Time in Ethiopia:

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Axum (Aksum)

Ethiopian Argument | Wednesday, March 26, 2014
On October 24, 2009 the curtains went down on one of the most memorable events of the year, for those who took the time to view the exhibition, ‘Lucy’s Legacy, the Hidden Treasures of Ethiopia,’ hosted by Discovery Times Square Exposition. The exhibit provided an evolutionary narrative of our ancestral family tree,  ranging from the seven million year old Sahelanthropus tchadensis to Ardipethecus kadabba, Ardipithecus ramidus, Australopithecus anamensis, and, the star of the exhibit, Australopithecus afarensis, Dinkenesh, alias Lucy. We were reminded during the exhibit that the discovery of the skeletal remains of Dinkenesh took place the very year that Haile Selassie was overthrown. The 1974 discovery marked the end of an era, and the start of a new episode in Hominid history which propelled Ethiopia to the forefront of research in this field. Most of the fossils discovered to date,  have been found in Ethiopia, considered by some scholars to be‘ the cradle of mankind.’ Most instructive, for scholars of ancient
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Egypt History, Part 2

Ethiopian Argument | Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Religion and everyday life

As mentioned before, the religion of Neolithic (late stone age) and pre-dynastic Egypt appears to have been animistic/nature worship, where each village or town had its own spirit deity in the form of an animal, bird, reptile, tree, plant or object. This spirit was always in something that played a prominent part in the life of the people. The spirits fell into two general categories, those which were friendly and helpful, such as cattle, or those that were menacing and powerful such as Bulls, crocodiles or snakes. In both cases, the favor of the spirit had to be solicited with a set formula of words and actions, and the spirits also had to have houses built for them, and offerings made to them.
As these spirits evolved into gods, the deity then had to have its own special type of house built, a temple. This building would then need full-time staff, to attend to the gods wants and needs, such as performing the proper rituals, making the proper offerings etc, and also to administer the gods blessings back to the people - the Priests.  Since the Kings own divinity was legitimized by the priesthood, it was also very necessary to insure that the temple and priesthood were properly provided for.
So in addition to the offerings from the people, the temple was given large land grants, to insure a source of income. Then of course, the god would need a wife - a high priestess. Here, as with the priests, there was a hierarchy, from the high priestess herself, to the lowest level priestesses, who preformed household chores and often served as temple prostitutes. In return for these services, the god was thought to protect its people, ensuring fertility and well-being. But if the gods needs weren't met, the deity might bring down wrath on the community, in the form of plague, famine or some such natural disaster. The insignia or standard of a Nome clearly showed which god protected the town, and as the town gained prominence, so too did the town's god.
Religion was interwoven, not only into the pharaohs power, but into life itself. It was the deity of a town who the people turned to, in order to prevent the everyday hazards of living. They used magic spells, charms, folklore and amulets to appealed to the deity for protection against hazards, and to intercede on their behalf, for anything from the Nile flooding, to sowing seeds and harvesting crops, to protection from poisonous snakes, and for safe childbirth.


Horus and Nekhbet {the vulture goddess}, came to represent Upper Egypt. In Lower Egypt, it was Set/Seth and Udjo, and also the cobra goddess of Buto. In later Egyptian history, the vulture and cobra were united into the royal diadem, to represent dominion over both lands. So when Nekhem became the most powerful town, Horus became the main god. The rulers started to identify themselves as the living embodiment of the hawk god. The ability to grow of Egyptian religion is one of the reasons why Egypt ended up with such a complex and polytheistic religious system. When a town grew in prominence, so too did the god. When the town was deserted, the god disappeared.
Only a few of the many original deities ended up in the Egyptian pantheon, and even then, their popularity waxed and waned through the thousands of years of Egyptian history. Another reason for complexity was that when people moved, their god did too. This meant that at the new town, there was sometimes a battle between the old and new gods - but the Egyptian gods were easily merged, so that you would have one god taking over the other god's attributes and abilities. That is why, some of the ancient gods of Neolithic and Pre-dynastic Egypt, those that had maintained their popularity, became main gods in the later Egyptian pantheon: Amun of Thebes, Ptah of Hikuptah (Memphis), Horus (the Elder) of Nekhem, Set/Seth of Tukh (Ombos), Ra of Iunu (Heliopolis), Min of Gebtu (Koptos), Hathor of Dendra and Osiris of Abydos.

        Food

Egyptians had a very varied diet, they grew wheat and other cereal grains from which they made breads, and brewed many varieties of beer. They grew a large variety of fruits, which they ate fresh or dried, they also grew grapes, which were eaten fresh or dried, but also with which they made a great variety of wines. They also grew a wide variety of vegetables. They ate beef, fowl, fish and game animals, and pork - contrary to popular belief, Egyptians did eat pork.
As a matter of fact, the only food prohibition in the ancient world that we can find, is the Nubian ban on "FISH" (ya fish - go figure). They felt that fish were unclean, and the king wouldn't give audience to anyone who had eaten fish. (The logic here may have been based on the fact that, some fish - like pork, can have worms in the flesh, and will make a person ill, if not cooked properly, that's our guess!). Egyptians had many sources of oil, but they preferred olive oil, which they used for cooking, lighting and as an oil for the skin.
The prohibition against eating "FISH" is taken from the "Victory Stela" of Nubian King Piye. Click here for the text of his Stela. "Surrender of the last opponents section": <<CLICK>>

      Clothing

Egyptian climate with its hot summers and mild winters favored light clothing made from plant fibers, predominantly linen. The manufacture of clothes was women's work. It was mostly done at home, but there were workshops run by noblemen or other men of means. Fibers were made by beating and combing the flax plant, which could then be spun into thread. The weaving was done at first on horizontal looms, which were often just pegs rammed into the ground, but later they developed vertical looms.  
Their tools such as knives and needles changed over the centuries. Blades were made from stone during the Neolithic, then from copper, and from bronze during the Middle Kingdom and finally from iron. Though flint knives, which had sharper edges than iron ones, continued to be used, ever decreasingly until Roman times. Needles were fashioned from wood, bone and metal. The Egyptians succeeded in making extremely thin millimeter thick eyes in copper needles. Scissors came into general use late in Egypt's history, though the principle was known since the second millennium B.C.

     hygiene

Because of its hot climate, in Egypt shaving and hair removal was a regular part of daily grooming. The Egyptians had an unusual obsession with personal body hygiene. The great Greek historian/storyteller HERODOTUS, stated that the Egyptians bathed several times a day, and "set cleanness above seemliness."
Clearly, being so clean all the time, was associated with fanatical behavior by outsiders. The ancient Romans thought that a lack of body hair, was some kind of terrible deformity. But not in Egypt, people there believed that body hair was shameful and unclean. Wild animals and barbarian people had hair, not the sophisticated, super-advanced Egyptian civilization.
Being hairless was accomplished by shaving, or using depilatory creams, and even rubbing one’s hair off with a pumice stone. Men, women, and even the children of ancient Egypt, all shaved their heads bald and wore elaborate specially-made wigs. These wigs were made of natural or artificial hair, and were specially designed to keep one’s head cool.
The Greek historian/storyteller "Herodotus" maintained that it was the Egyptians, who invented circumcision, and all who practiced it, learnt it from them. Which logically follows, because there is a hygienic value to circumcision. If not kept scrupulously clean, a male can have problems there - it's not all about torturing little boys.
       Science
There is always an argument as to whether it was the Sumerians, Egyptians or Indus valley people, who invented writing, mathematics, astronomy, calendars etc, etc, etc. As soon as a site is discovered that proves the one, another site is discovered that proves the other. Suffice to say that they were contemporary with each other, and in contact with each other. Though logically you could say that all things originated in Egypt. So far though, no one has disproved that the Sumerians invented the wheel and wagon. Although it was the Egyptians, who took the wagon to its highest refinement, with their light and agile chariots.
In writing, the Egyptians eventually came to use two scripts for their language. Hieroglyphics recorded their language with a mixed system of sound signs and picture signs. Demotic script is a more cursive development of the hieratic script, it was the standard script for business and legal affairs throughout the country; Hieroglyphics was retained for writing religious texts and inscriptions on monuments.
The Egyptians followed a calendar system of 360 days, with three seasons, each made up of 4 months, with thirty days in each month. The seasons of the Egyptians, corresponded to the cycles of the Nile, and were known as Inundation (pronounced akhet which lasted from June 21st to October 21st), Emergence (pronounced proyet which lasted from October 21st to February 21st), and Summer (pronounced shomu which lasted from February 21st to June 21st).
The beginning of the year, also called "the opening of the year", was marked by the emergence of the star Sirius in the constellation of Canis Major. The constellation emerged roughly on June 21st, and was called "the going up of the goddess Sothis". The star was visible just before sunrise, and is still one of the brightest stars in the sky, located to the lower left of Orion and taking the form of the dogs nose in the constellation Canis Major.
Though the Egyptians had a 360 day calendar, in a literal sense, they did have a 365 day calendar system. The beginning of the year was marked by the addition of five days, known as "the yearly five days". These additional five days were times of great feasting and celebration for the Egyptians, and it was not uncommon for the Egyptians to perform rituals, and other celebratory dealings on these days. 

