King of Kings
King of Kings was a ruling title employed by monarchs based in the Middle East. Though most associated with Iran the Achaemenid and Sasanian Empires, the title was introduced during the Middle Assyrian Empire by king Tukulti-Ninurta I and was subsequently used in a number of different kingdoms and empires, including the aforementioned Persia, various Hellenic kingdoms, Armenia and Ethiopia; the title is seen as equivalent to that of Emperor, both titles outranking that of king in prestige, stemming from the medieval Byzantine Emperors who saw the Shahanshahs of the Sasanian Empire as their equals. The last reigning monarchs to use the title of Shahanshah, those of the Pahlavi dynasty in Iran equated the title with "Emperor"; the rulers of the Ethiopian Empire used the title of Nəgusä Nägäst, translated into "Emperor". The female variant of the title, as used by the Ethiopian Zewditu, was Queen of Kings. In the Sasanian Empire, the female variant used was Queen of Queens; the title King of Kings was first introduced by the Assyrian king Tukulti-Ninurta I as šar šarrāni.
The title carried a literal meaning in that a šar was traditionally the ruler of a city-state. With the formation of the Middle Assyrian Empire, the Assyrian rulers installed themselves as kings over an present system of kingship in these city-states, becoming literal "kings of kings". Following Tukulti-Ninurta's reign, the title was used by monarchs of Assyria and Babylon. Assyrian rulers to use šar šarrāni include Esarhaddon and Ashurbanipal."King of Kings", as šar šarrāni, was among the many titles of the last Neo-Babylonian king, Nabonidus. He used more boastful titles such as "king of the gods" and "king of the gods of the heavens and the underworld". Boastful titles claiming ownership of various things were common throughout ancient Mesopotamian history. For instance, Ashurbanipal's great-grandfather Sargon II used the full titulature of Great King, Mighty King, King of the Universe, King of Assyria, King of Babylon, King of Sumer and Akkad; the title of King of Kings appears in inscriptions of kings of Urartu.
Although no evidence exists, it is possible that the title was used by the rulers of the Median Empire, since its rulers borrowed much of their royal symbolism and protocol from Urartu and elsewhere in Mesopotamia. The Achaemenid Persian variant of the title, Xšâyathiya Xšâyathiyânâm, is Median in form which suggests that the Achaemenids may have taken it from the Medes rather than from the Mesopotamians. An Assyrian-language inscription on a fortification near the fortress of Tušpa mentions King Sarduri I of Urartu as a builder of a wall and a holder of the title King of Kings. I am Sarduri, son of Lutipri, the king of kings and the king who received the tribute of all the kings. Sarduri, son of Lutipri, says: I brought these stone blocks from the city of Alniunu. I built this wall; the Achaemenid Empire, established in 550 BC after the fall of the Median Empire expanded over the course of the sixth century BC. Asia Minor and the Lydian kingdom was conquered in 546 BC, the Neo-Babylonian Empire in 539 BC, Egypt in 525 BC and the Indus region in 513 BC.
The Achaemenids employed satrapal administration, which became a guarantee of success due to its flexibility and the tolerance of the Achaemenid kings for the more-or-less autonomous vassals. The system had its problems. Egypt was a prominent example rebelling against Achaemenid authority and attempting to crown their own Pharaohs. Though it was defeated, the Great Satraps' Revolt of 366–360 BC showed the growing structural problems within the Empire; the Achaemenid Kings used a variety of different titles, prominently Great King and King of Countries, but the most prominent title was that of King of Kings, recorded for every Achaemenid king. The full titulature of the king Darius I was "great king, king of kings, king in Fārs, king of the countries, Hystaspes’ son, Arsames’ grandson, an Achaemenid". An inscription in the Armenian city of Van by Xerxes I reads; the standard royal title of the Arsacid kings while in Babylon was Aršaka šarru, King of Kings was adopted first by Mithridates I, though he used it infrequently.
