Gondar or Gonder is a city and separate woreda in Ethiopia. Located in the Semien Gondar Zone of the Amhara Region, Gondar is north of Tana Lake on the Lesser Angereb River and southwest of the Simien Mountains, it has a longitude of 12 ° 36 ′ N 37 ° 28 ′ E with an elevation of 2133 meters above sea level. It is surrounded by the Gondar Zuria woreda. Gondar served as a strong Christian kingdom for many years. Gondar served as the capital of both the Ethiopian Empire and the subsequent Begemder Province; the city holds the remains of several royal castles, including those in Fasil Ghebbi, for which Gondar has been called the "Camelot of Africa". Until the 16th century, the Solomonic Emperors of Ethiopia had no fixed capital town, but instead lived in tents in temporary royal camps as they moved around their realms while their family and retinue devoured surplus crops and cut down nearby trees for firewood. One exception to this rule was Debre Berhan, founded by Zara Yaqob in 1456. Gondar was founded by Emperor Fasilides around the year 1635, grew as an agricultural and market town.
There was a superstition at the time that the capital's name should begin with the letter'Gʷa', which contributed to Gorgora's growth in the centuries after 1600. Tradition states that a buffalo led the Emperor Fasilides to a pool beside the Angereb, where an "old and venerable hermit" told the Emperor he would locate his capital there. Fasilides built his castle on that same site; the emperor built a total of seven churches. The five emperors who followed him built their palaces in the town. Beginning with Emperor Menas in 1559, the rulers of Ethiopia began spending the rainy season near Lake Tana returning to the same location each year; these encampments, which flourished as cities for a short time, include Emfraz, Ayba and Dankaz. In 1668, as a result of a church council, the Emperor Yohannes I ruled that the inhabitants of Gondar were to be segregated by religion; this caused the Muslims to move within two years. This quarter came to be known as Addis Alem. During the seventeenth century, the city's population is estimated to have exceeded 60,000.
Many of the buildings from this period survive, despite the turmoil of the eighteenth century. By the reign of Iyasu the Great, Gondar had acquired a sense of community identity. Although Gondar was by any definition a city, it was not a melting pot of diverse traditions, nor Ethiopia's window to the larger world, according to Donald Levine. "It served rather as an agent for the quickened development of the Amhara's own culture. And thus it became a focus of national pride... not as a hotbed of alien custom and immorality, as they regard Addis Ababa today, but as the most perfect embodiment of their traditional values." As Levine elaborates in a footnote, it was an orthogenetic pattern of development, as distinguished from an heterogenetic one. The town served as Ethiopia's capital until Tewodros II moved the Imperial capital to Magadala upon being crowned Emperor in 1855. Abdallahi ibn Muhammad sacked Gondar when he invaded Ethiopia June 1887. Gondar was ravaged again on 23 January in the next year, when Sudanese invaders set fire to every one of the city's churches.
After the military occupation of Ethiopia by the Kingdom of Italy in 1936, Gondar was further developed under Italian occupation, the Comboni missionaries established in 1937 the Latin Catholic Apostolic Prefecture of Gondar, which would be suppressed after its only prefect's death in 1951. During the Second World War, Mussolini's Italian forces made their last stand in Gondar in November 1941, after Addis Ababa fell to British forces six months before; the area of Gondar was one of the main centers of activity of Italian guerrilla against the British forces until summer 1943. During the Ethiopian Civil War, the forces of the Ethiopian Democratic Union gained control of large parts of Begemder, during parts of 1977 operated within a few kilometers of Gondar, appeared to be at the point of capturing the city; as part of Operation Tewodros near the end of the Civil War, Gondar was captured by the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front in March 1991. Gondar traditionally was divided into several neighborhoods or quarters: Addis Alem, where the Muslim inhabitants dwelled.