   Source: http://www.realhistoryww.com/  
 
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Egypt History, Part 1

Ethiopian Argument | Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Naqada III

In the next period, known as Naqada III, Egypt has by now, been split-up into many administrative/territorial divisions, known as Nomes. Each nome has it's own sacred animal or plant that became the totem, or emblem of that nome. This emblem was usually depicted on the pottery of each nome. It is also at this time that we see Egypt referred to as - Upper and Lower Egypt - with twenty nomes in Lower Egypt and twenty-two in Upper Egypt. Each nome had its own ruler, but perhaps with an over-all ruler. It is not known what the original political make-up was, or how many times if any, there was unity and then a break-up.

There were thirteen or so rulers in (Upper Egypt), of which only the last few have been identified (though these are by no means certain):
Horus "Crocodile"
Horus Hat-Hor
Horus Iry-Hor
Horus Ka
Horus "Scorpion"
Horus Narmer "Baleful Catfish"

King Scorpion

The rulers who named themselves after animals, were probably attempting to identify themselves with the divinity that their religion associated with these animals. The rulers became the personification of the named animal-god. As later on, the pharaohs were known as, the "Son of Ra" or son of some other God. In Upper Egypt these rulers wore the "white crown" of Upper Egypt and were depicted as superhuman figures, giants who towered above mortal men. They were also depicted as being war-like, Scorpion's macehead hints at the nature of these Upper Egyptian rulers.
In this mace-head, Scorpion is apparently performing a ceremony using a hoe. Perhaps he is opening the irrigation dykes to begin flooding the fields, or perhaps he is cutting the first furrow for a temple or perhaps even a city that is to be built. Even today, removing the first shovel-full of dirt in a foundation ritual, is a kingly prerogative. The decorative frieze around the remaining top of the mace-head, has lapwing birds hanging by their necks from vertical standards. In hieroglyphics these rekhyts have been interpreted to represent the common people of Egypt, and the frieze seems to indicate that they were conquered by King Scorpion. However, some authorities have interpreted the rekhyt symbol as only later, representing the Egyptian population, whereas before in early pre-dynastic history, the rekhyts referred to foreigners or non-Egyptians instead. Thus the Scorpion mace-head and Narmer palette may represent the respective rulers having successfully defeated foreigners.















Although a four-chambered tomb in Abydos, designated as B50, has been speculated as being Scorpion’s burial place. No conclusive evidence of Scorpions existence has yet been found at Abydos, where the tombs of several first Dynasty kings, and even some preceding Dynasty “0” kings have been found. Some scholars are not even sure Scorpion actually existed, (perhaps Scorpion was a title; perhaps the Scorpion sign did not signify the person’s name at all).
Speculating further - he may have come from the royal house of Hierakonpolis, rather than from Thinis, the origin city of the Thinite dynasty, from whence came his later successor Narmer, the Catfish King. Then again, perhaps Thinis and Hierakonpolis each were the centers of rival chiefdoms, and when Scorpion’s reign ended, Thinis assumed an uncontested position as sovereign of Egypt. Then there is the issue of whether Narmer is the same king as Menes or if they were separate kings. The point is, none of this pre-dynastic stuff is certain.
In Lower Egypt, a more commercial system ran the state. There the centers of wealth were ruled over by important families or groups in each town, rather than by a single king. Ma'adi, Buto and Tell Farkha (modern names for these sites), were the larger towns of the state, with the capital probably at Buto. By the Naqada III period, Buto's pottery was 99% from Upper Egypt, and so was thought to have been "Naqada-ised" by that time.
The rulers of Lower Egypt, (they wore the red crown), may have been: (taken from the Palermo Stone)
Ska
H`yw
Tyu
Tshsh
Nhb
Wadjha
Mch
There is not much known about these rulers, other than their names. Some believe that there was never one ruler over Lower Egypt in pre-dynastic times, because of a lack of evidence of such rulers.

  Dynasty One

Pharaoh Narmer/Menes


 According to the stella of Pharaoh Narmer, {see below}, it was he who managed to defeat the king of Lower Egypt and take over the state. The famous Narmer palette shows him on one side wearing the white crown of Upper Egypt, and on the other side, wearing the red crown of Lower Egypt. It also shows the hawk emblem of Horus, (the Upper Egyptian god of Nekhem), dominating the symbol of Lower Egypt, (the papyrus plant). From this, Narmer is believed to have unified Egypt.
However, Manetho attributes the unification of Egypt, to Aha "Fighter" Menes. It is he who has been listed as the first pharaoh of the first Dynasty by Manetho, but Menes and Narmer may be one in the same man. Menes was from Thinis, in the south of Upper Egypt, but he built his capital at Memphis, according to Diodorus.
In any event, there is general agreement that Narmer should be credited as the unifier of Egypt, and hence the first Pharaoh of the first Dynasty. Whether or not, this is the first unification of Egypt is unknown. During the Early Dynastic period, the king of ancient Egypt already had much of the trappings of royal regalia familiar from later times, including the double crowns of Upper and Lower Egypt and various scepters. These crowns, scepters and other elements, offered and represented power and protection. They also set the king apart from everyone else and conveyed his authority, both secular and religious.
The ancients often used Stele, palettes, and other objects to commemorate military victories or other important occurrences. Please click here for a menu of enlarged photographs of many such objects. <CLICK>

 Notes:
A few acknowledgments here: Egypt's status as the Superpower of the eastern Mediterranean lands is unquestioned. Therefore, there is no need to dwell on Egyptian military campaigns, or the military aspects of Egyptian life. Our course as with all ancient civilizations, Egypt was often at war.
The Egyptians, like all the other ancient civilizations, enslaved some of the people that they conquered. Taking slaves was part of the "Booty" of conquest. However there is no indication that they enslaved any particular people in a discriminating way. Additionally, archeological evidence indicates that slaves were NOT involved in building Pyramids and the like.



      Source: http://www.realhistoryww.com/ 

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Prehistoric Egypt

Ethiopian Argument | Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Before beginning our history of Egypt, let us first dispel some popular White Lies and subterfuge.

Concerning Literature

Egyptians, Sumerians, Mohenjo-daroans, Harappans, and Cretans, Elamites, and Nubians, were literate 3,000 years, 4,000 years, who knows how many thousands of years, before the world ever heard of Greeks or Romans. And there is ample evidence of their literacy.

Yet there is not one single entry: describing any of the people of their times, whether it be friends, foes, or invaders: or even more incredulously, there is not one single entry describing invading Whites in any of their literature.

Contrast that with Greek and Roman writings, in which these NEWLY literate people, describe EVERYTHING and EVERYONE!

The discrepancy is of course, not accidental, nor for lack of material.

Hopefully, the White man has simply withheld this material, and not destroyed it.



