White over black: American attitudes toward the Moores, 1550-1812


“As suggested by Sandys’s remark, an equation had developed between African Negroes and slavery. Primarily, the associations were with the Portuguese and Spanish, with captivity, with buying and selling in Guinea and in America. While the Negro’s exact status in America was not entirely clear, neither was it conceived as an off-brand of apprenticeship or servitude: Hawkins assumed as his crest a “demi-Moor” (plainly Negroid) “captive and bound.”

“Nor was Portuguese or Spanish slavery regarded as being of a mild, protective sort:

The Portuguese doe marke them as we doe Sheepe with a hot Iron, which the Moores call Crimbo, the poore slaves stand all in a row … and sing Mundele que sumbela he Carey ha belelelle, and thus the poore rogues are beguiled, for the PortugaIs make them beleeve that they that have not the marke is not accounted a man of any account in Brasil or in Portugall, and thos they bring the poore Moores to be in a most damnable bondage under the colour of love. “

“Slavery, therefore, frequently appeared to rest upon the “perpetual enmity” which existed between Christians on the one hand and “infidels” and “pagans” on the other. sixteenth and seventeenth centuries Englishmen at home could read Scores of accounts concerning the miserable fate of Englishmen and other Christians taken into “captivity” by Turks and Moors and oppressed by the “verie worst manner of bondmanship and slaverie.”



“An Entire Commentary upon the Whole Epistle of the Apostle Paul to the Ephesians • . . (London, 16[41-]43), 694-95 (italics mine). Too late for incorporation in the text. I came across a discussion published in 1627 which described five varieties of “servants.” The author, a minister, used that term except for one category, the “semi belli, as these that are taken slaves in the wars.” In this context he explained that “this curse to be a servant was laid. first upon a disobedient sonne Cham, and wee see to this day, that the Moores, Chams posteritie. are sold like slaves yet.” This passage suggests how dearly defined a condition slavery was for Englishmen and that they associated it with Negroes, but of course it fails to disclose who is selling Negroes as slaves “yet.” John Weemse [Le., Weemes]. The Portraiture of the Image of God in Man . . • (London. 1627) , 279.

“The Body of Liberties made equally clear that captivity in a just war constituted legitimate grounds for slavery.The practice had begun during the first major conflict with the Indians,the Pequot War of 1637. Some of the Pequot captives had been shipped aboard the Desire, to Providence Island; accordingly,the first in England arrived in exchange for men taken captive in a just That this provenance played an important role in shaping Jews about Negroes is suggested by the first recorded plea by an Englishman on the North American continent for the establishment of an African slave trade. Emanuel Downing, in a letter to his brother-in-law John Winthrop in 1645, described the advantages: “If upon a Just warre [with the Narragansett Indians] the Lord should deliver them into our hands, wee might easily have men women and children enough to exchange for Moores, which will be more gaynefull pillage for us then wee conceive, for I doe not see how wee can thrive untill wee get into a stock of slaves sufficient to doe all our business, for our children’s children will hardly see this great Continent filled with people, soe that our servants will still desire freedom to plant for themselves, and not stay but for verie great wages. And I suppose you know verie well how wee shall mayneteyne 20 Moores cheaper than one Englishe servant.” 

“These two facets of justifiable enslavement-punishment for crime and captivity in war-were closely related. Slavery as punishment probably derived from analogy with captivity, since presumably a king or magistrates could mercifully spare and enslave a man whose crime had forfeited his right to life. The analogy had not been worked out by commentators in England, but a fairly clear linkage between crime and captivity seems to have existed in the minds of New Englanders concerning Indian slavery. “

“A contemporary account of Bacon’s Rebellion caustically described one of the ringleaders, Richard Lawrence, as a per­ l son who had eclipsed his learning and abilities “in the dark embraces of a Blackamoore, his slave: And that in so fond a Maner, … to the noe mean Scandle and alfrunt of all the Vottrisses in or 82 about towne.”

“From the first, then, vis-a.-vis the Negro the concept embedded in the term Christian seems to have conveyed much of the idea and feeling of we as against they: to be Christian was to be civilized, rather than barbarous, English rather than African, white rather than black. The term Christian itself proved to have remarkable, elasticity, for by the end of the seventeenth century it was being used to define a species of slavery which had altogether lost any connection with explicit religious difference.”

“In the Virginia code of 1705, for example, the term sounded much more like a definition of race than of religion: “And for a further christian care and usage of all christian servants, Be it also enacted, by the authority aforesaid, and it is hereby enacted, That no Negroes, mulatto, or Indians, although Christians, or Jews, Moors, Mahometans, or other infidels, shall, at any time, purchase any christian servant, nor any other, except of their own complexion, or such as are declared slaves by this act.” By this time “Christianity” had somehow become intimately and explicitly linked with complexion.”

“The 1705 statute S declared “That all servants imported and brought into this country, by sea or land, who were not Christians in their native country, (except Turks and Moors in amity with her majesty, and others that can make due proof of their being free in England, or any other christian country. before they were shipped, in order to transportation hither) shall be accounted and be slaves, and as such be here bought and sold notwithstanding a conversion to Christianity after wards.” 

As late as 1753 the Virginia slave code anachronistically defined slavery in terms of religion when everyone knew that slavery had for generations been based on the racial and not the religious difference. In significant contrast, the colonists referred to Negroes and by the eighteenth century to blacks and to Africans, but almost never to Negro heathens or pagans or savages. Most suggestive of all, there l’1 L.t  I’ seems to have been something of a shift during the seventeenth century in the terminology which Englishmen in the colonies ap­ tt1 plied to themselves. From the initially most common term Christian, at mid-century there was a marked drift toward English and \-..V free. After abou¡, taking the colonies as a whole, a new term appeared-white. 

By 1676 it was possi. ble in Virginia to assail a man for “eclipsing” himself in the “darke imbraces of a Blackamoore” as if “Duty consisted all together in the Antiphety of Complexions.” In Maryland ‘l–revised law miscegenation (1692) retained white and English but dropped the term Christian-a symptomatic modification. As early as 1664 a Bermuda statute (aimed, ironically, at protecting Negroes from  brutal abandonment) required that the “last Master” of senile Negroes “provide for them such accommodations as shall be convenient for Creatures of that hue and color until their death.” By the end of the ­tenth century dark had become an independent rationale’ for enslavement: in 1709 Samuel Sewall noted in his diary that a “Spaniard” had petitioned the Massachusetts Council for freedom but that “Capt. Teat alleged that all of that Color were Slaves.” 123 Here was a barrier between “we” and which was visible and permanent: the Negro could not become a white man. Not, at least, as yet.

It is worth making still closer scrutiny of the terminology which Englishmen employed when referring both to themselves and to the two peoples they enslaved, for this terminology affords the best single means of probing the content of their sense of difference. The terms Indian and Negro were both borrowed from the Hispanic languages, the one originally deriving from (mistaken) geographical locality and the other from human complexion. When referring to the Indians the English colonists either used that proper name or called them savages, a term which reflected primarily their view of Indians as uncivilized, or occasionally (in Maryland especially) pagans, which gave more explicit expression to the missionary urge. When they to the colonists occasionally spoke of themselves as Christians but after the early years almost always as English.

          Source: White over black: American attitudes toward the Negro, 1550-1812 by Winthrop D. Jordan


Moorish Spain By Richard A. Fletcher


“Thus far the Islamic presence in Spain has been considered from a western and Christian point of view. We should also attempt an assessment of its culture in the wider context of Islamic civilization as a whole. During the Middle Ages al-Andalus–as Moorish Spain was always known in the Arabic-speaking world-was little regarded in the Middle Eastern heartlands of Islam.”

