Sites & cities that bear the name of Amba Mariam

Amba Mariam

Today in : Ethiopia
First trace of activity : ca. 19th century C.E
Last trace of activity : today
Recorded names : አምባ ማሪያም, Magdala, Makdala, መቅደላ, Meḳdelā

Description : Amba Mariam (Amharic: አምባ ማሪያም) is a village in central Ethiopia. It was known as Magdala or Makdala (Ge'ez: መቅደላ, Meḳdelā) during the reign of Emperor Tewodros II of Ethiopia (1855-1868). By the early 19th century, Magdala was a mountain stronghold, or amba in the Wollo province of the true Amhara people. When Johann Ludwig Krapf camped at its foot on 26 March 1842, it was one of the strongholds of Imam Liban of the Were Himano, a "House" or a sub-group of the Wollo. Emperor Tewodros II conquered Magdala on 22 September 1855. He constructed a number of buildings on the top of the mountain, including a church and a palace. In 1862, he imprisoned several European missionaries. Again in January 1864, he imprisoned the British diplomat, Charles Duncan Cameron inside the fortress over a perceived insult from Queen Victoria. A British military expedition led by Sir Robert Napier, landed at the Gulf of Zula on 4 December and set up a base camp at Zula before advancing on Magdala, which they reached in April 1868. Abandoned by the nobility and his followers, and after his remaining troops engaged the British forces at the Battle of Magdala, Tewodros withdrew into the fortress on Amba Mariam and killed himself with a pistol a few days later as the final assault began. This incident is fictionalized in the novel Flashman on the March.

See on map »