Kingdom of Aksum
Armah (c. 614) was a king of the Kingdom of Aksum. He is primarily known through the coins that were minted during his reign. However, it has been suggested as long ago as 1895 that he was identical to Ashama ibn-Abjar, who gave shelter to the Muslim emigrants around 615-6 at Axum.
Munro-Hay states that either Armah or Gersem were the last Axumite kings to issue coins. In either case, no gold coins of Armah have been found, and Munro-Hay speculates that "he had accepted that there was no purpose in producing them, as his kingdom was by now at least in part cut off from the Byzantine trade network."
Armah's silver coins have an unusual reverse, showing a structure with three crosses, the middle one gilded. Munro-Hay quotes W.R.O. Hahn as suggesting that this is an allusion to the Holy Sepulchre, as a reference to the Persian capture of Jerusalem in 614; if this is correct, it provides a date for Armah.
- A letter to Antoine d'Abbadie, dated 8 January 1869, mentions a coin of this ruler. Sven Rubenson, Acta Aethiopica, vol 3: Internal Rivalries and Foreign Threats, 1869-1879 (Addis Ababa: University Press, 2000), p. 3
- This article is based on S. C. Munro-Hay's discussion in his Aksum: An African Civilization of Late Antiquity (Edinburgh: University Press, 1991), p. 91.
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