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XLhc Ibafclu^t Society 




vol. I. 


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Shiir noto Etritetr, toitfp an Itttrotmctiott antr jlotM, 






' 1 9b 

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Prefatory Note. 

Introduction . . . i 

Pory's Dedication to Sir Robert Cecil . . 3 

His Address to the Reader . . . .4 

His General Description of Africa . . .12 

His Description of Places undescribed by Leo . 24 

An Approbation oV Leo's History by Richard Hakluyt 
and others . . . . .103 

Notes on Pory's Introductory Matter . . . .107 

John Leo his First Book of the Description of Africa 122 
Notes to Book I . . . .191 


The Second Book 

. 225 

Notes to Book II 

• 325 

The Third Book 

• 393 

Notes to Book III 

. 561 

The Fourth Book 

. 659 

Notes to Book IV 

. 690 


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The Fifth Book 

. 699 

Notes to Book V. 

. 745 

The Sixth Book 

• 773 

Notes to Book VI 

. 803 

The Seventh Book 

. 819 

Notes to Book VII 

. 838 

The Eighth Book 

. 855 

Notes to Book VIII 

. 906 

The Ninth Book 

. 927 

Pory's Relation of ti 

ie Great Princes of Africa 

. 973 

His Discourse of the 

Religions professed there 


And of the Fortresses and Colonies maintained there 
by the Spaniards and Portuguese 

Index of Places .... 

Index of Persons, etc. 


1 106 

I. Northern Africa. 
II. Lower Egypt (inset on No. I). 

III. Cairo {inset on No. I). 

IV. Barbary. 

V. Hea and Marocco (inset on No. IV). 

VI. The Road from Fez to the Upper Ziz 
(inset on No. IV). 

VII. Northern Fez. 

VIII. Pory's Map of Africa (reduced). 

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As the members of the Hakluyt Society are already 
aware, the much-deplored death of the editor, at a period 
when barely a third of the text was in print, has 
deprived the present work of the advantage of his final 
revision, and also of the notes which it had been his inten- 
tion to affix to the concluding chapters. As, however, the 
portion thus left unannotated was comparatively small, 
and seemed to contain few points not already touched 
upon in the notes to the earlier chapters, it has been 
deemed advisable not to introduce any additional matter, 
and the work, therefore, is issued in the state in which the 
manuscript was left at Dr. Brown's decease, with the ex- 
ception of a few necessary alterations and excisions. 

The task of seeing through the press the remainder of 
the text, together with Dr. Brown's Introduction, has been 
performed in a most able manner by Dr. E. Denison Ross, 
whose linguistic attainments, and particularly his intimate 
acquaintance with Arabic, have been of especial benefit 
to the book. Dr. Ross has also prepared the general 
index to the volumes. 

Acknowledgments are also due to Mr. E. G. Ravenstein 
for the set of illustrative Maps which, together with an 
explanatory memorandum, he has prepared and presented 
to the Society for reproduction in these volumes. Founded 
as they are on an independent study of Leo's writings, 
these maps form in themselves an important contribution 

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to African geography, and greatly enhance the value of 
the book. 

In addition, Mr. Ravenstein has kindly contributed the 
index of place-names, which not only includes all references 
in the text, but also indicates the position of each place 
upon the appropriate map. 

The great bulk of the work has necessitated its issue in 
three volumes. Ordinarily, these would have been allotted, 
two to one year, and the third to the next After careful 
consideration, however, it has been judged best to issue all 
three for 1895, thus presenting the subscribers for that 
year with an extra volume. 

William Foster, 

Hon. Secretary. 

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z HE Arab who wrote the famous work 
to which these pages form an 

Introduction bears many names. 
That by which he was first in- 
troduced to the knowledge of 
lettered Europe by Gian Battista 
Ramusio (1485-1557), Secretary of the Venetian 
Council of Ten, was Giovanni Leone or Leo. This 
name he received from Giovanni de' Medici, Pope 
Leo X, 1 who was first his master, then the priest by 
whom he was converted to Christianity, and finally 
his godfather and patron. Hence Leo is also some- 
times known as Joannes Medices. Having been 
born in Granada he is occasionally termed Eliberit- 
ances 2 — Granada being falsely supposed to be the 

1 The writer of the article " Leo, Johannes " in the Encyc. 
Britannica (vol. xxiv, p. 453) is in error when he states that the 
Pope bestowed on him "his own name Johannes and Leo." 

2 Paulus Jovius. " Leon de Grenade " is the name given to 
him by Genty de Bussy in De retablissement des Frangais dans la 
Regence d' Alger, etc. (1835). 


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Roman Illiberes. However, from the fact of Leo 
being an African, or from his writing on Africa, he 
is now invariably called Leo Africanus. 

His Arab name was Al- Hassan Ibn Mohammed 
Al-Wez&z, Al-F&si, 1 that is, the man of Fez (a 
surname he obtained in his later years). He is 
also known as " El-Gharn&thi", the Granadian, 3 
a designation which, apart from other facts, renders 
it extremely probable that he was born, not in 
Morocco, as "Al-F&si" might seem to indicate, but 
in Granada. On this point, indeed, there can 
be little doubt : for not only does he state the 
circumstance more than once in the body of the 
volume, 8 but Ramusio, who obtained his information 
from one of Leo's friends, reiterates the state- 
ment. Again, Leo tells us (p. 299) how he 
met at " Elmadin " " one of Granada my countrey- 
man, who was exceeding rich, having serued as 
an archer in the region for fifteen years" ; so that 
there is no reason for the hesitation expressed by 
Pory in his preface (notwithstanding the explicit- 
ness of the title-page of his translation), as to 
whether Leo "were borne in Granada, in Spaine 
(as it was likely), or in some part of Africa". 

1 Hartmann, Edrisii Africa^ p. xix. 

2 Thus (in 1889) M. Delphin calls him " El Hassan ben 
Mohammed El Ouezaz El R'ernathe plus connu sous le nom de 
L£on PAfricain". — Juis, son university etc., pp. 6-7. 

3 The book ends after the Arab fashion, " finisce il Libro di 
Giovan Leone nato in Granata e allevato in Barberia" (10th 
March, 1526). 

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The passage which seems to have raised doubt 
in his mind and in the minds of other com- 
mentators, e.g., Braus, 1 is the Latin of Florianus : 
" Cui " (Africa) "et vitae initium et educationis 
meae bonam partem debeo", 2 which Pory translates, 
correctly enough : " Africa unto which countrie I 
stand indebted both for my birth and also for the 
best part of my education" (p. 187). But the Italian 
original bears no such interpretation. " Essendo 
TAffrica mia nudrice, & nella quale io cresciuto, & 
dove ho speso la piu bella parte & la maggiore degli 
anni miei." This simply means that Africa was his 
" nurse", and that he there passed the early part of 
his life. 

Yet, with all the suppleness of his race, he was 
wont in the course of his life to claim either Africa 
or Europe as his birth-place, according as it seemed 
best for his own interest. " For mine owne part", 
he tells us, " when I heare the Africans euill 
spoken of I will affirme my self to be one of Granada : 
and when I perceiue the nation of Granada to be 
discommended then will I professe my selfe to be 
an African" (p. 190). 

Yet, in spite of these explicit statements, M. Canal, 
a resident in Algeria, in quoting our authors account 
of Oujda, 3 calls him " Leon TAfricain, voyageur 
Toscan"; and Mr. Rae, a most intelligent traveller, 

1 Allgemeine Geographische Ephemeriden, Bd. vii (i8oj), p. 311. 

2 Antwerp edition (1556), p. 36. 

3 Bulletin de la Sot. de Giog. et d 7 Archeologie d'Oran, 1886. 

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who cites Leo frequently in Porys version, per- 
petrates the extraordinary blunder of saying that he 
was "born in Barbary and brought up as a Christian 
in Granada", 1 the exact contrary of what was the 
case. Even the accurate Prescott, in that he refers 
to him as "a learned Granadine who emigrated to 
Fez after the fall of the capital", 2 seems to have 
been under the impression that Leo's learning was 
obtained in Spain. 8 Much of his learning was 
of Italian origin, though he was undoubtedly an 
erudite man after the Arab standard, before he 
came to Rome. 4 

His Birth and Parentage. 

That he was born in 1491 is a statement which 
writers have hitherto copied from one another, 
without taking the trouble to ascertain upon what 
foundation the assertion rests. In reality, it is a 

1 Country of the Moors y p. 22. 

2 History of the Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella the Catholic 
(Kirk's edition, 1890), p. 454. { 

3 Jerome Lalande (Mimoire sur Vintkrieur de 1'Afri^ue, 
Paris, " An troisieme de la Republique," p. 4) actually states that 
Leo went to Africa in 1491, "a la suite du Roi d'Espagne." 

4 Ramusio (1485-155 7), though the contemporary of Leo and 
in Rome on business of the Venetian Republic many times 
during his residence there, does not seem to have been personally 
acquainted with him. In the dedication of the first volume of his 
Navigatione to Hieronimo Fracastoro, he merely tells his friend 
that the short account he gives of Leo was obtained from a 
gentleman of good credibility (degno di fede) who knew him at 
Rome and lived some time with him there. 

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mere inference, that as Granada was surrendered on 
the 2nd of January 1492, and Leo went to Africa 
as a child, he must have been born in the previous 
year. But this also assumes that Leo's father left 
Spain as soon as " from the Alhambra were all the 
crescents flung", though, as history has it, most 
of the Moors remained in the city ; and even 
Boabdil himself did not emigrate until 1493. 

But, as I will presently show, there is no founda- 
tion for assuming that Leo's family left in 1492, 
or indeed at any particular date, before he was 
old enough to make the Thagia pilgrimages. The 
mere fact of his having been acquainted with 
Spanish admits of no safe inference. For his 
family must have spoken it freely, especially if, as 
I hope to prove, he was born, not in 1491 but in 
1494-95 ; in that case they were for at least 
three years subjects of Ferdinand and Isabella. 
Leo affords us some safe guidance in this difficulty ; 
for he intimates that when Saffi fell into the 
hands of the Portuguese he was twelve years 
old. This event happened in 1 507-8, which would 
put his birth in the year I have indicated. Again, 
he tells us that when he was fourteen he knew 
" Sidi Jeja", who was there as captain of the coun- 
try about Saffi engaged in collecting the revenues 
of King Emanuel the Fortunate. Now this man is 
well known to history. He is the personage who 
is usually called Sidi Yahia ben Tafut. But he 
did not obtain his post — that of official chief of 
the Arabs — until about the year 1508-9, when, 

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according to the usual legend, Leo must have been 
seventeen or eighteen. This of course renders it 
impossible for us to accept 1491 as the year of his 
birth ; and as Leo's personal acquaintance with 
" Sidi Jeja" did not begin till two years after the 
capitulation of Saffi, namely, in 1509, the difficulty 
of believing that he was born earlier than three or 
four years after the fall of the last Moorish kingdom 
in Spain becomes an impossibility. 

Who his father was we are not told, except that 
he owned land, etc. But it is certain, from the dis- 
tinguished position which his relatives occupied in 
Morocco, that he was a man of wealth and conse- 
quence, both in Fez, and previously in Granada. 
Leo's uncle seems also to have been a person of 
consequence ; for he was sent as Ambassador 
from the King of Fez to the King of Timbuktu, 
and bore a wide reputation as " an excellent Oratour 
and a most wittie Poet". Leo seems also to have 
had another relative at Fez, who impoverished 
himself with the study of alchemy (p. 66) ; but 
beyond this we know nothing of his family, and 
nearly all that we know of his career is derived 
from the incidental remarks he chooses to vouchsafe 
in the course of his work. 

Return of the Moors to Africa. 

In 1492, however — from three to four years, 
according to our calculation, before Leo was born — 
the last stronghold of the Moslems in Spain 

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surrendered to the army of Ferdinand and Isabella ; 
and the Moorish king, after bewailing the fate which 
Allah had decreed, as he stood upon that rocky emi- 
nence still known to the Andalusians as " El ultimo 
Sospiro del Moro" — "The Last Sigh of the Moor" — 
retreated to the mountain territory in the Alpujarras 
that had been allotted to him by the clemency of his 
conqueror. It may, however, be remembered that 1/ 
the Moors were not expelled. That step, so fatal 
to the prosperity of Spain, was not taken until a 
later period. They were permitted to either remain 
as subjects of His Catholic Majesty, or return to 
Africa, as suited them best. Even after the re- 
bellion of the Alpujarras mountaineers in 1 500-1 502, 
those concerned in the revolt were granted a general 
amnesty on condition of either being baptised or 
leaving the country. But though all who wished 
to seek a home in Barbary were transported thither 
in public galleys at a charge of ten golden doblas a 
head, very few could afford to avail themselves of 
that privilege. This is Bledas' 1 version of the 
first banishment of the race, and is no doubt correct, 
albeit that chronicler is by no means charitable to the 
infidels. But Padre Bernaldez, the Curate of Los 
Palacios, disposes of them in a manner less credi- 
table, though possibly his statement is an accurate 
account of what happened in some cases. " For", 
remarks this historian, 2 "the Christians shipped the 

1 Cronica de los Moros de Espana (16 18), pp. 634-641. 

2 Reyes Catblicos, cap. 165 ; cf Prescott, History of the Reign 
of Ferdinand and Isabella (Kirk's edition, 1890), p. 467. 

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men, gave them a free passage, and sent them to 
the devil." 

Religion, nevertheless, sate easy on the Spanish 
Moors. Thousands had been more or less volun- 
tarily converted by the liberal-minded Talavera and 
the more bigoted Ximenes, and outwardly at least 
performed the duties of their new faith. It was not 
m fltil 1 6 io th at Philip the Third, at the instigation 
of the fanatical Archbishop of Valencia, deported 
the remnants of the race which still conformed to 
the creed of their fathers, retaining as slaves a 
certain number to expiate their offences against his 
sovereignty by toiling in the galleys, or dying by 
inches in the mines of Peru. 

In the execution of this "grande resolucion", as 
the King termed it, about a million of the most 
industrious of the " Morisco " inhabitants of Spain 
were hunted like wild beasts, and banished to 
Africa, with every concomitant of barbarity. Many, 
indeed, were slain before they could reach the 
coast. The crews in many cases rose upon 
them, butchered the men, violated the women, and 
threw the children into the sea. Others, driven 
by the winds on the sandy shores of Barbary, were 
attacked by the marauding Arabs and slaughtered, 
despite their creed or their nationality ; for a 
people who killed or enslaved every shipwrecked 
seaman, and every tribe of which was at war with 
the other, were not likely to bestow much esteem 
on castaways in Spanish garb, speaking Arabic with 
a Castilian accent, and whose previous history did not 

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altogether clear them of the taint of renegadism. Few 
escaped maltreatment and robbery ; and those who 
managed to reach the shores of Morocco, Algiers, or 
Tunis arrived penniless, and only to find that there 
was no place for them among their less effeminate 
kindred. Many, disheartened with the coldness of 
their co-religionists in the cities, wandered into the 
desert and perished from privations and hardships 
which their life in Andalus had little fitted them 
to endure. It is therefore by no means incredible that, 
in one expedition in which 140,000 " Moriscos " were J 
carried to Africa, upwards of 100,000 suffered] 
death within a few months of their leaving 
Spain. 1 

But at the period when the father of little Hassan, 
son of Mohammed, crossed the Straits of Gibraltar, 
there had been little cruelty of this kind practised. 
The Moors had fought, won, fought again and lost ; 
and latterly, though they remembered the evil fate 
which had lost them a country that only the 
industry of their fathers and the enlightenment of 
their sovereigns had made fairer and more fertile than 
that to which they were driven, they cherished no 
particular hatred towards the Christians for recover- 
ing what seven centuries before had been wrenched 
from their grasp. It was, as La Valette remarked 
to Dragut, the corsair chief, as he saw him labouring 
at the galley oar in a Maltese harbour, " Usanza di 
guerra " — the way of war. 

1 Davida, Vida de Felipe III, p. 146. 

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And so, with the happy fatalism of their race they 
kept the keys of their Granada houses, and cherished 
— as some of their descendants are still said to do 1 — 
the title-deeds of their ancient property, praying 
every Friday to Allah to restore them finally 
to their ancient homes. If there was any special 
venom, any dislike more pronounced than that 
which the vanquished must ever feel towards 
the victor, it was directed less against the Christians 
than against their own Sultan, who, to use the 
words of his mother Ayesha, wept like a woman for 
the loss of what he could not defend like a man. 
His nomad subjects despised him : his life was 
even in danger from them. It is therefore not 
unlikely that this circumstance, quite as much as 
weariness of governing, led to his resolution to sell 
for a sum of money the Alpine kingdom which he 
held as a vassal of Ferdinand and Isabella, and 
next year follow into Africa his kindred, who had 
already proceeded thither. Al-Makkari is perhaps 
not unjust to the "Infidel King" when he affirms 
that the latter did his best to expedite his old rivals 
departure. The after-career of Boabdil is very 
obscure, and the statements regarding it extremely 
contradictory. Almeria was the port from which 
he set sail, and Melilla the one at which he landed 
in Morocco. It had been his original intention to 
fix his residence at Marakesh (the City of Morocco) ; 

1 I have heard this picturesque tale in Tetuan, Tunis, and 
other towns of Barbary. But I have never managed to see either 
the keys or the parchments. 

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but hearing on his arrival in Africa that the pro- 
vinces of that part were sadly afflicted by famine, 
pestilence, and other calamities, he is affirmed in 
one version to have taken up his residence at 
Fez, where he settled with his family and adherents, 
and built some palaces in imitation of those of 
Granada. Al-Makkari adds that this hapless Sultan 
died in Fez in the year 940 (a.d. 1538), and was 
buried in front of the mosque which stands outside 
the B&b ush-Sharl'at (the Gate of the Law). 

But more recent researches tend to show that 
Boabdil 1 in reality sought and received an asylum 
from Abu 'Abd Allah Mohammed eth-Th&biti, 
Sultan of Tlemsen, and there remained until his 
death in a.h. 899 (a.d. 1494), according to an 
inscription on a tombstone, now in the museum of 
the famous city, where the fallen King of Granada 
survived, for so short a period, his unmerited mis- 

The conditions of the capitulation of Granada 
were liberal beyond anything which could have been 
expected of Spain or of the age. There was 
actually nothing to prevent any Moslem from living 
in the full enjoyment of civil and religious liberty 
under Ferdinand and Isabella, for every right of 
property and conscience was by the treaty to be 
rigorously respected. No doubt, at a later period, 
many of its conditions were shamefully ignored. 
But at the date when the family of our author 

1 A corruption of Abu 'Abd Allah (Mohammed), his full name. 

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passed the Straits of Gibraltar, this persecution had 
not begun — a fact which it is necessary to remember 
in connection with the entire lack of bitterness 
displayed by him towards the Christians, for in 
spite of diplomatic reserve this would have ap- 
peared in his writings ; as well as the readiness he 
displayed at a later date to adopt their creed to 
advance his own interests — a practice which had 
never been uncommon in Granada. 

The self-expatriated Moors of the better class 
were, however, readily received in the different 
Barbary Courts. In Morocco especially — then be- 
ginning to be racked by the civil war between the 
Beni-Marini and the Shereefs — owing to their skill 
in military operations, and in various crafts little 
practised at the time in Maghreb al-Aksa, they were 
welcomed much more warmly than were their 
brethren a century later. Fez was their favourite 
place of residence, and, as Leo tells us, they built 
and re-peopled several towns in the vicinity. To 
this day the descendants of these immigrants, many of 
them bearing markedly Spanish features, and like Sid 
Hajj Mohammed Torres (the present Commissioner 
of Foreign Affairs at Tangier), having Spanish names, 
are still pointed out as " El-Andeless". Soforo, 
between Fez and Mekines, is said to have been 
built by them. Curiously enough, Leo never men- 
tions Boabdil, although his father was this kings 
immediate adherent, and despite the probability 
that Leo was in Fez at the time of the ex-monarch's 
residence in that town. This reticence is much to 

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be regretted ; for we possess but scanty information 
regarding the latter days of these Andalusian Moors 
in Morocco. 

The Sultan left two sons, whose descendants less 
than a century later were little better than beggars 
at the mosque doors ; and to this day humble folks 
are pointed out in Morocco who claim to be " Beni- 
s-Sultdni-1-Andalus " — sons of the Sultan of Spain — 
though many of these are not actually the descen- 
dants of Boabdil, but of his uncle and rival, 
Sultan Az-z&ghel, who also settled at Tlemsen. 1 

Condition of Morocco in Leo's Day. 

At the period when Leo was brought to Africa, 
the empire of Morocco was in a condition of 
political disintegration and moral decay. The 
Kingdom of Fez was held by Mulai Said. But in 
the South the Shereefs, who afterwards obtained 
entire possession of the country, were beginning 
that movement which resulted in Morocco, Sus, and 
Tafilet becoming independent sovereignties, only to 
be united, nearly two centuries later, by the ruthless 
genius of Mulai Ismail, who made a desert, and 
called it peace. 

But in 1 500 the Portuguese had possession of all 

1 M. Brosselard, formerly Prefect of Oran, seems to entertain 
a contrary opinion. — Memoire kpigraphique et historique sur les 
tombeaux des 'emirs Beni Ztiyan et de Boabdil, dernier roi de 
Grenade, decouverts a Tlemcen (1878), pp. 159 et seq. 

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the best parts of Morocco, and were gradually 
extending their outposts into the interior, with the 
intention of seizing Marakesh. This design, as 
well as the capture of Fez, they would unquestion- 
ably have accomplished, had not Dom Sebastians 
death and defeat on the plains of El-Ksar el-Keblr 
(1578) discouraged any further aggression. 1 
\T~ To add to the misfortunes of the empire, syphilis, 
*? J which has since then sapped the vitality of the people, 
J had been introduced by the immigrant Jews. From 
Leo speaking of the smoking of keef ox hashish as a 
Tunisian practice, it may be inferred that this vice, 
now practised throughout Morocco, had not then 
become general. Piracy, which assumed its greatest 
proportions and was conducted with most success 
when the Moors were finally expelled from Spain, 
had not then taken root in Morocco. 2 

But though Morocco was then barbarous com- 
pared with Spain, it was perhaps at the zenith of 
its fame as a land of learned men. Fez, at that 
time a far more opulent city than at present, was 
the seat of Arabic learning, to which students 
resorted from all parts of Islam ; and its libraries, as 
well as those of the City of Morocco, were famous 
even in Cordova and Granada. A fresh stimulus 

1 The actual locality of this famous fight — the " Battle of the 
Three Kings," the subject of George Peele's drama — was near the 
Wad Mkhamsen. 

2 The origin and history of Moroccan piracy I have fully 
discussed in the Introduction to the Adventures of Thomas 
Fellow (1890). 

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must certainly have been imparted to this regard 
for learning by the arrival in Morocco of so many 
cultured men from Spain. 

Even for some generations subsequently — actually, 
indeed, until the civil wars following Mulai Ismail's 
death — Morocco still held some men of learning, 
such as Ibn Madin, whose wise maxims may 
be read in the elegant version of Dombay ; Al- 
Petrage, who demonstrated the obliquity of the 
ecliptic, and discovered the fallacies of Ptolemy's 
hypothesis ; and the Jew physician and philosopher, 
Avenzoher (Abu Merw&n 'Abd el-Malek Ibn Zohr), 
one of the ornaments of the Court of Yusuf Ibn 
T&shfin, for whom his " Teicyr", or the method of 
regulating diet and preparing medicines (known in 
Europe by the Latin version of " Paravicus ") was 
composed. This man was, according to Leo, the pupil 
of the still more illustrious Averrhoes ; for though 
the latter, like most of the literati mentioned, was a 
native of Spain, he passed some years in Fez, where 
(in the middle of the twelfth century) his co- 
religionists lived tranquilly, and made money even 
more rapidly than do their persecuted descendants of 
these less liberal days. The fact of such men leaving 
the cultured courts of Seville and Cordova to take 
up their residence in the ruder one of Morocco, 
shows that the offers made to them by the 
African Sultans must have been of a most tempting 
nature. About the same period Averrhoes himself 
(Abu Walid Mohammed Ibn Roshd) came from 
his native town, Cordova, to be the physician 

Google — 

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and friend of Yakfib el-Mansfir, whose orthodoxy 
was somewhat shocked by the philosopher's views 
regarding the creation of the world, the divine 
knowledge of particular things, and the future of the 
human soul ; nevertheless, the last of the great 
Moslem philosophers ended his days in honour in 
Morocco. 'Ali 'Abd ul- Hasan was one of the 
great astronomers and travellers of Morocco at the 
beginning of the twelfth century ; and though Ibn 
Sabin of Murcia and Ceuta was not worthy of being 
named along with Averrhoes, he was liberal enough 
to find a temporary retirement in the farther East 
necessitated by the dictates of prudence. But 
emphatically the greatest, and also one of the 
earliest, of Moroccan travellers, was Ibn Batuta, of 
Tangier, though in accuracy he was far behind 
Leo ; while Mohi ed-Dln Abu Mohammed 'Abd 
el-Walhid Ibn 'Ali et-Tam!ml el-Morr&koshi (1185), 
who was educated at Fez, and wrote a History 
of the Almohades of Spain, is worthy of being 
ranked with Ibn Khaldoun, the historian of 
the Berbers, who also lived for a time in the 
northern capital. Ebn Abi-Zer6, whose Kartas 
Sagir forms our almost sole authority for the 
history of Northern Morocco prior to the four- 
teenth century ; Ahmed Sheb&b ed-Din, another 
native of Fez, who wrote an abridged universal 
history ; and Ibn Adhcirl, who flourished soon 
after El-Morr&koshi, and was the author of a 
Chronicle of Spain and Africa up to the close of 
the thirteenth century, were also among the literati 

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of the country. Nor, of course, should Edrisi be 
forgotten, in recalling the famous savants of a land 
in which there are now none to carry on the old 
traditions ; this most illustrious of ancient geo- 
graphers was a native of Ceuta. Among the few 
modern scholars of any note are Abu-1-Kasem ben 
Ahmed Ezzi&nl, and Mohammed es-Seghlr Ibn 
el-Hajj ben 'Abdillah el-Oufrani. The former wrote 
Ettordjeman elmoarib 'an douel el-machriq oul 
maghrtb, or " The Interpreter who expresses him- 
self clearly upon the Dynasties of the East and 
West." 1 The latter is known from his history of 
the Saadian Dynasty in Morocco ( 1 5 1 1 - 1 670). 2 
Both books are of the utmost value to the historian 
of the empire, and go to prove that well into this 
century a regard for the past lingered in a land 
where nowadays it is rare to find any learning 
at all. 

For fully a century after Leo's arrival in Fez, 
learning was held in such esteem that Mulai 
Ahmed II El-Manstir, who defeated Dom Sebastian, 
maintained a friendly correspondence with Philip 1 1 
of Spain, by whose intervention the noblemen taken 
at the Battle of El-Ksar were released from slavery. 
In return, Spanish painters and architects were 

1 A part of this work was translated in 1886 by M. Houdas 
under the title of Le Maroc de 1631 & 1812. Ezziani, who died 
at Sidi-bu-Medin, near Tlemsen, also wrote a Life of Mulai 
'All esh-Sherif, which it is hoped may yet be translated into some 
European tongue. 

2 Nozhet-Elhadi, translated by M. Houdas (1889). 


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despatched to Morocco ; and by them many of the 
public buildings and decorations in the palaces were 

As late as 1535 — not 1540, as often affirmed — 
Nicolas Clenard, the celebrated grammarian, spent 
a year and a half in Fez, for the purpose of profiting 
by its libraries and learning ; and from that town 
he dates several of his letters, the Latinity of which 
approaches in elegance the style of a more classi- 
cal age. 1 In Clenard's day, there were many men 
of letters there, and grammar was taught in the 
schools, though most of the studies related to 
religion and religious ceremonies ; and to this day 
the Arabic spoken in that city is better than in 
other parts of the empire. But Clenard found no 
booksellers at the time of his visit, though he tells 
us that at certain seasons of the year book-sales 
were held on the Friday in the great mosque. 

However, at the beginning of the sixteenth century 
with which these notes are alone concerned, there 
was an abundance of Arabic scholars in Fez, pro- 
vided not only with the best writers in their own 

1 Nicolai Clenardi Peregrinationum ac de rebus maohometicis 
Epistolae elegantissimae. His unlatinised name was Nicolaes 
Cleynaert van Diest. See also " Naauwkerige Voyage van Nico- 
laas Clenard na Africa, gedaan in 't jaar 1535, uit syn eygen 
brieven byeen verzameld" (1651); and Tiele, "BouwstofFen 
voor een bibliogr. v. Ned. Reisbeschr." in Bibliog. Adversaria, 
vol. i, p. 37. A note on his works may be found in Playfair and 
Brown's Bibliography of Morocco, No. 48 (R. G. S. Supp. Papers, 
vol. iii, part 3, 1893). 

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language, but with translations of the Greek and 
Roman authors made by the literati who were 
encouraged to add lustre to the courts of the 
Moorish Kings of Spain. Under these teachers 
Leo seems to have made the most of his oppor- 
tunities, studying " Grammer, Poetrie, Rhetorick, 
Philosophic, Historie, and other ingenious sciences". 
Allusions continually occur in his works to the most 
recondite Arabic writers — such as Ibn er-Rakfk, 
Mas'tidi, El-Bekri, etc. — and also, though less 
frequently, to the Latin classics ; x though whether 
he made his acquaintance with the latter in Fez 
or during his stay in Italy must remain a moot 
question. It is certain that he became "a most 
accomplished and absolute man", or, as Master 
Pory puts it in his enthusiastic way, "as Moses 
was learned in all the wisdome of the Egyptians : 
so, likewise, was Leo in that of the Arabians 
and Mores." (< He was not meanely but extra- 
ordinarily learned." His account of the culture 
of Fez may perhaps be accepted as a fair picture 
of what was true also of Granada in its palmy 
days, and still more of Cordova, the most lettered 
of all the courts of Andalus. His masters are not 
mentioned, but we find several allusions to his 
fellow-students. Thus, while visiting " a certain 
Hermite" — that is, a " Marabout," " Santo," or holy 

1 Thus, in describing the letters and character of the Arabians, 
he has an allusion to Latin historians of African manners, which 
may refer to Sallust or Livy ; and he also criticises the Natural 
History of Pliny. 

C 2 

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man, of whom there has always been a plethora in 
Morocco — Leo found among his followers one with 
whom he "had old acquaintance and familiaritie : 
for we were certaine yeares fellow-students together 
at Fez, when being of one standing and seniority 
we had that booke of the Mahumetan religion 
expounded, which is commonly called the Epistle 
of Nensefi"} Again, among the Berbers of " the 
mountaine called Seusaua", who, in spite of their 
brutish and savage life, cherished " abundance of 
learned men and of skilful lawyers, whose counsell 
they vse at all times", he met with "some who had 
heretofore been my fellow -students at Fez, and 
for our old acquaintance sake, gaue me most 
courteous entertainment : and, to the end I might 
escape the danger of theeues, they conducted me a 
good part of the way". 

The affluence of his family, as well as his habits 
of life while a student, are shown by the fact that 
he lived for four summers in the ruined castle of 
Hubbed, on a hill six miles from Fez, " because it 
standeth in a most pleasant aire, being separate 
from concorse of people, and a solitarie plain fitte 
for a man to studie in : for my father had got a 
lease of the ground adjoining to this castle from the 
gouernour of the temple, for many yeeres". This 
Hubbed, I may here remark (as it is so directly 
connected with the early life of Leo), is a place once 
noted as the residence of a " Marabout", who was 

1 'Ak&id en-Nasafl) a well-known theological commentary. 

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the first fakih of the great mosque of Fez. But, as 
noticed by our author, it was in ruins at the period 
of his stay, having been destroyed in the Said wars, 
about seventy years before the period to which he 

Leo seems also to have performed the customary 
pilgrimages, though he does not appear ever to have 
gone to Mecca, otherwise so notable an event would 
have been alluded to by a traveller not addicted to 
hide his light under a bushel. Albeit, he was at 
Jeddah and elsewhere in Arabia, and it may there- 
fore be reasonably supposed that he crossed the 
Hij&z. He tells us that, as a child, he joined 
with his father in making the great Fez pilgrimage 
to the shrine at Thasia of a most holy man, who 
is reputed in the time of 'Abd el-Mtimen (that is 
to say, about the middle of the twelfth century), " to 
haue wroght many miracles against the furie of 
lions". After " being growne up to man's estate", 
he repaired thither, to make supplications to this 
saint, who is supposed to have been Sidi (or 
Mulai) Buaza. He also fell in with the practice 
of visiting " a certaine aged sire", whom the people 
of Teza " adored as if he had been a god". But 
even at that early date Leo had begun to form 
opinions for himself, since a single visit served to 
disabuse him of any other opinion than that, 
like most of the " marabout" order, this " certo 
vecchio" was little better than an impostor, who 
" deluded the fonde people with strange deuises". 

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Leo's Employments. 

When a young man he acted for two years, at a 
salary of three ducats per month, as notary (notajo) 
in the " Morestan", or Strangers' Hospital, in Fez, 
"secondo Tusanza de giovani studianti". From this 
remark, which is curiously enough omitted in most 
of the translations of Leo, 1 it would appear that the 
students undertook the duty of making the wills, 
and generally playing the " man of business", to the 
patients in this "spedale per li forestieri infermi". 
He also in the course of his travels repeatedly 
acted in a similar capacity, or, as a Thaleb learned in 
the law, officiated as Kadi in various towns where 
no one endowed with the necessary knowledge 
resided. Thus, in the course of his travels with a 
" Seriffo or Mahumetan priest", he arrived at 
" Ileusugaghen, a town of Hea", and there, 
"because the Seriffo had brought no lawyers with 
him, nor any judges to decide controuersies, he 
would needes that I should take that office vpon 
me" ; though, unfortunately, his decisions ended in 
"such a bloodie and horrible conflict" among 
the litigants, that the peacemakers thought it 
wisest to quit the town. At Samede he fared 
not much better. Here he served as judge for nine 

1 Florianus is here, as in so many other places, guilty of 
carelessness: and Pory follows suit. Temporal, however, is 
faithful to the Italian. 

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days in a place so illiterate that, in default of 
anyone capable of acting as clerk, he had to serve 
in this capacity, in addition to being the arbiter in 
the manifold quarrels which it was their custom to 
always refer to any passing stranger ; but the end 
of all their promises of paying him handsomely for 
his trouble was, that he had to be content with what 
is known in an American backwoods store as "pro- 
duce". One gave a cock, another some nuts and 
onions, a third a handful of garlic. The wealthier 
bestowed on him a goat ; but as there was not a 
farthing of money in the mountain, the amateur 
judge, who had been awake all night wondering 
how much gold he would receive for his pains, 
obtained not even a piece of silver, and was fain 
to recompense his host with the goat, fowls, and 
garden stuff with which he had been obliged to 
be contented. 

At M£dea (Medut), however, he was in better 
luck ; for not only was he sumptuously enter- 
tained, but for his two months services he received 
two hundred ducats ; and had not his engagements 
forced him to depart, he would have been willing 
to remain there all the rest of his life. When 
he was first asked to act as judge he was not 
more than fourteen or fifteen. But even at that 
early age he wore white robes, "being such as 
the learned men of our country are usually clad 
in". It was at this date (15 10) that he travelled 
with a " Sceriffo", that is, a Shereef or descendant 
of the Prophet, though it is now impossible to 

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say for certain who this "My Lord Sheriffo" 
was ; since in Morocco, as in all other Moslem 
countries, these kinsmen of Mohammed, real or 
reputed, are extremely numerous, and not always 

He appears also in the course of his travels to 
have been a merchant, or to have travelled with 
merchants, to whom possibly he acted as clerk or 
notary, reducing their transactions to writing, keeping 
their accounts, and generally assisting in the legal 
part of their business, at the same time indulging, we 
may infer, in his own little speculations. Thus he 
describes, with much graphic power, the romantic 
adventure which befel him in the Atlas, when 
" vpon a certaine day of the month of October " he 
was " travelling with a great companie of mer- 
chants", and had, moreover, "a certaine summe of 
gold " about him. On another occasion, while on 
a voyage to Egypt, he tells that they bought from 
the Bedouins of the coast of Cyrenaica and Barca, 
some sheep and butter (alquante de lor castrati e 
butirro). 1 Then, having shipped the merchandise, 
"we betooke vs to flight, fearing lest we should 
haue beene met withall by the Sicilian and Rhodian 
pirates" ; and the translator adds, with that freedom 
which he takes much too frequently with the 
original, " beene spoiled not onely of our goods but 
of our liberties also". He was, after the manner 

1 This passage has been erroneously translated by Pory, who 
taske castrati to mean " Eunuchs or gelded men". — E. D. R. 

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of the age and the law of the land, a soldier also, 
"et militavit non sine gloria." For, from the 
frequent allusions to the " Portugals", and the wars 
waged against them during their persistent aggres- 
sions in Morocco, he evidently took part in several 
of the expeditions of the Sultan Mohammed VI, 
who reigned in Fez (i 508-1 527) during the active 
years of Leo's residence in the country. Thus he 
expressly tells he was "serving the King" in the 
expedition of Mohammed against Azila, when the 
city was actually taken, and would have been 
held, but for the arrival of a Spanish squadron 
generously sent to the aid of Vasco Coutino, the 
governor, and Juan de Meneses, the commander of 
Tangier, by Ferdinand of Castile. This was in 
October 1508, when Leo was a boy of fourteen. 
Seven years later — on the 24th of June 15 15 — he 
was present at the disastrous attack which Antonio 
de Norona made upon Mamora, where the Portu- 
guese suffered heavily at the hands of the Moorish 
army, led by Mulai N&ser el-Watas, the Sultan's 

Like his uncle, Leo was entrusted with diplomatic 
missions at an early age. Thus, in 1 509, he saw at 
the distance of a mile, being " mounted upon a swift 
courser", the defeat and slaughter of the Moorish 
archers by the Portuguese under the walls of 
Bulahwan (Tabulawan), having been sent by the 
King of Fez " to declare unto the King of Morocco, 
and unto the Seriffo, that the King of Fez, his 
brother, was presently to depart unto Duccala : for 

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which cause they were requested to prouide soldiers 
for the better resistance of the Portugal armie " — an 
expedition by no means fortunate for Mulai N&ser. 
Then, in 15 12, he accompanied the same King of 
Fez — viz., Mulai Mohammed VI — on his expedition 
to " Elmadina, a towne of Ducala"; and, on the 
Kings return to Fez was despatched "as ambassa- 
dor " to Morocco. At that period N&ser Bu 
Shentrif was the nominal King of Morocco. He 
was a relation and vassal of the King of Fez. But 
the actual rulers, and most influential people in the 
country, were the old Shereef, Hassan Ibn 
Mohammed and his three sons, more especially 
Mohammed, who had been tutor to the sons of 
the King of Fez. Just then, under pretence of 
arousing a holy war against the Portuguese (who 
under Fernando d'Atayde, governor of Saffi, 
Pedro de Sousa, governor of Azemor, and the 
renegade Arab chiefs Yahia and Mamun, had 
approached almost to the walls of Morocco city), 
these chiefs were insidiously strengthening that hold 
on the southern part of the empire which, before many 
years had passed, enabled them to establish the 
dynasty of the El-Hoseinf Shereefs as masters of 
Morocco. It is not unlikely that the " Seriffo" whom 
Leo accompanied on various travels about the year 
1 5 10 was a member of this family, and that their 
purpose was to assist in the propaganda mentioned. 
It was in 15 12, also — and in the same expedition, 
no doubt, already mentioned — that Leo shared in 
the hostilities which Mulai Mohammed of Fez 

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waged against the Arabs of the plain, who were in 
the habit of harassing the pious inhabitants of the 
Iron Mountain, north of Mogador (p. 369). 

As a troubadour, the versatile Granadian, at 
the age of sixteen, was also not without merit ; 
he so charmed a Berber chief of "the mountaine 
called Tenuenes", in the Atlas, with his music, 
that though this "signore" did not understand 
Arabic, he, "for a recompence of his verse", pre- 
sented Leo with a good horse and fifty ducats. 
On his 1 5 1 2 embassy to Morocco, he seems like- 
wise to have displayed his literary powers. For 
when at " Hadecchis, a towne of Hea" (p. 233), 
he was entertained by a " certaine courteous and 
liberall -minded priest", to whom, finding him an 
enthusiast regarding Arabic poetry (certain erotic 
forms of which were much cultivated in Fez 
University), Leo read "a certaine breefe treatise as 
touching the same argument : which he accepted so 
kindly at my hands that he would not suffer mee 
to depart without great and bovntifull rewards". In 
short, he had got a patron, and the " dedication fee". 
It was a day when the scholar could not live by 
his scholarship ; and we may take it that, when not 
engaged in trading, or fighting, or diplomacy, or 
acting as Kadi or notary, the Thaleb was hawk- 
ing verses of his "certain briefe feature", or the 
like, among the Courts which he visited ; for rich 
men, even when not lettered themselves, loved to 
encourage men of learning. Nor does our author 
appear to have been at any period fanatically 

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patriotic ; for we find him visiting Tumeglast in 
company with Sidi Jeje, who, as "gouernour over 
all that circuit called by them Azafi", went thither 
" to gather up the tribute of the countrie on the 
behalf of the King of Portugall", against whom 
Leo had been fighting on other parts of the 
coast. 1 

As Leo was only fourteen when he met this 
renegade Moor, whose identity we shall pre- 
sently discuss, it is probable that the journey 
mentioned was made in the capacity of notary or 
clerk to a less literate envoy sent to treat with 
this personage, whose proceedings in the years 
succeeding 1508 seriously alarmed the Kings of 
Fez and Morocco. Indeed, it is open to believe 
that many of his wanderings were undertaken as an 
attachtoi this sort, either to government functionaries 
or to private merchants. 

This theory of Leo's business is rendered the more 
probable from our finding him in 1506 at Tefza 
(Kasba Tadla, according to my identification) with 
the official sent thither to receive the fifty thousand 
ducats fine from the Jews, who " were said " to 
favour the Kings enemies. He notes, moreover, 
with a knowledge which is almost professional, the 

1 Pory, following Florianus's imperfect translation, takes leave 
to characterise Sidi Jeje as Leo's " deare friend". There is no 
such expression in the original. " Io fui", he writes, "in questa 
terra alloggiato con Sidi Jeje, che era venuto a riscuoter li tributi 
di quel paese in nome del ih di Portugallo, dal quale era stato 
capitane della campagna di Azafi." 

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capacity of people for paying, and the difficulty or 
ease with which money is to be got out of them. 
Thus, "no people are slower" than those of Efza 
"for paying of debts"; albeit, like these easy-going 
folk all the world over, " they are most liberall and 
courteous". And this he knew : for " my selfe was 
in this towne when the Kings army lay in Tedles, 
and then they yeelded themselves to the King", 
which places this visit about the year 151 2. 

Leo's Travels. 

So little is known of the career of Leo, except what 
he incidentally tells us in the course of his narrative, 
that it is difficult to give a consecutive account 
of his roamings, and very often one is tantalised 
by a casual remark which shows that he travelled 
in distant regions, but the particulars of those 
journeys it is now impossible to obtain. Here and 
there, however, we come upon a date, or can fix 
the occurrence of particular events by inferences 
which bring us into the beaten track of history. 
Few as these landmarks are, we can say with 
confidence, that though as a child he made 
acquaintance with various parts of Morocco on the 
pilgrimages he made with his father, his first active 
employment was at the siege of Azila, when he was 
about thirteen or fourteen. This must have been 
his age, since he declares that he was twelve 
at the date when Saffi fell into the hands of the 
" Portugals". This was in 1507 or 1508, for the 

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preliminary hostilities continued for some time, 
and Leo is a little vague, like most Moors, about 
his exact age at the time the events in question 
were being enacted. It is, however, just possible 
that he refers not to the actual capture of the 
place but to the building of the fortified Portu- 
guese "casa", which " castle" (as Pory translates 
the word) was avowedly erected to help the designs of 
the Portuguese merchants on the city. In any case, 
if he was fourteen when he made the acquaintance 
of the "governator della campagna", 1 speaking with 
him " per nome del re di Fessa e del Serif principe 
di Sus ed Ea", we must antedate his birth by at 
least three years. He mentions that the governor, 
or " capo", of Saffi when the place was taken and 
all but he fled, was called "Jeja". As the same 
person is named on p. 67 as following the occupation 
to which he had been appointed by Emmanuel 
the Fortunate of Portugal, under the name of 
"Jeje", "governour ouer all that circuit called by 
them Azafi", Leo, if he conferred with him "in 
the name of the King of Fez and the Prince 
Sheriff of Sus and Haha", must at the age of four- 
teen, in the same year that he was at the siege 
of Azila, have been either an attache of some sort, 
or as an envoy been entrusted with the conduct of 
diplomatic affairs. But as Saffi was taken in 1507 
or 1508, and Leo's acquaintance with "Jeje" began 
after that event (as we must infer from the context), 

1 "Governor of the country", i.e., round the town of Saffi. 

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his conference could not have taken place much 
later than 1509 or 15 10. 

A word or two may fitly here be said as to the 
identity and history of the so-called Jeje. 

Turning to the annals of Portuguese relations 
with Morocco, we find that when Saffi was 
disputed by the factions of Abd er- Rahman (who 
had established a kind of monarchical republic 
in the city) and the chiefs 'AH Ibn Gesimen 1 and 
Yahia Ibn Tafut, the former sought help from 
Portugal against their rivals. This was granted 
by King Emmanuel, but only on the condition 
that the Christians should be permitted to build 
a factory, or fondak with a gate to the sea, and 
a tower for their better security. This was agreed 
to, with the result that the Portuguese took care to 
convert their "casa" into a veritable fortress, well 
provided with small-arms and artillery smuggled in 
among goods. These preliminaries being speedily 

1 " Hali sonne unto one Goeseman," as Pory translates " Ali 
figliuol di Guesinen", or, as Marmol names him, "Ali Ben 
Guecimen". In the Africa Porluguesa of Manuel de Faria y 
Sousa (168 1, vol. i, p. 77), he is called "Cide Alia dux", or, a 
few lines later, " Haliadux", while his coadjutor is named " Cide 
Haya Abentafut", while " Azaafe " (Saffi) is then declared to be 
" con alguna corrupcion dezimos Zafin " (p. 76). He is the 
"Yahaya Aben Tafuf" of Marmol. Finally, to end these 
citations of misreadings of two well-known names, in Diego de 
Torres' Relation del origen y sucesso dt los Xarifes (1586), from 
whom most of his successors have borrowed freely, " Cide Haya 
Abentafut " and " Cide Hali " are the titles given to the two 

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settled, the Portuguese took the first opportunity 
they could find for picking a quarrel with the Moors. 
The old allies of the Christians offered a stout 
resistance to their treacherous friends, who had 
so distinctly played the part which the Saxons 
acted in England ; but on the arrival of Garcio de 
Melo and Diego Azambuja from Mazagan with 
troops and three " caravelas", further resistance 
proved useless, and Ali with most of the people 
sought safety in flight. But Yahia demanded to be 
sent to Lisbon that he might explain his con- 
duct ; and in this he was so successful that he 
returned, as Leo correctly states, as ruler of the 
native tributaries in the adjoining country, with the 
title of General. In the succeeding years he did ad- 
mirable service to his Christian master ; for in rapid 
succession he subjugated Dukkala and part of the 
province of Haha, and defeated in succession the 
troops of the King of Fez and of the Shereefs of Haha 
and Sus. He had even the temerity to plant his 
lance on one of the gates of Morocco city, though 
nothing more came of that venture. In 15 19, how- 
ever, after a chequered career, in which jealousy, 
treachery, and injustice played a large part, he was, 
to the irreparable loss of the Portuguese, assassi- 
nated. Some contemporary chroniclers are inclined 
to believe this was done at the instigation of the 
Shereefs ; though considering the dislike which his 
amazing success, and his favour with the King, had 
won for him, the chances are that Nufio de 
Mascarefias, who had succeeded Nufio de Altayde 

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in the governorship of Saffi, was not quite innocent 
of that dastardly deed. 1 

As this Yahia — who must not be confounded 
with Sidi Yahia, governor of Baiza in 1499, or 
with a renegade of the same name who, in 1 51 1, 
was governor of Agades — was a famous man in the 
history of the Portuguese wars in Africa, we are 
enabled to fix certain dates. Leo's account of him 
is quite correct, though in both the Latin and 
English versions it is grossly mistranslated. 

Following up Leo's sporadic dates, we find that 
in a.h. 915 ( = a.d. 1509) he was at Sheila, where he 
diligently copied out the epitaphs on the monuments 
of " thirty noble and great personages" buried there; 
which epitaphs, with others accumulated at a later 
date, he seems to have put into the form of a book. 

In 1 5 10, he appears to have been moving about in 
the train of " My Lord Seriffo", who, as I have 
already indicated, may have been one of the Shereefs 
who about this period were engaged in preaching 
the Holy War, which ended not only in driving the 
Christians from the coast, but in seating the 
Hoseinl dynasty on the throne of Morocco. The 
particular member of the family with whom Leo 

1 Pellissier (de Reynaud), Memoires historiques et geographiques 
sur PAlgerie, pp. 155-57; Mercer, Histoire de V Afrique septentrio- 
nale, t. ii, p, 428 ; Marmol, L Afrique (trans. D'Ablancourt), t. i, 
p. 448, etseq., t. ii, pp. 8, 9, 10, 15, 6$, 79, 80, 81, 87, 88, 92, 
93> i°5» io 7 ; Faria y Sousa, Africa Portuguese t. i, p. 76, et 
seq.; Cartonnet des Fosses, Les Portugais au Maroc (Extrait des 
Ann, de PExtrime Orient etde F Afrique, 1886), p. 12. 


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travelled was possibly Ahmed, the second son of 
Hassan Ibn Mohammed, who had been appointed 
a Professor in Fez University, and who was there- 
fore in all likelihood one of our author's teachers. 
He was with him at Ileusugaghen in Haha, at 
Tefetni, " a fortress upon the ocean sea", in the 
same province, in the mountain " called Ideuacil" 
— probably Idaouicar, a part of that westward spur 
of the Atlas which ends at Agades — and in other 
localities where it is known that the Shereefs were 
looking to their own interest about that period. 
Thus he was -in Sus when " My Lord the Seriffo 
bare rule over it"; and at Tagovost he remained 
thirteen days with the " Seriffo his principal chan- 
cellor, who went thither of purpose to buie certaine 
slaves for his Lord". But as he mentions that this 
was in the year of the Hegirac)i9 ( = a.d. 1513 1 ), the 
journey in question must have been made at a later 
date. In 151 1 (a.h. 917) he was on his way from 
Draa to Fez, and next year he was at Dedes, 
a place which he heartily disliked. But he could 
not help himself; being "commanded by one to 
whom I was in dutie bound to travell [from Morocco] 
to Segelmessi, I could not chose but come this 
way". 2 Who was this person to whom Leo was 

1 Not 15 10, as Florianus and Pory add ; for Leo seldom gives 
the equivalent in the Christian era, and then not always correctly, 
while his translations are frequently inaccurate. 

2 "Ma mi vi convenne passar, mentre andai da Marocco a 
Segelmesse per obbedir a cui era tenuto." The " from Morocco " 
is omitted in most translations. 

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compelled to yield obedience by going on a journey 
he cared so little about ? In all probability it was 
undertaken on behalf of one of the Shereef s sons — 
Ahmed, if my supposition is correct ; for at that 
time the old Shereef lived in the Draa country on 
the other side of the Atlas in a " Kasba " or forti- 
fied hamlet called Tegumedat or Tamugadert, not 
far from Segelmessa. 

It was in 15 12, also, that Leo made his diplo- 
matic visit to Morocco (p. 297); and in 15 13 he 
returned, evidently from Tunis, to see his friends in 
Fez {mia patriot). The rest of that year, and the 
following one well into 1 5 1 5, have to be accounted 
for ; and if our calculations of the year of his birth 
be not wide of the mark, these were' appropriated 
to the journey which he made with his uncle 
to Timbuktu and other parts of Central Africa. 
He was then sixteen ; and allowing that he was 
close on seventeen, and that the journey was begun 
in 1 513, this date would fall in fairly well with his 
having been born in 1495-6. 

He must, however, have returned by 1 5 1 5 ; for 
in that year (p. 412) he was at the attack on 
Mamora, and at Etiad, in the same year, he was 
" once entertained by a preest". 1 

As Leo tells us that he was at Mamora a little 

1 "Alloggiato in casa del sacerdote della terra." Perhaps 
" sacerdote " might be better translated " a reader of the law", or 
"a member of the Uleiria"; for in Morocco, as in all other 
Moslem countries, priests in the Christian sense of the word are 

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time before he made his journey to Constantinople, 
this must have been made either in 15 15 or in 
1 5 16; and as he tells us that it was his "hap 
thrice to travell into Egypt since Selim the Great 
Turk conquered Egypt", he must have made these 
three journeys after 15 17, which was the date of 
the capture of Cairo ; moreover, as his description 
of Egypt under the Mameluks bears the impress of 
personal knowledge, we are free to infer that between 
1 5 15 and 1517 he may have visited the country 
while on the Constantinople voyage. In another 
part of his work (Book iv) we learn that he was in 
Bougie in 15 12, the same year that he was in 
Morocco, on his way to Constantine and Tunis. 
He also tells us that he heard of the defeat of Diego 
de Verras before Algiers in 1 5 1 6, and of the death 
of Barbarossa in 15 18. But it is not clear at what 
part in his travels these tidings, which he relates 
not very accurately, reached him. 

The chronology suggested is the more likely to 
be accurate since we have still a variety of travels 
to account for. Thus he tells us that should it 
please God to vouchsafe him longer life, he proposed 
to describe " all the regions of Asia which I haue 
travelled, to wit, Arabia Deserta, Arabia Felix, 
Arabia Petrea, the Asian part of Egypt, Armenia, 
and some part of Tartaria, all of which countries I 
saw and passed through in the time of my youth. 
Likewise I will set down my last voyages from Fez 
to Constantinople, frpm Constantinople to Egypt, 
and from thence unto Italie, in which Iourney I 

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saw diuers and sundry Islands". He further lets 
us know that he was " carried by mariners by 
water from Cairo to Assouan, with whom returning 
back unto Chanli [Kenneh] I travelled over the 
desert unto the Red Sea, ouer which sea I crossed 
unto Iambuth [Yambo, the port of Medina] and 
Ziddem [Jeddah, the port of Mecca], two hauen- 
townes of Arabia deserta, of which two townes, 
because they belong vnto Asia, I will not here 
discourse, least I should seem to transgresse the 
limits of Africa". 

This explanation shows the route which he took, 
and the period at which the journey to Arabia was 
taken — namely, during one of his visits to Egypt. But 
we also learn that he was at Tauris (Tabriz), in Persia 
(p. 137), which was perhaps the "part of Tartaria" 
to which he refers ; and as he was also in Armenia, 
the presumption is that it was during a journey in 
the latter country that he reached the city, which 
was then, as it is still, the great meeting-place for 
the caravans. Unfortunately, if he ever wrote any 
account of these countries it has long ago been lost. 

His acquaintance with Morocco was obtained 
during the wandering life he led, while his less 
accurate, or at least less minute, knowledge of the 
other Barbary States seems to have been picked up 
during coasting voyages to and from Egypt and 
Constantinople, or while engaged in caravan 
journeys in the interior. In these days merchant- 
vessels called in at many ports for fresh food and 
water, to avoid pirates and stormy weather, or to 

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sell or buy the products of the different districts ; so 
that in the course of voyages which were not fewer 
than six in number, he must have grown familiar 
with every town on the Barbary shore. 

All his information regarding Central Africa 
appears to have been gathered during the long 
journey which he made with his uncle by the 
ordinary caravan route. At that period Timbuktu 
was in its glory ; for the Songhay dynasty was 
not overthrown by Jaudar, the Morocco captain, for 
nearly seventy-six years after Leo's visit ; so at 
that date (15 13-15) its sovereigns were not in any 
way vassals of the Sultans of Morocco, as they be- 
came for a short period after the victory of Jaudar. 
On this expedition he passed through fifteen negro 
kingdoms, viz. — "beginning from the west, and 
so proceeding eastward and southward, Gualata 
( Walatd), Ghinea (Djenne, Guinea), Melli (ATd/i), 
Tombut (Timbuktu), Gago (Gogo)> Guber (G6ber) y 
Agadez, Cano (Kano 1 ), Casena (Katsena 2 ), Zegzeg, 
Zanfara (Zamfra), Guangara (Wangara) y Burno 
(Bornu), Gaoga (Gagho), Nube {Nubia)"? Most of 
these, as he accurately enough remarks, are situated 
near the River Niger. But it is probable, from his 
giving accounts of other countries than those in the 
direct road to Timbuktu, that he returned by 
another route. He appears to show a personal 
familiarity with Bornu and Lake Chad ("The Lake 

1 Ghanah. 2 Cassina, Katchna. 

3 Mauroy, Precis de Vhistoire et du commerce de PAfrique 
septentrionale (1852), pp. in, 238. 

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of the Desert of Gaoga"), in which, erroneously, he 
places the source of the Niger. 

This portion of his work, though not the most 
accurate, nor that portion which is most fully com- 
piled from his own observations, is valuable in so 
far that it enables us to ascertain the many changes 
which had happened since Edrisi described the 
same region from information brought to him by 
various travellers. Kano had ceased to hold its 
old supremacy among these Niger states, and had 
become subject to Timbuktu. Wangara had become 
independent, while neither Bornu nor Katsena then 
held the commanding power they afterwards obtained. 
Timbuktu, from being an insignificant principality, 
had, owing to the conquests of Mohammed ben 
Abu Bakr El-Hajj Askia (whom he erroneously 
styles King of Timbuktu), become a flourishing 
state, to which most of the neighbouring countries 
paid tribute, though Leo does not mention Askias 
expedition against Agadez, of which he might have 
heard as easily as of those against Katsena and 
Kan6, which preceded the former by only two years. 
Otherwise, he seems to have been well informed 
regarding the great conquests of the personage 
whom he names Abubacr Ischia. It is, however, 
possible that the account which Leo gives of 
Agadez represents the condition of that town 
when he visited it, before Askias time, and not at 
the date when he wrote, his statement regarding 
the tribute of 150,000 ducats payable to the 
King of Timbuktu having been derived from 

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later information. His account of Askia is also 
confused. " Hauing by warres in the space of 
fifteene yeeres conquered many large dominions, he 
then concluded a league with all nations and went 
on a pilgrimage to Mecca." But (as Barth has 
pointed out) Askia having ascended the throne of 
Gagho on the 14th of Jum&da II, a.h. 898, began 
his pilgrimage in Safer a.h. 892, consequently in the 
fifth year of his reign. Yet Leo received informa- 
tion of his expedition against Katsena and the 
adjoining provinces which was made in a.h. 919. 1 

He also repeats many of the mistakes of Edrisi 
regarding the situation of the Niger kingdoms ; and 
among numerous minor inaccuracies which I shall 
have occasion to note in their proper place, he even 
speaks of the ocean encircling the desert from Cape 
Nun to Gaoga, and gives an inaccurate position- to 
Wangara in order to make it fit in with this view. 
In short, the leading defect of Leo's descriptions — 
the lack of exact dates, and the uncertainty how far 
he is speaking as an eye-witness, and how far from 
second-hand information — is prominent in his book 
on the Niger kingdoms. His route, if we may 
determine anything from the order in which he takes 
up the different countries, was through the desert, 
and then along the lines followed by the Moorish 
caravans from Guinea (Ghinea) and Melli (Mdli), 
eastwards down the river to Timbuktu and Gagho, 
and thence across the desert to Gobes on the 

1 Barth, North and Central Africa^ vol. i, p. 463. 

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northern frontier of Hausaland ; thence to Agadez, 
which is more easterly, Zegzeg and Zanfara, still 
more in the rear, till at length he arrives at Wan- 
gara (Guangara), in the remote interior. But he 
displays his imperfect acquaintance with Hausaland 
by setting Casena (Katsena) on the east, and Cano 
(Kan6) and Zanfara in like manner on the east of 
Zegzeg. Hence it is not surprising to find him 
placing Wangara on the east of Zanfara. 

Capture of Leo and His Life in Italy. 

But it so happened that the cup went too often 
to the fountain ; for on returning from what appears 
to have been a second voyage to Constantinople 
(which had then been for about seventy years under 
the Turks), he had the ill-luck to fall into the hands 
of some Christian (probably Venetian) corsairs 1 off 
the famous island of Djerba, the Island of the 
Lotos Eaters, and for three centuries later a 
favourite haunt of the Mediterranean sea-robbers. 
These pirates, finding that they had a person of 
greater learning than usual on board, carried him 
to Rome as a present to Pope Leo X (Giovanni 
de' Medici), in the hope, no doubt, of atoning by 
this pious act for a long accumulation of infamy. 

The exact date of this important event in 
Leo's life is not known. But as he made three 

1 According to Ramusio, "alcune fuste di corsari". The 
religion of these pirates may be inferred from their subsequent 

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voyages to Egypt subsequent to 15 17, it could 
scarcely have happened before 1520 (certainly not 
in 1 5 1 8, as Berbrugger fancies) ; and it was not later 
than 1523, as the Pope died in that year. We may 
therefore fix on 1520 as the probable year of his 
arrival in the imperial city. At that time Moorish 
slaves were common at every court, and Moorish 
guards then occupied in many of them the places 
afterwards taken by the Swiss. But Leo X, who 
was proud of being the patron of men of letters, 
when he found that his slave was a man of learning, 
and familiar with many strange countries, received 
him graciously, and not only immediately freed him, 
but gave him a handsome pension, that he might 
not have any inclination to leave him. 1 

But he naturally did more than this. For he 
immediately set about converting the Moor ; and 
when one remembers the position in which the 
latter was placed, it is not surprising that his 
patron's efforts were speedily crowned with success. 
Thereupon he was baptized under the name of 
Giovanni Leone, the Pope standing as the new 
convert's godfather, and giving him his own name 
also. 2 There is little doubt that Leo's change of 
faith was dictated by self-interest. Even in our 
times, the conversion of Mohammedans, especially 
of Moors, is so rare that the exceptional cases are 

1 "E diedegli vna buona prouisione accib occh 7 egli non si 
partisse", according to Ramusio. 

2 " . . . . E indusse a farsi Christiano & gli pose in due 
suoi nomi, Giouanni & Leone " (Ramusio). 

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deservedly looked upon with profound suspicion. 
But at the close of the fifteenth and the beginning 
of the sixteenth centuries, they were so abundant 
that their insincerity can scarcely be doubted. In 
Granada, after the expulsion of the Moorish kings, 
fifty thousand consented to be baptized, though their 
relapses afforded in future years an endless amount 
of toil for the Inquisition. Under Cardinal Ximenes' 
policy of learned argument and costly presents, so 
many insisted on abjuring the creed of " false 
Mahound", that the good Archbishop had to 
baptize the perverts by means of a wet mop trundled 
over their heads. In this way four thousand were 
sometimes admitted into the Church in one day. 
During Leo's residence in Morocco he must 
have frequently heard of similar occurrences ; and, 
moreover, as there were in these days many 
Spanish and Portuguese missionaries in the country, 
and even a few converts, besides numbers of very 
indifferent Moslems in Mazagan, Saffi, Tangier, and 
other of the towns in the Christians' hands, his 
change of faith could scarcely have troubled him 
greatly. 1 It was simply a necessity of the circum- 

1 Mula'i Hamed, the last King of Tunis of the Hafside 
dynasty, retired into Sicily in 1573, and there adopted 
Christianity; and in 1622 Ajaja, son of the Bey Yusuf, died in 
Palermo, where he had been voluntarily baptised under the name 
of Philippe, his godfather having been Philippe of Austria. — De 
la Rive, Hist, gen'erale de la Tunisie (1883), p. 289. 

A Bishop of Morocco was appointed, and actually lived in the 
country as early as the thirteenth century. But though there 
were numbers of native Christians by the year 1544, the titular- 

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stances in which fortune had placed him ; and an 
action, moreover, likely to be of material advantage 
to him. For in 1520 the great schism of Martin 
Luther had inflicted so serious a humiliation on the 
Papal court, that even the adhesion of a scholarly- 
Moor was treated as a greater victory than it might 
have been accounted in more flourishing clays of the 

The next few years of John Leo's life in 
Rome must have been extremely agreeable. To 
the literati of Pope Leo's capital, the arrival 
of so pleasant an addition must also have been 

holder of that office resided either in Ceuta or in Seville. — Del 
Puerto, Mission historial de Marruecos, p. 140; Gramaye, 
Africa Illustrate p. 56 ; Godard, Maroc et Revue Africaine 
(1857), pp. 124, 257, 433. 

As late as the middle of the seventeenth century two Shereefs 
embraced Christianity. The first was Mulai El-Arbi, nephew of 
the Sultan Mulai Er-Rashid, and son of Mulai Mohammed; 
who, after fleeing to Larache, crossed to Spain and was 
baptised under the name of Augustin de la Cerda. The 
second was Mulai Mohammed Athasi (commonly described as 
the only son of the Sultan Mohammed IX ; but he was more 
probably only one of the many Shereefs or princely descendants 
of the Prophet), who was captured on his way to Mecca by a 
Maltese galley under the command of Fray de Mendez. He was 
baptised in 1656 under the name of Balthazar de Loyola de 
Mendez, and died in Toulouse (not Madrid, as Santalia and 
Godard have it) in August, 1667. — Gonzales de Santalia, 
Manductio, etc., pp. 40, 54 ; Godard, Maroc ; p. 507 ; and an 
extremely rare brochure (printed at Lille in 1669, and signed 
"F.R.P.S.C.L.C.") entitled: Copie cVune leitre envoiee de France 
au sujet de la conversion admirable du Fils unique du roy de 
Marocque et de Fez, pp. 8. Calderon has a comedy, entitled 
Magnus princeps de Fez D. Balthazar de Loyola (1660). 

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an event. He had travelled further than any of 
them, and was familiar with lands then only 
vaguely known through Edrisi, Ptolemy, and 
other ancient geographers. 

The chances are that he was more or less familiar 
with Italian before arriving in Rome. Spanish, we 
know, was among his accomplishments ; and it 
would have been difficult for him to have travelled 
so much along the shores of the Mediterranean 
without attaining a vernacular acquaintance with 
what was then — as it still is in the upper portion of 
that sea — the language of commerce. However, 
his Italian was never more than passable. Even in 
Ramusio's version it is far from elegant, though not 
without a certain rude vigour, and a simple lucidity 
which renders it difficult to mistake his meaning. 
Latin was, however, one of his Roman acquisitions. 
He also taught Arabic — the most distinguished of 
his pupils being the Bishop of Viterbo, afterwards 
Cardinal Egidio Antonini. In Rome, also, he would 
appear to have written in Italian the work which 
is his chief claim to fame. No doubt he had 
previously kept a diary or notes ; for it is impossible 
that so multifarious a mass of details could have 
been retained with such accuracy in his memory. 
But that it was prepared in Rome 1 in the form we 

r Ramusio tells us that during his long residence in Rome Leo 
learnt to read and write Italian, and translated into that language 
the Arabic description of Africa which he carried with him when 
captured. " The Pope . . . understanding that he took delight in 

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have it is certain, from the many references to events 
which occurred after his arrival, and to authors with 
whom it is most improbable he could have been 
acquainted, before Latin ancj/the libraries of Rome 
opened up to him new fields of knowledge ; and, 
lastly, by the fact that he dates it as " written at 
Rome in the yeere of Christ 1526, and upon the 
tenth of March " — or three years after Pope Leo's 
death ; thus making it less probable that His 
Holiness helped him with the book. 

The Pope was, indeed, too busy a man for any 
such unostentatious toil ; and, moreover, had he 
done so, would have insisted on a more polished 
version. The book was, however, either wholly or 
in a rough draft, originally written in Arabic ; and 
though this version is not now known to be in 
existence, the MS. was at one time in the library 
of Vincenzo Pinelli (1535-1601). The only version 
now extant is the Italian, into which he himself 
translated the book from the Arabic ; and even this 
MS., though Ramusio had it in Leo's own hand- 
writing, has disappeared, so that the Editio 
princeps is our sole authority for Leo's statements. 
Had the original been accessible, 1 many moot 
points might have been settled. 

geography, and had with him a book that he had composed on the 
subject, received him graciously," etc. 

1 Mr. S. Cock, the editor of the Narrative of Robert Adams, 
etc. (18 16), appears, from some remarks which he makes (p. 188) 
to have thought that the MS. was still in existence. Even M. 
Berbrugger {Revue Africaine (1858), p. 362) is not without hope 

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The Later Years of Leo. 
In Rome Leo lived for many years, though at 
times he paid visits to Bologna and other cities. 
In 1550, when Ramusio published his Navigazioni, 
he does not appear to have been a resident in the 
Pontifical city, or indeed in Italy. He is merely 
described as having lived for a long time in Rome 
(cost abitb pot in Roma lungo tempo) ; and this state- 
ment is repeated in the edition of 1554. But in the 
1563, 1588, 1 and subsequent editions — the latter 
issued many years after his death — it is affirmed, 
though without any authority being given, that not 
only did Leo live in Rome, but never set foot out 
of it for the rest of his life. 2 At all events, he was 
at work in the year 1541. How he ended his 
chequered career is not, and probably never will 
be, known. But, from an allusion in the works of 
a contemporary — Widmanstadt — it is conjectured 
that, hurt at the little consideration he received 
after the Popes death, he took up his residence 
in Tunis (where he died in 1552); and when last 
seen was once more quite as good a Moslem as he 
had ever been a Christian. There is much proba- 

of the original M'S. being found. Ramusio mentions to Frasca- 
toro that the MS. came into his hands "after several accidents, 
too long to recount " — a fear for boring his friend which posterity 
must regard less tenderly. 

1 "Tommaso Giunti," the printer, addresses an additional 
preface to the reader, from which it may be inferred that he was 
responsible for this edition. 

2 " Cosi habito poi in Roma il rimanente della vita sua." 

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bility in the conjecture ; for he expressly intimates 
his intention of returning (though naturally he 
reserves the delicate question of recantation to 
himself); and after telling (at the close of Book VIII) 
the different countries which he had visited but not 
described, he concludes, "All which .my travels 
I meane (by God's assistance) being returned forth 
of Europe into mine owne countrie, particularly 
to describe." And it supplies a picturesque — an 
almost logical — ending to this famous Moorish 
travellers life, that not unlikely this was actually the 

The Character of Leo. 

Leo's contemporaries are so silent regarding him, 
that almost nothing is known as to his ways of 
life or character, beyond what can be gathered 
from the pages of his magntim opus. However, 
this is in many places so frankly autobiographical, 
that it is possible to piece together from various 
passages a fair picture of the man who was for 
nearly three centuries the sole authority on the 
geography of Northern and Central Africa. Whether 
he was a married man or a bachelor is not known: 
with a Moslem's reticence on such delicate sub- 
jects as his womenkind, he avoids the slightest 
allusion to the harem. Yet this could not have 
been through any regard for the susceptibilities 
of the priestly society in which he found himself at 
Rome ; for the Court of Leo X and the Pontifical 
College in the sixteenth century were not so deeply 

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tinctured with the prudishness of St. Anthony as to 
have counselled any reserve on marital matters. 
Indeed, had Leo been married, we should in all 
likelihood have learned the fact directly or in- 
cidentally, for he seemed to have been something of 
a gallant. 

Nor was Leo without humour of a pawky type. 
He jokes, somewhat parlously, one might imagine, 
over the craze of one Pope for destroying the build- 
ings erected by his predecessor, and hints that the 
" daintie cates " in the vegetarian monastery at 
Asouiat might be taken as a proof that the inmates, 
like the monks o' Melrose, "had gude kail on 
Fridays when they fasted" — and perhaps during the 
rest of the week also. His remarks about the social 
evils in Egypt are those of a shrewd observer whose 
eyes were not blind to anything which concerned 
mankind. He is often frank to a fault ; as, for 
instance, when he congratulates himself on seeing 
the rout at Bulahuan in 1 5 1 3 mounted " on a 
fleet courser" — a confession of cowardice quite con- 
sistent with the practical character of the clerkly 
soldier, who considered it idle to throw away his 
life for an idea. Moreover, all through his book 
we find the same Mohammedan spirit of not 
" crying over spilt milk" — a recognition of the 
uselessness of fighting against " Kismet" — of the 
impiety of wailing against what "has been written" 
in the book of fate. 

He does not appear at any time to have been 
a bigot. Thus, as already noted, even when a 


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boy he was not deceived by the assumed piety 
of the "ancient sire" at Tessa; and his chief 
pleasure in the mosque was to see the people 
troubled with colds sneezing, and then all the other 
worshippers sneezing in concert, until it was im- 
possible to hear the words of the preacher. Nor 
did he believe in the art of magic. His ideas of 
good government were ahead of his times ; for he 
laments the tyranny which prevailed, and the civil 
broils which were the natural result of it ; and he 
prophesies, with an accuracy only too well justified 
by subsequent events, that the universal avarice and 
corruption of men in authority would bring about 
contempt of learning and education, and thereby 
widespread ignorance, immorality and superstition, 
with the national ruin which would be sure to follow 
in their train. The mere fact that he renounced 
Islam for Christianity is to be taken more as a 
proof of his suppleness than of his open-mindedness ; 
for at that- period religion was considered by the 
Moors as a topload on the conscience, which might 
be tossed overboard as the worldly interest of the 
owner dictated. It may be taken that if Leo was 
of any creed, he was always at heart a Moslem ; 
and if the person seen in after years in Tunis was 
actually he, then the convert of Giovanni de' Medici 
had, as almost always happens in such cases, 
reverted to his ancient faith in preparation for the 
visit of Azrael. But as long as he was nominally a 
Christian and a resident in Rome, the quondam 
Al-Hasan Ibn Mohammed cursed the Prophet with 

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the best of them. " The Mohammedan plot," "the 
pernicious foundation of Mohammedan law," and 
so forth, were the fine phrases by which this 
newly-made Christian referred to the belief which 
he had abandoned. 

Above all, the Moor was blessed with that 
happy adaptability which is the birthright of his 
race. Perfectly at home anywhere, and always 
" lovingly" entertained, ready to be African or 
Granadian, Moslem or Nazarene, as best suited 
the circumstances of the case, keen to note every- 
thing, and capable of telling what he had seen 
in a pleasant fashion, to trader or lawyer, soldier 
or judge, diplomatist or priest, each in his turn, 
with equal readiness, Leo Africanus must have 
been a pleasant companion to travel with, and 
of all men the best fitted to traverse the interior 
of Africa. 

Leo's Miscellaneous Writings. 

Among the known treatises which were written 

before his Description of Africa are the Lives 

of the Arab Physicians and Philosophers, 1 and a 

vocabulary of the Arabic and Spanish languages. 2 

1 "Zte Fin's quibusdam illustribus apud Arabes Libellus 
Johannis Leones Africani" in J. A. Fabricius' Bibliotheca Grceca, 
vol. xiii (Hamburg, 1726), pp. 259-298. Of the twenty-nine 
chapters, the last three are concerned with the Hebrew physicians 
and philosophers. Leo refers to it in the present work, p. 155, 
Bk. III. 

