LA PRIMA AMBASCIATA ETIOPICA IN OCCIDENTE (1315 CA.) SVELATA DA UN CRONISTA MILANESE

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Paolo Chiesa *
(*) Autore principale:
Paolo Chiesa | paolo.chiesa@unimi.it

Abstract

A passage from the unpublished Cronica universalis by the Milanese Dominican Galvano Fiamma (d. c. 1345) contains news about the expedition carried out in 1291 by two Genoese ships, which was intended to reach India by the Atlantic route. Until now, this expedition was known only from the Annales Ianuenses; according this text, the commanders of the expedition were the Vivaldi brothers, although in Galvano’s account the name of the admiral is Ubertus of Savignone. Galvano’s source is a lost libellus written by a Genoese priest, Giovanni da Carignano, who said he got information about the sailors’ fate from an embassy that came from Ethiopia around 1315: the ambassadors told that the Genoese had arrived in their land, but had given up returning home because of the difficulties of the journey. Galvano’s new witness anticipates by a century the first known contacts between Ethiopia and Western Europe in the middle ages.


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