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Sicilians are Greeks

Updated: 12/11/2022
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15y ago

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Yes and no. Sicilians are descended, in large part, from both ancient Greek and later Byzantine Greek settlers, however Sicilians are part of the Italian Republic, speak Italian, and are Roman Catholics, like other Italians. So they are Italians, but they also have certain distinct cultural traditions that have been influenced by the many different invaders and settlers from different lands that have come to Sicily throughout the ages. The Greeks were one of the major groups to have an impact on Sicily, both culturally and genetically. In addition to a generous dose of Greek blood, Sicilians also have mainland Italian ancestry from the indigenous Siculi (who gave the island its name), who came from southern Italy, the Romans, and from medieval settlers from northern Italy who arrived after the Normans expelled many of the Arabs who were living on the island back then. Thus, Sicilians also have Arab, Norman, and also French and Spanish ancestry, however Greek and Italian are the two principal ancestries of Sicilians. The Arabs were known as "Moors" or "Saracens" in medieval times and these were general terms for Muslims. Some of Sicily's Moors/Saracens were also Berbers and Spanish Muslims (Spain had been conquered earlier by Moors). The Muslim Moors repopulated various parts of Sicily after having taken Sicily from the Byzantines, and most Moorish settlers were men. The spread of Islam and the Arabic language during this time in Sicily was the result of two developments: A large influx of Moorish settlers who repopulated Palermo and other communities and the conversion of many native Sicilians (mainly of Greek, Roman, and Siculi ancestry) to Islam. Throughout the Arab period, many Greek-speaking Orthodox Christians remained on the island at rates of up to 50% according to many historians, and again, many of the Arabic-speaking Muslims were native Sicilians who "went Arab" in order to escape prejudice. The Normans (a French/Viking people from Normandy who were French-speaking Catholics) arrived in Sicily at the invitation of the Pope who wanted them to expel the Muslims. Although largely tolerant of the Muslim and Greek Christian communities, Sicily gradually became Latinized over time as a large influx of Italian settlers (many of these from northern Italy) repopulated parts of Sicily as many of the island's Muslims left the island. Sicily's population was thus radically altered under the period of Norman rule as many Muslims left or were later on expelled after repeated uprisings against the new Christian rulers under the reign of Frederick II, only to be replaced by Italian and French Catholic settlers who gradually brought Sicily under the Italian sphere. Some of the Muslims (and hence some people with Arab and Berber roots) remained in Sicily and assimilated into its increasingly Latin Catholic society, and the Greek-speaking Orthodox Christians did the same. Hence, today's Sicilians have a mixture of Greek, mainland Italian, Arab, Berber, French, Norman, and also some Spanish blood as small groups of Spaniards occasionally immigrated to Sicily during the later centuries of Spanish rule). A few other ethnic strains are present as well, in small percentages, such as Albanian, German, and Phoenician. Source: I'm a Sicilian-American who loves history heh.

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Continue Learning about General History

What is nationality of a Sicilian?

Italian Naturally it is Sicilian and Sicilians like to be called Sicilians they do not consider themselves Italian though Italy owns Sicily.


Does Sicilians have African heritage?

Nope, unless you are referring to recent immigrants from Africa into Sicily. Ethnic Sicilians do not have any African ancestry and are the same as other Italians.


Did rome fight the punic wars with sicilians to gain control of lands around the mediteranean sea?

It fought against Carthage for control of the Western Mediterranean. Rome did not fight against or with Sicilians. The First Punic war was fought against the Carthaginians who had settlements in the west of Sicily. Rome's aim at the beginning of the war was to gain control over Sicily. In this war Syracuse allied with Rome. However, the Syracusans were Greeks, not Sicilian. The indigenous Sicilians were mostly annexed or caught in fights between Greeks and Carthaginian and then got caught in Rome's war. The fight over control of the western Mediterranean occurred in the Second Punic war. Rome's seizing of Sardinia and Corsica (a result following the first war, rather than an original aim of the first war) most likely contributed to this. The second war was provoked by the Carthaginians, and it ended with Rome controlling the western mediterranean.


Did the Sicilians derive from the African people many years ago?

Sicilians have 10% Sub-Saharan African DNA. In addition, Sicilians still retain culture from the African invasions of Europe, in particular Northern Africa. Northern African culture has contributed greatly to Sicily with such things as pasta (couscous) ceramics, language, street markets and citrus trees.


Why did garibaldi think Italians should volunteer to help the sicilians?

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Related questions

DO siCilians have French and Spanish ancestory?

Yes Sicily was part of the Spanish Empire and was controlled by the Norman/French leaving a Spanish and French legacy and DNA along with the Greeks, Muslims and Romans. Sicilians are a multi-ethic caucasion race.


Why are some sicilians light?

Sicilians can have lighter complexions due to various historical influences, such as invasions by different groups like Greeks, Normans, Arabs, and Spaniards. Intermixing of different populations over time has resulted in a diverse range of skin tones among Sicilians. Additionally, environmental factors like sun exposure and genetics can also play a role in determining skin color.


If your Sicilian are you blacki?

No, Sicilians do not have any African in them. Sicilians are genetically the same as other Italians.


What are sicilians famous for?

Sicilians are famous for many things like -food -wine -people -Mafia


What is nationality of a Sicilian?

Italian Naturally it is Sicilian and Sicilians like to be called Sicilians they do not consider themselves Italian though Italy owns Sicily.


Does Sicilians have African heritage?

Nope, unless you are referring to recent immigrants from Africa into Sicily. Ethnic Sicilians do not have any African ancestry and are the same as other Italians.


Since Sicily is a whole different country from Italy then people from there are Sicilians NOT Italians --- correct?

Incorrect Sicily it Part of Italy and therefore Sicilians are also Italians.


How do sicilians pronounce Licata?

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What is the nationality of a sicilian?

Sicilians are Italian,Blessed be! )O(


If your Sicilian are you black?

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What is the Sicilians crest?

You can see it by going to the related link below