"The Moors civilized Europe" theory

Jan 2015
The Moors may have added to learning and culture in Europe, but to say they "civilized" Europe, as if Europe, before the Moors' arrival, was bereft of mathematics, philosophy, science, literature, etc, is nonsense.
All thanks to Roman master race who also no doubt civilized northern Africans, Arabians and Egyptians. Where do the Afrocanists (what a silly name) think the Arabians get their niffy techs if not from the Romans and the Indians? And why mention the Arabians since they are not really relate the Africans in any significant way? If anything, the Arabians got their share of knowledge from the Persians, the Romans and the Indians then the Arabians taught the Africans a bit of civilized culture. No one wonder why half of Africa is Muslim?

But I may be wrong...
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Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
I hear you. Fwiw Ferdinand II and Isabella I are viewed as being responsible for the long awaited reunification of Spain.

That being said...Pope Sylvester II giving a pep talk to the monarchs of Spain..now that would have been awesome IMO. :)
Fernando and Isobel (Ferdinand and Isobella of English) had an absolutely tremendous impact on history which cannot be under-estimated but often is. From the very small beginnings of the age-old Iberian Civil Wars they effectively united 'Spain' and laid the foundations for the future of the Empire under Carlos V.

They eliminated any other pretenders, conquered the Muslim Kingdom of Granada in a 10-year war before moving onto Italy and other areas, not to mention the Columbus business of a whole new world! They created a vast economic and military powerhouse and by the 1490s it was Ferdinand who pulled the Papal strings and not the other way round. Machievelli made a beautiful quote about 'the Prince' - something to do with if he was as kind and generous as people say he would certainly not have half the territories and riches that he did.

However - they aren't called the Catholic Monarchs for nothing and did preside over the most racist and fundamentalist Catholic administration ever seen, which was to stay entrenched in Spain longer than anywhere else and for hundreds of years. To me they equate in radicalism to the earlier islamic fundamentalists the Almohads and also today's jihadists in outlook, in a way.

The treatment of the jews and the betrayal and treatment of the moriscos were utterly shameful by anyone's values, although I concede there were genuine reasons for these things at the time, in their own very Catholic eyes.

I think today both their greatness and their all-powerful cruelty are under-stated.


Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
If this is any use in dispelling this 'Moors'/black myth here I've copied my post from earlier in the week in another thread:

There was a muslim presence in Iberia from 711 to 1609/10 (900 years). That is the length of time from, for example, Ucles (1108) to today. There was a partial rule until 1492 (nearly 800 years) which is roughly the length of time from Las Navas (1212) to today.

Not something that came and went overnight and far more complex than 'Moors from Africa'.

Many of these muslims were originally Hispano-Roman/Visigothic who converted. These 'Moors' you talk about were in a large part converted chistians.

Neither were they all 'from Africa'. Once again a rough list of potential muslims in Iberia:

Berbers (8th century)
Berbers (10th century)
Arabs (as in arabia)
Syrians (greek/Byzantine roots)
Egyptians (as above)
Visigothic converts (Muladies)
Jewish converts
Hispano-Roman/Lusitanian (Muladies)
Assorted non-berber North Africans post 711 EG Vandal, Gothic, Byzantine, Roman, ......Punic roots
Byzantine (Spain)
Slavs (Caliphal soldiers) from eastern europe
Sub-Saharan African troops (Almoravids) or slaves

I hope I'm making it clearer - take a snapshot point in,say, year 1000, and the muslims in Iberia were all of the above. The people did not move out to any large degree when the arabs/berbers came - they were still there! And by the time of the Almoravids and certainly the even stricter Almohads, they were all muslim
Nov 2013

the thing is....if Islam was more advanced then Europe at this time and taught the Europeans math, logic science

why is Europe responsible for essentially Modern Science
Put simply; every culture has it's strengths and weaknesses.

The Islamic Golden age was very signifcant from a cultural POV, but that doesn't mean it was as progressive in other fields. The Muslim world was very prone to civil wars, for example.

Another reason is the Mongols tore up Baghdad and Iran; the two most culturally progressive parts of the Muslim world.