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i would like to help to improve the history-section for realms like the Maurya and maybe Carthage. I also love Sahel-African history, espicially ethiopian one (i have some good books about that issue) and i want to help your team to give you some informations there (maybe adding Aksum in in a later version?). Beside that i am creative, so i could help for several scenarios.

I also have a bit experience in modding, i was already a researcher in a Total War-mod.

I can give you this post as an example. Its about faction-proposals for EU IV: http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showthread.php?687098-African-Kingdoms-Proposals-information-etc.

Edited by Heinrich
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Hey Heinrich,

If you want to research an other civilization, like Aksum, you can check out this thread: http://www.wildfireg...showtopic=17412

Writing a short history, working out a unit roster, thinking about unique buildings, units and technologies, ...

However: It is not very likely (IMO) that Aksum will be added as playable civ by 'the team', as there are more prominent civs still not included. But as this is a freeware, open-source game, who knows you may gather a team and release it as a mod...

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Aksum is no minor faction or even a tribal one. In the late antique it was the migtiest and richest realm on this planet after Rome and Persia. Beside that, its well very prominent and interesting because of the fact its was the first christian realm after Armenia.

Their army-roaster is also big, the could field a wide variety of many interesting units from their big empire.

Common, i really would like to join the team, and like i said i would be ready to write some texts for the Maurya aswell and i am creative relating to scenarios and game-improvements :yes3:

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Take a look at this page: http://trac.wildfiregames.com/wiki/Civ%3A_Carthaginians

It is an example page for the Carthaginians. If you claim that Aksum's army roster would be interesting and varied (while being historically correct), you can use this as a guideline to come up with your own roster. This is the first step (although there is no guarantee someone will pick it up from there...)

You don't have to be part of the team to do some research and come up with new ideas. You can do all of that right now :) ! You can create new scenarios, you can suggest game improvements, you can research a new civ... When your work is of high quality, you can be asked to join the team. So good luck!

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In my opinion its not very motivating to create scenarios, write massive textes or create unit-roasters if you know you aren't in the team you never can't be sure if the team even will include them, but ok, i will try my luck. I will create a unit-roaster in the next weeks and show it then here in the forum :acute:

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You are welcome to provide information, references etc.

Please back up everything with credible sources, and be sure to get help in writing in a relatively high register of English (we want expository writing in this style).

At this point we cannot offer you team membership, but if you show good contributions over time, it will definitely be an option.

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If Part 1 is supposed to be from 500BC, it might make more sense to include Aksum in Part 2 because it was only really prominent around 200-400 AD or so.

Aksum is pretty far removed from the theme of 0AD in a sense, although since they added the Mauryans perhaps its close enough. The states south of Egypt didn't really have a significant effect on classical antiquity. Aksum did conquer a few Yemeni precursors and handle some of the trade with India, but these events would not have had significant effects on the Mediterranean civilizations.

Edited by MoLAoS
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If Part 1 is supposed to be from 500BC, it might make more sense to include Aksum in Part 2 because it was only really prominent around 200-400 AD or so.

Aksum is pretty far removed from the theme of 0AD in a sense, although since they added the Mauryans perhaps its close enough. The states south of Egypt didn't really have a significant effect on classical antiquity. Aksum did conquer a few Yemeni precursors and handle some of the trade with India, but these events would not have had significant effects on the Mediterranean civilizations.

Yes, Aksum started to be significant after 0 Ad, but you said they had no significant effect to classical antiquity?

Some facts:

1. Aksum was the mightiest realm in whole Africa except of Rome.

2. They controlled the whole red sea, so they controlled the whole sea-trade with India, and they also exported ivory. This fact made this state incredibly rich and important.

3. Had the Iberians, the Britons or the Mauryans a significant role on the mediterranean civilizations?

4. It was the first african realm which produced coins.

5. It also destroyed the kingdom of Kush and nearly conquered Mekka if the Persians wouldnt stopped the Aksumites.

6. Modern armenian language had it roots grom Ge'ez, the official aksumite language.

7. Aksum was a close friend of Rome.

This are historical facts, and we shouldnt forget about interesting gameplay-reasons to include this realm in a later version: It has an interesting variety of (mostly) light ethiopian units, nubian mercenaries and arabian mercenaries. Also Aksum would be the olny realm ingame which is christian (If the team dont will include Armenia or Iberia in Georgia) so we would see a church instead of a temple ingame.

Aksum was indeed very important for mediteranean culture and in my opinion we shouldn't neglect that fact only because Aksum lays in Africa.

