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Not Quite Venus from the Waves: The Almoravid Conquest of Ghana in the Modern Historiography of Western Africa1

  • Pekka Masonen (a1) and Humphrey J. Fisher (a2)
Extract

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.

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1.

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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Notes

2. McCall, Daniel F., “Islamization of the Western and Central Sudan in the Eleventh Century,” Boston University Papers on Africa, 5 (1971), 7; Navarro, Carmen, “Los Almoràvides y la islamización de Bilad al-Sudan,” Studia Africana, 4 (1993), 139–40. On effects of the alleged event see, for example, Levtzion, Nehemia, Ancient Ghana and Mali (London, 1973), 45; and Ki-Zerbo, Joseph, Histoire de l'Afrique Noire d'hier à demain (Paris, 1978), 117–8.

3. See Doran, Michael, “The Maritime Provenience of Iron Technology in West Africa,” Terrae Incognitae, 9 (1977), 8998.

4. Cravioto, E. Gozalbes, “Comercio y exploraciones del Sahara en la Antigüedad Clàsica,” Estudios Africanos, 12/13 (1993), 1319; for an assertion for the Carthaginian sailings, see Huss, Werner, “Die Antike Mittelmeerwelt und Innerafrika bis zum Ende der Herrschaft der Karthager und der Ptolemaier” in Durchhardt, H.et al., eds., Afrika. Entdeckung und Erforschung eines Kontinents (Köln, 1989), 4.

5. On the origins of the Periplus see Hair, P. E. H., “The Periplus of Hanno in the History and Historiography of Black Africa,” HA, 14 (1987), 4366, and Germain, Gabriel, “Qu'est-ce que le Périple d'Hannon? Document, amplification littéraire ou faux intégral?Hespéris, 44 (1957), 205–48.

6. See Henige, David, “The Race is not Always to the Swift. Thoughts on the Use of Written Sources for the Study of Early African History,” Paideuma, 33 (1987), 55: “A shockingly high proportion of work done on early African history between, say, 1955 and 1975, can now only be termed quaternary in that it was content to rely on secondary and tertiary accounts, because few [historians of tropical Africa] recognized the need to seek out primary sources at whatever cost and base their work on them.”

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. On the Arabic sources see also Lange, Dierk, “The Almoravids and the Islamization of the Great States of West Africa,” Res Orientates, 6 (1994), 6567.

8. On Leo's life and travels see, for example, Mauny, Raymond, “Note sur les ‘grands voyages’ de Léon L'Africain,” Hespéris, 41 (1954), 379–94.

9. Descrittione dell' Africa, et delle cose notabilis che iui sono, per Giouan Lioni Africano,” in Ramusio, Giovanni Battista, Delle Navigationi et Viaggi (3d ed.: Venice, 1563), I:ff. 195.

10. For bibliographical information about these various editions see Zhiri, Oumelbanine, L'Afrique au miroir de l'Europe: Fortunes de Jean Léon l'Africain à la Renaissance (Geneva, 1991), 227–28.

11. See, for example, Latreille, P-A., Recherches géographiques sur l'Afrique centrale, d'après les écrits d'Edrisi et de Léon L'Africain comparés avec les relations modernes (Paris, 1824), 4.

12. Ramusio, , Navigationi, 1: f. 77. See also Africanus, Leo, The History and Description of Africa, trans. Pory, J. in 1600, ed. Brown, R. (3 vols.:London, 1896), 3:819; 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. Leo called Ghana “Cano,” the name which he gives elsewhere to the city and kingdom of Kano in Hausaland (Ramusio, , Navigationi, 1: f. 79; Africanus, Leo, History, 3:829–30; Description, 2:476). 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, 24; and Stüwe, Friedrich, Die Handelszüge der Araber unter den Abbassiden durch Afrika, Asien und Osteuropa (Berlin, 1836), 101–02.

13. In Ramusio, , Navigationi, 1: f. 77: “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, 3:819; Description, 2:461.

14. Ramusio, , Navigationi, 1: f. 5; History, 1:7; Description, 1:8. 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.

15. In Ramusio, , Navigationi, 1: f. 77: “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, 3:820 (“These Negros were first subiect vnto king Ioseph… and afterward vnto the fiue nations of Libya…”); Description, 2:462 (“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. 78; History, 3:823; Description, 2: 466). 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).

