rulururu

post Adolf Ellegard

January 11th, 2008

Filed under: Academic Cooperations — Admassu @ 01:09

Adolf Ellegard Jensen and the Frobenius-Institute at the University of Frankfurt

Adolf Ellegard Jensen was the oldest and most outstanding student of the distinguished Africanist, Leo Forbenius. The institute which Forbenius had founded in 1898 was directed by Jensen through the turmoils of Nazi period, the Second World War and the difficult years immediately after the war. His research in southern Ethiopia in 1934 - 35 yielded important results, although it was terminated prematurely on account of the impending war between Italy and Ethiopia. After almost three centuries of largely philological studies devoted principally to northern Ethiopia, Jensen’s undertaking marked the beginning of German historical and cultural research in the southern part of the country. This research was resumed after the war.

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Adolf Ellegard Jensen (1899 - 1965)

Since 1950 eleven members of the Frobenius-Institue have worked in southern Ethiopia - some of them for several years - pursuing above all historical, geographical and linguistic studies. Their principal aim has been, in collaboration with prominent persons of southern Ethiopia, to study and record the cultures of these groups, which had received hardly any attention in scholastic literature and whose history existed only in oral traditions. As a result of his work, a large number of articles and books have appeared, mostly in German. Many further publications are in preparation, and increasingly the effort is being made to publish them also in English.

Members of the institute have worked or are working on the following nationalities: Sidama, Gedeo, Gidicho, Kambata, Hadiya, Tembaro, Arussi, Guji, Borana, Konso, Burji, Amarro, Dorze, Gamu, Wolayta, Zala, Gofa, Male, Basketto, Ari, Dauro (Kullo), Konta, Dime, Dizi, Gimirra, Chako, Shekka, Kafa, Bosha (Garo).

This research has dealt both with history and with cultural history: in other words, the aim has been to see history not merely as a stringing together of political events, but also as the evolution of the whole culture of a people. Consequently each research project has been designed to include in its investigations all aspects of the culture of the ethnic group concerned. Particular value has been placed on the recording of material culture in films, photographs, drawings and collections, because even the objects used in everyday life can provide important historical evidence. Parts of these collections have been presented to the Institute of Ethiopian Studies at the University of Addis Ababa as a gift.

The following members of the Frobenius-Institute have worked in Ethiopia: Adolf Ellegard Jensen, Elisabeth Jensen-Pauli, Eike Haberland, Willi Schulz-Weidner, Helmut Straube, Wolfgang Kuls, Ulrich Braukämper, Siegfried Seyfarth, Werner Lange, Karl Heinz Striedter, Maria R.-Alföoldi.

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Kaba Debo from Wolayta (1955)

It is unfortunately not possible here to name our Ethiopian friends and partners individually, for their numbers run into the hundreds. We are happy to have this opportunity of thanking them all most warmly for everything we have received from them - not only knowledge and instruction, but also friendship and kindness. As a token of our dept in these people, we show here the portraits of two great historians - Jilo Da’imu from Konso (sorry missing) and Kaba Debo from Wolayta.

Source
Booklet: “Three Hundred Years of Ethiopian-German Academic Collaboration.”
Author: Eike Haberland (1924 - 1992)
1986. 39 pages, EUR 5,—. ISBN 3-515-04766-2
Frobenius Institute
Johann Wolfgang Goethe University
Frankfurt, Germany

This is the last part of this series about the academic collaborations between Ethiopia and Germany. I hope this topic have given you an important side view about the relationship of these two countries. I want to thank the author of the booklet, Eike Haberland, and the Frobenius Institute in Frankfurt for publishing this sensitive document and give us such priceless informations.

post Belattengeta Heruy W. Sellase

January 10th, 2008

Filed under: Academic Cooperations — Admassu @ 23:03

Likewise closely associated with Eugen Mittwoch was Belattengeta Heruy Walda Sellase, one of the most distinguished Ethiopians of his day and one of the founders of modern Amharic literature; he died in exile 1938 in England. Few men have exercised such an important influence over their people through their scholastic, moral and poetic writings. He is included here because his lengthy stay in Germany in 1923 led to a very fruitful collaboration with Eugen Mittwoch.

