Ethio-Spare 1st Field Research Trip (April – May 2010)
Field Research and Digitizing mission 1:
Districts of activity: Eastern Tegray Zone, wäräda Gulä Mäkäda
Churches and monasteries visited: 1. 'Ura Qirqos/'Ura Mäsqäl; 2.'Addäqäharsi Mäkanä Heywät Paraqlitos; 3. Däbrä Zäyt Qeddest Maryam; 4. Däbrä Ma'so Qeddus Yohannes; 5. Däbrä Gännät Qeddest Sellase Medrä Ruba; 6. Däbrä Seyon Qeddest Maryam Mänäbäyti; 7. Däbrä Berhan Qeddest Maryam Foqäda; 8. Sämaz Däbrä Metmaq Qeddest Maryam gädam; 9. Däbrä Gännät Qeddest Maryam Säbäya; 10. Däbrä Sälam Qeddus Mika'el Qärsäbär; 11. Däbrä Mänkerat Qeddus Qirqos 'Addigrat; 12. Däbrä Mädhanit Mädhane 'Aläm 'Addigrat; 13. Mäti' Qeddus Gäbre'el; 14. 'Ech Ma're 'Enda Gäbrä Mänfäs Qeddus
Mission report: read online or download PDF file.
In the period 23.04.-26.05.2010 the team of the Ethio-Spare project carried out its first field research season. Basing in ˁAddigrat, the team was focusing on the historical sites of the Gulä Mäḵäda wäräda (East Tǝgray Zone). The team consisted of the members of the project from Hamburg University, representatives of the Tǝgray Culture and Tourism Agency (TCTA), and representative officials of the respective church administration offices. Within the four weeks of intensive work, the team was able to visit fourteen sites, many of them completely unknown to scholars and/or difficult to access.
The excellent cooperation of the TCTA and the local church administration enabled the team to achieve good results: it recorded a few hundred manuscripts and collected a lot of historical information about the sites. Below follow some brief observations about the sites visited and the most remarkable manuscripts and objects. Full-scale evaluation of the results is underway at the Hiob Ludolf Center for Ethiopian Studies in Hamburg. Digital copies of the collected materials can be consulted in the main office of the Tǝgray Culture and Tourism Agency and in the Eastern Tǝgray Diocese (ˁAddigrat). In the report below, all datings and conclusions should be considered as preliminary.
- ˁUra Qirqos/ˁUra Mäsqäl
The site can be reached via the main ˁAddigrat – Zäla ˀAmbäsa road and a side road, after some 40-50 min drive. Situated quite close to the Eritrean border, the site of ˁUra Qirqos/ Ura Qirqos  has been known since several years, and was visited by scholars, but is still not well explored. It accommodates two churches. The first, ˁUra Qirqos, more recent, is built in the traditional Tǝgrayan style, standing on the edge of the plateau (fig. 1). An impressive abyss opens just behind the eastern part of the church compound. The second, ˁUra Mäsqäl, is difficult to access. It is located on the top of an outcrop of the rock and can be seen from the edge of the plateau (fig. 2). It appears to be of the same type as ˁUra Qirqos, built perhaps in the late 19th or early 20th cent. at the latest. To reach the church, one has to pass along the crest of a rocky outcrop, with breath-taking drops on both sides. Regular church service took place there until the beginning of the Ethiopian-Eritrean border conflict in 1999; then, because of its proximity to the border, ˁUra Mäsqäl had to be abandoned, and the entire property of the church was transferred to ˁUra Qirqos. Today, the service takes place in ˁUra Mäsqäl on the occasion of a few annual church feasts only.
Local tradition does not preserve much information about the history of the site, commonly referring to foundation of ˁUra Mäsqäl in the time of “ḥaṣäy Gäbrä Mäsqäl”, and assigning foundation of ˁUra Qirqos to the time of King Yoḥannǝs IV (1872-89). The churches preserve quite a number of very ancient, unique manuscripts. Most of the old manuscripts belonged to ˁUra Mäsqäl. Both churches are historically linked, and seem to have had under their administration a few other churches in the surrounding area. There is no clear indication that a monastic community was ever established there.
ˁUra Mäsqäl seems to have existed well prior to the 14th cent., possibly under the rulers of the dynasty referred to as “Zagwe”, i.e. before the Solomonic dynasty was re-established in 1270. As follows from the marginalia in the manuscripts, the old name of the site is Qǝfrǝya which indeed appears in a few medieval sources.
For ˁUra Qirqos, the foundation time is somewhat difficult to assess, but it existed definitely long before the reign of Yoḥannǝs IV, who might have re-established or renewed the church or rather confirmed or extended its land possessions. The ancient collections of ˁUra Mäsqäl/ˁUra Qirqos survived centuries but were recently endangered because of the Ethiopian-Eritrean conflict. The collections are extensive and include dozens of books from different periods, some of them indeed very old. Among the most valuable books of the site, one should mention a pre-14th-cent. copy of the Gädlä Sämaˁǝtat (“Vitae of the Martyrs”) (fig. 3) and an ancient (14th cent.?) “Golden Gospel” book (fig. 4), as well as a substantial number of old fragments. Currently, Ethio-Spare is initiating measures aimed at preserving and restoring the manuscripts of ˁUra Mäsqäl//ˁUra Qirqos.
- ˁAddäqäḥarsi Mäkanä Ḥǝywät Ṗaraqliṭos
The church ˁAddäqäḥarsi Mäkanä Ḥǝywät Ṗaraqliṭos can be reached by the ˁAddigrat – Bǝzät road, after some 50min drive. Located below the road and well visible from above, the church stands on a picturesque rock, overlooking a deep gorge. The big, rectangular church is relatively recent and built in the traditional Tǝgrayan style; it stands on a podium, with stairs leading to the west entrance of the church. Outside the old compound, the construction of a new church building has been recently started.
At a first glance not featuring in historical sources and practically unknown before the site proved to have a very ancient tradition of religious veneration. The presence of a Sabaean inscription brings the history of the sanctuary of ˁAddäqäḥarsi Ṗaraqliṭos back into the first millennium B.C. Besides, the site has a few remains that may originate from the Aksumite age: three big (ca. 2,5m) stone pillars can be seen standing in the church yard. One stone pillar is located on the left side of the podium; it bears an anthropomorphic relief on one side (fig. 5), and a relief of the cross on the opposite side (fig. 6). The second pillar bearing no decorations stands to the right of the podium, included in a barrier recently built around a water cistern (fig. 7). The third pillar stands in the doorway of the gate house (fol. 8). The vast compound of the church includes quite a number of structures of indefinite age, among them also individual dwellings for old retired priests.
