Catalogue of the Ethiopic Manuscript Imaging Project: Volume 1: Codices 1-105, Magic Scrolls 1-134

By Getatchew Haile, Melaku Terefe, Roger M. Rundell, Daniel Alemu and Steve Delamarter (editors)

A catalogue of the first 239 Ethiopic manuscripts digitised by the Ethiopic Manuscript Imaging Project, with full descriptions of contents and illuminations.

ISBN: 9780227173503


The series Ethiopic Manuscripts, Texts, and Studies offers, in the first place, catalogues of the Ethiopic Manuscript Imaging Project, whose purpose it is to digitize and catalogue collections of Ethiopic manuscripts in North America and around the world. Beyond this, though, the series offers a venue for monographs, revised dissertations, and texts that explore the rich historical, literary, and artistic traditions of Ethiopia and the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.
From the Series Foreword

This is a catalogue of the digital collection of images produced from the first two hundred and thirty nine Ethiopic manuscripts digitised by the Ethiopic Manuscript Imaging Project (EMIP). These include 105 codices and 134 scrolls of Ethiopian spiritual healing.

The codices include gospels and other scriptural texts, liturgies, missals, psalters, hymns and commentaries. Each catalogue entry is laid out in seven sections:

  1. Number, name and title
  2. Physical description and date (including descriptions of cases and covers)
  3. List of contents (with incipits)
  4. List of miniatures and illuminations
  5. Varia (known works added later)
  6. Notes on codicology and scribal practic
  7. Quire maps

The scrolls of spiritual healing contain prayers against diseases and natural disasters, such as epidemics and drought, and against the evil spirits that are believed to cause them. Many of the scrolls concern conditions suffered by women, such as menstruation, miscarriage and infertility. Each catalogue entry contains five elements:

  1. Number, name and title
  2. Physical description and date (including descriptions of cases and covers)
  3. List of contents
  4. List of miniatures and illuminations
  5. Name of the owner

A particular focus of interest of the Project is on the scribal techniques and practices in evidence within the manuscripts, and this has been emphasised in the catalogue descriptions.

Along with its companion volume Ethiopian Scribal Practice 1, which includes colour images of all the codices listed, this catalogue provides an invaluable research tool for scholars and students in Ethiopian Studies. The manuscripts catalogued here constitute a resource for a wide range of studies, such as the exploration of developments of scribal and artistic practice across time, or the interconnections between common elements in manuscripts, scribal practices, scribal education, and community ideology.

Additional information

Dimensions242 × 165 mm


Trade InformationJPOD

About the Author

Getatchew Haile is a MacArthur Fellow and has studied theology at the Coptic Theological College in Cairo, Egypt; social sciences at the American University in Cairo, Egypt; and Semitic philology at the Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany. He has also taught for over ten years at the Haile Sellassie I (now Addis Ababa) University, Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) before he moved to the United States in 1976. Haile is a Corresponding
Fellow of the British Academy and has served St. Johns University (Collegeville, Minnesota) as Curator of the Ethiopian Study Center, as Regents Professor of Medieval Studies, and as Cataloguer of Oriental Manuscripts, Emeritus.

Melaku Terefe served the church in Ethiopia for several years in various positions in Awasa (southern Ethiopia) and Harrar (eastern Ethiopia). For the last seven years he has served as priest in the Virgin Mary Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church in Los Angeles, California. He is in frequent demand, speaking in various churches throughout North America. He is also the cataloguer of the Wolf Leslau collection of Ethiopian manuscripts at the Charles E. Young Research Library at UCLA.

Roger M. Rundell currently resides in Longview, Washington.

Ato Daniel Alemu currently resides in Addis Ababa.

Steve Delamarter teaches Old Testament at the seminary of George Fox University. With Ato Demeke Berhane, he has written A Catalogue of Previously Uncatalogued Ethiopic Manuscripts in England: Twenty-three Manuscripts in the Bodleian, Cambridge University and John Rylands University Libraries and in a Private Collection (Oxford University Press, 2007).


Series Foreword
Introduction to the Collection and Its Codicology
Introduction to the Scrolls of Ethiopian Spiritual Healing

Catalogue of the Codices
Catalogue of the Scrolls of Ethiopian Spiritual Healing

List of the Manuscripts by EMIP Number and Owner Number
List of Dated or Datable Manuscripts
List of Undated and Composite Manuscripts
Index of Works in the Codices
Index of Names and Places in the Codices
Index of Miniatures in the Codices
Index of Scribal Practices in the Codices
Index of Works in the Scrolls of Spiritual Healing
Index of Names in the Scrolls of Spiritual Healing


For colour plates of the codices described in the Extract, please see the extracts for the companion volume, Ethiopian Scribal Practice 1.

Endorsements and Reviews

… the catalogue and the companion volume mark an important step towards the establishing of a better standard of Ethiopic codicology, where quantitative evaluation comes to play a more central role …
Alessandro Bausi, in Aethiopica: International Journal of Ethiopian and Eritrean Studies, 13 (2010)