Adventures of the European Explorers in Africa and the Scramble for Africa

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
4,709
#11
Well, Charles Gordon in the Sudan had as his right-hand man the Italian officer Romolo Gessi (though he had become a British subject). Gordon, plagued by peculiar Victorian prejudices, couldn't quite grasp that Gessi was a modern Italian, a veteran of the Crimean War, but rather tended to regard his as some kind of atavistic throwback from the Italian Renaissance — because modern Italians he considered to be crap.

The relationship ended after Gessi on an extended survey trip had become the first European to establish that the Nile flows through Lake Albert. In 19th c. explorer terms that was a pretty nice achievement, as explorations go. Gordon's first words to him when reporting this was: "What a pity you're not British!" Gessi took offense and resigned.
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
4,319
Portugal
#12
Well, Charles Gordon in the Sudan had as his right-hand man the Italian officer Romolo Gessi (though he had become a British subject). Gordon, plagued by peculiar Victorian prejudices, couldn't quite grasp that Gessi was a modern Italian, a veteran of the Crimean War, but rather tended to regard his as some kind of atavistic throwback from the Italian Renaissance — because modern Italians he considered to be crap.

The relationship ended after Gessi on an extended survey trip had become the first European to establish that the Nile flows through Lake Albert. In 19th c. explorer terms that was a pretty nice achievement, as explorations go. Gordon's first words to him when reporting this was: "What a pity you're not British!" Gessi took offense and resigned.
Excellent story!!! Didn’t knew that one! And we have an Italian name to add to our List: Romolo Gessi!

Meanwhile found this, written by him: https://ia600203.us.archive.org/0/items/sevenyearsinsoud00gessuoft/sevenyearsinsoud00gessuoft_bw.pdf
 

martin76

Ad Honorem
Dec 2014
5,950
Spain
#13
Here's a little exercise:

Wikipedia has a multi-language page of Explorers of Africa. Interestingly the list varies between languages.

English 268 names
French 240 names
German 317 names (German thoroughness ;) )
Italian 140
Russian 122
Spanish 23
Portugese 18
Swedish 35
Etc.

If one wants to get lowdown in who was traveling around 19th c. Africa from one of the smaller languages, one typically will have to go look for them in their respective language. English, French or even German tend not to be sufficient.
So that means the Wikipedia "level"...To say Italy, Spain (When I say Spain I am talking about the meaning from the last third in 19th Century, not including Portugal), Russia, Sweden played a mayor rol than Portugal in Africa.... it is a joke...and an offense...as simple as to write the list of countries Portugueses were in AFrica and the Swedish, Russian etc.. From Morocco to South Afrika... from Angola to Ethiopia....

But I must recognize Wikipedia is for History what Milli Vanilli is for Music....

By the way, who discovered the Blue Nile source was a Spaniard from Madrid, Don Pedro Paéz Jaramillo. He was the first non-African man to be in Blue Nile source (lake Tana)... On April, 21st, 1618!!!!
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
4,709
#14
So that means the Wikipedia "level"...To say Italy, Spain (When I say Spain I am talking about the meaning from the last third in 19th Century, not including Portugal), Russia, Sweden played a mayor rol than Portugal in Africa.... it is a joke...and an offense...as simple as to write the list of countries Portugueses were in AFrica and the Swedish, Russian etc.. From Morocco to South Afrika... from Angola to Ethiopia....

But I must recognize Wikipedia is for History what Milli Vanilli is for Music....

By the way, who discovered the Blue Nile source was a Spaniard from Madrid, Don Pedro Paéz Jaramillo. He was the first non-African man to be in Blue Nile source (lake Tana)... On April, 21st, 1618!!!!
You clearly have't looked at the lists.

None of them claims Sweden or the like were powerhouses of African exploration. What they show is that if you stick to just the major European language listings they are also incomplete — even when claiming relative completeness — and knowledge of more languages than the biggies like English or German are necessary to remedy that.

It's not actually difficult to collate the lists and make a kind of super-list from the national wikipedia lists of African explorers. It just takes knowledge of multiple languages and lots of time. And clearly no one with the requisite skill-set clearly so far has been arsed to put in the hours. (I could do it, but I know I won't, because I can also use my time rather better.)
 

martin76

Ad Honorem
Dec 2014
5,950
Spain
#15
You clearly have't looked at the lists.

None of them claims Sweden or the like were powerhouses of African exploration. What they show is that if you stick to just the major European language listings they are also incomplete — even when claiming relative completeness — and knowledge of more languages than the biggies like English or German are necessary to remedy that.

It's not actually difficult to collate the lists and make a kind of super-list from the national wikipedia lists of African explorers. It just takes knowledge of multiple languages and lots of time. And clearly no one with the requisite skill-set clearly so far has been arsed to put in the hours. (I could do it, but I know I won't, because I can also use my time rather better.)

Thanks for the clarification. I thought that we were talking about Sweden or Russian rol in exploration in Africa.
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
4,709
#16
Thanks for the clarification. I thought that we were talking about Sweden or Russian rol in exploration in Africa.
Nah, I was rather thinking it might be interesting on a diverse site like this one to try to pull together the non-obvious ones as well.

If so can do the Swedes. :) There's only two of them anyway: the hunter and explorer Charles John Andersson and the natural historian Johan August Wahlberg.
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
4,319
Portugal
#18
Yeah, I know. I've nicked it from one the Australian writer Alan Moorehead's books about the Nile from the 1960's. :)
Speaking of Charles Gordon, writers and novels, some years ago I read “The Triumph of the Sun” by Wilbur Smith, about the siege of Khartoum, and found it quite interesting. It had a good pace and it seemed to me quite good in historical terms.

Heard about Alan Moorehead, but never read anything written by him.
 

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