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The Coronation of Their Imperial Majesties Haile Selassie I
and Empress Menen Asfaw
The Coronation of Their Imperial Majesties Haile Selassie I and Empress Menen Asfaw held on November 2, 1930
“Ethiopia has existed for 3,000 years. In fact, it exists ever since the first man appeared on Earth. My dynasty has ruled since the Queen of Sheba met King Solomon and a Son was born of their union. It is a Dynasty that has gone thru the centuries and will go on for centuries more.”
~ H.I.M. Haile Selassie I interview with Oriana Fallaci, Sunday, June 24, 1973, Chicago Tribune
“Ethiopia has existed for 3,000 years. In fact, it exists ever since the first man appeared on Earth. My dynasty has ruled since the Queen of Sheba met King Solomon and a Son was born of their union. It is a Dynasty that has gone thru the centuries and will go on for centuries more.”
~ H.I.M. Haile Selassie I interview with Oriana Fallaci, Sunday, June 24, 1973, Chicago Tribune
'List of Ethiopian Kings by H.I.H. Tafari Makonnen, June 19, 1922
Published in: “In The Country of The Blue Nile” by C.F. Rey, F.R.G.S., Commander of the Order of the Star of Ethiopia, Negro University Press, New York
Translation of Covering Letter:
“May this reach my honourable friend Mr. Rey. Greetings to you.
As you ask me to send you the names of the Ethiopian Kings and the history of the Ethiopian Kings of Kings (Emperors), herewith I have taken a copy and send it to you.
After the date of these, if you want more, I will write to you. I am very glad that you have asked me about the history of Abyssinia. I hope that your thoughts should be successful in future.”
Written on the 11th day of Sane, 1914 at the town of Addis Ababa'
I. TRIBE OR POSTERITY OF ORI OR ARAM
Name of Soveriegn Length of Reign Year of the World Before Christ
I. Ori or Aram 60 970-1030 4470
II. Gariak I 66 1096 4404
III. Gannkam 83 1179 4321
IV. Borsa (Queen) 67 1246 4254
V. Gariak II 60 1306 4194
VI. Djan I 80 1386 4114
VII. Djan II 60 1446 4054
VIII. Senefrou 20 1466 4034
IX. Zeenabzamin 58 1524 3976
X. Sahlan 60 1584 3916
XI. Elaryan 80 1664 3836
XII. Nimroud 60 1724 3776
XIII. Eylouka (Queen) 45 1769 3731
XIV. Saloug 30 1799 3701
XV. Kharid 72 1871 3629
XVI. Hogeb 100 1971 3529
XVII. Makaws 70 2041 3459
XVIII. Assa 30 2071 3429
XIX. Affar 50 2121 3379
XX. Milanos 62 2183 3317
XXI. Soliman Tehagi 73 2256 3244
Total: 21 Sovereigns of the Tribe of Ori.
From the Deluge until the fall of the Tower of Babel 531 2787 2713
II. SOVEREIGNTY OF THE TRIBE OF KAM AFTER THE FALL OF THE TOWER OF BABELI. Kam 78 2865 2635
II. Kout (son of the preceding) 50 2915 2585
III. Habassi 40 2955 2545
IV. Sebtah 30 2985 2515
V. Elektron 30 3015 2485
VI. Neber 30 3045 2455
VII. Amen 21 3066 2434
VIII. Nehasset Nais (Queen) 30 3096 2404
IX. Horkam 29 3125 2375
X. Saba II 30 3155 2345
XI. Sofard 30 3185 2315
XII. Askndou 25 3210 2290
XIII. Hohey 35 3245 2255
XIV. Adglag 20 3265 2235
XV. Adgala 30 3295 2205
XVI. Lakniduga 25 3320 2180
XVII. Manturay 35 3355 2145
XVIII. Rakhu 30 3385 2115
XIX. Sabe I 30 3415 2085
XX. Azagan 30 3445 2055
XXI. Sousel Atozanis 20 3465 2035
XXII. Amen II 15 3480 2020
XXIII. Ramenpahte 20 3500 2000
XXIV. Wanuna 3 days — --
XXV. Piori I 15 3515 1985
Total: 25 Sovereigns of the Tribe of Kam, plus 21 sovereigns of the tribe of Ori. — Grand Total, 46 Sovereigns.
III. AGDAZYAN DYNASTY OF THE POSTERITY OF THE KINGDOM OF JOCTANI. Akbunas Saba II 55 3570 1930
II. Nakehte Kalnis 40 3610 1871
III. Kasiyope (Queen) 19 3629 1890
IV. Sabe II 15 3644 1856
V. Etiyopus I 56 3700 1800
VI. Lakndun Nowarari 30 3730 1770
VII. Tutimheb 20 3750 1750
VIII. Herhator I 20 3770 1730
IX. Etiypus II 30 3800 1700
X. Senuka I 17 3817 1683
XI. Bonu I 8 3825 1675
XII. Mumazes (Queen) 4 3829 1671
XIII. Aruas (daughter of preceding) 7 months — --
XIV. Amen Asro I 30 3859 1641
XV. Ori (or Aram) II 30 3889 1611
XVI. Piori II 15 3904 1596
XVII. Amen Emhat I 40 3944 1556
XVIII. Tsawi 15 3959 1541
XIX. Aktissanis 10 3969 1531
XX. Mandes 17 3986 1514
XXI. Protawos 33 4019 1481
XXII. Amoy 21 4040 1460
XXIII. Konsi Hendawi 5 4045 1455
XXIV. Bonu II 2 4047 1453
XXV. Sebi III (Kefe) 15 4062 1438
XXVI. Djagons 20 4082 1418
XXVII. Senuka II 10 4092 1408
XXVIII. Angabo I (Zaka Laarwe) 50 4142 1358
XXIX. Miamur 2 days — --
XXX. Helena (Queen) 11 4163 1347
XXXI. Zagdur I 40 4193 1307
XXXII. Her Hator II 30 4223 1277
XXXIII. Her Hator (Za Sagado) III 1 4224 1276
XXXIV. Akate (Za Sagado) IV 20 4244 1256
XXXV. Titon Satiyo 10 4254 1246
XXXVI. Hermantu I 5 months — --
XXXVII. Amen Emhat II 5 4259 1241
XXXVIII. Konsab I 5 4264 1236
XXXIX. Sannib II 5 4269 1231
XL. Sanuka III 5 4274 1226
XLI. Angabo II 40 4314 1186
XLII. Amen Astate 30 4344 1156
XLIII. Herhor 16 4360 1140
XLIV. Wiyankihi I 9 4369 1131
XLV. Pinotsem I 17 4386 1114
XLVI. Pinotsem II 41 4427 1073
XLVII. Massaherta 16 4443 1057
XLVIII. Ramenkoperm 14 4457 1043
XLIX. Pinotsem III 7 4464 1036
L. Sabi IV 10 4474 1026
LI. Tawasaya Dews 13 4487 1013
LII. Makeda 31 4518 982
Of the posterity of Ori up to the reign of Makeda 98 Sovereigns reigned over Ethiopia before the advent of Menelik I.
