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Christianity and Monasticism in Middle Egypt$
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Gawdat Gabra and Hany Takla

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9789774166631

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774166631.001.0001

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The Place of Qusqam in the Textual Data on the Flight into Egypt

The Place of Qusqam in the Textual Data on the Flight into Egypt

(p.113) 11 The Place of Qusqam in the Textual Data on the Flight into Egypt
Christianity and Monasticism in Middle Egypt

Ashraf Alexandre Sadek

American University in Cairo Press

Dayr al-Muharraq could very well be the most blessed place in Egypt for Christian Egyptians. The fame of Dayr al-Muharraq is linked to its history—a history that is very much dependent on the traditions of the Holy Family's sojourn on the spot, Qusqam, where the monastery now stands. On what grounds did such traditions develop? This chapter examines fifty texts that may be considered as textual “sources” of the traditions on the coming of the Holy Family to Egypt. These texts have only two points in common: they mention at least one aspect of the legend of the Flight into Egypt, and they all have their origin before the eighth century. Apart from that, they are extremely different and belong to four main categories: the apocryphal infancy gospels; reports of pilgrims and travelers during antiquity and the early Middle Ages; Church Fathers in early anti-Christian literature; and Coptic textual evidence. The first part of the chapter is dedicated to the presentation of these texts; the second part deals with the events or facts they mention.

Keywords:   Dayr al-Muharraq, Qusqam, Holy Family, apocryphal infancy gospels, Coptic textual evidence, Christian Egyptians

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