Empire of Axum (Aksum)
400 -940 CE

A very brief history of Axum (Aksum).

Axum was an ancient Empire that controlled the areas of the present day Eritria, western Tigray province of Ethiopia, South Arabia, Sudan and Yemen. Archiological evidence from sites of Kidane, Mehret, Hwalti, Melka and lingustic studies (Herausgegeben von Uhlig, Siegbert) show that there was a presence of Semitic (Ge'ez) speaking people called Aksumites or Habash (Abyssinians) in that area from 2000 BCE.

Aksumite Empire with their capital city Aksum controlled trade and maritime routes of Red Sea.  It reached prominence by 3rd century of Common Era (CE) and declined in 7th century CE. During that time,  it was equal to the Chinese, Greek, Indian, Persian and Roman Empires o that time. It also established maritime trade with all other prominant empires mentioned previously.

Axum was the first African Empire to produce coins of its own.  It produced gold, silver and broze coins with images of its kings and legends in Ge'ez and Greek. After the conversion of Kings to Christianity the coins depicted cross on its reverse side.

Kings of Axum
(Click on the links below to see the coins)
c. 270-300 CE  Endubis

c. 300-310 CE  Aphilas

c. 310-320 CE  Wazeba

c. 320-333 CE  Ousanas

c. 333-356 CE  Ezana

c. 350 CE  Mehadeyis

c. 356 CE  Ouazebas

c. 400 CE  Eon

c. 450 CE Ebana

c. 420 CE  Nezool

c. 500 CE  Ousas
c. 520 CE  Kaleb

c. 525-550 AGD

c. 530 CE  Alla Amidas

c. 540 CE  Wazena

c. 550 CE  Wa`zeb

c. 560 CE  Ioel

c. 565 CE  Hataz

c. 577 CE  Saifu

c. 590 CE  Israel

c. 600 CE  Gersem

c. 614 CE  Armah


Ancient Country List


References: Wikipedia
Stuart Munro-Hay. Aksum: A Civilization of Late Antiquity. Edinburgh: University Press. 1991.
Stuart Munro-Hay and B. Juel Jensen. Axumite Coinage  (1995)
David W. Phillipson. Ancient Ethiopia. Aksum: Its antecedents and successors. London: The British Museum, 1998.
Muḥammad Jamāl al-Dīn Mukhtār. Ancient civilizations of Africa. General history of Africa. Heinemann Educational Books. 1981.
Yuri M. Kobishchanov. Axum (Joseph W. Michels, editor; Lorraine T. Kapitanoff, translator). University Park, Pennsylvania: University of Pennsylvania, 1979.
Arturo Anzani, Numismatica axumita, Milano, 1926.
Hahn, Wolfgang, "Coinage" in von Uhlig, Siegbert, ed., Encyclopaedia Aethiopica: A-C. 2003.
RK.  February 2, 2010.