A city on the right bank of the Nile, about 250 miles (467 km) south of Cairo. In Byzantine times Akhmim was known as . It remains today the chief town of the province of Suhaj. Akhmim is the name of pharaonic times (Chemmis) clothed in Arabic.

Monasteries Pachomian Establishments

The Greek and Coptic lives relate that PACHOMIUS established three monasteries in the neighborhood of the town of Akhmim. In chronological order, the first of the three was that of or Tasi “in the land of Akhmim,” which was the sixth  Pachomian establishment; the second came a little later at the request of , , but the name of the place is not mentioned; the third was that of Tesmine, which in the Coptic (Sahidic) recension is ninth in the list of Pachomius’ religious houses.

No doubt because L. T. Lefort did not know the Coptic leaves published by Coquin (1979, pp. 212-23), he did not mention the second monastery near Akhmim in his article on the early Pachomian monasteries (1939, pp. 403-404) and thus counts only two at Akhmim. Efforts to determine the precise locations of these three monasteries, reported by M. Jullien (1901) and (1904, 1912), have proved fruitless.

Other Monasteries

In discussing Akhmim, , the fifteenth-century Muslim historian of the Copts, mentions a number of monasteries in existence in his own day. These are the Monastery of the Seven Mountains (); the Monastery of the (); ; and the Monastery of the Bishop (Dayr Abi Bisadah al-Usquf). Several monasteries still exist in the area. East of Akhmim are DAYR AL-MALAK MIKHA’IL (called ); DAYR AL-SHUHADA’; ; (called by al-Maqrizi; also named Dayr al-Sufsafah); and (under the patronage of and ). North of Akhmim are DAYR ANBA BAKHUM at and founded at Shinshif at . South of Akhmim are DAYR MAR AL-HADIDI (also named of Awlujiyus and Arsaniyus), and DAYR ANBA BISADAH al-Usquf, opposite .


  • Amélineau, E. Géographie de l’Egypte à l’époque copte, pp. 18-22, 485, 496-97. Paris, 1893.
  • Coquin, R.-G. “Un complément aux vies sahidiques de Pachôme: Le Manuscrit IFAO Copte 3.” Bulletin de l’Institut français d’Archéologie orientale 79 (1979):209-247.
  • Gauthier, H. “Notes géographiques sur le nome panopolite.” Bulletin de l’Institut français d’archéologie orientale 4 (1905) 39-101. On Akhmim, 93-4, 103.
  •             . “Nouvelles notes géographiques sur le nome panopolite.” Bulletin de l’Institut français d’archéologie orientale 10 (1912): 93-94, 103.
  • Jullien, M. “A la recherche de Tabenne et des autres monastères fondés par saint Pachôme.” Etudes 89 (1901): 238-58. On Akhmim, 254-56.
  • Lefort, L. T. “Les Premiers Monastères pachômiens: Explorations topographiques.” Le Muséon 52 (1939):379-407.
  • , O. F. A. Christian Egypt, Ancient and Modern, pp. 295-96. Cairo, 1977.
  • Salim, N. Story of the Martyrs Anba Bakhum and His Sister Datosham and the Martyrs of Akhmim (Arabic). Cairo, 1967.
  • Viaud, G. from the notes of J. . Les Pèlerinages coptes en Egypte, pp. 57-58. [Cairo], 1979.

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