The Autobiography of Emperor Haile Sellassie I - Volume 2


Abba: Literally "father", a priestly title.
Abuna, abun: Metropolitan of the Ethiopian Church, a title also given to Ethiopia's suffragan bishops.
Alaka: Teacher-leader; a priestly title.
Ato: Literally "sir"; now "Mr.".
Awraja: The largest sub-provincial (numbered regions currently define provinces) unit of government.
Ballabat: Literally "one who has a father"; a local-level official who mediated between the people and the government.
Balambaras: Commander of a fortress; a title of nobility equivalent to baronet.
Banda, Bande (pl.): Italian colonial irregulars.
Bejirond: Treasurer.
Beta Israel: Modem term for Ethiopian Jews (Falasha).
Bitwoded. Bit.: Literally "beloved"; a title of nobility equivalent to earl.
Blata, Blatengeta: A title given to learned men and counsellors.
Dejazmatch, Dejaz, Dej: Literally "commander of the gate"; a title of nobility equivalent to count.
Derg: Literally committee, a term associated with the regime that governed Ethiopia from 1974 to 1991.
Etchege: The administrative head of the Ethiopian church.
Falasha: See above, Beta Israel
Fitawrari, Fit.: Literally "leader of the vanguard", a title of nobility equivalent to viscount.
Gasha: A non-standard measure of land, between thirty and fifty hectares.
Gerazmatch, Geraz.: Literally "commander of the left", a title of nobility equivalent to baron.
Gibbi: Literally, a compound; a word associated with the domiciles of powerful and rich people; often used to connote the imperial palace [or tent, before the construction of the capital] in Addis Abeba.
Kantiba: Mayor.
Kenyazmatch, Kenyaz.: Literally "commander of the right": a title of nobility equivalent to baron.
Lij: Literally "child"; a title reserved for the children of the high ranking nobility.
LikeMekwas: In battle, he was attired as the commander (emperor) to draw enemy attention and fire.
Makwanent: The high nobility as a body.
Meridazmatch: Literally "prince"; a designation given by Haile Sellassie to Crown Prince Asfa Wossen.
Mislene: A generic term for sub-governor.
Nagadras, Nag.: Literally "chief of the merchants" with authority to levy and collect market taxes and customs.
Negus: King; title of a few provincial lords of high birth or special merit granted by the emperor.
Negusa Negast: King of kings, or emperor.
Ras: Literally "head"; a title of nobility equivalent to duke.
Shifta: Outlaw, bandit.
Wereda: The unit of government below the awraja, or sub-province.
Wagshum: The ruler of Wag (Lasta).


We have rendered place names as they are presented in the most recent maps published by the Ethiopian Mapping Agency. We have also used the spellings Menilek and Haile Sellassie. The former conforms better to the Amharic spelling and is steadily winning favor. The latter was the spelling used by the emperor's palace and by the university that bore his name. Finally, we have tried hard to make Amharic sounds conform to English spellings without the confusion of diacriticals and linguistic symbols.

Electronic edition created and published online by members of the
Emperor Haile Sellassie First Theocracy Reign
Order of the Nyahbinghi

Crest of the Nyahbinghi Order

July 23, 2017