The document is presented in the form of a debate by the "orthodox fathers" of the First Council of Nicaea. These fathers pose the question, "Of what doth the Glory of Kings consist? After this, the archbishop Domitius  reads from a book he had found in the church of "Sophia", which introduces what Hubbard calls "the centerpiece" of this work, the story of Makeda better known as the Queen of Sheba , King Solomon, Menelik I, and how the Ark came to Ethiopia chapters She is enthralled by his display of learning and knowledge, and declares "From this moment I will not worship the sun, but will worship the Creator of the sun, the God of Israel" chapter
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The document is presented in the form of a debate by the "orthodox fathers" of the First Council of Nicaea. These fathers pose the question, "Of what doth the Glory of Kings consist? After this, the archbishop Domitius  reads from a book he had found in the church of "Sophia", which introduces what Hubbard calls "the centerpiece" of this work, the story of Makeda better known as the Queen of Sheba , King Solomon, Menelik I, and how the Ark came to Ethiopia chapters She is enthralled by his display of learning and knowledge, and declares "From this moment I will not worship the sun, but will worship the Creator of the sun, the God of Israel" chapter The night before she begins her journey home, Solomon tricks her into sleeping with him, and gives her a ring so that their child may identify himself to Solomon.
Following her departure, Solomon has a dream in which the sun leaves Israel chapter On the journey home, she gives birth to Menelik chapter Overjoyed by this reunion, Solomon tries to convince Menelik to stay and succeed him as king, but Menelik insists on returning to his mother in Ethiopia. King Solomon then settles for sending home with him a company formed from the first-born sons of the elders of his kingdom. He had asked of Solomon only for a single tassel from the covering over the Ark, and Solomon had given him the entire cloth.
During the journey home, Menelik learns the Ark is with him, and Solomon discovers that it is gone from his kingdom. King Solomon then turns to solace from his wife, the daughter of the Pharaoh of Egypt, and she seduces him into worshiping the idols of her land chapter After a question from the bishops of the Council, Domitius continues with a paraphrase of Biblical history chapters Specifically he focuses on the central element of lineage and royal blood lines that were prevalent at the time.
He discusses heavily the intermixing of the royal families in order to preserve their own power and to ensure that their blood line survives. He does this by using each chapter to describe a specific family line, such as chapter 72 and 73 discussing the family tree of Constantine or chapters 74 and 75 to describe two separate seeds of Shem. Menelik then engages in a series of military campaigns with the Ark, and "no man conquered him, on the contrary, whosoever attacked him was conquered" chapter After chapter 94, the author takes a step back and describes a more global view of what he had been describing in previous chapters.
Gregory then delivers an extended speech with prophetic elements chapters , forming what Hubbard calls a "Patristic collection of Prophecies": "There can be little doubt that chapters are written as polemic against, if not an evangel to, the Jews.
These chapters seek to prove by OT [Old Testament] allegories and proof-texts the Messianic purpose of Jesus, the validity of the Ethiopian forms of worship, and the spiritual supremacy of Ethiopia over Israel. Based on the testimony of this colophon, "Conti Rossini, Littmann, and Cerulli , inter alios, have marked off the period to for the composition of the book. Other historians to consider the evidence date parts of it as late as the end of the sixteenth century, when Muslim incursions and contacts with the wider Christian world made the Ethiopian Church concerned to assert its character and assert Jewish traditions.
Many scholars doubt that a Coptic version ever existed, and that the history of the text goes back no further than the Arabic vorlage. They include not only both Testaments of the Bible although heavier use is made of the Old Testament than the New , but he detects evidence of Rabbinical sources, influence from deuterocanonical or apocryphal works especially the Book of Enoch and Book of Jubilees , both canonical in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, and such Syriac works as the Book of the Cave of Treasures , and its derivatives the Book of Adam and Eve and the Book of the Bee.
However, it provided the foundation for many of the Jesuit accounts of Ethiopia that came after his, including those of Manuel de Almeida and Balthazar Telles. Almeida was sent out as a missionary to Ethiopia, and had abundant opportunity to learn about the Kebra Nagast at first hand, owing to his excellent command of the language.
His manuscript is a valuable work. His brother, Apollinare, also went out to the country as a missionary and was, along with his two companions, stoned to death in Tigray. In the first quarter of the 16th century, P. Godinho published some traditions about King Solomon and his son Menelek , derived from the Kebra Nagast. Beginnings of modern scholarship of the book[ edit ] It was not until the close of the eighteenth century when James Bruce of Kinnaird, the famous Scottish explorer, published an account of his travels in search of the sources of the Nile , that some information as to the contents of the Kebra Nagast came to be generally known amongst European scholars and theologians.
When the third edition of his Travels to Discover the Source of the Nile was published in , a description of the contents of the original manuscript was included.
In due course these documents were given to the Bodleian Library at Oxford University shelfmark Bruce Praetorius published chapters 19 through 32 with a Latin translation.
The first English translation was prepared by E. Wallis Budge , which was published in two editions in and
Faekinos It is not necessary to revert to the sixth century, to a recent or relatively recent encounter with a Jewish king, to justify inimical references to Jews in a book of the nature of the Kebra Nagast. However, the compiler confused Marcian, whose reign was peaceful, with other Roman or Byzantine emperors who suffered defeats from the Persians. Shahid, for example, wrote that. Thus the two names cited by the Kebra Nagast figured in a religious struggle, in which Irenaeus was the victor. The 13 57 division of the world at Jerusalem between Kaleb and Justin is another part of the myth, deriving, one supposes, from the reported community of neest of the two empires over the Himyar problem at the time of Justin and Justinian, or from typical apocalyptic and other religious literature, which saw Jerusalem as the centre of the world.
The fiery zeal which he brought to his activity reveals one who was not born a Christian but was a converted one, and who, for this reason, would therefore have retained the vivid experience of the original illumination. However, there is more to this, a Marcion-Irenaeus parallel which Shahid has missed. The palace in which he dwelt at Aksum may not have been built by him, any neegest than Queen Elizabeth II built the palaces she lives in. Stuart Munro-Hay The sixth century was an extraordinary period in the history of the Christian nwgest, and particularly in Aksum and South Arabia, where a religious mibre was fought that confronted the Christian negus of Aksum with the Jewish Arab king of Himyar. The eventual defeat of the emperor of Rome, specified in Nfgest as Marcian Marcianus,by a Persian king, is another error by the compiler. They were to be mingled with David and Solomon their fathers.