Fasiladas

1632–1667
Emperor of Ethiopia

Fasiladas stands out among historic emperors of ETHIOPIA because of his long reign and his impact on the country’s political and religious policies. One of his first acts as emperor was to expel representatives of the Roman Catholic Church and to insist that only Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity could exist in his empire.

Fasiladas founded a new capital at Gondar, the first real capital the country had had for centuries. Emperors of earlier times had moved around the country. Fasiladas also rebuilt the cathedral of AKSUM, which wars of the previous century had left in ruins. Under his rule, Ethiopian art and music flourished.

Fasiladas ended Ethiopia’s long hostility to the Muslim states on the north and east. The neighboring countries joined forces against the Portuguese, who had built forts and trading stations in eastern Africa and had become their common enemy. Fasiladas worked with the Muslims to keep all Europeans out of the area. (See also Ethiopian Orthodox Church.)