Ethiopian Empire

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Ethiopian Empire

የኢትዮጵያ ንጉሠ ነገሥት መንግሥተ (Amharic)
(Mängəstä Ityop'p'ya)
1936–1941: Government-in-exile
Motto: Ityopia tabetsih edewiha habe Igziabiher
ኢትዮጵያ ታበፅዕ እደዊሃ ሃበ እግዚአብሐር
"Ethiopia Stretches Her Hands unto God" (Psalm 68:31 paraphrased)
Anthem:  Ityopp'ya Hoy dess yibelish [1]
ኢትዮጵያ ሆይ ደስ ይበልሽ
"Ethiopia, Be happy"
Ethiopian Empire in 1952.svg
The Ethiopian Empire boundaries in 1952
Menelik II conquests map on world sphere.svg
The location of the Ethiopian Empire during the reign of Yohannes IV (dark orange) compared with modern day Ethiopia (orange)
Gondar (1635–1855)
Magdala (1855–1868)
Mekelle (1871–1885)
Addis Ababa (1886–1974)
Common languages Ge'ez
Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church
Demonym(s) Endonym: ኢትዮጵያዊ (Ethiopian);

• • •

Exonym: Abyssinian (in non-native sources, derived from the Arabic name for the general region "Al-Habash" and the most widely prominent pan-ethnic group the Habesha)
Government Absolute monarchy [2]
Yekuno Amlak (first) [3]
Haile Selassie (last)
Prime Minister  
Habte Giyorgis (first)
Mikael Imru (last)
LegislatureParliament [4]
Chamber of Deputies
Historical era Middle Ages to Cold War
 Empire established
980 BCE
23 October 1896
16 July 1931
3 October 1935 – May 1936
 Sovereignty restored
5 May 1941
 Admitted to the United Nations
13 November 1945
  Coup d'état by Derg
21 March 1975 [5] [6] [7] [8] [9]
19501,221,900 km2 (471,800 sq mi)
19741,221,900 km2 (471,800 sq mi)
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Blank.png Zagwe dynasty
Derg Flag of Ethiopia (1975-1987).svg
Today part ofFlag of Eritrea.svg  Eritrea
Flag of Ethiopia.svg  Ethiopia

The Ethiopian Empire (Tigrinya : ንጉሠ ነገሥት መንግሥቲ ዘ ኢትዮጵያ, Amharic : የኢትዮጵያ ንጉሠ ነገሥት መንግሥተ, Mängəstä Ityop'p'ya), also known by the exonym "Abyssinia" (derived from the Arabic al-Habash ), or just simply Ethiopia ( /ˌθiˈpiə/ ; Ge'ez : ኢትዮጵያ, Amharic : ኢትዮጵያ, ʾĪtyōṗṗyā, Loudspeaker.svg listen  , Tigrinya: ኢትዮጵያ, Oromo: Itoophiyaa, Somali: Itoobiya, Afar: Itiyoophiyaa) [10] was a kingdom that spanned a geographical area in the current states of Eritrea and Ethiopia. It began with the establishment of the Solomonic dynasty from approximately 1270 and lasted until 1974, when the ruling Solomonic dynasty was overthrown in a coup d'état by the Derg.

The Tigrinya language, is a Semitic language spoken by Tigrinyas of East Africa. They live primarily in modern countries of Eritrea and Ethiopia. Eritrea has nine languages of equal status. There is no official language at the policy level. In Ethiopia, Tigrinya is spoken in the Tigray region. It is also spoken by groups of emigrants from these regions, including some Beta Israel.

Al-Habash was an ancient region in the Horn of Africa. Situated in the northern highlands of modern-day Eritrea and Ethiopia, it was inhabited by the Habash or Abyssinians, who were the forebears of the Habesha people.


The territory of present-day Eritrea, after the end of the Kingdom of Aksum, was the domain of the Bahr Negus ("King of The Sea") of which the territory was the Medri Bahri (from 1433 to 1896) which throughout history was also a province of the Ethiopian empire, followed by coastal occupation of the city Massawa of today's Eritrea from Habesh Eyalet and then by British occupation of Egypt in 1882. In 1890 was occupied by Italy and became Italian Eritrea. Ethiopia and Liberia were the only two African nations to remain independent during the Scramble for Africa by the European imperial powers in the late 19th century. Ethiopia remained independent after defeating Italians during the First Italo-Ethiopian War. Later, after the Second Italo-Ethiopian War, the Italian Empire occupied Ethiopia briefly for five years and established the Italian East Africa colony in the region. The Italians were later driven out with the help of the British army. The country was one of the founding members of the United Nations in 1945.

