Field and river

20th International Conference of Ethiopian Studies (ICES20)
Mekelle University, Ethiopia

"Regional and Global Ethiopia - Interconnections and Identities"
1-5 October, 2018

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Cyrill Zeus WELLNHOFER, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany

Abū Shākir was first a Coptic secretary in the administration and, later, a diacon, living in 13th century Cairo. He wrote four books. The Tawārīḫ on history and calendar calculation, an unpreserved Coptic vocabulary with a preserved introductory grammar, an exegetical theological work, and a theological summa on fifty questions. Except for his vocabulary all of his works seem to be preserved, and the first one, the Tawārīḫ or Tariḵ, was the most influencial one. Moreover, a number of ḥasab or computus texts are associated with his name, including texts written both in Gəʿəz and Amharic. These texts are to be distinguished from Abū Shākir's Tariḵ on history and calendar calculation that was available in Gəʿəz and is said to have been translated by a 16th c. Yemeni convert. I will present an Amharic ḥasabä zä-Abušakər (Berlin Ms. or. oct. 238, fol. 33-36), its content and its parallels and differences to the content of Abū Shākir's Tariḵ. This has also to some extent geographic and historiographic implications, since it shows - apart from a more general context - the spread and reception of knowledge and its adaptation, development and usage.