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7 Medieval African Kingdoms Everyone Should Know About

While Europe was experiencing its Dark Ages, a period of intellectual, cultural and economic regression from the 6th to the 13th centuries, Africans were experiencing an almost continent-wide renaissance after the decline of the Nile Valley civilizations of Egypt and Nubia.

The leading civilizations of this African rebirth were the Axum Empire, the Kingdom of Ghana, the Mali Empire, the Songhai Empire, the Ethiopian Empire, the Mossi Kingdoms and the Benin Empire.

himyar and Marib - Axum ColoniesAxum Empire

The Aksum or Axum Empire was an important military power and trading nation in the area that is now Eritrea and northern Ethiopia, existing from approximately 100 to 940 A.D.

At its height, it was one of only four major international superpowers of its day along with Persia, Rome and China. Axum controlled northern Ethiopia, Eritrea, northern Sudan, southern Egypt, Djibouti, Western Yemen, and southern Saudi Arabia, totaling 1.25 million square kilometers, almost half the size of India. Axum traded and projected its influence as far as China and India, where coins minted in Axum were discovered in 1990.

Axum was previously thought to have been founded by Semitic-speaking Sabaeans who crossed the Red Sea from South Arabia (modern Yemen) on the basis of Conti Rossini’s theories —but most scholars now agree that when it was founded it was an indigenous African development.

Kingdom of Ghana

Kingdom of Ghana

Centered in what is today Senegal and Mauritania, the Kingdom of Ghana dominated West Africa between about 750 and 1078 A.D. Famous to North Africans as the “Land of Gold,” Ghana was said to possess sophisticated methods of administration and taxation, large armies, and a monopoly over notoriously well-concealed gold mines.

The king of the Soninke people who founded Ghana never fully embraced Islam, but good relations with Muslim traders were fostered. Ancient Ghana derived power and wealth from gold and the use of the camel increased the quantity of goods that were transported. One Arab writer, Al-Hamdani, describes Ghana as having the richest gold mines on Earth. Ghana was also a great military power. According to one narrative, the king had at his command 200,000 warriors and an additional 40,000 archers.

What people are saying

178 thoughts on “7 Medieval African Kingdoms Everyone Should Know About

  1. Elisa Nelson says:


  2. Great, but their children killed it. Am a Nigerian, Esan by tribe. My ancestors where the warriors the Benin kings (obas) contracted to fight and conquer many lands, including some yoruba lands, dahomey and some lands in present day republic of Benin (presently a country in west Africa). Although some African kingdoms achieved certain success, they didn't know how put themselves together, protect what they have and build on it. Am from a royal family, and from what i gathered about my grand father; the major reason why African kingdoms go to war or will invade other kingdoms or people is just to get them to pay tribute. They were not faithful to allies and thats the cause of the "dislike" between my tribe and the Benin tribe down to this day. If the Benin and other African kingdoms were really solid enough, the coming of the Europeans; first the portugese, then the English, then french will bring about an automatic boost in technology, Economy and in every aspects of life. The whites probably saw they were gullible, so then they decided to take advantage of them. African royal families should bury their heads in the mud for they are shameless.


  4. Tzefirayah Baht Y'srael says:

    Wonderful educational teaching.

  5. There is no Royal family anywhere in Nigeria that bears the last name Richie or Joshua, unless you changed your name, which you have the right to do. Your comment sounds too limited and biased for your status and race. The global political and economic environment in the time referred to in the article were different from today's, and cannot be judged by today's standard of comity of nations. African kingdoms were as solid as they could be. They were not gullible as you suggested. If you take time to research the true events that affected the ancient African kingdoms, keep an open mind and not just swallow the easy answers as written from the perspective of the almighty superior race of today, you will be educated on the matter.

  6. Good lookn, Glad u share this… If knowledge is key then show me the #q-tiplock.

  7. Finger slip, if knowledge is the key then show me the lock. #Q-Tip

  8. The Lion King was based off a a real life narrative of the first king of the Mali Empire?

  9. Go On ANGELO…Tell It Like It Is!!! 🙂

  10. Uzor, i am proud to be African, a Nigerian and an Esan. But i will not let that pride becloud my sense of reasoning to the extent that i will not be able to identify a wrong or mistake pertaining to my ancestors. I also plead that you tow my line of reasoning so we don't make the same mistake as our grand and great-grand fathers. You said the polity and society of the world has changed; what prevents Africa from changing? I'll tell you some thing: The benins using Esian warriors invaded and captured many lands, what did they get from it? Tribute and homage, thats the only thing they know about. At that time Europe was in it's dark ages, but when they wokeup everybody felt their presence. What am trying to say is thie: Africans know nothing other than food and maybe some clothing, you might hear a benin man say that the ancient benin kingdom was already building itself technologically, i say it's lies, the only thing done was bronze casting, and the industrous urohbos who were in charge of building and maintaining obas houses were set to take building to the next level by experimenting many ways to make obas buildings improved, it was one of such experiment that led to their persecution. Africans don't want change, they'll say "this is how our ancestors has always done it, and we shall continue this way". Did you know that the coming of the portugese to the Benin kingdom was what led to some improvement in the society? My brother, don't let us wash our dirty linen in public. What about the slave trade? As i said, i come from the royal family, am a great grandson of King Akhilomen N'ojie of Uromi. From what i gathered, and from evidences; the benin kingdom engaged fultime in the slave trade, in fact that was why they contracted Esians to capture lagos, and the only trade they did in lagos was slave trade. If i was there, probably i wouldn't have been able to stop it. But i tell you, i'll make sure they reward us with something valuable. My question is, what did African Kingdoms gain from the slave trade? Cigars, mirrors, not even industrial machines. Our kings and their chiefs were gullible, can a foreigner arm-twist a solid kingdom and dominate them for centuries; raping them, enslaving them, it can happend but there must be a counter-influence. Africa was not solid so they couldn't inluence Europeans who came to their lands, they couldn't even learn their ways.

