Ethiopian historiography includes the ancient, medieval, early modern, and modern disciplines of recording the history of Ethiopia. The roots of Ethiopian historical writing can be traced back to the ancient Kingdom of Aksum. The writing of history became an established genre in Ethiopian literature during the early Solomonic dynasty.
About Ethiopian historiography in brief
Ethiopian historiography includes the ancient, medieval, early modern, and modern disciplines of recording the history of Ethiopia, including both native and foreign sources. The roots of Ethiopian historical writing can be traced back to the ancient Kingdom of Aksum. The writing of history became an established genre in Ethiopian literature during the early Solomonic dynasty. The discipline has since developed new approaches in studying the nation’s past and offered criticism of some traditional Semitic-dominated views that have been prevalent, sometimes at the expense of Ethiopia’s traditional ties with the Middle East. Since the 20th century, historians have given greater consideration to issues of class, gender, and ethnicity. Traditions pertaining mainly to other Afroasiatic-speaking populations have also been accorded more importance, with literary, linguistic, and archaeological analyses reshaping the perception of their roles in historical Ethiopian society. The oldest evidence of the historiographic tradition in Ethiopia is found in epigraphic texts commissioned by the royal monarchs of the reign of Adel Adulis. This embrace of Hellenism could also be also be found in the coinage of Aeksumite currency, which were usually written in Greek, usually in the Greek alphabet. Writing was introduced to Ethiopia as far back as the 5th century BC with the creation of the ancient South Semitic script, which served as the basis for Ethiopia’s Ge’ez script, the oldest evidence for which found in Matara, Eritrea, and dated to the 2nd century AD.
The Ethiopian victory over the Kingdom of Italy in the 1896 Battle of Adwa played a major role in the Historiography of these two countries immediately following the First Italo- Ethiopian War. The Ethiopian history and its peoples were also mentioned in works of medieval Islamic. encyclopedias, travel literature, and official histories. The Jesuit missionaries Pedro Páez and Manuel de Almeida also composed a history ofEthiopia, but it remained in manuscript form among Jesuit priests of Portuguese India and was not published in the West until modern times. The late 19th and early 20th centuries marked a period where Western. Historiographic methods were introduced and synthesized with traditionalist practices, embodied by works such as those by Heruy Wolde Selassie and Hiob Ludolf, the German orientalist who British historian Edward Ullendorff considered the founder of Ethiopian Studies. It was also during this period that ethnography, by authors such as the monk and historian Bahrey, encouraged a broader view in historical chronicles for Ethiopian’s place in the world. In the 16th century and onset of the early modern period, military alliances with the Portuguese Empire were made, the Jesuit Catholic missionaries arrived, and prolonged warfare with Islamic foes including the Adal Sultanate and Ottoman Empire, as well as with the polytheistic Oromo people, threatened the security of the Ethiopian Empire. These contacts and conflicts inspired works of ethnography.