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Belattengeta Heruy Walda Sellase (1878 - 1939)

Eugen Mittwoch: “With Belatta Heruy I was able to work together for a few hours a day over a period of several weeks… He readily complied with my studies, for which he showed a lively interests”. In the course of this work they discussed the important question of the pronunciation of Ge’ez in present-day Ethiopia - a question which, in Europe, had until then remained fully unanswered; later a scholarly analysis was published.

Source
Booklet: “Three Hundred Years of Ethiopian-German Academic Collaboration.”
Author: Eike Haberland (1924 - 1992)
1986. 39 pages, EUR 5,—. ISBN 3-515-04766-2
Frobenius Institute
Johann Wolfgang Goethe University
Frankfurt, Germany

post Eugen Mittwoch

January 9th, 2008

Filed under: Academic Cooperations — Admassu @ 15:51

With Eugen Mittwoch we conclude this set of great German scholars of Ethiopian languages. His brilliant career was brought to a close by the unhappy events of the period after 1933. He was obliged to emigrate and died in exile in England in 1942. Of him it was written in one obituary: “He was quite scholar. He was faithfully attached to his German fatherland and to the traditions of his Jewish fathers. For his family he was a model paterfamilias, and for the poor and needy among his fellow-believers a friend who was always ready to help.” In 1905, when Friedrich Rosen led the first German legation to Ethiopia and thus opened a new chapter in the history of Ethiopian - German relations, a professorial chair was created for Ethiopian studies at the University of Berlin, with the aim of promoting academic contacts between Ethiopia and Germany.

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Eugen Mittwoch (1876 - 1942)

Eugen Mittwoch was the first person to hold this post, and for many years he also directed the famous “Seminar für Orientalishe Sprachen” (Seminar for Oriental Languages), which at that time had the same status as the School of Oriental and African Studies in London has today. Like other German orientalists, Mittwoch was at home in Persian, Arabic and Turkish. His principal area of study, however, was Ethiopia, especially the literature and language of the Amhara. Here he made accessible a large amount of new material. Of particular benefit for him was the close contact which he had over a period of many years with Alaqa Tayye, the first person to hold the post of lector for Ethiopian languages at the University of Berlin. Together with him he published a large number of works on popular traditions of the Amhara. A legation visit to Berlin by the Belatengeta Heruy gave Mittwoch the opportunity to get to know this remarkable man, and this contact resulted in a very important piece of academic work.

Source
Booklet: “Three Hundred Years of Ethiopian-German Academic Collaboration.”
Author: Eike Haberland (1924 - 1992)
1986. 39 pages, EUR 5,—. ISBN 3-515-04766-2
Frobenius Institute
Johann Wolfgang Goethe University
Frankfurt, Germany

post Alaqa Tayye Gabra Maryam

January 7th, 2008

Filed under: Academic Cooperations — Admassu @ 23:39

Inseparably linked with the name of Eugen Mittwoch is that of Alaqa Tayye. After receiving an ecclesiastical education in his home region of Yifag, east of Lake Tana, he wandered northwards and came into contact with the Swedish mission in Monkullo, for whom he worked for several years, principally as a translator. His first important publication, Mashafa Sawasew, appeared in Monkullo in 1890. Following an unsuccessful term as a Protestant missionary in Bagemedr, he was sent by the Governor there to Addis Ababa, where he hoped to obtain an appointment at the court, on account of his education and knowledge.

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Alaqa Tayye Gabra Maryam (1861 - 1924)

But when the first German legation came to Ethiopia under Friedrich Rosen and asked for an Ethiopian scholar to be sent to Germany in order to promote Ethiopian studies there, the Emperor Menelik remembered Alaqa Tayye and sent him to Berlin, where he held the post of lector in Ethiopian languages at the Seminar for Oriental Languages (from 1905 to 1907). His participation in the Seminar’s work yielded very fruitful results: many of the texts which Mittwoch published on Amharic culture were compiled by Tayye, and the two men had a very close and good relationship. On his return to Ethiopia, Tayye took with him 130 precious Ethiopian manuscripts as a gift from Germany to Ethiopia. Alaqa Tayye was a productive writer: a particular note, besides his theological writings, is his History of the Ethiopian People.

