30 Interesting Facts About The Great Benin Kingdom You Didn’t Know

30 Interesting Facts About The Great Benin Kingdom You Didn’t Know

What is the oldest surviving kingdom in the world? Would you be surprised if I tell you that it is the Great Benin Kingdom? Yea that’s right, the oldest surviving kingdom in the World is Great Benin Kingdom and it is 2054 years Old.

The Great Benin Kingdom is arguably Nigeria’s greatest empire. In this post, we will be revealing 30 amazing facts you never knew about the Great Benin Kingdom.

The Ogiso dynasty lasted for about 854 years plus an interregnum of 285 years between the reign of Ogiso Orire and Ogiso Odia. There was an interregnum of 70 years between Ogiso Owodo and Oba Oranmiyan plus 845 years of Oba ruler-ship till date.

The great benin kingdom

The great benin kingdom
Below are 30 amazing facts about the Great Benin Kingdom:

1. The first storey building in Nigeria was built at Ughoton by the Dutch in the year 1718, and it was called “The Factory”. The said building was destroyed by the British during the war against the Benins in 1897. However, the site of the building is still intact.

There is a controversy surrounding this fact as there is a different record suggesting that the first storey building in Nigeria is a building which is still standing and was built by Reverend Henry Townsend of the Church Missionary Society (CMS) in 1845. However its foundation was laid in 1842. Also, the Hausas in Northern Nigeria claim they had built some storey buildings before Reverend Henry Townsend’s building was erected.

2. The Oldest Church in West-Africa was established in Great Benin Empire by the Earliest Portuguese missionaries in the 16th Century which is today known as the Holy Aruosa (Benin National Church). Pope Pius XII visited Benin and handed the church to the Oba of Benin, Oba Oreoghene in 1692AD.

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3. The first Known Embassy Established in Nigeria was in Benin during the reign of Oba Esigie in the 16th century.

The great benin kingdom

4. The Oldest known letter written in Nigeria was by Duarte Pires instructed by Oba Esigie which was addressed to King John II, on the 20th October, 1516AD. The second oldest letter was written by Anthonio Domingo (Great-grand Son of Oba Olua) to the Pope to seek for missionary assistance in other to spread Christianity in Benin Empire in 1652AD.

5. Oba Orhogbua founded Lagos and planted a dukedom, the Obaship of Lagos (Eko).

6. Oldest ever recorded market in Africa is Ogiso (Agbado) Market dated 60BCE.

7. The first ever recorded bank (Owigho) in present day West-Africa was built in Benin kingdom by Oba Eresoyen, construction started in the year 1740AD and was completed in the year 1743AD.

8. Queen Idia was the first Oba’s mother to be alive to see her son becoming an Oba. That’s because traditionally, crowned prince mothers were previously killed before their sons ascend the throne.

Queen Idia was the mother of Esigie, the Oba of Benin who ruled from 1504 to 1550. She played a very significant role in the rise and reign of her son. She has been described as a great warrior who fought relentlessly before and during her son’s reign as the Oba of the Edo people

The great benin kingdom

The great benin kingdom

9. Ga tribe of present day Ghana migrated from Benin during Oba Udagbedo reign (1299-1334)

The great benin kingdom

10. Oduduwa was the exiled crowned prince from Benin known as Ekaladerhan, which is being purported as the progenitor of the Yoruba race.

11. The monarch of Warri kingdom is an off shoot of the royal house of Benin kingdom founded by prince Iginuwa the Son of Oba Olua in the 15th century.

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12. The Osemawe of Ondo was corrupted from Osemwughe, the Benin warrior who deserted Udo town, when there was war between Benin City and Udo town.

13. The word Ondo was corrupted from the town “Emwan N’Udo” (people of Udo town)

14. The world most famous mask Queen Idia mask was the face of FESTAC 77’ held in Lagos.

15. The word Benin was corrupted from Ubini by the Portuguese explorer meaning “a place of heavenly pageantry and prosperity”

16. Oba Esigie is the first King in Africa to be baptized in the year 1504AD in Benin.

17. The King of Benin can in a single day make 20,000 men ready for war, and, if need be, 180,000, and because of this he has great influence among all the surrounding peoples’ … His authority stretches over many cities, towns and villages. There is no King thereabouts who, in the possession of so many beautiful cities and towns, in his capital – Olfert Dapper, description of Africa, 1668.

18. According to the Guinness Book of Records (1974 edition), the walls of Benin City and its surrounding kingdom was the world’s largest earthworks carried out prior to the mechanical era.

The great benin kingdom

19. According to estimates by the New Scientists Fred pearce, Benin City’s walls were at one point “four times longer than the great wall of China, and consumed a hundred times more material than the Great Pyramid of Cheops”

20. Benin City is surrounded by massive walls dug by Oba Oguola in 13th century and Oba Ewuare I in the 15th century.

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21. Great Wall of Benin extended for some 16,000km in all, in a mosaic of more than 500 interconnected settlement boundaries. They covered 6, 500sq km and were all dug by the Edo people.

22. The Great wall of Benin took an estimated 150million hours of digging to construct, and are perhaps the largest single archaeological phenomenon on the planet.

23. Benin City is the first City to have a semblance of street lighting in the world.

24. The Portuguese were the people who called our land “Great City of Benin” because they were astonished with what they saw that the Edo people achieved centuries before any major cities in the world.

25. 1n 1691, the Portuguese ship captain Lourenco Pinto observed: “Great Benin, where the king resides, is larger than Lisbon; all the streets run straight and as far as the eyes can see.

