DAYR ANBA PISENTIUS
In 1926 W. E. CRUM left unanswered the question of the location of the monastery of Tsenti (al-Qassas in Arabic), where PISENTIUS, bishop of Qift at the beginning of the seventh century, habitually lived and where it seems he died.
‘ABD AL-MASIH SALIB AL-MASU‘DI al-Baramusi (1932, p. 184), however, mentions “in the mountain of al-Asas which extends to the west of Naqadah, the dayr of St. Anba Bisantawus, bishop of Qift, to the south of Dayr Mar Jirjis, also called Dayr al-Majma‘.” He specified that formerly only the tomb of the saint was there, but that “around the year 1904 the dayr was built, that is to say a church and round it a wall enclosing about two feddans.”
The map of the Survey of Egypt (1943, 1954) marks at the edge of the desert to the west of the village of al-Bahri Qamulah, the Dayr Anba Pisentius, about 430 yards (400 meters) south of DAYR AL- MAJMA‘, still called Dayr Mar Jirjis.
It seems then that the Dayr al-Majma‘ is indeed the monastery of Tsenti, of which the life of Pisentius speaks and near which Pisentius himself was buried. ABU SALIH THE ARMENIAN (1895, pp. 233-34) speaks of a monastery of Saint Pisentius, to the west of Qus (no doubt the Dayr al-Majma‘), outside of which was the tomb of the saint.
This monastery and tomb are not mentioned by O. Meinardus.
- ‘Abd al-Masih Salib al-Masu‘di al-Baramusi. Kitab Tuhfat al-Sa’ilin fi Dhikr Adyirat Ruhban al-Misriyyin. Cairo, 1932.
- Winlock, H. E., and W. E. Crum. The Monastery of Epiphanius at Thebes, Pt. 1: The Archeological Material. New York, 1926.
MAURICE MARTIN, S. J.