Wednesday 12 January 2022


"If a book of a thousand pages can be written, it would not contain the names of the Greeks that came to study in Egypt" - Saint Clement of Alexandria.

Whether we see it that way or not, going by our modern narratives, 'education was not meant for the masses...' it wasn't something that all could dabble into. What made it what anyone, at all, could benefit from, started in a place called Salamanca, in Spain, in the medieval era. Salamanca held the first ever university in Europa. This was where members of noble families in Europe of that time came to learn of Alchemy, medicine, astrology, statecraft, ancient sciences, engineering know-how, spirituality and the concept of religion and philosophy, etc. These knowledge were new in most of Europa.

Hindu-arabic numerals (123) as we know it today, gained wider use in Europa from this first university. Even then, it was scorned against as 'signs of the devil.' Hernan' Cortez, who destroyed the Aztec civilization in the 16th century CE, during the time of king Muctezuma, was sent as a little boy to study latin at the University of Salamanca, after the Spanish Christians took over the university in the 1490s. But he left at the age of seventeen, 'bored of learning.' This university was founded by Africans, known then to people in Europa as 'Mauri.' It was taught in by African scribes, Jewish and Arabs. These groups were to be later sacked out of Europa on February 2, 1492, and all that they had in Spain, especially, became the property of Spain... Even the colour of their skin, became "a badge of slavery" as was declared by Pope Nicholas V, in a Papal bull (Romanus pontifex) in 1455 CE.

These Maghreb Africans, mostly islamized Africans from the Senegal river who were known as the 'almoravids,' had been responsible for the development and civilization of the Iberian peninsula, to an extent that, Spain and Portugal became the most advanced countries in Europa in the 15th century CE. This made it possible for these two countries, Portuguese, to start with, to become the first Europeans to launch out into the the world on the salt waters. It was during the 700 years of moorish civilization that education became something for all in Europa.

 In the Sudan, Kemet and Aethiopia in ancient times, the first university to ever exist in the world was university of Alexandria, about the 3rd century BC. Here a child starts learning in the "mystery schools at about seven years, until he got to 40years of Age," - Dr Yosef-Ben Jochanan. After which, the graduates were sent around Kemet kingdom to teach others. It was a continuous circle.

The second university in the world was 'Al-quarauiyine, in what's today Morocco in 859 CE.

The third was Sankore university (989 CE) in what was the city of Timbuktu. This university actually began as the University of Djenne in Ancient Ghana kingdom at about the 4th century CE. When Ghanah empire fell and was absorbed by the Mali empire, it was developed into the university of Sankore, where People across the Mediterranean sea, Africans and Arabs came to study under African scribes. This was centuries before Oxford or Leipzig was founded in Europa.

The fourth ever university in the word was Nalanda, in India.

The first college to be founded in Europa by Europeans, approaching the Renaissance era, was 'universitas magisterium et scholariun' which simply meant 'community of teachers and scholars, where latin was taught not the sciences.

As of 711 CE when African Maghrebs invaded the Iberian peninsula and brought about a high cultural sphere that spread into most of Europa, Europa was "99 percent illiterate,' - Dr Ivan Van Sertima (golden age of the moor). Most of European kings as we know today were illiterate. And it was a prized affair to be able to read and write in Europa. Kings hired the few literates as scribes in their courts. For a better picture of this, the Spanish governor, of the Inca conquered lands, of what is today Peru,  known after the conquest as New Spain or Castile, whose name was Pissaro, known to be a pig herder back home in Trujillo (Extremadura), Spain,  before sailing to the new world, was known to be illiterate.

The beginning of education, as a concept for all to tap into, in Europe, began with the African Maghrebs who dominated events in southern Europe from 711 CE. The leader of the first groups of islamized Africans to enter Spain was Tariq. The strait of Gilbratar was initially named after him. According to historian, Will Durant (in The lessons of history, 1968), "The Mohammedans could list the rulers, artists, poets, scientists, and philosophers who conquered and adorned a substantial portion of the white man's world from Bagdad to Cordova, while western Europe groped through the dark ages... (c. 565 - 1095)."

1 comment:

  1. Thanks very much for the educational post, I knew the first University was of Afrikan origin and knowledge but believed it was the one in Timbuktu where that's the third I e Thanks again


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