British Museum

Interdict

INTERDICT Prohibition against administering the sacraments in a village or a monastery. In the correspondence of Bishop Abraham of Hermonthis from around 600, we learn of a case in which the doing of things that were not fitting either for monks or for the laity in a monastery (we are not told anything more precise), …

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Inscriptions

INSCRIPTIONS Writing on long-lasting materials. Inscriptions, like texts written on papyrus (see PAPYROLOGY), are important primary sources of information about a society. In Egypt they appear on stone, plaster, clay, wood, metal, and textiles. They may be scratched, carved, engraved, stamped, painted or inked, or woven. Those written on clay sherds or limestone fragments are …

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Isaac Of Tiphre, Saint

ISAAC OF TIPHRE, SAINT A martyr in fourth-century Egypt (feast day: 6 Bashans). Isaac is commemorated in the Coptic Church but is unknown in the tradition of other churches. His Passion is preserved in Bohairic in three manuscripts: one in the British Museum (Or. 8799), and two in the Vatican Library (Coptic 66f. and 69f.). …

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Ahnas

AHNAS (Ihnas al Madinah, Ihnasyah al-Madinah, Byzantine Herakleopolis) Settlement on the site of pharaonic Nn-nswt, Ptolemaic, Roman, and Byzantine Herakleopolis. The Coptic and Arabic names go back to Egyptian Hwt-nn-nswt, Hnn-nswt, the Greek name comes from the identification of Hrj-š.f (Herishef, Greek Harsaphes), the town’s ram-headed local deity, with Heracles (Herishef was also identified with …

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Acts Of The Apostles

ACTS OF THE APOSTLES Coptic literature is particularly rich in so-called apocryphal texts. This is especially noticeable in the documents dealing with the apostles. The source of this phenomenon may be ascribed to the spirit of patriotism prevailing among the Copts or to the tradition of legendary and fictitious forms so commonly used in the …

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EPIGRAPHY

Epigraphy

EPIGRAPHY Definition and time span Epigraphy is the study of INSCRIPTIONS, texts that are destined for long-term visual display in public space, more rarely in the private sphere. As a discipline, it sits in between archaeology and philology. Coptic epigraphy is taken here in a broad sense to comprise the study of Christian inscriptions from …

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Kitab al-Tawarikh (The Book of histories)

Abu Shakir Ibn Al-Rahib

ABU SHAKIR IBN AL-RAHIB Abu al-Karam Butrus ibn al-Muhadhdhab was the son of al-Shaykh al-Mu’taman al-Saniy Anba Butrus al-Rahib, one of the leading Coptic personalities and eminent scribes of Egypt, who lived in the thirteenth century. After being widowed, he retired from public service, and on becoming a monk—which explains the use in his name …

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Abu Al-Fakhr Al-Masihi

ABU AL-FAKHR AL-MASIHI According to G. Graf (1947, pp. 435-36) author of the chronology for the oldest history of the Chronicon Orientale, suggesting that he lived at the latest before the end of the thirteenth century. He was born a Jew and became a Christian (al-Masihi). There exists an exchange of letters between him and …

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