Gondar is a noted center of ecclesiastical learning of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, known for having 44 churches – for many years more than any other settlement in Ethiopia. Gondar and its surrounding countryside constitute the homeland of most Ethiopian Jews; the modern city of Gondar is popular as a tourist destination for its many picturesque ruins in Fasil Ghebbi, from which the emperors once reigned. The most famous buildings in the city lie in the Royal Enclosure, which include Fasilide
Mentewab, was Empress of Ethiopia, consort of Emperor Bakaffa, mother of Iyasu II and grandmother of Iyoas I. She was known by her baptismal name of Welete Giyorgis. Mentewab was a major political figure during the reigns of her son the Emperor Iyasu and grandson Iyoas. Empress Mentewab was known by the honorific of Berhan Mogasa or "Glorifier of Light"; this was to compliment the honorific of her son Iyasu II, Berhan Seged or "He To Whom the Light Bows". Mentewab was born in Qwara province, was rumored to have had a Portuguese grandparent, she was a daughter of Dejazmach Manbare of Dembiya by Woizero Yenkoy. Mentewab married Emperor Bakaffa in Qwara 6 September 1722. Following the death of her husband, Empress Mentewab took up a romantic liaison with her late husband's nephew; the Empress' much younger lover was derisively called "Melmal Iyasu" by members of the court. Mentewab would have three daughters by "Melmal Iyasu", including Woizero Aster Iyasu, who would marry the powerful Tigrean warlord Ras Mikael Sehul.
Empress Mentewab built several significant structures in Gondar, including her own castle in the Royal Enclosure, a large banqueting hall as well. Most she built a church dedicated to the Virgin Mary at Qusquam in the mountains outside of Gondar. Empress Mentewab built a palace adjoining her church, which became her favored residence. Empress Mentewab was crowned co-ruler upon the succession of her son Iyasu II in 1730, held unprecedented power over government during his reign, her attempt to continue in this role following the death of her son 1755 led her into conflict with Wubit, Iyasu's widow, who believed that it was her turn to preside at the court of her own son Iyoas. The conflict between these two queens led to Mentewab summoning her Qwaran relatives and their forces to Gondar for support. Wubit responded by summoning their considerable forces from Yejju. Mentewab summoned the powerful Mikael Sehul to prevent a bloodbath. Upon arriving in Gondar, he was made Ras. Mentewab had hoped that he would land on her side, but instead Ras Mikael seized power for himself, engineered the murder by strangulation of Emperor Iyoas I, at which time Mikael married the aunt of his victim.
Empress Mentewab was distraught at the murder of her grandson. She retreated to Qusquam and buried her grandson there next to her son, refused to return to the city of Gondar, she lived at her palace there in seclusion till the end of her life. Children by Emperor Bakaffa: Abetohun Agaldem Iyasu, succeeded as Iyasu II Woizero Walatta Takla Haymanot, married 1730, Ras IlyasChildren by Abetohun Iyasu Milmal: Woizero Walatta Israel, married Dejazmach Yosadiq Wolde Habib, sometime Governor of Gojjam, son of Dejazmach Wolde Habib bin Ibido, sometime Governor of Gojjam. Woizero Aster, married c. 1755, Dejazmatch Natcho, of Chirkin, by whom she had one son. Woizero Altash, married September 2, 1755 Wolde Hayawrat, son of Ras Mikael Sehul Hezqiyas
Aksumite currency was coinage produced and used within the Kingdom of Aksum centered in present-day Eritrea and the Tigray Region of Ethiopia. Its mints were issued and circulated from the reign of King Endubis around AD 270 until it began its decline in the first half of the 7th century. During the succeeding medieval period, Mogadishu currency, minted by the Sultanate of Mogadishu, was the most circulated currency in the Horn of Africa. Aksum's currency served as a vessel of propaganda demonstrating the kingdom's wealth and promoting the national religion, it facilitated the Red Sea trade on which it thrived. The coinage has proved invaluable in providing a reliable chronology of Aksumite kings due to the lack of extensive archaeological work in the area. Though the issuing of minted coins didn't begin until around 270, metal coins may have been used in Aksum centuries prior to centralized minting; the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea mentions that the Aksumite state imported brass, "which they use for ornaments and for cutting as money", they imported "a little money for foreigners who live there."
It can be inferred, that early Aksumite kings, located on the international trading waters of the Red Sea, recognized the utility of a standardized currency for facilitating both domestic and international trade. Though Aksumite coins are indigenous in design and creation, some outside influences encouraging the use of coins is undeniable. By the time coins were first minted in Aksum, there was widespread trade with Romans on the Red Sea. Roman and Kushana coins have all been found in major Aksumite cities, only small quantities have been attested and the circulation of foreign currency seems to have been limited. Though South Arabian kingdoms had minted coins, they had gone out of use by the time of certain Aksumite involvement in South Arabia under GDRT, only rarely produced electrum or gold denominations, making influence unlikely; the major impetus, was not emulation but economical. Despite these influences, the coins were of genuinely indigenous design, foreign influences were weak and few in number.
