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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Coptic Toponymy

COPTIC TOPONYMY The study of ancient place-names is one of the most interesting domains of historical research, since the names of hamlets, villages, and towns of the past often give brief but valuable indications, usually absent from historical records, about the creation of those urban centers and the reasons for their founding, whether economic, political, […]

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Cyriacus

CYRIACUS A Bishop of al-Bahnasa (Oxyrhynchus), assumed author of eight homilies. We have no historical evidence of either the existence of this person or the period in which he lived. On the latter, opinions greatly diverge: G. Graf (1944-1953, Vol. 1, p. 475) thinks that if one accepts what is said by the Ethiopian Book […]

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Church Architecture In Egypt

CHURCH ARCHITECTURE IN EGYPT Only church buildings can be considered as a confessional type of structure—like the cultic buildings of pagans, Jews, and Muslims. Churches are a specifically Christian type of architecture. All other kinds of building—including funerary structures—have no confessional ties and take the same form among Christians as among people of other faiths […]

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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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Cell

CELL The word cell is very common in monastic texts, but it does not always have the sense given it in Western languages. Because monks inhabited various places, such as tombs, caves, or constructed hermitages, it is necessary to distinguish between them. We find in Greek the words kella (derived from Latin) and its common […]

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Symbols In Coptic Art

SYMBOLS IN COPTIC ART Alpha and Omega Alpha and omega (A and W) are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. In Middle Eastern astrology, they are related to the cosmos, the signs of the zodiac, and the twenty-four hours of the day. In Egyptian alchemy they are linked to the good genius, […]

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Triumph Of Christ

TRIUMPH OF CHRIST The theme of the triumph of Christ is connected to the theme of the four creatures. On 8 Hatur the Coptic SYNAXARION commemorates the Four Bodiless Beasts that bear the throne of God. It includes references to the four six-winged creatures of Revelation 4 (a lion, a calf, a man, and a […]

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Serge Sauneron (D. 1976)

SERGE SAUNERON (d. 1976) A French Egyptologist. He studied at the Ecole Normale Supérieure and received the doctorat d’etat at the Sorbonne. He was member, librarian, associate director, and finally director of the Institut français d’Archéologie orientale in Cairo from 1969 until the accident that caused his death. Sauneron studied Coptic at the Institut Catholique, […]

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