Kingdom of Sardinia
The Kingdom of Sardinia was a state in Southern Europe from the early 14th until the mid-19th century. When it was acquired by the Duke of Savoy in 1720, it was a former Iberian state as well as a member of the Council of Aragon. However, the Savoyards united it with their possessions on the Italian mainland and, by the time of the Crimean War in 1853, had built the resulting kingdom into a strong power; the composite state under the rule of Savoy in this period may be called Savoy-Sardinia or Piedmont-Sardinia, or the Kingdom of Piedmont to emphasise that the island of Sardinia had always been of secondary importance to the monarchy. The formal name of the entire Savoyard state was the "States of His Majesty the King of Sardinia", its final capital was the capital of Savoy since the mid 16th century. The kingdom consisted of the islands of Corsica and Sardinia, sovereignty over both of, claimed by the Papacy, which granted them as a fief, the regnum Sardiniae et Corsicae, to King James II of Aragon in 1297.
Beginning in 1324, James and his successors conquered the island of Sardinia and established de facto their de jure authority. In 1420, after the Sardinian-Catalan War, the last competing claim to the island was bought out. After the union of the crowns of Aragon and Castile, Sardinia became a part of the burgeoning Spanish Empire. In 1720, the island was ceded by the Habsburg and Bourbon claimants to the Spanish throne to Duke Victor Amadeus II of Savoy. While in theory the traditional capital of the island of Sardinia and seat of its viceroys was Cagliari, the Piedmontese city of Turin was the de facto capital of Savoy; when the mainland domains of the House of Savoy were occupied and annexed by Napoleonic France, the king of Sardinia made his permanent residence on the island for the first time in its history. The Congress of Vienna, which restructured Europe after Napoleon's defeat, returned to Savoy its mainland possessions and augmented them with Liguria, taken from the Republic of Genoa.
In 1847–48, through the "Perfect Fusion", the various Savoyard states were unified under one legal system with their capital in Turin, granted a constitution, the Statuto Albertino. There followed the annexation of Lombardy, the central Italian states and the Two Sicilies and the Papal States. On 17 March 1861, to more reflect its new geographic extent, the Kingdom of Sardinia changed its name to the Kingdom of Italy, its capital was moved first to Florence and to Rome; the Savoy-led Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia was thus the legal predecessor of the Kingdom of Italy, which in turn is the predecessor of the present-day Italian Republic. In 238 BC Sardinia became, along with a province of the Roman Empire; the Romans ruled the island until the middle of the 5th century, when it was occupied by the Vandals, who had settled in north Africa. In 534 AD it was reconquered by the Romans, but now from Byzantium, it remained a Byzantine province until the Arab conquest of Sicily in the 9th century. After that, communications with Constantinople became difficult, powerful families of the island assumed control of the land.
Facing Arab attempts to sack and conquer, while having no outside help, Sardinia utilized the principle of translatio imperii and continued to organize itself along the ancient Roman and Byzantine model. The island was not the personal property of the ruler and of his family, as was the dominant practice in western Europe, but rather a separate entity and during the Byzantine Empire, a monarchical republic, as it had been since Roman times. Starting from 705–706, Saracens from north Africa harassed the population of the coastal cities. Information about the Sardinian political situation in the following centuries is scarce. Due to Saracen attacks, in the 9th century Tharros was abandoned in favor of Oristano, after more than 1800 years of occupation. There is a record of another massive Saracen sea attack in 1015–16 from the Balearics, commanded by Mujāhid al-ʿĀmirī; the Saracen attempt to invade the island was stopped by the Judicates with the support of the fleets of the maritime republics of Pisa and Genoa, free cities of the Holy Roman Empire.
