- How did Aksum differ from the kingdoms along the Trans-Saharan trade routes? What influence did Judaism and Christianity have on the development of this kingdom? Why do you think Islam never took root here when it became so popular in other parts of Africa?
What made Aksum stand out from the rest of the Kingdoms was their own coinage and language. They also had rich soil which helped their agriculture. This enabled the kingdom to succesfully harvest a vareity of cultivation and trade it through their trading empire.
Queen Mekeda converted to Judaism after being mentored by King Solomon who was the Jerusalems King. Though it is said that King Solomon tricked Queen Mekeda to sleep with him which resulted in pregnancy and the birth of Menilek I. King Solomon wanted him to follow him and take over as King but Menilek refused and returned to Ethiopia. On his way back he stole the Arc of the Covenant and ended up starting the Ethopian Orthodox Church after defeating King Solomons attempt in getting it back.
I dont think Islam had many roots here due to the constant influence of Christianity from the merchants, monks, missionaries, etc. that flowed in and out of the Kingdom because of the trading routes. This was happening for centuries before the official declaration of Christianity being the state of religion in the 4th Century.
“The Kingdom of Aksum.” National Geographic Society, https://education.nationalgeographic.org/resource/kingdom-aksum.
Reeves, Andrew, et al. “Chapter 8.” World History: Cultures, States, and Societies to 1500, University Press of North Georgia, 2016.