Gudit, a Jewish Queen of Aksum? Some Considerations on the Sources and Modern Scholarship, and the Use of Legends

  • Raita Steyn University of Pretoria
Keywords: Ethiopian Christianity, Ethiopian Judaism, Falasha, Zenobis, Aksum, Oromo, King George II of Nubia, Chronicle of Ethiopia, Amazons


Ethiopian and non-Ethiopian sources agree that there is evidence of a mysterious queen who led an army to destroy the Christian faith in Aksum and put an end to the Aksumite dynasty. The events of Aksum are mentioned in chronicles and on monuments left behind. The latest research shows that there is no longer any doubt about her existence: she was indeed an empress of Aksum. This article re-examines modern scholarship on Gudit’s life, religion, and importance. It also presents a new interpretation and analysis of the most important legends, thereby suggesting how such legends can be integrated into the historical events.

Author Biography

Raita Steyn, University of Pretoria
Humanities Education, Lecturer