History of Ethiopia

Video Transcript

“If there’s one characteristic that really defines the Ethiopian character, it’s this enormous, ferocious national pride that virtually all of them share. Now, to my thinking that pride has several origins.

”The Ethiopian Empire can trace its origins to the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon. King Solomon of the Israelites, but the Queen of Sheba, there’s good archaeological evidence that she ruled both east and west banks of the Red Sea at its southern end. So that would be today’s Ethiopia, Eritrea, [and] Yemen.

”What’s interesting about this is that we call her the Queen of Sheba. A lot of people call her Sheba, that’s not her name; she was the Queen of Sheba. So where is that? It’s not really known, but some of these archaeological ruins that give evidence of her rule, some are in the district in Yemen called Saba. Saba, Sheba, maybe that’s it. But there’s also an area in Ethiopia called Shoa. Shoa, Sheba, maybe, I don’t know. But there’s good evidence that she ruled both banks of the Red Sea.

”So because the Ethiopian identity originates in these terribly important biblical figures, many Ethiopians feel a personal connection to the Bible. They feel that it’s their story. The other thing is that because Ethiopia is incredibly mountainous, it’s never really been conquered by anyone. It’s one of the, virtually all the only area in Africa that was never colonized by outsiders. It was briefly occupied by the Italians during World War II, but they never really conquered the whole country and they never succeeded in colonizing it.

”So it was a connection to the Bible, a culture that goes back 3,000 years, virtually without interruption, never conquered, never dominated by another people; they really feel this intense pride.”

In this video, an Ethiopian expert discusses the history of Ethiopia.