Ghana and Mali Empires


Ad Honorem
Mar 2012
How powerful were the Ghana and Mali empires? Were they more powerful than the European kingdoms?

Also, what time did agriculture reach west africa?
I think they were pretty powerful. How powerful were they relative to Europe? That is an interesting question. We do have examples of the Malians being able to repel Portugues incursions into their territory. In the case of Ghana, we have no know instances of European powers clashing against this African empire. However we have the Almoravids, a movement which begun close to the Ghana empire, and which conquered Spain. The military culture and traditions of the Almoravids would have been no different from that of Ghana. The elites of these Sahelian kingdoms would have been Cavalry based aristocracies. Their fightig traditions and methods and weaponery would have been rather similar.

The Amazigh who fuelled the Almoravid movement were certainly not strong or organized enough to conquer Ghana. And a little know kingdom known as Diafuna, a Mandinka kingdom which arose between the collapse of Ghana and the rise of Mali, was able to subdue the Almoravids, to the point that they paid homage to its king. In addition to this, the Almoravid leader, Abu Bakr was killed in a skirmish with Sudanese warriors after beibg ousted by Yusuf Ibn Tachfin.

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