2 This vocabulary Jacob Mantino, the celebrated Hebrew 
physician, mentions having consulted in manuscript (Ramusio). 

e 2 

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According to his own statements, he seems also 
to have written — or intended to write — an Epitome 
of the Mohammedan Chronicles, a History of the 
Mohammedan Religion, and a collection of Arabic 
epitaphs from the burial-grounds around Fez, the 
MS. of which he gave to the kings brother ; 
while we have already noted the fact that he had 
a project, which he does not seem ever to have 
carried out, of narrating his travels in Asia and 
Europe. "The divers excellent poems" which he 
wrote have likewise vanished. 

His " Descrizione dell' Affrica" : early 

As we have already seen, Leo probably wrote 
his Description of Africa in the first place in Arabic ; 
but after having learnt Italian, he seems to have re- 
written the entire work in his adopted tongue ; for 
this version, which is the one from which all the 
translations have been derived, contains allusions 
to events which occurred long after his capture, and 
bits of information, as well as allusions to authors 
with which he could not well have been acquainted 
prior to his residence in the Pontifical capital. 
This manuscript of the Italian version is dated 
from Rome, March ioth, 1526; but it was only 
in 1550 that Ramusio — the Hakluyt of Italy — was 
fortunate enough to obtain it for his collection of 
Voyages and Travels, in which, after Ramusio had 
edited it " with the utmost diligence he was master 

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of", it duly made its appearance. 1 Of the fate of 
the MS. nothing is known, but there is every proba- 
bility that it perished in the fire which, seven years 
: later, destroyed so much of the material collected 
for Ramusio's second volume. s* 

The period in which Leo's epoch-making con- 
tribution appeared was a stirring one in the history 
of exploration. In the year when it was being 
written the world had been turned upside down by 
wild tales of the new continent which Columbus 
and his companions had discovered. In 1497, the 
year in all likelihood which saw the family of Leo 
repatriated in Africa, Vasco da Gama had started 
on his successful voyage to India, by way of the 
Cape of Good Hope ; in the following year the 
mainland of America had been reached ; and in 1 500 
Pinzon had lighted upon Brazil and its mighty 
rivers. Thirteen years later, Balboa, "silent upon 
a peak in Darien", had sighted the Pacific; six years 
nearer Leo's time Cortes had conquered Mexico ; 
and at the time our author was so quietly telling of 
regions then as little known as any in the New 
World, Pizarro and Almagro were partitioning 
Peru, and Soliman the Grand Turk was threaten- 
ing Europe with the Moslem yoke. Yet not a hint 

1 In spite of Ramusio's editorial care, it is full of grammatical 
mistakes. The history of the manuscript is not given. It merely 
fell into his hands owing to a series of accidents, which it would 
take too long to recount — " II qual libro, scritto da lui medesimo, 
dopo molti accidenti che sarrano lunghi a raccontare, pervenne 
nelle nostre mani." 

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do we get of all these stirring events. Indeed, 
interesting and important as Leo's pages undeniably 
are, the reader is apt, when he remembers the 
feverish tidings which must have all the time been 
reaching Leo's ears, to hold at cheap appraisement 
his descriptions of petty princes and their states. 

But in the middle of the sixteenth century the 
world was eager for news of any country " not 
Christian". Africa was then in an eminent degree 
a dark continent ; for scarcely any portion of it 
was known, and the imaginative cosmographers — 
who even at a later date in constructing their maps 
were compelled to dot their open spaces with 
" elephants for want of towns" — were adrift from 
the lack even of coast-lines. Men had, it is true, 
some vague knowledge of the coasts of Northern 
and Western Africa ; and there were rumours, 
derived from Edrisi and Ibn Batuta, of Arab 
kingdoms on the east coast, and of others on the 
upper waters of a great river then beginning to 
be known as the Niger — which, however, was 
frequently confounded with the Gambia, the 
Senegal, and even with the Nile. About two 
hundred and fifty years before (1291), Ugolino, 
Guido Vivaldi, and Tedisio Doria had attempted 
the circumnavigation of Africa ; but scarcely any- 
thing was achieved until the early part of the 
fifteenth century, when began the series of voyages 
associated with the name of Prince Henry the 
Navigator. In 1434-46, Portuguese seamen had 
skirted the edge of the Sahara, bringing rumours 

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of Timbuktu, Jenne, Congo, and the lands beyond ; 
and various ships had crept down the west coast. 
In 1487 Bartolomeo Diaz had discovered the Cape 
of Good Hope, an event which, if known to Leo, 
is not noticed by him. 1 In 1500 Diego Diaz had 
sighted Madagascar; and in 1550 Pannilini had 
penetrated Algeria for some distance. But the 
interior of the continent south of the old settled 
regions of the north, except for a short distance 
from the coast, was a terra incognita. How little 
was known of the interior may be gathered from 
the summary which Pory made fifty years later, as 
an introduction to his translation of Leo. 

Ramusio's collection, to which we have already 
referred, went through several editions in three 
volumes, the first of which was devoted to Leo's 
involuntary contribution ; these editions bear the 
dates 1550, 1554, 1563, 1588, 1606, and 1613. 
In 1556, soon after its reappearance in Venice, the 
work was translated into French, apparently from 
the 1554 edition, though the voyages were not 
arranged in the same order as in the Italian 
original. 2 This most sumptuously printed version 

1 In reality, Leo's work, though called a Description of Africa, 
is merely a description of those parts lying north of the Equator 
which were personally known to the Author and his informants. 

2 Historiale Description de LAfrique, tierce partie dv monde, 
contenant ses Royaumes, Regions, Files, Cites, Chdteaux et 
forteresses : lies, Fleuves, Animaux, tant aquatiques, que terrestres : 
coutumes, loix, religion etfafon defaire des habitds, avec pourtraits 
de leurs habis : ensemble autres choses memorables, et singulieres 
nouueautes : Escrite de notre terns par lean Leon, African, 

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was published by Jean Temporal, who seems him- 
self to have been the translator, and also the author 
of two laudatory poems to Ramusio, which form 
part of the various prefaces and dedications attached 
to the volumes. It has a curious double-page 
woodcut map of Africa — a copy of the one in the 
1554 edition of Ramusio — and a series of large, 
fair woodcuts, purporting to be portraits of African 
people, though it is clear the artist had nothing 
better than his imagination to go upon. 

This excellent version of Jean Temporal, which 
was dedicated to the Dauphin, afterwards Francis II, 
the first husband of Mary Stuart, was no sooner 
out than it was pirated by Christopher Plantin, who 
six years before had established in a small way of 
business that famous printing house which for two 
centuries and a half was the pride of Antwerp. 1 

This volume, admirably printed and bound in 
vellum, but without maps or illustrations, is confined 
to Leo's work, which from the first was regarded as 
the most important in Ramusio's collections ; for 

premierement en langue Arabesque, puis en Toscane, 6° d present 
mise en Francois, Plus cinq Nauigations au pais des Noirs, auec 
les discours sur icelles, comme verres en la page suiuante. Tome 
Premier, A Lyon, par lean Temporal [folio] 1556. Avec Privilege 
dv Roy. — See Playfair and Brown, Bibliography of Morocco, No. 49. 
1 Historiale description de VAfrique, tierce partie du monde, 
contenant des royaumes, regions, villes, cites, chateaux et fortresses : 
lies, fleuves, Animaux iant aquatiques, que terrestres : coutumes, 
loix, religion, et fafon de /aire des habit a(n)s, etc. Anvers, 1556, 
i2mo, pp. xxvii + 413 (on alternate pages = 826) + index 47 pages 
(not paged). 

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Plantin could not afford to indulge in the luxury 
of publishing books which did not "pay". Plantin s 
piracy was repeated in the same year and city by 
Jean Bellere, in a reprint of less beauty but now of 
even greater rarity. 1 

The Latin Edition of Florianus and its 

In the same year and in the same city that 
Plantin and Bellere were reprinting Temporal's 
French version, there appeared a Latin translation 
by Joannes Florian, Rector of the Grammar School 
of Antwerp. 2 Owing to the wide-spread popularity 
at that period of the chief classical tongue, this 

1 " Historiale description de VAfrique, tierce par tie du monde, 
contenant ses royaumes, regions, viles, cites, chdteaus et forteresses : 
lies, fleuves, animaus, tant aquatiques, que terrestres : coutumes, 
loix, religion et fafon de faire des habitas, avec pourtraits de leurs 
habis : ensemble autres choses mkmorables, et singulieres nouveautes. 
Ecrite de notre temps par lean Leon, african, premierement en 
langue Arabesque, puis en Toscane, et a present mise enfranfois" 
En Anvers ches lean Bellere, 1556, avec privilege (in i2mo, with 
coloured engravings). 

2 "foannis Leonis Africani, de To tins Africa descriptione, 
Libri i~ix. Quibus non solum, Africa regionum, insularum, 6r* 
oppidorum situs, locorumque interualla accurate complexus est, sed 
Regum familias, belloru?n causas &* euentus, resque in ea 
memorabiles, tarn d seipso diligenti obseruatione indagatas q in 
veris Maurorum Annalib. Memoria tr adit as, copiose descripsit, 
recens in Latinam linguam conuersi loan, Floriano Interprete. 
Antwerpise, Apud loan. Latium -md.lvi. Cum Priuilegio " 
[8vo]. The title-page, Privilege from Philip II as Duke of 
Brabant, dedication to Melchior Corvinus, Treasurer of Antwerp, 
and Index, occupy 32 pages. The text extends to p. 302 ; 

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Latin version obtained a currency which its merits 
never deserved, while the infinitely superior version 
of Temporal fell into disuse. A second edition 
appeared in 1558, and it was reprinted at Zurich 
in 1559, 1 and at Leyden in 1632 2 ; and up to 
this hour it is cited by geographers, and such 
historians as usually go to original sources for in- 
formation, with a confidence which has caused and 
perpetuated many errors ; most of them being 
apparently unacquainted with the Italian or any 
other version. 

It is, indeed, scarcely possible to characterise in 
terms too severe the way in which Florianus exe- 
cuted this version, or the mischief which he has 
done to the cause of truth. The Latinity is 

but as only one side of each leaf is numbered, the pages actually 
amount to 604. 

1 As Florianus died in 1585 (Foppert, Bibliothec. Be/g., p. 639), 
this edition was published in his lifetime. It differs from the 
original in having the pages (1-5 17) consecutively numbered, 
and in the chapters and paragraphs of each book also being 
numbered. But the type, in italics, is small, and not very clear. 
It is not often met with. 

2 Ioannis Leonis Africani, Africa description ix lib. absoluta 
(Lug. Batav., Apud Elzevir, Ao. 1632, with engraving of an emble- 
matic character). 1 vol. (in two parts, with continuous pagination), 
i2mo, pp. 800, with 16 pp. index at the end. This is the Latin 
edition most frequently quoted. It was re-issued in 1639 by the 
same publisher in two volumes, evidently from the same type. 
A i6mo work, issued at Leyden in 1634 — " Tvrcici Imperii 
Status" — is sometimes classed as another edition. It is in reality 
composed of extracts from various writers on Turkish affairs, 
with an account of Tunisia and Algeria from Gramaye and Leo, 
though without acknowledgment (Bib/, of Morocco, No. 184). 

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tolerable, and in some instances elegant, though 
far from what we have a right to expect from one 
occupying an academical position in a day when 
this tongue was almost the vernacular of learned 
men. But the accurate reproduction of the author's 
meaning is in numerous places scarcely aimed at. 
Whole passages, some indeed of cardinal import- 
ance, are omitted ; and blunders quite inexcusable 
are. made with such frequency and under circum- 
stances so inexplicable that it is impossible to 
believe that he was familiar with Italian, or that he 
bestowed the most ordinary care upon his task. I 
have already incidentally noted a few of these errors ; 
but as the Latin of Florianus has been for more 
than three centuries the standard version — the 
Italian, French and English being comparatively 
seldom quoted — under the mistaken belief that it 
was trustworthy, it may be advisable to prelude 
my comments on Leo's text by instancing some of 
the more flagrant lapses of this Flemish translator, 
whose ignorance and negligence seem to lay equal 
claim on our amazement. 1 

Thus, to instance some of his mistranslations, 
coccucie (melons) are Latinised as cocci, which 
Pory Englishes as "Cocos". " Mele " (honey) is 
represented by pira, a bonfire; and "melaranci" 

1 The Antwerp (1556) edition is quoted throughout, for the 
Leyden (1632) reprint is a discreditable dumpy duodecimo, in 
which the Elzevirs have slavishly copied all the blunders of 
Florianus, without however giving his dedication, or indeed 
making the slightest reference to him. "'.'-.. 

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(oranges) by mala citrea; "Tedeschi" (Germans), 
is translated Tuscos; " brigantini " (ships) is turned 
into milites, soldiers ; " avolo " (grandfather) into 
avunculum (uncle); "carne di agnelli" (lamb), in- 
stead of being translated carnem agninam, is 
transformed into vitalenare ; "Gozzi" (swellings) 
becomes gargullones nodani ; while "il verno" 
(winter), of which the natural translation would 
have been hyems, becomes in the Latin verna 
tempora. These and other faults, of a similar 
though less heinous character, are due to the 
translator employing a Latin word which is not 
the equivalent of the Italian one. But he frequently 
goes further, by actually adding or omitting whole 
clauses or expressions — a process by which the 
meaning of Leo is materially altered. Thus (p. 
198), in describing Oran he characterises it as 
" maximum hoc atque frequentissimum oppidum" — 
this huge and much-frequented city — which is a 
turgid exaggeration of Leo's "una citt& grande" — a 
large town ; while "ante aliquot saecula ab Afris ad 
Mare Mediterraneum exstructum" (a statement of 
doubtful accuracy) is an exceedingly free expansion 
of "edificata da 'gli antiche Affricani sul mare 
Mediterraneo". The words, " a d'intorno alte e belle 
mura" — surrounded by good and lofty walls — get 
expanded into the sonorous " muris vndique altis- 
simis atque munitissimis cingitur". Leo describes a 
large number of the citizens as being artisans and 
weavers — "artigiani e tessitore di tele"; but the 
" artigiani " is omitted by Florianus. Again, speak- 

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ing of the number of Catalans who frequented Oran 
for the purposes of trade, he mistranslates the Italian 
4 'loggia" into "vicus" — a street. A line or two 
lower down, "Tentrate del porto " — the Custom 
House dues — appear as "tributum Regium" ; while 
" fuste 1 e brigantini armati", which Pory (who, 
unfortunately, for reasons not difficult to explain, 
follows Florianus in most of his blunders) very 
properly translates " foists and brigandines of war", 
appears in the Latin version (as already noted) 
"propriis sumptibus milites" ; though one might 
think the seafaring men of Antwerp could have 
explained to the Rector of its High School what a 
" foist" and a " brigantine " were. After telling 
how Ferdinand, King of Spain, captured Oran, 
Leo — who, when he does not write from personal 
knowledge, is usually careful to say so, and in this 
case derives his information from " most credible 
and substantiall persons, which were themselves eie- 
witnesses of the scene" — apologises for this pusill- 
animity on the part of his countrymen by the fact 
that the town was torn by civil broils ("per causa 
di molti disordini ") ; but Florianus omits these 
important words. A still more serious blunder 
is his mistranslation of "d' indi a molte mesi con 
F ajuto d' alcuni vescovi e del cardinale de Spagna 
una maggiore ne rifece : e con questa in una giornata 
fu presa lacitt& " 2 into "verum post aliquot deinde 

1 Fustciy a galley. 

2 " After many months, with the help of some Bishops and a 

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menses Vasconum atque Cardinalis Hispaniae copiis 
adjutus, Oraniam occupauit". Here the ludicrous 
blunder is made of mistaking Biscayans for Bishops, 
who, as Leo very correctly remarks, helped the 
king very much — the " Cardinal * of Spain" — viz., 
Francesco Ximenes de Cisneros, Archbishop of 
Toledo, having proclaimed the siege of Oran as a 
Holy War, and sent messages round the Sees under 
his control, with the object of raising funds for its 
prosecution. This ignorance of history is certainly 
remarkable in a scholar who was contemporary with 
the events he describes ; though a further specimen 
of it is given in the dedication to his version of 
Leo, where he describes the author as "natione 
Granetensis, patria per Ferdinandum & Elizabeth 
Hispaniarum Reges expugnata in Barberiam pro- 
fugiens " — three lines which contain a direct mis- 
statement and an inaccuracy. 1 Finally, these 
blunders, which are all contained in one short 
paragraph about Oran, are capped by the con- 
clusion. After correctly translating the passage 
in which Leo dates the capture of Oran by the 
Spaniards as " anni nouecento sedici deir hegira" 
(a.h. 916), he adds, "qui Christi fuit mdvii." 
This reduction to the Christian era is wrong by 

Cardinal of Spain, he raised a greater army, with which he 
captured the city in a single day." 

1 It is doubtless to this inference of Florianus that we trace the 
widely accepted notion that Leo's family fled to Africa after the 
fall of Granada — a conclusion which we have shown is by no 
means justified by any of the facts within our knowledge. 

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two years ; for the day on which Oran fell was 
1 6th May 1509. 1 

Again, we find — not to enumerate less ' material 
errors — "giudice" (judge) mistranslated "judaeum" 
(Jew), evidently jander the belief that the word is 
"giudeo", and "una scorta" (a convoy or escort), 
by scortum (a hide), etc. Another mistranslation 
has often puzzled those familiar with Morocco, 
and misled a still greater number of readers who, 
like Florianus, were unacquainted with that country. 
It is in describing Leo, when he met with his 
romantic adventure among the Atlas snows, as 
travelling with "currus" (p. 26). This word, which 
occurs thrice in rapid succession, is translated 
" carts " by Pory. But as there are no roads 
except bridle-paths in Morocco, wheeled carriages 2 

1 Fey, Histoire d'Oran avant, pendant, et aprh la domination 
Espagnole (Oran, 1858), p. 69, whose authority is Alvarez Gomez. 
There is something not unpleasant, according to the Roche- 
foucaldian maxim, in finding that Lorsbach, a German grammarian 
who is cruelly hypercritical upon Florianus, is in this passage quite 
as blundering as the translator whom he corrects ; for Oran was 
not captured in a.h. 619 — which may be a misprint for 916 — nor 
is the latter year equivalent to mdx. Temporal is even worse : 
for he translates " novecento sedici " as " neuf cens". 

2 The Sultan has an ancient state carriage in which, at a very 
slow pace, he is dragged to the palace mosque on Fridays, the 
horses being led, not driven. But he always rides back. In 
1890, the late Mulai Hasan acquired a hansom cab ; but it 
is never outside the palace. Some carts were taken to Marakesh 
(Morocco City) a few years ago ; but soon got broken. In 
Mulai IsmaiFs time there were a few rude waggons at Mequinez 
dragged by Christian slaves, but they were not used for carrying 


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are unknown outside of the coast towns, all goods 
being carried on the backs of camels, horses, mules 
and donkeys, and consequently this statement that 
" carts" were employed for freight nearly four cen- 
turies ago, especially in the rugged Atlas, seems 
inexplicable; until we find that in the original Italian 
the word is "carovana" — or caravan, a pack- 
team of animals, which might have been correctly 
Latinised as " comitatus", though unfortunately the 
puzzle has seldom been solved by ascertaining what 
the Moor himself said. 

These instances of faulty translation, of un- 
warrantable omission or amplification, might be 
indefinitely multiplied did space permit. In short, 
Florianus, with all his merits — and the vast service 
he did to geography by rendering Leo accessible 
to many people too learned to understand either 
Italian or French must not be forgotten — was 
afflicted with the worst fault in an editor, that lues 
emendatoris which afflicted so many of the 
transcribers of the period. He could not let well 
alone. He tried to improve the text by giving his 
personal gloss to the writers meaning, a proceeding 
which would have been perfectly justifiable and 
even commendable had he not too frequently in- 
corporated his reading into the text without dis- 
tinguishing what was his and what was Leo's. 
Thus — as final citation — there is the passage 
which seems to have troubled the conscientious 
editor of the fictitious narrative of Adams (Mr. S. 
Cock, of the Company of Merchants trading to 

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Africa). 1 Here the words of Leo, in which he 
describes the houses in Timbuktu as huts, built 
with stakes covered with chalk (or clay) and 
thatched with straw (an almost exact description 
according to the latest account), appear to Florianus 
to fall below what he considers the then half- 
fabulous city of Central Africa ought to be ; for 
he adds " sunt mutatae". Again, Leo's rather 
confused description of Timbuktu as being " vicina 
a un ramo del Niger circa a dodici miglia", is 
improved by Floriatius and Pory into "in duo- 
decimo miliaria a quodam fiuviolo situm fuit quod 
e Nigro flumine effluebat". 2 

Pory's Edition. 

In these preliminary criticisms upon the trans- 
lation of Florianus, I have somewhat anticipated 
what might have fittingly appeared as emendatory 
notes to the chapters in question. But as this 
version has been accepted for more than three 
hundred years as a sort of geographical classic, it 
is right that its latter-day students should be warned 
against the many pitfalls with which its pages 
are studded. Unfortunately, also, the translation 
which is here reprinted has in many places been 

1 The Narrative of Robert Adams, a Sailor who was wrecked 
on the Western Coast of Africa in the Year i8io> was detained 
Three Years in Slavery by the Arabs of the Great Desert, and 
resided several months in the City of Tombuctoo (1816), p. 183. 

2 " Within twelue miles of a certaine branch of Niger." — Pory. 


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affected by the errors or the carelessness of Florianus. 
For, though Master John Pory does not say in so 
many words that his version is from the Italian, 
without the interposition of the latter, he is 
evidently desirous, from his references to Ramusio, 
and his sedulous avoidance of Florianus' name, that 
this impression should be conveyed, In reality, as 
shown by the fact of his accepting the worst of 
the Latin blunders, though his good sense enables 
him to steer clear of some of the Antwerp 
Rectors absurdities, his version seems in the main 
to have followed that of Florianus, though at 
times the translator may have consulted the Italian, 
a language with which he was probably less familiar 
than with Latin. 

Pory was a friend of Hakluyt, 1 who, according 
to the dedication, and a note prefixed to the 
volume, intimates that not only did he regard 
the way in which the translation has been exe- 
cuted with approval, but that he himself "was 

1 Of Pory little is known. In the Register of Gonville and 
Caius College, Cambridge, he is entered as "John Porye", who 
became an undergraduate in 1587. There is no further infor- 
mation regarding him, but in Dr. Venn's printed list the following 
quotation is translated from an "early note" in Latin. "This 
man translated and collected a geographical history of Africa, 
written in Arabic and Italian by John Leo, a Moor born in 
Granada. He presented a copy of it to our library, with a printed 
paper in the beginning testifying to his regard to the College." 
The date of this " early note" is not stated. He does not seem 
to have graduated. In the Court and Times of Charles I (vol. ii, 
p. 90), there is printed a letter from Pory to Sir Thomas 

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the first and only man that perswaded him to take 
it in hand." The version has, therefore, peculiar 
claims upon the Hakluyt Society. Apart, however, 
from any merits of its own — and any vital defects 
will be pointed out — the book is an excellent 
specimen of Elizabethan English, lucid, quaint, 
and plain-spoken to the verge of what, in these 
more conventional times, might be regarded as 
a little unrefined. 

Again, as Pory was almost a contemporary of 
Leo, his version is preferable to one written in 
language less in accordance with the Italian of the 
original. He was, moreover, a scholar, and in his 
way a geographer, for his translation 1 is sandwiched 
between an account of the part of Africa not 
described by Leo, compiled from various authors, 
and of value as a fair view of the knowledge of 
that continent possessed by the Englishman of the 
closing years of Queen Elizabeth's reign. 

1 A Geographical \ Historic of Africa, .... | Written in 
Arabicke and Italian \ by John Leo a More, \ Londini, \ 1600. 
Title ; Dedication, 1 page unnumbered ; To the Reader, 5 pages 
unnumbered ; A generall description of all Africa, togither with 
a comparison of the ancient and new names of all the principall 
countries and prouinces therein, 1-57; An approbation of the 
historie ensuing, by me Richard Haklvyt [with extracts in praise 
of Leo by Ramusio, Ortelius, Bodin, and Posseuinus], 57-60 ; 
Leo's text, 1-358 ; A briefe relation concerning the dominions, 
reuenues, forces, and manner of gouernment of sundry the 
greatest princes either inhabiting within the bounds of Africa, 
or at least possessing some parts thereof, translated for the 
most part out of Italian, 359-420. The only edition is in 4to, 
with a map of Africa. 


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The book is dedicated to Sir Robert Cecil, Lord 
Burleigh's son, Secretary of State, and afterwards 
Earl of Salisbury; and as it refers to the recent visit 
of " the Marocon ambassadour", 1 and the interest on 
that account aroused regarding Africa, we may take 
it that Master Pory, with fine business instinct, pro- 
duced his famous treatise at an opportune moment. 

Considering the circumstances mentioned, his 
translation can scarcely be regarded as equal to 
Temporal's, so far as literal accuracy is concerned. 
It is, nevertheless, better than that of Florianus ; 
and when the occasional inaccuracies which he 
too readily adopted from this latter are corrected, it 
may be regarded as quite worthy of the esteem in 
which it was held by his contemporaries, and still is 
up to this day by those geographers who continue 
to quote it. Like Florianus, he is at times apt to let 
his feelings get the better of him, and to intercalate 
an offensive remark touching that " great deceiver 
Mohamet ", or to strengthen an abusive epithet 

Having been issued in the same year that the 
last volume of Hakluyt's Principal Navigations, 
Voyages, Traffiques and Discoveries was completed, 
it does not appear in that collection. But in the 
second volume of Hakluytus Posthumus or Purchas 
his Pilgrimes — a work made up mainly of materials 

1 Sent by Mulai' Ahmed II (Abu-l J Abbas El-Mansur), com- 
monly known as Khan esh -Sheriff (i 578-1605). Elizabeth sent, 
in 1577, Edmund Hogan, "one of the Sworne Esquires of her 
Ma't's Person", as Ambassador to Mulai 'Abd el-Melik (1576- 
78), the immediate predecessor of Mulai Ahmed. 

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left imprinted by Hakluyt — the greater part of 
Porys volume is included. 1 It is also abridged in 
Harris's collection. 2 The next edition of Leo which 
appeared seems to have been the Dutch one issued 
at Rotterdam in 1665, 8 though, as in so many of its 
predecessors, the translator — who seems to have 

1 Observations of Africa, and a description of the Kingdomes of 
Bugia and Tienes, the Land of the Negroes ; and of the Confines of 
Egypt : with an account of the People, Tribes, Languages, Seasons, 
Vertues, Vices, and other more general considerations of Africa, 
volii, pp. 749.. (1617-25.) 

2 " A particular account of the Kingdom of Morocco, taken 
out of John I<eo. Additions collected from Marmol, John Leo's 
Description of the King of Fez", etc. Harris, Navigantium atque 
Itinerarium Bibliotheca, etc., vol. i, pp. 316-338 (1705). 

3 Fertinente beschryvinge van \ Africa met alle de Landen, 
Koningrijken, Steden, Volken, \ Gewoonten Gedierten Vogelen, Boom- 
en, I Aaard-vruchten die daar zijn. \ Mitsgaders \ der Koningen 
die daar geregeert, ende de oorlogen die sy gevoert \ hebben, van den 
jare 1600 | afi Getrokken en vergadert uyt de Reys-boeken van \ 
Johannes Leo Africanus. \ Met Kopere Plater ver tier t. \ Hierneffens 
is by-gevoegt een pertinente beschryvinge van de Kuste van Guinea, 

I soo als die hedens daags bevaren word, en de Handelinge die daar 
op de I Gout-Kust word gedreven, beginnende he xvii. Cap. | Tot 
Amsterdam. | By Arnout Leers. Boek-verkooper | mdclxv, 4to. 
The book is dedicated in a very laudatory preface (signed 
by the publisher) to the Admiralty Committee of Rotterdam. 
The map is a copy of that published by Jodocius Hondius, and 
the copper-plates are for the most part reproductions of those in 
the French version of Leo. The book is divided into twenty-two 
chapters, the first nine (pp. 1-225) of which correspond to the 
nine books of Leo. The others are occupied with compiled 
matter, in many cases containing curious facts of much value 
relating to the Moorish sovereigns, the trade of the Moors with 
Guinea and Gago, the different settlements along the African 
coast, and particularly with the Dutch commerce in the West 
African settlements. 

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been the publisher, Arnout Leers — made his version 
from the Latin of Florianus, instead of from the 
original Italian. 

With the exception of Purchases annexation, Pory's 
translation has not hitherto been reprinted, and 
perfect copies now fetch a price sufficiently high to 
show the esteem in which it is held by collectors. 
But, in 1738, Francis Moore, 1 an unusually learned 
Factor of the Royal African Company, retranslated, 
as an appendix to his work on the Gambia, nearly 
the whole of Leo's account of the Negro kingdoms, 
which he, in common with most of the geographers 
of that date, believed to be identical with the 
Niger. 2 This version professes to be from the 
original Italian ; though as it is merely a summary, 

1 " Travels into the Inland Parts of Africa : containing a Descrip- 
tion of the several nations for the space of six hundred miles at the 
River Gambia : their trade, habits, customs, Languages, Manners, 
religion and government : the Power, Disposition and Character of 
some Negro Princes : with a particular Account of Job Ben 
Solomon, a Pholez, who was in England in the year 1733, and 
known by the name of the African, 7o which is added Capt. 
Stubbs' Voyage up the Gambia in the year 1723, to make Dis- 
coveries ; with an accurate Map of that River taken on the spot : 
And many other Copper Plates. Also Extracts from the Nubians 
Geography [Edrisi's], Leo the African, and other Authors ancient 
and modern, concerning the Niger, Nile and Gambia, and observa- 
tions thereon; by Francis Moore, Factor several years to the Royal 
African Company of England. London : Printed by Edward 
Cave, at St. John's Gate, for the Author, and sold by J. Stagg, 
in Westminster Hall; and at St. John's Gate aforesaid, 


3 In my work on Africa, vol. i, pp. 120-276, the history of the 
revolution in opinion on this subject is traced. 


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it is difficult to say whether he, like others, did 
not consult the Latin too frequently. It differs 
from Pory, though it is not free from a few of 
the blunders of Florianus. Moore, who like many 
of the early West African traders, seems to have 
been a man of unusual intelligence, adds a few notes 
to his pages, some of which I have found of use in. 
trying to interpret Leo's meaning. 

Up to the year 1801, no German translation 
seems to have appeared ; for in a critical sum- 
mary of the book by the H of rath Paul Jacob 
Bruns, 1 only the Latin of Florianus(Leyden edition, 
1632) and the Italian of Ramusio are quoted. 
This paper is a useful analysis of Leo ; but though 
the author was a student of African geography, 2 the 
information at his disposal scarcely enabled him to 
do much in the way of elucidation, while the attempt 
he makes to fix the principal dates of the Moor s 
career is not in accordance with the facts which we 
have extracted from the book itself. 

But in the same year that Bruns published this 
brief analysis, Leo's work was made the theme of 
a discourse by Lorsbach, Prorector of the Nassau 
University, in which the inaccuracies of the Antwerp 

1 Leo's aus Africa Rcisen in Africa" vom Herrn Hofrath 
Bruns (Gaspari und Bertuch's Allgemeine Geographische 
EphemerideS) vii Bds. Viertes Stuck, April, 1801). Weimar, 

PP- 3°9-344- 

2 He wrote a Neue Systematische Erdbeschreibung von Africa, 
Nuremberg : 6 vols. (1791-99), as part of a general geography by 
Schneider and others. 

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Latinist were anathematised in a tract of twenty 
pages, half Latin half German, composed in the 
true style of that grammarian who consigned his 
rival to perdition for his treatise on the irregular 
verbs. This exposure of his predecessor's inaccura- 
cies was, however, only an advertisement showing the 
urgency of a fresh translation, 1 which was duly pro- 
duced five years subsequently. So far as literal 
accuracy is concerned, this German version is fault- 
less, but the author being entirely unfamiliar with the 
region described by Leo, adds nothing of his own to 
the elucidation of the text ; and as African explora- 
tion was then in its infancy, he could benefit but 
scantily by the labours of others. Most of his 
emendata have, however, after verification, been 
embodied in the present volume. 

This was the last version of Leo produced, though 
in 1830, Ramusio's Voyages 2 were reprinted at 

1 Johann Leo's des Afrikaner's Beschreibung von Afrika. 
Herborn, 8vo, 1805. This version is, according to my experience, 
the rarest of all the editions of Leo. The British Museum does 
not possess a copy, and I have in vain searched other libraries for 
it, nor have I yet been able to obtain a copy in Germany (Feb. 
4th, 1895). 

2 II Viaggio di Giovan Leone \ e \ le navigazioni \ diAlviseda Ca 
da Mosto y di Pietro di Cintra, di Annone^ \ di un piloto Portoghese 
e di Vasco di Gama ; \ quali si leggono nella raccolta \ di Giovam- 
battista Ramusio, \ Nuova Edizione, riveduta sopra quelle de 1 
Giunti ; in molti luoghi \ emendata ; ed arricchita di sei notizie 
che il viaggiatore, i navi \ gator i ed il raccoglitore ragguardano. \ 
Volume Unico — [medal, with portrait of Ramusio, and on the 
reverse, a map of the world as known to him] Venezia, co' tipi di 
Luigi Plot, mdcccxxx. Sm. folio, pp. 257. The notices of 

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Venice, and Temporals translation at Paris j 1 in 
both cases with careful revisions of the text, though 
without the maps or woodcuts in the original 

I have only to add that the late Dr. Heinrich 
Barth promised, more than thirty years ago, to 
undertake the task which has fallen to a less com- 
petent successor. But it is understood that he had 
made little — if any — progress with a labour for 
which he was so eminently qualified, when his 
untimely death in 1865 postponed for more than a 
quarter of a century the reissue of a traveller, whose 
only rival in the knowledge of Northern and Central 
Africa had, up to that date, been Barth himself. 
Fortunately, however, the accomplished young 
German, in his two great works, 2 has put at our 

Ramusio, Leo, and other authors are signed " B." Leo's work 
occupies 168 double-columned pages. Only one volume was ever 
issued. This is the Italian text usually quoted. 

1 De VAfrique^ \ contenant \ la description de ce pays, \ par 
Leon VAfricain \ et \ la navigation des anciens Capitaines 
Portugais \ aux Indes Orientales et occidentals. Traduction 
dejean Temporal. Four vols., 8vo. " Paris. Imprime* aux frais 
du gouvernement pour procurer du Travail aux ouvriers typo- 
graphies. Aout 1830" (De rimprimerie de L. Cordier). Vol. i, 
pp. Iv, 640; vol. ii, pp. 581 ; vol. iii, pp. xvii, 576; vol. iv, viii, 
758. Leo's share of the work is vol. i, pp. 1-640, and vol. ii, pp. 

It is a beautiful piece of typography, which, apart from being 
undertaken to find " work for the unemployed printers", seems to 
have been suggested by the public interest in Africa, due to the 
capture of Algiers in 1830. A new French translation is medi- 
tated by M. Schefer, of Paris (Feb. 5th, 1895). 

2 Wanderungen durch die Kustenlander des Mittelmeeres, 

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disposal the most important portion of his informa- 
tion regarding the countries described in Leo ; and, 
as the following pages will often bear witness, he, 
though dead, speaks again in the notes extracted 
from those volumes. 

Works compiled from Leo's Africa. 

Though the above editions comprise all that can 
properly be described as acknowledged versions of 
Leo, there are many other works which are, to all 
intents and purposes, little more than compilations 
from the information which he supplies, or para- 
phrases of his text Thus Marmol-Caravajal — who, 
like Leo, a native (1520) of Granada, and who was 
taken prisoner during the expedition of Charles V 
against Algiers, and for the next seven years travelled 
over a great part of North Africa — in his famous 
description of Africa, 1 merely translates largely from 
his predecessors work, though he has the meanness 
to mention Leo's name only once. 2 

ausgefuhrt in den Jahren, 1845, 1846, and 1847. Two vols. 
(1849) ; and Travels and Discoveries in North and Central Africa : 
being a Journal of an Expedition undertaken tinder the auspices of 
H. B. M*s. Government in the years 1849-1855. Five vols. (1857). 
See also his paper on the " State of Human Society in Central 
Africa", Journal Royal Geographical Society, vol. xXx, pp. 11 2-1 28. 

1 Descripcion General de Africa, etc., 1573. In our notes, the 
more accessible translation of D'Ablancourt {VAfrique, 3 vols*, 
1667) is usually quoted. 

2 Sub voce " Berdoa". He has even the effrontery to appro- 
priate some of the personal adventures of Leo ! 

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On the other hand, Langres de Tassy 1 copies 
freely from Marmol, while Joseph Morgan 2 is quite 
as much in his debt, though it is incorrect to say 
that his works are " mere translations'' from Langres 
de Tassy. 

Jean-Baptiste Gramaye 3 was an equally barefaced 
plagiarist of Leo and Marmol, " Maximum partem", 
runs the verdict of Hartmann, " t quae Geogra- 
phiam spectant, ad verbum ex Leone desumsit". 
Manuel de Faria y Sousa 4 is also indebted to him 
for his information about various transactions, though 
without acknowledgment. 

Dapper 6 puts Leo freely under contribution, while 
Ogilby's 8 huge folio is practically a translation of the 

1 Histoire du Royaume d Alger (1725). 

2 History of Algiers ; to which is prefixed an epitome of the General 
History of Barbary from the earliest times (1728)/ A Compleat 
History of the Piratical States of Barbary, etc.) by a gentleman 
who resided therefor many years in a public character (1750). 

3 Africa Illustrates, Lib. x in quibus Barbaria gentesque ejus 
ut olim ut nunc describantur Tornaci-Nerviorum (Doornik), 1622. 
Gramaye, who like Florianus was a citizen of Antwerp, had been 
for some time a slave in Algiers (1619-1622), which to him was 
"HelVs epitome", "Miseries Ocean", "Whip of the Christian 
World", "Torture's Centre", etc. (1681). 

4 Africa Portuguesa, etc. (1681). 

5 Nauwkeurige beschrijving der Afrikaansche Gewesten van 
Egypten, Barbaryen, Libyen, Biledulgered, Negroslant, Guinea, 
Etheopitn, en Abyssinien. Amsterdam, 1668, 2nd ed. 1676, fol. 

6 Africa : being an accurate description of the regions of Egypt, 
Barbary, Lybia, and Billedulgerid, etc., 1670. It is valuable 
historically for its plans of Tangier, while occupied by England. 
Petit de la Croix's Relation Universale de PAfrique, etc. (1688), is 
another plagiarism of Dapper. 

— - 

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Dutch geographer. D'Avity, also, would never 
have written his work 1 had Leo not written before 
him. Livio Sanuto 2 is more honest, though scarcely- 
less indebted to the Moor, and all the map-makers 
from Hondius 8 downwards, and even earlier — for in 
Ramusio and Pory there are maps of Africa based 
upon his descriptions — draw their information direct 
from his pages. Indeed, up to a very recent date, 
nine-tenth of the names on the maps of those parts 
of Africa traversed by him were placed there on his 
authority alone : for he was not only the great, but 
the sole authority in these regions. 

It is perhaps unnecessary to add, that every author 
who had occasion to write on the Barbary States and 
the " Land of the Negroes", quotes him profusely. 
Hofer, 4 and Dureau de la Malle in his industrious 
digest of the geography of the Province of Con- 
stantine, 5 refer to him on almost every page ; and 
as late as 1834, that most untrustworthy though 
voluminous author, Graberg di Hemso, 6 again and 

1 Description gkn'erale a" Afrique, etc., 1 643. 

2 Geographia Distincta in xii liori, 1588. The authors whom 
he most frequently cites are Leo, Cadamosto, Barros, Massoudi, 
and Ptolemy. 

3 Atlas Minor, 1608. 

4 JO Univers pittoresque : Afrique (vol. v), 1848. 

6 Province de Constantine: Recueil de Renseignement pour 
t expedition ou Pitablissement des franfais dans cette partie de 
V Afrique septentrionale, 1837. 

6 Specchio geografico, e statistico delV impero di Marocco y 1834. 
He also endeavoured {Journal Roy, Geog. Soc, vol. vii, p. 243) to 
guess at some of the place-names in Leo ; but the attempt quite 

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again copies without acknowledgment Leo's descrip- 
tions of Moroccan towns ; in many instances without 
even taking the trouble to ascertain whether they 
existed, or whether the data which were accurate in 
1520 applied with the same strictness three centuries 
later. In like manner, Lord, in his work on 
" Algeria" (1830), compiles the geography in part 
from Leo. 

All of the older writers on Africa exhaust them- 
selves in eulogies upon the Moorish geographer. 
Pory has appended some of them to his own descrip- 
tion of the parts of Africa undescribed by Leo. 
Chief among these admirers of our author was 
Richard Hakluyt. 1 

Authors of a later date are scarcely less unani- 
mous in vouching for the merits of Leo. Walckenaer, 
who for his time was one of the most accurate 
students of African geography, 2 affirms that seventy 
years ago the geography of " Jean Leon, surnomm6 
rAfricain", threw an entirely new light upon the 
interior of Africa, and that "c'est encore aujour- 
d'hui pour ces regions la principale autorite, la 
source destruction la plus abondante et la plus pure. 
. . . Les notions les moins douteuses que Ton a pu 
acqu^rir dans les derniers temps, coincident avec 
celles qu'il nous a donn^es." 

deserves the uncomplimentary criticism bestowed on it by Tissot. 
{Recherches sur la gkographie compark de la Mauri tanie Tingi- 
tane> 1877, pp. 148, 461.) x See present edition, p. 103. 

2 Recherches Geographiques sur rintkrieur de VAfrique septen- 
trionaki etc. (1821), pp. 36, 84, 192. 

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Hartmann, a still more learned commentator on 
mediaeval geography, 1 is even more enthusiastic in 
his praise ; he remarks : " De libelli eius praestantia 
inter omnes satis constat. Libellus (olim dicta enim 
repetere me non poenitet) est aureus : quo si caruis* 
sem lumine quasi quam saepissime caruissem." . 

Scarcely a traveller has written on Northern or 
Central Africa without citing Leo's opinions ; not 
to cite the numerous minor writers who have been 
indebted to, or have spoken in appreciative terms 
of, the work, we may mention Renou, Pellissier, 
Carette, Shaw, Temple, Mannert, Gu^rin, Playfair, 
D'Avezac, Berbrugger, Castiglioni, the Beecheys ; 
and last, but by no means least, Barth. 

With the exception of some parts of the Atlas 
and the Riff country, all, or nearly all, of the regions 
described by Leo have been visited by European 
travellers. Hence, while the old writers accepted 
him as their sole available authority for the geo- 
graphy of vast tracts, without the possibility of 
checking his statements, the modern student is able 
to regard him merely as an historian — a personal 
witness of towns, and events, and manners which 
have passed away, or of circumstances which for foiir 
centuries have remained unaltered. But whenever 
we are in a position to test his statements, Leo's 
credit as an observer has gained rather than di- 
minished. Hence, to-day, the traveller in Morocco, 
or in Algeria, or in Tunis, or in Tripoli, or in 

1 JLdrisii Africa, ed. altera, 1796, p. xx. 

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Egypt and Central Africa, finds frequent occasion 
to refer to John Leo, though seldom to scoff at 
his accuracy when he discourses of what he actually 

Indeed, among the many authors who have 
commented on, or pillaged from, or mentioned his 
book, the only ones whom I can remember as 
unfavourable to him are Morgan and Chenier. 
Morgan, himself one of the most audacious of 
plagiarists, prefers Marmol in spite of his being 
4 'somewhat too verbose, virulently partial, and not 
always correct. 1 

Chenier's meritorious treatise 2 — which is said to 
have given great offence to Sidi Mohammed X — 
though of little geographical value, sneers at Leo's 
description of Fez as exaggerated. But when the 
Scottish traveller, William Lithgow, 3 visited it about 
the year 1617, he was amazed at the grandeur of 
the mosques (into which, more fortunate than his 
successors, he was permitted to enter), and palaces, 
and caravanserais, which made it second only to 
Cairo, equal to Constantinople, and far superior to 

1 A Complete History of Algiers, etc., by J. Morgan (1731), 
Preface, p. vii, 

2 Recherckes historiques sur les Maures (1787), vol. iii, p. 65. 

8 Totall Discourse of the Rare Adventures and Painefull 
Peregrinations of long nineteene yeares Travay les from Scotland to 
the most Famous Kingdomes in Europe, Asia, and Africa, wherein 
is contayned an Exact Relation of the Lawes, Religion, Policies, 
and Government of all their Princes, Potentates, and People, By 
William Lithgow ; together with the grievous Tortures he suffered 
by the Inquisition of Malaga in Spaine (1632), Part viii. 

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Aleppo, these four cities being the greatest he had 
ever seen at home or abroad ; though Lithgow 
seems to exaggerate when he affirms that the 
plain contained at that date "125,000 fine houses, 
and in them a million of souls." Even at that 
date it was a literary centre, the home of a " great 
number of poets", and the scene every year, on 
the Prophet's birthday, of literary competitions ; 
albeit what he says on the subject bears a suspici- 
ous resemblance to Leo's description, though our 
traveller is never once mentioned by him. 

Leo's Status as a Traveller. 

This general consensus of opinion regarding the 
merits of Leo — by the old writers who were com- 
pelled to take him on trust, and by the younger 
who were able to check many of his statements — 
may be accepted as a positive proof that the great 
reputation he has enjoyed for three-and-a-half 
centuries is not undeserved. He occupies, in the 
first place, a distinct position in the roll of African 
geographers. His period comes between those of 
El-Bekri and Edrisi on one side, and the histories of 
Marmol, Haedo, Birago, Diego de Torres, Gramaye, 
and the native historians on the other side. He may 
indeed be described as the last of the Arab scholars 
who derived their inspiration from the brilliant age 
of Mussulman civilisation in Spain ; for the decadence 
of his people in polite letters began at the date of 
his birth; while even in his day, as he laments, the 

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love of polite letters had ceased to be a passion with 
the African Moors. The Arab geographers before 
El-Bekri scarcely deserved the name. Their works 
were undigested compilations, out of which it is 
often difficult to make any sense. Into this category 
come Ibn el-Wardi and Kazwini. Even the works 
of Abu-1-Feda and Ibn Haukal, both of which 
contain so many useful notes on the early geography 
of Africa, cannot be excluded from this general 

El-Bekri, with whose works Leo was acquainted — 
for he begins Book vn with a reference to the fact 
that neither he nor Mas'fidi supplies any informa- 
tion regarding the Negro country — contrary to what 
might be premised from his nationality, was not 
personally familiar with Africa. He was born at 
Cordova, towards the close of the eleventh or about 
the beginning of the twelfth century, and in his 
capacity of Kh&tib had frequent opportunities of 
conversing with natives of the Northern provinces 
of Africa. The principal of these informants was 
a Berber, who came to Cordova about a.h. 352, 
as envoy from the Omayyid Khalif, Mostanser. 
But nowhere does Bekri say in so many words — 
" this I saw with my own eyes", or " heard with 
my own ears", as Leo is in the habit of doing. All . 
that he is able to affirm is on the authority of some 
preceding writer, or the declaration of some native 
of the particular region he is describing, or the news 
brought back by travellers who had explored the 
region. His book is therefore a compilation of 


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second-hand information; though, no doubt, owing 
to Spain and Africa being, at the time he wrote, 
under Arab rule, his opportunities for picking the 
brains of competent informants were excellent. 

Edrisi was probably born about a.h. 493. (a.d. 
1099-1100); and Casiri 1 seems to have satisfied 
himself, though on what grounds he does not 
inform us, that Ceuta, in Morocco, was his birth- 
place. Cordova appears to have been the place 
of his education, and from the intimacy with the 
geography of Spain which he displays, it is pro- 
bable that he travelled through most of that 
country. However, he soon left for Sicily, whither 
many of his family had fled after the victory of 
'Obeid Allah ben Ismail El-Mahdi, towards the com- 
mencement of the tenth century. In that island he 
won the favour of King Roger II, under whose 
patronage he wrote his " Going out of a Curious 
Man to explore the Regions of the Globe, its 
Provinces, Islands, Cities, and their Dimensions and 
Situations"; the alternative name of " Nubian 
Geography", which was given to it by Sionita and 
Hezronita, two of its editors, being altogether arbi- 
trary, as the book is actually a description of the 
entire world known to Edrisi and his informants. 
He does not seem to have travelled much himself, 
for though he returned to Africa, and died at Ceuta, 
the work which formed so notable a landmark in 
the history of geography was a compilation from 

1 Bibliotheca Arabico-Hispanica, vol. ii, p. 9. 

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notes supplied him by agents sent out expressly for 
the purpose. 

In this respect both he and El-Bekri differed 
widely from Leo, who wrote for the most part about 
what he had actually seen. But though Edrisi lacks 
the luminous style of Leo, the critical acumen 
which he bestowed on the materials put at his dis- 
posal, imperfect and inaccurate though many of them 
were, compares favourably with the credulity dis- 
played by subsequent compilers such as the unknown 
writer whose plagiarisms have been so long accepted 
under the name of Sir John Maundevile's Voyage* 
and Travaile, which seem to have been collected in 
the first two decades of the fourteenth century. It 
must also be remembered that when Edrisi wrote, 
the Berber dynasty of the Almohades had just 
dethroned that of the Almoravides ; and that though 
the Arabs had begun to play a very secondary part 
in the West, they were still powerful in the East — 
a fact which the historian, in spite of his anxiety to 
be agreeable to his royal patron, tries to impress 
upon his readers. Leo also was the protege of a 
powerful Christian sovereign — a circumstance which 
doubtless suggested to him the omission of much 
which might otherwise have been inserted in his 
volume. Thus he observes much the same kind 
of reticence regarding the conduct of the Spaniards 
and Portuguese in Morocco, which Edrisi does 
concerning the enterprise of Roger II. 

Still, there is no reason to doubt the accuracy of 
what Leo tells us. This, indeed, we can check by 

g 2 

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our own observations. The distinguishing feature 
of this writer is the minute accuracy regarding com- 
paratively trifling matters. Kafsa (Caphsa), which he 
describes quite accurately, is inhabited, he informs 
us, by a people of "a rude and illiberall disposition 
and vnkinde vnto strangers : wherefore they are 
held in great contempt by all other Africans" 
(Book vi). This trait is still notorious, and was 
noticed by Sir Grenville Temple when he visited 
the place upwards of sixty years ago. Leo appears 
(as we have already noted) to have kept memoranda, 
otherwise it is impossible for his memory to have 
preserved so many details : though when he finished 
his volume he was very little over thirty years of 
age. As a tribute to his conscientiousness, when 
describing " the mountaine called Horteta" — the 
highest peak of the Atlas — he mentions that he 
saw many notable things there of which he could 
" make no discourse at all, partly because they are 
out of my remembrance*'. When Leo tells exactly 
what passed before his own eyes he is seldom far 
wrong ; it is only when he trusts to others that he 
falls into absurdities. Throughout the book it is, 
however, his own knowledge that is mainly relied 
upon. It is only in matters of history that he quotes 
from other writers, and from the frequency with 
which he refers to them we obtain a hint regard- 
ing the extent of his reading. Thus, he knew his 
Ptolemy — as did Edrisi also — and his Orosius. He 
often quotes Ibn el-Rakik, from whom he has 
taken his account of the early Arab invasions and 

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other particulars, Edrisi, El-Bekri and Mas'ftdi ; 
and though he does not mention him by name, 
his description of the Riff is so like that of Strabo 
as to suggest something more than a mere coin- 
cidence ; and he is condescending towards Pliny as 
a man of merit who erred owing to his ignorance of 

Nor, as we have seen, is his book free from errors 
for which he, and not his translation, is responsible. 
Thus, in addition to what we have already noted 
regarding his errors in dates and the like, he is 
altogether confused in discussing the site of Volu- 
bilis, and he places Agadir (Gartguessen) on the 
River Sus instead of six miles north of it, while 
he confounds that river with the Nessa. Nor is 
Leo innocent of blunders which cannot be attri- 
butable to imperfect knowledge of certain countries. 
Thus, he declares that the Chelif (Selef) rises in 
the Gunseris (Wanseres) Mountains and falls into 
the Mediterranean between Mezagran and Mosta- 
ganem ; this river in reality having its source in 
the Jebel el-Amtir in the meridian of Algiers, and 
not in the Wanseres, which are much farther to 
the west, while its mouth is to the east, not to 
the west, of Mostaganem. Berbrugger 1 is, however, 
entirely wrong in affirming that Leo makes the 
Muluia fall into the ocean. He expressly intimates 
that it enters " nel mare Mediterraneo non molto 
discostb della citta di Casasa". It is Temporal who 

1 Revue Africaine, 1858, p. 363. 

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makes this mistake, Florianus and Pory translating 
Leo's text quite accurately. 

His description of Tuggurt (Techort) is, how- 
ever, the most extraordinary of his few inaccuracies. 
"The ancient towne of Techort" — I am quoting 
Pory, who renders the meaning quite satisfactorily — 
"was built by the Numidians vpon a certain hill 1 
by the foote whereof runneth a riuer, vpon which 
riuer standeth a draw bridge. The wall of this 
towne was made of free stone and lime, 2 but that 
part which is next vnto the mountaine hath instead 
of a wall an impregnable rock opposite against it : 3 
this towne is distant fiue hundred miles 4 southward 
from the Mediterranean sea, and about 300 miles 
from Tegorarim (Tegorarin)". Again, in giving a 
list of the places he is about to describe in the west, 
he mentions first Tegorarin, then Mzab, then 
Tuggurt, and last of all Wargla, the enumeration 
proceeding from west to east. Yet Tuggurt is put 
to the west of Wargla. However, it is in the 
description of Tuggurt that he is most wide of the 
mark, for that town has always been built in a 
plain, not on a mountain. It has no river below, 
for that name could not reasonably be bestowed on 
the ditch or canal which receives the superfluous 

1 " Una montagna corne un tufo" — a mountain in the form 
of a promontory. 

2 " Pietra viva e di creta." 

3 " Non della parte del monte, perciocche ivi e difesa delle 

4 Leo's miles are Roman. 

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irrigation water furnished by artesian wells. But, 
as M. Berbrugger very justly remarks, if we admit 
this canal to be the little river (fiumicello) of 
Leo, and that he gives the name of a mountain to 
the earthwork where the town is fortified, it is 
impossible to understand how he places it between 
Mzab and Wargla, or how he accounts for those 
high rocks, of which there exists not a trace under 
the city walls. 

Nevertheless, the fact remains that Leo stands 
out prominently among the writers, not only of his 
own age, but of succeeding ages, for his freedom 
from superstition and credulity, his absence of 
prejudice, and his unusual accuracy. 

Marmol, who wrote nearly a century later, was an 
historian of a different type. His judgment had 
been warped by the wrongs he had suffered during 
his captivity in Barbary, differing so widely from 
the kindness which Leo met with in the course of 
his nominal servitude to the Pope. He displays 
without moderation on every page his violent 
religious prejudice, and his hatred of those who 
professed a different faith from his own. He even 
goes so far as to declare that his object in writing 
was to stimulate the Christian natives " to arm 
against the infidels". His position was a remark- 
able contrast to that of Leo's in Africa. The Moor 
passed out of Spain to receive honour and distinction 
among his kindred in Barbary. The Spaniard left 
the land of his birth to endure for more than seven 
years the humiliation of slavery, in the very regions 

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through which his predecessor and townsman 
travelled in freedom and comfort. Leo took what 
notes he pleased. Indeed, as a man of letters, he 
was encouraged to write on any and every topic, 
and in his capacity of notary had ample oppor- 
tunities for inscribing remarks on the peculiarities 
of the people with whom he came into contact. 
Marmol, by the surveillance of his guardians, was 
doubtless debarred any such privilege, so that his 
descriptions are taken almost verbatim from Leo, 
though as an historian he has merits of his own. 
Captain Carette 1 carries the contrast between the 
two great rivals in the geographical description of 
Africa still further. Thus, while Leo closed his 
travels as a captive, Marmol closed his as a free man 
in his own country, though it is equally to be 
regretted " que le Chretien, transplant^ sous la tente 
des Arabes, n'ait pu ecrire tout ce qu'il voyait, et 
que le' Maure, transplant^ a la cour pontificate, n'ait pu 
dire tout ce qu'il savait". And it is curious to note 
that both writers ended life as they began it : the 
Spanish officer by a translation of the Morals of 
Saint Brigitte : the godson of Leo X by a treatise 
on the Mohammedan religion, and most likely by a 
recantation of the creed into which he had been 

1 Etude des routes suivies par les Arabes dans la partie mkri- 
dionale de VAlgerie et de la rigence de Tunis ("Exploration 
Scientifique de TAlgerie," vol. i, 1844), pp. ix-xxiv. 

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The Credibility of Leo's Narrative. 

Time has, therefore, dealt kindly with Leo : for 
if we find that he is worthy of general confi- 
dence on matters which can be checked, it is 
justifiable to assume that he is equally to be 
trusted when his statements cannot be verified. 
There are, for instance, parts of the Atlas which 
have not been visited since his day by any 
.traveller capable of describing what he has seen ; 
so that for the present, at least, it is impossible 
to confirm his description of certain villages, tribes, 
and geographical features, or even to identify them. 
Again, the condition of the African cities in the 
sixteenth century must, for the most part, be ac- 
cepted on his word, and several towns described 
by him are no longer to be found — the very names 
have vanished. 

This is, however, not a matter for any surprise. 
Three or four centuries work wonderful changes, 
even when a city of stone or brick and mortar is 
left to itself. The native towns of Barbary are 
generally built either of swish, of " tabia" (lime 
and clay), or of sun-dried bricks, which after a few 
rainy winters, if the houses are not repaired, re- 
turn to their original clay ; and when places are 
deserted, through w T ar or other causes, it is difficult 
in a few years to trace the outlines of a once pros- 
perous village, or even "city", after the Morocco 
fashion. An apt illustration of this is furnished by 

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Shaw, 1 though he rather exaggerates the unsubstan- 
tially of a Barbary town. " When I was at Tozer 
in December, a.d. 1727", he tells us, "we had a small 
drizzly shower that continued for the space of two 
hours ; and so little provision was made against 
accidents of this kind, that several of the houses 
which are built only, as usual, with palm branches, 
mud, and tiles baked in the sun (corresponding 
perhaps to, and explanatory of, the untempered 
mortar, Ezek., xiii, 11), fell down by imbibing the 
moisture of the shower. Nay, provided the drops 
had been larger, or the shower of longer continuance, 
or overflowing in the Prophet's expression, the 
whole city would have undoubtedly dissolved and 
dropt to pieces." Yet, in El-Bekri's day, Tozer was 
regarded as "a great city surrounded by a wall of 
stone and brick", many bazaars, suburbs, and a 
numerous population. Even to-day, though its walls 
are demolished, and it is little more than a collection 
of villages, Tozer is still a place of some conse- 

In Leo's pages we have repeated mention of 
towns being evacuated and being half in ruins when 
he saw them. This state of matters has been steadily 
in progress ever since. War, pestilence, or the 
whim of a Sultan, has led to once thriving places 
being deserted, so that it is no wonder that many 
" cities" visited by the traveller of four centuries 

1 Travels and Observations relating to several parts of Barbary 
and the Levant. Second edition (1757), p. 136. 

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ago are no longer to be seen. They have crumbled 
into mud, or a few blocks of tabia, still bearing traces 
of whitewash, stand amid the prickly acacia bushes 
or the palmetto scrub : mute evidence that on a spot 
where now no sound is heard save the squeak of the 
land-tortoises, or the whirl of the partridges, were, 
at a time of which tradition has not kept the record, 
the hives of a busy race of men. 

Again, whole tribes have been exterminated, and 
towns razed, to gratify the vengeance of a conqueror. 
To threaten a city with being so completely de- 
stroyed that it might be sifted through a sieve, was a 
common hyperbole of the Moorish Sultans. Then, 
too, tribes not only disappear but change their 
homes. Thus, in Leo's day, the valley of the Ziz — 
or Siss — was inhabited by the Zanega, a Berber 
tribe, the same Mr. Ball 1 suggests, as the Azanegues, 
whom Ca da Mosto describes in the vicinity of the 
Wad Nfin. They have since migrated across the 
Sahara, and, still calling themselves Zanega and 
speaking a Berber dialect, are dangerous neighbours 
to the black people of the Senegal. 

The names of places also change in time. One 
example out of many may suffice. Agadir, which 

1 Hooker and Ball, Tour in Morocco (1878), p. 377. This 
volume contains a useful paper on the geography of South 
Morocco; but Mr. Ball is in error when he supposes that " there 
is nothing in the published annals of the Portuguese wars with 
the Moors to suggest a belief that the former at any time 
established their authority in the interior of South Morocco, or 
even undertook any inland expeditions" (p. 383). 

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in the Berber tongue means the wall (Arabic, Sdr), 
is identical with the place which Leo calls Gart- 
guessem ; yet at the time of the foundation of the 
Portuguese fort, and while the place on the hill 
grew, it was known to the Europeans as Santa Cruz, 
and to the natives as the Europeans 1 house •(*.*., 
Tiguimmi-Rumi of the Berbers, Ddr-R&mi of the 

A village will often be known by the name of a 
noted chief or saint, and take that of his successor ; 
or if, owing to any untoward incident, the old name 
is accounted "unlucky", it will in time be changed. 
Moreover, in North Africa, and especially in 
Morocco, there are almost universally two names 
for every place — the Arab and the Berber — and the 
one which a traveller hears depends very much on 
the nationality to which his informant belongs. On 
the coast, and for the better-known cities of the 
interior, there are usually three, the third being 
that applied by the Europeans as their transforma- 
tion of the native one. This, however, is not likely 
to lead us far astray. 

Leo had not, so far as we can gather from his 
remarks, any acquaintance with the Berber lan- 
guage ; so that it is very probable that he occasion- 
ally mistook the pronunciation of place-names not 
Arabic ; and when translating his Arabic manuscript 
into Italian adopted a puzzling form of transliteration, 
which may account for the peculiar shape some of 
the names have taken, or for others the identity of 
which is less easy to settle. In addition, it must have 

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inevitably happened that Leo's manuscript contained 
the usual percentage of lapsus pennce ; while Ra- 
musio's print, in spite of the care he bestowed 
upon it, contains various errors. 

All of these factors must be taken into account 
in studying Leo's text and the accuracy of his state- 
ments. We must not therefore allow the fact that 
many of Leo's remarks no longer hold good at the 
present time to have more than its due weight. 

Changes since Leo wrote his Description 
of Africa. 

Leo is sometimes considered to have been 
rather florid in his description of the riches and. 
populousness of Northern Africa four centuries ago. 
But there is no room for doubt that the popula- 
tion of all the Barbary States, and that of Morocco 
in an especial degree, must, with the prosperity 
which population gives, have markedly diminished 
within the interval between Leo's day and ours. 
Even within the last century there has been a 
remarkable decrease in both. Any other conclusion 
is impossible. Arab and Berber families are usually 
large, but no natural increment could make up for 
the hecatombs slain in civil war, or laid low by 
epidemics and famine. The ruined towns and vil- 
lages, the deserted hamlets, the legends of populous 
places where there are now no sounds save the cry of 
the jackal, together with the startling falling-off in the 
population of cities like Fez, Mekines and Merakesh, 

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are proofs that even within the last century, or cen- 
tury and a half, the people of Morocco have been 
waning in numbers, while the decline in the pros- 
perity of the Empire since Leo's day has been remark- 
able. Allowing that he did not permit his country to 
lose anything in the eyes of the Christians, for whom 
his famous work was written — although there is not 
much in its pages to demand any such postulate 
— these must have been flourishing times in all 
parts of the kingdoms of Fez and Morocco, and 
particularly in Haha and other southern provinces, 
where the people lived in comparative prosperity 
and culture, where there were men of education 
quite equal to the average of the period in Europe, 
and even scholars of some distinction. 

Yet it is difficult to fix the site of some of these, 
and at the present day squalor and ignorance take 
the place of the wealth and refinement which was 
then so notable. In all of them the population has 
dwindled away. Others, though bearing traces of 
former grandeur, are now little better than heaps of 
ruins and miserable villages, while the population of 
the country cannot be a third of what it was when 
Leo wrote. The iron and copper mines which 
were worked in his day are now scarcely legend- 
ary, and various crafts then generally practised 
have in our time ceased to be followed. Educa- 
tion was then so widespread that when Leo finds 
certain out-of-the-way districts deficient in a know- 
ledge of reading and writing, the fact is considered 
worthy of note. No modern traveller would think 

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this circumstance worthy of a special memorandum 
in his diary. 

But otherwise, the Morocco of our day is 
amazingly like the Morocco which Leo knew so 
well ; just as his Africa, as a whole, is very like the 
Africa of Herodotus or the " Dark Continent" of 
the latest explorer. There is always the same 
tawdry magnificence and the same squalid misery ; 
the same absence of any middle class between 
wealthy despotism and grinding poverty ; the same 
lack of change, or desire to change, among the 
people. The population is smaller and poorer, and 
as a whole less enlightened ; yet they cherish the 
same customs as their forefathers, and the inhabitants 
of particular sections of the country are distinguished 
by traits identical with those which the keen-eyed 
Moor noted four hundred years ago, and the 
more remote the region the more exactly do Leo's 
words still apply. Cross-question, for example, an 
Arab from Sus on the places described in this 
work, and you will be startled to find him — of course 
entirely ignorant of the purport of your questions, 
and of the existence of the old historian — giving 
answers which confirm almost verbatim the state- 
ments made by him. 

And the government is much what it always was. 
The Empire is now nominally under a single head. 
Yet now, as always, the Chiefs of the Southern 
Arabs, and of the Berber tribes of the North, and 
of some Arab septs, etc., recognise the authority of 
the Sultan only when they are defeated by the army 

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with which he is all the summer marching to-and-fro, 
collecting his internal revenue, or -engaged in 
punitory expeditions against the refractory subjects 
who have despitefully used his officials. The 
merciless tyranny of the latter is as abominable as 
ever, and the injustice, the venality, and the ruth- 
lessness which are the concomitants of Moorish 
rule, even more remarkable in our day than his, 
though possibly the central authority is now 
stronger than it was four hundred years ago. 
However, many of the Atlas, Sus and Riff tribes 
preserve their autonomy more or less perfectly, 
though the democratic governments which prevailed 
in towns like Sallee, Tarudent and Saffi (before the 
Portuguese seized it) have long ago been crushed. 

The Berbers of 1895 l° ve the Arabs no better 
than those of 1455 did; and then, as now, the former, 
living in stationary villages on the hills, are liable to 
raid the flocks of the tented nomads in the valleys 
below, with murderous reprisals when opportunity 
offers on the part of the latter. No later than 1888, 
the then Sultan, Mula'i el- Hasan, on one of his 
expeditions against the Beni-M'tir and other moun- 
tain tribes, got himself so hemmed in that it was 
with difficulty a way was cut out for him by the 
courage of Kaid Maclean and his troops ; andjstill 
more recently one of the late Sultan's sons had an 
equally narrow escape from the Zenmur tribe, whose 
country is not far from Sallee- Rabat. In short, the 
ancient "Mauri" — which the Berbers are — have 
not, in spite of the lapse of twelve centuries, 

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been conquered yet ; while little risings are of con- 
stant occurrence, and for generations no Sultan has 
succeeded to the throne without having to crush the 
more or less formidable risings led by his rivals. 1 
Still, turbulence and brigandage are less frequent 
than in earlier times, and the safety of travellers 
is something to be reckoned upon with greater 

With the exception of the Spanish presidios on 
the coast, no Christian power has any part of the 
Moroccan soil under its flag, and hence war against 
the European powers is not so constant as it was 
when, as in Leo's day, Spain and Portugal held most 
of the seaports in their grasp. Christians have also 
been treated with greater respect, since piracy and the 
enslavement of captives have ceased, though it is 
questionable whether they are loved any better than 
in former days. There are numbers of them in all 
the coast towns, and within the last two years agents 
of commercial houses have managed for the first time 
to establish themselves in Fez and Marakesh re- 
spectively. In these cities, also, ladies, representa- 
tives of a Scottish missionary society, have had the 
courage to live and dispense medicines, for which 
the Moorish appetite is ravenous ; though I am not 
aware that their efforts have been crowned with 
much success, if ever they have openly attempted 
the perilous task of proselytising. 

1 The young Mulai 'Abd el-Aziz has, up to date, escaped better 
than his predecessors. 

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In other respects, the interior is still left entirely 
to the natives, in spite of the fact that by treaty 
obligation every part of the Empire is free to the 
" Nasr&ni". Many parts can, indeed, be visited 
only at the peril of the traveller, and there are vast 
regions in Sus and in the Atlas, and the country 
beyond, where not even the safe-conduct of the 
Sultan is of any service to the explorer. During 
the period of Leo Africanus, and certainly for 
more than two centuries subsequently, Europeans 
visited the out-of-the-way parts of Morocco almost 
as freely as they do at present, and were even able 
to trade with places, such as Tarudent, from which 
they are at present practically debarred. 1 

Still, take it as a whole, Morocco has not changed 
to anything like the same extent which Europe has 
in four centuries, though it would — from the facts 
mentioned — be unreasonable to expect every little 
town and village which Leo described to exist, or to 
be exactly as they were in his day. It is still as 
roadless, and as bridgeless as ever. Indeed, it is 
probable that not one of the half dozen bridges in 
the Empire dates from a period much later than his, 
and the few ferryboats afloat in his time have, in 

1 Roger Bodenham, previous to his trip to Mexico in 1564 
{Hakluyt^ vol. iii), used to "trade and traffic to the ports of 
Barbary", and suffered loss and hindrance "by that new trade 
begun by me in the city of Fez" ; and when Captain John Smith 
—afterwards of New England — went to Morocco in search of 
soldierly service, he found several free Englishmen prospering in 
Marakesh (Bibliography of Morocco », No. 173). 

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some instances, not been replaced. The trains of 
loaded camels, horses, mules and donkeys, and the 
long cavalcade of mountain travellers, still trudge at 
a walking pace over the same narrow bridle-paths 
as their predecessors did a thousand years or more 
ago. There has been absolutely no change, except 
for the worse, and any advances made in the coast 
towns are due entirely to the enterprise of foreigners. 
An exception might be made in favour of the 
army, though it is questionable whether the instruc- 
tion of the tribesmen in the use of instruments of 
more murderous efficiency can be described as 
progress. Part of the standing army is now com- 
manded and drilled by European officers, and a 
French military commission, forced upon the Sultan, 
usually accompanies his punitory expeditions. A 
few thousands of the men are provided with arms of 
greater precision than flint-lock muskets, and among 
the equipment of the forces are some Krupp and 
Armstrong guns. But medical staff or commissariat 
are as little known to the Shereefian army as 
humanity and the first principles of hygiene. 
" Copples ' of wretched prisoners secured by the 
neck accompany the victors in the civil broils 
described, and happy is the fate of these unfortunates 
if their heads surmount the city gates. Too 
frequently they are sent to rot in loathsome 
dungeons ; or if believed to be rich, or the relations 
of rich people, they are tortured until they discover 
their hoards, or their kinsmen relieve their sufferings 
by disgorging to their cruel gaolers — which has 


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been the way of Barbary and the East generally 
ever since time was. 

Algeria — though this name was not then devised — 
has changed most of all, though there, as elsewhere, 
the ways of the country people are not widely 
different from what they have been for more than 
eleven centuries. When Leo travelled through that 
region it was still broken up into a number of 
small independent kingdoms, under native princes of 
Arab or Berber descent ; though then, as was the 
case for long subsequently, the mountain tribes and 
the desert nomads recognised no rulers but their 
own chiefs. The most powerful of these petty 
monarchs was the King of Tlemsen, though most 
of what is now Algeria was then under the Kings 
of Tunis. But the provinces of Algiers proper and 
Tennez were generally bestowed by the Tlemsen 
sovereign on sons or relations, who acted nominally 
as Viceroys, though in reality as all but independent 
rulers. But a little before Leo visited the country 
the disruption had begun, by Spain (1505-10) 
taking advantage of dissensions among these petty 
sovereigns to invade the country, and conquer in 
succession Mersa el-Keblr, Oran, Dellys, Bougia, 
Mostaganem, Tlemsen and Algiers, in so far that this 
town consented to pay tribute and to abandon piracy. 
To enforce these conditions a fort was built on the 
Penon, 1 part of which still exists as a foundation for 
the lighthouse. 

1 " A certaine high rocke standing opposit the towne." — Leo. 

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It was at this juncture (1516) that the so-called 
" Emir", Salem ben Teumi, hearing of the exploits 
of the brothers B&b&-Ari\j and Kheir ed- Din- 
better known as Barbarossa, a corruption of the 
elder brothers Turkish name 1 — invited them to help 

1 These two remarkable adventurers, whose names often figure 
in Leo, were — so it is generally accepted, though the question is 
a disputed one — the sons of Mohammed, an Albanian renegade, 
who occupied a post of some importance in the navy of the 
Sultan Bayazid. Retiring to the island of Mitylene to escape 
punishment for a misdemeanour, he married in the town of 
Bonava a Christian named Catalina, the widow of a Greek priest. 
This is the statement of Sandoval {Historic de la vida y hechos del 
imperador Carlos V, 1581), who positively contradicts the state- 
ment of Paulus Jovius (Pauli Jovii Novocomensis Episcopi 
Nucerihi, Historia sui Temporis, lib. xxiii, cited in Rerum a 
Carolo V Ccesare Augusto in Africa bello gestarum Commentary etc. 
Antwerp, 1555, p. 70) that they were the sons of a Greek priest 
who had apostatised (vol. i, p. 65), and there is no basis for the 
assertion of Marmol that the elder brother was born in Sicily of 
an Andalusian mother. By his Greek wife Mohammed had six 
children : two daughters, brought up as Christians (one of them 
as a Religieuse), and four sons, who, as was the fashion in these 
mixed marriages, embraced the religion of their father. The eldest 
of these was Aruj, or Haruj (according to an Arabic MS. of 
Gazewat in the National Library of France, translated by Venture); 
Horuc (according to Sandoval), Latinised by Paulus Jovius into 
Horucius, and in the MS. memoirs of Cardinal de Granvelle in 
the Besan^on Library into Horuscius ; and Aruch, according to 
Haedo's spelling. He was brought up as a sailor. (2) Ishak, a 
carpenter. (3) Kheir ed-Din, variously rendered in European 
histories by Hairadin, Chairadine, Haradin, and Tcherdine — who 
was brought up to his fathers newly-adopted trade of pottery. 
(4) Mohammed (sometimes called Ilyas), who aspired to the holy 
life of a Marabout, or Saint. Sandoval (vol. i, p. 64) is the 
authority for the doubtful assertion so widely credited that he 
derived his welUknown name of Barbarossa from the Knights of 

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him to dislodge the Spaniards, from the castle 
commanding the town, of which he was the nominal 
ruler. These Corsairs had already (15 12-15 15) 
failed to take Bougia, but in 15 14 they had turned 
the Genoese out of Jijelli. Accordingly, they 
readily accepted Salem ben Teumi's invitation, and 
not only succeeded in making themselves masters of 
the town, but putting the Emir to death proclaimed 
BcLbeL-Artij king in his place. This was the 
beginning of the Turkish Empire in Algeria, as 
Leo relates, partly from his own observations, but to 
a large extent from second-hand information, some 
of the events noted having happened after his de- 
parture from the country. For, sore pressed by the 
Spaniards on one side, and by the native Algerians 
on the other, Kheir ed-Dln, who had succeeded his 
brother (15 18), put himself under the suzerainty of 

Malta (Rhodes), by whom he was taken captive and served as a 
galley-slave. — "Y como era vermejo", he tells us, "llamaren le 
todos Barbarrosa no saviendo por ventura su proprio nombre." 
— Rotalier, Histoire d? Alger (1841), t. i, pp. 76, 77, 79; M. de 
Grammont {Revue Africaine, No. 171 (1885), p. 226; and 
Histoire d Alger sous la domination Turque [1887]) is, however, 
convinced that the old etymology is the right one. Mercier, 
Histoire de PAfrique septentrionale, t. ii (1888), p. 426, etc. ; Rang 
et Denis, Fondation de la Regence d* Alger > Histoire de Barberousse y 
Chronique Arabe du xvu siecle, publie sur un manuscript de la 
Bibliotktque royale y avec un appendice et des notes, etc. (1837), 
vol. ii, pp. 103-107. This anonymous Arab author describes them 
as the sons of Yakub Reis : " honnSte musulman qui fasait un 
petit commerce maritime, dans PArchepel, avec un navire qu'il 

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the Sultan, Sellm I, by whom he was named Pasha 
of Algiers. 

