Aksum An African Civilisation of Late Antiquity Stuart Munro-Hay



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The name and most of the titulary are restorations, and the inscription could be 
differently attributed; the pagan epithet and the vocalisation, however, make Ezana a 
likely candidate for it.  
The Campaign against the Agwezat. [Ezana, son of Ella Amida, Bisi Halen, king of 
Aksum, Himyar, Raydan, Saba, Salhin, Tsiyamo,] Beja and of Kasu, king of kings, son of 
the invincible Mahrem.  
The Agwezat took the field and arrived at Angabo. There came to meet us Aba'alkeo, king 
of the Agwezat, with his tribe, and he brought tribute. And, when later we arrived at 
`Alya the camp in the land of Atagaw, we obtained camels and beasts of burden, men, 
women, and provisions for twenty days. But the third day after our arrival, since we 
recognised the perfidy of Aba'alkeo, we delivered the Agwezat who had come with their 
king to pillage; and those whom we plundered we bound, and as for Aba'alkeo, we left 
him naked, and chained him to the bearer of his throne (or, after Huntingford 1989: 53, 
Aba'alkeo king of the Agwezat we did not leave, but we bound him (also) along with the 
bearer of his throne; or, after Schneider 1984: 159, this passage means that only 
Aba'alkeo was not put in chains). We then ordered the column Mahaza and the 
commanders of the columns to march night and day. Then they sent the column Mahaza 
and the column Metin, and they were ordered to go and fight the Agwezat. Then they 
went to . . . and arrived at Asala? and came to Ereg? and took what they found. And they 
left by the pass of Asal and . . . river Nadu (or, Huntingford 1989: 53, And they went to 
the place of assembly . . . and reached `Asala (?); and they came to Ereg and . . . and 
went out by the slope of Asal and . . . river Nadu), and killed all those whom they met.  
From there they came to the territory of Agada where they killed and captured men and 
beasts. Then they sent the troop Daken and ordered it to go by Se`ezot and from the east . 
. . they retired . . . and the carriers of water brought water (or, Huntingford 1989, and 
they turned by Tabenya and descended where the water falls). And the three columns 
Daken, Hara, and Metin rallied at Ad(ya)bo. . . . Then they sent the column Hara and 
ordered them to go towards Zawa..t.  
And from there for the third time they sent the column Laken and dispatched it and 
ordered it to proceed to Hasabo and it left for the pass (Huntingford 1989: 53, slopeof 
Tuteho and descended . . . the river, and reached Lawa and descended towards Asya. . . . 
And together they departed from Hezaba, and camped at . . . and they entered and passed 
the night. And at dawn, they attacked . . . followed to the mustering place of Magaro and 
the three columns . . . to the river, with Falha and Sera.  
DAE 10. Vocalised Ge`ez. 
The Afan Campaign. [E]zana, son of Ella Amida, Bisi Halen, king of Aksum, Himyar, 
Raydan, Saba, Salhin, Tsiyamo, Beja and of Kasu, son of the invincible Mahrem.  
The Tsarane, whose country is Afan (Huntingford 1989: 55, suggests Awan), attacked 
and annihilated a merchant caravan. And we went to war against them, and we sent 


columns, those of Mahaza, Daken and Hara and we ourself followed and camped at the 
place of encampment of the troops at `Ala (Huntingford 1989: 55, Alahaand from there 
we sent out our troops. And they killed some of the Tsarane, and captured others and 
took booty. We vanquished Sa`ene and Tsawante and Gema and Zahtan, four peoples
and we seized Alita (Huntingford 1989: 55, Alitahaand his two children.  
And 503 men of Afan and 202 women were put to death, in all 705. Men and their women 
(Huntingford 1989: 55, belonging to the baggage trainwere made prisoner, 40 men and 
165 women, total 205. The booty comprised 31,900 (Huntingford 1989: 55, 31,957head 
of cattle and 827 beasts of burden.  
And he (the king) returned in safety with his people and raised a throne here in Shado 
which he put under the protection of the gods Astar, Beher and Meder. And should 
anyone remove or displace it, let him and his race be exterminated; let him be extirpated 
from these lands. And he brought a thank -offering to Mahrem who begot him, 100 head 
of cattle and 50 captives.  
DAE 11. Vocalised Ge`ez. 
The `monotheistic' inscription; there have been many speculations about the form of the 
dedication of this inscription, some authors attributing it to a monotheism not specifically 
Christian. This complication seems unnecessary when what seem to be the Greek and 
South Arabian script versions (below) are considered. It may rather reflect an uncertainty 
as to how to refer to the Christian god in the earliest Christian period of the country.  
The Noba and Kasu Campaign. By the might of the Lord of Heaven who in the sky and on 
earth holds power over all beings, Ezana, son of Ella Amida, Bisi Halen, king of Aksum, 
Himyar, Raydan, Saba, Salhin, Tsiyamo, Beja and of Kasu, king of kings, son of Ella 
Amida, never defeated by the enemy.  
May the might of the Lord of Heaven, who has made me king, who reigns for all eternity, 
invincible, cause that no enemy can resist me, that no enemy may follow me!  
By the might of the Lord of All I campaigned against the Noba when the Noba peoples 
revolted and boasted. `They will not dare to cross the Takaze' said the Noba people. 
When they had oppressed the Mangurto, Hasa and Barya peoples, and when the blacks 
fought the red people and they broke their word for the second and third times and put 
their neighbours to death without mercy, and pillaged our messengers and the envoys 
whom I sent to them to admonish them, and they plundered them of what they had 
including their lances; when finally, having sent new messengers to whom they did not 
wish to listen but replied by refusals, scorn, and evil acts; then I took the field.  
I set forth by the might of the Lord of the Land and I fought at the Takaze and the ford 
Kemalke. Here I put them to flight, and, not resting, I followed those who fled for twenty-
three days during which I killed some everywhere they halted. I made prisoners of others 



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