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The mysterious jewish queen of Ethiopia

Printed From: History Community ~ All Empires
Category: Regional History or Period History
Forum Name: African History
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URL: http://www.allempires.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=17222
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Topic: The mysterious jewish queen of Ethiopia
Posted By: Decebal
Subject: The mysterious jewish queen of Ethiopia
Date Posted: 18-Jan-2007 at 14:23
I came across this interesting historical tidbit, about a jewish (or possibly pagan) warrior queen, who conquered and devastated most of christain Ethiopia in the 10th century AD.
 
 
Gudit
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Gudit (or Yodit, meaning Judith; also known as Esato) is a semi-legendary non-Christian queen (flourished c.960) who laid waste to Axum and its countryside, destroyed churches and monuments, and attempted to exterminate the members of the ruling Axumite dynasty. Her deeds are recorded in both the oral tradition and incidentally in various historical accounts.

The accounts of Gudit are contradictory and incomplete. Paul B. Henze wrote, "She is said to have killed the emperor, ascended the throne herself, and reigned for forty years. Accounts of her violent misdeeds are still related among peasants in the north Ethiopian countryside."[1] Henze continues in a footnote,

On my first visit to the rock church of Abreha and Atsbeha in eastern Tigray in 1970, I noticed that its intricately carved ceiling was blackened by soot. The priest explained it as the work of Gudit, who had piled the church full of hay and set it ablaze nine centuries before.[2]
There is a tradition that Gudit sacked and burned Debre Damo, which at the time was a treasury and a prison for the male relatives of the king of Ethiopia; this may be an echo of the later capture and sack of Amba Geshen by Ahmed Gragn.[3]

The Italian scholar Carlo Conti Rossini first proposed that the account of this warrior queen in the History of the Patriarchs of Alexandria, where she was described as Bani al-Hamwiyah ought to be read as Bani al-Damutah, and argued that she was ruler of the once-powerful kingdom of Damot, and that she was related to one of the indigenous Sidamo peoples of southern Ethiopia.[4] This would agree with the numerous references to matriarchs ruling the Sidamo polities.[5]

If Gudit did not belong to one of the Sidamo peoples, then some scholars, based on the traditions that Gudit was Jewish, propose that she was of the Agaw people, who historically have been numerous in Lasta, and a number of whom (known as the Beta Israel), have professed the Jewish religion since ancient times. If she was not of a Jewish origin, she might have been a convert to Judaism by her husband, or pagan. [6]

It was during the office of Patriarch Philotheos of Alexandria when Gudit started her revolt, near the end of the reign of the king who had deposed the Abuna Petros. As Taddesse Tamrat explains, at the time "his own death in the conflict, and the military reverses of the kingdom were taken as divine retribution for the sufferings of Abuna Petros."[7]

This chronological synchronicity with the tenure of Patriarch Philotheos, and the intervention of king Georgios II of Makuria, provides us a date of c.960 for Gudit. A contemporary Arab historian, Ibn Hawqal, provides this account:

The country of the habasha has been ruled by a woman for many years now: she has killed the king of the habasha who was called Haḍani [from Ge'ez haṣ́ani, modern aṣ́e or atse]. Until today she rules with complete independence in her own coutnry and the frontier areas of the country of the Haḍani, in the southern part of [the country of] the habashi.[8]
Another historian mentions that the king of Yemen sent a zebra to the ruler of Iraq in 969/970, which he had received as a gift from the Queen of al-Habasha.[9]

Taddesse Tamrat has speculated that one effect of Gudit's otherwise ephemeral rule, might be the pockets of various languages related to Amharic scattered across southwestern Ethiopia (e.g. Argobba, Gurage and Gafat), which could have been Axumite military settlements isolated by her conquests and later Sidamo migrations.[10]


