This book gives the Italian text and English translations of four itineraries recorded by Alessandro Zorzi, two earlier itineraries (ca. 1400 and 1482), and some evidence collected by Zorzi, these documents being preceded by a lengthy introduction in which Dr Crawford examines them and explains their significance. The Zorzi itineraries give a detailed account of Ethiopian geography before the country was overrun in the sixteenth century by the armies of Granh and by the Gallas. The destruction and forced migration then caused obliterated the older picture—even the place-names changed. The itineraries are important partly because they contribute to direct knowledge of Ethiopian history and geography, pardy because they give evidence of European interest in and communications with a little known country, and the preconceptions of European travellers and writers in the later Middle Ages.
Dr Crawford died just after this book was printed. Though he was best known as an archaeologist who had made notable contributions to archaeological technique, he was a geographer by training and inclination. His interest in the historical geography of north-east Africa sprang from his excavations in the Sudan in 1913-14, and found its final expression in this volume.
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Crawford publie et analyse des itinéraires apparus entre 1400 et 1524. L’annexe III mérite d’être relevé :
“An ethiopian embassy to western Europe in 1306”, R. A. Skelton.
Les 30 membres de cette ambassade sont obligés de débarquer à Gênes et y rencontrent le cartographe Giovanni de Carignano. Ce dernier rédige un traité, aujourd’hui perdu. Un bref extrait nous est cependant parvenu dans la chronique de Foresti (Brescia, 1485).