Centennial: Emperor Menelik II, Emperor of Ethiopia

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100 years ago on December 12, 1913 Emperor Menelik II, Emperor of Ethiopia passed from the Earth. Emperor Menelik II, baptized as Sahle Maryam, was Negus of Shewa, then Nəgusä Nägäst of Ethiopia from 1889 until his passing.

COLLECTIE TROPENMUSEUM De slag bij Adua TMnr 5956-2.jpgEmperor Menelik II gained great fame and respect for defeating the Italian colonizers. The Battle of Adwa (also known as Adowa, or sometimes by the Italian name Adua) was fought on 1 March 1896 between the Ethiopian Empire  and the Kingdom of Italy near the town of Adwa, Ethiopia. It was the climactic battle of the First Italo-Ethiopian War, securing Ethiopian sovereignty.

Unfortunately, he was also the first black African King to engage in slavery of white European war captives held as slaves inside Ethiopia.

After defeating the Italians, Emperor Menelik II also expanded his kingdom to include areas that were previously not a part of his kingdom. He was also passionate about modernizing Ethiopia and introduced several western technologies to the country. After his transition, he was succeeded by his eldest daughter Empress Zewditu I.

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