Demetros

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Demetros
Emperor of Ethiopia
Reign 25 July 1799 – 24 March 1800
Predecessor Salomon III
Successor Tekle Giyorgis I
Emperor of Ethiopia
Reign June 1800 – June 1801
Predecessor Tekle Giyorgis I
Successor Egwale Seyon
Father Arqedewos
Died 1802
Burial Ba'ata, Ethiopia
Religion Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo

Demetros or Demetrius (died 1802) was nəgusä nägäst (July 25, 1799 – 24 March 1800 and June 1800 – June 1801) of Ethiopia. He was the son of Arqedewos. He may be the same person as the "Adimo" mentioned in the account of the traveler Henry Salt who was dead by the time of Salt's visit to northern Ethiopia in 1809/1810.[1]

Demetros was elevated as Emperor by Dejazmach Gugsa and his brother Alula, who put his predecessor Emperor Salomon III in chains. Four days later he made Gugsa Dejazmach over Begemder, and five days after that Demetros appointed Alula Kenyazmach.[2] However, in March of the next year, Tekle Giyorgis returned to Gondar, supported by Ras Wolde Selassie, and while Tekle Giyorgis made a point of not entering the palace, Demetros is commonly considered to have been deposed at that point.[3]

Demetros' restoration was not a solemn affair. According to the Royal Chronicle of Abyssinia, while Tekle Giyorgis was away from Gondar campaigning in the provinces, Demetros was dragged to the Royal Palace against his will where he was made ruler. "After that they turned him out and bringing in Takla Giyorgis King of Kings made him King over the other and even yet a third time drove him out of the Royal Palace when he had done nothing."[4]

On this rapid succession of emperors at the will of the powerful warlords, the writer of The Royal Chronicle lamented,

I indeed am sad and stricken on account of this persecution of those revered kings. Who shall restore the dominion of the kingdom to you as of old he restored the kingdom from the Zague to the house of David, through the prayer of Iyasus Mo'a,[5] and the covenant of Abuna Takla Haymanot, may he grant us this day that he restore the Kingdom. Amen.[6]

The Royal Chronicle records his death late in 1802. He was buried at Ba'ata.[7]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Henry Salt, A Voyage to Abyssinia and Travels into the Interior of that Country, 1814 (London: Frank Cass, 1958), p. 474
  2. ^ Herbert Weld Blundell, The Royal chronicle of Abyssinia, 1769-1840 (Cambridge: University Press, 1922), p. 462
  3. ^ Weld Blundell, Royal Chronicle, pp. 463, 464, 466
  4. ^ Weld Blundell, Royal chronicle, p. 470. The sequence of events in The Royal Chronicle clearly shows that Wallis Budge errs when he puts this event at the beginning of Demetros' first reign. (E. A. Wallis Budge, A History of Ethiopia: Nubia and Abyssinia, 1928 (Oosterhout, the Netherlands: Anthropological Publications, 1970), p. 480)
  5. ^ Weld Blundell's translation, "Iyasus, the conqueror" makes no sense. Iyasus Mo'a is translated "Jesus has conquered"; Weld Blundell must have experienced a moment's lapse and failed to recognize the saint's name.
  6. ^ Weld Blundell, Royal chronicle, p. 470
  7. ^ Weld Blundell, The Royal chronicle of Abyssinia, p. 473
Preceded by
Salomon III
Emperor of Ethiopia
1799–1800
Succeeded by
Tekle Giyorgis I
Preceded by
Tekle Giyorgis I
Emperor of Ethiopia
1800–1801
Succeeded by
Egwale Seyon