Menelik II

Menelik II
Emperor of Ethiopia
Emperor Menelik II.png
Emperor of Ethiopia
Reign10 March 1889 – 12 December 1913
Coronation3 November 1889
PredecessorYohannes IV
SuccessorLij Iyasu (designated but uncrowned Emperor of Ethiopia)
Born(1844-08-17)17 August 1844
Angolalla, Shewa, Ethiopia
Died12 December 1913(1913-12-12) (aged 69)
Ba'eta Le Mariam Monastery
(now Se'el Bet Kidane Meheret Church)
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
SpouseTaytu Betul
IssueZewditu I
Shoa Ragad
Wossen Seged
HouseHouse of Solomon
FatherHaile Melekot (King of Shewa)
MotherIjigayehu Adyam
ReligionEthiopian Orthodox

Menelik II GGCB, GCMG (Ge'ez: ዳግማዊ ምኒልክ; Dagmäwi Menelik [nb 1]; baptised as Sahle Maryam; 17 August 1844 – 12 December 1913) was Emperor of Ethiopia[nb 2] from 1889 to his death in 1913 and Negus (King) of Shewa (1866–89). At the height of his internal power and external prestige, the process of territorial expansion and creation of the modern empire-state was completed by 1898, which expanded the Ethiopian Empire to the extent of the historic Aksumite Empire.[1] Menelik was also remembered for leading Ethiopian troops against the Kingdom of Italy in the First Italo-Ethiopian War, where Menelik scored a decisive victory at the Battle of Adwa.

Ethiopia was transformed under Emperor Menelik: the major signposts of modernisation with the help of key ministerial advisors, such as Gäbre-Heywät Baykädañ, were put in place.[2] Externally, Menelik’s victory over the Italian invaders earned him great fame: following the Battle of Adwa, recognition of Ethiopia's independence by external powers was expressed in terms of diplomatic representation at his court and delineation of Ethiopia's boundaries with the adjacent colonies.[1] Menelik expanded his kingdom to the south and east, into Kaffa, Sidama, Wolayta and other kingdoms.[3][4] He is widely called "Emiye Menelik"[nb 3] in Ethiopia for his forgiving nature and his unselfish deeds for the poor.

Later in his reign, Menelik established the first Cabinet of Ministers to help in the administration of the Empire, appointing trusted and widely respected nobles and retainers to the first Ministries.[citation needed] These ministers would remain in place long after his death, serving in their posts through the brief reign of Lij Iyasu and into the reign of Empress Zauditu. They also played a key role in deposing Lij Iyasu.

Early life

Of multiethnic background from Shewan aristocrat father and a noble mother (Ejigayehu Lemma Adyamo), Sahle Maryam, who later became known as Menelik, was born in Angolalla.[5] He was the son of Negus Haile Melekot of Shewa who had fathered him at the age of 18 before inheriting the throne. There are conflicting accounts concerning the maternal ancestry of Menelik but his mother was most probably a palace servant girl named Ejjigayehu whom Haile Malekot married after Sahle Maryam was born

. The boy enjoyed a respected position in the royal household and he received a traditional church education.[6]

Prior to his death in 1855, Negus Haile Melekot named Menelik as successor to the throne of Shewa. However, shortly after Haile Melekot died, Menelik was taken prisoner by Emperor Tewodros II who conquered Shewa, and had him transferred to his mountain stronghold of Magdala. Still, Tewodros treated the young prince well, even offering him his daughter Altash Tewodros in marriage, which Menelik accepted.

Upon Menelik's imprisonment, his uncle, Haile Mikael, was appointed as Shum[nb 4] of Shewa by Emperor Tewodros II with the title of Meridazmach[nb 5]. However, Meridazmach Haile Mikael rebelled against Tewodros, resulting in his being replaced by the non-royal Ato[nb 6] Bezabeh as Shum. However, Ato Bezabeh in turn then rebelled against the Emperor and proclaimed himself Negus of Shewa. Although the Shewan royals imprisoned at Magdala had been largely complacent as long as a member of their family ruled over Shewa, this usurpation by a commoner was not acceptable to them. They plotted Menelik's escape from Magdala; with the help of Mohammed Ali and Queen Worqitu of Wollo, he escaped from Magdala on the night of 1 July 1865, abandoning his wife, and returned to Shewa. Enraged, Emperor Tewodros slaughtered 29 Oromo hostages then had 12 Amhara notables beaten to death with bamboo rods.[7]

Other Languages
العربية: منليك الثاني
asturianu: Menelik II
беларуская: Менелік II
čeština: Menelik II.
Deutsch: Menelik II.
Ελληνικά: Μενελίκ Β΄
español: Menelik II
euskara: Menelik II.a
فارسی: منلیک دوم
français: Menelik II
galego: Menelik II
hrvatski: Menelik II.
Bahasa Indonesia: Menelik II dari Ethiopia
íslenska: Menelik 2.
italiano: Menelik II
Kiswahili: Menelik II.
Latina: Menelik II
Nederlands: Menelik II
日本語: メネリク2世
Nordfriisk: Menelik II.
occitan: Menelik II
polski: Menelik II
русский: Менелик II
Simple English: Menelik II
slovenščina: Menelik II.
српски / srpski: Менелик II
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Menelik II
suomi: Menelik II
svenska: Menelik II
Türkçe: II. Menelik
українська: Менелік II