How Spain turned “white”: the Slavs (Saqqalibas) of Spain

The Slavs (Saqqalibas) of Spain:

The Cambridge Economic History of Europe: Trade and industry in the Middle Ages:

Most slaves, however, before the fall of Constantinople (Istanbul) in the 15th century were “whites” coming from the north and mixing with the very dark-skinned black and near black groups of people known as “Arabs” in Spain, North Africa and the Near East. Thus, from the peoples named “Slav” north of the Arabs came the word “slave” in western parlance. And thus, many Arabic speaking historians asserted up until the 14th century that the Arabs equated slave origins with fair skin or vice versa. One of these Arabic speakers, the Syrian , Al Dhahabi wrote in the 14th century “Red, in the speech of the people from the Hijaz, means fair-complexioned and this color is rare amongst the Arabs. This is the meaning of the saying, …a red man as if he is one of the slaves. The speaker meant that his color is like that of the slaves who were captured from the Christians of Syria, Rome and Persia.” See, Seyar al Nubala’a, Al Dhahabi of Damascus Syria, also cited on p. 55, The Unknown Arabs, 2002. read more