SP011 – History of the Patriarchate of Alexandria: From the Beginnings until Ottoman Rule


Course Information

Professor: Philippe Luisier, SJ luisier@pontificio-orientale.it

Schedule: Wed. III-IV, 2nd sem., 1 cr., 1,5 ECTS


Founded according to tradition by Mark the Evangelist, the Church of Alexandria played the role of protagonist in the first several centuries of Christianity. After the divisions following Chalcedon (451), a dual hierarchy established itself little by little in Egypt, giving rise to the constitution of a national Coptic Church. The Arab invasion of the VII century removed even further the Coptic Patriarch from the Byzantine world. After the flourishing of the Arabic language in the XIII century, the Coptic Church was subjected to the mercurial and imposing regime of the Mamluks.


The course aims to present a general panorama through fifteen centuries of history and to show the links, after Chalcedon, between the Alexandrian Church and the sister Syro-Orthodox Church, no less the daughter churches of Nubia and of Ethiopia.


Dispense del Docente; Th.H. Partrick, Traditional Egyptian Christianity. A History of the Coptic Orthodox Church, Greensboro 1996;


A. Elli, Storia della Chiesa Copta, 1-3, Cairo & Jerusalem 2003; M.N. Swanson, The Coptic Papacy in Islamic Egypt (641-1517), The Popes of Egypt 2, Cairo
& New York 2010.