Tewodros I

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Tewodros I
Emperor of Ethiopia
PredecessorDawit I
SuccessorYeshaq I
Died2 July 1414 (29 Sene 1406)
HouseHouse of Solomon
ReligionOrthodox Tewahedo

Tewodros I (Ge'ez: ቴዎድሮስ tewodros "Theodore," throne name Walda Ambasa "Son of the Lion", ወልደ አምበሳ) was Emperor of Ethiopia (nəguśa nagaśt) (1413–1414) and a member of the House of Solomon. He was the son of Dawit I by Queen Seyon Mangasha.


Despite the fact it only lasted nine months (from 12 October 1413 to 23 June 1414),[1][2] Tewodros's period of rule acquired a connotation of being a golden age for Ethiopia. The explorer James Bruce later commented,

There must have been something very brilliant that happened under this prince, for though the reign is so short, it is before all others the most favourite epoch in Abyssinia. It is even confidently believed, that he is to rise again, and reign in Abyssinia for a thousand years, and in this period all war is to cease and everyone, in fulness, to enjoy happiness, plenty and peace.[3]


E. A. Wallis Budge repeats the account of the Synaxarium that Emperor Tewodros was "a very religious man, and a great lover of religious literature". Budge adds that Tewodros wished to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, but was convinced not to make the journey by the Abuna Mark, "who feared for his safety." Despite this, Budge notes that he annulled the agreement of his ancestor Yekuno Amlak that granted a third of the country to the Ethiopian Church.[4]

Tewodros was killed beyond the Awash River fighting Muslims, although this is not explicitly stated by the Ethiopian chroniclers. Taddesse Tamrat notes that "in the royal chronicles and other traditions for the period, one can detect a deliberate attempt to suppress the violent ends of Ethiopian kings at the hands of their enemies."[5] He was first buried at the church of Tadbaba Maryam,[3] but his descendant Emperor Baeda Maryam I had his body re-interred at Atronsa Maryam.[6]


  1. ^ Haile, Getatchew (1983). The Different collections of Nägś hymns in Ethiopic literature and their contributions. Erlangen, Germany:: Lehrstuhl für Geschichte und Theol. des Christlichen Ostens. pp. 65–67.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  2. ^ Budge incorrectly states that Tewodros ruled for three years (A History of Ethiopia: Nubia and Abyssinia, 1928 [Oosterhout, the Netherlands: Anthropological Publications, 1970], p. 301).
  3. ^ a b James Bruce, Travels to Discover the Source of the Nile (1805 edition), vol. 3, p. 96.
  4. ^ Budge, A History of Ethiopia, p. 301; Bruce, Travels to Discover, vol. 3 p. 97.
  5. ^ Taddesse Tamrat, Church and State in Ethiopia (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972), p. 153n.5
  6. ^ "Local History in Ethiopia" Archived 2008-12-19 at the Wayback Machine The Nordic Africa Institute website (accessed 28 January 2008)
Preceded by
Dawit I
Emperor of Ethiopia
Succeeded by
Yeshaq I