Ge'ez language

Ge'ez language

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Ge'ez is an ancient South Semitic
South Semitic
South Semitic is a commonly accepted branch of the Semitic languages. Semitic itself is a branch of the larger Afro-Asiatic language family found in Africa and Asia....

 language
Language
Language may refer either to the specifically human capacity for acquiring and using complex systems of communication, or to a specific instance of such a system of complex communication...

 that developed in the northern region of Ethiopia
Ethiopia
Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

 and southern Eritrea
Eritrea
Eritrea , officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in the Horn of Africa. Eritrea derives it's name from the Greek word Erethria, meaning 'red land'. The capital is Asmara. It is bordered by Sudan in the west, Ethiopia in the south, and Djibouti in the southeast...

 in the Horn of Africa
Horn of Africa
The Horn of Africa is a peninsula in East Africa that juts hundreds of kilometers into the Arabian Sea and lies along the southern side of the Gulf of Aden. It is the easternmost projection of the African continent...

. It later became the official language of the Kingdom of Aksum and Ethiopian imperial court.

Today Ge'ez remains only as the main language used in the liturgy
Liturgy
Liturgy is either the customary public worship done by a specific religious group, according to its particular traditions or a more precise term that distinguishes between those religious groups who believe their ritual requires the "people" to do the "work" of responding to the priest, and those...

 of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church
Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church
The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church is the predominant Oriental Orthodox Christian church in Ethiopia. The Ethiopian Church was administratively part of the Coptic Orthodox Church until 1959, when it was granted its own Patriarch by Coptic Orthodox Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of All...

, the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church, the Ethiopian Catholic Church
Ethiopian Catholic Church
The Ethiopian Catholic Church is a Metropolitan sui iuris Eastern particular Church within the Catholic Church. Established in 1930, its membership includes inhabitants of Ethiopia and Eritrea....

, and also the Beta Israel
Beta Israel
Beta Israel Israel, Ge'ez: ቤተ እስራኤል - Bēta 'Isrā'ēl, modern Bēte 'Isrā'ēl, EAE: "Betä Ǝsraʾel", "Community of Israel" also known as Ethiopian Jews , are the names of Jewish communities which lived in the area of Aksumite and Ethiopian Empires , nowadays divided between Amhara and Tigray...

 Jewish community. However, in Ethiopia Amharic
Amharic language
Amharic is a Semitic language spoken in Ethiopia. It is the second most-spoken Semitic language in the world, after Arabic, and the official working language of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. Thus, it has official status and is used nationwide. Amharic is also the official or working...

 (the main lingua franca
Lingua franca
A lingua franca is a language systematically used to make communication possible between people not sharing a mother tongue, in particular when it is a third language, distinct from both mother tongues.-Characteristics:"Lingua franca" is a functionally defined term, independent of the linguistic...

 of modern Ethiopia) or other local languages, and in Eritrea and Tigray Region
Tigray Region
Tigray Region is the northernmost of the nine ethnic regions of Ethiopia containing the homeland of the Tigray people. It was formerly known as Region 1...

 in Ethiopia, Tigrinya
Tigrinya language
Tigrinya , also spelled Tigrigna, Tigrnia, Tigrina, Tigriña, less commonly Tigrinian, Tigrinyan, is a Semitic language spoken by the Tigrinya people in central Eritrea , where it is one of the two main languages of Eritrea, and in the Tigray Region of Ethiopia , where it...

 may be used for sermon
Sermon
A sermon is an oration by a prophet or member of the clergy. Sermons address a Biblical, theological, religious, or moral topic, usually expounding on a type of belief, law or behavior within both past and present contexts...

s.

Vowels

  • a /æ/ < Proto-Semitic *a; later e
  • u /u/ < Proto-Semitic *ū
  • i /i/ < Proto-Semitic *ī
  • ā /aː/ < Proto-Semitic *ā; later a
  • e /e/ < Proto-Semitic *ay
  • ə /ɨ/ < Proto-Semitic *i, *u
  • o /o/ < Proto-Semitic *aw


Also transliterated as .

The interpretation of the Ge'ez writing system


Ge'ez is transliterated according to the following system:

Because Ge'ez is no longer a spoken language, the pronunciation of some consonants is not completely certain. Gragg (1997:244) writes "The consonants corresponding to the graphemes (Ge'ez ) and (Ge'ez ) have merged respectively with /s/ and // in the phonological system represented by the traditional pronunciation—and indeed in all modern Ethiopian Semitic. ... There is, however, no evidence either in the tradition or in Ethiopian Semitic [for] what value these consonants may have had in Ge'ez."

A similar problem is found for the consonant transliterated . Gragg (1997:245) notes that it corresponds in etymology to velar or uvular fricatives in other Semitic languages, but it was pronounced exactly the same as in the traditional pronunciation. Though the use of a different letter shows that it must originally have had some other pronunciation, what that pronunciation was is not certain.

The chart below lists /ɬ/ and /ɬ'/ as possible values for Ge'ez and Ge'ez respectively. It also lists /χ/ as a possible value for . These values are tentative, but based on the Proto-Semitic consonants that they are descended from.

Phonemes of Ge'ez


In the chart below, IPA
International Phonetic Alphabet
The International Phonetic Alphabet "The acronym 'IPA' strictly refers [...] to the 'International Phonetic Association'. But it is now such a common practice to use the acronym also to refer to the alphabet itself that resistance seems pedantic...

 values are shown. When transcription is different from the IPA, the character is shown in angular brackets. Question marks follow phonemes whose interpretation is controversial (as explained in the preceding section).
Consonants
Labial
Labial consonant
Labial consonants are consonants in which one or both lips are the active articulator. This precludes linguolabials, in which the tip of the tongue reaches for the posterior side of the upper lip and which are considered coronals...

Dental Palatal
Palatal consonant
Palatal consonants are consonants articulated with the body of the tongue raised against the hard palate...

Velar
Velar consonant
Velars are consonants articulated with the back part of the tongue against the soft palate, the back part of the roof of the mouth, known also as the velum)....

 / Uvular
Uvular consonant
Uvulars are consonants articulated with the back of the tongue against or near the uvula, that is, further back in the mouth than velar consonants. Uvulars may be plosives, fricatives, nasal stops, trills, or approximants, though the IPA does not provide a separate symbol for the approximant, and...

