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Encyclopedia > Azania

Azania is the name that has been applied to various parts of sub-Saharan Africa. In Roman times -- and perhaps earlier -- the name referred to a portion of the east African coast south of Cape Guardafui, extending south perhaps as far as modern Tanzania. In modern times, it was a colloquial name for South Africa, most often used by black nationalists. Africa is the worlds second-largest continent in both area and population, after Asia. ... The Roman Empire is the term conventionally used to describe the Ancient Roman polity in the centuries following its reorganization under the leadership of Octavian (better known as Caesar Augustus). ... Categories: Africa geography stubs | Headlands ... Black nationalism is a political and social movement prominent in the 1960s and early 70s among African Americans in the United States. ...

Contents


Origin of Name

The earliest attestations for the name Azania do not explain it. John Hilton alludes to a number of etymologies proposed in the nineteenth century that claimed the name was derived from an Arabic or Persian word referring to the dark-skinned inhabitants of Africa, which he dismisses as examples of the colonial mindset of that period. Arabic (العربية) is a Semitic language, closely related to Hebrew and Aramaic. ... Persian (فارسی), (local name in Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan: Fârsi), Pârsi (older local name, but still used by some speakers), Tajik (a Central Asian dialect) or Dari (Another local name in Tajikistan, Afghanistan), is a language spoken in Iran,Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Bahrain. ... In general, the word colonial means of or relating to a colony. In United States history, the term Colonial is used to refer to the period before US independence. ...


More recently, G.W.B. Huntingford offered two suggestions for the origin of the word. The first was from the Arabic `ajam ("foreigner, non-Arab"). The second, which he favors, comes from the Greek azainein ("to dry, parch"), which fits his identification of Azania with the arid coastline of modern Somalia.


Ancient Azania

Pliny the Elder mentions an "Azanian Sea" (N.H. 6.34) that began around the emporium of Adulis and stretched around the south coast of Africa. The slightly later Periplus of the Erythraean Sea offers more details about Azania (chapters 15,16,18). From chapter 15 of the Periplus, Huntingford argues that Azania properly referred to the Somali coast, plausibly identifying the "Lesser and Greater Bluffs", the "Lesser and Greater Strands", and the "Seven Courses" of Azania with landmarks of that country. However, chapter 16 clearly describes Rhapta, located south of the Puralean Islands at the end of the Seven Courses of Azania, as the "southernmost market of Azania." Modern identifications of Rhapta place it on the coasts of either Kenya or Tanzania -- indicating that Azania referred to a far longer stretch of East African coastline than Somalia, perhaps an area identical to the later Arab Zanj. Gaius Plinius Secundus, (23–79) better known as Pliny the Elder, was an ancient author and scientist of some importance who wrote Naturalis Historia. ... Adulis is an archeological site in Eritrea, about 30 miles south of Massawa. ... The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea (Periplus Maris Erythraei ) is a Greek periplus, describing navigation and trading opportunities from Roman Egyptian ports like Berenice along the coast of the Red Sea, and others along East Africa and India. ... Rhapta was a marketplace on the coast of eastern Africa, which first rose to prominence in the first century CE. Its location has not yet been firmly identified, although there are a number of plausible candidate sites. ... Zanj is a name used to refer to the East African coast as controlled by the Sultan of Zanzibar following the split with Oman in 1861. ...


Later writers who mention Azania include Claudius Ptolemy and Cosmas Indicopleustes. Cosmas records the fact that in his time Azania was under the control of Axum, and that gold was bartered for butchered beef. This article is about the geographer and astronomer Ptolemy. ... Cosmas Indicopleustes (India-voyager) of Alexandria was a Greek sailor in the early 6th century who travelled to Ethiopia, India and Sri Lanka. ... Axum, also Aksum, is a city in Tigray, northern Ethiopia, located at the base of the Adoua mountains. ... General Name, Symbol, Number Gold, Au, 79 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 11 (IB), 6, d Density, Hardness 19300 kg/m3, 2. ... Beef is meat obtained from a bovine. ...


