Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Today in History

It was on this day in 1930 that Haile Selassie was crowned, "Elect of God, Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah and King of Kings of Ethiopia". His was one of the more troubled and eratic reigns of the 20th Century. He knew great hardship and also great admiration. For a time he was the most esteemed figure in a wave of anti-European nationalism that swept the continent of Africa as the colonial period came to an end and even in his own lifetime a new religion rose up that held him to be a living god. Yet, Haile Selassie was also one of the few monarchs to suffer the indignity of losing his throne twice, the last time to his own people and shortly thereafter losing his life as well. As Emperor, there was a time early on when Ethiopia commanded international sympathy, growing strength and even dreams of expanding to historic borders. He also knew war, defeat, exile and liberation followed by times of unrest, famine and hardship. It is safe to say that during his years on the throne Emperor Haile Selassie had seen it all, the extremes of good and bad alike. Probably no other African monarch of the 20th Century occupied such a pivotal position for world history.


  1. The last God-Emperor. All hail Emperor Hailé Selassié!!

  2. I wonder what would have happened if Ethiopia had managed to assert itself on the same level as European nations did in the 19th Century. IT does, after all, date back to the Middle-Ages.
    A pseudo-Christian Afronationalsit Empire might have been a force to contend with...

  3. He is not pseudo-Christian, he is orthodox :D
    Plus Ethiopia has been an empire since 100 AD and Christian since 350 AD.
    You are right, if Ethiopia had been more advanced as their European counterparts, then it could have conquered all of Africa!

  4. Ethiopic history is one subject I need to study up on. Very fascinating culture and interesting mix of religions there.

  5. There is certainly much more for me to study but I do know this, Ethiopian history is complicated, chaotic but never boring. It is also a mix of religions as you say (Christianity has been there a long time but the country has never been entirely Christian). In World War I there was a Muslim Emperor who (and again this is complicated) shall we say, allied with the allies of the Ottoman Empire in a war against the British, French and Italians in the neighborhood. So, again, never boring.

  6. Not to mention their close ties to Judaism (Beta Israel) and their history and trade with ancient Egypt. Definitely a lot to take in and anything but boring, indeed.


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