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Ethiopian Coptic Geez Bible (ca. 18th Century)
Ethiopian Handwritten Coptic Geez Bibles were produced as early as the fourteenth century until the late 19th century throughout Ethiopia, the first country to become an independent African nation. Christianity was introduced to Ethiopia in the 4th century when Syrian missionaries first translated the Bible into Geez, the language of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. The surviving body of Geez literature in composed almost entirely of Christian liturgy, as education was exclusively the responsibility of priests and monks. The bibles produced typically contain the gospels of the New Testament, recounting the life of Jesus of Nazareth and the foundation of the Christian faith with illuminated miniature paintings depicting the lives of the Saints.
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