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Map of the provinces of Ethiopia

Godscham , also written Goddscham or Gojjam ( Amharic ጎጃም goǧǧam , originally ጐዛም gʷäzzam , later ጐዣም gʷäžžam , ጎዣም gožžam ), is a historical province of Ethiopia .

It is located in the west of the country in today's Amhara region , south of Lake Tana and east of the Sudanese border on the Abbai River . Their capital was Debre Markos .


Gojjam's earliest western borders were not established. Around 1700, Agawmeder in the southwest and Qwara in the northwest were considered neighbors of Gojjam. Agawmeder, which was never an organized political entity, was attached to Gojjam, which thus extended westward to the Sultanate of Gubba . Gubba recognized his dependence on Menelik II in 1898 and was incorporated into Gojjam in 1942. The island of Dek in Lake Tana belonged administratively to Gojjam until 1987.


The earliest known mention of Gojjam can be found in a manuscript of Amda Seyon's campaigns here and in Damot in 1316/17, during which the area was incorporated into Ethiopia. Around 1451 it appears on the Egyptus Novello map, on which it is described as a kingdom, although it was under the control of the Emperor of Ethiopia at that time. In 1526, Emperor David II (Lebna Dengel) described Gojjam as a kingdom in a letter to the King of Portugal, but it was part of his empire.

At least since the time of Eleni (Helena) Gojjam provided the income for the Empress of Ethiopia, until the time of the Zemene Mesafint Fasil von Damot appropriated it. Gojjam then became the power base of various warlords at least until the rule of Tekle Haymanot I.

More recently, the residents of Gojjam - called Gojjamerevolted twice against tax increases, the first time in 1950 and the second time in 1968, coinciding with a revolt in Bale . Unlike in Bale, the central government did not resort to military means, but replaced the governors and stopped trying to introduce new taxes. In view of the 1968 revolt, it even gave up tax claims that went back to 1950.

Under the Derg government, Gojjam was divided into East Gojjam with Debre Markos as capital and West Gojjam with Bahir Dar as capital. According to the new constitution of 1995, the westernmost part of Gojjam became the Metekel zone of the Benishangul-Gumuz region , the remaining parts became the Agew Awai, Mirab Gojjam (West Gojjam) and Misraq Gojjam (East Gojjam) zones of Amhara.

Individual evidence

  1. Donald L. Donham and Wendy James (Eds.): The Southern Marches of Imperial Ethiopia (Oxford: James Curry, 2002), p. 122.
  2. James Bruce: Travels to Discover the Source of the Nile , edited and with a foreword by CF Beckingham (Edinburgh: University Press, 1964), p. 130.
  3. Zahru Zewde: A History of Modern Ethiopia . 2nd edition, James Currey, London 2001, pp. 216ff.