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), 3738.

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.17; Afrique, 1:36). On Màrmol's life see Monroe, James T., Islam and the Arabs in Spanish Scholarship (Leiden, 1970), 1617.

21. This sentence is taken directly from Leo Africanus (see Ramusio, , Navigationi, 1:77; History, 3: 819; Description, 2:461). “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).

22. Màrmol, , Descripción, f. 21; Afrique, 3:57: “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., 149; Afrique, I: 125ff., 282).

24. See Hopkins, /Levtzion, , Corpus, 310; al-Hulal is here quoting, not entirely accurately, from the Kitab al-Jughrafiya of al-Zuhri (see ibid., 98).

25. Màrmol, , Descripción, 1: f. 45; Afrique, 1:96.

26. See Descripción, 1:149ff; Afrique, 1:283ff.

27. Descripción, 1:152; Afrique, 1:286. 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.

28. Descripción, 3: f. 23; Afrique, 3: 62. The association of Almoravids with the Lamtuna is strong in Màrmol: he called Yusuf b. Tashfin “el Rey Iuzef Lumtuna.”

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.

30. Descripción, 3: f. 23; Afrique, 3:62): “Quando el Xerife Mahamet estaua en su prosperidad, comoidado de las ofertas de los pueblos de Libya, quiso yr a conquistrar estos pueblos de negros, como lo auian hecho antiguamente los Lumtunas.”

31. Levtzion, Nehemia, “The Western Maghrib and Sudan” in Cambridge History of Africa, 3 (Cambridge, 1977), 400-01, 410–11.

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 23; Afrique, 3:62).

33. On fourteenth-century Marinid historiography see Shatzmiller, Maya, L'Historiographie mérinide: Ibn Khaldun et ses contemporains (Leiden, 1982).

34. See es-Saʿdi, Abderrahman, Tarikh es-Soudan, tr. Houdas, O. (Paris 18981900; 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, 413).

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.

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. 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.

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.

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.

42. Travels in the Inland Parts of Africa (London, 1738), page v 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) 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), 8485.

43. Travels in the Interior Districts of Africa (London, 1799), 112.

44. Pratt, Mary Louise, Travel Writing and Transculturation (London, 1992), 74. 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. The English, including brackets, is from Hopkins, /Levtzion, , Corpus, 355. 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.

47. Historia dos Soberanos Mahometanos das primeiras quatro dynastias, e de parte da quinta, que reinarao na Mauritania, escripta em arabe por Abu-Mohammed Assaleh, filho de Abdel-halim, natural de Granada, tr. Moura, Jozé de Santo Antonio (Lisbon, 1828). Extracts had appeared earlier in Conde's, José AntonioHistoria de la dominacion de los àrabes en España, 2 (Madrid, 1820).

48. Historia dos Soberanos, 147. The English, excluding brackets, is from Hopkins, /Levtzion, , Corpus, 248.

49. “Notice d'un manuscrit arabe contenant la description de l'Afrique [man. de la Bibliothèque du Roi, no.580],” Notices et Extraits des Manuscrits de la Bibliothèque du Roi, 12, 642n1. This note is attached to the passage describing the ruler of Ghana and his court (see al-Bakri, in Hopkins, /Levtzion, , Corpus, 7980).

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.

55. Hopkins, /Levtzion, , Corpus, 68, 7374.

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.

61. Cooley, , Negroland, 6, 27, 29.

62. See, for example, Ibn al-Athir in Hopkins, /Levtzion, , Corpus, 158.

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”.

64. Cooley, , Negroland, 62.

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.

66. On the Susu conquest see Bühnen, Stephan, “In Quest of Susu,” HA, 21 (1994), 47.

67. Cooley, , Negroland, 69.

68. Wappäus, J.E., Untersuchungen über die Negerländer der Araber und über den Seehandel der Italiener, Spanier und Portugiesen im Mittelalter (Göttingen, 1842), 74. 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).

69. Kunstmann, Friedrich, Afrika vor den Entdeckungen der Portugiesen, 28. 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, 389n16). 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 [18581859]) and Khaldun's, IbnMuqaddima (Notices et Extraits des Manuscrits de la Bibliothèque Imperiale, vols. 19–21 [Paris, 18621868]).

