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COPTIC CHRISTIANS AND ANCIENT EGYPT: QUESTIONS OF IDENTITY AND PRIDE

January 20, 2016

Horus eye.PNGThe Eye of Horus

Authors sometimes state facts only to be followed by wrong conclusions and inferences; such a writer is Samuel Moawad. Moawad is a brilliant and much respected Coptologist with extensive publication list; however, one cannot but read with raised eyebrows some of his John of Shmoun and Coptic Identity.[1] After rightly stating “Coptic identity was based primarily on Christian fundamentals. In Coptic identity there are no traces of ancient Egypt,”[2] he comes to the strange conclusion that:

Coptic Christians rejected the glories of pre-Christian Egypt and did not seek national identity.[3]

Moawad draws his conclusion mainly from the Panegyric on the Apostle Mark by John of Shmoun, a Coptic bishop who lived in the 6th century.[4] On the theme of how John dealt with Coptic identity, Moawad writes:

Unfortunately, the panegyric on Mark is fragmentary. However, the remaining text suffices to suggest how John of Shmoun dealt with his theme. First of all, John demonstrates how Egypt before Mark lived in the darkness of paganism. He speaks very clearly about ‘our worshipers of the vain idols in that time.’ He identifies the beginning of the real history of Egypt with the coming of Mark when he says, ‘Before Mark came, there was in Egypt no morning at all, but a continuous night. But when Mark, the light, came, the morning began.’ [5] [6]

Then, he adds:

“Although Copts descend from the ancient Egyptians and in modern times are often considered their successors, we do not find any trace of this blood relationship in their christian-oriented writings. The historical works of Copts in Coptic as well as in Arabic do not mention the pharaohs in the lists of the rulers of Egypt. Despite some chapters in the Chronicle of John of Nikiou in which he mentions some data concerning the history of Egypt, he does not mention the ancient Egyptians as his own ancestors.”[7]

Moawad is correct at several points including that Christian Egyptians did not include in their writings much about Ancient Egypt; that they did not show much respect for the pagan religion which was prevalent in Egypt at the time Christianity reached the country and spread. However, Moawad is unfortunate in interpreting that as “rejection [by the Copts] of the glories of pre-Christian Egypt”, or as failure to identify with Ancient Egypt. To say that, one must ignore a lot of the known facts of history.

To begin with, one has to ask: what is exactly “ancient Egypt”, and what are the “glories” of pre-Christian Egypt? Despite the Egyptologists’ lazy convenience at labeling the whole pre-Christian Egypt as ancient Egypt, it is hard for the Egyptian to accept that Egypt, in the first millennium before Christ, represented part of Ancient Egypt; or, more specifically, displayed some of its real glories. The truth is that Egypt had lost its independence over a thousand years before the arrival of Christianity to Egypt; and during that first millennium BC of continuous subjugation to foreign rule, which resulted in a significant change in Egyptian culture and religion, Egypt lost its greatness both as a state and religion. Egyptologists, again, for their own convenience, like dividing Egypt’s first millennium BC into Third Intermediate Period (1069 – 664 BC, comprised of Manetho’s dynasties[8], 21-25); Late Period (664 -332 BC, comprised of dynasties, 26-31[9]); and Graeco-Roman Period (332 BC to the Roman period that starts in 30 BC) – periods that followed the collapse of the 20th Dynasty of the New Kingdom. This, however, does not promote an understanding of the national history of the Egyptians during that period: it can accurately be said that since the year 1069 BC, when the New Kingdom collapsed and the 20th Egyptian Dynasty ended, Egypt has been ruled not by its children but by foreigners, who had either immigrated to Egypt and then usurped political power from the Egyptians, or militarily invaded it from the outside. The beginning of the subjugation of the Egyptians to foreign rule started with the Libyans, whose tribes had infiltrated Egypt starting from the 20th dynasty; and, when they increased in number and power, and when Egypt was in a moment of weakness, they seized the reign of power in Egypt from the Egyptians, and formed the 21st, 22nd, 23rd and 24th Dynasties (1069 – 747 BC) – a Libyan period that lasted more than three centuries. The Libyans were followed by the Kushite Nubians, who invaded Egypt to form the 25th Dynasty (747 – 664 BC). The Kushites, in turn, were dislodged by another invader, the Assyrians, who established the vassal rulers of the 26th Dynasty (664 – 525 BC) with their their capital at Saite in the Nile Delta. These Saites are often wrongly described as native Egyptians and their rule as representing a period of independence for Egypt: in fact, the Saites were Libyan settlers in the Nile Delta who remained distinctive from the Egyptians; and their rule, which relied on Libyans and Greek mercenaries, in the eyes of the real Egyptian natives, was, undoubtedly, seen as non-Egyptian. Anyway, the Saite rule was terminated in 525 BC by the Persians, who invaded Egypt and founded the 27th Dynasty (525 – 404 BC). This first Persian rule was ended when the Libyan settlers ousted it to establish the short-lived 28th, 29th and 30th Dynasties (404 – 341 BC), who were defeated by the Persians, who, for the second time, ruled Egypt, forming the 31st Dynasty (341 – 333 BC). When Alexander the Great defeated the Persians and seized Egypt, the second Persian occupation ended, to be followed by the Macedonian Dynasty (323 – 306 BC) and, then, the Ptolemaic Dynasty (306 – 30 BC). From the Ptolemies, Egypt passed on to the possession of the Romans who established the Roman-Byzantine Period (30 BC – 640 AD). These Romans were then followed by the Arabs, and diver other Muslim peoples, who lorded over the Egyptians until our modern times.