Kingdom of Aksum Trading nation in the Horn of Africa

The Kingdom of Aksum, also known as the Kingdom of Axum or the Aksumite Empire, was an ancient kingdom centered in what is now Eritrea and the Tigray Region of northern Ethiopia. Axumite Emperors were powerful sovereigns, styling themselves King of kings, king of Aksum, Himyar, Raydan, Saba, Salhen, Tsiyamo, Beja and of Kush. Ruled by the Aksumites, it existed from approximately 100 AD to 940 AD. The polity was centered in the city of Axum and grew from the proto-Aksumite Iron Age period around the 4th century BC to achieve prominence by the 1st century AD. Aksum became a major player on the commercial route between the Roman Empire and Ancient India. The Aksumite rulers facilitated trade by minting their own Aksumite currency, with the state establishing its hegemony over the declining Kingdom of Kush. It also regularly entered the politics of the kingdoms on the Arabian Peninsula and eventually extended its rule over the region with the conquest of the Himyarite Kingdom. The Manichaei prophet Mani regarded Axum as one of the four great powers of his time, the others being Persia, Rome, and China.

Negus royal title in Ethiopia

Negus is a royal title in the Ethiopian Semitic languages. It denotes a monarch, such as the Bahri Negasi of the Medri Bahri kingdom in pre-1890 Eritrea, and the Negus in pre-1974 Ethiopia. The Negus is referred to as An-Najashi (النجاشي) in the Islamic tradition.

Medri Bahri A semi-unified political entity in the Middle Ages in the Horn of Africa

Medri Bahri was a medieval semi-unified political entity in the Horn of Africa. Also known as Marab (Merab) Melash was situated in modern-day Eritrea, it was ruled at times by the Bahri Negus and lasted from the 15th century to the Ethiopian occupation in 1879. It survived several threats like the invasion of Imam Gran and the Ottoman Red Sea expansion, albeit Medri Bahri irretrievably lost its access to the Red Sea due to the latter. The relation to the Ethiopian empire in the south varied from time to time, ranging from independence to tributary status to de facto annexation. At first the residence of the Bahr Negash was at Debarwa, but during the 17th century it was relocated to the village of Tsazega due to the same-named clan taking control of the kingdom.

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 under the Pahlavi dynasty. It was the second-to-last country in Africa to use the title of Emperor; the only one later was the Central African Empire, which was implemented between 1976 and 1979 by Emperor Bokassa I.

An emperor is a monarch, and usually the sovereign ruler of an empire or another type of imperial realm. Empress, the female equivalent, may indicate an emperor's wife, mother, or a woman who rules in her own right. Emperors are generally recognized to be of a higher honour and rank than kings. In Europe, the title of Emperor has been used since the Middle Ages, considered in those times equal or almost equal in dignity to that of Pope due to the latter's position as visible head of the Church and spiritual leader of the Catholic part of Western Europe. The Emperor of Japan is the only currently reigning monarch whose title is translated into English as Emperor.

Japan Country in East Asia

Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south.

Iran Islamic Republic in Western Asia

Iran, also called Persia, and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia. With 82 million inhabitants, Iran is the world's 18th most populous country. Its territory spans 1,648,195 km2 (636,372 sq mi), making it the second largest country in the Middle East and the 17th largest in the world. Iran is bordered to the northwest by Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan, to the north by the Caspian Sea, to the northeast by Turkmenistan, to the east by Afghanistan and Pakistan, to the south by the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, and to the west by Turkey and Iraq. Its central location in Eurasia and Western Asia, and its proximity to the Strait of Hormuz, give it geostrategic importance. Tehran is the political and economic center of Iran, and the largest and most populous city in Western Asia with more than 8.8 million residents in the city and 15 million in the larger metropolitan area.


