Medieval Ethiopian Kingship, Craft, and Diplomacy with Latin Europe

Authors: Krebs, Verena

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  • Explores Ethiopian-European diplomatic encounters in the late Middle Ages
  • Challenges conventional narratives of African-European relations, arguing that African exploration of Europe was driven by aesthetic curiosity rather than military ventures
  • Draws on an extensive corpus of primary sources from Italy and Spain to the Levant and Ethiopia
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  • ISBN 978-3-030-64934-0
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Hardcover 93,59 €
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  • ISBN 978-3-030-64933-3
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About this book

This book explores why Ethiopian kings pursued long-distance diplomatic contacts with Latin Europe in the late Middle Ages. It traces the history of more than a dozen embassies dispatched to the Latin West by the kings of Solomonic Ethiopia, a powerful Christian kingdom in the medieval Horn of Africa. Drawing on sources from Europe, Ethiopia, and Egypt, it examines the Ethiopian kings’ motivations for sending out their missions in the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries – and argues that a desire to acquire religious treasures and foreign artisans drove this early intercontinental diplomacy. Moreover, the Ethiopian initiation of contacts with the distant Christian sphere of Latin Europe appears to have been intimately connected to a local political agenda of building monumental ecclesiastical architecture in the North-East African highlands, and asserted the Ethiopian rulers’ claim of universal kingship and rightful descent from the biblical king Solomon. Shedding new light on the self-identity of a late medieval African dynasty at the height of its power, this book challenges conventional narratives of African-European encounters on the eve of the so-called ‘Age of Exploration'.

About the authors

Verena Krebs is Professor for Medieval Cultural Realms and their Entanglements at the Ruhr University Bochum, Germany, where she also co-directs the Bochum Centre for Mediterranean Studies. She holds a bi-national PhD from the universities of Konstanz, Germany, and Mekelle, Ethiopia; her primary research focus is on the late medieval Solomonic Kingdom of Ethiopia and its connections to the wider Mediterranean region.

Reviews

“In this meticulously researched and highly original book, Krebs conjures up an immensely wide world as she follows the visits of Ethiopian pilgrims and ambassadors to late medieval Europe. She also opens a window onto the politics and culture of that proud highland kingdom. This is a model study that will change our vision of Europe’s encounter with the non-European world at the dawn of the Renaissance.” (Peter Brown, Emeritus Professor of History, Princeton University, USA) 

“An outstanding contribution to our understanding of Ethiopia’s early relations with Europe. Rich, well-documented and highly convincing.” (Michael Gervers, University of Toronto, Canada)

“Combining meticulous research and a thorough synthesis of the sources, this book offers a fresh look at the diplomatic history of Christian Ethiopia and Latin Europe between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries. A fascinating study that will undoubtedly be an invaluable resource for those who seek to research and teach the history of Ethiopia.” (Solomon Gebreyes, University of Hamburg, Germany)



Table of contents (6 chapters)

Table of contents (6 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook 74,89 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-64934-0
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover 93,59 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-64933-3
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Institutional customers should get in touch with their account manager
  • Covid-19 shipping restrictions
  • Usually ready to be dispatched within 3 to 5 business days, if in stock
  • The final prices may differ from the prices shown due to specifics of VAT rules

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Medieval Ethiopian Kingship, Craft, and Diplomacy with Latin Europe
Authors
Copyright
2021
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-64934-0
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-64934-0
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-64933-3
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XVII, 308
Number of Illustrations
9 b/w illustrations
Topics