Peoples & Societies

Axumite Empire

The prosperous Axumite Empire developed in the 1st century CE in what is now northern Ethiopia. Due to its rich natural resources and agricultural production, as well as its strategic position on the Red Sea, Axum traded far and wide. The Axumite Empire exported incense, ivory, rhinoceros horn, tortoiseshell, apes, and slaves through the port of Adulis on the Red Sea and imported goods and ideas from Syria, Egypt, and other lands. During the 4th century, the Axumites defeated the Nubian empire of Meroë. The Axumite king Ezana established the Ethiopian Orthodox Church during the first half of the 4th century CE. With the rise of the Islamic Empire in the 7th century, the Axumite Empire experienced a decline.

Drawn from

  • Getty Vocabulary, TGN (Axumite Empire (former nation/state/empire), TGN: 7024409).

  • Roslyn A. Walker, The Arts of Africa at the Dallas Museum of Art (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2009), 264.

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