Regnal lists of Ethiopia

Regnal lists of Ethiopia are recorded lists of monarchs who are claimed by tradition to have ruled Ethiopia. These lists are often recorded on manuscripts or orally by monasteries and have been passed down over the centuries.

Many surviving physical regnal lists, as well as recorded oral lists, chronicle the line of kings beginning with Menelik I to the Solomonic dynasty. In Ethiopian tradition, Menelik is believed to be the son of queen Makeda (the Biblical Queen of Sheba) and king Solomon. The rulers that followed Menelik were the kings of Axum, the Zagwe dynasty and the Solomonic dynasty. Some monarchs who ruled before Menelik are recorded in different Ethiopian traditions. These regnal lists were used to prove the longevity of the Ethiopian monarchy and to provide legitimacy for the Solomonic dynasty until its fall from power in 1974.

Tradition

Menelik I

Ethiopian traditions record a range of different monarchs from earlier times whose existence has not been verified by modern-day archeology. Their stories and legends may have elements of truth but it is unclear to what extent this is the case. Numerous king lists have been recorded either on manuscripts or via oral tradition. However, surviving information on the kings prior to the reign of emperor Yekuno Amlak (1270–1285) is often scattered, incomplete or contradictory. The king lists that do refer to pre-1270 Ethiopia rarely match completely with one another. This variation is likely because the lists were compiled over a long time period across several different monasteries.

Notable legendary Ethiopian monarchs include:

  • Arwe – Mythical serpent king who ruled for 400 years before being killed by Angabo, sometimes known as the father of the Queen of Sheba.
  • Ethiopis – A king who was said to have inspired the name of the country of Ethiopia.
  • Makeda – The biblical queen of Sheba who, according to Ethiopian tradition, is believed to be the mother of Menelik I.
  • Menelik I – Son of the queen of Sheba and king Solomon of Israel and founder of the Solomonic dynasty in the 10th century BC. Much information on this king comes from the 14th century text Kebra Nagast, however he remains historically unverified. In reality, the Solomonic dynasty began in 1270 AD with the reign of Yekuno Amlak.
  • Abreha and Atsbeha – Two brothers who supposedly brought Christianity to Ethiopia, however their existence is doubted by some historians. Some scholars believe that the story of Abreha and Atsbeha may in fact be based on the Axumite kings Ezana and Saizana.
  • Gudit – Legendary queen who supposedly laid waste to the Kingdom of Axum. Her deeds are recorded in oral tradition, but the various stories about her occasionally have differing or conflicting details.

Biblical regnal list

This regnal list chronicles kings who ruled before Menelik I, but relies on Biblical chronology, particularly from the Book of Genesis.

The following list was included in E. A. Wallis Budge's book A History of Ethiopia (Volume I) and was quoted from two manuscripts; One held in the British Museum and another held in the Bibliothèque nationale de France, which was published in René Basset's 1882 book Études sur l'histoire d'Éthiopie. The names of these kings also appear in the 14th-century text Kebra Nagast. Budge belived this list had "no historical value" and was only intended to fill the gap from Adam to Solomon.

The last king, 'Ebna Hakim, does not appear in the Bible and is meant to be Menelik I, the son of Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. The name Ebna Hakim translates to "Son of the Wise Man" (i.e. Solomon) in Arabic.

Order Ethiopian name Biblical figure
1 'Adam Adam
2 Set Seth
3 Henos Enos
4 Kaynan Kenan
5 Malalel Mahalalel
6 Yared Jared
7 Henok Enoch
8 Matusala Methuselah
9 Lameh Lamech
10 Noh Noah
11 Shem Shem
12 Alfasked Arphaxad
13 Kaynan Cainan
14 Sala Selah
15 'Ebor Eber
16 Falek Peleg
17 Ragwe Reu
18 Seruh Serug
19 Nakor Nahor
20 Tara Terah
21 Abreham Abram
22 Yeshak Isaac
23 Ya'kob Jacob
24 Yehuda Judah
25 Fares Pharez
26 'Esrom Hezron
27 'Eram Aram
28 'Aminadab Amminadab
29 Na'ason Nahshon
30 Salmon Salmon
31 Bo'ez Boaz
32 Iyobed Obed
33 'Eshey Jesse
34 Dawit David
35 Saloman Solomon
36 'Ebna Hakim

The Kebra Nagast lists an additional king named 'Orni between Hezron and Aram, who was the son of Hezron and father of Aram. Budge believed this king to be Oren, son of Jerahmeel.

Hamitic dynasty

Another Ethiopian tradition claims that the Ethiopian monarchy descended from Ham, son of the Biblical prophet Noah. While Ham is not included in the Biblical regnal list mentioned above, a claimed genealogy from Ham to the founders of Axum does exist. According to this tradition, Axum was founded within a century after the Great Flood. This genealogy chronicles kings descending from Ham who represent Ethiopia and Axum. E. A. Wallis Budge called this dynasty the "Dynasty of Kush".

Enno Littmann recorded a tradition from an Ethiopian priest named Gabra Wahad, who stated the following:

"Ham begot Kush, Kush begot Aethiopis, after whom the country is called Aethiopia to this day. Aethiopis was buried in Aksum, and his grave is known there to this day. It was said that a fire used to burn in it, and that if any donkey's excrement, or any bit of stuff fell into it, it was consumed. Aethiopis begot 'Aksumawi, 'Aksumawi begot Malayka 'Aksum, and begot also Sum, Nafas, Bagi'o, Kuduki, 'Akhoro, Fasheba. These six sons of 'Aksumawi became the fathers of Aksum. When they wished to divide their land, there came a man called May Bih, and as people say divided their land as an agent. Each of the six gave him two acres of land and he settled down with them."

Order Name Relation to predecessor Notes
1 Ham
2 Kush Son of Ham
3 Aethiopis Son of Kush
4 'Aksumawi Son of Aethiopis Traditional founder of Axum.
5 Malayka Aksum Son of 'Aksumawi
Sum Son of Malayka Aksum The six sons of Malayka Aksum were the "fathers" of Aksum but were not kings of Ethiopia. Budge believed that they may have "[represented] the dynasty of the serpent which was destroyed by Angabo".
Nafaz
Bagi'o
Kuduki
Akhoro
Farheba

Arwe dynasty

The mythical serpent Arwe is sometimes considered to be part of his own dynasty. Traditions quoted by Egyptologists Henry Salt and E. A. Wallis Budge differ on whether Arwe himself reigned for 400 years or whether this figure refers to the dynasty as a whole.

French historian Louis J. Morié noted a different interpretation on this dynasty. He claimed that there were three kings named Arwe or "Aroue" between 1776 B.C. and 1400 B.C., and the first king was a Hyksos chief who took the title of king of Axum in 1776 B.C. He also claimed that Arwe III was the brother of Angabo, who would defeat and kill him. This interpretation is, however, largely imaginative and not based on native Ethiopian tradition.

Order Name Notes
1 Arwe Reigned for 400 years.
Arwe's successors

("20 or 30 kings of his race")

Arwe and his successors ruled in Tigray for 400 years.

Angabo dynasty

After killing Arwe, Angabo became the new king of Ethiopia. Some traditions relate that he reigned for 200 years and was followed by three further kings before queen Makeda ascended the throne.

E. A. Wallis Budge called this dynasty a "Native African dynasty" to differentiate it from the "Kush dynasty".

All rulers of this dynasty were included on the 1922 regnal list as part of the "Agdazyan" or "Ag'azyan" dynasty. In most cases their reign lengths were shortened to be more realistic.

