Hellenistic

Stela

STELA An upright stone slab or pillar. Today some 1,100 ornamented Christian funerary stelae from Egypt (excluding Nubia) are known, most of them distributed over many museums. The most important collections are those of the Coptic Museum in Cairo, the Greco- Roman Museum in Alexandria, the British Museum in London, the Staatlichen Museen in Berlin, …

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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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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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Christian Subjects In Coptic Art

CHRISTIAN SUBJECTS IN COPTIC ART Whatever its materials and techniques—stone or wood relief sculpture, painted walls or manuscripts, textiles, metalwork, ceramics, or glass—Coptic Christian iconography retained a few rare elements of pharaonic origin and many Greco-Roman elements from Alexandrian tradition. From the fifth century on, these pagan subjects mingled with Christian motifs. The Christian subjects …

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Coptic Ceramics

COPTIC CERAMICS The pottery produced in Egypt from the late Roman to the early Islamic period. There must be no illusion about the term “Coptic ceramics.” The techniques of production were in the tradition of Hellenistic and Roman techniques. Similarly, there is no marked stylistic discontinuity between the products of the Roman period and those …

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Pre-Coptic

PRE-COPTIC This general term indicates different stages of script or script forms that to a greater or lesser extent prepared or influenced the creation of the Coptic script. Since the use of the Greek alphabet is essential to the definition of Coptic, it is obvious that one must go back to the first more or …

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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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