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Black History: The Queen of Sheba

The Queen of Sheba, from a 15th-century manuscript now at Staats – und Universitätsbibliothek Gottingen

The Queen of Sheba. I am the Queen of Sheba, more famous than others, and attractive: I am beautiful and chaste. There is a mirror in my chest, In which young men may behold whatever they wish. While one of them views it, he pulls a rope, the bellows are compressed, And darkness suddenly bursts forth from my mouth into the air: Then he stands before me with a similar skin, similar in color. Source: Conrad Kyeser, Bellifortis (originally 1402-1405 but with later revisions), Niedersächsische Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Göttingen, 2 Cod. Ms. Philos. 63, Cim., fol. 122r., trans. by Astrid Khoo.

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