They ruled Sicily for two centuries and a few decades but their influence was nothing short of monumental. Under their administration, the island’s population doubled as dozens of towns were founded and cities repopulated. The Arabs changed Sicilian agriculture and cuisine. Their scientific and engineering achievements were remarkable. More significantly, they changed society itself. To this day, many Sicilian social attitudes reflect the profound influence – often in subtle ways – of the Arabs who ruled a thousand years ago but who (with the Greeks and others) are the ancestors of today’s Sicilians.
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