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The Monastery of Apa Thomas at Wadi Sarga: Points of Departure for a Relative Chronology

The Monastery of Apa Thomas at Wadi Sarga: Points of Departure for a Relative Chronology This chapter discusses the identification of the superiors of the Monas­tery of Apa Thomas at Wadi Sarga and presents some points of departure for reconstructing a relative chronology of this monastic community on the basis of Coptic epitaphs and documents.[1] …

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Coptic Ceramics

COPTIC CERAMICS The pottery produced in Egypt from the late Roman to the early Islamic period. There must be no illusion about the term “Coptic ceramics.” The techniques of production were in the tradition of Hellenistic and Roman techniques. Similarly, there is no marked stylistic discontinuity between the products of the Roman period and those …

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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 Anba Pisentius

DAYR ANBA PISENTIUS In 1926 W. E. CRUM left unanswered the question of the location of the monastery of Tsenti (al-Qassas in Arabic), where PISENTIUS, bishop of Qift at the beginning of the seventh century, habitually lived and where it seems he died. ‘ABD AL-MASIH SALIB AL-MASU‘DI al-Baramusi (1932, p. 184), however, mentions “in the …

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Dayr Epiphanius

DAYR EPIPHANIUS A small semi-anchoritic community that existed around 580-640 on the “Holy Hill of Djeme” (Madinat Habu) in Western Thebes in Upper Egypt. The hermits who dwelled there had, like those in Kellia, Nitria, and Scetis, formed a laura around the cell of a Monophysite Coptic anchorite. In this case, it was Epiphanius who …

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Scriptorium

SCRIPTORIUM The room in which copyists transcribed manuscripts (later, also the writing school that developed around it). An archdeacon instructed the scribes, who carried out their work in the scriptorium. The alphabet was taught both in the business hand (cursive) and in the book script (uncial). On the evidence of literary reports (Athanasius Apology to …

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Theban Hermitages

THEBAN HERMITAGES Many Christian sites on the left bank of the Nile opposite Luxor cannot be definitely labeled genuine monasteries, although the local inhabitants use the name dayr (monastery). What we know of these hermitages follows. In the Valley of the Kings, several celebrated tombs preserve vestiges of their occupation by hermits. We may cite …

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