Biggest cities in Sub Saharan Africa (500-1500)

Jan 2014
1,692
Portugal
#1
Considering the discussion around Sub Saharan civilizations before colonial influence, I came across interesting cities and kingdoms I didn't know.

In terms of Kingdoms, I knew a few by name, but now I want to know where were the major cities, in any area, between the period of 500-1500.

Thank you all.
 
Mar 2012
2,347
#2
There was probably more than you think as most Africans lived in cities, but I would think a few would be...

Tichitt
Oulata
Oudande
Chinguetti
Audoghost
Timbuktu
Djenne Djenno
(Dala) Kano
Benin
NGazargamo
Ihebu Ode
Addis Adaba
Barara
Njimi
Kumbi Saleh
Kangaba
Niani

Im not sure of the definition of "Sub Sahran." Many of these are in the Sahara.
 
Last edited:
Mar 2014
336
Carthage
#3
There was probably more than you think as most Africans lived in cities, but I would think a few would be...

Tichitt
Oulata
Oudande
Chinguetti
Audoghost
Timbuktu
Djenne Djenno
(Dala) Kano
Benin
NGazargamo
Ihebu Ode
Addis Adaba
Barara
Njimi
Kumbi Saleh
Kangaba
Niani

Im not sure of the definition of "Sub Sahran." Many of these are in the Sahara.

Good list
 
Jan 2014
1,692
Portugal
#4
There was probably more than you think as most Africans lived in cities, but I would think a few would be...

Tichitt
Oulata
Oudande
Chinguetti
Audoghost
Timbuktu
Djenne Djenno
(Dala) Kano
Benin
NGazargamo
Ihebu Ode
Addis Adaba
Barara
Njimi
Kumbi Saleh
Kangaba
Niani

Im not sure of the definition of "Sub Sahran." Many of these are in the Sahara.
The list is usefull.
Let's say, wich are the cities below the line of equator?
 

Frank81

Ad Honorem
Feb 2010
5,001
Canary Islands-Spain
#5
South of Equator: Mbanza Congo (probably 100,000 people) and Great Zimbabwe, but also Sofala, and many other cities along the Indian Ocean coast.

Lets not forget Gao in the Niger area
 
Aug 2014
1,170
Portugal
#6
The list is usefull.
Let's say, wich are the cities below the line of equator?
Mbanza Kongo the capital of the kingdom of Kongo was according to Portuguese sources the size of Évora in 16th century.

Edited

I think most of the swahili city states are below the equator, Zanzibar, Kilwa, Malindi, Mombasa...
 
Last edited:
Jan 2014
1,692
Portugal
#7
Thanks guys. Now I ve a good starting point for my readings.

Btw,
Mbanza Kongo can't have the size of Evora and 100.000 people at the same time.
 
Aug 2014
1,170
Portugal
#8
Thanks guys. Now I ve a good starting point for my readings.

Btw,
Mbanza Kongo can't have the size of Evora and 100.000 people at the same time.
The comparison was between Mbanza Lingo in the 16th century with Evora in the 16th century.

The city still exists today. IT is the capital of the Zaire province in Angola.
 

Bart Dale

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
7,095
#9
South of Equator: Mbanza Congo (probably 100,000 people) and Great Zimbabwe, but also Sofala, and many other cities along the Indian Ocean coast.

Lets not forget Gao in the Niger area
The wikipedia article for Mbanza Congo said the 100,000 including the surrounding area, with 30,000 up in the mountains. So 100,000 is for the urban area, the city proper would have less, probably the same number as the Portuegese city of Evora. The 100,000 gives a slightly distorted view, since when we give a population of an equivalent European city of the time, those numbers are usually for the city proper.
 

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