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Christianity and Monasticism in Wadi al-NatrunEssays from the 2002 International Symposium of the Saint Mark Foundation and the Saint Shenouda the Archimandrite Coptic Society$
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Maged S.A. Mikhail and Mark Moussa

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9789774162602

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774162602.001.0001

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The Multiethnic Character of the Wadi al-Natrun

The Multiethnic Character of the Wadi al-Natrun

(p.12) The Multiethnic Character of the Wadi al-Natrun
Christianity and Monasticism in Wadi al-Natrun

Maged S.A. Mikhail

Mark Moussa

American University in Cairo Press

This chapter examines in particular the inhabitants of Wadi al-Natrun, who came from several ethnic groups other than native Egyptians or Copts. The history of the Wadi al-Natrun can be traced back to earlier pharaonic times when the trade route ran from Buhaira and Farāfrah. The multiethnic character of the Wadi al-Natrun is reflected in the names of two monasteries which are still active today: Dayr as-Surian, the Syrian Monastery, and Dayr al-Baramus, the Monastery of the Romans. The ethnic problems in the Scetis are presented. It also explains the foundation of the al-Baramus Monastery and the early historical developments in the Wadi al-Natrun. The new, cenobitic form of monastic life fostered the establishment of other religious communities in the Scetis.

Keywords:   Wadi al-Natrun, Buhaira, Farāfrah, multiethnic character, Dayr as-Surian, Dayr al-Baramus, Scetis

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