- Kaleb of Axum
Oriental Orthodox Churches Eastern Orthodox Churches Roman Catholic Church
titles=King of Ethiopia
520) is perhaps the best-documented, if not best-known, king of Axum. Procopius of Caesareacalls him "Hellestheaeus", a variant of his throne name Ella Atsbeha or Ella Asbeha ("Histories", 1.20). On both his coins and inscriptions he left at Axum, as well as Ethiopian hagiographical sources and king lists, he refers to himself as the son of Tazena. [S. C. Munro-Hay, "Aksum: An African Civilization of Late Antiquity" (Edinburgh: University Press, 1991), p. 84.] He may be the "Atsbeha" or "Asbeha" of the Ethiopian legends of Abreha and Asbeha, the other possibility being Ezana's brother Saizana.
John of Ephesus, and other contemporary historians recount his invasion of Yemenaround 520, against the Jewish Himyarite king Yusuf Asar Yathar (also known as Dhu Nuwas), who was persecuting the Christians in his kingdom. After much fighting, Kaleb's soldiers eventually routed Yusuf's forces and killed the king, allowing Kaleb to appoint Sumuafa' Ashawa', a native Christian (named Esimphaios by Procopius), as his viceroyof Himyar. As a result of his protection of the Christians, he is known as St. Elesbaan after the sixteenth-century Cardinal Cesare Baronioadded him to his edition of the " Roman Martyrology" despite his being a Monophysite and therefore technically a heretic. [cite book | title = Butler's Lives of the Saints: October | isbn= 0814623867 | year = 1996 | title = Alban Butler | chapter=SS Aretas and the Martyrs of Najran, and St Elsebann (523) | pages = p.169 ] [cite book | title = The Saints go marching in : a one volume hagiography of Africans, or descendants of Africans, who have been canonized by the church, including three of the early popes | author = R. Fulton Holtzclaw | year = 1980 | publisher = Keeble Press | location = Shaker Heights, OH | id = OCLC|6081480 | pages = p.64 | quote = St. Elesbaan was an Aksumite king of Ethiopia who recovered the royal power in Himyar (Yemen) after the massacre of the Martyrs of Najran. ] [cite book | title = Saints of Africa | author = Vincent J. O'Malley, C.M. | publisher = Our Sunday Visitor Publishing | location = Huntington, IN | isbn = 087973373X | year = 2001 ] However, the question of whether Miaphysitism—the actual christologyof the Oriental Orthodox Churches(including the Coptic Orthodox Church)—was a heresy is a question which remains to this day, and other Oriental saints such as Isaac of Syriacontinue to be venerated by the Chalcedonian churches.
Axumite control of South
Arabiacontinued until c. 525when Sumuafa' Ashawa' was deposed by Abraha, who made himself king. Procopius states that Kaleb made several unsuccessful attempts to recover his overseas territory; however, his successor later negotiated a peace with Abraha, where Abraha acknowledged the Axumite king's authority and paid tribute. Munro-Hay opines that by this expedition Axum overextended itself, and this final intervention across the Red Sea, "was Aksum's swan-song as a great power in the region." [Munro-Hay, "Aksum", p. 88.]
Ethiopian tradition states that Kaleb eventually abdicated his throne, gave his crown to the
Church of the Holy Sepulchreat Jerusalem, and retired to a monastery. [Munro-Hay, "Aksum", pp. 88f.]
Later historians who recount the events of King Kaleb's reign include
Ibn Hisham, Ibn Ishaq, and Tabari. Taddesse Tamrat records a tradition he heard from an aged priest in Lalibelathat "Kaleb was a man of Lastaand his palace was at Bugnawhere it is known that Gebre Mesqel Lalibelahad later established his centre. The relevance of this tradition for us is the mere association of the name of Kaleb with the evengelization of this interior province of Aksum." [The translation of one inscription, written in Ge'ez, appears with discussion in G.W.B. Huntingford, "The Historical Geography of Ethiopia" (London: The British Academy, 1989), pp. 63-65.]
