Published online by Cambridge University Press: 13 May 2014
The Almoravid conquest of ancient Ghana in 1076 AD is certainly among the most dramatic and controversial single events in the historiography of West Africa. It has been regarded as a crucial turning point, as the battle of Hastings was for England, not only for the existence of Ghana, but also for the destiny of the entire area, opening the gates to a triumphant Islam in sub-Saharan Africa.
Yet the conquest and destruction of Ghana by Almoravid invaders constitute one of the myths which still populate African historiography, like the wonderful voyage of Hanno to the Bight of Biafra, which was carried over from classical Greco-Roman texts into modern European literature as early as 1533. Since then the story of Hanno has been used for various purposes by western Africanists, for instance, to explain the diffusion of iron technology into sub-Saharan Africa. Just the same, no definite evidence has yet been found for any Carthaginian sailings along the West African coast, except the Periplus of Hanno itself, which seems to be a literary composition drawn from earlier classical sources. A reason for the popularity of Hanno, and other such stories in African historiography, has been that many modern writers have been content with using the previous secondary literature, instead of examining carefully all the available primary sources. Consequently, many subjective and hypothetical assumptions created by previous scholars, working on the basis of even less evidence, have been transferred bodily from one corpus of research to the next. Finally, their origin forgotten, stories like the voyage of Hanno have become established historical facts through constant repetition in the authorized literature.
The earliest version of this paper was presented in May 1994 to the African History Seminar at SOAS, and a more elaborated version in March 1995 to the International Conference on Mande Studies in Leiden. We are grateful to the participants in these two events for their comments, especially to Michael Brett, Paulo F. de Moraes Farias, Lansiné Kaba, Pertti Luntinen, Harry Norris, and Ed Van Hoven for their more extensive and very precious help. Surviving errors and eccentricities remain, of course, our own.
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7. We know only that Islam was spreading in Ghana by the time of Almoravids (1054-1147), which is confirmed by Arabic sources, like al-Bakri (writing ca. 1068), al-Zuhri (ca. 1137), al-Idrisi (1154), al-Sharishi (before 1222), and the anonymous authors of Kitab al-Istibsar (1191) and al-Hulal al-mawshiyya (1381). See the relevant passages in Hopkins, J. F. P. and Levtzion, N., eds., Corpus of Early Arabic Sources for West African History (Cambridge, 1981), 79, 98, 109, 146, 153, 310.Google Scholar On the Arabic sources see also Lange, Dierk, “The Almoravids and the Islamization of the Great States of West Africa,” Res Orientates, 6 (1994), 65–67.Google Scholar
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12. Ramusio, , Navigationi, 1: f. 77.Google Scholar See also Africanus, Leo, The History and Description of Africa, trans. Pory, J. in 1600, ed. Brown, R. (3 vols.:London, 1896), 3:819Google Scholar; Jéan-Léon, L'Africain, Description de l'Afrique, trans. Épaulard, A., ed. Épaulard, A., Monod, Th., Lhote, H., and Mauny, R. (2 vols.: Paris, 1956), 2:461.Google Scholar Leo called Ghana “Cano,” the name which he gives elsewhere to the city and kingdom of Kano in Hausaland (Ramusio, , Navigationi, 1: f. 79Google Scholar; Africanus, Leo, History, 3:829–30Google Scholar; Description, 2:476Google Scholar). The respective contexts, the first with references to “il Bichri” [al-Bakri] and “el Meshudi” [al-Masʿudi] and the second to Casena [Katsina] and other landmarks in Hausaland, make clear that these two places are entirely different, though confusion between Ghana and Kano was widespread in western geographical literature well into the nineteenth century. See for example Lattreille, , Recherches, 4, 24Google Scholar; and Stüwe, Friedrich, Die Handelszüge der Araber unter den Abbassiden durch Afrika, Asien und Osteuropa (Berlin, 1836), 101–02.Google Scholar
