Μαῦροι) is recorded as the native name by
Strabo in the
early 1st century. This appellation was also adopted into Latin,
whereas the Greek name for the tribe was Maurusii
Moors were also mentioned by Tacitus
as having revolted against the
Roman Empire in 24 AD.
The 16th century scholar
Leo Africanus (c. 1494–1554) identified the
Moors (Mauri) as the native Berber inhabitants of the former Roman
Africa Province (Roman Africans). He described
Moors as one of five
main population groups on the continent alongside Egyptians,
Abyssinians (Abassins), Arabians and Cafri (Cafates).
In medieval Romance languages, variations of the
Latin word for the
Moors (for instance, Italian and Spanish: moro, French: maure,
Portuguese: mouro, Romanian: maur) developed different applications
and connotations. The term initially denoted a specific Berber people
in western Libya, but the name acquired more general meaning during
the medieval period, associated with "Muslim", similar to associations
with "Saracens". During the context of the
Crusades and the
Reconquista, the term
Moors included the derogatory suggestion of
Apart from these historic associations and context, Moor and Moorish
designate a specific ethnic group speaking Hassaniya Arabic. They
Mauritania and parts of Algeria, Western Sahara, Tunisia,
Morocco, Niger, and Mali. In
Niger and Mali, these peoples are also
known as the
Azawagh Arabs, after the
Azawagh region of the
The authoritative dictionary of the
Spanish language does not list any
derogatory meaning for the word moro, a term generally referring to
people of Maghrebian origin in particular or Muslims in general.
Some authors have pointed out that in modern colloquial Spanish use of
the term moro is derogatory for
particular and Muslims in general.
In modern, colloquial Portuguese, the term Mouro was primarily used as
a designation for North Africans and secondarily as a derogatory and
ironic term by northern Portuguese to refer to the inhabitants of the
southern parts of the country (Lisbon, Alentejo, and Algarve).
However, this designation has gained more acceptance in the south.
In the Philippines, a former Spanish colony, many modern Filipinos
call the large, local
Muslim minority concentrated in
other southern islands Moros. The word is a catch-all term, as Moro
may come from several distinct ethno-linguistic groups such as the
Maranao people. The term was introduced by Spanish colonisers, and has
since been appropriated by Filipino Muslims as an endonym, with many
self-identifying as members of the Bangsamoro "Moro Nation".
Moreno can mean dark-skinned in Spain, Portugal, Brazil, and the
Philippines. Also in Spanish, morapio is a humorous name for "wine",
especially that which has not been "baptized" or mixed with water,
i.e., pure unadulterated wine. Among Spanish speakers, moro came to
have a broader meaning, applied to both Filipino Moros from Mindanao,
and the moriscos of Granada. Moro refers to all things dark, as in
"Moor", moreno, etc. It was also used as a nickname; for instance, the
Ludovico Sforza was called Il Moro because of his dark
In Portugal, mouro (feminine, moura) may refer to supernatural beings
known as enchanted moura, where "moor" implies 'alien' and
'non-Christian'. These beings were siren-like fairies with golden or
reddish hair and a fair face. They were believed to have magical
properties. From this root, the name moor is applied to unbaptized
children, meaning not Christian. In Basque, mairu means moor
and also refers to a mythical people.
Within the context of Portuguese colonization, in Sri Lanka
(Portuguese Ceylon), Muslims of Arab origin are called Ceylon Moors,
not to be confused with "Indian Moors" of
Sri Lanka (see Sri Lankan
Sri Lankan Moors
Sri Lankan Moors (a combination of "Ceylon Moors" and "Indian
Moors") make up 12% of the population. The
Ceylon Moors (unlike the
Indian Moors) are descendants of Arab traders who settled there in the
mid-6th century. When the Portuguese arrived in the early 16th
century, they labelled all the Muslims in the island as
Moors as they
saw some of them resembling the
Moors in North Africa. The Sri Lankan
government continues to identify the Muslims in
Sri Lanka as "Sri
Lankan Moors", sub-categorised into "Ceylon Moors" and "Indian
Goan Muslims — a minority community who follow
Islam in the
western Indian coastal state of
Goa — are commonly referred as Moir
(Konkani: मैर) by
Goan Catholics and Hindus.[a] Moir is derived
from the Portuguese word mouro (Moor).
Moors of the Maghreb
The Great Mosque of Kairouan was founded by the Arab general Uqba ibn
Nafi in 670 during the Islamic conquest, to provide a place of worship
for recently converted or immigrating Muslims.
