On This Day

Menelik II

Emperor of Ethiopia Menelik II

Full Name: Dagmäwi Menelik; baptised as Sahle Maryam
Profession: Emperor of Ethiopia


Biography: Menelik was the son of Haile Malakot, King or Negus of the ancient Kingdom of Shewa, then semi-independent from the Kingdom of Ethiopia. After Shewa was invaded by the Ethiopian Emperor Tewodros II, Menelik's father died and Menelik spent 10 years as the Emperor's captive before his escape in 1865.

Menelik became ruler of Shewa and bolstered his power with territorial gains and by further arming his forces. After the death of Tewodros II he aspired to the throne of Ethiopia but had to wait until death and defeat had taken his rivals. He was crowned in 1889.

AS Emperor Menelik saw off the invasion of Italy at the Battle of Adwa in 1896. His victory brought him international recognition and he spent the remainder of his reign modernizing the state, building railways and establishing schools.

Born: August 17, 1844
Birthplace: Angolalla, Shewa, Ethiopia
Star Sign: Leo

Died: December 12, 1913 (aged 69)
Cause of Death: Passed away a year after suffering a massive stroke

Historical Events

  • 1887-01-06 `Abd-allah II of Harar opens the Battle of Chelenqo with an attack on the camp of the Shewan army of Negus Menelik II
  • 1889-05-02 Abyssinian Emperor Menelik II and Italy sign Treaty of Wichale
  • 1889-11-03 Menelik II is crowned Emperor of Ethiopia at the Church of Mary on Mount Entoto
  • 1895-10-11 Emperor Menelik II of Abyssinia rejects a treaty with Italy
  • 1895-12-08 Battle at Amba Alagi: Ethiopian Emperor Menelik II drives Italian General Baratieri out
  • 1896-03-01 Battle of Adwa: 80,000 Ethiopians destroy 20,000 Italians in Ethopia, killing two generals and capturing General Matteo Albertone
  • 1897-03-20 France signs treaty with Emperor Menelik II of Abyssinia
  • 1897-05-14 Great Britain signs treaty with Emperor Menelik II of Abyssinia
  • 1897-09-11 After months of pursuit, generals of Menelik II of Ethiopia capture Gaki Sherocho, the last king of Kaffa, bringing an end to that ancient kingdom

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