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Epigraphy and History in the Theban Region

Epigraphy and History in the Theban Region

(p.147) 14 Epigraphy and History in the Theban Region
Christianity and Monasticism in Upper Egypt
Gawdat GabraHany N. Takla
American University in Cairo Press

The study of inscriptions — epigraphy — is usually considered a dull subject. The information provided by individual inscriptions may often not seem very exciting, as they provide mainly names and rarely dates. Inscriptions may not be very informative, but the picture becomes different when they are part of a broader dossier, including archaeological, art-historical, and papyrological material. As the region is vast and diverse, and offers a great amount and variety of material, this presentation focuses on the Theban area, which makes up its core both geographically and in terms of the density and distribution of the epigraphic material, and on the important Christian monuments of Esna, further south. The Theban West Bank counts several major temples that have been reused in Christian times. But the nature and history of their secondary use varies widely. An entirely different situation prevails in temples that became centers of monastic communities.

Keywords:   inscriptions, Theban region, Christian monuments, Esna, epigraphy, temples, monastic communities

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