IV. Dynasty of Menelik II. Menelik I 25 4543 957
II. Hanyon I 4544 956
III. Sera I (Tomai) 26 4570 930
IV. Amen Hotep Zagdur 31 4601 899
V. Aksumay Ramissu 20 4621 879
VI. Awseyo Sera II 38 4659 841
VII. Tawasya II 21 4680 820
VIII. Abralyus Wiyankihi II 32 4712 788
IX. Aksumay Warada Tsahay 23 4735 765
X. Kashta Hanyon 13 4748 752
XI. Sabaka II 12 4760 740
XII. Nicauta Kandae (Queen) 10 4770 730
XIII. Tsawi Terhak Warada Nagash 49 4819 681
XIV. Erda Amen Awseya 6 4825 675
XV. Gasiyo Eskikatir — — --
XVI. Nuatmeawn 4 4829 671
XVII. Tomadyon Piyankihi III 12 4841 659
XVIII. Amen Asero 16 4857 643
XIX. Piyankihi IV (Awtet) 34 4891 609
XX. Zaware Nebret Aspurta 41 4932 568
XXI. Saifay Harsiataw II 12 4944 556
XXII. Ramhay Nastossanan 14 4958 542
XXIII. Handu Wuha Abra 11 4969 531
XXIV. Safelya Sabakon 31 5000 500
XXV. Agalbus Sepekos 22 5022 478
XXVI. Psmenit Waradanegash 21 5043 457
XXVII. Awseya Tarakos 12 5055 445
XXVIII. Kanaz Psmis (son of preceding) 13 5068 432
XXIX. Apras 10 5078 422
XXX. Kashta Walda Ahuhu 20 5098 402
XXXI. Elalion Taake 10 5108 392
XXXII. Atserk Amen III 10 5118 382
XXXIII. Atserk Amen IV 10 5128 372
XXXIV. Hadina (Queen) 10 5138 362
XXXV. Atserk Amen V 10 5148 352
XXXVI. Atserk Amen VI 10 5158 342
XXXVII. Nikawla Kandat (Queen) 10 5168 332
XXXVIII. Bassyo 7 5175 325
XXXIX. Akawsis Kandake III (Queen) 10 5185 315
XL. Arkamen II 10 5195 305
XLI. Awtet Arawura 10 5205 295
XLII. Kolas II (Kaletro) 10 5215 285
XLIII. Zawre Nebrat 16 5231 269
XLIV. Stiyo 14 5245 255
XLV. Safay 13 5258 242
XLVI. Nikosis Kandake IV (Queen) 10 5268 232
XLVII. Ramhay Arkamen IV 10 5278 222
XLVIII. Feliya Hernekhit 15 5293 207
XLIX. Hende Awkerara 20 5313 187
L. Agabu Baseheran 10 5323 177
LI. Sulay Kawawmenun 20 5343 157
LII. Messelme Kerarmer 8 5351 149
LIII. Nagey Bsente 10 5361 139
LIV. Etbenukawer 10 5371 129
LV. Safeliya Abramen 20 5391 109
LVI. Sanay 10 5401 99
LVII. Awsena (Queen) 11 5412 88
LVIII. Dawit II 10 5422 78
LIX. Aglbul 8 5430 70
LX. Bawawl 10 5440 60
LXI. Barawas 10 5450 50
LXII. Dinedad 10 5460 40
LXIII. Amoy Mahasse 5 5465 35
LXIV. Nicotnis Kandake V 10 5475 25
LXV. Nalke 5 5480 20
LXVI. Luzay 12 5492 8
LXVII. Bazen Before Christ 8 5500 --
After Christ 9 5509 9
Before Christ 165 Sovereigns reigned.
V. THOSE WHO REIGNED AFTER THE BIRTH OF CHRIST
Name of Soveriegn Length of Reign Year of the World After Christ
I. Sartu Tsenfa Assegd 21 5530 30
II. Akaptah Tsenfa Ared 8 5538 38
III. Horemtaku 2 5540 40
IV. Garsemot Kandake VI 10 5550 50
V. Hatosza Bahr Asaged 28 5578 78
VI. Mesenh Germasir 7 5585 85
VII. Metwa Germa Asfar 9 5594 94
VIII. Adgale II 10 yrs + 6 months 5604 104
XI. Agba 6 mo of Adgale + 6 mo 5605 105
X Serada 16 5621 121
XI. Malis Alameda 4 5625 125
XII. Hakabe Nasohi Tsiyon 6 5631 131
XIII. Hakli Sergway 12 5643 143
XIV. Dedme Zaray 10 5653 153
XV. Awtet 2 5655 155
XVI. ALaly Bagamay 7 5662 162
XVII. Awadu Jan Asagad 30 5692 192
XVIII. Zagun Tsion Hegez 5 5697 197
XIX. Rema Tsion Geza 3 5700 200
XX. Azegan Malbagad 7 5707 207
XXI. Gafale Seb Asagad 1 5708 208
XXII. Tsegay Beze Wark 4 5712 212
XXIII. Gaza Agdur 9 5721 221
XXIV. Agduba Asgwegwe 8 5729 229
XXV. Dawiza 1 5730 230
XXVI. Wakana (Queen) 2 days — --
XXVII. Hadawz 4 months — --
XXVIII. Ailassan Sagal 3 5733 233
XXIX. Asfehi Asfeha 14 5747 247
XXX. Atsgaba Seifa Arad 6 5753 253
XXXI. Ayba 17 5770 270
XXXII. Tsaham Laknduga 9 5779 279
XXIII. Tsegab 10 5789 289
XXXIV. Tazer 10 5799 299
XXXV. Ahywa Sofya (Queen) 7 5806 306
These thirty-five sovereigns at the time of Akapta Tsenfa Arad (ed.: From A.D. 30 to A.D. 38) had been christianised by the Apostle Saint Matthew. There were few men who did not believe, for they had heard the words of the gospel. After this Jen Daraba, favourite of the Queen of Ethiopia, Garsemat Kandake (ed.: From A.D. 40 to A.D. 50), crowned by Gabre Hawariat Kandake, had made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem according to the Law of Orit (the ancient law), and on his return Phillip the Apostle taught him the gospel, and after he had made him believe the truth he sent him back, baptising him in the name of the Trinity. The latter (the Queen’s favourite), on his return to his country, taught by word of mouth the coming of our Saviour Jesus Christ and baptised them. Those who were baptised, not having found an Apostle to teach them the Gospel, had been living offering sacrifices to God according to the ancient prescription and the Jewish Law.
VI. CHRONOLOGICAL TABLE OF THE CHRISTIAN SOVEREIGNS WHO RECEIVED BAPTISM AND FOLLOWED COMPLETELY THE LAW OF THE GOSPELI. Ahywa (her regnal name was Sofya, and she was the mother of Abreha Atsbeha. The time of her reign was 7 years).
II. Abreha Atsbeha (partly with his mother) 26 5832 332
III. Atsbeha (alone) 12 5844 344
IV. Asfeh Dalz 7 5851 351
V. Sahle 14 5865 365
VI. Arfed Gebra Maskal 4 5869 369
VII. Adhana I (Queen) 5 5874 374
VIII. Riti 1 5875 375
IX. Asfeh II 1 5876 376
X. Atsbeha II 5 5881 381
XI. Amey 15 5896 396
XII. Abreha II 7 months — --
XIII. Ilassahl 2 months — --
XIV. Elagabaz I 2 5898 398
XV. Suhal 4 5902 402
XVI. Abreha III 10 5912 412
XVII. Adhana II (Queen) 6 5918 418
XVIII. Yoab 10 5928 428
XIX. Tsaham I 2 5930 430
XX. Amey II 1 5931 431
XXI. Sahle Ahzob 2 5933 433
XXII. Tsebah Mahana Kristos 3 5936 436
XXIII. Tsaham II 2 5938 438
XXIV. Elagabaz II 6 5944 444
XXV. Agabi 1 5945 445
XXVI. Lewi 2 5947 447
XXVII. Ameda III 3 5950 450
XXVIII. Armah Dawit 14 5964 464
XXIX. Amsi 5 5969 469
XXX. Salayba 9 5978 478
XXXI. Alameda 8 5986 486
XXXII. Pazena Ezana 7 5993 493
Of the posterity of Sofya and Abreha Atsbeha until the reign of Pazena Ezana 31 Sovereigns reigned over Ethiopia: from Ori until the reign of Pazena Ezana 230 sovereigns.
