Who were the Moors?

The "dark ages". Why is it called the dark ages? I will get back to that, but first to the topic at hand which is identification of the people known historically as the "Moors".

In the seventh century, the Arabs had spread across Northern Africa and at this point in time, the Arabs were dark-skinned as they had not mixed much with other people. At this time, black Jews were under persecution in Spain and a large number of them fled to Morocco to seek refuge. These black Jews present in Morocco then formed alliance with the Moors to invade Spain. The invasion was successful and this led to the moors ruling parts of Spain for more than seven hundred years.

Over this period, the Spanish people took advantage of the knowledge of the Moors. While many Europeans at the time were garbed in skins and coarse garments, the Moors were wearing silks, linens and cotton cloth. The place of the Moorish Sultan or Caliph was greater in beauty, comfort and wealth than any of the other castles of medieval kings. They used highly polished marble in construction with walls well carved and floors decorated in mosaic.

Most of the knowledge of ancient Greece and Near East was unknown in Europe during the medieval period. The Moors made spectacular contributions to philosophy, medicine, mathematics, chemistry, astronomy and botany. They established academics and universities along with free schools and libraries.

The Moors brought into Spain rice, cotton, oranges, peaches, lemons, silk, velvet, brocades, jewels, glazed tiles, ornamental leather products, etc. Moorish civilization had an astounding effect on Portugal and Spain. For this reason, these two countries were the first European powers to emerge after the "Dark Ages".

It is therefore safe to conclude that the Moors played a major role in the development of modern-day Europe thereby influencing the world at large.

Nicholas Oghieakhe (Nic Art)..2016

External sources: From Babylon to Timbuktu-Rudolph R Windsor, Wikipedia


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