This is the first full-length study of Demetrius of Alexandria (189–232 ce), who generated a neglected, yet remarkable hagiographic program that secured him a positive legacy throughout the Middle Ages and the modern era. Drawing upon Patristic, Coptic, and Arabic sources spanning a millennium, the analysis contextualizes the Demetrian corpus at its various stages of composition and presents the totality of his hagiographic corpus in translation.
This volume constitutes a definitive study of Demetrius, but more broadly, it provides a clearly delineated hagiographic program and charts its evolution against a backdrop of political developments and intercommunal interactions. This fascinating study is a useful resource for students of Demetrius and the Church in Egypt in this period, but also for anyone working on Early Christianity and hagiography more generally.
Table of Contents
Part I: The Genesis and Evolution of a Hagiographic Program
1. The Bishop and the Scholar
3. Early Imprints
4. Date and Socio-Literary Setting of the Sahidic Coptic Tradition
5. The Encomium on Demetrius as Hagiography
6. Hagiography across Language and Culture
7. Arabic Recensions, Amendments, and Omissions: Emergence of the Normative Hagiography
8. Lent and Epact in Alexandria
9. Form, Function, and Meaning
Part II: Texts – Demetrius’s Bio-Hagiographic Dossier
I. Earliest Evidence
II. An Encomium on Demetrius of Alexandria
III. Demetrius’s sirah in the History of the Patriarchs’ Primitive Recension
IV. Eutychius’s Nazm al-jawhar (The String of Pearls)
V. Kitab al-tawarīkh and the Chronicon orientale
VI. The Coptic-Arabic synaksar (Synaxarium)
VII. Abu al-Barakat’s Musbah al-zulma (A Lamp in the Darkness)
VIII. The Difnar (Antiphonarium)
IX. Doxologies and Praises
Maged S. A. Mikhail is Professor of History at California State University at Fullerton, USA.