“For the mandarins and intellectuals of sophisticated Damascus, Cairo or Baghdad, al-Andalus was a distant frontier outpost of Islam on the fringes of the known world, irredeemably dowdy and provincial. Yet from this dingy backwater there emerged some of the finest works of Islamic art and culture: for example, the great mosque of Cordoba, the Cuenca school of ivory carving, the poetry of Ibn ‘Ammar, the philosophy of Ibn Rushd (better known as to the west as Averros), the medical treatises of Ibn Zuhr, the Giralda of Seville and the Alhambra of Granada. Here too there are puzzles to be investigated.”

“This is to indicate some of the ways in which Moorish Spain might be thought to lay claim to our attention. But before we proceed further with the inquiry it will be as well to introduce the land which medieval Muslim and Christian shared, for the benefit of those who do not know it. A preliminary difficulty–of which doubtless the reader must already have become aware–is to decide what to call it. This is not a new problem: take for example the opening sentences of the description of Spain by the eleventh-century geographer al-Bakri.”

“People say that in ancient times it was called Iberia, taking its name from the river Ebro. Later it was known as Betica, from the river Betis which runs past Cordoba. Later it was known as Betica, from the river Betis which runs past Cordoba. Later still it was called “Hispania” after a man named “Hispan” who had once ruled there. Some people say that its true name is Hesperia, which is derived from Hesperus, the evening star in the west. Nowadays we call it al Andalus after the Andalusians who settled it.”

“Objections can be raised against nearly all the available options. Hispania and Hesperia sound precious and pedantic. Iberia risks being confused with the region of that name in the Georgian Caucasus. Spain as a term for the whole peninsular land mass between the Pyrenees and the Straits of Gibraltar is open to the objection that it will inevtiably suggest the modern state of Spain and thereby exclude the area covered by modern Portugal.”

“The political designations of the  Middle Ages were applied to territories whose size and shape oscillated wildy. Castile did not exist in the year 800, by the year 1000 it was a moderst county of the Kingdom of Leon, by 1300 it was the largest state in Europe. Al-Andalus meant nearly the whose of the peninsula in the eighth century, but by the late thirteenth it meant the tiny principality of Granada. Religous labels are misleading. Islamic pain always contained a sizeable communities of Christians and Jews, Christian Spain, similiary communities of Jews and Muslims.”

“Ethnic desginations are even more misleading. The language of common speech in al-Andalus, for Christians and Jews as well as for Muslims, was Arabic; but to speak as some have done of Arabic Spain is to give the impression that the land had been colonized by the Arabs, whereas the number of Arabs who settled there was very small. Moorish Spain does at least have the merit of reminidng us that the bulk of the invaders and settlers were Moors, i.e. Berbers from northwest Africa. But we shall need to bear in mind that they overlay a population of mixed descent-Hispano-Romans, Basques, Sueves, Visigoths, Jews, and others.”

“The read who looks for consistency of verbal usage in this book is going to be disappointed. When I use the term al-Andalus I understand by it that area of the Iberian peninsula under the control of Muslim authority, and the phrases Moorish, Muslim and Islamic Spain are to be regard as synonmous with it. I shall try to avoid using Spain to indicate the whole land mass but I do not expect to keep to this well meant resolution. I offer my apologies in advance to those who inhabit the peninsula today who are politically independant of the Spanish monarchy (in Portugal) or who think that they ought to be in the Basque country, Galicia and Catalonia).”

“What needs special emphasis in any account of Moorish Spain is the ease of contact between southern Spain and northwest Africa: the Straits at their narrowest are only twelve miles wide. In his poem Spain of 1937, later disavowed-W.H. Auden called the land that arid square, that fragment nipped off from hot Africa. how right he was. The relief, climate, and ecology of southern Spain parallel in Morocco. Shackled to Castile by the chance of history, Andalusia has a natural partner in Barbary, the land of the Berbers, to which indeed she was once linked until the land bridge burst and the waters of the Atlantic gushed in to make the Mediterranean.”

“The Berber and Black African soldiers were known in Andalusi slang as “Tangerines’ because so many were imported through Tangier. Spain was known colloquially as the Dar Dijihad, the land of jihad. The Roman provinces of North Africa fell swiftly to the Arabs. They conquered Egypt in the years 640-42, Cyrenaica and Tripolitania (i.e. roughly, the parts of modern Libya) in 643-47, and the province of Africa proper (which the Arabs called Ifriqiya, i.e. today’s Tunisia) by 670 when the new city of Kairouan, to the south of Tunis, was founded. But then the pace of conquest slackened. The Berbers put up fierce resistance to the Arab armies.”

“They were nominally subjected by the early years of the eighth century but continued to mount sporadic rebellions against Arab rule until the 740s and 750s. One way of taming the Berbers, and of simultaneously profiting from their fighting skills, was to encourage or compel their enlistment into Arab-led armies for the prosecution of military campaigns elsewhere. The prospects of adventure and plunder, possibly even of land, would appeal to the Berber warrior tribesmen. Regular military discipline would break down clan loyalties and values; Regular military discipline would turn them into good Muslims. This thinking probably influences the Arab leadership to undertake the raids on southern Spain which occupied the years before 711.”

“It is not clear, from the meager sources that have survived, why raiding should have turned into conquest. Partly, perhaps, it may have arisen from the inner dynamics of the early Islamic polity. The caliphs of the Umayyad dynasty who presided from Damascus over the vast sprawling Islamic empire which had erupted with such speed in the seventh century depended for their survival upon the allegiance of an Arab aristocracy imbued with a warrior ethic. (In this respect they were not unlike the rulers of other early medieval successor states to the Roman empire, such as the Merovingian and Carolingian kings of the Franks in Gaul and Germany.) Prudent rulers respected the habits and needs of their predatory nobilities. Expand or go under: this could have been the motto of any early medieval ruler, whether Christian or Islamic.”

Source: Spain By Richard Fletcher, Richard A. Fletcher

History of Brazil, Volume 3


“The Moors of Morocco at this time took from the Portuguese the last of their possessions in that part of Africa. In the noonday of Portugal, her best historians found it necessary to distribute her history into four distinct portions,…so extensive was the empire which she had established in Africa, Asia, and America.”

“The history of Portuguese Africa, (or that part of it which had been of most importance,) was now closed by the fall of Mazagam; and it ended in a happier hour than it began. The immediate consequence was the most advantageous change in the commercial system of Brazil.”

“Hitherto Portugal had been in a state of permanent war with the Moors, and for that reason, the Brazillian trade was carried on by annual fleets,…..the prohibition of single ships, which had commenced during the Dutch war, having been continued in force, first because of the Buccaneers, and their successors the Pirates, and when those common enemies of all mankind had been exterminated, then on account of the Barbary cruizers.”

“Peace was now made with Morocco when there was no longer an old point of honor to impede it, and Oeyars immediately declared, that as soon as the fleets from Baia and the Rio should have returned, the trade with those ports might be carried on by single ships.”

“The inhabitants raised cotton and provisions and were well supplied with fish. Some twenty leagues to the east, the town of Almeirim stood in a commanding situation, at the mouth of the Paru, one of the points which the Dutch occupied when they attempted to establish themselves upon the great river: the remains of their works still make part of the fort.”

“Its population in 1784, was wholly Indian and amounted to about three hundred persons. They cultivated mandioc, maize, rice, pulse, and cotton. The women, at their ordinary occupations, were naked from the waist upward; but when they went to Church they wore a shift and linen petticoat, tied up their hair, and adorned their necks with a bentinho.”

“There were two smaller towns, and two river parishes, (so those parishes are called where the population has no fixed and central point,) between Almeirim and Mazagam. That place was losing its inhabitants because of its unhealthy situation, which proved fatal even to persons brought thither from the coast of Morocco.”

