Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church
The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church is the largest of the Oriental Orthodox Christian churches. One of the few pre-colonial Christian churches in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church has a membership of between 45 and 50 million people, the majority of whom live in Ethiopia, it is a founding member of the World Council of Churches. The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church is in communion with the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, having gained autocephaly in 1959; the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church was administratively part of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria from the first half of the 4th century until 1959, when it was granted its own patriarch by Cyril VI, Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria. As one of the oldest Christian churches and a non-Chalcedonian church, it is not in communion with the Ethiopian Catholic Church. Ethiopia is the second country following only Armenia, to have proclaimed Christianity as state religion. Tewahedo is a Ge'ez word meaning "being made one".
This word refers to the Oriental Orthodox belief in the one unified nature of Christ. The Oriental Orthodox churches adhere to a Miaphysitic Christological view followed by Cyril of Alexandria, the leading protagonist in the Christological debates of the 4th and 5th centuries, who advocated "mia physis tou theou logou sesarkōmenē", or "one nature of the Word of God incarnate" and a "union according to hypostasis", or hypostatic union; the distinction of this stance was that the incarnate Christ has one nature, but that one nature is of the two natures and human, retains all the characteristics of both after the union. Miaphysitism holds that in the one person of Jesus Christ and humanity are united in one nature without separation, without confusion, without alteration and without mixing where Christ is consubstantial with God the Father. Around 500 bishops within the Patriarchates of Alexandria and Jerusalem refused to accept the dyophysitism doctrine decreed by the Council of Chalcedon in 451, an incident that resulted in the first major split in the main body of the Christian Church.
The Oriental Orthodox churches, which today include the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, the Armenian Apostolic Church, the Syriac Orthodox Church, the Malankara Orthodox Church of India, the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church, are referred to as "Non-Chalcedonian", sometimes incorrectly by outsiders as "monophysite". Monophysitism is a theology adopted by a 5th-century presbyter and archimandrite in Constantinople known as Eutyches and claims that Christ has "one single nature" where his divinity absorbed his humanity resulting in a "simple" mathematical "one" nature to which the Oriental Orthodox churches object. According to these, both natures in Christ are preserved after the union in "mia physis"—one nature. Tewahedo is a Ge'ez word meaning "being made one" or "unified"; this word refers to the Oriental Orthodox belief in the one single unified nature of Christ. This is in contrast to the "two Natures of Christ" belief, held by the Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church.
Oriental Orthodoxy is known as "non-Chalcedonian", sometimes by outsiders as "monophysite". However, these Churches themselves describe their Christology as miaphysite. Many traditions claim that Christian teachings were introduced to the region after Pentecost. John Chrysostom speaks of the "Ethiopians present in Jerusalem" as being able to understand the preaching of Saint Peter in Acts, 2:38. Possible missions of some of the Apostles in the lands now called Ethiopia is reported as early as the 4th century. Socrates of Constantinople includes Ethiopia in his list as one of the regions preached by Matthew the Apostle, where a specific mention of "Ethiopia south of the Caspian Sea" can be confirmed in some traditions such as the Roman Catholic Church among others. Ethiopian Church tradition tells that Bartholomew accompanied Matthew in a mission which lasted for at least three months. Paintings depicting these missions are available in the Church of St. Matthew found in the Province of Pisa, in northern Italy portrayed by Francesco Trevisan and Marco Benefial.
The earliest account of an Ethiopian converted to the faith in the New Testament books is a royal official baptized by Philip the Evangelist, one of the seven deacons: Then the angel of the Lord said to Philip, Start out and go south to the road that leads down from Jerusalem to Gaza. So he was on his way when he caught sight of an Ethiopian; this man was a eunuch, a high official of the Kandake Queen of Ethiopia in charge of all her treasure. The passage continues by describing ho
Addis Ababa is the capital and largest city of Ethiopia. According to the 2007 census, the city has a population of 2,739,551 inhabitants; as a chartered city, Addis Ababa has the status of a state. It is where the African Union is headquartered and where its predecessor the Organisation of African Unity was based, it hosts the headquarters of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, as well as various other continental and international organizations. Addis Ababa is therefore referred to as "the political capital of Africa" for its historical and political significance for the continent; the city lies a few miles west of the East African Rift. The city is populated by people from different regions of Ethiopia, it is home to Addis Ababa University. Entoto is one of a handful of sites put forward as a possible location for a medieval imperial capital known as Barara; this permanent fortified city was established during the early-to-mid 15th century, it served as the main residence of several successive emperors up to the early 16th-century reign of Lebna Dingel.
