The Moors brought enormous learning to Spain that over centuries would percolate through the rest of Europe.
The intellectual achievements of the Moors in Spain had a lasting effect; education was universal in Moorish Spain, while in Christian Europe, 99 percent of the population was illiterate, and even kings could neither read nor write. At a time when Europe had only two universities, the Moors had seventeen, located in Almeria, Cordova, Granada, Juen, Malaga, Seville, and Toledo.
In the 10th and 11th centuries, public libraries in Europe were non-existent, while Moorish Spain could boast of more than 70, including one in Cordova that housed hundreds of thousands of manuscripts. Universities in Paris and Oxford were established after visits by scholars to Moorish Spain.
It was this system of education, taken to Europe by the Moors, that seeded the European Renaissance and brought the continent out of the 1,000 years of intellectual and physical gloom of the Middle Ages.
1. The Spanish occupation by the Moors began in 711 AD when an African army, under their leader Tariq ibn-Ziyad, crossed the Strait of Gibraltar from northern Africa and invaded the Iberian peninsula ‘Andalus' (Spain under the Visigoths).
2. A European scholar sympathetic to the Spaniards remembered the conquest in this way:
a. [T]he reins of their (Moors) horses were as fire, their faces black as pitch, their eyes shone like burning candles, their horses were swift as leopards and the riders fiercer than a wolf in a sheepfold at night . . . The noble Goths [the German rulers of Spain to whom Roderick belonged] were broken in an hour, quicker than tongue can tell. Oh luckless Spain! [i]
[i] Quoted in Edward Scobie, The Moors and Portugal's Global Expansion, in Golden Age of the Moor, ed Ivan Van Sertima, US, Transaction Publishers, 1992, p.336
3. The Moors, who ruled Spain for 800 years, introduced new scientific techniques to Europe, such as an astrolabe, a device for measuring the position of the stars and planets. Scientific progress in Astronomy, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Geography and Philosophy flourished in Moorish Spain
4. Basil Davidson, one of the most noted historians recognized and declared that there were no lands at that time (the eighth century) "more admired by its neighbours, or more comfortable to live in, than a rich African civilization which took shape in Spain"
5. At its height, Córdova, the heart of Moorish territory in Spain, was the most modern city in Europe. The streets were well-paved, with raised sidewalks for pedestrians. During the night, ten miles of streets were well illuminated by lamps. (This was hundreds of years before there was a paved street in Paris or a street lamp in London.) Cordova had 900 public baths - we are told that a poor Moor would go without bread rather than soap!
6. The Great Mosque of Córdoba (La Mezquita) is still one of the architectural wonders of the world in spite of later Spanish disfigurements. Its low scarlet and gold roof, supported by 1,000 columns of marble, jasper and and porphyry, was lit by thousands of brass and silver lamps which burned perfumed oil.
7. Education was universal in Moorish Spain, available to all, while in Christian Europe ninety-nine percent of the population were illiterate, and even kings could neither read nor write. At that time, Europe had only two universities, the Moors had seventeen great universities! These were located in Almeria, Cordova, Granada, Juen, Malaga, Seville, and Toledo.
8. In the tenth and eleventh centuries, public libraries in Europe were non-existent, while Moorish Spain could boast of more than seventy, of which the one in Cordova housed six hundred thousand manuscripts.
9. Over 4,000 Arabic words and Arabic-derived phrases have been absorbed into the Spanish language. Words beginning with "al," for example, are derived from Arabic. Arabic words such as algebra, alcohol, chemistry, nadir, alkaline, and cipher entered the language. Even words such as checkmate, influenza, typhoon, orange, and cable can be traced back to Arabic origins.
10. The most significant Moorish musician was known as Ziryab (the Blackbird) who arrived in Spain in 822. The Moors introduced earliest versions of several instruments, including the Lute or el oud, the guitar or kithara and the Lyre. Ziryab changed the style of eating by breaking meals into separate courses beginning with soup and ending with desserts.
11. The #Moors introduced paper to Europe and Arabic numerals, which replaced the clumsy Roman system.
12. The Moors introduced many new crops including the orange, lemon, peach, apricot, fig, sugar cane, dates, ginger and pomegranate as well as saffron, sugar cane, cotton, silk and rice which remain some of Spain's main products today.
13. The Moorish rulers lived in sumptuous palaces, while the monarchs of Germany, France, and England dwelt in big barns, with no windows and no chimneys, and with only a hole in the roof for the exit of smoke. One such Moorish palace ‘Alhambra' (literally "the red one") in Granada is one of Spain's architectural masterpieces. Alhambra was the seat of Muslim rulers from the 13th century to the end of the 15th century. The Alhambra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site
14. It was through Africa that the new knowledge of China, India, and Arabia reached Europe The #Moors brought the Compass from China into Europe.
15. The Moors ruled and occupied Lisbon (named "Lashbuna" by the Moors) and the rest of the country until well into the twelfth century. They were finally defeated and driven out by the forces of King Alfonso Henriques. The scene of this battle was the Castelo de Sao Jorge or the 'Castle of St. George.'
