Classic DACB Collection

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


Alternate Names: Gärima
Ancient Christian Church

Gärima, or Yeshaq, Abba (perhaps fl. late 5th and early 6th century A.D.), was one of the Nine Saints, Monophysite missionaries who came to Ethiopia at the turn of the fifth century. His Life is contained in a late fifteenth-century gädl (Acts) written from the standpoint of Endä Gärima in Tegré. He was the son of a certain Mäsfeyanos, King of Rome or Rum (Byzantium), and his wife, Sefengeya. His mother bore him through the intercession of the Virgin Mary after fifteen years of barrenness. He was sent to study theology at the age of twelve, but later, on his father’s death, became king against his will. After he had ruled seven years, he was summoned by Abba Päntäléwon and, with the help of the Archangel Gäbre’él, was able to reach Aksum in three hours. There he joined Päntäléwon and remained with his community for five years until they parted company, when he went to Mädära and founded a monastery. He stayed there for seventeen or twenty-three years performing miracles, driving out demons, and tending to the sick. The Emperor Gäbrä-Mäsqäl is reputed to have built him a church there, which he endowed liberally. Gärima died on 17 Säné (24 June).

In the Gädlä ‘Arägawi the name Yeshaq is applied to Zä-Mika’él’s father.

A. K. Irvine and Seifu Metaferia


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M. Chaîne, “Repertoire de Salam et Malke’e,” *La Revue de l’Orient Chrétien *(Paris, 1913).

E. A. Wallis Budge, A History of Ethiopia (London, 1928), Vol. I.

——–, The Book of the Saints of the Ethiopian Church (Cambridge, 1928), Vol. III, 713; Vol. IV, 1009-10.

J.-B. Coulbeaux, Historie politique et religieuse de l’Abyssinie (Paris, 1929), Vol. I.

M.-A. Van Den Oudenrijn, La vie de Saint Za Mika’êl ‘Aragawi (Fribourg, 1939).

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——–(ed.), Acta Yared et Pantalewon, Corpus Scriptorum Christianorum Orientalium, Scriptores aethiopici, series altera, t. XVII.

——–, Storia d’Etiopia (Bergamo, 1928).

I. Guidi, “Il ‘Gadla ‘Aragâwi,’” Atti della R. Accademia dei Lincei, Serie quinta, Vol. II (Roma, 1896).

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.