Pharyn-
geal
Pharyngeal consonant
A pharyngeal consonant is a type of consonant which is articulated with the root of the tongue against the pharynx.-Pharyngeal consonants in the IPA:Pharyngeal consonants in the International Phonetic Alphabet :...

Glottal
Glottal consonant
Glottal consonants, also called laryngeal consonants, are consonants articulated with the glottis. Many phoneticians consider them, or at least the so-called fricative, to be transitional states of the glottis without a point of articulation as other consonants have; in fact, some do not consider...

plain lateral
Lateral consonant
A lateral is an el-like consonant, in which airstream proceeds along the sides of the tongue, but is blocked by the tongue from going through the middle of the mouth....

plain labialized
Nasal
Nasal consonant
A nasal consonant is a type of consonant produced with a lowered velum in the mouth, allowing air to escape freely through the nose. Examples of nasal consonants in English are and , in words such as nose and mouth.- Definition :...

m n
Plosive
Stop consonant
In phonetics, a plosive, also known as an occlusive or an oral stop, is a stop consonant in which the vocal tract is blocked so that all airflow ceases. The occlusion may be done with the tongue , lips , and &...

voiceless
Voice (phonetics)
Voice or voicing is a term used in phonetics and phonology to characterize speech sounds, with sounds described as either voiceless or voiced. The term, however, is used to refer to two separate concepts. Voicing can refer to the articulatory process in which the vocal cords vibrate...

p t k ʔ ⟨⟩
voiced
Voice (phonetics)
Voice or voicing is a term used in phonetics and phonology to characterize speech sounds, with sounds described as either voiceless or voiced. The term, however, is used to refer to two separate concepts. Voicing can refer to the articulatory process in which the vocal cords vibrate...

b d ɡ ɡʷ
emphatic
Emphatic consonant
Emphatic consonant is a term widely used in Semitic linguistics to describe one of a series of obstruent consonants which originally contrasted with series of both voiced and voiceless obstruents. In specific Semitic languages, the members of this series may be realized as pharyngealized,...

1
pʼ ⟨⟩ tʼ ⟨⟩ kʼ ⟨⟩ kʷʼ ⟨⟩
Affricate
Affricate consonant
Affricates are consonants that begin as stops but release as a fricative rather than directly into the following vowel.- Samples :...

emphatic
Emphatic consonant
Emphatic consonant is a term widely used in Semitic linguistics to describe one of a series of obstruent consonants which originally contrasted with series of both voiced and voiceless obstruents. In specific Semitic languages, the members of this series may be realized as pharyngealized,...

t͡sʼ ⟨⟩
Fricative
Fricative consonant
Fricatives are consonants produced by forcing air through a narrow channel made by placing two articulators close together. These may be the lower lip against the upper teeth, in the case of ; the back of the tongue against the soft palate, in the case of German , the final consonant of Bach; or...

voiceless
Voice (phonetics)
Voice or voicing is a term used in phonetics and phonology to characterize speech sounds, with sounds described as either voiceless or voiced. The term, however, is used to refer to two separate concepts. Voicing can refer to the articulatory process in which the vocal cords vibrate...

f s ɬ? ⟨⟩ χ? ⟨⟩ ħ ⟨⟩ h
voiced
Voice (phonetics)
Voice or voicing is a term used in phonetics and phonology to characterize speech sounds, with sounds described as either voiceless or voiced. The term, however, is used to refer to two separate concepts. Voicing can refer to the articulatory process in which the vocal cords vibrate...

z ʕ ⟨⟩
emphatic
Emphatic consonant
Emphatic consonant is a term widely used in Semitic linguistics to describe one of a series of obstruent consonants which originally contrasted with series of both voiced and voiceless obstruents. In specific Semitic languages, the members of this series may be realized as pharyngealized,...

ɬʼ? <>
Trill
Trill consonant
In phonetics, a trill is a consonantal sound produced by vibrations between the articulator and the place of articulation. Standard Spanish <rr> as in perro is an alveolar trill, while in Parisian French it is almost always uvular....

r
Approximant
Approximant consonant
Approximants are speech sounds that involve the articulators approaching each other but not narrowly enough or with enough articulatory precision to create turbulent airflow. Therefore, approximants fall between fricatives, which do produce a turbulent airstream, and vowels, which produce no...

l j ⟨⟩ w

  1. In Ge'ez, Emphatic consonant
    Emphatic consonant
    Emphatic consonant is a term widely used in Semitic linguistics to describe one of a series of obstruent consonants which originally contrasted with series of both voiced and voiceless obstruents. In specific Semitic languages, the members of this series may be realized as pharyngealized,...

    s are phonetically ejectives. As is the case with Arabic
    Arabic language
    Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

    , emphatic velars may actually be phonetically uvular
    Uvular consonant
    Uvulars are consonants articulated with the back of the tongue against or near the uvula, that is, further back in the mouth than velar consonants. Uvulars may be plosives, fricatives, nasal stops, trills, or approximants, though the IPA does not provide a separate symbol for the approximant, and...

     ([q] and [qʷ]).

Ge'ez consonants in relation to Proto-Semitic


Ge'ez consonants have a triple opposition between voiceless, voiced, and ejective
Ejective consonant
In phonetics, ejective consonants are voiceless consonants that are pronounced with simultaneous closure of the glottis. In the phonology of a particular language, ejectives may contrast with aspirated or tenuis consonants...

 (or emphatic
Emphatic consonant
Emphatic consonant is a term widely used in Semitic linguistics to describe one of a series of obstruent consonants which originally contrasted with series of both voiced and voiceless obstruents. In specific Semitic languages, the members of this series may be realized as pharyngealized,...

) obstruents. The Proto-Semitic "emphasis" in Ge'ez has been generalized to include emphatic . Ge'ez has phonologized labiovelars, descending from Proto-Semitic biphonemes. Ge'ez Sawt (in Amharic, also called , i.e. the se letter used for spelling the word "king") is reconstructed as descended from a Proto-Semitic voiceless lateral fricative [ɬ]. Like Arabic, Ge'ez merged Proto-Semitic š
Shin (letter)
Shin literally means "Sharp" ; It is the twenty-first letter in many Semitic abjads, including Phoenician , Aramaic/Hebrew , and Arabic ....

 and s
Samekh
Samekh or Simketh is the fifteenth letter in many Semitic alphabets, including Phoenician, Hebrew, and Aramaic, representing . The Arabic alphabet, however, uses a letter based on Phoenician šin to represent ; however, that glyph takes Samekh's place in the traditional Abjadi order of the Arabic...

 in (also called : the se letter used for spelling the word isāt "fire"). Apart from this, Ge'ez phonology is comparably conservative; the only other Proto-Semitic phonological contrasts lost may be the interdental fricatives and ghayin.

