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Medri Bahri

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Title: Medri Bahri  
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Subject: Eritrea, History of Eritrea, Italian Eritrea, Kingdom of Aksum, List of wars involving Eritrea
Collection: Former Kingdoms, History of Eritrea
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Medri Bahri

Medri Bahri ('Land of the Sea')
Medri Bahri ምድሪ ባሕሪ

Capital Debarwa
Languages Geez · Tigrinya
Government Monarchy
Historical era Middle Ages
 -  Established 1137
 -  Italian Eritrea 1890
Today part of  Eritrea

Medri Bahri (Tigrinya: ምድሪ ባሕሪ) was a medieval kingdom in the Horn of Africa. Situated in modern-day Eritrea, it was ruled by the Bahri Negus (also called the Bahri Negasi), whose capital was located at Debarwa.[1] The state's main provinces were Hamasien, Serae and Akele Guzai, all of which are today predominantly inhabited by the Tigrinya (who constitute over 50% of Eritrea's population).

The Ottoman Empire made multiple advances further inland conquering Medri Bahri in the 16th century.[2] Medri Bahri was an area distinguished by a very weak feudal structure, relying on local governance by land-owning peasantry. The Ottoman state maintained only tenuous control over much of the territory over the following centuries until it was re-conquered under the Muhammad Ali dynasty in the 19th century. In 1885, the territory fell to the kingdom of Italy and was renamed Eritrea in 1890.


  1. ^ Edward Denison, Guang Yu Ren, Naigzy Gebremedhin Asmara: Africa's secret modernist city, 2003. (page 20)
  2. ^ Okbazghi Yohannes (1991). A Pawn in World Politics: Eritrea. University of Florida Press. p. 31.  

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