Marye of Yejju

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Marye of Yejju [1] (died 14 February 1831) was a Ras of Begemder and Enderase (regent) of the Emperor of Ethiopia. He was the brother of his predecessor Ras Yimam.

Begemder province

Begemder was a province in the northwestern part of Ethiopia.

Emperor of Ethiopia Hereditary rulers of the Ethiopian Empire

The Emperor of Ethiopia was the hereditary ruler of the Ethiopian Empire, until the abolition of the monarchy in 1975. The Emperor was the head of state and head of government, with ultimate executive, judicial and legislative power in that country. A National Geographic Magazine article called imperial Ethiopia "nominally a constitutional monarchy; in fact [it was] a benevolent autocracy".

Yimam of Yejju was a Ras of Begemder and Enderase (regent) of the Emperor of Ethiopia. He was the son of Gugsa of Yejju.

The missionary Samuel Gobat had a low opinion of Marye. He wrote in his journal, "A character worse then[ sic?] is attributed to Mariam [Marye], cannot be well given to a prince. He does justice to none. Far from punishing a soldier for robbing or killing his companion, he publicly commends him, as a man of courage. It is said that he has ordered all of his soldiers, on entering Oubea's territories, to kill every human being they meet, without distinction of age or sex; threatening with death the soldier, known to have spared a single person in his power." [2] However, Gobat's opinion may have been influenced by a raid Marye's men made on Gondar 14 May 1830, which he described immediately before this passage.

Samuel Gobat Anglican bishop

Samuel Gobat, was a Swiss Calvinist who became an Anglican missionary in Africa and was the Protestant Bishop of Jerusalem from 1846 until his death.

The Latin adverb sic inserted after a quoted word or passage indicates that the quoted matter has been transcribed or translated exactly as found in the source text, complete with any erroneous, archaic, or otherwise nonstandard spelling. It also applies to any surprising assertion, faulty reasoning, or other matter that might be likely interpreted as an error of transcription.

Wube Haile Maryam

Wube Haile Maryam, also called Wube Haile Mariam or Dejazmach Wube, (1800–1867) was a regional ruler and dejazmach in Tigray, Simien, and other coastal territories, in an area that is now part of northern Ethiopia and central Eritrea. Wube is remembered in Eritrea for barbarous military raids. He was defeated and imprisoned in 1855 by Kassa Hailu. Some sources date Wube's defeat as the end of Ethiopia's Zemene Mesafint era.


During the rule of his father, Ras Yejju, Marye challenged his father's authority with an open rebellion; Marye was defeated in battle. After Gugsa's death Marye also challenged the succession of his own brother Yimam by rebelling. [3]

Gugsa of Yejju was a Ras of Begemder, and Inderase (regent) of the Emperor of Ethiopia. According to Nathaniel Pearce, he took the Christian name of Wolde Mikael. He was the son of Mersu Barentu and Kefey, the sister of Ras Aligaz. Both Bahru Zewde and Paul B. Henze consider his reign as Ras and Enderase as the peak of the Yejju Dynasty during the Zemene Mesafint.

Marye had his capital in Debre Tabor, from 1828 to 1831. Upon Meru of Dembiya's death, he was given that warlord's territories in Dembiya, Wegera and Belessa to rule, but he had not held them for very long before Meru's relations came forward with their own claims; the immediate claimants included Dejazmach Walde Tekle, who claimed the lands for himself, and Welette Tekle, who claimed them for her son Kinfu. The struggle over control of these territories continued long after Marye's death, eventually involving Empress Menen Liben Amede. [4]

Debre Tabor Place in Amhara Region, Ethiopia

Debre Tabor is a town and a woreda in north-central Ethiopia. Located in the Debub Gondar Zone of the Amhara Region of Ethiopia, about 100 kilometers southeast of Gondar and 50 kilometers east of Lake Tana, this historic town has a latitude and longitude of 11°51′N38°1′E with an elevation of 2,706 metres (8,878 ft) above sea level. The presence of at least 48 springs in the area contributed to the development of Debre Tabor.

Dembiya is a historic region of Ethiopia, intimately linked with Lake Tana. According to the account of Manuel de Almeida, Dembiya was "bounded on East by Begemder, on South by Gojjam, on West by Agaws of Achefer and Tangha. Lake Tsana, formerly called Dambaya, is in this region." Alexander Murray, in his preface to the third volume of Bruce's account, further describes it as "on the east it includes Foggora, Dara, and Alata; on the north-east Gondar, the metropolis, and the rich district beneath it; on the southwest, the district of Bed and, on the west, the lands around Waindaga and Dingleber."

Menen Liben Amede was an empress and wife of Emperor Yohannes III of Ethiopia.

Marye's final military campaign was against Ras Sabagadis of Agame, who had succeeded Wolda Selassie as the dominant warlord of Tigray. Supported by Wube Haile Maryam of Semien and Goshu of Gojjam, Marye led his army across the Takazze River and defeated Sebagadis at the Battle of Debre Abbay (14 February 1831). However, Ras Marye was killed in the battle, and Sebagadis surrendered to Wube. Wube handed the defeated warlord to Ras Marye's Oromo troops, who killed their defeated foe, and ravaged Tigray in revenge for their leader's death.

Agame Province in Province

Agame is a former province in northern Ethiopia and is now part of the Tigray Region. Agame is located at the northeastern corner of the Ethiopian Empire. It borders on the Eritrean province of Akele Guzai in the north, Tembien, Kalatta Awlalo and Enderta in the south, and both the Eritrean and Ethiopian Afar lowlands in the east. This relative location placed Agame at the strategic cross-roads between the Red Sea Cost and the interior of southern Eritrea, on the one hand, and the northern Tigrayan plateau on the other. In pre-1991, Agame had a total area of about 4,889 square kilometres (1,888 sq mi) with an estimated population of 344,800.

Tigray Province

Tigray is a historical region and province of Ethiopia. It encompasses most of the territories of Tigrinya-speakers in Ethiopia; Tigray is separated from the northern Tigrinya territories by the River Mereb, now serving as the state border to Eritrea.

Gojjam province

Gojjam was a kingdom in the north-western part of Ethiopia, with its capital city at Debre Marqos. This region is distinctive for lying entirely within the bend of the Abbay River from its outflow from Lake Tana to the Sudan. Gojjamis believe that they are the original people mentioned in the Bible as the river Guihon/Gihon (Nile) encircling the land of Cush extending to the ancient kingdom of Meroe. At the fall of Meroe to the Axumite King Ezana. Gojjam (Guihon) became a kingdom and later joined the rest of the kingdom of Ethiopia having their own kingship up to the coming of Menlike II of Shoa in the late 19th century, who reduced it to a province..


  1. Samuel Gobat, who lived in Ethiopia from 1830-1832, for some unknown reason refers to him as "Mariam" in his Journal of Three years' Residence in Abyssinia, 1851 (New York: Negro Universities Press, 1969).
  2. Gobat, Journal, p. 181
  3. Donald Crummey, "Family and Property amongst the Amhara Nobility", Journal of African History, special issue: The History of the Family in Africa, 24 1983, p. 218
  4. Sven Rubenson, King of Kings: Tewodros of Ethiopia (Addis Ababa: Haile Selassie I University, 1966), pp. 21ff
Preceded by
Ras Yimam
Chief of the Yejju Succeeded by
Ras Dori

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