The chief town, Gondar, by which name the province is also known, was the residence of the negus negusti, or emperor, of Abyssinia from the middle ages up to 1854.
The emperor, styled negus negusti (king of kings), is occasionally assisted by a council of rases.
The seat of government, or rather of overlordship, has usually been in Amhara, the ruler of which, calling himself negus negusti (king of kings, or emperor), has exacted tribute, when he could, from the other provinces.
The title of negus negusti has been to a considerable extent based on the blood in the veins of the claimant.
Shortly afterwards Kassa moved against Tigre, defeated Ubie's forces at Deragie, in Simen (February 1855), took their chief prisoner and proclaimed himself negus negusti of Ethiopia under the name of Theodore III.
With the help of the rifles and guns presented to him by the British, he had beaten Ras Bareya of Tigre, Wagshum Gobassie of Amhara and Tekla Giorgis of Condar, and after proclaiming himself negus negusti under the name of Johannes or John, was now preparing to march on Shoa.