Africa walking behind on development.

Apr 2013
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
I surrender! I've never said Africa wasn't an interesting continent with a long history.
I myself am originally from North-Africa, but you took this a little bit too far, my friend. this is no longer a reply but an encyclopedia on African history. It'll take me 15 minutes only to look trough the pictures.
Not to mention reading all of this trough, oh well... I got the time, interesting work, you should turn it into an essay.
What if I may ask is your profession? I assume you're either a student or an educator of some sorts.

Yet again welcome to Historum:D
May 2013
Oh i almost forgot.
This is really good info too.I just recently found out about these books and just want to share the info anyway.

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[FONT=Verdana, Arial]G. Ochała, Chronological Systems of Christian Nubia[/FONT]

[FONT=Verdana, Arial]It has long been known that Christian Nubia used several dating methods, yet only one of them, the lunar calendar, drew scholars’ more detailed attention. The present book is the first comprehensive analysis of all attestations of counting time in medieval Nubia known to date. It discusses nine different aspects of keeping track of time, divided into two parts: ‘Annual dating methods’ and ‘Calendars’. The author on the one hand concentrates on indicating possible directions of influence that governed the use of particular dating methods in Nubia and on the other tries to prove the Nubians’ own inventiveness in this field. Each chapter is supplied with a set of tables and maps faciliating the comprehension of the collected material. The book should be used together with an on-line resource for textual sources from Christian Nubia, ‘The Database of Medieval Nubian Texts’, to be launched in October/November 2011 at [/FONT]

[FONT=Verdana, Arial]More books about nubia and egypt in the link below.[/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana, Arial]Here-[/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana, Arial]Taubenschlag Foundation[/FONT]

Roots of Nubian Christianity Uncovered: The Triumph of the Last Pharaoh [Paperback]

Salim Faraji: Professor of Africana Studies Attends Gathering of Scholars of Nubian Studies at British Museum
Faculty Staff News

Salim Faraji: Professor of Africana Studies Attends Gathering of Scholars of Nubian Studies at British Museum

Salim Faraji, assistant professor of Africana studies at California State University, Dominguez Hills, attended the 12th Annual International Conference for Nubian Studies in August at the British Museum and presented his findings on “Africana Nubiology: Examining Classical Sudanese Traditions in West Africa.”

“Ancient Sudanic civilization extended as far as West Africa,” says Faraji. “You can still see some of these cultural traditions in West Africa today. One is the building of sacred mounds on the palaces of royalty. I’ve seen these mounds in northern Ghana and other traditions that I can pinpoint as emerging in both ancient Nubia and West Africa.”

As one of only two Nubiologists on the West Coast – the other being Dr. Stuart Tyson Smith at the University of California, Santa Barbara – Faraji says that although Nubia has traditionally taken a back seat to ancient Egypt in terms of mainstream academic interest in the United States, more grassroots scholarship on ancient Nubia among African American intellectuals and historians has taken place beginning in the early 20th century.Salim Faraji (at far left) met a cadre of world-renowned - and few and far between - scholars of Nubiology at the 12th Annual International Conference for Nubian Studies at the British Museum

“In African American popular culture, there is the idea that Nubia is the ancient, pristine land and the original home of African people,” says Faraji. “Nubia was [a study] that emerged through historians like William Leo Hansberry, a pioneer in African and African American history. He was the first to teach African civilizations and African history courses here in the United States in the 1920s and 1930s before African civilizations was even a topic of study.”

Faraji says that Nubia shares a place with ancient Egypt as “a classical African civilization.”

“It is to the rest of Africa, what Greece and Rome were to the rest of Europe,” he points out. “It was a contemporary society [alongside] Egypt, one that influenced Egypt and was also influenced by Egypt. In terms of Pharaonic civilization, it is older than Egypt and lasted longer than Egypt. It is because of [these facts] that Nubia has become more of a focal point.”

Faraji says that he is grateful for the support that enabled him to attend the conference from the department of Africana studies and of his church, Christ Our Redeemer African Methodist Episcopal Church in Irvine, where he serves on the ministerial staff. He says that his work with the church enhances his ability to have “more sensitivity and compassion for the human needs of [my] students.” He also says that the highlight of his time at the conference was meeting leading Nubian scholars from around the world and networking with what is still an exclusive community of expertise. He hopes those connections benefit his students in the future.Salim Faraji with Stephen Quirke, curator of the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology in London

“The connections that I made at this conference are just incredible,” says Faraji. “One of the things I want to do in the future is take students to the Sudan and to southern Egypt for study tours as well as to participate in archaeological excavations. I made that much closer to being a reality by meeting all of these key people. It is an awesome opportunity for students here at CSU Dominguez Hills for me to have access to these types of resources and relationships.”

