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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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Christianity and Monasticism in al-Bahnasa according to Arabic Sources

Christianity and Monasticism in al-Bahnasa according to Arabic Sources

(p.21) 3 Christianity and Monasticism in al-Bahnasa according to Arabic Sources
Christianity and Monasticism in Middle Egypt

Sherin Sadek El Gendi

American University in Cairo Press

This chapter presents Arabic sources that describe Christianity and monasticism in the city of al-Bahnasa during the centuries after the Arab conquest of Egypt. Arabic sources describe Al-Bahnasa as flourishing due to its ancient Egyptian temples, Coptic monasteries, and churches. John of Nikiou mentions the city while writing about the Arab conquest of Egypt. Abu al-Makarim also writes that the churches of this city and the neighborhood are several and specifically mentions the church of St. Ammon (Abamun). He mentions the existence of about 360 churches in the area of al-Bahnasa. Among them are the church of Mary and the church of St. John or Abu Hanna the martyr. Al-Maqrizi (d. AH 845/AD 1441) mentions that the city of al-Bahnasa was built by a Copt named Minawish ibn Minqawish. He also writes about the Monastery of the Holy Virgin Mary, outside Tanbda, a small village away from the main road.

Keywords:   Christianity, monasticism, Arab conquest, Egypt, John of Nikiou, Abu al-Makarim, Al-Maqrizi

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