Behind the church, on its southern side, there is a spot where a stone platform protrudes from the earth, with the surface showing typical traces of ancient volcanic activity (fig. 9). Females are prohibited to enter this place, which is sacred and referred to as the burial of “the Righteous ones of Ṗaraqliṭos” (ṣadǝqan zä-Ṗaraqliṭos). The main tabot of the church is also dedicated to them, i.e. a group of anonymous saints who are said to be the first Christian missionaries of the area. They appear to be a new, previously unknown group of ṣadǝqan.
Local tradition recounts that in pre-Christian time (ˀOrit), the site was already a “sanctuary”; “the Righteous ones” came in the 4th cent. and made it a church. However, the “Righteous” were martyred when a conflict arose between them and those who opposed the new religion. The tradition vaguely mentions the Aksumite King ˀAlˁameda and recounts that the church was re-established by a 16th-cent. King Lǝbnä Dǝngǝl. Also it reports that a big monastic community had existed at ˁAddäqäḥarsi, but died out long ago.
The library of the church is extensive, with a number of valuable manuscripts. The hagiography of “the Righteous ones of Ṗaraqliṭos” includes a previously unknown Vita, Miracles and mälkǝˁ-poetry, attested in manuscripts of different age. The oldest collection is preserved in a unique manuscript dating into the reign of King Lǝbnä Dǝngǝl (fig. 10). The veneration of the “Righteous ones of Ṗaraqliṭos” was possibly revived in the 19th cent., as it is proved by a manuscript with their Vita from the time of Yoḥannǝs IV (fig. 11). The “Golden Gospel” of the church originates from the time of Mǝnilǝk II and is remarkable thanks to an elaborate metal cover of the binding (fig. 12). Among other books, the church possesses a remarkable 15th-cent. copy of the Täˀamrä Maryam (“Miracles of Mary”; s. fig. 13).
- Däbrä Zäyt Qǝddǝst Maryam
The site of Däbrä Zäyt is located not far from the ˁAddigrat – Bǝzät road, approximately half-way to ˁAddäqäḥarsi. The church is partly visible from the road (fig. 14). The site seems to have been unknown to scholars before and does not feature, at a first glance, in the historical sources. The walk to Däbrä Zäyt is difficult: one has to descend into the deep gorge, cross the dry river bed, and then have a difficult walk upwards. The picturesque site is situated on several terraces under the cliff. The more recent part of the site, visible from the road, accommodates a few household structures, a recent rectangular church, a sacristy (ˁǝqa bet), and a bell tower (under construction). A path downwards leads to the gate house (fig. 14, on the right). The part of the site with recent structures is separated from another one by a wall with the door. Here, apparently older structures are located one after another on a narrow ground along the cliff. The terrace becomes a narrow path which leads to a small cave with ṣäbäl-holy source (fig. 15). A protective barrier is built on the left side of this terrace; behind the barrier, an abyss opens. This part of the site is considered sacred, and one can enter it only having left the shoes outside. It is invisible from the outside, hidden by the overhanging cliff and the bushes.
The most remarkable feature of the site is the old church. An estimation of its age is still to be done, but it appears to be a medieval church predating the Gondärine period. The church seems to have escaped any profound rebuilding or renovation. It is a small basilica-like structure with one nave and two sequences of timber columns (four in each one) inside, and a narthex. The narthex can be entered through the double doorway (fig. 16). Made of sophisticated woodwork, its ceiling is supported by two wooden piers. There are murals on the walls, partly white-washed, partly still visible (fig. 17). A doorway in the western wall leads inside the nave. The eastern part of the church cannot be visited because it is used as the sanctuary, and the tabot is preserved there. However, one can see that the “throne” of the tabot is placed in a (square?) apse formed by a stone barrier and a rough arch above. The sanctuary is additionally screened by a curtain (fig. 18). The church leans against the rock which thus substitutes the southern wall (fig. 19). The roof of the church is flat, with a dome over the sanctuary indicating the presence of a cupola inside. Beside the main entrance, there is one small door and one window in the northern wall of the narthex, one window in the northern wall of the nave, and a door and a window in the eastern wall of the church building (fig. 20).
Behind the church, stairs cut in rock lead upwards, to a small elevated ground; to the left, a small house stands, described by the local people as the former ˁəqa bet of the old church (fig. 21). The surface of the rock at the beginning of the stairs is covered with crudely done and weathered graffiti-like designs; among those still visible, crosses and partly vocalized Ethiopic letters can be distinguished. The local people refer also to a “design of an ibex” allegedly visible on the surface of the cliff on the opposite side, but it could not be verified with certainty.
The priests reported the existence of one more, rock-hewn church somewhere above, between the rocks, and also to the presence of a tabot consecrated in the name of King Lalibäla (one of the Zagwe rulers, 12th/13th cent.), but this information could not be verified. Local tradition recounts that, before the spread of Christianity, the site was an “Old Testament synagogue” (yä-ˀOrit mǝkwǝrab). A rock-hewn church is said to have been the initial structure of the site built in the time of King Bazen. Some 400 years ago, another church (i.e., the old basilica-like church) was established and the sanctuary was transferred down. The new church was constructed in the late 1980s. A monastic community existed in Däbrä Zäyt, but disappeared long ago.
It seems that the library of the church was profoundly renovated, perhaps in the late 19th/early 20 cent, and a few ancient books were lost in the course of the time. However, a few interesting manuscripts were discovered in Däbrä Zäyt, among them: fragments of a 14th /15th -cent. Gospel book (fig. 22); a 16th-cent. (?) poorly preserved copy of Gǝbrä Ḥǝmamat (“The Rite of Passion Week”; fig. 23); an old (16th-cent.?) “leporello” manuscript of the finest production, with eleven miniatures depicting the scenes from the Holy Family and of the saints on one side and a text (a miracle of Mary) on the other side (fig. 24a, fig. 24b. For a leporello book with fewer miniatures (seven), but with some similarities in style, dated back to 15th cent., s. Barbieri - Di Salvo - Fiaccadori 2009:58-59, no. 10.). Among the recent manuscripts, there is a 19th-cent. (?) copy of Gǝbrä Ḥǝmamat written in a peculiar, small handwriting and including, unusually, a miniature of St. George of Lydda (fig. 25).
Needless to say, these are the first rough observation on the very rich and interesting site, which were done within several hours only. The site definitely needs a further detailed study and some preservation measures.
