Newaya Krestos

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Newaya Krestos
Emperor of Ethiopia
Reign 1344–1372
Predecessor Amda Seyon I
Successor Newaya Maryam
Issue Newaya Maryam,
Dawit I
Dynasty Solomonic dynasty
Father Amda Seyon I

Newaya Krestos (Amharic: ንዋየ ክርስቶስ) (property of Christ, throne name Sayfa Ar`ed sword of terror) was Emperor (nəgusä nägäst) (1344–1372) of the Ethiopian Empire, and a member of the Solomonic dynasty. He was the eldest son of Amda Seyon I.


According to James Bruce, Newaya Krestos was present at his father's campaign against Salih, the king of Mora, which took place after Amda Seyon had put down the rebellion of Sabr ad-Din I of Adal.[1]

On the death of his father, Newaya Krestos ("Vessel of Christ") had agreed to the entreaties of Abuna Yaqob to recall the monks his father had exiled and live a monogamous life unlike his polygamous predecessors; but he went back on his word, marrying three women. When Abuna Yaqob and the monastic leaders protested, the Emperor sent the Abuna back to Egypt, and exiled the monks to the southern parts of his kingdom.[2]

During his reign Ali ibn Sabr ad-Din of the Walashma dynasty revolted. In response, Newaya Krestos campaigned along the eastern frontier of Ethiopia in the territories of Adal and Ifat. Due to lack of support from his subjects, Ali ad-Din's revolt was unsuccessful, and he was captured with all of his sons, effectively destroying the Sultanate of Ifat as an independent state. Newaya Krestos imprisoned Ali ad-Din and all of his sons except for Ahmad, whom the emperor made governor of Ifat. However, after eight years Ali was released from prison and returned to power; Ahmad and his sons were excluded from power, and it took the direct intervention of the Emperor for Ahmad to obtain a position over a single district.[3]

Despite his earlier actions against the Ethiopian Church, towards the end of his reign he aggressively helped the Patriarch of Alexandria Mark IV, who had been imprisoned by Al-Salih, the Sultan of Egypt. One step Newaya Krestos took was to imprison the Egyptian merchants in his kingdom; the other was to march on Egypt at the head of a numerous army. Tradition states that Patriarch Mark was freed and sent a delegation to convince the Emperor to return to his kingdom. Newaya Krestos did return, but he kept the delegation with him as his unwilling guests.[4]

Newaya Krestos is also credited for rebuilding the ancient church Debre Igziabher that overooks Lake Hayq. The structure was pillaged and burned by Imam Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al-Ghazi's forces in 1531.[5] Copies of three charters first composed during his reign survive, which G.W.B. Huntingford uses as evidence that his rule extended as far north as Serae and Tigray.[6]


  1. ^ James Bruce, Travels to Discover the Source of the Nile (1805 edition), vol. 3 pp. 93f
  2. ^ Taddesse Tamrat, Church and State in Ethiopia (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972), pp. 117f.
  3. ^ Taddesse Tamrat, Church and State, pp 146-8; E.A. Wallis Budge, A History of Ethiopia: Nubia and Abyssinia, 1928 (Oosterhout, the Netherlands: Anthropological Publications, 1970), p. 299.
  4. ^ Taddesse Tamrat, Church and State, pp. 253f; Paul E. Henze, Layers of Time: A History of Ethiopia (New York: Palgrave, 2000), p. 67.
  5. ^ Sihab ad-Din Ahmad bin 'Abd al-Qader, Futuh al-Habasa: The conquest of Ethiopia, translated by Paul Lester Stenhouse with annotations by Richard Pankhurst (Hollywood: Tsehai, 2003), p. 265.
  6. ^ G.W.B. Huntingford, The Historical Geography of Ethiopia (London: The British Academy, 1989), p. 82
Preceded by
Amda Seyon I
Emperor of Ethiopia
Succeeded by
Newaya Maryam
Retrieved from ""
This content was retrieved from Wikipedia :
This page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article "Newaya Krestos"; it is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the CC-BY-SA