The Rise of Monasticism in Egypt

Many scholars and historians have inves tigated and wrote about the history of monasticism since the progress of publish ing in the secular and Christian fields. We are indebted to the monks that were devot ed for study and research in the libraries of the monasteries and left the world and lived a monastic life. This produced a plenty of publications. There are so many examples to prove that and this is outside the scope of this article. We mention here two or three examples of those great works. The first example is iActa Sanctorum! that was authored by two Polish brothers that are known as Bollandistesi from the name of its founder J. Bollandus in the year 1643 AD in the City of Antorp in Belgium.

They published 62 huge volumes about the biog raphy of the saints whose commemorations are in the months January to October. There are the wonderful publications of Abbot Minge from the Latin fathers that published 221 volumes. The Greek fathers iPatrologia Graecai published 165 volumes. There are also different publications in other subjects such as the cannons of monastic movements iCodex Regularum Monasticarumi that is published by Holstein in Rome in the year 1661 A. D. It is noticeable that these publications focused on the history of monastic life in Europe except what they wrote in their first chapters about the history of monastic life of Egypt in the first five centuries. The world is indebted to the Egyptian fathers that founded and put the instructions that were used as a basis for the European fathers that shaped the civilization and the Christian culture in the middle ages.

The history of the Egyptian monasticism and monasteries was unknown for many centuries until some scholars, historians, and Orientals researched many sources in Coptic, Arabic, Latin, and Greek in the last fifty years. Once they discovered the value of this heritage they published it in a scien tific manner along with a translation to one of the living languages. Writers from differ ent countries did that as Ladenze, Grutzmacher, Wallis-Budge, Evetts, Cuthbert-Butler, Evelyn White, Mackean, and many others.

Since then many started to study the ori gins of Egyptian monasticism and monas teries in a scientific way for many reasons. First, it is a part of the history of Christianity. Second, The systems of the Egyptian monasteries are the origin and the foundation on which the European leaders of the monastic life built their known sys tems until today. Third, it is a reviving of hour national history as Egyptians. We ought to get the attention of the entire citi zen either Christian or no Christian. The study of the history of the fathers of the Egyptian church is in no way related to a specific sect but it is a national issue by all the means of the understanding of national ity in our contemporary time. Many Egyptian scholars started to revive our national heritage across all the ages since the sun of the Egyptian civilization rose on the Nile valley. Our civilization shined to the civilized world in East and West for many centuries. It is well known that the teachings of the Egyptian are respected and honored as an era of our national history. The Egyptian minds contributed greatly to the civilized world.

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