Pope Benedict VIII requested aid from the maritime republics of Pisa and Genoa in the struggle against the Arabs. After the Great Schism, Rome made many efforts to restore Latinity to the Sardinian church and society, to reunify the island under one Catholic ruler, as it had been for all of southern Italy, when the Byzantines had been driven away by Catholic Normans; the title of "Judge" was a Byzantine reminder of the Greek church and state, in times of harsh relations between eastern and western churches. Before the Kingdom of Sardinia and Corsica, the Archons or, in Latin, who reigned in the island from the 9th or 10th century until the beginning of the 11th century, can be considered real kings of all Sardinia though nominal vassals of the Byzantine emperors. Of these sovereigns only two names are known: Turcoturiu and
The Var is a river located in the southeast of France. The Var flows through the Alpes-Maritimes département for most of its length, with a short stretch in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence département, it is a unique case in France of a river not flowing in the département named after it. The Var rises near the Col de la Cayolle in the Maritime Alps and flows southeast for 114 kilometres into the Mediterranean between Nice and Saint-Laurent-du-Var, its main tributaries are the Cians, the Tinée, the Vésubie, the Coulomp, the Estéron, the Tuébi, the Chalvagne, the Barlatte, the Bourdous and the Roudoule. The Var flows through the following départements and towns: Alpes-Maritimes: Guillaumes Alpes-de-Haute-Provence: Entrevaux Alpes-Maritimes: Puget-Théniers, Saint-Laurent-du-Var http://www.geoportail.fr The Var at the Sandre database
Imperia is a coastal city and comune in the region of Liguria, Italy. It is the capital of the Province of Imperia, it was capital of the Intemelia district of Liguria. Mussolini created the city of Imperia on 21 October 1923 by combining Porto Maurizio and Oneglia and the surrounding village communes of Piani, Caramagna Ligure, Castelvecchio di Santa Maria Maggiore, Borgo Sant'Agata, Costa d'Oneglia, Torrazza and Montegrazie. Imperia is well known for the cultivation of flowers and olives, is a popular summer destination for visitors; the local Piscina Felice Cascione indoor pool has hosted numerous national and international aquatics events. The name of Oneglia may have its roots in the pre-Roman settlement of Pagus Unelia, on the hill of Castelvecchio, one of the sex oppida of the Liguri; this spawned Ripa Uneliae, a village down on the coast on the site of the modern-day Borgo Peri. Modern Oneglia became established on its modern site around 935AD after it was destroyed by the Saracens. In 1298 Oneglia became part of the fiefdom of the Doria family of Genoa.
The Dorias sold the town to Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy in 1576, Oneglia remained a Savoyard enclave in the Republic of Genoa until Italian unification. Nonetheless, it was on the front line in the wars of the House of Savoy. In 1692 it had to repulse an attack by a French squadron. Porto Maurizio was a Roman settlement, Portus Maurici, though named in the brief maritime itinerary appended to the Antonine Itinerary, must be an interpolation in manuscripts of that third century document, since it is named after Saint Maurice, leader of the Theban Legion who were not martyred until 286 and could not have been memorialized until the Christianized Empire of the fourth century, it became a Byzantine port after the Gothic Wars of the 6th century passed to the Order of Saint Benedict. It was subject to the counts of Turin in the 11th century, to the marchesi of Clavesana. Boniface of Clavesana sold the town to the Republic of Genoa in 1288 in return for a yearly payment, as part of Genoa's expansion into western Liguria.
In 1354 it became the seat of the Genoese vicar of the western Riviera. The town prospered though control of Genoa passed between the French, the Duchy of Milan, the Spanish. During the Napoleonic Wars Napoleon Bonaparte himself stopped for a night in Porto Maurizio and spent the night on the Parrasio on the third floor of Palazzo Lavagna. At the Congress of Vienna in 1815, it was awarded to the Kingdom of Sardinia, before joining a united Italy in 1861. Mussolini created the city of Imperia on 21 October 1923 by the union of Porto Maurizio and Oneglia and the surrounding village communes of Piani, Caramagna Ligure, Castelvecchio di Santa Maria Maggiore, Borgo Sant'Agata, Costa d'Oneglia, Torrazza and Montegrazie; the economy of Imperia is based on tourism, food industry, a specialized agriculture and on trading and harbour activities. The seaside tourism represents an important aspect of the economy of Imperia. Imperia consists of the two historical districts of Porto Maurizio and Oneglia, which lie on either side of the River Impero that gives its name to the city.
Porto Maurizio is situated on a peninsula to the west of the river. It is the more colourful and wealthy district of the city, threaded by narrow lanes known as carrugi, its economy centres around the tourist industry, it was a possession of Genoa from the 13th century. Oneglia lies on an alluvial plain to the east of the Impero, with its working port is the more modern and industrial of the two districts. At its centre lies Dante Square, from which radiate some of the principal roads of the city. Imperia experiences a warm Mediterranean climate; the classical Cathedral of San Maurizio, built between 1781 and 1832 by Gaetano Cantoni, is the largest church in Liguria. Old Town, called Parasio. Convent of Santa Chiara. First established in 1365, the existing structure dates from 1741. There is a small Naval Museum in the town. Museo dell' Olivo. Villa Grock Church of San Giovanni Battista, built in 1739–62. Church of Santa Maria Maggiore. Shrine of Nostra Signora delle Grazie Imperia is served by the Autostrada A10 motorway known as L'Autostrada dei Fiori which runs along the Ligurian coast between Genoa and Ventimiglia on the French border.
