Gädlä Qäwéstos: Critical edition with annotated translation

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Addis Ababa University


Gädlä Qäwéstos is one of the Ethiopian medieval hagiography, originally it was composed by his disciple Abunä Mäbaýa Séyon. The gädl was briefly narrates about how the saint was born, his mother prenatal period of time full of miracles; such as, since his mother chore the flour for the Holy Communion while her belly touched where our father Qäwéstos had been conceived; and that flour grew to the edge of the sieve and overflowed from it and also descended on the mat of the wheat the flour of the Eucharist, how the Ark of the Covenant came to Ethiopia, the distruction of Jerusalem, the controversy of the two Sabbaths and the journey of Abunä Qäwéstos with his father to Jerusalem, The gädl also discusses about his monastic activities, preaching gospel, fighting pagan cults, the construction of churches, finally he became martyrdom; because of he accused king ŸAmdä Séyon of his polygamy marriage; and also his having concubines and also an incestuous liaison with his mother. Following this, ŸAmdä Séyon persecuted him; then, finishing his combat Jesus Christ gave him seven crown and got pact from the Lord God. The study has employed eleven witnesses of Gädlä Qäwéstos that are collected from different monasteries, archives and institutions. The researchser has applied these eleven Mss. for the critical edition. Among the eleven Mss, four of them (G, Q1, Q2 and C) are belong to the 19th century and the rest seven Mss. (N, N1, N2, B, D, I and G) are dated to 20th century. The thesis is organized into seven chapters; the first chapter contains the introductory part which provides the general information about the Ethiopian hagiographies and monastic histories in general and the hagiography of Abunä Qäwéstos in particular. The researcher briefly stated his justification for the re-editing of the gädl and has commented on the previous editions done by the previous researchers. Chapter two is devoted to the contents of the Gädl, the date of the composition and the author of gädl. Finally, the genealogy of the Saint is clearly presented. VII Chapter three covers the method, the textual history of the gädl, description and grouping the manuscripts, and the drawing of the stemma. Chapter four presents the linguistic features and figurative langauges that are extracted from the gädl. Chapter five contains the critical text; and chapter six contains the translation and annotation. Finally, chapter seven presents the summary, conclusions and recommendations. This dissertation aims to reconstructing the original text of Gädlä Qäwéstos applying the Neo-Lachmannian [textual edition] method and translating the text into English accompanied with a detailed commentary. Based on the principle, the eleven witnesses of Gädlä Qäwǝsṭos are grouped into family based on shared common errors (Conjunctive errors). Therefore, the classification of the stemma comes from an archetype [Ω] has two branches [α] and [β] and became bipartite stemma. Again, the two branches also produce the following sub families. The sub archetype [γ] and [η] form the family [α], which is the left wing of the stemma codicum calculated as: N+Q1 = η; N1+I = N2+  = ζ; G+ζ= γ, and the other sub archetype [ε] and [δ] form the family [β] is the right wing of the stemma codicum calculated as: C+D =; Q2+ B = ; Ê+ δ



Critical edition with annotated translation