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A ROYAL COURT ORDER LISTING THE TITLES AND RANKS OF OFFICE HOLDERS IN THE CHRISTIAN KINGDOM OF ETHIOPIA: EDITION AND HISTORICAL COMMENTARY [Abstract ID: 0805-12]
It is true that we often read various titles of office holders under civil administration of Christian kingdom of Ethiopia in the royal chronicles and other historical texts. What we lack so far, however, is a text at our disposal that clearly describes the hierarchical structure of titles and ranks of office holders, ranging from a king at the top to the lowest office holders. A short royal court order written in Gǝʿǝz on two folios, entiled ወግ፡ ዘመዓርግ፡ ወምክር that is now available from a manuscript of Dǝrsanä Mikaʾel, housed at the monastery of Tara Gädam, provides now crucial new information on this point. The names of the titles of the whole office holders under the civil administration of the medieval Christian kingdom from the lowest title የሻለቃ to the top ንጉሥ are listed there. The colophon states that the text was composed by Azzaž Wäldä Tǝnsaʾe, a royal court judge or counselor probably during the time of Iyasu I (1682–1706). The text also appears included, with minor modifications, in the royal chronicle of Iyasu I (1682–1706) and the chronicle of Bäkaffa (1721–1730). In this regard, this paper attempts to examine the textual tradition of this text and edit it critically by collating it with the other witnesses that appear in the chronicles, and present it with an annotated English translation.