The city was depicted standing between Mounts Zikwala and Menegasha on a map drawn by the Italian cartographer Fra Mauro in around 1450, it was razed and plundered by Ahmed Gragn while the imperial army was trapped on the south of the Awash River in 1529, an event witnessed and documented two years by the Yemeni writer Arab-Faqih. The suggestion that Barara was located on Mount Entoto is supported by the recent discovery of a large medieval town overlooking Addis Ababa located between rock-hewn Washa Mikael and the more modern church of Entoto Maryam, founded in the late 19th century by Emperor Menelik. Dubbed the Pentagon, the 30-hectare site incorporates a castle with 12 towers, along with 520 meters of stone walls measuring up to 5-meter high; the site of Addis Ababa was chosen by Empress Taytu Betul and the city was founded in 1886 by Emperor Menelik II. Menelik, as a King of the Shewa province, had found Mount Entoto a useful base for military operations in the south of his realm, in 1879 he visited the reputed ruins of a medieval town and an unfinished rock church that showed proof of the medieval empire's capital in the area before the campaigns of Ahmad ibn Ibrihim.
His interest in the area grew when his wife Taytu began work on a church on Mount Entoto, Menelik endowed a second church in the area. However, the immediate area did not encourage the founding of a town for lack of firewood and water, so settlement began in the valley south of the mountain in 1886. Taytu built a house for herself near the "Filwoha" hot mineral springs, where she and members of the Showan Royal Court liked to take mineral baths. Other nobility and their staff and households settled in the vicinity, Menelik expanded his wife's house to become the Imperial Palace which remains the seat of government in Addis Ababa today; the name changed to Addis Ababa and became Ethiopia's capital when Menelik II became Emperor of Ethiopia. The town grew by bounds. One of Emperor Menelik's contributions that are still visible today is the planting of numerous eucalyptus trees along the city streets. Following all the major engagements of their invasion, Italian troops from the colony of Eritrea entered Addis Ababa on 5 May 1936.
Along with Dire Dawa, the city had been spared the aerial bombardment practiced elsewhere and its railway to Djibouti remained intact. After the occupation the city served as the Duke of Aosta's capital for unified Italian East Africa until 1941, when it was abandoned in favor of Amba Alagi and other redoubts during the Second World War's East African Campaign; the city was liberated by Major Orde Wingate and negus Haile Selassie for Ethiopian Gideon Force and Ethiopian resistance in time to permit Emperor Haile Selassie's return on 5 May 1941, five years to the day after he had left. Following reconstruction, Haile Selassie helped form the Organisation of African Unity in 1963 and invited the new organization to keep its headquarters in Addis Ababa; the OAU was dissolved in 2002 and replaced by the African Union, headquartered in the city. The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa has its headquarters in Addis Ababa. Addis Ababa was the site of the Council of the Oriental Orthodox Churches in 1965.
Ethiopia has been called the original home of mankind because of various humanoid fossil discoveries like the Australopithecine Lucy. Northeastern Africa, the Afar region in particular, was the central focus of these claims until recent DNA evidence suggested origins in south central Ethiopian regions like present-day Addis Ababa. After analysing the DNA of 1,000 people around the world and other scientists claimed people spread from what is now Addis Ababa 100,000 years ago; the research indicated that genetic diversity decreases the farther one's ancestors traveled from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Addis Ababa lies at an elevation of 2,200 metres and is a grassland biome, located at 9°1′48″N 38°44′24″E; the city forms part of the watershed for the Awash. From its lowest point, around Bole International Airport, at 2,326 metres above sea level in the southern periphery, Addis Ababa rises to over 3,000 metres in the Entoto Mountains to the north; the city is divided into 10 boroughs, called subcities, 99 wards.
The 10 subc
The Solomonic dynasty known as the House of Solomon, is the former ruling Imperial House of the Ethiopian Empire. The dynasty's members claim the Queen of Sheba. Tradition asserts that the Queen gave birth to Menelik I after her biblically described visit to Solomon in Jerusalem. In 1270, the Zagwe dynasty of Ethiopia was overthrown by Yekuno Amlak, who claimed descent from Solomon and reinitiated the Solomonic era of Ethiopia; the dynasty would last until 1974, ended by a coup d'état and deposition of the emperor Haile Selassie. The Solomonic dynasty was a bastion of Judaism and of Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity, it is claimed that this dynasty ruled Ethiopia as early as the 10th century BC, although there is no historical evidence to support this claim. Records of the dynasty's history were maintained by the Ethiopian Orthodox monasteries to near antiquity. Yekuno Amlak, an Amhara prince from the old province Bet Amhara, re-established the dynasty, tracing his ancestry to the last Solomonic King of Axum, Dil Na'od.
