Cannot Overthrow I&I
“Gamaliel, one learned in the law, warns Israel of their attitude to the apostles and their teaching. ‘Refrain from these men,’ he says, ‘and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: but if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it.’ And so we see today the Bible with its wonderful message reaching the remotest parts of the earth.” #QHS
Who Am I
to disturb that belief
which johannes guy
blind and stiff
could win my pride
even the priest
of jewish remind
won’t cope with
something so wide
they never seen
Jah say the time
is now and here
I’ve read the sign
they have reached
with Gospel script
in global lit
education the key
will open quick
master is time
by judgment tides
those who resist
with bias to inquire
they still insist
to lead the fight
I faith persists
(Taken from our poetical work “Jah Seh The Bible”)
Athens, 19th August 1924
It is in the midst of Athens University that the soul of Greece is being revealed. This evening we are pleased to welcome the representative of a people tied to Greece by inseparable ties and by a friendship that is based on ancient historical traditions.
Your Highness’ presence amongst us is apt to strengthen and to renew those memories of 1600 years.
Two Greeks, the sons of Meropius the merchant, Frumentius and Aedesius, were taken prisoner at the Ethiopian seaboard and thus entered the country. They founded the Church of Ethiopia by teaching the country’s inhabitants and by becoming apostles of the faith.
Your Highness, the affection which binds the two countries together began at that time. In the year 325 Athanasius, the great bishop of Christian Greece, bestowed at Alexandria the name of founder of the Church of Ethiopia upon Frumentius and did so with great glory. And he also anointed him bishop of the Ethiopian Church.
Again, in a different context, Heliodorus of Emesa refers to these historical memories in the book of romance which he wrote. In this book he presents the Ethiopian king’s daughter as beautiful and comely.
The Ethiopians were very well known to Homer and to Herodotus who refers to them in his history and to Strabo who speaks about them a great deal in his geography. By virtue of these old traditions the kings of modern Ethiopia have always cultivated true friendship with Greece. Above all, Emperor Yohannes and Emperor Menelik have uttered words of sincere affection for our country in exchanges of letters with the Greek Government.
Your Highness! Our brothers who live in your country are always telling us with feelings of deep gratitude of the welcome and friendship they have encountered among your people. This goes so far that it is virtually granted to them to be like brothers. We are very glad, therefore, to receive today as guest amongst us the representative of this people.
Greek writers, who have described the details of their journeys and whose books are read with benefit, have emphatically shown the extreme natural beauty of Ethiopia. They have described the different kinds of air currents, trees, and leaves as well as the beauty of the sun which, through its light, reveals the beauty of the country.
Your Highness! For a long time now the Greeks have considered everything that is good for your country as their own advantage. Each time they find an opportunity they affirm the thoughts of friendship which they have for the kings of Ethiopia and for the people.
This feeling does not only arise from the friendship which you have for us. What we have achieved in our past history and by our character is due to our respect for the supremeness of learning and complete love of freedom to the point of heroism. Therefore, it is not at all a strange thing for us to consolidate our friendship for the Ethiopian people through the study which our history affords us.
We are aware that Ethiopia’s success in guarding her independence at all times arises from the mountains which have been given to her by nature and which separate her from all the other African countries. It is proper to say that Ethiopia has been the bastion of Christianity for more than a millennium among the savages and pagans in the arid desert. Homer said of the Ethiopians that they excelled above others. Diodorus speaks of their virtue. He admires their fight for their freedom.
At the time of Alexander the Great and his heirs Greek culture had entered Ethiopia and had opened a new road of civilization. It left written monuments (a map) which demonstrate its progress. The Ptolemies and the Byzantine kings desired the Ethiopian people to establish a basis and to extend their rule up to the Red Sea. When Byzantium fought with the Persians, it threw into the battle the might of the Ethiopians. Your Highness’ country was a crossroads and meeting point of the civilized nations in the Mediterranean and Indian areas. Since the Greeks were at that time held in great honour in Ethiopia, the Ethiopian kings are said to have known the Greek language.
