Posted by Ryan Snead on November 07, 2001 at 14:16:15:
In Reply to: Re: Greek and Italian look(what's your opinion?) posted by Andreas Markessinis on October 31, 2001 at 12:47:34:
North African blood ties do exist in Southern Europe. During the Middle Ages, the Moors occupied large sections of Italy and very nearly conquered all of Spain and Portugal. Ties between Christian Europeans and Islamic Africans were so strong during some parts of the period that it was not unheard of for a Norman lord (another immigrant to Italy) to squire his younger sons to Moorish neighbors or vice versa!
However, medieval Greeks (aka Byzantines) also generally had pretty good relations with their Arab and Turkish neighbors when they weren't busy Crusading against each other, so a fair bit of intermarriage probably went on there as well.
It might have something to do with the influx of Western Eurpeans during the Crusades. Many third and fourth sons of France, England, and Germany left home to seek their fortunes in the East because there was nothing for them to inherit at home, settling in what are now Greece, Turkey, and Syria.
On the other hand, I've also met a few Greek Cypriots with pretty dark complexions as well.
I guess the point is that there are a lot of potential answers to this particular observation that boil down to the Medeterranean being a cross-roads for different cultures and peoples throughout history.
: hi i am a greek guy living in spain and the same happens with me over here in spain. spanish ver here is also expected to look like the greeks but they use to be darker than greeks, i would not say though that they have links with northern africans. also if you go to northern greece you can find people who resemble more German than actually Greeks (or what you would expect). I have brown eyes with blondish long fair hair if anyone is interested.
: : Yazoo!
: : First of all sorry for my english,
: : can anyone tell me how does it come that Italians, in general have a darker complexion than us? I am from Athens and I am actually studying in Catania, Italy and I've visited many city of Italy since I am there from 2 years.
: : I was expected, especially in southern Italy to find people that resemble us due to the history facts, but many times you see true Italians with a very dark complexion and kind of north african look and this not only in the south, but also in the central and sporadically nothern Italy.
: : Italians don't admit that, but I guess they had a much stronger relationship, in the past with the neighbouring african countries.
: : Yannis
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