chapter  XII
10 Pages

The Quest for Gold

ByE. W. Bovill

The end of the fifteenth century saw a wave of Jewish persecution spreading from its original focus in Spain across into Africa and through the Sahara to the Sudan. Antonio Malfante set about collecting information regarding the countries which lay to the south, and his report contains the following list of the principal Muslim states of the Sudan. In the middle of the century Genoa entered the field of African exploration. The sinister rites of the Sudanese witchdoctor made a strong appeal, and Aben Ali built up a practice lucrative enough to excite the violent jealousy of the more orthodox though less successful physicians of the town. Tuat was probably but the first step in an expedition which had the Sudan as its objective. Presuming that Malfante continued his journey southward it is not improbable that his quest for gold cost him his life.