Why do ancient statues and paintings of Black people, often NOT look like Black people?

THE VANISHING EVIDENCE OF CLASSICAL AFRICAN CIVILIZATIONS
by Prof. Manu Ampim
The widespread damage to the temple images has allowed Egyptologists to argue from such
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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Malcolm X on Revolution

Ethiopian Argument | Tuesday, March 25, 2014
By: El Hajj Malik Shabazz 1963:-
The only revolution based on loving your enemy is the Negro revolution. ... Revolution is bloody, revolution is hostile, revolution knows no compromise, revolution overturns and destroys everything that gets in its way. And you, sitting around here like a knot on the wall, saying, "I'm going to love these folks no matter how much they hate me." No, you need a revolution. Whoever heard of a revolution where they lock arms, singing "We Shall Overcome"? You don't do that in a revolution

Malcolm X

Message to the Grass Roots is a public speech by Malcolm X at the Northern Negro Grass Roots Leadership Conference on November 10, 1963, in King Solomon Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan. It is hard to believe the failure of
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Malcolm X and OAAU

Ethiopian Argument | Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Pan-African development
El Hajj Malik Shabazz:-

The greatest mistake of the movement has been trying to organise a sleeping people around specific goals. You have to wake the people up first, and then you'll get action
Malcolm X



Malcolm X’s life changed in the first six months of 1964. The third and final evolution in a life that would reshape the African world. On March 8, he left the Nation of Islam.
In May he toured West Africa and made a pilgrimage to Mecca, returning as El Hajj Malik El-Shabazz. While in Ghana in May, he decided to form the Organization of Afro-American Unity (OAAU). 
Malcolm's post-Hajj experience became more Pan-African and more unitarian with progressive action for change.Malcolm returned to New York the following month to create the OAAU and on June 28 gave his first public address on behalf of the new organization at the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem. That address appears below.
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SCRIPTS OF AFRICA

Ethiopian Argument | Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Native Writing Systems of Africa
By 'Alik Shahadah + Other:-
Ancient Africa had a predominately, but not exclusively, oral tradition. But Ethiopia for over a 1000 of years has used, and still uses a Ge'ez based native script.
And apart from Ajami (Arabic script for African languages), West Africa had Vai and Nsibidi. Not to mention the obvious Nile-Valley (Ancient Egyptian and Nubian) scripts at the beginning of civilization.
SCRIPTS ARE CULTURE

A script is not only a technology for writing the spoken word, It is also a cultural symbol of a people and their identity. The mere sign of Arabic script carries the power of Islam and the Arab/Muslim people. Every time we see Amharic written we see the might of Ethiopian culture. A script is powerful political symbol used all over the world to show national identity. It is not accidental that Hebrew was reinstated, from obsoleteness, when Israel was created in 1948.
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Monday, March 24, 2014

Prelude to Ethiopian Revolution

Ethiopian Argument | Monday, March 24, 2014
By Dr. Richard Pankhurst:-
We saw last week that post-World War II Ethiopia witnessed significant achievements in economic and other fields. This did not, however, prevent the growth, in the 1960s and early 1970s, of steadily increasing political discontent. Now read on:
The 1960 Coup d’Etat
Complaints at the slow pace of Ethiopian economic development, which was seen as comparing unfavourably with that of other African countries, and criticism of the Emperor’s autocratic rule, led to an escalation of political discontent in the late 1950s. During his absence on a state visit to Brazil, in December 1960, his Imperial Bodyguard staged a coup d’etat. Its mastermind was Garmam Neway, an American-educated radical and dedicated civil servant, whose brother, Mangestu, happened to be head of the bodyguard. The plotters arrested most of the Ministers, several of the Emperor’s closest confidants.
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Ethiopian Developments of the 1950s and 1960s

Ethiopian Argument | Monday, March 24, 2014
By Dr. Richard Pankhurst:-
We saw last week how Ethiopian foreign policy developed in the 1940s and 1950s. Now read on:
Political and Legal Reform, and Economic Developments
The 1950s and 1960s witnessed notable developments in the Ethiopian political, legal, and economic fields. Realisation of the inadequacy of the then existing Ethiopian Constitution, and comparison with the more progressive UN Eritrean Constitution of 1952, led to the formulation in 1955 of a Revised Ethiopian Constitution. Reportedly having taken six years to draft, it was a lengthy document, which outlined in detail the respective powers of the executive, i.e. the Emperor’s government, the legislature, and the judiciary. The legislature was for the first time to include a fully elected Chamber of Deputies, side by side with a Senate nominated by the Emperor. Provision was made for freedom of speech and of the press, in terms which were, however, to prove unenforceable.
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Emperor Haile Sellassie’s Post-War Foreign Policy

Ethiopian Argument | Monday, March 24, 2014
By Dr. Richard Pankhurst:-
We saw last week that Ethiopia, in the 1950s, edged ever closer to the United States. Now read on:
The Future of Eritrea
Emperor Haile Sellassie’s foreign policy, during the post-war years, was largely preoccupied with the future of the Italian colonies. This was a seemingly intractable question, which led to lengthy international discussions. The Ethiopian Government, for historical reasons, was particularly interested in the disposal of Eritrea. The colony, much of which prior to the late nineteenth century had formed part of Ethiopia, had been the base for two major invasions of the country, in 1895-6 and 1935-6. Acquisition of Eritrea likewise offered access to the sea, for which Ethiopian rulers had long hankered.
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Ethio-American Post-War Relations

Ethiopian Argument | Monday, March 24, 2014
By Dr. Richard Pankhurst:-
We saw last week that Ethiopia’s Post-World War II Relations with Britain were far from satisfactory, and the Emperor, in the mid 1940s. reduced his contacts with that country. Now read on:

Post-War Reconstruction

The 1940s and early 1950s constituted an important period of post-war reconstruction. Decrees designed for the most part to bring the entire country under centralised, and standardised, administration, were issued as early as 10 March 1942. Dealing with a wide variety of subjects, including significantly enough taxation, they were from that date published regularly, in the Negarit Gazeta, of official gazette. They bore the signature of the Minister of the Pen, or official writer of proclamations, which gave them the stamp of imperial authority.
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Ethiopia's Post World War II Relations with the British

Ethiopian Argument | Monday, March 24, 2014
By Dr. Richard Pankhurst:-
We saw last week that Ethiopia’s liberation from Italian fascist rule, by British forces, resulted in no small Ethio-British tension. Now read on:
Haile Sellassie Unwilling to Accept British Hegemony
Haile Sellassie, 1n 1941, was unwilling to acquiesce in British hegemony, or to accept the British political agenda. He succeeded in despatching a telegram to Prime Minister Winston Churchill, in London, inquiring why a treaty between Ethiopia and Britain had been so long delayed. The British Premier replied, by way of excuse, that this had been due to a desire to ensure that nothing remained in the draft agreement “which could be interpreted as interfering with your sovereign rights or with the independence of Ethiopia”. The Emperor, determined to spur the British to action, promptly had this reply broadcast on Addis Ababa radio. The Government in London, feeling that further delays were impermissible, thereupon summoned Sir Philip to England, where Churchill and Eden pressed him to come to a speedy agreement with the Emperor.
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1941: The Italian Departure, and the Arrival of the British

Ethiopian Argument | Monday, March 24, 2014
By Dr. Richard Pankhurst:-
We saw last week how Mussolini’s entry into the European war, on 10 June 1941, led directly to Ethiopia’s Liberation, and to the country’s occupation by British troops. Now read on:
The Italian Legacy
The collapse of fascist rule, the termination of Italian investment, upon which the Italian East African empire had hitherto been based, the demobilisation of colonial soldiers, many still in possession of their weapons, the disruption of the economy, the consequent drying-up of trade, and hence of government revenue, created major problems for newly liberated Ethiopia, in 1941.
Neither the Emperor, whose pre-war administration had been disbanded five years earlier, nor the British, who lacked any experience of the country, were well equipped to run an efficient post-liberation state. Ethiopian administration was
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The Ethiopian Liberation Campaign, 1941 Mussolini’s Entry into the European War

