Cambridge, UK, 18th July 1924
“Your Highness! As we have heard of your initiative and perseverance in leading your country Ethiopia in wisdom and knowledge, we bestow upon you the honorary degree of Doctor of Law.”
The poet Homer says the Ethiopians are blameless. Herodotus says the Ethiopians are longlived because they do not drink wine at all.
It is a fact that the Ethiopians refused to pay tribute to Cambyses and to the Persian kings. Subsequently, they turned back victoriously all who came to take their country by force. Who does not know that the Queen of Sheba, having heard of Solomon’s fame, came by camel bearing spices, gold, and gems to try the king with riddles? Who does not know that she returned to her country to be the mother of all the kings? Who does not remember, as the centuries unfolded, their descent from David? Who does not know of their being of the family of Queen Candace? All this proves the establishment of their Christianity over the whole of Ethiopia and their possession of an ancient faith over a long history.
A man who had studied at Christ’s College in Cambridge University has, in recent years, revealed to the English people the literature and law books of Ethiopia.
Today there is amongst us Tafari Makonnen, Ethiopia’s Crown Prince. He follows in the footsteps of his ancestors and possesses knowledge exceeding that of orientals and Egyptians. He explores ancient and modern knowledge. He has studied all the ancient Christian traditions. He endeavours to acquire modern science. H.H. Tafari Makonnen is the first Ethiopian Crown Prince who has gone up in an aeroplane.
He has caused the books of John Chrysostom and of Mar Yeshaq to be translated from Ge’ez into Amharic and had them printed at his own press. These books can be found in the Cambridge University Library. Furthermore, he has built a school for the children of Ethiopia.
We therefore make known to all of you here Ethiopia’s great Crown Prince and Regent, H.H. Tafari Makonnen, the hope of Ethiopia, who is descended from ancient kings.”