- Däbrä Maˁṣo Qәddus Yoḥannǝs
The church of Däbrä Maˁṣo Yoḥannǝs was noticed during the preparation of the field mission; it appears in a few old historical sources, but has not been identified until now. The site is located in a remote and hardly accessible corner of Gulo Mäḵäda, and it had apparently never been visited by any European tourist or scholar.
In Gǝˁǝz and modern Tǝgrǝňňa, maˁṣo means “gate, door”. The settlement of the community is located on the top of an ˀamba, or ˀǝmba, i.e., flat-top mountain. The foot of the mountain can be reached by car through the road from Zäla ˀAmbäsa, but in order to get to the village of the community, one has to make a difficult steep climb (fig. 26). As the team reached the top of the ˀamba, it turned out that the actual church of Maˁṣo Yoḥannǝs could not be visited: standing on a separate rock, it is not directly accessible from the village. In order to reach it, one would have to start walking from the foot of the mountain, following another path. As one can judge from afar, the contemporary church of Däbrä Maˁṣo is probably a recent, rectangular building in the traditional Tǝgrayan style (fig. 27).
The main tabot of the church of Däbrä Maˁṣo is dedicated to John the Baptist (Yoḥannǝs Mäṭmǝq), which seems to be the ancient, possibly original dedication, not so common today. The church possesses a few manuscripts with hagiographic works (Homilies, Miracles) devoted to John the Baptist. The oldest one, dating probably to the 16th cent., contains some thirty miracles of St. Mary and three homilies on John the Baptist (fig. 28).
A few ancient and valuable manuscripts hinting to the former significance of the place were discovered, including two old (late 14th/15th-cent.) manuscripts of the Gädlä Ḥawaryat (the apocryphal “Contendings of the Apostles”) representing, however, different versions of the collection, and written by different hand: one clearly superior and well-trained hand (fig. 29), and the other poor and, perhaps, of somewhat later period (fig. 30). The “Golden Gospel” of the church, though not illuminated, is an example of skillful scribal work from the same period (fig. 31). A manuscript containing a collection of homilies was given to the church in the time of King Däwit II (ca. 1379-1413), according to a donation note. A flyleaf, attached to the manuscript, originates from a much older Gospel manuscript.
Despite the extremely rough conditions of the site and poverty of the people, the ancient books have survived centuries in relatively good condition, though none seems to have preserved original binding. Preservation measures are currently underway to secure the ancient part of the collection.
- Däbrä Gännät Qәddәst Śәllase Mәdrä Ruba
The site of a large church Qәddәst Śәllase Mәdrä Ruba can be easily reached from the road Zäla ˀAmbäsa – Säbäya. Situated in the picturesque valley between the mountains, the church is quite recent (fig. 32), rectangular, built in the traditional Tәgrayan style; the other buildings of the compound look older. According to local tradition, the church was founded by King Gäbrä Mäsqäl. Local people tell that there was another church dedicated to ˀabunä Libanos in the vicinity, founded in the 16th cent. Some decades ago the local community decided to “fuse” both institutions, and the tabots and the books of the church of Libanos were moved to Mәdrä Ruba Śәllase. A monastic community is said to have existed at the church. One of the tabots is consecrated to ˀabba ˀAnanya of Däbrä Ṣärabi, one of the members of the so-called ˀEwosṭatean movement. An extensive collection merged thus in Mәdrä Ruba. Among interesting manuscripts, the following ones were discovered: a 16th-cent. (?) copy of the ˀArganonä Wәddase (‘The Organ of Praise’, a hymn praising St. Mary; fig. 33); a late 17th/early 18th (?) manuscript of the Synaxarion (fol. 34); an illuminated manuscript of the Vita of Gäbrä Mänfäs Qәddus, donated by a local lord däğğazmač Ḥagwäs Täfäri and members of his family (fig. 35). A few other manuscripts highlight the work of a 19th-cent. local scribe Wäldä Muse (contemporary of King Yoḥannəs IV) and his peculiar handwriting, who was probably influenced by the old local writing styles and/or imitated them (fig. 36).
- Däbrä Ṣǝyon Qǝddǝst Maryam Mänäbäyti
The church of Maryam Män(n)äbäyti is a well-known archaeological site in the area around Amba Foqäda (s. below). As it frequently happens in cases of old church institutions, the manuscripts are less spectacular and informative than the archaeological features of the site. However, an Additio in a copy of Täˀamrä ˀIyäsus (“Miracles of Jesus”) recounts that the church was rebuilt under qäyǝsä gäbäz Ḫaylä Krǝstos (the commissioner of the manuscript), King Täklä Giyorgis and Metropolitan ˀabunä ˀIyosab (fig. 37). Other manuscripts do not antedate the time of the Gondärine kingdom (cp. probably 18th-cent. Missal, fig. 38).
- Däbrä Berhan Qǝddǝst Maryam Foqäda
The big church of Maryam Foqäda can be easily reached through the main road ˁAddigrat – Zäla ˀAmbäsa; one has to turn to the right just before the town of Faṣiy. The church, well-known as archaeological site (fig. 39), stands in the rear of a plain, fertile valley, with a picturesque mounting on one side, and a gorge on another side. Even though a general survey of the area was not a purpose of the visit, it soon became clear that it is very difficult to reconcile the information provided by old publications, with the contemporary situation marked by changes in landscape and place names that took place during the last 50-70 years. It looks that the church of Maryam Foqäda was not found remarkable by the previous researchers – C. Conti Rossini, A. Mordini, J. Leclant and A. Miquel – since there were neither rock paintings no antique ruins around. Indeed, the church stands on a large basement suggestive of old foundation. Antique stone objects (including pillars etc.) can be seen in the church compound and remains of old structures were unearthed behind the church building during the recent archaeological reconnaissance works. Local tradition vaguely remembers that the site had been a place of a sanctuary in the pre-Christian time (“Qäläw-Bäläw”), and after the arrival of Christianity a church was established there by the wife of Gäbrä Mäsqäl.
As in many other cases, the collection of the church did not have very old books; the priests, however, told that the most valuable manuscripts and objects had been taken by “the Turks”. Among the interesting manuscripts, a copy of the Täˀamrä Maryam (“Miracles of Mary”) of late 17th/18th cent. can be mentioned, with a beautiful frontispiece miniature originating from a much older book (14th or 15th cent.?; fig. 40), skillfully attached to the page by stitches.
