Haile Selassie I (23 July 1892 – 27 August 1975), born Tafari Makonnen, was Ethiopia's regent from 1916 to 1930 and Emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974. The heir to a dynasty that traced its origins to the 13th century, and from there by tradition back to King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, Haile Selassie is a defining figure in both Ethiopian and African history. At the League of Nations in 1936, the Emperor condemned the use of chemical weapons by Italy against his people.
Menelik I, first Jewish Emperor of Ethiopia, is traditionally believed to be the son of King Solomon of ancient Israel and Makeda, Queen of Sheba and ruled around 950 BC, according to traditional sources. Tradition credits him with bringing the Ark of the Covenant to Ethiopia, following a visit to Jerusalem to meet his father upon reaching adulthood.
Emperor Menelik II GCB, GCMG, baptized as Sahle Maryam (17 August 1844 – 12 December 1913), was Negus of Shewa (1866-1889), then Nəgusä Nägäst of Ethiopia from 1889 to his death. At the height of his internal power and external prestige, the process of territorial expansion and creation of the modern empire-state hade been completed by 1898. Ethiopia was transformed under Nəgusä Nägäst Menelik. The major signposts of modernization were put in place.
Iyasu V (Ge'ez ኢያሱ, the Ethiopian version of Joshua), also known as Lij Iyasu was the designated but uncrowned Emperor of Ethiopia (1913 - 1916). His baptismal name was Kifle Yaqob. Because he was never crowned emperor, he is usually referred to as Lij Iyasu, "Lij" meaning child, especially one born of royal blood. His excommunication by the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church prevented him from being referred to publicly as Iyasu V.
Zewditu (also spelled Zawditu or Zauditu; Ge'ez ዘውዲቱ; 29 April 1876 – 2 April 1930) was Empress of Ethiopia from 1916 to 1930. The first woman head of an internationally-recognized state in Africa in the 1800s and 1900s, she was noted for opposing the reforms of Tafari Makonnen and for her strong religious devotion.
The Emperor of Ethiopia was the hereditary ruler of Ethiopia until the abolition of the monarchy in 1974. The Emperor was the head of state and head of government, with ultimate executive, judicial and legislative power in that country. A National Geographic Magazine article called imperial Ethiopia "nominally a constitutional monarchy; in fact [it was] a benevolent autocracy."
Tewodros II (Ge'ez ቴዎድሮስ, also known as Theodore II) (c. 1818–April 13, 1868) was the Emperor of Ethiopia from 1855 until his death. He was born Kassa Haile Giorgis, but was more regularly referred to as Kassa Hailu (Ge'ez ካሳ ኃይሉ — meaning "restitution" and "His power"). His rule is often placed as the beginning of modern Ethiopia, ending the decentralized Zemene Mesafint (Era of the Princes).
The Solomonic dynasty is the traditional Imperial House of Ethiopia, claiming descent from King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, who is said to have given birth to the traditional first king Menelik I after her Biblically described visit to Solomon in Jerusalem. 1 Kings 10:1-10. The dynasty, a bastion of Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity, came to rule Ethiopia on 10 Nehasé 1262 EC (August 10, AD 1270) when Yekuno Amlak overthrew the last ruler of the Zagwe dynasty.
The Zagwe dynasty ruled Ethiopia from approximately 1137 to 1270, when Yekuno Amlak defeated and killed the last Zagwe king in battle. The name of the dynasty is thought to come from the Ge'ez phrase Ze-Agaw, meaning "of Agaw" and refer to the Agaw people. Its best-known king was Gebre Mesqel Lalibela, who is given credit for the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela.
Dawit II, enthroned as Emperor Anbasa Segad (Ge'ez አንበሳ ሰገድ, anbassā sagad, Amh. ānbessā seged, 'to whom lions bow'), better known by his birth name Lebna Dengel (Ge'ez ልብነ ድንግል libna dingil; 1501 - September 2, 1540) was nəgusä nägäst (1508 - 1540) of Ethiopia, and a member of the Solomonic dynasty. He was the son of Emperor Na'od and Queen Na'od Mogasa.
Gelawdewos (Ge'ez ገላውዴዎስ galāwdēwōs, modern gelāwdēwōs, "Claudius"; 1521/1522 - March 23, 1559) was nəgusä nägäst (throne name Asnaf Sagad I of Ethiopia, and a member of the Solomonic dynasty. He was a younger son of Dawit II by Sabla Wengel.
Na'od was nəgusä nägäst (1494 - 31 July 1508) of Ethiopia, and a member of the Solomonic dynasty. He was the second son of Baeda Maryam and his second wife Kalyupe (also called "Calliope"), and was born at Gabarge. Like Eskender before him, he relied on the counsel of the Queen Mother Eleni. Despite her help, his reign was marked by internal dissension. Na'od began construction on a lavish church in Amhara, which was decorated with gold leaf and known as Mekane Selassie.
Menas, throne name Admas Sagad I (Ge'ez አድማስ ሰገድ admās sagad, Amh. ādmās seged, "to whom the horizon bows") was nəgusä nägäst (1559 - February 1, 1563) of Ethiopia, and a member of the Solomonic dynasty. He was a brother of Gelawdewos. According to a genealogy collected by James Bruce, Menas' father Lebna Dengel arranged Menas to be married to the daughter of Robel, governor of Bora and Selawe; upon becoming empress she took the name Adimas Moas. They had two children, Fiqtor and Theodora.
