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Abusir Bana - Coptic Wiki


A town located in the Egyptian Delta about three miles south of SAMANNUD in the province of al-Gharbiyyah. Its Greek name was Busiris.

Although Abusir Bana had a reputation as late as the Byzantine period for its devotion to Isis, also has a long tradition in the town. One of the 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 bishop in Abusir Bana as evidenced by the attendance of 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 ARAB OF EGYPT 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 Arabic and to have remained intact. The HISTORY OF THE reports that in the time of ALEXANDER II (705-730) Bishop John of Sa reunited the heretical in Abusir Bana with the church. By 744 a bishop was again situated in Abusir Bana. We know that Bishop Jacob from the town was present at the synod that selected KHA’IL I (744-767) as the forty-sixth patriarch. Bishop Peter was in office in Abusir Bana sometime shortly before 750. A student of Bishop Zacharias of ATRIB, Peter was one of several church leaders who were with Kha’il. Sometime during the patriarchate of PHILOTHEUS (979-1003), Bishop Severus from Abusir Bana visited the in Alexandria. At the end of the eleventh century, a man named Mark was a bishop in Abusir Bana. In 1078 Mark was present at DAYR ANBA MAQAR in Wadi al-Natrun for the selection of CYRIL II (1078-1092) as patriarch.

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


  • Amelineau, E. La Géographie de l’ 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- Ägypten in arabischer Zeit, pt. 1, pp. 459-63. Wiesbaden, 1984.