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The Evolution of Different Fonts in the Coptic Churches Throughout the Centuries

A evolução das diferentes fontes de água nas igrejas coptas ao longo dos séculos
Mary Magdy Anwar
p. 335-362

Resumos

Bien que le Christianisme fût répandu en Egypte dès le premier siècle, les Chrétiens n'eurent le droit d'exercer librement leur culte qu'après le décret de Milan. A partir de cette date, le Christianisme fut reconnu et les églises furent édifiées.
L'architecture adoptée dans la fondation des églises impliquait la construction de quelques bassins pour différents usages comme le bassin baptismal qui changea de forme et d'emplacement au cours des siècles. Les églises contenaient également "El Maghtas" utilisé pour l'eau bénite durant la fête de l'Epiphanie. Le bassin appelé "El Laqân" de forme circulaire pas profond était sculpté sur le sol des anciennes églises. A part ceux-ci, on utilisait d'autres bassins pour se laver et pour exercer l'Extrême-Onction.
Ainsi, nous expliquerons dans la recherche la différence entre les bassins, leur évolution et leur importance tout en se référant sur des exemples figurant dans différentes anciennes églises coptes.

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1Only after the promulgation of the Milan decree of Emperor Constantine I in 313 A. D. that Christians in Egypt had the right, after long years of persecution, to build churches by adopting the architectural styles of rectangular basilica and Byzantine known as domes. The church consisted of a nave, choirs, aisles and shrines. Baptisteries, fonts of the laqqān, as well as a basin named Al Maghtas were also built in the architecture of the Coptic Orthodox churches during the centuries that followed.

2Our research aims to first of all emphasize the differences between these basins, their use and their evolution. Second to highlight their importance by exposing various examples appearing in the different ancient monasteries and churches, especially that these buildings represent a significant part of the Coptic Egyptian heritage that should not be overlooked.

The rite of Baptism and the Baptisteries

  • 1 GUIRGUIS, Benjamin Ttbʽtāriḫylāğrāʼātsrālmʽmwdiaʼālmqdsldyālāqbāālārṯwḏk. Cairo: Institut of Copt (...)
  • 2 TROSTYANSKIY, Sergey “Baptism”. in The Encyclopedia of Easter Orthodox Christianity. Edited by Jo (...)

3The baptism, in arabic El-Maʽmūdia (المعمودية) is derived from Greek baptisma (βάπτισμα) which means “dyeing”1. It is surnamed “gate of the mysteries” and represents the first sacrament of the Coptic Church where pure water is used2.

  • 3 WASSEF, Céres. W. Pratiques rituelles et alimentaires coptes. Le Caire: Institut Français de l’Ar (...)
  • 4 TROSTYANSKIY, Sergey “Baptism” …, p. 66.
  • 5 WASSEF, Céres. W. Pratiques rituelles …, pp. 156-157.

4The priest performs trine immersion3, which symbolizes the three days since the death until the Resurrection of Christ. Those three days evoke also the crossing of the Red Sea by Moses and the Israelis and related to the Trinity4. In the first centuries, the immersion was total (that was why the baptisteries were deep in the old churches). Then the custom changed, only the last immersion remained total, the first two became partial; one to the half of the body and the other to the neck5.

  • 6 VIAUD, Gerard La liturgie des coptes d’Egypte. Paris: Librairie d’Amérique et d’Orient, 1978, pp. (...)

5The priest pours oil of gladness (ghâlîlâû, الغاليلاون) and Chrism (Myron) on the baptismal waters, then he takes the Myron and applies 36 unctions to the different parts of the neophyte's body for confirmation6.

  • 7 El MESKIN, Matta ālmʽmwdiaʼ (ālāṣwlālāwlyllmsiḥin). Wadi El Natrun, Egypt: Monastery of Saint Maq (...)

6Although, this rite recalls the one that was established by Saint John the Baptist on the banks of the Jordan and to which he invited the sinners as a sign of repentance, Jesus himself was baptized there (Matthew 3:6). The date of the beginning of baptism by the Apostles is not known. The ritual took place in the rivers, as happened to the first three thousand converts by Peter and the Apostles (Acts 2:41), and in the case of Philip and the Ethiopian's eunuch (Acts 8:36)7.

  • 8 BASILIOS Baptism”. in The Coptic Encyclopedia. Edited by Aziz S. Atiya, Vol. II. New York: Macmil (...)
  • 9 IBN EL SEBAʽ Ktābālğwhraʼālnfisaʼ fi ʽlmālknisaʼ. Edited by Victor Mansur El-Francicie. Le Caire: (...)

7We note that the timing of baptism was changeable. From the 2nd to the 4th century, baptism only took place during the feasts of the Resurrection or Pentecost. Then from the 4th to the 7th century, the Epiphany became the day consecrated to baptism8. However, Ibn El Sebaʽ wrote that in the first centuries, baptismal rites were held only on one day which was the Holy Friday: the baptized person is buried in the baptismal font in the image of Christ who died and who entered the tomb9. Thus, baptism is literally and symbolically not only cleansing, but also dying and rising again with Christ.

  • 10 WASSEF, Céres W. – Pratiques rituelles …, p. 157.
  • 11 BUTLER, Alfred The Ancient Coptic Churches …, vol. II, pp. 208-213; CROSS, F.L. – The Oxford Dict (...)
  • 12 DUVAL, N. “Church buildings: baptistery.” in Encyclopedia of Ancient Christianity. Edited by Ange (...)

8On the other hand, Butler and Ceres pointed out that it was forbidden to baptize during the Holy Week, Easter Time (Al-ḫmāsin, الخماسين)10 as well as during all Lent except on the 6th Sunday of Lent at āḥdāl-tnāṣir, and this was according to the recommendations of Christodolus in the 11th century11, who was the patriarch that applied baptism12.

  • 13 HABIB, Georges – Almʽmwdiaʼ fi ālknisaʼāwāḥdhālğmʽaʼālrswliaʼ. 1st book. Cambridge: 2012, p.113.

9During the era of martyrdom and strong persecution, services took place in houses where baptism was carried out secretly. When Christians were allowed to build churches, they built baptismal tanks13.

  • 14 IBN EL SEBAʽ – Ktābālğwhraʼālnfisaʼ…, p. 78.
  • 15 BASILIOS “Baptism” …, p. 338.

10As for the age of the baptized person, in the first centuries he had to wait until the age of 30, exactly like the age of Christ when he was baptized14. Since many people died before that age, the newborns were baptized, 40 days after the boy's birth and 80 days for the girl15.

The Baptistery: Forms, Evolution and Emplacement

  • 16 ATHANASIUS EL MAKARY – Mʽğmālmṣṭlḥātālknsiaʼ. Vol. III. Cairo: Nubar Publishing company, 2002, p. 2 (...)

11The term “baptismal font – baptistery” is derived from the Latin word baptistērium and from the ancient Greek βαπτιστήριον, which comes from the Greek verb βαπτίζω (baptízô). This means plungesor “immerses”, while the Latin word fons means “source”, “fountain16.

