ABYSSINIA - ADMINISTRATION AND INDUSTRY Provinces and Towns.--The ancient provincial divisions of Abyssinia (Amhara, Tigre, Gojam, Shoa, etc.) are for the most part now mere geographical expressions, having been broken up into smaller governorships with the exception of the ancient king dom of Goj jam, enclosed by the great bend of the Abbai, which is still a single governorship. The more important provinces number about 20, of which may be mentioned : Gojam, North and South Tigre, Bagemdir, Harar, Salale, Waag and Lasta and Jimma. Each is divided into sub-districts and further subdivided into groups of villages. With the exception of the capital, Addis Ababa (q.v.), Harar, and Diredawa, there are no towns of any size in Abyssinia. Centuries of almost continual warfare between the provinces help to account for the absence of large towns; also royal residences have changed frequently on exhaustion of fuel supplies. The earliest capital appears to have been Aksum (q.v.), in Tigre, where there are extensive ruins. Gondar in Amhara was the capital from the middle ages to the middle of the i9th century. Addis Ababa in Shoa, the capital since 1892, has about 70,000 inhabitants, Diredawa 30,00o and Harar 40,000.
None of the other towns has a permanent population exceeding 6,000 to io,000, but several have large periodic markets. In Tigre are AcluWa (I7m. E. by N. of Aksum), Aksum, Adigrat, Makale and Antalo. The three last are near the eastern escarpment of the high plateau on the direct road South from Massawa to Shoa. West of Adigrat is the monastery of Debra-Damo, a most cele brated sanctuary.
In Amhara are Magdala (q.v.), formerly the residence of King Theodore, and the place of imprisonment of the British captives in i866; Debra-Tabor ("Mount Tabor"), the chief royal residence under King John in a strong strategic position, over looks the fertile plain east of Lake Tana ab6ut 8,62oft. above sea. Amba-Mariam, a fortified station midway between Gondar and Debra-Tabor near the north-east side of Lake Tana, with a population of 3,000, has the famous shrine and church dedicated to St. Mary, whence the name Mandera-Mariam ("Mary's Rest"). It was a royal residence, and is an important market and place of pilgrimage, a few iniles south-west of Debra-Tabor; Sokota, a great central market, capital of Waag, is at the con vergence of several main routes. Iii Shoa are: Ankober, formerly the capital of the kingdom, Debra-Birban ("Mountain of Light"), once a royal residence; Liche (Litche), one of the largest market towns in the south. Lfeka, the largest market in Gallaland, com municates direct with Gojam, Shoa and other parts of the empire. Anderacha, the commercial centre of Kaffa, and Jiren, capital of the neighbouring province of jimma, attract traders from surrounding provinces.
service, but outside Addis Ababa, the capital, it is subject to fre quent interruption.
The total trade approximates £2,500,000 annually. The chief exports are coffee and hides, and the principal imports, salt, cotton fabrics and hardware. The main channel of trade is the Franco-Ethiopian railway, from Addis Ababa to the port of Jibuti in French Somaliland. The principal trade routes with the Sudan are via Gambela, Gallabat and Roseires. Other trade routes are through the Italian colony of Eritrea to Massawa, and through Harar to Berbera in British Somaliland. The cur rency is the Maria Theresa and Menelek dollars of a nominal value of about 2S., but in parts of the country bars of salt or even cartridges are used.
to Sept. 20 it is eight years be hind. The land is not held in fee simple but is subject to the con trol of the throne or the church.
Revenue is derived from a 20% customs duty on imports, and from a levy on all forms of pro ductions; but as the provincial governors receive no salaries the receipts of the central Govern ment are subject consequently to fluctuations. (C. F. R.) Defence.—The early history of Abyssinia was marked by the struggles of an early Christian community against pagan and Mohammedan invaders. Early Portuguese records (152o-27) contain some entries of military interest. King Theodore (h. 1818) first conceived the idea of organizing an Abyssinian army on European lines. His power was broken in 1868 by an expedi tion under Lord Napier of Magdala, sent to the succour of Eur opeans whom he had made prisoner. (See also EGYPT AND SUDAN, CAMPAIGNS IN, 1882-1899). In March 1896 Theodore's successor Menelek successfully defended the country against an Italian in vading force, 200,000 men having responded to his call to arms. In time of war every able-bodied Abyssinian is expected to serve. According to recent estimates, about 250,000-300,000 Abyssin ians (including a small standing army) could be equipped with modern rifles ; but lack of commissariat would prevent a large force from keeping the field long. From 1890 onwards various expedients have been adopted ineffectively by the European Powers to limit the import of arms. The co-operation of Abys sinia, which joined the League of Nations in 1923, is now being sought (1928).
Under the terms of a treaty concluded in May 2902 an area near Itang (Baro river) bordering the Sudan cannot be used for any military purpose (State Papers, vol. 95, p. 467). (G. G. A.)