The external contacts were varied. ‘Abd al-Rahman is said to have sent a gift of ivory to the Ottoman sultan, who replied awarding him the honorific, al-rasMd, ‘the just’, which duly appeared on the Keira sultan’s seals.2 The English traveller, Browne, spent, very unwillingly, nearly three years (1793-6) in Dar Fur and has left a valuable if uneven account. But Dar Fur was never a highway for European explorers, and Browne had no significant successor until Nachtigal. The increasing commercial contacts with Egypt even led to a hare-brained scheme by a Christian Greek turned Muslim Mamluk to take over Dar Fur; Ahmad Aglia had been sent to Dar Fur to make cannon for the Sultan as part of a commercial venture sponsored by the Mamluk rulers of Egypt, but became involved in a plot to overthrow the sultan. The plot was discovered and he was executed.3 The originator of the scheme whereby Ahmad Agha was sent to Dar Fur, Rosetti, the Venetian Consul in Alexandria, tried to interest the French in Dar Fur after Bonaparte occupied Egypt in 1798. The French general did, in fact, correspond with ‘Abd al-Rahman asking him to send ablebodied slaves to be used as soldiers in Napoleon’s eastern schemes.4