You know how we hear about the great love stories of great people who lived centuries ago? Like Mark Antony and Cleopatra, Napoleon and Josephine and the list could go on. A lot has been said about such legendary lovers, we recount their all-consuming love and how they united to conquer the world and its imagination. They gave everything and lost everything; it made them and destroyed them.

Well when it comes to Ethiopian history, especially the part that dates back to the Era of the Princes (Zemene Mesafint), little is said about the romantic life of the kings and queens; although not completely neglected, this aspect seems to take a backseat as more emphasis is given to the political side of each story. 

Did you know  about the beautiful romance Emperor Tewodros II and Empress Tewabech had? They were married in 1848 and loved each other dearly; even though she, was offered as a bride to him by her grandmother, Empress Menen Liben Amede (consort of Emperor Yohannes III and mother of the Regent Ras Ali), entirely for political reasons. The Empress was by Tewodros’ side with all her heart and advocated his beliefs even though it destroyed her relationship with her grandmother and family as a whole. It is believed that she had a positive effect on the Emperor, and that his erratic and violent behaviour in his last ten years was due to the lack of her advice. Even though he was married to another woman (Empress Turuwork)  after his great love died, his second marriage was obviously guided by political motivations.

2nd Year . November 2013 . No.9

Mikias Merhatsidk

EBR staff writter


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