Thursday, November 12, 2009
In this week's readings Leo Africanus tells of the times in Cairo; he wrote "when a high dignitary was captured, he was perched upon a donkey, facing backwards, his hair in a blue turban and deck out with little bells which were hung around his neck...he was paraded around the streets before being decapitated" (269). These wars became a witch hunt and soldiers began arresting passer-byers and accusing them of being Circassians. He also goes on to talk about the rape and pillage that continuously went on as well. It seems that each side takes control of the killing back and forth for a while within the chapter; the victims once fearful turn vengeful and the killers once merciless run scared. Leo Africanus soon goes on to discuss how his travels turned when he was enslaved by Pietro Bovadiglia, a Sicilian pirate; he was to be given as a gift to the Pope himself. Pope Leo X soon discussed that Leo Africanus was a man of knowledge and was taken on harsh circumstances that he could not agree with, and as Africanus stated at the end of the chapter, "My year's captivity was thus without pain for the body and highly profitable for the mind" (294). Ironically, Leo Africanus was most stimulated during the time that seemed so bad.