Re: [tied] What does Massawa mean?

Message: 16911
Date: 2002-11-28

Hi Vincent,

I looked through my Classical Gazetteer by William Hazlitt
and could only find: "Massava, a town of the Senones,
Lugdunensis IV., on the Liger, between Condate and
Then, I did a search on the internet and copied this:
"Two islands and the mainland together form Massawa. They
are connected by two causeways. Massawa used to be the
headquarters of the Ethiopian navy. It was fought over by
both sides during the war. There is not much of interest in
the mainland part of the town although this is where the
majority of the population live. The first of the two
islands is called Taulud with the old railway station, the
St Mariam's Cathedral and the Imperial Palace. Crossing the
second causeway you enter the rather Moorish port area of
town. Intermingled with larger ships are numerous houris
from Yemen and Saudi Arabia.

Massawa was once the largest and safest port on the east
coast of Africa but suffered terrible damage during the war.
To this day Massawa remains the largest natural deep-water
port on the Red Sea. It is now Eritrea's main port and
access to the rest of the world and is being rehabilitated.
The dockyard is back in operation and handling an impressive
tonnage of merchandise."

The website URL is:

I hope this helps.

Best Regards,

Ben Wallis

On Thu, 28 Nov 2002 05:30:06 -0800 (PST), "Vicente C. de
Jesus" wrote:

Does anyone out there know the meaning of the placename
Massawa. Its the port city in Eritrea. I believe its a
Tingrean word.
There is a place in Mexico with the name. In the
Philippines, in Mindanao, it means "light" or "radiance" in
the Butuanon language. Mazaua was the anchorage of the
Portuguese navigator, Fernam de Magalhains. He was a member
of the Portuguese squadron in Kilwa, Tanzania assigned to
interdict non-Portuguese ships entering the Red Sea.
Magalhains had visited Massawa a number of times.
I would greatly appreciate your help. Thanks.
Vicente C. de Jesus
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Ben Wallis
Wallis Gallery of Antiquities