A few nuns live at the church, but there has been no organized monastic community at Maryam Foqäda. An interesting feature of the local tradition is the veneration of ˀabunä Mäzgäbä Śǝllase, a second half of the 17th-cent. saintly abbot of the monastery of Gundä Gunde. The church possesses two manuscripts with hagiographic texts devoted to Mäzgäbä Śǝllase (Vita, Miracles and mälkǝˁ-poetry). Another interesting feature of the local cultural landscape, which seems to have been overlooked by former visitors, is a small rectangular church dedicated to Mäzgäbä Śǝllase, located just a few hundred meters from Maryam Foqäda. The existence of the sanctuary explains the presence of the manuscripts with Mäzgäbä Śǝllase’s hagiography. Difficult to see from the outside, the church of Mäzgäbä Śǝllase is half-hidden in a picturesque canyon (fig. 41), with a ṣäbäl-stream falling down from the rock. The contemporary church appears recent, but local tradition tells that the first church building was established during the reign of King Fasilädäs (1632-67), with the personal involvement of Mäzgäbä Śǝllase, on the place of the latter’s “prayer house”.
- Sämaz Däbrä Mǝṭmaq Qǝddǝst Maryam gädam
The church of Sämaz Maryam can be reached from the road Zäla ˀAmbäsa – ˀIrob, after a short drive and a walk upwards. As a few other churches, it is located in a small, humid and hot valley, well-watered and covered by thick grass, reeds, trees and bushes (fig. 42). The rectangular church is brand-new, but the new building was in all probability constructed around the older mäqdäs-sanctuary that remained after the former church had been dismantled (a usual practice in the area). Sämaz seems to have been overlooked in the existing registers of archaeological sites, perhaps due to the fact that its location is somewhat hidden, and there is no rock-hewn church or any spectacular ruins there. However, an ancient (Aksumite?) pillar was discovered in the doorway of the gate house (fig. 43), and another one was noticed in the masonry of the wall (figs. 44, 45). Several window grills, carved of stone, have been inserted in the windows of the gate house and of a half-ruined building to the left (fig. 46). In the background of the compound, there is a ṣäbäl-water spring which attracts sick people hoping for healing.
Local tradition claims that the first church on this site was built by King ˁAmdä Ṣǝyon I (1314-34). Among the local tabots, one is dedicated to Mäṭaˁ/Libanos who is widely venerated in the region, and one to ˀabba ˀAnanya, one of the ˀEwosṭatean monks (s. above). Formally, Sämaz Maryam is a monastery (gädam), but the monastic community has declined; now, there are no monks.
The local climate of Sämaz, humid and hot, strongly contrasts to the moderate climate of other places around, and must severely affect the conditions of parchment. Probably, the climate is the main reason for the young age of the collection of Sämaz, covering only the recent period of the history of the site, as well as for the poor shape of some of the books. A manuscript of the liturgical book Mäṣḥafä aslǝṭi appears to be written by Zä-Wäldä Maryam, a local mid-18th-cent. scribe (fig. 47). An Additio in this manuscript (col. rb) recounts that the sanctuary of Sämaz was built by ˀabunä ˁAṣfä Dǝngǝl “on three stone pillars”. At least one book of the collection was written by the scribe Wäldä Muse (fig. 48), contemporary of Yoḥannǝs IV (1872-89; s. above, Däbrä Gännät Qәddәst Śәllase Mәdrä Ruba). Sämaz was favored by ras ˀAraya Śǝllase (ca. 1869-88), a son of Yoḥannǝs IV, who donated at least one book to the church. Also a nice diptych showing some European influence probably originates from the second half of the 19th cent. (fig. 49).
- Däbrä Gännät Qǝddǝst Maryam Säbäya
The site of Säbäya Maryam can be conveniently reached through the road Zäla ˀAmbäsa – ˀIrob. It has been known ever since as an archaeological site, but the landscape has changed drastically since late 1950s. A new church was erected in the 1970s in the old church compound, and some other buildings have been constructed in the recent years. The valley between the mountains was cultivated and widely used for the construction of houses (fig. 50).
Local tradition only tells that a sanctuary had existed there in pre-Christian time (ˀOritočč), though the archaeological excavations made in 1950s are well remembered. One of the tabots of the church is dedicated to ˀabunä Yonas, one of the ˀEwosṭatean saintly monks. The oldest manuscript of Säbäya Maryam seems to be a late 15th-/16th-cent. copy of the Täˀamrä Maryam (“Miracles of Mary”) (fig. 51). One more manuscript written by scribe Zä-Wälda Maryam (s. above, Sämaz Däbrä Mǝṭmaq Qǝddǝst Maryam) was found, being a copy of Synaxarion for the first half of the year. Though commonly said to be the most popular book in Ethiopia, in comparison to other sites visited during the mission, only in Säbäya the Psalter manuscripts make a conspicuous group of particular interest. Cp. a first half 19th-cent. Psalter, for which it was possible to partly trace its history (fig. 52); and a late 18th/early 19th-cent. Psalter containing two miniatures (figs. 53a, 53b). Some years ago, a big processional cross was restituted to Säbäya Maryam, which had been stolen during the fighting around Säbäya, once a center of anti-Därg struggle.
At the entrance to the valley of Säbäya, on the left side of the road, the small but picturesque gäṭär-church of Mätiˁ Qǝddus Gäbreˀǝl stands on a mountain (fig. 54), overlooking the valley. Local tradition does not remember anything specific about the history of the church, but claims that it is as ancient as Säbäya Maryam.
- Däbrä Sälam Qǝddus Mikaˀel Qärsäbär
The big church of Mikaˀel Qärsäbär stands on the main road ˁAddigrat – Zäla ˀAmbäsa, at the place where the side-road to Bǝzät starts (fig. 55). The church of Qärsäbär definitely predates ˁAddigrat; in the 19th cent. the settlement around Qärsäbär was at times larger than that of ˁAddigrat. Local tradition recounts that the church was founded in the time of King Säˁaldoba; the present building was constructed under Emperor Ḫaylä Śǝllase. A monastic community is said to have existed at Qärsäbär, but disappeared in the period of Därg, the military authoritarian government.
