The churches of old cairo

The churches of old Cairo INTRODUCTION Cairo has been the capital of Egypt for more than one thousand years, but the actual city and history of Cairo are the legacy of many previous capitals of Egypt, of great cultural centers and successive civilizations founded there. The earliest was a predynastic settle­ment dating from the 4th […]

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The History of Christianity in Egypt

The History of Christianity in Egypt THE TERM COPT COMES DIRECTLY FROM THE ARABIC QBT, which appears to derive from the Greek aigyptos (Egypt) / aigyptioi (Egyptians), a phonetic corruption of the ancient Egyptian word Hikaptah, one of the names of Memphis. Initially the word described a non-Arabic-speaking non-Muslim. By implication, a Copt was also […]

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The Church of St. Barbara (OLD CAIRO)

The Church of St. Barbara (OLD CAIRO) Athanasius of Edessa, scribe (katib) of amir zAbd al-Aziz ibn Marwan (685-705) founded a second church in Old Cairo, known as the Church of St. Barbara. Because of their similar architecture, Sts. Sergius and Bacchus and St. Barbara are often considered ‘twin churches’ or ‘sister churches.’ Originally, the […]

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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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Confraternity

CONFRATERNITY As in other Christian countries of late antiquity, confraternities, or guilds, were active in Egypt. Their members were called, in Greek, philoponoi, or lovers of work, and spoudaioi, or zealots. The term philoponeion, confraternity, is used in documents in reference to its legal status. (The translation “infirmary” in Lampe’s Patristic Greek Lexicon is incorrect.) […]

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Alexandria

ALEXANDRIA Founded in 331 b.c. by Alexander the Great at the western end of the Nile Delta. An Egyptian town, Rakote, already existed there on the shore and was a fishermen’s resort. From its very beginning, Alexandria developed rapidly into one of the world’s great cities. The city replaced Memphis as the capital of Egypt […]

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Coptic Woodwork

COPTIC WOODWORK The functional objects and sculpture made of wood in Egypt from the fourth century into the Middle Ages. By virtue of its geological past, Egypt originally had plentiful and varied supplies of wood, but it was rapidly used. Shortages were already evident in the pharaonic period. Ptolemaic rulers put into operation a policy […]

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