Thursday, November 19, 2009

Leo Africanus : The Journey Ends

After a forty year grueling adventure taking Leo all around the world he finally settles down with his new wife and family while heading toward Tunis. The last few chapters of the book continue with Leo in Rome and in hospitable care of the Pope. The pope persuades Leo to take a new wife,Maddalena, whom is pregnant and also a convert. Although, somewhat reluctant Leo is blessed with his first son. The pope, Leo once benefactor passes on and is replaced with a pope less than interested in art, beauty, and "non-believers." Leo is confronted several times and urged to make leave from Rome as it's aura is changing. Painters, sculptors, and many others take refuge heading toward Tunis or Naples.
Leo one day before his plan to leave Rome with his wife and child, he is imprisoned by the Pope for having a phamphlet ridcolouling the pope. Leo is imprisoned for a years time until his is released by the new Pope, as the old one fell ill do certain poisons. Generally, one misfortune bestows another and his other wife and daughter who waited for him patiently, finally gave up and left for Persia. I find this point particulary interesting too, as i know that marriages at the time were arranged and the man was allowed to take more than one wife, yet i didn't realize that the wife had the choice to leave. He is sent as an emissary of the Pope where he encounters his life long almost brother, Hasan the Ferret, now working for the Grand Turk. After attempts to get the Muslims and Christians to live in peace were over, Leo traveled around with Givivanni in the Black Band, until Givivannis death. One interesting view point you get through Leo travels is how much religion was used as a hope and as a will to impose rules and restrictions. The pope at one point imprisons Leo. In today's society I have not heard of case involving religious figures imprisoning anyone. It seems that religion in that day had as many believers as people exploiting religion for some monetary or political gain. One more interesting point that is only seen differently from a first hand account, is the rise and fall of nations such as Granada. Coupled along with the the routes in trade that separated many, again, because of religion. My question for everyone is if religion was not used as a divider for many nations how would the World System be different overall?

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