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Dandarah

DANDARAH An ancient town on the west bank of the Nile. Up to the Roman period, it was the chief site for the worship of Hathor (Aphrodite), the goddess of heaven and of love. As early as the Old Kingdom a shrine existed here. The present temple, however, had its origin in the late Ptolemaic …

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Church Of Al-Mu‘Allaqah

CHURCH OF AL-MU‘ALLAQAH (Old Cairo) الكنيسة المعلقة   This church is called in Coptic manuscripts “the church of Saint Mary, Mother of God, at Babylon in Egypt” (Amélineau, 1893, pp. 577-79). Texts in Arabic describe it as the “church of our Lady Mary, surnamed the hanging.” European travelers have called it “the church of the …

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Dayr Anba Antuniyus

DAYR ANBA ANTUNIYUS دير أنبا أنطونيوس History The Monastery of Saint Antony is situated 30 miles (45 km) southwest of the Red Sea lighthouse of Ras Za’faranah (100 miles, or 290 km, from Cairo via Suez) at the foot of the south end of the Jalalah mountain range. After the death of Saint ANTONY, a …

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Harit Zuwaylah

HARIT ZUWAYLAH Together with HARIT AL-RUM, probably the oldest quarter in Cairo that was inhabited by a Coptic community. Harit Zuwaylah is situated in the district of al-Jammaliyyah or Khurunfish. The concentration of Copts in this area during the Middle Ages led to the foundation of some of the most ancient churches in Cairo. Of …

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Hawwarah

HAWWARAH A location of the brick pyramid of Amenemhet III (Twelfth Dynasty, 1842-1797 B.C.). The gigantic and magnificently furnished temple district that goes with it is to be identified (Lloyd, 1970, pp. 81ff.) with the labyrinth of the classical authors (above all Herodotus, Histories 2.148, and Pliny, Natural History 36.13). However, only a small part …

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Penance

PENANCE The performance of specific expiatory acts assigned by a priest. The severity of a penance is proportional to the gravity of the sin committed. It is given as remedial discipline to the penitent for the purpose of healing his soul and helping him resist any relapse into similar kinds of wrongdoing at a later …

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Epiphany

Epiphany This is one of the most popular feasts celebrated by the Copts (on 11 Tubah), for whom it must have been a Christianized form of the ancient Egyptian festivities associated with the Nile as one of their principal dynastic gods. The Coptic Synaxarion states that the Messiah appeared on that day as the Son …

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Feasts, Major

FEASTS, MAJOR There are seven major feasts celebrated by the Coptic church. Annunciation The Annunciation is one of the seven major feasts of the Coptic church; it commemorates the announcement of the angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary that she should conceive and give birth to Jesus Christ, the promised Messiah. According to the Coptic …

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