Colonial powers and Ethiopian frontiers 1880–1884 is the fourth volume of Acta
Aethiopica, a series that presents original Ethiopian documents of
nineteenth-century Ethiopian history with English translations and scholarly
notes. The documents have been collected from dozens of archives in Africa and
Europe to recover and present the Ethiopian voice in the history of Ethiopia in
the nineteenth century. The present book, the first Acta Aethiopica volume to
appear from Lund University Press, deals with how Ethiopian rulers related to
colonial powers in their attempts to open Ethiopia for trade and technological
development while preserving the integrity and independence of their country. In
addition to the correspondence and treatises with the rulers and representatives
of Italy, Egypt and Great Britain, the volume also presents letters dealing with
ecclesiastical issues, including the Ethiopian community in Jerusalem.
Document no. 105
Ḥamad La’īta to GiulioPestalozza, 9 Jan. 
And now, the message comes from Ḥamad La’īta to Mr. Pestalozza, the Governor (ḥākim) of Aseb,
if you inquire about us, we are well. We would like to inform you that we are sending you this
letter to announce that the delegation to Sultan Maḥammad Ḥanfadhē has left. Until I came to you
a monthly payment has to be made for the months I have been away from you, counted according
to the rules kept by you. And my arrival shall be soon, after our work is finished, and our money
is collected from [the
lances ornamented in gold.
Augusto Franzoi has received my order to take the bones of Chiarini by way of Aseb, but he has
not wanted to obey me. I will never abandon Aseb and I send you the declaration which I have made
to signor Franzoi.
ASMAI 36/2–17, Amharic original that has been lost or misplaced and could not be found. Printed Italian text in
L’Italia in Africa, I.3, no. 333, allegato 1, p. 57.
Document no. 164
Minīlik II to GiulioPestalozza, 1 June 1884
Debre Birhan, 25th Ginbot 1876
How are you? I am well, by the grace of God
for a safe trading
route, to which this is most probably the reply. The letter by Sa’īd ‘Awīḍān has not been found.
RUBENSON TEXT.indd 113
Document no. 96
Minīlik II to GiulioPestalozza, 18 Oct. 1882
Werre’īlu, 9th Ṭiqimt 1875
I have received the letter that you have sent me about which I am happy. I am satisfied with the
news you give me of the arrival of Antonelli. Since I had earlier understood that Antonelli would
come to Obok I have sent 60 camels. Since he has not disembarked there my camels have loaded
merchandise to be sent