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Za Dengel was [[Emperor of Ethiopia|Template:IPA]] (throne name Asnaf Sagad II or As.naf Seged or Atsnaf Seged, Ge'ez አፅናፍ ሰገድ, "to whom the peaks bow"; 1603 - 1604) of Ethiopia, and a member of the Solomonic dynasty. He was the son of Lesana Krestos, the brother of Sarsa Dengel.

Za Dengel may have been married to 'Woizero' Wangelawit, eldest daughter of his second cousin Prince Susenyos Fasilides (later emperor) and lady Wolde Saala of Walaqa and Marabete (later Empress Sultan Mogassa).

Sarsa Dengel had intended to make him as his heir, as seeing that in the prevalent war situation an adult was needed to succeed and the emperor's own sons were quite young because he had produced issue only later in his life. These plans were changed by influence of particularly the Empress Sena Maryam, step-mother of Emperor's eldest surviving son Prince Yaqob, who instead succeeded in 1597.

Za Dengel was seized and sent into religious retreat on the island of Daq, on Lake Tana. He escaped and took refuge in Gojjam.

In 1603 Za Dengel was made Emperor by Ras Za Sellase, who intented Za Dengel to be little more than a figurehead. He was crowned as Asnaf Segad ('He to whom the horizons bow'). However, Za Dengel summoned the Jesuit Pedro Páez to his court at Dankaz, who persuaded him to embrace Catholicism.

This religious conversion led to Za Sellase not only withdrawing his support, but actively working against him and stirred up a revolt in Gojjam. Za Dengel marched to the plain of artcho to put down this revolt, but despite the help of 200 Portuguese musketeers Za Dengel perished in battle on October 24.

Reference Edit

  • E. A. Wallis Budge. A History of Ethiopia: Nubia and Abyssinia, 1928. Oosterhout, the Netherlands: Anthropological Publications, 1970. The sections about Za Dengel and his cousin Yaqob cover pp. 375-383.


Preceded by:
Yaqob
Emperor of Ethiopia Succeeded by:
Yaqob

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