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How great were the African kingdoms/empires like Mali? How well

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How great were the African kingdoms/empires like Mali?

How well did they compare in terms of technology, trade etc. with contemporary European/Mongol/whatever civilization?
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>>290818
Jesus christ, the same troll threads over and over and over.
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>>290820
I'm genuinely curious.
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>>290818
"no"
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>african "kingdoms"
>not just arab trading posts and towns
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>Western Sudan (Ghana, Mali, Songhai)
This area was the origin of agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa (c. 2500 BC), but as an arid region it didn't see much development. Towns grew up along the Niger River's fertile inner delta in the first millennium AD, but it wasn't until the Saharan trade picked up after 800 AD that states began to form. These were indigenous developments but over time they adopted Islamic influence, including literacy, though only a small part of society was actually Muslim. These civilizations were never very advanced and basically just relied on trade. They didn't have large cities (Timbuktu and Djenne were really just towns) and didn't have any great art or architecture.

>North Nigeria (Hausa)
I'm not familiar with this region, but it was more urbanized than the Western Sudan. Their land was more suitable for cereal agriculture and supported fairly large populations that grew into cities after the 11th century. Like the Western Sudan, they were influenced by Islam but weren't really Islamic until the 19th century. Don't know much else about it.

>South Nigeria (Yoruba, Edo, Igbo)
A mix of rain-forest and savanna, there was no Islamic influence and writing was never adopted. Like the Hausa they developed urbanism after the 11th century. At Igbo Ukwu (9th-10th cents) a king's burial filled with incredible cast metal art shows that there was social complexity even before then, as do the presence of massive earthworks in Yorubaland. Ile-Ife emerged as the region's first city, and in the 13th-14th centuries produced incredible naturalistic sculptures. The region then comes to be dominated by Benin in the forests and Oyo in the savanna. Architecture used perishable materials and hasn't survived.

Also the Ashanti were cool, but they were pretty late (18th century).

Sub-equatorial Africa was settled pretty late and never really had time to produce civilization, though the complex cultures in Zimbabwe show that they were moving in that direction.
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>>290818
>>290826

Do you want a small summary or actual works to read about?
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I'd place the sahelian empires on the same level as their contemporaries in Japan, Eastern Europe, and Southeast Asia
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>>291759
God no.
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>>291500
Why does everyone in the arts faculty namedrop Benin art if they merely continued the legacy of Yoruba?
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>>291764
How different could you call them in terms of medieval standards?

Writing, long distance trade, feudal political structure, armored cavalry, etc
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>>291787
Truthfully, the artistic tradition of the Nok people is most likely ancestral to BOTH the Edo and Yoruba.

Keep in mind that the Volta Niger urheimat is roughly somewhere in central Nigeria
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Are critiques of colonialism only morally acceptable because of the comfort that proceeded from them? i.e. the more advanced the empire, the more it will critique its own past, the weaker it is the more colonial actions will seem justified?

Sorry to digress but the decline of these empires prompts this question from me.
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>>291787
I guess because Benin is a much better understood city. It lasted (in a hugely declined form) until the 1890s and we have plenty of records of it from Europeans. Ile-Ife on the other hand is buried beneath a modern town which makes it difficult to examine, and most of what we know about it is based on limited archaeology, art, and semi-legendary oral history.

Ife really should get more attention though; it was one of the few completely independent origins of civilizations in history. It just isn't normally seen that way because it arose so late.
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>>291500
The western sudan was heavily populated during the trans sahara trade. And their universities/libraries were nothing to scoff at. Keep in mind after the battle of Tondibi many native scholars were taken to Morrocco as tutors.

Timbuktu had over 100,000 citizens at its apex.

