DAYR ANBA PALAEMON
On the right bank of the Nile, to the north of the river, which at this point from Qena as far as Nag Hammadi flows from east to west, to the east of the town of Al-Qasr wa-al-Sayyad, is said to be the site of the ancient Sheneset (the Coptic name) or Chenoboskion (the Greek name). This was the site of Dayr Anba Palaemon, the third monastery of Pachomius (on its pharaonic antiquity and the state of the place in the time of Pachomius, see Gauthier, 1904; Gauthier, 1912; and Lefort, 1939).
Dayr Anba Palaemon was first mentioned by the Capuchin priests Protais and François in 1668 (see Sauneron, 1974, p.95; J. VANSLEB in 1677 followed their account, since he could not go beyond Jirja, 1677, p. 413; English ed., 1678, p. 247). Sicard without doubt did not see it, since he does not speak of it. At the beginning of the twentieth century, it was mentioned by M. JULLIEN (1901, pp. 240-43), and O. Meinardus also describes it (1965, pp. 303-304; 1977, pp. 416-17).
The Church of Saint Palaemon is now destroyed and rebuilt on a grander scale. It contains a good collection of liturgical manuscripts. The church called Sitt Dimyanah is without doubt the oldest, for it is 1.5 meters below the general level. A third church is consecrated to Saint MERCURIUS, and sometimes gives its name to the monastery (Dayr Abu al-Sayfayn).
An annual pilgrimage brings the Christians of the neighborhood together on 30 Tubah and 25 Abib, the days of the saint’s feast and of the dedication of the church of Saint Mercurius.
- ‘Abd al-Masih Salib al-Masu‘di al-Baramusi. Kitab Tuhfat al-Sa’ilin fi Dhikr Adyirat Ruhban al-Misriyyin. Cairo, 1932.
- Clarke, Christian Antiquities in the Nile Valley. Oxford, 1912. Gauthier, H. “Notes géographiques sur le nome panopolite.” Bulletin de l’Institut français d’Archéologie orientale 4 (1904):39-101.
- . “Nouvelles notes géographiques sur le nome panopolite.” Bulletin de l’Institut français d’Archéologie orientale 10 (1912):89-130.
- Jullien, M. “A la recherche de Tabenne.” Etudes 89 (1901):238-58.
- Lefort, L. T. “Les Premiers monastères pachomiens. Exploration géographique.” Le Muséon 52 (1939):379-407.
- Meinardus, O. Christian Egypt, Ancient and Modern. Cairo, 1965; 2nd ed., Cairo, 1977.
- Muyser, J., and G. Viaud. Les Pèlerinages coptes en Egypte. Bibliothèque d’études coptes 15. Cairo, 1979.
- Sauneron, S. Villes et légendes d’Egypte, 1st ed. Cairo, 1974. Vansleb, J. M. Nouvelle relation en forme de journal d’un voyage fait en Egypte en 1672 et 1673. Paris, 1677. Translated as The Present State of Egypt. London, 1978.
MAURICE MARTIN, S. J.