Aksumite currency were first minted in the stages of the growth of the empire, when its Golden Age had begun. The minting of coins began around 270, beginning with the reign of Endubis. Gold seems to have been acquired from a number of sources. Gold came from Sasu, as well as more nearby Ethiopian sources, though the latter isn't well documented for the north. A gold trade from the southern areas of Ethiopia such as the medieval province/kingdom of Innarya has been attested from the 6th century and continued through James Bruce's day. Gold came from more northerly sources such as Gojjam, Beja lands, what is now Eritrea, though the latter two are less certain. However, a recent gold exploration assay in Eritrea has found significant gold deposits at Emba Derho, deposits are attested at Zara in central-western Eritrea. While local sources of gold are attested during the Aksumite era, silver seems to have been rarer in Aksum. No mention of silver mines in the region exist until the 16th centuries.
Though silver was imported as attested by the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, given the preponderance of silver coins, it could not have been the only source of silver in Aksum. Furthermore, a significant number of the silver coins contain gold inlays, which would have been unnecessary if silver were so rare that it had to be imported. Silver may have been obtained from the refinement of gold, which sometimes occurs with silver in an alloy called electrum. Copper and bronze do not seem to have existed locally in the Aksumite empire, though they were noted as imports in the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea. Though the gold coins were the most valuable issue, followed by the silver one, the exact relationship between the three issues is not known; the supply of gold was controlled by the Aksumite state, as noted by Cosmas Indicopleustes, other precious metals were undoubtedly closely controlled, allowing the Aksumite state to ensure the usage of its currency. The quality of the Aksumite coins were closely controlled of high purity.
For example, the lowest purity of gold recorded thus far for Aphilas is 90 percent. Early issues were very close to their theoretical weights, some were over.) However, the weight of the coins tended to decrease over time. This may have reflected a desire to conform to the Diocletian monetary reform of 301, when the aureus was decreased from 1/60 of a pound to 1/72. Despite decreases in weight, the purity of the gold was maintained by kings; the relative abundance of Aksumite coins as well as the many that have yet to be found indicate that Aksum must have had access to large quantities of gold. The coins were inscribed in Greek, as much of its trade was with the "Graecised Orient." Inscriptions made more use of Ge'ez, the language of the Aksumites indicating a decline in its use for more international trade. The obverse of the coins would always feature an image of the king wearing either a cro
Eritrean War of Independence
The Eritrean War of Independence was a conflict fought between the Ethiopian government and Eritrean separatists from September 1961 to May 1991. Eritrea was claimed by the Ethiopian Empire from 1941 after both territories were liberated from Italian occupation as part of Italian East Africa during World War II. Ethiopia's wishes were fulfilled by the United Nations General Assembly in 1950, Eritrea became a constituent state of the Federation of Ethiopia and Eritrea in 1952. Eritrea's declining autonomy and growing discontent with Ethiopian rule caused an independence movement led by the Eritrean Liberation Front in 1961, leading Ethiopia to dissolve the federation and annex Eritrea the next year. Following the Ethiopian Revolution in 1974, the Derg abolished the Ethiopian Empire and established a Marxist-Leninist communist state, bringing the Eritrean War of Independence into the Ethiopian Civil War and Cold War conflicts; the Derg enjoyed support from the Soviet Union and other Second World nations in fighting against Eritrean separatists supported by the United States and various other nations.
The Eritrean People's Liberation Front became the main separatist group in 1977, expelling the ELF from Eritrea exploiting the Ogaden War to launch a war of attrition against Ethiopia. The Ethiopian government under the Workers Party of Ethiopia lost Soviet support at the end of the 1980s and were overwhelmed by Eritrean separatists and Ethiopian anti-government groups, allowing the EPLF to defeat Ethiopian forces in Eritrea in May 1991; the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, with the help of the EPLF, defeated the People's Democratic Republic of Ethiopia when it took control of the capital Addis Ababa a month later. In April 1993, the Eritrean people voted unanimously in favour of independence in the Ethiopia-supported Eritrean independence referendum, with formal international recognition of an independent, sovereign Eritrea the same year; the Italians colonised Eritrea in 1890. In 1936, Italy invaded Ethiopia and declared it part of their colonial empire, which they called Italian East Africa.