“Below Mazagam was Villa Vistoza da Madre de Deos,…the Beautiful Town of the Mother of God! It ill-deserved this lofty appellation. Three hundred families were planted there by the Government: some of them were good colonist from the Azores, but the greater number were criminals, foreign soldiers, and subjects taken from the house of correction: about nine-tenths of this hopeful population speedily forsook the place. It is on the left bank of the Anauirapucu, a considerable river, seven leagues from its mouth…”

Source: History of Brazil, Volume 3 By Robert Southey

Iberia and the Americas: Culture, Politics, and History (Transatlantic Relations)

“Portuguese slavery inherited the Roman peculium, the practice by which slaves could have their own property and reap the fruits of their work. Portuguese slavery, like its Spanish counterpart, rested heavily on the Roman, Visigothic, and Muslim law and practice. That is, slavery was a temporary situation in which freedom was always the ultimate goal. In the search for workers, Portuguese colonizers used different free and coerced labor, including free workers, Iberian migrants, and Berber or black African slaves; all were put to work (under various terms) on the islands. However, the preference for slave labor on the Atlantic islands later influenced the labor patters the Portuguese would use in plantation Brazil. “

“Slavery had long been known in Iberia, but slaves never constituted more than a small percentage of society. By 1492, although more than 35,000 black slaves had been introduced in Portugal, most of them were intended to be reexported to other European markets and to the Americas. By 1550, there were 9,500 African slaves in Lisbon–comprising nearly 10 percent of the total population–and 32,370 slaves and 2,580 freedmen in Portugal as a whole. Black slaves increasingly replaced slaves from other racial origins as the Portuguese became less involved in the wars against the Turks in the Mediterranean and in general against Muslims.”

“The Moors were visible in Portugal in the most southern part of the country, where a relatively large population of Christianized Moors (Moriscos) toiled the fields and worked as artisans in towns and cities.  The term Moors, derived from Mauritania, designated those Muslims and their descendants from the north of Africa who established themselves in Spain through different waves of Islamic invasions beginning in 711. In general, the Christian monarchs, who conquered Iberian dominions from Islam during the Middle Ages respected the customs and religion of the Mudejar, or Muslims among Christians, in exchange for obedience and heavy taxes. These mudejars, in spite of their marginal status, reached important numbers at given times and places.”

“Towards the end of the fifteenth century, mudejars constituted a minority in Castile and Navarre. On the other hand, in the Kingdom of Granada, the mudejars vastly outnumbered old Christians. Large groups of Moors also resided in Aragon and, above all, in Valencia, where nobles received and protected them in their seigniorial dominions in exhcange for submission and cheap labor. In spite of apperanaces, there was always a fraigle equilibrium in the coexistence not convivencia (harmonious cohabitation), between Muslims and Christians.”

“In addition to an ancestral hatred, those Chistians who, encouraged by the Crown, settled in the Moors’ territory also usurped their principal economic resources. At the same time, ecclesiastical authorities persistently worked to coerce and to assimilate the Islamic population. Together, these circumstances produced an inevitable clash of civilizations. Such confrontations culminated in the rebellion of the Moors of the Alpujarras region of Granda in 1499, which led the Catholic Monarchs to order the general conversion of all the mudejars of Granada to Christianity and the expulsion of those who refused baptism. The forcefully converted were known as Moriscos or new Christians. Although Charles V conceded the moriscos forty years grace from the Inquisition in order to achieve full integration in the Christian population many continued practicing their religion and defending their customs against the acculturating policies of Church and Crown.”

“The title and the practice of granting hidalgo status for meritorious service to the Crown began when the Christian kings of the northern peninsula first set out on the Reconquista, the campaign to drive the Moors from the Iberian Peninsula, a quest that lasted more than 700 years. By 1492, when the southernmost Moorish stronghold of Granada was finally overcome and Jews were also compelled to convert to Christianity, it became all the more imperative for men from central and southern Iberia, especially those whose purity of blood (religious heritage) might otherwise be questioned, to validate their loyalty, merit, and service by somehow achieving the status of Hidalgo.” 

See Iberia and the Americas: Culture, Politics, and History 3 Vols: Iberia and the Americas: Culture, Politics, and History (Transatlantic Relations), 3 Volumes Set

“Moor” originally meant “Westerner” not “Black”, “Negro” or “Colored”

There is “no reason” to believe that the people who called themselves “Mauri” assumed their native name from foreigners (“Europeans, Romans nor Greeks“) as many “Black American” or “African American” laymen have proposed, and whom I find to largely rely on the common reference to the “Greek” and “Roman” languages.  “After all, North Africa, then called Mauretania, and Spain both had been provinces of the Roman Empire, and, as such they had traded with one another for centuries.” Source: (p. 38) The Knights Templar of the Middle East The Hidden History of the Islamic Origins of Freemasonry by HRF Prince Michael of Albany and Walid Amine Salhab.

   Ancient Mauritania Spans from North       Africa to the Coast of Guinea in Nigeria


Moor: [Maurus, Latin.] A negro; a black-a-moor.I shall answer that better than you can the getting up of the negro’s belly; the moor is with child by you. Shakespeare.” As late as 1398 we find the following reference to the ‘Moors’: Also the nacyn (nation) of Maurys (Moors) theyr blacke colour comyth of the inner partes.”

Source: A dictionary of the English language: in which the words are deduced from : their originals, explained in their different meanings and authorized by the names of the writers in whose works they are found by Johnson, Samuel, 1709-1784. 

Portrait of antiquary and author John Cussans circa 1861 (Source: UK National Portrait Gallery)

In his 1893 Handbook of Heraldry, British antiquarian John Edwin Cussans (1837-1899) wrote:

Royal Moorish bloodlines of Italy

The Heads of a Moor, or Blackamoor, and a Saracen, are wreathed about the temples with a fillet of twisted silk, the Tincture or Tinctures of which must be mentioned. ”

Source: Handbook of Heraldry: With Instructions for Tracing Pedigrees and Deciphering Ancient Mss., Rules for the Appointment of Liveries, &c Front Cover John Edwin Cussans Chatto & Windus, 1893 – Heraldry – 353 pages

Map By Girolamo Ruscelli Mauritania Nuova Tavola [North Africa and West Africa] Girolamo Ruscelli Place/Date: Venice / 1562
Mohr Name Meaning

“North German: topographic name for someone who lived in a fen, Middle Low German mor. German and Dutch: nickname for a man of swarthy complexion, from Middle High German mor, Middle Dutch mo(e)r ‘Moor’. German: from a short form of an old personal name, Morhart (see Morath).”

Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press

Muhr Name Meaning

“German (Bavaria): topographic name from Middle High German muor ‘marsh’, ‘bog’, or ‘moor’. North German and Swiss: variant of Mauer 2.”

Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press

Moors Name Meaning

“English: variant spelling of Moores. Dutch: nickname for a man of swarthy complexion or ethnic name for a North African, from moor ‘Moor’ (see Moore 2). Dutch: patronymic from a short form of the Latin personal name Mauritius (see Morris 1).”

Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press

“Meanwhile, there has been ongoing debate about Mohrenstrasse U-Bahn station: “Mohr” translates literally as “moor”

Source: Germany’s other brutal history: should Berlin’s ‘African Quarter’ be renamed?

“During Germany’s colonial expansion, the street served as a place for parades by African delegates, such as representatives from the Brandenburg colony Grossfriedrichsburg, now a part of Ghana. To this day, the street is called Mohrenstrabe and is even the name for one subway station, Ulrich van der Heyden, “Die Mohrenstrasse,” in Kolonialmetropole Berlin: Eine Spurensuche ed.”

