Posted by Stephanie Baker on
Axum Oblisk , a civilization of considerable distinction. Ethiopian legends first recorded in the fourteenth-century kebre Nagast(Book of Kings) make Axum the capital of the Queen of Sheba in the tenth century BC.
We know very little about the early Axumite kingdom. Roman and Greek sources indicate that an Axumite kingdom was thriving in the first century AD; the city of Adulis is frequently mentioned because it had become one of the most important port cities in Africa. Aksum lay dead in the path of the growing commercial trade routes between Africa, Arabia, and India. Axum As a result, it became fabulously wealthy and its major cities, Adulis, Aksum, and Matara, became three of the most important cosmopolitan centers in the ancient world. Although they were off the beaten path as far as European history is concerned, they were just as cosmopolitan and culturally important in that they served as a crossroads to a variety of cultures: Egyptian, Sudanic, Arabic, Middle Eastern, and Indian. Perhaps an indication of this cosmopolitan character can be found in the fact that the major Aksumite cities had Jewish, Nubian, Christian, and even Buddhist minorities.
In the second century AD, Aksum acquired tribute states on the Arabian Peninsula across the Red Sea, conquered northern Ethiopia, and then finally conquered Kush. The downfall of the Nubian powers led to the meteoric rise of Aksumite imperial power. The Aksumites controlled one of the most important trade routes in the world and occupied one of the most fertile regions in the world.
Axum, 1005 Kilometers (623 miles) from Addis Ababa can be reached by road or by air on one of Ethiopian Airlines' daily flight to the town.
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