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         These essays explore the rise and fall of the Axum Kingdom in Ethiopia from the 2nd century BCE to the 10th century CE.

          The Concise Essay first looks at the origins of the empire or kingdom – how founder-kings exploited favorable circumstances to their advantage. I then turn to an examination of sources of wealth and power in the ancient world – agriculture, foreign trade, and foreign conquest. I move on to means of control – political organization and religious persuasion – used by ruling elites to retain power and extract wealth from the masses. Next I examine causes of decline in Axum – internal erosion of control followed by foreign incursions by competing enemies. I then summarize the key trends in the aftermath of the Axum Kingdom– how successful later groups were in holding on to power and creating wealth. At the end of the essay, I draw lessons for contemporary powers from the experiences of ancient empires and kingdoms.

         The Complete Essay allows the reader to go more in-depth into Ethiopia's past. It is divided into three parts. The three parts of this essay examine the rise and fall of power and wealth in Ethiopia before, during, and after the era of the Axum Kingdom. A time line, an annotated bibliography, and a description of sites visited in Ethiopia are appended at the end of the essay.

Egypt and Jordan by Private Air, A Family Adventure Bushtracks Expeditions, Airplane-based, with a Cruise Aboard the Nile Adventurer, Lower Egypt – Memphis, Saqqara, and Giza, The Nile Delta – Cairo, Sinai – St. Catherine’s Monastery, Upper Egypt – Luxor, Upper Egypt – Esna, Edfu, and Kom Ombo, Nubia – Aswan and Abu Simbel, Ship-based, Aboard the Silver Whisper, Alexandria, Egypt, Port Said and the Suez Canal, Egypt, Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt

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