Book: The Queen Of Sheba And Her Only Son Menyelek by Ea Wallis BudgeThis volume contains a complete English Translation of the famous Ethiopian work, OThe Kabra Nagast,O i.e. the OGlory of the Kings [of Ethiopia].O This work has been held in peculiar honour in Abyssinia for several centuries, and throughout that country it has been, and still is, venerated by the people as containing the final proof of their descent from the Hebrew Patriarchs, and of the kinship of their kings of the Solomonic line with Christ, the Son of God. The importance of the book, both for the kings and the people of Abyssinia, is clearly shown by the letter that King John of Ethiopia wrote to the late Lord Granville in August, 1872. The king says: OThere is a book called OKivera NegustO which contains the Law of the whole of Ethiopia, and the names of the Shams [i.e. Chiefs], and Churches, and Provinces are in this book. IEpray you find out who has got this book, and send it to me, for in my country my people will not obey my orders without it.O The first summary of the contents of the Kabra Nagast was published by Bruce as far back as 1813, but little interest was roused by his somewhat bald pricis. And, in spite of the labours of Petorius, Bezold, and Hugues le Roux, the contents of the work are still practically unknown to the general reader in England. It is hoped that the Translation given in the following pages will be of use to those who have not the time or opportunity for perusing the Ethiopic original.
A full discussion of every portion of the work, with extracts giving the original texts of the authorities used and quoted by Isaac the scribe, would fill another volume, and the cost of printing, paper, and binding is now so great that the idea of producing such a book has been abandoned. A Translation of the Arabic text describing how the Kingdom of David was transferred from Jerusalem to Ethiopia has been added, for this interesting document is practically unknown in England. The pictures of events described in the Old and New Testaments, given in this book, are taken from Ethiopic MSS. in the British Museum; they show as nothing else can the religious beliefs and traditions of the Ethiopians, and at the same time they serve as examples of the drawings and designs with which they illustrated their manuscripts. Nearly all of them depict Scriptural events described or referred to in the Kabra Nagast.
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