Manuscript Dating Tool

This tool aids in dating a manuscript or text based on its colophon.

Examples are available below.

Year (A.D.) ʿĀmata
Wang­elāwi Maṭqǝʿ ʾAbaqte Ṭǝn­tyon ʾƎndǝq­tǝyon

BL Or. 578, fol. 227v/236r

ተፈጸመ፡ ዝንቱ፡ መጽሐፍ፡ ... ወእምኩነተ፡ ዓለምሂ፡ በ፸፻ወ፩፻፴ወ፰ ዓመተ፡ ምሕረት፡ በ፲ወ፰ መጥቅዕ፡ በ፲ወ፪ አበቅቴ፡ በ፫ ጥንትዮን፡
This book was completed ... in the 7138th year of mercy after the creation of the world, 18 maṭqǝʿ, 12 ʾabaqte, 3 ṭǝntyon.

We may enter these four pieces of information into the tool and see that this corresponds to 1645/1646 A.D. If we did not have the name of the monarch and the ʿāmata ʿālam year, and no other information was given, it would not have been enough to reach such a precise date. This is because the correspondence of maṭqǝʿ/ʾabaqte with ṭǝntyon recurs every 95 years, making 1740, 1835, etc. also possible candidates.

The colophon of the Maṣḥafa Mǝśṭir of Abba Giyorgis (here BnF Éth. d'Abbadie 49, fol. 229v-230r)

ወፍጻሜሃሰ፡ ለዛቲ፡ መጽሐፍ፡ ዘለፋሆሙ፡ ኮነ፡ ... በ፷፻ወ፱፻፲ወ፮፡ በሐሳበ፡ ግብጻዊያን፡ ... በ፲ወ፰ አበቅቴ፡ በ፮ ጥንትዮን፡ በ፫ እንድከትዮን፡
And the completion of this book of refutations was ... in (the year) 6916 in the calculation of the Egyptians, ... 18 ʾabaqte, 6 ṭǝntyon, 3 ʾǝndǝka­tǝyon.

Augustine Dickinson

How to cite this page:

Augustine Dickinson, "Manuscript Dating Tool," Published on . Accessed on .