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  • 5 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

The Kingdom of Aksum

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the first part of my article about the Aksumite Kingdom for 0 a. d. I will speak today about the brief history, a possible symbol and the heroes. In the following parts I will speak also about the architecture, buildings, the military and maybe some other things. I am using many sources: From Wikipedia to several other sites in the internet, those are often filled with speculation, but I also use for sure, professional sources. Most informations I will give you are true and correct, only in the aspect of the military I have to speculate a bit ‘cause of the few sources. I am also waiting for a request of an Aksumite expert, I think he can help me also a lot.

Here you can see the books I used. They are all german:

- „Das christliche Äthiopien: Geschichte, Architektur, Kunst“ (ISBN: 3795415411) by Walter Raunig, published in 2005 by „Schnell & Steiner. This book concentrates on the christian culture and history in Ethiopia

- „Das Königreich Aksum: Geschichte und Archäologie Abessiniens in der Spätantike“ (ISBN: 3805344600) by Francis Breyer, published in 2012 by „Philipp von Zabern“. This book is my main-source, it contains 144 pages content about Aksum.

- “Mensch und Geschichte in Äthiopiens Volksmalerei” (ISBN: 3701621950) by Girma Fisseha and Walter Raunig, published in 1985 by „Pinguin-Verlag“. This book contains over hundred traditional ethiopian paintings, those are very helpful for the military and the society, although we are speaking about paintings of the 1800’s and the 1900’s, so we are talking here about paintings of the late second solomonic period, while the Aksumites are members of the first solomonic period.

A brief history

Ethiopia. If we hear this name today we are thinking about hunger, about war and aridity. For us white Europeans, it is just another black country in Africa. Our ignorance let us think, that we Europeans are the height of civilization, while e.g. African realms were only “tribal-confederations”. We think, those Africans are all the same, and they all have no history. Well, we all know Egypt, and maybe Nubia, but that’s it. We don’t know Ethiopia and its old, unique culture, traditions and its history. And here we go: Ethiopia’s history, or rather the Aksumite period.

The origins of Aksum are unknown, the first mention of Aksum is dated on the first century ad. In this time, Ethiopia was no united realm but splitted into smaller ones. Not much is known about this time and in general about the Aksumite Empire. Not because they are black and blacks can’t write, no!

Many scripts got destroyed while two dramatic points in Ethiopian history: The sack and destruction of Aksum by the Jewish queen Gudit in the 950’s and the Ethiopian-Adal war from 1529-1542, that devastated many cities and big landscapes of Ethiopia. In most cases we have to rely on Arabic, Greek, Persian and some Nubian sources. Internal sources are only coins, some ruins and very few steles.

Like I already said was Ethiopia no united realm but splitted into smaller principalities. Aksum, located in modern northern Ethiopia and surrounded by two mountains, was one of them. Aksum grown in power in the first century bc, conquered other principalities; The Aksumite Kingdom was founded. The next step in its history was the coining. The Aksumite Kingdom was the first African realm that coined. Those coins showing the different Aksumite kings of the particular period. The first known coin shows king Endubis, a heathen ruler who lived in ca. 270 ad. Across his head we can see a crescent, an ancient religious symbol that is rooted in Saba, southern Arabia. (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6f/Endubis1.jpg)

Now we are jumping about 60 years in the future. King Ezana made acquaintance with the prisoners Frumentius and Edesius. These guys converted the king to Christendom. You can see that easily on Ezanas later coins, where you see a cross on the backside of the coin. (http://www.wildwinds.com/coins/greece/axum/ezana/BMC_90.jpg)

In this time, the Aksumite kingdom reached its maybe biggest extension. It covered northern Ethiopia, Djibouti, Eritrea and Nubia, the kingdom of Kush got conquered in this period. Aksumite coins are distributed over Ethiopia, Nubia, Persia and even India (Indian coins got also influenced by aksumite ones like aksumite coins got influenced by indian ones). Aksum controlled the red sea with a mighty navy, and so they controlled the whole sea-trade with India. In these times, a Persian poet (Don’t know his exactly name) called Aksum the mightiest Empire after Rome, Persia and China.

The next important period in Aksumite history was the reign of king Kaleb (ca.520 – 540): After pogroms against Christians in southern Arabia Kaleb send an army against the Jewish king of the himyarites and so the Aksumites gain a foothold in Asia. Commander of the army was man known as Abraha, and this guy made him and his Yemenite realm independent from Aksum. Abraha repaired the dam of Marrib, crushed down several rebellions, fostered the Arabic-Christian culture and finally attacked Mekka with war-elephants. This year is known as the “year of the elephant” in the Islamic world. His campaign failed because of the Persian allies of the Arabians and several years later the Persians destroyed Abrahas kingdom. So the Ethiopian-Christian reign ended over Arabia.