  • 17 BURMESTER, Oswald Hugh Ewart A Guide to the Ancient Coptic Churches of Cairo. Le Caire: Société d (...)
  • 18 GODLEWSKI, W. Baptistery (Architectural elements of churches)”. in The Coptic Encyclopedia. Edit (...)
  • 19 ATHANASIUS EL MAKARY Mʽğm ālmṣṭlḥāt ālknsiaʼ. Vol. I. Cairo: Nubar Publishing company, 2011, p. 3 (...)
  • 20 AWAD ALLAH, Mancarius Mnārt ālāqdās fi šrḥtqws ālknisaʼālqbṭiaʼwaālqdās. Cairo: ālmṭbʽaāltğāriaʼā (...)

12According to the Didaskalia, the building of the font should be located at the end of the north-west aisle of the church, in the narthex to the left of the entrance17. However, this habit was not always respected18. Some historians explained that there was a difference between the location of the font and the location of the baptismal ceremony19. The baptistery usually consisted of a double portico: the baptized person entered the baptistery by one of the doors on the west side, then after baptism and confirmation, he passed through the other door on the east side which overlooked the church to receive the Eucharist20.

  • 21 DUVAL, N. “Church buildings” …, p. 534.
  • 22 ATHANASIUS EL MAKARY – Mʽğm ālmṣṭlḥāt …, p.343.
  • 23 WALTERS, Colin Christopher Monastic Archeology in Egypt. Warminster: Aris et Philips, 1974, p.73; (...)
  • 24 GODLEWSKI, W “Baptistery (Archeological elements of churches)” …, p. 197.

13In some early churches, the baptistery consisted of a single room, but in others it contained an adjoining “Myron anointing room” and a vestibule for dressing21. It is rare to find a baptistery outside the church building22, with the exception of the one located in the place of Saint Mina in Mariout; and the one that exists in the Ashmunein Basilica in the northern part of the church and finally the one of Dayr Anba Shenouda (The White monastery) in Sohag, which is located in the northern part of the South aisle outside the church. The latter consisted of a square room, sometimes used as a chapel because it includes a limestone niche dating from the 4th century and which contained a deep font that was accessed by the help of steps23. Their importance lies in the fact that they represent Episcopal places or pilgrimage sites24.

The Forms of the Baptismal Tanks

  • 25 CHEVALIER, Jean; GHEERBRANT, Alain A Dictionary of Symbols. Translated by John Buchanan-Brown. Ox (...)
  • 26 GUIRGUIS, Benjamin Ttbʽtāriḫy…, p. 182.

14In certain places, the font stands on a central pillar or a support, which is considered as a symbol of the axis of the world, in others it is raised by four columns – the four cardinal points of the universe – that allude to the four evangelists25. The baptismal font is known among the Copts as “the Jordan26.

15When the baptistery became a single room not separate from the church, it was built in a rectangular or square form that is due to:

161 - The influence of the normal form of rooms built inside houses.

172 - The baptisteries that underwent the same evolutions of cubic frigidarium rooms in public baths (Thermee).

  • 27 El MESKIN, Matta ālmʽmwdiaʼ (ālāṣwlālāwlyllmsiḥin). Wadi El Natrun, Egypt: Monastery of Saint Maq (...)

183 - The shape of square or cubic mausoleums27.

19The baptismal fonts are divided into two types:

  • 28 YOUSSEF, Samer Tāṯir ālātğāht ālʽqādiaʼʽly tṣmim ālknisa. Cairo: Helwan University, faculty of Ar (...)
  • 29 YOUSSEF, Hanan Tṭwrʽmārtālṭrāz ālbāziliky fi mṣr fi ālʽṣr ālrwmāny. Tanta: Tanta University, facu (...)

20I - One is dug in the ground. It consists of a basin with stairs on both sides by which the catechumen descends to receive the baptism and an upper step for the priest to apply baptism by immersion28. This shape is inspired by the image of the Jordan River which contains marble steps29.

21Several kinds of geometric shapes are derived from this type:

  • 30 GUIRGUIS, Benjamin – Ttbʽtāriḫy…, p. 187; HELMY, Bishoy Knisty ālārṯksiaʼ..mā āğmlk‼ Cairo: Nubar (...)

221 - The square-rectangular form represents the shape of the tombs of the martyrs of the first centuries with internal steps and also symbolizes the tomb of Christ30.

  • 31 PERKINS, Ward The Monastery of Taposiris Magna”. Bulletin de la Société Royale d’Archéologie d’A (...)

23Examples illustrate this aspect as the circular baptismal basin inscribed in a rectangular form without steps, located in the north-eastern part of the temple church of Abusir (Taposiris Magna, Borg El Arab) (Fig.1) discovered in 1990, which dates back to the 4th and 5th centuries and the reminiscent of the form of the baptistery of the monastery of Saint Simon in Aswan31.

242 - The hexagonal form refers to the 6th day of the week (Good Friday).

253 - The octagonal, 8th day of the week, evokes the day of the resurrection; a rare form in Egypt.

Fig. 1 – The circular baptismal basin inscribed in a rectangular in the north-eastern part of the temple church of Abusir, red brick stone, dates back to the 4th century.

Author’s photography)

  • 32 MALATY, Tadros Alknisaʼ bit Allah…, p. 407; EL FARAS, Robert Mbāny mn bḫwr…, p. 40.

264 - The cylindrical shape symbolizes the matrix: baptism is the second birth of the church matrix. It also symbolizes eternity: the circle is the infinity of God32. This is the most common form, with two steps to get down. There are many examples, such as:

  • 33 GODLEWSKI, W. “Baptistery” …, p. 199.
  • 34 GROSSMANN, Peter Abu Mina.” in The Coptic Encyclopedia. Edited by Aziz S. Atiya, vol. I. New Yor (...)
  • 35 Bishop SAMUEL Dlilāl knās wa ālādiraʼ ālqdimh fi mṣr. Vol. I. Cairo: 2002, p. 37.

27The Basilica in Ashmunein and the North Basilica of Abu Mina in Mariout33, the patriarchal residence, located in the southern part of the church, surrounded by small chapels and that includes a cylindrical font surmounted by a dome supported by six columns. It dates back to the 6th century34. An adjoining baptistery room with three niches in the east was likely to contain the Myron35.

  • 36 SIMAIKA, Marcus A Brief Guide to the Coptic Musueum and the Ancient Coptic Churches and Monasteri (...)

28Cylindrical forms without stairs appear in the Old Cairo churches as the one situated in the western of the narthex of Abu Sergah church36 (Fig. 2), constructed in limestone sculpted in high relief with cross forms, with a pedestal decorated with crosses surrounded by birds and gazelles, placed inside a niche; it dates back to the 4th century.

