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An Ethiopian dynasty founded in 1137 that derives its name from its founder. Zagwe and his successors are reckoned as usurpers because they were of Agau origin from Lasta, and not descended from the Solomonic kings of Ethiopia. There are few records of their emergence, but they claimed to have been descendants of the last king of Aksum. The first five Zagwe kings are said to have been Jewish, the later kings Christian. They fought rebels in the south of the country and were powerful enough to stop Egypt attempting to convert the country to Islam. They organized the building of many rock churches and founded the holy city of Lalibela. At the end of the 13th century the Zagwe were overthrown by a faction claiming to be the true heirs of the Axumite kings.

Subjects: World History.

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