The Southern Marches of Imperial Ethiopia: Essays in History and Social Anthropology
These essays offer an approach to the understanding of imperial Ethiopia, out of which the present state was created by the 1974 revolution. After the 1880s, Abyssinia, under Menilek II, expanded its ancient heartland to incorporate vast new territories to the south. Here, for the first time, these regions are treated as an integral part of the empire. The book opens with an interpretation of nineteenth-century Abyssinia as an African political economy, rather than as a variant on European feudalism, and with an account of the north's impact on peoples of the new south. Case studies from the southern regions follow four by historians and four by anthropologists, each examining aspects of the relationship between imperial rule and local society. In revealing the region's diversity and the relationship of the periphery to the centre, the volume illuminates some of the problems faced by post-revolutionary Ethiopia.
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