Ethiopic, an African Writing System: Its History and Principles

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The Red Sea Press, 1997 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 176 pages
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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 Ethiopianists of 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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Contents

AESTHETIC AND LITERARY
4
THE ARABIAN PENINSULA
26
Asking Basic Questions
34
Sabaeans ProtoEthiopic and Ethiopic Syllographs
41
The Mindset Responsible for the External Paradigm
42
The Awakening The Challenge and the Real History
48
General Historical Parallels Between
52
Punt Export to Ancient Egypt
54
Numerical Values of the Ethiopic Writing System
88
Numbers and Their Syllographic Sources
89
Analysis of the System
92
A Link Between Names and Syllographs
93
Variation in the Sixth or Sadis Column
95
Suggested Syllographs for the Oromo Language
96
The Ethiopic Writing System and Locational Theory
98
THE BOOK OFHENOK AND AFRICAN
105

THE HISTORY AND PRINCIPLES
61
The Organic Link Between
70
The Inscription of Goddess Balat
71
The Ethiopic Writing System
78
Description and Analysis of the Major Properties
82
Some Names and Meaning of the Syllographs
85
Henokian Fragments in Aramaic and Greek Languages
112
Se en and Some of Its Branches
121
Major Centers of Qine
129
The Idiomatic Renderings of the Main Body Parts
136
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About the author (1997)

Ayele Bekerie is currently a visiting professor in the Africana Studies and Research Center at Cornell University.

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