PETROS II (d. 1570)

Petros was the successor of Yosab I, after having been his coadjutor. The Liber Axumae notes the arrival in Ethiopia of a Coptic bishop named Petros in 1554 of the Ethiopian calendar (A.D. 1551-1552). This information is confirmed by a source, which states that the Coptic prelate who arrived in Ethiopia in 1551 was supposed to be the coadjutor of Yosab I and should succeed him upon his death. The exact date of this succession is unknown, but it must have occurred near the end of Negus Galawdewos’ reign (d. 1559), for in the Liber Axumae the last document to mention Yosab is dated A.D. 1553-1554, whereas the first document to mention Petros as metropolitan is dated 1559-1560. From these data it may be deduced that Petros was named and consecrated by the Coptic patriarch GABRIEL VII (1525-1568).

There is little information about this metropolitan in Ethiopian documents. The chronicle of Galawdewos states that it was Bishop Petros (not yet metropolitan) who consecrated the ark (tabot) of the famous Church of Tadbaba Maryam during the twelfth year of Galawdewos’ reign (1551-1552). Moreover, the chronicle of Negus Minas states that it was Petros II who celebrated the religious marriage of this king.

There is no other information about this metropolitan, and even the date of his can only be deduced from the documents available. According to the chronicle of Negus Sarsa Dengel, after the death of Yosab I, which occurred in the eighth year of Sarsa Dengel’s reign (1570), the negus received a new metropolitan named Marqos (II), who arrived in Ethiopia during the fourteenth year of his reign (1576). However, this text obviously contains an error, which must be corrected. The predecessor of Marqos II was Petros II (not Yosab I, who died around 1559). But from this text, it can be deduced that Petros II died in 1570 and that his successor was Marqos II.


  • Almeida, M. de. Historia de Ethiopia a alta ou Abassia, p. 390.
  • Rerum Aethiopicarum Scriptores Occidentales Inediti 5. Rome, 1907.
  • Conzelman, W. E. Chronique de Galâwdêwos (Claudius) roi d’Ethiopie, p. 153. Paris, 1895.
  • Esteves Pereira, F. M. Historia de Minas (Ademas Sagad), roi de Ethiopia, pp. 44, 65 (n. 64). Lisbon, 1888.
  • Guidi, I. “Le liste dei metropoliti d’Abissinia.” Bessarione 6, ser. 1 (1899):10, n. 7.
  • Páez, P. Historia Aethiopiae, p. 54. Rerum Aethiopicarum Scriptores Occidentales Inediti 3. Rome, 1906.
  • Rossini, C. Documenta ad Illustrandam Historiam, Vol. 1, Liber Axumae. In 58, pp. 51, 52, 82. Louvain, 1954.
  • ___. Historia Regis Sarsa-Dengel (Malak Sagad). In 21,68. 41, 68. Louvain, 1955.