Nouns


Ge'ez distinguishes two genders masculine and feminine, which in certain words is marked with the suffix -t. There are two numbers singular and plural. The plural can be constructed either by suffixing -āt to a word, or by internal plural.
  • Plural using suffix: 'year(s)', 'water(s)' (Note: In contrast to adjectives and other semitic languages the -āt suffix can be used for constructing the plural of both genders).
  • Internal plural: 'house, houses'; 'eyelid, eyelids'.

Nouns also have two cases, the nominative which is not marked and the accusative which is marked with final -a (e.g. bet, bet-a).

Internal plural


Internal plurals follow certain patterns. Triconsonantal nouns follow one of the following patterns.
Patterns of internal plural for triconsonantal nouns. (C=Consonant, V=Vowel)
Pattern Singular Meaning Plural
āCCāC
ləbs 'garment' ālbās
faras 'horse' āfrās
bet 'house' ābyāt
tzom 'fast' ātzwām
səm 'name' āsmāt
āCCuC
ādg 'ass' āʾdug
hāgar 'country' āhgur
āCCəCt
rəʾs 'head' arʾəst
gabr 'slave' āgbərt
āCāCə(t)
bagʾ 'sheep' ābāgəʾ
gānen 'devil' āgānənt
CVCaC
əzn 'ear' ā'zan
əgr 'foot' ā'gar
CVCaw
əd 'hand' ā'daw
ab 'father' ābaw
'brother' āḫaw


Quadriconsonantal and some triconsonantal nouns follow the following pattern. Triconsonantal nouns that take this pattern must have at least one long vowel
Patterns of internal plural for quadriconsonantal nouns. (C=Consonant, V=Vowel)
Pattern Singular Meaning Plural
CaCāCəC(t)
dəngəl 'virgin' danāgəl
masfən 'prince' masāfənt
kokab 'star' kawākəbt
qasis 'priest' qasāwəst

Pronominal morphology

Number Person Isolated personal pronoun Pronominal suffix
With noun With verb
Singular 1.
|ʾāna
2. masculine
|ʾānta
-ka
2. feminine
|ʾānti
-ki
3. masculine wəʾətu -(h)u
3. feminine yəʾəti -(h)a
Plural 1. nəḥna -na
2. masculine
|ʾāntəmu
-kəmu
2. feminine
|ʾāntən
-kən
3. masculine wəʾətomu / əmuntu -(h)omu
3. feminine wəʾəton / əmāntu -(h)on

Verb conjugation

Person Perfect
qatal-nn
Imperfect
Indicative
-qattəl
Jussive
-qtəl
Singular 1. qatal-ku
|ʾə-qattəl'
|ʾə-qtəl
2. m. qatal-ka tə-qattəl tə-qtəl
2. f. qatal-ki tə-qattəl-i tə-qtəl-i
3. m. qatal-a yə-qattəl yə-qtəl
3. f. qatal-at tə-qattəl tə-qtəl
Plural 1. qatal-na nə-qattəl nə-qtəl
2. m. qatal-kəmmu tə-qattəl-u tə-qtəl-u
2. f. qatal-kən tə-qattəl-ā tə-qtəl-ā
3. m. qatal-u yə-qattəl-u yə-qtəl-u
3. f. qatal-ā yə-qattəl-ā yə-qtəl-ā

Noun phrases


Noun phrases have the following overall order:

(demonstratives) noun (adjective)-(relative clause)
ba-za: hagar
in-this:f city
in this city

nəguś kəbur
king glorious
the glorious king


Adjectives and determiners agree with the noun in gender and number:
za:ti nəgəśt kəbərt
this:fem queen glorious:fem
this glorious queen

'əllu nagaśt kəbura:n
these:mpl kings glorious:pl
these glorious kings


Relative clauses are introduced by a pronoun which agrees in gender and number with the preceding noun:
bə'si za=qatal-əww-o la=wald-o
man which:masc=kill-3mp-3ms to=son=3ms
the man whose son they killed

As in many Semitic languages, possession by a noun phrase is shown through the construct state. In Ge'ez, this is formed by suffixing /-a/ to the possessed noun, which is followed by the possessor, as in the following examples (Lambdin 1978:23):
wald-a nəguś
son-construct king
the son of the king

səm-a mal'ak
name-construct angel
the name of the angel


Possession by a pronoun is indicated by a suffix on the possessed noun, as seen in the following table:
Possessor affix
1sg 'my -əya
2msg 'your (masc)' -əka
2fsg 'your (fem)' -əki
3msg 'his' -u
3fsg 'her' -a:
1pl 'our' -əna
2mpl 'your (masc. plur)' -əkəma
2fpl 'your (fem. plur)' -əkən
3mpl 'their (masc)' -omu
3fpl 'their (fem)' -on


The following examples show a few nouns with pronominal possessors:
səm-əya səm-u
name-1sg name-3sg
my name his name


Another common way of indicating possession by a noun phrase combines the pronominal suffix on a noun with the possessor preceded by the preposition /la=/ 'to, for'(Lambdin 1978:44):
səm-u la=neguś
name-3sg to=king
'the king's name; the name of the king'


Lambdin (1978:45) notes that in comparison to the construct state, this kind of possession is only possible when the possessor is definite and specific. Lambdin also notes that the construct state is the unmarked form of possession in Ge'ez.

Prepositional phrases


Ge'ez is a prepositional language, as in the following example (Lamdin 1978:16):
wəsta hagar
to city
to the city


There are three special prepositions, /ba=/ 'in, with', /la=/ 'to, for', /'əm=/ 'from', which always appear as enclitics on the following noun, as in the following examples:
'əm=hagar
from=city
from the city

ba=hagar
in=city
in the city


These enclitic prepositions in Ge'ez are similar to the inseparable prepositions in Hebrew.

Sentences


The normal word order for declarative sentences is VSO. Objects of verbs show accusative case
Accusative case
The accusative case of a noun is the grammatical case used to mark the direct object of a transitive verb. The same case is used in many languages for the objects of prepositions...

 marked with the suffix /-a/:
Takal-a bə'si ʕətsʼ-a
plant-3ms man tree-acc
The man planted a tree


Questions with a wh-word ('who', 'what', etc.) show the question word at the beginning of the sentence:
'Ayya hagar ḥanaṣ-u
which city flee-3pl
Which city did they flee?

