Saracens

A word used by medieval Christians to describe the infidels and Muslims during the period of the Crusades.* The term appears on ancient inscriptions and seems to have applied originally only to a single tribe in the Sinai area. Later the meaning was expanded to refer to nomads in general, and after the Arab conquests of the seventh century the Byzantine empire called all Muslims Saracens. Western Christians adopted the term during the Crusades, and it was common to call all Muslims Saracens until the fall of Constantinople in 1453.