Humility in Action

Mark N. Swanson

in The Coptic Papacy in Islamic Egypt (641–1517)

Published by American University in Cairo Press

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9789774160936
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9781617970498 | DOI:
Humility in Action

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The last patriarch of the period, John XIII, was repeatedly pressed for funds in order to finance the wars of Sultan Qaitbay and his successors against the Ottomans (from 1484) and the Portuguese. Those wars would be in vain. The patriarch's humility is a recurring theme: not humility wrapped in signs and wonders but humility of a tough, practical sort well suited to the times. Christians were not specially singled out by Mamluk revenue collectors, any more than they were singled out by the effects of insufficient Nile flooding and famine or outbreaks of plague. The constant pressure on the Coptic elite meant ongoing conversions to Islam and, for the Coptic community as a whole, the loss of prominent members and their wealth.

Keywords: Portuguese; humility; Mamluk; Nile; plague

Chapter.  3689 words. 

Subjects: Early Christianity

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