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Haile Selassie (23 July 1892 – 27 August 1975) was the last Emperor of Ethiopia and a popular figure in the history of Ethiopia and the African continent. Selassie is seen as an incarnation of Jesus in the Rastafari movement and was a political leader of Ethiopia from 1930 until 1974, when he was removed from power by the Ethiopian communists. He leads the Ethiopians in Civilization V: Gods & Kings.


Haile Selassie (Civ5)

Haile Selassie in game

Haile Selassie speaks Amharic. On his diplomacy screen, he is standing in one of the rooms of his mansion, dressed in military attire.

Capital: Addis Ababa

Unique Unit: Mehal Sefari

Unique Building: Stele

Unique Ability: Spirit of Adwa

Voice Actor: Girma Asefa

AI Traits[]

Trait Amount
Competitiveness 3 (5-1)
Wonder Competitiveness 5 (7-3)
City-State Influence Competitiveness 4 (6-2)
Boldness 4 (6-2)
Diplobalance 6 (8-4)
Hate Warmongers 8 (10-6)
Willingness to Denounce 5 (7-3)
Willingness to Declare Friendship 6 (8-4)
Loyalty 6 (8-4)
Neediness 7 (9-5)
Forgiveness 6 (8-4)
Chattiness 4 (6-2)
Meanness 4 (6-2)
Offensive Unit Production 4 (6-2)
Defensive Unit Production 8 (10-6)
Defensive Building Production 5 (7-3)
Military Training Buildings Production 4 (6-2)
Recon Unit Production 5 (7-3)
Ranged Unit Production 5 (7-3)
Mobile Unit Production 5 (7-3)
Naval Unit Production 3 (5-1)
Naval Recon Unit Production 3 (5-1)
Air Unit Production 5 (7-3)
Naval Growth 3 (5-1)
Naval Tile Improvements 3 (5-1)
Water Connections 3 (5-1)
Expansion 4 (6-2)
Growth 7 (9-5)
Tile Improvements 5 (7-3)
Infrastructure (Roads) 5 (7-3)
Production Emphasis 6 (8-4)
Gold Emphasis 6 (8-4)
Science Emphasis 4 (6-2)
Culture Emphasis 7 (9-5)
Happiness Emphasis 7 (9-5)
Great People Emphasis 5 (7-3)
Wonder Emphasis 5 (7-3)
Religion Emphasis 7 (9-5)
Diplomacy Victory 6 (8-4)
Spaceship Victory 5 (7-3)
Nuke Production 5 (7-3)
Use of Nukes 5 (7-3)
Use of Espionage 5 (7-3)
Anti-Air Production 5 (7-3)
Air Carrier Production 5 (7-3)
Land Trade Route Emphasis 5 (7-3)
Sea Trade Route Emphasis 5 (7-3)
Archaeology Emphasis 5 (7-3)
Trade Origin Emphasis 5 (7-3)
Trade Destination Emphasis 5 (7-3)
Airlift Emphasis 5 (7-3)
Likeliness to Declare War 3 (5-1)
Likeliness to be Hostile 4 (6-2)
Likeliness to be Deceptive 4 (6-2)
Likeliness to be Guarded 5 (7-3)
Likeliness to be Afraid 6 (8-4)
Likeliness to be Friendly 7 (9-5)
Likeliness to be Neutral 5 (7-3)
Ignore City-States 6 (8-4)
Friendliness to City-States 6 (8-4)
Protection of City-States 6 (8-4)
Conquest of City-States 4 (6-2)
Bullying of City-States 5 (7-3)

Personality and Behavior[]

Haile Selassie will most likely try to win a cultural victory, though he will sometimes opt for a diplomatic victory instead.

Selassie is quick to declare friendship and loyal to his allies, though he often asks them for help. He is not too bold, but very intolerant of warmongers.

Selassie is one of the most peaceful leaders and hardly ever wages war. His cities tend to have average defenses, but his defensive militia will be among the largest.