The collection of Qärsäbär proves the substantial age of the church, and contains quite a number of interesting manuscripts which hint to a significant role played by the church in the past. The “Golden Gospel” of the church is a pre-16th cent. manuscript. Among other books, cp. a mid-18th-cent. copy of the Vita and Miracles of St. Gäbrä Mänfäs Qǝddus which includes a “guest text”: the so-called Śǝrˁatä beta krǝstiyan (“the Structure of the church”; fig. 56); a fine 18th-cent. copy of the Täˀamrä Maryam (“Miracles of Mary”; fig. 57), and an illuminated 18th-cent. (?) manuscript of the Dǝrsanä Mikaˀel (“Homily of St. Michael”), with miniatures executed in a peculiar “style of red faces” (fig. 58). Standing on the road to Bǝzät, i.e. on the route to the monastery of Däbrä Dammo, the church of Qärsäbär must have entertained historical connections to the latter, and, as a result, possesses at least one manuscript written there – a very fine copy of the Acts of Täklä Haymanot (fig. 59). The scribe Zä-Wäldä Maryam, mentioned above, might have been based in the church of Qärsäbär, as the church has quite a number of manuscripts written by his hand.
- Däbrä Mänkǝrat Qǝddus Qirqos ˁAddigrat
The church of St. Cyprianus (Qirqos) is the main historical church of ˁAddigrat, established by däğğazmač Säbagadis Wäldu in the same time as he founded the town soon after his rise to power in 1818. Surrounded by increasingly modernized area and by bigger buildings, historical core of ˁAddigrat is still clearly identifiable, with the round, elegant church standing on a hill (fig. 60). The church was built by däğğazmač Säbagadis after his rise to power in 1818, and marked the establishment of a new political center. Being on the spot, one understands the reason why the town was called ˁAddigrat (which is a contracted form of ˁAddi Gäraht – in Tǝgrǝňňa, literally, “the town of fields”). In fact the historical core of the town is built upon a several hundred square meters large protruding rocky platform, the area exactly near ˁAddigrat Qirqos. Here, one can see that, what today is completely occupied by urban area was once a valley of flat fields; indeed, ˁAddigrat was once a settlement surrounded by fields. However, much of the original structure of the settlement disappeared with the extension of the town by the Italians during the occupation of 1935-41, and the rest has completely gone due to the quick development of ˁAddigrat starting from the 1990s.
The library of the church includes a number of interesting and valuable manuscripts, including also those which predate the foundation of the church: cp. a composite manuscript of the Täˀamrä Maryam (“Miracles of Mary”) which incorporated quires originating from a manuscript of the time of Lǝbnä Dǝngǝl and personally donated by this king (fig. 61). Among others, there is a copy of Haymanotä ˀAbäw (“Faith of the Fathers”) written in the time of King Bäkaffa; and at least one manuscript (the Book of the Funeral Ritual) is written by the mid-18th-cent. local scribe Zä-Wäldä Maryam. The best part of the library is composed by nice examples of early post-Gondärine manuscript culture: finely written Four Gospel manuscript (fig. 62) and richly illustrated Vita and Miracles of St. Cyriacus (fig. 63), both donated by däğğazmač Säbagadis.
- Däbrä Mädhanit Mädḫane ˁAläm ˁAddigrat
The church of Mädḫane ˁAläm ˁAddigrat is located not more than 200m from the church of St. Cyriacus. The church has never been mentioned in the sources, being, however, historically interesting and remarkable. The building of the church is rectangular, built in the traditional Tǝgrayan style, probably of recent age (fig. 64). Local tradition ascribes the foundation of the church to däğğazmač Kǝflä Waḥǝd, a late 16th-cent. governor of ˁAgamä (and later of Tǝgray), and well-known historical personality. The manuscripts of the church do not support such an early foundation date, though it does not appear improbable in view of many other older churches existing around. The “Golden Gospel” (as well as some other books) of the church was donated by däğğazmač Säbagadis, but probably, at a later time, some additional folios were infixed bearing the so-called “Introduction to the Synoptic Gospel”, Canon Tables and miniatures skillfully copied from another, ancient Gospel book (fig. 65). As in a few other cases, Psalters are among the finest and most interesting books of the church: cp. a late 18th/early 19th-cent. Psalter, which comprises also the so-called Psalter of Mary (Mäzmurä dǝngǝl), with stanzas distributed among the Psalms of Davit, the Canticles and Song of Songs (fig. 66; cp. above).
Barbieri - Di Salvo - Fiaccadori 2009
- Barbieri - M. Di Salvo - G. Fiaccadori, Nigra sum sed formosa...". Sacro e bellezza nell'arte dell'Etiopia cristiana, Treviso, Terraferma 2009.
- Bausi, La «Vita» e i «Miracoli» di Libānos, Lovanii 2003a (Corpus Scriptorum Christianorum Orientalium 595, 596; Scriptores Aethiopici 105, 106).
Briggs – Blatt 2009
- Briggs – B. Blatt, Travel Guide Ethiopia, Guilford, Connecticut 52009.
- Chojnacki, “William Simpson and his Journez to Ethiopia 1868”, Journal of Ethiopian Studies 6-2 (1868), 7-38.
- Chojnacki, Ethiopian Crosses: A Cultural History and Chronology, in collab. with C. Cossage, Milano 2006.
Conti Rossini 1909
- Conti Rossini, “L’Evangelo d’oro di Dabra Libanos”, Rendiconti della Reale Accademia dei Lincei, Classe di scienze morali, storiche e filologiche ser. 5a, 10, 1901, 177–219.
Conti Rossini 1909-10
- Conti Rossini(ed., tr.), Documenta ad illustrandam historiam, I: Liber Axumae, Parisiis – Lipsiae 1909 (CSCO 54 [SAe 8]); repr. Louvain 1962 [SAe 24] [text]; II: Liber Axumae, Parisiis – Lipsiae 1910 (CSCO 58 [SAe 8]); repr. Louvain 1961 [SAe 27] [tr.].
Conti Rossini 1925
- Conti Rossini, “Aethiopica (IIa Serie)”, Rivista degli studi orientali 10 (1925), 482-520.
Conti Rossini 1928
- Conti Rossini, Storia d’Etiopia, I: Dalle origini all’avvento della dinastia salomonide, Milano 1928.
- Uhlig (ed.), Encyclopaedia Aethiopica. Vol. I: A-C, Wiesbaden 2003; Vol. II: D-Ha, Wiesbaden 2005; Vol. III: He-N, Wiesbaden 2007; Vol. IV: O-W, Wiesbaden 2010.
- Godet, “Repertoire de sites pre-Axoumites du Tigre (Ethiopie)”, Abbay. Documents Histoire Civilisation Ethiopienne, RCP 230, CNRS 8, 1977, 19-113.
- Henze, “Unexplored Aksumite Sites in Tigray”, in: W. Raunig – S. Wenig (Eds.), Afrikas Horn. Akten der Ersten Internationalen Littmann-Konferenz 2. bis 5. Mai 2002 in München, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag 2005 (Meroitica 22).