13. In Ramusio, , Navigationi, 1: f. 77Google Scholar: “Tutti adunque questi paesi sono habitati da huomini, che viuono à guisa di bestie, senza Re, senza Signore, senza republiche, & senza gouerno & costume alcuno, & appena sanno seminare il grano.” For translations, see History, 3:819Google Scholar; Description, 2:461.Google Scholar
14. Ramusio, , Navigationi, 1: f. 5Google Scholar; History, 1:7Google Scholar; Description, 1:8.Google Scholar These names resemble the list of the principal Sanhaja tribes given by Ibn Khaldun: Gudala, Lamtuna, Masufa, Watzila, Targa, Zaghawa and Lamta: Hopkins, /Levtzion, , Corpus, 321, 327.Google Scholar
15. In Ramusio, , Navigationi, 1: f. 77Google Scholar: “Giuseppe Re & edificator di Marocco del popolo di Luntuna, & i cinque popoli di Libia dominarono questi Negri, & alloro insegnarono la legge di Macometto, & l'arte necessarie al viuere: et molti di loro si tecero Mahumettani.” See also History, 3:820Google Scholar (“These Negros were first subiect vnto king Ioseph… and afterward vnto the fiue nations of Libya…”); Description, 2:462Google Scholar (“Joseph…et les cinq peuples de Libye dominèrent ces Noirs…”).
16. Leo also, it seems, associates the conversion of Mali with the Almoravids (Navigationi, 1: f. 78Google Scholar; History, 3:823Google Scholar; Description, 2: 466Google Scholar). Much of this is highly implausible; al-Bakri, for instance, whom Leo himself cites, gives a circumstantial account of the first conversion of Mali by a Muslim trader, free from any Almoravid involvement. Or perhaps Leo confused Mali, which was widely called Takrur by the fourteenth-century North African writers, with that Takrur described by al-Bakri, which was a close ally of the Almoravids, though here too al-Bakri does not mention the Almoravids in connection with the initial conversion of Takrur (see Hopkins, /Levtzion, , Corpus, 73, 77, and Ibn Abi Zarʿ in ibid., 239).Google Scholar
17. See Ibn Abi Zarʿ, Ibn Khaldun, and al-Maqrizi, in ibid., 248, 331, 355.
18. On this attitude see Lewis, Bernard, Race and Color in Islam (New York, 1971), 37–38.Google Scholar
19. The first and second volumes were printed in Granada in 1573; the third, which contains Màrmol's principal description of sub-Saharan Africa, in Màlaga in 1599. A French translation, L'Afrique de Marmol, by Nicholas Perrot d'Ablancourt, appeared in Paris, also in three volumes, in 1667. A modern Spanish reprint was published in Madrid in 1953.
20. Màrmol mentioned several times, for instance, such Arabic writers as “el Moçaudi/Mucaudi” (al-Masʿudi), “el Bebquer/Bubquer” (al-Bakri), “Ibni Alraquiq” (“an ancient African writer,” Ibn al-Raqiq), “Abdul Malic” (“a Moroccan historian,” Ibn ʿAbd al-Malik al-Marrakushi?), and “Aben Gezar” (“an African geographer,” Ibn Jubayr?). On the other hand, he mentioned Leo Africanus by name only once (see Descripción, 1: f.17Google Scholar; Afrique, 1:36Google Scholar). On Màrmol's life see Monroe, James T., Islam and the Arabs in Spanish Scholarship (Leiden, 1970), 16–17.Google Scholar
21. This sentence is taken directly from Leo Africanus (see Ramusio, , Navigationi, 1:77Google Scholar; History, 3: 819Google Scholar; Description, 2:461Google Scholar). “Cano” is clearly Ghana, whereas “Guequin” is unrecognizable; yet it must be the same as Leo's “Guechet,” which Épaulard et al. suggested refers to Awdaghust (Description, 2:461n1).Google Scholar
