Dayr Apa Thomas


A monastery near the town of Fawjilay, which is about 5 miles (8 km) north of Akhmim. A small church survives from a monastery commemorating the holy hermit of Shinshif. The name of this mountain (Shinshif) is retained in that of a village near the church, called Naj‘ al-Shinshifi.

There is a reference to this in the Life of SHENUTE, and his feast was celebrated at the Dayr al-Abyad, as is shown by the Typika (calendar) of this monastery. The presence of this church allows us to locate exactly this Coptic placename Shinshif, which Amélineau (1893, pp. 453ff.) was not able to do. S. Clarke identifies a church of Saint at al-Sawam‘ah (1972, p. 213, no. 18).

Some reproductions of from this church are given by Nabil al-Manqabadi (1984, pp. 94-99). The monastery is briefly mentioned by J. and G. Viaud (1979, p. 57).

  • Amélineau, E. La Géographie de l’Egypte a l’époque copte. Paris, 1893.
  • Clarke, S. Antiquities in the Nile . London, 1912.
  • Muyser, J., and G. Viaud. Les pèlerinages coptes en Egypte. Bibliothèque d’études coptes 15. Cairo, 1979. [Nabil al-Manqabadi.] Coptic Egypt. Cairo, 1984.