Negation


The common way of negation is the prefix which descends from (which is attested in Axum inscriptions) from ʾay from proto-semitic  by palatization. It is prefixed to verbs as follows:
nəḥna
|ʾi-nəkl
ḥawira
we (we) cannot go
we cannot go

Writing system




Ge'ez is written with Ethiopic or the Ge'ez abugida
Abugida
An abugida , also called an alphasyllabary, is a segmental writing system in which consonant–vowel sequences are written as a unit: each unit is based on a consonant letter, and vowel notation is obligatory but secondary...

, a script that was originally developed specifically for this language. In languages that use it, such as Amharic and Tigrinya, the script is called , which means script or alphabet.

Ge'ez is read from left to right.

The Ge'ez script has been adapted to write other languages, usually Semitic ones. The most widespread use is for Amharic
Amharic language
Amharic is a Semitic language spoken in Ethiopia. It is the second most-spoken Semitic language in the world, after Arabic, and the official working language of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. Thus, it has official status and is used nationwide. Amharic is also the official or working...

 in Ethiopia
Ethiopia
Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

 and Tigrinya
Tigrinya language
Tigrinya , also spelled Tigrigna, Tigrnia, Tigrina, Tigriña, less commonly Tigrinian, Tigrinyan, is a Semitic language spoken by the Tigrinya people in central Eritrea , where it is one of the two main languages of Eritrea, and in the Tigray Region of Ethiopia , where it...

 in Eritrea
Eritrea
Eritrea , officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in the Horn of Africa. Eritrea derives it's name from the Greek word Erethria, meaning 'red land'. The capital is Asmara. It is bordered by Sudan in the west, Ethiopia in the south, and Djibouti in the southeast...

 and Ethiopia. It is also used for Sebatbeit
Sebat Bet Gurage language
Sebat Bet is a Gurage language, spoken in several dialects found in the western Gurage Zone:*Chaha is spoken in Cheha woreda, and is the best studied of these dialects;*Ezha is spoken in Ezhana Wolene woreda,...

, Me'en, Agew and most other languages of Ethiopia. In Eritrea it is used for Tigre
Tigre language
For other uses please see Tigre Tigre is a Semitic language, which, along with Tigrinya, is believed to be one of direct descendants of the extinct Ge'ez language...

, and it is often used for Blin
Blin language
The Blin language , Bilin or Bilen has approximately 70,000 speakers in and around the city of Keren in Eritrea. It is the only Central Cushitic language which is spoken in Eritrea....

, a Cushitic language
Cushitic languages
The Cushitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family spoken in the Horn of Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Sudan and Egypt. They are named after the Biblical character Cush, who was identified as an ancestor of the speakers of these specific languages as early as AD 947...

. Some other languages in the Horn of Africa
Horn of Africa
The Horn of Africa is a peninsula in East Africa that juts hundreds of kilometers into the Arabian Sea and lies along the southern side of the Gulf of Aden. It is the easternmost projection of the African continent...

, such as Oromo
Oromo language
Oromo, also known as Afaan Oromo, Oromiffa, Afan Boran, Afan Orma, and sometimes in other languages by variant spellings of these names , is an Afro-Asiatic language, and the most widely spoken of the Cushitic family. Forms of Oromo are spoken as a first language by more than 25 million Oromo and...

, used to be written using Ge'ez but have switched to Latin
Latin alphabet
The Latin alphabet, also called the Roman alphabet, is the most recognized alphabet used in the world today. It evolved from a western variety of the Greek alphabet called the Cumaean alphabet, which was adopted and modified by the Etruscans who ruled early Rome...

-based orthographies.

It also uses 4 symbols for labialized velar consonants, which are variants of the non-labialized velar consonants:
Basic sign
Labialized variant

History and literature


Although it is often said that Ge'ez literature is dominated by the Bible
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

 including the Deuterocanon, in fact there are many medieval and early modern original texts in the language. Most of its important works are also the literature of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church
Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church
The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church is the predominant Oriental Orthodox Christian church in Ethiopia. The Ethiopian Church was administratively part of the Coptic Orthodox Church until 1959, when it was granted its own Patriarch by Coptic Orthodox Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of All...

, which include Christian liturgy (service books, prayers, hymns), Lives
LiVES
LiVES is a free software video editing software and VJ tool, released under the GNU General Public License version 3 or later. There are binary versions available for most popular Linux distributions...

 of Saints, and Patristic literature. For instance, around 200 texts were written about indigenous Ethiopian saints from the fourteenth through the nineteenth century. This religious orientation of Ge'ez literature was a result of traditional education being the responsibility of priests and monks. "The Church thus constituted the custodian of the nation's culture", notes Richard Pankhurst, and describes the traditional education as follows:
Traditional education was largely biblical. It began with the learning of the alphabet, or more properly, syllabary... The student's second grade comprised the memorization of the first chapter of the first Epistle General of St. John
First Epistle of John
The First Epistle of John, often referred to as First John and written 1 John, is a book of the New Testament. This fourth catholic or "general" epistle is attributed to John the Evangelist, traditionally thought to be the author of the Gospel of John and the other two Epistles of John. This...

 in Geez. The study of writing would probably also begin at this time, and particularly in more modern times some arithmetic might be added. In the third stage the Acts of the Apostles
Acts of the Apostles
The Acts of the Apostles , usually referred to simply as Acts, is the fifth book of the New Testament; Acts outlines the history of the Apostolic Age...

 were studied, while certain prayers were also learnt, and writing and arithmetic continued. ... The fourth stage began with the study of the Psalms of David
Psalms
The Book of Psalms , commonly referred to simply as Psalms, is a book of the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Bible...

 and was considered an important landmark in a child's education, being celebrated by the parents with a feast to which the teacher, father confessor, relatives and neighbours were invited. A boy who had reached this stage would moreover usually be able to write, and might act as a letter writer.


However works of history and chronography, ecclesiastical and civil law, philology, medicine, and letters were also written in Ge'ez.

