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He argued against slavery, critiqued all established religions and doctrines, and combined these views with a personal belief in a theistic Creator, reasoning that the world’s order makes that the most rational option.
In short: many of the highest ideals of the later European Enlightenment had been conceived and summarised by one man, working in an Ethiopian cave from 1630 to 1632.
For two years, until the death of the king in September 1632, Yacob remained in the cave as a hermit, visiting only the nearby market to get food.
The only translation into English was done in 1976, by the Canadian professor and priest Claude Sumner.
He published it as part of a five-volume work on Ethiopian philosophy, with the far-from-commercial Commercial Printing Press in Addis Ababa.
Yacob, who was teaching in the Axum region, had declared that no religion was more right than any other, and his enemies brought charges against him to the king.
Yacob fled at night, taking with him only some gold and the Psalms of David.