Source
Booklet: “Three Hundred Years of Ethiopian-German Academic Collaboration.”
Author: Eike Haberland (1924 - 1992)
1986. 39 pages, EUR 5,—. ISBN 3-515-04766-2
Frobenius Institute
Johann Wolfgang Goethe University
Frankfurt, Germany

post Enno Littmann

January 4th, 2008

Filed under: Academic Cooperations — Admassu @ 02:10

Enno Littmann was a professor of oriental languages, first in Strassburg, then in Göttingen and Bonn and finally in Tübingen, where his beautiful house remained a centre of oriental studies in Germany up to his death. He combined a brilliant gift for languages (he fully mastered more than a dozen), wide intellectual interests and ability to build quickly a warm and intimate relationship with people of different cultures. These qualities explain why his relatively short stays in Ethiopia yielded such successful results. In addition, he had an amazing capacity for work, as can be seen from his six-volume translation of A Thousand and One Nights, completed with poetic energy within a very short period. He was also a master Arabic literature.

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Enno Littmann (1875 - 1958)

His fame rests above all, however, on the works which arose from his two research visits to northern Ethiopia, where he stayed among the Mensa (Tigre) in Eritrea in autumn and winter 1905 and in Aksum from January to April 1906. During his stay among the Tigre he had the good fortune to work with a congenial partner, Naffa Wad Etman without whom the four important volumes, misleadingly entitled Publications of the Princeton Expedition to Abyssinia, would never have appeared. They contain a whole corpus of Tigre traditions and songs, and are imperishable documents of Ethiopian culture.

Littmann’s research in Aksum, where he was accompanied by Theodor von Lüpke, Daniel Krencker and Erich Kaschke, marked the beginning of a new chapter in Ethiopian studies - archeology. It is amazing how much was excavated and recorded in the short period of his stay in Aksum. This too would not have been possible without the close coopration of Ethiopian friends and partners. The members of the German team received valuable assistance from the Dejazmach Gabra Sellase Brya Gabr and from many priests and monks in Aksum. Further illustrations of Littmann’s universality are his edition of the Praise-Songs for Ethiopian Emperors in the ancient Amharic language, for which he received precious advice from Mamher Kefla Giyorgis in Jerusalem, and his remarkable booklet on Galla-Verskunst (Oromo Poetry).

Source
Booklet: “Three Hundred Years of Ethiopian-German Academic Collaboration.”
Author: Eike Haberland
1986. 39 pages, EUR 5,—. ISBN 3-515-04766-2
Frobenius Institute
Johann Wolfgang Goethe University
Frankfurt, Germany

post Dejazmach Gabra Sellase

December 30th, 2007

Filed under: Academic Cooperations — Admassu @ 01:36

Dejazmach Gabra Sellase came from a famous old family living in the province of Tigre and was a close relative of Emperor John IV. It was a fortunate coincidence that he happened to be Governor of Tigre and Nebura’ed of Aksum at the time when Enno Littmann was working there (January to April 1906).

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Dajazmach Gabra Sellase Barya Gabr (1872 - 1930)

Littmann could not have found a better friend and more responsible assistant. Much of the information which he provided found its way into the writings on Aksum by Littmann, Krencker and Lüpke.

In this context it is proper to remember those men in Aksum who cooperated with Littmann and his companions as scholars and transmitters of historical traditions, such as Mamher Gabra Mika’el, Bajerond Gabra Sellase and others who must remain nameless.

Source
Booklet: “Three Hundred Years of Ethiopian-German Academic Collaboration.”
Author: Eike Haberland
1986. 39 pages, EUR 5,—. ISBN 3-515-04766-2
Frobenius Institute
Johann Wolfgang Goethe University
Frankfurt, Germany

post Eduard Rüppell

December 23rd, 2007

Filed under: Academic Cooperations — Admassu @ 13:30

Like Hiob Ludolf, Eduard Rüppell was from Frankfurt, and he too was all-round scholar, although he was far stronger as a scientist - as an astronomer, zoologist, botanist and geographer. In his home town, Frankfurt, he rendered great services to the Senckenberg Museum - one of the most important scientific museums in Germany - and to the Senckenberg Society of Natural Sciences from which it was born. Many of his expeditions were undertaken with a commission from this society, and his great collections are a precious possession of the museum today.

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Eduard Rüppell (1794 - 1884)

After lengthy visits to Egypt, the Sudan (Nubia and Kordofan) and Arabia, he undertook a grand research tour of northern Ethiopia, lasting from 1830 to 1834, during which he investigated in particular the fauna and flora of Eritrea, Semen and central Begemedr. Rüppell’s interests, however, were very wide, and he also concerned himself with the culture and history of Ethiopia.

