Syene

Archives Of Papas

ARCHIVES OF PAPAS Papas, son of Liberius, was pagarch of Apollonos Ano (Idfu) from 703 to 714. The dossier of the correspondence sent to him, consisting of more than 100 Greek and a smaller number of Coptic (but no Arabic) documents, was found in 1921-1922 in a jar west of the southwest pylon of the …

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Roman Army

ROMAN ARMY Roman troops were already present in Egypt when the country was still ruled by the Ptolemaic dynasty. Ptolemy XII Auletes, who had been driven from his throne by the Alexandrian opposition, would hardly have been able to reenter Egypt without the military aid of the Roman legate Aulus Gabinius (55 B.C.). Since that …

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Roman Emperors In Egypt

ROMAN EMPERORS IN EGYPT Although Alexandria never became a “Second Rome,” the existence and, in some sense, the presence of the Roman emperor was a common and permanent experience for the inhabitants of Egypt. The head of the provincial administration, the prefect of Egypt, was the direct representative of the emperor. The importance and power …

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Aswan

ASWAN (Syene) A town on the east bank of the Nile, at the position of the First Cataract, which in pharaonic times marked the borders of Egypt on the south. In the imperial period it was an administrative center and garrison town (Strabo Geographica 17.1.12), and from an early date (since A.D. 325; cf. Timm, …

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Dayr Qubbat Al-Hawa

DAYR QUBBAT AL-HAWA History This Coptic monastery, today in ruins, took its name from the hill where a shaykh is buried, on the flanks of which are the tombs of the governors of Aswan during the New Kingdom, in particular those of Koui (Khui) and Kounes (Khune). These tombs seem to have been inhabited by …

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Annona

ANNONA A term for Egypt’s annual wheat crop during Roman times. A substantial part of the annona was destined to feed the people of Rome (annona civica, annona urbis). In economic terms, the contribution Egypt had to furnish after its conquest by the Romans in 30 B.C. was of paramount importance, as the shipments from …

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Palladius (363-431)

PALLADIUS (363-431) The author of the Historia lausiaca, one of the principal documents that inform us about Egyptian monasticism in the fourth century. Born in Galatia, he became a monk. After spending some time in Palestine at the Mount of Olives, when Rufinus and Melania the Elder were living there, he came to Egypt. He …

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Martyrs, Coptic

MARTYRS, COPTIC The souls recognized in Egypt who suffered persecution and died for their faith. The majority of martyrs belong to the period of Roman persecutions from the time of Nero in the mid-first century to the time of Diocletian in the early fourth century. It is, of course, impossible to assemble the names of …

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Elephantine

ELEPHANTINE An island at the level of Aswan, and the most southerly town in Egypt. In the pharaonic period, it was the capital of the Elephant nome, but from Ptolemaic times, it was reduced to a temple town and the administration was transferred to Syene, today Aswan, on the eastern riverbank. The two main temples …

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