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History of Education,
Printing and Literacy in Ethiopia, 14

November 6, 1998

By Dr Richard Pankhurst

Addis Ababa - Ethiopian Students Abroad, in the 1920s

The 1920s, as we saw last week, were a time when increasing numbers of young Ethiopians were despatched for study abroad. This policy was actively promoted by the then ruler, the Regent and Heir to the Throne, Ras Tafari Makonnen.

His attitude to this educational enterprise is apparent from a speech which he made, on 17 December 1926, when receiving a batch of twenty-one students prior to their departure.

In this address, which was characteristic of his approach to youth, he spoke to the youngsters almost as a father to his sons, and declared:

Insufficient Schools

"In our country, of which it can be said there are several million inhabitants, we have not, as you know, sufficient schools teaching languages and arts to cater for many children. Nevertheless, in the schools that have been established, there are now more than a thousand students; and if this number is small, it is no matter for surprise, but we hope that, by God's goodness, the numbers will grow.

"It is some five or six years since we started to send students to Europe, as you are now going thither. We have heard no bad reports against any of the boys who had gone hitherto. You must not forget the saying 'Unity is strength; disunity is injury'. With the aim of bringing honour and praise upon the name of Ethiopia, pursue your studies with suitable humility and diligence. If, on the contrary, you behave badly, it will certainly not only be yourselves who will be condemned, but you will also bring discredit to your country.

"To Help Your Country"

"We have chosen and despatched you so that you may help your country with the fruits of your education. If you learn well, and your character is good, you will be an honour both to yourselves and to your country; and you will further encourage our hopes.

"You should so behave in the presence of foreigners as to make them express the wish: 'Since these few boys we have seen are of such high intelligence and good character, we should like many others to come for us to teach them.' At the same time, however, I must tell you not to forget, while you are in the foreign country whither you are bound, the reading and writing of your own country's language. To help you in this I am giving you some of the various books which I have had printed, and I recommend you to pay them diligent attention, and profit thereby.

"I further suggest that, since a person's faults are not known to himself, you should choose three from among you, outstanding in knowledge and personality, who will observe your shortcomings, and advise you about them - this will be a safeguard for you!

"I pray God, on your behalf, that you will return safely to our undying Ethiopia, and that you may help her!

How and Where They Went

Most Ethiopian Government students going abroad in this period went first to Egypt and Lebanon, before transferring to Europe or America.

Egypt, Sudan, Lebanon, and Palestine

The group in Egypt at one time numbered about forty students. The largest number were at Lycee Francais at Alexandria, and included many who subsequently went on to France. Among them was a future Ethiopian Prime Minister, Aklilu Haptewold, as well as such well-known figures as Kifle Irgetu, Asheber Gabre Heywot, and Tadesse Zeweldo. Several other students went to Victoria College.

The group in the Sudan was smaller, perhaps around fifteen. They included Aman Andom, a future general, who became Ethiopian Head of State, for a short time after the Ethiopian Revolution of 1974.

The group in Lebanon, some thirty strong, were almost all in the American University of Beirut. They included Gabre Mariam Amante and Getahun Tessema, as well as Ingida Yohannes, Makonnen Haile and Makonnen Desta, who later went to the United States.

There were also about half a dozen students in Palestine, several of whom later proceeded to Europe.


The largest number of Ethiopian students abroad, over fifty in number, went to France. This was not surprising in view of the fact that French was then Ethiopia's principal foreign language. A score of students studied political science, law or economics. They included Aklilu Haptewold, subsequently Ethiopian Prime Minister, Andargachew Masai, and Lorenzo Taezaz. Other students, whom we have been able to identify, studied such subjects as mathematics, civil engineering, radio telegraphy, architecture, and art.

Most of these students were in Paris, but there were others, too, in such places as Mulhouse and Montpellier. Though the majority took academic subjects, over a dozen attended the French military academy of St. Cyr, and at least three specialised in aviation. One of the latter, Tesfaye Mikael, became a fully qualified pilot at Le Bourget.

The students in France founded a society, the "Association Mutuelle de la Jeunesse Ethiopienne," in 1929.

England and the United States

Ethiopian students in England were less numerous, a little over a dozen. They included two sons of the then Foreign Minister, Blattengeta Heruy, and several children of Haqim Warqnah, a sometime Minister in England; Yilma Deressa, who attended the London School of Economics, and later became an important Minister; Ayanna Berru, who went to the Camborne School of Mines; and two other future Ethiopian Ministers, Amanuel Abraham and Abebbe Retta.

Almost a dozen Ethiopian students likewise went to the United States. They included Makonnen Desta, who took anthropology at Harvard, and later became acting Ethiopian Minister of Education; Makonnen Haile, who studied finance at Cornell, and Ingida Yohannes, veterinary medicine at New York. Three other students, Melaku Beyen, Besha Worrid Hapte Wold and Worku Gobena, went to Muskingum, a missionary college in Ohio, two of them later transferring to Ohio State University.

Melaku Bayen subsequently founded a newspaper, the "Voice of Ethiopia", in defence of his country's independence, at the time of the Italian occupation. His slogan was "Better to die a free man than live in slavery!"

Switzerland, Germany, Italy and Belgium

Ethiopian Government students were also found in Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Spain, and elsewhere.

The Vatican

Almost forty Ethiopian students, despatched under Roman Catholic auspices, meanwhile attended the Pontificio Collegio Etiopico, in the Vatican, which was established by Pope Benedict XV in 1919. It replaced the old Hospice for Ethiopians, which dated back several centuries. Most of these students had come in six groups, between 1919 and 1932.


A group of 22 Falashas, or Ethiopian Beta Esra'el, students were also sent abroad, in the 1920s and 1930s. They went, under Jewish auspices, to study a wide variety of subjects, in various countries, including Palestine, Egypt, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, and England.

Women's Education Abroad

Women's education advanced much slower than that of men. Nevertheless, the Emperor's daughter, Princess Tsehai, was sent to Switzerland. She was tutored by Lola Flad, the granddaughter of the Swiss missionary of that name. During the Italian occupation Tsehai was well known as a nurse in England, and after the liberation set about establishing medical facilities in Ethiopia, but died prematurely. A hospital in her name was later founded in Addis Ababa.

During her Swiss days she was accompanied by Yemiseratch Imru, the daughter of Ras Imru, and Amsale Heruy, daughter of the Blattengeta Heruy. All three women were taught French by Lola Flad, and returned home with her, in 1928.