Hausaland was a collection of rival city states.
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>>291832
Critique of colonialism is morally acceptable if you're criticising colonialism done by people of European descent, because everyone knows hating your own race is progressive, and to be progressive means to be smarter than everyone else. We'd be colonising other galaxies if the white man hadn't destroyed the gretest civilisations on earth like the savage that he is.
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>>291832
>Are critiques of colonialism only morally acceptable because of the comfort that proceeded from them? i.e. the more advanced the empire, the more it will critique its own past, the weaker it is the more colonial actions will seem justified?
Just to clarify, I mean the comfort that proceeds from the rewards of colonising.
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>>291806
The Sahelian civilizations traded extensively, but they lacked much of what made Japan, Southeast Asia, and eastern Europe great civilizations. Large planned cities, monumental architecture, huge infrastructural projects, advanced engineering, beautiful art, etc. I don't think Sahelian political structures were anywhere near as advanced either, though I can't really back that up.

>>291832
Africa in the 19th century was an absolute shithole. I'm not defending colonialism, but even with all its flaws it was generally better than what preceded it (except in the likes of the Congo). East and Central Africa was being fucked by the Indian Ocean slave trade, West Africa was fucked by jihads and the fact that the slave trade had corrupted most society, southern Africa had the Zulus and the Mfecane, and so on. There were a few decent states like the Ashanti and Sokoto, but even those were pretty backwards for their time and practiced widespread slavery.

The problem with colonialism wasn't that it ended native civilization in Africa, but the fact that it was badly managed, exploitative, and failed to lay down the foundations for real economic development. Plus there's inexcusable shit like the Congo Free State.
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>>290818
You will not learn a lot of history of africa here, you should do research for yourself, but be aware to not fall into the afrocentrist trap. UNESCO offers for free in pdf form all the volumes of his General History of Africa, it should be ok and relatively unbiased. I haven't read it all, what I've read (mainly about ethiopia) was good enough, specially if you contrast the sources and citiations (you should be always doing this t.b.h.). It's not working for me right now, but I've used it and I recommend it, google it.

Also, the university of Cambridge has a Cambridge History of Africa. Cambridge Histories of X are always great, if sometimes not the most fresh material out there.
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>>291935
>relatively unbiased.

Yeah, that only is true so far as I had contact with African history stuff because everything is so damn biased. That is a good book to have a start at least indeed.
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They were late to the game compared to the early players that all independently developed most basic technologies (Egypt, Mesopotamia, possibly the Anatolian region and the Mohenjo-Daro, Somewhere china is doing stuff too on the yellow river)

I've said it before in threads: Cities are shitty and built out of necessity. They incubate disease and are vulnerable to catastrophy. When a culture arrives later to the scene than others then it likely means that the early precursors to that culture were more than likely comfortable and successful with their lifestyle. Shit was awesome in Africa for a while, then the Sahara expanded and everything else pretty much went to shit. We see the Ethiopians and the Nok come about during that time but the Nok vanished and the Ethiopians were dominated by the Egyptians. Nobody else really developed their own technologies during that time other than Egypt.
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>>291952
African Civilizations: An Archaeological Perspective is good one for looking specifically at civilizations rather than a general history, though I've only read small parts of it online.
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>>291911
There were a lot of atrocities during the colonial period though.

>The problem with colonialism wasn't that it ended native civilization in Africa

and it changed local culture for the worse in a lot of cases (there were good changes but that got offset like removing slavery but then implanting forced and indentured labourers) and tore down social structures alogn with the fact that you can enact fucked up policies and you have no one o answer to because who gives a fuck about them. Forced relocation of males to serve as labour leading to villages being adult male empty thus leading to a heavy shortage of agricultural labour which led to a bunch of issues like the spread of HIV actually promoting prostitution which is ironic since powers were trying to stop it to bump up birth rates. Destruction of the economy through arbitrary taxation and laws hindering or barring the subjects form participating in the economy and exerting financial power. Christianity being used for ill gains like an opiate for the masses. Colonialism didn't end local civilization in Africa but just stopped it in it's place and stripped all agency form the people in it's development). To use an analogy it's like the years Cambodia was run by Pol Pot, no real progress just stagnation and poverty.
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>>291962
By ethiopians you mean what we normally call nubians or kush?
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>>291962
It's simply very hard to upkeep a city.
some places it was easy the others it was a pain in the ass since if you are in a low pop area with massive land getting the people to stay in 1 place on top of having the power to make them stay under the influence was a pain in the ass.

