AHC Catholic Europe views Ethiopia more Favorably

Starting from 1176, have both the papacy and the Catholic European Kingdoms have a more favorable view of Ethiopia when they eventually discover it. In OTL, there was this "prester John" myth and for awhile the Portuguese thought Ethiopia was the same, but relations eventually turned frosty because of the religious differences between the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and the Catholic Portuguese. One way to do this is have some POD resolve the East-West split and come to embrace all forms of Christianity. The challenge is to find a POD that would make Catholic Europe view Ethiopia a bit more favroably without making them tolerate the East any more than OTL. It doesn't need to be anything as strong as generations of intermarriage. For example, England has had conflicts with Scotland, Castile, and the Holy Roman Empire before, but at times had cordial relations with them, something they did not do with Cordoba.
 

Math

Banned
Well it depends, the Aragonese during Alfonso V reign even thought of a marriage between an Aragonese prince and the daughter Ethiopian king( Alfonso received a letter from the Ethiopian king proposing an alliance against the Muslims the sealing of the alliance would be a marriage between the king's daughter and the prince of Aragon pedro brother of Alfonso), but it did not go ahead due to the fact that communication was very difficult (they would have to go through the muslim egypt, And it was pre-era of discoveries so no going around Africa coast, And that's what happened Alfonso sent 13 courtiers to Ethiopia and they all died on the way), In any case, any kind of pre-Age of Discovery alliance would be extremely hampered due to the difficult access to Ethiopia from Europe, Now maybe some Ethiopian clerics travel to Rome (similar to what the Maronites did OTL after the crusades)?.
 
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One potential obstacle to a closer relation is the nature of Ethiopian Christology. If I remember correctly, most Christians in Ethiopia are Oriental Orthodox and do not recognize the validity of any church councils after Chalcedon. As a result, they are miaphysites and believe Christ has one nature, as opposed to the Chalcedonian position of both a human and a divine nature co-existing. I realize this is a criminally oversimplified take on comparative theology, and the two branches of Christianity have grown closer in the past few years. However, this may have hindered Catholic-Ethiopian relations in an earlier time. Preventing the Oriental Schism, at least in Ethiopia, might overcome these issues; this will probably result in a ridiculous amounts of butterflies, however.
 
Didn't Ethiopia actually have Catholicism as its state religion for a while in the 1600s? That strikes me as by far the easiest way for the Papacy to have a more favourable view of them.
 
In any case, any kind of pre-Age of Discovery alliance would be extremely hampered due to the difficult access to Ethiopia from Europe
Yeah, for me, the issue was not so much on ideological grounds, but on logistics. You would need a Crusader Egypt, or at least a Christian Tripolitania, to break off the "Muslim Block" that isolated Ethiopia for centuries.
 

Math

Banned
One potential obstacle to a closer relation is the nature of Ethiopian Christology. If I remember correctly, most Christians in Ethiopia are Oriental Orthodox and do not recognize the validity of any church councils after Chalcedon. As a result, they are miaphysites and believe Christ has one nature, as opposed to the Chalcedonian position of both a human and a divine nature co-existing. I realize this is a criminally oversimplified take on comparative theology, and the two branches of Christianity have grown closer in the past few years. However, this may have hindered Catholic-Ethiopian relations in an earlier time. Preventing the Oriental Schism, at least in Ethiopia, might overcome these issues; this will probably result in a ridiculous amounts of butterflies, however.
I don't think it was that at least not most , but the distance itself, certainly Zara knew that the Aragonese were Chalcedonian but he didn't avoid promising he daughter to an Aragonian prince in exchange for an alliance (And later the Ethiopians did not refuse the help of the Portuguese in the Adal War), the main thing Is that Ethiopia before the age of discovery is practically inaccessible to Europeans, they would have to send an entourage on a deadly task that is to cross a hostile Muslim Egypt.
 
Well it depends, the Aragonese during Alfonso V reign even thought of a marriage between an Aragonese prince and the daughter Ethiopian king( Alfonso received a letter from the Ethiopian king proposing an alliance against the Muslims the sealing of the alliance would be a marriage between the king's daughter and the prince of Aragon pedro brother of Alfonso), but it did not go ahead due to the fact that communication was very difficult (they would have to go through the muslim egypt, And it was pre-era of discoveries so no going around Africa coast, And that's what happened Alfonso sent 13 courtiers to Ethiopia and they all died on the way), In any case, any kind of pre-Age of Discovery alliance would be extremely hampered due to the difficult access to Ethiopia from Europe, Now maybe some Ethiopian clerics travel to Rome (similar to what the Maronites did OTL after the crusades)?.

