The Monastery of at Bala’iza and Its Literary Texts

Dayr al-Bala’iza, situated at the edge of the desert on the west bank of the some eighteen to nineteen kilometers south of Asyut, gained initial recognition among Coptic scholars through the large cache of manuscripts, both literary and documentary, discovered at the site during the excavations conducted by Flinders in 1907[1] and subsequently pub­lished by Paul in 1954.[2] Petrie’s archeological efforts and subsequently published accounts focused as usual on the pharaonic period. The Coptic sites that were explored as part of the larger program, including Dayr al- Bala’iza, receive limited and incomplete treatment at best.

The peripheral attention given to this material led, in fact, to questionable and seemingly contradictory theories as well as occasional confusion of materials from various sites.[3] In the introduction to the published account of the work at Giza and Rifa, for example, the Coptic sites or dayrs situated south of Asyut are described as all of one type; in each case, a quarry-cave of Roman age has served as a refuge for the Egyptian at the Arab invasion; walls were built in the great rock caverns to divide them into houses; as peace became established the buildings extended out over the foot-hill in front of the quarry-cave; lastly, at any time during the past eight centuries, one or another of the old strongholds has been abandoned, and the Copts have settled in on the edge of the cultivation, leaving their old refuges with little or no regard. (Petrie 1907:2; Grossmann 1993:172)

While such a view, as Peter Grossmann rightly observes, “fully calls into question the meaning [of the site] as a monastery in the sense of a settle­ment and abode for monks,” elsewhere in the same volume Crum takes the monastic nature of the site for granted, and the Archeological Report 1906- 1907 reports that Petrie “explored the ruins of two Coptic monasteries at Balaizah and Ganadlah.”[4] It is difficult to reconcile the two statements. The monastic nature of the site was confirmed by Kahle’s 1954 edition and discussion of the Bala’iza texts, many of which leave little doubt as to their monastic provenance (Kahle 1954, vol. 1:1-45).

Clarity with respect to the significant physical remains of the site, however, had to await sur­veys conducted by Peter Grossmann between 1982 and 1985, accounts of which appeared in print initially in 1984 and fully in 1993 (Grossmann 1986; Grossmann 1993: pl. 12—16; Grossmann 1991; see also Coquin and Martin 1991a). His careful analysis of the evidence greatly improved on the earlier accounts, supplying detailed and fascinating information on the monastery’s site plan, its various buildings, its organizational structure, and its history, in so far as they can be reconstructed.[5]

The Physical Monastery and Its History

The monks of Bala’iza their monastery outward from within the bowl-shaped space and caves cut into the face of the western cliff by one of the earlier Roman-era quarrying operations common to this region of Egypt (Grossmann 1986: 35). The existence of a functioning deep well in connection with the quarrying operation surely drew the initial monastic inhabitants to the site and facilitated its later expansion (Grossmann 1993:175).

The evidence suggests that the ascetic community began within the quarry face and caves, improved by the monks for their own use through the construction of additional -brick walls (Gross­mann 1993: 176; Grossmann 1986: 35—36). Subsequent expansion moved outward from the inner recesses of the quarry with additional buildings constructed in tiers down the slope of the escarpment toward the below. The whole complex was eventually encircled by a long wall that connected to the cliff faces on either side of the quarry.[6]

Specifics with respect to the initial use of the site by Christian ascetics, however, remain obscure. Dated documents uncovered among the texts found at Bala’iza range from ad 685 to 740, indicating primary occupation and use of the site as a monastery from the late seventh to the middle of the eighth century (Kahle 1954, vol. 1:16; Grossmann 1986:35; Grossmann 1993: 203). The initial use of the site by monks could, of course, have begun somewhat earlier, prior to the period when its size and prestige led to the production of the vast majority of documentary texts.[7]

Kahle suggests that “the rather considerable number of early literary texts found at Bala’izah [the majority date before ad 685, with some reaching back to the fourth and fifth centuries] makes it probable that the settlement existed long before the eighth century” (Kahle 1954, vol. 1: 20). Grossmann, however, advises caution in the use of the literary texts to date the occupation of the site, pointing out that such texts may well have come to the monastery after its later founding, either as possessions of individual monks or as gifts (Grossmann 1993:205; Kahle 1954, vol. 1:16—17).