In the late 7th and early 8th centuries CE, the Islamic Umayyad
Caliphate, established after the death of Muhammad, underwent a period
of rapid growth. In 647 CE, 40,000
Arabs forced the Byzantine governor
of northern Africa to submit and pay tribute, but failed to
permanently occupy the region. After an interlude, during which
the Muslims fought a civil war, the invasions resumed in 665, seizing
North Africa up to Bugia over the course of a series of
campaigns, lasting until 689. A Byzantine counterattack largely
Arabs but left the region vulnerable. Intermittent war
over the inland provinces of
North Africa continued for the next two
decades. Further civil war delayed the continuation of further
conquest, but an Arab assault took
Carthage and held it against a
Christian and pagan Berber rebellion pushed out the Arabs
temporarily, the Romanized urban population preferred the
Arabs to the
Berbers and welcomed a renewed and final conquest that left northern
Muslim hands by 698. Over the next decades, the Berber and
urban populations of northern Africa gradually converted to Islam,
although for separate reasons. The
Arabic language was also
adopted. Initially, the
Arabs required only vassalage from the local
inhabitants rather than assimilation, a process which took a
considerable time. The groups that inhabited the
this process became known collectively as Moors. Although the Berbers
would later expel the
Arabs from the
Maghreb and form temporarily
independent states, that effort failed to dislodge the usage of the
Moors of Iberia
Umayyad conquest of Hispania
Umayyad conquest of Hispania and Al-Andalus
Depiction of the
Moors in Iberia, from The Cantigas de Santa Maria
In 711 the Islamic Arab and
Moors of Berber descent in northern Africa
Strait of Gibraltar
Strait of Gibraltar onto the Iberian Peninsula, and in a
series of raids they conquered Visigothic
Their general, Tariq ibn Ziyad, brought most of Iberia under Islamic
rule in an eight-year campaign. They continued northeast across the
Pyrenees Mountains but were defeated by the
Franks under Charles
Martel at the
Battle of Tours
Battle of Tours in 732.
Maghreb fell into a civil war in 739 that lasted until 743 known
as the Berber Revolt. The
Berbers revolted against the Umayyads,
putting an end to Eastern dominion over the Maghreb. Despite racial
Berbers intermarried frequently. A few years
later, the Eastern branch of the
Umayyad dynasty was dethroned by the
Abbasids and the
Umayyad Caliphate overthrown in the Abbasid
revolution (746-750). Abd al-Rahman I, who was of
managed to evade the Abbasids and flee to the
Maghreb and then Iberia,
where he founded the
Emirate of Córdoba
Emirate of Córdoba and the Andalusian branch of
Umayyad dynasty. The
Moors ruled northern Africa and Al-Andalus
for several centuries thereafter. Ibn Hazm, the polymath, mentions
that many of the Caliphs in the
Umayyad Caliphate and the Caliphate of
Córdoba were blond and had light eyes.
Ibn Hazm mentions that he
preferred blondes, and notes that there was much interest in blondes
in al-Andalus amongst the rulers and regular Muslims:
All the Caliphs of the Banu Marwan (God have mercy on their souls!),
and especially the sons of al-Nasir, were without variation or
exception disposed by nature to prefer blondes. I have myself seen
them, and known others who had seen their forebears, from the days of
al-Nasir's reign down to the present day; every one of them has been
fair-haired, taking after their mothers, so that this has become a
hereditary trait with them; all but Sulaiman al-Zafir (God have mercy
on him!), whom I remember to have had black ringlets and a black
beard. As for al-Nasir and al-Hakam al-Mustansir (may God be pleased
with them!), I have been informed by my late father, the vizier, as
well as by others, that both of them were blond and blue-eyed. The
same is true of Hisham al-Mu'aiyad, Muhammad al-Mahdi, and `Abd
al-Rahman al-Murtada (may God be merciful to them all!); I saw them
myself many times, and had the honour of being received by them, and I
remarked that they all had fair hair and blue eyes.
Moorish army (right) of
Almanzor during the
Reconquista Battle of San
Esteban de Gormaz, from Cantigas de
Alfonso X el Sabio
The languages spoken in the parts of the
Iberian Peninsula under
Muslim rule were
Andalusian Arabic and Mozarabic; they became extinct
after the expulsion of the Moriscos, but
Arabic language influence on
Spanish language can still be found today. The Muslims were
resisted in parts of the
Iberian Peninsula in areas of the northwest
(such as Asturias, where they were defeated at the battle of
Covadonga) and the largely Basque Country in the Pyrenees. Though the
number of Moorish colonists was small, many native Iberian inhabitants
converted to Islam. By 1000, according to Ronald Segal, some 5,000,000
of Iberia's 7,000,000 inhabitants, most of them descended from
indigenous Iberian converts, were Muslim. There were also Sub-Saharan
Africans who had been absorbed into al-Andalus to be used as soldiers
and slaves. The Berber and Sub-Saharan African soldiers were known as
"tangerines" because they were imported through Tangier.