Order Name Relation to predecessor Notes
1 Angabo Slayer of Arwe. Reigned for 200 years.
2 Gedur or Zagdur Reigned for 100 years.
3 Sebado or Zazebass Besedo Reigned for 50 years.
4 Kawnasya or Zakawasya b'Axum Reigned for 1 year.
5 Makeda or Za Makeda Daughter of Kawnasya/Zakawasya Reigned for 50 years. Went to Jerusalem in the fourth year of her reign and returned to Ethiopia in her 25th regnal year.

Regnal lists from Menelik I to Bazen

Beginning with Menelik I, Ethiopian regnal lists begin to diverge on the exact order of succession. Only a few rulers' names are consistently recorded across all lists. This section looks at rulers who are named as reigning between Menelik I and Bazen, who began his reign eight years before the birth of Jesus. Despite tradition claiming that Menelik ruled in the 10th century BC, the reign lengths provided on most lists do not allow for this.

Spanish missionary Pedro Páez (1564–1622).

The follow aggregate table compares nine regnal lists. These lists are:

  • Two regnal lists recorded by Spanish missionary Pedro Páez in 1620.
  • One regnal list recorded by Scottish traveller James Bruce in his book Travels to Discover the Source of the Nile (1790). He had gathered information for his regnal list from local scribes, though did not believe they were trustworthy or that his regnal list was complete. Bruce acquired an Ethiopian manuscript which later became part of the Bodleian Library in Oxford.
  • Two regnal lists recorded by English Egyptologist Henry Salt in his book A Voyage to Abyssinia (1814). He considered the second list to be a "corrupt" list. The only obvious inaccuracy of the "corrupt" king list is the combining of kings Tomai and Zagdur into one king. Otherwise, the list shows noticeable similarities with the one quoted by Rossini and one of the British Museum manuscripts.
  • One regnal list included in a book titled History of the Kings of Dabra Yahanes (1903), edited by Italian orientalist Carlo Conti Rossini.
  • Two manuscripts held in the British Museum which were quoted by British archeologist E. A. Wallis Budge. The first manuscript was filed under Oriental No. 821, fol. 28b, while the second manuscript was filed under Oriental No. 821, fol. 36a. Budge regarded the line of kings as represented by the second manuscript to be the most authoritative.
  • The 1922 regnal list of Ethiopia, published in Charles Fernand Rey's book In the Country of the Blue Nile (1927). The authorship of the list is uncertain but it was treated by prince regent Tafari Makonnen as the official regnal list of the Ethiopian monarchy. This regnal list is notable for the addition of ancient Egyptian and Nubian names to many rulers.

Páez believed that the reason for the differences in names on various lists was because the Ethiopian emperors used different names prior to their accession to the throne, and some lists used their regnal names while others listed their birth names. This was supposedly done in imitation of Menelik I, who was named David when he was crowned. Páez quoted two regnal lists in full and stated the second list contained the names the kings took when the ascended to the throne. E. A. Wallis Budge theorised that the existence of multiple king lists suggest that these represent rival claimants to the throne.

The 1922 regnal list brings together previous king lists and attempts to include the majority of monarchs in a longer line of succession. For this list, the table below includes two numbered positions. The first is the position the monarch is listed in the line of succession from Menelik to Bazen, while the second number in brackets is the numbered position they occupy within the list as a whole.

Lists recorded by Páez, Bruce and Rossini, as well as the 1922 regnal list, are all in agreement that Christ was born in the eighth year of Bazen's reign, a statement that is also clear on one of the British Museum manuscripts. If one was to calculate backwards from the Bazen's reign, then Salt's list would date Menelik I to 128–99 B.C., over 9 centuries after the traditional 10th century BC dating of Menelik's reign. If the same was done for Bruce's list, then Menelik's reign would be pushed back nearly a century earlier but would still fall far short of the 10th century BC dating. The 1922 regnal list attempts to correct this by combining various monarchs into a longer list that allows Menelik to be firmly dated to the 10th century BC.

Not all lists include regnal lengths. The second Páez list, the Bruce list, the first Salt list, the first British Museum manuscript and the 1922 regnal list all include the length of time each monarch reigned. The other 4 lists do not include reign lengths for the majority of names.

Páez 1
(1620)
Páez 2
(1620)
Bruce
(1790)
Salt 1
(1840)
Salt 2
(1840)
Rossini
(1903)
B.M.
MS 1
B.M.
MS 2
1922 list Name Alternate Names Reign Length Comments
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 (99) Menelik I David (Bruce)
Ibn Hakim (Salt)
Ebna El-Hakim (B.M. Manuscripts)
4 years (Bruce)
15 years (Rossini and B.M. MS 1)
25 years (1922 regnal list)
29 years (Páez 2)
2 2 2 2 2 (100) Handadyo (I) Za Hendedyu (Salt)
Za Handadyu (B.M. Manuscript 1)
Hanyon (1922 list)
1 year (all lists except B.M. MS 1)
8 years (B.M. manuscript 1)
2 2 2 3 (101) Tomai Ab-Rakid (Rossini)
Tomai Zagdur (Salt 2)
Sera I (Tomai) (1922 list)
15 years (Rossini)
26 years (1922 list)
  • Son of Menelik I.
2 2 3 3 4 (102) Zagdur Zagduru (Rossini)
Tomai Zagdur (Salt 2)
Amen Hotep Zagdur (1922 list)
Zabaceo (Páez)
31 years (1922 list)
3 4 4 5 (103) Aksumay Acsumai (Salt 2)
Aksumay Ramissu (1922 list)
20 years (1922 list)
3 3 3 Awida Aweda 11 years (all lists)
  • Peter Truhart identified this king with "Aksumay" from the 1922 list.
3 4 4 5 4 5 6 (104) Awesyo Za Awesyo (B.M. Manuscript 1)
Za Awsyu (Salt 1)
Awsabyos (Rossini)
Aufyi (Bruce)
Awesyo Sera II (1922 list)
3 years (All except Rossini, B.M MS 2 and 1922 list)
38 years (1922 list)
6 Handar
3 7 6 7 (105) Tahawasya Tawasya II (1922 list) 21 years (1922 list)
4 5 7 8 (106) Abralyus Abralius (Salt 2)
Aderia (Páez 1)
Abralyus Piyankihi II (1922 list)
32 years (1922 list)
8 30 (128) Walda Mehrat Kashta Walda Ahuhu (1922 list) 20 years (1922 list)
5 6 9 8 9 (107) Warada Dahay Wurred-Sai (Salt 2)
Vareca (Paez 1)
Aksumay Warada Tsahay (1922 list)
23 years (1922 list)
7 9 10 (108) Handadyo (II) Endor (Salt 2)

Kashta Hanyon (1922 list)