Italian Somaliland was part of that entity. There was a unified Italian administration. Conquered by the Allies in 1941, Italian East Africa was sub-divided. Ethiopia reoccupied its Italian occupied lands in 1941. Italian Somaliland remained under Italian rule until 1960 but as a United Nations protectorate, not a colony, when it united with independence in 1960, form the independent state of Somalia. Eritrea was made a British Protectorate from the end of World War II until 1951. However, there was debate as to; the British proposed that Eritrea be divided along religious lines with the Christians to Ethiopia and the Muslims to Sudan. This, caused great controversy. In 1952, the UN decided to federate Eritrea to Ethiopia, hoping to reconcile Ethiopian claims of sovereignty and Eritrean aspirations for independence. About nine years Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie dissolved the federation and annexed Eritrea, triggering a thirty-year armed struggle in Eritrea. During the 1960s, the Eritrean independence struggle was led by the Eritrean Liberation Front.
The independence struggle can properly be understood as the resistance to the annexation of Eritrea by Ethiopia long after the Italians left the territory. Additionally, one may consider the actions of the Ethiopian Monarchy against Muslims in the Eritrean government as a contributing factor to the revolution. At first, this group factionalized the liberation movement along geographic lines; the initial four zonal commands of the ELF were all lowland areas and Muslim. Few Christians joined the organization in the beginning. After growing disenfranchisement with Ethiopian occupation, highland Christians began joining the ELF; these Christians were part of the upper class or university-educated. This growing influx of Christian volunteers prompted the opening of the fifth command. Internal struggles within the ELF command coupled with sectarian violence among the various zonal groups splintered the organization; the war started on 1 September 1961 with the Battle of Adal, when Hamid Idris Awate and his companions fired the first shots against the occupying Ethiopian Army and police.
In 1962, Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia unilaterally dissolved the federation and the Eritrean parliament and annexed the country. In 1970 members of the group had a falling out, several different groups broke away from the ELF. During this time, the ELF and the groups that joined together to form the Eritrean People's Liberation Front fought a bitter civil war; the two organizations were forced by popular will to reconcile in 1974 and participated in joint operations against Ethiopia. In 1974, Emperor Haile Selassie was ousted in a coup; the new Ethiopian government, called the Derg, was a Marxist military junta, which came to be controlled by strongman Mengistu Haile Mariam. The new Derg regime took an additional three to four years to get complete control of both Ethiopia and parts of Somalia. With this change of government and widely known recognition, Ethiopia became directly under the influence of the Soviet Union. Many of the groups that splintered from the ELF joined together in 1977 and formed the EPLF.
By the late 1970s, the EPLF had become the dominant armed Eritrean group fighting against the Ethiopian government. The leader of the umbrella organization was Secretary-General of the EPLF Ramadan Mohammed Nour, while the Assistant Secretary-General was Isaias Afewerki. Much of the equipment used to combat Ethiopia was captured from the Ethiopian Army. During this tim
Book of Judges
The Book of Judges is the seventh book of the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Old Testament. In the narrative of the Hebrew Bible, it covers the time between the conquest described in the Book of Joshua and the establishment of a kingdom in the Books of Samuel, during which Biblical judges served as temporary leaders; the stories follow a consistent pattern: the people are unfaithful to Yahweh and he therefore delivers them into the hands of their enemies. Scholars consider many of the stories in Judges to be the oldest in the Deuteronomistic history, with their major redaction dated to the 8th century BCE and with materials such as the Song of Deborah dating from much earlier. Judges can be divided into three major sections: a double prologue, a main body, a double epilogue; the book opens with the Israelites in the land that God has promised to them, but worshiping "foreign gods" instead of Yahweh, the God of Israel, with the Canaanites still present everywhere. Chapters 1:1–2:5 are thus a confession of failure, while chapters 2:6–3:6 are a major summary and reflection from the Deuteronomists.
