Kingdom of Abyssinia


The Kingdom of Abyssinia was founded in the 13th century CE and, transforming itself into the Ethiopian Empire via a series of military conquests, lasted until the 20th century CE. It was established by the kings of the Solomonid dynasty who, claiming descent from no less a figure than the Bible's King Solomon, would rule in an unbroken line throughout the state's long history. A Christian kingdom which spread the faith via military conquest and the establishment of churches and monasteries, its greatest threat came from the Muslim trading states of East Africa and southern Arabia and the migration of the Oromo people from the south. The combination of its rich Christian heritage, the cult of its emperors, and the geographical obstacles presented to invaders meant that the Ethiopian Empire would be one of only two African states never to be formally colonised by a European power.

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