ABUSIR BANA

A town located in the about three miles south of in the province of . Its Greek name was .

Although Abusir Bana had a reputation as late as the Byzantine period for its devotion to Isis, Christianity also has a long tradition in the town. One of the bishops Melitius was able to win over to his side in 325 (see MELITIAN SCHISM) was Hermaion, bishop of Kynopolis and Abusir Bana (Munier, 1943, p. 3). By the middle of the fifth century at the latest, there was an orthodox bishop in Abusir Bana as evidenced by the attendance of Bishop Athanasius at the Council of EPHESUS in 449 and the Council of CHALCEDON in 451 (Munier, 1943, pp. 19-20).

JOHN OF NIKIOU reports that at the time of the Abusir Bana was an important administrative center. The Byzantine regime maintained troops in the town under the leadership of a man named Zacharias. Nonetheless, the Arabs were able to capture the city with little difficulty (1883, p. 411).

The Coptic community in Abusir Bana seems to have withstood the and to have remained intact. The reports that in the time of (705-730) Bishop John of Sa reunited the heretical in Abusir Bana with the . By 744 a bishop was again situated in Abusir Bana. We know that from the town was present at the synod that selected KHA’IL I (744-767) as the . was in office in Abusir Bana sometime shortly before 750. A student of Bishop Zacharias of ATRIB, Peter was one of several who were imprisoned with Patriarch Kha’il. Sometime during the (979-1003), Bishop Severus from Abusir Bana visited the patriarch in Alexandria. At the end of the , a man named Mark was a bishop in Abusir Bana. In 1078 Mark was present at in for the selection of (1078-1092) as patriarch.

Given the long Coptic tradition of Abusir Bana, it is not surprising that the town appears in the medieval scales and in the lists of (Munier, 1943, pp. 48, 54, 63).

BIBLIOGRAPHY

  • Amelineau, E. La Géographie de l’Egypte á l’époque copte, pp. 9-10. Paris, 1893.
  • John of Nikiou. Chronique de Jean, évêque de Nikiou, ed. and trans. 1883. Zotenberg. Paris, 1883.
  • Munier, H. Recueil des listes épiscopales de l’église copte. Cairo, 1943.
  • Timm, S. Das christlich-koptische Ägypten in arabischer Zeit, pt. 1, pp. 459-63. Wiesbaden, 1984.

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