Ethiopia in Western Culture

King Memnon

In the Odyssey of Homer, the main protagonist Ulysses speaks about the valiant and beautiful prince Eurypylus, and says (11,522):

κεῖνον δὴ κάλλιστον ἴδον μετὰ Μέμνονα δῖον.

kèinon de kàlliston ìdon metà Mèmnona dìon.

He was the most beautiful man I saw, next to the divine Memnon

In Odyssey 4,188 Homers makes another reference to him, calling him “the splendid son of the bright Eos“. The greek goddess Eos, that will be known among Romas as “Aurora”, is the personification of the Dawn, son of Hyperyon the sun deity.

Memnon, whose supreme beauty was confessed by his enemy in war, Ulysses, was so mentioned in the “Theogony” of Hesiod (984-985):

Τιθωνῷ δ᾽ Ἠὼς τέκε Μέμνονα χαλκοκορυστήν,
Αἰθιόπων βασιλῆα,

Tithonò d’Eos tèke Mèmnona xalkokorustèn,
Aithiòpon basilea

And Eos bore to Tithonus bronze-crested Memnon, king of the Ethiopians“.

As we have already seen, according to Greek mythological tradition the Ethiopians were the first to be visited by the sun in its course, as they lived next to its abode, therefore the “son of the Dawn” was the King of Ethiopia, place of the dawn of history and human life.

It is said that Memnon went to Troy with his own soldiers to defend the city from the Greek invaders. When he reached the battlefield, he stood out as the most powerful warrior on the side of Troy: he killed many Greek warriors and greatly raised the morale of Trojan army. He also killed Anthiocus, dear friend of Achilles, and provoked his desire for revenge. The duel between Achilles and Memnon represents a crucial point in the war, and it is told that even Zeus was personally there to witness. Memnon had divine weapons forged by the god Hephaestus, and was the only one able to make the invincible Achilles bleed. But Achilles was immortal, and finally managed to slay Memnon. Nevertheless, because of his killing a so noble man, he was cursed, and soon after was shot by Paris on his heel, the only vulnerable part of his body, and died.

The intervention of Memnon in the Trojan war is the central theme of the “Aithiopis” Αἰθιοπίς , another book traditionally attributed to Homer, that shows the mythological preminence of Ethiopia in Greek culture. This important work of old is lost, we know its content only indirectly and only few verses are known today.

The latin writer Ovidius, in his “Metamorphoses” (13, 576) dedicated a whole section to the death of Memnon, that terribly afflicted His mother Aurora and covered the sky with clouds of sadness on that day. The morning dew is explained there as the tears that Aurora still sheds everyday and everywhere for the death of Memnon the Ethiopian.


Ethiopia - Land, People and Customs

Tiqur Anbessa Statue – Addis Abeba

Tiqur Anbessa (ጥቁር አንበሳ) is a “Black Lion” of stone, a large ten-meter-high statue depicting the crowned Lion of Judah, located in Addis Ababa near to the National Theater.
It was built on the occasion of the Silver Jubilee of the reign of Haile Selassie I (25 years from 1930, therefore in 1955), and was realized by the great French sculptor Maurice Calka, according to avant-garde aesthetic lines.
Ethiopia in the Bible

Nimrod and the Tower of Babel

According to the narrative of the Book of Genesis, Nimrod (eth. “Nubierd” ኑቤርድ like “Nubia”) was the first to establish upon the earth a centralized and organized state:

“And Cush (eth. Kusa ኩሳ, that occupied Ethiopia after the deluge) begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord. And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.”

In the following Chapter 11 is thus described the story of the Tower of Babel, erected by that same Empire through its social power in the land of Shinar (eth. Sennaar ሰናአር). The first verse expresses a natural premise to what happened after:

“And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.” (Genesis 11,1).

If the head of the people at that time was Ethiopian, Ethiopian was also the original language, taught by Egziabhier to Adam, spoken by all men at that time, having the purest and most powerful logic and therefore making them able to build the first “skyscraper” in open rivalry with God. Egziabhier punished that people of old with the confusion of language, that was their creative and destructive power: 20 written alphabeths and 72 spoken languages came out. The original language was kept by the holy fathers, but lost by the most part of mankind. Men found themselves in incomunicability and mental confusion and their power crumbled down for many centuries.

