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Pre-colonial civilizations

African empires[1] were states[2] that included multinational structures incorporating various populations and polities into a single entity, usually through conquest.[3] There have been a number of empires[4] located in Africa[5] throughout history[6]. Below is a list of African empires[7] whose capital cities were on the African continent.[8] For the purpose of this article, only African states that held authority over unified groups (ethnic states under kings or chiefs rather than simply ethnicities under no central leadership other than the emperor) will be listed in accordance with the dictionary definition [9] of empire.


List of African empires by date established

Largest African empires by size

Gallery with Maps of African Empires

See also


  1. ^ Cultural Atlas of Africa, pp. 48 (Dr. Jocelyn Murray, 1998)
  2. ^ Guide to African history. pp.9 (1971, by Basil Davidson)
  3. ^ Mwakikagile, page 206
  4. ^ Writing African History pp. 303 (2007, ed John Edward Philips, art Dr Isaac Olawale Albert)
  5. ^ African empires and civilizations: ancient and medieval (1992, by George O Cox)
  6. ^ African glory: the story of vanished Negro civilizations pp. 77, (Prof. John Coleman De Graft-Johnson, 1954)
  7. ^ The gift of Black folk: the Negroes in the making of America, pp. 111 (1967, 1975, 2007 by Dr W.E.B. Du Bois)
  8. ^ 'Africa in History' (1995, Basil Davidson)
  9. ^ Webster's II Dictionary Editors, page 376
  10. ^ Innis, page 40
  11. ^ Török, page 132
  12. ^ * East-West Orientation of Historical Empires. Peter Turchin, Jonathan M. Adams, and Thomas D. Hall. University of Connecticut. November 2004.
  13. ^ Shillington, page 733
  14. ^ Ancient Ghana
  15. ^ Pankhurst, page 45
  16. ^ Oliver & Atmore, page 62
  17. ^ a b Hunwick, page xlix
  18. ^ Oliver & Atmore, page 12
  19. ^ Oliver, page 89
  20. ^ Gates, page 223
  21. ^ Giblert, Erik Africa in World History: From Prehistory to the Present 2004
  22. ^ a b The Destruction of the Zulu Kingdom: The Civil War in Zululand, 1879-1884. pp. 263
  23. ^ a b Land and Liberation: The South African National Liberation Movements and the Agrarian Question, 1920s-1960s, by Colin Bundy
  24. ^ Basutoland Advances by Dan Tloome, 1955
  25. ^ Social Construction of Race and Citizenship in South Africa by Ben Magubane, 2001
  26. ^ Basutoland Advances by Dan Tloome, 1955
  27. ^ Social Construction of Race and Citizenship in South Africa by Ben Magubane, 2001
  28. ^ a b c d e f Turchin, Peter and Jonathan M. Adams and Thomas D. Hall: "East-West Orientation of Historical Empires and Modern States", page 222. Journal of World-Systems Research, Vol. XII, No. II, 2006
  29. ^ Hempstone, page 312


  • Gates, Henry Louis & Kwame Anthony Appiah (1999). Africana: The Encylcopedia of the African and African American Experience. New York City: Basic Civitas Books. pp. 2095 Pages. ISBN 0-46500-071-1.  
  • Hempstone, Smith (2007). Africa, Angry Young Giant. Whitefish: Kessinger Publishing, LLC. pp. 664 pages. ISBN 0-54844-300-9.  
  • Hunwick, John O. (2003). Timbuktu and the Songahy Empire: Al-Sa’di’s Ta’rikh Al-sudan Down to 1613 and other Contemporary Documents. Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers. pp. 488 Pages. ISBN 9-00412-822-4.  
  • Innis, Harold A. (2006). Empire and Communications. Toronto: Dundurn Press Ltd.. pp. 287 Pages. ISBN 1-55002-662-3.  
  • Mwakikagile, Godfrey (2000). Africa and the West. Hauppauge: Nova Publishers. pp. 243 Pages. ISBN 1-56072-840-X.  
  • Oliver, Roland (1975). The Cambridge History of Africa. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-52120-981-1.  
  • Oliver, Roland & Anthony Atmore (2001). Medieval Africa 1250-1800. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 251 Pages. ISBN 0-52179-372-6.  
  • Pankhurst, Richard (2001). The Ethiopians: A History. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing. pp. 299 Pages. ISBN 0-63122-493-9.  
  • Shillington, Kevin (2005). Encyclopedia of African History Volume 1 A-G. New York: Routledge. pp. 1912 pages. ISBN 1-57958-245-1.  
  • Török, László (1999). The Kingdom of Kush: Handbook of the Napatan-Meroitic Civilization. Leiden: BRILL. pp. 589. ISBN 9-00410-448-8.  

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