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The Nile Valley from Canopus to Philae

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Chapter Summary

The catechetical school of Alexandria, where Clement and Origen gave shape to the Christian sophistic as a definitive movement, was oriented to an urban population and had no influence whatsoever on the spread of Christianity to the territoria of the cities of the Nile basin. Shenute, as the son of a wealthy farmer of the village of Shenalolet in the territorium of the city of Shmin, knew the basics of farming and the propitiatory rites connected with the agricultural cycle. It can hardly be doubted that Shenute's patronage of the Coptic peasantry aided the spread of Christianity in the towns and villages of the Upper Nile valley. The temple complex on the island of Philae on the Upper Nile in the province of Second Thebais provides the decisive example of a site at which the local cult persisted throughout the fifth century.

Keywords: Christianity; Philae; Shenalolet; Shmin; territoria; Thebais; Upper Nile valley



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