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AN EARLY COPTIC REPRESENTATION OF SAINT MARK THE EVANGELIST – POSSIBLY THE EARLIEST IN EXISTENCE

September 27, 2015

saint mark

Saint Mark the Evangelist is the one who brought Christianity to Egypt in the six decade of our era; and he is considered the first bishop of Alexandria – that is the first Coptic Pope. Others know him as the author of the Gospel of Saint Mark.

The Benaki Museum in Athens has a great collection of Coptic textiles, and one of its fabrics is a “Coptic embroidered roundel with an extraordinarily expressive bust of the Apostle Mark, who evangelised Egypt.”[1] It goes back to the sixth century – that is before the Arab occupation of Egypt.

This may be the earliest extant Coptic representation of Patriarch Mark the Evangelist. I simply share it with my readers, and hope that it will be reproduced by modern Coptic artists.

[1] ΓΕ 6991. It is 0.09 m. in diameter.

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