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Mekonnen Epic: The Warrior from Aksum
Note: Most of the non-English words used in book one are of Ge'ez/Ethiopic origin unless otherwise mentioned. Most of the non-English words in the Prologue are of Hebrew or ancient Semitic origin. Ge'ez was the South Semitic language spoken in the Aksumite kingdom by the monarch and local inhabitants who became, and still are, known as Habesha people. Ge'ez is the root/mother language from which Amhara, Tigrinya, Tigre, Gurage and Harari evolved from. Sometimes I may use the terms Ge'ez and Ehiopic interchangeably, including instances when I'm not sure if a word is of Ge'ez origin or of one of it's child languages like Tigrinya or Amharic. There were also many people whose native language was not Ge'ez but Kushite languages like Agew, Afar, Beja, Bilen, Somali and Nubian to name a few. Hebrew, Arabic, Greek and Sabaean/Sheban were also spoken, written and/or understood by some and influenced the culture in varying degrees.
Abba – (Semetic/Ge'ez/Ethiopic) Father. A biological father, father figure, a priest or monk.
Abuna – (Ge'ez/Ethiopic) Title of the Arch bishop of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. In ancient and medival time the Arch bishop was always ordained and sent from the Orthodox head quarters in Alexandria, Egypt.
Abyssinia (Ge'ez/Ethiopic) – Northern Ethiopia and Eritrea. From “Habeshinya” meaning “Land of Hashesha”, an ancient word for the land of northern Ethiopia and Eritrea when it was one kingdom ruled by the kings of Aksum and the Kingdom of D'mot before that.
Addis Kidan – Ah-dees Kee-dahn (Ge'ez/Ethiopic) – New Testament, of the Holy Bible.
Adom/Adam (Hebrew) – The first man mentioned in the Bible, who was made in the image and likeness of the Almighty Creator yet formed from the dust of the Earth. The root meaning for Adam or Edom means “red”, suggesting the first man could have been red is appearance.
Afeworqi Ah-fay-wor-kee (Ge'ez, Ethiopic), – I boy's name of Ethiopia and Eritrea, literally meaning “mouth of gold”. Also spelled Afeworq, Afewerk (Ah-fay-wor-k).
Agaw/Agew – Ah-gow (Kushitic) – One of the most ancient people in the land of Abyssinia, descendant from Kush, son of Ham, son of Noah. Many had intermingled with ancient Hebrews that migrated into the land, forming the Beta Israel people and adopting the Jewish religion and culture. They spoke Agew, Hebrew and Ge'ez. It is also believed they were the first to either adopt or speak the Semitic Ge'ez language, the word ge'ez being a variation of the word Agew. Some modern anthropologists and researchers believe many of the different people groups in Ethiopia and Eritrea are off shoots of the Agew people.
Aksum – Ak-soom (Kushitic-Semitic/Ge'ez) –“Water of the Chief”. From “Ak” a Kushitic word for “Water”, and “Sum/Shum” a Semitic word for “Chief” (Ethiopia Bradt, PhillipBriggs, 2002). An ancient, holy city in northern Ethiopia that was once the center of the great Kingdom and Empire of Aksum that flourished from about 400 BC to 10th century AD. The Kingdom of Aksum was once one of the first nations in Africa and the world the accept Christianity as a state religion around 330 AD during King Ezana's reign. Before this some of the kings followed pagan religions and some were of the Jewish religion. Many that converted to Christianity were Ethiopian Jews, but the ones who did not convert became bitter rivals since then, now almost 1700 years later. At its peak Aksum ruled over most of northern Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Nubia/Sudan, Southern Arabia and Western Yemen. It is believed that the legendary Ark of the Covenant that Moses and the people of Israel made in the Sinai wilderness is located in a chapel in Aksum. It is disputed if it is really there and how long it has been there, whether it was since the time of King Solomon and Queen of Sheba (950 BC) or later after the Babylonian invasion and the priests kept it in Egypt before moving it again up the Nile to Abyssinia. Today Aksum is a small town of many churches, monasteries, stele and historical museums and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Almaz (Ge'ez/Ethiopic) Diamond.
