Kinship patterns and shared religious practices helped bind together the early western Sudan kingdoms.
Islam's spread across the Sahara created a north-south religious and cultural divide in western Sudan.
Islam stopped when it reached the West African savanna and forest zones.
Traditional animistic religious practices were maintained by societies in these southern zones.
The southern termini of the trans-Saharan trade was seized by the Muslim empire along the northern bend of the river.
The "ship of the desert" is what made this possible.
The impact of horses and oxen on European agriculture was comparable to that of the camel.
Scholars disagree about when the camel was first introduced from Central Asia to North Africa, but they agree that it was before 200 C.E.
The trans-Saharan trade brought lasting economic and social change to Africa, facilitating the spread of Islam via Muslim Arab traders, and affected the development of world commerce.
Powerful kingdoms have been closely connected to trade networks.
The saddle gave the Berbers and later the region's Arabian inhabitants a powerful political and military advantage: they came to dominate the desert and to create lucrative routes across it.
The merchant caravans were given large sums of protection money in exchange for a safe trip after the Berbers determined who could enter the desert.
The caravan trade between the Mediterranean and the Sudan was controlled by the North African peoples.
The Tuareg, one of the best raiders in the world, was left vulnerable when the trade was at its peak.
The Tuareg preyed on Nthe caravans as a way of life and lived in the desert uplands.
Merchants made safe-conduct agreements with them and selected guides.
The caravans of twelve thousand camels were reported in the 14th century.
For hundreds of years, a man on a camel has crossed the Sahara Desert, transporting salt from the north and returning with gold and other items from West Africa.
The Tuareg are referred to as the "Blue Men of the Sahara" because of their distinctive blue robes and turbans, which they still wear today.
These products were exchanged for gold, ivory, gum, kola nuts, and enslaved West African men and women who were sold to Muslim slave markets.
There were three important effects on West African society from the steady growth of trans-Saharan trade.
Gold mining was stimulated by trade.
Nine tons of gold were exported to the Mediterranean coast and Europe annually by the eleventh century, even with modern machinery and sophisticated techniques, since parts of modern-day Africa contained rich veins of gold.
Some of the metal went to Egypt.
The spices and silks were transported down the Red Sea to India to be paid for by Mediterranean commerce.
African gold linked the entire world, exclusive of the Western Hemisphere.
The desire for slaves was created by trade in gold and other goods.
West Africa's second-most-valuable export was slaves.
In Muslim North Africa, southern Europe, and southwestern Asia there was a high demand for household slaves.
African slaves seem to have been captured in war.
Large numbers of black slaves were recruited for Muslim military service through the trans-Saharan trade, according to recent research.
There is a table showing the scope of the slave trade.
Between 650 and 1500 C.E., there was an 850-year period in which blacks were enslaved.
Slavery in Muslim societies was not based on skin color.
Muslims enslaved Caucasians who had been purchased, seized in war, or kidnapped from Europe.
All of the slaves in the wealthy Muslim households in Cordoba, Alexandria, and Tunisia had been cut off from their cultural roots.
West African kings who sold blacks to northern traders also bought a few white slaves for their own domestic needs.
Race had nothing to do with slavery.
The development of urban centers was stimulated by trans-Saharan trade.
Families that profited from trade congregate in the border zones between the savanna and the Sahara.
They acted as a conduit between the Muslim merchants in the north and the miners in the south.
The families became powerful merchant dynasties by the early 13th century.
Muslims from the Mediterranean settled in the trading depots to organize the caravans.
The craft industries were stimulated by the concentration of people.
Cities with a large population emerged.
The export-import trade became centers of the positions on the Niger River bend.
Sih-jil-MAS-suh grew into a market center.
The largest city in western Sudan in the 12th century was Koumbi Saleh.
The cities of 1100 and 1400 were centers of intellectual creativity and played a role in West Africa's commercial life.
Islam was introduced to West Africa as a result of the trans-Saharan trade.
Arab invaders overran North Africa in the eighth century.
The Berbers became Muslims after they were introduced to Islam.
The traders carried Islam to West Africa.
These rulers converted to Islam to protect their kingdoms from Muslim attacks.
Merchants tried to preserve their elite status with the Berbers by adopting Islam.
Muslims became part of the West African government.
Islam in West Africa was a class-based religion with conversion inspired by political or economic motives.
Rural people in the Sahel region and the savanna and forest peoples farther south mostly retained their traditional animism.
West Africans were introduced to a rich and sophisticated culture after conversion to Islam.
The ruler of Ghana was guided by Muslims in the eleventh century.
Islam's arrival in West Africa marked the advent of written documents because efficient government depends on keeping and preserving records.
Royal palaces and mosques began to be built of brick after Arab Muslims taught the rulers how to make bricks.
