Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Add. 3682 (University Library, Cambridge University)

Oriental Manuscripts


Summary of Contents: This work is a typical example of a privately-owned Ethiopian service-book containing hymns and prayers arranged for the hours. Several coloured images are found towards the beginning and end of the codex, with miscellaneous common service texts and other readings in between. Images appear on f. 4r (Daniel in the lion's den, St. George and the dragon, Virgin and child with angels and a priest, and Täklä Haymanot and the dragon) and f. 95v (the Crucifixion).
Language(s): Geez
Language(s): Geez

Prime, f. 6r; Terce, f. 11r; Sext, f. 13v; None, f. 16v; Vespers, f. 20r; Compline, f. 23v; Midnight, f. 27r

Title: Prayers
Language(s): Geez
Language(s): Geez
Language(s): Geez
Title: Mystagogia
Language(s): Geez
Language(s): Geez

Cf. Or. 1800

Language(s): Geez
Language(s): Geez
Language(s): Geez

Prime, f. 60r; Terce, f. 61r; Sext, f. 61v; None, f. 64v; Vespers, f. 65v; Compline, f. 66r; Midnight, f. 66v

Language(s): Geez

The gathering beginning at f. 71 is wrongly arranged; the text of f. 70v continues on f. 72r, col. 2; it then runs consecutively through vv. 72v to 78v, then goes to f. 71, ending on f. 72, col. 1.

75r-78v, 71r-72r
Language(s): Geez
Language(s): Geez
Language(s): Geez
Language(s): Geez

Physical Description

Form: codex
Extent: 95 ff.
Dimensions (leaf): 14.0 × 10.2 cm.


17-20 lines per leaf


Various hands, mostly poor


  • f. 4r Coloured picture of Daniel in the lion's den
  • f. 4r Coloured picture of St. George and the dragon
  • f. 4r Coloured picture of Virgin and child with angels and a priest
  • f. 4r Colour picture of Täklä Haymanot and the dragon
  • f. 95v Colour picture of the Crucifixion


Boards are partly covered with stamped leather. Has linen chemise with ‘tail’ that extends to cover the exposed edges of the text block. No endbands. Pictorial inserts at front and back – not original.

Accompanying Material

Loose paper slip with monogram of William Simpson


Origin: 18th cent. CE; Ethiopia.

Provenance and Acquisition


The manuscript was purchased by William Simpson, an illustrator for the Illustrated London News and member of the 1868 Napier expedition to Magdala. According to a note on the inside front cover, William Simpson, , whose monogram is also included, obtained it from an Ethiopian as the troops returned to Aden after the defeat of Tewodros II: “This book of Devotion, 350 or 400, years old, I bought from an Abyssinnian [sic], at the tent door, during the return march from Magdala, 1868”. The seller may have been either Waldä Giyorgis or Śarḍa Māryām, both of whose names appear in the manuscript.

Record Sources

Description based on Catalogue of Ethiopian manuscripts in the Cambridge University Library / by Edward Ullendorff and Stephen G. Wright; with a contribution by D.A. Hubbard.Cambridge University Press.1961 . Codicological description enhanced by Ted Erho


Entry to read in the Library is permitted only on presentation of a valid reader's card for admissions procedures contact Cambridge University Library Admissions. Contact near_eastern@lib.cam.ac.uk for further information on the availability of this manuscript


    Catalogue of Ethiopian manuscripts in the Cambridge University Library / by Edward Ullendorff and Stephen G. Wright ; with a contribution by D.A. Hubbard., Ullendorff, Edward (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1961)

Funding of Cataloguing



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