Mazzocchi Collection

The Mazzocchi Collection at JHIA is made of twenty-two pieces of Ge’ez manuscripts. The first set contains ten manuscripts that are bound in a book form. One (MAZ 1) is vellum parchment with wooden boards and a leather container, and is made of 197 folios written in an eighteenth- to nineteenth-century Ge’ez script. The remaining nine (MAZ 2-10) are vellum parchment manuscripts with leather boards, each made of between 34 and 154 folios and also written in an eighteenth- to nineteenth-century Ge’ez script. Of these ten, one (MAZ 7) is a Homily on Sunday (ድርሳነሰንበተክርስቲያን) attributed to the Syrian Jacob of Serugh (AD 451-521); two (MAZ 1 & 9) are Psalters containing the Psalms of David (መዝሙረዳዊት), Canticles of the Prophets (መኀልየነቢያት), Songs of Songs of Solomon (መኃልየመኃልይዘሰሎሞን), Praises of Mary (ውዳሴማርያም) and the Gate of Light (አንቀጸብርሃን); two (MAZ 8 & 10) are Harps of the Virgin (አርጋኖነድንግል) by the Ethiopian author Abba Giyorgis of Sagla (AD 1365-1425); and five (MAZ 2-6) are Magical Prayers that are generally expressed against evil spirits (ጸሎትበእንተመስጥመአጋንንት).

 Samples from the first set

The second set of twelve (MAZ 11-22) are rolling vellum scroll manuscripts, each made out of two joined parchments, illustrated and written in a twentieth-century Ge’ez hand, and are magical prayers against evil spirits (ጸሎት በእንተ መስጥመ አጋንንት). Each scroll contains an illustration of the Archangel Michael (ሊቀ መላእክት ሚካኤል) and the Snares of Solomon (መርበብተ ሰሎሞን).

Samples from the second set

This rich collection of manuscripts was deposited at JHIA by the Mazzocchi Family from Eritrea and is perpetually preserved under their name.

Mazz 11