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Christianity and Monasticism in the Fayoum Oasis

Christianity began in the large and fertile Fayoum oasis of Egypt's Westem Desert as early as the third century, and its presence has endured to the present day. This volume, which constitutes a tribute to the scholarly work of the father of modern Coptology, Martin Krause, contains contributions on various aspects of Coptic civilization in Egypt's largest oasis over the past hundred years. The contributors are all International specialists in Coptology, from Australia, the Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, and the United States. A number of the studies included in this volume deal with recent archaeological discoveries at Deir al-Banat, the early Christian graves in the necropolis at the eastern edge of the Fayoum, and the monastic settlements and medieval Coptic cemetery at Naqlun. Others provide thorough examinations of archaeological sites at Karanis, Tebtunis, and Naqlun. Contributions cover the rich Christian literary heritage in Greek, Coptic, and Arabic, while art historians touch on the famous Fayoum portraits and their influence on the production of Coptic icons, as well as on the medieval wall paintings at Naqiun and in textiles, metal objects, and basketry from the region. This important volume provides for the first time an up-to-date, comprehensive treatment of Christianity and monasticism in the Fayoum Oasis.
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About the Author

Gawdat Gabra is an independent scholar specializing in Coptic studies, and former director of the Coptic Museum in Cairo. He is the author or editor of numerous books related to the literary and material culture of Egyptian Christianity, including Coptic Monasteries: Egypt's Monastic Art and Architecture and Christian Egypt: Coptic Art and Monuments through Two Millennia (both AUC Press 2002). He is the co-editor of the three volumes of The Popes of Egypt (vol. 1: AUC Press, 2004).

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