Classic DACB Collection

All articles created or submitted in the first twenty years of the project, from 1995 to 2015.


Alternate Names: ‘Ellä-Gäbäz
Ancient Christian Church

‘Ellä-Gäbäz, Emperor (perhaps fl. c. late 6th and early 7th century A.D.), was a ruler of the Aksumite Empire of Ethiopia. He minted gold currency which was inscribed in Greek and bore the Cross of Christ as well as the Emperor’s effigy. His name seems to lie behind the patronymic of al-Asham ibn Abjar (? Emperor ‘Ellä-Säham), najaši of Ethiopia at the time of the Prophet Muhammad. When ‘Abd Šams made his treaty with the najaši, the latter’s name was given as al-Akbar, which might be emended to al-Akbar, ‘Ellä-Gäbäz. According to Tabarï, he may have been the grandfather of Emperor Armah. Some King Lists give two Emperors named ‘Ellä-Gäbäz, but at a somewhat earlier date.

A. K. Irvine


Tabari (M. J. de Goeje, ed.), *Ta’rikh *(Leiden, 1879-1901), Vol. I, 1089.

E. Littmann, Deutsche Aksum-Expedition (Berlin, 1913), Vol. I, 55.

C. Conti Rossini, “Monete aksumite,” Africa Italiana, Vol. I. (1927): 207.

——–, “Les Listes des Rois d’ Aksoum”, Journal Asiatique (1909): Liste C.

A. Kammerer, La Mer Rouge, l’Abyssinie et l’Arabie depuis l’antiquité (Le Caire, 1929), Vol. I, 222-3.

J. Doresse, L’Empire du Prêtre-Jean (Paris, 1957), Vol. I, 135.

A. Anzani, “Numismatica axumita,” Rivista Italiana di Numismatica e Scienze Affini, XXXIX (1926): 38-9, 82-3.

F. Anfray, “Les rois d’Axoum d’après la numismatique,” Journal of Ethiopian Studies, Vol. VI, No. 2 (1968): 1-3.

This article is reproduced, with permission, from The Dictionary of Ethiopian Biography, Vol. 1 ‘From Early Times to the End of the Zagwé Dynasty c. 1270 A.D.,’ copyright © 1975, edited by Belaynesh Michael, S. Chojnacki and Richard Pankhurst, Institute of Ethiopian Studies, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. All rights reserved.