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Tadesse Tamrat,Renowned Ethiopian historian,dies at 78

Ethiopian News
May 25, 2013

Taddesse Tamrat, one of the most prominent Ethiopian scholar and authority in medieval history of Ethiopia, dies at the age of 78. Professor Taddesse Tamrat was among the early and few Ethiopian faculty members of the department of history.

The department of history at Addis Ababa University was established in 1961 and most of the staff at the time of its establishment were expatriates. Available online records about the department of history indicate that Taddesse Tamerat was one of the scholars who helped Ethiopianize the department and has a tremendous contribution for the scholarly reputation of the department. As well, Taddesse Tamrat did help in the formation of Institute of Ethiopian Studies.

Tadesse Tamrat mainly focused in the study of medieval Ethiopia. His research work “Church and State in Ethiopia” is much acclaimed among scholars in Europe and Africa alike.

Some scholars have published review of his book in academic journals published in reputable European Universities.

Charles F. Beckingham, in the Journal of African History, Vol. 15 No. 1 , 1974 pp.137-40, had this to say about the monograph:

“This important book offers the reader much more than the title might suggest, for it examines most aspects of the Ethiopian state and the Ethiopian church from the supposed restoration of the supposedly Solomonic dynasty to the eve of the Muslim invasion [Ahmed Gragne] in the sixteenth century.

…No one interested in any aspect of the medieval Ethiopian history, whether political, administrative, ecclesiastical, military, ethnic or cultural will find Dr. Taddesse Tamrat’s monograph unrewarding…”

Without a doubt, the monograph he produced is a lasting and significant contribution in the study of Ethiopian history. Indeed, it is a great loss to Ethiopia.

Professor Taddesse Tamrat was receiving treatment in a Chicago hospital and passed away last Tuesday,according to sources in social media.

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