One of the most advanced ancient civilizationsThe Axum Empire was one of the most remarkable powers of the ancient world. Located in the northern part of modern Ethiopia and Eritrea, it once dominated East Africa and parts of Arabia. When we think of any powerful ancient civilizations in Africa, only the civilization of Egypt comes to mind. Meanwhile, the Axum civilization was one of the earliest established societies in Africa, that had contact with both ancient Europe and Asia, but little is actually known about it.
1.The ancient Axum Empire existed in what is now Ethiopia (the name "Ethiopia" was used as early as the 4th century), Eritrea, Sudan, Somalia, and Yemen from 880 BC to 825.
It was an advanced civilization that surpassed the development of ancient Europe. It can even be assumed that its knowledge was more extensive than that of the Europeans in the 15th century.
2.Axum was a well-organized center where education flourished.
The Aksumites had extensive knowledge of mathematics and astronomy.
3.They were able to construct merchant ships (large for the time) that sailed on many waters in different parts of the globe.
Their knowledge of geography and navigation allowed them to reach Tanzania and Seychelles, where around the 2nd century AD, the natives built a blast furnace to smelt carbon steel, which was in great demand in many parts of the world.
4.According to scholars, the ships of Aksum may have reached to present-day South Africa, but there is no scientific evidence for this.
However, translated Aksumite texts about the lands they reached may support such speculation.
5.The Aksum fleet appeared off the coast of the Arabian Peninsula, Persia, China, India, Indonesia and the Philippines.
There is no conclusive evidence for this, but it is speculated that the Aksumites may have reached Australia as well.
6.The civilization of Aksum was placed on a par with Roman Empire, Persia or China.
The location of Aksum in East Africa was crucial to the development of this civilization. Aksum's citizens were excellent navigators. They created the most extensive trade network of the ancient world and were able to transport valuable goods to areas of Europe, Asia and Africa.
7.The Aksumites traded ivory, rubber, silk, spices, turtle shells, salt, gold, emeralds, precious metals, and steel.
Their land was fertile, so they produced much food, with the surplus being exported deep into Africa.
8.The golden era of Axum falls between the 2nd and 6th centuries AD.
The kingdom's rulers bore the title King of Kings - Negus Nagast.
9.The empire created its own language, alphabet, minted its coins (copper, silver and gold).
Some have been found in India and China, confirming the presence of the Aksumites in these areas. The coins were initially decorated with a new moon and two stars. After the adoption of Christianity, the image of a cross appeared on Aksumite coins.
10.In the middle of the 4th century (probably about 325 AD), during the reign of Ezana, Christianity was adopted in Aksum. It was caused by the influence of the Syrian merchants.
Axum became the second country in the world to adopt Christianity. The first was Armenia in 301 and the third was Roman Empire in 392.