Moors was the name given to Africans by Europeans. In fact, early writers chronicled them as being "black or dark people, some being very black."

In the fourth and fifth centuries, Africans began arriving in southern Europe. But it was in 711 A.D. that they marched in Spain and Portugal as conquerors under the command of Tariq ibn Ziyad. He marched into Spain and Portugal with 12,000 troops and conquered them within the year. After the invasion of 711 came other waves of Moors even darker. It was this occupation of Portugal which accounts for the fact that even noble families had absorbed the blood of the Moor.

From that time onwards, racial mixing in Portugal, as in Spain, and elsewhere in Europe which came under the influence of Moors, took place on a large scale. In fact, the Moors purposefully bred with the Christians, until their final expulsion from Granada in 1492.

That is why historians claim that "Portugal is in reality a Negroid land," and that when Napoleon explained that "Africa begins at the Pyrenees," he meant every word.

The Moors ruled and occupied Lisbon 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, who was aided by English and Flemish crusaders.

Moorish influence can be seen vividly in Spanish and Portugese architecture and art.

Moor (?), n. [F. More, Maure, L. Maurus a Moor, a Mauritanian, an inhabitant of Mauritania, Gr. ; cf. black, dark. Cf. Morris a dance, Morocco.]


One of a mixed race inhabiting Morocco, Algeria, Tunis, and Tripoli, chiefly along the coast and in towns.

2. Hist.

Any individual of the swarthy races of Africa or Asia which have adopted the Mohammedan religion.

"In Spanish history the terms Moors, Saracens, and Arabs are synonymous."

Internat. Cyc.


© Webster 1913.

Moor, n. [OE. mor, AS. mor moor, morass; akin to D. moer moor, G. moor, and prob. to Goth. marei sea, E. mere. See Mere a lake.]


An extensive waste covered with patches of heath, and having a poor, light soil, but sometimes marshy, and abounding in peat; a heath.

In her girlish age she kept sheep on the moor. Carew.


A game preserve consisting of moorland.

Moor buzzard Zool., the marsh harrier. [Prov. Eng.] -- Moor coal Geol., a friable variety of lignite. -- Moor cock Zool., the male of the moor fowl or red grouse of Europe. -- Moor coot. Zool. See Gallinule. -- Moor fowl. Zool. (a) The European ptarmigan, or red grouse (Lagopus Scoticus). (b) The European heath grouse. See under Heath. -- Moor game. Zool. Same as Moor fowl (above). -- Moor grass Bot., a tufted perennial grass (Sesleria caerulea), found in mountain pastures of Europe. -- Moor hawk Zool., the marsh harrier. -- Moor hen. Zool. (a) The female of the moor fowl. (b) A gallinule, esp. the European species. See Gallinule. (c) An Australian rail (Tribonyx ventralis). -- Moor monkey Zool., the black macaque of Borneo (Macacus maurus). -- Moor titling Zool., the European stonechat (Pratinocola rubicola).


© Webster 1913.

Moor (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Moored (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Mooring.] [Prob. fr. D. marren to tie, fasten, or moor a ship. See Mar.]

1. Naut.

To fix or secure, as a vessel, in a particular place by casting anchor, or by fastening with cables or chains; as, the vessel was moored in the stream; they moored the boat to the wharf.


Fig.: To secure, or fix firmly.



© Webster 1913.

Moor, v. i.

To cast anchor; to become fast.

On oozy ground his galleys moor. Dryden.


© Webster 1913.

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