  11. Pasha Golliday says:

    Meet Mansa Musa — The richest human being in all history

  12. Mandy Parkin says:

    not so bothered about the warrior stuff – a measure of civilisation for me is how well people treat their elderly, disabled, children and the environment! a must-read for all secondary school students in Africa should be Malidoma Patrice Some's 'The Healing Wisdom of Africa'. now THAT's civilisation!

  13. Liz Watters says:

    Interesting Mand..

  14. Berry Stone says:

    Joshua Richie , I am Joe, A proud African diaspora. Josshua there are facts to be reasons naturally eg,if you start to consruct you haouse on a weak foundation you will endup having damages on your haouse,, it is phenomenal till now and even worster in this modern time Africa is going down every day out off weak mind and dishonesty. It is clearly evidencial that slave trade existed in Africa befor the comming of the white. and it was about 210,million slaves were took away wich laboured for allmost 400years, it came in break to now it,s over 200years but till now no solution even in the soul call Affrican unity org

  15. Joshua Richie your knowledge of history is tainted with a heavy inferiority complex!

  16. I guess because i wouldn't reason along the line of many black people. If you say the slave trade was injustice to the black people and that's the cause of the helpless situation of blacks and Africans today, ask china and you'll see Africa and blacks has not tasted injustice, go find out what the mongolia emperor gengis khan, his grandson and some other people did to china, go find out what japan did to china in recent times (1800-second worldwar). Where is china today? – At the top, china ranks as a world power along with the U.S, Russia. In fact, the U.S is weary of china.

  17. Fsl Bey Lightner says:

    Joshua Richie did you Naturalize? becuz.African American has no standing @LAW

  18. Fsl, i wouldn't answer your question. And what if i did?

  19. My humble appeal to Atlantablackstar; show us the way forward, not backwards. These could be archived for research purposes and should be released to those who need them. What the black Nation need to do now is decide how to move ahead and become respectable people. This cannot happen if Africa remains the way she is. The reputation of Africa must be worked on and this task falls on us all, both African americans, Africans, those they call "colored" and friends/lovers of black people.

  20. Patrick Nyumbayire says:

    Joshua Richie As Mawuna said "your knowledge of history is tainted with a heavy inferiority complex". Study the recent history, what African countries such the former French colonies are enduring, a currency, the CFA, dominated from France Central Bank. France took the idea from the Nazis and the way they economically dominated their Northern Zone. I will tell you about the ancestors, we must learn from them and what they did right. USA based all its strategies on the Roman Empire, they used slaves for everything for then assimilate them in the Empire. Then USA printed garbage money like the Roman Empire, did a lot of military campaigns etc. Rome ended with hyperinflation (from the currency collapse), a "barabrized" culture, so the Savages that they kept as slaves were manipulating their culture (Hip Hop, Black music) and then this brought to the Middle Ages and the standard of beauty "blonde with blue eyes" (blonde people were reputated ugly and linked to slaves). Ok, US is now in its last times, but they enjoyed while using the same strategies of their "presunted" ancestors (their real ancestors are the celts, not the mediterranean cultures).

  21. We have something to be proud of

  22. Septimus serverus was the first of 5 Roman black emperors. And he went fsr north as Scotland, he died in England after reinforcing hadrians wall. And the original north africans were black. And berbers have 30% subsahara blacks. How does northern Europeans claim heritage to Rome. Julius Caesar brought blacks with him to fight the britons and germanic tribes. Those are northern Europeans. Herodotus and homer wrote that greek math is childish math compared to the Egyptians, and how Greece respected and revered Egyptians and ethiopians. If you are illiterate how do you prove your history. No writing systems. The romans taught latin to the britons, in 611, 100 years later the moors civilized europe. So how does northern Europeans claim roman heritage. If it's was 5 Roman black emperors. Why are they never mentioned. Only white depictions. Black roman emperors. Then muslim black moors, and built Europe, from Switzerland to Germany. Not just Spain and portragual. Consider this, all during the middle Ages, 99% of Europe was illiterate. Black's and arabs built Europe, black were Roman emperors, blacks taught greeks. Thats accurate human history. Why aren't blacks recognized in Christianity and Judaism and islam. None of those religions tells of African greatness, why?

  23. Mashawn Gonzalez says:

    if only u spelled reigning right…..

  24. What Is Also Important Is Keeping The Older Traditions Alive …

  25. Well America is/became a white European country. What is it that should be taught to their "people?" Clearly, their history, no? Your African history to them is one that is based on slavery. And this they have taught you. If indeed African history must be learned by black African American people, they cannot rely on a educational system that was not designed for them.

  26. Nikolaus Wiese says:

    The three ancient orthodox nubian Kingdoms of Nobatia, Makuria and Alodia did not belong to the Kingdom of Axum. They were in close contacts, but not always in peaceful relations with Axum.

  27. Melvin 'Melle Mel' Robinson there's a tragic flaw with the link you've posted…it's titled "The Real Lion king Horus", wouldn't the real name be Heru? And not the name the Greeks came up with?

  28. Well, its hard to focus on black history, we to work on black future. Everyone knows who we used to be, but let's focus on who we are.

  29. We are a conquered and oppressed people, we're not unify as a people. In fact I fear, if powers that be wanted too, they could enslaved us all over again.

  30. I love the Asians the most, because the Anglo Saxsons fear and respect them. All black and African descent need to unite with the Asians. That's the only way we can regain our power and self respect

  31. Our honor in loyalty to our oppressors is like a well trained dog. But who needs to fight wars when you can conduct good business. Blacks and Asians need to start businesses together. I'm all for the Blasian Economic Empire

  32. Blacks have the marketing power, Asians have the Technology
    Superpowers combine

  33. Patrick Nyumbayire says:

    Muslims learn about Ibn Batutta and its travels. They know about East African city states as Lamu and Malian Empire (read Ibn Batutta's book part about Mali and East Africa), Mali, beautiful women, beautyful music and everything covered by gold (goldev quivers, golden swords etc.), Kilwa, one of the best cities of the world. He been to China too, "a place full of blasfemy" (didn't like Budda's statues). Read about the seven Hausa people's city states of Northern Nigeria, and see the beauty of each palace on Google image, like the Katsina Palace built in 1300. Then the Wa Na palace in Ghana and the Bandjoun palace in Cameroun are other 2 examples of African architecture and kingdoms.

