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Two Thousand Years of Coptic Christianity$
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Otto F. A. Meinardus

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9789774247576

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774247576.001.0001

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The Coptic Church: Its Churches and Monasteries, Ancient and Modern

The Coptic Church: Its Churches and Monasteries, Ancient and Modern

(p.143) 3 The Coptic Church: Its Churches and Monasteries, Ancient and Modern
Two Thousand Years of Coptic Christianity

Otto F.A. Meinardus

American University in Cairo Press

During the first century and the first half of the second century, the spread of Christianity in Alexandria and in Egypt had not been considerable. It appears that Alexandrian Christianity was rather syncretistic. Hadrian, according to a letter to Servianus in 134, saw Christians who worshiped Serapis and those who called themselves bishops of Christ devoting themselves to Serapis. Thus, Alexandrians prostrated themselves before Serapis or Christ impartially. From the beginning of the reign of Commodus in 180, the Christian religion appeared firmly established in Alexandria, almost completely purified of its Gnostic doctrines and all traces of paganism. By the time of Septimius Severus (193–211), Christianity had begun to make history, and from this period onward its development was very rapid. This chapter gives an account of the most celebrated churches in Alexandria in the fourth century.

Keywords:   Christianity, Alexandria, Egypt, Servianus, Serapis

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