10. Axum Empire
AFRICANGLOBE – Unknown to most people, hundreds of smaller kingdoms have popped up throughout Africa’s history, with some eventually growing into powerful empires. These vast nations united Africa, managed wealthy trade routes, and controlled a potluck of cultures.
While a Christian revolution was occurring in Europe, a powerful kingdom emerged on the African continent. In present-day Ethiopia, the Axum Empire became one of the largest markets of northeastern Africa with its epic trading and naval strength. As traders from this country were going past the Nile River and into Alexandria, Axum dominated the coast of the Red Sea until the seventh century.
Besides influencing other superpowers in Africa, Europe, and Asia, this empire created Ge’ez, one of Ethiopia’s original written script, and had throngs of foreign visitors. One Persian writer hailed Axum as “one of the four greatest powers of the world.” Still, little is known about this impressive African civilization.