The Dynasty re-established itself on 10 Nehasé 1262 EC when Yekuno Amlak overthrew the last ruler of the Zagwe dynasty. Yekuno Amlak claimed direct male line descent from the old Axumite royal house that the Zagwes had replaced on the throne. Menelik II, his daughter Zewditu I, would be the last Ethiopian monarchs who could claim uninterrupted direct male descent from Solomon of Israel and the Queen of Sheba; the male line, through the descendants of Menelik's cousin Dejazmatch Taye Gulilat, still existed, but had been pushed aside because of Menelik's personal distaste for this branch of his family. The Solomonic Dynasty continued to rule Ethiopia with few interruptions until 1974, when the last emperor, Haile Selassie I, was deposed; the royal family is non-regnant. Members of the family in Ethiopia at the time of the 1974 revolution were imprisoned. In 1976, ten great grandchildren of Haile Selassie I were extracted from Ethiopia in an undertaking detailed in a book by Jodie Collins titled Code Word: Catherine.
The women of the dynasty were released by the regime from prison in 1989, the men were released in 1990. Several members were allowed to leave the country in mid 1990, the rest left in 1991 upon the fall of the Communist Regime. Many members of the Imperial family have since returned to live in Ethiopia. During much of the dynasty's existence, its effective realm was the northwestern quadrant of present-day Ethiopia, the Ethiopian Highlands; the Empire expanded and contracted over the centuries, sometimes incorporating parts of modern-day Sudan and South Sudan, coastal areas of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. Southern and eastern regions were permanently incorporated during the last two centuries, some by Shewan kings and some by Emperors Menelek II and Haile Selassie I. In the modern era, the Imperial dynasty has several cadet branches; the elder Gondarine Amhara line, starting with Susenyos in 1606 ended its rule with the fall of the powerless Yohannes III in 1855 and the coming to power of Tewodros II, whose claims of Solomonic descent were never accepted.
Following Tewodros, Wagshum Gobeze claimed the throne linking himself to the last independent Gondare emperors through his mother, Aychesh Tedla, a descendant of Iyasu I, reigned as emperor of Ethiopia with the title Tekle Giorgis II for some years investing in the renovation of churches and monuments in Gondar. Being an heir to the Zagwe throne, his reign was meant to be a unification of both dynasties in the enthronement of a king bearing both lineages. Tekle Giorgis II fought a battle with the Tigrean Claimant Kassai Mercha, the latter, who had retrieved superior weaponry and armament from the British in return for his assistance in the defeat of Tewodros II, would be able to defeat Tekle Giorgis II's army and killing him; the Tigrean line came to power with the enthronement of Yohannes IV in 1872, although this line did not persist on the Imperial throne after the Emperor was killed in battle with the Mahdists in 1889, the heirs of this cadet branch ruled Tigre until the revolution of 1974 toppled the Ethiopian monarchy.
The Tigrean Cadet branch traces its lineage to the main Solomonic line of Emperors through at least two female lines. The more recent link was through Woizero Aster Iyasu; the Shewan line was next on the Imperial throne with the coronation of Menelik II Menelik King of Shewa, in 1889. The Shewan Branch of the Imperial Solomonic dynasty, like the Gondarine line, could trace uninterrupted male line descent from King Yekonu Amlak, though Abeto Negassi Yisaq, the grandson of Dawit II by his youngest son Abeto Yaqob; the direct male line ended with Menelik II –, succeeded first by the son of his daughter Lij Iyasu from 1913 to 1916 by his daughter Zewditu until 1930, by the son of a first cousi
Araya Selassie Yohannes
Ras Araya Selassie Yohannes (Tigrinya: አርአያ ሥሳሴ ዮሐንስ, araya śəllase yohannəs. Araya was nominated Crown Prince. Araya was the first husband of Zewditu, the daughter of atse Menelik II, having married her in January 1883, he was given the command of Wollo province at the time of his wedding. Because of a revolt raised in Wollo due to the death of dejazmach Amda Sadiq, chief of Tekaledere, in a quarrel with Araya's followers, Yohannes IV decided to appoint ras Mikael Ali, the traditional claimant to the lordship of Wollo. Ras Araya was transferred to Begemder and Dembaya in May 1886. In 1887-88, when the country was facing the Italian threat, he was commander of 40,000 troops near Adwa. Araya died in his youth from smallpox, when the Emperor was returning from a campaign against the Italians at Seati His only son, by a weyzero Negesit, a lady from Wollo, was leul ras Gugsa Araya. Leul Araya Selassie Yohannes was born in Enderta, a part of Tigray in Ethiopia in 1869/70, the legitimate son of Emperor Yohannes IV of Ethiopia.
