Africa Encountered: European Contacts and Evidence, 1450–1700, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Africa Encountered

European Contacts and Evidence, 1450–1700, 1st Edition

By P.E.H. Hair


346 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9780860786269
pub: 1997-03-06
SAVE ~$37.00

FREE Standard Shipping!


Professor Hair’s aim here has been to explore the European written record for the history of Africa south of the Sahara. This effectively began with the arrival of the Portuguese on the Guinea coast and many of these articles focus on Sierra Leone; others extend the enquiry to southern Africa. One particular theme is the use of early vocabularies of African languages as a source for the history of local populations. At the same time, these studies help illuminate the European reaction to the peoples and the places they encountered.


'Taken as a whole, the articles…give readers a taste of Hair’s thoughtful (and at times pugnacious) approach to African history.' African Studies Review '…this collection illustrates why Hair is so much appreciated as a scholar by historians of West Africa. His meticulous eye for detail and his unstinting efforts to find the very last bit of evidence about the issue he studies are hallmarks of every single paper in the collection.' International Journal of African Historical Studies, Vol. 23, Nos. 2-3 '… a particularly useful volume for historians, especially as several of the articles initially appeared in local journals in Africa and were not widely available… The scholarship that constitutes the body of this book is of the hightest quality and argues eloquently for Professor Hair's methodology. The author demonstrates the effectiveness of "digging out all extant primary sources and examining them in detail". The lasting value of his meticulously researched articles derives from that painstaking method and from the effective ciritical interpretation of those sources.' African History

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; Discovery and discoveries: the Portuguese in Guinea, 1444-1650; Protestants as pirates, slavers and proto-missionaries: Sierra Leone 1568 and 1582; The abortive Portuguese settlement of Sierra Leone, 1570-1625; Hamlet in an Afro-Portuguese setting: new perspectives on Sierra Leone in 1607; The spelling and connotation of the Toponym ’Sierra Leone’ since 1461; The use of African languages in Afro-European contacts in Guinea 1440-1560; Ethnolinguistic continuity on the Guinea coast; An ethnolinguistic inventory of the Upper Guinea coast before 1700; An ethnolinguistic inventory of the Lower Guinea coast before 1700; Portuguese contacts with the Bantu languages of the Transkei, Natal and Southern Mozambique 1497-1650; Milho, Meixoeira and other foodstuffs of the Sofala Garrison, 1505-1525; Index.

About the Series

Variorum Collected Studies

The first title in the Variorum Collected Studies series was published in 1970. Since then well over 1000 titles have appeared in the series, and it has established a well-earned international reputation for the publication of key research across a whole range of subjects within the fields of history.

The history of the medieval world remains central to the series, with Byzantine studies a particular speciality, but the range of titles extends from Hellenistic philosophy and the history of the Roman empire and early Christianity, through the Renaissance and Reformation, up to the 20th century. Islamic Studies forms another major strand as do the histories of science, technology and medicine.

Each title in the Variorum Collected Studies series brings together for the first time a selection of articles by a leading authority on a particular subject. These studies are reprinted from a vast range of learned journals, Festschrifts and conference proceedings. They make available research that is scattered, even inaccessible in all but the largest and most specialized libraries. With a new introduction and index, and often with new notes and previously unpublished material, they constitute an essential resource. 

For further information about contributing to the series please contact Michael Greenwood at [email protected]

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General