The blacks were the ancient poets and learned historians. The celebrated Homer was an Ethiopian, the greatest of the Grecian poets, and a historian. Homer divided the Ethiopians into two parts, and Strabo maintains that the division line to which he alluded was the Red Sea.
The third is that which followed the taking of Constantinople by Mahomet II., a Moor. The Old Testament was written in Africa, and Coelo Syria in the land of Moab, and translated into the Greek tongue, from the Hebrew, by the Egyptian and Jerusalem Jews, by order of Ptolemy Philadelphus, and Ethiopian, King of Egypt.
Negro is derived from the Latin term niger–meaning black. The following terms and definitions are in the American edition of Dr. Walker’s Dictionary.
Moor–a marsh, a fen; a negro.
Marsh — a fen, a bog, a swamp; a plant.
Moorish –fenny, marshy.
In Dr. Johnson’s Dictionary–American edition, by Rev. Joseph Hamilton, M.A., 1810—we find these words thus defined:
Black —dark, cloudy, mournful, wicked.
Black—a negro, the dark color, mourning.
Moor- a negro, marsh, fen, bog.
Moorish or Moory–marshy, fenny.
Negro–a blackmoor, (a Moor).
In the Dictionary for schools, by Dr. Wesbster, American edition, we find these words thus defined:
Negro, an African by birth, or a descendant of one of full blood.
Moor, a black man, a marsh.
Marsh, low ground.
Negro, a blackmoor, a lave, a mean wretch.
Moor, a black, marsh, watery ground.
Marsh, a fen, a bog, a swamp, watery ground.
In Dr. Webster’s definition of the complexion of the skin, he calls it the blood of Africa, or their descendants—as follows:
Mangroon, is all black, a full blood, ( a whole negro.)
Sambo, is three-quarters blood, (three quarters negro.)
Mulatto is one-half blood, (one-half negro.)
Quadroon is one-quarter blood, (one-quarter negro.)
Mesitzo, is half quarter blood, (a half quarter negro.)
“Niger, a Latin word, was formerly used by the Moors–the old Romans, to designate any black, inferior object, &c., a plant, a marsh, flat, moist ground, bog, or animal.”
“Micah, the Morasthite ( a prophet of the Moors,) prophesized in the days of Hezekiah, king of Juda; and spake to all the people of Judah, (the Moors,) saying, thus saith the Lord of host: Zion shall be plowed like a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, (a forest).”
“Moserath was built by the Moors, in the Desert of Paran, in the land of Amalek, and was the ancient encampment of Israel in the days of Moses. In the Moorish war of Adel, in Africa, some of the books of Moses were burnt.”
“The appellation of Moor is given to those successors of Mahomet—Pagans, Christians, and Jews—who extended their empire through North Africa, South Europe and the islands of the Mediterranean.”
“The Moors gained the highest reputation, both in Arts and Arms, of all the nations of the East. The mechanic and the fine arts, especially sculpture and painting, were in a very low state in Europe, when the Moors turned their attention to them and cultivated them with great success.”
“The Moors had founded in Africa the empire of Morocco, which was governed by a viceroy, named Muca. Muca sent his general Tariff into Spain, who, in a single memorable engagement, stripped the Gothic king Roderigo of his life and crown, and subdued the country, A.D. 713.
“The Kingdom of the Moors flourished in the south of Spain, for the space of two centuries, in full vigor. Abdalrahman fixed the seat of his government at Cordova, and made it a place of the utmost splendor and magnificance. Spain’s conqueror, satisfied with the sovereignty of the country, left the Goths, who had long been masters of Spain, in possesion of their property, laws, and religion.”
“And by the marrigage of Abdallah the Moor, with the widow of the Gothic king, the two nations became united. In A.D. 732, the Moors penetrated from Spain into France, and defeated the duke of Aquitain.”
“The siege of Constantinople by the Moors occured in A.D. 672. Their fleet passed through the unguarded channel of the Hellespont, and disembarked their troops seven miles from the city. But after a thirty year’s war, and the loss of 30,000 Moslems, they were compelled to releinquish the enterprise. And by a treaty between the two empires, ‘the Faithful’ were reduced to submit to the payment of a heavy annual tribute. This badge of servitude was however shaken off, and the succeeding emperors were unable to enforce it.”
“The Caliph Omar, the third in succession from Mohammed, reduced Jerusalem under his subjection. This Omar was afterwards assasinated at Jerusalem, in 643. The Saracens continued masters of Jersualem till the year 1099, when it was taken by the Crusaders, under Godrey of Bouillon. They founded a new kingdom of which Jerusalem was the captial, and which lasted eighty-eight years, under nine kings. At last this kingdom was utterly ruined by Saladin; and though the Christians once more obtained possesion of the city, they were again obliged to relinquish it. In 1217, the Saracens were expelled by the Turks, who have evern since contined in possesion of it.”
