Page:Travels to Discover the Source of the Nile - In the Years 1768, 1769, 1770, 1771, 1772, and 1773 volume 2.djvu/78

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62

TRAVELS TO DISCOVER



WEDEM ASFERI.
From 1370 to 1380.

Memoirs of this and the following Reign defective.

WE know nothing of this prince, only that he succeeded his father Saif Araad, and reigned ten years; yet his name, which signifies lover of war, seems to indicate an active reign. It is remarkable, that in this reign is first mentioned an æra of Abyssinian chronology, which has very much puzzled several learned writers, and the origin of which is not, perhaps, yet fully known. This is that epoch, called that of Maharat, or Mercy, which Scaliger and Ludolf have called the æra of grace. Scaliger says, he has toiled much before he found out what it was; and I doubt his toil has not been blessed with all the success we could wish. That it is not the æra of redemption, is plain upon a hundred trials, nor of the conversion, nor of Dioclesian. What it alludes to we know not, but it is first quoted in the Abyssinian history in this reign, and answers to the year 1348 of Christ; but from what event it had its origin we cannot positively say, nor further, than that all which Scaliger has said concerning it is merely visionary.