Manuscripts and Texts, Languages and Contexts:The Transmission of Knowledge in the Horn of Africa

Manuscripts and Texts, Languages and Contexts:The Transmission of Knowledge in the Horn of Africa, Hamburg, July 17–19, 2014


The papers in the Palaeography and Codicology section are expected to centre on the analysis of the physical aspects of Ethiopian manuscripts. Such issues as layout, decoration, writing styles, but also the reconstruction of provenance, scriptoria or historical libraries are of primary interest. Case studies on manuscript preservation and/or material analysis methods are also welcome.

The panel on the Philology and Language would like to address in the first place the earliest strata of Ge'ez literature. Papers dealing with the reconstruction and the history of texts - also in the sense of the borrowings and/or transfer of literary motifs - shall be in the centre of academic discussion. Besides discussing little known textual problems, the organizers would invite, on this occasion, to revisit the issues of such complex and multi-layered texts as the Kebra Nagast or the Miracles of Mary. An additional issue shall be the developments in the style and lexicon of the Ge'ez language as it may be reflected in the texts from different periods.

The History and Historical Geography panel welcomes contributions centring on the use of manuscripts for reconstructing Ethiopian cultural landscape of the past. Not only the major works but also, and even more so, the many additional texts or notes can assist in establishing the relationships that once existed between persons, places or regions. These may have been occasional or systematic. Revealing these historical links is the purpose of the discussion.

The final panel, Islamic Tradition, welcomes scholars dealing in their research with the manuscripts written or used by the Muslims of Ethiopia. These may be in Arabic or in other languages (written in Arabic script). The actual texts transmitted in these manuscripts, their themes and distribution, are of primary interest. Codicological or historical issues shall also be considered.

Preliminary program.

Posted on Mar 28, 2014 in Conferences & Symposia



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