  34. Patrick Nyumbayire says:

    It's happening, Close CNN and start reading African newspapers like CNBC Africa or the Africa report or businessdailyAfrica. Yes, it's difficult to understand if you are abroad, but the key is internet+mobile+dealing only with Asians.

  35. Patrick Nyumbayire says:

    Joshua Richie, you lived in USA for many years, I think that like many Afro Americans (100% of the population – 1000) you are affected by #MentalSlavery.
    In America they don't teach European history… before '60 the 90% of the population were living of one meal a day…

  36. Shataiya Jailyn Jones says:

    No we do not need to unite with them because, they don't give a damn about us. They will for sure betray us. We need to stick together.

  37. Shataiya Jailyn Jones says:

    And EVERYONE does not know who we used to be that's why black Americans are so screw up psychologically now. They don't teach us where we came from in this country. All we know is slavery. If we taught our children who we used to be before the Europeans conquered Africa they will have a sense of racial pride.

  38. THE question must be asked: With all these states, why did they stop developing? The future was always going to be science, technology, industrialisation, commerce – so why did these 5 empires fall to dust? Progress stopped. At some point, people stopped wanting to go further – or they became focused on the wrong things. When a TINY country like England was off conquering half the known world – including America, Canada, India etc – these nations stopped. Does anyone know why?

  39. Joshua Richie l hear what you're saying, l am from Agbor, Bojiboji area. African are too trusting, when Europeans said they came to help us, their intentions wasn't pure towards us. They know how rich the land is and what they can take out of it to benefit Europe. It's the old saying that white man speaks with fork tongue. I understand all that happened then but it takes two to tangle. Both sides are equally wrong to trade people for money. I guess that's what was going on then people bought into it. Now, we have so much resources that can sustain Africa for many years to come. We should lease them the land for so many years and stop the rich people buying up African lands to benefit their people only. The question is what are we gonna do about it before we lose the whole land to foreigners

  40. Patrick Nyumbayire says:

    So you prefer to be American than African? With an American surname? You have a great inferiority complex. And don't understimate the diversity of African kingdoms and cultures.

  41. Patrick Nyumbayire says:

    these kingdoms never stopped, western tvs don't show you the different cultures but if you go to Edo state you'll see the Benin traditions, and Ethiopia is just Ethiopia, with the same traditions, language, writing etc. Mali is still Mali and Burkina Faso as the same old traditional buildings and mosques. Only because your people is not aware it doesn't mean the shark is not going to bite you

  42. Shalamar Shalamar You are so right, Shalamar. Thanks for saying that. Did you read my post last night 🙂

  43. Mikhail Abzatz Stickland says:

    I agree with a fair bit of that but Septimus was of Arab-Roman ancestry, but he was born in Africa

  44. Septimus serverus died in 211 the arabs didn't invaded north africa until the 500. That is is over 250 year's from the arab invasion. Also Septimus serverus is listed as the first of the black roman emperors. All 5 emperors are called the Roman black dynasties. Dig deeper the arabs were not present until 500. And northern Europeans can't show evidence that they made contact with ancient civilizations. Anything innnorth africa before the arabs invaded. Is black history. I checked the time lines. And you can't say they were arabs 2 centuries before the arabs even made it out of the middle East, which prior to 1919 was all considered north africa.

  45. Olutomi Brown No, I did not. I will now.

  46. Olutomi, land and other natural resource will not do Africa/Africans or even blacks any good, if the people are not willing to embrace change. Change can only come out of sacrifice, our ancestors know much much about change and sacrifices and they made it part of our culture. But the type of sacrifice we need now is'nt exactly like that of our ancestors, our fathers watched while our future was mortgaged, so we need to live for the next generation, and the next generation for the next until the black Nation regains itself. We need to join heads together and strategically plan how to empower our children as a people,and also teach them to do same to their children. Above all we must teach them to uphold merit and truth, and put the interest of their communities above theirs.

  47. I agreed totally, Joshua

  48. Its because there children (off spring) were gullible. They never saw the need to improve what their fathers and grand fathers has worked hard to achieve, sometimes losing their life. They thought what they had at that time was the best people could ever get, so everybody fell asleep. The royal families, chiefs became more concerned about owning numerous slaves, soldiers and dominating freemen, some kings even decreed that citizens of their kingdoms are slaves to the king and his family. So citizens of most African kingdoms were already slaves in their own lands. It was a few warriors who took the courage to leave such kingdoms and established their own communities outside major kingdoms, most times not too far away from "the empires or the big kingdoms". When the Arabs came, they bought into it, the portugease never planned to do slave trade, but were tempted by what they saw, the English quickly bought into it as they had much needs for workers in their numerous plantations. Now, my question is to blame; those who enslaved their people in their own land or those who crossed oceans to put the slaves to better use?

  49. Patrick Nyumbayire says:

    Joshua Richie you have only an Edo point of view, I've met Senegalese, Camerounians and other Africans. Every place is different, you can't generalize.

  50. Berry Stone says:

    Joshua Richie , You are very right Joshua,just like coruption this is haw it started it proof that Africa is acostum to all this things from origine, just as the afros in america refuess to return because of bad experience , today you can see african dieing at sea they want to runn away from haw our policians are handling the situation in our various contrys,,,

  51. Berry Stone says:

    Joshua Richie , You are very right Joshua,just like coruption this is haw it started it proof that Africa is acostum to all this things from origine, just as the afros in america refuess to return because of bad experience , today you can see african dieing at sea they want to runn away from haw our policians are handling the situation in our various contrys,,,

  52. Berry Stone says:

    Joshua Richie , You are very right Joshua,just like coruption this is haw it started it proof that Africa is acostum to all this things from origine, just as the afros in america refuess to return because of bad experience , today you can see african dieing at sea they want to runn away from haw our policians are handling the situation in our various contrys,,,