Shortly after this Kantiba Gabru's two daughters, Yubdar and Sededu, were sent to St. Chrischona, near Basle. Senedu subsequently went to Lausanne. Imprisoned in Italy during the Italian occupation, she subsequently wrote a play on that event, and later became Director of the Manan School for Girls, and was Ethiopia's first woman Member of Parliament.


Students sent abroad by the Ethiopian Government in this period included a significant number of youths from Eritrea. The Italian colony was then very poorly supplied with educational facilities, most of which, in view of the Fascist racial laws, were in any case not available to "natives". Tafari and his Government, following established tradition, on the other hand made no distinction between Eritreans and other Ethiopians.

Eritreans educated abroad at Ethiopian Government expense included Lorenzo Taezaz, of Adi Caieh, Dawit Ogbazgy, of Daro Pawlos in Hamasen, and Saraqa Berhan Gabra Egzi, of Akala Guzay. Another Eritrean, Ato Ambay, who served as Ethiopian Political Director in Harar at the time of the Italian invasion, told the British journalist George Steer that he had left Eritrea "like all who had reached a certain level of education and could not bear a racial tyranny".

The Returnees

Ethiopia's student returnees were, for the most part, deeply patriotic. Their attitude may be seen in the words of a student, who, on returning from the United States, wrote in an Amharic poem:

If the Lord helps me and give me strength,
I wish to learn for the good of my country.
We will study diligently and learn much,
So that the foreigners will not come to rule us!
If we think and study with attention,
We will learn to do what others do.
We must study as much as we can
Because, if we do not study, our country will be finished: we will lose it.

A similar point of view was expressed by the LSE graduate Lej Yilma Deressa, who observed to the Hungarian journalist Ladislas Farago, immediately prior to the Italian war:

"We young Ethiopians are in duty bound to our country. We are the bridge that the Emperor has thrown across to European culture. It goes almost without saying that we are sent to finish our education in Europe or North Africa. Ethiopian students are to be found in all the important universities of the world. The Foreign Minister's sons studied in Oxford and Cambridge . . . This growing generation will complete the civilisation of our country."

See @Addis Tribune



OCTOBER , 1996

At the outset: I wish to express my most sincere thanks and appreciation to' Dr. Asfa Wossen Aserate and to the association of Orbis AETHIOPICUS for their kind invitation and for organizing this meeting with the lofty aim, as declared in their charter, for preserving and promoting Ethiopian culture.

It is, also, a great pleasure to visit the historic city of Halle which is associated with Hiob Ludoif, the pioneer of Ethiopian studies in Europe and the city in which Praetorius published his Fabula de Regina Sabae a apud Aethiopes in 1870, Grammatik der TigrinasDrache in Abessinien, in 1871 and Die amharische Sprache in 1879.

During the first phase, which I have referred to as 'The Jerusalem Perspective', the emphasis was on religious and cultural themes; while in the second phase, after Adwa, the acceptance of Ethiopia as a political entity is clearly evident and accordingly the scope of Ethiopian studies by non - Ethiopian scholars has broadened.

In considering the role of these foreign scholars one should pay tribute to the Ethiopian scholars and other informants who supplied them with many insights as well as immeasurable information on all aspects of the country's history and culture. I have as far as possible included them in this general survey.

The genesis of Ethiopian Studies in Europe, goes back to the Middle Ages when Ethiopia did not even appear distinctiy in the then known world map.

Jerusalem had served as the window through which Ethiopia was viewed by European scholars and pilgrims since the earliest time, while it also gave a glimpse of the rest of the world to Ethiopia during centuries when it was virtually isolated.

The Ethiopian Orthodox community is one of the most ancient in the Holy Land. There is written evidence of its presence in Jerusalem well before the Arab conquest. Enrico Cerulli in his monumental work Etiopi in Palestina cites letters of the pupils of St. Jerome who lived in Bethlehem from 386 to 412 A.D., mentioning the presence of an Ethiopian community in the Holy Land.

This fact is testified later by the Decree issued by the Khalif Omar ibn El Miattab, the Arab conqueror of Jerusalem, in 636 A.D., in which members of the Ethiopian community are described as residents of Jerusalem - as distinguished from those who came to Jerusalem as pilgrims - and were accorded the rights of ownership of property together with the Greeks and Iberians. Subsequently Sultan Selim 1(1512 - 1520) and Suliman 1(1520-1566) issued firmans which reinforced the privileges and immunity in the matter of taxes regarding the possessions of the Greeks, Ethiopians, Georgians and Serbs.1

In the middle of the 14th centuuy (1351) some Ethiopians began coming to Rome through the Holy Land and in 1441 during the Council of Florence Abba Niqodimos, the Abbot of the Ethiopian monastery of Jerusalem, is said to have sent a delegation of Ethiopian monks. The number of Ethiopian pilgrims in Rome gradually increased during the papacy of Sisto Iv (1471-1484). At that time the Church of Santo Stefano in Vaficano (St Stephn within the wall of the Vatican) and the adjoining hospice were granted by the Pope to the Ethiopian pilgrims. This property remains to this day in their possession, known as San Stefano dei Mon or degli Abissini (St. Stephen of the Abyssinians).

The Ottoman Turks occupied Syria and Palestine in 1516, Egypt in 1517; and Ethiopia was in a turmoil by the Islamic Jihad during the First half of the Sixteenth Century. During this period the Ethiopian monks in Jerusalem were in a desperate situation and many of them joined the different Catholic orders, such as the Franciscans and the Benedictines some of them migrated to Southern Europe, to Austria, Spain and mostly to Italy.

Some of these monks were eminent scholars well versed in Ethiopian languages, history and culture as well as theology and philosophy. Among those who settled at San Stefano in the Vatican, the most outstanding scholars who deserve special mention, are the following: Abba Tomas of Waldiba; Abba Tesfa Tsion Mallizo, who was commonly known in Rome as Pietro Indiano - Peter the Indian; Abba Gorgorios Eusebbi Hieronimi Opera, Sectio I, Pars 1, Espistulae, ed. 3. Hilberg, Vienna 1912, p. 292. cites a letter of the great Ecciessiastic Eusebius Hieronirnus - commonly known as St. Jerome to Lotta.

1i. Enrico Certilli: Etiopi in Palestina, (Vol. I Roma, 1943, Vol 11, Roma 1947).

iii. Das Reisbuch Ober Familie Rieter, ed. Rolinch et H. Meisner Bibiliothek des Literrarischen Vereins in Stuttgart, Tubingen 1884, Quoted in Cenilli Etioni in Palestina, Vol.1. p277. gives an account of the Ethiopian monks and their properties in the holyland by a Geraaan pilgrim from Nuremberg, Sebalg Rieter Sr. who visited the Holy Land in 1464.

