Alfred Rahlfs provides translations and a comparative analysis of inscriptions from Ezana, king of Aksum and the Abyssinian Empire that have previously been regarded as proof of the origin of Christianity in Ethiopia.
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The origins of Christianity in Ethiopia often focus on the conversion of Ezana, king of Aksum and ruler the Abyssinian Empire in the middle of the fourth-century. This story is well-known both from Christian legend and from the evidence found in inscriptions bearing Ezana’s name. Ezana’s early inscriptions clearly demonstrate his “pagan” worldview, and later inscriptions seem to show evidence of his conversion to Christianity. In the present article Alfred Rahlfs builds upon previous scholarship dealing with these inscriptions and includes two inscriptions not known or used in former treatments. Based on the content of the inscriptions, Rahlfs is skeptical of the conclusions about the impact of Christianity within the empire that can be drawn from such limited evidence. Rahlfs provides translations of the inscriptions and a comparative survey of their contents.