Friday, November 20, 2009

leo 4

So in this section of Leo Africanus, Leo is found to be married to Maddalena who is from the nunnery. She had to get the Cardinal's permission to leave and marry Hasan. They then had a son together. Also at this time the pope passes away and another pope replaces him. This Pope, Pope Adrian is very conservative. He makes all the men shave their beard. Many of the people are against this and want to hold off on his rules. Hasan is then put in jail when he is caught with a pamphlet that goes against the Pope. Then the Pope is poisoned and dies. The Cardinal then goes in his place. Hasan and his family then try to relocate back to Tunis.

My question is that does an authority have so much power to tell everyone to do as he says? I mean for the Pope to tell everyone to cut their beard seems a little of the personal side. It's interesting to see how society has changed and so did the rules. How we have individual rights and personal freedom.


  1. I was wondering the same thing. I think, on the whole, this action was facilitated by the fact that the Pope was so close to this group of his constituents. We do not know if everyone who followed the Pope throughout the world at the time actually shaved his beard, we simply know from what Hasan tells us that the men in the immediate area did so. I think this could be because of the close relationship they had with the Pope and the church at the time. Even from the beginning of the book we see that people of the time were very close to their religion and that it took up much of their thoughts and actions. It is interesting to note how society has changed in that regard.

  2. Like Mariah, I wondered the same thing, although think about humanity in general, we are all governed by certain rules that someone at some point made. Such as, (while there are nudist colonies,) someone at some point thought it important for people to wear clothes. At one point, it was a rule for women to wear dresses. Everything changes over time, although I thought it was interesting that the Pope made the people cut their beard. I also think that there were many very devoted followers who would do anything for the Pope. While I do not believe that the Pope should have made the shaving of the beard a law, I also believe there are rules in societies we do not even think of anymore.