Kaleb of Axum

Ella Asbeha (also Caleb Sabean ʾ l ʾ ṣbḥh, El Greco ( l) esbaas called; * 500, † 540 ) was Negus of Aksum ( in present-day Ethiopia) from about 520 until his death. He is considered one of the most important rulers of Aksum. In the Ethiopian Church he is venerated as a saint.

Ella Asbeha was the throne name of the ruler Caleb, whose father was called Tazena. Ella Asbeha was obviously a Christian. Several Western late antique authors report on him, such as Prokopios of Caesarea (who called him Hellestheaios ) and John Malalas. He also let minting coins ( including gold coins), just as it is mentioned in inscriptions. Compared with other rulers of Aksum the source position with regard to him relatively well, but the exact length of his reign is not known.

Ella Asbeha was in relatively close contact with the Eastern Roman Empire, which also explains the reports about him in the late antique sources. From Emperor Justin I, he asked for support in the fight against the Himyarites ( in present-day Yemen). Their king Yusuf As ʾ ʾ ar ar Yath, which was converted to the Jewish faith had to be responsible for a massacre of Christians in the city of Najran. Even Roman traders were murdered by Himyarites. So it was already after 518 a Aksumite invasion had failed, in the year 525 to a renewed intervention of Aksum in southern Arabia, but now with Roman support. It did not play last commercial interests play a role: in the South Arabian room ran the trading routes that were both Ostrom and for the Persian Sassanid Empire of importance.

This time the Aksumites had more success, the subject Himyarites and had the Aksumite supremacy recognize provisionally. Ella Asbeha remained some time in Himyar. He left troops and put a puppet ruler in the Himyarites one. However, this was ( 531 or 535 only ) crashed a few years later by Abraha, who made ​​himself the new king in Yemen. Attempts to subdue him failed (see Prokopios, histories, 1, 20).

As the only Aksumite ruler he appears in the Ethiopian national epic, the Kebra Nagast. About his life circulating legendary reports; he is said to have sent his crown to Jerusalem and have become a monk.

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