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The Epic of Sumanguru Kante contains the Bamana text and English translation of griot Abdoulaye Sako’s oral narrative of the life of Sumanguru, recorded in 1997 in Koulikoro (Mali), together with explanatory notes, a scholarly introduction, and sections on the Bamana language and musical accompaniment. Sumanguru is a familiar figure within Manding epic oral traditions about ancient Mali. But while these narratives generally focus on Sunjata Keita, Sako’s oral poem is rare in according Sumanguru the central role. In so doing he includes hitherto undocumented episodes relating to Sumanguru’s life and role as the ruler of Soso, the little known state said to have flourished in the western Sudan between the fall of ancient Ghana and rise of ancient Mali.
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The Iter Italicum serves as a useful reference work for scholars in the history of philosophy, the sciences, classical learning, grammar and rhetoric, Neolatin literature, historiography of the theory of the arts and of music and related subjects. By scanning the volume or through this index, scholars will be able to find source material for individual writers as well as for certain subjects, problems or themes. By indicating for each manuscript its location and shelf-mark, scholars will find it easier to order microfilms or to pursue more detailed studies of some of the manuscripts listed. The volumes should also prove useful for librarians as a reference for the holdings of their own or other libraries.
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