According to those who have studied the history of the Ethiopian Church, in the fourth century this Church, strong in its faith, was doing everything that was necessary to enable the Christian religion to spread over all the distant lands in Africa. But the rise of Islam and its constant and progressive growth greatly weakened the strength of the Ethiopian people as Islam defeated, by the force of the sword, the countries in North Africa.
But eventually, defending themselves with the heroism which derives from their nature, the Ethiopians overcame the might of the Muslims. They built once again the Church of Aksum at the place to which the Muslims had set fire. It may be said that the rebuilding of this Church is a great good fortune and luck for Ethiopia.
By the intelligence of its kings and rulers since the last century, this country has once again taken the road of renewal. It is this road of renewal that is leading this beloved and courageous people towards national unity in equality.
The University of Athens, at this place where the leaders of the Greek people are assembled, greets the courageous ruler of the Ethiopian people, the son of Makonnen.
The Greek people request that you will accept their best wishes for the prosperity of the Ethiopian people as well as their firm resolve for a progressive strengthening of the ties of friendship which exist between the two nations.”
O’BRIEN: “Do you believe in astrology, Bob?”
MARLEY: “No Rasta! I believe in the 12 tribes of Israel, which them change and call astrology. Astrology is up there. And then say God is up there. Seen? But where them get astrology from, and the ideas of astrology is from the 12 tribes of Israel, which every man have by tendency. Not by Roman god, but by the sons of Jacob. So man find him root. Cause plenty people say I’m Aquarius—a Roman god—but you check Jacob’s 12 sons and you find the tendencies.”
Bob Marley, Interview with Glenn O’Brien, 1978
“THE DAILY LIFE OF THE EMPEROR
There is probably no ruler in the world who has so hard a task as the Emperor Haile Selassie. He is the head executive of every department in the State, one of the few rulers who can say with truth: L’Etat, c’est Moi ! Many observers have born witness to his constant devotion to duty and have pictured him in time of peace working a sixteen hour day, while in time of war he goes frequently for forty-eight hours or more without sleep. Lately, indeed, some of those close to him have been afraid that he was overtaxing his endurance, but his sleep, though scanty, is of satisfying depth and he rises after only a few hours completely refreshed.
This is a gift of special interest since many great administrators have possessed it. So also is the fact of his extreme frugality at table. The food which is served is of the highest quality, but the Emperor is always sparing, especially in the consumption of meat dishes, while as far as wine is concerned although he has a cultivated palate and a very respectable cellar he is moderate to a degree. His mind, which he he works to its utmost, is never clouded; his eye is always clear, his hand always steady. At heart he is a lover of ease, meditation, and aesthetic pleasures; but he is unswerving in his devotion to duty.
Between the hours of four and five in the morning he is called by his personal servant, who ofter finds the Emperor already awakened and in prayer. Having completed his devotions he passes at once to his study where the Ministers of State attend him. The first consideration is news. There are reports from every seat of government which is connected to the capital by telegraph; there are the verbal messages of runners who have been sent by faithful chiefs who are watching the Emperor’s interests in the more isolated districts; and there are confidential reports of happenings in and around Addis Ababa. Any replies which may be necessary are at once dictated, the Emperor glancing through the completed drafts and sometimes making additions and alterations in his own neat hand. (…) He has made himself as it were the centre of a sensitive network of nerves. When anything happens he feels it. Pain is transmitted. Then later comes the knowledge of what caused the pain. That is perhaps the best way to describe a state of affairs rather puzzling to the European mind. (…)
But to return to the Emperor’s study. The orders for the day are given. There is now an interval while the Emperor drinks coffee, consumes bread and fruit and glances at the latest issue of his newspaper ‘Light and Peace’, the leading article of which is possibly his own handiwork, written with scrupulous weighing of words last night after a day of exacting duties. (…)
One of the sights on which the visitors never fail to remark is the lions of which there are many round about the palace. Often the Emperor strolls in his gardens accompanied by two playful cubs. (…)
Early in the afternoon the Emperor lunches sparingly, perhaps entertaining European visitors, and they enjoys a deserved rest. This respite is usually brief, however, for there is an endless round of inspections awaiting him. His troops, his schools, his hospitals – all these need his personal attention. Though he has twenty ministers they are really secretaries rather than executives. The Emperor is active head of every department.