The opening thus sets out the pattern which the stories in the main text will follow: Israel "does evil in the eyes of Yahweh", the people are given into the hands of their enemies and cry out to Yahweh, Yahweh raises up a leader, the "spirit of Yahweh" comes upon the leader, the leader manages to defeat the enemy, peace is regained. Once peace is regained, Israel does right and receives Yahweh's blessings for a time, but relapses into doing evil and repeats the pattern set forth above. Judges opens with a reference to Joshua's death; the Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges suggests that "the death of Joshua may be regarded as marking the division between the period of conquest and the period of occupation", the latter being the focus of the Book of Judges. The Israelites meet, most at the sanctuary at Gilgal or at Shechem and ask the Lord who should be first to secure the land they are to occupy; the main text gives accounts of six major judges and their struggles against the oppressive kings of surrounding nations, as well as the story of Abimelech, an Israelite leader who oppresses his own people.
The cyclical pattern set out in the prologue is apparent at the beginning, but as the stories progress it begins to disintegrate, mirroring the disintegration of the world of the Israelites. Although some scholars consider the stories not to be presented in chronological order, the judges in the order in which they appear in the text are: Othniel vs. Chushan-Rishathaim, King of Aram. Ehud vs. Eglon of Moab Deborah the prophetess, accompanied by Barak the army leader, vs. Jabin of Hazor and Sisera, his captain Gideon vs. Midian and the "children of the East" Abimelech vs. all the Israelites who oppose him Jephthah vs. the Ammonites Samson vs. the PhilistinesThere are brief glosses on six minor judges: Shamgar and Jair, Ibzan and Abdon. Some scholars have inferred that the minor judges were actual adjudicators, whereas the major judges were leaders and did not make legal judgements; the only major judge described as making legal judgments is Deborah. By the end of Judges, the Israelites are in a worse condition than they were at the beginning, with Yahweh's treasures used to make idolatrous images, the Levites corrupted, the tribe of Dan conquering a remote village instead of the Canaanite cities, the tribes of Israel making war on the tribe of Benjamin, their own kinsmen.
The book concludes with two appendices, stories which do not feature a specific judge: Micah's Idol, how the tribe of Dan conquers its territory in the north Battle of Gibeah, a war between Benjamin and the other tribes. Despite their appearance at the end of the book, certain characters and idioms present in the epilogue show that the events therein depict a point in time early in the period of the judges. Judges contains a chronology of its events, it is overtly schematic and, according to biblical scholar Jeremy Hughes, shows signs of having been introduced at a period. It is unclear; the basic source for Judges was a collection of loosely connected stories about tribal heroes who saved the people in battle. This original "book of saviours" made up of the stories of Ehud and parts of Gideon, had been enlarged and transformed into "wars of Yahweh" before being given a comprehensive Deuteronomistic revision. In the 20th century, the first part of the prologue and the two parts of the epilogue were seen as miscellaneous collections of fragments tacked onto the main text, the second part of the prologue as an introduction composed expressly for the book.
More this view has been challenged, there is an increasing willingness to see Judges as the work of a single individual, working by sel
Tewodros II was Emperor of Ethiopia from 1855 until his death in 1868. He was born Kassa Hailegiorgis, his rule is placed as the beginning of modern Ethiopia, ending the decentralized Zemene Mesafint. Tewodros II's origins were in the Era of the Princes, but his ambitions were not those of the regional nobility, he sought to reform its administration and church. He sought to restore Solomonic hegemony, he considered himself the Elect of God. Tewodros II's first task was to bring Shewa under his control. During the Era of the Princes, Shewa was more than most provinces, an independent entity, its ruler styling himself Negus, a royal title denoting monarchy. In the course of subduing the Shewans, Tewodros imprisoned a Shewan prince, Menelik II, who would become emperor himself. Despite his success against Shewa, Tewodros faced constant rebellions in other provinces, he committed suicide at the Battle of Magdala, during the British Expedition to Abyssinia. In the first six years of his reign, the new ruler managed to put down these rebellions, the empire was peaceful from about 1861 to 1863, but the energy and manpower necessary to deal with regional opposition limited the scope of Tewodros's other activities.
