History

Mansa Musa, The Richest Man In History, Is An African

Meet Mansa Musa, the African who also happens to be history's richest man.

Mansa Musa Is The Richest Man In History
Mansa Musa Is The Richest Man In History [Junior Scholastic]

Augustus Caesar and John D. Rockefeller are considered to be wealthier than Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, and Gautam Adani, and these two were not even as wealthy as Mansa Musa, also known as the Musa I of Mali.

Mansa Musa was a West African king who ruled during the 14th century, according to historians. The BBC described Mansa Musa’s wealth as “indescribable” and “incomprehensible.”

The Richest Man In History

Mali’s Kingdowm Mansa Musa ruled from 1312 to 1337 CE. The great Mansa rose to become the richest man in the world during his rule over Mali, one of Africa’s richest kingdoms. Modern-day Mali, Senegal, the Gambia, Guinea, Niger, Nigeria, Chad, Mauritania, and Burkina Faso were all included in the ancient kingdom of Mali. Timbuktu and Gao were developed by Mansa Musa into significant cultural hubs. He also hired Middle Eastern and African architects to create brand-new buildings for his cities. Mali’s kingdom was developed by Mansa Musa into an advanced Islamic center of study.

“Mansa” is the Mandinka word for emperor or sultan. According to the BBC, Musa Keita was born in the Keita Dynasty in the year 1280.

Mansa Musa
Mansa Musa [HowStuffWorks]

Musa’s Background

He was raised in a royal family and ascended to the throne in 1312 AD after his brother Mansa Abu-Bakr abdicated in order to embark on a lavish maritime expedition. Shibab al-Umari, a historian, claims that Abu-Bakr had a lifelong fascination with the Atlantic Ocean. He is said to have left with a fleet of over 2,000 ships carrying thousands of people, including men, women, and slaves, but he never came back.

Mansa Musa succeeded as the ninth sultan of the West African nation, which was already regarded as being exceedingly prosperous at the time of his accession.

According to the British Museum, historians believe the Mali Empire was the world’s largest gold producer at the time, controlling more than half of global supply.

Musa’s wealth, however, was derived from sources other than gold and salt. Under his leadership, the kingdom grew significantly, annexing over 24 cities, including Timbuktu, and stretching over 3,000 km (1,864 miles) from the Atlantic to modern-day Niger. He was said to have never lost a battle, and many nations voluntarily joined the Mali Empire due to the improved standard of living.

Mansa Musa’s Legacy

Mansa Musa traveled to Mecca on a pilgrimage (hajj) in 1324 CE, and his route through Egypt sparked considerable debate. Nothing was known about the Mali kingdom outside of West Africa until now. According to Arab writers of the time, he traveled with a posse of tens of thousands of people, dozens of camels, and each one carrying 136 kilos (300 pounds) of gold. When Mansa Musa visited the Sultan of Egypt in Cairo, he spent and gave away so much money that the value of gold in Egypt fell over the next 12 years. Even Europe was aware of his enormous wealth.

Musa made it his goal to revitalize the cities in his empire. His architectural innovations in the area helped him increase his fame. In addition to paying them up to 200kg in gold, he worked with Islamic intellectuals including direct descendants of the Prophet Muhammad and Abu Es Haq es Saheli, an Andalusian poet and architect.

He also contributed to the development of Timbuktu as a center of culture and learning, according to the BBC, by constructing schools, libraries, and mosques.

Musa passed away in 1337 at the age of 57, and his sons took over as emperors, but the empire soon disintegrated.

The 10 richest men of all time

  • Mansa Musa (1280-1337, king of the Mali empire) wealth indescribable
  • Augustus Caesar (63 BC-14 AD, Roman emperor) $4.6tn (£3.5tn)
  • Zhao Xu (1048-1085, emperor Shenzong of Song in China) wealth incalculable
  • Akbar I (1542-1605, emperor of India’s Mughal dynasty) wealth incalculable
  • Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919, Scottish-American industrialist) $372bn
  • John D Rockefeller (1839-1937) American business magnate) $341bn
  • Nikolai Alexandrovich Romanov (1868-1918, Tsar of Russia) $300bn
  • Mir Osman Ali Khan ( 1886-1967, Indian royal) $230bn
  • William The Conqueror (1028-1087) $229.5bn
  • Muammar Gaddafi (1942-2011, long-time ruler of Libya) $200bn

Source: Money.com, Celebrity Net Worth

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