The title first began being used by Mithridates I's nephew, Mithridates II, who after adopting it in 111 BC used it extensively including it in his coinage until 91 BC. It is possible that Mithridates II's, his successors', use of the title was not a revival of the old Achaemenid imperial title (since it was not used until a decade after Mithridates II's own conque
Prince Sahle Selassie
Prince Sahle Selassie was the youngest child of Emperor Haile Selassie and Empress Menen Asfaw of Ethiopia. His full title was "His Imperial Highness, Prince Sahle Selassie Haile Selassie". Born after his parents had been crowned Emperor and Empress of Ethiopia, he was the only one of the Emperor's children to have been born with the title of Prince. Since his older brothers, Prince Asfa Wossen and Prince Makonnen, had both been born before the 1930 coronation, Prince Sahle Selassie was the first legitimate child born to a reigning Emperor since the birth of Dejazmach Alemayehu Tewodros, son of Emperor Tewodros II. Prince Sahle Selassie was married to Princess Mahisente Habte Mariam, the daughter of Dejazmach Habte Mariam Gabre-Igziabiher, the heir to the old Oromo kingdom of Leqa Naqamte in Welega Province, served as governor of Welega province, they had a son, Prince Ermias Sahle Selassie, the President of the Crown Council of Ethiopia. The Prince was a man of an artistic bent, said to have made a movie, banned from publication by the Imperial Government censor despite the fact the Prince was a member of the Imperial family.
It was believed that the movie indirectly questioned the fast pace of development, the strains it caused on rural society, was thus unflattering to the policies of the Imperial government. Prince Sahle Selassie died in months after the death of his mother Empress Menen Asfaw, he was survived by his wife and his son Prince Ermias, was buried in the crypt of Holy Trinity Cathedral in Addis Ababa. Grand Cordon of the Order of the Seal of Solomon. Refugee Medal. Jubilee Medal. Knight of the Royal Order of the Seraphim. Knight Grand Cordon of the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum. Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the House of Orange. Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. Sash of the Order of the Aztec Eagle. Order of the Yugoslav Star, 1st class. Knight Grand Cordon of the Order of the Pioneers of Liberia. Photograph of Prince Sahle Selassie
Yohannes IV, born Lij Kahśa Mercha and contemporaneously known in English as Johannes or John IV, was ruler of Tigray 1867–71, Emperor of Ethiopia 1872–89. He is remembered as one of the leading architects of the modern state of Ethiopia. On the side of his father, Mercha Wolde Kidan, Yohannes descended from the ruling dynasty of Tembien where both his father and grandfather bore the traditional title of šum Tembien, while his mother, Silass Dimtsu, was a daughter of balgäda Demsu of Enderta and Tabotu Woldu of Agame, hence a niece of Sabagadis Woldu, he thus descended from the ruling families of Tembien and Enderta. He had connubial connections with some notables who came to his aid in the early stages: his cousin, Amlasu Araya Selassie, married ras Alula Engida who remained loyal to Yohannes throughout his life, another cousin Altash Wahad married ras Wolde Mikael Solomon who fought on his side in the second half of the 1860s, though he became his opponent, his sister, was married first to Gobez who supported his rebellion against atse Tewodros II in the late 1860s and to ras bitwädäd Gebre Kidan, one of the leading supporters of Yohannes.
His chroniclers further remotely connect him genealogically to the branches of the Solomonic dynasty in Gondar and Shewa. All these relationships contributed toward Yohannes's rise to power in the 70s; the story of the first half of his life is poorly documented. The date of his birth is uncertain; the available sources indicate that he was the youngest of his siblings, that he had a ailing childhood, that he received some church education, that he was initiated to manhood after killing some wild animals for trophies. The first mention of his appearance in the political arena comes up in connection with his visit to the imperial court of Tewodros in 1864-65 in the company of his brothers and Maru. Gugsa was given the title of däjazmač, Maru that of fit’awrari; the lowest title, of balambaras, was bestowed upon Kaśa, subsequently assigned to administer a sub-district within the governorship of his elder brother, Gugsa. Shortly after their return to Tigray, Kaśa rebelled against the rule of Tewodros.