13 years (1922 list)
4 5 5 5 13 (111) Sawe Za Tsawe (Salt 1)
Tsawi Terhak Warada Nagash (1922 list)
3 years and 10 months (Salt 1)
31 years (Bruce and B.M. MS 1)
34 years (Páez 2)
49 years (1922 list)
  • Peter Truhart identified this king with "Tawasya II" from the 1922 list.
8 10 13 (111) Warada Nagash Wurred Negush (Salt 2)
Warada Nagasha (B.M. MS 2)
Tsawi Terhak Warada Nagash (1922 list)
49 years (1922 list)
6 9 10 11 14 (112) Awesya Ausanya (Salt 2)
Asanya (Rossini)
Awseyo (Páez 1)
Erda Amen Awseya (1922 list)
6 years (1922 list)
7 5 6 6 15 (113) Gasyo Maceo (Páez 1)
Zagesyu (Salt 1)
Za Gasyo (B.M. MS 1)
Gasiyo Eskikatir (1922 list)
Half a day (Salt 1 and B.M. MS 1)
Until midday (Páez 2 and 1922 list)
6 Gefaya 15 years
7 Katar 15 years
8 6 8 7 7 16 (114) Mauta Za Maute (Salt 1)
Za Mawat (B.M. MS 1)
Nuatmeawn (1922 list)
4 years (1922 list)
8 years and 1 month (Paez 2)
8 years and 4 months (Salt 1)
20 years (Bruce)
20 years and 1 month (B.M. MS 1)
10 11 12 31 (129) Elalyon Elalior (Salt 2)
Ilalyos (Rossini)
Elalion Taake (1922 list)
10 years (1922 list)
11 12 13 17 (115) Toma Seyon Tomas Dahay (B.S. MS 2)
Tomadyon Piyankihi III (1922 list)
12 years (1922 list)
9 12 13 14 38 (136) Basyo Basilios (Salt 2)
Ba'os (Rossini)
7 years (1922 list)
10 13 14 15 19 (117)
and
41 (139)
Awtet Awestet (Rossini)
Awetet (B.M. MS 2)
Piyankihi IV (Awtet) (1922 list - no. 117)
Awtet Aruwara (1922 list - no. 139)
34 years (no. 117 on 1922 list)
and
10 years (no. 139 on 1922 list)
14 15 16 20 (118)
and
43 (141)
Zaware Nebrat Zaware (Salt 2)
Zaware Nebrat Aspurta (1922 list - no. 118)
41 years (no. 118 on 1922 list)
and
16 years (no. 141 on 1922 list)
15 16 17 21 (119)
and
45 (143)
Safay Scifi (Salt 2)
Saifay Harsiataw (1922 list - no. 119)
12 years (no. 119 on 1922 list)
and
13 years (no. 143 on 1922 list)
16 17 18 22 (120)
and
47 (145)
Ramhay Rami (Salt 2)
Ramhay Nastossanan (1922 list - no. 122)
Ramhay Arkamen (II) (1922 list - no. 145)
14 years (no. 120 on 1922 list)
and
10 years (no. 145 on 1922 list)
17 Artsé
19 23 (121)
and
49 (147)
Handu Handu Wuha Abra (1922 list)
Hende Awkerara (1922 list)
11 years (no. 121 on 1922 list)
and
20 years (no. 147 on 1922 list)
11 7 9 8 8 50 (148) Bahas Za Bahse (Salt 1)
Za Bahas (B.M. MS 1)
Agabu Baseheran (1922 list)
9 years (all lists except 1922 list)
10 years (1922 list)
  • Peter Truhart identified this king with "Bassyo" from the 1922 list.
12 8 10 9 9 51 (149) Kawida Kawuda (Salt 1)
Za Taweda (B.M. MS 1)
Sulay Kawawmenun (1922 list)
2 years (all lists except 1922 list)
20 years (1922 list)
11 52 (150) Kanata Messelme Kerarmer (1922 list) 10 years (Bruce)
8 years (1922 list)
9 12 10 10 28 (126) Kanaz Katzina (Bruce)
Kanazi (Salt 1)
Za Kanaz (B.M. MS 1)
Kanaz Psmis (1922 list)
9 years (Bruce)
10 years (all lists except Bruce and 1922 list)
13 years (1922 list)
13 10 11 11 34 (132) Hadena (I) Adena (Páez 1)
Haduna (Salt 1)
Za Hadena (B.M. MS 1)
9 years (Páez 2, Salt 1 and B.M. MS 1)
10 years (1922 list)
  • The 1922 list specified this ruler was female.
11 13 12 12 Wazeha Za Wasih (Salt 1)
Za Wanha (B.M. MS 1)
1 year (all lists)
12 14 13 13 Hadena (II) Hazer (Bruce)
Zah-dir (Salt 1)
2 years (all lists)
14 13 15 14 42 (140) Kalas Za Kal'aku (B.M. MS 1)
Kolas (Koletro) (1922 list)
6 years (all lists except 1922 list)10 years (1922 list)
15 Gotoba
14 16 15 44 (142) Satyo Za Satyo (B.M. MS 1)
Solaya (Bruce)
Stiyo (1922 list)
14 years (1922 list)16 years (Bruce and B.M. MS 1)17 years (Páez 2)
16 15 17 18 18 16 20 22 (122)
and
48 (146)
and
55 (153)
Safelya Safalya (Rossini)
Suffelia (Salt 2)
Za Filya (B.M. MS 1)
Falaya (Bruce)
Filya (Páez 2)
Safelya Sabakon (1922 list - no. 122)
Feliya Hernekhit (1922 list - no.146)
Safeliya Abramen (1922 list - no. 153)
15 years (no. 146 on 1922 list)
20 years (no. 153 on 1922 list)
26 years (Bruce and B.M. MS 1)
27 years (Páez 2)
31 years (no. 122 on 1922 list)
17 16 18 19 19 17 21 59 (157) Agelbu Za Aglebu (B.M. MS 1)
Engeleb (Rossini)
Aglebel (B.M. MS 2)
Aglbul (1922 list)
3 years (Páez 2, Bruce and B.M. MS 1)
8 years (1922 list)
20 Gawras
17 19 14 18 57 (155) Awsina Asisena (Bruce)
Awsena (1922 list)
Za Awzena (Salt 1 and B.S. MS 1)
1 year (all lists except 1922 list)
11 years (1922 list)
  • The 1922 list specified this ruler was female.
18 20 21 22 60 (158) Bawawel Bawel (Rossini)
Bawaul (Salt 2)
10 years (1922 list)
22 49 (147) Henden Hende Awkerara (1922 list) 20 years (1922 list)
19 18 20 15 21 19 23 61 (159) Bawaris Brus (Bruce)
Za Birwas (B.M. MS 1)
Barawas (1922 list)
10 years (1922 list)
29 years (Páez 2, Bruce and B.M. MS 1)
20 Aoena
21 19 21 16 22 23 20 24 63 (161) Mahasse Mohesa (Bruce)
Za Mahasi (Salt 1)
Za Mahele (B.M. MS 1)
Amoy Mahasse (1922 list)
1 year (Páez 2, Bruce, Salt 1 and B.M. MS 1)
5 years (1922 list)
20 years (Páez 1)
22 23 65 (163) Nalke Malcue (Páez 1)
Naque (Salt 2)
5 years (1922 list)
24 66 (164) Laka Luzay (1922 list) 12 years (1922 list)
23 20 22 17 24 25 21 26 67 (165) Bazen Za B'esi Bazen (Salt and B.M. MS 1)
Tazen (B.M. MS 2)
16 years (Bruce, Salt and B.M. MS 1)
17 years (Páez 2 and 1922 list)
  • This king's reign began 8 years before the birth of Jesus.

