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The answers below refer to Phoenician, Greek and Roman sources on the subject. From earliest Egyptian sources, officially dated at circa 2500 BC, Kh-afre, fourth king of the 4th dynasty reveals that an early Egyptian king had the name "Africa". That is because modern Egyptologists and others often mix the order of the hieroglyphs that the ancients wrote. Thus Kh-Afre is Afre-Kh or Africa.

The ancient Jewish records are supposedly silent on "Africa" but that is because the Hebrew name for the continent, "Auphirah" is usually written "Ophir". In I Kings 9:28, we read that the sailors of Solomon of Israel and Hiram of Tyre went to "Ophir-Auphirah". Then in the next verse, I Kings 10:1, we read that the Queen who "ruled" or "administered" [Hebrew sheb (Shin, Beit, Aleph)] Ophirah-Africa, came to visit Solomon and probably put in a courtesy call to Hiram of Tyre as well (circa 950 BC). Only one queen ruled Egypt, Nubia, Sudan and Ethiopia of those days and her name is Hat-Sheba-Sut or Hatshepsut. Her temple at Deir el-Bahari evokes the words of Song of Solomon "Oh my dove, you are in the clefts of the rock in the secret places of the stairs". She was the great African Queen after whom even river boats and Hollywood films are named.

However, this analysis depends on accepting that Egyptian chronology is wrong by 600 years and that all the dynasties of ancient Egypt are misaligned with other countries' histories by error factors of 600 years on average. That's why there are so many mysteries over what really is quite a simple answer. To see how complex answers otherwise become, read those below. The complexity in what surely should be a simple question-answer is revealed by the excellent research shown below. But the real situation - assuming the chronological problems/solutions noted above are in fact so - is surely much simpler and more obvious.

Also, the name Afre-Kh or Kh-Afre, noted above, probably simply means the "Kh of Ophir" or perhaps "Spirit of Africa".

One of the answers below explains that "Punt" is East Africa. Today, the British supported government of North Somalia is named "Puntland" on some maps. However, Amenhotep III said "When I look to the sunrise, I come to the countries of Punt". One Egyptian poet likened holding a girl in one's arms to be in "Punt". Somalia and East Africa were never such wonderful places. But Israel in the Days of Solomon was. Thus Hatshepsut's extensive report of her journey to "Punt" obviously refers to Sheba's visit to Jerusalem in 950 BC. However, Jerusalem in the soon to come Messianic Kingdom which many Sudanese already believe exists in modern Israel will make Solomon's Jerusalem pale in comparison. Jesus said "Hatshepsut-Queen of the South" would rise up at the resurrection and judge the leaders of Israel who rejected Jesus of Nazareth. This little aside shows that distorted history has been used to prevent people knowing what's in store for them if they believe and worship the true God (and what's in store for them if they do not). There is a good reason why the authorities do not want people to know the origin of the word (name) "Africa" because its great queen (Hatshepsut-Sheba) rejected her pagan gods and turned (repented) to the God of Solomon and the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob of Israel.

In summary, the oldest sources for the name "Africa" come from the Bible (Ophir) and Egyptian records (Kh-Afre or Afre-Kh). Attempts below by the linguistic community to derive the origins of the name "Africa" get swamped by borrowed traditions from the Biblical source and by loan-words that migrated through various languages after the Tower of Babel (circa 2200 BC).

It is now virtually impossible to tell which language borrowed from another or which language 'lent' a word to another via trade, assimilation, culture-swapping etc. However, certain things dominate no matter what. The ancient Egyptians had difficulty distinguishing between 'b' and 'p' in speech. Today, an Egyptian still says "Egypt is very boor". Generation after generation of invaders, while they may have changed much of the face of Egypt they could not prevent their children imitating the speech of the indigenous culture.

AnswerThe name Africa came into Western use through the Romans, who used the name Africa terra � "land of the Afri" (plural, or "Afer" singular) � for the northern part of the continent, as the province of Africa with its capital Carthage, corresponding to modern-day Tunisia.

The origin of Afer may either come from:

  • the Phoenician `afar, dust;
  • the Afri, a tribe � possibly Berber � who dwelt in North Africa in the Carthage area;
  • the Greek word aphrike, meaning without cold (see also List of traditional Greek place names);
  • or the Latin word aprica, meaning sunny.

    The historian Leo Africanus (1495-1554) attributed the origin to the Greek word phrike (?????, meaning 'cold and horror'), combined with the negating prefix a-, so meaning a land free of cold and horror. However, the change of sound from pH to f in Greek is datable to about the first century, so this cannot really be the origin of the name.

