- "All that you give out of charity, seeking God's countenance, will be blessed by him."
Mansa Musa, great king of Mali, you are blessed with wealth beyond comprehension, yet you remain uncorrupted. Raise your eyes from the marketplace to the heavens and satisfy your heart's great yearning for peace. Protect the prosperity of your people, and history will write your name in golden letters.
His leader ability is Sahel Merchants. His international Trade Routes receive 1 extra Gold for every flat Desert tile in the origin city, and his Trade Route capacity permanently increases by 1 each time he enters a Golden Age.
Mali has a large gold focus. This combined with their ability to make purchases easier will allow them to quickly develop their cities. They also have large bonuses for being in the desert, allowing them to prosper in land that is usually left undeveloped.
Agenda-based Approval: Rejoice with me, friend, for we are free from every want and can devote our time to the will of God. (افرحوا معي يا أصدقاء لأنّنا أحرارمن كل رغبة ويمكن أن نكرّس وقتنا لإرادة الله / afrahuu maei ya 'asdaqa' lannna 'ahrarumana klu raghbat wayumkin 'ana nkrrs waqtina li'iiradat allah.)
Agenda-based Disapproval: What have you done, that God has withdrawn his bounty from you? See that you return to righteousness! (ماذا فعلتم ليأخذ الله منكم تلك المكافأة؟ اعودوا إلى طريق الصواب. / madha faealtum liakhudh allah minkum tilk almukafa'ata? aewaduu 'iilaa tariq alsawab.)
Attacked: Enough! My forbearance ends here! We must have war between us, instead of a false peace. (كفى! تسامحي منتهي هنا... يجب أن تكون بيننا حرب بدلا من سلام زائف / kafa! tasamuhia muntahi huna... yjb 'an takun baynana harb badalaan min salam zayif.)
Declares War: Your transgressions are as deep as oceans. O God, grant that I may chastise this one! (تجاوزاتك عميقة مثل المحيطات يا الله ...عيني على عقاب / tajawazatuk eamiqat mithl almuhitat ya allah ...eayni ealaa eiqab.)
Defeated: Wealth is fleeting; learning is vanity. All I have done, O God, I did in your name. (الثروة عابرة والتعلم يؤدي إلى الغرور... كل ما فعلته يا الهي فعلته باسمك / altharwat eabirat waltaelim yuadiy 'iilaa alghurura... klu ma faealtuh ya alhi faealtuh biaismik)
Greeting: I am Sultan Musa, lord of Mali, and—thanks be to God—a very, very rich man. I am pleased to meet you. (أنا السلطان موسى، سيّد مالي، وبحمد الله أنا رجل غني جدّاً جدّاً. تشرّفت بلقائكم / ana alsultan musaa , syd maliun , w - alhamd lilah - rajul ghaniun jiddaan jadana. 'ana saeid bimuqabalatik.)
Denounced: Serpent! Tempter! Wretch! Look to the hour of your chastisement, for it is coming soon!
Denunciation: O God, why do you permit this dark-hearted one wield the power of king! Bring down your wrath, O Heaven!
Invitation to Capital: Shall we fill the empty places on our maps with the locations of our mutual capitals?
Invitation to City: Please, come visit the capital of Mali! It is a place of great learning—and profit, too.
Offers Declaration of Friendship: Do we not gain much from our bond? Shall we tell the world we stand as friends?
Mansa Musa was the descendant of the founder of the Empire of Mali, and a man whose personal wealth and piety still serve as worthy exemplars for emulation six centuries after his death. He is still believed to be the wealthiest person who ever lived. He nonetheless remained uncorrupted by money, using it as a tool to bring scholars and artists back to Mali to enrich his empire. The ancient city of Timbuktu in particular is associated with him, and its reputation as a center for trade and learning was a result of his efforts.
He was grandson of the Malian Empire's founder, Sundiata, and ascended to the throne around 1307. Little information about his reign has been found in western sources, until in 1324 when he undertook the Hajj—the pilgrimage to Mecca that devout Muslims undertake. However, Mansa Musa was no simple pilgrim.
His entourage is said to have consisted of 60,000 men, including 12,000 richly-dressed slaves. 500 slaves each carrying bags of gold dust or golden staves preceded him, with an additional train of gold-laden camels bringing up the rear. It is said that each night, when the caravan stopped, the pious Mansa Musa paid to have a mosque erected on the site. When the caravan arrived in Cairo, Musa produced a veritable rain of gold upon the city. Chroniclers and historians ran out of superlatives to describe his generosity. The economy of one of the world's greatest trading cities literally collapsed under a flood of gold. A historian stopping in Cairo 12 years after his visit found the locals still singing his praises, and the economy still recovering from the massive influx of gold—no mean feat, given that Cairo had borne witness to the rise and fall of countless rulers over the millennia, and the generally-world-weary chroniclers were not readily given to rhapsodies of praise.
During his Hajj, Musa recruited many Islamic scholars, scientists, and jurists from throughout the Islamic world, with the intention of resettling them in his empire to bring the latest learning to his subjects. During his absence, his general, Sagamandir, completed the conquest of the neighboring Songhai kingdom, adding the rich cities of Goa and Timbuktu to the Malian Empire. Mansa Musa returned home by touring his new conquests.
Timbuktu received imperial munificence. The Grenadan poet and architect Abu Ishaq al-Sahili was commissioned to construct new mosques (the Djinguereber mosque is maybe the most famous) and oversee an expansion of the University of Sankore. The distinctive earthen construction of these buildings is still renowned and iconic throughout the world. Sankore housed the largest collection of books in Africa—approximately a half million works—since the Library of Alexandria.
The exact dates of his death are uncertain, but most western sources give the year as 1332. He was succeeded by his son, Maghan Keita I. Mansa Musa left Mali a larger empire than he had received. Malian traders now ranged as far as Cairo, and students flocked to Timbuktu from across Africa. By all accounts, his personal behavior had been proper and moral (he nearly provoked a diplomatic incident by ignoring the sultan of Cairo in lieu of attending to his religious practices during the Hajj). He had raised Mali's profile to the world, while importing learning and ideas from other lands. His immense wealth had been a tool in his hands, not a means to an end, and Mali flourished under his stewardship.
- Mansa Musa's diplomacy screen shows the outer wall of the Great Mosque of Djenné.
- Mansa Musa's leader ability references the region of northern Africa in which the gold and salt trades flourished, while his leader agenda references the vast wealth he acquired from mining and trading these commodities (estimated in 2016 to be around $400 billion when adjusted for inflation).
- Mansa Musa wears a taqiyah on his head.
- When defeated, Mansa Musa drops the gold rings that he wears on his right hand.
Treasures of Heaven and Earth
Win a game as Mansa Musa