72. Ibn-Khaldoun, , Histoire des berbères (3 vols.: Paris 18521856), 2:110, our emphasis.

73. Ibn-Khaldoun, , Histoire des berbères et des dynasties musulmanes de l'Afrique septentrionale (Alger, 18471851), 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. 6). A complete version of Tarikh al-Sudan was found by a French traveler, Felix Dubois, in Jenné in 1896 (Tombouctou la mysterieuse [Paris, 1897], 356).

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, 18571858). 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. In the original English and German editions this table is included in the fourth volume.

77. Cooley, , Negroland, 66.

78. Barth, , Travels, 1:365, 2:22.

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:xvi).

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.

82. Tornberg, C.J., Annales Regum Mauritanie (Uppsala, 18431846).

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, 73), 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.

85. Mercier, , “Notice,” 69, 217n1.

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.

88. See for example the article “Almoravides” by Houdas, O. in La Grande Encyclopédie (Tours, 1886), 2:486, and Müller, A., Der Islam im Morgen und Abendland (Berlin, 1887), 116.

89. Mercier, , Histoire de l'Afrique septentrionale (2 vols.: Paris, 1888), 2:25.

90. Mélanges d'histoire et de littérature orientates II,” Le Muséon, 7 (1888), 49-60, 137–51. 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), 609–13, 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. 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. 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.

97. Barth, , Travels, 3:657, 703, 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), 79; Reclus, O., “Songhaï,” La Grande Encyclopedie Tours, 1901), 30: 271.

98. Chatelier, Le, Islam, 45. Le Chatelier (ibid., 46) extended the rule of the Lamtuna over Ghana until the Susu conquest.

99. Lugard, , Tropical Dependency (London, 1905), 110. 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.

100. See, for example, Meyer, Paul, “Erforschungsgeschichte und Staatenbildungen des Westsudan,” Petermanns Mitteilungen, Ergänzungsheft no. 121 (Gotha, 1897), 61: “The fanatic Meràbetin from Morocco, the Almoravids of the Spaniards, pillaged Audaghost in 1052…in 1076 [they] conquered Ghanata, which became now completely islamized and a subject of contention between the Berbers of the north and the Negroes of the south and east.” Within this passage, Meyer referred to Barth.

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. See also Delafosse's biography, written by his daughter Delafosse, Louise, Maurice Delafosse: le Berrichon conquis par l'Afrique (Paris, 1976).

103. Delafosse, , Haut-Sénégal-Niger, 2: 54.

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.

105. A history of Islam in West Africa (London, 1962), 55; see also 25, 29-30, 33.

106. Hamet, Ismaël, Chroniques de la Mauretanie sénégalaise: Nacer Eddine (Paris, 1911), 25. 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.

108. Hamet, , Chroniques, 24.

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.

112. See Cooley, , Negroland, 29; Godard, , Description, 1:307; Duveyrier, Henri, Les Touaregs du nord (Paris, 1864), 324–25.

113. See, for example, al-Bakri and Mafakhir al-Barbar, in Hopkins, /Levtzion, , Corpus, 75-76, 233.

114. Lyon, George F., A Narrative of Travels in Northern Africa in the years 1818, 19, and 20 (London, 1821), 109; Duveyrier, Henri, “Note sur les touareg et leur pays,” Bulletin de la Société de Géographie de Paris (February, 1863), 1516.

115. An Abstract of Mr. Park's Account of his Travels and Discoveries, abridged from his own Minutes by Bryan Edwards, Esq. 1798,” Proceedings of the African Association (London, 1810), 1:349.

116. Ibid.; see also Mollien, G., Travels in the interior of Africa to the sources of the Senegal and Niger, ed. Bowdich, T. E. (London, 1820), 8; De Lanoye, F., Le Niger et les explorations de l'Afrique Centrale depuis Mungo-Park jusqu'au Docteur Barth (Paris, 1858), 15; Chavanne, Josef, Die Sahara oder von Oase zu Oase (Vienna, 1879), 28; Basset, Mélanges,” 56. Further support for the negative image was gained from Arabic literature, where the Tuaregs were treated in no better. For a critical Arab view of the Tuareg see al-Hashashi, Muhammad bin ʿUthman, Voyage au pays des Senoussia à travers la Tripolitaine et les pays Touaregs, trans. Serrer, and Lasram, (Paris 1912), 177–84.

