Medieval Europe 814-1350: Geography Research Article from World Eras

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Land of Mystery. Although quite close geographically, Africa was a continent that was not well known by Europeans during the Middle Ages. Crusading armies at times had tried to enter it, but on each occasion they had been unsuccessful at even getting past the northern coastlines. Merchants and missionaries, too, it seems, were halted from conducting their activities within the continent's borders, stopped as much by Muslim governors as by harsh terrain, and thus they also remained ignorant of what the continent had to offer.

Animals and People. Of course, despite this ignorance, there still remained a European interest in Africa, fueled as it was by constant rumors of strange beasts and peoples. Elephants, lions, and crocodiles were well known in Europe, with several monarchs having menageries or zoos with such creatures displayed, usually sent to them as gifts from Middle Eastern and North African magnates...

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This section contains 769 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Medieval Europe 814-1350: Geography Encyclopedia Article
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Medieval Europe 814-1350: Geography from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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