The Prince and the Plunder

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

The prayer against migraine scroll

Published / by Andrew Heavens / Leave a Comment

What: One of five healing scrolls from Magdala. Part of a wider collection that includes 11 other scrolls that might also be from the same source

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

Details in: Catalogue of Ethiopian manuscripts of the Wellcome Institute of the History of Medicine in London / [compiled] by Stefan Strelcyn, published in 1972

“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. 715 mm. X 120 mm. Medial strip of a longer scroll. Large, mediocre handwriting. Black and red ink. No. 36971.

  1. Prayer against malicious demons and evil spirits, barya, legewon, ndgdrgar, the demon of the noon, dash, gudale, mdrmdg, mdc, mdtat, mdgganna, pleurisy, /era, malarial fever, bddbdd, cdndfdr, fdgen, .plaivdgi, buda, dgd sdbd\ chest pain, colic, migraine, rheumatism, ‘ayndt, nddoft, zar, tdgrida, tdlawas, sdra’el, blacksmiths – male and female, and diviners – male and female.
  2. Prayer against migraine.
  3. Prayer against chest pain. The end is missing.

Two coloured magical pictures.
Three consecutive owners are named : Sabana Giyorgis, Walatta >§ollase, and Walatta (?) Hoywat.

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