Author Topic: Perspective on ancient Ethiopian texts  (Read 566 times)

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Offline Suryoyutho

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Perspective on ancient Ethiopian texts
« on: August 04, 2012, 04:07:27 PM »
http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S34/36/63Q09/index.xml

Quote
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One of these women who has captured your imagination, Walatta Petros, is recognized as a saint in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. Who was she?

I am working with Michael Kleiner, a leading scholar of the ancient Ethiopian language Gə'əz, in translating a manuscript about Walatta Petros [1594-1643], who was one of these royal women who refused to convert. This book may be the first biography of an African woman written by Africans. It will be at least 175 pages in print form in the end, all about her and her life, and will be the first translation into English. I am also collaborating with Selamawit Mecca, an expert on Ethiopian female saints, who is an assistant professor of Ethiopian literature at Addis Ababa University.

We learn that Walatta Petros had an adoring father, that all of her three children died in infancy, that she left her husband because she wanted to become a nun, that her husband burned down a town to retrieve her, that she went back, left again, and started a series of religious communities of people who were refusing to convert. There are various points in the text when she is hauled in front of the court and asked why is she being so recalcitrant, why is she refusing to convert. She preaches about retaining the faith of their fathers and not turning to the "filthy faith of the foreigners."

We also learn lots about their daily lives, such as Walatta Petros getting angry with the other nuns for doing manicures instead of working.

People tend to think of Africa as the place where women have the least power. And yet it is my firm belief that women everywhere in every time have struggled for their rights and succeeded on some fronts and not on others. So I'm always looking for the story that goes against this narrative of Africa being particularly oppressive toward women. So the story of these very powerful Ethiopian women really captured my imagination.

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The Tur Abdin Timeline - A timeline of Tur Abdin (Syriac for "the Mountain of the Servants [of God]"), the heartland of the Syriac Orthodox Christians, a hilly region located in upper Mesopotamia, between the Tigris and Euphrates.

Offline cyro

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Re: Perspective on ancient Ethiopian texts
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2012, 04:51:32 PM »
Seems very interesting. I would like to know if there are any www pages with the Ethiopian Orthodox's texts translated into English? I'm particulary interested in an ancient and medieval texts.

Offline ialmisry

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Re: Perspective on ancient Ethiopian texts
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2012, 05:58:56 PM »
http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S34/36/63Q09/index.xml

Quote
...

One of these women who has captured your imagination, Walatta Petros, is recognized as a saint in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. Who was she?

I am working with Michael Kleiner, a leading scholar of the ancient Ethiopian language Gə'əz, in translating a manuscript about Walatta Petros [1594-1643], who was one of these royal women who refused to convert. This book may be the first biography of an African woman written by Africans. It will be at least 175 pages in print form in the end, all about her and her life, and will be the first translation into English. I am also collaborating with Selamawit Mecca, an expert on Ethiopian female saints, who is an assistant professor of Ethiopian literature at Addis Ababa University.

We learn that Walatta Petros had an adoring father, that all of her three children died in infancy, that she left her husband because she wanted to become a nun, that her husband burned down a town to retrieve her, that she went back, left again, and started a series of religious communities of people who were refusing to convert. There are various points in the text when she is hauled in front of the court and asked why is she being so recalcitrant, why is she refusing to convert. She preaches about retaining the faith of their fathers and not turning to the "filthy faith of the foreigners."

We also learn lots about their daily lives, such as Walatta Petros getting angry with the other nuns for doing manicures instead of working.

People tend to think of Africa as the place where women have the least power. And yet it is my firm belief that women everywhere in every time have struggled for their rights and succeeded on some fronts and not on others. So I'm always looking for the story that goes against this narrative of Africa being particularly oppressive toward women. So the story of these very powerful Ethiopian women really captured my imagination.

...
"what God has joined let no man pull asunder." That goes for women too.  Hardly something to be emulated.  If you need to do that to be empowered, you are weak indeed.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline ialmisry

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Re: Perspective on ancient Ethiopian texts
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2012, 05:59:41 PM »
Seems very interesting. I would like to know if there are any www pages with the Ethiopian Orthodox's texts translated into English? I'm particulary interested in an ancient and medieval texts.
There are several texts translated.  What would you be interested in?
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline Severian

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Re: Perspective on ancient Ethiopian texts
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2012, 06:50:44 PM »
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Offline minasoliman

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Re: Perspective on ancient Ethiopian texts
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2012, 07:18:07 PM »
http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S34/36/63Q09/index.xml

Quote
...

One of these women who has captured your imagination, Walatta Petros, is recognized as a saint in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. Who was she?

I am working with Michael Kleiner, a leading scholar of the ancient Ethiopian language Gə'əz, in translating a manuscript about Walatta Petros [1594-1643], who was one of these royal women who refused to convert. This book may be the first biography of an African woman written by Africans. It will be at least 175 pages in print form in the end, all about her and her life, and will be the first translation into English. I am also collaborating with Selamawit Mecca, an expert on Ethiopian female saints, who is an assistant professor of Ethiopian literature at Addis Ababa University.

We learn that Walatta Petros had an adoring father, that all of her three children died in infancy, that she left her husband because she wanted to become a nun, that her husband burned down a town to retrieve her, that she went back, left again, and started a series of religious communities of people who were refusing to convert. There are various points in the text when she is hauled in front of the court and asked why is she being so recalcitrant, why is she refusing to convert. She preaches about retaining the faith of their fathers and not turning to the "filthy faith of the foreigners."

We also learn lots about their daily lives, such as Walatta Petros getting angry with the other nuns for doing manicures instead of working.

People tend to think of Africa as the place where women have the least power. And yet it is my firm belief that women everywhere in every time have struggled for their rights and succeeded on some fronts and not on others. So I'm always looking for the story that goes against this narrative of Africa being particularly oppressive toward women. So the story of these very powerful Ethiopian women really captured my imagination.

...
"what God has joined let no man pull asunder." That goes for women too.  Hardly something to be emulated.  If you need to do that to be empowered, you are weak indeed.
I would agree with you, but judging by the conduct of her husband, it seems she was getting away from an abusive relationship, which I don't blame her for.
Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

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Offline cyro

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Re: Perspective on ancient Ethiopian texts
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2012, 07:46:24 PM »
Seems very interesting. I would like to know if there are any www pages with the Ethiopian Orthodox's texts translated into English? I'm particulary interested in an ancient and medieval texts.
There are several texts translated.  What would you be interested in?

I'm wondering if any Ethiopian texts touches the subjecty of Church History of Ecclesiology? If such documents exist and are translated to English I would prefer those that were written before any contact with the Latin Church.

Offline Nephi

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Re: Perspective on ancient Ethiopian texts
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2012, 09:24:45 PM »
The Kebra Nagast is pretty cool stuff. Tells about Ethiopia's Jewish heritage as descended from the Queen of Sheba, and the child she bore from Solomon.

http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/kn/