Five Hundred Years Ago, First ever Book was Printed in the Ancient Semitic Language of Ethiopia, Ge’ez

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Embassy launch of worldwide access to ancient first book printed in Ge’ez

Five hundred years ago this week (30th June), the first ever book was printed in the ancient Semitic language of Ge’ez, the foundation of languages spoken in Ethiopia today including Amharic, Tigrigna and Agoa. See sample 1 at end.

The Psalterium Æthiopicum consists of The Psalms followed by the Sacred Canticles and the Song of Songs, Rome 1513. Few copies exist. This week, the book is to be made available on-line with insight brought to the fore by a unique backlighting, which heightens the clarity of the text and reveals the watermarks in the paper. The same watermark has been found throughout copies of the Psalterium Æthiopicum held by the British Library, Kings College London (KCL) and Lambeth Palace.

Click this link to download the full press release