Summary

Páez List 1
(Birth Names)
(1620)
Páez List 2
(Regnal Names)
(1620)
Bruce
(1790)
Salt
(1814)
Salt's "corrupt" list
(1814)
Rossini
(1903)
British Museum manuscript
Oriental No. 821, fol. 28b
British Museum manuscript
Oriental No. 821, fol. 36a
23 Kings 20 Kings
209 years and 1 month
22 Kings
231 years
17 Kings
138 years and 10 months
24 Kings 25 Kings 21 Kings
228 years and 1 month
26 Kings

Regnal lists from Bazen to Abreha and Atsbeha

The following aggregate table chronicles monarchs who ruled after Bazen up to Abreha and Atsbeha, brothers who are credited in Ethiopian tradition with being the first rulers to convert to Christianity. Tradition recorded that Bazen's reign began in 8 BC and Ethiopia converted to Christianity in the 4th century. However, the reign lengths on some king lists push Abeha and Atsbeha's reign into the 5th century instead.

Traveller James Bruce (1730–1794).

Eight lists are compared below:

Salt noted that the king list he quoted claimed that exactly 330 years passed between the birth of Christ and the thirteenth year of Abreha's reign, when Christianity was introduced. This is the same period of time which is quoted in other Ethiopian chronicles. Because of this, Salt deliberately altered the placement of Abreha and Atsbeha so that the thirteenth year of their joint reign would fall correctly on the date when Christianity was introduced to Ethiopia instead of contradicting this tradition.

Henry Salt theorised that the change of prefix from "Za" to "El" after the reign of Za Elasguaga reflected a change of dynasty. He believed that this theory could be confirmed by the short reigns of Za Baesi Tsawesa, Za Wakena and Za Hadus, who all reigned for a combined total of 1 year, 4 months and 2 days after the first "El" king, El Herka. He believed that the "Za" kings were the "shepherd kings" or "original Ethiopians" before being replaced by a new "race" of kings. Salt suggested that this change may have been caused by colony of Syrians who were placed by Alexander the Great near the mouth of the Red Sea according to an account written by Philostorgius.

Páez 1
(1620)
Páez 2
(1620)
Bruce
(1790)
Salt
(1840)
Rossini
(1903)
B.M.
MS 1
B.M.
MS 2
1922 list Name Alternate Names Reign Length Comments
1 (21) 1 (18) 1 (22) 1 (166) Sartu Za Sartu (B.M. MS 1)
Za Senatu (Salt)
Sartu Tsenfa Asagad (1922 list)
21 years (1922 list)
26 years (Salt and B.M. MS 1)
27 years (Páez 2)
1 (24) 1 (23) 1 (27) 2 (167) Senfa Arad Tsenfa Asgued (Páez 1)
Tzenaf Segued (Bruce)
Akaptah Tsenfa Ared (1922 list)
8 years (1922 list)
2 (25) 2 (28) 5 (170) Baher Asgad Hatoza Bahr Asaged (1922 list) 28 years (1922 list)
2 (22) 2 (19) 2 (23) Les Za Les (Salt)
Za L'as (B.M. MS 1)
10 years (all lists)
3 (23) 3 (20) 3 (24) 6 (171) Masenh Za Masenh (Salt)
Za Museneh (B.M. MS 1)
Mesenh Germansir (1922 list)
6 years (Salt and B.M. MS 1)
7 years (Páez 2 and 1922 list)
3 (26) Guerma Calez
4 (24) 4 (21) 4 (25) 7 (172) Shetet Seteio (Páez 2)
Za Sutuwa (Salt)
Metwa Germa Asfar (1922 list)
9 years (all lists)
4 (27) 2 (24) 1 (26) 3 (29) 7 (172) Germa Asfare Garima Asferi (Bruce)
Germa Sor (Rossini)
Metwa Germa Asfar (1922 list)
9 years (1922 list)
  • Rossini's list claims this king's throne name was "Kaleb".
5 (25) 5 (22) 5 (26) 8 (173) Adgala Za Adgaba (Salt)
Za Asgasa (B.M. MS 1)
10 years and 2 months (Páez 2)
10 years and 6 months (Salt and 1922 list)
16 years and 6 months (B.M. MS 1)
6 (26) 6 (23) 6 (27) 9 (174) Agba Za Agba (Salt)
Za Agabos (B.M. MS 1)
6 months (all lists except Páez 2)
7 months (Páez 2)
5 (28) 3 (25) 4 (30) 10 (175) Sarada Sarado (Páez 1)
Serada (1922 list)
16 years (1922 list)
7 (27) 7 (24) 7 (28) 11 (176) Malis Za Malis (Salt)
Za Malik (B.M. MS 1)
Malis Alameda (1922 list)
4 years (all lists except Salt)
6 years (Salt)
6 (29) 4 (26) 12 (177) Seyon Kulu Seyon (Páez 1)
Hakabe Nasohi Tsiyon (1922 list)
6 years (1922 list)
8 (28) 8 (25) 8 (29) 13 (178) Hakli Za Hakli (B.M. MS 1)
Za Hakale (Salt)
12 years (1922 list)
13 years (all lists except 1922 list)
7 (30) 5 (27) 2 (27) 5 (31) 13 (178) Sharguay Sargai (Bruce)

Hakli Sergway (1922 list)

12 years (1922 list)
9 (29) 9 (26) 9 (30) Demahe Dedme Zaray (1922 list) 10 years (all lists)
8 (31) 3 (28) 6 (32) 14 (179) Zaray Dedme Zaray (1922 list) 10 years (1922 list)
10 (30) 10 (27) 10 (31) 15 (180) Awtet Za Awtet (Salt and B.M. MS 1) 2 years (all lists)
6 (28) 16 (181) Bagamai Alaly Bagamay (1922 list) 7 years (1922 list)
11 (31) 11 (28) 11 (32) 17 (182) Aweda Za El-Aweda (Salt and B.M. MS 1)
Awadu Jan Asagad (1922 list)
30 years (all lists)
7 (29) 17 (182) Jan Segued Awadu Jan Asagad (1922 list) 30 years (1922 list)
9 (32) 5 (30) 7 (33) Sabe Asgad Zara Asgued (Páez 1)
12 (33)
and
13 (34)
Betza and Zamare (Joint rule) 20 years (possibly each)
  • Likely alternate names for Zigen and Rema below.
12 (32)
and
13 (33)
12 (29)
and
13 (30)
18 (183)
and
19 (184)
Zigen and Rema (Joint rule) Zegen and Zarema (Páez 2)
Za Sigen and Rema (Salt)
Zagun Tsion Hegez (1922 list)
Rema Tsion Geza (1922 list)
3 years (Rema alone – 1922 list)
5 years (Zagun alone – 1922 list)
8 years (Together – Páez 2)
40 years (Together – Salt)
  • The 1922 regnal list gives them separate reigns.
10 (33) 8 (30) 4 (29) 8 (34) 19 (184) Seyon Geza Seyon Hegez (Páez 1 and Bruce)
Rema Tsion Geza (1922 list)
3 years (1922 list)
11 (34) 9 (31) 20 (185) Moal Genba Mala Agna (Páez 1)
Azegan Malbagad (1922 list)
7 years (1922 list)
14 (34) 14 (31) 14 (35) 21 (186) Gafale Za Gafale (Salt and B.M. MS 1)
Gafale Seb Asagad (1922 list)
1 year (all lists)
15 (35) 15 (32) 15 (36) 22 (187) Besi Sark Za Baesi Serk (Salt)
Tsegay Beze Wark (1922 list)
4 years (all lists)
6 (31) Ahendir
23 (188) Agdur Gaza Agdur (1922 list) 9 years (1922 list)
16 (36) 16 (33) 16 (37) 24 (189) Asguagua Za Elasguaga (Salt)
Za El-Azwagwa (B.M. MS 1)
Agduba Asgwegwe (1922 list)
8 years (1922 list)
76 years (Salt and B.M. MS 1)
77 years (Páez 2)
17 (37) 17 (34) 17 (38) Herka El Herka (Salt)
[Za] Ela-Herka (B.M. MS 1)
21 years (all lists)
  • Peter Truhart identified this king with Alaly Bagamay (no. 181) on the 1922 list.
18 (38) 18 (35) 18 (39) 25 (190) Besi Saweza Za Baesi Tsawesa (Salt)
Za Be'si Saweza (B.M. MS 1)
Dawiza (1922 list)
1 year (all lists)
19 (39) 19 (36) 19 (40) 26 (191) Wakana Za Wakena (Salt)
Za Wakna (B.M. MS 1)
2 days (all lists)
  • The 1922 list specified this ruler was female.
20 (40) 20 (37) 20 (41) 27 (192) Hadaws Za Hadus (Salt)
Za Hadawesa (B.M. MS 1)
2 months (B.M. MS 1)
4 months (all lists except B.M. MS 1)
21 (41) 21 (38) 21 (42) 28 (193) Sagal El Segel (Salt)
Za Ela-Sagal (B.M. MS 1)
Ailassan Sagal (1922 list)
2 years (Salt)
3 years (all lists except Salt)
22 (42) 22 (39) 22 (43) 29 (194) Asfeha El Asfeh (Salt)
Za Ela Asfeha (B.M. MS 1)
Asfehi Asfeha (1922 list)
10 years (B.M. MS 1)
14 years (all lists except B.M. MS 1)
12 (35) 10 (32) 30 (195) Saifa Arad Atsgaba Seifa Arad (1922 list) 6 years (1922 list)
13 (36) 11 (33) Agder Agedar (Bruce)
Gaza Agdur (1922 list)
9 years (1922 list)
23 (43) 23 (40) 23 (44) 33 (198) Segab El Tsegaba (Salt)
Za Ela Segab (B.M. MS 1)
Tsegab (1922 list)
10 years (1922 list)
23 years (all lists except 1922 list)
24 (44) 24 (41) 24 (45) Semera El Semera (Salt)
Za Ela Samra (B.M. MS 1)
3 years (all lists)
25 (45) 25 (42) 25 (46) 31 (196) Ayba Za Aiba (Salt)

