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The Documentary Background To The History Of The Patriarchs Of Ps.-Sawīrus Ibn Al-Muqaffa' CA. 750 969 C.E.

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Chapter Summary

At the level of formal organization, History of the Patriarchs of Alexandria of ps.-Sawīrus Ibn al-Muqaffaʿ consists of a series of biographies. This chapter identifies the types of ecclesiastical documents that circulated in Egypt, and to compare their form and content with the genres of papyri that survive. It looks at the documentary background of ps.- Sawīrus' patriarchal history for the period immediately after the Abbasid revolution in Egypt, that is, between ca. 750 and 969. Ps.- Sawīrus contains an important first person report by a member of the Coptic clergy dealing with the arrival of the Abbasid army and the final overthrow of the Umayyad caliph Marwān II in the mid-eighth century. The report gives a commentary on the movement of captives from Fusṭāṭ to the west bank of the Nile at Giza, in accordance with Marwān's reputed scorched earth policy in the face of the Abbasid invasion.

Keywords: Abbasid army; Coptic clergy; ecclesiastical documents; Egypt; Fusṭāṭ; patriarchal history; ps.-Sawīrus Ibn al-Muqaffaʿ; Umayyad caliph Marwān II



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