Funj Sultanate

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Around 1500 the Funj sultanate united much of the northern Nile Valley in Sudan. The Funj drew on older Sudanic traditions of statecraft and depended on the institution of matrilineal kinship inherited from medieval Christian Nubia, although the processes of Arabization and Islamization of northern Sudan accelerated under their rule. They opened the country to unprecedented commercial relations with neighboring lands; a middle class emerged in the mid-eighteenth century in a town-based money economy. By the eighteenth century, sultans faced many local revolts and came under the control of their military commanders; in 1820 the remnants of the Funj sultanate fell to the armies of Muhammad Ali, Ottoman viceroy of Egypt.

Subjects: Islam.

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