The road crosses the city via a series of high viaducts and mountain tunnels over the valley. Two junctions serve the city, one in the west close to Porto Maurizio, another in the east above Oneglia; the A10 forms part of European route E80. Bus services across the Province of Imperia are operated by the public transport body Riviera Trasporti; the Genoa–Ventimiglia railway line runs through Imperia: the city is served by a central Imperia railway station, on a double-track route opened on December 11, 2016, replacing the old narrow coastal route confined by the sea and long tunnels under the rocky coastline, therefore built as a single-track railway. The old route was built in 1872 and closed with the opening of the new inland route. Natives of Imperia: Pelleg
The French Riviera is the Mediterranean coastline of the southeast corner of France. There is no official boundary, but it is considered to extend from Cassis or Toulon on the west to the France–Italy border in the east, where the Italian Riviera joins; the coast is within the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region of France. The principality of Monaco is a semi-enclave within the region, surrounded on three sides by France and fronting the Mediterranean; this coastline was one of the first modern resort areas. It began as a winter health resort for the British upper class at the end of the 18th century. With the arrival of the railway in the mid-19th century, it became the playground and vacation spot of British and other aristocrats, such as Queen Victoria and King Edward VII, when he was Prince of Wales. In the summer, it played home to many members of the Rothschild family. In the first half of the 20th century, it was frequented by artists and writers, including Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Francis Bacon, Edith Wharton, Somerset Maugham, Aldous Huxley, as well as wealthy Americans and Europeans.
After World War II, it became a popular tourist convention site. Many celebrities, such as Elton John and Brigitte Bardot, have homes in the region; the French Riviera is home to 163 nationalities with 83,962 foreign residents, although estimates of the number of non-French nationals living in the area are much higher. Its largest city is Nice, which has a population of 347,060; the city is the center of a communauté urbaine – Nice-Côte d'Azur – bringing together 24 communes and more than 500,000 inhabitants and 933,080 in the urban area. Nice is home to Nice Côte d'Azur Airport, France's third-busiest airport, on an area of reclaimed coastal land at the western end of the Promenade des Anglais. A second airport at Mandelieu was once the region's commercial airport, but is now used by private and business aircraft; the A8 autoroute runs through the region, as does the old main road known as the Route nationale 7. High-speed trains serve the coastal region and inland to Grasse, with the TGV Sud-Est service reaching Nice-Ville station in five and a half hours from Paris.
The French Riviera has a total population of more than two million. It contains the seaside resorts of Cap-d'Ail, Beaulieu-sur-Mer, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, Villefranche-sur-Mer, Juan-les-Pins, Saint-Raphaël, Fréjus, Sainte-Maxime and Saint-Tropez, it is home to a high-tech and science park at Sophia-Antipolis, a research and technology center at the University of Nice Sophia-Antipolis. The region has 35,000 students; the French Riviera is a major cruising area with several marinas along its coast. According to the Côte d'Azur Economic Development Agency, each year the Riviera hosts 50 percent of the world's superyacht fleet, with 90 percent of all superyachts visiting the region's coast at least once in their lifetime; as a tourist centre, French Riviera benefits from 310 to 330 days of sunshine per year, 115 kilometres of coastline and beaches, 18 golf courses, 14 ski resorts and 3,000 restaurants. The term French Riviera is typical of English use, it was built by analogy with the term Italian Riviera.
As early as the 19th century, the British referred to the region as the Riviera or the French Riviera referring to the eastern part of the coast, between Monaco and the Italian border. Riviera is an Italian noun which means "coastline"; the name Côte d'Azur was given to the coast by the writer Stéphen Liégeard in his book, La Côte d’azur, published in December 1887. Liégeard was born in Dijon, in the French department of Côte-d'Or, adapted that name by substituting the azure blue colour of the Mediterranean for the gold of Côte-d'Or. In Occitan and French, the only usual names are Côte d'Azur in French. A term like "French Riviera" would only be used in adaptations of it. For instance, in French, "Riviera Française" is found in the online Larousse encyclopedia to refer to the holidays of a group of English workers; the Côte d'Azur and the French Riviera have no official boundaries. Some sources put the western boundary at Saint-Tropez in the Var département. Others include Saint Tropez, Hyères or Toulon in the Var, or as far as Cassis in the Bouches-du-Rhône département.
