The RICHEST Person In History



 Most of the world's current wealthiest people made their billions through technology or industry from google's larry page to carlos slim and mark zuckerberg a handful of individuals own almost all of the world's resources in fact a study recently showed that the nine richest men have more wealth than the poorest 4 billion people on earth this staggering statistic is hard to believe but today's biggest fortunes barely register when compared to the richest people in history for millennia these titles belong to royalty because they were not burdened by taxation and bureaucracy these monarchs could accrue wealth unhindered among them are augustus caesar and cleopatra but there was one individual whose wealth eclipsed all the rest matsumusa mansumusa whose name translates to musa the sultan was not only the richest man in mali he was the richest person in human history details of musa are somewhat scarce because he lived during the 14th century but a few facts are certain first of all he wasn't born royalty he was appointed deputy when malini's king abubakar keta the second left for a religious pilgrimage along the atlantic ocean and never returned according to the laws of their kingdom this made musa their de facto king moosa's ascension to the throne in 1312 also came at a very important time in history the late middle ages were marked by population decline and unrest in europe the entire continent was suffering from famine the black plague and political revolution at the same time north africa was becoming a hub for commerce and industry at this time musa came to power and took advantage of the economic stability in his region but musa wasn't just opportunistic he also inherited a country that was rich in natural reserves salt and gold in particular were plentiful in mali and he soon became a successful merchant in addition to his magisterial duties he traded his gold all across africa and asia establishing timbuktu as the epicenter for commerce in the region before his involvement timbuktu was barely established as a permanent settlement but after his renovation the city had a constant stream of camels passing through each laden with more than 200 pounds of either salt or gold to this day the salt trade is robust in timbuktu and still serves as a commercial hub more than 700 years later in addition to the economic gains musa oversaw the construction of timbuktu's most iconic landmark the great mosque of jen as a devout muslim it was important to moosa that he pay tribute to his faith with his newfound power the gen mosque is made entirely from adobe and is considered by many architects to be one of the greatest achievements of the sudan sahelian architectural style musa brought in architects from southern spain and across the muslim world to complete the project the massive religious complex is the cultural center of timbuktu and was recently recognized as a unesco world heritage site but beyond architectural achievements musa's rule saw huge diplomatic gains using minimal force he expanded the maline's empire to include modern-day marutania senegal gambia guinea burkina faso mali niger nigeria and chad this is a particularly epic feat given that musa only ruled for 25 years in that time his empire more than tripled many of the territories joined mali willingly because of the relatively high quality of life afforded to its citizens though musa was certainly not altruistic the wealth of his empire had a positive effect on the economic standing of his subjects but when push came to shove musa was not afraid to use force his fortune afforded him a massive and well-equipped military which he used on numerous occasions ultimately conquering 24 major cities in his lifetime musa never lost a battle in his life which caused both mali and his fortune to multiply clearly matsumusa had an incredible fortune but it wasn't until 1324 that the world learned exactly how opulent he was as a muslim he was obligated to take place in the hajj or pilgrimage to mecca in present-day saudi arabia the quran states that all able-bodied practitioners of islam should visit the holy site at least once in their lifetime though it was treacherous to travel such a long journey in the 1300s musa was determined to make the 4 000 mile journey as you can imagine musa didn't travel alone he arranged for the most impressive caravan in human history to accompany him on his journey musa made his pilgrimage between 1324 and 1325 his procession reportedly included sixty thousand men all wearing brocade and persian silk including twelve thousand slaves who each carried four pounds of gold bars and heralds dressed in silks who bore gold staffs organized horses and handled bags musa provided all necessities for the procession feeding the entire company of men and animals those animals included 80 animals which each carried 50 to 300 pounds of gold dust musa gave the gold to the poor he met along his route musa not only gave to the cities he passed on the way to mecca including cairo and medina but also traded gold for souvenirs it was reported that he built a mosque every friday these numbers have been corroborated by eyewitnesses who were in odd his wealth and generosity for musa this was the trip of a lifetime and he spared no expense an attendant was later interviewed by a malini's historian he claimed that at each halt he would regale us with rare foods and confectionary his equipment and furnishings were carried by 12 000 private slave women wearing gowns of brocade and yemeni silk it's known that musa visited with heads of state on his journey but most famously he met with amalik on the seer the ruler of egypt as moosa's caravan traveled through cairo he received an urgent message from al-nasir that he wished to arrange a meeting between the two venerable leaders musa refused stating that he was merely passing through cairo on his way to mecca and that he had no business with the king historians later speculated that musa was hesitant to meet the egyptian king because this meeting would involve an insulting ritual in which all present would be forced to kiss on the seer's