The fact that the scribal hand of one fourth-century manuscript from Bala’iza closely resembles the hand of the scribe who copied Pistis Sophia in the Askew Codex appears to support this contention (Kahle 1954, vol. 1: 7; vol. 2: 322—27 (Ms. 7 = 4 Kings); Grossmann 1993: 205). More reliable evidence of earlier monastic occupation comes from the structure of the small lower church near the gate, which Grossmann dates to the middle of the seventh century (Gross­mann 1993: 205). Claims of earlier occupation remain speculative. As for the end of the site’s monastic usage, Kahle holds that “there seems little doubt that the monastery was either deserted or destroyed shortly after ad 750, a time when most of the lesser Coptic monasteries disappeared” (Kahle 1954, vol. 1: 19).

Grossmann, while noting limited evidence that suggests some form of continuing occupation at least until the beginning of the ninth century, agrees that the end of Bala’iza as a significant monas­tic community must correspond with the end of the papyrological record, which occurs in the mid-eighth century.[8] It thus seems best to identify Dayr al-Bala’iza as a significant early-Arabic-era Coptic monastery of the mid-seventh to the mid-eighth century.

In its heyday, the Bala’iza monastery would have made a strong visual impression on those who looked up from the valley below toward the cliffs against which it had been built. Impressive structures formed a sizable community or ‘city in the desert’ shut off from behind by the cliffs of the quarry and from the front and sides by a newly constructed wall.[9]

The entrance would have been gained through a gate that opened midway along the eastern wall facing down into the valley. Visitors were housed in a guesthouse located outside of the wall adjacent to the gate, and a gate­keeper regulated entrance from a small room inside the wall beside the gate (Grossmann 1993:194-96). Having gained entrance through the wall, one would have noticed first the community’s well to the right, followed by a small three-aisled church further up the escarpment on the left.[10]

Above the church ranged the majority of the buildings, constructed on natural tiers in the escarpment leading up into the basin of the quarry. As one ascended to this portion of the monastic ‘city,’ one would have been struck first by the two sizable three-aisled refectories that sat side by side in the center of the first tier of buildings. These were surrounded on both sides and above by a series of single- and multi-story buildings built along narrow streets, each with long narrow rooms that served to accommodate the monks. Narrow windows that allowed for the circulation of air but minimal light suggest that these buildings functioned as monastic sleeping quarters or dormitories.[11]

The buildings above the two refectories would have accommodated some four hundred monks, which, when considered alongside the monastery’s significantly greater overall surface area, suggests that Dayr al-Bala’iza might well have housed over one thousand ascetics during its peak period of operation (Grossmann 1993:202). Moving above the monks’ quarters, one would have come to a series of buildings, includ­ing one to the north with a series of niches in its walls that suggest its use for the community’s archive and library.[12] Beyond these, one enters into the quarry itself, where one finds a second, sizable church, constructed around and out from a cave that formed part of the remains of the bowl of the quarry (Grossmann 1993: 181-85).

South of this cave church along the west side of the quarry’s rock face lies an installation with a series of basins, perhaps used to full or felt cloth, followed in turn by a series of small rooms built into the southwest corner of the quarry’s cliff face, the purpose of which remains unknown.[13]

The extensive monastic campus with its impressive physical structures, the evidence of expansion over the more than one hundred years of its existence, and the numerous documents to which we will soon turn all suggest that the Monastery of Apollo at Bala’iza played an integral role in the Upper Egyptian cultural landscape of the seventh-eighth centuries.The gated, walled-in community, with guesthouse, gatehouse, two churches, two refectories, library, and numerous dormitories establishes the monastery’s general cenobitic nature.

Early efforts sought naturally to link the monas­tery to the Pachomian movement through its apparent ancient designation as the Monastery of Apollo, mentioned in no fewer than twenty-six docu­ments uncovered at the site (Crum 1907b: 39; Kahle 1954, vol. 1: 15). Assuming that the monastery was named after its founder, Kahle suggested the possible identification of this Apollo with the Pachomian monk of the same name who left the Monastery of Pbow during the sixth-century conflict over Chalcedon that shattered the federation.[14]

The panegyric on this Apollo mentions his subsequent founding of two ascetic communi­ties.[15] While the linkage fits nicely into the traditional view of Egyptian cenobitic monasticism as fundamentally Pachomian in origin, Grossmann rightly dismisses the suggestion (Grossmann 1993:171, n. 3). Among other problems, he notes the infrequent mention of in the Bala’iza texts and the fact that little evidence exists of the community’s existence prior to the middle of the seventh century, much too late to be the result of the Pachomian Apollo’s mid-sixth-century efforts.

