The Cosmography and Geography of Africa by Johannes Leo Africanus

KShs 2,990.00

The first new translation in over 400 years of one of the great works of the an African diplomat’s guide to Africa

A Penguin Classic

In 1518, al-Hasan ibn Muhammad al-Wazzan, a Moroccan diplomat, was seized by pirates while travelling in the Mediterranean. Brought before Pope Leo X, he was persuaded to convert to Christianity, in the process taking the name Johannes Leo Africanus. Acclaimed in the papal court for his learning, Leo would in time write his masterpiece, The Cosmography and the Geography of Africa . The Cosmography was the first book about Africa, and the first book written by a modern African, to reach print. It would remain central to the European understanding of Africa for over 300 years, with its descriptions of lands, cities, and peoples giving a singular vision of the vast its urban bustle and rural expanse, its culture, commerce and warfare, its magical herbs and strange animals. Yet it is not a mere catalogue of the Leo also invited his readers to acknowledge the similarity and relevance of these lands to the time and place they knew. For this reason, The Cosmography and Geography of Africa remains significant to our understanding not only of Africa, but of the world and how we perceive it.

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