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Tewodros II (Theodore), Ethiopian emperor in the mid-nineteenth century

Progressive and visionary but also unstable and cruel, he struggled against many enemies to restore imperial power from warlords and a "shogunate", and unify his country. Theodore committed suicide on April 13,1868, when British forces successfully stormed his mountain fortress of Magdala. For some years prior Theodore had been gathering together the religious and cultural treasures of his nation at Magdala, and all were confiscated by the British expeditionary army, which was accompanied by an official archaeologist. A few items have since been returned.


Ethiopian emperors Menelik II and Haile Selassie

Menelik, who defeated an invading Italian force in 1896 and successfully maintained Ethiopian independence, took his name from Menelik I, allegedly the son of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. According to Ethiopian national tradition Menelik brought the Ark of the Covenant to Ethiopia in the time of his father King Solomon, but other accounts place such a possible event as occurring centuries later.


Ras Makonnen

Father of Ras Tafari Makonnen (the future Emperor Haile Selassie). From the name and title of his son Ras Tafari we have "Rastafarians", a movement that continues to venerate the last Emperor to rule Ethiopia.



ABOVE : King Solomon according to a painting in the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, described in The Lion and the Covenant.

BELOW: Ethiopian Emperor Hale Selassie, his claimed direct descendant and 225th successor, from a 1961 banknote. Haile Selassie, who was scarcely born when the Solomon picture was painted, was overthrown in a military coup in 1974. Within a year he was murdered on the orders of the brutal strongman Colonel Mengistu Haile Mariam, himself later overthrown after a long civil war. So ended the "Solomonic succession" in Ethiopia, claimed to have lasted around three thousand years.


Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie with a young Queen Elizabeth II, 1958


1946 WWII UK Victory stamp, featuring Masonic symbols

The design was personally selected by King George the Sixth, Queen Elizabeth's father and royal predecessor. King George was a keen Freemason, and at one time Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Scotland. He has a major street named after him in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa, as a token of gratitude. His possible role in certain secret events is described in The Lion and the Covenant.


The entrance to the Masonic Hall, Sandringham, Melbourne Australia.
Note the pyramidal shapes atop the pillars in front, and the Egyptian sun disk above the doorway.


Some triple-arched buildings relevant to The Lion and the Covenant


Triple arch feature in eighteenth century royal castle-palace at Gondar, northern Ethiopia, the imperial capital in the time of James Bruce. There has been a direct connection between Ethiopia and Freemasonry since the Scottish explorer and Freemason James Bruce, a descendant of Scottish king Robert (I) the Bruce, spent an extended period there in 1769-70 as the guest of the Emperor. A secretive, little-known Masonic group, the Royal Order of Scotland, is headed by a Bruce descendant. Membership of the Royal Order of Scotland, like that of the Thirty-Third Degree of Scottish Rite Freemasonry, is by invitation only.


Triple "royal arch" at the entrance to the mausoleum of Emperor Menelik II in Addis Ababa, the modern capital of Ethiopia. This is an example of a "royal arch" in the architectural sense. The Royal Arch was the first Masonic degree to be introduced beyond that of Master Mason. Note that the phrase "royal arch" has multiple meanings in the inner secrets of Freemasonry, while the number "three" is fundamental to Masonic numerology (see Numerology page for more information). Ruined remains of an ancient triple archway feature on the front cover of The Lion and the Covenant.


Triple-arched entrance feature at the Sheraton Hotel, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, apparently inspired by the above
The interior also has a triple-arched feature.


Triple-arched entrance to Hobart Town Hall, Hobart, Tasmania, built in the 1860's

When Queen Victoria's second son Prince Alfred arrived in Hobart early in 1868 he was greeted with a specially constructed triple welcome arch. Prince Alfred, the first British royal to visit Australia, stayed for about six months and departed for England on April 6th 1868. A week later British forces stormed the mountain fortress of Magdala in northern Ethiopia, seizing that nation's religious and cultural treasures. Despite having been wounded in an assassination attempt during his stay in Sydney, Prince Alfred returned to Australia a few months later with HMS Galatea, and visited a third time in 1870.




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