Amlak (Ge'ez/Ethiopic) god (small “g”). The expression “Egziabeher Amlak” means Almighty God of Gods. (Author's note: I stand corrected).
Anbessa - Ahn-bih-sah (Ge'ez/Ethiopic) – Lion. Also used to refer to a brave and courageous person, particularly a male.
Angabo (Sabaean/Sheban)– A prince from Sabaea/Sheba and ancestor of Mekeda the Queen of Sheba, probably her father or grandfather.
Ato (Ethiopic/Amharic) – Mister or Master.
Atse (Ge'ez/Ethiopic) – Emperor. The Emperor of Aksum, also titled “King of Kings”. The Emperors of Abyssinia (Ethiopia and Eritrea) reigned from the throne in the city of Askum and assumed sovereign rule over the Nubian Kingdoms, Sheba, Himyar, South Arabia, and at times, the Kingdom of Beta Israel.
Bahetawi (Ge'ez/Ethiopic) – “One who lives in the wilderness”. A hermit monk in Abyssinia/Ethiopia, not affiliated with one particular church but lives a life dedicated the fasting, praying, performing miracles, reading the holy scriptures, preaching and prophesying. They are revered, sometimes feared, and considered holy men by common people and clergy. They usually grow long locks of hair and refrain from certain foods and live by all the rules of the Nazarite vow. The vow is described in detail in the Book of Numbers 6:1-21. Notable Biblical figures who lived by the Nazarite vow were Samson and Samuel. In Eusebius book of early church history it describes James the brother of Jesus Christ grew his hair very long after accepting his brother in the flesh as the Messiah/Christ. The Rastafarian movement also adopted their “Dread locks” hair style and other ordinances from this Nazarite vow.
Benai/Bene Elohim (Hebrew) The Sons of God. Bene = Sons; Elohim = God. Another expression for the Angels. See Mel'ak.
Beta Krestiyan – (Ge'ez/Ethiopic) – Church. Literally “House of Christians”.
Beta Israel – (Ge'ez/Ethiopic) – House of Israel, the Ethiopian/Habesha Jews. The official name for Ethiopian Jews whose history and origins can be traced back to the Israelites from Egypt during the time of Moses, The Babylonian invasion and captivity of Israel and King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. During the time of the Kingdom of Aksum conversion to Christianity in 330 AD The Beta Israel established their Kingdom to the south of the Tekeze River and in the Semien Mountains building fortresses and palaces along side villages, extending further south to around Lake T'ana and west to Gondar province. According to their histories the first king of Beta Israel was King Phineas, a descendant of the Jewish High Priest Tzadok from the temple if Jerusalem during the time of King Solomon of Israel.
Cherub/Kherub (Hebrew/Semitic/Chaldean): A class of heavenly creature that usually has the physical characteristic of a combination of two or more earthly animals usually having multiple pairs of wings (usually 1 to 3 pairs as described through out the Bible). Plural is Cherubim. They guard, protect and/or worship God continuously. First mentioned in Genesis 3:24 as one of the creatures who guard the Tree of Life after Adam and Eve sinned. See description of Cherubim/Kerubel in Ezekiel 1:5-11, Ezekiel 10:1, and Revelation 4:7.
Chayot HaKodesh (Hebrew): The Living Creatures. The Four heavenly creatures that are described in the scriptures as worshiping God, the Almighty Creator, around his throne. They are described as having 4 different faces: a Man, a Lion, an Ox, and an Eagle.
Cubit (Latin): A Biblical cubit in approximately 18 inches or 1.5 feet. A 6 feet tall man will be about 4 cubits.
Daiqon/Deaqon (Ge'ez), Deacon.
Egziabeher/Agziabeher – Eg-zee-ah-bih-hayr (Ge'ez/Ethiopic) God Almighty.
El/Elohim (Semitic/Hebrew), One of the most ancient Hebrew names for the God and creator of the whole universe including heaven and earth. El is singular, Elohim is plural but still refers to one united entity.
Enku – En-k'oo (Ge'ez/Ethiopic) Pearl or Jewel.
Erelim (Hebrew): A class of heavenly angels meaning The Valiant or Courageous Ones. Also spelled Arel, Ar'el and Er'el.
