|Reign||11 February 1855–13 April 1868|
|11 February 1855|
Quara, Gondar, Amhara, Ethiopia
|Died||13 April 1868|
|Burial||Magdala Wollo, |
|Mother||Woizero Atitegeb Wondbewossen|
Tewodros II (
Tewodros II's origins were in the Era of the Princes, but his ambitions were not those of the regional nobility. He sought to reestablish a cohesive Ethiopian state and to reform its administration and church. He sought to restore Solomonic hegemony, and he considered himself the
Tewodros II's first task was to bring
In the first six years of his reign, the new ruler managed to put down these rebellions, and the empire was relatively peaceful from about 1861 to 1863, but the energy, wealth, and manpower necessary to deal with regional opposition limited the scope of Tewodros's other activities. Tewodros II never realized his dream of restoring a strong monarchy, although he took many important initial steps. He sought to establish the principle that governors and judges must be salaried appointees. He also established a professional standing army, rather than depending on local lords to provide soldiers for his expeditions. He introduced the collection of books in the form of a library, tax codes, as well as a centralized political system with respective administrative districts. He also intended to reform the church but he was confronted by strong opposition when he tried to impose a tax on church lands to help finance government activities. His confiscation of these lands gained him enemies in the church and little support elsewhere. Essentially, Tewodros was a talented military campaigner.
Kassa was the son of a Christian nobleman of the
When Kassa was very young, his parents divorced and
Woizero Atitegeb moved back to Gondar taking her son with her. Not long after their departure, news reached them that Kassa's father had died. Popular legend states that Kassa's paternal relatives split up the entire paternal inheritance, leaving young Kassa and his mother with nothing and in very dire circumstances financially. In these hard times, his enemies came with a saying that his mother, Woizero Atitegeb, was reduced to selling "
Kassa was sent to school at the convent of Tekla Haymanot, between