Za Ela [...] (B.M. MS 1)

16 years (Salt and B.M. MS 1)
17 years (Páez 2 and 1922 list)
26 (46) 26 (43) 26 (47) Eskandi El Iskandi (Salt)
Za Ela Eskandi (B.M. MS 1)
36 years (Salt and B.M. MS 1)
37 years (Páez 2)
27 (47) 27 (44) 27 (48) 32 (197) Saham (I) El Tshemo (Salt)
Za Ela Saham (B.M. MS 1)
Tsaham Laknduga (1922 list)
9 years (all lists)
28 (48) 28 (45) 28 (49) San El San (Salt)
Za Ela San (B.M. MS 1)
13 years (all lists)
29 (49) 29 (46) 29 (50) Ayga El Aiga (Salt)
Za Ela Ayga (B.M. MS 1)
18 years (all lists)
7 (32) 34 (199) Tazer 10 years (1922 list)
  • Rossini's list claims this king's throne name was "Sayfa Arad".
30 (48) 30 (47) 30 (51) Ameda (I) Alamida (Páez 2)
El Ameda (Salt)
Za Ela Amida (B.M. MS 1)
30 years and 8 months (Páez 2 and B.M. MS 1)
40 years and 8 months (Salt)
31 (49) 31 (48) 31 (52) 35 (200) Ahywa El Ahiawya (Salt)
Za Ela Ahyawa (B.M. MS 1)
Ahywa Sofya (1922 list)
3 years (all lists except 1922 list)
7 years (1922 list)
  • The 1922 list specified this ruler was female and identified her with the regent Sofya of Axum.
14 (37)
and
15 (38)
32 (50)
and
33 (51)
12 (34)
and
13 (35)
32 (49)
and
33 (50)
8 (33)
and
9 (34)
32 (53)
and
33 (54)
9 (35)
and
10 (36)
36 (201) Abreha and Atsbeha (Joint rule) El Abreha or Aizana and El Atzbeha or Saizana (Salt)
Za Ela Arbeha and Za Ela Asbeha (B.M. MS 1)
Abreha and Asbeha (Rossini and B.M. MS 2)
26 years and 6 months (Salt and B.M. MS 1)
27 years and 7 months (Páez 2)
38 years (1922 list)
  • Salt's list identifies Abreha with Ezana of Axum and Atsbeha with his brother Saizana.
  • Salt suggested that Abreha and Atsbeha should be moved further back to allow for their reign to fall correctly within the timeframe of the Christianisation of Ethiopia. Their position as the 32nd and 33rd rulers after Bazen means their reign dates fall in the 5th century, which far too late. But by moving them between Semera and Ayba, making them the 25th and 26th rulers after Bazen, their reign would take place in the early 4th century. This also allows the thirteenth year of the reign to fall close to the year 330, the year which this particular manuscript claims was when Ethiopian became Christian.
  • The first British Museum manuscript states that Eguala Anbasa was the name of their mother.
  • The 1922 list bizarrely considers 'Abreha Atsbeha' to be a single figure.

Summary

Páez List 1
(Birth Names)
(1620)
Páez List 2
(Regnal Names)
(1620)
Bruce
(1790)
Salt
(1814)
Rossini
(1903)
British Museum manuscript
Oriental No. 821, fol. 28b
British Museum manuscript
Oriental No. 821, fol. 36a
15 kings 32 kings
431 years, 4 months and 2 days
13 kings 32 kings
466 years, 6 months and 2 days
9 kings 32 kings
461 years, 6 months and 2 days
10 kings

Regnal lists from Abreha and Atsbeha to Dil Na'od

Mural in Qusayr 'Amra depicting an Axumite king from the first half of the eighth century.

The following lists chronicle the kings who reigned from Abreha and Atsbeha in the 4th century to Dil Na'od, who was the last ruler of the Axumite kingdom, which fell in c. 960.

Eight regnal lists are compared below:

  • Two regnal lists recorded by Spanish missionary Pedro Páez in 1620.
  • One regnal list recorded by Scottish traveller James Bruce in his book Travels to Discover the Source of the Nile (1790).
  • One regnal list recorded by English Egyptologist Henry Salt in his book A Voyage to Abyssinia (1814).
  • One regnal list included in a book titled History of the Kings of Dabra Yahanes (1903), edited by Italian orientalist Carlo Conti Rossini.
  • One manuscript held in the British Museum quoted by British archeologist E. A. Wallis Budge (filed under Oriental No. 821).
  • One regnal list quoted by E. A. Wallis Budge, who does not specify its origin. He believed these monarchs were "kinglets" who ruled parts of Ethiopia separate from other lines of kings between 360 and 480.
  • The 1922 regnal list of Ethiopia, published in Charles Fernand Rey's book In the Country of the Blue Nile (1927).

Henry Salt noted that one chronicle explicitly stated that 330 years had passed between the birth of Christ and the thirteenth year of Abreha's reign, however the same chronicle makes a "very striking error" by placing Abreha after El Ahiawya and thus suggesting that his thirteenth reign took place 465 years after the birth of Christ. As a result, Salt's personal king list alters the order slightly by placing Abreha and Atsbeha much further up the king list. Salt believed that the five rulers of his list from El Ahiawya to Seladoba "should [probably] be also removed" altogether, which is why E. A. Wallis Budge did not name them when quoting Salt's king list. Salt additionally believed that there should only be one king named Ameda, though his list names two kings of this name.