22. Màrmol, , Descripción, f. 21Google Scholar; Afrique, 3:57Google Scholar: “En la descripcion que hazen el Mucaudi, y Bubquer, y Aben Gezar, y otros Geografos Africanos, solamentely hazen mencion en la tierra de los negros de Guequin, y Cano, porque no deuieron tener tan particular noticia della, como se tiene agora. Todas las provincias que conflnan con la Zaara, o cerca della son el dia de oy Mahometanos, por que reynando los Almorauidas en Africa, y el pueblo de Lumtuna. Cerca de los trezientos y ochenta años de la Hixara, que fueron nouecientos y ochenta y dos de Christo redemtor nuestro, vuo entre ellos muchos morabitos, y alcoranistas predicatores de la maldita seta de Mahoma, que la enseñaron a quella gente barbara, y los traxeron a su opinion. Y despues metiendose por la Etiopia entre aquellos pueblos negros Hagin hijo de Abdulmalic, en el año de quatrocientos y sessenta y nueue de la Hixara, les començo a ensenar sus ritos y ceremonias, y otro setaria, llamado Yahaya hijo de Ali Benbucar, acabo de conuertir todos los que caen en la ribera del rio Niger, y cerca del, que…”
23. Màrmol called Almoravids with their Spanish denomination “Almoravidas,” whereas the “morabitos” were properly a sect established by “Mahamat Mohaydin,” the last descendant of “Ali Hussein,” son of Caliph ʿAli. Adherents of this sect resemble the Turkish “dermisios,” or dervishes. According to Màrmol, the Almoravids received their name because their founder and other leaders were morabitos (Descripción, 1: f. 59ff., 149Google Scholar; Afrique, I: 125ff., 282Google Scholar).
24. See Hopkins, /Levtzion, , Corpus, 310Google Scholar; al-Hulal is here quoting, not entirely accurately, from the Kitab al-Jughrafiya of al-Zuhri (see ibid., 98).
27. Descripción, 1:152Google Scholar; Afrique, 1:286.Google Scholar Màrmol's source for this information was Abdul Malic, “choronista de Marruecos.” Màrmol's ignorance concerning early Almoravid history before the reign of Yusuf suggests that he did not actually know the text of al-Bakri well. Abu Texifien seems to be a fictitious character, which embraces all the Almoravid leaders who lived before Yusuf. In reality Abu Bakr b. ʿUmar was not the father, but a cousin of Yusuf b. Tashfin.
29. We should also notice that this information was published eight years after the actual Moroccan invasion of Timbuktu took place, yet we may only guess whether this event affected Màrmol. There are no references to al-Mansur's campaign to the Western Sudan in Màrmol, but it is not impossible that he had heard of it. There were Spaniards in Marrakesh when news of the victory arrived in June 1591, and they presumably passed the news to Spain. See de Castries, H., “La cônquete du Soudan par El-Mansour (1591),” Hespéris, 3 (1923), 433–34.Google Scholar
31. Levtzion, Nehemia, “The Western Maghrib and Sudan” in Cambridge History of Africa, 3 (Cambridge, 1977), 400-01, 410–11.Google Scholar
32. According to Màrmol, “el Xerife Mahamet” did send his troops to the south, but having encountered the “King of the Blacks,” referring here to Askiya Ishaq I of Songhay, with his army of 300,000 warriors, the Moroccans decided to retreat without fighting (Descripción, 3: f 23Google Scholar; Afrique, 3:62Google Scholar).
33. On fourteenth-century Marinid historiography see Shatzmiller, Maya, L'Historiographie mérinide: Ibn Khaldun et ses contemporains (Leiden, 1982).Google Scholar
34. See es-Saʿdi, Abderrahman, Tarikh es-Soudan, tr. Houdas, O. (Paris 1898–1900Google Scholar; reprinted 1964 under UNESCO auspices), French tr., 163-64; Arabic text, 99-100. Yet the Moroccan ruler here referred to is “Mawlay Ahmad the Great,” most likely meaning Ahmad al-Araj, whom his brother Muhammad al-Mahdi succeeded in 1544. Ahmad's counterpart was Askiya Ishaq I (1539-49), and their dispute was about the possession of Taghaza, an important salt mine in the western Sahara, then under Songhay control.