  • Egypt was considered part of Asia by the ancients, and first assigned to Africa by the geographer Ptolemy (85 - 165 AD), who accepted Alexandria as Prime Meridian and made the isthmus of Suez and the Red Sea the boundary between Asia and Africa. As Europeans came to understand the real extent of the continent, the idea of Africa expanded with their knowledge.

    -DJ Craig

    The Name Africa is of African Origins from the Egyptian Word "Afru-ika" or 'Motherland."

    Africanus.The name signifies that the person named himself after Africa. One thing is certain, Greek and Latin have Egyptian linguistic influences although both are Indo-European languages. The term "Indo" comes from "India," the word "India" came from the Arabs, who pointed out that Kush, a son of Ham had two sons, "Hind," and "Sind." Hind of Kush established a culture in India, Sind of Kush established a culture in the Arabian region. Nimrod established in parts of Mesopotamia.

    Wandering barbarians from north-Central Russia began to invade what was a Black Kuchitic India about 1700 B.C. (see Sudrology, the Hindu Kush Mountains is not named so by mistake). These barbarians were Caucasoids however there were other elements in them as well. The movie, "Conan the Barbarian," gives a hint to the type of people who were included in the wandering nomads called the "Aryans."


    These Aryans spoke a northern European language that in its pure form would resemble Finnish, Islandic or those not influenced by Greek or Latin. After hundreds of years of trying to invade and conquer Black India, they were able to use the destruction of the dams to flood the region. After that happened, they began to infiltrate into the land using war and extermination to conquer much of the northern part of India, where they used the sacred scriptures to establish a caste system.

    While the Aryans were in India, they became absorbed into the Black population of Dravidians and Negritoes. Anyone who looks at the population of Northern India today will see a Persian/Mediterranean appearance among the people there, and a more Negroid African appearance among the people in the Southern parts, especially the South-East of India. In fact, scientists from India have already established that in every genetic aspect these Indians are identical to Blacks in Africa. These Africoids are among those responsible for the creation of India's Indus Valley Civilization. The Aryans who were not literate people learned from the Blacks of India. The Aryans leaned the Black Kushitic languages, the customs, (they established the taboo against eating beef to weaken the Black population, according to some present-day Black Untouchable writers). They learned the various Arts and Crafts from the aboriginal Blacks of India according to Drusilla Dunjee Houston (see "Harappa and Mohenjo-daro: The Black Civilizations of Ancient India," Susu Economics: A History of Pan-African Trade, Commerce, Money and Wealth, published by 1stbooks Library, Bloomington, Indiana U.S.A ).

    So, the languages of the Greeks, Latins, Germans and even English comes from the Indo-European language family. That language family has Black Kushitic African roots as well as a north-central European base. Hence the term "Africanus" is Lanin but the term "Afrikanu- Africanus" "Kepru - Cyprus" "Keftiu - Crete" all are African words and the "u" usually denotes a place name in some African languages. In the Latin, the "us" takes the place of the "u'. That is where the African and Kushitic influence is clear.

    Both Keftiu and Kepru are ancient Egyptian words. The word 'Nagau" is the Egyptian term for East Africa or 'Punt."

    "Nomu' is Semite

    "Tamahu" is European

    Thus "Africanus" is Latin, but 'Afru-ika" is Egyptian and the name "Afru-ika" was in existence long before the name "Africanus," which probably means "from Africa," or "of Africa." During the 400's B.C. to 400's A.D., the Romans were in northern Africa and the Greeks were in Egypt from about 300's B.C. to about 200 a.d.

    So, the Indo-European languages have African Kushitic roots as well. The term 'Afru-ika" means "Motherland," according to one of Ivan Van Sertima's books. Afru-ika means "motherland" in the ancient Egyptian language which was part of the "Afro-Asiatic" language family. Hebrew, Arabic, Geez (the litergical language of the Ethiopian Coptic Church), Aramaic are all Afro-Asiatic languages. The oldest and the mother of these languages still survives today in East Africa, it is called "Iraqwu" and is a Black African language. Some linguists point out that both Hebrew and Arabic are dialects of Ancient Egyptian. According to some Africans of the Galla People of Ethiopia, "Apraka" means "sunny," hence the term "Africa," may in fact have African roots.

    Now, as far as the Roman is concerned, his name "Africanus" or a name such as "Scicipio Africanus," probably means "Sicipio of Africa." That would mean the general was named for being from Africa.

    I would go with Dr. Van Sertima. The name Africa came from 'Afri-uka" which means "Motherland," in the ancient Egyptian language and that term "Motherland" is one still used in reference to Africa even today.

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