Ancient Ethiopia

History of Ethiopia

Around 800 BC the kingdom of Damot arose in Ethiopia. Centering on Yeha thought to be the first capital in Ethiopia. The kingdom seems to have had very close relations with the Yemenite Sabaean kingdom. The only known inscriptions of Damot kings include reference to the contemporaneous ruling king of Sabaean kingdom at the time.

The Damot kingdom developed irrigation schemes, used plows, grew millet, and even made iron tools and weapons. Remains of a large stone temple dating to about 500 BC still survive at Yeha, near Axum. The transition from Damot to the Kingdom of Axum remains unclear. Reference to Ethiopians in ancient Greece however is obviously either to Africans in general or the Cushites of Northern Sudan in particular. It is interesting to note that Greek historians viewed Ethiopia as a sacred people that was mostly loved by the gods.

Memnon was regarded as one of the noblest heroes that participated in the Trojan war. As the handsomest man of his time, he bested in battle only by Achilles. According to a version of the myth, the Gods admired him so much. And after his death from the sword of Achilles they decided to grant him immortality. According to Greek Mythology Ethiopians acquired their dark color when the sun came once very close to their country.

Herodotus recorded that a contingent of Ethiopian warriors who wore leopard skin and claws and painted their bodies red and white were among Xerxes’ army that invaded Greece in the 5th century B.C. It remains to be seen as to how the history, migration and human settlement of the vast land between ancient Egypt and modern Ethiopia helps us understand the history of the region. And the pre Christian pre Islam human organization of those days. The nearby Nubian civilization was crushed by the Axumite king in fourth century.

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