amulets

The Monastery of Apollo at Bala’iza and Its Literary Texts

The Monastery of Apollo at Bala’iza and Its Literary Texts Dayr al-Bala’iza, situated at the edge of the desert on the west bank of the Nile some eighteen to nineteen kilometers south of Asyut, gained initial recognition among Coptic scholars through the large cache of manuscripts, both literary and documentary, discovered at the site during …

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Papyrus Collections

PAPYRUS COLLECTIONS Since the seventeenth-century scholars and travelers to Egypt have brought manuscripts to Europe. The papyri, whether they came to light in spectacular finds or as individual discoveries, whether they were uncovered in scientific excavations or through the diggings of thieves, went into papyrus collections, either directly or through dealers (see PAPYRUS DISCOVERIES). Not …

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Gabriel, Archangel

GABRIEL, ARCHANGEL Gabriel can mean “man of God” or “strength of God” or “God reveals himself in strength.” In a Coptic exorcism text it is interpreted as “man of God” (cf. Kropp, 1930-1931, Vol. 2, p. 165). In the Old Testament book of Daniel, Gabriel appears to the prophet in the semblance of a man …

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Magical Objects

MAGICAL OBJECTS In its preventive form, magic was considered in pharaonic Egypt as one of the normal elements of religion. It was a prerogative of divine power and of all who had a share in it. The progressive weakening of the concept of the authentically sacred in the Late Period led also to a degeneration …

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Magic

MAGIC The art of pretending to accomplish actions with the help of supernatural forces contrary to the laws of nature. Coptic magic is a particularly rich field for studying the relationships of the ancient Copts with the invisible forces of heaven and hell that were part of the old Egyptian heritage (Lexa, 1925; Brier, 1980). …

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Michael The Archangel, Saint

MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL, SAINT In Coptic Christian tradition, Saint Michael the Archangel holds an important place, comparable to that of the Virgin Mary. Of the Eastern churches, only the Copts and the Ethiopians have developed devotion to the archangel to the same degree. Among the archangels, Michael is explicitly named in the Old Testament (Dn. …

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Medieval Nubian Inscriptions

MEDIEVAL NUBIAN INSCRIPTIONS Literary records of medieval Nubia are few and fragmentary, but archaeology has yielded a large number of short written texts, mostly of a religious nature, that were inscribed on house and church walls, on pottery vessels and fragments, and on tombstones. There are medieval texts in at least four different languages: Coptic, …

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