What prompted. Two explanations, which are not contradictory, are forwarded by the sources: the first is related to his dissatisfaction with the rank and function given to him by the sovereign, while the second interprets his rebellion as a response to the appeal of abunä Salama who in 1867 wrote from prison to many notables condemning the injustices of Tewodros. In any case, for some time his retired to the eastern lowlands and found refuge among the Afar, from which ethnic group he married a Muslim after she had been baptized with the name Tebaba Sellasie. Reurning to the highlands, he raised more men and began his military campaign: in the years 1864-67, he consecutively defeated šum serye Gebre Mikael, däjazmač Barya'u Gebre Sadeq of Adwa and däjazmač Tekle Giyorgis Qalos of Shire. Barya'u transferred his allegiance to Kaśa whom he served faithfully until he was killed in a battle some ten years later. Tekle Giyorgis fell in battle, Kaśa subsequently assumed his title of däjazmač. Kaśa formed an alliance with wag šum Gobez Gebre Medhin of Lasta against Tewodros and began to harass the imperial representatives on both side of the Mareb.
He defeated the governors of Kilte Awulaelo. In Hamasien, däjazmač Haylu Tewolde Medhen, who contemplated resistance, was confined and replaced with däjazmač Wolde Mikael Solomon who had participated in Kaśa's military campaign against the imperial officials in Tigray. By the time the British Napier expedition against Tewodros arrived in the region, Kaśa had attained full control of most of the province of Tigray as well as of the Christian highlands of Eritrea, he had begun to conquer the regions west of the Tekezé including Tselemt, Wolqayt and parts of Semien. Thus, the British needed his permission to reach Maqdala. Kaśa allowed them free passage as well as the privilege to purchase provisions from the local markets on condition that they left the country after the mission. Upon their return from the Maqdala expedition, the British expressed their gratitude by giving him weapons for a present: "a battery of mountain guns and mortars and sufficient smooth-bore muskets for one regiment". Following the death of Tewodros, his brother-in-law Gobeze Gebre Medhin had himself crowned as nəgusä nägäst Tekle Giyorgis II.
He suppressed rebellions of ras Wolde Maryam of Begemender and Fares Ali of Yejju, reached a peace agreement with Menelik of Shewa. Kaśa, refused to acknowledge the new metropolitan abunä Atnatyos sent from Alexandria in June 1869, kept him in his dominion. On 11 July 1871, Tekle Giyorgis confronted Kaśa in a battle in the vicinity of Adwa, but was defeated and confined to Enda Abba Selama, where he would die two years later. Upon vanquishing the rebellions of Wolde Iyasus in Azebo and Kaśa Golja on the northern peripheries, on 21 January 1872 Yohannes was crowned in Aksum as Yohannes IV by abunä Atnatyos, his seal changed from "...nəgusä mäkanənt" to "...nəgusä Səyon, nəgusä nəguśt zä Ityopya". The principle o
The Ethiopian calendar or Eritrean calendar is the principal calendar used in Ethiopia and serves as the liturgical year for Christians in Eritrea and Ethiopia belonging to the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church, Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, Eastern Catholic Churches, the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, Ethiopian-Eritrean Evangelicalism. It is a solar calendar which in turn derives from the Egyptian calendar, but like the Julian calendar, it adds a leap day every four years without exception, begins the year on August 29 or August 30 in the Julian calendar. A gap of 7–8 years between the Ethiopian and Gregorian calendars results from an alternative calculation in determining the date of the Annunciation. Like the Coptic calendar, the Ethiopic calendar has 12 months of 30 days plus 5 or 6 epagomenal days, which comprise a thirteenth month; the Ethiopian months begin on the same days as those of the Coptic calendar, but their names are in Ge'ez. A 6th epagomenal day is added every 4 years, without exception, on August 29 of the Julian calendar, 6 months before the corresponding Julian leap day.
