Catechumen

CATECHUMEN In the early church, a new Jewish or heathen convert undergoing a course of basic instruction and training in Christian doctrine and ritual, prior to BAPTISM and full incorporation into the body of the faithful. Just before His ascension, Christ had entrusted to the disciples the task of propagating His teachings among all nations […]

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Coptic Revolts

COPTIC REVOLTS Sources refer to a number of revolts of the Copts against Arab authorities between 693 or 694 and 832. Arab historians have seen these revolts as a reaction to the heavy taxes placed on the Copts and the deterioration of their social status under Muslim rule. The most significant revolts are those of […]

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Julian Gaianus

JULIAN GAIANUS A Bishop. The controversy within the anti-Chalcedonian parties between Julian of Halicarnasus and Severus of Antioch led to the choice of two episcopal candidates after the death of the Patriarch Timothy of Alexandria (517-535): Theodosius (for the Severian party) and Gaianus (for the Julianist party). Although Theodosius received the most number of votes, […]

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Al-Suqa‘I Fadl Allah Ibn Fakhr

AL-SUQA‘I FADL ALLAH IBN FAKHR A thirteenth-century historian and biographer, a Christian resident of the city of Damascus. He was a scribe in the diwan (government office). He died a centenarian in 1326. In Christian literature, he was noted for his compilation of the four Gospels in a unified work in numerous languages including Hebrew, […]

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Al-Mu’taman Ibn Al-‘Assal (?-Last Quarter Of 13th C.).

AL-MU’TAMAN IBN AL-‘ASSAL (?-last quarter of 13th c.). A Priest, theologian, encyclopedist. Al-Mu’taman Abu Ishaq Ibrahim ibn al-‘Assal was probably the youngest of the three authors of the Awlad al-‘Assal, and he is the one whose life is best known to us, thanks now in part to the investigations of Wadi Abullif (see the bibliography). […]

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Al-As‘Ad Ibn Al-‘Assal (?-Before 1259)

AL-AS‘AD IBN AL-‘ASSAL (?-before 1259) A Biblical scholar, theologian, scholar of Coptic. Al-As‘ad Abu al-Faraj Hibatallah ibn al-‘Assal was probably the eldest of the Awlad al-‘Assal. He was married, a skilled scribe, an avid collector of books, and a frequent traveler to Damascus; he may well have been a civil servant in the Ayyubid administration. […]

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Awlad Al-‘Assal (13th C.)

AWLAD AL-‘ASSAL (13th c.) Family of scholars. The term Awlad al-‘Assal (“the children of al-‘Assal”) is conventionally used to refer to four brothers who played a major role in the revival of Coptic thought in the decades between 1230 and 1260. Their father, Fakhr al-Dawlah (“Pride of the State”) Abu al-Mufaddal al-As‘ad, was a wealthy […]

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Butrus Al-Sidmanti

BUTRUS AL-SIDMANTI A monastic writer in Arabic during the eleventh century. But<rus came from the village ofSidmant in the district of Bani Suef. The village is known as Sidmant al-Jabal; E. AMÉLINEAU records it as Posotoment. The precise dates of birth and death of Butrus are unknown beyond the fact that he lived around the […]

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Coinage In Egypt

COINAGE IN EGYPT Pre-Islamic Period In spite of its high level of civilization, Egypt lacked coinage until a relatively late date. The concept of coinage was probably introduced by Greeks, who were employed as mercenaries as early as the seventh century B.C. and later established as traders at Naucratis. After about 525 B.C., a series […]

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Patriarch Gabriel III

PATRIARCH GABRIEL III The life of the monk and priest Ghubriyāl, who eventually became Coptic patriarch Gabriel III (usually counted as the 77th patriarch, 1268–1271), bears witness to both the flourishing of literary and scientific activity as well as to the turbulence of ecclesiastical and social affairs that characterize Coptic Orthodox history in the middle decades […]

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