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Wängelä Wärq

KolTrad III, A51–A61, with 16th cent. notes), liaire de Dabra Libanos de Ham”, in: PICES 8, vol. 2, 163;
from Betä ÷Päntälewon near Aksum (author’s Sergew Hable Selassie, Bookmaking in Ethiopia, Leiden
1981, 22–27; Id., “The Monastic Library of Däbrä Hayq”,
documentation; also mentioned in Zuurmond in: OrbAethChoj vol. 1, 243–58; Anaïs Wion, “Aux fron-
1989, Part I, 254). tières de la codicologie et de la diplomatique. Structure et
Src.: AfrZion 129; BassHist II, 272, 337; BauEr; BritLib transmission des recueils documentaires éthiopiens”, Ga-
Orient. 728 (WrBriMus 196, no. 304); CRAxum; CRDLib; zette du Livre Médiéval 48, 2006, 14–25.
Marie-Laure Derat, “A Royal Correspondence in the Alessandro Bausi
XVth and XVIth Centuries: the Documents of the Gospel of
Däbrä Kärbe”, Aethiopica 9, 2006, 64–79; EMML no. 1832;
GuiVoc 565; Ignazio Guidi, “Il «Gadla ’Aragâwî»”, Wansleben, Johann Michael
MRALm ser. 5a, 2, 1896, 54–96, here 73b, 92; Marilyn W. (also Wansleb; French: Jean Michel Vansleb,
E. Heldman – Monica S. Devens, “The Four Gospels
of Däbrä Mä‘ar: Colophon and Note of Donation”, in:
Ital.: Giovanni Michele Wanslebio or Vanslebio,
VarAeth 77–99; HuntLand 51, n. 1; Johannes Kolmodin, Lat.: Johannes Michael Vanslebius; b. 1 Novem-
“Abessinische Bücherverzeichnisse (Aus den Inventari- ber 1635, Frankenhausen near Erfurt, d. 13 June
en der Zion von Aksum und einiger anderen Kirchen)”, 1679 Bourron, Fontainebleau) was a German
Le Monde Oriental 10, 1916, 241–55, here 246, n. 10; Orientalist and traveller, who later became a Do-
KolTrad III, A51–A61; Manfred Kropp, “«Antiquae
restitutio legis»: Zur Alimentation des Hofklerus und ei- menican father and a French citizen.
ner Zeugenliste als imago imperii und notitia dignitatum Born as a son of a Lutheran pastor, he started
in einer Urkunde des Kaisers Zär’a Ya‘qob im Condaghe in Königsberg (1654) studies of theology and
der Hs. BM Or. 481, fol. 154”, in: VarAeth 115–47, here philosophy, as well as of Oriental languages (He-
141ff.; Jules Leroy, “L’Évangéliaire éthiopien du Couvent
d’Abba Garima et ses attaches avec l’ancien art chrétien de
brew, Samaritan, Persian, Greek, Syriac and Ara-
Syrie”, Cahiers Archéologiques 11, 1960, 131–43; Id., “Un bic) and mathematics, soon becoming a student
nouvel évangéliaire éthiopien illustré du monastère d’Abba of Hiob ÷Ludolf in GéŸéz (s. Quetif – Echard
Garima”, in: André Grabar et al. (eds.), Synthronon. Art 1721: 793; W.’s diary for the period preceding his
et Archéologie de la fin de l’Antiquité et du Moyen Age …, travels to Egypt is now kept in the “Nachlass
Paris 1968 (Bibliothèque des Cahiers Archéologiques 2),
75–87; Gianfrancesco Lusini, “Scritture documentarie Ludolf” in Weimar, Goethe- und Schiller-Archiv,
etiopiche (Dabra Deòuòan e Dabra Sege, Sara’e, Eritrea)”, ms. 105/103, s. Beltz 1995:86).
