Ancient language of Ethiopia, Semitic in origin with an intermingling of Arabic and Greek, the literary language of Abyssinia up to the 16th century, and at present used as a liturgical language. The translation of the Bible from Greek into Geez in the 4th or 5th centuries was the work of many scholars, the unity of version being due only to deliberate effort. In 1833 a German traveler discovered a Geez inscription, referring to a monarch of Axum, and valuable for the history of the Semitic alphabet. The first grammar and dictionary were compiled by Job Ludolf.

New Catholic Dictionary

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