Animated History of the Songhai Empire Every Year.

Jul 2012
2,408
Benin City, Nigeria
#2
So despite being aware of what al-Yaqubi wrote, the video creator decided to depict Gao as having pretty limited reach/political authority in the 800s, 900s, 1000s, etc. before the rise of Songhai in the late Middle Ages.

Not that there would be a way to get the geographical extent exactly right anyway, but it seems strange to me.
 
Jul 2012
2,408
Benin City, Nigeria
#3
Also, there is no reference to Gao being conquered by Ghana in the sources (and there is no reason to believe that it was conquered by Ghana). Though there are clear references to Gao being conquered by, and incorporated into, the Mali empire. I think the video's creators got some things mixed up.
 
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Aug 2018
32
United States
#4
Also, there is no reference to Gao being conquered by Ghana in the sources (and there is no reason to believe that it was conquered by Ghana). Though there are clear references to Gao being conquered by, and incorporated into, the Mali empire. I think the video's creators got some things mixed up.
Gao was conquered once by Ghana (though the sources are obscure) and then once again while Ghana was ruled by Almoravids. They conquered Ghana and extended further into Gao. Also the quote by Al Yaqubi never said anything about the size of the empire, he was describing the wealth and power.
 
Aug 2018
32
United States
#5
The extent of the empire is based on descriptions from sources. It wasn't just speculation. Also damn that was a harsh critique. You literally didn't have one good thing to say about it whatsoever. There isn't as single African mapping video out there better than this one in my opinion.
 
Jul 2012
2,408
Benin City, Nigeria
#6
Gao was conquered once by Ghana (though the sources are obscure) and then once again while Ghana was ruled by Almoravids.
Well the notion that it was "conquered once by Ghana" is really due to a bit of speculation by some historians (primarily Dierk Lange), but the idea does not appear in the sources.

As for "ruled by Almoravids" or "They conquered Ghana and extended further into Gao", I think I commented on this stuff in another topic that you were on already and even suggested an article that you could read. The sources are just not there for this argument.

And who was the Almoravid that conquered Gao. . .? Where's the source? One can speculate about influence, as some people have, but there is simply no actual source for this idea. I believe that the historian John Hunwick proposed this idea, but if one actually looks at the sources the evidence is simply not there.

If you read some of the academic literature that has been published about these states (Gao and Ghana), you will find that the historian Dierk Lange put forward a theory that the original ruling dynasty that founded Gao actually originated from Ghana, and that this dynasty was of Mande origin, rather than Songhai/Zarma origin. Another historian, John Hunwick, disagreed with this idea, and there was a back and forth series of papers between the two of them debating this issue. You can probably find these online.

However, even if one accepts Lange's idea about the Gao dynasty originating from Ghana (which there is no hard evidence for) or at least simply being of Mande origin, this is still not the same thing as a conquest. It would simply mean the rulers shared the same origin.

I"m guessing that you (or whatever secondary source you may have relied upon) are getting at least some of these ideas primarily from Dierk Lange's article/book chapter "From Ghana to Mali to Songhay: The Mande Factor in Gao History" or from his article "From Mande to Songhay: Towards a Political and Ethnic History of Medieval Gao". But if one actually reads the primary sources plus some other articles by other academics on these states you should be able to figure out pretty quickly that several of Lange's ideas are only speculation and that there are not sources which actually show many of the things proposed in those articles to actually be true.
 
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Jul 2012
2,408
Benin City, Nigeria
#7
Also the quote by Al Yaqubi never said anything about the size of the empire, he was describing the wealth and power.
The actual quote emphasizes the considerable extent of its political influence. It is unambiguous about this. It even describes one of the tributary states of Gao as being a large realm. I admit however, that since it is hard or impossible to place/locate many of these different kingdoms that were under Gao's authority, it would probably be too difficult to reconstruct the 9th century territorial extent of its political power/influence.
 
Aug 2018
32
United States
#8
The actual quote emphasizes the considerable extent of its political influence. It is unambiguous about this. It even describes one of the tributary states of Gao as being a large realm. I admit however, that since it is hard or impossible to place/locate many of these different kingdoms that were under Gao's authority, it would probably be too difficult to reconstruct the 9th century territorial extent of its political power/influence.
Well again. I recommend you try not to be so harsh with your critiques. There is not a single mapping video out there any more accurate than this one so spewing nothing but negativity is counter-productive.
 
Likes: macon
Aug 2018
32
United States
#10
Not all criticism is meant to be negative. Sometimes a critique or a statement of disagreement is just that.
Agreed, not all criticism is meant to me negative but if your only reaction/comment on something is purely on what you DON'T like about it, it will naturally be perceived as negative. A critique should be well-rounded and balanced. Not everyone will assume that you like the video if you do nothing but complain about the things that you disliked.
 

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