Bruce, James, 1730–94, Scottish explorer in Africa. He explored Roman ruins in N Africa (1755) from Tunis to Tripoli and visited Crete, Rhodes, and Asia Minor. In 1768 he traveled down the Red Sea as far as the straits of Bab el Mandeb. From Massawa he struck inland for Gondar, then the capital of Ethiopia. He rediscovered (1770) the source of the Blue Nile, which he followed (1771) to its confluence with the White Nile. He wrote Travels to Discover the Source of the Nile, 1768–73 (3d ed. 1813). For his travels in Barbary, see R. L. Playfair, Travels in the Footsteps of Bruce (1877).
See biography by J. M. Reid (1968).
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