Mansa Musa I Facts

Mansa Musa I Facts
Mansa Musa I was the richest man in history, whose fortune in the 14th century would equal approximately $400 billion today when adjusted for inflation. Mansa Musa I succeeded Abubakari Keita II in 1312, becoming King of Mali in West Africa. There is not much information about his life prior to becoming king (also referred to as Emperor of Mali). He was born c. 1280, and his father's name was Faga Laye, a man who did not become king. Mansa Musa I was the Empire of Mali's 10th ruler. Mansa Musa gained the Empire after being appointed deputy when the king Abubakari Keita went on pilgrimage. When the king did not return, Mansa Musa became the ruler by default.
Interesting Mansa Musa I Facts:
Mansa Musa I made his massive fortune by maximizing the production of gold and salt in his country.
The Empire of Mali covered a two-thousand mile stretch from the Atlantic Ocean to Lake Chad. It included present-day Chad, Niger, Nigeria, Mali, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Gambia, Senegal, and Mauritania.
Mansa Musa took a pilgrimage to Mecca in 1324 in his 17th year as ruler, which became legendary due to the extreme wealth he displayed on his journey. He was the first Muslim ruler to make the 4,000 mile pilgrimage from West Africa to Mecca.
The generosity of Mansa Musa I's gift-giving on his legendary pilgrimage upset the economy of the cities he visited because it changed the value of gold. The decline in gold's value because of its overabundance caused super inflation.
On Mansa Musa's pilgrimage he took 60,000 men. 12,000 of these men were slaves whom he had dressed in silk from Persia. He made generous donations to charities and to the poor as well as to the rulers of the cities and regions he visited.
On Mansa Musa's pilgrimage he had 80 camels, each carrying 300 pounds of gold. Slaves carried gold as well, and he was generous wherever he visited, leaving gifts along the way.
Mansa Musa's spending did not end when he returned home. He had many buildings such as his grand palace, educational centers, and mosques built.
During Mansa Musa's reign the Mali Empire flourished and expanded. It grew to include Timbuktu and Gao as well. The Mali Empire was at its greatest when Mansa Musa ruled.
During Mansa Musa's rule the city of Timbuktu became a major cultural and trade city - famous around the world.
Mansa Musa valued education and had the University of Sankore built in Timbuktu. It drew scholars from around the world.
Mansa Musa reigned the Empire of Mali for 25 years.
When Mansa Musa died somewhere between 1331 or 1337, his fortune began to dwindle away. Between mismanagement by his heirs and invasions and civil wars, the fortune was depleted.
Mansa Musa's son Mansa Maghan succeeded his father and ruled Mali from 1337 to 1341.
Mansa Musa's palace no longer exists but the mosque and the university he built in Timbuktu still stand.
Mansa Musa's wealth if adjusted for inflation would be seven times that of Bill Gates' wealth today.

Related Links:
World History Facts
Animals Facts
World History Facts for Kids