Especially in trade where if people just hate you they can move shop elsewhere or conduct trade impromptu.
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>>291500
Oh my god this guy is so wrong. This was outdated in the 80s. Precolonial African history doesn't get much attention and is an underdeveloped field but we do know that, just based on purely the cursory archeology, that truly large cities existed in West Africa prior to 500 BC. Please go check out the lit available on jstor or something. Even if you can't access the articles the descriptions are enough to correct this guy
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>>292008
Like where? There were cities in Nubia and Aksum but I was just talking about West/South Africa. The only cultures I'm aware of in West Africa with any notable settlements before 500 BC were the Tichitt and Kintampo cultures, but they had nothing that even came close to the scale of a city.

Jenne-jenno is often called the first city in West Africa, but in truth it was never very large. Even if you do call it a city, it didn't reach it's height until about 800 AD, which doesn't really contradict anything I said.
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>>291911
The sahel empires engaged in extensive monumental projects such as mosques and palaces. The ironwork of the Mandinka in particular has found its way to museums throughout Europe.
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>>292135
>The sahel empires engaged in extensive monumental projects such as mosques and palaces
The mosque of Djenne is a reconstruction, but the one it's based on was about the same size as the modern one. So that might be one example of a somewhat large mosque, but other than that I'm not aware of any monumental architecture. There might have been large palaces somewhere, but without archaeological evidence I can't be sure. The only piece of architecture left from the Songhai empire is basically just a dirt mound. Even if there were some large buildings, there was nothing near the scale or complexity of what was being built in contemporary Japan, Russia, or Angkor.

>The ironwork of the Mandinka in particular has found its way to museums throughout Europe
I'm not sure of this. I've never seen any very impressive Mandika artwork beyond wooden sculptures. The only medieval Malian art I'm aware of are small terracotta figures from around Djenne.
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>>292173
We've uncovered the ruins of old gao recently.

And the mosque of Djenne was actually far more ornate prior to the Fulani jihad. They thought it was too decadent and razed it.
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>>292334
>decadent

Don't you mean degenerate?


Pol completely unrelated.
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>>292646
How do I make her have my children
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>>290818
>How great were the African kingdoms/empires like Mali?

They sure werent very good at building shit.
However, if we reduce our expectations in terms of scale, they do exhibit a lot of traits of advanced states.
There was a king, and he lived in the capital, and had a private army.
He collected tax from all the land, and bureaucrats kept track of how much animals and grain is in each settlement.
Soldiers were drafted to fight neighbors, and it was expected of every king to fight in a war and gain land, peace wasnt desirable among the elite.
Tactics were being developed, armies were being drilled, logistics and propaganda existed.

Basically what you see in Northern Africa or Europe, except on a smaller scale, since it wasnt as urbanized.
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>>292891
She's 50. That particular boat has sailed and sunk worse than Kubilai's fleets.
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>>294754
>She's 50.

Not for another month, she isnt.
And women are able to give birth at that age, if you both try hard enough.
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>>294762
>wanting to ruin that body with a kid

Nah mean, she's probably got 5-6 more years in her. If I was in the position where I fuck her on a daily basis, having a kid is last on my list.
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>>294776
>50 year old woman
>fucking every day

How to spot a virgin.
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>>294778
I'll assume you'll want to discuss the collapse of the Han dynasty with her muh man?
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>>294778
Son, some 50 year Olds are horny as fuck. Especially if they had a lot of cock in the past.
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>>294738
>They sure werent very good at building shit.
More like they weren't good at building permanent shit. Old photos show that they did have some really beautiful (though not very big) architecture in some areas, and presumably the same was true of some earlier cultures like Ife.
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>>292646
Gong li a cute, do you guys have good taste in movies too? Wong Kar Wai is a personal favourite, Jean Pierre Melville too.

Has anyone here watched Sans soleil by the way? It even covers the humanity's part, how was it, if you did? Want to buy it.
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>>290818
That looks like a big sand castle or mud hut.
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>>297578
Seriously?
Thread posts: 43
Thread images: 9


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