RSE 42, 1998 [1999], 5–55, here 10; PAwlos SAdwA, “Un As a very promising scholar, W. was sent to
manoscritto etiopico degli Evangeli”, ibid. 11, 1952 [1953], London to take care of the first edition of Lu-
9–28; Taddesse Tamrat, “The Abbots of Däbrä-Hayq
1248–1535”, JES 8, 1, 1970, 87–117; Rochus Zuurmond,
dolf’s Lexicon and Grammatica in 1661 (both
Novum Testamentum Aethiopice: the Synoptic Gospels, emended and reedited by Ludolf respectively in
Part I: General Introduction, Part II: Edition of the Gospel 1699 and 1702), published in one volume togeth-
of Mark, Stuttgart 1989 (AeF 27), Part I, 240–55. er with the Confessio fidei of ase Gälawdewos,
Lit.: Ewa Balicka-Witakowska, La crucifixion sans cru- the “liturgy of Dioscorus” and other appendixes
cifié dans l’art éthiopien: recherches sur la survie de l’ico-
nographie chrétienne de l’antiquité tardive, Warszawa – (s. Wansleben 1661). In London he also helped
Wiesbaden 1997 (Bibliotheca nubica et aethiopica 4), Edmund Castell (a collaborator of Brian Walton
8–11; Alessandro Bausi, “Il testo, il supporto e la fun- in the project of the polyglot Bible) in the reali-
zione. Alcune osservazioni sul caso dell’Etiopia”, in: sation of the Lexicon heptaglotton (1669), one of
StudAeth 7-22; Id., “Un indice del Liber Aksumae”,
Aethiopica 9, 2006, 102–46; Id., “Un indice dell’Evan-
the major achievements of Oriental scholarship
gelo d’oro di Dabra Libanos (Šemazana, Akkala Guzay, of the 17th cent.
Eritrea)”, ibid. 10, 2007, 81–91; Id., “La tradizione scrit- At his return to Germany, W. kept on co-oper-
toria etiopica”, Segno e Testo 6, 2008, 507–57, here 546; ating with Ludolf, for whom he also realized from
Id. – Gianfrancesco Lusini, “Appunti in margine a una various libraries, since 1660 at the latest, copies
nuova ricerca sui conventi eritrei”, RSE 36, 1992 [1994],
5–36, here 19f., n. 33; Id. – Gianni Dore – Irma Taddia of GéŸéz manuscripts which are now dissemi-
(eds.), Materiale antropologico e storico sul «rim» in Etio- nated in Europe (s. Bausi 1991: 7ff.; 2009: 261ff.;
pia ed Eritrea. Anthropological and historical documents SixTana III, 258–63; Six 2007: 113ff.).
on «rim» in Ethiopia and Eritrea, Torino 2000, 155–65 Ten years after the visit of abba ÷Gorgoryos
(Lit.); Carlo Conti Rossini, Principî di diritto consue-
tudinario dell’Eritrea, Roma 1916, 393; DAE I, 17; Jean to Germany, under the auspices of the Thur-
Doresse, La vie quotidienne des éthiopiens chrétiens aux ingian Duke Ernst “the Pious” of Saxe-Gotha,
XVIIe et XVIIIe siecles, Paris 1972, 150f.; EllLusAnt 75, Ludolf prepared an exploratory mission to be
79, 82, 121; Jules Leroy, Les manuscrits coptes et coptes- sent to Ethiopia. The aim was to overcome the
arabes illustrés, Paris 1974 (Bibliothèque archéologique
et historique 96), 55f.; Richard Pankhurst, “Ethiopian
lack of information after the expulsion of the
Manuscript Binding and their Decoration”, Abbay 12, Jesuits thirty years before, and even more that
1983–84, 205–57, here 249; Roger Schneider, “L’Evangé- of highlighting the purported affinities between

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Wansleben, Johann Michael

the Lutheran and the Ethiopian faith. W. started with Duke Ernst. In Rome he eventually became
the journey alone in June 1663. He was supposed a Dominican priest at the Convento di Santa
to spread interest for Luther’s doctrine among Maria sopra Minerva. In 1668 he asked the ÷Sacra
Ethiopian clergy, to invite young “Abyssinian” Congregatio de Propaganda Fide to establish a
pupils to study in Thuringia, and to collect as school of GéŸéz language and literature in Rome
much information as possible on church his- for a future Catholic mission, which was, how-
tory, government, peoples, history, geography ever, not realized (Beccari 1903: 178). His travel
and the nature of Ethiopia (s. his instructions, report, dedicated to the Grand Duke of Tuscany
Flemming 1890: 549; Loth 1986: 72–78). Duke Cosimo III, appeared later in Italian (a language
Ernst planned to support Ethiopians spreading W. mastered and in which he entertained extensive
Christianity in the countries surrounding them, correspondence also in his French period) in 1671
in order to establish a route to Ethiopia. in Paris, where W. moved the same year following