Source: Color, Hair, and Bone: Race in the Twenty-first Century edited by Linden Lewis, Glyne A. Griffith, Elizabeth Crespo Kebler

“The word ‘Moor’ is a loose term that was used in Medieval and Renaissance England to refer to the ‘Moors’, ‘blackmoors’, ‘Negroes’, ‘Indians’, ‘Mahometans’ or ‘Muslims’. All these terms were more often than not used interchangeably. This study is concerned with the Moor from North Africa.” “The words “Moor,” “blackman”, “blackmoor,” “Negroe,” “Aethiopian,” (or even “Turk,” and “Arab”) were used interchangeably in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in spite of the fact that the English became aware of the distinctions between different types of blacks.” (P.3) “The word ‘Moor’ was commonly used to refer to Muslims in general whether they came from Africa or Asia. Thus, the inhabitants of the island of Molucca (part of today’s Malaysia) are referred to as “Moors in religion”.6 In fact, as Anthony Gerald Barthelemy puts it, “almost anyone who was not Christian, European, or Jewish could have been called a Moor; this includes Asians, Native Americans, Africans, Arabs, and all Muslims regardless of ethnicity.” (P.7)

Source: THE IMAGE OF MOORS IN THE WRITINGS OF FOUR ELIZABETHAN DRAMATISTS: PEELE, DEKKER, HEYWOOD AND SHAKESPEARE A thesis submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy Submitted by Mohamed Ibrahim Hassan Elaskary To the University of Exeter April 2008

“The U.S. Immigration Dictionary of Races and Peoples was originally intended to guide the Immigration Commission workers, but when it became clear that it would appear too late for that, it came to be seen as the Commission’s summation of knowledge about each race or people.

Moor: A historical rather than an ethnographical term applied to very different peoples of northwestern Africa. In Roman history it is applied to inhabitants of Mauretania (Morocco and Algeria), who were in part Phoenician colonist. In Spanish history the “Moors” and “Moriscos” were mainly supposed to be Arabs. Today the word is wrongly applied to the Riffs of Morocco and to the town dwellers of Algeria and Tunis. The latter call themselves generally “Arabs,” although often in part of Berber blood. The Moors, in a stricter ethnological sense, are the mixed Trarza and other tribes on the western coast, from Morocco to Senegal, mainly of nomadic habits. They are of mixed Berber, Arab, and often Negro blood. Many speak Arabic. (See Semetic-Hamitic.)”

Source: Dictionary of races or peoples by United States. Immigration Commission (1907-1910); Dillingham, William P. (William Paul), 1843-1923; Folkmar, Daniel, 1861-1932; Folkmar, Elnora (Cuddeback) 1863-1930

“So predominant was the black skin of the Moorish invaders of Europe that blackamoor (black as a Moor) came to be used not only for Moroccans but for other blacks as Ethiopians and Sudanese. As Elliot Smith say, “Negro admixture is so evident among the Moroccan population that the word Moor is often used to suggest Negro influence, as we see it ‘blackamoor,'” (Human History, p. 124. 1919). The Oxford Dictionary also says it was commonly used for Negro in the Middle Ages and as late as the 17th century. Hambly, a more recent writer says, “In physique a Moor may be a Berber or an Arab, or a mixture of the two with Negro blood as well.” (Source Book of Anthropology, Vol. I, p. 135, 935. 1937). But since many Arabs and Berbers are already Negro.”.. Moors are, on the whole, darker than the average American mulatto.”

Source: Nature Knows No Color-Line: Research into the Negro Ancestry in the White Race By J. A. Rogers

“Ancient Mauritania is wider in terms of geographic dimension than it is today. It stretched from North Africa to West and Central Africa.”

Strabo corroborates the fact thatMaures (Mauri, Moors)named themselves by statingMauri” was a name used by the natives of Mauritania as well as the Romans.” Mauri” was a name used by the natives of Mauritania, not just the “Romans” or “Greeks” .

Source: Strabo Geographies xvii 3.2

Moor. Forms Maur, More, Moure, Mowre, Maure, Moore, Moor. Moor. (Now with initial capital.) [ME. More, a. F.More (13th c), Maure, ad. L. Mounts (med. L. Morus), Gr. Mavpos. Cf. Sp., Pg., It. Moro; MDu. Moor, Moer (Du. Moor), OHG. M0r, pi. M6H (MHG. MSr, Mar, mod.G. Mohr), The L. Maurus, Gr.  Mavpos may possobly be from some North African language. Some believe the word to be merely a use of Gr. Maupos black (which on this view is… but the adj. (or at least this sense of it) is confined to late Gr., and may even be derived from the ethnic name). 1. In Ancient History , a native of Mauretania a region of North Africa corresponding to parts of Morocco and Algeria. In later times, one belonging to the people of mixed Berber and Arab race, Mohammedan in religion, who constitute the bulk of the population of North-western Africa, and who in the 8th c. conquered Spain. In the Middle Ages, and as late as the 17th c., the Moors were commonly supposed to be mostly black or very swarthy (though) the existence of ‘white Moors’ was recognized), and hence the word was often used for ‘negro’; cf. BLACKAMOOR.

Source: A New English dictionary on historical principles: founded mainly on the materials collected by the Philological society / edited by James A. H. Murray … with the assistance of many scholars and men of science.

Cabeza negroide, época fenicia " ( Head negroid, Phoenician)
Male head with Negroid features : ( CE12093 ) Hometown : The seabed in the vicinity of the tip of the Nao (La Caleta ) Size : 22.5 x 16.5 cm
(8.9 inches x 6.5 inches) Dating: sixth century B.C. Museum of Cádiz Cultural Context / Iron Old Style . Phoenician- Punic Hometown Playa de La Caleta , Cádiz ( m ) ( Cadiz Northwest Coast (district) , Cádiz ( province): Negroid Underwater Archaeological Survey , Rodicio Mera, Antonio Specific / Site Location Playa La Caleta

“The Mauri, another north-west African people whose color received frequent notice, were at times described as as “nigri”  (black) and “adusti” (scorched).”

Source: Golden Age Of The Moor by Ivan Van Sertima

Source: Before Color Prejudice: The Ancient View of Blacks By Frank M. Snowden

“Nigri is derived from the Italian word “negri” which means “black.” The recorded spellings of Nigri include Negri, Negro, Nigri, Nigris, Nigra, Negris, Negrelli, Negrotto, Negrello, Negroni and many more.”

Source: Nigri History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

 “Isidore, a Catholic scholar and the Archbishop of Seville (587-636) wrote that the word ‘maurus’ meant ‘black’. “The Mauri possess bodies black as night, while the skins of the Gauls are white

Source: Etymologies of Isidore of Seville, 6th c. AD.

For example, in a Middle English romance called Kyng Alisa under ( ca. 1175), the conqueror Darius has, among his troops, a contingent of soldiers led by Duke Mauryn. Regarding Mauryn, J.B. Friedman writes that, “… it sounds rather like “Moor” in this context.” 

In old European children songs like the Dutch song Moriaantje about a litte Moor as black as soot.

Source: Blacks in the Dutch World: The Evolution of Racial Imagery in a Modern Society By Allison Blakely

The Roman dramatist Platus (254-184 B.C.) maintained that the Latin word “Maurus” was a synonym for “Niger”.

In contrasting the Moors of the sixth century with another racial group in North Africa, Procopius (circa 550 A.D.) wrote that: “they were not black skinned like the Moors.”

“The earliest European account of the Moorish invasion of Spain, the Chronicle of 754, refers to the Visigothic capitulation, the so-called “loss of Spain” (perdida de España) at the hands of the “Arabs and Moors sent by Musa,” or Musa Ibn Nusayr, the Muslim governor of North Africa.

In the Estoria de Espanna (History of Spain), the first vernacular chronicle composed in Spain, we find a characteristic portrayal:

All the Moorish soldiers were dressed with silk and black wool that had been forcibly acquired … their black faces were like pitch and the most handsome of them was as black as a cooking pan.”