Faraji is currently at work on a book titled, “The Last Pharaoh: Roots of Nubian Christianity Uncovered; Religion and Cultural Encounter in Late Antique Africa,” which focuses on the cultural transformation that occurred with the conversion of ancient Nubia to Christianity between the 4th and 6th century AD and the establishment of three medieval kingdoms that lasted from approximately the fifth century AD until the 1500s.

For more information on Africana studies at CSU Dominguez Hills, click here.

- Joanie Harmon

Photos above: Salim Faraji (at far left) met a cadre of world-renowned - and few and far between - scholars of Nubiology at the 12th Annual International Conference for Nubian Studies at the British Museum last summer. L-R, in foreground: Faraji, David N. Edwards, professor of Nubian archaeology, University of Leceister; Derek A. Welsby, curator of Egyptian & Nubian Antiquities, British Museum; Necia D. Harkless

Salim Faraji with Stephen Quirke, curator of the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology in London

Courtesy of Salim Faraji

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Salim Faraji: Book Reveals the Roots of Nubian Christianity

Salim Faraji, associate professor and chair of Africana studies at California State University, Dominguez Hills with his new book “The Roots of Nubian Christianity Uncovered: The Triumph of the Last Pharaoh.”

Salim Faraji has been on a 25-year quest for answers to a transformation that took place more than 1,500 years ago. His findings led him to author the book “The Roots of Nubian Christianity Uncovered: The Triumph of the Last Pharaoh” (African World Press: Trenton and London, 2012). In it, Faraji, associate professor and chair of Africana studies at California State University, Dominguez Hills, explores the influence that a 5th century Nubian pharaoh had on ancient Nubian culture and its conversion to Christianity.

“This king, Silko, is pivotal. He is like Constantine was in the Roman Empire. Constantine is really the emperor who makes Christianity the legitimate religion in the Roman Empire,” Faraji explained. “Silko does the same thing for ancient Nubia. … Silko is the founder of medieval Nubia.”

Faraji went on to say that after King Silko, Nubia—in what is now Sudan—became a Christian empire for a thousand years, from the 5th century A.D. to 1,500 A.D. Yet, scholars have disputed whether Silko was pagan or Christian. Faraji points out that epigraphic evidence discovered in 1819 seems to indicate that he was both.

Silko left a victory inscription in Greek on the Temple Kalabsha in southern Egypt declaring that he had defeated other Nubian kingdoms. Faraji recounted the declaration, “God gave me the victory.”

“So scholars are wondering, if this was a pagan king worshiping ancient Egyptian and Nubian religion, why did he say, ‘God gave me the victory’?” Faraji asked rhetorically. “It’s been a problem for 200 years, since this inscription has been discovered.”

Faraji contends that Silko’s kingdom has been largely ignored by early Christian scholars, church historians as well as Africanists and Africana scholars because the disparity between the two ideologies renders them contradictory and therefore unable to coexist. However, Faraji asserted that medieval Nubians likely used their ancient Egyptian Nile Valley religion to understand Christianity.

“I come along and I say, guess what, you’re both wrong… all you have to do is look at contemporary African Christianity today and you will see that the average Christian in Africa, when they become Christian that doesn’t mean they throw away their traditional culture. They still practice their traditional culture. They can be Christian and at the same time, still adhere to the customs, and traditions and rites of their culture.”

Faraji said the Nubians did the same thing. Their form of Christianity was no different than what we might see among Christians today in Ghana, Nigeria, Zimbabwe or Botswana—a synthesis of both African traditional religions and Christianity.

“As an undergraduate, I was stunned that the foundations of Christian theology and Christian history actually had its antecedents in ancient Africa, in ancient Egyptian, and Nubian civilization,” Faraji recalled.

Faraji said he felt compelled to share this story because, “It transformed my life. It really did. It turned me from a mediocre student to a student who pursued excellence.”

