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 […]

Read More

Costume Of The Religious

COSTUME OF THE RELIGIOUS The dress of hermits, monks, and secular clergy. When Christianity appeared in Egypt, the earliest converts, for the most part from a Jewish milieu, did not dress differently from their coreligionists. Jesus did not modify the dress of his disciples. He gave them only the injunction reported in Matthew 10:9-10: “Take […]

Read More

Christian Subjects In Coptic Art

CHRISTIAN SUBJECTS IN COPTIC ART Whatever its materials and techniques—stone or wood relief sculpture, painted walls or manuscripts, textiles, metalwork, ceramics, or glass—Coptic Christian iconography retained a few rare elements of pharaonic origin and many Greco-Roman elements from Alexandrian tradition. From the fifth century on, these pagan subjects mingled with Christian motifs. The Christian subjects […]

Read More

Church Of Abu Sayfayn (Old Cairo)

CHURCH OF ABU SAYFAYN (Old Cairo) In the Arabic manuscripts this church is called “church of Abu Marqurah,” and in a Garshuni manuscript (Arabic written in Syriac characters) “church of Mar Quryus” (Mercurius). Two late Coptic manuscripts describe it thus: “Mercurius at the tetrapylon of the river.” Western travelers of the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

Sanctuarye – Architectural Elements Of Churches

Sanctuary The sanctuary (Arabic, haykal) is the area around the altar. The term derives from the Hebrew hekal, the main hall in the Temple in Jerusalem, which lay in front of the inaccessible Holy of Holies. The Arabic term is first used in the HISTORY OF THE PATRIARCHS by Sawirus Ibn al-Muqaffa‘. Older synonyms are […]

Read More

Architectural Elements Of Churches -Index

ARCHITECTURAL ELEMENTS OF CHURCHES -INDEX Aisle Ambulatory Apse Atrium Baptistery Cancelli Ceiling Choir Ciborium Coffer Colonnade Column Crypt Daraj al-haykal Diaconicon Dome Elements Gallery Horseshoe arch Iconostasis Khurus Maqsurah Naos Narthex Nave Niche Pastophorium Pillare Porche Presbytery Prothyrone Prothesise Return aisle Roofe Sacristy Saddleback roof Sanctuary Shaq al-haykal Sacristye Sanctuarye Synthronone Tetraconche Tribelone Triconche Triumphal […]

Read More

Narthex – Architectural Elements Of Churches

Narthex A narthex is a vestibule of a church, corresponding to the pronaos (porch) of a classical temple. The Greek word means literally “a reedlike plant.” In the sixth century, Procopius of Caesarea, evidently for the first time, described the antechamber of a church as a narthex because it was small (Procopius De aedificiis 1.4.7, […]

Read More

Coptic Calendar

COPTIC CALENDAR Early Egyptian Christians, like those elsewhere, took systems of reckoning time used in the world that they knew, modified them, and adapted them to their own observances and practices. The civil day of Christians in Egypt began in the morning, as did that of the ancient Egyptians and the Romans; but their liturgical […]

Read More

Coptic Woodwork

COPTIC WOODWORK The functional objects and sculpture made of wood in Egypt from the fourth century into the Middle Ages. By virtue of its geological past, Egypt originally had plentiful and varied supplies of wood, but it was rapidly used. Shortages were already evident in the pharaonic period. Ptolemaic rulers put into operation a policy […]

Read More