II. Ancient and Classical Periods, 3500 B.C.E.–500 C.E. > A. Global and Comparative Dimensions > 3. Classical Civilizations, 300 B.C.E.–500 C.E. > e. Expansion of the Ecumene
  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
e. Expansion of the Ecumene
The zone of urban societies, trade networks, and large states expanded beyond the core regions of the major civilizations in the classical era. Some of this was the result of imperial conquests, but more was the result of expanding trade networks and the growing communities based on the great religions of the Axial era.  1
1. Africa
1000–591 B.C.E
KUSH. New Kingdom Egyptian expansion south in the Nile Valley created the Nubian state of Kush. Kush became independent around 950 B.C.E. and then conquered Egypt where Kushites ruled as the 25th Dynasty (751–656 B.C.E.). After the Assyrian conquest of Egypt, the Kushite Empire continued in Nubia, developing a distinctive culture and urban society with its capital in Napata.  2
591 B.C.E.–350 C.E
MEROË (See 591 B.C.E.–350 C.E), the successor to Napata, was the center of a state which engaged actively in trade with the Mediterranean world and was a major producer of iron implements in a developing trade in Africa.  3
1st to 6th Centuries C.E
KINGDOM OF AXUM (See 591 B.C.E.–350 C.E) developed in the Ethiopian highlands. Trade with India and Mediterranean areas and Greek and Arabian cultural influences created a prosperous state which conquered Meroë. The conversion of the king to Christianity around 350 C.E. laid the basis for the long-lasting Ethiopian Christian culture.  4
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.