General History of Africa - Volume IV - Africa from the Twelfth to the Sixteenth Century

Vol. IV: Table of Contents

Volume IV of the UNESCO General History of Africa covers the history of Africa from the twelfth to the sixteenth century.

This period constitutes a crucial phase in the continent’s history in which Africa developed its own culture and written records became more common. There were several major characteristic themes: the triumph of Islam; the extension of trading relations, cultural exchanges and human contacts; the development of kingdoms and empires.

The book first decribes the Almohads. There follow chapters on the various civilizations of West Africa – Mali, Songhay, the Niger Bend, the Volta Basin, Chad, the Hausa and the coastal peoples from the Casamance to modern Cameroon.

Chapters 15 onwards cover North-east and East Africa, starting with Egypt and going on to Nubia, Ethiopia and the States of the Horn of Africa, including material on the development of the Swahili civilization. Central Africa is represented by chapters on the area between the coast and the great lakes, the interlacustrine region and the basins of the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers. There are chapters on Equatorial Africa and Angola, southern Africa and Madagascar and neighbouring islands.

Each chapter is illustrated with black and white photographs, maps and figures. The text is fully annotated and there is a comprehensive bibliography of works on the period.

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