Kinefe-Rigb Zelleke 1975
Kinefe-Rigb Zelleke, “Bibliography of the Ethiopic Hagiographical Traditions”, JES 13, 2 (1975), 57–102.
T.L. Kane, Tigrinya–English Dictionary, 2 vols., Springfield, VA 2000.
Leclant – Miquel 1959
J Leclant – A. Miquel, “Reconnaissances dans l’Agamé: Goulo-Makeda et Sabéa (Octobre 1955 et Avril 1956)”, Annales d’Éthiopie 3 (1956), 108-31.
- Leslau, Comparative Dictionary of Geˁez (Classical Ethiopic), Wiesbaden 1987.
- Pankhurst, History of Ethiopian Towns: from the Millde Ages to the Early Nineteenth Century, Wiesbaden 1982 (Äthiopistische Forschungen 8).
- Sauter, “Où en sont notre connaissance des églises rupestres d’Éthiopie?” Annales d’Éthiopie 5 (1963), 235-292.
- Sauter, “Églises rupestres du Tigré”, Annales d’Éthiopie 9 (1976), 157-75.
A.F. Shepherd, The Campain in Abyssinia, Bombay 1868.
- Weninger, “Aethiosabaeica minora”, Aethiopica. International Journal of Ethiopian and Eritrean Studies 10 (2007), 52-57.
* A consequent transcription commonly applied for Ethio-Semitic languages is used for the Ethiopian terms and names in the text below. Since the report is meant for broader public, the apparatus is limited only to the information which is absolutely essential. For the indigenous terms or names of persons left here without explanation, additional information and references can be easily found in Encyclopaedia Aethiopica (s. the bibliography below).
 Dr. Denis Nosnitsin (the principal investigator and head of the project); Dr. Stéphane Ancel, Vitagrazia Pisani M.A. (research fellows).
 Berḥanu Ḥešo and Tedros ˀAbohay spent the entire time of the field work with the team, rendering excellent service as field assistants. Besides, Mäsärät Haylä Sǝllase acted as field coordinator; head of the Agency, Käbbädä ˀAmarä Bälay, acted as project coordinator.
 Fǝṣṣum Gäbru, the representative of the Eastern Tǝgray Diocese (substituted for a few days by ˀAbbäbä Gäbräˀǝgziˀabǝḥer); mälakä ḥəywät Bərhanä ˀArägawi, from the church office of Gulo Mäḵäda. The field work was opened and concluded by the coordinating meetings in the TCTA and the in the East Tǝgray Diocese with His Grace ˀAbunä Maqaryos.
 Below, the description of work at all churches visited is presented, with the exception of only one (the archaeological site of ˁƎḉ Maˁre ˀƎnda Gäbrä Mänfäs Qǝddus, formerly called ˀƎnda Ṗeṭros).
 Some of them were particularly endangered being located in the zone of the recent tension along the Ethiopian-Eritrean border.
 Pronounced today by the local Tǝgrǝňňa-speakers as ˁOra Ḉerqos.
 S. Chojnacki 2006, index; recently, s. “Polytech Nantes Infos” no. 2, June 2009 (http://web.polytech.univ-nantes.fr/09605448/0/fiche___pagelibre/&RH=1240409410714 , accessed on 10 March 2011).
 “Gäbrä Mäsqäl” was the name (or one of the names) of several Ethiopian monarchs starting from the half-legendary successor of 6th-cent. Kaleb; it was another name of Laläbäla, ˁAmdä Ṣǝyon I, and some others (s. EAE II, 623b-24b).
 Today, three types of church institutions are formally distinguished in the Ethiopian Orthodox Täwaḥǝdo Church. Most of the individual churches are registered as däbr (“church, cathedral”), some others as gäṭär (usually translated as “chapel”). Monastic communities which are formally recognized as such are referred to as gädam (“monastery”). However, today the status of gädam may be purely formal: if a monastic community gets dissolved, its church, “overtaken” by the local community and being served by the secular clergy, can still retain the status of gädam. (For the historical definitions and etymologies, s. EAE II, 6a-7a; 641b-42a; 714b). Further in the report, unless a remark on the status of an institution is provided, it is of däbr-type.
 The main argument for the hypothesis is an ancient processional cross preserved in ˁUra Qirqos, with an inscription mentioning King Ṭänṭäwǝddǝm (s. Chojnacki 2006, pl. XVII, fig. 38), who indeed appears in the indigenous sources as one of the Zagwe rulers.
 E.g., in a document included into the Liber Axumae (Conti Rossini 1909-10:11 [text], 11 [tr.]), which lists obligations of different regions for the cathedral of ˀAksum Ṣǝyon. Remarkably, local people do not seem to be familiar with the name “Qǝfrǝya”.
 Or ˁAddiqäḥarsi, an original variant being probably ˁAddi Qäḥarsi (or ˁAddi Däqqi Ḥarsi?).
 The church is “das Kloster Parakleitos” located on the road to Däbrä Dammo, mentioned in Weninger 2007:52 as the site where a Sabaean inscription was found by P. Henze, during the latter’s visit to the site on 3 June 2005. A report of P. Henze (“Unexplored Aksumite Sites in Tigray II”) is mentioned there as forthcoming in the “Akten der zweiten Internationalen Enno-Littmann Konferenz” (ed. by W. Smidt, St. Wenig).
 Ṗaraqliṭos is in fact a Gǝˁǝz word (borrowed from Greek) meaning “Holy Spirit” (Leslau 1987:415). It can refer to an ancient (original?) dedication of the church; today, however, local people perceive it rather as place-name.
 Cp. Brita 2010; EAE IV, 446a-47b.
 Mäsgid, usually meaning “mosque”.
 Probably identical with the Aksumite King ˀƎllä ˁAmida (EAE II, 259b-61a).
 The “holy war” of Aḥmad Graňň (ˀimām Aḥmad b. Ibrāhīm al-Ġāzī) took place during the reign of this monarch (cp. EAE III, 535b-37b). Local tradition of ˁAddäqäḥarsi may have its background in the historical presence of King Lǝbnä Dǝngǝl in the region, during the last period of his reign, as he lost nearly all the ground to the Muslim troops. Ultimately, he found refuge in Däbrä Dammo and died there in September 1540.
 Completed on 30 Gǝnbot 1885 E.C. [6 June, 1893 A.D], and donated by a certain däğğazmač Ḍäḥayä Lǝda, as it is stated in an Additio. For the moment, it is difficult to say how substantial are differences between the texts of the Vita as preserved in different manuscripts.