However, according to the the biblical promises of God, that curse must be historically removed by the Messiah in His redemptive mission, and the world must return to its original condition. As it is said in Zephenia chapter 3, verses 9-10:

For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one consent. From beyond the rivers of ETHIOPIA my suppliants, even the daughter of my dispersed, shall bring mine offering.

Therefore, from Ethiopia this knowledge must be brought again to mankind to redeem from linguistical corruption and to fulfill the prophecy. The clock is circular like the sun, as it was in the beginning, so shall it be in the end, nothing new.

Haile Selassie I - Teachings

It Is Better To Give Than To Receive

“Wise men have always known the deep and pervading truth that it is better to give than to receive, for even as it conflicts with selfish and ambitious desires, it moderates and controls them.”

QHS Selected Speeches p. 46

“It is better to give than to receive” is a precept of Iyesus Krstòs that is not written in His Gospels, but revealed by Saint Paul in the Acts of the Apostles (20:35), as he says: “to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’.”

Even if I egoistically desire pleasure and joy and success for myself, to give is more convenient than receive, cause it paves the way to actual satisfaction and reward from God and for eternity. Therefore, it always control selfish desire: it pervades and invades the space usually occupied by the wicked, cause if you really egoistically love yourself, then you serve the Living God and live, otherwise you die.

Our true happiness, wealth, power and pleasure is kept by God, not by the sinful ways of this world, and from Him we will receive. If the wicked played some illusory part about in the past, now his dominion is completely over with the coming of the Kingdom. Now, “the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof”, He conquered and freed the land occupied by the wicked (wordly flesh) and He is master above the spiritual as well as the material happiness and success of men.


Spiritual Poetry

Don’t Deceive Thyself

“For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.”
Galatians 6,3
Jah didn’t
create us
because in need
we just
futile servants
we die as live
the river
we beat
but we don’t move
a wata
it just seems
wise and mad
pawn and queen
clean and unclean
shall fall
the same pit
He brings
against each
in comparison
with Him
we leach
from vanity
of image
and speech
of several inches
shall flatten
our ego
in pieces
what can I esteem
when I am from
His casual
and ignore
the destination
I reach
so many
historical sins
should teach
and silence
unto me
more than
of Rasses
and hymns
the most
in universe
is unseen
inna small box
of awareness
we are placed in
coming here
the elder
who thinks
to have the solution
and nothing indeed
“orthodox” preachers
fighting the Divinity
of Selassie I King
gurus, selling
their plastic
on tv
with fat arrogance
they will receive
even the strongest
one day
must be weak.
Haile Selassie I - Testimonies

Charles University of Prague – Doctor of Law – 1959

Prague, July 15 1959

The Faculty of Law of the Charles University in Prague being aware, noble Emperor, of the fact that you waged courageous and persevering struggle for the defence of your country and its liberation from foreign aggressors and that you have always been a vigilant guardian of its independence,

that you as an outstanding expert on politics and law, have accomplished a great and durable work of a reformer and builder of your country for the benefit of its people,

that you have untiringly worked for the preservation of international peace and understanding and for the promotion of independence and equality of all nations thereby deserving eminently the welfare of mankind, has unanimously decided to confer on you the honorary degree of the Doctor of Law.

After this decision of our Faculty had been approved by the Scientific Council of the Charles University and confirmed by the Government of the Czechoslovak Republic, we requested you, noble Emperor, to accept in this Assembly the highest honour which this University can bestow on you.

To follow an ancient custom you have first to make a solemn pledge.

Therefore, you will pledge:

First, that you will always keep this University where you are receiving the highest degree in Law, in good memory and that you will always give assistance to it by all your power, advice and help.

Second, that you will continue to devote yourself to science as you have done so far in order that truth be spread all over and that its light which preserves the welfare of mankind may radiate in the world.

Do you pledge so from the bottom of your heart ?

The conferee: – I do (Spondeo ac polliceor).

Haile Selassie I - Prophecy Italo-Ethiopian War

The Return of the Roman Empire

5th of May 1936. In this picture we have the first page of an Italian Fascist Newspaper, “Gazzetta del Popolo”, after the occupation of Addis Abeba by Fascist troops:

The Empire reappears on the fatal hills of Rome.”