The Ethiopian collection in the British Library
British Library
The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom, and is the world's largest library in terms of total number of items. The library is a major research library, holding over 150 million items from every country in the world, in virtually all known languages and in many formats,...

 comprises some 800 manuscripts dating from the 15th to the 20th centuries, notably including magical and divinatory scrolls, and illuminated manuscripts of the 16th to 17th centuries. It was initiated by a donation of 74 codices by the Church of England Missionary Society in the 1830s and 1840s, and substantially expanded by 349 codices, stolen by the British from the Emperor Tewodros II
Tewodros II of Ethiopia
Tewodros II was the Emperor of Ethiopia from 1855 until his death....

's capital at Magdala
Amba Mariam
Amba Mariam is a village in central Ethiopia. It was known as Magdala or Meqdela during the reign of Emperor Tewodros II of Ethiopia...

 in the 1868 Expedition to Abyssinia
1868 Expedition to Abyssinia
The British 1868 Expedition to Abyssinia was a punitive expedition carried out by armed forces of the British Empire against the Ethiopian Empire...

.

Origins


The Ge'ez language is classified as a South Semitic language. It evolved from an earlier proto-Ethio-Semitic
Ethiopian Semitic languages
Ethiopian Semitic is a language group, which together with Old South Arabian forms the Western branch of the South Semitic languages. The languages are spoken in both Ethiopia and Eritrea...

 ancestor used to write royal
Monarchy
A monarchy is a form of government in which the office of head of state is usually held until death or abdication and is often hereditary and includes a royal house. In some cases, the monarch is elected...

 inscriptions of the kingdom of in Epigraphic South Arabian
South Arabian alphabet
The ancient Yemeni alphabet branched from the Proto-Sinaitic alphabet in about the 9th century BC. It was used for writing the Yemeni Old South Arabic languages of the Sabaean, Qatabanian, Hadramautic, Minaean, Himyarite, and proto-Ge'ez in Dʿmt...

. The Ge'ez language is no longer thought, as previously assumed, to be an offshoot of Sabaean or Old South Arabian, and there is linguistic evidence of Semitic languages being spoken in Eritrea
Eritrea
Eritrea , officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in the Horn of Africa. Eritrea derives it's name from the Greek word Erethria, meaning 'red land'. The capital is Asmara. It is bordered by Sudan in the west, Ethiopia in the south, and Djibouti in the southeast...

 and Ethiopia since at least 2000 BC. However, the Ge'ez alphabet
Ge'ez alphabet
Ge'ez , also called Ethiopic, is a script used as an abugida for several languages of Ethiopia and Eritrea but originated in an abjad used to write Ge'ez, now the liturgical language of the Ethiopian and Eritrean Orthodox Church...

 later replaced Epigraphic South Arabian in the Kingdom of Aksum (Epigraphic South Arabian letters were used for a few inscriptions into the 8th century, though not any South Arabian language since ). Early inscriptions in Ge'ez and Ge'ez alphabet have been dated to as early as the 5th century BC, and in a sort of proto-Ge'ez written in ESA since the 8th century BC. Ge'ez literature properly begins with the Christianization of Ethiopia (and the civilization of Axum) in the 4th century, during the reign of Ezana of Axum
Ezana of Axum
Ezana of Axum , was ruler of the Axumite Kingdom located in present-day Ethiopia, Eritrea, Yemen, he himself employed the style "king of Saba and Salhen, Himyar and Dhu-Raydan"...

.

5th to 7th centuries


The oldest surviving Ge'ez manuscript is thought to be the 5th or 6th century Garima Gospels
Garima Gospels
The Garima Gospels are believed to be "the world’s earliest illustrated Christian manuscript" and the oldest surviving Ethiopian manuscript of any kind.The Gospels are housed in Ethiopia's Abba Garima Monastery. They have never left the monastery...

.

Almost all texts from this early "Aksumite" period are religious (Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

) in nature, many of them translations from Greek, Syriac, Coptic, and later also Arabic. The translation of the Christian Bible was undertaken by Syrian monks known as the Nine Saints
Nine Saints
The Nine Saints were a group of missionaries who were important in the initial growth of Christianity in what is now Ethiopia during the late 5th century. Their names were Abba Aftse, Abba Alef, Abba Aragawi, Abba Garima , Abba Guba, Abba Liqanos, Abba Pantelewon, Abba Sehma, and Abba Yem’ata...

, who had come to Ethiopia in the 5th century fleeing the Byzantine persecution of the Monophysites. The Ethiopic Bible contains 81 Books; 46 of the Old Testament and 35 of the New. A number of these Books are called "deuterocanonical" (or "apocryphal" according to certain Western theologians), such as the Ascension of Isaiah
Ascension of Isaiah
The book Ascension of Isaiah is one of the Pseudepigrapha. Theories as to the date of its composition place it in a range from the late 1st century AD to the second half of the 2nd century AD...

, Jubilees
Jubilees
The Book of Jubilees , sometimes called Lesser Genesis , is an ancient Jewish religious work, considered one of the pseudepigrapha by Protestant, Roman Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox Churches...

, Enoch
Book of Enoch
The Book of Enoch is an ancient Jewish religious work, traditionally ascribed to Enoch, the great-grandfather of Noah. It is not part of the biblical canon as used by Jews, apart from Beta Israel...

, the Paralipomena of Baruch, Noah
Book of Noah
The Book of Noah is currently thought to be a non-extant Old Testament pseudepigraphal work, attributed to Noah. It is quoted in several places in another pseudepigraphal work, 1 Enoch, as well as mentioned in another, Jubilees...

, Ezra
Ezra
Ezra , also called Ezra the Scribe and Ezra the Priest in the Book of Ezra. According to the Hebrew Bible he returned from the Babylonian exile and reintroduced the Torah in Jerusalem...

, Nehemiah
Nehemiah
Nehemiah ]]," Standard Hebrew Nəḥemya, Tiberian Hebrew Nəḥemyāh) is the central figure of the Book of Nehemiah, which describes his work rebuilding Jerusalem and purifying the Jewish community. He was the son of Hachaliah, Nehemiah ]]," Standard Hebrew Nəḥemya, Tiberian Hebrew Nəḥemyāh) is the...

, Maccabees
Maccabees
The Maccabees were a Jewish rebel army who took control of Judea, which had been a client state of the Seleucid Empire. They founded the Hasmonean dynasty, which ruled from 164 BCE to 63 BCE, reasserting the Jewish religion, expanding the boundaries of the Land of Israel and reducing the influence...

, Moses
Moses
Moses was, according to the Hebrew Bible and Qur'an, a religious leader, lawgiver and prophet, to whom the authorship of the Torah is traditionally attributed...

 and Tobit
Book of Tobit
The Book of Tobit is a book of scripture that is part of the Catholic and Orthodox biblical canon, pronounced canonical by the Council of Carthage of 397 and confirmed for Roman Catholics by the Council of Trent...

