University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
African Studies Collection

Page View

Alvares, Manuel, 1526-1583; et al. / Ethiopia Minor and a geographical account of the Province of Sierra Leone (c. 1615)

Dedication to the very Reverend Father Claudio Aquaviva, Préposito General of the Society of Jesus PDF (234.8 KB)

to the Very Reverend Father Claudio Aauaviva, Pre'osito General
of the Society of Jesus.
Classical literature tells us, Very Reverend Father, that
Diogenes the Cynic, being in the city of Syracuse when it was
besieged by Philip, father of the great Alexander, and seeing that
all were busying themselves in playing the role of valiant soldiers
and were resisting the enemy, took an earthen pot he owned and
rolled it through the streets and squares. When asked why he did
this, he replied that it was so that he should not be considered to
have any less strange an occupation (than the soldiers). In the
same way, when I saw that the truth about the affairs of this
Ethiopia Minor and Province of Serra Leoa had become a battleground
for various opinions, it occurred to me to write this treatise,
since I considered the subject a most vleasing one.and one not
without interest from the point of view of gaining knowledge about
many very important points bearing on the topic of servitude and
about other matters discussed in the treatise. My reasons for offer-
ing it to you, Reverend Father, are such open ones that this degree
of boldness on my part deserves your pardon, as if it were that of a
son, even an unworthy son. The slightness of the work has made me a
coward. But equally what has given me confidence, so that I do not
spcak out of presumption (?), is the affection and paternal charity
with which you always treat those who shelter in your shadow.
Confidence that this is the first work (on the subject) and that it
deals with matters as varied as they are interesting has enlarged
the treatise. Now it does not fear to appear before Your Reverence
in order to attain the fulfilment of its purpose, a fulfilment
depending solely on the credit which you, Reverend Father, gives to
it and the authority with which you receive it.
Manuel Alvares.

Go up to Top of Page