Of decisive importance for him was his meeting and friendship with Liq Atqum, the famous judge and scholar in Gondar, much of whose knowledge Rüppell incorporated into his works. In his book on Ethiopia Eduard Rüppell created for Liq Atqum a most remarkable memorial.

Source
Booklet: “Three Hundred Years of Ethiopian-German Academic Collaboration.”
Author: Eike Haberland
1986. 39 pages, EUR 5,—. ISBN 3-515-04766-2
Frobenius Institute
Johann Wolfgang Goethe University
Frankfurt, Germany

post Liq Atqum

December 19th, 2007

Filed under: Academic Cooperations — Admassu @ 14:51

Liq Atqum was one of the last great representatives of the class which, in the closing years of the Gondar period, could justly be termed the “conscience of the Ethiopian Empire” - the men of learning and judges. In the midst of a period of decline and anarchy, in which Ethiopia was split up into several independent dominions (zamana masafint), he kept alive the notion of the empire’s unity and greatness. In his person he combined the sum total of Ethiopia’s scholastic traditions. Much of what was recorded in Eduard Rüppell’s work on the history and culture of Ethiopia originated from him.

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Liq Atqum in Gondar (? 1772 - 1839)

Rüppell wrote: “The most interesting and estimable of all the people I came to know in Gondar was Liq Atqum; for he was not only a man of great culture, but possessed also true religious faith and a character which was honest to the last degree.”

Among the most highly valued treasures of the city and University Library of Frankfurt is a set of extensive compilations on Ethiopian history and copies of many important Ethiopian works, which Liq Atqum put together and wrote down for his friend Eduard Rüppell - books whose originals, owned by people in Gondar, were later burnt. We do not know what Liq Atqum looked like; might he perhaps be this scholar from Gondar, of whom Rüppell published a picture in his work?

Source
Booklet: “Three Hundred Years of Ethiopian-German Academic Collaboration.”
Author: Eike Haberland
1986. 39 pages, EUR 5,—. ISBN 3-515-04766-2
Frobenius Institute
Johann Wolfgang Goethe University
Frankfurt, Germany

post Hiob Ludolf

December 19th, 2007

Filed under: Academic Cooperations — Admassu @ 13:51

Although other scholars had concerned themselves with Ethiopia before him - for instance, Johannes Potken of Cologn, who in 1513 had the first Ethiopian psalter printed - Hiob Ludolf can with justice be called the father of Ethiopian Studies in Europe. In his monumental work he paved the way for a better and more just understanding of Ethiopia, its culture and its history. Although he himself was never in Ethiopia, he had the good fortune to make direct contact with Ethiopian scholars in Rome. Of tremendous benefit for his research was his collaboration and friendship with Abba Gorgoryos, who visited him in Germany.

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Hiob Ludol (1624 - 1704)

Hiob Ludolf was not only a brilliant linguist (he mastered more than 25 languages) and historian: he was also a truly all-round scholar and politician. He entered into correspondence with great figures of his time: he exchanged treatises with the philosopher Leibniz and tried to win over Louis XIV, King of France, for the project of Suez Canal. In Frankfurt, where he spent the last years of his life, he was not only well known as a distinguished scholar, but also served as the diplomatic representative of German princess.

His works remain important sources to this day, notably the Historia Aethiopica (written in Latin and soon afterwards translated into several other European languages) and the inexhaustible Commentarius ad suam Historiam Aethiopicam. If, in addition, we bear in mind his Lexicon Aethiopico-Latinum, Grammatica Aethiopica, Grammatica Linguae Amharicae and Lexicon Amharico-Latinum, then his epitaph does not sound an exaggeration: “Vir ingenio maximus, fama immortalis” - “A man of genious and of immortal fame”.

Source
Booklet: “Three Hundred Years of Ethiopian-German Academic Collaboration.”
Author: Eike Haberland
1986. 39 pages, EUR 5,—. ISBN 3-515-04766-2
Frobenius Institute
Johann Wolfgang Goethe University
Frankfurt, Germany

post Abba Gorgoryos

December 10th, 2007

Filed under: Academic Cooperations — Admassu @ 12:45

When it is said that Hiob Ludolf was the founder of Ethiopian studies in Europe, it is generally forgotten that Abba Gorgoryos (refered to in European literature as Abba Gregorios) has an equally valid claim to this title. Without him, much of Hiob Ludolf’s enormous work could never have been written, and he was always a friend and partner of equal rank. With the fine portrait reproduced here, which Hiob Ludolf chose as the frontispiece for his Commentarius ad suam historiam Aethiopicam, he created an immortal monument to Abba Gorgoryos - a monument of gratitude and friendship, marking the beginning of Ethiopian-German academic collaboration.

