Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Tomb of Kaleb

One of the celebrated Christian kings of Aksum is Atsie Kaleb, who reigned from about 500 to 534 AD. Amongst his deeds is the revenge he had taken during his campaign to Yemen, across the Red Sea, when he destroyed the 70,000 – strong army that had ruthlessly killed Christians.
    Before his death, he prepared his tomb and then retired to a monastic life with the monk Abune Pentelewon, at a place five kilometers away in the hills of Aksum. He shaved his hair, and lived in a cave.
    Atsie Kaleb’s tomb is found some 2 kilometers east of the main standing stelae of Aksum. Some 15 steps lead down through the porch on the west to a large antechamber and the three compartments that constitute the tomb. It is amongst the latest of the royal Aksumite tombs. All are composed of the same granite stone constructed without mortar.
    A local legend describes that Atsie Kaleb prepared and underground road that stretched to Eritrea, a length of some 180 kilometers. It is also said that, during the Regnant Camp aign, Atsie Kaleb ordered his army that each soldier take a handful of the earth through which they went along the underground road. Few respected the order, and others simply ran through it. When they emerged, the soldiers discovered it was pure gold. All of them thus cried (both those with the gold and those empty handed). It has become a local proverb.

                       continue Reading.... The Tomb of Gebre Meskel

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