The kings and queens of that millennium are given the title ‘pharaoh’; but, in fact, they were all bogus pharaohs. However these foreign rulers tried to manipulate the corrupt priesthood and pretend to be heirs to the great pharaohs of Ancient Egypt, it is doubtful that the native Egyptians ever regarded them as legitimate in par with their own, such as Narmer, Khufu, Amenemhat I, Senusret III, Thutmose III, or Ahmose I. For all national reasons, Ancient Egypt politically ended by the collapse of the New Kingdom in the 11th century BC – and one can say, with much fairness, that almost all rulers who came after that were foreign thieves whose main objective was to exploit the Egyptians. Nothing, whether political or ethnic or religious, made the strong link between these foreign pretenders and the Egyptians as that specific, divine and national bond that connected the benevolent kings of Ancient Egypt to their Egyptian base.[10]

The first millennium BC in Egypt was not just a period of foreign rule and exploitation of the Egyptians but, despite rare exceptions, a period, too, of much political fragmentation, economic decline, stagnation, wars, and tarnishing of the reputation of Egypt abroad. Egypt under foreign rule became a joke in the known world, deserving only of contempt – a ‘broken reed’ in the words of the Assyrian king, Sennacherib (r. 705 – 681 BC), as he threatens and mocks Jerusalem for its reliance in defense on the Kushite 25th Dynasty: “… on whom dost thou trust, that thou rebellest against me? Lo, thou trustest in the staff of this broken reed, on Egypt; whereon if a man lean, it will go into his hand, and pierce it: so is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all that trust in him.”[11]

And with the loss of Egyptian political power and independence came decadence in Egypt’s culture and religion. In the words of Jaroslav Černý, “The Egyptian religion had lost its vitality and inner power of development; the decline of religion proceeded along parallel lines with the decline in other spheres of national life, political and cultural.”[12] The same is explained better by Lewis Spence:

The conclusion of the New Empire and the succession of political chaos during what is known as the Libyan period witnessed what was really, so far as Egyptian religion is concerned, the beginning of the end. Thenceforward a gradual decline is apparent in the ancient faith of the Pharaohs, a subtle decay which the great revival of the eighth century and onward was powerless to arrest. The ever increasing introduction into it of foreign elements, Greek and Persian and Semitic, and the treasuring of the dry husks of ancient things, from which the soul had long since departed these sapped the strength and virility of the Egyptian religion, hampered true progress, and contributed to its downfall, till it was finally vanquished and thrown into obscurity by the devotees of Christianity.[13]