Thus the first day of the Ethiopian year, 1 Mäskäräm, for years between 1900 and 2099, is September 11. However, it falls on September 12 in years before the Gregorian leap year. Enkutatash is the word for the Ethiopian New Year in Amharic, the official language of Ethiopia, while it is called Ri'se Awde Amet in Ge'ez, the term preferred by the Ethiopian & Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Churchs, it occurs on September 11th in the Gregorian Calendar. The Ethiopian Calendar Year 1998 Amätä Məhrät began on the Gregorian Calendar Year on September 11th, 2005. However, the Ethiopian Years 1992 and 1996 began on the Gregorian Dates of'September 12th 1999' and'2003' respectively; this date correspondence applies for the Gregorian years 1900 to 2099. The Ethiopian leap year is every four without exception, while Gregorian centurial years are only leap years when divisible by 400; as the Gregorian year 2000 is a leap year, the current correspondence lasts two centuries instead. The start of the Ethiopian year falls on August 30th.
This date corresponds to the Old-Style Julian Calendar. This deviation between the Julian and the Gregorian Calendar will increase with the passing of the time. You can observe the real start date in the future centuries in a Gregorian to Ethiopian Date Converter. To indicate the year and followers of the Eritrean churches today use the Incarnation Era, which dates from the Annunciation or Incarnation of Jesus on March 25, AD 9, as calculated by Annianus of Alexandria c. 400. Meanwhile, Europeans adopted the calculations made by Dionysius Exiguus in AD 525 instead, which placed the Annunciation 8 years earlier than had Annianus; this causes the Ethiopian year number to be 8 years less than the Gregorian year number from January 1 until September 10 or 11 7 years less for the remainder of the Gregorian year. In the past, a number of other eras for numbering years were widely used in Ethiopia and the Kingdom of Aksum; the most important era – once used by the Eastern Christianity, still used by the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria – was the Era of Martyrs known as the Diocletian Era, or the era of Diocletian and the Martyrs, whose first year began on August 29, 284.
Respective to the Gregorian and Julian New Year's Days, 31⁄2 to 4 months the difference between the Era of Martyrs and the Anni Domini is 285 years. This is because in AD 525, Dionysius Exiguus decided to add 15 Metonic cycles to the existing 13 Metonic cycles of the Diocletian Era to obtain an entire 532 year medieval Easter cycle, whose first cycle ended with the year Era of Martyrs 247 equal to year DXXXI, it is because 532 is the product of the Metonic cycle of 19 years and the solar cycle of 28 years. Around AD 400, an Alexandrine monk called Panodoros fixed the Alexandrian Era, the date of creation, on 29 August 5493 BC. After the 6th century AD, the era was used by Ethiopian chronologists; the twelfth 532 year-cycle of this era began on 29 August AD 360, so 4×19 years after the Era of Martyrs. Bishop Anianos preferred the Annunciation style as 25 March, thus he shifted the Panodoros era by about six months, to begin on 25 March 5492 BC. In the Ethiopian calendar this was equivalent to 15 Magabit 5501 B.
C.. The Anno Mundi era remained in usage until the late 19th century; the 4 year leap-year cycle is associated with the four Evangelists: the first year after an Ethiopian leap year is named the John-year, followed by the Matthew-year, the Mark-year. The year with the 6th epagomenal day is traditionally designated as the Luke-year. There are no exceptions to the 4 year leap-year cycle, like the Julian calendar but unlike the Gregorian calendar; these dates are valid only from March 1900 to February 2100. This is because 1900 and 2100 are not leap years in the Gregorian calendar, while they are still leap year
Emperor Yekuno Amlak was an Amhara prince from Bet Amhara province who became king of kings of Ethiopia following the defeat of the last Zagwe king. He was restorer of the Solomonic dynasty, he traced his ancestry through Tasfa Iyasus, to Dil Na'od, the last King of Axum. Much of what is known about Yekuno Amlak is based on medieval hagiographies. Yekuno Amlak was educated at Lake Hayq's Istifanos Monastery near Amba Sel, where medieval hagiographies state Saint Tekle Haymanot raised and educated him, helped him to depose the last King of the Zagwe Dynasty. Earlier hagiographies, state that it was Iyasus Mo'a, the abbot of Istifanos Monastery in Lake Hayq, who helped him achieve power. G. W. B. Huntingford explains this discrepancy by pointing out Istifanos had once been the premier monastery of Ethiopia, but Tekle Haymanot's Debre Libanos eclipsed Istifanos, from the reign of Amda Seyon it became the custom to appoint the abbot of Debre Libanos Ichege, or secular head of the Ethiopian Church. However, neither of these traditions is contemporary with any of the individuals involved.
