Walters

Spoken Coptic Language

SPOKEN COPTIC LANGUAGE Coptic was the spoken language of ancient Egypt until the ARAB CONQUEST OF EGYPT in the seventh century. It was recorded first in the hieroglyphic (sacred) script, the earliest form of Egyptian pictorial writing, and succeeded by the hieratic (priestly), which was the simplified running script, and the demotic (from “demos,” meaning …

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Church Architecture In Egypt

CHURCH ARCHITECTURE IN EGYPT Only church buildings can be considered as a confessional type of structure—like the cultic buildings of pagans, Jews, and Muslims. Churches are a specifically Christian type of architecture. All other kinds of building—including funerary structures—have no confessional ties and take the same form among Christians as among people of other faiths …

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Christian Subjects In Coptic Art

CHRISTIAN SUBJECTS IN COPTIC ART Whatever its materials and techniques—stone or wood relief sculpture, painted walls or manuscripts, textiles, metalwork, ceramics, or glass—Coptic Christian iconography retained a few rare elements of pharaonic origin and many Greco-Roman elements from Alexandrian tradition. From the fifth century on, these pagan subjects mingled with Christian motifs. The Christian subjects …

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Coptic Woodwork

COPTIC WOODWORK The functional objects and sculpture made of wood in Egypt from the fourth century into the Middle Ages. By virtue of its geological past, Egypt originally had plentiful and varied supplies of wood, but it was rapidly used. Shortages were already evident in the pharaonic period. Ptolemaic rulers put into operation a policy …

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Dayr Al-Fakhuri

DAYR AL-FAKHURI History The “Monastery of the Potter” (it is not known whence this appellation comes) is situated on the edge of the desert, about 6 miles (9 km) north of Isna, near the ancient Asphynis (present-day Asfun al-Mata‘nah). The monastery also bears the name of “Matthew the Poor.” This personage, whose Life survives (or …

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Dayr Anba Maqar

DAYR ANBA MAQAR Rising on the desert horizon like a great fortress, the Monastery of Saint MACARIUS was originally the most remote and least accessible of the monasteries of Wadi al- Natrun. It came into being around 360 when Saint Macarius the Egyptian moved southward from the valley to escape the overcrowding of hermits. Here, …

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