Tewodros II never realized his dream of restoring a strong monarchy, although he took many important initial steps. He sought to establish the principle that judges must be salaried appointees, he established a professional standing army, rather than depending on local lords to provide soldiers for his expeditions. He introduced the collection of books in the form of a library, tax codes, as well as a centralized political system with respective administrative districts, he intended to reform the church but he was confronted by strong opposition when he tried to impose a tax on church lands to help finance government activities. His confiscation of these lands gained him enemies in the church and little support elsewhere. Tewodros was a talented military campaigner. Kassa was the son of a Christian nobleman of the Qwara district of the province of Dembiya named Hailegiorgis Woldegiorgis, his paternal grandfather, Dejazmatch Woldegiorgis, was a respected figure of his time. Dembiya was part of the large territory known as Ye Maru Qemas, or "the taste of the honey".
It was the personal fief of Dejazmach Maru, a powerful warlord, relative of Kassa Hailu. Kassa's mother, Woizero Atitegeb Wondbewossen, was of the upper nobility, was from Sayint, her mother Woizer Tishal was a member of a noble family of Begemder, while her paternal grandfather, Ras Wodajo, was a powerful and influential figure. Tewodros II, in his reign, claimed that his father was descended from Emperor Fasilides by way of a daughter; when Kassa was young, his parents divorced and Woizero Atitegeb moved back to Gondar taking her son with her. Not long after their departure, news reached them. Popular legend states that Kassa's paternal relatives split up the entire paternal inheritance, leaving young Kassa and his mother with nothing and in dire circumstances financially. In these hard times, his enemies came with a saying that his mother, Woizero Atitegeb, was reduced to selling "Kosso", a native herbal remedy used to purge patients of intestinal worms. There is no evidence that Woizero Atitegeb was a Kosso seller, several writers such as have stated outright that it was a false rumor spread by her detractors.
Evidence indicates that Woizero Atitegeb was well to do, indeed had inherited considerable land holdings from her own illustrious relatives to lead a comfortable life. Kassa's youth was not lived lavishly, but he was far from a pauper. Kassa was sent to school between Gondar and Lake Tana. In this asylum he took refuge until it was sacked by a defeated Galla chief named Dejazmatch Maru, who by burning and cutting to pieces children, took cowardly vengeance on their victories parents! Kassa escaped and fled to the protection of his kinsman, Dejazmatch Kenfu his uncle but believed to be his half-brother, he became familiar with the Bible and Ethiopian literature. For his time, Kassa was a well-educated man, he received instruction on the techniques of Ethiopian warfare from Kenfu. When Kenfu died, his two sons were defeated by another Dajazmach, Dajazmach Goshu of Damot and Gojjam, Kassa was forced to make another start in life, offered his services to Goshu. Kassa Hailu was born into a country rife with civil war, he defeated many regional noblemen and princes before becoming emperor during time known as the Zemene Mesafint or "Age of the Princes".
During this era, regional princes, noble lords of diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds vied with each other for power and control of the Gondarine Emperor. A puppet Emperor of the Solomonic dynasty was enthroned in Gondar by one nobleman, only to be dethroned and replaced by another member of the Imperial dynasty when a different regional prince was able to seize Gondar and the reins of power. Regions such as Gojjam and Shewa were ruled by their own branches of the Imperial dynasty and, in Shewa, the local prince went as far as assuming the title of King. In Wollo, competing royal powerful Or
Second Italo-Ethiopian War
The Second Italo-Ethiopian War referred to as the Second Italo-Abyssinian War, was a colonial war fought from 3 October 1935 until 19 February 1937, although Addis Ababa was captured on 5 May 1936. The war was fought between the armed forces of the Kingdom of Italy and those of the Ethiopian Empire. Ethiopia was defeated and subjected to military occupation; the Ethiopian Empire became a part of the Italian colony of Italian East Africa. Fighting continued until the Italian defeat in East Africa in 1941, during the East African Campaign of the Second World War. Italy and Ethiopia were members of the League of Nations yet the League was unable to control Italy or to protect Ethiopia when Italy violated Article X of the Covenant of the League of Nations; the Abyssinia Crisis of 1935 is seen as a clear demonstration of the ineffectiveness of the League. The Italian victory coincided with the zenith of the popularity of dictator Benito Mussolini and the Fascist regime at home and abroad. Ethiopia was consolidated with Italian Somaliland into Africa Orientale Italiana.
