The place, which disappeared no doubt at the Arab conquest, situated “in the mountain of Armant” and known through a graffito found near the DAYR AL-BAKHIT (Petrie, 1909, pl. 47), two ostraca (unpublished) from QURNAT MAR‘I, and some inscriptions in the caves of the mountain of Armant. J. Doresse has given this site its present name (1949, p. 345), based on the remains of painting and graffiti with the names of Pisentius and Posidonios. Posidonios was without doubt the founder and donor or the superior.
He appears to be different from the monk living in Palestine of whom PALLADIUS speaks in his Lausiac History. In the ostraca from Qurnat Mar‘i it is called a topos; this suggests not a true monastery but a gathering place where the hermits living in the neighborhood met on Saturday and Sunday every week. The monastery is also mentioned, in passing, by Meinardus (1965, p. 321; 1977, p. 435).
- Doresse, J. “Monastères coptes aux environs d’Armant, en Thébaïde.” Analecta Bollandiana 67 (1949):327-49.
- Meinardus, O. Christian Egypt, Ancient and Modern. Cairo, 1965; 2d ed., 1977.
- Petrie, W. M. F., and J. H. Walker. Qurneh. British School of Archaeology in Egypt 16. London, 1909.
MAURICE MARTIN, S.J.