Caliphate of Córdoba
Caliphate of Córdoba collapsed in 1031 and the Islamic territory
in Iberia fell under the rule of the
Almohad Caliphate in 1153. This
second stage was guided by a version of
Islam that left behind the
more tolerant practices of the past.
Al-Andalus broke up into a
number of taifas (fiefs), which were partly consolidated under the
Caliphate of Córdoba.
Muhammad I of Granada, the Nasrid Moorish ruler of the Emirate of
Granada embracing his Castilian ally, taken from The Cantigas de Santa
The Kingdom of Asturias, a small northwestern
kingdom, initiated the
Reconquista ("Reconquest") soon after the
Islamic conquest in the 8th century.
Christian states based in the
north and west slowly extended their power over the rest of Iberia.
The Kingdom of Navarre, the Kingdom of Galicia, the Kingdom of León,
the Kingdom of Portugal, the Kingdom of Aragon, the Marca Hispánica,
Crown of Castile
Crown of Castile began a process of expansion and internal
consolidation during the next several centuries under the flag of
Reconquista. In 1212, a coalition of
Christian kings under the
Alfonso VIII of Castile
Alfonso VIII of Castile drove the Muslims from Central
Iberia. The Portuguese side of the
Reconquista ended in 1249 with the
conquest of the
Algarve (Arabic: الغرب – al-Gharb) under
Afonso III. He was the first Portuguese monarch to claim the title
Portugal and the Algarve".
The Moorish Kingdom of
Granada continued for three more centuries in
southern Iberia. On 2 January 1492, the leader of the last Muslim
Granada surrendered to the armies of a recently united
Spain (after the marriage of
Ferdinand II of Aragón
Ferdinand II of Aragón and
Isabella I of Castile, the "Catholic Monarchs"). The Moorish
inhabitants received no military aid or rescue from other Muslim
nations. The remaining Jews were also forced to leave Spain,
convert to Roman Catholic Christianity, or be killed for refusing to
do so. In 1480, to exert social and religious control, Isabella and
Ferdinand agreed to allow the Inquisition in Spain. The Muslim
Granada rebelled in 1499. The revolt lasted until early
1501, giving the Castilian authorities an excuse to void the terms of
the Treaty of
Granada (1491). In 1501, Castilian authorities delivered
an ultimatum to the Muslims of Granada: they could either convert to
Christianity or be expelled.
Court of the lions in the Alhambra, a Moorish palace built in the 14th
century in Granada, Spain
The Inquisition was aimed mostly at Jews and Muslims who had overtly
Christianity but were thought to be practicing their
faiths secretly. They were respectively called marranos and moriscos.
However, in 1567 King Philip II directed
Moriscos to give up their
Arabic names and traditional dress, and prohibited the use of Arabic.
In reaction, there was a
Morisco uprising in the
Alpujarras from 1568
to 1571. In the years from 1609 to 1614, the government expelled
Moriscos. The historian Henri Lapeyre estimated that this affected
300,000 out of an estimated total of 8 million inhabitants.
Some Muslims converted to
Christianity and remained permanently in
Iberia. This is indicated by a "high mean proportion of ancestry from
North African (10.6%)" that "attests to a high level of religious
conversion (whether voluntary or enforced), driven by historical
episodes of social and religious intolerance, that ultimately led to
the integration of descendants." According to historian
Richard A. Fletcher, "the number of
Arabs who settled in Iberia
was very small. 'Moorish' Iberia does at least have the merit of
reminding us that the bulk of the invaders and settlers were Moors,
Algeria and Morocco."
In the meantime, Spanish and Portuguese expeditions westward from the
New World spread
Christianity to India, the Malay peninsula,
Indonesia, and the Philippines. By 1521, the ships of Magellan had
reached that island archipelago, which they named Las Islas Filipinas,
after Philip II of Spain. In Mindanao, the Spaniards named the
kris-bearing people as Moros or 'Moors'. Today this ethnic group in
Mindanao, who are generally Filipino Muslim, are called "Moros".
Moors of Sicily
History of Islam in southern Italy
History of Islam in southern Italy and Norman-Arab-Byzantine
Muslim musicians at the court of the Norman King Roger II of Sicily
Muslim conquest of
Sicily began in 827, though it was not
until 902 that almost the entire island was in the control of the
Aghlabids, with the exception of some minor strongholds in the rugged
interior. During that period some parts of southern
Italy fell under
Muslim control, most notably the port city of Bari, which formed the
Bari from 847-871. In 909 the Aghlabid dynasty was replaced
Shiite Fatimids. Four years later, the Fatimid
governor was ousted from Palermo when the island declared its
independence under Emir Ahmed ibn-Kohrob. The language spoken in
Muslim rule was Siculo-Arabic.