. The Book of Enoch in particular is notable since its complete text has survived in no other language.

Also to this early period dates Qerlos, a collection of Christological writings beginning with the treatise of Saint Cyril
Saints Cyril and Methodius
Saints Cyril and Methodius were two Byzantine Greek brothers born in Thessaloniki in the 9th century. They became missionaries of Christianity among the Slavic peoples of Bulgaria, Great Moravia and Pannonia. Through their work they influenced the cultural development of all Slavs, for which they...

 known as Hamanot Rete’et, or De Recta Fide, the theological foundation of the Ethiopic Church. Another work is Ser'ata Paknemis, a translation of the monastic Rules of Pachomius
Pachomius
Saint Pakhom , also known as Pachome and Pakhomius , is generally recognized as the founder of Christian cenobitic monasticism. In the Coptic churches his feast day is celebrated on May 9...

. Non-religious works translated in this period include Physiologus, a work of natural history also very popular in Europe.

13th to 14th centuries


After the decline of the Aksumites, a lengthy gap follows; no works have survived that can be dated to the years of the 8th through 12th centuries. Only with the rise of the Solomonic dynasty
Solomonic dynasty
The Solomonic dynasty is the Imperial House of Abyssinia. Its members claim lineal descent from King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, the latter of whom tradition asserts gave birth to the first King Menelik I after her Biblically described visit to Solomon in Jerusalem .-Overview:The dynasty, a...

 around 1270 can we find evidence of authors committing their works to writings. Some writers consider the period beginning from the 14th century an actual "Golden Age" of Ge'ez literature—although by this time Ge'ez was no longer a living language. While there is ample evidence that it had been replaced by the Amharic language
Amharic language
Amharic is a Semitic language spoken in Ethiopia. It is the second most-spoken Semitic language in the world, after Arabic, and the official working language of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. Thus, it has official status and is used nationwide. Amharic is also the official or working...

 in the south and by the Tigrigna and Tigre
Tigre language
For other uses please see Tigre Tigre is a Semitic language, which, along with Tigrinya, is believed to be one of direct descendants of the extinct Ge'ez language...

 languages in the north, Ge'ez remained in use as the official written language until the 19th century, its status comparable to that of Medieval Latin
Medieval Latin
Medieval Latin was the form of Latin used in the Middle Ages, primarily as a medium of scholarly exchange and as the liturgical language of the medieval Roman Catholic Church, but also as a language of science, literature, law, and administration. Despite the clerical origin of many of its authors,...

 in Europe.

Important hagiographies from this period include:
  • the Gadle Sama’etat "Acts of the Martyrs"
  • the Gadle Hawaryat "Acts of the Apostles"
  • the Senkessar or Synaxarium
    Synaxarium
    Synaxarion, Synexarion, pl. Synaxaria —Latin: Synaxarium, Synexarium—the name given in the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches to a compilation of hagiographies corresponding roughly to the martyrology of the Roman Church.There are two kinds of synaxaria:*Simple...

    , translated as "The Book of the Saints of the Ethiopian Church"
  • Other Lives of Saint Anthony
    Anthony the Great
    Anthony the Great or Antony the Great , , also known as Saint Anthony, Anthony the Abbot, Anthony of Egypt, Anthony of the Desert, Anthony the Anchorite, Abba Antonius , and Father of All Monks, was a Christian saint from Egypt, a prominent leader among the Desert Fathers...

    , Saint George
    Saint George
    Saint George was, according to tradition, a Roman soldier from Syria Palaestina and a priest in the Guard of Diocletian, who is venerated as a Christian martyr. In hagiography Saint George is one of the most venerated saints in the Catholic , Anglican, Eastern Orthodox, and the Oriental Orthodox...

    , Saint Tekle Haymanot
    Tekle Haymanot
    Tekle Haymanot or Takla Haymanot was an Ethiopian monk who founded a major monastery in his native province of Shewa...

    , Saint Gabra Manfas Qeddus
    Gabra Manfas Qeddus
    Gabra Manfas Qeddus was an Ethiopian Christian saint, and the founder of the monastery of Zuqualla. The fifth day of every month in the Ethiopian calendar is dedicated to this saint....



Also at this time the Apostolic Constitutions
Apostolic Constitutions
The Apostolic Constitutions is a Christian collection of eight treatises which belongs to genre of the Church Orders. The work can be dated from 375 to 380 AD. The provenience is usually regarded as Syria, probably Antioch...

 was translated in Ge'ez, which provided another set of instructions and laws for the Ethiopian Church. Another translation from this period is Zena 'Ayhud, a translation (probably from an Arabic translation) of Joseph ben Gurion's "History of the Jews" ("Sefer Josippon
Josippon
Josippon is the name usually given to a popular chronicle of Jewish history from Adam to the age of Titus, attributed to an author Josippon or Joseph ben Gorion....

") written in Hebrew in the 10th century, which covers the period from the Captivity to the capture of Jerusalem by Titus.

Apart from theological works, the earliest contemporary Royal Chronicles of Ethiopia are date to the reign of Amda Seyon I
Amda Seyon I
Amda Seyon was Emperor of Ethiopia , and a member of the Solomonic dynasty...

 (1314–44). With the appearance of the "Victory Songs" of Amda Seyon, this period also marks the beginning of Amharic literature.

The 14th century Kəbrä Nägäst
Kebra Nagast
The Kebra Nagast , or the Book of the Glory of Kings, is an account written in Ge'ez of the origins of the Solomonic line of the Emperors of Ethiopia. The text, in its existing form, is at least seven hundred years old, and is considered by many Ethiopian Christians and Rastafarians to be an...

 or "Glory of the Kings" by the Nebura’ed Yeshaq of Aksum is among the most significant works of Ethiopian literature, combining history, allegory and symbolism in a retelling of the story of the Queen of Sheba (i.e. Saba), King Solomon, and their son Menelik I of Ethiopia. Another work that began to take shape in this period is the Mashafa Aksum or "Book of Axum".

15th to 16th centuries


The early 15th century Fekkare Iyasus "The Explication of Jesus" contains a prophecy of a king called Tewodros, which rose to importance in 19th century Ethiopia as Tewodros II
Tewodros II of Ethiopia
Tewodros II was the Emperor of Ethiopia from 1855 until his death....

 chose this throne name.