Modern Azania

Evelyn Waugh used Azania for a fictitious island off the coast of Somalia in his novel Black Mischief in 1932. Azania appeared again in 1958, when the name was proposed as a replacement name for South Africa, at the All-African Peoples Conference hosted in Accra, Ghana by Kwame Nkrumah. Evelyn Waugh, as photographed in 1940 by Carl Van Vechten Evelyn Arthur St. ... Black Mischief was Evelyn Waughs third novel. ... 1932 is a leap year starting on a Friday. ... 1958 was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Accra, population 1,661,400 (2001), is the capital of Ghana. ... Kwame Nkrumah (September 21, 1909 - April 27, 1972) was a Ghanaian politician and one of the most influential founders of Pan-Africanism. ...


But the modern use of Azania as an alternative name for South Africa only began to become popular in 1979, appearing in the names of groups such as the Azanian People's Organisation. At the time of the 1994 multi-racial elections, some proposed "Azania" as an alternative official name for the country, but this never received widespread support. In fact the African National Congress had always been extremely dismissive of the name, associating it with colonalism and the Pan Africanist Congress which had split from the ANC. The Azanian Peoples Organisation, or AZAPO is a South African political organisation. ... 1994 was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International year of the Family. ... An election is a decision making process whereby people vote for preferred political candidates or parties to act as representatives in government. ... The African National Congress (ANC), a center-left political party was originally (until 1923)called the South African Native National Congress and has been South Africas governing party (in a coalition) since the establishment of majority rule in May 1994. ... The Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) (later the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania), was a South African liberation movement, that is now a minor political party. ...


While South Africa had diplomatic relations with Taiwan, the People's Republic of China officially referred to South Africa as "Azania".


2006,a young group of entrepreneurs and 21st first century new generation of activists,led by ndyebo-tee grootboom registered the name as a trade mark when they were incorporating their business venture,azania-22...burrying the hatchet,celebrating overall south african culture today and taking it to another level.


The name Azania may also refer to a locality in Arcadia in Greece, named for Azan. Arcadia or Arkadía (Greek Αρκαδία) is a region of Greece in the Peloponnesus. ... For Azan of Islamic faith, see Azaan In Greek mythology, Azan was the son of Arcas and Erato. ...


Bibliography

  • G.W.B. Huntingford (trans. & ed.). Periplus of the Erythraean Sea. Hakluyt Society. London, 1980.

External links

  • Electronic Antiquity Journal: Communicating the Classics, Vol 1 no 5, research by John Hilton at the University of Natal, Durban.

  Results from FactBites:
 
Azania - Biocrawler (458 words)
John Hilton alludes to a number of etymologies proposed in the nineteenth century that claimed the name was derived from an Arabic or Persian word referring to the dark-skinned inhabitants of Africa, which he dismisses as examples of the colonial mindset of that period.
Cosmas records the fact that in his time Azania was under the control of Axum, and that gold was bartered for butchered beef.
Azania appeared again in 1958, when the name was proposed as a replacement name for South Africa, at the All-African Peoples Conference hosted in Accra, Ghana by Kwame Nkrumah.
Azania - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (533 words)
John Hilton alludes to a number of etymologies proposed in the nineteenth century that claimed the name was derived from an Arabic or Persian word referring to the dark-skinned inhabitants of Africa, which he dismisses as examples of the colonial mindset of that period.
From chapter 15 of the Periplus, Huntingford argues that Azania properly referred to the Somali coast, plausibly identifying the "Lesser and Greater Bluffs", the "Lesser and Greater Strands", and the "Seven Courses" of Azania with landmarks of that country.
Azania appeared again in 1958, when the name was proposed as a replacement name for South Africa, at the All-African Peoples Conference hosted in Accra, Ghana by Kwame Nkrumah.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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