[edit] References
^ # Paul B. Henze, Layers of Time, A History of Ethiopia (New York: Palgrave, 2000) p. 48
^ # Henze, Layers of Time, p. 48 n.14. His visit among others to various churches in can be read [here http://www.irrob.org/page/page/2466345.htm - http://www.irrob.org/page/page/2466345.htm ].
^ # Recorded by Thomas Pakenham, The Mountains of Rasselas (New York: Reynal, 1959), p. 79.
^ # Conti Rossini's argument is taken from Taddesse Tamrat's summary in Church and State in Ethiopia (1270 - 1526) (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972), p. 39
^ # See O.G.S. Crawford, Ethiopian Itineraries, circa 1400-1524 (Cambridge: Hakluyt Society, 1958), p. 81f for examples.
^ # Edward Ullendorff, The Ethiopians: An Introduction to Country and People second edition, (London: Oxford University Press, 1965), pp. 60ff.
^ # Taddesse Tamrat, Church and State, pp. 40f. Although Taddesse Tamrat states that the name of this king is not known, E.A. Wallis Budge in his account of the tenure of Abuna Petros (A History of Ethiopia: Nubia and Abyssinia, 1928 [Oosterhout, the Netherlands: Anthropological Publications, 1970], p.276) calls him Degna Djan, who reigned perhaps as late as c.1100; this would obviously conflict with Conti Rossi's chronology.
^ # Quoted in Taddesse Tamrat, Church and State p. 39. Habasha is the Arabic form of Abyssinia, i.e. Ethiopia.
^ # Stuart C. Munro-Hay, Aksum, an African Civilization of Late Antiquity (Edinburgh: University Press, 1991) p. 101.
^ # Taddesse Tamrat, Church and State, p. 41.



-------------
What is history but a fable agreed upon?
Napoleon Bonaparte

Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth.- Mohandas Gandhi




Replies:
Posted By: malizai_
Date Posted: 20-Jan-2007 at 10:37
Gudit is today read as Judith.

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Posted By: Spartakus
Date Posted: 20-Jan-2007 at 17:14
Decebal continuasly surprises me.Where did you find them!You nerd!Clap

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"There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them. "
--- Joseph Alexandrovitch Brodsky, 1991, Russian-American poet, b. St. Petersburg and exiled 1972 (1940-1996)


Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 20-Jan-2007 at 23:22
Shouldn't this post go in the sections of "Ancient Mediterranean" or "Ancient Middle East"?
 
This thread is for pre-Contact Americas and pre-colonian Subsaharan Africa, if I am not wrong, and Ethiopia is more part of the Middle East history than the rest of Africa, I believe.
 
Pinguin


Posted By: Decebal
Date Posted: 22-Jan-2007 at 09:31

pinguin, if Ethiopia is not in Sub-Saharan Africa, then I don't know where it is... Granted, Ethiopia did have a role to play in Middle-Eastern affairs, especially during the 2nd to the 7th centuries AD, when it was a major regional power which meddled in Southern Arabia, played a role in the development of Islam and was the 2nd christian nation in the world. But all throughout it was still an African civilization. The theory that it was Sabeans which founded Axum has largely fallen into disfavour. Saying that Ethiopia should be considered part of Middle-Eastern history, because it was christian and interfered in Arabian politics is like saying that France should be a part of Middle-Eastern history for the same reasons. The people who usually make this type of argument are the people who believe that African civilizations have little merit of their own.

Spartakus, interesting comment there. When a veteran member of a history forum, who himself spends a lot of time on history, calls me a nerd, then I must be really "special"... That's okay though: I may be a nerd but I  hid it well enough to marry a beautiful woman!Wink



-------------
What is history but a fable agreed upon?
Napoleon Bonaparte

Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth.- Mohandas Gandhi



Posted By: pekau
Date Posted: 25-Feb-2007 at 22:17
Nice find, Decebal. And there's nothing wrong with the thirst to gain more knowledge.

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http://swagbucks.com/refer/Malachi">      
   
Join us.


Posted By: AfrikaJamaika
Date Posted: 27-Feb-2007 at 19:10
Originally posted by pinguin

 
Ethiopia is more part of the Middle East history than the rest of Africa, I believe.
 
Pinguin


No the hell Ethiopia aint, more apart of Middle East history then African 

history. if that were true Pinguin why would their ancient drawings, including

the drawings of today in Ethiopia portray black people with nappy afros?

This picture of Menelik the 2nd(below) is clearly Negro and he was titled

The King of Kings in Abyssinia(Ethiopia) and also believed to be the Son of King Solomon, and Queen Makeda....



