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Document Details :

Title: De vele levens van Pisentius van Koptos
Subtitle: Een Egyptische heilige aan de vooravond van de Arabische vrovering
Author(s): VAN LENT, A.M.J.M. , VAN DER VLIET, J.
Journal: Journal of Eastern Christian Studies
Volume: 48    Issue: 3-4   Date: 1996   
Pages: 195-213
DOI: 10.2143/JECS.48.3.2003103

Abstract :
The Many Lives of Pisentius of Coptos: An Egyptian Saint on the Eve of the Arab Conquest
Pisentius (569-632), a Coptic monk from the Theban region, was made bishop of Coptos by Damian, patriarch of Alexandria (578-607) in the period of the first flourishing of the Egyptian monophysite Church. He survived the Persian occupation of Egypt (619-629), which drove him from his see, but did not live to witness the Arab conquest, completed in 642. Apart from being a saint, still commemorated by the Coptic Church, he is foremost remarkable on account of the richness and diversity of the ancient documentation concerning his person. A complex literary tradition recounts his life in the conventional terms of hagiography, whereas the remains of his archives (authentic letters and documents in Coptic) allow us a more realistic view of his duties as a bishop. Several literary compositions in Coptic and Arabic are attributed to Pisentius. The most interesting one among these is certainly apocryphal: a long prophecy concerning the Arab conquest, Muslim oppression and the final restoration of Christian rule. It reflects the concerns and aspirations of later generations of Copts who thus honoured Pisentius' reputation as an author and a visionary.