VII. DYNASTY OF ATSE (EMPEROR) KALEB UNTIL GEDAJANI. Kaleb 30 6023 523
II. Za Israel 1 month — --
III. Gabra Maskal 14 6037 537
IV. Kostantinos 28 6065 565
V. Wasan Sagad 15 6080 580
VI. Fere Sanay 23 6103 603
VII. Advenz 20 6123 623
VIII. Akala Wedem 8 6131 631
IX. Germa Asafar 15 6146 646
X. Zergaz 10 6156 656
XI. Dagena Mikael 26 6182 682
XII. Bahr Ekla 19 6201 701
XIII. Gum 24 6225 725
XIV. Asguagum 5 6230 730
XV. Latem 16 6246 746
XVI. Talatam 21 6267 767
XVII. Gadagosh 13 6280 780
XVIII. Aizar Eskakatir 1/2 day — --
XIX. Dedem 5 6285 785
XX. Wededem 10 6295 795
XXI. Wudme Asfare 30 6325 825
XXII. Armah 5 6330 830
XXIII. Degennajam 19 6349 849
XXIV. Gedajan 1 6350 850
XXV. Gudit 40 6390 890
XXVI. Anbase Wedem 20 6410 910
XXVII. Del Naad 10 6420 920
27 sovereigns of the posterity of Kaleb; 257 in all.
VIII. SOVEREIGNS ISSUED FROM ZAGWEI. Mara Takla Haymanot (His regnal name was Zagwe) 13 6433 933
II. Tatawdem 40 6473 973
III. Jan Seyum 40 6513 1013
IV. Germa Seyum 40 6553 1053
V. Yermrhana Kristos 40 6593 1093
VI. Kedus Arbe (samt) 40 6633 1133
VII. Lalibala 40 6673 1173
VIII. Nacuto Laab 40 6713 1213
IX. Yatbarak 17 6730 1230
X. Mayrari 15 6745 1245
XI. Harbay 8 6753 1253
Of the posterity of Mara Takla Haymanot (whose regnal name was Zagwe) until the reign of Harbay 11 sovereigns reigned over Ethiopia; 268 sovereigns in all.
CHRONOLOGICAL TABLE OF THE 8 GENERATIONS OF AN ISRAELITISH DYNASTY, WHO WERE NOT RAISED TO THE THRONE, DURING THE PERIOD OF THE REIGN OF THE POSTERITY OF ZAGWE.
I. Mahbara Wedem
II. Agbea Tsion
III. Tsinfa Arad
IV. Nagash Zare
VII. Bahr Asagad
VIII. Edem Asagad
These eight did not mount the throne.
IX. CHRONOLOGICAL TABLE OF THE SOVEREIGNS FROM YEKUNO AMLAK, EMPEROR, AND OF HIS POSTERITY, ALL ISSUED FROM THE ANCIENT DYNASTIES WHICH WERE RAISED TO THE THRONE.I. Yekuno Amlak 15 6768 1268
II. Yasbeo Tseyon 9 6777 1277
III. Tsenfa Arad 1 6778 1278
IV. Hesba Asagad 1 6779 1279
V. Kedme Asagad 1 6780 1280
VI. Jan Asagad 1 6781 1281
VII. Sabea Asagad 1 6782 1282
VIII. Wedma Ared 15 6797 1297
IX. Amda Tseyon 30 6827 1327
X. Saifa Ared 28 6855 1355
XI. Wedma Asfare 10 6865 1365
XII. Dawit 30 6895 1395
XIII. Tewodoros 4 6899 1399
XIV. Yeshak 15 6914 1414
XV. Andreyas 6 months — --
XVI. Hesba Nafi 4 6918 1418
XVII. Bedl Nafi 1 (6 mo with Andreyas) 6919 1419
XVIII. Amde Tseyon 7 6926 1426
XIX. Zara Yacob 34 6960 1460
XX. Boeda Maryam 10 6970 1470
XXI. Iskender 16 6986 1486
XXII. Amda Tseyon 1 6987 1487
XXIII. Naod 13 7000 1500
Of the posterity of Yekuno Amlak up to the reign of Naod 23 sovereigns ruled over Ethiopia; in all 291 sovereigns.
X. ELEVATION TO THE THRONE OF ATSE (EMPEROR) LEBNA DENGEL, AND THE INVASION OF ETHIOPIA BY GRAN.I. Lebna Dengel 32 7032 1532
II. Galawdewos 19 7051 1551
III. Minas 4 7055 1555
Grand Total: 294 sovereigns.
Fifteen years after Atse (emperor) Lebna Dengel came to the throne Gran devasted Ethiopia for fifteen years.
XI. THE HOUSE OF GONDARI. Sartsa Dengel 34 7089 1589
II. Yakob 9 7098 1598
III. Za Dengel I 7099 1599
IV. Susneyos 28 7127 1627
V. Fasil 35 7162 1662
VI. Degu-Johannis 15 7177 1677
VII. Adyam Sagad Iyasu 25 7202 1702
VIII. Takla Haymanot 2 7204 1704
IX. Tewoflus 3 7207 1707
X. Yostos 4 7211 1711
XI. Dawit 5 7216 1716
XII. Bakaffa 9 7225 1725
XIII. Birhan Sagad Iyasu 24 7249 1749
XIV. Iyoas 15 7264 1764
XV. Johannis 5 months +
5 days — --
XVI. Takla Haymanot 8 7272 1772
XVII. Solomon 2 7274 1774
XVIII. Takla Giyorgis 5 7279 1779
Of the posterity of Sarisa Dengel up to the reign of King Takla Giyorgis 18 sovereigns reigned over Ethiopia. From Ori to Takla Giyorgis the total is 312 sovereigns.
[Thus concludes the List of Ethiopian Kings forwarded by H.I.H. Ras Makonnen, now H.I.M. Emperor Haile Selassie I]
XII. SOVEREIGNS OF ETHIOPIA SUBSEQUENT TO THE FOREGOING LIST
Although the list given me by the Regent concludes in the year given as EC 1779, I have thought it desirable to bring the tale up to date, and have completed the following list from various sources.
In this connection it should be noted that for some fifty years prior to the reign of the last king mentioned in the foregoing list (i.e. since about 1730 up to the advent of Theodore in 1855) the kings had exercised no real power, and had been murdered, deposed, restored and driven out again, or treated as nonentities by anyone of the great Rases of semi-independent kings who were strong enough to maintain themselves against their rivals, such as, for example, Ras Kikael Suhul of Tigre (1730-80), Ras Guksa of Amhara, a Galla (1790-1819), and the son (Ras Marye) and grandson (Ras Ali) of the latter.
In 1813, indeed, no less than six nominal “Kings of Kings of Ethiopia” were all alive, having been successively turned out of office by others.
