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Reign13th century
PredecessorNa'akueto La'ab
SuccessorYekuno Amlak
DynastyZagwe dynasty
FatherGebre Mesqel Lalibela

Yetbarak was nəgusä nägäst of Ethiopia, and a member of the Zagwe dynasty. According to Taddesse Tamrat, he was the son of Gebre Mesqel Lalibela.[1]


Tradition states that Yetbarak ascended to the throne after his father King Lalibela had taken the crown away from his first choice of successor, Yetbarak's cousin Na'akueto La'ab. Taddesse Tamrat argues that this tradition is based on an official version of events, and theorizes that Na'akueto La'ab had fought with Yetbarak for the throne, and despite initial success Yetbarak became king in the end.[2]

Taddesse Tamrat also suggests that Yetbarak was the same individual known in the "official hagiographical tradition" as Za-Ilmaknun, the king of the Zagwe dynasty whom Yekuno Amlak killed and succeeded. Tamrat notes that Za-Ilmaknun is translated as "The Unknown, the hidden one", an "esoteric term" that has "become a useful escape mechanism in denying that the king killed by Yikunno-`Amlak had anything to do with Lasta."[3]


  1. ^ Taddesse Tamrat, Church and State in Ethiopia (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972), p. 56n.
  2. ^ Taddesse Tamrat, pp. 62-4.
  3. ^ Taddesse Tamrat, p. 68 n. 1.
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Na'akueto La'ab
Emperor of Ethiopia Succeeded by
Yekuno Amlak