You

really know how to piss me the hell off....

You dont give black people credit for anything....

How would u like it if i started saying all of Chile has nothing to do with you or any of your people Pinguin?

Once again i see that i must prove you wrong, and correct you of your bad views towards the accomplishments  of African black people....

Obviously you believe that we are incapable of doing anything good, you didn't directly

say it but i can tell, just how u always go out of your way to make black royalty, or black achievements  look like achievements of another race....

The truth is every race alive, and extinct races have all accomplished something

great in this world and they all need to be recognized and respected no matter their race....


Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 27-Feb-2007 at 19:37
That's not the problem, fellow.
 
This is supposed to be part of the "prehistoric" cultures of the Americans, Africa and perhaps Oceania. Ethiopia is not part of prehistory but a civilization of the mainstream. Don't you get it?
 
In the case of Africa we should discuss pre-colonial Zimbabwe and Congo here, not Ethiopia or Egypt.
 
 


Posted By: AfrikaJamaika
Date Posted: 27-Feb-2007 at 19:41
Originally posted by pinguin

That's not the problem, fellow.
 
This is supposed to be part of the "prehistoric" cultures of the Americans, Africa and perhaps Oceania. Ethiopia is not part of prehistory but a civilization of the mainstream. Don't you get it
 



first of all precolonial means before a place is colonized, Abyssinia(Ethiopia) in the ancient times wasn't colonized so therefore discussing about Ethiopia in ancient times is  precolonial discussion....

And your wrong about what you said in your previous post....


Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 27-Feb-2007 at 20:01

Wouldn't be better to separate pre-Columbian Americas from Pre Colonial Africa, when they are two regions that were not related at those times at all?

I have asked for that but I have found no ecco.

Pinguin



Posted By: AfrikaJamaika
Date Posted: 27-Feb-2007 at 22:19
ancient pictures of  Abyssinians(Ethiopians):

King Menelik 2nd and his crew



Fitaurari Zawde Gobena



Kantiba Wosene Zamanel



Kanyazmach Tekle Markos W. Gabriel














Posted By: AfrikaJamaika
Date Posted: 27-Feb-2007 at 22:29
Originally posted by pinguin

Wouldn't be better to separate pre-Columbian Americas from Pre Colonial Africa, when they are two regions that were not related at those times at all?

I have asked for that but I have found no ecco.

Pinguin



NO!


Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 27-Feb-2007 at 22:34

Why not?

The idea is that each region has its own history. Why to mix regions that have nothing in common at those times? 


Posted By: AfrikaJamaika
Date Posted: 27-Feb-2007 at 23:17
Originally posted by pinguin

Why not?

The idea is that each region has its own history. Why to mix regions that have nothing in common at those times? 


The topic "Pre-Colmbian Americas, and Precolonial Africa" are 2 seperate discussions... I didn't combine them in this post....

Decebal posted in here about Judith being in Ethiopia, you said some wrong things about Ethiopia being middle east and i corrected you......

This thread made by Decebal was talking about Africa not about Pre-Columbian America....Just because they are put in the same line doesn't mean they both have to be talked about at the same time......


Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 28-Feb-2007 at 08:07
OK. Let's talk Ethiopia, then.
 
You very well know that civilization has nothing exotic or new to the west. It appear on the Bible, and has been in contact with Egypt, the Middle East and India since the beginning of recording history. Even more, the history of Solomon is very close to the history of that country, to the point some say the Ark of the Alliance is in that country.
 
You also know, Ethiopia has its own branch of Christianity, and that the famous priest John of the Middle Ages was probably Ethiopian.
 
So, what's so strange about Ethiopia to exclude from the Ancient Civilizations topics or the Middle East?
 
Ethiopia, I believe, is "mainstream" history.
 
Pinguin
 
 
 


Posted By: AfrikaJamaika
Date Posted: 28-Feb-2007 at 17:22
Originally posted by pinguin

OK. Let's talk Ethiopia, then.
 
You very well know that civilization has nothing exotic or new to the west. It appear on the Bible, and has been in contact with Egypt, the Middle East and India since the beginning of recording history. Even more, the history of Solomon is very close to the history of that country, to the point some say the Ark of the Alliance is in that country.
 