The extensive European historiography on the Crusades is replete with similar portrayals. French, Italian, and English histories of the medieval Moors—and later the Turks—repeat these stereotypes and reinforce this negative image.”

Source: AMERICAN STORIES, CONNECTED HISTORIES ‘Moors’ from Oxford Islamic Studies Online

“This view of the origin of Maurus must, however, be disregarded here, and out attention turned more directly to the dwellers among the moors and marshes. Whether they gave their name to these places or were so styled because they inhabited them, they were at any rate known as Moors. That is to say, this became the general pronunciation given to the word. The original root seems likelier to have been “mor”, as seen in Cornish, Amorican, and other languages. Jamieson, in his Scottish Dictionary, says of the word “moriave,”, defined by him as “black, swarthy, resembling a Moor,”–” This word has certainly been used in Old English, as Cotgrave gives it as the sense of Fr. more, id. It is probably a contraction of Lat. Mauritanus, a moor.” (It would, perhaps, be more correct to say that Lat. Mauritannus and Maurus are extensions of Mor.)

“He also connects this word with the morion that formed the head-piece of the medieval man at arms. After English word from this root is murrey, mean ing dark red, or copper-color. The country of Moravia is said to receive its name from its chief river the Morava, March, or anciently Marus, and its first known inhabitants are stated to have been a people named Quadi, who emigrated in the fifth century to Gaul and Hispania. “The river Morava” is a tautology; for morava is Mor River, whether ava be regarded as Celtic, or Gothic, or a language older than either. It is not unreasonable to conjecture that the “Quadi” who went into France and Spain may have borne this name “Mor,” the other having been given to them by outsiders, or vice versa. They seem to have been known to the Romans, against whom they fought, by the first of these names.”

“Lempriere gives several nations bearing names beginning with Mor: the Morei or Morienses in India, and the Moruni in that country also, and the Morini, a people of Belgic Gaul, on the shores of the British Ocean, are examples. The Mauri* of Mauritania are perhaps the most notable examples of a nation bearing this name, though in a slightly altered shape. The consideration of this word, and of the localization of races thus named, is not irrelevant at this point. For although it may not be easy to trace their route hither, and the date of their arrival, a branch of this family did inhabit Britain, and are not only known as Mauri and Moors, but also as Moravienses, Morienses (identical with the name of those in India), Murray0men, and people of Moray or Moravia. This name Moravia was given to two districts in Scotland, one of the most important in the north-central, and the other in the southern portion of the country. That the Picts, known to the Romans as Mauri, were finally divided into two sections inhabiting these localities, is a speaking fact which it is well to remember at this juncture. The smaller district in the south has been the name-father of a family distinguished in Scottish history, the Murrays of Philiphaugh in Selkirkshire, whose ancestor, Archibald de Moravia, was among those who subscribed fealty to Edward I. of England, in 1296. One of the estates of this clan bore the significant name of the Black Barony. Of course, the race of Archibald de Moravia many have been that of an intruding army, and not necessarily that of the Moravienses, as he was simply Archibald [lord] of Moravia. “Sir Charles a Murre” who fought at Chevy Chase, of the same clan, shows the name in its modern form or approximately.”

Source: Ancient and Modern Britons: A Retrospect, Volume 1 By David MacRitchie Page 50


It appears that writers have replaced the ancient “Westerner” meaning of the term “Moor” with the “Black” or “Browncomplexion or skin color description of the people in their efforts to implement “White Skin Supremacy” into literature which requires enforcement of the crusader duty to “Blacken” “White-out” or “strip” dark skin people of their Moorish heritage. I have  theory that the purpose is to employ illusions of association among descendants of “enslaved Moors” now identifying under the badges of Slavery branded upon “enslaved Moors” starting around 1441 A.D. such as Negro and Black, when these two terms are found within legislation enacted to govern slaves, slave records and revisionist history books written in effort to create “Political Black Pride” in those learning about the history, heritage and culture of the Moors, who claim it as Black History, it was Black authors who accepted the badges of slavery as a suitable social or political i.e. racial Identity following behind “White Supremacist authors” whose very agenda is the same.

   Mauritania Nuova Tavola Southwest

These same authors chose to ignore the use of the “Black” as a  Caste/Perpetual Brand/Badge of Slavery” as only being employed in Slave Records and accepted it as an identifier for various indigenous and ancient nations, kingdoms and tribes. Much reliance is based on historical references identifying the skin complexion or color of several ancient groups including the Moors. However, the truth can be colored over but it cannot be removed.

Striking dark impression of Ruscelli’s map of the Northwest portion of Africa. Ruscelli’s Atlas is an expanded edition of Gastaldi’s Atlas of 1548, which has been called the most comprehensive atlas produced between Martin Waldseemüller’s Geographiae of 1513, and the Abraham Ortelius Theatrum of 1570. Ruscelli and Gastaldi’s maps were beautifully engraved on copper, marking a turning point in the history of cartography.

“The history of the Greek alphabet starts with the adoption of Phoenician letter forms and continues to the present day. The Greek alphabet postdates Linear B, the syllabic script that was used for writing Mycenaean Greek, by several centuries. This article concentrates on the early period, before the codification of the now-standard Greek alphabet.”

“The Phoenician alphabet was strictly speaking one that was consistently explicit only about consonants, though even by the 9th century BC it had developed matres lectionis to indicate some, mostly final, vowels.[1] This arrangement is much less suitable for Greek than for Semitic languages, and these matres lectionis, as well as several Phoenician letters which represented consonants not present in Greek, were adapted according to the acrophonic principle to represent Greek vowels consistently, if not unambiguously.”

“The Greek alphabet was developed by a Greek with first-hand experience of contemporary Phoenician script. Almost as quickly as it was established in the Greek mainland, it was rapidly re-exported, eastwards to Phrygia, where a similar script was devised. It was also exported westwards with Euboean or West Greek traders, where the Etruscans adapted the Greek alphabet to their own language, which eventually led to the Latin alphabet.”

Source: History of the Greek alphabet

בנטם-מגדו מלון עברי ואנגלי חדש By Reuven Sivan, Edward A. Levenston
בנטם-מגדו מלון עברי ואנגלי חדש
By Reuven Sivan, Edward A. Levenston

German: variant of Maurer. German and Jewish (Ashkenazic): topographic name for someone who lived by a wall, Middle High German mure, German Mauer. As a Jewish name it can be ornamental.

Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press

“The etymology of the word “Moor” can be traced to the Phoenician term “Mahurin” meaning “Westerners”. The Semitic etymon “Mahourím,” referred to “People of the West,” and the terms “Maghreb” meant “The West” or “the place where the sun sets;” and “Greater Maghreb” referred to “Further West;” while “Moghrab el Aksa,” meant “the extreme west.” According to Laurence Waddell Early Phoenician titles such as: “Muru,” “Mer,” or “Marutu,” can be translated as meaning “Of the Western Sea (or Sea of the Setting Sun).” The “Akkadian Amurru” occur as a geographical term meaning literally “the West.” In Sumerian the “Amorites” were known as the “Martu” or the Tidnum, in Akkadian by the name of “Amurru”, and in Egypt as “Amar”, all of which mean ‘westerners‘ or ‘those of the west‘. It must be noted the “Hebrew” terms Maarab,” “Mareb,” “Marrabah” and “Mah-ar-awb” also mean “West“. The Hebrew “Mahur” also means “Westerner.” Odyssey 1.21-25:But now Poseidon had gone to visit the Ethiopians worlds away, Ethiopians off at the farthest limits of mankind, A PEOPLE SPLIT IN TWO , one part where the Sungod sets and part where the Sungod rises.”  Source: Homer on the Ethiopians I inquired with Dana Reynolds Marniche as to her thoughts on this and she  confirmed thatMa’rib” does not mean “Maarab. However, “Ma”rib” was definitely a “jurisdiction” within “Arabia Felix” 

