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 history of Copto-Arabic 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 History of the Patriarchs. Second, shortly after becoming patriarch, Christodoulos issued a set of 31 canons—in Arabic.
While canonical materials may have been translated into Arabic by Coptic Orthodox scholars before this (see, e.g., Abu Salih Yu’annis), the canons of Christodoulos appear to be the first set of canons to be composed in Arabic in the Coptic Orthodox Church. Thus, both as the subject of a patriarchal biography 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.