The SYNAXARION of the Copts, in its recension from Lower Egypt, indicates that the patriarch PETER IV, thirty-fourth patriarch of Alexandria, lived in this Monastery of the Epiphany after his election because of political and religious circumstances. The monastery, it is said, was situated to the south of that of ENATON, in the Mareotis region. Unfortunately, the copyists mistranslated the Greek name, and in the manuscripts used by R. Basset and J. Forget it became in Arabic transcription the Monastery of al-Faniyah or Anbaniyah. Only the Cairo edition of ‘Abd al-Masih Mikha’il and Armaniyus Habashi Shata al-Birmawi (1935-1937; repr., 1972, Vol. 2, p. 376), preserves the true reading, which was that of the manuscripts used. Likewise, the most ancient manuscript, dating from 1470 (Mingana Arab. Christ. 152 [Add. 267], fol. 275, 25 Ba’unah), gives abifania.
Furthermore, Abu al-Makarim, an author at the end of the twelfth century and beginning of the thirteenth, mentions a monastery “of his epiphany” in the Mareotis area (1984, p. 174). A list of the churches and monasteries of Egypt had already been given after Abu al-Makarim’s text by Philuthawus ‘Awad in Simaykah (1930-1932, Vol. 2, p. 240), which carries the same text.
- ‘Abd al-Masih, Mikha’il, and Armaniyus Habashi Shata al-Birmawi, eds. Al-Sinaksar, 2 vols. Cairo, 1935-1937.
- Abu al-Makarim. Tarikh al-Kana’is wa al-Adyirah fi al-Qarn al- Thani ‘Ashar al-Miladi li-Abi al-Makarim, ed. Samu’il al- Suryani. Cairo, 1984.
- Simaykah, M. Dalil al-Mathaf al Qibti, 2 vols. Cairo, 1930-1932.
MAURICE MARTIN, S.J.