...of Mekane Sellassie and, later on during the 19th Century, Debtera Kifle Giorgis.

Abba Tomas of Waldiba, who called himself son of Samuel, after the patron saint and founder of his monastery, was the pioneer in the scholastic endeavor of teaching the Geez alphabet and grammar in Europe. Among his students was the German scholar Johannes Potken, who for the first time printed the Psalms of David in Geez on3une30th, 1513.

Abba TesfaTsion Mallizo, known in Rome as Pietro Indiano (Peter the Indian), is referred to as erudite and flill of humility and love. He had published the New Testament in Geez in 1548-1549. He also translated the Anaphora of the Aposfies and the Baptismal prayers of the Ethiopian Church into Latin, with the help of two Italian scholars, Paolo Giovo and Pietro Gualtieri who was a polyglot and secretary to the Pope. Subsequenfly, with the help of Mario Vittorio di Rieti (who later became a bishop of his native region Rieti) he published a grammar of the Geez language and a list of Ethiopian sovereigns. Abba Tesfa Tsion came from Jerusalem to Rome in 1538 and stayed there for twelve years. He died in Tivoli at the age of forty-two in 1550.

Among the well known Europeans who were instructed by the Ethiopian monks were Atanasio Kircher and Jacobus Wenuners, the author of the first Geez or Ethiopic-Latin dictionary during the first half of the 17th century. The Danish scholar Theodor Peter, who edited a number of Ethiopian studies and the Dorninican Maria Wansleb, are also credited for considerable achievements.

However, no one has profited and utilized his leaniing as much as Hiob Ludoif, the German scholar who was instructed by Abba Gorgorios or Gregory of Mekane Sellassie, assisted for translation from Arnharic to German by D'Andrade Antonio, son of a Portugese father and an Ethiopian mother. Ludoif's Grammatica Aethiopica (1661), Historia Aethiopica (1681), which was translated into English, French and Dutch; Cornmentary on the History (1691), Grammatica Linguae Amharicae (1698), and Lexicon Aethiopico - Latinum (1661) became the standard authoritative texts for teaching Ethiopian studies in European universities and centers of learning until DilImaun' 5 monumental works in the nineteenth century published between 1847 and 1894, notably his Lexicon (1865) and Grammar ( in 1857 in German, English translation in 1907), as well as the Ethiopian version of the books of Enoch (1851), Jubilees (1859), Ascencion of Isaiah (1877), and the Histories of Arride Tsion and Zera Yacob (1884)

During the 19th century Dabtera Kefle Giorgis came from Jerusalem and resided in Rome at the Ethiopian convent of Santo Stefano (St. Stephen) in the Vatican for eleven years from 1887 to 1898. He taught Geez and Amharic, grammar and literature to eminent scholars such as Ignazio Guidi and Francesco Gallina, among others. Then he returned to Jerusalem and after ten years he died there in 1908. Many of his illustrious pupils have contributed immensely to the advancement of Ethiopian studies.

Another monk who had spent a considerable number of years in Jerusalem and Egypt, who certainly merits a mention for his valuable contribution, is Abba Abraham, also referred to as Abu Rumi, Abu Ruhh or Abba Rukh who is said to have been a native of Gojjam. He translated the Old and the New Testament of the Bible from the classical Ethiopic language Geez to the vernacular language 'Amharic'. He was assigned to this task by M. Asselin, the French Vice Consul in Cairo, and it took him no fewer than ten years, from 1808 to 1818, to accomplish this monumental work. The manuscript of the Amharic Bible was later purchased by the British and Foreign Bible Society and the complete Bible was published in 1840.

The learned monks who came from Jerusalem to Egypt and Europe were not, however, the sole source for disseminating knowledge pertaining to Ethiopia in Europe. Onesimos Nessib has translated the Bible to the Oromo language which was published in 1899. Aleqa Ta~wolde Medhin Ga~bru of Adw a, Menthir Tawolde Medhin Ga.bre Medhin of Hamasen assisted by Dawit Emmanuel (later known as Professor Tamrat Emmanuel), and Memhir Ga..ba..z formerly of Dabre Bizen translated the New Testament into Tigrigna in collaboration with their Swedish counterpart Dr. and Mrs. C. Winquist and K.G. Roden of the Lutheran Evangelical Mission. The New Testament in Tigrigna was published in 1902. The Old Testament was translated only in 1956.

Earlier during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries Portuguese travelers and missionaries provided a considerable amount of information on Ethiopia, which they referred to as the Land of Prester John.

The earliest of these, Francisco Alvares, chaplain to the Portuguese mission of 1520-27 to Emperor Lebna Dinlgil, left a vivid account of the country and the court of the time Later travellers, namely Manoel de Almeida, Je'r6me Lobo, Manoel Barradas, Baltazar Tellez and the Spaniard Pe~ro Pais also collected data and published valuable accounts of the country. Most of these works have been translated into several languages.

The French traveller and physician, Charles Poncet, visited Ethiopia early in the eighteenth century during the reign of Iyasu I, and wrote and published his accounts of late seventeenth and early eighteenth century Ethiopia.

Later in the eighteenth century the Scottish traveller James Bruce of Kinnaird travelled in Ethiopia and brought back a great many manuscripts which are in part lodged at the Bodlejan Library at Oxford. Bruce wrote the famous controversial but informative work in five volumes, entided Travels to Discover the source of the Nile, which was first published in Edinburgh in 1790. Other travellers of his tiiine, who published accounts of their visit included the Czech Prutky and the Armenian Tovmachean. The nineteenth century was most productive in expanding the horizon of Ethiopian studies in Europe. During the first decades of the nineteenth century British travellers such as Gorge Viscount Valentia, his emissary Henry Salt and his companions Nathaniel Pearce and William Coffm, followed by Walter Plowden contributed considerable information, especially about the socio-political conditions of Northern Ethiopia; and Coniwailis Harris on Shoa and the adjacent territories. Mansfield Parkyns, who lived in Tigray for a number of years, Dr. Charles Beke who traveled in central region and Richard Burton who from Somalia in the East penetrated as far as Harar, have given ethno-geographic and econonuc accounts of the territories they visited. Among those who were held captive by Emperor Tewodros, - Henry Stern, Hormuzd Rassam, Dr. Henry Blanc and Theophilos Waldemeier have written about their experience and provided useflil information on the history of the period. Clements Markham and the official historians of the British Magdala expedition, Captains Holland and Hozier, have also produced a detailed account of the British expedition to release the captives, along with information they gathered and what they witnessed in 1868. John Hotten, Sir Gerald Portal, W. Winstanley, Harrison Smith, E.A. De Cosson, Edward Gleichen, Charles Johnston have written also interesting account of their missions and visit to Ethiopia.