There was the story, related in both the "Life of Iyasus Mo'a" and the Be'ela nagastat, that a rooster was heard to prophesize outside of the house of the Yakuno Amlak for three months that whoever ate his head would be king. The king had the bird killed and cooked, but the cook discarded the rooster's head—which Yekuno Amlak ate, thus became ruler of Ethiopia. Scholars have pointed out the similarity between this legend and one about the first king of Kaffa, who learned from mysterious voice that eating the head of a certain rooster would make him king, as well as the Ethiopian Mashafa dorho or "Book of the Cock", which relates a story about a cooked rooster presented to Christ at the Last Supper, brought back to life. Traditional history further reports that Yekuno Amlak was imprisoned by the Zagwe King Za-Ilmaknun on Mount Malot, but managed to escape, he gathered support in the Amhara provinces and in Shewa, with an army of followers, defeated the Zagwe king. Taddese Tamrat argued that this king was Yetbarak, but due to a local form of damnatio memoriae, his name was removed from the official records.
A more recent chronicler of Wollo history, Getatchew Mekonnen Hasen, flatly states that the last Zagwe king deposed by Yekuno Amlak was none other than Na'akueto La'ab himself. Yekuno Amlak is said to have campaigned against the Kingdom of Damot, which lay south of the Abbay River. Recorded history affords more certainty as to his relations with other countries. For example, E. A. Wallis Budge states that Yekuno Amlak not only exchanged letters with the Byzantine Emperor Michael VIII, but sent to him several giraffes as a gift. At first, his interactions with his Muslim neighbors were friendly. A letter survives that he wrote to the Mamluk Sultan Baibars, suzerain over the Patriarch of Alexandria, for his help for a new Abuna in 1273; when one did not arrive, he blamed the intervention of the Sultan of Yemen, who had hindered the progress of his messenger to Cairo. Taddesse Tamrat interprets Yekuno Amlak's son's allusion to Syrian priests at the royal court as a result of this lack of attention from the Patriarch.
Taddesse notes that around this time, the Patriarchs of Alexandria and Antioch were struggling for control of the appointment of the bishop of Jerusalem, until the prerogative of the Patriarch of Antioch. One of the moves in this dispute was Patriarch Ignatius III David's appointment of an Ethiopian pilgrim as Abuna; this pilgrim never attempted to assume this post in Ethiopia, but—Taddesse Tamrat argues—the lack of Coptic bishops forced Yekuno Amlak to rely on the Syrian partisans who arrived in his kingdom. Yekuno Amlak is credited with the construction of the Church of Gennete Maryam near Lalibela, which contains the earliest surviving dateable wall paintings in Ethiopia, his descendant Emperor Baeda Maryam I had Yekuno Amlak's body re-interred in the church of Atronsa Maryam
Menelik II GGCB, GCMG was Emperor of Ethiopia from 1889 to his death in 1913 and Negus of Shewa. At the height of his internal power and external prestige, the process of territorial expansion and creation of the modern empire-state was completed by 1898, which expanded the Ethiopian Empire to the extent of the historic Aksumite Empire. Menelik was remembered for leading Ethiopian troops against the Kingdom of Italy in the First Italo-Ethiopian War, where Menelik scored a decisive victory at the Battle of Adwa. Ethiopia was transformed under Emperor Menelik: the major signposts of modernisation with the help of key ministerial advisors, such as Gäbre-Heywät Baykädañ, were put in place. Externally, Menelik’s victory over the Italian invaders earned him great fame: following the Battle of Adwa, recognition of Ethiopia's independence by external powers was expressed in terms of diplomatic representation at his court and delineation of Ethiopia's boundaries with the adjacent colonies. Menelik expanded his kingdom to the south and east, into Kaffa, Sidama and other kingdoms.