The subsequent events it is not necessary to 
recapitulate at any length. The Turks gradually 
extended their conquests over the whole of Algeria, 
and all the Barbary States except Morocco, 
where they never had a footing (though they 
marched on Fez). The Pashas were succeeded 
by the Deys, whose vile rule lasted until 1830, 
when the French seized Algiers, and in the course 
of a few years, after in vain trying the experi- 
ment of suzerain native princes, 1 took possession 
of the entire region. The result was good govern- 
ment, good roads, fine railways, public buildings far 
in advance of the necessities of the colony, and the 
transformation of all the old crumbling Arabo- 
Turkish towns. 

But of the Turkish rule Leo said little. Even that 
of Barbarossa had not fairly begun when he was taken 
to Italy. Yet he saw most of the incidents described, 
having travelled from Fez to Tunis, and been enter- 
tained by " one that was sent ambassadour from the 
people of Alger into Spaine, from whence he 
brought three thousand bookes written in the 
Arabian toong"; an event dating prior to the Spanish 

1 Thus 'Abd el-Kader was Emir of Tlemsen, and of all the 
Province of Oran, beside Titeri, his governors ruling in Miliana 
and Medea; and until 1837, Hajj-Ahmed was, if not formliay 
recognised, the independent ruler of Constantine, the French not 
even attempting to displace him until 1836, on which occasion 
Marshal Clauzel met with a grievous reverse. 

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domination mentioned. He was at Bougia during 
the time Barbarossa was besieging the place. There 
were two sieges of this town, one in 1 5 1 2 by BaM- 
Artij (who lost an arm in the attack), and the other, 
not more successful, in 1515, by his brother, Kheir 
ed-Dln. As Leo expressly limits the name of 
Barbarossa to the elder brother, this must refer to 
the former of these two sieges. But as the Moor 
tells us that he afterwards proceeded to Constantine 
in the due course of his journey, and next to Tunis, 
hearing in the meantime that " Barbarossa was 
slaine at Tremizen, 1 and that his brother called 
Cairadin succeeded in the government of Alger", 
(which took place in 1518), this could scarcely 
have referred to the same journey. It is, indeed, 
probable that the news reached him after he had 
left the country, for immediately after he tells us 
how "we heard also" that "the Emperour Charles 
the fift had sent two armies to surprize Alger : the 
first whereof was destroied vpon the plaine of Alger, 
and the second hauing assailed the towne three daies 
together was partly slaine and partly taken by 

1 This event took place not actually at Tlemsen — as usually 
stated — but at the River of Oudja, or Rio Salado, west of Oran, 
when, after his escape from the city which he had defended for 
twenty-six days, Aruj was overtaken by Alfonso Velasco (not 
Martin d'Agote, as Marmol has it). The man who slew him after 
a desperate fight was the ensign, Garcia de Tineo. On this 
subject, Elie de Primaudace's Histoire de r occupation Espagne en 
Afrique (1506-15 74) : Documents in'edits (1875), p. 25 et passim, 
and Berbrugger, Revue Africaine, vol. iv, pp. 25-33, ma y be 
profitably studied; 

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Barbarossa, insomuch that very few escaped backe 
into Spaine. This was done in the yeere of the 
Hegeira nine hundred and twentie two" — which gives 
the incorrect date of a. d. 1516. Moreover, though 
the army sent by Ximenes (who became Regent of 
Spain on the death of Ferdinand 1 ) under the com- 
mand of Diego de Vera was so utterly routed, that 
after his return to Spain the children shouted after 
him that Barbarossa with one arm defeated him with 
two, the defeat was not quite so complete as Leo 
describes. Still, as he saw the close of the Arab 
and Berber rule, and the beginning of the Turkish, 
this portion of the Moor's narrative is more than 
usually valuable. 

Tunisia has changed perhaps less than Algeria, so 
far as the civilisation of the people is concerned ; 
but territorially it has altered quite as much. Be- 
fore the events which led to the settlement of the 
Turks in Barbary, the Kings of Tunis were the 
most powerful of the sovereigns in that part of 
North Africa. Their power extended from Tripoli 
in the east, to Constantine and Bougia in the west, 
these principalities being generally governed by 
relatives, sons or favourites of the king. In addition 
to the authority they exercised in their immediate 
dominions, the Tunisian sovereigns had much 
influence with the Arab tribes, in what it is now the 

1 Charles V was then a boy of sixteen, and was not elected 
Emperor till three years later. I quote Pory; but, as will be 
seen by-and-by, both Florianus and he have given a very slovenly 

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fashion to call their "hinterland". But several of 
the provincial governors were, as in the neighbour- 
ing kingdoms, almost independent. It is perhaps 
needless to add that neither Bougia nor Constantine 
is now a fief of Tunis, while Tripoli has long been 
a possession of the Sultan of Turkey: 

When Leo knew Tunis (before 1520, for his 
subsequent residence and death in that country are 
problematical) Mulai Abu 'Abd Allah Mohammed, 
of the Beni Hafs dynasty, was King. He died in 
1525. For a time his heirs maintained, with the 
help of the Spaniards to whom they had become 
vassals, a nominal power, alternated by tussles with 
Dragut the Corsair, who was twice master of the 
city of. Tunis. But the last of these suffragan 
princes disappeared when the Turks ousted the 
Spaniards. Then, from the 3rd of September 
1573, to the 12th of May 1881, the " Khutba" 
was read in the name of the reigning Sultan 
of the Osmanlis. But from the latter of these 
dates, Tunis, from being a Regency of Turkey — 
though in reality governed by a Dey or a Bey inde- 
pendent in everything but the name — became a 
Protectorate of France, or, in other words, a colony 
conveniently ruled in a despotic manner by a Resi- 
dent who, as Mayor of the Palace, issues his decrees 
in the name of Sidi 'Ali, brother of Mohammed es- 
Sadok, the ruler whom the French insisted on 
"protecting". He will, most likely, even as rot 
faineant, be the last reigning descendant of Hussein 
ben 'Ali, the Greek renegade, who, in 1705, was 

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elected Bey by the Turkish soldiers, and thus 
founded the dynasty now on the eve of expiring. 

Since the new condition of affairs, Tunisia has 
changed somewhat. Justice is better, if not so 
cheap, and tyranny, other than that of the bureau- 
crat, is unknown. The coast-towns have all re- 
ceived a garrison, and have acquired a varnish of 
the cafe type of civilisation ; a railway runs from 
the city of Tunis to Algiers, and two smaller ones 
to Goletta, Carthage, and Hamman el-Enf. There 
is a boulevard and a European quarter outside the 
walls of the capital, which are already getting 
breached ; and a costly system of administration 
has been introduced, entirely unsuited to a land in 
which the old patriarchal rule, purified and im- 
proved, would have been amply sufficient.. 

But the interior is even yet very little affected by 
the Franks. There the Arabs live as they have 
always lived, and though the traveller is no longer 
in the imminent peril of losing his purse and his life, 
as he was before the days of the protectorate, 
the habits of the tribesmen are unaltered. 
• Tripoli, Barca and Cyrenaica are perhaps the 
least changed of all the Barbary States — less so than 
even Morocco. For, though the country is now a 
vilayet of the Ottoman Empire, there has been 
little alteration in it during the last four or five 
centuries. When Leo visited this region, it was in 
a state of transition as regards rulers. Don Pedro 
Navarro had just (1510) wrested the city of Tripoli 
from the Tunisian sovereign, on behalf of Ferdinand 

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the Catholic. Thirteen years later, Charles V be- 
stowed it upon the Knights of St. John, who, in 
1553, were compelled to surrender to Dragut and 
Sinan, the Turkish pirates. Up to the year 17 14 
the country was governed by Bashaws, who were 
tributary to Constantinople, in much the same way 
that the Deys of Algiers or the Beys of Tunis were. 
But, in that year, Ahmed Pasha Karamanli became 
actually independent, and his descendants continued 
to rule Tripoli until 1835, when the Turks took ad- 
vantage of a civil war to reassert their own authority. 
Yet all these revolutions affected only the city 
of Tripoli and a few of the coast towns. A little 
way into the interior, the Arabs and Berbers lived 
without troubling themselves much over who had, 
or who had not, " Tarabulus al-Gharb", except in so 
far as the quarrels for mastery interfered with their 
caravan trade, the crocus gardens from whence their 
saffron was produced, or their chance of plunder. 
Tripoli (like the adjoining parts of Barbary) ought 
to-day to be under the successors of the Knights ; 
for the Maltese are still their commercial masters, 
and, beyond such civilisation as they have brought in 
their train, this dirty Moorish town bears few traces, 
except in its battered fortifications, of having been 
so often contended for by half the nations of 
Christendom. A few miles beyond the walls the 
country is stationary. Roads and wheeled carriages 
are unknown, the safety of travellers not to be 
reckoned on, and railways a dream which never 
disturbs the sleep of the drowsy inhabitants. 

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Egypt is, so far as the river-side and coast 
towns are concerned, a very different land from that 
which Leo described. All these are Frenchified or 
Anglicised. Railways thread the country, and 
martial airs of the Gaiours' garrisons call the Faith- 
ful to prayer. But Leo made his acquaintance 
with the Nile Valley at an interesting period of its 
history, namely, just subsequent to the year 15 17, 
when the long line of Slave Kings — called the 
Bahri, or Turkish, and the Burgi, or Circassian, 
Mamelukes, to whose enlightened love of art 
Cairo still bears witness — came to an end on the 
conquest of Egypt by the Ottoman Sultan Selim I. 
Leo's description of Lower Egypt contains the 
earliest account which we possess of. the " Soldans" 
court, both before and after this grievous mis- 
fortune for the Delta. Otherwise, the data he 
supplies regarding the country at large are less 
important than those concerning other regions ; 
and he seems to have compiled his accounts of 
"Anthiiis" and other places either from inaccurate 
information, or from manuscripts which he met with 
in Rome, since it is difficult to make them fit in 
with known facts. 

Finally, the central portions of Africa visited by 
him have not until lately changed at all (except 
those situated on the fringe of the desert south of 
Algeria or on the Upper Niger), or, at least, only 
in so far that one dynasty of black kings has been 
succeeded by another. His description of the 
towns would serve equally well to-day : his accounts 

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of the habits of the people are not very different 
from those brought home by the most recent 
explorers. But in the four centuries which have 
elapsed since his day, Africa has been penetrated 
in every direction, and Timbuktu, of which he gives 
the earliest account known to us, has been reached 
by many travellers ; while the Niger was descended 
in 1889 from Barnaku almost to the city itself — 
which is not on the river — by a French steam- 
launch, 1 and in 1894 this city was occupied by a 
French garrison. 

Timbuktu is thus, with most of the Sahara, now 
brought within the French " sphere of influence' 1 . 
In time a railway will reach it either from Senegal 
or from Algeria, and this once mysterious city will 
receive unbelieving visitors as complacently as has 
the holy city of Kairw&n since 1882. Bornu and 
Sokoto and "Ghinea", with much of the Upper 
Niger and Lake Tschad country may, in like 
manner, become at some future date a Protectorate 
of Great Britain. 

In his particularisation of the genealogies of the 
Upper Niger kings, Leo falls into some blunders, 
which will be pointed out in the proper place, and 

1 This voyage to Kabasa, the port of Timbuktu, was made 
by Lieut. Carson in 1887 : two years later Lieut. Jaime* made a 
second trip with two gunboats, starting from Kuliman, close to 
Barnaku, reaching the neighbourhood of Timbuktu without 
difficulty. — Caron, De Saint-Louis au Port de Tombouktou. 
Sourai, 1891. Col. Bonnier occupied it on the 10th January 

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his natural history is, with few exceptions, very 
indifferent. This, indeed, is the most unsatisfactory 
section of Leo's volume ; his critical faculty is at its 
worst when he enlarges on " the strange beasts and 
other liuing creatures of Africa' — the lions 1 20 feet 
in length, " the sea-oxe," and " the huge and 
monstrous dragons" — notwithstanding his amusing 
patronage of Pliny, who was among the number of 
authors he had read with evident attention. 

Altogether, in closing these preliminary critical 
remarks on the old African traveller, it is not 
saying more than he deserves when I affirm that he 
is one of the few geographical writers of his age who 
can still be read, not merely for the purposes of the 
historian, or for entertainment — and he is good for 
both — but also for actual information regarding the 
condition of the countries and the habits of the 
people described by him. 

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Written in Arabic!^ and ftalian 

by Iohn Leo a More, borne 

in Granadajnd brought vf 

in Barbaric. 

Wherein he hath at Urge defenbed, notonelythe qualities, fituattons, mi true 
di Stances of the regions . cities, townes/nountames.mers, and other places 
throughout all the north And principal! partes of Africa \ but alfo the 
defcents and families of their kings, thecaufes andeuents of their mrres, 
with their manners , cnHomes , religions , and cimle gouernment , and 
many other memorable matters : gathered partly out of his own* di- 
ligent obferuattons, and partly out of the ancient records md Chronicles 
of the Arabians and Mores. 

Before which, out of the beft ancient and moderne writers, is prefixed agenerall 
defcription of Africa, and alfo a particular treatife of all themaine lands 
and files vndefcribed by lohn Lea. 

And After the fame u annexed a relation of the great Princes >and the manifold religions 
trt that p*rr of the world. 

Tranflatcd and collc&ed byloHNPoRY, lately ' 

of Goneuill and Caius College 

in Cambridge. 

L O NT) I N /, 

fmfenfis (jeorgfBifhop. 

l 6 o o 

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ble sir Robert Cecil, Knight, princi- 

pall Secretarie to her Maiestie, Master 

of the Court of Wardes and Liueries, and 

one of her Highnes most Honorable 

prime Counsel/. 

O heere the first fruits, or rather the 
tender buddes and blossomes of my 
labours. Which least in this their 
winterly sprouting they might per- 
haps by some bitter blasts of censure 
be frost-nipped, I humbly recom- 
mend to your Honorable protec- 

Most due they are onely to your selfe, being for the 

greatest part nothing else, but a large illustration of cer- 

taine southern voiages of the English, alreadie dedicated 

to your Honour. And at this time especially I thought 

they would prooue the more acceptable : in that the 

Marocan ambassadour (whose Kings dominions are heere 

most amplie and particularly described) hath so lately 

treated with your Honour concerning matters of that estate. 

Vouchsafe therefore (right Honorable) according to your 

accustomed humanitie towards learning, to accept of this 

Geographicall historie, in like manner as it pleased your 

Honour not long since most fauourablie to take in good 

part those commendable indeuours of my reuerend friend 

M. Richard Hakluyt : who out of his mature iudgement in 

these studies, knowing the excellencie of this storie 

aboue all others in the same kinde, was the onely 

man that mooued me to translate it. 

At London this three and fortieth most 

ioifull Coronation-day of her 

sacred Maiestie. 


Your Honors alwaies most 

readie to be commanded 

A 2 

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To the Reader. 

Iue me leaue (gentle Readers) if not to 
present vnto your knowledge, bicause 
some perhaps may as wel be informed 
as my selfe; yet, to call to your 
remembrance, some fewe particulars, 
concerning this Geographicall His- 
toric, and Iohn Leo the author 
Who albeit by birth a More, and by religion for many 
yeeres a Mahumetan : yet if you consider his Parentage, 
Witte, Education, Learning, Emploiments, Trauels, and 
his conuersion to Christianitie ; you shall finde him not 
altogither vnfit to vndertake such an enterprize ; nor 
vnwoorthy to be regarded. 

First therefore his Parentage seemeth not to haue bin 

ignoble : seeing (as in his second booke himself e testifietk) an 

Vncle of his was so Honorable a person, and so excellent an 

Oratour and Poet ; that he was sent as a principall Ambas- 

sadour,from the king of Fez, to the king of Tombuto. 1 

And whether this our Author were borne at Granada in 
Spaine, (as it is most likely) or in some part of Africa ; 2 
certaine it is, that in naturall sharpenes and viuacitie of 
Wit, he most liuely resembled those great and classicall 
authours, Pomponius Mela, Iustinus Historicus, Columella, 
Seneca, Quintilian, Orosius, Prudentius, Martial, Iuuenal, 
Auicen, &c. reputed all for Spanish writers ; as likewise 
Terentius Afer, Tertullian, Saint Augustine, Victor, 
Optatus, &c. knowen to be writers of Africa. But amongst 
great varietie which are to be found in the processe of this 

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notable discourse, I will heere lay before your view one onely 
pattern e of his surpassing wit. In his second booke therefore ■, 
if you peruse the description of Mount Tenueues, ^<?# shall 
there finde the learned and sweete Arabian verses of Iohn 
Leo, not being then fully sixteene yeeres of age, so highly 
esteemed by the Prince of the same mountaine, that in recom- 
pence thereof after bountifull entertainment, he dismissed him 
with gifts of great value. 

Neither wanted he the best Education that all Barbarie 
could affoord. For being euenfrom his tender yeeres trained 
vp at the Vniuersitie of Fez, in Grammar, Poetrie, 
Rhetorick, Philosophic, Historie, Cabala, Astronomie, and 
other ingenuous sciences, and hauing so great acquaintance 
and conuersation in the kings court \ how could { he choose 
but prooue in his kinde a most accomplished and absolute 
man? So as I may iustly say (if the comparison be 
tolerable) that as Moses was learned in all ± the wisedomej>f 
tlie Egyptians ; so likewise was Leo, in that of the Arabians 
and Mores. 

And that he was not meanely, but extraordinarily learned ; 
let me keepe silence, that the admirable fruits of his rare 
Learning, and this Geographicall Historie among the rest 
may beare record. Besides which, he wrote an Arabian 
Grammar, highly commended by a great Linguist of Italie 
who had the sight and examination thereof ; as likewise a 
booke of the Hues of the Arabian Philosophers ; and a 
discourse of the religion of Mahumet ; with diuers excellent 
Poems, and other monuments of his industrie, which are not 
come to light. 

Now as concerning his Emploiments, were they not such 
as might well beseeme a man of good worth ? For (to omit 
how many courts and campes of princes he had frequented) 
did not he, as himself e in his third booke witnesseth, personally 
serue king Mahumet of Fez in his wars against Arzilla ? 
And was he not at another time, as appeereth out of his second 

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Booke, in seruice and honorable place vnder the same king of 
Fez, and sent ambassadour by him to the king of Maroco ? 
Yea, how often in regard of his singular knowledge and 
iudgement in the lawes of those countries, was he appointed, 
and sometimes constrained at diuers strange cities and 
townes through which he trauelled, to become a iudge and 
arbiter in matters of greatest moment ? 

Moreouer as touching his exceeding great Trauels, had he 
not at the first beene a More and a Mahumetan in religion, 
and most skilfull in the languages and customes of the 
Arabians and Africans, and for the most part trauelled in 
Carouans, or vnder the authoritie, safe conduct, and com- 
mendation of great princes : I maruell much how euer he 
should haue escaped so manie thousands of imminent 
dangers. And (all the former notwithstanding) I maruel 
much more, how euer he escaped them. For how many 
desolate cold mountaines, and huge, drie, and barren deserts 
passed he? How often was he in hazard to haue beene 
captiued, or to haue had his throte cut by the prouling 
Arabians, and wilde Mores? And how hardly manie 
times escaped he the Lyons greedie mouth, and the deuouring 
iawes of the Crocodile ? But if you will needes haue a 
brief e iournall of his trauels, you may see in the end of his 
eight booke, what he writethfor himself e. Wherefore (saith 
he) if it shall please God to vouchsafe me longer life, I 
purpose to describe all the regions of Asia which I haue 
trauelled : to wit, Arabia Deserta, Arabia Petrea, Arabia 
Felix, the Asian part of Egypt, Armenia, and some part 
of Tartaria ; all which countries I sawe and passed through 
in the time of my youth. Likewise I will describe my last 
voiages from Constantinople to Egypt, and from thence 
vnto Italy, &c. Besides all which places he had also beene at 
Tauris in Persia: and of his owne countrey, and other African 
regions adioining and remote, he was so diligent a traueller ; 
that there was no kingdome, prouince, signorie, or citie ; or 

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scarcelie any towne, village, mountaine, valley, riuer, or 
forrest, &c. which he left vnuisited. And so much the more 
credite and commendation deserueth this woortky Historie of 
his ; in that it is (except the antiquities, and certaine other 
incidents) nothing else but a large Itinerarium or Iournal of 
his African voiages : neither describeth he almost any one 
particular place, where himself e had not sometime beene an 

But, not to forget His conuersion to Christianitie, amidst 
all these his busie and dangerous trauels, it pleased the 
diuine prouidence, for the discouery and manifestation of 
Gods woonderfull works, and of his dreadfull and iust 
iudgements performed in Africa (which before the time of 
Iohn Leo, were either vtterly concealed, or vnperfectly and 
fabulously reported both by ancient and late writers) to 
deliuer this author of ours, and this present Geographicall 
Historie, into the hands of certaine Italian Pirates, about the 
isle of Gerbi, situate in the gulf e of Capes, betweene the cities 
of Tunis and Tripolis in Barbaric Being thus taken, the 
Pirates presented him and his Booke vnto Pope Leo the 
tenth : who esteeming of him as of a most rich and inualu- 
able prize, greatly reioiced at his arriuall, and gaue him most 
kinde entertainement and liberall maintenance, till such time 
as he had woone him to be baptized in the name <?/* Christ, 
and to be called Iohn Leo, after the Popes owne name. And 
so during his abode in Italy, learning the Italian toong, he 
translated this booke thereinto, being before written in 
Arabick. Thus much of Iohn Leo. 

Now let vs acquaint you with the Historie it selfe. First 
therefore from so woorthy an author, how could an historie 
proceed but of speciall woorth and consequence ? For proof e 
whereof, I appeale vnto the translations thereof into Latine, 
Italian, Spanish, French, English, and (if I be not decerned) 
into some other languages? which argue a generall approba- 
tion of the same, I appeale also to the grand and most 

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* Read pag. 59 iudiciall Cosmographer* Master Iohn Baptista Ramusius, 

of places vnde- # 

scribed by iohn sometime Secretarie to the state of Venice, who in the 
Preface to his first volume ofvoiages, so highly commendeth 
it to learned Fracastoro, and placeth it euery word in the 
very forefront of his discourses, as the principal and most 
praisewoorthy of the all. And were renowned Ortelius 
aliue, I would vnder correction report me to him ; whether 
his map of Barbarie and Biledulgerid, as also in his last 
Additament that of the kingdomes of Maroco and Fez, were 
not particularly and from point to point framed out of this 
present relation, which he also in two places at the least 
preferreth farre before all other histories written of Africa. 4 
But to leaue the testimonies of others, and to come neerer to 
the matter it selfe; like as our prime and peerelesse English 
Antiquarie master William Camden in his learned 
Britannia, hath exactly described England, Scotland, 
Ireland, and the isles adiacent (the which by Leander 
for Italie, by Damianus a Goez briefly for Spaine, by 
Belforest for France, by Munster for vpper Germanie, by 
Guiccardini for the Netherlandes, and by others for other 
countries hath beene performed) so likewise this our author 
Iohn Leo in the historie ensuing hath so largely \ particularly, 
and methodically deciphered the countries of Barbarie, 
Numidia, Libya, The land of Negros, and the hither part 
of Egypt, as (I take it) neuer any writer either before or 
since his time hath done. For, if you shall throughly consider 
him y what kingdome, prouince, citie, towne, village, moun- 
taine, vallie, riuer ; yea, what temple, college, hospitall, 
bath-stoue, Inne ; or what other memorable matter doth he 
omit ? So doth he most iudicially describe the temperature 
of the climate, and the nature of the soile, as also the dispo- 
sitions, manners, rites, customes, and most ancient pedigrees 
of the inhabitants, togitker with the alterations of religion 
and estate, the conquests, and ouerthrowes of the Romaines, 
Goths, and Arabians, and other things (by the way) right 

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tvoorthie the obseruation. So that the Africans may iustly 
say to him, and the English to master Camden, as the prince 
of Roman oratours did vnto Marcus Varro the learnedst of 
his nation. Nos in patria nostra peregrinantes errantesque Tuii. Acad. 

, . . ... . . , , , quaest. lib. 

tanquam hospires, tui libn quasi domum deduxerunt, vt 
possemus aliquando, qui & vbi essemus, agnoscere. Tu 
aetatem patriae, tu descriptiones temporum, tu sacrorum 
iura, tu domesticam, tu bellicam disciplinam, tu sedem 
regionum, & locorum, &c. Which may thus be rudely 
Englished. Wandring vp and downe like Pilgrimes in our 
owne natiue soile, thy bookes haue as it were led vs the 
right way home ; that we might at length acknowledge 
both who and where we are. Thou hast reuealed the 
antiquitie of our nation, the order of times, the rites of our 
religion, our manner of gouernment both in peace and 
warre, yea thou hast described the situation of countries 
and places, &c. 

Now as concerning the additions before and after this 
Geographicall Historie ; hauing had some spare-howers since 
it came first vnder the presse ; 1 thought good (both for the 
Readers satisfaction, and that Iohn Leo might not appeere 
too solitarie vpon the stage) to bestowe a part of them in 
collecting and digesting the same. The chief e scope of this 
my enterprize is, to make a briefe and cursorie description of 
all those maine lands and isles of Africa, which mine author 
in his nine bookes hath omitted. For he in very deed leaueth 
vntouched all those parts of the African continent which lie to 
the south of the fifteene kingdoms of Negros, and to the east 
of Nilus. For the manifestation whereof, I haue (as truely 
as I could coniecture) in the mappe adioined to this booke, 
caused a list or border of small prickes to be engrauen; which 
running westward from the mouth of Nilus to The streights 
of Gibraltar, and from thence southward to the coast of 
Guinie, and then eastward to the banks of Nilus, and so 
northward to the place where it began ; doth with aduantage 

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include all places treated of by Leo, and excludeth the residue 
which by way of Preface we haue described before the 
beginning of his African historic Likewise at the latter end 
I haue put downe certaine relations of the great Princes of 
Africa, and of the Christian, Iewish, Mahumetan, and 
Gentilish religions there professed. The Princes of greatest 
account either inhabiting or at least possessing large territories 
there, are first The grand Neguz or Christian Emperour of 
Abassia or the higher Ethiopia, commonly called Presbyter 
The varietie of Iohn or (as Zagazabo his owne ambassadour would haue 

this emperours * ° 

names read in him) Pretious Iohn ; but bicause throughout all the Ethiopick 

a marginall • 

note Pag. of relation of Francis Aluarez, being the best that euer was 

places vnde- 

scribed by written of those parts, he is continually named Prete Ianni, 
in imitation of him I also most commonly call him by that 
name. And so likewise though Zagazabo 5 (for the more 
magnificent reputation of his prince) will haue his dominions 
called Ethiopia ; yet with the consent of some approoued 
authors, and also to distinguish the country of this emperour 
*rom many other regions situate both in the higher Ethiopia, 
and in the lower ; I haue set it downe in my mappe, and in 
my discourses do most vsually speake thereof vnder the name 
of Abassia. The other great Princes intreated of in the said 
relations, are The K. of Spaine, The Turkish Emperour, 

serifo Xerif0 ' ° r The * Xarifo otherwise called The Miramonfn or the king of 
Maroco Sus and Fez, and the emperour of Monomotapa. 

My methode in the discourse before Leo is after a generall 
preface of Africa, to begin at the Red sea, where Leo endeth; 
and thence (as well in the description of the maine lands, as 
of the isles by him vntouched) to proceed on southerly to the 
cape ofBuensi esperan9a ; from which cape we retume toward 
the north, describing all along the westeme countries and 
isles 0/" Africa, till we haue brought our whole descriptions to 
an endvpon the most southwesterly parts of Barbarie, where 
our author Iohn Leo beginneth his. 

Et quoniam (as one faith) turpe non est, per quos pro- 

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seceris, agnoscere : my principall authors out of whom I 
haue gathered this store, are, of the ancienter note, Ptolemey, 
Strabo, Plinie, Diodorus Siculus, &c. and amongst later 
writers, I haue helped my selfe out of sundrie discourses in 
the first Italian volume ^/"Baptista Ramusio, as likewise out 
of Iohn Barros, Castanneda, Ortelius, Osorius de reb. gest. 
Eman. Matthew Dresserus, Quadus, Isolario del mundo, 
Iohn Huighen van Linschoten, & out of the Hollanders late 
voiages to the east Indies, and to San Tome* : but I am much 
more beholding to the history of Philippo Pigafetta, to the 
Ethiopick relations of Francis Aluarez, & of Damianus 
a Goez, and beyond all comparison (both for matter and 
method) most of all, to the learned Astronomer and Geographer 
Antonius Maginus of Padua, and to the vniuersall relations 
written in Italian by G. B. B. 

And heere, before I surcease, I must admonish the Reader 

of certaine faults escaped in some copies : as namely in the 

description of the isles in the Barbarian bay, Acotatado,y0r 

Acotado ; in a marginall note ouer against the description 

ofTombuto in the seuenth booke of Iohn Leo, Money for Gold ; 

in the relation of the Christianitie of Egypt, Hypostasis 

twice togither, in stead of Hypostases ; and in the 

discourse of the Christianitie of Congo, Paulo 

Aquitino, for Panso Aquitimo. Other 

liter all faults (if there be any) will not 

be hard for the Reader himself e 

to amend. 

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Africa other- 
wise called Li- 

The greater 
part of Africa 
vnknowen in 
former ages. 

When Africa 
was sailed 
round about. 

* And since 
also by the En- 
glish, French, 
and Dutch. 

* Bartholomew 
Dias doubled 
the cape before ; 
but returned 
fearefully with- 
out proceeding 
any farther. 
The etymologie 
or deriuation 
of this worde 

A generall description of all Africa, 

togither with a comparison of the ancient 

and new names of all the principall 

countries and prouinces therein. 

57J Hat part of inhabited lande extending 
1*1 southward, which we call Africa, and 
the Greeks Libya, is one of the three 
generall parts of the world knowen 
ynto our ancestors ; which in very 
deed was not throughly by them 
discouered, both bicause the Inlands 
coulde not be trauailed in regard of huge deserts full of 
dangerous sands, which being driuen with the winde, put 
trauailers in extreme hazard of their Hues ; and also by 
reason of the long and perilous nauigation vpon the 
African coasts, for which cause it was by very few of 
ancient times compassed by nauigation, much lesse searched 
or intirely known. Of which few, the principall were 
Hanno a Carthaginian captaine sent by the gouernours of 
that commonwelth for discouerie of the saide lande, and 
one Eudoxus that fled from Ptolemceus Lathyrus, the king of 
Alexandria. Howbeit in these latter times it hath beene 
often* by the Portugals sailed round about, and diligently 
searched, especially along the shore, euen from the 
streights of Gibraltar to the enterance of the red sea :* but 
the first Portugall that euer doubled the cape of Buena 
esperanga, and coasted the south and southeast parts of 
Africa, in former times vnknowne, was Vasco da Gama y 
in the yeere 1497, who from hence sailed to Calicut in the 
east Indies, to the vnspeakeable gaine of the Portugals. 
To omit lohn Leo his etymologies of this name Africa ; 

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Festus will haue it to be deriued from the Greeke worde 

falter), which signifieth horror or colde, and from a the 

particle priuatiue, as who shoulde say, .Africa is a pla ce 

free from all horror and ext rpmitie nf rnlH^ bicause it lieth 

open to the heauens, and is sandie, drie, and desert. 

Others say that it is called Africa quasi Aprica y that is 

exposed and subiect to the scorching beames of the sunne, 

the most part thereof lying betweene the Tropicks. Iosephus 

wil haue it so called from Afer one of the posteritie of 

Abraham^ and others from Afer sonne to Hercules of 

Libya. But it was by the Greekes called Libya, bicause it Why Africa 

was in old time conquered by Libs the king of Mauritania. Ijlya. ' 

In the holie Scriptures it is called Chamesis, by the 

Arabians and Ethiopians Alkebulam, and by the Indians 


In situation & shape this land of Africa is almost an The situation 
islle, being by a very small and narrowe neckland (passing "Africa? 6 °* 
betweene the Mediterran sea and the gulfe of Arabia, alias 
the red sea) conjoined to Asia, and in extension of ground 
being almost twise as bigge as Europe, albeit for inhabi- 
tants it is not halfe so populous. Wherefore though in a comparison 
longitude from west to east Africa be shorter then Europe a^dEurope Ua 
in some places, yet extendeth it so farre vnto the south, 
that Europe in that respect is nothing comparable vnto it : 
for Africa containeth almost seuentie degrees in latitude, 
whereas Europe stretcheth but fiue and thirtie degrees : 
moreouer Africa is more vniforme and spacious; but Europe 
is of a more distracted and manifolde shape, being in 
sundry places dispersed & restrained by the sea. Howbeit 
notwithstanding Africa hath farre greater extension oi The causes why 
ground then Europe, yet is it not so populous, nor so simdeViyTn- 
commodious to inhabite : for the lande of Africa is in hablted - 
many places vnhabitable ; the principall causes whereof 
are, the scarcitie of water, the barrennes of the soile, being 
either couered with unprofitable sande, dust, or ashes, or else 

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SandUseasin being subiect to extreme heate of the sunne : also there are 

Africa. ^ 

certaine dangerous heapes of sande, which being raised by 
the winde, are driuen vp and downe like the waues of a 
tempestuous sea: In briefe, there are such abundance of 
venemous and hurtfull creatures, that for feare of them 
the land in some places can very hardly, and in others 
by no meanes be manured or inhabited, be it neuer so 
fruitfull. Wherefore in diuers parts this region lieth waste 
and vnpeopled : howbeit where it is inhabited, it is exceed- 
ing fertile, and that especially in the north parts thereof, 
lying ouer against Europe, where (according to the report 
of many historiographers, and cosmographers) it was in 
ancient times abundantly furnished with inhabitants : so 
likewise all the westerne coast betweene Cabo de buena 
esperancja, and Cabo Negro situate about nineteene degrees 
of southerly latitude, containeth many plaines, hils, vallies, 
and other places most fruitfull and pleasant, it being there 
a continuall spring, and elsewhere also it is verie fertile, 
as it shall be declared more at large in the particular 
descriptions of each region. 
The position of The Equinoctiall circle doth in a manner diuide Africa 

Africa, accord- ^ 

ingtothe i n the verie midst thereof; from whence it stretcheth not 


onely to each tropique, but also twelue degrees almost 
beyond them both : wherefore the greater part is com- 
prized betweene the saide Tropiques vnder the Torrid or 
burnt Zone, for which onely cause the ancient writers 
supposed it to be vnhabi table and desert in so many 
places : which indeed is much rather to be ascribed to the 
waste wildernesse, the barren and sandie soile, and the 
scarcitie of waters and fountaines. It comprehendeth 
therefore fully and perfectly the three first northerly 
climates, and so many and the like climates southerly ; 
for it is situate betweene the eleuenth north Parallele, 
and the eleuenth Antiparallele, or south Parallele, both 
which are equally distant from the Equinoctiall on either 

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side. But about either of the foresaid extremes, the 
longest day consisteth of fowerteene howers and one fourth 
part, and about the midst, of twelue howers exactly. 
Likewise as touching the longitude, Africa stretcheth from 
the Meridian vnder fower degrees to the Meridian vnder 
fower-score and two degrees of longitude, to wit, from Cabo 
Roxo, or the Red cape on the west, to Cape Guardafu on 
the east side, betweene which two capes is the greatest 
bredth of Africa. 

Africa hath too narrowe boundes allotted vnto it by Iohn The boundes of 
Leo and certaine others, for they disioine the greater part of a ' 
Egypt and all Ethiopia there from. Wherefore it is more 
conuenient in this behalfe to follow Ptolemey, and the late 
writers, limiting the same on the north with the Mediterran 
sea, and the streights of Gibraltar ; on the east with the 
Red sea or the Arabian gulfe, and the small neckland of 
Asia passing betweene the Mediterran sea, and the said 
gulfe ; on the south (at the cape of Buena esperanga, 
where it endeth in forme of a wedge) with the maine 
Ocean partly called the Ethiopian sea, as being neere vnto 
the land of Ethiopia ; and on the west, from the hither 
side of the Equinoctiall line, with the Atlantike Ocean, 
(called by Ptolemey Mare Occiduum, by Dionysius 
Hesperiunty and part thereof by the Spaniards Mar del 
Norte) but beyond the Equinoctiall line it is bounded 
westward with the Ethiopian sea. 

Africa hath very many and most exceeding great Themoun- 
mountaines, the principal whereof is Mount Atlas, whose Africa. • 
tops of incredible height rising out of the midst of sandy Mount Atlas. 
desertes, exalt themselues aboue the cloudes. This 
mountaine beginneth westward at that place, where it 
distinguisheth the Ocean by the name of Atlanticus : 
from whence by a perpetuall ridge, after many windings 
and turnings, it extendeth east toward the confines of 
Egypt: moreouer it is in most places rounde, hard to 

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ascend, craggie, steepe, impassable, cold, barren, shadie, 

and euery where full of woods and fountaines, with 

cloudes alwaies houering about the tops thereof, being 

* Tkjprou™- forlorn and desolate toward the Ocean, but ouer against* 

ces of Temizen, 

Alger, Bugia, Africa minor, most fertile, and abounding with plentie of 
and Tunis. ' corne and of thick woods which are clad with a kinde of 
mosse no whit inferior to silke. 

The tops of this mountaine are couered with deepe 
snowes euen in the midst of sommer : and sometimes when 
the North winds blow any thing sharpe, the snow falleth 
in such abundance, that it hideth the trees growing vpon 
the sides thereof, and is deadly both to man and beast. 
Extreme cold Moreouer the fountaines which are here found, are so 

fountaines. . 

extreame cold in the hottest of sommer, as if a man should 

dip his hand therein but for a short space, it would loose 

Mountaines both life, sence, and motion. Besides Mount Atlas those 

called Os Picos . .... c 1 - i i . 

fragosos: that mountaines likewise are very famous, which being situate 

tinted. ' * iohn on the south part of Africa, are called by the Portugales 

lib^l'cap 6 . '^ Os Picosfragosos : 6 for by reason of their surpassing height 

and craggie cliffes it is impossible to skale them, and they 

are bare, forlorne, and destitute of all reliefe. 

Likewise the cape commonly called Sierra Leona is as 
it were framed out of an exceeding high mountaine, which 
may be kenned a mightie distance off: the top of this 
mountaine is continuallie ouershadowed with cloudes, 
which often send forth dreadfull thunder and lightening : 
whereupon some think it to haue bin called by Ptolemey, 
and by Hanno of Carthage, The chariot of the gods. 7 
Luna monies. The mountaines of the moone also, knowen of old, and 
situate vnder the Tropique of Capricorne, being very high 
and craggie, are inhabited by barbarous and sauage people 
nere vnto which are valleis of such exceeding depth, as if 
they reached to the center of the earth. 8 Likewise there 
are certain mountaines in Angola called Cabambe con- 
taining most rich siluer-mines, &c. 

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Also in Africa are certaine mightie lakes, which for their The lake of 
extension seem rather to be seas, the principal whereof b y some others 
called by some Zembre, being situate by a number of huge )he Equinoc-' 
mountaines, and distant from the Equinoctial eleuen or Hall% 
twelue degrees to the south, containeth about fiue hundred 
leagues in compasse out of which lake doe spring the 
famous riuers of Nilus, Zaire, and Cuama, and some affirme 
very strange sea-monsters to be therein. 9 

Africa likewise hath many exceeding great riuers, as The riuers 
namely Nilus, Niger, Senaga, Gambra, Zaire, Abagni, 
Tagassi, Coluez, Coauo, Cuama, and Maniche, or Rio del 
spirito santo, all which are in a manner of the same , 
qualitie and disposition ; for with their yeerlie inundations 
they doe most wonderfullie fatten and enrich the soile of 
the territories adioyning. Nilus the most famous riuer mius. 
of the world, diuiding Egypt in the midst, and with his 
ouerflowes making it most fruitefull, continueth in his 
yeerely increase fortie daies, and forty daies in decrease ; 
to wit, from the seuenteenth of lune to the sixt of October : 
and this riuer after a mightie long course through Ethiopia 
and Egypt, dischargeth his streames into the Mediterran 
sea. The riuer. of Niger, running through the land of Niger. 
Negros, called of old (as Solinus supposed) by the naturall 
inhabitants Astabus, and (according to Marmolius) Hued 
Nijar in the Arabian toung, is now esteemed by Paulus 
Iouius to be Gambra, and by Cadamosta the riuer of 
Senega ; but that both of them are deceiued, it is euident 
out of the description of Sanutus, who putteth downe the 
two foresaid riuers seuerallie, and thinketh Niger to be 
that which is now called Rio grande. This riuer taketh 
his beginning, as some thinke, out of a certain desert to 
the east,, called Seu, or springeth rather out of a lake, and 
after a long race, falleth at length into the western Ocean. 
It increaseth also, for the space of fortie daies like Nilus, 
and is for so long space decreasing about the verie same 


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time; by which inundation it bringeth such fruitfulness 
vnto all the land of Negros (certain mountaines onely 
excepted) as no place in the world can be imagined more 
fertile. Senaga or Canaga, a most notable riuer, called, 
as some thinke, Baratis by Ptolemey, and for the length 
thereof, and manifold strange creatures therein contained, 
comparable to Nilus, seuereth by his winding chanel the 
barren and naked soile, from the greene and fruitefull. 
Moreouer it maketh a separation betweene nations of 
sundrie colours : for the people on this side are of a dead 
ash-colour, leane, and of a small stature ; but on the 
farther side they are exceeding blacke, of tall and manly- 
stature, and very well proportioned : howbeit neere vnto 
the riuer on either side, they are of a meane colour, com- 
plexion, and stature betweene both the aboue mentioned. 
It falleth into the sea by two mouthes, the principall 
whereof is about a mile broad, vp into the which the sea 
entreth almost 60 miles. It springeth (according to John 
Barros) out of two lakes (the greater whereof is now called 
the lake of Gaoga, but heretofore by Ptolemey Oielonidce 
paludes y and the lesser Ptolemey calleth Nubcepalus) as 
These two ri- also out of a riuer named by Ptolemey Ghir. This riuer of 

uers of Senaga . 

andGambra Senaga hath great variety of strange fishes, and other 

are not cer- i i • • i » i 

tainiy known, creatures that hue in the water, as namely, sea-horses, 

lie mate rnters crocodiles, winged serpents, and such like: neere vnto it 

tro^wckesand ^ so are great store of Elephants, wilde bores, lyons, and 

Tiiger? ^ leopards. Gambra or Gambea a very great riuer, lying 

betweene Senaga and Niger, and esteemed by Sanutus to 

be that which Ptolemey called Stachir, fetcheth his originall 

from the lake of Libya, and from the fountaines which 

Ptolemey assigneth to the riuer of Niger: this riuer in 

greatnes and depth exceedeth Senaga, and hath many 

vnknowne riuers falling thereinto, and bringeth foorth all 

kindes of liuing creatures that Senaga doth. In the midst 

phants?° '" of this riuer standeth the Isle of Elephants, so called, in 

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regarde of great numbers of those beasts. The riuer 
Zaire beginneth out of the same lake from whence Nilus 
springeth : this being one of the greatest riuers of all 
Africa, and vtterly vnknowne vnto ancient writers, con- 
taineth at the mouth eight and twentie miles in bredth, 
hauing a very safe harbour for ships to ride in : also there 
are many and great Islands in the chanell thereof, and 
sundrie riuers do fall thereinto, the principall whereof are 
Vumba, Barbela, Coanza, and Lelunda : in briefe, this 
riuer Zaire running through the kingdome of Congo, 
disgorgeth it selfe into the maine Ethiopian sea. Out of These two 

riuers of Cua- 

same lake, which is the very fountaine of Nilus, springetlv^ and Mag- 

, , , , r . , . . - , nice {according 

another notable and famous riuer, which after a long race to Phmppo 
toward the south and east, is diuided into two branches : spring both out 
the northerly branch, which is exceeding great (for \t°{J!darenot ae 
receiueth sixe great riuers thereinto, and is nauigable for Jj*^ J °^ one 
the space of seuen hundred miles) being properly called 
Cuama, and the other branch more southerly, which is 
verie great also, being named Manich or Magnice, or Rio 
del spirito Santo. 10 

The promontories, capes, or headlands of Africa be verie Thepromon- 
many, the most famous and principal wherof are, The °fAfrTca 
cape of Buena esperanga, or good hope, Cabo verde, and esperanza™"* 
Cabo de los corrientes. The cape of Buena esperan^a or 
good hope is the extreame southerly point of all Africa, 
being a most renowned and dangerous promontorie, which 
in the yeere one thousand foure hundred ninetie seuen was 
the second time discouered by Vasco da Gama at the 
commandement of Don Emanuel king of Portugal : this 
cape the mariners were woont to cal the lion of the Ocean, 
and the tempestuous cape, by reason of the russling and 
roring of the windes, which they found there for the most 
part very boisterous : for the sea thereabout is exceeding 
rough, by reason of the continual fury of the windes ; 
neither will any nauigatours touch vpon the cape, except 

B 2 

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Caboverde. they be enforced by meere necessitie. Cabo verde or 
The greene head-land, is esteemed by some to be the same 
which Ptolemey calleth Promontorium Arfinarium, & is 
compassed on either side by the riuers of Senega and 

Cabo de los cor- Gambra. Cabo de los corrientes, otherwise called the cape 

rtentes. x 

of San Sebastian, stretcheth foorth it selfe right ouer 
against the south ende of the great Isle of Madagascar : 
it is a cape well knowne, by reason it is so dangerous to 
double, which the Moores durst not passe for a very long 

And heere as concerning the strange beasts, fishes, 
serpents, trees, plants, and roots of Africa, as likewise 
touching the diseases, whereto the African people are most 
subiect; and the varietie of languages (excepting the 
Chaldaean, Egyptian, Turkish, Italian, and Spanish toongs) 
which are now and haue beene of ancient times spoken in 
Africa ; I refer the Reader to the first and last bookes of 
lohn Leo, and to other places, where they are at large 
and purposely intreated of. 
The inhabit- Moreouer this part of the worlde is inhabited especially 

ants o/ Africa. ..... , , . .. , 

by nue pnncipall nations, to wit, by the people called 
Cafri or Cafates, that is to say outlawes, or lawlesse, by the 
Abassins, the Egyptians, the Arabians, and the Africans or 
Moores, properly so called ; which last are of two kinds, 
namely white or tawnie Moores, and Negros or blacke 
The diuersitie Moores. Of all which nations some are Gentiles which 

of religions in ,.,,, , /-, r •**■ * 

Africa. worship Idols ; others of the sect of Mahumet ; some 

others Christians ; and some Iewish in religion ; the 
greatest part of which people are thought to be descended 
from Cham the cursed sun of Noah ; except some Arabians 
of the linage of Sem, which afterward passed into Africa. 
Now the Arabians inhabiting Africa are diuided into many 
seuerall kinds, possessing diuers and sundrie habitations 
and regions ; for some dwell neere the sea shore, which 
retaine the name of Arabians ; but others inhabiting the 

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inland, are called Baduini. There bee likewise infinite 

swarmes of Arabians, which with their wiues and children, * iZ*^ 

leade a vagrant and roguish life in the deserts, vsing tents U^^ 

in stead of houses : these are notable theeues. and very 

troublesome both to their neighbour-inhabitants, and also 

to merchants : for which cause trauellers and merchants 

dare not passe ouer the African deserts alone, but onely in 

Carouans, which are great companies of merchants riding, 

and transporting their goods vpon their camels and asses : 

who go very strong, and in great numbers, for feare of the 

said theeuish Arabians. 

Ptolemey in his fourth booke of Geography diuideth The ancient 
Africa into twelue regions or prouinces : namely, Mauri- A/rZTby 
tania Tingitana, Mauritania Caesariensis, Numidia, Africa a comparison of 
propria, Cyrenaica, Marmarica, Libya propria, AEgyptus witn^thT* 
superior, AEgyptus inferior, Libya interior, AEthiopia sub fnodernenames - 
AEgypto, & AEthiopia interior. 

Mauritania Tingitana, the most rich and beautifull Mauritania 

r a r • i r i • • rr*»« • i • i Tingitana, be- 

countrey of Africa, so named of the citie Tingis, which we ing ail one with 
at this day call Tanger, was sometimes also (as Plinie f Ma?oc™nd 
witnesseth) called Borgundiana: moreouer others haue es ' 
called it by the names of Mauritania Sitiphensis, Hispania 
Transfretana, and Hispania Tingitana : but Solinus termeth 
the same Mauritania inferior. The inhabitants were of old 
named by the Graecians Maurusij, and by the Romaines 
Mauri, but the Spaniards at this present terme them 
Alarabes. 11 In this part of Africa are now contained two 
stately kingdomes, namely the kingdome of Maroco, and 
the kingdome of Fez ; both which are enuironed with the 
mountaines of Atlas, the Ocean and the Mediterran seas, 
and to the east with the riuer of Muluia. 

Mauritania Caesariensis, named according to the citie of Mauritania 
Caesaria, which was so called after the name of Claudius caih^uhis 
Ccesar, at this present bearing the name of Tiguident ox^eT^dAigeV. 
Tegdemt, which worde in the Arabian toong signifieth 

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ancient ; was by Victor Vticensis, termed Mauritania maior ; 
by Strabo Massilia, and Massaesilia, and the inhabitants 
thereof by Plinie Massaesuli. At this present it containeth 
the kingdome of Tremizen, as Dominias Niger, and Giraua 
are of opinion. 
Numidu the Numidia the ancient, called in the time of Ptolomey, The 

anctent, con- •' ' 

tayningBugia, new, but by the Greekes (as Plinie testifieth) Metagonitis, 

Bona, Metzad, and the inhabitants thereof Numidae, and Nomades ; is 

that region which lieth betweene The great riuer, and the 

riuer Megerada, ouer which countrey king Masinissa bare 

rule. It containeth now (as I coniecture) the prouinces of 

Bugia, Constantina, Bona, and Mezzab. Howbeit at this 

present we vnderstande by Numidia that region which lieth 

betweene the mountaines of Atlas and the Libyan deserts, 

called by Iohn Leo and Marmolius Biledulgerid, or the 

lande of Dates, bicause this is the onely region for plentie 

of Dates, in all Africa. 

Africa propria Africa propria, situate vpon the Mediterran sea, betweene 

kingdom* of the regions of old Numidia, and the Cyrene, is called by 


Plinie Zeugitania, who diuideth it into the ancient and the 
new. At this present it is the kingdome of Tunis, for it 
containeth Byzacium, which by Strabo is accounted a part 
of Africa propria. The head of this prouince in times 
past was Carthage, whereof at this present there are 
nothing but ruines extant. 
Cyrene now Cyrene, or Cyrenaica, by Plinie called Pentapolis, 

called Mesrata. J J J r * 

and by the Hebrews Lebahim, is esteemed by Giraua 
to be at this present called Corene, and by Andrew 
Theuet y Assadib : but Iohn Leo and Marmolius name it 
Marmarica Marmarica is called by Plinie Mareotis, and Libya : 


in the desert of howbeit at this present the desert of Barcha, described by 
Iohn Leo in his sixt booke, containeth a great part of 
Cyrenaica, and all Marmarica. 

Libya propria, 

called Sarra. But Libya propria, retaineth till this present the name 

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of Libya, and is that part which the Arabians call Sarra, 
which worde signifieth a desert. 

Both the ancient Ethiopias are now possessed by the AEMopia, 

now called 

Abassins, vnder the dominion of Prete Ianni. Abassia. 

Egypt retaineth euen till this day, the ancient name. 

The best moderne diuision of Africa, for these our times 
is to adde vnto the foure general partes, Barbaria, Numidia, 
Libya, and the land of Negros, set downe by Iohn Leo, 
th^ee other generall partes to wit, Egypt ; the inner or the 
vpper Ethiopia, containing Troglodytica, Nubia, and the 
empire of Prete Ianni ; and the lower, or the extreme 
Ethiopia, stretching from the said empire along the sea- 
coast, and through the Inland euen to the Cape of Buena 

Thus much of Africa in generall. Now it remaineth 
that we briefly describe in particular all the principall 
maine landes, and islands, (vndescribed by Iohn Led) which 
thereto belong, or adioyne ; beginning first with the Red 
sea one of the chiefe limites of Africa, and from thence 
shaping our course along the easterne or farthest quarters 
thereof, through the dominions of Prete Ianni, the lande of 
Zanguebar. the empires of Mohenemuge, and Monomotapa, 
and the region of Cafraria : and then, hauing doubled the 
cape of Buena esperan^a, range we along the westerne 
partes by the kingdomes of Angola, Congo, Anzichi, Benin, 
Ghinea, and by the capes of Sierra Leona, Capo verde, and 
the castle of Arguin, till we haue brought our selues to 
finish our course, vpon the most southwesterne partes of 
Barbarie, from whence our author Iohn Leo beginneth his. 

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A particular description of all the knowne borders, 

coastes and inlands of Africa, which Iohn Leo 

hath left vndescribed : collected out of 

sundry ancient and late writers. 

Of the red sea. 

THe red sea called by others the Arabian gulfe, and the 
streight of Mecha, containing in length twelue 
hundred miles, and in bredth but one hundred, is deuided 
into three partitions or chanels ; the middlemost whereof 
being called The large or deepe sea, is without danger 
nauigable both day and night, because it hath from fiue 
and twentie to fiftie fathomes water, especially from the 
isle of Camaran euen to Suez stading at the very bottome of 
the gulfe : the other two partitions, which are the easterne 
and westerne extremities, are incumbred with so manie 
little isles and rocks, as it is impossible to saile ouer them 
but onely by day-light, and with most expert pilots, which 
This isle I take are to be hired at a small island lying ouerthwart the very 

to be Babel- , r f , , . , , , . 

mandei. mouth or entrance of the red sea ; which the ancient kings 

of Egypt (if the report of Strabo be true) barred with a 
chaine, from the African, to the Arabian side. 12 This sea 
is very skarce of. fish ; perhaps because there fall no riuers 
thereinto, which with their fresh and sweete waters doe 
much delight and nourish the fish ; and the strand or shore 
thereof is destitute of all greene grasse, herbes, or weedes. 
The portes and hauens of this sea are for the most part 
very dangerous and difficult to enter, by reason of the 
manifold windings and turnings, which must be made, to 
auoide the rockes. 

Suez called of At the very head or North end of this gulfe, standeth 

olde Heroum ,.,, r ^.. 

duitas, and Suez, which heretofore seemeth to haue bin called Ciuitas 
Heroum, and in the times of Dauid and Salomon Hazion- 

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Geber, from whence the fleetes of those partes were sent 
to Ophir for golde and other rich commodities. Vnder 
the Egyptian Ptolemeys and the Romans, this towne 
flourished exceedingly, by reason of the infinite quantitie 
of merchandize brought thither from the east Indies, and 
Arabia. But now it is nothing so frequented ; partly in 
regard of the mighty concurse and traffique which Mecha 
draweth vnto it selfe, and partly by reason of the 
Portugales conueiance of spices and other Indian 
commodities about the cape of Buena esperanga. At 
this present the great Turke hath there an Arsenate, Arsenate signi- 

r b . Jiethastore- 

with certaine gallies, for feare of the Portugals aforesaid : house for mu- 
nition , and for 
against whome there haue bin dispatched from this place all necessaries 

two greate fleetes, one for the assailing of Diu, and another poire, andfur- 

for Ormuz. Howbeit because all the countries round nts a ' 

about are vtterly destitute of wood, it is a matter of infinite 

charge to furnish foorth a fleete from hence ; for they are 

constrained to fetch their timber as far as Caramania, < 

partly by sea, and partly vpon camels backs. At this 

towne of Suez they haue no fresh water; but all their 

water is brought them from a place sixe miles distant 

vpon camels backs, being notwithstanding brackish and 


The western shore of the Red sea is inhabited with Troglodyte 

people called in old time Troglodytae, which at this that liued in , 

present do all of them yeelde obedience to the great TarVh™ auoiJe 

Turke : who considering, that the fleets of the Portugales Mng'TAuef 

entered very often into the Red sea, and were there *»• tSVa*- 

receiued by the subiects of Prete Gianni, and did him USJu. *" 

great domage; hath thereupon taken occasion not onely 

to conquer the Troglodytae, but also to wast and subdue 

a great part of Barnagasso, the most Northerlie prouince A great part of 

of the said Prete. So that the audacious attempts of ^^ subdued by the 

Portugales in those parts haue bred two most dangerous 

and bad effects ; the one is, that the Arabians haue most 

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strongly fortified all their sea-townes, which before lay 
naked and without fortification ; the other, for that the 
Turke also hath bin occasioned thereby to make warre 
against the Prete. Wherefore they ought not to haue 
vndertaken any such enterprise, but with full resolution 
and sufficient forces to accomplish the same : for lesser 
attempts serue to no other end, but onely to rouze and 
arme the enimie, which was before secure and quiet. 

Neither is it heere to be omitted, that in the foresaide 
sea, a man can saile in no ships or barks, but only those of 
the great Turke, or at least with his licence, paying vnto 
him for tribute a good part of the fraight. For this 
purpose he hath certaine Magazines or store-houses of 
timber, which is brought partly from the gulfe of Satalia, 
and partly from Nicomedia, and other places vpon the 
Euxin sea, vnto Rosetto and Alexandria ; from whence 
it is afterward transported to Cairo, and thence to Suez. 

This sea is called the Red sea, not in regard that the 
waters thereof be all red, but (as some thinke) from 
certaine red rushes which growe vpon the shore : and (as 
others are of opinion) from a kinde of red earth which in 
sundry places it hath at the bottome : which earth dieth 
not the very substance of the water red, but by trans- 
parence causeth it (especially neere the shore) to appeere 
of that colour. 

Africa Troglodytica. 

THat sandie, barren, and desert part of Africa which 
lieth betweene Nilus and the Red sea, especially to 
the south of the tropike, was in old times inhabited by the 
Troglodytae, 13 a people so called, bicause of their dwelling 
in caues vnder the ground. Along this westerne coast of 
the Red sea runneth a ridge of mountaines, which being an 
occasion that the inland riuers can not fall into the saide 
sea, they are forced to discharge themselues into Nilus. 

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The foresaide mountaines and sea coast are now inhabited 
by Mahumetans, being partly Arabians, and partly Turkes : 
which not many yeeres ago haue attempted to saile that 
sea, and to inuade the regions adioining. The naturall 
inhabitants are a rude barbarous people, and very poore 
and beggerly. The chiefe places of habitation are 
Corondol, 14 a speciall good porte ; Alcosser 15 a place well 
knowne, bicause that neere vnto it the saide mountaines 
open themselues, and giue passage to the bringing in of 
the fruits and commodities of Abassia ; Suachen 16 
esteemed one of the principall ports in all the streights, 
and being made by an island. Here resideth the Bassa of 
the great Turke, which is called the gouenour of Abassia, 
with three thousand soldiers or thereabout. 

Next followeth Ercoco 17 the onely hauen towne of thri 
Prete, lying ouer against the little isle of Mazua: 18 and 
heere the mountaines make an other opening or passage, 
for transporting of victuals out of the lande of the saide 
Prete Ianni. From hence almost to the very entrance of 
the Red sea, the coast is at this present vninhabited, 
forlorne, and desert. Likewise from Suachen to Mazua 
is a continuall woode, the trees whereof are but of small 
woorth. lust within the saide entrance standeth the 
towne and port of Vela, 19 vnder the iurisdiction of the king 
of Dancali a Moore. 

Vpon all this west shore of the Red sea, as likewise 
vpon the contrary east shore, scarcitie of water is the cause, 
why there are so fewe, and so small places of habitation ; 
and the people runne and flocke togither, where they may 
finde any pit or fountaine of water. 

Some curious reader might here expect, because I haue 
nowe passed so neere the frontiers of Egypt, that I should 
make an exact description of that most famous and fruite- 
full prouince, and likewise of the great city of Alcair, 20 and 
of the inundation and decrease of Nilus : all which, because 

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they are expressed in most orient and liuelie colours by 
our author Iohn Leo; I should shew my selfe both iniurious 
to him, and tedious to all iudiciall readers, in anticipating 
and forestalling that, before the beginning of his booke, 
which he so neere the end doth in such large and particular 
wise intreate of. Now therefore let vs proceed to the vpper 
or inner Ethiopia, beginning with the first and most 
northerly prouince thereof called Nubia. 


PAssing therefore westward from the Island of Siene, 
you enter into the prouince of Nubia, bordering on the 
west vpon Gaoga, 21 eastward vpon the riuer Nilus, towards 
the North, vpon Egypt, and southward vpon the desert of 
Goran. 22 The inhabitants thereof called by Strabo N'sGag, 
Hue at this present (as Francisco Aluarez reporteth) a most 
miserable and wretched kinde of life ; for hauing lost the 
sinceritie and light of the gospel, they do embrace infinite 
corruptions of the Iewish and Mahumetan religions. At 
the same time when the foresaid Aluarez was in Abassia, 
there came certaine messengers out of Nubia, to make suit 
vnto the Prete, that he would send them priests, and such 
persons as might preach and administer the sacraments 
vnto them. But he returned answere, that he could not in 
regard of the scarcitie of great clergie-men in his dominions: 
The said messengers reported, that the Nubians had sent 
often to Rome for a bishop ; but being afterward by the 
inuasions of the Moores and the calamitie of warre, cut 
short of that assistance, they fell for want of teachers and 
ministers, into extreme ignorance of Christian religion, and 
by little and little were infected with the impious and 
abominable sects of the Iewes and Mahumetans. Some 
Portugals trauailing to those parts, sawe many churches 
destroied by the handes of the Arabians, and in some 

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places the pictures of saints painted vpon the wals. They 
are gouerned by women, and call their Queene Gaua. 
Their principall citie called Dangala, and consisting °^^y a -^ the f 
about ten thousand housholds, is a place of great traffike, NuHa. 
bicause it is so neere vnto Egypt and the riuer Nilus. All 
their other habitations are villages and base cottages. 
Their houses are built of claie, and couered with strawe. 
The chiefe commodities of this region are rice, stone-sugar, 
sanders, 28 iuorie (for they take many elephants) as likewise 
abundance of ciuet, and golde in great plentie. The 
countrey is for the most part sandie : howbeit there are 
certaine mightie lakes, by the benefite whereof a great part 
of Nubia is watred and made fruitfull. 

The Isle of Meroe. 

MEroe called at this time by the names of Guengare, 
Amara, and Nobe, being the greatest and fairest 
isle which Nilus maketh, and resembled by Herodotus to 
the shape of a target, containeth in bredth a thousand, and 
in length three thousand stadios or furlongs. It aboundeth 
with golde, siluer, copper, iron, Eben-wood, palme-trees, 
and other such commodities as are in Nubia. Some write, 
that there growe canes or reeds of so huge a bignes, that 
the people make botes of them. Heere also you haue 
minerall salt, and lions, elephants, and leopards. This 
island is inhabited by Mahumetans, who are confederate 
with the Moores against Prete Ianni. Strabo affirmeth, 
that in old time the authoritie of the priests of this island 
was so great, that by a meane and ordinarie messenger 
they woulde command the king to murther himselfe, and 
woulde substitute an other in his roome. But at length, 
one king hauing in a certaine temple put all the saide 
priests to death, quite abolished that monstrous custome. 
And heere as Nilus vnfoldeth himselfe into two branches, 

Google — 

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to embrace this Islande, he receiueth from the east the 
riuer of Abagni, and from the west the riuer Sarabotto, 
which haue likewise other smaller riuers falling into them. 
The Abassins are of opinion, that the Queene of Saba, 
which trauelled so farre to heare the wisdome of Sa/omon, 
was mistresse of this isle. Paulus Ionius saith, here are 
three kings, one a Gentile, the second a Moore, and the 
third a Christian, subiect vnto the Prete. From Meroe to 
Siene it is accounted fifteene daies iourney by water. 

* OrAEthopia * Abassia, or the empire of Prete Ianni. 

the higher. 

* Commonly r "T , He Abassins are a people subiect to* Prete Ianni: 
Latine writers, A whose empire (if we consider the stile which he 
Johannes, by vseth in his letters) hath most ample confines. For he 
A'ic/aZssi. intituleth himselfe emperour of the great and higher 
a Abassi!uhis Ethiopia, king of Goiame, 24 which (as Botera supposeth) is 
™c%£?'ihatis, situate betweene Nilus and Zaire ; of Vangue a kingdome 
^egtTwhict bevond Zaire J of Damut which confineth with the land of 
importetha j^e Anzichi j 26 and towards the south he is called king of 

king, and ' ° 

Beiui also, Cafate and Bagamidri, two prouinces bordering vpon the 
with Encoe in first great lake, which is the originall fountaine of Nilus ; 

the Chaldean f . ,. ■ , . , r ^ ^ . 

toong, both as likewise of the kingdomes of Xoa, Fatigar, Angote, 

wordes signifie v 

precious or Baru, Baahganze, Adea, Amara, Ambea, Vague, Tigre- 
%g * mahon, Sabaim, where the Queene of Saba gouerned, and 

* OrBama- lastly of* Barnagaes, and lorde as farre as Nubia, which 

bordereth vpon Egypt. But at this present the center or 
midst of his Empire (as Iohn Barros writeth) is the lake of 
Barcena. 26 For it extendeth eastward towarde the Red 
sea, as farre as Suaquen, the space of two hundred twentie 
v and two leagues. Howbeit betweene the sea and his 
dominions runneth a ridge of mountaines inhabited by 
Moores, who are masters of al the sea-coast along, except 
the porte of Ercoco, which belongeth to the Prete. And 
likewise on the west, his empire is restrained by another 

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mountainous ridge stretching along the riuer of Nilus, 

where are founde most rich mines of golde ; amongst which Most rich gold 


are the mines of Damut and of Sinassij, wholie in the 
possession of Gentiles which pay tribute vnto the Prete. 
Northward it is bounded by an imaginarie line supposed 
to be drawen from Suachen to the beginning of the isle 
Meroe aboue mentioned ; which line extendeth an hundred 
and fiue and twentie leagues. From thence the Abassin 
borders trend south * somewhat crookedly in manner of 
abowe, as farre as the kingdome of Adea (from the moun- 
taines whereof springeth a riuer called by Ptolemey* Raptus J^^£'f* 
which falleth into the sea about Melinde) for the space of QuiiimaMcu 
two hundred and fiftie nine leagues ; next vnto the which 
borders, inhabite certaine Gentiles of blacke colour, with un- 
curled haire. And heere the saide empire is limited by 
the kingdome of Adel, the head citie whereof called Arar, 
standeth in the latitude nine degrees. So that all this 
great empire may containe in compasse sixe hundred 
threescore and two leagues, little more or lesse. It is 
refreshed and watered by two mightie riuers which conuey 
their streames into Nilus, called by Ptolemey Astaboras and 
Astapus, and by the naturall inhabitants Abagni and 
Tagassi ; the first whereof taketh his originall from the 
lake of Barcena, and the second from the lake of Colue. 
Barcena lieth in seuen degrees of north latitude ; & Colue 
vnder the verie Equinoctiall. The first (besides Abagni) 
ingendereth also the riuer of Zeila : and the second (besides 
Tagassi) giueth effence to the riuer of Quilimanci Between 
Abagni and the Red sea lieth the prouince of Barnagasso : # sinusBar . 
betweene Abagni and Tagassi are the kingdomes of Angote ^f*£?» * lfe 
and Fatigar ; and more towards the * bay of Barbarians, 27 on the backeside 

° ' of Africa, 

the prouinces of Adea and of Baru : and somewhat lower, stretching {as 

some will haue 

that of Amara. In briefe, beyond the riuer of Tagassi ly it) from 4. de- 

the regions of Bileguanzi, and of Tigremahon. eriyto 17. of 

The Abassins haue no great knowledge of Nilus by fitted** 

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reason of the mountaines which deuide them from it ; for. 
which cause they call Abagni the father of riuers. How- 
beit they say that vpon Nilus do inhabite two great and 
populous nations ; one of Iewes towards the west, vnder 
the gouernment of a mightie king ; the other more southerly, 
.^consisting of Amazones or warlike women ; whereof wee 
will speake more at large in our relation of Monomotapa. 

Throughout all the dominion of the Prete there is not 
any one city of importance, either for multitude of inhabi- 
tantes, for magnificent buildings, or for any other respect. 
For the greatest townes there, containe not aboue two 
thousand housholds ; the houses being (cottage-like) reared 
vp with clay and couered with straw, or such like base 
matter. Also Ptolemey intreating of these partes, maketh 
mention but of three or foure cities onely, which he 
appointeth to the south of the Isle Meroe. Howbeit in 
some places vpon the frontiers of Abassia there are certaine 
townes verie fairely built, and much frequented for traffique. 
The Portugales in their trauailes throughout the empire 
haue often declared vnto the Abassins, how much better it 
were, for auoiding of the outragious iniuries and losses 
daily inflicted by the Moores and Mahumetans both vpon 
their goods and persons, if the emperour would build cities 
and castles stronglie walled and fortified. Whereunto they 
made answere, that the power of their Neguz, or emperour, 
consisted not in stone-walles, but in the armes of his people. 
They vse not ordinarily any lime or stone, but onely for 
the building of churches (saying, that so it becommeth vs 
to make a difference between the houses of men, and 
churches dedicated to God) and of their Beteneguz or 
houses of the emperour, wherein the gouernours of prouinces 
OftheseBetene-dLVQ placed to execute iustice. These Beteneguz stand 

guz read Fran- , . . . - , 

as Aiuarez, continually open, and yet in the gouernours absence no 

cap ' 42, man dare enter into them, vnder paine of being punished 

as a traytour. Moreoucr in the city of Axuma (esteemed 

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by them to haue beene the seate of the Queene of Saba) 
stand certaine ruinous buildings like vnto pyramides ; 
which by reason of their greatnes, remaine euen til this 
present, notwithstanding their many yeeres antiquitie. 
Likewise there are in this countrie diuers churches and 
oratories hewen out of the hard rocke, consisting but of 
one onely stone, some sixtie, some fortie, and some thirtie* * Oryardes: 

J ' 7 ' Braccia stg- 

fathomes long, being full of windowes, and engrauen with nijuth both. 
strange and vnknowne characters. Three such churches 
there are of twelue* fathomes broade and eightie in length. 
The Abassins which are subject to the Prete y hold 
opinion, that their prince deriueth his petigree from Melich o/Meiuh read 

x x x ° more at large 

the sonne of Salomon, which (as they say) he begot of '*» Francisco 

v J JJ to Aluarez,cap. 

the Queene of Saba; and that themselues are descended 37.: and cap. 
from the officers and attendants which Salomon appointed 
vnto this his sonne when he sent him home vnto his 
mother : which seemeth not altogether vnlikely, if you 
consider the Iewish ceremonies of circumcision, obseruing 
of the sabaoth, & such like, which they vse vntill this 
present : likewise they abhorre swines flesh and certaine 
other meates, which they call vncleane. The Prete 
absolutely gouerneth in all matters, except it be in 
administring of the sacraments, and ordaining of priests. 
Hee giueth and taketh away benefices at his pleasure ; and 
in punishing offenders, maketh no difference betweene his 
clergie and laitie. The administration of their sacraments 
is wholie referred to the Abuna or Patriarke. The Prete 
is lorde and owner of all the lands and possessions in his 
empire, except those of the church ; which are in number 
infinite ; for the monasteries of saint Antonie (besides which 
there are none of any other order) and the colleges of the 
Canons and of the Hermites, togither with the parishes, 
are innumerable. They are all prouided by the king, both 
of reuenewes and of ornaments. 

They haue two winters and two summers ; which they 


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discerne not by colde and heate, but by rainie and faire 
weather. They begin their yeere vpon the 26. of August* 
and diuide it into twelue moneths, each moneth containing 
thirtie daies, whereunto they adde euery common yeere fiue 
daies, and in the leape yeere sixe, which odde daies they 
call Pagomen, that is, The end of the yeere. Their 
ordinarie iourneies in trauelling are twelue miles a day. 
The common harlots dwell without their townes, and haue 
wages allowed them out of the common purse : neither may 
they enter into any cities, nor apparell themselues, but only 
in yellow. 

