TMUIS

A city in the Eastern Delta, now known as Tall ‘Abd al-Salam.

It lies southwest of the village of Timay in the province of Daqahliyyah approximately 12 miles (19 km) southeast of al- MANSURAH.

Tmuis was one of the first Christian cities of Egypt. Ammonius was bishop of Tmuis before the middle of the third century. He was succeeded by Philippus. Around 306 the bishop of Tmuis was a man named Phileas. When Phileas suffered martyrdom, his successor was Donatus. In 325, at the time of the Council of NICAEA, Tmuis had a bishop named Ephraim as well as an orthodox bishop. The name of this orthodox bishop is not known with certainty because the lists of the bishops at the council are discrepant.

One of the most famous bishops of Tmuis was Serapion, a pupil of ANTONY, the author of the Life of MACARIUS THE EGYPTIAN, and a staunch supporter of orthodoxy. He wrote against Manichaeism and in 356, he led a delegation in support of ATHANASIUS to Constantinople. In 359, however, was removed from office and replaced by Ptolemaeus, an anti- Athanasian.

From the time of the Council of EPHESUS (431) when Aristobulus was bishop of Tmuis until the CONQUEST OF EGYPT in the seventh century, there are few attestations of Christianity in the city. Although the sources for the are more plentiful, MENAS is still the only bishop of Tmuis from this era whose chronological position can be ascertained. He was a contemporary of the ISAAC (686-689), but he was still in office in 744 at which time he attended the synod in Cairo that chose KHAIL I (744-767) to be the forty-sixth patriarch.

The SYNAXARION lists the commemoration of Menas on 7 Hatur, stating that he hailed from Samannud, had been a monk in the Monastery of Macarius (see DAYR MAQAR) in Wadi al- Natrun, and was the spiritual father of the patriarchs ALEXANDER II (705-730), COSMAS I (730-731), THEODORE (731-743), and Kha’il I. Under the date 30 Kiyahk the Synaxarion adds that Menas had also been a student of of Scetis (see FORTY-NINE MARTYRS OF SCETIS).

By the end of the tenth century Tmuis seems to have joined with DAQAHLAH to form an ecclesiastical administrative unit. During the tenure of the ZACHARIAS (1104-1032), when Tmuis had apparently lost its standing as a bishopric, Bishop Mercurius of Tilbanah became ill and made a pilgrimage to Tmuis where there was a renowned church of the Virgin Mary. At that time Tmuis belonged to the diocese of Bishop Mercurius.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

  • Amélineau, E. La Géographie de l’Egypte a l’époque copte, pp. 500-502. Paris, 1893.
  • Casey, R. P. of Thmuis Against the Manichees. Cambridge, Mass., 1931.
  • Harnack, A. von. Mission und Ausbreitung des Christentums in den ersten drei Jahrhunderten, Vol. 2. Leipzig, 1924.
  • Le Quien, M. Oriens Christianus, 3 vols. Graz, 1958. Reprint of Paris, 1740.
  • Munier, H. Recueil des listes épiscopales de l’église copte. Cairo, 1943.
  • Timm, S. Das christlich-koptische Ägypten in arabischer Zeit, pt. 5. Wiesbaden, 1988.

RANDALL STEWART