The Ethiopians: A History
This is a history of the Ethiopians from pre-history to the presentday. Drawing on research in archeology, anthropology, linguisticsand on recent historiography, the book charts the development ofEthiopian peoples and their society, placing emphasis on theAfrican origins of Ethiopian civilization.
The book opens with a review of Ethiopian prehistory, showinghow the Ethiopian section of the African Rift Valley has come to beseen as the "cradle of humanity". It describes, for instance, thediscovery of the remains of the oldest known hominid, "Lucy", inthe middle Awash Valley, in 1974. The book then discusses Ethiopiain biblical time, reconsidering, for example, the legend of theQueen of Sheba. The author examines the various dynasties thatruled in the period up to the first Portuguese mission, andexplores the subsequent political and religious struggles betweenChristians, Muslims and Falashas. He discusses the social andeconomic effects of key stages in Ethiopian history such as theGondar period and the era of the "Judges".
The book also examines the succession of modernizing monarchsthat followed, culminating in the rule of Emperor Haile Selassie.The book concludes with a review of Ethiopian history and cultureconsidering contemporary Ethiopia within an historical context.