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date: 22 January 2021

Sawirus ibn al-Muqaffaʿ locked

(fl. tenth century),
  • Wafik Nasry

Extract

also known as Abu al-Bishr ibn al-Muqaffaʿ, the Egyptian Scribe, is celebrated as the first Coptic scribe to write theology in Arabic. The dates of his birth and death are currently unknown. However, scholars assign the year 905 as his approximate birth date and estimate his death around the ripe age of eighty. Sawirus ibn al-Muqaffaʿ was a prolific writer; in fact, the certain known dates in his life are all related to three of his compositions, namely his commentary on the Gospels Tafsir al-Amanah (Commentary on the Trust) in 950, which he lost, and then the rewriting of the same commentary in 955; finally in 987 he helped compose a letter to the Syrian Patriarch. All other dates are given as educated hypotheses.

Sawirus grew up in Old Cairo Egypt before the foundation of modern Cairo by the Fatimid caliphs As a young man Sawirus distinguished himself as a ...

A version of this article originally appeared in The Dictionary of African Biography.

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