How exactly did the Africans and the Chinese mix and were there Blacks in China as well?
Yes there were indeed Blacks in ancient China. The skeletal remains from southern China are predominately Negroid. The people practiced single burials which is an African ritual. In northern China the blacks founded many civilizations. The three major empires of China were the Xia Dynasty (c.2205-1766 B.C), Shang/ Yin Dynasty (c.1700-1050 B.C) and the Zhou Dynasty. The Zhou dynasty was the first dynasty founded by the Mongoloid people in China called Hua (Who-aa). The founders of Xia and Shang came from the Fertile African Crescent by way of Iran. Chinese civilization began along the Yellow river . The culture hero Huang Di is a direct link of Africa. His name was pronounced in old Chinese Yuhai Huandi or "Hu Nak Kunte." He was supposed to have arrived in China from the west in 2282 B.C., and settled along the banks of the Loh River in Shanxi.
The Africans or blacks that founded civilization in China were often called Li Min "black headed people" by the Zhou dynasts. This term has affinity to the Sumero-Akkadian term Sag-Gig-Ga "Black Headed People". These Li Min are associated with the Chinese cultural hero Yao. Evidence of Chinese writing first appears around 2000 B.C. as pottery marks. The shell-and-bone characters represented writing they were not pictures but wedges similar to African Cuneiform. The identification of the first hero of China, Hu Nak Kunte as a member of the Kunte clan of the Manding speakers of Africa is supported by the close relationship between the Manding languages and Chinese.
Black Shang explained further.......
There were two Shang empires. The first Shang Dynasty was the Shang-Li (Black Shang) it was ruled by the Li-Qiang "Black Qiang" that was falsely portrayed in the Disney movie 'Mulan.' For the last 273 years of the Shang empire the capital was situated at Anyang. Both the ancient Chinese and Africans had similar naming practices. As in Africa the Shang child had both a day name and regular name. The Shang child was named according to the days of the sun, on which he was born. There were ten days in each sun. These days are called the ten celestial signs. In the Mulberry Tree tradition one day ten suns rose from a mulberry and the Archer Yi, shot down nine of them. These suns in reality were birds. This bird myth refers to the "black birds" that founded the Shang Dynasty. The fact that only one of the ten birds survived the arrows of the Archer Yi, may relate to the unification of the ten clans into the Shang dynasty.
Shangs speaking Dravidian?
The Dravidian speakers originally came from Nubia. They were related to the C-Group people. The Shang culture was founded by the Kushites thus the name Yi "Great Bowmen", thus corresponding to Steu, the name for the founders of Ta-Seti the first monarchy in history. The Yi seem to have lived in both north and south China. The founders of Xia are usually referred to as Yueh, as opposed to Yi. It would appear that most of Yi were Dravidian speakers while the Yueh were Manding speakers. The first Shang king was Xuan Wang, 'Black King' (Xuan means black). He was also called the Xuan Di ,"Black Emperor". The founder of the Shang Dynasty was called Xuan Niao "Black Bird"; another Shang king was called Xuan Mu "Black Oxen".
African Exposed Truths
The Black Episodes before Colonialism
The African Empires of China
African Civilizations Diop
Angelo Soliman, 1729-1796 belonged to the Kanuri ethnic group. His original name, Mmadi Make, is linked to a princely class in the Sokoto State in modern Nigeria.
A man of remarkable intelligence, intelligence that won his freedom.He spoke six languages fluently and could write three of them fluently as well.He was also a master swordsman, war hero, chess specialist, navigation expert, concert composer, and a tutor to royalty. He was the subject of Mozart’s popular opera The Magic Flute.
Soliman was considered one of the most learned people of his generation.
During his lifetime Soliman was regarded as a model of the assimilation and perfectibility of Africans. Mozart was a Big fan of His and The character Bassa Selim in Mozart's opera The Abduction from the Seraglio was based on Soliman. Eventually becoming the Grand Master of that lodge, Soliman helped change its ritual to include scholarly elements. This new Masonic direction rapidly influenced Freemasonic practice throughout Europe.
Today in History, November 29th, 1781,
The Zong Massacre
On November 29th, 1781 the crew of the slave ship Zong threw 142 Afrikan slaves overboard, including women and children. When the ship ran out of water following a navigational mistake, the captain and crew decided to throw the cargo of slaves overboard and claim the loss on their insurance policy.
Nubia was known on the Nile for its vast resources, such as ebony, ivory, copper, and most importantly gold. “The area that was once ancient Nubia can be found in the regions we call today Southern Egypt and Northern Sudan. Nubia stretched over 1,000 miles along the Nile River and, like Egypt, it was a land defined by this mighty river. Surrounded by a harsh desert environment, the river supported Nubian culture and economy” (University of Chicago). Nubia was in a quality location for trade along the Nile River. Due to Nubia’s close proximity to Egypt, both kingdoms were in contact with the other. With the large amount of valuable assets from the Nubians, there was conflict due to Egyptians’ envy.
