The Richest Man In The Last 1,000 Years
Tai Lopez May 13, 2024

2 min read

If you think about who is the richest man in history you might think of Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, John D. Rockefeller, or maybe Andrew Carnegie.

They’re not the richest men in history though. At least not in the last 1,000 years.

The title “the richest man in history” goes to Mansa Musa of the Mali Empire. Maybe you never heard of him. He’s someone worth looking into.

Introduction: A Legacy of Wealth
Mansa Musa, or Musa I of Mali, came to power in 1312 and transformed the Mali Empire into one of the wealthiest and largest empires in the world.
The empire was located in West Africa.

How did Mansa Musa accumulate wealth? Gold mines.

The Source of His Fortune
The Mali Empire was strategically located to tap into the rich gold mines of West Africa, which were among the most productive in the world during the medieval period.

This abundance of natural resources was the cornerstone of Mansa Musa’s vast wealth.

At one point he controlled more than half of the Old World’s gold from West Africa (Juliane Keßler, "Mali Empire," 2021).

Mansa Musa’s Pilgrimage That Made History
In 1324, Mansa Musa embarked on a pilgrimage to Mecca that became legendary since it was so lavish.

He was so wealthy that his pilgrimage changed the economy of the places he would go through because he’d spend so much.

There are records of when he went through Cairo and distributed so much gold that he caused inflation!

This event was recorded by numerous Arab historians, who noted that the value of gold in Cairo fell for several years as a result of Musa's generosity. (Edward W. Bovill, "The Golden Trade of the Moors," 1995).

A Cultural and Educational Patron
Upon returning from Mecca, Mansa Musa focused on cultural and educational development.

He commissioned the construction of mosques and the famous University of Sankore in Timbuktu, which became a center for Islamic learning and culture.

Under Musa’s patronage, Timbuktu became a city that attracted scholars, poets, and artists from across the Muslim world, transforming it into a thriving hub of knowledge and culture.

Legacy and Influence
Mansa Musa’s reign not only showcased the wealth of Africa but also its contributions to global culture and education.
His leadership shows how wealth can be used to foster societal growth and intellectual development.

It’s a good lesson for us to keep in mind. I have a framework to be 50% selfish and 50% selfless.

When you’re too selfish, people don’t like you and don’t cooperate with you. When you’re too selfless people might like you, but it’s hard for you to do things because “there isn’t anything in it for you”.

When you’re 50% selfish and 50% selfless you can enjoy your wealth and also contribute to other people’s lives.

You should experiment with that framework. I have yet to see someone regret doing it.

Stay strong,

Tai Lopez

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