The names of all these kings (who were actually raised to the throne) are, however, given below in order to maintain continuity, together with the dates (according to the western calendar) of their chequered reigns:
Takla Haymanot 1788-89
Baeda Maryam 1795- 97
Egwala Sion 1799-1818
Baeda Maryam III 1826
Gigar (again) 1826-30
Iyasu IV 1830-32
Gabra Kristos 1832
Sahala Dengel 1832-40
Johannes III 1840-41
Sahala Dengel (again) 1841-55
From this period dates the re-establishment of the empire, and the rapid extension of the powers of its sovereigns. From then until to-day they are:
John IV 1868-89
Menelik II 1889-1913
Lej Yasu 1913-16
Zauditu (Empress) & Tafari Makonnen (Regent & Heir) 1916
Negus Tafari Makonnen (King) 1928-1930
HIM Haile Selassie I 1930-1974
The region which later formed Africa's Tunisia originated in the Phoenician settlement of Carthage. Frequent fighting against the republic of Rome saw the city eventually defeated and destroyed in 146 BC. Thereafter the region remained in Roman hands until it was conquered by the Vandali in the fifth and sixth centuries. The resurgent Eastern Roman empire took control of Carthage in AD 534.
In 698 Hasan ibn al-Nu'man defeated Byzantine Emperor Tiberius III at the Battle of Carthage, and Africa was abandoned to the Islamic empire. Carthage was again destroyed and was replaced by Tunis as the regional capital. The country itself would eventually bear the same name, that of Tunisia. The final Islamic conquest was not an easy one, however, as the Berbers of the interior were intent on fighting everyone, Byzantines or Islamic, and they continued their resistance.
647 - 649
The troops of Gregory the Patrician in Carthage are severely defeated by the invading troops of the Islamic empire, and Gregory himself is killed in 648. The province appears to be occupied for perhaps a year or so by the Arabs while the Eastern Roman forces hold the fortresses. In 649 the Arabs withdraw, allowing Constantinople to regain some level of control there. The country's interior remains firmly in the hands of the native Berbers, who repel any attempts to subdue them.
670 - 698
The Islamic wali of Ifriqiyya, Zoheir ibn Kais, leads a force which defeats a joint army of Eastern Romans and Berbers in Carthage commanded by Berber leader Khusalah on the Qairawan plain. The victors are not strong enough to follow up their victory with territorial gains.
698 - 703
Female Berber leader.
The Berbers are defeated and Tunisia is firmly in Islamic hands.
Walis of Ifriqiyya and the Maghreb
AD 665 - 745
Ifriqiyya was the Islamic term for the former Roman province of Africa, covering the coastal regions of what are now eastern Algeria, Libya, and Tunisia. An Islamic attack of 670 led by Oqba ibn Nafi'i bypassed Byzantine coastal defences and established a base at Kairouan. From here they were able to conquer the region in stages, eventually defeating both Eastern Rome and the native Berbers, but the site was not an especially good one and was soon abandoned. Today it is nothing more than ruins.
665 - 670
Muawiya ibn Hudaij al-Saquni
First Islamic wali of Ifriqiyya and the Maghreb.
The Islamic empire snatches control of parts of the region from Eastern Rome's exarchate of Carthage, and launches raids further west.
The Arab empire conquered Eastern Roman Carthage through a series of campaigns over the space of half a century, with Eastern Roman control over the region gradually weakening during a series of military defeats
670 - 675
Oqba ibn Nafi'i al-Fihri / Uqba
Oqba ibn Nafi'i establishes a base of operations at Kairouan and begins the erection of the Great Mosque, generally thought to be the oldest sanctuary in the western section of the Islamic empire.
675 - 681
Abu-l Mohadjir Dinar al-Makhzumi
681 - 682
Oqba ibn Nafi'i
682 - 688
Zoheir ibn Kais al-Balawi / Zuhayr
Zoheir ibn Kais leads a force which defeats a joint army of Eastern Romans and Berbers in Carthage commanded by Berber leader Khusalah on the Qairawan plain. The victors are not strong enough to follow up their victory with territorial gains.
688 - 698
Hasan ibn al-Nu'man al-Ghassani
695 - 698
Hasan ibn al-Nu'man captures Carthage in 695 and advances into the Atlas Mountains. Taking advantage of his absence, an Eastern Roman fleet arrives to retake Carthage in 697, but within a year Hasan returns and defeats Emperor Tiberius III at the Battle of Carthage. Africa is abandoned to the Islamic empire. Carthage is again destroyed and is replaced by Tunis as the regional capital.
698 - 715
Musa ibn Nusair al-Lakhmi
Began the Islamic conquest of Visigothic Spain.
712 - 715
Abd Allah ibn Musa
Regent during Musa's time in Spain.
715 - 718
Muhammad ibn Yezid
718 - 719
Isma'il ibn Abdallah
Probable grandson of Abu-l Mohadjir (675-681).
719 - 720
Yezid ibn Dinar
Muhammad ibn Yezid
Briefly restored as governor until a replacement arrived.
Muhammad ibn Aws al-Ansari
720 - 728
Bishr ibn Safwan al-Kalbi
Former governor of Egypt (720-721).
728 - 734
Obeïda ibn Abd al-Rahman al-Salami
Governor during the Great Berber Revolt in the Maghreb.
734 - 741
Ubeidallah ibn al-Habhab al-Maousili
Ubeidallah ibn al-Habhab al-Maousili launches an invasion of Sicily which results in him seizing Syracuse. He readies his forces to take the rest of the island but a Berber revolt in Ifriqiyya forces him to abandon the idea.
Kulthum ibn Iyadh al-Kushayri
Balj ibn Bishr al-Qushayri
Formal wali in Córdoba.
741 - 742
Abd al-Rahman ibn Oqba al-Ghaffari
De facto wali in Kairouan.
742 - 745
Handhala ibn Safwan al-Kalbi
Former governor of Egypt (721-724 & 737-741).
744 - 746
A successional dispute for the Umayyad caliphate sees an army march on Damascus, where a new caliph is proclaimed. Rebellions and revolts break out across the empire, one of which results in a change in command in Tunisia (Ifriqiyya), as a dynasty of governors is established. Handhala ibn Safwan al-Kalbi consents to return to Islamic Damascus.
Oqbid Dynasty of Ifriqiyya
AD 745 - 768
The entire region was disturbed during this period, as revolts sprang up preceding the fall of the Umayyad caliphs. The Oqbids, otherwise known as the Fihrids, or al-Fihris, were an Arabian clan known as Banu Fihr. They grabbed the province of Ifriqiyya in a quickly-launched coup and subsequently established the first Islamic dynasty in Tunisia. They began the trend towards increased local control at the expense of the caliphate.
745 - 755
Abd al-Rahman ibn Habib
Self-proclaimed emir after a coup.
Ilyas ibn Habib
755 - 757
Habib ibn Abd al-Rahman
Son of Abd al-Rahman.
757 - 758
'Asim ibn Jamil al-Warfajumi
Abd al-Malik ibn Abi-l-Dja'd
An Ibadite. Governor in Kairouan (758-761).
758 - 761
Abu-l-Khattab Abd al-A'la ibn Assamh
Abbsasid governor in Kairouan.
761 - 765
Muhammad ibn al-Ash'ath al-Khuza'i
Isa ibn Yusef al-Khurassani
765 - 766
al-Aghlab ibn Salim at-Tamimi
Forefather of the Aghlabid dynasty.
766 - 767
al-Hasan ibn Harb al-Kindi
767 - 768
al-Aghlab ibn Salim at-Tamini
Muhallid Dynasty of Ifriqiyya
AD 768 - 800
The Muhallids turned out to be a great family of governors which originated from the Arabic tribe of Azd. However, resentment at the direct rule of the Abbasid caliphs from their capital far to the east grew, and this came to a head towards the end of the eighth century, terminating the Muhallid period of office.