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Abba Gorgoryos (1595 - 1658)

Abba Gorgoryos (to give him his ecclesiastical name) was born in about 1595 in Makana Sellase in the celebrated Amhara Province - one of the great centers of classical Ethiopian culture. He belonged to a family of “makwanent”. After receiving an excellent education in his home country, he became a page in the service of Emperor Susenyos, who had tied his fate entirely to that of the Catholic church. Like other Ethiopians attached to the Catholic cause, he left Ethiopia after the abdication of the Emperor and traveled via India to Rome.

There, in the gardens of the Vatican, he met Hiob Ludolf in the spring of 1649 - an encounter which was of a decisive importance not only for the two men but also for Ethiopian studies in General. Later, in 1652, Abba Gorgoryos visited his friend Hiob Ludolf in Gotha, where the latter was then living, and they were able to devote several months to intensive scholastic collaboration. Then Abba Gorgoryos set out again for Ethiopia. He was drowned off the coast of Syria in 1658.

Source
Booklet: “Three Hundred Years of Ethiopian-German Academic Collaboration.”
Author: Eike Haberland
1986. 39 pages, EUR 5,—. ISBN 3-515-04766-2
Frobenius Institute
Johann Wolfgang Goethe University
Frankfurt, Germany

post 300 Years Ethio-Germany Academic Collaboration

December 7th, 2007

Filed under: Academic Cooperations — Admassu @ 23:34

To pay tribute to the historical figures of Ethiopia and Germany who managed to establish peaceful academic collaborations, LISSAN will present some of this personalities from both countries and inform about their extraordinary achievements.

The articles are fully taken from a booklet written by Eike Haberland (born 1924 - died 1992).

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///photo: admassu m. k.///

Three Hundred Years of Ethiopian-German Academic Collaboration
This booklet is intended to draw attention to an aspect of Ethiopian studies which is almost always overlooked - the collaboration between people of two nations. In this context, many questions apparently remain open. How, for example, did famous books come into existence? With whom did the authors actually speak? Who were their friends and collaborators? Were they merely “informants” or true partners? The other side of this coin is the impression that Ethiopia’s closed society often takes hardly any notice of a stranger: he is received with hospitality, people are eager to answer his questions or collaborate with him - be it in Ethiopia or in Germany - but does he leave behind any lasting trace? “Ships that pass in the night”?

This booklet aims to show that this was not and is not so: the history of the last three centuries provides numerous instances of the fruitful collaboration and exchange of ideas which has taken place between Ethiopians and Germans. The selection made here can of course be only an arbitrary and fortuitous one. Arbitrary, because in view of the confined scope of this undertaking it was necessary to impose certain limits, so that many people who deserve to feature here do not do so. Fortuitous, because the existence or absence of documents and pictures determines who has been recorded for posterity. Thus the documentation concerning the first German to live and work in Ethiopia - Peter Heyling(1607 - 1652), who undoubtedly left a strong mark - is so fragmentary and half-mythical that we prefer not to deal with him. The absence of a particular name, therefore, does not on any account mean that the person concerned was considered “uworthy” of inclusion in this booklet.

Despite all these imperfections, I believe that we have been able in this booklet to draw attention to aspects which go beyond the mere question of academic collaboration - namely, partnership and friendly human intercourse. The respect and affection expressed in the letters between Hiob Ludolf and Abba Gorgoryos, in the letters of Alaqa Taye to Eugen Mittwoch or the obituary written by Enno Littmann for Naffa Wad Etman speak for themselves. Here scholars of two nations have formed friendships and built bridges between continents.

Source
Booklet: “Three Hundred Years of Ethiopian-German Academic Collaboration.”
Author: Eike Haberland
1986. 39 pages, EUR 5,—. ISBN 3-515-04766-2
Frobenius Institute
Johann Wolfgang Goethe University
Frankfurt, Germany

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