In her 1955 novel, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Patricia Highsmith describes the Riviera as including all of the coast between Toulon and the Italian border; the region of the French Riviera has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Primitive tools dating to between 1,000,000 and 1,050,000 years ago were discovered in the Grotte du Vallonnet, near Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, with stones and bones of animals, including bovines and bison. At Terra Amata, near the Nice Port, a fireplace was discovered, one of the oldest found in Europe. Stone dolmens, monuments from the Bronze Age, can be found near Draguignan, while the Valley of Marvels near Mount Bégo
Alpes-Maritimes is a department of France located in the extreme southeast corner of the country, near the border with Italy and on the Mediterranean coast. Part of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region, it had a population of 1,080,771 in 2013, it has become in recent years one of the world's most attractive destinations, featuring cities such as Nice, Cannes and Grasse, numerous alpine ski resorts. Alpes-Maritimes entirely surrounds Monaco; the department's inhabitants are called Maralpines. The Alpes-Maritimes department is surrounded by the departments of Var in the southwest, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence in the northwest and the Mediterranean Sea to the south, it surrounds the Principality of Monaco on the west and east. Its topography is mixed; as its name suggests, most of the department is a constituent part of the overall topographic Alps – including the Maritime Alps – but it has the distinction of being a coastal district with its Mediterranean coast. The coastal area and densely populated, includes all the cities in an continuous conurbation from Cannes to Menton, while the larger but sparsely populated mountainous area is rural with the exception of the three large resorts of Valberg and Isola 2000.
The highest point of the department is the Cime du Gélas on the Franco-Italian border which dominates the Vallée des Merveilles further east. In fact the summit of Monte Argentera is higher at 3297 m above sea level but it is located in Italian territory. There is Mount Mounier which dominates the south of the vast Dôme de Barrot, formed of a mass of more than 900 m thick red mudstones indented by the gorges of Daluis and Cians. Except in winter, four passes allow passage to the north of the Mercantour/Argentera mountain range whose imposing 62 km long barrier covered in winter snow, visible from the coast. From the west the Route des Grandes Alpes enters the Cayolle Pass first on the way to the Alps and the sources of the Var in the commune of Entraunes; the route follows the Col de la Bonette – the highest pass in Europe at 2715 m – to connect to the valley of the Tinée the Ubaye. Further east, the Lombard pass above Isola 2000 allows access to the shrine of Saint-Anne de Vinadio in Italy.
At its eastern end, the Col de Tende links with Cuneo in Italy. The only region of the Alps close to Nice has an afforestation rate of 60.9% higher than the average of the department and well above the average of 39.4% for the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region. The rivers in alphabetical order are: It is the climate that made the Côte d'Azur famous; the current department of Alpes-Maritimes, does not have only one climate, the complex terrain and high mountains divide the department between those who are well exposed and those which are less and with the mild Mediterranean climate there can be violent storms and prolonged droughts. The coastal area has a Mediterranean climate. Towards the interior in the north, a mountain climate. One of the attractions of the department is its level of sunshine: 300 days per year. Despite this the department is the most stormy of France with an average of 70 to 110 thunderstorm days per year. Alpes-Maritimes is divided into 2 arrondissements: the Grasse and the Nice,27 cantons and 163 communes.
In 2002 there were 14 intercommunalities. Including: 4 metropolitan intercommunalities of which: 3 are agglomeration communities Agglomeration community of Pôle Azur Provence Agglomeration community of the Riviera Française Agglomeration community of Sophia Antipolis and 1 is an urban community Urban community of Nice Côte d'Azur; the other 10 are Communauté de communes: Communauté de communes de la Vallée de l'Estéron Communauté de communes des Monts d'Azur Communauté de communes du Pays des Paillons Communauté de communes des Coteaux d'Azur Communauté de communes des Vallées d'Azur Communauté de communes de la Tinée Communauté de communes de Cians Var Communauté de communes des Stations du Mercantour Communauté de communes des Terres de Siagne Communauté de communes Vésubie MercantourThe following is a list of most populous cities of the department: Nice Antibes Cannes Grasse Cagnes-sur-Mer Le Cannet Saint-Laurent-du-Var Menton Vallauris Mandelieu-la-Napoule Vence Mougins Alpes Maritimae was created by Octavian as a Roman military district called maritimae Alps in 14BC, became a full Roman province in the middle of the 1st century AD with its capital first at Cemenelum and subsequently at Embrun.