I'm not looking for anything as fancy as a Portuguese-Ethiopian alliance (although that would be a plus), but basically how the Catholic nations viewed each other. So an attitude of "oh, that family would be great for a royal marriage, but the Habsburgs are closer" not "oh, they're not real Christians, they aren't suitable" is kind of what I'm looking for.
 
For those of you imagining a timeline where logistics becomes the main obstacle rather than perceived "otherless" you're on the right track
 
Yeah, for me, the issue was not so much on ideological grounds, but on logistics. You would need a Crusader Egypt, or at least a Christian Tripolitania, to break off the "Muslim Block" that isolated Ethiopia for centuries.

If this is the case, we're a bit closer than you might think since a Christian Tripolitania is, while unlikely, plausible.
 
Starting from 1176, have both the papacy and the Catholic European Kingdoms have a more favorable view of Ethiopia when they eventually discover it. In OTL, there was this "prester John" myth and for awhile the Portuguese thought Ethiopia was the same, but relations eventually turned frosty because of the religious differences between the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and the Catholic Portuguese. One way to do this is have some POD resolve the East-West split and come to embrace all forms of Christianity. The challenge is to find a POD that would make Catholic Europe view Ethiopia a bit more favroably without making them tolerate the East any more than OTL. It doesn't need to be anything as strong as generations of intermarriage. For example, England has had conflicts with Scotland, Castile, and the Holy Roman Empire before, but at times had cordial relations with them, something they did not do with Cordoba.
1176 was around the time Manuel kommenos wass trying to fix the chalcedonian schism if he succeed the Catholics would be the Ethiopians the same way they viewed the Greeks which isn't that much better
 
1176 was around the time Manuel kommenos wass trying to fix the chalcedonian schism if he succeed the Catholics would be the Ethiopians the same way they viewed the Greeks which isn't that much better

Well Fulano seems to view that logistics was a bigger barrier. And "they'd make fine marriage partners if they weren't so far away" is actually not a bad statement
 
What about changing the Pope’s cardinal appointment to Ethiopia in 1589? IIRC, the cardinal appointed at that time was actually quite strict, uncompromising, and harsh, which did put a huge strain on Ethiopian-European relations, (mainly relations with Spain, and Portugal, ). If you change the appointment to a cardinal who is more friendly and compromising to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, then maybe relations between the Ethiopians and the Spanish, Portuguese, and Italians could be good enough to ensure a steady stream of Catholic merchants, traders, and priests arrive in Ethiopia, which could ensure that Ethiopia is way more developed, and that would have interesting side effects.
 
That's an interesting angle. There must have been good relations in the 1300s since Alfonso V thought of letting one his princes marry the daughter of an Ethiopian king only reconsidering that since no one actually knew you could sail around Africa and the logistics of this was a headache. Obviously the Pope's cardinal appointment in 1589 shows that these good feelings didn't last two centuries.
 

Chapman

Donor
Didn't Ethiopia actually have Catholicism as its state religion for a while in the 1600s? That strikes me as by far the easiest way for the Papacy to have a more favourable view of them.
AFAIK Ethiopia had a total of two Catholic rulers. One who reigned for just about a year, and who, following his conversion to Catholicism, was killed by forces loyal to his previous backer.

The second reigned for about 25 years, but only publicly converted to Catholicism towards the end. Many of the Catholic practices that he tried to enforce flew directly in the face of long standing Ethiopian traditions and resulted in rebellions by others and mutinies by his own men. After killing roughly 8,000 rebels, he was chastised by his own son for killing his fellow countrymen in the name of a foreign faith. Less than a year later, he abdicated in favor of that very same son, after making a declaration that anyone who wanted to be Catholic could be, but that it would not be imposed on anyone. His son then proceeded to expel European Jesuits from the country.

I'm not sure if I have any plausible alternatives to offer, but something about the way that all went down suggests to me that it might not be the easiest path at all.
 
AFAIK Ethiopia had a total of two Catholic rulers. One who reigned for just about a year, and who, following his conversion to Catholicism, was killed by forces loyal to his previous backer.

The second reigned for about 25 years, but only publicly converted to Catholicism towards the end. Many of the Catholic practices that he tried to enforce flew directly in the face of long standing Ethiopian traditions and resulted in rebellions by others and mutinies by his own men. After killing roughly 8,000 rebels, he was chastised by his own son for killing his fellow countrymen in the name of a foreign faith. Less than a year later, he abdicated in favor of that very same son, after making a declaration that anyone who wanted to be Catholic could be, but that it would not be imposed on anyone. His son then proceeded to expel European Jesuits from the country.

