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Posts Tagged ‘Emperor Menelek’

The Wider Psychological Impact of the Battle of Adwa

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on March 3, 2013


by Haile Muluken

  1. A Short Review of Racial Based Prejudices towards Black Peoples

  2. Adwa for Ethiopia and the Rest of the Black Peoples

  3. Adwa for Italy and the Rest of the World

The victory of Adwa is rightly understood as a lifetime heritage and a precious jewel to Africans to be proud of and defy white stereotypes. On the whole, however, assessment of the historical significance of the victory of Adwa based on the reaction of blacks to the news of the victory; the enormous coverage accorded to it by media outlets and history books; its role in the Pan-African movement; its inspirational value to other oppressed peoples and the level of panic and shockwave it sent to imperialist circles amounts pressed peoples and the level of panic and shockwave it sent to imperialist circles amounts infinitesimal to the ultimate value of the victory which perhaps would remain too tough to fully comprehend.

By the late 19th century,

Ethiopia was a newly constructed empire consisting of diverse ethnic groups with their own political and religious traditions, but also long lived interconnections a condition found to be opportune by the invaders to break Ethiopian resistance.

The victory of Adwa was made possible because Ethiopians from all corners of the country came out in solidarity and made selfless human and material sacrifice in defense of a common cause. This unity was maintained not only amidst internal misunderstandings but also in the face of strong divisive propaganda by their enemy. The cooperation that saved the nascent Ethiopian empire from colonialism was a true manifestation of Ethiopian nationalism at work: nationalism that transcends internal oppression and misunderstandings; nationalism that does not barter the nation for enemy propaganda; nationalism that values unity amidst diversity; nationalism that pays dearly for values of freedom and independence and nationalism that puts the nation before anything else.

Today divergent claims exist about the significance of Adwa to Ethiopia among scholars,not necessarily historians, motivated by the desire to provide intellectual rational for secessionist movements or centrist political programs. Being politically motivated, some of the discussions advanced about Adwa’s internal significance are simply ahistorical and senseless. As the disunity of Italian peoples was a factor for the defeat of expansionists, so was the unity and sacrifice of all Ethiopian peoples for the victory for which they were not compensated by the state by way of good governance and elimination of exploitative relationships. If history is to be consulted for any lesson, the prospect of building a united and prosperous Ethiopia lies in the ability of the present and future generations in enhancing the kind of nationalism their fathers exhibited at Adwa which was built on a sense of belongingness to one another i.e., bond of fraternity.

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የአፄ ዮሐንስ እና የንጉሥ ምኒልክ ዕርቅ

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on August 30, 2011


*ከማሞ ውድነህ*

ካለፈው የቀጠለ


አሁንኮ አባታችን ያቀረቡልዎ ክስ የደንከልን በር ለሃይማኖት ተግባር ነው ብላችሁ ከገዛችሁ በኋላ ለንግድ ሥራና ለመንግሥት መገልገያ እንዲሆን አደረጋችሁ፤ የትንባሆ ነገር በሕዝቡ ዘንድ እንዲለመድ አድርጋችኋል ነውና ለዚህ መልስ ይስጡብለው ጠየቋቸው።

አባ ማስያስ በጸጉር የተሸፈነ የዱር ድመት የመሰለ ፊታቸውን ወደ ዕጨጌው ዘወር አድርገው፤

እሳቸውኮ እኛን በሆነ ባልሆነ የሚወነጅሉን አገራችሁ ከአውሮፓ መንግሥታት ጋር ተወዳጅታ በጥበብ እንዳትኮራ እንደ እነርሱ በመሳሰሉ ከእስክንድርያ በሚላኩ ሰባኪዎች አማካይነት አገራችሁ የግብጽ ጥገኛ ሆና እንድትኖር ከግብጽም ፈቃድ እንዳትወጣባቸው፡ በዚህ አገሩ የሚኖሩ እስላሞች ክርስቲያይኖች እንዳይሆኑባቸው የግብጽ ከዲብ ባለሟልነት እንዳይቀርባቸው ብለው ነውብለው ሲሳለቁ ዕጨጌውን ቁጣ ቱግ አድርጎ አስቆጣቸውና፤

ስሙ ወይ ማስያስ! ማንነትዎንኮ አሳምሬ ደርሼበታለሁ! የጣሊያኑ ንጉሥ ነፍስ አባት አይደሉም? ይህን ያምናሉ? ወይስ ይክዱኛል?” ብለው አፈጠጡባቸው።

ይኽ ነገር እውነት ነው?” ብለው ዮሐንስም ተጨመሩ። የችሎቱ ፍጥጫ ከአባ ማስያስ ላይ ተከመረ።

ብሆንስ ምንድነው ነውሩና ጥፋቱ?” አሉና አባ አንገታቸውን ደፉ።

ነውሩና ጥፋቱማብለው እጨጌም አባን ገለማምጠው፡ የችሎቱንም ሁኔታ ቃኝተው ክርክራቸውን ቀጠሉበት። ነውሩና ጥፋቱማ እንደ አባትነትዎ ከንጉሥዎ አጠገብ ሆነው መምከርና ማስተማር ሲገባዎ በወንጌል ስም፡ በክርስቶስ ስም ከሰው አገር ገብተው ሃይማኖት እየበረዙ ወንድምና ወንድም ለማፋጀት ተንኮል እየሠሩ መገኘትዎ ነውብለው ሲመልሱላቸው ችሎቱ ይበል ይበልብሎ አስተጋባላቸው።

