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Emperor Yagbe'u Seyon, also Yagbea-Sion (throne name Salomon) was nəgusä nägäst (18 June 1285 - 1294) of Ethiopia, and a member of the Solomonic dynasty. He succeeded his father Yekuno Amlak.

Yagbe'u Seyon served as co-ruler with his father Yekuno Amlak for the last few years of his reign, which eased his succession. He sought to improve the relations of his kingdom with his Muslim neighbors; however, like his father, he was unsuccessful in convincing the powers in Egypt to ordain an abuna or metropolitan for the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.

At the same time, he pursued a military campaign against the Sultanate of Ifat on his southern border.

King Yagbea-Sion (left), battling the Sultan of Adal. "Le livre des Merveilles", 15th century.

Marco Polo mentions that one of the "princes" of Ethiopia in 1288 planned to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, following the practice of a number of his subjects; he was dissuaded from this project, but sent his "bishop" in his place. On his return leg, this bishop was detained by the "Sultan of Aden", who attempted to convert the ecclesiastic to Islam; failing to do so, the sultan then had the bishop circumcised before releasing him. The "prince" then marched upon Aden, and despite support from two other Muslim allies the sultan was defeated and his capital captured.[1] A number of historians, including Trimingham[2] and Pankhurst,[3] identify the ruler with Yagbe'u Seyon, correct Polo's reference to Adal not the Arabian seaport, and name Zeila as the sultan's capital.

Historians are divided over the situation that his successors faced following Yagbe'u Seyon's death. Paul B. Henze repeats the tradition that Yagbe'u Seyon could not decide which of his sons should inherit his kingdom, and instructed that each would rule in turn for a year.[4] Taddesse Tamrat, on the other hand, records that his reign was followed by dynastic confusion, during which each of his sons held the throne.[5]


  1. ^ Marco Polo, Travels, book 3, chapter 35.
  2. ^ J. Spencer Trimingham, Islam in Ethiopia (Oxford: Geoffrey Cumberlege for the University Press, 1952), pp. 69f.
  3. ^ Richard P.K. Pankhurst, History of Ethiopian Towns (Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner Verlag, 1982), p. 55.
  4. ^ Paul B. Henze, Layers of Time, A History of Ethiopia (New York: Palgrave, 2000), p. 60.
  5. ^ Taddesse Tamrat, Church and State in Ethiopia (1270 - 1527) (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972), p. 72
Preceded by
Yekuno Amlak
Emperor of Ethiopia Succeeded by
Senfa Ared IV


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