When we came to Alexandria, a city of Egypt, I, longing for novelty (as a thirsty man longs for fresh water) departed from these places as being well known to all, and, entering the Nile, arrived at Cairo.
In The Travels of Ludovico de Varthema, 1863. Translated by John Winter Jones. Ed. Hakluyt Society, London. p.5
After my previous post where I tried to clarify some basic issues related to Ludovico de Varthema and his book, Itinerario de Ludovico de Varthema, it's time to actually ding into what matters: who was this man and why is his book so interesting. Varthema's basic life and travel facts are easily retrieved. But what else can we collect from his writings?
Some months ago my attention was drawn to a post in the BBC News: for the first time would be exhibited in New Delhi a rare book from a 16th-century Italian traveller, Ludovico di Varthema, who compiled adventures and observations in his Itinerario de Ludovico de Varthema Bolognese. According to the BBC post, this was the "first 'travel best-seller' on India, translated to more than 50 languages", enriched with "detailed drawings" which were an essential part of its success.
idea mater is a series of articles, ideas and reflections written and compiled by Rafael Fraga and Edmundo Rodrigues. Topics such as history, science, art or life-style are presented with a hint of personal opinion.
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