Although the Egyptians tried to hold on to their religion, as the last straw, to preserve their identity in an age in which they lost sovereignty over their destiny and that of their country’s, they were not able to maintain the same high quality of their religion which it possessed before the collapse of the New Kingdom, particularly as their temples now were largely occupied by foreign priesthood imposed by the ruling powers to break the back of Egyptian nationalism and help secure the foreign rule. Two things characterised the religion of that millennium: first, the cult of the oracle which revealed a certain weakening of character and mind. No decision, great or small, taken by the powerful and rich or weak and poor, seem to have been decided without consulting the oracle at the temples, in which priests and priestesses presided and controlled; thereby, restricting the initiative and free will of the individual. Second, the worship of animals, which drew the derision of foreign Greek observers: “[The Egyptians] among whom, as you approach their sacred edifices, are to be seen splendid enclosures, and groves, and large and beautiful gateways, and wonderful temples, and magnificent tents around them, and ceremonies of worship full of superstition and mystery; but when you have entered, and passed within, the object of worship is seen to be a cat, or an ape, or a crocodile, or a goat, or a dog!”[14] The irrational animals have now come to be seen not as a symbol of the deities but as an embodiment of them; and piety became represented in the mummification of these animals – their remains were then taken to cities and places where the animals were worshiped; and, there, they were buried in vaults provided with suitable furnishings. Millions of mummified animals have been discovered by Egyptologists in mass grave across Egypt; and almost all of which came from the so-called Late Period.

So degraded was the Egyptian religion then that it was reduced to being an empty and soulless shell, as observed by many other Greek writers of the period, such as Herodotus (484 – 425 BC), Diodorus Siculus (90 – 30 BC) and Plutarch (45 – 120 AD). John A. Wilson comments of the spiritual vacuum of Egypt then:

Although we […] must exercise some caution in using the observations of the Greek writers, who though so different from the Egyptians that they were never quite able to gain full comprehension and who took their particulars from Egyptian informants who had long ago lost an appreciation of their own earlier culture, there is still something important to be won from the classical reporters. That is their overwhelming impression of a people wholly devoted to form. The emphasis which Herodotus gives to rites and rituals, to omens and oracles, agrees thoroughly with that stress on ceremonial and magical practice which we have seen in later Egypt. The formation of society into rigid classes, with priests and warriors constituting castes of special privilege, and the punctilious application of written and codified law were phenomena unknown in Egypt before the late Empire but looming more and more important from that time on. In such generalizations we may check the statements of the classical writers and give them credit for conscientious accuracy.

Consider, then, the terrifying emptiness of Herodotus’ picture of the Egyptians as the most ‘god-fearing’ of peoples: ‘They are beyond measure religious, more than any other nation; and these are among their customs: They drink from cups of bronze, which they cleanse out daily; this is done not by some but by all. They are especially careful ever to wear newly-washed linen raiment. They practice circumcision for cleanliness’s sake; for they set cleanliness above seemliness. … The Egyptians hold solemn assemblies not once in the year, but often. … They keep the ordinances of their fathers, and add none others to them.’ Here we have a description of brightly polished automatons unceasingly performing solemn gestures but utterly empty of mind or heart. It is a true picture of the spiritual vacuum of late Egypt, which left the land exposed to invasion by otherwordliness, monasticism, or apocalyptic expectation.[15]

One of the noticeable developments of Egyptian religion during that period was the increasing foreign influence, particularly in the first five centuries BC, as Greek mythology found its way into Egypt with, first, the immigration of Greeks to Egypt followed by the establishment of the Ptolemaic and Roman rule: the Greeks and Romans built extensive new temples in Alexandria, Dendereh, Edfu, Kom Ombo, Philae, and many other locations, that dominated Egypt’s landscape and competed with Ancient Egypt’s architecture. Further, the worship of ancient gods and goddesses of Egypt, except Isis whose cult spread beyond Egypt, gave way to foreign, newly introduced deities, particularly Serapis, the chief god of the state, to whom the would be Christian martyrs were asked to sacrifice to prove their loyalty to the state. Černý writes about the changing nature of Egyptian deities:

During their long and victorious progress through the Roman Empire the Egyptian gods lost much of their original native character. On the other hand they received many features which had been foreign to them, through being identified with many Greek and other gods and goddesses and undergoing interpretations in the light of various philosophical schools by the erudite and educated classes.[16]

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 Moawad’s statement that “Coptic Christians rejected the glories of pre-Christian Egypt and did not seek national identity” assumes that Egypt, in the first millennium BC and prior to the introduction of Christianity into Egypt, had glories with real value to the Egyptian; that, further, the Copts had knowledge, either direct or indirect, of the history and achievements of Ancient Egypt (that is before the collapse of New Kingdom); and that the Copts rejected these pre-Christian, first millennium BC, ‘glories’, and declined to identify nationally with Ancient Egypt. This is where Moawad gets it seriously wrong.