Besides several inscriptions bearing his name, [Taddesse Tamrat, "Church and State in Ethiopia" (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972), p. 26 n. 1] Axum also contains a pair of ruined structures, one said to be his tomb and its partner said to be the tomb of his son
Gabra Masqal. (Tradition gives him a second son, Israel, whom it has been suggested is identical with the Axumite king Israel. [Munro-Hay, "Aksum", p. 91.] ) This structure was first examined as an archeological subject by Henry Salt in the early 19th century; almost a century later, it was partially cleared and mapped out by the Deutsche Aksum-Expeditionin 1906. The most recent excavation of this tomb was in 1973by the British Institute in East Africa. [The report of the 1973 excavation of these structures was published in S.C. Munro-Hay, "Excavations at Aksum" (London: British Institute in Eastern Africa, 1989), pp. 42ff.]
Eastern Orthodox Churchcommemorates Kaleb as "Saint Elesbaan, king of Ethiopia" on October 24 (for those churches which follow the Julian Calendar, October 24 falls on November 6 of the Gregorian Calendar).
* [http://ocafs.oca.org/FeastSaintsViewer.asp?SID=4&ID=1&FSID=103048 Blessed Elesbaan the King of Ethiopia] Eastern Orthodox
* [http://www.ccel.org/ccel/wace/biodict.html?term=Elesbaan,+king,+hermit,+and+saint+of+Ethiopia Elesbaan, king, hermit, and saint of Ethiopia] entry from the "Dictionary of Christian Biography and Literature to the End of the Sixth Century A.D.", by
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
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Kaleb von Axum — Münze des Ella Asbeha Ella Asbeha (auch Kaleb, sabäisch ʾlʾṣbḥh, griechisch El(l)esbaas genannt; * um 500; † um 540) war Negus von Aksum (im heutigen Äthiopien) von ca. 520 bis zu seinem Tod. Er gilt als einer der bedeutendsten Herrscher Aksums.… … Deutsch Wikipedia
Axum — For other uses, see Axum (disambiguation). Axum አክሱም City Street in Axum … Wikipedia
Kaleb (Axum) — Münze des Ella Asbeha Ella Asbeha (auch Kaleb, sabäisch ʾlʾṣbḥh, griechisch El(l)esbaas genannt; * um 500; † um 540) war Negus von Aksum (im heutigen Äthiopien) von ca. 520 bis zu seinem Tod. Er gilt als einer der bedeutendsten Herrscher Aksums.… … Deutsch Wikipedia
Israel of Axum — ###@@@KEYEND@@@###Israel (vocalized Ge ez እስራኤል ʾIsrāʾēl or ይስራኤል Yisrāʾēl , c.590) was a king of Axum. He is primarily known through the coins minted during his reign.The Kebra Nagast and Ethiopian historical tradition states that Kaleb had two… … Wikipedia
Ezana of Axum — ###@@@KEYEND@@@###Ezana of Axum (Ge ez ዔዛና ʿĒzānā unvocalized ዐዘነ ʿzn . also spelled Aezana or Aizan), was ruler of the Axumite Kingdom (c.321s – c.360) located in present day in Tigray, northern Ethiopia, Eritrea, Yemen, southern Saudi Arabia,… … Wikipedia
Israel von Axum — Goldmünze des Israel Israel war ein christlicher König des Aksumitisches Reiches in Afrika, der Ende des sechsten Jahrhunderts regierte. Der Herrscher ist fast nur von seinen Münzen bekannt. Das Kebra Negest, ein äthiopisches Geschichtswerk… … Deutsch Wikipedia
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History of Yemen — The history of Yemen is especially important because Yemen is one of the oldest centers of civilization in the Near East. [ [http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/ht/04/wap/ht04wap.htm Arabian Peninsula, 1000 B.C.–1 A.D. | Timeline of Art History | The… … Wikipedia
Abraha — (also spelled Abreha) (died after AD 553Stuart Munro Hay, Abraha in Siegbert von Uhlig, ed., Encyclopaedia Aethiopica: A C (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2003)] ; r. 525 mdash;at least 553S. C. Munro Hay, Aksum: An African Civilization of Late… … Wikipedia
Ancient history of Yemen — The ancient history of Yemen (South Arabia) is especially important because Yemen is one of the oldest centers of civilization in the Near East. [ [http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/ht/04/wap/ht04wap.htm Arabian Peninsula, 1000 B.C.–1 A.D. | Timeline … Wikipedia