Emperor Menelik II (Ge'ez: ዳግማዊ ምኒልክ), baptized as Sahle Maryam, was Negus of Shewa (1866–89), then Emperor of Ethiopia from 1889 to his death. At the height of his internal power and external prestige, the process of territorial expansion and creation of the modern empire-state had been completed by 1898, thus restoring the ancient Ethiopian Kingdom to its glory of the Axumite Empire which was one of the four most powerful kingdoms of the ancient world.
Ethiopia was transformed under Emperor Menelik: the major signposts of modernization were put in place. Externally, his victory over the Italian invaders had earned him great fame: following the Battle of Adwa, recognition of Ethiopia's independence by external powers was expressed in terms of diplomatic representation at the court of Menelik and delineation of Ethiopia's boundaries with the adjacent colonies. Menelik expanded his kingdom to the south and east, expanding into Kaffa, Sidama, Wolayta and other kingdoms. He is widely called Emiye Menelik in Ethiopia for his forgiving nature and his selfless deeds to the poor.