The Ethiopian age of exploration: Prester John's discovery of Europe, 1306-1458

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Date: Dec. 2010
From: Journal of World History(Vol. 21, Issue 4)
Publisher: University of Hawaii Press
Document Type: Report
Length: 14,609 words
Lexile Measure: 1600L

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Abstract :

This article maps a complex network of exchange between Ethiopians and Europeans in the early modern period. Through a combination of disparate sources such as cartographical treatises, chronicles, and archival fragments, the author shows that Ethiopian agents were active throughout the Mediterranean basin already in the fourteenth century. At a time when the European understanding of Africa was still grounded in classical and medieval myths, Ethiopian pilgrims and ambassadors ventured to Europe and became purveyors of knowledge about the unknown world. By virtue of their country's identification with the realm of Prester John, they related to European elites as Christian peers in an encounter where skin color appeared inconsequential.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A246449862