Literature flourished especially during the reign of Emperor Zara Yaqob
Zara Yaqob
Zar'a Ya`qob or Zera Yacob was of Ethiopia , and a member of the Solomonic dynasty...

. Written by the Emperor himself were Mats'hafe Berhan ("The Book of Light") and Mats'hafe Milad ("The Book of Nativity"). Numerous homilies were written in this period, notably Retu’a Haimanot ("True Orthodoxy") ascribed to John Chrysostom
John Chrysostom
John Chrysostom , Archbishop of Constantinople, was an important Early Church Father. He is known for his eloquence in preaching and public speaking, his denunciation of abuse of authority by both ecclesiastical and political leaders, the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, and his ascetic...

. Also of monumental importance was the appearance of the Geez translation of the Fetha Negest
Fetha Negest
The Fetha Negest is a legal code compiled around 1240 by the Coptic Egyptian Christian writer, 'Abul Fada'il Ibn al-'Assal, in Arabic that was later translated into Ge'ez in Ethiopia and expanded upon with numerous local laws...

 ("Laws of the Kings"), thought to have been around 1450, and ascribed to one Petros Abda Sayd — that was later to function as the supreme Law for Ethiopia, until it was replaced by a modern Constitution in 1931
1931 Constitution of Ethiopia
The 1931 Constitution of Ethiopia was the first document intended as a modern constitution for that country. It was promulgated in "an impressive ceremony" held 16 July 1931 in the presence of Emperor Haile Selassie, who had long desired to proclaim one for his country.In the preface to his...

.

By the beginning of the 16th century, the Islamic invasions put an end to the flourishing of Ethiopian literature.
A letter of Abba 'Enbaqom (or "Habakkuk") to Imam Ahmad Ibn Ibrahim
Ahmad ibn Ibrihim al-Ghazi
Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al-Ghazi "the Conqueror" was an Imam and General of Adal who invaded Ethiopia and defeated several Ethiopian emperors, wreaking much damage on that kingdom...

, entitled Anqasa Amin ("Gate of the Faith"), giving his reasons for abandoning Islam, although probably first written in Arabic and later rewritten in an expanded Ge'ez version around 1532, is considered one of the classics of later Ge'ez literature. During this period, Ethiopian writers begin to address differences between the Ethiopian and the Roman Catholic Church in such works as the Confession of Emperor Gelawdewos
Gelawdewos of Ethiopia
Gelawdewos was Emperor Gelawdewos (Ge'ez ገላውዴዎስ galāwdēwōs, modern gelāwdēwōs, "Claudius"; 1521/1522 - March 23, 1559) was Emperor Gelawdewos (Ge'ez ገላውዴዎስ galāwdēwōs, modern gelāwdēwōs, "Claudius"; 1521/1522 - March 23, 1559) was Emperor (throne name Asnaf Sagad I (Ge'ez አጽናፍ ሰገድ aṣnāf sagad,...

, Sawana Nafs ("Refuge of the Soul"), Fekkare Malakot ("Exposition of the Godhead") and Haymanote Abaw ("Faith of the Fathers"). Around the year 1600, a number of works were translated from Arabic into Ge'ez for the first time, including the Chronicle of John of Nikiu
John of Nikiû
John of Nikiû was an Egyptian Coptic bishop of Nikiû/Pashati in the Nile Delta and appointed general administrator of the monasteries of Upper Egypt in 696...

 and the Universal History
Universal history
Universal history is basic to the Western tradition of historiography, especially the Abrahamic wellspring of that tradition. Simply stated, universal history is the presentation of the history of humankind as a whole, as a coherent unit.-Ancient authors:...

 of Jirjis ibn al'Amid Abi'l-Wasir (also known as al-Makin).

Current usage in Ethiopia and Israel


Geez is the language of Ethiopian Orthodox Christians, and is used in prayer and in scheduled public celebrations.

Sample


The first sentence of the Book of Enoch
Book of Enoch
The Book of Enoch is an ancient Jewish religious work, traditionally ascribed to Enoch, the great-grandfather of Noah. It is not part of the biblical canon as used by Jews, apart from Beta Israel...

:

"Word of blessing of Henok, wherewith he blessed the chosen and righteous who would be alive in the day of tribulation for the removal of all wrongdoers and backsliders."

Grammar

  • Aläqa Tayyä, Maṣḥafa sawāsəw. Monkullo: Swedish Mission 1896/7 (= E.C.
    Ethiopian calendar
    The Ethiopian calendar , also called the Ge'ez calendar, is the principal calendar used in Ethiopia and also serves as the liturgical calendar for Christians in Eritrea belonging to the Eritrean Orthodox Church, Eastern Catholic Church and Lutheran Evangelical Church of Eritrea...

     1889).
  • Chaîne, Marius
    Marius Chaîne
    Abbé Marius Chaîne was a French scholar of Ethiopic and Coptic philology.- Life :Marius Chaîne was born in 1873 in Tarascon, Bouches-du-Rhône. In 1897 he joined the Society of Jesus, but abandoned it after World War I. He devoted his life to Ethiopic and Coptic philology.- Works :* 1907: Grammaire...

    , Grammaire éthiopienne. Beyrouth: Imprimerie catholique 1907, 1938 (Nouvelle édition). (electronic version at the Internet Archive
    Internet Archive
    The Internet Archive is a non-profit digital library with the stated mission of "universal access to all knowledge". It offers permanent storage and access to collections of digitized materials, including websites, music, moving images, and nearly 3 million public domain books. The Internet Archive...

    ).
  • Cohen, Marcel
    Marcel Cohen
    Marcel Samuel Raphaël Cohen was a French linguist. He was an important scholar of Semitic languages and especially of Ethiopian languages. He studied the French language and contributed much to general linguistics.- Life :...

    , "la pronunciation traditionelle du Guèze (éthiopien classique)", in: Journal asiatique (1921) Sér. 11 / T. 18 (electronic version in Gallica digital library of the Bibliothèque nationale de France
    Bibliothèque nationale de France
    The is the National Library of France, located in Paris. It is intended to be the repository of all that is published in France. The current president of the library is Bruno Racine.-History:...

     PDF).
  • Dillmann, August
    August Dillmann
    Christian Friedrich August Dillmann was a German orientalist and biblical scholar.-Life:The son of a Württemberg schoolmaster, he was born at Illingen. He was educated at the University of Tübingen, where he became a pupil and friend of Heinrich Ewald, and studied under Ferdinand Christian Baur,...