  53. @j Joshua I felt upset about what you said that's lots of fart from your mouth,i come from a royal home of achiever from the Igbo tribe can narrate family achievement backward before interruption by European with their raping and looting of African like the arabs as well we achieve and built read how Europe underdevelop Africa by walter Rodney before chatting we made some mistake no doubt.please keep your dirty linen and debate in a forum am from the warrior/royal tribe that you mention move from benin kingdom on my mum side will give you history and lecture of how your family got their onojie title.i look at your picture as know you related to my good esan friend and brother Julius,stay bless and speak about change in black society and act not just colour us bad cheers from London,uk

  54. @joshua I felt upset about what you said that's lots of fart from your mouth,i come from a royal home of achiever from the Igbo tribe can narrate family achievement backward before interruption by European with their raping and looting of African like the arabs as well we achieve and built read how Europe underdevelop Africa by walter Rodney before chatting we made some mistake no doubt.please keep your dirty linen and debate in a forum am from the warrior/royal tribe that you mention move from benin kingdom on my mum side will give you history and lecture of how your family got their onojie title.i look at your picture as know you related to my good esan friend and brother Julius,stay bless and speak about change in black society and act not just colour us bad cheers from London,uk

  55. @patrick, seems you know much about my tribe and even my family. Am happy to meet you bro. But you should get me straight, i didn't imply that African Kingdoms/empires didn't achieve anything. What i said is that they were not solid, they were not optimistic and cunning (these are the must have qualities of a successful monarch and his kingdom). If they were, the europeans wouldn't successfully bring all of them down. They didn't even know what they wanted or should get from the white men. And am saying, we should not make that same mistake, multinationals are trooping here to Africa, what will be our benefit? Is it environmental pollution, monies in the bank for some greedy politicians (just as they gave mirrors and cigars to African kings in exchange for slaves) or genuine reward in the form of economic empowerment etc. We need to be firm on this matter.

  56. I understand what you mean but I just felt you insulted our ancestors by calling us gullible research and study why England truly went to war against our families in ancient benin kingdom when it was burn and looted by them that's how cultural and spiritual artefacts end up in their museum have wonder why it has not been return.the general told the government the palace was filled with treasure lets go to war the treasure will pay for the you know about king jaja of opobo that was exile and I found out just recent he died in Barbados with descendant he had there or king nana of itsekiri or king of koko that lead the british expedition.they fought this people with with little weapon against advance weapon like canon we didn't just gave them everything over mirror and glass as they mention to make us feel inferiority complex.African American have made us proud by their achievement and still fighting to be empower in America fight for Nigeria come home and join the struggle for change for democracy and good governance like Mandela said its in our own hand everybody body contributing Ubuntu my brother is the new black salute…

  57. Marcus Garvey was actually one of my favorite civil rights leaders because stressed the importance of African building there own wealth, business enterprise. Every other race has done that for themselves Jews, Latin Americans. African Americans have not and will not becsuse we are incapable of working together. We are being destroyed by ourselves!

  58. To be exact, it was around 1847 that the eastern part of the Africa as it shown on the African map that the European liable it as abyssinia. King Haile Melekot was the first King to be named as "as the king of abyssinia". There is no kings found in the African land to be nominated as the king of abyssinia except his successor son Menelik II for about 23 years (1866 – 1889). However, Menelik II later become the king of Ethiopia in 1889 to his death. The name abyssinia was driven from the Latin word "Abyss" and illiterately meaning hell. In fact, the whole land of Africa was used to be called Ethiopia. Yes, we are the blessed children of Cusa.

  59. Bizuayehu Deresse says:

    The Exodus has been taken place in Northern part of Ethiopia. Read the Old Testament & Talmud carefully. There is misconception, misinterpretation, mispresentation of history & bias amongst European historians & Jews. Especially Jews are responsible for all the mess. That is because they are mean & smart. You find the route, accommodation once Mosses & his people were using as temporary shelter, furnace which covers a vast place, relics, books written in Summerian language, ..,,,… No a single historian, geologist, anthropologist, is not interested to come this place & research history fearing African is the beginning of all civilization. Anyone who is interested to know about what I am telling you now, please let me know. A great history has been made in this place that might shake the world history.

  60. Irrefutable evidence suggests the first Greeks were similar to Ethiopians–14% DNA similarity; Additionally, cities named on Crete have same names as in Nigeria, suggesting similar early colonilization.

  61. Solomon Gizaw says:

    The axumite kingdom once had weak kingdom that was destroyed by small ethnic groups came from from Eritrea, now the so called tigre's formed.

  62. Berry Stone said: " about 210 million slaves were taken away which labored for almost 400 years". If that number is true, the psychological burden of families losing love ones,scattered all over the globe…Woman being rape and man willing to help ended up under the ocean floor.It is the same as taken your soul from your body,you become helpless.And that lingered until today.We are in a state of shock.

  63. Hi Jean, good points – but it doesn't explain Greece or Egypt really

  64. Patrick Nyumbayire says:

    Andrzej Bania , if you noted the ones living in Greece now are Turks and the one living in Egypt are Arabs. The only people with a language with 70% similarity with Ancient Egyptians are the Beja of Southern Egypt and part of Ethiopia and Sudan. They are brown-reddish and returned to live as simple herdsmen after the invasion by muslims. I think a mass slaughter took place in Ancient Egypt, and I think it's the same for Greece.

  65. Wuyi Jacobs says:

    I am very interested in this history, Thank you.

  66. Femi Afuye Omidire says:

    my own name is Omidire…ile ife boy…the great grand father of benin kingdom…

  67. Everyone should know how great both Africa & Africans were & we shall rise again

  68. Mary Lewis says:

    Is this an Ernie Barnes picture???? It really is very nice!!!

  69. As African people in the diaspora we have a responsibility to support Africans in their development of our Motherland.

  70. Aminu Danmaliki says:

    Joshua Richie was indeed wrong.Our ancestors were world class they have laid a solid foundation for their children and the entire human race which the whole world is benefiting

  71. 75% black people in do Caribbean need to burn they forget were we come form

  72. 75% black people in do Caribbean need to burn they forget were we come form

  73. 75% black people in do Caribbean need to burn they forget were we come form

  74. Sarah Mann says:

    Joshua Richie: Sounds like any country that stops progress will end up like that. The US could one day be run down if the nation gives up and stops pushing itself.

