Previously on this blog, we’ve briefly looked into the history of 5 of the most fierce women who once took dominion of ancient African empires. But without a king, it would be hard to make exploits, especially in the type of era Africa operated in, which was very different than the Africa we are accustomed to today.
Below are the 3 powerful and wealthy kings that once ruled Africa.
1. Musa Keita I
(Mansa Musa which translates as, “Kings of Kings” or “Emperor” of Ancient Mali) Keita 1 was the 10th Musa of the Mansa Dynasty. Under the rule of the king Musa Keita, Mali became one of the most wealthiest empires in the world in their known time. From their gold and salt production, agriculture and imperialistic nature and dynamic trade location, the kingdom thrived. Musa Keita I is mostly recognized as the one who was responsible of enriching the great trading city of Timbuktu, establishing the library and Islamic Universities. Musa Keita’s reign over mali ended, however, one of his sons succeeded the throne in 1337
Taharqa reigned through the 25th Dynasty Reign 690 – 664 BCE. Taharqa was deemed one of the most respected Nubian Kings. As soon as Piye, the father to Taharqa, successfully conquered Egypt in battle, Taharqa united the two kingdoms to form the largest African empire at the time. His empire spanned from the 5th Nile Cataract in Nubia, throughout all of Egypt, up into the Middle East in Palestine. Biblical scholars have concluded that he is referenced in the Biblical book of Kings 19:9 and Isaiah 37:9 as the great King of Kush who waged war against Sennacherub, King of Assyria.
Amenhotep III (Egypt) 18th Dynasty 1388-1351 BC. During his reign, Egypt enjoyed immense wealth, peace and economic stability. There were several exquisite building projects and monuments he was responsible for building as well as the first man-made lake outside his palace in Malkata for his wife, the Great Queen Tiye. During his reign, Egypt had exceptional influence in foreign policy and diplomacy, which he handled along with his wife, Queen Tiye. Proof of this is in the “Amarna” letters that came from Assyria, Babylon, Mittani and Hatti. When Amenhotep III died, he left behind a country that was at its very peak off its power and influence, commanding immense respect around the world.
There are many other kings that reigned during the ancient times within Africa. These are just 3 of the kings that ruled back in the day that held immense power and wealth, as well as the weight in ensuring their kingdoms thrived in the way that they did. It is no surprise that the history of these pre-colonial kings is most celebrated throughout pop culture in movies and even promotes the topic of Afro-Futurism, which is the idea of a revived African history in a technologically advanced civilization, but that is a topic for another day.
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