D'mt and Kingdom of Aksum

A Kingdom of Aksum jar spout Axumite Jar Spout (2822628227).jpg
A Kingdom of Aksum jar spout

Ethiopia's human occupation began early, as evidenced by the findings[ which? ]. It is believed that the ancient Egyptians claimed that Punt, known as gold country, was in Ethiopia in 980 BC. According to the Kebra Nagast, Menelik I founded the Ethiopian empire in the 1st century BC, around when the Axumite Empire was established. In the 4th century, under King Ezana of Axum, the kingdom adopted Christianity (Ethiopian Orthodox Church) as the state religion. It was thus one of the first Christian states. [11]

Ancient Egypt ancient civilization of Northeastern Africa

Ancient Egypt was a civilization of ancient North Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in the place that is now the country Egypt. Ancient Egyptian civilization followed prehistoric Egypt and coalesced around 3100 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under Menes. The history of ancient Egypt occurred as a series of stable kingdoms, separated by periods of relative instability known as Intermediate Periods: the Old Kingdom of the Early Bronze Age, the Middle Kingdom of the Middle Bronze Age and the New Kingdom of the Late Bronze Age.

Land of Punt ancient kingdom

The Land of Punt was an ancient kingdom. A trading partner of Egypt, it was known for producing and exporting gold, aromatic resins, blackwood, ebony, ivory and wild animals. The region is known from ancient Egyptian records of trade expeditions to it. It is possible that it corresponds to Opone on the Horn of Africa, as later known by the ancient Greeks, while some biblical scholars have identified it with the biblical land of Put or Havilah.

Kebra Nagast 14th-century text about the Solomonic dynasty in Ethiopia

The Kebra Nagast, or The Glory of the Kings, is a 14th-century is a National Epic account written in Ge'ez by Is'haq Neburä -Id of Axum. The text, in its existing form, is at least 700 years old and is considered by many Ethiopian Christians to be a historically reliable work. It is considered to hold the genealogy of the Solomonic dynasty, which followed the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.

After the conquest of Aksum by Queen Gudit or Yodit, a period began which some scholars refer to as the Ethiopian Dark Ages. [11] According to Ethiopian tradition, she ruled over the remains of the Aksumite Empire for 40 years before transmitting the crown to her descendants. [11] In 1063 AD the Sultanate of Showa describes the passing of their overlord Badit daughter of Maya. [12]

Gudit Ethiopian Jewish Queen

Gudit was a non-Christian queen who laid waste to Axum and its countryside, destroyed churches and monuments, and attempted to exterminate the members of the ruling dynasty of the Kingdom of Aksum. Her deeds are recorded in the oral tradition and mentioned incidentally in various historical accounts.

Sultanate of Showa

The Sultanate of Showa also known as Makhzumi Dynasty was a Muslim kingdom situated in the territory of present-day Ethiopia. It was situated in the vicinity of the town of Walale. Its location was in northern Hararghe in Harla territory. The port of Zeila may have influenced the kingdom. The rise of the Makhzumi state at the same time resulted in the decline of the Kingdom of Axum. Several engravings dating back to the 13th century showing the presence of the kingdom are found in Chelenqo, Bate, Harla near Dire Dawa and Munessa near Lake Langano.

Makhzumi and Zagwe dynasty

The earliest Muslim state in Ethiopia, the Makhzumi dynasty with its capital in Wahal, Hararghe region succeeds Queen Badit. [13] The Zagwe kingdom another dynasty with its capital at Adafa, emerged not far from modern day Lalibela in the Lasta mountains. [14] The Zagwe continued the Orthodox Christianity of Aksum and constructed many rock-hewn churches such as the Church of Saint George in Lalibela. The dynasty would last until its overthrow by a new regime claiming descent from the old Aksumite kings.

Hararghe former Ethiopian province

Hararghe was a province in the eastern part of Ethiopia, with its capital in Harar. Including Ethiopia's part of the Ogaden, Haraghe was bounded on the south by Sidamo, southwest by Arsi, west by Shewa, northwest by Wollo, northeast by French Somaliland, and on the east by Somalia. Hararghe was the historical homeland of the Harla people.

Lalibela Place in Amhara Region, Ethiopia

Lalibela is a town in Amhara Region, Ethiopia famous for its rock-cut monolithic churches. The whole of Lalibela is a large antiquity of the medieval and post-medieval civilization of Ethiopia. Lalibela is one of Ethiopia's holiest cities, second only to Axum, and a center of pilgrimage. Unlike Axum, the population of Lalibela is almost completely Ethiopian Orthodox Christian.

