Skip to main content

Benin (city and former kingdom, Nigeria)

Benin (bĕnēn´), city (1991 est. pop. 203,000), S Nigeria, a port on the Benin River. Palm nuts and timber are produced nearby and processed in Benin, which is the center of Nigeria's rubber industry. Furniture and carpets are also made. The Univ. of Benin (1970; formerly the Institute of Higher Studies of Benin) is there.

Benin was the capital of the kingdom of Benin, which was probably founded in the 13th cent. and flourished from the 14th through the 17th cent. The kingdom was ruled by the Oba and a sophisticated bureaucracy. From the late 15th cent. Benin traded slaves as well as ivory, pepper, and cloth to Europeans. In the early 16th cent. the Oba sent an ambassador to Lisbon, and the king of Portugal sent missionaries to Benin. The kingdom of Benin declined after 1700, but revived in the 19th cent. with the development of the trade in palm products with Europeans.

Britain conquered and burned the city in 1897, destroying much of the country's treasured art and dispersing nearly all that remained. The portrait figures, busts, and groups created in iron, carved ivory, and brass (long thought to be bronze) made in Benin beginning perhaps as early as the 13th cent. rank with the finest art of Africa. Cire perdue casting is still practiced there. Examples of Benin art are displayed in museums in the city.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Benin (city and former kingdom, Nigeria)." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Sep. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Benin (city and former kingdom, Nigeria)." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/benin-city-and-former-kingdom-nigeria

"Benin (city and former kingdom, Nigeria)." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved September 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/benin-city-and-former-kingdom-nigeria

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.