Christian Nubia

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 …

Christian Subjects In Coptic Art Read More »

Shibab Al-Din Ahmad Nuwayri

SHIBAB AL-DIN AHMAD NUWAYRI Shibab al-Din Ahmad ‘Abd al-Wahhab al- Nuwayri (d. 1332) wrote an encyclopedia called Nihayat al-Arab fi funun al-adab (The Limits of Desires in the Arts of Literature). Among other things, it is an important source of information about the Nubian campaigns of the Mamluk sultan Qalawun, which contributed greatly to the …

Shibab Al-Din Ahmad Nuwayri Read More »

Ibn Hawqal

IBN HAWQAL Abu al-Qasim Muhammad ibn Hawqal al-Nasibi (d. 988) was an Arab traveler who seems to have visited Nubia and the Sudan in 955. He later wrote a book based on his travels, of which two versions survive: an earlier version called Kitab al- Masalik wa-al-Mamalik (Book of Ideologies and Countries), and a revised …

Ibn Hawqal Read More »

Ibn Salim Al-Aswani

IBN SALIM AL-ASWANI ‘Abdallah ibn Ahmad ibn Salim, familiarly known to historians as Ibn Salim al-Aswani, lived in the latter half of the tenth century. Almost nothing is known of his life or his career, except that at some time between 969 and 973 he undertook a diplomatic mission to the Nubian kingdom of MAKOURIA. …

Ibn Salim Al-Aswani Read More »

Beja Tribes

BEJA TRIBES The nomadic and warlike Beja tribes have occupied the Red Sea hills of Egypt and Sudan since very early times. In pharaonic days, the tribes were known as the Medjay and were already regarded as a menace by the settled populations in the Nile Valley. One of the Egyptian frontier fortresses built in …

Beja Tribes Read More »

Qasr Ibrim

QASR IBRIM A fortified hilltop settlement in Lower Nubia, about 25 miles (40 km) to the north of the famous temples of Abu Simbel. A temple seems to have been built there in the Egyptian New Kingdom, and the place was intermittently occupied from that time until its final abandonment in 1811. The name appears …

Qasr Ibrim Read More »

Fatimids And The Copts

FATIMIDS AND THE COPTS It is difficult to give a complete picture of the situation of the Copts under the Fatimid dynasty (972-1171). Generally speaking, the caliphs were very tolerant toward them, except during two very tense periods that even brought persecution: under al-HAKIM (996-1021) and during the reign of the last caliph, al-‘Adid. With …

Fatimids And The Copts Read More »

Faras Murals

FARAS MURALS The most spectacular archaeological discovery of the International Campaign to Save the Monuments of Nubia was that of the Faras Cathedral, buried in the sand with its medieval program of wall decoration largely preserved. Nearly 200 individual paintings were found on the cathedral walls and in adjoining bishops’ tombs, and of these 169 …

Faras Murals Read More »

Faras

FARAS The name given in modern times to a small village on the west bank of the Nile, on the frontier between Egypt and the Republic of the Sudan. In earlier history it was one of the most important religious and administrative centers in Lower Nubia. It is named both in Meroitic and in medieval …

Faras Read More »