35. The Moroccans kept on demanding Taghaza after the unsuccessful attempt of Muhammad al-Mahdi. According to al-Saʿdi, Sultan Mawlay Ahmad al-Mansur (1578-1603) sent his troops to the south in 1584 to capture “all the cities which they meet on the banks of the River [Senegal] and elsewhere, and then continue their way into Timbuktu.” But “it was God's will” that the Moroccan army perished in the desert. Later another expedition was sent, which eventually occupied Taghaza, but they had to return to Marrakesh in autumn 1585, since the oasis was abandoned. But here too, al-Saʿdi mentioned no Almoravid pretext to justify this sneak raid. Neither did he mention such when he described the content of the documents which were sent to Askiya Ishaq II by Ahmad al-Mansur in late 1589, and in which the latter repeated his demand for the possession of Taghaza, “because he protects Songhay from Christian attacks” (although Ahmad al-Mansur's real aim was the subjugation of the entire Songhay empire). It is particularly interesting that al-Saʿdi specifically emphasized that he had seen the originals of these documents himself. Had they contained any references to a previous Almoravid conquest to justify Ahmad al-Mansur's claims, it is quite reasonable to suppose that al-Saʿdi would have mentioned it (see ibid., French tr. 215-16; Arabic text, 137; also Levtzion, , Ancient Ghana, 413Google Scholar).
36. Al-Saʿdi knew al-Hulal al-mawshiyya, which he cited as a source for the history of the Sanhaja. Al-Saʿdi said that they made holy war against the blacks, and he also mentioned amir Abu Bakr b. ʿUmar by name, but he nowhere noted that the Almoravids had conquered the blacks, or even converted them to Islam in the year 469/1076-77 (French tr. 42-44; Arabic text 25-26); cf. al-Hulal in the Hopkins, /Levtzion, , Corpus, 310-11, 313–14.Google Scholar
37. For the date of composition see Hunwick, J. O., “A New Source for the Biography of Ahmad Baba al-Tinbukti,” BSOAS, 27 (1964), 592.CrossRefGoogle Scholar For an English translation, with the Arabic text, of al-Kashf, see Barbour, Bernard and Jacobs, Michelle, “The Miʿraj: a Legal Treatise on Slavery by Ahmad Baba” in Willis, J. R., ed., Slaves and Slavery in Muslim Africa (London, 1985), 1:125–59.Google Scholar
38. Al-Kashf, in ibid., 137, 158.
39. Ibid., 128, 142. Cited also in Fudi, ʿUthman ibn, Bayan wujub al-hijra ʿala'l-ʿibad (The exposition of the obligation of emigration upon the servants of God), ed. and tr. Masri, F. H. El, (Khartoum, 1978), 51.Google Scholar
40. Al-Kashf, 129, 143-44.
41. Geographia Nubiensis, id est accuratissima totius orbis in septem climata divisi descriptio, continens praesertim exactam universae Asiae, & Africae… tr. Joannes Hesronita and Gabriel Simonita. This translation was based on an abridged Arabic edition published in Rome in 1592 (De Geographia Universali). See Monteil, Vincent, “L'oeuvre d'Idrisi,” BIFAN, 1 (1939), 837–57.Google Scholar
42. Travels in the Inland Parts of Africa (London, 1738), page vGoogle Scholar in “Letter to the Editor.” The Spanish atrocities during the conquest of their American colonies were widely known in Europe: the original source, Casas, Bartolomé de las, Brevissima Relación de la Destruyción de las Indias (Seville, 1552)Google Scholar was rapidly translated into Dutch, French, English, German, Italian, and Latin. For the bibliographical information about these editions and their availability see Helminen, Juha Pekka, “Bartolomé de las Casas in History, or an Example of How Historical Persons can be Used for Different Purposes,” in Tammisto, Anteroet al., eds., Miscellanea, [Studia Historica, 33] (Helsinki, 1989), 84–85.Google Scholar
44. Pratt, Mary Louise, Travel Writing and Transculturation (London, 1992), 74.Google Scholar French and German translations were both published in 1799, but Park's Travels soon became available in minor European languages as well. A Swedish translation, for example, was published in 1800.