Fig. 2 – The cylindrical baptismal font, in the western of the narthex of Abu Sergah church, limestone, dates back to the 4th century.

(©Author’s photography)

  • 37 CAPUANI, Massimo Christian Egypt: Coptic Art and Monuments Through Two Millenia. Cairo: AUC Press (...)

29The exceptional example is the stone baptismal font recently discovered in the south-eastern part inside the Holy Family crypt in Abu Sergah dates back to the 4th/5th centuries37.

  • 38 GROSSMANN, Peter; HAFEZ, Mohamed “Results of the 1997 excavations in the North-West church of Pelu (...)

305 - The cruciform shape that symbolizes the crucifixion of Christ, with stairs like the one in Pelusium (Al-Farama) (Fig. 3), discovered near the western church, dates back to the 4th century. These remains exist actually in the north-western side, with a marble sailing and ruins of steps in the eastern and the western of the pool38.

Fig. 3 - The cruciform baptismal font discovered near the western church in Pelusium, red brick stone, dates back to the 4th century.

(© Author’s photography)

  • 39 El MESKIN, Matta ālmʽmwdiaʼ…, pp. 323-324.

316 - The shape of four-petal flowers that resemble the cross39.

  • 40 SIMAIKA, Marcus A Brief Guide to the Coptic Museum…, p. 190; BURMESTER, Oswald Hugh Ewart A Gui (...)

32II - The other kind is built above the floor level. It contains a cylindrical basin not deep but which suits children to plunge into the water. It is built in marble or stone, its diameter varies between 0.80 to 1m. It stands on a pedestal fixed to the wall inside the niche usually ornamented by the image of Jesus Christ’s baptism. In this way, water is filled and emptied manually. It is a current model which we find it in Al Moallaqa church in old Cairo. This font goes back to the 10th century (Fig. 4). It is a cylindrical shape in pink granite decorated with lines in the form of waves that represent the hieroglyphic sign of water (MW) fixed to the wall in a niche ornamented with mosaic with different geometrical forms and lotus flowers40.

Fig. 4 – The cylindrical baptismal font in Al Moallaqa church in old Cairo, in pink granite, dates back to the 10th century, 1.50 m deep.

(©Author’s photography)

  • 41 Visit on the field.
  • 42 WALTERS, Colin Christpher Monastic Archeology …, pp. 73-74.

33In Abu Hennes at Melawi, the font is dug inside a wall in the western of the north sanctuary with two openings from the two sides that serve in maintaining the jars of the holy oil41. In Dayr El Anba Bichay (Red monastery), we find a small font that dates back to the 4th century42, flanked to the wall without any decorations, only with a small hole in its pedestal that helps to empty the water after baptism (Fig. 5).

Fig. 5 – The small font in Dayr El Anba Bichay, stone, that dates back to the 4th century, 65 cm deep.

(©Author’s photography)

  • 43 Visit on the field.

34In ancient times, the large capitals of columns sometimes served as baptismal basins. A hole was made to clear the water after baptism. The splendid marble capital found in the Coptic Museum in Cairo provides a good example. It was discovered in the ruins of the Suspended Church of Saint Mark in Alexandria, which dates back to the 6th century. It takes the shape of a basket with reliefs of palm trees in the four corners43.

  • 44 DUVAL, N. “Church buildings” …, p. 534.
  • 45 MULDER, Nicole F. “The early Christian Pilgrimage: The Case of Abu Mena”. Essays on Coptic Art an (...)

35In the 6th century, a double font was built; one of small size for infants and the other larger for adults, accompanied by an annex that contains the holy oil44. The baptistery of Saint Mina at Mariout, west of Martyrium, discovered in 1905-1907, bears witness to this type. It dates back to the 6th century in the time of Pope Timothy and consists of several pieces: the first large square-shaped on the outside and octagonal on the inside. It contains a large circular marble basin, 1.55 m deep and 2.30 m diameter covered with a dome with steps on both sides for adults. Its walls are composed of four niches covered with two layers of mosaics. As for the second, it also consists of several niches, with a small font made for children45.

  • 46 YOUSSEF, Samer Tāṯir ālātğāht…, p. 141.
  • 47 Visit on the field.

36A different type of baptismal font exists in Catholic churches known as the "chalice cup" where the practice of baptism is by aspersion.This font is built of marble and is adorned with different motifs46, such as that which appears in the font of the Church of Saint Catherine in Alexandria, which dates back to the 18th/ 19th century and is decorated by the statue of Christ, surrounded by high relief motifs47 (Fig. 6).

Fig. 6 - The marble font in the Church of Saint Catherine in Alexandria, this dates back to the 18th / 19th century.

(©Author’s photography)

Other Examples of Ancient Baptisteries

  • 48 KHALIL, Morcos Ālqdis ālʽzim ālšhid Filwbātir Mrqūriũs ālšhir bāby Sifin. Cairo: AnbaRwiyas Publi (...)

37The “Sultan's Baptistery” found in the Abu Seifein Church in Old Cairo dates back to the 10th century and is erected in stone. It is located to the right of the chapel of Mari Yacub el Mocata', 92 cm deep, 1.58 cm high and 33 cm wide48.

  • 49 DAOUAD, Nabih; FAKHRY, Adel Tāriḫālmsiḥiʼwaālrhbnaʼwaʼātārhmā fi āibāršitālğizaʼ. Cairo: Saint Ma (...)
  • 50 MARTIN, Maurice Monastères et Sites Monastiques d’Egypte. Le Caire: Institut Français d’Archéolog (...)
  • 51 Visit on the field.

38Dayr Al-Maimoun at Atfih embraces two baptismal fonts; one in the church of Saint Anthony placed in the left sanctuary in the shape of a circular limestone, the other is in the church of Abu Seifein a square shaped shallow stone used for children (Fig.7)49. Gothic graffiti of pilgrims with escutcheons decorate their walls50. The Wadamon El Armanty Church also contains a circular large hole for emptying the water51.

Fig. 7 - Squarefont in the Church of of Abu Seifein in Dayr Al-Maimoun at Atfih, limestone, 95 cm deep.

(©Author’s photography)

The “Laqan” Basin

  • 52 VIAUD, Gerard La liturgie des coptes…, p.76.

39This basin, which appears in the ancient churches, is used in three ceremonies by the sanctification of water: the eve of the Epiphany (19-20 January), to memorize the baptism of Christ; Holy Thursday, when Christians commemorate the washing of the feet made by Christ to all his Apostles, and the feast of the Apostles (12th of July)52.

  • 53 Khurus (greek choros) presumably derived from a row of columns, unconnected to the ceiling, that wa (...)
  • 54 Archibishop BASILIOS Epiphany (liturgy of). in The Coptic Encyclopedia. Edited by Aziz S. Atiya (...)
  • 55 Epitrichalion of the priest named sadriah is a long band that covers the chest and a small part of (...)
  • 56 BURMESTER, Oswald Hugh Ewart The Egyptian or Coptic Church (A detailed description of her liturgi (...)

