Kedus Harbe

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Kedus Harbe was negus of Ethiopia, and a member of the Zagwe dynasty. According to Taddesse Tamrat, he was the son of Jan Seyum, the brother of Tatadim.[1] Some authorities date his reign to the years 1079–1119. Huntingford does not include him in his list of kings of the Zagwe dynasty.[2]


According to Richard Pankhurst, Kedus Harbe tried to break the hold of Egypt on the Ethiopian Church by increasing the number of bishops ordained in his country to seven. However the prelate, Abba Mikael, refused, stating that this could only be done by the Patriarch of Alexandria, so the king sent letters to the Patriarch and the Muslim ruler of Egypt. The ruler was first sympathetic to the request, but the prelate warned him that with that many bishops they could appoint their own Archbishop and be free to develop "enmity and hostility" towards their Muslim neighbors. When the messengers returned with Kedus Harbe's answer, the country had experienced great famine and pestilence. "These were the first such calamities for which the historical mention exists."[3]


  1. ^ Taddesse Tamrat, Church and State in Ethiopia (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972), p. 56n.
  2. ^ G.W.B. Huntingford, Historical Geography of Ethiopia (London: British Academy, 1989), p. 68.
  3. ^ Richard Pankhurst, The Ethiopians: A History (Oxford: Blackwell, 2001), p. 47
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Yemrehana Krestos
Emperor of Ethiopia Succeeded by
Gebre Mesqel Lalibela