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BRAUNER, Christina (2013) To Be the Key for Two Coffers: A West African Embassy to France (1670/1)


"The embassy of Matteo Lopes, ambassador of the West African "kingdom" of Allada, to Louis XIV has so far mainly been treated as a curious anecdote or as an entry in the numerous lists documenting the "African presence" in Europe from the Middle Ages up to the present time.

In this paper, Matteo Lopes will be regarded as a guide to global experiences and global interconnectedness and its limits in the early modern world. He can lead us from Africa via America to Europe and—by analogy with an earlier ‘embassy’—even further, to the Ottoman Empire. Despite the fact that we do not have any account of the embassy written by Lopes, he provides us with an opportunity to explore African and European strategies to cope with strangers and strangeness."

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