A city on the east bank of the Nile some 25 miles (40 km) northeast of BANISUEF. In Greek, Itfih was known as Aphroditopolis or Aphrodito, and in Coptic as petpeh or petp/h.
In 339 ATHANASIUS recorded in his nineteenth paschal letter to Serapion that Serenus was the successor of Theodorus as bishop of Aphroditon, indicating that the city was a bishopric by the first third of the fourth century at the latest.
ABU SALIH THE ARMENIAN (twelfth-thirteenth century) wrote that there were more than twenty churches in and around Itfih, but only ten of them were still intact. Among these churches were a church of the Disciples in the district of Balujah, a church of Mercurius, two churches of the Virgin Mary, one of the martyr Theodorus, one of Cosmas, one of Apa Jul, and two Menas churches, one of which was called the Church of the Column. Under the rubric Itfih, Abu Salih also mentions a monastery of the Mule, which he says was the home of many monks.
See also: Dayr al-Qasriyyah.
- Amélineau, E. La Géographie de l’Egypt a l’époque copte, 326, Paris, 1893.
- Timm, S. Das christlich-koptische Ägypten in arabischer Zeit, 1, pp. 257-65. Wiesbaden, 1984.