Cover image for Ethiopic, an African writing system : its history and principles
Ethiopic, an African writing system : its history and principles
Ayele Bekerie.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Lawrenceville, NJ : Red Sea Press, [1997]

Physical Description:
xiv, 176 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library Z115.5.E85 A94 1997 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



This is a groundbreaking book about the history and principles of Ethiopic (Ge'ez), an African writing system designed as a meaningful and graphic representation of a wide array of knowledge, including languages. In this important and unique study, Ayele Bekerie argues that Ethiopic is a component of the African Knowledge Systems and one of the signal contributions made by Africans to world history and cultures. The author further elaborates that Ethiopic is a knowledge system which is brilliantly organized to represent philosophical features, such as ideography, mnemonics, syllography, astronomy, and grammatology. Moreover, Ethiopic is not only a cultural agency, but a foundation to a great literary tradition in Ethiopia, which, for instance, has made a critical contribution to the history of Christianity by organically preserving The Book of Henok, which is widely held by Biblical scholars to be a precursor of Christianity. In a sharp departure from the established view of most Ethiopianistsof the old school, Ayele Bekerie contends that the Ethiopic writing system is much older than has been previously thought, tracing back its origins to a period of at least 2,000 B.C.E. This study also explores the dynamic linkage between the Ethiopic and Egyptian writing systems, suggesting the possible relationship between all African writing systems of the Nile Valley.

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