Christian literature

Awlad Al-‘Assal (13th C.)

AWLAD AL-‘ASSAL (13th c.) Family of scholars. The term Awlad al-‘Assal (“the children of al-‘Assal”) is conventionally used to refer to four brothers who played a major role in the revival of Coptic thought in the decades between 1230 and 1260. Their father, Fakhr al-Dawlah (“Pride of the State”) Abu al-Mufaddal al-As‘ad, was a wealthy …

Awlad Al-‘Assal (13th C.) Read More »

Sentences Of Sextus

SENTENCES OF SEXTUS About one-quarter of a Coptic version of the Sentences of Sextus, a collection of almost 500 wisdom sayings drawn largely from pagan sources and thinly Christianized by a second-century editor, appears in the scattered folios of Codex XII of the NAG HAMMADI LIBRARY (NHC XII, 1.15-16 and 27-34; Sextus 158-80 and 307-397). …

Sentences Of Sextus Read More »

Physiologos

PHYSIOLOGOS This Greek text was begun around 200 b.c. by Paul of Mendes, who confused the scientific study of nature with magical traditions. Others continued the work after 200 b.c. In a Coptic text attributed to Eusthatius of Thrace, the book of the Physiologos is attributed to King Solomon. (This tradition survived also in Islamic …

Physiologos Read More »

Shanasha

SHANASHA A town in the Delta province of Daqahliyyah. PSHOI OF SCETIS was born in Shanasha in the second half of the fourth century. The place was a bishopric from the middle of the thirteenth century at the latest until at least the beginning of the fourteenth century. The patriarch GABRIEL III (1268-1271) ordained a …

Shanasha Read More »

Hermes Trismegistus (“Thrice-Greatest Hermes”)

HERMES TRISMEGISTUS (“Thrice-greatest Hermes”) This name is a Greek adaptation of an Egyptian title, Thoth the Very Great, the Egyptian god-name Thoth being translated from at least the time of Herodotus to the Greek Hermes. The literature associated with Hermes Trismegistus is known as the Corpus Hermeticum and comprises some seventeen writings of diverse origin …

Hermes Trismegistus (“Thrice-Greatest Hermes”) Read More »

Coptic Literature

COPTIC LITERATURE National literatures are defined not only by the language in which they are written but also by ethnic and cultural affinities that bind their authors. That is why we may distinguish an American literature in English from British literature or a Latin-American literature in Spanish from Spanish literature. The literature in the Coptic …

Coptic Literature Read More »

Copto-Arabic Literature

COPTO-ARABIC LITERATURE Coptic literature per se, a subject treated elsewhere, is confined to the writings in the Coptic language during the early centuries of medieval Egyptian history when that language was the spoken language of the people as well as their only written instrument. After the ARAB CONQUEST OF EGYPT in the seventh century, the …

Copto-Arabic Literature Read More »

Valentinian Exposition

VALENTINIAN EXPOSITION A Valentinian Exposition (Codex XV, tractate 2, of the NAG HAMMADI LIBRARY) presents itself as a document of revelation intended for a restricted elite: “I will speak my mystery to those who are mine and to those who will be mine.” This revelation concerns first of all the Father, then the Son, the …

Valentinian Exposition Read More »

Atrib

ATRIB One of the best known cities in the Nile Delta in the Greco- Roman and Christian periods. It is mentioned often in classical authors and papyri (cf. Pietschmann, 1896, cols. 2070-71) as well as in Coptic and Arabic-Christian literature. The ruins of the city, which in Greek was called ‘Aqr…bij and in Coptic ayl/be …

Atrib Read More »