Leo Africanus Book VII. Chapter: Of Nubia
A note to Pseudodoxia Epidemica, Book III, chapter 27

From Book VII of A Geographical Historie of Africa, Written in Arabicke and Italian by Iohn Leo a More, borne in Granada, and brought up in Barbarie. Translated and collected by Iohn Pory (London:1600), pp. 295-296:

NUBIA bordering westward upon the kingdome last described [Gaoga], and stretching from thence unto Nilus, is enclosed on the southside with the desert of Goran, and on the north side with the confines of Egypt. Howbeit they cannot passe by water from this kingdome into Egypt: for the river of Nilus is in some places no deeper then a man may wade over on foote. The principall towne of this kingdome calld Dangala is exxceeding populous, and containeth to the number of ten thousand families. The wals of their houses consist of a kinde of chalke, and the roofes are covered with strawe. The townesmen are exceeding rich and civill people, and have great traffike with the merchants of Cairo & Egypt: in other parts of this kingdome you shall finde none but village and hamlets situate upon the river of Nilus, all the inhabitants whereof are husbandmen. The kingdome of Nubia is most rich in corne and sugar, which notwithstanding they knowe not how to use. Also in the citie of Dangala there is great plentie of civet and Sandall-wood. This region aboundeth with Ivory likewise, bicause heere are so many elephants taken. Here is also a most strong and deadly poison, one graine whereof being divided amongst ten persons, will kill them all within lesse then a quarter of an hower: but if one man taketh a graine, he dieth thereof out of hand. An ounce of this poison is solde for an hundred ducates; neither may it be solde to any but to forraine merchants, & whosoever buieth it is bound by oath not to use it in the kingdome of Nubia. All such as buy of this poison are constrained to pay as much unto the king, as to the mechant: but if any man selleth poison without the princes knowledge, he is presently put to death. The king of Nubia maintaineth continuall warre, partly against the people of Goran (who being descended of the people called Zingani, inhabite the deserts, and speake a kinde of language that no other nation understandeth) and partly against certaine other people also dwelling upon the desert which lieth eastward of Nilus, and stretcheth towards the red sea, being not farre from the borders of Suachen. Their language (as I take it) is mixt, for it hath great affinity with the Chaldeann toong, with the language of Suachen, and with the language of Ethiopia the higher, where Prete Gianni is said to beare rule: the people themselves are called Bugiha, and are most base and miserable, and live onely upon milke, camels-flesh, and the flesh of such beasts as are taken in those deserts. Sometimes they receive tribute of the governour of Suachen, and sometimes of the governors of Dangala. they had once a rich towne situate upon the red sea called Zibid, whereunto belonged a commodious haven, being opposite unto the haven of Zidem, which is fortie miles distant from Mecca. But an hundred yeeres since it was destroied by the Soldan, bicause the inhabitants received certaine wares which should have beene carried to Mecca, and at the same time the famous port of Zibbid was destroied, from whence notwithstanding was gathereda great yeerely tribute. The inhabitants beingg chased from thence fledde unto Dangala and Suachin, and at length being ovecome in battaile by the governour of Suachin, there were in one day slaine of them above fower thousand, and a thousand were carried captive unto Suachin, who were massacred by the women and children of the citie. And thus much (friendly reader) as concerning the lande of Negros: the fifteen kingdomes whereof agreeing much in rites and customes, are subiect unto fower princes onely. Let us now proceed unto the description of Egypt.

Here ended the seventh booke.

This page is by James Eason.

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