768 - 771
'Umar ibn Hafs
771 - 787
Yezid ibn Hatim
Daoud ibn Yezid
787 - 791
Raouh ibn Hatim
791 - 793
Nasr ibn Habib
793 - 795
al-Fadhl ibn Raouh
Son of Raouh.
795 - 797
Harmatha ibn A'youn / Herthema ibn A'yun
Former wali of Egypt (794-795).
797 - 799
Muhammad ibn Muqatil al-'Aqqi
799 - 800
Temmam ibn Tamim at-Tamimi
Muhammad ibn Muqatil
The Islamic Aghlabids take control of Tunisia and become independent from Abbasid Arabia.
Aghlabid Dynasty of Ifriqiyya
AD 800 - 909
The Aghlabids were originally the faithful Abbasid Oqbid governors of Tunisia and (they claimed) Algeria, and they only gradually drifted out of central supervision and control. Their greatest independent project was the conquest of Sicily, which they occupied from 827, and which remained part of the Islamic empire until the arrival of the Normans.
800 - 812
Recognised as hereditary ruler of Tunis by Abbasids.
Any claim the Aghlabids hold over Algeria ends with Ibrahim's death.
812 - 817
817 - 838
Ziyadat Allah I
826 - 828
Euphemius, commander of the Byzantine fleet of Sicily, rises up in revolt against Emperor Michael II and flees to Tunis, taking refuge with Emir Ziyadat Allah I. He and the emir launch an invasion of Sicily in the following year. The Aghlabids win the first battle, and a large Byzantine force sent from Palermo which is assisted by a fleet from Venice under the personal command of the doge, Giustiniano Partecipazio, is subsequently defeated. Sicily is in the hands of the Arabs as part of the Islamic empire.
Under the Aghlabids the Great Mosque of Kairouan finally helped the city to begin a much-needed redevelopment following a decline that had begun in the eighth century
Naples is largely a military city full of troops who are prepared to fight to defend their territory. The city's outlying countryside has already been lost to the Lombards, and now Benevento besieges the city itself, as Duke Andrew has ceased paying tribute. Determined to defend Naples, help is requested of the Saracens, presumably the Aghlabids, and the siege is duly broken.
838 - 841
841 - 847
Muhammad I Abul-Abbas
841 - 843
Continuing the beneficial alliance between Naples and the Saracens, Duke Sergius aids Muhammad I in capturing Bari and Taranto (temporarily) in 841 and Apulia and Messina in 843. The emirate of Bari rules the south until 871.
Naples has now realised that the Saracens have become too powerful, and Duke Sergius is forced to ally himself with Naples' former subject cities, Amalfi, Gaeta, and Sorrento, to force the Saracens out of Ponza. An Aghlabid fleet sails up the River Tiber and attacks Rome. The residents at the foreign schools - Franks, Saxons, Lombards and Frisians - help defend the fortifications, but further Saracen raids are to come.
846 - 847
Abu Ja'far Ahmad
Brother. Usurped his brother's throne. Captured and exiled.
847 - 856
Muhammad I Abul-Abbas
A further Aghlabid incursion threatens Rome and other Italian coastal cities, so the pope organises the creation of a defensive league. The league, under the command of Caesar, son of Duke Sergius of Naples, sails out to meet the Saracen fleet at the Battle of Ostia. A storm divides the participants halfway through the fight and the Italians return safely to port while the Saracens are scattered. Their remnants are easily picked off or captured afterwards and the successful defence of Italy is celebrated.
856 - 863
Ziyadat Allah II
863 - 875
Nephew. Captured Malta.
Plague enters Ifriqiyya thanks to a caravan entering the region from Mecca. The region is hit hard and is greatly depopulated. Despite this, it subsequently flourishes economically.
875 - 902
Brother. Forced to abdicate following a tyrannical reign.
Syracuse in Sicily is captured, but the island falls out of Aghlabid control, submitting to the Abbasids directly.
Having captured Carthage (and what became the ruins of the Zowan Gate near Carthage), Islam began to push northwards to attack Italy and Spain
902 - 903
Son. Murdered by his son.
903 - 909
Ziyadat Allah III
Son. Had all his brothers executed to avoid any rivals.
Thanks to the murder of Abdullah, and Ziyadat's massacring of his brothers and uncles, the Aghlabids have lost all prestige in the eyes of the people. Ifriqiyya is conquered by the Fatamids, who quickly also conquer Morocco, Syria, Algeria, and Arabia. Ziyadat escapes, but dies in Palestine while failing to secure support to recapture his territory.
Fatamid Dynasty of Ifriqiyya
AD 909 - 1171
The Fatamids (or Fatimids) were considered to be descendants of Ali ibn Abi Talib (Rashidun caliph in 656-661) and his wife, Fatima, daughter of the Prophet Muhammed. Emerging from the Kutama Berbers of eastern Algeria, they founded the city of Mahdia, making it their capital. They subsequently conquered Morocco in 926 and Egypt in 969 and were able to retain their conquests on the basis of being accepted as the last unifying force in the Islamic world. Al Mahdi Obaidallah claimed the title of caliph in direct opposition to the Abbasid caliphs in Baghdad, and Egypt would emerge as their battle ground.
(Additional information from the Historical Dictionary of the Ismailis, Farhad Daftary, from The Ismailis: Their History and Doctrines, Farhad Daftary, from Roger II of Sicily: Ruler between East and West, Hubert Houben (Graham A Loud & Diane Milburn, Trans, 2002), and from Viking-Rus Mercenaries in the Byzantine-Arab Wars of the 950s-960s: the Numismatic Evidence, Roman K Kovalev.)
909 - 934
Abdullah al Mahdi Obaidallah / Ubayd Allah
Founded the Fatamids as a ruling dynasty.
909 - 934
The Shiite (Sevener) caliphate is established in North Africa to rival the Orthodox Abbasid caliphate.
911 - 912
Extant documents begin to speak of a Varangian-Rus presence in Byzantine military service, starting in this period in which seven hundred Rus (Rhos) are recruited as naval troops in the unsuccessful imperial expedition against Arab-held Crete. For this service they are paid one kentenarion, equivalent to thirty-two kilograms, perhaps of gold.
914 - 921
Egypt is invaded for the first time by a Fatamid force sent by Caliph al-Mahdi Obaidallah, who has established himself at Kairawan. His son successfully captures Alexandria in 919, and it takes repeated influxes of reinforcements from Baghdad to finally free the country in 921.
The Fatamid conquest of Egypt in 969 finally established the dynasty as the most powerful single Islamic force, and it immediately established a capital at the new city of Cairo
As the latest in a series of conflicts with Muslims, the forces of the new Byzantine strategos of Bari, one Nicolaus Picingli, assemble alongside those of various other southern Italian princes in the Christian League. It includes Landulf I of Benevento, John I and Docibilis II of Gaeta, Gregory IV and John II of Naples, Pope John X, Guaimar II of Salerno, and Alberic I of Spoleto. The allied Byzantine-Lombard army fights and defeats the Fatamids at the Battle of Garigliano, a drawn-out combination of fights and a siege. The Muslim forces find themselves in a worsening situation and eventually attempt to flee, only to be captured and killed. It is a militarily significant victory in the fight against Islamic advances in Italy.
934 - 946
Muhammad al Qaim
946 - 952
Ismail al Mansur
Ismail al Mansur suppresses a revolt on Sicily, and he subsequently appoints Hassan al-Kalbi to the position of emir of the island. The emir goes on to found the Kalbid dynasty, which eventually rules Sicily virtually independent of outside control.