So far, from what we have discussed above, we can safely conclude that pre-Christian Egypt, since the collapse of the New Kingdom, possessed no real glories to be recognised by the native Egyptian; further, its religion and culture had become so degraded that it lacked its previous vitality and vivacity, and ceased to inspire the Egyptians or provide them with hope in this world or the hereafter. The Egypt which the first Egyptian Christians lived in represented a land ruled and dominated by a foreign minority – a land of discrimination and oppression. Egypt was no more for the Egyptians but for the foreigners who lorded over them: with this in mind, it was hard for the Egyptian to identify with much of what represented Egypt then or to be proud of.

But what about the glories of Ancient Egypt – those admirable achievements, in culture and civilisation, that the Egyptians had created in the thousands of years before their country fell prey to the Libyan tribes and subsequent invaders? Could it be said that the Christian Copts did not seek to identify with these either? To be able to answer this question, one has to find first if the Egyptians, whether Christian or Pagan, in the first Christian centuries, had accurate and sufficient knowledge of Ancient Egypt. Of course, Egypt’s landscape was covered with visible architectural and artistic reminders of the Ancient Egyptians; and most probably the Coptic Christians, like others, looked at these works with a sense of awe and respect; but, the story behind these achievements was then shrouded in mystery, and the Coptic Christian, like the Greeks of the time, most probably looked at the past with a clouded lens and possessed a defective and inadequate knowledge of it.

It is doubtful that the knowledge of Ancient Egypt in the first Christian century was little better than subsequently until the cracking of the Hieroglyphic script by Jean-Francois Champollion in 1822 AD and the dawn of modern archaeology. This should not be surprising considering Ancient Egypt, around the birth of Christ, had already been a thousand years in the past since it had ended. Further, Egypt, following the collapse of the New Kingdom, had been in the grip of foreigners, who, despite their attempts to obtain, by hook or crook, the blessings of Egypt’s gods and goddesses through the priesthood, knew that their Egyptian subjects were hostile to them, and, so, tried to weaken the Egyptians’ sense of nationalism and national identity with their glorious past. Furthermore, these foreign rulers placed their own in charge of temples, particularly in main cities, such as Thebes, Memphis and Heliopolis; and the new priesthood did not help in promoting Egypt’s national history. The situation was compounded by three additional factors: first, the high illiteracy rate amongst the Egyptian then; second, the shift in the use of Egyptian scrip from Hieroglyphic to Hieratic to Demotic made it extremely difficult for the Egyptian to understand what was written on the walls of Egypt’s monuments and its papyri; third, although the spoken Egyptian language remained alive and kicking, written Egyptian, Greek eventually replaced Demotic in almost all written documents, except the very religious. Roger S. Pagnall describes the fate of Demotic at that time:

It is fair to say that after about A.D. 50 there was for most Egyptians only one means of recording things in writing: Greek. A narrow priestly cadre clung to Demotic for their literature, which had no other means of being recorded in its own language, and for occasional other texts. The small base of persons literate in Demotic was its undoing in the face of adverse circumstances. For two centuries or so, until the middle of the third century, Egypt witnessed the striking phenomenon of a majority population with no way of recording anything in its own language in writing. Most of the population had always been illiterate, but they had a least had scribes to whom they could go to have things written down. Now, except for perhaps a few hundred priests (at a very optimistic assessment), there was no such facility. There was no way to have an Egyptian sentence recorded except to translate it into Greek.[17]

All these changes assisted in breaking the direct nexus with Ancient Egypt; and the high illiteracy rate and lingual shifts precluded the Egyptian from obtaining a good knowledge of it. When Greek alphabet was later used, first by pagans and then by Christians, to write spoken Egyptian language, in what became known as Coptic language, access to Ancient Egyptian writings was made almost complete. Moawad rightly observes that the historical works of the Copts do not include much data about the history of Egypt; that even though John of Nikiu, the seventh-century Coptic bishop, speaks in some of the chapters of his book, Chronicle, about Egyptian history, he does not mention the ancient Egyptians as his own ancestors. It is important, however, to observe two points: first, the absence of that mention by John of Nikiu in his book does not necessarily mean he did not believe that the ancient Egyptians were the ancestors of the Copts. The question that the Copts were the direct descendants of the ancient Egyptians seemed to have been taken for granted by the Copts – a matter that did not require much emphasis. Even their foreign rulers, Greeks, Romans and Arabs have acknowledged this: the Arabs, for example, explain in their authentic dictionaries the meaning of the word “Copt, قِبْط qibt”: “Egypt’s natives and its original and pure inhabitants”.[18] Second, the scarce information included in Chronicle is almost all taken from the sixth-century Greek historian, John Malalas, who, ensuring he added his own touches, had relied on the corrupt, and anyway dubious and unreliable Aegyptiaca (History of Egypt) by Manetho, the Egyptian priest from the third-century BC. In fact, John of Nikiu’s Chronicle can be used to demonstrate how Ancient Egypt had been veiled from view by the data darkness that had set in. With that in mind, it would be unreasonable, in the writer’s opinion, to expect the Copts to base their identity on the unknown or to be proud of it.

