Menelik’s Proclamation on Mobilising His Forces for the Battle of Adowa

” God by his goodness in hurling down my enemies
and extending my empire has preserved me until this
day. Until now I have ruled by the grace of God. As
we all must die I shall not be distressed if I am killed.
Nevertheless the Almighty has never yet forsaken me
and I am confident that he will not forsake me in the

” Enemies have now come upon us to ruin the
country and to change our religion; they have crossed
the sea which God has given us for a frontier. Consider-
ing that our flocks were exterminated and our people
tired, I have not wished to do anything until now.

” But our enemies have begun the affair by advancing
and digging into the country like moles. With the help
of God I will not deliver up my country to them. Ever
a patriot of my country I have never yet wronged you
and I will never give you sorrow. To-day, you who are
strong, give me of your strength, and you who are weak,
help me by prayer and by thinking of your children,
your wives and your faith. But if through negligence
you refuse to follow me, take heed. You will hate me
because I will not refrain from punishing you. I swear
by the Holy Virgin that I will accept no prayer for
your pardon. I leave in the month of Teqemt. Men
of Shoa, go and wait for me at Warra Ilu; let everyone
be assembled by the middle of Teqemt!”


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