Egyptians

Hosanna

HOSANNA Hebrew word, meaning “save us.” In the Coptic liturgy, it relates to Palm Sunday. In the 12th century, Abu al-Makarim wrote his book, the History of the Churches and Monasteries in Egypt. The feast of Palm Sunday was a special ceremony in his church (Church of the Holy Virgin in Haret Zuwylah in Old …

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Dayr Epiphanius

DAYR EPIPHANIUS A small semi-anchoritic community that existed around 580-640 on the “Holy Hill of Djeme” (Madinat Habu) in Western Thebes in Upper Egypt. The hermits who dwelled there had, like those in Kellia, Nitria, and Scetis, formed a laura around the cell of a Monophysite Coptic anchorite. In this case, it was Epiphanius who …

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Nag Hammadi Codices

NAG HAMMADI CODICES A group of 12 papyrus codices plus eight leaves dating from the fourth century and inscribed in Coptic. The manuscripts were discovered in a buried storage jar by fellahin (farmers) in 1945 some 10 kilometers from Nag Hammadi, and are now housed in the Coptic Museum in Old Cairo. Publication of the …

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Pilgrimage

PILGRIMAGE The veneration of the saints at pilgrimage sites is one of the characteristics of the Coptic religious life, past and present. In the Late Antique period, the significant pilgrimage center of St. Menas (Abu Mina), which flourished from the fifth to the eighth century, attracted pilgrims from all over the world. Nowadays Copts flock …

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Roman Army

ROMAN ARMY Roman troops were already present in Egypt when the country was still ruled by the Ptolemaic dynasty. Ptolemy XII Auletes, who had been driven from his throne by the Alexandrian opposition, would hardly have been able to reenter Egypt without the military aid of the Roman legate Aulus Gabinius (55 B.C.). Since that …

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