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Tarik, the Moor, invades Spain.
April 30, 711
On April 30, 711AD General Tarik al Gibral, a Nafza Berber after whom the famed "Rock of Gibralter" is named, crossed to Andalus (Spain under the Visigoths) with a force of seven thousand troops. After several battles in which the Visigoths were completely routed, the Moorish-Berber-Arab force marched from city to city until the entire peninsula was under their control by 715AD. It should be noted that many modern historians tend to refer to Tarik's garrison as consisting only of Caucasoid Berbers and Arabs. Primary sources, such as Ibn Husayn of the 10th Century recorded however that many of his troops were "Sudanese," a synonym at the time for Blacks. Contemporary accounts of Europeans state of the Moorish invaders, "Their faces were as black as pitch, the handsomest amongst them was as black as a cooking pot." It should be pointed out that the term "Berber," erroneously identified as a racial category, is in actuality a linguistic-ethnic group. There are both Semitic and African Berbers. Tarik, tracing his ethnic roots, may have been one of them. He was described by contemporary witnesses as having a short stature, brown skin, a hooked nose, and woolly hair. He was said to be a native of Sudan. Thus would begin the Moorish occupation of Spain, to which Europe owes greatly the benefits of the Renaissance, which would last well into the 15th Century.
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