Sons of Yagbe'u Seyon
Five men known as sons of Yagbe'u Seyon ruled as nəgusä nägäst of the Ethiopian Empire in succession between 1295 and 1299. Their names were: Senfa Ared IV (1294–1295), Hezba Asgad (1295–1296), Qedma Asgad (1296–1297), Jin Asgad (1297–1298), and Saba Asgad (1298–1299). Though later tradition remembered them as sons of Yagbe'u Seyon, their actual relationship is not clear, though they did succeed him.
These five men ruled Ethiopia between Yagbe'u Seyon and Wedem Arad. Although all of the primary sources agree that Yagbe'u Seyon and Wedem Arad were sons of Yekuno Amlak, sources disagree about how these five are related to each other and the previous two Emperors. Both James Bruce and the traditions collected by Antoine d'Abbadie state that these were the sons of Yekuno Amlak, yet the oldest surviving list of Ethiopian kings lists four of these five (omitting Saba Asgad) without any mention of their filial relationship. The Gadla of Saint Basalota Mikael, however, does state that Qedma Asgad was the son of Yekuno Amlak.
Historians disagree over the situation that his successors experienced. Paul B. Henze states that Yagbe'u Seyon could not decide which of his sons should inherit his kingdom, and instructed that each would rule in turn for a year. Tadesse Tamrat, on the other hand, records that his reign was followed by dynastic confusion, during which each of his sons held the throne. E.A. Wallis Budge adds the tradition that Jin Asgad initiated the use of Amba Geshen as a royal prison for troublesome relatives of the Emperor, when he was forced to imprison his treacherous brother Saba Asgad; at the same time he imprisoned his other three brothers and his own sons in Amba Geshen.
Whatever the situation truly was, it came to an end when Wedem Arad seized the throne.
- Taddesse Tamrat, "The Abbots of Dabra Hayq, 1248-1535," Journal of Ethiopian Studies, 8 (1970), pp. 92f and notes
- Paul B. Henze, Layers of Time, A History of Ethiopia (New York: Palgrave, 2000), p. 60.
- Taddesse Tamrat, Church and State in Ethiopia (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972), p. 72.
- E. A. Walis Budge, A History of Ethiopia: Nubia and Abyssinia, 1928 (Oosterhout, the Netherlands: Anthropological Publications, 1970), p. 287. According to G.W.B Huntingford, this information comes from the Jesuit historian Pedro Páez, who was told this story by Emperor Susenyos (The Historical Geography of Ethiopia [London: The British Academy, 1989], p. 75).
|Emperor of Ethiopia||Succeeded by