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E02927: Coptic Sermon On Vigilance by Besa (abbot of the White Monastery near Sohag in Upper Egypt), referring to the saints as examples to follow in order to ensure lasting protection through Christ, written in the late 5th century.

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posted on 05.06.2017, 00:00 by gschenke
Besa, Sermon, ed. Kuhn 1.3.3:

ⲛⲑⲉ ⲅⲁⲣ ⲉⲛⲧⲁⲧⲉⲧⲛⲟⲩⲉϩ ⲧⲏⲩⲧⲛ ⲛⲥⲁ ⲛⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃ ⲧⲏⲣⲟⲩ ϩⲛ ⲛⲉⲧⲛⲡⲣⲁⲝⲉⲓⲥ · ⲛⲑⲉ ⲉⲛⲧⲁϥϫⲟⲟⲥ ϫⲉ ⲛⲧⲟⲕ ⲇⲉ ⲁⲕⲟⲩⲁϩⲕ ⲛⲥⲁ ⲧⲁⲥⲃⲱ · ⲡⲁⲥⲙⲟⲧ ⲡⲁⲧⲱϣ ⲧⲁⲡⲓⲥⲧⲓⲥ · ⲧⲁⲙⲛⲧϩⲁⲣϣϩⲏⲧ · ⲧⲁⲁⲅⲁⲡⲏ · ⲧⲁϩⲩⲡⲟⲙⲟⲛⲏ ·ⲛⲁⲇⲓⲱⲅⲙⲟⲥ · ⲛⲁϩⲓⲥⲉ ⲟⲩⲉϩ ⲧⲏⲩⲧⲛ ⲟⲛ ⲛⲥⲱⲟⲩ ϩⲙ
ⲡϩⲁⲣⲉϩ ⲉⲛⲉⲧⲛϩⲓⲥⲉ ⲛⲏⲧⲛ · ⲛⲉⲧⲉⲟⲩⲛⲧⲁⲩ ⲅⲁⲣ ⲙⲙⲁⲩ ⲛⲧⲙⲛⲧⲣⲙⲙⲁⲟ ⲛⲁⲧⲧⲁⲕⲟ ϩⲙ ⲡⲉⲭⲥ ⲛⲧⲟⲟⲩ ⲟⲛ ⲛⲉⲧⲏⲡ ⲉⲣⲟⲉⲓⲥ ⲉⲣⲟⲥ ⲛⲁⲩ

‘For just as you have followed all the saints through your actions, as it has been said, “But you followed my teaching, my example, my purpose, my faith, my long-suffering, my love, my patience, my persecutions, my sufferings” (2 Tim. 3:10–11), follow them also by guarding for yourselves your sufferings. For those who have imperishable wealth in Christ ought to watch over it.’

Text and translation: Kuhn 1956, p. 2 (text), p. 2 (trans.).


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Unnamed saints (or name lost) : S00518

Type of Evidence

Late antique original manuscripts - Parchment codex Literary - Sermons/Homilies



Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Egypt and Cyrenaica

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc


Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Sohag Hermopolis ϣⲙⲟⲩⲛ Ashmunein Hermopolis

Major author/Major anonymous work


Cult activities - Liturgical Activity

  • Sermon/homily

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - monastic


The discourses and letters of Besa come from nine different parchment codices found in the library of the White Monastery, dating to the 7th/8th and 8th/9th centuries.


Edition: Kuhn, K.H., Letters and Sermons of Besa, CSCO vol. 157 (text) and CSCO vol. 158 (trans.) (Leuven, 1956). Discussion: Behlmer, H., Heilige Schriften als Waffe der Rhetorik. Autoritative Texte und ihre literarische Verarbeitung im Werk des ägyptischen Klostervorstehers Besa (in preparation).

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