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Narrative Life of King Ezana of Aksum, Essay Example

Pages: 5

Words: 1494

Essay

The King of Ezana was the ruler of the Axumite Kingdom from 320s-c.360AD in present day Ethiopia. King of Ezana comes from a royal family. His father King Ousanas (Ella Amida) and his mother Sofya who serviced as a royal advisor (Original People,2015). The royal beginnings for King of Ezana came from a scripted upbringing that included education, religion, arts and a strong foundation of Christianity. The importance of Ezana tutoring was based on religious climate of that era that included Christianity, Islam, Animalistic Polytheists and Judaism. The King of Ezana was surrounded by different languages, cultures and faith consequently, Axum was one the most powerful kingdoms.

The King of Ezana of Aksum was the ruler of the Kingdom of Aksum. King Ezana was the first monarch that changed from a monolithic faith to that of Christianity. The conversion to Christianity was embedded into King Ezana teachings as a child. It was through Frummentius’s trials and tribulations, dedicated evangelism and Christianity faith that King Ezana was afforded to learn the Christianity teachings (The Colson Center for Christian Views,2015).

His childhood tutor Frummentius guided his early childhood training in Ethiopia as a Syrian Christian and he was responsible for training the bishops of Aksum in the Christian faith (Stream African 1). Frummentious was the first bishop of Aksum who was instrumental in bring the Christianity faith to Ethiopia in the 4th century. The King of Ezana was an important link in the turning point in Aksum history because he made the Axumite Kingdom a state with Christianity as the primary religions. There has been other Kings that have been documented as making strides in helping, protecting and housing those that were converting to Christianity. However, King Ezana was responsible for spreading Christianity to other regions and around the world. The lessons learned from Frummentius Christian tutoring as a child and his continued relationship with Frummentious contributed to the spreading of the gospel to the population.

Influence

King of Ezana greatness was overshadowed by King Kaleb because he defended Christians that were being persecuted and attacked. Kaleb was credited for his courageous efforts to defend the Christians brothers and sisters on the other side of the Red Sea (Stream Africa,2015). Consequently, it was King of Ezana that centuries before brought Christianity to the world and declaring Christianity as the Aksum kingdom religion. King of Ezana influential in spreading the Christianity to the region and to the world. The influence of King of Ezana goes beyond his young years because upon conquering other regions, Ezana did not turn the captors into slaves. He built a collaborative relationship with the captives allowing them to build their own futures with working land(Seland,2014). The slaves became productive members of the Axum kingdom and they live in prosperity and peace. King Ezana diplomat skills with the treatment of captives should have more historical credit for his humanitarian and leadership activities. The previous Kings before Ezana was given credit for the influence on Christianity however Ezana spread the Christianity beyond Axum.

Ezana was known as a master builder that enjoy the arts and found a way to bring his historical pieces of great obelisk that are still visible today in Axum. It was one the greatest contributions by Ezana which is describe as the Obelisk of Axum, a tall granite stele obelisk which was erected in the Kingdom of Axum (Saylor Academy,2015). The intended use of the Obelisk was a pagan practice worshiping and sacrificial religious meanings. The influence of his tutor was evident because Ezana banned this practice because of his conversion to Christianity. The trade of spices and goods was led by Ezana that allowed the Kingdom of Axum to be a major trading post while building new relationships in different regions. The creation of the new trading gateway allowed Ezana to growth the wealth and trading of the Kingdom of Axum.

Legacy

One of Ezana legacies as the leader of the Kingdom of Axum was launching military campaigns which he recorded as inscriptions. Ezana longed to be like his predecessor Ousanas that ruled with punitive actions against anyone that opposed the kingdom or potential threats to the throne. The Kingdom of Aksum was the capital of the empire in the 4th century where King of Ezana carved exquisite art, erected great obelisks and historical inscriptions to show proof that of King of Ezana military conquest (The Columbia Encyclopedia. (2015).

The research found that many historians do not feel Ezana contribution to Christianity has any official proof and the conversion is not clear because Christianity existed before Ezana was King (Your Dictionary,2015). However, the author Seland (2014) found that historians are not accurate in their findings because the church historian Rufinius of Aquileia narratives and accounting of Frumentius and Aedesius Christian pilgrimages. The argument by Seland (2014) indicates that Frumentious was allowed to open Aksumite church in the kingdom and allowed to spread the Christian gospel. The primary religions were changed to Christianity by Ezana with influence from his tutor Frumentious. In addition, Ezana legacy was cemented when he made the first coins showing the Christianity symbol. This was another way that Ezana made sure the gospel of Christianity would be spread throughout the region and the world.

Ezana legacy does not stop with making the Kingdom of Aksum a Christian state but his ability to merge cultures. The traditional conqueror of other nations of cities would use the losers of battles as slaves. The new slaves would have to spend the rest of their lives adopting the beliefs of the Aksum people. There are not that many Kings that used his conquest to bring people together in peace in the same place they live. King Ezana would make the slaves apart of the community by allowing them to grow and tend to their own lands. The slaves became citizens of the kingdom with the same privileges and opportunities as anyone else in Aksum.

Inscriptions

One of the few historical facts about Ezana that is known is his contribution to art, religion, painted, impressed, and stone written inscriptions. Ezana left many different inscriptions in stone written in several languages such as Geez, Sabean and Greek. This was the genius of Ezana because the different languages allowed the King to reach different people in different regions, cities and with different religious beliefs (Browse Biography,2010). Ezana had visions that he legacy would be historical kept alive with these inscriptions of his ability to lead and defend the lands of Aksum. The historical contributions get lost in translation became many records of Ezana either were hard to find or hard to decipher but the inscriptions are a critical part of his legacy. However, the key to understanding King of Ezana is through his commitment to inscriptions. Ezana was leaving his legacy with the great obelisks built in the kingdom while documenting the history of Aksum with stone inscriptions. The original inscriptions created by Ezana was a deliberate way to record the exploits, traditional, art and rich heritage of the Aksum people. The research found many historians that could not find solid proof about the contributions by Ezana but there are enough documented accounts by clergymen, historians and Aksum records to show King Ezana was a great leader of the people. The King found a way to incorporate profitable trading, Aksum social growth, Christianity as state religion and leave a rich tradition for the Aksum people.

Conclusion

The King of Ezana was responsible for bringing Christianity to Aksum while making it the state religions despite the existence of other beliefs Islam, Animalistic Polytheists and Judaism. The descent to the throne of Aksum allowed King Ezana the opportunity to change to the faith of Christianity. The conversion to Christianity was influence by the teachings of Frummentius which was an important change because he made the Axumite Kingdom a state religion. King of Ezana greatness was responsible for bring prosperity to the Axumite Kingdom with trading along the Red Sea, establishing the Christian way of life and defending the lands from enemies. Ezana should be credited for his leadership, contribution to art and his stone inscriptions. King Ezana may not go down in history as one the greatest Kings of all time however, the research does suggest his accomplishments should be viewed as innovative a King before his time.

Works Cited

Browse Biography. (2010). Ezana of Axum biography. Retrieved from http://www.browsebiography.com/bio-ezana_of_axum.html

Original People. (2015). Ezana of Axum: Biography. Retrieved from http://originalpeople.org/ezana-of-axum/

The Colson Center for Christian Views,2015). St. Frummentius(?-c.383) and King Ezana of Axum (r.330c. 360: Christians who changed their world. Retrieved from http://www.colsoncenter.org/the-center/columns/call-response/21153-christians-who-changed-their-world

Saylor Academy. (2015). Obelisk of Axum. Retrieved from http://saylor.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/ARTH304-3.3-ObeliskofAxum.pdf

Seland, E. (2014). Early Christianity in East Africa and Red Sea/Indian Ocean Commerce. African Archaeological Review, 31(4), 637-647. doi:10.1007/s10437-014-9172-5

Stream African. (2015). King of Ezana of Aksum. Retrieved from http://streamafrica.com/culture/king-ezana-aksum/

The Columbia Encyclopedia. (2015). Aksum. Retrieved from http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1E1-Aksum.html

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