Mansa musa and islam, persian and the greeks, water civilization, christianity

Like any huge place, Africa is incredibly diverse. Much of african history was preserved via oral rather than written tradition. But they said that people who don’t use writing aren’t civilized. Plato said that writing destroys human memory by alleviating the need to remember anything. So there was a king named mansa musa who ruled the west African empire of mali. Mansa musa spent his money freely and gave away lots of his riches when he reached Alexandria he spent so much gold that causes the inflation throughout the city that took years just to recover. Merchants spread things about his ridiculous wealth, it created the myth that the west Africa the land of gold. African kingdoms were ruled by fabulously wealthy African kings. While mansa musa was making the hajj he was really relatively devout and a muslim. But how did his kingdom looked like and how did he come to convert to islam? It all started with trading

The islamization before happens, the berbers had long traded with the west Africans with salt in exchange for golds. They said that without salt we die and without gold we only have to face the universe depraved indifference to us without the benefit of metallic things. The berbers were already converted early to islam and islam spread along with those pre existing trade routes between north and west Africa. The kings followed the traders maybe because of sharing the religion of more established kingdoms in the north and east would give them prestige that will access them to scholars and administrators that can help them cement their power. Islam became the religion of the elites in west Africa which meant that the kings were trying to expand their power over largely non muslims which only worship traditional gods.

There are so many things that they entertain because we’re based on the oral tradition. Empires relied only to their religion and wars and it’s dynasty’s politics.

But they saw the development of some group of city states called Swahili. In Swahili there was no central authority. Each of these city states were ruled by kings but not always. But there are three things that considers them a common culture, language (bantu), trade and tradition.

Studying Africa reminds us that we need to look at lots of sources and be contented enough to get a fuller picture of the past. If we relied too much on written sources it would be far too easy to fall into the old trap of seeing Africa as backwards and uncivilized.

The Persian empire became the model for land based through out the world. Herodotus wrote many things about the Persian wars and talk about the Persians over all. But Herodotus is a greek, how ironic?

Cyrus the great conquered most of the Mesopotamia but his son darius the first was even greater! He extended Persian control east. Persians like to conquer kingdoms and allow them to go if they would pledge to give their kings and elites to the Persians. Persian embraced freedom of religion.

Greeks who embraced literature, music, architecture etc. Greeks lived in city states which consisted of a city and its surrounding area. Some form of slavery took hold in this place.

The whole war started because the Athens supported the aforementioned Ionian greeks when they were rebelling against the Persians. That made the Persian king xerxes mad so he lead two major campaigns against the Athenians.

The greeks won the Persian war.

It was all about resources and power. And the Athenians were saintly head over heels in these things


Water civilization

Water has a lot of benefit. Water is commonly used for daily drink, to raise plants and animals and most importantly support the agriculture. Some places need to build infrastructure. Like dams, water reservoir and other stuff. They needed to lessen the flow of water and to control it where can it be useful. In indus valley, mohenjo daro created a giant basin that we called the great basin. In dry regions, the ability to control the water is the symbolic of wealth and power. The water required a lot of labor to make. Role of water can be a huge part of mayan politics and region. Barays were built to catch water to use for agriculture for them to be able to grow plants and be a protection for such invaders etc.


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