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Kingdom of Simien information


Kingdom of Simien
ממלכת סאמיאן
Map of Jewish settlements in Ethiopia
Map of Jewish settlements in Ethiopia
StatusJewish kingdom
LocationSemien
Common languagesGe'ez, Kayla, Qwara, Amharic
Demonym(s)Ethiopian
Beta Israel
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Kingdom of Simien Kingdom of Aksum
Ethiopian Empire Kingdom of Simien
Today part ofEthiopia

The Kingdom of Simien (Hebrew: ממלכת סאמיאן), sometimes referred to as the Kingdom of Beta Israel (ממלכת ביתא ישראל), refers to a probably legendary Jewish kingdom said to have been located in the northwestern part of the Ethiopian Empire. The existence of such a kingdom somewhere in the Horn of Africa was first mentioned by the traveller Benjamin of Tudela in the 12th century CE.[1]

A late Ethiopian-Jewish legend dates the establishment of a Kingdom of Simien to the 4th century CE, right after the Kingdom of Aksum turned to Christianity during the reign of Ezana.[2][3] The existence of such a nation plays a significant role in the modern traditions of the Beta Israel.

  1. ^ Fauvelle-Aymar 2013, p. 383.
  2. ^ Bruce 1804, p. 485.
  3. ^ Kaplan 1993, p. 94.

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