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Seraye is the name of a former Province of Eritrea. It has since been incorporated primarily into the Debub Region, though some western districts have become part of the Gash-Barka Region. It is believed that the name of the Province from the "dark forests" which once thrived on its fertile ground.[1]

Today the region is home to twelve monasteries of the Eritrean Orthodox Church as well as a number of new factories in the town of Mendefera.

Districts of Serae
  • Tsilima
  • Debub
  • Guetsi'a
  • Mai Tse'ada
  • Meraguz
  • Kohain
  • Gundet
  • Aila
  • Sefa'a
  • Arfe Grotto
  • Deqi Digna
  • Deqi Aites
  • Zeban Ona
  • Dembelas
  • Zaid Akolom
  • Anaghr
  • Medri Wedi Sebera
  • Kuno Reda
  • Etan Zere
  • Medri Felasi


During the period of Aksum, the region became a successful trading region as it lay between the Red Sea port of Adulis, Asmara, and Axum. As Aksum continued its decline during the 9th century, Beja clans, who were also known Balaw (or Belew, known locally as Belew Kelew; some hagiographical sources note the presence of this people in the area as early as the time of Emperor Kaleb), who were also Orthodox Christian[2] and had been under the suzerainty of the Aksumite rulers. They came to form the major ruling class in what would become Serae and elsewhere in the northern highlands in what are now Eritrea and Tigray.[3] The Beja integrated with the local largely Semitic-speaking population of the Highlands and adopted their language and custom.[4]


  1. ^ Killion, Tom (1998). Historical Dictionary of Eritrea. The Scarecrow Press. ISBN 0-8108-3437-5. 
  2. ^ Sergew Hable Sellassie. Ancient and Medieval Ethiopian History to 1270 (Addis Ababa: United Printers, 1972), p.222.
  3. ^ Taddesse Tamrat, Church and State in Ethiopia: 1270–1527 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1972).
  4. ^ The Cambridge History of Africa, Roland Anthony Oliver, J.D. Fage. pg 101

Coordinates: 14°50′N 38°30′E / 14.833°N 38.500°E / 14.833; 38.500