Conquest

Dayr Asfal Al-Ard

DAYR ASFAL AL-ARD The most detailed description of this convent near Alexandria is given by Abu al-Makarim (1984, pp. 161, 168). He indicates that this monastery was situated east of the town and bore the name of Saint Mark. It was extensive, surrounded by gardens and cultivated land, and had no fewer than four keeps. …

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Dayr Epiphanius

DAYR EPIPHANIUS A small semi-anchoritic community that existed around 580-640 on the “Holy Hill of Djeme” (Madinat Habu) in Western Thebes in Upper Egypt. The hermits who dwelled there had, like those in Kellia, Nitria, and Scetis, formed a laura around the cell of a Monophysite Coptic anchorite. In this case, it was Epiphanius who …

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CYRIL IV (1816-1861)

CYRIL IV (1816-1861) A Patriarch, reformer. He was the 110th patriarch of the Coptic Church (1854-1861). He was born Dawud in 1816 at Nag‘ Abu Zaqali, near Akhmim in Upper Egypt. In 1838, he entered the Monastery of St. Antony at the age of 22 and became its abbot only two years later. He then …

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Egyptian Monasticism

EGYPTIAN MONASTICISM Christian monasticism is a distinctive form of spiritual discipline that seems to have been originated in Egypt. St. Antony, the “father of the monks,” is usually regarded as its founder. As a youth of about 18 years old, he responded to a gospel reading (Matt. 19; 21), began his hermitic life as a …

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Nestorians And Copts

NESTORIANS AND COPTS Having been separate from Imperial Christianity since the first Council of Ephesus (431), the Syriac Church of the East reappeared in Egypt after the Arab conquest, in particular during the Abbasid period, and Nestorians were used as government employees. The Nestorians lived mainly in Cairo. Yahya ibn Sa‘id of Antioch, the Melchite …

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Christianity In Nubia

CHRISTIANITY IN NUBIA The Nubian Church is unique among the Middle Eastern churches in that it started and prospered in an atmosphere of complete political independence. Some scholars believe that Queen Candace of the Ethiopians, who is mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles 8:27-39, was the Queen of Meroe (ca. 37). However, it was …

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Patriarch

PATRIARCH The term patriarch is a composition of the Greek pater meaning father and archon meaning leader, chief, or ruler. It has mainly taken on specific ecclesiastical meanings. The patriarch is the head of the entire Coptic Church. Throughout its long history, the church of Alexandria maintained the apostolic succession in an uninterrupted chain. Thus …

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Dayr Al-Dik

DAYR AL-DIK [This monastery, now in ruins, is situated on the right bank of the Nile, a good hour’s walk to the north of ANTINOOPOLIS. There were also on the edge of the river some cells fitted up with a church in caves in the cliffs that overhang the river.] History The monastery of Dayr …

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Roman Army

ROMAN ARMY Roman troops were already present in Egypt when the country was still ruled by the Ptolemaic dynasty. Ptolemy XII Auletes, who had been driven from his throne by the Alexandrian opposition, would hardly have been able to reenter Egypt without the military aid of the Roman legate Aulus Gabinius (55 B.C.). Since that …

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