Calendar

Chronicon Orientale

CHRONICON ORIENTALE A chronicle of world history composed by an unknown thirteenth-century author who put events he thought important into a table of secular and ecclesiastical rulers. Its chronological bases are the Old Testament for the pre-Christian era, the Roman emperors for the period from the time of Christ to Muhammad, and thereafter the Arab …

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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 …

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Calendar And Agriculture

CALENDAR AND AGRICULTURE The Coptic calendar has survived not only in the liturgy of the Coptic church but also in the agricultural life of the Nile Valley, for it sets the schedule by which the farmers (fellahin) regulate their work in the fields. Many delightful maxims and aphorisms summarizing the essentials of what must be …

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Abarkah

ABARKAH Eucharistic wine. An Arabic corruption of the Greek word aparche, which means “beginning of a sacrifice” or “first fruit.” Coptic tradition uses this word for the Eucharistic wine in order to highlight the symbolism of Christ as our sacrifice and the first raised among mankind. This wine is either made from dried raisins or …

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Genuflection

GENUFLECTION The Prayer of Genuflection is performed in the Coptic Church on the eve of Whitsunday (the Feast of Pentecost) to indicate the end of Eastertide, during which prostration does not occur. This prayer signals another period in the liturgical calendar, during which prostration is permitted. Ireneaus Bishop of Lyon wrote, “Do not kneel on …

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Fasting

FASTING The first references concerning fasting in the Coptic Church are the paschal letters of St. Athanasius from the beginning of the fourth century, wherein Athanasius introduced the date of the Holy Lent. This tradition was continued by his successors such as Theophilus and Cyril. In all these documents, mention is made of Lent and …

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Coptic Calendar

COPTIC CALENDAR The Coptic calendar, sometimes referred to as the Alexandrian Calendar, is based on the ancient Egyptian calendar of the solar year. This calendar system continued to be used by the Coptic Church. The Coptic year is divided into 12 months of 30 days each, followed by five more days, called epagomenai, as well …

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Copto-Arabic Literature

COPTO-ARABIC LITERATURE This entry consists of four parts. The first addresses the origins and development of the Arabic literature of the Copts. This is followed by introductions to three Copto-Arabic literary genres—hagiography, apocalyptic, and popular catechesis—for which texts are usually of anonymous authorship, and therefore unlikely to be otherwise addressed in a dictionary arranged largely …

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