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The Conversion Of King Caleb And The Religious And Political Dynamics Of Sixth-Century Ethiopia And Southern Arabia

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Chapter Summary

The sad state that Ethiopia is in today often colours the way in which Ethiopia is historically imagined. This paper presents the international influences and conflicts that Ethiopia was involved in during the sixth century. It provides a better understanding of Ethiopia's international standing during late antiquity and the early Middle Ages, and to explore the dynamics of the historical context in which a traditional saint and national hero, King Caleb, emereged. The New Testament gives an account of an Ethiopian Eunuch coming from the queen of the Ethiopians to Jerusalem to worship, and on that journey encountering the Apostle Peter. King Caleb's mission to Southern Arabia is the focus of this paper. This mission sheds important light on the prevailing religious and political tensions in the Horn of Africa and Southern Arabia during the sixth century CE, placing contemporary influences upon and by Ethiopia in a different light.

Keywords: Ethiopia; Horn of Africa; King Caleb; New Testament; Southern Arabia



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