40It is a 60 cm long and 30 cm wide tank that is dug into the ground, in the center of the western end of the third khurus53, of the central nave54. It is filled with pure water and a pottery jar is placed at its side. The priest wears the epitrichalion55 during the ritual56.

  • 57 YOUSSEF, Youhanna ”The Book Order of the Priesthood, by Severus Ibn Al-Muqaffaʼ Bishop of Al-Ashm (...)
  • 58 IBN AL MOQAFFAʽ Die Ordnung des Priestertums ein altes liturgisches Handbuch der koptischen Kirch (...)

41The ancient sources insist on the importance of laqân. Sawiris Ibn El Moqaffa in the 10th century considered the laqân as purgatory and explained in Tartib al-Kahanŵt that all the churches were provided with a basin so that the faithful wash their feet on Holy Thursday57. This basin was located to the west of the church, because the priest officiates while directing his eyes during the ritual towards the East in the direction of the sanctuary58.

  • 59 ABŪ AL-MAKARAM Tāriḫ ālkanā’s wa ālādiraʼ. Edited by Bishop Samuel, vol.1. Cairo: 1984, p. 100.
  • 60 IBN EL SEBAʽ Ktāb ālğwhraʼālnfisaʼ…, p.333.

42Abu El Makarm (12th century), also testified to the presence of laqân at Deir Abu Maqar in Wadi Habib (Wadi El-Natroun). After the celebration of Holy Thursday, the monks took water from the laqân and poured it into the Nile to bless it and thus served its flood59. Otherwise, Ibn El Saba (13th century) noted the ritual of laqân in his book, chapter 99, saying that the priest takes a cloth and wraps it round his waist as Jesus has done before (John 13, 4), begins to wash the feet of the faithful and then wipe with the linen with which he is girded60.

  • 61 BUTLER, Alfred The Ancient Coptic Churches, pp. 35-36.
  • 62 QASD ALLAH Tāṯir āsālib…, p. 14.

43Butler pointed out that the first Christians who entered the church barefoot, following the recommendations of the decree of Pope Christodolus in the 11th century, were to purify their feet in these pools called “basins of purification, washing or ablution”61. However, this habit fell into disuse in the 14th century. In fact, these vats recall the basins that were held at the entrance of ancient Egyptian temples62.

  • 63 Visit on the field.

44Butler asserted the existence of such basins. Indeed, a stone basin, below the level of pavement, devoted to washing, located at the entrance of the main church of the Anba Bishay monastery (The Red Convent) in Sohag, was discovered in 2017 (Fig. 8)63.

Fig. 8 - The stone basin, located at the entrance of the church of the AnbaBishay monastery in Sohag, 15 cm deep.

(©Author’s photography)

The Forms of Laqân Basins:

  • 64 YOUSSEF, Hanan Tṭwrʽmārtālṭrāz …, p. 263.
  • 65 BURMESTER, Oswald Hugh Ewart A Guide to the Ancient Coptic Churches …, p. 42.

451 - Octagonal form, inscribed in a square, exists to the west of the nave in the temple church of Habou in Luxor and it dates back to the 4th century64. The other is at Abu Seifein Church in Old Cairo. It is made of marble, inlaid with red and black marble, 90 cm x 90 cm (length and width), 25 cm deep, decorated on the inside with semi-circular shapes of the four corners65.

  • 66 Bishop SAMUEL Dlilāl knās …, p. 26.

462 - Square shape inscribed in a rectangle with interrupted sides by circular beads, in the church of the Virgin Mary in the village of Oskar in Helwan, and dates back to the 18th/ 19th century66.

  • 67 WACE, Alain John Bayard Hermopolis Magna, Ashmunein: the Ptolomaic sanctuary and the basilica. Al (...)
  • 68 EVELYN WHITE, H. G. The Monasteries of the Wadi ‘N-Natrun, Part III (The Architecture and Archeol (...)
  • 69 DAOUAD, Nabih; FAKHRY, Adel Tāriḫ ālmsiḥiʼwa ālrhbnaʼ…, p. 361.

473 - The most famous form in Egypt is the circular laqân inscribed in a rectangle or a square. The oldest was located at the Basilica El Ashmunein in the central nave between the sixth and seventh columns, which dates back to the 4th century67. In the monasteries of Wadi El-Natroun, to the west of the central nave of the churches, there is the marble laqân, like that of the Baramus, which dates back to the 7th century, with a depth of 14 cm, 35 cm diameter68. It is also found in Anba Bishoy and El-Surian monasteries. At Dayr of El-Maimun, in the Abu Seifein church in front of the entrance, there is a stone laqân (Fig. 9)69.

  • 70 BURMESTER, Oswald Hugh Ewart A Guide to the Ancient Coptic Churches …, p. 26.

48These forms of laqân are also numerous in the old churches of Old Cairo: in El-Moallaqah where a laqân is located west of the central nave between the first and the second column70; in the church of Santa Barbara and Abu Sergah (Fig. 10).

Fig. 9 - The stone laqân in the Abu Seifein church at Dayr of El-Maimum, in a bad situation.

(©Author’s photography)

Fig. 10 – The laqân basin in Abu Sergah church in Old Cairo, marble, 15 cm deep.

(©Author’s photography)

El Maghtas (Epiphany Pool):

  • 71 GROSSMANN, Peter “Epiphany Tanks”. in The Coptic Encyclopedia. Edited by Aziz S. Atiya, vol. III. (...)

49Formerly, according to an ancient Coptic tradition, a region of the Nile was chosen to plunge in before the Epiphany celebration, and children were brought down there, in spite of the cold, to imitate Christ who had descended into the Jordan71.

  • 72 EL MAQRIZI Ktāb ālmwāʽz waālʽtbār fi ḏkr ālḫṭṭ waālaʼṯār. Edited by Ayman Fouad El Saïd, vol. I. (...)
  • 73 WASSEF, Céres. W. Pratiques rituelles …, p. 192.

50El Maqrizi specified that sometimes several governors participated in the celebration of this festival, as Mohamed Ibn-Tougague in 941 A.D. and some Fatimid Caliphs like El Zaher Aziz Allah. Others completely canceled the celebration, like El-Moazz and El-Aziz. As for El-Hakim (according to his mood), he participated a few times but in 1008 A.D. he promulgated a decree that totally prohibited this kind of celebration72. This is why the pool of the Maghtas is currently inside the churches as an alternative to the Nile73.

  • 74 IBN AL MOQAFFAʽ Die Ordnung des Priestertums …, p. 18.
  • 75 ABŪ AL-MAKARAM Tāriḫālkanā’…, p. 98.
  • 76 IBN EL SEBAʽ Ktābālğwhraʼālnfisaʼ…, p. 313.
  • 77 IBN KABR Msbāḥālzlmʼ fi āidāḫālḫdmʼ. Edited by Samuel El Suriany. Cairo: Dayr al-Suryan, 1992, p. (...)

