For many, the word "Moor" sounds synonymous with the word"Negro", and all thanks to the hero of the play "Othello" by Shakespeare, where the main character was a Moor and black. But to identify these two concepts is not worth it, because the Moor is not always a black man and not always an African.
A bit of prehistory
Originally, before our era, the Moors were calledthe entire population of North Africa, which was not subdued by the Roman Empire, but was subordinated to local leaders. Finally, the Roman province of Mauritania was only at the turn of the era, when the last Moor of the Moors handed over his country to the Roman emperor. The Roman word Mauri (Moor) is borrowing from the Greek word "dark". Since the fall of the Roman Empire, the Moors continued to live in places of their concentration in north-west Africa, in the area of modern Algeria and Morocco until the beginning of the eighth century AD, when the expansion of adherents of the newest religion of Islam at the time, did not lead to a significant expansion of the territories under control .
Since 711 the history of the Moors is directly connectedwith the history of Europe, the westernmost part of it - the Iberian Peninsula. It was in this year that the adherents of Islam crossed the narrow Strait of Gibraltar, defeated the Visigoths and captured their capital, Toledo. By 718, almost the entire peninsula was under the rule of the Arabs. Europe, since the fall of the Roman Empire, lost contact with the rest of the world, has become identified with all adherents of Islam with the Arabs, from old times, calling them Moors. The heyday of the power of the Moors in the Pyrenees came in the tenth century. By the end of the eleventh century, during the Reconquista, the Moors were almost ousted from the peninsula, and the final victory was won in 1492, when Spain sent Columbus to the shores of America, taking the first step towards world domination.
But it was the heyday of the Inquisition, which1492 expelled all Jews from the country, and in ten years the country was left by every Moor who did not accept Christianity. The importance of the Arabian possession of the Iberian Peninsula for many centuries has not been in vain. In addition to the monuments of architecture of that period, the Moors left a significant mark in the gene pool of the present Spaniards and Portuguese.
By the beginning of the Crusades in medieval Europe there was a prevailing concept: the Moor is an Arab, an ardent adherent of Islam.
And since among the Arabs warriors came across, the colorwhose skin was very unusual for medieval Europe - black, the memory of Europeans preserved memories of this. When Europe began to threaten the Ottoman Empire, that is, from the beginning of the sixteenth century, all adherents of Islam began to be associated with the Turks. And the Moors became identified with representatives of the Negroid race, which was exactly what Shakespeare contributed. Russia was away from the European events, it just freed itself from the Mongol-Tatar yoke and here it had its name for the black representatives of Africa. This word was not "Moor", this word was "arap", which was glorified by the ancestor of Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin - Ibrahim Hannibal.</ p>