The soil of Abassia aboundeth generally with graine, 
and in especiall with barly and all kindes of Pulse, but not 
so much with wheate ; they haue sugar likewise (not 
knowing how to refine it) and hony, and cotton-wooll, 
orenges, cedars, and limons, grow naturally there. They 
haue neither melons, citrons, nor rape-roots : but many 
plants & herbes different from ours. Their drinke is made 
of barley and millet : neither haue they any wine made of 
* Patriarke. grapes, but onely in the houses of the emperour, and the* 
Abuna. They are not destitute of Elephants, mules, lions, 
tygres, ounces, and deere. Their owne countrey horses 
are but of a small size : howbeit they haue also of the 
Arabian and the Egyptian breed, the coltes whereof within 
fower daies after they be foled, they vse to suckle with 
kine. They haue great and terrible apes ; and infinite 
sorts of birds ; but neither cuckowes nor Pies, so farre as 
euer could bee learned. Heere are likewise great store of 
mines of gold, siluer, iron, and copper ; but they know not 
how to digge and refine the same : for the people of this 
countrey are so rude and ignorant, that they haue no know- 
ledge nor vse of any arte or occupation. Insomuch as they 
esteeme the carpenters or smithes craft for an vnlawfull 
and diabolicall kinde of science ; and such as exercise 
the same, Hue among them like infamous persons ; neither 

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are they permitted to enter into any of their churches. 
In the kingdome of Bagamidri are founde most excellent 
mines of siluer, which they knowe none other way how to 
take from the ore, but onely by melting it with fire into 
thinne plates. Goiame aboundeth with base gold. In 
the kingdome of Damut they digge and refine it somewhat 
better. They haue neither the arte of making cloth (for 
which cause the greater part of them go clad in beasts 
skins) nor yet the manner of hauking, fowling, or hunting ; 
so that their countries swarme with partridges, quailes, 
fesants, cranes, geese, hens, hares, deere, and other like 
creatures : neither knowe they how to make any full vse 
or benefite of the fruitefulnes of their countrey, nor of the 
commoditie of riuers. They sowe mill for the most parte, 
sometimes in one place, and sometimes in another, accord- 
ing as the raine giueth them opportunitie. In summe, 
they shew no wit nor dexterity in any thing so much as in 
robbery and warre ; vnto both which they haue a kind of 
naturall inclination. Which is occasioned (as I suppose) 
by the continuall voiages made by the Prete, and by their 
vsuall liuing in the wide fields, and that in diuers and 
sundry places. For to trauaile continually, and remaine in 
the fields without any stable or firme habitation, com- 
pelleth men as it were, of necessitie, to lay holde on all that 
comes next to hande, be it their owne, or belonging to others. 
They are much subiect to tempests ; but to an incon- 
uenience far more intollerable, namely to innumerable 
swarmes of locusts, which bring such desolation vpon 
them, as is most dreadfull to consider : for they consume 
whole prouinces, leauing them quite destitute of succour 
both for man and beast. They vse no stamped coine in 
all this empire, but insteede thereof certaine rude pieces 
of golde, and little balls of iron, especially in Angote ; 
as likewise salt and pepper, which are the greatest riches 
that they can enioy. 

c 2 


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Hence it is, that the tributes which are payed to the 
prince, consist onely of such things as his owne dominions 
do naturally afforde ; as namely of salt, gold, siluer, corne, 
hides, elephants teeth, the home of the Rhinoceros, with 
slaues, and such like. Which forme of tribute (being most 
agreeable to nature) is vsed also in other parts of Africa. 
Their salt is taken out of a certaine great mountaine in 
the prouince of Balgada, and is made into square pieces. 29 

The most populous place in all Abassia is the court of 
the Prete, wheresoeuer it resideth ; and there are erected 
fiue or sixe thousand tents of cotton of diuers colours, with 
so notable a distinction of streetes, lanes, market-places, 
and Tribunals ; that euen in a moment euery man knoweth 
his owne station and the place where he is to doe his 
busines. A man may coniecture the greatnes of this 
courte, if he doe but consider, that (according to the report 
of some who haue there bin personally present) besides 
the camels which carry the tents, the mules of carriage 
exceede the number of fiftie thousand. Their mules serue 
them to carry burthens, and to ride vpon : but their horses 
are onely for the warres. The Mahumetans haue now 
brought this prince to great extremity: but heretofore 
while he was in his flourishing estate, he liued so maiesti- 
cally, that he neuer spake but by an interpreter ; nor 
would be seene to his subiects, but onely vpon solemne 
dayes. At other times it was held as a great fauour, if he 
did shew but the halfe part of his feete to ambassadours, 
and to his fauorites. And no maruel : for amongst the 
Ethiopians it hath beene an ancient custome (as Strabo 
writeth) To adore their kinges like gods, who for the 
most part Hue enclosed at home. This so strange and 
stately kinde of gouernment, did exceedingly abase his 
subiects, whom the Prete vsed like slaues ; so that vpon 
the smallest occasions that might be, he would depriue 
them of all honour and dignity, were they neuer so great. 

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Abassia containeth many large plaines, and very high 
mountaines, all fruitfull. In some places you shall haue 
most extreame coulde and frostie weather: but not any 
snowe throughout the whole empire, no not in the moun- 

The Prele hath many moores in his dominions, and 
vpon his borders ; but the most populous of all others 
are the Moores called Dobas, 30 who are bound by a law Th f Moors 

J called Dobas. 

neuer to marry, till they can bring most euident testimony, 
that each of them hath slaine twelue Christians. Where- 
fore the Abassin merchants passe not by their country, but 
with most strong guardes. 

A particular and briefe relation of all the king- 
domes and prouinces subiect to the Christian 
Emperour of Abassia, commonly called 
Prete lannt. 


OF all the prouinces subiect vnto the Prete> that of 
* Barnagasso 31 is best knowne vnto vs, bicause it is * Bamagaez. 
so neere vnto the Red sea ; ouer against the shore whereof 
it stretcheth in length from Suachen, almost as farre as 
the very mouth or entrance of the streight, being (as is 
before saide) bounded on the south part with the mightie 
riuer of Abagni, which runneth westward out of the lake Out of this lake 

° also the riuer 

of Barcena into Nilus. Howbeit it hath no other port of Zeiia run- 

neth eastward 

vpon the Red sea but onely Ercoco, situate neere the Isle into the Red 
of Mazua ; neither hath the Prete any porte but this, in all 
his dominions ; so that he is (as it were) on all sides land- 
locked, which is one of the greatest defects in any empire, 
kingdome, or state, that can be imagined. This prouince 

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is full of townes and villages, as likewise of riuers and 

pooles which make it exceeding fruitfull. The Viceroy or 

* Bar in the gouernour hereof, called also by the name of *Barnagasso, 

Abassin toong ° J & » 

significth the resideth in the citie of Beroa, otherwise called Barua, and 

Sea, and Neguz 

a king: so that by Ptolemey (as Sanutus thinketh) Coloue, situate vpon a 
Bamagasso, is pleasant riuer abounding with fish. Vnto him likewise are 
king of the 'sea, subiect the gouernments of Danfila and of Canfila, neere 
ZiiSffi* vnto the borders of Egypt. 

Certaine yeeres past the great Turkes forces haue 
mightily afflicted this prouince, destroying the townes, 
and leading the people captiue : so that in the end Isaac 
the lorde Barnagasso was inforced to compound with the 
Turkes lieutenant (bearing title, The Bassa of Abassia, 
and residing in Suachen) for the yeerely tribute of a 
thousand ounces of golde. Ouer and besides he paieth 
euery yeere vnto his soueraigne the Prete, an hundred and 
fiftie excellent horses, with cloth of silke and of cotton, and 
other matters. 

On the most westerly part of Barnagasso, beginneth a 

mightie ridge of mountaines, which for a good space 

waxing narrower and narrower, at length in the kingdome 

ah persons of of Angote dilateth it selfe into a rounde forme, enuironing 

the Abassin . 

blood royaii en- with the steepe sides, and impassable tops thereof, many 

mightie fruitefull and pleasant vallies, for the space of fifteene daies 

'mountaines. iourney in compasse : within which vallies (as it were in 

rez"cap. $7!"' wa U e d castles) all persons whatsoeuer, both male and 

58^ 59. 60. 61, f ema i e> f the Abassin bloud royall, are vnder paine of 

most extreme punishment, togither with their whole 

families, limited to remaine. Within this great roundell or 

enclosure of mountaines, there is (among many others) 

contained one lesser, which is begirt arounde with a 

mountainous wall so craggie, steepe, and vnscaleable, that 

no man can come in or out, but onely by a certaine basket 

drawne vp and downe vpon a rope : neither is it possible 

to famish the parties within by a siege, be it neuer so long : 

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for they haue fruitefull ground, with houses, a church, a 
monasterie, cesternes of water, and all other necessaries 
for the continuall maintenance of fiue hundred persons. 
Within this strong citadell of mountaines (for the auoiding 
of all tumults and seditions) are locked vp those great 
personages which come neerest in bloud to the Prete, and 
are in possibilitie of the crowne ; and here must they all 
Hue and die, except a very few of them, who attaine at 
length vnto the gouernment of the empire. The Abassins 
haue a tradition, that one AbraJiam an emperour of theirs 
being admonished in a dreame, that he shoulde keepe his 
dominions in tranquilitie by the meanes aforesaid, was the 
first that founde this mountaine, and used it for the same 


TIgremahon, a very large kingdome, lieth betweene the 
riuer Marabo, Nilus, the Red sea, and the kingdome 
of Angote. The gouernour heereof paieth for yeerely 
tribute vnto the Prete two hundred Arabian horses, a 
great quantitie of silke and cotton-cloth, and very much 
golde. Vnto this kingdome is subiect the prouince of 
Tigray, wherein standes the citie of Caxumo, sometimes 
the royall seate of the Queene of Saba (which they say 
was called Maqueda, of whom Salomon begat a sonne 
named Melick, before mentioned) which citie was the seate 
likewise of Queene Candace. Also to the said kingdome 
of Tigremahon belong the prouinces of Sabaim, Torrates, 
Balgada, and others. 


THis kingdome standing betweene the kingdomes of 
Tigremahon and Amara, is full of mountaines and 
valleies, and aboundeth mightilie with all kinde of corne 
and cattell. The inhabitants eate but one meale in fower 

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and twentie howers, and that alwaies in the night : their 
foode is most commonly rawe flesh, with a kinde of sauce 
made of an oxe gall. In stead of money they vse salte, 
and little balles of iron, as is. before saide. Vnto this 
kingdome do belong the prouinces of Abuguna, and 
Guanamora, with other regions and places. 


THe kingdome of Amara bordering north vpon Angote, 
east vpon Xoa, south vpon Damut, and extending 
west almost as farre as Nilus ; is for the most part a plaine 
region, without mountaines, very fertile, and abounding 
with cattell. Vpon the frontiers of this kingdome standeth 
the foresaide large, high, and craggie mountaine, wherein 
the sonnes, brethren, and kinsfolkes of the Prete are most 
warily kept, and from whence after his decease the heire 
apparant is brought, to be inuested in the empire. 

The kingdome of Xoa situate betweene the kingdomes 
of Amara, Damut, and Fatigar, containeth many deepe 
vallies, and aboundeth with all kinde of corne and cattell. 

In the kingdome of Goiame are two mightie lakes, from 
which Nilus is saide to fetch his originall. Heere is 
exceeding plentie of golde vnrefined : the north part of 
this region is full of deserts and mountainous places. 

Bagamidri one of the largest kingdomes in all the vpper 
Ethiopia, extendeth in length by the riuer Nilus, the 
space almost of six hundred miles : and in this kingdome 
are many most rich siluer-mines. 

The kingdome of Fatigar lying betweene the kingdomes 
of Adel, and of Xoa, consisteth the greatest parte of 
champion groundes, which yeelde wheate, barly, and other 
graine most plentifully. In this kingdome standes an 
exceeding high mountaine, on the toppe whereof is a lake 
of twelue miles in compasse, abounding with great varietie 

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of fish ; and from this mountaine runne many riuers stored 
with fish also. 

The kingdome of Damut- (as Sanutus affirmeth) doth 
border vpon the kingdome of Xoa,and is enclosed on either 
side with the lake of Barcena, and the lande of Zanguebar. 
Howbeit others place Damut betweene the kingdomes of 
Vangue and Goiame towarde the west, which opinion 
seemeth most probable. This countrey aboundeth with 
golde, ginger, grapes, corne, and beasts of all sortes. The 
slaues of this kingdome are much esteemed, and are 
commonly solde throughout all Arabia, Persia, and Egypt, 
where they prooue most valiant soldiers. The greater 
part of the people of Damut are Gentiles, and the residue 
Christians, who haue certaine monasteries. In this king- 
dome is that exceeding high and dreadfull mountaine, The mountaine 
(hauing one narrow passage onely to ascend by) whither the 
Prete sendeth his nobles which are conuicted of any heinous 
crime, to suffer ignominious death with hunger and cold. 
About the fountaines of Nilus some say, that there are 
Amazones or women-warriers, most valiant and redoubted, Of these Ama- 

zones read more 

which vse bowes and arrowes, and Hue vnder the gouerne- in the discourse 

*~\ 1-1 ^ r • of Monomotapa 

ment of a Queene : as likewise the people called Cam ox following. 
Cafates, being as blacke as pitch, and of a mightie stature, 
and (as some thinke) descended of the Iewes ; but now 
they are idolators, and most deadly enimies to the 
Christians ; for they make continuall assaults vpon the 
Abassins, dispoiling them both of life and goods : but all 
the day-time they lie lurking in mountaines, woods, and 
deepe valleies. 

The stile vsed by Prete Ianni in his letters. 

This stile is 
taken out of a 

I the king, whose name the lions do reuerence, and who letter written 
by the grace of God was at my baptisme called Athani Emferlur of 
Tingil, that is, The incense of the virgine> but now at the 1524. % °* ta 

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beginning of my raigne, tooke vpon me the name of Dauid; 
beloued of God, the piller of faith, descended of the tribe 
of Iuda, the sonne of Dauid, the sonne of Salomon, the 
sonne of the pillar of Sion, the sonne of the seede of Jacob, 
the sonne of the hand of Marie, the sonne of Nahu accord- 
ing to the flesh, the sonne of the holy Apostles Peter and 
Paul according to grace, Emperour of the higher and 
greater AEthiopia, and of most large kingdomes, territories, 
and iurisdictions, the king of Xoa, Caffate, Fatigar, Angote, 
Barii, Baaliganze, Adea, Vangue, and Goiame, where the 
fountaines of Nilus are ; as likewise of Amara, Baguamedri ; 
Ambea, Vague, Tigremahon, Sabaim the countrie of the 
Queen of Saba, of Barnagasso, and lorde as farre as Nubia, 
which confineth vpon Egypt 

Certaine answeres of Don Francisco 

Aluarez, (who from the yeere 1520, for the 

space of sixe yeeres next ensuing, had trauailed and 

remained in the countrey of Prete Ianni with the 

Fortugall ambassadour Rodrigo de Lima) made vnto 

sundrie demaunds or questions of the Archbishop of 

Braganca, concerning the state of the foresaide countrey 

and prince, andoft/ie disposition, manners, and cus- 

tomes of the people. Io. Bap. Ramusius, vol. i. 

delle voiagfol. 254. 255. 

He Ethiopian Emperour called Prete 
Ianni hath no setled place of abode 
where he continually resideth ; but is 
alwaies flitting vp and do wne, sometimes 
to one place, and sometimes to another, 
and liueth in tentes set vp in the fields, 
enuironed with a kinde of fortification ; 
of which tents there may be in his campe of all sorts to the 

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number of 5000. or 6000 ; and of horsemen and males 
50000. and vpwards. 

It is a generall custome of the Prete and of all his 
subiects not to passe on horsebacke by any church (so 
great is their reuerence to holy places) but so soone 
as they approch thereunto, they light vpon the ground, 
and hauing passed by, they mount on horsebacke 

Whensoever the Prete marcheth with all his troupes, 
there is carried before him vpon the shoulders of certaine 
priests an altar and a consecrated stone, whereon they vse 
to administer their communion : the priests appointed to 
cary it vpon a frame of wood, are eight in number, seruing 
fower and fower by turnes ; before whom goeth a clerke 
with a censer and a little bell sounding ; at the sight and 
noise whereof all persons forsake the way, and such as are 
on horsebacke, dismount. 

In all this countrey there is not any towne consisting of 
aboue 1600. families, & there are very few that haue so 
many : neither are there any castles or walled places ; but 
verie manie villages, and infinite numbers of people. Their 
houses are built round, al of earth, flat-roofed, and couered 
with a kind of thatch which wil last the time of a mans 
life, being compassed about with courts or yards. They 
haue no bridges of stone vpon their riuers, but all of wood. 
They sleep commonly vpon oxe-hides, or else vpon certaine 
couches corded & sustained with thongs made of the said 
hides. They haue no kind of tables to eat their meat vpon, 
but haue serued it in vpon plaine & very broad platters of 
wood, without any table-cloth at al. Also they haue 
certaine great deep dishes like basons made of black earth 
shining in maner of let, with other cups of the same earth, 
out of which they vse to drinke water & wine. Many of 
them eate raw flesh, but others broile it vpon the coles or 
firebrands : and some places there are so destitute of wood, 

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that the people are faine to dresse their meate with oxe- 

Their armour and weapons be Azagaie or short darts, 
some few swords, and certaine shirts of male verie long 
and streight, and (as some of our men which haue seene 
them doe report) made of naughtie and vnseruiceable 
matter. They haue bowes and arrowes great store, but 
not with feathers as ours be : as likewise helmets and head- 
peeces, but very few, and first brought in since they began 
to haue traffique with the Portugals : howbeit they haue 
♦1526. manie strong targets. Of artillerie they had *at our 

departure foureteene small yron-peeces, which they had 
bought of certaine Turkes that vsually came to trafficke 
vpon the coast ; for which peeces the Prete willed that they 
should haue their vttermost demande, to the end they 
might be the willinger to returne and bring more ; and he 
caused some of his seruants also to learne how to discharge 
ffta^ifi**' ^^ e r ' uer °^ Nilus, I my selfe neuer saw, although at one 
mius to spring time I was within thirtie miles thereof: howbeit some of 

out of one great 

lakeoneiy, our Portugales haue trauelled to the very fountaines of 

which is to the 

south of Nilus, which are two great lakes comparable to seas, situate 

in the kingdome of Goiame ; out of which hauing conueyed 
it selfe a small distance, this riuer embraceth certaine 
Islets, and then holdeth on his course to Egypt. 
Jfthel'nVr'eax Th e reason w hy Nilus yeerely ouerfloweth Egypt, is, 
of mius. because the generall winter of Ethiopia holding on with 
most mightie and continual raines from the middle of Iune 
to the midst of September, doth make the said riuer so 
exceedingly to swel, that the waters thereof couer al the 
plaine countrie of Egypt. 

In all the foresaid dominions of the Prete, they vse not 
to write one to another, neither do the officers of Iustice 
commit any of their affaires to writing, but all matters are 
dispatched by messengers and by wordes of mouth : onely 

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it was told me, that the reuenues and tributes of the Prete, 
are put downe in writing both vpon the receite, and at the 

The emperour Prete Ianni hath two speciall princely 
names, to wit, Acegue, which signifieth an emperour, and 
Neguz, a king. 

The Patriarke or arche-prelate of all Abassia is called 
Abuna, that is to say, Father ; neither is there any in 
all the whole empire which ordaineth ministers, but onely 

There is no wine of the grape made publiquely in any 
place, but onelie in the houses of the Prete and of the 
Patriarke ; for if it be made anie other where, it is done by 

The wine which is vsed in their communions, they make 
of raisins steeped ten daies in water, and afterward streined 
in a wine-presse ; and it is a most cordiall, delicate, and 
strong wine. 

t In this countrey is a great abundance of golde, siluer, 
copper, and tinne, but the people are ignorant how to worke 
it out of the mines : neither haue they any coine of golde 
or siluer, but all their bargaines are made by bartering of 
one commoditie for another. Also they trucke little peeces 
of gold, some weighing a dram, and some an ounce. But 
salt is the principall thing which runneth currant for money 
throughout all the emperours dominions. ^ 

Some places there are which yeeld wheat and barly, and 
others millet in great plentie ; and where the saide graines 
are not reaped, there groweth Tafo da guza, a seede vtterly 
vnknowne in these parts, as likewise lentiles, beanes, pease, 
fitches, and all kinde of pulse in abundance. 

Heere are infinite store of sugar canes, which they know 
neither how to boile nor refine, but eate it rawe. 

There be great plentie of faire grapes and peaches, which 
are ripe in the moneths of Februarie and Aprill. Of 

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orenges, limons, and citrons, the quantitie is innumerable ; 
for they growe most naturally out of the Abassin soile : 
garden-herbes there are but fewe, bicause the people delight 
neither to set nor sowe them. 

All the whole countrey is full of Basill, which groweth 
very tall both in the woods and vpon the mountaines : so 
are there likewise other odoriferous herbes of diuers sorts, 
but vnknowen vnto vs. Of trees common with vs I 
remember none other kinds growing there, but onely 
Cypresses, damsin-trees, sallowes by the waters side, and 
trees of Iuiubas. 

Honie there is exceeding great plentie all the countrey 
ouer : neither are their bee-hiues placed abroad in the open 
aire as ours are : but they set them in chambers, where 
making a little hole in the wall, the bees go thicke in and 
out, and come home laden with honie. Wherefore there is 
great quantitie gathered in all the empire, but especially in 
the monasteries, where they make it a great part of their 
sustenance. There are founde also swarmes of bees in the 
woodes and vpon the mountaines, neere whom they place 
certaine hollowe boxes made of barke, which being filled 
with honicombes, they take vp, and carrie home to their 

They gather much waxe, whereof they make their 
candles, because they haue no vse of tallow. 
Oyiestrayned They haue no oyle of oliues, but of another kinde 
which they call Hena : and the hearbe whereout they 
straine it, is like a little vine-leafe : neither hath this 
oyle any smell at all, but in colour it is as beautifull 
as gold. 

Heere likewise they haue store of flax, but they know 
not how to make cloth thereof. 

Here is also great plenty of cotton, whereof they make 
cloth of diuers colours. 

One countrie there is so extreamely colde, that the 

out of an herbe. 

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people are inforced to clad themselues in very course cloth 
of a darke tawnie. 
t Concerning phisicke, and the cure of diseases, they know 
verie little or nothing ; but for aches in any partes of their 
bodies the onely remedy which they vse is to apply 
cupping-glasses; and for head-aches they let the great 
vaine of the temples bloud. ,. 

Howbeit they haue certaine herbes, the iuice whereof 
being drunke, serueth them in steede of a purgation. 

^There would in this countrie be gathered infinite store 
of fruit, and far greater quantitie of corne, were not the 
poore commons most miserablie oppressed by their 
superiours, who extorte all their substance from them ; 
so that they neuer till nor plant any more, then they must 
of meere necessities 

In no place wheresoeuer I trauelled, could I see any 
shambles of flesh, but onely at the court of the Prete : 
for in other places no man may kill an oxe, though it 
bee his owne, without licence from the gouernour of the 

As touching their ordinary proceeding in iustice, they Their manner 
vse not to put any to sudden death, but beate them with 
bastinados according to the quality of the offence, and 
likewise they plucke out their eyes, and cut off their 
handes and feete : howbeit during mine abode there I saw 
one burnt for robbing of a church. 

The common sort speake truth very seldome, though 
it bee vpon an oathe, vnlesse they be forced to sweare 
By the head of the King. They feare exceedingly to be 
excommunicated ; so that being enioned any thing that 
tendeth to their preiudice, if they do it all, it is done for 
feare of excommunication. 

Their depositions or othes are performed in this manner. Their maner 

. . of swearing. 

The partie to be deposed goeth accompanied by two 
priests, carrying with them fire and incense to the church- 



doore, whereon he layeth his hande ; and then the said 
priests adiure him to tell the truth, saying : If thou siveare 
falsly, as the lyon deuoureth the beasts of the forest, so let tlie 
diuell deuoure thy soule ; and as corne is ground vnder the 
mill-stone, so let him grinde thy bones ; and finally, as the 
fire burneth vp the wood, so may thy soule burne in the fire 
of hell : and the partie sworne, answereth to euery of the 
former clauses, Amen. But if thou speake truth, let thy 
life be prolonged with honour, and thy soule enter into 
Paradise with the blessed : and he againe answereth, A men. 
Which being done, hee giueth testimonie of the matter in 
The ceremonies No person may sit in their churches, nor enter into them 

vsi-d in their r J 1 

churches. with his shooes on, nor spit within them, neither may any 
dogge or any other creature voide of reason come within 
them. They confesse themselues standing vpon their 
feete, and so standing likewise, receiue absolution. They 
say their forme of publike praier after one and the same 
manner, both in the churches of their Canons, and of their 
friers : which friers haue no wiues ; but the Canons and 
priests are permitted to haue. Where the Canons Hue 
togither, they go each man to diet at his owne house ; but 
the friers eate their meate in common. 

Their ecclesiastical 1 gouernours are called Licanati. 
The sonnes of the Canons are, as it were by inheritance, 
Canons ; but priests sonnes haue no such priuilege, vnlesse 
they be ordained by the Abuna. They pay no tithes to 
any churches, but the clergie are maintained by great 
possessions belonging to their churches and monasteries. 
Also when any priest is cited, he is conuented before a 
secular iudge. 

Whereas I saide, they sit not in their churches, it is to 
bee vnderstoode, that alwaies without the church doore 
stande a great number of woodden crutches, such as 
lame men vse to go upon ; where euery man taketh his 

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owne, and leaneth thereupon all the time of their diuine 

All their books (which they haue in great numbers) are 
written in parchment, for paper they haue none ; and the 
language wherein they are written named Tigia, is all one 
with the Abassin language : but so it was called from the 
name of the first towne in all that empire, which was 
conuerted to the Christian religion. 

All their churches haue two curtaines, one about their 
great altar, with belles, within which curtaine none may 
enter but onely priests : also they haue another curtaine 
stretching through the midst of their church, and within 
that may no man come, but such as haue taken holy 
orders: insomuch that many gentlemen and honorable 
persons take orders vpon them, onely that they may haue 
accesse into their churches. 

The greater part of their monasteries are built vpon 
high mountaines, or in some deepe valley: they haue 
great reuenues and iurisdictions ; and in many of them 
they eate no flesh all the yeere long. Neither do they 
spende any store of fish, bicause they know not how to 
take it. 

Vpon the wals of all their churches are painted the 
pictures of Christ, of the blessed virgine Marie, of the 
apostles, prophets and angels, and in euery one the picture 
of Saint George a horseback. They haue no Roodes, neither 
will they suffer Christ crucified to be painted, bicause they 
say, they are not woorthy to behold him in that passion. 
All their priests, friers, and noblemen continually carrie 
crosses in their hands ; but the meaner sort of people 
carrie them about their neckes. 

Their mooueable feasts, namely Easter, the feast of 
Ascension and Whitsontide, they obserue at the verie same 
daies and times that we do. Likewise as concerning the 
feasts of Christmas, the Circumcision, the Epiphanie, and 


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other the feasts of the saints, they agree whollie with vs, 
though in some other things they varie. 

They haue great store of leprous persons, who are 
not put apart from the rest of the people, but liue in 
company with them : and many there are who for charitie 
and deuotions sake do wash them, and heale their 

intent? 11 Thev haue a kinde of trumpets, but not of the best, 
and likewise certaine drums of brasse which are brought 
from Cairo, and of woode also couered with leather at 
both endes, and gimbals like vnto ours, and certaine great 
basons whereon they make a noise. There are flutes in 
like sort, and a kinde of square instruments with strings, 
not much vnlike to an harpe, which they call Dauid 
Mozan> that is to say, the harpe of Dauid ; and with 
these harpes they sonde before the Prete, but somewhat 

Their horses of the countrey-breed are in number infinite, 
but such small hackney-iades, that they doe them little 
seruice : howbeit those that are brought out of Arabia and 
Egypt are most excellent and beautifull horses : and the 
great horse-masters also in Abassia haue certaine breeds or 
races of them, which being new foled, they suffer not to 
sucke the damme aboue three daies, if they be such as they 
meane to backe betimes : but separating them from their 
dammes, they suckle them with kine, and by that meanes 
they prooue most sightly and gallant horses. Hitherto 

Thus much (I hope) may suffice to haue bin spoken 
concerning the vpper or Inner Ethiopia which containeth 
the empire of Prete Ianni: now sithens we are so far pro- 
ceeded, let vs take also a cursory and briefe surueie of the 
lower or extreme Ethiopia, extending it selfe in forme of a 
speares point, or a wedge, as far as thirtie fiue degrees of 
southerly latitude. 

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Of the lower or extreme Ethiopia. 

THis parte of Africa being vtterly vnknowne to Ptolemey 
and all the ancient writers, but in these later times, 
thoroughly discouered by the Portugales, especially along 
the coast, beginneth to the Northwest about the great riuer 
of Zaire, not far from the Equinoctial : from whence 
stretching southward to thirtie fiue degrees, and then 
Northward along the sea-coast on the backside of Africa, 
as far as the very mouth or enterance of the Arabian gulfe, 
it limiteth the south and east frontiers of the Abassin 
Empire last before described. 

In this part also are many particulars very memorable, 
as namely besides sundry great empires and kingdomes, 
The famous mountaines of the moon, the mightie riuers of 
Magnice, Cuama, and Coauo, springing out of the lake 
Zembre, the renowned cape of good hope, and other 
matters whereof we will intreate in their due places. 

This portion of Africa is diuided into sixe principall 
partes, namely : The land of Aian, the land of Zanguebar, 
the empire of Mohenemugi, the empire of Monomotapa, 
the region of Cafraria, & the kingdome of Congo. 


Aian the first generall part of Ethiopia tlte lower. 

He land of Aian is accounted by the Arabians to be 
. that region which lyeth betweene the narrow 

entrance into the Red sea, and the riuer of Quilimanci ; TheHuer^of 

Quilimanci in 

being vpon the sea-coast for the most part inhabited by the nine degrees of 
said Arabians : but the inland-partes thereof are peopled tude. 
with a black nation which are Idolaters. It comprehendeth 
two kingdomes ; Adel and Adea. 

Adel is a very large kingdome, and extendeth from the Adel the first 

generaJ-l fart 

mouth of the Arabian gulfe to the cape of Guardafu called of Aian. 
of olde by Ptolemey Aromata promontorium. South and 

D 2 

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west it bordereth vpon the dominions of Prete Ianni, about 
the kingdome of Fatigar. The king of this countrie being 
a Moore, is accounted amongst the Mahumctans a most 
holy man, and very much reuerenced by them, because he 
wageth continuall war with the Christians, taking captiue 
many of the Abassins, and sending them to the great 
Turke, and the princes of Arabia, of whome he receiueth 
greate ayde for the maintenance of his warres, both of 
horse and foote. The people of Adel are of the colour of 
an oliue, being very warlike, notwithstanding that the 
greatest part of them want weapons. Their principall city 

* Or Arar. [ s called * Anar, as some are of opinion. Vnto this king- 
dome is subiect the citie of Zeila inhabited by Moores, 
situate on a sandie and low soile, which some suppose to be 
built in the very same place, without the enterance of the 

Ptoi. geog. lib. Red sea, where Ptolomey placed the ancient mart-towne of 
Aualites. This citie is a place of great traffike ; for hither 
they bring out of India, cloth, elephants teeth, frankincense, 
pepper, golde, and other rich merchandize. The territorie 
adjoining yeeldeth abundance of honie, waxe, and a great 
quantitie of oile, which they make not of oliues, but of a 
kinde of daintie plumes : it affourdeth likewise such plentie 
of corne, of cattell, and of fruits differing from ours, that 
they are transported by shipping to other nations. Barbora 
likewise, a citie of the Moores, standeth in this kingdome of 
Adel, and hath a commodious hauen, whereunto resort 
many ships laden with merchandize, from Aden in Arabia, 
and from Cambaya vpon the riuer of Indus. The citizens 
are blacke people, and their wealth consisteth most of all 
in flesh. < 

In the yeere 1541, Gradaameth the king of this place, 
after manie mischiefes which he had done to Cladius the 
emperour of Abassia, being vanquished by Christopher de 
Gama y the Indian Viceroy of Iohn the third king of 
Portugale ; hee did by meanes of the souldiers and warlike 

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prouisions, which were sent him from the Sheque or 
gouernour of Zebit, ouercome the Portugals & the Abassins. 
Howbeit afterward hairing sent the said forces backe 
againe to Zebit, himselfe was slaine, and his whole armie 
ouerthrowne by king Claudius aforesaide. But certaine 
yeeres after, the successour of Gradaameth hauing in a 
warlike encounter subdued the Prete y rode in triumph vpon 
a little asse ; signifying thereby, that he ascribed not the 
victorie to his owne forces, but to the power of God. 

Adea, the second kingdome of the land of Aian, situate A**** tke se ; 

' b ' condpartof 

vpon the easterne Ocean, is confined northward by the Aian. 

kingdome of Adel, & westward by the Abassin empire. 

It is exceeding fruitful, & one part thereof mightily 

aboundeth with woods, the residue being sufficiently stored 

with cattell & corne. The inhabitants being Moores by 

religion, and paying tribute to the emperour of Abassia, 

are (as they of Adel before-named) originally descended of 

the Arabians : who many hundred yeeres agoe, partly by 

their rich traffike, and especially by force of armes, became 

lords not onely of Aian, but of all the sea-coast along as 

farre as Cabo de los corrientes, standing in the southerly 

latitude of fower and twentie degrees. In all which space 

the cities standing vpon the sea-coast ; before the Portugals 

discouered the east Indies, lay open and vnfortified to the 

sea (bicause the Arabians themselues were absolute lords 

thereof) but were strongly walled toward the lande, for 

feare of the Cafri, or lawlesse wilde Negros, who were 

deadly enimies to the Arabians, and vtterly misliked their 

so neere neighbourhood. Howbeit since the Portugals 

taking of Magadazo, and diuers other townes vpon 

the coast, they haue applied themselues very much to 

fortification. But, to returne to the matter where we left, 

vnto the foresaid kingdome of Adea belongeth the king- The kingdom 

b t> & andcitieof 

dome of Magadazo* so called of the principall citie therein, Magadazo. 
which is a most strong, beautifull, and rich place, and is 

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subiect to the kingly gouernment of a Moore. The 
territorie adiacent is exceeding fruitfull, abounding with 
sheepe, kine, horses, wheate, barly, and other kindes of 
graine. It hath also an excellent hauen, and much fre- 
quented by the ships of Aden and Cambaya, which come 
thither laden with sundrie kindes of cloth, with spices and 
other merchandize ; and from hence they carrie elephants 
teeth, golde, slaues, honie, and waxe. The inhabitants are 
of an oliue-colour, and some of them blacke, like vnto the 
nations adioining, and they go naked from the girdle-stead 
vpward, and speak the Arabian toong. They are but 
meanely weaponed, which causeth them to shoote poisoned 
arrowes. This citie was in times past head of all the 
townes and cities of the Moores standing along this coast 
for a great distance. 

Zanguebar or Zanzibar, the second generall part of 
the lower Ethiopia. 

ZAnzibar or Zanguebar, so called by the Arabians and 
Persians, is that tract of lande, which runneth along 
some parte of the dominions of Prete Ianni, and from 
thence extendeth it selfe by the east of Mohenemugi, til it 
ioyneth with the frontiers of Monomotapa. Howbeit some 
there are who vnder the name of Zanzibar will haue all 
the south part of Africa to be vnderstood, euen as far as 
Cabo Negro, which stretcheth into the western Ocean 
about 1 8. degrees of southerly latitude : so that they com- 
prehend therein the empires of Mohenemugi and Monomo- 
tapa, and all the land of Gafraria. But in this controuersie 
wee rather chuse to follow the opinion of Sanutus, affirming 
with him, that the said maritime tract of Zanguebar (as it 
is by vs before limited) is a lowe, fennie, and woodie 
counlrie, with many greate and small riuers running through 
it : which extremity of moisture in those hot climates 

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causeth the ayer to be most vnholesome and pestilent. 
The inhabitants are for the most part black, with curled 
haire, being Idolaters, and much addicted to sorcery and 
witchcraft They go naked all the vpper part of their 
bodies, couering their nether partes with clothes of diuers 
colours, and with beasts skins. And this tract of lande 
stretching along the sea-coast from the riuer Quilimanci to 
the riuer of Magnice containeth the kingdomes and terri- 
tories of Melinde, Mombaza, Quiloa, Mozambique, Sofala, 
and others. 

Melinde, the most Northerly kingdome of Zanguebar, ^fpar/tf 
situate in two degrees and an halfe of southerly latitude, Zanguebar. 
and stretching from the coast vp into the main for the space 
of an hundred miles, hath a strong and stately city of the 
same name, being seuentie miles distant from Mombaza. 
It aboundeth with Rice, Millet, flesh, limons, citrons, and 
all kinds of fruites : but as for corne, it is brought hither 
out of Cambaya. The inhabitants (especially on the sea 
coast) are Moores and Mahumetans : who build their 
houses very sumptuously after the manner of Europe. 
They are of a colour inclining to white, and some blacke 
people they haue also among them, which are for the 
greatest part Idolaters : howbeit all of them pretend a 
kinde of ciuilitie both in their apparell, and in the decencie 
and furniture of their houses. The women are white, and 
sumptuously attired after the Arabian fashion with cloth of 
silke. Likewise they adorne their neckes, armes, hands, 
and feete with bracelets and iewels of golde and siluer. 
When they go abroad out of their houses, they couer 
themselues with a vaile of taffata, so that they are not 
knowne but when they themselues lift. Vpon this coast 
of Melinde you haue a very safe harborough, wherunto 
the ships that saile those seas do vsually resort. In briefe 
the inhabitants are a kind, true-harted, & trustie people, & 
courteous to strangers. They haue alwaies beene in league 

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with the Portugals, giuing them most friendly entertainmet, 
& reposing much cofidence in them ; neither haue they 
euer done them any iniury. 
Mombaza the The kingdome of Mombaca, being the second generall 

second portion 

o/Zanguebar. part of Zanguebar, and situate in three degrees and a halfe 
beyond the Equinoctiall line, bordering to the north vpon 
Melinde, and to the south vpon Quiloa ; is so called after 
the name of a certaine isle and citie vpon the coast, both 
which are named Mombasa, and are peopled with 
Mahumetans : their houses are of many stories high, and 
beautified with pictures both grauen and painted. Their 
kings are Mahumetans, and most deadly enimies to the 
Christians : one of the which taking vpon him to resist the 
Portugals, was himselfe quite vanquished and ouerthrowen, 
and constrained to leaue his citie to the sacke and spoile 
of his enimies, who found therein a good quantitie of gold, 
siluer, and pearle ; and likewise cloth of cotton, of silke, 
and of gold, with great numbers of slaues, & such other 
commodities. Howbeit they remained not there any long 
time, but were inforced to abandon the place in regard of 
the most vnholesome and infectious aire. This kingdome 
is tributarie to the great empire of Mohenemugi. 

Quiloa the The kingdome of Quiloa situate in nine degrees towarde 

third fart of *> >£ & 

Zanguebar. the pole Antarticke, and (like the last before mentioned) 
taking the denomination thereof from a certaine isle and 
citie both called by the name of Quiloa ; may be accounted 
for the third portion of the lande of Zanguebar. This 
island hath a very fresh and coole aire, and is replenished 
with trees alwaies greene, and with plentie of all kinde of 
victuals. It is situate at the mouth of the great riuer 
Coauo which springeth out of the same lake from whence 
Nilus floweth, and is called also by some Quiloa, and by 
others Tahiua, and runneth from the saide lake, eastward 
for the space of sixe hundred miles, till it approcheth neere 
the sea, where the streame thereof is so forcible, that at 

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the very mouth or out-let, dispersing it selfe into two 
branches, it shapeth out a great island, to the west whereof 
vpon the coast you may behold the little isle and the citie 
of Quiloa, being separated from the maine by a very narrow 
arme of the sea. This isle (as also the great isle before 
named) is inhabited by Mahumetans, who are of colour 
whitish. Their women are comely, and rich in their attire. 
Their houses are fairely builte of lime and stone, and haue 
within them very gallant and costly furniture, and without 
they are enuironed with gardens and orchards full of sundry 
delicate fruits and herbes. Of this island the whole king- 
dome (as is aforesaide) tooke the name ; which vpon the 
coast extendeth it selfe to Cabo Delgado, or the slender 
Cape (being the limite betweene Mozambique and this 
kingdome of Quiloa) & from thence it stretcheth vnto the 
foresaid riuer of Coauo. In old time this kingdome of 
Quiloa was the chiefest of all the principalities there 
adioining ; for the Arabians which were masters thereof 
had inlarged their dominions for the space of nine hundred 
miles, so that all the sea-coast and the islands, as farre as 
Cabo de los Corrientes situate in fower and twentie degrees 
of southerly latitude, were tributarie and subiect thereunto. 
Whereupon when the Portugals arriued in those countries 
the king of this place trusted so much to himselfe, that he 
thought he was able with his owne forces, not onely to 
make a defensiue warre against them, but also to driue 
them from those places, which they had already surprized. 
Howbeit, quite contrarie to his expectation, he was by the 
Portugals vtterly vanquished and put to flight. Who 
seazing vpon the isle and citie, enriched themselues with the 
great booties & spoiles that they found therein. Thus the 
mightie king of Quiloa (who before the Portugals arriuall 
in those parts, enioied also the chiefe commoditie of the 
rich gold mines of Sofala) became at length, by a composi- 
tion made with Don Pedro Cabral, tributarie to the crowne 

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of Portugall, paying for tribute at the first fiue hundred, 
and afterward fifteene hundred peeces of gold. Vpon the 
foresaid isle the Portugals erected a fortresse, which their 
king afterward commanded them to deface, considering 
that there were other forts sufficient enough for that coast 
Mjzamtnque Betweene the two mightie riuers of Coauo and Cuama 

the fourth part 

ofZanguebar. (both which spring out of one lake with Nilus) among the 
kingdomes of Mombara, Mozimba, Maeuas, and Embeoe, 
which are not as yet perfectly discouered, lieth the king- 
dome of Mozambique, so called of three small islets, situate 

* c ° s rMo * hin in the mouth of the riuer *Meghincate in fowerteene and a 
halfe, or fifteene degrees of southerly latitude, which king- 
dome in ancient time by Ptolemey was called Promon- 
torium Prassum. In the principall of the three foresaide 
isles, there is a very commodious and secure hauen, capable 
of all kinde of vessels, and there also the Portugals haue 
built a very strong forte : where albeit in regard of the 
lownes and moisture of the soile, being full of bogges and 
fens, the aire be most vnholsome, and in manner pestilent : 
yet the opportunitie of the place, and the plentie of victuals, 
haue made it one of the most famous and frequented 
hauens in all that Ocean. For which cause the fleetes 
which saile from Portugall to the east Indies, when they 
are out of hope to performe their voiage in summer, 
do vsually resort to spend the whole winter at Mozam- 
bique : and those Portugale ships also which come from 
the Indies toward Europe, must of necessitie touch at 
this place, to furnish themselues with victuals. Along 
these coasts do saile certaine Moores in vessels sowed or 
fastened togither with thongs of lether, the sailes whereof 
they make of Palme-leaues, and in stead of pitch and 
tallow, they calke them with gumme which they gather in 
the woods. Vnto this kingdome of Mozambique belongeth 

Angoscia. the prouince of Angoscia, so called from certaine isles of 
that name, lying directly ouer against it, which prouince 

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stretcheth to the riuer of Cuama. It is inhabited by 
Mahumetans and Gentiles, who are for the greatest part 
merchants, and do trafficke along that coast with the 
same wares and commodities wherewith the people of 
Sofala do trade. • 
Sofala, or Sefala, the fift and last general part oiSofaiathefift 

rj . part of Zan- 

Zanguebar, is a small kingdome lying vpon the sea-co ast, guebar. 
between the riuers of Cuama and Magnice, being so called 
after the name of a riuer running through it, in which riuer 
lyeth an Island, which is the head and principal place of 
the whole countrie. On this Island the Portugales haue 
built a most strong forte, by meanes whereof they are 
become Lordes of the richest trade in all those parts. For 
(to say nothing of the Iuorie, Amber, and slaues which are 
hither brought) all the gold in a manner that is taken out 
of those manifolde and endlesse mines of Sofala and all the 
Inland-countries thereabouts, is here exchanged vnto the 
Portugales for cotton-cloth, silkes, and other commodities 
of Cambaia : all which is thought yeerely to amount vnto 
the summe of two millions of gold. This golden trade was 
first in the power of the Moores of Magadazo ; and after- 
ward it befell to them of Quiloa. The inhabitants of 
Sofala are Mahumetans, being gouerned by a king of the 
same sect, who yeeldeth obedience to the crowne of 
Portugale, because hee will not be subiect to the empire 
of Monomotapa. 

Neither is it heere to bee omitted, that in these parts 
vnder the name of Iuorie, are bartered not onely ele- 
phants teeth, but also the teeth of sea-horses : which 
creatures are commonly found in the riuers of Nilus, Niger, 
Coauo, Cuama, Magnice, and all other the great riuers of 

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The empire of MoJtenemugi* 2 the third generall part of the 
lower Ethiopia. 

THis mightie empire bordering south vpon the 
kingdome of Mozambique, and the empire of 
Monomotapa ; to the riuer Coauo, and beyond ; west 
with the riuer Nilus ; North vpon the dominions of Prete 
Ianni\ and east vpon the kingdomes of Melinde, 
Mombasa, and Quiloa, hath not many yeeres ago bin 
discouered or at least heard of by the Portugales, vpon 
occasion perhaps of the warres, which with vnfortunate 
successe they haue waged against Monomotapa. The 
emperour of this country holdeth a continuall league with 
the princes of Melinde, Mombasa, and Quiloa, towards the 
sea, for traffiques sake : for they prouide his dominions 
with cloth of cotton, cloth of silke, 33 and sundrie other 
comfnodities brought from Arabia, Persia, Cambaya, and 
India, which are very well esteemed in those parts : 
but amohg the rest they bring especially certaine little 
balles, of a red colour, and in substance like vnto glasse, 
being made in Cambaya of a kinde of Bitumen or clammie 
claie, which balles they vse to weare like beades about 
their necks. They serue also to them in stead of money, 
for gold they make none account of. Likewise with the 
silkes that are brought vnto them they apparel themselues 
from the girdle downward. In exchange for all the fore- 
saide wares and commodities they giue gold, siluer, copper, 
and iuorie. Howbeit vpon his Inland frontiers to the 
south and southwest, he maintaineth continuall and bloudie 
warres against the emperour of Monomotapa, his principall 
and greatest forces consisting of a most barbarous and 
fierce nation, called by the people of Congo Giachi, but by 
themselues Agag, who inhabite from the first great lake 
which is the fountaine of Nilus, for a certaine space vpon 

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both sides of the said riuer, and then afterward on the 
westerne banke as farre as the second great lake from 
whence Zaire hath his chiefe original, & thence euen to the 
confines of Prete Ianni. They are a wilde and lawles 
people, liuing (after the manner of the ancient Scythians 
and Nomades, and like the Tartars and Baduin-Arabians 
of these times) a vagrant kind of life, vnder cabbins and 
cottages in the open forests. They are of stature tall, and 
of countenance most terrible, making lines vpon their 
cheekes with certaine iron-instruments, and turning their 
eie-lids backward, whereby they cast vpon their enimies a 
most dreadfull and astonishing aspect. They are man- 
eaters, and couragious in battaile. For their armour of 
defence they vse certaine Pauises or great targets wherwith 
they couer their whole bodies, being otherwise naked : and 
their offensiue weapons are dartes and daggers. It is not 
many yeeres since these cruel sauages ranging westward 
from Niliis, inuaded the kingdome of Congo, vanquished 
the inhabitants in sundrie battels, tooke the head citie, and 
forced the king Don Aluaro to flee for succour and safetie 
vnto the isle of horses, in the mouth of the great riuer 
Zaire, being one of the extreme frontiers of his dominions. 
Where the king himselfe was taken with an incurable 
dropsie, and his people in great numbers died of famine ; 
who to relieue their extreme necessities, sold their wiues, 
their children, and their owne selues for slaues vnto the 
Portugals. Howbeit these warlike Giacchi, notwithstand- 
ing their hautie courage, and great exploits, are no whit 
feared, but rather most boldly encountered, and sometimes 
vanquished by the Amazones or women warriers of Mono- 
motapa. Which two nations, what by warlike stratagems, 
and what by open and maine force, do often fight the most 
desperate and doubtfull battailes, that are performed in all 
those southern parts. 

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The empire of Monomotapa^ the fourth general part 
of the lower Ethiopia. 

BEnomotapa, Benomotaxa, or Monomotapa is a large 
empire, 34 so called after the name of the prince 
thereof, who in religion is a Gentile, and for extension of 
dominions, and military forces, a renowned and mightie 
emperour ; in the language of whose subiects an cmperour 
is signified by this word Monomotapa. This empire of his 
lyeth, as it were, in an Island which containeth in compasse 
seuen hundred and fiftie, or (as some thinke) one thousand 
leagues, being limited on the north-west by the great lake 
whereout Nilus springeth ; on the south, by the riuer 
Magnice and the tributarie kingdome of Butua or Toroa ; 
on the east it hath the sea-coast and the kingdome of 
Sofala, which in very deed is a member thereof ; and the 
North part abutteth vpon the riuer of Cuama, and the 
SomewWAaue empire of Mohenemugi. That part of this great Island 

Magnice and 

Cuama to be which lyeth betweene the mouth of Cuama, and the cape 

one mightie ri- de los Corrientes, is a very pleasant, holesome, and fruitfull 

ortffih?g%at country. And from the said cape to the riuer of Magnice, 

jngio™t%£ b *~ the whole region aboundeth with beasts both great and 

Teparate'Mono- sma11 \ °ut lt is cold b y reas ° n of the sharp brizes which 

7hTmm f e°ia m ke. come off the sea '> and so destitute of wood, that the people 

for fewel are constrained to vse the dung of beasts, and 

they apparel themselues in their skinnes. Along the banke 

of the riuer Cuama are diuers hilles and downes couered 

with trees, and vallies likewise watered with riuers, being 

pleasantly situate, and well peopled. Here are such plenty 

of Elephants, as it seemeth by the great quantitie of their 

teeth, that there are yeerely slaine betweene foure and fiue 

thousand. Their elephants are nine cubites high, and fiue 

cubites in thicknes : They haue long and broad eares, 

little eyes, shorte tailes, and great bellies : and some are of 

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opinion, that Ethiopia yeeldeth as many elephants, as 
Kurope doth oxen. The townes and villages of this 
empire are very few, and their buildings are of wood and 
clay, couered with thatch. None may haue doores to their 
houses but onely great personages. Their principal cities 
are* Zimbas, and Benamataza, the first whereof is one and * This place 

both in regard 

twentie, and the second nfteene daies lourney from Sofala. of the name and 

*-r<t 1 . 111 1.1 situation may 

Iney serue this emperour at the table vpon their knees : seemetohaue 

to sit before him, is all one, as with vs for a man to stand ^entwnedly 1 

vpon his feete, neither may any presume to stand in his ptolemey - 

presence, but onely great lords. He is tasted vnto, not 

before, but after he hath eaten and drunke. For his armes 

he hath a spade and two dartes. Tribute he taketh none, 

but onely certaine daies seruice and giftes presented vnto 

him ; without which there is no appearing in his sight. 

Hee carrieth, withersoeuer he go, foure hundred dogs, as a 

most sure and trustie guard. Hee keepeth all the heires of 

his tributary princes, as vassals, and as pledges of their 

fathers loialtie. There are no prisons in al his empire : 

for sufficient testimonie being brought of the commission of 

any crime, iustice is executed out of hand : - and of all 

offences none are punished with greater seueritie and 

rigour, then witchcraft, theft, and adulterie. His people are 

of a meane stature, blacke, and well proportioned. They 

are Gentiles in religion, hauing no idols, but worshipping 

one onely God whom they call Mozimo. 86 They go 

apparelled in cloth of cotton, either made by themselues, 

or brought from other countries : howbeit the king will in 

no case weare any forrein cloth for feare of poison or such 

like trecherie v : and the meaner sort of his subiects are clad 

in beasts skins. Among all the armies and legions of, 

soldiers, which this emperour (for the defence of his great 

estate) is forced to maintaine, his Amazones are women 

warriers before mentionied are the most valiant, being 

indeed the very sinewes and chiefe strength of all his 

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militarie forces. These women, after the manner of the 
ancient Scythish or Asiatike Amazones, so much spoken of 
in histories of former times, seare^ off-t heir leffa, p gps, that 
they might not be an hinderance vnto them in their shoot- 
ing. They are most expert in warlike stratagems, and 
swift of foote. Their weapons are bowes and arrowes. 
At certaine times for generations sake they accompany 
with men ; sending the male children home to their fathers, 
but keeping their daughters vnto themselves. They 
inhabite towards the west, not farre from the beginning 
of Nilus, in certaine places which themselues make choise 
of, and which are graunted vnto them by the fauour of the 

This empire of Monomotapa comprehendeth not onely the 
foresaid great island, but stretcheth it selfe farther also to- 
ward the cape of Buena esperancja, as farre as the kingdomes 
of Butua or Toroa, 37 which being gouerned by particular 
lords, do acknowledge Monomotapa for their soueraigne. 
Throughout all this emperours dominions is found infinite 
quantitie of gold, in the earth, in the rockes, and in the 
riuers. The gold-mines of this countrey neerest vnto 
Sofala are those of Manica, vpon a plaine enuironed with 
mountaines ; and those also in the prouince of Matuca, 
which is inhabited by the people called Battonghi, and 
situate betweene the Equinoctiall line and the Tropique of 
Capricorne. These mines are distant from Sofala, betweene 
the space of 300. and sixe hundred miles : but those of 
the Boro and Quiticui are fifteene hundred miles distant 
towards the west. Others there are also in the kingdomes 
of Toroa or Butua: so that from hence or from Sofala, 
or from some other part of Monomotapa, some are of 
opinion, that Salomons gold for the adorning of the temple 
at Ierusalem, was brought by sea. A thing in truth not 
very vnlikely : for here in Toroa, and in diuers places of 
Monomotapa are till this day remaining manie huge and 

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ancient buildings of timber, lime and stone, being of 
singular workemanship, the like whereof are not to be 
found in all the prouinces thereabouts. Heere is also a 
mightie wall of fiue and twentie spannes thicke, which the 
people ascribe to the workemanship of the diuell, being 
accounted from Sofala fiue hundred and ten miles the 
neerest way. 88 All other houses throughout this empire 
(as is aforesaid) consist of timber, claie, and thatch. And 
heere I may boldly affirme, that the ancient buildings of 
this part of Africa, & along the coast of the east Indies, 
may not onely be compared, but euen preferred before the 
buildings of Europe. The authors of which ancient monu- 
ments are vnknowen : but the later African buildings haue 
beene erected by the Arabians. In the time of Sebastian 
king of Portugale, the emperour of Monomotapa and many 
of his nobles were baptised : howbeit afterward being 
seduced by certaine Moores, hee put Gonsaluo Silua to 
death, who conuerted him to the Christian religion. Where- 
upon Sebastian king of Portugall sent against him an 
armie of sixteene thousand * consisting for the most part * Mine author 
of gentlemen and men of qualitie, vnder the conduct of downe too great 
Francisco BarrettoP The Monomotapa being afraid of a num €r ' 
the Portugall forces, offered Barretto as good and accept- 
able conditions of peace as might be desired : but he not 
contented with reason, was quite ouerthrowne, not by his 
enimies, but by the vnwholesome aire of Ethiopia, and by 
the manifold diseases which consumed his people. 

Cafraria the fift generall part of the lower Ethiopia. 

CAfraria, or the land of the Cafri, we esteeme to 
be both the coasts and inlands of the extreame 
southerly point of Africa, beginning from the riuer 
Magnice, and thence extending by Cabo da pescaria, Terra 
do Natal, Bahia da lagoa, Bahia fermosa, about the cape 


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of Buena esperanga, by the bay called Agoada Saldariha, 
and thence Northward along the westerne coast of Africa, 
as far as Cabo Negro, or the blacke cape, which is situate 
verie neere vnto eighteene degrees of Southerly latitude. 
The saide Cape of Buena esperan^a is deuided into three 
smaller headlands or capes ; The westermost, being called 
Cabo de buena esperan9a, or The cape of good hope after 
the name of the whole promontorie, and being cut from 
the rest of the firme land : The middlemost is named Cabo 
falso, because the Portugales in their voiage homewards 
from the east Indies, haue sometimes mistaken this for 
the true cape beforementioned ; betweene which two 
capes runneth into the sea a mightie riuer called by the 
Portugales Rio dolce 40 (where their caraks often take in 
fresh water) and by the naturall inhabitants Camissa, which 
springeth out of a small lake called Gale, situate among 
The mountaines of the moon so much celebrated by 
ancient geographers: The third and eastermost cape 
stretching farthest into the sea, is called Cabo das Agulhas, 
or the cape of Needles, because there the needles of dialles 
touched with the loadstone, stand directly North, without 
any variation either to the east or to the west : betweene 
this cape and the foresaid westermost cape (which ly forth 
into the sea like two homes) is the bredth of this mightie 
promontorie, containing about fiue and twentie leagues ; 
the length whereof from the riuer of Fernando Poo, where 
it beginneth to iuttie forth into the sea, along the westerne 
coast southward, to the cape das Agulhas, amounteth to 
two thousand and two hundred Italian miles; and from 
Cabo das Agulhas, along the easterne shore northward, to 
Cape Guardafu, are three thousand three hundred of the 
same miles. This cape at the first discouerie thereof was 
called by Nauigators, The Lyon of the sea; & Cabo 
tormentoso, or The t£pestuoiis cape ; not so much, as I 
take it, for the dangerous and stormie seas mpre about 

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this cape than any other; but partly in regard of the 
chargeable, dangerous, and long trauels of the Portugals 
before they could attaine vnto it ; and partly bicause of the 
great compasse which in their voiages outward they are 
constrained to fetch for the doubling thereof; and, partly 
also in regard of some tempestuous and stormie weather 
wherewith they haue beene encountered at this Cape ; 
which notwithstanding at certaine times is an ordinarie 
matter vpon all shores and promontories ouer the face of 
the whole earth. And albeit some will not come within 
sight of this cape, but keepe a great distance off, for feare 
of the dangerous seas beating thereupon (as namely 
Francis de Almeida who sailed aboue an hundred leagues 
to the south, in fortie degrees of latitude ; Pedro de Agnaia g. b. b. Rei. 
in fortie fiue ; and Vasco Carualbo in fortie seuen, where in v part\'uh*. 
the moneth of Iuly eight of his men died for cold) yet we 
find by the late and moderne experience of sir Francis 
Drake, master Candisk* 1 master Lancaster in his returne 
from the east Indies, 42 and of the Hollanders in, their 
nauigations thither, begun in the yeere 1595, that those 
seas are at sometimes not onely free from stormie 
tempests, but most pleasant also to saile vpon, with faire 
and gentle weather. And as the Spaniards for a long 
time (that they might discourage all other nations from 
attempting nauigation vpon The south sea beyond 
America) blinded all Christendome with a report, that 
the streights of Magellan were unrepasable : so perhaps 
the Portugals, to terrifie all others from sailing to the east 
Indies, and to keepe the gaine and secrets of that rich 
trade entire vnto themselues, haue in their writings and 
relations made the doubling of the cape of Buena 
Esperancja, and the crossing ouer those seas, a matter 
of farre greater difficultie and danger, then it is of late 
manifestly found to be. The name of Buena esperancja 
or good hope, was giuen vnto this promontory by Iohn 

E 2 

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the second king of Portugall ; bicause that when his 
fleetes had once doubled this cape, either outward or 
homeward, they then stedfastly hoped in good time to 
performe the residue of their voiage ; otherwise not. In 
the midst of this cape lieth a plot of ground of that beautie 
and delight, as that without any humane industrie it may 
compare with the most artificiall gardens of Europe. On 
the top of this place, nature minding as it were to excell 
her-selfe, hath framed a great plaine, which for beautifull 
situation, fruitfulnes of herbes, varietie of flowers, and 
flourishing verdure of things, seemeth to resemble a terres- 
triall paradise. The Portugals terme it not altogether 
unfitly, The table of the cape. 48 And to the end they 
might not faile of the meanes to enioy so pleasant a place, 
there is close vnder it a very good harbour which is called 
The port of Conception. 

The people of this place called in the Arabian toong 
Cafri, Cafres, or Cafates, that is to say, lawlesse or out- 
lawes, are for the most part exceeding blacke of colour, 
which very thing may be a sufficient argument, that the 
sunne is not the sole or chiefe cause of their blacknes ; 
for in diuers other countries where the heate thereof is 
farre more scorching and intolerable, there are tawnie, 
browne, yellowish, ash-coloured, and white people ; so that 
the cause thereof seemeth rather to be of an hereditarie 
qualitie transfused from the parents, then the intempera- 
ture of an hot climate, though it also may be some 
furtherance thereunto. The Hollanders in the yeere 1595. 
entering the harbour of Saint Bras, somewhat to the east 
of Cabo das Agulhas, had conuersation and truck with 
some of these Cafres, whom they found to be a stoute and 
valiant people, but very base and contemptible in their 
behauior and apparell, being clad in oxe and sheeps skins, 
wrapped about their shoulders with the hairie sides inward, 
in forme of a mantle. Their weapons are a kinde of small 

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slender dartes or pikes, some whereof are headed with 
some kinde of mettall, the residue being vnheaded, and 
hardened onely at the points with fire. They couer their 
priuie parts with a sheepes tayle, which is bound vp before 
and behinde with a girdle. Their home-beasts are, like 
those of Spaine, verie well limmed and proportioned. 
Their sheepe are great and faire, not hauing any wooll 
on. their backes, but a kinde of harsh haire like goates. 
Other particulars by them obserued, for breuities sake, I 

Now that we may proceede in describing the residue of 
Cafraria, hauing sayled about the cape of Buena esperanga 
westward, albeit the coast in regard of the greatnes thereof 
may seem to ly directly north, yet for the space of 
seuenteene degrees, till you come to Cabo Negro, (the 
farthest North-westerne bound of this fift part of the 
lower Ethiopia) it trendeth somewhat to the west : along 
which coast somewhat within the land appeareth a mighty 
ranke or ridge of mountaines, called by the Portugales 
Os picos fragosos, that is, the ragged points or spires, OsPicosfn 
being besides their excessiue height, craggie, rough, and' 
steepe, lying bare, desolate, and vtterly voide of all 
succour, and seruing for no other end, but for an object 
to the windes, and a mark for the tempests, The residue 
of the coast, till you cornel to Cabo Negro, sometimes lying 
lowe and sometimes high, sometimes shooting into the sea, 
and sometimes again gently retiring, containeth many 
plaines, hils, vallies, and places most fertile and delightful ; 
some of them being alwaies of so fresh and pleasant view, 
as they seeme to represent a continuall spring. 


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The sixt and last part of the lower 
or extreme Ethiopia, containing the king- 
dome of Congo ; whereunto in times past were 
tributarie and subiect the kingdomes of Matama, 
and Angola to the south; the kingdomes of 
Quisatna, and Pangelungos to the east ; and to 
the north the kingdome of Anzicana inhabited 
by the Anzichi> and Loango peopled by 
the Bramas. 

The kingdome 
oj Matama. 


Irst therefore (according to our pro- 
posed order) that we may begin 
with the most southerly parts ; The 
kingdome of Mafama 44 so called 
after the name of the king thereof, 
(who being a Gentile ruleth ouer 
diuers prouinces named Quimbebe) 
bordereth north vpon the first great 
lake whereout Nilus springeth, and vpon the south 
frontiers of Angola; east it abutteth vpon the western 
banke of the riuer Bagamidri ; and stretcheth south as far 
as the riuer Brauagul, which springeth out of the moun- 
tains of the moone. This countrey standeth in a good & 
holesome aire, & abourideth with mines of cristall & other 
metals, and hath victuals great plenty. And although the 
people thereof & and their neighbour-borderers doe traffike 
togither ; yet the king of Matama and the king of Angola 
wage war oftentimes one against another: also the said 
riuer Bagamidri deuideth this kingdome of Matama from 
the great empire of Monomotapa before described, which 
lieth to the east thereof. 

Next followeth Angola, a kingdome subiect in times 

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past fo the king of Congo, the gouernour whereof not verie 
many yeeres ago, growing exceedingly rich & mightie, 
rebelled against his soueraigne, & by diuers attempts 
skaking off the yoke of superioritie, became himselfe an 
absolute prince. This countrey, by reason that the people V"^ 
are suffered to haue as many wiues as they list, is a place 
most woonderfully populous. The goe whole millions of 
them to the warres, not leauing any men of seruice behinde : 
but for want of victuals they are often constrained to leaue 
their enterprises halfe vndone. Vpon this king, Paulo 
Diaz, who remained gouernour in these parts for the king 
of Portugall, waged warre : the reason was, bicause certaine 
Portugall merchants and others going by way of traffike to 
Cabaza, a towne situate an hundred and fiftie miles from 
the sea, where the king of Angola vsually resideth ; they 
were by order from this king, the same yeere that king 
Sebastian died in Barbarie, 45 sodainly spoiled of their 
goods, and part of them slaine ; it being alleaged, that they 
were all spies, and came to vndermine the present state. 
Whereupon Paulo Diaz prouided himselfe, and with two 
galeots did many notable exploits on both sides of the 
riuer Coanza. Finally hauing built a forte in a very com- 
modious and hillie ground, at the confluence or meeting of 
the riuer last mentioned, and the riuer Luiola, with a small 
number of Portugals, ioined to the aide sent him from the 
king of Congo and from certaine princes of Angola his 
confederates, he gaue the foresaid king (notwithstanding his 
innumerable troupes of Negros) diuers & sundry ouer- 
throwes. The said riuer Coanza springeth out of the lake 
of Aquelunda, 46 situate westward of the great lake where- 
out Nilus takes his originall. In this kingdome are the 
mountaines of Cabambe, abounding with rich and excellent 
siluer mines ; 47 which haue ministred the chiefe occasion of The Hiuer 
all the foresaid warres. This region aboundeth also with TamZ: 
other minerals, and with cattell of all sorts. Most true it is, 

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that dogs-flesh is heere accounted of all others the daintiest 
meate ; for which cause they bring vp and fatten great 
plentie of dogs for the shambles. Yea it hath beene con- 
stantly affirmed, that a great dogge accustomed to the 
bull was sold in exchange of two and twentie slaues, the 
value of whom coulde not amount to much lesse than two 
hundred and twentie ducats. The priests of Angola called 
Gange, are helde in such estimation and account, as the 
people are verily perswaded, that they haue in their power 
abundance and scarcitie, life and death. For they haue 
knowledge of medicinable hearbes, and of deadly poisons 
also, which they keepe secret vnto themselues ; and by 
meanes of their familiaritie with the diuell, they often 
foretell things to come. 

Quizama* Towards the lake of Aquelunda before mentioned, lieth 

a countrey called Quizama ; the inhabitants whereof being 
gouerned after the manner of a common wealth, haue 
shewed themselues very friendly to the Portugals, and 
haue done them speciall good seruice in their warres 
against the king of Angola. 

Thus hauing briefely pointed at the former three border- 
ing countries, let vs now with like breuitie passe through 

Bahia das va- the kingdome of Congo it selfe. This kingdome therefore 

cas, or the baye 

ofCowes. (accounting Angola, as indeede it is, a member thereof) 
beginneth at Bahia das vacas in thirteene, and endeth at 
Cabo da Caterina in two degrees and a halfe of southerly 
latitude. True it is that the coast neere vnto the saide Bay 
of Cowes is subiect to the king of Congo, but the inland is 
gouerned by him of Angola. East and west it stretcheth 
from the sea in bredth as farre as the lake of Aquelunda, 
for the space of sixe hundred miles, and is diuided into 

The six pro- sixe prouinces : namely, the prouince of Pemba, situate in 

uinces of 

Congo, the very hart and center of the whole kingdome ; Batta, 

the most easterly prouince, where the ancient writers seenje 
to haue placed Agifymba ; Pango which bordereth vpon 

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Parigelungi ; Sundi the most Northerly prouince ; Sogno 

which stretcheth ouer the mouth of the great riuer Zaire ; 

and Bamba which is the principall of all the rest both for 

extension of ground, for riches, and for militarie forces. In 

the prouince of Pemba, or rather in a seuerall territorie by 

it selfe, standeth the citie of Sant Saluador, in former times s. Saluador 

called Banza, being the metropolitan of all Congo, and the fC<mgo. C% 

seate of the king, situate an hundred and fiftie miles from 

the sea, vpon a rocke and high mountaine ; on the verie top 

whereof is a goodly plaine abounding with fountaines of 

holesome and sweete water, and with all other good things 

which are requisite either for the sustenance, or solace of 

mankinde : and vpon this plaine where Sant Saluador is 

seated, there may inhabitie to the number of an hundred 

thousand persons. In this citie the Portugals haue a 

warde by themselues, separate from the rest, containing a 

mile in compasse : and about that bignes also is the palace 

or house of the king. The residue of the people dwell for 

the most part scatteringly in villages. It is a place 

enriched by nature with corne, cattell, fruits, and holesome 

springs of water in great abundance. The principall riuer 

of all Congo called Zaire, taketh his chiefe originall out of Thegreatriuer 

the second lake of Nilus, lying vnder the Equinoctiall line : 

and albeit this is one of the mightiest riuers of all Africa, 

being eight and twentie miles broad at the mouth, yet was 

it vtterly vnknowen to ancient writers. Amongst other 

riuers it receiueth Vumba and Barbela, which sprung out 

of the first great lake. In this countrey are sundry other 

riuers also, which fetch their originall out of the lake of 

Aquelunda: the principall whereof are Coanza, which 

diuideth the kingdome of Congo from that of Angola, and 

the riuer Lelunda, which breedeth crocodiles & water- Crocodiles. 

horses which the Greeks call Hippopotami, of which 

creatures the isle of horses in the mouth of the riuer Zaire 

taketh denomination. The Hippopotamus or water-horse Water-horses. 

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is somewhat tawnie, of the colour of a lion ; in the night 
he comes on lande to feed vpon the grasse, and keepeth in 
the water all the day time. The Africans tame and 
manage some of these horses, and they prooue exceeding 
swift ;H>ut a man must beware how he passe ouer deepe 
riuers with them, for they will sodainly diue vnder water. 
Also in these riuers of Ethiopia are bred a kinde of oxen, 
which Hue euery night vpon the lande. Here likewise 
breedeth another strange creature, called in the Congonian 
language Ambize Angulo, that is to say, a hogge-fish, being 
so exceeding fatte, and of such greatnes, that some of them 
weie aboue fiue hundred pound. 48 This abudance of 
waters, togither with the heat of the climate, which pro- 
ceedeth from the neerenes of the sunne, causeth the 
countrey to be most fruitfull of plants, herbes, fruits, and 
corne ; & much more fertile would it be, if nature were 
helped forward by the industrie of the inhabitants. Heere 
also, besides goates, sheepe, deere, Gugelle, conies, hares, 
ciuet-cats, and ostriches, are great swarmes of tigres, which 

The Zabra. are very hurtfull both to man and beast The Zebra or 
Zabra 49 of this countrey being about the bignes of a mule, 
is a beast of incomparable swiftnes, straked about the body, 
legges, eares, and other parts, with blacke, white and 
browne circles of three fingers broad ; which do make a 
pleasant shew. Buffles, wilde asses, called by the Greekes 
Onagri, and Dantes (of whose hard skins they make all 
their targets) range in heards vp and downe the woods. 

The elephant Also here are infinite store of elephants of such monstrous 
bignes, that by the report of sundrie credible persons, some 
of their teeth do weigh two hundred pounds, at sixteene 
ounces the pound : vpon the plaines this beast is swifter 
than any horse, by reason of his long steps; onely he 
cannot turne with such celeritie. Trees he ouerturneth 
with the strength of his backe, or breaketh them between 
his teeth ; or standeth vpright vpon his hinder feete, to 

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browse vpon the leaues and tender sprigs. The she 
elephants beare their brood in their wombes two yeeres 
before they bring foorth yoong ones : neither are they 
great with yoong, but onely from seuen yeeres to seuen 
yeeres. This creature is saide to Hue 1 50. yeeres ; hee is 
of a gentle disposition ; and relying vpon his great strength, 
he hurteth none but such as do him iniurie ; only he will 
in a sporting maner gently heaue vp with his snowte such 
persons as he meeteth. He loueth the water beyond 
measure, and will stande vp to the mid-body therein, bath- 
ing the ridge of his backe, and other parts with his long 
promuscis or trunke. His skin is fower fingers thicke ; 
and it is reported, that an elephant of this countrey being 
stricken with a little gunne called Petrera, was not wounded 
therewith, but so sore brused inwardly, that within three 
daies after he died. Heere are likewise reported to be 
mightie adders or snakes of fiue and twentie spannes long, 
and fiue spans broad, which will swallow vp an whole 
stagge, or any other creature of that bignes. Neither are 
they here destitute of Indie-cockes and hens, partridges, 
feasants, and innumerable birds of praie, both of the lande 
and of the sea ; whereof some diue vnder the water, which 
the Portugals call Pelicans. 

Ouer against the most southerly part of the said king- The isle and 
dome of Congo, where it confineth with Angola, lyeth an Loanda. 
Isle called Loanda, being twentie miles long, and but one 
mile broad at the most, betweene which and the maine 
land is the best port of all that Ocean. About this Isle do 
haunt infinite store of whales, where, notwithstanding no 
amber at all is found ; which is a manifest argument that 
it proceedeth not from these creatures. Here they fish for 
certaine little shels, which in Congo and the countries 
adioyning are vsed in steed of mony. The well-waters of 
this Isle, when the sea ebbeth, are salte, but when it floweth 
they are most fresh and sweet. In this Isle 60 the Portugals 

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haue a towne from whence they traffique to Congo and 
Angola : and amongst other commodities, they get euery 
yeere in those parts about fiue thousand slaues ; the 
custome of which trade belongeth by ancient constitutions 
vnto the crowne of Portugale. 

Loango. To the north of Congo vpon the sea coast beginneth 

the kingdome of Loango tributarie in times past to the 
king of Congo : It aboundeth with elephants ; and the 
inhabitants called Bramas are circumcised after the Iewish 
manner. 61 

AnzUhu Next vpon them doe border the Anzichi, who are- 

possessed of large countries, namely from the riuer Zaire 
euen to the deserts of Nubia. They abound with mines of 
copper, and with sanders both Red, and Gray which are 
the best ; and some are of opinion, that here groweth the 
right Lignum Aquilae, which is of so excellent vertue in 
phisick. 52 They haue one supreme king, with many 
princes vnder him. They traffique in Congo, and carrie 
home from thence salt and great shels to be vsed for coine 
(which are brought thither from the Isle of San Tom6) in 
exchange of their cloth of the palme tree, and of Iuory : 
but the chiefe commodities which they part from, are 
slaues of their owne nation and of Nubia : and the said 
shels they vse also insteed of Iewels and ornaments. Both 
they and the Bramas before mentioned do carry for their 
defence in the warres, certaine targets made of the skin 
of a beast which in Germany is called Dante: 63 their 
weapons offensiue be little bowes and shorte arrowes, 
which they shoot with such wonderfull celerity, as they 
will discharge twentie one after another, before the first 
arrow fall to the ground. They haue shambles of mans- 
flesh as wee haue of beeues and muttons. They eat their 
enemies which they take in the warres : their slaues which 
they cannot make away for a good round price, they sell 
vnto the butchers : and some will offer themselues to the 

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slaughter, for the loue of their princes and patrons: so" 
sillie they are, that to do their lordes a pleasure, they will 
not refuse present death : wherefore the Portugals repose 
not so much trust in any kinde of slaues as in them : and 
they are very valiant also in the warres. 