In Hebrew the word ערב ʿarav thus has the same triconsonantal root as the root meaning “west” (מערב maʿarav) “setting sun” or “evening” (מעריב maʿariv, ערב ʿerev). The direct Arabic cognate of this is غرب ġarb (“west”, etc.) rather than عرب ʿarab ; however, in Ugaritic and Sayhadic,[2] languages which normally preserve proto-Semitic ghayin, this root is found with ʿayin adding to the confusion. The first recorded use of the word is in Hebrew, Genesis 1:5, and its meaning there is “evening.”  Source: Semitic etymology

See: An “Arap (Arab)” According to Vladimir Dal’s 1863 Dictionary, meant a “Black-skinned Person”

It is in the case of the Assyrian forms that a possible derivation from “ArabDIN|ʿgh-r-b” (“west”) is most plausible, referring to people or land lying west of Assyria in a similar vein to the later Greek use of the term Saracen meaning in Arabic “Easterners”, “ArabDIN|šarqiyyūn” for people living in the east. The root of the word has many meanings in Semitic languages including “west/sunset,” “desert,” “mingle,” “merchant,” “raven” and are “comprehensible” with all of these having varying degrees of relevance to the emergence of the name. It is also possible that some forms were metathetical from transl|sem|ʿ-B-R “moving around” (Arabic ArabDIN|ʿ-B-R “traverse”), and hence, it is alleged, “nomadic.” The plurality of meanings results partly from the assimilation of the proto-Semitic “ghayin” with transl|sem|”ʿayin” in some languages. In Hebrew the word “transl|sem|ʿarav” thus has the same triconsonantal root as the root meaning “west” (“transl|sem|maʿarav”) “setting sun” or “evening” (“transl|sem|maʿariv”, “transl|sem|ʿerev”). The direct Arabic cognate of this is “ArabDIN|ġarb” (“west”, etc.) rather than “ArabDIN|ʿarab”; however, in Ugaritic, a language which normally preserves proto-Semitic “ghayin”, this root is found with Unicode|”ʿayin” adding to the confusion. [If we assume that the word for “evening” was originally pronounced with Unicode|”ʿayin”, or that the distinction between Unicode|”ʿayin” and “ghayin” was not phonemic, it could be connected with the “mixture” meaning, as evening is when day mixes with night.] Source: Arab (etymology)

The Maghrib prayer (Arabic: صلاة المغرب‎ ṣalāt al-maġrib, ‘”sunset prayer”), prayed just after sunset, is the first of five obligatory daily prayers (salat) performed by practicing Muslims. Counted from sunset, the traditional begin of the Islamic day, it is the first prayer. Counted from midnight it is the fourth prayer. Source:Maghrib prayerMaghreb is Arabic for “sunset.” In some definitions, the wider region of this name includes Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, and Mauritania. A narrower definition (the one current in France, for example) only encompasses Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. The narrowest definition is Maghreb al-Aqsa, “the Furthest Sunset,” i.e. Morocco.” Source: How did Africa get its name?



The first source I present that “Moor” means “Westerner” is Philip Khuri Hitti (فيليب خوري حتي in Arabic), (Shimlan 1886 – Princeton 1978) was a Lebanese American scholar and authority on Arab and Middle Eastern history, Islam, and Semitic languages. He almost single-handedly created the discipline of Arabic Studies in the United States. In his work History of the Arabs first published in 1937, contended that the term “Moor” has a geographic designation meaning Western.


Phillip Khuri Hitti spent 10 years writing this book he provided that: “The Romans called Western Africa “Mauretania” and its inhabitants Mauri (presumably of Phoenician origin meaning ‘Western’) whence [the] Spanish Moor [and the] English Moor. The Berbers, therefore, were the Moors proper, but the term was conventionally applied to all Moslems of Spain and North-western Africa.”


The origins of the term is not elusive like most claim and do not go back to “death” as the term precedes existence of the Roman deity “Mors.”‘ Many of these frivolous notions that people have come up with today on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, etc. The arrogance within the ignorance is remarkable, among some of these bogus scholars and educators, you even have people on the Hidden Colors video purporting to be educators telling people that “Moors” means “Black“, this is because they do not deal with technicalities, the fact that English dictionaries from the 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th and early 19th century use “Black” and “Negro” and sometimes Black man merely demonstrates who it applied to versus specifically meaning that Moor means Black or Negro, what it shows is that the writers of the English Dictionaries were on board with the Stripping of Name and Heritage Scheme (Capitis dimunitio), they branded Moors as Negroes and Blacks, thus it was significant to define Moor as Negro and Black in their dictionaries so the English descendants would not forget who the term “Moor” applies too i.e. the People now identified as “Negros“, “Blacks” and “African Americans.


The following source provides that its derivation from the Semitic etymon Mahourím, “People of the West,” those who say that source is questionable are usually unaware as to the Phoenician/Canaanite origin to the term Roman “Maure”, and the Greek “Mavros” which gave birth to the Romance languages (German, English, French, Spanish, etc), the Arabic al-Mar is extremely rare and is alleged to not occur in Andalusi Arabic sources which I think is irrelevant because the Moors (Maures) were a Nation composed of many tribes before the Andalusian Era in general.  Mauroi is late Greek and may have been derived from the Latin ethnic name Mauri. Following the destruction of Carthage in 146 B.C.E., the term mauri was used to indicate the tribes inhabiting the Roman provinces established in Ancient Mauretania, corresponding to modern-day western Algeria and northeastern Morocco.


The following article explained the term “Moor” as background to Menocal’s Ornament of the World and Maalouf’s Leo Africanus.

“In the Latin Middle Ages, Mauri referred to a mixture of Berbers and Arabs inhabiting the coastal regions of Northwest Africa. In Spain, Portugal, and Italy, Mauri became Moros (Maures in French). More commonly, however, it was a racial designation for dark-skinned or black skin peoples, as in its English usage, which is seen as early as the fourteenth century.” 

Source: Article by David Assouline reprinted from The Oxford Encyclopedia …


Another source demonstrating the relationship between “Moor” and “Westerner” is the fact that the “West” in “Arabic” is pronounced “Maghrib” which should also ring a bell.

“The Normans re-took Sicily in 1061, establishes trading relationships with northern Africa, and employed Africans in their armies. Fredrick II, for example, no only used such warriors but placed them in his bodyguard. These African guards, together with African musicians and animal keepers, as well as the Emperor’s African personal attendants, formed part of the imperial processions. An African Johannes Morus was appointed vizier of the Kingdom of Sicily. (The etymology of the word Moor is uncertain; it can be traced to the Phoenician term “Mahurin” meaning “Westerners

Source: Encyclopedia of the World’s Minorities  By Carl Skutsch


“The Mediterranean and south-western European ports. They were the foremost among the ancient merchants. They inhabited only a narrow strip of the northern coastline of Palestine. The area was originally settled by Amorites (meaning “Westerners”), who were not necessarily Hebrews, but were a kindred people. They were Semitic, or Shemitic people, that is, they claimed descent from Shem. Although they later became very mixed with the descendants of Ham, such as the Canaanites, they had a high proportion of fair skinned, fair-haired Shemitic peoples, from whom Abraham and his family came. When Israel later settled in the Promised Land, many Israelite’s, mostly from the tribes of Dan and Zebulun, joined with them in their seafaring enterprises. In this way the forerunners of the later Israelitish migrations reached the British Isles, and they had settlements in Spain and Portugal. The Phoenicians had included Canaanites and Jebusites, as well as Israelites, but the rulers of the Phoenician and Carthaginian nations were of the Semitic stock, as we may guess from the story of Hiram, King of Tyre, in Phoenicia. He was of great assistance to King Solomon of Israel in his temple building operations of the Temple. If Hiram had not been of the original Amoritic or Shemitic stock, it is unlikely that he would have been so friendly and helpful to a king of Israel.”

