Ethiopia is one of the oldest countries in the world. It has a rich history and culture, which goes back to the times of King Solomon and Queen of Sheba. Its kings and emperors claimed to have descended from the line of the Solomonic Dynasty, first held by Menelik I, the son of King Solomon and Sheba. The last emperor of Ethiopia was Haile Selassie I, who was deposed in the 1974 revolution.

The Ethiopian Orthodox Church has historically contributed to the country’s civilization. Ever since King Ezana was converted to Christianity by a Syrian monk in 333 A.D., the Church was instrumental in the dissemination of knowledge in the country, including the creation of Ethiopian alphabets. Islam and Judaism have also played significant roles in the country’s political, social, and cultural developments.

Ethiopia is known, among other things, for its first century A.D. monuments of Axum, 13th century A.D. rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, and 17th century castles of Gonder.

The country’s diversity with respect to ethnicity and religion adds to Ethiopia’s rich cultural heritage. The Amhara, the Oromo, the Tigre, the Guragie are some of the major ethnic groups in Ethiopia. The country also boasts of being a home of the two major religions, Christianity and Islam.

Did you know?

. Coffee was first discovered in Ethiopia in the province of Kaffa.  It was then introduced to Arabia, India, and Europe around the ninth century A. D.

. Ethiopia is also the home of teff, a food plant whose seed is much smaller than rice.  It is a daily staple of many Ethiopians.  The pitta-like bread, also served in Ethiopian restaurants outside the country,  is rich in fiber, iron, protein, and calcium.

. Ethiopia has 13 months.  Why?  This is because months between September and August consist of 30 days each.  So, 12 x 30 = 360 days.  The 5 days (6 in leap years) belong to Pagumie, the 13th month of Ethiopia.    Pagumie falls between August and September.

. Moreover, Ethiopia is  the home of Lucy, the upright-walking hominid whose bone was discovered in the 1970s.  She is believed to have lived about 3.2 million years ago.   Such a discovery has led some researchers to hypothesize that the country may well be the origin of humankind.

Want to read more about Ethiopia?

You can checkout the Wikipedia entries and YouTube videos I have attached in the LINKS menu on the left side of the page.