Water — The Nile — And the Täʾamrä Maryam. Miracles of the Virgin Mary in the Ethiopian Version

Article English OPEN
Six, Veronika (2013)
  • Publisher: Universität Hamburg, Hiob Ludolf Centre for Ethiopian Studies
  • Journal: Aethiopica (issn: 2194-4024, eissn: 1430-1938)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.15460/aethiopica.2.1.533
  • Subject: Ethiopian Studies; History | History; Nile; Edition; Holy Mary; Miracles of Mary; Täʾamrä Maryam; Ge'ez; Gǝʿǝz; | ddc:200 | ddc:230 | ddc:400 | ddc:490 | ddc:800 | ddc:890 | ddc:900 | ddc:910 | ddc:960

Starting with the biblical Gǝyon (= the Gǝʿǝz name for the Nile) the river Nile plays an important role in Ethiopian perception.The corpus of the miracles of Mary [Täʾamrä Maryam] particularly during the reign of emperor Zärʾa Yaʿǝqob (1434-68 A.D.) was enlarged with stories reflecting a local background and Ethiopian history. And suddenly in the 19th century the ‘idea of diverting the Nile’ which since early times was a challenging topic in the relationship between Egypt and Ethiopia, again turned up in  a miracle of the Virgin Mary, referring to the time of the Crusaders and the resulting diplomatic activities. This article wants to evaluate how far the Ethiopians regard themselves as masters of the Nile waters and to what extent they derive their legitimacy from divine sources.