ABUSIR AL-MALAQ

A town located between the Nile and the in the province of . It was known in Greek as and in earlier Arabic literature as Busir Quridis (M. Ramzi, 1960).

As evidenced by archaeological finds from the earliest period of , Abusir al-Malaq has a very long history. It is likely that the story in the Chronicle of JOHN OF NIKIOU about the founding of a town called Busiris is about Abusir al-Malaz. The tale states that a certain who was a of (?), the same who is known as in Upper and Lower Egypt, established a city called Busiris (1883, pp. 224-45). Abusir al-Malaq is mentioned in from as early as the third century B.C. to as late as the sixth century A.D.

In the Arabic period, the name of Abusir al-Malaq first arises in connection with the death of the last , Marwan ibn Muhammad al-Ja‘di (744-751). Though the accounts of his demise differ, many of them relate that he died in a monastery and some say this monastery was near Abusir al-Malaq. Even today a near the town is said to be that of Marwan. In one place ABU SALIH THE ARMENIAN says Marwan died in Abusir near , but elsewhere he places Marwan’s death in the area of Abusir al-Malaq () and goes on to state that a and a monastery called were located there. It was in this monastery that Marwan actually died. In no other sources do we find references to a church or a monastery near Abusir al-Malaq, but it is possible that DAYR AL-HAMMAN, located about 5 miles (8 km) north of , is the monastery mentioned in the sources that say Marwan died in a monastery in or near Abusir al-Malaq.

There is today a Coptic church of uncertain age in Abusir al- Malaq.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

  • Amelineau, E. La Géographie de l’Egypte à l’époque copte, p. 10. Paris, 1893.
  • John of Nikiou. Chronique de Jean, évêque de Nikiou, ed. and trans. 1883. Zotenberg. Paris, 1883.
  • Timm, S. Das christlich-koptische Ägypten in arabischer Zeit, pt. 1, pp. 465-67. Wiesbaden, 1984.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *