Ethiopia History

Ethiopia History

Ethiopia, Amharic Ityop’ya, German Democratic Federal Republic of Ethiopia, state in Northeast Africa with (2018) 109.2 million residents; The capital is Addis Ababa.


Origin of the state name

Ethiopia, Greek Aithiopia, Hebrew Kush, originally referred to the country south of the first Nile cataract (Aswan), i.e. today’s Nubia (southern Egypt, northern Sudan). In Greco-Roman times, the name was transferred to the entire African country south of Egypt, then also to countries east of the Red Sea. Since the 4th century, the name has also been in the title of ruler of the kings of Aksum, but also occupied by Nubian kings. The adoption of Ityopia as the state name for Ethiopia is influenced by the occurrence of the name in the Bible. In Europe, the name was used alternately with India in the Middle Ages, meaning all areas between northeast Africa and the islands of the eastern Indian Ocean. Later, until the 19th century, Ethiopia referred to the entire region of Northeast Africa, with Lower Ethiopia meaning Sudan, Upper Ethiopia the Christian state in the highlands (Abyssinia) and the then mostly independent Oromo countries in the south. The term Abyssinia (Arabic al-Habascha), d. H. the Habaschat (Abyssinian) area was no longer used as a state name due to the conquest of numerous non-Abyssinian areas in the 19th century.

The ancient empire of Aksum

Long before the birth of Christ, individual South Arabian groups were among others. the Habashat, moved over to the western side of the Red Sea. They found one there, including archaeologically proven by traces of dense settlement, old resident, apparently mostly Cushite-speaking population, which had already organized itself in state communities ( Punt). The coastal population is already documented by a biblical folk name and by Egyptian inscriptions (corresponding to the name of the ancient port city of Adulis); In addition to the Aksumites, the adulites evidently formed their own small states (Gebez was important on the coast). In the north of today’s Ethiopia and in Eritrea, due to growing trade relations and a tightly organized, militarily consolidated kingdom, the empire of the Aksumites (Aksum) emerged, which was under Greek and Egyptian influence and was founded in 525-572 AD Also exercised sovereignty over southern Arabia. In the heyday of the empire (4th century), King Ezana ruled; he introduced Christianity as the state religion and undertook military campaigns as far as the Nile (Meroë). For the highland population that dominated the empire, the name Habescha became established around this time.

The Ethiopians themselves place the beginning of their story in the time of Solomon. In the historical novel “Kebre Negest” (German The Glory of the Kings), which was written in the 14th century AD and goes back to older folk traditions and is considered a historical source in Ethiopia, the Queen of Sheba (1st Kings 10) is considered Ethiopian Princess, her and Solomon’s son, Menelik I or Ebne Hakim, portrayed as the founder of the (with interruptions) ruling dynasty until 1974.

The spread of Islam in neighboring countries (7th century) cut Ethiopia off from the Christian world and control of the trading networks of the southern Red Sea. With the fall of the Aksumite Empire, the Kushite Zagved dynasty (around 1140–1270; best-known ruler: Lalibela ) established itself in the south, with a focus on Lasta. With Yekunno Amlak, the so-called “Solomonid dynasty” took over power in 1270, citing the origins of the Aksumite rulers and Solomon, but shifted the center of gravity of their rule further south, without a capital and ruling over wandering court camps (Ketema); Aksum remained the holy city in which the rightful rulers (“Neguse negest”, German king of kings, emperor) were crowned by the patriarch of the Coptic Church.



Mekele, Me`kele, Meqele, Tigrin Mäqälä, Amharic Mäqälle, capital of the regional state of Tigray, Ethiopia, in the north of the country, 323 700 residents.

University (founded in 1994); Cement works, truck manufacture; Airport.


Gonder, Gondar, Amharic Gondär, Gwändär, city ​​in the regional state of Amhara, Ethiopia, north of Lake Tana , 2,222 m above sea level, 324,000 residents.

Commercial center of a coffee-growing area; Seat of a bishop of the Ethiopian Church; numerous theological schools and monasteries; Goldsmithing, woven goods and saddlery; Airfield.

In the palace district (UNESCO World Heritage Site), which is surrounded by a high wall, there are numerous imperial palaces (including those of Emperor Fasiledes), the library of Emperor Tsadik Yohannes (1667–82) and the palace of Regent Mentewwab (1730–55) with several buildings, including three churches, for example Ilfiñ Giyorgis with paintings from the 15th century; 1 km outside of Gonder the Debre Berhan Selassie (Amharic Däbrä Berhan Sellase; Trinity Church), a basilica in the old Aksumite style (with paintings from the 19th century in the style of the 17th century).

After a period of territorial fragmentation of Ethiopia, Gondar became the first permanent capital of the emperors in the early 17th century. Fasiledes (1632–67) had the first stone buildings in Ethiopia (including his palace) built there. The series of “Emperors of Gonder” founded by him concentrated state power until Gonder was taken by insurgents in 1771. In 1784 the empire of Gonder ended with the abdication of Tekle Giyorgis.


Nazret [ -z- ], Naseret, Nazareth, city ​​in Ethiopia, Adama.

Addis Ababa

Addis Ababa, capital and economic center of Ethiopia.

Located on a plateau 2,420 m above sea level, with 3.3 million residents. Seat of AU and the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).

Ethiopia History

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