September 28, 2013

Christian Period of Ancient Egypt

Christian Period
Background
Upper Egypt is studded with monasteries, hermitages and churches, some of which date to the 4th and 5th centuries. As a descriptive guide to the antiquities of Upper Egypt, this book would therefore fall short of its purpose if it did not cover, however selectively, some of the early Christian monuments that lie within easy access of the sites described, and identify some of the pharaonic temples that were converted into churches.

Christian Period of Ancient Egypt
The historical background given below is by no means a comprehensive summary of the development of Christianity in Egypt, which, according to tradition, was introduced by St Mark in the reign of Nero (AD 54-68); nor does it enter into the theological disputes that ultimately led to the separation of the Egyptian Christians (Orthodox Copts) from the Eastern Church of the Roman Empire. Its purpose is to trace the cultural continuum; to show why the Egyptians under Roman occupation were so ready to embrace a doctrine that offered hope; to indicate some details of iconography - the art of religious illustration - that were drawn from indigenous sources; and to identify certain architectural features which reflect inspiration from earlier times.

Christian Period of Ancient Egypt

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