North East Africa 1215 CE

In Nubia, the long-lasting peace between the Christians and Muslim Egypt is beginning to break down. This will spell disaster for the Christian kingdoms. In the 11th century Ethiopia experienced intense political ...

Read on

Subscribe for more great content – and remove ads

4300BCE 3900BCE 3500BCE 3100BCE 2700BCE 2300BCE 1900BCE 1500BCE 1100BCE 700BCE 300BCE 100CE 500CE 900CE 1300CE 1700CE 2021CE

What is happening in North East Africa in 1215CE

In Nubia, the long-lasting peace between the Christians and Muslim Egypt is beginning to break down. This will spell disaster for the Christian kingdoms.

In the 11th century Ethiopia experienced intense political instability. In one incident, a princess murdered all the royal family – except the infant king, who was smuggled out of harm’s way. Shortly after this shock, a new line of kings, the Zagwe, took power from the old Aksumite line. They have firmly established their power in the country. They are centralizing their authority by replacing traditional tribal rulers – who owed only a loose allegiance to the king – with royal governors appointed by themselves.

Economically, Ethiopia’s fortunes have risen. With economic revival in Egypt has come expansion for Ethiopia’s trade: the country is one of the major sources of frankincense and myrrh, two spices much in demand in the Muslim world, and it also exports slaves to the north.

The current king, Lalibela (c. 1200-1250), is famous for building a series of unique churches hewn out of solid rock near his capital (also now named Lalibela).

A strong Muslim state has developed to the south-east of Ethiopia, based on trading posts from which control over the local population has gradually been achieved.

Subscribe for more great content – and remove ads

Subscribe for more great content – and remove ads