45. For more on Park's influence see below.
46. The Latin text is found in Hamaker, H. A., Specimen catalogi codicum mss. orientalium bibliothecae academiae Lugduno-Batavae (Leiden, 1820), 207–09.Google Scholar The English, including brackets, is from Hopkins, /Levtzion, , Corpus, 355.Google Scholar On the origins of al-Maqrizi's fragment see Lange, Dierk, “Un text de Maqrizi sur ‘Les races des Sudan’,” Annales Islamologiques, 15 (1979), 187–90.Google Scholar
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50. Ibid., 98, 310.
51. (London, 1841)
52. Both al-Bakri and Ibn Khaldun were available to him in the British Museum (ibid., 4n5, 61n104), while copies of al-Zuhri, “An anonymous Arab geographer,” and other Arabic mss. were lent to him by his close friend Pascual de Gayangos, the famous Spanish Arabist (ibid., 19n33, 127n210).
53. Ibid., 66.
54. Cooley's reference to Moura points actually to the passage where Abu Bakr handed his authority as the true leader of Almoravids to Yusuf, but he was clearly thinking about the following page and the passage which we have quoted.
56. Ibid., 73-74.
57. Ibid., 22, 45-49, 62, 69.
58. Ibid., 73; the editors insert “[the city of]” before the last word.
59. Ibid., 22.
60. Ibid., 385n25, referring also to Ibn Khaldun on page 332.
63. This translation, including brackets, is from ibid., 333. Both the Arabic sources cited by the Corpus include “their property and their country” after “pillaged”.
65. It is a bit strange that Cooley made no reference to al-Maqrizi in this context. He knew Hamaker's Specimen catalogi (see ibid., 29n51) and his Negroland in fact contains an English translation of al-Maqrizi's fragment, omitting for some reason, however, the last passage concerning Ghana and the Almoravids (see ibid., 119-20). Perhaps there was no need for al-Maqrizi, since Ibn Khaldun was the more authoritative witness.
68. Wappäus, J.E., Untersuchungen über die Negerländer der Araber und über den Seehandel der Italiener, Spanier und Portugiesen im Mittelalter (Göttingen, 1842), 74.Google Scholar Wappäus knew Cooley's Negroland for he mentioned it in his preface (p. v), but he had apparently received the book too late to use it, because he nowhere cited it. The principal sources of Wappäus for Ghana were Leo Africanus, Quatremère's translation of al-Bakri, and an English translation of al-Idrisi published in Annals of Oriental Literature, 1 (London, 1820).Google Scholar
69. Kunstmann, Friedrich, Afrika vor den Entdeckungen der Portugiesen, 28.Google Scholar This was the publication of a Fest-Rede which Kunstmann had held in Munich, at the Königlichen bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften, on 29 March 1853. “Al-Hulal” does specify conversion from Christianity, but this is apparently a misreading of al-Zuhri's text, which specifies “kufr,” “unbelief” (see Hopkins, /Levtzion, , Corpus, 98, 310, 389n16Google Scholar). Kunstmann knew Wappäus's work (Afrika, 37n1), but nowhere mentioned Cooley's Negroland, although he was probably aware of it.
70. Cooley, Negroland, 61n104, called this ms. “Prolegomena,” or the Muqaddima; yet all the quotations were clearly taken from Kitab al-ʿIbar.
