Académie des Inscriptions et Belles

Christian Subjects In Coptic Art

CHRISTIAN SUBJECTS IN COPTIC ART Whatever its materials and techniques—stone or wood relief sculpture, painted walls or manuscripts, textiles, metalwork, ceramics, or glass—Coptic Christian iconography retained a few rare elements of pharaonic origin and many Greco-Roman elements from Alexandrian tradition. From the fifth century on, these pagan subjects mingled with Christian motifs. The Christian subjects …

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Asclepiades

ASCLEPIADES An Alexandrian Neoplatonic philosopher of the late fifth century, from an Egyptian family that owned an ancestral estate at Phenebythis in the nome of Panopolis. He is mentioned in three primary sources: Damascius’ Life of Isidorus, composed in the early sixth century, offers information about his role as a pagan religious figure; the Syriac …

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Kellia

KELLIA History of the Site The Kellia is one of the most important and most celebrated monastic groupings in Lower Egypt. Its location long remained uncertain. In 1935 Omar Toussoun wrongly believed he had discovered its ruins near the northwest extremity of the Wadi al- Natrun. It was the exact location of the ancient Nitria …

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Eusebe Renaudot (1646-1720)

EUSEBE RENAUDOT (1646-1720) A French Orientalist and liturgical writer. He was a member of the Académie française and the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres. His published works are a history of the patriarchs of Alexandria, Historia Patriarcharum Alexandrinorum Jacobitarum (Paris, 1713), and a collection of Oriental liturgies, Liturgiarum Orientalium Collectio: Accendunt Dissertationes Quatuor (2 vols., …

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Aswan

ASWAN (Syene) A town on the east bank of the Nile, at the position of the First Cataract, which in pharaonic times marked the borders of Egypt on the south. In the imperial period it was an administrative center and garrison town (Strabo Geographica 17.1.12), and from an early date (since A.D. 325; cf. Timm, …

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Bawit

BAWIT History The town of Bawit is located between Dayrut and Asyut. The site is famous through the excavations carried out there at the beginning of the twentieth century, the results of which were important for the history of Coptic art. From the numerous inscriptions discovered there, it is known that it was dedicated to …

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Beja Tribes

BEJA TRIBES The nomadic and warlike Beja tribes have occupied the Red Sea hills of Egypt and Sudan since very early times. In pharaonic days, the tribes were known as the Medjay and were already regarded as a menace by the settled populations in the Nile Valley. One of the Egyptian frontier fortresses built in …

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Altar

ALTAR A place, structure, or table on which sacrifices are offered to a divinity. The word comes from the Latin altare related to the verb adolere, to “burn up.” Pagan Altars Since prehistoric times, offerings to subterranean gods were made in pits, and offerings to heavenly gods were presented on altars raised above the ground. …

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