All this goes to explain that early Christian Copts, like pagan Egyptians of the time, had little chance acquiring appropriate knowledge of their ancient Egyptian ancestors and their history, religion and civilisation. Ancient Egypt was a riddle to them, as it was to the rest of humanity; and this situation continued until our modern age when the Hieroglyphic code was cracked in the nineteenth-century – and that is when the Copts’ pride in their pharaonic legacy was kindled.

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It is clear then that the Coptic Christians did not reject Ancient Egyptian glories, nor did they fail to seek national identity. In the absence of a clear awareness and understanding of their past history, it is unfair to judge them on these issues. Rather than being a hindrance, Christianity, in fact, came to the native Egyptians as a national saviour – it inculcated in the Egyptians a unifying sense of identity and gave them a strong incentive to resist any assimilation into the dominant culture at a time that had little to do with Ancient Egypt. As H. Idris Bell puts it: “Christianity in fact (not in Egypt only) released hidden nationalist impulses and gave new life to the native idiom. … In Egypt, … the Greeks seem to have been concentrated chiefly in the nome-capitals, leaving the villages in the main to the Egyptians. … [And] the native Egyptian life continued, secretly hostile to Hellenism and cherishing its national pride. Christianity, when it reached this class, acted as a liberating force, and it was helped by a change of script[19].”[20] In the absence of much awareness of Egypt’s ancient past, the Copts, as Moawad rightly states, “based [their identity] primarily on Christian fundamentals. In Coptic identity there are no traces of ancient Egypt.” The Copts, therefore, based their newly acquired identity on religion rather than state, since they were ruled by a foreign state and had no state of their own – the last ended a millennium ago – and the Coptic Church became their only rallying point. In these circumstances it is understandable that they started their history from St. Mark, the evangelist, who brought Christianity to Egypt, and who is regarded as the first patriarch of the Coptic Church.

As the Copts awoke to a new understanding of their national history that is rooted in Ancient Egypt, and they discovered a special pride in their pharaonic past, they started to readjust their perception of their identity. Such redefining of identity is not unique to the Copts – the Greeks went through the same thing, as Donald Malcolm Reid explains:

Copts in search of a golden age to anchor their modern identity could look either to their spiritual leaders of Roman-Byzantine times – an era of persecution, however – or to ancient Egypt. In nineteenth-century Greece, the clergy and common people identified more readily with Orthodox and Byzantine memories than with the distant classical past, while lay intellectuals and merchants often joined western and northern Europeans in revering ancient Greece. Among Copts, too, a church-centred vision was more congenial to the clergy and common folk, while laymen influenced by Western ideas often felt the allure of the pharaohs.[21]

The difference in the way the clergy and laity perceive their identity or look at history is natural and understandable. The clergy, in all nations, have always leaned towards the spiritual and identified with it more strongly, while the laity emphasised the secular. There is no contradiction in the two views if one looks at Coptic identity as composite and spectrum. In the writer’s view, there is no contradiction between the two views; and as Reid says: “Interest in the Coptic and pharaonic pasts was often complementary, not mutually exclusive. Both were easily compatible with territorial Egyptian patriotism.”[22]

Admittedly, the Copts have still got a long way to go to sort out their national narrative and remove any apparent contradictions; however, it is only a matter of education and time. Copts will define themselves, in time, and in a clear and effective way, as descendants of the ancient Egyptians who in time turned Christian. They have the longest history of all nations; and the greatness of their pharaonic or Christian legacy is not a matter of controversy.

