Ethiopia, a term of ancient geography, somewhat vaguely and variously used. Originally, all the nations inhabiting the southern part of the globe, as known to the ancients, or rather all men of dark-brown or black colour, were called Ethiopians (assumed by the Greeks to be from the two Greek words aitho ops, and to mean 'burnt-face;' but more probably a form of an unknown Egyptian word). Later, this name was given more particularly to the inhabitants of the countries south of Libya and Egypt, on the Upper Nile, extending from 10° to 25° N. lat., 28° to 40° E. long. - the present Nubia, Sennaar, Kordofan, Abyssinia. The nucleus of the kingdom of Ethiopia, which already powerful about 1000 B.C., fell under Egyptian power about 760, was conquered by Cambyses of Persia in 530, and became Roman and Christian in due time, was Meroe on an island in the Nile; and the dominant people, the Ethiopians proper, were a Semitic people originally from the other side of the Red Sea, speaking the Ethiopian, a well-marked Semitic dialect, closely akin to old SabAean, a form of Arabic. See Abyssinia.