Gudit ( Ge'ez: ጉዲት, Judith) (or Yodit, or Esato, or Ga'wa), is a semi-legendary, non- Christian, Beta Israel queen (flourished c.960) who laid waste to Axum and its countryside, destroyed churches and monuments, and attempted to exterminate the members of the ruling Axumite dynasty. Her deeds are recorded in the oral tradition and mentioned incidentally in various historical accounts. Information about Gudit is contradictory and incomplete. Paul B. Henze wrote, "She is said to have killed the emperor, ascended the throne herself, and reigned for 40 years. Accounts of her violent misdeeds are still related among peasants in the north Ethiopian countryside." Henze continues in a footnote:
On my first visit to the rock church of Abreha and Atsbeha in eastern Tigray in 1970, I noticed that its intricately carved ceiling was blackened by soot. The priest explained it as the work of Gudit, who had piled the church full of hay and set it ablaze nine centuries before.
There is a tradition that Gudit sacked and burned Debre Damo, which at the time was a treasury and a prison for the male relatives of the king of Ethiopia; this may be an echo of the later capture and sack of Amba Geshen by Ahmed Gragn. Gudit is known as ´Esato in amharic, which means "fire". Gudit is so related to the destruction of the Axumite Empire, that the name ጉዲት in amharic is commonly translated as "destruction".