But to returne vnto the sea-coast ; from the mouth of 
the riuer Zaire Northward, the land bearing out somewhat 
more to the west, is framed into three headlands, namely, 
Cabo primero, Cabo da Caterina, and the cape of Lopo 
Gonsalues, 54 which is a cape very well knowen in regard of 
the eminency and outstretching thereof. It lyeth in one 
degree of southerly latitude. Ouer against which cape 
within the land do inhabite the people called Bramas in 
the kingdome of Loango beforementioned. From hence 
for the space of fiue or sixe degrees, till you come to 
Punta delgada, or The slender point, the coast lyeth in a 
manner directly North ; most of which tract is inhabited 
by a nation of Negros called Ambus. North of the said 
slender point you haue Rio dos Camarones, 66 or The riuer 
of shrimps, which is full of little Isles ; not far from which 
riuer are The countries of Biafar and Medra, inhabited 
with people which are addicted to inchantments, witch- 
crafts, and all kinds of abominable sorceries. 

Much more might be said concerning this sixt part of 
the lower Ethiopia: but because it is in so ample and 
methodicall a manner described in the historie of Philippo 
Pigafetta, most iudiciously and aptly Englished by the 
learned Master Abraham Hartwell ; I refer the reader 
thereunto, as to the principal and the very fountaine of all 
other discourses which haue bin written to any purpose of 
Congo and the countries adioyning. 66 

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Of the countries of Benin, Meleghete, Ghinea, and 
Sierra Leona. 

WEstward from the countries last mentioned lyeth the 
kingdome of Benin, hauing a very proper towne of 
that name, and an hauen called Gurte. The inhabitants 
Hue in Idolatry, and are a rude and brutish nation ; not- 
withstanding that their prince is serued with such high 
reuerence, and neuer commeth in sight but with great 
solemnity, & many ceremonies : at whose death his chiefe 
fauorites count it the greatest point of honour to be buried 
with him, to the end (as they vainly imagine) they may doe 
him seruice in another world. This countrie aboundeth 
of this long with long pepper called by the Portugals Pimienta dal 
RamuHus, rabo, which is as much to say, as pepper with a tayle: 
pag**.' " S This tailed or long pepper so far excelleth the pepper of 
the east Indies, that an ounce therof is of more force than 
halfe a pound "of that other. For which cause the kings of 
Portugale haue done what lay in them, to keep it from 
being brought into these parts of Europe, least it should 
too much abase the estimation and price of their Indian 
pepper. All which notwithstanding there hath bin great 
quantitie secretly conueied from thence by the Portugals : 
as likewise the English and French nations, and of late 
yeeres the Hollanders haue had great traffique into those 
parts. 57 
The provinces Next follow the kingdomes of Temian and Dayma ; 
DaumaTand and lower to the south the prouince of Meleghete, a place 
e eg ete. ver ^ f amous anc j we jj fcnowne, J n regard of a little red 

graine which there groweth, being in shape somewhat like 

to the Millet of Italy, but of a most vehement and firy 

tast : and these little graines are by the apothecaries called 

Grana Para- Grana Paradisi. Here also is made of oile and the ashes 


of the Palme-tree, a kind of sope, which hath double the 
force of ours. For which cause it is forbidden by the 1 

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Portugals, who haue vpon that coast a little to the east of The castle of 

x Mtna. 

Cabo das tres puntas, in the northerly latitude of fiue 
degrees, a strong castle called San Georgio de la Mina, 
whereunto by way of traffike they draw all the gold and 
riches of the countries adioining. 

Westward of these lieth the countrie of Ghinea, in- 
habited by a people which the ancient writers called 
* Autolatae, and Ichthyophagi : Ghinea is so named, l^%Jgf%£ 
according to the chiefe citie thereof called Genni, being 
situate vpon the riuer of Sanega. The people of this 
countrie towards the sea-coast Hue vpon fish ; and they 
of the inland sustain themselues with Lizards and such 
like creatures ; & in some places more temperate their 
food consisteth of herbes and milke. They conuerse togither 
in great families ; and they fight oftentimes for water and 
for pastures ; neither haue they anie knowledge of learn- 
ing or liberall arts. So long as the sun continueth in our 
northern signes, that is, from the xj. of March to the xiij. 
of September, this people in regard of extreme scorching 
heat, are constrained all the day time (being ordinarily 
with them of 12. howers) to retire themselues within their 
houses, and do all their busines in the night. The countrey 
in most places is destitute of trees that beare fruite: • 
neither haue the greatest part of the inhabitants any haire / 
on their bodies, saue onely a thicke tuft growing vpon their 
heads: they sell their children vnto strangers, supposing 
that their estate cannot possiblie be impaired. Vnto these 
naturall miseries of the place,you may ad the insupportable 
mischiefs which are here done by the locustes : for albeit 
these creatures do infinite harme likewise in all the inner 
parts of Africa ; yet seemeth it that this countrey of 
Ghinea is their most proper habitation ; whither they do 
often resort in such innumerable swarms, that like a 
mightie thicke cloud they come raking along in the skie, 
and afterward falling downe, they couer the face of the 

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(earth, deuouring all things that they light vpon. Their 
comming towards any place is known two or three dales 

Ucustes. before by the yellownes of the sunne. But in most places 
where they haunt, the poore people are reuenged of them 
by killing and driyng them in the aire for their foode : 
which custom is commonly vsed by the Arabians and 
Ethiopians ; and the Portugals also haue found vessels full 
of them vpon the coast of Cambaia, where they do the 
like mischiefes. They which haue eaten of them affirme 
that they are of a good taste, and that their flesh (so much 
as it is) is as white as that of a lobster. These may seem 
to be al one with those grashoppers which God sent to 
plague Egypt ; and the same kinde of locustes, which the 
holy prophet Iohn Baptist fed vpon in the wilderness. 68 

Moreouer along the coasts of Meleghete and Ghinea are 
diuers small riuers and freshets, containing little water, and 
running a slow pace : which notwithstanding are the best 
and pleasantest things that are to be founde in these 
forlorne countries. For wheresoeuer any little water 
springeth or runneth, thither do the people resort, partly 
for the watring of their scorched grouds, & partly to quench 
their own thirst. Also vpo these coasts are diuers and 
sundry headlands which stretch into the sea ; as namqjy 
The faire cape, The three-pointed cape, The cape of 

Sierra Leona. Palmetrees, Cabo da Verga, & Sierra Leona. This cape 
last mentioned hath an exceeding high mountaine there- 
upon, which causeth it to be seene a mightie distance off. 
It seemeth to be the same promontorie which Hanno and 
Ptolemey call The chariot of the gods. It is called by the 
name of a lyon in regard of the dreadfull thunders and 
lightnings which are continually heard from the top 
thereof: howbeit neere vnto it are found apes, munkeies, 
and such other beasts as Hue in temperate places. 

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Of Cabo verde, Sanega, and Gatnbra or Gambea. 

NOrthward of Sierra Leona lieth Cabo verde, or the 
greene cape, called by Ptolerney Arsinarium, and 
being one of the most famous headlands in Africa. It is 
enuironed with two riuers, namely the riuer of Gambra or 
Gambea on the south, and the riuer of Senaga 69 on the 
north ; which last riuer is esteemed to be an arme of Ghir 
or Niger. Gambea springeth out of the same fountains 
assigned by Ptolerney vnto Niger (which by all the ancient 
writers is placed heereabout) and out of the lake of Libya. 
It is larger and deeper then that other of Senaga, and 
runneth a crooked course, receiuing many lesser riuers A factorie of 
thereinto. One hundred and eightie leagues within the oru 8 as - 
mouth of this riuer the Portugals haue a factorie or place 
of traffique, called The factorie of Cantor. Hither by 
exchange of sundry wares, they draw the gold of all those 
countries. In the midde way (as it were) vnto the said 
factorie, there is a place called the isle of Elephants in grants! 
regard of the huge numbers of those creatures. The 
riuer of Senaga is. thought to take his original out of 
the lakes called Chelonides. It containeth certaine Isles, 
which in regard of their rough and ragged shape are 
good for nothing, but to breed adders and such like hurt- 
full things, and these Isles in many places make the riuer 
vtterly innauigable. About one hundred and fiftie leagues A mightie 

J & & cataract or fall 

from the mouth thereof, it falleth spouting- wise with such of Senaga. 
maine force from certaine high cliffes or rockes, that a man 
may walke drie vnder the Streame thereof. The Negros in 
their language call this place a Bowe. It is reported that 
Nilusdoth the like at his Cataracts or ouerfals. And Strabo 
writeth of certaine riuers of Hircania, which from exceeding 
steepe and craggie rockes gush with such violence into the 
Caspian sea, that whole armies may passe vnder them 
without danger of drowning. Into this riuer of Senaga, 


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among many riuers vnknowne, falleth one, which passing 
through a red soile, is itselfe also died red : and whosoeuer 
drinketh of the waters first of the Red riuer, and after of 
Senaga, is constrained extremely to vomite. Along the 
banks of this mightie riuer inhabite the blacke and bar- 
barous nations of the Gialofi, 60 the Tucuroni, 61 the Cara- 
guloni, 62 and the Bagani. 68 Finally it voideth into the 
sea at two mouths, one of which mouthes is a mile broad. 
(] And it is strange to consider, how vpon the south side of 
this riuer the people are blacke and well proportioned, and 
the soile pleasant and fertile ; whereas on the north side 
they are browne and of a small stature, and do inhabite a 
barren and miserable countrie. In both the said riuers of 
Gambra and Senaga do breed diuers strange kindes of 
fishes, and other creatures of the water, as namely croco- 
diles, sea-horses, and winged serpents ; and hither come to 
drinke sundry sorts of wilde beasts. The lands com- 
prehended betweene them both, by reason of their yeerely 
inundation (for from the xv. of Iune they increase fortie 
daies togither, and are so long time decreasing, after the 
manner of Nilus) abound with all kinds of graine and 
pulse wherof the climate is capable, as namely with beanes, 
pease, millet, &c. but wheate, rie, barley, and grapes 
cannot there attaine to ripenes and perfection, by reason of 
ouermuch moisture : saue onely some small quantite of 
wheat neere the deserts where the Caraguloni inhabite. 
But their chiefe sustenance is Zaburro, otherwise called 
Ghinie-wheate or Maiz, which they sowe after the inunda- 
tion of their riuers, casting some quantitie of sande there- 
upon to defend it from the heate, which otherwise would 
scorch the grounde too excessiuely. They drinke the iuice 
of the palme-tree, which they cut and lance for that 
purpose : and this iuice not being tempered, it is strong 
and headie as any wine. Neither are they heere destitute 
of mightie adders, of lions, leopards, and elephants ; but 

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beasts for labour they haue none, saue onely a small kinde 
of oxen, and goates. The horses which are brought 
thither by merchants, Hue but a short time. The aire, by 
reason of abundance of lakes bredde by the ouerflowes of 
their riuers, is moist and grosse. And heere fall most 
vnholesome and palpable dewes. It raineth in these 
countries from October till the end of Iuly, euery day 
about noone, with thunder and lightning. 

All the kingdomes and countries by vs before described, 
from the cape of Buena esperanga, to the riuer last 
mentioned, are inhabited by blacke people. The most 
northerly are the Gialofi, who spread themselues between 
the two foresaid riuers for the space of fiue hundred 
leagues eastward : so that the riuer Senaga is the vtmost 
northern bound of Negros, or nations extremely blacke ; 
howbeit vpon the bankes thereof are found people of 
sundry colours, by reason of the varietie of women. 

Betweene this riuer of Senaga and Cabo bianco, or the 
white cape, lieth a countrey called by some Anterote, 
being all ouer in a manner sandy, barren, lowe, and plaine ; 
neither is there in all this distance any place of account 
or reckoning, saue onely the isles of Arguin (whereof we 
will intreat among the isles of Africa) and a territorie of 
towne sixe daies iourney within the maine, called Hoden. 
This towne is not walled, but lieth open, and consisteth of Ramusim vol. 
the wandring Arabians rude and homely* habitations, being 
notwithstanding a place of Rendeuous or meeting for all 
such as trauell in Carouans from Tombuto, and other 
places in the lande of Negros to Barbaric The principall 
food of the inhabitants heere, are dates and barly, both 
which the soile yeeldeth indeed, but not in so plentifull a 
manner : and they drinke the milke of camels & of other 
beasts, for wine they haue none at all. These people are 
Mahumetans, and most deadly enimies to Christians : 
neither abide they long in any place, but runne rouing and 

F 2 

A ' 

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wandring vp and downe those deserts. They are them- 
selues very populous, and haue abundance of camels, vpon 
whose backes they carrie copper, siluer, and other com- 
modities from Barbarie to Tombuto, and to the residue of 
the land of Negros. 64 

From Cabo bianco to the regions of Sus, and Hea (which 
are the first prouinces described by Iohn Leo) excepting a 
small portion onely of Biledulgerid, you haue nothing but 
part of the vast, fruitles, & vnhabitable desert of Libya, 
called by the Arabians Sarra, 65 which stretcheth from the 
westerne Ocean as farre as the frontiers of Egypt. 

Thus from the very bottome of the Red Sea, hauing 
coasted along the easterne and westerne shores of the 
most southerly partes of Africa, and briefly described all 
the principall knowen empires, kingdomes, and regions 
within that maine, which are left vntouched by our author 
Iohn Leo ; let vs now with little or more breuitie prosecute 
the description of the islands which are by the hand of the 
omnipotent creator planted round about this ample and 
spacious continent. 

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A briefe enumeration and description 

of all the most famous and knowne Islandes 

situate round about the coasts of Africa, which haue 

beene omitted by Iohn Leo : beginning first with 

the most northeasterly, and so by little and little 

bringing our selues about the Cape of Buena 

Esperan£a neerer vnto Europe. 

The Islands of the Red Sea. 

Oth the shores of the Red sea, as well Babeimandei. 
on the African as on the Arabian 
side, are euerie where beset with 
many small islets and rockes, which 
lie so thicke togither, that they 
make the nauigation all along the 
said coasts to be most dangerous 
and difficult. 
The isles of the Red sea most woorthie to be remembred, 
ire these following. Babeimandei 66 a little isle situate in 
he very mouth of the Red sea, in twelue degrees, con- 
aineth two leagues in compasse, being from either of the 
irme lands three miles distant, and standing about twentie 
►aces high out of the water. By Ptolemey it is called The 
>le of Diodorus. Vpon this isle, or one of the continents 
dioining, are to be hired the most experimented pilots for 
1 that narrow sea, euen as far as Suez. And from the 
asterne and westerne side of this islet, Strabo reporteth 
lat the twofold enterance of the Arabian Gulfe was 
irred with a double chaine. More to the north standeth 
amaran, being about eight leagues from the Arabian TheisUof 
>ast in fifteene degrees of latitude. 67 Vpon this isle are to amaran - 

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The isle, 
hauen, and 
citie of 

be seene great ruines of ancient buildings. It hath one 
indifferent good hauen, and aboundeth with fresh water, (a 
thing most precious and acceptable in those parts) with 
salt, and with cattell. On the other side towards Africa, 
in fifteene degrees and an halfe, standeth the isle of Dalaqua 
of about thirtie miles in circuite, 68 which space is almost 
contained in the length thereof, being a place very famous 
for the abundance of pearles which are there caught ; 
wherewithall likewise the isle of Mua neere vnto it is richly 
endowed. Next followeth Mazua 09 in forme like to an 
halfe moone, and not aboue a bow-shoot distant from the 
African maine : betweene which isle and the continent, 
there is an excellent hauen which is now the only porte 
that Prete Ianni hath in all his dominions ; for which (as 
you may read before in the description of the said princes 
empire) his lieutenant Barnagasso is constrained to pay a 
greate yeerely tribute to the Turke. 

Ouer against Mazua, vpon the firme, standeth the towne 
of Ercoco. Vpbn this little isle are diuers houses of 
Arabians, built of lime and stone ; and others of claie 
couered with thatch. North of Mazua standeth Suaquen 
in a certain lake made by the sea, which there insinuateth 
it selfe within the land, and frameth a most secure and 
commodious hauen. On this small islet is built the faire 
and stately city of Suaquen, 70 being almcst as large as the 
isle it selfe ; wherein resideth the Turke's lieutenant or 
Bassa of Abassia. 

Of the Isle of Socotera and other isles lying without the 
narrow entrance of the Arabian gulfe. 

Without the streight of Babelmandel there are no 
islands woorthy of mention, saue onely Socotera ; 
which (as Iohn Barros supposeth) was of old called by 
Ptolemey Dioscoridis, & lieth in sight of cape Guardafu, 
which the same author nameth Aromata Promontorium. 

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Being about three-score miles long, and fiue and twentie 
miles broad, it is diuided with a rough and exceeding high 
ridge of mountaines, and is subiect vnto most terrible and 
boisterous windes, which do out of measure dry and parch 
the same. For which cause, and in regard of the slothfull 
rudenes of the inhabitants, it is very scarce of victuals : 
for it yeeldeth neither wheate, rice, wine, nor hony. In the 
vallies and places of shelter it affoordeth some quantitie of 
Millet, of dates, and of sundrie kinds of fruits : neither is it 
altogether destitute of pasture for cattell. It is frequented 
by merchants for *Cinabre, Sanguis Draconis, and the* i ££ vermilm 
most excellent Aloes of the world. It hath no hauen of 
importance. The Portugals are heere possessed of two J™p™£ e J a °{ s 
small townes, one called Coro, and the other Benin ; and *» Socotora. 
here in times past the king of Fartac [A countrey of Arabia 
Fcelix^\ had a castle and a garrison of soldiers vpon this 
isle, which castle being taken by the Portugals, was after- 
ward by them abandoned, bicause it quited not the cost. 
The inhabitants being of a browne colour, and of a good 
constitution ; are in religion a kind of Christians. 71 They 
hold an opinion that Saint Thomas suffred shipwracke 
vpon this isle, and that of his ship was built a most 
ancient church, which as yet is to be seene walled 
round about, with three allies or partitions, and three 

Furthermore they Hue for the most part in caues or in 
cabins made of boughes, very farre from the sea. They go 
apparrelled in course cloth, or in the skins of beastes. In 
war their weapons are slings, and swordes made of base 
iron : and the women are as good soldiers as the men. 
They are much addicted to Magick and inchantments, and 
doe bring to passe matters incredible. They haue no vse 
at all of nauigation, nor of traffique, and yet forsooth they 
esteeme themselues the most noble and worthy people 
vnder the heauens ; as also they are vtterly voide of 

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learning: which I doe note, because that such as are 
learned make but small account of their wisedome. 
The two sisters. To the North of Socotera are two small Isles which 
are called the two sisters : the inhabitants whereof 
being of an oliue-colour, Hue without lawe, and haue no 
conuersation with any other people. The commodities 
of these Islets are Iuorie, amber, Sanguis draconis, Aloes, 
and a kind of pretious stones called Nizzolij. 

Likewise ouer against Socotera are two other Islets, 
one called the Isle of men, and the other the Isle of women, 
being distant thirtie miles asunder, and fiue miles from 
Socotera. They are so termed, because that in the one 
dwell men onely, and in the other women. Howbeit they 
visite one another at certaine seasons: but they cannot 
stay one in the Isle of another aboue three moneths, in 
regarde of a secret qualitie of the ayer which is contrary to 
either sexe. A matter (if it be true) most strange and 

Of the Isles lying in the sea called Sinus Barbaricus, ouer 
against the Easterne and Southeasterne shore of 

A LI along from the cape of Guardafu to the cape of 
Buena Esperan^a are found sundry Islands, partly 
dispersed heere and there in the sea, and partly adioining 
vponthe firme land. Such as are far into the sea, are 
the greatest part vnhabited, as namly, the Isle of Don 
* isles which Gargia, The *three and The *seuen brethren, As rocas 
"habited™' partidas, the Isles of Sant Brandan, and those of 
Mascarenha, of Sant Francis, of Santa Apollonia, of Iohn 
de Lisboa, of Cosmoledo : and betweene the great Isle of 
Saint Laurence and the maine, the Isles of Do Natal 
or of the natiuitie, as likewise the three Isles of Comoro, 
with those of Alioa, of Spirito Santo, and of sant Christo- 
pher. 72 

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But of those which the vicinity of the firme land hath ( r ( ? tC€f 7 1 ^ the 

* # islet of Mobaca, 

made more noble and frequented, the first that offereth it Quiioa, 6* Mo- 

fambique read 

selfe to our consideration, is the Isle of Mombaza in foure more at large 

t r t i 1 . 1 1 . - .in the discourse 

degrees of southerly latitude, cut out by a certaine chanel ofZanguebar 
or arme of the sea, which deuideth the same from the JownefwAereas 
maine of Africa : in compasse it containeth twelue miles ; meeteft to\n- 
and at the entrance of the saide chanel, vpon a downe, Mngfas iT' 
standeth the city of Mombasa, built very handsomely after JZ^nVs^/ 6 
the Arabian fashion. Somewhat farther from the continent ^Jw%vj* 
are situate the Isles of Pemba, Zanzibar, and Monfia 73 ^ ri ^ rie . s . , 

' ' therof subtect 

inhabited by Negros ; the greatest of which is Zanzibar, ***<> them - 
the prince whereof is called by the name of a king ; and it 
lyeth vnder sixe degrees of south latitude, being from the 
main ten leagues distant. But the soueraigne of all these 
Isles was Quiioa, 74 inhabited like the rest, with Mahumetans 
:>f little bodies and abiect mindes. It aboundeth with 
-ice, millet, cattel, woods of palme-trees, limons, orenges,! 
& sugar-canes ; whereof notwithstanding they are ignorant) 
low to make sugar. The city standeth vpon the sea-shore 
>uer against the firme land : it is built of pure marble, and 
he streetes are very narrow : a thing common among the 
\rabians, whereby they vse to defend themselues, after 
he enemie hath once entered their townes. From this Isle 
o Mozambique are about an hundred leagues. Without 
he porte lieth Misa, and three miles off Songo and 
'anga inhabited by Moores. Next follow As Ilhas do 
L£otatado, or The isles of the scourged, bicause here a 
srtaine pilot that was a Moore, who had determined to 
ttacke the whole fleete of Vasco da Gama receiued punish- 
lent. Concerning Mozambique called by Ptolemey and 
ther ancient writers Prassia, we haue intreated before. 
ower miles from thence lie the desert isles of Saint 
eorge : and then the isles of Angoscia 76 inhabited by 
[oores. These are stored with indifferent quantitie of 
ctuals and here vpon an east winde they gather plentie of 

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Pientie of Am- Ambergrise. An hundred and fiftie miles from Cabo dos 


corrientes, lieth A Ilha das vacas, or The isle of Cowes, 
with a castle thereupon, and store of good water. As 
Ilhas lianas, or The plaine isles are not woorth the 
speaking of. A Ilha da cruz, otherwise called Ilha das 
fontanhas, was the farthest limite of Bartholomew Diaz 
his nauigation, who was the first Portugale that euer 
doubled the cape of Buena esperan^a, and hauing doubled 
it, returned backe without discouering any farther. 


Of the Isle of Saint Laurence, otherwise called 

'His isle called by the Portugales The isle of Sant 
Laurence, by the naturall inhabitans Madagascar, 
by Paulus Venetus Magastar, by Ptolerney Menuthias, and 
by Plinie Cerne, is accounted one of the greatest, noblest, 
and richest in the whole world. About the midst thereof 
it approcheth towards the maine of Africa, in forme of an 
elbowe, being distant from thence an hundred threescore 
and ten miles. The extreames of this isle are very farre 
separate from the saide maine, and especially that which 
stretcheth toward the northeast. The whole isle con- 
taineth in bredth fower hundred and fowerscore, in length 
one thousand two hundred, and in compasse fower 
thousand miles ; so that in bignes it farre exceedeth Italy, 
though it be not so well inhabited and manured. Situate 
it is beyond the Equator in seuenteene degrees, and 
stretcheth from thence to sixe and twentie degrees and an 
halfe of southerly latitude. It is plentifully endowed with 
all things needfull for mans vse : for it yeeldeth cotton, 
Millet, Rice, Potatos, sweete orenges, sugar-canes, and 
sundry kindes of pulse : as likewise, amber, Iette, siluer, 
copper, red sanders, saffron, a spice somewhat like vnto 
cloues, and some quantitie of ginger. Moreouer, heere are 
V lions, leopards, stags, roe-deere, goates, kine, sheepe, and 

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other beastes both tame. and wilde. Heere are likewise 

innumerable elephants, 76 so that from hence is conueied 

great quantitie of iuorie. They haue also great store of 

camels, whose flesh the inhabitants eate for the holesomenes 

thereof. The people (except some few Moores vpon the 

coast) are idolaters, of colour black, with curled haire, very 

barbarous, and in fashions resembling much the Cafres. 

They go naked all saue their priuities, which they couer 

with cloth of cotton : and they vse in the warre certaine 

crooked staues headed with bone. The Iesuits in their 

letters report, that in one part of this island there are 

white people found ; who (as they affirme) are descended 

from the people of China ; whereby may be gathered the 

great length of the Chinians nauigations, and the largenes 

of their empire. The Portugals sailing towards India in 

due time, do passe betweene this great isle and the firme 

land ; but if the season growcth towards winter, they holde 

on their course (as themselues report) on the backe-side 

thereof. In these two courses of nauigation they haue 

found, and daily do discouer sundrie isles, but of small 

account, part whereof we haue mentioned before. Amongst 

others, as it were ouer against Mozambique, lieth on a 

certaine strand or shold an isle called Langane of a 

reasonable bignes, with a great riuer therein, being 

inhabited by Moores. And the farthest toward the west 

are those isles which the Portugals call Os Romeros. On 

the northeast part of this isle is the Bay of Antogill, being 

one of the safest and most commodious harbours in the 

world. 77 

Of the Isles of the Ethiopian Sea about the cape of 
Buena esperanqa. 

THis sea I take to be most exceeding deepe, because it 
hath fewer Isles then the former, and those few 
which it hath are but little ones. The first that was 


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discouered on this side the cape of Buena Esperan^a is 
that of Don Aluarez, 78 situate in thirtie degrees and an 
halfe. And to the northwest of that is the Isle of Tristan 
d* Acunna beeing distant 1 500. miles from the cape, and 
beyond the Equinoctiall eight and thirtie degrees ; which 
beeing of a round forme, containeth in compasse fiftie 
leagues. It is full of birdes, and especially of sea-crowes 
or cormorants, and round about it lie foure other small 
islets. The marriners hold, that neere vnto this isle, as 
vnto that of Bermuda, there are continual stormes and 
tempestes. Not far from the main are certaine dry and 
rockie isles, and others of none account. 

The Isles of Santa Helena, and of the Ascension. 

NExt followeth in the height , of sixteeene degrees of 
southerly latitude the isle of Santa Helena, dis- 
couered by Iuan da Nona, being so fitly and commodiously 
situate for such as returne home from the east Indies into 
Europe, as it seemeth there of purpose to haue beene 
planted by God for the furtherance of this voiage, and for 
the refreshing and comfort of nauigators. In compasse it 
containeth nine miles, and hath a most perfect healthfull 
aire, and sundry freshets of excellent water. The soile is 
of a red colour, and like vnto ashes ; it giueth way to ones 
footing like sand, and a man may shake euery tree vpon 
the isle. Heere the kings of Portugall haue enacted, that 
none may remaine to inhabite, except it be sometime two 
or three sicke persons for the recouerie of their health ; to 
the end that the fleets may heere plentifully and of free 
cost furnish themselues with fresh victuals, fruits, and 
water. So that when they arriue, they vsually plant or 
sow some one thing or other, which presently springeth 
and groweth to ripenes ; and then the seed falling into the 
earth, it multiplieth of it selfe. Heere are woods of Eb&n 
and Cedar, with infinite store of limons, orenges, and all sorts 

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of fruits ; as likewise hogs, geese, hens, partridges, feasants, 
Guinie-cocks, and other like creatures brought thither by 
the Portugals out of Europe, or from other countries. In 
sailing from Portugall toward India it is not so easily 
found : but in their returne home they do heere in fewe daies 
cure all their diseases, and relieue their wants : and heere 
to their vnspeakable solace and recreation they hunt, foule, 
and fish, and prouide themselues of water, wood, and all 
things necessarie. To the west thereof appeere in the sea ™e isI ? s °f 

° rsr Ascension. 

the isles of Santa Maria, and of the Trinitie, which 
serue for signes vnto the mariners. To the northwest 
of this isle, towards the coast of Brazil, are the isles of 
Ascension, so called, bicause they were first discouered 
by Tristan Acunna in his returne from the Indies vpon 
Ascension day in the yeere 1 508. They are all vnhabited 
and desert, and haue vpon them infinite swarmes of a 
kinde of fowles of the bignes of duckes. 

Of the Isles of Loanda, Nobon, and Saint Thomas. 


Ard vpon the firme land of the south part of Congo, 

is situate the isle of *Loanda before mentioned. * Concerning 

this isle read 

And ouer against the cape of Lopo Gonsalues in a more at large 

& r r in the descrip- 

manner, lieth the small isle of Nobon, being a rockie and Hon of Congo. 
desolate place, but of great importance for fishing; for 
which cause it is frequented by the inhabitants of Saint 
Thomas isle. This isle of Saint Thomas being an hundred 
and fower-score miles distant from the maine, is of a round 
forme, containing threescore Italian miles from side to 
side, and an hundred and fower-score miles also in 
compasse : of which isle (bicause it is situate iust vnder the 
Equinoctiall, so that the horizon thereof passeth by both the 
poles) it will not be from our purpose to intreat somewhat 
at large ; to the end we may the better vnderstand the 
qualitie and temperature of such places as are seated in 

Google ^ 

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that part of the world. This isle when it was first 
discouered was nothing else but a woode of vnprofitable 
trees, with their boughs turning crookedly vpward. The 
aire is extremely hot : in the moneths of March and 
September, when the sunne passeth perpendicularly ouer, 
it raineth heere out of measure, and in other moneths heere 
falleth onely a moist dewe which watereth the ground. 
In the verie midst it hath a woodie mountaine, which is 
continually ouershadowed with a thick cloud, which cloud 
so moistneth the trees that grow in great abundance vpon 
this mountaine, that from hence droppeth water sufficient 
for the watering of al their fields of sugar-canes. By how 
much the sun is more perpendicular ouer this isle, by so 
much is the aire more cloudie & darke ; and contrariwise, 
the farther it is distant from perpendicularitie, the cleerer 
and brighter is the skie. In the moneths of December, 
Ianuarie, and Februarie, such as are borne in Europe, can 
very hardly walke or mooue themselues for faintnes : and 
all the rest of the yeere, once in eight or ten daies, they 
seeme to be taken with an hot and a cold fit of an ague, 
which continueth vpon them for tow howers togither. 
They are thrice or oftner let bloud euerie yeere : and few 
of them Hue aboue fiftie yeeres ; but their Negros remaine 
more than an hundred yeers aliue. They which newly 
arriue there, are commonly surprized with a most dangerous 
feauer, which holdeth them for twentie daies togither. 
And these are let bloud, without any reckoning of ounces. 
Heere blow no windes at all, but onely from the southeast, 
south, and southwest, which windes stirre not in the 
moneths of December, Ianuarie, and Februarie, and there- 
fore these moneths are most extremely hot. But in Iune, 
Iuly, and August, they blow a fresh gale. In this isle the 
French euill, and the scuruies are verie rife. The soile is 
of a meane colour betweene red and yellow, being clammie 
like claie, and by reason of the continuall nightly dewes, 

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as soft and pliable as waxe, and of incredible fertility. 
Besides diuers other good ports, it hath one principall *^u *%£?** 
among the rest, belonging to the chiefe tovvnie or citie wAi f h ^ as { 

° ° ° contecture) 

called *Pauoasan, consisting of aboue seuen hundred maybeaiione 

with Poblacion. 

families, and inhabited by Portugals, and into the saide in Spanish, 

, ,. , - ,. which signi- 

port runneth a little nuer of excellent water. fieth a Colonic 

To euery of the Ingenios or sugar-houses (which in all w ° wne ' 

may amount to the number of seuentie) do belong Negro nioTinSan 6 ' 

slaues, for the planting of their canes and the dressing of Tomi% 

their sugars, to some, two hundred, and to others, three 

hundred a piece, who Hue vpon Maiz or Ghiny-wheat : the 

number of which slaues is so great, that oftentimes they 

rebell, to the great domage of the Portugals. They haue 

good sustenance also by meanes of a root, called there 

Igname, but in the west Indies Batata. 79 Wheat that \^J 

heere sowen, groweth not to any ripenes or graine, but is 

resolued altogether into grasse. They make wine of the 

Palme-tree. Vines prosper nothing kindely in this place, 

except it be heere and there one, planted by an house-side, 

and attended with great diligence. They bring forth 

clusters at the same time, some ripe, some greene, and 

blossomes onley ; and they beare fruit twice in the yeere, 

as doe the fig-trees likewise. They haue sugar-canes ripe 

all the yeere long: but melons onely in Iune, Iuly, and 

August. No tree that beareth fruit with a stone or kernell 

will fructifie or prosper in this place. Here are found all 

ouer the Isle certaine crabs or creuises like vnto them of 

the sea ; heere be likewise gray parots, and infinite other 

birds of diuer sortes ; and in the sea are mightie store of 

whales, especially toward the firme land. The principall 

riches of this isle consist in sugars, whereof there groweth 

great abundance. The sugar-canes are planted and cut 

euery moneth, and in fiue months they grow to ripenes, but 

by reason of the moistnes of the ayer, they neither prooue 

hard nor white, but are of a reddish colour. The tenths 

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which belong to the king amount to the number of 1 2. or 
14. thousand Arrouas, euery Arroua being one and thirtie 
Italian pound-weight. 80 In times past there were fortie ships 
yeerely laden therewith : but now of late certaine wormes 
which eat the roots of the canes, or (as others think) white 
antes or mice, haue so mightily impaired the growth of 
this commodity, that now there are not aboue sixe ships 
laden therewith. The sugar-canes, after they be once 
ground, they giue vnto their hogges, wherewith they prooue 
at, and their flesh is very sauory. For returne of sugars, 
the merchants of Europe carry thither meale, wine, swordes, 
oile, cheese, hides, drinking glasses, and certaine shels, 
which there and in the countries adioining they vse instead 
of money. Of the coniunction betweene the men of 
Europe and the Negro women are bred a generation of 
browne or tawnie people. 

This Isle of Saint Thomas together with the principal 
towne and castle, was in October 1 599 taken by part of the 
same fleet of Hollanders, which not fullie foure moneths 
before had sacked the isles, castles and townes of Gran 
Canaria and Gomera. 

Of the Isle del principe, and that of Fernando Po. 

THe Isle del principe 81 or of the prince, situate in three 
degrees of Northerly latitude, and one hundred 
twentie miles on this side the isle of Sant Thomas, is little 
in quantitie, but excellent in qualitie : for which cause it is 
thoroughly tilled and manured. The reuenues thereof 
(which consist the greatest part in sugars) were in times 
past allowed vnto the prince of Portugale; whereupon it 
was named The isle of the prince. 

This Isle was in the yeere 1 598 taken by certaine ships 
of war sent forth vnder the conduct of Iulianus Clerekagen 
at the charges of Balthasar Musheron of Camphere in 

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Zeland merchant, who had the conquest thereof giuen him 
by patent from Prince Maurice > and the States generall of 
the vnited prouinces. 

That of Fernando Pd® hath no other matter of speciall 
note, saue onely a certaine lake which is the originall of 
sundry freshets of sweete and holesome water, which make 
the island to be most pleasant. It seemeth so beautifull 
to the first discouerer thereof, that he termed it Ilha 
fermosa, 88 or The faire isle. 

To the west of these two isles are situate the isle of Sant 
Matthew, and that of Santa Cruz ; 84 and afterward hauing 
passed the Equinoctial, you come to the isle of Sant Paule, 85 
and the isle of conception, both which were discouered 
by Pedro Aluarez Cabral in the yeere 1501. 

Of the isles of Cabo verde. 

NExt vnto Cape verde it selve stand The Barbacene 86 
which are seuen small isles replenished with greene 
trees, and full of strange birds vnknowne to vs ; and yet 
are they vtterly voide of inhabitants. But those that are 
called the isles of Cape verde (which by ancient authors 
are thought to haue bin named Gorgones, or Gorgades, or 
Hesperides) are nine 87 in number, and are situate betweene 
Cabo verde and Cabo bianco. They were first discouered 
by Antonio di Nolli a Genoway, and began in like sort to 
be peopled, in the yeere of our Lord 1440. 88 Albeit there 
are none of them now inhabited, but onely the isle of Sant 
Iago, 89 and Isla del fogo or The burning isle. The 
principall of them all is Sant Iago being seuentie miles This towne 
long, whereon the Portugals haue a faire and strong towne Is™ Francis 
called Ribera grande, with a riuer running through it, and and^MrAn- 
a commodious and secure hauen : it is very strongly seated 'f?£ e Sherle y 
betweene two mountaines, and consisteth of fiue hundred 
families at the least. The riuer (which springeth two 


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leagues from the city) is beautified vpon the bankes 
thereof with Cedars, Orenge-trees, and diuers other plants, 
amongst which the Palme tree of India that beareth nuts, 
prospereth exceeding well. The hearbes of Europe grow 
here as naturally as in their original soile ; howbeit the 
seeds thereof must euery yeere be brought out of Spaine. 
The isle is generally vneuen and mountainous : but the 
valleis are passing fertile, and thoroughly inhabited : and 
here is sowed abundance of rice and Saburro, which 
groweth to ripenes in fortie daies. Howbeit the soile will 
beare no wheat. Here is store of cotton also, the cloth 
whereof is dispersed along the coast of Africa. The shee- 
gotes here, as likewise in all the isles adiacent, bring forth 
three and more kids at a birth, euery foure moneths. 
When the sunne is in Cancer, it raineth here in a manner 
without ceasing. 80 

To the west of Sant Iago stand the isles of Fogo and 
Braua being but of small importance (albeit that of Fogo 
is in some parts thereof inhabited) and to the North of the 
same is situate the isle of Maio, where there is a lake of 
two leagues long, which is full of salt ; 91 the which is a 
common thing in all these islands ; but in one, more then 
in any of the other, in that it is full of such like salt-pits, 
and is therefore called The island of salt, being destitute 
of all other liuing things, saue onely of wild gotes. The 
isle of Buena vista hath a name contrary to the quality ; 
for it is without all shew of beauty. Of the others I haue 
nothing woorthie the obseruation. 

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Of the Isles of A rguin. 

Little to the south or the backside 
of Cabo bianco, within a certaine 
gulfe or baie which entereth thirtie 
miles into the maine, lie the isles of 
Arguin, which were discouered in the 
yeere 1443, 92 so called after the name 
of the principall of them, which hath 
great store of fresh water, whereof all the residue are 
destitute. Heere the king of Spaine hath a fortresse, for 
the traffique of gold and other rich commodities of those 
countries. These isles are sixe or seuen in number, all 
little ones, being inhabited by the Azanaghi, who Hue of 
fish, whereof there is plentie in that baie. They go to sea 
in certaine small botes which they call Almadies. The 
names of the other isles (as farre as I coniecture) are The 
isle of Penguins, The isles of Nar, Tider, and Adeget. 

Of the Isles in the Atlantick Ocean y and first of the 

FOr so the isles named of olde Insulce fortunatce (which 
euer since the decay of the Romaine empire, till 
within these two hundred yeeres, lay vndiscouered) are at 
this present called. They are in number twelue, (although 
the ancient writers make mention of but sixe) that is to 
say, Canaria, Langarotta, Fuerte ventura, Hierro, Palma, 
Gomera, Santa Clara, Isla de lobos, La Roca, Gratiosa, 
Alegranga, and Infierno. They generally abound with \ 
barly, sugar, hony, goates, cheese, hides, and Orchel, 93 being 
a herbe commodious to die cloth withall, and whereof they 
make great merchandise. Amongst other beasts they haue 
also camels. The natural inhabitants of the countrey are 
of a good disposition, and notable agilitie ; but before they 

G 2 

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were discouered, they were so grosse and rude, as they 
knewe not the vse of fire. 94 They beleeued in one creatour 
of the world, who punished the euill, and rewarded the 
good ; and in this point they all consented, but in other 
matters they were very different. They had no iron at all, 
but yet esteemed it much when any came to their hands, 
for the vse thereof. They made no accout of gold or 
siluer, iudging it a folly to esteem of that mettal, which 
could not serue for mechanicall instruments. Their 
weapons were stones and staues. They shaved their heads 
with certaine sharpe stones like to flint. The women 
would not willingly nurse their owne children, but caused 
them to be suckled by goates. They were and are at this 
day delighted with a kinde of dance which they vse also in 
Spaine and in other places, and because it tooke originall 

* ^ t . , fr° m thence, it is called The Canaries. From hence also 

* This isle 

with the prin- they bring certaine birds which sing at all times of the 

cipalltowne * ° & 

and castles was yeere. The greatest of all these isles is the *Gran Canada, 

sacked by the . . ..... , . , . 

Hollanders in containing tower-score and ten miles in circuit, and it hath 
1599. to the number of nine thousand inhabitants. Tenerif is 

The Pike of not altogether so great. This is esteemed one of the 
encrtf. highest islands in the world, by reason of a mountaine 

therein of the forme of a diamond, being (as it is reported) 
fifteene leagues high, 96 & it may be seene more then three- 
score leagues off. Hierro hath neither spring nor well, 
but is miraculously furnished with water by a cloud which 
ouer-spreadeth a tree, from whence distilleth so much 
moisture, as sufficeth both for men and cattell. This cloud 
ariseth an hower or two before the sunne, and is dissolued 
two howers after sunne rising. The water falleth into a 
ponde made at the foote of the tree. The isle of Palma is 
little, but beautifull, and abundant in Sugar, wine, flesh, and 
cheese : wherefore such ships as go from Spaine to Terra 
firma, and Brasil, do there ordinarily prouide themselues 
of fresh victuall. It is from Lisbon a thousand miles by 

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sea, being much subiect to tempests, and especially those 
which come from the northwest. 

Of these islands Langarota, Hierro, and Gomera are in 
the hands of priuate men : the others belong to the 

Of the Isles of Madera and of Puerto Santo. 

MAdera is the greatest and most principall of all the Madera in 
isles in the Atlantick Ocean. It standeth in two fieth wood or 
and thirtie degrees and an halfe, fortie miles to the south- 
west of Puerto santo. So it was called, because at the first 
discouerie thereof it was all ouergrowen with mightie 
thick woods. Wherfore, to waste the said woods, and to 
make it fit to be manured, the first discouerers set them on 
fire, which continued burning (as some report) for the space 
of certaine yeeres together: whereupon it grew so 
exceeding fertile, that of corne it yeeldeth sixtie folde. 
for one : and for a certaine space the fifte part of the 
sugars amounted to threescore thousand Arrouas (one of 
which Arrouas containeth fiue and twentie pounds of 
sixteene ounces the pound) but now it cometh not to 
the one halfe of that reckoning. This isle containeth in 
compasse an hundred & sixtie miles. It is diuided into 
foure regions or quarters, that is to say, Comerico, Santa 
Cruz, Funcial, and Camara de los Lobos. It aboundeth 
with water : and besides diuers and sundry fountaines, 
it hath eight small riuers which make it as fruitfull and 
pleasant as a garden. It yeeldeth euery thing in such 
perfection, that Cadamosta (in regard of their excellency) 
affirmgth all commodities which are there gathered, to be 
gold. It produceth infinite store of fruits, excellent wines, 
and sugars which cannot be matched. Heere is likewise 
great abundance of cedars, whereof are made fine chestes 
and other works of account : for which purpose there are 
diuers sawing milles vpon the foresaid rivers. This isle is 

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very scarce of oile and of corne. The head or principall citie 
hereof is Funciall, being the seat of an archbishop who 
hath 8000. ducates of reuenue. Here are two fortresses 
built which command the hauen. 
Puerto Santo Fortie miles to the northeast of Madera lieth the isle of 

trie principall 

towne whereof Puerto santo, so called bicause it was discouered vpon the 

was taken by x 

sirAmias day of all saints, in the yeere 1428. It containeth in 
compasse fifteene miles, and aboundeth with oxen, wilde 
swine, and honie, and yeeldeth wheat sufficient for the vse 
of the inhabitants. Heere groweth a fruite in bignes and 
shape like vnto a cherry, but of a yellow colour. The tree 
that beareth this fruit being cut neere the roote with 
certaine strokes of an hatchet, putteth foorth the yeere 
following a kinde of gum which is called Sanguis 
Draconis. 96 

The woonder- The generation of one shee-cony bigge with yoong, 

ful increase of * 

one shee-conie. brought hither out of Portugale at the first inhabiting of 
' this isle, did in short time so exceedingly increase, that 
the inhabitants were quite out of hope euer to repaire the 
ruine and waste which they committed. At this present 
there is a small isle neere vnto Puerto santo which 
breedeth nothing but conies. 

Vnto all these might be added such isles as lie neere the 
African coast within the streights of Gibraltar : the princi- 
pall whereof (as namely Pennon or The little rocke ouer 
against Velles de Gumera, with the isle of Gerbi, &c.) 
bicause they are largely described by Iohn Leo y I hold it a 
matter meerely vaine and superfluous in this place to 
stande vpon them. 

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An approbation of the historie ensuing, by me 
Richard Haklvyt. 

Eing mooued to publish mine opinion as 
touching this present Historie of John 
Leo ; I do hold and affirme it to be 
the verie best, the most particular, 
and methodicall, that euer was written, 
or at least that hath come to light, 
concerning the countries, peoples, and 
affairs of Africa. For which cause, and knowing well the 
sufficiencie of the translator, my selfe was the first and 
onely man that perswaded him to take it in hand. 
Wherein how diligently and faithfully he hath done his 
part, and how he hath enlarged and graced this Geo- 
graphicall historie out of others, the best ancient and 
moderne writers, by adding a description of all those 
African maine lands and isles, and other matters verie 
notable, which Iohn Leo himselfe hath omitted : I referre 
to the consideration of all iudiciall and indifferent Readers. 

Richard Hakluyt 

VNto this approbation of master Richard Hakluyt, I 
holde it not altogither amisse to adioine the testi- 
monies of certaine moderne writers, the most approoued 
and famous for their skill in Geographie and historie, 
which they haue also purposely set downe in commenda- 
tion of this author of ours Iohn Leo. 

First therefore master Iohn Baptista Ramusius, Secre- 
tarie to the State of Venice, and a man of singular 
iudgement and diligence in these matters, in his epistle 
Dedicatorie before the third edition of his first volume of 
voiages, speaking of the manifold difficulties which he 

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vnderwent to bring the important discourses therein, to 
light, writteth vnto learned Fracastorius in manner fol- 

Oltra che gli essemplari che mison venute cdle mani, &c. 

MOreouer (faith he) those copies which haue come to 
my hands, haue been extremely fowle and vncor- 
rect ; a matter sufficient to discourage the minde of any 
man, though neuer so forward and resolute, were it not 
sustained by considering what vnspeakable delight these 
discourses will breed vnto all those that are studious in 
Geography ; and most especially this of Africa written by 
Iohn Leo. Concerning which part of the world, euen till 
these our daies, we haue had no knowledge in a manner 
out of any other authour, or at leastwise neuer any in- 
formation so large, and of so vndoubted truth. But what 
do I heere speake of the delight which those that are 
learned and studious shall reape heereby ? As though it 
were not a matter which will affoord also very much 
satisfaction vnto the greatest Lords and Princes ? Whom 
it concerneth more then any other to know the secrets 
and particularities of this African part of the world, 
togither with the situations of all the regions, prouinces, 
and cities thereof, and the dependences, which the princes 
and people haue one towards another. For albeit they 
may haue some aduertisements and instructions from 
others that haue personally trauailed these countries, & 
may think their writings & discourses to be very large ; 
yet I am well assured, that hauing once read this booke of 
Iohn Leo, and throughly considered the matters therein 
contained and declared, they will esteeme the relations of 
all others, in comparison of this, to be but briefe, vnperfect, 
and of little moment : so great will be the fruit which to 
their exceeding contentment, all readers shall reape 
heereby, &c. Thus farre Ramusius. 

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Abraham Ortelius before his generall mappe 
of Africa hath these wordes. 

Ex recentioribus, &c. 

AMong the late writers (for your more perfect know- 
ledge of Africa) you must read Aloisius Cadamosta, 
Vasco da Gama, and Francis Aluarez, who trauailed 
Ethiopia ; Sed omnium accuratissime &c. but of all others 
you haue it most exactly described by Iohn Leo. 

Also the same author before his map of Barbary 
and Biledulgerid. 

BVt (saith he) concerning these regions and people, you 
shall finde a most exquisite description in the 
Historie of Iohn Leo, &c. 

The opinion of Iohn Bodin in the fourth chapter 

of his method of reading Histories 

concerning this our author. 

Ita quoque Leo Afer, genere Maurus, &c. 

SO likewise Leo Afer by descent a More, borne in 
Spaine, in religion a Mahumetan, and afterward a 
Christian, hauving by continuall iournies trauelled almost 
ouer all Africa ; as also ouer all Asia minor, and a good 
part of Europe, was taken by certaine pirates, and pre- 
sented vnto pope Leo the tenth : vnder whom he translated 
into Italian all those things which with incredible studie 
and diligence he had written in the Arabick toong, con- 
cerning Africa, the manners, lawes, and customes of the 
African people, and the situation and true description of 
the whole countrey. Their militarie discipline he lightly 

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passeth ouer: and briefly mentioneth the conflicts and 
victories of famous warriours, without any orations or 
ornaments of speech, rather like a Geographer then a 
Chronicler : and with a perpetuall delight of new and 
strange things, he doth (as it were) perforce detaine his 
Reader, &c. And a little after he addeth : Profecto vnus 
est ex omnibuSy &c. Certes of all others this is the onely 
man, by whom Africa, which for a thousand yeeres before 
had lien buried in the barbarous and grosse ignorance of 
our people, is now plainly discouered and laide open to 
the view of all beholders. 

Antonius Posseuinus de historicis sect. 7. cap. 2. 

Sed & perdignaest lectu> &c. 

Lso the Historie of Leo Afer the Geographer is most 


worthie to be read, bicause it containeth an exact 
description of all the regions and people of Africa ; and it 
hath beene published in Italian and French. 

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(i) Timbuktu. 

(2) See Introduction. 

(3) See Introduction. Pory exaggerates the number of transla- 

(4) Most of the maps up to a very recent time have had Leo's names 
and positions inscribed on them. 

(5) Zaga or Tsaga Za-ab, " the Grace of the Father", accompanied 
the Portuguese Embassy, the principal members of whom were Dom 
Rodriguez de Lima ; Father Francisco Alvarez, who wrote the work 
to which Pory refers, and Joao Bermudez, the physician and secre- 
tary. The Envoy returned to Lisbon in 1526. Bermudez was, 
however, detained by the Negus. — Markham, The Abyssinian Ex- 
j>edition^ p. 17. 

(6) " Os picos fragosos, cio h le punte aspere." This phrase does 
not, however, refer to any particular mountains : but from the context 
may have been suggested by the Lange Berg, the Langkloof Berg, 
and other ranges of the East Coast north of Cape Agulhas (or 
Hagulhas, as De Barros spells the name) and south of Zanzibar, his 
narrative being very brief. 

(7) There is no mountain in this part of Africa fit to be called 
Qeu>i/ "Oxy/wi, the " Chariot of the Gods". Ptolemy more accurately 
places it near the site of the Cameroons Peak. 

(8) The " Mountains of the Moon" in the older maps figuring as a 
range extending across the continent from Abyssinia to the Gulf of 
Guinea, and then after vanishing from this position to re-appear in 
Abyssinia, in Kenia and Kilimanjaro, and in the so-called Kong 
Mountains, have been strenuously claimed by Mr. Stanley as Ruwen- 
zori. This theory has quite as little in its favour as the previous ones, 
and is not even supported by the old maps adduced in proof by its 
originator. Peters considers that they are the crescent-shaped range 
in Unyamwezi, or the " Land of the Moon"; and Baumann is quite 
convinced that he has discovered them in the precipitous wooded hills 

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in Urundi, which form the watershed between the Rufizi and the 
Kagera. The natives know them as the " Mountains of the Moon"— 
Stanley, In Darkest Africa, vol. ii, pp. 267-288 ; Peters, New Light 
on Dark Africa, p. 419 ; Ravenstein, Scott. Geog. Magazine y 1891, 
p. 306 ; Baumann, Durch Massailand zur Nilquelle, p. 297; Burton, 
Journ. R. G. S. 9 1859, p. 278 ; Geog.Joum. 9 vol. i, 1893, p. 228. Peters, 
however, derived his idea from Beke, who broached it as early as 
1846. I have discussed this question in The Story of Africa, vol. iii, 
pp. 63-65. 

(9) The lake which plays so large a part in all maps up to the era of 
the discoveries of Burton, Speke, and Livingstone, was doubtless a 
vague embodiment of floating tales about Nyassa, or the lake out of 
which the Zambesi flowed, the Shire branch being taken as the 
main river. " Zembere" or " Zambre" is likely enough a corruption 
of " Zambesi". But none of the early authorities (De Encisco, De 
Barros, Do Couto, Pigafetta, Dos Santos, gave any name to the 
lake. — Cooley, Inner Africa Lead Open, pp. 65 et seq. 

(10) All this is, of course, now very ancient geography, though, until 
the contrary was demonstrated, Baker insisted on Tanganyika being a 
Nile source, and to the last day of his life, Livingstone was searching 
for some Nile tributary, as we now know, far outside the Nile Basin. 
The speculations of the ancient geographers were therefore by no 
means more wide of the mark than those of the modern before the 
hydrography of Central Africa was elucidated, if, indeed, they were 
not more reasonable. 

(n) The Mauri — or Moors— were the Berbers. The Spanish term, 
Al Arabes, is indifferently applied to them and the Arabs. " Mori" 
is the more common appellation. 

(12) Outside the Strait of Bab el mandeb, or "Straits of Mecca", 
neither Strabo nor the Ptolemies knew much. If the legend has 
even a semblance of truth, it refers more likely to the Gulf of Suez. 
The " Isle of Babelmandeb" is Perim. 

(13) The term Troglodytae was applied by Agatharchides of Cnidus 
{dr. 115 B.C.), who was tutor to Ptolemy Sotor II, to the people 
inhabiting the mountains bordering the western side of the Red Sea, 
at some distance in the interior, from their living in caves, and the term 
Troglodytic Coast to the western shore. Though less barbarous 
than the Ichthyophagi of the littoral, they went almost naked, and 
had wives in common, put to death the infirm and aged, and drank 
the blood and milk and ate the flesh of their extensive herds of cattle. 
Weeded of the customary amount of fable, these people were perhaps 
the ancestors of the present Arabised tribes. 

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(14) Grodol, Ghorondol, Chorondol, as variously spelled ; Jebel 
Attak is not now a harbour, but was long a favourite among the many 
places identified as the point from which the Children of Israel 
crossed the Red Sea. 

(15) Kosseir, Chosair, Chossir. 

(16) Suakin, Suakem, Zuaquin, Suaquen. 

(17) Arkiko. 

(18) Massuah, the Matzua of the early Portuguese invaders under 
Christovao da Gama in 1542. 

(19) "John Leon and Sanutus after him, esteems Dancala or 
Dangala, the chief of the Kingdom ' of Nubia' seated on the Nile." — 
Blome, A Geographical Description, etc., Affrica, p. 52. But here 
there seems a confusion. For Leo's "Dangala" (Book vn) is evidently 
the modern Dongola, while Dancala or Dancali, with its Red Sea 
port of Vela (Asab?), is the Danakul or Adal country. The anonymous 
compiler of the map attached to Pory's translation marks both 
" Dangala" and " Dagale". In Sanson's map (1656), of which Blome's 
is a copy " rendered into English", " Dancala" is placed on the Nile, 
and Dangali near the Red Sea, between " Arquico" and " Zeila". 

(20) Cairo. 

(21) As will be seen in due course, this powerful kingdom first 
mentioned by Leo is what the Bornu people call Bulala. 

(22) Libyan Desert. " Gorham is on the Nile and on the coast of the 
Isle Gueguere. Sanutus makes a Kingdom, a Desert, and a People 
of this name, and extends them almost the length of the Isle Gueguere : 
not making any mention of the City of this name, nor John Leon of 
Affrica, nor the A rab of Nubia [Edrisi], nor Vincent Blanch, who saith he 
has been in these quarters, and speaks only of the Desert of Gorham. 
Other authors make mention of this City, and describe it on the Nile. 
Sanutus saith that there are Emeralds in these mountains, which 
bounds Gorham on the South." — Richard Blome, A Geog. Description 
oj the Four Parts of the World (1670), Affrica, p. 52. " Gorham" 
or " Gorhan" is clearly Kordofan. Gueguere, or Guengare, is 
Meroe (Pory, ut supra), which is not an island proper, though so 
called by all writers who blindly followed the assumptions of Ptolemy. 
Meroe, the only town near, is small and of no importance. It is on the 
right bank of the river. Here camels are got for crossing the Bahida 
Desert to Berber. There are, however, remains of two temples at 
Jebel Barkal, and pyramids at Dankelah, which may account for the 

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(23) Santalum album — but not really a native of Africa. 

(24) Godjam, a province south of Lake Dembea. 

(25) The Anzichi were understood to inhabit the Anziko country on 
the Zaire or Congo opposite Sundi. Their capital was Monsol, which 
D'Anville placed fully 700 miles from what must have been its true 
position. Anziko and all its derivations mean simply people of the 
interior, and Anzichi, or rather Nsek£, "inland" (Stanley, Congo^ 
vol. i, p. 3). Father Girolamo de Montesarchio describes a journey 
which he made to " Cancobella", a town on the Congo, tributary to 
the Micoco, a King of the Anziko (Cavazzi de Montecucclo, Istorica 
Relattione de Tre Regnt\ etc., 1690, p. 408). 

(26) Dembea, or Tzana,most likely. But geographical names were so 
transmogrified by the old historians and travellers, and, worse still, so 
embodied in fables, that it is now almost useless to try and trace many 
of them. Shoa, Amhara, etc., are easily brought into line with modern 
knowledge. But " Tigremahon" was not a " Kingdome" at all. It 
was the name of a chief who took charge of the wounded in the battle 
which Dom Christovao da Gama (a grandson of Vasco da Gama) 
fought in 1 54 1 not far from Debra Damo in Tigre. Tigre-Maquanen 
is still the title of the chief of a district near Senafe\ — Markham, 
Abyssinian Expedition, pp. 24, 25. 

(27) The Sinus Barbaricus of Ptolemy was south of the equator 
and north of lat. io° S. About the centre of the supposed bay was 
the mouth of Rhaptus fluvius, which Dr. Schlichter (Proc. R. G. 5., 
1 891, p. 525) identifies with the river Pangani. 

(28) The absurd blunders of the old geographers regarding distances, 
make the Kingdom of Abyssinia, " Monomotapa", and Congo meet 
in the centre of the continent. Hence we find the Abyssinian name 
Bagamidr persistently clinging to the upper course of the Kwango. 
Possibly, a confused echo of the Kingdom of Bagirimi had reached 
the coast. 

(29) The great Salt plain, described by Alfonso Mendez and Father 
Lobo, is near the River Ragolay, in a desert country about fifty miles 
from the sea, in a southerly direction from Mulkutto. 

(30) Bernagasso (or Baharnagash) was only a Ras or Governor 
under the Negus. His district is now mainly that held by the Italians. 
This account is from Alvarez. 

(31) The Doba Valley is in the Azebo Galla country. The term 
" Moore", it will be noticed, is used by Pory, like the other writers of 
his time, to describe any Mohammedans not white or Negroes. Even 
then he qualifies it by speaking of " Tawnie Moores". 

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(32) This inflated account Cooley considers refers to Munha 
Munge, " Lord of the World", who in 1503 helped Agi Hocen (Haji 
Hussein), King of Kilwa, to destroy a hostile neighbour. Hence 
Monemoezi, Muenhe Muge, Moenemugi, Mohenemugi, or Monomugi, 
of writers subsequent to De Barros, who gives the first account of 
him (Decade IX, foL 207, Botero, Delia Relationi Universali, 
1592, p. 310.) It is difficult to decide at this date how far these 
descriptions were fact and how far fancy. The latter is probably 
nearer the reality ; for most frequently when we have had an oppor- 
tunity of comparing the early Portuguese and other descriptions with 
the actual people and spots, the " mighty Emperors" of the Navigators, 
anxious to rival Cortes and Pizarro, dwindle down to petty chiefs and 
the " great cities" to squalid villages. 

(33) Cambay (Khambhat) the port and capital of a small Indian 
feudatory state of Bombay, at the head of the Gulf of Cambay, now 
fallen from its ancient magnificence by the gradual obstruction of its 
seaward navigation and commerce. 

(34) The " Empire of Monomotapa", which has occupied so large a 
place up to a very recent date in the works of historians — who seemed 
to have derived their information largely from this summary of De 
Barros — was from the outset based on a misreading of that chronicler. 
In reality, there was no such " Empire". Benomotapa, or Monomo- 
tapa, was "a pagan prince" who ruled "all the land which we 
include in the kingdom of Sofala", a name now applied to a Portu- 
guese province in East Africa. "This prince, whom we call 
Benomotapa or Monomotapa, is with us an emperor, for this is 
the meaning of his name amongst them." Whichever title is used 
(and all earlier writers, e.g., Barbarosa and Camoens use the first) the 
meaning is the same, namely, " principe", "emperador", prince or emperor ; 
the initial syllable, Bena and Mono, being ordinary Bantu words 
answering to our chief, lord, master, etc. The second part, rnotapa, 
has not been so satisfactorily explained ; but Mr. Keane (Murray's 
South Africa, p. 19), suggests that it may mean " mine", from the root 
tapa=io excavate or extract. Hence " Lord of the Mines" was not 
an inappropriate title for the ruler of an auriferous region, equivalent 
to Manica and Mashonolands. Mr. Baines {Gold Regions of South- 
Eastern Africa, p. 1) is rather loose in his etymology when he trans- 
lates Monomotapa as "a place whence something valuable is 
derived". For it is not a place at all, and was far less an " empire", 
but " Principe gentio chamado Benomotapa" of " o reyno de Qofala". 
Yet, even Livingstone {Missionary Travels, ch. xx) is dubiously 
correct in deriving the word from a corruption of the title and name 
of a chief Mhwene Motape, and for three centuries geographers 

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argued about and politicians founded claims upon the position of an 
" Empire which never had any existence, as might have been 
discovered had they referred to the original authorities. Burton, 
generally reckless in his literary iconaclism, also comes under this 
censure (" Lake Regions of Central Equatorial Africa", Jour. R. G. S., 
vol. xxix, pp. 1 66, 214, 347). 

(35) This note is taken by Pory from De Barros ; but it will not 
bear sifting. Ptolemy's Agysymba (Agizymba) was not a " city", but 
regio ALthiopum latissime extensa, south of the " Lunae Montes", 
through which the Greek geographer drew the thirtieth meridian 
east of Greenwich— the longitude of Alexandria. 

(36) Dos Santos tells us that there are days on which they do not 
work. These they call " Mozimos, or days of the holy who are 
already dead". Mr. Bent (who by an oversight quotes Leo when it is 
Pory's abstract he is referring to) mentions that the term Mozimo for 
the spirits of ancestors is still used in many parts of the country, and 
has been compared with the term molimo used by the Bechuana for 
the Supreme Being. N. N. Gravenbroek (Gentes Africaner, MS. in 
Sunderland Library), also writing in 1695, states, "Divinitatem 
aliquam Messimo dictam in lucis summo cultu venerantur." The day 
of rest is kept only during the ploughing season (Bent, Ruined Cities of 
Mashonoland, p. 300 ; Santos's Hist de PEthiope Orientale, trad, par 
Charpy, 1684). 

(37) Butua and Toroa have given geographers about as much trouble 
as the "Empire of Monomatapa". On Pigafetta's map (15 19) they 
figure as two distinct territories, the former south of, the latter west 
of, Manhica (Manica), with Zimbaoe (Zimbabwe) between them. 
(Relatione del Reaume di Congo] et del la Cirionvicine contrade, 1591 ; 
Le Congo, traduite en frangaise par Cahun, 1883 : Keane, in Murray's 
South Africa, p. 13.) 

(38) Mr. Bent (Lib. cit. p. 205) quotes this passage, in mistake, from 
Leo Africanus. De Barros gives the position of Zimbabwe very nearly 
correct, though the early writers were extremely vague as to distances. 
But instead of 5 10 miles, the distance should be 640 miles (170 leagues), 
which is too far west of Sofala by nearly 400 miles, accepting the 
Portuguese league as equal to 3.87 miles (Keane). Pory seems to 
have taken it roughly at three miles. 

(39) Baretto's expedition was actually much smaller ; and it was 
sent quite as much to explore the gold deposits, which from sickness, 
opposition of the natives, and hardships, the adventurers never 

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(40) The " Sweet River" by no means "mightie". " Lake Gale" is 
a myth. 

(41) Thomas Cavendish, who, eight years before Pory published 
this work, had died brokenhearted at the failure of his second expedi- 
tion to the Pacific. The variant " Candish" in spelling his name is 
worth noting. 

(42) Sir James Lancaster, after whom Lancaster Sound, off Baffin's 
Bay, was named. He visited (after being a soldier and merchant 
in Portugal) the East Indies on his own account in 1591-94, and in 
1594 captured Pernambuco in Brazil. He was knighted in 1604, 
on returning from leading the first fleet of the East India Company 
to India. But this was after Pory wrote. (Markham, Voyages of 
Sir James Lancaster, Hakluyt Society, 1877.) 

(43) Table Mountain. 

(44) Another semi-mythical " kingdome" of Central Africa, made up 
of traders' gossip and the half-understood chatter of slaves. Matoma 
or Matama is, however, still a Congo Chiefs name. 

(45) This was in 1578. 

(46) The source of the Quanza, or Coanza, is still unknown. 

(47) From the earliest time these Cabambe mines have been 
rumoured to exist, though without any basis more definite than that 
the natives of that district paid tribute to the Portuguese in silver, and 
that the King of Angola gave Paulo Diaz, in return for Dom Sebastian's 
presents, several armlets of silver and copper. The silver was made 
into a chalice for the Church of Belem at Lisbon/ (Monteiro, Angola 
and the River Congo, vol. i, p. 4 ; vol. ii, p. 62;. The mines have never 
yet been re-discovered. 

(48) The tamed hippopotamus (even with the inconvenient habit 
of its suddenly reverting to savagedom) must, we are afraid, be attri- 
buted to the old historian's credulity. Gordon Cumming's in- ^ 
voluntary tour by one on the Limpopo is about the nearest approach 

to this use of the " river horse". But, in spite of the grotesque lan- 
guage in which they are described, the other animals are realities. 
The " kinde of oxen, that liue euery night vpon the lande", are simply 
" sea cows", or Manatees described, without any further knowledge of 
them than their absurd popular name. One species (Manatus Sene- 
galensis or Vogelli) is — or was — not uncommon in the rivers of West 
or East Africa. Manatee Island, near Sea Horse Point on the Congo, 
commemorates this fact. It has also been reported to frequent Lake 
Chad, and was suspected by Schweinfurth (from native reports) to 


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inhabit the River Keebaly, a distant tributary of the Nile, in long. 
27 E. {Heart of Africa, vol. ii, p. 96). The "hogge fish" is evidently 
a cetacean, either one of the marine species or a riverine form, allied, 
most probably, to the lnia geoffrensis or Pontoporia blainvillii of the 
Amazon, La Plata, and other South American rivers. Such an 
animal has been frequently seen in the Niger, and Mr. Johnston espe- 
cially notes that not only the manatee, but " a species of river dolphin, 
is occasionally found in the Lower Congo and about the estuary. 
I have seen a skull alleged to belong to it." {The River Congo, p. 379.) 

(49) The zebra is no longer an animal of the Congo country. The 
" buffle" (buffalo) of the river region is Bubalis brachyceros, as fierce, 
but not as big, as the species found in Central and South Africa. 
But it is more than doubtful if a wild ass ever existed in that region, 
the only African species {A. tceniopus) being confined to Abyssinia. 
The " tiger" is, of course, a leopard. The " gugelle" is evidently the 
gazelle. " Dante" is an animal referred to by Leo, from whose pages 
Pory takes its name. 

(50) Sao Paolo de Loanda is not built on the long sandy island 
which protects the harbour from the Atlantic surf, but on the main- 
land. The water-supply is still the great drawback to the place. The 
money-shell referred to is the cowry {Cyprcea moneta). In the palmy 
days of the trade in human flesh, as many as 90,000 or 100,000 slaves 
were shipped here annually, and not many years ago a marble arm-chair 
stood on the custom-house wharf, in which the bishop sat, while 
baptizing and blessing the batches of negroes, as they were des- 
patched by the bargeful to the vessels anchored off shore. 

(51) The elephant is no longer one of the animals of Loango. The 
coast-people call themselves Bapote, not " Bramas". Near Chinchoxo 
a tribe (the Mavambu, or Umvambu) are known to the Europeans as 
" Black Jews", on account of their Semitic features. — Bastian, Die 
Deutsche Expedition am der Loango Kuste, 1847-75. 

(52) "Anzichi", we have seen, is simply a general term for the 
interior (p. 30). In this case, the reference to copper mines may 
indicate Katanga. " Red and grey Sanders" are, however, not natives 
of any part of Africa. Either these plants had been incorrectly 
identified, or the drugs' country of origin not correctly ascertained, 
being set down to Africa simply because a ship most recently from 
that coast brought them to England. "White Sanders," or sandal- 
wood {Santalum album), is the produce of a small tree growing on the 
mountains of Southern India and in the Indian archipelago. Its export 
is aGovernment monopoly, the wood being valuable for the oil, for making 
a pigment used by the Brahmins for distinguishing caste marks, for 

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incense, etc. The white or grey and the yellow Sanders are different 
parts of the same tree. But neither possesses much medicinal value. 
" Red Sanders" is the produce of another small tree {Pterocarpus 
santalinus) of Southern India and other parts of tropical Asia. It is 
mainly used as dye-stuff, an astringent, and as the basis of some 
tooth-powders. " Lignum aquilae" is one of the trade-names applied 
to the wood of Aquilaria malaccensis, Linn., also so inappropriately 
called " Aloes Wood". But it does not come from Africa, but from 
Malacca. At one time it enjoyed a great reputation as a stimulant, 
and even as a remedy in epilepsy and apoplexy. 

(53) On this animal I shall have something to say in the note to 
Leo's Bk. ix. "Dante" is not a "German" or a "Greek" term (p. 76). 

(54) Now corrupted into "Cape Lopez". It is about thirty-two 
miles south of the Equator. 

(55) Now corrupted into Cameroons, which the Germans have 
Teutonised into Kamerun, in entire ignorance of its original form 
and meaning. 

(56) Report of the Kingdom of Congo, a Region of Africa and of the 
Countries that border rounde about the same, drawen out of the writ- 
inges and discourses of Odoardo Lopez, a Portingall, translated by 
Abraham Hartwell, 4to, 1597. Lopez left Portugal in 1578, and after 
some years spent in Africa, returned to Europe with a mission from 
the King of Congo to the King of Spain. Philip was, however, at 
that date engaged in fitting out the Spanish Armada, so that Lopez, 
disappointed with the little attention shown him, went to Rome, where 
the Pope received him favourably. He dictated his narrative to 
Pigafetta, who wrote it in Italian, and printed it at Rome in 1591. 
Hence, the Italicising of the names of this part of Africa, Pigafetta's 
narrative being the authority from which Pory (in whose day it was a 
new book) and other authors copied. Lopez collected most of the 
floating legends about the African lakes, etc. Mrs. Hutchinson re- 
Englished the book in 1884. 

(57) In the seventeenth century, the Kingdom of Benin seems to 
have been one of the most powerful in West Africa. Badagry and 
Lagos were both colonies from it, and several states, independent 
until they came under British rule or protection, comprised within its 
limits. "Gurte" or Gwato (also called Gato, Agatho, or Agatton), 
about thirty miles N.N.E. of the mouth of the Benin River, is still a 
port of some importance for the palm-oil trade, which in 1600 had not 
begun. Guinea pepper, or Malaguetta (Malagheta, Meleghite, Mele- 
guetta, etc.) pepper, is in modern times generally accounted equivalent 
to the Grains of Paradise {Amomum Grana Paradisi), which is referred 

II 2 

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to in the next paragraph. But the name is also applied to the dried 
fruits of Cubebs Clusit\ and the seeds of Habzelia ^Ethiopica. The 
capsules of Capsicum frutescens are likewise sold under that designa- 
tion, and it is evidently capsicum that Pory alludes to as " long pepper". 
The u Grain" or " Pepper Coast" perpetuates the memory of the trade 
done in these spices. 

(58) Pliny (lib. vi, 32, §§ 201, 203, 204) describes the land of Autololes 
as opposite the Purpurariae Islands discovered by Juba, who 
established on one of them a factory for dyeing the GaetuHan purple. 
If these islands were, as is generally supposed, the two easternmost 
Canaries, the Autololes coast was that of the Sahara. Jinni, Ginnie, 
Genna, or Jinnie, was founded in a.d. 1043-4 (a.h. 435), and was 
well known by that name as early as 1351. The boundaries of the 
Guinea district with which the Niger town, from which it takes its 
name, had never much to do, have always been very vague ; but, in 
general terms, the Guinea Coast, until the European colonies got 
established, may be taken as equivalent to tropical West Africa. 

(59) Senegal. This belief in the Senegal and Gambia being the 
mouths of the Niger held its place, not unreasonably, until late in last 
century, while the lake origin of the Senegal was akin to the per- 
sistent notion that all the great African rivers had their source in such 
sheets, a legend which perhaps was due to the traders mistaking 
the negroes 1 expression for lake, and water, river, and village, or, 
possibly, to the indiscreet prompting of the uninterested savages. 
The " mightie cataract" seems to refer to the Felu Falls, where navi- 
gation is interrupted by a ledge of rock across the river's bed. The 
Isle of Elephants is Morfil. Even in Brue's day (1697), herds of 
forty or fifty elephants wandered quite peacefully on the island. 

(60) Joloffs, or Woloffs. (61) Turucols. 
(62) Serawallies. (63) Bagnas. 

(64) This town has never been identified in accordance with the 
report of the Arabs, Berbers and Tuaregs, imperfectly understood by 
Ca da Mosto. But so convinced were the Portuguese of its existence, 
that they sent an expedition from Arguin to found a factory at Hodem 
or Huadim ; though it does not appear that they ever reached a spot 
corresponding to the description. Until recently, however, the 
name appeared on maps by such authority as Rennells', illustrating 
Horneman's Journal of Travels from Cairo to Mourzouk ( 1 802, p. 1 58). 
No such place exists where it was previously placed, and up to 
date its actuality has either been scouted or forgotten. There is, 
however, great probability of its being the plateau of u El Hodh", due 

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west of Timbuktu, on which is Walata (Oulata), a town in the Desert 
reached in i860 by Alioun Sal, an Arab officer in the French service, 
on his journey to Aruan, from Podor on the Senegal. According to his 
account it was a much more important centre than Aruan, and a 
somewhat busy rendezvous for traders from that town and Timbuktu 
on their way to the Sudan and Barbary. This entirely agrees with 
Ca da Mosto's description of it being a rendezvous for caravans 
engaged in the traffic. The salt mines of " Tegazzi" (Ca da Mosto in 
Ramusio, Ed. 161 3, vol. 1, 100 a, and Leo, Bk. VI, sub voce " Tegaza") 
may refer to several places in the Desert dealing in salt. Aruan, 
for instance, does a large business in this commodity. Taudeni, 
when Mordokhai Abi-Serour visited it, was in ruins ; but what trade 
was carried on by the few people who lived in the tumble-down 
Arab houses was in salt, of which formerly thousands of camel loads 
were annually sent to Timbuktu. When Lenz arrived here twelve 
years later, he found the place entirely deserted. 

