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THE COSMOLOGICAL TREATISE IN MS. ÉTHIOP. D´ABBADIE 109: GREEK, ETHIOPIC OR EARLY MODERN? [Abstract ID: 0518-01]
The famous Ethiopic manuscript d´Abbadie 109 (BnF, Paris) contains a cosmological and astronomical treatise that is distinct from any other what we know as Ethiopic astronomical literature. It consists of a description of the cosmos that claims to have used the ancient astronomer and geographer Claudius Ptolemy (2nd cent. AD) as one of his mains sources. Nevertheless some notions, like the mentioning of a fourth continent or the “New World”, make it clear that more modern concepts and ideas are also looming large in the text. This begs the question whether this fascinating description is rooted in a Greek, Ethiopic or European culture. The aim of this joint paper is two-fold. In the first part, Carsten Hoffmann will outline, describe and explain the content and basic ideas of this manuscript. In the second part, Klaus Geus will advance a hypothesis as to the author and its time – in all likelihood the Jesuit missionary Pedro Páez (1564–1622). [The paper shall be part of the panel 0603: “Ethiopia and the Ancient World: Reception and Transformation of Geographical Knowledge“, proposed by Klaus Geus. It bears some topical and methodological relation to the papers by Victor Gysembergh, Søren Lund Sørensen, and Eivind Seland.]