French emissaries, members of scientific missions and travellers, have published many works, and have left a considerable amount of archival material which can be found in the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris, the Vatican library, and in private collections.

Edmond Combes, Maurice Tamisier, Theophile Lefebvre, leader of a scientific mission, and the rn~iitary officers P.V.A Ferret and J.G.Galiriier, travelled from Tigray to Shoa. Charles-Francois-Xavier Rochet d'Hericourt visited Shoa only, while Jules Borelli travelled from Shoa to western and Southern Ethiopia. A number of other Frenchmen went to Tigray and Gondar. The most important were the brothers Antoine and Arnauld d'Abbadie, who stayed in Ethiopia for a considerable time and kept in contact with Ethiopia by correspondence after returning to France; Guillaume Lejean, Stanislas Russel, Achille Raffray, Ernest de Sarzec, whose papers were published by J.de Coursac, Gabriel Simon, Denis de Rivoyre. Mention should also be made of the Belgian, Eduard Blondeel van Cuelebroeck, who travelled in Tigray, and wrote extensive reports.

The Swiss scholar Werner Munzinger, who lived for a number of years in Bogos and Massawa and served fmally the Khedjve of Egypt as Governor of Eastern Sudan has contributed an etimo-geographic study especially of Bogos. Another Swiss, an engineer by profession, Alfred Ilg lived in Shoa and became confidant of Menelik during the last quarter of the nineteenth century and first years of the twentieth. He was considered a reliable source on the political and economic conditions of Ethiopia during that period.

The German travellers and scholar Eduard Ruppell he undertook a scientific research investigating the fauna and flora of northern and central Ethiopia from 1830 to 1834. During his stay he developed a close friendship with Liqe Atsqu, a renown Ethiopian scholar, much of whose knowledge related to the culture and history of Ethiopia was incorporated in Ruppel's book Reise in Abyssinien. His great collections are a precious possession of the Senckenberg Museum and the Senckenberg Society of Natural Science at Frankfiirt.

Another German scientist, Wilhelm Schimper, (Baron von Falirenbach) who lived first with Dedjazmatch Wube in Semen and later in Tigray for decades had made himself knowledgeable not only in the field of botany but also on the political and economic conditions of the country.

In the field of linguistic August Dillmann (1823-1894) was the successor of Hiob Ludolf with whom can claim the honour of being regarded as the founder of Ethiopian philology in Europe. Dillrnann's Lexicon Linguae Aethiopicae, has not been superseded. His Grammar of the Ethiopian Language and Geez Chrestomathy are excellent. His writings on the Aksumjte empire and on the reign of zar'a Yae'qob manifest, also, the scope of his historical interest.

Franz Praetorius (1847-1927) was another illustrious German scholar in Ethiopian philology. Praetorius expanded the scope of Ethiopian study which was confmed to Geez by including all the other semetic languages of Ethiopia - Amharic, Tigrinya, Tigre, Gurage and Harari. Subsequenfly, the scholastic writings of Praetorius included the Cushitic languages of Ethiopia on Agaw and above all his Galla Grammatik(l 893).

Theodor Von Heuglin and Gerhard Rohlfs who travelled in central and northern Ethiopia have written interesting account of their voyage and description of their respective mission.

Italian emissaries, from 1870s to 1890's prior to Adwa had been very active in gathering and publishing scientific, ethno-geographic, historical and economic data related to Ethiopia while pursuing their political goal. In this context we may mention Antonio Cecchi, Giovanni Chiarini who have provided an interesting ethno-historical account; and on the political field, Count Pietro Antonelli, Dr. Leopoldo Traversi, and Dr. Vincenzo Ragazzi all members of the Reale Societa Geografica Italiana which had established a scientific station in Shoa under the supervision of Marchese Orazio Antinori in 1876 and was in operation until 1891. Count Augusto Salimbeni who operated in Gojjam and subsequently as the official political representative of the Italian government in Shoa has written an interesting Diary; while Gustavo Bianchi and Pellegrino Matteucci, representing a Milanese commercial establishment and' travelled in Northern Ethiopia and in the Oromo territory, have produced useful studies even if their sources are sometimes questionable. The Istituto Orientale in Naples directed by Professor Francesco Gallina had become a center of Ethiopian studies. Afe Worq Ga~bre Yesus who later had the title of Negadras and Afe Qesar, consecutively, and Sengal Worqneh among others were engaged as instructors.

The Austrian Friedrich Bieber, who penetrated southward as far as Kafa, have unfolded a great deal concerning the ethno-geographic, economic and political condition of the regions he visited. Another Austrian scholar, D.H. Mu~ller has deciphered the South Arabian inscriptions of Yeha and Aksum.

A Greek physisist Nicolas Parisis has written on health condition on Ethiopia during the last quarter of the nineteenth century and the social condition of the country.

The Catholic missionaries such as Mgrs. Gugliemo Massaja (later Cardinal), Turin Cahagne and Andre, Jarousseau, Fathers Leon des Avanchers, Martial de Salviac have provided a considerable amount of information and serious studies on Central, Ern Ethiopia; and members of the Lazarist mission Mgr.de Jacobis, Fathers Giuseppe Sapeto, Giovanni Stella, Biancheri, Touvier and Duflos have provided extensive information in their correspondence and publications on Northern Ethiopia comprising the region of present-day Eritrea, Tigrai and the Afar territory.

Similarly, among the Protestant missionaries Samuel Gobat, who later became the second Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem, The Reverends Johannes B. Krapf and Carl. W. Isenberg, Henry Stern, J.M. Flad, Theophilus Waldmeier; and the Swedish Lutheran Johannes Kolmodin, have provided invaluable ethno-geographic, linguistic, sociological, religious, historical data and numerous publications on various topics related to Ethiopia.

All these scholars, travellers and missionaries have brought large quantities of historical relics particularly in the form of manuscripts - which aje now found in abundance in various centers of learning, Institutes, Universities, Public and Monastic or Church Libraries, Museums and private collections. The largest collection of manuscripts that were carried away en masse, however, were those taken by the British during the Magdala expedition of 1868. The acquisition of the manuscripts and historical relics have helped and reinforced the development of Ethiopian studies, particularly in Europe and to a lesser extent in other countries of the world.