  75. Berry Stone says:

    Ngina Lythcott ,,,,You are right only if the home base politicians are ready to practically open the doors for the diaspora to work hand in hand

  76. im interested email me

  77. u must be some jelous white whore but time will come china is already in africa and euroope would surly go back to the dark age with no history again eurotrash

  78. Renatus Peregrinus says:

    Sure, everyone's black. Because if Louis Leakey was right, then everyone's great-great…(who knows how many generations it took?)…nan came from somewhere in East Africa, remember? 😉

  79. Renatus Peregrinus says:

    @EN: I wouldn't be too keen on that. We shouldn't ask to return back to the past, but understand what we are capable of from our ancestors and forbears, and use it to build our future.

    The African kingdoms were known for a lot of backstabbing, political infighting and were also one of the drivers of slave economies, especially the Benin empire whose economy in its later periods was almost based on slave raiding. They grew rich not because they were great, it was because everyone else had problems or needed something from them, be it salt, gold, ivory….or slaves, for that matter.

  80. Renatus Peregrinus says:

    Not necessarily. If you are a history teacher, the first thing you need to know is to make learning history fun. Stuff like Mansa Musa and his so-called "Order of the Pantaloons" are fun, although sadly we don't really have any proper pictures to show the kids 🙁

  81. Renatus Peregrinus says:

    @MG: That needs trust. No trust, no confidence. No confidence, no customers.

  82. Berry Stone says:

    To the effect civilisation is to be defind as LOVE for all then come respect which till now has not been archived by Africa or western world …unfortunatly it has been replaced by a termnology called Democracy the western term to be translated to 'them more crying' since the present situation of our world simply proof that Human are not at peace, yes the mattirial success in the westen world is evidencial but the inner peace love for all of indegints is not their,,,,Africa phenominal porvarty love for all noway to pevail .

  83. I am interested in knowing as well. Thank you

  84. I am interested in knowing as well. Thank you

  85. Marva Lofton says:

    With unity and a one mindedness anything will be possible. What has been shall be, again our people will rule and reign.

  86. Moed Rob says:

    You forgot about the big Adal Empire of Djibouti-Zayla-Harar. Harar which is the fourth holiest land of Islam.

  87. Festy Idu says:

    Joshua Richie , its most unfortunate that you have decided to relieve our great Edo history in the most unconscionably way as some dirty politicians from your locality have always done to curry public sympathy and votes which are not relevant here. Rather than spend your time and energy to write about Africa's contributions to human development, you are busy trying to impress on the public what a worthless prince that you are. First , i like to note with consternation, your disingenuous attempts and primitive assessment of your claimed delusion, that in the old Benin empire, there was an official distinction in the relationship between the Binis and Esan people which never really existed in the context that you are attempting to reclaim. The history of the Binis and Esans were unequivocally tied together and that relationship was never seen from the prism of unequal competitors but rather they saw their lives and experiences from the position of being brothers and equal in what we all know as the great Benin empire. If the Esans were as powerful as some of you often strenuously attempt to establish, how come, with the Esans could not act with Independence and might to establish what historians would have adjudged an authentic and factual version of "otherness" in the wide acclaimed Benin history? What I want you to realize is that Bini/Esan are Edos with one commonly tied together historical experience. If you are really a prince as you claim, it therefore means that you are by blood a Bini man by every standard and by extension, your ancestors are responsible for the your so called wild crime of slavery or slave dealings in Benin empire. For your information (I realize that you hardly read history or government), the Benin empire had domestic slave labourers but were NEVER involved in commercial slave holding as did by other African civilizations. Yes its true that the Benin (Edo) influence covered areas that had alliance with slave trade history ,but the official policy of the Oba's court forbids that sale of slaves for commercial reasons. It is well known that slaves often escape their owners and journey to Benin for safety. That was not to say, every escapee slave gets automatic citizenship or granted freedom, but the rule then gives slaves the opportunity to work out their freedom according to laid down policy and terms. if the Binis or Edos did as much as you claim how come, in the annals of slave history, no historical link exist, which traces or connect the diaspora black people of America and Caribbeans to Benin kingdom in whose domain you labor to lay your blame for Africa's neck and deep involvement in building the huge slave traffic trade in West Africa? Please think twice and take time to do your research properly before coming to public domain to spew your unintelligent ignorance. Just as some cheap local politicians from your yonder village have claimed, you are attempting to infuse into the discuss, irrelevant, naive and attention seeking diatribe into a intellectually constructed historical celebrations of our ancestral past. Beware



  90. Nana Kwabena Asare Prempeh I says:

    Joshua Richie lol so Africans owned slaves, ok, where is all that wealth they accumulated from it today?

  91. Where did you compile all this information from?? And why is your article only centred on east and northern Afrika?? Were there no kingdoms in the southern part during medieval times? And why call it Medieval? Instead of middle ages, because medieval ascertains to European culture. Your article is kind of a let down, big title.

  92. Forgotten great kingdom of Timbuktu, since you're article is based on northern african kingdoms

  93. timbuktu was part of old ghana empire which later become the mali empire

  94. medieval and middle ages are practically interchangeable. They define a point in history, not a geographical location. The only south African empire was after this period, during what was the renaissance age in Europe. As the article focuses around the period between the 6th and 13th centuries, it's not surprising that they did not mention the Mutapa Empire, one of the few South African empires.

    Also, the article's intent (from what I gathered) was to show that during the dark ages, Africa thrived. Seeing as the Mutapa Empire was brought to it's demise by Europeans (Portuguese), it seems counter intuitive to add it to the article.

  95. medieval and middle ages are practically interchangeable. They define a point in history, not a geographical location. The only south African empire was after this period, during what was the renaissance age in Europe. As the article focuses around the period between the 6th and 13th centuries, it's not surprising that they did not mention the Mutapa Empire, one of the few South African empires.

