The term Moor is a historical rather than an ethnic name. It is an invention of European Christians for the Islamic inhabitants of Maghreb (North Africa), Andalusia (Spain), Sicily and Malta, and was sometimes use to designate all Muslims. It is derived from Mauri, the Latin name for the Berbers who lived in the Roman province of Mauretania, which ranged across modern Algeria and Morocco.
The Prophet and the Age of Caliphates is an accessible history of the Near East from c.600-1050AD, the period in which Islamic society was formed. Beginning with the life of Muhammad and the birth of Islam, Hugh Kennedy goes on to explore the great Arab conquests of the seventh century and the golden age of the Umayyad and Abbasid caliphates when the world of Islam was politically and culturally far more developed than the West. The arrival of the Seljuk Turks and the period of political fragmentation which followed shattered this early unity, never to be recovered.