952 - 975
al Muizz / al Muezz
967 - 969
Governors, or sharifs, are introduced to command in the holy city of Mecca in 967. Two years later, Egypt is occupied and Damascus is gained along with it. The caliphate is removed to al Qahirah (Cairo), and al Muizz transfers there in 973.
Son. Predeceased his father.
975 - 996
Abu Mansur Nizar al Aziz Billah
Brother. An effective administrator.
Caliph al Aziz manages to regain control of Damascus (lost briefly in 972) and tame the dissident Sunnis. A new governor is installed and the city settles down to a relatively peaceful period.
996 - 1021
Al Hakim bi-Amr Allah / 'The Mad Caliph'
Son. Succeeded aged 11. Disappeared mysteriously.
1003 - 1004
To help prevent the Byzantine conquest of a weakened Aleppo, the Hamdanids place it under the suzerainty of the Fatamids. The Fatamids subsequently depose the Hamdanids and rule the city themselves in 1004, the same year in which the rather eccentric al Hakim has all the dogs in Cairo killed.
On 27 September, Caliph Al Hakim orders the destruction of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, a Christian holy site.
1017 - 1020
One of Al Hakim's viziers, a certain Darazi, claims that the caliph is an incarnation of God. To the caliph's Egyptian subjects, this is the last straw. They are shocked by the vizier's announcement and begin to make fun of their slightly bonkers caliph. The growing dispute between al Hakim and the populace results in the breakout of a rebellion in 1020. As a result, al Hakim sends troops to put down the unrest and even burns the city of al Fustat. Just a year later, al Hakim disappears while on one of his lone donkey rides in the Muqattam Hills, possibly murdered on the orders of his sister, Set El-Molk.
1021 - 1035
Ali az Zahir / al Zaher
Son. Still a minor at accession.
1021 - 1023
Set El-Molk / Sitt al-Mulk
Sister to al Hakim, and regent. Died.
1024 - 1029
The various Arab tribes of southern Syria form an alliance and rebel against Fatamid control of the region. The rebellion sweeps the emir, Shihab ad-Dawlah Shah Tegin, out of Damascus. In 1029, the Arab rebellion in Syria is crushed by the newly-appointed Turkish governor of Syria and Palestine, Anushtegin ad-Dizbari, with victory coming in 1029. The success gives the new governor control of Syria, which is not something that pleases his Fatamid masters. However, his authority and leadership is welcomed by the people of Damascus itself, who are probably relieved to find some stability after several years of uncertainty.
1035 - 1094
Ma'ad al-Mustansir Billah
Son. Succeeded aged 6.
1035 - c.1045
Ali bin Ahmad Jarjarai
Vizier and regent until the caliph came of age.
Islamic Sicily is undergoing a period of Kalbid rule that is becoming increasingly subject to internal division as factions vie for control. These factions ally themselves with the Byzantines and the Zirid governors of Fatamid Ifriqiyya, and in the meantime the counts of Apulia begin to capture their territory.
During a relatively unstable period in Egypt, a relative of the caliph, Uddat ad-Dawlah Rifq al-Mustansiri, becomes emir of Damascus, but only briefly.
The invasion of the Banu Hillal sees Kairouan destroyed. The Zirids are reduced to ruling a narrow coastal strip while the remainder of the territory fragments into petty Bedouin emirates.
1060 - 1072
Tension in Fatamid Cairo has been slowly growing over the course of the century due to the caliphate's policy of organising military units based on ethnic background. While this policy has generally been effective in military terms, its effect on the political sphere has been more disruptive, pitching Berber factions against Turkic factions. In the 1060s, Egypt suffers a series of droughts and famines, and the delicate political balance breaks down completely. Turkic and Nubian troops fight openly while the Berbers chop-and-change according to circumstance. Eventually, the Turks seize most of Cairo and hold the caliph to ransom while the Berbers and Nubians are loose in the countryside.
1065 - 1068
The four qadits of Sicily have largely been rebuilt into a single emirate by Ayyub ibn Tamim, the son of the Zirid emir of Ifriqiyya (regional governors of the Fatamids). He departs in 1068, leaving behind an island that remains divided between Arabs and Byzantines, and is not strong enough to continue to hold out against fresh attacks from Apulia.
Desperate to resolve the ongoing situation in Cairo, Caliph al Mustansir recalls General Badr al-Jamali, governor of Acre and Palestine (and former of governor of Damascus in 1063). He successfully puts down the various rebel factions, clearing out much of the Turkic presence at the same time. However, the caliphate has been seriously weakened by the revolt. Badr al-Jamali becomes the first military vizier of the caliphate (along much the same lines as the magistri militum of the late Western Roman empire, and they dominate the caliphate in much the same way as the late Roman emperors had been dominated). The military viziers become the heads of state in Egypt in all but name, with the the caliph reduced to the role of figurehead.
Turkic invasions see Syria conquered fairly rapidly. Abaaq al-Khwarazmi is a general under the command of Malik Shah I, the Seljuq great sultan, but Damascus quickly becomes the capital of a newly independent state (either an emirate or the more grand sultanate) under the general, making him the first Seljuq to gain independence from his overlord. The loss is just another outward sign of the Fatamid collapse.
Following the death in the same year of al Mustansir and his strong vizier in Egypt, Badr al-Jamali, a series of weak caliphs sit on the throne and struggle against their viziers to see who will dominate. The Fatamids are crucially compromised by this internal power struggle.
1094 - 1101
Raised by Vizier Al-Afdal Shahanshah, breaking the succession.
1096 - 1099
With Fatamid power in the region at an all-time low, the arrival of the First Crusade achieves relatively easy conquests between Edessa and Jerusalem, part of the Christian domain of Outremer. In 1099, the main Crusader force conquers the Holy City of Jerusalem, and Godfrey de Bouillon becomes the 'Protector of Jerusalem'. Islam barely registers the loss, so divided is it between warring Sunni and Shiite factions. The prevailing belief is that this is a short-term Byzantine raid in strength that will eventually go away. Instead, four main Crusader States are formed.
The coming of the Crusaders occurred at a time when the Islamic world was deeply involved in factional in-fighting, and at first they were dismissed as being a a mere Byzantine raid
1101 - 1130
al Amir bi-Ahkami I-Lah
King Baldwin II of Jerusalem is captured by the Ortoqids in northern Syria. In his absence the kingdom is governed by the constable of Jerusalem, Eustace Grenier, and the Fatamid military vizier, Al-Ma'mum, spies an opportunity to capture the coastal stronghold of Jaffa. Launching his attack from Egypt, Al-Ma'mum's force is intercepted by Crusader troops at the Battle of Yibneh (or Yibna), close to the Fatamid coastal fortress of Ashkelon (Ascalon). The battle is short and decisive, with the Fatamid fleet also being destroyed by the Venetians, and the Fatamid threat is virtually ended for the next thirty years.
1125 - 1130?
After the imprisonment and crucifixion of Vizier Al-Ma'mum, Caliph Al Amir does not appoint any further viziers, preferring to run things directly. His death in 1130 allows a new vizier to be appointed, probably that same year by the new caliph, Al Hafiz.
1130 - 1149
1146 - 1160
Having built up a sizable navy, and from 1135 attacking the coast of Tunis to seize pockets of territory there, now Roger II of the Norman kingdom of Naples & Sicily occupies Tunis itself. Tripoli is captured in 1146, and Cape Bona in 1148. However, Roger's successor loses these conquests, and they are never officially integrated into the kingdom.