The four kings Asfah, Arfad, Amosi and Seladoba reigned for a total of 32 years according to Salt's list, though he personally felt that it was more likely they reigned for a total of 70 years. Salt noted that the kings from Ameda to Dil Na'od did not have reign lengths assigned to them in the chronicles but may have reigned for a total of 354 years. Pedro Páez stated that the next three kings after Abreha and Atsbeha on his regnal list were brothers who reigned together and divided each day into three parts between themselves. A similar story is recorded elsewhere in reference to Abreha, Atsbeha and Shahel.

The second king list quoted by Páez notably continues the list of Axumite kings after Dil Na'od, who is usually considered the last king of Axum. This list names several kings after Dil Na'od who are usually placed before him on other regnal lists, suggesting this may be an error. "Ecato" and "Gudit" are also listed as two separate queens on this regnal list.

Páez 1
(1620)
Páez 2
(1620)
Bruce
(1790)
Salt
(1840)
Rossini
(1903)
B.M.
MS
Budge
(1928)
1922 list Name Alternate Names Reign Length Comments
1 (37)
and
2 (38)
1 (50)
and
2 (51)
1 (34)
and
2 (35)
1 (49)
and
2 (50)
1 (33)
and
2 (34)
1
and
2
1
and
2
1 (201) Abreha and Atsbeha (Joint rule) 14 years (Budge)
26 years and 6 months (Salt)
27 years and 7 months (Páez 2)
38 years (1922 list)
  • The 1922 list bizarrely considers 'Abreha Atsbeha' to be a single figure. This is likely an error. An alternate version of the 1922 regnal list by Aleka Taye Gabra Maryam specified that the brothers reigned for 26 years together before Abreha ruled by himself for 12 years. By contrast, the 1922 list states that 'Abreha Atsbeha' ruled with his mother for 26 years before reigning by himself for 12 years. Historian Manfred Kropp [de] argued this joint reign should be read as the joint reign of brothers Abreha and Atsbeha, not mother and son.
3 (52) 1 (201) Atsbeha (II) 12 years (Páez 2)
  • The 1922 list treats this 12-year reign length as the 'sole' rule of 'Abreha Atsbeha'.
3 (39) 4 (53) 3 (36) 3 (51) 3 (35) 3 4 2 (202) Asfeh (I) Asfeha (Páez 2 and Bruce)
Asfeh Dalz (1922 list)
7 years (Páez 2 and 1922 list)
5 (54) 3 3 (203) Sahel (I) Sahle (1922 list) 14 years (all lists)
  • Budge's list states this king co-ruled with Abreha and Atsbeha for 14 years.
4 (40) 4 (37) 4 (52) 4 (36) 4 4 (204) Arfed Arfad (Bruce and Salt)
Arfasked (Rossini
Arfed Gerba Maskal (1922 list)
4 years (1922 list)
6 (55) 5 5 (205) Adhana (I) Ella Adhana (Budge) 5 years (1922 list)
14 years (Páez 2 and B.M. MS)
  • The 1922 list specifies this ruler was female.
7 (56) 6 6 (206) Rete Ella Rete'a (Budge)
Riti (1922 list)
1 year (all lists)
8 (57) 7 7 (207) Asfeh (II) Ella Asfeh (Budge) 1 year (all lists)
9 (58) 8 8 (208) Atsbeha (III) Ella Asbeha (Budge) 5 years (all lists)
10 (59) 9 9 (209) Ameda (II) Ella Amida (Budge)
Amey (1922 list)
15 years (1922 list)
16 years (Budge)
17 years (Páez 2)
11 (60) 10 10 (210) Abreha (II) Ella Abreha (Budge) 6 months (Budge)
7 months (Páez 2 and 1922 list)
12 (61) 11 11 (211) Sahel (II) Ella Shahel (Budge)
Illashal (1922 list)
2 months (all lists)
13 (62) 12 12 (212) Gobaz (I) Ella Gaboz (Budge)
Elagabaz (1922 list)
2 years (all lists)
14 (63) 13 13 (213) Sahel (III) Ella Shahel (Budge)
Suhal (1922 list)
1 year (Páez 2)
4 years (1922 list)
15 (64) Izbah 3 years
16 (65)
and
17 (66)
14
and
15
14 (214)
and
15 (215)
Abreha (III)
and
Adhana (II) (Joint rule)
Ella Abreha (Budge)

Ella Adhana (Budge)

6 years (Adhana II – 1922 list)
10 years (Abreha III – 1922 list)
16 years (Together – Páez 2 and Budge)
  • The 1922 list gives them separate reigns.
  • The 1922 list specifies that Adhana II was a female ruler.
18 (67) 16 17 (217) Saham (II) Ella Saham (Budge)
Tsaham (1922 list)
2 years (1922 list)
28 years (Páez 2)
19 (68) 17 18 (218) Ameda (III) Ella Amida (Budge)
Amey II (1922 list)
1 year (1922 list)
12 years (Páez and Budge)
20 (69) 18 19 (219) Sahel (IV) Ella Shahel (Budge)
Sahle Ahzob (1922 list)
2 years (all lists)
21 (70) 19 20 (220) Sebah Ella Sebah (Bduge)
Tsebah Mahana Kristos (1922 list)
2 years (Páez and Budge)
3 years (1922 list)
22 (71) 20 21 (221) Saham (III) Ella Saham (Budge)
Tsaham (1922 list)
2 years (1922 list)
15 years (Páez and Budge)
23 (72) 21 22 (222) Gobaz (II) Ella Gobaz (Budge)
Elagabaz (1922 list)
6 years (1922 list)
21 years (Páez and Budge)
24 (73)
and
25 (74)
22
and
23
23 (223)
and
24 (224)
Agabe
and
Lewi (Joint rule)
1 year (Agabe alone – 1922 list)
2 years (Lewi alone – 1922 list)

2 years (Together – Páez and Budge)