    Also, the article's intent (from what I gathered) was to show that during the dark ages, Africa thrived. Seeing as the Mutapa Empire was brought to it's demise by Europeans (Portuguese), it seems counter intuitive to add it to the article.

  96. Adil D'velli Ali Adil D'velli Ali the Mutapa(or rather the Monomutapa Empire) was Mozambican I should believe. There were lots of kingdoms during the middle ages, in the southern part of the continent. One such kingdom is the fallen Great Zimbabwe and the tribes crownland kingdoms of the Nguni people.

    I have nothing against this article, just that it was mainly centred in one part of the continent. You don't just say Africa, then just mainly paint everything with the same brush, just because of one particular area. I don't see counter intuitiveness in disseminating information, regardless of the demise of clan or race. Fact is every kingdom did fall, why have others been left behind? why are these so significant that they should be the 7 that everybody should know?

    A lot of KIngdom's have been left out, Even probably one of the longest surviving kingdoms The Bonoman Kingdom. They thrived as well.

  97. Efosa Omuwa says:

    please stop spreading falsehood that the Benins contracted the Esan tribe to prosecute most of the war. as far as i know, esan was not a tribe before the British colonial era but a part and parcel of the Benin/Edo Kingdom. during the Benin/Edo Kingdom, we had and still have different Edo/Benin dialects like Oza, urhonigbe, Usen, Oza nogogoro, esan, owan and etsako etc. while you choose to refer to yourself as esan tribe, we the Benins refer to ourselves as Benin/Edo race and not a mere tribe.

  98. @Efosa. I earlier made up my mind not to reply any comment on this post. Since you brought it up, then i have no other choice but to respond. If you Answer these questions correctly, then you'll see that the traditional leadership arrangement that exist in Edo since the British arrival is a settup. What do you know about the name Benin? When was it first used? You claim the Benins, Esans, Etsakos bla bla are the same tribe, if this is true, why then do they speak different languages when evidence shows they were never separated from eachother (my account says, they lived as neigbors while yours says they lived as one single tribe). You said the Benins never contacted the Esans to join them during battles, they are many evidences that proves 100% that Esans formed a major part of the Benin army, up to 70% of it. Lets take the case of lagos, which proves that Esan soldiers was used to capture many places in Lagos. the place called lekki today was named eki and eki means market in Esan (that was were slaves were sold to the Europeans), Idumu is strictly Esan word no other language on earth uses it, and it means village or a place. How many idumus can you count in lagos (Idumu-ota meaning Otas village or place, ota is an Esan name, Idumu-agbo and other Idumus), Eko means community in Esan (this word is neither used by Benis nor Yorubas). You need to do some research so you would know more about your history, the Europeans basterdized us and am not happy nor proud of my ancestors abit for letting this kind of nonesence happen (both the so-called Benins and the so-called Esan)

  99. @Efosa, for your information, Benin nor Esan technically do not exist. The names were just given to them by the British. Let me tell you about Benin, then i'll tell you about Esan later. During the Ogiso Era, the kingdom was named Igodomigodo(after one of the fore Ogiso, who is believed to be a young, huge and masculine man) and it is also believed that centuries later the name Edo came into existence from Igodomigodo. During the era of the obas, (by now the kingdom has become very large and still expanding, the sit of power (the place or village of the oba's residence was named ubinu, this place is believed to be the present day oredo. This was done by one of the earliest oba), it was after a period of 150 to 200 years that the portugese made contact and by now the kingdom was already an Empire (many persons has come to dwell in Edo, some other smaller kingdoms put themselves under the authority of the oba and Edo in some cases conquered lands/kingdoms needed). So, Edo became a multi-ethnic Empire, the empire was Edo Empire, the name Benin did not exist mean while there were persons in the place later called Uzea, but some of the groups that makes up Esan today are upsprings of persons that left the defunct Edo Empire. It was when the portugese could not pronounce Unbinu, that they used Benin Instead. Though other groups of persons who were part of the Edo Empire were a tribe of their own with complete identity (named and clearly narrated history) like the Urohbos, Isekiris, etc. The core Edo had not other identity than just Edo. So when the Edo Empire crumbled, they had no identity, but to say we are Edos (but we all know that Edo includes all other tribes some of which i mentioned earlier). Then, the people had to be named Benin by the British (as a way of identification, especially from their neigbor like the Esians). Down to this day, nature has always expose the trick that was done. We the Esians still say " we are going to Edo when traveling to Benin City", the older Benin men still refer to Benin as Edo. If a Benin is to ask somebody if he/she is a Benin using the Benin language, when translated to English it will be like this " Are you an Edo Child?" what is it about the word "Edo"? It's simple, you are not a Benin, you are Edo. Benin was forged for you and was used to tear the empire apart. And painfully, the greed for power made it possible, the ancestors of those occupying traditional seats are responsible. As for Esan, the name was pulled up for easy identification of the many different persons with different account of history and origin living in the area, but one thing is clear, that groups of persons lived in Uzea during the days of the ogiso.

  100. Efosa Omuwa says:

    Joshua Richie your comments are full of contradictions. you said Edo has no known identity but was named benin to differentiate them from their Esan neighbour. are u kiiding me? well, i do not have much time to say much, but let me enlighten u a little bit. The name was Igodomigo during the ogiso as you rightly said but was renamed Ubini by Oba Ewedo which was a corruption of Orunmiyan words Ile Ibinu. Oba Ewuare changed the name to Edo in honour of the palace slave named 'Edo' who saved him from being killed by his own brother Oba Uwaifiokun. even after the name was changed from Ubini to Edo, our neighbours like the yorubas and Itsekiris still refer to us as Benins. and that was the name they gave to the visiting Portuguese whose first contacts were the Itsekiri who lived along the Kingdom riverine areas as at then.
    and also, your assertions that Eki, Eko ( which means war camp in Benin), Idumun ( which we refered to as Idumwun) is only an Esan word is very wrong. your knowledge of Edo history is totally flawed. it shows you have not really done your research well as you claimed.
    why dont you relax, take a sober reflection and ask yourselves these following questions.

    if the esans could boast of 70 percent of benin soldiers? i wonder why they could not easily overthrow the oba and subject the benins to their control? and how come esan never had a central govt controlled by one King rather having different kings with his own authority who usually resort to the Benin monarch for legitimacy? how many celebrated ancient benin warriors have a true esan names? at least i can remember the names of Asoro, Ikhinwin, ologbosere, Agban etc and they are not Esan names.

