we saw in chapter 3 that by 800 ce the capital of ethiopia had moved further south from aksum to the central highlands of the interior. external trade had declined with the rise of muslim baghdad and the subsequent diversion of indian ocean trade away from the red sea. by the early ninth century, ethiopia had become an isolated outpost of christianity, a largely agricultural economy, controlled by a landed aristocracy. further expansion southwards had, for the time being, been halted by fierce resistance from the indigenous agew communities of the shoan plateau.
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