(65) Sahara. 

(66) This is the modern 'Perim, the Jezirat al Maiyun of the Arabs. 

(67) Close to Ras el Bayath. 

(68) Dhalac, in the Dhalac Archipelago. 

(69) Massowah. (70) Suakim. 

(71) Except in reverence of the cross, the Nestorian form of 
Christianity adopted by the Mahra settlers from the opposite Arabian 
coast in the sixth century has now been almost entirely lost. Even 
the legends, that usually last longer than the substance to which they 
cling, have vanished. 

(72) The history of the names applied to the islands off East Africa 
would form an instructive essay on the vicissitudes of geographical 
nomenclature. Portuguese has suffered sadly in the mouths of 
foreign seamen — Englishmen more especially. But Arabic has been 
still more mangled by the Lusitanian mariners and the map-makers, 
until even the few places mentioned by Pory are now difficult to 
extricate from the general confusion. As a specimen of the metamor- 
phoses which an Arab name has undergone, the island of Aldabra may 
be cited. On some charts it is changed into Albadra, and on the great 
Mappemonde of Cabot it is written Alhadara, though it is evidently the 
Arabic Al-Khadhra, or the Green, which in time has come to be 
applied to the familiar Pemba, Penba, or Panda. In seventeenth- 
century charts we have the island of Adarno. On the maps of Ortelius 
it becomes Darea, and in the Spanish chart of Diego Ribero (1529) we 
trace it back to I. de Arena, though doubtless it was originally and 

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very properly designated Ilha da Ar£a, Sandy Isle. The Amirantes 
were originally the Ilhas do Almirante — the Admiral's Islands, Vasco 
da Gama having met with them in 1502 on his second voyage from 
Melinda to Cananor. The Mascarenes are a corruption of the 
name of Pero de Mascarenhas, one of the companions of Vasco 
da Gama ; and the Sete Irmaas, or Seven Sisters, have become the 

The Galician, Juan de Nova, was commemorated in an island 
(A Galega) now bearing his name, though a cluster of islands 
called Juan de Nova were formerly known as " A doze ilhas". But 
more to the east, north of Madagascar, south of isle of Cosmo Ledo 
(Cosmoledo), is another isle called Astov, which is a corruption 
of "A doze ilhas". Again, the island of A Galega (Agalega) was 
discovered by De Nova in 1501, and named in allusion to his 
Galician nationality. Cosmo Ledo preserves the name of a 
Portuguese sailor. O Cerne, the name of a Portuguese family, was 
first applied to Mauritius, but on Diego Ribero's map it figures as Santa 
Apollonia, by which name it seems to have been known in Pory's day. 
Rodriguez (probably Diogo Rodrigues, or Diogo Roys, if abbreviated), 
is on the same chart Domingos Fernandes, replaced in those of 
Ortelius and Mercator by Don Galopes, under which barbarous 
transformation we recognise Diogo Lopes de Sequeira, the fifth 
Governor of Portuguese East India (1518-1521). Pero dos Banhos is 
corrupted into Peros Banhos, two shoals, one near the Amirantes, and 
a second in the Chagos Archipelago, south of the Maldives. Roque 
Pires is changed into Roquepiz, and under Antongil (p. 91), we detect 
the name of Antao Gongalves. Cargados-Garajos, or simply Cargados, 
is Coroa dos Garajaos, or the sand bank on which the Garajo (a 
common sea fowl) collects (D'Avezac, Isles d'Afrique, Troisieme 
Partie, pp. ii-iv). St. Christopher is an old name for Mayotta, and 
Spirito Santo for Johanna Isle, so forth. 

(73) Mafiyal. (74) Kilwa. (75) Angoche. 

(76) The elephant is not a Madagascar animal, and the camel is 
equally absent. 

(77) Antongil Bay, north of St. Mary's Isle (see note 72). 

(78) Ilha de Gongalo Alvarez, sometimes corrupted into Albarez, 
now called Gough Island after Capt. Gough, who, in 17 13, rediscovered 
it, though it was not for a century later that his island was recognised as 
identical with the one erroneously put on charts as Diego Alvarez. 

(79) These might be the yam (Dioscorea sativa\ or the sweet potato 
(Batatas edulis), still sometimes confounded with the former plant. 
The latter supposition is most probably true, not only from Pory 

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applying to the u Batata", its Portuguese name, but from the feet 
that Pigafetta had only recently called attention to it as an article of 
food among the Brazilian Indians. The true potato, which does not 
grow in Sao Thome, was then almost unknown in England, though 
Raleigh had introduced it from Virginia, a few years before Pory 
wrote. The plants brought by Hawkins from Santa Fe in 1 563 were, 
apparently, sweet potatoes, which for many years subsequently were 
confounded with the "Batata Virginiana sive Virginianorum et 
Pappus, Potatoes of Virginia", as they are described in Gerard's 
Herbal (1599). 

(80) An arroba is now twenty-five pints : liquid measure thirty-one 
pints English. 

(81) Ilha do Principe. 

(82) Originally Ferno doa Poo, from its Portuguese discoverer. 
In Spanish his name, and the name of the island when it fell to Spain, 
was literally translated Fernando del Polvo, which in time became 
Fernan-do-Pd, still further abbreviated into Fernando-P6, the usual 
foreign form of the word, though in some French works the much- 
suffering mariner and his island have become Fernand d'0-P6. The 
" certaine lake" is non-existent, so far as present information extends, 
though it is quite possible it lies on some of the valleys of the 
mountainous interior, which rises to over 9,000 feet, and gives origin 
to endless torrents. 

(83) Ilha formosa, in 147 1. 

(84) St. Matthew and Santa Cruz are now classed among the 
imaginary isles of the Atlantic. The first was reported in 1525 by the 
Friar Garcia de Loaysa, on his way to the Moluccas with a squadron 
of seven ships sent by Charles V. Possibly he mistook Annobon for 
it, and the description he gave is not unapplicable to that island. 
Santa Croce, Santa-Crosse, or Santa Cruz, appears on sixteenth- 
century charts about 200 leagues west of St. Matthew ; but that is the 
extent of our knowledge regarding this mythical spot, which if it ever 
existed has long since sunk into the ocean. 

(85) St. Paul, or the Penedo (that is Rock) of San Pedro, is in 
reality 53' north of the Equator. It was discovered by Dom Garcia de 
Noronha in 151 1, and received its alternative name from the Sao 
Pedro, one of his squadron, commanded by George de Brito. But 
the " Isle of Conception" (Santa Maria d'Agosto ?), was not discovered 
by Pedro Alvarez Cabral or anyone else. 

(86) The Bird, Magdalen, or Beshitten Islands, 

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(87) Thirteen, all told. 

(88) The Cape Verd Islands were certainly not known to the 
Ancients — the Gorgones being the Canaries, and the Hesperides 
either that group or the Azores. The expedition fitted out by Prince 
Henry in 1441, under Antonio and Bartolomeo di Nolli, partially dis- 
covered them. But they were not settled until after the voyage of 
Ca da Mosto and Antonio Usodimere in 1456. 

(89) Sao Thiago, the St. Jago of English navigators. 

(90) Ribeira Grande, owing to its insecure anchorage, is now in 
decay, and both port and cathedral are becoming picturesque ruins. 
Villa de Praia is now the chief town. 

(91) The Salina Velha. 

(92) By Nuno Tristam in one of the expeditions despatched by 
Prince Henry. In 1448 a fort was built here, destroyed, and recon- 
structed in 1 46 1, after which it was for many years the chief com- 
mercial establishment of the Portuguese in West Africa, and especially 
on the Grains Coast and the district round about, now officially 
known as " La cote d* Arguin". After various vicissitudes, in 
which it was successively in the hands of the Dutch, the French, and 
the Brandenburgers (who, after offering it to the English for ;£ 100,000, 
sold it to the Dutch for ,£30,000), it passed in 1721 again into posses- 
sion of the French. The late Col. Ellis {Hist of the Gold Coast, p. 4), 
asserts that on the island of Arguin, which he believed was the Cerne 
of Hanno, cisterns, constructed by the Cathaginian colonists, can still 
be traced. This is extremely doubtful. These remains are much 
more likely those of the Portuguese, or of some of the various masters 
of Arguin, now part of the colony of Senegal The principal isles are 
Tidre (Tider), Risse, Jouick, and Jagamet (Adeget). 

(93) The Archil or Orchil lichen (Rocella tinctoria), 

(94) This statement about the Guanches has been proved to be 

(95) El Piton, the loftiest point, is actually 12,200 feet high. Pory 
is evidently inclined to swallow any legend. 

(96) The " Sanguis Draconis" is not now a product of Porto Santo, 
for the island is entirely bare of wood, though there was plenty when 
it was first discovered. The Dragon's Blood of the Canaries 
is the resin of Draccena Draco, out of which Perestrello, father-in-law 
of Columbus, who was Governor of the Island, hoped to have made a 
fortune. But the trees were recklessly cut down for fuel and any 

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other purpose, until the precious resin ceased to be gathered in Porto 
Santo. It is referred to by Pliny as a product of the Fortunate Isles. 
" Ex iis quoque insulis Fortunatis Crinabaris Romam advehabatur. 
Sane hodie num frequens est in insulis arbor ilia quae Crinabarim 
gignit, vulgo sanguinem draconis appellant" (Hist. Nat., lib. vi, 
cap. xxxvii). The Socotra Dragon's Blood which Pory mentions, 
p. 87, is the exudation of an entirely different tree, viz., Pterocarpus 
Draco. The rabbit (cony) pest has now been overcome, both in 
Porto Santo and in the Balearic Isles. 

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the description of Africa, and 
of the memorable things 
contained therein. 

Why this part of the worlde was named 

KRICA is called in the Arabian toong 
Iphrichia y of the word Faraca, which 
signifieth in the said language, to 
diuide : but why it should be so 
called, there are two opinions ; the 
first is this : namely, because this 
part of the worlde is diuided from 
* others diuide Europa by the Mediterran sea, and from Asia* by the 

it from Asia 

by the red sea. riuer Nilus. Others are of opinion, that this name Africa 
was deriued from one Ifricus the king of Arabia Fcelix, 
who is saide to haue beene the first that euer inhabited 
these partes. This Ifricus waging warre against the king 
of Assyria, and being at length by him driuen out of his 
kingdome, passed with his whole armie ouer Nilus, and so 
conducting his troupes westward, made no delay till he 
was come vnto the region lying about Carthage. Hence it 
is that the Arabians do imagine the countrie about 
Carthage onely, and the regions lying westward thereof, to 
comprehende all Africa. 1 

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The borders of Africa. 

AFRICA (if we may giue credite vnto the writers of that 
nation, being men of learning, and most skilful 
Cosmographers) beginneth southward at certaine riuers 
issuing foorth of a lake in the desert of Gaoga. Eastward 
it bordereth vpon the riuer Nilus. It extendeth northward 
to that part of Egypt, where Nilus at seuen mouthes 
dischargeth his streames into the Mediterran sea: from 
whence it stretcheth westward as farre as the streites of 
Gibraltar, and is bounded on that part with the vtmost 
sea-towne of all Libya, called *Nun. Likewise the south * Nan. 
part thereof abutteth vpon the Ocean sea, which com- 
passeth Africa almost as farre as the deserts of Gaoga. 2 

The diuision of Africa. 

OVR authors affirme, that Africa is diuided into fower 
partes, that is to say, Barbaria, Numidia, Libya, 
and the lande of Negros. Barbaria taketh beginning from 
the hill called Meies, which is the extreme part of all the 
mountaines of Atlas, being distant from Alexandria almost 
three hundred miles. It is bounded on the North side 
with the Mediterran sea, stretching thence to mount-Meies 
aforesaid, and from mount-Meies extending it selfe to the 
streites of Gibraltar. Westward it is limited with the said 
streites, from whence winding it selfe out of the Mediterran 
sea into the maine Ocean, it is inclosed with the most 
westerly point of Atlas : namely, at that Westerne cape 
which is next vnto the towne called Messa. And south- 
ward it is bounded with that side of Atlas which lieth 
towards the Mediterran sea. This is the most noble and 
worthie region of all Africa, the inhabitants whereof are of 
a browne or tawnie colour, being a ciuill people, and 
prescribe wholesome lawes and constitutions vnto them- 

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The second part of Africa is called of the Latines 
Numidia, but of the Arabians Biledulgerid ': this region 
bringeth foorth dates in great abundance. It beginneth 
eastward at the citie of Eloacat, 8 which is an hundred miles 
distant from Egypt, & extendeth west as far as the towne 
Non. of *Nun, 4 standing vpon the Ocean sea. Northward it is 

inclosed with the south side of Atlas. And the south part 
thereof bordereth vpon the sandie deserts of Libya. All 
the Arabians doe vsually call it The land of dates : because 
this onely region of Africa beareth dates. 

The third part called of the Latines Libya, and of the 
Arabians Sarra (which word signifieth a desert) beginneth 
eastward at that part of Nilus which is next vnto the citie 
of Eloacat, and from thence runneth westward as far as 
the Ocean sea. Northwarde it is bounded with Numidia, 
southward it abutteth vpon the land of Negros, eastward it 
taketh beginning at the kingdome of Gaoga, and stretcheth 
westwarde euen to the land of Gualata, which bordereth 
vpon the Ocean sea. 

The fourth part of Africa which is called the land of 
Negros, beginneth eastward at the kingdome of Gaoga, 
from whence it extendeth west as far as Gualata. The 
north part thereof is inclosed with the desert of Libya, and 
the fourth part, which is vnknowen vnto vs, with the Ocean 
sea : howbeit the merchants which daily come from thence 
to the kingdome of Tombuto, haue sufficiently described 
the situation of that countrie vnto vs. This lande of 
Negros hath a mightie riuer, which taking his name of the 
Theriuerof region, is called Niger : this riuer taketh his originall from 
the east out of a certaine desert called by the foresaide 
Negros Sen? Others will haue this riuer to spring out of 
a certaine lake, and so to run westward till it exonerateth 
it selfe into the Ocean sea. Our Cosmographers affirme 
that the said riuer of Niger is deriued out of Nilus, which 
they imagine for some certaine space to be swallowed 


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vp of the earth, and yet at last to burst foorth into such 

a lake as is before mentioned. Some others are of opinion, 

that this riuer beginneth westward to spring out of a 

certaine mountaine, and so running east, to make at length 

a huge lake : which verily is not like to be true ; for they 

vsually saile westward from Tombuto to the kingdome 

of Ginea, yea and to the land of Melli also ; both which 

in respect of Tombuto are situate to the west : neither 

hath the said land of Negros any kingdomes comparable, 

for beautifull and pleasant soile, vnto those which adione 

vnto the banks of Niger. And here it is to be noted, 

that (according to the opinion of our Cosmographers) 

*that land of Negros by which Nilus is said to run * AeMopia. 

(namely, that part of the world which stretcheth eastward 

euen to the Indian sea, some northerly parcell whereof 

abutteth vpon the red sea, to wit, the countrie which lieth 

without the gulfe of Arabia) is not to be called any 

member or portion of Africa ; and that for many reasons, 

which are to be found in the processe of this historie set 

downe more at large : The said countrie is called by the 

Latines Aethiopia. From thence come certaine religious 

Friers seared or branded on the face with an hot iron, who 

are to be seene almost ouer all Europe, and specially at 

Rome. These people have an Emperour, which they 

call Prete Gianni, the greater part of that land being 

inhabited with Christians. Howbeit, there is also a 

certaine Mahumetan among them, which is said to possesse 

a great dominion. 6 

A aiuision of the fower for enamed partes of Africa, 

BArbarie is distinguished into fower kingdomes : the 
first whereof is the kingdome of Maroco ; which is 
likewise diuided into seuen regions or prouinces ; namely, 
Hea, Sus, Guzula, the territorie of Maroco, Duccala, 
Hazcora, & Tedles. The second kingdome of Barbarie 


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called Fez, comprehendeth in like sort seuen regions within 
the bounds thereof ; to wit, Temesne, the territorie of Fez, 
•Habai. Azgara, *Elabat, Errif, Garet, and *Elcauz. The third 
* Tremizen. kingdome is called *Telensin, and hath three regions vnder 
it, namely, the mountaines, Tenez, and Algezer. The 
fourth kingdome of Barbarie is named Tunis ; vnder 
which are comprized fower regions, that is to say, Bugia, 
Constantina, Tripolis in Barbarie, and Ezzaba, which is a 
good part of Numidia. Bugia hath alwaies beene turmoiled 
with continuall warres ; because sometimes it was subiect 
vnto the king of Tunis, and sometimes againe vnto the 
king of Tremizen. Certaine it is that euen vntill these 
our daies, this Bugia was a kingdome of it selfe, and so 
continued till the principall citie of that region was at the 
commandement of Ferdinando the king of Castile, taken 
by one Peter of Nauarre. 7 

The diuision of Numidia. 

THis is the basest part of all Africa ; neither will our 
Cosmographers vouchsafe it the name of a kingdome, 
by reason that the inhabitants thereof are so far distant 
asunder ; which you may easily coniecture by that which 
followeth. Teffet a citie of Numidia containeth about 
fower hundred families, and is in regard of the Libyan 
desert, seuered from all places of habitation almost three 
hundred miles ; wherefore this second part is thought by 
diuers not to be woorthie the name of a kingdome. 
Howbeit we will make some relation of the habitable 
partes of Numidia ; some whereof may not vnfitly bee 
compared with other regions of Africa, as for example, 
that of Segelmess, which territorie of Numidia lieth ouer 
against Barbarie ; likewise Zeb, which is situate against 
Bugia, and the signiorie of Biledulgerid, whieh extendeth 
vnto the kingdome of Tunis. Reseruing therefore many 
particulars for the second part of this historie, we wil make 

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our entrie and beginning at those places, which lie vpon 
the west of Numidia : the names whereof be these ; Teffet, 
Guaden, Ifren, Hacca, Dare, Tebelbelt, Todga, Fercale, 
Segelmess, Benigumi, Fighig, Tegua, Tfabit, Tegorarin, 
Mefab, Tegort, and Guarghela. The region of Zeb con- 
taineth fiue townes, to wit, Pescara, Elborgh, Nesta, 
Taolac, and Deufin : so many cities likewise hath the 
territorie of Biledulgerid ; namely, Teozar, Caphesa, 
. Nesreoa, Elchamid, and Chalbis : and from hence east- 
ward are found the isles of Gerbe, Garion, Mesellata, 
Mestrata, Teoirraga, Gademis, Fizza, Angela, Birdeoa, and 
Eloacat. These are the names 8 of the most famous places 
of all Numidia, being bounded (as is said before) westward 
vpon the Ocean sea, and eastward with the riuer of Nil us. 

A description of the Libyan deserts, which lie betweene 
Numidia and the land of Negros. 

THese deserts haue not as yet any certaine name 
amongst vs, albeit they be diuided into fiue partes, 
and receiue all their denomination from the inhabitants 
which dwell vpon them, that is to say, from the Numidians, 
who are in like sort themselues diuided into fiue partes 
also, ty wit, the people or tribes called ^Zanega, Ganziga, 
Terga, Leuta, and Berdeoa.Y There bee likewise certaine 
places, which take some proper and particular name from 
the goodnes and badnes of the soile ; as namely the desert 
of Azaohad, so called for the drought and vnfruitfulnes 
of that place : likewise Hair, albeit a desert, yet so called 
for the goodnes and temperature of the aire. 9 

A diuision of the land of Negros into seuerall 

MOreouer, the land of Negros is diuided into many 
kingdomes : whereof albeit a great part be 
vnknowen vnto vs, and remooued farre out of our trade ; 


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* Cairo. 

we will notwithstanding make relation of those places, 
where we our selues haue aboad, and which by long 
experience are growne very familiar vnto vs ; as likewise 
of some other places, from whence merchants vsed to 
trauell vnto the same cities wherein my selfe was then 
resident ; from whom I learned right well the state of 
*triwsiiedouer ^ eir countries. I • my selfe saw fifteene kingdoms of the 
If'th^ia^iof Negros : howbeit there are many more, which although I 
Negros. saw no t with mine owne eies, yet are they by the Negros 

sufficiently knowen and frequented. Their names there- 
fore (beginning from the west, and so proceeding Eastward 
and Southward) are these following: Gualata, Ghinea, 

^ --JMelli, Tombuto, Gago, Guber, Agadez, CanoJ Cafena, 

;;_,, r-.j^ Zegzeg>Zanfara, Guangara, Borno, Gaogo, Nube. These 

"" ■ — fifteene kingdomes are for the most part situate vpon the 

riuer Niger, through the which merchants vsually trauell 
from Gualata to the citie of *Alcair in Egypt. The iourney 
indeede is very long, but yet secure and voide of danger. 
All the said kingdomes adjoine one vpon another; ten 
whereof are separated either by the riuer Niger, or by 
some sandie desert : and in times past each one of the 
fifteene had a seueral king, but now* at this present, they 
are all in a manner subiect vnto three kings onely : 
namely, to the king of Tombuto who is Lord of the 
greatest part ; to the king of Borno, who gouerneth the 
least part, and the residue is in subiection vnto the king of 
Gaoga : howbeit he that possesseth the kingdome of Ducala 
hath a very small traine attending vpon him. Likewise 
these kingdomes haue many other kingdomes bordering 
vpon the South frontiers of them : to wit, Biro, Temiam, 
Dauma, Medra, and Gorhan ; the gouernors and inhabitants 
whereof are most rich and industrious people, great louers 
of iustice and equitie, albeit some lead a brutish kinde of 
life. 10 

• About the 
yeere 1526. 

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Of the habitations oj Africa, and of the signification 
of this word Barbar. 

OVr Cosmographers and historiographers affirme, that 
in times past Africa was altogether disinhabited, 
except that part which is now called the land of Negros : 
and most certaine it is, that Barbarie and Numidia were 
for many ages destitute of inhabitants. The tawnie people 
of the said region were called by the name of Barbar, 
being deriued of the verbe Barbara, which in their toong 
signifieth to murmur : because the African toong soundeth 
in the eares of the Arabians, no otherwise than the voice 
of beasts, which vtter their sounds without any accents. 
Others will haue Barbar to be one word twise repeated, 
forsomuch as Bar in the Arabian toong signifieth a desert, 
For (say they) when king Jphricus being by the Assyrians 
or Aethiopians driuen out of his owne kingdome, trauelled 
towards Aegypt, and seeing himselfe so oppressed with his 
enimies, that he knew not what should become of him and 
his followers, he asked his people how or which way it 
was possible to escape, who answered him Bar-Bar, that 
is, to the desert, to the desert : giuing him to vnderstand 
by this speech that he could haue no safer refuge, then to 
crossfe ouer Nilus, and to flee vnto the desert of Africa. 
And this reason seemeth to agree with them, which 
affirme the Africans to be descended from the people of 
Arabia foelix. 11 

The originall of the people of Africa. 

A Bout the originall of the Africans, our historiographers 
doe much disagree. For some will haue them to 
be deriued from the inhabitants of Palaestina ; because (as 
they say) being expelled out of their owne countrie by the 
Assyrians, they came at length into Africa, & seeing the 
fruitfulnes of the soile, chose it to be their place of 


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* Forte Asia 

* Genesis the 
10. v. the 6. 
Mezraim is 
accounted the 
brother ofChus. 

* Gen. 10. 7. 

habitation. Others are of opinion, that they tooke their 
originall from the Sabeans a people of Arabia fcelix, and 
that, before such time as they were put to flight by the 
Assyrians or Aethiopians, as hath beene aforesaid. Some 
others report, that the Africans descended from certaine 
people of *Asia, who being chased thence by reason of 
warres which were waged against them, fled into Greece, 
which at the same time had no inhabitants at all. Howbeit 
the enimie still pursuing them, they were forced to crosse 
the sea of Morea, and being arriued in Africa, to settle 
themselues there : but 'their enimies aboad still in Greece. 
All which opinions and reportes are to bee vnderstood 
onely of the originall of the tawnie people, that is to say, 
of the Numidians and Barbarians. For all the Negros 
or blacke Moores take their descent from Chus, the sonne 
of Cham, who was the sonne of No'e. But whatsoeuer 
difference there be betweene the Negros and the tawnie 
Moores, certaine it is that they had all one beginning. 
For the Negros are descended of the Philistims, and the 
Philistims of Mesraim the *sonne of Chus: but the tawnie 
Moores fetch their petigree from the Sabeans, and it is 
euident that Saba was begotten of *Ratna y which was the 
eldest sonne of Chus. Diuers other opinions there be as 
touching this matter: which because they seeme not so 
necessarie wee haue purposely omitted. 12 

A diuision of the tawnie Moores into sundrie tribes or nations. 


HE tawnie Moores 13 are' diuided into 
fiue seuerall people or tribes : the 
tribes called Zanhagi, Musmudi, Zeneti, 
Hacari, and Gumeri. 14 The tribe of 
Musmudi inhabit the western part of 
mount Atlas, from the prouince of 
Guadaihabit. Hea to the riuer of *Seruan. 16 Like- 

wise they dwell vpon the south part of the said mountaine, 

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and ypon all the inward plaines of that region. These 
Musmudae haue fower prouinces vnder them : namely, 
Hea, Sus, Guzula, 16 and the territorie of Marocco. The 
tribe of Gumeri possesse certaine mountaines of Barbarie, 
dwelling on the sides of those mountaines which lie ouer 
against the Mediterran sea : as likewise they are Lords of 
all the riuer called in their language Rif. This riuer hath 
its fountaine neere vnto the streites of Gibraltar, and 
thence runneth eastwards to the kingdome 01* Tremizen, Tremizen 

& ' called by the 

called by the Latines Ccesaria}* 1 ancient Cosmo- 


These two tribes or people haue seuerall habitations by Cttsanaor 
themselves ; the other three are dispersed confusiuely ouer Casariensis. 
all Africa : howbeit they are, like strangers, discerned one 
from another by certaine properties or tokens, maintaining 
continuall warre among themselues, especially those of 
Numidia. These (I say) are those very people (as some 
report) who had no other places then tents and wide fields 
to repose themselues in : and it is reported, that in times 
past they had great conflicts together, and that the van- 
quished were sent to inhabit townes and cities, but the 
conquerors held the champions and fieldes vnto themselues 
and there setled their aboad. Neither is it altogether 
vnlikely ; because the inhabitants of cities haue all one 
and the same language with the countrie people. For the 
Zeneti, whether they dwell in the citie or in the countrie, 
speake all one kinde of language : which is likewise to be 
vnderstood of the rest. The tribes of Zeneti, Haoari, and 
Sanhagi ; inhabit the countrie of Temesne : 18 sometimes 
they Hue peaceably, and sometimes againe, calling to 
minde their ancient quarrels, they breake foorth into cruell 
warres and manslaughters. Some of these people beare 
rule ouer all Africa, as namely the Zeneti, who in times 
past vanquished the familie called Idris ; from which some 
affirme the true,. and naturall Dukes of Fez, and the 
founders of the same citie to deriue their petigree : their 

I 2 

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progenie likewise was called Mecnasa. 19 There came 
afterward out of Numidia, another familie of the Zeneti 
called Magraoa : this Magraoa chased the familie of Mec- 
nafa with all their Dukes and chieftaines out of their 
dominions. Not long after, the said tribe of Magraoa was 
expelled in like sort by certaine others of the race of the 
Sanhagij, called by the name of Luntuna, 20 which came 
also out of the desert of Numidia. 

By this familie was the countrie of Temesna in processe 
of time vtterly spoiled and wasted, and all the inhabitants 
thereof slaine, except those which were of their owne tribe 
and kindred of Luntuna, vnto whom was allotted the 
region of Ducala to inhabit, and by them was built the 
Who were the citie commonly called Maroco. 21 It fell out afterwards by 

founders of . . 

Maroco. the inconstancie of fortune, that one Elniahai the principall 

Mahumetan preacher among them, 22 conspiring with the 
Hargij (these Hargij were of the familie of Musmuda) 
expelled the whole race of the Luntuna, and vsurped that 
kingdome vnto himselfe. After this mans decease, suc- 
ceeded in his place one of his disciples called Habdul 
Mumen a Banigueriaghel' 2 * of the kindred of the Sanhagij. 
The kingdome remained vnto this family about an 120. 
yeeres, whereunto all Africa in a manner was subiect : At 
length being deposed by the Banimarini, a generation of 
the Zeneti, the said familie was put to flight: which 
Banimarini are said to haue raigned afterward for the 
space of 170. yeeres. 24 The Banimarini which descended 
of the Sanhagij and of Magroa, waged continuall warre 
against Banizeyan the king of Telensin : likewise the 
progenie of Hafasa, and of Musmuda are at variance and 
dissension with the king of Tunis. So that you see what 
stirres and tumults haue at all times beene occasioned in 
those regions by the foresaid fiue families. 25 

Certaine it is, that neither the Gumeri, nor the Haoari 
haue at this present any Jurisdiction at all ; albeit hereto- 

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fore (as we reade in their chronicles) 2 * they had some 
certaine dominion, before such time as they were infected 
with the Mahumetan lawe. Out of all which it is euident, 
that in times past all the foresaid people had their habita- 
tions and tents in the plaine fields : euery one of which 
fauoured their owne faction, and exercised all labours 
necessarie for mans life, as common among them. The 
gouernours of the countrie attended their droues and 
flockes ; and the citizens applied themselues vnto some 
manuall art, or to husbandrie. The said people are 
diuided into fiue hundred seuerall families, as appeereth by 
the genealogies of the Africans, author whereof is one 
Ibnu Rachu, whom I haue oftentimes read and perused. 
Some writers are of opinion, that the king of Tombuto, 
the king of Melli, 27 and the king of Agadez fetch their 
originall from the people of Zanaga, to wit, from them 
which inhabite the desert. 

The agreement or varietie of the African language. 

THe foresaid fiue families or people, being diuided into 
hundreds of progenies, and hauing innumerable 
habitations, doe notwithstanding vse all one kinde of 
language, called by them A quel Amarig^ that is, the AqudAmaHg. 
noble toong : the Arabians which inhabite Africa, call it a 
barbarous toong ; and this the true and naturall language 
of the Africans. Howbeit it is altogether different from 
other languages, although it hath diuers words common 
with the Arabian toong ; whereupon some would inferre, 
that the Africans (as is aboue said) came by lineall descent 
from the Sabeans, a people of Arabia foelix. Others say, 
that these words were euen then inuented when the 
Arabians came first into Africa, and began to take 
possession thereof: but these authors were so rude and 
grosse-witted, that they left no writings behinde them, 

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which might be alleaged either for, or against Moreouer 
they haue among them another diuersitie, not onely of 
pronuntiation, but of significant words also : as namely, 
they which dwell neere vnto the Arabians, and exercise 
much traffique with them, doe for the greater part vse 
their language. Yea, all the Gumeri in a manner, and 
most of the Haoari speake Arabian, though corruptly; 
which (I suppose) came first hereupon to passe, for that 
the said people haue had long acquaintance and conuersa- 
tion with the Arabians. The Negros haue diuers languages 
among themselues, among which they call one Sungai™ 
and the same is current in many regions ; as namely, in 
Gualata, 30 Tombuto, 31 Ghinea, Melli, and Gago. 32 Another 
language there is among the Negros, which they cal 
Guberf 3 & this is rife among the people of Guber, of 
Cano, 84 of Casena, 36 of Perzegreg, 86 & of Guangra. 87 Like- 
wise the kingdom of Borno hath a peculiar kinde of speech, 
altogether like vnto that, which is vsed in Gaoga. And 
the kingdome of Nube 88 hath a language of great affinitie 
with the Chaldean, Arabian, & Egyptian toongs. But all 
the sea-towns of Africa fro the Mediterran sea to the 
mountains of Atlas, speake broken Arabian. Except the 
kingdome and towne of Maroco, & the inland Numidians 
bordering vpon Maroco, Fez, & Tremizen ; all which, vse 
the Barbarian toong. Howbeit they which dwel ouer 
against Tunis & Tripoli, speake indeede the Arabian 
language ; albeit most corruptly. 

Of the Arabians inhabiting the citie of Africa. 

Hutmen. /^\F that armie which was sent by Calif a* Otmen the 

third, in the fower hundred yeere of the Hegeira, 

there came into Africa fowerscore thousand gentlemen and 

others, who hauing subdued sundrie prouinces, at length 

arriued in Africa : and there the Generall of the whole 

o 1 

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armie called *Hucha Hibnu Nafich remained. This man * Hucka. 

built that great citie which is called of vs *Alcair. For * Cairaoan. 

he stood in feare of the people of Tunis, least they should 

betray him, misdoubting also that they would procure aide 

out of Sicily, and so giue him the encounter. Wherefore 

with all his treasure which he got, he trauelled to the 

desert and firme ground, distant from *Carthage about one * Tunis. 

hundred and twentie miles, and there is he said to haue 

built the citie *Alcair. The remnant of his soldiers he * Cairaoan. 

commanded to keepe those places, which were most secure 

and fit for their defence, and willed them to build where 

no rocke nor fortification was. Which being done, the 

Arabians began to inhabit Africa, and to disperse them- 

selues among the Africans, who because they had beene 

for certaine yeeres subiect vhto the Romans or Italians, 

vsed to speake their language : and hence it is, that the 

naturall and mother-toong of the Arabians, which hath great 

affinitie with the African toong, grewe by little and little 

to be corrupted : and so they report that these two nations 

at length conioined themselues in one. Howbeit the 

Arabians vsually doe blaze their petigree in daily and 

triuiall songs ; which custome as yet is common both to 

*vs, and to the people of Barbarie also. For no man there * of T ^ a ^l es 

is, be he neuer so base, which will not to his owne name, 

adde the name of his nation ; as for example, Arabian, 

Barbarian, or such like. 89 

Of the Arabians which dwell in tents. 

THE Mahumetan priestes alwaies forbad the Arabians 
to passe ouer Nilus with their armies and tents. 
Howbeit in the fower hundred yeere of the Hegeira 40 we 
reade,that they were permitted sotodoe by a certaine factious 

and schismaticall *Califa : because one of his nobles had * A Mahume- 
tan fatnarke. 

rebelled against him, vsurping the citie of Cairaoan, and 

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the greatest part of Barbaric After the death of which 
rebell, that kingdome remained for some yeeres vnto his 
posteritie and familie ; whose iurisdiction (as the African 
chronicles report) grew so large and strong in the time of 
Elcain (the Mahumetan Califa and patriark of Arabia) 

l> eh ?onditi(m Ue t * lat ** e sent vnto them one Gehoar, whom of a slaue he 
conquered ail h a( ~[ m ade his counsellour. with an huge armie. This 

Barbaric, 9 ° 

Numidia, Gehoar conducting: his armie westward, recouered all 

Egypt, and to ' 

Syria. Numidia and Barbaric Insomuch that he pierced vnto 

the region of Sus, and there claimed most ample tribute : 
all which being done, he returned backe vnto his Calipha, 
and most faithfully surrendred vnto him whatsoeuer he 
had gained from the enemic 41 The Calipha seeing his 
prosperous successe, began to aspire vnto greater exploites. 
And Gehoar most firmely promised, that as he had 
recouered that westerne dominion vnto his Lord, so would 
he likewise by force of warre most certainly restore vnto 
him the countries of the East, to wit, Egypt, Syria, and all 
Arabia; and protested moreouer that with the greatest 
hazard of his life, he would be auenged of all the iniuries 
offered by the familie of Labhus® vnto his Lords prede- 
cessors, and would reuest him in the royall seate of his 
most famous grandfathers, great-grandfathers, and pro- 
genitors. The Calipha liking well his audacious promise, 
caused an armie of fower-score thousand soldiers, with an 
infinite summe of money and other things necessarie for the 
warres, to be deliuered vnto him. And so this valiant and 
stout chieftaine being prouided for warfare, conducted his 
troupes through the deserts of Aegy pt & Barbarie ; & hauing 
first put toflight the vice-Califaof Aegypt(who fled vntoElair 
the Califa of Bagdet) in short time he subdued very easily all 
the prouinces of Aegypt and Syria. Howbeit he could not 
as yet hold himselfe secure ; fearing least the Califa of 
Badget would assaile him with an armie out of Asia, and 
least the garrisons which he had left to keepe Barbarie 

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should be constrained to forsake those conquered prouinces. 
Wherefore hee built a citie, and caused it to be walled 
round about. In which citie he left one of his most trustie 
captaines, with a great part of the armie : and this citie he 
called by the name of Alchair, which afterward by others was Gehoar the 

first founder 

named Cairo: 48 This Alchair is saide daily so to haue^Carm 
increased, that no citie of the world for buildings and 
inhabitants was any way comparable thereunto. Now 
when Gehoar perceiued that the Calipha of Badget made 
no preparation for warre, he foorthwith wrote vnto his Lord, 
that all the conquered cities yeelded due honour vnto him, 
and that all things were in quiet and tranquillitie : and 
therefore, that himselfe (if he thought good) should come 
ouer into Aegypt, and thereby with his onely presence 
should preuaile more to recouer the remnant of his 
dominions, then with neuer so huge an armie : for he was 
in good hope that the Calipha of Badget hearing of his 
expedition, would leaue his kingdome and prelacie, and 
would betake himselfe to flight. This notable and ioyfull 
message no sooner came to the eares of Calipha Elcain ; 
but he being by his good fortune much more encouraged 
then before, and not forethinking himselfe what mischiefe 
might ensue, leuied a great armie, appointing for vice-roy 
for all Barbarie one of the familie of Sanagia aforesaid, 
finding him afterward not to be his trustie friend. More- 
ouer Calipha Elcain arriuing at Alchair, and being most 
honorably entertained by his seruant Gehoar, began to 
thinke vpon great affaires, and hauing gathered an huge 
armie, resolued to wage battell against the Calipha of 
Badget. In the meane season he that was appointed vice- 
roy of Barbarie compacting with the Calipha of Badget, 
yeeldeth himselfe and all Barbarie into his hands. Which 
the Calipha most kindly accepted, and ordained him king 
ouer all Africa. But Calipha Elcain hearing this newes at 
Alchair was woonderfully afflicted in minde ; partly 

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because he saw himselfe repelled from his owne kingdome, 
and partly for that he had spent all his money which hee 
brought with him : insomuch that he knew not what in the 
world to doe, determining some seuere punishment for 
Gekoar, by whose counsell he left his kingdome of Arabia. 
Howbeit there was one of his secret counsellors a very 
learned and wittie man, who seeing his Lord so sad and 
pensiue, and being desirous by some good aduise to preuent 
the danger imminent, comforted him in this wise : Your 
highnes knoweth (most inuincible Califa) that fortune is 
most variable, and that the courage of your soldiers is no 
whit daunted by reason of these mishaps. For mine owne 
part, as I haue heretofore shewed my selfe to be your 
trustie seruant, so will I at this time giue you such profitable 
counsell, whereby you may within short space recouer all 
those dominions which haue beene so treacherously taken 
from you, and may without al peraduenture most easily 
attaine vnto your owne harts desire. And this you may doe 
without maintaining any armie at all ; yea, I assure you, if 
you please to take mine aduise, that I will foorthwith 
procure you such an armic, as shall giue you great store 
of money, and yet notwithstanding shall doe you good 
seruice also. The Califa being somewhat emboldened at 
these speeches, asked his counsellour how this might 
possibly be brought to effect : My Lord (saith his 
counseller) certaine it is, that the Arabians are now growen 
so populous and to so great a number, that all Arabia 
cannot containe them, scarcely wil the yeerely increase 
of the ground suffice to feede their droues, and you see 
with what great famine they are afflicted, and how they 
are destitute not onely of habitations, but euen of victuals 
and sustenance. Wherefore if you had heeretofore giuen 
them leaue, they would long ere this inuaded Africa. 
And if you will now licence them so to doe, doubt you 
not, but that you shall receiue of them an huge masse 

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of golde. This counsell could not altogether satisfie the 
Califa his minde : for he knew right well that the Arabians 
would so waste all Africa, as it should neither bee profit- 
able for himselfe, nor for his enemies. Notwithstanding, 
seeing that his kingdome was altogether endangered, hee 
thought it better to accept those summes of money which 
his counsellour promised, and so to be reuenged of his 
enemie, then to lose both his kingdome and gold all at 
once. Wherefore hee permitted all Arabians, which would 
pay him ducats apeece, freely to enter Africa ; condition- 
ally that they would shewe themselues most 'deadly 
enemies vnto the treacherous king of Barbaric Which 
libertie being granted vnto them, it is reported that ten Ten tribes of 


tribes or families of Arabians, being halfe the people of invade Africa. 
Arabia deserta, came immediately into Africa ; vnto whom 
certaine inhabitants of Arabia fcelix ioyned themselues, 
insomuch that there were found amongst them about fiftie 
thousand persons able to beare armes : their women, 
children, and cattell were almost innumerable : the storie 
whereof Ibnu Rachu % the most diligent chronicler of African ***"&";*" a 

• & famous histo- 

affaires (whom we haue before mentioned) setteth downe riograpker. 
at large. These Arabians hauing trauersed the desert 
betweene Aegypt and Barbarie, first laid siege vnto 
Tripolis a citie of Barbarie, which being ouercome, they 
slew a great part of the citizens, the residue escaping by 
flight. Next of all they encountred the towne of Capes, 4 ^ 
which was by them taken and vanquished. At length 
they beseiged Cairaoan also; howbeit the citizens being 
sufficiently prouided of victuals, are said to haue indured 
the siege for eight monethes : which being expired, they 
were constrained to yeeld : at what time there was nothing 
in Cairaoan but wofull slaughters, hideous outcries, and 
present death. This land the Arabians diuided among 
themselues, and began to people and inhabite the same ; 
requiring in the meane space large tributes of the townes 

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and prouinces subiect vnto them. And so they possessed 
all Africa, vntill such time as one Ioseph the sonne of Ieffin 
attained to the kingdom of Marocco. This Ioseph was the 
first king of Marocco, who endeuored by all meanes to 
aduance the friends and kinred of the late deceased king 
of Africa vnto the kingdome ; neither did he cease vntill 
he had expelled all the Arabians out of Cairaoan. Howbeit 
the Arabians possessed the regions thereabout, giuing them- 
selves wholy to spoiles and robberies : and the friends of the 
said deceased king could beare rule but in certaine places 
only. 46 Afterward succeeded in the kingdome of Marocco 
one Mansor, who was the fourth king and prelate of that 
Mahumetan sect which was called Muachedim.^ This 
man, albeit his grand-fathers & great grand-fathers had 
alwaies fauoured the posteritie and friends of the foresaid 
deceased African king, and had restored them to their 
ancient dignitie ; deuised altogether how to oppose him- 
selfe against them, and to vsurpe all their authoritie. 
Wherefore making a fained league with them, we reade, 
that he prouoked the Arabians against them, and so very 
easily ouercame them. Afterward Mansor brought the 
greatest part of the Arabians into the westerne dominions 
of Africa ; vnto the better sort of whom he gaue the 
habitation of Duccala & Azgara, and vnto the baser 
remnant he bequeathed the possession of Numidia. But 
in processe of time he commanded the Numidian slaues to 
be set at libertie, and so in despight of the Arabians, he 
caused them to inhabite that part of Numidia which he 
had allotted vnto them. But as for the Arabians of 
Azgara and of certaine other places in Barbarie, he 
brought them all vnder his subiection. For the Arabians 
out of deserts are like fishes without water: they had 
indeede often attempted to get into the deserts ; but the 
mountaines of Atlas, which were then possessed by the 
Barbarians, hindred their passage. Neither had they 

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libertie to passe ouer the plaines, for the residue of the 
Barbarians were there planted. Wherefore their pride 
being abated, they applied themselues vntp husbandrie, 
hairing no where to repose themselues, but onely in 
villages, cottages, and tents. And their miserie was so 
much the greater, in that they were constrained yeerely to 
disburse vnto the king of Marocco most ample tribute. 
Those which inhabited Duccala, because they were an huge 
multitude, easily freed themselues from all tribute, and 
imposition. A great part of the Arabians remained still at 
Tunis, for that Mansor had refused to carie them along 
with him : who, after the death of the said Mansor, grew 
to be Lords of Tunis, and so continued, till they resigned 
their gouernment vnto the people called Abu-Haf, 48 vpon 
condition that they should pay them halfe the reuenues 
thereof; and this condition hath remained firme euen 
vntill our daies. Howbeit, because the Arabians are 
increased to such innumerable swarmes, that the whole 
reuenues are not sufficient for them, the king of Tunis 1526. 
most iustly alloweth some of them their duties, to the 
end they may make secure passage for merchants, which 
indeede they performe without molestation or hurt of any. 
But the residue which are depriued of their pay, betake 
themselues wholy to robberies, thefts, slaughters, and such 
other monstrous outrages. For these, lurking alwaies in 
the woods, no sooner see any merchant approching, but 
suddenly they breake foorth, depriuing him of his goodes 
and life also : insomuch that now merchants dare not passe 
that way but with a garrison of safe-conduct. And so 
they passe sometimes to their great inconuenience. For 
they are notwithstanding constrained to giue vnto the 
foresaid Arabians, which are in pay with the king of Tunis, 
great summes of money : and are likewise oftentimes so in 
danger of robbers, that they lose both their goods & Hues. 

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A diuision of the Arabians which inhabite Africa, and are 

called by the name of Barbarians, into diuers 

progenies or kinreds?* 

HE Arabians which inhabite Africa are 
diuded into three partes : one part 
whereof are called Cachin, the second 
Hilell, and the third Machill. The 
Cachin are diuided into three nations 
or tribes ; to wit, the tribes of Etheg, 
Sumait, and Sahid. Moreouer Etheg 
is diuided into three families; that is to say, the familie 
of Delleg, Elmuntefig, and Subair : and these are dispersed 
into many regions. Hilel are deriued into fower gene- 
rations ; to wit, the people of Benihemir, of Rieh, of 
Sufien, and of Chusain. The familie of Benihemir is 
diuided into the linages of Huroam, Hucben, Habrum and 
Mussim. The tribe of Rieh are distributed into the 
kinreds called Deuvad, Suaid, Afgeg, Elcherith, Enedri, 
and Garfam ; which kinreds possesse many dominions. 
Machil haue three tribes vnder them : to wit, Mastar, 
Hutmen, and Hassan. Mastar are diuided into Ruchen, 
and Selim ; Hutmen into Elhasi and Chinan ; and Hassan 
into Deuihessen, Deuimansor, and Deuihubaidulla. Deui- 
hessen is distinguished into the kinreds called Dulein, 
Berbun, Vodein, Racmen and Hamram ; Deuimansor into 
Hemrun, Menebbe, Husein, and Albuhusein ; and lastly 
Deuihubaidulla, into Garag, Hedeg, Teleb, and Geoan. 
All these doe in a manner possesse innumerable regions ; 
insomuch that to reckon them vp at large, were a matter 
not onely difficult, but almost impossible. 60 

Of the habitations and number of the foresaid Arabians. 

THE most noble and famous Arabians were they of the 
familie of Etheg, vnto whome Almansor gaue the 
regions of Duccala and of Tedles 51 to inhabit. These 

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Arabians euen till our times haue beene put to great 
distresse and hazard, partly by the Portugall king, and 
partly by the king of Fez. They haue at all oportunities, 
if need should require, a hundred thousand soldiers fit to 
beare armes, a great part whereof are horsemen. The 
Arabians called Sumait enioy that part of the Libyan 
desert which lieth ouer against the desert of Tripoly. 
These make often inuasions into Barbarie, for they haue 
no places allotted them therein, but they and their camels 
doe perpetually remaine in the deserts. They are able to 
leuie fower-score thousand soldiers, the greatest part being 
footmen. Likewise the tribe of Sahid doe inhabite the 
desert of Libya : and these haue had alwaies great league 
and familiaritie with the king of Guargala. They haue 
such abundance of cattell, that they doe plentifully supply 
all the cities of that region with flesh, and that especially 
in sommer time, for all the winter they stirre not out of 
the deserts. Their number is increased to about a hundred 
and fiftie thousand, hauing not many horsemen among 
them. The tribe of Delleg possesse diuers habitations, 
howbeit *Caesaria containeth the greatest part of them. * Tremizen. 
Some also inhabit vpon the frontiers of the kingdome of 
Bugia ; who are said to receiue a yeerely stipend from 
their next neighbours. But the least part of them dwell 
vpon the field-countrey of Acdes, 62 vpon the borders of 
Mauritania, and vpon some part of mount Atlas, being 
subiect vnto the king of Fez. The people of Elmuntafig 
are seated in the prouince of Azgar, and are called by the 
later writers Elcaluth. These also pay certaine yeerely 
tribute vnto the King of Fez, beeing able to furnish about 
eight thousand horsemen to the warres. The kindred of 
Sobair doe inhabit not farre from the kingdome of Gezeir, 53 
being many of them vnder the pay of the king of Tremizen, 
and are said to enioy a great part of Numidia. They haue, 
more or lesse, three thousand most warlike horsemen. 

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They possesse likewise great abundance of camels ; for 
which cause they abide all winter in the deserts. The 
remnant of them occupieth the plaine which lieth betweene 
Sala and Mecnes. 64 These haue huge droues of cattell, 
and exercise themselues in husbandrie, being constrained 
to pay some yeerely tribute vnto the king of Fez. They 
haue horsemen, who, as a man may say, are naturally 
framed to the warres, about fower thousand in number. 

Of the people of Hillel, and of their habitations. 

Hlllel, which are also called Benihamir, dwell vpon the 
frontiers of the kingdome of Tremizen and Oran. 
These range vp and downe the desert of Tegorarin, being 
in pay vnder the king of Tremizen, and of great riches 
and power ; insomuch that they haue at all times in a 
readines for the warres six thousand horsemen. The tribe 
of Hurua possesse onely the borders of Mustuganim. 55 
These are sauage people, giuing themselues wholy to 
spoiles and robberies, and alienating their mindes from 
the warres. They neuer come foorth of the deserts ; for 
the people of Barbarie will neither allow them any places 
of habitation, nor yet any stipend at all : horsemen they 
haue to the number of two thousand. The kindred of 
Hucban 56 are next neighbours vnto the region of Melian, 57 
who receiue certaine pay from the king of Tunis. They 
are rude and wilde people, and in very deede estranged 
from al humanitie : they haue (as it is reported) about 
fifteene hundred horsemen. The tribe of Habru inhabit 
the region lying betweene Oran and Mustuganim : these 
exercise husbandrie, paying yeerely tribute vnto the king 
of Tremizen, and being scarce able to make one hundred 

The people called Muslim possesse those deserts of 
Masila 59 which extend vnto the kingdome of Bugia. These 
likewise are giuen onely to theft and robberie ; they take 

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tribute both of their owne people, and of other regions 

adioyning vnto them. The tribe Riech inhabite those 

deserts of Libya which border vpon Constantina. These 

haue most ample dominions in Numidia, being now 

diuided into sixe parts. This right famous and warlike 

nation receiueth stipende from the king of Tunis, hauing 

fiue thousande horsemen at command. The people of 

Suaid enioy that desert, which is extended vnto the 

signiorie of Tenez. These haue very large possessions, 

receiuing stipend from the king of Tremizen, being men of 

notable dexteritie, as well in the warres as in all other 

conuersation of life. The kindred of Azgeg dwell not 

all together in one place : for part of them inhabite the 

region of Garet among the people called Hemram : and 

the residue possesse that part of Duccala which lieth 

neere vnto Azaphi. The tribe of Elcherit dwell vpon 

that portion of Helin which is situate in the plaine of 

Sahidim, hauing the people of Heah tributarie vnto them, 

and being a very vnciuill and barbarous people. The 

people called Enedri are seated in the plaine of Heah : 

but the whole region of Heah maintpiineth almost fower 

thousand horsemen ; which nothwithstanding are vnfit for 

the warres. The people of Garsa haue sundrie mansions ; 

neither haue they any king or gouernour. They are 

dispersed among other generations, and especially among 

the kindreds of Manebbi and Hemram. These conuay 

dates from Segelmessa to the kingdome of Fez, and carrie 

backe againe from thence such things as are necessarie for 


Of the tribe ofMachiL 

THE people called Ruche, who are thought to be 
descended from Mastar, doe possesse that desert, 
which lieth next vnto Dedes and Farcala. 61 They haue 
very small dominions, for which cause they are accounted 


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no whit rich ; howbeit they are most valiant soldiers, and 
exceeding swift of foote ; insomuch that they esteeme it a 
great disgrace, if one of their footemen be vanquished by 
two horsemen. And you shall finde scarce any one nian 
among them, which will not outgoe a very swift horse ; 
be the iourney neuer so long. They haue about fiue 
hundred horsemen ; but most warlike footemen, to the 
number of eight thousand. Selim inhabite vpon the riuer 
of Dara ; from whence they range vp and downe the 
deserts. They are endowed with great riches, carrying 
Tw&to t0 euer y y eere merchandize vnto the kingdome of Tombuto, 
and are thought to be in high fauour with the king 
himselfe. 62 A large iurisdiction they haue in Darha and 
great plentie of camels : and for all oportunities of warre 
they haue euer in a readines three thousande horsemen. 
The tribe of Elhasis dwelleth vpon the sea-coast neere 
vnto Messa. They doe arme about fiue hundred horsemen, 
and are a nation altogether rude and vnacquainted in the 
warres. Some part of them inhabiteth Azgara. Those 
which dwell about Messa are free from the yoke of 
superioritie, but the others which remaine in Azgar are 
subiect to the king of Fez. The kindred of Chinan are 
dispersed among them which before were called Elcaluth, 
and these also are subiect unto the king of Fez. 64 Very 
warlike people they are ; and are able to set foorth two 
thousand horsemen. The people of Deuihessen are 
diuided into the kindreds of Duleim, Burbun, Vode, 
Deuimansor, and Deuihubaidulla, Duleim are conuersant 
in the deserts of Libya with the African people called 
Zanhaga. They haue neither dominion nor yet any 
stipend ; wherefore they are very poore and giuen to 
robberie : they trauell vnto Dara, and exchange cattell 
for dates with the inhabitants there. All brauerie & 
comelines of apparell they vtterly neglect ; and their 
number of fighting men is ten thousand, fower thousand 

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being horsemen and the residue footmen. The people 
called Burbun possesse, that part of the Libyan desert, 
which adioyneth vnto Sus. They are a huge multitude, 
neither haue they any riches beside camels. Vnto them 
is subiect the citie of Teffet, which scarce sufficeth them 
for the maintenance of their horses, being but a few. The 
people of Vode enioyeth that desert, which is situate 
between Guaden and Gualata. 65 They beare rule ouer the 
Guadenites, and of the Duke of Gualata they receiue 
yeerely tribute, and their number is growen almost infinite. 
For by report they are of abilitie to bring into the field 
almost three score thousand most skilful soldiers ; not- 
withstanding they have great want of horses. The tribe 
of Racmen occupie that desert which is next vnto Hacha. 66 
They haue very large possessions, and doe in the spring- 
time vsually trauell vnto Teffet : for then alwaies they haue 
somewhat to doe with the inhabitants there. Their people 
fit for armes are to the number of twelue thousand ; albeit 
they haue very few horsemen. The nation of Hamrum 
inhabit the deserts of Tagauost, exacting some tribute of 
the inhabitants there, and with daily incursions likewise 
molesting the people of Nun. Their number of soldiers is 
almost eight thousand. 67 

The people descended of Deuitnansor. 

THE generation of Dehemrum, which are saide to 
deriue their petigree from Deuimansor, inhabite the 
desert ouer against Segellmess, who continually wander 
by the Libyan deserts as farre as Ighid. They haue 
tributarie vnto them the people of Segelmesse, of Tod- 
gatan, of Tebelbelt, and of Dara. 68 Their soile yeeldeth 
such abundance of dates, that the yeerely increase thereof 
is sufficient to maintaine them, although they had nothing 
else to Hue on. They are of great fame in other nations, 
being able to furnish for the warres about three thousand 

K 2 

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148 the first booke of the 

horsemen. There dwell likewise among these certaine 
other Arabians of more base condition, called in their 
language Gar/a Esgch ; which notwithstanding haue great 
abundance of horses and of all other cattell. A certaine 
part also of the people Hemrun obtaineth many and large 
possessions among the Numidians, from whence they haue 
a notable yeerely reuenue brought them in : this part of 
Hemrun maketh often excursions towards the deserts of 
Fighig. In summer they disperse themselues all ouer 
the prouince of Garet, possessing the east part of Mauri- 
tania. They are noble and honest persons, and endued 
with all kinde of humanitie and ciuilitie ; insomuch that 
all the kings of Fez in a manner do vsually chuse them 
wiues out of the same tribe ; needes therefore must there 
be great friendship and familiaritie among them. The 
people of Menebbe doe almost inhabite the very same 
desert, hauing two prouinces of Numidia vnder them ; to 
wit, Matgara, and Retebbe. These also are a most valiant 
nation, being in pay vnder the prouince of Segelmess, and 
being able to make about two thousand horsemen. The 
kindred of Husein, which are thought to be descended of 
Deuimansor, are seated vpon the mountaines of Atlas. 
They haue in the said mountaines a large iurisdiction, 
namely diuers castles euerywhere, and many most rich and 
flourishing cities, all which, they thinke, were giuen them 
in olde time by the uice-royes of the Marini : for so soone 
as they had woon that kingdome, the kindred of Husein 
affoorded them great aide and seruice. Their dominion is 
now subiect vnto the kings of Fez and of Segelmess. 
They haue a captaine, which for the most part resideth at 
the citie commonly called Garseluin. Likewise, they are 
alwaies, in a manner, trauersing of that desert which in 
their language is called Eddara. They are taken to be a 
most rich and honest people, being of abilitie to furnish 
for the warres about sixe thousande horsemen. Among 

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these you shall oftentimes finde many Arabians of another 
sort, whom they vse onely to be their seruants. The tribe 
of Abulhusein doe inhabite part of the foresaid desert of 
Eddara, hovvbeit a very smal part : the greatest number 
of whom are brought vnto such extreme miserie, that they 
haue not in those their wilde tents sufficient sustenance to 
Hue vpon. True it is, that they haue built them certaine 
habitations vpon the Libyan deserts ; but yet they are 
cruelly pinched with famine and with extreme penurie 
of all things : and (that there might be no end of their 
miserie) they are constrained to pay yeerely tribute vnto 
their kindred and parents. 69 

The of spring of Deuihubaidulla. 

ONE generation of the people of Deuihubaidulla are 
those which are named Gharrag : these enioy the 
deserts of Benigomi and Fighig, 70 hauing very large pos- 
sessions in Numidia. They are stipendiaries vnto the king 
of Tremizen ; who diligently endeuoreth to bring them to 
peace and tranquilitie of life ; for they are wholy giuen to 
theft and robberie. In sommer time they vsually repaire 
unto Tremizen, where they are thought for that season of 
the yeere to settle their aboad : their horsemen are to the 
number of fower thousand, all which are most noble 
warriours. The kindred of Hedeg possesse a certaine 
desert neere vnto Tremizen, called in their owne language 
Hangad. 71 These haue no stipend from any prince, nor 
yet any iurisdiction at all, rapine and stealth is onely 
delightfull vnto them, they prouide onely for their familie 
and themselues, and are able to set foorth about fiue 
hundred horsemen. The tribe of Theleb inhabite the 
plaine of *Algezer : these haue often vagaries ouer the * Alger. 
deserts vnto the prouince of Tedgear. 72 Vnto them were 
subiect in times past the most famous cities of Algezer 
and Tedelles : 73 howbeit in these our daies they were 

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recouered againe from them by Barbarossa the Turke ; 

which losse could not but greatly grieue and molest their 

king. It is reported moreouer, that at the same time, the 

principal of the said people of Theleb were cut off. For 

strength and cunning in chiualrie they were inferiour to 

no other nation ; their horsemen were about three 

thousand. The tribe of Gehoan inhabite not aJl in one 

place : for part of them you may finde among the people 

of Guarag, 74 and the residue amongst the people of Hedeg, 

and they are vnto them no otherwise than their seruants, 

which condition they notwithstanding most patiently and 

willingly submit themselues vnto. And here one thing is 

ans called *~ to be noted by the way ; to wit, that the two forenamed 

S^uYdfJcfnded people called *Schachin 75 and Hilel are originally Arabians 

f thTbasTsVnne of Arabia deserta, and thinke themselues to be descended 

of Abraham. f rom Jsmael the sonne of Abraham. And those which wee 

Th ?A r ?i ia ™ called Machil, came first forth of Arabia fcelix, and deriue 

called Machil ' ' 

descended of their petigree from Saba. Before whom the Mahumetans 


preferre the former, which of Ismael are called Ismaelites. 
And because there hath alwaies beene great controuersie 
among them, which part should be of greater nobilitie, 
they haue written on both sides many dialogues and 
epigrams, whereby each man is woont to blaze the 
renowne, the vertuous manners, and laudable customes 
of his owne nation. The ancient Arabians, which were 
before the times of the Ismaelites, were called by the 
African historiographers Arabi-Araba, as if a man should 
say, Arabians of Arabia. But those which came of Ismael, 
they call Arabi Mus-Araba, as if they should say, Arabians 
ingrassed into the land of Arabia, or Arabians accidentally, 
because they were not originally bred & borne in Arabia. 76 
And the which afterward came into Africa, they name in 
their language Mustehgeme, that is, barbarous Arabians ; 
and that because they ioyned themselues vnto strangers 
insomuch that not only their speech, but their manners 

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also are most corrupt and barbarous. These are (friendly- 
reader) the particulars, which for these ten yeeres my 
memorie could reserue, as touching the originals and 
diuersities of the Africans and Arabians ; in all which 
time I remember not, that euer I read or saw any historic 
of that nation. He that will know more, let him haue 
recourse vnto Hibnu Rachu the historiographer before- 

The manners and customes of the African people, which 
inhabit the desert of Libya. 

THose fiue kindes of people before rehearsed, to wit, ^^£f °f 
the people of Zenega, of Gansiga, of Terga, of 
Leuta, and of Bardeoa, are called of the Latins Numidce : 
and they Hue all after one manner, that is to say, without 
all lawe and ciuilitie. Their garment is a narrow and base 
peece of cloth, wherewith scarce halfe their bodie is 
couered. Some of them wrap their heads in a kinde of 
blacke cloth, as it were with a scarfe, such as the Turks 
vse, which is commonly called a Turbant. Such as will be 
discerned from the common sort, for gentlemen, weare a 
iacket made of blew cotton wiah wide sleeues. And 
cotton-cloth is brought vnto them by certaine merchants 
from the land of Negros. They haue no beastes fit to 
ride vpon except their camels ; vnto whom nature, 
betweene the bunch standing vpon the hinder part of 
their backes and their neckes, hath allotted a place, which 
may fitly serue to ride vpon, in stead of a saddle. Their 
manner of riding is most ridiculous. For sometimes they 
lay their legs acrosse vpon the camels neck ; and some- 
times againe (hauing no knowledge nor regard of stirrops) 
they rest their feete vpon a rope, which is cast ouer his 
shoulders. In stead of spurres they vse a truncheon of a 
cubites length, hauing at the one end thereof a goad, 
wherewith they pricke onely the shoulders of their camels. 

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Those camels which they vse to ride vpon haue a hole 
v bored through the gristles of their nose, in the which a 
ring of leather is fastened, whereby as with a bit, they are 
more easily curbed and mastred ; after which manner I 
haue seene buffles vsed in Italic For beds, they lie vpon 
mats made of sedge and bulrushes. Their tents are couered 
for the most part with course chamlet, or with a harsh 
Wooii growing kinde of wooll which commonly groweth vpon the boughes 
tree. of their date-trees. As for their manner of liuing, it would 

seeme to any man incredible what hunger and scarcitie 
this nation will indure. Bread they haue none at all, 
neither vse they any seething or rosting ; their foode is 
camels milke onely, and they desire no other dainties. 
For their breakefast they drinke off a great cup of camels 
milke : for supper they haue certaine dried flesh stieped in 
, butter and milke, wherof each man taking his share, 
\^ eateth it out of his fist. And that this their meate may 
not stay long vndigested in their stomackes, they sup off 
the foresaid broth wherein their flesh was steeped: for 
which purpose they vse the palmes of their hands as a 
most fit instrument framed by nature to the same end. 
After that, each one drinks his cup of milk, & so their 
supper hath an ende. These Numidians, while they haue 
any store of milke, regard water nothing at all, which for 
the most part happeneth in the spring of the yeere, all 
which time you shall finde some among them that 
will neither wash their hands nor their faces. Which 
seemeth not altogether to be vnlikely; for (as we said 
before) while their milke lasteth, they frequent not those 
places where water is common: yea, and their camels, 
so long as they may feede vpon grasse, will drinke no 
water at all. They spende their whole daies in hunting 
and theeuing : for all their indeuour and exercise is to 
driue away the camels of their enemies ; neither will they 
remaine aboue three daies in one place, by reason that 

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they haue not pasture any longer for the sustenance of 
their camels. And albeit (as is aforesaid) they haue no 
ciuilitie at all, nor any lawes prescribed vnto them ; yet 
h^.ue they a certaine gouernour or prince placed ouer them, 
vnto whom they render obedience and due honour, as 
vnto their king. They are not onely ignorant of all good 
learning and liberall sciences ; but are likewise altogether 
careles and destitute of vertue : insomuch that you shall 
finde scarce one amongst them all which is a man of 
iudgement or counsell. And if any iniured partie will goe 
to the lawe with his adversarie, he must ride continually 
five or sixe daies before he can come to the speech of any 
iudge. This nation hath all learning and good disciplines in 
such contempt, that they will not once vouchsafe to goe 
out of their deserts for the studie and attaining thereof : 
neither, if any learned man shall chance to come among 
them, can they loue his companie and conuersation, in 
regarde of their most rude and detestable behauiour. 
Howbeit, if they can finde any iudge, which can frame 
himselfe to Hue and continue among them, to him they 
giue most large yeerely allowance. Some allow their 
iudge a thousand ducats yeerely, some more, and some 
lesse, according as themselues thinke good. They that 
will seeme to be accounted of the better sort, couer their 
heads (as I said before) with a peece of blacke cloth, part 
whereof, like a vizard or maske, reacheth downe ouer their 
faces, couering all their countenance except their eies; and 
this is their daily kinde of attire. And so often as they 
put meate into their mouthes they remooue the said 
maske, which being done, they foorthwith couer their 
mouths again ; alleging this fond reason : for (say they) 
as it is vnseemely for a man, after he hath receiued meate 
into his stomack, to vomite it out of his mouth againe 
and to cast it vpon the earth ; euen so it is an vndecent 
part to eate meate with a mans mouth vncouered. The 

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women of this nation be grosse, corpulent, and of a swart 
complexion. They are fattest vpon their brest and paps, 
but slender about the girdle-stead. Very ciuill they are, 
after their manner, both in speech and gestures : sometimes 
they will accept of a kisse ; but whoso tempteth them 
farther, putteth his owne life in hazard. For by reason of 
iealousie you may see them daily one to be the death and 
destruction of another, and that in such sauage and brutish 
manner, that in this case they will shew no compassion at 
all. And they seeme to be more wise in this behalfe then 
diuers of our people, for they will by no meanes match 
themselues vnto an harlot. The liberalitie of this people 
hath at all times beene exceeding great. And when any 
trauellers may passe through their drie and desert terri- 
tories, they will neuer repaire vnto their tents, neither will 
they themselues trauell vpon the common highway. And 
if any carouan or multitude of merchants will passe those 
deserts, they are bound to pay certaine custome vnto the 
prince of the said people, namely, for euery camels load a 
peece of cloth woorth a ducate. Vpon a time I remember 
that trauelling in the companie of certaine merchants ouer 
the desert called by them Araoan, it was our chaunce there 
to meete with the prince of Zanaga ; who, after he had 
receiued his due custome, inuited the said companie of 
merchants, for their recreation, to goe and abide with him 
in his tents fower or fiue daies. Howbeit, because his 
tents were too farre out of our way, and for that we should 
haue wandered farther then we thought good, esteeming it 
more conuenient for vs to hold on our direct course, we 
refused his gentle offer, and for his courtesie gaue him 
great thanks. But not being satisfied therewith, he com- 
manded that our camels should proceede on forward, but 
the merchants he carried along with him, and gaue them 
very sumptuous entertainment at his place of aboad. 
Where wee were no sooner arriucd, but this good prince 

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caused camels of all kindes and ostriches, which he had Camels and 

ostriches vsed 

hunted and taken by the way, to bee killed for his houshold/^wV/wa/j. 
prouison. Howbeit we requested him not to make such 
daily slaughters of his camels ; affirming moreouer, that 
we neuer vsed to eate the flesh of a gelt camell, but when ^ 
all other victuals failed vs. Whereunto hee answered, 
that he should deale vnciuilly, if he welcommed so woorthie 
and so seldome-seene guests with the killing of small 
cattell onely. Wherefore he wished vs to fall to such 
prouision as was set before vs. Here might you haue 
seene great plentie of rosted and sodden flesh : their 
roasted ostriches were brought to the table in wicker 
platters, being seasoned with sundrie kindes of herbes and 
spices. Their bread made of Mill and panicke was of a 
most sauorie and pleasante taste : and alwaies at the end 
of dinner or supper we had plentie of dates and great store 
of milke serued in. Yea, this bountifull and noble prince, 
that he might sufficiently shew how welcome we were 
vnto him, would together with his nobilitie alwaies beare 
vs companie : howbeit we euer dined and supped apart by 
our selues. Moreouer he caused certaine religious and 
most learned men to come vnto our banquet ; who, all the 
time we remained with the said prince, vsed not to eate 
any bread at all, but fed onely vpon flesh and milke. u- 
Whereat we being somewhat amazed, the good prince 
gently told vs, that they all were borne in such places 
whereas no kinde of graine would grow : howbeit that 
himselfe, for the entertainment of strangers, had great 
plentie of corne laid vp in store. Wherefore he bad vs to 
be of good cheere, saying that he would eate onely of such 
things as his owne natiue soile affoorded : affirming more- 
ouer, that bread was yet in vse among them at their feast of 
passouer, and at other feasts also, whereupon they vsed to 
offer sacrifice. And thus we remained with him for the 
space of two daies ; all which time, what woonderfull and 

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magnificent cheere we had made vs, would seeme incredible 
to report. But the third day, being desirous to take our 
leaue, the prince accompanied vs to that place where we 
ouertooke our camels and companie sent before. And 
this I dare most deepely take mine oath on, that we 
spent the saide prince ten times more, then our custome 
which he recieued came to. Wee thought it not amisse 
here to set downe this historie, to declare in some sort the 
courtesie and liberalise of the said nation. Neither could 
the prince aforesaid vnderstand our language nor we his ; 
but all our speech to and fro was made by an interpreter. 
And this which we haue here recorded as touching this 
nation, is likewise to be vnderstood of the other fower 
nations aboue mentioned, which are dispersed ouer the 
residue of the Numidian deserts. 77 

The manners and customes of the Arabians which intiabite 


'HE Arabians, as they haue sundrie mansions and 

places of aboad, so doe they Hue after a diuers and 

sundry maner. Those which inhabite betweene Numidia 

and Libya leade a most miserable and distressed life, 

differing much in this regard from those Africans, whom 

wee affirmed to dwell in Libya. Howbeit they are farre 

more valiant than the said Africans ; and vse commonly to 

exchange camels in the lande of Negros : they haue like- 

Where the wise great store of horses, which in Europe they cal horses 

(fibred. w " of Barbaric They take woonderfull delight in hunting 

and pursuing of deere, of wilde asses, of ostriches, and such 

like. Neither is it here to be omitted, that the greater part 

of Arabians which inhabite Numidia, are very wittie and 

Arabian poems conceited in penning of verses : wherein each man will 

and verses. * 

decipher his loue, his hunting, his combates, and other his 
woorthie actes : and this is done for the most part in ryme, 
after the Italians manner. And albeit they are most 


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liberally minded, yet dare they not by bountifull giuing 
make any shew of wealth ; for they are daily oppressed 
with manifold inconueniences. They are apparelled after 
the Numidians fashion, sauing that their women differ 
somewhat from the women of Numidia. Those deserts 
which they doe now enioy were woont to be possessed by 
Africans : but the Arabians with their armie inuading that 
part of Africa, draue out the naturall Numidians, and 
reserued the deserts adioining vpon The land of dates, 
vnto themselues ; but the Numidians began to inhabite 
those deserts which border vpon the land of Negros. 78 The 
Arabians which dwell betweene mount Atlas and the 
Mediterran sea are far wealthier then these which we now 
speake of, both for costlines of apparell, for good horse- 
meate, and for the statelines and beautie of their tents. 
Their horses also are of better shape and more corpulent, 
but not so swift as the horses of the Numidian desert 
They exercise husbandrie and haue great increase of corne. 
Their droues .and flockes of cattell be innumerable, inso- 
much that they cannot inhabite one by another for want 
of pasture. They are somewhat more vile and barbarous 
then those which inhabite the deserts, and yet they are not 
altogether destitute of liberalitie : part of them, which 
dwell in the territorie of Fez are subiect unto the king 
of Fez. Those which remaine in Marocco and Duccala 
haue continued this long time free from all exaction and 
tribute: but so soone as the king of Portugall began to 
beare rule ouer Azafi and Azamor, there began also among 
them strife and ciuill warre. Wherefore being assailed by 
the king of Portugall on the one side, and by the king of 
Fez on the other, and being oppressed also with the 
extreme famine and scarcitie of that yeere, they were The Arabians 

, .... , r , rr , . offer themselues 

brought vnto such miserie, that they freely ottered them- siaues to any 
selves as siaues vnto the Portugals, submitting themselues reieeue their 
to any man, that was willing to releeue their intolerable liLn&r. 

