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Ethiopia Table of Contents


The Trials of the Christian Kingdom and the Decline of Imperial Power

From the mid-fifteenth through the mid-seventeenth century, Christian Ethiopians were confronted by the aggressiveness of the Muslim states, the far-reaching migrations of the Oromo, and the efforts of the Portuguese--who had been summoned to aid in the fight against the forces of Islam--to convert them from Monophysite Christianity to Roman Catholicism. The effects of the Muslim and Oromo activities and of the civil strife engendered by the Portuguese left the empire much weakened by the mid-seventeenth century. One result was the emergence of regional lords essentially independent of the throne, although in principle subject to it.

Data as of 1991