Rock-cut architecture The creation of structures, buildings, and sculptures by excavating solid rock

Rock-cut architecture is the creation of structures, buildings, and sculptures by excavating solid rock where it naturally occurs. Rock-cut architecture is designed and made by man from the start to finish. In India and China, the terms 'cave' and 'cavern' are often applied to this form of man-made architecture. However, caves and caverns, that began in natural form, are not considered to be 'rock-cut architecture' even if extensively modified. Although rock-cut structures differ from traditionally built structures in many ways, many rock-cut structures are made to replicate the facade or interior of traditional architectural forms. Interiors were usually carved out by starting at the roof of the planned space and then working downward. This technique prevents stones falling on workers below. The three main uses of rock-cut architecture were temples, tombs and cave dwellings.

Solomonic dynasty

Map of medieval Ethiopian provinces, with sub-provinces in smaller lettering. MedievalEthiopia.png
Map of medieval Ethiopian provinces, with sub-provinces in smaller lettering.

In 1270, the Zagwe dynasty was overthrown by a king claiming lineage from the Aksumite kings and, hence, from Solomon. [14] The eponymously named Solomonic dynasty was founded and ruled by the Abyssinians, from whom Abyssinia gets its name. The Abyssinians reigned with only a few interruptions from 1270 until the late 20th century. This dynasty governed large parts of Ethiopia through much of its modern history. During this time, the empire conquered and annexed various kingdoms into its realm. The dynasty also successfully fought off Italian, Ottoman and Egyptian forces and made fruitful contacts with some European powers.

Adal Sultanate invasion

In 1529, the Adal Sultanate's forces led by Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al-Ghazi invaded the Ethiopian Empire in what is known as the Abyssinian–Adal war. The Adal occupation lasted fourteen years. During the conflict, the Adal Sultanate employed cannons provided by the Ottoman Empire. In the aftermath of the war, Adal annexed Ethiopia, uniting it with territories in what is now Somalia. In 1543, with the help of the Portuguese Empire, the Solomonic dynasty was restored.

Abyssinian King Yagbea-Sion and his forces (left) battling the Sultan of Adal and his troops (Le Livre des Merveilles, 15th century) YagbeaSionBattlingAdaSultan.JPG
Abyssinian King Yagbea-Sion and his forces (left) battling the Sultan of Adal and his troops (Le Livre des Merveilles, 15th century)

Early modern period

In 1543, Emperor Gelawdewos beat Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al-Ghazi armies and Ahmad himself was killed at the Battle of Wayna Daga, close to Wegera. This victory allowed the Empire to reconquer progressively the Ethiopian Highlands. [15] In 1559 Gelawdewos was killed attempting to invade Adal Sultanate, and his severed head was paraded in Adal's capital Harar. [16]

Dawit II of Ethiopia (Lebna Dengel), Emperor of Ethiopia (n@gusa Nagast) and member of the Solomonic dynasty Cristofano dell'Altissimo, Portrait of Lebna-Dengel. c. 1552-1568.jpg
Dawit II of Ethiopia (Lebna Dengel), Emperor of Ethiopia (nəgusä Nagast) and member of the Solomonic dynasty

The Ottoman Empire, distated by the defeat of its ally Gragn, made another attempt at conquering Ethiopia, from 1557, establishing Habesh Eyalet, the province of Abyssinia, by conquering Massawa, the Empire’s main port and seizing Suakin from the allied Funj Sultanate in what is now Sudan. In 1573 Harar attempted to invade Ethiopia again however Sarsa Dengel successfully defended the Ethiopian frontier. [17]

1683 Map of Ethiopia, Ludolf and Abba Gorgoryos, Major provinces (Gojjam, Tigre, Dembea, Gurage, Gamo, Cambata...) 1683ludolfbig.jpg
1683 Map of Ethiopia, Ludolf and Abba Gorgoryos, Major provinces (Gojjam, Tigre, Dembea, Gurage, Gamo, Cambata...)

The Ottomans were checked by Emperor Sarsa Dengel victory and sacking of Arqiqo in 1589, thus containing them on a narrow coast line strip. The Afar Sultanate maintained the remaining Ethiopian port on the Red Sea, at Baylul. [18]

Oromo migrations through the same period, occurred with the movement of a large pastoral population from the southeastern provinces of the Empire. A contemporary account was recorded by the monk Abba Bahrey, from the Gamo region. Subsequently, the empire organization changed progressively, with faraway provinces taking more independence. A remote province such as Bale is last recorded paying tribute to the imperial throne during Yaqob reign (1590-1607). [19]

By 1607, Oromos were also major players in the imperial politics, when Susenyos I, raised by a clan through gudifacha (or adoption), took power. He was helped by fellow Luba age-group generals Mecha, Yilma and Densa, who were rewarded by Rist feudal lands, in the present-day Gojjam districts of the same name. [20] Susenyos reign was also marked by his short-lived conversion to Catholicism, which ignited a major civil war. His son Fasilides I reverted the move.