Arab and North African intellectuals advised African rulers on statecraft and religion.
The development of the West African empires was accelerated by Islam.
The Muslim penetration was gradual, as in the trans-Saharan trade routes in West Africa, through commercial networks.
Muslim expansion from the Arabian peninsula across the Red Sea to the Horn of Africa, then southward along the coast of East Africa is a third direction of Islam's growth in Africa.
Islam was transported from the Red Sea to East Africa and the Indian Ocean by maritime trade.
The port city of (maw-gah-DEE-shoo) was founded by Muslims in the eighth and tenth centuries.
A Muslim sultanate was formed in the 12th century.
Arabic sources have confirmed that there was a rapid Islamic expansion along Africa's east coast in the 13th century as far south as Kilwa.
There is a close relationship between political and social organization in all African societies.
Stateless societies were generally organized around kinship groups.
The smallest ones were nomadic hunting groups.
The Tiv in modern central Nigeria was a large stateless society with many thousand people who lived in a settled life.
These societies did not have a central authority figure.
A village or group of villages might recognize a chief who held limited powers and whose position was not hereditary, but more often they were governed by local council members who were either elders or persons of merit.
Although stateless societies functioned successfully, their weakness lay in their inability to organize and defend themselves against attack by the powerful armies of neighboring kingdoms or by the European powers of the colonial era.
The age of Africa's great empires from about 800 to 1500 is known as the stateless societies of Africa.
The flowering of several powerful African states took place during this period.
In the western Sudan, the large empires ofGhana,MAH-lee, and Songhai were developed.
Like the western Sudan, thriving city-states on the east coast were heavily influenced by Islam.
In central East Africa, kings relied on their people's Christian faith to strengthen their authority.
Great Zimbabwe, built on the gold trade with the east coast, flourished in southern Africa.
Arab and North African visitors praised Africa's great empires as a model for other rulers.
In Africa's historical consciousness, ancient Ghana is a central place.
The leaders of the British Gold Coast colony paid tribute to their heritage by naming their new country after them.
The name was chosen to signify the rebirth of ancientGhana's illustrious past, which is far from the site of the old kingdom.
The name of the large and influential African kingdom was "war chief" from the word for it.
The king's title was given to the region south of the Sahara by Muslim traders in the late eighth century.
The land they called "Wagadou" was called by the Soninke.
The southern part of Wagadou received enough rain to be agriculturally productive, and this is where the civilization ofGhana developed.
A population of as many as two hundred thousand was supported by abundant crop production and efficient irrigation systems.
The town ofAwdaghost is located on the trans-Saharan trade route.
The southern part of the caravan route was controlled by the country.
Before the year 1000, the rulers of the country extended their influence to the Atlantic coast and captured a number of small kingdoms in the south and east.
The territory the king exercised sway over was the size of Texas.
He was the only power in the western Sudan that could challenge him.
The king's sacredness was emphasized in religious ceremonies and court rituals.
The heir to the throne was one of the king's sister's sons.
The son of the king's sister is the only one who can inherit the kingdom.
The king knows that his successor is a son of his sister, but he is not sure if he is his own.
The royal administration was well served by ideas, skills, and especially literacy brought from the North African and Arab Muslim worlds.
The city in which the king of the country held his court has twelve mosques, one of which is a congregational mosque for Friday prayer.
The Muslims of Koumbi Saleh lived separately from the African artisans and the learned men in order to preserve their special identity.
Muslim religious leaders exercised civil authority over their fellow Muslims in a large and prosperous community.
The presence of religious leaders and other learned Muslims suggests that the city was active in intellectual activity.
The town of the king is six miles from the Muslim one.
The king's residence consists of a palace, a number of dome-shaped dwellings, and an enclosure similar to a city wall.
The women here wear caps decorated with gold on their heads, while the king wears necklaces and bracelets.
When he holds court in order to hear the people's complaints and to do justice, he sits in a pavilion with ten horses wearing golden trappings, behind him ten pages stand holding shields and swords decorated with gold, and at his right are the sons of the chiefs of the country.
When the king's coreligionists appear before him, they fall on their knees and toss dust on their heads.
When a man is accused of denying a debt or of having shed blood, a village chief will give him some water and a piece of wood, which is bitter and sour, to drink.
The man's innocence is recognized if he vomits.
This appeal to the supernatural for judgment was similar to the justice by ordeal that prevailed among the Germanic peoples of western Europe at the same time.
The king's court, administrative machinery, and territories were all expensive.
In order to support the kingdom, the royal estates produced annual revenue mostly in the form of food for the royal household.
Each year, the king received tribute from his subordinates.
Goods entering and leaving the country are subject to customs duties.
Salt was the largest import.
In return for paying a tax to the king on the goods they brought into the country from North Africa, the traders received protection from the bandits.
