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Derivation of the name Amhara

133 Comments · Amhara

The origin of the name “Amhara” is arguable:

• some say it’s derived from the word amari, (meaning pleasing, agreeable, beautiful and gracious) (also mehare, gracious, containing the same m-h-r root as the verb to learn);

• Ethiopian historians such as Getachew Mekonnen Hasen say it is an ethnic name associated with Himyarites;

• Others say that it derives from Ge’ez, meaning “free people” (that is. from “?am” meaning “people,” and “h.ara”, meaning “free” or “soldier”)

In the end, nevertheless, the name for the language and ethnic group come from the medieval province of Amhara, situated in central Ethiopia in modern Amhara Region and the pre-1995 province of Wollo.
Have your say on this debate.

Keywords: Amhara, amari, mehare, Himyarites,


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