Tuesday, January 13, 2015

the word Saracens

This Lebanese writer is, typically, wrong about the etymology of the word Saracens: it does not derive from Easterners.  The word was used till after the 16th century to refer to Muslims.  But its origin is from the Greek and was first used by Ptolemy to refer to people who live in northern Arabia and who were distinct from the Arabs.  The etymology of the word is closer to the meaning that was used by John of Damascus to refer to "those who are not descendants of Sarah".