Early Leaders and Great Kingdoms of Africa

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Cleopatra was 17 or 18 when she became the queen of Egypt. She was far from beautiful, despite her glamorous image today. She is depicted on ancient coins with a long hooked nose and masculine features. Yet she was clearly a very seductive woman. She had an enchantingly musical voice and exuded charisma. She was also highly intelligent. She spoke nine languages (she was the first Ptolemy pharaoh who could actually speak Egyptian!) and proved to be …

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…established the cities of Gao, Walata, Timbuktu, and Nenne as major intellectual centers where scholarship was encouraged. Timbuktu was a grand city of about one hundred thousand residents. Its wealth in gold and its stories of intrigue and mystery made it one of the most celebrated cities of its time. It flourished as a business district with many shops, a religious site with the Great Mosque, and an intellectual center with the University of Sankore.