Byzantine empire

Cosmas Indicopleustes

COSMAS INDICOPLEUSTES The name given to an anonymous Nestorian author of the twelve-book Christian Topography, written a few years before the Second Council of CONSTANTINOPLE (553). Cosmas was an Egyptian merchant, probably from Alexandria, who plied his trade in Alexandria, the Red Sea port of Adulis (Sawakin), and Ceylon (Sri Lanka), calling at the island …

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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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Cross-In-Square

CROSS-IN-SQUARE Also called quincunx, the most important type of church building of the middle and late Byzantine periods of the Byzantine empire. It characteristically consists of an approximately square room, the naos, from which is cut out an internal cross-shaped unit by erecting four columns at the center and joining them by means of arches …

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Christodoulus

CHRISTODOULUS The sixty-sixth patriarch of the See of Saint Mark (1047-1077). Christodoulus, whose original name as a monk of the ENATON, west of Alexandria, was Theodore, was a native of the village of Burah, but his date of birth is unknown. The first known event in his life concerns his castrating himself. This happened when …

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Simon I

SIMON I A saint and forty-second patriarch of the See of Saint Mark (689-701). His nomination came at a difficult time. His predecessor, ISAAC, had died in the midst of the fury arising from his meddling in the conflict between Ethiopia and Nubia without consulting the Umayyad governor of Egypt, ‘Abd al-‘Aziz ibn Marwan. In …

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Icon

ICON The word icon derives from the Greek eikon, meaning “image,” “portrait,” or “likeness.” Generally, Coptic icons are made of panels of wood painted mostly in tempera. Encaustic (hot wax) was also used, and the panels may be covered with a layer of gesso. The greater majority of Coptic icons represent portraits such as images …

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