“The word negro is considered insulting and is used as an epithet of contempt to the colored people. It has been long used by our common enemies in America. It is not only insulting but very improper for anyone to make use of it.”
“I am authorized by the word of God to say, whosoever make use of the word negro, applying it to us as a people after the light and truth have been proclaimed, are neither friends to God nor man. I say unto you, in as much as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Matt. xxxv. 40.”
“To call a person a negro, in the East, is expressive of the hight contempt. The dark Spaniard is proud of his descent from the African Moor, who first taught Europe the use of Arabic figures,&c.”
“The Arab of Africa, the most majestic of men, which his piercing eyes and flowing beard, is the descendant and representative of Abraham.”
“The Arabians a people of color, are the only people who have preserved their descent, their language, independence, manners, and customs from the earliest age; and to whom we are to look for examples of patriarchal life and habits.”
“The tribes, in general, choose to pitch their tents–whether on a hill or plain–so as to form a circular encampment. A collection of black tents thus arranged, is said to present a pleasing and beautiful appearance to the distant traveler.”
“Tents were first made it is thought of skin of animals, fastened to a long pole set perpendicularly into the ground, and the covering was drawn away from the bottom of the pole so as to form a small round dwelling.”
“Subsequently, tents were enlarged and made oblong. Tents were first invented in the family of Jubal–brother of Noah, and son of Lamech. The covering of the large tent,s was made of goat’s hair and was black. This fact beautifully illustrates the passage in the Song of Solomon: “I am black as the tents of Kedar.”
“Kedar was the second son of Ishamel: and Isaiah frequently personifies the Arabians under the name of Kedar. (Isa. 20th and 60th chap.)”
“The curtains of Soloman” was a shelter in Arabia–a cavern wither the Arabian shepherds gathered their heds and flocks at night, for refuge. Tents are very portable dwellings; and are therefore conveniently adapted to the habits of those wandering tribes who occupation leads them to frequent removals to different parts of the country.”
“When they remove from one place to another, they take their tents with them; and when they stop, they erect them again; this they call “pitching their tents.” It apperas, that about the time of the Hebrews bondage in Egpypt, a number of the Arabian tribes passed the Red Sea at the straits of Babelmandel. And the Ludims in ages still earlier, settled in that country.”
“The language of the ancient Arabians, and of the modern Abyssinians, and many of their laws were much the same with those of the ancient Egyptians.”
“The Arabian seem to have been originally divided into a great number of tribes–with kings at the head of each. It is supposed that they worship Ammon, the offspring of Lot, in the person of their chief diety.”
“Mahomet, an Arabian was founder of the religion which is called by his name. He was born in Mecca, Arabia, on the Red Sea, anno domini, 569. The religion of which he was the author, was a system of Asiatic and Arabian voluptousness, grafted on the morality of the Gospel and partly upon some of the rites of Judaism.”
“The Koran which he wrote in detached portions, emobides the substance of his religion, and is the sacred book of the Mussulmen. Mahomet never laid down his arms from the time he captured Mecca, till he subdued all Arabia, and a part of Syrua; impressing his religion wherever he extended his conquests. He died in the midst of his successes, at the age of 61, A.D. Avienna, an Arabian and Physician.”
The Arabic Language.
“The Hebrew language -“–the most ancient in the world, after gradually pervading in, Samaria and Chaldea, was carried into the country of Arabia, by Kahtang, and ancient Arabian king, and descendant of Ishamel; and either formed the root of the Arabic, or, by a commixture with it, both in respect to idiom and verbal expression, gave birth to a language as new as compounded.
“The Arabic is now divided into many dialects, which vary from each other no less in construction than in pronunciation.”
“It is, however, notwithstanding these diversities, so generally understood in Africa and most parts of Asia, that, according to the statement of an able and respectable writer on the subject, a traveler who possess a thorough knowledge of the language, may pass from the shores of the Mediterranean to the Cape of Good Hope; may cross the widest part of the African continent from east to west; may follow the course of the Nile, and from Morocco to the eastern shores of China, opposite the islands of Japan, and find himself everywhere understood.”
The Moorish Castle.
“This castle was taken from the Moors by the Spanish. It is now called Gibraltar Castle, or by the name of the Spanish Castle. This castle is not very large, but it bears the marks of great age, and has not, in fact, been opened for several hundred years, even from the time it was first taken from the Moors. There are various and marvelous reasons told for keeping it closed One reason was that the sentinels stationed at this castle for eight or ten days in succession, when the relief guard came in the morning, were found dead on the ramparts; and after twenty or thirty men had been thus singularly cut off from the Spanish ranks, it was resolved to search the castle. The Moors say the reason this castle was not opened by the Spanish was that the plague was in it.”
Source: Light and Truth: Collected from the Bible and Ancient and Modern History By Robert Benjamin Lewis.