51In the 10th century, Sawiris Ibn El Moqaffa wrote that the faithful, men and women, required the presence of the Maghtas inside the church to help them to be purified from their sins74. Abu El Makarem also mentioned the presence of the Maghtas that was cleaned from sand and filled with water at Abu Maqar Monastery75. In turn, Ibn El Seba' in the 13th century, quoted that the Epiphany celebration was held at night, in front of the Maghtas and that it was better to seek water from the Jordan and pour it into the Maghtas76. Ibn Kabr confirmed the presence of the Maghtas in the 14th century churches77.

The Form of el Maghtas:

  • 78 BURMESTER, Oswald Hugh Ewart The Egyptian or Coptic Church, pp. 251-252.

52No details indicate its exact location, outside or inside the church. It is an underground room in cubic, rectangular, round or parallelogram shape, 1.5 m deep. This basin is capped with a wooden cover (no longer used)78.

53Different examples of the Maghtas in the old churches:

  • 79 GROSSMANN, Peter “Epiphany Tanks”, p. 968; BURMESTER, Oswald Hugh Ewart – A Guide to the Ancient (...)

541 - Inside the churches of Old Cairo at Abu Sergah, there is a sumptuous rectangular Maghtas covered with marble (Fig. 11) in the middle of the narthex to the west of the central nave, 1.40 m deep (2.60 x 1.7 m length and width)79. It is in laid with black and red marble.

55

Fig. 11 - The rectangular Maghtas covered with marble in the Abu Sergah church, black and red marble, 1.40 m deep, 2.60 x 1.7 m length and width.

(©Author’s photography)

  • 80 Bishop SAMUEL Dlilālknās …, p. 53.
  • 81 EL HEWMY, Youssef ālāḥtfālbʽidālġṭāsālmğid (Epiphania) fi ktbālmwrḫinālʽrb. Alexandria-Cairo: Bib (...)

562 - A beautiful Pharaonic lotus shaped Maghtas with circular pearls, located at the ancient church of Saint Mina in Taha El-Ama'da at Samalut, 1.75 m deep,80 was used until 1975, then it was abandoned because of a strange conflict between two families. Each of these two families sought to descend first into this Maghtas. Then, to take revenge, one of them decided to throw in it pieces of glass. Following this aggressive act, several people were seriously injured; therefore, the priests forbade the use of this Maghtas81.

  • 82 YOUSSEF, Samer Tāṯir ālātğāht ālʽqādiaʼʽ…, p. 150.

573 - The church of the Archangel Gabriel in the Beni-Magued village in Manfalout, has an octagonal Maghtas, inscribed in a square behind the sanctuaries in the East, 2m x 2m (length and width)82 (Fig. 12).

Fig. 12 - The octagonal Maghtas, inscribed in a square in the church of the Archangel Gabriel in Manfalout, stone, 2m x 2m length and width.

(©Author’s photography)

  • 83 Visit on the field.

584 - In the west wall of a special room at Saint Anthony's Church in Deir El-Maimoun, there is a 2.60 x 2.50 cubic stone Maghtas with two steps83.

  • 84 Visit on the field.

595 - The palace of Saint Helena in the monastery of Saint Bishay (Deir El Ahmar), which is being restored, embraces the ancient monumental Maghtas of stone octagon form inscribed in a square. It was used previously by lay people and not monks84 (Fig. 13).

60

Fig. 13 - The octagon Maghtas, inscribed in a square in the palace of Saint Helena in the monastery of Saint Bishay, stone, 1.50 m deep.

(©Author’s photography)

  • 85 INNEMÉE, Karel Excavations at the site of Deir Al-Baramus 2002-2005. Leiden: Leiden University, 2 (...)

616 - In the ancient Monastery of Anba Moussa El Baramus, discovered between 2002 and 2005, which fell into ruins, a 1.5 cubic meter limestone Maghtas was found dug in the plastered rocks, with steps. It appears in a room in the East next to the sanctuary of the second church85.

  • 86 Visit on the field - first publication.

627 - Finally in July 2017, by undertaking extensions to the church of the Virgin Sitt Miriam at El-Surian monastery, accidentally a Maghtas was also discovered towards the western end glued to the wall, 80 cm deep, higher than the ground of the church of two bleachers because this Maghtas belonged to another church (the church of Mari- Rutaʼ)86 (Fig. 14).

Fig. 14 - The Maghtas discovered in July 2017 in the church of the Virgin Sitt Miriam at El-Surian monastery, stone, 80 cm deep.

(©Author’s photography)

The Pool of Extreme Unction

  • 87 EVELYN WHITE, H. G. The Monasteries of the Wadi ‘N-Natrun …, p. 117; El MESKIN, Matta – ālrhbnaʼ (...)

63We found only one example of this basin. It is the one that dates back to 1395, and that exists in the church of Saint Abaskhirion El Qalini, Deir Abu Maqar in Wadi El Natroun, in the sanctuary on the left, towards the North-West part, flanked on the wall87 (Fig. 15).

64

Fig.15 - The Pool of Extreme Unction in the church of Saint Abaskhirion El Qalini, Deir Abu Maqar in Wadi El Natroun, marble, dates back to 1395.

(©Author’s photography)

65This demonstration confirms that

661 - The fonts (baptismal vessels) of the ancient Orthodox Coptic churches are varied and totally different from those of the Catholic churches in their structure and form. They are generally simpler than others that are artistically made.

672 - The basin of el laqân and the Maghtas are confined to the Coptic Orthodox Church.

683 - The fonts erected in the monasteries, churches of the province and the countryside are simpler than those built in the urban churches; inlaid with marble and mosaic.

694 - The largest number of basins has fallen into disuse; however, we continue to cover them in glass to preserve them as witnesses of Coptic heritage.

705 - All ancient churches and monasteries contain treasures often hidden that must be discovered, so it would be necessary to conduct continuous excavations in different locations.

71The fonts were only used as baptisteries in the first centuries while other fonts were added successively for other uses and celebrations.

72In conclusion, the fonts are an authentic legacy that links the past to the present and reflects our traditions. It is a heritage difficult to find elsewhere and of which we should be proud.

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VIAUD, Gerard La liturgie des coptes d’Egypte. Paris: Librairie d’Amérique et d’Orient, 1978.

WACE, Alan John Bayard Hermopolis Magna, Ashmunein: the Ptolemaic sanctuary and the basilica. Alexandria: Alexandria University Press, 1959.

WALTERS, Colin Christopher Monastic Archeology in Egypt. Warminster: Aris et Phillips, 1974.

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YOUSSEF, Hanan Tṭwrʽm ārtālṭrāz ālbāziliky fi mṣr fi ālʽṣrālrwmāny. Tanta: Tanta University, faculty of Arts, 2008. Master unpublished.

