The ancient authors speak of this dayr only as a church. At the beginning of the thirteenth century ABU SALIH (1895, pp. 136-37, n. 5) situated al-‘Adawiyyah at Minyat al-Sudan, which al-Idrisi places 15 miles (24 km) from Misr on the way to Upper Egypt. The of this name at this place has disappeared.

Abu Salih (p. 137) described a church called al-Martuti ( for “Our Lady”). The place is said to be that of a temple of the in Egypt and one of the abodes of the Holy Family in their flight from Herod. Abu Salih, it appears, is the only one to mention al-‘Adawiyyah on the of the FLIGHT INTO EGYPT. This church was restored under Caliph al-Amir (1101-1131).

A certain Jew was baptized in this church during the caliphate of al-Fa’iz, according to Abu Salih. The same historian mentioned the restoration in 1186 of a church adjacent to al-Martuti. It appears that he confused this al- Martuti with the church of the same name at Damanhur Shubra, to which the body of of Sanhut was transported.

Abu Salih gives an account of a monastery of the Nestorians, the church of which was transformed into a mosque in the caliphate of al-Hakim. This was probably DAYR AL-NASTUR.

Al-MAQRIZI (d. 1441; 1893, Vol. 2, p. 517) mentioned that “the church of Mary in the district of al-‘Adawiyyah toward the south is ancient, but already in ruins.”

In the seventeenth century people spoke of it as the Monastery of the Holy Virgin at al-‘Adawiyyah (National Library, Paris, Arabic MS 319; Troupeau, 1972, Vol. 1, p. 278). Travelers have given accounts of the site (Vansleb, 1671, p. 203; Norden, 1795-1798, Vol. 1, pl. 28).

Sawirus ibn al-Muqaffa‘ (1970, Vol. 3, pt. 3, pp. 162, 165, 168 [text], 282, 288, 292-293 [trans.]) mentioned under the patriarch JOHN XVI a restoration of the church and the death of the VII at the church. Under the patriarch DEMETRIUS II (1862-1870) a tower was built in the monastery of ‘Adawiyyah (ibid., pp. 179 [text], 318 [trans.]).

Several manuscripts of the Coptic Patriarchate were written for the church of ‘Adawiyyah or even at ‘Adawiyyah, in the eighteenth century (Simaykah and ‘Abd al-Masih, 1942, Vol. 2, pt. 1, nos. 73, 341, 825, 832).


  • Amélineau, E. La Géographie ’Egypte à l’époque copte. Paris, 1893.
  • Nordon, F. S. Voyage d’Egypte et de Nubie, 3 vols. ed. L. Langles. Paris, 1795-1798.
  • Troupeau, G. , Vol. 1. Paris, 1972. Vansleb, J. M. Relazione dello stato presente dell’Egitto. Paris, 1671.