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Pedro Pez

Pedro Pez was a Jesuit missionary in Africa.

He was born in today's Madrid during the union of the Spanish and the Portuguese Empires.

He studied at Coimbra. He spoke Portuguese, Amharic, Geez, Arabic and other languages.

Coming from Goa, he was held captive in Yemen for three years. In Ethiopia, he convinced the negus to convert to Catholicism and established a large Catholic community. His work did not last long after his death though, but some of the Catholic churches he architected are still standing and were an influence on Ethiopian architecture.

He was the first European to find the sources of the Blue Nile and to taste coffee.

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