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hunger : and by this meanes scarce one of them was left in 
all Duccala. Moreouer those which possesse the deserts 
bordering vpon the kingdomes of Tremizen and Tunis may- 
all of them, in regard of the rest, be called noblemen and 
gentlemen. For their gouernours receiuing euery yeere 
great reuenues from the king of Tunis, diuide the same 
afterward among their people, to the end they may auoid 
all discord : and by this meanes all dissension is eschewed, 
and peace is kept firme and inuiolable among them. They 
haue notable dexteritie and cunning, both in making of 
tents, and in bringing vp and keeping of horses. In 
summer time they vsually come neere vnto Tunis, to the 
end that each man may prouide himselfe of bread, armour, 
and other necessaries : all which they carrie with them into 
the deserts, remaining there the whole winter. In the spring 
of the yeere they applie themselues to hunting, insomuch 
that no beast can escape their pursuit. My selfe, I 
remember, was once at their tents, to my no little danger 
and inconuenience ; where I sawe greater quantitie of cloth, 
brasse, yron, and copper, then a man shall oftentimes finde 
in the most rich warehouses of some cities. Howbeit no 
trust Is to be giuen vnto them ; for if occasion serue, they 
will play the theeues most slyly and cunningly ; notwith- 
standing they seeme to carrie some shewe of ciuilitie. 
They take great delight in poetrie, and will pen most 
excellent verses, their language being very pure and 
elegant. If any woorthie poet be found among them, he 
is accepted by their gouernours with great honour and 
liberalise ; neither would any man easily beleeue what wit 
and decencie is in their verses. Their women (according 
to the guise of that countrie) goe very gorgeously attired : 
they weare linnen gownes died black, with exceeding wide 
sleeues, ouer which sometimes they cast a mantle of the 
same colour or of blew, the corners of which mantle are 
very artificially fastened about their shoulders with a fine 

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siluer claspe. Likewise they haue rings hanging at their 
eares, which for the most part are made of siluer : they 
weare many rings also vpon their fingers. Moreouer they 
vsually weare about their thighes and ankles certaine 
scarfes and rings, after the fashion of the Africans. They 
couer their faces with certaine maskes hauing onely two 
holes for their eies to peepe out at. If any man chance to 
meete with them, they presently hide their faces, passing 
by him with silence, except it be some of their allies or 
kinsfolks ; for vnto them they alwaies discouer their faces, 
neither is there any vse of the said maske so long as they 
be in presence. 79 These Arabians when they trauell any 
iourney (as they oftentimes doe) they set their women 
vpon certaine saddles made handsomely of wicker for the 
same purpose, and fastened to their camels backes, neither 
be they anything too wide, but fit onely for a woman to sit 
in. When they goe to the warres each man carries his 
wife with him, to the end that she may cheere vp her good 
man, and giue him encouragement Their damsels which 
are vnmarried doe vsually paint their faces, brests, armes, 
hands, and fingers with a kincle of counterfeit colour: 80 
which is accounted a most decent custome among them. 
But this fashion was first brought in by those Arabians, 
which before we called Africans, what time they began 
first of all to inhabite that region ; for before then, they 
neuer vsed any false or glozing colours. The women of 
Barbarie vse not this fond kind of painting, but contenting 
themselues only with their naturall hiew, they regarde not 
such fained ornaments : howbeit sometimes they will 
temper a certaine colour with hens-dung and safron, 
wherewithall they paint a little round spot on the bals of 
their cheeks, about the bredth of a French crowne. Like 
wise betweene their eie-browes they make a triangle ; 
and paint vpon their chinnes a patch like vnto an oliue 
leafe. Some of them also doe paint their eie-browes : and 

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this custome is very highly esteemed of by the Arabian 
poets and by the gentlemen of that countrie. Howbeit 
they will not vse these fantasticall ornaments aboue two or 
three daies together : all which time they will not be seene 
to any of their friends, except it be to their husbands and 
children : for these paintings seeme to bee great allure- 
ments vnto lust, whereby the said women thinke them- 
selues more trim and beautifull. 

How the Arabians in the deserts betweene Barbarie and 
Aegypt doe lead their Hues. 

^E life of these men is full of miserie and calamitie: 
for the places where they inhabite are barren and 
vnpleasant. They haue some store of camels and cattell : 
howbeit their fodder is so scarce, that they cannot well 
sustaine them. Neither shall you finde ouer all the whole 
region any place fit to beare corne. And if in that desert 
there be any villages at all, which vse to husband and 
manure their ground ; yet reape they small commoditie 
thereby, except it be for plentifull increase of dates. Their 
camels and other of their cattell they exchange for dates 
and corne ; and so the poore husbandmen of the foresaide 
villages haue some small recompence for their labours: 
notwithstanding, how can this satisfie the hunger of such a 
multitude? For you shall dayly see in Sicilia great 
The Arabians numbers of their sonnes layde to pawne. Because when 
Ihdr'smm* to they haue not wherewithall to pay for the corne which they 
pawne vnto the t here buy, they are constrained to leaue their sonnes behinde 

Sicilians for J ' J 

corne. them, as pledges of future payment. But the Sicilians, if 

their money be not paide them at the time appointed, will 
chalenge the Arabians sonnes to be their slaues. Which 
day being once past, if any father will redeem his childe, 
he must disburse thrise or fower times so much as the due 
debt amounteth vnto : for which cause they are the most 
notable theeues in the whole world. If any stranger fall 

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into their hands, depriuing him of all that he hath, they 
presently carrie him to Sicilie, and there either sell or 
exchange him for corne. And I thinke, that no merchants 
durst at any time within these hundred yeeres arriue for 
traffiques sake vpon any part of their coast. For when 
they are to passe by with merchandize, or about any other 
weightie affaires, they eschew that region fiue hundred 
miles at the least. Once I remember, that I my selfe, for 
my better securitie, and to auoide the danger of those 
mischievous people, went in companie with certaine 
merchants, who in three ships sayled along their coast. 
We were no sooner espied of them ; but forthwith they 
came running to the shore, making signes that they would 
traffique with vs to our great aduantage. Howbeit because 
we durst not repose any trust in them, none of our 
companie would depart the ship, before they had deliuered 
certaine pledges vnto vs. Which being done, we bought 
certaine Eunuchs or gelded men, and good store of 
butter of them. And so immediately weighing our 
ankers we betooke vs to flight, fearing least we should 
haue beene met withall by the Sicilian and Rhodian 
Pirates, and beene spoiled not onely of our goods, but of 
our liberties also. To be short, the saide Arabians are 
verie rude, forlorne, beggerly, leane, and hunger-starued 
people, hauing God (no doubt) alwaies displeased against 
them, by whose vengeance they dayly sustaine such 
grieuous calamities. 81 

Of tlie people called Soara, namely \ which possesse drones and 
flockes ofcattell, and being Africans by birth, do notwith- 
standing imitate the manners of the Arabians. 

YOV shall finde many among the Africans which Hue 
altogither a shepheards or drouers life, inhabiting 
vpon the beginning of mount Atlas, and being dispersed 
here and there ouer the same mountaine. They are con- 


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strained alwaies to pay tribute either to the King of the 
same region where they dwell, or else to the Arabians, 
except those onely which inhabite Temesna, who are 
free from all forren superioritie, and are of great power. 
They speake * the same kinde of language that other 
Africanes doe, except some fewe of them which conuerse 
with the inhabitants of the citie called Vrbs (which is 
neere vnto Tunis) 82 who speake the Arabian toong. More- 
ouer there is a certaine people inhabiting that region 
which diuideth Numidia from Tunis. These oftentimes 
wage warre against the King of Tunis himselfe, which they 
put in practice not many yeeres since, when as the said 
King his sonne marching towards them from Constantina 
with an armie, for the demaunding of such tribute as was 
due vnto him, fought a verie vnfortunate battell. For no 
The ouerthrow sooner were they aduertised of the Kings sonne his 

and death °f 

the King of approach, but foorthwith they went to meete him with two 
sonne, thousande horsemen, and at length vanquished and slew 

him at vnawares, carrying home with them all the furniture, 
bag, and baggage, which he had brought foorth. And 
this was done in the yeere of Mahumets Hegeira 915. 
From that time their fame hath beene spred abroad in 
all places. Yea, many of the king of Tunis his subiects 
reuolted from their King vnto them ; insomuch that the 
Prince of this people is growen so puissant, that scarcely 
is his equall to be found in all Africa. 88 

Of the faith and religion of the ancient Africans 
or Moores. 

THE ancient Africans were much addicted to idolatrie, 
euen as certain of the Persians are at this day, 
some of whom worship the sunne, and others the fire, for 
their gods. For the saide Africans had in times past 
magnificent and most stately temples built and dedicated, 
as well to the honour of the sunre as of the fire. In these 

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temples day and night they kept fire kindled, giuing 
diligent heed that it might not at any time be extinguished, 
euen as we read of the Romane Vestall virgines: All 
which you may read more fully and at large in the Persian 
and African Chronicles. Those Africans which inhabited 
Libya and Numidia, would each of them worship some 
certaine planet, vnto whom likewise they offered sacri- 
fices and praiers. Some others of the land of Negros 
worship Guighimo, that is to say, The Lord of Heauen. 
And this sound point of religion was not deliuered vnto 
them by any Prophet or teacher, but was inspired, as 
it were, from God himselfe. After that, they embraced 
the Iewish law, wherein they are said to haue continued 
many yeeres. Afterward they professed the Christian 
religion, and continued Christians, vntil such time as the 
Mahumetan superstition preuailed ; which came to passe 
in the yeere of the Hegeira 208. About which time 
certaine of Mahomets disciples so bewitched them with 
eloquent and deceiueable speeches, that they allured their 
weake minds to consent vnto their opinion ; insomuch 
that all the kingdomes of the Negros adioyning vnto 
Libya receiued the Mahumetan lawe. Neither is there 
any region in all the Negros land, which hath in it at this 
day any Christians at all. At the same time such as were 
found to be Iewes, Christians, or of the African religion, 
were slaine euerie man of them. Howbeit those which 
dwell neere vnto the Ocean sea, are all of them verie 
grosse idolaters. Betweene whom and the Portugals 
there hath beene from time to time and euen at this 
present is, great traffique and familiaritie. The inhabitants 
of Barbarie continued for many yeeres idolaters ; but 
before the comming of Mahomet aboue 250. yeeres, they 
are saide to haue embraced the Christian faith : which 
some thinke came to passe vpon this occasion ; namely, 
because that part of Barbarie which containeth the king- 


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dome of Tripoli's and Tunis, was in times past gouerned 
by Apulian & Sicilian Captaines, and the countries of 
*Tremizen. *Caefaria and of *Mauritania are supposed to haue beene 
*j£z aroco and subiect vnto the Gothes. At what time also many Chris- 
tians fleeing from the furie and madnes of the Gothes left 
their sweet natiue soyle of Italy, and at length arriued in 
Africa neere vnto Tunis : where hauing setled their aboad 
for some certaine space, they began at length to haue the 
dominion ouer all that region. Howbeit the Christians 
which inhabited Barbaria, not respecting the rites and 
ceremonies of the Church of Rome, followed the Arrians 
religion and forme of liuing : and one of the African 
Christians was that most gcdly and learned father Saint 
Augustine?* When the Arabians therefore came to 
conquer that paft of Africa they found Christians to be 
Lords ouer the regions adiacent ; of whom, after sundry 
hot conflicts, the saide Arabians got the victorie. Where- 
upon the Arrians being depriued of all their dominions 
and goods went part of them into Italy and part into 
Spaine. And so about two hundred yeeres after the death 
of Mahutnet, almost all Barbarie was infected with his law. 
Howbeit afterward, ciuile dissensions arising among them, 
neglecting the law of Mahutnet, they slue all the priests 
and gouernours of that region. Which tumult when it 
came to the eares of the Mahumetan Caliphas, they sent 
an huge armie against the saide rebels of Barbarie, to wit, 
those which were reuolted from the Calipha of Bagdet, and 
seuerely punished their misdemeanor. And euen at the 
same time was layd the most pernitious foundation of the 
Mahumetan law ; notwithstanding there haue remained 
many heresies among them euen vntil this verie day. As 
A booke written touching the patrons of the Mahumetan lawe, and likewise 
concerning the concerning the difference in religion betweene the Mahume- 
reUgion. *" tans of Africa, and them of Asia, we will (by Gods grace) 
write more in another seuerall volume : and in the meane 

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season, let these particulars which we haue noted suffice 
the Reader. 

Of the letters and characters of the Africans, 

THose writers which record the histories of the Arabians 
doings are all iointly of opinion, that the Africans 
were woont to vse onely the Latine letters. And they The Africans 

vsed in times 

doe most constantly affirme, that the Arabians, when they past none other 
first inuaded Africa and especially Barbarie (which was but the Roman 
the principall seate of the Africans) found no letters nor 
characters there, beside the Latine. Neither indeede doe 
they denie that the Africans haue a peculiar kinde of 
language, but this they firmly auoUch, that they haue the 
very same letters which the Hetrurians or Florentines a 
people of Italie haue. The Arabians haue no historie* of* Perhaps he 

. . meaneththe 

African matters, which was not first written in Latine. histories of 
They haue certaine ancient authors, who writ partly in the Liuius, and 
times of the Arrians and partly before their times, the ° 
names of all which are cleane forgotten. Howbeit it is 
very likely that those Latine authors have written many 
volumes : for when their interpreters laboured to perswade 
something unto vs, I remember they would say, it is contained 
in the seuentieth booke. Neither did they in translating 
of the said volumes altogether follow the authors order ; 
but taking the historie of some one prince, they would 
conioine his time and actions with the historie of the 
Persian, Assyrian, and Chaldaean kings, or of the Israelites, 
which concerned the same times. But when as those 
which rebelled against the Calipha of Bagdet (as is 
aforesaid) got the vpper hand in Africa, they burnt all 
the Africans bookes. For they were of opinion, that the 
Africans, so long as they had any knowledge of naturall 
philosophic or of other good artes and sciences, would 
euery day more and more arrogantly contemne the lawe 
of Mahumet. Contrariwise, some historiographers there 

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are which affirme, that the Africans had a kinde of letters 
peculiar vnto themselues ; which notwithstanding, from 
the time wherein the Italians began first to inhabite 
Barbarie, and wherein the Christians fleeing out of Italie 
from the Gothes, began to subdue those prouinces of 
Africa, were vtterly abolished and taken away. For it 
is likely that a people vanquished shoulde follow the 
customes and the letters also of their conquerors. And 
did not the same thing happen to the Persians, while 
the Arabians empire stood ? For certaine it is, that the 
Persians at the same time lost those letters which were 
peculiar vnto their nation : and that all their bookes, by 
TheMahume- xh e commandement of the Mahumetan prelates, were burnt, 

tan Calif as * ' 

caused ail the least their knowledge in naturall philosophic, or their 
Persians to be idolatrous religion might mooue them to contemne the 


precepts of Mahumet. The like also (as we shewed 
before) befell the Barbarians when as the Italians and the 
Gothes vsurped their dominions in Barbarie ; which may 
here (I hope) suffice the gentle reader. Howbeit this is 
out of doubt, that all the sea-cities and inland-cities of 
Barbarie doe vse Latine letters onely, whensoeuer they 
will commit any epitaphes or any other verses or prose 
vnto posteritie. The consideration of all which former 
particulars hath made me to be of opinion, that the 
Africans in times past had their owne proper and peculiar 
letters, wherein they described their doings and exploites. 
For it is likely that the Romans, when they first subdued 
those prouinces (as conquerours vsually doe) vtterly 
spoiled and tooke away all their letters and memorie, and 
established their owne letters in the stead thereof ; to the 
end that the fame and honour of the Roman people might 
there onely be continued. And who knoweth not that the 
very same attempt was practised by the Goths vpon the 
stately buildings of the Romans, and by the Arabians 
against the monuments of the Persians. The very same 

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thing likewise we daily see put in practice by the Turks, 
who when they haue gotten any citie or towne from the 
Christians, doe presently cast foorth of the temples all the 
images and memorials of their saints. And to omit all 
the aforesaid, may we not in our time see the like daily 
practised in Rome ; where sumptuous and stately buildings 
left vnperfect by reason of the vntimely death of one 
Pope, are for some noueltie vtterly ruined and destroied 
by his next successour ? Or else, doth not the new Pope 
cause his predecessours armes to be razed, and his owne in 
stead thereof to be set vp ? Or at the least, if he will not 
seeme so arrogant, letting his predecessours monuments 
stand still, doth he not erect others for himselfe farre more 
sumptuous and stately ? No maruell therefore, though so 
long successe of times and so many alterations haue quite 
bereaued the Africans of their letters. Concerning those 
nine hundred yeeres wherein the Africans vsed the letters 
of the Arabians, Ibnu Rackich, a most diligent writer of 
Africa, doth in his Chronicle most largely dispute ; 
whether the Africans euer had any peculiar kinde of 
writing or no. And at last he concludeth the affirmatiue 
part ; that they had : for (saith he) whosoeuer denieth this, 
may as well denie, that they had a language peculiar vnto 
themselues. For it cannot be that any people should haue 
a proper kinde of speech, and yet should vse letters 
borrowed from other nations, and being altogether vnfit for 
their mother-language. 85 

Of the situation of Africa. 

AS there are fower partes in Africa, so the situation 
thereof is not in all places alike. That part which 
lieth towards the Mediterran sea, that is to say, from the 
streites of Gibraltar to the frontiers of Aegypt, is here and 
there full of mountaines : Southward it is extended about a 
hundred miles, albeit in some places it be larger and in 

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some other narrower. From the saide mountaines vnto 
mount Atlas there is a very spatious plaine & many little 
hillocks. Fountaines there are in this region great store, 
which meeting together at one head doe send foorth most 
beautifull riuers and cristall streames. Betweene the 
foresaid mountaines and the plaine countrie is situate the 
mountaine of Atlas ; which beginning westward vpon the 
Ocean sea, stretcheth it selfe towards the east as farre as 
the borders of Aegypt. Ouer against Atlas lieth that 
region of Numidia .which beareth dates, being euerywhere 
almost sandie ground. Betweene Numidia and the land 
of Negros is the sandie desert of Libya situate, which 
containeth many mountaines also ; howbeit merchants 
trauell not that way, when as they may goe other waies 
with more ease and lesse danger. Beyond the Libyan 
desert beginneth the land of Negros, all places whereof are 
barren and sandie except those which adioine vpon the 
riuer of Niger, or through the which any riuer or streame 

Of the vnpleasant and snowie places in Africa. 

A LI the region of Barbarie, and the mountaines con- 
tained therein, are subiect more to cold then to 
heat. For seldome commeth any gale of winde which 
bringeth not some snow therwith. In al the said 
mountaines there grow abundance of fruits, but not 
so great plentie of corne. The inhabitants of these 
mountaines Hue for the greatest part of the yeere vpon 
barlie bread. The springs and riuers issuing foorth of the 
said mountaines, representing the qualitie and taste of 
their natiue soile, are somewhat muddie and impure, 
especially vpon the confines of Mauritania. These moun- 
taines likewise are replenished with woods and loftie trees, 
and are greatly stored with beastes of all kindes. But the 
little hils and vallies lying betweene the foresaid mountaines 

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and mount Atlas are far more commodious, and abounding 
with corne. For they are moistened with riuers springing 
out of Atlas, and from thence holding on their course to 
the Mediterran sea. And albeit woods are somewhat more 
scarce vpon these plaines, yet are they much more fruitfull, 
then be the plaine countries situate betweene Atlas and 
the Ocean sea, as namely the regions of Maroco, of 
Duccala, of Tedles, of Temesna, of Azgara, and the 
countrie lying towards the straites of Gibraltar. The 
mountaines of Atlas are exceedingly colde and barren, Themoun- 

taines of Atlas 

and bring foorth but small store of corne, beeing woody on exceeding cold. 
all sides, and engendring almost all the riuers of Africa. 
The fountaines of Atlas are euen in the midst of summer 
extremely cold ; so that if a man dippeth his hand therein 
for any long space, he is in great danger of loosing the 
same. Howbeit the said mountaines are not so cold in 
all places : for some partes thereof are of such milde 
temperature, that they may be right commodiously 
inhabited : yea and sundry places thereof are well stored 
with inhabitants ; as in the second part of this present 
discourse we will declare more at large. Those places 
which are destitute of inhabitants be either extremely cold, 
as namely the same which lie ouer against Mauritania : or 
very rough and vnpleasant, to wit, those which are directly 
opposite to the region of Temesna. Where notwithstand- 
ing in summer time they may feede their great and small 
cattell, but not in winter by any meanes. For then the 
North winde so furiously rageth, bringing with it such 
abundance of snowe ; that all the cattell which till then 
remaine vpon the saide mountaines, and a great part of 
the people also are forced to lose their Hues in regard 
thereof : wherefore whosoeuer hath any occasion to trauell 
that way in winter time, chuseth rather to take his iourney 
betweene Mauritania and Numidia. Those merchants 
which bring dates out of Numidia for the vse and seruice 

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of other nations, set foorth vsually vpon their iourney 

about the ende of October ; and yet they are oftentimes so 

Most wonder- oppressed and ouertaken with a sudden fall of snowe, that 

full and rr 

terrible snowes. scarcely one man among them all escapeth the danger of 
the tempest For when it beginneth to snow ouer night, 
before the next morning not onely carts and men, but euen 
the verie trees are so drowned & ouerwhelmed therein, that 
it is not possible to finde any mention of them. Howbeit 
the dead carcases are then founde when the sunne hath 
melted the snow. I my selfe also, by the goodnes of 

The extreme almighty God, twise escaped the most dreadfull danger of 

danger of snow b J J r & 

which John Leo the foresaid snow : whereof, if it may not be tedious to the 


escaped. reader, I will heere in a few wordes make relation. Vpon 

a certaine day of the foresaid moneth of October, trauelling 
with a great companie of Merchants towards Atlas, we 
were there about the sunne going downe weather-beaten 
with a most cold and snowy kinde of hayle. Here we 
found eleuen or twelue horsemen (Arabians to our thinking) 
who perswading vs to leaue our carts and to goe with 
them, promised vs a good and secure place to lodge in. 
For mine owne part, that I might not seeme altogether 
vnciuill, I thought it not meete to refuse their good offer ; 
albeit I stood in doubt least they went about to practise 
some mischiefe. Wherefore I bethought my self to hide vp 
a certaine summe of gold which I had as then about me. 
But all being ready to ride, I had no leisure to hide away 
my coine from them ; whereupon I fained that I would 
goe ease myselfe. And so departing a while their com- 
panie, and getting me vnder a certaine tree, whereof I 
tooke diligent notice, I buried my money betweene certaine 
stones and the root of the said tree. And then we rode on 
quietly till about midnight. What time one of them 
thinking that he had staied long ynough for his pay, 
began to vtter that in words ivhich secretly he had 
conceiued in his minde. For he asked whether I had 

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any money about me or no ? To whom I answered, that 
I had left my money behind with one of them which 
attended the cartes, and that I had then none at all 
about me. 86 Howbeit they being no whit satisfied with 
this answer, commanded me, for all the cold weather, 
to strip my selfe out of mine apparell. At length when 
they could find no money at all, they said in iesting & 
scoffing wise, that they did this for no other purpose, but 
onely to see how strong and hardie I was, and how I could 
endure the cold and tempestuous season. Well, on we 
rode, seeking our way as well as we could that darke and 
dismall night ; and anone we heard the bleating of sheepe, 
coniecturing thereby, that we were not farre distant from 
some habitation of people. Wherefore out of hand we 
directed our course thitherwards : being constrained to 
leade our horses through thicke woods and ouer steepe 
and craggie rocks, to the great hazard and perill of our 
Hues. And at length after many labours, wee found 
shepherds in a certaine caue: who, hauing with much 
paines brought their cattell in there, had kindled a lustie 
fire for themselues, which they were constrained, by reason 
of the extreme cold, daily to sit by- Who vnderstanding 
our companie to be Arabians, feared at the first that we 
would do them some mischiefe: but afterward being per- 
swaded that we were driuen thither by extremitie of cold, 
and being more secure of vs, they gaue vs most friendly 
entertainment. For they set bread, flesh, and cheese 87 
before vs, wherewith hauing ended our suppers, we laid vs 
along each man to sleep before the fire. All of vs were as 
yet exceeding cold, but especially my selfe, who before 
with great horrour and trembling was stripped starke 
naked. And so we continued with the said shepherds for 
the space of two daies : all which time we could not set 
foorth, by reason of continuall snowe. But the thirde day, 
so soone as they saw it leaue snowing, with great labour 

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they began to remooue that snowe which lay before the 
doore of their caue. Which done, they brought vs to 
our horses, which we found well prouided of hay in 
another caue. 88 Being all mounted, the shepherds ac- 
companied vs some part of our way, shewing vs where 
the snowe was of least depth, and yet euen there it. 
touched our horse bellies. This day was so cleere, that 
the sunne tooke away all the cold of the two daies going 
before. At length entring into a certaine village neere 
vnto Fez, we vnderstood, that our cartes which passed by, 
were ouerwhelmed with the snowe. Then the Arabians 
seeing no hope of recompence for all the paines they had 
taken (for they had defended our carts from theeues) carried 
a certaine lew of our companie with them as their captive 
(who had lost a great quantitie of dates, by reason of the 
snowe aforesaid) to the end that he might remaine as their 
prisoner, till he had satisfied for all the residue. From my 
selfe they tooke my horse, and committed mee vnto the 
wide world and to fortune. From whence, riding vpon a 
mule, within three daies I arriued at Fez, where I heard 
dolefull newes of our merchants and wares, that they were 
cast away in the snowe. Yea, they thought that I had 
bcene destroied with the rest ; but it seemed that God 
would haue it otherwise. Now, hauing finished the historie 
of mine owne misfortunes, let vs returne vnto that discourse 
where we left. Beyond Atlas there are certaine hot & dry 
places moistened with very few riuers, but those which flow 
out of Atlas it selfe : some of which riuers running into the 
Libyan deserts are dried vp with the sands, but others do 
ingender lakes. Neither shal you finde in these countries 
any places apt to bring forth corne, notwithstanding they 
haue dates in abundance. There are also certaine other 
trees bearing fruit, but in so small quantitie, that no 
increase nor gaine is to be reaped by them. You may 
see likewise in those partes of Numidia which border vpon 

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Libya certaine barren hils destitute of trees, vpon the 
lower parts whereof growe nothing but vnprofitable thornes 
and shrubs. Among these mountaines you shall finde no 
riuers nor springs, nor yet any waters at all, except it be 
in certaine pits and wels almost vnknowen vnto the inhabi- 
tants of that region. Moreouer in sixe or seuen daies 
iourney they haue not one drop of water, but such as 
is brought vnto them by certaine merchants vpon camels 
backes. And that especially in those places which lye 
vpon the maine road from Fez to Tombuto, or from 
Tremizen to *Agad. That iourney likewise is vevie * Agadez. 
dangerous which is of late found out by the merchants of 
our daies from Fez to Alcair 87 ouer the deserts of Libya, 
were it not for an huge lake in the way, vpon the bankes 
whereof the Sinites and the Goranites doe inhabite. 88 But 
in the way which leadeth from Fez to Tombuto are 
certaine pits enuironed either with the hides or bones of 
camels. Neither doe the merchants in sommer time passe 
that way without great danger of their Hues : for oftentimes 
it falleth out, when the south winde bloweth, that all those 
pits are stopped vp with sande. And so the merchants, 
when they can finde neither those pits, nor any mention 
thereof, must needes perish with extreame thirst : whose 
carcases are afterward found lying scattered here and 
there, and scorched with the heat of the sunne. 89 One 
remedie they haue in this case, which is verie strange : A strange 
for when they are so grieuously oppressed with thirst, they by the African 
kill foorthwith some one of their camels, out of whose ^Znchtkeir 
bowels they wring and expresse some quantitie of water, * trst ' 
which water they drinke and carrie about with them, till 
they haue either found some pit of water, or till they pine 
away for thirst. In the desert which they cal Azaoad 
there are as yet extant two monuments built of marble, 
vpon which marble is an Epitaphe engrauen, signifying 
that one of the said monuments represented a most rich 


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A merchant 
constrained by 
extreme thirst % 
gaue ten thou- 
sand duckats 
for a cup of 

called Goran. 
Cocos. Cucum- 
bers. Onions. 

merchant, and the other a carrier or transporter of wares. 
Which wealthie merchant bought of the carrier a cup of 
water for tenne thousand ducates, and yet this pretious 
water could suffice neither of them ; for both of them were 
consumed with thirst 90 This desert likewise containeth 
sundry kinds of beasts, which in the fourth part of this 
discourse concerning Libya, and in our treatise of the 
beasts of Africa, we will discourse of more at large. I was 
determined to haue written more cocerning those things 
which happened vnto my selfe & the rest of my company 
trauelling through the Libyan deserts vnto Gualata. For 
somtime being sore a thirst, we could not find one drop of 
water, partly because our guide strayed out of the direct 
course, and partly because our enemies had cut off the 
springs and chanels of the foresaid pits and wels. Inso- 
much that the small quantitie of water which we found, was 
sparingly to be kept ; for that which would scarce suffice vs 
for fiue daies, we were constrained to keepe for ten. But 
if I should commit to writing all things woorthie of 
memorie, a whole yeare were not sufficient for me. The 
lande of Negros is extreme hot, hauing some store of 
moysture also, by reason of the riuer of Niger running 
through the midst thereof. All places adioining vpon 
Niger doe mightily abound both with cattle & corne. No 
trees I saw there but only certain great ones, bearing a 
kind of bitter fruit like vnto a chestnut, which in their 
language is called Goron. 91 Likewise in the same regions 
grow Cocos, cucumbers, onions, and such kinde of herbes 
and fruits in great abundance. There are no mountaines 
at all either in Libya or in the land of Negros: howbeit 
diuers fennes and lakes there are ; which (as men report,) 
the inundation of Niger hath left behinde it. Neither are 
the woods of the said regions altogether destitute of 
Elephants and other strange beasts ; whereof we will make 
relation in their due place. 

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What naturall impressions and motions the aire of Africa 
is subiect vnto ; and what effects ensue thereupon. 

THroughout the greatest part of Barbarie stormie and 
cold weather begin commonly about the midst of 
October. But in December and Ianuarie the cold groweth 
somewhat more sharpe in all places : howbeit this happeneth 
in the morning onely, but so gently and remissely, that no 
man careth greatly to warme himselfe by the fire. Februarie 
somewhat mitigateth the cold of winter, but that so incon- 
stantly, that the weather changeth sometime fiue and 
sometime sixe times in one day. In March the north and 
west windes vsually blowe, which cause the trees to be 
adorned with blossoms. In Aprill all fruits attaine to 
their proper forme and shape, insomuch that cherries are 
commonly ripe about the end of Aprill and the beginning 
of May. In the midst of May they gather their figs : and 
in mid-Iune their grapes are ripe in many places. Like- 
wise their peares, their sweete quinces and their damascens 
attaine vnto sufficient ripenes in the moneths of Iune and 
Iulie. Their figs of Autumne may be gathered in August ; 
howbeit they neuer haue so great plentie of figs and 
peaches, as in September. By the midst of August they 
vsually begin to drie their grapes in the sun, whereof they 
make reisins. Which if they cannot finish in September, 
by reason of vnseasonable weather, of their grapes as then 
vngathered they vse to make wine and must, especially in 
the prouince of Rifa, as we will in due place signifie more 
at large. In the midst of October they take in their honie, 
and gather their pomegranates and quinces. In Nouember The oliues of 
they gather their oliues, not climing vp with ladders nor *" 
plucking them with their hands, according to the custome 
of Europe ; for the trees of Mauritania and Caesarea are so 
tal, that no ladder is long ynough to reach vnto the fruit 
And therefore their oliues being full ripe, they clime the 

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trees, beating them off the boughes with certaine long 
poles, albeit they know this kinde of beating to be most 
hurtfull vnto the saide trees. Sometimes they haue 
great plentie of oliues in Africa, and sometimes as great 
scarcitie. Certaine great oliue-trees there are, the oliues 
whereof are eaten ripe by the inhabitants, because they 
are not so fit for oile. No yeere falles out to be so 
vnseasonable, but that they haue three monethes in the 
spring alwaies temperate. They begin their spring vpon 
the fifteenth day of Februarie, accounting the eighteenth 
of May for the ende thereof: all which time they haue 
most pleasant weather. But if from the fiue and twentith 
Raine signify- of Aprill, to the fifth of May they haue no raine fall, they 
scarcitie. take it as a signe of ill lucke. And the raine-water which 
falleth all the time aforesaid they call Naisan, that is, 
water blessed of God. Some store it vp in vessels, most 
religiously keeping it, as an holy thing. Their summer 
lasteth till the sixteenth of August ; all which time they 
haue most hot and cleere weather. Except perhaps some 
showers of raine fall in Iuly and August, which doe so 
infect the aire, that great plague and most pestilent feuers 
ensue thereupon ; with which plague whosoeuer is infected, 
most hardly escapeth death. Their Autumne they reckon 
from the 17. of August to the 16. of Nouember ; hauing 
commonly in the moneths of August and September not 
such extreme heate as before. Howbeit all the time 
betweene the 15. of August and the 15. of September is 
called by them the furnace of the whole yeere, for that it 
bringeth figs, quinces, and such kinde of fruits to their full 
maturitie. From the 15. of Nouember they begin their 
winter-season, continuing the same till the 14. day of 
Februarie. So soone as winter commeth, they begin to 
till their ground which lieth in the plaines : but vpon the 
mountaines they goe to plough in October. The Africans 
are most certainly perswaded that cuery yeere containeth 

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fortie extreme hot daies, beginning vpon the 12. of Iune ; 
and againe so many daies extreme cold, beginning from 
the 12. of December. Their Aequinoctia are vpon the 
16. of March, and the 16. of September. For their Solstitia 
they account the 16. of Iune and the 16. of December. 
These rules they doe most strictly obserue, as well in 
husbandrie and nauigation, as in searching out the houses 
and true places of the planets : and these instructions, with 
other such like they teach their yoong children first of all. 
Many countrie-people and husbandmen there be in Africa, Thepesants 

' * x ana vn learned 

who knowing (as they say) neuer a letter of the booke, people of Africa 

cunning in 

will notwithstanding most learnedly dispute of Astrologie, Astrologie. 
& alleage most profoud reasons & arguments for them- 
selues. But whatsoeuer skill they haue in the art of 
Astrologie, they first learned the same of the Latines : yea 
they giue those very names vnto their moneths which the 
Latines do. Moreouer they had extat among them a 
certaine great booke diuided into three volumes, which 
they call The treasurie or storehouse of husbandrie. This 
booke was then translated out of Latine into their toong, 
when Mansor was Lord of Granada. In the said Treasurie 
are all things contained which may seeme in any wise to 
concerne husbandrie ; as namely, the changes and varietie 
of times, the manner of sowing, with a number of such like 
particulars, which (I thinke) at this day the Latine toong 
it selfe, whereout these things were first translated, doth 
not containe. 92 Whatsoeuer either the Africans or the 
Mahumetans haue, which seemeth to appertaine in any 
wise to their law or religion, they make their computation 
thereof altogether according to the course of the moone. 
Their yeere is divided into 354. daies: for vnto sixe Theyeereof 
moneths they allot 30. daies, and vnto the other sixe but Africans. and 
29 ; all which being added into one summe doe produce 
the number aforesaid : wherefore their yeere differeth 
eleuen daies from the yeere of the Latines. They haue at 


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diuers times festiual daies, and fasts. About the ende of 
Autumne, for all winter, and a great part of the spring 
they are troubled with boisterous windes, with haile, with 
terrible thunder and lightning : yea then it snoweth much 
in some places of Barbaric The easterne, southerne, and 
southeasterne windes blowing in May and Iune, doe very 
much hurt there : for they spoile the corne, and hinder the 
fruit from comming to ripenes. Their corne likewise is 
greatly appaired by snow, especially such as falleth in 
Thcyeere the day-time, when it beginneth to flower. Vpon the 

diutded into 

two seasons mountaines of Atlas they diuide the yeere into two partes 

onely, vpon the 

mountaines of onely : for their winter continueth from October to Apnll ; 
and from Aprill to October they account it summer: 
neither is there any day throughout the whole yeere, 
wherein the tops of those mountaines are not couered with 
snowe. In Numidia the yeere runneth away very swiftly : 
for they reape their corne in May, and in October they 
gather their dates : but from the midst of September 
they haue winter till the beginning of Ianuarie. But if 
September falleth out to be rainie, they are like to lose 
most part of their dates. All the fields of Numidia require 
watering from the riuers ; but if the mountaines of Atlas 
haue no raine fall vpon them, the Numidian riuers waxe drie, 
and so the fields are destitute of watering. October being 
destitute of raine, the husbandman hath no hope to cast his 
seede into the ground ; and he despaireth likewise, if it raine 
not in Aprill. But their dates prosper more without raine, 
wherof the Numidians haue greater plentie then of corne. 
For albeit they haue some store of corne, yet can it 
scarcely suffice them for halfe the yeere. Howbeit, if they 
haue good increase of dates, they cannot want abundance 
of corne, which is sold vnto them by the Arabians for 
dates. If in the Libyan deserts there fall out change of 
weather about the midst of October; & if it continue 
raining there all December, Tanuarie, and some part of 

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Februarie, it is wonderful what abundance of grasse and 
milke it bringeth foorth. Then may you finde diuers lakes 
in all places and many fennes throughout Libya ; where- 
fore this is the meetest time for the Barbarie-merchants to 
trauell to the land of Negros. Here all kinde of fruits 
grow sooner ripe, if they haue moderate showers about 
the ende of Iuly. Moreouer the land of Negros receiueth 
by raine neither any benefite, nor yet any dammage at all. 
For the riuer Niger together with the water which falleth 
from certaine mountaines doth so moisten their grounds, 
that no places can be deuised to be more fruitfull : for that 
which Nilus is to Aegypt, the same is Niger to the land of 
Negros : for it increaseth like Nilus from the fifteenth of The increase of 

the riuers of 

Iune the space of fortie daies after, and for so manyM£*r&* 
againe it decreaseth. And so at the increase of Niger, 
when all places are ouerflowen with water, a man may in a 
barke passe ouer the land of Negros, albeit not without 
great perill of drowning; as in the fift part of this treatise 
we will declare more at large. 

Of the length and sh&rtnes of the Africans Hues. 

A LI the people of Barbarie by vs before mentioned Hue 
vnto 65. or 70. yeeres of age, and fewe or none exceed 
that number. Howbeit in the foresaide mountaines I sawe 
some which had liued an hundred yeeres, and others which 
affirmed themselues to be older ; whose age was most 
healthfull and lustie. Yea some you shall finde here of 
fowerscore yeeres of age, who are sufficiently strong and 
able to exercise husbandrie, to dresse vines, and to serue 
in the warres ; insomuch that yoong men are oftentimes 
inferiour vnto them. In Numidia, that is to say, in the 
land of dates, they Hue a long time : howbeit they lose 
their teeth very soone, and their eies waxe woonderfully 
dimme. Which infirmities are likely to be incident vnto 
them, first because they continually feede vpon dates, the 

M 2 

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A I 



sweetnes and naturall qualitie whereof doth by little and 
little pull out their teeth : and secondly the dust and sand, 
which is tossed vp and downe the aire with easterne windes 
entring into their eies, doth at last miserably weaken and 
spoile their eie-sight The inhabitants of Libya are of a 
shorter life ; but those which are most strong and healthfull 
among them Hue oftentimes till they come to threescore 
yeeres ; albeit they are slender and leane of bodie. The 
Negros commonly Hue the shortest time of al the rest : 
howbeit they are alwaies strong and lustie, hauing their 
teeth found euen till their dying day : yet is there no 
nation vnder heauen more prone to venerie ; vnto which 
vice also the Libyans and Numidians are to too much 
addicted. To be short, the Barbarians are the weakest 
people of them all. 

What kindes of diseases the Africans are subiect vnto. 

THE children, and sometimes the ancient women of 
this region are subiect vnto baldnes or vnnaturall 
shedding of haire; which disease they can hardly be cured 
of. They are likewise oftentimes troubled with the head- 
ache, which vsually afflicteth them without any ague ioined 
therewith. Many of them are tormented with the tooth- 
ache, which (as some thinke) they are the more subiect 
vnto, because immediately after hot pottage they drinke 
cold water. They are oftentimes vexed with extreme 
paine of the stomacke, which ignorantly they call, the 
paine of the hart. They are likewise daily molested with 
inwarde gripings and infirmities ouer their whole body, 
which is thought to proceede of continuall drinking of 
water. Yea they are much subiect vnto bone-aches and 
goutes, by reason that they sit commonly vpon the bare 
ground, and neuer weare any shooes vpon their feete. 
Their chiefe gentlemen and noblemen prooue gowtie often- 
times with immoderate drinking of wine and eating of 

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daintie meats. Some with eating of oliues, nuts, and such 
course fare, are for the most part infected with the scuruies. 
Those which are of a sanguine complexion are greatly 
troubled with the cough, because that in the spring-season 
they sit too much vpon the ground. And vpon fridaies I 
had no small sport and recreation to goe and see them. 
For vpon this day the people flocke to church in great 
numbers to heare their Mahumetan sermons. Now if 
any one in the sermon-time falles a neezing, all the whole 
multitude will neeze with him for companie, and so they 
make such a noise, that they neuer leaue, till the sermon 
be quite done; so that a man shall reape but little 
knowledge by any of their sermons. If any of Barbarie be 
infected with the disease commonly called the French 
poxe, they die thereof for the most part, and are seldom^ 
cured. This disease beginneth with a kinde of anguish &** French 


and swelling, and at length breaketh out into sores. Ouer 

the mountaines of Atlas, and throughout all Numidia and 

Libya they scarcely know this disease. Insomuch that 

oftentimes the parties infected trauell foorthwith into 

Numidia or the land of Negros, in which places the aire is 

so temperate, that onely by remaining there they recouer 

their perfect health, and returne home sound into their 

owne countrie : which I saw many doe with mine owne 

eies ; who without the helpe of any phisitian or medicine, 

except the foresaide holesome aire, were restored to their 

former health. Not so much as the name of this mals 

was euer knowen vnto the Africans, before Ferdinand the 

king of Castile expelled all Iewes out of Spaine ; after the 

returne of which Iewes into Africa, certaine vnhappie and M™** and by 

* * fwhat nteanes 

lewd people lay with their wiues ; and so at length the/^ French poxe 

r r . I was brought 

disease spread from one to another, ouer the whole region into Africa. 
insomuch that scarce any one familie was free from the 
same. Howbeit, this they were most certainly perswadec 
of, that the same disease came first from Spaine ; where- 

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fore they (for want of a better name) do call it, The 
Spanish poxe. Notwithstanding at Tunis and ouer all 
Italie it is called the French disease. It is so called 
likewise in Aegypt and Syria : for there it is vsed as a 
common prouerbe of cursing ; the French poxe take you. 
%£asecaiud Amongst the Barbarians the disease called in Latine 
bursting or the }{ ern { a ; s no t so common ; but in Aegypt the people are 

rupture. ° * * * 

much troubled therewith. For some of the Aegyptians 
haue their cods oftentimes so swollen, as it is incredible to 
report. Which infirmitie is thought to be so common 
among them, because they eate so much gumme, and salt 
cheese. Some of their children are subiect vnto the falling 
sicknes ; but when they growe to any stature, they are free 
from that disease. This falling sicknes likewise possesseth 
the women of Barbarie, and of the land of Negros ; who, 
to excuse it, say that they are taken with a spirite. In 
Barbarie the plague is rife euery tenth, fifteenth, or 
twentieth yeere, whereby great numbers of people are 
consumed ; for they haue no cure for the same, but 
onely to rub the plague-sore with certaine ointments made 
Earth of Ar. Q f Armenian earth. In Numidia they are infected with 
the plague scarce once in an hundred yeeres. And in the 
land of Negros they know not the name of the disease : 
because they neuer were subiect thereunto. 98 

The commendable actions -and vertues of the Africans. 

THose Arabians which inhabite in Barbarie or vpon 
the coast of the Mediterran sea, are greatly addicted 
vnto the studie of good artes and sciences : and those 
things which concerne their law and religion are esteemed 
by them in the first place. Moreouer they haue beene 
heretofore most studious of the Mathematiques, of Philoso- 
phic, and of Astrologie : but these artes (as it is aforesaid) 
were fower hundred yeeres agoe, vtterly destroyed and 
taken away by the chiefe professours of their lawe. The 


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inhabitants of cities doe most religiously obserue and 
reuerence those things which appertaine vnto their religion : 
yea they honour those doctours and priests, of whom they 
learne their law, as if they were petie-gods. Their 
Churches they frequent verie diligently, to the ende they 
may repeat certaine prescript and formal prayers ; most 
superstitiously perswading themselues that the same day 
wherein they make their praiers, it is not lawfull for them 
to wash certaine of their members, when as at other times 
they wil wash their whole bodies. Whereof we will (by 
Gods helpe) discourse more at large in the second Booke 
of this present treatise, when we shall fall into the 
mentioning of Mahumet and of his religion. Moreouer 
those which inhabite Barbarie are of great cunning & 
dexteritie for building & for mathematicall inuentions, 
which a man may easily coniecture by their artificiall 
workes. Most honest people they are, and destitute of all 
fraud and guile; not onely imbracing all simplicitie and 
truth, but also practising the same throughout the whole 
course of their Hues : albeit certaine Latine authors, which 
haue written of the same regions, are farre otherwise of 
opinion. Likewise they are most strong and valiant 
people, especially those which dwell vpon the mountaines. 
They keepe their couenant most faithfully : insomuch The Moores 

J r J are a people of 

that they had rather die than breake promise. No nation great fideiiUe. 

in the world is so subiect vnto iealousie; for they will \/ 

rather leese their lives, then put vp any disgrace in the 

behalfe of their women. So desirous they are of riches 

and honour, that therein no other people can goe beyonde 

them. They trauell in a manner ouer the whole world to 

exercise traffique. For they are continually to bee seene in 

AEgypt, in AEthiopia, in Arabia, Persia, India, and Turkie : 

and whithersoeuer they goe, they are most honorably 

esteemed of : for none of them will possesse any arte, vnlesse 

hee hath attained vnto great exactness and perfection «V^^ 

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therein. They haue alwaies beene much delighted with all 
kinde of ciuilitie and modest behauiour : and it is accounted 
heinous among them for any man to vtter in companie, 
any bawdie or vnseemely worde. They haue alwaies in 
minde this sentence of a graue author ; Giue place to thy 
superiour. If any youth in presence of his father, his 
vncle, or any other of his kinred, doth sing or talke ought 
of loue matters, he is deemed to bee woorthie of grieuous 
punishment Whatsoeuer lad or youth there lighteth by 
chaunce into any company which discourseth of loue, no 
sooner heareth nor vnderstandeth what their talke tendeth 
vnto, but immediately he withdraweth himselfe from among 
them. [ Thes e are the things which we thought most 
woorthie of relation as concerning the ciuilitie, humanitie, 
and vpright dealing of the Barbarians :f let vs now proceede 
vnto the residue. Those ArabtaTTswhich dwell in tents, 
that is to say, which bring vp cattell, are of a more liberall 
and ciuill disposition : to wit, they are in their kinde as 
deuout, valiant, patient, courteous, hospitall, and as honest 
in life and conuersation as any other people. They be 
most faithfull obseruers of their word and promise ; inso- 
much that the people, which before we said to dwell in 
the mountaines, are greatly stirred vp with emulation of 
their vertues. Howbeit the said mountainers, both for 
learning, for vertue, and for religion, are thought much 
inferiour to the Numidians, albeit they haue little or no 
knowledge at all in naturall philosophic They are 
reported likewise to be most skilfull warriours, to be 
valiant, and exceeding louers and practisers of all 
humanitie. Also, the Moores and Arabians inhabiting 
Libya are somewhat ciuill of behauiour, being plaine 
dealers, voide of dissimulation, fauourable to strangers, 
and louers of simplicitie. Those which we before named 
white, or tawney Moores, are stedfast in friendship : as 
likewise they indifferently and fauourably esteeme of 

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other nations: and wholy indeuour themselues in this 
one thing, namely, that they may leade a most pleasant 
and iocund life. Moreouer they maintaine most learned 
professours of liberall artes, and such men are most deuout 
in their religion. Neither is there any people in all 
Africa that lead a more happie and honorable life. 

What vices the foresaid Africans are subiect vnto. 

Euer was there any people or nation 
so perfectly endued with vertue, but 
that they had their contrarie faults 
and blemishes : now therefore let vs 
consider, whether the vices of the 
Africas do surpasse their vertues & 
good parts. Those which we named 
the inhabitants of the cities of Barbarie are somewhat 
needie and couetous, being also very proud and high- 
minded, and woonderfully addicted vnto wrath ; insomuch 
that (according to the prouerbe) they will deeply engraue 
in marble any iniurie be it neuer so small, & will in 
no wise blot it out of their remembrance. So rusticall 
they are & void of good manners, that scarcely can 
any stranger obtaine their familiaritie and friendship. 
Their wits are but meane, and they are so credulous, that 
they will beleeue matters impossible, which are told them. 
So ignorant are they of naturall philosophic, that they 
imagine all the effects and operations of nature to be 
extraordinarie and diuine. They obserue no certaine 
order of liuing nor of lawes. Abounding exceedingly with 
choler, they speake alwaies with an angrie and lowd voice. 
Neither shall you walke in the day-time in any of their 
streetes, but you shall see commonly two or three of them 
together by the eares. By nature they are a vile and base 
people, being no better accounted of by their gouernours 

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then if they were dogs. They haue neither iudges nor 
lawyers, by whose wisdome and counsell they ought to be 
directed. They are vtterly vnskilfull in trades of mer- 
chandize, being destitute of bankers and money-changers : 
wherefore a merchant can doe nothing among them in his 
absence, but is himselfe constrained to goe in person, 
whithersoeuer his wares are carried. No people vnder 
heauen are more addicted vnto couetise then this nation : 
neither is there (I thinke) to bee found among them one of 
an hundred, who for courtesie, humanitie, or deuotions 
sake will vouchsafe any entertainment vpon a stranger. 
Mindfull they haue alwaies beene of iniuries, but most 
forgetfull of benefites. Their mindes are perpetually 
possessed with vexation and strife, so that they will 
seldome or neuer shew themselues tractable to any man ; 
the cause whereof is supposed to be ; for that they are so 
greedily addicted vnto their filthie lucre, that they neuer 
could attaine vnto any kinde of ciuilitie or good behauiour. 
The shepherds of that region Hue a miserable, toilsome, 
wretched and beggerly life : they are a rude people, and 
,s a man may say) borne and bred to theft, deceit, and 
brutish manners. Their yoong men may goe a wooing to 
diuers maides, till such time as they haue sped of a wife. 
f Yea, the father of the maide most friendly welcommeth 
her suiter : so that I thinke scarce any noble or gentleman 
among them can chuse a virgine for his spouse : albeit, so 
soone as any woman is married, she is quite forsaken of all 
her suiters ; who then seeke out other new paramours for 
their liking. Concerning their religion, the greater part of 
these people are neither Mahumetans, Iewes, nor Christians ; 
and hardly shall you finde so much as a sparke of pietie in 
any of them. They haue no churches at all, nor any kinde 
of prayers, but being vtterly estranged from all godly 
deuotion, they leade a sauage and beastly life : and if any 
man chanceth to be of a better disposition (because they 

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haue no law-giuers nor teachers among them) he is con- 
strained to follow the example of other mens Hues & 
maners. All the Numidians being most ignorant of 
naturall, domesticall, & common wealth- matters, are princi- 
pally addicted vnto treason, trecherie, murther, theft, and 
robberie. This nation, because it is most slauish, will 
right gladly accept of any seruice among the Barbarians, 
be it neuer so vile or contemptible. For some will take 
vpon them to be dung-farmers, others to be scullians, some 
others to bee ostlers, 94 and such like seruile occupations. 
Likewise the inhabitants of Libya Hue a brutish kinde of 
life ; who neglecting all kindes of good artes and sciences, 
doe wholy apply their mindes vnto theft and violence. 
Neuer as yet had they any religion, any lawes, or any 
good forme of liuing ; but alwaies had, and euer will haue 
a most miserable and distressed life. There cannot any 
trechery or villanie be inuented so damnable, which for 
lucres sake they dare not attempt. They spend all their 
daies either in most lewd practises, or in hunting, or else 
in warfare : neither weare they any shooes nor garments. . / 
The Negros likewise leade a beastly kinde of life, being 
vtterly destitute of the vse of reason, of dexteritie of wit, 
and of all artes. Yea they so behaue themselues, as if 
they had continually liued in a forrest among wilde beasts. 
T hey haue ffreat swarmes of harlots_ among th^ m ; where- 
upon a man may easily coniecture their manner of liuing : 
except their conuersation perhaps be somewhat more 
tolerable, who dwell in the principall townes and cities : 
for it is like that they are somewhat more addicted to 

Neither am I ignorant, how much mine owne credit The author of 

this worke his 

is impeached, when I my selfe write so homely of Africa, Apoiogiefor 
vnto which countrie I stand indebted both for my birth, 95 relation. 
and^^o^for the best part of my education : Howbeit in 
this regarde I seeke not to excuse my selfe, but onely to. 

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appeale vnto the dutie of an historiographer, who is to set 
downe the plaine truth in all places, and is hlame-woorthie 
for flattering or fauouring of any person. And this is the 
cause that hath mooued me to describe all things so 
plainly without glossing or dissimulation : wherefore here 
I am to request the gentle Reader friendly to accept of 
this my most true discourse, (albeit not adorned with fine 
words, and artificiall eloquence) as of certaine vnknowne 
strange matters. Wherein how indifferent and sincere I 
haue shewed my selfe, it may in few words appeere by that 
which followeth. It is reported of a lewd countriman of ours, 
that being conuicted of some heinous crime, he was 
adiudged to be seuerely beaten for it. Howbeit the day 
following, when the executioner came to doe his busines, 
the malefactor remembred that certaine yeeres before, he 
had some acquaintance and familiaritie with him : which 
made him to presume, that he should find more fauour 
at his hands, then a meere stranger. But he was fowly 
deceiued ; for the executioner vsed him no better, then if 
he had neuer knowne him. Wherefore this caitife at the 
first exclaiming vpon his executioner, oh (saith he) my 
good friend, what maketh you so sterne, as not to acknow- 
ledge our olde acquaintance ? Hereupon the executioner 
beating him more cruelly then before : friend (quoth he) 
in such busines as this I vse to be mindfull of my dutie, 
and to shew no fauour at all : and so continually laying 
on, he ceased not, till the iudiciall sentence was fulfilled. 
It was (doubtlesse) a great argument of impartiall dealing, 
when as respect of former friendship could take no place. 

Wherefore I thought good to record all the particulars 
aforesaid ; least that describing vices onely I should seeme 
to flatter them, with whom I am now presently conuersant; 
or extolling onely the vertues of the Africans, I might 
hereafter be saide to sue for their fauour (which I haue of 
purpose eschewed) to the end that I might haue more free 

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accesse vnto them. Moreouer, may it please you for this 
purpose to heare another resemblance or similitude. 
There was vpon a time a most wily bird, so indued by 
nature, that she could Hue as well with the fishes of the 
sea, as with the fowles of the aire ; wherefore she was 
rightly called Amphibia. This bird being summoned 
before the king of birds to pay her yeerely tribute, deter- 
mined foorthwith to change her element, and to delude the 
kingj and so flying out of the aire, she drencht herselfe 
in the Ocean sea. Which strange accident the fishes 
woondring at, came flocking about Amphibia, saluting her, 
and asking her the cause of her comming. Good fishes 
(quoth the bird) know you not, that all things are turned 
so vpside downe, that we wot not how to Hue securely in 
the aire ? Our tyrannicall king (what furie haunts him, I 
know not) commanded me to be cruelly put to death, 
whereas no silly bird respected euer his commoditie as I 
haue done. Which most vniust edict I no sooner heard 
of, but presently (gentle fishes) I came to you for refuge. 
Wherefore vouchsafe me (I beseech you) some odde corner 
or other to hide my head in ; and then I may iustly say, 
that I haue found more friendship among strangers, then 
euer I did in mine owne natiue countrie. With this speech 
the fishes were so perswaded, that Amphibia staied a 
whole yeere among them, not paying one penie or halfe- 
penie. At the yeeres ende the king of fishes began to 
demand his tribute, insomuch that at last the bird was 
sessed to pay. Great reason it is (saith the bird) that each 
man should haue his due, and for my part I am contented 
to doe the dutie of a loyall subiect. These words were 
no sooner spoken, but she suddenly spred her wings, and 
vp she mounted into the aire. And so this bird, to auoide 
yeerely exactions and tributes, woulde eftsoones change 
her element. 96 Out of this fable I will inferre no other 
morall, but that all men doe most affect that place, where 

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they finde least damage and inconuenience. For mine 
owne part, when I heare the Africans euill spoken of, I 
wil affirme my selfe to be one of Granada : and when I 
perceiue the nation of Granada to be discommended, then 
will I professe my selfe to be an African. But herein the 
Africans shall be the more beholding vnto me; for that 
I will only record their principall and notorious vices, 
omitting their smaller and more tolerable faults. 

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(i) In this etymology of Africa, Leo follows the Arab and Berber 
historians. Ifrikis was a son of a king of Yemen, and the conqueror 
of Maghreb, " the West", to which he gave the name of " Ifrikia" — 
Ibn Khaldun, History of the Berbers ', ed. Slane, vol. i, pp. 168, 176, 
etc.; Abu -1 -fida, Hist. Ante-Islamitica, ed. Fleischer, p. 116; El 
Kairouani, Histoire de PAfrique (Expl. Scientifique de 1'AlgeVie, 
vol. vii), p. 21 ; Carette, Recherches sur Porigine et les migration des 
principales tribus de PAfrique Sept. et particulie'rement de PAlgMe 
(Expl. Sc. de PAlge'rie, vol. iii), p. 306 ; Mover's Die Phbnizier, vol. ii, 
2nd part, p. 417 ; teste Tissot, Geog. Comparie de la Province Romaine 
d'Afrique, vol. i, p. 389. Some of the legends affirm that this Ifrikis, 
Ifraki, Ifriki, or Ifricus (Ifrico in Leo's Italian), fled from Egypt into 
Barca, when finding no sustenance for his followers, he sent scouts 
out to Cyrenaica, in which land fit for tillage and pasture was 
reported, and that the spies cried out, " Ber ! ber !" " land ! land !" 
which explains the origin of Berber and Barbary. But this legend 
looks too much of later origin, and, according to Mr. Dupuis, 
who lived long at Mogador, is unknown to the people of Morocco. 
The modern Arabs have no particular name for Africa, with which 
few of them have any acquaintance beyond the region they travel 
over, or reside in. Al Gharb, or Maghriba, that is, the west, is 
Barbary, the direction being its bearing from Arabia and Syria, 
the focus of the Empire of the early Khalifs. Maghrib or Magh- 
arib Mokribi, the first division west, is Cyrenaica, the Lybian desert, 
and as far as Fezzan. Tripoli, Tunis, and Algeria, as far as Tenez, 
Tlemsen, and Teggort, is Maghrib al-Wasat, the Central West, and 
Morocco is Maghrib al-Aksa. Sahara is applied not so much to 
any particular desert, as to any sterile spot in Africa or Arabia. 
Sudan, from Aswad, black, is a vague term designating the entire 
country about the Niger, and so forth. The Arabs affirm that Africa is 
a corruption of Al Mafrika, the ancient name of the country beyond 
the Nile westward, this word meaning disunited or divided, implying 
that it was cut off from Asia by the Nile. This is one of the legends 
preserved by Leo, and in Dupuis' day, early in this century, was 
current among the Arabs of Morocco, though I have been unable to 
find any one now acquainted with it. A second tradition, not however 
so popular, is that the Red Sea was the dividing line, the water having 

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concentrated there after the deluge. Hence the opposite shore was 
called Mafrika. The Berbers know nothing of these legends, though 
they have a widespread legend that when the sea broke through the 
Strait of Gibraltar many kingdoms and cities were overwhelmed by 
the waters now occupying the Mediterranean. This belief the 
victorious invaders of Spain adopted in naming the points on the 
opposite shore of the Strait of Gibraltar, El Boghaz (" the barrier"), 
Terf el Gharb (Cape Trafalgar) and Algesiras (Al Jeseira), implying 
that these were parts of the Gharb, or an island of it, before the 
Atlantic (Bh'ar el Mil' eit) burst into what is now the Mediterranean 
(Bh'ar er Rum, the Roman Sea).— Dupuis, Journal of a Residence in 
Ashantee, pp. lxxvii-lxxxiii ; Davis, Carthage^ p. 41. 

Other etymologists incline to regard the word Africa as of classical 
origin. Africa is mentioned for the first time in two fragments of 
Ennius (who wrote in the interval between the two first Punic wars), 
though in a way indicating that the name was familiar to his readers. 
" Africa terribili tremit horrida terra tumultu, Undique ..." (Anna/es vi) ; 
"Lati campi quos gerit Africa terra politos" {Satires ill). Isidrus 
Halpensis, Bishop of Seville {Etymologiarum /idri, xiv, v. 2), who 
flourished about A.D. 630, fancifully traces Africa to afirica, in allusion 
to its hot, dry, climate. Bochart {CAaanan, 1, xxv), hardly less 
absurdly finds its origin in efer, dust ; while Solinus (xxiv, 2), as is 
usual with the classical writers, inclined to fall back upon some 
mythological hero as the name-father of Africa. In this case it is 
Afrus, son of the Libyan Hercules. Suidas {sub voce *Af>poi\ looks to 
Afer, the son of Saturn and Philyra, as the progenitor of the 
Africans, while Josephus {Antiq. y i, xv) preserves a Graeco-Jewish 
story, in which this Afer is transformed into a son of Abraham and 
Cethura, named Aphera, who succoured Hercules in the fight against 
Antaeus. According to Suidas, the ancient name of Carthage was 
'A(f>piKTj. Hence, D'Avezac seizes upon the word as the origin of 
Africa. Afriquah was the Semitic radical, signifying distinct, different 
Thus Africa was a distinct and separate colony from that of Tyre, 
which sent forth the Phoenician founders of Carthage, and thus the 
Arabs came to designate all the country in which the ancient 
Afriquah was established by that general name {Description et histoire 
de FAfrique ancienne, etc., p. 5). But even admitting that Carthage 
bore this name when the Arabs made its acquaintance, its position 
and importance did not warrant the ancient founders in regarding 
it as isolated from Tyre ; and, moreover, Mahedia bore in the 
Middle Ages the name of Africa, so that a similar line of argument 
could scarcely apply to it. Carette (/.*-., p. 306) is more plausible when 
he tries to connect the name of Africa with the tribes of Aurigha, 
Afarik, or Ifurces of Corippus, who, driven into the Sahara, formed 
again as the Auraghen one of the most important fractions of the 

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Azger Berbers. The name of Aurighia is indeed given to one of the 
principal dialects of the Tamashek language, and from the Aouragh 
Ibn Khaldun, traces the great Berber divisions of Sanhadja and 
Lamta. This powerful race anciently inhabited the sea coast, and 
may have given their name to the country around Carthage, just as the 
Greeks of Cyrenaica applied the term Libou, the first section of 
Berbers with whom they came in contact with, to the whole of Africa 
with which they were acquainted (Libya), an example which the 
Romans partly followed. Barth {Travels in North Africa, vol. i, 
PP- 339> 344)- Nachtigal (Sudan, vol. ii, p. 223, etc.), tells us that the 
Kelowi of Air, not mentioned by Leo or any other writer before 
Horneman (Journal, etc., pp. 109 etseq.), belong, at least so far as the 
noble part of them are concerned, to the Auragha, and hence their 
dialect is called Auragheye even at the present day. In the time 
of Abu-Obeid El Bekri (Description de PAfrique Septentrionale, ed. 
Slane, pp. 13, 44), the Auraghas inhabited the shores of the Gulf of 
Syrtis, and the districts of Kabes and Barca. It was here that 
Corippus, in the sixth century, placed the Ifurces (Vivien de St. Martin, 
JOAfrique dans PAntiquitd, pp. 150, 151 ; Mignard, Hist gdnirale de 
La Tunisie, p. 223). In reality, however, these etymologies seem 
rather far fetched — Auragha, Afarik, or Ifrikia, Afer, Ifurac, or Africa. 
Africa is really a Latinised form of the original Afer, which in its turn 
maybe derived from the once powerful Ifre (Meltzer, Geschichte der 
Karthager, vol. i, p. 433), and it is quite certain that Africa was used 
by the Romans in the restricted sense of being applied to the territory 
of Carthage, the part of Tunisia comprised in that area being still 
called Frikia or Ifrikia. Edrisi gives an Itinerary from Misr (Cairo) 
to Ifrikia as followed by the Almoravides in A.D. 530. It ends at 
Sidjilmessa (near Tafilet). — Edrisi, Description de PAfrique et de 
PEspagne, ed. Dozy and De Goeje, pp. 194-5. 

(2) Gaoga, as we have seea (p. 100), and shall see more fully 
by-and-by, is identical with what the Bornu people call Bulala. If 
this is the case, the Desert of Gaoga is some of the barren country 
not far from the western shore of Lake Chad, which is the only 
large sheet of water in that direction, and might readily be 
supposed to be the source of various rivers. Lake Fitri, which is 
in the middle of the Bulala country, is too small to be taken 
into account. — Nachtigal, Sudan, vol. ii, p. 333 ; Barth, Travels, 
vol. iii, p. 427. 

(3) Eloacat, a " citta" in a district to which Leo gives the name of 
Alguechet (Bk. vi), which seems to have consisted of more than one 
oasis, is evidently the Al Wahat, or Desert of the Oases, a 
vast desolate tract in the Libyan Desert, behind the western ridge of 


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mountains which bounds the Nile valley. Ibn el-Wardi ( Unto Miracu- 
lorunt, De Sacy in Notices et extraits des Manuscrits de la BibL du 
Roiy pt. ii, 1789), and Leo include this district as a separate division of 
Africa, between Barca and Egypt The oases are several in number, 
those which contribute to the Egyptian revenue being : — the Greater 
Oasis, or El Wah el-Khargeh, or Menamun, Leo's Eloacat (El Wakat), 
and the Lesser Oasis the oasis parua of the Romans, or El Wah el- 
Gharbie, or El-Behnesa or El-Mendisheh, Leo's Gerbe and the 
Ai Alvahet or Al Wihat of Edrisi. (Hartmann, Edrisii Africa, 
pp. 489, 491), the Wah el-Hayz, the Wah of Farafrah, the Oasis of the 
Blacks (Wady Zerzure), discovered by an Arab at the beginning of 
this century, the Wah el-Siwah, the Oasis of Ammon, Gebabo, Tazerbo, 
Rebiana and the Wah el-Dakhel, sometimes also called the Wah el- 
Gharbie, though this term is usually applied to the Lesser Oasis. The 
author of Murray's Egypt (p. 371), notes that the name of " Dakhel", 
or " receding", is given in opposition to " Khargeh", or " projecting", 
the latter projecting towards Egypt. But the oases are still imper- 
fectly known, and may be the palm-bearing spots which, according to 
Edrisi, extend to Kuka and Kawar. — Rennell, Geog. of Herodotus, 
p. 564 ; Murray, Hist Account of Discovery and Travels in Africa, 
vol. ii, p. 191 ; Lucas, Troisietne Voyage fait en 17 14, t. ii, p. 206; 
Browne, Travels in Egypt and Syria, p. 132, 186 ; Brugsch, Reise nach 
den grossen Oase el-Khargeh in der libyschen Wuste (1876) ; Rohlfs, 
Drei Monate in libyschen Wuste (1875), etc 

(4) This is the place more frequently mentioned than visited, under 
the name of Nun (Noon) Gudnun, I nun (Inoon), or more frequently 
Wadinun, Wadnun (Wadnoon) ; but the latter name is properly 
only applied to the Assaka River, on which it is situated, some 
twenty or thirty miles from the Atlantic. Wadnun is, there- 
fore (as translated), merely the "the river of Nun", and the term 
is applied to the neighbouring territory, which also bears the name 
Jezula (Guzzula) (Leo, Bk. 11). It is doubtful whether Nun is the Nul 
in the Lanta country mentioned byEdrisi ; the chief basis for this 
conjecture being the similarity of names and the fact that neither Leo 
nor Marmol make any mention of Nul (Dozy and Goeje's ed. of 
Edrisi's Description de PAfrique et de VEspagne, pp. 65, 66). Not for 
from Agadir there are vestiges of Tul, ruined by the Shereefs in 15 17, 
but which in the days of Diego de Torres (fstoria de los Xarifes, p. 63) 
was well peopled and very rich. The modern Nun is in Sidi Hi sham's 
country, a part of Sus, where the Sultan's authority is not recog- 
nised, and most of the people are Berbers. The town is large 
and rather picturesque, and well built, and is the meeting-place for 
caravans between Mogador in Morocco and Timbuktu. The place, 
according to Arab legend, derives its name from Nunnah, a queen of 

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their race who reigned in Portugal. That is, of course, a modern 
fiction ; but the authority for the note to Davidson's African 
Journal^ 1835-6, p. 84, that Nun is "properly Nul, and was so named 
when the Arabs possessed Portugal" is not mentioned. Cape Nun, 
owing to a confusion regarding the two rivers, is not near what 
used to be called the Wad Nun, but on the north side of the 
Wad Draa mouth. 

(5) Shawy (see also Bk. vn), a place near the mouth of the Shari 
River, a feeder of Lake Chad. " It is obvious .... that the name 
Seu is the root of the appellative Showy and the name Shouaa, 
respectively given by Denham to a town on the Shary, and the Arab 
tribes inhabiting the adjacent country." — Cooley, Negro/and, etc., 
p. 130 n. 

(6) Most of these places will be noticed at a later stage. Monachism 
was introduced in the Empire of Prete Gianni (Prester John) about 
the year 470, since which time it has been a power in Abyssinia. But 
though Leo and most of the writers after the fourteenth century came 
to the conclusion that the seat of the semi-fabulous Christian monarch, 
who had so long been sought for, was in Abyssinia; it is doubtful 
whether the earlier legends of his existence originated out of the semi- 
Christianisation of the Negus and his subjects. Central Asia, India, 
East Africa, and other regions, were all at different times rumoured to 
be the home of " Presbyter Johannes". At least as early as 1497 the 
Abyssinians possessed a chapel and an altar in the church of the 
Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, though Marco Polo, writing not far from 
the close of the thirteenth century, mentions that a mission was sent 
from the King of Abyssinia to make offerings on his part at this 
particular shrine. The Abyssinians also possessed the church of 
St. Stephen in the Vatican. At the end of the fifteenth century — 
indeed about the time Leo wrote — Joao II of Portugal made enquiries 
of " Abyssinian monks who visited those Spanish regions, and through 
certain friars who went from this country to Jerusalem". It may have 
been some of these scar-faced friars whom Leo saw. — Oppert, Der 
Prysbeter Johannes in Sage und Geschichte (1870); Zarncke, Der 
Priester Johannes (1876-79); D'Avezac, Recueil de Voyages et de 
M/moires, vol. iv, pp. 547-564 ; Alvarez, Narrative of the Portuguese 
Embassy to Abyssinia (Hakluyt Society, 1881), etc. 

The "certaine Mahumetan" among them ("un signore Maumettano') 
might have been some Galla chief. For the Gallas, many of whom overran 
Abyssinia from a very early to a very late period, were Mohammedans, 
while every now and then some other powerful Moslem obtained a 
hold on the country : hence Leo's allusion may be of very general 

N 2 

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application. The " Moors" of Adel and Zeila continually warred against 
Abyssinia, and in 15 13 the Negus sent to request the help of Portugal 
against them, the result of which was the fleet and embassy of which 
Alvarez was a member. In 1 528, two years after Leo's narrative was 
published, a great army of Moslems under Muhammed Gragn entered 
Abyssinia from the low country, and compelled the Emperor to take 
refuge in the mountains. In short, the " signore Maumettano" was a 
standing trouble to Abyssinia from a very early period, and has remained 
so to this hour, though possibly the " signore Italiano" may before 
long take his place. 

In the geographical jumble regarding the Niger as identical with 
the Nile, etc., Leo is only following the cosmography he had 
picked up in Italy ; thus, as usual, proving a poor comparative 
geographer, but an admirable descriptive one. Thus he follows Pliny 
in making the "Nigris" identical with the Nile, and forming the 
boundary between " Africa" and Ethiopia on the frontier of Gaetullia, 
and in Book IX he expressly admits that he considers a river 
called the Ghir the same as Ptolemy's Niger (Niger, TXLytip), which 
might or might not be the river now called by that name. But Cooley 
{Claudius Ptolemy and the Nile, p. 6) is entirely mistaken in affirming 
that Leo by the Nile meant the Senegal. He possibly confused some 
of the rivers in that section of Africa ; but from the names of the king- 
doms on its banks it is certain that it was the Niger he was describing 
so far as his own knowledge went, and so far as the information of 
the Arab traders enabled him to write at second hand. What may 
have puzzled him, as it puzzled many of his predecessors and suc- 
cessors, was finding the Niger first flowing east and then south. But 
it must be noted that long before Reichard, in 1802, suggested that 
the Niger found its way westward into the Atlantic by many mouths, 
Leo had positively asserted this to be the case. His other notion 
about the Nigro-Nilotic hydrography was of course wrong. Yet it 
was not more erroneous than many theories held up to the close of 
the controversy by the arrival of the Landers at the Nun mouth in 
1830. Even so astute a geographer as Rennell was inclined to regard 
Wangara as its delta, and that its waters spread out by inundation 
into shallow lakes in the interior, which might, under the burning rays 
of a tropical sun, be completely evaporated. In other words, they 
disappeared in a "sink", like so many. of the smaller streams in the 
Western American desert. Murray, a compiler of excellent judgment, 
writing in 181 7, almost scoffs at Reichard's idea of the Niger finding 
its way into the Gulf of Benin, as " supported by no evidence"; and 
Jackson, who resided in Morocco, stoutly contended (1800) that the 
Nile of the Blacks (the Niger) was the same with the River of Egypt. 
There is evidence that in speaking of "our cosmographer" he is 
referring to lbn Batuta.— Lee's edition, p. 236. 

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(7) Don Pedro Navarro (Conte Pietro Navarro), took Bugia in 

(8) These names are for the most part those of well known places 
or of villages or towns no longer in existence. For instance, among 
the "townes" of the Western Barbary Sahara, Teguat (misprinted 
Tegvad in TemporaFs translation, and Tegua in Pory's version) is 
Touat, and Tsabit is doubtless the Tsabet mentioned by EF Aiache in 
his journey from Morocco to Tripoli, in 1662-63 (Berbrugger, in ExpL 
Scientifique de FAlgMe, vol. ix, p. 21^. Sagelmess is identical with 
Tafilet. Zeb, Zibin, or Zaab, is the Zebe or Zabe of the old writers. 
" Zabe, supra montem Aurasium ad Mauritaniam pertinentem, 
Sitiphem metropolem habens" (Procopius de Bello Vandalico, lib. xi, 
c. 20). It is the Al Zeb of Abulfeda. Biledulgerid (Bled el-Terrid) 
is the Arabic name for the " Dry Country", or the region south of the 
Atlas, or bordering on the Desert. 

