A city in the province of Jirja in middle Egypt. It is located on the west side of the Nile roughly between Akhmim and Nag Hammadi.
Christian-Arabic literature makes few references to al-Balyana. However, as indicated by the account of the struggle of Patriarch SHENUTE I (858-880) with the heretical views of a bishop from al- Balyana, the city was the seat of a bishopric at least as early as the middle of the ninth century. In the eleventh century, Mark, a bishop of al-Balyana, participated in an unsuccessful plot instigated by John, bishop of Sakha, to depose the patriarch CHRISTODOULOS.
The city is also mentioned on two gravestones. From the year 932 comes the tombstone of Kyra Susinne, whose father Psate was from al-Balyana (Stern, 1878, pp. 26ff.). The Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge preserves the tombstone of Apa Theodorus, son of Mose, a presbyter from al-Balyana. The inscription was made in 939 (Crum, 1904, p. 43, plate XXXVIII).
- Amélineau, E. La Géographie de l’Egypte à l’époque copte, pp. 93-94. Paris, 1893.
- Crum, W. E. “Coptic Graffiti, etc.” In The Osireion at Abydos, ed. 43. A. Murray, pp. 38-43. Publications of the British School of Archaeology in Egypt 9. London, 1904.
- Stern, L. “Sahidische Inschriften an alten Denkmälern.” Zeitschrift für Ägyptische Sprache und Altertumskunde 16 (1878):9-28.
- Timm, S. Das christlich-koptische Ägypten in arabischer Zeit, Vol. 1, pp. 312-14. Wiesbaden, 1984.