The “Monastery of the Brothers” was located in the western part of the Fayyum, to the south of the town of Saylah. Its existence was attested by ABU SALIH THE ARMENIAN (fol. 73a; p. 209). He stated that it had a church dedicated to Saint Menas (ABU MINA) and that the patriarch JOHN III (681-689) was living there as a monk-priest when he was elected to the See of Alexandria.
The HISTORY OF THE PATRIARCHS (PO 5, p. 8) says that John was first a monk in the Monastery of Saint Macarius (DAYR ANBA MAQAR) at SCETIS and that he then went off to live in a monastery in the Fayyum. John was there when the patriarch AGATHON sent for John to come to Alexandria.
Al-Nabulsi (Salmon, 1901, p. 45) indicated only a single monastery to the south of the town of Saylah, without specifying its name, but Abu Salih mentioned a second dedicated to the Virgin (DAYR AL-‘ADHRA’).
- Abbott, N. The Monasteries of the Fayyum, pp. 29-77. Studies in Ancient Oriental Civilization 16. Chicago, 1937.
- Salmon, G. “Répertoire géographique de la province du Fayyoûm d’après le Kitâb Târikh al-Fayyoûm d’an-Nâboulsî.” Bulletin de l’Institut français d’Archéologie orientale 1 (1901):29-77.
MAURICE MARTIN, S.J.