SOME AMHARIC SOURCES FOR MODERN ETHIOPIAN HISTORY, 1889-19351

ዋና ገጽ | የኢትዮጵያ ታሪክና ሥነጽሑፍ የምርምር ሥራዎች /Researches on Ethiopian History and Literature/
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SOME AMHARIC SOURCES FOR MODERN ETHIOPIAN HISTORY, 1889-19351


By PETER P. GARRETSON -WITHN OTESB Y RICHARDP ANKHURST- Cambridge University Press
  


Emperor Menelik's reign (1889-1913)opens a new era in the kind of sources that the historian has at his disposal for the analysis of modern Ethiopian history. During his reign printing presses were set up in the country and spurred a gradual growth in the more wide spread use of Amharic, not just as the spoken but also the written language of the imperial court. This is not to say that the Ga'az literary tradition in Ethiopia disappeared altogether, for some chronicles in Ga'oz continued to be written after 1935, often very similar in form and content to those which have survived for the Gondarine and earlier periods of  Ethiopian history. However, Menelik's reign, and the official chronicle of it by Giibrii  Sollase, mark a significant departure, not least because the chronicle was written in Amharic and not in G'ez. 2 There are a few earlier published literary works in Amharic, the songs of the kings of the fourteenth century being the most significant,but it should be emphasized that the Ga'az tradition continued parallel to the Amharic in the form of tarika nagast, i.e the history of  kings. Some of these are now reserved at the Institute of Ethiopian Studies at Addis Ababa, like the Gondarine tarika nagast which belonged to Nagus Walda  Giyorgis, the valuable biography of the grandson of Emperor Tewodros( 1855-68), MaSaSa and published biography of Ras Makonnen.


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By PETER P. GARRETSON -WITHN OTESB Y RICHARDP ANKHURST- Cambridge University Press
 
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