Mengesha Yohannes was his illegitimate half brother. He was granted the title of Ras in 1872 and was the governor of Enderta from 1872 to 1882. On 24 October 1882, the fifteen-year-old Leul Araya Selassie Yohannes married six-year-old Leult Zewditu, eldest daughter of Negus Menelik of Shewa; the marriage was political. In 1882 Ras Araya was granted the title of Negus of Wollo. In 1883, Araya Selassie Yohannes was made Shum of Wollo Province and, in 1886, he was made Shum of Begemder and Dembiya. In 1885, Araya Selassie Yohannes fathered Gugsa Araya Selassie; the mother's identity is unknown. In 10 June 1888, while in Mek'ele gathering an army for his father, Araya Selassie Yohannes died of smallpox, he was buried at Medhane Alem Church. Grand Collar of the Order of the Seal of Solomon Familial rivalry between the two lines of descent from Emperor Yohannes IV proved to be a difficult issue for Emperor Menelik II and his successors. Tigray Province was divided between Ras Gugsa Araya Selassie, the son of Ras Araya Selassie Yohannes, Ras Seyum Mangasha, the son of Ras Mangasha Yohannes.
Gugsa Araya Selassie ruled the eastern half of Seyum Mangasha ruled the western half. Monarchies of Ethiopia Ethiopian aristocratic and court titles Mangasha Yohannes - Half brother of Araya Selassie Yohannes Footnotes Citations Marcus, Harold G.. A History of Ethiopia. London: University of California Press. P. 316. ISBN 0-520-22479-5. Mockler, Anthony. Haile Sellassie's War. New York: Olive Branch Press. ISBN 978-1-56656-473-1. Shinn, David Hamilton, Thomas P. and Prouty, Chris. Historical dictionary of Ethiopia. Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press. P. 633. ISBN 0-8108-4910-0
Mekelle, or Mekele the capital of Enderta awraja in Tigray, is today the capital city of Tigray National Regional state. It is located around 780 kilometres north of the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, with an elevation of 2,254 metres above sea level. Administratively, Mekelle is considered a Special Zone, divided into seven sub-cities. Mekelle is the economic and political hub of northern Ethiopia. Mekelle has grown since 1991. In 1984 it had 61,583 inhabitants, in 1994, 96,938, in 2006 169,200. Mekelle is 2.6 times larger than Adigrat, the second largest regional center, It is the fifth largest city in Ethiopia, after Addis Ababa, Dire Dawa and Gondar. The largest proportion of the population of Mekelle depends on government employment and small-scale enterprises. Mekelle now has new engineering and textile factories, producing for the local and foreign market. There is a rising university which developed out of the pre-1991 Arid Agricultural College, about a dozen other governmental and private colleges.
Mekelle is believed to have evolved from a 13th century hamlet called Enda Meseqel, becoming a town by the early 19th century, when ras Wolde Selassie of Enderta made Antalo his seat of power, the region of Mekelle his recreational center). In the tax records of atse Tewodros II, Mekelle appears as a tributary district within Enderta with a negarit of its own; the credit for Mekelle's growth into a regional capital goes to atse Yohannes IV who made Mekelle political capital of his expanding state. He must have chose the place for its strategic proximity both to rich agricultural areas and to the Afar salt country. Mekelle's position on the route to Shewa, the power base of Yohannes's main rival Menelik could have been another factor. Three institutions still important for modern Mekelle were founded by Yohannes: The grand palace built in 1882-84 by his architect Giacomo Naretti, together with the engineer Engedashet Schimper and still forms the nucleus of Mekelle; the large market Edaga Senuy The church, at Debre Gennet Medhane Alem, built after the return from Raya Azebo campaign in 1871.