Ethiopian Argument | Monday, March 24, 2014
By Dr. Richard Pankhurst:-
At the outbreak of the European war, on 3 September 1939, Mussolini refrained from involving himself in the war. He nevertheless declared that fascist Italy, a close ally of nazi Germany, was in a state of “pre-belligerency”. By that he implied that he was committed to eventually participating in the struggle. By postponing his entry into the conflict he obviated having to fight with Italy’s neighbour, France, and avoided any immediate Allied attack on the insecure Italian East African empire, where the Ethiopian patriots were still unbeaten. After Hitler’s victory over France in the early summer of 1940, however, the Duce anticipated that Germany would rapidly win the war. Anxious to be participate in an ensuing peace conference he declared war on Britain and France, on 10 June.
Historical Background
Italy’s entry into the European war, for which the Ethiopian patriots had long
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The Ethiopian Patriot Resistance, 1939-1941

Ethiopian Argument | Monday, March 24, 2014
By Dr. Richard Pankhurst:-
We saw last week how Mussolini’s Italy established its occupation in 1936. Now read on:
Lej Hayla Maryam
Despite Ethiopia’s military collapse in 1935-6, patriotic resistance continued throughout the occupation. Many patriotic Ethiopians were from the outset determined to continue the struggle. The first to do so was Lej Hayla Maryam Mammo, of Dabra Berhan, 130 kilometres north of Addis Ababa, who on 4 May 1936 attacked a group of invading forces on the way to capital. This action earned him the title the “first arbagna”, or, patriot, of Shawa. Other, more or less un-co-ordinated, attacks on the invaders followed.
“All Rebel Prisoners Must Be Shot”
In an attempt to crush such opposition Graziani, who had by then become the Italian viceroy, issued an edict in the middle of May, proclaiming that Italy was the
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The Italian Occupation Years

Ethiopian Argument | Monday, March 24, 2014
By Dr. Richard Pankhurst:-
We saw last week how Mussolini’s invasion led to the establishment of an Italian fascist empire. Now read on:
A.O.I.
The Italian occupation led to important political and other changes. Italian-occupied Ethiopia was officially merged with Eritrea and Somalia, into an entirely new territory designated Africa Orientale Italiana (A.O.I.), i.e. Italian East Africa. This for the first time brought the greater part of the Horn of Africa under a single administration. The area was divided into six constituent units: 1) Eritrea, including the former Ethiopian province of Tegray, with capital at Asmara; 2) Amhara, formed out of the old provinces of Bagemder, Gojjam, Wallo, and northern Shawa, with capital at Gondar; 3) Galla and Sidamo, comprising lands to the south-west, occupied by people of that name, with capital at Jemma; 4) Addis Ababa, later renamed Shawa; 5) Harar, the town of that designation; and 6) Somalia, including Ogaden, with capital at Mogadishu. As a result of these arrangements Ethiopia ceased to be a legal entity.
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May Chaw and Badoglio’s Occupation of Addis Ababa

Ethiopian Argument | Monday, March 24, 2014
By Dr. Richard Pankhurst:-
We saw last week how the the Italian Fascist army began to advance on Addis Ababa in the early Spring of 1936. Now read on:
Badoglio and Graziani’s Manifestly Incorrect Picture of the War
In considering official Italian accounts of the war it should be noted that the fascist use of gas is fully substantiated, and was known indeed at the time throughout the world. Any mention of gas was, however, strictly excluded from the Italian press, which was highly censored. The use of gas is likewise entirely concealed in all the subsequent writings of Badoglio, Graziani and all other Italian officers, which therefore give a manifestly incorrect picture of the war. No mention was likewise made of the deliberate fascist bombing of international Red Cross units. The Italian Ministry of Defence, even more remarkably, refused, for almost sixty years, to admit that gas had been used in Ethiopia, until forced to do so in 1995, largely through the persistant efforts of an Italian professor Angelo Del Boca.
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Anglo-French Diplomacy, and the Initial Italo-Ethiopian Campaign of 1935-6

Ethiopian Argument | Monday, March 24, 2014
By Dr. Richard Pankhurst:-
We saw last week how the League of Nations, faced by Mussolini’s invasion of Ethiopia in 1935, branded fascist Italy as the aggressor, but imposed only ineffective sanctions. Now read on:
The Hoare-Laval Proposals
The British and French foreign ministries, which also had no desire to see the imposition of an oil sanction, strove meanwhile to devise a compromise peace which would render it unnecessary to impose one. Proposals were duly formulated, after which Hoare went to Paris, on 7 December, to finalise them. Their terms were then submitted to both Rome and Addis Ababa. They were also leaked to the French press, and thus almost immediately became known to the entire world.
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League of Nations Sanctions on Italy

Ethiopian Argument | Monday, March 24, 2014
By Dr. Richard Pankhurst:-
We saw last week how Mussolini used the Wal Wal incident of December 1934 to launch his unprovoked invasion of Ethiopia, on 3 October 1935. Now read on:
League of Nations Sanctions
Confronted with the long-anticipated act of invasion the League of Nations met, on 5 October, and, six days later, ruled that the Italian Government was guilty of having resorted to war in disregard of the League Covenant. This decision was reached by fifty votes to one (Italy), with three abstentions: Albania, Austria and Hungary. All three were either dependent on Italy or ideologically allied to her fascist government. On the same day the League established a committee to consider the imposition of sanctions against the aggressor. The committee duly proposed four prohibitions, which became effective on 18 November. These comprised:
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Mussolini and Ethiopia

Ethiopian Argument | Monday, March 24, 2014
By Dr. Richard Pankhurst:-
We saw last week how Mussolini and his fascist aide De Bono planned to invade Ethiopia, and how the French Government, preoccupied with the rise of nazi Germany, withdrew its earlier opposition to Italian expansion at Ethiopia’s expence. Now read on:
Fascist War Preparations
Fascist Italy, aware that there would no longer be any significant French opposition to an invasion, then embarked on massive war preparations, both in Italy and its East African colonies. Activity in Eritrea was personally supervised by De Bono, first as Minister of the Colonies, and, after January 1935, as the colony’s High Commissioner. Massawa harbour installations were vastly expanded to handle the arrival of troops and war material. The road from the port to Asmara
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The Italo-Ethiopian Scenario, 1935

Ethiopian Argument | Monday, March 24, 2014
By Dr. Richard Pankhurst:-
Ethiopia, the victor of the battle of Adwa in 1896, was by the early twentieth century the only state in Africa to have survived the European Scramble for the continent. The country was, however, dangerously situated between two Italian coastal colonies, Eritrea and Somalia. These territories could scarcely be developed in isolation from the Ethiopian hinterland, or expanded other than at Ethiopia’s expense.
Adwa had been a turning point in the history of Ethio-Italian relations. Italy, prior to the battle, had sought to gain control of Ethiopia, first through Article 17 of the Wechale Treaty, and later through military action. After the battle the Italians turned, no less assiduously, to economic penetration. Such Italian ambitions had been accepted, as we have seen, by Ethiopia’s two colonial neighbours, Britain
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The Emperor’s Coronation, and Pre-War Reforms

Ethiopian Argument | Monday, March 24, 2014
By Dr. Richard Pankhurst:-
We saw last week that the period after World War I had witnessed a number of reforms, as well as difficult relations with both Britain and France. Now read on:
Reforms of the 1920s
Contacts between Ethiopia and the outside world were nevertheless strengthened by the establishment of an Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and by the setting up of Ethiopian Legations in Paris, Rome and London. Talks with the Coptic Church of Egypt were also initiated, with a view to reducing Ethiopia’s age-old subordination to the Church of Alexandria. The Egyptians insisted that Ethiopia should continue to have an Egyptian Abun, but agreed, in 1929, to the appointment of five Ethiopian bishops. This was two more than Emperor Yohannes had succeeded in procuring half a century earlier, but two less than the Zagwe King Yemrahana had unsuccessfully tried to obtain in earlier medieval times.
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Empress Zawditu, and the Tafari Makonnen Regency

