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Monasteries as Institutional Powers in Late Antique and Early Islamic Egypt: Evidence from Neglected Coptic Sources

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 MONASPOWER project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the MONASPOWER project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "MONASPOWER" about.

religion    recorded    form    islamic    university    majority    monastery    conquest    primarily    picture    predominant    texts    finds    estates    egypt    religious    greek    beginnings    country    arabic    wadi    textual    coptic    interactions    administration    until    monasteries    versa    despite    position    economy    continued    greeks    copenhagen    monasticism    640    arabs    conversion    linguistic    timeframe    administrative    literary    play    indigenous    contact    ce    land    ignored    seek    time    antique    collection    official    speaking    thomas    broadly    economic    contemporary    9th    egyptians    egyptian    framework    basis    had    sarga    8th    later    last    642    sources    multilingual    centuries    periods    social    instead    inside    written    co    multicultural    populated    placed    landscape    existence    perspective    life    became    body    language    focussed    5th    cultural    christianity    corpus    apa    largely    period    vice   

Project "MONASPOWER" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: NORREGADE 10
postcode: 1165

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Denmark [DK]
 Project website
 Total cost 200˙194 €
 EC max contribution 200˙194 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.3.2. (Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility)
 Code Call H2020-MSCA-IF-2014
 Funding Scheme MSCA-IF-EF-RI
 Starting year 2016
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2016-04-01   to  2018-03-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    KOBENHAVNS UNIVERSITET DK (KOBENHAVN) coordinator 200˙194.00


 Project objective

Egypt during the Late Antique and Early Islamic periods (broadly the 5th to 8th centuries CE) was a multicultural and multilingual country. Greeks, Egyptians, and, later, Arabs populated the land, speaking Greek, Coptic (the last form of the indigenous Egyptian language), and Arabic. Before the Arabic conquest of 640-642 CE, Christianity was the predominant religion of Egypt, and continued to be so for a while after the conquest, until the 8th and 9th centuries when conversion became more widespread. Centuries of co-existence brought Greeks into contact with Egyptians and vice versa, yet the picture of Late Antique Egypt is a largely Greek one: Greek was the official language of the administration and the majority of Greek non-literary textual finds from this period are also in Greek. As a result, studies on life and especially the economy have focussed on the evidence written in Greek. This study does not seek to study the complex social, cultural, linguistic, and religious interactions at play in the country during this time. Instead, it will provide a new perspective on the economic landscape of Egypt.

Monasteries had been a significant part of the Egyptian landscape since the beginnings of Christianity in the country. Life inside these institutions was recorded primarily in Coptic. Despite the importance of monasticism and the body of available Coptic texts, their position within the Egyptian administrative and economic framework has largely been ignored, with attention placed instead on the contemporary large Greek estates. The aim of this project is to study the economic position of Coptic monasteries during this timeframe on the basis of the neglected evidence from two sources: the monastery of Apa Thomas at Wadi Sarga and the corpus of non-literary Coptic texts in the collection of the University of Copenhagen.

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The information about "MONASPOWER" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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