By Harold G. Marcus
Surveying the evolution of the oldest African kingdom from prehistoric to fashionable instances, this examine demonstrates that there's extra to Ethiopia's life than colonial good judgment. It indicates how geography, economics and tradition have served to unite Ethiopians opposed to fractionalization.
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Additional info for A History of Ethiopia
Zara Yakob was a great leader of Ethiopia. He was remarkably consistent in working for Ethiopia's unity from Eritrea south through Shewa into Sidama country. The choices he madeChristianity and feudalismwere rational, indeed inevitable, in terms of terrain and communications, and led to a largely peaceful and prosperous reign. html[1/18/2011 6:02:15 PM] next page > page_26 < previous page page_26 next page > Page 26 northern Shewa at Debre Birhan (mountain of light), on an austere, cold, and windswept plateau, reflecting the emperor's celebrated asceticism.
They were concentrated in the center of the town and provided a sharp contrast with the traditional round, thatched, mud and wattle homes of the people. html[1/18/2011 6:02:22 PM] next page > page_43 < previous page page_43 next page > Page 43 had been confiscated by Christian conquerors. Over the previous two centuries, they had survived by moving into such marginal occupations as weaving and smithing, the crafts that Christians avoided as the gift of the devil. The growth of Gonder and its need for workers allowed the Beta Israel to augment their skills.
The core area was ringed by more or less recently conquered provinces, whose inhabitants were at least superficially Christian and whose administration resembled government in the traditional provinces. At the outer periphery were tributary states whose traditional rulers presided over people culturally, religiously, and economically different from those of the heartland and its environs. Whenever there was a crisis, or, indeed, royal instability, death, or succession, the state began to contract.
A History of Ethiopia by Harold G. Marcus