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“The African Prester John and the Birth of Ethiopian-European Relations, 1402-1555” Book Talk by Dr. Matteo Salvadore with Dr. Tylor Brand as Moderator
The Department of International Studies of the College of Arts and Sciences invites you to attend a seminar to be conducted by Dr. Matteo Salvadore.
From the 14th century onward, political and religious motives led Ethiopian travelers to Mediterranean Europe. For two centuries, their ancient Christian heritage and the myth of a fabled eastern king named Prester John allowed Ethiopians to engage the continent's secular and religious elites as peers. Meanwhile, in Ethiopia, the nobility came to welcome European visitors and at times even co-opted them by arranging mixed marriages and bestowing land rights. The protagonists of this encounter sought and discovered each other in royal palaces, monasteries, and markets throughout the Mediterranean basin, the Red Sea, and the Indian Ocean littoral, from Lisbon to Jerusalem and from Venice to Goa. Matteo Salvadore's narrative takes readers on a voyage of reciprocal discovery that climaxed with the Portuguese intervention on the side of the Christian monarchy in the Ethiopian-Adali War. Thereafter, the arrival of the Jesuits in the Horn of Africa turned the mutually beneficial Ethiopian-European encounter into a bitter confrontation over the souls of Ethiopian Christians.
Speaker: Matteo Salvadore is a broadly trained Africanist and world historian, with a research interest in the Horn of Africa and its diaspora. He published his first book, The African Prester John and the Birth of Ethiopian-European Relations, 1402-1555 in Routledge’s Transculturalisms series. Over the years, he contributed articles to the Journal of World History, Northeast African Studies, and the Journal of African History, as well as several entries to Encyclopaedia Aethiopica, the Oxford Dictionary of African Biography and the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of African History. Before joining AUS, Dr. Salvadore taught in colleges in the US and Kuwait.