Selassie will usually keep his empire small to take advantage of his unique ability. He likes to focus on developing Culture Culture, as well as increasing the 20xPopulation5 Population and 20xHappiness5 Happiness of his empire and spreading its religion. His infrastructure and tile improvements, however, will be average.

Selassie is friendly toward City-State City-States and will often try to protect them.

Civilopedia entry[]


Known as the "Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah," "King of Kings," and "Elect of God," Haile Selassie ruled Ethiopia as emperor for nearly 40 years in the 20th century. Born as Lij Tafari Makonnen in 1892, the man who came to be known as Haile Selassie spent his life serving the interests of Ethiopia and bringing his nation to the forefront of African politics. Best known for reforming the ancient feudal practices of Ethiopia through his attempts at modernizing the nation, Haile Selassie worked tirelessly to gain international recognition for Ethiopia on the world stage. His legacy in global politics has been surpassed only by his role as the messiah of the Rastafari religion, among whose followers he is venerated as the god who will lead the Rastas back to their homeland of Ethiopia.

Early Life and Politics[]

As the son of a provincial governor, Haile Selassie spent his formative years under the tutelage of several mentors selected by his father, including an influential monk named Abba Samuel. As his education continued, Selassie was seen fit to rule as governor of several minor provinces, and by age 17, had already established himself as a rising political star. During his time as governor, Selassie emerged as a progressive thinker among his peers, introducing policies that reduced the feudal control of the nobles by increasing the authority of the central government.

In 1916, Haile Selassie was named Regent Plenipotentiary, serving under Empress Zewdito, placing him in the position of heir apparent to the throne. With both conservative and progressive supporters alike, Selassie was the ideal regent. However, over the course of his appointment, Selassie's support among the progressives throughout Ethiopia continued to grow, much to the chagrin of the conservative Empress. Although Empress Zewdito was the nominal leader of Ethiopia, as regent, Selassie handled much of the government's administration himself. During this period, Selassie is credited with ensuring Ethiopia's membership in the League of Nations, an inclusion that came about as a result of his efforts to abolish slavery in Ethiopia.

Emperor to Exile[]

As Haile Selassie's influence and popular support continued to climb, the Empress was forced to confront the would-be ruler. In 1928, Empress Zewdito attempted to remove Selassie from office by accusing him of treason, but her efforts found little backing. Selassie's popularity at this point was widespread, and he garnered a great deal of support from within the military, leaving Zewdito with little means to assert her claims. As a result of the confrontation, Zewdito was forced to name Haile Selassie King of Ethiopia, a title beneath her own, but still acknowledging his increasing authority within the nation. Less than two years later, the Empress died of unexplained causes, leaving the throne of Ethiopia vacant for Selassie to claim as his own. It was following his coronation as emperor in 1930 that he first came to use the name Haile Selassie, which meant "Power of the Trinity" in the Amharic language used in Ethiopia. Soon after taking the throne, Selassie was instrumental in the creation of the first written constitution of Ethiopia, a task he would later mention in his autobiography as having planned since his time as regent.

In 1935, the Italian regime led by Benito Mussolini declared war on Ethiopia, invading in the fall. This conflict came to be known as the Second Italo-Abyssinian War (the first having occurred in the late 1800s). After brief fighting between the Italian and Ethiopian forces, including several battles led by Selassie himself, Italy succeeded in occupying and eventually annexing the African nation.

With Italy's successful campaign against Ethiopia, Haile Selassie was forced into exile, but not before pleading the case for Ethiopia's defense at the League of Nations. Despite his galvanizing speech that railed against the Fascist movement of Italy, his plea fell on deaf ears, and Selassie was left to bide his time. He would spend the next five years residing in England, where he continued to speak out against the Italian occupation and attempted to garner support from the international community for a movement to reclaim his country.

