BIBLE HISTORY DAILY

Tombs of Graeco-Roman Egypt and the Coptic Church: Two D.C.-Area Lectures

The Washington, D.C.-area Biblical Archaeology Forum (BAF) and Biblical Archaeology Society of Northern Virginia (BASONOVA) will be hosting the lectures “Visualizing the Afterlife: Monumental Tombs of Graeco-Roman Egypt” (March 12) and “A History of the Coptic Church” (March 16) next week. Not in the D.C. area? BAS offers a wide range of travel/study programs in the United States and across the globe.


On Wednesday, March 12 at 8:00, University of Maryland professor Marjorie Venit will deliver the lecture “Visualizing the Afterlife: Monumental Tombs of Graeco-Roman Egypt.” The Greek conquest of Egypt in 331 BCE and subsequent Roman hegemony resulted in intellectual interaction far beyond that permitted by former Egyptian-Greek relationships. Greeks brought their own ideas of death and afterlife, but they recognized the authority of Egypt. Concurrently, Egyptians had lost some of their earlier eschatological self-confidence after suffering centuries of foreign rule. The confluence of these cultures resulted in the development of new and enriched visualizations of death and afterlife.

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On Sunday, March 16 at 2:00 St. Mark Docent Robie Samanta will deliver the lecture “A History of the Coptic Church” along with a tour of the St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church. St. Mark is considered to have founded Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church in the latter first century CE. Coptic Orthodoxy split from Roman Catholicism in the mid-fifth century CE over theological issues, and became the accepted religion of most Egyptians until the mid-seventh century CE.

St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church in Fairfax, VA is the second largest Coptic church in the world, second only to its counterpart in Cairo, Egypt. Their sanctuary is lined with paintings of Coptic martyrs. Coptic martyrology is very different from that of the Roman Catholic Church, and docent Robie Samanta Roy will describe the history and importance of each martyr as part of the tour and lecture.

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Not in the D.C. area? BAS offers a wide range of travel/study programs in the United States and across the globe.

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