Africa During Europe’s Dark Ages

Africa During Europe's Dark Ages

Africa During Europe’s Dark Ages

Africa thrived socially, politically and economically during Europe’s Dark Ages due to Africa’s wealth in Gold, salt, ivory and other resources. 

In this post, we will explore some of the key events in Africa’s history at the time Europe was going through the Dark Ages.

The Fall Of Rome & The Rise Of Islam

Between the fall of Rome and the Renaissance, Europe experienced what is now known as the Dark Ages.

The Dark Ages was a period of great change for the African continent, as the old Roman and Byzantine empire collapsed and new kingdoms emerged. Islam brought with it a new way of life and new ideas, which began to spread across Africa.

During the Dark Ages, much of Africa was left untouched by European invaders. However, there were a few notable exceptions.

One of the most significant barbarian invasions of Africa occurred in the 7th century, when Muslim Arabs conquered North Africa.

One of the first kingdoms to adopt Islam was that of the Aksumites, who ruled over much of modern-day Ethiopia and Eritrea. The Aksumites were a powerful force in the region, and their conversion to Islam helped to spread the religion throughout Africa.

Another kingdom that played a role in the rise of Islam was that of the Almoravids, who ruled over parts of modern-day Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania, Mali and Senegal. The Almoravids were Berber warriors who came from the Sahara Desert. They conquered many kingdoms and imposed Islamic rule on them. Their conquests helped to spread Islam further into Africa.

The third kingdom that contributed to the rise of Islam was that of the Ghana Empire, which ruled over parts of modern-day Mauritania, Mali and Senegal.

The Ghana Empire was a rich and powerful kingdom whose rulers encouraged conversion to Islam. Many people from all across Africa came to study at the University of Sankore in Timbuktu, which was part of the empire.

Although the Dark Ages were a time of great turmoil for Europe, they were actually a period of relative peace and prosperity for much of Africa.

From what we know, it seems that life in Africa during the Dark Ages was far more stable than in Europe. There were no major invasions or migrations, and kingdoms continued to flourish.

Trade also seems to have thrived during this period. Africa was an important source of gold and other minerals for the Mediterranean world, and African merchants travelled widely throughout the region as part of the Trans-Saharan Trade.

Overall, life in Africa during the Dark Ages was relatively peaceful and prosperous. This is in stark contrast to the turmoil and violence that characterized the Dark Ages in European history.

African kingdoms during the Dark Ages were also very different from European kingdoms. African kings were often more interested in trade than in conquest, and they valued diplomacy highly. African kingdoms also tended to be more decentralized, with a large number of smaller states vying for power.

During the Dark Ages, Africa was a major center of culture and learning. Many famous philosophers and scientists came from Africa, including Al-Kindi, Ibn Sina, and Ibn Rushd.

African cities were bustling centers of trade and industry, and Timbuktu became one of the largest cities in the world.


Africa is often thought of as a continent that was left behind during Europe’s Dark Ages. However, this view is inaccurate.

Africa actually thrived during Europe’s Dark Ages as new the New African Empires grew to control trade routes, supported cultural exchange, and developed sophisticated systems of government and administration.

It is also believed that Africa played a significant role in the spread of Christianity and Islam during the Dark Ages, as these religions were introduced to the continent and spread throughout Africa.

While Europe was indeed going through a period of turmoil during the Dark Ages, Africa was actually thriving thanks to its rich resources and thriving trade routes.