Alvares, Francis

, a Portuguese priest, born at Coimbra, about the end of the fifteenth century, was chaplain to Emanuel king of Portugal, and ambassador from that prince to David king of Ethiopia or Abyssinia. David had sent an ambassador to Emanuel, who in return thought proper to send Alvares and Galvanus to David, but the latter died before he arrived in Æthiopia. Alvares continued six years in this country; and, when he returned, brought letters to king John, who succeeded Emanuel, and to pope Clement VII. to whom he gave an account of his embassy at Bologna in January 1533, in the presence of the emperor Charles V. Alvares died in 1540; and left behind him, in Portuguese, an account of his embassy, with a description of the manners and customs of the Æthiopians. It was printed at Lisbon the same year in which the author died, and was translated into French, and published at Antwerp in 1558. The work was abridged by Ramusius. Bodinus says, that Alvares was the first who gave a true and accurate account of Æthiopia, and that it was approved by the best writers, and read with the greatest satisfaction. 2