Ethiopian Argument | Monday, March 24, 2014
By Dr. Richard Pankhurst:-
We saw last week that after the fall of Lej Iyasu, in 1916, the Ethiopian nobility arranged for Menilek’s daughter Zawditu to ascend the imperial throne, while Dajazmach Tafari Makonnen, son of Menilek’s cousin, Ras Makonnen, was nominated Heir to the Throne. Now read on:
Zawditu, and Tafari
The political settlement of 1916, which divided power between the Empress Zawditu, and the Regent and Heir to the Throne, Tafari, inaugurated a difficult, and unprecedented, period of dual government. Power become further polarised in 1918, when Menilek’s old ministers were dismissed as a result of popular agitation, in which the palace guards, played a major role.
The two rulers had two separate palaces, groups of followers, and policies. Zawditu, who had received only a modicum of Ethiopian church education, and was innocent of foreign languages, represented patriotic, somewhat xenophobic,
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Menilek’s Failing Health, European Attempts to Partition Ethiopia, and the Rise of Lej Iyasu

Ethiopian Argument | Monday, March 24, 2014
By Dr. Richard Pankhurst:-
Having, in the last two weeks examined the beginnings of modernisation in the last part of Menilek’s reign, we turn now to the political crises of the time:
Succession Problems
The last years of Menilek’s reign, like those of several earlier Ethiopian rulers, were bedevilled by the problem of succession. This became particularly serious after 1904, when the Emperor’s health began visually to deteriorate. The question of the royal inheritance was the more serious in that the ageing monarch by then had no recognised living son. The presumption was that the throne would pass to the monarch’s cousin, Ras Makonnen, but he predeceased his ailing master in March 1906, thus leaving the succession wide open.
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The Eucalyptus Tree, and Ethiopia’s First Modern Schools and Hospitals.

Ethiopian Argument | Monday, March 24, 2014
By Dr. Richard Pankhurst:-
We saw last week that Menilek, mainly after his victory at the battle of Adwa in 1896, began Ethiopia’s modernisation. Now read on:
Another important development of this period was the introduction, by whom is uncertain, of the Australian eucalyptus tree. Some of the first plants were reportedly planted by Menilek’s French adviser, Casimir Mondon-Vidailhet, in 1894 or 1895. The tree grew so fast that it was soon extensively cultivated in Addis Ababa. Some landowners planted large eucalyptus forests on their estates, and thereby solved the capital’s hitherto serious shortage of both timber and fire-wood. The eucalyptus tree was, however, a thirsty plant, which dried up rivers and wells, and, by restricting grass cover, increased soil erosion.
Of Crucial Importance for Addis Ababa
The coming of the eucalyptus was of crucial importance in the history of Addis
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The Beginnings of Ethiopia’s Modernisation

Ethiopian Argument | Monday, March 24, 2014
By Dr. Richard Pankhurst
The last decades of Menilek’s (1889-1913) reign marked the beginning of Ethiopia’s modernisation, which had been delayed, among other reasons by almost a century of internal or external warfare. An unprecedented period of peace after the battle of Adwa, the opening up of foreign contacts in the aftermath of the Italian defeat, and the advent of increasing numbers of foreign craftsmen, created an entirely new climate for economic and technological developent. This owed much also to the Emperor’s almost child-like interest in innovations of all kinds, and to the ability of his trusted Swiss engineer Alfred Ilg. All these factors contributed to the founding at this time of a modern state. The Founding of Addis Ababa One of the earliest developments in the field of modernisation had its origin in 1881, when Menilek, then only king of Shawa, abandoned the old Shawan
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Trade in Ethiopia in Modern Times

Ethiopian Argument | Monday, March 24, 2014
By Dr. Richard Pankhurst:-
 The Maria Theresa Thaler, or Dollar
The late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries witnessed the arrival in Ethiopia of an Austrian coin: the Maria Theresa thaler, or dollar. This remarkable silver coin, which was called after Empress Maria Theresa of Austria, and was minted in Vienna, gained an extensive circulation throughout the Middle East, including Ethiopia. Its coming helped to equalise the disequilibrium between Ethiopian exports, which were substantially greater than the country’s imports.
Queen Maria Theresa died in 1780, and all Maria Theresa thalers minted thereafter bore that date.
The thaler also constituted a valuable source of silver, for it was melted down for the manufacture of jewellery, as well as that of crosses and other ecclesiastical objects.
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Trade in Ethiopia in Ancient Times

Ethiopian Argument | Monday, March 24, 2014
By Dr. Richard Pankhurst:-
These two articles are adapted from a study presented by the author to the 74′th District Conference and Assembly of Rotary International, held in Addis Ababa from 7 to 9 May, 1999. They were published in the Addis Tribune newspaper in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 4 June 1999 and 11 June 1999 respectively.
Trade and business have a long history in Ethiopia.
Pharaohs and Ptolemies
Our earliest records are those of the Egyptian Pharaohs, who conducted numerous commercial expeditions down the Red Sea. The most important of the areas they visited was what they termed the Land of Punt, which modern scholars equate with the coast of what is now Eritrea, an area then as later intimately linked with the hinterland of what is present-day Ethiopia.
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A Glimpse at My Mother’s (Sylvia Pankhurst) Archives

Ethiopian Argument | Monday, March 24, 2014
By Dr. Richard Pankhurst:-
Ethiopia and the Awakening Africa, 1936-40
This week, and next, I dip into the records relating to Africa in 1936-40, of my mother, Sylvia Pankhurst, who edited “New Times and Ethiopia News” (here abbreviated as N.T. ; E.N.), a pro-Ethiopian, and Anti-Fascist weekly newspaper, at the time.
I present the following excerpts fom her African correspondence, with a minimum of comment.
Introduction
Many European Liberals, Socialists and Democrats, and Anti-Fascists generally, were deeply interested in Ethiopia at the time of the Fascist invasion of the
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Ethiopian Manuscripts: Bindings and Illustration

Ethiopian Argument | Monday, March 24, 2014
By Dr. Richard Pankhurst:-
Ethiopian Bookmanship
Ethiopian bookmanship, at least by the fourteenth or fifteenth centuries, was highly developed. Manuscripts were often beautifully fashioned, and indeed works of art, and craftsmanship, in their own right.
Parchment, or Vellum
Manuscripts were invariably made of parchment, usually fashioned from cow, sheep or goat skin, but sometimes also of horse hide, which enabled the production of particularly large sheets of vellum. Manuscripts were in many cases strongly bound, and often covered with stout wooden boards, generally made from either the wanza tree(Cordia africana) or the (Olea africana).
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Artistic Developments of the Gondar Period

Ethiopian Argument | Monday, March 24, 2014
By Dr. Richard Pankhurst:-
The classical, Byzantine, style of Ethiopian art, characteristic of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, developed significantly in the seventeenth century. This was the so-called Gondar period, so named after the city of that name, in the north-west of the country, which became the capital of the Ethiopian realm in 1636.
This period, which witnessed the construction of the city’s famous castle-like palaces, and the development of a more urban form of court life, may likewise have seen the expansion, and reorganisation, of scriptoria for the making of manuscripts.
Art as Seen by the Artist
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Ethiopian Christian Art: Icons, Wall Paintings and Manuscripts

Ethiopian Argument | Monday, March 24, 2014
By Dr. Richard Pankhurst:-
The Coming of Christianity
Ethiopia was one of the first countries in the world to adopt the Christian faith. Local tradition holds that this conversion occurred as early as at the time of the Apostles. Be that as it may, we know that King Ezana of the Aksumite kingdom, in what is now the northern highlands of Ethiopia, issued coins bearing the Cross of Christ already around 330AD. The Aksum realm was indeed the first in the world to strike money with this device. Ezana also erected several inscriptions, which seem to confirm that the conversion to Christianity took place during or around to the time of his reign.
Ethiopia’s conversion, according to Byzantine author Rufinus, whose account is near contemporary, and apparently worthy of credence, was carried out by
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Ethiopian-Indian Relations in Ancient and Early Medieval Times

