Is Mansa Musa the Richest Man in History?

Most of the people often assume that Bill Gates is among the richest man in history. Guaranteed, he was once; but Gates isn’t the richest person in history. Currently, Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos is the wealthiest person; he has an estimated $175 billion fortune. However, by no means Bezos isn’t the richest person of all time. The title of the richest man in history belongs to Mansa Musa, the 14th Century West African ruler. It is almost impossible to grasp an idea of how wealthy and rich this 14th-century ruler was. Jacob Davidson once wrote that Mansa Musa was richer than anyone could describe. Most of the economic historians agree that it is beyond one’s imagination to pin down the worth of Mansa Musa. King of Mali’s wealth is said to be indescribable. Moreover, Augustus Caesar is the second richest man in history, with an estimated net worth of $4.6tn. 

Richest Man in HistoryImage Credit: The Muslim Vibe

Mansa Musa – The Golden King 

Mansa Musa was born in 1280, and it is said that he is from a family of rulers. His brother Mansa Abu-Bakr ruled the empire till 1312. After Mansa Abu-Bakr, Musa inherited the Kingdom and became the King. During his rule, the Kingdom of Mali grew considerably. Mansa Musa arrogated several cities to his Kingdom, including Timbaktu. His Kingdom was stretching for about 2,000 miles, from the Atlantic Ocean to modern-day Niger. The large landmass brought him great resources of Gold and salt. According to the British Museum, Mali had almost half the old world’s Gold during his reign. All the Gold was the sole property of the King. In the medieval world, he had access to unlimited and most valued wealth, which was gold at that time. All the major gold trading centers fall under his territory, and he also acquired great wealth from the trade. Therefore, he is known to be the richest man in history ever lived. 

Mansa’s Journey to Mecca 

Even though Mali had immense resources of Gold, but the Kingdom wasn’t well-off. He went to Mecca for pilgrimage and passed through the Sahara Desert and Egypt. He visited Mecca with a caravan of 60,000 men. All of his Royal Court, Merchants, officials, soldiers, griots, and camel drivers were with him for the pilgrimage. He took around 12,000 slaves with him. The caravan also included sheep and goats for the food. It could be said that the city was moving through the Sahara Desert. The entire caravan were accoutered in gold brocade and finest Persian silk. There were hundreds of camels, and each of them carried hundreds of pounds of pure Gold. The opulence of the caravan was a sight to behold. 

Gold Crash in the Middle East

Mansa Musa impressed Cairo’s inhabitants, and there was a buzz about the wealth and lavishness the richest man in history holds. He lavishly hands out the Gold to Cairo’s people, and the entire economy was wrecked due to the immense Gold that handed out. It is estimated that due to the deprecation of Gold, the Middle East had to suffer losses of $1.5bn. While moving back to home, when he crossed Egypt again, he tried to help the economy to boost again by removing the Gold from circulation and borrowed back the Gold at extortionate interest rates. Malian griots were reluctant to praise the richest person in history as they believed that he wasted the local resources of Mali outside the empire. 

Mansa Musa Net Worth – Richest Man in History

Mansa Musa was the richest man in history. However, it is said that Mansa Musa’s wealth is indescribable. In the post-Industrial Revolution era, Jeff Bezos is considered the richest man in history as his net worth is estimated to be around $175 Billion. The emperor of the Malian empire is known to Golden King as he holds more than half of the world’s Gold at that moment of history. His wealth came to limelight when he visited Mecca for pilgrimage. According to historians, Mansa Musa was taking a caravan of 60,000 people and him, and all of them were loaded with Persian silk and Gold.

Moreover, his hundreds of camels were also carrying hundreds of pounds of pure Gold with them. Mansa Musa’s net worth is indescribable. However, the second richest man in history ever lived, Augustus Caesar was worth $4.6tn.