Menelik II was Emperor of Abyssinia from 1889 to 1913, succeeding Yohannes IV. He defeated the Italians at Adua in 1896, the first major defeat of a European colonial power by Africans they were trying to colonize.

He founded the modern Ethiopian state by expanding from his heartland of Shoa into the south and west. He had been King of Shoa within the empire, succeeding his father King Haile Malakot.

He founded Addis Ababa and made it his capital, to please his wife, who liked the hot springs and lower altitude. He was succeeded by his young grandson Lij Yasu.

< Yohannes IV - Ethiopia - Lij Yasu >

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