Aksum An African Civilisation of Late Antiquity Stuart Munro-Hay



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and took booty from them. At the same time those of my people who were in the field 
brought back captives and booty.  
At the same time I burnt their villages, both those with walls of stone and those of straw. 
My people took their cereals, bronze, iron and copper and overthrew the idols in their 
dwellings, as well as their corn and cotton, and threw them themselves into the river Seda 
(Blue Nile). Many lost their lives in the river, no-one knows the number. At the same time 
my people pierced and sank their boats which carried a crowd of men and women.  
And I captured two notables who had come as spies, mounted on camels, by name Yesaka 
and Butala, and the chief Angabene. The following nobles were put to death: Danoko, 
Dagale, Anako, Haware. The soldiers had wounded Karkara, their priest, and took from 
him a necklace of silver and a golden box. Thus five nobles and a priest fell.  
I arrived at the Kasu, fought them and took them prisoner at the confluence of the rivers 
Seda and Takaze. And the day after my arrival I sent into the field the columns Mahaza, 
Hara, Damawa? Falha? and Sera? along the Seda going up to their cities with walls of 
stone and of straw; their cities with walls of stone are Alwa and Daro. And my troops 
killed and took prisoners and threw them into the water and they returned home safe and 
sound after terrifying their enemies and vanquishing them thanks to the power of the 
Lord of the Land.  
Next, I sent the columns of Halen, Laken? Sabarat, Falha and Sera along the Seda, going 
down towards the four towns of straw of the Noba and the town of Negus. The towns of 
the Kasu with walls of stone which the Noba had taken were Tabito(?), Fertoti; and the 
troops penetrated to the territory of the Red Noba and my peoples returned safe after 
taking prisoners and booty, and killing by the might of the Lord of Heaven.  
And I erected a throne at the confluence of the rivers Seda and Takaze opposite the town 
with walls of stone which rises on this peninsula.  
And behold what the Lord of Heaven has given me; prisoners, 214 men, 415 women, total 
629; killed, 602 men, 156 women and children, total 758, and adding the prisoners and 
killed 1,387. The booty came to 10,560 head of cattle and 51,050 sheep.  
And I set up a throne here in Shado by the might of the Lord of Heaven who has helped 
me and given me supremacy. May the Lord of Heaven reinforce my reign. And, as he has 
now defeated my enemies for me, may he continue to do so wherever I go. As he has now 
conquered for me, and has submitted my enemies to me, I wish to reign in justice and 
equity, without doing any injustice to my peoples. And I put this throne which I have 
raised under the protection of the Lord of Heaven, who has made me king, and that of the 
Earth (Meder) which bears it. And if anyone is found to root it up, deface it or displace it, 
let him and his race be rooted up and extirpated. They shall be cast out of the country. 
And I have raised this throne by the power of the Lord of Heaven.  
Christian Inscription of Ezana. Greek. (Anfray, Caquot and Nautin 1970; Judge 1976). 


This appears to be the beginning of the Greek version of the above inscription DAE 11. If 
these were somehow arranged on a stone throne, the rest may have continued on another 
part. On the reverse is the South Arabian script version (below).  
In the faith of God and the power of the Father, son and Holy Spirit who saved for me the 
kingdom, by the faith of his son Jesus Christ, who has helped me and will always help me.  
I Azanas king of the Aksumites, and Himyarites, and Reeidan and of the Sabaeans and of 
Sileel and of Khaso and of the Beja and of Tiamo, Bisi Alene, son of Ella Amida servant 
of Christ thank the Lord my God, and I am unable to state fully his favours because my 
mouth and my mind cannot (embrace) all the favours which he has given me, for he has 
given me strength and power and favoured me with a great name through his son in 
whom I believed. And he made me the guide of all my kingdom because of my faith in 
Christ by his will and in the power of Christ, for he has guided me. And I believe in him 
and he became to me a guide. I went out to fight the Noba because there cried out against 
them, the Mangartho and Khasa and Atiaditai and Bareotai saying that `the Noba have 
ground us down; help us because they have troubled us by killing'. And I left by the 
power of Christ the God in whom I have believed and he has guided me and I departed 
from Aksum on the eighth day, a Saturday, of the Aksumite month of Magabit having faith 
in God and arrived in Mambarya and there I fed my army.  
Inscription in South Arabian script. 
This appears to be the third version of the DAE 11 text, and is important in that it ends 
(on one of the sides) with a cross, similar to that found on the coins attributed to this 
period just after the conversion of Ezana. It lacks a name, but the content and style 
allowed Schneider (1974, 1976) to suggest the attribution. His suggestion is backed up by 
the fact that this inscription is on the back and one side of the Greek version, which stops 
at a higher level, where it is supposed that the seat on the throne on which it was 
inscribed intervened.  
Kaleb Inscription. Ge`ez in the South Arabian script. 
This damaged inscription has been translated by Schneider (1974), who also translated 
what little was possible of the W`ZB inscription below. It chiefly relates a campaign 
against the Agwezat and Hasat.  
The Lord strong and brave, the Lord mighty in battle. By the power of the Lord and by 
the grace of Jesus Christ, the son of the Lord, the victorious, in whom I believe, who has 
given me a strong kingdom by which I dominate my enemies and trample underfoot the 
head of my adversaries, who has guarded me since infancy and established me on the 
throne of my fathers . . . , I trust myself to Christ so that all my enterprises might succeed, 
and that I may be saved by him who pleases my soul? With the help of the Trinity, the 
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  



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