  101. Festy Idu says:

    Joshua Richie You are laboring to learn history, please try and read the useful and authentic one not the one Inegbeneki and his cohort are spreading.

  102. Efosa Omuwa lol, you make me laugh so hard. It's gonna help you a lot if you take out time to do some research and not only rely on what you read about faked Edo history by some persons. do you know Esan conquered the original dwellers and named your place udo, is udo a Benin word? Technically speaking you are Esan not Benin. And talking about the word "idumu" look up the names, it is Idumu- (ota, Agbor, etc) not "idumun", is ota and Agbor also an applicable Benin name? There are also some places in Lagos with distinct Benin names, but for the sake of maintaining a sizable post, i will make that available some other time. Your story about the naming of Igodomigodo to Ubini is wrong, the word was Ubinu. Maybe you should do more research on it. You asked why the Esans never invaded Benin, you should note that we were like brothers and we maintained very cordial relationship until a selfish oba began to witch-hunt the Esans. Before then, anything that touches the Benins touches us, some of the original Esans resided in Ubinu and many Benins settled in Esan to farm. Esan was a place for all and some Benins who wish could come, form a settlement and live among Esans…. i want to reserve certain information at this point. But, if the Esans were not formidable as you claim, why was a high-level deligation sent to Esan which led to the proclamation " Esan e gbedo" and sealed by the planting of the Ukhimin tree? That was a truce reached by both the Esans and the Benins when the Esans declared war on the Benins and after years of fighting. It was the Benin who asked for the truce and made themselves available in Esanland, and the ukhimin tree was planted in Esanland. About you not knowing about Esan warriors; it's simply because it was hidden from you.

  103. Efosa Omuwa says:

    Joshua Richie it'd obvious you do not have a single clue of what you are saying cos you are neither here nor there. let me leave you to continue to swim in your ignorance. maybe one day you maybe fortunate enough to see the light. May the ancestors guide you to know the truth. Ise!

  104. Festy Idu says:

    Joshua Richie You need help, there is no doubt about that.

  105. Festy Idu thank you.

  106. Efosa Omuwa thank you. And may our ancestors grant you the wisdom to see light and correct their mistakes instead of being content with it.

  107. Husen Ismail says:

    African kingdom (kilwa sultanate ) its coins have been found in Australia indicating that they had traveled to Australia continent and were trading with the aboriginal way before the British and dutch people arrived there.

  108. That is it Renatus. How can people believe this stupid hate mess. This does not harm whites. It harms blacks. It is hard to explain what one can do without words and coming from inventors and warriors and the best example of a country most immigrants mostly black would die to live in is Germany … Yes white Germanic people and proud, this is why we have much power and we can be good but also bad. Continue this and I will have Merkel go to the USA just to bitch slap Obama on his pink shirt day …!

  109. Martin Schuler : "Perception is always more pleasing than truth – what is pleasing is seldom the truth." – Taoist saying

    Obama? Obama is hardly the most powerful man anymore — he's little more than a chairman. And the next (wo)man, be (s)he white, black, Asian, Republican, or Democrat to replace him will do no better. Osama bin Laden was right in his pithy remark that Obama was little more than a "house n____r" …. however bin Laden's remark could well apply to Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Mitt Romney or John Kerry even if they had replaced Obama in 2012 or would do so in 2016.

  110. Another is that people had an excess of Kilwa coinage and sent it to Australia to wow the locals …..

  111. Moise Bello says:

    Exact, axum was in the horn of africa and never had any type of control over Nubia; however, it did attack Nubia in the 3rd century but couldn't reign it.

  112. I have always been fascinated by the Mali empire. Not to denigrate the others but Mali was just in a class of its own.

  113. I like that ms jones

  114. bizuayhu i'm interested in all afrikan history, please inform of all you wish present to me…i'm afrikan American forth generation.

  115. Ngina Lythcott you have a very beautiful point.

  116. Africa can be great once more but African Americans won't go home

  117. Africa was great and it is still great. Let's cherish our mother Afica.

  118. Ab Allen says:

    "Once a powerful city-state, Benin exists today as a modern African city in what is now south-central Nigeria." Benin is its own country, bordering Nigeria.

  119. I'm interested please email me.

  120. Tony Ewans says:

    The writer is not talking about Benin Republic but the "GREAT BENIN KINGDOM" get that….

  121. many African say we shall rise we will reign again – its our mind set that hold us back- let me explain slavery is an interuption of our heritage but by no mean did it stop us as a race – if we need to rise again etc what are we saying is that wqe have completly fallen – we have challenges but by no mean we are fallen thus the kingdoms are reminder we are still great and we need that mind set. Soulrac

  122. Once we wake up and know that we never left Africa and are standing in it is when we can start realizing the depth of our own existence here in this land…of our ancestors Amexem now called North, South, and Central America. First we have to get out of that slave mind calling ourselves black instead of negro which was also given to slaves to call themselves…..

  123. Because we are already home right here in this land we have been here over 40,000 years and there is a history in the Grand Canyon to prove it.

  124. Ted McClain says:

    The greatness and the tragedies of our history as African decendents displaced all over the world by the African Diaspore must to be told and retold from our perspective. Social media based movements and each of us can share our rich African culture to a wider portion of our society. Individually we can stripe away the falsehoods of our history with the truth. We must do our research and share our history. That we had great African civilizations that began before Europe"s before Rome's. That African decents have made major contributions to better mankind, in farming, commerce, math, engineering, architecture, medicine, surgery, chemistry, astronomy, aviation, govement, the arts, manufacturing, transportation, education… Today we are still The Great People of the the African Diaspore, we are still contributing to the betterment of mankind, but so many still don't know the truth. Continue to tell our own good story!

