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  • 1 Research Fellow, Institute of Oriental Manuscripts of Russian Academy of Sciences
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Abstract

The legend of St. Sisynnios has been widespread in both Christian and popular Ethiopian tradition up to the present time. It exists in the form of written texts in the Ge’ez language, inserted in so-called magic scrolls among other closely connected texts of both magical and religious character. These scrolls have a protective function, and St. Sisynnios is venerated by the Ethiopian Church. There are two versions of his life. The shorter one comprises part of the Synaxarion whilethe longer one is included in a corpus of hagiographical compilations entitled “The Lives of the Martyrs”. Both of these were translated from the Arabic prototype, borrowed from the mother Coptic Church of Alexandria. There is a notable interconnection between the legend in the amulets and the religious texts. It is unknown whether the text of the legend once existed in form of verbal charm or not. In any case, different elements of the saint’s life passed to the legend. Some have remained unchanged while others have undergone transformations or lost some elements. It is important to study different elements of the legend using the examples conserved in the available manuscript scrolls. Analysis of these interconnections and the evolution of the text constitutes the basis of the present research.

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