Zagwe Dynasty

Near the end of the tenth century CE an Agew (Agau) leader called Yodit (Gudit or Judith) brought the thousand–year predominance of the Aksumite kingship to a conclusion. She conquered their last king and attempted to exterminate the Christian religion. In Abyssinian traditional tales, she is known to be a great annihilator of churches contested only by Ahmed Gran (Grañ) some six centuries later.

By this time, the nation of Aksum (Axum) had seized to control the seaborne commercial network in response to Islamic growth and starting from mid-seventh century the ruling power had migrated down south and by late tenth century had been established south of Tigray in such Agew districts as Lasta, Wag, Angot, and eventually Amhara. The movement included the creation of military territories, which contributed as a central part of the population from which Aksumite ways, Semitic dialect, and Christianity, diffused to the Agew peoples. By the tenth century, a post-aksumite Christian kingship had appeared that ruled the northern highlands from current Eritrea to Shewa (Shoa) and the coast from old Adulis and Zeila in modern Somalia. Military territories were also formed with the Sidama population of the central highlands and they may have been the ancestors of Semitic-speaking such as the Argobba, Gafat, Gurage, and Hareri, although separate settlements of Semitics from south east Arabia is also likely. Amhara in Shewa, during the eleventh and twelfth centuries, appears to be the site of the restoration of Christian expanse. In the long term, this movement can be viewed as a crucial advance in the amalgamation of Abyssinia because the indigenous Agew people, up to this time under the a Semitic serfage, now acquired the upper hand and classes between the rulers and the ruled began to cease.

The Stronghold of the Zagwé era, which occurred from about 1137 to 1270 CE, is one of the most ambiguous in the history of Ethiopia, for there was disappointingly few records found. Archaeology, so abundant for the Aksumite period, has very little to furnish for that of the Zagwé dynasty. Unlike their Aksumite forefathers, they did not produce coins, or create epigraphs, and, due to their distant allocation from the coast, made far less use of imported, dateable, articles.