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Forum Locked"Moors" and southwestern Europe.

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    Posted: 10-May-2009 at 10:17
Much of southwestern Europe, Span, Portugal and Meditteranean isles, were conquered by arab/northafrican muslims or "moors". Later they were "reconquered" by christians.
How close did they come to be part of the souther-eastrern cultural sphere of meditteranean, rather than part of "western european sphere"? As far as I know, the contemporary languages is romance, except Malta. A part of the populations of Iberian peninsula (a minority) fled the inquisition.  One gets the impression though the situation was very different from northern africa and middle east.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote calvo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-May-2009 at 11:46
The Moors conquered very much all of the Iberian Peninsula in the 7th century less the mountainous regions of the northern coast. They were a mixture of Arabs and Berbers; with the former being the ruling elite and the latter being the bulk of the army.

In the regions that they conquered,  they rebuilt the Roman cities abandoned during the Germanic invasions, and developed a flourishing civilization known as Al Andalus.

During the first 2 centuries, Moorish rule was relatively tolerant towards Christians and Jews; provided that they paid more taxes; which made many of them convert to Islam.
In the population of Al Andalus, Arabs formed a very small minority; Berbers made up to 20% of the population, and the rest of the Muslim population were Muladies, Iberian converts to Islam. Of course there were also Christians living under Muslim rule (Morzárabes), and Jews.
During the 10th century, a new wave of recently-converted Berbers arrived from North Africa and founded new dynasties. They were less tolerant than their Arab forebears and persecutions of Christians and Jews began, causing many of them to flee to the Christian-controlled north.
The Christian kingdoms began to gain power and influence from then on; while the Muslim civilization started to decay.
After forming a political alliance, the Christians reconquered little by little the territory occupied by the Muslims; until the last Muslim kingdom in Granada fell in 1492.

After the Catholic reconquista, most of the Muslims converted to Christianity (many of them could have ancestors who were Catholic converts anyway). They were known as Moriscos.
In the height of the inquistion, they either had to give up all their Muslim-influenced customs and try to blend in with the Christian community as much as possible; or they had to leave. Many of them were expelled in the early 1600.

Regarding language, the official language of Al Andalus was Arabic;  yet after the reconquista, Latin and Castillian Spanish was once again established as the de-facto language. Those who spoke Arabic as a first language had to learn Spanish fast, or face expulsion for being accused of a Morisco.
Nevertheless, the Arabic legacy is very visible in the 4000-5000 Arabic loan words in modern Spanish. Castillian architecture is also strongly influenced by Islam. Many cathedrals in Andalucía and Aragon were converted from mosques.

Due to the inquistion mentality and the dictatorship of the Catholic Church in Spain that lasted until the death of Franco; many Spaniards have been brainwashed to deny and even to despise any Arabic influence in modern Spain.
They do not realise that we are living off our Moorish heritage to a great extent; for the very fact that every year millions of tourists visit the Alhambra in Granada, the Great Mosque of Córdoba; and medieval cities such as Toledo famous for its "heritage of 3 cultures"!







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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pebbles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-May-2009 at 16:12
Originally posted by calvo calvo wrote:

 


Due to the inquistion mentality and the dictatorship of the Catholic Church in Spain that lasted until the death of Franco; many Spaniards have been brainwashed to deny and even to despise any Arabic influence in modern Spain.

They do not realise that we are living off our Moorish heritage to a great extent; for the very fact that every year millions of tourists visit the Alhambra in Granada, the Great Mosque of Córdoba; and medieval cities such as Toledo famous for its "heritage of 3 cultures"!



 
 
 
I recently encountered one of these ultra-nationalist Spaniards venomously denied what you've been written about Arab & Moors cultural and genetic influences in Spain past & present.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-May-2009 at 16:17

Many Spaniards don't want to recognize the muslim influence in theirs culture. They see themselves as Christians (Westerners) that fought the hordes of sarracens and defeated them, cleaning up Spain afterwards. They also deny that many Jews got converted and assimilated to the Spanish population, so these times most Spanish people have some Jewish ancestry (Spain had the largest Jewish community in Europe; about 10% of the population. And only half them left, the rest assimilated)

There is no better way to offend a Spaniard that remember them they not only have Iberian and European ancestors but also Semitic: Phoenicians, Berbers, Jews and Arabs.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote calvo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-May-2009 at 19:04
Originally posted by pebbles pebbles wrote:


 
I recently encountered one of these ultra-nationalist Spaniards venomously denied what you've been written about Arab & Moors cultural and genetic influences in Spain past & present.
 
