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Ethiopian Empire information

Ethiopian Empire
መንግሥተ ኢትዮጵያ (Ge'ez)
Mängəśtä ʾItyop̣p̣ya
1936–1941: Government-in-exile
Flag of Ethiopian Empire
(c. 1870s–1974)
Coat of arms of Ethiopian Empire
Coat of arms
Motto: ኢትዮጵያ ታበፅዕ እደዊሃ ሃበ እግዚአብሐር
Ityopia tabetsih edewiha habe Igziabiher (English: "Ethiopia Stretches Her Hands unto God")
("Ethiopia Stretches Her Hands unto God") (Psalm 68:31)
"ኢትዮጵያ ሆይ ደስ ይበልሽ"
(English: "Ethiopia, Be happy")
The Ethiopian Empire boundaries in 1952
The Ethiopian Empire boundaries in 1952
The location of the Ethiopian Empire during the reign of Yohannes IV (dark orange) compared with modern day Ethiopia (orange)
The location of the Ethiopian Empire during the reign of Yohannes IV (dark orange) compared with modern day Ethiopia (orange)
CapitalTegulet (1270–1456)
Debre Birhan (1456–1468)
Tegulet (1478–1528)
Emfraz (1559–1635)
Gondar (1635–1855)
Magdala (1855–1868)
Mekelle (1871–1889)
Addis Ababa (1889–1974)
Common languagesAmharic (dynastic, official, court)[1][2]
Ge’ez (liturgical language, literature)
many others
  • State religions:
  • Christianity
  • —Orthodox Tewahedo Church (1270–1622 and 1632–1974)
  • —Catholic Church (1622–1632)
  • Unofficial:
  • P'ent'ay Evangelicalism
  • Sunni Islam
  • Judaism
  • Traditional African religions
Demonym(s)Endonym: Ethiopian Exonym: Abyssinium
GovernmentAbsolute monarchy (1270–1931)[3]
Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy (1931–1974)
• 1270–1285 (first)
Yekuno Amlak[4]
• 1930–1974 (last)
Haile Selassie
Prime Minister 
• 1909–1927 (first)
Habte Giyorgis
• 1974 (last)
Mikael Imru
LegislatureNone (rule by decree)
(until 1931)
• Upper house
• Lower house
Chamber of Deputies
Predecessor states
  • Dʿmt
    Sultanate of Aussa
    Ethiopian–Eritrean federation
    Kingdom of Aksum
    Zagwe dynasty
    Land of Punt
    Sultanate of Showa
    Kingdom of Tankish
    Kingdom of Qita'a
    Kingdom of Nagash
    Kingdom of Jarin
    Sultanate of Dawaro
    Kingdom of Bazin
    Sultanate of Dahlak
    Kingdom of Belgin
    Sultanate of Bale
    Sultanate of Arababni
    Sultanate of Ifat
    Sultanate of Harar
    Ajuran Sultanate
    Adal Sultanate
    Kingdom of Garo
    Kingdom of Wolaita
    Kingdom of Kaffa
    Kingdom of Janjero
    Kingdom of Limmu-Ennarea
    Kingdom of Gomma
    Emirate of Harar
    Kingdom of Jimma
    Kingdom of Gumma
    Kingdom of Damot
    Kingdom of Semien
Historical eraMiddle Ages to Cold War
• Ascension of Yekuno Amlak
• Conquests of Amda Seyon I
• Ethiopian–Adal War
• Gondarine period
• Zemene Mesafint
• Menelik's Expansions
• First Italo-Ethiopian War
• Constitution adopted
16 July 1931
• Second Italo-Ethiopian War (annexed into Italian East Africa)
3 October 1935
• Sovereignty restored
5 May 1941
• Coup d'état by the Derg
12 September 1974
• Monarchy abolished
21 March 1975[6][7][8][9]
  • Aksumite currency
  • Gold tax[10]
  • Salt blocks (Amoleh)
  • Dinar[11]
  • Maria Theresa thaler (c. 18th–19th century)
  • Ethiopian birr, thaler, or dollar (from 1894)
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Ethiopian Empire Zagwe dynasty
Derg Ethiopian Empire

