According to S. Timm (1984), the Arabic name of the city that was known in Greek as boutoj (Boutos) and in Coptic as bouto or pouto (Bouto, Pouto). The city, which no longer exists, was located in the northwest part of the Egyptian Delta in what is now the Gharbiyyah province, about 6 miles (10 km) northeast of Disuq.
Although it is not known when Christianity first gained a foothold in Bouto/Ibtu, the city was a bishopric by the early fifth century as evidenced by the signature of Bishop Ammon of Bouto on the acts of the Council of EPHESUS in 431 (Munier, 1943, p. 17). It is uncertain whether a Christian community was still to be found in the city in the Arabic period. A medieval list of Egyptian bishoprics presents puzzling evidence on the question. The list offers the following equivalent: Bouto Theros (Greek); Pouto ke thres (Coptic); Natwa and Tirsa (Arabic) (Munier, 1943, pp. 45, 53). While the Greek and Coptic names given here could refer to Ibtu, there is no satisfactory explanation for the Arabic equivalents Natwa and Tirsa. With the exception of this enigmatic witness, the sources are silent on the status of Christianity in medieval Ibtu.
- Amélineau, E. La Géographie de l’Egypte a l’époque copte, p. 105-11. Paris, 1893.
- Munier, H. Recueil des listes épiscopales de l’église copte. Cairo, 1943.
- Timm, S. Das christlich-koptische Ägypten in arabischer Zeit, pt. 1, pp. 471-74. Wiesbaden, 1984.