Luckily, these Ultra-nationalists are becoming an ever-decreasing minority.
Most of them belong to the older generation who had been educated by the school system of Franco.
Today, you'll find these opinions more prevlent among the Spanish upper classes, who have always been closely allied to the most reactionary wings of the Catholic Church such as Opus Dei.
 
Still, there are a host of Far-right Spanish historians such as Cesar Vidal, Frederico Jimenez Losantos, and Pio Molla who have written a handful of books and articles for the whole purpose of denying Spain's Moorish past to the point of redicule.
They certainly do have a horde of followers, but most mainstream Spanish intellectuals (of both left and centre-right) regard them as little more than lunatics. Wacko
 
 
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Most of the Spanish Muslims were Iberians converted into Islam as the Berbers were a minority that made up the militar class and the arabians were a minority that made up the ruling class. The vast majority of the populations were themselves Iberians. That's why geneticaly the northafrican markers in Spain are even lower than in Albania, Austria, Belarus, Bulgaria, and so on see http://www.eupedia.com/europe/european_y-dna_haplogroups.shtml

As for the cultural the legacy was bigger, specially in the South but not beyond buildings, some names of city and words. Iberians can be Moorish culturally Speaking like Northafricans can be Roman as some Roman ruins are found there.
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Originally posted by pebbles pebbles wrote:

 I recently encountered one of these ultra-nationalist Spaniards venomously denied what you've been written about Arab & Moors cultural and genetic influences in Spain past & present.
 


This is denied because it's also exagerated to the max most of the times. Moorish influence both cultural and genetical was very little as was germanic influence. The bulk of the population was always iberian.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-May-2009 at 05:21
The Arab Spain (Al-Andalus) (I use Arab here in the sense of Arab speaking) it is a lot more appreciated in Latin America than in Spain itself.
For many Latin Americans it is ridiculous and hard to understand the denial of obvious Arab influence in language, foods, customs, handcrafts and culture in general. This without denying the majoritary European influence in Spain that nobody denies. However, those Arab, Hebrew, Phoenician and Berber influences are for real and give a special flavor to Spain that should be appreciated. After all, Hispania is a phoenician word.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-May-2009 at 06:55

Phoenician and hebrew influence is not the same as "moorish", though one may discuss the relationships. Phoenicians and carthagians "colonised" parts of the iberian peninsula 1500 to 10000 years before arab conquest started in 711(?)

Probably there were great differences between provinces of mainland Spain, modern Portugal and  the Balearics when it comes to cultural impact. Perhaps there is even some impacts on the large western meditteranean isles (Corsika, Sicily, Sardinia) and locations ind Italian peninsula or elsewere on the meditteranean coasts.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote calvo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-May-2009 at 08:11
Originally posted by O Anzol O Anzol wrote:



This is denied because it's also exagerated to the max most of the times. Moorish influence both cultural and genetical was very little as was germanic influence. The bulk of the population was always iberian.



I disagree here.
Moorish influence here is MUCH greater than Germanic influence; judging by the pure fact that the Moors have left the Alhambra, the great Mosque of Córdoba, and the old city centres of many cities in Andalucía, Murcia, Extremadura, and Aragón. What about the 4000-5000 Arabic words in modern Spanish? Anything that begins with Al- has Arabic origin. Madrid was founded by Arabs.
What have the Goths and Visgoths left here? Most of them were assimilated into the Hispano-Roman population and did not leave any cultural influence of their own.

