The Prince and the Plunder

A book on how Britain took one boy and piles of treasures from Ethiopia

The prayer against malicious demons scroll (MS 13)

Published / by Andrew Heavens / Leave a Comment

What: A healing scroll that was very likely taken from Maqdala. Part of a wider collection.

Where: The Wellcome Collection, 183 Euston Rd, London NW1 2BE

Ethiopian MS 13
Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) terms and conditions
Credit: 19th century Ethiopian manuscript. ink on Vellum. Credit: Wellcome CollectionAttribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

The online catalogue calls it MS Ethiopian 13 and says it was taken at Maqdala.

The 1972 print Catalogue of Ethiopian manuscripts of the Wellcome Institute of the History of Medicine in London is more cautious. It says:

“As far as one can tell from the notes preserved in the registers of the Library, the provenance of these scrolls is heterogeneous. As one might expect, some of them certainly come from Magdala, brought back by members of Lord Napier’s expedition in 1867-8 (Nos. I, VII, VIII, XII, XIV). This is probably also true for No. XIII and perhaps for a few others as well. All these MSS were acquired by the Library between 1913 and 1930.”

Catalogue entry:
Nineteenth century. Vellum. 600 mm. X 117 mm. Last strip of a longer scroll. Large, mediocre handwriting. Black and red ink. Preserved in a
cylindrical case of leather. No. 36970.

  1. End of a prayer against chest pain
  2. Prayer against colic.
  3. Prayer against malicious demons, and against the evil eye of men and women, of Christians, Muslims, and Jews, of white and black people, of Satan, devils, buda, dgd sdbd\ blacksmiths, dobbi and dobbit, dini and danit (?), qdmdnna and mwartdnna.

One magical picture at the end.
The consecutive owners mentioned are : Sabana Giyorgis, Makera Sallase, and Walatta Heywat.
Possibly originally belonging to the same scroll as No. XII. Bought in 1915.

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