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Coptic Hagiography

COPTIC HAGIOGRAPHY Egypt was influenced by the Greek culture, hence many of the hagiographical texts were written first in this language and translated later into Coptic. It is important to use the classical hagiographical tools such as Bibliotheca Hagiographica Orientalis and the Bibliotheca Sanctorum (16 vols., Rome 1965-1976), in addition to the bibliography in each …

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Saint Serapion

SAINT SERAPION A martyr from Lower Egypt (feast day: 27 Tubah). The legend that tells of the martyrdom of Serapion (Bibliotheca Hagiographica Orientalis 1048, ed. Balestri and Hyvernat, 1955, 1960) belongs to the type of martyrologies predominant in Egypt. There are rescues among a multitude of tortures, miracles, and promises for the cult center in …

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Victor Of Shu

VICTOR OF SHU An early-fourth-century saint. Victor was born in Asyut. He served as a soldier in the fortress of Shu (Qasr Shu) south of Asyut, at the age of twelve. In accordance with the rescript of Diocletian, he was asked to offer sacrifice to the idols, but refused. His superior tried to persuade him …

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Saint Victor Stratelates, Or Victor The General

SAINT VICTOR STRATELATES, or Victor the General [This son of the Roman governor Romanus miraculously survived death three times before being marytred during the persecution under Diocletian (feast day: 27 Baramudah)] COPTIC TRADITION About Victor Statelates we have four complete accounts and several that are incomplete. The martyrdom itself was published by E. Wallis Budge …

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ZACHARIAS The sixty-fourth patriarch of the See of Saint Mark (1004-1032). Zacharias was a contemporary of the rulers of Egypt al-HAKIM BI-AMR ALLAH (996-1021) and al-Zahir Abu al- Hasan ‘Ali (1021-1035). He was a poor priest in Alexandria, and no one knew much about him. His selection occurred in rather unusual circumstances. When the bishops …

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Saint Ascla

SAINT ASCLA A martyr in the persecutions under DIOCLETIAN (feast day: 21 Tubah). His Passion has survived in Coptic in only one codex, in Sahidic dialect (Turin, Museum Egizio, 63000.XV, ed. F. Rossi, 1892, pp. 65-69), but it is also known in Greek and Latin (Bibliotheca hagiographica Graeca 1514, Bibliotheca hagiographica Latina 722). It begins …

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Saint Apoli

SAINT APOLI The fourth-century martyr of Antiochian origin, who was put to death in Egypt (feast day: 1 Misrah). He appears only in the later hagiographic Coptic tradition. Of his Passion, ascribed to an eyewitness, the servant Sergius, two Bohairic fragmentary manuscripts are preserved. The first consists of four folios from Cairo (ed. Evelyn-White, 1926, …

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Saints Ter And Erai

SAINTS TER AND ERAI Or Abadir or Apater and Herai or Ira’i, brother and sister of Antioch who were martyred in Egypt under DIOCLETIAN (feast day: 28 Tut). The text of their Passion is extant, both in a Sahidic redaction (fragments from two codices: National Library, Vienna, Wiener Papyrussammlung, K2563 a-l, ed. Orlandi, 1974, and …

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Cyrus Al-Muqawqas

CYRUS AL-MUQAWQAS A Byzantine bishop of Phasis in the region of the Caucasus until 631, when Emperor Heraclius decided to assign him the more important diocese of Egypt, with the express command to curb the obstinate Coptic community and bring its members to Chalcedonian obedience. In 451 the Copts had opposed the Council of CHALCEDON …

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