After the Ethiopian victory gained at Adwa over the Italian armed forces, in March 1896, the European powers considered Ethiopia as a power to be reckoned with and they established diplomatic relations by opening legations in Addis Ababa. The French, the British, and the Italian, followed by the Russian, the German and the American governments, sent their envoys to the Court of Menelik. On the whole, with the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 and the establishment of diplomatic ties of a permanent nature, Ethiopia was drawn closer to Europe and subsequenfly to the rest of the world.

Cultural co-operation agreements were concluded with a number of countries which facilitated the undertakirig of archaeological studies. After the Rosen mission to Ethiopia, the Deutsche Aksum-Expedition led by the eminent German scholar Professor Enno Littmann arrived in Tigray and stayed there from January to April 1906. They carried out excavations at different sites in and around Aksum. The result of their endeavors is fully described in the monumental work which Littemann published in four volumes in 1913, in Berlin. After a long pause the archaeological research continued in the 1950's and 1960's by a French group and currenfly by British group as well as an American and an Italian archaeologists.

In Germany, the birth place of Ethiopian studies in Europe, Hiob Ludolf's, August Dillmann's, Franz Praetorius's and Enno Littmann's tradition has been carried on by eminent scholars, E. Glaser has unraveled the Aksumite inscriptions in Arabia and Meroe. In linguistics and history Theodor Noldeke, C. Brockelmaun, A.Klingenheben, have written a great deal. Eugen Mittwoch held the professorial chair for Ethiopian studies in the University of Berlin, which was created after the German diplomatic relation with Ethiopia was established by the Friedrich Rosen mission in 1905. Mittwoch benefited by his collaboration with two renown Ethiopianscholars Aleqa Taye Gabre Maryam, who lectured in Berlin at the seminar for oriental languages from 1905 to 1907, and Blatengeta Heruy Wolde Sellassie who had alengthy stay in Germany in 1923. Mittwoch published a large number of works on popular traditions of the Amhara and on Geez.

Historical and cultural research in Southern Ethiopia was initiated by Adolf Ellegard Jensen, one of the most outstanding student of the distinguished Africanist Leo Forbenius in 1934-35, which was followed up after World War II by members of Frobenius Institute. Eike Haberland's study of the Oromo in Southern and Western Ethiopia has broadened our understanding of their culture and traditions.

E. Hammerschmidt has provided studies on Ethiopian Church history and literature. C.Rathjens has elucidated the Judaic elements in Ethiopian culture, religion and history.

Among the living scholars Siegbert Uhlig of the University of Hamburg has written on Ethiopian paleography and succeded Ernest Hammerschmidt as editor of 'A thiopistische Forschungen". Veronika Six is active in cataloging Ethiopian manuscripts and has edited the Gadla Abuna Tadewos of Dabra Maryam (Lake Tana). Manfred Kropp of the University of Mainz has written on medjaeval Ethiopian history. Bairu Tafla of the University of Hamburg apart from his historical writings on Ethiopian history in general he has written on the relations of Ethiopia with Germany and Austria Hungary. Ulrich Braukamper of the University of Gottingen has written on the ethnology and anthropology of the Hadiyya-people in Ethiopia. In the linguistic field Reiner Maria Voigt of the University of Berlin has written on the Semetic languages in Ethiopia. Ewald Wagner of the University of GieBen mainly on Harari philology and linguistic. Renate Richter of the University of Mainz on Ainharic. Anton Schall of the University of Heidelberg; Verena Boll of the University of Hamburg and Frederick Heyer have contributed studies related to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church history, leterature and Qine (Peotry).

Marcel Cohen, the eminent French scholar was a leading figure in Ethiopian linguistics and philology at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes des Langues Orientales Vivantes, in Paris and produced a number of distinguished disciples such as Wolf Leslau, and Stefan Strelcyn, among others. Other French scholars such as Albert Kammerer, Jules Perruchon, William Conzelman, Rene Basset, Cardinal Euge~ne Tisserant, Sylvain Gre'baut, Fathers J. Baeteman and Jean Baptist (J.B). Coulbeaux; J.G. Vanderheym, Paul Soleillet, J.L. Morie, Paul Lauribar, A. Girard, Maxim Rodinson, Marcel Griaule, Jean Doresse, R. Schneider, A. Caquot, Francis Anfray and Joseph Tubiana have expanded our knowledge of the archaeology, history, linguistics and culture of Ethiopia. Several of these scholars, notably Griaule and Tubiana, were mtimately linked to Abba Jerome Gabre Muse, a distinguished Ethiopian scholar, who in the later part of his life resided in France, teaching at the Ecole Nationale des Langues Orientales Vivantes.

The great Italian scholars such as Ignazio Guidi, Francesco Gallina, M.Martino Moreno, have added considerably to the development of all aspects of Ethiopian Studies. Carlo Rossini's monumental work 'Storia d'Etiopia' covering the Axurnite period and different historical, ethno-geographical, ecclesiastical, sociological and linguistic studies, particularly focused on Northern Ethiopia, were and still are fundamental guide posts to Ethiopian studies. The same can be said of Enrico Cerulli's numerous publications especially on the languages and histories of Harar, Sidamo, Giangero, Kaffina; his valuable work entifled Etiopi in Palestina, Storia della letteratura etiopica and The Folk Literature of the Gallas and his studies on the relation of the Walasma and other Islamic sultanates as well as Islam in general with the central govenment of Ethiopia in "L'Islam di ieri e di Oggi (1971)"

Other Italian scholars and statesmen such as Ferdinando Martini, Ruffmo Perini, Alberto Pollera, Lincoln De Castro, Carlo Zaghi, Roberto Battaglia, Luigi Fusella, Gaetano Salvemini, Mauro Da Leonessa, C.Annaratone, Luca Dei Sabelli, Carlo Rosetti Domenico Brielli, Carlo Gigho, who edited the series of texts and documents 'L'Italia in Africa', and Salvatore Tedeschi have thrown some light on some aspects of Ethiopian history and linguistics. Notably Lanfranco Ricci, the most important currently active, Messandro Triulzi, G. Calchi-Novati, Irma Tadia, Paolo Marrassini, Angelo Del Boca, and Alessandro Rossi are stlll adding to the legacies of their predecessors.

In general those studies made by Italian scholars have opened new vistas and heightened the level of our understanding of the history, culture, religion, linguistics, economics and ethno-geography of Ethiopia.

