The Golden Rhinoceros: Histories of the African Middle Ages


Product Details

Princeton University Press
Publish Date
6.7 X 8.2 X 1.2 inches | 1.3 pounds

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About the Author

François-Xavier Fauvelle is senior fellow at the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) in Toulouse, France, and one of the world's leading historians of ancient Africa. The author and editor of numerous books, he has conducted archaeological digs in South Africa, Ethiopia, and Morocco.


"Fauvelle is a wonderful storyteller--his sophisticated narrative is intriguing, entertaining, and informative. No other book presents medieval Africa in this way."--Gérard Chouin, College of William & Mary
"Fauvelle is one of France's most interesting, influential, and intellectually vital historians of Africa. His elegantly written book is very learned, yet wears its learning lightly. The Golden Rhinoceros is a pleasure to read."--Toby Green, author of The Rise of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade in Western Africa, 1300-1589
"Fauvelle has assembled some powerful fragments of Africa's history from the 8th to the 15th centuries."--Times Higher Education
"Featuring stories from around the continent, this is a useful corrective to the outdated idea of a land 'without history'."--History Revealed Magazine
"The Golden Rhinoceros brings the diplomacy of Africa's 'Middle Ages' to life, while also illuminating such fields as commerce, warfare, faith and literary endeavour. . . . Fauvelle's three dozen or so snapshots serve as a kind of historical pointillism, each tiny moment contributing to a panorama of an intricately connected Afro-Islamic world, spanning a period of some seven hundred years."---Barnaby Crowcroft, Literary Review
"Fauvelle offers a brilliant riposte to how little we know about precolonial Africa: approach it from the perspective of global history. African history has never felt more alive. If I were a historian of Africa, this is the book that I would like to have written."--Timothy Brook, author of Vermeer's Hat and Mr. Selden's Map of China
"The 2018 Medieval Book of the Year"
"This English edition of a 2013 French publication is very welcome, being an accessible and stimulating introduction to the richness of medieval Africa. . . If necessarily reliant on external accounts, the careful use of archaeology allows the African histories to remain centre stage."---David Edwards, Medieval Archaeology