Even more significant, again as Grossmann makes clear, the dormitories at Bala’iza were con­structed as sleeping quarters for multiple monks, a structural format at odds with the Pachomian practice of housing each monk in his own cell or the later Shenoutian development that placed two or three monks in the same room (Grossmann 1993: 201-202).

While one might view the dormitories at Bala’iza as a further development along this same path, it seems clear that the end result represents a distinctly different cenobitic structure. While the Monastery of Apollo at Bala’iza may have been influenced in a general way by earlier efforts, such as those of Pachomius and Shenoute, the evidence supports its independent development. Its distinctive cenobitic structure, including its numerous dormitories, sets it apart from other known ascetic communities, serving once again to underscore the diversity of monastic practice in Egypt.[16]

The Manuscripts

The new-found clarity with respect to the structural campus of the Mon­astery of Apollo at Bala’iza allows one to better situate the better-known Bala’iza manuscripts within their proper historical context. While it is unfortunate that those who explored the site in 1907 kept no record of where the manuscripts were found, it seems evident that they represent, in Crum’s words, “the debris of the monastic library and charterhouse” (Crum 1907b: 39; cf. Kahle 1954, vol. 1: 3). The find included over three thousand fragments, including both literary and documentary texts (Kahle 1954, vol. 1:5). While most were naturally written in Coptic (85 percent), a lesser number of Greek (9 percent) and Arabic (6 percent) texts also occur (Kahle 1954, vol. 1: 8). The Coptic texts are principally Sahidic, though the collection does include two items in the Fayoumic dialect and three in Bohairic.[17]

The Greek texts include four literary pieces and a number of documentary texts dealing with tax issues, including two letters from the Arab governor.[18] The Arabic documents again deal mainly with tax and administrative issues (Kahle 1954, vol. 1: 9). Of the Coptic and Greek material, Kahle deemed 375 fragments worth publishing, including 63 lit­erary and 312 documentary texts.[19] The non-literary texts, on which Kahle based his important analysis of Coptic dialect variations,[20] supply a fasci­nating view into the workings of a late Byzantine-era Coptic monastery.

Kahle’s introduction includes chapters on the various monasteries men­tioned in the texts (chs. 3-4), the community’s organization as evidenced in the use of various technical terms (ch. 5), issues of taxation (ch. 6), and the use of an unusual oath formula (ch. 7). The texts, as one has come to expect, portray an ascetic community that, while spatially separate, remained fully integrated into the broader cultural and environment.

Legal documents record appointments within the monastery, repayment of debts, deeds of sale for land and movable property, of various sorts, tax assessments, and tax . One finds lists and accounts related to taxes, monastic expenses, food, wine, wheat, skins, and church (?) property, all of which serve to detail the inner workings of the community. The cache of texts supplies valuable information on the taxes paid by monastic com­munities in the Arab period, including a land tax, poll tax, expenses tax, and what appears to be a special artisan’s tax. The tax documents include texts in Coptic, Greek, and Arabic, all of which indicate a heavy commu­nal burden that frequently required the monastery to borrow or appoint as superior a wealthy individual who could effectively shoulder the burden (Kahle 1954, vol. 1: 41—45 (Chapter 6:Taxation at Bala’izah)).

The fragments of over one hundred letters include documents from the Arab governor, letters to and from the bishop, and various letters relating to government service, monastic issues, legal matters, and taxation. Once again, the monastery’s involvement with the civil and ecclesiastical world beyond its walls is clear. While spatially isolated, the web of governmen­tal, ecclesiastical, and societal engagement reached into and absorbed the monastic community into a broader cultural framework. Four letters writ­ten by a monk named Shenoute (nos. 188-91) underscore the interactive relationship between the monastery and the outside world.

Having been expelled earlier for some infraction of the rules, Shenoute wishes to return, but has been warned by those with whom he is currently living that if he returns to the monastery he will be singled out for some extra duties (?). He writes expressing his desire to return, but also wanting assurance that he would be treated like all the other monks (Kahle 1954, vol. 2: 602—22). Clearly the affairs of the monastery were the subject of discussion outside its walls. So, too, a rare Coptic marriage contract (no. 152) found among the documents illustrates familial ties that reached across the monastic wall.[21]

Victor, the groom and hence probably not a member of the community, is the son of Makare the priest, who most likely represents the connecting link to the monastery. Kahle speculates that he had left a wife and two sons behind when he embarked on the monastic life, and that the family had later assembled at the monastery on the occasion of Victor’s marriage to receive the fathers blessing.[22] Why the contract remained in the monastery, however, is not explained.