117. For example Hanns Vischer, who had crossed the Sahara in 1906, complained that Duveyrier's high opinion of the Tuaregs “has been the cause of many disasters to Europeans, who did not know that under his outward dignity the Tuarek hid the most treacherous character” (Vischer, , Across the Sahara [London 1910], 164–65).

118. For a record of Tuareg conflict with French colonialists in the southern Sahara see, for example, Hacquart, A., Monographie de Tombouctou (Paris, 1900).

119. Dozy, Reinhold, Histoire des Musulmans d'Espagne (4 vols.: Leiden, 1861), 4:252, 266; Barbour, Neville, Morocco (London, 1965), 5859.

120. Arabialaiset ja islamin aikaisemmat vaiheet,” in Ruuth, J. W.et al., eds., Maailman historia (6 vols.: Porvoo, 19141920), 2:583; see also Faure-Biguet, G., Histoire de l'Afrique septentrionale sous la domination musulmane (Paris, 1905), 126.

121. On the use of Hamitic hypothesis in European literature, see Sanders, Edith, “The Hamitic Hypothesis: Its Origin and Functions in Time Perspective,” JAH, 10 (1969), 521–32.

122. Chatelier, La, Islam, 35.

123. de Barros, Philip, “Changing Paradigms, Goals and Methods in the Archaeology of Francophone West Africa” in Robertshaw, Peter, ed., A History of African Archaeology (London, 1990), 160; Rytkönen, Seppo, “Katsaus nykyiseen Afrikan historiantutkimukseen,” Historiallinen Aikakauskirja, 87 (1989), 6; Masonen, Pekka, “Länsi-Afrikka ja Välimeren maailma ennen löytöretkiä” in Melasuo, Tuomo, ed., Vieras Välimeri. Kulttuurien ja politiikan kohtauspaikka (Tampere, 1994), 3738.

124. Delafosse, , Haut-Sénégal-Niger, 2:22. Other favored candidates were the Carthaginians, Garamantes, Egyptians, and Persians. Common to all writers, however, was a steadfast faith in white founders of Ghana. Evidence for this belief was gained both from Sudanese oral tradition, which attributes white ancestry to many islamized dynasties, including the Sise of Ghana (see, for instance, Mounkaïla, Fatimata, “Ancestors from the East in Sahelo-Sudanese Myth: Dinga Soninké, Zabarkâne Zarma, and Others,” Research in African Literatures, 24 [1993], 1321), and from al-Saʿdi who claimed that the 44 rulers of Kayamagha, customarily identified with Ghana, were whites, though their origin was unknown to him (Tarikh es-Soudan, French tr. 18; Arabic text, 9). Besides the whites, there was one African candidate, the Fulani, who were themselves believed to have a Semitic ancestry, and thus they were not pure blacks but a more advanced Hamitic people. For European opinions of the Fulani see, for example, Mollien, , Travels, 157, 164; Lenz, Oskar, Timbuktu. Reise durch Marokko, die Sahara und den Sudan (2 vols.: Leipzig, 1884), 2:258-59, 266; Chatelier, Le, Islam, 107-10, 123.

125. See, for example, Wappäus, , Untersuchungen, 45; De Lanoye, , Niger, 118, 122.

126. Park, , Travels, 159. Furthermore Park, ibid., 112-13, claimed that the Moors ruled all the areas reaching from the Senegal to the borders of Abyssinia.

127. Travels through Central Africa to Timbuctoo; and across the Great Desert to Morocco, performed in the years 1824-1828 (2 vols.: London, 1830), 2: 65. The French original (Journal d'un voyage à Tombouctou et à Jenne dans l'Afrique centrale) was published in Paris in the same year.

128. See also Mollien, , Travels, 24; Lyon, , Narrative, 112.

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), 221–22, and Lange, Almoravids,” 64; for Arabic sources see, for example, Khaldun, Ibn, The Muqaddimah, tr. Rosenthal, Franz (3 vols.: New York, 1958), 1:252–61, and Zarʿ, Ibn Abi in Hopkins, /Levtzion, , Corpus, 236–37.