The reign of Iyasu I the Great (1682-1706) was a major period of consolidation. It also saw the dispatching of embassies to Louis XIV's France and to Dutch India. During the reign of Iyasu II (1730-1755), the Empire was strong enough to undertake a war on the Sennar Sultanate, where the emperor leading its army to Sennar itself, was afterwards forced to reatreat upon defeat, along the Setit river. Iyasu II also confered the dignity of Kantibai of the Habab (northern Eritrea) after homage by a new dynasty. [21]

Fasilides Palace Fasilides Palace 02.jpg
Fasilides Palace
Guzara Fortress,in Enfranz Guzara Palace.jpg
Guzara Fortress,in Enfranz

The Wallo and Yejju clans rise to power culminated in 1755, when Emperor Iyoas I ascended to the imperial throne in Gondar. They would be one of the major factions contending for imperial power during the ensuing Zemene Mesafint, starting from 1769, when Mikael Sehul, Ras of Tigray killed Iyoas I and replaced him with Yohannes II.

The Early Modern period was one of intense cultural and artistic creation. Notable philosophers from that area are Zera Yacob and Walda Heywat. The city of Gondar became the capital in 1636, with several fortified castles built in the town and in its surrounding areas.

Princes' Era

Emperor Tewodros II's rise to the throne marked the end of the Zemene Mesafint. Tewodros II.jpg
Emperor Tewodros II's rise to the throne marked the end of the Zemene Mesafint .

From 1769 to 1855, the Ethiopian empire passed through a period known as the "Princes Era" (in Amharic Zemene Mesafint). This was a period of Ethiopian history with numerous conflicts between the various ras (equivalent to the English dukes) and the emperor, who had only limited power and only dominated the area around the contemporary capital of Gondar. Both the development of society and culture stagnated in this period. Religious conflict, both within the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and between them and the Muslims were often used as a pretext for mutual strife. The Princes Era ended with the reign of the Emperor Tewodros II.

Reign of Emperor Tewodros II and scramble for Africa

Abyssinia, c. 1891 Abyssinia1891map-excerpt1.jpg
Abyssinia, c. 1891

In 1868, following the imprisonment of several missionaries and representatives of the British government, the British engaged in the punitive Expedition to Abyssinia. This campaign was a success for Britain and the Ethiopian emperor committed suicide.

From 1874 to 1876, the Empire, under Yohannes IV, won the Ethiopian-Egyptian War, decisively beating the invading forces at the Battle of Gundet, in Hamasien province.

The 1880s were marked by the Scramble for Africa. Italy, seeking a colonial presence in Africa, invaded Ethiopia and following a successful conquest of some coastal regions, forced the Treaty of Wuchale upon Shewa (an autonomous kingdom within the Ethiopian Empire), creating the colony of Eritrea.

Ethiopia in 1911, following the conquests and treaties of Menelik II Ethiopia1911.png
Ethiopia in 1911, following the conquests and treaties of Menelik II

Due to significant differences between the Italian and Amharic translations of the Treaty of Wuchale, Italy believed they had subsumed Ethiopia as a client state. Ethiopia repudiated the treaty in 1893. Insulted, Italy declared war on Ethiopia in 1895. The First Italo-Ethiopian War resulted in the 1896 Battle of Adwa, in which Italy was decisively defeated. As a result, the Treaty of Addis Ababa was signed in October, which strictly delineated the borders of Eritrea and forced Italy to recognize the independence of Ethiopia.

Beginning in the 1880s, under the reign of the Emperor Menelik II, the empire's forces set off from the central province of Shoa to incorporate through conquest inhabited lands to the west, east and south of its realm. [22] The territories that were annexed included those of the western Oromo (non Shoan Oromo), Sidama, Gurage, Wolayta, [23] and Dizi. [24] Among the imperial troops was Ras Gobena's Shewan Oromo militia. Many of the lands that they annexed had never been under the empire's rule, with the newly incorporated territories resulting in the modern borders of Ethiopia. [25]

Delegations from the United Kingdom and France  European powers whose colonial possessions lay next to Ethiopia soon arrived in the Ethiopian capital to negotiate their own treaties with this newly-proven power.

