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Information about reign: ጊጋር (Emperor Gigar), first reign

CountryEthiopia
From3 June 1821
ToApril 1826
Personal InformationEmperor Gigar of Ethiopia (1745 - 1832)
Description

Gigar (Ge'ez: ጊጋር) was Emperor of Ethiopia (3 June 1821 – April 1826; April 1826 – 18 June 1830), and purportedly a member of the Solomonic dynasty.

According to Samuel Gobat, who met with Gigar (whom he called "Guigar") while a missionary in Ethiopia, Gigar had been a monk for many years, when on the death of his brother Iyoas II he was proclaimed Emperor. Although he "laid aside the cowl of St. Anthony, and assumed the crown and title of sovereignty," Gobat notes that "the first was much more becoming his character, and far more suitable to the energies of his mind." At the time Gobat met Gigar, the Emperor was said to be 86 years old, although Gobat thought that Gigar "did not appear to be more than sixty-five or seventy."

However, there is some question about Gigar's precise ancestry. While during his lifetime he was uncontestedly regarded as a descendant in male line of the dynasty, at least two contradictory genealogies for him exist in the sources. One is that he was a son of Iyasu II and thus the brother of Iyoas I; the other is that he was a son of Giyorgis Manfeasked, the son of Gabre, the son of Mammo, and a descendant of Emperor Fasilides.

Gigar was largely a figurehead, made Emperor by Ras Marye of Begemder and chief of the Oromo. He was deposed by Haile Maryam in April 1826, who set Baeda Maryam III on the throne, but after a few days Ras Marye restored Gigar.