In 1038, a Byzantine army under George Maniaces crossed the strait of
Messina. This army included a corps of
Normans that saved the
situation in the first clash against the Muslims from Messina. After
another decisive victory in the summer of 1040, Maniaces halted his
march to lay siege to Syracuse. Despite his success, Maniaces was
removed from his position, and the subsequent
reconquered all the cities captured by the Byzantines.
The Norman Robert Guiscard, son of Tancred, invaded
Sicily in 1060.
The island was split between three Arab emirs, and the Christian
population in many parts of the island rose up against the ruling
Muslims. One year later, Messina fell, and in 1072 Palermo was taken
by the Normans. The loss of the cities, each with a splendid harbor,
dealt a severe blow to
Muslim power on the island. Eventually all of
Sicily was taken. In 1091, Noto in the southern tip of
Sicily and the
island of Malta, the last Arab strongholds, fell to the Christians.
Islamic authors noted the tolerance of the Norman kings of Sicily. Ibn
al-Athir wrote: "They [the Muslims] were treated kindly, and they were
protected, even against the Franks. Because of that, they had great
love for King Roger."
Muslim problem characterized Hohenstaufen rule in
Holy Roman Emperors Henry VI and his son Frederick II. Many repressive
measures were introduced by Frederick II to please the popes, who were
Islam in the heart of Christendom. This resulted in a
rebellion by Sicilian Muslims, which in turn triggered organized
resistance and systematic reprisals and marked the final chapter of
Islam in Sicily. The complete eviction of Muslims and the annihilation
Sicily was completed by the late 1240s when the final
Lucera took place.
Main article: Moorish architecture
Interior of the Mezquita, Córdoba
Moorish architecture is the articulated
Islamic architecture of
northern Africa and parts of
Spain and Portugal, where the
dominant between 711 and 1492. The best surviving examples of this
architectural tradition are La
Mezquita in Córdoba and the Alhambra
Granada (mainly 1338–1390), as well as the
Seville (1184). Other notable examples include the ruined palace
Medina Azahara (936–1010), the church (former mosque) San
Cristo de la Luz
Cristo de la Luz in Toledo, the
Saragossa and baths at
Ronda and Alhama de Granada.
Main article: Maure
Coat of arms of
Aragon with Moors' heads.
Arms of the wealthy Bristol merchant and shipper William II Canynges
(d.1474), as depicted on his canopied tomb in St Mary Redcliffe
Church, showing the couped heads of three
Moors wreathed at the
Moors—or more frequently their heads, often crowned—appear with
some frequency in medieval European heraldry, though less so since the
Middle Ages. The term ascribed to them in Anglo-Norman blazon (the
language of English heraldry) is maure, though they are also sometimes
called moore, blackmoor, blackamoor or negro. Maures appear in
European heraldry from at least as early as the 13th century, and
some have been attested as early as the 11th century in Italy,
where they have persisted in the local heraldry and vexillology well
into modern times in
Corsica and Sardinia.
Coat of arms of the Nasrid dynasty, the last
Muslim dynasty of
Armigers bearing moors or moors' heads may have adopted them for any
of several reasons, to include symbolizing military victories in the
Crusades, as a pun on the bearer's name in the canting arms of Morese,
Negri, Saraceni, etc., or in the case of Frederick II, possibly to
demonstrate the reach of his empire. The arms of Pope Benedict XVI
feature a moor's head, crowned and collared red, in reference to the
arms of Freising, Germany. In the case of
Corsica and Sardinia,
the blindfolded moors' heads in the four quarters have long been said
to represent the four Moorish emirs who were defeated by Peter I of
Aragon in the 11th century, the four moors' heads around a cross
having been adopted to the arms of
Aragon around 1281–1387, and
Sardinia having come under the dominion of the king of
Aragon in 1297. In Corsica, the blindfolds were lifted to the brow
in the 18th century as a way of expressing the island's newfound
The use of
Moors (and particularly their heads) as a heraldic symbol
has been deprecated in modern North America. For example, the
College of Arms of the
Society for Creative Anachronism
Society for Creative Anachronism urges
applicants to use them delicately to avoid causing offence.
