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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Charisios

CHARISIOS The name of this archimandrite is preserved only by some fragments of the typica preserved at Leiden (Insinger, 38a, Pleyte and Boeser, 1897, p. 182), Vienna (K 9736), and Rome (Vatican, Borgia 231; Leipoldt, 1913, p. 11). Charisios has left no trace in the Copto-Arabic SYNAXARION; we know of his existence only from the […]

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Coptic Hagiography

COPTIC HAGIOGRAPHY Egypt was influenced by the Greek culture, hence many of the hagiographical texts were written first in this language and translated later into Coptic. It is important to use the classical hagiographical tools such as Bibliotheca Hagiographica Orientalis and the Bibliotheca Sanctorum (16 vols., Rome 1965-1976), in addition to the bibliography in each […]

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Saint Sophia

SAINT SOPHIA [A holy woman of the fourth century or later whose remains are interred in the Church of Santa Sophia (Hagia Sophia) in Constantinople (feast day: 5 Tut). There are several versions of her story.] The Jacobite Tradition The Jacobite-Arabic SYNAXARION, preserved in a seventeenth-century copy (restored in the nineteenth century) in the National […]

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Butrus Sawirus Al-Jamil, Bishop Of Malij (Beginning Of 13th C.)

BUTRUS SAWIRUS AL-JAMIL, BISHOP OF MALIJ (beginning of 13th c.) A Bishop, apologist, hagiographer. The limited information that we possess about Butrus al-Jamil, who perhaps received the name Sawirus upon his consecration as bishop of Malij, points to a polemically minded scholar: his Kitab al-Ishraq (The Book of the Sunrise) is a catalog of the […]

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Mikha’il, Bishop Of Atrib And Malij (13th C.)

MIKHA’IL, BISHOP OF ATRIB AND MALIJ (13th c.) A Bishop, theologian. We know little about the life and career of Mikha’il apart from the fact that, in the mid-1240s and before his consecration as bishop, he wrote a series of 12 treatises explaining Christian beliefs and practices to Muslim questioners. He is best known, however, […]

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Synaxarion (Kitab Al-Sinaksar)

SYNAXARION (Kitab al-Sinaksar) Collection of brief biographies of the saints and martyrs, arranged for daily reading according to their feast days. A characteristic feature of the Coptic Orthodox liturgy is that, in addition to appointed lections from the Pauline epistles, the Catholic epistles, the Acts of the Apostles, and the Gospels, there is a reading […]

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Saint Arsenius Of Scetis And Turah

SAINT ARSENIUS OF SCETIS AND TURAH One of the most famous of the DESERT FATHERS, although not of Egyptian origin. In the alphabetical collection of the APOPHTHEGMATA PATRUM (Cotelier, 1864) he comes immediately after Saint ANTONY, and tradition gives him, as it gives the latter, the title of “the Great.” He was probably born to […]

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Saints Apollonius And Philemon

SAINTS  APOLLONIUS AND PHILEMON (feastday: 7 Baramhat), fourth-century martyrs. Their story has come down to us in two versions: the original Coptic and a later Arabic tradition. Coptic Tradition The oldest account of the martyrdom of Apollonius and Philemon is found in chapter 19 of the HISTORIA MONACHORUM IN AEGYPTO, written around 400 (see the […]

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Saint Herai

SAINT HERAI A fourth-century virgin martyr in Egypt (feast day: 14 Tubah); she is briefly mentioned also in the Greek calendar (5 and 23 September). The legendary Passion of Herai survives in a single Sahidic manuscript (Egyptian Museum, Turin, cat. 63000, III. 65-72), which is now incomplete. The missing portions can be reconstructed from the […]

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