In England: The works of Sir E.A. Wallis Budge, H. Weld Blundell, Augustus Wylde, George F-H. Berkeley, R.H. Charles, C.T. Bent, H.M. Hyatt, Archbishop David Mathew, C.F. Beckirigham, G.W.B. Huntingford, Spencer Trirnirigham and David Buxton have added significantly in widening the horizon of Ethiopian studies. S.H. Longrigg, G.K.N. Trevaskis and Sir Duncan Cumming have written on the history and A. Paul,S.F. on thje anthropological aspects of Eritrea. Professor Edward Ullendorff has contributed immensely to linguistic, historical and religious studies and he attained the first professorial chair created for Ethiopian studies at the prestigious School of Oriental and African Studies of the University of London from the 1960's until his retirement recently.

Dame Margery Perham and Christopher Clapham have written on the government and political structure of Ethiopia. A.H.M. Jones and Elizabeth Monroe (Mrs. Neam) have provided a concise history of Ethiopia up to the Italo-Ethiopian war of the 1930's. Charles Ray, C.H.Walker, Colonel Cheesman, Christine Sandford and Wilfred Thesiger have provided firsthand account of their Ethiopian experience. Apart from her devoted struggle for Ethiopian independence, from the Italian fascist aggression, Miss Sylvia Pankhurst had compiled a cultural history and on other aspects related to Ethiopia.

In Russia: Boris Turaiev has contibuted to Ethiopian Studies in his annotated translation of the Life of St. Ewostatewos in Latin and in preparing the catalogue' of the Ethiopian manuscripts at St. Petersburg. Maria Right has been for some time the organizer of Ethiopian studies. Yuri Kobishchanov has published an interesting study on the Axtanite period. Chenkov has written on Russo-Ethiopian relation from the Foneenth century to the present. Tsybkin George has published a study on Menelik II. Madam Shawra has conducted an extensive research on Ethiopian ethnography. E.B. Gankin in collaboration with two Ethiopians, Kassa Gabre Hiywet and Kebede Desta, has produced an excellent Arriharic-Russian and Russian Arnharic dictionary. S.B. Chernestov, D.A Oldergge, A.G. Loundin, M.D'Jakonov, v.Y. Poichomesky, M.V Krivov, E.Titov, V. Strainn, N.Zhvania, Gurr~or and Chawra have written on the linguistic and other fields of study related to Ethiopia.

In Poland: Ethiopian studies were well set up by Stefan Strelcyn whose important example has been followed by scholars such as Andrzej Zaborsicy, Joanna Mantel-Niecko and Bogdan Zurawski.

Belgian scholars G. and J.Ryekmans, Albert Jamme; the Dutch scholar A.J.Drewes have described the South Arabian inscriptions related to the ancient history of Ethiopia.

Austrian scholars L. Reinisch, R.M. Voigt, have written in the linguistic field. Otto Neugebauer's published work : Ethiopic Astronomy and Computu'ts is superb.

The Portuguese scholar F.M. Esteves Pereira and the Georgian physicist Dr. P. Merab have written significantly on various aspects of Ethiopian history.

Among non-Ethiopian scholars who were resident in Ethiopian or drawn to the University of Addis Ababa, Richard Paiikhurst has contributed a great deal, in raising the level of our knowledge especially about the social and economic history of Ethiopia and on many other aspects of the country. The Swedish scholar Sven Rubenson has produced distinguished historical studies on the modern political history of Ethiopia. John Makarkis, the late Richard Caulk and Donald Crwnmey have written extensively on socio-political and historical studies; Greek scholars Pierre Petrides and Adrien Zervos, the Ghanaian scholar R.H.Kofi Darkwah on different aspects of Ethiopia history. Jim Paul, Heinrich Scholler and Nathan Marein have published on legal studies; Claude Sumner on philosophical studies; Stanislaw Chojnacki on the history of Art.

Ethiopian studies in the United States started relatively recently as compared to Europe. An interesting account was given by Robert Skinner, the first envoy of the United States to the court of Menelik, in his book 'Abyssinja To-day', early in the present century. Serious scholarly work, however, was initiated in the linguistic field by Wolf Leslau, who can be described as the founder of Ethiopian Studies in America and has contributed significantly to the development of Ethiopian studies. Donald Levine, William Shack Frederick Simoons, and Allen Hoben have written extensively on Sociological studies. Ernest Work has written on late nineteenth and early twentieth century diplomatic history. William Hansbury has provided serious studies in the area of ancient history. The late Robert Hess, Herbert Lewis, Chris Prouty Rosenfeld and Harold Marcus in various topics related to the Modern history of Ethiopia.

John Spencer's 'Ethiopia at Bay', which is a memoire of his personal experience in the service of the Ethiopian government as principal adviser in Foreign Affairs since the eve of the Italo-Ethiopian War in the 1930's, has given us invaluable insight to the post-war Ethiopian foreign policy and the various problems which it encountered. Peter Garretson and Paul Henze have each produced several interesting articles and monographs on various aspects of historical and current Ethiopian affairs. Several others are engaged in carrying out researches pertaining to Ethiopia in the various academic disciplines.

In the Middle East Riwaq al-Jabartiyya had been established at the famous teaching center in al-Azhar, in Cairo, for centuries, and produced eriiinent Ethiopian scholars. During the reign of Menelik II Sadiq Al-Mu'ayyad al-Azm was sent to Ethiopia by the Turkish Sultan Abd al-Harnid to pave the way for strategic cooperation against Italian ambition in Libya. Al-Azm wrote a favourable account of his voyage in Turkish under the tide of Habesh Siyahetnanehsi which subsequently was translated into Arabic and was published under the title Rihat al-Habasha (The Ethiopian Voyage), in 1908. Al Azm's book had become the standard book of reference on Ethiopia throughout the middle East for three decades.

When the Italo-Ethiopian crisis developed in the 1930's two pro-Ethiopian and two opposed books were published in Cairo by Arab authors which influenced public opinion in the Islamic world. Abdallah-Husayn and Muhammad Lufti Jum'a, both expressed positive view of Ethiopia, in support of her struggle for retaining her independence. While Yusuf Ahmad and the Lebanese Christan Bulus Mas'ad supported Italy portraying Ethiopia as barbarous and an enemy of Islam. The latter view was strongly supported by the renown writer, the Lebanese Druze, Arnir Shakib Arsian. All three were subsidized by the Italian government. After the Second World War three Egyptian scholars, namely Murad Kamil, Zahir Riyad and Merrit Boutros Ghalli have written extensively on Ethiopia and its relation with Egypt and the Coptic church. Other Arab authors have focused mostly on Eritrea, in support of its independence from Ethiopia.

In Israel H.J. Polotsky, the world renowned Egyptologist and Sernitist, had established the tradition of excellence in Ethiopian studies. Chaim Rabin, whom I had the opportuuity of knowing when he was teaching at Oxford in the 1940's and subsequently held a professorial chair at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, has accomplished significant studies on ancient West Arabian languages including Ethiopic. The extensive study of Gideon Goldenburg on lingustic is superb.

