Saturday, 25 March 2017

When the Axumites invaded and occupied Yemen

When the Abyssinians came to the rescue of the Christians in Yemen in the 6th century:

The beginning of the war between Abyssinia and Yemen was when king Yusuf “Zi Newas” (515 – 525 AD) of Yemen converted to Judaism and brutally killed the Christians of Nejran who did not convert to Judaism. Some reports indicate about 20, 000 Christians were killed. One of the Christians, called “Dos Bin Thaalaban”  escaped and contacted the king in Abyssinia and showed him part of a burned Bible. The king said he was ready to help them but did not have ships to transport his army to Yemen. The king contacted the Roman Emperor then, Yustinus (518 – 527 AD) who sent the ships. The Greek writer Cosmos, author of the ‘Christian Comography’ has written an eyewitness account of the preparation of the Axumite army in Adulis. There are different accounts of the number of the Abyssinan army ranging between 4, 000 to 70, 000.  Abyssinian accounts name the king of Axum then, as King Kaleb. The Abyssinian army was led by Abraha or Arbat. Abraha built a church in Sanaa and forced the Yemenis to go pilgrimage the church instead of going to Mecca. The Arabs refer to the year Abraha tried to invade Mecca in 570 AD  (It was also the year the Prophet Mohamed was born), as the ‘year of the elephant’.The incident is also referred to in the Koran. Abraha ruled Yemen for 23 years, up to 544 AD. His son ‘Yexum’ ruled Yemen for 19 years, There were many revolts in Yemen against Abraha rule in Yemen. A detailed account with many Arab and western references is given in the source below.

Source: Gamaladdin A-Shami and his son Dr. Hashim A-Shami. (1997). AL-Manhal Fi Tarikh Wa Akhbar AL Afar (Al-Danakil), (The source on History and Narrative of the Afar (Al-Danakil. Cairo, Kamil Graphics., L:S:B:N. 977/19/4208/5, in 740 pages
The account is detailed in Pages: 124 – 132

The book was translated to Amharic, with additions to the Arabic version in 2007 with the title (ዓፋር (ደንከል) ታሪክና መረጃ አርክ ምንጭ).

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