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African Links

African Info. History

The Kingdoms of Kush and Aksum

The Kush came to be in 1600 B.C. along the Nile river,and over the next few centuries the Kush became a distinct kingdom. The capital of its ruling dynasty was located at Napata, a city that lay upstream along the Nile from Karmah. At first Kush had cultural ties with Egypt, but in 1520 B.C. the rulers of Egypt's new kingdom brought Nubia and Kush under their control and for the next 500 years, Kush was governed by pharaohs. Between the years of 1100 B.C and about 1100 B.C communmication and cultural exchange between Kush and Egypt dimminished. About 300 years later Kush conquered Upper Egypt, and a Kush dynasty ruled a unified Egypt for about 50 years.

Aksum layed in the rugged Ethiopian Highlands south of Kush. In about 350 A.D. King Ezana of Aksum conquered Kush and set up a thriving kingdom. Like other kings of Aksum, Ezana help power over surrounding chiefdoms. During his reign King Ezana converted to Christianity and made it the official religion of Aksum. The conversion of the king was a key event of eastern Africa. Ezana's conversion, moreover, had an impact on Christianity in eastern Africa that was similar to the effect that Constantine's conversions had on Christianity in thr Roman empire.