Moors on the North African coast, as depicted in Britain in 1739
Carthage circa 200 BC and northern
Algeria 1500 BC were
diverse. As a group, they plotted closest to the
populations of Northern Egypt and intermediate to Northern Europeans
and tropical Africans: "the data supported the comments from ancient
authors observed by classicists: everything from fair-skinned blonds
to peoples who were dark-skinned 'Ethiopian' or part Ethiopian in
appearance." Modern evidence shows a similar diversity among
present North Africans. Moreover, this diversity of phenotypes and
peoples was probably due to in situ differentiation, not foreign
influxes. Foreign influxes are thought to have
affected population make-up, but did not replace the indigenous Berber
In popular culture
The title character in William Shakespeare's play Othello, and the
derived title character in Verdi's opera Otello, is a Moor. The
character has been played by various thespians in different forms of
entertainment. A less well-known Moorish character, Aaron, appears in
Shakespeare’s earlier tragedy Titus Andronicus.
Morgan Freeman's character Azeem in the 1991 film Robin Hood: Prince
of Thieves is a Moor who
Robin Hood saves from prison.
The 2009 documentary film
Journey to Mecca
Journey to Mecca follows the travels of the
Ibn Battuta from his native country of
Mecca for the
Hajj in 1325.
The international bestseller The Alchemist mentions the
times while describing the setting of southern Spain.
Moors are also mentioned very frequently in Miguel de Cervantes' novel
See also: List of
Berbers and List of Arab scientists and scholars
Averroes, a Moorish polymath, was the founder of the
of philosophy, and influential in the rise of secular thought in
Tariq ibn Ziyad, Moorish general who defeated the
Hispania in 711.
Abd ar-Rahman I, founder of the
Emirate of Córdoba
Emirate of Córdoba in 756;
along with its succeeding Caliphate of Córdoba, the dynasty ruled
Islamic Iberia for three centuries.
Ibn al-Qūṭiyya, Andalusian historian and grammarian.
Yahya al-Laithi, Andalusian scholar who introduced the
of jurisprudence in Al-Andalus.
Abbas ibn Firnas, 810–887, Berber inventor and aviator who invented
an early parachute and made the first attempt at controlled flight
with a hang glider.
Maslama al-Majriti, died 1007, Andalusian writer believed to have been
the author of the
Encyclopedia of the Brethren of Purity and the
Al-Zahrawi (Abulcasis), Andalusian physician and surgeon who
established the discipline of surgery as a profession with his
Al-Tasrif in 1000.
Said Al-Andalusi, 1029–1070, Andalusian Qadi, historian,
philosopher, mathematician and astronomer.
Abū Ishāq Ibrāhīm al-Zarqālī
Abū Ishāq Ibrāhīm al-Zarqālī (Arzachel), 1029–1087, Andalusian
astronomer and engineer who developed the equatorium and universal
(latitude-independent) astrolabe and compiled a
Zij later used as a
basis for the Tables of Toledo.
Artephius, circa 1126, Andalusian scientist known as the author of
numerous works of Alchemical texts, now extant only in Latin.
Ibn Bajjah (Avempace), died 1138, Andalusian physicist and polymath
whose theory of motion, including the concept of a reaction force,
influenced the development of classical mechanics.
Ibn Zuhr (Avenzoar), 1091–1161, Andalusian physician and polymath
who discovered the existence of parasites and pioneered experimental
Muhammad al-Idrisi, circa 1100–1166, Moorish geographer and polymath
who drew the Tabula Rogeriana, the most accurate world map in
Ibn Tufail, circa 1105–1185,
Arabic writer and polymath who wrote
Hayy ibn Yaqdhan, the first philosophical novel.
Averroes (Ibn Rushd), 1126–1198, classical Islamic philosopher and
polymath who wrote
The Incoherence of the Incoherence
The Incoherence of the Incoherence and the most
extensive Aristotelian commentaries, and established the school of
Ibn al-Baitar, died 1248, Andalusian botanist and pharmacist who
compiled the most extensive pharmacopoeia and botanical compilation in
Musa I of
Mali (c. 1280 – c. 1337) was a devout Muslim, and his
Mecca made him well-known across northern Africa and the
Ibn Khaldun, a pioneer of the social sciences and forerunner of
sociology, historiography and economics, who wrote the
Abu Bakr II (fl. 14th century), abdicated his throne in order to
explore "the limits of the ocean".
Abū al-Hasan ibn Alī al-Qalasādī, 1412–1486, Moorish
mathematician who took the first steps toward the introduction of
Leo Africanus, 1494–1554, Andalusian geographer, author and
diplomat, who was captured by Spanish pirates and sold as a slave, but
later baptized and freed.