The Ethiopian Empire (Ge'ez: መንግሥተ ኢትዮጵያ, romanized: Mängəśtä ʾItyop̣p̣ya, lit. 'Kingdom of Ethiopia'), also formerly known by the exonym Abyssinia, or just simply known as Ethiopia (/ˌθiˈpiə/; Amharic and Tigrinya: ኢትዮጵያ ʾĪtyōṗṗyā, Ethiopian Empirelisten , Oromo: Itoophiyaa, Somali: Itoobiya, Afar: Itiyoophiyaa),[14] was an empire that historically spanned the geographical area of present-day Ethiopia and Eritrea from the establishment of the Solomonic dynasty by Yekuno Amlak approximately in 1270 until the 1974 coup d'etat of Emperor Haile Selassie by the Derg. By 1896, the Empire incorporated other regions such as Hararghe, Gurage and Wolayita,[15] and saw its largest expansion with the federation of Eritrea in 1952. Throughout much of its existence, it was surrounded by hostile forces in the African Horn; however, it managed to develop and preserve a kingdom based on its ancient form of Christianity.[16]

Founded in 1270 by the Solomonic dynasty nobleman Yekuno Amlak, who claimed to descend from the last Aksumite king and ultimately the Biblical Menelik I and the Queen of Sheba, it replaced the Agaw kingdom of the Zagwe. While initially a rather small and politically unstable entity, the Empire managed to expand significantly under the crusades of Amda Seyon I (1314–1344) and Yeshaq I (1414–1429), temporarily becoming the dominant force of the African Horn.[17] Yeshaq's reign was however challenged by Sultan Jamal ad-Din II which led to Yeshaq's death.[18] Under the rule of Zara Yaqob (1434–1468), the Hadiya Sultanate was invaded by Ethiopia and the captured Hadiya princess Eleni converted to Christianity leading to her marriage to Zara Yacob.[19][20] Muslims in the region as well as Adal Sultanate rejected the marriage alliance and repeatedly invaded Ethiopia, finally succeeding under Imam Mahfuz.[21] Mahfuz's ambush and defeat by Emperor Lebna Dengel brought about the early 16th-century Jihad of the Adalite Imam Ahmed Gran, who was only defeated in 1543 with the help of the Portuguese.[22] Greatly weakened, much of the Empire's southern territory and vassals were lost due to the Oromo migrations. In the north, in what is now Eritrea, Ethiopia managed to repulse Ottoman invasion attempts, although losing its access to the Red Sea to them.[23]

Reacting to these challenges, in the 1630s Emperor Fasilides founded the new capital of Gondar, marking the start of a new golden age known as the Gondarine period. It saw relative peace, the successful integration of the Oromo and a flourishing of culture. With the deaths of Emperor Iyasu II (1755) and Iyoas I (1769) the realm eventually entered a period of decentralization, known as the "Era of the Princes". Regional warlords fought for power, with the emperor being a mere puppet.

Emperor Tewodros II (r. 1855–1868) put an end to that state, reunified the Empire and led it into the modern period before dying during the British Expedition to Abyssinia. His successor Yohannes IV engaged primarily in war and successfully fought the Egyptians and Mahdists before dying against the latter in 1889. Emperor Menelik II, now residing in Addis Ababa, subjugated many peoples and kingdoms in what is now western, southern, and eastern Ethiopia, like Kaffa, Welayta, Aussa, and the Oromos. Thus, by 1898 Ethiopia expanded into its modern territorial boundaries. In the north, he was confronted with an expanding Italy. Decisively defeating it at the Battle of Adwa in 1896 using imported modern weapons, Menelik ensured Ethiopia's independence and confined Italy to Eritrea.

