Roman Scholar Describes Ancient Africa // Pliny on Source of The Nile and Aethiopia – 1st century AD

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A land containing not only powerful imperial dynasties and massive historical armies, but also tribes of dog-headed men, hungry cannibals and looming giants…
Here we have Pliny The Elder’s description of the lands south of Egypt – as far south into Ancient Africa as Rome had ventured at the time. Whether searching for the source of the Nile, or in attempts to conquer the ancient Kingdom of Kush, Rome’s knowledge of the region was surprisingly detailed – and unsurprisingly outlandish.

Translated by John Bostock and HT Riley.

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Dbxsoul [CC BY 3.0 (] Valerian Guillot
Bardo National Museum [CC BY-SA 4.0 (] Sven-Steffen Arndt [CC BY-SA 2.0 (] Rod Waddington

Voices of the Past is an attempt to tell the story of our species through the written accounts of the very people who lived through it. Join me, David, as I introduce the stories of both the great figures of history and the lesser known witnesses of great events; not through the analysis of modern historians, but through the words written and the speeches spoken by these figures themselves.

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