In this Book

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A leading historian reconstructs the forgotten history of medieval Africa

From the birth of Islam in the seventh century to the voyages of European exploration in the fifteenth, Africa was at the center of a vibrant exchange of goods and ideas. It was an African golden age in which places like Ghana, Nubia, and Zimbabwe became the crossroads of civilizations, and where African royals, thinkers, and artists played celebrated roles in the globalized world of the Middle Ages. The Golden Rhinoceros brings this unsung era marvelously to life, taking readers from the Sahara and the Nile River Valley to the Ethiopian highlands and southern Africa.

Drawing on fragmented written sources as well as his many years of experience as an archaeologist, François-Xavier Fauvelle painstakingly reconstructs an African past that is too often denied its place in history—but no longer. He looks at ruined cities found in the mangrove, exquisite pieces of art, rare artifacts like the golden rhinoceros of Mapungubwe, ancient maps, and accounts left by geographers and travelers—remarkable discoveries that shed critical light on political and architectural achievements, trade, religious beliefs, diplomatic episodes, and individual lives.

A book that finally recognizes Africa’s important role in the Middle Ages, The Golden Rhinoceros also provides a window into the historian’s craft. Fauvelle carefully pieces together the written and archaeological evidence to tell an unforgettable story that is at once sensitive to Africa’s rich social diversity and alert to the trajectories that connected Africa with the wider Muslim and Christian worlds.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title, Copyright
  2. pp. i-iv
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-viii
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  1. Note on Conventions
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Introduction: Africa in the Middle Ages
  2. pp. 1-15
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  1. 1 The Tribulations of Two Chinese in Africa East Africa, the Eighth to the Fifteenth Century
  2. pp. 16-21
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  1. 2 In the Belly of the Sperm Whale East Africa, Beginning of the Tenth Century
  2. pp. 22-27
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  1. 3 Aspects of a Border Qasr Ibrîm, Lower Nubia, from the Seventh Century
  2. pp. 28-35
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  1. 4 Diplomatic Back-and-Forth at the Court of George II of Nubia Faras and Dongola, Present-Day Sudan, Last Quarter of the Tenth Century
  2. pp. 36-43
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  1. 5 “Does anyone live beyond you?” Central Sahara, Seventh to the Ninth Century
  2. pp. 44-49
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  1. 6 For Forty-Two Thousand Dinars Aoudaghost, Present-Day Mauritania, Middle of the Ninth Century
  2. pp. 50-55
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  1. 7 A Tale of Two Cities: On the Capital of Ghâna The Aoukar, Present-Day Mauritania, around 1068
  2. pp. 56-63
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  1. 8 Ghâna, One Hundred Years Later Banks of a River in the Sahel, between 1116 and 1154
  2. pp. 64-68
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  1. 9 The Conversion Effect Various Parts of the Sahel, Eleventh to Twelfth Century
  2. pp. 69-74
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  1. 10 The King of Zâfûn Enters Marrakesh Morocco and the Western Sahel, around the Second Quarter of the Twelfth Century
  2. pp. 75-80
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  1. 11 The Rich Dead of the Tumuli Ethiopia, Mali, Senegal, between the Ninth and the Fourteenth Century
  2. pp. 81-88
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  1. 12 Aksum, the City That Made Kings Northern Ethiopia, around the Twelfth Century
  2. pp. 89-93
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  1. 13 The Treasures of Debre Damo Northern Ethiopia, until the Twelfth Century
  2. pp. 94-99
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  1. 14 One Map, Two Geographies Horn of Africa, before the Middle of the Twelfth Century
  2. pp. 100-104
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  1. 15 The Case of the Concubine Aydhâb, Berbera, Present-Day Coastal Sudan and Somaliland, December 1144
  2. pp. 105-110
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  1. 16 Sijilmâsa, Crossroads at the Ends of the Earth Southeastern Morocco, from the Twelfth to the Fourteenth Century
  2. pp. 111-118
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  1. 17 The Land Where Gold Grows like Carrots The Sahel, from the Tenth to the Fourteenth Century
  2. pp. 119-124
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  1. 18 Phantom Mines Present-Day Zimbabwe Highlands and the West African Savanna, around the Thirteenth Century
  2. pp. 125-130
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  1. 19 The Land of Sofala Coasts of Present-Day Tanzania and Mozambique, End of the Thirteenth to the Beginning of the Fourteenth Century
  2. pp. 131-134
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  1. 20 The Golden Rhinoceros Northeastern South Africa, Thirteenth Century
  2. pp. 135-142
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  1. 21 The Stratigraphy of Kilwa, or How Cities Are Born Coast of Present-Day Tanzania, from the Tenth to the Fifteenth Century
  2. pp. 143-148
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  1. 22 The Camels of Madagascar, or Marco Polo’s Africa Somalia and Madagascar, End of the Thirteenth Century
  2. pp. 149-153
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  1. 23 The Work of Angels Lalibela, Ethiopian Highlands, around the Thirteenth Century
  2. pp. 154-159
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  1. 24 The Sultan and the Sea Coast of Present-Day Senegal or Gambia, around 1312
  2. pp. 160-168
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  1. 25 Ruins of Salt Taghâza, Extreme North of Present-Day Mali, from the Eleventh to the Sixteenth Century
  2. pp. 169-174
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  1. 26 The Customs of Mâli Oualata, Present-Day Mauritania, around 17 April 1352
  2. pp. 175-182
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  1. 27 A Wreck in the Sahara Central Mauritania, the Eleventh, Twelfth, and Thirteenth Centuries
  2. pp. 183-189
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  1. 28 The Golden Orb Kingdom of Mâli, Fourteenth Century
  2. pp. 190-199
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  1. 29 The King’s Speech In Mâli City, Capital of the Kingdom of Mâli, from June 1352 to February 1353
  2. pp. 200-208
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  1. 30 The Production of Eunuchs in Abyssinia Ethiopia and Somaliland, around 1340
  2. pp. 209-214
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  1. 31 Inventory at Great Zimbabwe Present-Day Zimbabwe, Fourteenth to Fifteenth Century
  2. pp. 215-221
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  1. 32 Next Year in Tamentit, or the (Re)discovery of Africa Tuat Oasis, Central Algeria, Second Half of the Fifteenth Century
  2. pp. 222-231
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  1. 33 Africa’s New Shores The Coasts of Present-Day Mauritania, Senegal, and Gambia, 1455
  2. pp. 232-239
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  1. 34 Vasco da Gama and the “New World” Indian Ocean, 1498
  2. pp. 240-248
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. 249-250
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  1. Glossary
  2. pp. 251-254
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  1. Further Reading
  2. pp. 255-258
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 259-264
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Additional Information

ISBN
9780691183947
Related ISBN
9780691181264
MARC Record
OCLC
1051770798
Launched on MUSE
2019-08-15
Language
English
Open Access
No
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