African traders pay the customs duty when they bring gold into the country.
The royal treasury had a monopoly on gold exports.
The king's largest source of income was the gold industry.
The fame of MedievalGhana was based on gold.
The ninth-century Persian geographer al-Ya-qubi wrote that the king is mighty and in his lands are gold mines.
There is gold in this region under his authority.
The king, his court, and Muslim administrators occupied the highest rung of the social ladder.
The merchant class was on the next rung.
The farmers, cattle breeders, gold mine supervisors, and skilled craftsmen and weavers were below the merchants.
Money alone did not grant prestige in all societies, so merchants and miners must have enjoyed great wealth.
Blood and royal service were used to calculate high status.
Slaves worked in households, farms and in the mines on the social ladder's lowest rung.
In Asian and European societies of the time, slaves accounted for a small percentage of the population.
The army was not limited to the social classes.
The bodyguards of the Roman emperors were comparable to the standing force of a thousand men at the king's palace.
The king and the royal court were protected by these troops.
They lived in special compounds and acted as personal ambassadors to rulers.
The regular army was augmented by the use of slaves and free reserves.
There is still much debate about the reasons for ancient Ghana's decline.
The most accepted theory for the rapid decline of the country is that the Almoravid dynasty of North Africa invaded and conquered the country around 1100 and forced the people to convert to Islam.
Between 1100 and 1200, the capital of Koumbi Saleh was in decline.
The old empire feuded with each other.
The Mandinka (man-DING-goh), from the kingdom of Kangaba on the upper Niger River, gradually asserted their dominance over the kingdoms.
The Mandinka and Soninke were both part of the Ghanaian empire.
The core of the new empire was formed by Kangaba.
A better-organized and more powerful state was created by building on the foundations of Ghana.
The greatness of the country was due to two fundamental assets.
It provided enormous wealth and supported a large population with its strong agricultural and commercial base.
Second, there were two rulers in the country, Sundiata and Mansa Musa, who combined military success with exceptional creativity.
The earliest surviving evidence shows that the Mandinka were very successful at agriculture.
Steady population growth was encouraged by a plentiful food supply during the 12th and 13th centuries.
The Mandinka is located in the heart of the West African trade networks.
The Mandinka had acted as a middleman in the gold and salt traffic.
Niani became an important financial and trading center after he set up his capital there.
He began a policy of imperial expansion.
Through a series of military victories, Sundiata and his successors absorbed into other territories of the former kingdom of Ghana and established control over the trading cities of Gao, Jenne, and Walata.
The expansionist policies of Mansa Musa were continued in the 14th century.
Mansa Musa's influence extended eastward to the cities of Timbuktu and Gao, as well as to the Atlantic Ocean.
His territories had strict royal control over the trans-Saharan trade.
Mansa Musa's wealth was brought by this empire, which was roughly twice the size of the Ghanaian kingdom.
The foundations of his predecessors were built by Mansa Musa.
The system of provincial administration and annual tribute in Malian society was similar to the one in Ghana.
Governors were appointed to rule the outlying provinces and dependent kingdoms after the emperor took responsibility for the territories that formed the heart of the empire.
Mansa Musa made a significant innovation by appointing royal family members as provincial governors, a practice similar to that used in China and France at the time.
Mansa Musa differed from his predecessors.
He became a Muslim.
The mosque was built using a parallelogram.
A flat roof of palm logs is supported by nine long rows of adobe columns.
The mosque built in 1907 is based on the original structure from the 13th century.
During his visit to Mecca in 1325, Mansa Musa paid a state visit to the Egyptian sultan.
Mansa Musa's entrance into Cairo was amazing.
He was preceded by five hundred slaves, each carrying a six-pound staff of gold, followed by a huge host of retainers, including one hundred elephants each bearing one hundred pounds of gold.
The citizens of the Egyptian capital were showered with wealth by the emperor.
There was no one in the sultan's office who did not receive a sum from Mansa Musa.
The people of Cairo earned huge sums from him.
The international reputation of the country was maintained into the fifteenth century.
The consequences of Musa's pilgrimage were significant.
He opened diplomatic relations with the Muslim rulers of the Mediterranean countries.
His enthusiasm for the Muslim faith increased.
The distinguished architect al-Saheli was brought back from Arabia by Musa.
The mosques were used as centers for African conversion to Islam.
Timbuktu began as a campsite for desert nomads, but under Mansa Musa it grew into a thriving trading center, attracting merchants and traders from North Africa and all parts of the Mediterranean world.
They brought with them ideas and attitudes.
Timbuktu became a great center for scholarship and learning in the fifteenth century.
There were architects, astronomer, poets, lawyers, mathematicians, and theologians there.
One hundred fifty schools were devoted to Qur'anic studies only for men.
The most common items of trade in Timbuktu were the school of Islamic law.
