Arab conquest

Coptology

COPTOLOGY A scientific discipline in Oriental studies that investigates the language and culture of Egypt and Nubia in the widest sense: literature, religion, history, archaeology, and art. Its range extends from late antiquity to the Middle Ages, or even down to the present. It touches on and intersects with a number of neighboring disciplines. The …

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History Bibliography

HISTORY BIBLIOGRAPHY Adams, William Y. Nubia, Corridor to Africa. Princeton, N.J.: Allen Lane, 1977. Atiya, Aziz Suryal. “Ahl al-Dhimmah.” In CE, vol. 1, 72ff. ———. “Alexandria, Historic Churches in.” In CE, vol. 1, 92-95. ———. “Ayyubid Dynasty and the Copts.” In CE, vol. 1, 314ff. ———. “Eusebius of Caesarea.” In CE, vol. 4, 1070ff. ———. …

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Greek Transcriptions

GREEK TRANSCRIPTIONS The rendering of Egyptian proper names into Greek characters was a first step toward the writing of Egyptian in an alphabetical script, that is, toward the creation of the Coptic script (see PRE-COPTIC). These proper names are mainly thousands of Egyptian anthroponyms, toponyms, and temple names, as well as names of gods, divine …

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Mo‘Allaqa

MO‘ALLAQA The Church of the Holy Virgin is known as al-Mo‘allaqa, “the Suspended One,” because it was built upon the south gate of the Babylon fortress in Old Cairo. It is the most famous ancient church in Cairo. The church was erected after the Arab conquest of Egypt (640-642). We know from the biography of …

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Coptological Studies

COPTOLOGICAL STUDIES Coptological studies may be divided into several periods. The oldest began in the first Christian centuries, when the Greek alphabet with the additional letters from demotic was used to elevate the spoken Egyptian language into a written language. This made it possible for many Egyptians to read the Old and New Testaments or …

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Covenant Of ‘Umar

COVENANT OF ‘UMAR Ascribed to the second Orthodox caliph, ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (634-644), and regarded as a document of primary importance in regulating the relations between the Muslim conquerors of the Middle East and their Dhimmi subjects, that is, the Jews and the Christians, including the Coptic nation in Egypt. The situation of the Copts …

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Spoken Coptic Language

SPOKEN COPTIC LANGUAGE Coptic was the spoken language of ancient Egypt until the ARAB CONQUEST OF EGYPT in the seventh century. It was recorded first in the hieroglyphic (sacred) script, the earliest form of Egyptian pictorial writing, and succeeded by the hieratic (priestly), which was the simplified running script, and the demotic (from “demos,” meaning …

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Church Architecture In Egypt

CHURCH ARCHITECTURE IN EGYPT Only church buildings can be considered as a confessional type of structure—like the cultic buildings of pagans, Jews, and Muslims. Churches are a specifically Christian type of architecture. All other kinds of building—including funerary structures—have no confessional ties and take the same form among Christians as among people of other faiths …

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Cheirotonia

CHEIROTONIA The practice of simony. The biblical passage cited by the Coptic jurists condemning the practice of the cheirotonia or simony is recorded by Saint Luke in the Acts of the Apostles 8:14-25. As the early church moved from its sectarian structure to an all-inclusive national cult, members of the hierarchy faced new problems concerning …

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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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