Culturally speaking, I reckon that the external influences (from strongest to weakest), come like this:
- Roman (obviously)
- Arabic
- Celtic
- Iberian and Celti-Iberian
- Germanic
- all the rest.... (Tartessios, Carthaginians etc)

Genetically speaking, I probably would agree that most Iberian genes are native; because in the case of any migration or colonization; the foreign settlers are always far smaller in number than the indigenous population.
This applies even to the Romans; who left the most profound cultural legacy. The population of the Iberian peninsula at the time of the Roman conquest was estimated at 4-5 million; and Italy had an estimated population of 6-7 million.
I very much doubt that the Romans had sent half the Italian population to colonise Spain!

Even within north Africans, whom many consider to be "Arabs", most of the genes are native rather than from the Arabia




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote calvo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-May-2009 at 08:14
Originally posted by Beatriz Beatriz wrote:

Most of the Spanish Muslims were Iberians converted into Islam as the Berbers were a minority that made up the militar class and the arabians were a minority that made up the ruling class. The vast majority of the populations were themselves Iberians. That's why geneticaly the northafrican markers in Spain are even lower than in Albania, Austria, Belarus, Bulgaria, and so on see http://www.eupedia.com/europe/european_y-dna_haplogroups.shtml


This explains why after the deportation of Moriscos; a rather significant amount of Iberian genes arrived in North Africa! Because many, if not most Moriscos were of Iberian descent.
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Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

The Arab Spain (Al-Andalus) (I use Arab here in the sense of Arab speaking) it is a lot more appreciated in Latin America than in Spain itself.
For many Latin Americans it is ridiculous and hard to understand the denial of obvious Arab influence in language, foods, customs, handcrafts and culture in general. This without denying the majoritary European influence in Spain that nobody denies. However, those Arab, Hebrew, Phoenician and Berber influences are for real and give a special flavor to Spain that should be appreciated. After all, Hispania is a phoenician word.
 
I don't know about 'Hispania' but any cultures that have their commonest rice dish described by a word that starts with a 'p' and has an 'l' in the middle have to have something in common.
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Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

The Arab Spain (Al-Andalus) (I use Arab here in the sense of Arab speaking) it is a lot more appreciated in Latin America than in Spain itself.
For many Latin Americans it is ridiculous and hard to understand the denial of obvious Arab influence in language, foods, customs, handcrafts and culture in general. This without denying the majoritary European influence in Spain that nobody denies. However, those Arab, Hebrew, Phoenician and Berber influences are for real and give a special flavor to Spain that should be appreciated. After all, Hispania is a phoenician word.

I agree with yoy about The arab influence in language, which is very clear and alive and I don't think that can't be denied. But I don't think nobody denies it either. After latin (94 per cent) the Arabian language influence comes second however the number of arabian words used in everyday Spanish are not many as a good number of them tend to designate realities of countryside life that do not exist anymore. So, even if 4000 or so are estimated... much less than that are actually used.

About foods, customs and handcrafts: I have never seen Spaniards trying to hide Moorish food or handcrafts, on the other way round they are kept as part of their own culture mixed with their own local touch. Pinguin I would like to ask you what Moorish customs are still alive in Spain and are trying to be hidden? I would be really curious to know.


You are right about the special flavour that the Moors and Jews left to our cities and sometimes toponimy and food. But I don't think that Spaniards try to hide it either, on the other way round, I would tend to think that they exploit it well and proper as in Granada or Córdoba.

Well now, I think I understand what you mean about Spaniards trying to hide the Moorish legacy... they probably refer to the genetic part as some north-Europeans and Americans despise them theoretically with the excuse that they are "half-moorish" genetically, which they are not. Is that what you mean?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-May-2009 at 16:40
Spanish music, for instance, it has a strong "Moorish" influence. Moorish if you wish, because the founder of the Andalucian school of Music, Zyriab, was Persian. And almost all the Spanish "flavour" of Flamenco and other exotic rythms can be traced to him. With respect to Jews you may know half of them never left Spain, so Spain is also Hebrew descendent. You may also know that some the Jews were in the very foundation of Spanish language and that some of the more famous Spanish writers were conversos

Edited by pinguin - 12-May-2009 at 16:43
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pebbles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-May-2009 at 16:52
Originally posted by Beatriz Beatriz wrote:

 
 
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

 
 
For many Latin Americans it is ridiculous and hard to understand the denial of obvious Arab influence in language, foods, customs, handcrafts and culture in general.
 
