Born c. 1442
"This king makes war only upon neighboring enemies and upon those who do not want to pay him tribute. When he has gained a victory, he has all of them—even the children—sold in the market at Timbuktu."
Leo Africanus, describing Mohammed I Askia
Mohammed I Askia ruled Songhai, perhaps the most powerful empire of premodern Africa, at its height. Under his reign, the Songhai controlled a vast area in the continent's western corner, ranging from the dry sands of the Sahara to the dense rain forests of modern-day Nigeria. A devout Muslim, he united much of his land under the faith, and ruled a well-administered empire. In spite of all his achievements, however, he was doomed to die in humiliation, and the empire did not long outlast him.
Though he ruled by the name Mohammed I Askia (ahs-KEE-uh), the latter...
(The entire page is 2314 words.)
Want to read the whole thing?
Subscribe now to read the rest of this article. Plus, get access to:
- 30,000+ literature study guides
- Critical essays on more than 30,000 works of literature from Salem on Literature (exclusive to eNotes)
- An unparalleled literary criticism section. 40,000 full-length or excerpted essays.
- Content from leading academic publishers, all easily citable with our "Cite this page" button.
- 100% satisfaction guarantee READ MORE