I'm not sure if I have any plausible alternatives to offer, but something about the way that all went down suggests to me that it might not be the easiest path at all.
Fair enough(Though I guess they could have a deal like what the Greek Catholic Church in Ukraine has). IIRC didn’t Luther also invite the Ethiopian Orthodox Church into communion with the Lutheran one? I mean I highly doubt any of the German states would be able or wiling to help, and the British were never all that bothered about religion in the first place.....but who knows maybe some of the Empires upper and more devout echelons might look a bit more kindly on it if this happens? No idea on the logistics or likelihood of this but the lack of a centralised structure that can go and say “No! You’re not actually Protestsants and just pagans with better branding!” would be helpful.
 
didn’t Luther also invite the Ethiopian Orthodox Church into communion with the Lutheran one?
Whoa now this is interesting, though regardless of this being true, it is extremely unlikely to occur, most people forget that the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church is Oriental Orthodox (alongside Armenian, Coptic, Syriac, Malankara Orthodox churches, etc.), instead of the more well-known and prominent Eastern Orthodox world (Greece, Russia, Ukraine, Romania, Georgian Orthodox churches, etc.), the Oriental Orthodox church separated itself from the main church in 451 due to the Council of Chalcedon, so the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church has been separate and full of different theological beliefs and disagreements with even the other non-Oriental Orthodox churches.
 
I'm not sure if I have any plausible alternatives to offer, but something about the way that all went down suggests to me that it might not be the easiest path at all.

According to the others, Ethiopia was viewed more favorably in the past even though it was not Catholic. So even if it doesn't convert, it still should be possible to change from OTL "they're no better than the east" to "they'd make great marriage partners if there weren't a whole continent away"
 

Chapman

Donor
According to the others, Ethiopia was viewed more favorably in the past even though it was not Catholic. So even if it doesn't convert, it still should be possible to change from OTL "they're no better than the east" to "they'd make great marriage partners if there weren't a whole continent away"
I think there’s definitely some way it could happen, I just think it probably has to happen before the Age of Discovery - OTL 1600s strike me as too late. Many Europeans of the era will consider themselves superior to the Ethiopians and view their ancient customs as nothing but alien. Trying to enforce Catholicism on the country, even (and somewhat especially) with conversions by Emperors, will result in rebellions.

If you’re willing to push the window back slightly, I think the Crusader attempts against Egypt in the 1160s might be your best bet. I admit I know very little about this period and even less about this region in this period, but I would imagine that if the Crusaders can take Egypt, there will be longer term communication with Ethiopia, and a better chance of natural cultural diffusion between their faiths. This also keeps Ethiopia a little more in the loop as it relates to emerging technologies, so while they’d still be on the edge of Christendom they wouldn’t be so isolated. They also of course present an ally against the Muslim states in the region - and the particular aspect of the Solomonic dynasty being so intertwined with the Ethiopian faith, I think there would be a natural desire to intermarry to strengthen these bonds.

It’s not impossible at all, I just don’t know enough specifics about the era to articulate fully how it happens.
 
The problem for the 3rd Crusade is that when Richard wanted to take the Crusaders to Egypt, the morale of the Crusaders collapsed. Funnily enough, in OTL the Muslim commanders considered the morale of their own troops so bad that they were afraid leaving the walls of Jerusalem would result in their army falling apart, so they just stayed put and hoped to outlast the Crusaders, which worked. If Frederick Barbarossa and his 30K Germans were there, they could take Jerusalem, but I'm sure he's not sticking around for Egypt. the best case scenario is that after taking Jerusalem and most of the Germans go home, the rest of the Crusaders follow Richard's plan. With Jerusalem taken, maybe they won't all go "but Jerusalem is right there" to "yeah Richard was giving us victories, his plan won us Jerusalem, his plan to keep Jerusalem safe forever makes sense, ;let's keep going for a few years."
 

Chapman

Donor
The problem for the 3rd Crusade is that when Richard wanted to take the Crusaders to Egypt, the morale of the Crusaders collapsed. Funnily enough, in OTL the Muslim commanders considered the morale of their own troops so bad that they were afraid leaving the walls of Jerusalem would result in their army falling apart, so they just stayed put and hoped to outlast the Crusaders, which worked. If Frederick Barbarossa and his 30K Germans were there, they could take Jerusalem, but I'm sure he's not sticking around for Egypt. the best case scenario is that after taking Jerusalem and most of the Germans go home, the rest of the Crusaders follow Richard's plan. With Jerusalem taken, maybe they won't all go "but Jerusalem is right there" to "yeah Richard was giving us victories, his plan won us Jerusalem, his plan to keep Jerusalem safe forever makes sense, ;let's keep going for a few years."
Well, even just maintaining the Kingdom of Jerusalem would lead to longer, more sustained contact with the Ethiopians. They maintained churches and whatnot in the Holy Land and so at the very least they would interact with the Ethiopian clerics there, learning of the kingdom to the south and of the fact that they are fellow Christians. It would still be logistically difficult without Egypt but it would be better than nothing IMO.
 
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