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African king. Source: Aleksandr Borisenko / Adobe Stock.

The Life and Times of Mansa Musa: The Richest Man in History

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Mansa Musa , the ruler of the Mali Empire in the 14th century, is believed to be the wealthiest person in history, with a net worth of $400 billion in today's dollars. For reference, that’s four times Bill Gates’ network and a third more than John D. Rockefeller’s. His immense wealth was primarily derived from the gold and salt trade , which flourished under his reign. However, Mansa Musa's riches were not just limited to his empire; he became renowned worldwide for his generosity and wealth.

His famous pilgrimage to Mecca in 1324, during which he distributed vast amounts of gold to the people he encountered, cemented his reputation as a generous and wealthy king. In fact, his gifts were sometimes so generous they caused hyperinflation, wrecking entire economies . This is everything you need to know about the life and times of Mansa Musa, his wealth, his legacy, and his impact on history.

Top image: African king. Source: Aleksandr Borisenko / Adobe Stock.

By Robbie Mitchell

 

Comments

Charles Bowles's picture

It appears that all Basic Truths about all Black historical figures and civilizations such as Imhotep, Tut, Nefertiti, Thutmosis III, Ramses, or ancient Egypt/Nubia, Ethiopia, Punt, Carthage, Ghana, Mali, Songhai, the Zimbabwean Wall Ruins, ancient Black Minoans of the GREEK Island of Crete which was the FIRST European civilization, ETRUSCANS are usually deemed as not being credible by a certain segment of the earths human population, because it tears to the very core of their hearts and “want to be superior  human beliefs”, such as statements about “THAT IS THE ONLY HISTORIC IMAGE OF THE BLACK KING, as if he should have a different image simply to appease their minds.  It has been very accurately recorded by many scholars that the West African King Of Mali made his pilgrimage northward across the sahara desert with so much gold that when it arrived later in Europa it cause the Gold market to decrease dramatically in value for several decades.  Many scholars has written about the OUTSTANDING wealth of this Black Emperor who ruled over the second LARGEST land empire in the world, only second to the MONGOLOIAN EMPIRE of Ghengis Khan,and he had one of the largest armies in the world during his reign that consisted of more than 60,000 foot soldiers,100,000 Horsemen, and 40,000 skilled Bowmen during the time,and Ghengis Khan failed to attack this very large African army.  As far as any Bandits or warring people attempting to rob this well guarded “Caravan” carrying the most WEALTHIEST emperor in all the world, they would have been quite foolish to even try such an offense, for that it would have been suicidal..  There has not been any one person who has been recorded to have as much wealth as this Black West African Malian Emperor who has been mentioned to have a net worth of more than 600 BILLION USD in todays value..

Charles Bowles

Charles Bowles's picture

It appears that all Basic Truths about Black historical figures and civilizations are usually deemed as not being credible by a certain segment of the earths human population, because it tears to the very core of their “want to be superior  human beliefs”, such as “THAT IS THE ONLY HISTORIC IMAGE OF THE BLACK KING, as ifhe should have a different image simply to appease their minds.  It has been very accurately recorded that the West African King Of Mali made his pilgrimage northward across the sahara desert with so much gold that when it was later in Europa it cause the Gold market to decrease dramatically in value for several decades.  Many scholars has written about the OUTSTANDING wealth of this Black Emperor who ruled over the second LARGEST land empire in the world, only second to the MONGOLOIAN EMPIRE of Ghengis Khan,and he had one of the largest armies in the world during his reign that consisted more than 60,000 foot soldiers,100,000 Horsemen, and 40,000 skilled Bowmen,and Ghengis Khan failed to attack this very large African army.  As far as any Bandits or warring people attempting to rob this well guarded “Caravan” carrying the WEALTHIEST emperor in all the world, they would have been quite foolish to even try such an offense, for that it would have been suicidal..  

Charles Bowles

Pete Wagner's picture

A bit dubious to say the least when the only historic image (if it is) of this ancient king is this:  https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/46/Catalan_Atlas_BNF_Sh... Also interesting is the source of the picture, one Abraham Cresques, a 14th Century Majorcan Jew, who is credited for only this one map, no others.  The map itself is said to have been in the France’s Royal Library since Charles V, but only became well known after it was ‘restored’ in 1991. 

The story of the gold charity of this king is also dubious.  Traveling with a large cache of gold would quickly attract highway bandits on horseback (like the wild west), and pulling a wagon laden with heavy gold, across a diverse landscape and terrain, through lands of warring peoples, would be probably taking on too much risk for any benefit it might bring any rich king. 
 

Nobody gets paid to tell the truth.

Robbie Mitchell's picture

Robbie

I’m a graduate of History and Literature from The University of Manchester in England and a total history geek. Since a young age, I’ve been obsessed with history. The weirder the better. I spend my days working as a freelance... Read More

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