In the 1880s, Mekelle became the Emperor's capital city. Among the factor that further accelerated Mekele's growth and urbanization were the establishment of residential quarters by the "nobility" and court servants, the prominence of the amole salt market and the subsequent establishment of local and foreign trading and occupational communities, Mekelle'a strategic position as a transit center for commodities of the long-distance trade routes of north eastern Ethiopia, attached to the Red Sea ports, to northern and central Ethiopia. By establishing a market in Mekelle, Yohannes could draw on the norther trade routes as well as the salt caravan routes to the town, capitalizing on his political leverage; the succession of atse Menelik II of Shewa signaled a trading reorientation from northern to southern Ethiopia. The new capital Addis Ababa outstripped Mekelle, however, retained its political importance as the district and regional administration center of Enderta and Tigray through the 20th century, its economical role in the Ethiopian salt trade.
During the Italian War of 1895-96, Mekelle became an important site in the conflict. After the fall of Adwa in spring 1895, ras Mengasha Yohannes retreated from his father's capital Mekelle following the advice of atse Menelik II. Mekelle integrated into the Colonia Eritrea; the Italian army established their fort near the Enda Eyesus church above Mekelle in October 1895. After the re-occupation of Ambalage in late 1895, the fort was besieged by Ethiopian troops, who cut the Italians' water supply; when the Italians surrendered in January 1896, Menelik allowed them to retreat to their stronghold Adigrat hoping to prevent an escalation of the conflict, he appointed his own governor over Enderta at Mekelle, dejazmach Tedla Abaguben, in order to check the rebellious Tigrayan princes. Three historical epochs sustained Mekelle's urbanization in the 20th century; the first was the advent of dejazmach Abreha Araya Demsu, governor of Eastern Tigray with Mekelle as his capital. Abreha imitated his cousin Yohannes by establishing his own splendid palace on a hill facing the grand palace, a new Saturday Market, a new church, all of which were situated to the south of Mekelle proper.
He attracted various occupational groups including Muslim traders, women service vendors, army retainers. In the 1920s and early 1930s, Mekelle witnessed a remarkable growth in trade. Dejazmach Haile Selassie Gugsa renovated the Palace in the center to use it as his seat. There were about 5,000 inhabitants in 1935; the second phase occurred during the Italian occupation. The Italians, who occupied the town in November 1935, contributed considerable to the modernization of Mekelle, they built a fort at Enda Eyesus. They expanded Edaga Senbet by introducing corrugated iron shops; this attracted foreign entrepreneurs. Mekelle divided into two zones. In 1938 there were about 12,000
Haile Selassie I was an Ethiopian regent from 1916 to 1930 and emperor from 1930 to 1974. He is a defining figure in contemporary Ethiopian history, he was a member of the Solomonic Dynasty who traced his lineage to Emperor Menelik I via his Shewan royal ancestors as a great-grandson of king Sahle Selassie daughter of Sahle Selase was mother of Woldemikael. Haile Selassie's father was Makonnen Wolde-Mikael Guddisa and his mother was Yeshimebet Mikael His internationalist views led to Ethiopia becoming a charter member of the United Nations, his political thought and experience in promoting multilateralism and collective security have proved seminal and enduring. At the League of Nations in 1936, the emperor condemned the use of chemical weapons by Italy against his people during the Second Italo–Ethiopian War, his suppression of rebellions among the landed aristocracy, which opposed his reforms, as well as what some critics perceived to be Ethiopia's failure to modernize enough, earned him criticism among some contemporaries and historians.
During his rule the Harari people were persecuted and many left the Harari Region. His regime was criticized by human rights groups, such as Human Rights Watch, as autocratic and illiberal. Among the Rastafari movement, whose followers are estimated to number between 700,000 and one million, Haile Selassie is revered as the returned messiah of the Bible, God incarnate. Beginning in Jamaica in the 1930s, the Rastafari movement perceives Haile Selassie as a messianic figure who will lead a future golden age of eternal peace and prosperity. Haile Selassie was an Ethiopian Orthodox Christian throughout his life; the 1973 famine in Ethiopia led to Haile Selassie's eventual removal from the throne. He died on 27 August 1975 at the age following a coup d'état. Haile Selassie was known as a child as Lij Tafari Makonnen. Lij is translated as "child", serves to indicate that a youth is of noble blood, his given name, means "one, respected or feared". Like most Ethiopians, his personal name "Tafari" is followed by that of his father Makonnen and that of his grandfather Woldemikael.
