This selection of Arabic and English translations illuminates the changes of eighteenth-century government in the northern Nile Valley of Sudan, and provides reliable chronological points of reference for the history of the region.
The documents offered in this volume, including charter grants of land and privilege, administrative letters, judicial rulings, and other official government records, date form 1702 to 1820. This period marks the apogee of the wealth, power, and geographical extent of the realm of the Funji kings of Sinnar who reigned over much of the Sudan from about 1500 until the Turkish colonial conquest of 1821.
These records document with concrete precision and eloquence the dissolution of the agrarian social order of an old African kingdom under the corroding influence of intrusive Mediterranean commercial practices and culture. They reveal the Sudan's legacy of a traditionally weak government vulnerable to manipulation or conquest by foreign powers and a divided and impoverished society dominated by a minority of urban interests.