NOTES ON THE MARTYRDOM OF JOHN OF PHANIJOIT (BHO 519) LESLIE S.B. MACCOULL Society for Coptic Archaeology (North America) ABSTRACT This text, the editio princeps of which was published in 1887, has not been studied since 1901. It is the narrative of the passion and martyrdom of a certain John, a Coptic Christian who had apostasized to Islam but decided to return and, openly proclaiming his Christian faith, was executed in Cairo on a date fixed at 29 April 1211 C.E. Wherther John of Phanijoit actually existed or not, the construction of his story reflects the tensions in multi-ethnic Egyptian society under the Ayyubids and the changing nature of what it meant to be a Christian living under Muslim rule. "The more dangerous a subject, the more interesting it is." - Andrei Linde, "Quantum Cosmology and Global Structure of the Universe" (1995), quoted in Timothy Ferris, The Whole Shebang (New York, 1997), 260. In March 1994 two monks of the Coptic Orthodox monastery of Deir el Muharraq were shot dead by Muslim gunmen. On his visit to the monastery in December of that year, the Oxford scholar and traveller William Dalrymple was told by Amba Beiman, one of
Medieval Encounters – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2000
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