  • The 1922 list gives them separate reigns.
5 (41) 5 (38) 5 (53) 5 (37) 5 27 (227) Amsi Amosi (Salt) 5 years (1922 list)
6 (42) 6 (54) Araad Arado (Páez 1)
7 (43) 6 (39) 7 (55) 6 (38) 6 28 (228) Saladoba Aladoba (Páez 1)
Aladeb (Rossini)
Salayba (1922 list)
9 years (1922 list)
8 (44) 26 (75) 7 (40) 8 (56) 7 (39) 7 24 25 (225)
and
29 (229)
Ameda (IV) Al-Ameda (B.M. MS)
Almeda (Rossini)
Ella Amida (Budge)
Alameda (1922 list – no. 229)
3 years (1922 list – no. 225)
8 years (1922 list – no. 229)
11 years (Páez 2)
11 or 14 years (Budge)
27 (76) 25
and
26
26 (226) Yakob (I)
and
Dawit (Joint rule)
Armah Dawit (1922 list) 3 years (Páez 2 and Budge)
  • The 1922 list did not include Yakob.
28 (77) 27 26 (226) Armah (I) Armah Dawit (1922 list) 14 years (1922 list)
14 years, 6 months and 8 days (Páez 2)
14 years, 6 months and 10 days (Budge)
29 (78) 28 Zitana 2 years (all lists)
  • E. A. Wallis Budge noted that some writers believed Zitana to be the same king as Ezana, though Budge found this to be impossible due to his short reign and that his reign took place about 150 years after Ezana's rule.
30 (79) 29 Yakob (II) 9 years (all lists)
31 (80) 34 (234) Constantinos (I) Kostantinos (1922 list) 28 years (all lists)
32 (81) 33 (233) Gabra Maskal (II) 14 years (all lists)
33 (82)
and
34 (83)
65 (163)
and
67 (165)
Nalke
and
Bazen (Joint rule)
5 years (Nalke – 1922 list)
17 years (Bazen – 1922 list)
17 years (Together – Páez 2)
The 1922 list gives them separate reigns.
35 (84) 68 (166) Tsenfa Asgad Sartu Tsenfa Asagad (1922 list) 21 years (1922 list)
Páez List 1
(Birth Names)
(1620)
Páez List 2
(Regnal Names)
(1620)
Bruce
(1790)
Salt
(1814)
Rossini
(1903)
British Museum manuscript
Oriental No. 821
Unknown chronicle
(Budge)
1922 regnal list
Bahâr Azguêd Hatoza Bahr Asaged
(28 years) (170)
Guermâ Azfarê Metwa Germa Asfar
(9 years) (172)
Culule Ceôn Hakabe Nasohi Tsion
(6 years) (177)
Cergoû Hakli Sergway
(7 years) (178)
Zeroû Dedme Zaray
(10 years) (179)
Begamâi Alaly Bagamay
(7 years) (181)
Jan Azguêd Awadu Jan Asagad
(30 years) (182)
Zeôn Hegz Zagun Tsion Hegez
(5 years) (183)
Moaêlguehâ Azegan Malbagad
(7 years) (185)
Zaf Arâd Gafale Seb Asagad
(1 year) (186)
Agdêr Gaza Agdur
(9 years) (188)
Abrahâ (IV) and Azbahã (IV) Asfehi Asfeha
(14 years) (194)
Azfê Azfehê Asfeh Dalz
(7 years) (202)
Arfêd and Amci Arfed Gebra Maskal
(4 years) (204)
and
Amsi
(5 years) (227)
Arâd Atsgaba Seifa Arad
(6 years) (195)
Cel Adobâ Agduba Aswegwe
(8 years) (189)
Alamidâ Malis Alameda
(4 years) (176)
Amiamid
Tacenâ Tacenâ Tezhana Tazena Tazena Tazena Pazena Ezana
(7 years) (230)
Calêb Calêb Caleb
(A.D. 522)
Caleb Kaleb
(40 years)
Kaleb 'Ella 'Asbeha (IV?)
(also known as Kaleb)
(28 years) (514–542)
Kaleb
(30 years) (231)
Grabrâ Mazcâl Gabra Mazcâl (II) Guebra Maskal Guebra Mascal Gabra Maskal
(40 years)
Gabra Maskal Gabra Maskal
(14 years) (233)
Constantinôs Constantinôs (II) Constantine Constantinus Yeshak (Constantine) Kuostantinos Kostantinos
(28 years) (234)
Bazgâr Bezgâr Bazzer Bazen
(17 years) (165)
or
Wasan Sagad
(15 years) (235)
Azbeha
Azfêh
Armâh Armaha
Jan Azfêh Jan Asfeha
Jan Azguêd Jan Azguêd Jan Segued
Wusen Segued Wasan Sagad Wasan Sagad Wasan Sagad
(15 years) (235)
Freçanâi Freçanâi Fere Sanai Fré Sennai Fere Shanaya Fere Shanay Fere Sanay
(23 years) (236)
Adoraâz Aderaz Aderaaz Adeiarz 'Adre'az Advenz
(20 years) (237)
Oaiçâr
Madâi
Calaudên Akul Woodem 'Akala Wedem Akala Wedem Akala Wedem
(8 years) (238)
Guermâ Azfarê Grim Sofer Germa Sor Germa Safar Germa Asafar
(15 years) (239)
Zargâz Zer gaz Deraz Zergaz Zergaz
(10 years) (240)
Degnâ Michael Degna Michael Degna Mikael Degna Mikael Dagena Mikael
(26 years) (241)
Degzan
Bakr-Akla Bahra Ekala Baher Ikla Bahr Akla
(19 years) (242)
Gouma Gum Gum Gum
(24 years) (243)
Asgoungum 'Ashagum 'Asguomgum Asguagum
(5 years) (244)
Let-um Latem Letem Latem
(16 years) (245)
Thala-tum Talatem Talatem Talatam
(21 years) (246)
Badagâz Woddo Gush 'Adhsha 'Oda Sasa Gadagosh
(13 years) (247)
Aiçôr Aizor I zoor 'Ayzur
(Half a day)
'Ayzur Aizar Eskakatir
(Half a day) (248)
Didum Dedem Dedem
(5 years) (249)
'Awdamdem Wededem Wededem
(10 years) (250)
Woodm asfar Wedem Masfere Wedem 'Asfare Wudme Asfare
(30 years) (251)
Armâ Armah Armah Armah Armah
(5 years) (252)
Ezbinani
Degnaxân Degna Jan Degjan Degna Jan Degennajan
(19 years) (253)
Ambaçâ Udm Ambasa Woodim 'Anbasa Wedem' 'Anbasa Wedem Anbase Wedem
(20 years) (256)
Delnaôd Delnaôd Del Naad
(A.D. 960)
Dilnaad Delna'ad
(40 years)
Delna'ad Del Naad
(10 years) (257)
Maadâi
Eçabô (in Amhara) Queen Gudit
(40 years) (255)
Gudit (in Tigray) (40 years)
Ambaçâ Udm Anbase Wedem
(20 years) (256)
Hualâ Udêm Akala Wedem
(8 years) (238)
Guerma Azfarê Germa Asafar
(15 years) (239)
Zergâz Zergaz
(10 years) (240)
Degnâ Michael Dagena Mikael
(26 years) (241)
Badgâz Gadagosh
(13 years) (247)
Armâh Armah
(5 years) (252)
29 Kings 78 Kings 20 Kings 27 Kings 31 Kings 32 Kings 29 Kings
219 or 222 years, 2 months and 10 days
"–" means this king does not appear on this particular list.

Páez and Almeida

Pedro Páez and Manuel de Almeida saw two different manuscripts that likely dated to before 1621. Both Páez and Almeida stated that they received the information from books lent to them by the Ethiopian emperor Susenyos I. One regnal list is included in the previous table. The following table shows a different regnal order from the other king list prior to the Zagwe dynasty.

Names
Ayzor
Ma'eday
Akala Wedem
Germa Asafar
Zergaz
Degna Mika'el
Badagaz
Armah
Hezba Nan
Degna Zan
Anbasa Wedem
Del Na'ad

Paris Chronicle

This regnal list was written in the eighteenth century. Names given below are those that ruled before the Zagwe dynasty.

Names
Oda Gos
Ayzur
Dedem
Wededem
Wedem Asfare
Armah
Degna Zan
Ged'a Zan
Anbasa Wedem

Debre Libanos Manuscript

A manuscript from the Debre Libanos monastery of unknown age. The following kings are those who reigned before the Zagwe dynasty.

