ʿAbdīšōʿ of Gāzartā, the second patriarch (1555-1570) of the East Syriac Uniate (Chaldean) Church, is known as a founder of its literary tradition, and an author of numerous liturgical and non-liturgical poems. He was also active as a scribe, of whose production several manuscripts survive that were never studied before. The present paper discusses them, in particular the historical and autobiographical information that is found in the scribe’s colophons and notes. This information is of a large importance for the history of the Christian communities in early Ottoman time.
Serge A. Frantsouzoff
The deeds and exploits of St. Lalibäla who was the most famous king of the Ethiopian Zagwe dynasty are still awaiting to be published in full. To the modern researchers this important medieval text is available only in excerpts published by J. Perruchon in the 19th century. The author argues that Lalibäla’s Deeds is far from being an Ethiopian folklore. They comprise valuable authentic data, e.g. the persecution of Lalibäla at the royal court, his escape into the desert, his marriage, his subsequent becoming a king, the organization of his army, taxation policies and history of construction of the famous monolithic churches in the centre of Lasta. The author also argues that the title wäldä nägaśi, which is mentioned in his Deeds as well as its parallel wld/ngšy-n found in Middle Sabaean inscriptions is a sufficient evidence in favour of the military and political continuity between the Aksumite and Zagwe epochs. The Lalibäla’s Deeds comprise many minute details about the everyday life, which suggests that the Christians of Ethiopia had a centuries long oral tradition of preserving and transmitting historical information.