130. See Ibn Khaldun, in ibid., 331; Jobson, Richard, The Golden Trade (London, 1623), 48; for an historical perspective of the nomad-sedentary relationship in Western Sudan, see Levtzion, Nehemia, “Berber Nomads and Sudanese States: the Historiography of the Desert-Sahel Interface” in Islam in West Africa: Religion, Society, and Politics to 1800 (Aldershot, 1994).

131. Basset, , “Mélanges,” 4950.

132. See, for example, Bayol, Jean, Voyage en Sénégambie (Paris, 1888), 80, 9091; Chatelier, Le, Islam, 3435; Brévié, Jules, Islamisme contre “naturisme” au Soudan Français (Paris, 1923), 229–30.

133. Zotova, Y.U., “Dva podhoda k izucheniyu istorii Afriki,” Narodi Azii i Afriki, 29 (1987), 103.

134. The Austrian explorer Oskar Lenz, for example, described the condition of Morocco in 1879 thus: “The Moroccan people live in a semi-cultured condition, which approximately corresponds with our Middle Ages…Regarding the present situation, Islam is identical with regression and barbarism, while the Christian powers represent civilized life and progress.” (1884, I, 430).

135. Stokes, Eric, The Peasant Armed: the Indian Rebellion of 1857 (Oxford, 1986), 79.Kanya-Forstner, A. S., The Conquest of the Western Sudan (Cambridge, 1969), 6667.Vikør, 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.

136. Kanya-Forstner, , Conquest, 20; Harrison, Christopher, France and Islam in West Africa, 1860-1960 (Cambridge, 1988), 1214; see also Brévié, , lslamisme, 164–66.

137. Ibid., 147-48.

138. Kanya-Forstner, , Conquest, 149, 195–98; Harrison, , France and Islam, 5051; Van Hoven, , “Representing,” 186–87; see Basset, , “Mélanges,” 4950; Binger, , Du Niger, 2:345; Brévié, , Islamisme, 234.

139. Suret-Canale, Jean, Essays on African History from the Slave Trade to Neocolonialism (London, 1988), 179.

140. Walckenaer, C-A., Recherches géographiques sur l'interieur de l'Afrique septentrionale (Paris, 1821), 1112; Lenz, , Timbuktu, 2:266; Brévié, , Islamisme, 117, 297. Richard Burton, though he wrote often as much to shock as to inform, put this point of view persuasively: “I would record my sincere conviction that El-Islam has wrought immense good in Africa; that it has taught the African to make that first step in moral progress, which costs so much to barbarous nature; and it thus prepares him for a steady onward career, as far as his faculties can endure improvement. What other nation, what other faith, can boast that it has worked even the smallest portion of the enduring good done, and still doing, to Africa by El Islam? Granting that ill temper, polygamy, domestic slavery, and the degradation of women are evils; yet what are they to be compared with the horrors of cannibalism and fetishism, the witch tortures, the poison ordeals, and legal incest, the ‘customs’, and the murders of albinos, of twins, of children who cut their upper teeth first, and of men splashed by crocodiles? Surely the force of prejudice cannot go beyond this!” Burton, , Wanderings in West Africa from Liverpool to Fernando Po (London 1863), 180–81.

141. Brévié, , Islamisme, 231–34; Kanya-Forstner, , Conquest, 137; Harrison, , France and Islam, 103; see Delafosse, Maurice, “L'ètat actuel de l'islam dans l'Afrique Occidentale Française,” Revue du monde musulman, 9 (1910), 3253.

142. de Barros, , “Changing Paradigms,” 162.

143. See the preface in Blake, John W., West Africa. Quest for God and Gold (London, 1977), as well as Opgenoorth, Ernst, “Historians and Written Sources: General Problems,” Paideuma, 33 (1987), 107–14, and Fuglestad, Finn, “The Trevor-Roper Trap, or the Imperialism of History,” HA, 19 (1992), 309–26.

144. Kaba, Lansiné, “Histoire africaine et idéologie,” Afrika Zamani, 2 (1974), 910; see also Afigbo, A. E., “Colonial Historiography” in Falola, Toyin, ed., African Historiography. Essays in Honour of Jacob Ade Ajayi (Harlow, 1993), 3951.

