Theodora

“Twenty Thousand Nuns” The Domestic Virgins of Oxyrhynchos

“Twenty Thousand Nuns” The Domestic Virgins of Oxyrhynchos Historia Monachorum in Oxyrhynchos The Historia Monachorum in Aegypto contains a literary testimony of Chris­tians in the city of Oxyrhynchos.[1] Its anonymous author, an eyewitness from Palestine writing at the turn of the fifth century, boasts that this city in Middle Egypt abounds with monasteries, both within …

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Cosmas Indicopleustes

COSMAS INDICOPLEUSTES The name given to an anonymous Nestorian author of the twelve-book Christian Topography, written a few years before the Second Council of CONSTANTINOPLE (553). Cosmas was an Egyptian merchant, probably from Alexandria, who plied his trade in Alexandria, the Red Sea port of Adulis (Sawakin), and Ceylon (Sri Lanka), calling at the island …

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Saint Sophia

SAINT SOPHIA [A holy woman of the fourth century or later whose remains are interred in the Church of Santa Sophia (Hagia Sophia) in Constantinople (feast day: 5 Tut). There are several versions of her story.] The Jacobite Tradition The Jacobite-Arabic SYNAXARION, preserved in a seventeenth-century copy (restored in the nineteenth century) in the National …

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Egyptian Monasticism

EGYPTIAN MONASTICISM Christian monasticism is a distinctive form of spiritual discipline that seems to have been originated in Egypt. St. Antony, the “father of the monks,” is usually regarded as its founder. As a youth of about 18 years old, he responded to a gospel reading (Matt. 19; 21), began his hermitic life as a …

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Christianity In Nubia

CHRISTIANITY IN NUBIA The Nubian Church is unique among the Middle Eastern churches in that it started and prospered in an atmosphere of complete political independence. Some scholars believe that Queen Candace of the Ethiopians, who is mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles 8:27-39, was the Queen of Meroe (ca. 37). However, it was …

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Schubart, Wilhelm

SCHUBART, WILHELM (1873-1960) A German papyrologist. He was a pupil of Ulrich Wilcken and worked from 1898 until 1937 at the Papyrusabteilung of the State Museum at Berlin. After his retirement from the museum, he was professor of ancient history at Leipzig University (1945-1952). Among his numerous publications (cf. Morenz, 1950, pp. 7-24) there are …

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Timothy III

TIMOTHY III The thirty-second patriarch of the See of Saint Mark (517-535) and the last ruler of an undivided Egyptian church. On the Emperor Justin’s accession in 518, the Chalcedonian faith was proclaimed in the Eastern empire generally, but Timothy was left in peace in a church and province loyal to its own orthodoxy. He …

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