Christian population

The Monastery of Apollo at Bala’iza and Its Literary Texts

The Monastery of Apollo at Bala’iza and Its Literary Texts Dayr al-Bala’iza, situated at the edge of the desert on the west bank of the Nile some eighteen to nineteen kilometers south of Asyut, gained initial recognition among Coptic scholars through the large cache of manuscripts, both literary and documentary, discovered at the site during …

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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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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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Patriarch Alexander I

PATRIARCH ALEXANDER I He was the 19th patriarch of the See of St. Mark (312-326). He succeeded Achillas in the year 312 a.d., just after the end of the great persecution. Alexander faced three problems during his episcopate. He was first troubled over the timing of the Easter observance by a schismatic faction led by …

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Al-Aqbat (Latin, Lacbat)

AL-AQBAT  (Latin, Lacbat) The village of al-Aqbat is mentioned in the twelfth-century documents of Norman Sicily. The name means “the Copts.” The village is located about 9 miles (15 km) south of Palermo, near the present town of Altofonte (Cusa, 1868, pp. 185, 229, 730). The Sicilian Orientalist Michele Amari believed the town to be the …

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Apostolic See

APOSTOLIC SEE Since the apostolic age, all episcopal seats have been considered equal in honor and rank, as all bishops were “equal legates of Jesus Christ” (Ignatius of Antioch, A.D. 35-107). Saint Cyprian, who presided over the Council of Carthage in 256, stressed the parity of episcopal rank, contending that since all churches were equal …

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Babylon

BABYLON The oldest part of the city of Cairo. Babylon is situated on the east bank of the Nile, to some extent on the border between Upper and Lower Egypt. The same spot marks the mouth of a canal, originally cut about 600 B.C., which connected the Nile to the Red Sea. The city was …

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Decius

DECIUS A Roman emperor (full name, Gaius Messius Quintus Trajanus Decius) from the autumn of 249 to late June 251. Born about 200 at Sirmium in Pannonia, he became an important senator and married into the Roman noble house of the Herennii. In 248, when the Goths were exerting intense pressure on the Danube frontier …

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