A carte-de-visite (CDV) of Theodore or Theodros or Tewodros II (1818-1868), King of Abyssinia and Emperor of Ethiopia (reigned 1855-1868). Born in the western province of Qwara during a period of disunity in Ethiopia, he was called Kassa and was the son of a minor chief. By military prowess he made himself master of Wars, whereupon Queen Menen, the mother of the ruler of Gondor, then the capital, sent an army to crush him. The expedition failed and Kassa was allowed to marry the Queen’s grand-daughter, Tewabetch. By 1854 he was the ruler of Gondor and Amhara, and in 1855 proclaimed himself Tewodros, a significant choice, as legend said that a sovereign of that name would rule justly, conquer Islam, and capture Jerusalem. Tewodros dreamed of reuniting the empire, and restoring its greatness. He attempted to conquer the different provinces, crush the nobles, reorganize taxes, and expropriate church lands, as well as to abolish the slave trade and convert Muslims to Christianity. He tried to create a paid army directly loyal to himself to replace the feudal levies who looted the countryside and obeyed only their own immediate masters.
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