Benjamin

Scetis

SCETIS A name that historically designated the area of monastic settlement extending about 19 miles (30 km) through the shallow valley known in the medieval period as Wad Habb, now called Wad al-Natrun, which runs southeast to northwest through the Western or Libyan Desert, about 40 miles (65 km) southwest of the Nile Delta. In …

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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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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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Church Consecration

CHURCH CONSECRATION Consecration, in general, is an act by which a thing is separated from a common and profane to a sacred use. Church consecration is a rite performed by the bishop or the pope in order to implore God’s blessing on the new church. This rite occurs also in other Eastern and Latin churches. …

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Dayr Anba Maqar

DAYR ANBA MAQAR Rising on the desert horizon like a great fortress, the Monastery of Saint MACARIUS was originally the most remote and least accessible of the monasteries of Wadi al- Natrun. It came into being around 360 when Saint Macarius the Egyptian moved southward from the valley to escape the overcrowding of hermits. Here, …

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Dayr Asfal Al-Ard

DAYR ASFAL AL-ARD The most detailed description of this convent near Alexandria is given by Abu al-Makarim (1984, pp. 161, 168). He indicates that this monastery was situated east of the town and bore the name of Saint Mark. It was extensive, surrounded by gardens and cultivated land, and had no fewer than four keeps. …

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Monastery Of St. Macarius

MONASTERY OF ST. MACARIUS It is the southernmost monastery in Wadi al-Natrun. The monastery bears the name of its patron St. Macarius, who died in about 390. This monastery became an official occasional residence for the Coptic patriarchs toward the middle of the sixth century when the Byzantine authorities did not allow them to reside …

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