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Notas

1 GUIRGUIS, Benjamin Ttbʽtāriḫylāğrāʼātsrālmʽmwdiaʼālmqdsldyālāqbāālārṯwḏk. Cairo: Institut of Coptic studies, n.d. Master unpublished., p.95; GUIRGUIS, Habib – Āsrārālknisaʼālsbʽa. Cairo: El Tawfik Coptic Publisher, 1934, p. 44.

2 TROSTYANSKIY, Sergey “Baptism”. in The Encyclopedia of Easter Orthodox Christianity. Edited by John Anthony Mcguckin, vol. I. Singapore: Wiley Blackweell, 2011, pp. 65-67.

3 WASSEF, Céres. W. Pratiques rituelles et alimentaires coptes. Le Caire: Institut Français de l’Archéologie Orientale, 1971, p.156.

4 TROSTYANSKIY, Sergey “Baptism” …, p. 66.

5 WASSEF, Céres. W. Pratiques rituelles …, pp. 156-157.

6 VIAUD, Gerard La liturgie des coptes d’Egypte. Paris: Librairie d’Amérique et d’Orient, 1978, pp. 78-79.

7 El MESKIN, Matta ālmʽmwdiaʼ (ālāṣwlālāwlyllmsiḥin). Wadi El Natrun, Egypt: Monastery of Saint Maqar, 2000, p.322; KILLEN, William The Ancient Church: Its History. Doctrine, Worship and Constitution. Alexandria: The Library of Alexandria, 2005, p. 306.

8 BASILIOS Baptism”. in The Coptic Encyclopedia. Edited by Aziz S. Atiya, Vol. II. New York: Macmillan publishing company, 1991, pp. 339-342; BUTLER, Alfred The Ancient Coptic Churches in Egypt. Translated by Ibrahim Salama Ibrahim, vol. II. Cairo: ālhiaaʼālʽmallktāb, 2001, p. 208.

9 IBN EL SEBAʽ Ktābālğwhraʼālnfisaʼ fi ʽlmālknisaʼ. Edited by Victor Mansur El-Francicie. Le Caire: Institut Franciscaine chrétienne orientale, 1966, p. 78.

10 WASSEF, Céres W. – Pratiques rituelles …, p. 157.

11 BUTLER, Alfred The Ancient Coptic Churches …, vol. II, pp. 208-213; CROSS, F.L. – The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990, p.126.

12 DUVAL, N. “Church buildings: baptistery.” in Encyclopedia of Ancient Christianity. Edited by Angelo Di Berardino, vol. II. Dowhers Grove, Illinois: IVP Academic, 2014, pp.524-537.

13 HABIB, Georges – Almʽmwdiaʼ fi ālknisaʼāwāḥdhālğmʽaʼālrswliaʼ. 1st book. Cambridge: 2012, p.113.

14 IBN EL SEBAʽ – Ktābālğwhraʼālnfisaʼ…, p. 78.

15 BASILIOS “Baptism” …, p. 338.

16 ATHANASIUS EL MAKARY – Mʽğmālmṣṭlḥātālknsiaʼ. Vol. III. Cairo: Nubar Publishing company, 2002, p. 233.

17 BURMESTER, Oswald Hugh Ewart A Guide to the Ancient Coptic Churches of Cairo. Le Caire: Société d’Archéologie Copte, 1955, p. 14; MALATY, Tadros Alknisaʼ bit Allah. Alexandria: church of Saint Georges Sporting, 1979, p. 402; EL FARAS, Robert Mbāny mn bḫwr (knāʼswaādirt mṣriaʼ). Cairo: ālhiaʼālʽmāllqṣwrālṯqāfaʼ, 2012, p. 39.

18 GODLEWSKI, W. Baptistery (Architectural elements of churches)”. in The Coptic Encyclopedia. Edited by Aziz S. Atiya, vol. I. New York: Macmillan publishing company, 1991, pp.197-200.

19 ATHANASIUS EL MAKARY Mʽğm ālmṣṭlḥāt ālknsiaʼ. Vol. I. Cairo: Nubar Publishing company, 2011, p. 342.

20 AWAD ALLAH, Mancarius Mnārt ālāqdās fi šrḥtqws ālknisaʼālqbṭiaʼwaālqdās. Cairo: ālmṭbʽaāltğāriaʼālḥdiṯa, 1969, p. 105; QASD ALLAH, Nusrat Tāṯir āsālib wa ṭrq ālānšaʼʽlyāltʽbirālmʽmāryllʽmārʼ. Cairo: Ain Shams University, Faculty of Engineering, 2006. Master unpublished, p. 12.

21 DUVAL, N. “Church buildings” …, p. 534.

22 ATHANASIUS EL MAKARY – Mʽğm ālmṣṭlḥāt …, p.343.

23 WALTERS, Colin Christopher Monastic Archeology in Egypt. Warminster: Aris et Philips, 1974, p.73; BUTLER, Alfred Ancient Coptic Churches…, p. 289.

24 GODLEWSKI, W “Baptistery (Archeological elements of churches)” …, p. 197.

25 CHEVALIER, Jean; GHEERBRANT, Alain A Dictionary of Symbols. Translated by John Buchanan-Brown. Oxford (USA): Basil Blackwell, 1994, p. 397.

26 GUIRGUIS, Benjamin Ttbʽtāriḫy…, p. 182.

27 El MESKIN, Matta ālmʽmwdiaʼ (ālāṣwlālāwlyllmsiḥin). Wadi El Natrun, Egypt: Monastery of Saint Maqar, 2000, p. 329.

28 YOUSSEF, Samer Tāṯir ālātğāht ālʽqādiaʼʽly tṣmim ālknisa. Cairo: Helwan University, faculty of Arts, 2004-2005. Master unpublished, p. 145; GUIRGUIS, BenjaminTtbʽtāriḫy, pp. 188-189.

29 YOUSSEF, Hanan Tṭwrʽmārtālṭrāz ālbāziliky fi mṣr fi ālʽṣr ālrwmāny. Tanta: Tanta University, faculty of Arts, 2008. Master unpublished, p. 322.

30 GUIRGUIS, Benjamin – Ttbʽtāriḫy…, p. 187; HELMY, Bishoy Knisty ālārṯksiaʼ..mā āğmlk‼ Cairo: Nubar Publishing Company, 2013, p. 62.

31 PERKINS, Ward The Monastery of Taposiris Magna”. Bulletin de la Société Royale d’Archéologie d’Alexandrie 36 (1944), pp. 48-53; GROSSMANN, Peter A new church at Taposiris Magna- Abusir”. Bulletin de la Société Royale d’Archéologie d’Alexandrie 31 (1992), pp. 24-30.

32 MALATY, Tadros Alknisaʼ bit Allah…, p. 407; EL FARAS, Robert Mbāny mn bḫwr…, p. 40.

33 GODLEWSKI, W. “Baptistery” …, p. 199.

34 GROSSMANN, Peter Abu Mina.” in The Coptic Encyclopedia. Edited by Aziz S. Atiya, vol. I. New York: Macmillan publishing company, 1991, pp. 24-29.

