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LEO AFRICANUS, Johannes (c.1494-c.1554?). Historiale description de l'Afrique. Antwerp: Jean Bellere, 1556.
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LEO AFRICANUS, Johannes (c.1494-c.1554?). Historiale description de l'Afrique. Antwerp: Jean Bellere, 1556.

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LEO AFRICANUS, Johannes (c.1494-c.1554?). Historiale description de l'Afrique. Antwerp: Jean Bellere, 1556.

8° (149 x 94mm). Woodcut portraits in the text of Africa, Arabia, Egypt, Alexandria and the Nile, 15 woodcuts in the text to B8v, initials, head- and tail pieces, early Plantin device to verso of last leaf with motto ‘Vitis Vera Christus’. (Occasional faint browning,) Late 18th-century red straight-grained morocco gilt for William Beckford, blue silk endpapers, gilt turn-ins, gilt edges. Provenance: Beckford sale (lot 2935, pencilled number to flyleaf and note of acquisition).

Second French edition. Born Al Hassan Ibn Mahommed Al Wezaz Al Fasi, probably in Granada in about 1494, and receiving his education at Fez, the author travelled through most of northern Africa between 1507-1520. In 1520 he also journeyed to Constantinople and Egypt, only to be captured by pirates and presented to Pope Leo X in Rome, where he converted to Christianity. Atkinson 109; Howgego I, A17; Penrose, pp. 279-80.
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