MAQARA (active before 1350)

A Monk, canonist. was a monk of the Monastery of St. John the Little in the Wadi al-Natrun who dedicated great energy to gathering the canons of the Coptic Orthodox Church—as well as materials from other ecclesial communities—into one great Arabic-language compendium.

This compendium includes the canonical collections attributed to the Apostles and Fathers of the Church; the canons of the early and synods; the canons of the Coptic patriarchs Christodoulos, II, Gabriel II ibn , and III ibn Laqlaq; and collections by the Copts Abu Yu’annis and Mikha’il, of Damietta. We do not know Maqara’s dates for certain, but he may have been younger than Shams al-Ri’asa Abu al-Barakat ibn Kabar (d. 1324), who does not mention him in his Lamp of the Darkness.

At the same time, the oldest of Maqara’s canonical collection dates to 1350, indicating that he was active in the first half of the 14th century.