This week's Links list is a bit short---only 9 links were found on my chosen
subject matter. The reason it's a bit short is that there remains a great
deal to be discovered or at least webbed on the subject of Medieval Africa.
During our period of study, Africa--particularly North and West---was
thriving with trade to the near East, and to Europe. A great deal of the
world's GOLD supply came form Africa at the time. We know through viewing
European artworks that African Persons were not strangers to Europe (so many
show up in crowd scenes or as courtesans in paintings). And yet, due to more
recent cultural biases, much of the history of Africa has remained a
mystery, especially those of us with Europe-centric ways of viewing world
history. While the subject matter for this Links List was hard to come by, I
present you with what I could find, most of which seems to be good, solid
work. Perhaps when we revisit the subject sometime down he road, we'll be
able to find much more. It's a field of study ripe for some research, so if
anyone out there is looking for something new to research, this would be a
As always, please share this Links List with those who will be interested in
Dame Aoife Finn of Ynos Mon
Splendor in Medieval Africa
A visit to Mali's medieval past
(Site Excerpt) According to tradition, Mali was suffering from a fearful
drought when a visitor told the king, Mansa Barmandana, that the drought
would break if he converted to Islam. This he did, and as predicted the
drought did end. Other Mandinkans followed the king's lead and converted as
well, but the mansa did not force a conversion, and many retained their
Mandinkan beliefs. This religious freedom would remain throughout the
centuries to come as Mali emerged as a powerful state.
Kingdoms of Medieval Sudan
(Site Excerpt) "Kingdoms of the Medieval Sudan" provides a narrative
historical overview of Mali, Songhay, Kanem-Bornu, and Hausaland before the
modern era, a hyperlinked glossary with pronunciation helps, and self-tests
on the history of these regions.The text is also accompanied by the work of
photographer Lucy Johnson.
Ibn Battuta: Travels in Asia and Africa 1325-1354
(Site Excerpt) On reaching the city of Tilimsan [Tlemsen], whose sultan at
that time was Abu Tashifin, I found there two ambassadors of the Sultan of
Tunis, who left the city on the same day that I arrived. One of the brethren
having advised me to accompany them, I consulted the will of God in this
matter, and after a stay of three days in the city to procure all that I
needed, I rode after them with all speed. I overtook them at the town of
Miliana, where we stayed ten days, as both ambassadors fell sick on account
of the summer heats. When we set out again, one of them grew worse, and died
after we had stopped for three nights by a stream four miles from Miliana. I
left their party there and pursued my journey, with a company of merchants
A Medieval Atlas: Maps of Medieval Africa
A list of links to maps of Northern Africa, Europe, Arabia, and the Near
Procopius: The Reconquest of Africa, 534
(Site excerpt) Belisarius, upon reaching Byzantium with Gelimer [last king
of the Vandals, captured by Belisarius in 534] and the Vandals, was counted
worthy to receive such honours, as in former times were assigned to those
generals of the Romans who had won the greatest and most noteworthy
victories. And a period of about six hundred years had now passed since
anyone had attained these honours, except, indeed, Titus and Trajan, and
such other emperors as had led armies against some barbarian nation and had
been victorious. For he displayed the spoils and slaves from the war in the
midst of the city and led a procession which the Romans call a "triumph,"
not, however, in the ancient manner, but going on foot from his own house to
the hippodrome and then again from the barriers [the starting point for the
racers at the open end of the Hippodrome] until he reached the place where
the imperial throne is.
(Site Excerpt) Axum remained a strong empire and trading power until the
rise of Islam in the seventh century AD. However, because the Axumites had
sheltered Muhammed's first followers, the Muslims never attempted to
overthrow Axum as they spread across the face of Africa. Even though Axum no
longer served as a center or hub of international trade, it nonetheless
enjoyed good relations with all of its Muslim neighbors. Two Christian
states north of Axum, Maqurra and Alwa, survived until the thirteenth
century when they were finally forced by Muslim migration to become Islamic.
Axum, however, remained untouched by the Islamic movements across Africa.
Because of this, the Ethiopic (or Abyssinian) Church has lasted until the
present day. It is still a Monophysite church and its scriptures and liturgy
are still in Ge'ez
Mali and Songhai
(Site Excerpt) The empire of Mali, which dated from the early thirteenth
century to the late fifteenth century, rose out of what was once the empire
of Ghana. Mali had been a state inside of the Ghanaian empire. After Ghana
fell because of invading forces and internal disputes, Mali rose to
greatness under the leadership of a legendary king named Sundiata, the "Lion
King." Later, another great leader named Mansa Musa extended the empire.
After his death, however, his sons could not hold the empire together. The
smaller states it had conquered broke off, and the empire crumbled.
Medieval Africa 1250-1800 Roland Oliver, Anthony Atmore
This 17 page paper ont he subject requires Acrobat Reader to access.
Early Medieval North Africa
Quotes of the Week:
"Even the smallest person can change the course of the future."--Tolkein
In democracy it's your vote that counts; In feudalism it's
your count that votes.
Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead to know basis
A plateau is a high form of flattery