I found Leo Africanus much more stimulating than the other items we have read. I find it extremely interesting to read a first hand account of the 1500’s. Prior to the reading I have done in this book, I have no knowledge of everyday life at this time. The first readings did a great job painting a picture of what Leo Africanus was describing.
I found the chapter “The Year of Astaghfirullah especially interesting. Society was a lot different. I never realized there was as much cohabitation between people of different religions as there was. Jews and Christians are mentioned living and doing business with each other. I also didn’t know how much of a social taboo drinking was. Although it was condemned in the Islamic faith muslim vendors still shamefully sold and drank it. We learn that Shaikh Astaghfirullah spends much of his sermons on how alcohol furthers one from God and how many hypocritically sit in prayer while “last night they were prostate in their cups.”
I really enjoyed this reading. This book gave me a much better understanding of what life was like in the late 1400s. I look forward to reading more and learning more about Leo Africanus’ life.