Black knights in Europe

Ever heard of the Black Knight? No, I don’t mean that unfunny film with Martin Lawrence in it. I mean “The black Knight”,? Did you ever stop to think where the tale of the black knight came from?

Well, many historians have dismissed the stories as a knight who had a black banner, or the knight who wore black armour, or the knight who had black hair. The truth is these men probabally all were known as the black knight. Afterall surely they couldn’t mean African knights, because there weren’t any Africans in medieval Europe, right?

Wrong! Whilst there may not have been armies of African knights charging around Europe in the middle ages there are noted examples which deserve further scrutiny.

Africans were first described in medieval texts as descriptions of “moorish invaders of southern Europe became popular. Whilst the majority of the Moslems who invaded Souther Europe would of been of North African Stock there would certainly have been a high percentage of miced race warriors and Black Sub saharan Africans too.

These images attest to the fact that some of the Moorish invaders were indeed of African descent.

As well as invaders, Africans featured as heros and even saints in Medieval Europe. These images show Saint Maurice. We cannot be sure that Maurice was actually of African origin but Maurice is derived from the name “Moor” and he was the leader of the Roman “Theban” Legion. Thebes being one of the Principle Cities in ancint Eygypt. Maurice has been depicted as an african since the 12th century, however with the african slave trade coming to prominence around the 16th century such images ceased to be the norm around that time onwards.

The moors even appear the tales of King Arthur, even though these are now proven to be fictional writings one of Arthurs knights was called Morien, again derived from “Moor”.

My final image shows “A black knight and his Lady” . I have tried unsuccessfully to find the source for this image. It was part of a clipping I collected years ago. I think it may be a reference to King James of Scotland around 1507. James had several Africans in his court, and held a tournament in honour of one of the black maidens known as Ealenor. This image may bear reference to it. If you know different please inform me.

So, as you see the reference to the black knight isn’t quite as light hearted as you may have previously thought. It is deep rooted in the history and mythology of Europe.

References:

Saint Maurice: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Maurice
Journal of Negro History: http://www.jstor.org/pss/2716883
Theban Legion: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theban_Legion
Playahata: http://playahata.com/pages/bhfigures/bhfigures20.html

Unnamed site:http://www.angelfire.com/md/8/moors.html

Google Search terms: Africans in medieval europe

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Article by: Phil Gregory

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  1. Clearly not. Perhaps you think I made those statues, and did those drawings prior to writing the article?

  2. jmac88 is clearly another racist, internet know-nothing moron. Even the fact that his username ends in"88" would suggest some allegiance to the failed and idiotic Nazi ideology.

  3. Look up the word, swarthy and see if that code word unlocks anything for you. Knowledge is power, ignorance is admitting to failure and truly is a result of laziness. Ignore ignorance

  4. There is a lot of African history removed/destroyed/watered down/...........

  5. People, Take a look at this, it's a depiction of the flag of Corsica, a French island in the Mediterranean. http://www.crwflags.com/fotw/flags/fr-co.html

  6. Excellent write up, friend. I've often seen movies with depictions of Racially Black knights and wondered how true any of it was. Till this point I was under the impression that "Sub Saharan Africa" wasn't 'discovered' at the time of Medieval Europe and believe that many of the "Moors" were of the North African/Persian/Middle Eastern decent. I have heard historians talk about historical figures like "Cleopatra" and "Hannibal" being 'black' from some dated accounts -- but you put this all together very well. An informative piece, good work. To note, I am Caucasian and from America -- but have a strong interest in European history.

  7. I have been studying black history for years and whist on the subject on medieval history I came across information on good research about Edward 111 of black skinned and his son the black prince being also black and that not because of the suit of amour its because of their mother queen Philpa of Hainaut see British book by Dr ja rogers volume 2.

  8. King James himself was a Moore. His birth name is Yacobas. He became king of Britain after the death of his sister.

  9. When I searched for "Black American History Began in Europe", the results were of over a dozen sites which point to the ever fictitious Middle Passage story, published by sites that claim to inspire an accruate story of Aborigional Peoples. For the Aboriginal it seems, he must look into the house of his enemy to find the spoils of his true origins; pictures of Moorish Knights and popes were simply left out of the history books. Sadly, the so-called, black leaders (Black Caucus, NAACP and others) cannot be deferred to as a source of truth for the aboriginal male as they are proliforators of the lie and work to keep the aboriginal male in the dark about his own origins. For the aboriginal male, the search for his truth must start in the most unlikeliest of places.