A largely mountainous and desert country in northeast Africa, also known as Ethiopia. Abyssinia was a Christian country associated in the European mind with the mythical Prester John and the Queen of Sheba, and it remained throughout the period of high imperialism the only independent native African state. It was invaded by a British punitive expedition under the command of Lord Robert Napier in 1868 in retaliation for the imprisonment of British diplomats, but the British had no intention of staying, and having liberated their prisoners and sacked the Emperor Theodore’s fortress at Magdala, Napier’s army marched back to the coast.
   Abyssinia was again invaded in 1896, this time by the Italians. They suffered a humiliating defeat at the battle of Adowa, on March 1, 1896, which stands alongside the battles of Isandlwana and Little Big Horn as one of the few battlefield defeats of Western forces by native armies in the nineteenth century. Adowa was never avenged, a fact that rankled Italian nationalists until Mussolini’s invasion in 1935.
   See also <>; <>.
    Farwell, Byron. Queen Victorias Little Wars. New York: W. W. Norton, 1972.

Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.

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  • Abyssinia — • Provides details on the geography, ethnology, political revolutions, as well as church information Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Abyssinia     Abyssinia      …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Abyssinia — may refer to the nation of Ethiopia, also formerly known as Abyssinia.Abyssinia may also refer to: * SS Abyssinia , 1870 Canadian Pacific steamship * HMS Abyssinia (1870), British armoured ship * Abyssinia, Henry, 1975 episode of the M*A*S*H… …   Wikipedia

  • Abyssinia — n. 1. same as Ethiopia. Syn: Ethiopia, Yaltopya [WordNet 1.5] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Abyssinia — old name for Ethiopia, 1630s, from Mod.L. Abyssinia, from Arabic Habasah, the name for the region, said to be from Amharic hbsh mixed, in reference to the different races dwelling there. In 1920s 30s popular as a slang pun for I ll be seeing you …   Etymology dictionary

  • ABYSSINIA — regio Africae, in Aethiopiâ superiori. Fuit aliâs regnum amplissimum; sed a centum prope annia per Galas populos valde fuit imminutum, ut pluribus nuper collegimus ex doctissimis scriptis Isaaci Vossii. Dicit enim ille, quod si solam soectemus… …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • Abyssinia — [ab΄ə sin′ē ə] former name for ETHIOPIA …   English World dictionary

  • abyssinia — I ll be seeing you. Abyssinia! …   Dictionary of american slang

  • abyssinia — I ll be seeing you. Abyssinia! …   Dictionary of american slang

  • Abyssinia — noun Ethiopia is a republic in northeastern Africa on the Red Sea; formerly called Abyssinia • Syn: ↑Ethiopia, ↑Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, ↑Yaltopya • Derivationally related forms: ↑Ethiopian (for: ↑Ethiopia) …   Useful english dictionary

  • Abyssinia (1870) — p1 Abyssinia p1 Schiffsdaten Flagge Vereinigtes Konigreich …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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