Sarsa Dengel (Ge'ez ሠረጸ ድንግል śarṣa dingil, Amh. serṣe dingil "Sprout of the Virgin", 1550 - 4 October 1597) was nəgusä nägäst (throne name Malak Sagad I, Ge'ez መልአክ ሰገድ mal'ak sagad, Amh. mel'āk seged, "to whom the angel bows") (1563 - 1597) of Ethiopia, and a member of the Solomonic dynasty. The son of Menas and Admas Mogasa, Sarsa Dengel spent his reign in constant campaigning, repelling Ottoman advances inland from the Red Sea; and Oromo advances from the south.
Yaqob I was nəgusä nägäst (throne name Malak Sagad II, መልአክ ሰገድ, mal'ak sagad, Amh. mel'āk seged, "to whom the angel bows"; 1597 - 1603; 1604 - 1606) of Ethiopia, and a member of the Solomonic dynasty. He was the eldest surviving son of Sarsa Dengel; his mother was either Queen Maryam Sena (so E. A. Wallis Budge), or Woizero Harego of the Beta Israel. Because Yaqob had at least three sons before his death, it is likely he was born no later than 1590.
Za Dengel was negusä nägäst (throne name Asnaf Sagad II or As. naf Seged or Atsnaf Seged, Ge'ez አፅናፍ ሰገድ, "to whom the peaks bow"; 1603 - 1604) of Ethiopia, and a member of the Solomonic dynasty. He was the son of Lesana Krestos, the brother of Sarsa Dengel. Za Dengel may have been married to Woizero Wangelawit, eldest daughter of his second cousin Prince Susenyos Fasilides (later emperor) and lady Wolde Saala of Walaqa and Marabete (later Empress Sultan Mogassa).
Susenyos (also Sissinios, as in Greek, Ge'ez ሱስንዮስ sūsinyōs; throne name Malak Sagad III, Ge'ez መልአክ ሰገድ, mal'ak sagad, Amh. mel'āk seged, "to whom the angel bows"; 1572 - 7 September 1632) was nəgusä nägäst (1606 - 1632) of Ethiopia.
Fasilides (Ge'ez ፋሲልደስ Fāsīladas, modern Fāsīledes; throne name ʿAlam Sagad, Ge'ez ዓለም ሰገድ ʿĀlam Sagad, modern ʿĀlem Seged, "to whom the world bows"; 1603 - 18 October 1667) was nəgusä nägäst (1632 - October 18, 1667) of Ethiopia, and a member of the Solomonic dynasty. He was the son of Susenyos and Empress Sultana Mogassa, born at Magazaz in Shewa before 10 November 1603.
Yohannes I (Ge'ez ዮሐንስ yōḥānnis, Amh. yōhānnis, also sometimes called John I), throne name A'ilaf Sagad (Ge'ez አእላፍ ሰገድ a'ilāf sagad, "to whom tens of thousands bow") was nəgusä nägäst (1667 - 1682) of Ethiopia, and a member of the Solomonic dynasty. He was the fourth son of Fasilides. Yohannes was appointed nəgusä nägäst by a council of the senior dignitaries of the Empire, at the encouragement of the noble Blattengeta Malka Krestos.
Iyasu I (or Joshua I, Ge'ez ኢያሱ), also known as Iyasu the Great, was nəgusä nägäst (throne name Adyam Sagad, Ge'ez አድያም ሰገድ, "to whom the confines of the earth bow") (19 July 1682 - 13 October 1706) of Ethiopia, and a member of the Solomonic dynasty. He was the son of Yohannes I and Empress Sabla Wangel. According to G.W.
Tekle Haymanot I (Ge'ez ተክለ ሃይማኖት, "Plant of religion," throne name Le`al Sagad Ge'ez ለዓለ ሰገድ, "to whom the exalted bows") was nəgusä nägäst (27 March 1706 - 30 June 1708) of Ethiopia, and a member of the Solomonic dynasty. He was the son of Iyasu I and Empress Malakotawit. He is often referred to as "Irgum Tekle Haymanot" or "Tekle Haymanot the Cursed" Tekle Haymanot became Emperor following Iyasus' retirement to an island in Lake Tana.
Tewoflos or Theophilus (Ge'ez ቴዎፍሎስ, throne name Walda Ambasa, Ge'ez ወልደ አምበሳ, "son of the lion") was nəgusä nägäst of Ethiopia (1 July 1708 – 14 October 1711) and a member of the Solomonic dynasty. He was the brother of Iyasu I, and one of four sons of Fasilides. Following the murder of his nephew Tekle Haymanot I, Tewoflos was brought out of captivity at Mount Wehni and made Emperor.
Yostos or Justus (Ge'ez ዮስቶስ, throne name Tsehay Sagad Ge'ez ፀሓይ ሰገድ, "to whom the sun bows") was nəgusä nägäst (14 October 1711 - 19 February 1716) of Ethiopia. According to James Bruce, he was the son of Delba Iyasu and a daughter of Emperor Iyasu I.
Dawit III (Ge'ez ዳዊት, throne name Adbar Sagad Ge'ez አድባር ሰገድ, "to whom the mountains bow"), also known as Dawit the Singer, was nəgusä nägäst (8 February 1716 - 18 May 1721) of Ethiopia, and a member of the Solomonic dynasty. He was the son of Iyasu I and his concubine Kedeste Krestos. Three important religious events happened during his reign.