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Leo Africanus

Leo Africanus was the Christianised name of Al-Hasan bin Muhammed al-Wazzan al-Fasi (1485-1554). A former inhabitant of Granada expelled by the Spanish in 1492, he was captured by Christian pirates while travelling in the Mediterranean, and sold into the slavery of Pope Leo X. The Pope freed him, and, recognising his abilities, asked him to put together a survey of his knowledge of the continent of Africa.