The non-literary documents from Dayr al-Bala’iza, together with the impressive physical remains visible from the fertile valley below, establish the Monastery of Apollo at Bala’iza as both a visible symbol of the other­worldliness of the ascetic calling and, at the same time, an integrated player in the political, social, and ecclesiastical realities that formed Upper Egyp­tian culture and society in the seventh and eighth centuries.

While Kahle’s 1954 analysis of these texts certainly goes a long way in reconstructing the world of the monastery, one suspects that a new, detailed examination of this material that connects it more fully with Grossmann’s reconstruction of the physical campus, drawing at the same time on the ever-increasing corpus of documentary texts from other sites, would fashion an intriguing picture of a single early Arab-period Coptic cenobitic community. My interest in the following few pages, however, turns to the monastery’s literary texts, which, while published in Kahle’s edition, played only a minor role in his analysis.

The Collection of Literary Texts

Kahle’s list of literary manuscripts includes some sixty-three separate texts.[23] Of these, the first twenty-five are biblical, including ten texts from the Old Testament and fifteen from the New Testament. As expected, though always interesting, the New Testament manuscripts include copies of (3), Luke (1), and John (2), but no Mark. Kahle associates a fur­ther fragment that appears to be biblical or apocryphal and an apocryphal gospel with the biblical texts insofar as he places them immediately after the biblical texts in his list (nos. 26—27).

The following twenty-five frag­ments (nos. 28—51), while not separated out by Kahle as a group, represent primarily patristic and ascetical texts. These include copies of the liturgy and the canons of Basil, lives of various ascetics (Apa Jacob the Anchorite, Apa Hamoi, and two copies of Paul the Anchorite), two encomiums (one for an archpriest and one for a bishop), two martyrdoms, including one of St. Theodore the Oriental, two prayers (one in Greek), seven or eight homilies, including one attributed to Athanasius and one against Nestorius, a copy of on the Archangel Michael, and four asceti­cal texts, including a collection of apothegms, an introduction to a series of rules,[24] a story about Athanasius and Antony, and a page containing advice to a monk.

The final eleven fragments in Kahle’s list include a gnostic treatise (no. 52), two unidentified fragments, and nine miscellaneous items listed together as varia. These include a historical chart, a list of canonical books, an epitaph, a prayer, an amulet (?), a horoscope (?) in Bohairic, and three magical texts—a very interesting hodgepodge of items for a seventh­eighth century monastic library. It is interesting to note that nothing from Shenoute appears among the surviving manuscripts.[25]

I do not have space here to analyze the collection of literary texts in detail, but want rather to focus on their dates as supplied by Kahle and speculate a bit on what the evidence suggests with respect to the mon­astery’s acquisition and preservation of manuscripts. A table containing Kahle’s list of literary texts together with the dates he ascribes to them appears at the end of this chapter (fig. 5.3).[26] 1 have further divided his nine date categories (centuries 4,4—5,5, etc.) into three (centuries 4 to 5,5—6 to 6—7, and 7 to 8), separated by narrow black dividing lines. The last category, centuries 7 to 8, which corresponds to the main occupation of the monas­tery, is shaded gray. In the following list and corresponding graph (figs. 5.1 and 5.2), I have added up the number of manuscripts assigned by Kahle to each of the nine-century markers that he used (4, 4—5, 5, etc.)

I have altered Kahle’s list in only one respect: I have moved the so-called Gnostic Treatise, Kahle’s ms. 52, up so as to include it with the other biblical and apocryphal texts. The treatise, which contains a dialogue between Jesus and John, and is replete with typical ‘gnostic’ revelatory language, prop­erly belongs with the accounts of Jesus, biblical and apocryphal.[27] Kahle’s separation and relegation of it to the end of his list, just before the odd col­lection of varia, speaks more to nineteenth-century attitudes toward such material than to those of the era of their production and continuing use.

