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Лествица (Säwasəw) в рукописи РНБ Эф.н.с. 11 – учебное пособие для будущего митрополита Эфиопии

The present article deals with a remarkable example of Ethiopian grammar and lexicographic treatise (Säwasəw), preserved in the Manuscript Department of the National Library of Russia in St. Petesrburg. The tradition of composing compilations of that kind goes back in Ethiopia to the period of foundation of the Gondarine Kingdom in the 17th century AD, which was noted with general flourishing of culture in the region. In all probability, that genre was borrowed from the Coptic Arabic tradition. Initially those treatises were created and used as glossaries for Biblical and liturgical texts. Later they began to be applied for education purposes as textbooks in monastic and church traditional schools. Such manuscript handbooks included lists of Ge’ez words with parallel Amharic translations and often grammatical forms of verbs. The grammar treatise in question is distinguished not only with a series of specific features, proper both to its contents and structure, but also with its colophon, that shed light on the history of creation of the manuscript and its further destiny. It was compiled outside Ethiopia, in the bosom of the Coptic Church. This circumstance explains the presence of some peculiarities in it in comparison with the most common examples of those lists. Glosses in Ge‘ez are translated not only in Amharic, but in Arabic too. The manuscript was intended for Peter VII, the Coptic Alexandrian Patriarch in AD 1809–1852, who was initially prepared to become the Metropolitan of the Ethiopian Church. Later in Ethiopia, which was passing through the sorrowful period of political disintegration, there was a need in a new head of the Church, who should be ordained and sent to that country by Peter VII