Other Israeli scholars especially Olga Kapeliuk, Shiomo Raz, Itzhak Grinfeld, Baruch Podolsky, A Dolgopolsky have written extensively on theoretical linguistic, philology and general comparative syntax of Hamito-Semitic languages and literature of Ethiopia. In historical studies Mordechai Abir and Haggal Erlich have published studies on varied topics of Ethiopian history.

The knowledge of the existence of the Falasha started vaguely in Europe in Eldad's account in the ninth century and was supplemented by that of Benjamin of Tudela, a Spanish Jew who disseminated some information which he gathered while travelling from Yemen to Egypt during the twelfth century. Subsequently hardly much was heard about the Falasha for a long time until the Portugese travellers in the sixteenth century made some passing references to their existence. James Bruce gave a more detailed account of the Falasha in the eighteenth century. During the later half of the nineteenth century the wriLings of Protestant missionaries such as Henry Stern and F.M. Had, who were sent to Ethiopia to convert them to Christianity, insfigated the Alliance Israelite Universelle to send the famous Semitist scholar Joseph Halevy in 1867.

The serious study which was ihifiated by Halevy was carried on by his pupil Jacques Faitlovitch who travelled to Ethiopia in 1904, under the auspices of Baron Edmond de Rothschild. Faitlovitch dedicated his life to the cause of the Falashas. In his first voyage in 1904 and in his successive visits to Ethiopia in 1908, 1913 and 1920. He took with him young men to study in Europe and in Jerusalem. He opened schools in Asmara and Addis Ababa. He established an extensive Library which is now absorbed in the University of Tel-Aviv.

Carlo Conti Rossini, Enrico Cerulli, Wolf Leslau, Edward Ullendorff, A.Z. Aescoli, Steven Kaplan have all written extensively on the history, religion, and way of life related to the Beta Israel or as they are commonly known, the Falasha - adherents of pre-Talmud, pre-Midrash Judaism. Other such as James Quirin have written on The Evolution of the Ethiopian Jews; Frederick Gamst on the 'The Oemant: A Pagan - Hebraic Peasantry of Ethiopia'; Kay Kaufman Shelemay on: Music Ritual: and Falasha History'

Recent events which resulted in the mass migration of the Falashas to Israel has drawn a number of scholars, notably Chaim Rosen, who had conducted earlier anthropological research in northern Ethiopia, and Shalva Weil to undertake various aspects of in-depth studies.

Over the past twenty years there has been a growing interest in Ethiopia by Japanese scholars, notably in the field of social anthropology. Their studies have concentrated on the south west of the country, in particular on pastoralist societies. The pioneer was Professor Katsuyoshi Fukui, whose students include Eisei Kurimoto, Motoji Matsuda, Yukio Miyawaki and Masayoshi Shigeta. The extent of Japanese involvement is evident from the fact that they will be sponsoring the Thirteenth International Conference of Ethiopian Studies, the first to be held in the Far East.

On the history of the Protestant and Catholic missions in Ethiopia during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries: Donald Crnmmey, Priests and Politicians Protestant and Catholic Missions in Orthodox Ethiopia 1830 - 1868; and a study by Sven Rubenson entifled The Missionary Factor in Ethiopia: Consequences of a Colonial Context are invaluable. Aleme Eshete has written on the lazarist Mission to Ethiopia. From the missionary view point Gustav Aren, Evan~elical Pioneers in Ethiopia and Kevin O'Mahoney. The Ebulient Phoenix, portray the Protestant and the Catholic stand respectively.

* * *

At this juncture I propose to state the great benefit derived by the publication of annotated translations made of important inaccessible writings which have facilitated the development of Ethiopian Studies.

Significant contribution have been made available in the tradition of B. Glaser, Enno Littmann, D.H. Mul~ler and C. Conti Rossini in deciphering South Arabian inscriptions which have relevance to the ancient history of Ethiopia by G., Ryckmans, H. St. J.B. Philby, Maria Hofrier, A.F.L. Beeston, W.F. Albright, Mile. J. Pirenne, J. Ryckmans and Albert Jamme.

The annotated translation from Greek by J.W. Mc Crindle of "Christian Topographytt, written by the sixth-century traveller Cosmas Indicopleustes; and W.H. Schoff's translation, of "Periplus Maris Ervthraej'9 , also from Greek, by an anonymous author of the second century have contributed considerably to our knowledge of the ancient history of Ethiopia during the Axumite period. It has recently been translated by G.W.B. Huntingford.

The translation from Arabic into English by B.T.A. Evetts with notes by A.3. Butler of "Churches And Monasteries Of Egypt And Some Neighbourin~ Countries" written by an Armenian scholar Abu Salih early in the thirteenth century, has been valuable in shedding light on the development of the Ethiopian Church at the beginng of the Middle Ages, which was just prior to the restoration of the Solomonic dynasty in the thirteenth century. Similarly, the publications by the Hakluyt society of the Portugese studies of Ethiopia during the sixteenth and seventeenth century have provided some insight into the conditions that existed in Ethiopia prior, during and in the aftermath of the Islamic Jihad (Holy War) led by Ahmed Ibn Ibrahim Al Ghazi commonly known in Ethiopia by the nickname 'Gragn' (the left handed).

Apart from the outstanding contributions of Carlo Conti Rossini, Enrico Cerulli and 3. Spencer Trirningham in illuminating the historical relation between the Christian State of Ethiopia and Islam, two serve to be mentioned in this context. The translation of the twelvth century North African scholar, Maqrizi's "Kitab al- "'lam- which described the spread of Islamic Emirates (Principalities) in Southern Ethiopia into Latin, by the Dutch scholar E.T. Ririck; and the translation of Shihab ad-Din's Futuh al-Habasha - the official chronicle of the Holy War during the sixteenth century - into French, by the French scholar Rene' Basset. These two translations with the annotations provided especially by R. Basset have made these valuable books accessible to readers who do not possess a knowledge of Arabic.

The Dutch scholar Emeri J.Van Donzel and the Egyptian scholar Murad Kamil have each translated the Arabic text of 'Sirat el Habasha' written by El Haymi al Hasan bin Ahined, an envoy of El-Mutawakkal, the 'man of Yemen to the Ethiopian Emperor Fasilades during the seventeenth century. Based on the text of El Haymi, Emeri J. Van Donzel has written. Yemeni Embassv to Ethiopia 1647 - 1649 and Foreign Relations of Ethiopia 1642 - 1700 ; and Murad Kamil has written a book in Arabic entitled 'Fi Blad el Negashi' - (In the Country of the Negus).

