Jump to content

Imperial Ethiopian High Ranking officers seal/ring


TeaRex
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi to all from a (at last) Sunny New Zealand. I recently picked up what I am told is a seal from a High Ranking Imperial Ethiopian officer. I know the inscription contains the persons name (and his fathers) plus the pattern of his ceromonial/war shield. Can anyone give me an accurate translation of what it actually says?

Many thanks in advance

Rex Trye

Link to comment
Share on other sites

T Rex

The Amharic alphabet has 7 vowels and 34 consonants, with a different symbol for each combination. That is, for example, for each of ha, he, ho, hi, hu etc etc. there is a discreet letter. So, about 200 separate 'letters' and the marginal note in the site I visited says 'there is no standard translation from Amharic to the Latin [our] alphabet.

So, if you want to try to do a letter by letter transliteration, then tranlate what you get from Amharic to English, using BabelFish or GoogleTranslator, good luck! And that's assuming the inscription is in the standard version of the Amharic alphabet, apparently called 'Fidel', and not some special, used for monuments and old stuff version. :banger: Here's a site to start with: http://www.amharicma...efault/alphabet

Your bets bet is to take a photo to your nearest Ethiopian restaraunt, if there is such a thing in the Antipodes. Sorry, mate! :(

Edited by peter monahan
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Hey TR,

You have a cool piece on your hands... hehe. First of all, the image is transposed. So after flipping it, I can see the first word at the top is "Grazmatch" meaning "Commander of the Left" which is indeed a high ranking officer/noble in the Imperial Court. But I'm having a hard time deciphering the second word which is most likely the officer's name. There are a ton of characters in the Ethiopian alphabet and obviously the workmanship of the ring is not top notch, so I'll need to see a straight forward shot to be able to translate the rest. Plus it could be a not so common name. Anyway, I'll keep scrutinizing this pic until you post another one. Hope this helps.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Hi Jarod,

Sorry just noticed your reply, thanks for taking the time to try and work out the ring/seal. I'm glad it's possibly a good piece, sure the quality is not outstanding. But hopefully I've taken a photo the right way around.

Cheers

Rex

Edited by TeaRex
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Hey TR,

Thanks for posting another pic. Just fyi, the latest pic is upside down (in case you want to put it in a display case or something). After spending some more time on it and even bringing second and third opinions, I am unable to decipher the remaning text. There are several issues such as whether to incorporate the chapracters at the two vertices of the shield when trying to read the name, whether the string at the bottom is one or two words*, and lastly whether to include the character after the colon above the shield. In any case it's not a very common name (probably from the Oromo or lesser Souther tribes).

*Colons are traditionally used between words in Amharic, although you will see some using a space just as in English.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Jarod, well you are doing much better than me, it's such a foreign language to me. I'm pretty good with Italian and getting to grips with some Albanian and a little Russian, but this, oh my. So I had it upside again. Shows how muich I know, no disrespect to the Ethiopians in any way. As you say a good mystery.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...