Timbuktu's reputation for African scholarship lasted until the 18th century.
Many Arab and North African Muslim intellectuals and traders married African women in the 14th and 15th century.
Timbuktu's cosmopolitan atmosphere, traditional awareness of diverse cultures, and necessity of living together contributed to a rare degree of racial tolerance and understanding.
The court of Mansa Musa's successor was visited by Ibn Battuta.
They have a greater dislike of injustice than any other person.
The sultan doesn't show mercy to people who are guilty of the least.
They have complete security in their country.
The traveler and inhabitant of the place have nothing to fear from criminals.
Songhai was the third great West African empire.
It became one of the largest African empires in history by extending its territory farther north and east.
The African kingdoms that arose in modern Sudan and Ethiopia were influenced by Egyptian culture, just as the ancient West African empires were influenced by Islam and the Arab culture.
In ancient Nubia, this was the case.
The Nubian kingdom of Meroe is often referred to as the capital of Nubia.
Egypt was part of the Roman Empire and became an early center of Christianity.
The people of Nubia retained ancient Egyptian religious ideas even though they were never part of the Roman Empire.
The Nubian rulers were converted to Christianity around 600 C.E.
The kingdom of Nobatia was the strongest of the three Nubian states.
The Christian rulers of Nobatia had close ties with the AHK-soom kingdom in Ethiopia.
The highlands of Ethiopia are the rugged region of East Africa.
The larger of the two massifs is the Ethiopia.
There are mountains and valleys away from the Great Rift Valley.
The three Middle Eastern religions -- Judaism, Christianity, and Islam -- have all influenced Ethiopia.
In exchange for glass, ceramics, fabrics, merchants at Adulis sold ivory, gold, emeralds, rhinoceros horns, shells, and slaves to Sudan, Arabia, Yemen, and various cities across the Indian Ocean.
There were stone-built houses and temples in Adulis.
Aksum was the capital of an empire stretching over much of northern Ethiopia between the first and eighth centuries.
The empire's prosperity was dependent on trade.
Aksum's commercial prosperity was weakened by Islam's expansion into northern Ethiopia.
The Greek Byzantine merchants who traded on the Dahlak Archipelago were ousted by the Arabs.
Many Aksumites found refuge in the mountains north of the kingdom after converting to Islam.
The insularity that characterized later Ethiopian society began with this.
The fight between the two religions in Ethiopia was fought on the battlefield.
A drawing from the 18th century by an artist from Ethiopia shows his countrymen celebrating their military success.
Frumentius was kidnapped as a young boy and taken to Aksum, given his freedom, and appointed tutor to the future king, Ezana.
Frumentius was consecrated the first bishop of Aksum after Ezana's accession to the throne.
He went back to Ethiopia with some priests.
It became the state religion of Ethiopia after members of the royal court accepted Christianity.
Ethiopia's future was to be linked to Christianity, a unique situation in sub-Saharan Africa.
Ethiopia is the first sub-Saharan African society that can be studied from written records because of its acceptance of Christianity.
There were warrior-nobles above the peasant farmers.
Makeda learned Jewish statecraft and expressed her gratitude to Solomon with gifts of spices, gems, and gold.
Solomon tricked Makeda into allowing him into her bed.
Menilek was born some months later.
Solomon visited Jerusalem when Menilek was young.
Solomon anointed him crown prince of Ethiopia and sent a retinue of young Jewish nobles to accompany him home as courtiers.
The wooden chest the courtiers stole was believed to hold the Ten Commandments.
The youths were lifted across the Red Sea and into Ethiopia by God.
Ethiopia's rulers claimed they were part of the Solomonic line of succession from the tenth to the 16th century.
The church and state in Ethiopia were connected.
The literary and artistic renaissance of the Solomonic kings was notable for works of hagiography, biblical exegesis, and manuscript illumination.
The close relationship between the church and the state was the most striking feature of Ethiopia from 500 to 1500.
Christianity reinforced central monarchical power by equating doctrinal heresy with political rebellion.
The Urai Kidane Miharet Church is one of the manymonasteries established by Amda Siyon.
The greatest ruler of Ethiopia's Solomonic dynasty is known as Amada SIYON.
We don't have an image of him.
He had many wives and children if he followed the practice of most Ethiopia's kings.
We don't know anything about his education.
The evidence suggests that he was a tough military man who embodied the heroic endurance and physical pain expected of warriors.
The rebels were unable to hold their ground in his presence and scattered.
The kingdom's Christian areas were reinforced by Amda Siyon.
He expanded into the neighboring regions of Shewa, Gojam, and Damot.
He gradually absorbed the Muslim states of Ifat and Hedya to the east and southeast.
He was able to control the central highlands and the Indian Ocean trade routes to the Red Sea.