UNESCO General History of Africa, Volume 4: Africa from the Twelfth to the Sixteenth Century
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The result of years of work by scholars from all over the world, The UNESCO General History of Africa reflects how the different peoples of Africa view their civilizations and shows the historical relationships between the various parts of the continent. Historical connections with other continents demonstrate Africa's contribution to the development of human civilization. Each volume is lavishly illustrated and contains a comprehensive bibliography.
The period covered in Volume IV constitutes a crucial phase in the continent's history, in which Africa developed its own culture and written records became more common. Major themes include the triumph of Islam; the extension of trading relations,cultural exchanges, and human contacts; and the development of kingdoms and empires.
. . . a very curious construction and well built, for it is said no mortar can be seen holding the stones together. In other parts of the said plain are other fortresses built in the same manner, in each of which the king has captains. T h e King of Benametapa lives in great style, and is served with great deference, on bended knee. 2 9 Africa from the Twelfth to the Sixteenth Century D e Barros adds: 'the natives of this country call all these edifices "Symbaoe", which in their tongue means
which soon took the form of the Khäridjite 'heresy', characterized by a mixture of anarchy and egalitarianism, which was particularly attractive to nomadic and rural societies. In its ideas and organizational forms this heresy drew on ethnic traditions, and profited from the particular ways in which Islamic sovereignty was then exercised to establish itself a m o n g the Berbers, amongst w h o m its preachers attacked both the hereditary principle in the succession to the caliphate and the
campaign resulted in the conclusion of an agreement, under which the king of Castile promised not to intervene in the affairs of the Muslim territories in Spain and also handed back Arabic manuscripts previously captured by the Christians. This compromise peace of 1285 was hailed by the Marinids as a victory. Sultan A b u Ya'küb had to deal with a succession of revolts in southern Morocco and was heavily involved in attempts to conquer Tlemcen and liquidate the Zayyänid dynasty. For these
Tiramaghan Traore and Fakoli K o r o m a . T h e former had been sent by Sundiata to Jolof to fight King Jolofing Mansa, w h o had arrested a caravan of traders sent by Diata to buy horses. After defeating the king, Tiramaghan waged war in Senegambia and conquered the Casamance and the highlands of Kaabu or Gabu, n o w Guinea-Bissau. Tiramaghan is considered by the western Mandingo to have been the founder of several kingdoms, the most important of which was the kingdom of K a a b u . 4 0 Fakoli
e s , w h o went up the River Gambia in 1455 and 1456 respectively, are c o m plementary.3 For the early sixteenth century w e have two pieces of evidence of nearly the same date, the Esmeraldo de Situ Orbis of Duarte Pacheco Pereira ( 1505-6) and the valuable account of Valentim Fernandes ( 1506-7). 4 1. Ibn Khaldün completed the bulk of the work on his Kitäb al-Ibar in 1393-4, although he was constantly revising it up to his death in 1406. 2. Leo Africanus, as he was known to Europe, or