At its greatest extent in AD 297, the province reached north to Briançon. A first French département of Alpes-Maritimes existed in the same area from 1793 to 1814, its boundaries differed from those of the modern department, however. In 1793 Alpes-Maritimes included Monaco and San Remo, but not Grasse, part of the départment of Var; the département was subdivided into the following arrondissements and cantons: Nice, cantons: Nice, Aspremont, La Brigue, Monaco, Roquebillière, Saint-Sauveur-sur-Tinée, Saorge, L'Escarène, Sospel and Villefranche-sur-Mer. Sanremo
Vehicle registration plates of Italy
Present Italian car number plates have black characters on a rectangular white background, with small blue side-fields. The current numbering scheme, in use from 1994, is unrelated to the geographical provenance of the car. By law, Italian plates can only be made by the Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato and issued by local departments of motor vehicles; the first Italian plates had to have the owner's name and the local communal number visible. These early Italian number plates gave the unabbreviated name of the place of origin, followed by a number, as GENOVA 83 and PADOVA 2; these were first plates to be had to be manufactured by the car's owner. Today, only two plates of this time remain, PADOVA 2, conserved in museums. Schematic representation: Plates in this period were black-on-white; the registration number was a numeric code, different for each province, a progressive number on a single line, unique for that province. E.g. 63 – 2993, where 63 is the code for Turin. Motorcycles had square plates.
A front plate was optional. Schematic representation: In 1927, Mussolini changed the number plates from white background with black digits, to black background with white digits and introduced the two letter provincial code for all provinces instead of the number system used until 1927. From 1927 to 1932, the progressive code was found before the provincial code on a single line; the progressive code was moved before the provincial code in front plates and after it in rear plates. Although Rome had the full name displayed on the number plates, in documents for practical purposes it uses the unofficial code RM. From 1932 to 1951, rear plates were squares 32.0 x 20.0 cm large and used a altered Garamond font. Rear plates had the Fasces emblem next to the provincial from 1928 to 1944. After Mussolini's fall, from 1944 to 1948, the Association of War Maimed and Disabled printed the number plates and their symbol appeared instead of the Fasces. In 1948 the Constitution of the Italian Republic was approved, so the Republic emblem appeared on the number plate on both rear and front plates but the format and font were kept from the previous period.
From 1951 to 1976, rear plates size was reduced to a square 27.5 × 20 cm large, front plates was 26.2 × 5.7 cm, the front plates' design was changed to have more linear characters and the Republic emblem was made smaller. Note that single line rear registration plates were not available until 1976; the registration number was the provincial code, a two-letter code, a progressive code, unique for that province, up to 6 characters long. Between the provincial code and the first two digits was the Italian Republic emblem; the progressive code for the first 999999 cars of the provinces was just a progressive number, not filled with initial zeroes. For cars from 1000000, it was A00000-A99999. Possible letters were, in this order, A B D E F G H K L M N P R S T U V Z X Y W. After that, it was 00000D-99999D etc.. Possible letters were, in this order, A D E F G H L M N P R S T V W X Y Z. Schematic representation: Front Plate 1927-1932 rear plate The front plate was kept intact as in the 1927-1976 period.
The rear plate, began to be manufactured in two pieces. One, sized 10,7 × 33 cm, had black background with white digits, contained the progressive number and, in a small font, the repetition of provincial code above and the Republic emblem; the other had black background with orange letters and contained the official provincial code and had two variants. One was 10,7 × 33 cm large, the other one was 10,7 × 20 cm large. Only one of the latter two was used depending on the type of plate holder that the plate was destined for: for a rectangular plate holder, the small provincial code piece was installed left of the progressive code, put together with rivets in designed holes in the progressive code For cars that were designed with the previous number plate holder, or too small for a rectangular plate, the long provincial code piece was installed above the progressive code; this change resolved the plate positioning problem on cars of foreign production the rectangular European system was preferred over the squared plate holder of Italian designed cars.
