The purpose of the documentary series of Acta Aethiopica is to present, as far as possible, a complete set of all preserved historical documents, i.e. letters, treatises and proclamations, written by Ethiopians in the 19th century. The documents have been collected from dozens of archives in Africa and Europe and are presented in facsimile of the originals, as far as possible, with a fresh English translation, as well as annotation and extensive indices. The aim is to provide scholarship with an easy access to the original sources presenting the voice of the Ethiopians in the colonial period, a voice generally neglected in scholarship relying on more easily accessible reports by European explorers, missionaries, businessmen and consuls. Since African written sources for the 19th century colonial era are rare Acta Aethiopica is a unique series not only for political history but also for how Europe and Europeans were understood, how language and writing was affected and how ideas, religious and profane were transmitted in the colonial period, albeit in one particular country, Ethiopia.
As a distinct project Acta Aethiopica was born at a conference in Addis Abeba in 1970 at the suggestion of Sven Rubenson at the time Professor of Ethiopian history at Addis Abeba University. He realised that all modern scholarship on Ethiopian history was based on European sources and that Ethiopians were only heard as interpreted and very often misunderstood, deliberately or not. Another story needed to be told, a story that could explain why Ethiopia survived as an independent nation in the scramble for Africa.
Colonial Powers and Ethiopian Frontiers 1880-1884
Sven Rubenson, Amsalu Aklilu, Shiferaw Bekele, Samuel Rubenson (red.) | Colonial Powers and Ethiopian Frontiers 1880-1884 | Acta Aethiopica | 2021
Colonial powers and Ethiopian frontiers 1880-1884 is the fourth volume of Acta Aethiopica, a series that presents original Ethiopian documents of nineteenth-century Ethiopian history with English translations and scholarly notes. The documents have been collected from dozens of ...
Internal rivalries and foreign threats 1869-1879
Sven Rubenson, Amsalu Aklilu, Merid Welde Aregay, Samuel Rubenson (red.) | Internal rivalries and foreign threats 1869-1879. Acta Æthiopica. Vol. 3 | Acta Aethiopica | 2000
Volume three with 235 documents was published in 2000 with the title Internal Rivalries and Foreign Threats 1869-1879. The volume documents the internal power struggle after the death of Tewodros resulting in the establishment of a growing base of power in the south with far reaching ...
Tewodros and his contemporaries 1855-1868
Sven Rubenson (red.) | Tewodros and his contemporaries 1855-1868 | Acta Aethiopica 2 | 1994
Volume two with 250 documents was published in 1994 with the title Tewodros and hos Contemporaries 1855-1868. It covers the reign of emperor Tewodros, who established a unified rule putting and end to what is known as the era of the princes. He is known for his attempts to modernize ...
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Correspondence and treaties, 1800-1854
Sven Rubenson (red.) | Correspondence and treaties, 1800-1854 | Acta Aethiopica 1 | 1987
Volume one with 190 documents was published in 1987 with the title Correspondence and Treaties 1800-1854. The rather limited number of letters by Ethiopian rulers, mainly written to Egyptian officials and representatives of European powers, are supplemented with a large number of more ...
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