 Outside the gate, a few more community structures are built under the rock.
 The liturgy is still regularly celebrated in the church.
 One of the kings of the so-called Zagwe-dynasty which was overthrown by Yǝkunno ˀAmlak in 1270 (EAE III, 477b-82a).
 Cp. EAE I, 511a.
 This manuscript was apparently meant to substitute the old Gǝbrä Ḥǝmamat (fig. 23). On the recto side, a prayer is written, produced by the same hand as the main text. The handwriting is that of a trained scribe, but is very specific and indeed difficult to read (small, bulky letters; substantial spaces between the letters). There are some indications that originally the church was consecrated to St. George of Lydda.
 An extended article on Däbrä Zäyt is going to appear in the next issue of Aethiopica. International Journal of Ethiopian and Eritrean Studies.
 In the Liber Axumae, Däbrä Maˁṣo is mentioned as a tributary of St. Mary Cathedral of Aksum (Conti Rossini 1909-10: 11, l. 8; 23, l. 11). An official bearing the title śǝyyum (governor) of Däbrä Maˁṣo is mentioned in Additiones of the “Golden Gospel” of Däbrä Libanos of Ham: nos. 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 17, 20, 22 (s. Conti Rossini 1901). From notes 9 and 10 one may assume that the śǝyyum of Däbrä Maˁṣo was among those local rulers who competed with the famous 13th-cent. Yǝkunno ˀAmlak or opposed him in the struggle for power. In later period, under the Solomonic kings, Däbrä Maˁṣo lost its importance and is mentioned in very few sources only.
 Leslau 1987:75b; Kane 2000, vol. 2, 1945.
 The donation note mentions persons from the period of King Dawit II, who, to a first glance have not been so far known from other sources: ˁaqabe säˁat Täsäbkä Mädḫǝn (of Däbrä Libanos of Ham or of Däbrä Ḥayq ˀƎsṭifanos?), śǝyyum (śǝyyumä Maˁṣo?) Hallo ˀƎgziˀabǝḥer, maˀkälä baḥr Zä-ˀAmmanuˀel, mäkwännǝn (Tǝgray mäkwännǝn?) ˀAron.
 The text is a fragment of the Gospel of Luke. The writing shows typical features of the so-called “monumental script” (prior to the mid-14th cent.).
 For an extended version of this note, s. Comparative Oriental Manuscript Studies Newsletter no. 1, January 2011, pp. 24-27 (available also on-line: https://www.aai.uni-hamburg.de/en/comst/pdf/comst-newsletter-1-2011.pdf ).
 An older variant: Mәdәrrәba.
 Referred to as ˀAbunä Libanos Mäsṭǝh in Additiones.
 Local traditions frequently mention the former presence of monastic communities. However, in many cases the background of this information is merely the contemporary presence of disparate, individual monks or nuns living at the church without a proper monastic organization (such monks and nuns – called in Amh. ṭǝgatäňňočč – can be found at many churches). In most cases, reports about the former presence of a monastic community are difficult to prove during a short stay; however, sometimes obvious hints can be found, such as clear references in Additiones, manuscripts containing works of monastic literature, specific buildings which could have been used by the monastic community etc.
 S. EAE I, 250b-51a; 464a-69a.
 From the line of the famous däğğazmač Säbagadis Wäldu (s. EAE II, 972). Däğğazmač Ḥagwäs also donated a processional silver cross to the church.
 Godet 1977:53.
 The document uses a different form of the name: Bet Nobäyt, pl. from näbiyy “prophet” (Leslau 1987:385), of which Mänäbäyti is a colloquial, “Tigrinized” derivation. However, Bet Nobäyt is also not a pure Gǝˁǝz term (which would be: Betä Nobäyt). The name probably reveals the original dedication of the church. For the name of the Metropolitan, the standard Gǝˁǝz form is Yosab, not ˀIyosab. ˀAbunä Yosab II (d. 1803) was a contemporary of King Täklä Giyorgis I, who reigned six distinct periods in 1779-1800 (s. EAE IV, 826b-27b). The translation of the document is as follows: “This sanctuary of Bet Nobäyt, of which the former building became old, was renovated in the time of its servants qäyǝsä gäbäz Ḫaylä Krǝstos, and the governors of the gwǝlt [?] Kǝflä Mikaˀel (and) [?] Wärädä Qal, and our King Täklä Giyorgis, and our Metropolitan ˀabba ˀIyosab. For those who built it and completed it, all the young and elderly ones who exerted themselves and worked, and who carried its stones, it will be a guide to the Kingdom of Heaven. For ever and ever, amen”.
 The Ethiopian Metropolitan remains unnamed, while the Coptic patriarch is mentioned as ˀabba Marqos (s. foto, col. rb). The head of the Coptic Church Mark VII held tenure in 1745-69. A 17th-cent. dating cannot be completely excluded, with Patriarch Mark VI (1645-60), or even Mark V (1610-21).
 Called also Foqäda Maryam, with variants: Fäqäda, Foqäda, Foqada etc.; the archaeological site is also referred to as simply ˀAmba Foqäda, after the mountain massive standing nearby.
 Despite the seeming accessibility of the site, the visitors have to take some precaution. Even after a moderate rain, the fertile soil of the valley becomes mud, thick and sticky, posing serious danger of getting stuck for many vehicles (cp. the impression of one the participants of Sir R. Napier’s expedition, as the British army camped in the valley of Foqäda on 6 February 1868; Shepherd 1868:72).
 Cp. summary in Godet 1977:37, and recently EAE I, 219a-20a.
 Unless the contemporary church should be considered standing on the same place as the one described by J. Baeteman and C. Conti Rossini as the “modern church of Dahané” (Conti Rossini 1925:484-89; Conti Rossini 1928, table XL, figs. 119-21). A drawing of the old church of Foqäda (front view) was done, however, by W. Simpson who accompanied the Napier expedition in 1868 (s. below), and included in the “Illustrated London News” for 16 May 1868, p. 489, together with a “Miriam decoration of the church of Miriam” (a fragment of the murals). He did also several other drawings in Foqäda (not all of them having been published, s. Chojnacki 1968:20, 23).
 The Acts of ˀabunä Libanos/Mäṭaˁ, who is said to have been active in the area, recount of Däḥane (Däḥane) and Fäqada as two separate places; cp. Bausi 2003, §146 – Libanos let a stream of holy water spring from the earth; and § 154 – the wife of King Gäbrä Mäsqäl founded a church there, this being in fact similar to what the local tradition relates; curiously enough, the latter adds that the name of the Queen was Zäwditu (!). Currently, the church of Maryam Foqäda has no tabot of Libanos.
