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Ethiopian Manuscripts : fətḥa nägäśt

Ibn al-ʻAssāl, al-Ṣafī Abū al-Faḍāʼil Mājid, active 13th century

Ethiopian Manuscripts

<p style='text-align: justify;'>The Law of Kings or Fətḥa Nägäśt is a legal code compiled around 1240 CE 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. 'Ibn al-Assal took his laws partly from apostolic writings, and partly from former law codes of the Byzantine rulers. In the centuries since, the Fetḥa Nagaśt has been held in great esteem in Ethiopia, so much so that the prefaces to the country’s modern criminal and civil codes assert the document’s underlying influence. This particular manuscript was copied for Mamher (teacher) Germā Giyorgis and his father Ṣegē Mikā’ēl (ff. 144v, 147r) and was among the trove that fell into the hands of the British at Magdala in 1868. The phrase ‘pillar of faith Tēwodros’ appears on <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(301);return false;'>147r</a> along with the names Habta Giyorgis and Eḫeta Giyorgis. </p>

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