In Revelation chapter 17 5-10, we read:

“And upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon The Great, The Mother Of Harlots And Abominations Of The Earth. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration… And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. And there are seven kings.”

Rome was built on 7 hills by 7 kings. His Majesty said about this mystery:

“Five years ago today the fascist forces entered our capital city. Then Mussolini announced to the world that he had established a Roman Empire in our country, Ethiopia.”  (Selected Speeches p. 334)

Rome became an Empire at the time of Augustus, successor of Caesar. Christ has born during the rule of Augustus, as it is written:

“And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.” (Luke 2,1)

So the ancient Empire reappears, and even Christ, as it was 2000 years ago.

Ethiopia in Western Culture

Diodorus Siculus

In the wake of the ancient historiography and Greek tradition that we have already illustrated, the great historian of Sicilian origins Diodorus (I century a.C.) dedicated the Third Book of his “Historical Library” to the Ethiopians, immediately associated with Atlas (Etièl) and his mythology. Diodorus states:

Now the Ethiopians, as historians relate, were the first of all men and the proofs of this statement, they say, are manifest. For that they did not come into their land as immigrants from abroad but were natives of it and so justly bear the name of ‘autochthones’​ is, they maintain, conceded by practically all men; furthermore, that those who dwell beneath the noon-day sun were, in all likelihood, the first to be generated by the earth, is clear to all; since, inasmuch as it was the warmth of the sun which, at the generation of the universe, dried up the earth when it was still wet and impregnated it with life,​ it is reasonable to suppose that the region which was nearest the sun was the first to bring forth living creatures..

Thus, once again, the Ethiopian origin of man is clearly affirmed, due to the fact that the sun rises from Ethiopia, and therefore life follow the same order of manifestation. “Autochthones” literally means “sprung from the soil itself”, like Adam in the Bible. Diodorus continues:

And they say that they were the first to be taught to honour the gods and to hold sacrifices and processions and festivals and the other rites by which men honour the deity; and that in consequence their piety has been published abroad among all men, and it is generally held that the sacrifices practised among the Ethiopians are those which are the most pleasing to heaven. As witness to this they call upon the poet who is perhaps the oldest and certainly the most venerated among the Greeks (Homer); for in the Iliad he represents both Zeus and the rest of the gods with him as absent on a visit to Ethiopia to share in the sacrifices and the banquet which were given annually by the Ethiopians for all the gods together.

After the Ethiopian racial origin of man, the origin of religious culture from Ethiopia is affirmed, as well as her special spiritual sanctity among all peoples. This confirms the biblical identity of Israel and Ethiopia, and the fact that all biblical culture was generated by the antediluvian Ethiopian patriarchs, like Enoch.

And they state that, by reason of their piety towards the deity, they manifestly enjoy the favour of the gods, inasmuch as they have never experienced the rule of an invader from abroad; for from all time they have enjoyed a state of freedom and of peace one with another, and although many and powerful rulers have made war upon them, not one of these has succeeded in his undertaking. Cambyses,​ for instance, they say, who made war upon them with a great force, both lost all his army and was himself exposed to the greatest peril; Semiramis also, who through the magnitude of her undertakings and achievements has become renowned, after advancing a short distance into Ethiopia gave up her campaign against the whole nation; and Heracles and Dionysus, although they visited all the inhabited earth, failed to subdue the Ethiopians alone who dwell above Egypt, both because of the piety of these men and because of the insurmountable difficulties involved in the attempt.

Here the idea of Ethiopia’s eternal independence appears, guaranteed by the presence of the Ark of the Covenant and the Sovereignty of Zion, that gave victory over any foreign aggression and even against Hercules the strongest. Independence that will be defended for another two millennia after the writings of Diodorus, until the glorious victory over the fascists. According to Diodorus, even Hercules and Dionysus tried to subjugate the Ethiopians, and failed.

