Priests and Politicians is a contribution to a growing literature on Christian missions in Africa. It covers an early phase of nineteenth century activities in a part of the continent that is still poorly represented in Africanists scholarship. The study rests upon an extensive use of English, French, Swiss, and Italian archives. The main thematic emphasis is political interaction: the central role of missionaries in the genesis of modern Afro-European relations and the apparent motives of Ethiopian leaders in dealing with representatives of an alien society. A variety of missionary strategies is revealed and discussed with particular reference to two areas: attitudes towards the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and the degree to which missions identified Christianity with European culture. In the process, it casts significant new light on internal Ethiopian developments.