The War for the North

The Ethiopian War

1041 (288 AD)


1042 (289 AD)


Ethiopian Kingdom and Southern Aegyptus


Incorporation of Ethiopia into the Roman Empire

Major battles:

The Battle of Axum


The Roman Empire

The Kingdom of Ethiopia


Emperor Decius of Rome

"Emperor" Aphilas of Ethiopia




Casualties and Losses

1500 civilians and 4000 soldiers



Ethiopia was a Kingdom from the Southern Border of Aegyptus to the Horn of Africa and a little more. They had an extensive and long established trade system with Aegyptians going up the Nile and into their many trading cities like Luxor and Memphis. In recent decades the Province of Aegyptus was becoming exceedingly rich and the Aethiopian leadership were feeling very immasculated by the displays with many of the Aegyptians could make on their border as a show piece of their success to the poorer Ethiopians. Acts like this not only made the Ethiopians and Aegyptians grow a mutual distaste for each other but they also were talking about taking some of these rich cities for their own. Emperor Decius, who was from and much more concerned with Western Europe, neglected the African continent but many of them were able to manage more than well. Aegyptus was the wealthiest and the Ethiopians were tired of it.

Start of the War

The war between these two states began in 1041 (288 AD) when Ethiopia's new King declared himself "Emperor" of Ethiopia. Aphilas, this new Emperor of Ethiopia, moved into the cities of southern Aegyptus. Emperor Decius was initially unthreatened by this move. Many od the leaders of Aegyptus took this very lightly and sent only a small coningency of troops at first. When they were defeated, because the Ethiopians sent serious amounts of their military into these early battles, there were two effects. The Romans, especially the Aegyptians, were stunned at the loss and began to take Aphilas and the Ethiopian War as a possible threat. Though it was more of an image problem.

The military of Decius was sent aroudn the opposite side of Ethiopian and entered their territory from the South. The Emperor of Ethiopia had to turn back but by the time he had arrived in Axum, the capital, many of his people had been turned against him and the city was lost. They weren't paralyzed into obediance by fear after the Romans arrived, they expected their protection. The Ethiopians fell apart and the Aegyptian border was secured again.


Dealing with the leadership in the city which took the place of the destroyed Emperor and his family was very difficult for the Romans. They had been used to conquests of people without very refined governments and which they could introduce the Republican system very easily. The Ethiopians had not only an established government and elite groups. The Ehtiopians also had wealth and abilities that would greatly benefit the Roman Empire. However the demands that the Ethiopains were making would cause many rifts in the Roman World. Ethiopia became a Senatorial Province, a privilege usually reserved for the established and developed Provinces. This change was amplified by the fact that the new Senators of Ethiopia were of a profoundly darker hue than any of the other Africans which had been encorporated into their Empire. The Mediterranean Afriacns were darker than say the Britannians but their culture was ver influenced by the Greeks and Carthaginians so they were absorbed very easily. Though the Ethiopians were able to adapt quickly the tension and feelings that grew at first would take time for the rest of the Roman Empire to become accustomed to such shifts. Despite this Ethiopia, wealth and all, were now a Roman Province.

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