Estevanico, also referred to as "Stephen the Moor", was an explorer in
the service of
Spain of what is now the southwest of the United
Ibn Battuta, an Islamic scholar and Moorish explorer who is generally
considered one of the greatest travellers of all time.
Ibn Hazm, a Moorish polymath who was considered one of the leading
thinkers of the
Muslim World and is widely acknowledged as the father
Comparative religion studies.
Ibn Idhari, a Moorish historian who was the author of (Al-Bayan
al-Mughrib) an important medieval text on the history of the Maghreb
Desdemona in Venice, depicting
Othello and his wife from
William Shakespeare's play Othello
"Batalla del Puig" (c. 1410-1420), depicting a battle from the
Tariq ibn-Ziyad was the Moorish general who led the conquest of
Spain in the early 8th century
Spain playing chess, from the Book of Games
Moors request permission from James I of Aragón
"Wild Men and Moors" tapestry, c. 1400
Christian army readying for battle, taken from The
Cantigas de Santa María
Reconquista battle, taken from The Cantigas de
Christian and Moor playing lutes, 13th century
Riyad the Moor receiving a letter from Shanul in Hadith Bayad wa Riyad
Depiction of Moorish cavalry troops, taken from The Cantigas de Santa
Moors dividing the spoils, taken from The Cantigas de Santa María
Muhammad XII of Granada, last
Muslim sultan in Spain
Leo Africanus, born in Granada
Muslim playing chess, from The
Book of Games
Book of Games of Alfonso
X, c. 1285
Depiction of three Moorish knights found on Alhambra's Ladies Tower
Caliphate of Córdoba
Emirate of Granada
Genetic history of the Iberian Peninsula
Genetic studies on Moroccans
History of North Africa
History of Portugal
History of Spain
Islam in Spain
Moorish Revival architecture
Ricote (Don Quixote)
Hindu Kristao Moir sogle bhau- Hindus, Christians and Muslims are
^ a b Africanus, Leo (1526). The History and Description of Africa.
Hakluyt Society. pp. 20 & 108. Retrieved 30 August 2017. the
Mauri -- or
Moors -- were the Berbers
Arabs called the latter Muwalladun or Muladi. Menocal (2002).
Ornament of the World, p. 16
^ Richard A Fletcher, Moorish
Spain (University of California Press,
^ Ross Brann, "The Moors?", Andalusia, New York University. Quote:
Arabic sources, as opposed to later
Mudéjar and Morisco
sources in Aljamiado and medieval Spanish texts, neither refer to
Moors nor recognize any such group, community or
^ Britannica Encyclopedia (1911). p. 811. Archived from the
original on 2013-01-23. CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status
^ Blackmore, Josiah (2009). Moorings: Portuguese Expansion and the
Writing of Africa. U of Minnesota Press. pp. xvi, 18.
^ Menocal, María Rosa (2002). Ornament of the World: How Muslims,
Jews and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in
Little, Brown, & Co. ISBN 0-316-16871-8, p. 241
^ John Randall Baker. "Race". Oxford University Press: 226. Retrieved
March 12, 2014. In one sense the word 'Moor' means Mohammedan Berbers
Arabs of North-western Africa, with some Syrians, who conquered
Spain in the 8th century and dominated the country for
hundreds of years.
^ Pieris, P.E. Ceylon and the Hollanders 1658-1796. American Ceylon
Mission Press, Tellippalai Ceylon 1918
^ "Assessment of the status, development and diversification of
Mazara del Vallo
Mazara del Vallo Case study report"
(PDF). European Commission. 2010. p. 2. Retrieved 28 September
2012. In the year 827, Mazara was occupied by the Arabs, who made the
city an important commercial harbour. That period was probably the
most prosperous in the history of Mazara.
^ Hillgarth, J. N. (2000). The Mirror of Spain, 1500-1700: The
Formation of a Myth. University of Michigan Press. p. 67.
^ Diderot, Denis (1752). Ceuta. p. 871.
^ "Online Etymology Dictionary". Etymonline.com. Retrieved
^ οἰκοῦσι δ᾽ ἐνταῦθα Μαυρούσιοι μὲν
ὑπὸ τῶν Ἑλλήνων λεγόμενοι, Μαῦροι
δ᾽ ὑπὸ τῶν Ῥωμαίων καὶ τῶν
ἐπιχωρίων "Here dwell a people called by the Greeks
Maurusii, and by the Romans and the natives Mauri" Strabo, Geographica
17.3.2. Lewis and Short,
Latin Dictionary, 1879 s.v. "Mauri"
^ Cornelius Tacitus, Arthur Murphy, The Historical Annals of Cornelius
Tacitus: With Supplements, Volume 1 (D. Neall, 1829 ) p114.
