ENDNOTES FOR "CREED OF THE ABYSSINIANS
1 This Claudius was the son of David, surnamed Wanag-saged, (i.e. the precious gem,) whom he succeeded in the kingdom of Abyssinia in 1540; but his kingdom being invaded, and nearly ruined by Ahmed, vulgarly called Grabius, or Grannus, (left-handed,) at the head of an army of the Adelans, he was obliged to fly to the kingdom of Damot, behind the source of the Nile. Thence he sent to implore the succor of the Portuguese, who had at this period acquired much military fame; and among other arguments used to procure their assistance, he sent this Confession of Faith, to prove that the Ethiopians still retained the purity of the Christian religion, and were free from Judaizing, with which they had been charged.
2 The Ethiopians believe that Maquedah, Queen of Sheba, or Sabea, who visited Solomon, (1 Kings x. 4,) had a son by him, who was named Menilehee, and was sent to Jerusalem, and brought up with great care in the Jewish religion. On his return to his own country, being constituted king, he introduced the law of Moses, and the writings of the Prophets, among his subjects; from which tradition some of them have not scrupled to style themselves "Children of the Israelitish kings," as above.
3 That is, the articles of faith agreed upon at the councils held in the above places. The Ethiopic Christians acknowledge only three Ecumenic Councils, viz., of Nice, Constantinople, and Ephesus. They do not acknowledge the authority of the Council of Chalcedon, because Dioscorus, Patriarch of Alexandria, was condemned in it without the privilege of a fair hearing.
4 That is, the surname given at his coronation, or installment, it being the custom of the Abyssinians to impose a name portentive of some good on the above occasion, which was called the "name of the kingdom," because given at the time in which the king was confirmed in the government. 5 Atznaf-saged, i.e., Venerable even to the ends of the earth; for so much the words in the original import.
6 The Ethiopians observe both the Jewish and Christian Sabbath, according to the custom of many of the primitive Christians, who for a long time held both sacred. But they celebrate the Lord's Day much more solemnly than the Jewish Sabbath, or Saturday, on which they only abstain from rural labor.
7 But is very probable that "the house," in which the disciples were assembled on the day of Pentecost, was not a private house, but the temple; for [change to Symbol font:] ton oikwn, sometimes signifies "the temple," by way of eminence. In Matthew xii. 4, ton oikwv tou qeou, is indisputably "The Temple". See also Mark ii. 26. This is what Claudius terms, "The Oratory of Zion."
8 The Ethiopic Christians not only abstain from swine's flesh, but from hares, sea-fowl, &c., and from all fish of the testaceous kind; but for this they only allege custom.
9 By this Claudius shows his disapprobation of that act of Constantine, related by the Arabic historians, El-Makin, and Ebn Batrik, (both Christians,) in their Ecclesiastical Histories: That in order to prove the sincerity of the Jews, lately converted to Christianity, he ordered a piece of swine's flesh to be offered to every Jew, as they came out of the temple; and those who refused to eat it were immediately slain."
Translation of the Pieces Referred To In The Preceding Note:
And Constantine commanded that the Jews should not inhabit Jerusalem, and that whosoever did not turn Christian should be put to death. Therefore many professed themselves Christians who were secretly Jews, for fear of being slain. Constantine understanding this, advised with the Patriarch, who informed him that the Jews never tasted swine's flesh; therefore the Emperor ordered many swine to be killed, that the Jews might eat thereof and whosoever would not eat, would discover thereby that he persisted in Judaism. This the Emperor ordered to be done on the Passover, and they were gathered together in the temple, and every one who came out tasted, and he who would not eat thereof was slain: and on that day a great part of the Jews were destroyed.
From Ebn Batrik
And Constantine the king gave commandment, that the Jews should not inhabit Jerusalem, nor be tolerated there; and that whosoever would not turn Christian should be slain. Therefore, of the Jews and Gentiles a great many were baptized; but they only feigned the Christian religion.
And it was reported to Constantine the king, that the Jews became Christians only through fear of being slain; and that they still persisted in the Jewish religion. And the King said, "By what means shall this be proved?" Paul, the Patriarch of Constantinople, answered, "Swine are prohibited in the law of Moses: therefore order swine to be killed, and boil their flesh, that the Jews may taste of it; and whosoever will not eat of the flesh, shall be thereby discovered to persist in Judaism."
And Constantine the king answered, "If swine be forbidden in the law of Moses, how comes it that we are permitted to eat of them, and permit others to do the same?" And Paul the Patriarch said, that our Lord Christ had long since abrogated the rites of the law, and appointed a new law, which is the Gospel.
And the King commanded swine to be killed, and their flesh to be boiled, and cut into small morsels, and that they should place this at the doors of the churches in all places of the kingdom, on the first day of the Passover; that all who came out of the churches should swallow a mouthful of the flesh, and he who ate not of it was slain. And on that day many were destroyed.
10 In Ludoliph's Map, prefixed to his History of Ethiopia, I find Damot situated south of the kingdom of Gojam, from which it is separated by the river Nile. It is said to be exceedingly rich in gold.
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