(Featured Image: Modern Walata, gateway to Medieval Mali for travelers coming from the North)
In 1352, the Moroccan traveler Ibn Battuta visited the court of Mansa Suleyman of Mali. He visited the country at a fascinating juncture.
Suleyman, the younger brother of Musa, was – according to our narrator – the polar opposite of his much more famous royal sibling. And that’s not a favorable comparison, either.
Ibn Battuta found the Mansa to be stingy and rude. He found Malians to be morally objectionable and distasteful. Whether that was fair or not, it paints an interesting picture of Mali in the 14th century.
But Ibn Battuta’s visit coincided with a rupture at the imperial court, one that would foreshadow the decline and fall of the empire.
Find the episode wherever you get your podcasts and follow along this exciting journey deep into the desert and on into the heartland of Africa’s richest kingdom of this era.