Mansa Musa: The Richest Man Who Ever Lived

Who is the Richest Man Who Ever Lived?

According to the Forbes list of billionaires 2019, Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder, was listed as the richest man in the world. His net worth is estimated to be $131 billion. However, he is not the only rich man at all times. It is believed that Mansa Musa is the one who used to hold this title. He was a western African ruler and was a generous man. 


“Contemporary accounts of Musa’s wealth are so breathless that it is almost impossible to get a sense of just how wealthy and powerful he truly was.” Associate professor of history at the University of California, Mr. Rudolph Butch told the BBC. Jacob Davidson also described Mansa as “richer than anyone could describe” when he wrote African King for in the year 2015.

Mansa Musa

 Mansa was born in 1280 in a family of rulers. His elder brother Mansa Abu -Bakr ruled the empire up to 1312 when he decided to go to the expedition. According to the Syrian historian Shibab Al- Umari of the 14th century, Abu was obsessed with the Atlantic Ocean. It is reported that he went into the expedition with 2000 fleets of ships together with men, women, and slaves summing up to thousands. After they left, they never came back. The late American historian says that they reached South America, but there is no actual proof they did. It is here that Mansa Musa took over the ruling.


Mansa, during his ruling, the kingdom of Mali developed significantly. The kingdom expanded up to 2000 miles from the ocean to today’s Niger country. With such a great land, the empire had many resources like salt and gold.


Mali accounted for half of the gold in the old world, according to the British Museum, that belonged to Mansa. “As the ruler, Mansa Musa had almost unlimited access to the most highly valued sources of wealth in the medieval world,” Kathleen Bickford Berzock of Northwestern University told the BBC. 


Mansa Musa generosity.

Despite having such a prosperous empire, this Mali kingdom was not famous. It is until his trip to Mecca, which helped him to get noticed. He traveled with his whole royal official and courts, entertainers, soldiers, merchants, 12 thousand slaves, camel drivers, goats, and sheep for food. The camels were carrying pure gold in pounds. 


Upon reaching Cairo, he generously gave out golds lavishly during his stay there for three months. This made the economy wrecked because of the gold prices in that region for ten years. It is believed that because of this depreciation of gold. The Middle East lost almost $1.5 billion. In the long run, he had spent so much that the gold ran out.


From Mecca, he came along with the Andalusian poet, architect, and direct descendants of Mohammad. In his effort to encourage architecture and arts, he built schools, funded literature, mosques, and libraries. This made Timbuktu a Centre of education, and people would travel from around the world to study at Sankore university.

Mansa death 

The king Mansa Musa, the richest man who ever lived, died in 1337 at 57. His sons inherited the empire, but they could not manage it. This led to smaller states breaking off, and finally, the empire crumbled. Europeans in West African finished the realm.

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