Throughout the 8th until the 10th centuries, Aksumite society changed immensely. Once a powerful, centralized empire, Aksum increasingly evolved into a decentralized, feudal state. Where once the Negus was an unchallenged hegemon, they now had to frequently contend with rivals for power within the priestly and landowning classes.
However, not everyone took these changes lying down. The Aksumite merchant class, in a desperate attempt to reverse their dwindling powers, began a series of aggressive naval wars in the Red Sea. From the Dahlak islands to the port of Jeddah and even the island of Socotra, Aksumite merchants desperately tried to reassert their power.
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