Pentapolis

Melitian Schism

MELITIAN SCHISM Melitius was the Bishop of Lycopolis (Assiut) during the patriarchate of Peter, the Seal of Martyrs (300-311). He opposed the patriarch of Alexandria on two issues. The first was the admission of the Lapsi (those who under torture deny Christ), and the second issue was the authority of the bishops to consecrate other …

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Henoticon

HENOTICON When Emperor Zeno returned to Constantinople in 482, he issued his famous Henoticon to the Christians of the world in Alexandria, Egypt, Libya, and Pentapolis. In it, he confirmed the faith of the Fathers of the Councils of Nicaea and Constantinople; nothing, however, is mentioned concerning the Councils of Ephesus and Chalcedon. Zeno condemned …

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Mark

MARK The Apostle, evangelist, and saint. According to the Coptic tradition, St. Mark is the founder of the Coptic Church in Egypt. This tradition is supported by the testimony of Eusebius of Caesarea in his Church History. A Coptic manuscript preserved in Paris contains a detailed story of St. Mark. This manuscript was copied in …

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Patriarch

PATRIARCH The term patriarch is a composition of the Greek pater meaning father and archon meaning leader, chief, or ruler. It has mainly taken on specific ecclesiastical meanings. The patriarch is the head of the entire Coptic Church. Throughout its long history, the church of Alexandria maintained the apostolic succession in an uninterrupted chain. Thus …

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Pope

POPE The Latin papa and the Greek pappas means simply “father.” The title “pope” has been in use from the early third century for the bishops of Alexandria. The title of the patriarch of Alexandria is “Pope and patriarch of the great city of Alexandria and of all Egypt, the Pentapolis, Nubia, the Sudan, Libya, …

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Arab Conquest Of Egypt

ARAB CONQUEST OF EGYPT The conquest, under ‘Amr ibn al-‘As, was the last of the rapid series of victories in the years A.H. 13-19/A.D. 635-640 that had led the Arabs to overthrow the weakened Byzantine provinces of the Near East. The conquest of Egypt marked the virtual end of a rapid period of expansion, since …

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Theopistus Of Alexandria

THEOPISTUS OF ALEXANDRIA Theopistus accompanied DIOSCORUS I of Alexandria (444-458) to the Council of CHALCEDON. After Dioscorus was sentenced to exile in Gangra, Theopistus went to the Pentapolis where he wrote an account of the events of the council, challenging its decisions. He is named in the Panegyric of Macarius of Tkow, which is attributed …

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Bishop

BISHOP A clergyman of the highest order, senior in rank to priests and deacons. The Coptic term (episkopos) and the Arabic (usquf) are derived from the Greek and Latin versions (episkopos, episcopus), which, etymologically, mean “overseer.” Bishops are successors to the apostles, and, from the historical point of view, the episcopate is a continuation of …

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Translation Of Bishop

TRANSLATION OF BISHOP The transference of a bishop from the see for which he was consecrated to some other diocese. This practice is forbidden by Canon 15 of the Council of NICAEA (325), which states: “On account of the great disturbance and discords that occur, it is decreed that the custom prevailing in certain places …

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