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Medieval Africa, 1250-1800 by Roland Oliver, Anthony Atmore


Medieval Africa, 1250-1800 by Roland Oliver, Anthony Atmore

This is a radically revised version of The African Middle Ages 1400-1800, and the companion volume to the authors' well-known Africa since 1800. It follows the overall plan of the original, but now begins 150 years earlier, and considers recent literature in African historical studies. The earlier starting date enables a more distinctly African viewpoint. By about 1250 AD African societies were greatly expanding their political and economic scope. Islam was spreading south across the Sahara from Mediterranean Africa, and down the Indian Ocean coast. Medieval Africa continues into the period of European contacts from the 15th century onwards, with some emphasis on the growth of the trans-Saharan, Atlantic and Indian Ocean slave trade. The book stresses both the strengths and weaknesses of African societies as the eighteenth century drew to a close. This volume will be an essential introduction to African history for students, as well as for the general reader. It is illustrated with a wealth of maps.


'Another authoritative survey ...'
History Today

'... this is an excellent work of synthesis.'

'... this book gives an excellent survey of a period in African history which is still relatively neglected in comparison with the colonial period. In particular, scholars and students of Africa who wish to explore how Africa's internal dynamics have been shaped by and responded to natural environment and its position in a wider world of socioeconomic and cultural contacts, may find this book extremely useful.'
South African Historical Journal

'The volume betrays a high level of scholarship associated with the names of both authors, and it will surely find its readership among students and the general public as an introduction to African history.'
Asian and African Studies

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Book Info

Publication date

16th August 2001


Roland Oliver, Anthony Atmore

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Cambridge University Press


260 pages


African history
Early history: c 500 to c 1450/1500
Modern history to 20th century: c 1700 to c 1900



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