History of the Arabs in Sicily

Concept map on Arab Sicily and Arab domination. Characteristics, chronology and history of the Arabs in Sicily


The Arab domination in Sicily has left numerous testimonies in the history of art – Source: Getty-Images

The Sicily , ruled by the Byzantines , was sacked by repeatedly Arabs between the seventh and eighth centuries. In 827 , the Arabs of the Alabite Muslim dynasty left for Sicily (download the Concept Map here ).

Conquered Mazara del Vallo and Marsala , Palermo was conquered rather easily in 831, the city chosen as the seat of the new capital of Muslim rule.

In 843 Messina fell into the hands of the Muslims and in 878 Syracuse. With the conquest of Rometta , in 965, the whole of Sicily was in the hands of the Muslims. The Muslim dynasties that took turns in the conquest and domination of Sicily were those of the Aglabites , the Fatimids , the Kalbites .



The Muslims greatly influenced the history of Sicily from an architectural and cultural point of view.

Remarkable were the improvements that the Arabs were able to bring also in the field of agriculture with the introduction of new cultures and irrigation techniques.

Cultivation is due to the Arabs:

  • pistachio,
  • sugar cane,
  • apricot tree,
  • some artichoke,
  • of a new type of wheat.

Sicily during the Muslim domination underwent a phase of intense urbanization.

In the cities lived Muslims, Jews, Christians . Those who did not intend to convert to Islam had to pay some sort of tax.



The Byzantines tried to oppose the Muslim conquest of the island at various times, but the end of the Arab domination in Sicily was caused by the invasion of the Normans led by Roger I which took place during the 11th century .He conquered Palermo in 1072 and in 1091 he completed the conquest of the region by dropping the city of Noto in 1091.

Roger I was quite tolerant and used many Muslim officials to govern the island and at the same time maintained the structure of the pre-existing administrative order.

by Abdullah Sam
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