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Ethiopia is the only African country never to have been colonized, although an Italian occupation occurred from 1936 to 1941.
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.
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.
The spread of Amharic has been strongly linked to Ethiopian nationalism.
Today, many Oromo write their language, Oromoic, using the Roman alphabet as a political protest against their history of domination by the Amhara, who account for significantly less of the population.