Ethiopian History Quiz

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12 Questions

What was the core teaching of Abba Ewostatewos?

Observing Sabbath on Sunday

Which group emerged as anti-Ewostatewos and had the support of the Abun and the monarch?

Aqabe-Se‟at Sereqe Birhan in Hayq Monastery

Why did Zara-Yaqob clash with the Estifanosites?

Because they embraced royal supremacy in spiritual matters

What was Emperor Zara-Yaqob's highest ideal for Ethiopian society?

Creating a homogenous society through religious assimilation

What did Emperor Zara-Yaqob urge the clergy to do in remote areas?

Preach Christianity

What action did the Estifanosites take to reintegrate into the Ethiopian Orthodox Church?

Lifting excommunication during bishop Yeshaq's era

What was the role of Abba Iyesus-Mo'a in the spread of Christianity in Ethiopia?

He played a key role in reviving Christianity in Shewa and followed by evangelization in Southern Ethiopia.

Which of the following areas was not evangelized by Abune Tekle-Haymanot?


What was the significance of the rise of Adal in the Muslim Sultanate?

It was a factor in the rivalry between the Christian kingdom and the Muslim sultanates.

Which of the following regions was not evangelized by Bishop Yaqob?


What was the significance of the establishment of the royal prison at Amba Gishen?

It was a means of consolidating the power of the Solomonic dynasty.

Which of the following was not a factor in the spread of Christianity in Ethiopia?

The rise of the Muslim Sultanate.

Study Notes

The Ewostatewos Movement

  • Established by Abba Ewostatewos in Sara'e (present-day Eritrea) in the 13th century
  • Emphasized the strict observance of Sabbath on Saturday
  • Abba Ewostatewos fled to Egypt due to opposition, but his followers returned from Armenia and continued the movement
  • Spread to Enfranz, northern Tigray, and Hamessen
  • Led to the emergence of an anti-Ewostatewos group supported by the Abun and the monarch

The Estifanosites

  • Founded by Abba Estifanos, born in Agame
  • Emphasized poverty, absolute self-subsistence, equality, and independence from secular authorities
  • Initially supported by Atse Takla Maryam but later clashed with Zara-Yaqob over royal power and spiritual matters
  • Zara-Yaqob took harsh measures against the Estifanosites, but Naod was favorable to them
  • The Estifanosites eventually reintegrated into the Ethiopian Orthodox Church (EOC) during Bishop Yeshaq's tenure

The Religious Reforms of Zara-Yaqob

  • Emperor Zara-Yaqob (r. 1434-1468) aimed to stabilize and consolidate the Orthodox Church
  • Assimilated pagan subjects into the Christian community and created a religiously homogeneous society
  • Reforms included:
    • Settling conflicts among the Ethiopian clergy to create a church-state union
    • Reviving Sabbath in the Ethiopian church, leading to the Ewostatians receiving Holy orders from Ethiopian prelates
    • Encouraging the clergy to preach Christianity in remote areas
    • Ordering people to observe fasting on Wednesday and Friday and to get Father Confessors
    • Abolishing pagan worship practices

Test your knowledge on the history of Ethiopia covering topics such as the Restoration of the Solomonic Dynasty, establishment of the Royal Prison at Amba Gishen, territorial expansion, religious movements, political dynamics in Muslim Sultanates, rivalry between Christian Kingdom and Muslim Sultanates, and external relations.

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