Mountain of the chain, so-called because the Nile at this place presents a narrow defile and was formally closed, it is said, by a chain, site of the ruins of a . A Roman and Christian cemetery is situated between the ruins of the and the village of Faris. Greek Christian in the tombs and quarries of the Jabal al-Silsilah perhaps betray the presence of hermits who found refuge there.

These remains of Christian occupation were pointed out as early as Bonaparte’s campaign by M. M. Chabrol and E. F. Jomard. Two archaeologists have explored the site: F. L. Griffith (1889, pp. 93-95) and A. H. (1907, p. 99). G. has published a Greek inscription from a tomb (1907, p. 102, no. 560). O. mentions these ruins and the Christian traces (1965, p. 327; 2nd ed., 1977, p. 442).

Unfortunately, we do not know the primitive name of this monastery, of which no ancient literary text speaks.


  • Chabrol, M. M., and E. F. Jomard. “Description d’Ombos et de ses environs.” In La Description de l’Egypte, 1, pp. 260ff. Paris, 1821.
  • Griffith, F. L. “Notes on a Tour in .” Proceedings of the Society of Biblical 12 (1889):93-95.
  • Lefèbvre, G. Recueil des inscriptions grecques-chrétiennes d’Egypte. Cairo, 1907.
  • Meinardus, O. Christian Egypt: Ancient and Modern. Cairo, 1965; 2nd ed., 1977.
  • Sayce, A. H. “Excavations at Gebel Silsila.” Annales du Service des Antiquités de l’Egypte 8 (1907):97-105.

, S.J.

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