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.

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?

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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