The World's Great Classics - Vol. 3-4

The World's Great Classics - Vol. 3-4

Read FREE!

The World's Great Classics - Vol. 3-4

The World's Great Classics - Vol. 3-4

Read FREE!

Excerpt

The region which extends from the frontiers of Egypt to the Atlantic Ocean, and from the Mediterranean to the Niger, was in ancient times inhabited by a people to whom we give the general name of Berbers, but whom the ancients, particularly those of the Eastern portion, knew under the name of Moors. “They were called Maurisi by the Greeks,” said Strabo, “in the first century A.D., and Mauri by the Romans. They are of Lybian origin, and form a powerful and rich nation.” This name of Moors is applied not only to the descendants of the ancient Lybians and Numidians, who live in the nomad state or in settled abodes, but also to the descendants of the Arabs who, in the eighth century A.D., brought with them Islamism, imposed by the sabre of Ogbah and his successors. Even further was it carried, into Spain, when Berbers and Arabs, reunited under the standard of Moussa and Tarik, added this country to the empire of the Khalifa. in the fifteenth century the Portuguese, in their turn, took the name to the Orient, and gave the name of Moors to the Mussulmans whom they found on the Oriental coast of Africa and in India.

The appellation particularizes, as one may see, three peoples entirely different in origin—the Berbers, the Arabs of the west, and the Spanish Mussulmans, widely divided, indeed, by political struggles, but united since the seventh and eighth centuries in their religious law. This distinction must be kept in mind, as it furnishes the necessary divisions for a study of the Moorish literature.

The term Moorish Literature may appear ambitious applied to the monuments of the Berber language which have come down to us, or are gathered daily either from the lips of singers on the mountains of the Jurgura, of the Aures, or of the Atlas of Morocco; under the tents of the Touaregs

Geographica, t. xviii, ch. 3, § ii.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.