The Solomonic Dynasty was one of the longest-reigning lines of monarchs in world history. The mighty rulers of the East dominated the Ethiopian empire for centuries until the not-so-distant 1974, when a national coup put an end to their reign.
Legends go that it was King Solomon of Israel and the Queen of Sheba who marked the beginning of the dynasty. The almighty queen gave birth to the first representative of the dynasty after her visit to Jerusalem. But confirmed sources indicate that the Solomonic Dynasty began its reign of Ethiopia in the year 1270, when Yekuno Amlak deposed the last Zagwe king and ascended to the Ethiopian throne.
His descendants ruled over the country another 704 years, when the Derg military dictatorship overthrew the nearly legendary-in-status founder of the Rastafari movement, emperor Haile Selassie.
The Solomonic Dynasty was a bastion of Judaism and later - Ethiopian orthodox Christianity. Mainstream science posits that its first members took the Ethiopian throne in the 10th century A.D. New research, however, shows that the monarchical bloodline is much older and had begun ruling that part of the world much earlier.
Individual fragments found in the Christian monasteries, hidden in the Ethiopian mountains, attest to this. Few of these sources have survived the destruction brought on by the similarly legendary Judaic queen Gudit. In the 10th century, she laid waste to the lands of Ethiopia, destroying nearly all monasteries and churches in the country.
The main accounts of the dynasty's past researchers have gleaned from the Kebra Nagast or the Glory of Kings of Ethiopia. This is one of the few Medieval African books, written in the ancient language of Ge'ez more than 9 centuries ago.
For many Ethiopian Christians and Rastafarians it describes the history of the origins of the Solomonic Dynasty in Ethiopia. They see it as an undeniable source of the Ethiopian transition from sun, moon and star worship to that of worshiping the god of Israel.
According to the Kebra Nagast, it was indeed the first representative of the Solomonic Dynasty, Menelik I, who visited Jerusalem to meet with King Solomon of Israel. Menelik I took the Ark of the Covenant from Solomon and moved it to Ethiopia, where all Ethiopians believe it's located today.
Unlike many other powerful ancient dynasties, the Solomonic Dynasty still exists today. Most of its representatives returned to live in Ethiopia after the fall of the communist regime in 1990. The current dynasty head is Crown Prince of Ethiopia Zera Yacob Amha Selassie, who lives between Addis Ababa and Manchester.