BAKHANIS-TMOUSHONS

A village situated on the left bank of the Nile, in the Nag Hammadi district, about 4 miles (7 km) to the northeast of . The ancient Arabic spelling was Makhanis, under which it is easy to recognize the Coptic name Tmoushons, the Coptic article T having been dropped and the sh sound having evolved into the Arabic kha, a development already perceptible in the Greek transcription Mouchonsis (Halkin, 1932, p. 462). The equivalence of these name forms is attested by the scalae (Munier, 1939, p. 222; Ramzi, 1963, p. 196).

The fourth establishment of is placed at Tmoushons by both the Greek and the Coptic Lives. In fact, it was a certain Jonas, the superior of this monastery, who sought, and obtained, for himself and his monks affiliation with the community (Halkin, 1932, p. 37; Lefort, 1943, pp. 116, 246). The identification of Tmoushons with Bakhanis is provided by the Arabic version, a faithful translation of the recension S5, preserved in Vatican Manuscript Arabic 172, fol. 37r-v; it can also be deduced from the fact that the Arabic Life of Shenute speaks of “Jonas, master of the laura of Bakhanis, who loves the pure community” (Amélineau, 1886-1888, p. 460). When one went there on foot from (Faw al-Qibli), one passed by Sheneset (Chenoboskion or al-Sayyad), and there crossed the river on a ferryboat (Lefort, 1943, pp. 160-64).

Lefort (1939, pp. 399-401) wanted to place Tmoushons at the present site of Dayr Anba Bidaba, or 1.25 miles (2 km) west of Nag Hammadi and hence more than 6 miles (10 km) to the south of the present Bakhanis. Apart from the fact that the Arabic place-name clearly derives from the Coptic Tmoushons, the interpretation that Lefort gives of a single passage in the Coptic lives of Pachomius is forced: one cannot conclude from it that Tmoushons was only a six hours’ walk from Pbow.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

  • Amélineau, E. Monuments pour servir a l’histoire de l’Egypte chrétienne aux IVe, Ve, VIe et VIIe siècles. Mémoires publiés par
  • les Membres de la Mission archéologique Française au Caire 4. Paris, 1886-1888.
  •  . La Géographie de l’Egypte a l’époque copte. Paris, 1893, pp. 515-17.
  • 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):209-47.
  • Halkin, F. Sancti Pachomii Vitae Graecae. Subsidia Hagiographica 19. , 1932.
  • Lefort, L. T. “Les Premiers monastères pachômiens: Exploration topographique.” Museon 52 (1939):379-407.
  •  . Les Vies coptes de saint Pachôme. Bibliotheque du Museon 16. Louvain, 1943.
  • Ramzi, M. Al-Qamus al-Jughrafi fi al-Bilad al-Misriyyah, Vol. 2, pt. 4. Cairo, 1963.
  • Munier, H. “La Géographie de l’Egypte d’après les listes coptes- arabes.” Bulletin de la Société d’archéologie copte 5 (1939):201- 243.

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