145. Semonin, Paul, “The Almoravid Movement in the Western Sudan. A Review of the Evidence,” Transactions of the Historical Society of Ghana, 7 (1964), 4259.Monteil, Vincent, L'Islam noir (Paris, 1964), 5862, pleaded for the emancipation of the history of Ghana, insofar as it is discernible at all, from the unsubstantiated hypotheses of Delafosse, but Monteil gave little attention to the specific conquest question, despite being cautious about it. In his second edition (Paris, 1980), 81-86, he changed nothing from 1964, save to add a carbon-14 date.

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), 43111. 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, 19011904), but it lacked the important account of the Almoravids.

147. Relying on the authority of Ibn Abi Zarʿ and Ibn Khaldun, western scholars had believed that Marrakesh was established by the Almoravids in 454/1062—although this went unnoticed by al-Bakri, writing some six years later! According to Ibn ʿIdhari, it took place on 23 Rajab 462/8 May 1070. See Levi-Provençal, E., “La fondation de Marrakesh (462-1072)” in Mélanges d'histoire et d'archéologie de l'occident musulman. Hommage à Georges Marçais (2 vols.: Algiers, 1957), 2:117–20.

148. Neale, Caroline, Writing “independent” History. African Historiography, 1960-1980 (Westport, 1985), 34.

149. Semonin, , Almoravid Movement,” 42, 59. Semonin (ibid., 42n2) derived this idea from Huici Miranda, who had expressed his doubts on Ibn Abi Zarʿ's reliability in this matter in his El Rawd al-Qirtas y los Almoràvides,” Hespéris-Tamuda, 1 (1961), 523–24. See also Monteil, , Islam noir, 62: “Some years later the Almoravids islamized the land of Ghana, in 1076 (469 AH), a date given by one author only, az-Zuhri.”

150. Farias, , “The Almoravids: Some Questions Concerning the Character of the Movement During Its Periods of Closest Contact with the Western Sudan,” BIFAN, 29B (1967), 848–49.

151. Devisse, Jean, “Routes de commerce et échanges en Afrique occidental en relation avec la Mediterranée: un essai sur le commerce africain médiéval du Xle au XVI siècle,” Revue d'histoire économique et sociale, 50 (1972), 57. See also Devisse, , “La question d'Audagust” in Robert, D., Robert, S., and Devisse, J., eds., Tegdaoust I. Recherches sur Aoudaghost (Paris 1970), 153.

152. Norris, , Saharan myth and saga (Oxford), 108, 108n2.

153. Coulibaly, , “L'attaque de Ghana (XIe siècle),” Afrika Zamani, 2 (1974), 5577.

154. Ibid., 57-58. Coulibaly used fragments of al-Zuhri (Arabic text with French translation) published in Kamal's, YoussoufMonumenta Cartographica Africae et Aegypti, vol. III, fasc. 3 (Cairo, 1933), 801–03, although a more complete version had been published by Hadj-Sadok, Mahammad in Bulletin d'études orientates 21 (1968). Yet in Hadj-Sadok's edition the date for the conversion is 496, instead of 469.

155. Coulibaly, , “Attaque,” 6061.

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, 329). It was incorporated within Almoravid historiography at a very early phase (see for example Godard, , Description, 1:308; Farias, , “Almoravids,” 821–34; 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), 290317.

157. Coulibaly, , “Attaque,” 73.

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.

159. Farias, , “Great States Revisited,” JAH, 15 (1971), 482n22, 484–85.

160. Ibid., 480-81. Farias' criticism in this respect certainly corresponds with the contemporary shift in the research into nomad-sedentary relations in the Sahel. Farias cited Meillassoux, Claude, The Development of Indigenous Trade and Markets in West Africa (London 1971), but similar thoughts were expressed by Lovejoy, P.E. and Baier, Stephen, ’The Desert-side Economy of the Central Sudan,” IJAHS, 9 (1975), 551–81, and Frantz, Charles, “Shifts in Power from Nomads to Sedentaries in the Central Sudanic Zone” in Hasan, Yusuf Fadl and Doornbos, P., eds., The Central Bilad al-Sudan. Tradition and Adaptation (Khartoum 1979), 171–91. On the other hand, we cannot deny that there have been conflicts between the Saharan nomads and Sahelian agriculturalists, although it is not plausible to suppose that the nomads had always been the stronger side. These conflicts have, however, a political and economic focus, rather than religious motives. See Cross, Nigel and Barker, Rhiannon, eds., At the Desert's Edge. Oral Histories from the Sahel (London, [1991?]), 56, 63, 68, 144, 152, and Webb, James L. A. Jr., Desert Frontier. Ecological and Economic Change along the Western Sahel 1600-1850 (Madison 1995), 2226.