Eritrea (Greek/Italian): Red Land. From the Greek word Erythraíā then translated into Italian as Eritrea. The Kingdom of Aksum included the land of modern day Eritrea with the main sea port at Adulis/Zula. Eritrea shares a lot of ancient and medieval history, culture, food, language (Ge'ez) and alphabet/writing systems in common with Ethiopia. After centuries of tension and wars with Ethiopia, Eritrea has established its own country and government. The sea between the Somalian coast and Sabaea/Himyar (modern day Yemen) was known to the Greek and Roman sea traders as the Erythraean Sea and they used a popular ancient map known as The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea.
Ethiopia (Greek): Burned Face. A general term used by the ancient Greeks to refer to any land south of Egypt beyond the 3rd cataract, including Nubia (modern day Sudan), Abyssinia (modern day Ethiopia) and Eritrea. In the origin Hebrew Tanakh/Old Testament the word “Kush” was used. Later it was translated into Greek then English to Ethiopia, usually referring to land of Kushites in Nubia/Sudan first. Other sources, like the Book of Aksum, claim the word actually originated from a descendent of Ham and Kush names Itiopp'is who settled in ancient Ethiopia and founded the city of Aksum.
Falasha (Ge'ez) - 'Outsider' or 'Outcast'. A Sort of derogatory reference for Ethiopian Jews. See Beta Israel for details.
Gebre Meskel – (Ge'ez/Ethiopic) Servant of the Cross. The royal/throne name of one of the most well known Emperors of Aksum in the 6th century AD. Also known as Ella Ameda II, reigned circa 536 to542 AD. There was mostly peace during his reign in contrast to the reign of his father Kaleb (Ella Atzebeha, reigned circa 519 to 536 AD) before him. After making a sacred oath in Jerusalem concerning the Ark of the Covenant, and settling a conflict for the throne between his two sons Israel and Gebre Meskel, (see Kebra Nagast 117) King Kaleb abdicated the throne to become a monk and live in a monasteries for the rest of his life.
Geta – Gay-tah (Ge'ez/Ethiopic) . Lord. Title given to an official, leader, elderly man or to any one in authority.
G'rum – G-room (Ethiopic/Tigrinya) Excellent, Wonderful.
Habesha/Abesha – Hah-bih-sha (Ethiopic/South Arabic) Mixed people. The people of Ethiopia and Eritrea became known as “Habesha People” since ancient times, into the Aksumite period until today they still refer to themselves by this unique term. Most scholars say it is a South Arabic word that means “Mixed people” or “Crowd of people”, suggesting the many ethnic groups that lived and intermingle with each other, including Semitic and Hamitic peoples. Research has proved (including DNA tests) that people from the Mediterranean and Near East have also intermingled into the blood line of many Habesha people.
Hallalel – Hahl-lal-el (Hebrew) – Praise of God. Supposedly the name of the Nakhash before he rebelled and became Satan. This name suggest his role as a chief covering Cherub of praise and worship music in heaven before his pride and rebellion to overthrow the Almighty Creator. Satan has traditional been known by Christians by the Greek word Lucifer which mean “Light Bearer”.
Hawwah/ Hawa (Hebrew): Eve. The first woman mentioned on the Bible, formed from Adam's rib. The very first prophecy in the Bible is centered around the “Seed of the Woman” that will defeat the “Seed of the Serpent”, a prophecies of the coming savior and virgin birth of the Messiah.
Ham/Kham (Semitic/Hebrew) – Meaning warm or hot. One of the three sons of Noah, said to be the principal ancestor of most people of Africa. There is a Tomb of Ham located near Aksum since ancient times.
Hashmallim (Hebrew): Electrum. A class of heavenly angels. The name suggest they look like the Electrum which is an alloy of gold and silver, that range in color from pale yellow to white. It was sometimes called White Gold or Green Gold in the ancient world.
Henock/Henok (Ge'ez/Ethiopic) – Enoch, the great-grand father of Noah, who walked with God for 300 years and was translated/taken to heaven without dieing. The books of Enoch are attributed to him and his experiences in the multiple levels of heaven, hell, abyss, and judgments against the fallen angels/Watchers and their evil offspring the giants/titans or “Nephalim”. The Books of Enoch were thought to be lost for hundreds of years until they were found in Ethiopia in the Ethiopia Orthodox Church Bible as one of the 81 canonical books, and among the Dead Sea Scrolls in the Qumran caves in Israel. The writings of Enoch are also included of the scriptures/canon of the Eritrean Orthodox Church and the Beta Israel.