አፄ ዮሐንስ አንገታቸውን አቀርቅረው ሲተክዙ ቆዩና በሆዳቸው ውስጥ ሲጤስ የነበረውን ንዴት ደጋግመው በመተንፈስ ካስወጡት በኋላ፤

እኮ ለዚህስ የሚሰጡት ምላሽ አለዎት?” ብለው ጠየቋቸው የዐይኖቻቸውን ቅንድቦች ዘግተው።

የንጉሥ ነፍስ አባትነት ከሀገራቸው ወጥታችሁ አታስተምሩ ብሎ አይከለከልም፡ እርሳቸውስ የከዲቡብለው ተናግረው ሳይጨርሱ እጨጌ አቋረጧቸውና፤

ጃንሆይ! በዚህ ችሎት የምትገኙ መኳንንትና ሊቃውንት! ልብ በሉልኝ! ‘ስሱ ሲበላ ይታነቃል! ሐሰተኛ በአነጋገሩ ይታወቃል እንዲሉ፥ የግብጽን ጦርና የመኳንንት ወስላቶች የምትረዱስ እናንተ አይደላችሁም? እውነተኞቹ የወንጌል ሰባኪዎች ከሆናችሁ ቀደም ሲል የቱርክ ጦር ዛሬም ግብጾች ክርስቲያኑን ሁሉ እስላም ካልሆንክእያሉ ሲያስጨንቁት ለምን አልገላገላችሁም?” ብለው አንገታቸውን አሰገጉባቸው።

እኮ? የደንከልን የባሕር በርስ ለንግድና ለወታደር ተግባር እንዲውል አሳልፋችሁ አልሰጣችሁም? የትንባሆ ዘርስ በእርሻ ላይ እየዘራችሁ ሕዝቡን እያስለመዳችሁት አይደለም? ለግብጥ ጦርና እኔን ካሎረፉ ወስላቶችስ ጥግና ጋሻ ሁናችሁ የለም? ይህን ሁሉ ታምናላችሁ? ትክዳላችሁ?” ብለው አፄ ዮሐንስም ቁጣና ፍጥጫ ጨመሩበት።


Continue reading…AtseYohannesNegusMenilik2




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Emperor Menelek Wasn’t Barbarian

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on October 17, 2009

The following amazing article was written and published by the World’s best Newspaper, by the New York Times, 113 years ago, on May 4, 1896


Origin of Monastic Live – Africa. Not so Dark After All – Emperor Menelek’s Descent from Sheba—Priests Can Divorce—The Problem in the Soudan—Many of the Monasteries Said to Possess Valuable Documents and Manuscripts.

Christendom has a deeper interest in Abyssinia and its remarkable monarch, Emperor Menelek, than the world at large has stopped to consider. It is not the fate of the Italian Army nor the march of the British toward the Soudan that attracts thinking people. It is the general focusing of the world’s lenses upon that part of the globe which was literally the cradle of culture and of Christianity.

It has been the vogue to speak of Africa as a “dark continent.” a God-forsaken and debauched region. There has been some foundation—nay, one had almost said positive justification—for this practice because among the wild and untamed tribes of Central Africa and the inhabitants of the South and West all the excesses of debased carnalism prevailed.

Not so, however, in Abyssinia has this been the case, despite the habitudes of sensational correspondents and those who were part of or accompanied besieging and invading European armies. Abyssinia/Ethiopia and Egypt have been and still continue to be the repositories of the relics and treasures of a wondrous civilization, a grandeur, learning, and culture to which modern historians referentially defer and point with reverential awe.

If the wars which have begun in Africa, particularly in that region of which Ethiopia is part, reveal the treasures hidden in the monasteries of the Coptic monks and the monophysite priests, they will be a blessing to Christianity, science, and progressive civilization.

Emperor Menelek has been regarded as a “barbarian” by Europeans, who seem to have adopted the term with even less justification for it than had the Roman people when they applied it to all other races on earth. But when this “barbarian” is investigated he turns out to be by birth and possibilities very much of a gentleman of lofty lineage and invaluable possessions. He rules to-day a country of about 100,000 square miles, inhabited by 5,000,000 persons, whose forefathers were believed to be the oldest and greatest people known to history. They are divided into three great subdivisions of the whole: First, the Ethiopians of Tigré, who speak the ancient Geez language; second the Amharic tribes, living in Amhara and Shoa, and, third, the Agows of Wag Lasta, said to be of Phoenician origin. There are also the Gallas, who settled in Amhara and Shoa.