Plates in Rome provides detailed coverage of Italian number plates from 1903 onwards. Italian plates With details and images
Saracen was a term used among Christian writers in Europe during the Middle Ages to refer to Arabs and Muslims. The term's meaning evolved during its history. In the early centuries of the Common Era and Latin writings used this term to refer to the people who lived in desert areas in and near the Roman province of Arabia Petraea, in Arabia Deserta. In Europe during the Early Middle Ages, the term came to be associated with tribes of Arabia; the oldest source mentioning the term Saracen dates back to the 7th century. It was found in Doctrina Jacobi, a commentary that discussed the event of the Arab conquests on Palestine. By the 12th century, "Saracen" had become synonymous with "Muslim" in Medieval Latin literature; such expansion in the meaning of the term had begun centuries earlier among the Byzantine Greeks, as evidenced in documents from the 8th century. In the Western languages before the 16th century, "Saracen" was used to refer to Muslim Arabs, the words "Muslim" and "Islam" were not used.
The term became obsolete following the Age of Discovery. The Latin term Saraceni is of unknown original meaning. There are claims of it being derived from the Semitic triliteral root srq "to steal, plunder", more from the noun sāriq, pl. sariqīn, which means "thief, plunderer". Other possible Semitic roots are šrq "east" and šrkt "tribe, confederation". In his Levantine Diary, covering the years 1699-1740, the Damascene writer ibn Kanan used the term sarkan to mean "travel on a military mission" from the Near East to parts of Southern Europe which were under Ottoman Empire rule Cyprus and Rhodes. Ptolemy's 2nd-century work, describes Sarakēnḗ as a region in the northern Sinai Peninsula. Ptolemy mentions a people called the Sarakēnoí living in the northwestern Arabian Peninsula. Eusebius in his Ecclesiastical history narrates an account wherein Pope Dionysius of Alexandria mentions Saracens in a letter while describing the persecution of Christians by the Roman emperor Decius: "Many were, in the Arabian mountain, enslaved by the barbarous'sarkenoi'."
The Augustan History refers to an attack by "Saraceni" on Pescennius Niger's army in Egypt in 193, but provides little information as to identifying them. Both Hippolytus of Rome and Uranius mention three distinct peoples in Arabia during the first half of the third century: the "Taeni", the "Saraceni" and the "Arabes"; the "Taeni" identified with the Arab people called "Tayy", were located around Khaybar and in an area stretching up to the Euphrates. The "Saraceni" were placed north of them; these Saracens, located in the northern Hejaz, were described as people with a certain military ability who were opponents of the Roman Empire and who were classified by the Romans as barbarians. The Saracens are described as forming the "equites" from Thamud. In one document the defeated enemies of Diocletian's campaign in the Syrian Desert are described as Saracens. Other 4th-century military reports make no mention of Arabs but refer to as'Saracens' groups ranging as far east as Mesopotamia that were involved in battles on both the Sasanian and Roman sides.
The Saracens were named in the Roman administrative document Notitia Dignitatum—dating from the time of Theodosius I in the 4th century—as comprising distinctive units in the Roman army. They were distinguished in the document from Arabs. Beginning no than the early fifth century, Christian writers began to equate Saracens with Arabs. Saracens were associated with Ishmaelites in some strands of Jewish and Islamic genealogical thinking; the writings of Jerome are the earliest known version of the claim that Ishmaelites chose to be called Saracens in order to identify with Abraham's "free" wife Sarah, rather than as Hagarenes, which would have highlighted their association with Abraham's "slave woman" Hagar. This claim was popular during the Middle Ages, but derives more from Paul’s allegory in the New Testament letter to the Galatians than from historical data; the name "Saracen" was not indigenous among the populations so described but was applied to them by Greco-Roman historians based on Greek place names.
As the Middle Ages progressed, usage of the term in the Latin West changed, but its connotation remained negative, associated with opponents of Christianity, its exact definition is unclear. In an 8th-century polemical work, John of Damascus criticized the Saracens as followers of a false prophet and "forerunner to the Antichrist."By the 12th century, Medieval Europeans had more specific conceptions of Islam and used the term "Saracen" as an ethnic and religious marker. In some Medieval literature, Saracens—that is, Muslims—were described as black-skinned, while Christians were lighter-skinned. An example is in The King of a medieval romance; the Song of Roland, an Old French 11th-century heroic poem, refers to the black skin of Saracens as their only exotic feature. The 15th-century Mishnah commentator, Rabbi Ovadiah of Bertinora, wrote that the word Saracen among Arabs had the connotation of "thieves"; the term "Saracen" remained in widespread use in the West as a term for "Muslim" until the 18th century when the Age of Discovery led to it becoming obsolete.
Arabs Arab–Byzantine wars Medieval Christian views on Muhammad Mohammedan Moors Orientalism Serkland Tatars