The Bishop of Shansha (thirteenth century). On 28 June 1240 a confrontation between the bishops of Upper and Lower Egypt took place in Cairo in the presence of the Coptic patriarch CYRIL III IBN. LAQLAQ in order to settle questions of precedence. The text of this meeting has survived in a sole manuscript (Vatican Library, Arabic 162, copied in 1365; ed., trans., and commentary by G. Graf, 1927). In the appendix added to the text between 1300 and 1365, Hasaballah is mentioned four times. However, Graf did not realize this was a proper name, and therefore translated it as “in Gemäheit Gottes,” sometimes modifying the rest of the sentence accordingly (cf. Graf, 1927, pp. 318-21; concerning this text, see also Graf, 1947, Vol. 2, p. 363, no. 6).
Hasaballah was consecrated bishop in October or November 1268 by the seventy-eighth patriarch, GABRIEL III. He took the name Anba Butrus and received the see of Shansha (which is today pronounced SHANASHA according to Muyser, p. 157; cf. Graf, 1927, p. 318). On 4 July 1294 Hasaballah was the senior bishop from Lower Egypt, and as such consecrated the seventy-ninth patriarch THEODOSIUS II, known as Ibn Rawil al-Ifranjiyyah, in spite of the fact that YUSAB, Bishop of Akhmim, preceded him in seniority during the reign of the three previous patriarchs (Graf, 1927, p. 320).
During the concoction of the chrism performed by Theodosius II on 12 April 1299, Anba Butrus was concurrently bishop of Shansha, Sandub, Tandata, and Samannud. It is not stated that he was the senior bishop of Lower Egypt, but he is mentioned at the head of the list.
On 14 February 1300, it was again Hasaballah who consecrated the eightieth patriarch, JOHN VIII, despite the presence of Anba Yusab of Akhmim and Anba Mikha’il, the metropolitan of Jerusalem (cf. Graf, 1927, p. 320).
During the concoction of the chrism performed by John VIII on 12 April 1305, Anba Butrus Hasaballah was concurrently bishop of Shansha, Sandub, Tandata, and Samannud, and was, of course, the senior bishop of Lower Egypt (cf. Munier, p. 37; and Samir, 1971, 1. 358-59, where he is referred to as bishop of Sandub and Shansha).
- Graf, G. “Die Rangordnung der Bischöfe Agyptens nach einem protokollarischen Bericht des Patriarchen Kyrillos ibn Laklak.” Oriens Christianus 24 (1927):306-337.
- Khalil Samir, ed. Misbah al-Zulmah fi Idah al-Khidmah, li-Shams al-Riyasah Abi al-Barakat al-ma‘ruf bi-Ibn Kabar. Cairo, 1971.
- Munier, H. Recueil des listes épiscopales de l’église copte. Cairo,1943.
- Muyser, J. “Contribution a l’étude des listes épiscopales de l’église copte.” Bulletin de la Société d’archéologie copte 10 (1944):115-76.
KHALIL SAMIR, S. J