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The Goggam Chronicle

ISBN: 9780197263099 | 0197263097
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: British Academy
Pub. Date: 4/1/2014

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The Goggam Chronicle is a detailed regional history set within a framework of the traditional historical narrative of Ethiopia. Goggam, an ancient province bounded almost entirely by the Blue Nile, is one of the principal regions of the medieval Ethiopian polity.

The chronicler, Alaqa Takla Iyasus, was a remarkable church painter and engraver. Although he enjoyed the artistic favour and friendship of King Takla Haymanot he wrote the Chronicle without royal patronage or censorship. His unconventional views and commentaries, as well as his take on some decisive events such as the battle of Embabo (1882), or religious controversies such as those between the followers of the Unction and Union doctrines are highly interesting. Of particular importance are the collection of poems inspired by dirge, martial boast and religious devotion. As such the Chronicle was and still is a goldmine for scholars of history, students of Amharic language, and early Amharic literature, and for those interested in the study of genealogy, church painting, migration, and settlement.

The Chronicle was previously known only to a handful of scholars (who used incomplete extant manuscripts kept by few private and institutional libraries). This new translation is based on careful study of all the manuscripts to produce an authoritative and coherent text, while omitting early mythical genealogical chapters and unfinished post-1901 material.

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