Hoy (Ethiopic/Amharic) – An exclamation similar to “Oh!”
Hrai (Tigrinya/Ge'ez) – Okay.
Iyesus Kristos (Ethiopic/Greek) – Jesus Christ. Deriving from the Greek spelling of the name and title of the Jewish Messiah worshiped by Christians.
Kahen (Semitic/Ethiopic) – Priest of the Beta Israel/ Ethiopian Jews.
Kerubel – (Ge'ez) From the Hebrew/Semitic word “Cherub”, a creature from the realms of heaven.
Kess (Ge'ez/Ethiopic) – A Priest of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. Plural Kesset.
Kush/Cush (Semitic/Hebrew) – One of the sons of Ham/Kham, son of Noah. One of the earliest and largest groups of people to inhabit Nubia (Sudan), Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia. According to the Bible, the Book of Jubilees and Book of Jashar, The descendants of Kush, including King Nimrod, also first settled in the Mesopotamian area and ruled over large portions of the known world.
Meshaf Qedus (Ge'ez/Ethiopic) - The Holy Bible, literally translates “Words Holy”. The canon of the Ethiopian and Eritrean Orthodox Church from the Aksumite period until today include the 27 books of the New Testament, the Jewish Tanakh (Christian Old Testament), the Apocryphal Books (Esdras 1 and 2, Maccabees, Tobit, Baruch, etc.) and the Book of Enoch, Jubilees, etc, adding up to a total of 81 books.
Makeda (Ge'ez/Ethiopic) – The traditional name for the Queen of Sheba.
Meder (Ge'ez/Ethiopic) – The Earth
Mekonnen/Makonnen (Ge'ez/Ethiopic) – Elite, Lifted Up. An aristocratic title of the royal court for a Governor, Noble or General. A common boy's name in Ethiopia and Eritrea.
Menelik (Ge'ez) – Son of the Wise Man - from Ethiopian Legend, Menelik was the son of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba and the ancestor of the kings of Aksum and Ethiopian Solomonic Dynasty. See section in Back Stories and Legends for details.
Mal’ak/Malak/Melak (Hebrew/Semitic): Messenger or an Angel from heaven or hell, whether good or bad. Plural: Mal’akim . See Mel'ak below.
Mel'ak/Mel'akt (Ge'ez/Ethiopic) – Angel(s). A powerful being from the realms of Heaven. Sometimes they interact with humans and look like regular men, other times they appear with armor as warriors. They are not always describes as having wings but many times to do appear with one or more pairs of wings. Sometimes they are described as wearing white apparel. They vary in appearance and sizes. According to biblical text and legends around the whole, some angels have left their ranks in the realms of heaven to intermingle with humans and produce offspring known as giants, Nephallim, Rephaim, etc. In other cultures they correspond with titans, gods, elves, trolls, and more.
Mengist (Ge'ez/Ethiopic) – Government. An organized establishment of rulership in Heaven or Earth or the Spiritual Realm whether good or evil.
Meshiach (Hebrew) – Messiah. In Jewish and Christian legend and beliefs, the Messiah will be sent to earth by God to save/rescue his followers from the evil forces of the world and the spiritual realm at an appointed time. Christians believe Iyesus Kristos/Jesus Christ is the Messiah prophecies in Jewish scriptures.
Mastema/Mastemo (Hebrew): Hatred, Adversary. A fallen angel mentions several times as the main adversary of the apocryphal writing of The Book of Jubilees (Also know as the Apocalypse of Moses). Also mentioned in the Zadokite Fragments and the Dead Sea Scrolls, he is the angel of disaster. The true origins of Mastema is a mystery. In this story I spell his name with an “o” at the end.
Nachash/Nakhash (Hebrew): Snake, Serpent, Shiny/Fiery Serpent. This is the word used to refer the serpent who deceived Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden in the Book of Genesis, chapter 3:1.