35 Bishop SAMUEL Dlilāl knās wa ālādiraʼ ālqdimh fi mṣr. Vol. I. Cairo: 2002, p. 37.

36 SIMAIKA, Marcus A Brief Guide to the Coptic Musueum and the Ancient Coptic Churches and Monasteries. 2 vols. Cairo: El Amiriaʼpublishing, 1932, p. 211; COQUIN, Charalambia Les Edifices chrétiens du Vieux Caire. Vol. I. Le Caire: Institut Français d’Archéologie Orientale, 1974, p. 103.

37 CAPUANI, Massimo Christian Egypt: Coptic Art and Monuments Through Two Millenia. Cairo: AUC Press, 2002, p.108; GARIN, Alberto – Abu Sirga: la iglesia copta de San Sergio y San Baco del Viejo Cairo: las primeras huellas del cristianismo en Egipto. Madrid: Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores, Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional, Fundación Carolina, El Viso, 2004, p. 35.

38 GROSSMANN, Peter; HAFEZ, Mohamed “Results of the 1997 excavations in the North-West church of Pelusium (Farama- west).” Bulletin de la Société d’Archéologie Copte 40 (2001), pp. 109-116.

39 El MESKIN, Matta ālmʽmwdiaʼ…, pp. 323-324.

40 SIMAIKA, Marcus A Brief Guide to the Coptic Museum…, p. 190; BURMESTER, Oswald Hugh Ewart A Guide do The Ancient Coptic Churches …, p. 30; BUTLER, Alfred The Ancient Coptic Churches…, p. 195.

41 Visit on the field.

42 WALTERS, Colin Christpher Monastic Archeology …, pp. 73-74.

43 Visit on the field.

44 DUVAL, N. “Church buildings” …, p. 534.

45 MULDER, Nicole F. “The early Christian Pilgrimage: The Case of Abu Mena”. Essays on Coptic Art and Culture 1 (1994), pp. 18-35; GROSSMANN, Peter; KOSCIUK, Jack Report on the excavations at Abu Mina in spring 2000”. Bulletin de la Société d’Archéologie Copte 40 (2001), pp. 97-108.

46 YOUSSEF, Samer Tāṯir ālātğāht…, p. 141.

47 Visit on the field.

48 KHALIL, Morcos Ālqdis ālʽzim ālšhid Filwbātir Mrqūriũs ālšhir bāby Sifin. Cairo: AnbaRwiyas Publisher, 1995, p. 109.

49 DAOUAD, Nabih; FAKHRY, Adel Tāriḫālmsiḥiʼwaālrhbnaʼwaʼātārhmā fi āibāršitālğizaʼ. Cairo: Saint Marc Foundation of Coptic history, 2011, p.361.

50 MARTIN, Maurice Monastères et Sites Monastiques d’Egypte. Le Caire: Institut Français d’Archéologie Orientale, 2015, p. 69.

51 Visit on the field.

52 VIAUD, Gerard La liturgie des coptes…, p.76.

53 Khurus (greek choros) presumably derived from a row of columns, unconnected to the ceiling, that was set up in front of the opening of the apse and whose purpose was purely aesthetic, to enrich the appearance of apsidal openings that in some churches appeared small. It can be as a row in the western wall (as a type of cancelli). GROSSMANN, Peter Khūrus. in The Coptic Encyclopedia. Edited by Aziz S. Atiya, vol. I. New York: Macmillan publishing company, 1991, pp. 212-213.

54 Archibishop BASILIOS Epiphany (liturgy of). in The Coptic Encyclopedia. Edited by Aziz S. Atiya, vol. III. New York: Macmillan publishing company, 1991, pp. 967-968; MOHAMED, Hagagy “āllaqān fi ālknisaʼsālāṯriaʼmn ālGizaʼḥty Aswān”. Journal of the faculty of Arts in Tanta (n.d), pp. 819-823.

55 Epitrichalion of the priest named sadriah is a long band that covers the chest and a small part of which descends on the back, with an interlock in the middle for the head [ANWAR, Mary Magdy Des pieces représentant les insignes et les vêtements liturgiques coptes conservés dans les musées archéologiques d’Egypte. Journal of the Faculty of Tourism and Hotels 12 (2015), pp. 13-35].

56 BURMESTER, Oswald Hugh Ewart The Egyptian or Coptic Church (A detailed description of her liturgical services and the rites and ceremonies observed in the administration of her sacraments). Le Caire: Société d’archéologiecopte, 1967, pp. 256-261.

57 YOUSSEF, Youhanna ”The Book Order of the Priesthood, by Severus Ibn Al-Muqaffaʼ Bishop of Al-Ashmunein”. Bulletin de la Société d’Archéologie Copte 45 (2006), pp. 135-145.

58 IBN AL MOQAFFAʽ Die Ordnung des Priestertums ein altes liturgisches Handbuch der koptischen Kirche (Tartīb al-Kahanūt). II Teil. Edited by Julius Assfalg. Le Caire: Publications du Centre d’Etudes Orientales de la Custodie Franciscaine de Terre Sainte, 1955, p.20.

59 ABŪ AL-MAKARAM Tāriḫ ālkanā’s wa ālādiraʼ. Edited by Bishop Samuel, vol.1. Cairo: 1984, p. 100.

60 IBN EL SEBAʽ Ktāb ālğwhraʼālnfisaʼ…, p.333.

61 BUTLER, Alfred The Ancient Coptic Churches, pp. 35-36.

62 QASD ALLAH Tāṯir āsālib…, p. 14.

63 Visit on the field.

64 YOUSSEF, Hanan Tṭwrʽmārtālṭrāz …, p. 263.

65 BURMESTER, Oswald Hugh Ewart A Guide to the Ancient Coptic Churches …, p. 42.

66 Bishop SAMUEL Dlilāl knās …, p. 26.

67 WACE, Alain John Bayard Hermopolis Magna, Ashmunein: the Ptolomaic sanctuary and the basilica. Alexandria: Alexandria University Press, 1959, p. 38.

68 EVELYN WHITE, H. G. The Monasteries of the Wadi ‘N-Natrun, Part III (The Architecture and Archeology). New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1973, p. 146; BURMESTER, Oswald Hugh Ewart A Guide to the Monasteries of the Wadi ‘N-Natrun. Le Caire: Société d’archéologiecopte, 1954, p. 26.

69 DAOUAD, Nabih; FAKHRY, Adel Tāriḫ ālmsiḥiʼwa ālrhbnaʼ…, p. 361.

70 BURMESTER, Oswald Hugh Ewart A Guide to the Ancient Coptic Churches …, p. 26.

71 GROSSMANN, Peter “Epiphany Tanks”. in The Coptic Encyclopedia. Edited by Aziz S. Atiya, vol. III. New York: Macmillan publishing company, 1991, p. 968; STATY, Essam Mqdmaʼ ālfwlklwr ālqbṭy. Cairo: ālhiāālmṣriaʼālʽmaʼllktāb, 2010, p. 119.

