|WikiProject Egypt||(Rated Stub-class, Low-importance)|
Useful Section that Should be Incorportaed into the Article
During the first period of Egyptian monasticism in the early Christian period, the movement grew in the Nile Valley perhaps mostly due to the ascetic zeal of the founding father Saints Pachomius (c. 349 AD) and Shenuda of Atripe (c. 466 AD). In additional to the famous monasteries on the west bank of the Nile near Sohag known as the White and the Red monasteries, there existed in the 7th and 8th Centuries east of Ancient Akhmim the monasteries of Harpocrates (7th century), Christophrus (8th century) and Colluthus (7th century). Abû `l-Makarim, the 13th century traveler who visited many of Egypt's monasteries, mentions three monasteries consisting of St. Pachomius at Barjanus, Abû Halbanah east of Akhmim and St. Paul. Al-Maqrizi (15th century) still refers to the Monastery of the Seven Mountains at the entrance to Seven Valleys and the Monastery of Sabrah, dedicated to St. Michael.
Today, there are eight monasteries east of Akhmim, including some of that were recently reactivated. These monasteries are dedicated to the Martyrs, the Holy Virgin, St. Michael at as-Salamuni, St. Thomas at Sawamiah Sharq, St. Pachomius the Martyr, St. George (Dair al-Hadid), St. Bisada opposite of Minsha and the Seven Mountains at Bir al-'Ain.
The persecutions of the Christians during the reign of Diocletian and Maximian resulted in a large number of martyrs. In Upper Egypt, they were carried out by the Governor Arianus who had come to Akhmim from Lycopolis (Asyut) to hunt for Christians in the provinces of Panopolis (Akhmim) and Antaioupolis (Qaw al-Kebir). Vatican documents mention 8140 Christians who refused to offer sacrifices to the Roman gods and subsequently suffered martyrdom in Akhmim. Whereas most of the Akhmim martyrs remained anonymous, some of them received special commemoration. These included Dioscorus and Aesclepius, who were ascetics in the desert east of Akhmim. St. Michael appeared to them and ordered them to witness before Arianus. They were tortured and finally beheaded. Forty soldiers of the garrison including their captains Philemon and Akourius joined the saints in their martyrdom.
However, Christians were persecuted by others besides the Romans. Mercurius and Ephraem, natives of Akhmim, were monks in the Thebaid and suffered martyrdom during the reign of the Arian Emperor Constantius (337-361) because they upheld the orthodox faith. Menas the "new martyr" lived in the 7th Century as a hermit near one of the monasteries east of Akhmim. He went to Hermopoplis Magna (al-Ashmunain) where where he was killed by the Arabs.
Removal of List of Monasteries
List of Coptic Monasteries section was removed from the article. It was long and took away from the paragraph sections of the article. I have created a new article called List of Coptic Monasteries and incorporated all of the information that was removed into the new article. I also added a few images as well. There is a "see also" link to the new article within Coptic Monasticism. --CaseTrains (talk) 19:02, 27 November 2012 (UTC)