St. Pantænus was evidently aware of the Egyptian church's bicultural identity; tradition makes him responsible for the adoption of a modified Greek alphabet to transliterate Coptic. The use of this alphabet weakened Egyptian ties to pagan religion by replacing the demotic script descended from hieroglyphics, and at the same time made possible a distinct non-Greek literary and liturgical tradition in the country. It is interesting that a foreigner would be associated with the invention of the alphabet; some Coptic nationalists, bothered by this, insist he was a native Egyptian educated abroad.
Around the year 190, St. Pantænus resigned as Director and launched a mission to "India" or "Ethiopia", terms then used interchangeably for most parts of Asia and Africa not incorporated into the Romano-Persian political system. Wherever it may have been, the country to which he went had been evangelised before; Pantænus reported finding a copy of the Gospel of Matthew in Hebrew, left by the Apostles.
The post of Director of the Catechetical School after St. Pantænus's departure went to his most famous student, St. Clement of Alexandria.
--- Norman Hugh Redington
Under construction --- far from complete! Read with caution.
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