Tewodros I

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

Tewodros I
Emperor of Ethiopia
PredecessorDawit I
SuccessorYeshaq I
Died2 July 1414 (29 Sene 1406)
HouseHouse of Solomon
ReligionOrthodox Tewahedo


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 died beyond the Awash river Taddesse Tamrat suspects that chroniclers of this era tried to suppress the violent death of the Emerors.[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.
  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