Since the 1880s, Italy had been committed to an imperialist policy in the Horn of Africa with Italy taking Eritrea in 1885, subsequently parts of Somalia. The First Italo-Ethiopian War in which Italy invaded Ethiopia ended with a humiliating defeat for Italy at the last battle, the Battle of Adwa, caused the downfall of the ultra-imperialist government of Crispi; the decisive victory by the Ethiopians over the Italians at Adwa destroyed the Italian forces and humiliated their country. The victory of the black Ethiopians over the white Italians at Adwa caused a "deep national trauma" in Italy, as the inferior Ethiopians were viewed as incapable of defeating the Italians, Italy was the only European nation to lose a major war with an African country during the "Scramble for Africa". In 1906, a secret Anglo-Italo-French agreement had consigned Ethiopia to the Italian sphere of influence and the Regio Esercito had started planning for an invasion of Ethiopia in 1908. However, successive Italian governments had more pressing priorities than "avenging Adowa", however great the popular clamour might be, the strategy favoured by the Foreign Ministry was one of "friendship" and "peaceful penetration", bringing Ethiopia into the Italian economic sphere of influence as the prelude to placing it in the political sphere of influence.
In the 1920s, the Fascist regime of Benito Mussolini continued the same policies as his predecessors towards Ethiopia, not least because Italy was involved in the "pacification of Libya" and could not afford to fight two major colonial wars at once. In 1925, Mussolini wrote that he would pursue an "integral violent solution" to the "problem" of Ethiopia when the time was right. Raffaele Guariglia, who served as the Director of European Affairs at the Foreign Ministry, wrote in a 1931 memo that Italy had ambitions in Ethiopia that would be achieved "probably with war". In January 1932, the Foreign Minister Dino Grandi described the policy of "peaceful penetration" as a failure, writing that a policy of politica periferica was needed, advised that the Regio Esercito should start planning for an aggressive war. Guariglia in a memo in August 1932 wrote that Italy should invade Ethiopia provided that Britain and France agreed to support the invasion first. In 1932, Mussolini ordered his Minister of Colonies, Emilio De Bono, to start planning for an invasion of Ethiopia to be launched in the near-future.
However, the commander of the Regio Esercito, Marshal Pietro Badoglio out of jealousy that De Bono was to lead the planned invasion, launched a scathing critique of the De Bono plan, arguing that Italy needed larger forces and a greater logistics basis for an invasion. As a response to Badoglio's objections, Mussolini reluctantly agreed to upgrade the ports and railroads in Eritrea and Italian Somaliland to support the 300,000 men force that Badoglio insisted was necessary. On 30 December 1934, Mussolini gave orders for the "whole destruction of the Ethiopian armed forces and the occupation of the whole of Ethiopia". Mussolini's reasons for the invasion have been much debated by historians; the Italian historians' Franco Catalano and Giorgio Rochat argue that the invasion was an act of social imperialism, contending that the Great Depression had badly damaged Mussolini's prestige, that he needed a foreign war to distract public opinion. Other historians such as Pietro Pastorelli have seen the invasion as more due to plans that Mussolini had long nurtured for an empire in the Horn of Africa and Arabia.
Greek historian Aristotle Kallis noted in the early 1930s that Mussolini had considered invading Yemen to give Italy a foothold in the Middle East, only chose Ethiopia in order to "avenge Adowa" and because Ethiopia was considered to be the weaker opponent. American historian MacGregor Knox argued that Mussolini launched the war for both domestic and foreign policy reasons, arguing that Mussolini both wanted an empire abroad for its own sake and because he wanted a foreign policy triumph to push the Fascist system in a more radical direction in the face of opposition from the Crown, the Catholic Church, other vested interests in Italy. Mussolini appointed De Bono to command the invasion because he wanted the victory to be seen as a Fascist victory, not just an Italian victory, this was quite intentionally a snub of Marshal Badoglio and the rest of the Regio Esercito generals whose first loyalty was to King Victor Emmanuel III. Kallis argued the way in which Mussolini went out of his way after Badoglio replaced De Bono, to deny as much as possible the glory of the victory to the Italian Army and instead presente