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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Alula, 'the son of Gubi': a 'king's man' in Ethiopia, 1875-1897
Author:Erlich, Haggai
Periodical:The Journal of African History
Geographic terms:Ethiopia
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/181072
Abstract:During the period between the Egyptian invasions of 1875 and 1876 and the Italian defeat at Adwa in 1896, the history of northern Ethiopia was much influenced by the remarkable career of a son of a peasant, Ras Alula. His career sheds light on the interaction of social background and political power in the late nineteenth-century Ethiopia. It also illuminates one of the important historical processes of the time: the rise and fall of Tigrean hegemony. Alula became the best general of the Tigrean emperor Yohannes IV (1872-89). As the 'king's man', Alula's power was based on his position in the court and on the province (Eritrea) over which ha was appointed. When Yohannes died and Eritrea was lost to the Italians, Alula became the most powerful champion of Tigrean independence from the new Shoan emperor, Menilek II. After four years of resistance to the new Shoan hegemony, Alula submitted to Henilek and was rewarded with the long-desired position of 'the king's man'. His recognition of Menilek may be regarded as a fatal blow to Tigrean independance. Notes, map, summary.