Negus (Ge'ez/Ethiopic) – King. Also refers to a secondary king or a general of an army or brigade.
Negusa Negus (Ge'ez/Ethiopic) – King of Kings, official title given to the King/Emperor of Aksum and Abyssinia.
Nephilim (Hebrew) – Fallen Ones. The product/offspring of an angel/Watcher with a human woman. As first mentioned in Genesis 6:1-4, and all through the Bible particularly in Numbers 13: 33, Deuteronomy, Books of 1 and 2 Kings, 1 and 2 Chronicles. Also mention in Jude, and 1 and 2 Peter, the Book of Enoch and Book of Jubilees. Also mentions together with Rephaim, Anakim, Emim, Zim Zumim, etc. Giants, titans, trolls, cyclops, and ogres of ancient myths and legends from all over the world are in this category. Goliath and his brothers of Gath were also a Nephilim. Og the King. The child of Israel were afraid to enter the promise land because of the nephilim/giants that lived in the land of Canaan.
Onaphel/Onafel (Ge'ez/Ethiopic) – The Wheels of Gods with eyes all over. From the Hebrew word Onaphim.
Onaphim/Onafim (Hebrew): Same definition as above.
Orit (Ge'ez/Ethiopic) – The five book of Moses, the Pentateuch, which are Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy.
Qedus (Ge'ez/Ethiopic) – Holy
Ruach (Hebrew): The Spirit/Wind of God
Sabaea(n)/Saba / Sheba (Semitic) – The ancient region of Southern Arabia, modern day country of Yemen. From a root word meaning “An Oath”. Once part of the extended Empire of Aksum that was centered in northern Abyssinia (Ethiopia and Eritrea).
Sar (Hebrew/Semitic) A Prince or Chief. Example: Sar Malak Miykael means Arch Angel or Chief Angel Michael.
Seif – (Ge'ez/Arabic) Sword.
Serufel (Ethiopic/Ge'ez) – Seraph. A heavenly being, based on the Hebrew root meaning of the word and descriptions in the Bible, “Seraph” is an angel with six wings and look like a flaming torch, or the whole body is on fire without being destroyed.
Serafim/Seraphim (Hebrew) Same definition as above.
Semay/Semayat – (Ge'ez/Ethiopic) Heaven, Similar to the Hebrew word Shamay. The sky or the celestial home of The Almighty One, God the creator the universe and the angels.
Shamayim (Hebrew): Heaven. Same definition as above.
Shem – (Semitic/Hebrew) Honor or Name. One of the sons of Noah. The father of all Semitic peoples and languages, who mostly inhabit the Middle East and parts of north and east Africa.
Siol – The grave of the dead. Similar to the Hebrew word “Seoul”. A waiting place for the should of the dead. Translated as “Hell” in most English/Western Bibles. Not to be confused with the lake of fire which is “Gehenna”
Sodi (Ancient Semitic): The Way; The root for the word Zodiac.
Stadia (Latin): 1 stadia = 600 feet.
Stele/Stelae (Latin) – An Obelisk. In locale Ethiopic Semetic languages it is Hawelt. One of Aksum's distinctive historical land marks, hundreds of stelae of varying sizes and heights are erected in Aksum. Most stand tall in the “stele fields” to the north east of Aksum city. The tallest one stood at 33 meters and was one of the largest stele's in the world until it collapsed and broke into 5 pieces a long time ago. Currently the tallest one stand at 24 meters. The oldest and smaller ones are said to have been erected about 4,000 years ago. Archeologist believe the earliest one were erected by Sabaeans (Shebans) from southern Arabian in pre-christian time for their worship religion.
Tabot (Ge'ez/Ethiopic) – The tablets carried by the priests above there heads in processions. The tabots represent the tablets that the Ten Commandments were written on and placed in the Ark of The Covenant by Moses. Also refers to the actual Ark of the Covenant which is never shown to the public.
Timkat/Timket (Ge'ez/Ethiopic) – An annual three day holy festival held in early January to celebrate the baptist of Jesus Christ by John the Baptist. It includes colorful processions of Orthodox priests carrying Tabots followed by Arch-Bishops, musicians, monks, incense bearers, dancers and crowds of lay people.
