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Eloi Ficquet

uncrowned ruler of the kingdom of Ethiopia, from 1911 (de facto) or 1913 (de jure) to his deposition in 1916, was born in 1898, in the northern region of Wello that was ruled by his father, Ras Mikael. The latter descended from a dynasty of Muslim rulers and had been a Muslim, under the name of Muhammad Ali, before his conversion to Christianity, when Wello was integrated into the Christian kingdom. His mother was Shawaragga, the daughter of Emperor Menilek. Lij (infant) or Abeto (prince) Iyasu, the only male descendent of Menilek II, was educated as a royal prince, in isolation from his family.

In 1909 Menilek who was severely weakened after a series of strokes prepared his succession and proclaimed Iyasu as the heir to the throne of the kingdom of Ethiopia Despite the official legitimacy that was conferred to him Iyasu s ability to reign ...


Robert Fay

Menelik II’s birth name was Sahle Mariam. His father, Haile Malakot, was king of Shewa, the heartland of the Amhara people in present-day central Ethiopia, and his mother was Wayzaro Ejegayahu, a court servant who later married Haile Malakot. His father’s death in 1855 during a military campaign by Ethiopian emperor Tewodros II, whose victory ended Shewa’s autonomy, brought Sahle Mariam to Tewodros’s court, where the emperor held all of his potential rivals. There he received a traditional church education. Sahle Mariam escaped in 1865, returned to Shewa, deposed Shewa’s governor, Bezzabbeh, and at twenty-one years of age declared himself negus (king) of Shewa, though he recognized the emperor Tewodros II as his overlord.

Sahle Mariam expanded Shewa s borders south and east into Oromo and Somali territory through warfare and diplomacy and under his rule Shewa became the largest and most powerful kingdom of Ethiopia At Tewodros s ...


Christopher Clapham

emperor of Ethiopia, was born 19 August 1844 in Ankober, Ethiopia, the grandson of Sahla-Silase, king of Shoa, southernmost of the major provinces of highland Ethiopia. The name “Menilek” referred to the legendary son of Solomon and the Queen of Sheba and prophesied for him a distinguished imperial future. At the age of 11, he was taken into captivity by the new emperor, Tewodros; but as the emperor’s power waned, he escaped and was received with joy in Shoa as its rightful king. Self-proclaimed king of Shoa, Menilek showed signs of imperial ambitions but lacked the military strength to challenge the ruler of Tigray, who became emperor Yohannes IV. When Yohannes advanced on Shoa, Menilek was obliged to submit, in March 1878. During the eleven-year period from 1878 until 1889 when Menilek was in effect the quasi independent ruler of Shoa he laid the foundations of his subsequent ...