Magdala mäg´dälä, măg´dələ [key], former name of Amba Mariam äm´bə mär´ēəm [key], village, Amhara region, central Ethiopia. Emperor Tewodros II (Theodore II) in the mid-19th cent. used Magdala as the base of operations for his conquest of the surrounding Oromo territory. In 1867 he made it his capital and imprisoned several British diplomats there. In 1868 a British military expedition under Sir Robert Napier rescued the prisoners, destroyed Magdala, and prompted Tewodros's suicide. For his exploits Napier was later named Baron Napier of Magdala.
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