Italian invasion and World War II

The Emperor's palace, 1934 ETH-BIB-Kaiserpalast, "der grosse Gibi" aus der Luft-Abessinienflug 1934-LBS MH02-22-0222.tif
The Emperor's palace, 1934

In 1935 Italian soldiers, commanded by Marshal Emilio De Bono, invaded Ethiopia in what is known as the Second Italo-Ethiopian War. The war lasted seven months before an Italian victory was declared. The Ethiopian Empire was incorporated into the Italian colony of Italian East Africa. The invasion was condemned by the League of Nations, though not much was done to end the hostility.

During the conflict, Italy used sulfur mustard in chemical warfare, ignoring the Geneva Protocol that it had signed seven years earlier. The Italian military dropped mustard gas in bombs, sprayed it from airplanes and spread it in powdered form on the ground. 150,000 chemical casualties were reported, mostly from mustard gas. In the aftermath of the war Italy annexed Ethiopia, uniting it with Italy's other colonies in eastern Africa to form the new colony of Italian East Africa, and Victor Emmanuel III of Italy adopted the title "Emperor of Abyssinia".

On 10 June 1940, Italy declared war on the United Kingdom and France, as France was in the process of being conquered by Germany at the time and Benito Mussolini wished to expand Italy's colonial holdings. The Italian conquest of British Somaliland in August 1940 was successful, but the war turned against Italy afterward. Haile Selassie returned to Ethiopia from England to help rally the resistance. The British began their own invasion in January 1941 with the help of Ethiopian freedom fighters, and the last organized Italian resistance in Italian East Africa surrendered in November 1941, ending Italian rule.

Fall of monarchy

Haile Selassie was the last Emperor of the Ethiopian Empire. Haile Selassie (1969).jpg
Haile Selassie was the last Emperor of the Ethiopian Empire.

In 1974 a pro-Soviet Marxist–Leninist military junta, the "Derg", led by Mengistu Haile Mariam, deposed Haile Selassie and established a one-party communist state. Haile Selassie was imprisoned and died in unclear circumstances, a rumor being that he was suffocated with an ether-soaked pillow. [26]


According to Bahrey, [27] there were ten social groups in the feudal Ethiopia of his time, i.e. at the end of the 16th century. These social groups consisted of the monks; the debtera; lay officials (including judges); men at arms giving personal protection to the wives of dignitaries and to princesses; the shimaglle, who were the lords and hereditary landowners; their farm labourers or serfs; traders; artisans; wandering singers; and the soldiers, who were called chewa. According to modern thinking, some of these categories are not true classes. But at least the shimaglle, the serfs, the chewa, the artisans and the traders constitute definite classes. Power was vested in the Emperor and those aristocrats he appointed to execute his power, and the power enforcing instrument consisted of a class of soldiers, the chewa. [28]


From the reign of Amde Tseyon, Chewa regiments, or legions, formed the backbone of the Empire military forces. The Ge’ez term for these regiments is ṣewa (ጼዋ) while the Amharic term is č̣äwa (ጨዋ). The normal size of a regiment was several thousand men. [29] Each regiment was allocated a fief (Gult), to ensure its upkeep ensured by the land revenue. [30]

In 1445, following the Battle of Gomit, the chronicles record that Emperor Zara Yacoq started garrisoning the provinces with Chewa regiments.

Name of regiment [31] RegionTranslation
Bäṣär waǧät Serae, Dawaro, Menz, Gamo Enemy of the waǧät
Ǧan amora Dobe’a, Tselemt, Gedem Eagle of the majesty
č̣äwa Bale Bale
č̣äwa Maya Bahir Negash
Bäṣur amora Gamo Spear of the eagle
Bäṣär šotäl Damot Spear of the foe

Major divisions of the military were :

One of the Chewa regiments, known as the Abe Lahm in Geez, or the Weregenu, in Oromo, lasted, and participated to the Battle of Adwa, only to be phased out in the 1920s. [33] .

The modern army was created under Ras Tafari Makonnen, in 1917, with the formation of the Kebur Zabagna, the imperial guard.

