Antioch

Coptic Ceramics

COPTIC CERAMICS The pottery produced in Egypt from the late Roman to the early Islamic period. There must be no illusion about the term “Coptic ceramics.” The techniques of production were in the tradition of Hellenistic and Roman techniques. Similarly, there is no marked stylistic discontinuity between the products of the Roman period and those …

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Celestinus Of Rome

CELESTINUS OF ROME A bishop of Rome (422-432) and the authority to whom NESTORIUS, bishop of Constantinople, and CYRIL I, bishop of Alexandria, appealed during their controversy over the term THEOTOKOS (430). Celestinus sided with Cyril, and thus caused the condemnation of Nestorius at a council held in Rome. The subsequent Council of EPHESUS later …

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Apostolic Canons

APOSTOLIC CANONS A series of eighty-four or eighty-five canons that in Greek form the concluding chapter (47) of Book 8 of the Apostolic Constitutions (Funk, 1905, Vol. 1, pp. 564-94). The Sahidic Coptic version counts seventy-one canons, the Arabic series (Book 2 of the 127 Canons of the Apostles) fifty-six only, the same as the …

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Alexandria

ALEXANDRIA Founded in 331 b.c. by Alexander the Great at the western end of the Nile Delta. An Egyptian town, Rakote, already existed there on the shore and was a fishermen’s resort. From its very beginning, Alexandria developed rapidly into one of the world’s great cities. The city replaced Memphis as the capital of Egypt …

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Apostolic Fathers

APOSTOLIC FATHERS Apostolic Fathers is a name given to a group of authors who came just after the Apostles, such as Clement of Rome. According to Origen and Eusebius, Clement was a disciple of St. Paul and was mentioned in the Epistle to the Philippians 4:3. Ireneaus noted that he was the third Bishop of …

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Apostolic See

APOSTOLIC SEE An apostolic see is a see that was founded by an Apostle. The number of sees and their names differed from century to century. In the fourth century, Rome, Alexandria, Antioch, and Ephesus were considered the four apostolic sees. However, with the foundation of Constantinople as a capital, the emperors started to assert …

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Basilides

BASILIDES A Christian Gnostic teacher who was active in Alexandria in the 130s and probably before that. He is reported by Irenaeus to have brought his heresy from Antioch to Alexandria. An elaborate cosmogonic myth is attributed to him by Irenaeus, and a rather different one by Hippolytus. Irenaeus also attributes to him a doctrine …

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Genuflection

GENUFLECTION The Prayer of Genuflection is performed in the Coptic Church on the eve of Whitsunday (the Feast of Pentecost) to indicate the end of Eastertide, during which prostration does not occur. This prayer signals another period in the liturgical calendar, during which prostration is permitted. Ireneaus Bishop of Lyon wrote, “Do not kneel on …

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Fasting

FASTING The first references concerning fasting in the Coptic Church are the paschal letters of St. Athanasius from the beginning of the fourth century, wherein Athanasius introduced the date of the Holy Lent. This tradition was continued by his successors such as Theophilus and Cyril. In all these documents, mention is made of Lent and …

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