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Ethiopian Medieval History: Between Connection and Isolation

Ethiopian Medieval History: Between Connection and Isolation

Paper by Marie-Laure Derat

Given at The Turn to Ethiopia in Medieval Studies I seminar, on February 19, 2021

Excerpt: Certainly the Ethiopian Middle Ages is a convention, but it has some validity from my point of view. It is thus not apparent to consider that after the fall of the Kingdom of Aksum around the seventh century and until the jihad of Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al-Ghazi at the beginning of the 16th century, Ethiopia was part of a medieval world, which refers both to the medieval west and its projection towards Eastern Africa notably in the form of the crusades, and to the medieval Muslim world as well as to the Byzantine Empire and its peripheries. One will always find to go beyond these chronological limits and to find continuities where periodisation creates breaks – to question this periodization –  but globally it remains useful I believe.

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