Faraji, who holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in religious history from Claremont Graduate University, began specific research for “The Roots of Nubian Christianity Uncovered” while still a Master of Divinity student in 1996 at Claremont School of Theology. However, he became interested in the general subject earlier, while a junior at Pennsylvania State University.

“I’m probably 19 or 20. … I’m at this conference, an undergrad. [Rev. Cecil Gray], a Ph.D. student in African American Studies at Temple University, presents this paper on the Nile Valley origins of Christianity…, Early Christianity of Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, North Africa, which is where Christianity first emerged,” Faraji reminisced, adding that Gray was an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church and later became his mentor. “And I was just stunned by this … it just ignited a fire in me.”

Just a few years later—in 1996, he met Ernest Tune, the former director of the Claremont School of Theology Library.

“I’m in the library …just hanging out, reading and … he came in. He said he just donated a collection on Nubian studies,” Faraji recalled. “He told me, ‘You should seriously consider making this the focus of your doctorate work. And if you do, you’ll be one of the few Nubian specialists in the country.’”

Salim Faraji studied the Nubia Museum in Aswan, Egypt as a Ph.D. student in 1999.

Tune was right. Today Faraji is one of only two Nubian specialists on the west coast, along with Dr. Tyson Smith at University of California, Santa Barbara. “The Roots of Nubian Christianity Uncovered” is a culmination of Faraji’s dissertation and a hallmark of his expertise.

More than two and half decades of research, worldwide travel, collaboration with antiquities experts, and becoming versed in classical Egyptian (hieroglyphs), Coptic (the last phase of the ancient Egyptian language), and ancient Greek went into the writing of the book. It was an academic pursuit as well as a spiritual discovery.

“It wasn’t just a quest for piety, although that was a part of it; it was establishing the authentic historical record,” Faraji said. “I hope it inspires all Christians to take seriously the early Christian heritage in Africa. I also hope it inspires people to realize that the historical basis of all religious practice actually begins in African traditional culture.”

Faraji pointed out ancient Nubia not only spanned centuries and intersected with other African civilizations such as Egypt and those in West and Central Africa, but also ancient Greece, Rome, Byzantium, Islamic civilization and Indian Ocean cultures. As such, it has broad applications in fields such as philosophy, religious studies, archaeology, history, as well as Africana studies, to name a few.

“It makes it exciting for me because although it’s Nubia, it becomes a kind of springboard to global study, even to multi-cultural, multi-ethnic study,” Faraji said.

In October, Faraji will present findings from his book at the Cheikh Anta Diop Conference in Philadelphia (more than 20 years after he met his mentor Gray at the 1988 conference) and in March, at the National Conference for Black Studies in Indiana. He anticipates presentations at the American Academy of Religion and the African Studies Association in November and December.

Faraji is a member of the International Society for Nubian Studies. He specializes in early Christian history, Africana and Africanist historiography, Coptic studies and he Sudanic, Napatan, Meroitic and medieval periods of Nubian history. He is a contributor to the “Encyclopedia of African Religion” and the “Oxford Dictionary of African Biography,” and is the co-author of “The Origin of the word Amen: Ancient Knowledge the Bible has Never Told” and “The Plan: A Guide for Women Raising African American Boys from Conception to College.”

“The Roots of Nubian Christianity Uncovered” is available through the University Bookstore and

Medieval Nubia A Social and Economic History
By Giovanni R. Ruffini EwBg#v=onepage&q&f=false

Long Pilgrimages Revealed in Ancient Sudan Art | Medieval Churches & Banganarti & Selib | Medieval Artwork & Nubian Culture | LiveScience
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Tuthmosis III

Ad Honorem
Oct 2011
the middle ground
Awesome job, cell25!
I do agree with Naomasa that this should go in a blog with a proper title: something that would indicate this as the Historum's equivalent of an encyclopedia of African history rather than just another "dump on Africa" thread.
The short answer is that African history - indeed the history of any non-Western region - cannot be understood simply in comparison with the supposed 'normal' trajectory of the West. To be sure, it will be a while before we are ready to think outside this basic assumption of generations of Western sociologists, including such influential thinkers as Marx and Weber. I'm not saying no comparisons are valid, but that the framework for them must be expanded with information.
Such as you have contributed.
I will be reading this thread over the next few weeks. :D


Forum Staff
Jun 2009
land of Califia
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