CHRISTODOULOS (?-1077). Patriarch (66th, 1046-1077)

The importance of Christodoulos (a monk of the Monastery of al-Baramous before his consecration as patriarch) to the of literature may be seen from two sides. First, the events of his turbulent patriarchate are recounted by Mawhub ibn Mansur ibn Mufarrij in the first of two biographies that he composed in Arabic—rather than translated from Coptic—for inclusion in the of the . Second, shortly after becoming patriarch, Christodoulos issued a set of 31 canons—in Arabic.

While materials may have been translated into Arabic by Coptic scholars before this (see, e.g., Abu Yu’annis), the canons of Christodoulos appear to be the first set of canons to be composed in Arabic in the Coptic Church. Thus, both as the subject of a patriarchal and as an author of canons regulating the life of the Church, Christodoulos’ name is associated with the Arabization of the Coptic community; he stands at the beginning of a period of linguistic transition that would continue through the rest of the 11th century and the whole of the 12th century.

GAWDAT GABRA