Source: http://www.ensignmessage.com/phoenicians.html

Depiction of the 4 races of man, the Egyptians often showed the same order when depicting the races,


Sixth Source: M. Florian’s “History of the Moors in Spain” Page 20 also states in footnotes the term “Moor” comes from a “Hebrew” word “Mahuran“.

“The term Moors, according to Bochart, comes from a Hebrew word, Mahuran, which signifies Western.”

“Mahuran” (Hebrew) is very close in spelling and sound as the term “Mahourím (Phoenician) identified by Phillip Khuri Hitti, above.  According to Dana Reynolds-Marniche “the word Amurru is supposed to the source of the semitic-Assyrian word “Western” because the Amorites lived in the mountains West of them.

Source: History of the Moors of Spain By M. Florian

Source: The Moors in Spain: A Wonderful Chapter of the World’s Civilization, Great By Florian

Dana Reynolds-Marniche provided the following reference also which raises a significance to “Westerner” or “West“.  “THE MOGHRABIN OR MOGHRABIN XII:

“From the word “Moghrabi” the singular of Mogharba or Mograbin, through the Latin Maurus, has arisen the anglicized “Moor,” and from “Moghrab el Aksa,” “the extreme west,” the name “Morocco.” It must not, however, be assumed that all the MOGHARBA in Egypt or the Sudan came from Morocco; it is unlikely that any of them, a certain number of individuals of the merchant class excepted, did so.”

Source: A history of the Arabs in the Sudan and some account of the people who preceded them and of the tribes inhabiting Darfur

Seventh Source: Using Greek and Roman sources Frank M. Snowden has pointed out that Mauri (a northwest African people whose color received frequent notice) were described as nigri (black) and adusti (scorched). With the sudden eruption of the Arabs, during the middle of the seventh century, Mauri disappears for a time from the historical records. It reemerges, however, in medieval literature. For example, in a Middle English romance called Kyng Alisaunder (ca. 1175), the conqueror Darius has among his troops a contingent of soldiers led by Duke Mauryn. Regarding Mauryn, J.B. Friedman writes that “ … it sounds rather like Moor in this context.”

“As late as 1 398 we find the following reference to the Moors: “Also the nacyn [nation] of Maurys [Moors] they’re blacke colour comyth of the inner partes.” There are Irish records of a Viking raid on Spain and North Africa in 862. During the raid, a number of Blacks were captured and some carried to Dublin. In Ireland, they were known as “blue men” (Irish, fir gorma\ Old Norse, blamenn).”

“The entry is under the title:

Three Fragments Copied from Ancient Sources,” and sheds further light on the ethnicity of the Moors. The entry reads: After that, the Scandinavians went through the country, and ravaged it; and they burned the whole land, and they brought a great host of [the Moors] in captivity with them to Ireland. These are the ‘blue men’ (firgorma ); because the Moors are the same as negroes; Mauretania is the same as negro-land.”

Source: “Golden Age of the Moor” book under the title ” The Moor in Africa and Europe” by Ivan Van Sertima. 

According to E.J. Brill’s First Encyclopaedia of Islam, 1913-1936, Volume 5, edited by M. Th. Houtsma, we find the following origin of the term Moor:

“The word, presumably of Phoenician origin, corresponds to the ancient local name of the natives of Barbary reproduced by the Romans as Μαῦρο, Mauri and by the Greeks as Maurusii (Strabo vii, 825).” 

The First Encyclopedia of Islam continues:

The land of the Moors is MAURITANIA, or Mauretania. This name which has been derived either from a Phoenician word “Mauharim” [meaning] “the Westerns” or with more probability a name of a tribe living before the Christian era in North Africa……At a later date, by extending the application,  Europeans have given the general name of Moors to the Arabo-Berber peoples of Mediterranean and Saharan Africa. Then gradually they came to distinguish out of this mass the groups with which they came into frequently more contact (Tripolitans, Tunisians, Algerians, Moroccans), so that the name Moors came to be limited to people of Spanish (Muslim), Jewish or Turkish origin of North Africa and particularly to the nomads of the Sahara.” In Sumerian they [Amorites] were known as the Martu or the Tidnum (in the Ur III Period), in Akkadian by the name of “Amurru”, and in Egypt as “Amar”, all of which mean ‘westerners‘ or ‘those of the west‘, as does the Hebrew name “Amorite”.

Source:  Ancient History Encyclopedia

In Sumero-Akkadian and Eblaite texts from the period from 2400 to 1600 B.C.E., Sumerian MAR.TU, Eblaite Martu(m), and “Akkadian Amurru” occur as a geographical term meaning literally “the West.” The area extended westward from the Euphrates River as far as the Mediterranean Sea. It specifically embraced the great Syrian desert, the Orontes River valley, and the Amanus Mountains. In later Assyrian texts, “Amurru” was an established name for Syria-Palestine.”

Source: Encyclopedia Judaica: Amorites    

The Hebrew terms “maarab, mareb, marrabah and mah-ar-awb” also mean or are associated  with “West“.

Source: Strong’s Concordance.

I suspect those “Hebrew” terms are the origin of “Arab“. The Kushites had a capital in modern-day Yemen (Arabia Felix) called “Ma’rib” during the Sabaen era.

A page from Elia Levita’s 16th century Yiddish-Hebrew-Latin-German dictionary contains a list of nations, including the word “כושי” Cushite or Cushi, translated to Latin as “Aethiops” and into German as “Mor”. The German “Mor” or “Mohr” is translated into English as “Moor”. English descends from Old German.

Source: Dictionary Defines The Hebrew Term “Cushite” As “Moor” in English

 A Daily Bible Study article states:

The English word “west,” as we use it today, originated from an old Anglo-Saxon and Gothic (the Goths and the Saxons were Germanic tribes in north-central Europe; the Anglos were a tribe of the Saxons from whom the English people originated) root word, vas, which meant to dwell – not referring foremost to people, but to the sun. Their logic was that, just as most people go to their dwelling place at night, they regarded the “west” as the dwelling place of the sun because that’s where it went at night when it set in that direction. The original meaning of “west” was used to translate two original Hebrew words of the Holy Scriptures. One of them, pronounced yawm, means to roar. It referred to the Mediterranean Sea (although it was not known to the ancient Israelites by that name) which formed the western border of the land of Israel as a whole. The other Hebrew word is pronounced maw-ar-aw-baw; it means shading or shadows, as produced by the sun as it set in the west. To the ancient Israelites, “west” was both the end of their land, and the end of their day.

Source: Article titled Contributions and Comments documenting E. A. Wallis Budge’s association of “Amurru” with South-West.

Source: What Did West Mean To The Israelites?  