Ethiopian Argument | Monday, March 24, 2014
By Dr. Richard Pankhurst:-
Contacts between the lands which became to be known as Ethiopia and India date back to the dawn of history. The two countries, though geographically remote from one another, had largely complimentary economies. Ethiopia was a source of gold, ivory and slaves, all three of them in great demand in India. India by contrast produced cotton and silk, pepper and other spices, all in great demand in Ethiopia, as well as some manufactured articles consumed by the elite.
Trade Winds
Communications between the two countries, or regions, were facilitated by the Trade Winds. These blew, in the summer months, from north to south in the Red
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Ethio-Indian Trade, and Slaves, in Medieval Times

Ethiopian Argument | Monday, March 24, 2014
By Dr. Richard Pankhurst:-
We saw last week that Ethiopia imported large quanlities of cotton and silk from India, in ancient and medieval times. Now read on:
Jewels were another costly import from India, destined largely for the richest Ethiopian churches. Emperor Galawdewos’s chronicle states that several places of worship destroyed by the soldiers of the Adal conqueror Ahmad Gragn had been thus decorated with “precious Indian stones”.
Pearl-encrusted thrones from India were yet another costly import. They were imported for several monarchs, among them Emperor Dawit (1314-1411) and Emperor Na’od (1404-1508), who are known to have presented them to the churches of Tadbaba Maryam, in Gaynt, and Zemedu Maryam in Lasta, respectively.
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The Microfilming of Ethiopian Manuscripts: A Nostalgic View

Ethiopian Argument | Monday, March 24, 2014
By Dr. Richard Pankhurst:-
Launching the EMML Project
Almost thirty years ago, in what some people like to call the Good Old Days, Dr Walter Harrelson, Dean of the Divinity School of Vanderbilt University, Tennessee, visited Ethiopia in search of manuscripts of Old Testament Pseudepigrapha. While in Addis Ababa, he met His Holiness Abuna Theophilus, the then Acting Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, who suggested to his American visitor that funds might be sought to microfilm all manuscripts in Ethiopia, thus enabling scholars with varied interests to have access to documentation.
To this end, Abuna Theophilus appointed a committee, chaired by Dr Harrelson, to explore the possibilities of microfilming the manuscripts, and of securing the funds to do so. The First Joint Consultation Meeting for Microfilming Ethiopian Church Manuscripts was accordingly held in Addis Ababa, on April 22-23 1971.
It was in this way, and readers may note that I have been quoting directly from an Ethiopian Manuscript Microfilm Library brochure, that the justly renowned EMML project was launched.
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The Preservation of Ethiopian Culture

Ethiopian Argument | Monday, March 24, 2014
By Dr. Richard Pankhurst:-
The Art of Gabre Kristos Desta: an Important Offer that Should be Accepted!
Gabre Kristos Desta, who studied in Germany, was one post-World War II Ethiopia’s best known artists. He was also a prominent teacher at Ethiopia’s School of Fine Arts.
When he died, in Oklahoma, in the United States in 1981, it was his wish that those of his paintings which were still in his possession should be returned to his beloved Ethiopia. That this was his ardent wish I know from my somewhat earlier correspondence with him when, after leaving Ethiopia, he lived in Germany.
Some Forty Paintings
Some forty of his paintings, including several of his finest works, are currently in
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Lives of Ethiopian Saints

Ethiopian Argument | Monday, March 24, 2014
by Dr Richard Pankhurst:-
Ethiopia posseses, as we have more than once urged in these pages, a vast historical heritage, which, we would insist, has up to now been insufficiently studied, and exploited.
The Gadl
This week we turn our attention to one particular Ethiopian historical source: the Gadl, or Saint’s Life.
Ethiopia, over the centuries, had numerous holy men (and also a few women!), who lived what were considered holy lives, founded monasteries, and were remembered with affection, devotion and/or admiration by their disciples and followers.
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Ethiopia’s Missing Statues

Ethiopian Argument | Monday, March 24, 2014
By Dr. Richard Pankhurst:-
Addis Ababa has many missing statues!
Such is our theme for our essay today.
Tewodros
Look, to start with, at Addis Ababa’s Tewodros Square. You drive up Churchill Road, past the Post Office, and the French school, both of them on the right; and you come to Tewodros “square”, or, if you like “circle”, and what do you see? Nothing!
The plan, never implemented, was to erect a statue there in memory of Emperor Tewodros II. A first drawing for the statue was produced by Ethiopian artist Ato Ale Felege Selam, and is still extant, in private posseesion. This drawing can be brought out whenever the Municipal authorities realise the need to beutify, and glorify, the capital.
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Traditional Ethiopian Medical Text-Books, and Botanical Gardens

Ethiopian Argument | Monday, March 24, 2014
Ethiopia is in many ways remarkable in possessing lands of greatly varying altitude, and hence of widely differing climate. Traditionally the areas of differing altitude in which these lands were situated were known as Qolla, or Lowlands, Dega, or Lands of Considerable Elevation, and Wayna Dega, literally “Grape Highlands”, or lands of intermediary elevation.
Temperature, Rainfall and Climate
Temperature and rainfall also varied very greatly. The country thus included cold mountains, in some places at times covered with snow, and torrid lowlands, some of which constituted some of the hottest places on earth. Great differences in rainfall also occurred, and manifested themselves in desert conditions at one extreme, and tropical jungle at the other.
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How To Lose Your History

Ethiopian Argument | Monday, March 24, 2014
By Dr Richard Pankhurst:-
Addis Ababa – Almost thirty years ago, in what some people like to call the Good Old Days, Dr Walter Harrelson, Dean of the Divinity School of Vanderbilt University, Tennessee, visited Ethiopia in search of manuscripts of Old Testament Pseudepigrapha.
While in Addis Ababa, he met His Holiness Abuna Theophilus, the then Acting Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, who suggested to his American visitor that funds might be sought to microfilm all manuscripts in Ethiopia, thus enabling scholars with varied interests to have access to documentation
To this end, Abuna Theophilus appointed a committee, chaired by Dr Harrelson, to explore the possibilities of microfilming the manuscripts, and of securing the funds to do so. The First Joint Consultation Meeting for Microfilming Ethiopian Church Manuscripts was accordingly held in Addis Ababa, on April 22-23 1971.
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The Temple of Yeha, and its Killer Trees

Ethiopian Argument | Monday, March 24, 2014
By Dr. Richard Pankhurst:-
We have had occasion in previous articles to draw attention to the sapling trees, and other vegetation, which have been allowed to grow in Ethiopian historic buildings, in many parts of the country, thereby endangering their future existence.
A case in point is the vegetation in and around the historic temple of Yeha, a building discussed, and described at some length, in previous issues of “Addis Tribune” – where allusion has also been made to the question of the trees!
Ethiopia’s Earliest Important Antiquity
Yeha, it will be recalled, is perhaps Ethiopia’s earliest important historical site. Situated some 30 kilometres north of Aksum, the fine structure of the temple dates from the middle of the first millennium BC, or, some believe, as early as around the eighth century BC. Not so far away from the time of the fabled Queen
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Tewodros Receives No Reply from The British Government

Ethiopian Argument | Monday, March 24, 2014
By Dr. Richard Pankhurst:-
We saw last week how Emperor Tewodros, recalling the treaty which Britain had signed with his predecessor, Ras Ali, wrote to Queen Victoria, on 29 October 1862. The British Government, apparently not wishing to become embroiled in Ethiopia’s relations with the Ottoman Empire, however, filed his letter, with the result that no reply of course arrived.
A Letter Unanswered
As time passed and his letter remained unanswered, Tewodros, whose pride in his royal status had earlier been noted by Consul Plowden, became increasingly
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Tewodros, and the Battle of Maqdala, 1868

Ethiopian Argument | Monday, March 24, 2014
By Dr. Richard Pankhurst:-
`We saw last week that the British Government, after several years’ inaction, had agreed to Emperor Tewodros’s request to obtain craftsmen for him, but that his renewed detention of the Europeans at his court had led, in the autumn of 1866, to a hardening of the British attitude.
The Emperor’s attempt to pressurise the British Government by imprisoning its functionaries, though up to then surprisingly successful, had miscarried. British policy was now reversed. Rassam’s imprisonment, wrote Merewether on 25 September, 1866 was “so great an outrage and insult” that adherence to the plan of despatching the artisans to Tewodros was no longer possible. The British Government therefore decided that the workmen should still be despatched to Massawa, but not allowed inland until the prisoners were released ,and sent down to the port.
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Missionary Craftsmen in Tewodros II reign!