 

Fig. 5.1. Number of texts from Bala’iza by subject and century: table

Century

4

4-5

5

5-6

6

6-7

7

7-8

8

Biblical/apocryphal/ so-called ‘gnostic’

5

4

3

6

3

2

4

0

1

Patristic/ascetic

0

0

0

1

2

2

6

9

4

Charts/lists// amulets/horoscopes/magic

0

0

0

0

0

2

1

1

5

Fig. 5.2. Number of texts from Bala’iza by subject and century: graph
Fig. 5.2. Number of texts from Bala’iza by subject and century: graph

What becomes immediately clear in this list is the division between the biblical/apocryphal texts, the majority of which predate the monastery’s existence, and the remaining patristic/ascetic/other texts, which mostly derive from the era of the monastery itself, perhaps copied in its own . In fact, with the movement of the so-called Gnostic Treatise to its proper location, all twelve manuscripts dating from the fourth to the fifth century, 100 percent of those surviving in the monastery, belong to the biblical/apocryphal category.

Between the fourth and the sixth to seventh centuries, twenty-three of the twenty-eight manuscripts, over 80 percent, derived from the same category. When one moves to the seventh to eighth centuries, the era of the monastery’s existence, however, only five of the thirty-one manuscripts, some 16 percent, represent biblical/apocryphal texts, while nineteen (over 61 percent) preserve patristic or ascetic material.

If the Monastery of Apollo had its origins in the middle of the seventh century, it means that most of its biblical texts, including the so-called Gnostic Treatise, came from pre-existing sources outside of the community. Whether brought by individuals who joined the monastery, donated by outside supporters, or acquired by the monks themselves, biblical texts were not the primary focus of manuscript production during the period of the monastery’s existence.

Perhaps enabled by the survival of sufficient biblical manuscripts from earlier centuries, interest had shifted to the production and/or collection of patristic and ascetic texts, including such pieces as the Canons of Basil and Eustathius of Thrace on the Archangel Michael, whose authorship lay outside of Egypt. The existence of the so-called Gnostic Treatise among the community’s holdings raises interesting questions with respect to its origin, its preservation prior to its acquisition, its acquisition by the community, and its preservation within the community.

If peak interest in so-called ‘gnostic traditions’ occurred in the second and third centuries, followed by vociferous ecclesiastical opposition and more or less successful suppression in the fourth and fifth centuries, the existence of this text at Bala’iza betrays the survival of interest in such material, to some degree, much later in the history of Egyptian Christianity. While we have no way of knowing where or how the text survived prior to its acquisition by the monastery, nor how and to what degree it was read and used within the community, it is at least clear that it did survive and that, whether actively acquired, donated, or brought to the monastery by a new member, those in charge either saw no reason or lacked the power to reject it or remove it from the monastery.

While the text’s earlier survival might have depended on mere chance and its preservation in the monastery on the fact that the struggle against gnostic traditions belonged to the past, the fact of its continued presence in the library suggests a later degree of openness to such traditions within at least certain elements of Coptic Christianity. Gnostic-oriented traditions never represented a majority position in Egypt, and the text clearly occupies a minority position in the Bala’iza collection.

It is interesting in this regard that the other suspect documents among the community’s literary holdings—the amulet (no. 59), the horoscope (no. 60), and at least one of the three magical charms (nos. 61-63)—date to the opposite extreme, namely the seventh-eighth century, the most active period of Bala’iza s existence.[28] One can only wonder about the presence of such common extra-ecclesiastical traditions within the community. Did they arrive and survive by chance, or were they produced in the monastery?

Were they treasured by certain elements within the community or were they seen as meaningless scraps? Might their existence reflect an openness to the same diversity that allowed the preservation of the so-called Gnostic Treatise? Whatever the explanation, it suggests that the boundaries that defined appropriate literature were more pervious than the received tradi­tion suggests. In the end, of course, we will never know which exigencies of history resulted in the existence of such texts within the monastery. Their production and/or preservation nonetheless raise intriguing ques­tions with respect to the nature of the community. At the same time, one has to remember their clearly limited role within the monastery.

