Menelik II

Aug 17, 1844 - Dec 12, 1913

Menelik II, baptised as Sahle Maryam was Emperor of Ethiopia from 1889 to his death in 1913 and King of Shewa from 1866 to 1889. 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. In the Aanolee massacre on 6 September 1886, Emperor Menelik II's army massacred 11,000 Arsi Oromo in one day, cutting women's breasts and men's hands. Nevertheless he is honored by Amhara nationalists, who invoke his activities for African independence against European powers during the Scramble for Africa.
The Ethiopian Empire 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. Externally, Menelik led Ethiopian troops against Italian invaders in the First Italo-Ethiopian War; following a decisive victory at 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.
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