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.

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.

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

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