The over­whelming majority of its texts, biblical, patristic, and ascetical, illustrate the community’s fundamental alignment with Coptic ecclesiastical orthodoxy. The Gnostic Treatise, amulet, horoscope, and magical charms account for but a small portion of the library, six out of sixty-three texts, less than 10 percent of its holdings.[29]

What conclusions can one draw from this evidence? One has to assert, first and foremost, not much with any degree of certainty. On the other hand, while the great tradition of the Church certainly shaped and con­trolled the broader culture of Coptic Christianity in the seventh- to eighth-century period of Bala’iza’s existence, other traditions, little tradi­tions if you will, persisted among the people who identified themselves as Christian. By the seventh-eighth century, all indications suggest that the great tradition in its dominant role accounted for the vast majority of textual production in Egypt. The evidence from the Monastery of Apollo supports this pattern.

At the same time, however, the continued preser­vation of so-called ‘gnostic’ and other apocryphal texts, and the ongoing production of extra-ecclesiastical amulets and charms, represent a con­tinuing, if limited, interest in such things among certain segments of the Coptic Christian population. In this regard, the ascetic inhabitants of the Monastery of Apollo appear to reflect the Coptic community as a whole. Predominantly aligned with the great tradition, elements that ran counter to it continued to find a limited place within the community.

Based on the physical evidence of the manuscripts found at Bala’iza, the monastery proves to be more similar to the Coptic community as a whole than the literary accounts of Coptic monasticism produced by those representing the great tradition suggest. While the monastery and its inhabitants may have served as an imaginative icon of the angelic life, in reality they as often as not, in many ways, mirrored the world left behind.

 

Fig. 5.3.The literary texts from Dayr al-Bala’iza and their dates[30]

Manuscripts                  Centuries                                                      Bala’iza occupied

Number

Title

4

4-5

5

5-6

6

6-7

7

7-8

8

Biblical

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

Genesis

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

2

Exodus

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3

Deuteronomy

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

4

I Samuel

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

5

I Samuel

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

6

I (III) Kings

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

7

II (IV) Kings

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8

Psalms

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

9

Psalms

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

10

Isaiah

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

11

Matthew

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

12

Gospels

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

13

Matthew

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

14

Luke

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

15

John

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

16

John

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

17

Epistles

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

18

Pauline Epistles

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

19

Philippians

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

20

Pauline Epistles

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

21

Pauline Epistles

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

22

Pauline and Catholic

Epistles

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

23

Catholic Epistles

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

24

Apocalypse

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

25

Greek—Coptic

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

26

Biblical?

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

27

Apocryphal Gospel

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

Patristic and ascetical texts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

28

Liturgy of St. Basil

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

29

Prayers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

30

Prayers

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

31

Canons of St. Basil

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

32

Apophthegmata

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

33

Sermon against

Nestorius

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

34

Life of Proclus?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

35

Athanasius and Antony

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

36

Life of Apa Jacob/

Rules

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

37

Life of Apa Hamoi

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

38

Life of Paul the Anchorite?

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

39

Life of Paul the Anchorite?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

40

Encomium on an Archpriest

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

41

Encomium on a

Bishop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

42

Martyrdom of Theodore

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

43

Martyrdom of

Theodore

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

44

Sermon by Athanasius

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

45

Eustathius ofThrace

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

46

Homily on the Virgin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

47

Homily on the Devil

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

48

Homily

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

49

Two homilies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

50

Hortatory Sermon

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

51

Advice to a Monk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

Other

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

52

Gnostic Treatise

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

53

Fragment

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

54

Fragment

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

55

Historical chart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

56

List of canonical books

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

57

Epitaph

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

58

Prayers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

59

Amulet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

60

Horoscope (Bohairic)

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

61

Magical

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

62

Magical?

No date given

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

63

Magical?

No date given

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


E. Goehring

[1] Petrie 1907:1-2,30; Crum 1907b; Petrie 1909:21, pl. 51-54; Griffith 1907:29,75. For a general review of the site, see Timm 1984, vol. 2: 686-91.

[2] Kahle 1954.The manuscripts are first mentioned in Griffith 1907:29 and Crum 1907b.

[3] Kahle (1954, vol. 1: 2), in referring to the depositing of the manuscripts from Dayr al-Bala’iza and Dayr al-Ganadla, reports that “unfortunately no attempt was made to keep the two finds separate.”

[4] Grossmann 1993: 172 n. 7 (my translation); Crum 1907b; Griffith 1907: 75. It would appear that in spite of the theory proffered in the Gizeh and Rifeh volume, Petrie and crew did treat the sites as monasteries.

[5] The following account draws heavily from Grossmann’s two articles.