The collateral line assumes the throne and is no longer considered to be Shiite Imams. In the same year, the Almohad dynasty of Morocco occupies Tunis, and the new caliph's vizier is killed by the son of an Ortoqid officer in the service of the Fatamids. Governor of Alexandria Al-Adir assembles his troops and marches on al Kahira (Cairo). He kills the serving military vizier and imposes himself on Caliph Al Zafir as his new vizier.
1149 - 1154
Murdered by Vizier Abbas.
1154 - 1160
Son. Succeeded as a child under regent Vizier Tali ibn Ruzzik.
1160 - 1171
Brother. Another infant. Died a natural death.
Damascus is involved in a race with the Crusader kingdom of Jerusalem to conquer Fatamid Egypt. On 2 January 1169, the Crusaders retreat from their siege of the walls of Cairo and evacuate the region, allowing Asad ad-Din Shirkuh to take control as vizier (prime minister) under the Fatamids, founding the Ayyubid dynasty in Egypt (although not, at this stage, an independent one).
This ebony market may have been held in Tunis in more recent times but it doubtless mirrors such markets going back through centuries of Islamic and pre-Islamic control of the region
1171 - 1174
The caliph dies, ending Fatamid rule of Egypt and leaving the country in the control of Saladin, under the suzerainty of Mahmud Nur ad-Din of Damascus. The latter's death in 1174 allows Saladin to assert his full control over Egypt, becoming the first Ayyubid sultan.
1171 - 1229
The Almohad dynasty of Morocco remains in command of Tunisia. Caliph Muhammad al-Nasir ibn Yaqub appoints his own governor in Tunis in 1207 to manage the day-to-day administration of the state.
Hafsid Dynasty of Ifriqiyya
AD 1229 - 1574
In his battles to defeat the Banu Ghaniya who were trying to capture Tunis, Almohad Caliph Muhammad al-Nasir ibn Yaqub appointed his own governor in Tunis in 1207. This plan backfired, however, when a later governor declared independence in 1229. Abu Zakariya ensured the split between the Almohads and the Hafsids, permanently weakening the Almohads. The Hafsids ruled the former Roman province of Africa themselves, along with the modern Maghreb. Together these form modern Tunisia, eastern Algeria, and western Libya. Abu Zakariya subsequently built up Tunis as the economic and cultural centre of the empire.
(Additional information from Concise History of Islam, Muzaffar Husain Syed, Syed Saud Akhtar, & B D Usmani.)
1207 - 1216
1224 - 1229
The selection of Almohad Caliph Abdul-Wahid is disputed by various members of the family. Abdallah Abu Muhammad, the governor of al-Andalus, arrives to clear out the group at court that had forged ahead with the selection, and murders the caliph. His usurpation, whatever the legal implications, triggers a lasting period of instability within the empire which eventually contributes to its downfall. The sons of the powerful governor of Ifriqiyya, Abd-Allah, are some of the few not to fall in line with the usurpation.
1229 - 1249
Governor. Declared himself independent in 1229.
1249 - 1277
Muhammad I al-Mustansir
Took the title of caliph.
North Africa breaks up between the Hafsids, Merinids, and the Algerian Abdul-Wadids and Zayyanids). None of them are strong enough to reunite the empire and rule a strong North Africa, so they fight amongst themselves for pockets of territory, and none of them are dominant until the sixteenth century Saadi dynasty comes to power.
Against the advice of the Pope, the Seventh Crusade under St Louis IX of France gets no further than Tunisia, where the king dies of plague during the siege of Tunis on 25 August 1270. His son is proclaimed king under the walls of Tunis.
Louis IX assembles his troops outside the walls of the city of Tunis during the French-led Seventh Crusade, but Louis soon died shortly after his arrival and his army, riddled with disease, made its way back to Europe soon afterwards
1277 - 1279
Yahya II al-Watiq
1279 - 1283
1283 - 1284
Ibn Abi Umara
1284 - 1295
Abu Hafs Umar I
1295 - 1309
Abu Bakr I
1309 - 1311
Aba al-Baqa Khalid an-Nasir
1311 - 1317
Aba Yahya Zakariya al-Lihyani
1317 - 1318
1318 - 1346
Abu Bakr II
Died, producing a succession battle.
1346 - 1349
Abu Hafs Umar II
1347 - 1350
The Merinids of Fez take the opportunity presented to them by the bickering Hafsids and invade Ifriqiyya. Having already captured Tlemcen from the Zayyanids, for a brief period the territories of the former Almohad kingdom are reunited under one ruler. However, Sultan Abu al-Hasan of Fez is defeated in 1348 by Arab tribes who resent his authoritarian attitude. The sultan's son returns to Fez from his governorship at Tlemcen and declares himself sultan. Abu al-Hasan is unable to recapture his throne. The Zayyanids instantly rebel, overthrow their Merinid invaders and retake their kingdom.
The kingdom of Fez under Merinid control made the most of the confused political situation in North Africa by pouncing on the Zayyanids in 1337 and then on the Hafsids in 1347 to briefly recreate the former Alhomad kingdom (click or tap on map to view full sized)
1350 - 1369
1369 - 1371
Abu al-Baqa Khalid
1371 - 1394
Abu al-Abbas Ahmad II
1394 - 1434
Abd al-Aziz II
1434 - 1436
1436 - 1488
1488 - 1489
Abu Zakariya Yahya
1489 - 1490
Abd al-Mu'min (Hafsid)
1490 - 1494
Abu Yahya Zakariya
1494 - 1526
1526 - 1543
Muhammad V / Muley Hassan
The military ventures of King Charles of Spain against the Hafsids in 1535, and later against the Zayyanids of western Algiers (in 1541) are failures. Subsequently, he is forced to defend Spanish territories in the Mediterranean from raids by the piratical Barbary Corsairs. Part of this effort means that the Sardinian coast is fortified with a chain of defensive lookout towers.
1543 - 1569
In October, Ölj Ali Pasha of Algiers marches his forces overland to attack Sultan Ahmad III, following the latter's restoration by the Spanish. With about 5,000 troops, he defeats Ahmad and takes Tunis, while Ahmad finds refuge in the nearby Spanish fort at La Goulette.
1570 - 1573
Governor. Became acting beylerbey in Algiers (1574).
1573 - 1574
During the course of the century the Hafsids have increasingly become caught up in the power struggle between Spain and the Corsairs, supported by the Ottoman empire. The latter conquers Tunis in 1574 and topples the Hafsids who, at times, had accepted Spanish sovereignty over them. A few last Hafsids claim power but hold virtually none.
1574 - 1581
Jafari Yahya 'Jafari the Clean'
The last of the Hafsids is removed from any claim to the throne and Ottoman control of the region is complete.
Ottoman Tunisia (Muradids & Husainids)
AD 1574 - 1882
The last independent dynasty of Tunisia, the Hafsids, had become increasingly caught up in the power struggle between Spain and the Corsairs, the latter of which were supported by the Ottoman empire. The Ottomans conquered Tunis in 1574 and toppled the Hafsids. Once removed, they were replaced by Ottoman governors (labelled deys - a superior title - or beys - the inferior of the two), with Ramdan Bey being the first.
Initially the Ottomans were openly opposed by Muley Hamida a son of the Hafsid Muhammad V and a man with a very low reputation. Once he had been seen off, the second bey was Murad Bey (Murad I). He was of Corsican janissary stock and had been sponsored by Ramdan Bey from an early age. Upon Randan's death he was able to succeed him in office and secure the succession of his own son. As the first of this line the dynasty is known by his name - Muradid or Mouradite. However, his successors were so interested in securing their position, and making that position independent of Ottoman control, that they alienated much of the nobility and ended up fighting amongst themselves so that it was almost a relief when the last of them was murdered by his own general.