Tesset may be Tossout, where there are ruins of Texouda, called 
Tezzota by Leo. Dare (Dara in the Italian) is Dra, though, were it not 
shown by the context to be different, it might be Dahra. Tebellelt 
is an oasis south of Tafilet. Todga or Toudga are the Berbers near 
Bugia, to whose mountain villages the tribal name is applied, though 
Tolga, not noticed by Leo, is one of the most ancient towns of Zab, 
and, therefore, Todga may be a misprint for it. Fighig is the oasis 
of Figuig. Tegort may be another way of spelling Teggurt (else- 
where Techort), or it may be El-Gattar, the ancient Tagora. Guar- 
ghela is Warghla, and Mesab, Mzab. Pescara is Biskra, noticed 
by Ibn Khaldun and El Bekri as the capital of Zab. Elborgh 
(Elborgiu in the Italian) is the modern El Bordj. Hacca, Akka, 
Tegoranen, or Gonarara, is north of the Touat oasis. Deusen 
(Dousar) is still a village of Zab. Nesta, a misprint for Nefta. 
Teozar is Tozeur (spelled on p. 41 Teuzar). Caphesa, Gafsa, or Cafsa, 
is the ancient Capsa. Mesellata (in the Mesellata mountains in 
Tripoli), Garian, Ghurion, in the same region, and others, are 
unnecessary to annotate at this place as they are mentioned more 
than once on subsequent pages. Pory, however, makes a serious 
blunder in writing the "isles of Gerbe (Gerbo in Temporal), 
Garion", etc. In the original it is, of course, " isola di Gerbe" (the 
island off which Leo was captured), the other places not being islands 
at all, but towns like Ghadames, and countries like Fezzan, far in the 
interior, or wide regions like that of Birdeoa (Birdeva) the home of 
the Bardoa, Berdoa, Birdera, or Berdera, branches of the Tibbu in 
Borhtu, Burgu, or Birgu, and Eloachet (the country of Eloacirt, 
though in the original the name is not given as in Pory), etc. 
— Nachtigal, Sudan, voL ii, pp. 187-191. Hornemann, Journal, 
p. 178. 

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Numidia, "the land of the Nomads", is for the most part in 

(9) The Zenega seem to have extended from the Atlantic to the 
Salt marshes of Traza, from Western Sus and the Wad Draa on the 
north to Timbuktu in the south. The Guanziga (the Zuenziga or 
Guaneceres of Marmol) roamed from Traza to the desert of Air (Hair) 
and as far north as the Taflet oases, Tebelbelt, and Beni-Gumi, 
and southward to the kingdom of Guber. The Terga or Tuaregs 
were then, as now, the terror of all the desert area from Air (or Asben, 
not Ahir) to Iguidi ; on the north as for as Tuat and the Wad Mzab, 
and southward to Agadez. In the desert of Iguidi on to Berdoa the tribe 
of Lemta held sway, being bounded northward by the oases of Wargla, 
Teggort, and Rhamades, and southward by the kingdom of Kanro. 
The Berdoa, or Birdeoa in the original Italian (p. 14), were in Leo's 
day the predominant race between the deserts of Iguidi and 
Audjila, not extending further north than Fezzan or Barca, or 
further south than Bornu, while in the Audjila Desert the Lenta, 
or Levata, were masters, their range being probably as far as 
the Nile. These races, as we may find occasion to notice, have, 
by the encroachment of other stocks, the occupation of the 
country by the whites, or by their own advances, considerably 
altered their range since the date mentioned.— Carette, ExpL de 
VAlgiriey voL iii, pp. 52-53. 

Azaohad (Azaoad) is the district of Azawad, an extensive region 
to the north of Timbuktu. The name Asawad is an Arab corruption 
of the Berber word Azawagh (pronounced Azawar), which is common 
to many desert tracts. Azawad proper is a most sterile country, and 
has been so characterised by all Arab travellers from Ibn Batuta to 
Leo Africanus, though to the wanderer in these wastes, not. familiar 
with more fertile regions, it is a kind of desert paradise, having in 
favoured spots plenty of food for camels and a few cattle. It is dotted 
with four small towns, the most noted of which is Arauan, a great 
outfitting place for Timbuktu caravans, the Berabish chief of which, 
Hamed Weled 'Abeda Weled Rehel, murdered Major Laing. The 
original inhabitants of Azawad seem, from the prevailing dialect, to 
have been Songhay people (Barth, Travels , vol. v, pp. 459-465 ; 
Lenz, Timbuktu^ vol. ii, p. 363, where this region is called El-Azauad). 
Caillie' mistook the name Azawad, which he writes Zawat, for that of a 
tribe {Travels to Tim&uctoo, vol. ii, p. 97, etc.); Leo's etymology of 
Air, "ma nomato dalla bonta delP aere", is apocryphal beyond 

(10) For notes on these Niger kingdoms, see Introduction. 

Bito is the Berde of Denham and Clapperton {Narrative of Travels 

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and Discoveries, vol. ii, p. 218) ; the Bedde of Barth (vol. iv, p. 32, and 
iv, 613), adjoining or comprised in Bornu. Temian may be an error for 
Yemyen. Dauma is probably the Doma of some maps, and the 
country on the right bank of the Benue. Medra may be Mandara, 
one letter being obliterated in Leo's Arabic notes. Goran (in Marmol 
Gorhan, a form also adopted by Pory), which Leo frequently refers to, 
can be no other spot than Kordofan. This name might easily by 
negligent writing become Korhan, or, as Leo, uniformly writing Kej 
with a g and omitting the aspirates, would represent it, Goran. — 
Cooley, Negro land of the A rats, pp. 129-30. 

Marmol in copying this passage (vol. i, foL 15) omits Dauma, and 
substitutes for it Mandinga. Leo's remark about the safety of 
travelling on the Niger is almost identical with what Ibn Batuta says. 
" A traveller may proceed alone amongst them without the least fear 
of brigands, or robbers, or ravagers" (Leo's edition, p. 240 ; Defremery 
and Sanguinetti's edition, vol. iv, p. 421). Leo, also, in describing the 
negroes as leading a " brutish kind of life", agrees with the old Tangier 
vagabond, who describes the free women as never clothing themselves 
until after marriage, and the greater part of the people as eating the 
stinking dead bodies of dogs and asses. 

(11) The etymology of " Berberi" and Barbary is still very dubious, 
and likely to remain so. The Berbers are the race which forms the 
ethnic substratum of the greater part of North Africa. Even yet 
they are a powerful stock, though their domain has been much 
encroached upon by the Arabs. Their various sections are the Shluh 
(Southern Morocco, the Zaylah of Macrizi), Tuareg (Sahara), and 
Berber people of Tunis, Algeria, and North Morocco, divided into 
numerous tribes. But Berber is not the name they apply to them- 
selves. Their general natural name is Amazirgh, Amazigh, or 
Amashek, *>., " freemen" — a description specially claimed by the Riff 
people of Morocco— and their language Tha Tamashik, or Tanazigt, 
a word which, stripped of the prefix and the post-fix / (Keane), 
is identical with the Magu&s of Hecataeus, the Md%vsp of Herodotus, 
the MaC/xfcs of Ptolemy, and the Maxitani of Justin ; though quite as 
likely these people might be the fraction of the race now known as 
Maschouacha or Machouach(Chabas, Etudes surPAntiquiU historique 
etc. pp. 189, 227). The word Berber is, perhaps, simply a corruption of 
the Roman Barbari, Barbarian, and their country Barbaricum, the 
land of the Barbarians, or Barbary, as it afterwards came to be called. 
This is, moreover, rendered more probable by the fact that at the date 
of the Arab invasion the name was applied to the people of Southern 
Morocco. In A.H. 62, Okba-ben-Nafih, proposing to pass from 
Tangier to Algesiras, was warned by the Governor of Tangier not to 
leave in his rear the " Berber nation— inhabitants of Sus, a people 

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without religion, who ate the carcases of animals, drank wine, knew not 
God, and lived like the brutes". Accordingly, he marched against 
their country (Cha' ab-ed-Din, " The Book of Pearls" in Notices des 
Manuscrits de la Bibl. impMale, t. ii, p. 157). There was also a region 
in Mauritania Tingitana which was assigned to the Barbari. After 
this period the name of Berber replaced the Latin Libyi, and the 
Arab geographers applied the new title of Beled-al- Berber, the Berber 
country in Barbary, to all the region of North Africa between Barda 
and the Atlantic, that is, to the ancient Libya, though Maghreb or 
Belad el-gharb is also used to indicate the direction of this country 
from Arabia. Abd el-Bar, writing in the fifth century of the Hegira, 
derives the name from Ber, son of Kis-Rilan, one of the first Kings 
of Egypt who invaded the Maghreb, "Ber-berra," his country- 
folk said, " Ber has retired into the desert", and since that period the 
name Berber has come into use. Finally, Tabari relates an even more 
puerile tale of Afrikis having established a colony of Amalekites in the 
country to which he gave his name. They murmured at having been 
sent so far from home. " The Canaanites grumble" {berberna\ was 
the King's remark : hence the name of the new African colonists ! 
(Cha' ab-ed-Din, /. c, p. 151.) At all events, the word Berber, 
plural Beraber, has now been quite adopted into the Arabic and 
Berber languages, with various grammatical forms. — Lerchundi, 
Vocabulario Espanol-Arabigo del Dialecto de Afcrruecos, 1892, 

P. 139. 

It will be noticed that Leo" never uses the word Kabaile y now so 
universally applied in Algeria and Tunis to the Berber tribes, and 
even to those of Arab origin. " Kabyles" are, indeed, regarded as 
equivalent to the mountain races. But the word is Arab, though it 
came in with the conquest of Barbarossa and the rule of the Turks, so 
that in all likelihood the Arab traveller never heard it employed in 
the present sense. In Turkish a tribe is Silsilet, in Arabic K'bil, or 
plural, Kabail, and came to be applied to the tribes from hearing the 
Arab using it in saying that such a K'bil is so and so. We even 
see in telegrams of French origin the Morocco tribes called Kabyles, 
though not a word of Turkish is spoken in that empire. The Franco- 
Turkish "Pacha" is universally used by the Europeans under the 
form of " Bashaw", to designate the governor of a Moroccan pro- 
vince, though the word is quite unknown to the people themselves, 
Kaid, with various modifying terms, being the title of all government 
officials. During the Melilla troubles in 1894 the Turkish title of 
" Bey" was even applied to the Moroccan official stationed on the 
mainland, which proved how little either Madrid or Paris knew about 
the ethnology of Mulai el Hassan's empire. Moor (Maure> Moro) is 
another word strange to both Arabs and Berbers. It seems derived 
from the old Mauri, and, therefore, is applicable to the Berbers alone. 

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But it is popularly considered the national name of the races inhabiting 
Morocco — the Negroes and Jews excepted. In reality the " Country 
of the Moors" is quite as much in the other Barbary States. It has, 
however, no precise meaning, though as the Berbers and wandering 
Arabs are tolerably clearly defined, and not much mixed, the term 
might be reserved for the mongrel races inhabiting the towns, many 
of whom have European blood in their veins. In Spain "Moro" 
became and continued to be almost synonymous with a Mussulman. 
At the period that Pory wrote — and sometime before and afterwards 
— by "Moors" was meant almost any Mohammedan people, not 
negroes : in Africa especially it was used in the loosest possible 
manner. The <; Koulouglis", or offspring of Turkish fathers and Arab, 
Berber, or slave mothers, were peculiar to Algeria, Tunis, and Tripoli, 
though in the former country they have now ceased to be distinct 
from the other races, most of the Turks having left on the French 
capture of Algiers and the other cities in which they were numerous. — 
Duvivien, Recherches et Notes sur la portion de FAlgMe au sud Guelma, 
etc.,ipp. 57-58 ; Carette, Explor. de PAlgirie, vol. iii, pp. 1 3- 1 8 ; Castiglione, 
Mdmoire giographique et nutnismatique sur la partie orientate de la 
Barbarie appelie Afrikia par Us A rates, suivie de Recherches sur les 
Berber es Atlantiques, anciens habitans deces contries, pp. 83-97 ; Shaler, 
Sketches of Algiers, pp. 84-105, and Nouv. Annates de Voyages, 
t. xxvii, p. 83 ; Fournel, Les Berbers, p. 32 ; Ibn Khaldun, Historie 
de FAfrique sous les Aghlabites et de la Sicilie sous la dominion 
Musulman, trad, par N. Desvergers, and Histoire des Berbers (Slane 
tran.). Ibn Khaldun repeats the Arab story, which Leo follows with 
variations, about Berber being a corruption of the Arabic word berberat, 
unintelligibly applied to their language by Afrikis, "son of Kis, 
son of Safi", the Yemen King, who conquered Africa, and gave 
his name to such parts of it as were then known (note 1, p. 19). 
Tissot (La Province Romaine dAfrique, vol. i, pp. 393-97) is not 
inclined to accept the current etymology of Berber, which really 
originated with Gibbon {Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, 
vol. iii, p. 226). He notes that Pliny mentions among the natives of 
Africa propria the "Sabarts", whom Ptolemy calls ?Za(3ovp(3ovpee, 
while, according to Herodotus, the same name BapPapoi was applied by 
the Egyptians to a race living on the Nile Valley. Even yet the 
name Brabra (pi. of Berber) is given to the Sena&ri Nouba and 
Kenous. In ancient times the Somali country was known, as / 
Barbaria, and in the Periplus of the Erythrean sea another 
Barbaria is the country of the Troglodytes, and so on, though ^ 
not improbably these names were given for exactly the same reason 
that the Greeks and Romans called all races outside their citizenship 
Barbarians, and their country Barbaria. It may also be noted that 
there is still a Beni-Barbara tribe in southern Tripoli, and the 

Digitized by LjOOQIC 


Beni-Barbar in the Aures (Vivien St. Martin, Le Nord de UAfrique^ 
etc., pp. 208-209). But all such etymologies are mere guesses, and 
only worthy of recalling in so far that they may possibly give a clue 
to the origin of the widespread Berber race. 

Hippolytus (Lid. G/n/ral., vol. ii, p. 10 1 ; Chronicon Paschale^ Ed 
Bonn,yfc& Barth), it may be noticed, enumerates among African tribes 
"Afri qui et Barbaras", and in the /tin. Antonini, p. 2, the Macenites 
Barbari are mentioned. Barth would fain have connected the War- 
waren, a tribe of the Azkar Imghad, a negroised and degraded race 
in a condition of serfdom to the ruling race of the Imoshagh, with the 
Latin Barbari. But " war", a syllable with which a great many Berber 
names begin, seems to signify " man". 

(12) From these remarks of Leo, it would seem that previous to the 
sixteenth century theories on the origin of the Berbers (or Africans) 
had been quite as numerous as since that date. The one which he 
adopts from Edrisi and also from IbnKhaldun, is that still in favour with 
learned Arabs. But, unfortunately, it is, if not worse than its rivals, 
decidedly no better. Jews are undoubtedly amongst the oldest of the 
foreign colonists of North Africa. Ancient tombstones buried under 
the sands are said to exist in Sus, and the late Rabbi Mordakkai 
Ali Serour, of Akka, believed that he had found in the Daggaturs, a 
barbarous tribe of the Sahara between Morocco and Timbuktu, an 
ancient Jewish colony (Bull, de Soc. Giog.^ Paris, 1877, PP- 345 _ 37°> an( * 
Bull. Alliance Israelite^ 1882 ; and Duveyrier, Bull, de Soc. Ge*og., 
1876, p. 129). To this day they are found living among Arab and 
Berber tribes, though not speaking any language except that of their 
neighbours, and in the Atlas there is more than one tribe which are 
affirmed to have been originally Jews. The all-pervading Phoenicians, 
also, had settlements on the Barbary coast, and it is quite possible that 
the story in Procopius (De Bello Vandalico y Lib. ii, p. 222, Edit 1531) 
that at Tangier there used to be a pillar on which was an inscription 
stating that the people who erected it had fled from the wrath of " the 
robber Joshua, son of Nun", was correct. (See also Lee's edition of Ibn 
Batuta, p. 18.) But all of these people were at most mere colonists, 
and influenced the population of the country very little. The Berbers 
are unquestionably of a much older date, and must have originated in 
a very different way from what Leo and other theorists have imagined. 
Dr. Slane considers that the similarity of the Berber language to the 
Semitic type was marked in its triliteral roots, the inflexion of the 
verb, the formation of derived verbs, the gender of the second and" 
third persons, the pronominal affixes, the aoristic style of tense, the 
whole and broken plurals, and the construction of the phrase, whereas 
it differs from it in the dative of the third personal pronoun and 
in the mobilisation of the pronominal affixes. But in spite of the many 

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Arabic words introduced into modern Berber (in some dialects almost 
a third), an interchange reciprocated, as in Tangier, where the basis of 
the population is Berber, and the tongue is now — either radically or by 
adoption of words from their neighbours — marked by Hamitic, and has 
no links which unite it to the Semitic tongues, the belief of certain 
philologists to the contrary notwithstanding. (Renan, Revue des 
Deux Mondes y i« r Sept., 1873.) But though it differs from the Coptic 
or Hausa in conjugation, declension, and vocabulary, it is considered 
by Keane to be distantly related to the old Egyptian and the Bega 
Somal, Galla, and other Ethiopian languages of North-Eastern Africa. 
The Berber tongue, with various more or less distinct dialectic differ- 
ences, is spoken from the Siwah oasis to the Atlantic, including most 
of the Sahara; and on the Temple of Karnak, dating from Rameses II 
{circa 1400 B.C.), the word " Beraberata" occurs in an -inscription. Yet 
this and other facts do not justify the inference that the Berbers spread 
from the Nile valley to Morocco ; it is just as reasonable to conclude 
that the course of their migration was in an opposite direction. 
There is, indeed, a great deal to be said in favour of the belief that 
the Berbers were the stock who inhabited the British Isles, France, 
and Spain prior to the Celtic invasion, and whose slow retreat into 
and through Northern Africa may be traced by the rude stone monu- 
ments, of the Stonehenge type, found in all these countries, and which 
they were building after the Roman invasion of Africa, tombs of 
that character being found in Algeria, built on Roman roads. The 
Caucasian cast of face thought to be generally characteristic of the 
Berber is, perhaps, more imaginary than true, and had better not be 
made the basis of any hypothesis regarding their origin. Nor do I 
think much ought to be founded on the occasional fair-haired and 
light or grey-eyed families found among these people. The many 
European races, including the Vandals under Genseric, and the 
endless European slaves who, turning renegade, became absorbed 
into the population, must have left their mark over all the Barbary 
States. The flow of European blood is markedly noticeable in Fez 
and other cities of Morocco, and also among the town population of 
Algeria and Tunis ; and red-haired and short-faced Berbers and 
Arabs are not infrequently seen in the interior of these countries, 
pointing to reversion, through the law of atavism, to, it may be, a 
distant northern ancestor, or possibly to a Hibernian renegade of less 
remote date. Yet, leaving out of account these familiar facts, the 
Egyptian monuments of the 14th and 1 5th centuries B.C. depict the 
Libyans (Berbers) as pink complexioned, blue eyed, and fair or red 
haired, so that in this case the " white n Berbers referred to may be 
only survivals of the original stock now reduced to duskiness by the 
infusion of Arab or Sudanic blood, conclusions, for many reasons, 
not untenable. Among the Kelowi, for instance, the chief must not 

"— ■ 


marry a woman of Targi (Tuareg) blood, but ^can rear children only 
from black women or female slaves. In Asben, again, if a man 
marries a woman from a distance, he must go and live in her village ; 
and in some tribes the custom still prevails of the sister's son 
inheriting instead of the reputed son of his father. (Barth, Travels^ 
vol. i, p. 341.) 

The absence of any traces of foreign tongues among the Berbers 
must not be accepted as a proof of their not being mixed with 
the ddbris of the Greek, Roman, and Vandalic colonies, since we 
know the rapidity with which a language can be lost The writer is 
acquainted with the children of French and other renegades who do not 
know one word of their father's mother-speech ; and considering that 
before the arrival of the Mohammedans the Berbers had received a 
veneer of Christianity without anything except a very doubtful trace 
now remaining, the loss of an even more evanescent culture need not 
excite wonder. Yet, to a certain extent, traces of the civilization with 
which they came in contact remain. As Sir Lambert Playfair 
remarks : — " The religious persecution of the Arians and Donatists, 
which so effectually opened the way for Islamism, no doubt drove 
many of the poorer members of these colonies for safety to the 
mountains, where they soon became mixed up with the aboriginal 
inhabitants. There can still be traced among their customs the 
traditions of Roman law and municipal institutions, and one frequently 
meets amongst them types, easily recognisable, of the Latin and 
Germanic races. Some have supposed that the crosses which Kabyle 
girls are in the habit of tatooing on their faces are remnants of the 
Christian faith. .Many of their families had, no doubt, European 
ancestors, dating from long after the extinction of the Romans. Their 
own traditions assert this fact, and the beauty of the women of Ait 
Ouaguennoun, which is proverbial in the country, is regarded as a proof 
of their foreign origin. The Arab element amongst them was introduced 
later, less by actual conquest than by the moral influence of Islam, and 
the institution of slavery has had the effect here, as in all Mohammedan 
countries, of introducing black blood into the mixture." — Playfair, 
Algeria and Tunis, p. 7 ; Tissot et Broca, Sur les monuments rndga- 
lithiques et les populations blondes du Maroc (Revue £ Anthro- 
pologies No. 3, 1876). M. Rinn will even go so far as to make the 
Berber language and alphabet parent to the Greek and Latin {Les 
Origines Berblres, etc.) 1889). If, however, the origin of the Berbers 
is still a moot question, their spread over Africa is even more 
speculative. They were very probably the colonists of the Canaries, 
though it is more difficult to accept Dr. Brinton's belief that they 
were the founders of Etruria, and the parents of the mysterious 
Etruscans (Proc. American Philos. Soc> February 10th, 1890). David 
Urquhart (The Pillars of Hercules y 1850), amid much material not 

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altogether to the purpose, insists on the relationship of the Berbers to 
the Celts, and on the remnants of Christianity among the former. 
Now that the Iberian theory renders it admissible to recognise the 
Berbers as akin to, if not identical with, the races who preceded the 
Celts, his speculations deserve more attention than they originally 
received. Admitting the truth of the theory mentioned it could 
scarcely mean that Celtic words crept into the Berber language — or 
vice versd — and it is curious to find a peculiar form of brooch used in 
the Highlands of Scotland and in Ireland, in use all over Northern 
Africa among the Berbers. The lingering traces of Christianity are 
more dubious. St. John's day, or Midsummer, is celebrated as " el 
dnserah", and the old style European calendar *is still maintained 
among them with a sort of water clock, consisting of a basin with a 
hole in the bottom. • The Virgin Mary is still revered in certain 
parts of Morocco, and it is said that the women in the agony of 
child-birth will cry " Oh Maria ! " But how much of this is invention, 
and how much the eager desire of theorists to justify their preconceived 
notions, is not worth arguing. — Meakin, Journ. Antk. Institute, 
Aug., 1894. 

(13) What Pory translates "tawnie Moores", with deliberate 
disregard of Leo's text, and Florianus " Subfusci", is, in the original, 
"Affricani bianchi" (white Africans), and " I Bianchi delP Affrica" (the 
whites of Africa), that is, the Berbers, to distinguish them from the 
Negroes. The word " Moor", as used by Pory and by all the writers 
of his time, and, indeed, subsequently, in a very loose way, is almost 
equivalent to Mohammedan. Leo never calls the Arabs " Africans", 
they being immigrants from Arabia into Africa, though no doubt well 
known as individual settlers and traders long before they invaded 
Barbary in a.h. 27 (a.d. 647). 

(14) Zanhagi (Senhadja, Sanhagia, Sanagia, in the original Italian); 
Musmudi (Musmuda, Masmuda) in the original ; Zeneti (Zeneta in the 
original) ; Hacari (Aoara in the original), Havara (Haoura of other 
orthographers) ; Gumeri (Gumera in the original, Ghomara, Gumeral, 
the Remera of other writers), probably intended for Komera (Leo 
always using g'm the k sounding). For the range and migration of 
these tribes see Carette, Exploration de VAlgdrie, vol iii, pp. 48-313, 
et passim; Mercier, Histoire de VAfrique Septentrionale, t. i, pp. 
179-189. The Zanhagi still exist, much reduced from the day when they 
contended for thrones in the Hadjutes of the Mitidja. The name of 
the Zeneta was famous in Moorish Spain. The Haora are still found 
near Medeah, and the fame of the Gomera still lives in El Penon de 
Velez de Gomera, the Spanish presidio in their country, which in the 
Middle Ages was called " Ghommera", a name then applied to the 

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Morocco provinces of El Garb and Rif, extending from the River 
Muluica to Tangier. — (Ibn Khaldun, Hist des Berberes* vol. ii, p. 134; 
Fey, Histoire dOran, p. 8.) About a.h. i 16, the Gomera founded a 
petty dynasty in Ceuta, which, according to El Bekri, held power 
for three generations. The tribe — a fraction of the Musmudi — now 
exists in small septs near Oran, and in other places ; the village of 
Rommera, on the Wad Rir near Teggort, another in the Jebil-bu- 
Kahil, and considerable numbers of their race in the Ziban Oases, 
mark their migrations. In the Middle Ages, however, they were 
essentially Moroccan, and though they did not take a leading part in the 
commotions which put Berber chiefs on so many thrones, they seem to 
have been attracted to the " Ghomerra coast" by its vicinity to Spain. 

(15) " The riuer of Seruan" ("fiume de Servi"). Here Leo translates 
into Italian the Arabic name of the Wad-el- Ahd, or River of Servants, 
a tributary or branch of the Wad Oum-er-bia, which falls into the 
Atlantic at Azamur. Pory, more acute than some of his successors, 
divined this meaning by his side-note, " Guadalhabis". Florianus, 
however, put it " ad flumen usque Serai", and Temporal, " au fleuve 
de Serai." 

(16) Haha, Sus, Guzula (near Sidi Honein ben Hashem territory). 

(17) This is an extremely mistaken rendering of "la riviera della 
Rif", riviera being here used in the sense of a sea-coast, as in the 
familiar " Riviera" bordering the Gulf of Genoa. Here it means the 
well-known Rif or Riff country. There is no river of that name, 
though Florianus, who led Pory astray, has " fluvium occupat qui ille 
Rifa appellatur", and, next sentence, "hie fluvius". Even Temporal, 
a much more careful translator, blunders into " la riuiere qui s'appelle 
Rif". Tremizen (Telensin) is the Algerian town and province of 
Tlemgen. Mauritania Cesariensis was Western Algeria, North 
Morocco, Mauritania Tingitana that is of Tingis or Tangier. 

(18) Temseena. 

(19) Miknasas. — Carette, ExpL de PAlgMe, vol. iii, p. 156. 

(20) The Lemtuna (Luntuna) were originally from the Sahara, near 
the Upper Niger. 

Magraoa is Maghrua (Maghroua, Magraoua). — Carette, ExpL de 
HAlgMe, vol. iii, pp. 160 et seq. ; Mercier, Hist de PAfrique, vol. i, 
pp. 186,217, 381, etc. 

(21) Merakeh (City 01 Morocco) was begun in a.d. 1072 by Yusef- 
ben-Tachfin, founder of the Berber dynasty of the Almoravides, whose 

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sway was so brilliant. " El-Morabetin" is the more correct form of 
the word, Almoravides being a corruption of El-Morabetin, pi. of 
Morabet (" Marabout"), a pious person. 

(22) This "principal Mahumetan preacher", who fabricated a 
genealogy which made him a descendant of Fatima and Ali, was a 
Berber Mohamed-ben-Abd- Allah, though generally known under the 
name of Ali ebn-Yussuff, Mohammed ebn-Tumert el Mahdi, "the 
leader" who, as has happened again and again, was to reform the faith 
at the close of a period fixed to suit this particular Mahdi's con- 
venience. He called his disciples El-Mahaedu, corrupted into 
Almohades, that is to say, believers in one God, or Unitarians. The 
" Hargi" who first joined him, were the Hergha, who, like the Hentata, 
Timmal, etc., were of the Masmuda stock or tribe. He was a founder 
of the Almohade dynasty, which reigned from a.d. 1148 to 1269, so 
that Leo is quite correct in his statement regarding its duration. — 
Abdo'1-wahed-al Marrekeshi, History of the Almohades, edited by 
R. Dozy, 2nd ed., 1881. 

(23) This was Abdul-el-Munen-ben-Ali-el-Kumi-ben Wariagol 
whom the Mahdi met at Mellala, a small town belonging to the Beni 
Wariagol, a Sandhaja (Zanhaji or Sanhaji, written both ways in this 
paragraph) tribe allied to the Musmudi. 

(24) The Beni-Merin dynasty reigned from 1269 (a.h. 668) to 1550 
(a.h. 957), or rather longer than Leo allows — Mohammed-ebn-Ahmed 
el-Kazeri being the last of the line. 

(25) " Banizeyan, the King of Telensin" — (" Banizeyan re di 
Telensin") — must either have been a misreading of Leo's manuscript, 
or a loose way of applying the name of a dynasty to the occupant of 
a throne. For the Beni-Zeiyan were a family who reigned long in 
the Tlemgen. There had always been a deep-seated hatred between 
the two families. But it did not break out into hostilities until the 
reign of Abu-Said-Othman, son and successor of Abu-Yahia Yaghr- 
moragen, when, in revenge for the latter refusing to surrender his 
rebellious son (Ibn-Otton), Abu Yakub-Yussuf, the Merinide Sultan, 
raided the Tlem^en territory up to the very walls of the capital. This 
was in a.d. 1290 (a.h. 689). 

A subsequent siege of eight years' duration was raised in 1308, 
in consequence of the murder of the Sultan of Fez. A third one 
began in 1335, and ended by the city falling into Merinide hands 
in 1337. In 1348-9 it was again lost, and for ages continued the 
centre of an oft-occupied battle-field between the Kings of Fez and 
those of Tlem^en. The Beni-Zeiyan dynasty was founded in a.d. 
1283 (a.h. 637) by Yaghrmoracen-ben-Zeiyan, the Emir of the Berber 

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tribe of Abd-el-Wahed (or, less accurately Ouad) : hence the Empire, 
which he extended until it was bounded by the Mediterranean on the 
north, the Mizab on the south-east, Figuig'on the south-west, and the 
Sahara on the south, its neighbours being the Hafside Empire of 
Tunis, and the Merinide Empire of Fez and Morocco, is some- 
times called that of the Abd-el-Wahedits. It lasted until 1554 (a.h. 
962). The Sheikh Sidi Abu-Abd' Allah Mohammed Ibn Abd' el 
Djelil al Tenessy, Histoire des Bene-Zeiyan de Tlemqen^ trad, de 
Arabe par TAbbd J. J. T. Barge*, 1852 ; Complement de Histoire des 
Bene-Zeiyan, 1887 ; TUtnqen, ancUnne capital du royaume de ce nom, 
1859, Presse et Canal. " Tlem<jen" (Extrait de PAJrique franqaise\ 
1889, etc 

44 Likewise the progeny of Hafasa and of Musmuda are at variance 
with the King of Tunis," the original " guerregiarono ancora con 
Afaza i re di Tunis, i quali venero dalla origine di Antata stirpe 
di Musmoda"; that is, they engaged in warfare against the Haf- 
sides, Kings of Tunis, who were sprung from the Hantata of the 
Musmuda tribe. The Beni Hafs, or Hafsite dynasty, was founded 
by a lieutenant of the Almohade Emir, the Sheikh Abu Zakaria 
Yaha, son of Abu Mahomed Abu-el- Wahed-ben- Abu- Hafs, who in 
the year 1228 (a.h. 626), taking advantage of the decay of the 
Almohade power, declared himself independent, and founded an 
empire which lasted until the Spanish Conquest in 1535 ; Abu 
Zakaria belonged to the Musmuda tribe, which also (we have 
seen) claimed the founder of the first Almohade Sultan as a 
member. The wars to which Leo alludes were in 1347, when the 
Merinide Abdul Hasan, taking advantage of the civil broils among 
the Arab Kings, attacked Spain, and remained master of Tunis after 
Abu Hafs, who had pursued him, was slain near Cadiz, though in 
1236 Abu Zakaria had captured Tlemcen, Tafilet (Segilmen), and 
Ceuta. Two years later the Moroccans were defeated near Kairwan 
(Kairouan). — Mohammed-Ben-Abi-el-Raimi-el-Kalrouan, Histoire de 
rAfrique^ trad, de PArabe par MM. Pellissier et Remusat, pp. 164 et 
seq.y Fragment d'une histoire de la dynastie des Beni-Hafes 9 trad, par 
M. Cherbonneau. 

(26) The " chronicles" referred to are those of Ibn Khaldun and 
Ibnu-r-Rakik (Ibna Rachu). 

(27) Melle is still a very " mixed" empire. — Barth, Travels^ voL i, 
p. 341. 

(28) Ak61 amazirgh. Yet Berber is the prevalent language of 
Morocco — Arabic only of its creed and government. One of the 
Almohade Sultans dismissed the officials of the great Karuin 
Mosque in Fez, because they could not speak Berber as well as 

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Arabic. As a rule, the Berber women speak less Arabic than the 
men, and among the Tuaregs more of them, it is said, read than men 
(Meakin, Journ. Anth. Institute, Aug., 1894). 

(29) Songhay or Sonhrai. (30) Valata. (31) Timbuktu. 

(32) Gogo, or Gagho, or Gao, capital of the Songhay Empire. 

(33) Gober. (34) Kano. 

(35) Katsena. (36) Zegzeg. (37) Wangara. 

(38) Nubia. Leo's ideas of the relative positions of some of the 
kingdoms of the Niger region were rather vague, when he de- 
rives his knowledge second-hand ; and his philology equally leaves 
something to be desired. For instance, the name Hausa seems to 
have been unknown in his days, or, at least, not within his knowledge. 
Else, instead of saying that the peoples of Zegzeg, Katsena, and Kano 
spoke the language of Gober, he would have noticed that they spoke 
the Hausa tongue, now so widely understood all over the regions in 
question, owing to the wandering habits and mercantile instincts 
of that intelligent race ; though it is by no means to be inferred from 
Leo not employing so familiar a name that it was employed to 
designate the countries in which it prevails, or applied to the 
language itself subsequent to his day. Leo is also as much in error 
in saying that the inhabitants of Wangara (Guangara) spoke Gober 
(Hausa), as when he affirms that the Melli people spoke Songhay. — 
Barth, Travels^ vol. ii, p. 69. 

(39) Some of the blunders in this and other succeeding paragraphs 
have already been pointed out in the Introduction. They are 
many and grievous, partly Leo's and partly those of Florianus, 
copied by Pory. "Califa Otman" (Hutman) is Othman the third 
Khalif. "Fower hundred yeeres of the Hegeira" should be 27 
(A.D. 647). " Hucha Hilnu Nafisch" (Ueba Jebnu Nafic) is Sidi 
Okkba ben Nazic (Nazic, Nafa, or Nafaz), a vassal of the Khalif- 
ate of Cordova, and the "great citie" which he founded (a.h. 50, 
A.D. 670) was not Alcair (Cairo), but, as Leo very properly put 
it, Kairwan (Caravanserai or resting-place) ; the blunder of altering the 
name to Alcairan being that of Florianus in which Pory follows him, 
though with a note of interpretation. " The people of Tunis", is in the 
original " riviera di Tunis" (the coast of Tunis), which is more likely, 
considering that Kairwan is in Tunis, at about the distance from 
Carthage mentioned. " Romans or" is an addition ; Leo mentions 
" Italiani" alone. Leo is also wrong in supposing that the Arabic and 
Berber are in any way akin to each other, or that the Arabic got so 


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corrupted, and vice versd, that in time they became the same, or 
rather a compound language. They are still quite distinct, though 
with many words in common. Nor is there any ground for believing 
that the Berbers at large ever picked up the language of their 
European rulers. 

(40) For correction of these dates and names, cf. Introduction. 
The " schematicall Califa" was 'Abd al-Melik, the Omayyad Khalif of 
Damascus. The " noble" was Koce*ila, a Berber who, after reigning 
for four years (683-688), was defeated and slain by Zoheir, and Kairwan 

(41) Abul-Kanen, who took the name of El Kam-bi-Amr- Allah — 
the Executor of the Commands of God — is Leo's Elcain. The troubles 
referred to originated with the capture of Kairwan and the siege of 
El Mehdia by Abu Yezid. He was succeeded as third Fatimite 
Khalif by his son Abu-Tahar-Ismail, surnamed El Mansur-bi-Amer- 
Allah (the Victory by the order of God), from his success in Sicily, in 
Thiaset, and over Abu Yezid. His son, Maad Abu-Tumin, who took 
the title of El Moezz-li-din-Allah (the Exalter of the Religion 
of God), succeeded in a.d. 953. It was by his order that 
Abul-Hosein-Goher-el-Kaid, a native of Greece, who had been 
a slave of El Mansur, equipped a large expedition, through the 
Maghiel, during which he advanced to the gates of Fez in one 
direction and to Sus in another, everywhere recovering the provinces 
which had been filched from the Khalif. He even conquered the Riffias. 
As El Kaim died on the 1st May, 946, and Egypt was not invaded until 
twenty-three years later, all of Leo's subsequent narratives about El 
Kaim and Gonha must refer to El Moezz. There is, indeed, no reason 
for believing [that El Kaim ever was in Egypt. — D'Herbelot, Biblio- 
tkkque Orientate (1697); Morgan, History of Algiers^ pp. 173-74, 
where the facts are taken from Herbelot. 

(42) Abu-Bekr the first rightly directed Khalif— "El Abbas". 

(43) Gowher conquered Egypt in a.d. 969 (a.h. 358), and after 
driving Abul Fowaris, the deputed Akshid ruler, from Fostat, the old 
capital, laid the foundation of Misr-el-Kahireh (the modern Cairo, 
Alchair of Pory), originally called El-Mansoor-i-yeh, but afterwards 
re-named from the planet Mars (Kaher) being in the ascendant on the 
night that the foundation was laid. The Khalif of Bagdad in 969 was 
Al Mufadhl al Moti (944-974), also known as Ibn Bouyeh (which Leo 
corrupts into El uir=El vir) the founder of the House of Bouyeh, who 
renounced the temporal power of the Khalifs. At Gowher's solicita- 
tion, El Moezz removed his court from Damascus to Cairo in A.H. 365. 

Digitized by 



Goher founded the great mosque of El Ahazar, which, as a seat of 
Moslem learning, soon became a rival to the " University of Fez", and 
eventually was a centre to which students flocked from all parts 
of the Mohammedan world, until its ruin. — Quatremere, Vie de 

(44) Gabes. 

(45) Yussuf ibn Tachfin, the Almoravide, began to reign in a.d. 106 i 
(a.h. 453). He took Tunis in 1100, and died in 1106 (a.h. 500) at the 
reputed age of one hundred. 

(46) Abu-YussefYakub-el-Mansur, son of Abd-el-Mumen, a.d. 1163- 
11 84 (a.h. 558-580). He was an Almohade, but the third, not the 
fourth King of "that dynasty. " Muachedin" = El Moahedoun, or 
Mowahadi, as the word is still pronounced in Morocco. The money 
called "Maravedi" derives its name from this famous Berber line 
of sovereigns. 

(48) The Hapites. 

(49) " Iquali sono detti Arabi barberi", who are called " Barbary 

(50) Arab historians are not in accord regarding the tribes which 
entered Africa from Arabia about the year 1048. According to 
Ka'irouani, they were the Beni-Riah, the Beni-Zegba, and a part of the 
Beni-Amer and the Senan. If we are to credit the chroniclers, the 
Beni-Zegba were after some time driven from Africa by the Beni-Riah 
and replaced by the Beni-Kara. Marmol simply expands the account 
which he found in Leo. The Cachin he calls Esquequin, the Hitell 
the Beni-Helala, and the Machill the Mahquil, and both historians 
derive their information from Ibnu-r-Rakik (Ebn-er-Rak'ik). 

The Cachin seem to have been divided in Leo's day into Ouled 
Hadadj (Etheg of Pory, Etegi of Leo, who invariably omits the 
aspirates), scattered through Tunis and the Moroccan provinces of 
Dukkala and Teda, SumeU (Suma\t) inhabiting parts of eastern Libya, 
on the borders of the Tripolitan deserts, and the Said (Sahed), 
roamisg over Tunis, between the city of that name and Kairwan, 
and in numbers on to the Desert of Barca. The Elledji, or 
Delleg (Ouled-el'Hadj), Elmurtesig {Ouled Mutafik or Halotes), 
and Sobair, which Leo makes out to be fractions of the Etegi, 
Marmol classes as separate tribes, but the Amran-Litali, Amran- 
Distani) Ako-Zuberta, Bu-Arez> and Farach> he puts into the former 

The Garbia- Yeecha and Ohled-Chiadma inhabiting the same provinces 

O 2 

Digitized by LjOOQIC 


as the Etegi, are noted by Marmol but not by Leo. The Hilel, I lei, 
or Beni-Helal, Leo divides into Benihemir (Beni-Amer) Benien of 
the Italian original), and numerous races between Tlemgen and 
Oran Riah (Ric, Rieh), Sufien, and Chusain Cusain (Djochen). 

The Beni-Amer he sub-divides into Hursan (Uroa, Ouled Hurua, 
on the borders of Mostagamen), Hueben (Ucba, Ouled Okba\ 
Habrum (Abru, Ouled Habra) and Mussem (Afuslem, in the 
deserts of Msila, considered by Carette to be the Beni-Msellen, 
established in the upper part of the plain of Hodna). 

The Riah Leo divides into the Deuvad (Daouaoutda), Suaid (S'ald), 
Afgeg, (Asge,AzgueA) y Elcherith (Elcherit, Ouled~el-Krid y El-Akhdar, 
oxKhadr\ Enedri (Enedr, Ouled-Nader, or Fader), and Garfam (Garfa, 

The Machel (Mahquil, Makel) he divides into three tribes — the 
Mastar, the Hutmen (Utmen, Ouled Othanna\ and Hassan (Assan, 
Ouled Hassan). The Mastar are further sub-divided into Ruchen 
(Ruche, Ouled Ruke, in the deserts of Dader and Ferkala) and Selim 
(Ouled Selim, near Vad Draa). The Othanna are split up into El 
Hasi (Elesin, Hoceine) and Chinan (Chenana, Ujaouana) ; while the 
Ouled Hassan were in 1500 divisible into Deuihessen (Deviessen, 
Dm Hassane\ Deuimansor (Devimansor, Dui-Mansur), and Deui- 
hubai-dulla (Deviu-bei-dulla, Dm-Obetd- Allah). The Dul-Hassane 
were sub-divisible into Dulein (Ouled Delein\ Berbus (Ouled Berbesh) 
Vodein (Vodei, Oudaia, in the desert between Wadan and Walata), 
Racmen (Racme, Rehamna, or perhaps Rokaitate\ Ham ran (Amir, 
Ouled Amer); the Dui-Mansur into Hemrun (Emrun, Amrari), 
Menebbe (Menebalt), Husein (Useln, Hocetne), and Albuhosein 
(Abulhusein, Ouled-bu-P -Hocetne). Finally, the Dui-Obeid-Allah were 
split into four fractions — the Garag (Garagi, Kharadj), Hedeg (Edegi, 
Hedadj), Teleb (Thdaleba\ and Geoan (Ujaouana). Different his- 
torians differ widely as to the number of tribes, their classification, and 
their relative rank, and the difficulty of making out Leo's meaning is 
not rendered any easier by his entire lack of system in translating 
Arabic words into Italian, and by the carelessness of Pory and other 
translators or copyists in gratuitously altering these into names which 
have only a resemblance to the original, and are the designation of no 
races or places in Africa or elsewhere. However, all the tribes named 
by Leo are perfectly well known, and most of them still exist in greater 
or less numbers scattered throughout Northern Africa. Thus the 
Ouled-l'Akub noticed by Marmol corresponds to the Ouled-' L'akab- 
ez-Zraa, a tribe of the Wad-Mzab. The Ouled-Ta'alba (Mahquil) are 
still, as in the sixteenth century, scattered from the desert of Numidia to 
Jekdemt ; indeed, a tribe called Ta'alba exists in SVanseris, another in 
Kabylia, and a tribe as a fraction of the Beni-Bel-Hacen, who live 
with the Beni-Dja'ad. In Morocco, the Oiried-Delelm, the Ouled 

Digitized by 



Berbesh, and the Oudaia (Mahquil) are still, as four centuries 
ago, established in the dry country between Senegal and the 
Atlantic. The great race of the Beni-Helala, or Helala, who 
furnished so large a contingent to the population of Algeria, 
have left their name in the Ouled-Helal of the Tell, and in a 
glen, called Helala, near the source of the Wad-Souflat (Carette). 
The endless revolutions and civil broils of Barbary have, in the course 
of four centuries, made such changes in the distribution and status of 
the tribes that Leo's classification is valuable only as expressing the 
views held in his day, or by the Arabic authors whom he followed. 
Even then he admitted it not only difficult " ma impossible recordarsi", 
all the tribes then existing, and which have ever since been splitting 
up, or leaving off, or reuniting, trying to massacre and exterminate each 
other, or having the same unkindly intention carried into effect for them 
by the successive masters of Barbary — Arab, Turk, and " Christian". 
" Leo, from Ib'n al Rakik, the African chronologist" (writes Morgan 
Cancelliere to the British Consulate in Algiers), "gives an ample 
account of these Arabs. He says they were ten Tribes or Families 
from Arabia Desert a, and half the inhabitants of that Region : with 
many from Arabia Felix, tho J to all he gives three general names : 
But the sub-divisions he makes 600, many of which he mentions by 
Names still in being, and some I have never heard of: tho' that is no 
Argument of their Non-existence : And, I believe, that had he swelled 
the Number of petty Divisions, including the Moors, or natural 
Africans, to 6,000, he would not much have overshot himself; 
they being almost enumerable." — A Complete History of Algiers, 
p. 175. 

" Ait," it may be noticed, is the ordinary Berber prefix for a tribe, 
though some have adopted the Arabic Ben. " Ida" and " Doui" (the 
latter thought by Renon to be originally Adoui) are possibly deriva- 
tives of that word, though, as in the above list, the latter is commonly 
employed by Leo and Marmol in the nomenclature of Arab tribes 
of Devi-Massur, Devi Huberdalla, etc., and to this day is found 
in Algeria (the Doui-Mnia, the Doui-Iahia). " Oulad" is a tribe, and 
"Hel" {e.g.) Hel-'Ang-ad) may be an abbreviation of it. Renon, 
"Description geographique de FEmpire du Maroc" {Exploration 
scientifique de PAlg/rie, vol. viii, p. 46) ; Marmol, LAfrique (d' Ablan- 
court's trans.), vol. i, pp. 75-86 ; Mercier, Histoire de FAfrique Sep- 
tentrionale, vol. ii, pp. 8-14 ; Carette, Exploration scient de PAlgMe, 
vol. iii, pp. 433-441 ; Accardo, Rfyertoire alphabitique des tribus et 
Dotiars de VAlgirie dress/ d'aprh les documents officiels (1879), 

(51) In Morocco. (52) Agadez. 

(53) Algiers, Ed. Djezair. 

Digitized by LjOOQIC 


(54) Sallerc and Mekines (Mequinez), or that part of Morocco 
comprising the old kingdom of Fez. 

(55) Mostaganem in Algeria. The Ouled Hurua is the tribe noticed 
(n. 50). 

(56) Ucba, Ouled-Okkba. 

(57) Miliana in Algeria ; Meliana in the original. 

(58) Abru, same as Habrum in the preceding paragraph. 

(59) Msila. The desert (deserto) not deserts (deserta^ Florianus), 
mean here simply lands uninhabited by settled races. Msila town was, 
according to El Bekri, founded by Abu-l-Kasem-Ismail-ben-Obeld- 
Allah, the Fatimite, A.H. 313 (a.D. 925-26), who traced out the walls of 
the city with the point of his lance as he galloped on horseback. In 
A.D. 1088, Msila was destroyed, and its inhabitants transported to 
Kalaa. Again rebuilt, the walls were once more levelled, sixty years 
later, by the Zanata, and, after being a second time reconstructed, 
Msila suffered a sack at the hands of the Hafsite Abu Yahea. 

(60) Azaphe is Saffi ; Heah, Ha'ah. Hemran is the Ouled-Amran 
of Sedgelmessa, which is the modern Tafilet. 

The great tribe of the Hilal-Ben-Amer and Solein belonged to the 
Morler family of Arabia, established in the middle of the eleventh 
century in the Desert of Hedjaz, close to the province of Nedj, when 
they were let loose on Barbary by the Khalif El-Mustansir lillah 
Abu-Timin-Ma'add, in order to revenge himself on his representative 
in that region who had proclaimed the authority of the Abassides in 
Kairwan. The worst wars of this section of Northern Africa began. 
The Nile crossed, they rushed on the province of Barca like 
famished wolves on a flock of sheep, and while some of the invaders 
abandoned themselves to internecine quarrels, the Riah, under their 
chief, Munes-ben-Yahia, marched to robbery, murder, and outrage. 
" They seemed", wrote Ibn-Khaldun, less than 300 years after their 
arrival, "like a cloud of locusts, and destroyed everything in their 
path", thus fully confirming the character which Leo gave them in 
1 501. It is doubtful, however, if they were quite so numerous as Leo 
and Marmol make them out to be. 

(61) Jebil-Dades and Farkala, an oasis just beyond, on the desert 
side of the Atlas. 

(62) Ouled-Selim. Dara, Darha, the Wad-Dra. They still traffic 
to Timbuktu. 

(63) "Elasim", Ouled-el-Ha9en (note 50). 

Digitized by LjOOQIC 


(64) "Chinana", Ouled - Kenana, Elcaluth (Elcabut), Holotes 
(note 50). 

(65) Ouadan (Wadan), Oulata (Walata). "The Duke of Gualata" 
is in the original " signore de Gualata in Terra negrc?\ the last two 
words (in Negroland) being omitted by Pory. 

(66) Hacha. Acca, Akkaba, an oasis of Sus, on the caravan route 
to Timbuktu. 

(67) " Hamrun" is not the Ouled-Anran, for Leo has " Amer" as the 
Ouled-Amer, who are inhabitants of the "deserto de Taganot" and 
have relations with the community of Tagavost (Tagaost), this remark 
being transferred by the translator to Tesset. 

(68) Dehemrum (Deemrun) is apparently another form of Amran 
(p. 212, note 50), a tribe which roamed to the south of Tafilet 
(Sedjelmassa, or Segelmesse), and on to the Desert of Iguidi (Ighid), 
intersected by the caravan route from Akka to Timbuktu. 

Todgatan is Todga in the original (Todra ?), an oasis north-west of 
Tafilet (or Tafililt). 

Tebelbet is another oasis south of the Tafilet Sibka, with, like all 
these oases, villages and date palms. Dara is Dra. 

(69) Matgara is the district called Medrara by El-'Archi el Mula- 
Ahmed, the Berber traveller, who passed through this region in the 
year 1661 (a.h. 1073) on his way to Mecca. He also mentions the 
Ouled 'Abd-Allah ben-'Amar. The Wad-er-Retib is also among his 
notes (Expl. Scientifique de PAlgMe, p. 8). Vide also Book VI. 

Garseluin is Guers- } Aluin y where, in Leo's day, the province of 
Sgedelmessa began in the Atlas. Eddara is Ed Dra y the desert through 
which the Dra runs when there is any water to fill its bed, and which 
was then the territory of the Abulhusein (Ouled- Abu-el- Houcein). 

(70) Ouled-Garradji, in the Beni-Gumi and Figuig deserts. 

(71) Ouled-Hadadji, in the Desert of Angad. 

(72) That is, the Ouled-Taalba inhabited the Metidja and the 
Numidian Desert to Takdemt. 

(73) Tedles. 

(74) Gehoan= Ouled- Djohai dispersed among the Garadji and 
Hadadji tribes. 

(75) Schachin, a variant of Cachin (note 50). 

(76) Their favourite genealogy is, at best, not based on historical 
evidence, and is evidently derived from the mythical Hebrew legends 

Digitized by LjOOQIC 


or inventions. The division into Arab or pure, and Mostareb (Mus- 
Araba, Mustehgeme in Leo's Italian) or adscititious, is more substantial, 
as this classification is very ancient 

(77) This description of the Terga, Tawarek, or Tuareg applies 
quite accurately at the present day : dress, ways of life, food, manners, 
and morals, seem not to have altered much in four centuries. On 
this subject there are some judicious remarks in an anonymous 
review of Denham and Clapperton's Travels and Discoveries^ " British 
Critic", 1826, pp. 510, 516; Duveyrier, Les Touaregs du Nord, 
pp. 317-318 (nomenclature) ; Bissuel, Les Touaregs de P Ouest, 
PP. 35-36. 

The practice of paying tribute or, as it is called in many parts of 
Africa, "hongo", still prevails. This "custom due" is known as 
gheramay which Leo corrupts into gabella. "Ma le carivane che 
passano per li deserti loro sono tenuti di pagare ai lor principi certa 
gabella. n 

" Mill and panicke" — miglio e di panico — are simply varieties of 
millet (Panicum). P. miliaceum is the common variety. Paspalum 
exile is generally cultivated in Africa, as is also Egyptian millet or 
Guinea corn (Pennisetum typhoideum). In Central Africa many of the 
Tuareg from Bornu to Timbuktu subsist on the seeds of "uzak" 
(Pennisetum distichum), out of which, also, they make a pleasant cooling 
drink. Its little burr-like seeds, by attaching themselves to every part 
of the dress, are a constant annoyance to travellers. The so-called 
"India millet" or durra {Sorghum vulgare) is, perhaps, the chief 
African corn plant. 

The woolly-looking material about the spathes of palm leaves is still 
used to make clothing, not only in Africa, but in various other parts of 
the world. 

Parts of this description have, however, been freely translated. 
Thus Temporal (twice) puts sheep into the bill of fare of the "good 
prince" (who is, however, in the original only " buono uomo" ; he is at 
best "il signor")— "grandi quantate de chameaux jeunes et vieux 
avec autant de Moutons et quelques autruches". But Leo says 
nothing about mutton, and Pory's "camels of all kindes" is more 
precisely indicated : " molti cammeli, e giovani e vechi, e insieme alt 
rettanti castrati, e certi struzzi." Again, in serving up the roast 
ostriches, no mention is made of the " sundrie kindes of herbes and 
spices" being from Negro land ("della Terranegra"), an omission 
also in Florianus, though not in Temporal. The Dutch translation is 
so frequently abridged and free that I have purposely not collated it. 
"His nobilitie" is, in the original, "nobili e parenti" — nobility and 
relatives. Ostriches are now much scarcer in the Sahara, though their 
feathers still come with the caravans to Tripoli. 

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(78) In reality, the migration commenced before the time of Islam, 
when Wargla or Tuat were occupied, and the black races originally 
inhabiting those Saharan oases driven south. Leo, it seems, con- 
sidered that this forcible exile of the Tuaregs to the desert began soon 
after the great exodus of Arabs into Africa, at the instigation of 
Ahmed ben 'Ali-el-Jerjerano, who died in 1044-5 ( A - H - 43^), and not a 
few years later under the Vizier, El Yezuri (note 60, Barth, Travels, 
vol. iii, p. 226). 

(79) The country women in Morocco, and other parts of Barbary, do 
not always veil themselves specially before Christians, holding that 
Infidels are not worthy of being treated with such decency. In the 
interior towns, however, they will turn their faces to the wall, and 
possibly — if any of the faithful are within earshot — suggest to the 
unbelieving Nazarene that the fire is lighted for him. If no one is 
looking, and the lady is young, she may likely enough be more 

(80) With henna juice {Lawsonia inermis). 
u A French crown" — " uno scudo" — a ducat. 

" Hen's dung and safron" — " fumo di galla e di zafferano" — really 
smoke of plants and saffron. Pory's very free mis-reading being due 
to Florianus, "Confisciunt tamen aliquando e galle fumo atque 
croco", etc. 

The mention of the women going to war with their husbands is 
interesting. For the Zemmur people, near Rabat, in Morocco, and 
other tribes, still do so, the women loading their lords' muskets, and 
exhibiting a ferocious courage quite equal to that of the men. 

(81) The character which Leo gives the people of this coast still 
applies almost literally. In some recent consular correspondence it 
was shown that the slave trade is on occasions secretly carried on, and 
they are in no respect to be trusted. Indeed, Leo shows a better 
knowledge of the character of its wild kindred than many Europeans, 
who have again and again perished by putting too much confidence in 
the romantic legend about the stranger being safe in an Arab's tent if 
once he has broken the Bedouin bread. 

(82) "Urbs," which is again referred to in Bk. v, is, perhaps, 
the ancient Orba, Obba, or Abba, the position to which Leo assigns it 
being marked by a quantity of ruins, belonging, possibly, also to 
Larilus ; Mannert, Giographique ancienne des Etats Barbaresques (Ed. 
Marcus et Duesberg, 1842), pp. 394, 687, 688. Edrisi (t. i, pp. 259-268), 
in his remarks on Arbes, seems to confirm the conjecture. See also 
E/Be&riyp. 130; Ibn Haukal, "Description de PAfrique {Journal 
Asiatique, 1842, p. 223), and Guerin, Voyage Archkologique dans 
la Rigence de Tunis, t. ii, pp. 86-87). 

Digitized by LjOOQIC 


(83) These Soara, Soava, and Zouara, are identical with people 
whom Marmol calls Azuagues, who in his time existed in considerable 
numbers in the Tamesna and Fez provinces (Morocco), and in Tunis 
and Belad-el-Jered, and at present inhabit the Zouara country not far 
from Tunis — the town of Zouara, north of Tunis, indicating the limits 
of their range in that direction. They were known from the fifth 
century before the Christian Era, as the Zavqxtg of Herodotus, but 
have undergone many migrations since that period. The incident 
described by Leo took place in 1500, so that he might have been 
personally acquainted with what, as a naturalised Moroccan Arab, he 
seems to take a pride in. The people of Belad-el-Tered, having revolted 
against the King of Tunis, marched towards Constantine, at that time 
under the Hafsites, and gained such an advantage over the Governor 
of Malai, Nazir, son of the Emir Mohammed, that he had to fall back 
on the city with 2,000 horsemen. This victory gave the tribesmen 
great iclat, and determined many others to make common cause with 
them. The insurgents pursued their march into the mountains of 
Kabylea, where, in the Jurgura range, they established a principality 
called "Cuco" by Marmol. This appears to have been a Zouara 
confederation, of which the memory still exists in the town of Kouko. 
Towards the close of the sixteenth century offshoots of them occupied 
Jebel-Zarhun, near Fez, and other parts of Barbary. — Carette, Explor. 
scient. de PAlgirie, vol. iii, pp. 278-315. 

(84) If by this juxtaposition of Arianism and St Augustine Leo would 
wish it to be inferred that the Bishop of Hippo favoured that heresy, it is 
almost unnecessary to say that he is wrong. Nor is it quite correct to 
say that Augustine was an "African Christian" in any heterodox sense. 
For, though a native of Tagaste, he was a convert of Ambrose, Bishop 
of Milan, and a violent opponent of the Donatists and Pelagians. 
The rest of Leo's remarks about Christianity in Africa may be accepted 
as merely his own speculations mixed with admitted historical data. 

(85) The Berber alphabet, now scarcely known among the Morocco 
tribes, seems, in spite of the theories which derive it from Roman or 
Greek, or vice versd y to be of prehistoric origin — though this was not 
suspected until 1822, when Dr. Oudney discovered its existence in the 
Tuareg country. Specimens of this " tafinagh" writing are to be seen 
on various rocks in the Sahara and Barbary. " Tafinagh" is a Punic 
word, "finagh" being, indeed, equivalent to " Phoenician". The letters, 
variously named at pp. 32-35, closely resemble old Semitic forms, and, 
apart from the name applied to the language, there is almost a cer- 
tainty of Phoenician origin. Perhaps a careful search of the ancient 
female ornaments in Morocco might reveal traces of the old character ; 
for though the Berbers speak various dialects, their language from 

Digitized by 



Tangier to the limits of the Tuareg range is fundamentally the same 
as it was when St. Augustine wrote {De Civitate, xvi, p. 6) : — " In 
Barbary we know many people with one tongue." About the only 
volume of any importance in Berber is the "Tuwahid" (The Unity 
of God), written by the Almah-Sultan, Mohammed ebn Tumert, 
who is the author of the " Murshidah" also, to convince his Berber 
followers of the truth of his mission as the Mahdi. The Musmudi 
tribe being unable to speak Arabic, the Sultan counted the words in 
the first chapter of the Koran, and, calling as many men, seated 
them in a row, and named each one with a word. Then, each 
pronouncing his name in order, they repeated the chapter. — 
Meakin, Journ. Anth. Institute, Aug. 1894 ; Halevy, Etudes Berblres 
{Premiere Par He); Essai dEpigraphie Libyque, 1875 ; Rinn, Les 
Origines Berblres, 1889 ; Hodgson, Notes on Northern Africa, 
the Sahara, and Soudan, 1844, PP- I2 "44> though Mr. Hodgson is 
wrong, as other writers more excusably have been, in describing the 
"Tuarycks" as "a white people". — Jones, Dissertatio de Lingua 
Shilhense, 171 5 ; Ukert, Bemerkungen iiber die Berbern und Tib/us, 
1826 ; the Berber Dictionaries of Venture, Delaporte, and Newman ; 
Hanoteau, La Kabylie, 1872-73, etc., etc. The Tuwahid is still 
occasionally met with ; but a treatise still older, the Koran given to 
the Gumera tribes of Tetuan and the neighbouring coast by Abu 
Mohammed Hemym ben Ali-khalef Menhat, in 937 (a.h. 325), is 
mentioned by El Bekri, and is analyzed by Ebn Abd-el-Hhalim in his 
" Kartas". Another MS. described by these two historians is the book 
given to the Barguahah Berbers by Saleh-ben-Tarif, their chief, in 
A.H. 177 (a.d. 783), which is supposed to have been wholly or partly 
written in their language. Leo is also wrong in supposing that the 
Romans — or Italians as Pory translates " Romani" — began to subdue 
Africa when "the Gothes" invaded Italy. 

(86) This graphic description of a winter adventure in the Atlas 
might, so far as geographical details are concerned, have happened 
a few months, instead of four centuries, ago. Every winter the Atlas 
is deep in snow, and its spurs in the Riff are also white. At long 
intervals the Tangerines wake up to see a thin covering of the same 
very un-African snow in their town, though it is, we believe, erroneous 
to say that five years ago snow fell as far south as Mazagan. In 
reality it was hail. But less than a century after Leo's adventure, 
Mulai Achmed and his army had a narrow escape from being buried 
among the snows in the mountains between Sus and Dra, and caravans 
have since that date been smothered in the drifts. In the case of both 
Pory and Florianus the translation is faulty. Thus, wherever " cartes" 
are mentioned, "caravan" should be understood. What Leo 
calls " cacio" (cheese), is really more like curd. It sours in a few 

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hours, but, notwithstanding, is kept and eaten when old. Like the 
rancid butter, buried in great jars, it requires a long appren- 
ticeship to the custom of Morocco before it is much to European 

(87) Cairo. 

(88) There are many caves in the Atlas and other mountains of 
Morocco, some natural, others artificial. Several of the latter are 
excavated in the tufa deposit near Tasimet. Mr. Thomson could 
not find in his cursory examination anything to show that they had been 
used as human habitations, but inclines to the belief that they were places 
for concealing grain, or for the Pagan Berbers to bury their dead in. 
There are others, even more enigmatical, at the eastern end of the 
valley of Teluet, near the village of Tabugumt, Like the Tasimet ones, 
they are divided into separate cells, and in front of each cell is a 
trap-door giving entrance to a species of cellar. The Tabugumt Jews 
still use them as granaries, but from the smoke on the walls and roof, 
and the general arrangement of the caves, the probability is that 
they have at some time been utilised as dwelling-places, just as 
some are in Algeria. Close to Ain Tazil, in the foot of the 
hills of the Atlas, not very for from Amsmez, there are some 
of a very similar description, the doorways faced with masonry, 
and in some cases the cells are placed in tiers, so that the tro- 
glodytic inhabitants must have entered by descending with ropes 
into what are more like pits than caves. There are hundreds of these 
excavations, and many more in different parts of the country, such as 
on the way from Tetuan to Sheshuan in the Riff country, and again 
beyond Wazan. Hanno speaks of the swift-footed Troglodytes of the 
Atlas; but this is beside the point, as the Carthaginian mariner 
was never in the Atlas, and could only have seen the coast spurs 
where, however, there are plenty, e.g., near Cape Spartel. — Thomson, 
Travels in the Atlas and Southern Morocco, pp. 181-237 ; Harris, The 
Land of an African Sultan, pp. 243-245 ; Playfair and Brown, 
Bibliography of Morocco (Supp. Papers R.G.S., vol. iii, pp. 217-225). 
" Grandissimo lago, d'intorno al quale sono i popoli di Sin e di 
Gorran ,, ; " Maximus lacus, cujus accolae sunt Sinitae at Gorranitae" 
(Florianus). This passage seems an echo of some vague information 
grafted into a fragment of lore from Strabo and Ptolemy, picked up 
either in Rome, or among the Arabic translations of the Greek and 
Latin writers, of which there were many in the libraries of the Moorish 
Kings of Spain, and in those of Morocco, four hundred years ago. For 
there are certainly no lakes, large or small, on the route from Fez to 
Egypt, since the Chotts and Lebkas could scarcely be designated by 
that name, even did they lie on the caravan track. But the name 

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" Gorran" supplies a clue, for Leo uses it as equivalent to Kordofan. 
Accordingly, as the Morocco traders have for ages been in the 
habit of making a round journey by travelling from Timbuktu to 
Kordofan by way of Vadai and Darfur, this must be the route Leo 
indicates, though he never passed over it. As he has already 
noticed, Chad, the Great Lake, could not be the one intended, and 
Fittri is much too small. Arabs, however, often confuse lakes and 
rivers under one designation (Bahr), so that it is scarcely worth 
laying too much stress on Leo's vague, second-hand information. 
It is equally necessary to give a wide margin as to distances and 
localities noted under such circumstances. Hence it is possible that 
in placing the "people of Sin" (Sinites) in close relation to the 
" Goranites", he was simply making one of those easy guesses which, 
until the last thirty or forty years, were quite the rule among 
geographers. Strabo £Bk. n) mentions the Sfrra/, and Ptolemy 
(Bk. iv, ch. v) places the 2svr/rg£, or H'ivrtdeg, in Cyrenaica, close to the 
Nasamones. Again (Bk. iv, chap, vii, p. 30$, Wilberg's edit.), he notes 
among the tribes near Meroe " Isle" on the Nile, the 2x»jv*j/Va/. It is 
also allowable to suggest that Leo might have obtained either from 
Ptolemy ideas of the " Nili Paludes", or from the Arab traders of the 
actual lake sources of the great River of Egypt. It may be added 
that, even at the beginning of this century, the people whom Jackson 
consulted regarding the country between the Niger and the Nile 
spoke of " a lake" on the course of the latter, so broad that they could 
not see the opposite shore. A party of Jinni negroes who travelled 
it, joined at Cairo the great caravan of the Wel-Akkaba el Garbra, . 
with which they found their way through Barca, Tripoli, Tunis, 
Algeria, and Amgad to Fez, and Marekesh, when they again attached 
themselves to the Akka caravan, with which they reached Jinni after 
an absence of three years and two months. 

(89) In 1805, a caravan proceeding from Timbuktu to Tafilet failed to 
find water at the usual wells, and the whole of the persons belonging to 
it, 2,000 in number, besides 1,800 camels, are said to have perished 
of thirst. All travellers by the caravan routes describe bones of men 
and animals as mingled together in various parts of the desert. — 
Jackson, Morocco^ p. 285 ; Denham and Clapperton, Narrative of 
Travels and Discoveries in Northern and Central Africa^ vol. i, 
pp. 123, 125-8, 131, etc. 

(90) This monument in the district of Azawad, if it ever existed, 
must have long ago been buried in the sand. Yet the story may be 
founded on fact. To this day traders declare that if by any accident 
the water skins give out, or much is lost by percolation, 10 or even 
20 dollars are given for a drink, and there is a tale told of 500 dollars 

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having been paid for enough of water to quench the thirst of a wealthy 
traveller. — (Jackson.) 

(91) "Goron" is "Goro" of the original. Moore, who mis- 
translates the word as Coran, makes it out to be the point of the 
well-known Kola or Guru nut (Sterculia acuminata). — Travels in the 
Inland Parts of Africa^ p. 36. The Carica Papaya^ which bears 
splendid fruit, and is scattered over the Niger country, is called 

(92) This "Tesoro degli agricoltori traditto dalla lingua latina 
alt' arabica in Cordova" (not " when Manzor was Lord of Granada"), 
seems to have been the lost work on Agriculture by Marcus Terentius 
Varro (116-27 B.C.), who Moore, or the translator who assisted him, 
with a direct inversion of fact, declares translated it into Arabic ! 
The remains of Latin customs among the Berbers are noted by Leo. 
"Frumenty" or " Frumme'ty" (from the Latin Frumentum) a dish into 
which boiled wheat enters largely, is in some parts of England eaten 
on Christmas Eve. In Morocco precisely the same dish (Kerrberr) 
is eaten on or about the 1st of January, O.S., or the 12th of January, 
N*S., which is still reckoned New Year's Day by the Moors in their 
calculations of the Christian era. Although never used for ordinary 
reckoning, the European (Old Style) Calendar is employed to calcu- 
late certain periods of feasts — one of which is St. John's Day — more 
especially among the Berbers. The names of the month are ap- 
parently corruptions of those in the Latin group of languages. — Times 
of Morocco (Tangier), No. 168, January 26th, 1889.* 

(93) The mistranslation of this chapter has been commented on 
in the Introduction. In addition to the diseases mentioned, 
intermittent fever, ophthalmia and other maladies of the eyes, 
small-pox, typhus occasionally, cholera at intervals, elephantiasis 
dropsy, and liver complaints are found among the Morocco people. 
Vaccination is said to have been known to them from a very early 
date, and those who practise it take the lymph direct from the cow : 
but until the English Sherifa of Vazan persuaded many of her hus- 
band's adherents to be vaccinated, the prophylactic was little carried 
out, or even heard of. Dysentery is common owing to the readiness 
with which the people will drink almost any water with no more 
filtering than through a piece of new turban, and the complete neglect 
of sanitary precautions. But dyspepsia and liver ailments, due to 
inordinate gluttony, is the most ordinary disease among the richer 
class of people, who eat heavily of fat highly-spiced dishes, and take 
no exercise. Paralysis is also sometimes seen : but lunacy is not 
frequent, and unless the victims are very dangerous they are per- 
mitted to go at large, a madman being regarded as specially under 

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the countenance of Allah— a belief fully taken advantage of by a host 
of filthy, ragged, long-haired (often naked) knaves, who haunt the 
towns and markets, receiving alms from the charitable Gonta, rarer 
than in Leo's day. Drinking is at times secretly indulged in by the town 
natives, and much less commonly practised in the interior than a few 
centuries ago, when Canary wine was among the gifts made openly by 
Embassies to the Sultans. But, now-a-days, if a dissipated Moor tipples 
brandy reckless of the Koran — which casuists say prohibits wine 
only — he must compromise matters with his conscience by doing so 
secretly. Otherwise, the consequences are apt to be unpleasant if 
the- peccadillo comes to the ears of the Governor, that is, unless 
he can dull that official's sense of duty with a bribe. The 
Jews, however, make a Marsala-like wine, and distil a spirit 
from dates and figs, which is occasionally smuggled into the harems ; 
while the Riffians, and other Berber tribes, drink the wine of their 
grapes. The races of northern Morocco, in general, have excellent 
teeth. Lame people are not often seen, and it is affirmed that many of 
the blind men who act as muezzins or callers of prayers in the mosques, 
have had their eyes destroyed in childhood, a blind man being in 
request for an office the incumbent of which overlooks from his perch 
in the mosque-tower all the adjoining gardens, house-tops, and 
court-yards. Corns, bunions, and deformed toes are almost unknown, 
as the loose slippers worn permit their feet to grow naturally ; though 
the sole is so hard that it has been known to be frizzled by the fire 
only when the smell of roasted horn was noticed. A sham renegade 
(Al Aluje), one of a class for whom they have a well-founded contempt, 
who affected great piety in the mosque, was speedily unmasked by the 
presence of callosities on his feet. Syphilis is not now called the 
" Spanish disease" (mal di Spagna), but " the great sickness" (maradd 
el Kebir), or " the woman's sickness " (maradd el nissuan), and has now 
so permeated the entire race north of the Atlas that there are very 
few families who do not show marks of the national malady. Hot 
sulphur baths, like those of Mulai Yakub, near Fez, are greatly in 
request as remedial agents, and to severe perspiration many cures 
have been attributed. Thus one Kaid freed the negro soldiers of the 
" Maradd el Kebir" by making them carry heavy loads up the steep 
ascent from Fonti to Agader, and another — he was an Algerine — 
accomplished the same end by chaining the sick man to the rowing 
bench of his piratical galley, and plying the scourge freely. The 
plague has not appeared for many years, but leprosy is usually described 
as common. I have seen many of the cases accounted such. Lepers, 
according to Rohlfs — speaking, however, chiefly of Fez and the 
surrounding country more than thirty years ago— are not allowed to 
marry, except with lepers, or to enter towns or villages, or to practise 
any handicraft The " Modjdun" live on alms, and some of them 

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have prospered so well out of the* olferings of the charitable thrown I 
into the plate at the roadside .by which they sit with their monotonous 1 
cry of " A leper ! A leper !" (Modjdun ! Modjdun !) that they possess 
cattle and cultivate farms. It is, however, very doubtful if the 
" djden" is really leprosy, and not a form of syphilis, which the hot 
climate of Morocco and the lack of proper treatment has made much 
worse than any variety of it known in Europe. Close to the 
Bab Dukala of Marakesh, the gate which leads to. Mogador, is a 
village (El Hara) inhabited by people afflicted with the djden. 
It seems not to be spreading, and is not regarded as infectious. For, 
in spite of the statement of Rohlfs, who considered it leprosy — a 
view not held by most of the embassy physicians who have 
examined it — so considerable a number of healthy natives live in these 
villages that the rightful inhabitants are' in a minority. Building also 
is going on, and so little fear have the people of the disease, that 
marriages occasionally take place between "lepers" and healthy 
persons without, Mr. Meakin was informed, the children inheriting the 
disease — a conclusion unlikely to be well based, no matter what 
theory is taken of its character. Yet the El Hara people are forbidden 
to enter the city, and, unless on special occasions, to be at the Gate, 
except in parties not exceeding two or three. Rohlfs, " Beitrage zur 
Geschichte der Medicin und medicinischen Geographie Marokkos" 
{Quid novi ex Africd, pp. 194-212) ; Erckmann, Le Maroc Moderne, 
P- 2 95 > Quedenfeldt, " Krankheiten, Volksmedicin und aber- 
glaublische Kuren in Marokko" {Das Ausland, vol. iv, pp. 75-9 ; 
v, pp. 95-98; viii, pp. 126-9) [Meakin]; Times of Morocco, No. 159 
(Nov. 24th, 1888) ; Marcet, Le Maroc, voyage (Tune mission francaise 
a la Cour du Sultan, pp. 193-4, etc 

(94) " Curatori di destri, quai cuschi e guatteri delle cucine e quai 
famigli di stalle." 

(95) " My nursing" — mia nudra literally — which is in accordance 
with the writer's Spanish birth, and having " passed the greater part of 
his life" in Africa. 

(96) " Amphibia" is not in Leo's text — simply a bird " d'un ingegno 
mirabile." The story, which dates from the time " when men took the 
form of animals, and animals spoke like men", is still told by the 
professional story-tellers in the market places of Morocco, whose tales 
constitute such a wealth of ungathered Arabic and Berber folk-lore. 


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