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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Antonella BRITA, CSMC, Universität Hamburg, Germany

The general aim of the paper is to propose a methodological reflection on the edition of texts which are part of large hagiographic collections transmitted in Multiple-Text Manuscripts (MTM). The main focus will be the edition of the texts of the Gadla Samāʿtāt (Acts of the Martyrs), an archaic canonico-liturgical collection attested in Ethiopia since the end of the 13th century and used in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church for the daily commemoration of both Martyrs and Saints. Only a small number of these hagiographies have been edited. The main questions that will be addressed are as follows: (a) what does it mean, from a methodological point of view, editing texts transmitted in MTM as Corpus Organisers (definition by Alessandro Bausi); (b) what the study of the textual transmission can tell us about the transmission of the whole collection? (c) does the transmission of the individual texts develop independently from the rest of the collection or only as part of the collection? (d) how the textual transmission reflects the material circulation of the manuscripts and, consequently, the scribal practices? (e) what can we learn about the veneration of the saints and about the birth of the local hagiography from the philological study of the texts?