Those who know him are surprised at his varied knowledge. Books come to him from Europe on every subject and he never ceases to amass facts. Before the war cut short all his civic endeavours he had begun to study botany in search of methods by which the productivity of his country might be increased. (…)
During the eary evening he consults with his financial advisers, comparing the records of tax returns and enquiring the cause of fluctuations. He has rapidly absorbed the principles of sound economics and understand very well the theory of taxation. In his early years as ruler he did not sufficiently oppose the principle of taxing imports, especially luxuries, as much as possible. It was the old tradition of ‘squeeze’. In the years prior to the war a very great change was observed by those familiar with the country. While the need of money still necessitated the imposition of dues the Emperor’s enquiries were directed to schemes by which these might be lessened and in private conversation he revealed himself as a Free Trader, saying that it was the ceaseless erection of barriers to trade by governments who should rather bend their efforts to removing them that had caused the world slump.
Dinner may be a ceremonial meal with many visitors and elaborate courses or a comparatively brief affair if the Emperor is not entertaining and has work to do. In the event of a State banquet, or even entertainment on a much less scale, all the conventions of Europe are strictly observed. Invitation cards of plain design but excellent quality all bearing the royal crest in gold are delivered with due formality well in advance. The menu is printed sometimes in Amharic only, but often with the normal French names with which the European is perfectly at home. The guests assemble in a long anteroom and when all are present the Emperor appears to head the procession to the table having first received the salutations of the party and having spoken a few words of welcome to the guests.
The Swiss chef is a master of his art. It is his duty to taste all the food which comes to the royal table. The imperial family are not often together but when the only remaining princess dines with her father she wears a simple Paris gown in the most perfect taste. (…)
For all State occasions the gold plate purchased during the visit to England is used. Champagne is the wine most in favour, but though it is plentifully supplied by tall footmen in red coats and white breeches who are trained to perfection and stand behind every chair, the Emperor’s glass is not often refilled. Frequently when the banquet is ended he goes straight to his study, lights the large reading lamp which stands upon his desk, and works there till morning guarded only by a single servant who stands outside the door.
The Emperor is air-minded. When he first visited Aden in 1923 he asked to be allowed to make a flight and did so in a seaplane while his suite held their breath. (…)
No one who has given the Emperor frank and disinterested advice has ever been forgotten by him. It may be some time before the opportunity offers, but always there is kindly and adequate recognition of the help received.
The Emperor has always been very accessible to foreigners and journalists have never had any cause to complain of his treatment of them. (…)
His relations with the Empress Manen are an index to his simple, unchanging character. He married her twenty years ago before he began his struggle for the throne and has never had cause to regret his choice. Sha has been a loyal helpmate in countless ways of which the outside world knows little, and it is perhaps most to her credit that where she could not help she has not hindered. (…)
The Emperor shows her great respect, and by his considerate treatment of his wife and his high moral standards has set a fine example to his people. Even those who like him least can have no ground for criticism in his marital life. In the midst of pressing affairs Haile Selassie would always give priority to a letter from his wife and he would deal with her requests with generosity and with scrupulous attention to detail. (…)
The Emperor loves clocks. He knows that they measure the most important thing in life. He knows – and to his cost – that he is almost the only man in Ethiopia aware of that fact. He realises, too, the importance of training everybody to the use of the clock. In modern Ethiopia time is money. (…)
That is the great personal tragedy of the Emperor – he can foresee so many consequences to which his lighthearted warriors are blind, and he cannot explain to them the reasons for his actions.”
(Taken from “Haile Selassie Emperor of Ethiopia”, Princess Asfa Yilma, London 1936)