You also know, Ethiopia has its own branch of Christianity, and that the famous priest John of the Middle Ages was probably Ethiopian.
 
So, what's so strange about Ethiopia to exclude from the Ancient Civilizations topics or the Middle East?
 
Ethiopia, I believe, is "mainstream" history.
 
Pinguin
 
 
 


look like i aswell as Decebal said , Ethiopia is not more apart of the middle east then it is of Sub-Saharian African territory....


Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 28-Feb-2007 at 18:54
Originally posted by AfrikaJamaika

 look like i aswell as Decebal said , Ethiopia is not more apart of the middle east then it is of Sub-Saharian African territory....
 
 I don't find any point of contact between Ethiopia and the Americas, for example. Ethiopia was in contact with Eurasia and all its development was done in interaction with that chain of civilizations that spread from the Mediterranean to China. Subsaharan Africa was another story.
 
More similarities exist between the more "primitive" Subsharan Africa, the Pacific and the Americas, though. A lot more than with Ethiopia. That's why I find ridiculous to include in here.
 
So, why don't we split the thread though? Between regions that have relationships?
 
Omar


Posted By: Malik
Date Posted: 03-Mar-2007 at 08:53
Originally posted by AfrikaJamaika

Originally posted by pinguin

 
Ethiopia is more part of the Middle East history than the rest of Africa, I believe.
 
Pinguin


No the hell Ethiopia aint, more apart of Middle East history then African 

history. if that were true Pinguin why would their ancient drawings, including

the drawings of today in Ethiopia portray black people with nappy afros?

This picture of Menelik the 2nd(below) is clearly Negro and he was titled

The King of Kings in Abyssinia(Ethiopia) and also believed to be the Son of King Solomon, and Queen Makeda....



You

really know how to piss me the hell off....

You dont give black people credit for anything....

How would u like it if i started saying all of Chile has nothing to do with you or any of your people Pinguin?

Once again i see that i must prove you wrong, and correct you of your bad views towards the accomplishments  of African black people....

Obviously you believe that we are incapable of doing anything good, you didn't directly

say it but i can tell, just how u always go out of your way to make black royalty, or black achievements  look like achievements of another race....

The truth is every race alive, and extinct races have all accomplished something

great in this world and they all need to be recognized and respected no matter their race....


Ive noticed that the user you are arguing with is biased towards negroid peoples in general.This can be concluded by looking at  many of his posts from the past.....


Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 03-Mar-2007 at 12:53
Yes, an look at the guy on the picture. He just look "caucasian" after a taking a little bit of tan in a solarium LOL. And alhough most people "looks black", like some people say, he is not the only ethiopian that have an ambiguous "racial" affiliation.
 
An%20Ethiopian%20woman%20stands%20in%20line%20with%20hundreds%20of%20villagers%20as%20they%20wait%20to%20vote%20outside%20a%20polling%20station%20in%20the%20capital%20Addis%20Ababa.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Model Iman
 


Posted By: Maharbbal
Date Posted: 04-Mar-2007 at 23:48
Pinguin, I like you but once in a while you have no idea what you're talking about.

Ethiopia part of the Middle East is highly debatable. Agreed it is a fairly special African country, but so are Mauritania, Somalia, Mali, Niger and Chad. I've been told there is a tradition in Northern Ethiopia saying that when God baked the first man he overcooked it and it gave the black man; second try, second miss, but not cooked enough this time, it gave the white man. The third try was to be the good one, it gave the Abyssinian... So you are deciding to see the glass half empty while it is at least three fifth full.
Moreover, even if some Northern Ethiopian have a very fair skin, most of them are clearly black see for instance people from Ogaden.

For the division of Africa and America subs: although I agree with you there is something a bit unfair in the fact that Asia has 5 subs of its own, you must admit that much less people are around (you yourself write about a third of the posts in this sub). If you need a historical excuse for that you can assimilate in a violent move both African and American societies in a "low organic economies" package.


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I am a free donkey!


Posted By: Malik
Date Posted: 07-Mar-2007 at 09:27
Originally posted by Maharbbal

Pinguin, I like you but once in a while you have no idea what you're talking about.

