DAYR HOR (Sawadah)

At the foot of the great Christian necropolis of MINYA on the of the , about 2.5 miles (4 km) southeast of the town and just over half a mile (1 km) east of the of Sawadah, are the remains of a monastery with a rock- cut church fitted up inside a tomb. The site is described by E. F. Jomard (1821, Vol. 4, pp. 365-67). At this period the church had a in front, open to the sky; since then a cupola has been added.

Al-MAQRIZI (1853, p. 504; ed. , 1845, p. 39 [text], p. 97 [translation]) explains that the name Sawadah comes from the name of an Arab tribe settled in the neighborhood, and that the destroyed the monastery. ‘Ali Mubarak (1886/87-1888/89, Vol. 12, p. 63) also mentions the monastery.

It is difficult to establish to which of the many saints who bore the name of Hor this monastery was dedicated. W. E. Crum drew up a list of the saints of this name (1913, p. 164, n. 1). It was completed by J. Muyser (1943, pp. 186-190). Among the eight of this name whom he counts, Muyser proposes to identify of Preht (Abrahat), the biographer of , with the namesake of the monastery of Sawadah, for he is often called “Apa Hor the monk,” as in al-Maqrizi’s notice.

Also, he was a native of Preht situated near Antinoë (Muyser, 1943, pp. 191-92, 209, n.5). Muhammad (1963, p. 66) identifies Preht/Abrahat with DAYR AL-BARSHAH, to the south of DAYR ABU HINNIS. However, some Coptic fragments indicate that this Apa Hor lived “in the mountain of Pisoben,” which H. G. Evelyn-White identifies with Psoun (Basunah), to the north of Akhmim (1926, p. 170).

About 1.25 miles (2 km) farther south, above the village of (or ) in the quarries northwest of the village, there is the choir of a church cut in the cliff. A small monastic funerary stela was found in the nearby . H. , who published it (1917, p. 163) proposes to locate Hage at that place. J. F. Champollion had suggested putting it near Apollinopolis Parva ( Isfaht, see Amélineau, 1893, p. 191). A miracle story about indicates that the village of Hage was in the of Shmun. W. E. Crum’s note (1922, p. 180, n.1) makes Munier’s hypothesis plausible (see also M. Drew-Bear, 1979, pp. 55-56).


  • ‘Ali Mubarak. Al- al-Tawfiqiyyah al-Jadidah. , 1886-1889.
  • Amélineau, E. La Géographie de l’Egypte a l’époque copte. Paris, 1893.
  • Crum, W. E. Theological Texts from Coptic Papyri. Oxford, 1913. Crum, W. E., and H. I. Bell. Wadi Sarjah. Coptica 3. , 1922.
  • Drew-Bear, M. “Le nome hermopolite: Toponymes et sites.” American Studies in Papyrology 21 (1979).
  • Evelyn-White, H. G. New from the Monastery of St. Macarius. New York, 1926.
  • Jomard, E. F., ed. “Hypogée d’ dorique et carrières anciennes à Saouadeh.” In Description de l’Egypte, Vol. 4: Antiquités, chaps. 16 and 13, pp. 361-67. Paris, 1821.
  • Munier, H. “Note sur le village de Hagé.” Annales du service des antiquités de l’Egypte 17 (1917):163.
  • Muyser, J. “Ermite pérégrinant et pèlerin infatigable (Fragment de la inédite d’Anba Harmin racontée par son compagnon de , Apa Hor de Preht).” Bulletin de la société d’archéologie copte 9 (1943):159-236.
  • Ramzi, M. Al Qamus al Jughrafi lil al-Bilad al-Misriyyah, Vol. 2, pt. 4. Cairo, 1963.


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