When the Moors Ruled Europe and Spain

By Broderick Daniel


I recently came across this article where the topic of discussion was geared toward the African Moorish influence that was present in Spain and Europe. The article begins discussing the African presence in Europe that had been lost in time for so many years. However, minimizing the importance of this era does not erase it as the article explains. many would consider the seven-century rule by the Africans to have helped bring Europe out of the dark ages. After the fall of the roman empire, there was no creation of civilization which lead to the dark ages lasting from (476-800 CE) leaving Europe vulnerable to invasion from other nations, thus African general Tarik ibn Ziad led his military into Europe to conquer the land. Ziad also attempted to take over southern France, but this attack failed forcing the Africans to fall back into Spain which they ruled for centuries as well.

ahlambraContrary to belief, African influence was not the only culture that influenced those who were in Spain and Europe, although a majority of the population was African at the time, African nations were not the only nations in Europe. There were often conflicts amongst the Africans and Arabs, this altered the stability of the region. The culprit of this rivalry was often racial prejudice.  One thing that I noticed about African rule, is that unlike other nations the African moors did not invade Europe to kill its citizens nor did they force religion, language, or dictate their overall lifestyle. However, the Moors did afford women of all races the freedom to practice all jobs and given human rights that were non-existent prior to the moors arriving in Europe. this tradition was influenced by the culture of ancient Africa.

broderickIn addition to granting women’s rights and human rights, the moors also influenced nations through culture, architecture, science and how to self-govern themselves from this teaching 17 universities were created in Europe and great prosperity was present in both Europe in Spain until 1492. In 1492, Europe had sustained itself enough to rebel and free themselves from African rule. the last general to be defeated was general Boabdil of Granada city which left 3.5 million blacks living in both Spain and Portugal and dispersed throughout Europe. With the Moors moved out, their influence was still present making room for the European renaissance further developing science and art in Europe.

On a personal note, I noticed in all of my schooling and throughout all the education that I have taken up until this point, I have never heard of the moors of Europe and Spain until I decided to do my own research in to African culture and their global influence and I must say that I was shocked into my findings that Africans ruled these nations for a consistent amount of time and that history is accessible but is not heavily focused on in school.


“The Moorish Civilization: when Blacks ruled Spain.” African History, www.lisapoyakama.org/en/the-moorish-civilization-when-blacks-ruled-spain/.

“Migration Period: European History.” Encyclopedia Britannica, www.britannica.com/event/Dark-Ages.

“What was Europe like under Moorish Rule.” Quora, www.slate.com/blogs/quora/2015/04/02/what_was_europe_like_under_the_rule_of_the_moors.html.

“The Moors who Conquered and Civilized W. Europe.” All Empires History Forums, http://www.allempires.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=36429

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