Return to Power[]

With the outbreak of World War II, in 1939, efforts were finally undertaken to liberate Ethiopia from the Italian regime, spearheaded by the British during the East African Campaign. Joined by selected units of the Ethiopian military, this liberation army came to be known as the Gideon Force and was instrumental in the fight to retake the Ethiopian homeland. By 1942, the Italians had surrendered and were forced to acknowledge the renewed sovereignty of Ethiopia, with Haile Selassie returning to the capital city of Addis Ababa. Having found little solidarity in the League of Nations, Selassie became a major proponent of the United Nations, with its increased provisions for international security, and secured Ethiopia's position as a founding member in 1948.

Decades of Rule[]

Over the following years, Selassie continued his quest to modernize Ethiopia through reform while also improving his nation's foreign affairs and international recognition. In the 1960s Selassie led the Organization of African Unity, predecessor to the modern African Union. With the goal of creating solidarity between the independent states of the African continent, Selassie believed that a unified voice would strengthen the people of Africa. Although Selassie tried to establish the organization as more than just an ideological entity, the organization was left with little authority or actual power without the backing of a military force.

While working with the international community, Selassie was also focused on improving the welfare of his people at home. Although his efforts to break the nobility's hold on land ownership were met with limited success, the initiative sparked a movement that carried on past his reign. Reforms were also made to provide greater access to educational facilities, while economic programs ensured a just system of taxation. Despite the goodwill generated by these domestic programs, Selassie's efforts to increase his own authority through modifications to the constitution resulted in an increasingly visible dissident movement.

Late in the 1960s, Marxist ideologies took root in Ethiopia, and as the people suffered through a famine and drought in the early 1970s, Selassie's popularity dwindled. An economic crisis that led to soaring inflation would be the final straw, as Selassie tenuously maintained his position until 1974, when he was deposed and arrested by a Marxist military group known as The Derg.

Imprisonment and Death[]

While living under house arrest, Haile Selassie died mysteriously in 1975, with conflicting reports as to the exact cause. While the official account from the military stated that he died as a result of illness, many still believe that he was assassinated by his captors. It wasn't until some 25 years later, in November of 2000, that Haile Selassie was finally given a proper funeral befitting his status.

Rastafarian God[]

The Rastafarian Movement came about through the words of Jamaican activist Marcus Garvey, whose philosophical views created the foundations for the religion as it is known today. Garvey's words "Look to Africa for the crowning of a Black King, he shall be the Redeemer" were seen as a prophecy fulfilled by the coronation of Haile Selassie in 1930. Although Selassie was himself an Orthodox Christian, he never confirmed nor denied his position as the Rastafarian messiah, and he visited Jamaica in 1966 to be met by tens of thousands of Rastafarian believers.

Judgment of History[]

Haile Selassie is widely viewed today as both an eloquent statesman and a passionate leader who faced a number of difficulties during his reign, yet continually sought only to improve his people's welfare and his nation's stability. Selassie's views on international cooperation and diplomacy were influential not only in the future of Ethiopia, and Africa as a whole, but also throughout the international community.


  • Haile Selassie was the first person of African descent to ever appear on the cover of Time magazine, when he was featured shortly after his coronation in 1930. He was also named "Time Man of the Year" in 1935.
  • Of the many rumors surrounding Selassie's death, a consistently reoccurring report states that his bones were discovered buried in the Imperial palace underneath a lavatory.
  • Having lived from 1892 to 1975, Haile Selassie is the historically most recent of all the leaders in Civilization V and its expansions.