W. arrived in Egypt in January 1664. He es- the bishop of Montpellier, François Bosquet.
tablished lively contacts with the Copts. Their In 1671–76, under initiative of minister of fi-
patriarch Matthew, however, warned him not to nance Jean-Baptiste Colbert, W. undertook a new
go to Ethiopia for security reasons. Therefore, journey to the Orient, with the principal task
W. resigned himself to collecting information of purchasing Oriental manuscripts and ancient
on Ethiopia from Copts and from Indians, who medals, and of acquiring information on all sort
had been at ase ÷Fasilädäs’s court in ÷Gondär, of archaeological findings, inscriptions, etc. he
as well as from Ethiopians in the Cairo churches would come across (s. Omont 1902, vol. 1, 54–
and Egyptian monastic communities which W. 174, vol. 2, 879–951). Via Eastern Mediterranean,
visited, e.g., at ÷Dayr al-Muharraq, where he was W. reached Egypt in 1672, and extensively trav-
also able to copy a few Ethiopic manuscripts and elled there for two years visiting several places,
acquire Arabic ones (almost all of W.’s copies and for some of which he provided the earliest avail-
Arabic manuscripts resulting from this first trav- able information in Europe (e.g., the White Mon-
el are presently kept in Florence, cp. Bausi 1991). astery founded by ÷Shenute of Atripe, the most
He also collected the first reliable information on important Coptic writer, on whom also he was
÷Dongola and on Darfur (s. Adelberger 1991). the first to report). Yet, he never reached Ethio-
W. returned to Italy in 1665 and sent a report to pia. In the monastic compound of St. Anthony
Duke Ernst from Florence concerning the politi- near the Red Sea, in October 1672 he visited the
cal situation in Egypt and Ethiopia (Relation von ruins of a monastery, once inhabited by Ethio-
dem gegenwärtigen Zustande Ägyptenlandes), pians (Wansleben 1677a: 302). He returned to
only later published from Ludolf’s own copy (s. Paris via Asia Minor and Istanbul in 1677, having
Paulus 1794: 10–121, “Johann Michael Wansleb’s shipped in the course of time and from various
bisher ungedruckte Beschreibung von Aegypten places almost 600 manuscripts to France (Greek,
im Jahr 1664”). The report, however, did not Arabic, Syriac, Coptic, Persian, Turkish, Hebrew,
contain any particular comments on religion. but no GéŸéz except one), now preserved in the
In Italy W. acquired fame as a great Orientalist, Bibliothèque Nationale. All this notwithstand-
first in Florence, where he examined at least one ing, in consideration of the high costs undertaken
GéŸéz manuscript preserved there in the library and the disappointment for not reaching Ethio-
of Grand Duke Ferdinando II, and then in Rome, pia, Colbert considered W.’s expedition a failure.