He is called "Emiye Menelik" in Ethiopia for his forgiving nature and his unselfish deeds for the poor. In his reign, Menelik established the first Cabinet of Ministers to help in the administration of the Empire, appointing trusted and respected nobles and retainers to the first Ministries; these ministers would remain in place long after his death, serving in their posts through the brief reign of Lij Iyasu and into the reign of Empress Zauditu. They played a key role in deposing Lij Iyasu. Of multiethnic background from Shewan aristocrat father and a noble mother, Sahle Maryam, who became known as Menelik, was born in Angolalla, he was the son of Negus Haile Melekot of Shewa who had fathered him at the age of 18 before inheriting the throne. There are conflicting accounts concerning the maternal ancestry of Menelik but his mother was most a palace servant girl named Ejjigayehu whom Haile Malekot married after Sahle Maryam was born; the boy enjoyed a respected position in the royal household and he received a traditional church education.
Prior to his death in 1855, Negus Haile Melekot named Menelik as successor to the throne of Shewa. However, shortly after Haile Melekot died, Menelik was taken prisoner by Emperor Tewodros II who conquered Shewa, had him transferred to his mountain stronghold of Magdala. Still, Tewodros treated the young prince well offering him his daughter Altash Tewodros in marriage, which Menelik accepted. Upon Menelik's imprisonment, his uncle, Haile Mikael, was appointed as Shum of Shewa by Emperor Tewodros II with the title of Meridazmach. However, Meridazmach Haile Mikael rebelled against Tewodros, resulting in his being replaced by the non-royal Ato Bezabeh as Shum. However, Ato Bezabeh in turn rebelled against the Emperor and proclaimed himself Negus of Shewa. Although the Shewan royals imprisoned at Magdala had been complacent as long as a member of their family ruled over Shewa, this usurpation by a commoner was not acceptable to them, they plotted Menelik's escape from Magdala. Enraged, Emperor Tewodros slaughtered 29 Oromo hostages had 12 Amhara notables beaten to death with bamboo rods.
Bezabeh's attempt to raise an army against Menelik failed. Abeto Menelik proclaimed himself Negus. While Negus Menelik reclaimed his ancestral Shewan crown, he laid claim to the Imperial throne, as a direct descendant male line of Emperor Lebna Dengel. However, he made no overt attempt to assert this claim at this time. Not wishing to take part in the 1868 Expedition to Abyssinia, he allowed his rival Kassai to benefit with gifts of modern weapons and supplies from the British; when Tewodros committed suicide, Menelik arranged for an official celebration of his death though he was saddened by the loss. When the British asked him why he did this, he replied "to satisfy the passions of the people... as for me, I should have gone into a forest to weep over... untimely death... I have now lost the one who educated me, toward whom I had always cherished filial and sincere affection." Afterwards other challenges – a revolt amongst the Wollo to the north, the intrigues of his second wife Befana to replace him with her choice of ruler, military failures against the Arsi Oromo to the south east – kept Menelik from directly confronting Kassai until after his rival had brought an Abuna from Egypt who crowned him Emperor Yohannes IV.
