Seth

SETH A eighth-century archimandrite of Apa Shenute. Both the HISTORY OF THE PATRIARCHS and the SYNAXARION of the Copts tell us very little about Seth. We know only that he was archimandrite of the White Monastery (DAYR ANBA SHINUDAH) at the beginning of the eighth century. The Synaxarion calls him “the greatest of the abbots […]

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Scetis

SCETIS A name that historically designated the area of monastic settlement extending about 19 miles (30 km) through the shallow valley known in the medieval period as Wad Habb, now called Wad al-Natrun, which runs southeast to northwest through the Western or Libyan Desert, about 40 miles (65 km) southwest of the Nile Delta. In […]

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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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Hegumen

HEGUMEN Today hegumenos means “abbot,” or the head of a monastery. The hegumenos is usually chosen by the monks from their own community and approved by the patriarch, metropolitan, or bishop within whose jurisdiction the monastery lies. The hegumenate is the highest rank of the priesthood to which priests, married or celibate, serving in cathedrals […]

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Hegumenos Ordination

HEGUMENOS ORDINATION The hegumenos (hegomen or proto-priest) is ordained in the Coptic Church to serve the altar, and to instruct and admonish the congregation. The ordination begins after the Prayer of Reconciliation and before the Kiss of Peace, that is, prior to the anaphora. The candidate bends his knee and prostrates himself before the bishop, […]

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Christodoulus

CHRISTODOULUS The sixty-sixth patriarch of the See of Saint Mark (1047-1077). Christodoulus, whose original name as a monk of the ENATON, west of Alexandria, was Theodore, was a native of the village of Burah, but his date of birth is unknown. The first known event in his life concerns his castrating himself. This happened when […]

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Sinjar

SINJAR An important Christian center and episcopal see in Lower Egypt, especially from the eleventh to the thirteenth century. Sinjar is mentioned in the Coptic SYNAXARION, under 4 Misra, as the place where David and his brothers suffered martyrdom during the DIOCLETIAN persecution. By the eighth century, Sinjar had become an episcopal see. At the […]

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Athanasius, Bishop Of Abu Tij

ATHANASIUS, BISHOP OF ABU TIJ A collector, restorer, and copyist of manuscripts (d. 1819/20) This bishop, known chiefly from the history of Coptic Arabic manuscripts, must be considered a major protagonist in the early Coptic cultural awakening of modern times (19th century).1 He is to be distinguished from two other homonymous bishops of the same […]

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Saint Sarapamon Of Scetis

SAINT SARAPAMON OF SCETIS An ascetic who was hegumenos of SCETIS (feast day: 5 Baramhat). All that we know of him is supplied by the notice in the SYNAXARION from Lower Egypt. The passage offers no means of learning, even approximately, when this saint lived. However, since the Synaxarion mentions Saint BARSUM THE NAKED, who […]

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