____

A note on sources. The author has used a wide source of information in writing his article, including: J. R. Harris, The Legacy of Egypt (Oxford, 2nd ed., 1988); John A. Wilson, The Burden of Egypt (Chicago, 1951); Karol Myśliwiec, First Millennium B.C.E: The Twilight of Ancient Egypt (New York, 2000); Sir Alan Gardiner, Egypt of the Pharaohs: An Introduction (Oxford, 1962); Pierre Montet, Eternal Egypt (London, 1965); Lewis Spence, Egypt: Myths and Legends (London, 1910); David Frankfurter, Religion In Roman Egypt: Assimilation and Resistance (Princeton, 1998); Barbara Mertz, Temples, Tombs and Hieroglyphs: A Popular History of Ancient Egypt (London, 1996); Margaret A. Murray, The Splendour That Was Egypt (London, 1987); J. E. Manchip White, Ancient Egypt: Its Culture and History (New York, 1970); Ian Shaw, The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt (Oxford, 2000); J. H. Breasted, Development of Religion and Thought in Ancient Egypt (New York, 1959); James H. Breasted, The Dawn of Conscience: The Sources of Our Moral Heritage in the Ancient World (New York, 1947); Jaroslav Černý, Ancient Egyptian Religion (London, 1952); H. Idris Bell, Egypt from Alexander the Great to the Arab Conquest: a study in the diffusion and decay of Hellenism (Oxford, 1956); Alan K. Bowman, Egypt after the Pharaohs, 332 BC-AD 642, from Alexander to the Arab Conquest (London, 1986); Roger S. Bagnall, Egypt in Late Antiquity (Princeton, 1993); Egypt Faith after the Pharaohs; ed. Cacilia Fluck, Gisela Helmecke, and Elisabeth R. O’Connell (London, The British Museum, 2015); Donald Malcolm Reid, Whose Pharaohs? Archaeology, Museums, and Egyptian National Identity from Napoleon to World War I (University of California Press, 2002).

 

[1] Moawad Samuel, John of Shmoun and Coptic Identity in Christianity and Monasticism in Middle Egypt: Al-Minya and Asyut (Cairo, 2015), 89-98.

[2] John of Shmoun and Coptic Identity, p. 92.

[3] Ibid.

[4] John was bishop of Shmoun, which is now al-Ashmunayn (Hermopolis Magna in Greek times).

[5] Ibid, p. 90.

[6] Moawad emphasises his point by mentioning the Arabic homily attributed to the Coptic patriarch, Theophilus of Alexandria in the fifth century: “The anonymous author of this homily sees in Egypt before Christianity nothing but sinners and pagans. According to his views, the land of Egypt was full of impurity and a dwelling place for Satan, but after its Christianization it became the place of God and his angels.” Ibid, p. 91.

[7] Ibid, pp. 90-1.

[8] Manetho was an Egyptian priest during the Ptolemaic period who wrote the Aegyptiaca (History of Egypt) in Greek in the third-century BC. It was lost but excerpts from it have been saved by Greek and Jewish writers, who added their own stamps to it. Manetho’s history is inaccurate but his main achievement is inventing the dynasties framework that has been adopted by Egyptologists despite its many problems.

[9] Manetho actually includes in his Aegyptiaca thirty dynasties only. Later, the thirty-first dynasty (Second Persian Period) was added to his framework.

[10] One has, of course, to exclude the Hyksos Period, which was a period of foreign rule.

[11] Isaiah 36: 5-6 (KJV). See also, 2 Kings 18:21.

[12] Ancient Egyptian Religion, p. 132.

[13] Egypt, Myths and Legends, pp. 299-300.

[14] The second-century Greek philosopher, as he was quoted by Origen, the fourth-century Christian theologian, in his Contra Celsum. See: Origen Contra Celsum in Ante-Nicene Christian Library, Vol. XXIII (Edinburgh, MDCCCLXXXII); pp. 98-9.

[15] The Burden of Egypt, pp. 306-7.

[16] Ancient Egyptian Religion, pp. 139-140.

[17] Egypt in Late Antiquity, pp. 237-8.

[18] See: Lisan al-Arab (لسان العرب) by Ibn Manzour (1232 – 1311 AD). See also: Al-Qamous al-Muheedh (القاموس المحيط) by al-Firouzabadi (d. 1414).

[19] Bell means the adoption of Greek letters to write Demotic.

[20] Egypt From Alexander The Great To The Arab Conquest, pp. 112-3.

[21] Whose Pharaohs?, p. 280.

[22] Ibid, p. 281.

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