Menelik was strategic in building his power base. He organized extravagant three-day feasts for locals to win their favor, liberally built friendships with Muslims and struck alliances with the French and Italians who could provide firearms and political leverage against the Emperor. In 1876, an Italian expedition set out to Ethiopia led by Marchese Orazio Antinori who described King Menelik as "very friendly, a fanatic for weapons, about whose mechanism he appears to be most intelligent". Another Italian wrote, he showed... great intelligence and great mechanical ability". Menelik
Christianity is an Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, as described in the New Testament. Its adherents, known as Christians, believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and savior of all people, whose coming as the Messiah was prophesied in the Old Testament. Depending on the specific denomination of Christianity, practices may include baptism, prayer, confirmation, burial rites, marriage rites and the religious education of children. Most denominations hold regular group worship services. Christianity developed during the 1st century CE as a Jewish Christian sect of Second Temple Judaism, it soon attracted Gentile God-fearers, which lead to a departure from Jewish customs, the establishment of Christianity as an independent religion. During the first centuries of its existence Christianity spread throughout the Roman Empire, to Ethiopia and some parts of Asia. Constantine the Great decriminalized it via the Edict of Milan; the First Council of Nicaea established a uniform set of beliefs across the Roman Empire.
By 380, the Roman Empire designated Christianity as the state religion. The period of the first seven ecumenical councils is sometimes referred to as the Great Church, the united full communion of the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodoxy, before their schisms. Oriental Orthodoxy split after the Council of Chalcedon over differences in Christology; the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church separated in the East–West Schism over the authority of the Pope. In 1521, Protestants split from the Catholic Church in the Protestant Reformation over Papal primacy, the nature of salvation, other ecclesiological and theological disputes. Following the Age of Discovery, Christianity was spread into the Americas, sub-Saharan Africa, the rest of the world via missionary work and colonization. There are 2.3 billion Christians in the world, or 31.4% of the global population. Today, the four largest branches of Christianity are the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church and Oriental Orthodoxy.
Christianity and Christian ethics have played a prominent role in the development of Western civilization around Europe during late antiquity and the Middle Ages. In the New Testament, the names by which the disciples were known among themselves were "brethren", "the faithful", "elect", "saints" and "believers". Early Jewish Christians referred to themselves as'The Way' coming from Isaiah 40:3, "prepare the way of the Lord." According to Acts 11:26, the term "Christian" was first used in reference to Jesus's disciples in the city of Antioch, meaning "followers of Christ," by the non-Jewish inhabitants of Antioch. The earliest recorded use of the term "Christianity" was by Ignatius of Antioch, in around 100 AD. While Christians worldwide share basic convcitions, there are differences of interpretations and opinions of the Bible and sacred traditions on which Christianity is based. Concise doctrinal statements or confessions of religious beliefs are known as creeds, they began as baptismal formulae and were expanded during the Christological controversies of the 4th and 5th centuries to become statements of faith.
The Apostles' Creed is the most accepted statement of the articles of Christian faith. It is used by a number of Christian denominations for both liturgical and catechetical purposes, most visibly by liturgical churches of Western Christian tradition, including the Latin Church of the Catholic Church, Lutheranism and Western Rite Orthodoxy, it is used by Presbyterians and Congregationalists. This particular creed was developed between the 9th centuries, its central doctrines are those of God the Creator. Each of the doctrines found in this creed can be traced to statements current in the apostolic period; the creed was used as a summary of Christian doctrine for baptismal candidates in the churches of Rome. Its main points include: Belief in God the Father, Jesus Christ as the Son of God, the Holy Spirit The death, descent into hell and ascension of Christ The holiness of the Church and the communion of saints Christ's second coming, the Day of Judgement and salvation of the faithful; the Nicene Creed was formulated in response to Arianism, at the Councils of Nicaea and Constantinople in 325 and 381 and ratified as the universal creed of Christendom by the First Council of Ephesus in 431.
The Chalcedonian Definition, or Creed of Chalcedon, developed at the Council of Chalcedon in 451, though rejected by the Oriental Orthodox churches, taught Christ "to be acknowledged in two natures, unchangeably, inseparably": one divine and one human, that both natures, while perfect in themselves, are also united into one person. The Athanasian Creed, received in the Western Church as having the same status as the Nicene and Chalcedonian, says: "We worship one God in Trinity, Trinity in Unity. Many evangelical Protestants reject creeds as definitive statements of faith while agreeing with some or all of the substance of the creeds. Most Baptists do not use creeds "in that they have not sought to establish binding