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Demetros

Ethiopian emperor
The basics
About
Date of birth
Date of death 1802
The details
Biography

Demetros or Demetrius (died 1802) was Emperor of Ethiopia from July 25, 1799 to March 24, 1800 and from June 1800 to June 1801. He was the son of Arqedewos. He may be the same person as the "Adimo" mentioned in the account of the traveler Henry Salt who was dead by the time of Salt's visit to northern Ethiopia in 1809/1810.

Demetros was elevated as Emperor by Dejazmach Gugsa and his brother Alula, who put his predecessor Emperor Salomon III in chains. Four days later he made Gugsa Dejazmach over Begemder, and five days after that Demetros appointed Alula Kenyazmach. However, in March of the next year, Tekle Giyorgis returned to Gondar, supported by Ras Wolde Selassie, and while Tekle Giyorgis made a point of not entering the palace, Demetros is commonly considered to have been deposed at that point.

Demetros' restoration was not a solemn affair. According to the Royal Chronicle of Abyssinia, while Tekle Giyorgis was away from Gondar campaigning in the provinces, Demetros was dragged to the Royal Palace against his will where he was made ruler. "After that they turned him out and bringing in Takla Giyorgis King of Kings made him King over the other and even yet a third time drove him out of the Royal Palace when he had done nothing."

On this rapid succession of emperors at the will of the powerful warlords, the writer of The Royal Chronicle lamented,

I indeed am sad and stricken on account of this persecution of those revered kings. Who shall restore the dominion of the kingdom to you as of old he restored the kingdom from the Zague to the house of David, through the prayer of Iyasus Mo'a, and the covenant of Abuna Takla Haymanot, may he grant us this day that he restore the Kingdom. Amen.

The Royal Chronicle records his death late in 1802. He was buried at Ba'ata.

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