Byzantine empire

Coptic Law

COPTIC LAW By “Coptic law” we understand the particularities of legal practice evidenced in documents written in the Coptic language, from roughly the sixth to the ninth century (Steinwenter, 1955; Schiller, 1932a, 1957, 1971a). The substance of the law is found in the combination of Greek, Coptic, and Arabic documents, but the present treatment rests …

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Athanasius I

ATHANASIUS I The Apostolic Saint, twentieth patriarch of the See of Saint Mark (326-373). Athanasius’ life has been treated in detail by numerous authors. These sources can be categorized as follows: (1) the writings of Athanasius himself, which should be considered the most authentic of the sources. These include his historical tracts, encyclicals, an apology …

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Dioscorus I

DIOSCORUS I The saint and twenty-fifth patriarch of the See of Saint Mark (444-458). He succeeded Saint CYRIL THE GREAT and must be regarded as one of the chief architects of Coptic Christianity and the Egyptian church. Little is known about his early life beyond the supposition that he was a native of Alexandria, born …

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Hagiography, Coptic

HAGIOGRAPHY, COPTIC The writing about the saints of the Coptic church. Many religions venerate saints and so have produced a vast literature around them. Best known in the West is the monumental Acta Sanctorum (Lives of the Saints), compiled by the Society of Bollandists, a group of Jesuit scholars, beginning in the seventeenth century and …

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Greek Language

GREEK LANGUAGE Between Greeks and Egyptians, contacts of essentially commercial nature are attested for the Mycenaean period (c. 1580-1100 B.C.) and the ninth-eighth century B.C. Unambiguous evidence for Greek presence in Egypt is available from the seventh century B.C. on. Psammetichos I (664-610 B.C.) gave the Ionian and Carian mercenaries (the “bronze men” of Herodotus …

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Greeks In Egypt

GREEKS IN EGYPT Greek contacts with Egypt had been frequent and varied before Alexander the Great conquered the country in 332 B.C., inaugurating the Hellenistic period of Egyptian history. As early as the times of the Sea Peoples and the Dark Ages of Greece Egypt experienced Greek invaders and raiders, but the country was not …

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Procopius

PROCOPIUS A sixth-century Byzantine historian of the reign of JUSTINIAN. Procopius is the author of three works: the Wars (a history of Justinian’s military policies up to 553/554); the Secret History (Anecdota; literally “Unpublished Things”), an “alternative” version of the early part of the Wars, combined with a vitriolic attack on Justinian and THEODORA, written …

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