Emperor Kaleb

king kaleb

King Kaleb of Ethiopia's Axum


The Kingdom of Axum flourished for many years with a succession of powerful rulers, but one stood out as being the most important.



Axum at the time was enjoying the wealth and business of Christian Byzantines that were heavily engaged in trade within their region.


king kaleb saint elesbaan


King Kaleb of Axum (520 c) also known by his throne name Ella Asbeha/Atsbeha is well known for his invasion and conquest of Yemen in southern Arabia.

King Kaleb is believed to have launched an attack against the Jewish King Yusuf Asar Yathar because of his ruthless persecution of Christians.

King Kaleb is said to have rented about 60 ships from ports ran by the Byzantines in the Erythrean Sea, or the modern day Red Sea.


saint elesban hellesthaeus


His forces were in the range of 100,000 to 120,000 which he sent to combat the king in Yemen.

After a bloody war that tested both sides to the extreme, King Kaleb emerged victorious and proceeded to kill King Yusuf.


king caleb of axum ethiopia


In his place he appointed a Christian called Sumuafa Ashawa as his viceroy.


king caleb king kaleb


Due to his willingness to protect Christians, the 16th century Cardinal Cesare Baronio named him Saint Elesbaan.

He was also referred to by the Greeks as Hellesthaeus or "the one who brought about the morning or the one who collects tribute".


saint elesbaan of axum ethiopia


Some historians believe that the Axumite kingdom over extended itself by conquering Yemen, and it eventually led to their demise.



emperor kaleb elesbaan elsebaan