Ethiopia part of the Middle East is highly debatable. Agreed it is a fairly special African country, but so are Mauritania, Somalia, Mali, Niger and Chad. I've been told there is a tradition in Northern Ethiopia saying that when God baked the first man he overcooked it and it gave the black man; second try, second miss, but not cooked enough this time, it gave the white man. The third try was to be the good one, it gave the Abyssinian... So you are deciding to see the glass half empty while it is at least three fifth full.
Moreover, even if some Northern Ethiopian have a very fair skin, most of them are clearly black see for instance people from Ogaden.

For the division of Africa and America subs: although I agree with you there is something a bit unfair in the fact that Asia has 5 subs of its own, you must admit that much less people are around (you yourself write about a third of the posts in this sub). If you need a historical excuse for that you can assimilate in a violent move both African and American societies in a "low organic economies" package.


Whats funny...is that hes the only member on this board who does that LOL


Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 07-Mar-2007 at 10:31
Originally posted by Maharbbal

....
For the division of Africa and America subs: although I agree with you there is something a bit unfair in the fact that Asia has 5 subs of its own, you must admit that much less people are around (you yourself write about a third of the posts in this sub). If you need a historical excuse for that you can assimilate in a violent move both African and American societies in a "low organic economies" package.
...
 
I don't think is fair to mix cultures that has nothing in common, and compare Ethiopia with the Incas LOL.
 
And yes, there is very few people that talk about the Amerindian societies, even when living in the United States, but if you don't start spreading the news about these matters, people will never start to get informed. And with respect to Ethiopia, my point is that that civilization has nothing "exotic" about it, and it should be put in the "ancient civilizations" list somewhere else, and not in a list where we discuss the so called "primitive" and "exotic" societies.
 
I don't mind if you put the tribal societies of bantu Africa in here, if necesary, except by the fact that (as you know) the topics about Africa tend to be a little bit politically loaded these days. And also it give the impression both continents have a pre-colonial history in common, which is false.
 
We have tens of lists arguing about microscopic countries of Europe. Why the Americas can't have its own list? After all, they represent the 40% of the lands of this planet, and include some of the most famous civilizations on earth: Mayans and Incas included.
 
Finally, your idea that the American's societies were "low organic economies", reveals you need further research on the topic.LOL
 
Thanks
 
Pinguin
 
 
 
 


Posted By: viola76
Date Posted: 10-Mar-2007 at 22:27

 

not even nazis try and seperate ethiopia from black africa. and you have the nerve to keep on going on about afrocentrism when you practice it s twin. what hypocrisy.


Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 10-Mar-2007 at 23:00
Originally posted by viola76

 not even nazis try and seperate ethiopia from black africa. and you have the nerve to keep on going on about afrocentrism when you practice it s twin. what hypocrisy.

Dear Viola:
 
The point is not color of skin but level of development.
If you study, for example, the nomadic peoples of Asia you don't include the Chinese empire on it. And if you study the Germanic tribes, called the Barbarians, you don't include the Roman Empire on it.
 
Ethiopia is just another old civilization known by the Eurasian civilizations since the begining of time. So, I believe the place for Ethiopia is in ancient civilizations and not in this thread, that's all.
 
Pinguin
 


Posted By: viola76
Date Posted: 10-Mar-2007 at 23:18

i hope you have told the moderators your dislike of the fact that the ancient mediterenean is lumped with europe.



Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 10-Mar-2007 at 23:27

Well, I wish to have a place where to discuss the ancient cultures of the Americas, that is my favorite topic. That's all. You have notice there are not specialized threads for the Americas, the peoples of the Pacific, Black Africa, the Inuits, the Ainus of Japan and the nomadic people of Central Asia and Northern Europe.

And yes, you well know, like I do, that the Mediterranean cultures are older than Northern Europe. And I agree with you in your suggestion there is a bias in there.

Pinguin

 



Posted By: Penelope
Date Posted: 11-Mar-2007 at 01:34
I had absolutly no idea who Queen Gudit was, before i read this thread. Thankyou.
 
I would just like to say that it is very tragic how lots of important people, including important female leaders, continue to be purposely forced to "Vanish" from human history, to the point where people began to think that the person may never even have existed.



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