161. Levtzion, , Ancient Ghana, 47.

162. Farias, , “Great States,” 484.

163. Ibid, 480-81.

164. Hunwick, , “Gao and the Almoravids: a Hypothesis” in Swartz, B. and Dumett, R., eds., West African Cultural Dynamics (Hague, 1980), 420.

165. Devisse, , “La question d'Audagust,” 153. On the other hand, al-Bakri reported that Basi's successor Tunka Manin had many Muslim councilors: Hopkins, /Levtzion, , Corpus, 7980.

166. McCall, , “Islamization,” 14; Norris, , The Berbers in Arabic Literature (London, 1982), 133–34; Lange, Dierk, “Les rois de Gao-Sané et les Almoravides,” JAH, 32 (1991), 275.

167. See Hopkins, /Levtzion, , Corpus, 231, and Kassis, Hanna E., “Observations on the First Three Decades of the Almoravid Dynasty (A.H.450-480=A.D. 1058-1088): A Numismatic Study,” Der Islam, 62 (1985), 318.

168. Lange, , “Almoravids,” 66.

169. First in Fisher's, Humphrey J. review article, “Early Arabic Sources and the Almoravid conquest of Ghana,” JAH, 23 (1982), 549–60, and then in Conrad, David C. and Fisher, , “The Conquest That Never Was: Ghana and the Almoravids, 1076, I: “The External Arabic Sources,” II: "The Local Oral Sources,” HA, 9 (1982), 19-59, 10 (1983), 5378.

170. Conrad, /Fisher, , “Conquest,” 45.

171. Supporters of the new view include McDougall, Ann, “The Sahara Reconsidered: Pastoralism, Politics and Salt from the Ninth Through the Twelfth Centuries,” African Economic History, 12 (1983), 273–74; Brett, Michael, “Islam and Trade in the bilad al-Sudan, Tenth-Eleventh Century A.D.,” JAH, 24 (1983), 439; and Henige, David, “Race,” 6569. Those who still hesitate include Clarke, Peter B., West Africa and Islam (London, 1982), 1722; and Hiskett, Mervyn, The Development of Islam in West Africa (London, 1984), 23, 25-26, 302–03. Among the apparently unpersuaded are Hunwick, John O.Shariʿa in Songhay: the Replies of al-Maghili to the Questions of Askiya al-Hajj Muhammad (Oxford, 1985), 15n4; Levtzion, Nehemia, “The Early States of the Western Sudan to 1500” in Ajayi, J.F.A. and Crowder, M., eds., History of West Africa I (3rd. ed.: London, 1985), 136–39; Lagardè, Vincent, Les Almoravides (Paris, 1989), 8990, (which repeats Delafosse almost verbatim); and Olivier, Roland, The African Experience: Major Themes in African History From the Earliest Times to the Present (New York, 1991), 8788. The ambivalent situation is well visible in UNESCO General History of Africa, III, esp. 359-60, 460.

172. Burkhalter, , “Listening for Silences in Almoravid History: Another Reading of ‘The Conquest That Never Was’,” HA, 19 (1992), 103–31.

173. Ibid, 105, 120.

174. Ibid, 103, 104.

175. See, for example, Curtin, Philip, Feierman, Steven, Thompson, Leonard, and Vansina, Jan, African History From Earliest Times to Independence (2d. ed.: London, 1995), 94; Fage, John D., A History of Africa (3d ed.: London, 1995), 71; Iliffe, John, Africans: The History of a Continent (Cambridge, 1995), 53; Shillington, Kevin, History of Africa (rev. ed.: London, 1995), 8687.

176. Self Portraits, tr. McCarthy, Ralph F. (Tokyo, 1992), 71.

1. 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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