Identity of the Moors in 16th century

Dec 2018
54
Brasil
#11
The Moors used black slave soldiers... this is documented. The Song of Roland even mentions a large unit of black ('ethiopian') soldiers within the otherwise Saracen army. They are described as being 'in the fee' of (i.e. the property of) the ruler of Carthage.
Are you sure that's the reason?... They also used slavic slave-soldiers and it doesn't mean they were also called moors (well, they woudn't anyway, but they weren't called anything else...) ...Actually, that's a good point. Well, I think that's the reason only for the most northern parts of the time, that didn't see most of the army and had this image for many centuries.
 
Nov 2010
7,666
Cornwall
#12
The Moors used black slave soldiers... this is documented. The Song of Roland even mentions a large unit of black ('ethiopian') soldiers within the otherwise Saracen army. They are described as being 'in the fee' of (i.e. the property of) the ruler of Carthage.
You seem to be another poster with an agenda who is going to ignore what everybody tells you about the use of the word 'Moors'.

The Song of Roland is a load of romantic claptrap written 300 years after the demise of Roland (see several threads) . At the time it was written it probably coincided with the aftermath of the Almoravid invasion of Al Andalus - the Almoravids used black troops from the 3 rivers (Senegal, Niger, Gambia) territory of sub-saharan Africa (some of whom were later inherited by the more disparaging Almohads). The banging of the spears on the hippopotamus shields is well recorded and there is also talk of them being used as garrison troops around Sevilla - not speaking arabic they wouldn't be corrupted by those nasty decadent mozarabes and jews! Whether they were slaves or not is unclear, as is the actual penetration of the Almoravids into Sub-saharan Africa - but it seems they were there so they were either sent as some sort of agreement, tribute, mercenaries or maybe even sold as slaves. It was a sort of 'every muslim is a bad muslim', crusading, chivalric nonsense time

As for Roland himself - the situation around the Barcelona-Zaragoza-Pamplona axis was incredibly chaotic and confusing around 778 - which is why Charlemagne got himself in such a mess in the first place. Pamplona was in a sort of joint/alternate control between muslim Banu-Qasi families based on the Ebro valley (mainly Visigothic converts) and the more traditional Christian/Vascon hierarchies - who all intermarried and inter-allied just to add confusion. It's extremely unlikely that Emirate troops from Cordoba were involved in Roland's demise - and if they did they would be arabic and/or berber or mozarabe/jewish in the service. If Charlemagne had somehow allowed a force from Cordoba - far from safe in this area - to get around the top of him and ambush them in the forests of the mountains, he would be stupid indeed.

So this 'Saracen army' is just emotive rubbish - Roland was likely ambushed by the people of the mountains, the Vascones, rather resentful of an army stamping through their lands and in revenge for the stupid dismantling of the walls of Pamplona during his retreat. They knew how to hit and run then vanish into the forests. No black soldiers, honest.

There is little similarity between the world the author of Chanson knew in 1100 (ish) to the state of the Iberian Peninsula in 778, which is when Roland met his end. It makes a good story, the JK Rowling of his day. Song of the Cid is similarly romantic, but at least fairly recent - being written maybe 100 years later!!

'Ruler of Carthage in 778'? Utter nonsense - Carthage was ruled by the Abbassids at this time - mortal enemies of the Emir of Cordoba Abd Al Rahman I (Omeya) - they certainly wouldn't be landing on the beach in Algeciras in 778!
 
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