They came as slaves: human cargo transported on British ships bound for the Americas. They were shipped by the hundreds of thousands and included men, women, and even the youngest of children.
Whenever they rebelled or even disobeyed an order, they were punished in the harshest ways. Slave owners would hang their human property by their hands and set their hands or feet on fire as one form of punishment. Some were burned alive and had their heads placed on pikes in the marketplace as a warning to other captives.
We don’t really need to go through all of the gory details, do we? We know all too well the atrocities of the African slave trade.
But are we talking about African slavery? King James VI and Charles I also led a continued effort to enslave the Irish. Britain’s Oliver Cromwell furthered this practice of dehumanizing one’s next door neighbour.
The Irish slave trade began when James VI sold 30,000 Irish prisoners as slaves to the New World. His Proclamation of 1625 required Irish political prisoners be sent overseas and sold to English settlers in the West Indies.
By the mid 1600s, the Irish were the main slaves sold to Antigua and Montserrat. At that time, 70% of the total population of Montserrat were Irish slaves.
Ireland quickly became the biggest source of human livestock for English merchants. The majority of the early slaves to the New World were actually white.
From 1641 to 1652, over 500,000 Irish were killed by the English and another 300,000 were sold as slaves. Ireland’s population fell from about 1,500,000 to 600,000 in one single decade.
Families were ripped apart as the British did not allow Irish dads to take their wives and children with them across the Atlantic. This led to a helpless population of homeless women and children. Britain’s solution was to auction them off as well.
During the 1650s, over 100,000 Irish children between the ages of 10 and 14 were taken from their parents and sold as slaves in the West Indies, Virginia and New England. In this decade, 52,000 Irish (mostly women and children) were sold to Barbados and Virginia.
Another 30,000 Irish men and women were also transported and sold to the highest bidder. In 1656, Cromwell ordered that 2000 Irish children be taken to Jamaica and sold as slaves to English settlers.
Many people today will avoid calling the Irish slaves what they truly were: Slaves. They’ll come up with terms like “Indentured Servants” to describe what occurred to the Irish. However, in most cases from the 17th and 18th centuries, Irish slaves were nothing more than human cattle.
As an example, the African slave trade was just beginning during this same period. It is well recorded that African slaves, not tainted with the stain of the hated Catholic theology and more expensive to purchase, were often treated far better than their Irish counterparts.
African slaves were very expensive during the late 1600s (£50 Sterling). Irish slaves came cheap (no more than £5 Sterling). If a planter whipped, branded or beat an Irish slave to death, it was never a crime. A death was a monetary setback, but far cheaper than killing a more expensive African.
The English masters quickly began breeding the Irish women for both their own personal pleasure and for greater profit. Children of slaves were themselves slaves, which increased the size of the master’s free workforce.
Even if an Irish woman somehow obtained her freedom, her kids would remain slaves of her master. Thus, Irish mothers, even with this new found emancipation, would seldom abandon their children and would remain in servitude.
In time, the English thought of a better way to use these women to increase their market share: The settlers began to breed Irish women and girls (many as young as 12) with African men to produce slaves with a distinct complexion. These new “mulatto” slaves brought a higher price than Irish livestock and, likewise, enabled the settlers to save money rather than purchase new African slaves.
This practice of interbreeding Irish females with African men went on for several decades and was so widespread that, in 1681, legislation was passed “forbidding the practice of mating Irish slave women to African slave men for the purpose of producing slaves for sale.” In short, it was stopped only because it interfered with the profits of a large slave transport company.
England continued to ship tens of thousands of Irish slaves for more than a century. Records state that, after the 1798 Irish Rebellion, thousands of Irish slaves were sold to both America and Australia. There were horrible abuses of both African and Irish captives. One British ship even dumped 1,302 slaves into the Atlantic Ocean so that the crew would have plenty of food to eat.
There is little question the Irish experienced the horrors of slavery as much (if not more, in the 17th Century) as the Africans did. There is also little question that those brown, tanned faces you witness in your travels to the West Indies are very likely a combination of African and Irish ancestry.
In 1839, Britain finally decided on it’s own to end its participation in Satan’s highway to hell and stopped transporting slaves. While their decision did not stop pirates from doing what they desired, the new law slowly concluded this chapter of Irish misery.
But, if anyone, black or white, believes that slavery was only an African experience, then they’ve got it completely wrong. Irish slavery is a subject worth remembering, not erasing from our memories.
But, why is it so seldom discussed? Do the memories of hundreds of thousands of Irish victims not merit more than a mention from an unknown writer?
Or is their story to be the one that their English masters intended: To completely disappear as if it never happened.
None of the Irish victims ever made it back to their homeland to describe their ordeal. These are the lost slaves; the ones that time and biased history books conveniently forgot.
By Peter Thomson