Colonial powers and Ethiopian frontiers 1880–1884 is the fourth volume of Acta Aethiopica, a series that presents original Ethiopian documents of nineteenth-century Ethiopian history with English translations and scholarly notes. The documents have been collected from dozens of archives in Africa and Europe to recover and present the Ethiopian voice in the history of Ethiopia in the nineteenth century. The present book, the first Acta Aethiopica volume to appear from Lund University Press, deals with how Ethiopian rulers related to colonial powers in their attempts to open Ethiopia for trade and technological development while preserving the integrity and independence of their country. In addition to the correspondence and treatises with the rulers and representatives of Italy, Egypt and Great Britain, the volume also presents letters dealing with ecclesiastical issues, including the Ethiopian community in Jerusalem.
in 1865. He was apparently used by the court as an Arabic secretary for relations with the Coptic patriarchate in Cairo. 41 RUBENSON TEXT.indd 41 03/02/2021 13:53 Document no. 30 Yohannis IV to Wilhelm I, 17 Feb. 1881 42 RUBENSON TEXT.indd 42 03/02/2021 13:53 In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost, one God. Praise be to him. May the message from the Elect of God Yohannis, King of Zion, King of Kings of Ethiopia, reach the revered [and] respected Wilhelm, by the grace of God, emperor of Germany [and] king of Prussia. How are you? I
Bejirond Lewṭē. Seal: The seal of Bejirond Lewṭē. __________________ Ghali Collection, no. 156, Arabic original. This Arabic text has been extremely difficult to decipher and understand, thus the above translation must be regarded as a paraphrase. For the author, see doc. 24. 79 RUBENSON TEXT.indd 79 03/02/2021 13:53 Document no. 66 Yohannis IV to Minīlik II, 15 Jan. 1882 May the message of the Elect of God Yohannis, King of Zion, King of Kings of Ethiopia, reach King Minīlik, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no guile. Peace be to you and the peace of God be
. Help them as much as you can. This is what we tell you. The sender of the message is Sultan Maḥammad bin Sultan Ḥanfadhē. Dated Monday, the 29th of Rabī’ al-Awwal 1301 Hijra. _________________ ASMAE, AE, 2. Arabic original. Sultan Kasa Abba Bizbiz refers to Emperor Yohannis IV whose name before coronation was Kasa Mirc ̣ha, and who was nicknamed Bizbiz after his horse. 201 RUBENSON TEXT.indd 201 03/02/2021 13:53 Document no. 153 Maḥammad Ḥanfadhē to Giovanni Branchi, 5 Feb. 1884 Abundant prayers and generous eulogy presented to His Honour, the high
:53 Document no. 110 Yohannis IV to Īyasu Dagmawī, 19 March 1883 A letter of the Elect of God Yohannis King of Zion, King of Kings of Ethiopia. May it reach ……… I am totally confused. I cannot go to Tigre hurriedly for I do not have time: Kremt is coming in. I have not given my soldiers food, clothes and salary. It will take me much time. The people will be disquieted and ask, “What has happened to him?” Ras Ar’aya Sillasē is in Wello. For this reason, I want some advice. The prophet and saintly David sought advice from the saintly and sinners alike. Why should I not do the
:53 Document no. 5 Yohannis IV to Victoria, 29 April 1880 8 RUBENSON TEXT.indd 8 03/02/2021 13:53 Seal: King of Kings Yohannis, King of Zion in Ethiopia. The cross has defeated the tribe of Isma’ēl. Yūḥannā, King of Kings of Zion in Abyssinia. The cross has defeated the people of Ismā’īl. 1864. May the message of the Elect of God Yohannis, King of Zion, King of Kings of Ethiopia, reach Queen Victoria, by the power of God [queen] of the United Kingdom [of] Great Britain [and] Ireland, defender of the faith, queen of India and all its dependencies. I received your