Concluding Thoughts on Sub-Saharan Sources

Since my previous post last week, I have completed the remaining texts for this particular section of my research.  In looking at these texts, very little information has come to light that explicitly names any sort of disease or epidemic, with the exception of Holt’s Sudan of the Three Niles.  The overall information that one can derive from these texts is that death was a common occurrence in sub-Saharan Africa, often as the result of conquerors killing dissidents or taking over towns.  These are known as a result of the various chroniclers who wished to show their readers – present or future – that those men who had the backing of God would triumph over those who had not accepted him or his laws.  As such, epidemics were unlikely to be recorded unless they had something to do with the faith of Islam, such as the death of a major religious figure.  Holt’s translation makes note of three diseases: the Yellow Wind, or “plague” as it was called in the time “of the Children of Israel,” the “Mother of Seven,” and small pox.  However, using this information is difficult.

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