71. Re-edited by Paul Casanova and reprinted in 3 volumes (Paris, 1925-34). De Slane published also French translations of al-Bakri (Journal Asiatique, 5/12-14 [1858–1859])Google Scholar and Khaldun's, IbnMuqaddima (Notices et Extraits des Manuscrits de la Bibliothèque Imperiale, vols. 19–21 [Paris, 1862–1868]).Google Scholar
72. Ibn-Khaldoun, , Histoire des berbères (3 vols.: Paris 1852–1856), 2:110, our emphasis.Google Scholar
73. Ibn-Khaldoun, , Histoire des berbères et des dynasties musulmanes de l'Afrique septentrionale (Alger, 1847–1851)Google Scholar, Arabic text prepared by M. de Slane, I:263, ll. 16-17.
74. If Cooley had “discovered” Ghana and Mali, Barth did the same for Songhay, for he was able to find in Gando a copy of al-Saʿdi's Tarikh al-Sudan. An abridged German translation, based on Barth's own notes, was published in 1854 (Ralfs, C., “Beiträge zur Geschichte und Geographie des Sudan, eingesandt von Dr. Barth,” ZDMG, vol. 6Google Scholar). A complete version of Tarikh al-Sudan was found by a French traveler, Felix Dubois, in Jenné in 1896 (Tombouctou la mysterieuse [Paris, 1897], 356Google Scholar).
75. Barth's Travels and Discoveries was published simultaneously in five volumes in English (London, 1857-58), and German, , Reisen und Entdeckungen in Nord- und Central-Africa (Gotha, 1857–1858).Google Scholar The English version was very soon afterwards republished in three volumes in New York in 1857-59. The modern reprint, “Centenary edition,” published in London in 1965 by Frank Cass, is based on the American edition, with additional maps from the English edition. For reasons of availability our references are to this reprint.
76. Barth, , Travels, 3:660.Google Scholar In the original English and German editions this table is included in the fourth volume.
79. Ibid., 3:658-61.
80. Dutch, Danish, and French translations appeared, but all are incomplete, missing the appendices in which Barth introduced his ideas on West African history (see Kirk-Greene's, A. H. M. “A Bibliographical Note,” in Barth, , Travels, 1:xviGoogle Scholar).
81. Barth's triumphant homecoming from Tripoli to London and Berlin in autumn 1855 was keenly observed even in Finnish newspapers, which did not then contain much foreign news (and hardly any from Africa). See for example Åbo Unterrättelser, 21 September 1855, 30 October 1855, and 27 November 1855.
83. “Notice sur les Almoravides et les Almohades d'après les historiens arabes,” nos. 69, 71, 76, 77 (in vols. 12 and 13 of the Kraus reprint of 1968).
84. Ibid., 69, 222. Mercier nowhere referred to Cooley's Negroland, and the fact that he dated the Almoravid conquest of Ghana to shortly before the death of amir Yahya b. ʿUmar in 448/1056-57 (see al-Bakri, , in Hopkins, /Levtzion, , Corpus, 73Google Scholar), and not in 469/1076-77, proves clearly that he had not been influenced in this by Cooley. Furthermore, Mercier said nothing of Abu Bakr b. ʿUmar's campaigns in the south, except to repeat (224) Ibn Abi Zarʿ,s superficial account of his death.
86. Mercier's spelling reflects the old-fashioned, but nonethless identifiable, rendering of the Arabic consonant ghayn—nowadays represented with “gh”—by “r'.”
87. Ibid., 222.
90. “Mélanges d'histoire et de littérature orientates II,” Le Muséon, 7 (1888), 49-60, 137–51.Google Scholar Also sometimes cited under the title “Essai sur l'histoire et de la langue de Tombouctou et des royaumes de Songhaí et Melli,” which is the opening sentence of the article.