The governorship soon fell into the hands of the Husainids. They were of Cretan origin, although whether of Greek or Turkish background is uncertain (Turkish is sometimes quoted, but unreliably). From them sprung 'Ali at-Turk (or al-Turki), who served in the Janissary Corps under the early Turkish deys of Tunis. Following a period of in-fighting between various factions of the Ottoman military forces in the country, at-Turki's younger son, Husain, seized power in 1705. He quickly consolidated his hold on the state and by 1756 the Husainids were firmly in control. Each bey was succeeded by the next-eldest member of the family, whether they were a son, a brother, or an uncle, as per the rules of agnatic seniority.
(Information by Peter Kessler, with additional information from Economic Thinking of Arab Muslim Writers During the Nineteenth Century, Abdul Azim Islahi (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), from Giornale storico del viaggio in Africa della veneta squadra, Angelo Emo (1787), from Palais et demeures de Tunis (XVIe et XVIIe siècles), Jean Revault (Études d'Antiquités africaines Année, 1967, in French), from The History of the Ingenious Gentleman, Don Quixote of La Mancha, Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (1822), and from External Link: The Husainid Dynasty (Royal Ark).)
1573 - 1574
Son of Muhammad V. Actively opposed Ottoman rule of Tunisia.
? - 1613
Died. Sponsored Murad Bey.
Alem Nafirr, the last of the Hafsids, is removed from any claim to the throne and Ottoman control of the region is complete. The language of officialdom is Ottoman Turkish rather than the Arabic which has commanded for almost a millennium, and this soon begins to create frustration for the majority of the Arab-speaking population.
The janissaries were Ottoman elite infantry units which had originally been formed in 1330 and were directly responsible to the sultan himself, so they were often placed in powerful positions in the various dominions of the empire
1613 - 1631
Murad (I) Bey
Founded Muradid dynasty of governors. Resigned. Died 1640.
1631 - 1666
With the death of Hammuda Pasha, the Husainid beys soon become the de facto authority in Tunisia, despite the Muradids still holding the official title of governor. Murad II is not the strong and wily official that his father and grandfather had been. With the diwan again functioning as a council of (Turkish-speaking) nobles, the Arab-speaking janissary deys can see their power ebbing.
1666 - 1675
The increasingly desperate janissary deys rise in revolt with support from some of the nobility. The beys are victorious, but Arabic returns to official use with only the Muradids retaining Turkish for courtly functions, so that they can show off their sophistication and Ottoman connections.
The death of Murad II leaves the Muradids in some confusion as they vie with one another for superiority. This sparks the Revolution of Tunis, or the Muradid War of Succession, which does not end until the first of the Husainids has seized control in 1705. Murad's sons, Ali Bey and Muhamed Bey fight each other, plus their uncle, Muhammad al-Hafsi, several lesser commanding figures, the Turkish militia and even the dey of Algiers. Ali Bey is assassinated, and Muhammad al-Hafsi is recalled to Constantinople (permanently), but the dey of Algiers manages to use his own Tunisian supporters to briefly capture Tunis between 1694-1695.
1675 - 1696
Muhamed (II) / Muhammad Bey
Son. Rightful heir. Fought his brother for control.
1696 - 1699
Ramadan / Romdhane
Youngest brother. Mediocre in power. Fled, captured, executed.
1698 - 1702
Murad (III) ibn Ali
Son of Ali Bey. Last Muradid. Killed by his own general.
Murad III goes to war against Algiers, and the Ottoman court seems powerless to control him. One of his army commanders, Ibrahim Sharif, is visiting Constantinople at the time to recruit janissaries, but he is soon ordered to return to Tunis to arrest Murad. Instead he kills him and takes over his role as bey of Tunis. Then he assassinates the remaining young princes of the Muradid dynasty, the youngest of whom is aged four. As a reward for ending the hostilities with Algiers he is created pasha by the Ottomans. Subsequently elected dey of Tunis he immediately abolishes that particular title.
Ibrahim Sharif's trip to Constantinople, capital of the Ottoman empire, on a janissary recruitment exercise saw him instead receive orders direct from the sultan to return to Tunis and remove the bey from power - which he did with rather too much enthusiasm
1702 - 1705
Janissary commander. Usurper. Captured by Algiers. Killed.
1705 - 1707
Ibrahim still manages to come into conflict with Algiers, and is soon captured by the dey of Algiers. A period of in-fighting is triggered between various factions of the Ottoman military forces in Tunis. The Husainid (Husaynid) dynasty is born when Husain, son of Ottoman Janissary 'Ali at-Turk and a North African mother, wins the battle and seizes control. He pronounces himself the bey of Tunis. Two years later, in 1707, Husain is recognised as the Ottoman viceroy of Ifriqiya, by which time he has had the freed Ibrahim Sharif assassinated.
1705 - 1735
Husain / al-Husayn (I) ibn Ali at-Turki
Son of Ali at-Turki. Seized power during period of internal strife.
Nominal authority in Tunis is subordinated to the Ottoman governors of Algiers, although how much actual influence they have there is open to question. Husain seems to be just as independently-minded as his predecessor, and various plots and potential revolts are constantly bubbling under the surface. In the end Algiers has to remove Husain by force, seemingly by supporting (or at least not hindering) a usurpation of the throne by Husain's nephew, Ali Pasha, after he had been sidelined as heir by Husain's own son, contrary to the rules of agnatic seniority.
1735 - 1756
'Abu'l Hasan Ali (I) / Ali Pasha
Nephew. Revolted. Seized control with Algiers' help. Murdered.
Making the most of a growing movement towards independence on Corsica, a German adventurer by the name of Theodore von Neuhoff finds support from Great Britain and the Netherlands as he claims the kingship of the island. He lands with help from Corsican revolutionaries and the bey of Tunis, and assumes the title of king. At first, his battles against the ruling Genoese are fairly successful, but in-fighting amongst his supporters weakens his cause and he is defeated. He flees the island with a Genoese price on his head, but returns several times with arms and fresh plans to regain the island. Nothing ever comes of it.
By the eighteenth century the currency of the dominant Ottoman empire was being used in the region, with these silver kharubs being minted in 1739 during the reign of Ottoman Sultan Mahmud I
Asfaw Wossen with King Fuad I of the Kingdom of Egypt in 1931 – Image: Bundesarchiv Bild 102 12834, Kronprinz von Abessinien und König Fuad I
Some of the oldest human fossils have been found in Ethiopia, and some of the oldest cultures. The Nile, the longest river in the world, begins in Ethiopia. Along its 4,000 mile length, in ancient times, was one huge civilization…
One of its earliest kingdoms, the kingdom of D'mt, was established during the 8th century BC, and after its collapse in the 4th century BC the Aksumite Empire, Zagwe dynasty and Solomonic dynasty all subsequently controlled the region.
Ras Makonnen Woldemikael and his son Lij Tafari Makonnen – Image: Lij Teferi and his father, Ras Makonnen
Europe Returns Stolen, Looted 18th Century Artifacts to Ethiopia, Africa
The Associated Press: Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Africa, Abiy Ahmed receives the 18th-century crown from the Dutch.
CNN: Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali receives a stolen ceremonial crowned handed over in front of Dutch politician Sigrid Kaag and Sirak Asfaw. February 20, 2020 Office of the Prime Minister of Ethiopia Twitter
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