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  • If someone asked you who the richest people in history were,

  • who would you name?

  • Perhaps a billionaire banker or corporate mogul,

  • like Bill Gates or John D. Rockefeller.

  • How about African King Musa Keita I?

  • Ruling the Mali Empire in the 14th century CE,

  • Mansa Musa, or the King of Kings,

  • amassed a fortune that possibly made him one of the wealthiest people who ever lived.

  • But his vast wealth was only one piece of his rich legacy.

  • When Mansa Musa came to power in 1312,

  • much of Europe was racked by famine and civil wars.

  • But many African kingdoms and the Islamic world were flourishing,

  • and Mansa Musa played a great role in bringing the fruits of this flourishing to his own realm.

  • By strategically annexing the city of Timbuktu,

  • and reestablishing power over the city of Gao,

  • he gained control over important trade routes between the Mediterranean and the West African Coast,

  • continuing a period of expansion, which dramatically increased Mali's size.

  • The territory of the Mali Empire was rich in natural resources,

  • such as gold and salt.

  • The world first witnessed the extent of Mansa Musa's wealth in 1324 when he took his pilgrimage to Mecca.

  • Not one to travel on a budget,

  • he brought a caravan stretching as far as the eye could see.

  • Accounts of this journey are mostly based on an oral testimony and differing written records,

  • so it's difficult to determine the exact details.

  • But what most agree on is the extravagant scale of the excursion.

  • Chroniclers describe an entourage of tens of thousands of soldiers, civilians, and slaves,

  • 500 heralds bearing gold staffs and dressed in fine silks,

  • and many camels and horses bearing an abundance of gold bars.

  • Stopping in cities such as Cairo,

  • Mansa Musa is said to have spent massive quantities of gold,

  • giving to the poor, buying souvenirs,

  • and even having mosques built along the way.

  • In fact, his spending may have destabilized the regional economy,

  • causing mass inflation.

  • This journey reportedly took over a year, and by the time Mansa Musa returned,

  • tales of his amazing wealth had spread to the ports of the Mediterranean.

  • Mali and its king were elevated to near legendary status, cemented by their inclusion on the 1375 Catalan Atlas.

  • One of the most important world maps of Medieval Europe,

  • it depicted the King holding a scepter and a gleaming gold nugget.

  • Mansa Musa had literally put his empire and himself on the map.

  • But material riches weren't the king's only concern.

  • As a devout Muslim, he took a particular interest in Timbuktu,

  • already a center of religion and learning prior to its annexation.

  • Upon returning from his pilgrimage,

  • he had the great Djinguereber Mosque built there with the help of an Andalusian architect.

  • He also established a major university, further elevating the city's reputation,

  • and attracting scholars and students from all over the Islamic world.

  • Under Mansa Musa, the Empire became urbanized,

  • with schools and mosques in hundreds of densely populated towns.

  • The king's rich legacy persisted for generations and to this day,

  • there are mausoleums, libraries and mosques

  • that stand as a testament to this golden age of Mali's history.

If someone asked you who the richest people in history were,

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TED-ED】史上最も裕福な人の一人、マンサ・ムーサ - ジェシカ・スミス (【TED-Ed】Mansa Musa, one of the wealthiest people who ever lived - Jessica Smith)

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    稲葉白兎 に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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