Leo Africanus

( 2 )

Overview

"I, Hasan the son of Muhammad the weigh-master, I, Jean-Leon de Medici, circumcised at the hand of a barber and baptized at the hand of a pope, I am now called the African, but I am not from Africa, nor from Europe, nor from Arabia. I am also called the Granadan, the Fassi, the Zayyati, but I come from no country, from no city, no tribe. I am the son of the road, my country is the caravan, my life the most unexpected of voyages." Thus wrote Leo Africanus, in his fortieth year, in this imaginary autobiography of the famous geographer, adventurer,
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Leo Africanus

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Overview

"I, Hasan the son of Muhammad the weigh-master, I, Jean-Leon de Medici, circumcised at the hand of a barber and baptized at the hand of a pope, I am now called the African, but I am not from Africa, nor from Europe, nor from Arabia. I am also called the Granadan, the Fassi, the Zayyati, but I come from no country, from no city, no tribe. I am the son of the road, my country is the caravan, my life the most unexpected of voyages." Thus wrote Leo Africanus, in his fortieth year, in this imaginary autobiography of the famous geographer, adventurer, and scholar Hasan al-Wazzan, who was born in Granada in 1488. His family fled the Inquisition and took him to the city of Fez, in North Africa. Hasan became an itinerant merchant, and made many journeys to the East, journeys rich in adventure and observation. He was captured by a Sicilian pirate and taken back to Rome as a gift to Pope Leo X, who baptized him Johannes Leo. While in Rome, he wrote the first trilingual dictionary (Latin, Arabic and Hebrew), as well as his celebrated Description of Africa, for which he is still remembered as Leo Africanus.
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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times
Leo Africanus is a beautiful book of tales about people who are forced to accept choices made for them by someone else...It relates, poetically at times and often imaginatively, the story of those who did not make it to the New World.
BBC World Service
Utterly fascinating.
Thomas Fleming
Absoutely facinating—an evocation of a lost world. Leo's travels among the Moslems, Christians and Jews in his time shed startling light on our present dilemmas.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Through the adventures of a wise, courageous traveler, this excellent historical novel limns Islamic culture at the time of Columbus. (July)
Library Journal
Written in the form of a memoir, this historical novel explores the meeting of two worlds Islam and Christendom through the adventures of real-life Arab traveler and geographer Hassan al-Wazzan. Born in Spain just as the Moors were expelled in 1492, Hassan grows up in North Africa and as a young man crosses the Sahara to Timbuctu, eventually reaching Cairo on the eve of its conquest by the Ottomans. In the last of his sojourns recounted by Maalouf, Hassan arrives in the Rome of Pope Leo X, who christens him Leo Africanus. Chronicling the loves and adventures of his wandering protagonist, the author deftly weaves into Hassan's account a score of the traveler's more famous contemporaries, including Columbus, the Medicis, Martin Luther, and Suleiman the Magnificent. Enjoyable reading for general readers. L.M. Lewis, Eastern Kentucky Univ., Richmond
New York Times Book Review
Leo Africanus is a beautiful book of tales about people who are forced to accept choices made for them by someone else...It relates, poetically at times and often imaginatively, the story of those who did not make it to the New World.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781561310227
  • Publisher: Dee, Ivan R. Publisher
  • Publication date: 3/28/1998
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 561,962
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Amin Maalouf, a Lebanese writer, was editor-in-chief of Jeune Afrique. He is the author of The Crusades Through Arab Eyes and several novels.
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Table of Contents

Part 1 I THE BOOK OF GRANADA Chapter 2 The Year of Salma al-Hurra 5 Chapter 3 The Year of the Amulets 23 Chapter 4 The Year of Astaghfirullah 31 Chapter 5 The Year of the Fall 41 Chapter 6 The Year of Mihrajan 63 Chapter 7 The Year of the Crossing 71 Part 8 II THE BOOK OF FEZ Chapter 9 The Year of the Hostelries 83 Chapter 10 The Year of the Soothsayers 93 Chapter 11 The Year of the Mourners 101 Chapter 12 The Year of Harun the Ferret 107 Chapter 13 The Year of the Inquisitors 113 Chapter 14 The Year of the Hammam 119 Chapter 15 The Year of the Raging Lions 125 Chapter 16 The Year of the Great Recitation 131 Chapter 17 The Year of the Stratagem 137 Chapter 18 The Year of the Knotted Blade of Grass 143 Chapter 19 The Year of the Caravan 153 Chapter 20 The Year of Timbuktu 161 Chapter 21 The Year of the Testament 169 Chapter 22 The Year of the Maristan 177 Chapter 23 The Year of the Bride 183 Chapter 24 The Year of Fortune 189 Chapter 25 The Year of the Two Palaces 195 Chapter 26 The Year of the lame Sharif 201 Chapter 27 The Year of the Storm 207 Part 28 III THE BOOK OF CAIRO Chapter 29 The Year of the Noble Eye 223 Chapter 30 The Year of the Circassian 233 Chapter 31 The Year of the Rebels 245 Chapter 32 The Year of the Grand Turk 255 Chapter 33 The Year of Tumanbay 269 Chapter 34 The Year of the Abduction 277 Part 35 IV THE BOOK OF ROME Chapter 36 The Year of San Angelo 289 Chapter 37 The Year of the Heretics 295 Chapter 38 The Year of the Conversa 303 Chapter 39 The Year of Adrian 311 Chapter 40 The Year of Sulaiman 317 Chapter 41 The Year of Clemency 325 Chapter 42 The Year of the King of France 333 Chapter 43 The Year of the Black Bands 341 Chapter 44 The Year of the Lansquenets 349
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 3, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    a great book from a gifted author

    This was the first book I read for Mr. Maalouf. The story is fantastic, and the author is gifted. As a Lebanese immigrant and author, I appreciated the book and enjoyed Mr. Maalouf's style. I strongly recommand to read all of his books.

    Roy Habib, M.D.
    author of "lessons in times of war and peace"
    and "A dream on the lake"

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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