Codename Quote (English translation) Quote (Amharic) Notes
Attacked Mean people silence, makes them a winner. We will not sit and watch you do whatever you wish. We will not allow you.  ? Compare with the XML line "It is silence that allows evil to triumph. We will not stand mute and allow you to continue on this mad quest unchecked."
Declares War I tried so many ways but you continue doing craziness. I wish you a fast ending.  ? Compare with the XML line "I have tried all other avenues, but yet you persist in this madness. I hope, for your sake, your end is swift."
Defeated Today, God and history will remember your action. You are ready to do wrongful judgment.  ? Compare with the XML line "God and history will remember your actions this day. I hope you are ready for your impending judgment."
Hate Hello What do you want?  ?
Hate Let's Hear It 01 You said it.  ?
Hate Let's Hear It 02 What?/And?  ?
Hate Let's Hear It 03 Continue.  ?
Hate No 01 That is unacceptable.  ?
Hate No 02 You are not sure about it.  ?
Hate No 03 Please repeat for me.  ?
Hate Yes 01 Fine, in my understanding.  ?
Hate Yes 02 It is clear.  ?
Intro Dear fellow nation, welcome. I am Emperor Selassie Ras Teferi Mekonnen of Ethiopia, your sincere server.  ? Compare with the XML line "A thousand welcomes to our fair nation. I am Selassie, the Ras Tafari Makonnen and Emperor of Ethiopia, your humble servant."
Neutral Hello Welcome.  ?
Neutral Let's Hear It 01 Continue.  ?
Neutral Let's Hear It 02 I am listening.  ?
Neutral Let's Hear It 03 Yes?  ?
Neutral No 01 It is not right.  ?
Neutral No 02 We oppose because it is not right.  ?
Neutral No 03 But I feel the agreement is done.  ?
Neutral Yes 01 Great.  ?
Neutral Yes 02 An agreement has been reached.  ?
Neutral Yes 03 Our heart and soul is very much satisfied.  ?
Peaceful Today is the day of victory over our enemy. Our heart and soul is satisfied. Think about the situation. Believe in our nation as it is very important.  ? Compare with the XML line "Today is the day on which we defeated our enemy. However, we shall only rejoice in our hearts, and in the spirit of heaven."
Request This situation, you better think as I believe for both our people, it is very important and useful.  ? Compare with the XML line "I request that you consider this offer between our two peoples. I believe it will do us both good."


Haile Selassie Loading Screen (Civ5)

Blessings be upon you, honorable and righteous Emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie. Your legacy as one of Ethiopia's greatest rulers, and as the spiritual leader to the Rastafarian movement, is outshone only by the influence you had on diplomacy and political cooperation throughout the world. In introducing Ethiopia's first written constitution, you planted the seeds of democracy that would take root over the coming years, and your infinitely wise grasp of global affairs secured Ethiopia's place as a charter member of the United Nations. Spearheading efforts to reform and modernize the nation during your reign, you changed the course of Ethiopian history forever.

Revered king, your composed demeanor once protected the people from the many conflicts that plague the nations of men, and the kingdom looks to you to assure peace once again. Will you lead the people with courage and authority, moving forward into a new age? Will you build a civilization that stands the test of time?


See also[]

Civilization V Leaders [edit]
Ahmad al-Mansur BNW-onlyAlexanderAshurbanipal BNW-onlyAskiaAttila GodsKings5 clearAugustus CaesarBismarckBoudicca GodsKings5 clearCasimir III BNW-onlyCatherineDarius IDido GodsKings5 clearElizabethEnrico Dandolo BNW-onlyGajah Mada BNW-onlyGandhiGenghis Khan1Gustavus Adolphus GodsKings5 clearHaile Selassie GodsKings5 clearHarald Bluetooth1Harun al-RashidHiawathaIsabella1Kamehameha1Maria I BNW-onlyMaria Theresa GodsKings5 clearMontezumaNapoleonNebuchadnezzar II1Oda NobunagaPacal GodsKings5 clearPachacuti1Pedro II BNW-onlyPocatello BNW-onlyRamesses IIRamkhamhaengSejong1Shaka BNW-onlySuleimanTheodora GodsKings5 clearWashingtonWilliam GodsKings5 clearWu Zetian
1 Requires a DLC

GodsKings5 clear Added in the Gods & Kings expansion pack.
BNW-only Added in the Brave New World expansion pack.