MAQARA (active before 1350)

A Monk, canonist. Maqara was a monk of the Monastery of St. 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 ecumenical and synods; the canons of the Coptic patriarchs Christodoulos, II, Gabriel II ibn Turayk, and III ibn Laqlaq; and collections by the Copts Abu Salih Yu’annis and Mikha’il, Metropolitan of . 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 manuscript of Maqara’s canonical collection dates to 1350, indicating that he was active in the first half of the 14th century.