The apostles in the apse of the central haykal on both sides of a window with stucco tracery

The Monastery of the Archangel Gabriel (FAYYUM)

The Monastery of the Archangel Gabriel (FAYYUM) The saintly bishop AUR OF NAQLUN, the legendary founder of the monastery, was the secret son of a princess and a magician living somewhere in the East. His mother died when he was three years old. When he was eight years old, the king, the father of the […]

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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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Celsus

CELSUS An anti-Christian writer and Platonist philosopher whose Alethes Logos (True Discourse), written about 178, is the oldest surviving literary attack on Christianity. All that is known of its author is contained in ORIGEN’s reply, the eight books of Contra Celsum, written in Caesarea (Palestine) about 248. Celsus was most probably a Syrian, for he […]

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History Of The Coptic Music

History of the COPTIC MUSIC Possible Sources and Antecedents There are three primary traditions from which Coptic music very likely absorbed elements in varying proportions: the Jewish, the Greek, and the ancient Egyptian. Possible Jewish Influence. Many aspects of the Jewish services were adopted by the Christian church in Egypt. As elsewhere in the primitive […]

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