The Origins of the Imperial House of Ethiopia, also known as the Solomonic
Dynasty, can be found in the Ethiopian book Kibre Negest (Glory of Kings).
This book is often regarded as legend, but is accepted as factual by many
Ethiopians as well as the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church. In it, Makeda,
Queen of Sheba, (Who the Biblical book of Kings says visited King Solomon in
Jerusalem) is said to have greatly impressed the Hebrew king with her grace and beauty. She is said to have been seduced by the king, as well as was a servant girl of hers. Both returned from ancient Israel to the kingdom of Sheba pregnant
with King Solomon's childlen. The child of Makeda the Queen was named Dawit (David) after his paternal grandfather. Dawit was sent to Jerusalem by his mother when he came of age so that he could meet his father. According to the Kibre Negest, the nobles of ancient Israel resented this son of their king as an interloper, and urged the King to send him back to his mother. As Dawit's feelings seem to also have been to return to his own land, Solomon is said to have decided that he would not be alone in suffering the loss of his first born son. He ordered all the noble and all the priestly families of Israel to send their eldest sons back to Sheba to be advisors to Dawit when he ascended the throne of his mother. It is these people who are said to be the ancestors of the modern day Bete Israel or Falasha Jews who have recently immigrated to Israel. King Solomon also arranged for a replica of the Ark of the Covenant to be made to be taken back with Dawit so as to spread the worship of the one true God in his realm. However, the Kibre Negest relates that the son of Zadok the High Priest, when told he was to accompany a replica ark to a foriegn land was very unhappy. This is probably unsurprising as this man had been raised to succeed his father as High Priest in service before the true Ark and not a mere replica. Therefore, on the night before their departure, the son of Zadok snuck into the Temple and stole the took the true Ark of the Covenant, replacing it with the replica. By the time the switch was noticed, Dawit and his entourage were long gone. The Ark was kept on an Island on lake Tana, called Tana Kirkos where there is a small monastery today, but it eventually was moved to Axum where it is kept at the Cathedral Shrine of St. Mary of Zion. Dawit would eventually inherit his mother's throne, but would ascend it not as King of Sheba, but
as Emperor Menelik I, the first King of Kings (Niguse Negest)of Ethiopia. The dynasty he would establish would rule the country with a few notable interuptions
until the revolution of 1974. The Imperial Family of Ethiopia is often refered to
as the Solomonic Dynasty, or the House of Solomon (Bete Solomon)for this reason. In Ethiopian
tradition however the family has no surname, unlike the Royal and Imperial Houses
of Europe (eg. Windsors, Hapsburgs, Hohenzollerns,Romanovs,Bourbons,etc..).The Zagwe dynasty would claim to be the decendants of the child of the servant girl fathered by Solomon as well.