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King Ezana

king ezana

King Ezana

Ezana was a prominent ruler of the Kingdom of Axum in the 4th century A.D. He was born with the name Abreha and had a twin brother named Asbeha.

After their father Ella Amida died when they were quite young, the boys' mother Sawya (Sophya) served as queen regent until the boys were old enough to rule.

During his reign, their father had taken two shipwrecked Syrian Christians under their wing.

These Christians, Aedesius and Frumentius, now tutored young Abreha and Asbeha as they grew up. Frumentius converted the brothers to Christianity and baptized them.

Once they were ready, they took the throne and co-ruled Axum, enjoying a long and fruitful reign.

Abreha took the name Ezana upon ascending to the throne. King Ezana made his greatest imprint on Axum when he officially adopted Christianity as the state religion.

He appointed Frumentius head of the church and minted new coins with the Christian cross on them.

Ezana also expanded trade-his coins have been found in India-and conducted military campaigns that brought the Kingdom of Kush, including the city of Meroe on the banks of the Blue Nile, under Axumite control.

Meroe still bears the mark of Ezana's conquest; obelisks and inscriptions created by him can be found there today.

Ezana's legacy of bringing Christianity to the Axumite Kingdom still makes itself felt in Ethiopia today.

In fact, Ezana has been made a saint by the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in commemoration of his bringing the religion to Abyssinia.