Yuhanna Al-Maqsi

YUHANNA AL-MAQSI

A fourteenth-century hieromonk at DAYR AL-BARAMUS in the Wadi al-Natrun. Yuhanna lived for a certain period at DAYR AL-QUSAYR, which was situated at Turah about 15 miles (24 km) south of Old Cairo at a monastery he calls “the mount of Saint Arsenios, known as the “cells.'” It was there in 1329 that he copied the NOMOCANON of al-Safi IBN AL-‘ASSAL, completing his work in June 1329.

The manuscript is now at the Monastery of Saint Macarius in the Wad al-Natrun. On folio 245v we find the colophon in Arabic, accompanied by a cryptogram in Coptic characters, which explains the ethnic surname of this monk. At the beginning of the twentieth century, the abbot ‘Abd al-Masih Salib al-Masu‘di al-Baramusi read it as al-Muqassi (with a shaddah, cf. note to fol. 1). The name indicates that the monk came from the port town of al-Maqs, outside the city of Cairo, the fortress of which forms the west corner of the north wall built by Saladin (Salah al-Din) between 1176 and 1193 in order to encircle the city of Cairo.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

  • Zanetti, U. “Un Cryptogramme copte de Pierre V d’Alexandrie.” Analecta Bollandiana 100 (1982):692-700.

KHALIL SAMIR, S.J.

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