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10 -- Part 7: African Societies and Kingdoms
The importance of charity and spiritual kingdom was not a permanent capital for the rulers of Ethiopia.
The ruler and court were reform.
The Ethiopia peripatetic is following the Byzantine pattern.
They traveled around the country to check on the priest-king's claim to summon church coun warrior-nobles' management of the gults and to crush revolts.
Polygyny remained which they were allowed to trade with his country in return for Muslim common, at least among the upper classes.
Economic growth continued.
Monk-missionaries from traditional Christian areas flooded newly conquered regions, telling them that Ethiopia was a new Zion, or second Israel, a Judeo-Christian nation defined by religion.
Ethiopia's culture is unique to the New Testament Jesus.
The Ark of the Covenant had a prominent place in the liturgy.
The empire's prosperity was dependent on trade.
The expansion of Islam into northern Ethiopia weakened Aksum's commercial prosperity.
The Greeks were ousted by the Arabs from the Dahlak Archipelago in the southern Red Sea.
Muslims destroyed Adulis.
Many Ak sumites found refuge in the mountains north of the kingdom after converting to Islam.
The insularity that characterized later Ethiopian society began with this.
Frumentius was taken to Aksum, given his freedom, and appointed tutor to the future king, Ezana, after being kidnapped as a young boy.
The first bishop of Aksum was consecrated by Frumentius after Ezana's accession to the throne.
He went back to Ethiopia with some priests.
Christianity became the state religion of Ethiopia after the royal court accepted it.
Ethiopia's future was tied up with Christianity, a unique situation in black Africa.
Ethiopia is the first black African society that can be studied from written records because of its acceptance of Christianity.
Ge'ez is an ancient script used in Ethiopia and Aksum.
As in Ireland and the Orthodox Church of the Byzantine world, the monasteries were the main cultural institutions of the Christian faith.
In medieval Europe, vibrant monasteries inspired the creation of convents for nuns.
Information about early Ethiopia's society can be found inastic records.
Settlements were made on the warm and moist plateau lands, not in the arid lowlands or the river.
The scratch plow is unique to sub-Saharan Africa and is used to cultivate wheat and barley.
Abundance of crops seems to have resulted in population growth.
In contrast to people in Africa, both sexes probably married young.
Monogamy was the norm, other than for kings and the very rich, because of the opposition to polygyny.
Young couples were able to establish their own households because of the abundance of land.
The pattern of existence seems to have been scattered farms with the parish church as the central social unit.
There were warrior-nobles above the peasant farmers.
Their wealth and status came from their fighting skills, which resulted in grants of estates and the right to pay tribute to the peasants.
The policy of constant territorial expansion was used to acquire lands and hold warriors' loyalty.
Nobles provided kings with fighting men and displayed their superior status by the size of their house holds and their generosity to the poor.
The history became an Ethio pian national epic, glorifying a line of rulers descended from the Hebrew king Solomon, and linking Ethiopia's identity to the Judeo Christian tradition.
The rulers of Ethiopia claimed to be part of the Solomonic line of succession from the tenth to the 16th century.
The church and state in Ethiopia were connected.
Sheba, Queen Makeda, was a prominent figure in European and Ethiopia art.
Solomon receiving gifts from Sheba's servants is an image created in about 1180 by a French artist as part of a series of biblical scenes for an abbey in Austria.
Through trade, word spread about the Christian devotion of the African kingdom, which was isolated by Ethiopia's high mountains.
Prester John, a powerful Christian ruler who was eager to help restore the Holy Land to Christian control, was told by Crusaders returning from the Middle East.
The story of Prester John sparked Euro pean imagination and led to exploration aimed at finding his legendary kingdom, which was eventually identified with Ethiopia.
The literary and artistic renaissance of the Solomonic kings was notable for works of hagiography and biblical exegesis.
The close relationship between the church and the state was the most striking feature of the period from 500 to 1500.
Christianity reinforced central monarchical power by equating doctrinal heresy with po litical rebellion.
The city-states of East Africa were shaped by their proximity to the trade routes of the Red Sea and Indian Ocean.
The ships carried cotton cloth, copper and brass, iron tools, and gold and silver plate.
Mediterranean merchants exchanged goods for cinnamon, myrrh and frankincense, captive slaves, ivory, rhinoceros horns, and tortoise shel s at the African coastal emporiums.
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