COSMAS AND DAMIAN

Cycle

CYCLE One of a group of works in Coptic literature dealing with episodes in the life of one or more specific characters, mostly saints and martyrs. There are two basic types of cycle: homiletic and hagiographical. The difference lies simply in the different literary forms used, with the homiletic cycles being made up of texts …

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Saints Cosmas And Damian

SAINTS COSMAS AND DAMIAN Two doctors and brothers who suffered martyrdom at the time of the Diocletian persecutions (feast day: 22 Hatur). They were called anargyroi (silverless) because they did not ask money from the sick whom they cured. The Byzantine church, however, gradually came to distinguish three pairs of brothers named Cosmas and Damian, …

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Copto-Arabic Synaxarion

COPTO-ARABIC SYNAXARION A list of saints used in the Coptic church Editions of the Synaxarion This book, which has become a liturgical book, is very important for the history of the Coptic church. It appears in two forms: the recension from Lower Egypt, which is the quasi-official book of the Coptic church from Alexandria to …

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Anastasius

ANASTASIUS The thirty-sixth patriarch of the See of Saint Mark (605- 616). Anastasius was a priest in Alexandria, a man of profound learning in the Scriptures and the doctrines of the Coptic faith, when he was unanimously selected by the bishops and the clergy of the Coptic church to succeed DAMIAN to the archiepiscopal throne …

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Dayr Al-Ahmar (Giza)

DAYR AL-AHMAR (Giza) This monastery was mentioned in the beginning of the thirteenth century by ABU SALIH THE ARMENIAN (1895, p. 177), who spoke of a church dedicated to Saint Michael called Dayr al-Ahmar (Red Monastery). He added that it was on the edge of the Nile and that it contained a church dedicated to …

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Hagiography, Coptic

HAGIOGRAPHY, COPTIC The writing about the saints of the Coptic church. Many religions venerate saints and so have produced a vast literature around them. Best known in the West is the monumental Acta Sanctorum (Lives of the Saints), compiled by the Society of Bollandists, a group of Jesuit scholars, beginning in the seventeenth century and …

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Pilgrimages

PILGRIMAGES There are more than sixty centers of Coptic pilgrimage in Egypt, of which the main ones are those of the Virgin Mary at Musturud, Saint Menas at Maryut, Saint George (Mar Jirjis) of Mit Damsis, Sitt Dimyanah near Bilqas, and Anba Shinudah at Dayr al-Abyad, near Suhaj. For the Copts, pilgrimage is a religious …

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Proclus Saint

PROCLUS SAINT The patriarch of Constantinople (434-446), who was a preacher and writer (feast day: 20 November in the East, 24 October in the West). According to the historian Socrates, Proclus was very young when he assumed the lector’s robe. From 407, when he was eighteen, to 425, he served Atticus, patriarch of Constantinople, as …

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Libraries

LIBRARIES In pre-Christian times there were libraries in the temples of Egypt. From the Hellenistic period, the library of Alexandria is particularly well known. It once sheltered 700,000 scrolls, but in 48-47 B.C. it fell victim to a conflagration. A second library of Alexandria, located at the Serapeum, was destroyed in A.D. 391 during the …

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