Galawdewos, or Claudius, was the son of Lebna Dengel (who began to reign A.M. 7000 = A.D. 1508, and died A.M. 7033 = A .D . 1540) by his wife Sabla Wangel. During the last years of the reign of Lebna Dengel the Arabs had made themselves masters of practically all Abyssinia, and in every place where they had triumphed they laid waste and destroyed and burnt and turned the country into a desert. They carried off from the churches the gold and silver vessels, the precious Indian stuffs, which were sown with gems, and everything of value, and then they set fire to them and razed the walls to the ground. They slew every adult Christian they found, and carried off the youths and maidens and sold them as slaves. The remnant of the Christian population were terrified at the ruin which was overtaking their country, and with the view of staying the attacks of the Arabs, nine men out of ten renounced the Christian religion and accepted Islam. A mighty famine came on the country, and pious folk believed that God had strengthened the fires of hell and was permitting them to devour, not only trees and plants, but the earth itself. Lebna Dengel and his family were driven from their house and city, and for some years they wandered about the country homeless, and suffered hunger and thirst and hardships of every kind. Under these privations he was smitten with grievous sickness, and died, and Claudius, one of his younger sons, became king in his stead.