Negus

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For other uses see Negus (disambiguation)

Negus (Ge'ez ንጉሥ, nigūś, Amharic nigūs; cf. Tigrinya ነጋሽ negāš) is a title in Ge'ez, Tigrinya, Tigre and Amharic, used for a king and at times also a vassal ruler in pre-1974 Ethiopia and pre-1890 Eritrea. It is subsequently used to translate the word "king" in Biblical and other literature. It is a noun derived from the ancient Semitic verbal root N - G - Ś meaning "to reign."

In more recent times it was used as an honorific title bestowed on governors of the most important provinces (kingdoms): Gojjam, Welega and the seaward kingdom (where the variation Bahr Negus 'King of the Sea', was the ancient title of the ruler of present-day central Eritrea) and later Shewa.

Both uses and the imperial dignity would meet in the person of a regional prince, Lij Kassa Hailu, third youngest son of Dejazmach Hailu Wolde-Giyorgis, Governor of Qwara province, by his second wife Woizero Attitaggab, who rebelled against Empress Menen and her son Ras Ali II the Viceroy, in 1845 and spent the next nine years alternating between rebellion and submisison until he was proclaimed as Negus at Amba Chera, (19 September 1854), and after the battle of Derasge proclaimed himself Emperor 8 February 1855 and was crowned as Tewodros II, at Derasge Maryam the next day.

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