^ For an introduction to the culture of the
Azawagh Arabs, see Rebecca
Popenoe, Feeding Desire — Fatness, Beauty and Sexuality among a
Saharan People. Routledge, London (2003) ISBN 0-415-28096-6
^ Simms, Karl (1997). Translating sensitive texts: linguistic aspects.
Rodopi. p. 144. ISBN 978-90-420-0260-9.
^ Warwick Armstrong, James Anderson (2007). Geopolitics of European
Union enlargement: the fortress empire. Routledge. p. 83.
^ Wessendorf, Susanne (2010). The multiculturalism backlash: European
discourses, policies and practices. Taylor & Francis. p. 171.
^ Tariq Modood, Anna Triandafyllidou,
Ricard Zapata-Barrero (2006).
Multiculturalism, Muslims and citizenship: a European approach.
Routledge. p. 143. ISBN 978-0-415-35515-5.
^ Bekers, Elisabeth (2009). Transcultural modernities: narrating
Africa in Europe. Rodopi. p. 14.
^ Lodovico Sforza, in: Thomas Gale, Encyclopedia of World Biography,
^ Xosé Manuel González Reboredo, Leyendas Gallegas de Tradición
Oral (Galician Legends of the Oral Tradition), Galicia: Editorial
Galaxia, 2004, p. 18, Googlebooks, accessed 12 Jul 2010 (in Spanish)
^ Rodney Gallop, Portugal: A Book of Folkways, Cambridge University
Press (CUP), 1936; reprint CUP Archives, 1961, Googlebooks, accessed
12 Jul 2010.
^ Francisco Martins Sarmento, "A Mourama", in Revista de Guimaraes,
No. 100, 1990, Centro de Estudos de Património, Universidade do
Minho, accessed 12 Jul 2010 (in Portuguese)
^ Euskadi.net (in Spanish) Archived November 4, 2014, at the Wayback
^ A. Hussein 'From where did the moors come from?[unreliable source?]
^ Rodd, Francis. "Kahena, Queen of the Berbers: "A Sketch of the Arab
Invasion of Ifriqiya in the First Century of the Hijra" Bulletin of
the School of Oriental Studies, University of London, Vol. 3, No. 4,
^ a b Lapidus, 200-201
^ Fletcher, Richard A. (2006). Moorish Spain. University of California
Press. p. 1. ISBN 978-0-520-24840-3.
^ Richard A. Fletcher. Moorish Spain. University of California Press.
^ Salma Khadra Jayyusi, Manuela Marín (April 14, 2014). The Legacy of
Muslim Spain. Brill Publishers. pp. 125, 365, and 463.
^ Ibn Hazm, طوق الحمامة
^ Richard A. Fletcher. Moorish Spain. University of California Press.
^ Ronald Segal, Islam's Black Slaves (2003), Atlantic Books,
Granada by Richard Gottheil, Meyer Kayserling, Jewish Encyclopedia.
^ Maalouf, Amin (1992).
Leo Africanus (first ed.). Lanham, MD: New
Amsterdam Books. p. 45. ISBN 1-56131-022-0.
^ See History of Al-Andalus.
^ Adams et al., "The Genetic Legacy of Religious Diversity and
Intolerance: Paternal Lineages of Christians, Jews, and Muslims in the
Iberian Peninsula", Cell, 2008. Quote: "Admixture analysis based on
binary and Y-STR haplotypes indicates a high mean proportion of
ancestry from North African (10.6%) ranging from zero in Gascony to
21.7% in Northwest Castile."
^ Elena Bosch, "The religious conversions of Jews and Muslims have had
a profound impact on the population of the Iberian Peninsula" Archived
2009-05-21 at the Wayback Machine., Universitat Pompeu Fabra, 2008,
Quote: "The study shows that religious conversions and the subsequent
marriages between people of different lineage had a relevant impact on
modern populations both in Spain, especially in the Balearic Islands,
and in Portugal."
^ Richard Fletcher. Moorish
Spain p. 10. University of California
Press, 1993. ISBN 978-0-520-08496-4
^ Aubé, Pierre (2006). Les empires normands d’Orient. Editions
Perrin. p. 168. ISBN 2-262-02297-6.
^ Curl p. 502.
^ Pevsner, The Penguin Dictionary of Architecture.
^ Parker, James. "Man". A Glossary of Terms Used in Heraldry.
^ a b c "Africans in medieval & Renaissance art: the Moor's head".
Victoria and Albert Museum. Retrieved 2012-01-23.
^ Mons. Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo. "Coat of Arms of His
Holiness Benedict XVI". The Holy See. Retrieved 2013-01-25.
