The first certain attestation of Christianity in Idku comes from the HISTORY OF THE PATRIARCHS, where it is recorded that when the churches of the Melchites and Copts in Alexandria were closed by order of al-Yazuri during the patriarchate of CHRISTODOULUS (1047-1077), the wali (governor) of Alexandria saw to it that a church was reopened in Alexandria and collected 200 dinars from the Christians in Rashid, Idku, al-Jadidiyyah, and Mahallat al-Amir, which he gave to the Coptic patriarch. The account suggests that the Christian community in Idku in the eleventh century was relatively well-to-do.
In medieval lists of Egyptian bishoprics, the following equivalence of names is given: Meneliatou (Greek); Thbashor (Coptic); Idku (Arabic) (Munier, 1943, pp. 45, 52). The absence of independent corroborating evidence renders this equation suspect and suggests that three different cities are referred to, a Meneliatou whose Coptic and Arabic names were unknown, a Thbashor whose Greek and Arabic names were not known, and Idku. Nonetheless, the appearance of Idku in such a list argues that the city was home to a significant Coptic community in the Middle Ages.
- Amélineau, E. La Géographie de l’Egypte a l’époque copte, pp. 156-59. Paris, 1893.
- Munier, H. Recueil des listes épiscopales de l’église copte. Cairo, 1943.
- Timm, S. Das christlich-koptische Ägypten in arabischer Zeit, pt. 3, pp. 1202-1204. Wiesbaden, 1985.