See also

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Amda Seyon I Emperor of Ethiopia, 1314-1344

Amda Seyon I was Emperor of Ethiopia, and a member of the Solomonic dynasty. According to the British expert on Ethiopia, Edward Ullendorff, "Amde Tseyon was one of the most outstanding Ethiopian kings of any age and a singular figure dominating the Horn of Africa in the fourteenth century." His conquests of Muslim borderlands greatly expanded Ethiopian territory and power in the region, maintained for centuries after his death. Amda Seyon asserted the strength of the newly (1270) installed Solomonic dynasty and therefore legitimized it. These expansions further provided for the spread of Christianity to frontier areas, sparking a long era of proselytization, Christianization, and integration of previously peripheral areas.

Newaya Krestos was Emperor (1344–1372) of the Ethiopian Empire, and a member of the Solomonic dynasty. He was the eldest son of Amda Seyon I.

This is a list of monarchies of Ethiopia that existed throughout the nation's history. It is divided into kingdoms that were subdivisions of Ethiopia, and kingdoms that were later conquered by Ethiopia. Ancient kingdoms fall into neither category.

Sultanate of Aussa former country

The Sultanate of Aussa was a kingdom that existed in the Afar Region eastern Ethiopia in the 18th and 19th centuries. It was considered to be the leading monarchy of the Afar people, to whom the other Afar rulers nominally acknowledged primacy.

Articles related to Ethiopia include:

Conflicts in the Horn of Africa Wikimedia list article

Since the 17th Century BCE, conflicts have been occurring in the Horn of Africa. This is a list of conflicts in the Horn of Africa, which includes the nations of Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia.

The Abyssinian–Adal war was a military conflict between the Ethiopian Empire and the Adal Sultanate that took place from 1529 until 1543. Abyssinian troops consisted of Amhara, Tigrayan and Agew ethnic groups. Adal forces consisted mostly of Somali.

The article covers the prehistory and history of Ethiopia from its emergence as an empire under the Aksumites to its current form as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia as well as the history of other areas in what is now Ethiopia such as the Afar Triangle. The Ethiopian Empire (Abyssinia) was first founded by Ethiopian people in the Ethiopian Highlands. Due to migration and imperial expansion, it grew to include many other primarily Afro-Asiatic-speaking communities, including Oromos, Amhara, Somalis, Tigray, Afars, Sidama, Gurage, Agaw and Harari, among others.

Military history of Somalia

The military history of Somalia encompasses the major conventional wars, conflicts and skirmishes involving the historic empires, kingdoms and sultanates in the territory of present-day Somalia, through to modern times. It also covers the martial traditions, military architecture and hardware employed by Somali armies and their opponents.

The Great Oromo migrations, also known as the Oromo migrations, were a series of expansions in the 16th and the 17th centuries by the Oromo people from southern Ethiopia, namely the contemporary Borana and Guji zones, into more northerly regions of Ethiopia. The expansion had a profound impact on subsequent historical events occurring in Ethiopia.

Sultanate of Dahlak

The Sultanate of Dahlak was a small Medieval kingdom covering the Dahlak Archipelago and parts of the African Red Sea coast in what is now Eritrea. First attested in 1093, it quickly profited from its location between Abyssinia and Yemen as well as Egypt and India. After the mid 13th century Dahlak lost its trade monopoly and subsequently started to decline. Both the Ethiopian empire and Yemen tried to enforce their authority over the sultanate. It was eventually annexed by the Ottomans in 1557, who made it part of their Abyssinian province.

Ethiopian Literature dates from Ancient Ethiopian literature up until modern Ethiopian Literature. Ancient Ethiopian literature starts with Axumite texts written in the Ge'ez language using the Ge'ez script, indigenous to both Ethiopia & Eritrea.

Ethiopian historiography Historiography of Ethiopia

Ethiopian historiography embodies the ancient, medieval, early modern and modern disciplines of recording the history of Ethiopia, including both native and foreign sources. The roots of Ethiopian historical writing can be traced back to the ancient Kingdom of Aksum. These early texts were written in either the Ethiopian Ge'ez script or the Greek alphabet, and included a variety of mediums such as manuscripts and epigraphic inscriptions on monumental stelae and obelisks documenting contemporary events. The writing of history became an established genre in Ethiopian literature during the early Solomonic dynasty (1270–1974). In this period, written histories were usually in the form of royal biographies and dynastic chronicles, supplemented by hagiographic literature and universal histories in the form of annals. Christian mythology became a linchpin of medieval Ethiopian historiography due to works such as the Orthodox Kebra Nagast. This reinforced the genealogical traditions of Ethiopia's Solomonic dynasty rulers, which asserted that they were descendants of Solomon, the legendary King of Israel.


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Further reading