feet of course this was well beneath moose's gravitas so he continued to refuse as al-nasir sent a constant stream of messengers to his caravan one of the messengers was later interviewed by a historian he explained i continued to cajole him and he continued to make excuses but the sultan's protocol demanded that i should bring him into the royal presence so i kept on adam until he agreed musa was apprehensive about the pomp and circumstance surrounding their meeting and tried in vain to get out of it but the egyptian king resorted to threats to bring musa into his royal chamber and he finally acquiesced given that he had no military to protect him beyond the thousands of slaves in attendance the meeting grew contentious when musa refused to kiss the feet of the sultan and only turned calm after musa elected to properly greet on asir after stooping to kiss on the sears feet the moon thought and the two kings commiserated on the challenges of royal life and traded business secrets their revelry went on for hours and in the end musa made a powerful ally and trade partner following this conversation between the two men al-nasir offered lodging to musa and everyone accompanying him and musa in turn left a piece of his incomprehensible wealth in egypt though moosa's trip was intended only for religious purposes it offered him latent business advantages in areas where he didn't usually travel musa spread gold throughout his journey as a gift to the poor and those who accommodated him and gave a highly concentrated amount during his stay in cairo however moosa's generous actions inadvertently devastated the economies of the region through which he passed in the cities of cairo medina and mecca the sudden influx of gold devalued the metal for the next decade prices on goods and wares greatly inflated to rectify the gold market on his way back from mecca musa borrowed all the gold he could carry from moneylenders in cairo at high interest this is the only time recorded in history that one man directly controlled the price of gold in the mediterranean upon reaching mecca musa was singularly focused on his religious faith while his attendants and slaves continued to distribute his wealth he spent weeks in prayer and formal ceremonies across the city this part of his life is marked by discipline rather than excess during his long return journey from mecca in 1325 musa heard news that his army had recaptured the strategically important city of gao the city had been within the empire since before moosa's predecessor's reign and was an important though often rebellious trading center musa made a detour and visited the city where he received as hostages the two sons of the gao king ali khalan and suleiman he returned to nyani with the two boys and later educated them at his court when matsumusa returned he brought back many arabian scholars and architects the conquering of gao was seemingly effortless for musa but it helped cement his reputation as fearless and invincible leader and moussa's legacy continued as he began to focus on education upon his return the university of sankor and timbuktu was re-staffed with juris astronomers and mathematicians the university became a center of learning and culture drawing muslim scholars from around africa and the middle east to timbuktu by the end of matsumus's reign the suncor university had been converted into a fully staffed university with the largest collection of books in africa since the library of alexandria the sanchor university was capable of housing 25 000 students and had one of the largest libraries in the world with roughly 1 million manuscripts at this point musa was by far the most famous individual in west africa so it came as no surprise when his picture was included in 1375 catalan atlas one of the most important world maps of medieval europe after this word of his wealth spread across the mediterranean and up through europe and east asia but unfortunately for musa his amazing success and unintended consequences upon discovering the vast wealth that molly had accrued a race began across europe to invade and conquer the empire it was first invaded by portugal in 1444 when soldiers lined the coast and diplomats tried to fame slaves to rebel from their masters the maloney's empire put up a good fight and prevented portugal from conquering them entirely but after years of sustained warfare portugal colonized several important trade centers on the maline's coast essentially cutting it off from the world this colonization continued for hundreds of years and mali eventually became a french colony the french exploited mali for its natural resources and forced its inhabitants into poverty but mali is a sovereign nation today french is still the national language and the average citizen only makes 780 dollars in a single year this is a far cry from the robust empire that matsumusa created though it is difficult to adjust moose's wealth to match modern day billionaires economists have estimated his net worth at an unbelievable 400 billion dollars to put that in perspective the richest person in the world is jeff bezos who amassed a fortune of 109 billion dollars through the success of amazon.com he's closely followed by bill gates and warren buffett who each have about 90 billion dollars they made their fortunes in technology and the stock market respectively this means that no one in the world has even a quarter of musa's massive fortune the closest historical equivalent is john rockefeller whose adjusted fortune is about 340 billion dollars he amassed his fortune through the u.s oil company and various other industrial ventures but even then rockefeller's net worth is a full 60 billion dollars short of mansa musa's though he's far from a household name matsumusa was one of the most influential and powerful people in human history his jaw-dropping wealth came from a mixture of luck hard work business acumen and military strength in the 700 years since his death no one has even come close to breaking his record and he still stands as the wealthiest person in human history. 


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