Classic DACB Collection

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

Michael I

Orthodox Church

Michael I was a Coptic Patriarch of Alexandria who was imprisoned by the Muslim rulers of Egypt and is said to have been subsequently released through the intervention of an unspecified Emperor of Ethiopia. The story as recalled in the Ethiopian Synaxarium is that this Patriarch, who held office from 743 to 767, and is a saint of the Ethiopian Church, was imprisoned and subjected to indignities, whereupon the Emperor was “filled with holy indignation,” and “went down to Egypt,” where he “laid waste many cities.” The King of Egypt then freed Michael, who wrote to the Emperor to that effect, whereupon the latter “returned to his country in peace.”

Richard K. P. Pankhurst


E. A. Wallis Budge, The Book of the Saints of the Ethiopian Church (Cambridge, 1928), Vol. III, 708-11.

M. Chaine, La chronologie des temps chrétiens de l’Egypte et de l’Ethiopie (Paris, 1925), 252.

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.