Names
Ayzor
Delne'ad
Ma'eday
Esato/Gudit
Anbasa Wedem
Kala Wedem
Germa Asfare
Zergaz
Degna Mika'el
Badagaz
Armah
Hezbanay

Zagwe dynasty lists

Ethiopian traditions are in agreement that the Zagwe dynasty ruled at some point after the fall of Axum and directly preceded the Solomonic dynasty, but differ regarding when this dynasty first came to power, how long it remained in power and even the number of kings who ruled. The 1922 regnal list of Ethiopia acknowledges eleven kings who ruled for 333 years in total, beginning in the early 10th century:

  1. Mara Takla Haymanot (920–933) (13 years)
  2. Tatadim (933–973) (40 years)
  3. Jan Seyum (973–1013) (40 years)
  4. Germa Seyum (1013–1053) (40 years)
  5. Yemrehana Krestos (1053–1093) (40 years)
  6. Kedus Harbe (1093–1133) (40 years)
  7. Lalibela (1133–1173) (40 years)
  8. Na'akueto La'ab (1173–1213) (40 years)
  9. Yetbarak (1213–1230) (17 years)
  10. Mairari (1230–1245) (15 years)
  11. Harbai (1245–1253) (8 years)

However, the fact that this list includes seven consecutive kings ruling for exactly 40 years each casts doubt on its historical accuracy. By comparison, a book seen by Pedro Páez and Manuel de Almeida claimed only 5 kings ruled for 143 years, while the Paris Chronicle states eleven kings reigned for 354 years. A manuscript held in Paris (no. 64) claimed 5 kings whose rule began in either 1145 or 1147 and ended in either 1268 or 1270.

A regnal list quoted by Pedro Páez named 5 kings, though Páez himself noted that there were other names which were missing:

  1. Marari (reigned 15 years)
  2. Imrâh (reigned 40 years)
  3. Lalibelâ (reigned 40 years)
  4. Nacutolâb (reigned 40 years)
  5. Harbâi (reigned 8 years)

A text from Dabra Libanos, quoted by Carlo Conti Rossini, claimed the following list of Zagwe kings:

  1. Takla Haymanot reigned 40 years.
  2. Jan Seyum reigned 40 years.
  3. Germa Seyum reigned 40 years.
  4. Gempawedamo reigned 40 years.
  5. Yemreha reigned 40 years.
  6. Gabra Maryam reigned 40 years.
  7. Lalibala reigned 40 years.
  8. Na'akueto La'ab reigned 40 years.
  9. Yetbarak reigned 9 years.

This list omits Tatadim, Kedus Harbe, Mairari and Harbai, who appear on other king lists. The text that contains this list claims that Gempawedamo was the third son of Mara Takla Haymanot.

Rossini also quoted another list that was published in 1902:

  1. Pantaw
  2. Pantadem (Tatadim)
  3. Djan Seyum
  4. Djan Germe (Germa Seyum)
  5. 'Arbe (Kedus Harbe)
  6. Lalibala
  7. Na'akueto La'ab
  8. Yemrehana Krestos
  9. Yetbarak

This list moves Yemrehana Krestos further down the order of kings compared to most other Zagwe king lists. It is unclear who "Pantaw" is and whether he can be identified with the traditional Zagwe founder, Mara Takla Haymanot, or not. This list also omits the ephemeral emperors Mairari and Harbai.

A manuscript held in the British Museum (Or. 821, fol. 28b), holds a different list of kings which closer match the 1922 regnal list, though with a noticeably short reign for Mara Takla Haymanot.

  1. Takla Haymanot – 3 years
  2. Tatadem – 40 years
  3. Jan Sheyum – 40 years
  4. Germa Sheyum – 40 years
  5. Yemrehna Krestos – 40 years
  6. Kedus Harbe – 40 years
  7. Lalibala – 40 years
  8. Na'akueto La'ab – 48 years
  9. Yetbarak – 40 years
  10. Mayrari – 15 years
  11. Harbay – 8 years

In his book, Regents of Nations, Peter Truhart included a longer list of Zagwe kings, which featured many kings that do not appear on the most commonly known lists. Paul B. Henze reports the existence of at least one list containing 16 names, which may be the one that Truhart quotes below.

# Name Reign Dates Notes
1 Mera Taqla Haymanot c. 920–933 (13 years) Son-in-law of Dil Na'od.
2 Sibuhay Del Ne'ad II c. 933–943 (10 years)
3 Meyrary c. 943–958 (15 years)
4 Harbey (Hareyne Egzi) c. 958–966 (8 years)
5 Mengesine Yetberak c. 966–973 (7 years)
6 Yi'kebke Egzl c. 973–983 (10 years)
7 Zena Petros c. 983–989 (6 years) Murdered.
8 Bahr Saf c. 989–1003 (14 years)
9 Tetewedem (Ser Asgad Pantadem) c. 1003–1013 (10 years) Descendant of Mara Takla Haymanot.
10 Akotet Jan Seyon c. 1013–1033 (20 years) Brother of Tatadim.
11 Bemnet Germa Seyon c. 1033–1053 (20 years) Brother of Jan Seyum.
12 Yemrehana Krestos c. 1053–1093 (40 years) Son of Germa Seyum.

Capital was Adefa during his reign.

13 Qedus Arbe Gabra Maryam c. 1093–1133 (40 years) Son of Jan Seyum.

Previously governor of Lasta. Abdicated.

14 Lalibela Gabra Masqal c. 1133–1173 (40 years) Son of Jan Seyum.

Previously governor of Lasta. Abdicated. Alternate dates: 1160–1211, 1180–1220 or 1205–1255

15 Ne'akuto Le'ab 1173–1213 (40 years) Son of Kedus Harbe.

Abdicated. Alternate dates: c. 1145–1215, 1211–1251/1259 or 1220–1268

16 Yetbarek 1213–1253 (40 years) "Pretender" to the throne from 1173 to 1213.

Died in battle at Daga Qirqos. Son of Lalibela.

Alternate variations of the Solomonic line

Beginning with the reign of Yekuno Amlak, the line of rulers becomes more consistently noted and dated across various regnal lists. However, some emperors have been excluded from certain lists:

1922 regnal list

The longest regnal list of Ethiopian rulers was written in 1922 and contained 321 names from 4530 BC to 1779 AD. This list combines names from the majority of other regnal lists along with many additional names of rulers of ancient Nubia (which was often called Aethiopia historically) and ancient Egypt, as well as names that originate from the Biblical, ancient Greek, Coptic and Arabic literature. This regnal list first received attention in the Western world when it was published in Charles Fernand Rey's 1927 book In the Country of the Blue Nile after he had been given a copy by the Prince regent Tafari Makannon.

Notes

  1. ^ Peter Truhart tentatively identified Bazzer with king Wasan Sagad.
  2. ^ Rossini places this between Fere Shanaya and Degna Mikael, as the 11th king following Abreha and Atsbeha.
  3. ^ Rossini places this between Yeshak (Constantine) and Wasan Sagad, as the 10th king following Abreha and Atsbeha.
  4. ^ Rossini places this between Germa Sor and Bahra Ekala, as the 16th king following Abreha and Atsbeha.
  5. ^ Rossini places this between Degzan and 'Akala Wedem, as the 15th king following Abreha and Atsbeha.
  6. ^ Rossini places this between Degna Mikael and Degzan, as the 13th king following Abreha and Atsbeha.
  7. ^ Rossini places this between Wasan Sagad and Deraz, as the 12th king following Abreha and Atsbeha.
  8. ^ Rossini places this between Deraz and Germa Sor, as the 14th king following Abreha and Atsbeha.
  9. ^ Beginning with this king, Rossini's list once again begins to align with the order of kings presented in other lists.

See also

Further reading


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