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The Ethiopian-European Encounter

Over the past decade, I dedicated most of my research to telling the story of what I dubbed the Ethiopian-European encounter. If there is an order to my scholarly production, it would be the following: first, one should read The Ethiopian Age of Exploration (2010), which discusses 15th century Ethiopian arrivals in Europe and offers both a chronological and a thematic introduction to my scholarship. Then, my monograph expands on the 15th century dealings discussed in the article and examines 16th century Ethiopian-European relations. If you want to know more about exceptional Ethiopians in 16th century Rome, consider reading my article on Yohạnnǝs or Giovanni Abissino, and the article I co-author with a dear friend on Tesfa Seyon or Pietro Abissino,

Next is my work on the Society of Jesus’s mission to Ethiopia: while other scholars have written much more extensive accounts on the Jesuit era, my two articles offer one a handy introduction to it, and the other a discussion of the mission’s inception. Additionally, I also wrote a brief article about the diplomatic legacy of the failed Jesuit mission in Ethiopia and Rome.

If you are hard-pressed for time and are only looking for a general introduction to the history of Ethiopian-European relations in the early modern era, consult my article in the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of African History.

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Täsfa Ṣәyon
Pietro Abissino

The African Prester John and the Birth of Ethiopian-European Relations, 1402-1555

Giovanni Abissino


The Jesuit Era

The Jesuit era in Ethiopian history has attracted a lot of interest through the years and seen the publication of many excellent works by specialists.

My two articles offer a general introduction to the era and a discussion of the mission's inception.

After the Jesuits

Starting in the 1630s, when the Jesuit mission to Ethiopia was coming to an end, the papacy began sponsoring alternative and little-known missionary attempts that would last for over a century. I am planning to publish a comprehensive study on topic; in the meantime check out my old article on the immediate aftermath of the Jesuit mission.

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