Saint Stephen

Altar

ALTAR A place, structure, or table on which sacrifices are offered to a divinity. The word comes from the Latin altare related to the verb adolere, to “burn up.” Pagan Altars Since prehistoric times, offerings to subterranean gods were made in pits, and offerings to heavenly gods were presented on altars raised above the ground. …

Altar Read More »

Justinian

JUSTINIAN (c. 482-565) The Byzantine emperor. Originally given the name Petrus Sabbatius, he took the name Justinian upon being adopted by his uncle Justin, whom he later succeeded as emperor (1 August 527). Justinian’s reign was marked by extensive legal reform, successful military incursions against the Vandals and the Goths, vast architectural undertakings, and an …

Justinian Read More »

Proclus Saint

PROCLUS SAINT The patriarch of Constantinople (434-446), who was a preacher and writer (feast day: 20 November in the East, 24 October in the West). According to the historian Socrates, Proclus was very young when he assumed the lector’s robe. From 407, when he was eighteen, to 425, he served Atticus, patriarch of Constantinople, as …

Proclus Saint Read More »

Qus

QUS A town known in the era of the pharaohs as Ksa or Ksi. From the Greek period onward (third century B.C.) it was known as Apollinopolis Parva. It evolved by taking advantage of the activities of QIFT, which the Greek kings had made the starting point for roads linking the Nile Valley and the …

Qus Read More »

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, …

Illumination, Coptic Read More »

Inscriptions

INSCRIPTIONS Writing on long-lasting materials. Inscriptions, like texts written on papyrus (see PAPYROLOGY), are important primary sources of information about a society. In Egypt they appear on stone, plaster, clay, wood, metal, and textiles. They may be scratched, carved, engraved, stamped, painted or inked, or woven. Those written on clay sherds or limestone fragments are …

Inscriptions Read More »