The Kingdom of Axum
The Axums controlled a territory along the Red Sea that allowed them to prosper from trade. After defeating the Kingdom of Kush, Axum was able to control trade into and out of much of Africa. Cargo ships from Rome, India, Persia, and Egypt brought goods in, and took ivory and other goods out to the rest of the known world.
Around 330 A.D., the king of Axum was converted to Christianity by a pair of shipwrecked missionaries. This king declared that Christianity was to be the official religion of the nation.
The Christian nation of Axum thrived until the A.D. 600s when Muslim raiders and bandits began seizing Axum goods and territory. Unable to adequately fight back, the Kingdom of Axum became smaller and less influential. Gradually, the people of Axum began calling their kingdom Ethiopia.