The Prince and the Plunder

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

Tag: UCLA Library – Los Angeles

A late 16th century manuscript including the lives of Abba Zamika’el and Gabra Krestos

Published / by Andrew Heavens / Leave a Comment

What: A late 16th century manuscript including The Lives of Abba Zamikā’el and Gabra Krestos, The Vision of Mary, The Bandlet of Righteousness and The Miracle of St. Michael. It has a note mentioning Maqdala.

Where: University of California, Los Angeles. Library Special Collections, Los Angeles, California 90095-1575

The manuscript, listed as Ms. 170/337, has been scanned and can be seen here –

Provenance: A note on f1v. reads: “Taken from King Theodore’s arsenal at Magdala after the fall of the place 14th April 1868”. One note of caution – some manuscripts were described as “from Magdala” to raise their value, particularly for sale to the U.S. market. The university, however, seems to be confident in its provenance and describes its origin as Maqdala in its paper A collection of Ethiopic manuscripts, various dates.

One of a collection of 64 Ethiopic manuscripts at the UCLA including 54 bound volumes and 10 scrolls. Some of the others may also be from Magdala.

On f.54 has a miniature of Gabera Keresetos surrounded by dogs and with white leprosy spots, which is described in the paper as a “very important early representation of leprosy”.