91. Ibid., 51n4, 56n1, 57n1.
92. Ibid., 51. In the main text Basset wrote that Islam was adopted in Ghana in the year 1000 AD, referring to Faidherbe, , “Tombouctou et les grandes voies commerciales du nord-ouest de l'Afrique,” Revue Scientifique (15 November 1884), 609–13Google Scholar, adding (Basset, “Mélanges,” 114n4) that Cooley's date of 1076 was more “exact.”
93. Du Niger au Golfe du Guinée, (2 vols.: Paris, 1892), 2:383.Google Scholar This sounds like a distant echo of Mercier.
94. Ibid, 2:369, 391. The date 1607 appears on page 383, and may be a misprint, especially since on the opposite page Binger said that al-Bakri was writing in 1067-68. However, the mention of Ouqaïmagha—the Wakajamaga in Ralfs' edition of Tarikh al-Sudan (1854, 526)—on the same page suggests that Binger may have here confused al-Bakri with al-Saʿdi; elsewhere (ibid., 369) he apparently confused him with al-Idrisi.
95. Ibid., 1:386, 2:379, 381.
96. Another early French propagator of the conquest hypothesis was Louis Tautain, who was also the first writer to identify the Wagadu of oral tradition with the Ghana of Arabic sources in his “Légende et traditions des soninké relatives à l'empire de Ghanata,” Bulletin de géographie historique et descriptive, 2 (1895), 472–80.Google Scholar The first version of the Wagadu legend had been published in 1879: Bérenger-Féraud, L.B.J., Les peuplades de la Sénégambie (Paris, 1879), 169–72.Google Scholar
97. Barth, , Travels, 3:657, 703Google Scholar, had supposed that Ghana had been founded by the Fulani, though its population were the Aswanék, or the Soninke. In the 1890s some French scholars, however, began to claim that Ghana had been the first of the Songhay empires; the second was the empire of the askiyas: see Chatelier, Le, Islam (Paris, 1899), 79Google Scholar; Reclus, O., “Songhaï,” La Grande Encyclopedie Tours, 1901), 30: 271.Google Scholar
98. Chatelier, Le, Islam, 45.Google Scholar Le Chatelier (ibid., 46) extended the rule of the Lamtuna over Ghana until the Susu conquest.
99. Lugard, , Tropical Dependency (London, 1905), 110.Google Scholar This sounds like Cooley, certainly known to Shaw, although she seldom used footnotes and included no bibliography. According to her biography, Shaw wrote her book in England using “Spanish archives and translations of Arab works dealing with the occupation of Negroland. Bell, E. Moberly, Flora Shaw (London, 1947), 253.Google Scholar
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101. (3 vols.: Paris), reprinted, with a preface by Robert Cornevin, in 1972.
102. Delafosse was chosen to write Haut-Sénégal-Niger because he had already gained fame with his various linguistic works. Haut-Sénégal-Niger was immediately popular, and its author was decorated with three gold medals. Very soon Delafosse was regarded as the highest authority in early West African history not only in France but also in the Anglophone world, although Haut-Sénégal-Niger was never translated into English: see Van Hoven, Ed, “Representing Social Hierarchy. Administrators-Ethnographers in the French Sudan: Delafosse, Monteil, and Labouret,” Cahiers d'Études africaines, no. 118 (1990), 181, 185.Google Scholar See also Delafosse's biography, written by his daughter Delafosse, Louise, Maurice Delafosse: le Berrichon conquis par l'Afrique (Paris, 1976).Google Scholar
104. It may be too cynical a thought, but it is at least possible that there was an inclination (presumably subconscious), by admitting that we do not know this particular detail, to divert attention from the fact that we do not necessarily know any of the described details.
106. Hamet, Ismaël, Chroniques de la Mauretanie sénégalaise: Nacer Eddine (Paris, 1911), 25.Google Scholar Hamet's principal source for Almoravid history was de Slane's translation of Kitab al-ʿIbar.
107. Ibid., 1-2. These limits for the Almoravid empire were rooted in western literature much earlier: see, for example, Godard, Léon, Description et histoire du Maroc (2 vols.: Paris 1860), 1:314.Google Scholar
109. Ibid., 6. Hamet gave no dates for these events, except 1052 for the beginning of the Almoravid movement. Yet it sounds as though he was repeating Mercier's (and Cooley's) confusion of Awdaghust as the capital of Ghana.
110. (Westminster), 262. Arnold's references for this passage are “Leo Africanus (Ramusio. Tom. i. pp. 7, 77)”—see note 15 above—and “Chronik der Sultane von Bornu, bearbeitet von Otto Blau, p. 332 (Z.D.M.G. vol. vi. 1852).”
111. Ibid., 317-18. Arnold cited Meyer's paper of 1897 for this addition.
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129. Conte, Eduard, “Herders, Hunters and Smiths: Mobile Populations in the History of Kanem” in Galaty, J.G. and Bonte, P., eds., Herders, Warriors and Traders. Pastoralism in Africa (Boulder, 1991), 221–22Google Scholar, and Lange, “Almoravids,” 64Google Scholar; for Arabic sources see, for example, Khaldun, Ibn, The Muqaddimah, tr. Rosenthal, Franz (3 vols.: New York, 1958), 1:252–61Google Scholar, and Zarʿ, Ibn Abi in Hopkins, /Levtzion, , Corpus, 236–37.Google Scholar
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135. Stokes, Eric, The Peasant Armed: the Indian Rebellion of 1857 (Oxford, 1986), 7–9.Google ScholarKanya-Forstner, A. S., The Conquest of the Western Sudan (Cambridge, 1969), 66–67.Google ScholarVikør, Knut S., “Mystics in the Desert: the Sanusiya and the Sahara” in Palva, H. and Vikør, K. S., eds., The Middle East: Unity and Disunity. Papers from the Second Nordic Conference on Middle Eastern Studies, Copenhagen 22.-25. October 1992 (Bergen, 1993), 144–45.Google Scholar
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146. A previously unknown part of a manuscript concerning the Almoravids, written by Ibn ʿIdhari in the early fourteenth century, became familiar to western scholars in the mid-1950s, although the Arabic text was not published until 1961 by Miranda, Ambrosio Huici, “Un fragmento inédito de Ibn cIdhari sobre los Almoràvides,” Hespéris-Tamuda, 2 (1961), 43–111.Google Scholar The author's full name is Abu'l-ʿAbbas Ahmad b. Muhammad Ibn ʿIdhari, and the full title of his work Al-Bayan al-mughrib fi akhbar al-andalus wa'l-maghrib (The Amazing Exposition on the History of al-Andalus and the Maghrib). A French translation had been published by Fagnan, E., Histoire de l'Afrique et de l'Espagne intitulée al-Bayano'l-Mogrib (2 vols.: Algiers, 1901–1904)Google Scholar, but it lacked the important account of the Almoravids.
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156. Ibid., 67-69. The idea of an Almoravid ribat as an island fortress originates from Ibn Abi Zarc and Ibn Khaldun (see Hopkins, /Levtzion, , Corpus, 239, 329Google Scholar). It was incorporated within Almoravid historiography at a very early phase (see for example Godard, , Description, 1:308Google Scholar; Farias, , “Almoravids,” 821–34Google Scholar; also Fisher, Humphrey J., “What's in a name? The Almoravids of the Eleventh Century in the Western Sahara,” Journal of Religion in Africa, 22 (1992), 290–317.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
158. Ibid., 60-61, 73. Actually some traces of destruction have been found in Kumbi Saleh which are dated in the eleventh century, but conclusive proof is still lacking. We do not even know whether the ruins of Kumbi Saleh are really the city of Ghana described by al-Bakri. See Hrbek, I. and Devisse, J., “The Almoravids” in Unesco General History of Africa, III (London, 1988), 359.Google Scholar
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