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The middle Ages E-mail
Written by Agaredech Jemaneh   
Tuesday, 20 December 2005
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Truely clash of religions has been and still is the shaping factor of our world and societies, and Ethiopia is not an exception from that rule. Jesuits made little headway in 15th century to be banished in the 17th by King Fasiledus, who established the then capital of Ethiopia, Gondar. Right before that, in the same century, Ahmed Ibn Ibrahim (Gragn) of Somali occupied Ethiopian highlands heading a Moslem army, strongly backed by Ottoman Turkey.

In the 10th century AD the Solomonic Dynasty of the Axumite kingdom was overthrown and the Empire was ruled by the Zagwe dynasty for nearly 300 years. This dynasty was established in Roha (now Lalibela) in Lasta, which was its capital as long as it lasted. It was during these years that the rock-hewn Churches of Lalibela were built. The Solomonic Dynasty was restored in 1270 by Yekuno Amlak.

In 1531, Ahmad ibn Ibrihim al-Ghazi, nicknamed Gragn (the left handed), a Somali Imam and General, occupied Ethiopian highlands heading a Moslem army, strongly backed by Ottoman Turkey.

As the result of earlier succesful diplomatic relations by Emperor Lebna Dengel the Portuguese sent a military assistance led by Christopher da Gama, son of the famous explorer Vasco da Gama, to the Ethiopian kingdom. Ahmed Ibin Ibrahim was killed near Lake Tana with the help of these Portuguese. In 1557, the pope had sent a Jesuit mission to Ethiopia in an attempt to convert the country to Roman Catholicism. The Jesuits made little headway, succeeding in converting Susenyos, but were eventually banished from Ethiopia in the middle of the 17th century by King Fasiledus, also widely known for establishing the then capital of Ethiopia, Gondar.

In the 18th century, the Ethiopian kingdom broke down into chiefdoms, resulting in incessant wars among the many warlords and their successors.

Tags:  Ethiopia middle Ages Dynasty Fasiledus History
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