  125. China should be banned from Africa as well cause they just want to exploit and colonize the motherland Africa ! So beware we have no friends ! Europeans,Arabs,Indians,Chinese,Koreans,Japanese etc… all these non black races should be banned without hesitation cause they gonna all leech out africa's natural resources !

  126. Exactly we have no friends ! Look what china is doing the exploit africa for their own good ! That's why all non black races should be expelled from Africa !

  127. That's far from realtiy those asians are as racist like their european cousins ( I am saying these cause european people evolved in asia) so stop focusing on those alliances the same thing with black and brown unity look what those mexican's and other non african latino group doing in southern california (compton for example) they are killing black people in high numbers ! Wake the fuck up we have no friends !

  128. I am saving this article for the next time some idiot tells me that Africans were never civilized or incapable of building anything worth mentioning. Thank you for the information.

  129. Nick Frueh says:

    Abidy Michael China is in Africa for one reason and one reason only…because China doesn't have enough land to support their agricultural needs. So they looked to tropical environments to lease or buy….so they can grow food for their people.n thenAfrican countries or leaders I should say are benefiting quite nicely.

  130. Why civilization of Africa were not specified in details avery thing from out side?

  131. Emily Vegogo says:

    Olfert Dapper, “The King of Benin can in a single day make 20,000 men ready for war, and, if need be, 180,000, and because of this he has great influence among all the surrounding peoples. . . . His authority stretches over many cities, towns and villages. There is no King thereabouts who, in the possession of so many beautiful cities and towns, is his equal.”…Olfert Dapper was a Dutch physician and writer. He wrote books about world history and geography, although he never travelled outside the Netherlands. how could he say that if he never travels abroad.

  132. These magnificent empires were the founders of indigenous African slave trade. These are African Slaver empires who worked with the Portuguese and Spaniards for the Trans Atlantic slave trade and then the Arab Muslims for the Trans Sahara slave trade. Wouldn't want any other empires to come back.

  133. Anoir Filali says:

    the akhsum dynasty was part of east africa and south saudia arabia. they call it the empire of Queen Sheeba. arabic language orginated from east africa. lissen to somali you will hear the original arab language.

  134. marco says:

    barber brandon

  135. cruz says:

    fuck mis wren

  136. nmason says:

    so good

  137. man says:

    fuk miss wren she needs to grow up

  138. john says:


  139. john says:

    this stuff is so confusing and iwish to know more about african culture

  140. john says:

    you cracker

  141. giggleton says:

    goofy ahh report😬

  142. giggleton says:

    goofy ahh report😬ggg

  143. Eli says:

    that was funny giggleton

  144. Nolan says:

    fr eli

  145. unknown says:


  146. unknown says:


  147. unknown says:

    your dad never brought back the milk

  148. unknown says:


  149. unknown says:


  150. unknown says:

    [email protected]#$%^&*([email protected]#$%^&*()[email protected]#$%^&*()[email protected]#$%^&*()[email protected]#$%%^&&)(*#&#^$&*&&#(*$(#&$#*#(&$#(&(#&$(&#&&#&$&(&$#&(&#&&(&#&(($&#&($##&$#&(&$(#&*^$R&#$($*@^%%&(_$*($^@$%(&@*&*#%&(*#&%#&*%*%#&(*&%(&%(*#&&(*%#*&%*)*%*%(*&#%&%#%*&(&#%*%)#**%#&%&(#)*%)(*(&#&&#((&#(&(&(&(&(&&&#&%(&T%(#$%((%&(%&#*[email protected]#$%^&*([email protected]#$%^&*()[email protected]#$%^&*()[email protected]#$%^&*()[email protected]#$%%^&&)(*#&#^$&*&&#(*$(#&$#*#(&$#(&(#&$(&#&&#&$&(&$#&(&#&&(&#&(($&#&($##&$#&(&$(#&*^$R&#$($*@^%%&(_$*($^@$%(&@*&*#%&(*#&%#&*%*%#&(*&%(&%(*#&&(*%#*&%*)*%*%(*&#%&%#%*&(&#%*%)#**%#&%&(#)*%)(*(&#&&#((&#(&(&(&(&(&&&#&%(&T%(#$%((%&(%&#*[email protected]#$%^&*([email protected]#$%^&*()[email protected]#$%^&*()[email protected]#$%^&*()[email protected]#$%%^&&)(*#&#^$&*&&#(*$(#&$#*#(&$#(&(#&$(&#&&#&$&(&$#&(&#&&(&#&(($&#&($##&$#&(&$(#&*^$R&#$($*@^%%&(_$*($^@$%(&@*&*#%&(*#&%#&*%*%#&(*&%(&%(*#&&(*%#*&%*)*%*%(*&#%&%#%*&(&#%*%)#**%#&%&(#)*%)(*(&#&&#((&#(&(&(&(&(&&&#&%(&T%(#$%((%&(%&#*&

  151. unknown says:

    bro ur hair so put back it look like it got smacked up by will smith broca big Mac would cost your dignity

  152. unknown says:

    shut up bro

  153. unknown says:

    mirrors can’t talk luckily for you they can’t laugh either

  154. unknown says:

    last time you looked into a mirror I thought it broke

  155. unknown says:

    your mom is so fat she went to Wendy’s and thought they had bean burritos

  156. unknown says:

    i looked on wish and saw your mom selling you for 0.1 cents

  157. unknown says:

    your mom is so ugly she asked her bf if she was pretty and he ran away

  158. unknown says:

    your dad left you 7 years ago to get a pack of smokes from 711 and never came back

  159. unknown says:

    your mom is so fat shed rather get nailed by a chicken leg then your fat ass dad

  160. unknown says:

    your mom is so fat the scaler said she was 0.0000 LBS

  161. giggity says:

    my mom nailed my brother last night

  162. unknown says:

    na man that’s crazy

  163. darkness says:


  164. No says:

    Deez Nutz

  165. cool says:


  166. Edot Baby says:

    w article, i liked it and also old ahh

  167. kkk says:


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