where he had occasion of visiting the Ethiopian Fallen into disgrace, he lived poorly first taking
community of ÷Santo Stefano dei Mori and an- residence at the Dominicans’ house at rue Saint
notating and copying GéŸéz manuscripts. Prob- Jacques, in Paris, where he published his second
ably in this period, not only for poverty (as travel account (ibid. 1677a) and his most impor-
Ludolf, styling W. a betrayer, assumed), but also tant work, i.e. the Histoire de l’Église d’Alexan-
for deeper reasons connected with a wider knowl- drie (ibid. 1677b), a milestone in the scientific
edge of Ethiopian canonical writings (as it ap- investigation of Egyptian Church institutions,
pears from his personal notes, s. Bausi 1991: 12), antiquities and writings, and eventually in Bour-
he converted to Catholicism. W.’s conversion ron in 1678, where he worked as parochial vicar
disconcerted and greatly disappointed Ludolf and died. His planned extensive publications of
and shortly put an end to any cooperation among Ethiopic works (where the identification of an
the two, even though W. kept on corresponding ancient GéŸéz version of a 3rd-cent. text of ÷Cy-

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Wansleben, Johann Michael

prian of Carthage, the Epistle 70, is also found, s. Omont, Missions archéologiques françaises en Orient aux
Wansleben 1671b) never took place. XVII et XVIII siècles, Paris 1902, vol. 1, 54–174, vol. 2,
879–951, passim; Abbé Alexandre Pougeois, Vansleb,
After his death, a spurious anti-Catholic pam- savant orientaliste et voyageur, Sa vie, sa disgrâce, ses
phlet circulating under his name (Wansleben oeuvres, Paris 1869; SixTana III, 258–63; Jacobus Quetif
1679) was strongly criticized by Ludolf in the 2nd [Quétif] – Jacobus Echard, Scriptores ordinis praedica-
edition of the English translation of his Historia torum recensiti …, Lutetiae Parisiorum 1721, vol. 2, 793f.;
Veronika Six, “Äthiopische Handschriften”, in: Rena-
(s. Ludolf 1684: Preface, bifols. F–G).
te Würsch (ed.), Die orientalischen Handschriften der
Src.: Johannes Michael Wansleben (ed.), Jobi Ludolfi Burgerbibliothek Bern, Wiesbaden 2007, 111–39, here
I.C. Lexicon Aethiopico-latinum …, Londinii 1661; 113ff.
Id., Relazione dello stato presente dell’Egitto, Parigi
Wolbert Smidt – Alessandro Bausi
1671a [Arab. tr. Cairo 2006]; Id., Conspectus Operum
Aethiopicorum quae ad excudendum parata habet R.P. Fr.
Joan. Michael Vanslebius, Parisiis 1671b; Id., Nouvelle ré- Waq
lation en forme de journal d’un voyage fait en Égypte. Par W. (also Awaqa; adressed as ganòwe, ‘majesty’
le P. Vansleb, R.D. En 1672 & 1673, Paris 1677a [21698]; [Leslau 1979: 64, 453, cp. also ÷Ïanhoy]) is one
Engl. tr.: The Present State of Egypt; or, A New Relation of
a Late Voyage into That Kingdom. Performed in the Years of three main ÷spirits or deities of the autoch-
1672 and 1673. By F. Vansleb … Englished by M.D.B.D., tonous ÷Gurage folk-÷religion. He is associ-
London 1678; Id., Histoire de l’église d’Alexandrie fondée ated with the sky (as is his namesake ÷Waaqa)
par S. Marc, que nous appelons celle des Jacobites-coptes and his most important symbol is the shooting
d’Egypte, écrite au Caire méme en 1672 et 1673, Paris
1677b; Id. [spurious], A Brief Account of the Rebellions
star. W. is believed to be the source of power and
and Bloodshed Occasioned by the Anti-Christian Practices wealth. He is seen as protector of his people and
of the Jesuits and other Popish Emissaries in the Empire of their gän (‘country’ or ‘district’) in times of war
Ethiopia. Collected out of a Manuscript History Written in and as guarantor of ÷‘customary law’ (qicca) and