It must be admitted that the frequent civil wars brutalized and depraved these people by engendering evils and vices and by destroying the literature that once belonged to Abyssinia and which tradition tells us was important and extensive. Abyssinia is situated between latitudes 8 degrees 30 minutes and 16 degrees 80 minutes north, and between longitudes 34 degrees 20 minutes and 43 degrees 20 minutes east. It is bounded north and northwest by Nubia and south and east by Galla and Somali and Adal. Its topography may be described as elevated table land and extensive valleys, and it has many thriving cities. So much for the geographical summary of Emperor Menelek’s dominions. Of its relations to Christianity and the world’s early greatness a few words of description will be interesting.

Menelek claims to be a direct descendant from the Queen of Sheba and her son Menelek, whose father was said to be Solomon, and the legendary lore of this part of Africa says that the first Menelek was a Jew and was educated by the wise King himself. Be this as it may, the present Menelek is a wise man, and is bent on being classified by his European cousins as their peer—a potentate of common sense and progressive, of longer descent and loftier lineage—prepared to take his place among them for the benefit of his people and humanity. He wishes to belong to the Geneva Convention, and it is asserted that he stands ready to throw open the innermost recesses of his kingdom and its monasteries to the properly accredited explorer.

There should be plenty to repay research of this character in a land so wealthy in Biblical tradition, and where stands the oldest temples and religious edifices. In Axum, the city of the Queen of Sheba, there stands a cathedral to-day as old as Christianity itself. If historians are to be believed.

Coptic Christianity was and is the religion of the people. There are, of course, many Mohammedans and Jews. The first apostle of Christianity in Abyssinia chroniclers claim to have been the Chamberlain of Queen Candace of Ethiopia, whose baptism is recorded in Acts Vll., 27. But Frementius and Adesius of Tyre were slaves to the King of Abyssinia, and on his death the former became tutor to the hereditary Princes, and Adesius went back to Tyre. This was in A.D. 320, and Frementius formed a Christian Church among the Greek and Roman merchants in Axum. He then went to Alexandria and was consecrated by Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria. The King was baptized and Axum became the See of a Metropolitan, with seven suffragans. In the fifth and sixth centuries the monophysites controlled the patriarchal See of Alexandria.

Subsequent to this Christianity spread over Nubia and Abyssinia and continued to spread until the Mohammedans overran the country and planted the faith of Moslem wherever they appeared. Through the frightful days of the seventeenth century Abyssinia remained faithful in a large sense to Christianity, and Rome, through the Portuguese, made vigorous efforts to bring the Abyssinian Christians beneath the Papal rule. The effort was not successful for any length of time any more than was the effort to establish the Anglican Church there when Andraos was consecrated Abuna, or Metropolitan, of Abyssinia by the Coptic Patriarch of Alexandria, in 1841.

The Church has always been monophysitic and has many peculiar features in its ritual; the Jewish Sabbath was observed as well as the Christian; circumcision preceded baptism; dancing was in the services just as it was in the Jewish Temple; baptism among the Coptic Christians was by immersion, and communion was administered daily to the laity.

The Church is a monastic Church. The beginning of the monastic life was in the deserts of Egypt, and the Coptic Christians gave the impulse to the development of Christian asceticism, which later resulted in monasteries and convents. The most celebrated convents in Abyssinia are Debra Libanos, in Sliso; St. Stephen, on Lake Haik; Debra Denus and Axum Thion, in Tigré, and Lahbela, in Lasta.

Each Church has a Tabot, or ark of the Covenant, behind the curtain of is own holy of holies, which may have lent some color to the tradition that the Ark of the Covenant from the Temple had been transferred for safety to Axum by the early Menelik when it was imperiled. But, as Mr. Kipling points out, “that is another story.”

At present this article’s purpose is to show that this “barbarian” Menelek is not such a barbarian after all, and that he really may be, and very likely is, the custodian of the archives and secrets of the earliest Christians and the orthodox Jews. One thing is quite certain. It is that the Coptic Christians were the first of great Christians, and that Africa was not so dark a continent then as people imagine. The Copts were the principal sect of Christians in the Valley of the Nile, and were and still are descendants of the inhabitants of Egypt in the days of the Ptolemies. There is ancestral greatness.

A few additional peculiarities in Abyssinian Christianity are worthy of note. Priests have power to divorce, and a married man can cast his matrimonial gyves and throw the support of his children on to his wife’s shoulders by becoming a monk. The Bible is in eighty-one books and is written in the ancient language of Axum, and contains the Roman Catholic canon and many other books.

Thus it will be seen that Christendom, through these wars and strifes now raging in the Valley of the Nile, may acquire information hitherto hidden from all but Abyssinian and Coptic fanatics’ eyes for centuries.

It is asserted that in many of the monasteries valuable documents and manuscripts have been saved for ages, just as were manuscripts in the Middle Ages in Europe. It has even been suggested and published that tomes, parchments, and volumes believed to have perished with the library at Alexandria were in reality secreted in Coptic convents and sanctuaries throughout Ethiopia, Abyssinia and Nubia to be resurrected shortly by means of these bitter conflicts and annihilation of armies.

Abyssinia and Ethiopia – once the Ethiopian Empire – are repositories of secrets vital to history and to progress. Shall they be revealed by force of arms or by moral suasion and courtesy to a monarch who has hitherto been proclaimed a “barbarian”?


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