^ Sache, Ivan (2009-06-14). "
Corsica (France, Traditional province)".
Flags of the World. Retrieved 2013-01-25.
^ Curry, Ian (2012-03-18). "Blindfolded
Moors - The Flags of Corsica
and Sardinia". Vaguely Interesting. Retrieved 2013-01-25.
^ In his July 15, 2005 blog article "Is that a Moor's head?", Mathew
N. Schmalz refers to a discussion on the American
website where at least one participant described the moor's head as a
"potentially explosive image".
^ "Part IX: Offensive Armory". Rules for Submissions of the College of
Arms of the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc. 2008-04-02.
^ G. Mokhtar. General History of Africa: Ancient Civilizations of
Africa, p. 427.
^ Keita, S. O. Y. (1990). "Studies of ancient crania from northern
Africa". American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 83 (1): 35–48.
doi:10.1002/ajpa.1330830105. PMID 2221029.
^ Furtado, A. D. (1981). Goa, yesterday, to-day, tomorrow: an approach
to various socio-economic and political issues in Goan life &
re-interpretation of historical facts. Furtado's Enterprises.
pp. 254 pages(page xviii).
This section's bibliographical information is not fully provided. If
you know these sources and can provide full information, you can help
by completing it.
Jan R. Carew. Rape of Paradise: Columbus and the birth of racism in
America. Brooklyn, NY: A&B Books, c. 1994.
David Brion Davis, "Slavery: White, Black, Muslim, Christian." New
York Review of Books, vol. 48, #11 July 5, 2001. Do not have exact
Herodotus, The Histories
Shomark O. Y. Keita, "Genetic Haplotypes in North Africa"
Shomarka O. Y. Keita, "Studies of ancient crania from northern
Africa." American Journal of Physical Anthropology 83:35-48 1990.
Shomarka O. Y. Keita, "Further studies of crania from ancient northern
Africa: an analysis of crania from First Dynasty Egyptian tombs, using
multiple discriminant functions." American Journal of Physical
Anthropology 87: 345-54, 1992.
Shomarka O. Y. Keita, "Black Athena: race, Bernal and Snowden."
Arethusa 26: 295-314, 1993.
Bernard Lewis, "The Middle East".
Bernard Lewis. The
Muslim Discovery of Europe. NY: Norton, 1982. Also
an article with the same title published in Bulletin of the School of
Oriental and African Studies, University of London 20(1/3): 409-16,
Bernard Lewis, "Race and Slavery in Islam".
Stanley Lane-Poole, assisted by E. J. W. Gibb and Arthur Gilman. The
Story of Turkey. NY: Putnam, 1888.
Stanley Lane-Poole. The Story of the Barbary Corsairs. NY:
Stanley Lane-Poole, The History of the
Moors in Spain.
J. A. (Joel Augustus) Rogers. Nature Knows No Color Line: research
into the Negro ancestry in the white race. New York: 1952.
Ronald Segal. Islam's Black Slaves: the other Black diaspora. NY:
Farrar Straus Giroux, 2001.
Ivan Van Sertima, ed. The Golden Age of the Moor. New Brunswick:
Transaction Publishers, 1992. (Journal of African civilizations, vol.
Frank Snowden. Before Color Prejudice: the ancient view of blacks.
Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press, 1983.
Frank Snowden. Blacks in antiquity: Ethiopians in the Greco-Roman
experience. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press,
David M. Goldenberg. The Curse of Ham: race and slavery in early
Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University
Lucotte and Mercier, various genetic studies
Eva Borreguero. "The
Moors Are Coming, the
Moors Are Coming!
Encounters with Muslims in Contemporary Spain." p. 417-32 in
Islam and Christian-
Muslim Relations, 2006, vol. 17, no. 4,
Look up Moor or Moorish in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
Wikiquote has quotations related to: Moors
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Moors.
"The Moors" by Ross Brann, published on New York University website.
Secret Seal: On the image of the Blackamoor in European Heraldry, a
Encyclopedia - Britannica Online Encyclopedia (2006)
Moors, Classic Encyclopedia (1911)
Khalid Amine, Moroccan Shakespeare: From
Moors to Moroccans. Paper
presented at an International Conference Organized by The Postgraduate
School of Critical Theory and Cultural Studies, University of
Nottingham, and The British Council, Morocco, 12–14 April 2001.
Medieval & Renaissance Art: The Moor's Head, Victoria
and Albert Museum (n.d)
Sean Cavazos-Kottke. Othello's Predecessors:
Moors in Renaissance
Popular Literature: (outline). Folger Shakespeare Library, 1998.
Tribal hegemony in the former Western
Roman Empire from the decline of
Rome to 843