A Dynasty Continues

A Dynasty Continues

There is something intriguing about Ethiopia.  The only Jewish nation in Africa, mentioned in the Bible in the person of the legendary Makeda, the Queen of Sheba.

The beautiful Makeda, mother of the Ethiopian Solomonic Dynasty, as depicted in a manuscript from 1405.

It was Makeda’s son Menilek I who founded the Solomonic Dynasty that ruled Ethiopia, with an interruption of a few hundred years in the Middle Ages, until 1974.  It was also the Solomonic dynasty of Ethiopia that declared Christianity the state religion in 330 AD, one of the first nations of the world to do so.

A fresco of Jesus from Ethiopia

On 15 July 1471 a child named Eskender (Alexander) was born in Ethiopia.  Just seven year later Eskender was created Emperor Kwestantinos (Constantine) II.  

Eskender continued the line of Solomon through his father, and although he died at the young age of 22, he left behind a son so that the dynasty was able to continue through the male line until 1930.  

Eskender was involved in the sacking of Dakkar in 1878, in which many Ethiopians were killed or captured as they left toward home.  He managed to escape, as related in the legend, only through the help of angels.  

The escape inspired Eskender to build the Church of Debere Meshwa’e (Place of Sacrifice) in thanks.  

Eskender’s court had a significant number of European influences, as several Italians lived there luxuriously during his reign.  They were very well provided for, but unhappy nonetheless, as they were not allowed to leave or return home.

Eskender died at age 22, sources conflict on whether he died in battle or was murdered.  In either case, it was a violent death, and was followed quickly by a civil war.  

Eskender was entombed with his father in the Church of Atronsa Maryam.  The church was sacked by raiders in 1709 and the remains entombed within were all tossed from a cliff.  


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