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Re: Mavros
The word mavros originally referred to natives of Mauretania. Mavros and Latin Maurus may derive ultimately from an ancient North African language. The natural Greek word for the colour black is melas (melanos). I think '(dark as a) Moor' is a more precise interpretation of this surname than just 'black'.
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Melas is indeed a greek work for dark.
However, mavros -- or rather "mauros" or "amauros" -- mean "dimly seen, dim, faint, baffling sight" (as per Liddel-Scott)and was used as a synonym of "black: in classical times. In modern Greek, it certainly meaqns black. The word "Moor" itself is derived from the Latin "Maurus" via the Greek "mauros" as per teh Oxford Englisg Dictionary.
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It looks like I was deceived. The bit about Mavros deriving from an African language is on Funny enough, they also mention the Oxford English dictionary as their source. But it's certainly not in the edition I have! I should have been more sceptical, because I did notice that they think that Morocco also derives from Mavros, and it definitely does not...
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