Saracen  

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  1. A group of nomadic people from the Sinai.
  2. dated: an Arab or any Muslim, especially one involved in the Crusades
  3. dated: A pirate in the Mediterranean.

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Saracen was a term widely used among Christian writers in Europe during the Middle Ages. The term's meaning evolved during its history. In the early centuries of the Common Era, Greek 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, and who were specifically distinguished from others as a people known as Arabs.

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 commonly used to refer to Muslim Arabs, and the words "Muslim" and "Islam" were generally not used (with a few isolated exceptions).

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Saracen" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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