Ethiopia Historical and Administrative Subdivisions

Ethiopia Historical and Administrative Subdivisions

The classic name of Ethiopia (from the Gr. Αἰϑίοψ “which has the face burned” from αἴϑω “I burn” and ὄψ “face”; toponym: Gr. Αἰϑιοπία [χώρα], Lat. Aethiopia [ regio ]) which already served to indicate all the part of the African continent south of Egypt and in a broader sense also all of eastern Africa, is used today to officially distinguish the great empire (Mangesta Ityopy ā) which, born in ancient times, knew, through struggles and various events, maintain autonomy and independence and extend its dominion over a large part of the southern regions which geographically and historically would remain excluded.

The Ethiopian state, before the annexations carried out especially in the last decades, included four large geographical and historical regions which also represented large political-administrative districts, but which today retain only a traditional value. They are: the Tigrè (or Tigrai) to the north, the Amhara to the center, the Goggiam and the Scioa respectively to the SW. and to SE. these main divisions must be added other minor divisions, which in some times had a great political importance towards the empire itself. Such is the alpine region of Lasta, south of the Tigrè itself, which seems to have come to exert a real supremacy over the whole empire when it was the seat of the negus of the Zaguè dynasty in the 12th and 14th centuries (see below), and so that even more aspra del Semien at NO. del Lasta, definitively reunited with the empire towards the century. XVI, whose residents, Falascià (see above), had to endure fierce struggles against the Abyssinians. The Amhara extends north of Lake Tana, between the Sudanese border and the Lasta, and was for some time the heart of the region, hence the name of Amhara is used to designate the Christian Abyssinians of any origin. In the territory of Dambib (Dambiyā), 37 km. north of Lake Tana, in the century. XVII became the capital of the city of Gondar (located at 2270 meters above sea level), which was the metropolis of the empire for two centuries. To the east of the lake, between it and the Lasta, the Baghiemeder (Bagēmeder) stretches, a territory well irrigated by the numerous tributaries of the Tana and therefore fertile and rich: the capital of the Baghiemeder is Samara or Dabra Tabor, where the negus Giovanni established his residence.

According to directoryaah, Goggiam is the vast region enclosed by the Abbai or Blue Nile, from 1879 to 1901 constituted in an autonomous kingdom whose capital is Dabra Marcos (Dabra Mārqos; Monkorer). The Scioa is the vast realm limited to the south by the course of the Hawash, which with the advent to the imperial throne of Menelik (1889) became the heart of the state. In addition to these traditional divisions, it is worth mentioning the Harar region conquered in 1887 and therefore all the southern territories that stretch from Sobat to Lake Rodolfo and the middle course of Juba up to the meeting of the 8th parallel with the 47th meridian., inhabited by Galla, Somali, Sidama, etc., whose events in the last centuries greatly changed their structure and which today have all become dependencies of the empire. These divisions and these groupings are more or less maintained in the political-administrative territorial divisions, which, moreover, do not have the character of stability. The main regions of the empire are as follows. Proceeding from the north you first have the Tigrè, with Adua and Macallè as capitals; then to the west the regions of Wolkait (Wålqāyṭ) and Woldebbà (Wåldebbā) with Masfinto as its capital; the province of Gondar; the Goggiam, including also the three territories of Agaumeder, Gubba and Damot (Dāmot); the territory of the Wollo Galla on the eastern edge of the plateau between the Tigrè and the Scioa, corresponding to the territory where after the century XVI mainly settled the immigration of the Wollo Galla, with Dessiè as the capital; the Scioa, placed under the direct administration of the empire; the Harar, a family fiefdom.

The more western territories of recent aggregation are the kingdom of Gimma Abbagifar and the border territory of the Beni Sciangul; in part they are organized in provinces of various sizes, governed by Abyssinian governors, such as the ancient kingdom of Caffa (capital Anderaccia), the province of Walleggà to the west which has Saio as its capital and the province of Liequā which has Nekemti as its capital (Laqamtē), that of Ilu Bābor (capital Gore), the Guraghie, the Arussi, the Bāli (capital Hump), the region of Sidamo, etc.

Ethiopia Historical and Administrative Subdivisions

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