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In March 1896, Italian troops attempted to enter Ethiopia forcibly and were routed by Emperor Menelik and his army.
The battle of Adwa was the only victory of an African army over a European army during the partitioning of Africa which preserved the country's independence.
Smaller ethnic groups include the Somali, Gurage, Afar, Awi, Welamo, Sidamo, and Beja.
English is the most widely spoken foreign language and the language in which secondary school and university classes are taught.
French is heard occasionally in parts of the country near Djibouti, formerly French Somaliland.
The name "Ethiopia" derives from the Greek ethio , meaning "burned" and pia , meaning "face": the land of burned-faced peoples.
Aeschylus described Ethiopia as a "land far off, a nation of black men." Homer depicted Ethiopians as pious and favored by the gods.