[St. Pachomius Library]



Primis (in northern Nobadia, now within the political borders of Egypt), was an important Nubian cultural centre from at least 1000 BC until the XVI Century. It was the site of what was probably the country's first church, a converted pagan temple originally built by the "Black pharaoh" of Egypt, Tarhaqa, centuries before. Primis and Pachoras were the two main sees of the Nubian Church. Pachoras seems to have been more important in the days of Nubia's greatness, but Primis outlasted its rival (despite a devastating 1172 raid and occupation by Saladin's brother Shams al-Dawla and the temporary conversion of the Cathedral into a mosque). By the XIV Century, there was no longer a functioning cathedral in Pachoras, and Bishop Timothy evidently held both titles. There was still a bishop (Mark) in the following century, but Primis declined under Islamic rule and is today completely uninhabited. At the time of this writing (2007), the ruins of the Christian city are in danger because of the decision to raise the water-level in Lake Nasser.

--- Norman Hugh Redington

Under construction --- far from complete! Read with caution.


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