 Referring probably not to the Ottomans, but to the native troops of the Napier expedition, who passed by there (s. above).
 S. EAE III, 893b-94b.
 Reported in a short and not quite clear notice in Kinefe-Rigb Zelleke 1975:85, no. 114 (“Feqada, Agame, Tigray”).
 Of the river Qärni.
 Remarkably, in no contradiction with the years of tenure of ˀabunä Mäzgäbä Śǝllase, known from his Vita.
 Godet 1977.
 An Additio in one of the manuscripts of Sämaz indicates that formerly (in the 18th cent. at least?) the main dedication was to Ṣǝyon (“Zion”).
 At least two books written by the hand of Zä-Wäldä Maryam were found to the collection of ˁUra Qirqos/ˁUra Mäsqäl.
 Probably, added somewhat later; the hand is similar to the one that executed the main text.
 This being a reference to the Aksumite ruins “included” into the new church building?
 Donated by a certain ˀaläqa Räm(ḥay), depicted on the right side, below.
 S. Leclant – Miquel 1959; after the first reconnaissance study of the area, it seems that nothing has been done (cp. Godet 1977:55).
 The exact spelling of the place name is Säbäya (contrary to not quite clear “Sabéa”, or “Sabēa/ Sobēa” in the publications quoted above).
 Cp. a general view of the church and landscape in Leclant – Miquel 1959, pl. LI, fig. a.
 One would look for a copy for the second half of the year, but it seems that it did not survive. The binding which could have belonged to it was re-utilized for quite a recent copy – also a usual practice in the area.
 Note a short Gǝˁǝz commentary to Ps. 39:6, fol. v. The script shows a type of careful handwriting with influences of Gondärine style (so-called gwǝlḥ), suggestive of dating into the early 19th cent. Here, it is a case when the palaeographic characteristics can be coordinated with and supported by internal evidence, which also helps to trace the history of the manuscript (these cases are rare especially with the Psalter manuscripts). The owner of the book, ˀǝmmahoy Bǝrur Zäwde, was a contemporary or even relative of däğğazmač Wäldä Mikael (Wäldänkiˀel), the second son of däğğazmač Säbagadis Wäldu (the ancestor of Ḥagwäs Täfäri). After the defeat of the latter in 1831 Wäldä Mikaˀel submitted to the powerful däğğazmač Wǝbe Ḫaylä Maryam and apparently was appointed over ˁAgame, for a short period though (shortly thereafter he was assassinated in Ḥamasen). In one of the Additiones of the manuscript he is mentioned as the governor of ˁAgame. The title ˀǝmmahoy points out to the social position of the owner, Bǝrur Zäwde, who might have been a head of female monastic community. Her Psalter contains not only texts common for Ethiopic Psalter, but also the so-called Mäzmurä dǝngǝl (“Psalter of the Virgin”, a long hymn praising St. Mary) with stanzas skillfully distributed between the Psalms of David, the parts of the Canticles and Song of Songs.
 The miniatures are done by two different painters; on the first, the typical figure below must be a donor; on the second, a lady standing in front of King David (?) may be a later owner of the manuscript.
 There was at least one more church in Säbäya, which we did not visit. As everywhere in Tǝgray, new churches are being built (and the older ones re-built and renovated), making the ecclesiastic landscape more and more complicated.
 Despite the obvious importance of the church, the only historical evidence for Qärsäbär found so far appears in a foreign source. L. Krapf passed the area in April 1842, and observed that the village of Qärsäbär is larger than ˁAddigrat (founded 1818, but by 1842 in decline). However, he did not make any observation on the church of Qärsäbär (Krapf 1842:513). D. Lindahl in his index “Local history of Ethiopia” (http://www.nai.uu.se/library/resources/dossiers/local_history_of_ethiopia/A/ORTADI05.pdf, under “Adigrat”; accessed on 21.03.2011) reports of a rock-hewn church “Mikael Kirsaba”. The local people did not mention it during the team’s visit to the site. However, the information correlates with “Aksumite tombs” on which the church of Qärsäbär is built according to Henze 2005:73, fig. 4; or even elsewhere in a travel guide book, Briggs – Blatt 2009:271-72, mentioning that the modern church is built upon an “old four-chambered rock-hewn church”. The location of the old structure under the main church building (probably under the mäqdäs) makes any investigation difficult.
 The original form of the name occurring in the manuscripts is: Qärnä Säbär.
 The Śǝrˁatä beta krǝstiyan, known in both Gǝˁǝz and Amharic and represented in many versions (cp. EAE IV, 631a-32b), is a text describing parts of the church building and metaphorically interpreting them. Such texts usually included in manuscripts as additional notes, refer to the presence of traditional scholars interested in the exegesis.
 Dated into 1731; triple decorated quire marks, written in the upper margin of the first and the last folios of the quires, also belong to the properties of this finely produced Ethiopian manuscript.
 According to the colophon, the manuscript was commissioned by a certain Wäldä Dǝngǝl, who is depicted also as a donor on the miniature, and written by Wäldä Śǝllase (more than one hand is discernible in the manuscript, though), on Däbrä Dammo, “in the time of our Metropolitan ˀabba Sälama, during the time of his coming up to Däbrä Dammo”. The last information reveals that the book was with all probability written in 1847, the year when Metropolitan Sälama III indeed withdrew to the inaccessible monastery of Däbrä Dammo, having quarreled with däğğazmač Wǝbe Ḫaylä Maryam, the then lord of Tǝgray. In 1848 both came to terms, and shortly thereafter Sälama left Däbrä Dammo.
 Called sometimes also ˀƎnda Qirqos.
 The church is reported to have been built by C. Eichinger, a German associate of däğğazmač Säbagadis. Since then, a considerable number of European witnesses left notices on ˁAddigrat Qirqos (s. bibliographic references listed in Pankhurst 1982:211). The church building seems to have survived two centuries more or less intact; however, a very quick look into the interior of the church revealed that, most probably, the original paintings (by “the Däbrä Tabor artist”, s. Shepherd 1868:74; for other references, s. Pankhurst 1982:211) have long disappeared.
 Cp. an illustration in EAE I, 78b.
 Reigned 1508-40, s. above, page 3.
 Reigned 1721-30 (s. EAE I, 449b-50a).
 Ca. 1560s-1607/8; s. EAE III, 373a-74a.