An insightful look at the ancient Axumite civilization and the rise and fall of one of Africa’s once powerful and mighty empires the “Axumite Kingdom.”
The Kingdom of Aksum or Axum, also known as the Aksumite Empire, was a trading nation in the area of northern Ethiopia and Eritrea, which existed from approximately 100–940 AD. It grew from the proto-Aksumite Iron Age period c. 4th century BC to achieve prominence by the 1st century AD, and was a major player in the commerce between the Roman Empire and Ancient India. The Aksumite rulers facilitated trade by minting their own currency, the state established its hegemony over the declining Kingdom of Kush and regularly entered the politics of the kingdoms on the Arabian peninsula, eventually extending its rule over the region with the conquest of the Himyarite Kingdom.
The Axumites erected a number of large stelae, which served a religious purpose in pre-Christian times. One of these granite columns is the largest such structure in the world, standing at 90 feet. Under Ezana (fl. 320–360), Aksum later adopted Christianity. In the 7th century, early Muslims from Mecca also sought refuge from Quraysh persecution by travelling to the kingdom, a journey known in Islamic history as the First Hijra.
Its ancient capital, also called Aksum, was in northern Ethiopia. The Kingdom used the name “Ethiopia” as early as the 4th century. It is also the known as the final resting place of the Ark of the Covenant and the purported home of the Queen of Sheba.