A New Paradigm of the African State: Fundi wa Afrika by Mueni wa Muiu, Guy Martin (auth.)

By Mueni wa Muiu, Guy Martin (auth.)

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By the fourth century, power was exclusively based on military conquest led by the king, by which he expanded his territory and created more vassal states. He also centralized political power by bringing all vassal states and leaders under his direct authority. Upon assuming power, a king engaged in a campaign to make sure that all his subjects accepted his authority. Warlike groups—such as the Abyssinians—were settled on border areas in order to act as a buffer against invasion. Leadership was a monopoly of the king’s family—his relatives were appointed as administrators.

Nubia traded with Egypt in gold, ivory, and slaves. Nubia paid tribute in slaves to Egypt when it fell under Arab rule in 641. Kush was strongly influenced by Egypt. For example, its rulers relied on Egyptian craftsmen to build monuments and temples. However, Kushitic culture and crafts work were distinct from those of Egypt. Kush’s prominent role, assigned to its queens, in political and economic affairs was also reflected in its art. Kushitic art also displayed the long-horned cow that was familiar among its people.

It was in control of much of the trans-Saharan trade, and also benefited from trade on the Atlantic coast of Africa. The indigenous inhabitants of Carthage were Berbers. In 814 BCE, the Phoenicians who settled in Carthage called it Kart Hadasht (new city). By the sixth century BCE, Carthage was an independent state that had created an empire in North Africa. It traded with cities on the Western coast of Italy. Because it had a small population, Carthage’s defense and security were entrusted to mercenaries.

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