Introducing Manuscripts from Ethiopia and Eritrea

image of david ms aeth d19 c bodleian library

STUDY DAY: Introducing Manuscripts from  Ethiopia and Eritrea



This free study day will act as an introduction to Ethiopian and Eritrean manuscripts dating from the 4th to 18th centuries. Leading experts from Oxford, SOAS, and the British Library will discuss context, production, and patronage.

See also our Ethiopian and Eritrean Ge’ez Manuscripts Discovery Day on the 28th July 2018:


Download this programme as a pdf 


(From 8.40 am, tea/coffee with be served)

Context and History

CHAIR: Philip Booth Discussants: Mai Musié (Oxford) and Yoseph Araya (Open University)

09.00    Alessandro Bausi (HLCES, Hamburg), Introduction to the Manuscript Culture of Ethiopia: Early Developments and New Discoveries

09.45    Marie-Laure Derat (CNRS, Paris) Ethiopian Authors and Scribes in the Middle Ages: Monastic and Curial Milieu

10.30–10.50: Coffee Break


CHAIR: Judith McKenzie Discussants: Yemane Asfedai (London) and Dereje Debella (London)

10.50   Jacopo Gnisci (BAV, Vatican/HLCES, Hamburg) Illustrated Ethiopic Gospels: From Late Antiquity to the Early Solomonic Period (ca. 350-1527)

11.35   Tania Tribe (SOAS, London) Ethiopian Manuscript Painting: 16th to 18th Centuries


12.20–13.30: Lunch

Chronicles and Manuscript Making

CHAIR: Elizabeth Jeffreys Discussants: Eyob Derillo (British Library) and Gianfrancesco Lusini (University of Naples “L’Orientale”)

13.30   Solomon Gebreyes Beyene (HLCES, Hamburg), Ethiopian Royal Chronicles: Production and Manuscript Tradition

14.15   Sean M. Winslow (Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz), “Bless the Makers of Parchment, Because They Laboured Much”: Craft Practices of the Ethiopian Scribe


15.00: Tea break, followed by Bodleian visit to see some relevant highlights of its collection, led by César Merchán-Hamann


Convenors: Jacopo Gnisci, Foteini Spingou, Miranda Williams, Judith McKenzie, and Rahel Fronda.

Any questions, please contact Jacopo Gnisci, j.gnisci[at]


Attendance and refreshments, including lunch, are free, but please book a place at: or by emailing miranda.williams[at]

Sponsored by the Classics Faculty, the Bodleian Library, the Oxford Centre for Byzantine Research, the ERC Advanced Project Monumental Art of the Christian and Early Islamic East directed by Judith McKenzie, Maison Française d’Oxford, Beta Maṣāḥǝft: Manuscripts of Ethiopia and Eritrea, funded by The Union of the German Academies of Sciences and Humanities through the Academy of Hamburg.