His Ge'ez name Haile Selassie was given to him at his infant baptism and adopted again as part of his regnal name in 1930. As Governor of Harar, he became known. Ras is a rank of nobility equivalent to Duke. In 1916, Empress Zewditu I appointed him to the position of Balemulu Silt'an Enderase. In 1928, she granted him the throne of Shewa, elevating his title to Negus or "King". On 2 November 1930, after the death of Empress Zewditu, Tafari was crowned Negusa Nagast King of Kings, rendered in English as "Emperor". Upon his ascension, he took as his regnal name Haile Selassie I. Haile means in Ge'ez "Power of" and Selassie means trinity—therefore Haile Selassie translates to "Power of the Trinity". Haile Selassie's full title in office was "By the Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah, His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I, King of Kings of Ethiopia, Elect of God"; this title reflects Ethiopian dynastic traditions, which hold that all monarchs must trace their lineage to Menelik I, the offspring of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba.
To Ethiopians, Haile Selassie has been known by many names, including Janhoy, Talaqu Meri, Abba Tekel. The Rastafari movement employs many of these appellations referring to him as Jah, Jah Jah, Jah Rastafari. Haile Selassie's royal line descended from Sahle Selassie, He was born on 23 July 1892, in the village of Ejersa Goro, in the Harar province of Ethiopia, his mother was Woizero Yeshimebet Ali Abba Jifar, daughter of the renowned Oromo ruler of Wollo province Dejazmach Ali Abba Jifar. His maternal grandmother was of Gurage heritage. Tafari's father was the governor of Harar. Ras Makonnen served as a general in the First Italo–Ethiopian War, playing a key role at the Battle of Adwa. Haile Selassie was thus able to ascend to the imperial throne through his paternal grandmother, Woizero Tenagnework Sahle Selassie, an aunt of Emperor Menelik II and daughter of Negus Sahle Selassie of Shewa; as such, Haile Selassie claimed direct descent from Makeda, the Queen of Sheba, King Solomon of ancient Israel.
Ras Makonnen arranged for Tafari as well as his first cousin, Imru Haile Selassie, to receive instruction in Harar from Abba Samuel Wolde Kahin, an Ethiopian capuchin monk, from Dr. Vitalien, a surgeon from Guadeloupe. Tafari was named Dejazmach at the age of 13, on 1 November 1905. Shortly thereafter, his father Ras Makonnen died at Kulibi, in 1906. Tafari assumed the titular governorship of Selale in 1906, a realm of marginal importance, but one that enabled him to continue his studies. In 1907, he was appointed governor over part of the province of Sidamo, it is alleged that during his late teens, Haile Selassie was married to Woizero Altayech, that from this union, his daughter Princess Romanework was born. Following the death of his brother Yelma in 1907, the governorate of Harar was left vacant, its administration was left to Menelik's loyal general, Dejazmach Balcha Safo. Balcha Safo's administration of Harar was ineffective, so during the last illne
The Ethiopian Empire known as Abyssinia, 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 1270 and lasted until 1974, when the ruling Solomonic dynasty was overthrown in a coup d'état by the Derg; the territory of present-day Eritrea became Italian Eritrea. Following the British occupation of Egypt in 1882, 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. After the Second Italo-Ethiopian War, the Italian Empire occupied Ethiopia for five years and established the Italian East Africa colony in the region; the Italians were driven out with the help of the British army. The country was one of the founding members of the United Nations in 1945. 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. Ethiopia's human occupation began early, 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 as the state religion, it was thus one of the first Christian states. After the conquest of Aksum by Queen Gudit or Yodit, a period began which some scholars refer to as the Ethiopian Dark Ages. According to Ethiopian tradition, she ruled over the remains of the Aksumite Empire for 40 years before transmitting the crown to her descendants. In 1063AD the Sultanate of Showa describes the passing of their overlord Badit daughter of Maya; the earliest Muslim state in Ethiopia, the Makhzumi dynasty with its capital in Wahal, Hararghe region succeeds Queen Badit. The Zagwe kingdom another dynasty with its capital at Adafa, emerged not far from modern day Lalibela in the Lasta mountains.
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. In 1270, the Zagwe dynasty was overthrown by a king claiming lineage from the Aksumite kings and, from Solomon; 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 annexed various kingdoms into its realm; the dynasty successfully fought off Italian and Egyptian forces and made fruitful contacts with some European powers. 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. 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. In 1559 Gelawdewos was killed attempting to invade Adal Sultanate, his severed head was paraded in Adal's capital Harar; 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 defended the Ethiopian frontier.
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 at Baylul. 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 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. By 1607, Oromos were major players in the imperial politics, when Susenyos I, raised by a clan through gudifacha, took power, he was helped by fellow Luba age-group generals Mecha and Densa, who were rewarded by Rist feudal lands, in the present-day Gojjam districts of the same name. Susenyos reign was 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 was a major period of consolidation, it saw the dispatching of