72 EL MAQRIZI Ktāb ālmwāʽz waālʽtbār fi ḏkr ālḫṭṭ waālaʼṯār. Edited by Ayman Fouad El Saïd, vol. I. London: ālfrqān institute, 2002, pp. 256-266; IBN IAA’S Bdāʽ ālzhwr fi wqāʽ āldhwr. Vol. I. Cairo: Dārālktb, 2008, p. 190.

73 WASSEF, Céres. W. Pratiques rituelles …, p. 192.

74 IBN AL MOQAFFAʽ Die Ordnung des Priestertums …, p. 18.

75 ABŪ AL-MAKARAM Tāriḫālkanā’…, p. 98.

76 IBN EL SEBAʽ Ktābālğwhraʼālnfisaʼ…, p. 313.

77 IBN KABR Msbāḥālzlmʼ fi āidāḫālḫdmʼ. Edited by Samuel El Suriany. Cairo: Dayr al-Suryan, 1992, p. 227.

78 BURMESTER, Oswald Hugh Ewart The Egyptian or Coptic Church, pp. 251-252.

79 GROSSMANN, Peter “Epiphany Tanks”, p. 968; BURMESTER, Oswald Hugh Ewart – A Guide to the Ancient Coptic Churches, p. 19.

80 Bishop SAMUEL Dlilālknās …, p. 53.

81 EL HEWMY, Youssef ālāḥtfālbʽidālġṭāsālmğid (Epiphania) fi ktbālmwrḫinālʽrb. Alexandria-Cairo: Biblioteca Alexandrina, 2016, p. 18.

82 YOUSSEF, Samer Tāṯir ālātğāht ālʽqādiaʼʽ…, p. 150.

83 Visit on the field.

84 Visit on the field.

85 INNEMÉE, Karel Excavations at the site of Deir Al-Baramus 2002-2005. Leiden: Leiden University, 2005, p. 4.

86 Visit on the field - first publication.

87 EVELYN WHITE, H. G. The Monasteries of the Wadi ‘N-Natrun …, p. 117; El MESKIN, Matta – ālrhbnaʼ ālqbṯiaʼ, pp. 675-676.

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Índice das ilustrações

Legenda Fig. 1 – The circular baptismal basin inscribed in a rectangular in the north-eastern part of the temple church of Abusir, red brick stone, dates back to the 4th century.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/medievalista/docannexe/image/3348/img-1.jpg
Ficheiro image/jpeg, 172k
Legenda Fig. 2 – The cylindrical baptismal font, in the western of the narthex of Abu Sergah church, limestone, dates back to the 4th century.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/medievalista/docannexe/image/3348/img-2.jpg
Ficheiro image/jpeg, 156k
Legenda Fig. 3 - The cruciform baptismal font discovered near the western church in Pelusium, red brick stone, dates back to the 4th century.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/medievalista/docannexe/image/3348/img-3.jpg
Ficheiro image/jpeg, 92k
Legenda Fig. 4 – The cylindrical baptismal font in Al Moallaqa church in old Cairo, in pink granite, dates back to the 10th century, 1.50 m deep.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/medievalista/docannexe/image/3348/img-4.jpg
Ficheiro image/jpeg, 64k
Legenda Fig. 5 – The small font in Dayr El Anba Bichay, stone, that dates back to the 4th century, 65 cm deep.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/medievalista/docannexe/image/3348/img-5.jpg
Ficheiro image/jpeg, 76k
Legenda Fig. 6 - The marble font in the Church of Saint Catherine in Alexandria, this dates back to the 18th / 19th century.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/medievalista/docannexe/image/3348/img-6.jpg
Ficheiro image/jpeg, 44k
Legenda Fig. 7 - Squarefont in the Church of of Abu Seifein in Dayr Al-Maimoun at Atfih, limestone, 95 cm deep.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/medievalista/docannexe/image/3348/img-7.jpg
Ficheiro image/jpeg, 100k
Legenda Fig. 8 - The stone basin, located at the entrance of the church of the AnbaBishay monastery in Sohag, 15 cm deep.
Créditos (©Author’s photography)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/medievalista/docannexe/image/3348/img-8.jpg
Ficheiro image/jpeg, 108k
Legenda Fig. 9 - The stone laqân in the Abu Seifein church at Dayr of El-Maimum, in a bad situation.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/medievalista/docannexe/image/3348/img-9.jpg
Ficheiro image/jpeg, 104k
Legenda Fig. 10 – The laqân basin in Abu Sergah church in Old Cairo, marble, 15 cm deep.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/medievalista/docannexe/image/3348/img-10.jpg
Ficheiro image/jpeg, 92k
Legenda Fig. 11 - The rectangular Maghtas covered with marble in the Abu Sergah church, black and red marble, 1.40 m deep, 2.60 x 1.7 m length and width.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/medievalista/docannexe/image/3348/img-11.jpg
Ficheiro image/jpeg, 100k
Legenda Fig. 12 - The octagonal Maghtas, inscribed in a square in the church of the Archangel Gabriel in Manfalout, stone, 2m x 2m length and width.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/medievalista/docannexe/image/3348/img-12.jpg
Ficheiro image/jpeg, 168k
Legenda Fig. 13 - The octagon Maghtas, inscribed in a square in the palace of Saint Helena in the monastery of Saint Bishay, stone, 1.50 m deep.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/medievalista/docannexe/image/3348/img-13.jpg
Ficheiro image/jpeg, 88k
Legenda Fig. 14 - The Maghtas discovered in July 2017 in the church of the Virgin Sitt Miriam at El-Surian monastery, stone, 80 cm deep.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/medievalista/docannexe/image/3348/img-14.jpg
Ficheiro image/jpeg, 64k
Legenda Fig.15 - The Pool of Extreme Unction in the church of Saint Abaskhirion El Qalini, Deir Abu Maqar in Wadi El Natroun, marble, dates back to 1395.
Créditos (©Author’s photography)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/medievalista/docannexe/image/3348/img-15.jpg
Ficheiro image/jpeg, 94k
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Para citar este artigo

Referência do documento impresso

Mary Magdy Anwar, «The Evolution of Different Fonts in the Coptic Churches Throughout the Centuries »Medievalista, 28 | -1, 335-362.

Referência eletrónica

Mary Magdy Anwar, «The Evolution of Different Fonts in the Coptic Churches Throughout the Centuries »Medievalista [Online], 28 | 2020, posto online no dia 01 julho 2020, consultado o 18 abril 2021. URL: http://journals.openedition.org/medievalista/3348; DOI: https://doi.org/10.4000/medievalista.3348

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Autor

Mary Magdy Anwar

Faculty of Tourism and Hotels Alexandria University, Tourist Guidance Department 21500 Alexandria, Egypt. marymagdy1982@gmail.com. https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8974-0598

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