Sunday, 17 March 2019


 CHI È? DELL’ERITREA 1952Dizionario Biografico:
Con una Cronologia by Giuseppe Puglisi 


This is biographical dictionary in Italian of the important actors in Eritrea in 1952 with an English introductory summary by Prof. Jonathan Miran. The list includes Eritreans, Italians, non-Italians non-Eritreans (Explorers and travelers, military officials, administrators, [Ottoman and Egyptian] governors, diplomats, manufacturers, architects, industrial entrepreneurs, shopkeepers, government employees, law experts, goldsmiths, shipping agents, Christian missionaries, Muslim religious figures, scholars, restaurant and bar owners, arms dealers, journalists, naturalists, ethnographers).

According to Miran, "As its full title suggests, the Chi è? dell’Eritrea 1952. Dizionario Biografico:
Con una Cronologia, is an unusual, hybrid, reference work. It is part historical biographical dictionary of Eritrea and its region, containing entries on historical figures going back to the sixteenth century, part Who’s Who including concise information on prominent people in Eritrea at the time of its publication in the mid twentieth century, and, to a far lesser extent, part business directory, advertising – within ordinary person-based entries – firm names, commodities traded, and addresses of businesses in Eritrea (information that one would usually find in commercial guides such as the Italian Guida Monaci). The Chi è? consists of twenty-three (xxiii) prefatory pages and 304 pages of biographical entries."

Source: Jonathan Miran, “Biography and History in Giuseppe Puglisi’s Chi è? Dell’Eritrea 1952,” Pount. Cahiers d’Études sur la Corne de l’Afrique et l’Arabie du Sud, Volume 12 (2018), pp. 47-71. 

Regarding Eritreans, the list includes:
Regional and local rulers and chiefs, politicians and political activists, communal leaders, military commanders and soldiers, colonial soldiers (ascari),merchants,landowners,bankemployees,manufacturers/industria-lists, merchants and businessmen, Muslim and Christian figures and authorities, journalists, scholars, educators and teachers, customary law experts, government employees, interpreters, railway workers, wireless operators, caravaneers, notaries, farmers, police officials, archivists, moneychangers and more.

Thanks to Jelal Yassin for making me aware of the book and to Prof. Jonathan Miran for sharing

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