The Kebra Nagast (var. Kebra Negast, Ge’ez, kəbrä nägäst), or the Book of the Glory of Kings, is an account written in Ge’ez of the origins of the Solomonic line. The Kebra nagast (Glory of Kings), written from to , relates the birth of Menelik—the son of Solomon and Makada, the queen of Sheba—who became. The Kebra Nagast, by E.A.W. Budge, [], full text etext at

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Even though Ethiopia’s Penal Code replaced the criminal provisions of the Fetha Nagast, the latter document provided the starting point for the code, along with several European penal codes.

Questions about the Kibre Negest in SearchWorks catalog

The Aksumite coinage has immediate significance in connection with Shahid’s suggestion that Kaleb ‘might have been a recent convert to Christianity’. In solving this question of Ethiopian intervention in Himyar during Anastasius’ reign, much depends on the interpretation from the dated inscriptions of the kings of Himyar, and whether the Himyarite era employed in these texts began in BC or In the Kebra Nagast the matter is presented in apocalyptic form; the king of Ethiopia, later defined as Kaleb, will destroy Finhas, while the king of Rome, later defined as Justinus, will destroy ‘Enya KN Linguistic analysis does not seem to help much in elucidating the origins of the work.

We have no idea whether other kings of Aksum between Ezana and Kaleb might have been consumed with a similar desire to augment the churches in their territories, as later Ethiopian sovereigns often were. Views Read Edit View history.

Justin was of Illyrian peasant origin, ‘uncouth in the extreme, utterly inarticulate and incredibly boorish’ — as nastily recorded by Procopius in his Secret History Such a document bears no comparison with the more sober record of the most significant record of the war, the Book of the Himyarites, nor for that matter with any of the other reports about the Himyar war which Shahid has so ably and so thoroughly studied elsewhere.

Kebra Negast | Ethiopian literary work |

Nor does Shahid’s interpretation of the information from Kosmas Indikopleustes, described as ‘perhaps the most valuable evidence which” could document the growth of the Legend [of Solomon and the queen libre Sheba’s foundation of the Ethiopian dynasty] at this period’, invite belief. After chapter 94, the author takes a step back and describes a more global view of what he had been describing in previous chapters. The writer s of the Kebra Nagast bestow a certain importance on Aksum’s.


Nevertheless, the odds seem to me to overwhelmingly favour the latter date rather than the former for the greater part of the work.

Thus the Christians regarded themselves as the new Israelites, and the Jews as rejected creatures, enemies of Christ. The compiler appears to ignore Islam, certainly the great enemy of the Habasha empire in Amda Seyon’s day, though there is a suggestion of awareness of Amda Seyon’s Hadya war against the Muslims.

The author then describes Menelik’s arrival at Axumwhere he is feasted and Makeda abdicates the throne in his favor. This Ge’ez edition, ascribed to Petros Abda Sayd, is a loose translation of Ibn al-‘Assal’s original, and even diverges significantly in a few places where Petros evidently had some difficulty with the Arabic.

In the same document, we are told p. The text is interesting as an early representative of a Psalm translated into Ge’ez, but to interpret this citation from the Psalms as the work of a king who believed himself to be ‘a lineal descendant of the Psalmist himself seems to me to go far beyond the nature of the evidence.

Barbara3 Sinodos, 2 Epistles of St. She is enthralled by his display of learning and knowledge, and declares “From this moment I will not worship the sun, but will worship the Creator of the sun, the God of Israel” chapter They were to be mingled with David and Solomon their fathers. The strange vehicle was simply Kaleb ‘s state conveyance, brought forth successfully to impress the ambassador of great Byzantium.

For the Kebra Nagast, see: Nevertheless, as it happens there was a cause for anti- Jewish polemic during the reign of King Amda Seyon, the ruler in whose time the Kebra Nagast was ‘translated’ by Yeshaq and his colleagues though it was later augmented by editors and copyists in ways we can no longer properly interpret. To associate the vehicle with the Kebra Nagasfs Wagon of Zion and the Chariot of Ethiopia as ‘important paraphernalia megest the Ethiopian monarchy after the transference of kbire Ark and the Tabernacle from Jerusalem to Axum’ is, once again, surely rather far-fetched.

Shahid’s mention of Queen Judith that is, Gudit, a legendary queen who in the tenth century almost destroyed the Ethiopian kingdom seems to hint that he supposes her to have been a Jew. One might well doubt Shahid’s suggestion that King Kaleb might have taken the text of Genesis Shahid’s arguments are confusing over this question of pagan Aksumite kings after the conversion.

Kebra Negast

Since the text mentions that ‘the king shall carry him away, together with his horse’, one might wonder if even a figure from so long ago as the time of Emperor Valerian, a vigorous persecutor of Christians, defeated and captured by Shapur I of Persia in AD, was meant.


Irfan Shahid, perhaps the best-known writer on the events of the time, and certainly one of the most informed, offered new interpretations of the causes and events of the Himyar war between the Ethiopian negus and the Yemeni king, and of the characters kibrf the protagonists.

He believes in ‘the possible reversion to paganism of the Ethiopian and Himyarite Kings Perhaps one such source, for the compiler s of the Kebra Nagast, was an Arabic version of the history of John of Nikiu, which runs to the year Ethiopie version of this work now survives, having passed — like many other works in Ethiopian literature, and like the Kebra Nagast itself according to its colophon — through several translations, in this case from Greek to Arabic and from Arabic to Ge’ez5.


The Fetha Nagast Ge’ez: This lack we can partially remedy today through study of the coinage. Kaleb is an historical person, unlike negesh legendary figures of the other prominent characters in the Kebra Nagast such as Ebna Hakim called in later versions of the legend, Menelik and his mother Queen Makeda the queen of Shebaand the Israelite contingent, sons of Solomon’s principal advisers, who supposedly came with. The fiery zeal which he brought to his activity reveals one who was not born a Christian but was a converted one, and who, for this reason, would therefore have retained the vivid experience of the neyest illumination.

We have dealt already with the question of the Aksumite coinage and its overwhelming support for Kaleb ‘s Christian birth and descent as monarch of a land whose dynasty had been Christian for, almost two hundred years. Queen Makeda learns from Tamrin, a merchant based in her kingdom, about the wisdom of King Solomon, and travels to Jerusalem to visit him.

Despite the usual assumption that ‘the final redaction of the book undoubtedly took place under the patronage of Amda Seyon and with the purpose of fostering the ambitions of his dynasty They appear to emerge from the confusion of information from ill- understood sources.