Merid Wolde Aregay

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    SOUTHERN ETHIOPIA AND THE CHRISTIAN KINGDOM 3508 - 170   WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO TRB GLLA MIGRA- TIONS AND THEIR CONSEQUENCES by Mend Wolde regay Thesis submitted for the degree of Ph D at the University of London School of Oriental and African Studies January l971    ABSTRACT During the thirteeiath and fourteenth centuries the various pastoral and nomadic peoples in the eastern lowlandsof Eth1opia made repeated attempts to migrate to the high- lands o their west. The continuous pressure they exerted upon the Christian kingdom of Ethiopia brought about theshift of its political centre to the south and the develop-ment of a highly centralized system of goveri.ment, Thedefensive measures which were evolved during these centuriesincluded the annexation of all the lands through which thepastoral nomads gained access to the highlands, and the creation of numerous regimelits of disciplined pz ofessional soldiers. But towards the end of the fifteenth century, power hungry court officers and provincial notables began to challenge the absolute powers f the emperors. The thesis attempts to study the conflicts between the monarchyand the nobility during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. It also tries to examine the disruptive effects of these conflicts upon the political, administrative andmilitary institutions which had sustained the empire andheld together its heterogeneous peoples.    The penetration of the Turks into the Red Sea had hardly any effect on Ethiopian politics. The inability of the empire to withstand the Muslim and Galla invasions ofthe sixteenth century Is best explained by the factional conflicts which divided and weakened it. The Intensity of the civil wars which raged after 559 le to the destruc tion of the centralized system of government and the com plete barbarization of the many bodIes of professional soldiers. The actions of Fasiladas and lyasu might have saved the empire from further disintegration if the bitterreligious wars of their days had not hastened the onset of anarchy.    CONTENTS Page Preface   ã   .   ã   ã   ã   ã  6 Abbreviations ãã   ã   ã   ã Ch I thiopia at the Beginning of the Sixteenth 18 Century   Ch II background to the Galla Migrations ãã   ã 118 Ch III The Civil Wars of l56O-17O and the Progress of the Baraytuma   ã   jj 4 Ch IV he Reign 0 Sarsa Dengel   3 Ch V Period of Anarchy Ch VI Attempts t Reconstruct the Absolutism of the Monarchy   ã 44 Ch VII The ecline or the Monarchy   563 Select Bibliography
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