From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Pherme was the location of a community of ascetic monks in the Nile Delta in Egypt[1][2] which grew after the 4th century CE as a satellite community of the better known community of Kellia ('the cells').

According to the Yale Monastic Archaeology Project,[3] the site of the monastic remains at Pherme, located 11 kilometers southeast of central Kellia, escaped some of the water damage suffered by the lower Kellia site because of its higher elevation.[3] Today the site contains some 115 monastic hermitages, only ten of which were excavated by Swiss archaeologists during digs from 1987 to 1989.

Pherme is mentioned in the Apophthegmata Patrum (Sayings of the Desert Fathers) as the dwelling of several Desert Fathers, including Abba Theodore of Pherme and Abba Lucius.[4]


  1. ^ Hedrich, T.; Brooks Hedstrom, D.; Davis, S. J. (2007). "A Geophysical Survey of Ancient Pherme: Magnetic Prospection at an Early Christian Monastic Site in the Egyptian Delta". Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt. 44: 129–137.
  2. ^ David, S.J. (2013). "Completing the Race and Receiving the Crown: 2 Timothy 4:7-8 in Early Christian Monastic Epitaphs at Kellia and Pherme". In Weidemann, H-U. (ed.). Asceticism and Exegesis in Early Christianity. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. pp. 334–373.
  3. ^ a b "Kellia and Pherme". Yale Monastic Archaeology Project. Retrieved 19 July 2020.
  4. ^ "Apophthegmata Patrum Sahidic 034: Theodorus". Coptic Scriptorium. Retrieved 19 July 2020.