 
 

I agree with you about  the arab influence in language, which is very clear and alive and I don't think that can't be denied. But I don't think nobody denies it either.

About foods, customs and handcrafts: I have never seen Spaniards trying to hide Moorish food or handcrafts, on the other way round they are kept as part of their own culture mixed with their own local touch. Pinguin I would like to ask you what Moorish customs are still alive in Spain and are trying to be hidden? I would be really curious to know.


 
 
Maybe not IRL,it's online nationalistic Spaniards would deny and try to hide it ( or downplay contributions of Arabs & Moors & Jews )  from uninformed readers of factual history LOL
 
Sure,Spaniards are mostly Iberian heritage but they have a significant " non-Euro " genetic component.There are DNA studies on it,google has a listing some credible researches.
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Beatriz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-May-2009 at 22:06
Originally posted by pebbles pebbles wrote:

Originally posted by calvo calvo wrote:

 


Due to the inquistion mentality and the dictatorship of the Catholic Church in Spain that lasted until the death of Franco; many Spaniards have been brainwashed to deny and even to despise any Arabic influence in modern Spain.

They do not realise that we are living off our Moorish heritage to a great extent; for the very fact that every year millions of tourists visit the Alhambra in Granada, the Great Mosque of Córdoba; and medieval cities such as Toledo famous for its "heritage of 3 cultures"!



 
 
 
I recently encountered one of these ultra-nationalist Spaniards venomously denied what you've been written about Arab & Moors cultural and genetic influences in Spain past & present.
 
 
 
 
 
 

where? in another forum?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Beatriz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-May-2009 at 22:15
Originally posted by fantasus fantasus wrote:

Phoenician and hebrew influence is not the same as "moorish", though one may discuss the relationships. Phoenicians and carthagians "colonised" parts of the iberian peninsula 1500 to 10000 years before arab conquest started in 711(?)

Probably there were great differences between provinces of mainland Spain, modern Portugal and  the Balearics when it comes to cultural impact. Perhaps there is even some impacts on the large western meditteranean isles (Corsika, Sicily, Sardinia) and locations ind Italian peninsula or elsewere on the meditteranean coasts.


Yes, Phoenicians and Carthagians went to Spain much before Islam; Carthaginians stayed around the coast in commercial factories, like the Greeks.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote calvo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-May-2009 at 22:33
Well now, I think I understand what you mean about Spaniards trying to hide the Moorish legacy... they probably refer to the genetic part as some north-Europeans and Americans despise them theoretically with the excuse that they are "half-moorish" genetically, which they are not. Is that what you mean?
 
to be honest... at this day and age, after all the scientific discoveries of human genotypes and fenotypes that have completely refuted the 19th century ideas of "race"; if any human being is still obsessed with the idea that being of pure "European" blood makes one superior or inferior...., he would probably be suffering from some form of mental illness. Confused
I can't understand why some people see having non-European ancestry as an insult. If I was told that my great-great-great grandfather came from Congo, I'd probably be more proud than ashamed of it; and it wouldn't change who I am anyway.
 
Biologically speaking, being "inbred" has far more health risks than being "interbred".
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ikki Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-May-2009 at 23:42
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Many Spaniards don't want to recognize the muslim influence in theirs culture. They see themselves as Christians (Westerners) that fought the hordes of sarracens and defeated them, cleaning up Spain afterwards. They also deny that many Jews got converted and assimilated to the Spanish population, so these times most Spanish people have some Jewish ancestry (Spain had the largest Jewish community in Europe; about 10% of the population. And only half them left, the rest assimilated)

There is no better way to offend a Spaniard that remember them they not only have Iberian and European ancestors but also Semitic: Phoenicians, Berbers, Jews and Arabs.
 