Ethiopian Argument | Monday, March 24, 2014
By Dr. Richard Pankhurst:-
We saw last week that Tewodros, from the very inception of his reign, sought the military unification of the Ethiopian empire. Being, as we saw, in a difficult position to import fire-arms, he soon conceived the ambitious plan of having them cast in Ethiopia itself.
With a view to improving his military equipment he accepted an offer by Samuel Gobat, the Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem, in 1855 to send him a group of young craftsmen from the Chrischona missionary institute near Basle in Switzerland. These “missionary artisans”, as they were called, brought him gifts of religious books, for the most part in Amharic, but as he later acknowledged to his English courtier John Bell, “he would have been more pleased with a box of English gunpowder than, as he said, with books he already possessed”.
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Emperor Tewodros II: His Reform Policies

Ethiopian Argument | Monday, March 24, 2014
An Essay in Nineteenth Century Ethiopian History. 
By Dr. Richard Pankhurst:-
The rise of Kasa, the future Emperor Tewodros II, marked the opening of a new, and, in the light of later events, crucially important, era of Ethiopian history. Most of his attempted reforms were never achieved, but nonetheless charted the course taken in the decades which followed.
Kasa, who was born around 1818, was the son of a chief of Qwara on the western frontier. A distant member of the royal family (rather than a self-made man, as some authorities once thought), he was brought up in a monastery, but later became a free-lance soldier. His courage won him the loyalty of his followers, and enabled him to gain control of Qwara, and assume the title of Dajazmach. Empress
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The Lalibala Churches

Ethiopian Argument | Monday, March 24, 2014
By Dr. Richard Pankhurst
The largest, noblest, and perhaps historically most interesting, of the Lalibala churches is that of MadhaneAlam, or Saviour of the World. Some scholars believe it may actually have been modelled on the old Church of St Mary of Seyon at Aksum, which was then extant.
Madhane Alam
Madhane Alam, which is no less than 33.5 metres long, 23.5 metres wide, and 11 metres high, is unusual in having an external colonnade of pillars on all four sides. These columns extend from its main plinth to its gabled roof which they support. Like the old St Mary of Seyon, the church has a nave and four isles, and four rows of seven pillars, each carved from the single block of stone which forms
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King Lalibala and his Monolithic Churches

Ethiopian Argument | Monday, March 24, 2014
By Dr. Richard Pankhurst:-
Harbe, whose history we considered last week. was succeeded by his brother Lalibala. The best known of the Zagwe rulers he is renowned as a great builder, or, more exactly, excavator of rock-hewn churches.
Lalibala and Legend
Lalibala’s life is enshrined in legend. It is traditionally claimed that he was surrounded, shortly after his birth, by a cloud of bees, whereupon his mother, seized by the spirit of prophecy, cried out, `The bees know that this child will become king!’. He was accordingly named Lalibala, which means, `The bee recognises his sovereignty’.
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Saturday, March 22, 2014

Medical Developments at the Time of Menilek

Ethiopian Argument | Saturday, March 22, 2014
By Dr. Richard Pankhurst:-
We saw last week how rivalry between the European powers in Addis Ababa led, during the reign of Emperor Menilek, to the establishment of clinics, at the Italian, French and British legation. They competed with the Russian hospital, a truly pioneering institution which had been established a few years earlier. Now read on!
Ras Makonnen’s Leprosarium
Foreign medicine also began to make its appearance in the provinces at about the same time. In Harar, to the East, Ras Makonnen was keen on establishing modern medical institutions. In 1901 he gave the French Capuchin missionary Monseigneur Jarosseau land on which to establish Ethiopia’s first modern-style leprosarium.
This institution, which was run entirely by French missionaries, consisted of one large building, made of stone and mud, and 49 traditional style huts. There some twenty-five families, for the most part Oromos, were
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Menilek, Medicine and International relations

Ethiopian Argument | Saturday, March 22, 2014
By Dr. Richard Pankhurst:-
We saw last week how foreign medicines gained increasing popularity during the reign of Emperor Yohannes. Now read on!
Menilek
The coming of modern medicine to Ethiopia advanced significantly further during the reign of Menilek, a period of relative peace, when foreign contacts expanded. This period also witnessed the founding of Addis Ababa, and all the modernisation which followed therefrom.
Italian Contacts
Despite Menileks reputed interest in innovation, significant developments in the medical field took place only in the 1880s. They owed much to Menilek’s early ties with the Italians. Several Italian doctors visited Shawa between 1886 and 1889. They included Vincenzo Ragazzi and Leopoldo Traversi, who established themselves at Lat Marefeya in northern Shawa, Cesare Nerazzini, who for a time was stationed in Harar, and Raffaele Alfieri, who travelled to several different parts of the country. These foreign physicians dispensed a variety of medicines, which, according to their compatriot Antonio Cecchi, included emetics and quinine for the treatment of malaria. Italian military cooperation was, however, of but short duration, for it came to an end soon after the Treaty of Wuchale, and Menilek’s dispute with the Italians, which culminated in the historic battle of Adwa, in 1896.
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Ethiopia’s Historic Quest for Medicine: a Century and a Half Ago

Ethiopian Argument | Saturday, March 22, 2014
By Dr. Richard Pankhurst:-
We saw last week that foreign medicines had long been in great demand in Ethiopia. We saw also that, by the middle of the nineteenth century, such medicines were relatively well known, and relatively much used, at the country’s more important towns, particularly in governing and related circles.
King Sahla Sellase
King Sahla Sellase of Shawa was in particular a great fan of foreign medical treatment. This is fully apparent in the often excessively critical reports of the British envoy, Captain Harris. In May 1842 he reported:
“The King’s attention would appear to be now solely engrossed in amassing medicines. Finding that the stock of calomel [in the palace] had been nearly exhausted in the cure of fifteen hundred syphilitic patients he has sent constantly [to the British Embassy] during the last fortnight to request supplies of every drug contained in the stores, with explanations for use, and expressed much disappointment at learning that the chest contained neither the horn of a serpent, which he believed to possess the most valuable medical virtues, nor any cure for those who go mad from looking at a black dog.”
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The Medical Activities in the Early 19th Century Successors, in Ethiopia

Ethiopian Argument | Saturday, March 22, 2014
By Dr. Richard Pankhurst:-
We saw last week that the rulers and people of Ethiopia had long been interested in foreign medical practice of all kinds. Valuable evidence of this is to be found in the writings of foreign travellers, who were frequently approached by Ethiopians of all classes requiring medical advice or assistance.
Making of Amulets
Two of the visiting foreign travellers approached for cures, in the 1830s, were the French Saint Simonian missionaries Combes and Tamisier. They recall that a young Ethiopian country-woman on one occasion begged them for an amulet to cure her sterility. She was so insistent that, though they did not believe in the efficacy of such “treatment,” they eventually agreed to her request.
Justifying this action they write:
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The Medical Activities of James Bruce, and his 19th Century Successors in Ethiopia