    ; Bezold, Carl
    Carl Bezold
    Carl Bezold was a German orientalist. He initially had an interest in Chinese, and translated from Syriac. He became known as an Assyriologist. Nevertheless in 1909 he edited and printed the Ge'ez epic Kebra Nagast, collating the most valuable texts and with critical notes. [Bezold, Carl...

    , Ethiopic Grammar, 2nd edition translated from German by James Crichton, London 1907. ISBN 1-59244-145-9 (2003 reprint). (Published in German: ¹1857, ²1899).
  • Gäbrä-Yohannəs Gäbrä-Maryam, Gəss - Mäzgäbä-ḳalat - Gə'əz-ənna Amarəñña; yä-Gə'əz ḳʷanḳʷa mämmariya (A Grammar of Classical Ethiopic). Addis Ababa 2001/2002 (= E.C.
    Ethiopian calendar
    The Ethiopian calendar , also called the Ge'ez calendar, is the principal calendar used in Ethiopia and also serves as the liturgical calendar for Christians in Eritrea belonging to the Eritrean Orthodox Church, Eastern Catholic Church and Lutheran Evangelical Church of Eritrea...

     1994)http://www.ilx.nl/blonline/blonlinesearch2.php?ficheid=200000162516
  • Gene Gragg "Ge`ez Phonology," in: Phonologies of Asia and Africa (Vol 1), ed. A. S. Kaye & P. T. Daniels, Eisenbrauns, Winona Lake, Indiana (1997)., ("A new grammar and dictionary"), Dire Dawa: Artistik Matämiya Bet 1955/6 (E.C. 1948).
  • Lambdin, Thomas O.
    Thomas Oden Lambdin
    Thomas Oden Lambdin is one of the leading scholars of the Semitic and Egyptian languages. He is Professor Emeritus of Semitic Languages at Harvard University....

    , Introduction to Classical Ethiopic, Harvard Semitic Studies 24, Missoula, Mont.: Scholars Press 1978. ISBN 0-89130-263-8.
  • Ludolf, Hiob
    Hiob Ludolf
    Hiob Ludolf was a German orientalist, and born at Erfurt. Edward Ullendorff rates Ludolf as having "the most illustrious name in Ethiopic scholarship".-Life:...

    , Grammatica aethiopica. Londini 1661; 2nd ed. Francofurti 1702.
  • Praetorius, Franz, Äthiopische Grammatik, Karlsruhe: Reuther 1886.
  • Weninger, Stefan, Ge‘ez grammar, Munich: LINCOM Europa, ISBN 3-929075-04-0 (1st edition, 1993), ISBN 3-89586-604-0 (2nd revised edition, 1999).
  • Weninger, Stefan, Das Verbalsystem des Altäthiopischen: Eine Untersuchung seiner Verwendung und Funktion unter Berücksichtigung des Interferenzproblems", Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz 2001. ISBN 3447044845.
  • Tropper, Josef, Altäthiopisch: Grammatik der Ge'ez mit Übungstexten und Glossar, Elementa Linguarum Orientis (ELO) 2, Münster: Ugarit-Verlag 2002. ISBN 3-934628-29-X
  • Vittorio, Mariano, Chaldeae seu Aethiopicae linguae institutiones, Roma 1548.
  • Wemmers, Linguae aethiopicae institutiones, Roma 1638.

Literature

  • Taddesse Adera, Ali Jimale Ahmed (eds.), Silence Is Not Golden: A Critical Anthology of Ethiopian Literature, Red Sea Press (1995), ISBN 0-932415-47-4.
  • Jon Bonk, Annotated and Classified Bibliography of English Literature Pertaining to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, Atla Bibliography Series, Scarecrow Pr (1984), ISBN 0-8108-1710-1.
  • Dillmann, August
    August Dillmann
    Christian Friedrich August Dillmann was a German orientalist and biblical scholar.-Life:The son of a Württemberg schoolmaster, he was born at Illingen. He was educated at the University of Tübingen, where he became a pupil and friend of Heinrich Ewald, and studied under Ferdinand Christian Baur,...

    , Chrestomathia Aethiopica. Leipzig 1866. (Online version at the Internet Archive
    Internet Archive
    The Internet Archive is a non-profit digital library with the stated mission of "universal access to all knowledge". It offers permanent storage and access to collections of digitized materials, including websites, music, moving images, and nearly 3 million public domain books. The Internet Archive...

    )
  • Dillmann, August
    August Dillmann
    Christian Friedrich August Dillmann was a German orientalist and biblical scholar.-Life:The son of a Württemberg schoolmaster, he was born at Illingen. He was educated at the University of Tübingen, where he became a pupil and friend of Heinrich Ewald, and studied under Ferdinand Christian Baur,...

    , Octateuchus Aethiopicus. Leipzig 1853. (The first eight books of the Bible in Ge'ez. Online version)

Dictionaries

  • Dillmann, August
    August Dillmann
    Christian Friedrich August Dillmann was a German orientalist and biblical scholar.-Life:The son of a Württemberg schoolmaster, he was born at Illingen. He was educated at the University of Tübingen, where he became a pupil and friend of Heinrich Ewald, and studied under Ferdinand Christian Baur,...

    , Lexicon linguæ Æthiopicæ cum indice Latino, Lipsiae 1865.
  • Leslau, Wolf
    Wolf Leslau
    Wolf Leslau ]] November 18, 2006) was a scholar of Semitic languages and one of the foremost authorities on Semitic languages of Ethiopia.-Youth and Education:Leslau was born in Krzepice, a small town near Częstochowa, Poland...

    , Comparative Dictionary of Geez (Classical Ethiopic): Geez-English, English-Geez, with an Index of the Semitic Roots, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz 1987. ISBN 3-447-02592-1.
  • Leslau, Wolf, Concise Dictionary of Ge‘ez (Classical Ethiopic), Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz 1989. ISBN 3-447-02873-4.
  • Ludolf, Hiob
    Hiob Ludolf
    Hiob Ludolf was a German orientalist, and born at Erfurt. Edward Ullendorff rates Ludolf as having "the most illustrious name in Ethiopic scholarship".-Life:...

    , Lexicon Aethiopico-Latinum, Ed. by J. M. Wansleben, London 1661.
  • Wemmers, J., Lexicon Aethiopicum, Rome 1638.

External links