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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Ethiopian dynastic marriage and the Bta Esra'l (or Falashas)
Author:Pankhurst, RichardISNI
Periodical:Africa: rivista trimestrale di studi e documentazione
Geographic term:Ethiopia
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/40761157
Abstract:Dynastic marriage for at least the last half millennium played a major role in Ethiopian political life. This paper examines to what extent the Bt Esra'l, or Falashas, fitted into the prevailing Ethiopian pattern of interreligious royal marriage. It shows that significant contacts between the State of Ethiopia and the Falashas began in the late 16th century, when Hargo, an apparently high-born Falasha woman, became the consort of Emperor Srs Dengel. She bore him four sons. One, Z-Maryam, was chosen as heir to the throne, but died before he could succeed. The second, Ya-qob, actually ascended the imperial throne, but was too young to make a success of it. Two others, Kefl Maryam and Mtko, seem to have thrown in their lot with their Falasha kinsman Gedwon, the ruler of Smn, and thus played no insignificant role in imperial and/or Falasha local politics. The idea of a dynastic alliance with the Bt Esra'l was revived in 1617 by Emperor Susneyos's rebel brother, Ras Yman Krestos, but his rebellion was crushed and he was exiled. This put an end to any further royal dynastic alliances with the Bt Esra'l. Notes, ref. (Also published in: Aethiopica / Institut fr Afrikanistik und thiopistik der Universitt Hamburg, vol. 1 (1998), p. 50-63.)