The Andalusian Moors

In 825 Crete was seized by Andalusian Moors who established an emirate and centralized their authority over the island at what is now the city of Herakleion. Out of its port sailed corsairs that became the scourge of the Aegean. Athens appears to have been attacked, if not occupied for a period of time, and Thessaloniki was seized and sacked during one of these raids.

Crete for the first time in over 2000 years once again became a thalassocracy and through raids aimed at the coastal cities of the eastern Mediterranean it amassed in- credible wealth. Kandia (as Herakleion was known then) was surrounded by a great moat and fortifications... as was, apparently Hania.

Though Jews are not mentioned in accounts dealing with this period it is probable that they were active in urban areas. They were well established in Herakleion (Kandia) by the 11th century not Iong after the reconquest of the island by the Byzantines in 961.


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