А Case of Mǝhǝrkä Dǝngǝl: How an Ethiopian Historian left the “Alexandrian Faith” and became a Roman Catholic
Within the framework of medievel Ethiopian historiography Mǝhǝrkä Dǝngǝl is often considered as its typical representative. He was a royal secretary, the Court confessor and authored the beginning of the chronicle of the Ethiopian King Susǝnyos (1604-1632). The present article deals with the other side of this highly educated scribe, who proved to be a translator from Arabic into Gə‘əz of the Universal History by John of Nikiu (fl. 680-690) and one of the rare Ethiopian Christian scholars, who converted to Catholicism. Therefore, the written heritage of Mǝhǝrkä Dǝngǝl and his religious beliefs require particular attention. Although it would be tempting to explain his apostasy from the so-called “Alexandrian Faith” by expanding his confessional horizons through acquaintance with the early Byzantine history described in detail in the Chronicle of John of Nikiu, it seems quite more probable that Catholicism aroused his sympathy as a reliable ideological basis for royal autocracy.