Sawiros Ibn Al-Muqafah, Bishop of Al-Ushmunain
(Latin SEVERUS ASCHMONIENSIS)
Severus of al-Ushmunain worked as a government scribe before becoming a
A man well-versed in Coptic tradition and in Greek philosophy,
Severus gained a reputation as a scholar and so was elected in
987 bishop of Ushmunain, Upper Egypt. A skilled exegete, Severus
defended Coptic theology against the Muslims and the Melkites;
he was active in many religious disputes. As a monk, he wrote a
book about the councils, and he is best known for his History of
the Patriarchs of Alexandria, of which he wrote the lives from St.
Mark to Philotheus (976-979). Others continued his work. Drawing
on Eusebius, an earlier history of the patriarchs, and biographies,
Severus refused to rely on only one manuscript of his sources.
He was, in addition, among the first Coptic authors to write in Arabic.
Karen Rae Keck
- History of the Patriarchs of Alexandria: (selected books):
By the author and later scribes.
- The Tale of
Theodosius the Jew
A story with antisemitic overtones claiming
that Jesus was enrolled among
the Jewish priests and known by them to be the
Messiah, embedded in a very
interesting "frame story" depicting the far from
clear-cut relations of Jews and Gentiles
in the Byzantine Near East and the author's
awareness of the situation's psychological
St. Mark, Apostle and Evangelist:
The story of the evangelization of Egypt and
of the Apostle's martyrdom.
St. Demetrius, Twelfth Patriarch:
Demetrius was patriarch in the time of Origen and led the opposition
to his teachings, a conflict depicted in the second half of this work.
The first half focuses on the personal life of the saint, who was one
of the last famous married bishops.
The author's desire to praise chastity perhaps goes a bit overboard.
St. Cyril the Great, Twenty-fourth Patriarch:
Illustrates how this most celebrated of Egyptian hierarchs and his
opponent Nestorius were remembered in the X Century.
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