The Anglo-Ethiopian Society

Ethiopian Study Visit - Wellcome Library

organised by Dorothea McEwan

Tuesday 22nd November 2011

An opportunity to view items relating to Ethiopia that are not normally on display to the general public.

Wellcome Library, Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine, 183 Euston Road, London NW1 2BE, 2.00pm

Ethiopian magic scrolls were believed to hold protective and healing powers and were inscribed with prayers, spells and charms. Each vellum scroll combined Christian imagery with magical incantations written in Géez, the sacred language. Small scrolls were made for individuals and worn or hung in the house. Larger scrolls protected the family and were divided into seven prayers for each day of the week.

The Wellcome Library holds 34 Ethiopian manuscripts, 17 mostly of religious content, 16 magical scrolls, and one manuscript mainly of divinatory content. Without constituting medical manuscripts in the strict sense of the term, the scrolls are designed to combat demons and diseases and to keep people in good health. They can be called magico-medical scrolls and belong to the field of ethnomedicine.

Free of charge for members. Maximum 25 people.

To reserve a place on these visits, please send an email to the organisers.
Confirmation, with location and time for meeting, will be sent by return.

Neither the Anglo-Ethiopian Society, nor any of the organisers of these visits, can be held responsible for any changes which might arise in connection with the venue, date or content of the event.

First Published in News File Winter 2011

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