The edited annotated translation of Ethiopian books and documents to European languages have added new dimension to the original texts and made them accessible to readers who are not versed with Geez the classical ethiopic - or Amharic.

In this context I would like to mention the followings: The Kebra Nagast - The glory of kings - by C.Bezold. The Fet'ha Nagast - (the Law of Kings-), Ser'ata Mangest (the rule of Government, The Be'la Nagast - (The Wealth of kings) by Iganazio Guidi. Emperor Zer'a Yae'qob's Matshafe Berhan . (the Book of Light) - by Carlo Conti Rossini and Lanfranco Ricci. The Victories of Amda Seyon by August Dillrnann and subsequently by G.W.B. Hantingord. Some Records of Ethiopia 1536-1646 in which Abba Balirey's History of the Galla is included by C.F. Beckingham and G.W.B. Huntingford. Emperor Haile Sellassie's Autobiography by Edward Ullendorif.

The chronicles of the various Ethiopian Emperors by August Dillmann, Ignazio Guidi, Carlo Conti Rossini, Jules Perruchon, W. Conzelman, F.M. Esteves Pereira, H.Weld Blundell, Enno Litmami, F.M.C Mondon Vidailhet, Luigi Fusella, Larifranco Ricci, Marius Chaine and Bairu Tafla. The chronicle of Menelik II which was translated from Amharic into French by Abba Tesfa Selassie, edited and annotated by Maurice de Coppet. The abbreviated chronicles by C. Fonti, Francesco Beguinot, Richard Pankhurst. The letters of Ethiopian Emperors and statesmen of the modem era, entitled 'Acta AethioDica' by Sven Rubenson which is still in progress.

The voluminous work by C. Beccari entitled "Rerum AethioDicarum Scriptores inediti a saeculo XVI ad XIX.', contains important historical material especially on the religious history of Ethiopia extending from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century.

The Ethiopic version of the book of Enoch specially attracted the attention of many eminent scholars such as A. Dillmann, R.H. Charles, J. Flemming, L. Goldschmidt, E. Ullendorff due to the fact that in the absence of a full version in the Aramaic, Hebrew or other languages, "even after the discovery of Aramaic Dead Sea fragments" as Ullendorff points out in his monumental book Ethiopia and the Bible (p. 75)," the Ethiopic version still offers the only complete text."

The publication of the translation of the Ethiopic Liturgy by S.A.B Mercer, the Ethiopic Synaxarium- 'Book of the saints of the Ethiopian Church' by Sir E.A.Wallis Budge. The various lives of saints, homilies (Dirsan) and sacred writings comprising Ethiopic texts of some books of the Bible and apocrypha, annotated by eminent scholars such as Carlo Conti Rossini, Ignazio Guidi, Enrico Cerulli, F.M. Esteves Pereira, Boris Turaiev, mostly in learned journals such as Patrologia Orientalis, Zeitschrift fur Assvriolo~ie, Oriente Modemo, Rendiconti. Regia Accademia dei Lincei, Corpus Scriptonim Christianorum Orientalium (Louvin) have provided sound foundations for Ethiopian studies.

Although the theme of this paper is the contribution of non-Ethiopian scholars it would be appropriate to add a few work written by Ethiopians in European languages in order to show the collaboration undertaken in developing Ethiopian studies world wide.

The series of annotated translations of Ethiopian manuscripts and various type of documents by Getachew Haile into English and by Ya'eqob Beyene into Italian. Cardinal Paulos Tsadua has translated the Fetha Na~ast (the Law of Kings) from Geez into Amharic and in collaboration with Peter Strauss subsequenfly published with commentary in English. In the historical field: Sergew Hable Sellassie, Ancient and Mediaeval Ethiopian History to 1270 ; Tadesse Tamrat, Church and State in EthioDia 1270-1527; Girmah Besha and Mend Wolde Aregay, The Guestion of Union of the Churches in Luso - Ethiopian Relations (1500 - 1632); Balini Zewde, A History of Modern Ethiopia 1855 - 1974 and Zewde Gabre - Sellassie, Yohannes IV of Ethiopia, A Political Biography.

On Social studies : Berhanu Abebe has published La propriete foncie're au Choa (Ethiopie) du reigne de Menelik a' la constitution de 1931 and Tsehay Berhane Sellassie has produced studies on traditions of different localities and gender issues in Ethiopia.

* * * *

Let me conclude by making a few remarks of gratitude to non - Ethiopian scholars in general who have devoted their time and energy m developing Ethiopian studies in all its aspects. I wish, also, to seize this opportliflity to pay my homage and tribute by sharing with you my reminiscences: to four great scholars in Ethiopian studies whom I have had the fortune and the privilege to know.

1. Professor Edward Ullendorif, I have known for many years. He has been a source of inspiration to me and a real friend at all times. I am indebted to him, personally for the assistance he rendered so generously in seeing to the publication of my manuscript Yohannes IV, through the Oxford University Press, at a time when I was immersed in the political turmoil of Ethiopia in the mid-seventies.

2. Professor Marcel Cohen whom, in my student days in the late forties I had the opporturlity of visiting several times at his home in Viroflay and enjoyed his warm hospitality and stimulating discourse on different aspects of Ethiopian studies.

3. Dr. Enrico Cerulli was not only captivating in his knowledge of Ethiopia in all its manifold facets but he was also human and sympathetic in rendering his assistance. In my successive stays in Rome he helped me get access to the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, the Vatican Library, Propaganda Fidei and the Archivio Storico del ex-Ministero dell' Africa Italiana - which was the archive of the defimct Ministry of Italian Africa.

4. Last but not least, Professor Enno Littinami, the renowned semtist,who after visiting Jerusalem and spending some time with the Ethiopian monks there in 1900, led 'The Princeton Expedition to Mensa in Eritrea and The Deutsche Aksum Expedition' to Axum in 1905-1906. My father was the governor of Tigrai at the time. Littinaun collaborated with him. They soon developed a close tie of friendship, mutual respect and admiration between them.

I had the privilege of visiting him twice at Tubingen in the late forties and early fifties and corresponded with him until the late fifties in his final year. His love for Ethiopia, its culture and tradition had not faded with the passage of time. His lucid mastery of classical Ethiopic, commonly known as Geez, was still intact.

Let me close by inviting you to glance at Littmann's Geez letter dated 3rd Megabit 1949 Ethiopian Calendar which corresponds to March 12th 1957, In response to my letter of February 2Oth, 1957, just a year before he passed away.

Letter 2 Letter 1

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