Maghreb: “The Maghreb (/ˈmʌɡrəb/; Arabic: المغرب‎, translit. al-Maɣréb, lit. ‘The West’), also known as Northwest Africa[2] or Northern Africa, Greater Arab Maghreb (Arabic: المغرب العربي الكبير‎, translit. al-Maghrib al-ʿArabi al-Kabir), Arab Maghreb (Arabic: المغرب العربي‎, translit. al-Maghrib al-ʿArabi) or Greater Maghreb (Arabic: المغرب الكبير‎, translit. al-Maghrib al-Kabīr), or by some sources the Berber world, Barbary and Berbery, is a major region of North Africa that consists primarily of the countries Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya and Mauritania. It additionally includes the disputed territories of Western Sahara (mostly controlled by Morocco) and the cities of Melilla and Ceuta (both controlled by Spain and claimed by Morocco). As of 2018, the region has a population of over 100 million people. “

Source: Africa…North Africa by Augustus Henry Keane Page 29 states: 

“Mauritania, by which most of this region was known to them, being derived from a native word mahur, maur, the “west,” whence the Mahurim of the Phoenicians, and the Mauri of the Greeks and Romans. Later the expression “Barbary States,” which had reference to the indigenous Berber populations, came into general use, and is not yet quite obsolete.” Page 77  states:

“In ancient times the most general name of the Atlas populations appears to have been Mahur, that is “Highlanders,” whence the Roman Mauri, and Mauri-tania, “Mauri-land.” But in the course of ages, this word Mauri has undergone strange vicissitudes. Under the various forms of Moro, Morisco, Moor, it came to be applied in a vague way to all the natives of North Africa, and the more particularly to the Negroes or blacks (compare “Blackamoor”), who were popularly supposed to be the exclusive inhabitants of the African continent.”

Source:  The book Plurality of the Human Race: According to the Teachings Both of the Bible By Edwin Henderson Randle states on page 155:

“…name of Mahras of Hamitic origin, whose language has greatly aided in unlocking the ancient Hamitic tongues. Compare this with Mauri (the Moors) and Mahur (the West), and their sameness of origin will at once be suggested. If correct, the Mauri did not take their name from Mahur (the West), else how did the Mahras of the South get their name. Is it not more reasonable to suppose that all three find a common origin in Mizraim or some of its varied forms?”

Source: The Imperial Gazetteer: A General Dictionary of Geography …, Volume 2 has an entire section on “Marocco Page 306 states:

” The belief that their name was derived from a Greek word which signifies black is evidently without foundation; for the inhabitants of N.W. angle of Africa are not and never were black; and besides, the Romans, though they used the name Mauri; preferred calling the people Maurusii, a variation which evidently discountenances the proposed Greek etymology. It is more likely the name Mauri was derived from a Semitic word [Hebrew, Mahur) signifying the West, so that is was, in fact, equivalent to the Maghrebi of the present day. At all events, the inhabitants of the Iberian peninsula knew the occupants of the opposite African coasts under no other name than that of Maurusii, Mauri, or Moors; and consequently, when, at the commencement of the 8th century, the Arabs carried their victorious arms from W. Barbary into Spain, they were generally called by Spanish writers, the Moors; the name comprising the Berbers as well as the pure Arab tribes and dynasties which for some centuries ruled in Spain.”

Source: A book titled: Our Vulgar Tongue: A Lecture on Language in General, with a Few Words on …By Samuel Lysons states:

“Marning,” as we pronounce the word “morning,” corresponds with “Mahur” of the Hebrew, and this word again is found among the aborigines of Western Australia and in Spain, with nearly the same sound and spelling.

Source: The Encyclopaedia Londinensis, Or, Universal Dictionary of Arts …, Volume 14 states:

“Mauritania and Maurufia, the names of this country, are derived from the Mauri, an ancient people who inhabited it; and Bochart considers Maurus as equivalent to Maur, or Maur, i.e. one from the west or an occidentalist, Mauritania being west of Carthage and Phoenicia. This country, it is well known, before also the name of Barbary, of which there are several derivations. To those that occur under BARBARY, vol. ii. we shall here add that the name may be formed from the oriental Bar Barca, or the Sea of Barca, a town of the Pentapolis, called afterward Ptolemans.”

“The origin of the name is doubtful. Some derive it from the word BapBapoi(barbarians) employed first by the Greeks and later by the Romans. Others attribute it to the Arab conquerors. Tribal titles, Barabara and Beraberata, appear in 1700 and 1300 BC and the Berbers were known to the Egyptians as “Lebu,” “Mashuasha,” “Tamahu,” “Tehennu” and “Kahaka”; a long list of names is found in Herodotus; and the Romans called them Numidae, Gaetuli and Mauri, terms derived from the Greek vomaves (nomads), the name Gued’oula, of a great Berber tribe, and the Hebrew ‘mahur‘ (western).”

Source: Somalispot.com blog states: 

Source: GluedIdeas.com has an article on “Berbers” which states: 

BERBERS, the name of the various branches of the indigenous “Libyan” race of North Africa. Since the dawn of history, the Berbers have occupied the tract between the Mediterranean and the Sahara from Egypt to the Atlantic. The origin of the name is doubtful. Some derive it from the word (36,pi3apot (barbarians), employed first by the Greeks and later by the Romans.”

“Others attribute it to the Arab conquerors. Tribal titles, Barabara and Beraberata, appear in Egyptian inscriptions of 170o and 130o B.C., and the Berbers were known to the Egyptians as “Lebu,” “Mashu asha,” “Tamahu,” “Tehennu” and “Kahaka”; a long list of names is found in Herodotus; and the Romans called them Numidae, Gaetuli and Mauri, terms derived respectively from the Greek voµuBES (nomads), the name Gued’oula, of a great Berber tribe, and the Hebrew mahur (western). In regard to the ethnic relations of the Berbers, on the monuments of Egypt, their ancestors are pictured with the comparatively blond features which many of them still display.”

“Though considerable individual differences of type may be found in every village, the Berbers are distinctively a “white” race. Dark hair and brown or hazel eyes are the rules; blue-eyed blonds are found, but their frequency has been considerably overstated. The invaders who have most affected the Berber race are the Arabs, but the two races, with a common religion, often a common government, and the same tribal groupings, have failed to amalgamate to any great extent. The Berber is straightforward, honest, by no means averse to money-making, but not unscrupulous in the methods which he employs to this end, and trustworthy.”

 “To the Egyptians they were known as ” Lebu,” ” Mashuasha,” ” Tamahu,” ” Tehennu ” and ” Kahaka “; a long list of names is found in Herodotus, and the Romans called them Numidae, Gaetuli and Mauri, terms which have been derived respectively from the Greek voµaSes (nomads), the name Gued’oula, of a great Berber tribe, and the Hebrew mahur (western).”

Source: Blog titled: “Nomads Sentence Examples”

Twentieth Source: The word Moor is derived from the Phoenician term “Mauharim” and not the Greek or Roman languages in origin.

Source: article by BY WARLOCK ASYLUM ON JANUARY 28, 2019 

Twenty First Source: “This early Phoenician title of MuruMerMarutu or Martu, meaning “Of the Western Sea (or Sea of the Setting Sun)”, which now seems obviously the Phoenician source of the name “Mauretania,” or “Morocco” with its teeming megaliths, and of “Morbihan” (or LittleMor“) in Brittany, with its Sun-cult megaliths, is also found in several of the old mining and trading centres of the earlier Phoenicians in Britain, associated with Stone Circles and megaliths and mostly on the coast, e.g., Mori-dunum, port of Romans in Devon, and several More-dun, Mor-ton and Martin, Caser Marthen, West Mor-land, rich in circles and old mines, More-cambe Bay, Moray and its Frith and seat of Murray clan, &c.” 

Source: The Phoenician Origin of Britons Scots and Anglo-Saxons by Laurence Waddell

“Now, there was probably some difference between a “Moor” and a “Saracen,” although in heraldry there does not seem to be much distinction. The Algerine pirates who made occasional descents upon our coast, were probably the latest wearers of this title. “The opinion which has been most generally supported, and prevails at the present time, is that the word was originally Sharkeyn,” an Arabian word signifying “eastern people,” and used in contradistinction to Maghribe, or “western people,” the Moors of Morocco. While, therefore, all Saracens were Moors, all Moors were not necessarily Saracens. But at any rate, the term “Saracen” has been applied to the piratical invaders of this country from a very early period.”

Source: Ancient and Modern Britons: A Retrospect, Volume 1 By David MacRitchie