Magic

Manichaeism and Gnosticism in the Panopolitan Region between Lykopolis and Nag Hammadi

Manichaeism and Gnosticism in the Panopolitan Region between Lykopolis and Nag Hammadi TO DEAL WITH the religious movements of Manichaeism and Gnosticism in the area of Sohag presents a good many problems and raises several ques­tions that will perhaps never be answered. This fact depends on our lack of evidence concerning these two strong ‘enemies’ …

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The Monastery of Apollo at Bala’iza and Its Literary Texts

The Monastery of Apollo at Bala’iza and Its Literary Texts Dayr al-Bala’iza, situated at the edge of the desert on the west bank of the Nile some eighteen to nineteen kilometers south of Asyut, gained initial recognition among Coptic scholars through the large cache of manuscripts, both literary and documentary, discovered at the site during …

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Statuary

STATUARY If the statue is defined as a complete figure in full relief, Coptic art did not cultivate the technique. On this point, it conformed to the taste of the time. The carving of statues had diminished considerably from the beginning of the second century of the Roman empire. As generals who no longer belonged …

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Chaldaean Oracles

CHALDAEAN ORACLES A revelatory poem, written in Greek hexameter verse, composed or edited by a certain magician named Julianus, who lived during the reign of Marcus Aurelius. Its importance is twofold: it is the last major sacred book of pagan antiquity, and it had major influence on the development of Neoplatonism from Porphyry to Psellus. …

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Cyprian The Magician

CYPRIAN THE MAGICIAN The legend of Cyprian the Magician (perhaps mid-fourth century with further development at a later period) tells how a young man in Antioch approaches Cyprian so that with magic he can win the love of the Christian virgin Justina. But all the magical arts are frustrated by prayer and by the sign …

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Copt

COPT Defining the word “Copt” is not an easy matter. Gratuitous applications of the term in many circumstances have come together under the Coptic umbrella, resulting in a surprising mixture of connotations. A definition, therefore, that considers factual usage or acceptable conventional usage becomes necessary. The root of the word serves as a beginning. Two …

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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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