 
Sometimes the jews ascendency is taken too much far and i think how much is due to a political and not scientific approach, for example recently appeared an article with the title "20% of the spanish population is of sephardic jewish origin" http://www.lavanguardia.es/ciudadanos/noticias/20081205/53592910043/catalunya-y-el-pais-vasco-las-comunidades-de-mas-profunda-raigambre-iberica-de-espanya.html
 
Now i can't find the original article, but i rode an abstract and was ridiculous: they found Middle East genetic marks, and attached it to a jewish past. But in fact, middleastern population in Iberia have a far greater variety in space and time: 1. Neolithic colonizers, 2. Phoenician and punic settlers, 3. Syrians in roman times (arrived with jews), 4. Northafricans with middleastern ancestry (very important) during muslim rule and the own arabs.
 
The correct sentences is "20% of the spanish people have a Middle East origin"


Edited by Ikki - 12-May-2009 at 23:43
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Beatriz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-May-2009 at 00:44
Originally posted by calvo calvo wrote:

Originally posted by O Anzol O Anzol wrote:



This is denied because it's also exagerated to the max most of the times. Moorish influence both cultural and genetical was very little as was germanic influence. The bulk of the population was always iberian.



I disagree here.
Moorish influence here is MUCH greater than Germanic influence; judging by the pure fact that the Moors have left the Alhambra, the great Mosque of Córdoba, and the old city centres of many cities in Andalucía, Murcia, Extremadura, and Aragón. What about the 4000-5000 Arabic words in modern Spanish? Anything that begins with Al- has Arabic origin. Madrid was founded by Arabs.
What have the Goths and Visgoths left here? Most of them were assimilated into the Hispano-Roman population and did not leave any cultural influence of their own.

Culturally speaking, I reckon that the external influences (from strongest to weakest), come like this:
- Roman (obviously)
- Arabic
- Celtic
- Iberian and Celti-Iberian
- Germanic
- all the rest.... (Tartessios, Carthaginians etc)

Genetically speaking, I probably would agree that most Iberian genes are native; because in the case of any migration or colonization; the foreign settlers are always far smaller in number than the indigenous population.
This applies even to the Romans; who left the most profound cultural legacy. The population of the Iberian peninsula at the time of the Roman conquest was estimated at 4-5 million; and Italy had an estimated population of 6-7 million.
I very much doubt that the Romans had sent half the Italian population to colonise Spain!

Even within north Africans, whom many consider to be "Arabs", most of the genes are native rather than from the Arabia






About the 4.000 words, Like Menéndez Pidal said:
"Nos enseñaron a proteger bien la hueste con atalayas, a enviar delante de ella algaradas, a guiarla con buenos adalides, a vigilar el campamento con robdas o rondas, a dar rebato en el enemigo descuidado."

On a more serious note, a 94 per cent comes from latin. It is true that arabic was the language which influenced Spanish most. Hoewever, at present, we use a far smaller number than 4.000 because they designated realitithat does not exist now, for example these words came from the agriculture field, etc. Every word starting with Al are not arabian such as Alfonso, Alvaro etc... but most of them are.

Moorish influence here is MUCH greater than Germanic influence?

In depends on what (remaining) influence you think is greater: material (architecture, food and artcraft and irrigation channels) which in some case we have inherited and adapted to our lives, or political, religious and onomastic, which we have respected as our essential and cultural core.

It is true that the visigoths left very little from a artistical viewpoint, partly because most of their buildings were knocked down. The vast majority of mosques were erected under a Visigothic Temple as in Córdoba. They left the horseshoe arc, which the arabs would lead to perfection. From an architectural viewpoint the Moors left a bigger legacy than the Visigoths.

However, not less important but yet not so visible as material remains: the legacy of the personal 
onomastica . Originally germanic names exceed the latin ones: the surnames enging in -ez are of a Gothic stock, the vast majority of Spaniards, in each province, reflect than influence. That's much of an anecdotal account even if it's identifying.

To my mind, the major Visigothic legacy is in the political field: phenomenon of national identification. With them–and with a crucial push from the episcopate– the first Spanish nation took shape, culminating in the Latin and Christian cultural unification; their laws were kept also, very romaniced. If not for that popular identification, the Hispanic-Gothic legacy could have left buried for good when the Arabs conquered virtually the whole Peninsula. 

 

If Spain did not follow in the footsteps of North Africa, it’s precisely owing to the political Hispanic-Tervingia legacy.




Edited by Beatriz - 13-May-2009 at 00:53
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