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Abyssinia Collection

History Archive - Abyssinia Collection

Abyssinia was a country of eastern Africa, southwest of the Red Sea. It resided on a tableland, from which rise flat-topped mountains, intersected by deep valleys and gorges. The area of Abyssinia was over 400,000 square miles, with an estimated population of five and a half millions. There were many small towns, few with a population exceeding 5,000.

Little land was cultivated, the chief pursuit of the people being the herding of cattle, sheep and goats. A railway line connected Dire Dawa in southeastern Abyssinia with the port of Jibuti, 186 miles distant. Telegraph and telephone systems were also in use in the country. Barley, wheat, millet, hops and tobacco were produced in considerable quantities. The annual product of coffee was about 50,000 bags.

Later History

In 1850 Theodorus, a military adventurer, revolted and was crowned emperor. He first sent embassies to England and France and received a British consul at his court. It was his imprisonment of the consul and of an embassy sent to inquire into the matter that caused the English government to send Sir Robert Napier from Bombay with a relief expedition. The capital, Magdala, was stormed and captured, Theodorus shooting himself when told that the city gates had given way. This occurred in 1868, and for some time after the English forces withdrew lawlessness prevailed.

In 1872 John II was crowned emperor. He was killed in battle in 1889 and was succeeded by his adversary, Menelek, the present king, who reigns under the title of Menelek II. In 1885 Italy occupied the port of Massowah, and sought to acquire territory inland, claiming, by treaty in 1889, a protectorate over Abyssinia. This led to a protracted war, and in 1896 the Italian army of invasion was beaten with great loss. As a result, Italy withdrew her claim to a protectorate over Abyssinia. In 1902 the boundary between Abyssinia and the British Sudan was adjusted by treaty.


The New Student's Reference Work pg. 6 (1914)

Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)

Available Books


Image Name
Map of Abyssinia
Priest at Jidda
Pagodas at Talicut
Ground Plan of Carli Cave
View from Rachmah
View near the Village of Asceriah in Abyssinia
Title Page
Waterfall at Sevasummoodra
Plan of the Ruins of Axum
Suakini Arab
Rhynchopetalum Montanum
View of the Obelisk and Church at Axum
Title Page
The Town of Dixan in Abyssinia
The Vale of Calaat
Sketch of a Building in Avergale
Pagoda at Conjeveram
The Obelisk at Axum
Inscription Found at Acum
Back Cover
Back Cover
Gebirgslandschaft der Provinz Ada
Ancient Excavations at Carli
Peons of Mysore [I]
A Schehch's Tomb in Arabia
The Town of Adowe
View of Benares
Chart of Howakil Bay and Annesley Bay
Title Page
Landing Place, Zulla
The Pyramids from Old Cairo
Pagoda at Ramisseram
Dofter Esther, a Learned Abyssinian
Pagoda at Trinchicunum
Mucculla in Abyssinia
Shrine at Timai
The Great Hall of Joseph
A View near the Roode Sand Pass at the Cape of Good Hope
Water Spouts Seen in the Mozambique Channel
View of Ossour
Salt Plain
View of the Church of Hannes, on the Way to Axum
Devil's Staircase, Sooroo Pass
Pagoda at Tanjore
Church at Axum
View of the Mountain of Devra Damo
Chart of Port Mornington
Assorted Figures
A View at Lucknow
The King's Seat at Axum
View of the Village in Valentia
Part of Abyssinia
Title Page
Chart of the Environs of Valentia Island
Front Cover
View on the Banks of the Tacazze
Genater, the Capital of Agowma
Abyssinian Locust
Ancient Towers at Bhaugulpore
Chart of Amphilia Bay
View of Adam's Peak, and Point de Galle
Der Gemp in Gondar [II]
A Massowah Pilot
Berilla, an Edjow Galla
Pass of Taranta
Wangaboo Plain and Galata Jungle
Chart of the Bay of Zeyla
Mountains of Tigre from Dixan
Sketch of a Scene Half Way Down the Pass of Atrara
Interior of Carli Cave
Riacotta in the Baramahal
View at Car Nicobar
Distant View of the Island of Valentia
Der Gemp in Gondar [I]
Outline of an Abyssinian Drawing
Ruins of the Fort at Juanpore on the River Goomtee
Front Cover
Pierce in his Abyssinian Dress, A Young Gall of High Rank
Axoro Tishai at Adowe
Back Cover
A Brind Feast
The Residence of the Ras at Antalow
Hazorta Family
Ayto Debib and Guebra Mehedin
Title Page
Kirche von Aksum
View of the South Quarter of Mocha
Interior of a House at Dhalac
The Pyramids at Cairo
Front Cover
Cufic Tomb-Stone at Dhalac [I]
Erodia Amphilensis
View of Massowah


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