Tsadkan (Ge'ez/Ethiopic) – The Righteous Ones, Referring to the nine “Syrian” monks who came to Aksum in the 5th century AD and inspired the building of many churches and monasteries. They also encouraged the Bible to be translated from Greek to the Aksumite's native and official language of Ge'ez. The origins and nationalities of the Nine Righteous Ones were from regions around the Mediterranean, including Syria, Turkey (Anatolia), Rome, Israel.
Tsebok (Ethiopic/Tigrinya) – Great, Beautiful.
Tsiyon/Tsion (Semitic/Hebrew/Ge'ez) – Zion. The supernatural mountain of God or the location of Jerusalem in Israel.
U-we (Tigrinya/Ge'ez) Oo-way, – Yes
Wainaba/Waynaba (Ethiopic) – Based on ancient Ethiopian legend, the serpent-snake Waynaba terrorized the people of Aksum and nearby towns, including the demand for an annual sacrifice of a young virgin. A prince name Angabo from Sheba/Sabaea (Modern day Yemen) killed the serpent and was made king. Angabo is said to be an ancestor of the Queen of Sheba who visited King Solomon of Israel as recorded in the Bible and legends. Historically, some people did practice a religion of worshiping snakes and snake gods in certain parts of Ethiopia and surrounding areas.
Wayzerit (Ge'ez) – Miss, an unmarried woman or young woman. A royal title for “Lady”.
Wayzero (Ge'ez) – Mrs. or Madam, a married or older woman. A royal title for “Dame”.
Yashar Sodi (Hebrew/Semitic): Upright Way. The phrase is used a lot on the Book of Jashar/Yashar, meaning the Book of the Upright. The ancient biblical characters: Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Joseph, etc., were described as living the upright and righteous way before God and mankind. This will become a sort of catch phrase for the Warriors of Light in the Mekonnen Epic story.
Yaphet/Japhet (Hebrew) – Beautiful, Expansion. One of the sons of Noah. According to the Bible, Book of Jubilee, Book of Jashar, after the great flood the descendants of Yaphet settled in all Europe, parts of the Iran and Turkey (Anatolia). From Russia and Scandinavia in the north, British isles and Iberian peninsular to the west, Greek isles to Cyprus to the south to Armenia and northern Persia in the East.
Yohannes (Hebrew/Ge'ez) – John, as in John the Baptist or John the Apostle of Jesus and the writer of The Apocalypse or Book of Revelation.
Zendow (Ge'ez) – A large snake, python or dragon.
African Names (1993) by Julia Stewart
Aksum: An African Civilization of Late Antiquity (1991), by Stuart Munro-Hay
A Rasta’s Pilgrimage, 1998, by Neville Garrick
Amharic Bibles (KJV)
Concise Amharic Dictionary, 2004, Wolf Leslau
Cosmic Codes, 2004 by Chuck Missler
Ethiopia, The Bradt Travel Guide, (2002) by Philip Briggs
Ethiopic Grammar, 2nd ed (1855), by August Dillman and Carl Bezold
Ethiopia & Eritrea, 2nd ed, 2003, (Lonely Planet)
Josephus, The Antiquities of the Jews, by Josephus Flavius, trans. by William Whiston
1 Enoch, 2004, by G.W.E. Nickelsburg, James C. VanderKam
The Lost Book of Enoch, Trans. by Joseph B. Lumpkin
The Book of Jasher, 1840 edition, by unknown ancient authors
The Histories by Herodotus (490-420(?) BC), 2003, Penguin Books
The Lost Civilization of Petra, 1999, Floris Books, by Udi Levy
Petra and the Lost Kingdom of the Nabataeans, 2001, by Jane Taylor
Kebra Nagast (1922), English translation by E.A. Wallis Budge
The Book of Jubilees (The Apocalypse of Moses), 2006, Trans. by Joseph B. Lumpkin
The Sign of The Seal, 1992, by Graham Hancock
The Book of Angels, 2006, by Ruth Thompson, Williams and Taylor
The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, by James Strong
Warfare in the Classical World, 1995, by John Warry
The Witness of the Stars (1893) by E.W. Bullinger
The Interlinear NIV Hebrew-English Old Testament, 1987, by J.R. Kohnlenberger III