The bulk of Ethiopic literature, just like of other literatures of Christian Orient, is formed by religious texts, primarly those needed for the church service and for the everyday life of the Christian.
These start with the Bible - the first text believed to have been translated into Ethiopic from Greek around the time of the Christianization of Ethiopia (mid-fourth century AD; it was later revised against the Coptic Arabic version). Among the books of the Bible, the Four Gospels and the Psalter are most frequently copied; each parish possesses at least one copy of both. The pseudepigrapha (including the 'apocryphal' texts of the Jubilees or the Ethiopic Book of Enoch, surviving in Ethiopic only) were also translated during the very early phase of Ethiopic literature; the use of these texts at least as is illustrated by the manuscripts existing today is, however, quite limited. To the early layer of Ethiopic literature such works also belong as the texts of the Church Fathers and the hagiographies of the early Christian martyrs. The antiphonary of the year (Deggwa) is said to have been composed locally, in the sixth century AD.
Religious texts translated from Arabic, or composed locally, in the thirteenth-seventeenth centuries included numerous homilies and hymns, service texts such as the Gebra hemamat or the Mashafa sa'atat, the Synaxary, the canon law compendium Senodos, and, importantly, the collection of the Miracles of Mary. Most hagiographies of Ethiopian saints were composed beginning with the fifteenth/sixteenth century.
Poetry (hymns, homilies, 'images', qene) is nearly exclusively religious.
Probably the most prominent 'secular' text of the early Ethiopian tradition is the Kebra nagast. Most probably compiled in the first half of the fourteenth century, with possibly at least partial ‘Vorlage’ in Copto-Arabic milieu (depending on the degree of trust one places in the ‘colophon’), it incorporates elements from various traditions of the Near East (Christian, but also Jewish, with Islamic parallels).
Universal chronicles, 'short chronicles', and chronicles of reign of particular kings are examples of historiographical literature in Ge'ez.
Documentary texts are mostly represented by land grants (often transmitted in the so-called 'Golden Gospels' manuscripts).