MS Parma, Biblioteca Palatina, Parm. 3852: a meeting point for a medieval Ethiopian king-usurper with modern pro-Italian actors
Keywords:Lālibalā, hagiography, mise-en-texte, Ethiopia, Eritrea
MS Parma (Italy), Biblioteca Palatina, Parm. 3852, is a twentieth century manuscript comprising a collection of texts related to Saint King Lālibalā, known as the Gadla Lālibalā collection. This manuscript was produced by a scribe named Walda Giyorgis, who was probably a member of the Catholic Church of the Ethiopian Rite. This paper focuses on a single page from that manuscript, f. 118v, which displays a set of elements consisting of ‘titles’—navigational elements that help to structure liturgical readings. The introductory part was developed from an earlier manuscript bearing the same content, produced at the end of the seventeenth century for the church of Golgotā in Roha-Lālibalā in Lasta, Ethiopia. That manuscript was part of a cultural project aimed at strengthening local identity, and which chose Lālibalā as a patron of the region despite the fact that he had been dubbed a usurper by the ruling dynasty. The manuscript contains navigational elements common in Ethiopic manuscripts, but it is unique because it was produced between 1939 and 1940, when Italy declared the Impero, the Africa Orientale Italiana.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2023 Nafisa Valieva
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.