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Copts And The Islam Of The Seventh Century

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Chapter Summary

The Islamic conquest of Egypt in AD 640-642 had far-reaching consequences for the country. The impact of such an event ought to be reflected in the contemporary sources, assuming that authentic contemporary sources have indeed come down to us. This chapter deals only with texts that reflect the relationship between Coptic Christians on one side and Muslims and their beliefs on the other. It first compiles characteristic statements from Müller’s research on the History of the Patriarchs. It then considers five Coptic texts: (1) the Romance of Cambyses, which has been held by some to be contemporary with the Islamic conquest; (2) the Legend of Eudoxia and the Holy Sepulchre; (3) the patriarch John with the Egyptian governor ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz; (4) Vita of Patriarch Isaac; (5) Panegyric of the Thee Children of Babylon which may have been written shortly after the Arab invasion of Egypt.

Keywords: ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz; Arab invasion; Christians; Coptic texts; Islam; Legend of Eudoxia and the Holy Sepulchre; Panegyric of the Thee Children of Babylon; Romance of Cambyses



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