Ethiopia is one of the most ancient states of Africa and the entire world. Axum and its surroundings, in the north of the country, was the place where Jewish people settled, they came from the Middle East through the Nile River and from the Arabic Peninsula.

Abisinia was the other name they called the area, which came from people of Arabic extraction , they also settled in different areas of the north, more than 4000 years ago.

Since then, there are innumerable moments of History in which Ethiopia comes out as one of the most primitive states of the world. From the Biblical writings that cites the Queen of Sheba, Makeda, in the tenth century b.C.; to the rich Kingdom of Axum, which from the beginning of the Christian Age to the eighth century, was the main comercial power, administering lands that were so extensive that reached to Yemen.

With the spreading of the Arabians, this hegemony began to weaken and Ethiopia , a Christian kingdom, was left enclosure by countries of Moslem culture. When in the fifteenth century, the Portugueses got in contact with the mythical King Preste Juan, they found a country which was politically similar to the European feudal states, with three very defined social classes: the nobility, the Church and the people.

At the end of XIX century, and after a period of a good relationship between the king Melenik II and the European powers, Italy tried to occupy the lands, but a very well organized Ethiopian army carried the Italians to one of the worst defeats suffered by an European national army. To such an extent that in the battle of Dogal, the invaders lost 4000 of the 10000 men that there were in the troops.

So Menelik II was the creator of the current Ethiopia . During his command (1889-1913), that coincided with the struggle between the European countries for the occupation of African lands, he went for the same thing, but only devoted to the conquest of the lands that surrounded his State.

At that time, the current Ethiopia was formed by different kingdoms and independent states, or by lands inhabited by countless nations without States. Menelik II managed to dominate all those territories by means of agreements or after cruel wars. Consequently, there were thousands of deads and many people subjected to slavery. Finally, he came to an agreement with the United Kingdom, the other power of the region, for the mutual respect of the frontiers.

A great part of the XX century was marked by the emperor Haile Selassie. During his command (1930-1974) Ethiopia suffered the Italian occupation (1936-1941) of the government of Mussolini. In 1962, Ethiopia incorporated the Italian colony (Eritrea), which earlier was part of its territory, and in this way they got the access to the sea. However, they couldn’t make use of the Eritrean ports for a long time, because the Eritrean resistance to that occupation made it very difficult for them to keep the effective control over the area.

Today, Ethiopia is a Federal Democratic Republic and its territory is divided in 9 states, differentiated by their ethnic and although every one has the right to self-determination, many of them claim their past independance and define themselves as colonized countries.

If you wish to know more about my trip, get the documentary: The World by Bike