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The Śər‘atä mängəśt is a collection of historical notes, descriptions of important ceremonies at the royal Ethiopian court, and regulations for court protocol and practices pertaining to law suits. The text exists in several different versions in a fairly large number of codices where it is often placed in front of the so-called Short Chronicle of the Ethiopian Kings. While I was working on a synoptical edition of these versions, the intertextual (and material) links to other sources of the Ethiopian historical tradition (chronicles, juridical documents, etc.) became clear, and it was possible to identify the authors, redactors, and compilers of these texts as counselors and judges at the royal court. The Śər‘atä mängəśt, this professional group’s vade mecum, was written and modified as a function of changes in the political and social situation.