African Kingdoms
An Encyclopedia of Empires and Civilizations
by Saheed Aderinto, Editor
August 2017, 363pp, 7 x 10
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-61069-579-4
$108, £84, 94€, A148
Please contact your preferred distributor for pricing.
eBook Available: 978-1-61069-580-0
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Some African kingdoms emerged in ancient times and survived until the European invasion of the 19th century.

This history-rich volume details the sociopolitical, economic, and artistic aspects of African kingdoms from the earliest times to the second half of the 19th century.

Africa has a long and fascinating history and is a place of growing importance in the world history curriculum. This detailed encyclopedia covers the history of African kingdoms from antiquity through the mid-19th century, tracing the dynasties’ ties to modern globalization and influences on world culture before, during, and after the demise of the slave trade. Along with an exploration of African heritage, this reference is rich with firsthand accounts of Africa through the oral traditions of its people and the written journals of European explorers, missionaries, and travelers who visited Africa from the 15th century and onward.

Alphabetically arranged entries cover a particular kingdom and feature information on the economic, cultural, religious, political, social, and environmental history of the regime. The content references popular culture, movies, and art that present contemporary reenactments of kingdoms, emphasizing the importance of history in shaping modern ideas. Other features include primary source documents, a selected bibliography of print and electronic resources, and dozens of sidebars containing key facts and interesting trivia.


  • Provides relevant perspective on globalization in the pre-modern era, documenting how humans across time and places have shared various components of customs ranging from food, language, and music to religion and spirituality
  • Supports Common Core standards
  • Includes primary documents for enhancing critical thinking and research skills
  • Features cross references and suggestions for further reading
  • Highlights key facts and interesting trivia through illuminating sidebars
Saheed Aderinto, PhD, is associate professor of history at Western Carolina University. His published works include When Sex Threatened the State: Illicit Sexuality, Nationalism, and Politics in Colonial Nigeria, 1900–1958; Nigeria, Nationalism, and Writing History; and The Third Wave of Historical Scholarship on Nigeria: Essays in Honor of Ayodeji Olukoju. He received his doctorate in African history from the University of Texas at Austin.


"This encyclopedia provides an insightful introduction to the continent’s history and demonstrates how its rich past continues to influence Africa today."—ARBA, January 24, 2018

"The work will be useful for both public and university libraries' reference collections. Summing Up: Highly recommended. High school through upper-level undergraduate students; general readers."—Choice, February 1, 2018

"A useful reference guide for senior high students needing information for world history and cultural studies."—School Library Connection, March 1, 2018
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