The geography of colonial metaphors I outline here resembles Said’s “imaginative geography,”4 but it comprises more than his two components (the Orientalized Near East and the West). Its regions were Africa, the Mediterranean, Europe, and Italy; its colonial linchpins were Libya and Ethiopia, the two largest

and most prized colonies. Italian colonial discourse privileged the Mediterranean above all, and Libya’s “mediterraneità” (Mediterranean-ness) was therefore emphasized at least as much as its “Oriental” qualities.