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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Nafisa VALIEVA, University of Hamburg, Germany

The Gädlä Lalibäla (GL) is the main source about the life and deeds of King Lalibäla, though, as with all hagiographic works, it is necessary to bear in mind the literary features of the genre. King Lalibäla is considered a saint, along with other kings of the so-called Zagwe dynasty, who ruled between the twelfth and thirteenth centuries CE. He is credited with the construction of the renowned rock-hewn churches in the city of Lalibäla, which is named after the king. The only scholarly, albeit partial, edition of this text, based on one single witness, was carried out by the French philologist Jules Perruchon in 1892. The results of a new PhD project, aiming to prepare a critical edition of the text, were first presented at the IES 19. Since October 2015, this project has been carried out in the SFB 950 Manuskriptkulturen in Asien, Afrika und Europa research centre of the University of Hamburg. The scope of the project has shifted from preparing a critical edition to a broader investigation of the manuscript culture of the codices that carry the GL, the amount of which has now reached the number 30.
Although the project now has a broader scope, its main aim still remains to prepare a critical edition of the GL. So far the following methodological decisions, resulting one from another, were made:
• use CollateX, the software for automatic collation, which allows to use a ‘baseless’ comparison method to produce a collated text
• use CTE for the critical edition
• use the frame work of Beta maṣāḥǝft project for cataloguing manuscripts, including the encoding of each individual manuscript as xml
• dedicate entire articles for some of the manuscripts which are remarkable and therefore do not fit the general schema

This is an ongoing project, which will last till September 2018. The paper will present the project’s methodological decisions and results which have been obtained so far.