“Ethiopes like the develes of helle”: Monster Theory, Giants, and the Sowdone of Babylone

  • Kofi Omoniyi Sylvanus Campbell


The place of Africa and blacks in the Middle English imaginary, and thus the future of the black Atlantic, was in many ways predetermined by the heavy Muslim presence in Africa. The Muslim Saracens represented for medieval England the ultimate enemy of Christianity, England, Europe as a whole, and indeed civilization. As the work of many scholars, led by Edward Said’s pioneering work, has demonstrated, the Saracen east was constructed as one of the fundamental others of English Christianity. The Saracens were continually portrayed in Middle English literature as an aggressive threat, one that had to be met with force and vanquished at any cost if England, Christianity, and the West were to survive.1


English Version Fifteenth Century Great Heat English Audience Late Fourteenth Century 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 24.
    M. C. Seymour, ed., The Metrical Version of Mandeville’s Travels (Oxford: EETS no. 269, 1973). All further references to the Metrical text are from this version.Google Scholar
  2. 42.
    See, for example, J. F. Richard, ed., Precious Metals in the Later Medieval and Early Modern Worlds ( Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 1983 ).Google Scholar
  3. 45.
    On this topic see Boffey; and Bernard Hamilton, “Prester John and the Three Kings of Cologne,” in Charles Beckingham and Bernard Hamilton, eds., Prester John, the Mongols and the Ten Lost Tribes ( Brookfield, VT: Variorum, 1996 ) 171–186.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kofi Omoniyi Sylvanus Campbell 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kofi Omoniyi Sylvanus Campbell

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations