Part IV. Clash of Two Civilizations

As the Meroitic civilization was flourishing, another civilization was sprouting in Aksum. There are conflicting evidences about whether the Aksumite civilization is predominantly Kushitic or Semitic civilization. What is for sure, however, is that Meroitic and Axumite Abyssinian civilizations had separate writing systems. The former civilization used Meroitic hieroglyphic and demotic writing systems whereas the latter civilization used the Sabean writing system that evolved in Yemen and crossed to the African side of the Red Sea with members of the Abashat tribe in Yemen.

Had these two civilizations co-existed, East Africa's history for nearly two millennia would probably be far different from what we know now. However, what happened in the second half of the fourth century is a clash of these two civilizations that devastated the Meroitic civilization. King Ezana of Aksum led the invasion of the Meroitic kingdom around 370 A.D. after accepting Christianity and in the process of expanding it.

After the fall of Akhenaton and the tumultuous times in Egypt that may have set in motion the decline of Egyptian civilization, the invasion of Meroe by King Ezana appears to be the second in a series of events that started Kush's Dark Age in East Africa.

Aksumite civilization was in turn devastated by Islam's expansion in East Africa, which, according to Professor Donald N. Levine, was the cause for surviving Aksumites to flee to central Ethiopia of Menz and Gurage areas. This may have been the cause for not only intermingling of the fleeing survivors and the local Kushitic people, but also for the creation of the Amharic language and the founding of the so called Solominid Dynasty around Menz in 1270 A.D.

This dynasty may have served as a spring board for Amharization of other Kushitic peoples in adjacent areas of Shawa, as well as in Wallo, Gojam and Gondar.

On the other hand, Islamic expansion in East Africa not only destroyed Aksumite civilization, but also got a significant grip in various parts of this region at different times since then. In effect, the expansions of both Christianity and Islam and their aftermath have made this part of the world a battleground between various interest groups and took the various peoples in the region captives of destitution.

In particular, because of the lack of deeper knowledge of the teachings of these two faith institutions, the people practicing them appear to have given away one of their most vital body parts, the human mind, to captivity. In fact, in some cases, the captors appear to torture this vital human body part so much so that tears run down cheeks of adult males.

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