Latin by Jo. Michael Wansleben, a Learned Papist, London ‘justice’ (ang). While the two other main spirits,
1679; Job Ludolphus, A New History of Ethiopia, Lon-
don ²1684; Heinrich Eberhard Gottlob Paulus (ed.), ÷Dämwamwit and ÷Boïïä, are venerated all over
Sammlung der merkwürdigsten Reisen in den Orient, vol. Säbat bet Gurage, W. has a local image, name and
3, Jena ²1794 [11782], 10–121, 124–384 (“J.M. Wansleben’s ritual tradition in each group. In fact, the term
bisher ungedruckte Beschreibung von Aegypten im Jahre W. seems to cover a class of spirits rather than a
1664”, “Neue Beschreibung einer Reise nach Aegypten in
den Jahren 1672, 1673 in Form eines Tagebuchs”, ed. by
single spiritual being. Such W. spirits are Saýamär
J.D. Reuss). in ÷Éndägañ, ÷Énär and ÷Mäsmäs, Gäbär in
Lit.: Jörg Adelberger, “Urimellis”, Sudanic Africa 2, ÷Énnämor, Awägyä(t) or Ogyät in Óaha and
1991, 177-78; Alastair Hamilton, The Copts and the Gumär, Mando or Yénfaša in ÷Geto, Énggyäbär
West 1439–1822: the European Discovery of the Egyptian in ÷Éïa, and Yämwarär in Aklil. In ÷Muòér folk-
Church, Oxford 2006 (Warburg Studies), 142–50, pas-
sim; Alessandro Bausi, “I manoscritti etiopici di J.M. religion, which has a high degree of Christian ele-
Wansleben nella Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firen- ments, Iyäsus (Jesus) was equated with W.
ze”, RSE 33, 1989 [1991], 5–33 (Lit.): Id., [review of Six W. is venerated at various local sacred places
2007], Aethiopica 12, 2009, 259–63; Camillo Beccari, situated on mountain tops and in groves. Every
Notizia e Saggi di opere e documenti inediti riguardanti
la Storia di Etiopia durante i secoli XVI, XVII e XVIII,
gän has its central shrine where chiefs are installed
con otto facsimile e due carte geografiche, Roma 1903, 178; and assemblies are held under a holy ÷tree. The
Walter Beltz, “Johann Michael Wansleben: zu den An- priests of his cult (wäg or awaýé), some of which
fängen der deutschen Koptologie und Äthiopistik”, in: are female, act as spirit mediums (÷Possession
Id. (ed.), Übersetzungen und Übersetzer im Verlag J.H. cults) and judges. They also function as conven-
Callenbergs. Internationales Kolloquium in Halle (Saale)
vom 22.–24. Mai 1995, Halle 1995 (Hallesche Beiträge ors of the annual cést feast in honour of W. Many
zur Orientwissenschaft 19), 86–87; August Beck, Ernst of their ritual assistants are members of an en-
der Fromme, Herzog zu Sachsen-Gotha und Altenburg, dogamous social group, called ÷fuga.
Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte des 17. Jahrhunderts, Weimar Among all local W. cults of the western Gur-
1865, vol. 2, 162ff., 570ff., 580f.; Jean-Marie Carré,
age that of Awägyät, the spiritual patron of the
Voyageurs et écrivains français en Egypte, 2 vols., Le Caire
1956, vol. 1, 29–36; Johannes Flemming, “Hiob Ludolf, ÷yägoka pan-Gurage assembly in the Yäbaze
Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der orientalischen Philologie”, district of Óaha, achieved a central role by ritu-
Beiträge zur Assyriologie und semitischen Sprachwissen- ally and politically integrating the diverse sub-
schaft 1, 1890, 537–82, here 537, 548f., 555, 563; Heinrich groups. The highest representative of Awägyä, is
Loth (ed.), Reisen nach Nigritien, Bilder afrikanischer
Vergangenheit, Leipzig 1986, 70–87; Maurice Martin,
a female spirit medium with the title of yogäpäóa
“Le journal de Vansleb en Egypte”, Bulletin de l’Institut dämam (‘lady of Wägäpäóa [the place of the
français d’archéologie orientale 97, 1997, 181–91; Henri shrine]’). She is chosen “by W.” from the virgins

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