Special features of the historical narration of the Ethiopian scribe Məhərkä Dəngəl

Gusarova E. V. Special features of the historical narration of the Ethiopian
scribe Məhərkä Dəngəl, in: Proslogion: Studies in Medieval and Early Modern Social
History and Culture, 2023. Vol. 7(2). P. 163–172.

Ekaterina Valentinovna Gusarova, Ph. D. in History, Researcher, Institute
of Oriental Manuscripts, Russian Academy of Sciences (191186, Russia,
Saint Petersburg, Dvortsovaya emb., 18); Lecturer, National Research University
Higher School of Economics (190121, Russia, Saint Petersburg, Soiuza Pechantikov
street, 16); Researcher, Institute of History, Saint Petersburg State University
(199034, Russia, Saint Petersburg, Mendeleev line, 5); Librarian, National Library
of Russia (191069, Russia, Saint Petersburg, Sadovaia street, 18).

Language: Russian

Məhərkä Dəngəl (born ca. 1540 – dead after 1633) — an Ethiopian scribe known
as the Court confessor and the Royal secretary. He acted as one of the translators of the Chronicle of John of Nikiu and the author of the first part of the chronicle
of the Ethiopian King Susenyos (1604–1632). The Chronicle of John of Nikiu
as a part of early Byzantine historiography represents a Universal history. It was
compiled in the 7th century AD, during the conquest of Egypt by the Arabic troops,
by John, Bishop of the city of Nikiu. Most probably it was compiled in Greek
and then translated into Arabic language. This compilation reached to our times
exclusively in the Ethiopian translation (in several manuscript copies). The second
opera, that is the Chronicle of King Susenyos, describes not only the events of the
King’s reign, but also the previous period of his life. Məhərkä Dəngəl was the author
of this initial part of the Chronicle. Analysis and comparison of the two texts
revealed a series of common features of lexical, grammatical and other particularities
of historical narration inherent to Maherka Dengel. Moreover, the text of the
Chronicle of King Susenyos reflects some important events of the life of its author
and his personal qualities, that inevitably left a mark on the manner of his narration.
Sometimes it led to violation of the tradition of the Ethiopian Royal historiography.
In the frame of the present research this was clearly stated.

Keywords: Maherka Dengel, John of Nikiu, Universal history, King Susenyos,
Ethiopian clergy, Ethiopian manuscripts, Historiography, the work of translator

URL: http://proslogion.ru/71-gusarova/

DOI: 10.24412/2500-0926-2023-71-163-172

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