III. The Postclassical Period, 500–1500 > D. Africa, 500–1500 > 2. Regions, 500–1000 > c. Northeast Africa (Horn)
  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
c. Northeast Africa (Horn)
African states existed in this region considerably earlier than the beginning of this period. In Nubia (northern part of present Sudan), for instance, Kush became independent from Egyptian rule around 750 B.C.E.; later politics were centered further south at Meroë, which was situated in a more fertile region. The history of Meroë was marked by long-term stability, centralized kingship, and a distinctive (although Egyptian-derived) artistic and architectural tradition. After a period of decline, it was for a time conquered by Axum (350 C.E.).  1
500 C.E
Nubia was predominantly Christian, and remained so until Muslim rulers came to power in the 14th century.  2
As part of the Arab conquest of North Africa, Arab armies attacked Nubia. A nonaggression treaty (the bakt) was concluded in 651, resulting in five centuries of freedom from attack, with continued trade and cultural contact with Egypt.  3
Peaceful bakt conditions allowed Nubia to achieve political unity from this year, as well as religious unity (under the Monophysite Egyptian Church) and economic prosperity.  4
Nubia flourished from the end of the 8th to the 12th century.  5
A militarily powerful Nubia attacked Aswan (Egypt).  6
Nubia occupied much of upper Egypt.  7
The Nubian king refused payment of the tribute required by the bakt and refused to convert to Islam.  8
The area of present-day Ethiopia also had states that long predated this period. The kingdom of Axum came into being in the 2nd century C.E. and enjoyed wealth based on trade in the Red Sea and Mediterranean areas. It was predominantly Christian from the 3rd century.  9
States in what became Ethiopia flourished with Indian Ocean trade from the 4th to the 6th century.  10
Ethiopia began to decline in the 7th century, disappearing in the 8th century. Axum came into conflict with the early Muslims in southern Ethiopia (including Shoa and Ifat) and on the Red Sea coast in this period. (See Northeast Africa (Horn))  11
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.