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Internet African History Sourcebook

Africa is both the most clearly defined of continents - in its geography -   and the hardest to pin down in historical terms. Human beings originated in Africa and, as a result, there is more diversity of human types and societies than anywhere else. It is not possible, in any non-ideological way, to claim any one of these peoples or societies as more essentially "African" than others; nor is it possible to exclude a given society as "not really African".

On this site historical sources on the history of human societies in the continent of Africa are presented, when available, without making prejudgements about what is "African".


This page is a subset of texts derived from the three major online Sourcebooks listed below. For more contextual information, for instance about the Islamic world, check out these web sites.


In addition to direct links to documents, links are made to a number of other web resources.

Link to a secondary article, review or discussion on a given topic.
Link to one of the megasites which track web resources.
Link to a website focused on a specific issue.. These are not links to every site on a given topic, but to sites of serious educational value.


African History: General



Note that these "debates" may have more to do with Modern United States society than African history.

Black Athena Debate

Cheikh Anta Diop

Stolen Legacy

"Afrocentric" Websites

African Origins

Human Origins



The Old Kingdom (2705-2213 BCE) [Dynasties 3-8]

The Middle Kingdom (1991-1668 BCE) [Dynasties 12-13]

  • Hyskos Invasion, c.1750-1550 BCE

The New Kingdom (1570-1070 BCE) [Dynasties 18-20]

Akhnaten [Amenhotep IV](r. 1363-1347 BCE)

  • Akhnaten (r. 1363-1347 BCE): Hymn to Aten [At Internet Archive, from Creighton]
  • Akhnaten (r. 1363-1347 BCE): Hymn to Aten [At Eliade]

Post Imperial Egypt (1070-332 BCE) [Dynasties 21-31]


Art and Architecture



Everyday Life


Gender and Sexuality

Modern Perspectives on Egypt

Other Ancient African Societies



Libya and Western North Africa/Mauretania

Nok Culture


Greek and Roman Africa


  • Accounts of Ancient Nubia & Ethiopia, c. 430 BCE - 550 CE
    From Herodotus, Strabo, Diodorus, the King of Axum, and Procopius of Caesarea.
  • Accounts of Ancient Mauretania, c. 430 BCE- 550 CE
    From Herodotus, Strabo, and Procopius of Caesarea
  • The Periplus [At Internet Archive, from CCNY]
    Written by a Greek resident of Alexandria in Egypt during the first century BCE, this text is one of the oldest surviving accounts of the countries on Africa's east coast. A map gives some idea of the size and scope of Africa and of the author's journey.

Greek Colonies

Ptolemaic Egypt (323-30 BCE)

Roman Africa

Byzantine Africa

  • Procopius: The Reconquest of Africa, 534, from On the Wars IV:9
    A description of Belisarius' triumph, with Gelimer, King of the Vandal's in tow.

Ethiopia and Christianity


Africa and Islam





African Societies


West Africa


  • WEB Zimbabwe Slide Show [At Maricopa]
    A 23 image slide show on Great Zimbabwe with text.
  • Great Zimbabwe [At Then Again]
  • Great Zimbabwe Ruins
    Modern dating techniques indicate that the city was started around 1200 CE and occupied for about four centuries. For decades western researchers tried to deny that it was built by Africans. [It was!]

Bands and Segementary Societies



The Impact of Slavery


The Slave Trade

Enslaved People

The Ending of Slavery

European Imperialism


Analyses and Criticism of Imperialism

Exploration/Missionary Activities

British Africa

Belgian Africa

French Africa

German Africa

South Africa


The Fight for Independence




South Africa

Modern Africa


International Organizations

Continuing Imperialism


  • Angola Constitution, 1992 [At Bern]


  • The Islamic Salvation Front National Provisional Executive Bureau:
    Communique No. 42, Algiers, November 14 1993 [At Cornell]


  • WEB Mama for story
    Texts from David Zeitlyn and Ian Fowler on Cameroons.

Congo [Brazzaville]

  • Congo (Brazzaville) Constitution, 1992 [At Bern]

Congo [Zaire]



  • Eritrea Constitution (draft), 1996 [At Bern]



  • WEB Nijii [Momodou Camara's Homepage]



  • Liberia: UN Report (excerpts) Security Council S/1996/47, 23 January 1996 Fifteenth Progress Report. [At Africa Action]





  • Morocco Constitution, 1992 [At Bern]


  • 2ND Elizabeth Marshall Thomas: The Desert [At One World]
  • 2ND Elizabeth Marshall Thomas: The Birth [At One World]
  • Namibia Constitution, 1990 [At Bern]



  • Rwanda Constitution, 1991 [At Bern]
  • Violence and Unrest in Central Africa, The Atlantic Monthly, November 1996, [At The Atlantic, subscription required]
  • The Atlantic Report: Rwanda, The Atlantic Monthly, June 1964, [At The Atlantic, subscription required]
  • Stanley Meisler: Rwanda and Burundi, The Atlantic Monthly, September 1973, [At The Atlantic, subscription required]

South Africa




  • Rhodesia: Unilateral Declaration of Independence Documents, 1965  [At this Site]
    • Prime Minister Ian Smith: Announcement of Unilateral Declaration of Independence, November 11, 1965
    • Prime Minister Harold Wilson: The Position of the British Government on the Unilateral Declaration of Independenec by Rhodesia, Speech to Parliament, November 11,1965
    • Soviet Government Statement: The Situation in Southern Rhodesia, November 15, 1965

Gender and Sexualities in Modern Africa

Further Resources on African History

Other Resources

© This text is copyright. The specific electronic form, and any notes and questions are copyright. Permission is granted to copy the text, and to print out copies for personal and educational use. No permission is granted for commercial use.

If any copyright has been infringed, this was unintentional. The possibility of a site such as this, as with other collections of electronic texts, depends on the large availability of public domain material from texts translated before 1923. [In the US, all texts issued before 1923 are now in the public domain. Texts published before 1964 may be in the public domain if copyright was not renewed after 28 years. This site seeks to abide by US copyright law: the copyright status of texts here outside the US may be different.] Efforts have been made to ascertain the copyright status of all texts here, although, occasionally, this has not been possible where older or non-US publishers seem to have ceased existence. Some of the recently translated texts here are copyright to the translators indicated in each document. These translators have in every case given permission for non-commercial reproduction. No representation is made about the copyright status of texts linked off-site. This site is intended for educational use. Notification of copyright infringement will result in the immediate removal of a text until its status is resolved.

© Paul Halsall, June. Last Updated February 20, 2007