The Royal chronicle provides very little information about his reign: only the date of his elevation and the year of his death. According to Nathaniel Pearce, Iyoas was selected Emperor over his nephews Zerobabel and Merrit by Ras Gugsa and Kenyazmach Akli Meru due to the nephews' bad characters. Prior to his elevation, he had been living as a monk in Waldebba.
Samuel Gobat, a near-contemporary of Iyoas, states he was "efficiently sustained by Ras Googsa, who was his firm support, or rather his superior." With Iyoas' death an interregnum of several months followed.
- Nathaniel Pearce, The Life and Adventures of Nathaniel Pearce. J.J. Halls. ed. (London, 1831), vol. 2 p. 256
- Herbert Weld Blundell, The Royal chronicle of Abyssinia, 1769-1840 (Cambridge: University Press, 1922), p. 484
- Pearce, Life and Adventures, vol. 2 p. 255
- Samuel Gobat, Journal of Three years' Residence in Abyssinia, 1851 (New York: Negro Universities Press, 1969), p. 168
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