Empires of Africa
Empires of Africa
Ancient Kingdoms, Empires, and States in Africa
African society has been organized into kingdoms – a king and his domain of influence or rulership. The domain may be a small village, town, or city. Over time, arrangements were made so that groups of towns choose one king to guide them or subject themselves to one king. This grouping was a protection for all the subordinate kings and their subjects in case of attack by neighboring kings or a time of disaster. All subjects could be mobilized for a purpose that benefits all the communities.
The groupings into higher entities became states and kingdoms and empires. Below is a map of some of the kingdoms and empires that existed in times of antiquity.
Kemet Empire (Pre-Egypt)
The oldest empire we know of is Kemet, which developed from two kingdoms – the Southern Kingdom of Kush and the Northern Kingdom at the Nile Delta. (The Nile flows from south to north.)
These two kingdoms developed from city-states and over a period merged into one kingdom. We do not know the origins of these pre-unification kingdoms. However, they existed independently for a long period. They traded with each other and lived peacefully. These Africans knew the kinship bond that existed between their peoples. Similar kingdoms also existed within Africa. So, these two kingdoms were not unique.
Historians postulate that the king of the Kushite kingdom, Namer or Menes, decided for some unknown reason to organize his army and travel south to conquer it. Different theories have been proposed for this event. We do not have any record of inter-kingdom wars before this because every king had enough land and resources for his people. There was no reason to go to war to conquer his neighbor, African, and kill people. Africa was peaceful.
I will here suggest my theory of what happened as follows:
It would take a lot of effort to organize the military that would be composed of foot soldiers and boat soldiers to walk and sail down south to fight the southern kingdom. Many boats would have to be built, weapons – spears, bows and arrows and knives had to be made, supplies like food and water had to Namer was not interested in waging a war of conquest to slaughter fellow Africans. It would cost a considerable amount of effort and resources to mobilize a vast army for this war. There was nothing to be gained by conquering the south because the Kingdom of Kush had rich deposits of gold, and food just like the south. It is noteworthy to observe that Namer did not return to Kush with spoils of war from the south. He crowned himself as king of both north and south kingdoms. This would suggest that the Northern Kingdom had disintegrated into anarchy for some season. There was chaos, and innocent people were perhaps being slaughtered.
My theory is that there had been failed attempts to invade and capture the northern kingdom by foreigners from Europe and the East, white people. The Persian, Macedonian, Roman, and Arab conquest of Kemet/Egypt inform us and give us an idea of what could have happened. One such invasion was successful, and it resulted in the deaths of the king and perhaps the royal household, high officials of the kingdom, and probably military leaders.
Namer in the south must have received the news and decided to organize and go and save his kinfolk in the north. It was an easy victory. Since the royal house had been wiped out by the enemy, he decided to crown himself king of both kingdoms, as shown in this palette below named after him showing him meting out justice to his victim, who was probably the ring-leader of the invaders.
After the war and restoration of law and order, Namer returned to the north and probably appointed a coregent in the south. From then on, the two kingdoms, merged to become Kemet.
This event took place, according to historians, around 3200 B.C. to give as Upper and Lower Egypt.
They determined this year based on the documentation in the hieroglyphic historical record of the periods of the reign of the kings of Kemet.
“Ancient Egypt was a civilization of ancient North Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River, situated in the place that is now the country Egypt. The history of ancient Egypt occurred as a series of stable kingdoms, separated by periods of relative instability known as Intermediate Periods: the Old Kingdom of the Early Bronze Age, the Middle Kingdom of the Middle Bronze Age and the New Kingdom of the Late Bronze Age.
Egypt reached the pinnacle of its power in the New Kingdom, ruling much of Nubia and a sizable portion of the Near East, after which it entered a period of slow decline. During the course of its history Egypt was invaded or conquered by a number of foreign powers, including the Hyksos, the Libyans, the Nubians, the Assyrians, the Achaemenid Persians, and the Macedonians under the command of Alexander the Great. The Greek Ptolemaic Kingdom, formed in the aftermath of Alexander’s death, ruled Egypt until 30 BC, when, under Cleopatra, it fell to the Roman Empire and became a Roman province.
The success of ancient Egyptian civilization came partly from its ability to adapt to the conditions of the Nile River valley for agriculture. The predictable flooding and controlled irrigation of the fertile valley produced surplus crops, which supported a more dense population, and social development and culture. With resources to spare, the administration sponsored mineral exploitation of the valley and surrounding desert regions, the early development of an independent writing system, the organization of collective construction and agricultural projects, trade with surrounding regions, and a military intended to assert Egyptian dominance. Motivating and organizing these activities was a bureaucracy of elite scribes, religious leaders, and administrators under the control of a pharaoh, who ensured the cooperation and unity of the Egyptian people in the context of an elaborate system of religious beliefs.
The many achievements of the ancient Egyptians include the quarrying, surveying and construction techniques that supported the building of monumental pyramids, temples, and obelisks; a system of mathematics, a practical and effective system of medicine, irrigation systems and agricultural production techniques, the first known planked boats, Egyptian faience and glass technology, new forms of literature, and the earliest known peace treaty, made with the Hittites. Ancient Egypt has left a lasting legacy. Its art and architecture were widely copied, and its antiquities carried off to far corners of the world. Its monumental ruins have inspired the imaginations of travelers and writers for centuries. A new-found respect for antiquities and excavations in the early modern period by Europeans and Egyptians led to the scientific investigation of Egyptian civilization and a greater appreciation of its cultural legacy. Source – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Egypt
Medieval Kingdoms and Empires in Africa
The kingdoms on map will be described later as well as the following topics:
- Africa in world history – Christianity and Islam, Trade
- The Slave Trade – See the book “The Indictment of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam for Cultural, Spiritual, Economic and Human Genocide” in the store
- Colonialism – Partitioning of Africa