Zotenberg

Dayr Anba Helias

DAYR ANBA HELIAS A twelfth-century Ethiopian monastery in Wadi al-Natrun. In all the documents that concern this monastery, it is linked with the presence of Ethiopian monks. It is not that no other Ethiopian monks lived in other places in Wadi al-Natrun, but this monastery appears to have been populated exclusively by Ethiopians. The presence …

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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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Patriarch Gabriel III

PATRIARCH GABRIEL III The life of the monk and priest Ghubriyāl, who eventually became Coptic patriarch Gabriel III (usually counted as the 77th patriarch, 1268–1271), bears witness to both the flourishing of literary and scientific activity as well as to the turbulence of ecclesiastical and social affairs that characterize Coptic Orthodox history in the middle decades …

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Timothy II Aelurus

TIMOTHY II AELURUS The twenty-sixth patriarch of the See of Saint Mark (457-477). Along with Philoxenus of Mabbug and SEVERUS OF ANTIOCH, Timothy was the preeminent champion of MONOPHYSITISM. He adhered to CYRIL’S well-known formula “one incarnate nature of the divine Logos” and took up DIOSCORUS’ cause when the latter was deposed at CHALCEDON. Consecrated …

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Theophilus

THEOPHILUS The twenty-third patriarch of the See of Saint Mark (385-412). A complex and controversial patriarch, Theophilus was much admired for his many writings, his destruction of pagan temples and subsequent church-building program, as well as his important role as a mediator of schisms at Antioch, Bostra, and Jerusalem during the early part of his …

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John Of Nikiou

JOHN OF NIKIOU A seventh-century bishop of Nikiou in the Prosopite nome, in the southwest Delta—a place already known in the third century B.C. All that we know of his life is contained in the HISTORY OF THE PATRIARCHS. In the History he is present at the death of the patriarch JOHN III of Samannud …

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Saint Theognosta

SAINT THEOGNOSTA A fifth-century virgin who introduced Christianity to Georgia (feast day: 17 Tut). (Caucasian Georgia). The legend of the conversion of Georgia to Christianity has in Coptic one of its most complex and impressive witnesses. But as often happens in Coptic sources, the legend, unrecognizable in the scattered Sahidic fragments, is not told in …

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Benjamin I

BENJAMIN I The thirty-eighth patriarch of the See of Saint Mark (622- 661). He was born about 590 at Barshut, a village in the province of Beheirah in the western Delta. Benjamin was undoubtedly one of the greatest patriarchs of the Coptic church. He lived through the tremendous upheavals of the Persian invasion (619-629) and …

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Christian And Medieval Alexandria

CHRISTIAN AND MEDIEVAL ALEXANDRIA The capital of the Ptolemies and the seat of the Roman prefect and of innumerable patriarchs, heresiarchs, and other products of Christian sectarianism, Alexandria rapidly lost its importance after the establishment of AL-FUSTAT (Cairo) as the new Muslim capital in 973. As the former capital, Alexandria, according to some, particularly P. …

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