“They say also that the Egyptians are colonists sent out by the Ethiopians, Osiris having been the leader of the colony. For, speaking generally, what is now Egypt, they maintain, was not land but sea when in the beginning the universe was being formed; afterwards, however, as the Nile during the times of its inundation carried down the mud from Ethiopia, land was gradually built up from the deposit. Also the statement that all the land of the Egyptians is alluvial silt deposited by the river receives the clearest proof, in their opinion, from what takes place at the outlets of the Nile; for as each year new mud is continually gathered together at the mouths of the river, the sea is observed being thrust back by the deposited silt and the land receiving the increase. And the larger part of the customs of the Egyptians are, they hold, Ethiopian, the colonists still preserving their ancient manners. For instance, the belief that their kings are gods, the very special attention which they pay to their burials, and many other matters of a similar nature are Ethiopian practices, while the shapes of their statues and the forms of their letters are Ethiopian“.

Diodorus affirms that the royal, the funeral and the religious tradition of Egypt are of Ethiopian derivation, as well as the forms of the letters in their alphabet. The Nile originates in Ethiopia, and it is perfectly reasonable to believe that its civilization developed from its high source on the Ethiopian plateau, downwards to the Mediterranean sea. This also explains why the Ge’ez word for Egypt, G(e)btz ግብጽ, comes from the word G(e)b ግብ, meaning “Pit”, the Pit in which the river Nile flows down. The ancient Egyptian language calls the same earth soil as “GEB”.

In chapter 5, the Sicilian historian finally describes the spiritual authority of the King of Ethiopia, chosen by “Divine Providence”, and worshipped as a god. He also speaks about his attachment to ethiopian ancient legal traditions, and his renowned “solomonic” wisdom and justice, for example his mercy towards those sentenced to death. All this fits perfectly with all the principles guarded today by the Rastafarian people.

Ethiopia - Land, People and Customs

The Mausoleum of Menelik II – Addis Abeba

The Mausoleum of Menelik II was built in 1917 in Addis Ababa by Empress Zawditu and the then Regent of the Empire Teferi Mekonnen, and inaugurated 10 years later.

It consists of a magnificent dome, surmounted by the imperial crown, and four turrets. With a square plan, on each side there are 3 doors, in the image of the Heavenly Jerusalem as described in the Revelation of John (Chapter 21), “defended” by 2 lion statues. At the top, on each side, stands Menelik’s initial M ም, radiant and surmounted by a crown.

Inside are paintings describing the deeds of the Emperor, and in the crypt rests his body, along with that of his wife Taitu, his daughter Zewditu, and the daughter of Haile Selassie Tsehay.

The Mausoleum is also a church that regularly performs liturgical service, entitled Baata Maryam በአታ ማርያም (or “the Entrance of Maryam” in the Temple of Jerusalem).

Haile Selassie I - Life and Works



“During the course of the State Visit of His Imperial Majesty, Haile Selassie I, Emperor of Ethiopia, October 1 and 2, 1963, the Emperor and President John F. Kennedy discussed important aspects of world peace and economic progress, as well as African problems and aspirations in these vital areas. The two leaders expressed their satisfaction at the friendship which has for so long existed between Ethiopia and the United States, and reaffirmed their desire to continue closer cooperation and collaboration in fields of mutual interest.

Against the backdrop of the emergence of 28 new nations in Africa since the visit of the Emperor to the United States in 1954, the two leaders discussed current problems of the Continent. They reiterated their belief in the right of the still dependent territories to freedom and independence, and expressed the fervent hope that the final steps in the transition to freedom in Africa can be taken and implemented within the framework provided by the United Nations and the Organization of African Unity.

Noting the historical dedication of the Emperor to the principle of collective security, the President expressed particular appreciation of the significant contribution of Ethiopia to the establishment of unity and peace in the Congo. The Emperor and the President reaffirmed their faith in the United Nations, and deplored any action which would tend to weaken the Organization or the principles embodied in the Charter. The Emperor and the President also endorsed the principle of the Charter of the Organization of African Unity which called for ‘respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of each state and for its inalienable right to independent existence.’

The President assured the Emperor of the continuance of the interest of the United States in Ethiopia’s economic development and security. In separate discussions, officials of the two governments discussed various aspects of Ethiopia’s Five Year Plan and considered possible methods of financing the accomplishments of its programs. The United States agreed to examine Ethiopian requests for United States assistance for economic development projects and to give careful consideration to assistance in the financing of agreed projects by means of long-term loans.

The Emperor extended an invitation to the President to visit Ethiopia. The President indicated his appreciation and expressed his desire to arrange such a visit as soon as his schedule permitted.”