Ethiopian Argument | Saturday, March 22, 2014
By Dr. Richard Pankhurst:-
The rulers of Ethiopia, as we saw last week, had long been interested in foreign medicines, and foreign medical practice of all kinds. This was, as we have already suggested, no less apparent in the eighteenth century, at the time of the visit to the country of the famous Scottish traveller James Bruce.
Smallpox Stricken Massawa
Bruce, whose claims of medical prowess must not, I fear, be taken too literally, landed at the Red Sea port of Massawa in September 1769. The port, he claims, was then gripped during a terrible epidemic of smallpox.There were fears, he asserts, that “the living would not be sufficient to bury the dead.” The “whole island,” he asserts, was “filled with shrieks and lamentations both night and day.”
Anxious to leave the hot, and epidemic-stricken port, and to make his way into the cooler, and supposedly more healthy, highlands of the interior, he “suppressed” his “character of physician.” He did so, he says, in fear that he would otherwise be “detained by reason of the multitude of the sick.”
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Medical Activities in Early Times of Ethiopia

Ethiopian Argument | Saturday, March 22, 2014
By Dr. Richard Pankhurst:-
Though Ethiopia long had its own system of medical lore, and a remarkably extensive local traditional pharmacopoeia, the people of the country were for centuries deeply interested in foreign medical practices of all kinds.
The Sixteenth Century
Evidence of Ethiopia’s historic thirst for foreign medicine can be traced back to at least the early sixteenth century. A member of the first Portuguese mission to Ethiopia, Joao Bermudes, who arrived in the country in the 1520s, claimed to be skilled in European medicine. He was in consequence warmly received at the Ethiopian court. The then reigning monarch, Emperor Lebna Dengel, was so impressed by Bermudes that he did not allow him to leave the country.
Lebna Dengel was also deeply interested in acquiring foreign medicine. He accordingly wrote to King Joao of Portugal, in 1521, asking the latter to send him “men who made medicines, and physicians, and surgeons to cure illnesses.”
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Who Lost the Battle of Maqdala?

Ethiopian Argument | Saturday, March 22, 2014
By Dr. Richard Pankhurst:-
Ethiopian students over many years have often asked why the British, after defeating Emperor Tewodros at Maqdala, in 1868, did not stay on in the country, and make it a “colony”, “protectorate”, “condominium” or “sphere of influence”.
I always gave three answers:
1. That the British had promised from the outset that they would leave as soon as the dispute with Tewodros had come to an end; further, that it was only on that undertaking that they had been allowed, by the Ottoman Empire, to land on the Red Sea coast, and, by Dejazmach Kasa (the future Emperor Yohannes IV) to pass across Tigray; and on that undertaking that they were assured the support of Gobaze, ruler of Lasta, and of Menilek, ruler of Shawa.
2. That the Scramble for Africa, which started only in the 1880s, had not yet begun at the time of the Maqdala battle, but that, had it already started things might have been different.
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The Crowns of Emperor Tewodros: Loot from Maqdala

Ethiopian Argument | Saturday, March 22, 2014
The Loot from Maqdala
By Dr. Richard Pankhurst:-
The dispute, in the 1860’s between Emperor Tewodros II and the British Government, led, it will be recalled, to the extensive looting of the Ethiopian ruler’s mountain fortress of Maqdala, by British troops.
The loot from Maqdala, which included several hundred valuable Ethiopian manuscripts and many other Ethiopian artifacts, both religious and secular, was taken, on 15 elephants and nearly 200 mules, from the fortress of Maqdala to the Dalanta plain. There, as the Anglo-American journalist Henry Morton Stanley reported in his autobiographical book “Coomassie and Magdala”, an auction was held, on 20 and 21 April 1868 for two days.
The German Count von Seckendorff, who was also present at the auction, states that the articles sold included “several golden and gilt crowns”. Stanley wrote, apparently with greater precision, that the loot included “four royal crowns, two of which were very fine specimens of workmanship, and worth a round sum of money” (page 458).
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Maqdala and its Loot: a Brief History

Ethiopian Argument | Saturday, March 22, 2014
Institute of Ethiopian Studies
By Dr. Richard Pankhurst:-
I. The Fall of Maqdala
The British capture of Maqdala, Emperor Tewodros’s mountain capital in north-west Ethiopia, took place on 13 1868, immediately after the Ethiopian monarch committed suicide to avoid falling into the hands of his enemies. The fall of the citadel was described by an Ethiopian royal chronicler, Alaqa Walda Mariam, who, looking at the event from an Ethiopian point of view, states that when “everything fell into the hands of the English general… every [Ethiopian] soldier at Maqdala threw his weapons over the precipice and went and groveled before the enemy”. Those who failed to throw away their arms were, he claims, “considered as belligerents and many men thus perished”, presumably at the hands of the victorious army. Elaborating on this assertion, he declares that “the English troops rivalled one another” in “shooting down” any Ethiopian seen carrying spears or guns, and that “when anyone was seen taking up a weapon he was shot”.
The above grim picture, it is only fair to say, finds no confirmation in British official records which, on the other hand, do not, however, provide any contradictory evidence.
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Dr and Mrs Pankhurst Write to London “Independent” Newspaper on Maqdala Treasures

Ethiopian Argument | Saturday, March 22, 2014
By Dr. Richard Pankhurst:-
The question of the return to Greece of the Elgin Marbles has recently re-erupted in the British press, with an article by one Philip Hensher in support of restitution, which appeared in the “Independent” newspaper, in London..
On that occasion the “Independent, on 31 August, published a letter from Professor Richard and Mrs Rita Pankhurst which read in part:
“Philip Hensher’s perceptive article urging the return to Greece of the Elgin marbles prompts us to raise the no less necessary return to Ethiopia of the loot from Magdala, taken by a British Expedition in 1868. The loot comprises a gold crown, some 400 manuscripts, ten tabots, or altar slabs, etc., currently held mainly at the British Library and Museum and the Royal Library at Winsdor Castle.
“The changing international perspective on culture raised by Hensher applies to Ethiopia no less than to Greece. Ethiopian manuscripts in Britain were in the past much studied by European scholars, who deserve our praise. Their legacy has, however, been inherited by Ethiopian scholars. Addis Ababa, rather than London, is now indisputably the main center of Ethiopian Studies. Ethiopian libraries are, moreover, now able to preserve the country’s manuscripts.
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Mussolini, and the Ethiopian Crowns of Tewodros, Yohannes, Menilek, and Haile Sellassie

Ethiopian Argument | Saturday, March 22, 2014
By Dr. Richard Pankhurst:-
During the Italian fascist occupation of Ethiopia, 1936-1941, the invaders looted not only the Aksum obelisk (which should have been returned in 1947-8, in accordance with the United Nations-Italian Peace, and in 1997, in accordance with the more recent Italian agreement with the present Ethiopian Government).
The Italians also carried off an indeterminate quantity of other Ethiopian artifacts. These included a number of Ethiopian royal crowns. Several of these, according to local tradition, were looted from the famous monastery of Debra Libanos, whose monks and deacons were massacred by the fascists in May 1937.
Mussolini Gives Them to the Colonial Museum
Several Ethiopian crowns at around this time came into the possession of Rodolfo Graziani, the Italian colonial general, who had led the invasion of Ethiopia on the southern front, and was later fascist Viceroy of Ethiopia.
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The Looted Crown of Emperor Tewodros II

Ethiopian Argument | Saturday, March 22, 2014
By Dr. Richard Pankhurst:-
The dispute, in the 1860’s between Emperor Tewodros II and the British Government, led to the extensive looting of the Ethiopian ruler’s mountain fortress of Maqdala, by British troops.
The loot from Maqdala, which included several hundred valuable Ethiopian manuscripts and many other Ethiopian artifacts, both religious and secular, was taken on 15 elephants and nearly 200 mules, from the fortress of Maqdala to the Dalanta plain. There, as the Anglo-American journalist Henry Morton Stanley reported in his autobiographical book “Coomassie and Magdala”, an auction was carried out for three days.
The German Count von Seckendorff, who was also present at the auction, states that the articles sold included “several golden and gilt crowns”. Stanley wrote, with greater precision, that the loot apparently included “four royal crowns, two of which were fine specimens of workmanship, and worth a round sum of money” (page 458).
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