Saracenism, n.
/sar"euh seuhn/, n.
1. Hist. a member of any of the nomadic tribes on the Syrian borders of the Roman Empire.
2. (in later use) an Arab.
3. a Muslim, esp. in the period of the Crusades.
4. Also, Saracenic /sar'euh sen"ik/, Saracenical. of or pertaining to the Saracens.
[bef. 900; ME, OE < ML Saracenus < LGk Sarakenós]

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In the Middle Ages, any person
Arab, Turk, or other
who professed the religion of Islam.

The name spread into western Europe through the Byzantines and the Crusaders. It was also applied to nomadic people of the deserts between Syria and Arabia.

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 in the Middle Ages, any person—Arab, Turk, or other—who professed the religion of Islām. Earlier in the Roman world, there had been references to Saracens (Greek: Sarakenoi) by late classical authors in the first three centuries AD, the term being then applied to an Arab tribe living in the Sinai Peninsula. In the following centuries the use of the term by Christians was extended to cover Arab tribes in general; and, after the establishment of the caliphate, the Byzantines referred to all Muslim subjects of the caliph as Saracens. Through the Byzantines and the crusaders, the name spread into western Europe, where it was long in general use and has survived until modern times.

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Universalium. 2010.

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