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Ethiopian
(170 words)

[German version]

Geez, the classical language of Ethiopia, actually belongs to the southern branch of Semitic languages. It was spoken by the tribes Agazjan and Ḥabas̆āt, which had migrated into Abyssinia from South Arabia, founded the kingdom of  Axum and in the middle of the 4th cent. AD were converted to Christianity by missionaries. The earliest evidence is stone inscriptions (Axum inscriptions, Maṭara obelisk 4th cent. AD).

From the 9th cent. until the present Geez has been used only as a literary and church language. Related Semitic languages are Tigri…

Cite this page
Müller-Kessler, Christa (Emskirchen), “Ethiopian”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 04 August 2021 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1574-9347_bnp_e106360>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510



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