Again, Aksum (also spelled Axum) was one of those Empires where you could argue the start date, depending on if you want it to be a real Empire, or just a tribe holding sway over an unusually large swath of land (for a tribe at these times). If you want to go by when it was renowned as a real Empire, the start date would be about 1 AD. Aksum was located In Eastern Africa, largely along the Red Sea, mostly in modern day Ethiopia. This kingdom was renowned for being Christian, along with the usual things, such as trade of gold, salt, and ivory. Before I continue, remember that Aksum was on the African side of the Red Sea, which is remarkably close to the Middle East, which is where the Islamic Holy City, Mecca, is located. In the 600s, Muslims invade from across the Red Sea. The largely promoted reason was because the people of Aksum practiced the "blasphemous" religion Christianity, but another reason was the Muslims wanted the vast hoards of treasures the Empire possessed. This invasion was basically the fall of the Kingdom.