KINGS & EMPERORS
of all the galleries describing ethiopia, this is the most difficult one. why? because what's behind this 3000 years old realm begins with a legend, with a myth, with a saga.
what almost all ethiopians believe, or at least like to believe, is that their first king, menelik, labeled "king of kings",was the son of king solomon of the israel state and queen makeda of the sheba kingdom and ruled at about 960 bc. this refers to the first ethiopian kingdom, d'm't, 980-400 bc. historians mostly assume that it connected east africa with south arabia. yet there is no convincing proof yet whether the (mystic) queen sheba did reside in ethiopia (near aksum) or in yemen (in marib) or both.
the dynasty beginning with menelik ended in 1975, 225 generations later, with the death of ethiopian emperor haile selassie. while the queen of sheba, called makeba in ethiopia, is mentioned in both the bible and the quran, this is not a proof in scientific terms. unfortunately no evidence has been found in northern ethiopia about menelik's regime.
and even worse - some historians doubt that queen sheba actually visited king solomon, or that she existed at all...
however, such disbelief hardly exists in ethiopia. so, here are pieces of art showing the two.
the symbol of ethiopia has always been a lion. the flag shows this, and even the icon of the university of addis ababa.
for some of the historic kings or emperors pictures survived, especially of those ruling in lalibela.
the most well-known emperor - and the last one - is haile selassie, who ruled from 1930 to 1974, in addis ababa. two pictures of his wife, menen asfah, are also shown below.