The Prince and the Plunder

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

A manuscript including Homilies of the Archangel Michael with a note saying ‘brought from Magdala’

Published / by Andrew Heavens / Leave a Comment

What: An early 18th century manuscript of Homilies of the Archangel Michael and associated texts, with 23 paintings

Where: Princeton University Library, Manuscripts Division, One Washington Road, Princeton, New Jersey 08544 USA

Listed as Garrett Ethiopic Manuscript No. 2 i in the catalogue

Provenance: There is a note in English on the first page that the manuscript was taken from the fortress of King Theodore (Tēwodros II) at Magdala in 1868

See the note here in the digital version of the manuscript –

It is described as “from the library of the Emperor Theodore”in the article PRINCETON’S ETHIOPIC MANUSCRIPT COLLECTIONS AT 100 in The Princeton University Library Chronicle , Vol. 71, No. 3 (Spring 2010), pp. 461-466.

Background: The broader Robert Garrett collection consists of 113 bound manuscripts in Ge’ez and Amharic. The university’s manuscript division as a whole has more than 600 Ethiopic works. There is also an illuminated manuscript, a diptych icon and a hand cross in the Princeton University Art Museum. But none mention Magdala in their provenance.

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