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Frontiers of Violence in North-East AfricaGenealogies of Conflict since c.1800$
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Richard J. Reid

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199211883

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199211883.001.0001

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Interpreting the Region

Interpreting the Region

(p.9) 1 Interpreting the Region
Frontiers of Violence in North-East Africa

Richard J. Reid (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The purpose of this chapter, which is intended to establish the geographical, historiographical, and conceptual framework of the work, is three-fold. First, there is an explanation of the physicality of the region under examination, and then the various ethnic, cultural, and linguistic groups—chiefly the Semitic and Cushitic complexes—which inhabit the distinctive environments at the heart of the narrative. Second, the chapter provides an overview of the historiography of the Ethiopian region, and places the current study in this context. Third, the main conceptual framework of the book is outlined, with particular attention paid to the notion of the ‘fertile frontier’ and the militarized borderland, and also to the significance of ethnicity across north-east Africa—notably the Amhara, the Tigrinya, and the Oromo groupings.

Keywords:   Semitic, Cushitic, Ethiopian historiography, Amhara, Tigrinya, Oromo, fertile frontier, ethnicity

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