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Gregory II - Coptic Wiki


A fourteenth-century Melchite patriarch of Alexandria. Very little is known about Gregory II. V. Grumel and J. Nasrallah date his election around 1315. As soon as he was elected, he sent a synodal letter to his colleague of Constantinople, Patriarch XIII Glykys, announcing his election. This letter was published by F. Miklosich and J. Muller along with a reply from John XIII, inviting him to come to Constantinople.

Nasrallah (1981, p. 56) states that the patriarchs of Alexandria during the period between 1250 and 1516 resided most of the time at Constantinople. However, it seems that Gregory II usually resided at Cairo, as is attested by the manuscript copied by the hierodeacon SABA YASA in 1320 at the patriarchal residence in Cairo (Sinai Arabic 102).

At an intermediate date, Gregory copied the large Greco-Arabic euchologion (Sinai Arabic 258; fols. 121b-27b are written exclusively in Arabic). He gave this manuscript as a legacy to the church of Mar Saba, which is in the port of Alexandria.

Of particular note in this manuscript is the office of the consecration of the waters of the Nile, performed on the Sunday before the feast of Pentecost (fols. 127b-75b). The Greek text of this office has been by A. Dmitrievskij (1901) and M. Black (1938). The Palestinian Aramaic text has been by G. Margoliouth (1896). The Arabic text has not yet been edited.

Gregory was well versed in both Arabic and Greek, as Sinai Arabic 258 attests. But above all, he began to translate the of Saint Saba from Greek into Arabic, with an Arabic commentary on the part concerning the agrypniai (a night service before certain feasts, in the Eastern church) only, as he had no time to do more. This explains why, shortly afterward, in 1335, Abu al-Fath QUSTANTIN IBN ABI AL-MA‘ALI IBN ABI AL-FATH redid the whole translation.

Furthermore, a note in a manuscript composed in 1594-1595 (Mar Elias Shuwayya [Lebanon] Manuscript 30) that Patriarch Gregory was known as Gregory al-Sinawiti (fols. 2a-2b).

This indicates that he had been a monk at Sinai and explains why some of his manuscripts are found there today.

According to Grumel, Gregory II died before 1354, although Grumel adds a question mark. According to Nasrallah, he died before 1335.


  • Atiya, A. S., and J. N. Youssef. Catalogue Raisonné of the Mount Sinai Manuscripts (in Arabic), pp. 203-204 and 483-84. Alexandria, 1970.
  • Black, M. “Rituale Melchitarum. A Palestinian.” Bonner orientalische Studien 22 (1938):28-35.
  • Dmitrievskij, A. Opisanije liturgiceskh rukopisej, Vol. 2: Euchologia, pp. 684-91. Kiev, 1901.
  • Engberding, H. “Der Nil in der liturgischen Frömmigkeit des christlichen Ostens.” Oriens christianus 37 (1953):56-88.
  • Grumel, V. La chronologie, p. 144, l. 15. Paris, 1958.
  • Margoliouth, G. “The Liturgy of the Nile.” Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland (1896):677-731. Miklosich, F., and J. Müller. Acta et diplomata medii aevi sacra et profana, Vol. 1, pp. 20-25. Vienna, 1860.
  • Nasrallah, J. Histoire du mouvement littéraire dans l’Eglise melchite, Vol. 3, pt. 2, pp. 62 and 149. Paris and Louvain, 1981.