Hundred years later, the situation had changed: Now the Arabians were the Aggressors. Aksum only survived because the prophet Mohammad excluded Ethiopia from the jihad (Aksum gave some mohammedans asylum). With the expansion of Islam, Aksum declined: Several trading-posts on the red sea got conquered and so the Aksumites lost their dominance other the India-trade, Aksum got isolated by the Byzantine Empire and the coining was stopped. Now the dark, late period of Aksum began. About this one, not much is known. We don’t even exactly know then it’s finally died, but the sack of Aksum by queen Gudit is the most likely one. The spirit and culture of Aksum survived until today.

Possible Symbol


This is a chiseled lion, located on a rock outside of Aksum. The lion is the heraldic animal of the Salomonic Dynasty, that semi-legendary dynasty that reigned over Ethiopia for nearly 3000 years, so, I think, the lion is the perfect symbol for the Aksumite Empire. It doesn’t have to be the exactly same like on the rock, but it should definitely be a lion.

The heroes

Now we are talking about the three Aksumite heroes. Two heroes are kings, and one is a bishop.

1. Ezana (ca. 320-360): This guy was the first christian king of Aksum. Not only that fact makes him interesting, but also that he conquered the ancient kingdom of Kush in Nubia.

We can restore his look with this coin: (http://www.acsearch....ages/1_m/82.jpg)

As we can see Ezana is wearing already after his conversion a greek-style crown with a cross, but because Kaleb will also be a hero we have the choice if we take the Christian or the Heathen Ezana to have a cortically difference to Kaleb. The heathen one is wearing a cap and long golden earrings.

Ezana is riding a white horse, because only the Aksumite nobility was able to have horses. He is wearing also a straight, medium sword. His armor could look like this, if we choose to take the heathen one: (http://www.europabar...y_ethiopian.gif). We could also orientate on Emperor Konstantinos of the Byzantine Empire if we decide to take the Christian Ezana.

Capability: Friendly units in his radius are getting ~-20% damage against enemy bowmen and skirmishers. Why? Ezana conquered Nubia, and the Nubian bowmen were feared and skilled bowmen and fast skirmishers.

2. Fremnatos (ca.300-383): Also known as Frumentius in western sources. This guy travelled with his brother Edesius to Ethiopia, but his ship got assailed and the whole cre get killed. The two brothers survived but got sold to the Aksumite King Ezana as slaves. In ca. 330 the two brothers were able to convert Ezana and Aksum became the second Christian realm in history. After the conversion, Fremnatos became the first bishop of Aksum and founded the Ethiopian Tewahedo-Church.

I don’t find an historical accurate icon, so we have to take a newer one: (http://catholiclane....-Frumentius.jpg).

As a holy man, Fremnatos shouldn’t wear a heavy armor but a cape and a long staff with an orthodox cross like this: (http://imgc.allposte...dadi-maryam.jpg).

Capability: A priest is there to heal wounded units, that’s an unwritten law. So Fremnatos should be able to heal friendly units very fast, but he should also be able to fight, although not very good. Also it needs lesser resources to build churches and the construction of them needs lesser time.

3. Ella Asbeha (ca. 300-340): Also known as Kaleb. He was a religious ruler, and after he heared about pogroms against Christians in the jewish kingdom of Himyar in southern Arabia he send two expeditions. The first failed, but with the support of the Byzantines he was able to crush the Himyaritic kingdom. So Aksum was the first African kingdom took a footstep into Asia. Beside that there is another reason why I want him in 0 ad is a report over him by a Byzantine legate named Nonnosos: Nonnosos is talking about his appearance: “Kaleb is wearing a golden cordcape, a with pearls decorated tunic and also a diadem-like hat.” (The hat could had look like that: http://de.academic.r...doge_600pix.jpg)

Besides that, Nonnosos says that Kaleb is riding on a “chariot drawn by an elephant (An amateur-reconstruction in a hotel in Addis Abeba: post-15544-0-80571200-1379862844_thumb.j).

It’s not sure if this report is even accurate, maybe it’s even semi-fantastic, but I quit like the idea of an elephant-drawn chariot. It’s possible that his clothes are not correct described, so we can atleast orientate us on an umayyadic drawn of the 8. Century. We can see on the drawing heavy byzantine influences.post-15544-0-54247700-1379862883_thumb.j.

So we have a guy who is standing on a chariot, but he also have to defend and attack. Because the elephant isn’t really able to attack we need some archer on the chariot, maybe 2? So at least we have a hero that has many lifepoints and a good defense but only a medium attack.

Capability: An elephant has a threatening aura and so enemy units make lesser damage if Kaleb is in the near.

This was the first part of my article about Aksum. If you like my work it will be a pleasure for me to do the next part that will include architecture, military etc.

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Hi Heinrich, it's very well-researched but I'm afraid the English isn't good enough for 0 A.D. for many reasons. It needs a lot of improvement, perhaps other participants in the forum can help.

Hmmm, i know that my grammar is not the best, but in fact, my text is understandable, or not? Maybe I can write the articles and someone else could correct them?

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