What Was The Original Name Of Africa?


What Was The Original Name Of Africa?

Introduction To The Original Name Of Africa

Africa is the second-largest continent in the world which got the original name from something you cannot be more wrong! Surprising, right? This article seeks to enlighten you on this very point. Let’s find it out.

What Was The Original Name Of Africa?
What Was The Original Name Of Africa?

Historical Evidence

The historical evidence available states that Africa is not the real name of the continent, Africa. According to history, the Romans used the term ‘Africa’ to refer to the Carthaginian Empire. The Romans established administrative control over North Africa, after conquering the Carthaginian Empire. The Africa Pronconsularis, known as Northern Tunisia in the present day, and the Africa Nova, which included Algeria.

What Was The Original Name Of Africa?
What Was The Original Name Of Africa?

Another theory gives credit to a famous European traveler, Leo Africanus, for the coinage of the name ‘Africa.’ The Romans intended to decimate the connection of the Africans with their culture and traditions. One of the ways for doing so was altering the name of their homeland. After the end of three Punic Wars between the mighty Carthage and Rome, the alteration of name took place. Once the Romans eventually conquered Carthage, they changed the name to Africa. Another alternative theory suggests that Leo Africanus, a medieval traveler, hinted that ‘Africa’ originates from a Greek term, ‘a-phike.’

Some other historians believe that ‘Africa’ originates from the Latin term ‘aprica,’ meaning warm or sunny.

Debatable Question

Though the historians think that ‘Africa’ was initially used to refer to North Africa and came to apply to the entire continent after some 2000 years, it is still a debatable subject. The origin of this term continues to be an intriguing topic. This debate is due to the existence of several plausible explanations about the source of the word. Some believe that the Romans used the name ‘Afri’ for the people of Africa or those living to the south of the Mediterranean. Nonetheless, The research, however, shows the non-existence of any evidence in this regard.

What Was The Initial Name Of Africa?

So, the question that remains unanswered is, “What was the original name of Africa? Nonetheless, ” Initially, Africa was known as ‘Alkebulan.’ The word ‘Alkebulan’ means ‘garden of Eden’ or ‘the mother of mankind.’ It is pertinent to note that before Africa replaced Alkebulan, names like Libya, Ortigia, Ethiopia, Corphye were used. Alkebulan is the oldest name with native African origin. Therefore, it was used by Moors, the Numidians, and ultimately, the Ethiopians.

Condition Towards The End Of The Seventeenth Century

The Europeans preferred the use of Latin terms over others in the course of their explorations.  Therefore, the name of Africa was considered to be very new. Nevertheless, it is important to visit Africa to know about its rich heritage and culture.

Subscribe to our monthly Newsletter
Subscribe to our monthly Newsletter