Moses

Illumination, Coptic

ILLUMINATION, COPTIC. The painted decoration, or illumination, of Coptic books, appears to have had its origin in pharaonic Egypt. Numerous examples from the Eighteenth Dynasty onward grace funerary texts and the papyri that accompanied mummies in their sarcophagi. Though one might think that the tradition would have been prolonged right down to the Coptic period, …

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Donation Of Children

DONATION OF CHILDREN A custom of giving a child up to a monastery for one of two reasons: having the child become a monk or making the child a serf of the monastery. Instances of donating children who were intended to become monks are known from literary and especially hagiographic sources. The absence of sources …

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Desert Fathers

DESERT FATHERS An expression describing the first anchorites. It was first used by one of the first “reporters” of these practitioners of the “flight to the desert,” PALLADIUS himself. In fact, he twice, at least in explicit terms, used a form of this phrase to designate those who chose to live in the desert. The …

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Ebionites

EBIONITES Judaizing Christians who developed into a separate sect by the last quarter of the second century and had some influence on the early history of the church in Egypt. The term “Ebion” is probably derived from the Hebrew ebyon (the poor). It is an attribute of those who serve the Lord, in contrast with …

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Abydos

ABYDOS   One of the most renowned sites in ancient Egypt. Situated on the left bank of the Nile about 7 miles (11 km) from the town of al-Balyana, it was reputed to be the repository of the head of Osiris. For this reason, it was much frequented as a place of pilgrimage, as is …

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