Located on the Horn of Africa, the ancient Ethiopian kingdom of Axum (also spelled Aksum) played a significant role in international relations around the time of the first millennium. At its height, Axum controlled modern-day Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan, Western Yemen, southern Saudi Arabia, and parts of Somalia. Although largely forgotten today, references to Ethiopians can be seen in such seminal works as the Bible, the Qur’an, Homer’s Iliad, and Dante’s Divine Comedy. Such wide acclaim reflects the power and influence once held by the powerful Axumite Empire.
There are some interesting legends connected to the fallen kingdom as well. The capital of the kingdom, also called Axum, is allegedly the home to the famed Queen of Sheba and stories say the Ark of the Covenant was taken to the kingdom too.