Later, after the Second Italo-Ethiopian War, Benito Mussolini's Italian Empire occupied Ethiopia and established the Italian East Africa, merging it with neighboring Eritrea and Italian Somaliland colony to the south-east. After World War II, the Italians were driven out of Ethiopia with the help of the British army. The Emperor returned from exile and the country was one of the founding members of the United Nations, and in 1962 annexed Eritrea. However, the 1973 Wollo famine and domestic discontent led to the fall of the Empire in 1974.[citation needed]

By 1974, Ethiopia was one of only three countries in the world to have the title of emperor for its head of state, together with Japan and Iran. It was the second-to-last country in Africa to use the title of emperor, as after it came the short-lived Central African Empire, which lasted between 1976 and 1979 under Emperor Bokassa I.[24]

  1. ^ The Southern Marches of Imperial Ethiopia: Essays in History and Social Anthropology, Donham Donald Donham, Lecturer in Social Anthropology Wendy James, Dr, PhD, Former Senior Lecturer in Mathematics Christopher Clapham, Patrick Manning CUP Archive, Sep 4, 1986, p. 11, Archived 28 December 2022 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Layers of Time: A History of Ethiopia, Paul B. Henze, November 18th 2008, p. 78, Archived 28 December 2022 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Nathaniel T. Kenney (1965). "Ethiopian Adventure". National Geographic. 127: 555.
  4. ^ Negash, Tekeste (2006). "The Zagwe Period and the Zenith of Urban Culture in Ethiopia, Ca. 930-1270 Ad". Africa: Rivista Trimestrale di Studi e Documentazione dell'istituto Italiano per l'Africa e l'Oriente. 61 (1): 120–137. JSTOR 40761842.
  5. ^ Constitution of Ethiopia, 4 November 1955, Article 76 (source: Constitutions of Nations: Volume I, Africa by Amos Jenkins Peaslee)
  6. ^ "Ethiopia Ends 3,000 Year Monarchy". Milwaukee Sentinel. 22 March 1975. p. 3.
  7. ^ "Ethiopia ends old monarchy". The Day. 22 March 1975. p. 7.
  8. ^ Henc van Maarseveen; Ger van der Tang (1978). Written Constitutions: A Computerized Comparative Study. Brill. p. 47.
  9. ^ "Ethiopia". The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. 1987.
  10. ^ The Royal Chronicle of his reign is translated in part by Richard K. P. Pankhurst, The Ethiopian Royal Chronicles (Addis Ababa: Oxford University Press, 1967).
  11. ^ The Royal Chronicle of his reign is translated in part by Richard K. P. Pankhurst, The Ethiopian Royal Chronicles (Addis Ababa: Oxford University Press, 1967).
  12. ^ Markessini, Joan (2012). Around the World of Orthodox Christianity - Five Hundred Million Strong: The Unifying Aesthetic Beauty. Dorrance Publishing. ISBN 9781434914866.
  13. ^ Morgan, Giles (2017). St George: The patron saint of England. Oldcastle Books. ISBN 978-1843449676.
  14. ^ E. A. Wallis Budge (1 August 2014). A History of Ethiopia: Volume I: Nubia and Abyssinia. Routledge. p. 7. ISBN 9781317649151.
  15. ^ International Crisis Group, "Ethnic Federalism and its Discontents". Issue 153 of ICG Africa report (4 September 2009) p. 2.
  16. ^ Hathaway, Jane (30 August 2018). The Chief Eunuch of the Ottoman Harem: From African Slave to Power-Broker. Cambridge University Press. p. 26. ISBN 9781107108295.
  17. ^ Barsbay. Encyclopedia Aethiopica.
  18. ^ Burton, Richard. Ethiopian Borderlands. p. 58.
  19. ^ Erlikh, Hagai (2000). The Nile Histories, Cultures, Myths. Lynne Rienner Publishers. p. 41. ISBN 9781555876722.
  20. ^ Hassen, Mohammed. Oromo of Ethiopia with special emphasis on the Gibe region (PDF). University of London. p. 22.
  21. ^ The Cambridge History of Africa, Volume 3. Cambridge University Press. 1975. p. 167. ISBN 9780521209816.
  22. ^ "Adal". Encyclopædia Britannica.
  23. ^ Pankhurst, History, p. 70; Özbaran, 87
  24. ^ Lentz, Harris M. (1994), Heads of States and Governments: A Worldwide Encyclopedia of Over 2,300 Leaders, 1945 through 1992, Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, ISBN 0-89950-926-6, OCLC 30075961

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