The work is the Italian translation of the book “Makeda, Reine de Saba” (by Joseph Tubiana, Ed. Sépia, Saint Maur, 2001).
“I found the first text of those which follow - the Story of the voyage to Jerusalem made by Queen Makeda of Ethiopia to meet the Wiseman Salomon, based on l Kebra Nagast or “Glory of the Kings”, a mainstay of the Ethiopian Tradition – in Geneva, in a lovely little book reprinted by Sépia Editions on the occasion of the Exhibition dedicated to the Queen of Saba at the Ethnographical Museum of Geneva in 2001. I translated it into Italian not only for my personal pleasure, but also to be able to offer to my many friends who love Ethiopia the literature of Kebra Nagast, which is often spoken about and quoted, but is practically impossible to find.
Furthermore it seemed that an Italian translation did not exist... and so why not accept mine, at least for the moment?
I felt that some readers might also find interesting the first two parts of the index, or rather the Presentation of Prof. Tubiana and the Preface of Hugues Le Roux, which have a purely documentary value, aimed principally at “insiders”. For those who are new to the Legend of Makeda, I propose beginning without a doubt with ‘Makeda, Queen of Saba’ and following this I would suggest continuing with the last Legend at the end of the volume: the Arabic legend “The Queen of Saba”, which in my opinion is pure poetry!
The remaining versions are interesting and culturally complete the picture, but are at times confusing, possible because of the difficulty in translating the very old manuscripts or also for the diverse successive translations. Some legends are also amusing and add particulars and details, but they do not reach the heights of poetry of the first two mentioned stories.
I am grateful to Prof. Tubiana who has so generously given me permission to translate his volume, albeit unprofessionally”.
Mariena Mondelli Montandon