Durunkah

Spoken Coptic Language

SPOKEN COPTIC LANGUAGE Coptic was the spoken language of ancient Egypt until the ARAB CONQUEST OF EGYPT in the seventh century. It was recorded first in the hieroglyphic (sacred) script, the earliest form of Egyptian pictorial writing, and succeeded by the hieratic (priestly), which was the simplified running script, and the demotic (from “demos,” meaning …

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Flight Into Egypt

FLIGHT INTO EGYPT Many Coptic churches commemorate the flight into Egypt by celebrating the mass on the 24th of the Coptic month Bachons, corresponding to the first day of June. This great event is glorified in the liturgical book the Difnar and the Synaxarion of the Coptic Church. The scripture (Matt. 2:13) provides no information …

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Dayr Anba Sawirus (Asyut)

DAYR ANBA SAWIRUS (Asyut) The most ancient attestation of this monastery appears to be the colophon of a manuscript written there between 10 November 1002 and 29 August 1003, which then passed into the library of the White Monastery (DAYR ANBA SHINUDAH) before ending up in the National Library, Paris (Copte 129:14, fol. 95; Crum, …

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Asyut

ASYUT A city on the west bank of the Nile in middle Egypt. The Greeks called the city lÚkwn pÒlij, Lúkon pólis (Lycopolis, “wolf city”) because of the citizens’ reverence for Wepwawet, the wolf god. Asyut, the city’s modern Arabic name, is derived from the Coptic cioout. Lycopolis, home of a Christian community since at …

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Dayr Al-Muttin

DAYR AL-MUTTIN This is the name now given to a cluster of ruins situated at the edge of the western desert at ASYUT, about a mile from the town, beside the ancient necropolis at the mausoleum of Shaykh Abu Tuq. ABU SALIH THE ARMENIAN, at the beginning of thirteenth century, knew four monasteries to the …

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Dayr Rifah (Asyut)

DAYR RIFAH (Asyut) A village situated on the edge of the desert plateau about 3 miles (5 km) from DAYR DURUNKAH. This was not a monastery in the ordinary sense of the word but the use of pharaonic tombs by the hermits. A church was fitted up there, making use of a larger tomb that …

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Dayr Abu Bifam (Asyut)

DAYR ABU BIFAM (Asyut) ABU SALIH THE ARMENIAN placed this monastery in the region of Asyut, without further specification (fols. 60v, 90r; 1895, pp. 56, 114 [text], 179, 251 [trans.]). He does indicate that it was called Dayr al-Tinadah, the last word being no doubt the transcription of the Coptic heneete with the feminine article …

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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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