[6] Grossmann 1986: 36, Ab. 1; Grossmann 1993: pl. 1 between pp. 180 and 181; Grossmann 1991: 787. Coquin and Martin (1991a: 786) note that the wall exceeds a mile in length.

[7] Grossmann 1993: 204—205; Kahle notes that “the absence of documents from any site during any particular period is not sufficient reason to assume that the locality did not exist then” (1954, vol. 1: 20).

[8] Grossmann 1993: 203—204; Coquin and Martin indicate that the “strong encircling wall would argue for a date of abandonment later than 750” (1991a: 786).

[9] The most detailed account of the site remains that of Grossmann 1993, on which this account depends.

[10] Grossmann 1993: 175 for the well, and 176-80 for the lower church.

[11] Grossmann 1993: 190—94. He sees an analogy for such construction in as yet unpublished evidence from the monastic complex of Ober-; cf. Wypszycka

2007:119-20.

[12] Grossmann 1993:185-89; he remains characteristically cautious with respect to the identification of the building as a library (188-89).

[13] Grossmann 1993:199—201. He rejects the basins’ use for wine or oil production on the basis of their structure, and notes in support of this interpretation the presence of tax receipts for “weaving-garments-tax” found among the Bala’iza texts; cf. Kahle 1954, vol. 1: 44; vol. 2: 545-48.

[14] Kahle 1954, vol. 1:18-19; cf. van Cauwenbergh 1914:158-59. On the sixth-century crisis that shattered the Pachomian federation, see Goehring 2006; Goehring 2012:

[15] Kuhn 1978, vol. 394: 34, 5—6 = vol. 395: 26,4. One of the monasteries appears to have been named the (vol. 394: 1, 5-6 = vol. 395: 1, 4—5).

[16] Grossmann (1986: 35) also notes the radically different nature of Bala’iza’s solution to monastic accommodation from that found at Kellia.

[17] Kahle 1954, vol. 1: 9-10. The Fayoumic texts include a Life of Paul the Anchorite (no. 38) and a letter (258); the Bohairic includes a copy of Philippians (19), an apparent horoscope (60), and a legal document (151).

[18] Kahle 1954, vol. 1: 8-9. The literary texts include “a fragment of Exodus (no. 2), a liturgical text, a fragment of prayers (29), and a literary work containing some curious aphorisms.”

[19] Kahle 1954, vol. 1:5; the table of contents supplies a list of the texts (xiii—xvii). Kahle numbered the literary texts (1-63) first, and then began the documentary texts with number 100; hence, numbers 64—99 do not exist. Kahle regretted that he could not include the Arabic texts in his edition (vol. 1: 9 n. 3).

[20] Kahle’s work is perhaps best known in terms of this analysis, which occupies some 220 of the 290 pages (chapters 8—9) of his introductory first volume.

[21] Kahle 1954, vol. 2: 566—71. Mentioned in Griffith 1907: 29; a first translation appeared in Crum 1907b: 42.

[22] Kahle 1954, vol. 2: 570—71; cf. ms. no. 187 (Kahle 1954, vol. 2:599-602), a text that deals with government service, with its reference to “Apa and [his] wife and his children.”

[23] Kahle 1954, vol. 1: xiii-xv supplies the list.The edited texts appear in volume 2. For the initial review, see Crum 1907b.

[24] Crum (1907b: 40) suggests the possibility of this being from the rules of Pachomius, though there is no parallel from a known text of the rules. Kahle (1954, vol. 2: 430-33) follows Crum’s suggestion, and while acknowledging the uncertainty of the attribution, fills in the lacuna that held the name of the apa to whom the rules were attributed with the name Pachom.

[25] Noted by Crum 1907b: 40.

[26] Dating Coptic manuscripts is notoriously difficult. I have for the purposes of this exercise simply used the dates assigned by Kahle, fully aware of the problems inherent in that decision.

[27] Kahle 1954, vol. 2: 473-77; an earlier, less complete edition was published by Crum

[28] Kahle (1954, vol. 2: 486—87) only supplies a date for the first magical charm (61). The other two (62-63) are so small that he lists them only as “Obscure fragment, probably magical.”

[29] Furthermore, the extent to which the pattern of the surviving manuscripts represents that of the actual holdings of the monastery remains unknown.

[30] Kahle 1954, vol. 1: xiii—xv for the list; dates found in the introductions to the individual texts in volume 2.

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