26. The Binis are the best bronze casters (Igun – eronmwon) in the world.

27. Two kings were installed without a crown, Ogiso Igodo (40BC-16AD) and Oba Oranmiyan (Odolorre) 1170-1200AD.

28. Great Benin is known as the cradle of Black civilization and the centre of the world (Edorisiagbon).

29. The Benins were the first to use sophisticated weapons (guns) to fight war(Idah war) in the present day Nigeria in about 501 years ago (August, 1516), the war was led by Oba Esigie mother (Queen Idia).

The great benin kingdom

30. All Oba in Lagos (Eko) were buried in their ancestral home (Benin City) until late 19th century.

To further lay credence to that, Oba Osemwende in 1834 instructed Idewu Ojulari, the Oba of Lagos to ‘zegbele’ (kill himself). The instruction was unexpectedly complied with. The Lagos Oba complied by taking poison.

COMMENTS

32
  • comment-avatar
    Udemba Rowland 3 months ago

    I stand to refute this very one “Pope Pius XII visited Benin and handed the church to the Oba of Benin, Oba Oreoghene in 1692AD”
    Pope Pius XII never visited Nigeria and he reign from 1930s to 1950s and not 1692AD

  • comment-avatar
    BENJAMIN EHISU EARTHEIN 3 months ago

    Am proud to be a Benin man(Ishan).What else?

  • comment-avatar
    BENJAMIN EHISU EARTHEIN 3 months ago

    Am proud to be a Benin man(Ishan).

  • comment-avatar
    Johnpraise Robert 4 months ago

    wow….I’m impressed
    more grace to the writer

    effort so appreciated

  • comment-avatar
    ola dan 6 months ago

    so, what happened to by he wall or where can it be found today

  • comment-avatar
    Testimony 6 months ago

    This means that the yorubas are binis. Oduduwa was even exiled from Benin. This is good.
    Even the Ika kingdom migrated from benin. Edo State is supposed to be the FCT of Nigeria.
    We will come together and make this happen.
    Respect to the Great Benin kimgdom. One love ❤💋.

  • comment-avatar
    mr victor Uchechukwu 6 months ago

    I’m fascinated with this great fact
    thanks a million

  • comment-avatar

    I wish we can turn back the hands of tine

  • comment-avatar
    Deborah.A. 7 months ago

    If all of this happened,then what is going on in Nigeria today? Instead of being known for the good works is the other way. God help us

  • comment-avatar

    18. According to the Guinness Book of Records (1974 edition), the walls of Benin City and its surrounding kingdom was the world’s largest earthworks carried out prior to the mechanical era.

    ***Benin is older than the cunny/wise men of old, in the Bible. Fro. this theory, Benin is the garden where disobedience started in the world. No wonder!!!

  • comment-avatar

    Fool history if you wanna know about good story call me 07065371795

    • comment-avatar
      Terry Omoruyi 5 months ago

      You must be an educated litrate to have make a sentence like that. The problem with you people is that you don’t read. Cultivate the habit of reading my dear do that you will be enlitened.

  • comment-avatar
    Abraham Omoragbon 7 months ago

    Well I don’t need to speak much, all this narrative about Benin are part of the real truth and there are more to that. if you are a Nigerian or African and don’t believe in Your history consider yourself lost. if you want to know more and deep of any thing,activities or history do yourself good and make a total research about it. let my just say this, the evil rulers of the world will always keep hidden any history that will not favour them or work to their advantage.

  • comment-avatar

    It is so painful that all this facts about the Benin Kingdom is not been recognise again and our culture is dieing every day.

  • comment-avatar

    It is so painful that all this facts about the Benin Kingdom is not been recognise again and our culture is doing every day.

  • comment-avatar
    Bright 7 months ago

    I don’t know that Africa have history that can date back to the 14th century. Why do Europeans say that we don’t have history ?

  • comment-avatar
    Oliver 7 months ago

    I’m so damn proud of my GREAT BENIN KINGDOM

  • comment-avatar
    Oliver 7 months ago

    I’m so fucking proud of my GREAT BENIN KINGDOM

  • comment-avatar
    Adekunle Erioluwa 7 months ago

    Great Benin

  • comment-avatar
    Adekunle Erioluwa 7 months ago

    Wow,This is great indeed, without no doubt most of African cities migrated from Benin city

  • comment-avatar

    Hmmmm. Convoluted!

  • comment-avatar
    Chief F .A. Musa 7 months ago

    Good history has narrated about the existence of Edo Benin dynasty but history’s of can not complete without taking credence talk about the mingration of Usamah descendant they happen to be last to migrate I n the day’s of Obama Olua between 15/16 century

  • comment-avatar

    I wish the wakka are still there

  • comment-avatar
    Albert 7 months ago

    Kindly give me facts about Western Togolanders in present day Volta Region of Ghana.

  • comment-avatar
    Destiny Osas 7 months ago

    Benin is great

  • comment-avatar
    Benedicta 7 months ago

    Benin is indeed a great dynasty but what went wrong?I mean looking at Benin city today

  • comment-avatar
    precious 7 months ago

    Mmh nice.

  • comment-avatar
    Zeezah 7 months ago

    Really a nice read

  • comment-avatar
    Osakwe 7 months ago

    Great.. Nice to get to know more about our civilization

    • comment-avatar
      Francis 7 months ago

      Most of these claims are fallacious and cannot be proved historically.

      • comment-avatar
        Terry Omoruyi 5 months ago

        What else do you need all the point here are all from history just take a trip to London museum and America so that you can convince yourself

    • comment-avatar
      Itz pere-ebi ozori 7 months ago

      One of the best threads ever..
      Thanks for d info