Notes On the Martyrdom of John of Phanijoit (Bho 519)

In: Medieval Encounters


This text, the editio princeps of which was published in 1887, has not been studied since 1901. It is the narrative of the passion and martyrdom of a certain John, a Coptic Christian who had apostasized to Islam but decided to return and, openly proclaiming his Christian faith, was executed in Cairo on a date fixed at 29 April 1211 C.E. Wherther John of Phanijoit actually existed or not, the construction of his story reflects the tensions in multi-ethnic Egyptian society under the Ayyubids and the changing nature of what it meant to be a Christian living under Muslim rule.

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