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The nomadic peoples seasonally graze livestock, while the seminomadic peoples are subsistence farmers.The rural highlands economy is based on agriculture and livestock raising. There are eighty-six known indigenous languages in Ethiopia: eighty-two spoken and four extinct.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.Some peaks in the Simyen Mountains receive periodic snowfall, while the average temperature of the Danakil is 120 degrees Fahrenheit in the day time.The high central plateau is mild, with a mean average temperature of 62 degrees Fahrenheit.Unfortunately, however, the country's international standing has declined since the reign of Emperor Selassie, when it was the only African member of the League of Nations and its capital, Addis Ababa, was home to a substantial international community.
The last twenty-five years of the twentieth century have been a time of revolt and political unrest but represent only a small portion of the time during which Ethiopia has been a politically active entity.
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.
These conceptions of Ethiopia were geographically vague.
In the late nineteenth century, Emperor Menelik II expanded the country's borders to their present configuration.