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Archive for September, 2007

This article is based on an address Professor Richard Pankhurst delivered on 9 September to the Ethiopian Community in Britain and explores the eventful last two millennia of Ethiopia’s rich history.

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What can we say about the traditional Way of Life – and Modes of Thought – of Ethiopians of Medieval Times?

To answer this question one should perhaps probe into Ethiopia’s economic and social, as well as cultural history.

In trying to do so, I would emphasise that we are here considering the historic medieval Ethiopian empire – what some scholars choose to term “Abyssinia” – rather than the entire area of present-day Ethiopia.

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Ethiopia has retrieved its exiled Aksum obelisk after decades of frustrating effort, broken promises and the vagaries of time. The repatriation of this iconic relic of ancient Ethiopia has galvanized the nation into seeking the full restitution of the far flung human, artistic and literary treasures. Chief among them which are the remains of Prince Alemayahu, son of Emperor Tewodros and Empress Tiruwork. It is highly timely and gratifying at this juncture in our history, that along with other ancient personalities, that the millennium authorities and last but not least, President Girma himself are at the forefront of efforts to repatriate the remains of young Alemayehu.

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